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How Does Acupuncture Work?

by EVOLVE Acupuncture in Ferndale, Michigan

"So how does acupuncture work?" This is a common question from patients when they start to notice changes in their health from acupuncture. The mechanism of acupuncture has been researched and studied thoroughly from a biomedical perspective with some parts still not completely understood scientifically.  The short answer to this question is we know that there are both local and systemic changes that occur in the body that start after just one acupuncture treatment.  

  • Acupuncture promotes blood flow and vasodilation in the body. Restoring proper blood flow is vital to promoting and maintaining health. Blood flow decreases as we age and can be impacted by trauma, injuries, and certain diseases. We know that when blood flow is increased to an area it brings more oxygen and nutrients to the tissue which will decrease localized inflammation.  
  • Acupuncture stimulates the body’s built-in healing mechanisms. Acupuncture stimulate the body’s ability to spontaneously heal by creating "micro-traumas" to the tissue that activates the nervous, immune and endocrine systems. This stimulus can create a cascade of local and systemic changes in the body.
  • Acupuncture releases natural painkillers. Inserting a needle sends a signal through the nervous system to the brain, where chemicals such as endorphins, norepinephrine, and enkephalin are released.  Some of these substances can be 10x or more potent than morphine.  Acupuncture can help reduce dependence on opioid painkillers and provide a natural alternative. 
  • Acupuncture reduces both the intensity and perception of chronic pain. It does this through a process called “descending control normalization," which involves the serotonergic nervous system.
  • Acupuncture relaxes shortened muscles. This in turn releases pressure on joint structures and nerves, and promotes blood flow.
  • Acupuncture reduces stress. Acupuncture can turn off the “fight-or-flight” response that is governed by the sympathetic nervous system and switch to “rest-and-digest” or “calm-and-connect” that is governed by the parasympathetic nervous system. The body can start to restore homeostasis in this relaxed state.   

Here is a poster outlining some of the mechanisms of how acupuncture works.

Poster How Acupuncture Works with detailed description of mechanisms

It's easy to see why acupuncture works when you look at these key mechanisms and the impact they can have on the body.  There are powerful changes that can occur after just one session. 

The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative so when patients complete a series of treatments there can be profound changes with chronic health problems such as long-term pain and inflammation, digestive disorders, allergies and low immunity, auto-immune conditions and both female and male infertility.  

Contact EVOLVE Acupuncture at (248) 955-1215 with questions on how acupuncture can help you.  We are here to help get you scheduled so you can start feeling better.

Schedule Acupuncture Treatment at EVOLVE Acupuncture

Dr. Mike Tocco, DACM, Licensed Acupuncturist, Registered Nurse

EVOLVE Acupuncture is conveniently located in Ferndale, Michigan near Royal Oak and the Woodward Corridor serving the communities of Metro Detroit.

Clinic Guidelines for COVID-19 and Patient Safety

REVISED Janaury 9, 2022:  EVOLVE Acupuncture is open for acupuncture and following all CDC guidelines for healthcare facilities for COVID-19.

EVOLVE Acupuncture wanted to reach out and provide an update on the steps we are taking in our clinic with COVID-19. 

We offer online scheduling for your convenience and have a waitlist feature.

Clinic Guidelines for COVID-19 and Patient Safety, Evolve Acupuncture in Ferndale, MI

EVOLVE Acupuncture continues to take extra precautions to provide you with a sanitized environment to minimize risk and exposure.  These enhanced guidelines are being implemented for our patient’s safety. 

We want you to feel safe and comfortable when visiting our clinic.  We will continue to keep our patients updated as things change based on CDC guidelines and local government recommendations.

Here is a letter that was shared with all of our patients and posted on our website.  Link Please contact us directly with any questions.  

Dr. Mike at EVOLVE Acupuncture (248) 955-1215

www.acu-evolve.com

5 Ways to Eat Without Overeating this Holiday Season

by Dr. Mike Tocco, DACM, LAc, RN

5 Ways to Eat Without Overeating this Holiday Season

Moderation

We’ve always the heard the saying to enjoy everything in moderation, and that is definitely true when it comes to holiday foods. Don’t try to deprive yourself during the holidays, it most likely won’t go over well. Having an extra holiday treat here and there won’t kill you. You’re allowed to indulge a bit, just keep portions small when it comes to holiday desserts and make sure you limit how often you eat them. Going the whole season without any treats is cruel and will most likely end in binging later, so have your guilty pleasures, just keep them in moderation.

Watch the alcohol

The holidays are a time for celebration, which most likely means more alcohol. Not only does alcohol add on empty calories, but can also lead you to eating more while drinking. If you are at a gathering, limit yourself to one or two drinks to cut down on the unhealthy cravings you might be feeling afterward.

Focus on the protein

Protein-packed foods are a great way to fill up without adding a lot of sugar and empty carbohydrates. Pack your plate with low-fat meats like turkey and chicken. If you’re vegetarian, eat more of the tofu than the side dishes that are most likely to be sugar and carbohydrate heavy.

Fill up on the water

Don’t forget about water! The holidays are an easy time to drink more sugary beverages than normal. Substitute drinks for water, and drink a lot of it. Not only is water essential for your health, but drinking a glass before a meal can fill you up more as well, preventing you from overeating.

Take your time

Eating too fast is one of the easiest ways to overeat. When you don’t give your body the chance to digest food and feel full before you stop eating, chances are you’re going to end up eating more than you want. Eat slowly and enjoy each bite to give your body a chance to catch up. This way, you’ll end up getting full faster and eat less.

 

Most of all don’t forget to enjoy the holidays and the delicious food that comes with it, don’t be afraid to indulge a little.  EVOLVE Acupuncture carries a range of herbal products to help with digestion so contact us if you need some additional support.

Dr. Mike Tocco, DACM, LAc, RN  (248) 955-1215

www.acu-evolve.com

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Tips from Chinese Medicine

For more than 30 years, October has been recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This effort to raise awareness and funds for research can be considered a recent endeavor in the history of the disease which has been around for at least 5000 years. Medical texts describe cases dating back to 3,000 BC. Today, about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. (A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 883).

In order to promote early detection, educational campaigns share information about warning signs such as breast swelling or discomfort, nipple pain or pitted skin. Western medicine researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer, but causation is considered extremely complex.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) organizes causative factors into the following categories which can also interact in complex ways:

*Stagnation (liver qi): The liver is in charge of moving the qi in the body, dispersing stagnation caused by various influences (such as the other causative factors listed below). Emotional stress can cause a weakness in its capacity for qi distribution and regulation. The liver channel also connects directly with the breasts. Unchecked stagnation can cause dense tissue and masses to form.

*Heat: On a very basic level, heat in TCM can be likened to inflammation. This can be caused by internal or external influences. One of the main external influences that can lead to heat (and therefore inflammation) in the body are environmental toxins.

*Deficiencies: Both qi and blood deficiencies can contribute to the development of breast cancer. The immune system needs enough qi to target and remove abnormal (potentially cancerous) cells and regenerate healthy ones. A deficiency of blood can lead to stagnation if there is not enough blood to maintain vigorous circulation (picture a river during a drought). Also, a deficiency of spleen qi (related to digestion) often leads to dampness in Chinese Medicine.

*Dampness: One of the ways dampness expresses itself in the body is by the accumulation of excess fat. Also, dampness and heat combined usually generates ‘phlegm stagnation’ which can take the form of hardness, nodules and tumors.

Luckily, the approach to prevention is not as complex as breaking down the causes.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Prevention Tips:

  • Enjoy nutritious seasonal food to support the creation of new qi and blood.
  • Avoiding processed food will help to minimize toxic heat and dampness in the body and cut down on our body’s inflammatory responses.
  • Regular exercise helps us to maintain circulation and a healthy weight while allowing us to sweat out toxins.
  • Filtering our air and water can help minimize our exposure to environmental toxins.
  • Liver detox teas and gentle cleansing protocols, especially during Spring (liver time), can be very beneficial in ridding the body of accumulated toxins and supporting the liver’s role in the free flow of qi.
  • Managing stress is critical. Target your biggest stressors in life and make changes to either remove them, limit them or create better coping strategies.  Lifestyle modifications, daily meditation and regular acupuncture can help reduce stress.
  • Massage and castor oil packs can be used preventatively to help avoid local stagnation, often found in fibrocystic (lumpy) breasts (though these direct approaches are usually avoided in the treatment of actual cancerous tumors).
  • Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs are wonderful tools for prevention and can also help to treat side effects of conventional cancer therapies (nausea, neuropathy, pain etc.).

Simply put, TCM’s approach to Breast cancer prevention is overall health promotion. Call us today to get in for some health promoting acupuncture sessions and feel your best!

Make an Appointment at EVOLVE Acupuncture

Dr. Mike Tocco, DACM, Licensed Acupuncturist and Registered Nurse

EVOLVE Acupuncture               www.acu-evolve.com               (248) 955-1215

How acupuncture can help you look your best!

by EVOLVE Acupuncture in Ferndale, Michigan

How acupuncture can help you look your best!, Evolve Acupuncture in Ferndale, MI

Patients always ask if acupuncture can help make them look younger.  The short answer is yes but it takes a commitment.  Cosmetic or Facial Acupuncture can:  

  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin appearance over time
  • Create lasting effects to the skin that patients can see and feel
  • Increase natural collagen and fibroblast production
  • Lower oxidative stress in the body which is highly associated with the aging process

EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness uses a 3-step process that is exclusive to our clinic in the metro Detroit area.  During your treatment, this 3-step process includes facial acupuncture using motor points, LED red light therapy and a facial cupping.  This combination is the same one used by Travall Croom, who I studied with and is considered the go to acupuncturist in NYC for runway models.  

EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness recommends patients start with a package of 10 visits and come 2 times per week for the first month followed by maintenance appointments every 2-6 weeks.  If you're planning for a big event like a wedding or mile-stone birthday, it's best to start 3 months prior to this event for best results.  Individual results may vary.

More information on facial acupuncture offered by Mike Tocco, Licensed Acupuncturist at EVOLVE Acupuncture can be found here: https://acu-evolve.com/page/cosmetic-acupuncture/

Call the office at (248) 955-1215 or schedule online here: https://acusimple.com/access/5040/#/appointments/

Dr. Mike Tocco, DACM, Licensed Acupuncturist

Licensed Acupuncturist at EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness conveniently located in Ferndale, Michigan near Royal Oak and the Woodward Corridor serving the metro Detroit area.

What Tongue Type Are You?

You might be surprised when your acupuncturist asks you to stick out your tongue at your first visit! 

It's actually very helpful for us to take a look at your tongue to determine what is going on systemically in your body.  Everyone's tongue is unique! Based on what we see, your acupuncturist will create a customized treatment plan to help you with energy, sleep, digestive problems, etc. 

Take a look at this chart to determine your tongue type.  Most patients will be a combination of 2-3 of these tongue types.  When you make your appointment at EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness, we will discuss this in more detail and confirm your findings.  

Call us at (248) 792-8150 or schedule online at www.acu-evolve.com.

Dr. Mike Tocco, DACM, Licensed Acupuncturist

Licensed Acupuncturist at EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness conveniently located in Ferndale, Michigan near Royal Oak and the Woodward Corridor serving the metro Detroit area.

What Tongue Type Are You?, Evolve Acupuncture in Ferndale, MI