Browsing: Acupuncture

Explore Acupuncture For Knee Pain

Pain can affect any aspect of our life. It is especially disturbing when it affects our job and social life. This was a reality for my client who enjoyed outdoor activities most of his life. He was an active hiker, bicker and swimmer but he could only swim without knee pain. It especially was difficult and painful to go down stairs. He then tried a conventional approach with allopathic medicine. Countless hours of Physical Therapy and Steroid injections were only some of the treatment options that he tried. All this cave has some temporary relief, but the pain always came back with the same intensity. Any suggestion from his family and friends to explore some alternative treatment option was rejected by him without any further action. He was a “scientist” and how someone can even suggest acupuncture or anything else outside of western medicine he refused to accept. The pain was persistent and western medicine treatment options very limited for his pain relief.

One of his coworkers suggested acupuncture. He explained to him that he did not in it and he does not want to waste his money since it is not even covered by insurance. His coworker insured that he check on insurance coverage. He called his insurance company and to his surprise acupuncture was covered by insurance carrier.

He came to my office skeptical, arrogant and very anxious. I explained to him that acupuncture was a 3000 year old medical system that offers solutions for many health issues. I explained that is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a safe and effective medical treatment for many diseases. I also explained the basic concept of acupuncture that suggest some useful reading about study that that was done using acupuncture and that acupuncture needles are a single use sterile medical instrument. I showed him how thin the needle was and very flexible and small.

He agreed to give it a try. Along with his treatment for his knee pain I included some stress relief points. I could see he started to relax when he realized it was not that painful. After I finished needing and set up the heat lamp and did electro stimulation, I left the room. Some minutes later he was snoring in the treatment room. After the first treatment he said that he did not expect to be relaxed enough to fall sleep. When I asked about his pain level he said it was too early to talk about his pain relief. Two months later, however, he was pain free and enjoying his outdoor activities without limits.

Recently, he stated that he felt so ashamed of himself because he was arrogant enough to ignore the wisdom and “science” that is 3000 years old. He now is a believer in the medicine of acupuncture

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Acupuncture and the Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Addictions

One of the largest health problems that many people face at this time are addictions. There has been a particular problem with addictions to prescription medications around the United States. Addictions can include alcohol, drugs, food, pornography, and prescription medications. There are many different treatment methods for addictions such as group therapy, twelve step programs, and counseling. One particular treatment that has been shown to be effective specifically for alcohol and drug addictions is acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

There is a rise of alcoholism and drug abuse all around the country. According to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependance, alcoholism is the most common addictive substance. There are over 17.6 million people in the United States who have problems with alcohol. There have also been 20 million people in the United States who have use drugs within the past 30 days. This poses a large problem in our society.

An addiction is a complex disorder that affects the brain. It is characterized by always seeking for alcohol or drugs since the harmful damages to the body. Addictions can cause long-term changes to your brain chemistry causing you to feel like you can not think clearly, anxiety, and different mood disorders. Many times if you can not get what you are seeking for you will feel different withdrawal symptoms as well.

So what are some of the treatments of addictions? There are several different treatments such as group therapy, individual counseling, and twelve step programs. All of those traditional treatments have been shown to be effective treatments. However, one such problem that we face is the possibility of relapses and continuing to have those desires. That is where implementing acupuncture and Chinese medicine within your current treatments has been shown to be effective.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a complete medical system that diagnoses and treats disease. It has been utilized for over 3,000 years. Acupuncture during the years has been shown to be also effective for addictions. It was not until the 1970's that acupuncture was made more public here in the United States. During that time there was a clinic in Lincoln, New York that utilized auricular acupuncture for the treatment of alcohol and drug addictions. The clinic saw great results. Since then there have been programs such as drug courts and treatment centers around the United States that have implemented acupuncture as an adjunct therapy for the treatment of addictions.

Acupuncture is able to help with any type of addiction, but it is mostly used for alcohol and drug addictions. It is able to change the physiology of your body to enable your body's self-healing abilities. Acupuncture can help you with:

• Withdrawal symptoms
• Cravings
• Body aches
• Nausea
• Sweats
• Muscle cramps
• Depression
• Anxiety

It is important to have a holistic treatment for your treatment program. You should still do all of the traditional treatments, but also implement Chinese medicine as part of your program. Your ability to overcome the addiction will be greatly enhanced.

Exercise and nutrition is an important component of addiction therapy as well. Exercise such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong can help you reduce your stress and anxiety and feel more balanced in your life.

Good nutrition is equally as important. According to Chinese nutrition it is important to each in a balance way. You should eat many different colors and a variety of food groups. Fruits and vegetables are especially important during the detox period. Fruits and vegetables can help you to detoxify your body. So it is important to each plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Overall it is important to remember that acupuncture and Chinese medicine in conjuction with traditional therapies for alcohol and drug abuse has been effective for the treatment of alcohol and drug addictions.

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Case Study: Digestive Issues and Traditional Chinese Medicine

BW came to me complaining of intense pain in his stomach and also along the left underside of his ribcage (which, incidentally, is called the hypochondriac region ';' hypochondrium 'derived from the Greek word for' abdomen '). He said he had lost his appetite, and he was feeling very tired – pretty close to the point of exhaustion. BW was in his early 60's, and otherwise was in very good health. He got plenty of exercise, he ate well, and he slept a good amount for a man his age.

His tongue looked pale to me, and it was slightly swollen with some redness on the sides and on the tip. His pulse was soft, and a little slippery on the left side, but was soft and quite weak on the right side.

The one thing that may have attributed to BW's complaint was the fact that he liked to eat out a lot. Although he generally tried to eat healthy foods at the restaurants he frequented, the very fact that he did not cook his own food meant that he did not really know what he was consuming on a regular basis. Restaurants often cook with lots of sugar, oils and even spices that may not agree with our systems. This can cause what we call 'Spleen imbalance', and can lead to a blockage of what was reasonably either Qi or Dampness, or both. I assumed Dampness as well as a small amount of Qi stagnation with BW because of the nature of his demeanor, as well as what I could sense in his pulse. The suggestion of Qi stagnation and thus the introduction of his Liver (which governs the flow of Qi in our bodies) was mainly indicated in the pain in his hypochondriac region and not much elsewhere.

Treatment took only 3 sessions, although his symptoms probably could have been preceded with proper diet. BW was encouraged to start cooking at home more, or at least starting to inquire about the ingredients going into his food at the places he frequented. He agreed that he would at least try the latter.

In addition to some acupuncture on his stomach area and his wrists, I also used a few points on his lower legs. Then each time he came to see me over the next three weeks, I prescribed 4-day prescriptions of a formula called Xiang Sha Yang Wei Tang (Nourish the Stomach Decoction with Aucklandia and Amomum). This formula is generally used to increase one's appetite, but is specific to a reduced appetite caused by Spleen Qi deficiency with some Dampness accumulation.

He was feeling much better after these three treatments, and to this date he has not complained of the same illness.

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Acupuncture Unfolded

About 5000 years ago, this practice was started. An ancient form of medicine, it treats the ills of the human body, with the insertion of needles in the body. People in numerous numbers have been treated by the use of this system, as a system of health practice that can actually correct your symptoms and illness.


An acupuncturist is a person, who holds the certification to acupuncture. This Centuries old practice treats a person, by inserting needles at specific points in their body. The stimulation to these specific points, actually promote the body's natural healing abilities. There are points in the human body which are specifically targeted to this system. Thin sterile needles are usually the ones that are used for this purpose. Manual, thermal and electrical stimuli are also used sometimes though.

Acupuncturist defined

Speaking technically, he is the professional, who fulfills the thing. The specifications to the degrees, variates from state to state. Only after he attains the certificate, then he can start practicing it in the state. This treatment can only be practiced by a certified person. Doctors, nurses and chiropractors can also perform the practice if it is incorporated in their license. In this case the certification might not be there one would actually be barred from practice.

What does an acupuncturist do?

He is not entitled to take up prescriptions, but his practice at the same time can not be termed mal-practice. Digestive, respiratory, reproductive, urinary, muscular and neurological disorders are the few factors to be treated. Better overall health is guaranteed, by the various practices that are suggesting health changes, by increasing activity levels and lifestyle choices.


The practitioner can actually ask patients to look up to doctors, before they start dealing with the problems. This has been mentioned several times in the rules. He has also referred to a physician, if the patient is not getting any benefits from the treatment. In case of acute problems he has to ask the patient to consult a physician.

Medical Acupuncturist

These people hold a degree in medicine and also in acupuncture. The combination of western medicine with the art of acupuncture is what brings this amazing medical system to use for humans. The approach herein is to treat people by combining both methods. The approach is progressed with the improvements not in the patient's conditions. This type of practice is usually a combination of Asian and European techniques.

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Acupuncture Weight Loss Situation

The secret to weight loss, is just eating as much as our body needs. Any excess calorie intake, leads to weight gain. Almost any diet will work if the calorie intake is lower, and if the calorie intake remains to be lower. That is if the calorie intake is kept at the lower intake levels.

Human weight is directly proportional to the amount of calorie intake on a daily basis. The rising problem of obesity has been passed down to us by our hunter-gatherer forefathers, when there was not even a mention of a drive-through at every corner of the street. Excess eating on this date, is triggered, by our modern lifestyles, excessive stress and chronic disorders.

Modern weight loss techniques

People now days can go to awesome levels of diet to get their weight reduced. This is followed by a fad diet, with unnatural and highly restrictive diet plans. A low-calorie diet works only in the short term, as evidently your body is supposedly to rebel against all the restrictions and ultimately end up gorging more than ever.

Yo-yo dieting and drastic ups and downs can have disastrous effects in the diet plans. End of the day your body will start craving for whole grains and whole foods, to gorge and fill up, for the gap created in the process.

Any improper diet practice may result in organ damage, malnutrition, slow metabolic rate and within the body imbalances.

The end objective of any human being should be to decrease the amount of food that we take in, in the process trying to increase the amount of energy we expend. Acupuncture makes all of this possible, thanks to ancient Chinese medicinal practices.

The comprehensive therapy to weight issues directed in ancient Chinese medicine would be better digestion, smoother emotions, appetite reduction, metabolism rate increase as well as elimination of food cravings.

What research states

Research has use of acupuncture and Asian medicine to weight loss:

ü A 2003 study revealed that people who preferred acupuncture lost three times more weight than that of the control group. This was published in The Journal of Medical Acupuncture.

ü Another study was conducted, in 1998 by the University of Adelaide, Australia, where 95% of the people were to receive electro-stimulations on acupuncture points which reportedly resulted in appetite suppression. The resultant factors revealed that these people experienced a far reduced appetite and weight loss as experienced by the control group.

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Effective Acupressure Points to Treating Migraines and Headaches

Migraines and headaches are two of the most common problems ensued by people, that people suffer from. A headache maybe throbbing and mild, which lasts a few hours, while if some, it might last for days. Massive headaches can be the reasons of tension, emotional changes as well as excess stress, whereas a migraine is a more complex situation, with the blood vessels of the brain enlarging to an extent where it releases chemicals from nerve fibers causing inflammation and severe pain.

Causes of Migraines

Although migraines may have some specific reasons, there may be certain points that act as triggers to the causes of migraines. These will be:

1. Hormonal Changes – This can be one important cause to a headache.

2. Eating habits – Another major trigger to a migraine is the food we consume. Tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and fermented foods are the major triggers to this.

3. Other causes – Tension, stress, work pressure and sleeping disorders can also be reasons to nausea and severe headaches.

The six most important regions to relieve heads and migraines:

1. Forehead – Points on the face and forehead are yang pints, full of energy that move from face and head and flow downwards.

2. Third eye point – The point where the two eyebrows meet the nose is the third eye point. Applying pressure on this region will help you tie eye strains and headaches. Apply the pressure for a minute and then move to other points.

3. Bright light – The inner corner of the eyes just below the eyebrows is the bright light section. Sinus headaches and allergy symptoms can be relieved by pressure on these points. Pressure should be applied for a minute on both sides.

4. Temple region – A chain of points that curl around the ear, in the temple region. Starting from the top of the ear these are located just one finger width from the ear. All the points needarily have to be worked together for effective results.

5. Face region – Both sides of the nostril are the points to this region. Pressure on these points will help you in opening up sinuses and tension head points.

6. Shoulder Well – Halfway to the edge of the shoulder and the base of your neck this point is located. Applying any pressure on this point helps in reducing shoulder and neck stiffness, thus relieving neck pain. Asthma and spasms can also be treated by this.

Acupressure has been rated the most effective medicine in treating long term migraine problems. Try this for better and long-lasting relief.

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Benefits of Acupuncture for Patients Suffering From Pain

Acupuncture is used to alleviate or manage many health conditions and is considered medically necessary by private insurances for conditions such as migraines, low back pain, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, knee pain, pain management, and the side effects of chemotherapy.

Acupuncture is a very safe medical procedure performed by licensed professionals. In the state of California acupuncturists are primary care providers with the education necessary to refer patients to specialists.

Patients are receptive and open-minded about this form of medicine. After treatment many patients feel happy that their body feels so good and they are happy that they decided to go to a holistic doctor.

A trial of acupuncture for pain management is 12 visits over the course of 6 weeks. Acupuncture has a cumulative and holistic effect. Some relief and changes in symptoms are usually experienced after 4 visits.

Results vary between acupuncturists based on technique and other variables. Depending on the severity of the condition and how long the illness has been present, duration of treatment will vary.

Since acupuncture more often than not helps when all else has been exhausted, I suggest acupuncture to be used simultaneously with conventional medicine as soon as symptoms arise and a diagnosis established.

• Acupuncture decreases the chances of addiction to pain medication
• Decreases the toxicity of the drugs
• Decreases the use of pain medication, often alleviating the need for them.
• Acupuncture increases the quality of life
• Better sleep is experienced, less anxiety
• Decrease in depression, increase in clear thinking
• Increased physical activity
• Healthier relationships are outcomes of consistent acupuncture treatment.
• Accelerating healing time and the ability to return to normal activities.
• Acupuncture has been proven to reduce infection, improve circulation, relieve muscle tension and spasms, regulate the immune system, promote healing and stop pain.

It is time we add acupuncture to the care of each and every individual experiencing pain and offer the holistic benefits of acupuncture. Timing is everything in healthcare and prevention is the key to a higher quality of life.

Patients are waiting until all else fails to try acupuncture and are surprised that it helps them dramatically with their self-care, not only decreasing pain, better body functioning from urination to being able to dress themselves. It is wise to start acupuncture before everything has failed. Before things become worse. It is best to start acupuncture as soon as symptoms arise in order to get the best benefit and decrease the side effects of medication.

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About Acupuncture: The History

Acupuncture is a medical practice that has very old origins. Knowing about acupuncture and the history behind it is incredibly beneficial. There are many people who choose to have acupuncture performed on them. Struggling with any form of illness can be crippling, and conventional medicine may not always be the answer. This is why people are seeking out other forms of medicine, including acupuncture.

Learning about acupuncture could provide you with the information that you need in order to try out this medicinal practice. Acupuncture can be dated back over a hundred years and it has its origins in China. The first document that described the use of acupuncture was in The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine which can be dated back to 100 BC. The idea behind acupuncture is that your body is made up of channels that the Qi (vital energy or life force) travel and that certain acupunctural points, when accessed, can change the Qi. Subsequently, being able to change this Qi can provide you with the healing power that you need in order to fix the problem. This problem can be as small as a crick in the neck or full blown arthritis.

China was the first country to use acupuncture as a stable way in which to treat illnesses. It took a while for the idea of ​​acupuncture to be accepted by other countries, especially in the western regions. Since being introduced to the many different countries, it has been adjusted and searched more so as to find better ways to use it. The idea of ​​sticking needles into pressure points on the body seemed bizarre to most people at first. It also seemed extremely far-fetched to believe that such a form of medicine actually worked. After more research was conducted to find out the truth behind Qi, it was discovered that there was a more scientific reason why acupuncture made such a difference to one's health. The needles that were inserted into the pressure point areas subsequently stimulated the nerve endings. Once the nerve endings were stimulated, they were able to alter brain function and, more importantly, they were able to alter the area of ​​the brain that controls pain. With this new knowledge on hand, acupuncture became more respected as a medicinal practice. In fact, nowdays, some countries are even offering acupuncture as a recognized course at colleges and universities, so making it possible for students to learn about a more natural form of medicine.

It is often necessary to go back to the roots of medicine. Conventional medicine is still a necessity in many situations. However, it does not mean that more holistic approaches should not be considered – especially if you want to heal the soul, body and mind. Choosing a more natural route to heal ailments is, once again, becoming popular. Acupuncture is only one of the accepted holistic treatments available.

Chose the right holistic practice for your lifestyle

Choosing a holistic practice that can fit into your lifestyle can be overwhelming. With so many options to choose from, you want to make sure that you opt for one that works for you.

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How Acupuncture Heals With Needles

Squeamish about needles?

What if those needles could heal safely and … painlessly? You may have heard about acupuncture, a form of alternative medicine developed in China that uses very fine needles to resolve health problems.

But you may not have heard how effective and well-researched acupuncture is!

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, much longer than conventional medicine. Acupuncture is safe and surprising painless. Thousand of studies demonstrate its efficacy. And furthermore – unlike many conventional medical approaches – acupuncture has no side effects.

Acupuncture continues to provide incredible results for people suffering from a range of health problems. Research has shown acupuncture can:

· Treat inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and Crohn's disease.

· Prevent death from infections like sepsis that kills 25,000 people each year.

· Stop migraines.

· Calm dental patients.

· Help relieve hot flashes.

This list continues to grow as more scientists test acupuncture's traditional applications and get solid results. In 2010, the British government's National Institute for Health And Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended it as a course of treatment for many forms of lower back pain. A study published around the same time demonstrated it worked better than conventional treatment for chronic lower back pain. [1]

Even more impressively, for over four decades, Chinese medical teams have combined acupuncture with lower doses of drugs to provide anesthesia for open heart surgery. A recent review of this startling use of acupuncture found the patients who used it in combination with low doses of drugs had quicker recoveries with less chance of infection than patients who used only drugs. [2]

The Way Acupuncture Works

While a growing body of research shows acupuncture is effective in treating health problems, western scientists are still just learning how it works.

Brain scans have shown acupuncture movements off certain areas of the brain linked to pain. [3] Acupuncture also seems to directly affect the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which governs our stress response and much of our hormonal activity. [4]

For centuries, eastern practitioners have described acupuncture's mechanism effectively using technical terms rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). According to TCM, acupuncture helps unblock and redirect the flow of “qi”, or life energy, in the body. Qi is the energy that allows our body to work. Qi allows us to move our feet, take a breath and digest our food. By stimulating both the central and peripheral nervous system in a strategic way, acupuncture changes the flow of energy in your body and consequentially changes your state of health.

How To Find A Qualified Acupuncturist

Like all forms of healthcare, acupuncture works most reliably if practiced by a trained professional. A properly trained acupuncturist will work with you to ensure any treatment they prescribe does not interfere negatively with other medical treatments you're currently undergoing. In the United States, they also use sterile, single-use needles.

Unfortunately, because acupuncture is still so new in the west, there is no mandatory national accreditation agency. Licensing laws vary from state to state. California, for instance, has its own strict licensing exam and requirements. And California does not accept any national certificates, exams etc.

Be sure to check with your state regulations on acupuncture. You can then look up any licensed acupuncturist online and verify they meet your local requirements. The most well-known accreditation agency is the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). NCCAOM is used by many states as their accreditation agency.

A growing number of MD's and DO's are also becoming trained in acupuncture under a special program for conventional doctors administrated by UCLA. You can find these practitioners through the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA). However, be aware that while these MD's are fully credentialed to practice western medicine, the training offered by the AAMA is minimal. Some of the trainings are short weekend courses. In general, its trainings are not adequate for competent diagnosis and treatment according to eastern medicine.

Ultimately, while you can start the search for a well-qualified practitioner by looking into local licensing, you'll have to use your own smarts as well. Ask questions. Find out how long the acupuncturist has been practicing. Ask for references and call them. Find out where the practitioner has studied.

Take your time to find a practitioner who understands the art and science of acupuncture. So that when you turn to using this alternative form of medicine, you can fully enjoy the health benefits it brings.


[1] Asghar et al. Acupuncture needling sensation: The neural correlates of deqi using fMRI. Brain Research , 2010.

[2] Zhou J et al. Acupuncture anesthesia for open heart surgery in contemporary China. International Journal of Cardiology; 150 (1), 2011. 12-16

[3] Asghar et al. Acupuncture needling sensation: The neural correlates of deqi using fMRI. Brain Research , 2010.

[4] Eshkevari L et al. Acupuncture Blocks Cold Stress-induced Increase in Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in Rat. Journal of Endocrinology , 2013.

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The Mysteries to Acupuncture Revealed

Acupuncture and acupressure are two topics that bring attention to almost everyone, everyday. What exactly is it? How does it function? Is it helpful? How is it any different from acupressure? How often does it hurt?

What exactly is the procedure?

A system of healthcare involving placement of needles in every point of the body, to treat a certain ailment is what the treatment is all about. 15 to 60 minutes are the usual sessions for treatment depending on ailments. Placement of needles in certain points to treat a certain range of diseases, through trial and error can help you actually have huge improvements in regards to treatment of certain diseases.

Acupuncture and acupressure!

Stimulation of deeper structures, which can not be reached by acupressure are often taken forward by acupuncture. In case you do know how to massage the right points of the body, acupressure will be effective enough to treating any ailments of the body. A little practice can help you develop, the effective points to the treatment.

Does the practice hurt?

Well, the practice of insertion of needles in specific points of the body to treat a certain range of illness. This can be done in a variety of methods, by a variety of people who can belong to almost any age group and having a variety of practice styles. The level of comfort to the patient depends on the level of experience of the practitioner.

Sometimes and in regards to a few ailments, the pain of caused by the procedure of the treatment can last for minutes starting from an instant. Also sometimes, no matter how careful the practitioner is the insertion of needles might actually bring you to some discomfort.

A few practitioners, though, are of the belief that this should not be of discomfort, as it is actually the same as sewing needle through a ball of yarn. The metaphor used in the case, sure makes it sound wonderful, especially to first-time acupressure users, but end of the day a twinge of pain is actually felt by anyone taking the practice for the first time.

Ideally, a careful practitioner should exercise enough caution in inserting the needles in a patient's body. He is also supposed to stop the moment he is told of pain by the patient, and must wait for a few seconds to several minutes before the patient can actually relax and be ready for the next insertion. The pause actually makes way for the smoother insertion of the next needle.

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Acupuncture and Back Pain: An Ancient Treatment for a Common Modern Malady

How Does Acupuncture Work?

According to classical Chinese beliefs, an invisible force called qi moves in regular patterns through the body and over its surface using channels called meridians. Like a river, it nourishes everything along its path. According to this perspective, back pain and general ill health are the result of a blockage in its flow. Acupuncturists unblock meridians and restore health by stimulating specific parts of the body using needles which are sometimes heated or electrified with a low-voltage current. The technique may be augmented with massages or herbal treatments.

The scientific explanation is more prosaic. While they are still not completely sure about how the treatment works, scientists believe that it encourages the body to release opioids and other natural chemicals that reduce pain, boost healing and stimulate feelings of well being.

Sticky needles into someone's body may seem like a strange, even paradoxical, way of striving pain, but research has consistently shown that it works. One example is a clinical trial cited by the American National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Conduced on May 2009, it showed that acupuncture relieved chronic low back pain better than conventional treatments.

Over time, it has proven so effective that, in their clinical practice guidelines, the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society recommend it in cases where conventional treatments fail.

A survey carried out in 2007 showed that over three million Americans benefit from the ancient pain management technique every year. According to the John Hopkins web library, it is used by over 3,500 doctors and about 12,000 trained non-medical practitioners.

Side Effects and Risks

Generally, acupuncture is safe as long as it is conducted by a trained practitioner using sterilized needles. Insertion produces little or no pain. Very few adverse cases have ever been reported, and its record is far better than standard treatments that rely on drug injections. However, patients should only see an acupuncturist on the strength of a physician's recommendation.

Finding an Acupuncturist

For many patients, seeking referrals from doctors or other health care providers is the easiest way to track down suitable practitioners. They can also ask their relatives, friends or other trustworthy people for a recommendation. The websites of many national acupuncture organizations are another useful source of referrals.


Acupuncture is proof that age-old methods of treating disease can still be relevant even in the twenty-first century.

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Obamacare and Acupuncture: Of Needles and Acts

The hallowed halls of the Capitol may seem far removed from an acupuncturist's parlor, but before Obamacare, getting a medical insurance policy that covered acupuncture was often a headache. This was odd, considering that the ancient treatment is increasingly used to treat everything from back pain to migraines.

How the Act Works

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare is officially known, takes care of that paradox. It allows individual states to design complementary and alternative medicines, the category under which the treatment is classified, as essential health services.

States that choose this route will not allow insurance companies to offer policies for sale in the Health Insurance Marketplace or other exchanges within their boundaries unless they cover a specific set of items and services that can now include acupuncture and associated services. Since states are also required to keep health records in a standard electronic format, there is the added benefit of reduced paperwork.
As of January 2014, California, Maryland, New Mexico and Washington had set up the necessary structures, and according to Acupuncture Today, are expecting an increased uptake of the treatment.

The Force, Without Yoda

According to traditional Chinese medicine, good health is the result of a proper balance in the flow of an energy known as qi, pronounced 'chi'. It is channeled through pathways in the body known as meridians. There are 12 primary and 8 secondary meridians, which link about 2,000 specific parts of the body known as acupoints. From this perspective, ill health is the result of an imbalance in the flow of qi.

The Treatment

With the patient sitting or lying down, very fine needles are carefully pushed into several acupoints until the patient feels a mild ache or pressure. They are removed and inserted again, and the process repeated until treatment goals are achieved. Depending on the condition being treated, the needles may be heated or electrified with a mild current. For complete relief, several sessions may be needed. After treatment, most patients report feeling relaxed or energized.

Practitioners generally combine acupuncture with herbal medicine, meditation and exercise into a holistic treatment term.

How Acupuncture Works

Scientists have not fully unraveled the puzzle that is acupuncture, but available evidence suggests that it causes the body to secret chemicals that boost healing and bring feelings of well being. These chemicals include serotonin, a neurotransmitter that controls mood and opioid peptides, chemicals that play a role in pain reduction. The treatment is also thought to stimulate natural electromagnetic points, causing the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers.

The hallowed halls of Capitol have crafted a law that makes it possible for more Americans to enjoy the benefits of acupuncture without breaking the bank.

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The Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture for Children

We are naturally much more cautious about the health of our kids and about the treatments which they receive. Since acupuncture is used for the effective and safe treatment of various conditions in adults, it is natural to ask yourself whether it can help children in the same way as well. Use this short guide to find out.

Treatable Conditions

The practice of acupuncture practitioners from around the globe reveals that this traditional Chinese medical treatment can be used for a wide variety of conditions which the modern children suffer from. This therapy can help for the relief of gastrointestinal conditions which are particularly common in children such as colic, indigestion, constipation and diarrhoea. It can relieve the respiratory symptoms associated with asthma and allergies. It has been found effective for the treatment of skin conditions including eczema and acne. The treatment can help for anxiety, depression and ADHD as well.

The therapy can help for treating cols, the flu and ear infections. It has two-fold action. It stimulates the secret of both pain-relieving chemicals and the production of white blood cells which fight the pathogens.

How It Works

In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is extensively used for the treatment of children. However, it is slightly different from the therapy used in adults. It is believed that children have very gentle and very sensitive Chi. That is why, the therapist keeps the needles in the skin for a much shorter period of time. In very small or very sensitive children, acupressure, which involves the stimulation of the meridian points with massage, is used.

Modern Research

So far, the studies on acupuncture and the practice of this therapy in the Western world have revealed that the treatment is safe and effective for children from birth. One of the most recent studies including 37 participating children revealed evidence of the adverse effects of 11 per cent. Most adverse effects were extremely mild. These included crying, numbness in a point where a needle is inserted, bruising and nausea.

The Approach

It is up to parents to decide on whether to use this therapy for treating their children. Age is an important factor and so is the health condition of the child. It is best if a pediatrician evaluates the child and confirms the safety of the therapy. The chosen therapist must comply with all standards for safety. It is best if the person has experience in working with kids as well. Experts suggest that the treatment should be explained to the youngsters so that they should feel comfortable about it.

Overall, acupuncture can help children when it is applied in the right way.

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The True History of Reiki

The History of REIKI

REIKI is an ancient Tibetan form of healing. (pronounced Ray-Key, it is a Japanese word which means Universal life force energy). Mikao Usui.

Dr. Usui was the head of a Christian University in Kyoto, in Japan. His students explained to him one day that they had never heard of the healing ways used by Jesus Christ., They asked Dr. Usui if he could perform this type of healing for them. Unfortunately Dr. Usui did not have the answers for his students, and with that he resigned as head of the University, and set out on a journey to find the answers.

He traveled to America to study and received a higher degree in Theology at the University of Chicago. He then traveled to Japan to train in the healings of the Chinese Sutra and Buddha, and then on to Tibet where he studied Sanskrit (the ancient language of India) and the Tibetan Lotus Sutra. It was here that he found the answers he was looking for, the answers to healing ways of Christ. He needed the empowerment now.

He went back to Japan and climbed the Holy Mountain of Kuri Yama, where he fasted and mediated for 21 days, to determine the truth of the Sanskrit method. He placed 21 stones in front of him and each day that passed by he would remove one stone. Through his time on the mountain Dr.Usui read the sutras, mediated and sang. Dr.Usui did this for the 21 days but nothing happened until the very last day. As the day began, although it was still quiet dark and saw a bright light move towards him with some speed. As it came closer to him it bigger bigger in size and hit him in the middle of the forehead.

He saw a lot of little bubbles in blue, lilac and all the colors of the rainbow. Dr. Usui thought that he had died when a great white light appeared before him, he looked up and saw the well-known Sanskrit symbols in front of him glowing in GOLD, he said 'Yes I remember'. This was the creation of the Usui method of REIKI.

When he returned to reality, the sun was shining high in the sky, he was filled with enthusiasm, he felt full of life, strength and energy, and although he had fasted on the Holy Mountain for 21 days he ran down the hill. This was the first miracle .

In his rush down the mountain, he stubbed his toe. He held it with his hands and in a few minutes the bleeding and the pain stopped. This was the second miracle.

In his haste to get down the mountain Dr. Usui knocked his toe. He wrapped his hands around his foot for a few moments the bleeding and the pain both disappeared. This was the second miracle.

Because he had not eaten in 21 days he was hungry, he came across an inn on the roadside and ordered a large Japanese breakfast, the innkeeper advised him not to eat such a large meal after fasting for so long. But Dr. Usui was able to finish the meal with no problem. This was the third miracle.

The inn- keeper's granddaughter had been suffering for quite a few days with a toothache. Dr. Usui placed his hands gently on her inflamed face and she began to feel better immediately. She ran to grandfather and explained that he was no ordinary monk. This healing was the fourth miracle of the day.

Dr Usui returned to his abbey in Kyoto to treat the people from the Beggar City and the slums. During his seven years treating people at the Shelter he noticed that the same faces where returning to him. He asked them, why had they not moved on and start a new life. The people explained to him that it was better to go on begging as work was too hard. Dr. Usui was shocked by this, and realized that he had forgotten something of great importance during the healings and that was to teach the beggars gratitude

Dr. Chikiro Hayashi, one of Dr. Usui's closest collections became the second REIKI Grand Master in the line of tradition. He ran his own private Clinic in Tokyo until 1940. He would treat severe and unusual cases. In several cases REIKI would be administrated around the clock

In 1900 a lady called Hawayo Takata was born on the island of Hawaii, her parents were Japanese, and was a citizen of the United States. She was widowed with two young children. In 1935 her path led her to REIKI. She was suffering from a severe illness at the time, when an inner voice told her to seek healing in Japan.

Ms. Takata went to Japan, to seek healing. She was lying on the operating table when a voice spoke to her, explaining that there was no need to go through with the operation. She asked the doctor about other methods of treatment and he advised her to go to Dr. Hayashi's REIKI Clinic. Once, there, REIKI was applied to Ms. Takata daily by two practitioners and within a couple of months, she was back to full health.

Hawayo Takata became a student of Dr. Hayashi's for a year and then returned to Hawaii with her two daughters. She was made a Master by Dr. Hayashi when he visited Hawaii in 1938 and she succeeded him as Grand Master in 1941. She lived, healed and trained REIKI Masters. On the 11th of December in1980, Hawayo Takata passed away, leaving 22 REIKI Masters across the USA and Canada.

REIKI Treatment

A REIKI treatment is given to a client fully clothed, on a plinth or seated on a chair. The practitioner places their hands on or above the client. A treatment can last up to an hour or sometimes longer depending on the treatment required. In the western world the practitioner would use the traditional hand positions and then the full treatment is given covering the important organs of the body.

The hands are placed either lightly on or above the body of the client so there is no pressure on the body, which is ideal for treating all ages and conditions. The energy flow to where it is needed most (spiritually guided). The client will experience a warm tingling sensation in the body. REIKI is a very relaxing and calming experience.

Each person's experience with REIKI can be varied, although the feeling of deep relaxation is felt by all, some experience a glowing radiance that flows through them and around them. Some people can drift off to sleep and others can have visions and other mystical experience. At the end the person will not only be relaxed but will have a positive and balanced outlook.

Reiki is an effective healing method

REIKI can help with a number of complaints, to name a few would be in reducing stress, relieving pain, headaches, stomach discomfort, back problems, asthma, respiratory problems, PMT, menstrual problems, sinus, anxiety and many more.

REIKI has helped in some cases where people have experienced complete healings which have been confirmed by medical tests before and after the Reiki treatments. However, while some have experienced miracles, they can not be guaranteed. Stress reduction with some improvement in one's physical and psychological condition are what most experience.

REIKI should never be used instead of medical treatment, it should be used as a compliment and a way to become and remain healthy.

Reiki works in union with regular medical or psychological treatment. If one has a medical or psychological condition, it is recommended that one see a licensed health care professional in addition to receiving Reiki treatments. Reiki energy works in harmony with all other forms of healing, including drugs, surgery, psychological care or any other method of alternative care and will improve the results.

Although Reiki energy is spiritual in nature, Reiki is not a religion. Practitioners are not asked to change any religious or spiritual beliefs they may have. They are free to continue believing anything they choose and are encouraged to make their own decisions concerning the nature of their religious practices.

The Benefits of REIKI Healing

Creates deep relaxation and helps the body to release stress and tension.

It speeds up the bodies self-healing abilities.

It helps improve sleep.

Reduces blood pressure.

Supports the immune system.

Can help with serious (injuries) and chronic problems (asthma, eczema, headaches, etc.) and can help with the breaking of addictions.

It can help with the ease of pain.

It helps the body rid itself of toxins.

It can help reduce the side effects of drugs and can helps the body to recover after surgery and chemotherapy.

It can increase energy levels and postpones the aging process.

It heightens the vibrational frequency of the body.

It helps with the spiritual growth and emotional clearing.

It can eliminate energy blockages, regulate the energy flow of the endocrine system bringing the body into balance and synchronization.

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4 Tips to Make Your Acupuncture Treatments More Effective

Q: “What should I expect to feel after my first treatment? Are there any side effects?”

A: Everyone's treatment (and therefore effects are unique). Some people feel tired after an acupuncture session. Others feel energized. The most common response I hear is that they're “slept like a baby!” after their first acupuncture session.

Acupuncture is one of the few modalities in healthcare that is safe enough to say that when it's properly performed, it has practically no side effects!

Q: “What can I do to improve my treatment outlet?”

A : Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! Consume 1-2 glasses of room temperature water within an hour after treatment. Post-treatment hydration is helpful in moderating a mild detoxification reaction when toxins are flushed from the body.

Rest! If you feel tired post-treatment, that means that the body is requesting rest / sleep (which is it's time to heal). Oblige it. Go to bed early or take a nap.

Q: “Is there anything I should not do after getting treated?”

A: Avoid caffeine, overeating, chocolate, and of course, stress after your treatment!

Q: “How should I prepare for my future treatments?”

A: Set aside time for your appointment and try to avoid rushing and stress in this scenario. When you walk into the office, make sure to “check your stress at the door” so you can focus on your breathing and healing.

Because acupuncture moves so much of your body's natural energy around, make sure you've had something to eat a few hours prior to your treatment.

Additionally, avoid large amounts of caffeine on the same day as your treatment. Energetically speaking, caffeine scatters your body's Qi (energy) and is dehydrating.

And finally, practice your “4 square” deep belly breathing.

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