Kristen Sparrow, MD Medical Acupuncture 

Ancient Medicine Made Modern

SF City Sights:Vallejo Street Beauty
We never had much winter this year, so according to traditional Chinese Medicine teachings, springtime illnesses  will be worse.   Without the  dark, deep, inner rest of winter, we might be more susceptible to allergies and the like. I hope not though!
The clinic has gotten quite busy (welcome!) so I'd like to remind people to please notify me of any appointment changes or cancellations 24 hours or more in advance.  Thank you!
In this issue I will be listing some simple (though not always easy) techniques for graceful aging.
 I look forward to seeing you ! 
Always more at the blog.  



Aging Naturally:
Feel great, look your best, live long

The Ancient Chinese expected to live to 120 years old. They blamed the modern ways (of the year 1000 A.D.) for robbing them of their 120 year birth right.
Purpose, People, Pets, Plants, all contribute to a healthy and happy life.  But here, I'm concentrating on concrete Physical actions to take.
Also, there are countless supplements, strategies, diets, gadgets and spas out there. Have at them!  This is not a comprehensive list, just my core one. 
1. Work on the strength of your thighs. Even with arthritic knees strength matters. Strengthening quadriceps muscles also increases Growth Hormone, an anti-aging boon, as well as bone health.  Full squats are not necessary. 
2. Stretching. As we age we get less supple.  This matters because we are less resilient to injury. Our joints also experience more wear and tear, and our posture and hence our appearance suffers. And, yes, you need to do more and more the older you are.  Embrace it.
3. Sleeping. Important for mood, inflammation and appearance.  Get daylight in the middle of the day.  Turn down lights, and turn off screens an hour before bed. Go to bed and get up at the same time as much as possible. Take a tiny dose of melatonin if necessary. Sleeping meds are risky, be careful.
4. Sun.  We all need some for Vitamin D, but guard your face as you would a rare jewel.  Sun ages faces. A lot.
5. Astra Essence by Health Concerns.  I swear by this supplement.  It keeps illnesses at bay and fights aging and is an overall tonic.  The patients I've convinced to take it over time, swear by it too.
6. Acupuncture.  It eases stress in the body which helps immune function, mood, pain.  The current science only reinforces what the ancient techniques promised.  It also can help you to avoid surgery and drugs(see #10).
7. MTS roller.  I recommend this in particular for patients who are getting cosmetic acupuncture, but recommend for everyone who is concerned about the effects of aging on the face.  In conjunction with an exfoliant either natural (yoghurt, citrus) or pharmaceutical (tretinoin) it helps to keep your skin active and making collagen. Email me if you want the details.
8. Diet and Habits.  Slow carb and low carb diets help with inflammation, prediabetic conditions, and energy levels.  Calorie restriction in animals definitely prolongs life.  But that's a tough one. (Why live longer if miserable?) But I need to include it because the science is overwhelming.  I think it goes without saying that smoking is to be avoided, and alcohol in moderation.
9. Wear a scarf and wash your hands.  Scarves keep your neck warm in winter and help to avoid illness. Are there studies to prove this? No. But traditional cultures the world over follow this advice.  You should too.  Wash your hands with soap and water (avoid Purell type products which destroy good bacteria.)What we should be doing is wearing simple cotton gloves in public, but short of that, washing will keep your incidence of illness down.  Avoid the blankets on planes. Yes, always. 
10. Avoid and be skeptical.   Even benign medications turn out to have side effects.  Even simple surgeries can go wrong.  Especially avoid any medication, surgery or procedure  that is new on the market.  Don't be a guinea pig, let other people try it out. Try to avoid them if possible and find other strategies.  Yes, it takes time and effort, but it's  for life.


Female Doctor
You may not need to be tested as much as you think.
Fitness and Health Files
10 Screening Tests To Avoid
 Pertinent to #10 above, the most recent issue of the AARP Bulletin  in conjunction with the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation features a campaign called "Choosing Wisely." These are the 10 tests they warn against on a routine screening basis (not if you have symptoms.)
1. Nuclear Stress Tests and other imaging tests after heart procedures
2. Yearly ECG or exercise stress tests in asymptomic patients.
3. PSA to screen for prostate cancer.
4. PET to diagnose Alzheimer's disease
5. X-ray, CT scan or MRI for lower back pain
6. Yearly Pap tests
7. Bone density scan for women before age 65 or men before age 70
8. Follow up ultrasounds for small ovarian cysts.
9. Colonoscopy after age 75. 
10. Yearly physical. 

Ancient Medicine Made Modern
Acupuncture Research Files

This article and study show that electroacupuncture can help to ward off life threatening infection in mice. my It appears to work by increasing dopamine and cytokines.  No early conclusions can be drawn for humans, but provocative, nonetheless.

Bay Bridge Construction 1935
Bonus San Francisco Historical Photo
Aerial view of the Bay Bridge under construction in 1935. The East Bay hills look so uninhabited and the San Francisco waterfront so small scale.
This is from the fascinating archive of the SF Public Library Historical Collection.
Kristen Sparrow, MD
2000 Van Ness Ave Ste 506
San Francisco, CA  94109

Dr. Sparrow provides innovative treatments combining ancient Chinese medicine with cutting edge scientific research to provide relief of pain, mood imbalances, immune disorders and stress.