Kristen Sparrow, MD Acupuncture
Ancient Medicine Made Modern
June 2018

Greetings  from my occasional newsletter and welcome to new patients. Please scroll down to the end of this email for a reposting of supplement suggestions.
San Francisco City Sights_ Golden Gate Park in Fog

San Francisco Chronicle Endorsement of Acupuncture
Girl getting acupuncture
San Francisco Chronicle Article on the Benefits and Credibility of Acupuncture.
The SF Chronicle had an article  making a strong case for value of acupuncture. " Or maybe all those needles stimulate the body to heal itself or suppress pain. Or maybe getting yourself stuck works due to an as-yet-undiscovered process. If you're the patient, since it works and, when properly performed, involves very few risks and virtually no negative side effects, maybe you shouldn't over-think it.

After all, thousands of drugs and medical procedures are approved and prescribed to treat conditions at enormous cost every day, often without a precise understanding of why they work, or even whether they are effective at all. Unlike acupuncture, often these approved and accepted treatments pose serious risks to patients who undergo treatment."
Shape Magazine: Why You Should Try Acupuncture Even If You Don't Need Pain Relief
Shape Magazine: Why you should try acupuncture even if you don't have pain
Incredible article that mentions recent research showing how acupuncture can treat mood issues, allergies, high blood pressure, digestion and more.  Very well done and a real vote of confidence for  us.   Remember, lowering stress is not just a "nice to have". Stress can kill.  And for people suffering with mood issues, or chronic autoimmune disease, the decrease in inflammation and "flight or fight"  can make all the difference.  Here is is data from a clinic migraine patient whose migraines disappeared completely within a few sessions. ( hat tip Sarah!)

First Do No Harm
Many Common Over-the Counter and Prescription Drugs can Cause Depression
So depressing!  But true.
Also Lasik Surgery Problems...
Lasik Surgery can lead to long term eye problems.
Fitness and Health
stress response profile of an acupuncture patient
I've been taking Vitamin D for over a year now and think it may be helping with joint flexibility.  I never even thought about it being good for Heart Rate Variability, the measure of stress that I'm dedicated to in the clinic.  Nice!
Acupuncture and HRV Monitoring: My Studies Submitted
  I will be presenting at the North American Neuromodulation Society in NYC in August.  My study explores HRV (stress monitoring) in conjunction with acupuncture and the addition of ear electrical stimulation.  Acupuncture itself can be seen as a type of neuromodulation on its own, but I've been incorporating  ear stimulation, or TAVNS (Transcutaneous Auricular Vagal Nerve Stimulation).   This technique stimulates the parasympathetic or "rest and digest" part of the autonomic nervous system.   My study seeks to answer the question of whether TAVNS affects autonomic activity even more than acupuncture alone.  Wish me luck! (Hat tip to Neal, Sarah, Lizzie, Michelle, Joey and Patrick)
I've also submitted an article to the Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine journal.  There was a call for papers for studies using modern tools for alternative therapies.  As usual the title is long "Heart Rate Variability as Biomarker for Effective Acupuncture Treatment: Hypertension Case Study."  (with a hat tip to Cappy, Terri, Karen, Vivian, and both Roberts for their willing cooperation!)

Migraine Physiology explained.
For those interested in migraine for yourself or others, this video does a decent job in breaking down the mechanisms.
Supplements and Health Recommendations
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.   
Come in and see me!  As always, more at the blog.  Live well and be well!  


Dr. Kristen Sparrow

Copyright 2017 Kristen Sparrow, MD

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