Acupuncture Treats Stress, Allergies and Pain Management

5 reasons to try acupuncture, Acupuncture at Dreamclinic massage and wellness Seattle and RedmondAcupuncture Treats Stress, Allergies and Pain Management

When you think of acupuncture, it’s very likely that the first thing you think of is “needles.” And needles don’t necessarily evoke the most joyful memories (after all, who actually likes to get pricked?). In that case, you’re probably not rushing to be first in line to get dozens of needles in your body.

Ah, but that is where you’re wrong. You should be sprinting to be first in line to receive this ancient form of Chinese medicine. With just some paper-thin needles placed in strategic points on your body, you can improve your sleeping habits, your mood, and your allergies, and reduce pain and digestive issues.

Acupuncture is safe and effective, and relatively pain-free (it won’t hurt, but you will feel some sensation). You can use acupuncture to treat dozens of disorders or discomforts, but here are five of the most common reasons you should try it:

Soothe chronic pain: Acupuncture can reduce back pain, headaches, neck pain, and postoperative pain – basically any and all pains. Acupuncture is effective in its healing capabilities because the method is so personalized; it all depends on you and your body, and no two patients receive the same treatment for the same discomfort.

Improve sleep: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, some reports suggest that certain acupuncture procedures have a nearly 90% success rate for treating insomnia. Other clinical studies have found that using needles placed at various points in the ear is effective in helping you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Alleviate digestive problems: Certain acupuncture points on the body are known to reduce abdominal pain and bloating, and regulate the overall digestive function. Researchers believe that acupuncture can prompt a decrease in stomach acid and speed up digestion, so less acid backs up into the esophagus.

Decrease seasonal allergies: If you are plagued with seasonal allergies, like sneezing and itchy eyes, acupuncture may help reduce the symptoms and lessen the amount of antihistamines you need.  A recent study found that allergy patients who received acupuncture treatments showed a greater improvement in symptoms than those who didn’t use acupuncture.

Reduce stress: In Chinese medicine, stress and anxiety interrupt the energy flow in our bodies, causing tension in certain areas. Acupuncture addresses these “energy blockages” and works to alleviate stress by releasing endorphins and improving circulation throughout the body.

Acupuncture will change the way you think about needles. You won’t be scared of them anymore; instead, you will discover the amazing health and wellness benefits they can provide. Try it for yourself at Dreamclinic and book an acupuncture appointment today.


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Do you clench your jaw or have TMJ?

when to consider intra oral massage, massage therapy at Dreamclinic Massage in Seattle and RedmondWe already know that massage can reduce stress, boost your mood, and strengthen your immune system, but what if it could also help relieve that pesky (and painful!) jaw clicking? Or, soothe achy neck and jaw muscles after whiplash?

The answer is intra-oral massage, a lesser known but extremely effective massage technique. This method works on muscles inside and outside the mouth, as well as on the neck and throat.

It can be intense, but it is not necessarily painful. Since it focuses on muscles that are rarely massaged, they respond to less pressure. Gloves are worn while working inside the mouth to relax and release the muscles associated with chewing and jaw clenching.

So, how do you know if you need intra-oral massage? Here are four common reasons you would consider it:

TMJ pain: The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control that movement. This pain can occur from jaw injury, arthritis, or grinding your teeth, and can result in clicking or popping noises. Intra-oral massage relieves pain from the tight jaw muscles.

Teeth grinding: Formally known as bruxism, this is a condition where you unconsciously grind, gnash, or clench your teeth, either during the day or at night. This grinding can be frequent and intense enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, and damaged teeth. Massage releases the muscles associated with chewing and jaw clenching.

Migraines: Some migraines are caused by pressure on a bone found in your skull called the sphenoid bone. It is also found in the upper reaches of your oral cavity. Massaging skull and jaw muscles can reduce pressure on the sphenoid bone and help relieve migraines.

Whiplash: The neck is usually the primary victim of whiplash, but it can also strain the muscles and soft tissues of the throat and jaw. In these cases, intra-oral massage can reduce stress placed on the jaw muscles and joints.

If you have any trigger points or pain areas in your neck, mouth, or facial muscles, then intra-oral massage may be just the thing for you. Next time you’re at Dreamclinic, feel free to ask your massage therapist more questions about intra-oral massage or schedule a session now.


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Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

by Diana Khoury

Plantar fasciitis (pronounced “plantar fash-ee-itis”) is an inflammation of the plantar fascia – the long, flat ligament that runs along the sole of the foot. The plantar fascia extends from the five toes, down through the arch and attaches to the heel. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain in the heel and/or arches and tightness of the calves. Plantar fasciitis causes pain while walking or exercising and can significantly impact one’s daily functioning if left untreated.



Plantar fasciitis occurrence may be classified as an acute strain or a repetitive stress injury.1 Factors which can contribute to plantar fasciitis are:

  • Abnormal step (sinking towards the inner or outer edge of arches)
  • Tight calves and feet
  • Improper athletic training
  • High, low, or flat arches
  • Foot weakness
  • Shoes that fit incorrectly
  • Prolonged walking, standing, or athletics

“Plantar fasciitis is basically caused by chronic irritation of the arch of the foot due to excessive strain. If the arch of your foot is like a bow, think of the plantar fascia as the bow’s string. The plantar fascia, along with several muscles both in the foot and in the leg, supports the arch and makes it springy. Too springy, and the foot flattens out, overstretching the plantar fascia. Not springy enough, and the plantar fascia absorbs too much weight too suddenly.”2

Plantar fasciitis should be diagnosed by a medical professional. After proper evaluation (of patient’s foot structure, shoes, activity level), a treatment plan often includes rest, ice, ibuprofen, stretching exercises, new shoes, arch supports, or more expensive options such as orthotics, night splints, or cortisone injections. Surgery is recommended only in the worst cases where conventional treatments are unsuccessful.

If you experience pain in your heel(s) or arches, or have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, regular stretching can help. According to one study, 83% of patients in a stretching program were successfully treated for plantar fasciitis, and 29% of study participants cited stretching as the most helpful treatment.3

The objective of a plantar fasciitis treatment plan is to reduce pain and prevent reoccurrence, so the patient can resume a normal activity level. Treatment may last from 6-18 months for pain to be significantly reduced or eliminated. Consistency in following treatment protocols is essential for successful healing and pain reduction.

Acupuncture and Massage

Research has proven acupuncture to be successful at reducing the pain and inflammation of plantar fasciitis when paired with conventional treatment. A PubMed abstract says, “acupuncture coupled with conventional treatments provided a success rate of 80% in chronic plantar fasciitis which was more effective than conventional treatments alone. The effects lasted for at least six weeks.”4

Massage is another complementary method for relieving the pain of plantar fasciitis. “Deep tissue massage loosens muscle tissue, removes muscle toxins, and ensures proper circulation of blood and oxygen to the injured area. Deep tissue massage works because it physically breaks down the adhesions that are formed by tissues in the muscles caused by over exertion or strain.”5 As a result, the patient experiences less pain and increased ease when walking, standing, and participating in daily activities. Although lasting treatment takes time, patients have reported feeling partial to full relief from the pain of plantar fasciitis after a series of massage sessions.

This is an original article from Dreamclinic, Inc. Dreamclinic is a Health and Wellness company committed to sharing information about commonly experienced health conditions and how they may be impacted through the use of bodywork and other natural approaches. Dreamclinic offers massage, acupuncture, and Reiki sessions at its Greenlake and Queen Anne clinics, as well as onsite massage at workplaces around Puget Sound. Contact us to learn more about how Dreamclinic can help you, your family or your workplace experience greater health.


Other Resources:

3. “Plantar Fasciitis is a Common Cause of Heel Pain,” Healthlink/Medical College of Wisconsin. April 12, 2001.

Sciatica Relieved with Massage

by Diana Khoury

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It originates in the pelvis and descends down the hip, buttocks, and down the back of each leg.

sciatica (1)

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed, resulting in anywhere from occasional mild pain to constant, incapacitating pain. The effects of sciatica are pain, numbness, or tingling in the buttocks and/or down the back of the leg(s). Sciatica is most commonly felt on just one side of the body.1


Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying physical problem in the body, such as tight lower back muscles, slipped or herniated vertebral disks. Compression of the sciatic nerve may be caused by strenuous athletic training, injury, car accident, disk problems, or driving/ sitting for long periods of time.


There are several steps you can take to prevent sciatica:

  • Exercise & stretch – Try a gentle yoga class
  • Maintain proper posture – Don’t slump while working at the computer
  • Utilize good body mechanics – Be conscious of how you move
  • Make a Massage appointment – For stress & tension relief, and improved posture

How Massage Helps

Research demonstrates massage’s effectiveness at relieving sciatic pain2. Specifically, massage reduces compression of the sciatic nerve by easing muscle tension in the affected area, while also improving circulation and range of motion. Secondary benefits may include improved sleep and reduced anxiety and depression. Clients have reported feeling relief from moderate sciatic pain in as little as one session. However, long-lasting relief and prevention of sciatica can be achieved when massage is part of your ongoing wellness plan.

Traditional treatments for sciatic pain include: exercise, stretching, over-the-counter or prescription painkillers, physical therapy, complementary therapies (such as bodywork) or in more severe cases, steroid injections and surgery. If your sciatica has lasted longer than 6 weeks, or you experience debilitating sciatic pain, consult your medical doctor or chiropractor for a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis.

This is an original article from Dreamclinic, Inc. Dreamclinic is a Health and Wellness company committed to sharing information about commonly experienced health conditions and how they may be impacted through the use of bodywork and other natural approaches.   Dreamclinic offers massage, acupuncture, and Reiki sessions at its Greenlake and Queen Anne clinics, as well as onsite massage at workplaces around Puget Sound. Contact us to learn more about how Dreamclinic can help you, your family or your workplace experience greater health.


Acupuncture for fatigue and Pain Management

Acupuncture for Fatigue And Pain Manangement

By Rachelle Holmes of Chicago Breast Augmentation and Chicago Liposuction Center, Metropolitan MDs
Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of health care and treatments on the planet, but it still serves its purposes even today. Now, while inserting dozens of needles into your body doesn’t seem like the most fun way to treat ailments, acupuncture is a tried and true therapeutic practice that has helped people deal with pain for centuries.


By inserting needles into various pressure points around the body, physical pain and stress can be relieved and even treated using acupuncture. For most, it’s funny to think that sticking needles into the pain areas and pressure points of the body would be the answer, but when it comes to people who suffer from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, it might just be that.


New studies have shown that that acupuncture in certain areas of the body releases adenosine, which is a natural pain killer that is usually released after an injury. This allows people who are suffering from constant fibromyalgia to gain some much-needed relief.


By releasing adenosine, pain signals can be blocked from ever reaching the brain thus helping sufferers deal with their pain problems. This brings up a lot of questions about how much acupuncture has to do with adenosine release and if this is the reason that so many benefit from it. Yet, whatever the reason, studies have shown acupuncture to be great at treating the condition and helping the people who suffer from it.


From the fatigue angle, the study also went on to show that adenosine released from acupuncture has a lot to do with the regulation of the sleep cycle. By being able to regulate sleep correctly, chronic fatigue syndrome may be able to be properly treated and even fixed.


Acupuncture paired with the correct medicine can help both constant pain and fatigue, as new studies have gone on to show. This is good news for sufferers of both ailments, and goes to show that this ancient art of health may still have some new tricks to share.

Recognizing the Signs of Fibromyalgia

By Larisa Goldin, MBA, LMP

An interview with Margaret Mulroney, RN


Fibromyalgia Syndrome, or FMS, is a condition that involves significant pain in the muscles and joints of the body. People suffering from fibromyalgia often seek out massage therapy as a means of temporary relief from pain.  Dreamclinic sat down for an interview with client Margaret Mulroney, a registered nurse and advocate for greater understanding and information about FMS.


Fibromyalgia Points

DC: You hear the term fibromyalgia a lot lately.  For those not familiar, what is this condition?


Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease, because the doctors don’t know the cause of it yet.  It is a disorder of the central nervous system where there is perceived pain without any obvious thing causing the pain: no visible signs or inflammation.  The pain involves the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the body.  The most common symptoms are fatigue and muscle pain all over the body.  Other conditions often go along with it, such as irritable bowel syndrome and numerous hormonal imbalances, adrenal gland or thyroid being the most common. Another common condition that goes along with fibromyalgia is an underlying sleep disorder. FMS is diagnosed by a rheumatologist who will check along 18 common tender points and will also rule out other conditions that mimic FMS, such as hepatitis or thyroid condition.

DC: One of the things you hear about Fibromyalgia is it often goes undiagnosed for years. Why is it so hard to diagnose?


The onset can be very slow.  It can take years for the symptoms to become so clear-cut that they can be properly diagnosed.  Sometimes fibromyalgia develops as a post-traumatic condition: if a person has a car accident and a lot of pain that never full goes away.  Then, because the symptoms can be vague, health professionals will attribute them to other causes: viruses, menopause in women or anxiety. Often, doctors downplay the condition: they can’t find an organic or physiological cause for the pain or fatigue and so they focus on the patient’s psychological outlook and they decide the causes of the illness are psychosomatic.  In my case, I had depression for many years, so the fibromyalgia symptoms were ignored.  I was treated as a person with depression rather than a person with a physical condition.

DC: In your case, what symptoms were you experiencing and how did you discover you had fibromyalgia?


I’ve had insomnia since high school and also 20 years of muscle pain.  My first job was in nursing, and after 10 years I had to quit because nursing is very physical and I had a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders.  Chiropractics helped partially, but I always felt something was wrong with my neck.  The pain was never fully gone.  Then, after 10 years of seeing a chiropractor, I developed low back pain.  I went to see a physical therapist and, instead of improving, I began to experience neuralgia (a pins and needles sensation in the hands and feet). An MRI ruled out multiple sclerosis so my next stop was to see a neurologist.  The neurologist said my symptoms were caused by anxiety.  Then I saw another chiropractor.  But, in all these years of seeing different health professionals, there was no answer to why I always had pain.

Four years ago, I started seeing a massage therapist for the low back pain and there were spots on my body so tender they could not be touched.  So the massage therapist told me about her mom who had been diagnosed with FMS and the symptoms were very similar to mine.  So I went to my primary doctor and said I think I have fibromyalgia and he sent me to a rheumatologist.  As it turns out, I had 17 out 18 tender points that are used to diagnose fibromyalgia.

DC: You have had a number of related conditions.  How are they linked to fibromyalgia?


All we know is that fibromyalgia is a disorder of the central nervous system but not the root cause.  Whatever is responsible for fibromyalgia could be causing other multiple disorders.  A lot of people with fibromyalgia have multiple autoimmune conditions. They have low thyroid, lupus or chronic fatigue syndrome.  Also, ninety percent of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women who are pre- or post-menopausal.  After many years of trying to deal with the pain and fatigue, isn’t it normal our bodies are going to show the signs of all this stress?

DC: Based on your personal journey with fibromyalgia, what would you recommend if someone suspects they have this condition?


Listen to what your body is telling you rather than what the doctor is telling you.  If I had paid better attention to what my body was telling me, I would have quit my nursing graveyard shift much earlier.  The fact that I didn’t really took a toll on my body. To be a better advocate for yourself start keeping a journal and get specific. When you talk to a doctor, try to keep your emotions out of the explanation so the doctor is less likely to write off your concerns as psychosomatic. Doctors don’t like self-diagnosis, but if you think you have Fibromyalgia, speak up and ask to see a rheumatologist.  Don’t let the system intimidate you.

There are some good resources I should also mention:

  1. A good website in Seattle is 
  2. There is also the Fibromyalgia Personal Support Center at through which you can locate a number of support groups
  3. The Arthritis Foundation at has some good information about Fibromyalgia
  4. Pacific Rheumatological associates are doing some interesting research with FMS.  Their website is