Explore below about the science and practice of integrative medicine, medical acupuncture, mind-body medicine, plant medicine, and more.
what is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Eastern healing medical system dating back at least 3,000 years. Ancient texts mapped in detail specific acupuncture points, and how human energy circulates, interconnects, and interacts with the environment. Treatment consists of stimulation of these points using fine needles, which may be further stimulated with heat or electricity.
Dr. Shah's practice
Dr. Shah employs Japanese-style acupuncture (Kiiko Matsumoto style), which is a gentler treatment style than the traditional Chinese approach, as part of her integrative medicine toolbox. It emphasizes palpation of the body as a form of "checks and balances" to ensure accurate treatment. Japanese-style acupuncture also uses finer needles and less depth than the traditional Chinese approach. Dr. Shah also employs lidocaine-infused trigger point injections and corticosteroid joint injections when needed for pain relief.
The scientific evidence behind the way acupuncture works and its efficacy is gaining significant traction. Modern research has found acupuncture points to be indeed active, biochemically and neurologically.
Such renowned groups such as The World Health Organization, the American College of Physicians, and the NIH's National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health all agree that acupuncture can help manage and improve a variety of conditions, from pain to allergies to depression. Here are some great articles on the science: acupuncture and chronic pain, rewiring the brain in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, nausea, chronic low back pain, another on carpal tunnel.
what is mind-body medicine?
Mind-body medicine harnesses the innate power of your brain-mind and the positive human qualities of kindness, interconnection, and compassion to help heal conditions such as chronic stress, anxiety, depression, panic and insomnia.
This science-based integrative medicine approach can be thought of as mind-training, where you learn to dial down the body’s stress and inflammatory responses and dial up the body’s innate healing capabilities. By learning to rewire your own nervous system and positively reimagine perspectives in your life, true healing and transformation can emerge. Mind-body medicine can also help to mitigate the intensity of chronic pain and other uncomfortable ailments.
Eastern medical systems are rooted in the concept that the mind and body are not separable. However, during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras in the Western world, the notion that the mind and body are separate entities took hold and began to inform medical practices. Unfortunately, contemporary conventional Western medicine still works under the premise that the mind and body are separate.
Mind-body medicine uses ancient mind-training techniques such as mindfulness and compassion to heal the mind, which directly affects the body.
Studies have shown that some of the benefits of learning and using mindfulness include: lowering stress hormone and inflammation levels, decreasing blood pressure, and boosting your immune system. Mindfulness meditation has also been shown to lessen physical pain, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and age-related cognitive decline.
Other examples of mind-body medicine practices include meditation, yoga, tai chi, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, EMDR, and guided imagery.
Dr. Shah's practice
Dr. Shah employs non-secular contemplative psychotherapeutic practices, which combine mindfulness, compassion-based practices, yoga, breathing exercises, and other meditation techniques. She will teach you powerful tools that you can use right now as well as take home, practice, and develop over time.
Mind-body medicine research is a subset of integrative medicine that is rapidly growing and the science is astounding. Mind-body medicine integrates the evidence found within the research of neuroscience, psychiatry, endocrinology, immunology, and pain medicine.
The NIH's National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health explains that mind-body medicine focuses on "the ways in which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, experiential, and behavioral factors can directly affect health." Click here for some scientific articles on mind-body medicine.