Diagnosis – The REAL Superhero of Choosing Herbs and Supplements

Have you ever been sucked into buying a really neat, nifty, and new supplement or herb because of its benefit claims? 

Improved energy levels, performance and vitality? Add to cart. 

Better stress tolerance? It’ll take three, please.

Increased overall happiness and decreased sadness, AND SUPERPOWERS? Take my money!

I know, I know, the promise of superpowers is REALLY tempting. It’s common to read the effects of certain herbs and supplements and want to take them for their advertised benefits, however without proper diagnosis and context of your lovely, individual self, you could be just creating expensive urine, or causing more harm than good.

Doctor Pee GIF by I Heart Guts

While there are some supplements that are definitely great for many conditions based on where we live (Vitamin D for Albertans during the Winter), or boosting your immune system during cold and flu season (Cordyceps); we have to be wary of HOW these supplements are working and WHY we are taking them, especially when treating specific symptoms or conditions.

Understanding the mechanism of action for herbs and supplements is essential when choosing what you are going to be taking. For example, some herbs stop bleeding by creating a clot, while others stop bleeding by treating an underlying weakness elsewhere in the body.

The second, but definitely most important part of choosing the right herb or supplement, is understanding YOUR INDIVIDUAL BODY CONSTITUTION AND PATTERN. This means knowing what your individual body and condition need, because we’re all different!

Where is your body deficient or needing help, specific to you?

For example, one person’s immune system might be low from stress or environmental factors, where another person’s immune system could be weak because of poor absorption of nutrients in their intestines. It might even be a combination of the two!

Both of these people may be looking to boost their immune systems, but they should approach it differently with their herbal and supplement choices!

This is where your TCM practitioner comes in!
*Insert cheesy superhero music*

superman flying GIF

TCM practitioners and acupuncturists are trained to view the body holistically, not just treating the symptoms. This means they find the root of the problem, and create a treatment plan for your individual needs.

Another set of powerful tools that many TCM practitioners have in their arsenal are patent formulas, supplements and Chinese herbal formulas. These not only work with your TCM diagnosis and pattern, but they are also customizable in our herbal apothecary, which is opening this Spring!

Your TCM practitioner or acupuncturist can also tailor supplement, diet and lifestyle recommendations based on your specific constitution. They can even help review your current supplements, and let you know what is good to continue taking, and what isn’t necessary for your goals and health needs.

So next time you are reaching for the next vitality boosting, super-power generating, super duper elixir, be sure to seek out professional assistance. Otherwise you might just be making some expensive pee!

Want to know more about our apothecary, supplements and herbs? Have questions about your own herbal needs? Contact Us!

It Boils Down to Your Noodle (Disclaimer: Not Pasta Noodles) – Acupuncture and Concussions

As the weather begins to warm up, more people are heading outside. Whether it be for walks, bike rides, backyard shenanigans, and sporting events, everyone is starting to move. This also includes everything speeding up, no need to worry about slipping and sliding on ice, so why not pick up the pace and put the pedal to the metal?

This is where our brain comes in. It loves excitement, it likes going fast in vehicles with the windows down, it likes the rush of adrenaline your body receives when you go in for a tackle, but you know what it doesn’t like? Concussions.

 

Concussion? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

 

Concussions are a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) which can occur from motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries and falls. Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • feeling out of it
  • feeling nausea
  • poor memory
  • irritability
  • being more emotional than usual
  • hypersensitivity to light and noise
  • poor concentration
  • troubles sleeping and balance issues (to name a “few”).

Concussions can take a long time to heal from, depending on how well you are able to look after your noodle. Sleep is important, staying away from physical activity is crucial, and limiting screen time and “heavy “thinking is a must. Any of these can cause your symptoms to worsen and set you back to square one and symptoms may last for months if not taken care of properly. Then we start to get into the post-concussion syndrome issues and that’s a whole other ball game that no one wants to play in (debilitating pain, tremors, insomnia, memory loss).

 

So how can Acupuncture help?

We already know (hopefully) that acupuncture can be effective in the treatment of nausea, dizziness, headaches, poor memory, changing emotions, sleep difficulties and balance issues, so why would we view the potential helpfulness in the treatment of these similar concussion symptoms any differently?

A usual treatment geared toward concussions may include some scalp acupuncture points along the cranial sutures and scars with electrical stimulation and works wonders to reduce physical stress and increase blood flow.

 

How can I help myself?

  • REST
    • We need to sleep at night for a reason, sleep is the brain healing and recharging
  • AVOID STRENUOUS PHYSICAL AND MENTAL EXERTIONS
    • Would you run a marathon on a broken ankle? See my point?
  • STAY AWAY FROM CONTACT SPORTS/ACTIVITIES
    • Your brain is already hurting, don’t risk more harm to it. You only have one.
  • SLOWLY RE-INTRODUCE YOUR ACTIVITIES
    • Same principle as “I used to be able to eat a full pizza, now I can only eat two slices”. Slowly add slices.
  • WATCH WHAT YOU PUT IN YOU BODY
    • Alcohol, drugs and caffeine may elongate your healing time.
  • DO ONE THING AT A TIME
    • Your poor brain is barely handling that.
  • GO GET SOME ACUPUNCTURE
    • I’m not too sure, but I think this post was about how acupuncture can help with this kind of stuff?

Extra Self-Help Goodies

Facts about Concussion and Brain Injury

https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/pdfs/providers/facts_about_concussion_tbi-a.pdf

Acupressure Self Care

http://www.neurokinetics.com/conc-acupressure/

 

Want to learn more about acupuncture and it’s use in concussions?

Feel free to Contact Us

 

References