Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions. Below is a list of some health issues that we have addressed in our practice. Click each topic to read more.
What We Treat was last modified: August 11th, 2016 by admin
According to Chinese medical theory, the symptoms and signs that indicate a Western diagnosis of allergies relate to imbalances in the meridian and Organ Systems of the body. These imbalances may stem from a variety of causes, including stress, poor diet, constitutional weakness, pollutants and environmental toxins.
Over time, if imbalances remain within the body, they will affect the functions of the Organ Systems. Some of these Organ Systems are involved in the production of Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”). According to the theories of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, it is important to have
the correct quality and quantity of Wei Qi circulating around the body in order to stay healthy.
What is Wei Qi?
The Chinese concept of Wei Qi is similar to the Western concept of the immune system. Wei Qi functions to protect and defend the body against foreign substances, that if not caught can lead to allergies. When Wei Qi is strong and abundant, we remain healthy. When the supply of Wei Qi becomes deficient, health is compromised and we become vulnerable to foreign invaders such as dust, mold, animal dander, bacteria, viruses and pollen. People who have a Wei Qi deficiency are prone to allergies and frequent colds.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine support and strengthen the systems of the body that are involved in the production of Wei Qi. By building up the supply of Wei Qi, and facilitating the smooth and free flow of it through the body, symptoms and signs related to allergies could be greatly reduced or eliminated.
Allergies according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be due to a variety of factors. Below are some of the more common TCM diagnoses that your acupuncturist
may discover and treat.
Wei Qi deficiency
What will an acupuncturist do?
An acupuncturist will conduct a thorough exam, taking a complete health history. They will then develop a unique treatment plan that will address your specific concerns. The goals of the treatment plan will be to eliminate visible symptoms and signs, while addressing the root cause(s) and underlying imbalances affecting the quality and quantity of Wei Qi.
Acupuncture treatments may be combined with herbs, dietary changes, massage (tuina), or exercise. These therapies accelerate the healing process in order to balance, build, and support the body’s Wei Qi.
Seasonal allergy tips:
Flush your nose with a Neti pot.
Add spicy foods and omega-3’s to your diet.
Keep your windows closed during allergy season to prevent dust and pollen from entering.
Put on a dust mask when you are doing yard or house work.
Do not hang your clothes out to dry in the sun, as they
will gather dust, mold and pollen.
Come in for an acupuncture tune-up.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are a drug-free, safe, natural and effective way to eliminate hay fever, allergies or the common cold.
Allergies was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults and costing more than $42 billion a year.
Feelings of anxiety, worry and fear related to significant and challenging events are justified and very common. Anxiety becomes a problem when emotional reactions are out of proportion with what might be “normally” expected in a situation, and when symptoms interfere with a person’s daily functioning or sleep patterns. Mild anxiety leaves a person feeling a bit unsettled, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating.
Anxiety is used as a general term for several disorders that have common symptoms – such as nervousness, worrying, apprehension and fear. Anxiety disorders can be classified into several more specific types. The most common are briefly described below.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by unrealistic, persistent and excessive worry about everyday things. People with this disorder often expect the worst and experience exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is no apparent reason for concern.
Panic Disorder is characterized by brief or sudden attacks of intense terror and apprehension that leads to shaking, confusion, nausea, dizziness and difficulty breathing. Panic attacks tend to arise abruptly and seemingly out-of-the-blue, causing the individual to become preoccupied with the fear of a recurring attack.
Phobia is an irrational fear and avoidance of an object or situation. Phobias commonly focus on flying, bridges, insects, heights, dental or medical procedures and elevators. Having phobias can disrupt daily routines, reduce self-esteem, limit work efficiency and put a strain on relationships.
Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by a fear of being negatively judged and scrutinized by others in social or performance-related situations. Different variations of this type of anxiety include a fear of intimacy, stage fright and a fear of humiliation. People suffering from this disorder can sometimes isolate themselves in an attempt to avoid public situations and human contact.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted or intrusive thoughts, which often make the sufferer feel compelled to repeat certain behaviors or routines. Even when the OCD sufferers know the irrationality of their compulsions, they feel powerless to stop them. They may obsessively wash their hands, clean personal items or constantly check light switches, locks or stoves.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is anxiety that results from previous trauma such as military combat, rape, a natural disaster, a serious accident or other life-threatening events. Most people who experience such events recover from them, but people with PTSD continue to be anxious and severely depressed for months or even years following the event. They often experience flashbacks and behavioral changes in order to avoid certain stimuli.
Acupuncture Can Help. A clinical study conducted in China in 2010, has concluded that acupuncture is a “safe and effective” treatment for mood disorders including depression and severe anxiety, in some cases proving to increase the effectiveness of medication-based treatments. Additionally a 2009 study, again in China, determined that acupuncture alone could help patients who suffer from anxiety but cannot be chemically treated due to intolerable side-effects of medications.
In many Western schools of thought, anxiety disorders are considered to be dysfunctions in a person’s brain chemistry. An acupuncturist does not view anxiety as a brain dysfunction, but rather as an imbalance in a person’s organ system. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this imbalance is called Shan You Si (“anxiety & preoccupation”), and is believed to affect the main organs: the Heart, Lung, Spleen, Liver, and Kidneys. Each organ is related to different aspects of a person’s emotions.
For instance, worry is said to affect the Spleen, grief affects the Lungs, anger the Liver, fear the Kidneys, and lack of joy the Heart. If a person experiences one or more of these emotions over a long period of time due to lifestyle, dietary, hereditary and environmental factors, it can cause an imbalanced emotional state and lead to various anxiety disorders.
The role of an acupuncturist is to investigate the underlying causes of the anxiety by carrying out a thorough diagnostic evaluation in order to determine which organ system has been affected and is out of balance. The acupuncturist will then seek to restore the imbalance by inserting fine, sterile needles into the points correlating to those organs. Additionally, acupuncture helps to reduce stress, ultimately encouraging and supporting a greater sense of well-being and balance.
Zhang (2010). “The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture therapy in depressive disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis”. Journal of Affective Disorders, 124, 1-2, July 2010.
Wen (2009). “Combination of acupuncture and Fluoxentine for depression: A randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial”. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15, 8, August 13, 2009.
Anxiety was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
If you live with arthritis, you know what a challenge it can be to find relief from joint pain and other symptoms. But there are many things you can do to manage and control your arthritis and live a healthy, active life. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be powerful additions to any treatment plan, without causing harmful side effects.
Arthritis according to Western Medicine
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, affecting more than 21 million Americans. It occurs when the cartilage between the joints breaks down, usually affecting the hips, hands, knees, low back, or neck.
Some factors can increase your risk, including a joint injury, being overweight, aging, and genetics. Putting stress on a joint through repetitive motion can also increase your risk.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another common type, affecting 2.1 million people in the United States. This chronic condition occurs when the lining of the joints becomes inflamed, and can lead to long-term joint damage and even loss of movement. Women are two to three times more likely to get RA.
RA often starts in the hands or feet, and usually affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Symptoms include:
Warm, swollen or tender joints
Joint stiffness, especially in the morning
Flu-like symptoms such as fever
Muscle pain and weakness
Western treatment generally focuses on relieving pain and preventing further joint damage. Often this is done through the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications, as well as through self-care and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may even be needed.
Causes of arthritis from a TCM perspective
Weakness or deficiency of the internal organs
Physical injury and/or trauma
Changes with the quality and quantity of Qi
Blockage or inadequate flow of Qi
Invasion from external factors such as Wind, Cold and Heat
Unresolved emotional upset, mainly related to stress and anxiety
Acupuncture offers a safe, natural way to control joint pain and other symptoms and maintain overall health. In fact, a 2004 study showed that patients with OA of the knee experienced a 40 percent decrease in pain and a 40 percent increase in function after receiving a series of acupuncture treatments.
A whole-body approach to relief
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) take a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. According to these theories, Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness. It flows through pathways called meridians, providing nourishment for every cell, tissue, muscle and organ. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, physical symptoms may result.
During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific acupoints along the meridians in order to unblock any obstruction and allow Qi to flow freely.
Your practitioner may also recommend herbal remedies, massage, and stretching. Be sure to discuss any new medications with your doctor to avoid any potential interactions.
What you can do
It’s important to remember that there is no “quick fix” for arthritis, and it may take time to achieve results. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make that may help you find relief faster.
Exercise can help increase your flexibility, strengthen muscles and bones, and maintain a healthy weight.
Diet is another important issue. Stick to a healthy diet made up of a wide variety of unprocessed, organic foods. Your acupuncturist may also suggest adding natural anti-inflammatories to your diet.
Stress relief can also help. By learning to identify your stressors and lowering your stress through techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong, you can improve your state of mind and your health.
Maintaining balance in your life is also key. A balance of rest and relaxation with activity and exercise will keep you feeling your best.
By working closely with your acupuncturist and other treatment providers, you will be taking charge of your arthritis and taking a step toward a healthier life.
Berman BM, Lao L, Langenberg P, Lee WL, Gilpin AMK, Hochberg MC. Effectiveness of Acupuncture as Adjunctive Therapy in Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2004; 141 (12):901-910.
What is Osteoarthritis? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. September 2006.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. May 2005.
Joswick, Diane L.Ac. Acupuncture for Arthritis. 2006.
Osteoarthritis Fact Sheet. Arthritis Foundation. 2005.
Arthritis was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Asthma is a long-term condition that affects more than 20 million Americans. Caring for a chronic condition such as asthma can sometimes be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that it can be controlled. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be powerful allies in the management of asthma, and they work well in conjunction with other types of treatment.
The facts about asthma
Asthma is an inflammatory disease in which the airways become blocked or narrowed, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Some people have long periods without symptoms, while others may always experience difficulty breathing. Asthma attacks occur when something triggers the inflammation of the respiratory system. Flare ups can be severe—sometimes even life-threatening.
A partnership for a healthier life
It is important to remember that you are a key part of controlling your asthma. Here are a few ways you can take an active part in your treatment:
Try keeping an asthma diary to track your specific asthma triggers.
Be sure to keep all of your health care providers fully informed. This includes talking to them about any medications or herbs you may be taking, as well as any changes in your symptoms.
Follow your practitioner’s recommendations for self-care. These might include exercises such as Qi Gong, yoga, dietary changes, or stress-relief measures such as meditation.
By making positive lifestyle choices and working closely with your practitioner, you’ll truly be taking charge of your asthma and your life.
Asthma attacks are generally caused by one or more triggers, including:
A cold, flu, bronchitis, or sinus infection
Allergens including dust mites, tree and grass pollen, mold, and animal dander
Irritants that include tobacco smoke, strong fragrances, and air pollution
Certain foods and food additives
Aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs
Changes in weather
Strong emotions such as anxiety, stress, grief and anger
Generally, the available approach of asthma treatment is to try and prevent attacks. This is usually done with regular use of anti-inflammatory medications, inhaled steroids and leukotriene inhibitors. Once an asthma attack is underway, quick-acting medications like corticosteroids may be able to relieve it.
Most of these medications can cause side effects such as nausea, headaches, muscle tremors, and insomnia. However, many people have found that acupuncture treatment may help reduce asthma attacks, improve lung function, and even lower the amount of medication needed.
Asthma according to ancient principles
In TCM, asthma is known as “Xiao Chuan”, which means “wheezing” and “shortness of breath”. It is caused by a variety of factors that involve an imbalance with Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”), and an imbalance with one or more of the organ systems, generally the Lungs, Spleen or Kidney.
Asthma according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) goes beyond a simple diagnosis of “asthma”.
Below are some of the more common TCM diagnoses that your acupuncturist may discover and treat.
Invasion of Wind
Wei Qi deficiency
Phlegm/damp in the Lungs
An acupuncturist will take a holistic, or whole-body approach in order to determine what areas of the body are affected and out-of-balance and contributing to the attacks.
Since acupuncture and TCM take into account your overall well-being, your practitioner may also address other issues that may be contributing to your asthma, such as exercise, diet and stress. Acupuncture is a safe, effective, and pain-free approach to many conditions, and you may find that your overall health improves along with your asthma symptoms.
Asthma. U.S. National Library of Medicine Medical Encyclopedia. 10/30/2006. Link
Alternative Therapy for Asthma. WebMD. 12/1/2006.
Chen, J., Pharm, D. Treatment of Asthma with Herbs and Acupuncture. Acufinder.com Acupuncture Learning & Resource Center.
Facts about Asthma. American Lung Association. 10/2006.
Lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Crohn’s disease…You may have heard of these conditions, but do you know what they have in common? They are all types of autoimmune disease and they are all lifelong conditions.
Approximately 50 million Americans are living with an autoimmune disease. If you are facing one of these conditions, you know how crucial it is to have a treatment plan in place to help you manage your symptoms and live the healthiest, most active life possible.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be powerful allies in living with an autoimmune disease. They can help:
• Strengthen your immune system
• Relieve painful symptoms
• Reduce your stress, and
• Bolster your overall health
Perhaps most importantly, your practitioner will focus on YOU as an individual. Your care will be tailored to your specific needs and symptoms, so you won’t ever receive a “one-size-fits-all” treatment.
When the immune response goes wrong
To understand autoimmune disease, we must first understand how the immune system works. The immune system generally acts as the body’s protection against foreign substances and microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. When the immune system is working properly, it can tell the difference between the body’s own tissues and outside organisms.
In the case of autoimmune diseases the immune system stops being able to differentiate, and begins to attack the body’s own cells, tissues, and organs. This immune response causes harmful inflammation that eventually leads to an autoimmune condition. There are about 80 recognized autoimmune diseases, and several other conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia that are currently believed to have an autoimmune component.
Autoimmune conditions are often difficult to diagnose and treat because their symptoms and progression can vary from person to person. These conditions may either affect many organs or target one specific part of the body. The symptoms may be persistent, get progressively worse, or go into remission with occasional “flare-ups,” and can range from being mild to so severe that they become disabling.
The exact causes of autoimmune diseases are unknown, but since many conditions run in families, it’s believed there is a genetic relationship. Since women are at a much higher risk for many autoimmune diseases, hormones may also play a part.
Treatments generally rely upon a variety of medications, which can help to relieve symptoms, but may have uncomfortable side effects.
How acupuncture can help
Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic, or whole body approach to healing based on the idea of Qi, or vital energy. Qi flows through pathways called meridians to nourish all of the body’s organs, protect us from illness and keep us healthy. When the flow of Qi becomes diminished or blocked, disease can result.
The goal of treatment will be to find and treat the underlying imbalances that are affecting the flow of Qi. By addressing the root cause of the disease, TCM can help your body regain balance and help improve your overall health. Acupuncture and TCM can also help reduce inflammation, soothe uncomfortable symptoms, relieve side effects from medication, and increase your energy levels.
During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific points along the meridians in order to unblock any obstruction and allow Qi to flow freely. Your practitioner may also help improve your nutrition, reduce your stress, or start you on an exercise program.
In addition, your practitioner may recommend herbal remedies and supplements designed to support your health and boost your immune system. It’s important to communicate with all of your health providers in order to maximize your healing potential.
Acupuncture and TCM have proven effective against a wide variety of health concerns. By incorporating these powerful tools into your treatment program, you’re making the decision to support and nourish your body and take control of your autoimmune condition.
Autoimmune diseases: overview. The National Women’s Health Information Center. Link
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. WebMD. May 17, 2007. Link
Autoimmune Disease was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Back pain is a very common problem–one that will strike four out of five Americans at some time in their lives. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons people seek medical care. Unfortunately, back pain isn’t always easy to diagnose or relieve. Low back pain in particular can become a chronic or ongoing problem.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are very effective in treating back pain naturally. They can also be used together with traditional Western treatments to maximize your healing and recovery.
How back pain happens
There are many possible causes for back pain, including strained muscles or ligaments, often caused by improper lifting, sudden movements or traumatic injury. Other culprits can include arthritis, structural abnormalities of the spine, or the disks between the vertebrae bulging or rupturing and pressing on a nerve. Depending on the specific diagnosis, back pain is generally treated with medications, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and in some cases, surgery.
“Acupuncture represents a highly promising and effective treatment option for chronic back pain. Patients experienced not only reduced pain intensity, but also reported improvements in the disability that often results from back pain, and therefore in their quality of life.” – H. Endres, MD
A more natural approach
Practitioners of acupuncture and TCM view back pain another way. An acupuncturist will not only work to relieve your symptoms, but will also work to find and treat the underlying cause of your pain. In a study conducted at a Swedish hospital, doctors concluded that acupuncture provided long-term relief along with improvements in physical activity levels, quality of sleep and the diminished use of pain medication.
Acupuncture and TCM are based on the concept that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, flows through the body in channels called meridians. If Qi becomes stagnant, unbalanced or deficient, symptoms such as back pain, ache and inflammation can result. This can happen for any number of reasons, from injury and illness to stress or external invaders such as wind or dampness. Back pain can arise from disharmonies such as:
• Stagnation – type pain that is often linked to sudden, stabbing, severe pain and related to sprains, strains or trauma. It can be accompanied by stiffness and tightness and becomes worse with rest. If it occurs often in the same area(s) it may reflect an underlying deficiency.
• Cold, damp obstruction – type pain that is generally worse in the morning and exacerbated by cold or damp weather. This type of pain condition may be associated with numbness, swelling and a sense of “heaviness.” Heat improves this condition.
• Deficiency – type pain that is usually
a chronic condition that presents with
a “dull” pain and improves with rest.
Once your practitioner has determined the cause(s) of your back pain, he or she will create a specific treatment plan designed to address your concerns and boost your overall health and vitality. During acupuncture treatments, your practitioner will insert fine, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points along the meridian pathways in order to restore the balance and flow of Qi. He or she may also perform acupressure or other types of therapy, based on your unique issues and symptoms.
Your practitioner may also suggest lifestyle changes and self-care techniques, especially if you struggle with chronic pain. These may include:
• Improving your posture – Examine your posture in a mirror. Try to stand with your head up, shoulders back and pelvis in a neutral position. When sitting, try to sit upright with your feet flat on the floor and your knees and hips level. Try to balance your weight evenly when walking and standing.
• Exercising – Keep your back and abdominal muscles strong with regular exercise. Yoga and Qi Gong are both gentle and effective. Consider adding aerobic exercise as well to improve your overall health and reduce stress.
• Managing stress – Stress can take a real toll on your health and contribute to muscle pain. Meditation or deep-breathing techniques can help you stay calm and relaxed. Massage is another great way to help relieve stress and loosen tense muscles.
More and more people are finding relief for both acute and chronic back pain through acupuncture and TCM. If you or someone you love is struggling with back pain, call today to find out how acupuncture can help.
Back pain. MayoClinic.com. Feb. 8, 2008. Link
Sollars, David W. L.Ac. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Acupuncture and Acupressure. Alpha Books, 2000.
Stone, Al. L.Ac. Chinese Medicine for Back Pain. Acupuncture.Com. Link
Back Pain was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Cancer, it’s a diagnosis that no one wants to hear. It can leave you feeling frightened, uncertain, and powerless. But if you or a loved one is facing cancer, it’s important to have hope. In many cases, cancer can be cured, especially when it’s detected early. There are more treatments available now than ever before to cure cancer or slow it from spreading, relieve its symptoms, and help you live a healthier life.
It’s also important to know that you have options in addition to standard medical therapies. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of conditions. It can safely be used to naturally support your body and mind as you undergo conventional cancer treatments.
Understanding treatments and their side effects
Cancer is an overall term for a group of diseases that occur when cells begin to reproduce abnormally, eventually damaging or killing healthy tissue. Most cancers are named according to where they begin in the body, and there are more than 100 different types. The most common are breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
Your treatment plan will be based on many factors, including the type and stage (how far it has spread) of the cancer and your overall health. While cancer treatments have proven to be effective, they do have serious side effects to take into account. The most common treatments include:
Surgery: Performed to remove the cancer if possible. Surgery may be used alone or along with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or biological therapy.
Chemotherapy: The use of medications to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy generally lasts from 3 to 9 months, and can have side effects including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, early menopause, and hot flashes.
Radiation therapy: The use of high doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells. Side effects generally include fatigue, hair loss, and skin darkening at the site of the treatment.
Biological therapy: This treatment works by boosting the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. Side effects depend on the specific type of therapy, but they can include rashes or swelling, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite.
Cancer treatment according to Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on Fu Zheng Gu Ben principles
Fu Zhen means strengthening what is correct. It is an immune enhancing herbal regimen using specific herbs. The objective is to support and stimulate deep energy systems within the body to make it stronger and more resistant to degeneration.
Gu Ben refers to strengthening and supporting the body to regenerate and repair.
Treatments may include:
Removing toxins that may contribute to cancer
Increasing the flow of blood and Qi
Removing accumulations of tissue that are believed to be the tumor
Restoring self-regulation and balance among the Jing, Qi and Shen
How acupuncture and TCM can help
Acupuncture and TCM have been used for thousands of years to maintain health and relieve symptoms. Practitioners work to treat imbalances in the body’s Qi, or vital energy, by inserting fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints.
Since acupuncture has few side effects, it can be safely used as a complement to conventional cancer treatments. In fact, in many cancer cases it’s recommended as a way to soothe and reduce side effects. According to the National Institutes of Health1, acupuncture has been found to be effective in relieving:
Acupuncture and TCM can also help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety, which can greatly improve your quality of life during this challenging time.
In addition to acupuncture, your practitioner may also provide massage, acupressure, nutritional counseling, or an exercise program designed to help you stay as healthy as possible. He or she may also recommend herbal medicines or vitamin supplements.
Remember to always communicate with your health care providers about these and any other medications you take in order to avoid any drug interactions.
Treating the person, not just the disease Acupuncture practitioners take a holistic, or whole-body, approach to cancer care. This means that not only will your symptoms be considered, but also your lifestyle, emotional state, and overall health. Your whole being will be taken into account, not just the cancer. When you work with your practitioner to improve your health and relieve your side effects, you are not only helping yourself get the most from conventional treatments, you’re taking back the control of your own life.
The American College of Chest Physicians recommends that acupuncture be used for patients who experience fatigue, dyspnea, chemo-therapy induced neuropathy or to soothe symptoms of pain or nausea and vomiting. Especially in patients who have cancer of the lungs.
1. NIH Consensus Conference. Acupuncture. JAMA 280 (17): 1518-24, 1998.
Comprehensive cancer care: integrating alternative, complementary, and conventional therapies. Gordon JS, Curtin S. NY: Persus Publishing, 2000.
Acupuncture. American Cancer Society. May 25, 2007. Link
Understanding CancerTreatment. WebMD. Accessed February 11, 2008. Link
New Lung Cancer Guidelines Oppose General CT Screening – Lung Cancer Recommendations – Avoid Select Vitamins, Try Acupuncture. Chest, September 2007.
Cancer Care was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Do you experience tingling in your hand or fingers? Pain that radiates from your wrist to your shoulder? Maybe even difficulty holding small objects? If so, you could be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), an uncomfortable and sometimes disabling condition that affects up to five million Americans.
The good news is that lifestyle changes can relieve symptoms, and there are many treatments available to help. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can effectively treat CTS without side effects or harmful medications.
What is CTS?
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist that protects the median nerve which innervates the hand as well as tendons that control the fingers. This nerve controls sensation and muscle movements in the hand. If the carpal tunnel becomes narrowed from swelling or injury, the nerve is compressed and impinged. This can cause numbness, pain, and severe weakness in the hands.
There are several causes of CTS, but the main culprit is repetitive flexion and extension of the tendons in the hands and wrists, especially when performed for long periods, leading to Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI).
Symptoms usually start with dull wrist pain that gradually worsens. Other symptoms may include:
Loss of feeling in the fingers
Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the fingers or hand
Pain extending from the wrist up the arm to the shoulder or down into the palm or fingers
Weakness in the hands and difficulty holding objects
How can acupuncture help?
Typically, treatment for CTS is based on how severe the symptoms are, and may include immobilizing the wrist and hand, using anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids to reduce swelling, and surgery in severe cases. Acupuncture and TCM can safely be used in conjunction with Western treatments to relieve CTS symptoms.
Self-care for a pain-free life
Actively taking part in your treatment is key. Consider these self-care techniques:
Take plenty of breaks during the day, especially if you perform repetitive tasks.
Try yoga to increase your flexibility and strength.
Remember to gently stretch your hands, arms, and shoulders throughout the day.
If you work at a computer, consult an ergonomics specialist to ensure that your workstation is set up properly.
Ask your practitioner about supplements such as B2, B6, and Omega-3 fatty acids for reducing numbness and inflammation.
Studies suggest that acupuncture can both reduce swelling of soft tissue and stimulate production of cortisol, a hormone that reduces inflammation. Since CTS is caused by the swelling of the soft tissue that leads to inflammation of the carpal tunnel, acupuncture can be effective in treating CTS. In addition to improving your CTS, treatment may also improve other symptoms often associated with this condition such as headaches, neck pain, and shoulder stiffness. More importantly, acupuncture and TCM can help relieve the emotional stress of living with this painful condition.
Your practitioner will create a unique, personalized treatment plan designed to address your body’s imbalances. During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific acupoints along the meridians in order to support and strengthen your body and eliminate pain.
Your practitioner may also recommend herbal remedies, vitamin supplements, massage, and stretching as part of your treatment.
Acupuncture and TCM offer a safe, pain-free, natural way to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. With proper care, you can recover from CTS. As you continue with treatment, you may even find that your overall health and well being improve along with your symptoms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome. Mayo Clinic. Feb. 21, 2007. Link Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Nov. 2002. Link
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. American Physical Therapy Association. Accessed April 20, 2008. Link
Tanaka, Tim H., Ph.D., D.Ac., CST, RMT, BCIAC. TECH PAINS: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Eye for the Future Magazine. 1997.
Carpal Tunnel was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Each year, more than 100,000 people are hospitalized due to complications from the flu virus. Unfortunately, most of us get the “flu,” or “influenza,” virus at least once in our lifetime. The associated symptoms and signs are all-too-common: fever, sore throat, congestion, fatigue, muscle and body aches, runny nose, dry cough, sneezing and watery eyes.
Colds are much less severe than the flu, but like the flu, viruses and germs cause colds. Colds cause less severe symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and light headaches. Though it may make you feel lousy, getting a cold is not always a bad thing. Instead, it’s a sign that the body’s resources are strong and vital, working to return you to a state of good health. However, if your immune system is already compromised, a cold could further weaken your body, leaving you open to a more serious illness.
The flu, you, and Chinese medicine
Clinical studies have suggested that using acupuncture as a preventative approach to colds and flu can reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the length of the illness. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine work by rebalancing the body’s systems, regulating the body’s healing energies and enhancing the immune system.
Even though germs, bacteria, and viruses are everywhere—in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink—according to Chinese medical theory, they do not cause disease. Illness occurs when certain organ systems are weak and out of balance. When our bodies are in a weakened and unbalanced state, a hospitable environment is created for germs, bacteria and viruses to thrive, leading to a cold or the flu.
One of the main theories supporting acupuncture and its treatment of colds and the flu is the concept of Wei Qi.
What in the world is Wei Qi?
The concept of Wei Qi is similar to the Western concept of the immune system. Wei Qi functions as a barrier protecting and defending the body against foreign substances, which can cause illness and disease. When Wei Qi is strong and abundant, we remain healthy. When the supply of Wei Qi becomes inadequate, health is compromised and we become vulnerable to outside invaders.
Tips for Staying Healthy:
Consume 8-10 glasses of filtered water daily
Exercise regularly to support the immune system
Eat a healthy, organic diet, including foods with beta carotene (carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, garlic and tomatoes)
Limit sugar intake. Sugar taxes the immune system, especially when feeling under the weather
Take Vitamin C and herbs to support the immune system, especially in the “cold and flu” season
Get plenty of rest
Enjoy fun and relaxing activities
Stimulate specific acupuncture points that support Wei Qi
Schedule regular acupuncture treatments to support the body’s self-regulating, self-balancing and healing systems
Throughout our lives, a variety of factors affect our health and well-being. Although most of the time we recover quickly and regain our health, when these factors are numerous, our internal mechanisms become compromised and weakened, our Wei Qi becomes depleted, and we get sick. By the time illness occurs, the body’s self-regulating, self-balancing and healing systems have already been affected.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine support and strengthen the systems of the body that are involved in the production of Wei Qi, and can help rebalance and support the immune system and stimulate Wei Qi energy. By building up the supply of Wei Qi, and facilitating the smooth and free flow of it throughout the body, the body’s organs and meridian systems become strong, enhancing their ability to effectively fight off illness and disease.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are drug free, safe, natural and effective ways to support the body’s self-regulating, self-balancing and healing systems. If illness does occur, acupuncture can help you get back on your feet again, helping to stave off prolonged illness without the use of medication and over-the-counter drugs.
Treatment of fever due to exopathic wind-cold by rapid acupuncture. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1992 Dec;12 (4):267-71.
Preventive and curative effects of acupuncture on the common cold: a multicentre randomized controlled trial in Japan. Complementary Therapeutic Medicine. 2004 Dec;12 (4):181-8.
Colds & Flu was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Depression affects about 121 million people worldwide and can be debilitating for those who experience it.1 Prolonged feelings of sadness, discouragement and hopelessness greatly affect the quality of life.
At one time or another, most of us have experienced some form of depression. It is a healthy response to events in our lives that seem overwhelming. When we are balanced, physically and emotionally, we can easily bounce back from a depressed state and move on with our lives. When negative feelings and emotions become persistent and consistent, depression may set in.
A meta-analysis published in Journal of Affective Disorders in 2010 covered 207 clinical studies conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating depressive disorders. According to this, the efficacy of acupuncture was comparable to antidepressants alone in improving clinical response and alleviating symptom severity of Major Depressive Disorder. Additionally, the incidence of side adverse reactions in acupuncture treatment was significantly lower than that
How can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) incorporate thousands of years of experience in treating depression. Not only can they help to alleviate the signs and symptoms accompanying depression, they can address the root cause(s) and underlying imbalances that have contributed to the problem, safely and naturally.
Acupuncturists are aware of the powerful interplay between our body and emotions, and that the two are inseparable. When we experience emotional upset, our physiological state may become disrupted. Likewise, when we experience physical problems, our emotions can become greatly affected.
Over time, this disruption leads to what an acupuncturist calls “stagnant” or “depressed” Qi, (pronounced “chee”) or vital energy. Qi is a concept unique to the theories and principles of TCM. According to these theories, Qi is the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness and pain. Qi flows through the body in pathways called meridians. When Qi becomes stagnant or depressed, physical and/or emotional symptoms result. Practitioners of acupuncture and TCM are specifically trained to detect and correct the balance and movement of Qi within the human body. Treatments are focused on balancing and activating the Qi by manipulating corresponding points
on the body.
The stagnant or depressed Qi diagnosis is unique to acupuncture and TCM. Over time, if it is not addressed it can lead to a disharmony
within our body, affecting our physical and emotional well-being.
If not properly treated, this imbalance may lead to depression.
What will an acupuncturist do?
An acupuncturist will take a complete health history in order to find out where, why, and how Qi has become stagnant or depressed. They will develop a unique treatment plan tailored to specific symptoms and signs of each individual.
The goals of such a plan will be to activate the movement of Qi throughout the entire body, as well as to address the root cause(s) and underlying imbalances. By treating the body as a whole and unique organism, your acupuncturist will support you in your recovery from illness and disease, moving you toward health and happiness.
Acupuncture and TCM provide safe, natural, drug-free and effective ways to address depression. The focus is to restore a balanced and continuous flow of Qi throughout the body and mind. Acupuncture
is not a “quick fix.” You may need to receive weeks or months of treatment in order to see lasting results. Give yourself the time
required so that you can experience the maximum benefits
acupuncture and TCM have to offer.
Here are some tips to help combat depressive symptoms:
Surround yourself with people whom you trust to provide
objective and unbiased input and insight. Develop a supportive
group of friends, loved ones, family and co-workers who can
lend an ear and listen to you.
Breathe, go slow, and think things through. Do not make too
many life changes all at once. A few at a time will support you
and not overwhelm your emotions.
Try to get at least twenty minutes of simple exercise at least three days per week, if not more. Take a daily walk, breathe
deeply and let it all go.
Remember, you are not alone. Others are having similar experiences.
2 “The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture therapy in depressive disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis.” Zhang-Jin Zhang, Hai-Yong Chen, Ka-chee Yip, Roger Ng, Vivian Taam Wong Journal of Affective Disorders – July 2010 (Vol. 124, Issue 1, Pages 9-21).
Depression was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Chances are that you or someone you know has been affected by diabetes. It’s an increasingly common condition—one that approximately 1.3 million people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with this year alone. While it is generally a long-term condition, diabetes can be managed through self-care, nutrition, and medication. Another safe, effective approach to managing diabetes and its symptoms is acupuncture. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) help promote health and well-being. Both can be used safely along with your current medical treatment to provide the best results for you.
Understanding a complex condition
The body gets its energy from food through the process of digestion. Food is broken down into glucose (or sugar) which passes into the bloodstream. Then the glucose is moved into muscle, fat, and liver cells by the hormone insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. However, if you have diabetes, your body either does not produce enough insulin, or doesn’t respond to it properly, and this leads to high levels of sugar in the blood.
Uncontrolled blood-sugar levels can cause serious complications if left untreated, including blindness, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, amputations, and nerve damage.
There are two main types of diabetes
Type I diabetes: Usually diagnosed during childhood, type I is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks insulin-producing cells. Symptoms usually come on suddenly, and treatment includes daily injections of insulin.
Symptoms of Type II Diabetes include:
Impotence in men
Type II diabetes: This type accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes cases, and is usually diagnosed during adulthood. Major risk factors include family history, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol and being overweight and sedentary.
Since symptoms may be mild, many people don’t know they have diabetes, which is why it’s important to get tested regularly, especially after age 45. Testing can also detect pre-diabetes, where blood sugar is high, but not yet at diabetic levels. With early detection and treatment, it is far easier to stop the disease from progressing, control your symptoms, and prevent complications. Treatments often include regular blood-sugar monitoring and medications to control blood sugar, as well as diet and exercise.
Diabetes according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) goes beyond a simple diagnosis of Type I or Type II diabetes.
Below are some of the more common TCM diagnoses that your acupuncturist may discover and treat.
Liver Qi Stagnation
A natural approach that works
The good news is that certain types of diabetes respond very well to acupuncture along with other holistic health care choices and lifestyle changes—sometimes even making medications unnecessary.
Acupuncture and TCM can help put you on the path to a healthier lifestyle. Since diabetes has an impact on every part of your body, it makes sense to try a therapy that takes a holistic, or whole-body, approach to health.
According to TCM, Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness. Qi flows through pathways called meridians and provides nourishment to all of the body’s organs and glands. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, symptoms associated with diabetes may appear.
According to TCM, diabetes is known as “Xiao Ke” or “wasting and thirsting disease”, caused by an imbalance of Qi and Yin. This produces heat which drains and consumes the body’s fluids. That is why symptoms related to heat appear—excessive thirst, irritability, itchy skin, dry mouth and red, swollen gums.
During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted in specific acupuncture points along the meridian pathways in order to restore the flow of Qi and nourish Yin. This can ultimately relieve symptoms, improve pancreatic function and control blood sugar levels. Your acupuncturist will also work to resolve other imbalances or concerns that may be complicating your condition, and can help with common symptoms such as pain.
In addition to acupuncture care, your practitioner may offer recommendations for dietary changes, exercise plans, and herbal remedies.
Acupuncture and TCM address each patient’s individual needs in eliminating symptoms and potentially reduce the need for medication. The best approach to controlling your diabetes is to work with a team of health care providers who can address the many aspects of diabetes. Including an acupuncturist to your team—and working together to manage your diabetes—can have lasting benefits and help you live a healthy, active life.
Choate, C. Diabetes Mellitus From Western and TCM Perspectives. Accessed 2/10/2007.
Diabetes. U.S. National Library of Medicine Medical Encyclopedia. 2/8/2007.
Diabetes Overview and Facts. WebMD. Accessed 6/9/2007.
Treating Diabetes with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Acufinder.com. Accessed 6/4/2007.
Diabetes was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can provide a safe, effective, natural, and drug-free approach to reducing the signs of aging. A facial rejuvenation using this ancient technique can improve muscle tone of the face and neck while addressing underlying imbalances that may have contributed to the aging process.
Why does skin sag?
According to TCM, wrinkles begin internally from a constitutional imbalance and fundamental weakness of Qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi circulates throughout the body within a series of pathways called meridians. Flowing through these pathways, Qi provides nourishment, support, and energy to every cell, tissue, muscle, and organ.
As we get older it becomes more difficult for Qi to flow upwards to “lift” the face. This leads to inadequate muscle tone, and over time, wrinkles and sagging skin. A variety of factors can contribute to this—poor diet, digestion and circulation, or emotional and environmental stresses.
Give your skin a lift
A facial rejuvenation using acupuncture, tightens pores, improves muscle tone and dermal contraction, while enhancing and increasing the elasticity of the skin. Acupuncture can reduce signs of aging by strengthening and stimulating the circulation of Qi within the meridian pathways, especially those of the face. You will look and feel more energetic, calm, vibrant and healthy.
Acupuncture treatments may be combined with herbal supplements, exercise and acupressure in order to maximize results.
Facial rejuvenation with acupuncture and TCM is virtually painless, and a non-surgical method to reduce the signs of aging. Before using drugs or surgery to improve appearance, consider acupuncture. It is an effective, natural, safe, drug free and painless alternative. It helps your whole body to look and feel younger.
1) Herbal poultice—Thoroughly clean face. Make a poultice using equal parts of ground organic almonds, lavender and rose flowers, ground flax seeds, and oats. Add water and French clay, and stir into a thick paste. Apply to the face, avoiding the eyes, and let dry. Wash off after 15-20 minutes.
2) Stay hydrated— drink plenty of fresh spring water. This can keep the muscles and skin hydrated to prevent drying.
3) Gently massage the face.
4) Walk at least 20 minutes a day, and remember to breathe deeply.
Facial Rejuvenation was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Fibromyalgia affects about 3-6% of the world’s population, an estimated 200-400 million people worldwide, with higher numbers among women than men.1 People diagnosed with fibromyalgia experience a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, pain, stiffness, aches and muscle tenderness, along with sleep disorders and intestinal and bowel troubles.
The diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be confirmed when eleven out of eighteen specific points on the body are tender to pressure. Interestingly, some of these tender points closely correspond to the location of ancient acupuncture points.2
How acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help.
the theories of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, an imbalance in the flow of Qi can create symptoms and signs that reflect a Western diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that animates and supports the functions of the body. It flows through specific pathways, called meridians,
and provides nourishment
for the entire body.
When Qi is abundant and freely circulating throughout the body, there is health and pain-free living. When Qi becomes “blocked,” or the supply is inadequate, pain, stiffness
and other symptoms related to fibromyalgia can appear.
What does an acupuncturist do?
An acupuncturist will take a complete health history in order to find out where Qi has become blocked, and/or why the amount of Qi within the body has changed. He or she will then develop a treatment plan tailored to address the meridian pathways that are out of balance. The goal of such a plan will be to eliminate visible symptoms, while addressing the root cause(s) and underlying imbalances.
What is out-of-balance?
The body constantly strives to maintain a healthy balance of Qi traveling through the meridian pathways. When the flow of Qi has been disrupted, or the supply of Qi has changed, the body becomes unbalanced and the meridians cannot properly nourish the body. This is when signs and symptoms appear.
Most cases of fibromyalgia fit into the Chinese diagnosis of a Liver, Spleen, and/or Heart disharmony. This does not mean that these organs have a problem, it means that the functions of these organ/meridian pathways according to Chinese medical diagnosis are out of balance.
Liver. The functions related to the Liver organ, according to Chinese medicine, are to control the smooth flow of blood, Qi, and emotions and to nourish the tendons. When the Liver meridian becomes blocked there will be an inadequate supply of blood and Qi flowing throughout the body. The tendons and muscles will not be properly nourished, leading to stiffness and pain. Other symptoms of a blocked Liver are depression, anger, anxiety, and insomnia. A Liver imbalance may be caused by improper diet, stress, deep, unexpressed anger, drugs, and alcohol.
Spleen. The Chinese function of the Spleen is to transform the food that we ingest into Qi and blood. The health of the Spleen is affected by diet, over-concentration, and worry. An unbalanced Spleen can result in fatigue, digestive troubles, muscle stiffness, and pain.
Heart. When there is an insufficient amount of Qi and blood produced by the Spleen, the Heart organ will be affected. The role of the Heart is to pump blood throughout the body. It is also considered to be the home of the Spirit. If the Spleen cannot generate enough blood to nourish the Heart, the Heart Qi does not have enough control to properly house the Spirit. Symptoms can include anxiety, palpitations, insomnia, and emotional unrest.
A study conducted in 2010, suggests that acupuncture treatment is effective in relieving pain and improving quality of life for fibromyalgia patients.3 Not only can Acupuncture treat the pain and discomfort, but it can also address the underlying problems that have caused the imbalance.
In other research, subjects who received acupuncture experienced an overall improvement in fatigue, anxiety and the hypersensitivity associated with fibromyalgia.4
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can provide a safe alternative in
the effective treatment of fibromyalgia. Along with acupuncture, natural herbal formulas, dietary recommendations and calming exercises can also help promote balance and health.
If you suffer from headaches, you are not alone. Over 50 million of us experience some form of a severe headache at some point in our lives. Whether you experience minor head pain or severe migraines, headaches can take valuable time out of your day and your life, and leave you searching for relief.
One way to seek relief is by reaching for drugs and other medications. This is fine for the short run, and can help you get out of pain fast. Unfortunately, common headache medications do not address the root cause(s), and when used over long periods of time can cause unwanted side effects.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer a safe and effective approach to relieving headache pain, without causing harmful side effects, and incorporate a comprehensive diagnostic protocol that can help your acupuncturist understand and address the root cause(s)
of your headaches.
Understanding headache types.
There are many factors in TCM theory that may play a key role in the root cause(s) of a headache.
These include body constitution, emotional health, excessive work,
social and exercise activities, improper diet, physical trauma and hormones. Headaches can also be diagnosed according to specific symptoms, times of occurrence, location on the body, type of pain, triggers and remedies which provide relief.
A natural path to relief.
Acupuncture and TCM takes a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. Your practitioner will take a detailed health history, and perform a physical exam to determine how and why your body’s vital energy, or Qi, is out of balance and identify what type of headache you are experiencing. He/she will also attempt to determine what root cause(s) are contributing to the overall problem. By identifying and treating the underlying cause(s), not just the symptoms, he/she can apply the most effective care.
What do you mean my Qi is out of balance?
An important part of acupuncture and TCM is the concept of Qi. Qi (pronounced “chee”)
is the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness.
It flows through pathways called meridians, and provides nourishment
to all the body’s organs. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, physical symptoms may result. Qi stagnation may be the cause of your headaches.
During treatment, in order to restore the balance and flow of Qi, fine sterile needles will be inserted at specific points along the meridian pathways. Based on your unique symptoms, your acupuncturist will choose to concentrate on acupuncture points related to specific organs. Afterwards, a variety of self-care techniques may be prescribed to
further expedite your healing process.
It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a “quick fix.” Changes may occur quickly or over a longer period of time, depending upon your overall constitution and health. It is also important to closely follow care recommendations suggested by your acupuncturist. Whether it is one visit to address an acute problem, or several visits to address a chronic problem, your acupuncturist will create a treatment protocol
that will maximize your healing potential.
Below are a few ways that you can participate in your own healing, by making simple lifestyle changes that may help soothe—or even prevent—head pain.
Track those triggers: Try to keep track of when your headaches start. Migraine sufferers may find it especially helpful to keep a diary of symptoms and possible causes. Triggers might include anything from eating chocolate, to anxiety or inhaling specific smells. Pinpointing these triggers—and avoiding them when possible—could help.
Stress relief: Stress puts a lot of strain on the body, and can contribute to many types of health concerns, including headaches. Talk to your practitioner about healthy ways to
handle stress, such as meditation or breathing techniques.
Exercise: Physical activity is an important part of any healthy lifestyle, and is a great antidote to stress. Your acupuncturist can recommend types of exercises that may work best for you.
Healthy habits: Making minor changes can make a big difference in your overall health and vitality. Do your best to eat healthy, organic foods, and make sure to get enough sleep every day.
Naturally, acupuncture care is extremely effective in reducing the frequency and severity of many types of painful conditions, including headache pain. By working with your acupuncturist and adopting some simple lifestyle changes, you will be on your way toward a healthier, happier, pain-free life.
Headaches was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Let us think of the circulatory system as plumbing. The heart is the water pump, and the veins and arteries are pipes. The condition of hypertension describes a system wherein the pump has to work harder and faster than it should. This happens for two reasons-one, because the pipes are clogged and pinched and the pump has to push harder and faster to get the same amount of liquid through the channels, and/or, two, because the network of pipes has become extended, covering a larger area, and the pump has to push more liquid, further. Often while this kind of a problem is growing and becoming more serious within a plumbing system, there are no signs until something finally breaks down, and a pipe springs a leak. Unfortunately, the same is true of the human body. Often, a person feels no symptoms of high blood pressure (hypertension) until the condition is found by a doctor’s measurements or damage has already been done to the circulatory organs.
Blood vessels, like pipes, become clogged with build-up of waste that sticks to the inside walls and reduces the circumference of the tubes. Also, vessels can become constricted and spasm due to the over-activity of the bundles of nerves that surround them. This repetitive, in some cases constant, tightening of the nerves is often caused by stress and anxiety, and it causes the vessel walls to lose their flexibility and become rigid. A healthy vein or artery has some elasticity that allows it to respond to variances in pressure, which naturally occur when we exercises or are stimulated y certain situations or emotions that cause blood pressure to rise. An artery that is stiff with fatty and calcified deposits or chronically constricted with nervous tension cannot withstand an increase in pressure very well.
When overall body mass increases due to weight gain, managing the amounts and types of fats and cholesterol in our diets, reducing stress and getting adequate exercise will go some distance in helping to create a system in which the heart is not overtaxed, and clean, supple blood vessels can do their jobs appropriately.
However, there are many cases in which the body needs extra help to achieve and maintain healthy blood pressure levels-diet and exercise alone may not accomplish the job. In Western medicine, the treatment for managing hypertension usually involves prescription medications: diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or beta-blockers. These medicines produce various chemical actions to alter the force of the heart’s heating or prevent increases in blood pressure by suppressing enzymes or hormones that control those functions. In the case of diuretics, they simply reduce the overall amount of fluid travelling though the vessel. None of these pharmacological remedies actually affect the sources of the problem either the plaque built up within the arteries, or the constriction of the nerves around the arteries. And many high blood pressure medications come with unfavorable side effects.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be an effective alternative modality for treating the source of this condition, whether on its own, combined with lifestyle changes, or as an adjunct to a prescription medication. Acupuncture works of the parasympathetic nervous system, simultaneously stimulating and relaxing the bundles of nerves that surround the arteries. This helps to open up blockages and create more flexibility within the network of blood vessels. In the same way, acupuncture works upon the action of the heart valves so that they can do their job of contracting and relaxing with less pressure and effort. A treatment may also be customized for each patient to help alleviate stresses in the mind and body, improve sleep, and release excess heat or “fire” from body.
TCM seeks to treat the whole person, and prevent illness before it arises. It is advisable for everyone to seek regular maintenance treatment in order to prevent conditions like hypertension from getting out of control. While high blood pressure can be controlled in various ways, because it is a possible indicator of more serious heart disease, it should never be ignored.
High Blood Pressure was last modified: November 2nd, 2018 by xiaomei
Living with a positive HIV diagnosis means focusing on your health in a whole new way. Caring for your body’s needs and your emotional well-being is more important than ever, and is the key to living well with this disease.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be powerful allies in staying as healthy as possible and slowing the progression of the disease.
A Western view of HIV
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This virus works by attacking a part of the immune system known as CD4 cells, or T-cells. These white blood cells fight off disease, so if a person’s CD4 count gets too low, the immune system becomes compromised, rendering you susceptible to illness and disease. AIDS, the final stage of HIV, occurs when the body’s immune system becomes so weak and imbalanced that it can no longer fight off illness.
The progression of HIV can take from months to many years, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as you are diagnosed. Your medical doctor will work with you to determine the best strategy to slow the progression and relieve your symptoms. This will generally include the use of antiretroviral drugs in various combinations designed to lower the amount of virus in your blood. These are very powerful medications, and they may lead to a wide range of side effects, including:
Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems
Shortness of breath
These side effects can have a major impact on the quality of life, especially when combined with some of the more common symptoms of the virus itself, such as:
Swollen lymph nodes
Acupuncture can be used as an effective adjunct therapy to help support you and your immune system while receiving traditional Western medicine treatment.
A whole-person approach
It makes sense that acupuncture and TCM are one of the most commonly used complementary therapies for HIV. Practiced for thousands of years, TCM is a complete medical system known to be especially effective in supporting the immune system, strengthening the body, as well as calming the mind and spirit.
TCM tells us that Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness. When a powerful external invader such as HIV attacks the body, it causes a severe disharmony and imbalance of Qi. Incorporating acupuncture and TCM into your healing process, can serve to address various signs and symptoms associated with the virus and the side-effects of HIV “cocktail” medications.
Your practitioner will work to restore the natural harmony and strengthen your body. Acupuncture and TCM offer a holistic, or whole-body, approach to care. This means that your mind, body, and spirit will all be taken into account, not just your symptoms. Practitioners understand that your emotional state is tied to your health, and that it’s critical to tackle the stress, anxiety, and depression that can accompany a diagnosis of HIV.
In addition to acupuncture, your treatment may include the use of herbal remedies. It’s important to discuss these with all of your medical care providers in order to prevent any potential interactions. Other therapies your practitioner may recommend include diet and nutrition counseling, exercise programs and stress relief techniques to support your mind, body, and spirit.
During this challenging time, it’s important to take as much control as you can over your health. By working with a team of medical care providers and incorporating acupuncture and TCM into your treatment, you’ll be taking an important step toward regaining balance and living your healthiest possible life.
HIV & AIDS Guide. WebMD. Accessed Feb. 15, 2008. Link HIV/AIDS. MayoClinic.com. January 30, 2008. Link Ruth Cohen, Misha. HIV Wellness: Living well with HIV. Link Webber, Eleanor. Acupuncture and HIV: The ‘New’ Weapon in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS. Acufinder Magazine: Summer 2007. AcuFinder.com. Link
HIV & AIDS was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects more than one in three Americans, but most people may not even know they have it. Since hypertension can lead to heart attacks and other life-threatening health problems, it’s very important to learn all you can and take action to lower your risk.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer a safe, natural, and pain-free way to keep your blood pressure in check.
What is hypertension?
Blood pressure is the actual force of blood flowing against your artery walls. Getting your blood pressure tested is a quick, simple process. It’s measured in two numbers: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Blood pressure is considered high if your systolic pressure is at or above 140 mm Hg, and/or your diastolic pressure is at or above 90 mm Hg.
Often called “the silent killer,” hypertension doesn’t usually cause symptoms until it gets severe enough to lead to major health problems such as heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and metabolic disorders. It has also been linked to dementia and cognitive impairment.
Self-care for lowering blood pressure. Consider these self-care techniques:
Get daily aerobic exercise.
Add Tai-Chi and Qi-Gong to your workout.
Meditate or sapend time alone to reduce stress.
Practice slow, deep breathing.
Get plenty of rest.
Reduce the amount of fat and salt in your diet and increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Avoid smoking, alcohol, coffee, and spicy foods.
What causes hypertension?
More than 90% of cases of high blood pressure are known as “essential hypertension” and have no identifiable cause. “Secondary hypertension,” on the other hand, is caused by underlying conditions such as kidney disease or certain medications.
The risk factors for essential hypertension include age (the risk is higher after age 35), race (African Americans are at higher risk), and a family history of the condition. While you can’t control those factors, there are many you can control, including:
Consuming too much salt
How can acupuncture and TCM help?
Fortunately, there are many ways to lower your blood pressure. Typical Western treatments includes controlling your risk factors and taking medication if needed. By incorporating acupuncture and TCM into your treatment plan, you can treat your hypertension and improve your overall health and well-being.
Acupuncture and TCM practitioners take a holistic, or “whole body,” approach for the treatment of hypertension, and take into account inharmonious conditions of the whole system than can involve the function of the liver, kidneys, digestive system and heart.
Treatment is based upon the idea of Qi (pronounced “chee”), the vital energy that flows through pathways called meridians, providing nourishment for all of the body’s organs and protecting it from illness. When the flow of Qi becomes diminished or blocked, disease and illness result.
The goal of treatment is to find and address the underlying imbalance(s) affecting the flow of Qi, leading to the elevated blood pressure and various symptoms. By addressing the root cause of your high blood pressure, TCM can help your body regain its natural balance. In doing so, you’ll also be strengthening your health and reducing the risk of future health conditions.
Acupuncture and TCM have proven effective against a wide variety of health concerns. Studies have found that a special form of acupuncture called electro-acupuncture, which uses electrical stimulation, may be particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure. By working together with your practitioner, you’ll be on your way to successfully treating your hypertension and improving your health, for today and the days ahead. Similar to healthy eating and regular exercise, consistent acupuncture treatments should be considered for the greatest long-term results.
High Blood Pressure. American Heart Association. March 20, 2008. Link High Blood Pressure. MayoClinic.com. June 5, 2007. Link Hypertension. Acupuncture.com. Accessed April 20, 2008. Link Williams T; Mueller K; Cornwall MW. Effect of acupuncture-point stimulation on diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive subjects. Physical Therapy. 1991 Jul, 71(7):523-9.
Wood, Shelley. Blood Pressure Changes with Acupuncture Comparable to Those with ACE Inhibitor Monotherapy. Medscape, Medical News. 2007, June, 15.
Hypertension was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a complex disorder in which the intestines lose their ability to efficiently move their contents. The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation. Less common symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, depression and anxiety. Symptoms may be triggered by stress, diet, emotional factors, hormone levels and medications.
Let’s talk acupuncture
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can offer a safe, effective, natural and drug-free way to address IBS. This holistic healthcare system looks at the body differently than Western medicine. According to Chinese medicine, the body is like a garden that must be cultivated and maintained in order to grow strong and remain healthy. Good health happens when all of the organs and meridian systems are balanced and working together.
How does your garden grow?
According to Chinese medical theories, there are several possible causes for IBS.
One of these is an imbalance of the spleen. The spleen is the organ in charge of digestion and assimilation of foods and liquids. One of the main functions of the spleen is to aid in the production of spleen Qi. Spleen Qi is the energy that provides power and nourishment for the entire body.
Another function of the spleen is to produce blood from the food it breaks down and to convert it into usable energy to power your body. If your spleen isn’t properly cared for, the body’s energy levels will not be supported and illness may occur.
The spleen is easily affected and weakened by poor eating habits and diet, antibiotics, excessive worry, or a weak constitution. When a weakened spleen cannot metabolize or process food efficiently, “dampness” appears in the body. Dampness occurs when rotting, undigested food sits in the gut, causing a variety of symptoms. If dampness “rises” to your head, you may experience headaches, a “foggy” feeling and an inability to concentrate. Over time, dampness can lead to bloating, fullness and loose stools.
Another possible scenario is an imbalance in the liver. According to Chinese medicine, the liver is associated with emotional health. Stress and anger directly influence the function of your liver. Alcohol, drugs and medications, or a poor diet further compromise its function. When this happens, your liver energy overflows, in a figurative sense, and attacks the spleen. If your spleen is already weakened, it can be easily overcome. The result can be stress-induced IBS.
If your liver is compromised, you may experience alternating diarrhea and constipation, as well as bloating, gas, headaches, and dull pain. In this case, your liver may be the root of the problem, and your spleen the secondary problem.
An imbalance in kidney Yang could also cause IBS symptoms. kidney Yang is energy that provides warmth for your body. This energy warms up your spleen to aid in the digestion and breakdown of food. If your kidney energies are compromised, you may experience early-morning diarrhea and possibly bladder incontinence, cold limbs, weak knees and a sore back.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can create a clear picture of the root imbalance(s) that lead to IBS symptoms. When you meet with your practitioner, he or she will determine what organ and meridian systems are contributing to your IBS. They may also suggest adjunct therapies such as herbs, dietary changes, breathing techniques and exercises in order to maximize your healing.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can provide a safe, natural, drug-free and effective way to address IBS.
Whether you are looking for a natural alternative or want to increase your chances of success by combining acupuncture with other ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies), TCM provides comprehensive, effective treatment.
Infertility Treatment with Acupuncture and TCM
Infertility treatment with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back for thousands of years. Infertility is a common condition, affecting about one in ten couples who want to conceive. Approximately 40% of cases are due to problems on the woman’s side, 40% to problems on the man’s side, and 20% are unexplained.
TCM infertility treatment includes the use of several modalities, including:
Dr. Cai of Art of Wellness in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA is an expert in women’s health and infertility in women with over thirty years of experience. She has helped hundreds of couples fulfill their dream of bringing a healthy baby into the world. In China, Dr. Cai worked with pioneering doctors on the forefront of integrating Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) methods with cutting-edge gynecological and infertility treatments. Since bringing her practice to Los Angeles in 1997, she has worked in concert with the top medical professionals in the field to help improve outcomes for couples who choose this integrative concept.
Infertility in Women
Modern women are now able to choose many paths in life. The journey towards motherhood has evolved. When a woman is ready to create her family, she may need to seek extra support. TCM brings a traditional and time-tested approach to a process that can be daunting at times. Establishing a trusting relationship with an acupuncture practitioner can help a woman feel empowered to better understand her cycles, her relationship to her body, and ultimately, to move into the experience of pregnancy and mothering with confidence and vitality.
Infertility treatment means taking care of the whole woman. A TCM practitioner looks at every aspect of the constitution, history, lifestyle and emotional world of each patient. Many different conditions can contribute to infertility, directly or indirectly, including:
Irregular and/or painful periods
PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
Low AMH levels (anti-müllerian hormone)
Autoimmune issues/multiple miscarriage
TCM treatments for infertility in women begins with addressing any underlying health problems. It is tremendously helpful to start working with your acupuncturist at least a few months (menstrual cycles) before beginning an ART cycle. In some cases, women conceive naturally during this time, their issues resolved through TCM alone. It can take 2-3 months for the treatment to regulate hormone imbalances and improve egg and uterine lining quality.
How To Treat Infertility with Acupuncture
The combination of acupuncture and supplementation with personalized herbal formulation increases a patient’s chances of conceiving by harmonizing all of the reproductive organs and systems synergistically. Recent studies have concluded that acupuncture helps to:
Regulate menstrual cycle
Increase blood flow to the uterus, which improves the chances of implantation
Normalize hormone and endocrine systems that regulate ovulation
Positively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis
Reduce anxiety and stress
Reduce the side effects and pain associated with ART hormone medications and procedures
Acupuncture operates on the premise that most health issues are caused by an imbalance of Qi (life force energy) and blood, affecting the healthy functioning of one or more of the organ systems. When Qi and blood are circulating freely throughout the body, every cell, tissue and organ is properly nourished and can function well. Acupuncture and TCM can raise the fertility potential of women by positively affecting the quality, quantity, balance and flow of Qi and blood.
For more detailed information about how TCM practitioners diagnose and differentiate different causes of infertility in women, visit our article here.
Infertility in Men
Problems with sperm quality are becoming increasingly common. Most men are not aware, though, that there is a problem until they are trying to have a baby.
Causes of male infertility often involve the existence of a condition that creates too much heat in the body. Sperm cannot survive at high temperatures. Stagnation of blood and qi in the reproductive organs can create blockages and increase heat. Sometimes a history of infection, either with an STI (sexually transmitted infection) or UTI (urinary tract infection), has caused damage to the organs. There can be hormonal imbalances, too, that cause semen to be coagulated, too thick for the sperm to move effectively.
In TCM, we differentiate male infertility according to our philosophy of organ systems:
Kidney deficiency – can mean that there is some constitutional weakness going to back to early development. Onset of puberty may have been later in teenage years. The testes may not have developed or descended fully.
Dampness/Excess Heat – indicated by a past or latent infection. What we call jiao, or the lowest of the “three burners” in the body, does not function properly, creating too much dampness and heat in the pelvic floor area, compromising sperm formation and travel.
Toxic exposure/Stress and Anxiety – can lead to stagnation. The sperm does not have enough vitality to move.
Acupuncture and herbal supplementation combined with some lifestyle and dietary adjustments can dramatically strengthen the quality, quantity and motility of sperm. Avoiding hot baths and soaking in jacuzzi is important. We also recommend that men do not carry their cell phones in their front pocket; if you must, put it in your back pocket, away from the groin area. Above all, keep in mind that men also need holistic care that helps them approach the family-making and parenting process in optimal health.
Continuing acupuncture treatment during pregnancy and the post-partum period is beneficial for mother and baby, as it is effective for a host of related issues, including nausea and vomiting, back and hip pain, management of blood sugar levels, as well as reducing pain during labor and helping to encourage an abundant supply of breast milk.
Building a team of trusted professionals to support you can make all the difference in both your experience of the process and the success of the outcome. We hope you will schedule a visit for an initial consultation with Dr. Cai so you can get started creating optimal health for yourself and your growing family.
You settle into a warm, comfortable bed, close your eyes and nothing happens, you just can’t fall asleep. Hours go by and still you’re awake. The next day you feel tired, grouchy, and are unable to focus. Does this sound familiar?
Sleepless nights happen to almost everyone at some time, but ongoing insomnia can indicate a deeper issue and could lead to further health concerns. Unfortunately, a common approach to treating insomnia includes prescription sleeping medications, which can cause side effects or even dependence. That’s one of the many reasons to consider an all-natural approach to treating your sleep problems. Acupuncture can be a very effective way to improve your sleep quality without side effects.
Tips for healthy sleep
Stick to a regular schedule.
Plan to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
Stay active. Exercise regularly, but not within a few hours of bedtime.
Don’t eat large meals before bed.
Try not to nap. If you really need to nap, try to keep it short, less than 45 minutes.
Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. All of these can add to sleep problems.
Relax. Try taking a warm bath, meditating, or reading to wind down before going to sleep.
One bad night…or an ongoing issue?
Occasional insomnia is a very common problem, affecting about one in four Americans. It can happen to anyone, but is more common in older adults. Its symptoms include:
Difficulty falling asleep
Waking up during the night
Waking up too early
Daytime fatigue and irritability
Frustration and moodiness
Insomnia can be very frustrating, but it’s more than an annoyance. When insomnia becomes ongoing, or chronic, your body is unable to get the rest and renewal it needs so that you can feel your best. In fact, a lack of quality sleep can cause problems such as difficulty concentrating, diminished energy, low mood, and trouble performing everyday tasks. Since sleep strengthens the immune system, insomnia can leave you susceptible to many other health concerns. Luckily, you don’t have to just “put up with” chronic insomnia.
How acupuncture can help
According to the theories of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), conditions such as insomnia are a sign of an imbalance in Qi (pronounced “chee”), the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness.
Here are a few questions your practitioner may ask. They help to refine your specific diagnosis.
Do you have difficulty falling asleep?
Do you have difficulty staying asleep?
Is your sleep filled with vivid dreams?
Is it difficult to calm your mind at night?
Is it difficult to sleep on your back? This can relate to a excess condition of the Lungs or Heart meridians.
Do you only sleep on your back with outstretched arms? This can reflect a pattern of excess heat.
Do you prefer to sleep on your stomach or side? This could indicate a deficient condition.
This imbalance can stem from a number of causes such as stress, anxiety, medications, depression, and chronic pain. To determine the underlying causes of your insomnia, your acupuncturist will take into account many factors, including your lifestyle and emotional and mental well-being. They will then work to restore the balance and flow of Qi by inserting fine, sterile needles at specific points along the body.
Your acupuncturist may also suggest aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, or other additional therapies. You may find that you sleep better after your very first session, though you will most likely receive the most benefit from a series of treatments.
Your acupuncturist can get to the root of your sleep issues by taking into account all of the factors that may be contributing to your sleep disturbance. With this ancient form of health care, you can treat your symptoms, improve your overall health and well-being, and start looking forward to a great night’s sleep, every night.
Overcoming Insomnia: How to achieve peaceful quality sleep. Acupuncture.com. Accessed Feb. 1, 2008. Link Insomnia. MayoClinic.com. March 16, 2007. Link The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Acupuncture. Alpha Books, 2000.
Insomnia was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Menopause is a natural, physiological transition that marks the cessation of ovulation and menstruation. Apart from periods becoming less regular, about 80% of women also experience hot flashes, night sweats, and other uncomfortable signs of menopause. Conventional medicine tends to offer women some menopause relief through Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT), but this approach carries risk. Hormone Replacement has been shown to significantly increase the risk of breast cancer, and the danger grows with every year that a woman continues using hormone replacements for menopause. TCM and Acupuncture offer real menopause symptom relief without any of these negative side effects.
The time during which symptoms appear is actually called perimenopause, and it can last anywhere from a few months up to several years. Women generally begin to experience pre-menopausal symptoms in their 40s, but for some women, they can begin as early as their 30s, or not until their 50s. On average, women spend about four years experiencing a gradual change. Menopause is said to have occurred when a woman has gone a full twelve months without a period. During perimenopause, women are confronted with many changes, not only in their menstrual cycles, but in all aspects of their lives: physical, mental, and emotional.
What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?
As a woman moves through the transition of perimenopause, she is likely to experience a host of various symptoms. Some of these are undeniably visceral, such as waking up in the night drenched in sweat, while others might be very subtle–like having trouble remembering names that used to come effortlessly. Each woman’s experience is different, but most women notice at least some of these perimenopausal symptoms.
Top 15 Common Signs of Menopause that Can Be Improved with Acupuncture Treatment
Irregular menstrual periods
Hot flashes, hot flushes, night sweats
Anxiety, depression, irritability
Trouble sleeping through the night
Memory problems, difficulty concentrating
Weight gain, low metabolism, thickening around the middle
Looser skin, brittle nails
Sensations such as: mouth tingling, itchy skin, electric shocks, nerve tingling in hands and feet
Loss of bone density
Current medical science views these symptoms as a hormonal imbalance, and seeks to correct that imbalance. Estrogen levels do indeed begin to fluctuate during perimenopause, rising and falling unpredictably. TCM theory and practice view these changes as being due to changing body chemistry, and also in natural changes that occur in the more subtle energies of the body.
Insomnia and restless sleep are also common complaints among premenopausal women. This problem can then contribute to an overall sensation of fatigue and fogginess. The stimulation of specific acupuncture points can help induce more restful sleep, while TCM herbal supplements that support the liver and kidneys balance the endocrine and nervous systems.
How Does an Acupuncturist Treat Menopause?
Estrogen is similar to what acupuncturists call Jing Qi, a foundational energy with which we are born. As we age, our supply of this potent energy decreases over time. Lifestyles that involve a lot of stress, long hours spent sitting or standing, unhealthy eating and drinking habits can also contribute to loss of Jing Qi. Another factor that can contribute to menopause is an imbalance in Yin and Yang energies. Yin can be thought of as the cooling system of the body. When this cooling system declines, heat symptoms will appear, such as night sweats, restlessness, hot flashes, mood swings, heart palpitations and insomnia. The decline of Yang energy can also lead to imbalance. Yang represents the warming and metabolizing functions of the body. When Yang is unbalanced, symptoms may include water retention, cold hands and feet, weight gain, edema, indigestion, hypertension, or raised cholesterol levels.
An acupuncturist will conduct a thorough evaluation and a complete health history and develop a unique treatment plan that will address each patient’s individual concerns. When treating menopausal symptoms, an acupuncturist must first determine where the energy has changed, and what organ systems have become unbalanced. Once this is known, various natural therapies such as acupuncture, herbs, meditation, Qi Gong and diet can be used to correct the imbalances. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer a safe, natural, drug-free and effective way to address menopause symptoms.
Women who look for acupuncture near me to address hot flashes, in particular, find relief from menopause symptoms after as few as three treatments, but a full session of eight acupuncture treatment for menopause has been shown to produce significant reduction of symptoms for up to six months. Acupuncture and its related modalities are also effective at relieving perimenopausal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, headaches and sleep difficulties.
A TCM practitioner uses all of the tools at her disposal, including the careful consideration of combinations of traditional herbal supplements to help alleviate discomfort and restore harmony to the body. Some herbs have been clinically demonstrated to help raise estrogen levels. Different presentations of perimenopausal symptoms call for different classic herbal formulae. Consistent use of this type of natural remedy for hot flashes and other signs of menopause, along with appropriate modifications to diet and lifestyle, can make a real difference in the quality of life experienced during this transition.
TCM and Acupuncture Treat Menopause Symptoms Naturally
TCM offers a holistic, whole-person approach. A qualified acupuncturist with expertise in womens’ health and menopause will offer patients invaluable advice regarding specific lifestyle changes that will help restore balance. Each woman’s unique situation can be eased with adjustments to offer menopause symptom relief. Feelings of anxiety and irritability, accompanied by restless sleep, can make life feel uncertain, like the foundation we have spent so many years building is crumbling. An acupuncturist understands, and helps patients deal with these subtle yet troubling pre-menopausal symptoms in a productive way. TCM encourages each patient to take responsibility for her own well-being, and gives her the tools with which to do exactly that.
As with everything in life, and especially in the search for optimal health, attitude is key. In TCM and in traditional Chinese culture, menopause is often referred to as “the Second Spring.” Even in contemporary culture, women still do the lion’s share of childcare and household duties within the family. Now that the “childbearing” years of a woman’s life have drawn to a close, she is free to direct her energies towards new pursuits. All women, whether or not they have spent their earlier adult years raising a family, can view this transformative time as an opportunity to focus on her own goals and desires, to bring her own dreams to fruition. Sometimes women struggle with this time emotionally, feeling that something is ending, that they are being diminished. Far from it! Second Spring is a time to plant the seeds of new projects, envision new adventures, and gently nurture growth.
The best time to treat symptoms of menopause is as soon as they begin to appear, when they are still mild. A acupuncturist with special expertise in womens’ health will be able to balance the female hormones so that the whole process will proceed smoothly. At any point, though, a woman with moderate or severe perimenopausal symptoms can feel the benefits of acupuncture treatment. If you or someone you know is experiencing menopause, find acupuncture near me to help navigate the path of perimenopause with ease.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex condition that currently affects approximately 400,000 people in the United States—with 200 more people diagnosed every week. This chronic disease causes uncomfortable, sometimes debilitating symptoms that can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks.
An unpredictable condition
The exact causes of MS are not entirely understood, and there is currently no cure, though there have been many advances in treatment in recent years. Western medicine considers MS an autoimmune condition–a condition that occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. In the case of MS, the immune system starts attacking and breaking down a substance called myelin, the sheath that surrounds the nerve fibers of the central nervous system. Myelin increases the speed of the transmission of nerve signals.
When myelin becomes “broken” or destroyed, nerve impulses are slowed down, leading to a progression of nerve-related problems. When these nerve fibers become damaged, symptoms can result, including:
Loss of balance
Numbness or weakness of
The symptoms of MS vary from person to person, can range from minor to severe and can even disappear for a period of time only to flare up unexpectedly.
Depending upon your symptoms and the progression of the disease, your doctor may suggest medications designed to slow the disease and/or medications for the symptoms.
It is important to take an active role in your treatment. More and more, people living with MS are choosing to complement their Western treatment with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture and TCM can provide a safe, natural way for those living with MS to stay as healthy as possible. Including acupuncture and TCM in your treatment plan can help boost your overall health and relieve symptoms. Practitioners of TCM view MS differently than Western medicine practitioners, taking into account each individual’s overall health, lifestyle and emotional well-being—not just their symptoms.
TCM is based on the concept that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, flows through the body in channels called meridians. If Qi becomes stagnant, unbalanced or deficient, symptoms such as those linked to MS can result. This can occur for any number of reasons, from an inherited constitutional imbalance or illness to stress or an external invader such as wind or dampness.
Your practitioner will work to determine the condition at the root of your symptoms in order to create a treatment plan. For example, the muscular stiffness and numbness associated with MS are often related to excessive dampness within the meridians, or a deficiency in the liver and kidney organ systems.
Based on their diagnosis, your acupuncture practitioner will work to balance the Qi in the body’s organ systems by manipulating corresponding points on the body with hair-thin acupuncture needles. While acupuncture alone can’t cure MS, it has been found to be particularly useful in managing symptoms such as pain, muscle spasms and bladder problems.
Self-care for MS
MS can have an impact on every part of your life. To help support both your physical and emotional well-being, your practitioner may suggest some of these lifestyle changes and self-care techniques.
• Herbal remedies – Your practitioner may provide herbs or nutritional supplements designed to help relieve symptoms and boost your overall health. Be sure to let your other health care providers know if you take supplements in order to avoid any potential drug interactions.
• Staying cool– Heat can make symptoms of MS worse. Tepid baths, cool drinks and air conditioning may help make you more comfortable.
• Exercise – Yoga and Qi Gong can help improve strength, balance and depression. Consider adding gentle aerobic exercise as well to improve your overall health and reduce stress.
• Stress relief– Stress can exacerbate symptoms and cause other health problems, so it’s important to keep your stress levels in check. Meditation or deep-breathing techniques can help you stay calm and relaxed. Massage is another great way to help relieve stress and loosen tense muscles. If your anxiety becomes overwhelming, consider talking to a professional.
MS is a serious condition, but many people with MS live long, happy, fulfilled lives. Acupuncture and TCM can provide the support you need to cope with MS and its effects. If you or someone you love is facing MS, contact an acupuncturist today.
Chinese herbal treatment for Multiple Sclerosis and other flaccidity syndromes. S. Dharmananda, Ph.D. Inst. for Traditional Medicine.
Traditional Chinese medicine and Multiple Sclerosis. A patient guide. E. Vickers, N.D., L.Ac.
Acupuncture for Multiple Sclerosis. 6/27/08. Link
Multiple Sclerosis was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
At some point in our lives, each of us will most likely experience some type of neck pain and/or whiplash. However, certain people may be predisposed to acute and chronic neck pain due to their occupation. Employees who perform repetitive tasks, sit for prolonged periods of time and use their upper extremities are at a greater risk of developing neck pain.
The neck is one of the most flexible—and delicate—parts of the body. Throughout the day, many of us put stress on our neck without even realizing it. Unfortunately, this can result in a literal “pain in the neck,” causing stiffness, pain and limited movement in the neck and even the shoulders and arms.
If you suffer from neck pain, whether it is occasional or chronic, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) may just provide the relief you need. In recent years, acupuncture has become well-known as an effective treatment for various types of painful disorders. Acupuncture and TCM provide a natural, safe approach to treating
neck pain and whiplash.
What is behind that pain in the neck
Neck pain can be caused by a wide range of factors, including wear-and-tear, strains or sprains, or inflammation. A few of the most common culprits include:
Bad posture: Bending or hunching forward for prolonged periods can cause strains (overstretched muscles), sprains (injuries to ligaments) or other problems. This can happen at work when sitting in front of the computer, during long drives, when reading in bed or even talking on the phone. Sleeping in an awkward position is another common cause.
Injuries, trauma and motor vehicle accidents: This is a major cause of acute neck pain and whiplash. Common injuries include falls, sports-related injuries, direct trauma and auto accidents.
Medical conditions: Conditions such as arthritis can cause chronic pain and stiffness. Herniated disks in the neck can also cause pain, as can illnesses like the flu. Jaw injuries or conditions may also cause neck pain.
Stress: Being stressed or anxious can cause tension in the muscles of your neck, shoulders and back.
Neck pain according to TCM can be caused by a variety of factors. Below are some of the more common TCM diagnoses that your acupuncturist may discover and treat.
Invasion of cold, wind and/or damp
How acupuncture can help.
A study published in British Medical Journal states that, “Acupuncture can be a safe form of treatment for patients with chronic neck pain if the objective is to obtain relief from pain related to movement and to improve cervical mobility. As neck pain may be a chronic condition, single forms of treatment may be inadequate, and acupuncture merits consideration.”1 Other studies suggest that acupuncture can treat degenerative disorders of the neck and spine. According to a study published by U.S. National Institutes of Health in 2010, it was concluded that, “Traditional acupuncture can relieve pain intensity and improve the quality of daily life with a relative long-term clinical efficacy in patients with chronic neck pain.”2
Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic, or whole-body, approach to health. In TCM, Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness. It flows through pathways called meridians to nourish all of the body’s organs, muscles and cells. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, physical symptoms such as pain may result.
Acupuncture is safe, natural and has no side effects—unlike many of the medications often used to treat pain.
Your practitioner will take a detailed health history and perform a physical exam to find out where and why your body’s vital energies have become blocked and out of balance. He or she will work to not only relieve your pain, but to identify and treat the underlying causes. During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific points along the meridian pathways in order to restore the balance and flow of Qi. Your practitioner may also perform acupressure or other types of therapy, based on your unique issues and symptoms.
Your practitioner may also recommend herbs, changes in diet, stretches and other exercises to work in conjunction with acupuncture treatment. These adjunct therapies help you regain your health and prevent future problems. By working together with your acupuncturist—and taking good care of yourself—you will be on your way to a healthier, pain-free future before you know it.
Irnich, D., et al. Randomised trial of acupuncture compared with conventional massage and “sham” laser acupuncture for treatment of chronic neck pain. British Medical Journal June 30, 2001;322:1-6.
Liang Z, Zhu X, Yang X, Fu W, Lu A. Assessment of a traditional acupuncture therapy for chronic neck pain: a pilot randomized controlled study. Complement Ther Med. 2011 Jan 19, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21195292.
Neck Pain was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Osteoarthritis of the knee is one of the most common complaints causing people pain and loss of total mobility worldwide. Pain, stiffness of the joint, limited function, and sometimes a “clicking” or other sound, are symptomatic of this condition, which tends to worsen with age. Degeneration of the cartilage that cushions the knee joint, along with injury or degeneration of the ligaments, tendons, muscles and surrounding tissues that support the functioning of the knee, all play a role in the development of osteoarthritis of the knee.
The treatment typically offered is the prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs, which may provide some temporary relief but does not really heal the condition. Fortunately, Traditional Chinese Medicine can treat osteoarthritis, and several scientific studies conducted in recent years have demonstrated that acupuncture offers significant relief for this condition.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, we do not view this problem as being isolated in the knee. We pay close attention to any blockage in the lower extremities because the legs are like a “second heart” for the body. We rely on the large muscles of the legs to push the blood upwards, completing the “circle” of circulation. So if there is a problem in the leg, it not only affects the knees, but all of the organs.
In TCM, arthritis is called “Bi Syndrome.” Bi syndrome refers to conditions that create pain, stiffness, soreness, or numbness in the muscles, tendons and joints. There are various differentiations of Bi Syndrome, each referring to a type of bodily invasion by external climate factors: Wind, Dampness, Heat, and Cold. A TCM practitioner makes a determination about what type of Bi Syndrome is being presented based on the patient’s description of their pain and other symptoms, as well as by studying the appearance of the tongue and feeling the pulse. For example, if a person describes knee pain that improves when warmth is applied, and worsens when the area is exposed to cold, and we observe a thin, white coating on the tongue, along with a wiry, tight pulse, we will diagnose this as a “Cold Pattern Bi.” A “Damp Pattern Bi” is characterized by pain and swelling in the joint, and a feeling of heaviness and numbness in the limbs, a sticky tongue coating, and a slow, “soggy” pulse.
The point is, while many people suffer “knee pain,” not every case is the same, and the same treatment will not work for everyone. A TCM provider will zero in on the specific situation surrounding your knee pain, and treat it accordingly with acupuncture treatment, herbal formulae, and a dietary plan that will address the type of inflammation you are experiencing.
One recent study treated 32 patients who were waiting to have knee replacement surgery. The patients who received acupuncture treatment during the nine weeks of the study reported decreased pain, and the ability to walk farther and faster, while those who did not receive acupuncture reported continued increase in their pain.
How exactly does acupuncture help? From a scientific point of view, it increases the production of endorphins and the anti-inflammatory hormone adrenalcorticotropin. A treatment plan may include electro-acupuncture, moxa, cupping, herbs, dietary recommendations and lifestyle changes. Herbal formulas that address Bi Syndrome patterns have been in use for hundreds of years in TCM. They can help resolve dampness and cold and bring more warmth and circulation to the knee joint. A proper diet can go several steps further in treating inflammation, and preventing it from recurring.
If you or someone you love is experiencing chronic joint pain and loss of motion, there is hope for relief. Give Traditional Chinese Medicine a try.
Osteoarthritis was last modified: November 1st, 2018 by xiaomei
Acupuncture is the best way to treat pain without negative side effects. TCM has been used for thousands of years not only to alleviate pain, but to actively work to treat the root cause of the pain.
No one wants to suffer through pain, yet it is an integral part of life. Pain is the body’s way of communicating that something is wrong. From the perspective of medical experts, pain is defined as a sensory experience associated with damage of tissues. It can vary widely in intensity, and can be felt in a very specific area, or in a more diffuse way.
The pain may be due to an injury, or an illness, or something even more elusive. Covering up the pain with medications is only a temporary and very partial solution. Over the counter pain relievers work by blocking specific chemicals that damaged cells release as signals to the brain. They can block the transmission of the signals, but they don’t do anything to fix what’s causing the pain. It may lead someone to keep injuring herself or to inadequately treat the underlying illness. And pain medications can create many side effects, such as nausea, constipation, fuzzy-headedness. Over time, people build up a tolerance, so they have to take more to get the same effect.
How Acupuncture Treats Pain
TCM is a complex multi-disciplined approach to healing. An acupuncture practitioner uses various modalities to work with each patient’s individual symptoms and overall health condition.
In the TCM view, qi (vital energy) flows through the body along pathways called meridians. Pain is usually a sign that there is a blockage of qi in the body.
When treating a pain condition, the TCM practitioner is working on several levels. She can simultaneously use points to provide immediate pain relief while also freeing up the blockage and touching on whatever it was that started causing the blockage in the first place. Personalized herbal formulations can also address the deeper part of the issue, restoring a baseline of good health.
TCM treats the whole person, not only localized physical symptoms. Pain can have its origins in some shock or emotional trauma a person went through, or because of dietary habits or exposure to some toxicity, either chemical or energetic. An experienced practitioner will ask lots of questions until the underlying issues are revealed.
5 Ways Acupuncture Treats Acute Pain Due to Sprained Ankles or Other Injuries
Stimulating the production and release of endorphins
Block neural signals of pain
Maximizing the flow of blood and qi to the area
Acupuncture and TCM for Chronic Pain Management
Many millions of people are affected by chronic pain conditions and have not been able to find relief from the care they are receiving, whether it be strong pain medications that carry side effects or surgeries that have not resolved their pain. Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective modality for reducing chronic pain.
Shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, arthritis pain and chronic headache pain can all be treated by acupuncture with significant improvements demonstrated over time.
Acupuncture and TCM for Pain and Depression
Often pain and depression go hand in hand. Pain can arise from a traumatic experience that creates a double burden of mental and physical unease. Long periods of intense stress can put a stranglehold on the flow of qi through the meridians, further disrupting communications between the mind and body. In any case, pain that is severe and long-lasting can cause a person to feel helpless and hopeless. Acupuncture has been shown to help treat both the pain and the depression simultaneously.
Acupuncture for Cancer Treatment Pain and Symptoms
Acupuncture can provide pain relief for many pain conditions, including:
Musculoskeletal pains of all kinds
Gall bladder stones
If you or someone you love is suffering from pain, please call us right away to schedule an initial consultation. There is something you can do, and that is seek treatment from a highly qualified TCM professional.
Pain was last modified: February 28th, 2020 by admin
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is often viewed as a “problem” or illness. It’s not. Instead, PMS is a variety of responses to an ordinary event in women’s lives: menstruation. PMS usually occurs monthly, accompanied with specific symptoms and signs that can appear seven to ten days before menstruation and then disappear after the onset of the menstrual flow. To better understand PMS, it is important to look at the whole picture.
Although PMS is due to unbalanced hormonal fluctuations, other factors such as stress, a nutritionally inadequate diet, lack of exercise and sleep, and a hectic or sedentary lifestyle can exacerbate the symptoms. Because most women exhibit as many as four to ten symptoms one to two weeks prior to menstruation, their lives—from relationships with family and friends, to work productivity and the ability to appreciate and take pleasure in their own bodies—may become diminished.
To make matters worse, women may be at increased risk for PMS if
They are over 30 years old
They are experiencing significant amounts of stress
Their nutritional habits are poor
They have suffered side effects from birth control pills
They have difficulty maintaining a stable weight
They do not get enough exercise
They’ve had a pregnancy complicated by toxemia
They have had children (the more children, the more severe the symptoms)
They have a family history of depression
What to do about PMS
In treating PMS, Western medicine recommends diet and lifestyle changes coupled with medications that manipulate the levels of progesterone and estrogen (i.e. birth control pills), tranquilizers and/or antidepressants (for nervousness, anxiety and depression) that affect mood and emotions. Although prescription medications can sometimes bring immediate relief, they unfortunately do not address the underlying cause of PMS, and they can cause unwanted side effects that may mimic PMS symptoms.
A natural approach
In 1997, the National Institute of Health (NIH)1 issued a consensus report that suggested acupuncture is effective in the treatment of menstrual cramps, and other symptoms associated with PMS. Acupuncture can address PMS symptoms naturally, without medication, by restoring balance and harmony, both physically and emotionally. In Chinese medicine, the root cause of PMS is usually an imbalance or blockage of Qi, (pronounced “chee”) or vital energy, and blood within specific organ and meridian systems. When Qi and blood become imbalanced or blocked, symptoms and signs associated with PMS will appear.
The role of an acupuncturist is to investigate the underlying causes leading to PMS symptoms. After a thorough diagnostic evaluation to determine what organ and meridian systems are out of balance, they treat PMS symptoms according to each individual patient’s imbalances and concerns.
By inserting fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body, an acupuncturist is able to stimulate and activate the movement of Qi and blood. When Qi and blood begin to travel freely throughout the body, balance and normal function are restored and PMS symptoms are alleviated. Acupuncture restores hormonal balance and provides deep relaxation to help reduce stress, ultimately encouraging and supporting greater health and well-being of both body and mind.
A practitioner may also recommend lifestyle changes such as eating a nourishing, organic, whole foods diet, getting regular aerobic exercise and adequate sleep, enjoying warm baths, supplementing the diet with vitamins and herbs, and practicing deep relaxation exercises such as meditation, breathing exercises, or yoga.
Whether you suffer from PMS symptoms on an occasional or a monthly basis, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can offer a safe, natural and effective approach to alleviating these symptoms. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine may hold the key to a healthier, balanced, PMS-free life.
1 National Institutes of Health (NIH) – National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on Acupuncture, Program & Abstracts (Bethesda, MD, November 3-5, 1997). Office of Alternative Medicine and Office of Medical Applications of Research. Bethesda.
I recently had the honor of giving a presentation at the 2nd World Congress on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in Orlando, Florida. As a TCM practitioner who has been passionate about treating Women’s Health issues for 30 years, I know that women everywhere, in every stage of life, can benefit from an integrative approach. Combining the best of Western and Traditional Chinese medicine have to offer allows women to find not only palliative care, but true solutions to their problems. PCOS is a perfect example of a condition that can be treated effectively with acupuncture, herbs, and the whole range of lifestyle improvements that we encourage as TCM practitioners. What is PCOS?
PCOS – polycystic ovarian syndrome – is a complex condition that affects as many as 10% of women. It can begin as early as her teens, and continue all the way through her 40s. Some women don’t realize they have this condition. The major complaint is irregular cycles, sometimes only having a period every few months or even only a few in a year.
Unexplained weight gain
Excessive body or facial hair
Darkening of skin
Infertility, miscarriagePCOS is not only a reproductive disorder; it is related to the metabolic/digestive system and endocrine system, as well. According to Western medicine, the causes of PCOS are still mysterious. Treatment for PCOS generally involves some type of hormone therapy medication- usually birth control pills, to regulate the menstrual cycle. Some patients may be given metformin to regulate their insulin. Women with PCOS who want to become pregnant are given Clomid and Letrozole. Women are advised to use various hair removal methods and given antibiotics to help their acne. But the condition is not being treated at its source.
PCOS in TCM
In TCM, we have been studying and treating PCOS-related conditions for thousands of years. PCOS is not classified as an isolated condition; it is related to other conditions, such as irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, and infertility. More specifically, PCOS falls under a category of conditions called “Zheng Jia” –roughly translated as “masses”– in which we would also include endometriosis and uterine fibroids. All of these are caused by stasis or stagnation in Qi, Blood, and Fluid. In TCM, we view the woman as Yin, related to water. Women’s menstrual cycles correspond to the moon cycles. Women with PCOS have their Qi flow obstructed, causing fluid stasis. Irregular cycles and anovulatory periods can then cause women to have problems with their fertility. Some women do not realize they have PCOS until they start trying to get pregnant.
In general, in TCM, we view disease as being due to either external factors or internal factors.
External Factors Internal Factors
Cold worry, over-thinking
Heat lack of sleep
Dryness improper diet
Injuries lack of exercise
PCOS is caused by internal factors. One typical PCOS manifestation according to TCM is spleen and kidney yang deficiency, which presents as overweight, pale, water retention, long cycles, and light period flow. This might be hereditary, or due to lifestyle. Overconsumption of ice-cold food and beverages is one of the primary examples I see among American patients, who tend to have cold drinks and ice cream often. Cold can weaken the body’s yang fire energy, which can negatively affect the processing of fluid, leading to water retention. Cold also creates more stagnation, especially before or during the period.
For menstruation to work well, there must be a good flow of energy, blood and fluid throughout the systems.
With acupuncture treatment, we work on this energy flow. Chinese herbal tea formula will strengthen the kidney and spleen yang. But lifestyle changes are very important, too. Stress management (Qi gong, Tai Chi, yoga, meditation) will help balance the emotions. Eating properly, reducing mucous-producing foods like dairy, deep-fried, sugar, is crucial. These types of foods create stagnant mucous that can contribute to the development of cysts and tumors. We recommend eating more warm foods, both temperature-wise and energy-wise. We view diet/food not just in terms of calories or vitamins, but as energy.
TCM principle is simple: if a part of you is weak, we need to strengthen it; if its action is excessive, we need to reduce it. In TCM, we always view each patient as a unique individual, and each treatment session as a unique opportunity to work with the patient on what is happening in her life and her body in that moment. Especially when we are treating a woman in relation to her menstrual cycle and the development of follicles on her ovaries, it is no exaggeration to say that every day, every moment is different, with different requirements. That is what I mean when I say that a fluid condition such as PCOS requires flexible treatment options from her health care practitioners.
Mind-Body exercises such as Tai Chi or yoga can help alleviate stress, balance the emotions, clear the mind, and allow for smooth functioning of the body’s complex systems. Take time for yourself.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome was last modified: November 1st, 2018 by xiaomei
Pregnancy is a time of extraordinary physical and emotional change. It’s also a time when it’s more important than ever to support and care for your well-being. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help you meet the unique challenges of pregnancy, ensuring optimal health for you and your baby in a safe and natural way, without the use of harmful medications.
During pregnancy acupuncture can help with:
Back pain and sciatica
Labor and delivery pain
What to expect
Acupuncture has been used in China for thousands of years to regulate the female reproductive system. Acupuncture and TCM are based on the concept that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, flows through the body in channels called meridians. Practitioners of acupuncture and TCM work to balance the Qi in the body’s meridian and organ systems by manipulating corresponding points on the body.
For a healthy pregnancy, regular weekly and/or monthly treatments are recommended. However, your practitioner will tailor your treatment entirely to your needs and suggest treatment based on your unique symptoms and concerns.
Because some acupuncture points should not be used during pregnancy, it’s important to choose a practitioner experienced in prenatal acupuncture. It’s also important to discuss any treatments or herbal supplements with all of your prenatal health care providers.
Relief for common concerns
Regular balancing treatments throughout your pregnancy can enhance your health as well as your baby’s health, potentially preventing complications and positively influencing the development of your baby. Many mothers-to-be find themselves facing anxiety, fatigue, back pain, heartburn, nausea and other symptoms as a result of the many new demands being placed on their bodies. Acupuncture has been found to effectively relieve many of these symptoms.
Acupuncture can support your health during your pregnancy by addressing these trimester symptoms:
First trimester – Sets the foundation for a healthy pregnancy. It can alleviate morning sickness, vomiting, fatigue and headaches.
Second trimester – Offers relief and balances the body from common complaints. It helps to alleviate heartburn, hemorrhoids, stress, sleep problems, edema, elevated blood pressure and weight gain.
Third trimester – Prepares the body for labor and delivery. It helps to alleviate sciatica, hip, joint, pubic and back pain.
Morning sickness responds particularly well to acupuncture, and your practitioner can even show you specific points that you can massage at home to help restore your appetite. Recent studies have also shown promising results in using acupuncture for depression during and after pregnancy.
Breech babies and other issues
Acupuncture can also help with more serious issues during pregnancy. Specific acupuncture points and techniques are very useful for turning “breech babies” (those positioned feet first). One study concluded that acupuncture is useful for babies that position themselves in a difficult presentation, and it is a relatively simple, effective and inexpensive method for breech birth presentation.1 Treatment involves moxibustion, or applying heat from the burning of the herb mugwort to a point on the little toes. The treatment causes no adverse side effects.
If your due date has passed, acupuncture can also be used to induce labor through gentler means than traditional Western labor-inducing treatments and medications. Acupuncture and acupressure can even be used to help control pain, calm the mind and reduce stress during delivery.
After baby has arrived
It’s important to recover properly after childbirth. Acupuncture can help you heal and regain your strength and vitality, rebalance your energy, boost your body’s defenses and help address concerns such as pain, fatigue, and postpartum depression.
Acupuncture and TCM provide a safe, gentle way to nurture and care for your health, and that of your baby, throughout your pregnancy and beyond. If you are pregnant or considering having a baby, contact an acupuncturist today!
1 Acupuncture Conversion of Fetal Breech Presentation. D. Habek, et. al. Fetal Diagn Ther 2003;18:418-421
Non-Stress Test Changes During Acupuncture Plus Moxibustion on BL67 Point in Breech Presentation. I. Neri, PhD., et al. Journal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation, Vol. 9, No. 3, 158-162 (2002)
Acupuncture during IVF improves pregnancy chances.Link
Research Articles on Acupuncture and Pregnancy.Link
Pregnancy Support was last modified: February 17th, 2020 by admin
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you are on your way to kicking the habit and becoming smoke-free and healthier. Every year, more than 3 million Americans try to quit smoking, but only half of them succeed. With the help of acupuncture you have a greater chance of success!
Most experts agree that quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health. More than 25 diseases are associated with tobacco use, including cancer of the lungs, bladder, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, uterus and cervix. Smoking also raises the chances of developing emphysema and increases the risk of having a stroke by 30 percent.
There is plenty of incentive to quit, but it isn’t necessarily easy. The good news is that acupuncture has helped millions of people to kick the smoking habit.
How acupuncture can help
Some of the largest stumbling blocks to becoming smoke-free are the stress, anxiety and depression associated with quitting. Fortunately, acupuncture treatment is quite successful at calming and relaxing the mind, reducing anxiety and alleviating depressive feelings. Specific acupoints in the ear and wrist are used to accomplish this. Additional acupoints may be included that help suppress your appetite, stimulate repair and healing of organ systems, and reduce food and nicotine cravings.
More than just kicking the habit
Using acupuncture to quit smoking yields enormous benefits. Aside from taking care of the stumbling blocks that can cause you to resume the habit, acupuncture can help restore your body to a healthy state of balance and well-being. If you are ready to become smoke-free, acupuncture can provide you with the support you need.
Here are a few tips to guide you through your acupuncture care:
Drink plenty of filtered water during the process.
Eat balanced, healthy meals with a variety of vegetables and fruits.
Refrain from sugar, which can cause further sugar cravings and unwanted weight gain.
Manage your cravings. They will actually fade within a few minutes. When cravings arise, distract yourself. Before you know it, the craving will have passed.
Scrub your skin with a dry brush or loofa to facilitate the cleansing process and help blood circulation. Take daily baths or showers.
Avoid spending time with other smokers so that you are less tempted to smoke.
Take a walk outside and take deep breaths. Upon exhale, gently place your teeth together and exhaling with the sound of “sssssssss.” This sound stimulates the lungs.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can provide a safe, natural, drug-free and effective way to quit smoking. The focus is upon achieving a balance of body and mind, and eliminating cravings so you can become smoke-free and healthier.
Quit Smoking was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Everyone experiences stress in many forms. Mild stressors like getting through traffic, meeting work deadlines, and handling relationship difficulties crop up daily. These stressors are usually short lived, keep us alert to what is going on around us, and can keep us motivated to meet problems with energy. Acute stress occurs when we face a sudden, negative change in our life, such as a personal loss or damaging accident. Both of these kinds of stress can build up in the body and mind, like a pressure valve that needs to be released. Otherwise, the compound effects can trigger the formation of disease and mental health issues. Acupuncture treatment releases blockages created by recurring and/or chronic stress.
How Do You Respond to Stress Symptoms?
In ancient times, the human stress response–also known as our “fight or flight” instinct–provided us with energy to defend ourselves in potentially dangerous situations, such as an attack or threat by a wild animal. Today, we do not have to look much further than our cell phone screens to be bombarded with stress-inducing news, images, and situations. Being constantly on high alert is the new normal. Even when the stressors are removed, the body continues to keep the stress response active. This results in the depletion of the nervous system, lymphatic organs (spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes), kidneys and adrenal glands.
Many health conditions are triggered or exacerbated by external stressors. Sometimes the body and mind become so accustomed to the stress response that we begin to initiate the response internally, as with anxiety. In other cases, the organs and systems respond to being overworked by beginning to malfunction, such as with heart disease and hormone imbalances, or becoming inflamed, as in joint problems or digestive troubles. Medical studies have shown that with increased and consistent stress, the white blood cells which defend us against viruses decrease in number. This results in lower immune resistance, ultimately leading to physical disease and emotional instability.
Constant stimulation of the glands that produce adrenaline and cortisol can trigger the development of debilitating conditions that can be difficult to diagnose and treat, such as anxiety, depression, adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, and weight gain.
15 Health Problems Related to Stress
These are just some of the health conditions related to stress:
Depressed immune system
High blood pressure
Decreased sexual function
How to Treat Stress Relief with TCM and Acupuncture
Acupuncture and TCM can provide a safe, effective and drug-free alternative for the treatment of stress. Acupuncture addresses the immediate effects of stress, helping reduce not only symptoms but the person’s perception of stress. Over time, working with an acupuncturist near me can not only resolve underlying issues, but help the patient to strengthen the immune system and exercise better conscious control of responses to stress through lifestyle change.
One way that stress affects the body is by causing a depletion or blockage of Qi (pronounced “chee”), especially that of the kidneys and adrenals. With acupuncture and TCM, the practitioner’s job is to support and restore the integrity of the various organs affected and depleted by the stress response, along with evaluating the quality and quantity of Qi.
Self Care for Stress Management
Our response to stressors and our overall approach to life can either help or hinder our body’s ability to cope. Healthy responses to stress include appropriate physical exercise, good eating habits, positive thinking, adequate rest, and reaching out to friends and family for support. Unhealthy responses to stress include negative thinking, overexertion, poor eating habits, lack of sleep, and isolation. These unhealthy responses can cause the body to work harder than it needs to and can trigger physical and mental health issues.
5 Ways to Combat Stress
Get adequate sleep. Aim to get at least eight hours. Daytime naps are also restorative.
Practice meditation. Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Yoga can help create a healthy awareness of the body and mind connection. Learning to free the mind from repetitive negative thoughts is a powerful way to reduce stress.
Focus on balanced, mindful eating. Maintain a healthy diet with adequate amounts of complex carbs, vegetables, fruits, protein and healthy fats. Disengage from media while eating. Recognize and reduce episodes of “stress” eating.
Have fun! Make time for relaxing activities, enjoyable hobbies and laughter in your life.
Breathe. Relaxed deep breathing is one of the most simple and easy techniques that can be used for reducing stress.
Receiving regular acupuncture treatments can go a long way towards preventing accumulation of the effects of stress on the body and emotions. Establishing a trusting relationship with an experienced, highly qualified TCM provider will boost your health, quality of life, and longevity.
Stress was last modified: March 13th, 2020 by admin
If you struggle with your weight, you’re not alone. In fact, more than 30% of all U.S. adults meet the criteria for being obese.1
A Variety of Reasons:
Acupuncture works to control weight on various levels.
Release Endorphins – With diet changes, many people experience cravings, which can lead to binge eating. Cravings in the body are often due to a lack of endorphins. Acupuncture can help to balance out the cravings by helping the body to release endorphins.
Reduce Stress – An increase in the “stress hormone” cortisol can alter the metabolism. Through the release of endorphins, the “stress hormone” can also be neutralized.
Support Digestion – Acupuncture can support the body to generate an efficient digestive process.
Americans spend billions of dollars annually on weight loss products, but obesity is still on the rise. People are even turning to surgery as a weight loss option. This is a drastic measure and can cause unwanted side effects.
Unfortunately, excess weight is not just a cosmetic issue. Being overweight is a risk factor for many conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. The good news is that maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk, and it’s never too late to get started. People seeking to address their weight concerns are turning to acupuncture as a natural and effective way to approach weight loss.
A traditional approach to healing
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) take a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. This ancient form of healthcare works to restore the balance and flow of the body’s Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy. According to TCM, the reasons why people gain weight, or find it difficult to lose weight, are numerous. Your acupuncturist is well versed in uncovering the root cause(s) or imbalances that have affected your weight.
Your acupuncturist will also take into consideration other factors that may have led to weight gain, including your lifestyle, and emotional and mental well-being. By taking your whole self into account, you and your acupuncturist can get to the root of your health concerns, rather than just treating the symptoms.
Other ways to support your path toward a happier, leaner you!
Exercise is an important component of any weight loss program. Adding aerobic exercise, weight training, and other types of exercise to your daily routine will have a positive effect on your weight and general health.
Diet is another important issue to consider. In general, a healthy diet is made up of unprocessed, organic foods, including a wide variety of whole grains and vegetables. Your acupuncturist may offer nutritional counseling designed for your specific needs.
Stress relief may also be a part of your treatment. By learning to lower stress and anxiety through techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, or gentle exercise, you may lose weight more easily, and possibly stop destructive habits such as overeating.
What will my acupuncturist do?
During your first visit, your acupuncturist will take an extensive health history and perform various exams. At the completion of your first visit, your acupuncturist will provide you with a comprehensive diagnosis and an explanation of your treatment plan. Your treatments will focus on correcting any underlying imbalances in your body, and will also help to support you in reaching your weight loss goals.
Based on your unique symptoms, your acupuncturist will choose to concentrate on acupuncture points related to specific organs. For example, restoring balance to the flow of Qi in the Stomach can help promote good digestion and suppress an overactive appetite. Emotional issues, such as anxiety and stress, both of which can lead to overeating, can be addressed by balancing the Liver.
A partnership for better health
It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a “quick fix.” By working with your acupuncturist, and committing to long-term goals, you will experience positive changes in your overall health, including maintaining a healthy body weight.
In addition to acupuncture treatments, your practitioner may also recommend other lifestyle changes. Whether you want to lose a few pounds or a significant amount, people are turning to acupuncture as a natural and effective way to approach weight loss. By working together with your practitioner, you can help your body regain its natural balance—and start taking steps toward true health and vitality.
1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity
U.S. National Library of Medicine Medical Encyclopedia, Article – Obesity. 4/19/2004.
Komada, J., Article – Acupuncture for Weight Loss, 2003.
Pitchford, P., Healing with Whole Foods, North Atlantic Books, 1993.
Weight Loss was last modified: June 1st, 2016 by admin
Art of Wellness Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
11704 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 295, Los Angeles, CA, 90025
10 am to 3 pm
10 am - 3 pm
10 am - 3 pm
Our office will be closed on Memorial day, Independent day, Labor day, Thanksgiving day, Christmas and New year.
In addition, due to the current COVID-19 situation, we will also be closed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
However, we will remain open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.