Health Intuitive

Monthly Archives : September, 2014

How can acupuncture prevent or resolve prostate cancer?

When a specific female hormone known as estrogen is abnormally metabolized, the gene expression of the male can be altered and change key intracellular signaling sequences that may result in abnormal cell growth as well as endothelial damage that, in turn can lead to high cholesterol levels due to vasoconstriction. This means that an abundance of estrogen can damage a man’s DNA making cells cancerous and activate tumor-cell stimulators. Abnormally metabolized estrogen in women can lead to cancer of the ovaries, breast and uterus, while for men it can lead to cancer of the prostate. In 2012, the Molecular Cell Endocrinology published a news article regarding testosterone being able to be transmuted to estradiol via aromatase in the prostate, endothelial , breast and fat cells. In Chicago, the University of Illinois performed an experiment involving estradiol given to lab rats. The development of prostate cancer markedly rose among male rats. Even with a short course of estrogen therapy, the rise of prostate cancer in these animals was noted.

The development of prostate cancer almost exclusively involved only older people four decades ago. About half of men who are 80 years of age and above showed an enlarged prostate although it should be noted that most of these men do not die because of prostate cancer since they don’t usually suffer from an imbalance of their testosterone and estrogen levels. Certain men do go on to develop prostate cancer while others do not. This way testosterone is metabolized will determine if you go on to develop prostate cancer or not. 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone can metabolize testosterone. This is a chemical that cannot be aromatized to estrogen which means it does not contribute to prostate cancer. If an enzyme known as aromatase converts a huge amount of testosterone to estrogen, it can result in the occurrence of prostate cancer. We now see that testosterone is not the culprit itself but instead the way it is metabolized causes the development of prostate cancer. The receptors of estrogen are expressed in the prostate and can determine the way testosterone is metabolized. The aforementioned rat experiment showed that in prostate of the rats, estrogen therapy can cause damage to the DNA; this unexplained outcome can arise before the development of cancer. In a book entitled “Prostate,” the overexpression of aromatase can cause the production abnormal estrogen in situ and induce or contribute to the rise of prostatic disorders in men.

These days, a growing number of young men are starting to be diagnosed with benign enlargement of the prostate and even prostate cancer. Some of them are hardly in their 40s or 50s. It is suspected that excessive and/or daily consumption of simple sugars or processed foods, foods that are often turned into fat because of a sedentary life style can contribute to this disease. A surge in insulin can occur from eating simple sugars and this can lead to inflammation. Intake of more fat implies more testosterone that is tuned into estrogen via aromatase. Inflammation, lack of exercise, stress and abnormal level of estrogen can contribute to bad gene expression. Regular alcohol consumption does not only lead to impotence as it can lower the levels of testosterone, it also boosts the aromatase activity that can result in increased intracellular estrogen conversion from testosterone.

How can acupuncture prevent or resolve prostate cancer?

Acupuncture is a procedure that balances and boosts your immune system. A strong immune system can alleviate inflammation, which greatly reduces the risk of cancer development. Acupuncture also can alter your metabolism by upgrading the function of your thyroid and digestive system. So, when consuming foods, your body produces more heat and energy (instead of storing the calories) making it more efficient which equates to less estrogen, less fat and less gene mutation. Acupuncture is a stress-reducing therapy that can help relieve anxiety, improve sleep and enhance the body’s natural killer-cell activity, which is very important during radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Acupuncture is also a way to release natural feel-good chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, GABA, etc.) in your bloodstream helping you feel relaxed and good.

 

Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.

Acupuncture Treatment for Postpartum Conditions

Acupuncture treatment can help make postpartum recovery quicker and can help treat some conditions that women face after giving birth:

  • Depression
  • Persistent Lochia
  • Pain and recovery from incisions of C-Section
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Fatigue
  • Mastitis, milk production and breastfeeding problems

Acupuncture treatments after giving birth are just as important as receiving acupuncture treatments prior to giving birth in order for the body to function optimally. Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture treatments will not only make you feel good after you have given birth, with the help of your acupuncturist you can also only gain a better understanding of your recovery progress and of the maintenance and care of your overall health..

Labor and giving birth need a huge amount of resources and energy on your part and so, as a new mother, you need to rest and recover which is as equally important as caring for your newborn. A woman usually recovers for a period of six weeks from the delivery of her child. She can suffer a lot of symptoms due to an imbalance of energy (Qi) in her body including fatigue, depression, heaviness and numbness of the extremities and aching.

Acupuncture for C-section Recovery

To help a woman recover very well and quickly from a c section or vaginal birth, acupuncture treatment is needed. We need to understand that C-section is also surgery and so it may take a while for the woman to recover from this type of major invasive operation. Therefore, the woman needs to take the necessary time and be given as much care and tenderness as she needs in the same care and tenderness she gives her baby. Acupuncture can definitely help heal the tissue around the incision, and make her internal organs and muscles strong again especially the reproductive, bladder organs and the stomach core muscles that a woman uses to move effectively and efficiently in order to properly care for herself and her baby.

Acupuncture for Postpartum Depression

Acupuncture has been proven through various medical studies to significantly treat depression. Depression is a condition that often comes with postpartum challenges. The benefits that acupuncture can give a woman with postpartum depression are many. Acupuncture helps release endorphins that enable the mind to calm down and the body to relax. It also improves blood flow and normalizes the enzymes and hormones of the body. Acupuncture treatments for postpartum depression are quite the same as those used to resolve non-postpartum depression. They help boost the immune system, enhance the energy and uptake of nutrients and balance out mood swings. These benefits make the mother more than capable of caring for her new child.

Barring any complications in childbirth, in which case acupuncture treatment can be given ASAP to facilitate the postpartum healing process, recommended home visits can begin 3 days after giving birth that can continue weekly for a month. If it’s not possible to have regular home visits, then Chinese herbal formulas may be given along with follow-up phone consultations every two weeks.

 

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The Approach of Traditional Chinese Medical towards Allergies

Essentially a year-long problem, allergic rhinitis can also be a seasonal allergic reaction marked by excessive nasal discharge, nasal blockage, and sneezing attacks. Red conjunctivae and itchy eyes are additional symptoms a lot of sufferers experience. As the blockage of the sinus pathways becomes more severe, sufferers may also report symptoms of asthma, headaches, impaired mental focus, breathing problems, and thickened mucus membranes. These symptoms are derived due to the sufferer’s extreme sensitivity to fumes, animal dander, dust mites, spores, and/or pollens according to a conventional perspective. For certain unknown reasons, the immune system of the patient has signaled the affected area to stay on high alert for factors that may enter the body through the throat, mouth and nasal pathways. When a perceived foreign agent enters the body through said body parts, the immune system acts up hysterically and commands the body to isolate the foreign agents immediately within the vicinity of these orifices. The immune system then dispatches white blood cell killers to eliminate the invaders. The battle between the infiltrators and the white blood cells produces the symptoms and signs that we distinguish as an allergic reaction.

Conventional Therapies for Allergies:

Typical treatments for allergic rhinitis are often to desensitize the body to the allergen or may involve the use of antihistamines to inhibit the immune response of the body to the allergen. These therapies basically either redirect or suppress the immune response of the sufferer to a specified allergen and do not address the other related aspects of the patient’s condition that may be important for a much more effective resolution. They also do not clear the blockages that can slow down or even prevent body systems from regaining their harmonious function.

The Approach of Traditional Chinese Medical towards Allergies:

The way Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) addresses allergic rhinitis is to treat the internal factors that have caused the dysfunction of the immune response of the body and to also relieve the symptoms caused by its hyper-reactive condition. Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture aid the immune system to correctly and calmly evaluate the threat and help it come up with a proper response that is reasonably proportional to the degree of the threat.

Wei Qi:

Wei Qi is a TCM concept that pertains to the functions and nature of immunity. It is one of the body’s defensive components and is associated with vital energy or Qi. Wei Qi flows between the muscles and under the skin, shielding the body from being severely impacted by heat, wind or other elements that the body encounters in the environment. Kidney and Lung Qi aid Wei Qi in defending the body against potential wind borne pathogenic elements. Kidney Qi conveys nourishment directed upwardly towards the Lungs. It also sends signal from the endocrine system to enable Wei Qi to come up with a healthy defense response to whatever pathogen it may face. Lung Qi, on the other hand, protects and nourishes the mucus linings of the respiratory tract, mouth and nose.

A strong and well-nourished Wei Qi can properly identify a foreign agent within its borders. It will then execute a proper inflammatory response to ensnare the infiltrator, while at the same time signal white blood cell killers to eliminate the trapped allergen. Sneezing and nasal discharges help remove the dead pathogen from the body thus restoring homeostasis to the body.

Deficiency that can complicate an Allergy condition:

Blocked or deficient organ systems responsible for producing Wei Qi can exacerbate a mild allergic reaction making it severe. Tired while blood cell soldiers may fail in their quest to eliminate the infiltrators and this may cause the affected and inflamed part of the body to be become extremely toxic. More mucus accumulation can lead to more forceful sneezing causing the sufferer severe breathing problems. Important facets in rhinitis patterns that are complicated by deficiency are listed below:

  • Weak deficient pulse
  • History of eczema or asthma
  • Pale and waxy complexion
  • Increased itching around the nose and eyes
  • Recurrent and transitory sneezing
  • Onset often comes with a change of weather

Allergies worsened by stagnation:

If the blood and Qi pathways become obstructed, Wei Qi wanes. Blockage can develop when Liver gets very much affected by emotional stress. Unreleased anger or frustration can throttle liver qi, restraining the normal flow of blood and qi to other systems of the body. Without the efficient and regular circulation of nutrients and information, the defense mechanism of the body malfunctions, (i.e. it overreacts). Some of the patterns involving allergies worsened by stagnation include:

  • A string-taut pulse
  • White or red face turning purple during an anger fit
  • Easy and disproportionate reaction to current events

Food Choices That Can Affect Allergies:

Poor dietary choices can lead to another type of obstruction/stagnation. Daily eating of cold foods that can produce phlegm causes a slow digestion of the foods that also slows down the absorption and distribution of nutrients to the entire body. All kinds of foods and drinks that contain sugar as well as dairy products, peanuts and cold fruit juices can cause the production of mucus in the digestive tract that often ends up in the lungs and nose. Children are often affected by this condition and so we often see many of them suffering from chronic noisy respiration, nasal itching and persistent runny noses. Important features in this type of rhinitis pattern include:

  • Loose stools
  • Thirsty with no desire to drink
  • Picky eater due to a poor appetite
  • Muzzy headed, fatigue and a droopy posture
  • White face

Acupuncture’s Miraculous Effects:

Acupuncture is usually the TCM choice of treatment that is often combined with Chinese herbal remedies to treat allergic rhinitis. In order to alleviate sinus signs and symptoms, the acupuncturist carefully places very fine-gauged needles into the affected energy channels known as meridians. These meridians need to be stimulated in order to suppress an ongoing allergic reaction. Along with that, the acupuncturist needs to also reformat signal pathways between the immune system and the other organ systems of the body and to clear accumulating mucus to help prevent the onset of any future attacks. One to up to three sessions of acupuncture treatments during the month before the start of the allergy season can reinforce and normalize Wei Qi, the kidneys and the lungs in a way that the patient is no longer sensitive to the once troublesome allergens.

Chinese Herbal Remedies Can Provide Relief:

Taking certain Chinese herbal formulas each day can significantly minimize the severity of the symptoms during an allergic reaction. It can also strengthen the kidney and lung systems for a long period of time. If foods that produce mucus are avoided, being allergy-free even when going outdoors is practically guaranteed.

One of the oldest ways to treat Crohn’s disease is acupuncture

A chronic disease that still has no known cure Crohn’s disease can have a number of different symptoms to indicate its presence in the body. It manifests symptoms that can negatively affect the life, the quality of life, and work of the sufferer. Crohn’s disease can cause issues such as arthritis that bring about pain on the joints, lesions in the eyes, thrush in the mouth and biological disturbance in the liver among others.

Drugs that help treat this disease can likewise cause side effects and other problems in the body. A number of treatments have been designed to help heal the body but still no real full-fledge modality has been created to cure this condition.

One of the oldest ways to treat Crohn’s disease is acupuncture. Sadly, acupuncture can only treat the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, not cure it entirely. This ancient and unique form of medical treatment has been developed in China and it is quite a versatile and powerful treatment that it can help treat dozens of disorders and diseases including Crohn’s disease.

Acupuncture’s beneficial effects are experienced directly through the energy channels in the body known as meridians and the nervous system. It is a modality that uses extremely thin needles that do not cause pain when inserted into the skin. These needles are actually inserted into selected points in the body known as acupuncture points to stimulate the cells in the brain. The needles cause the brain to release enkephalins and endorphins, both natural pain killers that strengthen the body’s immune system. Acupuncture also helps calm and reinvigorate the nervous system. It is also seen by many health experts to treat psycho-physiological conditions.

One of the best benefits of acupuncture to human health is that it does not have any side effects on the human body. Acupuncture treatment is often geared for the better functioning of the central nervous, gastrointestinal and gastrointestinal sensory systems. The type of acupuncture procedure to be used often depends on the symptoms manifested by the patient.

Many countries have now accepted acupuncture as a valid form of treatment for certain bowel infections and gastrointestinal disorders. Because of the unique way acupuncture is used on each patient, it is difficult to prove the effectiveness of acupuncture in clinical trials that involve several subjects given a uniform acupuncture treatment. Therefore, there is still no clear evidence of the effectiveness of this treatment in treating Crohn’s disease. It is often a combination of drug and acupuncture therapy that are recommended by doctors and Chinese medicine practitioners for better outcomes.

 

Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.