Entries by Don Silvernail

Work-Life Balance and How Acupuncture Can Help

I recently came across this article ​about work-life balance. The article says to give up on it, it is not achievable in today’s world so you might as well not even try, you will just end up feeling bad when it does not happen. While I think there is a lot wrong with this premise (mostly the corporate environment that has made white collar work the new sweat shops) I do acknowledge that it can be difficult to strike a good work-life balance. The problems with this are numerous but the one that concerns me, as a health care provider, is the impact that this type of lifestyle has on people’s health.

Stress/Anxiety/Depression

Working like this is a perfect recipe for mood disorders like anxiety and depression and creates a great deal of stress with little room for activities to diffuse that stress. Anxiety and depression alone can have a tremendous effect on your life and wellbeing and costs this country billions of dollars in health care lost wages. Stress has been linked to many diseases ranging from diabetes to heart disease to metabolic syndrome and more. As the article states, if you don’t stand up for yourself, no one else will.

What You Can Do

One tip from the article is a very good one, schedule yourself. Schedule social time, phone calls to friends and even time to read or watch TV. If you put it on your calendar and get into a routine, you are much more likely to do these activities.

Use my 15-minute tool. Take 15 minutes a day (and set a timer so you don’t get subsumed) to do something you continually put off but know needs to be done. Like the piles of paper on your desk that you walk by every day or that closet that has not been cleaned out in 10 years. Every time you see these things and tell yourself in the back of your mind that it needs to get done and don’t do it, you are subtly beating yourself up. You will be amazed at what just 15 minutes a day can do to even a large project like a basement. You will notice a significant difference in 1-2 weeks, and you will feel so much lighter.

Say NO! Bosses have their own problems, pressures and stress. They don’t have time to worry about yours. If they keep giving you things to do and you keep doing them, they are thinking “Wow, they can handle a lot!” They don’t realize you are about a minute away from having a breakdown. Even if you end up doing the project or assignment, sometimes saying no at the start can make your boss realize and appreciate your work more.

How Acupuncture Can Help

Acupuncture can help reduce anxiety and depression. Typically, weekly treatments are needed at the beginning but after a course of 10-12 treatments, your body will naturally be able to process the pressure that you are under better. Acupuncture reduces stress hormones in the body and can induce the body to produce stress reducing hormones. This powerful combination will decrease the impact that stress has on your body and your health.

What are you working for? Most often it is to provide a good home and life for your family. But when you are doing that at the expense of you and your family’s quality of life and fulfillment, not to mention your health, it seems downright counter intuitive. We only get one shot at this, take care of yourself and make it count!

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

5 Reasons Why You Should Try Acupuncture

Pain

Acupuncture excels at treating pain whether the pain is chronic or acute. Acute pain conditions, such as injuries, resolve quickly with acupuncture. Not only does acupuncture provide pain relief but it will help an injury heal faster and more completely. Chronic pain conditions can take longer to treat and often require maintenance treatments to maintain relief and effect healing. With alternatives like pain medications and surgery, acupuncture is a viable and often preferable alternative.

Stress

Stress has become so prevalent in today’s society and the negative health effects of stress read like a list of “diseases of civilization”. Diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, cirrhosis, metabolic syndrome...the list goes on and on and all can be linked directly or indirectly with stress. Acupuncture can reduce stress markers in the body, induce parasympathetic (rest and digest) activity and even short circuit the patterns that cause adrenal fatigue.

Sleep

Often, pain and stress can lead to sleep problems, so by addressing these first two issues, sleep is often improved. Working directly on sleep, acupuncture can reset the body so that patients are able to go to sleep quickly with less interruption and wake feeling rested.

Digestion

The effects of poor digestion are so far reaching that I almost always include some digestive treatments within the treatment plan for patients. Without the proper building blocks, your body simply cannot rebuild and protect itself. If your digestion is off, no matter how well you are eating, those building block may not be properly broken down or absorbed. Hormonal issues, gallbladder disease, mood problems, fatigue and even auto immune problems can often be traced back to poor digestion. Acupuncture can stimulate the digestive system to work properly, eliminating a host of seemingly disparate health complaints.

Anxiety

We are built for anxiety. If our ancient ancestors did not worry about food and shelter, they quite simply did not survive to pass down those lackadaisical genes. So, you can thank your ancestors for giving you the anxiety “gene”, yay! The problem is, modern society has relieved us of many of these survival worries. So, what do we do? Make up problems of course! As noted above, acupuncture can help reduce the bodies reaction to stress and help relive that “wired and tired” syndrome that so many of us get stuck in and these are drivers for anxiety. By inducing the body to produce chemicals such as gabapentin and serotonin, acupuncture can directly relieve anxiety.

Five reasons? There is only one. Your health and wellbeing. Relieving any one of these problems can be life changing and most of the time patients present with some degree of all of these problems. Come in, get help and live a healthier, happier life!

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

When Are Opioids OK?

When they are produced by the body of course. Wait, the body makes opioids? Absolutely, and acupuncture, especially electro acupuncture, can induce the body to produce these pain-relieving substances. Opioid peptides (endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphin) are made by the body, act on opioid receptors and relieve pain among other effects.

Opioids vs. Opiates

Opiates are drugs (either natural or synthetic) that produce similar effects as the body’s own opioids. The problem with opiates is that they are addictive. There is a time and place for these substances to be used clinically (such as recovery form surgery) but their use should be very short term. The reason we have a crisis in this country with these drugs is that they were prescribed inappropriately. For lack of a better alternative, especially with chronic conditions, these drugs were often prescribed long term, leading to addiction.

Acupuncture & Opioids

Acupuncture has demonstrated an ability to induce the body to release these pain-relieving substances to help patients manage pain. So how does this help patients, don’t you become “addicted” to acupuncture and need continued treatment without end. There are several ways that acupuncture will help not only relieve pain, but help your body heal. Many patients who are in pain have trouble sleeping. The only time your body heals is when you are sleeping. You can refer to our blog post ​Pain, Sleep, Stress to see how pain, sleep and even stress affect one another. When acupuncture relieves pain, even temporarily, it allows patients to sleep and gives their bodies a chance to heal. Acupuncture stimulates blood flow, reduces inflammation and stimulates the immune system. Using electric stimulation, an acupuncturist can introduce electrons in to the body and electrons help the body heal.

All too often, modern medicine looks to improve on the body’s natural healing abilities. This is where we commonly get in to trouble. The healing capacity of the body evolved over tens or even hundreds of thousands of years if you go back far enough. Encouraging the body to do what it already knows how to do is a much safer and ultimately more effective approach.

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.

Top 5 Pain Conditions Treated with Acupuncture

Acupuncture excels at treating any pain syndrome. This is because it not only reduces inflammation and increases circulation but because it helps heal damaged tissue. There are five conditions, however, that are seen repeatedly in the clinic and I will discuss each of them below.

1 - Acupuncture for Back Pain

This is the most commonly treated condition and it is not surprising. The back, and especially the low back, supports the entire weight of the upper body. All this weight and the force generated by walking, running or even picking things up, comes to a focus in an area about the size of the diameter of a peach. It also takes a tremendous amount of muscle strength to stabilize and maintain this structure. Age, weight, lack of exercise, injury, poor posture and even stress all contribute to causing pain in this area. Acupuncture has proven to be a clinically effective means of managing and even eliminating back pain.

2- Acupuncture for Neck Pain

This is something that is seen more and more in the clinic. While the area is not subject to the intense physical stress that is seen in the lower back, supporting the neck is still a big job. Stress and poor posture contribute more toward this syndrome and just about all my patients, regardless of what they are being treated for, complain of some neck pain or tightness. Working to treat the heart of the issue, inflammation and circulation, acupuncture has also demonstrated an ability to reduce stress hormones.

3 - Acupuncture for Headaches & Migraines

Headaches and migraines are sometimes a chief complaint for patients, but many patients reveal that they suffer from “the normal” headaches during the intake. Headaches are not normal, they are a signal from your body that something is wrong. Acupuncture is a fantastic way to treat headaches since it deals with increasing circulation, reduces stress hormones and as mentioned above, treats neck pain, often a contributing factor in headaches.

4 - Acupuncture for Knee Pain

Just like the low back, the knees deal with a tremendous amount of weight and stress, supporting not only the upper body but the upper legs as well. How many miles does your Fitbit tell you walk every day? Multiply that over weeks, months, years, decades and you start to get an idea of the wear and tear that we place on our knees. As soon as a person feels their knees start to bother them, that is the time to come in for treatment, before the damage becomes so great that no amount of treatment will fully relieve the problem.

5 - Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain

Shoulders are a place of the body that most don’t think about much. Until you can’t get a glass from a cabinet, or pick up a pan, or must use one arm to drive or get through a day on the keyboard without downing several pain killers. Shoulder pain typically responds very quickly to acupuncture treatment, with most patients demonstrating increased range of motion and reduced pain after just one acupuncture treatment. Several treatments are often needed to eliminate the pain and some exercises are normally required to strengthen and stabilize the joint.

Pain can crop up anywhere on the body, but these five places are the most common. Call today for a free 30-minute Pain Relief Assessment if you are suffering with these or any other pain condition.

​Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

​Traditional cultures have known for centuries the myriad benefits of drinking bone broth. This is something that has been lost in modern times but now you can return you and your family to this time-honored tradition of both maintaining health and even healing yourself simply by nourishing yourself properly.