Acupuncture Works

A Natural Way of Healing


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Moxibustion for Breech Presentation

Last week I treated a 34-week pregnant patient with moxibustion (moxa) for her breech baby. After the treatment I gave patient some moxa sticks to take home and instructed her how to apply to the acupoint. A few days later, I received an email from the patient and got to know her baby has sure turned. What an exiting news!

“Hi Jenny, I just wanted to let you know that my baby has turned!😊
I used Moxa on Friday night after our appointment and twice on Saturday. By Saturday night I noticed that she had changed position but wasn’t totally sure if she was head down. It became clear thought when I could feel her feet against my ribs in the coming days…😊 Yesterday I had an other checkup and my midwife confirmed that she is head down.
Thank you so much for your help! I hope to see you sometimes when the baby is here.”
The best time to turn the baby is between 29 – 32 weeks. But I told the patient to give it a try, because her baby had turned head up in week of 33.
Original Moxa

Original Moxa

The acupuncture point UB 67 is the primary point selected for use because it is the most dynamic point to activate the uterus.  Its forte is in turning malpositioned babies.  It is located on the outer, lower edge of both little toenails.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, moxa has a tonifying and warming effect which promotes movement and activity.  The nature of heat is also rising.  This warming and raising effect is utilised to encourage the baby to become more active and lift its bottom up in order to gain adequate momentum to summersault into the head down position.

 

 

 

How effective is it?

A 3 year study published in AJCM (2001) based in a facility where 1437 births were reported examined how effective moxibustion and acupuncture were in turning breech presentation.

Only women who were 28 weeks pregnant or later diagnosed with breech presentation were entered into the study.

The control group consisted of 224 women.  This group was given exercise and external cephalic manipulation.  They had a spontaneous correction rate of 73%.

The experimental group consisted of 133 women.  They received 30 minutes of moxibustion to UB67 daily and acupuncture, but no exercise or external cephalic manipulation.  They had a correction rate of 92%.

The study concluded that acupuncture and moxibustion is a safe and effective modality to correct breech presentation in a clinical setting.


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Acupuncture for Migraines and Headaches

More than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, and 20 million of them are women. Scientific research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.

The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. Acupuncture is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches, and can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause. Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes, have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for thousands of years. They can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine do not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, these approaches aim to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of of techniques including acupuncture, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises to restore balance in the body.

Acupuncture stimulates specific points located on or near the surface of the skin to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness. The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Some headaches, migraines and related symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

Here are some natural alternatives to ease your aching head:

The Headache Point – Large Intestine 4 is such a powerful acupuncture point for headaches that it is often referred to as “the headache point.” It is located on the padded area of your hand between the thumb and index finger, between the first and second metacarpal bones. Massage this point with your thumb on both hands for approximately 30 seconds.

Peppermint Oil – It has a calming and soothing effect on the body, and is often used to treat headaches. Rub peppermint essential oil across your forehead and temples to relieve a tension headache or inhale a peppermint steam treatment to treat a sinus headache. Adding 10-15 drops of peppermint oil to a warm bath is another great way to relax, reduce muscle tension and relieve a headache.

Ginger – Numerous clinical studies have shown that ginger can be used to relieve headaches. Researchers believe it does so by relaxing the blood vessels in the head and diminishing swelling in the brain. Ginger also activates natural opiates in the brain that relieve pain, and reduce prostaglandins, which are responsible for causing inflammation.


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New Year Resolutions

The start of the new year is a time of looking back at what we have achieved in the past year and looking forward to the future. This period of reflection and renewed resolve may be challenging but it can also be productive and rewarding. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help achieve the changes you seek as it assists in preventing illness, relieving stress, minimizing aches and pains, improving energy and nurturing balance. Maintaining a calm and clear mind helps to strengthen your resolve as you take the next step in achieving your goals.

Here are a few ways that Acupuncture can help you achieve your goals:

Eliminate Stress
Stress reduction is always on the top ten list for New Year’s resolutions and for a good reason; it is often the cause of illness and deterioration of health. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and lowering blood pressure. In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a whole range of tools that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check.

Improved Quality of Life
If pain is keeping you from living life to the fullest, acupuncture can help as it has no side effects and can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of the cause or where it is located. Increasingly, people are looking for more natural approaches to help relieve painful conditions instead of relying on medication. In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.

Get in Shape
Renewed enthusiasm to exercise in order to enhance fitness levels, train for a competition, or lose weight can come at a painful price for those who try to do too much too quickly. Recent studies show that acupuncture effectively treats sports injuries such as strains, sprains, musculoskeletal pain, swollen muscles and shin splints.

Lose Weight
Losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you reach your goal weight and maintain it by promoting better digestion, smoothing emotions, reducing appetite, improving metabolism, and eliminating food cravings–all of which can help energize the body, maximize absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, and reduce anxiety.


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Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Your Heart Healthy

Created by the World Heart Federation, September 29th is World Heart Day, which focuses on informing people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year, and the numbers are rising. According to the World Heart Federation, it is expected that by 2030, 23 million people will die from cardiovascular diseases each year. It is also predicted that at least 80 percent of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke will be avoided if the main risk factors–tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity–are controlled.

Cardiovascular Disease can affect people of all ages and population groups, including women and children. In fact, one in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems–such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease–that were once seen only in adults. Reduce your family’s risk for heart disease and stroke by making basic lifestyle changes in these areas:

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is associated with diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, all of which increase the risk of developing heart disease. Studies have shown that excess body weight itself (and not just the associated medical conditions) can also lead to heart failure. Even if you are entirely healthy otherwise, being overweight still places you at a greater risk for developing heart failure.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are an excellent tool when it comes to losing weight. They can help to energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety.

Reduce Stress

Stress is a normal part of life, but if left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains, or an irregular heart rate. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and mental health.
Improve Sleep

Poor sleep has been linked with high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Researchers have shown that getting less than eight hours of sleep can put you at a greater risk for developing heart disease.

Acupuncture can successfully treat a wide array of sleep problems without any of the side effects of prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids. The acupuncture treatments for sleeping problems focus on the root disharmony within the body that is causing the insomnia. Therefore, those who receive acupuncture for insomnia achieve not only better sleep, but also an overall improvement of physical and mental health.


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Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Cholesterol Management

What is cholesterol and how is it bad? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your body and many foods. Your body needs cholesterol to function normally and makes all that you need. Too much cholesterol can sometimes build up in your arteries. After a while, these deposits narrow your arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

Research has clearly shown that lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Whether you have heart disease already or want to prevent it, you can reduce your risk for having a heart attack by lowering your cholesterol level.

According to the American Heart Association, exercise and a healthy, balanced diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats is important to lowering risk and improving your cardiovascular health. Being physically inactive contributes to overweight and can raise your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is known as the “bad” cholesterol. Inactivity lowers your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. Regular physical activity can raise HDL and lower triglycerides, and can help you lose weight. Participate in physical activity of moderate intensity—like brisk walking—for at least 30 minutes on most, and preferably all, days of the week. No time? Break the 30 minutes into three, 10-minute segments during the day.

The main goal in treating high cholesterol is to lower your LDL level. Studies have proven that lowering LDL can prevent heart attacks and reduce deaths from heart disease in both men and women.


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Treating Autoimmune Disease with Acupuncture

Over 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease; an autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue. Autoimmune disorders include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disease, Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis and Guillain–Barré syndrome. Due to the complexity of treating autoimmune disorders, integrative medicine solutions including acupuncture and Oriental medicine have received much attention as successful therapies in their treatment. Acupuncture is specifically noted for its use in pain relief, regulating the immune system, managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

According to Oriental medicine, autoimmune disorders occur when there is imbalance within the body. Imbalance can come from an excess or deficiency of Yin and Yang that disrupts the flow of Qi, or vital energy, through the body. Acupuncture is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while specifically addressing the symptoms that are unique to each individual.

Clinical research has shown that acupuncture causes physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones, and brain chemicals that control a number of body functions. It is proposed that, by these actions, acupuncture affects blood pressure, body temperature and the immune system.


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Enhance your Skin Health with Acupuncture

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be very effective at treating skin conditions. Treatments can provide quick relief for acute symptoms as well as significant and lasting relief from recurrent or chronic skin conditions.

The skin reflects and reacts to imbalances within the body’s internal landscape and the effects of the environment. Internal disharmonies caused by strong emotions, diet, and your constitution can contribute to the development of a skin disorder. Environmental influences, such as wind, dryness, dampness, and heat can also trigger or exacerbate skin disorders.

To keep your skin healthy and beautiful on the outside, you must work on the inside of your body as well. Increasing the flow of energy, blood and lymph circulation improves the skin’s natural healthy color. General skin conditions that can be treated with acupuncture and Oriental medicine include acne, eczema, psoriasis, shingles and urticaria (hives). Evidence that Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used for skin disorders, such as hives, can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3 AD. Medicinal plants and stone needles were utilized to relieve and cure discomforts of the external areas of the body.

Oriental medicine does not recognize skin problems as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques including acupuncture, herbal medicine, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body.


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Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Men’s Health

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been used to treat men’s health concerns for thousands of years and are growing in popularity. The reason for this growth in popularity is that many health issues that men face, such as high blood pressure, prostate problems and depression, reproductive problems respond extremely well to acupuncture treatments.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the leading men’s health threat, with heart disease and stroke topping the list of the first and second leading causes of death worldwide. By integrating acupuncture and Oriental medicine into a heart healthy lifestyle, you can dramatically reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Acupuncture has been found to be particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure. Researchers have been able to stimulate the release of natural opioids in the body, which decreases the heart’s activity and reduces its need for excess oxygen. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure.

Depression and Mental Health

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 6 million men have depression each year in America alone. The growing body of research supporting the positive effects of acupuncture on depression, anxiety, and insomnia is so strong that the military now uses acupuncture to treat troops with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and combat stress syndrome.

Prostate Health

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to treat prostate problems by relieving related urinary symptoms and preventing the more serious conditions from occurring. The few studies completed on acupuncture and prostatitis show positive results, with participants noticing a marked improvement in their quality of life, a decrease in urinary difficulties, and an increase in urinary function.

Reproductive Health

While reproductive health concerns may not be life threatening, they can still signal significant health problems. Two-thirds of men older than seventy and up to 39 percent of men around the age of forty report having problems with their reproductive health. Acupuncture can be used for a variety of reproductive health concerns including low sperm count, diminished sperm motility, diminished libido and male menopause (also known as male climacteric or andropause).


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Nontraditional Treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

A traumatizing event, such as a human-caused disaster or the experience of combat in a war, could cause an individual to develop what is defined as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the National Institute for Mental Health, an individual with PTSD may experience debilitating flashbacks or nightmares, and feel as if they are in constant danger. Other symptoms of PTSD include depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability and more. Traditional treatment of PTSD includes anti-anxiety medication and forms of group therapy, but alternative methods, such as acupuncture and massage and yoga therapy, have been studied as potential treatment options for PTSD patients.

Acupuncture vs. group cognitive-behavioral therapy

In a clinical trial conducted by a group of researchers, 77 participants with PTSD were assigned intervention in the form of acupuncture or group cognitive-behavioral therapy. Another group was put on a waitlist for treatment as part of the control group. After the 12 week period, the researchers found that both acupuncture and group cognitive-behavioral therapies were similarly superior to no intervention, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. More research is needed, but the results of the pilot study suggest acupuncture may have a future as treatment for PTSD.

Massage and yoga therapy for soldiers

General massage therapy, acupuncture and yoga therapy are becoming more popular as a form of treatment for individuals with PTSD, according to an article in Massage Today. In 2008, a clinical psychologist began using specialized therapies on soldiers diagnosed with PTSD at the Fort Bliss Restoration and Resilience Center. Many Fort Bliss patients recovered enough to return to service. Forms of yoga, massage therapy and other nontraditional bodywork methods like Qigong, a Chinese system that uses physical postures, breathing techniques and intense focus, were incorporated into traditional treatment with much success. The Center was able to scale back the amount of medication given to its patients due to the success of the therapies. The therapies allowed soldiers to fight their symptoms and socialize with other patients.

Daily routine can be difficult for those with PTSD. Fortunately, researchers have studied alternative methods, such as acupuncture and massage and yoga therapy, as treatment options. Both have displayed promising results, and should be studied more in the future as methods to treat PTSD and other disorders. Complementary and alternative methods like the ones discussed have lower chances of medical malpractice and don’t utilize prescribed medication as often as traditional healthcare.

— By Ashely Burns, a guest writer, journalism graduate, from Orlando, FL


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Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) affects an estimated two percent of the population. It is diagnosed when there is a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a minimum duration of three months, and pain when pressure is applied to at least 11 of 18 designated tender points on the body. In addition to musculoskeletal pain, patients with fibromyalgia can suffer fatigue, sleep disturbance, memory loss, mood swings, and digestive problems.

From the perspective of western medicine, fibromyalgia is a medically unexplained syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain, a heightened and painful response to pressure, insomnia, fatigue, and depression.

On its own fibromyalgia does not result in any physical damage to the body or its tissues and there are no laboratory tests which can confirm this diagnosis. Symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event. Women are more prone to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age.

Research shows that up to 90 percent of people with fibromyalgia have turned to complementary or alternative medicine to manage their symptoms. Acupuncture, in particular, has become a popular treatment choice and has been shown to be an effective treatment for FMS.

Oriental medicine does not recognize fibromyalgia as one particular disease pattern. Instead, it aims to treat the symptoms unique to each individual depending on their constitution, emotional state, the intensity and location of their pain, digestive health, sleeping patterns and an array of other signs and symptoms.

Since pain is a hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia, an Oriental medicine approach will incorporate treatment for pain, though this may differ from western “pain management” therapies. The Oriental medicine theory of pain is expressed in this famous Chinese saying: “Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong” which means “free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain.”

Pain is seen as a disruption of the flow of Qi within the body. The disruption of Qi that results in fibromyalgia is usually associated with disharmonies of the Liver, Spleen, Kidney and Heart systems.