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Author: Hands For Healing

Member Since: 2011-01-05 19:38:37
Website: http://www.HandsForHealing.com

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Acupuncture for Athletes

April 23rd, 2014 by

Acupuncture for Athletes

All athletes, whether professional or amateur, highly competitive or just recreational, can benefit from utilizing acupuncture as part of their training regime. If you want that competitive edge without the need to resort to banned P.E.D.’s, then acupuncture is something that is worth investigating.

We have a bio-electrical force or energy known as Qi (chi) that integrates with the body and mind like an auxiliary nervous system. By adjusting the flow and balance of energy in this system, through the insertion of very thin, steel needles into key points along the energy pathways, the body can be brought back into homeostasis or equilibrium.

There are three primary ways that acupuncture is often used:

1. Recovery from injury or disease.
a. Pain relief – both acute and chronic.
b. Speed healing process.
c. Organ disease, imbalance, or dysfunction

2. Improved organ/system function.
a. Acupuncture has a profound effect on the circulatory
and neurological systems.
b. Improved sleep.
c. Decrease in stress, anxiety, and depression
d. Improved digestion/elimination and weight control.
e. Improved immune system functioning.
f. Longevity – staying well

3. Assisting the athlete
a. Improved recovery time from: fatigue, D.O.M.S.,
trauma, intense training, competition
b. Speed healing of sprains, strains, triggerpoints,
and muscle spasms.
c. Enhance Athletic Performance:
1.) Increase flexibility/pliability
2.) Increase strength – increase the energy
being supplied to the muscles
3.) Increase power (speed x strength)
4.) Increase endurance – increase the blood,
oxygen, and nutrients to the muscles

An athlete can utilize acupuncture in a variety of ways. One way is to use it to help prepare the body to operate at peak efficiency by getting treated before the competition. This can be a couple of hours or a couple of days before, depending upon the athlete, and how fast they respond to the treatment. Another common way to make use of acupuncture is to receive it as port of the normal training program to help the athlete to recover from training and competition and to focus on improving athletic performance. The goal is to create a powerful, graceful, athletic machine.
To reach the next level: Bring the power of Qi into your training and competition.


Improving our Health

April 7th, 2014 by

Our country has serious health problems. One in three people live with some form of cardiovascular disease. Cancer is rampant. The obesity rate is one in three for both adult and children. By age 12, many of our children have developed the beginning stages of hardening of the arteries.

The good news is that it is estimated that 75% of all chronic disease is preventable. Intelligent changes made to our diet and lifestyles would improve both our life expectancy and the quality of life that we can enjoy.

An obvious weak link in most peoples’ lives is their diet. Very few people eat enough fresh, raw, whole foods. Most of our food is cooked which destroys the enzymes, which are important catalysts for the thousands of functions our cells must perform. We need the phytonutrients found in fresh, raw, whole food, to provide our cells with the antioxidants needed to fight oxidative stress and free radical damage, and keep our immune system strong..

It has been a goal of mine to educate my patients and students to the fact that it is easier and more efficient to prevent injury and disease than it is to heal the body after the fact. Juice Plus helps to fill in the nutritional gaps in our diet, providing our cells with the key antioxidants and phytonutrients to stay well. I personally take the Juice Plus Tri Blend and Complete, to give myself a form of proactive, nutritional health insurance, in the form of a healthier, more complete diet. Those of us who choose to push ourselves athletically, need to ensure that we are providing optimum nutrition to our cells. This is to not only fuel our cells, but also to reduce the oxidative stress caused by the free radicals. Free radicals are proven contributors to premature aging and chronic disease. While exercise is very good for us, it also increases oxidative stress in the body.

  • Juice Plus has over 32 published, peer reviewed, clinical studies carried out at Universities around the world.
  • These studies show that Juice Plus:
    – Delivers key antioxidants and other phytonutrients that are absorbed by the body.
    – Reduces oxidative stress
    – Reduces key biomarkers of systemic inflammation
    – Supports a healthy immune system and helps protect DNA
    – Supports cardiovascular wellness.
    – Supports healthy skin and gums.
  • The Juice Plus products are food, not vitamins. They carry a nutrition label and not a supplement label.


If you go to:  http://jeffmcconnell.juiceplus.com/     and go to the About Us link. Choose the Library link and scroll down to the Bridging the Gap video.

If you have any questions, you may reach me at:  727 823-9000

Dr. Jeff

Hands for Healing with Needles of Light, Inc.          


Assistance in Achieving Fitness and Performance Goals

January 21st, 2013 by

Assistance in Achieving Fitness and Performance Goals

 Many people train hard to achieve better health and fitness, while others want to increase their strength, speed, and flexibility so as to excel in competitive sports or to reach and then exceed their previous best performance in whatever physical challenge that they enjoy. The most important factor would seem to be the will and effort needed to transform the body. A sometimes overlooked factor is getting professional assistance from someone who can help their body to more effectively handle the stresses placed upon it as part of the training process.

One such person is Dr. Jeff McConnell, who is a Board Certified acupuncture physician (AP2231), who also has 25 years of experience as a licensed massage therapist (MA9200), who specialized in sports massage. Dr. Jeff is now working out of Urban Escape Massage and Wellness, Inc. in Tampa as well as a clinic in St. Petersburg. During his many years of providing massage therapy, he would use a combination of techniques such as neuromuscular trigger point work, as well as active-assisted stretches to help the athlete to achieve a more pain free and fluid motion that would allow them to perform at peak levels. Upon beginning his acupuncture career at the start of 2006, Dr. Jeff devoted a portion of his practice to using Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture as an additional set of tools to help patient/athletes to achieve higher levels of athletic performance.

A brief look at the two main approaches that Dr. Jeff uses to get the results that his patients seek would be helpful.

From a physical perspective we are mainly dealing with nutrition and the biomechanics of efficient movement. Not only do we need to feed the body the optimum diet to adequately fuel the muscles, but we need to make sure that the body efficiently absorbs these nutrients. Acupuncture can be used to assist the digestive system of the body to boost metabolism and break down the food more efficiently so that the cells can utilize it.  As important as digestion is, elimination is equally so.  Acupuncture can assist the body to more effectively eliminate waste products and toxins. This is useful both to those whose health goals are weight loss, and to the athlete who can have a shorter turn-around time between competitions by speeding up the removal of lactic acid and other metabolic wastes from the muscles that are a well-known source of muscle soreness after strong muscular effort. 

Biomechanics is a way of looking at how we use muscles and joints to create leverage to produce movement. When a muscle will not fully lengthen it will limit the range of motion that the joint that it operates can move through. This will in turn limit the amount of leverage and thus speed and power that can be generated through it. This will not only limit athletic performance, but it will also increase the risk of injury to the muscles as the athlete attempts to move at high speeds. This problem can be resolved in a number of ways. First, trigger-points or muscles spasms can form in the muscle from trauma or vigorous athletic action. This will reduce the muscles’ ability to fully lengthen. Both neuromuscular massage techniques as well as acupuncture can be used to release the trigger-point and relax the muscle. Active-isolated assisted stretches can be used to safely lengthen the muscle and the fascia or connective tissue encasing it, to allow the joint that that muscle operates to move through its’ full range of motion. This provides for greater leverage to be produced, thus increasing the available speed and power that one can generate. An additional benefit is that the athletes’ movement will be more fluid and efficient, thus improving both agility and endurance. Using a different approach, acupuncture is able to not only relieve muscle spasms, but it also will improve the flow of energy flowing to the muscles. Just as we need an unimpeded flow of blood circulation, or nerve conduction for muscles and organs to properly function, so too do we need an unimpeded flow of Qi (chi) or energy flowing through the pathways, known as meridians, which like an auxiliary nervous system connecting to everything in the body. Having a strong balanced flow of energy to all parts of the body is the goal of everyone seeking optimum health, and for the athlete, it gives them that additional edge of having their muscles supplied with an abundance of energy which they can utilize to push their body to ever greater levels of athletic performance.

And finally, there is the mental aspect. We know from studying sports that the difference between elite Olympic athletes’ performance is usually measured in hundredths of a second or fractions of an inch. What is often the largest deciding factor is the mental focus of the athlete. When one’s “in the zone”, movement is effortless, and everything seems to slows down and become more clear. Many athletes are tempted to use banned substances such as Adderall to increase their focus. Acupuncture can be used to calm the mind and increase mental clarity by opening up the flow of energy to the brain. While you may not be invited to join MENSA, you will likely experience a more calm and focused mind.

For those interested in learning how to reproduce many of the results that Dr. Jeff is achieving, please contact him regarding continuing education seminars that are designed to teach nurses and massage therapists, as well as the general public, how to use flexibility and acupressure techniques. These techniques can be used to assist our patients/clients as well as ourselves.

New Year/New Goals

January 6th, 2013 by

As we begin a new year, many people begin to implement their New Years’ Resolutions. These are often focused around changing behaviors that may be an impediment to one’s long term goals. Sometimes we try to initiate new actions or activities, such as new diets or exercise routines, in an effort to get our body into a better state of health. Whether we are trying to stop doing things that not good for us, or trying to start doing things that are beneficial to us, we can improve our chances of success by getting help. One way we can do this is to partner up with a friend who has similar goals. For example, it is much easier to stick to a new exercise routine if you have someone who is willing to sweat along side of you, or perhaps more importantly, someone who is willing to drag you off of the couch and to the gym, when your willpower starts to wane.

For those of us who have chosen the healing professions such as nursing or massage therapy, we can make use of certain modalities that we often use to help our patients or clients, to assist us in our new(?) health goals. There are upcoming seminars in flexibility training, Reiki, and Shiatsu that I will be offering this year, that can not only offer assistance to enhance the health of our body, mind, and spirit, but also will fulfill our continuing education requirements for license renewal. The fact that we can write off the cost of these courses on our taxes, just gives us extra incentive. Any form of physical exercise can be more safely and comfortably performed if we effectively stretch before and after our exercise to help minimize soreness and injuries while enhancing performance. If we wish to help the body to run more efficiently so that we maintain our optimal weight, or that we get a better nights’ sleep, or so we lower our anxiety or stress levels to name a few examples, we may wish to employ Shiatsu, a form of acupressure based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Perhaps one of our resolutions is to find a way to provide our patients and clients with a powerful, yet gentle form of therapy that is much less difficult and stressful on the therapists’ body than traditional bodywork. If that’s the case, then Reiki is a great option. Reiki is a form of energy healing that focuses on balancing and opening up of the major centers of energy known as Chakras. These are vortexes of energy that are located near and strongly affect the endocrine glands of the body. The effects can be felt in the body and mind, and it can help to resolve deep seated emotional issues.

If you wish to find out more about these modalities, please go to:
The next upcoming seminar is Reiki I, scheduled for Jan. 12/13,.   Attending seminars early in the year, gives one the advantage of a smaller class size.
For the most up to date listing of seminars offered, please go to:

All seminars can be attended by nurses and massage therapists for continuing education, and by the general public to assist themselves in their own health goals. If you are interested, please give me a call at 727 823-9000 so we can arrange for you and possibly your friend to attend an upcoming seminar.
Florida Board of Nursing – CE Broker Number: 50-10126
Florida Board of Massage – CE Broker Number: 50-10126
NCBTMB – Continuing Education Provider Number:  312997

The Healing Power of Shiatsu, and Raising of Our Consciousness

December 10th, 2012 by

The Healing Power of Shiatsu, and Raising of Our Consciousness

Today I’d like to talk about two topics that may appear distinctly different, and yet they do relate to each other. One has to do with the upcoming Shiatsu I – The Foundation seminar this weekend. The other has to do with another Mayan Prophesy that is imminent, and yet is getting no press.

Let’s start with the Mayan Prophesy. The Mayans said that starting on 12-12-12, mankind would enter and begin a New Era of Heightened Consciousness. This may not make for as exciting a blockbuster movie as the various ‘end of the world’ scenarios that have been played out by Hollywood and numerous cable outlets. But a creative writer and a skilled director could tap a huge market if they were willing to take a chance.

The prospect of the whole population of the world collectively raising our consciousness above the concept of ‘us versus them’, to realizing that there is a far greater Unity of all life, than was ever realized by most, is very exciting.

However it is not at all surprising to me that this idea or the Mayan prophesy relating to a rising up of our consciousness is not broadcast or promoted in any way. The last thing that the current owners of the military/industrial/pharmaceutical/theocratic/security complex would ever want is a peaceful, self-sufficient, healthy, aware, and enlightened population.

Those of you who have taken my Shiatsu or Reiki courses know that we have pathways of energy that connect to every part of the body, and vortexes of energy along the central core of the body. By facilitating the smooth flow of energy through these pathways and vortexes, the therapist can help to reduce their clients’ physical and emotional pain, and improve function of the internal organs and endocrine glands   What is not often realized is that these forms of therapy can also affect the brain and the mind, leading to clarity of thought, improved focus, and better memory. Some people experience an increase in spiritual awareness or insight

Some of you are more inclined to focus on the physical body. The body is the foundation and root from which the energy body and spirit can safely grow and develop. When the body is out of balance and in pain, it is hard to focus the mind or spirit on anything else. A recent experience of mine reminded me again how powerful these therapies can be. A couple of weekends ago, I was on a lunch break from teaching my Reiki I class. As I was talking to one of my students, she related to me that she had been experiencing daily headaches. The first question that popped into my head was, what part of her head did she feel the pain? As she waved her right hand from her occiput to her forehead, I said: “Oh, that’s Gallbladder”. I explained that she had traced over part of the Gall Bladders’ energetic pathway, and that that did not necessarily mean that there was anything wrong with her Gall Bladder. Being a helpful sort, like most of us attracted to the healing fields, I offered to try a little Shiatsu on her to see if I could relieve her pain. I focused on the first half of the meridian along the head and neck on the affected side. After a little more than 10 minutes, I concluded the session, because our lunch break was nearly over. Miss W. said her headache was gone. A few days after the seminars’ conclusion, I received a Facebook message from her letting me know that the headaches had still not returned. The reason for telling you this story is not to brag about how good I am. It’s to let you know that Shiatsu is such a powerful healing method, that even though I have practiced it since I took it as my 100 hour specialty back in massage school, 25 some years ago, I am still periodically surprised at how effective it really is. And one clear advantage that Shiatsu has over my acupuncture practice – no one is afraid of my finger!

If you would like to take the foundation class in Shiatsu, I am teaching it this coming weekend (Dec. 15/16). Please contact me at 727 823-9000 for more details. You can learn more about Shiatsu I – The Foundation by going to:  http://handsforhealing.com/course-descriptions-2/

Congratulations on your expanding consciousness!!!

“End of the World” CEU Special

November 12th, 2012 by

Greetings how are my fellow Apocalyptoneers?

 What I’m referring to of course is, that according to the Mayan Calendar, this current age or cycle ends and the new one begins on Dec. 21, 2012. There is considerable debate as to what this portends for the world. Some say that there will be major Earth changes, including earthquakes, tsunamis, and even a pole shift. Others contend that this new cycle will usher in a period of an evolving of our species, that includes changes in our DNA structure. And yet others point out that changes in the frequencies and intensities of the energy reaching our planet will have a profound effect on our consciousness and spiritual awareness. Whatever occurs (or doesn’t), we all have the distinguished  honor to be alive at such an auspicious time.

 If you take the outlook that there are changes occurring in the energy matrix of the planet and in our own bodies, then this might be the perfect time to take a seminar that focuses on learning about the subtle energy body and the various pathways and centers where Qi or Prana flow. The study of Shiatsu or Reiki are not an intellectual exercise only, but rather they are wholistic, effective tools to help us, and those we help, to regain and maintain homeostasis and good health.

 If you take the outlook that the Mayan Prophesy means Armageddon and chaos in the streets, then this might be the perfect time to take a flexibility course where you could learn how to effectively stretch out your hamstrings. That way, when hear the zombies at your door, you can not only sprint away to safety at an impressive speed, but if cornered, you can head kick the tallest of the undead without fear of “pulling a hamie”.

 If you ask me, I think that you can safely plan for a lunch date for Dec. 22nd without any concern. Breakfast might be pushing it though, if you were out late the night before celebrating the “end”. 

To celebrate this unique Winter Solstice, I am offering the following:

“End of the World” CEU Special

Everyone who attends one of the remaining continuing education seminars that I’m offering in 2012, will be eligible to receive a 50% discount off my normal treatment fee for any modality that I offer. This offer is valid until the end of 2012.

These modalities include: acupuncture, massage therapy, Shiatsu, Reiki, and assisted AI stretching.

 If you’re like many therapists, you do not receive as much therapy as you recommend that your clients receive. If so, change that tendency and call and schedule a treatment for yourself.  

To view the current 2012 Seminar schedule, please go to:

Treatment discount offer:

I have recently offered a treatment discount to all lmt’s and nurses who
have attended any of my ce seminars as a way of saying thanks.

 This discount is 25% off the normal treatment fees for any modality that I offer. This discount offer, like the “End of the World” CEU Special, is good through the end of 2012.

The modalities that you may choose from include: acupuncture, massage therapy, Shiatsu, Reiki, and assisted AI stretching.

In these times of stress and change, give your body, mind, and spirit a little assist by getting a much needed tune-up.

 My current fee for acupuncture is: $60.00. With a 25% discount that is reduced to $45.00.

My current fee for all of the other treatments that I offer (massage therapy, Shiatsu, Reiki, and AIS assisted stretching) is: $65.00. With a 25% discount that is reduced to: $48.75. This discount is limited to cash or check payments.

ceu seminars and treatment discounts

October 23rd, 2012 by

This last weekend we had a small group of lmt’s that attended the Shiatsu I – The  Foundation seminar at the Cypress Wellness Spa in Tampa. One advantage to attending seminars during the non-renewal years (for Fl. lmt’s), is that there tends to be smaller classes and thus a little extra attention by the teacher.

For those who have already attended the Shiatsu I seminar, we have the next seminar in the series, Shiatsu II – treatment for neck and shoulder girdle pain, being held this coming weekend, Oct 27/28,  also at the Cypress Wellness Spa in Tampa. This seminar will review the main points covered in Shiatsu I, and then discuss:

  • 5 Element Theory, including its correspondences and how they relate to each other. This is useful to help evaluate which organ/meridian systems may be out of balance or diseased.
  • how Shiatsu (and acupuncture) is proportionately based, and to be able to demonstrate how to use a measuring system to more accurately locate specific points or tsubos on the meridian pathways
  • how to determine the meridians associated with neck and shoulder girdle pain
  • how to locate key points on the meridians that are often associated with neck and shoulder girdle pain
  • how to develop and implement a treatment strategy or protocol to treat neck and shoulder girdle pain.
  • what the Three Treasures are, and their relation to our health
  • what Essence is, its functions, and how it relates to our development

As a reminder to everyone who has attended one of my ceu seminars over the last 17 years, you are eligible for a 25% discount off of any treatment fee, for any modality that I offer. This offer is an attempt to thank the many therapists and nurses who have taken my seminars and is valid until the end of 2012 and is limited to cash or check payments.

First Couples Massage Class

October 9th, 2012 by

The first of our new Community Education classes was a great success. Last Friday 10/5/12 we held our first Couples Massage class at the Singing Stone -Casa deArt gallery in Ybor City. We had four couples who got a chance to enhance their ability to give their partner a soothing massage. Dr. Jeff started off the class by pointing out some key safety factors, such as the safe direction to massage someone’s arms or legs (towards the heart!). He then demonstrated a couple of stretches for the upper body to relieve neck and shoulder girdle tension, and then a couple more to relieve low back pain. The class then learned and practiced a few massage techniques which they then combined to give their loved one a relaxing massage. If you are interested in learning how you and your partner can share an evening learning fun and easy massage tips, go to: http://handsforhealing.com/couples-massage/

If you are interested in learning Reiki, there is a two day seminar this weekend where you can learn how to treat yourself and how to treat others. The class includes instruction about the chakras, treatment protocols, and 1st and 2nd level attunements. This course is approved for nurses and licensed masage therapists for continuing education requirements. For more information go to: http://handsforhealing.com/course-descriptions-2/

What’s new at Hands for Healing/Needles of Light, Inc.

September 23rd, 2012 by

The latest news from Hands for Healing/Needles of Light, Inc. is that there are nine continuing education seminars scheduled for the remainder of 2012. You can view the course offerings here: http://handsforhealing.com/course-schedule/

In addition to seminars that professionals can attend to meet their continuing education requirements, we are now offering community education classes. The first classes offered are a 3 hour Couples Massage class, to be held at the Singing Stone – Casa de Art gallery in Tampa. You can find the details of the class here: http://handsforhealing.com/couples-massage/

Ater much personal resistance to joining the social media revolution, Dr. Jeff has decided that it would be helpful to have a business presence on Facebook to help market his seminars and his practice. To access his new business Facebook account, please follow this link: http://www.facebook.com/JeffMcConnellHandsForHealingNeedlesOfLightInc
If you would be interested in helping him spread the word, he would appreciate it if you would Like his business Facebook page.

A key person assisting Dr. Jeff in navigating the social media world is his new ce coordinator, Ruby Alvara Nelms, LMT. Ruby is both a massage therapist and a photographer. She owns the Urban Escape Massage + Wellness, Inc. in Tampa, Florida. You can learn more about what she offers by going to her Facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/urbanescapemassageandwellnessinc

As a way of saying thanks to all of the many therapists who have spent their hard earned dollars attending one of Dr. Jeff’s continuing education seminars over the past 17 years, Dr. Jeff is offering them a 25% discount off off any treatment that he offers. In these stressful times, it is important for massage therapists and nurses to also receive the benefits of therapy as so many of their patients and clients do. This offer is good through the end of 2o12, and is limited to cash or check payments.

Couples Massage Classes

September 17th, 2012 by

In addition to continuing education for the professional, we are now offering community education. The first offering will start in October. It is a 3 hour Couples Massage Class.

Come learn the art and science of massage therapy! This fun, 3 hour class will teach you how you can give your significant other a great massage. With what you’ll learn, you will be able to provide therapy to help them out if they’re stressed or in pain and you are unable to get an appointment with your professional therapist in time. Also in these hard financial times, if you are on a very tight budget, you could massage each other and save $100 to $150 that you might normally spend at the therapy clinic you frequent.

Some of what you’ll learn is:

  • Determining what the treatment goal is and assessing the clients’ needs.
  • Pain scale 1-10
  • Safety first – what to avoid, and direction of pressure on the limbs
  • Adequate pressure – not too much or too little
  • Types of massage strokes
    a)    gliding strokes or effluerage
    b)    kneading or petrissage
    c)    percussion or tapotement
    d)    range of motion
  • Post massage protocol – hydration, getting off table safely


Singing Stone-Casa de Art
1903 N 19th St
Tampa, FL  33605
Phone: 813-728-4325

Dates offered:

October 5, 2012
October 12, 2012
October 19, 2012

Time of Class: 6:30-9:30 p.m.


$90/couple, $50/individual

To Register:

Email: jeff@handsforhealing.com
Phone: 727-823-9000

Students must bring a bathing suit, a towel and some massage oil or lotion.

Contact Us Today!

Clinic Phone: 727 823-9000
Email: jeff@handsforhealing.com

Our Office Hours

8:00am-8:00pm weekdays Saturday hours are available by special appointment