Emotional health-Finding peace Family health General

How Much Sleep Is the Right Amount of Sleep?

How many hours of sleep did you get last night? 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults aged between 26-64 years, should receive 7 to 9 hours of sleep but not less than 6 hours or more than 10 hours. 

In clinic, l will often discuss sleep quantity and quality. Although l consider sleep to be a non negotiable and one of the pillars of health, I do appreciate the fact that sometimes personal circumstances will impact an individuals ability to sleep soundly. 

Some of us are going through a stressful time and are struggling to settle at night. Some of us have health issues that prevent us from getting the rest that we need. Some of us have little ones and are simply doing the best that we can.

I encourage those not having to navigate through extenuating circumstances to start small. Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier for a week or so and see how that goes.

National Sleep Foundation Recommends New Sleep Times

National Sleep Foundation Email: WASHINGTON, DC, ( February 2, 2015)–The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), along with a multi-disciplinary expert panel, issued its new recommendations for appropriate sleep durations. The report recommends wider appropriate sleep ranges for most age groups. The results are published in Sleep Health: The Journal of the National Sleep Foundation .

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Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark


Meet Michael Dunbar N.D., L.AC., LMT

We’re so pleased to introduce you to our newest team member:

Michael Dunbar is a Naturopathic Doctor and Licensed Acupuncturist at Awakenings Health. In addition to private treatment sessions, Michael also does community acupuncture.

He was born and raised in Raleigh, NC before going to UNC-CH and graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health – Nutrition.  Michael then moved to Oregon to pursue a dual degree of a Naturopathic Doctorate and Masters of Acupuncture. During his time at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR, he also received his Oregon massage license specific to Shiatsu (acupressure) massage.

His path began with a desire to find treatments that did not just mask symptoms but instead help cure disease or avoid becoming sick all together.  This search is what led to the significant study and personal testing of a number of dietary regimen. He’s settled on a whole food based approach which can be customized to the needs of each individual.

At NUNM, Michael’s education led him to understand that certain lifestyle factors including nutrition, sleep, exercise, and stress management are the keys to health and by focusing on these basics many of the health issues people experience can be avoided or reversed.

Another basic principle Michael has incorporated into his healing practice is the healing power of mindfulness.  Michael has cultivated mindfulness through meditation, chi gong and Tai Chi, and uses this moment to moment awareness to inform his massage and acupuncture treatments.  This mindfulness is how he “gets out of the way” to create a healing space for his patients.

In his personal life, Michael enjoys Contra and Blues dancing, weight lifting, and travel.  He looks for a balance to maximize health and happiness in each day.

Family health General Orthopedic rehabilitation Sports Performance

Risk Factors for Shoulder Stiffness

“Shoulder stiffness (SS) is a condition of restricted glenohumeral range of motion (ROM), which can arise spontaneously (primary or idiopathic SS, also known as “frozen shoulder”) or as consequence of a known cause, including surgical procedures on the shoulder (secondary and postoperative SS). Numerous risk factors have been described, both for primary and postoperative SS.

Recent research suggests that numerous clinical conditions have been related to the development of SS. These include, but are not limited to hormonal diseases and endocrine disorders (diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidsm, hypothyrodism), neurological conditions (Parkinson’s), dupuytren’s disease, psychological factors (depression, anxiety), hypercholesterolemia, inflammatory lipoproteinemias and certain medications (protease inhibitors, MMPs inhibitors).

When addressing shoulder pain, it is imperative that other factors are considered. Make sure your healthcare practitioner is taking everything into consideration when deciding how best to treat your shoulder stiffness and pain.

Risk Factors for Shoulder Stiffness: Current Concepts

Shoulder stiffness (SS) is a condition of restricted glenohumeral range of motion (ROM), which can arise spontaneously (primary or idiopathic SS, also known as “frozen shoulder”) or as consequence of a known cause, including surgical procedures on the shoulder (secondary and postoperative SS). Numerous risk factors have been described, both for primary and postoperative SS.

Wishing you wellness,

Mary Clark

Family health General

Community Acupuncture vs. Private Acupuncture

Awakenings Health provides complete performance stimulating and rehabilitative care through an East meets West philosophy.

Acupuncture is one of the most ancient and effective healing arts in the world. For several thousand years acupuncture has been used to treat a wide variety of symptoms, conditions, injuries, and diseases. To this day, it remains one of the most continuously practiced medical techniques in all of human history.

Although Acupuncture has been utilized as a complete form of medicine for thousands of years, we have built our acupuncture program to be integrated into all other aspects of your current healthcare regimen. Our practitioners are able to discuss your condition with any of your health care providers to form a team approach aimed at maximizing your health.

Awakenings has adopted a well-rounded approach to providing acupuncture for our patients. We always makes sure to address the health of your body, mind, and emotional state.

In America, most practices focus entirely on private acupuncture sessions. Some people are more comfortable with this style of acupuncture because patients are free to engage in an emotional response to treatment without other people seeing it. They may also be more open while discussing their medical history and symptoms.

During a private acupuncture treatment, the patient usually removes most of their clothing and lies on a massage table for the duration of the session, draped with towels. The practitioner can access acupuncture points all over the body, including the abdomen, back, thighs, and upper arms. Because sessions are longer, there is time for the practitioner to utilize multiple modalities to enhance your treatment, including cupping, moxibustion, reiki, massage, and traditional Chinese herbs.

But private acupuncture comes with a price tag, and some patients may not be able to afford to come as frequently as they really need.

Enter community acupuncture.

This is a return to acupuncture practiced in a group setting, as is common in East Asia. One of the main agendas of community acupuncture is to increase accessibility to acupuncture and eliminate the barrier of cost by sharing space. This low-cost form of acupuncture is great when you don’t have time for a private appointment, you need to treat something less complex than many chronic conditions, or you need to be seen more frequently than your budget will allow for private sessions. This is an excellent way to supplement your current treatment schedule.

In community acupuncture, you remain clothed and needles can be placed on the head, arms below the elbows and/or legs below the knees. The needles remain in while you lay back in a zero-gravity chair and relax for about 30 minutes. Street clothes are fine, but clothing that allows for easy access to arms (elbows to hands), legs (full knee to feet) and head (down to shoulders) works best.

If you’re looking to supplement your existing acupuncture schedule or are on a tight budget, community acupuncture can be a great resource.

So which is right for you? Let’s compare.

Private acupuncture:

  • Private room for just you and your practitioner, which can be an advantage when emotion needs to be released
  • Patient is on a massage table for the treatment that lasts an hour to an hour and a half
  • Patient removes most of their clothing and is draped with towels
  • More acupuncture points can be accessed, including the abdomen, back, upper arms, and thighs
  • Appointments involve more discussion of medical history and symptoms, as well as emotional contributors to physical symptoms
  • More treatment modalities can be used, such as cupping, moxibustion, reiki, massage, and traditional Chinese herbs
  • Treatment costs between $110-$195 per session

Community acupuncture:

  • Group room has multiple patients being treated at the same time, which can foster a community spirit, and friends and family can be treated together
  • Patient is in a zero gravity chair for the treatment which lasts 30 to 45 minutes
  • Patient remains fully clothed, though sleeves and pant legs will be rolled up to the elbow and/or knee
  • Acupuncture points are accessed in the head, lower arms, and lower legs
  • Treatment costs $40-$50 per session

When you’re ready to give either kind of acupuncture a try, visit our website at and book an appointment!