• 2016-02
  • 2016-01
  • 2015-12
  • 2015-11
  • 2015-10
  • 2015-09
  • 2015-08
  • 2015-07
  • 2015-06
  • 2015-05
  • 2015-04
  • 2015-03

Alleviate Your Migraine and Headache Pain

Are you plagued by chronic headaches? More than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, and 20 million of them are women. Scientific research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.

The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. Acupuncture is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches, and it can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause. Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes, have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for thousands of years. They can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine do not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, a variety of techniques -- including acupuncture, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises--aim to restore balance in the body and treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables. In diagnosing your individual issues, you may be asked a series of questions, including:

  • Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?

  • When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)?

  • Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain?

  • Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?

Your answers to these questions will help your practitioner create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation of Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Oriental medical theory, illness or pain arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced.

Acupuncture stimulates specific points located on or near the surface of the skin to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness. The length, number, and frequency of treatments will vary. Some headaches, migraines, and related symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

Do you or someone you know suffer from headaches or migraines? Call today to find out how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!

Acupressure Relief for Headaches

Headaches present differently for each person, with varying degrees of pain, tension, and/or tenderness. So, a lot will depend on the location of the pain, as far as which points will require acupressure. To begin, the first step is to sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed, and loosen any tension or tight muscles in the body. Performing acupressure while relaxed ensures optimal results.

Large Intestine 4 is such a powerful acupuncture point for headaches that it is often referred to as "the headache point." It is located on the padded area of your hand, between the thumb and index finger and between the first and second metacarpal bones. Massage this point with your thumb on both hands for approximately 30 seconds.

If your headache is on one or both sides of your head, which can include the temples, then apply pressure at a point called Head Corner, which is found about a centimeter into the hairline, above the outer corner of the eyebrow. Using a firm touch from your middle finger, press and hold for 10 seconds. Next, without lifting your fingers, make little clockwise circular motions for 10 seconds. Repeat this procedure in a counter-clockwise motion. This may be repeated for up to 3 minutes.

For relieving pain and tension in the back of the head and neck, the area including and surrounding Gall Bladder 20, GB20, is an excellent choice. You will find your left and right GB20 point about 2 inches outward from your spine, at the base of your skull. The medical term for this part of the cranium is the occipital bone. Cradle the back of your head in both hands and use your thumbs to firmly rub back and forth right below your occipital bones. Create some heat with a vigorous rub, then use your thumb pads to press into the area. This can be done for 2 or 3 minutes.

Contact us today to learn which areas of your body can safely receive acupressure!


In This Issue

  • Alleviate Your Migraine and Headache Pain
  • Acupressure Relief for Headaches
  • Healthy Habits

Healthy Habits

Headache sufferers can reduce the intensity and frequency of their headaches or migraine episodes by following these healthy habits:


Eat regular meals and avoid foods and drinks that are known to trigger your headache attacks.


Practice good sleep habits. Maintain a regular sleeping schedule, including weekends and vacations. If you have insomnia or have difficulties getting a restful sleep, ask how acupuncture can help.


Implement stress reduction techniques into your daily life. If you are having difficulties managing your stress, acupuncture provides a number of tools to help keep it in check.

Be a Partner in Your Care

Stay informed so you can be a participant in your treatment and an advocate for improving your own headache treatment.

Headache Journal

Keep a journal of when your headaches occur, along with any triggers, and share the information with your health care provider.


Stay apprised of the latest treatment options and headache relief news.

See Your Health Care Provider

Make an appointment with your health care provider to specifically discuss your headaches.

Reflect on Your Health!

Reflection is the process in which an image or idea comes back to us, such as looking in a mirror, rethinking an event, or reviewing an idea. We have the opportunity to take a closer view and reconsider our original thinking.

The new year is a perfect opportunity to reflect and use that knowledge as a catalyst for change. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help achieve the change you seek as it assists in illness prevention, stress relief, minimizes aches and pains, improves energy, and you find yourself in better balance. This calm and clarity strengthens your resolve as you start the new year with new goals.

Reflection has other connotations in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Outer appearances reflect inner health, so a well-trained practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine will observe very different aspects of your appearance than you typically study when you look in the mirror. In acupuncture and Oriental medicine, bodily observation includes looking at the face, eyes, body type, demeanor, and tongue. Two thousand years ago, when acupuncture and Oriental medicine was in its infancy, there were no X-ray machines or the very sophisticated magnetic imaging of today. These healers and diagnosticians depended on their finely tuned observational skills in order to assess their patients. Some of those early ideas seem simplistic today, but many elements of diagnosis persist because outer appearances do provide clues to a person's health.

Seasonal acupuncture treatments serve to nurture and nourish your kidney Qi, which can greatly enhance the body's ability to thrive in times of stress and aid in healing, preventing illness, and increasing vitality.

Call for your appointment today and let us help you prepare for the year ahead!

Strengthen Your Resolve

This period of reflection and renewed resolve may be challenging, but it can also be productive and rewarding. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help achieve the changes you seek as it assists in preventing illness, relieving stress, minimizing aches and pains, improving energy, nurturing balance, and taking the next step in achieving your goals.

Here are a few ways that acupuncture can help you achieve your goals:

Eliminate Stress

Stress reduction is always on the top 10 list for New Year's resolutions, and for a good reason--it is often the cause of illness and deterioration of health. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and lowering blood pressure. In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a whole range of tools that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check.

Improved Quality of Life

If pain is keeping you from living life to the fullest, acupuncture can help and can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of the cause or where it is located. Increasingly, people are looking for more natural approaches to help relieve painful conditions instead of relying on medication. In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.

Get in Shape

Renewed enthusiasm to exercise in order to enhance fitness levels, train for a competition, or lose weight can come at a painful price for those who try to do too much too quickly. Recent studies show that acupuncture effectively treats sports injuries such as strains, sprains, musculoskeletal pain, swollen muscles, and shin splints.

Lose Weight

Losing weight is the most common New Year's resolution. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you reach your goal weight and maintain it by promoting better digestion, smoothing emotions, reducing appetite, improving metabolism, and eliminating food cravings--all of which can help energize the body, maximize absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, and reduce anxiety.


In This Issue

  • Reflect on Your Health!
  • Strengthen Your Resolve
  • Stick Out Your Tongue
  • Energy Renewing Ear Massage

Stick Out Your Tongue

Oriental medicine has used tongue diagnosis for thousands of years. An experienced practitioner can look at your tongue and begin to understand your internal problems, but you can also be aware of information that your tongue provides.

Look for changes in the color of your tongue, teeth marks, shape, and coating. These changes may indicate that something is amiss. A healthy tongue is naturally the same pink-red color as your lips. Note any changes in the shape of your tongue. If it's too pale, puffy or red, it may indicate an imbalance.

Healthy tongues have a thin white coating. If you see a thicker coating developing, you may be catching a cold or the flu.

So if you see changes take precautions, rest, sleep more, keep warm and call us!

Energy Renewing Ear Massage

Ear massage is an extremely relaxing and effective therapy aimed at reducing stress, promoting wellbeing, and addressing various health issues.

Here is a great ear massage that you can do for yourself or your loved ones:

1. Rub, in small circular motions with your thumbs, inside the widest upper part of the ears, holding them from outside with the index and middle fingers.

2. Use your index finger to massage inside the smaller crevices if your thumbs don't fit and along the front of your ear where it attaches to the head.

3. Lastly, massage the earlobes by gently pulling them down and also making circles with your thumb and index finger.

Relieve Pain Naturally with Acupuncture

Increasingly, people are looking for more natural approaches to help relieve painful conditions instead of relying on medications. Acupuncture can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of what is causing the pain or where the pain is located. Some studies have shown the pain relief it provides can last for months.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain before and after acupuncture treatment for pain shows dramatic decreases in brain activity -- up to 70 percent. This decrease in brain activity in certain areas of the brain is thought to be the reason for the reduction of pain caused by the acupuncture treatments. In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.

The basis of acupuncture is expressed in this famous Chinese saying: "Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong" which means "free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain." In other words, any kind of pain or illness represents an obstruction in the normal flow of Qi or life force. Simply put, acupuncture moves Qi, restoring free flow.

Acupuncture has become readily accepted in mainstream modern medicine as a viable option for pain management and studies support its therapeutic effects.

In a German study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 1,162 adults with chronic, lower back pain were divided into groups treated with either the standard pharmaceutical and exercise therapy commonly used in conventional medicine or acupuncture. The researchers reported that acupuncture provided relief and lasting benefit to nearly twice as many lower back pain patients as drugs and exercise. Forty-eight percent of the acupuncture patients reported at least a one-third decrease in pain along with improvement in their ability to function, versus 27 percent of the patients treated with conventional methods reporting such benefits.

If you or someone you love suffers from acute and chronic pain, please call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you.

Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

Low back pain is an extremely common concern, affecting anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of people at some point in their lives. Low back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost days at work and is one of the most common reasons to seek medical care, including acupuncture. In fact, one of the top reasons that people get acupuncture treatments is for low back pain.

In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine analyzed 33 studies covering more than 2,100 patients from around the world on acupuncture for low back pain.

They found acupuncture provided definite pain relief in the short-term (defined as relief sustained for three weeks after the end of the acupuncture sessions).

In spite of the large number of pathological conditions that can give rise to low back pain, up to 85 percent of the cases are classified by physicians as 'non-specific'. When low back pain is examined from an Oriental medicine perspective, it is seen as a disruption to the flow of Qi within the area and associated with a specific disharmony and is treated accordingly.

The disruption of Qi that results in low back pain is usually associated with the following three disharmonies:

Weak Kidney Qi - In Oriental medicine, the lower back is referred to as the “dwelling of the kidneys”. The majority of chronic low back pain conditions are associated with kidney deficiency. Pain related to kidney deficiency is typically dull and erratic. It is usually aggravated by fatigue and improves with rest.

Stagnation of Qi and Blood - When the flow of Qi along the meridians that traverse the lumbar region becomes congested, it is referred to as the stagnation of Qi and blood. This presents with a severe stabbing pain that is worse with rest and better with movement, tender to touch, and can be accompanied by stiffness and tightness.

Invasion of Cold and Dampness - Cold, damp type pain is generally worse in the morning and when the weather is cold and damp. This type of pain improves with movement and the application of heat. Stiffness and contraction of back muscles that is aggravated by immobility indicates cold predominance. Swelling, numbness, and a heavy sensation are indicative of dampness.

Ah Shi Points

Not all acupuncture points have a specific name and specific location. Some of the most effective points to use in acupuncture are local points of tenderness. These points are referred to as Ah Shi points, which in Chinese literally means, “That’s the point!”

Ah Shi points were first mentioned during the Tang dynasty (founded in 618 AD) classic book Thousand Ducat Prescriptions. These points become spontaneously tender when disease or injury occurs, or in locations where Qi has become congested. They are not among the regular acupuncture points on a specific meridian or pathway.

Their locations are not fixed; they are the points that, upon palpation, are the most sensitive. In many cases, a small knot or pea-sized nodule can be felt under the skin at these points of tenderness.

The Ah Shi points are especially effective in the treatment of pain and are often used in conjunction with local and distal acupuncture points.

If you have pain, palpate around the area of pain to see if you can find the Ah Shi points. This is a great way to self-treat the problem.


In This Issue

  • Relieve Pain Naturally with Acupuncture
  • Acupuncture for Low Back Pain
  • Ah Shi Points
  • Post Operative Pain Relief

Post Operative Pain Relief

Research from Duke University Medical Center has shown that acupuncture can significantly reduce surgical patients’ post-operative pain and their need for powerful opioids to treat pain.

Duke University anesthesiologists combined data from 15 randomized clinical trials to reach their conclusion. Using acupuncture both before and after surgery produced the best results for patients, who reported lower levels of post-operative pain and a significantly reduced need for painkillers. In addition, acupuncture mitigated the negative side effects of opioids when they were used.

“The most important outcome for the patient is the reduction of the side effects associated with opioids,” said T.J. Gan, M.D., the Duke anesthesiologist who presented the study at the annual scientific conference of the American Society for Anesthesiology in San Francisco in October 2007. Gan pointed out that acupuncture is a relatively inexpensive therapy that has virtually no side effects when practiced by trained professionals.

Many other studies have shown acupuncture effective in reducing post-operative nausea and vomiting compared with other medications.

According to a meta-analysis presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists' meeting, acupuncture reduced rates of post-operative nausea by 32 percent, pruritus (itchiness at the surgical site) by 25 percent, dizziness by 38 percent, and urinary retention by 71 percent compared with control groups.

Acupuncture is excellent for managing post-surgical side effects such as surgical pain, loss of appetite, and upset stomach or nausea. In addition to strengthening the immune system and increasing energy, acupuncture is also a great way to reduce swelling, decrease stiffness and pain, reduce scarring and scar tissue, and assist with a quick recovery.

If you, or a loved one, will be undergoing surgery, please call us to see if acupuncture can improve your recovery.

Staying Healthy during Cold and Flu Season

This year it is predicted that there will be 1 billion colds and 95 million cases of the flu in the United States alone. While the misery of cold and flu season might be inevitable, one thing is changing: where we look for relief.

The easiest way to protect against the flu is to have a healthy immune system. However, that doesn't mean you still won't come into contact with airborne virus particles. That's why your first line of defense against the flu, or any other illness, is to strengthen your immunity.

When it comes to staying healthy during cold and flu season, acupuncture and Oriental medicine have a lot to offer. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help prevent colds and flu by fortifying the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body's energy pathways.

As stated by Huangdi Neijing, "To treat disease that has already developed is comparable to the behavior of those persons who begin to dig a well after they have become thirsty, and of those who begin to cast weapons after they have already engaged in battle. Would these actions not be too late?"

In Oriental medicine, disease prevention begins by focusing on the protective layer around the exterior of the body called Wei Qi, or defensive energy. The Wei Qi involves acupuncture points known for strengthening the circulation of blood and energy to boost your body's defenses.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can also provide relief and faster healing if you have already come down with a cold or the flu by helping to relieve symptoms you are currently experiencing, including chills, fever, body aches, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, and cough. While bringing some immediate relief, treatments will also reduce the incidence of an upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the length of the illness.

Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year also serve to tonify the inner organ systems and can correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems.

Call us to see how we can help you stay healthy this season!

Acupuncture for Sinusitis Relief

Sinusitis occurs mainly in young and middle-aged adults, although children are also at risk. When the condition does present itself, it can be due to one of four main causes: an infection, allergic rhinitis, formation of nasal polyps, or a deviated septum. While sinusitis simply refers to inflammation of the nasal passages, the symptoms and treatments can prove more complex. An acute case of sinusitis (recently occurring) becomes chronic when medical treatments fail to cure the problem after eight weeks.

The symptoms of sinusitis vary depending on whether the condition is acute or chronic. Many of the symptoms for either case are the same, though there are slight variations. With chronic sinusitis, in particular, symptoms last for eight weeks or more and may include facial pain and pressure, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, trouble breathing through the nose, congestion, cough, fever, fatigue, bad breath, headache, ear pain, sore throat, or nausea. If a case of severe sinusitis develops, symptoms such as confusion, double-vision, stiff neck, swollen forehead, and shortness of breath may happen as well.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine offers help for your symptoms of sinusitis--whether acute, chronic, or frequently occurring. There are acupuncture points on the face that can help bring immediate relief from nasal congestion. One set of points lies in the folds of both sides of the nose, at the level of the nostrils. These points may also safely be self-massaged at any point to assist in clearing the nasal passages.

There are other acupuncture points that respond well to self-massage, according to the philosophy of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. To help relieve pressure from a sinus headache, try gently but firmly pressing the points located at the beginning of your eyebrows, near the nose.

In addition, you can try the same technique with a single acupuncture point found right between your eyes, at the level of the eyebrows. This point is called Yintang and is revered by many acupuncturists and Oriental medicine practitioners for its ability to induce calmness and send energy (Qi) in a downward direction. Therefore, massaging Yintang is particularly helpful in cases of congestion and pain due to sinusitis, as blockages in the sinus make proper drainage difficult and potentially give rise to other symptoms of sinusitis.

However, if your face feels too tender for this massage technique, there is a point located on the hand that directly aids issues of the face and forehead, including headaches. This acupuncture point is located in the middle of the fleshy mound found between the base of the thumb and the first finger. Feel free to press here for any discomfort in the face, head, or sinuses--whether your symptoms are from sinusitis or another condition.

Boost Your Defensive Qi

To boost the Wei Qi, the protective or defensive layer around the exterior of the body, there is one particularly important point to attend: Dazhui or Du 14.

Often used to ward off as well as shorten the duration of colds and flu, Dazhui (DU 14) is located below the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebrae, approximately at the level where the collar of a T-shirt sits on the neck.

Dazhui (DU 14) activates the circulation of blood and Qi to strengthen the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle, so that your system is protected against germs and viruses.

Protect Your Lung Qi

Lung 7 is one of the most powerful points on the lung meridian points. It is a popular acupuncture point to use for stopping a persistent cough and relieving a sore throat.

Besides treating those symptoms, LU 7 is often used to treat conditions related to the head and neck, such as headaches, migraines, stiff neck, facial paralysis, and toothache. LU 7 is considered to be the "command point" of the head and neck and is also used to improve circulation in the brain and stimulate memory.

This acupuncture point is located above the wrist on the inside of the arm. To find this point, interlock your thumb and index finger of one hand with those of the other, the point lies on the edge of the index finger, in a depression between the sinew and the bone. Stimulate this point on both hands with the tip of your index finger for approximately 30 seconds or until your cough subsides.


In This Issue

  • Staying Healthy during Cold and Flu Season
  • Acupuncture for Sinusitis Relief
  • Boost Your Defensive Qi
  • Protect Your Lung Qi
  • 5 Tips to Stay Healthy

5 Tips to Stay Healthy

Seasonal changes affect the body's environment. With wind, rain, and snow come the cold and flu viruses, which are often accompanied with aches and pains. So guard yourself this season with these five tips:

1. Boost your Wei Qi

If you catch colds easily, have low energy and require a long time recuperating from an illness, your Wei Qi may be deficient.

Once the nature of an imbalance has been determined, a customized program can be created for you.

Your treatment may include acupuncture, herbal therapy and Tui Na, as well as food, exercise and lifestyle recommendations.

2. Schedule a Seasonal Tune-Up

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can prevent colds and flu by building up the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points that strengthen the circulation of energy and consolidate the outer defense layers of skin and muscle along energy pathways so germs and viruses cannot enter through them.

3. Wash Your Hands

Good lifestyle and hygiene habits are also proven to reduce your risk of getting sick. Protect yourself from picking up germs by washing your hands regularly and remembering not to touch your face.

4. Sleep In

The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese classic, advised people to go to sleep early, rest well, and rise late after the sun's rays have warmed the atmosphere a bit.

This preserves your own Yang Qi for the task of warming the body. Even busy, working people can boost their health by sleeping in on weekends.

5. Stress Less

Find a release valve for your stress. According to Oriental medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing pathogens to affect the body.

Find a way to relax and release stress on a daily basis. Such methods may include yoga, meditation, and exercise.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been shown to be effective in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Enhance Your Emotional Wellness

The upcoming holiday season can be filled with a dizzying array of demands, visitors, travel and frantic shopping trips. For many people, it is also a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness and anxiety. Compound the usual seasonal pressures with economic strain, and you may find this to be one of the most emotionally trying times of the year.

At some point in life everyone deals with major upheavals or emotional distress. These events can trigger a host of unexpected feelings and behaviors, from depression and panic attacks to major disruptions in sleep and eating. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can alleviate symptoms associated with mental and emotional health issues by treating the root cause of the problem to help restore balance to the body's internal environment.

Mental health disorders are medical conditions that can disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, and ability to cope with the daily demands of life or relate well to others. Affecting people of any age, race, religion, or income, mental health issues are more common than you might think. In fact, experts estimate that a significant number of people report symptoms that indicate sufficient qualifying criteria of a mental disorder. Some mental disorders are less severe and can be easily managed with proper treatment. Other mental illnesses are more serious and require more extensive treatment, including major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder.

From an Oriental medicine perspective, mental health disorders can cause a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. These energetic imbalances can throw off the immune system or cause pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, menstrual irregularities and, over time, more serious illnesses. Acupuncture treatments can correct these imbalances and directly affect the way your body manages your mental health.

Oriental medicine does not recognize any mental disorder as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual, using a variety of techniques including acupuncture, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 100 patients are treated with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for anxiety, each of those 100 people will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.

Mental health issues are best managed when health professionals work together to meet the unique needs of each individual. Acupuncture is an excellent addition to any treatment plan as it is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while also diminishing symptoms.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners have the ability to detect energetic changes that occur in the body and relieve symptoms by restoring equilibrium. The physical and emotional symptoms that you are experiencing will help create a clear picture for your practitioner, from which a treatment plan can be created specifically for you.

If you or someone you know struggles with a mental health disorder, or if you would like to know how to optimize your mental health, please call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your mental and emotional wellness plan today!

Hope for Patients with PTSD

Acupuncture has been getting more attention as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, particularly from post-combat military veterans.

There are good precedents for the use of acupuncture to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Walter Reed Medical Center, a military hospital, is investigating acupuncture as a viable treatment for returning veterans. The results from acupuncture have shown that it is an effective modality for treating the symptoms of PTSD.

How does acupuncture help the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder?

Correctly placed needles help the body re-regulate itself from the effects of stress, PTSD, depression and anxiety. In turn, this allows individuals to focus on their activities and enables them to better cope with daily events.

Move Your Qi!

When your Qi (life force) functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly. So, for optimum health, move your Qi!

Stretch - According to Oriental medicine, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, maintaining tendon health and flexibility. Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine.

Eye Exercises - Although all organs have some connection to eye health, the liver is connected to proper eye function. Take breaks when looking at a monitor for extended periods of time and do eye exercises.

Eat Green - Eating young plants--fresh, leafy greens, sprouts, and immature cereal grasses--can improve the liver’s overall functions and aid in the movement of Qi.

Do More Outdoor Activities - Outside air helps liver Qi flow. If you have been feeling irritable, find an outdoor activity to smooth out that liver Qi stagnation.

Acupressure Points for Moving Qi

A popular treatment for stress, anger, sadness and frustration, the following four acupuncture points, known as the "Four Gates," are thought to enhance the circulation of Qi and blood throughout the body, and have a calming and analgesic effect.

LI 4 is located on the padded area of your hand, between the thumb and index finger, between the first and second metacarpal bones. Massage this point with your thumb on both hands for approximately 30 seconds.

LV 3 is located in a hollow on the top of your foot, below the gap between your big toe and the next toe, between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones. To stimulate this point, place your right heel in the juncture between the bones that attach to the large and second toes, and gently knead the point for approximately 30 seconds. Then switch sides to stimulate the point on your other foot.

Massage acupuncture point, Baihui, for mental clarity. Located on the top of the head, midway between the ears, Baihui is used to clear the mind, calm the spirit and improve focus. Stimulate the point with your index finger for 30-45 seconds for a quick "brain boost."

Yintang, a point located midway between the eyebrows, is sometimes referred to as "the third eye." Stimulation of Yintang is known to calm the mind, enhance one’s ability to focus, soothe emotions, promote sleep and relieve depression.


In This Issue

  • Enhance Your Emotional Wellness
  • Hope for Patients with PTSD
  • Move Your Qi!
  • Acupressure Points for Moving Qi
  • Soothing Your Stress

Soothing Your Stress

As a normal part of life, stress enables us to get things done. Left unmanaged, however, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems. Stress causes a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. This can throw off the immune system and cause new symptoms or aggravate already troublesome health conditions and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop.

Stressful situations that last over a long period of time can create an ongoing low-level stress that puts continual pressure on the nervous system and can cause the overproduction of stress hormones (such as cortisol).

The extra stress hormones sustained over an extended period of time may wear out the body's reserves, leading to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments.

Stress is often the cause of illness and the deterioration of health. Finding a release valve for your stress can help you stay healthy.

According to Oriental medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing pathogens to affect the body. Through acupuncture, these energy blockages can be addressed. Acupuncture points can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but the stress and anxiety itself.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress. Acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out stress hormones like cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.

In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a wide range of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your wellness plan to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.

While it isn't always possible to remove the external forces causing stress, the ability to effectively deal with stress is a choice. Take time for yourself to cultivate the energy you need to handle your stress more skillfully and effectively.

If you or someone you know is experiencing stress or a related disorder, contact us for more information about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you regain peace of mind and stay healthy!

Treating Autoimmune Disease with Acupuncture

Over 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disease, Addison's disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barré syndrome. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body's immune system attacks healthy tissue. Due to the complexity of treating autoimmune disorders, integrative medicine solutions including acupuncture and Oriental medicine have received much attention as successful therapies in their treatment. Acupuncture is specifically noted for its use in pain relief, regulating the immune system, managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

What Causes Autoimmune Disease?

Under normal conditions, an immune response cannot be triggered against the cells of one's own body. In certain cases, however, immune cells make a mistake and attack the very cells that they are meant to protect. This can lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases. They encompass a broad category of over 100 diseases in which the person's immune system attacks his or her own cells and tissue.

The exact mechanisms causing these changes are not completely understood, but bacteria, viruses, toxins, and some drugs may play a role in triggering an autoimmune process in someone who already has a genetic (inherited) predisposition to develop such a disorder. It is theorized that the inflammation initiated by these agents--toxic or infectious--somehow provokes in the body a "sensitization" (autoimmune reaction) in the involved tissues.

As the disease develops, vague symptoms start to appear, such as joint and muscle pain, general muscle weakness, possible rashes or low-grade fever, trouble concentrating, or weight loss. Numbness and tingling in hands and feet, dry eyes, hair loss, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or repeated miscarriages may also indicate that something is wrong with the immune system.

How Acupuncture Treats Autoimmune Disorders

According to Oriental medicine, autoimmune disorders occur when there is an imbalance within the body. Imbalance can come from an excess or deficiency of Yin and Yang that disrupts the flow of Qi, or vital energy, through the body. Acupuncture is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while specifically addressing the symptoms that are unique to each individual.

Clinical research has shown that acupuncture causes physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones and brain chemicals that control a number of body functions. It is proposed that, by these actions, acupuncture affects blood pressure, body temperature and the immune system.

In addition to acupuncture, your treatment program to manage your autoimmune disorder may involve a combination of therapies, including stress reducing exercises, moderate physical activity, herbal medicine, nutritional support and bodywork.

To learn more about how acupuncture can safely and effectively be incorporated into care for people with an autoimmune disorder, please call for a consultation today.

Relief from Addison's Disease Symptoms

Addison's disease, also known as adrenal insufficiency, occurs when the adrenal gland cannot produce adequate amounts of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. This can be a serious and potentially life-threatening situation, as the adrenal gland influences many essential functions in the body. The risk of getting this disease is the same for all people, regardless of age and other factors. Signs and symptoms may take months to appear, or they may develop very quickly and unexpectedly.

When determining your diagnosis, all symptoms are assessed, even ones that may not seem directly related to Addison's disease. This is because acupuncture and Oriental medicine has the unique ability to treat the whole person and not just the disease. This means each patient suffering from Addison's disease could potentially have a different diagnosis and therefore a different acupuncture treatment plan.

For example, if a patient experiences muscle weakness and diarrhea as the main complaints, an acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioner may determine that spleen deficiency plays an important role in the way the disease presents itself. Perhaps this patient will receive an acupuncture treatment that emphasizes a strengthening of the spleen.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, some functions of the spleen include keeping the bowel's movements running smoothly and helping maintain muscle and limb strength. So, no matter what your specific complaints may be, acupuncture and Oriental medicine is equipped to help you manage the signs and symptoms of Addison's disease.


In This Issue

  • Treating Autoimmune Disease with Acupuncture
  • Relief from Addison's Disease Symptoms
  • 6 Food Tips for Autoimmune Disorders

6 Food Tips for Autoimmune Disorders

A class of plant chemicals -- known as bioflavonoids -- has been found to dramatically reduce inflammation and improve symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders.

Both green and black tea contain the flavonoids catechins and theaflavins, which are beneficial in autoimmune disease.

Apples (with the skin on) contain the flavonoid quercetin, which can reduce allergic reactions and decrease inflammation.

Quercetin also occurs naturally in other foods, such as berries, red grapes, red onions, capers and black tea.

Carotenoids are a family of plant pigments that include beta-carotene. A lack of carotenoids in the diet is thought to promote inflammation.

Good sources of carotenoids include apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, kale, butternut squash and collard greens.

Recent studies show that ginger reduces inflammation by inhibiting prostaglandin and suppresses the immune system's production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, reducing disease severity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation. Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and salmon.

A healthy and active colon can decrease food sensitivity, which, in turn, can lighten the burden on your immune system.

Keep Your Skin Healthy with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be very effective at treating skin conditions. Treatments can provide quick relief for acute symptoms, as well as significant and lasting relief from recurrent or chronic skin conditions.

The skin reflects and reacts to imbalances within the body's internal landscape and the effects of the environment. Internal disharmonies caused by strong emotions, diet, and your constitution can contribute to the development of a skin disorder. Environmental influences, such as wind, dryness, dampness and heat can also trigger or exacerbate skin disorders.

To keep your skin healthy and beautiful on the outside, you must work on the inside of your body as well. Increasing the flow of energy, blood and lymph circulation improves the skin's natural healthy color. Promotion of collagen production increases muscle tone and elasticity; this helps to firm the skin. Stimulating the formation of body fluids nourishes the skin, adding moisture and making it softer, smoother and more lustrous.

General skin conditions that can be treated with acupuncture and Oriental medicine include acne, dermatitis, eczema, pruritus, psoriasis, rosacea, shingles and urticaria (hives). Evidence that acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used for skin disorders, such as hives, can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3 AD. Medicinal plants and stone needles were utilized to relieve and cure discomforts of the external areas of the body.

Oriental medicine does not recognize skin problems as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques including acupuncture, herbal medicine, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 patients are treated with Oriental medicine for eczema, each patient will receive a unique, customized treatment with different lifestyle and dietary recommendations.

Acupuncture views nutrition in a complex light, through the application of Oriental medicinal wisdom to dietary habits. In short, certain foods are considered too "yang", or hot, to eat in excess during the warmer months, while others are prized for their "yin" ability to cool the body. Overall, the goal is balance between the internal yin and yang of the body. A healthy, nutritional diet, good sleep and moderate exercise can keep your skin and physical form at its best.

If you suffer from a skin condition or would like to know how to optimize your skin health, call today to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you

Chronic Dry Skin? Try Acupuncture!

When the superficial layer of skin becomes dehydrated due to changes in weather, allergic reaction, certain medications or bathing/showering, it may develop fine flakes and dry patches. The medical term for this condition is called xerodermia or xerosis, and it may be temporary or respond well to moisturizers. Unfortunately for some, this condition becomes chronic and causes uncomfortable symptoms that require professional treatment. If chronic dry skin goes untreated, there is a higher risk of secondary conditions like tears in the skin that lead to infection, rashes, eczema, cellulitis or thickening and darkening patches

According to the theory of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the lung organ has important associations with any condition relating to dryness. One of its primary functions is to lubricate all the other organs, including the skin as this is the largest organ of the body. The skin plays an important role in detoxification. The lung is also known as "the delicate organ" due to its sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.

To further demonstrate the relationship between the lung and dryness, the Neijing, a highly regarded acupuncture and Oriental medicine text, states that "the lung has a natural aversion to dryness." Not only is the lung vulnerable to dry conditions, but when affected, it can cause conditions of dryness in other areas of the body. Therefore, a practitioner may diagnose a patient exhibiting symptoms of chronic dry skin as having a lung imbalance.

If you have concerns regarding your symptoms of chronic dry skin, contact us for a full evaluation to discover what imbalances within your body may be contributing to your symptoms!

Treating Hives with Acupuncture

Hives (urticaria) are swollen and red bumps, patches or welts on the skin that appear suddenly. Itching is the most common symptom associated with hives, although some people report that hives cause a stinging or burning sensation.

Hives can occur anywhere on the body including the hands, face, lips, tongue, throat or ears. A sign that the whole body is experiencing a hypersensitivity reaction, a hives outbreak can occur due to a wide array of stimuli. While intolerance to certain foods, additives, intense emotions, sunlight exposure and medications can all cause hives; in 70-75 percent of outbreaks, the exact cause of hives remains unknown.

Whether they last for just a few minutes, a few hours or persist for several weeks, hives are rarely a medical emergency. However in some cases, they are the first sign of a strong allergic reaction to something and can be accompanied by shock or difficulty breathing, which can be life threatening. About 20 percent of people will experience hives (urticaria) at some point in their lives.

While standard treatment for acute cases of hives involves antihistamines or a corticosteroid drug to relieve symptoms, many people are turning to acupuncture and Oriental medicine to address underlying imbalances that cause this condition and help stop recurrent outbreaks.

In Oriental medicine, an outbreak of hives is described as wind invading the skin and the meridians, causing itching and swelling. When the eruptions are red, it is an indication that wind and heat are involved. When the eruptions are a pale pink or white, it is likely that the diagnosis will be wind-cold invading the skin. How the condition is diagnosed will determine what acupuncture points are used, what herbal medicines are prescribed and what lifestyle/dietary recommendations are made.

Treatments are directed at addressing both the cause and the symptoms by providing immediate relief from the itching and swelling and addressing the underlying imbalances and triggers that are causing the condition.

A study published in the Internet Journal of Dermatology examined the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic hives (urticaria). The results showed that acupuncture was able to reduce both episode rate and episode duration of urticaria by as much as 25 percent. After three weeks, the majority of the acupuncture-treated patients experienced partial remission of their symptoms. The researchers also noted that the greatest improvements were seen in the third week of treatments and that the efficacy of acupuncture seemed to increase with each treatment.

Finding Eczema Relief

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a skin disorder resulting in rough, red and itchy patches on the body. In addition, there can be a host of other symptoms and complications that can greatly vary between individuals. For some, small blisters may be present that when scratched, may bleed or ooze fluid and then crust over when dry. For others, a persistent need to scratch itchy skin may cause anxiety and sleep problems. Other symptoms of eczema include nighttime itching, red or brown skin discoloration, bumps that ooze fluid and harden when dry, scaly-looking, thick, cracked or dry skin, skin inflammation or sensitive, uncomfortable skin sensations. Complications that may arise from the symptoms of eczema include asthma, allergies, skin infections, insomnia, emotional problems or eye problems.

Usually, eczema is considered a chronic condition as it can take a long time to resolve. There may be long periods of remission, when the skin shows no symptoms. However in the presence of a trigger, such as pollen or dust, or after a stressful life event, symptoms of atopic dermatitis may come back. Other potential triggers for eczema include dry skin, bacteria and viruses, stress, excess sweat, hot and humid environmental conditions, wool, certain chemical cleansers and soaps, smoke/air pollution and certain foods like eggs, milk, wheat gluten or peanuts.

Due to the red and itchy nature of skin affected by eczema, acupuncture and Oriental medicine largely defines this condition as one related to heat. This manifestation of heat on the skin may stem from an internal imbalance (e.g. a weakened immune system), an allergic reaction (e.g. peanut allergy) or a combination of both these internal and external factors.

According to the philosophy of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, there are many reasons why the body may succumb to a heat condition and lead to the manifestation of eczema symptoms. Strong or prolonged emotions such as anger, rage or jealousy may contribute to a pathological buildup of heat. Overworking may also be a contributing factor, as this may interfere with other activities such as exercise and things that bring joy and pleasure into one's life.

Each patient will have a different set of circumstances. At the time of your visit, mention any emotional or behavioral difficulties you feel may be related to your eczema. This way, a treatment plan can be developed that will address all of your symptoms.


In This Issue

  • Keep Your Skin Healthy with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • Chronic Dry Skin? Try Acupuncture!
  • Treating Hives with Acupuncture
  • Finding Eczema Relief
  • Foods to Help You Look Your Best
  • Troubling Acne?

Foods to Help You Look Your Best

Be sure to integrate these items into your diet to help keep your skin look its best:

Vitamin A: Acting as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful elements in our skin, vitamin A helps to prevent wrinkles, resist infection and maintain the skin's elasticity. One of the best places to get vitamin A is from vegetables that are deep orange in color, such as carrots or sweet potatoes.

Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries and Plums: Antioxidants and other phytochemicals in these fruits can protect cells from damage and disintegration, thus guarding against premature aging. In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits weighed in with the highest "total antioxidant capacity" of any food.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): Responsible for skin repair, moisture content and flexibility, and because the body cannot produce its own, EFAs must be obtained from one's diet. Fish, walnuts and flaxseed oil are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Selenium: An antioxidant mineral responsible for tissue elasticity and healthy skin, selenium can be found in brown rice, turkey, tuna and Brazil nuts

Green Tea: Green tea's ability to slow down the development of some signs of aging is attributed to its high levels of polyphenols, which have been well-documented for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Water: Essential to maintaining your skin's elasticity and suppleness, hydration plays a key role in keeping skin cells healthy. Hydration helps cells move nutrients in and toxins out to keep skin clean and clear.

Troubling Acne?

While acne is a condition that affects nearly 85 percent of all adolescents, the American Dermatologist Association reports that 20 percent of adults have an active acne condition. So, though some are led to believe that acne is a problem that only teenagers experience, the fact is that acne can impact any age group.

Acne often occurs when the hair follicles or pores become clogged from oil, dirt, dead skin cells, bacteria, environmental toxins or physical irritations on the surface of the skin. Hair follicles are connected to sebaceous glands, which secrete an oily substance known as sebum. Ordinarily, the secretion of sebum provides a luscious, healthy sheen to hair and skin. But there are times when the substance builds up, causing the pores to become plugged.

For some, acne may just simply be a nuisance from time to time, but for others the problem is chronic. Not only do they suffer from frequent acne breakouts, but also acne scarring. What's more, only as little as 11 percent of the 60 million Americans struggling with acne will seek professional treatment.

If you are showing symptoms of acne, even if it's not chronic and severe, you may want to consider an appointment. In addition to directly treating your skin condition through a personalized acupuncture treatment plan, you can also receive treatment if you experience emotional distress from your skin condition. Plus, if you seek treatment earlier rather than later, you may help reduce the incidence of permanent scarring.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) affects an estimated 2 percent of the population. It is diagnosed when there is a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a minimum duration of three months, and pain when pressure is applied to at least 11 of 18 designated tender points on the body. In addition to musculoskeletal pain, patients with fibromyalgia can suffer fatigue, sleep disturbance, memory loss, mood swings and digestive problems.

What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome?

From the perspective of western medicine, fibromyalgia is a medically unexplained syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain, a heightened and painful response to pressure, insomnia, fatigue and depression.

While not all affected persons experience all associated symptoms, the following symptoms commonly occur together -- chronic pain, debilitating fatigue, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, depression, joint stiffness, chronic headaches, dryness, hypersensitivity, inability to concentrate (called "fibro fog"), incontinence, irritable bowel syndrome, numbness, tingling or poor circulation in the hands and feet, painful menstrual cramps or restless legs syndrome

On its own fibromyalgia does not result in any physical damage to the body or its tissues and there are no laboratory tests that can confirm this diagnosis. Symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event. Women are more prone to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age.

Research shows that up to 90 percent of people with fibromyalgia have turned to complementary or alternative medicine to manage their symptoms. Acupuncture, in particular, has become a popular treatment choice and has been shown to be an effective treatment for FMS.

An Oriental Medicine Perspective

Oriental medicine does not recognize fibromyalgia as one particular disease pattern. Instead, it aims to treat the symptoms unique to each individual depending on their constitution, emotional state, the intensity and location of their pain, digestive health, sleeping patterns and an array of other signs and symptoms.

Since symptoms of fibromyalgia vary greatly from one person to another, a wide array of traditional and alternative treatments have been shown to be the most effective way of treating this difficult syndrome.

Therefore, if 10 people are treated with Oriental medicine for fibromyalgia, each of these 10 people will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs and different lifestyle and dietary recommendations.

A treatment program may include a combination of psychological or behavioral therapies, medications, exercise, acupuncture, herbal medicine and bodywork.

Since pain is a hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia, an Oriental medicine approach will incorporate treatment for pain, though this may differ from western "pain management" therapies. The Oriental medicine theory of pain is expressed in this famous Chinese saying: "Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong" which means "free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain."

Pain is seen as a disruption of the flow of Qi within the body. The disruption of Qi that results in fibromyalgia is usually associated with disharmonies of the Liver, Spleen, Kidney and Heart systems.

If you have fibromyalgia, acupuncture and Oriental medicine may be what you've been looking for to ease your symptoms and reclaim your health and vitality. Please call for a consultation today.

5 Tools for Fibromyalgia Symptom Relief

Although fibromyalgia is a disorder that can be disabling for many due to chronic widespread pain and fatigue there are some things you can do to alleviate the symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

Learn and Practice Stress Reduction Techniques
Chronic stress can lead to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments. When under stress your muscles contract and tense affecting nerves, blood vessels, organs, skin and bones. Chronically tense muscles can result in a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and disorders including muscle spasms and pain.

While it isn't always possible to remove the external forces causing stress the ability to effectively deal with stress is a choice. Take time for yourself and cultivate the energy you need to handle your stress more effectively.

Eat a Well Balanced Diet
Managing your diet may seem time-consuming but the benefits it offers make it worthwhile. Many fibromyalgia sufferers find relief through a properly managed diet. A list of basic nutrients to combat nerve sensitivities, improve cognition, boost the immune system, and reduce swelling is included in this newsletter.

While even basic movements may be painful, exercise helps restore strength and endurance. Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Yoga are great for easy stretches, careful strengthening, deep breathing, along with relaxation techniques.

Gentle stretching will clear tension that builds when muscles tighten, and will improve overall circulation. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

The practice of meditation is a proven stress reducer that helps the body create a sense of calm and a continuing sense of well being. While 15 minutes daily is recommended, even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect on your day.

Restorative Sleep
Get at least eight hours of restorative sleep. Maintain a routine sleep schedule and make your bedroom a sanctuary from every day stress. Practicing good sleep hygiene will give your body an opportunity to get stronger and heal.


In This Issue

  • Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Fibromyalgia
  • 5 Tools for Fibromyalgia Symptom Relief
  • Fight Fibromyalgia with Nutrient Dense Foods
  • Fibromyalgia Study

Fight Fibromyalgia with Nutrient Dense Foods

The National Fibromyalgia Association recommends a balanced diet containing nutrient dense foods free of artificial additives and sweeteners to help your body fight fibromyalgia syndrome. Some key nutrients to include are:

Found in whole grains, beans, nuts, chicken, fish and eggs; B complex vitamins directly influence the nervous system's proper functioning and combat nerve problems such as tingling and tenderness.

Found in nuts, grains, beans, fish, meat and dark green vegetables magnesium is needed for muscle flexibility and bone, protein and fatty acid formation. Magnesium is also integral in making new cells, relaxing muscles, clotting blood, aiding in calcium absorption and activating B vitamins.

Omega 3
Directly affecting cellular function, this fatty acid found in fish minimizes nerve sensitivity and improves cognition.

Vitamin C
Helps combat stress, builds the immune system and reduces swelling. Vitamin C is found in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables including citrus fruits, green vegetables, tomatoes and berries.

Increases circulation of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and helps to eliminate waste.

Fibromyalgia Study

A study from the Mayo Clinic found acupuncture helpful in treating the fatigue and anxiety commonly experienced by fibromyalgia patients.

In the trial, patients who received acupuncture to counter their fibromyalgia symptoms reported improvement in fatigue and anxiety, among other symptoms. Acupuncture was well tolerated, with minimal side effects.

Those who received acupuncture treatments reported less fatigue and anxiety one month following treatment than the group that did not.

According to David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist, the study "affirms a lot of clinical impressions that this complementary medical technique is helpful for patients."

Dr. Martin performed the study with co-authors Ines Berger, M.D.; Christopher Sletten, Ph.D.; and Brent Williams. The study only examined patients who reported more severe symptoms, offering better experimental control.

Men's Leading Health Concerns

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been used to treat men's health concerns for thousands of years and are growing in popularity. The reason for this growth in popularity is that many health issues that men face, such as high blood pressure, prostate problems and depression, respond extremely well to acupuncture treatments.

Primary health issues that affect men include:

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the leading men's health threat, with heart disease and stroke topping the list as the first and second leading causes of death worldwide. By integrating acupuncture and Oriental medicine into a heart-healthy lifestyle, you can dramatically reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Taking even small steps to improve your health can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by as much as 80 percent. Steps to prevention include managing high blood pressure, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress and getting better sleep. All of these issues can be helped with acupuncture and Oriental medicine

Acupuncture has been found to be particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure. By applying acupuncture needles at specific sites along the wrist, inside the forearm or in the leg, researchers have been able to stimulate the release of natural opioids in the body, which decreases the heart's activity and reduces its need for excess oxygen. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading form of cancer that kills men. Tobacco smoke causes 90 percent of all lung cancer, so you should make every effort to quit smoking for improved health and longevity. If you are ready to quit smoking, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help.

Shown to be an effective treatment for smoking and other addictions, acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatments for these issues focus on jitters, cravings, irritability and restlessness--symptoms that people commonly complain about when they try to quit. Treatments also aid in relaxation and detoxification.

In one study on substance addiction, a team from Yale University successfully used auricular (ear) acupuncture to treat cocaine addiction. Results showed that 55 percent of participants tested free of cocaine during the last week of treatment, compared to 24 percent and 9 percent in the two control groups. Those who completed acupuncture treatment also had longer periods of sustained abstinence compared to participants in the control groups.

Depression and Mental Health

Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women, reports the Men's Health Network, which attributes part of the problem to underdiagnosed depression in men. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 6 million men have depression each year in America alone. It is now believed that the male tendency to hide feelings of depression and to not seek professional help has skewed previously reported numbers. Depression in men does not present solely as extreme sadness. Depression in men may present as anger, aggression, burnout, risk-taking behavior, mid-life crisis or alcohol and substance abuse.

When people are suffering from depression, brain chemicals and stress hormones are out of balance. Sleep, appetite and energy levels are all disturbed. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can alleviate symptoms associated with depression and mental health issues by helping to rebalance the body's internal systems.

The growing body of research supporting the positive effects of acupuncture on depression, anxiety and insomnia is so strong that the military now uses acupuncture to treat troops with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and combat stress syndrome.

Prostate Health

The prostate is prone to enlargement and inflammation as men age, affecting about half of men in their sixties and up to 90 percent of men in their seventies and eighties. If left untreated, benign prostate gland enlargement, which presents with symptoms such as frequent nighttime urination, painful urination and difficult urination, can lead to more serious conditions such as prostate cancer, urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones and incontinence.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to treat prostate problems to relieve the urinary symptoms and prevent more serious conditions from occurring. The few studies completed on acupuncture and prostatitis show positive results, with participants noticing a marked improvement in their quality of life, a decrease in urinary difficulties, and an increase in urinary function.

Reproductive Health

While reproductive health concerns may not be life threatening, they can still signal significant health problems. Two-thirds of men older than 70 and up to 39 percent of men around the age of 40--report having problems with their reproductive health. Oriental medicine can help treat various male disorders.

As men age, a decrease in the function of male reproductive organs occurs and they experience andropause, or male menopause. Andropause differs from menopause in that it is not characterized by a dramatic or marked physiological change. Unlike the more dramatic reproductive hormone plunge that occurs in women during menopause, changes in men occur gradually over a period of many years.

Call now to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can improve men's health and well-being!


In This Issue

  • Men's Leading Health Concerns
  • Foods Men Should Eat Every Day

Foods Men Should Eat Every Day

Adding nutrient-rich super foods can help maintain muscle mass, prevent prostate cancer, and more. Here are just a few foods that can give men a healthy boost:

Avocados - Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate and copper. Rich in potassium, avocados contain more of this nutrient than bananas. Potassium is needed to regulate nerves, heartbeat and, especially, blood pressure. An added bonus for men: Avocados inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Blackberries - Blackberries are packed with vitamin C, calcium and magnesium, with more than double the amounts than their popular cousin, the blueberry. Vitamin C is a powerful stress reducer that can lower blood pressure and return cortisol levels to normal faster when taken during periods of stress. Magnesium and calcium act together to help regulate the nerves and muscle tone.

Too little magnesium in your diet can cause nerve cells to become overactivated and can trigger muscular tension, soreness, spasms, cramps and fatigue. Blackberries also score high on the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) scale, which assesses the antioxidant content of food. The higher the score, the better the food's ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that lead to cancer.

Spinach - Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. Spinach can help protect against prostate cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, lower blood pressure and strengthen muscles.

Walnuts - When it comes to their health benefits, walnuts are the king of nuts. Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more antioxidants than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken, walnuts are one of the all-time superfoods.

Yogurt - Eating yogurt that contains live bacterial cultures every day improves digestive health, boosts the immune system, provides protection against cancer and may help you live longer. Not all yogurts are probiotic though, so make sure the label says "live and active cultures."

Alleviate Arthritis Pain with Acupuncture

Arthritis isn't just one disease, but a complex disorder comprised of more than 100 distinct conditions that can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these two types of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors and effects on the body, they often share a common symptom: persistent joint pain.

For many people, arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of 50 show some signs of arthritis as joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can frequently be managed with acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 21 million adults in the United States. Beginning with the breakdown of joint cartilage that results in pain and stiffness, osteoarthritis usually affects the joints of the fingers, knees, hips and spine. The wrists, elbows, shoulders and ankles are less frequently affected and when osteoarthritis is found in these joints, there is typically a history of injury or unusual stress to the joints. This may include and be attributed to work-related repetitive injury and physical trauma. For example, if you have a strenuous job that requires repetitive bending, kneeling or squatting, you may be at high risk for osteoarthritis of the knee.

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many different joints and, in some people, other parts of the body as well, including the blood vessels, lungs and heart. With this kind of arthritis, inflammation of the joint lining (called the synovium) can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth and redness. The impacted joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement. Rheumatoid arthritis can last a long time and is a disease characterized by flares (active symptoms) and remissions (few to no symptoms).

Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

According to Oriental medical theory, arthritis arises when the cyclical flow of Qi (energy) in the meridians becomes blocked resulting in pain, soreness, numbness and stiffness. This blockage is called "bi syndrome" and is widely studied and successfully treated using a combination of treatment modalities. The acupuncture points and herbs that are used depend on whether the underlying cause of the blockage of Qi(arthritis) is caused by wind, cold, damp or damp-heat.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine aim to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 patients are treated with Oriental medicine for joint pain, each of these 10 patients will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs/supplements, and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.

Your acupuncturist will examine you, take a look at the onset of your condition and learn your signs and symptoms to determine your diagnosis and choose the appropriate acupuncture points and treatment plan.

Call today to learn how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be incorporated into your treatment plan for arthritis!

Studies of Acupuncture for Arthritis

Several studies have shown that acupuncture can help people with arthritis and related autoimmune diseases.

Scientists found that acupuncture can reduce pain and improve mobility in arthritis patients by 40 percent based on results from a major clinical trial that investigated the ancient Chinese needle treatment. A total of 570 patients aged 50 and older with osteoarthritis of the knee took part in the American study. All had suffered significant pain in their knee the month before joining the trial, but had never experienced acupuncture. By the eighth week, patients receiving acupuncture treatments showed a significant increase in function compared with both the "placebo" treatment and self-help groups. By week 14, they were also experiencing a major decrease in pain.

In a German study, 3,500 people with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee received 15 sessions of acupuncture combined with their usual medical care. The results showed that the patients that received acupuncture had less pain and stiffness, improved joint function and better quality of life than their counterparts who had routine care alone. The improvements occurred immediately after completing a three-month course of acupuncture and lasted for at least another three months, indicating osteoarthritis is among conditions effectively treated with acupuncture.

Another study, published in the journal Pain, looked at the effects of acupuncture among 40 adults with osteoarthritis of the knee. Among the patients in the study, those who had a daily acupuncture session for 10 consecutive days reported greater relief of pain compared to patients who received a "placebo" version of the therapy.

In one Scandinavian study, 25 percent of arthritis patients who had been scheduled for knee surgery cancelled their operations after acupuncture treatment. In the study, researchers compared acupuncture with advice and exercise for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip. Thirty-two patients awaiting a total hip replacement were separated into two groups. One group received one 10-minute and five 25-minute sessions of acupuncture, and the other group received advice and hip exercises over a 6-week period. Patients were then assessed for pain and functional ability. Patients in the acupuncture group showed vast improvements, while no significant changes were reported in the group that received advice and exercise therapy. The results of this study indicate that acupuncture is more effective than advice and exercise for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip.

A University of Maryland School of Medicine study showed that elderly patients who had knee pain due to arthritis improved considerably when acupuncture was added to their treatment. The randomized clinical trial determined whether acupuncture was a clinically safe and effective adjunctive therapy for older patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study addressed the addition of acupuncture to conventional therapy to determine if it would provide an added measure of pain relief, if the effects would last beyond treatment and if treatment would have any side effects. Seventy-three patients were randomly divided into two groups. One group received twice-weekly acupuncture treatments and conventional therapy for eight weeks, and the other group received conventional therapy only. Patients who received acupuncture had notable pain relief and showed improvement in function. Those who did not receive acupuncture showed no substantial change. No patients reported negative side effects from any acupuncture therapy session.

Call today to learn more about the benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine for arthritis!


In This Issue

  • Alleviate Arthritis Pain with Acupuncture
  • Studies of Acupuncture for Arthritis
  • Reduce the Impact
  • Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Reduce the Impact

The Arthritis Foundation recommends the following to reduce the impact of arthritis:

Get Active - Regular physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. Tai Chi is a Chinese exercise that strengthens muscles, improves balance and flexibility, promotes relaxation, and has been shown to relieve chronic joint pain.

Control Weight - Maintaining an appropriate weight or reducing weight to a recommended level reduces the risk of osteoarthritis. Losing just 10 pounds relieves 40 pounds of pressure on knees. For those living with symptoms, losing 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half.

Modify Job Tasks - Try to modify your movements, since repeated use of joints in jobs that require bending and lifting is associated with an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Speak with a health care professional about ways to reduce strain on your joints.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

A balanced, varied diet can help ease the pain of arthritis by providing vitamins and minerals that keep your joints healthy. Avoiding "damp" foods, such as dairy products and greasy or spicy fare, also helps joints.

Here are some healthy and delicious choices to include in your diet:

Ginger - Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory. A fresh ginger tea can be made by combining a half teaspoon of grated ginger with 8 ounces of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain and add honey to taste.

Fresh Pineapple - Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple, reduces inflammation. Be sure the pineapple is fresh, not canned or frozen.

Cherries - Recent research has shown that tart cherries are an excellent source of nutrients that may help to reduce joint pain and inflammation related to arthritis.

Fish - Cold-water fish, such as salmon and mackerel, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep joints healthy as well as reduce pain and swelling.

Turmeric - A natural anti-inflammatory, it can be used in many food preparations including soups, sauces and salad dressings.

Put Insomnia to Rest!

Our society puts a premium on our waking hours, and we thus have the tendency to underestimate the importance of a full-night's sleep. Millions of people who suffer from insomnia look for quick fixes instead of exploring the root causes of the problem. Sleep hygiene is an afterthought for many people. Evening is a time to allow our minds and bodies to turn inward to our subconscious. Sleep deprivation is the root of many health issues like memory impairment, a weakened immune system and stress that can lead to cardiac disease, heart disease and digestive disorders.

Exposure to the diminishing light at dusk helps regulate sleep hormones in the body. Excessive lighting at night, evening shift work, evening computing, video games, television and late-night eating all serve to counteract the body's natural rhythms. It's no wonder people have trouble sleeping. Rather than embrace nighttime as rest time, we tend to let our minds wander from one element of stress to another, which can keep us up for hours or perhaps an entire evening. We are then forced to approach the new day without having benefited from the regenerative powers that nighttime brings.

In Oriental medicine, sleep occurs when the yang energy of the day folds into the yin energy of nighttime. Yin energy of the body is cooling and restorative; it is the time of day when our bodies turn inward and regenerate. This is the time we dream and explore the caverns of our unconscious mind. Conversely, daytime is yang, which is expansive. We expend the energy we have built up from the process of sleeping. Together, this is the cycle of yin and yang.

To apply this yin-yang concept to your everyday life, try eating your last meal at least three hours before going to bed. For example, you can "cool" your yang energy down by avoiding hot and spicy food and drink. Avoid alcohol, coffee, chocolate and any other stimulants, especially late in the day.

To improve your sleep cycles, help circulate your body's energy by working out or with gentle exercise. Build your body's nutritive aspect by eating marrow-based soups and stews, dark pigmented vegetables and fruits. Avoid overworking or over rumination as well.

An invaluable tool to help your brain unwind is meditation. It helps the body create a sense of calm. Meditation can reduce stress, increase feelings of well-being and improve overall health. It can help one increase alertness, relaxation and reflection even in "waking" states. Meditation is best practiced during the day to help improve your sleep patterns at night.

If you or someone you know suffers from insomnia, call today to see what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you!

Sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Find Relief With Oriental Medicine

Chronic fatigue syndrome is far more than just being tired, it is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that may worsen with physical or mental activity and does not improve with rest. Those affected with chronic fatigue syndrome can get so run down that it interferes with the ability to function in day-to-day activities, with some becoming severely disabled and even bedridden. In addition to extreme fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome encompasses a wide range of other symptoms including, but not limited to, headaches, flu-like symptoms and chronic pain.

If you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, Oriental medicine can help relieve many of your symptoms. Exceptional for relieving aches and pains, acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatments can help you avoid getting sick as often and assist with a quicker recovery, as well as improve your vitality and stamina.

Research on Chronic Fatigue and Acupuncture

A study in China evaluated cupping as a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. All of the study patients complained of fatigue and some had additional problems with headaches, insomnia, muscle-joint pains, backaches and pains, poor memory, gastrointestinal disturbances and bitter taste in their mouth, among other things. Patients ranging in age from 28-54 received sliding cupping treatments twice a week for a total of 12 treatments. The results showed there was vast improvement in fatigue levels, insomnia, poor memory, spontaneous sweating, sore throat, profuse dreams, poor intake, abdominal distention, diarrhea, and alternating constipation and diarrhea.

In another study conducted at the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of TCM in Guangzhou, China, subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome were evenly divided by random selection into an acupuncture group and a control group. The observation group was treated with acupuncture and the control group was treated with an injection. Participants completed a fatigue scale and results showed that people who received acupuncture reported significantly more relief from their symptoms. A similar study conducted in Hong Kong gave half of the group conventional needle acupuncture and half (the control group) sham acupuncture. Again, using a fatigue scale, improvements in physical and mental fatigue were significantly bigger in the acupuncture group and no adverse events occurred.

Most significantly, 28 papers were statistically reviewed through a meta analysis in order to assess the success of acupuncture as a therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome. The results showed that treatment groups receiving acupuncture for chronic fatigue syndrome had superior results when compared with control groups. Rightly, they concluded that acupuncture therapy is effective for chronic fatigue syndrome and that it does merit additional research.

If you are struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome, call today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be incorporated into your treatment plan!


In This Issue

  • Put Insomnia to Rest!
  • Sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Find Relief With Oriental Medicine
  • Tips for a Restful Night

Tips for a Restful Night

Sound sleep is the foundation of good health. We need 6-8 hours of sleep every night to recharge our batteries.

Practicing good sleep hygiene and keeping your body in sync with the rhythm of day and night can help your body cope with sleep deprivation and give it an opportunity to get stronger and heal.

By implementing just a few of these suggestions, you should notice a great improvement in your sleep and how you function during daylight hours.

Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Keep it dark, cool and quiet. Angle the clock face away from the bed. If you get up to use the bathroom during the night, don't turn on the light; use a nightlight to safely guide you. The optimal temperature for sleep is 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

When Hungry
Avoid heavy meals and sugary or high grain snacks before bed. They will raise your blood sugar and make it difficult to fall asleep. Reduce nicotine, caffeine and alcohol use.

If you are hungry, eat a high protein snack a couple of hours before going to bed. Try yogurt, a banana or half of a turkey sandwich.

Reduce Late Night Activity
Stop working at least an hour before you plan to go to bed. Let your mind relax. Limit television and computer use in the evening.

If you want to read in bed, avoid backlit devices as the light stimulates the brain. Read a book or use a device that requires you to use a separate soft light source.

Bedtime Routine
Establish a relaxing routine as you prepare for bed. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time everyday, even on weekends.

Relax by taking a hot shower, practicing mediation, or try progressive muscle relaxation, starting at your toes and working up to the top of the head.

It is important to leave the day's worries behind. Do not overthink your day while you lie in bed. Take a deep breath, clear your mind and drift into a state of restful sleep.

Strengthen Your Digestive Health with Acupuncture

More than 95 million Americans suffer from digestive disorders ranging from constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome to more serious conditions such as acid reflux (GERD), ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. In fact, more than 35 million physician office visits a year are due to gastrointestinal complaints. Reports confirm that acupuncture and Oriental medicine can offer relief from even the most complex digestive problems.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Digestive Disorders

Evidence that Oriental medicine has been used for digestive disorders can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3 AD, where specific acupuncture points and herbal formulas for borborygmus (rumbling or gurgling in the intestines), abdominal pain and diarrhea with pain are discussed.

According to Oriental medical theory, most digestive disorders are due to disharmony in the spleen and stomach. The spleen plays a central part in the health and vitality of the body, taking a lead role in the assimilation of nutrients and maintenance of physical strength. It turns digested food from the stomach into usable nutrients and Qi (energy). Many schools of thought have been formed around this organ; the premise being that the proper functioning of the "middle" is the key to all aspects of vitality.

By taking into account a person's constitution and varied symptoms, a treatment plan is designed specifically for the individual to bring their "middle" back into harmony and optimize the proper functioning of the digestive system. A variety of techniques can be used during treatment including acupuncture, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore digestive health.

Is your digestive system functioning as well as it could? Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are extremely effective at treating a wide array of digestive disorders. Call today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Relief for Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is part of a category of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and it presents with inflammation in the lining of the large intestine, specifically the colon and sometimes the rectum. The lining becomes inflamed due to small wounds or ulcers, which then produce mucus and pus.

To be more specific, the condition occurs when the body mistakenly identifies food or other substances as foreign invaders. White blood cells are called up as part of an immune response, which proceed to cause inflammation and damage in the large intestine. Flare-ups may be triggered by stress, infections and certain anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. However, the exact cause of ulcerative colitis is not known, but medical researchers suspect a link between a person's genetics, general state of the immune system and environmental factors.

Most people start showing symptoms in their 30's since the disease advances slowly over time, and men and women are equally as likely to be affected. Children are also at risk and, in general, the younger a child is the more likely the symptoms and complications will be severe. Growth and mental development may be a problem in this case.

As there can be weeks or even months without a patient experiencing symptoms, when they do occur, they are referred to as flare-ups. The inflammation and ulceration associated with ulcerative colitis can cause pain and different problems, including frequent, watery diarrhea, persistent diarrhea with pain and bloody stool, urgent bowel movements, incomplete evacuation of the bowels despite a feeling of urgency, abdominal cramping, loss of appetite, weight loss, body fluid depletion, fatigue, fever or urgent diarrhea that wakes you up in the middle of the night.

The symptoms and how long they occur for can vary widely for each patient. Many sufferers report only minimal or moderate symptoms, while others experience life-threatening complications such as severe dehydration and major bleeding from the colon.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is equipped to handle the symptoms of ulcerative colitis as demonstrated by a meta-analysis of different scientific studies conducted since the 1990's. A team of researchers conducted a wide-scale analysis of 43 randomized, controlled trials investigating the efficacy of acupuncture and moxibustion for the treatment of irritable bowel disease. Of those 43 trials, 42 specifically analyzed and addressed ulcerative colitis.

Researchers then focused on 10 scientific studies that compared the use of acupuncture and moxibustion to the use of oral sulphasalazine for symptom relief. Sulphasalazine is a doctor-prescribed pharmaceutical drug that is commonly used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis. After analyzing the studies, researchers concluded "acupuncture and moxibustion demonstrated better overall efficacy than oral sulphasalazine in treating inflammatory bowel disease." This meta-analysis was performed by a team at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shanghai, China. The study was published in the 2013 issue of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal covering alternative medicine.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Acupuncture

A common disorder affecting 10 to 20 percent of adults at some point in their lives, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was once called “spastic colon” and has a combination of symptoms that may include constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, fatigue and headaches that can be worsened by certain foods, stress and other irritants. IBS is the end result of nervous interference with the normal function of the lower digestive tract. The symptoms are variable and change over time.

While other patterns may be present, IBS is typically considered a disharmony between the liver and the spleen in Oriental medicine. The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi and blood throughout the body. This flow can be upset by emotions or stress, causing stagnation of Qi or blood. Oriental medicine views the spleen as being associated with the function of digestion and transforming food into energy (Qi and blood). The spleen can be weakened by a number of factors, including overeating unhealthy foods, overwork, stress, fatigue and lack of exercise. When the spleen is weak and the liver is not moving smoothly, the liver overacts on the spleen and can manifest as symptoms of IBS. Symptoms can be managed by avoiding overeating, exercise, identifying trigger foods and reducing stress.

Do you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Call today to see how Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can improve your quality of life!

Crohn's Disease Symptom Relief

Crohn's disease is a medical condition that can cause chronic inflammation anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract--from the mouth all the way to the rectum. Often, but not always, the inflamed tissue is specifically found in the ileum (the end of the small intestine) and the beginning of the colon. Inflammation can spread into the deeper layers of the tract and frequently has what is known as a "cobblestone appearance." This refers to the fact that some patches of diseased tissue are found next to patches of healthy tissue.

Although all age groups are equally at risk, people 15-35 years old are most commonly affected. Crohn's is a difficult condition to cure, so the main focus of treatment is to help manage symptoms with medication and dietary changes and, in some cases, surgery to repair or remove affected areas of the gastrointestinal tract. Because the disease is chronic, the individual may experience periods of flare-ups and aggravating symptoms, while at other times the person will have periods with no apparent symptoms at all.

Symptoms vary from patient to patient, and may include persistent, recurrent diarrhea, bleeding from the anus, urgent need to evacuate the bowels, constipation or feeling of incomplete evacuation, abdominal cramping, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, mental and physical developmental delays (in certain cases occurring amongst children), fever, night sweats, or irregular menstrual cycle

It is important to receive an early diagnosis as untreated Crohn's disease can eventually cause life-threatening symptoms such as tears in the lining of the rectum and fistulas. Fissures can cause excess bleeding and pain. Fistulas happen when inflammation erodes tissue, causing the formation of a tunnel starting from the intestines, going to the urinary bladder, vagina or even the skin.

A study called Acupuncture Helps Crohn's Disease Patients was published in the journal World of Gastroenterology, and it had some very promising results. It concluded that "acupuncture provided significant therapeutic benefits in patients with active Crohn's disease, beyond the placebo effect and is therefore an effective and safe treatment." Even more encouraging, researchers also discovered that both lab scores and quality of life scores improved. This means that acupuncture and Oriental medicine is adept at handling the physical and emotional symptoms that often accompany the disease.

For the study, the acupuncture points selected for treatment focused on reducing inflammation in the intestinal tract. Each participant received three treatments per week for a total of 12 weeks. Additionally, moxibustion (moxa) was also used on four acupuncture points on the stomach. Moxa is a traditional technique that uses the smoke from the herb mugwort to penetrate the skin. In this way, it stimulates the body's immune system. Often, the warm smoke provides a pleasant, comforting experience for the patient.

Diet is very important and the right choices can help reduce some symptoms. In general, acupuncture and Oriental medicine suggests refraining from eating raw and cold foods.

Call today to learn more about how diet can impact the symptoms of Crohn's.


In This Issue

  • Strengthen Your Digestive Health with Acupuncture
  • Relief for Ulcerative Colitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Acupuncture
  • Crohn's Disease Symptom Relief
  • Reduce Your Risk of Getting Food Poisoning
  • Acid Reflux? Try Acupuncture!

Reduce Your Risk of Getting Food Poisoning

Four simple steps to reducing the occurrence of food poisoning are to clean, separate, cook and chill.

Clean: Wash hands, surfaces, utensils and platters often. Rinse all produce in cold running water before peeling, cutting or eating.

Separate: Keep foods that won't be cooked separate from raw meat and poultry. Don't use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meats and poultry.

Cook: Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria.

Chill: Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers.

If you are ill with diarrhea or vomiting, do not prepare food for others, especially infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems since they are more vulnerable to infection.

Acid Reflux? Try Acupuncture!

For some people, eating a heavy, spicy or fatty meal can produce the unmistakable signs of acid reflux. Symptoms can vary from a burning pain in the chest to a sour taste in the mouth as stomach acid and/or regurgitated food flows upward through the esophagus into the oral cavity. Although some may refer to these symptoms collectively as heartburn, the process is the same no matter what it is called. Additionally they may experience difficult or painful swallowing, sore throat, a dry, rough voice, or feeling of a lump in the throat that cannot be cleared away.

It is estimated that more than 20 percent of the general population is affected by acid reflux. While other groups are impacted, at least half of all asthmatic children experience symptoms, and pregnant women tend to suffer more than the average population, with half reporting severe symptoms during their second and third trimesters.

While it's true for some people that symptoms can be mild or pass quickly, others go on to experience more severe ones. Sometimes, symptoms of acid reflux can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. This includes severe chest pain and a crushing sensation in the chest. Also of concern is the presence of black, tarry stools or black material in vomit. These are signs of bleeding in the stomach, a serious medical concern.

An acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioner may recognize the symptoms of acid reflux as relating to the stomach organ. Two examples of diagnoses would be rebellious stomach Qi and food accumulation in the stomach. Qi is a vital energy necessary for all life to exist. Both of these diagnoses call for an acupuncture treatment that will redirect energy downwards, as should naturally happen just after eating or drinking. Rebellious stomach Qi is a perfect description for some of the symptoms of acid reflux.

The stomach, according to the philosophy of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, is needed to ripen and rot food. After this process of fermentation occurs, only then may the nutrients be extracted during the next phase of digestion. Without strong stomach Qi, issues regarding malnutrition may arise. This is why an acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioner will need to evaluate a patient with acid reflux and address any nutritional deficiencies that may be present. Diet is very important in helping to calm symptoms.

Suffering from acid reflux? Call today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!

Source from and Powered by Acufinder.com