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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health & Wellness



Katie Schalberg, M.S., L.Ac. Acupuncturist & Herbalist Alaska Center for Natural Medicine 3039 Davis Rd Fairbanks, AK 99709 (907) 452-3600

Does Acupuncture Hurt? photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon

Studies show that owning a pet is beneficial to one’s health.

Owning pets has health benefits CHELLE CORDERO

Arlene Kirschner, M.D. Board Certified General Surgeon


Katie Schalberg is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist at the Alaska Center for Natural Medicine

13394034 3-14-12 HW

sion. Malignant hypertension cals that help to unwind and presents with a significantly soothe. People in high-stress high blood pressure and and demanding jobs had feelings of discomfort and lower blood pressure readings Hearing the pitter-patter in stressful situations after of furry little feet, the melodic pressure; it is a true medical adopting a pet than did their notes of a birdcall or the gur- emergency. However, petting counterparts without pets. gling sounds of a fish tank fil- an animal or participating in a pleasurable, relaxing activAll pets offer the common ter should do more than simity can raise levels of seroply stir visions of pet treats Please see PETS, Page 18 tonin and dopamine, chemiand fun. There are studies confirming that owning a pet is good for your health and mental well-being. Studies have cited the A Professional Corporation benefits of pet ownership for heart attack recovery, depression, hypertension and even fitness. Pets provide socialization opportunities, a feeling of companionship and a Practicing in purpose to “get of bed” in the Fairbanks since 1989 morning, and they are terrific Announcing the opening of my icebreakers and conversanew Out-Patient General tion starters. Researchers Surgical Practice located in and statistics say that heart Washington Plaza. attack patients who have pets survive longer than those Outpatient general surgery with special interest in without, according to several Breast Diseases • Office ultrasound guided biopsies studies. Male pet owners have available • Screenings and Diagnostic Endoscopy fewer signs of heart disease, Hernias • Gallstones, Etc. e.g., lower triglyceride and Referrals and Appointments welcome. cholesterol levels, than nonowners. Stress — and these are stressful times -- can throw off your body’s natural chem3419 Airport Way, Suite B istry and cause “illnesses” Fairbanks, AK 99709 such as malignant hyperten-

When people find out that I’m an acupuncturist, I am immediately bombarded with many questions. “Does it work?”, “Will it help with.?”, “Isn’t that just voodoo?”. But after 10 years being part of this medical field, the #1 question that is asked of me, “Does it hurt?”. Even after explaining that acupuncture needles, unlike hypodermic needles, are solid and hair thin, it seems most people can’t get over the fact that I’m putting sharp objects into their body. So, does acupuncture hurt? No, it doesn’t hurt. However, you should feel it! As I explain to all my patients, I first tap the needle in, gently breaking through the skin. Most will say that all they feel at this point is either the tapping or a little pinch, like a mosquito bite. I then insert the needle a bit deeper. The patient at this point can expect certain sensations. Dull achy sensation: This is what the Chinese call “Da Qi” sensation which indicates a rush of blood flow into the area. Tingling sensation or the patient may feel the nerve activate down the leg or arm. Heat or itchiness: This sensation is a histamine response. Muscle contraction: Some acupuncture points are actual motor points of the muscle. When this motor point is activated, the muscle can contract on its own. Referred sensation: A needle is inserted into an area of the body, however the patient will feel the sensation somewhere else. These sensations tell me, as the practitioner, that the body is responding to the acupuncture. However, every needle inserted does not elicit a response. With 10 needles inserted, most patients report sensation from maybe 3 or 4 of them. I also ask my patients to let me know if any of these sensations become overwhelming. In this case I will back the needle off or take it out completely. In my experience, if the patient is in any discomfort they become stressed and the treatment becomes ineffective. Finally, as in any relationship, communication is key. It is the same with the relationship between you and your acupuncturist. Therefore, let the practitioner know of your concerns. Let them know of your expectations. Finally, let them know if anything is bothering you during treatment. With this communication trust is built and ultimately your experience will be positive. You will even find yourself telling everyone how wonderful acupuncture is and how much it didn’t hurt!

Health and Wellness - Spring 2012  
Health and Wellness - Spring 2012  

A guide to staying healthy in Interior Alaska, geared toward Alaska's growing elderly population.