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Foundations of Acupuncture Treatment- the difference between acute and chronic treatment plans

Foundations of Acupuncture Treatment- the difference between acute and chronic treatment plans, MICHELLE MARCOTTE  HHP, MSTOM, L.Ac in El Cajon, La Mesa. Santee, Lakeside, JamulMost Americans aren't familiar with acupuncture and acupuncture treatment. And those that are, still don't understand some of the basic fundamentals of how and why an acupuncturist determines their treatment plan. The first question you and your acupuncturist need to answer before treatment- is your complaint acute or chronic?

The answer to this question determines the length, frequency and potential outcome of your treatment plan.

An acute complaint is something new, that has no possibility of being related to anything in your health history- physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. For example, a new injury, accident, a brand new health complaint... If your complaint is acute, your acupuncturist will see you anywhere from every day for a week or 2 weeks, to 2-3 times a week for 2-4 weeks until your complaint is completely resolved.

A chronic complaint is something that's lasted for at least 3 months and perhaps lifelong. These are complaints from any of the 4 Areas of Health- physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. If your complaint is chronic, your acupuncturist will typically want to see you 2 times a week for 6-8 weeks initially, and then will back off slowly into a maintenance treatment plan that will be from 1/wk to 1/month.

It is very important for you, as a patient, to understand the difference between an acute and chronic problem. So you know how to get the best out of your treatment and so you also know what to expect from acupuncture.

Acute problems can be quickly managed. Chronic problems need regular and consistent management, often lifelong.

Acupuncture isn't magic... It is a method of using your body's own natural resources to heal itself and maintain health- like eating well, exercising and stretching regularly. And when acupuncture is used wisely, it can be a healing tool you can utilize regularly for the rest of you life.

Have questions? Please contact me or make an appointment.

Fall and your Immune System

Fall and your Immune System, MICHELLE MARCOTTE  HHP, MSTOM, L.Ac in El Cajon, La Mesa. Santee, Lakeside, Jamul

We are moving from Summer into Fall. And it's a time when we enter both the driest season of the year and one of the most challenging for our immune systems. For those of us with chronic issues like Asthma, Allergies, recurring Upper Respiratory Infections, Bronchitis, Pneumonia, and consistently recurring colds and flus... it is important to strengthen our immune systems and care for our Lungs this time of year. TCM herbal formulas, Qi Gong, TCM Dietary Therapy and Acupuncture are all options you can use to strengthen your body and prepare it to take on the challenges we face in the Fall. Here are some tips for you...

  • Immune +  is a simple and powerful formula specifically designed to strengthen your immune system. Your TCM practitioner can order it for you.
  • Qi Gong has specific postures that can strengthen your own body's qi/energy. Postures like Empty Force, that strengthen all 3 energy centers, are excellent at building your immune system and strengthening your lungs.
  • Food Therapy kiwis will build your lung strength, pears will moisten the lungs when you are too dry, certain mushrooms will strengthen your immune system and drain damp when you are too phlegmy. Learning how to listen to your body so you are able to determine when and how to eat based on your digestive system's strength and ability to digest food is an invaluable skill your TCM practitioner can teach you. When you learn this, you are becoming your own healer.
  • Acupuncture can do it all. It strengthens your immune system, your lungs, your digestive system and addresses all your symptoms. It will help you heal and prepare your body for the yearly season changes and their effects on your mind, body and spirit.

As your Acupuncturist and TCM practitioner, I have been trained in all the skills above and can help you address the issues that your body faces as fall comes around. If you find you need me, I hope to hear from you.


When Pain Flares

by Michelle Marcotte HHP MSTOM L.Ac.

When Pain Flares, MICHELLE MARCOTTE  HHP, MSTOM, L.Ac in El Cajon, La Mesa. Santee, Lakeside, Jamul

Whether you are experiencing a brand new ache or pain or suffering from a flare that's part of a chronic pain issue, there are some steps you can take on your own to manage your pain symptoms.

1. Rate the pain. On a scale from 1-10, with one being "barely noticed" and 10 being "knock me out and give me surgery," rate the worst your pain gets. If the number is 5 or above, take 500 mg of an over the counter NSAID in doses through the day as needed for pain, for 3 days. This helps to break the pain cycle.

2. If your pain is below a 5, at its worst, stretch. Be sure to stretch when your muscles are warm, that means after 5 min. of exercise or after a warm shower/bath/jacuzzi.

3. If your pain is a 5 or above, at its worst, DO NOT STRETCH. There is a good chance you can aggravate the tissues involved.

4. Use pain patches and linaments. Salonpas pain patches are affordable and effective. They come in small boxes of 40 or in large singles. Use as directed to help manage your pain, especially when you know you will be doing things that aggravate the area. Use cooling linaments for hot, inflamed areas with pain and warm linaments for areas that show no signs of inflammation.

5. Gauge your progress. If your flare does not begin to improve after a week, see a professional, like me. Acupuncture has a lot to offer in reducing and managing pain. And if you get acupuncture regularly, it's best to see me as soon as you flare. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you'll be pain-free.

The Holidays and Your Health

The Holidays and Your Health, MICHELLE MARCOTTE  HHP, MSTOM, L.Ac in El Cajon, La Mesa. Santee, Lakeside, Jamul

Well, we made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas is almost here. The combination of rich food, added stress and responsibilities, fluctuating temperatures and drier than normal conditions inside and outside are asking more of our immune systems than usual. And this makes us more susceptible to catching colds and flus and experiencing stomach upsets and just plain old fatigue. What can you do to maintain your health through the Holiday Season?

Here are some tips:

  • Stay warm. Layer your clothing and wear scarves to keep your neck and chest warm so your immune system doesn't have to work as hard to keep your body temperature regulated.
  • Eat as healthy as you can. Follow indulgent food days with healthy food days. Break out the nutribullet and add more whole grains and steamed/lightly cooked veges to your diet.
  • Eat more soups and stews. If your stomach is acting up, you've likely overindulged in rich food and your digestive system needs your help. Soups and stews that are broth based and filled with veges and lean meats are what you want. Soups are as pre-digested a meal as you can eat and when your digestive system is weak, it can't break down your food as easily. Give your digestion some help.
  • Stay hydrated. Fall is the driest time of year. And when you add indoor heating to the mix, we begin to get too dry. Drink more water and herbal teas without caffeine. Decrease your coffee intake, it's a diuretic and can lead to dehydration. Use humidifiers or a pot of water on the stove to help your throat and your skin. And moisturize!
  • Have some fun! The stress of all we have to get done can tax our immune systems and lead to fatigue and illness. Do something just for you or someone you love. If you are alone or grieving, reach out and ask for help or volunteer. You are not in this alone.

AND TRY ACUPUNCTURE! We can address all of the things mentioned above so you can enjoy a happier and healthier holiday season.

Healing Emotional Trauma with Acupuncture and Herbs

Healing Emotional Trauma with Acupuncture and Herbs, MICHELLE MARCOTTE  HHP, MSTOM, L.Ac in El Cajon, La Mesa. Santee, Lakeside, JamulEmotional trauma is something we all experience in public and in private, at home and work and in war. It is painful, scary, sometimes brief and situational and other times repetitive and long-lasting in the form of PTSD. Emotional trauma isn't something to be ignored or feared. It can be healed with time and attention.

And acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is a natural and time-tested method for healing from emotional trauma.

Acupuncture can help with immediate symptoms in acute phases, such as natural disasters, loss, grief, domestic violence and incidents of terrorism. The organization Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) donates acupuncture treatment in the U.S. and abroad to people suffering from trauma. And has worked in Nepal after the earthquake, in Florida after the mass shooting and here in San Diego after our wildfires. Acupuncture also helps those suffering from PTSD, when used regularly.

Chinese herbal formulas also help to ease the symptoms that often accompany emotional trauma. They are a very helpful option for people who are looking for an alternative to pharmaceuticals for anxiety and mild depression.

Contact me to learn more.