Monday, September 7, 2020

Back to School & COVID19

Back to School & COVID19

You can’t always control those around you, but you can certainly control your own actions. That’s why it’s important to teach your children necessary steps to help prevent the spread and contraction of the novel coronavirus.

For those who may not know exactly what the coronavirus entails, it is a new strain of virus that came into the world in late 2019 that is linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and a few different types of common cold.


For a formal breakdown, the acronym stands for the following: (CO) Corona, (VI) Virus, (D) Disease, (19) referring to the year humans began contracting it. When compiled, COVID 19 aka CoronaVirus is what we get.

Although not everyone finds this virus to be threatening, it’s still never enjoyable to catch a cold or become ill. Stay on the lookout for the following symptoms to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.


Shortness of Breath

Dry Cough

Loss of ability to taste


There are, of course, other potential symptoms because every person is different and thus the virus will affect everyone differently. This is why a test is needed before one is able to confirm whether or not they have the virus.


As summer ends and schools attempt to open their doors for a normal start to the 2020 school year, it’s important to understand how this virus may affect you and how it is spread.

COVID-19 is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets from a person that is infected and is usually spread through coughing or sneezing. Another common way that COVID-19 spreads is by touching a common surface that is contaminated with the virus and then touching your face (nose, mouth, eyes, etc.) This is why it’s important to disinfect your hands and various surfaces between each person/point-of-contact.


Remember- the CoronaVirus can last on surfaces for several hours, but disinfectants can kill it quickly!

With hundreds and potentially thousands of school-aged kids congregating in enclosed spaces, it’s important to be aware of ways to reduce the spread of this potentially deadly disease. Public health measures are important to follow in order to reduce the spread of not only this virus, but other respiratory infections like the flu or the common cold.

Teach your children to cover their mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissue immediately!
Washing hands often with soap and water is important!
Purchase a small container or hand sanitizer for your child to carry on themselves (or in their backpack) and teach them to use it often (such as after touching a door handle or borrowing a pen from someone else)
Normally we encourage the notion that sharing is caring but sharing food and drink should cease until we learn more about this virus.
Remind your children to be aware of their spatial surroundings and how close they get to one another.
Teach your kids to play with each other at a distance
Staying home when sick or are beginning to feel any of the above symptoms listed earlier in this article
Clean frequently-touched-surfaces and objects.


 As we learn more about COVID-19, it’s effects and how it is spread, public health officials may recommend additional or alternative actions. We suggest consulting the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control websites and social pages to stay up-to-date on current mandates and information.

New York Sports Acupuncture

Dr. Bishara Wilson, DACM, L.Ac.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

4 Ways To Support Your Children, Back-To-School & COVID

4 Ways To Support Your Children, Back-To-School & COVID

2020 has proven to be a year of trials and growth for all of us. With a new school year just around the corner, it’s important to have an open dialogue with our children about what to expect, how to stay safe and how they can express themselves even with certain restrictions.


Children don’t have the full scope-of-understanding about this virus like us adults do. They may be confused, find it frustrating that they have to cover half of their face (which is a means of self-expression) and not be able to function in a way that they’re used to.

Getting your child a mask that they enjoy may encourage their desire to wear it, thus keeping them and others around them more safe. Affordable and unique masks can be found on sites such as Etsy and can range anywhere from $5-15.

Private sellers make masks with anything from floral print, to superheroes and video game characters such as Spider Man or Fortnite.


Depending on your governing state and the rules that they apply when it comes to COVID-19, you may find your child becoming antsy not being able to play with their friends at recess like they used to. Here are some fun socially-distanced activities that you can incorporate so that kids can still enjoy their play time.

Fitness Relay: Set up into teams of 3 (ensuring everyone is at least 6 feet from one another). Set up cones in front of each team in a straight line to distinguish the start and finish areas. The leader will call out an exercise (jumping jacks, pushups, toe-touches, etc.) and when the leader yells “go!” The first players of each team will run to the cone and perform that exercise. Then, they run back to the starting cone and the next person goes. The first team to have all players finished, wins!

Mirror, Mirror: Players pick a partner and face each other keeping at least 6 feet of distance. One child is deemed the leader, and the others must mirror their movements. Talking and/or giving hints isn’t allowed! So pay close attention. The leader tries to come up with as many movements as possible while the others follow along. Switch leaders after 2 minutes.


There are some mobile apps that can be downloaded on cell phones to help kids stay connected while social distancing. Of course, we encourage family discussions before a game is downloaded to ensure that it lines up with online safety as well as family values.

That being said, a few apps that we have found to be fun include Online Uno (a classic card game), Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and even Pokemon Go!


Even with the above suggestions, kids are likely to get stressed and hold tension in their bodies when trying to navigate this new world. If your child shows signs of headaches or stress, show them the below acupressure points so relieve some of their symptoms.

Pericardium 6 – This point is located bilaterally on the underside of the forearm, roughly three finger widths below the wrist crease, between the two tendons. PC6 is a great point to alleviate nausea from pregnancy-related issues, motion sickness, drug reactions, stomach issues, etc.. It’s also an excellent point to calm the mind and spirit.

All things considered, this new school year will be challenging and will break conventional norms. That also means it’s a great opportunity to have conversation with your children and teach them how to still have fun, socialize and spend time with their friends all while prioritizing their health and safety.

For more information like you found in this article, follow us on social media to stay up-to-date and in-the-know about how we’re handling current world issues.

New York Sports Acupuncture

Dr. Bishara Wilson, DACM, L.Ac.


Monday, August 31, 2020

3 Ways to Holistically Treat Depression


3 Ways to Holistically Treat Depression


Many people suffer from depression at some point in their lives. It can be triggered by unexpected events like the loss of a pet, the death of a loved one, a relationship ending, or even changing seasons. For many, periodic bouts of depression can become commonplace, thus making it harder to cope and function normally.


For those who experience frequent or chronic depression, there is hope. Acupressure and Acupuncture are marvelous tools for combating depression without relying on potentially harmful antidepressants. Acupuncture points can be stimulated to help with blood flow and reset the nervous system. If blood flow is impeded, oxygen doesn’t get to the tissues and the cells themselves can become deficient. When there is a deficiency, there is usually some form of depression. This is why many health experts recommend exercise for depression. The increased oxygen and flood of endorphins in the body help fight off the depression itself.


Here are three acupressure points that you can do at home to help reverse depression:


1.      GV 20 – The point located on the top of the head, midway between the apexes of your ears is known as governing vessel 20 (GV 20). GV 20 is one of the most powerful points in the acupuncturist’s arsenal. It raises emotional energy, which in turn can help alleviate depression. Applying pressure or lightly tapping this point is a great way to counter depression on your own and it can be done pretty much anywhere.

2.      LV 3 – Liver 3 (LV 3) is located on the top of the foot in the depression between the big toe and the second toe, where the metatarsal bones meet. Stimulating this point helps stagnant blood to move freely again. When the blood flow becomes stagnant and minute, then depression can set in because the body isn’t getting the proper nutrients it needs to function. In Chinese medicine theory, stagnant blood flow can lead to depression. Liver 3 is used frequently in traditional Chinese medicine treatments to reestablish the flow of blood throughout the body.

3.      HT 3 – Heart 3 (HT 3) is located on the inside of the elbow. When the elbow is flexed, the point is midway between the inner end of the elbow crease and the tip of the elbow bone itself. In traditional Chinese medicine, the heart meridian is often treated when depression is a presenting complaint. Depression causes the heart meridian to become deficient in energy. Heart 3 stimulates the energy needed to combat symptoms of depression.


Another holistic way to treat depression is through diet as there are specific foods that can be quite beneficial for your body. Studies show that dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard decrease inflammation, which has been linked to depression. Nuts are another powerhouse used to fight depression. The omega 3 fatty acids found in most nuts can reduce the symptoms of depression. Decreasing daily sugar intake can also help. Sugar actually causes the body to feel sluggish and it can also dull the senses, leading to depression. Excess sugar in the diet decreases a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which can lead to depression if there is not enough of it being produced.


Techniques like tai chi or qi gong, also part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, are other ways to help battle depression naturally. Tai chi and qi gong bring the body and mind back into balance by decreasing stress and allowing the person performing it to focus all of their intentions on the movements. This allows the mind to relax, which in turn relaxes the body. Tai chi and qi gong also increase oxygen flow into the muscles, allowing for increased mobility. When we are more mobile, there is less stagnation, pain, and depression.


If you are somebody who suffers from depression and you are looking for natural, holistic solutions, maybe give these suggestions a try. If nothing else, it is worth looking into. But most importantly, once you find the right path to correcting depression, follow it. Everybody is different and there is no one right answer.

If you have questions regarding how acupuncture can aid in your depressive symptoms, give us a call!

New York Sports Acupuncture

Dr. Bishara Wilson, DACM, L.Ac.










Monday, August 24, 2020

Foods to Eat to Help Depression


Foods to Eat to Help Depression


Many have heard the question posed what came first, the chicken or the egg? But how does that concept apply to depression? It’s well-known that when we’re depressed, our motivation and interest in maintaining a healthy and balanced diet subsides in the same way our energy does. Harvard Medical Students positioned that same question in relation to depression; what came first, depression or a poor diet?


Thankfully, researchers have addressed this question and found that a healthy diet was indeed associated with a significantly decreased risk of developing depressive symptoms. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, patients were treated for two years with antioxidants or placebos. After two years, those who were treated with antioxidants had a significantly lower depression score.


Eating healthy foods gives you a better chance to reduce your depressive symptoms than eating a diet of processed food that may be high in sugars and fats.


Additionally, it’s known that there are approximately 10 times as many bacterial cells as human cells in the body. These bacteria serve many purposes including the curation of Vitamin K, digesting the food we consume and even regulating our immune system.


This implies that maintaining a healthy gut bacteria and overall diet can improve your mood.


Suggested foods to eat are lots of green leafy plants (including fruits and vegetables), whole unprocessed grains, seeds & nuts, and lean proteins such as yogurt or fish. To break them down even further, take note of the following foods and their purpose (all of which fight depression):

               Inflammation: Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard, Berries, Mushrooms and Onions.

Mood Boosting & Omega 3: Walnuts, chia seeds, Fish (salmon, tuna and sardines), and even certain brands of egg or yogurt.

Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are some of the highest antioxidant foods available to us. Other foods include sweet potato, oranges, and peppers.

Folic acid and alpha-lipoic acid: Tomatoes, broccoli, spinach and brussels sprouts.


Avoid foods made with added sugars or flours such as baked goods (donuts and pastries), breads, pastas and cereals. One should also minimize the consumption of animal fats and processed meats such as bacon.


It is important to remember that health starts from within. Maintaining a healthy balance of self-care, such as providing yourself with adequate sleep, hydration and physical activity is just as important as eating well.


There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that supports the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Having balanced health helps with everything from cardiovascular disease, dementia, cancer, and even mental health disorders including- you guessed it - depression!



If this article has inspired you to turn a new leaf and start becoming healthier, be sure to follow our social media pages. We post other content on health, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and so on that can help you keep your life on track.


Don’t forget! Schedule an acupuncture appointment with us if you have any questions about depression and how Traditional Chinese Medicine can help.

New York Sports Acupuncture

Dr. Bishara Wilson, DACM, L.Ac.


Monday, August 17, 2020




We’re confident that you’ve heard of acupuncture, but do you know where it comes from?

The study and practice of acupuncture and acupressure have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years and is an ancient healing technique. Acupressure and acupuncture apply the same principles, but acupressure uses pressure points instead of needles to achieve the desired results.

Today, we’re here to talk about different acupressure points that are used to reduce depression and anxiety through intentional point-placements and massage. Each of these points are ones that can be done on your own without the help of another person.


Acupressure can reduce anxiety and depression by massaging (or using an acupressure stick) the proper locations. Below, several commonly known acupressure points are listed and are known to treat depressive symptoms.


               1.  HEART 7 (HT-7) “SPIRIT GATE”

Location: On the crease of your inner wrist towards the ulnar (pinky finger) side. Feel for a hollow place at the base of the pisiform bone.


How does it help?: HT7 is often used to strengthen the heart and nourish qi and blood. This pressure point is also known to settle anxiety/worrisome emotions and also quiets the mind. It helps with sleep disturbances and emotional stress, releases tightness in the chest and even aids with heart palpitations.


Location: Find the middle of your wrist, about two finger widths below the palm. Using your thumb and forefinger, press on this location for 2-3 minutes. Repeat on your other wrist.

How does it help?: Neiguan can be used to treat depression and anxiety.

Location: At the center of your chest, midway between the nipples/center of your sternum.

How does it help?: This acupressure point is also known as the 'influential point of Qi’ (or energy) which this point helps regulate. Qi often gets stuck (or stagnant) with excess stress and imbalances in life. This point helps to relax your chest and release your diaphragm.

Location: located between the eyebrows, in an area also known as the third eye.

How does it help?: This pressure point calms the spirit and takes the edge off emotional restlessness and anxiety. It’s also known to promote a deep relaxation and even helps with insomnia! It is also great at relieving headaches and helps to clear nasal congestion or a runny nose.


If you found these home-tips helpful and are ready to take the next step and try acupuncture, contact us to set up an appointment!


New York Sports Acupuncture

Dr. Bishara Wilson, DACM, L.Ac.



Thursday, August 13, 2020

Acupuncture and Depression

Acupuncture and Depression

Depression is defined as a serious medical condition where a person often feels very sad, unimportant, and/or hopeless - other symptoms of depression may be extreme apathy and unmotivation. Most people associate sadness with depression and we all deal with sadness throughout our lives. The difference between having a feeling of sadness and clinical depression is that depression can be completely debilitating for those affected by it. People who are suffering from clinical depression are unable to live normal lives and may even entertain thoughts of suicide on a regular basis. Nearly 350 million people globally suffer from depression, according to the World Health Organization and depression does not discriminate; it can affect anybody, at any age.

Conventional medicine breaks depression down into several categories, including anxious depression, melancholic depression, psychotic depression, seasonal depression, and so on. These types of depression are categorized based on their symptoms. For example, if a person suffers from depression with unusual restlessness or worry, then this would be categorized as anxious depression. A person suffering from depression accompanied by hallucinations or delusions would be diagnosed with psychotic depression. Regardless of the category or diagnosis, a person suffering from depression would typically be put on some sort of antidepressant medication, medications to mask the symptoms, and recommended to seek psychotherapy. This is the standard of care for those dealing with depression.

Eastern Medicine, however, considers the whole person when diagnosing and treating symptoms. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) looks at the patient holistically, considering all aspects, including the mind, the body, and the environment of the person. Diagnosis of a person includes inspection and observance of the expressions, colors, appearance, smells, and any idiosyncrasies that may be prevalent. A quiet, subdued demeanor may be noted and considered when diagnosing somebody through TCM.

TCM also looks at the patient’s tongue and pulses on both wrists. These two items are the primary diagnostic tools used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, in much the same way a conventional doctor takes your blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate when you go in for an appointment. The tongue and pulses can reveal quite a bit of information about what is going on internally. Different areas of the tongue correspond to body systems and energetic pathways. For example, the tip of the tongue can show irregularities related to the heart and the mind. The rear of the tongue can show irregularities related to the urinary bladder and kidneys and is associated with the emotion of fear. The pulse is also broken down into six locations, three on each side, all of which correspond to a body system and the related energetic pathway.

When it comes to diagnosing depression, there is one major area that a TCM practitioner considers: the liver system. According to TCM, there are four stages that can affect the liver and lead to depression. This is not to say that other systems are not involved when somebody is experiencing depression. It merely means that the liver is probably the first area to be deeply examined.

The four stages are liver qi stagnation, liver heat, liver fire, and liver wind. In biological terms, these four stages break down to blockages, blockages that generate heat, blockages that generate heat that increases over time, and blockages that generate heat and then create their own internal wind systems. Think of it like a forest fire that starts with a spark on a beaver dam. The beaver has created the blockage with the dam. This prevents water from flowing and the timber surrounding the dam dries out (heat). Over time, the timber and grass become dry and brittle, creating the perfect storm for the spark to ignite everything around it. The stronger the fire becomes, the more wind it will generate internally until it creates its own weather system. This has been witnessed in nature and the same applies within our own bodies. 

To treat depression, a licensed acupuncturist may use several tools including acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, and possibly even mind-body practices like meditation. It all depends upon the severity of the depression, which stage is currently being experienced, and what other systems are possibly involved. To find out more or schedule an appointment, give us a call! 

New York Sports Acupuncture
Dr. Bishara Wilson, DACM, L.Ac.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Research Update: Effects of Acupuncture on Quality of Life in Patient with Depression

Research Update: Effects of Acupuncture on Quality of Life in Patient with Depression


A study published by the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and conducted by the West China Center of Medical Sciences, found acupuncture treatments can be effective in the treatment of patients suffering from depression.

According to the study, 163 participants were divided into three groups. Each group received differing forms of treatment utilizing acupuncture or acupuncture and other accessory modalities, twice a week, for a total of 12 weeks. The scale of life was used to evaluate the results at four different times, which allowed for the patients' quality-of-life to be objectively followed and determined.

There were eight specific items that were evaluated after each acupuncture treatment, thus leading to the overall quality of life score. The items evaluated were physical function, bodily pain, physical role, general physical condition, social function, energy, mental health and emotional function. The study showed the overall quality of life score was improved significantly in all three groups.


Worldwide, nearly 350 million people suffer from depression and nearly 16 million of those are in the United States alone. Statistics show women tend to be more likely to experience depression and young adults between the ages of 18-22 are also at a higher risk. Symptoms of depression include extreme irritability over minor issues, anxiety, restlessness, irrational anger, lack of interest in everyday activities, thoughts of death, insomnia, severe fatigue, weight gain/loss, difficulty concentrating and unexplained aches and pains. When these symptoms occur for more than a few weeks, depression may be the reason behind them.


As shown in this study, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be very effective in treating depression, not only short-term, but also long-term.A TCM practitioner makes a diagnosis based upon each patient, on an individual basis and treats according to the root cause(s)of the illness - treating the “whole” person, holistically, taking into account a person's physical and emotional well-being. TCM incorporates multiple modalities such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, tuina massage, cupping and exercises like qigong to help restore balance to the body.

The theory behind treating depression using TCM, all revolves around the concept of Qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi is considered the vital energy that flows through the body and animates everything. When Qi is blocked or stagnant, it will affect all aspects of a person's health. The goal of TCM is to locate and correct the imbalances which exist.


With all of this information on depression and TCM in mind, the results of the study concluded that the overall quality-of-life score was improved significantly in all three groups. The items evaluated were physical function, bodily pain, physical role, general physical condition, social function, energy, mental health and emotional function.

Acupuncture releases endorphins and activates natural pain killers. By doing so, it improves the flow of Qi throughout the body while eliminating blockages and bringing balance to the mind and body. Endorphins counter the symptoms of depression and allow the person to resume a normal life.

If you are suffering from depression and are looking for a natural way of dealing with it, give us a call, we may be able to help you navigate the waters of depression without the harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals, while helping you get back to a happier life. 

New York Sports Acupuncture
Dr. Bishara Wilson, DACM, L.Ac.