Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Athletes and Alternative Medicine

As an athlete, you need to be in a state of continual improvement, continual practice, and continual innovation. To stay fit and functional, it’s crucial to address health issues, not just as they arise, but also preventatively. It’s no secret that many top athletes employ alternative medicine to keep them at the top of their game. But which of those practices are helpful for the rest of us?

Acupuncture/Dry Needling: Acupuncture and the related field of dry needling both use intramuscular stimulation via small, fine needles in order to relieve pain/inflammation and encourage healing. The benefits of acupuncture and dry needling are well established, with few risks when practiced by professionals.

Kinesio Taping: Kinesio taping and related methods are rehabilitative tape placements designed to provide support and stability without movement restriction as well as reduce swelling. Although Kinesio taping is noninvasive, when applied improperly it can cause tissue damage, so it’s crucial that a certified or experienced practitioner performs this treatment.

Chiropractic/Osteopathic Treatment: Both chiropractic and osteopathic treatments involve muscle, bone, and tissue manipulation to improve function and flexibility. Both practices have a long history of success with minimal risk.

Lomilomi: Lomilomi is a Hawaiian practice of massage without the use of any tools or devices, emphasizing the benefits of skin to skin contact, often in concert with other holistic modalities.

PRP Treatment: Also known as platelet-rich plasma therapy, PRP involves injecting a concentrated version of the patient’s own blood into injured tissue to stimulate recovery. Because PRP has no outside substances, it is ideal for athletes who compete in sports where certain substances have been banned.

Prolotherapy: Prolotherapy is another injected treatment, using a non-nutrient, non-steroid dextrose and anesthetic combination to fortify ligaments, tendons, or joint capsules. While the anesthetic component is non-narcotic, it may not be approved for use in all sports, so consult your doctor prior to treatment.

If you’re looking to improve as an athlete or come back vigorously from an injury, you should certainly consider adding one or more of these alternative treatments to your medical regimen. To speak to one of our experienced staff about which options would be best for your situation, request an appointment now!


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Thinking Outside the Box to Treat Fibromyalgia

Due to the variety of issues associated with Fibromyalgia, it can be bewildering to try and manage all of your symptoms through one treatment modality. After being diagnosed by a qualified physician and starting a medication regimen, there are other options to consider that could improve your level of daily functioning. These options are known as ‘Complementary’ or ‘Alternative Medicines’, and are known collectively as CAM.

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  • Massage: Therapeutic massage can improve many fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. Manual lymph drainage therapy is particularly helpful for patients who suffer from blocked or damaged lymph vessels.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture provides a pain reducing effect for many, and can also improve energy and quality of sleep. For those who suffer from numbness or tingling, acupuncture can be helpful in restoring more normal sensation in the extremities.
  • Reiki: Reiki is based on Eastern medicinal practices involving the body’s natural healing energies, and the conscious direction of those energies, for fibromyalgia-related pain and mental alertness.
  • Balneotherapy: Also known as ‘Bath Therapy for Health Purposes’ balneotherapy is growing in popularity due to its positive results for fibromyalgia symptoms, particularly pain, tension, stiffness, and sleep issues. It can also be utilized in conjunction with other CAM treatments for enhanced benefits.
  • Tai Chi/Qi Gong: Tai Chi and the related Qi Gong both involve simple body movements, done deliberately and slowly. Most experts recommend a gentle exercise routine to help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms not only to improve function but to aid in establishing a healthy sleep cycle.
  • Biofeedback: Biofeedback allows patients to have more conscious control over normal automatic and unconscious body processes, such as blood pressure, temperature, sweat, and tension. By harnessing this technique, fibromyalgia patients are often able to reduce symptoms on-the-spot, as needed, without medication or outside intervention.

 

Ultimately, you shouldn’t test out any CAM practice without consulting your healthcare provider. He or she may have suggestions based on your other health concerns. For example, if you have high blood pressure, balneotherapy could be counterproductive. With a combination of treatments, both traditional and complementary, many fibromyalgia patients have active, fulfilling lives. Contact us or request an appointment today.


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Is Dry Needling for Me?

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If you’re going through physical therapy, at some point you may be asked if you want to try “dry needling.” You may be wondering what this is, if it will hurt, and whether it will do any good. Today, we’ll explain the in’s and out’s of this practice so you can decide if it is right for your treatment plan.

 

  • Needles, Really? Dry needling is also known as intramuscular stimulation, and is related to acupuncture only in that it uses a small needle. Dry needling is based in western medical theory and practice. The needles used are filament needles, which are very small. Some patients do not feel the needles being applied at all, and it is rare to have significant discomfort.35059030_l
  • What Conditions can Dry Needling Help? Dry needling is not an independent treatment and, therefore, should always be used in conjunction with other modalities. Many patients with the following issues have found significant relief from dry needling: neck, back, or shoulder pain, joint conditions such as golfer’s elbow, headaches, hip and gluteal pain, knee pain, sciatica, muscular strains, ligament sprains, and other types of chronic pain. It is also helpful in relieving the discomfort associated with physical therapy treatments.
  • Is it Dangerous? No, provided a trained professional administers the dry needling it is not dangerous and has very few side effects. The most commonly reported side effect is some soreness, which lasts for a few hours up to two days.
  • How Will it Help Me? When you are injured, your body produces inflammation, and the area goes into a tension state to protect itself from further damage. This contracture inhibits circulation that is necessary for healing to occur. When the needle is applied to the damaged area, it begins to break the contracture and pain cycle. The body also sees the needle as a foreign invader and will activate the immune system, aiding healing.

 

Ultimately, the decision of whether to try dry needling is completely up to you. Some patients simply cannot abide the idea of needles. However, many patients, dubious at first, find that dry needling was extremely helpful in their healing and rehabilitation process. To find out if dry needling might be a good option for you, request an appointment with us today.


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Four Ways To Treat Your Body With Love This Valentine’s Day

It’s a common myth that in order to treat yourself, it has to be with something that isn’t healthy.  By reversing this old wives’ tale, you can take control of your own physical and emotional health this Valentine’s Day. Here are our favorite ways to show yourself some love without compromising your health.

 

  • Don’t Skip The Candy Aisle Entirely. By 18207180_lmaking a few small changes in the sweet indulgences you long for, you can not only reduce the negative health consequences, but also actually give your immune system and metabolism a boost! Trade the milk chocolate in for dark chocolate or drop the candy hearts and replace them with chocolate covered strawberries. Check out this list of other quick and easy, sweet yet safe choices from Health.com.
  • Look Your Best In New Workout Gear. We all know the benefits of regular physical activity to our bodies, but there can also be a mental aspect. When you have great looking workout clothes that you love to put on, not only will you enjoy the workout more, you’ll feel better about yourself, even before you start to sweat. Maybe this is the right time to sign up for a subscription box like Fabletics, for fashionable activewear?
  • Start From The Bottom Up. Look down. All the way down. How long have you had those sneakers? Most of us hang on to our active footwear way too long. Check out these tips to see if it’s time to upgrade your kicks!
  • Take It Outside. It’s easy to get into a rut in the winter when you’re stuck indoors for weeks on end and the sun seems to be a myth. But getting outdoors, yes, especially in the winter, can have some surprising health benefits. From getting that crucial Vitamin D to building tolerance for colder temperatures, working out in the cold can be a terrific gift to give yourself!

 

It’s not hard to see that you can treat yourself with a little more love this Valentine’s Day, without feeling guilty afterward! Ready to make some other healthy changes in 2016? Request an appointment now.


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The Role of Holistic Pain Injections in Chronic Pain Management

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In dealing with chronic pain, most suggested treatments are prescription drugs that are meant to manage symptoms rather than deal with the source of the pain.  Many holistic therapies, on the other hand, have been shown in some cases to actually heal the origin of pain.  Holistic pain injections can are given in a series of treatments and uses natural bases to correct the root cause of certain chronic pains.

 

21426446_lBiopuncture, for example, is a viable option for attacking pain and inflammation.  Biopuncture is a form of therapy in which parts of the body are injected with biological products, mostly derived from plants.  This holistic treatment is injected into the skin or muscles and has been shown to help with a plethora of symptoms including muscle pain, digestive problems, inflammation, and muscular cramps. Biopuncture has also shown to increase the body’s natural defense system.

 

Biopuncture vitalizes the body’s natural healing processes by stimulating the immune system and has been shown to improve local blood circulation, tissue repair, relaxation of muscles and local detoxification.  Although this form of therapy is not the fastest acting when attacking pain, Biopuncture is a viable long-term option to improve the body’s ability to fight chronic pain.

 

Another up and coming holistic treatment that may be useful to those suffering from chronic pain is the use of perineural injections.  Unlike other injections that focus on muscular pain, perineural injections target neuropathic inflammation produced by small sensory nerves that produce protein.  These proteins can cause pain and the breakdown of soft tissue structures.  The irritation of these skin nerves is easily caused by muscle contraction, bad posture, or trauma to the muscle.

 

There has not yet been any development of a safe oral medication to treat neuropathic inflammation, but the use of perineural injections has been shown to help treat these damaged nerves.  In perineural injections, very low concentrations of dextrose are injected into the affected nerves.  Studies have shown that several treatments can lead to a progressive benefit as well as healing of deeper structures.

 

When Western medicine and prescription drugs fail to properly treat chronic pain, holistic treatments, such as those described above, can be extremely useful in targeting the source of the pain instead of just mediating the pain temporarily.

 

To learn more about holistic pain injections and how they can help you in managing your chronic pain, request an appointment with a specialist at Advanced Wellness NJ today.


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Three Ways to Fight The Winter Blues

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Many of us have heard of “seasonal depression” that can occur in the darker, colder winter months. While only a small portion of the population meet diagnostic criteria for clinical Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), many experience its symptoms, such as depressed mood, lack of motivation, or desire to sleep excessively. The winter blues affect us all in different ways, but there are some precautions we can take to fight them off. Check out these three tips for keeping the winter blues away. Untitled design (14)

 

  1. Stay Active. Keeping a regular physical fitness regimen in the winter is a great way to keep your energy levels and mood regulated. Instead of taking an afternoon nap, power through and hit the gym on your way home from work. Take a class at your local fitness or recreation center. If you don’t have a gym membership, buy a few different fitness DVDs and get into a routine that works for you. Exercise has been shown to raise levels of feel-good brain chemicals known as endorphins.
  2. Treat Yourself. Sometimes getting out of bed and showing up for your daily obligations can be a challenge, especially during the winter. Give yourself a reward–and something to look forward to–at least once a week. This can be a trip to the spa, a one-hour massage, or any other restorative, enjoyable activity you can think of.
  3. Learn a New Skill. Get your mind and body engaged in learning something new to fill your time in positive, productive ways. The sense of accomplishment we get from mastering something we previously had no ability to do is a great way to bolster self-esteem, too. Even better, make the skill something that will benefit your health. Why not try Tai Chi? This practice is a slow and graceful form of martial arts that has been shown to alleviate stress and promote overall health and well-being. Tai Chi is offered at many community and fitness centers, including at Advanced Physical Therapy of Freehold.

 

 

These strategies are preventive measures against the winter blues. If you find yourself already falling into a winter-induced funk, request an appointment with the experts at Advanced Health and Wellness Center of NJ to learn how we can help.


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#OptOutside and Two Other Holiday Health Trends to Check out this Holiday Season

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One thing we’re grateful for this holiday season? That health and wellness continues to climb the list of priorities for some many in our community and country at large. Increasingly, it seems like many of us have decided to do away with accepting “good enough” and really pursuing better health. It’s a sentiment that’s evident in some of the big trending stories and concepts that have been making headlines of late; for instance:

 

#OptOutside & REI’s Revolutionary Approach to Black Friday 5802400_l

Outdoor performance gear retailer REI caused a stir this year by announcing its stores would be closed for Black Friday. Instead, the company is urging customers to #OptOutside, and spend some time enjoying the great outdoors. Black Friday craziness can have a festive feel for some of us, but it’s also often an incredibly stressful event–whereas spending time outside offers all kinds of health benefits. Improved sleep, lower blood pressure, better mood, and reduced ADHD symptoms in children are among the many benefits of outdoors time cited by NY’s Department of Environmental Conservation. Check out where to score some fresh air in NJ here.

 

Genetic Testing

With the recent FDA approval of direct to consumer genetic testing, more and more people are opting to send in their samples. In return, they’re getting all kinds of fascinating data on their ancestry, health, and physiology. This kind of testing, whether through your healthcare provider or via a direct to consumer kit, can be a great tool in improving your fitness and overall health. If you’ve had a test done independently, consider contacting a wellness specialist for additional insight into your results, and assistance incorporating your findings into an action plan.

 

Better Food Choices

As Forbes notes in their recent report from food and beverage consultants The Hartman Group, consumers are “redefining” food culture. “As shoppers, progressives are no longer thinking about condition management (lowering cholesterol or blood pressure) or dieting (low fat, low carb) but are focused on real quality food, positive nutrition, fresh, less processed foods and beverages and fun,” the report notes. This means less focus on bland, traditional “diet” food and more focus on offerings that are fresher and have solid nutritional value. It’s all about quality versus quantity–and that’s good news for your body and your palate!

 

Ready to hop on the trends, and improve your health? Request an appointment with our specialists today for customized care to help your feel your best.


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Alternative, Holistic, Integrative, and Complementary Medicine: What’s the Difference?

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Alternative, holistic, integrative, and complementary medicine are all terms that are often used interchangeably when discussing a certain approach to health care. Although they do share a common thread, understanding the subtle differences between these terms helps demonstrate the goals and philosophies behind each. Here’s the rundown:

Alternative Medicine: Alternative medicine describes practices not taught in or offered at standard western medical institutions, such as medical schools and hospitals. Many alternative medicine methods are based in eastern medicine or traditions of indigenous people. Some of these methods or practices include herbal medicine, acupuncture, and therapeutic massage.

Complementary Medicine: Complementary medicine is alternative methods used alongside conventional or Western medicine. For example, a patient may be taking a conventional Western medication for arthritis and also use acupuncture to manage their pain or other symptoms.

Holistic or Integrative Medicine: Integrative medicine describes an approach that seeks to treat a person as a whole– think, “treat the patient, not the disease.” As with complimentary medicine, it’s not so much an alternative to traditional western medicine as a way patients can improve their quality of life and even potentially improve the outcomes of their more traditional treatments through things like nutrition, exercises and therapies designed to reduce stress, etc.

Interested in learning more about these approaches to medicine? The Advanced Health and Wellness Center will be hosting a series of free lectures on topics in integrative medicine. The next lecture will be Wednesday, September 30th. You can register here, and join the conversation in the comments!


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Do Good, Feel Good, Look Good: Four Ways to Get Fit While Giving Back

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The truth is, taking care of your body can feel selfish. Between obligations to your career, family, and friends, taking time to focus on physical fitness is rough. But what if your workout wasn’t just about you? Try these tricks to get some exercise in while giving back to worthy charities!

Charity Miles App

This app partners with corporate donors to give money to charity for every mile you run, walk, or bike. How cool is that? Just start it up, select the charity you’d like to donate to (you can change charities whenever you’d like), and get going.

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Dog Walker

If you love dogs, consider contacting your local animal shelters and rescues to see if they are in need of dog walkers. Many shelters need volunteers specifically to come in and walk dogs. Some even have dog-running programs, where volunteers can sign up to take larger pups out for weekly runs. It’s a great way to get steps in while getting all those blood-pressure lowering, cuddly benefits of hanging out with animals–especially awesome if you don’t have time or space to adopt a pet of your own.

Do A Charity Run (Or Walk!)

Charity Runs are a super popular way to raise awareness and funds for charities. Many of them are not just for serious athletes–people at any fitness level can participate, in any way they feel comfortable. You can find local runs using sites like this. Try signing up with a friend, or invite a family member to join!

Spiff Up a Local Trail

Cleaning trails is a great way to get fit and get some quality time outdoors. Of course, you can just go it alone, but for more structure we suggest joining a group like Clean Trails, which organizes volunteers for more consistent, community-based trail cleaning efforts. Clean Trails even gives you tools to start your own trail cleaning group if there isn’t one in your area.

Inspired by all the ways you can help your community or favorite cause, but not sure if you’re up to the task? To give back, it’s important to be healthy and feel energized your self. If you feel fatigued, try visiting our wellness center to learn how you can get you vigor back. Request an appointment with our experts today!


Good health requires balance. Physical fitness, nutrition, sleep, pain management, and stress relief all contribute to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. At the Advanced Health and Wellness Center of New Jersey, we help patients struggling with weight loss, fatigue, fibromyalgia, and other conditions using holistic techniques. Request an appointment and get started on a path towards comprehensive wellness.