Don’t Disrupt Your Qi – Explaining Acupuncture and It’s Benefits

What Exactly IS Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of medical treatment that has evolved into a complete holistic health care system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have used this noninvasive treatment method to help millions of people become well and stay well. Acupuncture growths natural healing. It can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical / emotional health and improve overall function.

What is Qi and How Does it Move?

At the core of this ancient medicine, is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced “Chee”), the vital energy, flows through the body. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

Qi flows through specific pathways called meridians. There are fourteen main meridians inside the body. The diagram below shows the meridian pathways in the body. Each of these meridians is connected to specific organs and glands. Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows, it transports life, giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants and people. Similarly, where meridian pathways flow, they bring life, providing Qi nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.

How is Qi Disrupted?

An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When Qi becomes backed up in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. This blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person's health, by cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs and glands.

Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet accidents, or excessive activity are among the many things that can influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

What Does An Acupuncturist Do?

During the initial exam, a full health history is taken. Questions are asked regarding overall health, symptoms and lifestyle. An appropriate physical exam may be communicated, which may include a pulse and speech evaluation. Gathering this information enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to a person's health problems.

Once the imbalances of Qi are detected, an acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints along meridian pathways. This safe and painless process, can unblock the obstruction and correct the balance of Qi. Once this is done, Qi can freely circulate through the body and provide nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. This can be the perfect remedy for restoring balance and harmony to your overall health and well-being.

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General Information on Eastern Medicine

Chiropractic and acupuncture care can help with various types of conditions. It is especially beneficial to those that suffer from pain stemming from the neck and the back. Due to the fact that pain in these areas can affect how a person feels in various ways, alternative medicine can help prevent other problems. For example, migraine headaches could have eliminated with Eastern medicine. Taking the time to learn about alternative techniques will teach you what you can do to increase your stamina in a healthy way, and to treat problems without having to be on serious pain medications. Meditations to deal with the pain come with side effects that can lead to other disorders.

Chiropractors spend time putting one's bones back into a more natural and healthy position, while those that practice acupuncture work to restore energy. They both do this by concentrating mostly on the spinal area in conjuction with the central nervous system. The spinal area and central nervous system work together to control every part of the body. Therefore, when they are both working in the proper way, it will positively influence a patient's overall health.

Many people have fears about it, but once they go to the chiropractor they will find relief that they usually can not find anywhere else. Having the neck or other parts of the body “out of place” can cause a lot of symptoms and there is no reason to go through life feeling uncomfortable. It is vital to allow the manipulation to increase the energy flow, or it will be hard to improve hard to treat pain and inflammation. Neck and spinal pain can bring about other types of issues like headaches and insomnia. It has been shown that with the use of needles, ailments are relieved, allowing for more sleep and a positive outlook on life. There is no reason to suffer continuously when it can be fixed.

One benefit to going to a chiropractor is the fact that they can work with the body in a natural way. It is important that those experiencing issues visit practitioners that are licensed and certified. They are not going to prescribe you pain medication, that often mask the pain causing further damage to the body. Their goal is to use an alternative approach to bring relief over time. Look into finding the right therapist for you to start you on the path to a pain free life.

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Chiropractic Therapy for Children

Chiropractic and acupuncture therapy on children has become a pretty hot issue, as it has to do with realignment of the spine to promote proper subluxation. Subluxation is a flow of nerve energy in the body and it can be easily affected in babies and children. In fact, it can even happen during the baking process or even during the incubation point. Many believe that this misalignment is what causes many babies to be in pain and exhibit health issues, like congestion, shortly after birth.

Due to the fact that children tend to get hurt often and take risks that adults normally do not, the need for alternative treatment to put the body back in order is necessary. For those that are on the side of taking children to the chiropractor, they believe that they should start having them go to the chiropractor from a young age. This will help to maintain their spine and other back areas healthy, while still being able to simply be children. It can prevent many disables from preventing running, walking, jumping, and more. The alternative techniques available with acupuncture are preferred with children because they do not require surgery or other invasive procedures.

Because of the nature of the treatments (realignment), it sees more intense than it is and those that actively seeks this type of treatment have found that it helps to relate pain almost immediately. Not only that, but it helps with their posture and they can learn exercises to help maintain that. If not raised in children, there could be various problems that can arise. This gives children a greater overall health, as well as relief from physical ailments

If the nerve flow is affected by subluxations, it simply is not working the way that it is intended to. There could be disabilities that come about with time, illnesses, and painful back, leg, and neck issues as they get older. The effects of poor nerve flow can bring on undue stress and cause negativity. Starting the chiropractic care at an early age will allow for them to get used to the hands on nature that it brings. Not only that, but it will also help to steadily treat them through their most important growing stages. This will ensure that they live a comfortable life.

Take the time to read into it and meet up with chiropractors that specialize in working with children and babies. Going with an Eastern technique is not always negative.

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Treating Diabetes With Acupuncture

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious disease that should not be ignored, as avoiding treatment can have harmful and even deadly effects, eg through heart disease or stroke. Because your blood sugar levels are higher than normal with diabetes, you may experience symptoms such as frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. Type 1 diabetes is thought to be genetic and immune-system based, while type 2 diabetes (the more common form) is usually caused by obesity, inactivity, and a poor diet. Type 3, also known as gestational diabetes, only occurs during pregnancy and, left untreated, can potentially mean permanent diabetes for you and / or your baby.

While you should certainly follow the advice of your doctor (which will likely involve regular exercise, eating well, blood sugar monitoring and, with type 1 diabetes, also insulin injections), acupuncture can help you manage your symptoms. In fact, acupuncture can have quite large effects with helping you control your blood sugar levels, your stress, and even helping you lose weight.

How does acupuncture treat diabetes?

Acupuncture is a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which is comprised of a few different theories that are used in diagnosis. Once you are diagnosed with a certain pattern, your acupuncturist chooses a combination of points on your body that together can help you feel better.

In TCM, diabetes is called 'Xiao-Ke', which essentially means 'emaciation-thirst', referring to the symptoms with which you present. Your acupuncturist differentiates the type of diabetes you have according to what part of your body is being affected the most: ie your upper, middle, or lower body. Xiao-Ke of the upper area of ​​your body, aka your 'upper-jiao' or 'upper burner', will present with excessive thirst, your middle-jiao with excessive hunger, and your lower-jiao with excessive urination. Some or all of your jiao may be affected, but your acupuncturist will determine for you which needs to be of central focus for treatment purposes.

Diagnosis of your diabetes is further established by determining which of your organs need (s) to be treated. A common TCM pattern leading to diabetes is Qi (energy) stagnation, due to long-term mental over-stimulation. The idea is that the stagnation turns into heat, which then dries up the fluids in your Lungs (capitalized to differentiate from the scientific meaning), causing excessive thirst. Accompanying symptoms may include propensity to getting colds or the flu, and dry coughing.

Another possibility for a pattern of symptoms causing your diabetes is injury to your spleen and stomach, due to long-term consumption of fatty and spicy foods or alcohol. Accompanying symptoms may include excessive hunger, abdominal pain, anxiety, and other digestive issues.

Finally, your Kidneys may have become weakened, eg through aging, improper diet, or emotional imbalance. Accompanying symptoms may include frequent urination, low back pain, sore knees, and night sweats.

Treatment for diabetes would likely take place once or twice per week, for one to two months. After that point, you should be feeling much better, and treatment frequency can be reduced by a great extent. You may absolutely need treatment only once a month (or even less), once your symptoms have subsided.

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How Acupuncture Views Stress

What is stress?

Physiologically, when we are under stress our bodies experience the 'fight or flight response', which is a series of chemical reactions inside us designed to increase our heart rate and blood pressure, creating tension in our muscles. This is our sympathetic nervous system reacting, and it is an inherited response meant to help us escape from or fight predators when the need arises. Luckily, this is rare these days, but the effects of chronic stress, unfortunately, are quite common. Chronic stress, ie a maintained elevation of the neurotransmitters that alter our heart rate and blood pressure, can lead to various conditions including anxiety, depression, headaches, abdominal pain, sleep issues, back pain, and in severe cases attacks or a panic disorder .

Acupuncture is great for relieving stress, as it has a multi-faceted effect on your body, balancing blood flow, nerve conduction, hormones, neurotransmitters and more. Because acupuncture is an energy medicine, the precise scientific explanation for your condition is not needed in order to facilitate treatment. And, you can be treated by a qualified acupuncturist for a number of symptoms related to stress, often the undering cause but also frequently misdiagnosed or ignored in more conventional medical settings. Acupuncture is also a great therapy for stress because it has no adverse side effects, and can be used in conjunction with whatever medication or treatment that your doctor may have recommended.

How does acupuncture help help relieve stress?

As indicated above, acupuncture has a variety of scientific effects on your body, but remember that a proper acupuncture treatment is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is an energy medicine, whose diagnosis is determined by patterns of deficiency or excess, and the effect it has measured by changes in your pulse and the symptoms with which you are concerned. Stress, for example, can be relieved with acupuncture, and the results are seen in how you feel. Scientific tests may show that you have achieved balanced levels of serotonin and / or dopamine, but the acupuncturist is more concerned with the success in your personal experience.

Specifically, your acupuncturist diagnoses you using different theories that make up TCM. One of the major theories is The Theory of Five Elements, which states that everything in the universe also exists within us, and that there are five main elements in the universe. In turn, each of these elements correspond to a major organ in our bodies, and each of these organs has a unique responsibility for our health. In addition, each organ is sensitive to certain seasons, colors, emotions and so on. The organ associated with stress (also anxiety and over-thinking) is the Spleen (capitalized to differentiate from the scientific definition). In TCM, your Spleen is responsible for taking in nutrients from the air (via your Lungs) and your food, and then transforming and distributing these nutrients through your body. When there is an imbalance in the way your spleen is meant to function, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, digestive issues, and an increased feeling of stress.

You may have heard that stress is 'all in your head', which is usually a fine answer for symptoms which origin with no known origin. Well, with TCM and acupuncture, stress has a definite origin: an imbalance in the energy of your Spleen.

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Chiropractors Assist in Anxiety Treatment

Chiropractic and acupuncture therapy can actually help patients with anxiety and phobia related disorders. They are an Eastern medicinal technique that uses massage and needles to bring relief to our ailments. Think of our body as an ecosystem, everything is connected. Everything works together to maintain the proper balance and when those things stop working together, there are going to be negative situations that will arise. Those situations could be either with our physical or mental health because they go hand in hand.

Anxiety can be very bad for your health as it adds stress and it tends to turn into a physical problem if it is allowed to happen for too long. Many people take medications to treat their issues, but there are other ways that can help to treat the anxieties and phobias. Chiropractic and acupuncture therapy realigns joints and bones that may be out of place. When we feel better physically and experience less pain, we tend to feel better emotionally.

Once everything is aligned properly, the healthy energy that keeps us feeling great, and up to par, will have the ability to flow through us with inhibitions. This will have everything working properly after only a few sessions. Not only that, but it is a healthier and more affordable approach than medications and other common types of therapy. Taking care of our bodies is the sure fire way to stay happy and healthy. Alternative treatment offers a patient the ability to increase mental stamina without the need of medicine.

It has been shown that when the spine is out of alignment, we will experience reduced nerve function and increased pain. This can become so severe we are unable to move. When nerve function is not at a normal level, it ends up messing up the flow of positive energy. Not only that, but there is a break in communication between the body and mind. When the body and mind are not communicating properly, health issues begin to arise. By going to see a chiropractor that can help realign the spine, connecting the leg properly to the hip, it will also turn open the pathways of proper communication between mind and body.

Consider the benefits of not having to take heavy medications daily to be able to treat your anxiety, or other pain problems. With acupuncture and other manipulation techniques, a patient can see a reduction in their symptoms.

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Acupuncture for Beginners

The beginnings

Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used systems of healing. People from all walks of life have experienced the benefits over the centuries, from farmers and carpenters, athletes and artists to Presidents and Emperors. Originating in China more than 3 centuries ago, acupuncture became popular in the United States about 40 years ago. Acupuncture has grown leaps and bounds since then. Last year, Americans made over 10 million visits to acupuncturists and have spent up to 500 million dollars on treatments.

How does its work

Traditional Chinese medicine states that there are more than 1000 acupuncture points on the human body. These points are connected by channels or merdians. These meridians move energy, or qi (“chi”), between the surface of the body and its internal organs, each having its own unique functions. Qi maintains balance in the body and is influenced by the opposing forces of yin and yang. While contrasting they are on each other to keep accord. Acupuncture is believed to keep the balance between yin and yang, so allowing for homeostasis or stability of the mind and body. While Chinese medicine appears simple on the surface it is actually quite detailed and complex. Its roots are based on a deep mythology of Asian concepts and beliefs such as Buddhism, Taoism and I-ching. The predominant ideology is that there is no separation between the mind, body and spirit. Ailments in one can and will affect the other.

Several theories have been presented as to exactly how acupuncture works. One theory suggests that acupuncture stimulates the body to produce endorphins, which reduce pain. Other studies have found that opioids may be released into the body during treatment. This reaction can occur during a treatment or up to 2 days afterwards. While each person's experience is different, most people feel only a minimal amount of pain as needles are inserted. During treatment, some people report feeling a sensation of heaviness, while others feel calm.

When used by a licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture is effective and safe. However, if you have a pacemaker installed you should notify your acupuncturist, before undergoing treatment. If you are on blood thinners or bleed easily, acupuncture should be avoided.

What can it treat

The World Health Organization recognized the ability of acupuncture to treat many common ailments, including neuromusculoskeletal conditions (arthritis, insomnia, neck, shoulder and lower back pain); emotional and psychological disorders (depression and anxiety); circulatory diseases (hypertension, angina pectoris); respiratory illnesses (asthma, emphysema, sinusitis, allergies and bronchitis) and gastrointestinal conditions (diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, and gastritis). The National Institutes of Health found that acupuncture could be useful by itself or in combination with other therapies to treat addictions (alcohol, nicotine and other drugs), headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Studies have found that acupuncture helped reduce nausea in patients recovering from surgery.

Typical office visit

As with most health practitioners, the first visit to an acupuncturist usually begins with a thorough intake. The holistic approach to health encompasses many aspects of the body, you will be asked questions that may appear unrelated but are actually vital to the type of care you will receive. The acupuncturist will begin diagnosing your ailment. Depending on your condition, your acupuncturist may examine your tongue or take your pulse. Both major diagnostic techniques used in traditional Chinese medicine. Using all of the information obtained during the history and diagnosis, the acupuncturist will then determine the cause of your symptoms. Acupuncture needles will be inserted into specific acupuncture points on the body. The acupuncturist may use electrical stimulation or other techniques to enhance acupuncture's therapeutic effect.

Depending on the severity and the duration of your condition, your first visit may last between 30-60 minutes. It may take several treatments before you see significant improvement. This is meant to be an interactive experience, do your due diligence make sure that your questions are answered completely.

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5 Ways Your Spleen Is Different In Chinese Medicine

If you know much about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), you probably know that acupuncture and TCM practitioners view your inner organs in a much different way than your science-based conventional medicine does. While both frameworks of medicine are important to our health care, TCM is unique in that it views your body as a direct reflection of the world and the universe around it, and vice versa. That is to say that everything that exists within the world and the universe (energy, wind, fire, and so on) also exists inside each of us. With this is mind, each of our major and minor organs play a vital role in connecting us not only to ourselves, but also to each other via nature. But how are these organs viewed in terms of function and, to help illuminate our understanding, how do they differ from what we know about their science-based counterparts? Let's look at the spleen (capitalized to differentiate from the scientific definition).

1. Anatomically, your spleen is a part of your body's lymphatic drainage system, essentially helping to clean your blood. In TCM, your Spleen is responsible for your digestion, ie taking nutrients that you derive from the air and your food, and transforming and then distributing the nutrients (such as energy, aka 'Qi') through your body. This is why fatigue and anemia are often linked to a breakdown in your Spleen's functionality and can be treated with acupuncture.

2. The spleen by scientific standards is a non-vital organ, not affecting your life without much consequence if you have it removed. In TCM, on the other hand, your Spleen is a major organ, with a meridian (a pathway in your body that acts as a channel for Qi, Blood, and other nutrients) that runs from your feet to your chest. In addition to nutrient production, your Spleen is responsible for water metabolism, helping your body rid itself of excess fluids and also nourishing your body where needed. This is how Spleen imbalance explains issues such as edema or weight gain.

3. Scientifically your spleen's functions help your immune system by synthesizing white blood cells. In TCM, your Spleen is responsible for controlling your Blood and ensuring that it flows within the proper meridians and not outside of them. Thus Spleen imbalances can be seen in conditions such as blood in your urine or metrorrhagia (menstrual bleeding that occurs outside of your normal cycle).

4. Filtering your blood while also assisting your immune system fairly sums up your spleen anatomically-speaking, but the Spleen has yet another important function in TCM. By dominating your muscles and limbs, your Spleen is essential to maintaining muscle mass and healthy limbs. Spleen imbalance, therefore, can lead to muscle and limb weakness, and in severe cases even atrophy.

5. To keep your Spleen healthy, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and exercise regularly. Nourish your Spleen with foods that are somewhat warm in nature, like ginger.

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Using Acupuncture To Treat Endometriosis

Believe it or not, acupuncture and endometriosis have a long history together. For thousands of years, women with painful periods that have been difficult to treat have been diagnosed with what is only now being called 'endometriosis'. Much more commonly diagnosed today, endometriosis is being treated successfully with natural medicines such as acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Both endometriosis and fibroids (related in terms of hormonal fluctuations and fertility issues), respond very well to acupuncture, and if you suffer from these conditions you have hope for recovery with acupuncture treatment. This is great news for many women diagnosed with endometriosis, as doctors often claim that the only 'cure' is a hysterectomy.

Usually, your doctor will prescribe medication for pain management, or possibly surgery (such as laparoscopy) to remove some of the endometrial tissue. Hormonal contraceptive therapy has become popular for the prevention and treatment of endometriosis, but this is clearly pregnancies pregnancy as well.

While there seems to be no direct relation to the severity of your endometriosis and fertility, you may experience pain anywhere on a scale from zero to ten. So so how much pain you are feeling, if conceiving is something you're interested in, then once again, acupuncture may be your answer.

How does acupuncture treat endometriosis?

Endometriosis in TCM is essentially thought of as blood (capitalized to differentiate from the scientific definition) stasis causing various types of pain and frequently fertility issues as well. Blood stasis can be attributed to a few different disease patterns, generally split into two categories: those of deficiency and those of excess.

The two deficiency patterns leading to endometriosis include Spleen Qi / Blood deficiency, and Kidney and Liver Yin deficiency. Both patterns lead to pain because there is a lack of energy required to push the blockage away. Spleen Qi / Blood deficiency companionships symptoms such as menstrual pain towards the end of your period, pain relieved by pressure or massage, a pale complexion, and / or tiredness. Kidney and Liver Yin deficiency usually presents with symptoms such as dull pain towards the end of your period, sore low back, scanty bleeding, blurred vision and / or tiredness.

There are three excess patterns in TCM that can lead to endometriosis. They are Liver Qi stagnation, Cold accumulation, and Damp-Heat accumulation. Liver Qi stagnation usually presents with signs such as lower abdominal pain before and / or during your period, a feeling of distension in your breasts and / or abdomen, menstruation with clots, and / or pre-menstrual tension. Cold accumulation generally presents with signs such as lower abdominal pain before or after your period, centralized abdominal pain, scanty menstrual flow with clots, and / or a feeling of coldness. Finally, Damp-Heat accumulation will present with such signs as pain before your period and sometimes during as well, vaginal discharge, and / or a burning sensation.

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Butt Out: Quit Smoking With Acupuncture

Why acupuncture?

“The believing we do something when we do nothing is the first illusion of tobacco.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said this, and he was absolutely right! Nonetheless, the truth of his statement may do little to persuade you to quit smoking, even if you want to.

And what does inspire you to quit? It may be the sunset of disease, the birth of a child, or the knowledge that that your habit is simply wasteful, destructive, and costly. Whatever your reason is, it's probably a good one, and hopefully only the beginning of what should really be a long list of reasons to quit. More than likely your friends and family will support you in this endeavor. If they do not, be strong: it's the right thing to do.

But is even a long list of reasons to quit enough? Quite often, no. Most people who try to quit smoking make more than one attempt, often going 'cold turkey' and trying to do it on their own. Does that sound a little bit like you? Certainly doing it on your own is a possibility (I'm not doubting you), but as with anything in life it's nice to have a helping hand. Acupuncture can help manage your withdrawal symptoms like irritability, low energy, trouble sleeping, and flu-like symptoms such as a dry throat and coughing. Acupuncture can also help to reduce your cravings.

How does acupuncture work?

Using very thin, sterile needles, acupuncture points points on your body where it is believed that energy gathers. By stimulating the correct combinations of these points, you will achieve your desired result, eg reducing cravings or managing nicotine withdrawal.

Where will the acupuncture needles go?

Each person's energy pattern is unique, and so the combination of points we use for you will be something unique. However, with quitting smoking there are certain points on the body that help as adjuncts to your own personal point prescription. These points include one on the radial side of your wrist, as well as some points on your ear that are stimulated with seeds. Ear seeds are small seeds from the Vaccaria plant, and are held in place on your ear with adhesive tape, which sticks for a few days so that the points can be regularly stimulated.

Diagnosing speaking, your acupuncturist determines if your pattern is one of deficiency or excess, and from there is able to choose further points with which to treat you.

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Unknown Fertility Issues Helped by Acupuncture

There is a small chance these days that your doctor may not be able to find a direct link to your fertility issues (this is known as 'idiopathic infertility'). This can be very frustrating as other, more expensive medical options start to come into the picture, and there are a variety of methods to choose from. Luckily, natural therapies like acupuncture can offer a great deal in terms of optimizing your chances of conception, even in conjunction with the scientific therapies that your doctor may suggest.

How can acupuncture make you more fertile without knowing the cause?

Acupuncture is a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has been developing for at least 3-5000 years, long before modern science was developed. Because of this, TCM practitioners had to learn from the ways their patients reacted to their treatments, sticking to what worked and forgetting methods that failed them. The result of these combined efforts over generations resulted in a complex method of diagnosis based on speaking with and listening to a patient, while also looking at their face, tongue and body language, and feeling their pulse. Applying these methods, even today, can help a TCM practitioner define for you your own pattern based on the principles of TCM. With this diagnosis, virtually any ailment has a chance at being treated. Since there is no scientific test needed, and no scientific result required other than your hoped-for result after treatment, acupuncture can have tremendous results based on the TCM pattern with which you present.

What would your pattern be with unknown fertility issues?

Generally speaking, everyone presents with a pattern of either deprivation or excess. Your treatment protocol will depend on which of these two patterns you fit into, and in what way (s) you are deficient or are carrying excess. Once this is determined, your acupuncturist can boost what needs to be boosted, or help to resolve what needs to be resolved.

Deficient patterns leading to fertility issues include Kidney (capitalized to differentiate from the scientific definition) deficiency, and Spleen deficiency. When your Kidneys are deficient, symptoms (other than fertility concerns) may include hot flashes, low back pain, knee pain, a cold feeling in your absence, or loose bowels. Spleen deficiency symptoms include anxiety, heart palpitations, dizziness, fatigue or insomnia.

Excess patterns leading to fertility issues include Liver Qi (energy) stagnation, Qi and Blood stagnation, and Dampness accumulation. Symptoms related to Liver Qi stagnation include irritability, depression, or irregular menstruation with small blood clots. Qi and Blood stagnation symptoms include painful menstruation with a great deal of blood clots, purplish lips, or sharp abdominal pain. Finally, Dampness accumulation symptoms include a feeling of heaviness, chest oppression, excessive sweating, or headaches.

Note: even though a TCM practitioner may diagnose you with one of the above patterns, you may not experience all of the above listed symptoms.

Treatment with acupuncture to help improve your chances of conception is commonly performed over a twelve week period to achieve optimal results. Herbal supplementation is often also prescribed, and light massage may also accompany your TCM treatments. Your acupuncture will be augmented if you are also receiving treatment such as IVF (in vitro fertilization), and is in fact a very helpful complement to this therapy in particular.

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Getting Stable From Dizziness With Acupuncture

Feeling dizzy is usually a very uncomfortable and sometimes also scary feeling. Scientifically speaking, you may feel dizzy for a variety of reasons, including head trauma, ear infection, or complications of diabetes. These are serious reasons for your dizziness, and should be attended to by a physician before you seek any help from natural medicine. But dizziness can also come because of allergies, stress, depression, poor sleep, and oftentimes from causes that are completely unknown. In fact, a cause for dizziness can often be very difficult to determine, and it is for this reason that acupuncture is a great therapy for treating this complaint.

Acupuncture works based on clinical study – it does not need a scientific explanation in order to function properly. Indeed, studies show that it does operate on the body in scientific ways, eg by improving blood flow, nerve conduction, lymph drainage, hormone production, and so on. But acupuncture is a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has been developing for at least 3-5000 years, long before science had even begun to appear.

Since TCM believes that everything which exists in nature also exists within us, a fundamental theory explaining TCM is The Theory of Five Elements. This complex theory essentially states that there are five main elements in the universe, and that each of these elements corresponds to a major organ in our bodies. It is, therefore, through the functioning of and the interrelationships between these major organs that we function and live. When there is an imbalance in one of our major organs or a disharmony in the relationship between two or more organisms, we experience illness such as dizziness.

In TCM, another central theory is the Yin-Yang Theory, which states that everything in the universe (and hence within us) has two basic sides, a Yin side and a Yang side. Yin is related to everything that is cold, dark, nourishing, female, and quiet, for example. Yang, then, is everything that is hot, bright, moving, male, and loud. Of course, we have varying degrees of Yin and Yang, but it is essential in TCM diagnosis to differentiate between the two extremes, in order to achieve a method of treatment. Dizziness like all illness, therefore, is caused by either a deficiency or an excess. Even though there may be underlying complications to this basic diagnosis, the basic pattern you present with will always be either deficient or in excess.

The deficient patterns you may present with in terms of a complaint of dizziness are Kidney (capitalized to differentiate from the scientific definition) Essence deficiency, or Spleen Qi / Blood deficiency. Dizziness from Kidney Essence deficiency would present with symptoms such as low-pitch tinnitus, extreme tiredness, poor memory and low-back pain. Dizziness caused by Spleen Qi / Blood deficiency would present with symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, heart palpitations, and a poor appetite.

The conditions of excess that you could present with in terms of dizziness include Liver Yang rising or Turbid Phlegm. Liver Yang rising companies such symptoms as severe dizziness, high-pitched tinnitus, red eyes and face, and irritability. Turbid Phlegm conditions with dizziness often present with symptoms such as a feeling of heaviness and cloudiness in your head, chest oppression, and nausea.

It is important to determine your TCM diagnosis by consulting with a properly trained TCM practitioner. With a proper diagnosis you will be able to have the right treatment prescribed, and you should expect definite relief from your symptoms with acupuncture.

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Acupuncture: Giving Fertility a Chance

How does acupuncture help with fertility?

This is often the most significant question asked, as people want to know what is happening to make 'something happen'. And the answer can be made from both a scientific angle as well as the Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) view, of which acupuncture is of course, based upon.

Scientific speaking, acupuncture has been shown to improve circulation in your pelvic region as well as improving your uterine function in terms of relaxing muscle tissue, thus enabling your embryo a better chance at implanting. Acupuncture is also believed to help stimulate follicle production, improve the quality of your eggs, and enhance the thickening of your uterine wall to help prevent miscarriage (most likely through the stimulation of progesterone and other hormone production).

What does TCM say about fertility?

In terms of Chinese Medical theory, there are again a couple of different ways to explain how acupuncture can help with fertility. Firstly, acupuncture helps by unblocking energy pathways (meridians) that run through your body. By either boosting your energy (Qi) to help move things along, or by removing excess stagnation, you can help your energy flow better, and then make you more fertile, ie more receptive to accepting the energy flow of another – essentially the energetic requirement to making a baby!

Another way you can understand how acupuncture helps with fertility is to look at the Theory of Five Elements, which basically says that there are five main elements in the universe, and that each of these elements correspond to five main organs in your body: your Lungs , Heart, Kidneys, Liver, and Spleen (capitalized to differentiate from the scientific definitions of these organs). Your Kidneys are responsible for storing your life essence, which is responsible for reproduction, growth and aging. When your Kidneys are deficient, often due to lifestyle factors such as stress or diet, fertility may become an issue. Other patterns of fertility issues include Liver Qi stagnation, which involves the blockage of Qi at various points in your reproductive channels, and Spleen Qi and Blood deficiency, which can lead to a lack of energy required to either move out blockage or can make fertility an issue because an appropriate amount of Qi and Blood are required for you to reproduce.

Is it a lengthy process to conceive with acupuncture?

It would be great to say that there is the right tonic or pill available for you at your local health food store, but the truth is that our patterns vary from day to day, and so regular visits to your acupuncturist are advisable, especially when seeking out help with fertility issues. A decent fertility program more than likely requires treatment weekly for a twelve week period. This length of time (which may also require some lifestyle changes) is necessary to help balance your menstrual flow and make you more fertile. Acupuncture is a great adjunct, therefore, to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other scientifically-based therapies, as it does not interfere but rather enhance them.

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Heart Health and Acupuncture

Cardiovascular health is an important focus for many people, yet few people are aware of the benefit benefits that acupuncture can offer to strengthen the health of this vital system. In fact, you might be surprised at what the right combination of needles (called an 'acupuncture point prescription') can do for you. Some issues associated with your heart include atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Keep in mind that despite acupuncture can improve the health of your heart, you should still follow the advice of your doctor and continue taking any medications that he / she prescribes. One of the great things about acupuncture is that it can be performed along prescription medication – there are never any side effects due to proper acupuncture treatment, no matter what medication you might be taking.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the heart (capitalized to differentiate from the anatomical heart) is in charge of circulating blood in your body. A healthy Heart organ, therefore, leads to well-nourished tissues in your body, and a weak heart can lead to palpitations and chest pain, much like a heart in scientific terms. In TCM, however, it is also believed that your Heart houses your Spirit, and that has a much deeper significance.

TCM practitioners consider your Spirit to be an integral part of your health, as it is through your Spirit that you connect to the world, expressing wisdom, virtue and emotional well-being. Issues with your Heart therefore, can also manifest as sleep problems, joylessness, forgetfulness, and in extreme cases even manic behavior.

The health of your heart is reflected in your facial complexion, and so a healthy heart gives you a rosy complexion, while a weak Heart will leave you pale. Furthermore, excess heat in your heart system will give rise to a reddish complexion, and Heart stagnation will make your face more purple in color.

Some acupuncture points that help your heart are located on your wrist and forearm, your chest, and your upper back. Since TCM is a holistic medicine, points elsewhere on your body would also be reasonably used as support. On your own, you should do light exercise (following your physician's recommendations) and also supplement your diet with foods that have a bitter taste to them, as bitterness is the flavor associated with the Heart. And not surprisingly, joy is the emotion associated with the Heart, so nourish lots of joy in your life!

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Acupuncture for Eczema

How does acupuncture view eczema?

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), eczema is caused by a deficiency of Wei-Qi (also known as Defensive-Qi), which acts to protect your body from external pathogens and has a close relationship to your skin. According to the Theory of Five Elements, one of the three main theories that make up TCM, it is your Lung (capitalized here to differentiate from your lungs in scientific terms) system that governs your skin and therefore is responsible for its health. Your Kidney system also plays a role in maintaining the health of your skin, as your Kidneys are responsible for nourishing and moistening your skin.

Eczema usually starts when you are young, and is often seen in combination with the development of asthma. The two basic types of eczema seen are one characterized by Wind-Heat (which is usually more due to a Lung deficiency) and Damp-Heat (which is more related to your Kidneys). Note that each type of eczema involves 'Heat'. This is why you will see redness and inflammation on your skin. In cases of Wind-Heat, lesions will be dry and will move from place to place on your body (the moving pattern an indication of Wind in your body). In cases of Damp-Heat you will see lesions that ooze fluid (an indication of Dampness in your body), which are often confined to specific areas of your body such as your forearms and lower legs.

How does acupuncture treat eczema?

Treating an acute case of eczema, especially one of the Wind-Heat variety, is often accomplished fairly easily, as the pathogen has not had much time to settle into the body. In our society, however, most cases treated by TCM are seen in the chronic stages, after other more conventional methods have been used with little or no effect. Chronic cases of eczema can still be treated with acupuncture and TCM, however, although it may take more treatments than if treated in the acute stages.

The basic treatment protocol for treating eczema is to nourish your Lungs and / or Kidneys, while also nourishing your Blood where there is Wind and / or a pronounced deficiency of Blood. Dampness will also need to be resolved where applicable.

What can you do?

In terms of self-care with eczema, it is a good idea to avoid dairy, fried foods, spicy foods, alcohol, shellfish, and also spinach and mushrooms. Protecting your skin from exposure to cold and wind is also advisable.

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