Acupuncture Works

A Natural Way of Healing


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Get Arthritis Relief with Acupuncture

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For many people, arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of 50 show some signs of arthritis as joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can frequently be managed with acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

According to Oriental medical theory, arthritis arises when the cyclical flow of Qi (energy) in the meridians becomes blocked resulting in pain, soreness, numbness and stiffness. This blockage is called Bi-syndrome and is successfully treated using a combination of treatment modalities. The acupuncture points and herbs that are used depend on whether the underlying cause of the blockage of Qi (arthritis) is caused by wind, cold, dampness or damp-heat.

A pilot study found in the medical publication International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases 2010, demonstrated the safety and efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The study criteria focused on the disease activity, pain scores, functional ability and quality of life issues for the study participants. To evaluate disease activity, researchers used the DAS28 test. This test measures and records the levels of tenderness and inflammation of 28 separate joints in the body.

The study, conducted at Kwong Wah Hospital in Hong Kong, provided an average of 14 acupuncture sessions for each patient. At the end, researchers determined that improvements in the physical, emotional and social well-being of some of the participants improved. The improvement was significant enough to conclude that acupuncture is a viable treatment method to reduce pain and other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Source: Lao WN et al. Effects of Acupuncture on Rheumatoid Arthritis. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. Conference: 14th Congress of Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology, APLAR 2010 Hong Kong Hong Kong. Conference Publication 2010; 13: 231.

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Healthy Aging and Living Life with Vitality

“Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.” — Confucius


Could this be the fate of the aging as Confucius decreed? To be able to enjoy the golden years of life implies a life well lived and that a good, if not excellent, standard of health was maintained. Our attitudes towards the elderly and aging, in general, are not always so encouraging. How to live a life with vitality and exuberance, one that can last until the time of death is not a foolish quest, but one that is recognized by acupuncture and Oriental medicine as realistic and completely within reach.

Oriental medicine has a long history of healing and rejuvenation that teaches us a great deal about aging well. Two thousand years ago, ancient Chinese scholars described the stages of aging in the Huang Di Neijing (The Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic). They remind us that we cannot change our genetics, but we can change how we live to extend and improve the quality of our lives.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine emphasize prevention over treatment. This makes a great deal of sense because treating an illness that has already damaged the body is much more difficult than preventing the illness from occurring in the first place. It is never too late. You can begin today.

One of the basic tenets of acupuncture and Oriental medicine theory is the belief that all disease results from the imbalance of yin and yang forces. Yin qualities include darkness, quiet, moisture and formlessness. Yang qualities are represented by light, noise, dryness and form. Running is a yang activity, whereas the rest that comes afterwards is a function of yin. Resting allows for the renewal of depleted energy reserves, which, in turn, makes activity possible. This is one way to describe how the dynamic relationship between yin and yang powers our life force.

The challenges of aging also result from this lack of balance between yin and yang energies. This means that some conditions and symptoms of disease associated with advanced aging may be mitigated by bringing these two energies into harmony again. For example, dry eyes and poor vision can be addressed by acupuncture treatments that focus on nurturing yin and increasing yang. Yin fluids will provide lubrication to the eyes, while an increase in yang helps ensure more energy can reach the top of the head to help improve vision.

Whatever your starting point, you can make positive changes to enhance the quality of your life. Supporting the different ways of improving your health and preventing illness, Oriental medicine promotes living a balanced life. A healthy diet, active lifestyle and emotional well-being are the basic components of Oriental medicine that help point you on the path toward a long and quality life.

— Source from Qi Mail – Jenny Qiu’s The Acupuncture Newsletter


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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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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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Foods Men Should Eat Every Day

Adding nutrient-rich super foods to the diet can give men a healthy boost.

Here are just a few foods that can help maintain muscle mass, prevent prostate cancer, and more.

Avocados
Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate and copper. Rich in potassium, avocados contain more of this nutrient than bananas. Potassium is needed to regulate nerves, heartbeat and, especially, blood pressure. An added bonus for men: Avocados inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Blackberries
Blackberries are packed with Vitamin C, calcium and magnesium, with more than double the amounts than their popular cousin, the blueberry. Vitamin C is a powerful stress reducer that can lower blood pressure and return cortisol levels to normal faster when taken during periods of stress. Magnesium and calcium act together to help regulate the nerves and muscle tone.

Too little magnesium in your diet can cause nerve cells to become over activated and can trigger muscular tension, soreness, spasms, cramps, and fatigue. Blackberries also score high on the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) scale assesses the antioxidant content of food: the higher the score, the better the food’s ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that lead to cancer.

Spinach
Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. Spinach can help protect against prostate cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, lower blood pressure and strengthen muscles.

Walnuts
When it comes to their health benefits, walnuts are the king of nuts. Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more anti-oxidants than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken, walnuts are one of the all time super foods.

Yogurt
Eating yogurt that contains live bacterial cultures every day improves digestive health, boosts the immune system, provides protection against cancer and may help you live longer. Not all yogurts are probiotic though, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.”


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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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Oriental Medicine for Weight Management

In Oriental medicine the root of excess weight is an imbalance within the body caused by malfunctioning of the spleen and liver organ systems. A combination of auricular (ear) and body acupuncture points, as well as foods and herbs selected to assist with weight loss can directly influence the Qi of the spleen and liver systems and treat the imbalances that have caused weight gain.

The spleen is responsible for the proper functioning of the digestive system, ensuring that the food we eat is transformed into Qi, the vital substance of life. Disharmony of the spleen will result in symptoms such as fatigue, slow metabolism, water retention, loose stool and a feeling of heaviness.

The liver’s job is to keep the flow of your body’s Qi, blood and emotions running smoothly. Our modern, fast-paced lifestyle and chronic stress can negatively impact the liver’s ability to function properly and smoothly, which, in turn, can cause the spleen and the entire digestive system to function poorly. One result can be a decrease in your metabolism. Liver disharmony can also cause some of the “triggers” that lead to cravings and compulsive eating.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been shown to have positive effects on the functioning of the nervous, endocrine and digestive systems. They provide a comprehensive therapy for weight issues that promote better digestion, balance emotions, reduce appetite, improve metabolism and eliminate food cravings.