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.

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!

Are Side Effects Making People Sick?

by Sara M Allen, AP, Dipl. OM

Why is a newly-released study on side effects so important?

How many prescription drugs does the average person take? According to a 2013 study by the Mayo Clinic, 70% of Americans take at least one prescription drug, 50% take at least two, and 20% take FIVE or more medications. Each of these have a list of side effects. The latest June 2018 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) studied the side effect of depression caused by taking medications.

When a new prescription medication is filled at the pharmacy, a long list of possible side effects accompanies the drug. How many people read the list? Pay attention once taking the medicine? Or have had a doctor follow up with questions about side effects? And sometimes, because the medication is “necessary,” negative side effects are countered by another medication with another list of side effects, which causes side effects that must be countered by another medication, and the wheel keeps spinning.

Every medicine has side effects, and it is unknown how taking multiple medications will potentiate or compound those side effects. In this study on the side effect of depression in JAMA, of the 6.9% of those in the study taking 3 or more medications that have a possible “depression” side effect, 15% of those actually had depression, versus 4.7% which were not on medications with the side effect of depression. This study showed that taking multiple medications with the same possible side effect increases the likelihood of that side effect. (It should be noted that this study excluded people taking anti-depressants for pre-existing depression).

What does the study mean for you and your medications?

  1. Make sure your doctor knows all of your medications and supplements. Make a list of medications before appointments along with dosages. If there are any known drug interactions, it is more likely they will be prevented if your doctor and pharmacist know what you’re taking. Ultimately, you and your doctor are a team to determine which medications you need to be on and whether any of those medications can be reduced or eliminated.
  2. Be educated about your medications. Read the packaging that comes with your prescriptions. Watch out for symptoms and side effects. Sometimes these effects are cumulative and may take a while for your body to express. And sometimes, as this study shows, less-likely side effects may be more likely when combined with other medications.
  3. More is not better. Not only are prescription medications expensive and drive up health insurance costs for everyone, but they have powerful, unknown effects on the body. Modern medicine is a very young medicine, less than 200 years old, and the long-term and drug-interaction effects of pharmaceuticals are too new to fully know. There are few studies like the one in this month’s JAMA which show how drugs may interact with each other. The FDA doesn’t require it, and it would be impossible to study how thousands and thousands of drugs interact when taking 3, 4… or even 9 different combinations of them. Therefore, limit your exposure to these interactions and side effects by limiting your medications whenever possible, and discuss your options with your doctor.
  4. Check out alternative medical solutions. The U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry makes over 440 billion dollars a year. Drug companies and pharmacies make money on prescriptions. Many of these medications just alleviate symptoms of a disease but do not help the body heal. Be willing to check out other options for wellness, which can lessen one’s dependence on drugs. These might include:
  • Diet and lifestyle changes. Let’s be honest. Change is difficult and sometimes inconvenient, but changes can bring health from the inside out. These choices are long-term, life-giving options that do not come with negative or dangerous side effects. For example, diabetic or blood-pressure medications may be reduced by losing weight and exercising.
  • Alternative therapies. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, chiropractic care, and physical therapy are a few alternative therapies that may help with whatever condition you are treating with pharmaceuticals. The goal of these alternative or integrative medical therapies is to help the body heal or treat the underlying cause of the disease or problem. Because these therapies are a process of healing in the body, symptom relief may not be as immediate as popping a pill, but with a little patience and determination the body can heal itself.
  • Herbal formulas, natural supplements, and essential oils. Many modern pharmaceuticals began as plant-based remedies. Almost every civilization on earth has had its special plants for certain diseases. The chemical properties of these remedies have been isolated and improved upon to target a disease or symptom. But what if the lesser-concentrated, holistic plant-package is actually less harmful to the body than its lab-concocted cousin?
    • Chinese herbal formulas have been safely used for thousands of years, and the herbs in these formulas are balanced with each other to minimize the side effects. Only an Oriental Medicine or Chinese herbal practitioner can safely prescribe herbs perfectly tailored to your body and symptoms.
    • Also, supplements can be taken to help the body function properly. Many supplements can take the place of over-the-counter or prescribed medications. Check with your healthcare practitioner to find out which ones might be right for you (and remember, as with prescription drugs, more is not necessarily better!).
    • One of my new favorites, which is actually very ancient, is the use of essential oils to treat certain conditions. When used as directed, essential oils are an excellent alternative to certain prescription or over-the-counter drugs (more to come on essential oils–stay tuned).

Many other side effects can be treated effectively with acupuncture. There are points on the body that help certain problems and symptoms and treat the body’s underlying condition. Whether a medication is causing depression, dizziness or diarrhea, acupuncture can help lessen the side effects of medications. No one should be stuck on the hamster wheel of taking more and more medications to combat the side effects of medications. 

(If you are feeling depressed, please speak to a healthcare practitioner, counselor or mental health provider. And if you are considering suicide or hurting yourself or others—please reach out to someone and get some help, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.)

Hope that’s some helpful information to help you have Better Health for a Better You!

Please feel free to call for your free consultation: 561-922-7535 or fill out this contact form: