I am honored to be included as part of VoyageDenver’s recent piece on Denver’s Most Inspiring Stories. I hope this helps to give people an idea of who I am, where I’ve been, and why I love what I do so much!http://voyagedenver.com/interview/meet-erik-johnson-root-acupuncture-south-central-denver
It’s that time of the year again where many of us are coming down with a common cold or the flu. One moment we are feeling great and the next day we have chills, fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle aches, mucus congestion in the nasal passages and/or chest, sore throat, etc. Short of taking western pharmaceutical medicine to mask some of the symptoms temporarily, most people do nothing more than adding extra fluids and rest until it “runs its course.” In contrast, Chinese medicine takes a much more active role to eliminate the external pathogen in your body, address your underlying deficiency that lead to catching the sickness, and drastically shorten the time it takes for recovery.
Briefly, we will cover these commonly asked questions:
- What makes Chinese medicine different from western medicine when it comes to treating viral and bacterial infections?
- How can acupuncture and Chinese medicine help prevent me from getting colds and the flu?
- I’m already sick. How can acupuncture and Chinese medicine help me right now?
A Different Approach with Chinese Medicine
For thousands of years Chinese medicine has provided safe and effective methods for treating a wide range of diseases in the human body. It can be argued that Chinese medicine’s greatest strength, however, is in its herbal products used to specifically address common viruses and bacterial infections. Most western physician offices these days are overcrowded, expensive, and can provide inadequate treatment options that usually end with antibiotic prescriptions – even in cases of viral infections where these solutions are ineffective. This overuse of antibiotics has created a new breed of “superbugs” that has given rise to bacterial resistance like we haven’t seen before. Chinese medicine on the other hand is safer than drugs, doesn’t have harsh side effects, and can treat the infection while also strengthening the underlying constitution of the patient. In severe cases where antibiotics are needed and/or used, Chinese medicine can also be a great compliment to western medicine in helping to bring a balanced approach to health.
In Chinese medicine, the etiology of the infection is understood within the context of the individual patient’s constitution. Simply put – this medicine strives to understand the complexity of each individual patient, instead treating only their disease. This individualized approach in Chinese medicine offers a wide variety of complex herbal formulas that naturally provide (among many other things) immuno-stimulant, antiviral, antibacterial, and/or antibiotic effects for your specific need.
“Superior Medicine Prevents Disease, and Inferior Medicine Treats Disease” ~ Sun Si-Miao
The quote above addresses one of the fundamental concepts in Chinese medicine that recognizes how most viral and bacterial infections adversely affect individuals with auto-immune disorders and/or weakened immune systems. Prevention is key in Chinese medicine and it is very complimentary to the same functional medicine approach taken at The Root Acupuncture – it strives to find the underlying cause of any disease and works to create a treatment plan that caters to the individual’s own constitution. Many treatment options with acupuncture and Chinese medicine are adaptogenic. This means that it helps your body to create a natural balance or homeostasis, which aids in boosting your immune system to help combat any future pathogens that may try to invade your body.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine refer to your immune system as your “Wei Qi.” This protective barrier exists to prevent the body from being easily affected by external pathogens (colds, flus, and other infectious or microbial diseases). The strength of your Wei Qi is dictated by the overall health of your respiratory and digestive system (or your Lung and Spleen meridians, respectively), which is why we put such emphasis on repairing the gastrointestinal system at The Root Acupuncture clinic. Special consideration is always made for patients with auto-immune disorders like Celiac disease, immune compromised individuals, and patients with food sensitivities due to a leaky gut.
The following are only a few examples of the different Chinese medicine modalities used in our clinic to help strengthen your Wei Qi and restore your body to health:
- Acupuncture – through the use of acupuncture needles, we create a healing reaction that is stimulated by the production of immunological mediators and neurotransmitters.
- Moxibustion – a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves burning of mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) to facilitate healing of the gastrointestinal lining, balance the intestinal flora, and stimulate the body’s immune system.
- Gua Sha – a technique of “scratching or scraping” the skin with a smooth-edged instrument in order to elicit transitory therapeutic petechiae (a redness of the skin). This causes a breakdown of hemoglobin that up-regulates HO-1, CO, biliverdin, and bilirubin, which exhibit anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Cupping – made popular in the recent Rio Olympic games, cupping uses a partial vacuum that is created by fire in a glass jar, which is then applied to the skin. It helps loosen muscles and fascia, encourage blood flow, and is very effective in helping to clear congestion from a common cold or help with asthma.
- Chinese Herbs – there are literally hundreds of formula combinations in Chinese medicine that deal with just viral and bacterial infections. We carry a wide range of formulas that help your body with dealing a cold or flu at any stage of its development.
At The Root Acupuncture, we use a combination of both Eastern Medicine and Functional Medicine to approach personalized patient health care from all available modalities – creating profound balance, harmony, and well-being in our patients. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine add another amazing approach to helping us to overcome certain ailments like a common cold or the flu. Book an appointment today to help prevent potential viruses or the flu, or to see how this medicine can drastically reduce any symptoms that you are currently experiencing.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We recommend that you consult with a Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner before using any products or if you have any questions regarding your health.
Cheng, Xinnong, and Liangyue Deng. Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Beijing: Foreign Language, 1999. Print.
Maciocia, Giovanni. The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 2005. Print.
Xia ZW, Zhong WW, Meyrowitz JS, Zhang ZL. The role of heme oxygenase-1 in T cell-mediated immunity: the all encompassing enzyme. Curr Pharm Des. 2008. Print.
Erik has moved to a new location!
Conveniently located off of I-25 by S Colorado Blvd
I am so excited for you to come see the new office! The Healing Center was an amazing place to practice for the past three years, but this new space offers me the autonomy and independence I need to continue to grow my business.
- NEW ONLINE BOOKING SYSTEM -you can now schedule, cancel, and reschedule appointments at your convenience
- SAME SERVICES AND PRICING – Acupuncture, B12 Injections, Cupping, Chinese Herbs, Injection Therapy, Moxibustion, etc…
- EASY ACCESS FROM I-25 – centrally located in Denver with accessibility from either the Evans Ave or S Colorado Blvd exit
Click below to book your next appointment or call us at 303-500-5075!
Please be aware that we will be have a pricing update for our acupuncture services. We always tries to keep the cost of our goods and services at a low price for our patients, but we are making changes due to increasing business expenses.
The following changes took effect on July 16, 2018:
- Acupuncture/Herbal Follow-Up Treatment……………… $90 (was $80)
- NEW Patient Intake Consultation and Treatment……….$120 (was $100)
- Fire Cupping Session Only………………………………………$40 (was $25)
- New Patient – Consultation Only……………………………..Free (no change)
- Herbal Consultation Only……………………………………….$40 (no change)
- Auricular (Ear) Session Only……………………………………$25 (no change)
- Injection Therapy………………………………………………….Various (no change)
We want to thank you for your business and for trusting us as part of your wellness team. We appreciate work with all of you! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our team members.
As a reminder, we do offer a free 30 minute acupuncture consultation if you or a loved one is interested in learning more about this amazing medicine. The highest compliment our patients can give us is the referral of their family and friends.
Are you in Doubt about Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that this characterized by sudden reoccurring attacks of severe pain, redness, tenderness, heat/warmth, and swelling in the joints of the body. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint is the most commonly affected area of the body, but it can also affect other major joints of the body (ex: hand, wrist, elbow, knee, ankle, etc…). Gout is commonly caused by an increased intake in foods that are rich in purines and/or a dysfunction of the kidney’s ability to properly excrete uric acid from the body. This elevation of uric acid in the blood causes deposits of crystals in the joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues.
While there can be various explanations for the diagnosis and differentiation of gout, Traditional Chinese Medicine typically starts treatment by focusing on a patient’s diet and the digestive system. Western medicine recognizes the importance of diet for gout, but it often resorts to NSAIDS for pain and management of swelling, while other drugs like colchicine are used to treat the gout itself. Unfortunately, the continued use of these drugs often leads to more gastrointestinal issues in the patient – making the matter potentially worse in the long-run. Occasionally, drugs are needed but we recommend using them only as PART of a comprehensive plan to heal the whole body.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are great modalities to help treat gout and reduce uric acid in the blood. We have a lot of experiencing treating gout and has herbal formulas on hand that focus on relieving pain, reducing swelling and burning, and decreasing the absorption (while also increasing the elimination) of uric acid and other unwanted substances in the body.
When not under care at The Root Acupuncture, care should be taken to eliminate or reduce any purine-rich foods from the diet (heavy meats, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, and seafood). The patient should also reduce his/her intake of alcohol in their diet. In the instance of an acute gout attack, distilled water (not tap water) can be consumed to help flush out the uric acid for the short-term, as well as adding Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and concentrated strawberry, cherry, and blueberry juice.
To learn more about how acupuncture can help you, book a free 30 minute consultation by contacting us today at 303-500-5075 or clicking on the following link to book online: Book Appointment
Erik Johnson, L.Ac. MSTCM, BD, DNM
- Maciocia, G. (1989). The foundations of Chinese medicine: A comprehensive text for acupuncturists and herbalists. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
- Weaver, AL (July 2008). “Epidemiology of gout”. Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine
- “The Disease of Kings – Forbes.com” http://www.forbes.com/2003/04/01/cx_cd_0401feat.html