Creating Connection With Your Children

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to focus on something that I hear about quite frequently in the clinic—the struggle to maintain a connection with children in a culture where digital media and peers are often given more value than family. I see a growing sense of anxiety about how to maintain a meaningful connection with those they love. And yes, all of these same struggles and concerns are felt by dads too! (More on that next month!)

In today's digital age, social media has become a predominant force in our lives, often affecting the way we connect with others, including children. As a result, many people experience anxiety and disconnection from their children due to the constant distractions and pressures of social media. These pressures can be both from the parent’s relationship with social media and their children’s. By implementing some simple tips and strategies, you can enhance your relationships with your children and reduce anxiety in the process.

1. Quality Over Quantity: In the age of social media, it is easy to get caught up in the quantity of time spent with our children rather than the quality of that time. Instead of being physically present but mentally distracted by social media, prioritize being fully engaged and present with your children during the time you spend together. This can include setting aside dedicated device-free time for bonding activities such as playing games, going for walks, or simply having meaningful conversations.

For example, instead of scrolling through social media while your child is talking to you, put your phone away and actively listen to what they are saying. Engage in a genuine conversation and show that you value their thoughts and opinions. Quality time is essential for building a strong connection with your child.

2. Active Listening: One of the most effective ways to connect with children is through active listening. By showing genuine interest in their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, you can strengthen your bond with your children and create a safe space for open communication. This can be achieved by putting away devices, maintaining eye contact, and practicing empathy and understanding. In addition, remember to listen to understand and ask clarifying questions to help ensure you understand the other person fully. 

For instance, when your child (or anyone else) shares something important with you, give them your undivided attention. Put your phone on silent and make eye contact to show that you are fully present. Ask open-ended questions to encourage further conversation and let them know that you are actively listening and interested in what they have to say. 

3. Lead By Example: Children learn by observing the behavior of their parents, so it is essential to model healthy social media habits and prioritize real-life interactions over virtual ones. You can instill these values in your children and strengthen their relationship skills by demonstrating the importance of face-to-face communication, active listening, and genuine connection.

4. Remember its Design: Every social media platform is designed to be addictive to trigger an unconscious-seeking reflex and keep you scrolling. Much like our food system has invested in understanding how to keep you buying their food-like product without thinking about that choice, our digital platforms are investing in keeping your interest—it’s how they successfully place ads for your consumption and make their money. I’m not saying trash your accounts and eschew the internet. I am saying to be mindful of the purpose of these systems and use them for your benefit rather than allowing yourself to be used by them.

For example, make a conscious effort to limit your social media usage. Instead, spend quality time together engaging in activities that promote bonding and connection. Show them that relationships and interactions in the real world are more valuable than virtual ones!

The prevalence of social media in our daily lives can pose challenges to meaningful connections with our children. By prioritizing quality over quantity, practicing active listening, and leading by example, you can reduce anxiety and foster deeper connections with your children. 


Some recommended reading: Hold On to Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld, PhD

If you want to challenge your thinking, Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn, presents some radically different ideas on how we relate to our children and makes some good points about how thinking about how and when we use extrinsic rewards may deepen our connection with others—especially kids.

Admittedly, online safety isn’t something you see a healthcare professional for—but I do see a lot of email and user names on intakes and in our system. I am amazed at how much information people accidentally give away with their choices. Many of you know I was an officer in the Navy. What many of you may not know is that while my official designator was “Naval Nuclear Power Officer” my actual expertise and where I spent the most time working as an officer and civilian employee of the Navy after that—was in something called “Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection”. Under the “Force Protection” side, we trained sailors in basic self-defense practices for better personal safety (situational awareness, evaluating risk) and online safety.

In the years since then, I have seen friends' children stalked by online predators, some of whom even came calling in person. I have watched people give away critical personally identifying information unintentionally, and more shockingly, worked with a surprising number of people who are survivors of sex trafficking. The majority of those survivors were not trafficked in foreign countries—it was right here at home. Some were recruited by school friends, some by family members, and some by people they met online. Many of those school friends knew to target them because they had been identified in advance through their online profiles. So in the spirit of being smart and protecting yourself online, here are some basic prevention measures lessening the odds of the minor annoyance of having your Facebook account hacked—to the major annoyance of having your bank account hacked—or the nightmare of having your child targeted online.

Do’s:

  1. Use a password manager: Do your research when choosing; Bitwarden is one of the more reputable ones, translates across devices, and allows you to share passwords when you want. The in-house Apple one is also a well-known manager. Remember: If you use one of these, have a solid access password to that account.
  1. Minimize personally identifiable information in your emails and user names: 
    1. Using your birth year in your email (rsmith1978, jmd2001)
    2. Having your middle initial or middle name as part of your email or user name (janemariedoe, janemdoe)
    3. Using the year you got married (jones4eve2000), the year of your child’s birth (mikka2015), the year you graduated from school (jetson1984) 

Any of these as part of your username or your email gives away information that makes it easier for someone to impersonate you online.

  1. Do change your passwords regularly: Item #1 above makes this much easier.
  1. If you do use a repetitive password across low-risk sites: Ensure your financial information isn’t linked to those accounts (But it is always best practice to use a unique password for every site!)
  1. Teach your children to use a creative username that is not their name: Especially on gaming and social media sites; likewise where they go to school, who their teachers and coaches are etc. should not be widely public. Photos of your child are a personal choice—the world should be a nicer place than it is sometimes. I personally would not want to share what my 6-year-old looks like and is in Mrs. Jones's class at XYZ Elementary with anyone who cared to look at my profile. 
  1. Verify that you truly know the people whom you link with on social media: Check with them offline to verify a friend request—especially if you already think you are connected with them on that platform.
  1. Those fun games where you match your birth year to your favorite ice cream to your first car to get your derby horse name or secret fairy name or whatever…sure, share your results and have fun with it—but don’t use your actual real information to post! 
  1. Facebook Birthday Reminders: I know these are all the rage, but personally my birthday on Facebook isn’t my actual birthday. Unless it’s legally required (like for banking, etc.) I don’t put it anywhere and I don’t make it public. 
  1. Teach your kids to be wary of people they don’t know in real life (IRL) online: More than one of my friend's kids were suckered into believing that the 30-50 y/o guys they were chatting with online was someone their age they could trust—someone who understood them better than anyone, knew how they felt and related to them so deeply and magically that they agreed to meet them a) in the driveway of their home at 2 am by sneaking out, or b) by secretly agreeing to have bus tickets mailed to them so they could run away and be together or c) the local mall, telling their parents they were going to hang out with “other friends” (who weren’t at the mall). Luckily all of these stories have a happy ending—but not everyone is so lucky. One friend of mine went to Mexico with someone she met online and didn’t know very well. No one ever saw or heard from her again and who she thought he was—didn’t actually exist. Be careful! 
  1. It’s not just the kids: Older people don’t always know the risks and can be the targets of scammers. Common elderly scams involve (but are not limited to): Giving money, giving access to their accounts, impersonating family or loved ones in danger, or worse. 

In one case, a scammer texted a photo of “his” driver’s license to prove who he was (a blurry hard to read one that clearly was fake to someone with good eyes) but to an elderly woman with poor eyesight who assumed that if he sent his drivers license, it must be legit! She was lonely and he was very interested in her and she wanted it to be true—if only she could send him some Apple gift cards and an iPad, he would trade those for a bus ticket to come meet her in person…She ended up selling off most of her jewelry and using most of her savings to “help” him and then once she was out of money—he vanished and ghosted her.

  1. You can meet some amazing people online: I met my husband online, and I’ve met other great people online. I’m not trying to scare you away from the online world—just reminding you to think a little about what information you give away in innocent interactions online; be careful to verify who these people are in real life, and don’t just sail off into the sunset without a little caution.

Good online safety practices can reduce the stress and anxiety of being online. Practice what you preach to your kids and take care of your elders online too!

As March unfolds and St. Patrick’s Day festivities commence, amidst the choice of a pint for many, it's important to pause and address the topic of liver health. The liver has many roles in the body:

  • Filtration
  • Digestion
  • Metabolism and Detoxification
  • Protein synthesis
  • Storage of vitamins and minerals

As a result of these key functions, liver dysfunction can have a cascade of effects including:

  • High cholesterol
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Dysglycemia
  • Early breakdown of joints

Is that last one a surprise to you? It was to me! I was listening to a podcast on kissing spine— an arthritic condition in horses that has become more prevalent. The discussion went to findings in dissections of horses with kissing spine showing bone level bruising throughout the body AND liver pathologies, and that further, when horses with kissing spine were given liver supportive treatments, the disease progression slowed dramatically or even stopped. So I had to dig deeper—was there research into the role of liver dysfunction in arthritis in people?  And the answer was a resounding yes.

Now in classical biomedical standards, the liver is not considered diseased until it’s near failure— jaundice, ascites, major problems...but there is also a clear association in the literature between hepatitis B infections and arthritis. So why wouldn’t earlier-stage liver issues from other causes have the potential to cause joint and bone changes? The research certainly points that way. Given all the things our liver does for us, I’ve had a change in perspective. With the abundance of liver-supportive herbs available to us that are safe, why not just plan on a quarterly liver cleanse to help keep that lovely organ happy and healthy?

*If you take supplements, herbs, or prescription medications—do review this protocol with your health care provider or herbalist*  

Do keep in mind—all the cleanses and tonics in the world won’t be able to make up for a poor diet! So on a daily basis, remember that your food and drink choices matter! Sugar, alcohol, and junk food add a strain to your liver. Herbal teas, nutrient-rich veggies, and fruits support your liver.

On a daily basis the following herbs can gently support your liver and blood:

  • milk thistle
  • goji berries
  • schisandra
  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • chrysanthemum 
  • nettle
  • oat straw
  • black tea
  • green tea
  • white tea
  • dandelion (leaves, root, and flowers)

In terms of a safe liver cleanse, MediHerb has some lovely herbal complexes to both cleanse and support the liver. So every quarter, I recommend the following protocol: Raja Wellness Quarterly Liver Cleanse

Starting the cleanse with LivCo around the full moon taps into the clearing energy of this celestial body (stay tuned next month where I discuss parasite cleanses and the pull of the full moon for more details). Then take a break for a few days and start the “tonifying” phase with Livton to support the liver as the energy of the new moon helps guide the herbs into a building phase. For most people, doing this 4 times per year will be sufficient. If you don’t regularly take prescription medications, aren’t drinking alcohol on a weekly or daily basis, get plenty of exercise, and manage your stress—then 1-2x per year will be plenty for this cleanse.

In addition to the herbs, I recommend following a liver-friendly diet rich in plant-based proteins, vegetables, and some high-quality fish in addition to nuts, olive oil, and fruits. There is a multitude of research into nutrition for longevity, reduced disease, and health. The common theme among these findings is: to eat a diet high in vegetables, plant-based proteins, and whole grains with small amounts of fruits, grains, and animal proteins. Olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts all have protective properties for the brain and liver. As Jack Lalanne used to say “The longer the shelf life, the shorter your life”. Those handy packaged “foods” are often no longer actual food but merely a food-like product! 

Stress and psychological factors have a direct impact on the function of the liver. The more you can regulate stress through lifestyle and exercise, the better the liver will function. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is represented by the wood element—spring is the time of liver growth with new growth reaching and bending to new heights. A healthy wood element is flexible like the young tree, bending with the wind rather than breaking. The color associated with the liver is green and stones like peridot and malachite can support liver function. And yes, regular acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress and increase overall health- even for healthy patients a quarterly “tune-up” with your acupuncturist can keep new problems from emerging. For patients with a high-stress life or who engage in intense physical training-  monthly sessions help keep problems at bay.

Why are we so passionate about mental health at Raja Wellness? 

The link between mental health and cardiovascular health is quite significant. Stress, especially chronic psychological stress, has a profound impact on the cardiovascular system. When the “stress response” is activated, the body secretes glucocorticoids, epinephrine, and other hormones, while inhibiting the secretion of growth hormone, insulin, and reproductive hormones. The sympathetic nervous system is also activated, leading to increased heart rate and blood pressure, among other physiological changes that divert blood to areas needed for immediate survival, such as the muscles and lungs, and away from non-essential areas like the gut and reproductive organs. This response is adaptive in the short term, but chronic activation due to chronic stress can lead to serious cardiovascular issues such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, and myocardial ischemia.

This connection between mental health and cardiovascular health highlights the intricate intertwining of psychological and physiological factors. The body's response to chronic stress can have detrimental effects on the cardiovascular system, emphasizing the importance of managing and addressing mental health to promote overall well-being, including cardiovascular health.

Acupuncture has many benefits for cardiovascular health:

1. Stress Reduction: Stress is a known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Acupuncture has been shown to modulate the body's stress response, potentially reducing the impact of stress on the heart and blood vessels.

2. Blood Pressure Regulation: Studies indicate that acupuncture may help in regulating blood pressure. By targeting specific acupuncture points, practitioners aim to optimize blood circulation and blood pressure levels, contributing to better cardiovascular function.

3. Inflammation Management: Chronic inflammation is closely linked to cardiovascular conditions. Acupuncture may exert anti-inflammatory effects, potentially reducing the systemic inflammation associated with heart disease.

4. Enhanced Circulation: The stimulation of acupuncture points is believed to enhance microcirculation, improving blood flow to vital organs including the heart. Enhanced circulation can promote heart health and overall cardiovascular function.

5. Complementary Therapy: Acupuncture is often used as a complementary therapy alongside conventional medical treatments for cardiovascular issues. It may help alleviate symptoms, improve overall well-being, and enhance the effects of standard cardiovascular care.

While acupuncture has clear benefits for cardiovascular health, we recommend individuals consult healthcare professionals before integrating acupuncture into their treatment regimen. Moreover, acupuncture alone may not be enough for people dealing with chronic stress. 

Learning to manage our stress is a key part of maintaining heart health—and that’s where professional mental health care is so important as part of your overall wellness. 

Herbal formulas also play an important role in heart health. Many formulas have been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood lipid levels, decrease inflammation, and increase peripheral circulation. For example, Clear Mind Formula is one of my favorite herbal formulas for heart health, especially here in Kentucky because of its natural antifungal and antimicrobial properties. This is a raw herbal concoction that we make in-house. We do recommend consulting with a trained herbalist before incorporating any herbal remedies into your care plan. 

or

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 270-506-3853 today!


References:

1. Wayne PM, Kaptchuk TJ. Challenges inherent to t'ai chi research: part II-defining the intervention and optimal study design. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2008;14(2):191-197.

2. Fu, C., Zhao, N., & Liu, Z. (2013). Chronic pain: acupuncture and related therapies. Springer Science & Business Media

3. Chen J, Ye C, Yang Z, Zhang C, Li P, Xu B, Wu A, Zhang X, Xue X. Erchen decoction to reduce oxidative stress in dyslipidemia phlegm-dampness retention syndrome mice: In vivo mechanism revealed by metabolomics (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry). Phytomedicine. 2023 Jul;115:154808. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2023.154808.

As we usher in the Chinese New Year 2024, anticipation and excitement fill the air as the majestic Year of the Dragon takes center stage in the Chinese zodiac. Known for its mythical charm and symbolizing strength, good fortune, and prosperity, the dragon is a revered and auspicious creature in Chinese culture. This Lunar New Year celebration promises a journey into a realm of ancient traditions, vibrant festivities, and the promise of positive energies as we embrace the spirit of the dragon.

The Dragon also represents courage, creativity, and innovation. In a dragon year, people are said to be able to harness the creature’s intelligence, leadership, and abilities to pursue their dreams with creativity, passion, courage, and confidence. 2024 promises to be a year full of possibilities and opportunities and as a Yang Wood Dragon year the hallmarks will represent growth and flexibility. Dragon years are auspicious times to embrace new endeavors and develop new aspects of yourself thanks to the fiery and creative nature of dragons but with the yang wood element, there is a special emphasis on growing to new heights. 

The transition into the Year of the Dragon invites us to reflect on our personal journey, embrace change, and pursue our goals with renewed vigor. It is a time to set intentions, cultivate positive energy, and embody the resilience and strength symbolized by the dragon. Whether through traditional rituals or modern celebrations, the Chinese New Year serves as a poignant reminder of the cyclical nature of life and the continuous pursuit of harmony and balance!

There won’t be another Wood Dragon year for 60 years, so embrace this year to step out of your comfort zone and grow!

Green will be an auspicious color this year, thanks to the wood element, specifically a rich emerald green. Some say wearing this color, or including it in your office will enhance prosperity and wealth in the coming year. However, dragons also appreciate the dynamic colors of red, orange, and purple so those colors will be important as well in a dragon year. 

Certain stones may also be influenced by the energy of the Wood Dragon with emerald, malachite, carnelian, ruby, and amethyst having positive influences for the year.

As the dragon unfurls its majestic wings over the Chinese New Year of 2024, let us collectively embrace the spirit of strength, prosperity, and good fortune it symbolizes. May this vibrant and auspicious year bring joy, success, and a sense of renewal to all, fostering a harmonious beginning filled with promise and positive energies!

After enjoying a delicious meal, we may be tempted to kick back and relax. However, emerging research suggests incorporating a brisk walk into your post-meal routine can offer numerous health benefits. From improved digestion to better blood sugar control, the advantages of walking after eating are backed by scientific evidence!

Enhanced Digestion:

One of the primary benefits of walking after eating is improved digestion. Physical activity helps stimulate the digestive system, encouraging the efficient breakdown of food. A study published in the "Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases" found that post-meal walks accelerated the rate at which food moved through the stomach and intestines, reducing feelings of bloating and discomfort.1

Blood Sugar Regulation:

Walking after a meal may contribute to better blood sugar control, especially for individuals with or at risk of type 2 diabetes. A study in the "Diabetes Care" journal demonstrated that a short, 15-minute walk after each meal significantly lowered post-meal blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.2

Weight Management:

Incorporating walking into your post-meal routine may contribute to weight management. A study published in the "Journal of Physical Activity and Health" found that individuals who engaged in post-meal walks experienced reduced blood triglyceride levels, which are associated with improved metabolism and weight control.3

Mental Well-being:

Physical activity, including walking, has been linked to improved mood and reduced stress levels. Taking a short stroll after a meal can help combat feelings of lethargy and promote a sense of well-being. A review in the "British Journal of Sports Medicine" highlights the positive impact of physical activity on mental health.4

Sometimes, walking may not be an option, and that’s ok! The subtle strength of any low-impact exercise offers wonderful benefits and is accessible to individuals of all ages and fitness levels. Low-impact exercises such as using a rebounder or simply bouncing in place for 2 minutes can offer similar physical and mental health benefits!

The evidence supporting the benefits of walking after eating is compelling. From aiding digestion and regulating blood sugar to contributing to weight management and mental well-being, taking a post-meal stroll or even bouncing in place is a simple yet effective way to enhance overall health!

Incorporating this habit into your daily routine may lead to long-term positive outcomes, making it a small step with significant health rewards.

Sources

  1. Phillips SF, Camilleri M, Hanson RB. Relationship of Satiety and Postprandial Transit Time to Gastric Emptying in Normal Controls. Dig Dis Sci. 1990;35(7):849-852.
  1. Colberg SR, Zarrabi L, Bennington L, Nakave A, Thomas Somma C, Swain DP, Sechrist SR. Postprandial Walking is Better for Lowering the Glycemic Effect of Dinner than Pre-Dinner Exercise in Type 2 Diabetic Individuals. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2009;10(6):394-397.
  1. Gill JM, Herd SL, Hardman AE. Moderate-intensity walking produces cardiovascular benefits for obese adults. J Sports Sci Med. 2002;1(2):51-57.
  1. Stanton R, Reaburn P. Exercise and the Treatment of Depression: A Review of the Exercise Program Variables. J Sci Med Sport. 2014;17(2):177-182.

As we come into the darker part of winter and the days approach their shortest lengths, many people struggle with their mood. Sometimes called Seasonal Affective Disorder it can range from mild to severe. In addition, the holidays can be a difficult time for many people—especially when dealing with loss, isolation, or inability to connect with family and friends. There are options for getting through this time with greater ease and well-being.

From a Chinese Medicine perspective, this time of year calls for a natural slowing and drawing inward: a time for nurturing, quiet contemplation and taking a break from the tendency to strive for more. 

From this perspective, the desire to slow down and reflect is not pathological but a natural reflection of the seasonal changes. This time is important to consolidate and prepare for the coming growth of spring. It’s ok to not always be striving and pushing. However, it should not be a depressing struggle. If you struggle with this time of year here are some recommendations to navigate the shorter days with better ease:

  1. Light things up! If you can’t get outside during daylight hours and expose your eyes to natural light, consider investing in a full-spectrum light for your house. Even a desktop one for a short period of time each day can help improve mood. This is especially important for people who work nights or can’t get into natural light during the day. Studies show that exposure to natural light without glass in the way—even your vision glasses for just a few minutes, each day helps maintain Circadian rhythm health.
  2. Get out and move! Exercise remains one of the most effective ways to maintain better mental health. If you don’t like the gym try dance or tai chi or get out and walk. If the weather is too nasty to face the elements try a rebounder or treadmill.  Challenge yourself to plank and build core strength, do some squats or jump squats if you can. Try a yoga class with Pneuma Body and Mind in Hodgenville or even one of their belly dance classes.
  3. Food matters! Tempting as holiday treats are; sugar, alcohol, and processed foods do not nourish your mental health. In fact, they do the opposite.  Look to nourish yourself with warm soups & chilis, roasted veggies, and lean meats. Treat yourself with organic dark chocolate and fresh fruit like pomegranate and blueberries, or try a roasted pear drizzled with honey and cinnamon. We have a wide range of herbal teas to choose from as well, full of antioxidants, minerals, and soothing properties. Our in-stock teas are 10% off through 12/31/23!
  4. Reach out! We offer group and individual therapy, acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine, and nutritional counseling. All of these have been proven safe and often more effective than medication for mild to moderate depression and anxiety. 

It’s looking like Newvember with all the great changes we have coming!

Raja Wellness welcomes Fielding Carroll, LAc!  Those of you coming in to see us for allergy treatments recently have probably already met Fielding. Fielding is a native Kentuckian and a classmate of mine from Acupuncture school. I am happy to welcome him aboard to our team! He’s been diligently learning the nuances of SAAT (our specialty acupuncture technique for alleviating allergies of all kinds that was pioneered by Dr. Soliman). In addition to his focus on mastering this new technique, he brings a wealth of experience in the treatment of digestive disorders and health coaching embracing food as the first medicine and foundation of better health! In addition to offering acupuncture services, personalized nutritional coaching is also available with Fielding. 

Fall wellness is a frequent topic for us—as the days get shorter and colder, it’s important to fuel our immune systems with adequate rest, plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and to reduce junk foods from our diet. Our gut and immune systems are intimately intertwined and for some people, probiotic support may be helpful in addition to meditation, immune-supporting herbs, and preventative acupuncture care. 

As we move forward toward 2024, we want to let our patients know our prices will be going up. We strive to offer a range of services at affordable prices and as part of that commitment, we are announcing this change early to give patients the option to “stock up” on treatments at our current price. All patients currently scheduled will pay the price at the time their service was booked. Current patients can pre-pay up to 5 visits each at our current rates, but those visits must be used before Mar 31, 2024. Our new prices will go into effect Dec 1, 2023 for all visits booked after that date. 

In addition, you will see some new options in our services including nutrition coaching with Fielding, FSM-only treatments, BrainTap sessions & Glow sessions (combined light therapy & FSM for renewed skin). With those new options, we are also testing out some membership options, giving patients access to a select combination of treatments monthly at a reduced cost for members. Watch your emails for early access to these!

Our online store is also coming back soon with some changes!

At Raja Wellness, we continually strive to make your shopping experience as easy and affordable as possible.

CBD is legal in all 50 states, yet some banks and credit card processors impart their judgments on access to these legal products by refusing to process transactions involving the sales of CBD products of any kind. Their oversight unfortunately incorrectly flagged our blog about the health benefits of CBD for osteoporosis as a “product for sale” and our processor held our funds and thus forced us to stop using them as a processor. This has been a gray area for many years and is one of the reasons you see CBD in our offices but not in our online store. Unfortunately, the list of companies that allow this is very short. Please bear with us as we continue to search for a more fair, CBD-friendly payment processor that also allows us to offer you the best prices and convenience.

In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight how acupuncture and TCM helps men’s health; and to remind men that they need to take care of themselves too. Statistically men are less likely than women to seek health care and married men tend to see the doctor more often than single men, but still less often than women (even accounting for pregnancy needs). One of the biggest complaints I hear from male patients is they are too busy or they don’t want to walk out with another pill to take. 

I started this with a search of “top reasons men go to the doctor” and could only find research and articles on why men should go to the doctor—it seems we haven’t really looked at why they do go when they do in much detail. I did find this gem from The Cleveland Clinic and their support of the MENtion It Campaign—an initiative to encourage men to seek care. Despite the fact that the majority of men want better health to care for their families, less than half of those who listed that as a priorit, seek regular care. 

The top reasons why? They don’t want to know they have to make a lifestyle change, or fear of finding out what they have. We get it—but there are better options than neglecting your health. And if you don’t want to take a pill when things are going wrong, yes, you will need to make a change.  But aren’t you and your family worth it? So if you have an issue—MENtion It! We are here to listen.

One advantage acupuncture has over other options is we treat the whole body during a session—you may be coming in for back pain or knee pain, but we will also be addressing sleep, digestion, immune function, endocrine balance and more. If you think about it, it is truly a great value! Similarly, our approach using herbal formulas is to select a formula that addresses as many issues at once as possible—so you can take one thing and have multiple issues get better.  And unlike just treating a symptom, when we are able to get to the root of the problem, and as a result, you feel better and stay that way even without being on herbs all the time.

Menopause gets a lot of notice, but did you know men go through a similar process called Andropause? First written about in 1946, a landmark paper in JAMA entitled, “The Male Climacteric” characterized it with nervousness, reduced potency, decreased libido, irritability, fatigue, depression, memory problems, sleep disturbances, and hot flushes. Hypogonadism is broad scientific term and it refers to a “clinical syndrome caused by androgen deficiency, which may adversely affect multiple organ functions and quality of life.”1  Decreasing testosterone levels are linked to a number of disease processes and shorter life-span. The traditional approach is supplemental testosterone, but acupuncture and traditional East Asian herbal medicine have also been shown to regulate testosterone levels in the body, improve mood, sleep, endocrine function and cardiovascular health.

Speaking of hearth heath—statistically 1 in 4 men will die of heart disease and it’s complications. Men tend to develop heart disease earlier in life than women and are less likely to make the lifestyle changes necessary to reverse heart disease. Coronary artery disease is one of the most common forms of heart disease among men and responds incredibly well to lifestyle and diet changes. Tons of this research can be found here.

JAMA: Intensive Lifestyle Changes for Reversal of Coronary Heart Disease

If you made it this far into the article, congratulations! As a thank you for being loyal reader, use the code “mentionit” for 10% off you next order from our website. Discount code valid 6/15/23 - 7/15/23. Not valid with other offers, not valid for gift cards. Other restrictions may apply.

Did you know half of men who have heart attacks have no symptoms before it happens? Or perhaps, didn’t know they were having symptoms. One of the earliest signs of heart disease is erectile dysfunction. Another early sign of heart disease is new onset anxiety2. Mental health issues and heart disease are often tangled together and in many cases of anxiety being caused by low grade (not yet detectable) heart disease, the typical anxiety medications don’t work well. Acupuncture is very effective for both mental health and cardiovascular health—and as we mentioned above, can address both issues in the same sessions!

Last, but not least is prostate health. Benign Prostate Hyperplasia responds very well to acupuncture and herbal therapies3. Acupuncture can increase urinary output, reduce the size of the prostate, and beyond hyperplasia is effective for treating Prostatitis as well. 

Harvard Study on Acupuncture Relieving Prostatitis Symptoms

These results tend to be long-lasting after the initial course of treatment. Prostatitis alone is responsible for over 2 million doctors visits a year, and is often recurring and has no clear cause. So even if we can’t convince you to see your doctor once a year (yet), schedule an appointment with one of our acupuncturists, check out our online resources, and remember—Dads are an important part of the family and it’s important they get the care they need so they can take care of others!


1 Singh P. Andropause: Current concepts. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Dec;17(Suppl 3):S621-9. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.123552. PMID: 24910824; PMCID: PMC4046605.

2 Celano CM, Daunis DJ, Lokko HN, Campbell KA, Huffman JC. Anxiety Disorders and Cardiovascular Disease. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2016 Nov;18(11):101. doi: 10.1007/s11920-016-0739-5. PMID: 27671918; PMCID: PMC5149447.

3 Zhang W, Ma L, Bauer BA, Liu Z, Lu Y. Acupuncture for benign prostatic hyperplasia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2017 Apr 4;12(4):e0174586. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174586. PMID: 28376120; PMCID: PMC5380320.

The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.
chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram