person holding silver and white pen
While Western medicine asks what, Eastern medicine gets to the root of why. Photo by Katherine Hanlon

Acupuncture benefits and how-tos

This article is an interview with Artin Mahboubi, DiplAc, who is a is a board certified acupuncturist with a research background in immunology. You can read more about Summit Healing Arts and Artin’s background, here.

Dr. Artin in his office in Dupont Circle.

I started going to acupuncture right before the pandemic. I was always really cuirous about acupuncture, and what Eastern medicine could do beyond the limits of traditional Western medicine. I was and still am terrified of needles, but the trust Artin cultivates in his sessions, which are just as much about the inner soul as the body, has cultivated a willingness I didn’t think I had, as you can see by this photo of a needle in my neck, below (to treat blood stagnation causing neck and shoulder pain).

The area of the neck that can tighten up is called the scalenes, and trigger point therapy can stimulate the blood flow and relax the muscles.

While I appreciate both forms of medicine, of course, I find that Chinese Medicine focuses on the why of your problems, whereas Western medicine focuses on the what.

Artin also has a lot of knowledge about treatment of immune-related diseases, and he has invested a lot of his research in the study of COVID. Given that the demand for COVID vaccines has increased by 22 percent amid the latest variant, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to pick Artin’s brain about some common questions regarding COVID and the vaccine, and how we can maintain our general health during this trying time. *

Interview with Artin Mahboubi: What you need to know about staying healthy, now

DAOFITLIFE: Artin, thank you for being here! Your blog post, Essential Supplements in the COVID-19 era, has great
insights on how we can protect and take care of ourselves. Now that we have all these different strains and variants and more emerging, what from that article should our readers really latch onto?

ARTIN MAHBOUBI: Thanks Lili, I would be happy to answer any questions that I can regarding COVID and vaccinations. First and foremost, regarding the blog, although I published it in June 2020, the data and patterns that emerged regarding the
disease after that shows that every supplement mentioned is being promoted by researchers as a way to manage this disease better. For example, even though its a small percentage of the population that may have clotting issues with the disease or the vaccine, Omega-3 essential fatty acids can be a lifesaver and I definitely recommend taking that regularly. Also 15 mgs of Zinc per day is a great idea and helps numerous enzymes in the body do its job, including many enzymes that need zinc as a co-factor for an optimal immune system. Those unfortunate enough to have symptoms from this virus or somevariant of it, should also take a bio available (bio-absorbable) form ofcurcumin. Vitamin C is another important small molecule that really helps if the immune system is fighting the virus.

DAOFITLIFE: About now, more and more folks are getting vaccines, including second shots and boosters. Is there any value to the “hype” we see on boosting our immune systems or trying to accelerate recovery from any side effects? Like I know for me, I experienced a lot of aches and stiffness, plus immense fatigue the two days after.

ARTIN MAHBOUBI: Regarding what to do in the event one has aches and pains AFTER receiving the booster vaccine: Rest and fluids is the best and only way. You dont want to inhibit the reaction to the virus in any way so just rest and let it pass. If symptoms get serious such as dizziness several hours later, pain in the leg or arms that is new and came on suddenly, shortness of breath, get to an ER.

DAOFITLIFE: So are you saying I wasted my money on all these immunococktail supplements and essential oils? I was actually trying to strengthen my immune system so I wouldn’t have a bad reaction. Is that wrong?

ARTIN MAHBOUBI: Trying to “rev up” your immune system is actually the last thing you want to do, especially with these wideley advertised “health halos” that are supposed to work some type of magic. The body is more complicated than physics – it’s not just about what goes up must come down. You want to let nature take its course and for your body to do what it needs to do. Overpowering your system can actually have the opposite effect and amplify the side effects.

DAOFITLIFE: I wish I had asked you about that beforehand, but this is really valuable information for the readers. Last question, Dr. Artin -in general, what can we do to keep ourselves well, especially as we are headed towards a busy and stressful three weeks into the holiday season? I know you will say one of them is meditation!:)

ARTIN MAHBOUBI: Another great question and I will try my best to answer it with the latest we know: The role of diet cannot be overemphasized. get plenty of fruits and vegetables, go to bed early, and wake up early. Aim for min of 7 hrs of sleep, or 8 maximum. Studies suggest anything more than 8 or less than 7 has cumulative negative effects. Stay away from sweetened drinks, or
keep it to a minimum, and the same for ultra-processed foods. Our environment gives us enough unnatural compounds in our air and water that we dont need to damage our bodies more by eating peocessed or unnatural foods. Acupuncture therapy can really improve the quality of the immune system and the lungs with the right points, and that is my area of expertise.

If you are in the DC area, be sure to book a visit with Artin Mahboubi at his clinic in Dupont Circle, or visit his blog for more insights on what you can do to improve the health of your mind and body.

*Please note that this interview is not intended to convey medical advice. Consult a physician if you are feeling ill or symptoms of COVID-19.

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