Our Blog

Acupuncture Office Location in Cedar Grove

September 28th, 2015

We are proud to announce the opening of our new location in the heart of Cedar Grove, NJ! The office is located at 388 Pompton Ave – at the intersection of Bradford Ave.  The office provides easy access to Montclair, Verona, Wayne and surrounding areas.  We can be reached by phone at 973-910-1441 or by email at contact@totalacupuncture.com. We will continue to provide high quality acupuncture treatment in this new space and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Coping With Stress The Acuway

March 27th, 2013

Stress is a major cause of systematic flare ups of chronic conditions and produces unwanted symptoms ranging from pain and insomnia to depression & anxiety and weight gain. Residents of the greater NYC area report about 10 percentage point higher levels of stress than the national average.[1] The treatment of stress is at the forefront of modern medicine, but until new and innovative treatment strategies are developed, very few, if any, effective treatments are currently available. Outside of pharmacological interventions, acupuncture is an effective treatment option for those coping with stress. Acupuncture works to alleviate stress by regulating the nervous system, promoting relaxation, and alleviating pain.

Let’s look at how stress affects pain, sleep, mood, and weight and find out how acupuncture can help.

Pain – as the burden of stress accumulates, we see an increase in cortisol. Current research points to acute pain relief by controlling stress, in particular stress-related cortisol.[2] There is a particular hormone that becomes elevated under stressful conditions – AdrenoCorticoTropin Hormone (ACTH). This hormone stimulates the secretion of cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol have a detrimental effect on the nervous system, causing neuronal death – this is why people have issues with their memory when they are under high levels of stress. Acupuncture helps to treat high levels of cortisol by regulating ACTH and thereby reducing plasma cortisol levels. [3] For those of you with chronic pain conditions, acupuncture is a validated treatment option.[4]

Insomnia – As we become more stressed, we become more fatigued, yet sleep is at a premium and hard to come by. The neurotransmitter Adenosine is the next player up to bat. We all know adenosine as a constituent of ATP – the energy supply of our cells. Adenosine also functions to relax the body and promote sleepiness. Acupuncture has been shown to increase extracellular adenosine and is also central to the mechanism of action of acupuncture.[5]

Depression & Anxiety – As the mounting burden of stress skyrockets, mental health is adversely affected. Under chronic stress depression and anxiety become rampant, and for those individuals whom are predisposed to depression and anxiety, the prospect of overcoming is insurmountable. There are two elements in play that lead to depression and anxiety, which are cortisol and neuropeptide Y (NPY).[6,7] NPY maintains homeostasis and is an integral part of the body’s fight or flight response and in elevated amounts plays a role in depression and mood disorders.[7] We have already spoken about acupuncture’s effect on cortisol. Acupuncture, specifically electroacupuncture is effective in preventing chronic stress-induced increase in NPY.[8] Another pathway through which electroacupuncture treats depression and anxiety is through regulation of a signal transduction pathway that includes adenosine.[9]

And finally onto everyone’s favorite topic….

Weight Gain – It is no secret to anyone that stress helps us add on the pounds. But why does this happen? Well stress increases NPY and it also increases a substance call somatostatin (SS). In terms of weight gain, NPY increases the growth of fat tissue. SS on the other hand has a dramatic effect on the digestive system. It reduces the activity of the digestive system by reducing the rate of gastric emptying, inhibits insulin, and inhibits glucagon. Insulin works to decrease blood glucose levels while glucagon works to increase blood glucose levels. Electroacupuncture has been shown to regulate NPY in the thalamus and SS in colonic tissue, thereby improving gastric function.[10]

As you can see, there are many facets to stress and its treatment options are limited. Acupuncture provides a safe and effective way to treat stress in all of its manifestations. Remember, there is the other way to treat stress or the Acuway!!!

P.S.A. on P.S.A

December 16th, 2011

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the prostate gland.  The PSA Test measures the level of PSA in the blood.  During routine testing it is common for men to have low levels of PSA in their blood.  High levels of PSA can indicate pathology of the prostate gland such as prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or prostate cancer.

The PSA Test has come under fire after the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its evidence update on prostate cancer screening.  The update concluded that healthy men (with no prior medical or family history of prostate cancer) should not undergo PSA screening because there was no significant effect on prostate cancer specific mortality – “Screening based on PSA identifies additional cases of prostate cancer, but most trials found no statistically significant effect on prostate cancer–specific mortality.”  The USPSTF also stated “Screening also is likely to result in overdiagnosis because of the detection of low-risk cancers that would not have caused morbidity or death during a man’s lifetime, and overtreatment of such cancers, which exposes men to unnecessary harms.”

You can watch a video of Dr. Oz’s view on the controversy here.  The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) came forth with some interesting statistics and published the prostate cancer screening guidelines of the American Urological Association, American Cancer Society, and the USPSTF.  The NEJM also published an article by Richard M. Hoffman, M.D., M.P.H., which has some very interesting points and even more interesting comments.

The take home message here is that the PSA Test, while sensitive to PSA levels, is not specific to malignant prostate cancer in healthy men – men with no family or prior medical history of prostate cancer. The idea is to make a sound, informed decision about your health and well being and not rush foolhardily into unnecessary/potentially harmful treatment.  As always, it is important to discuss your PSA Test results and treatment options with your medical doctor.

Jason Sargis, DAOM, LAc

Allopathic Alliteration: Acetaminophen And Asthma

November 20th, 2011

The link between  acetaminophen use and an increased risk of asthma has received a lot of media attention lately.  Dr. John McBride, MD recently published an article that documents the association of acetaminophen use and asthma prevalence and severity.  In the article Dr. McBride sites an article by Dimova et. al that gives a metabolic explanation to the associated risk of asthma.  Published in 2005 the article states that acetaminophen depletes, among other substances, pulmonary glutathione – an anitoxidant that prevents oxidative damage to lung tissue.  Effectively what these articles are stating is that acetaminophen may damage lung tissue leading to an increased risk of asthma.  In his article, Dr. McBride goes beyond a warning and now recommends that any child with asthma or a family history of asthma avoid using acetaminophen.

Acetaminophen, marketed in the US as Tylenol by McNeil, has been used since 1955 in the pediatric population.  Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of McNeil, maintains that Tylenol is safe if used according to dosing guidelines.   Dr. McBride however is calling for studies to prove that acetaminophen is safe; not to prove that it is harmful.

Although many of the recent articles about the risk of asthma focus on pediatric populations, past articles have documented an increased risk to adults.  In 2000 Shaheen et. al documented that adult populations are at a similar risk of asthma.  Acetaminophen is primarily used as a pain-relief alternative to NSAIDs – which have been linked to increased risk of gastric ulcers, heart attack and stroke.

Acupuncture is a safe and natural treatment that is not associated with an increased risk of asthma, gastric ulcers, heart attack or stroke.  Give us a call to discuss how acupuncture may alleviate your pain without harmful side-effects.

Jason Sargis, DAOM, LAc

New Office Location

December 27th, 2010

Hello from Hawthorne!!!  I have relocated the practice to 623 Lafayette Avenue, Hawthorne, NJ 07506.  My office phone number is 973.910.1441 and fax number is 877.642.1441.  You can also reach me via email at contact@totalacupuncture.com.  The office space is spectacular and lends to a positive healing environment.  Hope to see you soon!!!

Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU

December 27th, 2010

And so another chapter begins in my acupuncture journey.  This stop brings us to the Rusk Institute at NYU.  Here I will complete an acupuncture externship under the guidance of Dr. Alex Moroz, MD.  This is an exciting and valuable opportunity to work with patients at the premier rehabilitation medicine institute in the world.

OCOM DAOM Program

December 27th, 2010

Well the January 2011 module is rapidly closing in.  After this module the count-down on one hand begins!!!  Five more after this one!