So You Are Backed Up? Use Acupressure For Constipation and Get Moving Again

If you are constipated, then you are probably uncomfortable, bloated, swollen, and just having discomfort in general. Pumping your body full of medicines that claim to treat the problem maybe seem like a good idea, but you do not want your body to become dependent on those medicines to keep the current going.

There is a very popular acupressure point that you can use to help stimulate your body into healing and correcting the problem. The pressure point located between the thumb and index finger is a good one to use to relate constipation. It is called “He Gu Xue”. You start at the point on the hand and work your up the arm to all five points. You do not have to do all five at once you can just do one or two if you want.

Feel in between your index finger and thumb, it is not the bony part of the hand, but the softer part. Press gently, once you can feel pain starting to spread out from a point then you have found the pressure point!

Move toward the bony part of your hand in between the finger and the thumb, half way to your wrist. That is the point that affects the large intestine. Turn the palm of your hand upwards. Under your little finger next to your wrist look for a depression between the bones and vein. Now flip your hand over and put your palm facing down. From looking at it, divide the distance between the elbow and wrist into four equal parts. At the point that is a quarter from the wrist, imagine a line from the little finger and the ring finger where they will meet. Bend your hand up towards your neck. Now you will see a crease on your elbow.

Now you can relax and let your fingers work the spot massaging it with gentle pressure. Remember to breathe and relax, then repeat the same thing with your other arm.

Another thing that you can do, is straighten out all of your fingers. Look at your fingers and you see a bump between the index finger and the thumb. On top of that is the point you are looking for.

If you are pregnant, do not try this technique, doing this will eliminate contractions which could cause preterm labor. So if you are a pregnant girl, then do not try this. For the rest of us who are not pregnant, working and stimulating this point of pressure stimulates contractions of stools.

This pressure point is not only a great point to use for constipation, it also relieves headaches, tension in your shoulders and back, stress in general and insomnia. Learn more Cures at Home Here!

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Alternative Health Therapies – Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a way of regulating responses in the nerve tissue through the human body. Pioneered by Chinese doctors, it is a method which has shown to relieve stress and all sorts of ailments through these pressure points in the nervous tissue of men and women.

Acupuncture is done through the application of needles at different points throughout the body, stimulating muscles and nerves, changing the chemical reactions at these points in the body, and causing the nerves to release the proper hormones and chemicals in response to the treatment. This has been effectively used to treat pain, certain types of paralysis, and even mental and emotional illnesses, which are all in one way or another related to or affected by the body.

The theory behind acupuncture is that body tissue has channels of energy or chemical activity going through it at all times, and acupuncture is a method by which the obstructions or dams causing blockage in the normal flow of these chemical reactions are removed to allow the body to function normally again. This has promoted better emotional health, better digestion, better reflexes, and it has relieved muscle tension, depression, migraines, and many other common ailments, including respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Some have used acupuncture as a preventative measure against sickness and infection. For those with certain medical problems, long term treatments including two sessions a week for several months have been used.

Unlike other branches of medicine, there are generally very few side effects to this treatment, and as such, there have been great strides in this particular field of medicine, even in the Western world. Like with some prescription medications, the changes in hormones and chemical activity induced by the acupuncture treatments can cause some unpleasant side effects for the first few days such as upset stomach, changes in mood or appetite, but this is a sign that the treatments are working , and with proper rest, these effects tend to go away.

For those who have been looking for an alternative to traditional medical treatments and prescription medications, acupuncture is being considered more and more as a safe, effective alternative. It is a branch of medicine that has been practiced for many years, and as scientists discover more about the chemical activities which take place in the body and the brain, acupuncture treatment is likely to become even more effective and more common.

Because each person's body chemistry is different, the number of treatments required for each person to achieve the desired effect, depending on the illness, varies veryly. For a number of years, scientists considered acupuncture treatment as an experimental or inferior method to treat patients, but with the advent of new technology and a track record of success, this is changing. Much relief has been found through the careful and resourceful application of acupuncture therapy through much of the world, even in the United States. It is a branch of medicine which treats the whole person, not just certain symptoms or symptoms of symptoms which are related to a certain illness, and this is why this form of treatment is catching on.

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Renew Life Force With Acupuncture

With roots that trace back more than 5,000 years in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is a popular alternative practice. It is not only one of the most common treatments worldwide, but it is also one of the oldest. However, it did not gain recognition until 1971 when James Reston, a New York Times journalist, published an article about his pain was very eased after surgery by Chinese doctors who employed the use of acupuncture.

The Foundation of Acupuncture
This practice is founded on the belief that all living beings have an energy that travels through 12 meridians (or invisible energy lines) in the body by the use of qi (pronounced key). Each of these meridians is associated with a particular organ system. It is the belief of the Chinese that disease will occur qi become imbalanced.

How Does Acupuncture Work?
By using extremely thin, metal needles that are inserted into important points on the lines of the meridian, acupuncture is said to renew life force and restore balance to the body. Anatomical points in our bodies are specifically targeted with the needles. Electric or manual stimulation controls them. Clients of acupuncture have reported feeling relaxed and energized at the completion of a treatment.

Today's Use of Acupuncture
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reclassified the needles used in acupuncture from experimental to medical devices in 1997. The FDA recognizes the usefulness of acupuncture based on the over $ 500 million annually spent by Americans on treatments. Even some insurance companies will cover sessions. According to the FDA, the needles must be non-toxic, sterilized and used only once in order for them to be legally used.

The use of acupuncture is also endorsed by the National Institutes of Health. Many doctors, dentists and health care providers practice it across the country.

Increasing Acceptance
In 2002, the National Health Interview Survey noted the increasing acceptance of acupuncture treatments. They saw the number of adults going for treatments increase substantially. In 2001, 2.1 million chose acupuncture treatment. That number rose to about 8.2 million by 2002.

More and more folks are beginning to grow impatient with the practices of conventional medicine. They are turning to alternatives in growing numbers to find safe, non-toxic relief from pain and other ailments with which they are plagued.

How do Acupuncture Treatments Work
Acupuncture can relieve pain by releasing endorphins into the body. It has effects over our automatic nervous systems and the electrical currents that run through our bodies. It is commonly used to treat many common conditions and ailments and is believed to renew life force to the spirit and the body.

Common ailments that have been successfully covered include: smoking and other addictions, sinusitis, migraines, the common cold, tennis elbow, infertility, lower back pain, menstrual cramps, arthritis, obesity, carpal tunnel syndrome and asthma.

The growing numbers of pharmaceutical drugs (such as Vioxx) being removed from the market because of their dangerous side effects have created apprehension about taking these potent medicines. These fears as well as endorsements about acupuncture's effectiveness by health organizations and the government cause more people to consider it as a viable, effective treatment. Plus, there are significantly fewer side effects associated with acupuncture than noted with pharmaceutical drugs particularly when used to treat pain.

Research has shown that patients with depression, post chemotherapy nausea, and osteoarthritis benefit greatly from treatment.

Who Should You Contact?
It is very important that you locate a highly qualified, certified practitioner when seeking an acupuncturist. Check with your holistic practiceer for a recommendation on where you can find treatment locally. He / she may even offer services right in their office.

Acupuncture is a wonderful way to treat pain and renew life force. Safe and effective, it is a treatment well worth looking into.

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Using Traditional Acupressure Points to Relieve Pain

Traditional Chinese acupuncture points have been known for thousands of years. These points located on specific areas of your body respond to pressure and can be a way of relieving pain, reducing illness, and eliminating other harmful ailments of your body. Since acupuncture is performed by sticking pins into these designated points, it is not something you can do on yourself. But you can still use these pressure points to your advantage: Use your thumb or finger to gently press and activate the correct points to treat the condition you suffer from. You can also perform this on someone else, just be careful to not apply too much pressure, particularly around the face and head. Here is a list of the traditional acupressure points and the ailments that they can treat. Do not let the names put you off; This method supplies a safe, drug-free way of relieving pain and discomfort.

1. Nei Guan. Press lightly on the tendons just above the write to relate sea sickness and angina attacks.
2. Yongkuan. Apply pressure to the sole of the foot; this can ease anxiety, bad temper, and night sweats.
3. Tianjing. Pressure to the underside and top of the elbow can help lift depression and east migraine headaches.
4. Yin Bai. Pressure to the pad of the big toe can help insomnia.
5. Quan Liao. With two fingers, press light down and upwards into the cheek area, just below the cheek bone to ease symptoms of toothache and neuralgia.
6. Yintang. Pressure at the ends of the eyebrows can relieve stress and tension.
7. Shao Shang. Pressure to the thumb eases sore throat and neck pain.

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Acupuncture – A Natural Treatment For Insomnia, Depression, and Anxiety

If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or insomnia, it's important that you seek the proper treatment. One of the popular treatment options is acupuncture. It is a holistic method that has been found to be effective in treating a variety of conditions. Acupuncture integrates the mind and body functions in an effort to naturally and effectively treat health conditions.

Many will attest that acupuncture is a much safer and more effective means of treating insomnia, depression, or anxiety compared to prescription medications for depression and anxiety.

Acupuncture has been found to be effective as a mood enhancer. But like any other forms of treatment, patients need to be informed as to what acupuncture is before they start using this treatment method.

Patients should be aware that acupuncture makes use of fine needles, which are inserted in specific parts of the body to bring about relief from aches and pains, as well as diseases.

What acupuncture does is bring back the balance of life energy, referred to as “Chi”. When a person's “Chi” is balanced, there is spiritual, emotional, and physical balance.

If you decide to go with acupuncture as a treatment method for your insomnia, depression, or anxiety, know that there are a variety of techniques used. Some of these techniques may or may not involve needles.

Acupuncture is an effective treatment for migraines and headaches. These two conditions are often triggered by poor blood circulation. How can acupuncture help? Acupuncture can restore proper blood circulation. As a result, the headaches and migraines disappear, you are able to concentrate better, and you have a more positive outlook overall.

If you are suffering from insomnia, you have trouble sleeping and this can disrupt your day-to-day life, and even lead to anxiety and depression. Acupuncture can help by sending complex signals to your brain, enabling you to relax and get sleep.

Aside from insomnia, anxiety and depression are health conditions that can be the causes of a variety of physical and mental ailments. Many have found acupuncture to be effective in addressing these two conditions. To treat anxiety and depression with acupuncture, fine needles are inserted into the ear cartilage, fingertips, and other meridian points. The goal of sticking needles in various meridian points is to unblock the energy flow and restore “Chi”. When energy can freely flow back into the body, it is said to cure anxiety and depression almost immediately.

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History of Acupuncture

Chinese medicine has included Acupuncture for centuries. It's a procedure that has been developed for many years, passing down many new ideas all along. This article attempts to help you decide whether acupuncture can aid you with your own physical ailments, weight, stress, or many other conditions that acupuncture has proven to give favorable results (in the hands of truly qualified practitioners). ”

Some have claimed that acupuncture is simply a placebo, while others have claimed otherwise. There seems to be nothing definite to either argument. For this reason, if you think it might help, you should give it a try. It may prove to be the greatest find for quite some time to you.

First off, with proper practice, acupuncture is quite safe, with many claiming to feel better than ever before. The process involves carefully poking needles into the skin at a number of critical points around the body. The practice is actually quite involved, and for that reason you should try it, you do want to be sure that the one that performs the procedure on you is qualified, certified, and professional. Since it involves needles, sterility is definitely a major concern, so be careful and check credentials!

While its history started in China, over time it spread to other oriental nations. By 1980 Acupuncture had spread to the United States as well. Many do consider it a good form of alternative medicine and it is regulated there also.

The original basis of Acupuncture was Zang Fu. It works with both ying and yang organs as they called them, providing intervention at various points in energy flow between them, causing favorable results. Things have changed quite a bit since those times.

Acupuncture today uses disposable stainless steel needles, keeping it much cleaner and safer in the long run. It has been applied to many conditions such as allergies, weight loss, muscle pains / spasms, urinary problems, psychological conditions, addiction recovery, anorexia and much more.

Whether you are seriously considering acupuncture, or simply looking for more information, you definitely want to be sure the information you receive is accurate and from trained professionals in the art of acupuncture. Before trusting anyone, you should check what is required for licensing in your area, and then check that those you deal with are indeed properly licensed and experienced.

What is quite safe, could be dangerous in the hands of the wrong practiceer that does not know what they are doing.

Once you find your provider, make sure to listen to what the acupuncture practitioner says, as they know their part of the business. However do not forget to tell them what ails you in as much detail as they ask; since no one can fix what they are not aware of. In some cases, what seems good could actually be dangerous. Be sure to communicate all that you can.

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Reducing Or Eliminating the Damaging Effects of Stress on the Body Through Acupuncture

No one is immune to stress these days. The fast pace and high demands of life leave no one unscathed. Stress, whether a mental or physical stress attack on the mind or the body, triggers a response which sets in motion a particular set of biochemical reactions which then causes an increase in heart rate and breathing rate, raises the blood pressure and increases muscle tension. This reaction is commonly known as an adrenaline rush or a “flight or fight response”.

When a body is under assault – mentally or physically – this response serves a vital purpose. It gives the body the additional strength, energy and alertness necessary to deal with whatever the assault might be. When this biochemical reaction is triggered, it gives the body what it needs to deal with the immediate threat in a more effective and focused way. Over a short period of time this stress responses causes no damage to the body.

However, if one triggering event after another continues to assault the body (ie a car accident, followed by an injury to a child, followed by the loss of a job, followed by a divorce, etc., etc., the body's natural energy reserves will be depleted and ever unavoidable consequences develop. (The stresses do not have to be that severe in order for them to take a serious toll on the body's health!)

The consequences of stress overload include such things as headaches (chronic or migraine) backaches, sleeping disorders, skin disorders and gastric problems. These are some of the more obvious ones. Other symptoms are more psychological and are not quite as obvious but are neutralless just as real; depression, anxiety, poor concentration and even lack of confidence.

If the stress continues and becomes more chronic, it can lead to long-term health problems like strokes, high blood pressure and increased risks of cardiovascular diseases. The importance of reducing stress at any level can not be overstated. Reducing or eliminating stress is one of the first steps towards living a satisfying life in a heightened state of overall well-being. Since, as we mentioned earlier, some stress in our lives is totally unavoidable, the only thing that can be done is to reduce the potential damage the stress can do to the body by creating a strong internal sense of balance and harmony within the body along with a strong immune system.

Acupuncture has an undeniable history (over 4500 years) of reducing or eliminating the damaging side effects of stress. It helps regulate muscle tension, decrees heart rates and lowers blood pressure, all of which helps to create a tranquilizing effect for individuals suffering from stress. Acupuncture can significantly help alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression by stimulating muscle groups in the body which are responsible for stimulating the release of chemicals that work against the stress-related chemicals. By doing this, it helps to shut down the stress response of the body.

In addition to its effectiveness, one of the primary reasons people choose acupuncture is that it achieves the desired results without the use of drugs. Why is that? Because drugs often have devastating side effects of their own that can cause additional stress on the body and sometimes be more harmful than the stress response itself. Acupuncture creates an increased sense of well-being that works with the body to increase circulation and stimulate the release of the body's own pain-killing endorphins that counter the pain resulting from stress or injury.

If you're struggling with any of the symptoms and you know stress has something to do with it there's something you can do today. Rona Bian is a trained Chinese Medical Doctor who specializes in acupuncture and herbal medicine. She moved from China to the United States and now owns and operates her Colorado Springs Acupuncture clinic.

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Swine Flu – Does TCM Offer a Cure?

What is TCM's (TCM includes the practice of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine) take on the Swine Flu? Does it work? Now that summer is approaching we are not hearing much about this disease. It was more prominent during the cold weather and winter months. Let 'not forget it can be deadly and many have suffered at its hands. TCM trees swine flu, but also effectively treats other colds and flu bugs that occur and hamper our state of health. Summer colds and flu still abound. Learn how heal avoid or heal quickly from the “bug.”

Three Reasons to Consider Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine to prevent or treat the flu virus!

# 1. IMMUNE SUPPORT- Acupuncture and herbal medicine have strong properties to support and keep your immune system strong.

If you invest time in yourself and your family now, you will be less vulnerable to any cold or flu bacteria or virus. Stress, fatigue, insomnia, or work environments make you more susceptible. Take good care of yourself so you are not run down. Acupuncture and / or an herbal formula made specifically for you are amazingly effective. Acupuncture opens up the pathways carrying Qi and blood to all parts of your body, organ systems, and brain. There is a Chinese saying that “When Qi and blood flow, there is no disease.”

This means that your immune system is functioning properly, ridding you of any overgrowth of bacteria or virus.

TCM beats all ages! Children are more often given a gentle herbal formula rather than acupuncture. Treatment is based on their age and temperament. If you are already running ragged … an appointment for an “acupuncture tune-up” will improve your energy levels. “It will be well worth it.

# 2. SAFETY! TCM treatment has little or no side effects in comparison with Western pharmaceuticals that have major side effects and are hard on your liver and kidneys. If you get a cold or flu, generally you get well SOONER !! No need to be sick for weeks on end … no need.

Chinese herbal formulas are specifically made for your pattern of disease and symptoms. Be sure your practitioner uses herbs from FDA compliant herbal companies, and are of the highest grade, quality and consistency. Herbs are used to reduce fever, strengthen your lungs, resolve sinus infections and head congestion, are anti-bacterial, but more important ANTI-VIRAL. Western medicine lacks a solid antidote to virus. We have you covered!

# 3. EARLY DETECTION SYSTEM- TCM beats what is perceived, felt or seen.

Western medicine needs a specific, identifiable diagnosis before treatment begin. Often a patient is sick or given ineffective drugs. The patient fails to improve, so a second round of the same drugs are given. The overuse of antibiotics is one problem, and not properly identifying the “bug” is a second problem.

This loss of time means that your body weakens, spiraling downwards into more disease.

If you feel sick, weak or tired use TCM to turn that spiral around, to create stronger health and a bullet-proof immune shield. You will avoid sickness, minimize it if you do get sick, or move through it quickly if you are already infected. Bottom line — minimizes your risk!

Bridging the gap between Western and Eastern medicine improves patient care! Use all the tools in your health toolbox regardless of the season.

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Enjoy Life Again – Make Allergies a Thing of the Past With Acupuncture

After a long, cold and gloomy winter, everyone looks forward to spring. Everyone that is, except those with allergies and unfortunately, those with allergies make up nearly one third of the population of our country.

For some, the misery starts early in the spring with the release of prolific pollen from a variety of trees. For others it is not until late spring and early summer their misery begins as the grass and weeds give forth their nasty allergens. Others have no reprieve at all because they are they unfortunate ones who react to airborne mold spores, dust, dust mites and animal dander that have no seasonal limits.

Allergies are the body's overreaction to those allergens in the environment and in food. Normally, the weaker the immune system and the greater the imbalance of the body, the stronger the reactions. These allergic reactions cause some degree of inflammation, which in turn, weakens the body. The severity of the allergic reaction can range anywhere from itchy eyes, sneezing and runny nose to skin reactions such as eczema or hives. In some cases it can be so severe as to cause a life-threatening obstruction of the airways.

Typically, the way most people seek to treat allergies is to buy over the counter such antibiotics or decongestants that will help reduce their symptoms. However, while those medications may reduce the allergy symptoms, chances are they will end up creating symptoms of their own such as drowsiness, immune system suppression or over-reliance on medicines.

Because some people are not interested in changing one set of problems for another, they look to safer, more effective alternative ways to treat their allergies. Acupuncture is one of those ways. Acupuncture insects not only the symptoms, providing excellent relief; it also addresses the undercoming immune system imbalance which is thought to be at the root of the person's allergies. Treating the whole person is at the center of the philosophy behind acupuncture.

An example of this is the “branch and root” approach to treatment. In regards to allergies, the branch approach would be to treat the symptoms that are annoying and very disruptive to one's life. This would continue on as needed during the allergy season.

In between allergy seasons, the patient would continue to receive treatments but this time the emphasis would be on strengthening the immune system or the “root”, thus minimizing or eliminating previous symptoms of the past.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the umbrella under which acupuncture is a part of, Chinese herbs are also often used to treat symptoms and strengthen the immune system. In fact, “the most effective way to treat allergies is to use a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

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Acupuncture is More Than Just Getting Poked With Needles!

Anyone who has ever gotten acupuncture done on a regular basis, knows it works, and many swear by it. They will be the first to tell you, do not knock it until you try it. This ancient art and health technique is much more than getting jabbed with hundreds of sharp needles. Scientists now believe it is doing something very important at the cellular level, which tends to explain a lot when it comes to the benefits that patients claim to get out of it. The benefits have been well documented, even if Western Medicine may be skeptical.

This is where the East meets the West, as Western Researchers and Scientists are beginning to see the brilliants of acupuncture. Perhaps, you might like to read up on this a bit. You can easily go to Wikipedia and see all the wonderful health solutions which acupuncture provides, and while you are at it you might go online to the Wall Street Journal and look up a recent article; “How Acupuncture May Work,” by Jeremy Singer-Vine, June 1, 2010.

The common comeback to those who are non-believers in these time-tested and proven means of what Western Medicine refers to as “alternative health cures” is alive and well through the Asian world. Almost, they know something that took Western Medicine until now to prove, to prove exactly how it “might” work. Typically, most Americans are afraid of needles and do not wish to get poked with anything if they can help it, but it just is not that way in Asia.

It is amazing how relaxing it really is, especially with a well-seasoned expert acupuncturist that really knows what they are doing. So, it seems that the advice of “do not knock it until you try it” is more than apropos in this regard. Why not schedule yourself for an appointment, consultation, and then open your horizons. Okay so, are you still chicken or are you ready to try something new?

Here is what you need to do first, rather than psyching yourself out go online an read articles about or articles concerning both Acupuncture and Acupressure. Next, read some of the History of Acupuncture, and familiarize yourself with all of the Acupuncture Pressure Points, believe me you will see how many there are and which points correspond to various parts of the body – it's amazing, and you'll be glad to learn all this.

Next see for yourself the number of professional Clinical Practices in your area. Then study some of the Scientific Research, and believe me more is added every month, it is not just an art, it's a health science too, a serious one. Acupoint Therapy and the benefits of Acupuncture are astounding. And if you are afraid of needles, why not learn about all the safety that goes into it, and yes, there are a few risks too. Please consider all this.

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Electronic Acupuncture – Use it As a Beauty Treatment

The cosmetic industry is a multi-billion dollar one thanks to the many women looking to stave off the aging process. Dark circles, skin breakouts and wrinkles are the top concerns in any beauty treatment. However, with all the lotions, gels and creams on the market these days, it can be tough to decide which ones are going to be the most beneficial. With an alternative treatment like electronic acupuncture although, you do not have those worries.

Typical Beauty Treatment Problems

Dark circles can be caused by several culprits such as allergies or even lack of sleep. They can be tough to resolve and hard to cover up with makeup. Skin breakouts are caused by hormonal reactions as well as insufficient skin cleansing. There is a fine line between treating the breakouts and covering them up to make them less noticeable.

And wrinkles … wrinkles are the bane of most women's existence. These are caused by tension held in the skin and muscles. When held over time, wrinkles becomes permanent. Botox is a popular treatment which helps relax these muscles so the wrinkles “fill in” but unfortunately, it only lasts for a few weeks to a few months. Plus, the Botox shots can be quite painful!

Acupuncture although has shown huge results in slowing or even halting the progress of wrinkles. In fact, this alternative therapy helps with other beauty treatment problems such as dry or oily skin, particularly cases stemming from hormonal issues.

Electronic Acupuncture's Benefits for Beauty

With the traditional ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture, tiny needles are stuck on key areas all over the body called acupoints. The theory is that the body is made of energy pathways and when one of the pathways is blocked, pain or some other malady occurs. The needles applied to the acupoints works to unblock those pathways.

Electronic acupuncture does not use needles. Instead, using a portable device, electromagnetic wave impulses are delivered to key strategic acupoints on the hand and palm by way of a handheld wand. Typically, it is the left hand and palm that is treated since the left side of the body is most susceptible to electromagnetic wave impulses. These electronic acupuncture devices come with an intricate hand and palm map so that you know exactly where to place the wand to deliver this alternative beauty treatment.

The electromagnetic wave impulses delivered to the acupoints triggers the body to produce specific responses. For instance, when applied to those hand and palm areas designating dark eye circles, the electronic acupuncture works to boost blood circulation and therefore oxygenation. For wrinkles, the acupuncture boosts the repair of collagen fibers. For skin dryness or oiliness caused by hormones, you could treat the areas of the hand and palm that correspond to the hormone centers of the body.

As you can see, you do not have to rely on healthy habits and good cosmetic products alone. With electronic acupuncture, you can greatly enhance your beauty treatment regiment. The bonus is that your handheld electronic acupuncture device can also be used for a variety of other maladies and even as a diagnostic tool.

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Can Acupuncture Help With Depression?

The Chinese have a saying that the emotions are the cause of 100 diseases. In the case of depression, they're right on the money. I have worked with many patients who suffer from depression and who have had very real physical ailments as a result. While they differ broadly in their histories, they all have one thing in common: lack of emotional flow.

Chinese medicine is all about flow, whether it's the flow of digestion, blood, energy, or emotions. When that flow is blocked for one reason or another, symptoms arise. We practitioners of Chinese medicine consider that lack of flow a kind of stagnation, much like a dam on a moving river. Behind the dam, water backs up and creates a lake. However, down river, there's only a trickle of water getting past the dam. In your body, stagnation works in much the same way, in which a blockage creates a backup, but can not quite create depletion.

In Chinese medicine, depression is caused by emotions gone wild, including anger, grief, excessive worry, frustration, or anxiety. It's important to note that some people have depression caused by chemical imbalances, traumatic life events, and even medications that they're taking. However, I have found that people I have treated those who suffer from depression experience a large difference between the way they would like their life to be and the way that their life actually is. These strong emotions extremely affect the physical body and can cause symptoms such as poor digestion, insomnia, a lump in the throat, a sensation of heat, aches and pains, and fatigue.

Early on, depression is usually characterized by stagnation. This means that your blockage of emotional energy is stronger during this time and most likely to cause symptoms associated with stagnation. Symptoms include feeling deafent, frequent sighing, feeling full, pain under your ribs, and chest pain. If there is some heat involved, you may also experience irritability, impatience, a dry mouth, thirst, a bitter taste in your mouth, and constipation.

Sometimes the blockage feels like a lump or something stuck in your throat. The Chinese call this Plum Pit Qi and believe that it is the physical manifestation of a situation that is figuratively too difficult to swallow.

Over time, if your depression is unresolved, it will begin to act like the trickle of water below the dam, in that you may cry easily, experience a lack of energy or motivation, poor appetite, restlessness and constant worry. At this point, your depression is zapping your energy.

Treating depression in Chinese medicine can be very effective and involves the use of acupuncture to calm your spirit and to unblock energetic and emotional stagnation. The use of Chinese herbs is extremely helpful for depression, and there are several formulas that can be used based on your particular symptoms.

There are also some things that you can do at home to help alleviate depression, including:

  1. Stay flexible, both literally and figuratively. Some gentle stretching feet good and is relaxing. Emotional flexibility is also critical to overcoming depression. Making friends with your life as it is or making changes to improve your personal situation will help your mental outlook. Also, flexibility in terms of an open mind will arm you through future upsets or disappointments.
  2. Get moving. Again, this is both literal and figurative. Movement, in the form of physical activity, will help improve your mood through the production of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in your brain. Research studies are clear on this: physical activity is an effective way to alleviate depression-in some cases as effective as medicines. Emotional movement in terms of trying something new or a new solution is also a way to rise above your depression.
  3. Get enough sleep. While insomnia may be a component of depression, do everything you can to get a good night's sleep. Lack of sleep will only make you feel worse.
  4. Eat well. Healthy foods that you can easily digest will help combat lethargy and fatigue. Eat a good breakfast to maintain your energy; and eat lost of well-cooked vegetables, fruits, whole grains and a little protein at each meal.
  5. Keep a gratitude journal. Research has shown that just writing down a couple of things each day for which you are thankful can in some instances be as effective as antidepressant medications. Remembering positive things and people in your life helps you will shift your thinking from your glass being half empty to being half full.

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Acupuncture and Infertility – Can an Alternative Therapy Increase the Success of IVF?

Faced with a wide array of alternative treatments for fertility issues, some people may ask about the combination of acupuncture and infertility therapy. The truth is that acupuncture is not generally used as a primary therapy for most fertility problems, though it is commonly used as a secondary, supporting therapy. The underlying physical symptoms of infertility are not easily addressed through the methods provided by acupuncture.

However, acupuncture is considered a powerful and effective complementary treatment for infertility. When acupuncture and IVF (in vitro fertilization) are combined, the two treatments are capable to address two separate elements of health and fertility. IVF includes an entire range of therapies specifically aimed at fertilization and temporary implantation of a viable embryo. IVF therapies are excellent for producing eggs, and ensuring a woman's womb is prepared to accept a fertilized egg. However, they are likely to be counterproductive for the patient's level of comfort, and sense of overall health.

It is in this realm that acupuncture and infertility therapies complement each other. Acupuncture is reported to provide pain relief, and is able to address issues of overall health and well-being. This can help to provide patients with the best level of comfort and relief, and can possibly reduce the impact of the most challenging aspects of IVF. Acupuncture is also used to directly affect levels of egg production, and even more critically, to improve the odds of successful implantation.

Recent studies indicate that acupuncture serves as a positive element in a number of instances, with one study (by Dr Eric Manheimer of the University of Maryland School of Medicine) indicating that the use of acupuncture may increase the success of IVF therapy by as much as 65%.

Additional studies in Europe and the US offer signs that acupuncture treatments given on the day of implantation in IVF therapy can improve the success of implantation. Conversely, alternative studies have found no clear correlation between successful implantation and acupuncture – however, acupuncture has been found to be safe and to do no harm.

One of the areas in which acupuncture is also used focuses on patients suffering from hyper or hypo-thyroid conditions. In this instance the aspects of well-being on a metabolic level appear to be addressed by the alternative treatment. However, even in this instance acupuncture is viewed as a complementary therapy augmenting more traditional medical treatments. While direct intervention in a variety of forms, from surgical to pharmaceutical deal with hormonal imbalances, acupuncture, diet and exercise are utilized to provide optimum natural influence on the metabolism.

Because of the mixed results in tests and studies it can not be stated clearly and categorically that acupuncture and infertility treatments taken in conjuction are substantially better than treatments without acupuncture. However, because of the possible advantages that have been observed in a number of studies, and the fact that acupuncture is both harmless and readily available, it is regularly offered as an additional treatment to conventional infertility therapies. Acupuncture is able to increase the selection of approaches fertility professionals can use to help women achieve desired pregnancies.

By using a variety of therapies doctors anticipate providing the best possible results for patients with fertility issues. When acupuncture is offered as a complement to conventional medical therapies a patient can be assured that an entire range of safe and supportive treatments is being provided. The ultimate outcome is a more relaxed patient with a healthy body and, if at all possible, a healthy child.

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Colds – Echinacea Or Olive Leaf Extract Could Be Working Against You

Chinese medicine categorizes colds according to layers of penetration in the body. Like the famous book “The Art of War” Chinese medicine pictures the body under attack by enemy forces. When a patient sufferers from severe muscle ache and can not get warm, this is seen as the body's defenses fighting the enemy on the perimeter and any herbs would need to be directed to this cause. Someone taking Echinacea or olive leaf extract would have seen to have directed their troops from the boundary to the center and then letting the invader in.

Aches with sweating would need herbs like cinnamon which would regulate the exterior or in a war footing it would be the same as plugging holes in the perimeter defenses. When someone has alternating chills and fever [or feels hot] then the battle is ebbing and flowing so herbs to vent the enemy toward the perimeter are employed. At other times there may be no pain on the exterior but the patient presents with sweating, in this case the defenses are too weak to confront the enemy and the body defenses are marsaled to the center which means the earth element or the digestive capacity is strengthened and regulated to build the “qi” to fight back. In cases like this if one was to use diaphoretics to disperse the exterior this would be the same as to send troops to the exterior when they are insufficient to hold the line.

It is said that we change seasons on the strength of the stomach and spleen and during weather changes the exterior of the body is obstructed which leads to bloating on the inside if the “qi” of the stomach is not strong and here we would use herb or acupuncture to strengthen the stomach and spleen, move the interior so as to thrust the surface invader outward.

Who are the enemy? Well in Chinese medicine this includes all the weather elements: wind, damp, dry, heat and fire. Coming into winter we have had wind, cold and damp caused colds but then we need to see at what stage of penetration that they are at each individual. After a cold of a few days people can start to feel hot inside and this is seen as a consequent heating up of the cold influence due to stagnation internally.

How effective Chinese medicine will be determined by ascertaining correctly the above stages and effects.

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Explaining Acupuncture Without Jargon

Jargon seems like a dirty word. In reality, jargon is merely the language that a specialized profession uses to discuss their profession. For an acupuncturist, qi is jargon. Unfortunately, too many acupuncturists attempt to train their patients and potential patients to learn their jargon.

It can be easy for acupuncturists to think that there is no other way to communicate about their medicine. This is not wrong. What is wrong is thinking that patients and potential patients need the same level of information as another practitioner. Doctors tend to talk down to patients. They use the most familiar and simple language rather than teaching them terms that they know as doctors. This can irritate patients who have a higher level of understanding. However, it is an excellent way to teach those who do not have great familiarity with the terminology.

If there is anything an acupuncturist needs to learn and understand it is how to communicate to patients without using jargon. Many practitioners just substitute the word energy for qi and go from there. Unfortunately, this too can put patients off. Using terms like energy still requires that patients walk into the world and paradigm of the acupuncturist. Many of them are not yet ready to do that.

It is important to find words that describe what acupuncture does in a way the patient can understand. They understand that they have a symptom. They understand that the acupuncturist is claiming to be able to help them. They do not understand how placing needles in the body will help them.

Rather than trying to teach the patient theory, acupuncturists need to reassure them that it does work. When patients ask how it works, talking about the fact that Western allopathic medicine and science does not really have a way to know how it works but many studies show that it does work. To explain how it works may require learning more about a completely different cultural medical paradigm. Most patients are just happy to know that acupuncture is scientifically proven. If they want to know more, remind the patient that Western science may not know, but we did not always know about germs either. It took sophisticated equipment to find them in the body and learn what they did.

Patients are typically looking for someone who can communicate on their level. They want to know that they are spending money on something that will work. They want to trust their acupuncturist. The best way to build trust is to communicate. The acupuncturist who wants to build their practice needs to learn to communicate in the language of their patients and not in the language of the medicine.

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