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Another January. Another trip to Sin City to check out the next-level tech at CES. With everything from freshly baked bread vending machines to smart, self-cleaning kitty litter boxes making their debuts in Las Vegas, there’s one thing that can’t be ignored: the future of health and wellness technology is pretty bright—like transforming every aspect of your well-being bright.
Welcome to the age of voice-commanded bathtubs that can automatically fill and set the temperature for you. Now, that’s relaxation reinvented. This year, it was all about making your self-care smarter and simpler while creating a more personalized experience. After roaming the floor and listening to our VP of Consumer Products, Doug Hecht, speak about financial and physical wellness with MoneyLion, we found what wonderful wellness is trending in the tech world.
Last year, it was evident sleep science was a go-to topic. This year, it’s all about giving you the deepest sleep you’ll ever experience. Think headbands. Yes, headbands. Part headband part ear warmer, Philips exhibited their SmartSleep Deep Sleep Headband which delivers “pink noise” to enhance your resting periods. French-startup Dreem showcased their second-gen deep sleep headband and app, which assesses the problems that inhibit you from getting that perfect night’s rest. What caught our attention mixed old world practice with the future, thanks to Muse’s Softband. Utilizing brain-sensing technology, Muse enables you to meditate to a better night’s sleep. Plus, Muse offers guided meditations via their headband, and you can book Muse-branded classes via studios on the MINDBODY app!
AI is being integrated into every aspect of health and wellness—and machine learning to make you feel (and be better) is a trending topic. How about a smart mirror that gives you a holistic view of your well-being and beauty? Count us in! The biggest and most amazing AI-meets-technology unveiling that had us starry-eyed at CES was Samsung’s Bot Care. A bot that can showcase it’s owner’s vital statistics in real-time, the voice-commanded Bot Care can do everything from giving you exercise and stretching guidance to even tracking your sleep patterns. It might sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but the future of robots that help you manage your health is here.
Monitoring your fitness activity isn’t anything new, but how about a wearable that tells your car how stressed you are? Or a self-powered smartwatch that stays charged from your body heat and solar energy? The idea of wearables are constantly evolving—and making them hotter than ever is a top priority. Our favorite tracking device was easily Atomic’s Hawx Ultra Connected, a smartly connected ski boot. In the company of avid skiers, we were totally enamored. Featuring digital tracking and analysis, you can get *instant* on-slope feedback on how you perform. It’s like having a ski coach in the palm of your hand—or boot!
Anti-aging has never been so futuristic—or fashionable. With big beauty brands descending on CES, it’s no shock that high-tech solutions for skincare are part of the conversation. Procter & Gamble showed off their Olay Feature You Simulation tool utilizing AI, which shows users what their skin will look like in the future, for example, if you don’t wear sunscreen (eek!). They also released Olay’s new Smart Wand, which can provide electromagnetic treatment to personalize your skin care and pinpoint problem areas. L'Oréal unveiled a wearable adhesive skin sensor that monitors pH in real-time. Neutrogena stepped up their game with a new product called MaskiD™. An app that analyzes your skin, their technology enables you to measure your face and create a customized mask to fit with target treatments. Beauty is (finally) buzzworthy at CES.
The Kohler booth never disappoints at CES, and this year’s technology combines total relaxation and *really* good home products (that I can’t afford anytime soon). With a full line of pricey smart bathroom items that include an Amazon Alexa-enabled toilet featuring soft lighting, speakers, and a voice-controlled lighted mirror, brands like Kohler are making the bathroom less of a need-to-use space and more of a zen zone experience. Kohler’s Veil Lighted Bathroom collection blew our minds. Imagine your bath, intelligent toilet, lighted mirror, and 3-piece vanity all working together with integrated lighting. A girl can dream of the perfect, tech-driving bathroom, right?
Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for various ailments ranging from digestion to carpal tunnel, but the level of effectiveness varies from person-to-person. I’ve had Sciatica patients spend months combating their back and leg pain, and others hop off the table in two hours, never needing a follow-up appointment. Some rotator cuffs take six weeks; others take two years.
Why is this?
While your body's response to acupuncture depends on the complaint or injury, it also depends on your overall health, and how well you take care of the injured site between sessions. If we eat junk food all the time, are inactive, don’t sleep well, or overwork ourselves, then injury is imminent, and recovery is going to be hard. Equally, if we ignore an injury or don't care for it, then we will likely stay injured for longer.
So, let’s break down what’s best for you when it comes to acupuncture:
“How often should you get acupuncture with specific ailments?”
This is different for everyone, but here are some general guidelines.
More is better.
Acupuncture has cumulative effects, so while most feel relief after one session, it likely will not have resolved the issue. Multiple follow up sessions are needed, and for your own comfort, it’s recommended that you use sessions before the effects have completely worn off each time.
Every time you receive a session, your relief should be more significant, and the effects should last longer—bringing the injury closer to resolution. With this in mind; the worse the injury, the more frequent you’ll want to receive acupuncture. Several times a week is standard, that way you will get out of discomfort faster, and you’ll need fewer sessions overall.
Understanding acute versus chronic ailments.
Some acute symptoms like nausea, dizziness, bleeding, swelling, or anxiety will clear up on the spot. However, for recent injuries pertaining to tissues, like a strained muscle, you can use three acupuncture sessions in one week with great effect. For example, with strained lower back muscles, you will feel less pain in one session, a significant reduction in inflammation and symptoms within three sessions. An ankle sprain is a little more serious and may take two or three weeks, but the general idea is the same.
With stubborn pain, or chronic issues like sciatica, skin rashes, nerve pain, hormone irregularities, it can take a bunch of sessions to see lingering results. Often there will be relief right after each session, but the symptoms return quickly (albeit with a little less vengeance). This just means the results are happening in smaller increments. For this reason, your practitioner will tell you to come in over three times a week for two or three weeks so you’ll get more relief faster, but you can space the sessions out as you begin to feel better.
“What can I do to make my acupuncture benefits bigger?”
As mentioned, how you care for yourself between sessions makes a big difference. Here’s a few pro tips.
Your practitioner will give you specific directions they want you to follow for your ailment, but generally, after an acupuncture visit, it is wise to drink a lot of water and rest.
Here’s the obvious thing we don’t often consider. If you get instant relief for your pulled hamstring, but then you go running the next day, it’s going to take forever to heal! That injured body part needs to be pampered and catered to. Your acupuncturist will give you food, supplement, lifestyle, and movement suggestions to use between sessions– use them all.
I’ve seen countless patients walk in with frozen shoulder, spend 90 minutes in the chair with various points and stimulation techniques, and then leave swinging their arm painlessly with 50% more range of motion. If they eat well, do their physical therapy, and are kind to their shoulders, the effects will last. Then, next time, we can add another 50% on to their range of motionBut, if they paint a house or swing a baseball, then I see them go right back to square one overnight. How we take care of ourselves between sessions really matters.
You will want to note any changes; no matter how small or irrelevant they seem. Your practitioner is armed with many protocols and techniques. They will always start with the combo that they’ve seen work best for your complaint, from there they will work backward or tweak it slightly based on the information you give them. Make sure to tell them every detail, even if it seems unrelated.
One lady, with unrelenting pain, finally revealed a game-changing nugget to me while nonchalantly laughing about her need to wear neck scarves everywhere. I found out she had been experiencing chills and had a significant aversion to wind during the summer. This “irrelevant” snippet made me radically change the protocol, and she was pain-free and healing rapidly within four sessions.
So, there you have it. How acupuncture benefits various body parts depends on the area concerned, but also on how we treat our bodies before, during, and after injury.