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If All Else Fails, Give Intermittent Fasting A Try…

Many times, a client, especially a middle-aged female will find themselves in my office frustrated that they have “tried everything” and they simply cannot lose weight. My first suggestion after taking a detailed history of the patient is “Let’s Try Intermittent Fasting”.

IF is a lifestyle of eating where a person alternates periods of “fasting” with periods of “fueling.” “Fasts” can range from 12 hours to 48 hours and beyond depending on your goals and your personal experience with fasting. Fueling is the period of time where you would “feed” or eat a lot of the calories and nutrients that your body requires. Calories counting is not required although healthy food choices are encouraged.

How It Works…Plain and Simple

When we eat, our body uses glucose as “fuel” first before burning off the protein and fat calories that we have consumed. Glucose is found primarily in carbohydrates such as whole grains and fruits. When we ”burn” through our glucose stores first, fat is left to remain in the body in the event that we need a reserve fuel for later. Glucose also causes fat storage and ceases fat-burning whereas fasting does the opposite. Middle-aged women also may develop a resistance to digesting carbohydrates and tweaking their eating style can certainly make a difference. (Stay tuned for my article on “Weight Loss in Middle Age”).

Instead of burning “glucose” first, IF allows your body to dig into its fat stores and utilize that as our primary source of energy. So when we fast, we burn fat first. The longer period of time you maintain your fast, the more fat stores you will incinerate!

Pick Your Fasting Fit

There are a variety of IF methods that have been scientifically proven to be effective with fat loss. The key to success is selecting one that you are comfortable with and giving it a try. Some methods work better than others for some people, so a bit of experimentation may be needed to find your “sweet spot”. If you are trying a method for a few weeks with little success, don’t give up. Try another variety. Here are a few descriptions to get you started:

This is a great starting option. One would fast for 12 hours and fuel for 12 hours. This is easiest to adjust to because if you are asleep for 8 of the 12 hours, you are only fasting for 4.

16/8 or 18/6: 
For many, this is the sweet spot. Fasting for 16-18 hours allows fat-burning to kick in! Fat burning starts after 14-16 hours so this style is highly effective for changes in body composition.

OMAD: Also known as One Meal A Day. Basically in this style, you fast for 20 hours and fuel for 4. An additional benefit of this style is that HGH starts to be produced at high levels.

This variety offers a great deal of flexibility. A person can eat normally on 5 of the 7 days per week and “fast” for 2 days. On the fasting days, a person must limit their calorie intake to between 600-800 calories.

Is It For Me?

Intermittent Fasting has benefits for most people who choose to follow this style of eating. If you are looking to lose weight, overcome a plateau, fight brain fog, deal with perimenopause, change body composition to lose fat, slow aging, improve your metabolism, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, colon health, hunger, and immunity this style of eating could be for you.

Please remember that all changes in eating habits and diets should be discussed with your doctor or health care professional to ensure that it is safe and healthy for you. Once you are given the green light, give it a try!

What You Need to Know Before Your First Acupuncture Appointment

For first-time goers, acupuncture may seem like a scary process. Learning more about what to expect for your first appointment will make the process much less intimidating and far more beneficial. In this post, we explain some of the key things you should know before your first acupuncture appointment.

Young woman getting acupuncture treatment in smithtown long island

Acupuncture Preparation

For the best results, you must be prepared for your appointment. In fact, a successful acupuncture treatment starts before you even arrive for your appointment. Here’s how you should prepare for your first acupuncture appointment:

  • Avoid alcohol and coffee at least 24 hours before your appointment
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Eat about two hours before, so you will not show up on a completely full or empty stomach.
  • Arrive early so you have time to fill out paperwork and ask any questions.

Acupuncture Helps Many Ailments

Many people that are new to acupuncture believe it only treats physical pain. however, the longstanding Chinese medicine helps restore your entire body-both mentally and physically. With acupuncture, you can relieve stress and anxiety, battle depression, boost your immune system, treat physical pain, prevent soreness, and so much more.

The Appointment

Your first acupuncture appointment will be a deliberative, well-organized experience. You won’t just be shuffled back to the room and stuck with needles. You will need to fill out a form for basic medical history and information. Additionally, you will speak with an experienced acupuncturist about your mental and physical health, and in this conversation, you will get a chance to ask questions or learn more about the process before heading in.

Based on your intake procedure, the practitioner will determine your main concern and design an acupuncture strategy best suited to address your primary issues. You will then enter a calm room, possibly with dimmed lights and soft music. The environment is meant to be relaxing and comforting. The acupuncture process is about healing, and it is a meditative experience. Contrary to popular assumption, acupuncture is not a painful process, and you may even doze off when in this centered place of healing.

Schedule Your First Acupuncture Appointment

For an incredible acupuncture experience in Suffolk County, New York, look no further than Integrative Family Wellness in Smithtown. Our licensed, experienced acupuncture practitioners will make sure your first acupuncture appointment and every session thereafter is a pleasant, comforting experience. Learn more about our Long Island acupuncture service or schedule your appointment today with IFW HERE.

Benefits of Electro-Acupuncture

Electro-acupuncture is a subset of acupuncture.

The traditional Chinese medicine of acupuncture comes in many more variations than people realize. Another incredible type of acupuncture is electro-acupuncture. While it may sound intimidating, electro-acupuncture is an incredibly effective treatment method that may be a good option for you. 

So what is electro-acupuncture and what are the benefits of it?

In this post, we break down electro-acupuncture and the reasons to consider it. Read on to learn more. 

What is Electro-Acupuncture?

Electro-acupuncture is a subset of acupuncture. In traditional acupuncture, individual tiny needles are inserted into the acupoints. Electro-acupuncture works similarly, with an added electric component. The practitioner passes a mild electric current through the needles during the treatment. The electrical stimulation is not painful, it is more of a gentle vibration that further stimulates those points. Typically, the needles are shorter because they have a stronger stimulus. 


Just like traditional acupuncture, it can be used to address a wide variety of ailments. It is most commonly used to treat:

  • Chronic pain
  • Addiction 
  • Arthritis 
  • Chemotherapy side effects like nausea 
  • Stress and anxiety 

The reason to choose this method is that it is known to enhance the healing effects of acupuncture by stimulating the points for natural healing. Electro-acupuncture has been especially effective for treating neurological diseases, paralysis, chronics pain, and spasms. It combines especially well with acupressure to promote blood flow, muscle warmth, pain relief, and removal of blood stasis. 

What to Expect from Electro-Acupuncture

Electro-acupuncture may sound intimidating, but it is a simple procedure. You can always trust the knowledgeable team at Integrative Family Wellness for an excellent electro-acupuncture experience. A highly trained acupuncturist performs the treatment. First, the acupuncturist will assess your symptoms and determine the best points for treatment. Then, they will insert one needle at the treatment point and another one nearby. The acupuncturist will then turn the electrodes on and adjust the frequencies. The session will last between 10 and 20 minutes. 

Reap the many benefits of electro-acupuncture with the dedicated acupuncturists at IFW in Smithtown. We offer the best acupuncture services in Long Island New York, and we will ensure you have a comfortable experience. We carefully assess your symptoms to determine the best possible treatment plan and help you decide if electro-acupuncture is right for you. To learn more about our Suffolk County acupuncture services or to schedule your appointment, contact IFW today HERE

Intermittent Fasting Has More Benefits Than Just Weight Loss

Intermittent fasting has many benefits.

What if you could improve your memory, reduce inflammation, maybe live longer, all thanks to one change—eating only during certain hours? With intermittent fasting and its numerous benefits, you can. Studies show that intermittent fasting offers benefits far beyond weight loss, read on to learn more. 

How Does It Work?

Intermittent fasting is simple: Eat only within specified hours. Otherwise, stay hydrated but don’t eat. Intermittent fasting takes several forms:

·  Daily. Eat during an 8- or 10-hour period, such as only between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. or noon and 8 p.m.

·  5:2 fasting. Five days a week eat a “normal” (but healthy) diet and fast on the other two days. “Fasting” here means consuming some food, but only about 500-600 calories on each fasting day.

·   Alternate day fasts. Alternate one day of fasting—total fast or low-calorie—and one day of a regular, healthy diet. Repeat.

·   Once a week fasts. Fast on only one day each week.

Experts add: Whatever plan you use, don’t snack. Never eat at night and end your eating window early. While intermittent fasting doesn’t require or forbid any specific foods—it’s about the hours, not the food—it’s important to stick to a healthy diet and not overeat.

How does intermittent fasting work? It encourages your body to burn fat.

Insulin moves glucose—sugar—from the blood into the body’s cells. Going without food makes insulin drop. When insulin dips low enough for long enough, cells release stored sugars as energy—in layman’s terms, you burn fat. Fat-burning starts about 12 hours after you last eat, and kicks into a higher gear at about 16 hours without food, according to the University of Michigan.

Benefits Beyond Dropping Pounds

Intermittent fasting improves body systems from brains to muscles:

  • Reduces inflammation, which fights conditions including arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis.
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Helps clear toxins.
  •  Increases the body’s metabolic and cellular repair rates.
  • Toning. Cuts weight without reducing muscle mass.
  • Gives the gastrointestinal tract time to “rest and repair” itself.
  •  May increase lifespan. Studies show that restricted eating may be tied to “younger” cells and longer lives.
  • Improves memory and cognitive abilities.

Is Intermittent Fasting Right for You? 

Watch for side effects, especially in the first two to four weeks of adjustment, such as hunger, fatigue, insomnia, and constipation. If you are diabetic, pregnant, or breastfeeding, or have a history of eating disorders, these plans aren’t for you.

If you try intermittent fasting on Long Island, complement it with expert holistic care at Integrative Family Wellness in Suffolk County, New York. Visit our website here to book an appointment in Smithtown today.

The Importance of Stretching After Acupuncture or Massage

stretching after acupuncture and massage


Stretching After Acupuncture or Massage is important. Acupuncture or massage can leave you feeling energized and refreshed. That’s golden. But be mindful of your fresh energy. If you rush out to exercise, you could unravel some of the good your treatments are doing in your body. Instead, use stretching to extend the health benefits you gain from your visit to Integrative Family Wellness in Smithtown, Suffolk County, N.Y.

Build Blood Flow

Holistic services encourage a healing process in your body that’s still taking place after you walk out our door. Vigorous exercise can interrupt that process. “The body is a complex system of energy which is adjusted by treatment, and there is a good reason after treatment to let it settle into the new pattern of flow without putting too much strain on it,” British Acupuncture Council expert Gavin Erickson told IFW.

Avoid exercise for 24 hours after treatments, but don’t melt into your couch. Stretching is essential after your acupuncture, massage, cupping, and other treatments. Your treatments already increase blood flow to muscles—stretching afterward keeps the blood moving and the relaxed yet energized feeling alive.

Stretching benefits more than muscles, too. It engages connective tissue that links muscles, bones, blood vessels, and organs, writes Dr. Helene Langevin, director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. She notes that massage and acupuncture have beneficial tissue-stretching components.

Safe Stretching Techniques

Your IFW practitioner advises post-treatment stretching to:

·         Increase flexibility

·         Reduce soreness

·         Encourage proper body alignment and posture

·         Calm the mind

Be sure to ask us about the right stretches for you. You should feel the stretch but never pain or discomfort. If you have questions, talk to your practitioner.

The Mayo Clinic advises warming up with a gentle walk. Never stretch cold muscles or you could do damage. Work both sides of your body equally for balanced flexibility. Don’t bounce, because bouncing tightens muscles. Hold stretches for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing normally. Be sure to stretch after treatment and then keep it up at least two to three times a week, to build flexibility.

Along with stretching, remember to stay hydrated, eat light and healthy foods, and ask us how to apply heat to keep up the circulatory benefits of your acupuncture or massage.

At IFW in Long Island, our services include cupping, cryotherapy, medical and ultrasonic massage, topical herbal therapy, sound therapy, and more. We’re here to serve your whole family’s health in Smithtown, Suffolk County, NY. Book your appointment with Integrative Family Wellness in Smithtown here.

Bad Posture Can Lead to Many Complications (Back and Neck Pain)

Bad posture can cause neck and back pain. 8% of all American adults struggle with persistent or chronic back pain. In many cases, pain limits everyday activities. Furthermore, back pain is extremely expensive, as it costs people a total of $12 billion a year!

posture bad posture and neck and back pain

One of the main culprits of back pain and many other issues is actually poor posture. That’s right when your parents or teachers scolded you for slouching, they were right. Unfortunately, it leads to many health problems and difficulties. In this post, we will explain the most common complications and what you can do to combat it. 

What does bad posture look like?

The signs include:

  • Potbelly 
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Knees bend when standing or walking
  • Your head leans backward or forward 

Problems it can cause

If you suffer from the signs of bad posture above, then you are at risk for a number of complications. Posture affects your entire body. It distorts all of your curves, including in your neck, upper-to-mid back, and lower back. Spinal cord changes impact the rest of your body, contributing to numerous problems. Some ways it negatively impacts your body includes:

  • Back pain 
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain 
  • Poor digestion 
  • Reduced cardiovascular health
  • Negative emotions and mood
  • Worsens arthritis 
  • Lowers circulation
  • General fatigue 
  • Reduces breathing efficacy 

How does posture affect your body?

Something as seemingly small as positioning has a huge impact on your body. How you hold your body will impact your alignment and overall function. Sitting or standing with poor posture places strain on certain muscles and joints. Those areas become fatigued and lead to chronic pain. 

How can I help my posture?

Poor posture is a dangerous cycle. When you are used to living with poor posture, then your body composition changes. Certain muscles are tight, others are fatigued. Unfortunately, it is really hard to correct on your own. 

Integrative Family Wellness in Smithtown, NY has an abundance of holistic services that can help you relieve pain from poor posture and help you correct it in the long term. Through massage therapy in Long Island, we can help you loosen tight muscles and target the areas you need to. Our experts also offer active stretch release. Our knowledgeable team in Suffolk County will help you figure out the best treatment plan to soothe and correct your poor posture. To learn more about how Integrative Family Wellness in Smithtown can help you with your posture, contact us HERE.

Local Cryotherapy vs. Whole Body Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is one medium used to address pain, inflammation, and recovery. People of all ages in all walks of life can benefit from this treatment, and it is commonly used by high-level athletes. While you may have heard of cryotherapy, you may also wonder what exactly is it? Additionally, there is both whole body and local cryotherapy.  So what is the difference between the two, and which one is right for you?

In this post, we will explain what local and whole body cryotherapy is. Read on to find out more.

cryotherapy in smithtown new yorkCryotherapy

Cryotherapy is also known as “cold therapy”, and is the process of using cold as a form of treatment. Typically, you expose the body to cold temperatures for numerous minutes.

There are two primary forms of cryotherapy, whole body, and local. We will explain each type in more detail in the subsequent sections. First, it is important to understand why people use this type of therapy.

As you might imagine, cryotherapy is most effective when done on a regular basis. Many athletes use it on a daily basis for their recovery and maintenance.

Some of the top benefits include:

● Treat migraine symptoms

● Numb pain and irritated nerves

● Reduce arthritic pain

● Treat skin conditions like atopic dermatitis

● Boost recovery and reduce soreness

Whole Body Cryotherapy

As you might imagine, the whole body cryotherapy is applying cold therapy to the entire body all at once. When you imagine someone in a big cold tank, it is the whole body method. This type of treatment is great for relieving general pain, like the inflammation that causes soreness. Whole-body cryotherapy is also energizing and vitalizing, in essence, it wakes you up mentally.

Local Cryotherapy

Unlike whole body cryotherapy, local cryotherapy involves applying cold to only certain areas of the body. However, local cryotherapy can be used in conjunction with or independently of whole body treatment. It is a good option for targeting specific areas that need special attention and is a great option for people who cannot physically withstand a whole body chamber. Most times, local cryotherapy is performed with a handheld device that applies a mist of cold air to the specific body part or facial. It helps to reduce pain, promote healing, treat wounds, and rejuvenate skin.

Long Island New York 

Whether you use whole body or local cryotherapy, the treatment is a great option for many different injuries and ailments, and it can also be used for incredible facials. For the best service in all of Suffolk County, look no further than Integrative Family Wellness. To learn more about our services or to schedule your appointment near Smithtown, NY, contact IFW HERE.

Dry Cupping vs. Wet Cupping

Cupping treatment is another form of traditional Chinese medicine. Like acupuncture, wet and dry cupping have gained traction in western medicine as viable treatments for a myriad of health issues. Most people are familiar with the dry method, and may never have heard of wet cupping. In this post, we will explain more about the differences of each and their benefits. 

What is It? 

It is an alternative treatment method that has been used for thousands of years in China. The basic idea of this holistic therapy is to place cups on the skin that create suction. It is a great complementary treatment option that addresses numerous health conditions. 

The cups are placed onto the skin and when they create suction, they pull the skin up into them. Practitioners create the suction by heating the inside of the cup first or using a rubber suction squeezer that is built into the cup. If heat is used, the cup creates suction and pulls tissue into it as it cools. 

Blood circulation is boosted in the areas where the cups are placed. Increasing blood circulation helps reduce muscle tension, improve blood flow, promote cell repair, form new connective tissues, and create new blood vessels in the tissue. For those reasons, it has become an increasingly popular treatment option in athletic training and sports medicine. 

Dry Cupping 

While more people are learning about this holistic option, many still do not know that there are actually two types: dry and wet. The dry method is what most people are familiar with, as it involves only using suction. 

Wet Cupping 

The lesser-known of the two treatments, it involves both suction and “controlled medical bleeding.” For this technique, your practitioner will create a small puncture in the skin with a lancet, and then place the cup over it to draw out a small amount of blood. According to ancient Chinese medicine, it helps to clear the bad blood and bad energy. Many athletes opt for this option to treat muscle soreness, recover faster, and help with range of motion. 

Treatment in Smithtown New York 

No matter which kind of treatment you are interested in, Integrative Family Wellness in Smithtown New York is here to help. If you are looking for excellent “cupping near me”, look no further. IFW provides the best treatment options in the Long Island New York area. Schedule your treatment in Suffolk County today by contacting IFW at 631-708-3500, or visiting us online HERE

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese medicine that involves placing tiny needles in specific points, is gaining traction. There are many benefits of acupuncture and it can be used to treat a wide range of ailments. Athletes, senior citizens, and many others around the world now embrace acupuncture as part of their treatment plan.

However, some people are still wary of acupuncture.

Most of the fear stems from one main concern: pain.

It’s very understandable, acupuncture can look scary. There are needles sticking out of you after all! In reality, acupuncture looks a lot more painful than it really is.

In this post, we explain what you can expect from acupuncture, and we answer the burning question, does acupuncture hurt?

Does acupuncture hurt the first time?

Pain is a big misconception surrounding acupuncture, and the idea that it hurts prevents many people from ever trying it. Typically, acupuncture does not cause any pain or discomfort. Of course, you may feel something, but it normally is not anything that hurts. Of course, your level of pain tolerance and sensitivity will have an effect.

Some people report experiencing minor pain during their first treatment that they do not have on subsequent treatments. This may be because your energy points are being activated for the first time. It may also be because you are tensing up from fear and anticipation during the first treatment, and you are more relaxed during the later ones.

Does acupuncture hurt afterward?

Removing the needles is not painful when it is done by an experienced, diligent practitioner.

Some people fear that acupuncture will hurt afterward. In contrast, you will likely feel calm and even sleepy. It is best to rest after acupuncture and to use heat backs. Additionally, any minor pain you could feel during the treatment will dissipate after the treatment.

Does acupuncture hurt the next day?

Okay, so acupuncture does not typically hurt during or right after the treatment, but what about the next day? There is a chance you could experience some slight soreness in the day or two after acupuncture. Of course, this is most likely for people who are new to acupuncture. Some minor soreness or bruising after is common for many different types of treatments and it not unique to acupuncture.

Pain-free acupuncture in Suffolk County

The key to painless acupuncture is a knowledgeable practitioner. Integrative Family Wellness in Smithtown, NY has knowledgeable, experienced practitioners who will ensure your acupuncture treatment is as pain-free as possible. To schedule your acupuncture appointment in Long Island, contact IFW HERE.

What is Ear Acupuncture and How Does it Work?

Most people have heard of the traditional treatment called acupuncture. Acupuncture uses tiny needles to stimulate points on your body. While regular acupuncture includes the ears, there is actually a special type that focuses on the ears called auricular acupuncture or ear acupuncture.

While acupuncture is an excellent treatment option for many common ailments, auricular acupuncture does an even better job of addressing certain health issues.

How can it help you?
In this post, we will explain more about ear acupuncture and how it works. Read on to learn more!


Ear Acupuncture

Ear acupuncture works much the same way as traditional acupuncture, except it involves placing the needles only in points around the ear. Acupuncture is one of the oldest healing practices in the world and originated in China. Tiny needles are inserted into specific points in each ear, and each point corresponds to organs. The goal of auricular acupuncture is to normalize the body’s dysfunction by stimulating certain points in the ear.

The five points of auricular acupuncture are:
● Autonomic point: calms the nervous system and increases relaxation.
● Shen Men: reduces nerves and anxiety.
● Kidney Point: heals internal organs and calms fears.
● Liver Point: detoxifies and purifies the blood.
● Lung Point: promotes aeration.

How Does it Work?
Similar to traditional acupuncture, auricular acupuncture is based on the concept that your qi (chee, or energy) impacts the health of your body. Blocked or disrupted qi has negative consequences on your mind and body. Acupuncture seeks to restore qi and resolve and disruptions by targeting certain points. Acupuncture is one of the oldest practices in the world and scientists cannot fully understand the positive effects it shows.

ear acupuncture

Benefits of Auricular Acupuncture

It can help with many different health concerns. Some of the main issues people use auricular acupuncture to treat include:
● Insomnia
● Weight loss
● Chronic pain
● Substance use disorder
● Migraines
● Anxiety
● Chemotherapy side effects
The Yale Substance Abuse Treatment Unit (SATU) offers five-point ear acupuncture to all of its clients, and many of the clients have seen incredible results by adding it to their treatment regimen. According to Katurah Bryant, RN, MFT, Associate Director of SATU auricular acupuncture  is, “not a cure for addiction, but it is one tool in the tool belt for recovery that we’re trying to get clients to establish for themselves.”

Book Your Ear Acupuncture Appointment

Experience the relaxing, anti-anxiety qualities of acupuncture as well as its many other benefits today. Integrative Family Wellness Center in Smithtown, NY offers the best ear acupuncture services in Long Island. Learn more about our acupuncture services or schedule your appointment by contacting IFW HERE



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Benefits of Electro-Acupuncture

The traditional Chinese medicine of acupuncture comes in many more variations than people realize. Another incredible type of acupuncture is electro-acupuncture. While it may sound

Read More »

Dry Cupping vs. Wet Cupping

Cupping treatment is another form of traditional Chinese medicine. Like acupuncture, wet and dry cupping have gained traction in western medicine as viable treatments for

Read More »

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese medicine that involves placing tiny needles in specific points, is gaining traction. There are many benefits of acupuncture and it can

Read More »

Integrative Family Acupuncture & Massage Therapy in Smithtown, New York shares news and information about pain relief, pain management, health, wellness, and the holistic treatments offered at the Long Island practice that help Long Island residents live a pain-free life. 

Acupuncture, Cupping, Cryotherapy, and Massage Therapy. 

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