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What is Cupping Therapy?

Hollywood star Jennifer Aniston caused quite a media frenzy when she stepped out onto the red carpet bearing the marks of an ancient healing technique. Many were curious if she was a victim of a burning injury or has been physically abused by someone

For people who know a thing or two about cupping treatment, the marks were a confirmation that Miss Aniston firmly believes in the healing efficacy of cupping therapy. This modality is a three millennia-old procedure that is still leaving its mark in Modern Western medicine today.

What can one expect from a cupping therapy? These days, the treatment mainly uses glass cups although about three thousand years ago, bamboo wood and animal horns were used. In fact, during that time, the ancient Chinese referred to cupping as ‘horning’.

To decrease the pressure inside the cups, they are traditionally heated with fire and alcohol on the inside then applied onto the skin. The skin is suctioned towards the cup as the cup cools down.

A pump action is cupping therapy’s newest innovation which does away with the dangerous fire. It is also a more precise way of measuring the force of suction and obviously, takes out the risk of burning.

Cupping is used by Japanese shiatsu therapists and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. They apply the cups onto different areas of the body where meridian channels lie underneath. These meridians are the same channels used in acupuncture treatment. In the back, practitioners usually target five meridians particularly the one associated with the bladder system.

The ankles, legs, and hands can also be cupped since they have meridian channels that can be targeted to treat certain types of illnesses.

Practitioners often use cupping when they determine cold energy residing in the meridian channels of the patient. Cupping generates warmth that stimulates the skin. Suction moves blood to the affected areas promoting localized healing. The chi is warmed and starts to flow freely down the meridians.

Cupping therapy has the power to treat several disorders and diseases. The earliest writings from ancient China that first mentioned cupping discussed its use in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Nowadays, practitioners still use cupping to treat respiratory disease and other health conditions such as lymphatic obstructions, dizziness, headaches, gynecological conditions, and digestive disorders. Cupping can also help treat the common cold as well as soft tissue injuries and insomnia.

Cupping causes bruises that only last for two days and are not painful. If you desire to try out this therapy for yourself, it’s very important to seek treatment from a trained practitioner who can tell you where you need a bit of extra energy and where you don’t.

During ancient times, the Chinese and Japanese cultures were not the only ones to exclusively use cupping for various therapeutic reasons. The Arabs were also practicing this therapy at those times, which they called Al-hijamah. Now that it has been introduced by Hollywood stars and recently by US Olympic athletes, it will probably be now used by millions of people over the world.

So, the next time you see Jennifer walking on the red carpet covered in bruises, you know that she wasn’t just physically attacked by someone or anything like that. She just invested a little of effort and time into her health.

Ni Nan Gilbert is a licensed acupuncturist in Bellmore, NY with certification in Chinese Herbology and over 16 years experience in traditional Chinese medicine.

Get Rid Of Halitosis (Bad Breath) Once And For All With Acupuncture

Perhaps the most unorthodox way to cure halitosis (bad breath) is through acupuncture in Cleveland. This is the practice of using very slender needles stuck into the skin in strategic points to hinder certain nerves to alter the flow of Chi. This Chi is thought to be the life energy that flows through our bodies to give us the power to feel, work, move, and think.

For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has been used by countless number of people to help restore or upgrade their health and wellbeing. The approach used by Chinese medicine is a whole lot different than the one used by the West. According to Chinese medicine, the mind, body, and spirit is all connected through Chi. One of the most important tenets of Chinese medicine is the theory of Yin and Yang, specifically, the balance of Yin and Yang. Good health is engendered and more importantly, life is born between the balanced interaction of Yin and Yang. When this balance is off, the whole body suffers from ill-health and pain. In Chinese medicine health and balance go hand in hand.

In Chinese medicine theory, a hot stomach is the cause of bad breath. This literally means that the stomach carries excess heat leading to problems such as frontal lobe headaches, mouth ulcers, gum swelling and disease, and bad breath. Too much heat in the stomach can be caused by various factors that can include eating food that has spoiled, stomach flu, an unhealthy diet, very high levels of stress and many others. Excess heat in the stomach is a common condition and most people are unaware that they have it. When symptoms arise, they just seem to tolerate it or sometimes take antacids for relief. Since antacids merely mask the symptoms and do not really address the underlying problem (excess heat in the stomach), the symptoms will often return. With acupuncture treatment, not only are the symptoms allayed but the root of the problem is removed curing your problem for good.

Having been practiced for thousands of years, acupuncture has evolved to be the extremely versatile and effective treatment that it is now. Acupuncture restores balance to your Yin and Yang that in turn helps restore the wellbeing and health of your body. In turn, this allows your stomach to return to its normal temperature level, which leads to the cure of your halitosis. But in order to get guaranteed results, you need to seek treatment from a licensed and qualified acupuncturist. You may be able to find one near your area by going online and searching for the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) website. You can also talk to your doctor for referrals or from friends and family who have successfully sought acupuncture treatment for your halitosis problem.

Usually, people are scared of needles and most of us don’t find the idea of having needles stuck into our bodies that appealing. However, there are less invasive acupuncture procedures that are now available. Talk to your acupuncturist about them and get cured of your bad breath once and for all.

A Few Commonly Asked Questions About Acupressure Induction Therapy

Acupressure induction therapy is especially useful for pregnant women who are beyond their due date. These women would rather choose having a natural induction at home than go to a hospital and have the induction performed there. Fortunately, with acupressure, they can have their wish fulfilled.

Usually, after getting maternity acupressure, they will start experiencing labor within 48 hours or less.

Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding acupressure induction therapy and their corresponding answers.

Question: Do women experience less labor pain when they get acupressure induction therapy?

Answer: Yes, acupressure induction therapy provides a woman relief from her labor pain without the likelihood of stopping contractions.

Question: Is acupressure induction therapy difficult to perform?

Answer: No, this method is very easy to perform. You only need to apply light to medium pressure on certain pressure points on the body that immediately helps you go into labor naturally.

Question: Can acupressure induction therapy speed up labor?

Answer: Yes, compared to your average delivery time, the labor process is a couple of hours faster with acupressure induction therapy.

The fact that acupressure has been continuously used by countless numbers of people for thousands of years bears witness that it really works.

Your doctor might recommend induction for you at the hospital for the following reasons:

• Your water breaks and labor has not begun
• Lack of growth of the baby
• Infection
• Diabetes

You can also undergo acupressure induction therapy, once on-time normal labor has began, which can make the labor much shorter and much easier.

If you have an overdue pregnancy, we highly recommend getting acupressure induction therapy so that your labor can easily commence.

Mark Whalen is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Board Certified Herbalist and the founder of Five Points Acupuncture and Wellness in Reading, MA.

A Chinese Therapy Drink That Can Help Treat Excessive Cold Imbalances

A hot drink from Chinese nutritional therapy is a natural and simple food that can mobilize sluggish vital energy (Qi) and dispel excessive “cold” imbalances. If you are sensitive or allergic to any of this drink’s ingredients, then you should obviously avoid it.

This recipe can be adjusted to your needs and taste and is very easy to make. It is warming and soothing and being quite “yang,” will assist a person who has too much yin or feels cold. For those suffering from chronic dryness or chronic constipation, this recipe is also not for you. This tonic drink is also believed to be useful for women seeking relief from menstrual cramps and for people recovering from a bout of food poisoning. It is ideally drunk in cold weather when someone is exposed to too much air conditioning, or feels unusually cold.

Here’s the recipe: one to two tablespoons of chopped peeled ginger root, two cups of hot water, 1/8 teaspoon or a pinch of cayenne powder, and juice of half a lemon. If you need to sweeten this drink, you can use stevia powder, cinnamon, or brown sugar. You may also add herbal, decaf or regular tea. Rooibus works quite nicely as do chamomile tea. These ingredients are all mixed together and allowed to steep for three to five minutes. Strain, and sip it as hot as possible. Once it’s made, you can modify the ingredients to your liking. It should make you feel good and warm you up – like the warmth that you get when drinking alcohol but without its toxicity and addiction.

The “yin” properties of lemon, in Chinese herbology, helps balance the very “yang” ingredients. Lemon can also help move stagnant liver qi and is a “detoxifying” ingredient. For the health of the digestive and respiratory systems, ginger is an ideal food to use. It can also be a good treatment for motion sickness and nausea and can rev up the immune system, open up skin pores, expel cold, soothe cramps, alleviate irritable bowel syndrome, soothe upset digestion, and warm the body. Cut back eating ginger if you suffer from constipation. Cayenne is believed to help tonify the abdomen and boost circulation, and is good for the heart. Capsaicin is believed to help uplift a person’s mood, relieve pain and like ginger, is very warming. Replace with cinnamon if you happen to be sensitive to cayenne. It is important that you use 100 percent real cinnamon. The FDA allows a very similar bark to be labeled as cinnamon and it is what most groceries carry. This bark is a close relative of cinnamon.

Brown sugar, in Chinese medicine, is known to bring the benefits of the herbs to the heart and carries out the benefits of the herbs. Use powdered stevia or cinnamon sticks as sweetener if you are overweight or have hypoglycemia or diabetes. Cinnamon has the ability to help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia tastes a bit similar to the poisons aspartame or saccharin, but is a safe 100 percent chemical-free and natural sweetener. It is ideal for a low-carb diet.

You can enjoy this hot tonic with or without meals. May you feel happy, comfortable, and warm!

Eastern Healing Solutions, LLC
10875 Grandview St #2200
Overland Park, KS 66210
(913) 549-4322
http://www.overlandparkacupuncturist.com

A Brief History Of Cupping Therapy

Over time, Cupping therapy has slowly evolved from its original use of hollowed out animal horns to cure skin lesions and draw off toxins out of snakebites. Bamboo cups that replaced animal horns were then eventually superseded by glass. With the nuanced evolution of the cup itself saw the development of new therapeutic applications as well as new cultures that made use of cupping as a form of healing procedure. Interestingly, no one knows how cupping really came about.

The use of this therapy was expanded by the Chinese who included its use in surgery to rechannel the flow of blood away from the site of the surgery. Eventually, it developed into a therapy of its own, with its own specialized practitioners capable of treating a wide range of conditions. Written documents dating as far back as 28 AD, as well as a traditional Chinese saying suggested that cupping and acupuncture “cure more than half of illnesses.” Practitioners have noticed that cupping eliminates stagnation of Chi (life energy) and Blood, as well as outside pathogenic elements that infiltrate a weakened body. In Chinese medicine, a body that’s depleted is usually the result of depleted original essence or “Jing”. This state of health usually leads to a weakened immune system or “Wei Chi” (defense).

An ancient medicine text created by the Egyptians discussed cupping’s usefulness for health problems like a poor appetite, menstruation problems, vertigo, pain, and fever and the therapy’s ability to quicken the healing process of the body. The Greeks inherited the technique from the Egyptians and eventually it spread to the Americas and in many ancient European cultures.

In the 1800’s cupping was widely practiced by American and European doctors. In the 19th century, research papers were written by Chinese and Soviet researchers who collaborated to validate the clinical efficacy of this therapy. In all hospitals in China, cupping became an official form of treatment.

A new form of cupping therapy known as breast cupping evolved and it became a common type of treatment for lactation dysfunctions and inflamed breasts. It even helped inspire the creation of the breast pump. The 20th century saw the decline in the use of cupping as new machines, drugs, and technology came into use. To create a suction effect, new cupping sets that used mechanical pumps were introduced. Well into the 1940’s, most of these sets were mostly manufactured by medical supply companies.

Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center
12301 Taft St #200
Pembroke Pines, FL 33026
Phone: (954) 880-0090
http://www.vitahealthmedspa.com

Say Goodbye To Pain and Ailments With Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

In China, for thousands of years, acupuncture has been used to treat various types of illness including arthritis, shoulder pain, neck pain, and knee pain, to mention just a few. While this type of healing technique is still deemed the standard treatment in China and several parts of East Asia, in much of the Western world, it is considered “alternative medicine”.

Though the popularity of traditional Chinese medicine is rapidly rising as an alternative to conventional medication, it is oftentimes misunderstood and virtually viewed as “gypsy” or “voodoo” medication. The truth is, traditional Chinese medicine or TCM, for short, is perhaps the most tested and safest type of medicine available. It doesn’t rely on prescription medications; rather it strives to tap into the therapeutic powers and defense mechanisms of the body in curing and preventing disease. In most instances, these traditional modes of treatment are a lot less invasive and more practical than currently used healthcare therapies.

Most of the people living in Western societies know about the human body from what has been taught to them in high schools. The Western biological map of the human body has been created for hundreds of years. Chinese medicine has a very different perspective of how the human body works compared to Western medicine. The medical map used in traditional Chinese is a lot less precise despite the fact that it took more than two millennia to develop it.

Acupuncture treatment is probably the most popular technique that’s affiliated with traditional Chinese medicine. It is a procedure involving the insertion of sterile filiform needles into specific points on a person’s body, in a bid to balance and enhance the flow of vital energy called Qi within the body. This ancient Chinese therapy works on the belief that illness and disease is the result of a disturbance in the flow of blood and energy in the body, especially with regards to pain. Blood and Qi aren’t able to flow smoothly because of either a deficiency of blood and Qi in the body or a blockage in their flow. One could say that there is no pain, if there is free flow and there is pain, if there is no free flow.

In an acupuncture procedure, needles are manipulated to provide relief to sickness and to restore the movement of blood and Qi. TCM and acupuncture are used to resolve several forms of conditions because they have the capacity to stimulate the body’s self-healing processes to help rid the body of these adverse conditions.

Although a lot of people in the West may view TCM and acupuncture as unusual health-related practices, they actually have been proven to work and are long standing ways to resolve a variety of ailments. In a recent review made by the University of Maryland, it was shown that acupuncture treatment in a vast majority of people suffering from lower back pain led to a considerable improvement of their condition.

In another review, 33 clinical trials dealing with acupuncture treatment in Austin for chronic back pain were evaluated. Results show that a majority of the patients experienced substantial short-term relief. These outcomes along with dozens of clinical research suggest the health advantages that can be derived from acupuncture and they obviously show that this type of therapy should have a place in modern Western medicine.

Another TCM modality that is growing in popularity in the West for the treatment of both chronic and acute pain is Tuina massage. In Chinese, Tuina means to push and grasp. This type of Chinese medical massage comprises several other massage manipulations techniques that have been highly refined in China, and actually, in most Chinese medical hospitals, there is a separate clinic devoted to this type of massage. Tuina massage uses special techniques to provide the person with a unique therapeutic effect designed to immediately and directly normalize and free up the flow of blood and Qi in the vessels and channels. Tuina is an ideal approach in the treatment of various conditions, particularly for pain. It actually has been widely used in the treatment of injuries of Eastern Martial Arts athletes for thousands of years.

One TCM therapy that is as extremely popular and extensively studied in the West as acupuncture is Chinese herbal medicine. This type of TCM requires the skill and knowledge of a licensed and qualified Chinese herbalist that would prescribe herbal treatments based on the patient’s specific needs. The herbal remedies are formulas that are designed to restore harmony and balance to the body. These formulas are oftentimes composed of several diverse Chinese herbs, and each formula concocted by a practitioner is designed to treat a patient’s specific condition. The use of Chinese herbal medicine goes beyond the mere treating of the signs and symptoms of a particular illness; it is also designed to treat the underlying cause of the illness, which is something Western pharmaceutical drugs cannot do. An herbal formula may be taken throughout a person’s lifetime and not always taken during times of illness. This is to secure balance and harmony within the person’s body.

Besides Tuina, TCM offers people another massage technique. It is called cupping and it works along the same principles of Tuina massage and acupuncture, although it uses an extremely curious healing approach. In cupping, the body is placed with several glass cups that have been heated. The heat in the cups expands the air inside the cups creating a suction-like force that pulls up on the body of the patient. Oil is applied to the body to allow these cups to move and these movements induce a reverse pressure massage. Cupping is used to treat common ailments such as back pain, tennis elbow, neck pain, carpat tunnel syndrome, and arthritis.

While all the aforementioned treatments significantly differ from the ones used in Western medicine, they’ve been used since ancient times and have been documented to work particularly in helping people recover from a slew of unfortunate physical circumstances.

Acupuncture and TCM for the treatment of pain is being widely known as a high-quality, non-invasive alternative treatment. Both treatments don’t require the use of harmful drugs. They likely will continue to rise in popularity as more and more studies reveal the wonderful positive effects of these therapies.

Chinese Medicine Has Various Ways to Help Maintain The Health Of Your Eyes

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), spring is associated with the liver and liver in turn, is associated with menstruation, movement, the ligaments and tendons, muscles, energy, and blood and Qi. The liver is also the most important organ when it comes to the health of the eyes. So, in TCM, one must treat the liver in order to treat the eyes.

One of our most important functions is our ability to see. We often take for granted our eyes. They are the only means we have to see the world and for others to see us. As we age, one of the greatest problems we will encounter is the degeneration of our eyes. Diseases such as heart disease and diabetes can harm the capillaries and tiny blood vessels that carry nutrients to our eyes, which oftentimes leads to damage to the eye. As we age, the risk for eye diseases such as pterygium, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts, increases. What can we do to prevent the onset of these eye conditions?

The Eyes and Traditional Chinese Medicine

The eyes and the liver

According to traditional Chinese medicine theory, the liver blood provides moisture and nutrients to the eyes. And when there is an excess of liver fire or a deficiency in liver blood, symptoms such as poor night vision, poor eyesight, floaters or spots, red eyes, bloodshot eyes, or dry eyes occur.

Foods that can tonify liver blood

Carrots – During childhood, most of us have been told that eating carrots is good for the eyes and doing so can help us see well at night. Carrots are very high in an antioxidant known as beta carotene, which enhances our vision. In TCM, carrots enter the meridians or energy pathways related to the spleen, lung, and liver. They are slightly warm and sweet and help tonify the spleen that in turn helps dispel heat, stops cough, strengthens and nourishes the eyes, tonifies liver blood, and boosts digestion. For a cough, eating coriander and carrot soup is highly recommended as well as eating ginger, apple, carrots, and beetroot.

Liver

To strengthen your liver, we recommend that you eat chicken liver or calf liver. Chicken liver is good when it is in the form of a pate. Consume chicken livers that are free of hormones. Chicken liver can tonify lover blood, move liver Qi, and restore eyesight.
Goji Berries (Gou Chi Hsi)

Goji Berries are also called wolfberry fruit. These berries are believed to enter the lung, kidney, and liver meridians and their taste is neutral and sweet. Goji berry is mainly a kidney tonic and helps enhance the production of body fluids and yin. It is known to moisten the lungs, brighten the eyes, and nourish the liver and is eaten to help improve weak and blurred vision, treat dizziness, and resolve kidney yin deficiency. Goji berry can also rectify liver yin deficiency that produces symptoms such as premature ejaculation, nocturnal emissions, and sore knees and lower back. This herb is ideal for the tonification of yin and yang which is rare for most herbs. This tonifying ability makes Goji berry especially useful for men particularly in the normalization of their sexual function as well as in stopping dry cough. You can buy Goji berries in your local Asian grocery. If you have problem with your eyes, you can eat Goji berries along with hot chicken soup.

Spinach

Spinach is rich in iron. It is sweet and has cooling properties as well. You can eat spinach to tonify your liver blood and your blood, in general. Spinach is good for the eyes because it is very high in vitamin A, a vitamin essential for maintaining the health of your eyes. When you eat it along with carrots, it can help improve night vision. Spinach is also good for the blood because it cools, builds, and tonifies blood. Spinach is also recommended if you suffer from toxic heat skin conditions like acne. It is believed in TCM, that blood moistens your stool and intestines and if you are deficient in blood, you can become easily constipated, something that commonly occurs in women after giving birth and in the elderly. Spinach can serve as a laxative because it lubricates the stools. If you have kidney stones, then caution is needed when eating this vegetable.

Lutein

Like lycopene (found in tomatoes) and beta carotene (found in carrots), lutein is also a member of the carotenoid family. All the foods in the carotenoid family are good for your eyes. You can find lutein in vegetables and fruits such as lettuce, broccoli, corn, cabbage, cantaloupe, and tomatoes and in egg yolks. The strongest carotenoid is lutein and it has been successfully tested to prevent cataracts and reduce macular degeneration.

Retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A)

Retinyl palmitate or vitamin A is synthesized in the liver from beta carotene and stored in the liver. Vitamin A is the most important vitamin for the eyes, most especially for night vision. It plays an important role in the perception of light and color of the rods and cones of the eyes. It helps keep the eyes moist preventing corneal and retinal damage, and eye dryness. Vitamin A is also a major contributor in the maintenance of healthy tissues all over the body. Spinach and carrots are excellent sources of vitamin A.

The eyes, the liver, and Taurine

Good sources for taurine are fish and meat proteins. Taurine is a protein that’s also manufactured in the liver and it plays a role in the development and excretion of bile salts in the body. Taurine is also a sedative and an anti-spasmodic. It helps protect the eyes from chemical and light damage. So, when your mother tells you to “eat your carrots and spinach,” she knows exactly what she’s saying. Also, eat lots of cherries and berries as they are rich in anthocyanidins that are good for the health of your eyes and heart. To protect your eyes from the UV rays of the sun wear quality sunglasses. Remember, the liver may well be the main culprit if you suffer from mood swings, depression, or melancholy or if you have poor vision.

Herbal medicine for the eyes

Herbal formulas containing a mixture of herbs rich in anthocyanidins, carotenoids, and vitamin A that can treat eye conditions are known as ophthalmics. Anthocyanidins are antioxidants that prevent damage to the collagen matrix of tissues and cells caused by free radical damage which can result in heart disease, peptic ulcers, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, glaucoma, cataracts, and even cancer. In several studies, these ophthalmics have been shown to enhance visual acuity during night time, rapidly restore visual acuity after exposure to glare, and promote faster adjustment to darkness.

BodaHealth
1245 West Broadway #302
Vancouver, BC V6H 1G7, Canada
(604) 733-2632
http://bodahealth.ca/

Addressing The After-Effects Of Stroke With Traditional Chinese Medicine

Stroke is a cardiovascular condition that affects the arteries within and leading toward the brain. It occurs when a blood vessel transporting nutrient and oxygen to the brain gets blocked by a clot or bursts, causing an area of the brain to be deprived of oxygen and then begins to die. The part of the body that gets affected by the stroke is determined by whatever area of the brain controlling that part of the body. In the United States the third-leading cause of death is stroke. This condition can lead to several various sequelae including talking, swallowing, or eating difficulty; difficulty understanding concepts; loss of memory; loss of muscle control or paralysis on one side of the body, like affecting one side of the face; and pain or numbness or other adverse sensations in some areas of the body.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Treatment for Stroke

When an artery within the brain or going to the brain either bursts or is blocked due to a clot, it causes a part of the brain to die and brings about cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or a stroke. To people who have experienced pain and developed disabilities caused by a stroke, TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine can provide hope by assisting victims of improving their speech and memory, boosting circulation to the brain, ameliorate depression and pain and recovering the use of disabled parts of their body. TCM therapies typically utilized for stroke victims include Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture. Acupuncture has been shown to generate a positive effect on enhancing the daily functioning of stroke sufferers. It can be a potent adjunctive therapy for stroke rehabilitation assisting, particularly when it is applied within the initial six months of the stroke and improve motor function. A number of Chinese herbal formulas and single herbs can also aid in the flow of blood to the brain to help restore functioning and relieve symptoms.
What Causes Stroke?

A lot of various long-term choices in lifestyle may ultimately lead to a stroke. They can include too much sexual activity, an unhealthy diet, irregular eating habits, strenuous and excessive physical activities, long hours of work with little rest, and emotional stress. According to TCM, these choices enfeeble the spleen and the kidney, causing deficiencies in the Yin, Blood and energy (Qi) of the body. The deficiencies cause an imbalance (excess) of Stasis, Fire, Phlegm, and Wind in the body that, in turn, leads to patterns associated with stroke like Phlegm combining with Fire, Blood, Qi Stasis, Liver Yang Rising, Liver Wind, and Wind in the Meridians. These weaknesses, which have been developing in the body for a long time, slows down the movement of energy and eventually results in the blockage of blood circulation to the brain. The aim of TCM treatment for stroke is to effect resuscitation, tonify the kidney, eliminate blood stasis, and expel the phlegm.

Acupuncture Treatment for Stroke

As a complementary therapy for stroke, acupuncture can be an effective tool to help with the recovery of stroke patients. It can help surviving nerve cells bypass the damaged parts of the brain, create new neural pathways with nerve regeneration, release hormones that will dilate blood vessels, halt the clumping of blood cells, and reduce blood viscosity. Research has shown that acupuncture can aid in stroke recovery, especially in damages that are moderately severe. It can also treat dizziness, headaches, and hypertension for people who have suffered a stroke. Furthermore, when combined with pushing manipulation on the fingers of stroke patients who have problems using their fingers, acupuncture can lead to a significant improvement in finger flexion.

To help with the recovery of stroke patients, several forms of acupuncture treatment can be used. One such treatment is electro-acupuncture. It uses a pulsating electrical current that travels to acupuncture needles inserted in the body to boost stimulation which can lead to a restoration of mental faculties and better improvements in muscle tone. Another effective treatment for stroke is scalp acupuncture. Studies have shown that this type of acupuncture treatment can work for neurological disorders such as hemiplegia. In a scalp acupuncture procedure, the local areas of the brain are stimulated with needles that are applied between the skin layers on the scalp.

For stroke therapy, certain acupuncture points to balance the body are used. The acupoints are selected based on the differential diagnosis determined by the acupuncturist although the acupoints commonly used include the Stomach 36, Kidney 6, Du 20, Large Intestine 4, and Gallbladder 20. To get the best results, acupuncture treatments should be administered many several times a week during the recovery stage.

Chinese Herbal Therapy for Stroke

Great care should be taken by the TCM practitioner when prescribing Chinese herbal remedies for a stroke patient. The practitioner needs to correctly differentiate the pattern of disharmony that has brought about the condition. In acute stroke cases, the treatment plan can be determined based on whether the stroke was physically caused by a burst blood vessel causing hemorrhaging within the skull (hemorrhagia) or by a blockage of a vessel resulting in lack of blood in the brain (ischemia). More often than not, patients consult with a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner in the latter stages of a stroke to seek relief from lingering symptoms. They are rarely aware that herbal treatment can be an ideal treatment during the acute phase of a stroke. The main goals of herbal therapy in this post-acute phase are to open the blood vessels and boost blood circulation. After a stroke, blood stasis usually remains causing blockage to the energy channels or meridians. Traditional herbal remedies include Bu Yang Huan Wu Tang (Decoction of Tonify Yang Give Back 50%) and Sheng Gan Hsi Feng Tang (Decoction of Control Liver Extinguish Wind). Both are useful for aphasia, weakness, hemiplegia, and other morbid stroke-related conditions.

For stroke victims who have dementia, a Chinese herbal treatment known as Tian Ma or gastrodine has been proven to work even much better than conventional therapies. Tain Ma showed effectiveness in a double-blind randomized study of patients with mild to moderate VaD or vascular dementia who have suffered a stroke by enhancing impaired memory, language, orientation, and other effects.

Ginseng restorative pills (Ren Shen Tsai Shao Wan) have been proven to remove stagnation, tonify energy, yin, and blood, and boost blood flow and are used with extreme effectiveness for tingling and numbness in the limbs, facial paralysis, speech problems, and flaccid or contractive muscle tone in the extremities. This herbal medicine is sold in pill form and works best when given immediately after a stroke.

Unlike Western pharmaceutical drugs, Chinese herbs are not regulated, and so may not be correctly measured. Therefore, when using them, caution must be observed, as there may be variations among batches and formulations. Chinese herbal products for stroke should only be taken under the supervision of a veteran practitioner.

Combining Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a very flexible type of treatment, a great benefit when it comes to treating the after effects of stroke. Chinese herbal treatments and acupuncture can be used simultaneously which can lead to even greater benefits and more effective relief. In treating depression associated with stroke, the combined use of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be just as good or sometimes even a whole lot better than Western conventional therapies.

Alexander Ezzati is a Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist, and the founder of Balance Within – Acupuncture Clinic in Encino, CA.

Some Healthy Tips to Prevent or Completely Cure Acne

When it comes to curing acne for good, one of the most important principles to establish is that acne must be treated at its source; that is, by making positive modifications to your diet. For a lot of people with acne who are aware of what exactly causes acne, which are issues in your internal health, it may be to your benefit to try out an alternative treatment that really works: acupuncture.

A lot of people suffering from chronic acne almost always consider acupuncture acne treatments only after trying out tons of commercial ant-acne products or medications that their doctor or dermatologist has prescribed for them only to find them all useless. And to add insult to injury, those products and drugs that not only don’t work in curing their acne also leave them with embarrassing side effects in their skin.

Because of this, many acne sufferers are trying acupuncture and traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) harboring hopes that they just might cure their acne problem. One other reason why these people choose acupuncture and TCM is because these two treatments address the roots of their acne problems.

How Does Maitland’s Acupuncture Treat Acne?

Acne, from the viewpoint of Western medicine, is caused by the clogging of hair follicles and the mixing of sebum or oil with dead skin cells that result in an infected and painful acne lesion. This is the reason why more often than not, dermatologists prescribe acne medications or chemical products to stop the production of sebum and prevent skin infection in the effort to completely treat acne.

The holistic manner in which Traditional Chinese Medicine deals with acne makes it necessary for practitioners to consider the environmental, physical, and emotional factors that can play a role in the triggering of acne and other skin problems. According to TCM, acne is caused by dampness and heat affecting the spleen, abdomen, and lungs, resulting in acne outbreaks.

The health of the skin is controlled by the lung, according to TCM. The spleen is associated with digestion and in preserving harmony in the body to help prevent the occurrence of acne. The abdomen is believed to regulate digestion, which may cause oily skin if food is not being properly digested or if there are problems in the diet. The lung is suspected to be the number source of a lot of skin conditions.

The energy channels related to the spleen, abdomen, and lungs are prone to develop blockages due to external factors such as the environment, food, and stress causing an acne outbreak. Acupuncture is a procedure involving the insertion of tiny needles into specific points in the body to balance the energy channels to dislodge blockages in the channels and restore balance to the organs.

While it is true that digestive problems and a poor diet are the underlying reasons for chronic acne, TCM practitioners will also need to consider internal imbalances that could be causing poor digestion and oily skin. Western medicine is merely interested in treating the surface of the problem through the prevention or limiting of infection and oil production in the skin with the use of drugs.

You can take the most effective route by avoiding unhealthy fats, excess sugar, and processed foods that build up toxins in the body and cause the skin to be inflamed rather than turning to medications.

If you want complete cure of your acne, that is really the simplest way to do it. Yes, acupuncture can remove acne triggers in your body, but you may not really need to go through this or any other treatment if all of these problems can be completely avoided in the first place by deciding to follow healthy dietary choices.

The health of your skin will be a reflection of the kinds of food you put into your body. And when you select the right food choices that will make your body stronger and healthier, your acne will disappear surely and naturally.

Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture Have Treatments Designed to Relieve COPD Symptoms

The main symptom of chronic emphysema, a degenerative and serious type of lung disease, is shortness of breath. Chronic emphysema impairs the ability of the body to properly absorb oxygen. Its other symptoms include breathlessness, severe coughing up of sputum (saliva and mucus), and long-term (chronic) cough. Emphysema is one of the lung conditions that comprise a medical condition known as COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Both Western medical physicians and Chinese medicine and acupuncture practitioners consider chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as a very serious disease by the mere fact that it is the third leading cause of death in the United States. One specific problem concerning this disease is the difficulty of physicians to properly diagnose it in a timely manner, mainly because of the slow onset of the symptoms. Before any major issues arise, years may have already passed causing a delay in lifestyle adjustments and treatment.

If you happen to manifest one or more of the following, it is very important that you seek medical help as soon as possible:

1. When you exert yourself your fingernails and/or lips turn blue

2. You notice a weakening of your mental abilities

3. You are unable to walk or climb stairs without having shortness of breath

The American Lung Association says that long-term smoking of tobacco smoking contributes to around 80 to 90 percent of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease related deaths. The two most common COPD conditions are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Genetics is a minor contributor to this disease contributing about just 1 percent of total cases.

Chronic emphysema can be brought about by other causes besides smoking. Other contributors include airborne irritants such as manufacturing fumes, air pollution, and other airborne irritants. The onset of the symptoms is gradual and usually affects people between the ages of 40 and 60 years of age.

For Oriental medicine and acupuncture practitioners, there are various ways to help control the symptoms of COPD. Firstly, Oriental medicine and acupuncture can help breaking your addiction to tobacco. There are distinct body acupuncture and auricular acupuncture protocols specifically designed to accomplish that. Secondly, certain acupuncture therapies can be performed that can help your lungs relax. And when your lungs are relaxed, your body can relax as well causing airflow and blood to increase that, in turn, helps you breathe much better. Thirdly, there are dietary therapies that can reinforce your digestive system which then, improves your immune function.

During your visit to an Oriental medicine or acupuncture practitioner, your symptoms will be evaluated. From this the practitioner will formulate a treatment specific for your needs. You may, for example, manifest signs of phlegm in the lungs if you frequently experience breathlessness even while at rest, cough up sputum, and have a tongue that yellow or white thick fur on it. This plus other symptoms may indicate to your practitioner that your lungs’ air passages contain lots of phlegm that need to be removed.

The practitioner observes the patient’s tongue in order to evaluate the internal state of health of the body. When it comes to chronic emphysema, the tongue may indicate a disharmony between your lungs or other internal organs. Tongue observation is a common diagnostic procedure used in both Oriental medicine and acupuncture.

Besides acupuncture, the patient may be given dietary recommendations to help alleviate the symptoms. One common advice for patient constantly cough up sputum is to lessen the consumption of cloying and fatty foods that tend to produce phlegm in the body. Olive oil, nuts, and avocados are great sources of fat that can ease up the digestive system. Fragrant warm soups may also be suggested to make the meal easier to digest.

Ling’s Acupuncture
120 Gatlin Ave
Orlando, FL 32806
(407) 851-2533
http://www.lingsacupuncture.com