October 2012 
Issue: 9

Woman Getting Acupuncture


 I just got back from a quick trip to Berlin, Germany taking in the art, architecture and street life mostly by bicycle.  The photo here was in front of the Medical History Museum. Even this interesting but more academic museum had beautiful, thought provoking  banners embellishing the facade. I hope this email finds everyone well, happy, and thriving.  Come in for a "tune up" or to ease any aches and pains you might have acquired over the summer.  The science is ever more convincing of the positive effects of acupuncture!
Be well! 
Kristen Sparrow, MD
Berlin Medical History Museum  
More on Sleep

I cover sleep issues frequently on my blog and though it may be repetitive, I just see too many sleep issues in my clinic, and think the information is worth repeating.  Sleep can affect everything about your health, even your weight. Unfortunately, the more you think about trying to sleep, the worse it can get.  So I welcomed this article about "broken" sleep.  (Click on photo for more info.) 
Relaxing or sleeping woman 
Patients Say They Sleep Well with Acupuncture
The author found historical evidence for two periods of sleep at night.  Point being, that in our modern society, we insist on certain sleep patterns, and perhaps there are other patterns that are healthy too, if your work schedule allows.
Other basics are to turn off screens at least an hour before bed, try to get bright sunlight in the middle of the day, and don't hesitate to use a small dose of melatonin (1/2 to 1 mg) if you find yourself unable to sleep. Acupuncture for sleep discussed here and here.

Treatment Hazards: Epidural Steroids and Antibiotics for Sinusitis

The hundreds of cases of fungal meningitis from tainted steroid solutions for epidural use have been widely reported and are a horrible tragedy.  I was not aware of the high incidence of other serious side effects from epidural steroid injections, nor the poor evidence for their use.  I gave hundreds of epidural steroid injections as an Anesthesiologist and now come to find out, that one of the solutions we used was never sanctioned by the FDA!! Studies have shown that acupuncture for low back pain has the same efficacy as an epidural steroid injection.  Granted, acupuncture requires more time and visits, but it is virtually risk free.
I discussed the new guidelines for sinusitis here in the context of the Preventative Medicine Task Force recommendations.  This article, shows that antibiotics can knock out "good bacteria" in sinuses, allowing  persistent pathogenic ones to thrive. Again, allergies and sinusitis can be treated with acupuncture, and much more safely.      


Stand Up For Health 
Ikea Standing Desk Hack

We discussed the hazards of sitting in previous issues, and now there are even more studies confirming the "health dangers of sitting," as paradoxical as that sounds.  There are many inexpensive options for standing desks, one is featured here.
High Tech Electroacupuncture for Spinal Stenosis and Better Understanding of the Neurotransmitters involved in Electroacupuncture

There was a recent study using fluoroscopy guided electroacupuncture in human subjects with spinal stenosis and they got results much better than with conventional therapies and some better than standard acupuncture.  The study has caused me to change my approach in needling the back not only in spinal stenosis patients but in back pain patients in general. In other related Acupuncture Research news, there was a nicely done animal study pinpointing the neurotransmitters involved in electro acupuncture for arthritis.  We're getting more and more specific info on how acupuncture works, which is all to the good.
In This Issue
Sleep: More Suggestions
First Do No Harm: Sinusitis and Meningitis
Just Stand There
High Tech Acupuncture for Spinal Stenosis
Ancient Wisdom Made Modern: Your Way to Long Life

Ancient Medicine Made Modern
Dr. Sparrow giving a treatment
Using both science and time honored teachings to ensure your health of body and spirit. Live long and be well!
photo me
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Kristen Sparrow, MD
2000 Van Ness Ave Ste 506
San Francisco, CA  94109