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Monthly Archives : October, 2016

Curing Your TMJ Symptoms with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

TMJ refers to a condition of the temporomandibular joint. It can also refer to the temporomandibular joint itself. The disorder of the TMJ disorder is a common condition and it is caused by an articular displacement in the jaw.

The condition TMJ pertains to a joint disorder. This joint connects the skull to the mandible (jaw). A TMJ disorder can bring about a number of symptoms including a ringing in the ears; ear pain; headaches; popping or clicking sounds in the joint of the jaw; locking of the jaw; difficulty in opening the mouth comfortably; and myofascial pain. The pain has the tendency to radiate to the shoulders and neck.

Some causes for TMJ include bruxism (grinding or clenching the teeth), gum chewing and other repetitive jaw joint movements, overstretching the jaw during surgical or dental procedures, or injury. A link between certain autoimmune diseases and TMJ is suspected. Among patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, more than half also suffer from TMJ.

The NIH (National Institutes of Health) believes that there over 25 million Americans who suffer all or some of these symptoms. Women seem to be more at risk than men although both genders can suffer from the condition. Treatments for TMJ used by Western medicine physicians include oral splints, anti-inflammatory medications and surgical correction (in 5% to 10% of sufferers).

The NIH, in 1997, set up a committee of pain doctors who concluded that acupuncture is an acceptable alternative or useful adjunct treatment for TMJ. Nowadays, this treatment is one the most commonly used and highly successful therapies for TMJ.

The fundamental principle behind acupuncture is that a life energy known as qi exists that circulates throughout the body like blood on certain energy vessels known as meridians. When a blockage develops on one of these channels, health conditions arise. By sticking a hair thin acupuncture needle into a selected point where underneath a meridian lies, the needle stimulates the meridian to restore the smooth flow energy which results in the healing of sickness and the relief of pain. The body has twenty documented meridians, four of which is connected directly to the TMJ.

There are acupuncturists who opt to insert needles locally in the site where the pain is felt. These points are located along the jaw or around the ear. This is just one way to treat TMJ symptoms. But since the meridian system is quite a complex system, there are many inter-connecting pathways and links between meridians that make local needling stimulation unneeded.

The acupoints on the knees, elbows, and big toe are some of the most powerful acupoints for treating TMJ. When stimulated, these distal points tend to produce immediate effects and results which the patient can feel within minutes of needle insertion. The patient can feel a greater range of motion and less pain in his/her TMJ. If your issue is bruxism, your acupuncturist may need to stimulate the experience point found in the lower leg to treat the bruxism.

Relief will vary between patients after the needles are taken out. For chronic or longstanding TMJ cases, several treatments may be needed. Acupuncturists usually attach small pin-like seeds to the lobe of your ear that have specific acupoints indirectly and directly linked to the TMJ jaw. When pressure (using your fingers) is applied to the seeds, the patient can extend the benefits of the previous acupuncture session which can endure till the next session.

Disease and pain is categorized by Chinese medicine in terms of the imbalance of the patient’s qi. This imbalance can either be due to a deficiency or excess, or a combination of both. Your acupuncturist has to collect information relating to the development of your condition, question you on what factors tend to alleviate or worsen your symptoms, evaluate all the functions of your body, take your pulses (there are 6), and physically examine your tongue. This will help identify the disharmony pattern between the meridians and their related organs.

Besides the insertion of needles into acupoints to treat the TMJ symptoms, extra needles may be inserted to address the underlying root of the condition. This unique customized approach to healing means that acupuncturists can see ten TMJ patients and treat each one in a slightly or totally different manner, based on their Chinese medical diagnosis. In several instances herbal remedies may be included in the treatment.

Vickery Health & Wellness
18455 Burbank Blvd #306
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 578-6730

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The Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine For Hyperhidrosis Sufferers

Hyperhidrosis pertains to heavy sweating not as a result of medication, heavy clothing, hot surroundings, or exertion over the entire body. “Spontaneous perspiration” is the term TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) uses to refer to hyperhidrosis. TCM considers this disorder a type of disharmony in which protective qi is weakened, resulting in qi failing to manage the sweat pores and regulate the external body. Hyperhidrosis sufferers are likely to acquire boils, prickly heat, folliculitis, and skin-fold rashes on the body.

One may try a Chinese medicine remedy for relief, if physical evaluation rules out any underlying health problems, such as infections, low blood sugar, rheumatic fever, or hyperthyroidism.

Through particular examination procedures, TCM physicians can diagnose disharmony patterns. These patterns identify the pathological changes and determine the guidelines to be followed for selecting remedies. Tonifying herbs for yang or qi such as cinnamon, twig, ginseng, and root of astralagus are usually prescribed as herbal remedies to reinvigorate the external body and restore the sweat pores’ normal function. Ingredients with astringent qualities including immature peach, white peony root, fossil bone, glutinous rice straw root, gallnet of Chinese sumac, schisandra, root of ephedra, shriveled wheat, and oyster shell can all contribute in the prevention of excessive perspiration.

For daytime hyperhidrosis, the following are some of typical patterns of disharmony and a list of herbal remedies that can be prescribed:

Internally Obstructed Heat Phlegm

Symptoms: a rapid, rolling pulse; reddish tongue coated with greasy yellowish fur; dizziness or headache; insomnia; palpitations; thirst; hot flashes; irritability; shortness of breath; and excessive sweating

Goal of treatment: to stop excessive sweating, dissolve phlegm, and clear heat.

Herbal treatment recommended: schisandra, white peony root, and Calm the Stomach Powder formula

Yin and Qi Deficiency

Symptoms: floating or weak pulse; constipation; slight fever; dryness of the mouth; low temperature sensitivity; shortness of breath; fatigue; irritability; palpitations and frequent bouts of hyperhidrosis during the day and night.

Goal of treatment: to reduce heat, nourish yin, reinvigorate the external body, and replenish qi.

Herbal treatment recommended: oyster shell, bark or root of wolfberry, white peony root, Six Yellow Decoction formula, and Chinese Angelica

Accumulation of Internal Heat

Symptoms: forceful and surging pulse; reddish tongue coated with yellowish fur; irritability; hot sensation; flushed face; extreme thirst, and persistent sweating.

Goal of treatment: promote the production of body fluids, replenish qi, and purge internal heat.

Herbal treatment recommended: reed rhizome, golden thread rhizome, root of snakegourd, ginseng, and White Tiger Decoction formula.

Qi and Body Fluids Impaired By Summer Heat

Symptoms: weak but surging pulse; reddish tongue coated with dry yellowish fur; yellow scanty urine; stuffiness in the chest; annoyance; thirst; hot sensation in the body coupled with profuse sweating.

Goal of treatment: boost the production of body fluids, replenish qi, and clear summer heat.

Herbal treatment recommended: rhizome of fragrant Solomonseal, schisandra with Replenishing Qi Decoction and Wang’s Clearing Summer Heat formulae.

Yang Deficiency

Symptoms: a deep and weak pulse; pale tongue; sallow complexion; obesity; tightness in the chest; heart palpitations; loose bowels; weak appetite; chills or sensitivity to low temperatures; coldness of the limbs; and profuse sweating that develops over the entire body.

Goal of treatment: the treatment should promote harmony between the external and internal body, boost the yang qi; and warm the yang qi.

Herbal treatment recommended: schisandra, oyster shell, and processed aconite combined with decoction of Cinnamon Twig

A Deficient Protective Qi

Symptoms: a weak pulse; pale tongue; increased tendency to catch the flu or cold; a pale complexion; sensitivity to low temperatures; fatigue; shortness of breath; and frequent and profuse sweating during daytime which is aggravated after emotional stress of exertion.

Goal of treatment: treatment should arrest sweating, restore the strength of the external body, and replenish vital energy (qi).

Herbal treatment recommended: fossil bone, oyster shell, ephedra root combined with Jade Windscreen Powder formula.

Excessive Daytime Sweating Treatment Using Acupuncture in Pembroke Pines

To arrest excessive sweating, harmony between the internal and external body should be established and organ functioning regulated. These can all be accomplished with acupuncture therapy. This treatment will have more sustainable and better results when herbal remedies are used alongside it. The lung rules over protective qi, the heart and kidney are responsible for sweat function. The kidney is considered as the root of body, TCM doctors often select acupoints that lie along the lung, heart and kidney energy channels. For profuse daytime sweating the following are some important points commonly selected for stimulation:

– Si 3 (Hou hsi): This point is located meridian/channel of the small intestine meridian, and it is linked with the governor channel. Si 3 benefits yang qi and helping purge internal heat.
– Lu 10 (Yu ji): This acupoint is the lung meridian’s spring point. When stimulated, it can clear the heat in the abdomen and lungs.
– Ki 7 (Fu liu): This is the kidney meridian’s river point. When, stimulated, the Ki 7 can enrich the yin of the body.
– Li 4 (He gu): This acupoint is the large intestine meridian’s source point. Li 4 stimulation can lead to the normalization of qi and blood circulation on the surface of the body.

Healthy Tips For Hyperhidrosis Sufferers

For people who sweat profusely, internal heat is an important factor as it helps promote the vaporization of body fluids. Hyperhidrosis may indicate that the body needs to cool down because it is overheated. This means that the sufferer should limit or avoid the eating of spicy and hot foods and avoid smoking and alcohol, as well. He/she needs to consume more foods that promote the production of body fluids and foods that have a cooling effect. These can include soybean sprouts, eggplant, orange, loquat fruit, sugarcane, water chestnut, peach, apricot, plum, pineapple, apple, tomato, wild rice stem, lotus root, and Chinese cabbage. Cooked foods are prepared for daily meals which can provide the right amount of water to the body.

Hyperhidrosis individuals can also benefit from regular exercises as they help boost resistance to fight diseases and strengthen the body’s ability to control sweating. They need to also know that perspiration can be triggered by stress and so should learn how to control their stress. Supreme Ultimate Fist and Qigong practice are excellent ways to relax. If possible, change clothing once they are soaked. Fresh clothes should be worn every day. Always wipe the sweat off as it can lessen the likelihood of boils, prickly heat rashes or other skin complications.

The Many Benefits of Acupuncture for Pregnancy and Post Pregnancy-Related Problems

Arguably, the most popular form of Chinese medicine in the world, acupuncture is 4,000 thousand years old and works by using needles stuck into energy meridians and about a thousand pressure points in the human body. The needles used in this treatment are disposable and as thin as a strand of hair in your scalp. They’re inserted just below the surface of the skin in order to stimulate the energy meridians in the body. The treatment does not generate pain and the worst a patient can experience during the treatment is a sensation of slight burning, heaviness, or tingling on the site where the needle is inserted.

One of the most important benefits of acupuncture for pregnant women in Boynton Beach is its ability to address conditions related to their pregnancy without the need for drugs. A qualified practitioner can help a pregnant patient by stimulating predetermined acupoints on the body by ripening the cervix to hasten labor.

According to a Harvard University study, there are more than five million Americans who avail themselves of acupuncture treatment each year. Supporting this claim is the NIH (National Institutes of Health) who stated that more and more dentists and Western physicians refer their patients to acupuncturists for treatment and for prevention.

Some of the common uses of acupuncture are for the alleviation from chemotherapy side effects, digestion conditions, arthritis, allergies, and headaches. During each phase of pregnancy and even after pregnancy, acupuncture has benefits that are scientifically proven and time-tested not just for the mother but also for her baby. Since babies, while in their mothers’ womb, can be seriously affected by toxins coming from the body of their mothers, those toxins may bring about skin sensitivity and irritations, frequent pediatric illnesses and high fevers. By balancing therapies given regularly during all phases of pregnancy, acupuncturists can boost the woman’s health, positively influence the development of her baby, and prevent pregnancy complications.

Migraines, Bleeding, Nausea, Morning Sickness – First Trimester

There is some controversy on whether acupuncture treatment can lead to first trimester early contractions, fetal movement, or spontaneous abortion. However, research in the UK using acupuncture treatment on 600 women on their first trimester of pregnancy showed that these patients did not experience any type of negative side effects. They experienced less bleeding, bloating, migraines, and fatigue. These patients likewise showed less serious incidences and frequency of nausea.

One very important thing to note if you are considering acupuncture treatment, more so if you are pregnant, is that you should only avail of the services of an experienced and qualified (licensed) acupuncturist. The health of the pregnant woman and her baby are in good hands under the care of a highly experienced acupuncturist; even better if the acupuncturist has a Chinese herbology certificate, as his/her knowledge of the whole system of Chinese medicine system is definitely superior. During the first trimester, the woman can be treated with acupressure (acupuncture without needles) and/or ear acupuncture to lessen the likelihood of complication.

Stress, Hemorrhoids, and Heartburn – Second Trimester

Besides stress, hemorrhoids, and heartburn experienced during the second-trimester, acupuncturists can also treat excessive weight gain, high blood pressure, and edema. However, you also need to talk to your doctor if you are suffering any of these problems.

Pelvic Girdle and Back Pain – Third Trimester

Undergoing acupuncture during the third trimester is universally deemed to be the safest time during pregnancy. The treatment during this stage can be used for the healing of pelvic girdle pain, carpal tunnel, back pain, and sciatica as well as back pain, which about three quarters of pregnant women during the third trimester suffer from. The Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica observed that acupuncture produces even much better results than exercise, heat, and massage.

The BBC has reported that a third of pregnant women in their third trimester suffer from pelvic girdle pain. A study done in the UK involved dividing 386 pregnant women into three groups with each group being given a different type of treatment. One group was treated with a specific regimen; another underwent acupuncture and exercise; the last group did conventional home exercise programs. The acupuncture and exercise group manifested the least pain. The Royal College of General Practitioners vice chairman, Dr. Graham Archard says that “Women who are pregnant need to stay away from drugs, in order to benefit from acupuncture, which is a treatment that releases natural painkilling chemicals in the body.”

Increase of Energy, Reduction of Pain During Labor

Besides helping induce labor with overdue babies, acupuncture can also be used to reposition a breech fetus. The Journal of American Medical Association recommended one other form of Chinese medicine known as moxibustion which can be added to acupuncture treatment to turn a breech position into head-first delivery. Besides that, acupuncture treatment during labor has proven to boost vitality and energy and lessen pain. The therapy assists women suffering post-birth extensive bleeding to cease their hemorrhage.

Depression Prevention and Recuperation – Post Partum

Acupuncture can bring pain relief after C-section, or vaginal birth delivery. For post partum depression, the treatment can prevent the rise of severe postpartum depression by restoring a woman’s normal recuperative cycle. Stress and feelings of depression can be naturally alleviated as acupuncture helps bring back the body into balance. The treatment also leads to a lower rate of postpartum depression among pregnant women.

Some Helpful Chinese Medicine Tips That Can Help You Live A Healthy Life

Chinese medicine has been around for more than 2.500 years. This ancient form of Eastern healing has consistently helped support a balanced, vibrant, and healthy mind and body regardless of race, nationality, gender, or age.

To accentuate the interrelationship of all organs and components of the body, Chinese medicine is grounded on the belief of the existence of a life energy known as qi that like blood circulates all through the body via channels known as meridians. Chinese medicine supports the vitality and health of the body in various ways. All the other parts of the body will either be depleted, balanced or enhanced as a result when one part enjoys especially low or high circulation of qi. The focus of the treatment is to even or smooth the flow of qi throughout the body.

Western medicine and Chinese medicine are not incompatible even though they run on different theories. Modern understanding and ancient wisdom can go hand in hand with regards to self-care and well-being. This article will show readers some easy ways in which they can integrate traditional Chinese medicine treatments into their life to feel more grounded, balanced, and energetic.

1. Aim: to Possess Glowing Skin – A skin that is itchy, dry, rough, or has eczema, rashes, or redness can be the body’s way of saying that something is imbalanced within. Alternative approaches can be used to these challenges that prevent you from enjoying vibrant and clear skin.

Chinese Medicine Treatment: if you’re often feeling too hot or too cold, there may be something that prevents your Lung Meridian from defending your body optimally. This problem can be reflected in the condition of your skin and hair. Your lung can often be affected by extreme climate exposure since it serves as your first line of defense from the environment. Make sure to keep comfortably cool in the summer and dress warmly enough in the colder months. Include in your diet foods such as garlic and onions and do some deep breathing exercises as they all help your lung qi grow stronger. Skin problems can be intensified by smoking, so you need to cease the habit if you want a healthy glowing skin.

Perform acupressure on the elbow crease

2. Aim: To Get Quality and Adequate Sleep – Hours of turning and tossing on the bed can leave you exhausted and frustrated. That may result in sugar cravings, a weakened immune system, and a hard time functioning at peak levels.

Chinese Medicine Treatment: Eating a big meal late at night and sleeping shortly thereafter forces your digestive system and stomach to work overtime all night long. This can lead to heartburn, disturbing dreams, and a disturbed sleep. Eat a light meal early in the evening and give it enough time to digest and then have a balanced fuller lunch in the day.

Perform acupressure on the forearms three fingers above the wrist

3. Aim: to Relieve Stress – Feeling stuck, dissatisfied, or moody? Consuming too much alcohol? Working in front of the computer for too long? All these, according to Chinese medicine, can lead to an imbalance in your Liver meridian, which can lead to strain and severe stress especially when living in the fast-paced modern world.

Chinese Medicine Treatment: Your liver meridian may show its present condition through our eyes. So, if you have strained, blurry, irritated, red, or watery eyes it can be a sign of stagnation or dysfunction in your liver qi. Check to see if your computer monitor is positioned the right way. When you have activities that mainly engage your eyes, make frequent breaks to relax your eyes and prevent you from straining or stressing yourself out too much.

Acupressure: Apply pressure on the bridge of your nose between just above the eyebrows. This can help relieve pressure off your eyes.

Chinese healing is all about vital energy and balance. Start with the simple above-mentioned tips to increase your wellness.

To better your ability to remove stress in your mind and body, try eating less hot and spicy foods, lessen your intake of alcohol, listen to relaxing music, do some gentle stretching exercises, and get some acupuncture treatment.

Dr. Jeda Boughton is a licensed acupuncture physician and the medical director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, BC.

Can Electroacupuncture Help Reduce Sepsis and Other Inflammatory Conditions

A study headed by researchers at Rutgers University reveals pathways to stopping inflammation in conditions such as arthritis and sepsis.

There were legions of doubters when acupuncture first became popular in the United States. It still has, albeit not as much as before as it has, over time, proven to work with extreme efficacy from numerous studies that prove it to stop or minimize inflammation. Scientists have yielded factual evidence that this thousands of years old Chinese practice really works.

New studies have now verified that a direct relation between physical processes that could relieve sepsis and the use of acupuncture exists. Sepsis is a condition that usually occurs in intensive care units in hospitals due to inflammation and infection and affects around a quarter of a million Americans every year.

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School immunologist Luis Ulloa, who headed a study that has been featured in the Nature Medicine journal states that sepsis is one of the leading causes of death in hospitals, Ulloa, however, said that “the the infection per se is not why most sepsis patients die. They die because of the inflammatory disorder that develops after the infection and so this is why the focus is in controlling the inflammatory condition.”

The research team were already aware that when the vagus, which is one of the body’s major nerves, is stimulated, it sets off body processes that lessen inflammation. So they tested whether a certain kind of acupuncture that conveys a mild electric current through the vagus and other nerves could lead to the lessening of organ injury and inflammation among septic mice.

Ulloa states that raising the current will have an effect on where the needles are placed and explains that electrification is already approved by the FDA in the treatment of pain among humans.

When the mice with sepsis were treated with electroacupuncture, cytokines, which are molecules that help reduce inflammation were stimulated, as predicted, 50% of the mice lived for at least a week. To the mice not given acupuncture, the survival rate was zero.

To figure out exactly why acupuncture treatments worked, Ulloa and his team made a discovery that made them disappointed. They discovered that when the adrenal glands were removed, (these are the glands that produce hormones in the body), the electroacupuncture treatment did not work. This revelation presented a huge obstacle to the application of acupuncture in humans with sepsis, since in most human cases of sepsis there is a sharp reduction in the function of the adrenal gland. It is believed that electroacupuncture can still help some patients whose adrenal glands work well, but not many others.

So the team decided to perform much deeper research aimed at discovering the specific physiological modification that arises when electroacupuncture is used with well functioning adrenal glands. These modifications involved increasing the amounts of dopamine, a very important hormone within the immune system.

However, even when they added dopamine, the inflammation did not abate. So they replaced a drug known as fenoldopam that imitates some of the most positive effects of dopamine, and they were able to lessen sepsis-related deaths by 40% even without acupuncture.

These results were seen as a double victory by Ulloa.

This study demonstrates the value of acupuncture beyond any that has been shown before. The results reveal potential benefits, Ulloa states, for treating other inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, not just for sepsis.

Ulloa, concludes that even though he doesn’t know whether the best solution for sepsis will be some medicine that will mimic electroacupuncture or electroacupuncture itself, the important thing is that this study has opened the door to both.

Kine Fischler is a licensed acupuncture physician and the clinical director of Willow Tree Wellness in Portland, OR.

If You Want The Best Treatment for Your Amenorrhea, Try Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Amenorrhea is a condition in which a woman has an irregular menstrual cycle or has no period at all. One other symptom of this condition is a rising basal body temperature during the expected time at mid-cycle.

Chinese herbal therapy and acupuncture in Louisville can allay a lot of menstrual disorders and ovulation issues by helping restore endocrine and hormonal balance in the woman’s body.

The treatment of acupuncture boosts the circulation of blood to the reproductive organs. The enhanced circulation means that the organs are being regulated and receive adequate amounts of nutrients and oxygen. From the viewpoint of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the “qi” of the body flows freely, which nourishes and heals the body as it is naturally supposed to be.

The most likely cause of many menstrual and ovulation problems usually is an interruption in the endocrine system. Also, the organs that normalize reproductive hormones, the hypothalamus or pituitary, can malfunction. Hormonal disruptions in a woman body might lead to a development of a condition such as PCOS pr Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Her body might also have either too much or too little estrogen. Infertility may not only be caused by a lack of ovulation: other unrelated fertility problems may or may not be caused by other conditions such as stress, fibroids, or endometriosis. If a woman’s menses becomes irregular due to the stoppage of oral contraceptives, Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help bring back your body to a natural cycle.

Some usual reasons of irregular menstrual cycle or no period including no ovulation if you are not pregnant include:

– Use of street drugs and certain legal medications
– Stress due to travel, or emotional swings
– PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
– Obesity
– Low body weight
– Endurance training or intense exercise
– Thyroid issues and hormone imbalances
– Breast feeding – until breast feeding is complete a period will not usually return
– Birth control pills
– Bulimia or anorexia

Acupuncture raises the flow of blood to the reproductive organs; this enhanced circulation means that the organs are sustained with the optimal amounts of nutrients and oxygen, and ensures that hormones move freely through the bloodstream. An irregular menstrual cycle as a result of oral contraceptive stoppage can be resolved with Chinese medicine enabling your body to go back to a natural cycle.

Moreover, acupuncturists provide treatments for issues that can interfere with a normal menstrual cycle (cramps, PMS, endometriosis, stress, etc.) Acupuncture therapies can treat anxiety which is a huge cause in hormonal imbalances. Acupuncturists typically administer three to six months of regular treatment. Afterwards, patients can experience significant improvement with their menstrual health and ovulation. One of the best benefits of the treatment is that it is natural and safe without the need of synthetic and pharmaceutical medications.

If your amenorrhea is related to weight problems, your practitioner will search for a healthy relationship to your weight that will result in greater reproductive health. Chinese medicine considers food as a vital factor in nourishing the body to good health. The body’s qi is improved by eating healthy foods. Eliminating certain foods and adding some can help readjust your systems to work optimally. Becoming healthy in a natural way produces a myriad of emotional, physical, and even spiritual benefits.