Leah proudly announces her move to Stanford Healthcare and is exclusively seeing Qualcomm employees who want Acupuncture services at the Qualcomm Health Center at 10155 Pacific Heights Road, San Diego, CA.

Using Acupuncture for Inflammation: Take Back Your Health

acupuncture for inflammationInflammation is when a part of the body becomes red, swollen, hot, and tender. It is how we, generally perceive illness and disease in our bodies. In fact, there are many who theorize that if it were not for inflammation, there would be no disease. I don’t know if I would go that far, but I do know that inflammation is a major contributing factor to many types of illnesses. The good thing to know is that we can use acupuncture for inflammation and it works…well!

So, when we perform acupuncture for inflammation here people don’t, usually, show up, saying, “I have inflammation.” This does happen when there is an injury but many problems that are helped when we use acupuncture for inflammation are not immediately identified as such.

What conditions can be helped by using acupuncture for inflammation?

  •  Injuries: This is the obvious one. When you have a sprained ankle or have torn a muscle, your body is hot, tender, and swollen. Inflammation is present and we know it because we can see it.
  •  Epilepsy: Here is a not so obvious way of using acupuncture for inflammation. A recent China Medical University study confirmed many other studies and showed a great reduction in quantity and severity of epileptic seizures caused by inflammation with the use of acupuncture for inflammation.
    China Medical University
    China Medical University
    China Medical UniversityChina Medical University conducted research that showed that acupuncture for inflammation showed an effective outcome for patients with epilepsy caused by inflammation.
  • Hay fever and other allergies: The response that is problematic with allergies, including hay fever, is the inflammation. In hay fever, we see inflammation in the nasal passage. Using acupuncture for inflammation can help you breath again.
  • Periodontitis: This is really inflammation of the gums around the teeth. It can lead to bone loss and even loss of teeth if not treated. This can be a difficult one for some of us to deal with. Acupuncture for inflammation can make your oral health more manageable.
  • Arthritis: All arthritis is inflammation in the joints.
  • Atherosclerosis: This is a specific sort of arteriosclerosis caused by inflammation. Using acupuncture for inflammation can calm down this chronic inflammatory response.

These are just some of the disorders and diseases where inflammation is the cause or a major contributing factor. Get relief for yourself today through acupuncture for inflammation

How to Stop Hot Flashes: Acupuncture Works

how to stop hot flashesWhen I started seeing Leah Davida (aka world’s best Encinitas acupuncture provider) I went because I wanted to know how to stop hot flashes. I am old enough where peri-menopause was rearing its ugly head.

What is a hot flash? Well, I was waking up every night at around 4:00 a.m. drenched in sweat. I couldn’t get cool. I would get up, walk around, stand in front of a fan waiting for the hot flash to pass. It wasn’t over, though, even when it would pass. After I cooled down, the sweat froze to my body and I jumped back under the covers to get warm again. By that time, I was awake and annoyed. I needed to know how to stop hot flashes and I wasn’t about to go the hormone route. Because of previous conditions, hormone treatment wasn’t even available.

How to stop hot flashes

  • Leah Davida and her amazing acupuncture changed my world. I know it is just anecdotal evidence but it worked amazingly well for me. I find I have many more hot flashes in the summer and that is when I crank up my visits to Leah Davida. Acupuncture for hot flashes worked. It lessened the frequency and duration of my hot flashes.
  • Studies on how to stop hot flashes show acupuncture works. That is right – there are multiple studies that all agree that acupuncture reduces the number and severity of hot flashes. The best is that the effects of the acupuncture for hot flashes seems to work for up to three months. Bonus!
  • Leah Davida’s therapeutic massage relieves hot flashes, too. Leah does this in two ways. First, she uses acupressure meridian points in the massage to enhance the benefits of the acupuncture for hot flashes. Second, there is a direct correlation between hot flashes and stress. Therapeutic massage is proven to reduce stress. Any time you can reduce stress, you get the benefit of reducing your hot flashes.

When you get a treatment from Leah, you get real relief. You get acupuncture for hot flashes and a therapeutic massage. You will never be the same again… of course, I am being a bit dramatic… I am Peri-menopausal, after all… but not that dramatic, she is pretty amazing. Don’t take my word for it, call her and try it out for yourself!


5 Natural Remedies For Migraines

natural remedies for migrainesLast night I was at my mother’s home celebrating Father’s day. My whole family was there and we even had other family Skyping with us so we could enjoy family that lives in another state. During the Skype, my cousin got up and just left the room. Nobody could find him. When we looked, he was laying in a dark room, moaning. A migraine headache came on that quick and left him incredibly debilitated. He has tried everything and is on the verge of injecting Botox into his head. Instead, I asked him to try these natural remedies for migraines.

If you get migraine headaches, you are willing to try anything. Just looking at my cousin shocked me into the reality of how terrible migraines can be. But before he goes down any extreme road, I asked that he give these 5 natural remedies for migraines a go.

So….what are the natural remedies for migraines, anyhow?

  1. Vitamin B2: B2, otherwise known as Riboflavin, has been touted as one of the natural remedies for migraines. It doesn’t help a migraine that is in full swing but it is supposed to help prevent the frequency of migraines. You need a high does of upwards of 400 mg a day, every day. Don’t worry about toxicity. B vitamins are water soluble. What your body doesn’t use, it will excrete.
  2. Magnesium: This mineral is generally used in tandem with the B2 as one of the natural remedies for migraines. This is another preventative supplement. Many people with migraine headaches are often low in magnesium. To get the full benefit, try 200-600 mg per day of chelated magnesium. You will know you have reached your bodies maximum needs when your stools get softer.
  3. Enzymes: Because migraines are often triggered by foods, anything that helps you digest those foods better is going to necessarily prevent food induced migraines. Keep a food log  and find your triggers. In the mean time invest in high powered, high quality enzymes.
  4. Butterbur: There is some research to suggest that 50-75 mg, twice a day may help with the frequency and duration of migraine headaches.
  5. Acupuncture:  I can think of no better remedy than one where you are not even ingesting a thing. The best part is that if you can get to your professional acupuncture provider in a timely manner, the acupuncture seems to be able to lessen the symptoms during the headache event.

There are more, but this is a good start for anyone at their wits end with these painful headaches. My cousin lost his job due to the frequency of his migraines. Hopefully, when he tries these natural remedies for migraines, he will get the relief he needs!

Massage Therapy Does More Than Work Out The Kinks!

acupuncture therapeutic massageI don’t know if you know that when you come to get an acupuncture treatment from Leah, you also receive a massage therapy treatment.  One session will allow you to relax into a bliss beyond your average acupuncture professional. When you arrive for your appointment, Leah will greet you and take a moment to catch up with your symptoms and what is currently taking place in your body.

Sometimes you will have a specific ailment you are working on, other times, you arrive at her office, as I did last week, jumpy as rabbit with my mind in outer space. Leah spent the entire time grounding my energy so I could continue the day in peace. It ended up being a record breaking productive day.

Whatever state  you arrive, Leah customizes both your acupuncture and massage therapy to your needs.  She has you undress enough to complete the acupuncture and massage therapy, and allows you to lay down on the table. Leah intersperses the acupuncture with massage therapy and often has you relax for a period of 5-10 minutes while the needles remain in. She then uses acupressure to massage those points that reinforce the acupuncture points. Her massage therapy works in a synergistic way with the acupuncture. It is lovely! 

What are the benefits to adding massage therapy to your acupuncture?

  1. Improves circulation: Adding massage therapy can improve the movement of blood and Qi energy throughout the body. This is especially useful after an injury or surgery.
  2. Relaxation: Leah uses massage therapy to relax your muscles and create that allowing that eases your body into a healing state. You will be relaxed in mind, body, and soul after a session. I am!
  3. Stress reduction: The entire Circle of Life Center is set up to induce stress reduction, I am convinced. From the color to the bathroom furniture, you feel calmer upon entering this haven. Leah’s techniques ease stress right out of your body. All those tensions and anxieties melt away under her tender touch.
  4. Lower Blood Pressure: Come on, you had to guess that one. With all this relaxation and stress relief, the blood pressure had to be following….lowering, that is.
  5. Balance Immunity: There are actual studies that show that when you get regular massage therapy, your killer cells are better able to work and attack when called.

Why delay? Leah’s combination of acupuncture and massage therapy create an environment for true healing and peace. Every time I go to see her are receive a treatment I know I am better for it….and so do my kids!

Stub That Cigarette Butt! Quit Smoking Tips

Quit Smoking imageIf you are reading this, you want to quit smoking, or you know somebody who does. We all know the incredible list of ills smoking wrecks upon your body, the biggies being emphysema and lung cancer. However, what those who have never smoked don’t realize is how terribly difficult it is to kick the habit. I have a great friend who was a pack a day smoker from the time she was 14 years old until she was 35. She says, “quitting smoking was more difficult than childbirth.” 

Suffice it to say, to quit smoking is a difficult endeavor and a coup of unbelievable proportions. So how do you do it?

A multi-pronged approach to quit smoking

  • Attitude: This is the most important prong, hands down. No matter what happens, whether you quit smoking and relapse, whether you have never even tried to quit smoking, NEVER, never resign yourself to being a lifelong smoker. Always keep it in your head that you are going to quit. Don’t let a setback destroy the attitude that is going to get you to the finish line one day.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture as been shown to help with your cravings, your strength to persevere, and the withdrawal symptoms that accompany any sort of addiction. There is an approach called the NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) approach that uses a constellation of points in your ear to help you quit smoking. You will be sent home with small beads or seeds taped on these sites. During the first week, you will want to come back to see the acupuncturist multiple times. As you get stronger and the withdrawal symptoms ease, you will be able to manage the cravings on your own, with fewer visits.
  • Herbs and Natural Remedies: There are a myriad of herbal remedies that have a general uplifting effect upon your well being and anything that boost your general mood will assist you to kick the habit and quit smoking. Herbs like St. John’s Wort and remedies like 5-HTP will give your mind a boost. Then there are a ton of herbs that will treat you symptomatically. Chamomile and Lobelia will calm your racing heart and herbs like Valerian will assist you to sleep. In addition, check out Chinese herbal formulas. You may not be able to pronounce the herbs but they can help!
  • T’ai Chi: T’ai Chi has benefits all over the place. One of those benefits is that it can assist you in your journey to quit smoking. T’ai Chi is a practice of the body and the mind. It allows a follower to be mindful of their movements, including your mindless reach for a cigarette. 12 weeks of t’ai chi has been shown to greatly increase your ability to stub the butt.
  • Hypnosis: Some people are easier to put into a hypnotic state than others. However, you won’t know for sure until you try. For some, hypnosis can be the miracle for them to quit smoking. It is a useful helper in your ‘quit smoking’ tool bag.

Remember, it is NEVER too late to quit smoking. In a recent study out of Hong Kong amazing effects were proven even on those in their 60s, 70s and 80s who finally decided to stop.  Quit smoking today, no matter your age, and reap the benefits of great health!


Acupuncture For Back Pain Works Bettter Than Drugs

Acupuncture for Back PainBack pain is an nightmare. Luckily, the newest research gives hope: Acupuncture for back pain works better than drugs.

Some of us have chronic pain. We hurt nonstop. Others of us can go about our life pretty normally. We even forget we have a problematic back. Then we twist the wrong way, or lift something just a hair too heavy and BANG! We are down for the count.

To compound the problem, nobody has any good options. Every doctor you go to provides a lot of possibilities and no certainty. Each solution seems to have the possible side effect of making your pain worse. Often, the only remedy is to have regular, COSTLY, injections at the pain site.

Doctors from Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine in conjunction with the Institute for Oriental Medicine embarked on a study to compare a non-traditional style of acupuncture for back pain, called Motion Style Acupuncture (MSAT) with diclofenac sodium, a drug used for immediate pain relief. The results were rather dramatic.

But…before I continue with the results…I want to tell you that diclofenac sodium is not for the light of heart. There is a list a mile long of common side effects, that range from constipation to unexplained bleeding. Yikes! But I digress…

The Research Is In: Acupuncture for Back Pain Study Results

The study compared groups of people with severe disability, suffering from acute lower back pain. Half the group received MSAT acupuncture for back pain. The other group did not receive the acupuncture for back pain, and instead got injections of diclofenac sodium.

Those that received the MSAT acupuncture for back pain reported that it was more effective in the short term – that is, they saw immediate pain reduction and more effective results 4 weeks longer than those that got the injected drug. Further, there was far less hospitalization in the group receiving the MSAT treatment.

MSAT acupuncture for back pain is similar to traditional acupuncture for back pain in that needles are placed at certain meridian points. However, in MSAT there is manual stimulation of the needles. You are guided to walk around and make specific motions while the needles are in place.

This is amazing news for those who suffer with back pain. MSAT acupuncture for back pain is a relatively new treatment and is considered non-traditional. However, it is forward-looking and speaks to the possibility of using acupuncture for broader applications that fare better than drugs in clinical trials…. and isn’t that what we all would love? A world free of back pain without injections and nasty side effects!

Acupuncture and ADHD: Calm Your Mind, Calm Your Spirit

adhd acupuncture spinning topI walked in to see Leah Davida in Encinitas, bouncing between my physical issues and acupuncture and ADHD. That is, or should I say was, my normal mode: fidgeting to the point of distraction.

My whole life I struggled with the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Many children who are just normal kids are diagnosed. However, when you meet a child who just cannot stop, there is something different and unnerving about their lack of ability to control themselves, in even the slightest way.

Helpguide.Org gives us some of the telltale signs of ADHD.

  • Inattention to details
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Trouble staying focused
  • Appears not to listen when spoken to
  • Gets bored in the middle of an activity
  • Fidgets, squirms
  • Can’t stay seated
  • Moves around constantly
  • Talks excessively

For me, these childhood symptoms never abated, they just took new adult forms. What is even worse is that girls with ADHD tend to suffer from self-esteem issues because we are told all our lives that girls are not supposed to be so aggressive and loud. When I went into the office the first day, my knees were tittering. I could barely sit in the seat. Another practitioner even knocked and asked if I could keep the noise down.  Since then, things have changed!

Acupuncture and ADHD are a great combination. As an adult, I refuse to be medicated any more. I ground my teeth so much, I cracked molars. I just hated the medicine but hated being so out of control almost as much.

How Acupuncture and ADHD Works

Acupuncture and ADHD work in a different way than allopathic medicine.  In traditional Oriental medicine, your energy or qi flows freely if you are well. In the world of acupuncture and ADHD there is an obvious and profound blockage that results in this energy spilling out every which way. A few painless ( yep, I said painless) needles placed in the perfect places can empower the free flow of this energy again, resulting in calm, increased attention, and a reduction of impulsiveness.

The last time I saw Leah, she looked right at me and said, “you look calm today.” I thought. Acupuncture and ADHD…amazing. After all these years, I finally found something that works.

What is a Chakra? And What Do They Have To Do With Acupuncture?


Courtesy Anodea Judith and Sacred Centers

Acupuncture is part of the world of Chinese Medicine. It originates in Asia. Chakras are a part of Ayurvedic Medicine found, mostly, in India. Yet, these two seemingly disparate medical systems share some strong bonds and correlate in ways unimagined. Knowledge of one does not discredit the other. On the contrary, they work together to advance the efficacy of both.

First, both systems are all about the movement and blockage of vital energy in the body. When energy does not move properly your body is disordered and diseases abound. Even more interesting is that both body modalities view this energy as two snakes coiling up the spinal column. Every time the two snakes cross each other a chakra is formed. These are usually represented on the front of the body and correlate with important acupuncture meridians and vertebral levels. Acupuncture and Ayurvedic Medicine also share the concept of the five elements which correspond to both the acupuncture meridians and the chakras. Further, the colors associated with each chakra and element are the same in both medical systems.

So what are the chakras?

MindBodyGreen gives us a basic list of the 7 Chakras.

  1. Root Chakra: This Chakra is located at the base of the spine or tailbone. It is coupled with the color red. The emotional issues associated are ones related to survival, money, and food. It is also the place of being rooted or grounded.
  2. Sacral Chakra: It is located in the lower abdomen about 2 inches below your belly button. It is associated with the color orange and is often caused the pleasure seeker. It is identified with our feelings of abundance and our sexuality. It is the creativity center and is involved in our emotional connection to others.
  3. Solar Plexus Chakra:  This is tied to the color yellow is found in the upper abdomen or stomach region. It is the power driver and is all about are self confidence and self esteem.
  4. Heart Chakra: As one might expect, this is paired with LOVE LOVE LOVE! By opening this chakra we open ourselves to love and being loved. This space is linked with the color green and is foundational for inner peace and joy.
  5. Throat Chakra: In the throat, this space is one of communication. Its color is blue and it deal with the truth spoken and secrets kept.
  6. Third Eye Chakra: You will find this place between your eyes and you can focus on it if you close your eyes and gently let your eyes role upwards and to the center.  It is one I try to be aware of on a regular basis to make better decisions and grow in wisdom. When strengthened you increase your intuition and imagination. Indigo is this special color.
  7. Crown Chakra: It is found on the top of the head and in connected with the color violet. It is the center of beauty and bliss and connection with the spiritual.

It is important to recognize that Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine have major overlap and work in harmony. Medicinal systems are not static they change over time and space and these two systems abut each other geographically. If you are working on an important issue, either emotionally or physically, you will get more out of your acupuncture by being aware of your chakras and more out of your chakra clearing by adding acupuncture.



Is Acupuncture for Weight Loss Right for Me?

acupuncture for weight lossOur weight is a major concern. In America we struggle with competing issues. First, we are one of the most obese countries in the world. Our country really struggles with our weight. Second, our country, especially in places like southern California, tells us that the ideal is a hyper slim body that any normal human would struggle attaining. What is really important is health. These competing problems of the reality of being overweight and the ideal of emaciation make us unhealthy in mind and body. Luckily acupuncture for weight loss is there and highly helpful.

I have been working in the acupuncture industry much longer than I have been a practitioner. When I first started out, I knew a gal who was heavy from birth. I know her family and her entire family struggles with their weight. After high school and years of obesity, she decided to take the reins into her own hands. She started seeing a mentor of mine, an acupuncturist, for her weight. After 10 treatments, the results were dramatic and had a major impact, on her outlook and her health. With this initial push, she felt like moving again. Today, she competes in triathlons. She will never be the disgustingly thin image our world thrusts on us but she has a muscular, healthy body that got its start through acupuncture for weight loss.

Dr Oz touted the amazing results possible through acupuncture for weight loss. The results are garnered because acupuncture for weight loss doesn’t just look at one reason for being overweight. Your acupuncture practitioner assists you on multiple fronts: overeating…hunger, slow metabolism, hormone issues, poor nutrition, digestion problems, etc.

Acupuncture for weight loss: How is it done?

Well, along with various points specific to certain issues, like female hormones, and the liver, and around the body, there are four specific points in the ear that target acupuncture for weight loss. These are the endocrine point, the hunger point, the stomach point, and the Shen Men point. Depending upon your issues, after your appointment, we may even send you home with little seeds taped to those points that stay put for the next couple days to weeks. You can massage them when you are feeling particularly overcome with cravings.

So, to answer our original question that is asked so often on T.V. commercials, “Is Acupuncture for Weight Loss Right for Me?” The answer lies within. It is non-invasive. The cost is minimal, compared with other plans and treatments like bariatric surgery. Most importantly, there is no “drug regimen” that can cause all sorts of other unwanted ailments. Acupuncture for weight loss allows a person to lead a healthy life the way they have always dreamed without any consequences. As far as I am concerned acupuncture for weight loss is your first line of defense.

The TMJ and Acupuncture: The Bite and Grind of it All

tmj pain acupunctureDisorders of  the TMJ are utterly painful. What is the TMJ, anyhow? The Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) is the the joint that connects your mandible to your skull. When there are issues with that joint it can cause a myriad of problems. It is the most used joint in the body and is used in everything from chewing to talking to swallowing.

Today we are all so stressed out. We carry that stress in our stomachs…in our backs…and in our jaws. So many of us clench our jaws and grind out teeth, which put stress on that TMJ. We may even clench and grind at night and not be aware of it at all except for the pain. Yeah…and what about that pain? Well we may have pain right at the joint or we may have radiating pain in our head and neck from prolonged stress on the TMJ. It may also be accompanied by clicking in the jaw or, when it really gets bad, an inability to open your mouth fully, if at all. The learned doctors even have created a syndrome for ailments of the TMJ called TMJ disorder.

The worst part is that there aren’t a ton of options for people with ailments of the TMJ. You usually get a mouth guard for nighttime grinding and clenching and are  offered the option of surgery. Problem is, surgery doesn’t have a great success rate and it can leave you worse than when you started. One thing you need to look into is TMJ and acupuncture.

TMJ and acupuncture evaluation:  when you come to an acupuncture practitioner they will have you lie down and they will stand at your head, looking across the face. The practitioner will line up the nose, chin, and jaw for symmetry. They will have you slowly open and close your jaw. They will be looking for any deviation from side to side, a cross bite, or an inability to open your mouth fully. They may do certain evaluations to the TMJ and acupuncture will help so they will be evaluating the dimensions of treatment. They may place their fingers on your incisors and attempt to open your mouth to the maximum. They may test the reflex of the TMJ.

TMJ and acupuncture treatment: There are many acupuncture points for jaw problems and manual treatments. There is even  a protocol developed for TMJ and acupuncture called the Nimmo protocols to address regional muscles.  For personal accounts I have found ehealth forums full of personal stories of how their TMJ was alleviated in short order through acupuncture.

One thing that you have to remember is that not all TMJ issues are the same issues. Any treatment of TMJ and acupuncture must account for the many differences. We take time to slowly and carefully evaluate your particular problems and develop a particular treatment plan to get your TMJ up and working better than ever.