Kristen Sparrow, MD Acupuncture
Ancient Medicine Made Modern
January 2018

Greetings  from my occasional newsletter and here's to a happy and healthy 2018.
San Francisco City Sights: Land's End Holocaust Memorial with Fog Over the Bay.

Neuromodulation: Case Studies with Data
Decreasing stress levels improves mood, immunity, pain levels, and inflammation.  Recent research indicates that  cancer AND heart disease may have a common root in inflammation. Inflammation in mid-life probably plays a role in cognitive decline later in life. I hope this helps explain to readers my obsession with stress levels, autonomic balance and vagal activity. It's crucial!

Because of my interest in monitoring autonomic balance, I've expanded my treatments and research to experiment with ear stimulation,  called TAVNS, or transcutaneous auricular vagal nerve stimulation.  There is a ton of interest in this type of safe intervention.  As patients know, I've been using it in the clinic for a few years now. I have accumulated data and experience.  TAVNS  is considered a type of Neuromodulation.  As it turns out the International Neuromodulation Society has its offices in my building.  The administrator there welcomes any journal submissions, and, indeed, consider TAVNS and even electroacupuncture a type of Neuromodulation.  A submission to their journal may be in my future.
As with all things medical, TAVNS doesn't always produce the desired result, i.e. decreased stress levels.  It seems to help some patients with migraines, and more migraine), anxiety, and high blood pressure.  But in other patients, it doesn't seem to help.  In fact, it can lead to increased stress levels.  It's super interesting, and I hope to find some answers.  And in case you haven't had enough, more data from a new patient with vestibular migraine  here, and another with chronic, intractable migraine here
As an example, notice in the graph below, a patient's sympathetic (fright/flight) activity has gone down by over half over time.  Nice!! 


Fitness and Health
Vitamin D

  1. 1. Supplements.  I'm a convert to supplements  because of the recent science behind them. So what do I take?
Oils : Coenzyme Q
(Nordic Naturals Omega 3 soft gel)   There is evidence that Coenzyme Q has potent anti-inflammatory effects shown to reduce markers of inflammation. Coenzyme Q levels are inversely correlated with dementia.   
Vitamin D:   Crucial for health because it controls over 5% of genetic expression.  Click on the link to see the benefits of taking Vitamin D   
Astra Essence: This is an herbal formula that I've been taking for years.  It's a longevity formula, but is very effective at staving off illness.  I swear by it.  The basic formula is here. More information about telomeres  here. 
Collagen: I take Collagenex 2, 1 per day. Collagenex 2 is the next generation joint supplement. It supports the joints and connective tissues and reduces pain in seven to ten days at a dosage of one tablet per day. Good for hair and skin too! 
Curcumen: The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumen is good for joint health. It is important to take a bioavailable form, discussed in the blog link.   
Probiotics: They can be helpful for mood, inflammation and gut health. 
Melatonin: For sleep and anti-inflammatory I take .5 to 1 mg of Melatonin.   Also good for migraine prophylaxis along with acupuncture. 
2. Lifestyle Strategies
I practice "time restricted eating", a strategy that confers some of the benefits of fasting and allows for weight loss. I make a note of when I have finished my evening meal and then don't eat for 16 hours.  It's challenging!  But good for the resilience, longevity and the waistline.  
Saunas.I am doing a sauna at least two times a week.  Recent studies show that the heat shock proteins are good for longevity through enzymatic pathways, and also brain health.
Exercise.  I'm not an athlete, by any means.  I do spin class, a bit of road cycling and Bar Method.  You need aerobic activity, stretching and strength training, especially in the thighs.  I do the minimum amount I can get away with...
Broccoli Sprouts:  These are particularly beneficial and you can grow them at home, which makes them cheap and easy and super fresh.  I eat them 3 times per week.  I would have them more if I did more--> 
Smoothies.  I linked to the recipe here.  I must admit, I rarely find the time to do these.  It's on my list!!   
Acupuncture.  I have acupuncture at least once a week, and do TaVNS at least once per week.  My HRV is quite high (high HRV is good), stress levels low because I've worked on it for so many years.  As much as I'm experimenting with TaVNS as a supplement to acupuncture, I still think Acupuncture has more profound effects.   
Bonus Photo from the San Francisco Public Library Photo Collection
1889 Historic Homes Residence of Mr. F. A. Frank, Northwest Corner Van Ness Avenue and Jackson Street, San Francisco.

Bonus Photo 2 from the San Francisco Public Library Photo Collection
1888 ARTISTIC HOMES OF CALIFORNIA - Residence of MR. HENRY E. BOTHIN, N. E. Cor. Van Ness Avenue and Jackson Streets, San Francisco, Cal.

Hope to see you soon.  As always, more at the blog.  Live well and be well!

With warm greetings,   


Dr. Kristen Sparrow

Copyright 2017 Kristen Sparrow, MD

Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn    Find us on Pinterest

Make a referral and you will save 15% on packages or visits

I love referrals! Tell friends or family members
Offer Expires Never!