How Does Acupuncture Work For Pain Relief?

This article explains how acupuncture works for relieving pain. Two different views are offered, the “Chinese” theory and the “Western” physiological idea.

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Are You Blocking Your Own Healing?

Last article we were talking about fear. We talked about the importance of recognizing fear as being a part of who we are and sometimes a part that needs acknowledgment, encouragement, mothering, love, and acceptance. We spoke about how our fears want us to stay small, be isolated, be unseen. Unfortunately, this goes against our soul's purpose and can really stagnate our lives and get us away from that which nourishes us, fosters our creative expression, joins love into our lives and makes us embrace life with all of its ups and downs. I think yet another aspect of this fearful part of us that needs to be acknowledged is that fear can have a tenacious root that does not want us to be free from it. In fact, there is a part of some illness that desperately desires that we stay stuck, sick, small, alone, broken, alienated and stagnant. There is a part of us that would rather have the familiarity of dysfunction than the unknown reality and responsibility of the new. Do you recognize yourself in this description? I do.

Many of you know that I am a Christian and study how Christ healed people for instruction in my own work. Sometimes people were cured of physical maladies that had plagued them for decades, I love it! This week in our study we looked at the Gospel of John when Jesus healed the crippled man by the pool that was said to be a superstitious fountain of healing. Jesus healed the man instantly, telling him to take up his mat and walk. But before he did this, he asked him if he wanted it. “Would you like to get well?” he asked.

Would I like to get well? Well, yes! Yes I would! Of course I would, I mean we are in the middle of a wellness revolution here in America, are not we? Illness is the new enemy. All the websites and Facebook pages are plastered with images of women and men who are free of spirit, physically strong, healed of the past, thin, muscular and beautiful, fulfilled, self realized, healthily married, rearing confident and inspiring children – children who never waver in self – confidence, never feel jealousy, are active in their communities, connected and never lonely!

Of course I want that YES YES YES!

But in the story, clearly this crippled beggar, who had suffered this condition for 38 years, unable to make a living, build a family, build wealth, take care of himself physically, even restored from religious circles of the day because of his illness . How much more than us did He wants to be healed and yet, before Jesus healed him body, mind and soul, and he has a chance at life, at being able to experience even the slightest human activities that we take for granted but of which he was deprived for almost four decades, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

I had to ask myself, why did he ask this question? And so I asked myself the same question about the power of fear in my life: Are these fears that are plaguing me, holding me back from moving forward, do they represent the part of me that does not want to be made well? The part of me that wants to stay small is the part of me that would rather choose the pain of fear, to the unknown mountain of uncertainty that is sure to befall me if I choose to step out and get big, get seen, get noticed , get well. Did that beggar really want the responsibility that having a strong back and legs to carry himself ties? Jesus was asking him, if I heal you, you will have to live this life, do you really want that?

We all have a way of relating to the world that may be dysfunctional or deeply rooted in fear of the unknown, fear of engagement, fear of responsibility. Part of stepping out of that mindset that may be making you sick is to ask yourself the question, “Do I want to heal?” And the answer may be no, but just realizing that this is happening for you will get you to the next level of healing these deeply rooted fears that are holding you back from blossoming into the opportunities life has for you. Deep life that is abundant and full of joy.

As an acupuncturist, I have always been burdened by my patients that do not get well. So much so that I am about to reveal a new Program of Healing that is designed to shed light on these tenacious roots that hold us back from moving forward in our lives and in our health.

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Tips for Eating for Fertility – A TCM Approach

If you're trying to get pregnant, you might not think that what you're eating is all that important. It's just a sperm meeting an egg, right? What does that have to do with diet? Well, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your diet has a lot to do with your fertility.

In TCM, it is your Kidneys (capitalized to differentiate from the scientific definition) that govern your ability to conceive, as they contain your Essence. Your Essence is made up of two parts, one the Congenital with which you're born and have only a set amount, and secondly Your Acquired Essence, which you can nurture through life with exercise, diet, a healthy lifestyle, and (of course ) TCM.

Because your Acquired Essence is nourished in large part through your diet, your Spleen must be strong and healthy. Your Spleen is responsible for taking the food you eat, the air you breathe and the fluids you drink and transforming them into Qi (energy), Blood, Body Fluids, and Acquired Essence. When your Spleen is in good health, your Acquired Essence is in good supply and you are more fertile. Here are some tips on eating well to keep your Spleen healthy and your Acquired Essence in good supply:

1. Avoid Cold Foods. Because your Spleen likes warmth and slows down with cold, it's best to avoid cold foods when you're trying to conceive. Some cold foods are obvious, eg ice cream or cold drinks, but cold foods in TCM also include raw foods – even raw fruits and vegetables. Best solution? Try to cook your food while trying to get pregnant, even a little steaming if that's all you can manage. Next best idea? Drink a hot drink like green tea or boiled water to warm up your spleen before eating that raw salad.

2. Avoid White Foods. So-called 'white foods' include foods that have been processed and often bleached of their color, plus any dairy-containing foods. These types of food are very Yin in nature and create Dampness in the body, causing causing harm to your spleen, which is particularly susceptible to damage from Dampness – one of the 'pernicious influences' in TCM. So avoid grains unless you can be sure that they're whole grains, and avoid dairy, even in yogurt. If dairy is really that important to you, however, some cottage cheese is acceptable in moderation since it does not seem to generate Dampness as much as other dairy products.

3. Avoid Sweets. The flavor associated with the spleen is sweetness, and so too much sugar can damage your spleen and make conception more difficult. Some fruit (although cold in nature) is acceptable, but cooked is better. Try steaming or baking some apples and eating them with a little honey – this can be very satisfying to a sweet tooth and can also be quite nourishing.

4. Eat Clean. This includes avoiding leftovers whenever possible because food that's been stored (even in the refrigerator) loses nutrients and Qi. This point also includes trying to eat organic and additive-, antibiotic- and hormone-free foods whenever possible, for the same reason that food that's been sprayed with pesticides or animals that have been raised unnaturally will have less nutrients and less Qi. The subject of eating clean could also point to how your food is cooked: cooking with gas energy is supposedly to be the best, while electricity is next, and microwaving your food should be avoided whenever possible.

5. Eat More Broccoli. In fact all cruciferous vegetables help strengthen your Spleen and Kidneys, and are also good at helping to promote the efficient use of estrogen in the body. This factor can help reduce your risk of cancer as well.

6. Drink More Water. Preferably boiled water that you drink at room temperature, water is the element associated with the Kidneys and so can be linked to increasing your chances of conception. And while you're drinking more water in this fashion, try to eliminate caffeinated drinks as they can be too Yang in nature, and this potentially throw off the balance you're trying to achieve by nourishing your Kidneys. Also limit your alcohol too, as it is Damp and Hot in nature and can be harmful to your Spleen.

7. Seek Balance. On the subject of Yin and Yang, try not to have too much or too little of anything – get enough rest, do not work too much, exercise enough but do not overdo it, and try to not take too many supplements, vitamins or medication where possible. Obviously only limit your medication intake according to your doctor's instructions, but if they say you do not really need what you're taking, then try to cut down.

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Explore Acupuncture for Migraines

A Migraine is a common health problem that affects more often, women than men. Because of the nature of migraines as being intermittent, they have a significant impact on a patient's professional and social life.

My client was suffering from migraines for four months, having heads at least three times per week. Those heads were accompanied by nausea, vomiting and laately it was causing her to feel depressed. The patient's sister called me to try to arrange an emergency appointment for her. I asked her why she needed an emergency appointment. She said that she had a horrible headache and she was vomiting. I asked her if she was recently evaluated by an MD. She said yes and her diagnosis was a migraine. We scheduled an immediate appointment. When they arrived she explained that the heads started during preparation for acceptance into law school, and they just got worse after she was denied acceptance. She was put on several medications by her MD, and they were working only for a short period of time. She also said that she was missing a lot of time on her job, and that she was worried about her potential for promotion.

I explained to her the concept of acupuncture and how it is performed. I then explained about her specific and unique treatment protocol that was created only for her condition. As she lay on the treatment table with a plastic bag (for vomiting) next to her and a pain level of 9 out of 10, I started to treat her. Her sister, who was finishing up her year in medical school started to ask me how one changes a point if you do not have lab work or an MRI.

I clearly explained the basic principles of acupuncture, making sure that she understood diagnostic procedures in acupuncture. I also reminded her about the fact that acupuncture has been practiced for more than 3000 years.

About 15 minutes later she came out of the room and said that her sister was sleeping. She had not been sleeping well with a migraine but now she was asleep. I explained that her body was re-balancing and recuperating and needs energy. That is why she was sleeping.

About 30 more minutes later I went back in the room to take her needles out. I asked her about the status of her pain and nausea. She said that she had no more pain and nausea. She also said that she felt that she needed sleep.

I advised her to sleep as long as she needed, and try to increase her water intake.

That was more than a year ago, she had three more treatments and she never got nauseous or vomiting from her migraines after her treatments. Her migraine is manageable and she regained control over her life again. Last time I saw her sister she said, “I still do not understand what you did but it is working.” I responded that she does not have to understand, accept that there is an alternative solution for any health problem. Acupuncture is that alternative solution for many health problems.

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Curing A Hangover With Acupuncture

It's a common sentiment when hungover to want to never feel like that again – and why would you want to repeat that? Feeling nauseous, fatigued, dizzy, thirsty – possibly vomiting and suffering a monstrous headache – that's enough of a collection of symptoms to make anyone promise the world to be rid of. And knowing your limits helps when drinking, but sometimes you just can not expect to be hungover. And then there you are! This article will explain how acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help aid you in your distress, and even treat you of your hangover woes.

In TCM, alcohol is Damp and Hot in nature (note that some words here will be capitalized to differentiate them from their scientifically-defined counterparts). Damp-Heat has a comprehensive effect on our bodies: the Dampness slows things down and makes parts of your body feel heavy and congested, while the Heat consumes your energy and fluids. Together they create painful blockage and disrupt the natural flow of energy in your body. In small amounts, alcohol can be tolerated because your body can withstand and recover from the toxic characteristics, but in larger quantities alcohol can have a disastrous systemic effect.

When you drink alcohol, it enters your Stomach and is digested by your Spleen and Stomach organ systems. Thus the nutrients that can be derived from it are processed, and the remaining elements excreted as waste. But because of the volatile Damp-Hot nature of booze, when you drink too much of it your ability to process the corruption becomes corrupt. When this happens, the Damp-Heat persists, and a few things can happen:

1. Blockage occurs in your Stomach, interrupting the flow of energy which is naturally downwards in the front of your body. The blockage can cause the energy to want to rise instead, making you feel nauseous, hiccup, or even cause you to vomit.

2. Because Heat likes to rise and Dampness likes to sink, one can drag the other along with it in the direction it likes to go. For example, Heat can bring Dampness upwards, giving you a dull, throbbing headache that makes your head seem so heavy it feels like it might even fall off! Or the other way around, Dampness can drag heat downwards, giving you diarrhea or at least an unpleasant stool that leaves behind an uncomfortable burning sensation.

3. The damage to your spleen, which in TCM transforms nutrients into usable energy and body fluids, can leave you feeling extremely fatigued because you have not been able to make the required energy.

4. The Heat dries up your body fluids leaving you feeling very thirsty.

5. The Dampness rising with the Heat can cause you to feel dizzy, and even irritable and cranky.

How exactly does acupuncture and TCM help? Well, as with anything in Chinese medicine, it is the right combination of points on your body and the right herbs chosen by a proper pulse diagnosis that determine how to best treat you. Thus getting treated by a Registered TCM Practitioner is the best way to ensure you'll be receiving the right course of treatment. With that said, there are some stock points and herbs that along with the right basic treatment can help tremendously. Note that you'll probably still want a nap after treatment since, like all holistic medicines, TCM helps your body heal itself.

One commonly used pair of points that help with blockage in your abdomen is PC6 and SP4, which are often used together. PC6 is a very calming point that encourages a smoother flow of energy in your body, while SP4 is a Spleen point that helps relieve your body of Dampness and strengthens your Spleen's ability to perform its basic functions. PC6 is two thumb-widths from the crease formed by your wrist, on the palm side of your forearm. SP4 is on the inner arch of your foot just below the proximal end of your first metatarsal bone.

Another commonly used pair of points with hangovers is LI4 and LR3. LI4 is a Large Intestine point on your hand between your thumb and index finger. The Large Intestine meridian runs from the tip of your index finger into your head, where it connects with the Stomach meridian, and is a powerful point for opening up the channels in your body. So it can help with headaches, and potentially also some digestive discomfort you may be feeling. LR3, on the top of your foot between the first and second metatarsal bones, also can open up the channels in your body (together LI4 and LR3 are called “The Four Gates”). This Liver point helps soothe the flow of energy through your body, and can also help resolve Damp-Heat.

In terms of herbs, some commonly used formulas for hangovers include Ge Hua Jie Cheng San and Lian Po Yin. The first contains herbs such as kudzu, ginseng and tangerine peel, which together help remove blockage from your digestive system, relieve headaches, and boost your energy. Lian Po Yin more directly resolves Damp-Heat from your system with herbs such as coptis rhizome, magnolia bark, and acorus.

Once again it's good advice to seek the proper diagnosis of a TCM practitioner, as taking the wrong herbs or using the wrong acupuncture points for your own personal pattern could lead to you feeling even worse. And when you're hungover, that's not an option!

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Common Conditions, Common Formulas

The largest category of formulas that I carry by far are the tons, formulas that replenish, build, and strengthen, This actually comes as no surprise for three reasons. First, tonics represent one of the most unique and important concepts of Chinese medicine: that the tissues and internal organs can be healed on a very deep level, that something that is out of balance can actually be corrected. Second, because chronic conditions are usually characterized by a weakness or under functioning of a system, tonics are excellent at reversing their progress. Many people choose Chinese medicine specifically for this very reason, because they would rather improve their overall health than indefinitely manage symptoms. Third, tonics are very effective when used preventively, helping your body function optimally, slowing the aging process and making you more resilient to stress and disease. These are the true longevity formulas of ancient Chinese medicine.

Another popular category are formulas that release the exterior. These formulas help us eliminate what is referred to in Chinese medicine as “external pathogens,” ie air born irritants like allergens and viruses. Their chief action is to induce a sweat, helping your body release the pathogens out to the exterior. These formulas have many other actions, like clearing heat to reduce fevers and inflated throats, and transforming phlegm, helping your body process out congestion. If taken at the first sign of an infection, before the pathogen has had time to burrow into deeper tissues, these formulas can even be effective at decreasing the length and severity of colds. Additionally, there are formulas in this category that you can take when you are exposed to someone who is sick that will help prevent you from catching what they have. I always take some of these when I treat a patient who is contagious.

There are two other categories of note: harmonizing formulas and those that calm the shen. Harmonizing formulas often treat the liver. In Chinese medicine, since the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of chi all over the body, when it is out of balance it can easily throw other systems out of balance. For example, because the liver plays such an important role in digestion, when it is out of balance it can cause symptoms like bloating and indigestion. Calm shen formulas, on the other hand, help calm the mind and the emotions. They are especially effective for anxiety but can help with other emotional states like stress and worry. Because they are so calming, these formulas are even useful for treating certain types of insomnia, helping people relax better so they can fall sleep more easily and sleep deeply through the night.

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The Heart, The Emperor of the Internal Organs

In Chinese medicine the heart is considered to be the most important of all the internal organs, and is often referred to as the “emperor.” Its primary functions are to govern blood and house the shen. Like many other Chinese concepts, there is no exact English equivalent for the word shen. It encompasses many different ideas, including consciousness, thought, intellect, insight, and cognition, as well as the emotions and the soul. This reflects one of the fundamental ideas of Chinese medicine, that our physical body and spirit are one, that they are inseparable. In fact, every internal organ has a representative non-material function. Because the heart homes consciousness, however, it is the emperor.

The heart channel is one of the shorter channels and has only 9 acupuncture points on it. It originates in the heart itself and travels down the inside of the arm to the tip of the pinky finger (why heart conditions are sometimes felt in the arm). Some of the more obvious conditions that this channel treats include chest pain, palpitations, and irregular heartbeats. Since the heart houses the emotions (not the brain!), This channel is very important for calming the shen, treating anxiety and panic attacks, and helping people relax more easily so that they can fall sleep faster and sleep more soundly through the night.

The acupuncture channels are more like a large connected web, with primary pathways and secondary branches. For example, one branch of the heart channel ascends to the root of the tongue while another goes up the neck, crosses the cheek, and connects with the tissues surrounding the eye. Because the heart belongs to the fire element, this makes it an ideal channel to needle when there are signs of heat (pain, redness, inflammation, infection) in these areas like tongue ulcers, sore throats, or irritated eyes.

One of the most important ways to keep your heart healthy is to eat nutritious foods. More than any other internal organ, it is your heart that requires adequate supplies of nourishing blood to do its job. Since food is one of the most important building blocks of blood (the other being air), eating well and eating enough is absolutely essential for heart health. Some of the best foods for building blood include red meat and beets, which are both high in iron, and leafy greens, which are high in chlorophyll, a molecule that is almost identical to hemoglobin and easily converted into it.

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How To Treat Vertigo and Dizziness Naturally Through Acupuncture

Vertigo and dizziness affect approximately twenty five (25%) percent of the general population, with the major being older women, it can be extremely debilitating in one's life. In modern medicine there are a few different types of vertigo and dizziness, but there are three main types. The first one being objective vertigo which consist of the patient having the sensation that the environment is moving. This is generally the most common kind, and can be treated reliably easily if the condition has not progressed to a very heightened state. The second type of vertigo and dizziness is subjective vertigo which consist of the patient feeling as if he or she is moving. This type of vertigo is also common and its treatment is slightly more difficult. Lastly, the third type is the pseudo-vertigo which is a sensation of rotation inside the patient's head. Treating this type of vertigo can be tougher than other types but definitely doable. With vertigo there are many different types of treatment. One main type of treatment that works very well is acupuncture. It has been shown through years of research that acupuncture can treat the three different types of vertigo listed above very well. Having acupuncture regularly by an experienced acupuncturist can improve ones vertigo or dizziness by a large amount.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, vertigo and dizziness are due to a deficiency in the body. There are different etiological factors that can cause this condition, so during your first acupuncture session your acupuncturist will assess where the deficiency is coming from. For example, Emotional depression or anger can damage certain parts of the body and result in a certain imbalance in the body causing vertigo and dizziness. This ailment is what acupuncturist call the rise of liver yang or wind. Extended illness, stress, anxiety, or weak heart and spleen can cause deficiency of energy and blood to the brain which can also cause certain types of vertigo and dizziness. Too much sexual activity, extended illness, or aging can lead to deficiency of kidney activity which can also cause vertigo. Basically all cases will involve complex eastern medical diagnosis which we label as wind, fire, phlegm, or deficiency.

I examine my patient thoroughly (the patient's pulse, tongue and his body for signs of disharmony) and then carefully decide where the acupuncture points need to be inserted depending on the diagnosis. Many points will be on the scalp and around the ears but they will also be on the body. There are points for liver wind, local points around the ear to restore circulation of Qi for nausea, vomiting, phlegm and dampness, and for kidney yin deficiency. Once the treatment is done, I give the patient a Chinese herbal formula that is most effective for vertigo and dizziness.

A good portion of my patients who visit me for vertigo or dizziness problem have experienced their symptom decrease by a noticeable amount after a few acupuncture treatments. Patients usually tend to leave the office calmer with less dizziness or any signs of vertigo. Acupuncture treatments that are geared towards treating vertigo and dizziness by an acupuncturist have certain guidelines that unduly need to be followed by the patient. Patients receiving treatments for vertigo usually have to receive consistent treatment for 6 to 10 weeks depending on the severity of their condition. Treatments must be connected two to three times per week, again depending on the severity of the patients condition.

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Explore Acupuncture to Reduce Facial Paralysis

A college of mine called, asking a favor: would I consult on his patient who suffers from allergies with congestion, watery eyes, and red and itchy skin? As soon as I entered the room, I noticed paralysis of left side on her face. Her left eye was almost closed, there was no expression on left side even that she was smiling, her corner of lip was asymmetric to right side and her fascia on the neck was much bigger on the left side. I asked, “What has happened to your face?” She said, “It is an old injury from a stroke. My ear is always ringing and the fascia on left side of my neck is enlarged.” My evaluation confirmed my suspicion of facial paralysis. She could not close her left eye and deviation of the mouth was severe. She further explained that she has tears when she eats and does not have any feelings in the right side of her face.

I asked if I could treat her paralysis along with her allergy treatments. She told me yes, but I do not expect any results because I have tried everything under the sun (including acupuncture) for the last 13 years.

I started an interview and exam, while she was talking about her problems and impact of the facial paralysis on her life, especially social life. (She had the stroke at age of 28). I explained what I was going to do including details about acupuncture, meridians, and qi. She lay on the table and listened to my monolog about acupuncture without any questions.

I began to needle her face, and as I put my last needle in, she screamed like I was using a knife. I looked at her and said, “I felt an electric sensation run through my complete face, this is the first time since I had the stroke that I have felt something.” I gently touched her hand and told her to relax and let her body receive the treatment. She continued to come to me for several more treatments with the following results. The paralysis is almost invisible, the ringing in her is ear is gone and she no longer tears when she eats. She has healthy glow on her face, and since she works as customer representative she often hears the question: “What is new in your life that makes you look so good and happy?” Her answer is always “Acupuncture.”

Recently when she came for her now regular maintenance treatment, she started to talk about her previous experience with acupuncture and the lack of results. She told me she had given up, and it was only because her doctor convinced her to try acupuncture again that she did. I told her “never blow acupuncture, blame acupuncturist.”

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Is Acupuncture For You? Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture

… What is it?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, it “is a component of the health care system of China that can be traced back for at least 2000 years”. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the promise that there are patterns of energy flow through the body that are essential for health.

In Chinese medicine this life energy is known as qi (pronounced chee) and flows through invisible channels known as meridians. Illness can cause an imbalance in qi, and an out of balance qi can cause pain or illness. The acupuncturist is able to influence health and sickness by stimulating certain areas along these meridians to restore the flow of qi.

Most people think of acupuncture and picture thin needles. But there are several different methods that can be used to stimulate the more than 300 acupuncture points that lie along the meridians. Heat, herbs, magnets, pressure, lasers and even bee stains or any combination may be used.

… Does it work?

Depending on what condition you are trying to treat, acupuncture just might be effective for you. A number of controlled trials have been conducted during the past several decades that suggest acupuncture is effective for the treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis. Reports of at least seven published clinical trials have reported that acupuncture is effective in treating fibromyalgia pain. However, studies have yet to prove acupuncture has a positive effect on rheumatoid arthritis.

… Is it safe?

It is an invasive medical procedure and the risks of bleeding and infection are always present, however if a qualified practitioner does it correctly, problems are very rare. The NIH Consensus Panel on Acupuncture states that the occurrence of adverse events in the practice of acupuncture has been documented to be extremely low.

… On a personal note.

My wife has used acupuncture twice now. It has been extremely effective for her problems. She used it to treat an undiagnosable skin rash and high blood pressure problems. It did require a series of treatments but she felt it was well worth her while. There was no pain involved in her treatments. She actually found them very relaxing. There are now a large number of community acupuncture clinics that have been established throughout the US. They operate on a sliding scale for cost. When multiple treatments are required this is extremely helpful … especially in these difficult economic times.

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Acupuncture And Weight Loss – Does It Work?

Does acupuncture really help weight loss? The answer is Yes! However, lets take a step back and look at some details. Americans spend over 33 billion dollars every year on weight-loss programs. Unfortunately, 95 percent fail in their attempt to lose the weight they need to maintain good health. The good news is that based on researchers from Korea, acupuncture in fact can help individuals loose weight. Researchers claim in a study published in the BMJ journal Acupuncture in Medicine that “Ear” acupuncture treatment can help people lose while being affordable

It is known that the ancient practice of acupuncture helps to heal a host of ailments. Even today's practitioners of Western medicine embrace this ancient practice to subdue chronic pain, postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, and weight loss. Acupuncture can restore balance to ones body by increasing blood circulation, decreasing any inflammatory responses or inflammation and much more. Acupuncture from an eastern perspective can increase to the flow of energy along rivers of Qi (pronounced chee), or life force through fine, thin needles that are barely inserted into the skin along strategic points on the human's body.

To be more specific about weight loss, we need to focus on the brain. Our brain has a regulating center called the hypothalamus which regulates thirst and hunger along many other things. Weight gain could be the result of disturbed energy flow to and from the regulating center of the brain. As a result, different acupuncture methods can be used for weight control by tuning the disturbed energy flow and helping the body run like a finely tuned machine. Interestingly enough, acupuncture has the ability to influence obesity hormones by boosting metabolism, curbing appetite, improving digestion, decreasing cravings, regulating obesity related hormones and enhancing the way nutrients are used. Acupuncture also strengthens the function of the liver, the organ that produces many chemicals critical for digestion, processing nutrients and breaking down of fats. Finally, Acupuncture may also increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach to help people realize that they are full and stop eating. Furthermore, Skilled acupuncture practitioners or acupuncturists will zero in on specific body areas to effect weight loss. Beside the liver, other areas such as endocrine system and kidneys, which are addressed to treat water retention and to stimulate nerve and hormonal rebalance can be tapped into through acupuncture to help weight loss.

Acupuncture + Your Ear = Weight loss:

As mentioned earlier, in order to pinpoint the Qi or stimulant certain areas on the ear for effective weight control, acupuncturists take aim at four to five acupuncture points on the ear (results will be better if a practicer stimulated five points instead of just one or two). These points include: the hunger point, Shen Men point, stomach point, and endocrine point. A few tiny sterilized needles are inserted along these invisible channels to decrease the “heat” generated along these meridians and to stimulate centers that trigger the release of neuron-chemicals and hormones. Sometimes the needles are covered with tape so that they can be left in place for a few days. Patients usually later remove them at home or have them removed during follow up visits to the acupuncturist.

It is important to note that ear acupuncture must be administrated by a qualified acupuncturist (please visit our site for more information). For the best results, these treatments should be combined with a reduced calorie diet and appropriate physical exercise. The critical point to be made here is that acupuncture should be viewed as a support system not a sole modality. Lastly, It is best to always seek the advice of your family doctor before beginning any acupuncture treatments for weight loss.

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Acupuncture Treatment For Constipation

Digestive disorders are increasing among all ages due to poor eating habits and food lacking in nutritional value. Children are consuming processed and fast food at a higher rate than ever before. As a result digestive disorders are becoming very common among children and young adults. I had a phone call from my dear friend who asked me; “Can you try to help my daughter who has a problem with constipation? She has been suffering from that since she was born and I've tried many things to help her. She cheers that her stomach hurts and is cramping. ”

As any 9 year old child I may see, she was scared and anxious about needles. Fortunately, her trust in me was greater than her fear of needles. I explained to her and her mom what I would be doing and what results they should expect.

She agreed on the recommended treatment so I started treatment by showing the little girl the needles explaining that they are a single use sterile medical instrument. She carefully looked at and gently touched the needles then thought for a few minutes. She then laid down on the table and closed her eyes. She told me she was ready to handle the pain bravely. I began placing the needles in her belly and legs and she opened her eyes and said, “Mommy, this feels like a mosquito bite but its not itching.”

I finished the application of needles, turned off the light and left the room with her mom at her side. After 10 minutes her mom came out saying that she is sleeping. When I removed the needles 40 minutes later, she was relaxed and sleepy. I taught her mom to incorporate probiotics in her diet along with fiber. They left happy and indicated to me they had a good experience. About three hours later I received a text message saying that she had bowel movement without pain or discomfort. She had six more treatments in following weeks, with great results. That was over a year ago, and she still has regular bowel movements daily without any discomfort. She is so happy with her results that she tells me she loves acupuncture treatments and will say things to me such as, my head hurts today, should I have an acupuncture treatment?

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Courage: The Flip Side of Fear

In Chinese medicine, winter is a time of introspection and analysis of one's deepest inner resources. Traditionally, it was the period of the year when people worked less and there was a lot more time to be quiet in order to conserve energy and survive. Along with this abundance of time came the inevitable opportunity to reflect on one's life and take stock of what has been. During this time, seeds of change are planed in the deepest reserves of a person's being. Only when we reflect on the past can we ascertain what needs to be changed in order to move forward into the springtime with our plans for the coming year. But how can we move forward with our plans for the future when we have not figured out what it is that we want to create this year?

Most people have an answer when you ask them, “What do you want?” For example, some people might say, “I want a family” or “I want to make more money” or “I want to get fit” or “I want to write a novel.” These are wonderful things that many of us refer to. I mean who does not want to get fit and make more money? But what people do not realize is that the patterns we have developed as a means of surviving are getting in the way of us actually achieving these goals. Seriously, who is standing in the way of us accomplishing these things except for ourselves, our habits and our fears? But what separates people who are simply paying lip service to their goals and people who take measured and consistent action towards them is the difference between people who actually deal with their fear and people who let their fear deal with them.

The emotion for winter is fear. We all have fear !! Everyone and ESPECIALLY people who create big things. Which is so funny because you think of people who are hugely successful as being fearless but it is just not true. The bigger and more visible you are, the more and more fear you confront.

My experience of winter is that it is a time to really confront fear so we can figure out what is preventing us from taking the measured and consistent action necessary to achieve our goals for the year. Most of the fear we experience is hidden within the realms of the subconscious mind. So underlining our everyday activities there is a voice of sabotage that says things like this to us:

“You better not do that, you're going to fail” or “People are going to judge you for that one!” or “How can you dare to do that, you're not good enough or you do not have the money or you're not able to deliver the goods!”

The list really goes on and on and on. We all have our own personal version of what voice is saying to us.

The first step to overcoming fear is to actually acknowledge this voice. Like a child that is screaming for attention, if you ignore the screaming, it will get louder. Unacknowledged fear gets louder and louder and manifests in deeper and stronger ways. Some people get physical symptoms of the fear, like anxiety or unrelenting chronic pain. Others will manifest fear as confusion in the mind, cloudy or unfocused thinking, procrastination and unproductiveness. Still others will bury their fear so deep that it makes itself hear through deeply subconscious self-sabotage techniques like missing important meetings or periods of mental black out.

The second step in alleviating fear's grip is to thank the fears for their role because they do have a role, you know! The role of fear is to keep us safe. It is a protection mechanism created by the subconscious mind which sole purpose is to ensure our survival. So for many of us, survival is to stay small, to not be noticed, to NOT actually create what we are meant to create in this world, including a family, career or project. So after we can connect to the voice of our fear and allow it to come out of hiding, we need to thank it for its role in the very important job of keeping us safe.

The third step is to insure those fears that staying small is not okay with us. Staying isolated and alone is not the definition of “survival” and that we can move toward our goals without sacrificing our safety. Of course we can. And it is our responsibility to do just that. This is a process that takes time. Imagine trying to love a dog that has been abused. The dog is not going to trust us immediately, but after some time with consistent assurance, the dog will begin to trust us. The fears will begin to hold less power over you and your ability to create your dreams.

Take it from me. I recently ran into this type of paralysis fear situation. I had just gotten back from a business seminar in which I am planning and creating huge expansion in 2014 and as many of you know I am getting married in June. I was so jazzed up and ready to move forward, all the while completely ignoring my own little nagging voice that was saying, “You can not do this! You will fail!” On Thursday I was getting ready for work when I bent over and could not get back up. My fear had completely taken over in the form of a back spasm. I had to cancel all of my patients! A first for me. BUT, I knew what was happening and I spent the next couple of days meditating on this voice of fear, letting it come up, hearing it, thanking it and telling it that I did not need that much protection! That and some help from my acupuncturist and my chirpractor, I was back on the track to consistent action on my growth in business.

If this is you and you just know that fear is holding you back, please either reach out to me through email right now and I'd love to connect with you about how I can help you move through fear. Winter is such a great time to conceive of goals for the year. Soon it will be spring and it will be time to start planting some seeds so let's get clear on how fear is holding you back.

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Acupuncture Treatment: A Pin for Pain!

Did you encounter a stress issue, migraine or any physical problem again? Most likely you would go for medication to get rid of it. Hardly will you think to go to a doctor who will insert needles in your skin! You might wonder what kind of treatment is this to weed out such problems through needles. Well the treatment is called Acupuncture!

Acupuncture treatment is a viable option for pain relief and it is increasingly getting chosen by the people. Acupuncture treatment involves insertion of needles to stimulate acupuncture points on the body which helps the body to heal and to improve functioning itself. Stimulating these specific points corrects imbalances in the flow of energy through channels, known as meridians.

Acupuncture treatment is an individualized phenomenon. It differs from person to person. Most of the patients either feel minimal or no pain during needle insertion. Once the needles are placed in the specific parts of the body, it leads to no pain. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin and typically made of stainless steel, so the risk of rusting & breaking of needles is very less. Moreover the chances of bruising and skin irritations are minimal. Sterilized needles are used so the chances of infection are also the least.

Acupuncture treatment involves the mechanism in which acupuncture needles remove the obstruction and again restore the regular energy flow through the meridians. Acupuncture tries to settle the flow of energy via using needles, based on which part of the body is facing problem. Inserting needle in the right location create an effect on the flow of the energy of the body.

Acupuncture is a pain control treatment effective in various body pains which is essentially due to stress in the muscular system of the body.

Muscular strain : Acupuncture mechanism is helpful in slowing down the tension produced in the muscles which results in muscular pain such as frozen shoulder, back pain, knee pain and arthritis.

Acupuncture Treatment is often related to pain control, but it can serve a much wider application as well.

Medical problems : Acupuncture treatment is beneficial in healing many physical disorders such as digestive disorders, respiratory disorders, neurological disorders and muscular disorders.

Effective for female related issues : Acupuncture can be an advantageous treatment for women suffering from urinary disease, menstrual cramps or reproductive problems, also reported to be beneficial to prevent miscarriages as well.

Stress buster : Acupuncture treatment stimulates the central nervous system, helps to bust out physical problems related to stress, anxiety and emotional conditions. People with headaches, migraines may find this treatment effective and energetic.

Equilibrium setter : Acupuncture treatment sets a balance in the body by triggering the release of hormones which influence body's own internal regulating system.

Immune system booster : Acupuncture is an effective tool for boosting the immune system of the body to fight against the diseases. Acupuncture is a treatment which heals naturally and it helps the body in many ways with no side effects.

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Acupuncture and Sleep

People ask me frequently if acupuncture can help with their sleeping issues and insomnia. I always respond with some hesitation. It's not because I am unsure that the acupuncture will help, but because it seems as though people have a hard time believing it will. It is completely understandable why people would be having a hard time believe it. I mean how could poking someone with needles improve their sleep !?

Well, as a Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist who has been practicing for sometime now, the effects of acupuncture on sleeping patterns still manages to astonish me. For example, I had a 44 year old patient come in a few weeks ago with the main complaint of insomnia. She explained that ever since her mid twenties she has not been able to sleep well, and the issue progressively has gotten worse. She has been referring to red wine and sleep medication when the issue gets intolerable, but explained that she was tired of living that kind of lifestyle.

That day we began her treatment, twice a week with acupuncture and an herbal formula. Obviously, because she had been suffering with lack of sleep for quite some time, the acupuncture took a few treatments before she began to see a difference. I gave her a ball park of six to eight treatments to begin seeing a shift. Amazingly, it only took three full treatments and she was already beginning to sleep through the night. Of course the acupuncture treatment went on a few more sessions in order to get a solid result. This patient is one of the many positive experiences I have had for treating sleeping disorders through my acupuncture practice.

One of many ways to explain how acupuncture affects the mind and body is as follows: Chinese medicine is based on a balance of functioning organs. When one of these organs is affected in some way causing it to function improperly and fall “off balance”, problems arise. One way that we can keep this inner balance is tapping into the specific channels that affect a particular organ we are trying to help. By using acupuncture needles and tapping into certain points on these channels we can directly / indirectly guide organs into functioning a certain way.

So, for example, acupuncturists find that usually individuals with sleep issues typically have an imbalance in the heart. Therefore, we would use certain channels that points to bringing a steady balance to the heart.
Please note that unlike western medicine, when speaking about organs, in Chinese medicine it does not necessarily mean that you have a problem or disease with that specific organ. These are two completely different medicines practice that look at the body in very different ways.

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