Acupuncture for low back pain

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“Nearly 8 out of every 10 people will have low back pain at some point in life. Back pain is one of the top reasons people seek medical treatment. It is also the No. 1 reported reason for seeking acupuncture. The good news is chronic low back pain is one of the conditions that research suggests acupuncture may be an effective tool for treating.

One recent review of 22 acupuncture studies showed that it provided short-term relief from chronic back pain. It also showed there was greater improvement in pain for people who got acupuncture compared to those who received a “sham” treatment. Other studies have found, though, that sham acupuncture can be as effective as actual acupuncture. Those studies also found that, compared to standard treatment, both actual acupuncture and sham acupuncture are more effective.

Guidelines from the American Pain Society and American College of Physicians say doctors should consider acupuncture as an alternative therapy for patients with chronic low-back pain that’s not helped by conventional treatment.

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How Acupuncture Appears to Help Back Pain

Acupuncture began in China more than 2,500 years ago. It involves inserting thin needles at certain points on the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the body has more than 2,000 of these points. They are connected by pathways or meridians, which create a flow of energy called Qi (pronounced “chee”). Stimulating these points is said to correct the imbalance of qi and improve the flow of energy. Practitioners believe that this helps relieve pain and improve health.

It’s thought the effects come from stimulating the central nervous system. This may trigger the release of chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either alter the experience of pain or produce bodily changes that promote a sense of well-being.

Other theories suggest acupuncture works by:

  • Speeding the relay of electromagnetic signals. This may begin the flow of pain-killing chemicals such as endorphins. Or it may release immune system cells in the body.
  • Triggering the release of natural opioids. These are chemicals in the brain that may lessen pain or promote sleep.
  • Changing brain chemistry by altering the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones. Neurotransmitters either stimulate or dampen nerve impulses. Neurohormones can affect the function or activity of an organ in the body.

Be Stress-free for the School Year

Acupuncture Relieves Stress: New Understanding Of Why The Ancient Practice Eases Anxiety

Good news, acupuncture fans: It really does help relieve stress. And now, a new study is giving a closer look at why.
The new study explores the biological mechanisms involved in acupuncture’s stress-relieving abilities, something science has yet to fully understand.
The researchers discovered that stress hormones were lower in rats that had received electronic acupuncture. Results were published in the Journal of Endocrinology.
The body secretes an assortment of hormones into the bloodstream as a reaction to stress, which the researchers were then able to measure in the rats. They assessed blood hormone levels secreted by the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenal gland — together these are known as the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. They also measured a peptide involved in creatures’ “fight or flight” responses, called NPY.
Researchers discovered that the “…electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormones and the sympathetic NPY pathway,” Eshkevari said in the statement.
Since stress has been linked with detrimental health effects including heart disease and even brain shrinkage it’s important to study any measures to combat its detrimental nature.
Adapted from Huffington Post


Dr. Gabrielle Steinberg is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), ( acupuncture and herbal medicine), Craniosacral therapist and Shiatsu therapist. Many years of study have also included completing courses in Nutrition, various forms of massage. She has over 15 years’ experience working in the field of wellness.
Dr. Steinberg works with people of all ages with the goal to enhance their performance in daily life- whether it be in competitive or day to day activities. Her scope includes working with stress relief and other emotional issues, injury recovery, chronic pain issues, infertility, digestive issues, allergy treatments, men’s health and more.
Her work starts with the understanding that each individual has an innate capacity to heal. She feels that her role is to support people on their journeys to wellness and to find ways to educate and empower clients to find ways to maintain their health in their daily lives. Often integrating the various modalities that she has in her repertoire, the sessions are tailored to meet each individual’s needs. This may include Chinese medicine, acupuncture, Craniosacral therapy, massage, and nutritional counseling.

Dr. Gabrielle Steinberg, Dr. TCM, R.Ac, RHN

Products for sale at Harmony

Ancient Minerals Magnesium oil

Magnesium helps eliminate muscle cramps and tension, restless legs, chronic pain and headaches, improve sleep and overall has a calming effect on the nervous system.

A concentrated transdermal magnesium mineral supplement, this highly absorbable magnesium oil contains only raw, ultra pure magnesium chloride and other trace minerals drawn from the Ancient Zechstein Seabed in Northern Europe.

Many people have varying levels of magnesium deficiency.   This product is designed to deliver magnesium through the skin for optimum absorption. It acts to improve the function of our cells and immune system, and helps protect cells from oxidative damage. It’s a systemic medicine as well as a local one bringing new life and energy to the cells wherever it is applied topically.



Helps to treat pain associated with muscle, joint, and neurological conditions. It has Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Arthritic, Anti-Bruising and Anti-Spasmodic properties as well as having a stimulation effect on the vascular and lymphatic systems. It may be used pre and post rehabilitation exercises in office and at home.

Zheng Gu Shui

This liquid formula was created by a Chinese master herbalist over 500 years ago. It is still used today to treat all kind of injuries.   Zheng Gu Shui helps stop pain and quickly starts the healing process. It can also help speed the healing of broken bones and fractures.+

Harmony Presents: A World Healing Concert

Harmony Wellness is proud to present an evening of sublime music by world class musicians SHINE, ANDREW KIM, CURTIS ANDREWS and GREG VALOU, playing a variety of international instruments including the Didjeridu, Sitar, Hang, Sansula, Percussion, and Bass weaved into healing harmonies.

This concert will be held at ‘The Kutir’, a beautiful garden backyard setting with an elegantly adorned stage surrounded by trees and flowers with a big grassy dance floor space.

Harmony Wellness is a multidiciplinary clinic in False Creek that offers Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Registered Massage Therapy, Clinical Counseling, Nutrition, Intuitive Healing and more.
We at Harmony Wellness are so pleased to welcome you to this evening of music, dance and healing vibration with our shared community and celebrate wellness, connection and fun!

There will be light refreshments and snacks provided. Please bring your own water bottle/ mug as well as something comfortable to sit on.

The cost is $20 (cash only)
We encourage you to buy tickets ahead of time as we expect it to sell out. Tickets can be purchased at Harmony Wellness Centre- 678 Leg In Boot Square (604.737.7721) and at the door.

Doors open @ 5:30pm, please come on time as we will need to be rapping up by 11pm, to respect the neighborhood we live in.

Join us for an amazing evening of World music with sounds that inspire, heal and enliven.

We are looking forward to sharing this evening with you and hope that you leave feeling inspired and renewed.

12 Health Tips

Here are our Health Tips for YOU! Throughout the year.


1- peppermint

Soothe with Mint –Tame tension headaches by rubbing peppermint oil, Tiger Balm, or white flower oil into your temples. All three remedies contain menthol, which has analgesic properties.

2- ginger

Sip Ginger — The volatile oils in ginger have long made it a useful herbal remedy for nasal and chest congestion. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over a 1-inch piece of peeled, grated ginger; steep for 10 minutes; and strain. Add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper to the water and drink as needed.

3- rosemary1

Sniff Rosemary –According to some research, catching a whiff of this aromatic herb may increase alertness and improve memory. To stay sharp, try smelling fresh rosemary or inhaling the scent of rosemary essential oil before a test or meeting.


Embrace Bitters — Combat a yen for sugar by following a Chinese medicine approach: Eat foods such as endive, radicchio, cooked greens, and olives.


Pop a Probiotic — To keep yeast infections at bay, head for the vitamin aisle. Supplementing with “good” bacteria (for example, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium) may help restore the balance the of bacteria living in the female genital tract and inhibit the growth of yeast in women with recurrent infections. Foods such as naturally fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir, as well as yogurt with active cultures, also contain these bacteria.


Keep Capsaicin Cream on Hand –For sore muscles and joints, apply a cream or ointment that contains capsaicin, the active ingredient in chile peppers, two or three times a day. The heat from the peppers has been shown to help relieve pain.


Take Tulsi — Research suggests that this Ayurvedic herb, also called holy basil, may help manage levels of the stress hormone cortisol, helping to boost your mood. Look for teas and supplements in health-food stores and follow package directions.


Eat Avocados — For dry skin, incorporate more avocados into your diet. They’re rich in monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, both of which promote healthy skin. Try them on salads and sandwiches, and even in smoothies.


Try Acupressure or Acupuncture for a queasy tummy — Calm a queasy stomach with this quick acupressure trick: Use your index and middle fingers to press down on the groove between the tendons that run from the base of your palm to your wrist. Wristbands that apply pressure to this spot are available at drugstores and online.


Use Licorice — Treat canker sores, painful spots on the inside of the mouth, with deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), which appears to soothe mucous membranes. Buy in powder form and mix with a little water to make a paste; apply it to the sore as needed. DGL is also great for heart burn and acid stomach.


Drink Mint Tea — Ease occasional indigestion by sipping a cup of peppermint tea after your meal. Peppermint improves the flow of bile, which moves food through the digestive tract more quickly. Use peppermint with caution if you have acid reflux; it can make that problem worse.


Chew Some Fennel Seeds — Fennel seeds are considered a carminative, a substance that helps relieve gas. Chew and then swallow about half a teaspoon of the seeds after meals.