How Acupuncture works in the improvement of pain conditions

It can be debilitating to live in pain. But what can be even more debilitating is the resistance to addressing the cause of pain.

First, why do we feel pain?

Pain is an amazing system of synchronized and incredibly intelligent cells, that signal when something is not working properly in our bodies.


When something is not working well, be it physical, due to an injury, misuse or overuse of any part of your body, or emotional, due to stress, anxiety or depression, pain is the symptom that will bring to your awareness that something needs attention, and a change.

There’s always a physical and emotional aspect of every pain. Learning how to identify the source of your pain is key for proper recovery.

As an acupuncturist, I see people who are suffering with pain daily. They come to me hoping that my technique can help them get rid of their pain. And I’ll be honest with you, it’s reasonably easy to reduce physical pain with acupuncture.

Acupuncture needles are incredibly powerful to induce the body to produce natural endorphins, which are natural blockers of pain. Check this article for a longer explanation.

But you shouldn’t just want your pain to go away. Your pain is an opportunity to seek deeper, to understand what’s happening in your body and mind, and to make changes that will allow you to experience long term freedom from pain, to become healthier, happier and to prevent re-occurrence of pain, or other diseases.

Pain can be a huge catalyst for the best version of you that you’ve been longing to see!

I recently had a low back spasm episode that got me in bed for a few days and forced me to stop and rest, which I, unfortunately, am unable to do willingly. This slowdown was a gift in disguise, and I’m actually thankful for my pain.

My pain was a signal that I wasn’t taking care of myself, I was under high stress, was moving offices and carrying heavy boxes without paying much attention to my posture, I was tired but would not take a break, and I’ve been a bit overweight for way too long now. So, this pain came to help me slow down and put on more time on taking care of myself.

I’ve been doing acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy for several weeks now, and I feel I’m about 90% recovered. I’m organizing my schedule to include daily exercises and paying attention to my diet. This low back spasm came to put myself back on track!

As I tell my patients, the best way to resolve pain, is to attack it from all possible angles. For me, I have found excellent outcomes and a faster recovery from using acupuncture, chiropractic and supplementation of vitamins and minerals. This time I added physical therapy to the mix, along with a mindful approach to address the emotions that are connected to my pain.

I am determined to resolve this pain once and for all, but I’m still working on it and feel like I’m almost there. So, today, I want to share with you some insights on my personal journey with this low back pain:

  • Pain happens when there’s resistance. Per the dictionary online, resistance can be understood as the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument, or the ability not to be affected by something, especially adversely. It can appear physically, like carpal tunnel, on an overused wrist that is forced to type on a computer keyboard for 10 hours daily for the past 12 years, or emotionally, in the form of pushing yourself through excessive stress daily, because you believe that is worth your paycheck;

  • Pain is a time to reflect. Believe me, even if your pain was originated by an accidental injury, there is an emotional component that lead to the injury, so, working on the emotional aspects of your pain will only improve your recovery and prevent recurrence;

  • There are many ways to cover up pain and find temporary or even permanent relief, but you will miss out an opportunity to become a better version of yourself if you ignore your emotions around your pain;

  • Your pain might come back, and keep on coming back, in the attempt to offer another opportunity to work out what you need to work out in your life;

  • Pain forces you to pay attention to the moment, to your now. Your body will find a way to get your attention, the pain will get worse until you stop and pay attention to your now;

  • Pain is humbling. It helps you understand how fragile life is, how things can change in a blink, and how we must appreciate the trillions of cells doing the exact right thing in your body every single day;

  • When you are able to be at the moment, you can identify aspects of your life that are not in alignment with who you want to be and how you want to live. Take notes, that is what pain is asking you to change;

  • As we live our stressful, high paced days, we forget the big picture of our lives, and with that, we loose joy. Pain helps you bring back the aspect of joy and happiness that you’ve been longing to experience;

  • Accept your pain, welcome it! The moment you are able to do this, you will be at the place you will be more likely to let your pain go away.


And finally, about my personal low back pain experience, I’ve been learning to slow down and be gentle with myself, respect my body, respect my life, appreciate what is working well, and accept that some things need to change. Change is good.

And here are some of the changes my pain is helping me make in my life for now: I’m sleeping more, waking up to a healthy routine of exercise and meditation, making time to treat myself with acupuncture until I’m fully recovered, exploring and addressing all aspects of my life and business that create resistance, including taking a few breaks as I type this blog post to stretch, look out the window, drink a cup of tea and smile at myself. I feel better now, because I’m becoming a better version of me, I’m helping others do the same. I’m happy again, and my pain is going away!

The Truth behind Chronic Exhaustion


Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling like a champ and ready for the best day of your life? I know, it’s hard to remember, but I believe you did once.

Did you know that’s how our lives are supposed to be?! Day in and day out, always…every day…the best day ever!!!

I know this can sound ridiculous, but I will be honest with you here…it is the truth, and I believe it can be possible. And I want to talk a little bit about it today.

Okay, let’s start from beginning, hello everyone, my name is Renata Silveira, I’m an acupuncturist and herbalist, I have a private practice here in Denver, CO called Rise Acupuncture and Holistic Medicine, where I specialize in treating people who have sleeping problems and women who are having troubles with hormones, anxiety, digestion or pain. My approach to medicine is a 100% natural, without side-effects, utilizing the amazing intelligence of our own cells to rectify things and bring about balance and well-being.

I know it sounds childish, but seriously, think how sad it is to look back at your life and try to remember the last time you really had a great night sleep and woke up refreshed and recharged? I will tell you, chronic exhaustion is no joke, over 60% of the work force in this country suffers from fatigue, stress, anxiety and related sleeping problems.

The other problem is that the mainstream, over the counter and prescription quick fix pills for insomnia don’t work for everyone, and if they do, they work temporarily. They don’t resolve the problem, and they offer a very low outcome for all the additional problems it can create in your life and overall health.

So, how can I sleep better and have energy for my day , you say? Great question, I will get to it in a little bit.

If you think a bit about the health and wellness movement of the last decade, including fitness, mindful practices and alternative medicine, you will find one common principle that is similar to all of these practices: optimal health is a reflection of physical, emotional and spiritual health.

So, from this premise, I’d like to expand on about the 5 pillars of good health:


And what is Good Health anyway? To clarify, my understanding and belief is that good health is a state of perceived, relative balance with our physical, mental and emotional bodies.

We are a collection of energy particles, just like Einstein explained the universe, but in a more compact fashion. We are trillions of energy particles in constant movement, colliding and repulsing, in an eternal quest for balance. Therefore, for us, balance is more of a dynamic, relative state, and in this search to achieve quality of life and health, our job is to identify and make changes to adapt to our ever-changing point of balance.


This all sounds a bit chaotic, and it is indeed. And this realization helped me change the way I perceive the art of living well. I started to strive for a more liberating way of living, by changing my thoughts around my attachment to perfection and control, which by the way, are the main sources of stress, anxiety and disease.

 I decided to think that perfection is boring, it is an unattainable illusion. And that learning how to live in chaos is actually what we are naturally designed for, and that is the most kick ass skill I can master, and is the ultimate way to achieve relative balance, happiness and health in my life.

Alright, now to the 5 Tenets of Health:

1.       Nutrition;

2.       Exercise;

3.       Rest;

4.       Stress;

5.       Genetics.

I recently listened to an interview with Dr Chopra, who said that science has found that 5% of chronic illnesses are predictable. Gene mutation, triggered by lifestyle, toxicity, epigenetics, neuroplasticity equals to what conventional medicine has been mostly calling as auto-immune diseases. But the best part of this recent findings is that we have influence in over 95% of our well-being. This is huge!

So, expanding on the 5 pillars, my words for nutrition are, eating true foods, in a balanced fashion, getting in tune with your body, and learning what it needs nutritionally in each phase of your life and season of the year. And I will leave it here, this simple and complex perspective.

For exercise, I lean towards it being a very personal choice, meaning, you being in tune with your body and learning what benefits you the most. Not everybody is capable of all types of exercises and physical challenges. It’s about your desires, your vision of how your body should look like, and ultimately what brings you the best benefits in creating your happiness.


I ran a marathon once, it was the day after I turned 40. A marathon was for many years a symbol of transcending my body’s perceived limitations and I really wanted to have that feeling for once. I trained for it and I finished the Disney marathon in 2015. I can only tell you that it was deeply satisfying, humbling and it was a day that I pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of, and it was an amazing life experience.

But I’m not a runner, and after that experience, I decided I would not run more than 3 miles at a time, and I decided to search deeply inside me for the exercises that mostly bring me pleasure, but even more important, for what suits my physicality, so I increase my chances of being successful, prevent injuries and find happiness in the experience. That’s what I think exercising is about.

Now I want to expand a bit about sleep, I mean sleeping well, without sleeping aids. Modern life, technology and a very expanding number of really exciting TV series have made us overlook the importance of a well-rested night of sleep. But maybe you’ve been noticing that you are no longer that invincible twenty-some-year old, and fatigue is becoming more of a frequent inconvenient friend in your life.

There’s no way to achieve optimal health without sleeping well. And by the increasing number of sleeping aid users, this is definitely a challenging time for many people. There are many causes for sleeping difficulties, the biggest one being stress and inability to shut off your brain at will, having kids, malnutrition coming from having a diet that doesn’t support your body needs, etc. This is actually one of my expertise’s in my practice, and I’m so glad that acupuncture and herbal medicine can provide an alternative solution to resolve sleeping problems without side-effects. Because as easy as it is to pop a pill and sleep like a baby, the quick fix pill has shown to mess really badly with other aspects of your life, and that is definitely something we don’t wish for, life is complicated on its own already.


In the same line of thought, stress is another big challenge of modern life. Stress management is a common term we use, but I’m not sure it’s the best approach to it. Stress should not be managed but balanced to what it should be optimally acceptable in your life. This is again, another personal measure, and a life journey in its own.

Many people find balance through meditation now a days. I’m one of them, but others find it in releasing the excess energy by punching bags, or adventuring in extreme sports, or weight lifting, and so on, or it can be by just reconnecting with mother nature in a walk by your favorite park at dusk. However, for the moments where you think you’ve been past the point you can make a turn on your own, acupuncture and herbal medicine have shown to be a great next step. But don’t take me wrong, I’m not against mood controlling drugs, there’s need and place for that too, but I’m a believer that you should only get in a drug regimen when all the other options failed you.

In fact, stress is a very important component of life, we should not wish for a stress-free life. In my practice, I strive to help my patients identify their stress imbalances and respond to them in a healthier way. I had to work through a lot of that in my personal life too, and during my journey to become who I am today, one of the many gifts of this process, was the outlook in life, the power to see through challenges, and therefore, the ability to address stress in a much healthier way, which makes me a much healthier and happier person than I was before my journey.

And finally, what to say about having good genes? Well, we don’t choose the good genes, but I will tell you, that doesn’t mean your genetic composition is a life sentence of struggle, we are all hearing more and more about neuroplasticity, epigenetics and before I bore you with scientific terminology, I will just finish this blog by saying that we have the power to set order in our bodies, to bring about optimal health and lastly, our human bodies are a work of art, a beautiful dance of trillions of well calculated moves and extreme wisdom, if you just take a second and absorb these words.

We have the power to reclaim optimal health, age gracefully and take charge on our own life experience and happiness. And this is what I wish for all of you beautiful people!

A quick, nutritious and yummy vegetarian risotto

It was a night I was particularly craving an overload of veggie nutrition. I'm not sure I'm the only one who gets these kind of cravings, but occasionally I do feel the need to eat a full of colors vegetarian meals. In any case, this risotto is delicious for adult and children taste buds, full of nutrition and super quick to make. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


Cauliflower Rice Risotto


1 tbs of avocado or grapeseed oil

1/2 medium onion chopped small

2 cloves of garlic minced

2 cups of cubed butternut squash

1 cup of green peas 

1.5 cups of white mushroom chopped

2.5 cups of cauliflower rice

1-1.5 cups of vegetable (or chicken) broth

1 hand full of parsley

Salt and pepper


In a large skillet, heat oil and add onions and garlic. Let it cook for a few minutes until onion becomes transparent. 

Add mushrooms and saute for a few more minutes. 

Add butternut squash, peas, cauliflower rice and saute for a couple more minutes.

Salt and pepper to your taste.

Pour 1 cup of the broth and let it simmer covered for about 10 minutes.

Add more broth if needed to a risotto consistency (this will not be creamy as a real risotto, but the skillet should be wet at the end of the preparation. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until butternut squash becomes soft.

I'm not a cook, and my family really loves soft veggies, so mine might seem a bit overcooked to you. 

Enjoy it hot off the stove, with fresh parsley sprinkled over it!