Acupuncture and Wellness

Acupuncture needles in neck and shoulder

Why try acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a natural approach to health and wellness that has been used for centuries to prevent illness and alleviate acute and chronic pain and discomfort.  On February 14, 2017, the Annals of Internal Medicine published a guideline developed by the American College of Physicians (ACP) on Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain.  It’s no surprise that acupuncture is on their list of treatments to consider before surgery or using opioids to ease pain.

How does acupuncture help the body to heal?

To heal after a surgery or injury, or to resolve chronic health issues, the following body systems and processes must be supported properly:

  • circulation
  • respiration
  • lymphatic drainage
  • elimination
  • neuro-muscular function
  • endocrine function

Regular acupuncture supports the above processes by improving micro-circulation throughout the body.  Adequate blood circulation delivers life-sustaining nutrients to body cells, tissues and organs. Acupuncture also enhances the body’s ability to eliminate wastes efficiently so it can hum along like a finely-tuned machine.

Get relief from chronic pain due to injury, illness, surgery, scar tissue, daily wear and tear, or the side-effects of chemo and radiation treatments–try acupuncture!

chinese herbs on bamboo mat

Herbs, Homeopathics  and Phytonutrients

Herbs have been used successfully for thousands to years to address illness and injury.  Traditional Chinese Medicine uses herbal formulas to address deeper imbalances in the body that drive symptoms.  It is more than a band-aid approach and has been show to be safe and effective.

Homeopathic remedies are derived from natural sources (animal, mineral, and plants) while phytonutrients are entirely plant-derived remedies used to support long-term health and to improve chronic conditions.  Plants and minerals provide key elements to body systems to help them function at optimal capacity.  They are also a key component of the Biotherapeutic Drainage (BTD) protocols we customize to meet the needs of each patient.

Biotherapeutic Drainage (BTD)

BTD is a systematic approach to chronic disease that works to support the body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins.  Toxins and accumulated wastes burden body systems, impacting vitality and can rob one of a sense of well-being.   Since the body produces waste on a daily basis, effective elimination is a must!  This is also an age-old concept  of acupuncture theory–health is related to keeping the ‘drainage ditches’ open.  Current research of the gut demonstrates the importance of maintaining a healthy terrain.  BTD works to restore a functional terrain to support long-term health and wellness and to resolve chronic states of illness.

 Choose health today!

Follow these links to learn more:

An explanation of acupuncture from the University of San Diego

Biotherapeutic Drainage



Call for an appointment or consultation for acupuncture in Westlake Village, CA.

Maureena Bivins, PhD, LAc

31255 Cedar Valley Dr. Suite 307

Westlake Village, CA 91362

Successful Aging Through Movement

Have you made healthy aging a priority?  We’re never too young or too old to begin.  That being the case, I thought you might enjoy going off the beaten path to consider a novel developmental perspective of successful aging discussed within the field of somatic psychology, a sub-discipline of psychology.

Researchers within this field recognize and explore the role of first-person experience in the development of a social, emotional, mental, and internalized sense of self.  Thomas Hanna, a pioneer in the field, advocated the inclusion of a somatic perspective in the human sciences in order to understand and circumvent the aging process.  He studied the link between habituated, contracted bodily movement patterns associated with decrepitude and formulated a method for restoring structure and function, Somatics.  In his book, Somatics: Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health, he proposed the following,

The reason that physiology and medicine have failed to perceive the myths behind aging is that they have failed to recognize the fundamental fact that all human beings are self-aware, self-sensing, and self-moving . . . By adding the somatic viewpoint to our human sciences, we not only become capable of overcoming many health problems mistakenly attributed to aging, but we are capable of overcoming many of the major health problems that plague all of mankind.

While most of us understand the concept of self-awareness and self-sensing, what is meant by the term self-moving and how does it relate to health?

Self-moving is the term Hanna used to describe the ability humans have to work consciously with  reflexive, unconscious, and involuntary muscular bodily movement patterns in order to restore structure and function.  He demonstrated how muscular patterns form in response to chronic experiences, like stress, which interfere with the ability to completely relax contracted muscles.  In time, this can lead to chronic stiffness, soreness, aches, and pain.  Internally sustained states of tension can lead to hypertension and cardiac disease.

Hanna also recognized the role of early social experience in the childhood development of habituated movement patterns which can impact a child’s health long-term.  This important topic has been widely studied in somatic psychology and will be discussed in future posts.

The good news is, no matter what the cause, chronic contracted muscular patterns can be released and reversed, leaving you feeling more alive and vital.  You don’t have to look and feel old in your senior years! To achieve lasting results will require time and effort, but aren’t you worth it?  Many people have had good results dealing with stress and undoing chronic muscular patterns by engaging in movement practices such as Feldenkreis, the Alexander Technique, Tai Chi, yoga, Somatics, and Qi Gong.  It’s never too early to start, so what are you waiting for?  Get moving!

Have you ever considered that optimal movement patterns could be the basis for long-term health? Have you engaged in a movement practice that had positive effects on your health?  

Early Childhood Experience and Long-Term Health

The topic of early childhood experience as it relates to long-term health is rather personal for me and has been my chosen topic of research for many years.  In some ways, it has been a search for meaning. Having been raised in a very scary environment fraught with intermittent bouts of rage, alcohol, and domestic violence, my sense of safety and security were fleeting at best.

I really get it, why my father was so abusive and tormented or why my mother was unable to formulate a plan to protect us.  I’ve come to understand that part of my experience as a piece of a puzzle in the all too common multi-generational transmission of interpersonal trauma.

What I have struggled with is understanding my enduring response to adverse childhood experience and how it has impacted my sense of self, my beliefs, and my general health and well-being.

Last century, fundamental advances were made in medicine, both in studying the disease process and in developing methods and treatments to overcome disease which have led to the present model of the adult onset of disease and chronic illness.  In this model, once you hit 50, all kinds of things start to go wrong in the body.

Adult Onset of Disease Model

As a health care practitioner, I find this perspective somewhat limiting since more recent research is now exploring the link between  adult health status and early childhood experience.   In fact, in 1999, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) invited scientists and researchers specializing in early childhood experience to form the Early Experience, Stress Neurobiology & Prevention Science network.   Their task has been to correlate data from animal studies of early life experience with data from human psychosocial research in the study of emotional and stress-related disorders.  Their findings suggest that the effects of early life stress are cumulative and far-reaching, giving us insight into the role of early life experience in long-term health.  This series will explore this fascinating and relevant topic in more detail so stay tuned!

Have your ever thought of stress as cumulative?  Do you think that early childhood experience, positive or negative, can impact adult health?

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