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Archive for the ‘acupuncture’ Category

Helpful Resource

Posted on: April 21st, 2020 by TouchStone Health

From: Anna Totzke, R. Ac.

Yoga for Upper Back, Neck, and Shoulders

During the last month or so I’ve been missing my regular massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture/cupping treatments. I found this yoga video that really helps with upper back, shoulder and neck tension. It is also super relaxing! Enjoy!

Helpful Resource

Posted on: April 7th, 2020 by TouchStone Health

by: Anna Totzke, R. Ac.

Acupressure is a wonderful tool that can be can be used to help ease tension in the body. It is easy to use and you can apply on yourself anytime. Here are a few videos that demonstrate how acupressure can be used to relieve headaches:

Please be sure to wash your hands and face before and after you do apply the acupressure points. If you are currently pregnant, please only use the facial points.

For tension headaches:

For different types of headaches:


Encouraging Words for your Day

Posted on: April 1st, 2020 by TouchStone Health

from Anna Totzke, R. Ac.

bad times

Cold and Flu Season: Strengthening Your Immune System

Posted on: September 30th, 2019 by TouchStone Health

By Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

As the colder air and shorter days of Fall arrive, our patterns of exercise, diet, and sleep change. We are more prone to colds and flu. These seasonal changes can affect our immune system and it is therefore important to adjust our daily patterns during this season:

Diet——> Eating warmer foods (soups, stews, etc) helps strengthens the immune system. Stay away from raw vegetables and cold foods at this time of the year as it will weaken the immune system. Limit your sugar intake but incorporate “sweet and warm” foods like squash, pumpkin, and cinnamon. Make sure you are drinking enough water.

Stay Warm ——> Make sure your head, upper back neck, and feet especially stay warm. A warm body helps protect itself from outside “pathogens”.

Manage Stress ——> Stress weakens the immune system

Exercise ——> During the colder months most people tend to exercise less. Add Yoga and stretching into your exercise routine. Exercise help keep the circulation moving and helps decrease stress levels.

Sleep——> As the daylight hours get shorter, it is important to allow yourself to get more sleep. Getting adequate sleeps is very important to help manage stress, keep your body strong, and therefore keep your immune system strong.

-Help prevent colds and flu by boosting your immune system
-Can help you recover from a cold or flu faster if you are already sick
-Reduce chills, fever and body aches
-Relieve sore throat and congestion
-Can help relieve stress

-Can help stop or reduce upper respiratory symptoms
-Can help strengthen the immune system
-Calms the Nervous System
-Improves Blood and Lymphatic circulation
-Can help clear sinus congestion and sinus headaches

Learn more about Acupuncture and Cupping.

Anemia During Pregnancy: How Acupuncture/Moxibustion Can Help

Posted on: May 21st, 2019 by TouchStone Health

by Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia women develop during pregnancy.  The most vulnerable times for developing iron deficiency anemia is around the 20th week (the blood volume increases at this point), and the last 4-6 weeks (as the baby is developing its own iron stores).

Acupuncture and Moxibustion*:

When iron levels are low during pregnancy, women are generally advised to take an iron supplement. Studies have shown that doing a series of moxibustion and acupuncture treatments significantly helps increase the absorption rate of iron while taking an iron supplement.

*Moxibustionis a Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy which consists of burning dried mugwort (an herb) on particular points on the body

For more information about Acupuncture in Pregnancy or to ask a question, feel free to contact Anna Totzke, R.Ac.

Acupuncture for Headaches

Posted on: April 25th, 2019 by TouchStone Health

by Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Most people experience headaches at some point. They are one of the the most common physical complaints in North America! The most common type of headaches are tension-type headaches and migraines. Some headache triggers are: sinus issues, muscle tightness, stress and tension, dehydration, medication, high blood pressure, and postural issues. Most people resort to taking over-the-counter medication to help relieve the pain but unlike synthetic drugs, acupuncture has no side effects. Acupuncture is a safe treatment for all headaches. Depending on the location, type, and trigger of the headache, small acupuncture needles are placed accordingly. The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as one of the most natural way to ease pain and relieve stress.

If you have any questions about acupuncture, feel free to contact Anna.

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome: Acupuncture Can Help

Posted on: February 1st, 2019 by TouchStone Health

by Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Most women at some point during their lives struggle with Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS). The symptoms usually appear around 7-10 before the menstrual period is due and disappear when the period arrives. Some women have mild symptoms that they barely notice while others feel a huge change that can have a negative impact during that phase of the menstrual cycle.

PMS Symptoms vary from:

Breast tenderness/swelling

Mood changes – anger, frustration, weepiness, Anxiety, Depression


Food cravings/Increase in appetite




Muscle stiffness/pain

PMS is a sign that your body’s energy is out of balance. Acupuncture can help bring the body back into balance and can relieve PMS symptoms. Acupuncture also helps with stress, and calming your mind.

Please contact Anna if you have any questions:

What to Expect During and After an Acupuncture Treatment

Posted on: January 9th, 2019 by TouchStone Health

By Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

It is quite common for Acupuncture clients to feel a little nervous before receiving their first acupuncture treatment. What I always find though is that by the end of the treatment people are always pleasantly surprised by how good and relaxed they feel.

What happens during an acupuncture treatment?

During your first appointment, we will go over your Initial Intake Form. (The Intake form is very long but it paints a picture of your system and helps me come up with a custom treatment plan for you). I will look at your tongue and feel your pulses on your wrist (this also helps come up with a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis).

The acupuncture needles are ultra-thin (hair thin), sterile, disposable needles. They are gently inserted and generally feel like a mosquito bite as they are inserted. They are quite comfortable when they are inserted. The treatment itself can last between 20-30 minutes. It is at this point people take a nap, meditate, or just relax (and this is easy to do during an acupuncture treatment!)

In most cases people feel quite relaxed, in a calm zone while other people feel more energized following an acupuncture treatment.

A series of acupuncture are generally recommended depending on your main complaint and other factors.

Please let Anna know if you have any questions (

Acupuncture is only one type of treatment that can be used on its own or in combination with acupressure, cupping therapy, or moxibustion.

What are your big rocks?

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by TouchStone Health

Change of season often brings with it just that…change.  The easy going energy of summer and transitionary time of fall have passed and we often find ourselves busy with routine once again.  Amongst the winter season brings physical and emotional stressors…particularly the months of December-February.  Kitchener Waterloo is a busy city with very busy people.  I see many people in my office trying to juggle a lot and often come in when the stress has become too much, resulting in anxiety, depressed mood, insomnia, etc.  For many, prioritizing self and our health can be tricky when so much is asked of us.

It’s a time to ensure care for self is a priority as this season often brings increased expectations and busyness.

I once heard this great story about a teacher from an elementary class who wanted to remind his students about the importance of priorities.  Apparently this is a true story.

Each kid was given:

  • a gallon jar with the lid
  • a pile of sand
  • 4 large rocks
  • a pile of gravel
  • handful of little rocks
  • a pitcher of water

The teacher asked the students to fit everything into the jar and they attempted to do so.  Many combinations were tried but after 10-15 minutes they gave up, saying it was impossible.  The teacher then showed them how to strategically fit everything into the glass jar, proving it wasn’t impossible.  First the large rocks went in, staggered upon each other.  Next were the little rocks, that fit in between the empty spaces, then the gravel, then the sand and finally, the water.  Each smaller item filled the spots that were left open and finally the lid was put on.

The teacher then shared with his class, the point of the exercise: Life is always going to be very full…with demands and expectations from various areas of ones life and our job is to figure out what the ‘big rocks’ are and ensure they are a priority.

I was told this story about 25 years ago and have remembered it.  As I have grown, the prediction of that teacher proved true – that life is full with expectations coming from so many places.  But when I have identified what my ‘big rocks’ are and ensured they fit into my jar/life first – everything else seems to sort itself out.  The key for me though, was remembering that my ‘big rocks’ change from time to time….some weeks/months demand something different where a former ‘big rock’ has needed to become a ‘small rock’ in this analogy.

This simple example reminded me that there needs to be fluidity in our lives with our goals/ideals.  Life is full of varying experiences and we need to support ourselves amongst that diversity.

I hope this simple story is helpful, reminding you to honour what your ‘big rocks’ are and knowing that nothing is set in stone, per say…things can change from time to time.  But give space for honouring them and seeing if everything you desire fits in the jar more easily and readily thereafter.

Amanda Cressman, N.D. Naturopathic Doctor

Cupping Therapy: Not Only for Muscle Pain

Posted on: October 5th, 2018 by TouchStone Health

By Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Cupping is a technique used in Chinese Medicine to stimulate acu-points or larger areas of the body.  Glass or plastic cups are placed on specific areas. Through suction, the skin is gently pulled into the cups.  Cupping improves the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of qi, breaks up obstructions and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body. 

In clinic, the most common reason people come to me for a cupping treatment is for back, hip, neck, and shoulder pain and stiffness. Beyond muscle pain and stiffness, there are many other wonderful ways cupping is a helpful treatment:

Facial Rejuvenation Cupping:

Small, glass cups are used with very gentle suction. No red marks are left on the face. This is a gentle and relaxing treatment.This treatment helps:

-stimulate the production of collagen and elastin to encourage firmer skin
-circulate blood to the face to help with dry skin and improve the complexion
-decrease facial puffiness and sinus drainage
-relieve headaches

Whole Body Lymphatic Drainage:

This is a very gentle treatment that aids in lymphatic drainage and circulation.

-helps with detoxification
-helps regulate and release excess fluids in the body 

Colds/Bronchial Conditions:

Cups are placed over the lung area on the back. This treatment can help:

-chronic and acute asthma
-bronchial infections
-move out a cold/congestion


-can help increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
-helps decrease stress

If you have any questions about cupping or acupuncture treatments, please feel free to contact Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist.

564-572 Weber Street North, Unit 3A
Waterloo, Ontario