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Chinese New Year 2024 Year of the Dragon


By Qineng Tan, L.Ac., Ph.D and Xiaomei Cai, L.Ac., Ph.D.

year of the dragon 2024
Year of the Dragon

The Lunar New Year will officially begin on Saturday, February 10, 2024, when we will say goodbye to the Year of the Rabbit and welcome in the Year of the Dragon.

In Chinese culture, the dragon is a divine creature who brings good fortune. Chinese dragons are believed to act as conduits between heaven and earth, helping to bring good weather, plentiful harvests, and overall prosperity to people. 

In Ancient China, Emperors were believed to have the qualities of dragons. This is why it is common to see statues and carvings of dragons in Chinese cities, standing guard.

In Chinese culture, it is considered very fortunate to be born in the Year of the Dragon, and many people actively aim to have a child in the Dragon year. 


Chinese Astrology

Similar in some ways to the Western Zodiac, the Chinese Zodiac comprises twelve signs, each represented by a magical creature or animal. The Chinese Zodiac moves through its cycle in twelve years, rather than twelve months.

Chinese Astrology also incorporates the five elements: water, wood, metal, earth, and fire. This cycle takes 60 years to complete itself, as each sign moves through a new element every twelve years.. This will be the year of the Wood Dragon, which has not happened since 1964.


2024 Year of the Wood Dragon


Chinese dragon
Chinese dragons often guard buildings.

The fire of the Dragon is the spark of creativity. Dragon personalities are not bound by conformity. Dragons are “larger than life;” they have big ideas and do things on a grand scale. They are fearless and proud, and hold themselves—and everyone else—to a high standard. They would much rather give orders than follow them.

In Chinese astrology, wood represents the season of spring and is associated with growth. 

The wood element in the Year of the Dragon brings creativity and the strength and tenacity to put original ideas into action. The wood dragon is an independent thinker who gets right to the point and may be impatient when other people or circumstances try to hold up their plans.


Chinese Zodiac – Year of the Dragon Horoscope

The Dragon year may bring big challenges, but it will also bring luck and wonderful opportunities. The year of the Dragon is a great time for new beginnings and starting big projects. 


If you are a Dragon, then 2024 is your “ben ming nian.” Every twelve years, when it is “our year,” we begin a new cycle in our lives. Your ben ming nian is a time to plant seeds for the future. It can be a joyous time, but it is also wise to protect yourself, as there may be conflicts or health issues that crop up.

The Dragon is susceptible to stress and may have health problems such as headaches, exhaustion, emotional upsets, and high blood pressure. Engaging in exercises such as Tai Chi or yoga can help the Dragon keep their cool.

Dragons can help ward off negative energy by wearing red, or keeping an ornament made of jade with them.


What Is My Sign In Chinese Astrology?

Chinese astrology follows the lunar year calendar, and Chinese New Year can take place in various years in either January or February. If your birthday falls in one of those months, you will need to check to see when Chinese New Year occurred in your birth year to determine your sign.

Dragon – 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024
Full of vitality, self-assured, a natural leader or performer.

Serpent – 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Charming skeptic and deeper thinker who uses their intuition.

Horse – 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Cheerful, quick-witted and popular.

Ram- 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
Kind and helpful, artistic and a bit passive.


Monkey – 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Clever and innovative, a fast learner with good memory.

Rooster – 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
Dramatic and outspoken, reputable and reliable.

Dog – 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Deep sense of justice and responsibility, loyal and generous.

Boar – 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
Diligent, courageous, and a good friend.

Rat 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020
Bright, sociable and highly ambitious, lavish with money.

Ox1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
Intelligent, confident, traditional, can be stubborn.

Tiger1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022
Rebellious and dynamic, indomitable but considerate.

Rabbit1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
Peace-loving and well-mannered, intelligent and creative.


Chinese New Year Traditions

Chinese New Year red envelope
Red envelopes are given to children at Chinese New Year.

In China, the New Year is the biggest holiday of the year, and most people will travel to spend time with their families. 

It is traditional to clean your home carefully to bring luck and order into your lives. The ancient art of Feng Shui offers guidelines for how to arrange items around your home in order to allow for the smooth flow of energy through the rooms.

For more detailed information about finding your personal Feng Shui, based on your physical location and your birth chart, read our article here.

Gifts are exchanged at the New Year; usually, adults give children a gift of cash, tucked in a red envelope. In exchange, children wish their elders good health and good luck. According to custom, you must never open the envelope in front of the person who gave it to you.

Traditional New Year food offerings also help usher in good fortune for the new year. Foods that symbolize wealth are often emphasized. For example, displaying mandarin oranges and tangerines is thought to signify abundance. Dumplings and Spring Rolls are often served, reminding the family of silver and gold ingots. Long, uncut noodles represent long life.

For more information about which vegetables are served at Chinese New Year meals to bring good luck and good health, check out our article here.

Happy Chinese New Year 2024 From Art of Wellness Acupuncture Los Angeles

Chinese New Year is about welcoming longevity, wealth and prosperity into our lives and eliminating any negative Qi from the past. 

In any culture, holidays are meant to be a happy and fulfilling time in our lives, but they can also bring extra stress. Whatever holiday you are celebrating, be sure to take time to get enough rest, exercise daily, and set aside a few quiet moments to meditate and center yourself. 

From everyone at Art of Wellness, we want to wish all of you peace and wellness in the coming year.


How To Treat Addison’s Disease With Acupuncture and TCM


By Qineng Tan, L.Ac,. Ph.D. and Xiaomei Cai, L.Ac., Ph.D.


fatigue and nausea addison
Fatigue and nausea can be symptoms of Addison’s disease

Always tired? Craving salty foods? Thirsty all the time? Adrenal fatigue? Addison’s disease is a condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol. Acupuncture and TCM can help to balance the adrenal hormones and relieve adrenal insufficiency symptoms.

Addison’s, also known as adrenal insufficiency, happens because of damage to the adrenal glands. What do the adrenal glands do? The adrenals are small glands that are located just above the kidneys. They produce hormones, including cortisol and aldosterone. These hormones are important in metabolic functions, and are also a big part of our stress response.

Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands into the bloodstream, and it aids in the body’s use of macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Cortisol regulates blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and it also gives us an extra energy boost when we need it because of sudden and/or stressful circumstances.

In many cases, Addison’s disease is the result of an autoimmune disorder. In these cases, the immune system mistakenly attacks the adrenal cortex, the part of the adrenal glands that produce cortisol and aldosterone. 

In some parts of the world, tuberculosis infection is still common, and tuberculosis can lead to damage of the adrenal glands.

Other infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, or fungal infections like histoplasmosis, can cause adrenal damage.

People with other autoimmune diseases may be more susceptible to developing Addison disorder, too. For example, Addison’s disease can happen concurrently with:



Some people may develop Addison’s disease in addition to having hypothyroidism or diabetes. 


Addison’s Disease Symptoms


extreme fatigue adrenal insufficiency
Adrenal insufficiency can cause extreme fatigue.

In the early stages, Addison’s disease symptoms may feel like a flu, causing fatigue, muscle weakness and joint pain. But as the illness progresses, these symptoms may become chronic.


Adrenal insufficiency symptoms include:


  1. Extreme fatigue
  2. Dehydration
  3. Loss of appetite 
  4. Unexplained weight loss
  5. Darkening of skin in areas, hyperpigmentation, darkening of gums
  6. Blue-black color to skin around mouth, nipples, or genitals
  7. Low blood pressure, hypoglycemia
  8. Dizziness
  9. Fainting, light-headedness
  10. Craving salt
  11. Abdominal pain
  12. Nausea, vomiting
  13. Diarrhea
  14. Joint pain
  15. Muscle pain
  16. Depression
  17. Irritability
  18. Loss of body hair
  19. Sexual problems
  20. Irregular periods, no menstrual periods, missed periods


Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), has been found to be more common among those with Addison’s disease, with about 1 in 10 women with Addison’s going through early menopause (before 40).

In extreme situations, Addison’s sickness can lead to kidney failure, or going into shock. Early warning signs of adrenal crisis include nausea, fever, headache, and confusion. This sudden worsening of Addison’s disease is known as Adrenal crisis, and requires immediate medical attention.

Medical Treatment for Addison’s Disease

Accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial for individuals with Addison’s disease. 

A doctor will typically diagnose Addison’s disease through blood tests. These tests measure the levels of cortisol and aldosterone in the blood. Low levels of these hormones are indicative of adrenal insufficiency.

If blood tests suggest adrenal insufficiency, an ACTH stimulation test may be performed. In this test, synthetic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is administered, and cortisol levels in the blood are measured. Patients with Addison’s disease typically do not show a significant increase in cortisol after receiving ACTH.

The primary treatment for Addison’s disease involves hormone replacement therapy. Patients are prescribed synthetic cortisol (usually hydrocortisone or prednisone) to replace the insufficient natural cortisol production.

If aldosterone production is also insufficient, patients may be prescribed fludrocortisone to replace this hormone. This helps regulate salt and water balance in the body.

Dosage and frequency of cortisol replacement are adjusted to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often need to take multiple doses of medication daily to mimic the body’s natural cortisol rhythms.

These steroid medications can cause side effects like dizziness, nausea, and changes in the menstrual cycle.

Patients with Addison’s disease require ongoing medical supervision to monitor hormone levels, adjust medication as needed, and ensure that they are responding well to treatment.

Acupuncture offers an adjunct or alternative treatment for Addison’s disease that can help regulate hormones.


Can Acupuncture Help Addison’s Disease?

acupuncture adrenal support
Acupuncture can help balance hormones like cortisol.

According to TCM theory, the kidneys are responsible for storing and controlling not only Qi, but “essence,” which represents a person’s foundational life force energy. 

Addison’s disease, or adrenal insufficiency, is usually related to some variation of kidney deficiency according to TCM diagnosis.

Possible TCM diagnosis for Addison’s might be:

  • kidney qi deficiency
  • kidney yang deficiency
  • kidney yin deficiency
  • liver yin deficiency
  • spleen blood deficiency
  • spleen yang deficiency

By listening to a person’s range of symptoms, an acupuncturist will determine which pattern is emerging, and choose acupuncture points to bring energy and strength to the affected organs. 

Moxibustion treatment is also an excellent modality to help build up Kidney Qi and blood.

Chinese herbs can help nourish and support kidney Qi.

For some people, acupuncture treatment and herbal supplements can be a good alternative treatment for Addison’s disease. For others, TCM treatment for adrenal insufficiency can be used as an adjunct to conventional treatment, and help to alleviate side effects of steroids, like dizziness, nausea, or menstrual changes.


Acupuncture Near Me for Addison’s Disease in West Los Angeles

Acupuncture can help address autoimmune diseases that are difficult for conventional medicine to treat. TCM modalities, including moxibustion and herbs, can provide a holistic treatment that works on the root level, restoring proper function of the immune system, as well as helping to relieve all kinds of symptoms. 

Addison’s disease requires an individualized approach. Dr. Tan and Dr. Cai at Art of Wellness Acupuncture have over three decades of experience helping patients overcome all types of autoimmune disorders. Art of Wellness was recently named one of the top acupuncture practices in Los Angeles. Please do not hesitate to call us.

*This article is for education from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine only. The education provided by this article is not approved by FDA to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure human diseases. It should not stop you from consulting with your physician for your medical conditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on Qi, which is an invisible force that usually cannot be observed by modern science. Because science focuses on testing ideas about the natural world with evidence obtained through observation, these aspects of acupuncture can’t be studied by science. Therefore acupuncture and Chinese herbs are often not supported by double-blind, randomized trials, and they are considered alternative medicine therapies in the United States.




How to Treat Vitiligo With Acupuncture and TCM


by Qineng Tan, L.Ac., Ph.D. and Xiaomei Cai, L.Ac., Ph.D.


White patches on the skin are caused by vitiligo autoimmune disease.

White patches on skin, white spots on face? Graying hair? White patches of skin can be a sign of Vitiligo. Vitiligo is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the melanin, or pigment, in the skin. Acupuncture and TCM offer a holistic, complementary vitiligo treatment that can help with repigmentation.

Vitiligo occurs when the pigmentation of your skin changes, with white patches on face or other parts of the body. This usually happens because of an autoimmune disorder that affects the cells that create pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes.

Vitiligo can show up in different ways. Possible signs of vitiligo include:

  • Lighter patches of skin on face, arms, hands, and/or feet, white patches on skin
  • Patches can be pink, tan, or white
  • Loss of pigmentation on lips and/or inside mouth
  • Loss of pigmentation on or inside the nose
  • White patches of skin are itchy sometimes, usually when they are spreading
  • Premature graying hair, hair turning gray
  • A streak of white hair on scalp develops
  • Eyelashes turn white, or eyebrows turn white
  • Eye color changes, may affect eyesight
  • Inner ear problems, can lead to hearing loss
  • Anxiety and depression due to changes in appearance

While vitiligo is not considered harmful, these changes in outward appearance can have a serious impact on the way a person feels about themselves. Vitiligo disease treatment with acupuncture and TCM can help not only with repigmentation, but can help address the underlying causes of autoimmune disease, and mental health concerns, all at the same time.


What Causes Vitiligo?

White patches on skin happen when cells called melanocytes, which produce pigment, either stop functioning correctly or die.

Medical research has not yet determined exactly why some people get vitiligo, but it is generally considered to occur because of an autoimmune condition. When a person has an autoimmune disorder, their immune system mistakenly attacks certain cells in the body. In the case of vitiligo, the immune system attacks the melanocytes.

Some people notice that their vitiligo starts developing after getting a particularly bad sunburn. A regular burn, or exposure to caustic chemicals can trigger the development of vitiligo, as can a bad cut or scrape. 

Stress can trigger vitiligo, or make it worse. Both physical stress and emotional stress may often precede either the initial onset of vitiligo, or accelerate the spread of patches of vitiligo on the skin.


Risk factors for Vitiligo

vitiligo white patches skin
White patches on face and arms – treatment can help with regimentation

People of all ages and ethnicities can have vitiligo. In about half of cases, vitiligo begins to appear in childhood or before the age of 20. 

If other people in your family have vitiligo, or other autoimmune diseases, then there is a greater chance that you will have it.

People who have other autoimmune disorders may have a higher risk of experiencing vitiligo. These autoimmune conditions include:

Having a specific type of moles on your skin called halo nevi can increase your risk for vitiligo. Those are moles that have a white ring, or “halo,” around them.

Having melanoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma can also increase your risk for vitiligo, as can going through immunotherapy for melanoma.

Even though vitiligo is not considered dangerous, it is important to seek out a proper diagnosis and treatment, because having one autoimmune condition can sometimes lead to developing other autoimmune diseases.  


Types of Vitiligo

Vitiligo will develop differently for each individual. Different kinds of vitiligo are categorized according to where they appear. Types of vitiligo include:

  • Generalized vitiligo: most common type, causes macules to appear in various places on the body
  • Segmental vitiligo: only affects one side of your body or one area, such as the face or hands.
  • Mucosal vitiligo: affects the mucous membranes of  mouth and/or genitals
  • Focal vitiligo: rare type where the macules develop in a small area
  • Trichrome vitiligo: shows up as a bullseye shape with a white center, a lighter area, and an area of natural skin tone.
  • Universal vitiligo: rare condition that causes more than 80% of  skin to not have pigment

Vitiligo Treatment

A doctor will diagnose vitiligo by taking a family history, testing for other autoimmune diseases, checking the skin with a black light, which will make the patches easier to detect, and probably taking a small skin biopsy to check for melanocytes, or lack thereof.

The main aim of conventional vitiligo disease treatment is to slow the spread of the condition, and hopefully to help the skin regain its pigment by helping to encourage the growth of melanocytes. 

Immunosuppressant medications can help to slow or halt the spread of vitiligo. Calcineurin inhibitors are a specific type of immunosuppressants that may be prescribed for vitiligo, as well as for other autoimmune disease rash, such as lupus rash.

However, this type of vitiligo treatment requires continued use; when people stop taking the medications, the condition will usually come back and continue to spread.

There are various types of vitiligo therapy that may help skin regain its normal pigmentation. These include:

  • Light therapy
  • Topical steroid creams

Some dermatology specialists perform surgical procedures to help with repigmentation, but these are not recommended if the condition is still spreading, or if a person tends to develop scarring. 

vitiligo in childhood
Many people first develop vitiligo in childhood.

About 50% of vitiligo cases begin in childhood or adolescence. Vitiligo can be particularly difficult and even traumatic for young people. While the treatment methods are similar for children with vitiligo (corticosteroids, phototherapy, and/or immunosuppressants), it is especially important that young patients also receive emotional and mental health support during treatment.

While medical vitiligo therapies help in some cases, other people may not see much improvement. None of these treatments address the root cause of vitiligo. Acupuncture and TCM help by working on several levels, to help restore normal functioning of the immune system, help with repigmentation of the white patches of skin, and to help address issues like anxiety and depression, as well.


Can Acupuncture Help Vitiligo?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used to treat vitiligo for centuries. TCM treatment for vitiligo was first mentioned in the medical text, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, over 2500 years ago. 

In TCM, vitiligo is referred to as “Bai Dian Feng,” which means something akin to “white patches wind.” In TCM, many skin and immune conditions are considered to be related to wind as a pathogenic force that moves through the body.

The development of this autoimmune condition that affects the skin’s appearance can occur due to a particular imbalance, or a combination of factors. Some of the TCM diagnostic patterns that pertain to vitiligo include:

  • Liver wind with Kidney deficiency
  • Spleen and Stomach deficiency
  • Qi and Blood deficiency and/or stasis
  • Too much internal heat

Depending on accompanying symptoms, your acupuncturist will observe which organ systems need nourishing and/or clearing, and will tailor a treatment plan for each individual case. A combination of acupuncture treatment and herbal supplements will be recommended to help address your condition. 

Acupuncture needles, applied to specific points, can help to improve circulation and blood flow to areas of the skin and activate cells to help restore natural skin color. Other points will be chosen to help move Qi and strengthen the liver and kidneys, as well as reducing overall inflammation and boosting immune function.

Topical herb creams made from traditional Chinese herbal remedies can be effective for helping to stimulate melanin production. Chinese herb formulas designed to be taken internally as a tea will work to nourish the liver and kidneys, dispel wind and clear heat.

Acupuncture Near Me for Vitiligo

Acupuncture and herbs can be used either as an alternative or adjunct treatment for vitiligo. TCM treatment will also work for vitiligo in children, and can be particularly helpful as a gentle modality that does not cause unwanted side effects. 

Drs. Tan and Cai at Art of Wellness Acupuncture in West L.A. have over 35 years of experience working with patients with autoimmune skin conditions of all kinds. Art of Wellness was recently named one of the best acupuncture providers in Los Angeles. If you or someone you know is suffering with vitiligo, please do not hesitate to contact us.

*This article is for education from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine only. The education provided by this article is not approved by FDA to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure human diseases. It should not stop you from consulting with your physician for your medical conditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on Qi, which is an invisible force that usually cannot be observed by modern science. Because science focuses on testing ideas about the natural world with evidence obtained through observation, these aspects of acupuncture can’t be studied by science. Therefore acupuncture and Chinese herbs are often not supported by double-blind, randomized trials, and they are considered alternative medicine therapies in the United States.



How to Treat BPPV (Vertigo) With Acupuncture and TCM


By Qineng Tan, L.Ac., Ph.D. and Xiaomei Cai, L.Ac. Ph.D.


BPPV dizziness vertigo
Vertigo feels like the room is spinning.

Dizzy when lying down? Waking up dizzy? Head spinning sensation when you move from one position to another? These could be BPPV symptoms. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a common vertigo cause. Acupuncture and TCM offer an alternative or adjunct BPPV treatment to help relieve positional dizziness.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo, a condition characterized by a feeling that the room is spinning. 

BPPV is an inner ear disorder that affects the vestibular system, which controls your sense of balance. BPPV causes you to feel dizzy. The words “positional vertigo” in the name refer to the fact that the dizziness happens after you move your head, either by tilting or turning it, or you get dizzy when getting up from laying down.

Unlike some other forms of vertigo, BPPV is considered relatively harmless; hence the word “benign” in the name. However, its sudden and unpredictable nature can be very unsettling, and have a real impact on your daily life.

BPPV occurs when small calcium particles called otoconia, which are normally located in the inner ear, become dislodged and migrate into one of the ear’s semicircular canals. When these particles move with changes in head position, they can disrupt the normal flow of fluid in the canals, sending incorrect signals to the brain about the body’s position. This mismatch between visual and vestibular signals leads to the characteristic symptoms of BPPV.


What Causes BPPV? 

dizzy when lying down
Feeling dizzy when lying down or standing up can be a sign of BPPV.

In most cases, doctors do not find a clear BPPV cause when patients see them about recurring dizziness. However, it is possible for certain conditions to possibly cause BPPV. These could include:

Migraine associated vertigo is common, and vice versa; people with BPPV are more likely to experience vestibular migraine, or a migraine headache due to problems with the inner ear. Patients who have BPPV treatment in the form of repositioning, as discussed below, may also be more likely to have migraines afterwards.


Top 10 BPPV Symptoms

That dizzy, spinning sensation is the primary, recognizable symptom of vertigo, but when a person has BPPV, there may be other signs, too. These are the most common symptoms of BPPV:


  1. Dizziness: Sudden and intense episodes of dizziness, often triggered by changes in head position, such as rolling over in bed or tilting your head back.
  2. Vertigo: A spinning or whirling sensation, as if the room is rotating around you. This sensation is usually brief but can be severe.
  3. Light-headed: feeling faint or dizzy.
  4. Nystagmus: Involuntary, rapid eye movements, typically triggered when changing head position. These eye movements are a hallmark of BPPV and can help doctors diagnose the condition. It may feel like you’re seeing wavy lines or objects around you “jumping” or moving.
  5. Blurred Vision: the inner ear is connected with the eye muscles, so this imbalance can affect vision, and even cause foggy vision, double vision, and/or sensitivity to light.
  6. Imbalance: Difficulty maintaining balance, especially when getting up from a lying or seated position. This can lead to unsteadiness and an increased risk of falling.
  7. Nausea: Some people with BPPV may experience nausea or vomiting, particularly during severe vertigo episodes.
  8. Fatigue: The unpredictability of BPPV attacks and the effort required to maintain balance during episodes can lead to feelings of exhaustion.
  9. Anxiety: BPPV can cause anxiety, as individuals may fear the sudden onset of vertigo and its potential impact on their daily activities.
  10. Tinnitus: Some individuals with BPPV may experience ringing in ear or buzzing in the affected ear, or even hearing loss.


BPPV Treatment and Diagnosis

There really are no lab tests that confirm a diagnosis of BPPV. A doctor will usually perform a test called the Dix-Hallpike maneuver, in which you are asked to turn your head and lie down, and then sit up again 20 to 30 seconds later. During this test, the physician will carefully observe for signs of nystagmus, the rapid eye movement that is one of the classic signs of BPPV.

A doctor may perform other tests like an MRI or CT scan to rule out other possible causes of vertigo.

Sometimes, doctors will recommend a wait and see approach, as many times, BPPV symptoms will resolve on their own in a matter of weeks or months.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatments can include vestibular suppressant medication. Medications for BPPV aim to provide vertigo treatment that reduces symptoms of dizziness and nausea. 

Benzodiazepines, like Valium, may be prescribed because they can help reduce acute vertigo and the sensations of motion sickness. These medications can be habit-forming and have side effects. They also have to be reduced gradually, because of withdrawal symptoms.

Antihistamines, like Benadryl, may be recommended, as they can also reduce feelings of nausea. 

Anticholinergics are vestibular suppressants that block receptors in the nervous system. They are used to treat many conditions that involve involuntary movement. However, they can cause a lot of side effects and worsen other conditions like prostate problems, irregular heartbeat or rapid heartbeat, glaucoma, dementia, and depression.

None of these medications address the root cause of dizziness. 

BPPV is caused by particles in the inner ear.

The preferred treatment for BPPV is usually a canalith repositioning procedure (CRP) can be done with one of a few different maneuvers that doctors can perform to try to move the particles in the inner ear that are causing BPPV. These are often helpful in the short term to relieve vertigo, but often patients do have a recurrence of BPPV symptoms again.

For some people, repositioning is not a good option—if you have problems with your cervical spine, or serious cardiovascular problems, for example.

Acupuncture and TCM offer an alternative treatment for BPPV that can relieve dizziness and other vertigo symptoms without any unwanted side effects.


Can Acupuncture Help BPPV?

According to TCM theory, phlegm is one of the pathogenic forces that can take hold in the body, along with things like dampness, dryness, etc. Phlegm builds up when fluids in the body are not being transported and moving the way they should; they get caught in an area and become condensed and thick, causing blockages of energy and movement.

The San Jiao, or “triple burner,” is an important concept used in TCM theory; the San Jiao controls the movement of fluids in the body. In cases of vertigo, phlegm and heat become stagnant due to the malfunctioning of the Jiao. This causes phlegm to be pushed upwards in the body.

In TCM, we may diagnose BPPV and other vestibular problems as having their root cause in a buildup of phlegm in the head that is causing a blockage in the inner ear. 

Wind is another pathogenic force that can get into the body and cause problems that seem to come and go. Some cases of dizziness may be due to wind in the head.

Thus, the TCM protocols for BPPV treatment will aim to clear dampness, phlegm, and wind, and get fluids and Qi energy moving again.

Herbs can play an important role in treating vertigo. Chinese herb formulas that warm Yang energy and strengthen the kidneys and spleen can help to clear phlegm.

Use of specific acupoints with acupuncture treatment can help relieve vertigo—sometimes patients feel much less dizziness, even after one treatment. Not only can TCM treatment for BPPV help improve vertigo right away, but regular acupuncture session can help prevent bouts of dizziness from happening.


Acupuncture Near Me for BPPV in Los Angeles, Santa Monica

TCM is a great modality for helping to relieve dizziness due to all types of health conditions, including migraines, POTS, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Meniere’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), diabetes, sinus issues, ear infections, and the side effects of medications. Acupuncture can be an excellent alternative for vertigo if other treatments have not helped. Dr. Tan and Dr. Cai at Art of Wellness in West L.A. can help get to the bottom of recurring dizziness, so you can feel steady again.

*This article is for education from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine only. The education provided by this article is not approved by FDA to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure human diseases. It should not stop you from consulting with your physician for your medical conditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on Qi, which is an invisible force that usually cannot be observed by modern science. Because science focuses on testing ideas about the natural world with evidence obtained through observation, these aspects of acupuncture can’t be studied by science. Therefore acupuncture and Chinese herbs are often not supported by double-blind, randomized trials, and they are considered alternative medicine therapies in the United States.


How to Treat Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) With Acupuncture and TCM


By Qineng Tan, L.Ac., Ph.D. and Xiaomei Cai, L.Ac., Ph.D.


EDS, ehlers-danlos syndrome
Hypermobile joints are a sign of EDS

Joint hypermobility? Bone pain? Bruise easily? Thin skin? These can be signs of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which is a connective tissue disease. Acupuncture and TCM can help relieve Ehlers Danlos symptoms.

EDS, sometimes referred to as Ehlers Disease, is a relatively rare genetic condition that causes people to have weak connective tissues. Most types of Ehlers-Danlos are inherited, meaning that a person’s parents carry a pathogenic variant of a gene. This genetic mutation affects the way the body makes collagen proteins.

What are connective tissue disorders? Connective tissues maintain the structure of the internal organs of the body, supporting them and holding them together. These include bones, muscles, fat tissue, blood vessels, and other tissues in the body. A connective tissue disorder occurs when there is something unusual about the way connective tissues are formed.

Connective tissue is made up of collagen and elastin. In Ehler’s disease, a genetic mutation causes problems with a person’s collagen production.

When a person has EDS tissue disorder, their body does not metabolize or process collagen normally, which can have a profound effect on the way tissues in the body develop, heal, and age over time. Ehlers-Danlos can affect a person’s skin, muscles, bones, cartilage, joints, blood vessels, or fat tissue.

EDS bears some similarities to another genetic condition known as Marfan syndrome, or Marfan connective tissue disorder. In Marfan’s syndrome, there is a problem with the fibrillin-1 gene, which affects the production of elastic fibers that help make up connective tissues in the body. People with Marfan syndrome tend to be taller, have long limbs, and may have heart problems or lung problems. Some Marfan symptoms may overlap with those of EDS, but they are two distinct disorders.


How Many Types of EDS Are There?

There are several different types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, caused by genetic changes that affect various connective tissues in the body.

Thirteen different types of EDS have been identified. The criteria for each type can help doctors diagnose people with Ehlers-Danlos, so that they can get the most complete understanding of their symptoms and needs. There is a lot of overlap between types, so a person may have symptoms that fit into several of these types of EDS.

13 Types of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) include:

  1. Hypermobile EDS (hEDS) – characterized by hypermobile joints, joint instability, and chronic joint pain
  2. Classical EDS (cEDS) – usually stretchy skin, “velvety” skin, fragile skin, scars easily
  3. Vascular EDS (vEDS) – bruises easily, fragile blood vessels, fragile organs that bleed easily, visible veins, varicose veins, thin skin, prominent eyes
  4. Periodontal EDS (pEDS) – bleeding gums, early tooth loss, missing permanent teeth, small teeth, smaller than usual jaw
  5. Kyphoscoliosis – or Kyphoscoliotic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, curve of the upper spine causes a hunch, “floppy baby,” developmental delays, difficulties with walking
  6. Arthrochalasia – may involve hip dysplasia or deformity of the hip joint, dislocated hip, general joint instability, speech or reading problems, echolalia (repeating other’s speech), femoral hernia, or inguinal hernia
  7. Classical-like EDS (clEDS) – soft, stretchy skin, joint hypermobility with dislocations occurring, and frequent bruising
  8. Cardiac-valvular EDS (cvEDS) – severe heart valve problems, thin skin, joint hypermobility
  9. Dermatosparaxis EDS (dEDS) – extremely fragile skin, loose skin, extra folds of skin, severe bruising, hernias of internal organs
  10. Brittle Cornea Syndrome (BCS) – thin corneas that may rupture
  11. Spondylodysplastic EDS (spEDS) – shorter than average stature, bowed limbs, decreased muscle tone
  12. Musculocontractural EDS (mcEDS) – birth defects – clubfoot or adducted thumb, whites of eyes are a bluish color, testes do not descend, malformed ears, high palate, muscle weakness, delayed motor skills, scoliosis, narrow fingers, skin infections
  13. Myopathic EDS (mEDS) – muscle weakness, joint contractures, limited range of motion


Top 10 Symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

ehlers-danlos syndrome
Bruising easily, bruises that last a long time can be signs of Ehlers-Danlos

Signs of EDS vary widely, because there are several different types of Ehlers-Danlos, and because each individual will experience this syndrome differently. 

Symptoms that common to many people with EDS include:

  • Joint instability, “loose” joints, hypermobile joints, hyperflexibility, “double jointed”
  • Thin skin, stretchy skin
  • Bruises easily, bruises often
  • Red marks on skin from impressions last a long time and are more prominent
  • Scarring, wounds take a long time to heal
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Bone pain
  • Fatigue, tired all the time
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Heart murmur, problems with “floppy” heart valves
  • Dizziness when standing up (similar to POTS, may occur concurrently with POTS)
  • Double follicles, multiple hairs growing from one follicle
  • Brittle nails

People with hypermobility EDS may also experience urinary incontinence, constipation, heartburn/acid reflux, and high blood pressure.

People with EDS are often observed to have certain characteristic facial features, including: large eyes, small eyebrows, a thin nose, prominent cheekbones, and small or no earlobes.

Some people have hypermobile joints, which can cause pain and other problems, but do not have any of the other symptoms of EDS. 


Treatment for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Unfortunately, many people have a difficult time getting a diagnosis of EDS. Because the symptoms often show up in so many different organ systems and parts of the body, it can be confusing for health care providers to figure out what is going on. Patients will often be diagnosed with conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia instead of a connective tissue disorder.

There is no set medical treatment protocol for patients with EDS. If a person is having cardiovascular symptoms, they may be prescribed medications like beta blockers to manage blood pressure and heart rate

People with EDS who have hypermobile joints may be recommended for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or cognitive behavioral therapy. to help them maintain stability and prevent dislocations. Wearing braces to protect joints may be recommended, as well.

Chronic pain may be helped with pain medications or kinesio-taping.

Acupuncture and other TCM treatments can be effective as an alternative treatment for Ehlers-Danlos, by helping to manage chronic pain and also addressing other symptoms of EDS.


Can Acupuncture Help Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

Chinese therapeutic massage
TCM therapeutic massage can help with muscle pain.

TCM is an excellent modality for treating complex syndromes and autoimmune disorders because it is a holistic form of medicine that takes the whole person into consideration, addressing myriad symptoms that may seem unrelated in the context of conventional medicine.

Many, if not most, people suffering from EDS, have probably struggled to find doctors who are willing to listen and acknowledge their condition. TCM practitioners are trained to observe carefully and look at the whole picture. They typically spend much more time listening and asking questions so that they can understand all of the different symptoms a person is experiencing. This, in itself, can help people with difficult-to-treat conditions feel heard and validated.

Acupuncture treatment can not only help reduce pain sensations, but can actually help to stimulate muscles and connective tissues, reducing inflammation and toning the muscles to help improve joint stability. Acupuncture can help to facilitate the healing of old injuries or wounds that cause chronic pain because they have never been able to heal completely.

Acupuncture treatment has been shown to have a positive effect on connective tissues; the rotation and manipulation of the fine acupuncture needles directly stimulates cells beneath the skin.

Other TCM modalities, like Tuina massage, can also promote relaxation and stimulate muscle tone.

Acupuncture can help to improve sleep quality and mental health, relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Acupuncture can help to treat many different connective tissue disorders besides EDS, including:

Acupuncture Near Me for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome – Los Angeles

Acupuncture can be used as an adjunct or alternative treatment for EDS and many other difficult-to-treat conditions, like autoimmune diseases and connective tissues disorders. Drs. Tan and Cai at Art of Wellness Acupuncture and TCM in West L.A. have over 30 years of experience helping patients with chronic pain conditions, muscle weakness and pain. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with EDS or suspect you may have Ehlers-Danlos, please consider scheduling an appointment for an in-depth consultation. We can help.

*This article is for education from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine only. The education provided by this article is not approved by FDA to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure human diseases. It should not stop you from consulting with your physician for your medical conditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on Qi, which is an invisible force that usually cannot be observed by modern science. Because science focuses on testing ideas about the natural world with evidence obtained through observation, these aspects of acupuncture can’t be studied by science. Therefore acupuncture and Chinese herbs are often not supported by double-blind, randomized trials, and they are considered alternative medicine therapies in the United States.


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