Kristen Sparrow, MD Acupuncture
Ancient Medicine Made Modern
October 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_ Lily Pad and Pirate at the DeYoung

Celebrity Acupuncture
She's looking good at 45 years of age and gets acupuncture every week, including cosmetic acupuncture.  Correlation is not causation, but there are benefits of regular treatment!
As in the last issue, there are suggestions for anti-aging in the section on Supplements and suggestions,such as sauna and exercise.

Tales from the Clinic (with data) Decrease in Stress Over Time
My interest in acupuncture and how it affects autonomic balance/stress response is based in the fact that stress levels can influence mood, pain, migraines, hypertension, inflammation and immunity. All of these conditions can be disabling, but immunity can be life threatening.  Unfortunately there are no good markers for immune health other than repeated blood analyses.  Here, I am just looking at rough heart rate variability (HRV)  data for these patients over their first months of treatment.  You see a nice increase in HRV.   Click on captions if you want to read a bit more...
Patient with hypertension

Patient with allergies and anxiety
Patient with Autoimmune condition

Keep in mind that immune conditions are extremely prevalent and can be very disabling.  There is some evidence that a problem with immunity might even be related to schizophrenia.
Girl getting acupuncture
Ear Electro-Stimulation or Transcutaneous Auricular Vagal Nerve Stimulation
I'm still exploring ear stimulation for improving autonomic balance and enhancing vagal activity. Improving vagal activity could improve digestion, immunity, mood, inflammation etc... Ear stimulation for vagal stimulation is a burgeoning field.  In this study they used ear stimulation in lab animals and it improved their epilepsy.
This article looks at the physiology behind auricular (ear) stimulation.
And just keeping myself honest, here I share some data from a patient's session using ear stim.  Her stress levels seemed to increase, if anything.  So I'm still studying and trying to optimize this therapy. Since there is a huge problem in researchers not publishing their "negative" data, I felt that I needed to be conscientious and put this data out there.

Fitness and Health

Of course it's safest not to drink at all, but a new study showed that it may not be as awful for you as might have thought.  The numbers suggest that the health risks may be overblown.  So that's good news??  I report, you decide.
Also there is good data to show that acupuncture helps with psoriasis.  (Thanks for the tip Greta!)
Dog getting Acupuncture
Animal Acupuncture is Not Placebo.
I liked the way this veterinarian discusses acupuncture with the pets' parents . Click here.
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?Supplements
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.    
Dermaroller. I am a believer in using the dermaroller.  A small needled roller to use on your face to stimulation collagen production.   
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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