History Of Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture has been used to complement main medical treatments more and more frequently in recent years. This therapy, derived from Chinese traditional medicine (TCM), has proven effective to treat chronic pain, as well as over 40 other illnesses and diseases. The practice of acupuncture and how it works remains shrouded in mystery for most people, however. Below is a brief history of acupuncture management that will shed a little light on this ancient healing art.

Acupuncture is a medical treatment that has been practiced for centuries in China and other countries in Southeast Asia. The practice involves the insertion of tiny needles into strategic pressure points on the body to treat illnesses and promote overall health and wellness.

The first mention of acupuncture as a healing art in written documents in China first appeared in a book written at around 500-300 BCE This book described acupuncture as a central component of TCM. The first acupuncture needles were referred to as “bian.” These needles, developed during the Stone Age, were crafted out of stone and were used to practice a rudimentary form of acupuncture therapy. With the sunset of the Iron and Bronze Ages, metal needles, similar to the hair-thin needles in use today, were eventually developed.

Acupuncture first spread from China to neighboring countries, such as Korea and Japan, in the 6th Century. The practice eventually reached Europe by the 18th century, but was not widely used among European medical practitioners until the 19th century. The practice finally came to the US in the early 1900s with the influx of Chinese immigrants. It was not until the 1970s that acupuncture gained widespread attention after a US press agent who received acupuncture therapy while traveling in China touted the benefits of acupuncture in a New York Times article.

Acupuncture enjoyed widespread use in China until 1914, when the Government of the People's Republic of China enacted a series of legal measures designed to limit the practice of TCM, causing acupuncture therapy to almost die out entirely. Fortunately, acupuncture continued to be used by traditional practitioners in rural areas throughout the country. Many acupuncturists worked tirelessly to protect and continue to develop acupuncture therapy in China. These traditionalists founded several acupuncture associations, published many books and journals on this ancient therapy, and began teaching correspondence courses to willing pupils worldwide.

As is evident from acupuncture therapy history, there are many benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions. The benefits available through acupuncture therapy, however, are dependent on the training of the acupuncturist. Anyone considering acupuncture therapy should make sure the practitioner they seek treatment from is a licensed acupuncture therapist who is certified in treating medical conditions using this type of therapy.

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Ear Acupuncture, AKA Auricular Therapy

Your outer ear is a highly sensitive, nerve-filled part of your body. These nerves connect to your brain, and then can reach anywhere in your body via the correct stimulus. Through careful research, mankind has developed the tools to use your ear as a means of treating your entire body. Commonly, ear acupuncture is used with patients looking to quit smoking, lose weight, treat pain, insomnia, digestive issues, and more.

Ear acupuncture, also known as auricular therapy, has been used in China for thousands of years, and was further developed more recently by a French neurologist in the 1950's. It involves the use of smaller acupuncture needles to stimulate points on your ear: instead of a 1-inch, 0.22mm thick needle, your traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practiceer will use something more like a 0.5-inch, 0.18mm thick needle. This not only helps you feel less of a sensation on your ear with needling (although there is rarely pain when an acupuncture needle is applied anyway), but also enables your practitioner more ease with using a variety of points on your ear, which often is small and tricky to manoeuvre around.

Treatment may also, or instead, involve the use of small seeds of the vaccaria plant, which also serve to invigorate your blood and resolve stagnation, or even magnets (of the healing variety) as an adjunct to, or in place of the ear acupuncture needs. It is believed in TCM that your ear is a microcosm of your entire body, and so using points on your ear can essentially treat any disorder that could otherwise be treated using acupuncture points found elsewhere on your body. In fact, if you look at your ear, you can see how it might look like an inverted fetus with its head on your lobe, and the hands and feet pointing towards the top of your ear. Interestingly, many auricular therapy points correspond to this general pattern. For example, shoulder points are found where the fetus' shoulder would be.

Usually, auricular therapy is used along with acupuncture points on various other parts of your body. Your TCM practitioner will often use points on your body as well as points on your ear, and then place ear seeds on the same or similar points on your ear after treatment. The seeds or magnets are placed onto your ear with an adhesive, bandage-like material. The corresponding points are then stimulated by you, the patient, a few times a day until they fall off naturally, which is usually 3 or 4 days later. The added stimulation over the next few days helps to make your acupuncture treatment more effective.

Although it is easy to find maps of the ear acupuncture points, it is not advisable to use them to treat yourself or another person. In fact, be sure to only receive auricular therapy from a Registered TCM Practitioner, who is schooled in all manner of TCM modalities, and understands the best possible means of diagnosing you properly and effectively.

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Acupuncture for Constipation

You are considered to be suffering from constipation if you are having less than 3 bowel movements per week. You may also feel some abdominal pain and bloating, and may experience training with your bowel movements. Quite often, the cause of this condition is simply your stool moving too slowly through your intestinal tract, and you can find relief in changing your diet. However, sometimes a change in diet is not enough, and a natural therapy such as acupuncture (a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)) needs to be employed. Luckily, acupuncture has a great success rate when it comes to treating constipation.

In TCM, it is taught that you should ideally have a bowel movement once or twice per day, that your stool should be light-brown in color, be roughly cylindrical in shape, and should be a few inches in length. Factors that can slow your bowels include your diet, age, emotional health, level of exercise, pregnancy, or an illness. The main organs involved in a TCM diagnosis of constipation may include your Stomach, Large Intestine, Spleen, Liver and Kidneys (these terms are capitalized to differentiate them from their scientific definitions). Beyond the organ (s) involved in your constipation, your TCM practitioner will also diagnose you according to how dry your stool is, whether or not you are experiencing any abdominal pain, and the color and shape of your stool.

As with any TCM pattern, it is essential that you are first diagnosed as being either in excess or in deficiency. The excess patterns related to constipation include those associated with Heat, Qi Stagnation, or Cold. The deficiency patterns related to constipation include Qi deficiency, Blood deficiency, or Yin or Yang deficiency. Once your TCM practitioner has determined whether your pattern is one of excess or deficiency, they will proceed to determine which organs are involved. For example, if you are suffering from Heat having caused your constipation, this Heat may be staying in your Liver organ system. Such a pattern often exhibits other symptoms such as thirst, a bitter taste in your mouth, headache, and irritability. Symptoms that may accompany constipation with Qi deficiency include fatigue, pale complexity, and training with a feeling of no energy to push. Determining your pattern type for any digestive complaint is extremely important when it comes to relieving you of your issue. Be sure to seek the care of a Registered TCM Practitioner, who is properly trained in acupuncture and other modalities of TCM, including herbal medicine.

Along with your acupuncture treatment, you will likely be given some lifestyle advice that can help with your constipation. For example, it may be suggested that you exercise more, or even less, depending on your pattern type. Your diet will certainly play a part in your overall treatment plan, and where necessary, other TCM modalities such as cupping therapy, auricular therapy, or herbal medicine may be recommended.

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Acupuncture: The Pointy Relief to Your Pains

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique which origins can be traced back to at least 2,500 years. It is insertion of needles in distinct parts of the body and helps in keeping people healthy by improving bodily functions. It aids in natural healing up of the body by curing pain and suffering. It can treat the body of pain, nausea, vomiting and aches after chemotherapy and surgery.

How does acupuncture work?

The human body has channels of energy known as meridians. These flow through the whole body for the purpose of nurturing and irrigating the tissues of the body. The acupuncture points act upon these meridians only. They resolve the obstacles at these points and restore the regular flow in these meridians.

A number of studies have demonstrated that using needles during acupuncture trigger certain biological responses which are local in nature. This activates the various physiological pathways which help in regulating the energy flow. The acupuncture technique is thus very beneficial for body's internal mechanisms like digestion, absorption, production of energy and the energy cycle.

The acupuncture therapy energizes the nervous system of the body into discharging hormones into the brain, spinal cord and various muscles. This advances energy and biochemical balance which is responsible for the natural healing abilities of the body. This ensures the physiological as well as psychological well-being of an individual.

Does acupuncture have any side-effects?

  • The most common injury that has been often reported from this therapy is the incidental puncture of the lungs. This may result in partial collapse of the organs causing pneumothorax.
  • Another type of side-effect is infection and viral hepatitis which is caused by unclean and reused needles.

However, it may be noted that most of these injuries are caused by lack of proper training of the therapist. Care should be taken that the therapy center should be clean and hygienic. Also, a lot of people feel that the needles hurt a lot. But, the pain is only for a fraction and is not as severe as the injections. This is because the needles are very fine, unlike the doctor's syringes.

The benefits of acupuncture

1. The acupuncture works wonders on eliminating the chronic back pain, arthritis and other body aches.

2. Acupuncture is also beneficial to people suffering from insomnia and sleeping disorders.

3. Acupuncture helps in controlling addictions like alcoholism, smoking and drug addictions.

4. Acupuncture exercises a holistic method of treatment. It eliminates all health issues and disorders.

5. Acupuncture ensures that the gradual declination levels of energy due to old age, stress or anxiety are replenished.

6. Acupuncture therapy strengthens the circulatory system and improvements body's immunity.

Following acupuncture regularly is beneficial as it reduces risks of contracting diseases and replaceependency on allopathic medicines.

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Retinitis Pigmentosa And Acupuncture: 6 Things You Might Not Know

Did you know that your vision can be maintained using acupuncture? While it does sound unbelievable there are a handful of well credentialed experts that practice the art of acupuncture to help with vision problems. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that is successfully used to alleviate many ailments.

1. You may be wondering how often acupuncture treatment needs to be repeated. The initial course of treatment takes 1 or 2 weeks. After that, your vision will be tested. Treatment is then generally continued through follow ups 2 or 3 times a year for a week or two.

2. The long term results from treating Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), Ushers and similar conditions are amazing. Some patients may be treated for 10 or more years. These patients show a significant improvement when compared to other treatments. These are patients that should be blind enough for Seeing Eye dogs and instead some are functional enough to even still be driving.

Doctors experienced with long term patients notice that those patients who maintained regular treatments had had very little, if any vision loss. Those who have not kept up with treatments and instead come and go do tend to be more likely to have vision loss.

3. There is a difference between treating with acupuncture and treating with acupuncture with the addition of Chinese herbs. Acupuncture itself increases blood flow to the eyes. This has been proved through the use of an ocular doppler. Additionally, acupuncture stimulates the visual cortex and the visual process in general.

Chinese supplements and herbs are used once the under condition condition is identified. If the condition is metabolic, it can generally be treated with supplements. An example would be circulatory problems that can easily be addressed with Chinese supplements.

4. There are some cases where acupuncture does not work. Cases that are not as likely to respond to acupuncture are instances where there has been very traumatic injury to the eye. Injuries from a car accident are one example of this. Another example is cases where someone has a history of mental or emotional illness, strokes or brain damage. These are instances where the brain simply can not respond to acupuncture.

Some people that are in a very advanced stage of ocular disease are not as likely to respond to acupuncture. There are even some cases where the issue is only moderate and still they do not respond. Some medications can interfere with acupuncture, such as anti-inflammatory and corticosteroid medication. Heavy pain killers certainly inhibit response as well.

5. When acupuncture treatment is successful, generally patients are treated in intensive sessions for a week or two. Treatments are usually at least twice if not three times a day during these weeks of intensive treatment. This is because neurological conditions usually seem to respond better to intensive treatment. However, patients who choose instead to spread their treatments out over a few times a week get great results as well. But for intensive treatment, patients come in for one or two weeks, two or three times per year.

6. A typical treatment plan for this disease consists first of preliminary vision testing. Next there will be 5 days of treatment with twice a day acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, micro-acupuncture and laser acupuncture. Supplements are prescribed and then after a 5 day series, you will be re-tested.

We hope this article helped answer your questions about Retinitis Pigmentosa and acupuncture.

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Retinitis Pigmentosa And Acupuncture: 7 Questions Answered

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a hereditary disease that results in the loss of peripheral vision. The disease causes the progressive degeneration of structures, known as rods and cones, located in the retina. As the disease progresses, it typically establishes a person's peripheral vision. It often leaves the individual with clear central vision until the final stages of the disease. A novel treatment for RP is the use of acupuncture. Below are some common questions about the use of this technique in treating this disease.

1. When should acupuncture be started if you have been diagnosed with RP?

Retinitis Pigmentosa is a degenerative eye disease and will result in a steady declination in vision. Once that vision is lost it is very difficult, or impossible, to get it back. The sooner treatment is started, the sooner the degenerative effects of the disease can be halted and further loss of vision prevented.

2. How often do you repeat courses of treatment?

Treatment for RP consistors of two phases, an initial evaluation phase to determine an individual's response rate to acupuncture and ongoing maintenance. It is very important that an individual be examined before treatment begins, so that a baseline can be established by which progress can be evaluated. Measurable improvement in vision should be observed if the acupuncture techniques being used are effective for an individual. This initial phase typically involves five days of intensive therapy. If a measurable improvement is observed, then the initial intensive treatment can continue for another week. In the second phase, treatments are repeated 2 – 3 times per year, with each treatment lasting 1- 2 weeks.

3. What are the long term results?

Improvements in vision are typically observed within the first week of intensive therapy. These improvements can persist for 3 – 6 months, depending on the individual. Periodic treatments are required to maintain vision improvements.

4. What is the difference in only using acupuncture and using Chinese herbs with acupuncture?

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine are complementary techniques in the treatment of RP. Acupuncture helps to stop further degeneration by increasing blood flow to the eye and stimulating the optic nerve, photoreceptor cells, and visual centers of the brain. Traditional Chinese medicine uses herbs to treat under health problems. These can be metabolic, autoimmune, or problems with chronic inflammation.

5. Why does not acupuncture work in some cases?

Acupuncture works by sending signals to the brain to stimulate certain regions and provoke a specified response. If the brain has become damaged through physical injury or disease, it will not respond in the desired manner and will likely not produce the correct results. Severe emotional trauma and certain prescription drugs or narcotics will also prevent acupuncture from being effective.

6. Is intensive therapy more beneficial than long-term treatments and do people typically need more than one round of treatment?

Both intensive therapy and long-term treatments are effective. Intensive therapy will result in almost immediate results, that only require brief follow-up treatments to be maintained. Long-term treatments will produce regular results and must be continued on a regular basis to prevent further loss of vision.

7. What is the success rate of traditional acupuncture versus laser acupuncture?

Laser acupuncture is a new technique that uses light emitting diodes to produce low intensity lasers that replace needles. The effectiveness of this technique is comparable to traditional acupuncture, but may be more useful depending on the patient. Individuals with a phobia of needles may find laser treatment more comfortable.

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Explore Benefits Of Acupuncture

BENEFITS OF ACUPUNCTURE

If we are talking about all benefits that acupuncture has to offer, than we will need a lot of time and space. The line of benefits is long and detailed. Therefore I will point to the most common health problems that make you want to seek an acupuncturist.

Today most of us are used in our everyday routine, struggling between job family and all other aspects of our lives. We do not have enough time for ourselves. As a result of our lifestyle, we have to cope with a lot of stress and stress related diseases. Acupuncture is very successful in treating stress and preventing the development of stress related diseases.

Stress Management:

Acupuncture has been a proven modality for stress relief, and as we reduce our stress level many other health problems will disappear. That is because an acupuncturist is treating the root of the problem and not the symptoms only.

Acupuncture for Pain Management:

Everybody experiences some pain or discomfort during their lifetime. Acupuncture will help to improve acute and chronic pain problems. Acupuncture stimulates the brain to release chemicals (hormones) that act like natural opiates. Acupuncture can stimulate the brain to produce endorphin release, (an endorphin is a natural pain relief substance which make us feel good) so after treatment you will feel more calm and relaxed.

Acupuncture will speed recovery after any injury or disease.

Cosmetic / Face Lift Effect:

In recent decades, there is a lot of talk about the use of acupuncture for facial rejuvenation that acupuncture plants. There are many ways to improve your appearance and acupuncture is one of the safest and easiest ways to look 5 to 10 years younger. It is important to remember that in order to achieve these results you will need at least 10 treatments and continuing care by your acupuncturist.

Acupuncture and Weight Loss:

It is clear that acupuncture will not make you lose weight but it can help you on your path. Some of the main reasons why we are not able to stick to any diet is because it is hard to control cravings, keep calm
and change your lifestyle.

This is where acupuncture starts to work. It is well known that acupuncture will help to control cravings, reduce appetite and relieve stress. Emotional eaters will greatly benefit from this. As a result, lifestyle changes are going to be easier with less bumps in the road to wellness.

Acupuncture to Quit Smoking:

Many people do not know that acupuncture is a great tool to help you stay away from cigarettes. Needles will not make you quit, but they will help you stay on track. Acupuncture will help by lessening withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are (not limited to): stress, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, and emotional distress. Acupuncture is an option to make these symptoms easier and more controllable. Therefore, the first decision you make to quit smoking is to look for an acupuncturist who can start you on the road to wellness.

I hope that this information will be your first step to your own Bridge to Health.

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How to Balance Your Body

Just this morning I had a lady come into my office who was suffering from symptoms connected to her menopause. She said, “I can not sleep, I wake up every few hours and I am burned up, I sweat so much I feel like I am sleeping in a sauna bath and it's been going on for months.

We went over her medical history and she reported that she has a cold right now, but does not want to take any medicine, no matter if it's natural or not.

She reported having a chronic back problem and does not want address it either.

She also said that she is gaining weight and is really depressed about that but not willing to change her diet.

She said, “I drink coffee all day and I am not willing to change my coffee drink habits at all! I love my coffee, and will drink 6 to 7 cups a day.

It sounds to me that she loves her habits much more than her sleep, her health, or the way she looks. There is a mental emotional imbalance here and she is not willing to look at it.

There are many different ways to treat illness and balance the body and mind. Our body and mind are so tightly coupled you would have amazed how much one affects the other. There is a scientific name for it; it's called psycho-neuro immunology.

There is now a huge body of published evidence documenting at the neurological and biochemical level, how states of mind such as anxiety, depression and anger affect the functioning of immune system.

This patient really did not want to hear about that either. I did not tell dare tell her this in her delicate state, but I'll tell you.

That coffee habit she has is warming up her entire body, as well as over stimulating her mind and is a stronga diuretic. Coffee has been used to stimulate the mind and wake you up. It's also considered a mental stimulant, but if you are having extreme night sweets it's a No, No.

If the coffee is not organic they are using poisonous herbicide and pesticide sprays. If you think decaf is a good alternative, wake up and smell the coffee. Petroleum based solvents are used to make the stuff and it's not the best for your health.

Let's get back to the patient; she drinks coffee all day long, caffeineated until 3 or 4 in the afternoon and decaf at night.

She can not sleep why?

According to Chinese medicine she is reducing the water element the kidneys and bladder. The excess of coffee can be acting as a diuretic injuring the balance between fire and water that's the yin, yang balance of the body.

When there is an imbalance in the water element the fire element goes wild. As we all know if you make a fire the heat will rise. In the body if there is too much heat it goes upward as well and will disturb the mind, hence the insomnia. Too much heat could be the cause of the excess sweating as well. If she wants to get back to a good nights sleep she needs to cut down on her beloved coffee and start loving herself.

When we practice Qi Gong and meditation a few great things happen. We cool the body down. This relaxes the mind and will allow for a better nights sleep as well as harmonizing the balance of our fire and water element.

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Acupuncture for Eczema (Dry, Red, Itchy Patches of Skin)

Eczema is a condition that affects an estimated 15 million people in the United States. It is characterized by dry, scaly red patches of skin that are accommodated by intense itching. There are many standard medical treatments that are aimed at decreasing inflammation and itchiness. The typical medication includes using corticosteroids which can have some serious side effects that include cataracts, glaucoma, gastrointestinal effects, hypertension, osteoporosis and weight gain. Those seeking a natural alternative to medical therapy may be able to find the solution utilizing acupuncture therapy.

A German study took thirty people with eczema and treated them immediately following exposure to allergens such as dust mites and pollen. These allergens intensify the condition and cause flare-ups. The goal of this study was to provide relief from itching. All patients went through three different test conditions. The first treatment condition was “point-specific” acupuncture. In this treatment, targeted areas designed to treat itchy skin were utilized. These are the Quchi and Xuehai acupuncture points. The second treatment condition was the “placebo-point” treatment. The points selected during this phase of the study were not those used to treat itchy skin. The third and final test condition was no treatment following the allergen exposure.

When the subject's experiences were compared, all thirty participants reported lower levels of itchiness after receiving the point-specific acupuncture versus the placebo acupuncture or no treatment at all. In addition, some interesting reports showed that when the participants were exposed a second time to the allergen after the point-specific acupuncture, they indicated that the flare-ups were less severe.This finding indicates that there could be sustained improvement after just one point -specific acupuncture treatment. The researchers concluded that acupuncture at the correct points showed a significant reduction in type I hypersensitivity itch in patients with atopic eczema.

In a study similar to the one conducted in Germany, an Israeli study looked at the effectiveness of herbal medicine combined with acupuncture in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. In that particular study, twenty patients between the ages of 13 and 48 were given a combined treatment that included herbs and acupuncture three times daily for twelve weeks. The study participants were assessed at weeks 3,6,9, and 12. At the end of the 12 week study, patients reported their itch had improved by 45 percent. In addition, they reported that their quality of life had improved by 39%. Given their findings, the Israeli study concluded that combining acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine do indeed have a beneficial effect on patients with the most common form of eczema.

These findings show a direct link between herbal and acupuncture practices and reduction of itch in eczema patients. The results shed light for those suffering from the condition and provide a secondary option to potentially harmful prescription medications. Having scientific results to support the use of natural therapies like acupuncture permit eczema sufferers to make an informed decision about their healthcare and what options are best for them.

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Medical Acupuncture

What is Medical Acupuncture?

Medical Acupuncture is a simple and effective treatment approach based on current concepts of neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and pathophysiology. Insertion of solid metal needles and the use of electrical stimulation are the foundation of this approach. Medical Acupuncture is generally provided by chiropractors, physiotherapists and medical doctors who use it as a tool to complement their regular practices.

How does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture stimulates your body's natural healing mechanisms, helping to restore physical and mental balance. Modern research has shown that acupuncture elicits a complex set of responses in the peripheral, central and autonomous nervous systems, including the release of chemicals and hormones involved in pain transmission as well as behavioral, muscle and visceral activity.

Is Acupuncture for you?

Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment or as an adjunct to other therapeutic interventions. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Neurologic and Muscular disorders: headaches, neck and back pain, sports injuries (sprains / strains), sciatica, osteoarthritis, neuritis and facial pain
  • Digestive Disorders: irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea and gastritis
  • Menstrual and Reproductive problems: dismenorrhea, perimenopausal symptoms and infertility
  • Urinary tract disorders: prostatitis and bladder dysfunction
  • Respiratory problems: sinusitis, asthma, sore throat and recurrent respiratory tract infections
  • Stress and psycho-emotional problems

Is Acupuncture Safe?

In the hands of qualified practitioners, acupuncture is one of the safest therapeutic interventions used by healthcare with millions of treatments automatically free of side effects. Nowadays, the use of sterile, disposable needles has totally eliminated the risk of infection.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture does not cause any significant discomfort in the majority of patients. The needles are very fine and do not damage the tissues when inserted. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. For many people, acupuncture is a pleasant experience due to the sense of well being that usually continues treatment.

“Do's and Dont's” On The Day of Treatment

To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:

  • Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
  • Do not over-exercise. Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest.
  • Continue to take any prescription medications as directed by your regular doctor.
  • Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your doctor to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem

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Is Acupuncture for You?

Acupuncture origin in china and is among the oldest medical practice. It is one the dominant alternative therapy that is gaining widespread acknowledgment in the western world. This is primarily because of its undisputed efficiency in treating certain health conditions. Moreover, in the hands of a skilled acupuncturist, there is no serious side effect.

Acupuncture is commonly used for the following health conditions:

  • Pain:

This is one of the more common uses of acupuncture. There is substantial evidence that acupuncture works well for pain alleviation, especially persistent lower back pain. It is also applied for a wide range of pain such as joint pain, dental pain, chronic pain, neck pain, post-operative pain, headache and migraine. The main advantage of using acupuncture for pain relieve is the absence of side effects. Painkillers are chemicals and their long term side effects are not fully understood. Even the common painkillers such as acetaminophen (paracetamol), have been shown to be toxic. Experts have warned that taking slightly too much acetaminophen day after day can be deadly. On the other hand, there is no overdose of acupuncture, and it leaves no chemical residue in the body.

  • Post-operative nausea and vomiting:

Research has proved conclusively that acupuncture is effective in reducing PONV. A research published by the national institute of health, shows that acupuncture reduced the incidence of PONV in hospitals from 65% to 35% compared with a placebo and after discharge, from 69% to 31% compared with a placebo. Acupuncture also with nausea and vomiting experienced after chemotherapy in cancer patients.

  • Infertility treatment:

Research has shown a clear link between acupuncture and fertility, especially for women undergoing assisted reproductive technique mainly IVF. If you are planning to go for IVF, you should start acupuncture for fertility three months before your procedure. German researchers discovered that acupuncture significantly increases the chances of success for women undergoing IVF. In a controlled study, it was shown that 42% of women who received acupuncture, got pregnant, compared to 26% of those who did not receive acupuncture. Experts do not fully understand how acupuncture helps fertility. Some have suggested that it draws more blood to the ovaries; others believe that it simply reduces stress which can interfere with a woman's fertility. Whatever is the case, the important thing, is that it works.

Acupuncture has been used in a far wider range of treatment, beyond what I can list here. Take for instance; it has been used to reposition a break baby! Some of its application includes treatment of allergies, fatigue, depression, anxiety, menstrual disorder, insomnia and so on.

Whatever your health condition may be, give acupuncture a try. We may never know exactly how it works, but it may just be the miracle that you need.

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Acupuncture and Cancer Pain

Treating pain associated with cancer is one of the most effective benefits that acupuncture can offer to you. By using this 5,000 year old modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), you can experience relief from postoperative cancer pain, postoperative nausea and vomiting, postsurgical constipation, and neuropathy. Other pain that can be treated with acupuncture that may accompany cancer treatment includes joint pain, back pain, neck pain, hip pain, sciatica, headaches, and temperomandibular joint syndrome (TMJS). As with other cancer symptoms, acupuncture is usually recommended as a medical therapy complementary to, and not as a replacement for other cancer therapies. With that said, acupuncture can help to manage your cancer pain, and also help to relieve you of other side effects that may include fatigue, reduced immune function, changes in appetite, anxiety or depression, sleep issues, and changes in libido.

With science being so young (only approximately 150 years old), it still has a long way to go to discover how things work, especially ancient medicines. And since humans have been around for about 200,000 years, many medicines have often come and gone, irrespective of science not yet having been developed. Because they developed so long ago, acupuncture and TCM are based on clinical evidence rather than science. That is to say, over many generations of practice, early Chinese doctors through trial and error discovered which combinations of acupuncture points worked to help heal the body. Through this trial and error, a system of diagnosis, now called TCM diagnosis, was developed. TCM theories can be complicated and require a great deal of learning, and primarily include Yin Yang Theory, Meridian Theory, and The Theory of 5 Elements.

In TCM, pain is considered to be blockage in pathways called meridians. These pathways, for the most part, carry Qi (energy), Blood, and Body Fluids (* note that some terms are capitalized to differentiate from their scientific definitions). Patterns of blockage are generally called Painful Obstruction Syndromes, and are further classified by the part of the body in which they are located, plus what type of blockage is present. With cancer, there tend to be an excess amount of Heat present, but the general approach to treatment is the same: nourish organ systems and / or smooth the flow of energy in the body to help remove blockages. From this point, a TCM practitioner will determine what organ systems are involved, and will then continue to ask you questions and take your pulse to achieve a diagnosis. The pulse element of diagnosis in TCM is especially important as it is quite complicated, so make sure that you only have acupuncture performed by a Registered TCM Practitioner.

So what happens when you poke someone with an acupuncture needle? (More correctly, it's actually the combination of the right points that has the most dramatic effect of most of the time, but a single point can still activate some things.) Well, neuroimaging studies have shown that acupuncture can relax certain areas of the brain responsible for pain reception. Ultrasound show that acupuncture improves blood flow. And thermal imaging shows that acupuncture reduces infections where needed. Beyond this, many acupuncture meridians correspond to nerve pathways or arteries. Some of the major points, like one in your hand, sit where a few different nerves and blood vessels pass by. So although many are still skeptical about acupuncture, the evidence is growing in its favor, and more than likely science will 'catch up'. Since acupuncture can help in so many ways, let's just hope it does not take 5,000 years.

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Case Study: Acupuncture for Cancer Recovery With Fatigue

A 46-year-old woman was recovering from breast cancer, and was complaining of extreme fatigue caused by her radiation treatments. Her recovery included regular bouts of radiation, as prescribed by her doctor. She had had surgery to remove a reliably small amount of breast tissue (diagnosed as stage 1 breast cancer) approximately 3 weeks before beginning the radiation treatment, and had been receiving radiation treatments 5 days a week for almost 5 weeks. Her breast tissue removal had only been partial, and chemotherapy had not been prescribed. Her doctor was considering hormonal therapy, but wanted to wait until further testing after the radiation therapy was completed.

The patient also complained of feeling unusually anxiously during the course of radiation treatment, although she knew that this could be a side effect of the therapy. Her sleep was also an issue, in that she was having trouble falling asleep and also woke a few times in the night. She was also experiencing night sweating, something she had not experienced before undergoing radiation treatments.

Her tongue was quite pale, with some red spots throughout and was especially red at the tip. Her pulse was quite weak and deep.

Diagnosis: Kidney deficiency as a result of the radiation. The intense heat of the radiation likely depleted both the patient's Yin and her Yang, and residual heat in the heart meridian left her with sleep issues. The anxiety was reasonably a manifestation of the Spleen not being adequately supported by the Kidneys, and the night sweats were likely due to a Kidney Yin deficiency

Treatment Principle: Nourish the Kidneys to help the Spleen and Heart, in an effort to help the patient regain some of her energy, help her sleep, and resolve the issue of night sweating.

Acupuncture Points Used: SP 6, ST 36, KD 3, KD 6, KD 9, RN 4, SP 10, HT 7

Two treatments per week for two weeks, followed by one treatment per week for four weeks, and the patient was feeling much more energy and no more anxiety. Her sleep was also much improved, and she was able to once again fall sleep easily and sleep through the night. Her night sweating also quickly dissipated.

At the conclusion of our treatment the radiation therapy was also finished, and further testing showed that there was not yet any need for hormonal therapy. At the time of this writing the patient had not had any recurrence of cancer.

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Acupuncture and Anxiety

It's no secret that more people are experiencing issues with anxiety. The changing world, economic recessions and the pressures of daily life can all combine to cause people to have anxiety issues including insomnia, panic attacks and nervous behavior. Stress is natural and occurs in everyone but managing stress and controlling anxiety can be difficult for some people and while there are prescription medications one can take to calm their nerves many of these drugs have unwanted side effects and can also produce a dependency to the drug. However, many people have used acupuncture treatment to cure their anxiety issues and if you are seeking an alternative to expensive therapy and medications acupuncture may be for you.

Acupuncture works off of the promise that the human body contains 71 meridians, or energy channels that allow for the flow of Qi. Qi is another word for energy and this energy flow follows the meridian map to each of the major organs in the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that health is a manifestation of balance and that when conditions such as anxiety begin to negatively impact our lives it is the result of an obstruction in one or several of the meridians. When the Qi can not flow properly it may be forced in the opposite direction that disrupting the body's natural balance. Acupuncture aims to target the specific points on the body that will respond to the acupuncture problems and achieve a stimulus that will help restore the proper flow of Qi and allow the body to heal and regulate itself.

However, anxiety is not an exact disorder meaning not everyone experienced the same type of anxiety or for the same reasons. So, in order to treat anxiety with acupuncture it is necessary for the acupuncturist to determine the root cause of your anxiety before identifying which meridian points will achieve the best results. By inserting fine needles into the meridians a stimulus is recognized by the brain and responses by releasing chemicals that help calm nerves and restore a feeling of peace.

Different acupuncturists will have their own training and may disagree with one another on which meridian points should be focused on when treating a patient suffering from anxiety. Expecting one acupuncture visit to cure your anxiety for good is not realistic. It can take several treatments to begin to feel the effects of the therapy. However, acupuncture has been in practice for centuries and many people swear by its ability to reduce the frequency of panic attacks and the severity of anxiety.

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Acupuncture For Cancer Management and Prevention

Acupuncture, a modality of ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), has long been used to help with cancer prevention as well as managing the side effects of the illness and its various treatment options. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into the surface of your skin. Often barely perceptible when inserted, the right combination of these points can produce amazing effects in terms of pain management, immune system boosting, digestive issues, and much more. Essentially, a TCM diagnosis is achieved by determining how and why the flow of energy in your body has been disrupted. Cancer is an indication of blockage of energy and / or other elements that flow through your body's energy pathways, otherwise known as meridians. Scientifically speaking, acupuncture is believed to have an effect on your circulation, while also affecting nerve growth and lymph drainage. Acupuncture has even been proven to reduce feelings of pain throughout the body.

Cancer prevention is achieved through regular acupuncture treatment by helping to balance your body's energy flow. By balancing this flow on a regular basis, blockage can be often be prevented. TCM diagnosis first attempts to determine whether your pattern is one of deficiency or excess, and then works to either boost where needed or resolve where needed. Unfortunately, once blockage of the extreme nature of cancer has been allowed to occur it is difficult to treat, especially if the cancer is spreading rapidly. That is why acupuncture and other natural therapies should be viewed as preventative, or even as complementary to other more conventional treatment options. In other words, if you have been diagnosed with cancer, use acupuncture along with the treatment (s) recommended, and not as a replacement therapy.

Some of the conventional cancer therapies that acupuncture works well with include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and recovery from surgery. Acupuncture helps with chemotherapy by helping you relieve some of the side effects such as nausea and vomiting, reduced immune system function, digestive upset, and even some of the neurological side effects that can be present, such as pain or paralysis. In terms of the side effects for radiation therapy, acupuncture can potentially help with your fatigue, changes in appetite, anxiety and depression, sleep issues, changes in libido, and even some if the common radiation sickness associated with this therapy. In recovering from surgery, acupuncture can help speed your healing process, and can boost your energy to help you get back on your feet sooner.

When looking for a qualified acupuncturist, be sure to seek out a TCM practitioner, as they are trained in all aspects of TCM including acupuncture, and will diagnose you in a manner that best fits your own individual pattern and then treat you the way you are mean to be treated. Since we all present with our own personal patterns, it is important to note that two separate people should not necessarily receive the same type of acupuncture, even if they have the same type of cancer.

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