Good News and Practice Updates

As we approach year THREE of Allen Acupuncture & Wellness, LLC, I wanted to communicate some important practice updates, including a new PHONE NUMBER and LOGO (see below).

First, things are going very well.

Sara Allen, AP, Dipl. OM, FABORM

A pandemic doesn’t stop people from experiencing pain, and it only adds the the stress, anxiety, and inflammation many people feel in their bodies.

The good news is that the body is still able to heal (yes, even in a pandemic), and PEOPLE ARE GETTING RELIEF from their symptoms, from pain to anxiety to allergies and many more conditions.

Patients suffering with back pain, headaches, shoulder and neck pain, knee pain, etc… have had their pain relieved through acupuncture, cupping, tuina massage, injection therapy, and at-home therapeutic exercises. People with neuropathy have had their nerves “turn on” again. Just yesterday, a patient with a post-surgical drop-foot complication was able to lift the foot for the first time in over two months. Those suffering with digestive issues have found relief. And allergy symptoms have gone away.

Secondly, COVID PROTOCOLS at the clinic are WORKING.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols keep patients safe

There have been ZERO COVID transmissions at the clinic in almost 4 months. The MASKS, extra cleaning, patient social distancing, and air sanitizers will continue even when Palm Beach County moves into Phase 2. While I cannot guarantee a COVID-free zone, it is relatively SAFE to come in for acupuncture–safer than almost anywhere except your own home. I take the level of trust patients have to keep them safe VERY seriously and do everything I can to go above and beyond. (Click for more information about the COVID-19 protocols).

Third, the schedule is full almost every week.

Because I am spacing out patients, one per hour (two per 1.5 hours if in the same household) with cleaning time between, the schedule often gets MAXED OUT. There are people I am not able to “fit in” when they need to come in because of it. While it’s awesome so many people are finding relief through acupuncture, it means the 24-hour cancellation fee policy must be more strictly enforced. Please be patient. I am doing my best to accommodate everyone, but I also have a family that I like to see:)

Kids and Teens Welcomed Back!

Kids/Teens welcome with masks

Next, as of September 1, children and teens are welcomed back to the clinic as long as they can wear a mask while in the office. Parents are welcome to wait in the waiting room or observe the session. Siblings of the patient will be allowed in the waiting room on a case by case basis. All those entering the clinic are screened for COVID symptoms.

New Number, New Logo, New Catch-phrase.

Lastly, there is a NEW NUMBER for Allen Acupuncture, equipped with many HIPAA-compliant features, including texting. Please change it on your phones:

561-285-8562.

And here’s the NEW LOGO! The GREEN communicates the Vibrant Life and Growth that can be achieved. The flower illustrates a dimension of kindness and empathy patients will experience as part of their treatments. And the hexagon with its symmetry and structure highlights the logic, knowledge, experience I apply to treatments in order to get the BEST results patients need and want. There has been a full redecoration in the office to highlight the new LOGO (You can check out the photos and leave a review of Allen Acupuncture on Google).

This past year, I added another Board Certification Specialty to my name: FABORM, a Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (Click for more information on ABORM). It illustrates a high level of learning and proficiency in the area of fertility and reproductive health. The board certification required hundreds of hours of additional classes and study as well as a very difficult exam in California.

So the new by-line (catch-phrase) for Allen Acupuncture is:

Natural Fertility. Natural Pain and Allergy Relief.

I hope to see you soon! Please reach out by email, phone or text: 561-285-8562.

Reopening Clinic and Protecting Patients

Reopening May 15th

I have had so many of my awesome patients texting, calling and reaching out on social media to see when the clinic is reopening.

You might be feeling like I am–yearning to get back to “normal”… But what will our new “normal” be? What does that look like for health and wellness?

Allen Acupuncture will be REOPENING on a reduced schedule May 15th!

Non-essential services are now allowed in Florida with COVID-19 screening and proper protective equipment. There is so much to get in place to insure patient safety that I will not be reopening until 5/15/2020.

I am so excited to reopen! I’m so happy to be able to help people feel better.

Sara Allen, AP, Dipl OM

Once open, there will be NEW SAFETY MEASURES in place (details on the COVID-19 Protocols page). I am also available for “checking in,” telehealth (online) visits, herbal pick up hours, etc…

What treatments are patients are looking forward to most on reopening?

  • Anxiety, Stress, Insomnia, and Depression. Many of you have expressed the emotions you feel during this “Stay Home” time. These can contribute to insomnia. Acupuncture can help!
  • Pain. Some of you are suffering with pain and missing your acupuncture treatments.
  • Fertility. People have been waiting to get back to improving their health so they can have the child they have been dreaming of.
  • Allergies. Patients have been struggling with allergies and are looking forward to their NAET-like treatments to clear their allergy.

Looking forward to reopening, I have added safety layers to the clinic. I have purchased PPE (personal protective equipment), hand sanitizers, AIR SANITIZERS, and cleansers.

I’m doing all of this to PROTECT YOU. And we all need to protect each other.

We can protect each other by wearing masks.

The latest data shows 50% of people with COVID-19 have NO SYMPTOMS. Another 30% have very mild (cold-like) symptoms. Another 20% have severe symptoms and may require hospitalization. And as of this blog post, approximately 2% of documented cases die.

The truth is that we have to assume that we are all asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. And this disease is spread by respiratory droplets–not just from coughing but speaking, singing, and laughing as well. So to protect each other, we will wear masks in the clinic. Everybody. All the time.

Is reopening SAFE?

There is NO WAY to guarantee a COVID-19-Free Zone. There is ALWAYS risk involved in leaving the house. Most of us have braved the Virus to go shopping for essentials or to go to doctor’s visits. Because of the additional risk, patients are required to sign an additional COVID-19 Waiver in order to receive treatment.

Anyone who is a “vulnerable individual” should STAY HOME unless it becomes medically necessary to come in. See the CDC info on what makes someone “vulnerable”.

Patients will be PRE-SCREENED before coming. If a person experiences ANY COVID-19 symptoms, there will be NO cancellation fee in this case. Once at the office, patients will be screened for virus symptoms before entering the office.

Mona Lisa in PPE

Once the clinic reopens, there are new, SHORTENED office hours with only one patient per hour (except for 2 family members). This is to allow for disinfection of surfaces and air between patients.

We are going through this together, slowly and safely. When you see me, you may not see my smile under my mask, but I have learned to smile with my EYES:)

If you would like to set up an appointment, please visit the COVID-19 Protocols page before calling or texting 561-285-8562.

Coronavirus Closing & Telehealth

Coronavirus has already changed our world.

While COVID-19, the Coronavirus, is spreading exponentially throughout our world, country, and community, we have all had to find a new “normal”. I hope this post/email finds ALL of you practicing “social distancing”, washing your hands many MANY times a day, avoiding touching your face, and with a healthy fear/respect for this disease.

NON-Essential Medical Care Suspended

For almost 3 months, we’ve watched coronavirus march across our planet, irrespective of age, celebrity, borders, or health. It’s sobering to watch the numbers climb daily (CLICK HERE to see the current world info, and HERE to find the current Florida count). We all must do our part and stay put!

To that end, the Governor announced yesterday that all non-essential medical services are suspended until further notice. That includes acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic, and any other service that doesn’t “save a life” or prevent death. Indeed, this means that the clinic is CLOSED until further notice

It’s a good thing, really, because with so many untested people in our county alone, we don’t really know who might have COVID-19 and who doesn’t, who might have touched something you’re touching or coughed in the hallway before you came into the building…? It is MUCH safer for everyone to stay home.

Allen Acupuncture is HERE for YOU during Coronavirus!

There are options to continue care.

Many insurance companies pay for Telehealth.

I am able to do Telehealth visits using a variety of platforms. We could use Zoom or Skype (for new or current patients), or even a phone call (if you are a current patient). The main rule is that you must RESIDE in Florida, where I have my medical license. These visits will be shorter and at a reduced cost.

Telehealth Acupressure.

We can go over/demonstrate acupressure points you can massage on yourself to help boost your immune system, get rid of pain, improve digestion or sleep… There are many ways I can teach you through our Telehealth visit–after all, I was a teacher for almost 20 years!

Herbal Prescriptions.

Telehealth Herbal Supplements

We can discuss your history and symptoms. I may ask for your temperature, heart rate, or even to see your tongue. These pieces of information help me make a holistic diagnosis so that I can prescribe the right herbal formula to help you. Natural herbs are a FANTASTIC way to help your body heal while the clinic is closed. ALSO, there are herbs which help to boost the immune system, clear phlegm, lessen pain, and treat many other conditions. I can “drop ship” herbs to patients through several companies, or order “custom” formulas (teas) specially made for a patient’s symptoms and diagnosis.

Medical Advice.

I may have insight as to helpful supplements for your wellness, when to go see your primary care, or even if you should consider testing for coronavirus. In the state of Florida, I am a Primary Care Provider… I have to know who and when to refer my patients for care.

Group Classes.

There may be opportunities for ONLINE group classes to learn at-home treatments for various conditions. STAY TUNED for more information…

MEANWHILE…

Here’s my Wellness “To Do” List:

Lower Stress and Anxiety
  • Follow CDC guidelines for coronavirus. Right now, hand washing, social distancing, and staying home are at the top of their guidelines. These change almost daily, so stay current on their advice.
  • Get good sleep. This arms your immune system to fight, should you need to. In one bit of research on fighting the coronavirus, Melatonin may play a role in the immune response for this virus, so get some sleep!
  • Lower your stress and anxiety. Some of you may need to do a Telehealth session with me to help, but going on a walk outside (away from people), doing yoga or meditation at home are also great options. Turn OFF the TV or news if it’s raising your anxiety, get off the couch, and GET MOVING.
  • Eat HEALTHY. It has NEVER been so important! Our temptation when stressed is to eat unhealthy, fatty or sugar-laden foods. Drop the chip and have some soup, steamed veggies, or fresh fruit. Try to STAY AWAY from raw vegetables which weaken digestion (read a previous post about that HERE). Try NOT to eat after 6 or 7pm to allow your body to optimize digestion.
  • Take supplements. With coronavirus, there is a discussion as to whether Elderberry Syrup is helpful or not, and I will keep you posted as we learn more… But we do know they have been using Vitamin C in high doses to help those who are sick in China. We also know that taking Vitamin D, Zinc, and B complex are all helpful to keep the immune system in top shape.
  • Try Essential Oils. There are many that show anti-viral capability. Each brand has its own anti-viral mix. Most of you who have been in the office know I use Healing Solution’s “Health Shield” in my diffuser along with their “Breathe Blend” (from Amazon). I can think of no better pairing to help boost our lungs and kill viruses in the air of our homes. You can make your own hand sanitizer with essential oils, too (see Facebook video, although some information is outdated now).
  • Do something new, or something you haven’t had “time” to do. Restart that hobby you’ve been missing, read a book, write an encouraging note, finish that project, Kon-Marie your house… Choose to do something that brings you joy:)
  • Pray, connect with others, and have a positive attitude. All three of these have been shown to help people and to even help the body heal. Prayer can help us stop cycles of anxiety and bring peace in the midst of chaos. Prayer can help us have a positive attitude, which can make all the difference when we’re stuck at home. Reach out to others. Call a friend, family member or neighbor to make sure they have what they need emotionally, physically, spiritually. There are so many churches and houses of worship having online services, small group studies, etc… It’s easier than ever to connect on a deep level with others. Some us are alone while we wait, and others have a full house. We can be a beacon of light to one another in these times and mindfully connect with others on social media.

And if you suspect you have COVID-19?

Do you have Coronavirus?

Do you have sore throat, fever, chest tightness, or cough? It’s a very scary thought! Here’s the CDC symptoms “checker” website. PLEASE DO NOT SHOW UP AT YOUR DOCTOR’S OFFICE! Here’s the CDC’s Guidance for “What to Do if you might have Coronavirus”

The Florida COVID-19 Call Center is available 24/7 | 1 (866) 779-6121 | COVID-19@flhealth.gov; Here’s the link for contacting your Florida County’s Board of Health .

Hopefully, we will check in with one another over the next couple of weeks. My prayer is that all of you stay healthy and well while we wait.

Please feel free to reach out at 561-285-8562, sara@allenacupuncture.com, on Facebook: Allen Acupuncture, or Instagram: Allenacupuncture. I’m happy to answer any questions or help you get started using Telemedicine!

Celebrating 2 Years of Wellness

Happy 2 year anniversary to Allen Acupuncture & Wellness! Thank you to all the amazing patients that have allowed me to walk with them on their journey to wellness!

Happy BirthYAY Allen Acupuncture & Wellness!

Today we want to celebrate many of the ways that people have been helped by coming in for visits! Using acupuncture, herbs, allergy elimination, cupping, and diet/lifestyle changes, patients have made many strides with the help of Allen Acupuncture & Wellness:

Pain

There can be freedom from pain!
  • People have avoided having back and neck surgeries, and are now pain free!
  • Knee pain, even from osteoarthritis, has vanished and function is restored.
  • People are able to go to work and function better without pain.
  • Headaches and migraines were successfully treated and prevented.
  • Inflammation has been reduced, and circulation has improved.
  • Grandparents can enjoy and play with their grandchildren.
  • Fibromyalgia patients have found relief and can now enjoy life.
  • Carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, and other arm issues have healed.
  • Plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuromas, and other foot issues are gone.
  • Post-surgery pain and adhesions were relieved.
  • Patients have started exercising and sleeping better now that they have less pain.

Allergy Elimination

Allergies can be a thing of the past!
  • People have been able to eat things that made them feel bad previously and participate fully at social functions involving food!
  • Visiting friends and family with pets is not a problem for them now that their allergy symptoms are gone.
  • Rashes and eczema symptoms have subsided once the source of the allergy was found.
  • Asthma and sinus symptoms have been reduced, and people can resume outdoor activities.
  • Crucial nutrients necessary for proper body function are better absorbed and utilized.

Women’s Health and Fertility

Acupuncture & herbs can improve hormone function and fertility.
  • Babies have been born with IVF support and fertility treatments.
  • Fibroids have been proven to shrink.
  • PCOS symptoms have vanished, and proper function restored.
  • Hot flashes and night sweats disappeared for many menopausal women.
  • Painful periods and hormone dysfunctions have improved.
  • Moms with morning sickness found relief, and milk production increased.

Emotional/Mental

Acupuncture & herbs can improve brain functions and emotional issues.
  • Stress, anxiety and depression disappeared for many patients.
  • Patients have overcome fear and anger that were making life difficult.
  • Relationships have improved with better flow of emotions.
  • Some have been freed of emotional traumas.
  • People suffering with ADHD symptoms have more calm and attention at school and work.
  • “Brain fog” was replaced with clear thinking and focus.
  • Insomnia and sleeping problems have improved, and better sleep was restored.
  • Cycles of addiction to sugar, nicotine, and other substances have been broken.

Other

  • Vision and eye function have improved, even in patients with macular degeneration.
  • People dealing with neuropathy, sciatica, and other neurological issues were resolved.
  • Patients no longer suffer with digestion, constipation, IBS, and gut dysfunctions.

The list goes on and on…

Celebrating 2 years of wellness TOGETHER!

So, Happy Birthday, Allen Acupuncture & Wellness, and congratulations to all the patients over these last 2 years whose bodies have healed and whose lives improved because of it.

What will the next year hold? STAY TUNED for updates!

How could Allen Acupuncture & Wellness help you, a friend or a loved on find Better Health for a Better You? Call 561-285-8562 to find out more with a free 15 minute consultation or to schedule an appointment.

Want to know if your insurance covers acupuncture? Click the button on the Insurance link to find out more.

Please leave a review!

If you are one of the people helped over the last 2 years, would you please consider leaving a review on Google, Yelp, Healthgrades, or Facebook?

THANK YOU!

Health and Travel

Travel can benefit your health.

According to AAA, almost 49 million people are traveling for July 4th weekend this year. What are the health benefits and challenges of taking time off and getting a little change of scenery?

Health Benefits of Travel

Travel provides time to connect with others.
  • Time to Rest. With hectic, reachable-at-every-minute work lives, people have more stress than ever from overwork. Physical problems such as weight gain, sleep issues, depression and anxiety, and inflammation worsen with long work days with far too little rest. Most people also work on days off, doing chores and catching up on projects that couldn’t be done on work days. This means people are in great need of rest!
  • Time to Connect. Whether you’re traveling alone or with a group, vacation or time away is a great time to reconnect with people. Take time to have conversations with strangers or loved ones. Enjoy the human experience by connecting with humans and shift focus away from production. Your heart will benefit!
  • New views. There’s nothing that invigorates the mind and soul more that seeing or experiencing something new! Whether it’s taking time to notice something you’ve been too busy to see like a sunset or a painting, or if you’re actually going somewhere new, a change benefits the body and mind.
  • Unplugging. Take a break or lessen the use of technology. In all the recent studies on the uses of technology, the results are the same: all our online connections and media make us more stressed and anxiety-ridden people. Read a real book instead of one on the phone. Play a card or board game. Reduce your viewing time and have more conversations. The blue light in our technology changes the serotonin/dopamine balance in our brains–so restore your body’s natural balance on vacation by having less screen time!

Challenges of Travel

Travel can present some health challenges.
  • Exercise and movement. It’s important to get up and move every few hours if you’re driving or flying to prevent blood clots. And although resting is important, light exercise each day during your vacation will release endorphins to further reduce stress and cortisol levels.
  • Sleep. If you are already one of the 60 million Americans who suffer from insomnia and sleep problems each you, you may be dreading potential sleep loss on vacation. Bring along an eye mask to help darken a different room, and bring along a nightlight for the bathroom so the room stays darker when people get up in the night. Stay on the same sleep schedule you have at home. Avoid eating or drinking caffeinated beverages late at night. And if all else fails, try some herbs or CBD oil to help get to sleep when you’re wired.
  • Eating. Although it’s tempting to indulge on vacation, reserve the calorie splurges to once a day to help maintain a healthy weight and avoid digestive problems. If you do have stomach upset, a little ginger tea can help aid digestion.
  • The Unexpected. Try to have a positive attitude when encountering the unexpected–because it WILL happen. Whether it’s a travel or hotel problem, or traffic or an illness–let these experiences be part of the journey–and know that the things that go wrong often make the best travel stories when you get back! Take a few deep breaths, get a little perspective, and try to smile your way through it.

Allen Acupuncture on the Road

Follow our adventure on Facebook or Instagram.

The Allens of Allen Acupuncture are hitting the road for the next two weeks. Thanks to our house sitters for watching the 2 dogs, 1 hamster and a fish! And emergency acupuncture needs are being covered by Dr. Dongfeng Zhou of Zhou Wellness in Tamarac.

For the most part, we are trying to follow my travel advice with one exception: we want to take you along! Please follow our crazy cross-country travels on Facebook or Instagram! It’s going to be fun and full of adventure!

Share YOUR adventure!

And before we know it, we’ll be back, hopefully refreshed, and with a few more stories to tell. Be sure to comment on Instagram or Facebook and share YOUR adventures! If you want to set up an appointment, please call 561-922-7535. And if you want to know if your insurance will cover acupuncture, click HERE.

Is Sunscreen Safe?

Not all sunscreens are safe!

It’s summer time and sunscreen season! Outdoor activities, from hikes to beach days to sports, require us to be in the sun. And no one wants a sunburn or sun-damage–or, worse, skin cancer. With many conflicting opinions, from dermatologists to organic product advocates, sunscreen use seems a little confusing. UNTIL NOW.

Let me preface this conversation by saying I do not sell any sunscreen products. Allen Acupuncture is all about wellness and helping people get or stay healthy.

Sunscreen chemical study

I read a disturbing article in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) from May 2019. This study reports the levels of sunscreen chemicals found in people’s blood plasma.

Chemicals are absorbed through the skin

It has long been known that the skin absorbs what we put on it. This is the theory behind essential oils as well as medications that are delivered by patches (everything from nicotine patches to birth control). But for some reason, there has been some debate as to whether the skin absorbs sunscreen chemicals.

Now, we have a definite answer. YES, the body absorbs these sunscreen chemicals. Not only that, but the body doesn’t get rid of them well, and they accumulate in the blood (and therefore the body).

Let’s break down the study.

First, it was a small study involving 24 healthy people. Second, the people had to put on sunscreens over 75% of their body (like when wearing a bathing suit) every 6 hours. They did this for four days, and measured the results with bloodwork after a few hours, during the four days, and even up to seven days after the sunscreen applications. The POINT is that this mimics what a person would do if they were on vacation or in the sun a lot–or even more scary, if a person has sunscreen in their make-up, their lotion, and then applied it a couple of times during the day.

Sunscreen chemicals are absorbed through the skin.

The FDA hasn’t really studied the dangers of the sunscreen chemicals. First, we have to prove that these chemicals are found in the blood above 0.5ng/mL (that’s nanograms per milliliter). This is what the study was trying to do.

Four chemicals were tested: Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Octocrylene, and Ecamsule. Oxybenzone is in 95% of commercial suncreens. The BENZONES have been shown to be hormone disruptors that mimic estrogens in the body. They are closely tied to endometriosis. They are worse than BPA (which most of us know to avoid in plastics now) as hormone and immune system disruptors. There are actually 12 sunscreen chemicals that have NOT BEEN PROVEN SAFE. But the FDA needs to study them more with clinical trials to prove their toxicity.

FINDINGS–this is CRAZY!

DAY 1: The study showed that with just ONE application in ALL PARTICIPANTS, Avobenzone levels were higher than the allowed 0.5ng/mL within 6 hours of application. Oxybenzone levels crossed the threshold in 2 hours, and Octocrylene levels were elevated within 6 hours. Ecamsule levels on day 1 passed the maximum in 5 of 6 participants.

DAY 4: By the fourth day, the participants reached the maximum blood levels. If the recommended maximum is 0.5ng/mL, here’s the average levels on Day 4:

  • Avobenzone: 3.4ng/mL–680% more than FDA max
  • Oxybenzone: 191.3ng/mL–38,260% more than FDA max
  • Octocrylene: 5.5ng/mL–1100% more than FDA max
  • Ecamsule: 1.5ng/mL–300% more than FDA max

DAY 7: Blood levels were still elevated over the 0.5ng/mL levels, even though participants stopped putting on sunscreen on DAY 4. After application, some of the chemicals took over 84 hours to break down only HALF of them.

Why is this important?

Avobenzone is a hormone disruptor

If the FDA hasn’t studied the long-term or cumulative effects of these chemicals, and other studies have shown them to be hormone disruptors, commercial sunscreen brands can be MORE HARMFUL THAN HELPFUL. We just don’t know the effect of chemical levels that are 38,260% ABOVE the recommended FDA levels. We cannot assume that these chemicals are NOT the cause of cancers in the body. Many cancers are triggered by estrogens–and these mimic estrogens. This is SERIOUS stuff!

What IS safe?

Our body needs sun to produce Vitamin D

First of all, the SUN provides our skin with the essentials for producing VITAMIN D. This is an essential nutrient associated with a strong immune system, healthy bones, and improved absorption of other minerals, to say the least. Supplements of Vitamin D are helpful, but can’t replace our own bodies’ Vitamin D production. We NEED about 15 minutes or more of sun exposure every day to make Vitamin D.

On the other hand, the SUN exposes us to harmful Ultraviolet rays (both UVA & UVB) that damage the skin. This is RADIATION. Side effects of UV rays are sunburn, sun poisoning, and skin damage–and ultimately, may cause skin cancers.

Here are the HEALTHY, SAFE OPTIONS:

Wear safe sunscreens and cover up.
  1. Choose sunscreens with Zinc Oxide or Titanium Oxide. These chemicals have been proven SAFE for the body.
  2. Cover up. Wear a “swim shirt” or cover up that blocks out UV rays. These shirts can get wet and then dry quickly. They also “breathe” so you don’t get overheated.
  3. Wear a hat. A BIG hat. A baseball cap may shade the forehead and nose a bit, but the ears, cheeks, chin and neck are still vulnerable. A wide-brimmed hat with good ventilation is the best choice. One that can get wet and then dry quickly is a bonus.
  4. Use an umbrella/parasol. They are not just to avoid getting wet. Many umbrellas provide great SPF protection from the sun and cooling shade, too.
  5. Wear Sunglasses. The eyes can be severely damaged by UV rays, both in the short- and long-term. Cataracts, retina damage, and overgrowth of the whites of the eyes can be caused by UV radiation.
  6. Limit Sun Exposure. The most damaging UV rays are between 10am and 4pm. Plan your days to be outside more in the mornings or late afternoons when the sun isn’t as strong.

The Takeaway

There are many ways to protect your skin from UV radiation

Remember that there is BIG money behind the commercial sunscreens. Big money means lobbyists advocating for sunscreen companies–to doctors, lawmakers, and the FDA. Just like many medications are being proven toxic and dangerous to the body LONG AFTER they have been used (Prilosec, Advil, etc…), we will eventually know for sure what is obvious right now: commercial sunscreen chemicals are absorbed through the skin and dangerous to the human body.

Have fun in the sun!

So have fun in the sun, and wear SAFE sunscreens. If you do get a burn, there are herbs and acupuncture that can help you recover faster. Click here to learn more about setting up an appointment.

Medicare Supplement Acupuncture

Acupuncture can help get your smile back!

Medicare Supplement policies are now covering acupuncture! This is great news for many seniors 65 and over who have a medicare supplement policy! A list of supplemental policies that may cover acupuncture is listed at the bottom of this post.

This is even better news because most of these policies are covering the visits at 100%. They are usually 30 minute visits that can make a great impact on health. They have the potential to reduce the need for medications and alleviate symptoms.

Medicare supplement policies covering acupuncture is GREAT NEWS!

Acupuncture can help with so many issues! In 1999, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed conditions that have been proven by clinical trial to be effectively treated with acupuncture.

Here’s a list of conditions treatable with Acupuncture:

Allergic rhinitis/Hay fever Knee pain
Abdominal & Epigastric pain Low back pain & Sciatica
Acne Male sexual dysfunction
Alcohol dependence & detox Menstrual pain
Arthritis of shoulder Morning sickness
Asthma Nausea and vomiting
Bell’s palsy Neck pain
Brain injury Neuralgia
Cancer treatment reactions Neurodermatitis
Cardiac neurosis Obesity
Dental pain & TMJ Osteoarthritis
Depression Postoperative pain
Diabetes mellitus Premenstrual syndrome
Earache/Ménière disease Prostatitis
Eye pain Quit smoking
Facial pain/spasm Raynaud syndrome
Female infertility & PCOS Rheumatoid arthritis
Fibromyalgia and fasciitis Schizophrenia
Gallbladder problems Sjögren syndrome
Gallstones Sore throat & tonsillitis
Gouty arthritis Spine pain
Headache Sprain
High cholesterol Stiff neck
Hypertension & Hypotension Stroke
Induction of labour Tennis elbow 
Insomnia Ulcerative colitis
Itchiness Urinary-tract infections & retention
Kidney stones/renal colic Vascular dementia

In addition, other cases that WHO says acupuncture is “worth trying” is: deafness, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and pulmonary heart disease.

Seniors can benefit from acupuncture!

The list is extensive! If acupuncture can improve overall health and wellness and reduce the need for medications, that is money well-spent by the insurance companies or even individuals.

What medicare supplement insurance companies are Allen Acupuncture & Wellness in-network with?

  • United Healthcare (some policies cover acupuncture)
  • Cigna
  • Simply Healthcare
  • (coming soon, hopefully) Humana

The only way to know for SURE if a policy covers acupuncture is to VERIFY BENEFITS using the medicare supplement card and entering the information HERE or click on the insurance tab and Click the “Verify Benefits” button.

Call 561-285-8562 for more information.

Better Health for a Better You!

Compassionate Care for Infertility

Acupuncture & Infertility book available on Amazon

This week is National Fertility Awareness Week. Celebrities such as Dylan Dreyer on the Today Show and others are sharing their personal infertility struggles and finding support from friends, family, and medical interventions. At Allen Acupuncture & Wellness, achieving a healthy pregnancy is one of my specialties–in fact, I have co-authored a book called Acupuncture & Infertility, available on Amazon.

What is INFERTILITY?

It is the inability to achieve or retain pregnancy while trying for a certain amount of time–the amount of time varies, depending on whose definition is used. Some conditions causing infertility are:

Infertility can be overcome with natural therapies.
  • Endometriosis & Fibroids
  • PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) or POI (premature ovarian insufficiency)
  • Thyroid dysfunctions
  • stress, malnutrition, celiac disease
  • poor egg quality, high FSH, and immune imbalances
  • poor sperm quality and quantity
  • recurrent miscarriages

If the person has never been able to conceive, it is categorized as primary infertility. But just as devastating is secondary infertility, which is the inability to conceive or retain pregnancy after previously giving birth.

I utilize acupuncture, herbs, and nervous system balancing techniques to help women achieve fertility in a compassionate setting.

How can acupuncture , herbs, and other therapies help?

Acupuncture has been proven to increase the odds of pregnancy with IVF, with some estimates as high as a 40% increase. Alone, acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress, balance hormones, and increase circulation to the ovaries and uterus, or testes in men. This helps couples get pregnant!

Herbs help treat underlying problems of infertility.

Herbs enhance fertility and increase the value of treatments. With many herbs that improve circulation to the abdomen and nourish the reproductive system, egg and sperm quality is improved, pregnancy is retained, and healthy babies are born!

The nervous system balancing techniques are unique to Allen Acupuncture and Wellness. Using a massage technique called Tui Na, I help balance out the nervous system and eliminate dysfunctions. For example, I have seen fibroids shrink and endometriosis vanish. Hot flashes and irregular menstruation from hormone imbalances become a thing of the past.

Dietary and lifestyle changes can have a HUGE impact on fertility. For example, in some women, cutting out sugar for a few months can help them get pregnant. For others, choosing the right forms of exercise with the right intensity will be the difference. Individualized recommendations are made based on the individual patient. No two people are the same, so the treatments will not be cookie-cutter either!

What now?

If you are struggling with infertility, please know YOU ARE NOT ALONE! There are others dealing with the same issues you are. And you will find compassionate, holistic care here.

Waiting is hard!

If you know someone who is struggling with infertility, or miscarriage, it is so important to show support. And may I offer some tips to communicate well with your friend or loved one?

  • tell them you are here for them and share your love and concern.
  • avoid sharing success stories of others you know–each person’s case is unique and the details of an acquaintance may not be encouraging to the person struggling.
  • don’t say it will be okay. It might not be, and it definitely doesn’t feel that way.
  • please allow your friend to share their feelings… or not share…
  • if you are pregnant and your friend is struggling, don’t feel guilty! The person who is struggling with infertility is happy for you. Just be sensitive.

The takeaway…

There is hope!

There is hope! Acupuncture, herbs, and balancing techniques are just the start of what can be done to help a couple with infertility. In addition, stress and anxiety about the whole process will be reduced through these therapies.

The good news is that, while many insurance companies do not cover infertility treatments, many DO cover acupuncture! You can verify your insurance benefits HERE.

Help is just a click, call or text away! Call 561-285-2862 for more information how acupuncture could help you fulfill your dreams of a child.

Cupping–Spring Cleaning for Muscles

Kids love cupping!

What does cupping have to do with Springtime? Spring is a time for new beginnings. For flowers and trees to bloom. For Konmari-ing the house. But what many may not know is that our bodies needs a little spring cleaning, too! (Keep reading to discover more and for a special discount offer!)

Spring’s energy has a direction, which follows the growth of seeds: the inside (seed) moves outward (seedling) in the process of germination. Some ancient texts also call the direction “upward”. The same direction occurs in our bodies. In South Florida, the direction may not be as dramatic, but as warmer temperatures arrive, the blood vessels dilate, and circulation moves closer to the surface so the body can better regulate the body in warmer temps and more physical activity.

As stated in a previous post about eating for the seasons, it is easier for the body to go WITH the nature of the season, instead of fighting against it. So, at this time of year, it is very beneficial to have cupping done.

Spring is the time for Cupping!

Cupping is the application of a cup-like device to the body with negative (suction) pressure. It pulls from the deep tissue (inner) toward the surface (outer). It follows the direction of Spring, and going with season is synergistic for healing.

Why cupping?

Cupping is an ancient therapy that dates back thousands of years. The first “cups” were animal horns, then bamboo or clay pots. The suction of the cups was produced by rapidly heating the air inside the cup and quickly placing it on the skin. The heated air creates the negative pressure to pull the skin/tissue into the cup. In modern times, this practice is called “fire cupping” and utilizes glass cups. Another form is with silicone cups. The last is with plastic cups with a valve at the top. A pump pulls a metered amount of air out of the cups; the advantage to using these cups is complete control of the suction on the cup.

Shoulder cups for pain relief

Cupping has many advantages. One relates to the negative pressure on the tissues. It is the opposite of touch. The pulling can release muscles spasms, break up adhesions, and, most importantly, pull toxins to the skin’s surface such as inflammatory markers, lactic and uric acid, and “old” blood residues that have been sitting deep in the tissue. The skin can better circulate these painful chemicals away to bring relief. Fresh blood supply can then come in to better heal the tissue. In addition, it can help the body release its own opioids for pain relief, and most patients find it very relaxing.

Cupping can also activate the immune and lymphatic systems and has been well-documented to treat skin issues such as herpes zoster, acne, boils, etc… Cupping on certain areas has been shown to clear respiratory infections and activate white blood cells to fight infections.

For more “scientifically worded” info on the benefits, please feel free to click on the following links:

Modern Cupping

Many celebrities and athletes advertise the advantages of cupping. Michael Phelp’s bruises in the 2016 Olympic Games announced the advantages of this therapy to the world. He used it to recover from strenuous workouts and the rigors of competition. In 2013, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, and others have sported their round skin marks publicly.

What about the Bruises??

Cup bruises show underlying problems

First, let’s be clear: these marks look like bruises but do not hurt. Bruising with cupping is common, and each bruise type signifies a different underlying problem in the body. In a healthy body with good circulation, bruises can last 3-4 days. If they last longer than 7 days, the body has a circulation problem and may need acupuncture or herbs to help increase circulation. Here’s what the cupping bruises can mean:

  • Light purple: insufficient blood supply in the tissues
  • Dark purple or brown: old blood sitting deep in the tissue, also called “stagnation”
  • Red or brown flecks: toxins or “heat” in the muscles–the kind that sometimes cause the burning sensation in the muscle (don’t worry, the cupping doesn’t “burn”).

Cupping at Allen Acupuncture & Wellness

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Cups for back pain relief

Typically, cupping can be included in an acupuncture treatment along with needles, allergy elimination, or auricular therapy. The tight or painful areas can be cupped, releasing the tissue and relieving the problem. Most people find it relaxing because it also releases endorphins just like acupuncture. Kids and adults LOVE it! Children as young as 7 to adults in the 80’s regularly request cupping along with their other therapies because it helps them feel better.

WHAT’S THE DEAL???

Here’s the DEAL! I think everybody should at least TRY cupping! To help expose more people to the benefits, Allen Acupuncture is offering a SPECIAL, 20-30 minute cupping session for only $35! That’s cheaper than a crappy massage!

Tell your family, friends, co-workers, etc… to call or text (561-922-7535), click or email Allen Acupuncture & Wellness for this special deal, now through May 15th, 2019. Make that appointment today!

Year End Health Savings

Calendar Year

The year is almost at a close. In addition to health insurance, many people have Health Savings Accounts (HSA) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) to help pay for deductibles, medications and copays.

Most people don’t realize that HSAs and FSAs can be used to cover acupuncture visits.

These funds can be used to cover acupuncture even if the insurance policy doesn’t cover acupuncture.

HSA funds can usually rollover to the next year, but normally, any left over money over $500 in FSA accounts normally cannot be carried over to the next year–this is the last week to use what’s there. In many ways, that money has already been spent, but it hasn’t been used. It’s “use it or lose it.” What better way to use that money than on health and wellness?

Why use HSA or FSA for acupuncture?

An appointment at Allen Acupuncture & Wellness can help address many health concerns: joint or back pain and discomfort, digestive or weight problems, allergies and symptoms, anxiety, depression, insomnia, hormone imbalances, colds, flus, and weakened immune systems… The list goes on and on!

Acupuncture relieves stress

Besides the health benefits, acupuncture is very relaxing. Many patients say that they feel like they’ve spent a day at the spa–yet appointments typically last about an hour. Acupuncture can help reduce holiday stress. It can improve sleep as well, so patients wake up with more energy for daily activities.

Allen Acupuncture & Wellness focuses on holistic medicine and the underlying cause for a symptom. We treat the person as a whole, not just the problem.

Not just acupuncture.

A “visit” at Allen Acupuncture & Wellness might include acupuncture, but often includes cupping, tuina (a Chinese manual therapy), acupressure, muscle testing utilizing applied kinesiology, food therapy and lifestyle tips, and herbal recommendations.

Get a “Second Opinion” on your health.

Why not get another perspective on your health? A “second opinion” on your condition from a holistic perspective? Sara Allen, AP, Dipl OM, works alongside your doctor’s diagnoses and treatments to provide the very best of integrative medicine.

Call 561-922-7535 today to see how you can have Better Health for a Better You before your HSA or FSA closes out for the year and the new year begins!

Do you have health insurance? Be sure to check whether your insurance company covers acupuncture HERE.