Ancient Medicine Made Modern
Some news tidbits from my occasional blog!

San Francisco City Sights: Crissy Field
 Stress Reduction (Vagal Nerve Enhancement) Gives New Hope for the Distress of Inflammation and All the Problems it Causes
As patients and readers may be aware, I'm laser focused on the activity of the autonomic nervous system during treatment. I use Heart Rate Variability measurement to quantify vagus nerve activity during treatment and over time. This article from Psychology Today gives a good run down on the science and its relevance. Keep in mind that acupuncture activates the vagus nerve which is why patients have such a profound sense of relaxation with treatment.
Below is vagal activity and sympathetic activity from a patient with anxiety.
Notice how the vagal activity increases over time in this young migraine patient? Each group of columns is a treatment.
This is her fight/flight sympathetic activity. You can see how it decreases over time.
Hunger Hormone Improves Your Memory through Activating the Vagus Nerve
And since we're talking about the vagus nerve, a fascinating study shows that hunger actually improves memory. Evolutionarily we benefited from hunger making our brains work better so we were able to snare food, remember where the best plants grew and where the river bank was most easily accessible. Many creatives use "time restricted eating" or "intermittent fasting" to help the creative process and to think better. As it turns out this hunger improves memory through the vagus nerve. This is what I measure in the clinic. I will repost the video from last week on intermittent fasting below Related blog posts are here, here, and here
Health and Fitness
This video gives a decent run down of the benefits of intermittent fasting, or time restricted eating
Help for Anxiety, PTSD and Depression as Psychedelic Research Goes Mainstream
Tim Ferriss, best selling author who used to be a local celebrity (now lives in Austin but whatever) has been interested in the research behind psychedelics for years. He's helping to fund the research at Johns Hopkins Hospital and in London.

Now a Soil Bacteria Vaccine Claims to Lower Your Stress and Improve Your Immune System: a new take on "Old Friends" theory.
pain figure
  • We evolved with dirt, bacteria and parasites and our bodies developed immunity to fight them.

  • In our cleaner environment, our immune systems are unmoored and can start reacting against us, causing autoimmune diseases from allergy to rheumatoid arthritis.

  • This chronic inflammation from our amped up immune systems can also lead to mental health issues especially depression.

There is too much to go into in this newsletter, but I urge you to click through on the link and read about this topic.
I have been interested in "Old Friends" for years, also called the "hygiene hypothesis" partly because I wonder if acupuncture's effectiveness is related to this phenomenon.
Celebrities Love Acupuncture
Many celebrities rely on Acupuncture for their stamina, health and good looks. Some demand it as a perk in their contracts!

Keep Your Brain Forever Young with These Immediately Usable Strategies: An Expert on YouTube
Longevity has been a topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine for millenia. And remember from last newsletter, improve inflammation and you delay your aging!
This article looks at inflammation and aging. Inflammation seems to be involved in everything!
New Hope for Parkinson Patients' Distress Beyond Medications with A Gentle Ear Stimulation Device
This is of interest to me because of I also have been using a sort of ear stimulation in certain situations. This particular stimulation may target other pathways, not the vagus nerves as I'm doing.
Acupuncture Goes Beyond Pain Relief, Lowering Your Stress Improving your Mood, Inflammation, and Immunity. Ancient Medicine Made Modern.

I've posted the data from my article submission here. If you look at it, you can see that in this group of 6 migraine patients, their HRV has improved over the course of a year in addition to eradicating their migraines. If you look at the data it tells a compelling story in my humble opinion! The ancients figured out what works, and I'm in the business of trying to explain it!
This was a literature review looking for the scientific underpinnings of the neuroprotective effects of acupuncture

This article correlates heart rate variability(HRV), or vagal nerve activity, with a Chinese Medicine constellation of findings called "spleen chi deficiency".
"Our results suggest that the pathology of SDQB could be associated with a low vagal tone which causes a decrease in peristalsis, with increased fatigue, reduced attention and appearance of gastrointestinal symptoms.
Optimize, or "hack" your health!
7 supplements to Live Longer, Rejuvenate Cells, Stay Limber, and Avoid Illness

Conditions Treated
Allergies are a focus of my practice
Anxiety/Panic Attacks
Acupuncture is helpful for Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Migraine patients are a large portion of my practice. Tell your friends!
Online Appointments are now an option. This is for your convenience. I'm glad to receive your calls/emails/texts to make or change your appointments, but if you'd like to try the new system give it a try!

  1. Ongoing patients, go to Book Now page. Scroll down to see the sign in.
  2. Put in your email address. Put in Clinic Treatment or Cosmetic Acupuncture according to the day and time you prefer.
  3. Unfortunately, you cannot change a current appointment, but you can add one. So if you'd like to change an appointment, look for a new time and book it. It will alert me of the new appointment and I will cancel the old one.
  4. New Patients Go to Book Now page sign up for a First Time Patient visit at time and day that works for you.
Kristen Sparrow MD
2000 Van Ness, Ste 310
San Francisco, CA 94109