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Best of the East Bay: Health

Find your balance and the best classes for your fitness style.


By Nico Oved

On Pins and Needles

Debunking acupuncture myths with Joey Erwin Mazzera of Danville’s Green Apple Acupuncture.

Reader Pick: Acupuncturist

Danville acupuncturist Joey Erwin Mazzera has treated everyone from babies with colic to patients in hospice. And while she’s seeing more and more people turn to acupuncture, misconceptions about the field still persist. We had her debunk a few myths.

Myth: No one knows quite why it works.
“When we stick a needle into the body, there’s an endorphin response: Those are your natural painkillers. That’s why acupuncture is so good for stress and pain relief.”

Myth: It’s unsafe.
“We use sterile, disposable needles. All patients gets their own needles, and when we’re done, we send them off to the incinerator.”

Myth: It hurts.
“It’s a little bit of a prick, but most people are like, ‘Wow, I didn’t even feel that, Joey.’ ”

Myth: It’s super New Agey and “out there.”
“There’s this idea of a weirdo who’s going to try and cure cancer with a song and a rainbow. I can be a little ‘crunchy,’ but I think there are a lot of people that look like me practicing acupuncture.”

Myth: You have to be in pain to benefit from acupuncture.
“Just because you’re not in chronic pain doesn’t mean there’s not something here for you. I see a lot of cancer support, women’s health, and stress, which is the big thing. A lot of our modern-day ailments stem from stress. Everybody’s got to chill out.”

Myth: Anyone can get a certificate and become an acupuncturist.
“A lot of people think it’s just a certificate program, but it’s a four-year master’s degree. It’s for people that are serious about health and science.”

Myth: I have to choose between Western medicine and acupuncture.
“It’s important we understand that if you need surgery, you have it. If you need a pill, you take it. And for everything else, we can work in conjunction with traditional Western medicine.”

Myth: Acupuncturists only have one approach.
“I’m also trained as an herbalist, and nutrition is a huge part of what I do, too. We have skills that have been underutilized for a long time. We used to be the last place where people would stop. Now, we’re becoming more of a forethought than the last-ditch effort.” 185 Front St., Ste. 206, Danville, (925) 855-1645, greenappleacupuncture.com.



Find Your Fitness Match

In an age of individualized offerings, here’s how to find the workout class that’s right for you.

1. Gumsaba

Reader Pick: Boot Camp

Perfect if you like: early morning wake ups, the great outdoors, and a heavy dose of girl power.
The class: Gumsaba’s most popular workouts involve circuit training with a group of enthusiastic fellow boot campers as the sun rises. The focus is on fun, teamwork, and switching up the workouts so you’re never bored. Expect to sweat using everything from giant ropes to park benches. Locations in Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, and Walnut Creek, (925) 683-5630, gumsaba.com.


2. Our Studio

Reader Pick: Zumba/Dance Workout

Perfect if you like: shaking your hips, musical motivation, and having a low-intensity good time.
The class: Get ready to shimmy your way to a smaller waistline during Our Studio’s Zumba dance classes, which range from easy-to-learn routines to toning-focused workouts to master classes, including one that involves dancing through the decades with multiple instructors. 2041 East St., Concord, (925) 286-0782, ourstudioconcord.com.


Courtesy of The Bar Method

3. The Bar Method

Reader Picks: Barre Class, Workout Class

Perfect if you like: building long, lean muscles, and showing off your splits and expensive workout clothes (not an actual requirement).
The class: Your muscles will quiver around lots of well-dressed fitness buffs at The Bar Method, which offers a civilized form of torture grounded in small movements: Don’t expect a lot of heavy lifting or loud yelling. Locations in Berkeley, Oakland, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek, barmethod.com.


4. The Yoga Fusion

Reader Pick: Yoga Studio

Perfect if you like: minimal talking, holding your body still for long periods of time, and mandated quiet time.
The class: Perfect your vinyasa at The Yoga Fusion, where myriad classes and frequent specialized workshops help you focus on form, connecting inwardly, and getting really good at lying down: All classes end with savasana, a pose of total relaxation on the ground. 2217-N San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon, (925) 549-2550, theyogafusion.com.


5. Cycle scape

Reader Picks: New Fitness Trend, Spin Class

Perfect if you like: heart-pumping cardio, a clublike atmosphere, and being drenched in sweat.
The class: If you’re easily bored trudging on the treadmill, get your legs spinning on a stationary bike at Cycle Scape, where instructors shout encouragement as the music bumps and you pedal against a video backdrop that ranges from nature trails to music festivals. 1657 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 464-1005, cyclescapefitness.com.


Courtesy of UFC Gym/Paula Walsh

6. UFC Gym

Reader Pick: Boxing Gym

Perfect if you like: letting out pent-up aggression, building on a sequence, and occasionally ditching your shoes.
The class: Once outfitted with wraps and gloves, you’ll be unleashed on a bag for 50 minutes of cardio, weight training, and plenty of jabs and kicks—which you can choose to do sans shoes. Depending on the class, expect a steady state of motion with bursts of high intensity tempered with sets of body-weight exercises. The combo torches serious calories. 1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord, (925) 265-8130, ufcgym.com.


Reader Picks

Bike Shop
Mike’s Bikes
2161 University Ave., Berkeley, (510) 845-2453; 6754 Bernal Ave., Ste. 710, Pleasanton, (925) 223-8267; 1615 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 954-1490, mikesbikes.com.

CrossFit Box
Diablo CrossFit
190 Alamo Plaza, Alamo; 685 Stone Rd., Ste. 17, Benicia; 2447 Estand Way, Pleasant Hill; 7051-C Commerce Cir., Pleasanton, (844) 438-3422, diablocrossfit.com.

Equestrian Center
Rawking Horse Ranch
1131 Bear Creek Rd., Briones, rawkinghorseranch.com.

Golf Course
Boundary Oak Golf Course
3800 Valley Vista Rd., Walnut Creek, (925) 934-4775, playboundaryoak.com.

Golf Instructor
Dave DeLong, Boundary Oak Golf Course
3800 Valley Vista Rd., Walnut Creek, (925) 997-3683, delonggolf.com.

Gym/Sports Club
Renaissance ClubSport Walnut Creek
2805 Jones Rd., Walnut Creek, (925) 938-8700, renaissanceclubsport.com/walnut-creek.

Hiking Trail
Lafayette Reservoir
3849 Mt. Diablo Blvd.,
Lafayette, (925) 284-9669, ebmud.com/recreation/lafayette-reservoir.

Horse-Riding Trail
Mt. Diablo State Park
(925) 837-2525, parks.ca.gov.

Lap Pool
Heather Farm Park Clarke Memorial Swim Center
1750 Heather Dr., Walnut Creek, (925) 943-5856, walnut-creek.org/citygov/depts/arts_rec_cs/recreation/aquatics.asp.

Local Race
Forma Gym Turkey Trot
November 26, Walnut Creek, formaturkeytrot.com.

Personal Trainer
Bill Daniels, Renaissance ClubSport Walnut Creek
2805 Jones Rd., Walnut Creek, (925) 938-8700, renaissanceclubsport.com/walnut-creek.

Racquetball/Squash Courts
Renaissance ClubSport Walnut Creek
2805 Jones Rd., Walnut Creek, (925) 938-8700, renaissanceclubsport.com/walnut-creek.

Rock-Climbing Gym
Diablo Rock Gym
1220 Diamond Way, Ste. 140, Concord, (925) 602-1000, touchstoneclimbing.com/diablorock.

Running/Training Group
Forward Motion Sports
432 Hartz Ave., Danville, (925) 820-9966, forwardmotion.com.

Sports Massage
Jessica ASG Massage
3470 Fostoria Way, Danville, (925) 272-4432, jessicaasg.com.

Sports Therapist
Dr. Bradley Hubbard,
Inner-Action Sports Rehab and Chiropractic
1270-A Springbrook Rd., Walnut Creek, (925) 938-9303, inner-actionchiro.com.

Tennis Center
Round Hill Country Club
3169 Roundhill Rd., Alamo, (925) 934-8211, rhcountryclub.com.

Acalanes High School
1200 Pleasant Hill Rd., Lafayette, www.acalanes.k12.ca.us/ahs.

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