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Monthly Archives : June, 2015

Getting Rid of Amenorrhea with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Defined as the absence of menses in pre-menopausal women, amenorrhea can be divided into two categories: primary amenorrhea and secondary amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea occurs when a woman has still never had menstruation after 16 years of age. When a woman has had menstruation but afterwards stopped getting one for at least three straight months and she is not breast feeding, in menopause, or pregnant, her type of amenorrhea is known as secondary amenorrhea. The possible causes for secondary amenorrhea involve malfunctioning ovaries, psychological disorders or stress, eating disorders or severe weight loss, intense exercising, hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, or high levels of androgen or prolactin in the body. Typical symptoms include goiters, headaches, swollen breasts, nausea, and of course, the stoppage of menses.

The focus of any amenorrhea treatment is to restore the feedback system between the ovaries, the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland , and the reaction of the uterine wall to stimulation since normal menstrual cycles only work on this type of feedback system that is healthy. In making sure normal menstruation is experienced, a lot of hormones need to be involved. They include FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), androgen, prolactin, and estrogen.

Treating Amenorrhea with Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

The most important organs that normalize menstruation and blood in Chinese medicine are the kidneys, spleen, and liver. The kidneys govern egg quality, reproduction, and conception. The spleen and liver are responsible for the smooth flow of the hormones and the amount of nutrients in the body. Qualified acupuncturists treat patients with amenorrhea based on an evaluation of their specific condition that is individualized and customizes a plan of treatment to effectively and properly address their condition.

With the ability to normalize the Ovarian/Pituitary/Hypothalamus axis and balance the hormones by improving circulation of the brain and the reproductive organs, acupuncture also can help lower stress levels and relax the body. High levels of stress in the body can inhibit menstruation as stress tends to block the flow of blood to the reproductive organs resulting in hormonal production imbalance.

Some of the benefits of using Chinese herbs for the treatment of amenorrhea include their ability to adjust the Ovarian/Pituitary/Hypothalamus axis and build up the uterine wall. This adjustment aids in improving and regulating the body’s natural hormonal production that which in turn results in normal menstruation. Moreover, Chinese herbs can improve reproductive health by nourishing the kidney, liver, and spleen systems.

ROM or reproductive organ massage, an updated version of massage therapy is a procedure that manipulates the fascia of the pelvic cavity to establish a stronger connection between the ovary and pituitary to boost blood flow to the ovaries. Massage therapy enhances endocrine function by boosting blood flow to the pelvic region and relieving stress.

The patient is treated with a specific nutritional guidance designed to improve the health of the spleen, liver, and kidney functions as they underlie the patient’s metabolic processes and are responsible for her reproductive health. To help restore proper menstruation and balance the hormones, patients with amenorrhea are given a diet of lean meats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and less junk food and sugar. Moreover, patients should add their intake of essential fatty acids, vitamins B6, A, K, C, E, D, and calcium.

Treating Amenorrhea with Western Conventional Modes of Treatment

To regulate the menstrual cycle, Western medicine’s normal protocol is to prescribe birth control pills or hormone therapy. The main cause cannot be resolved using Western medicine therapies, just the symptoms.

Amenorrhea Related Articles and Research

A Chinese clinical study was performed to test if acupuncture is as effective as medication in treating amenorrhea. The study involved 95 patients who had amenorrhea that had lasted for six months or more. The patients all blamed their condition to the use of birth control pills. Acupuncture was given to 57 of the patients while drugs were administered to the rest of the 38 patients. The study involved a total of six courses (20 treatments per course), that were divided by five-day breaks between the courses. The drug therapy group was first given Stilbestrol, which was then followed by an injection of Progesteronum. The rate of efficacy was measured a month after the treatments were all done. The results showed a 97.36% rate of effectiveness for the drug group and a 96.49% for the acupuncture group. However, six months after the study ended the rate of effectiveness of the drug group dropped to almost 79% while that of the acupuncture group tallied a steady 94.7%. This showed the long term benefit of acupuncture for the treatment of amenorrhea over medications.

There are several other studies done in China showing that Chinese herbal medicine, moxibustion, and acupuncture are much better than conventional medicine in the treatment of amenorrhea and other types of menstrual disorders.

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

Discovering the Power of Acupuncture in Treating Epilepsy

More and more people suffering from epilepsy are starting to discover that acupuncture helps lessen seizures. This ancient Chinese medicinal procedure has been in use for more than 3,000 years treating a wide variety of illnesses and disease. It was introduced in the United States in the early 1970s. It is one of the most sought after complementary therapies in Europe and in the United States today.

Acupuncture is part and parcel of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a collection of modalities that includes acupuncture, Chinese massage, moxibustion, exercises, herbal formulas, and diet.

Acupuncturists believe that this treatment can be very helpful for addressing epilepsy though how well the treatment turns out depends on the patient’s extent and type of epilepsy he/she suffers. Practitioners with experience in treating epilepsy patients state that acupuncture helps lower the severity and frequency of seizures. The treatment zooms in on the illness’s root cause but since it’s a natural type of treatment, the results may take some time to manifest. Patients expecting immediate results might be disappointed with this type of treatment. For patient individuals, the results can be worth the wait. Most of the time, acupuncture for the treatment of epilepsy is combined with dietary suggestions and herbal remedies.

Energy Balance

The way TCM treats and prevents a condition is much different to that of Western medicine. Unlike Western doctors, traditional acupuncturists believe that the body possesses a vital energy that circulates throughout through vessels or channels of energy known as meridians. Qi is what the Chinese call this vital energy. It is the life force responsible for all the functions of the body – from emotions to metabolism. When an individual is in good health, the Chinese believe that qi flow in the person runs unhindered. But a blocked qi flow always produces pain and/or illnesses. Acupuncture is utilized to restore the proper flow of qi and the harmony of yin and yang in the body. The meridians are located just beneath the surface of the skin.

To restore qi balance in the body, the acupuncturist sticks sterilized filiform needles at specific points in the body called acupoints. Underneath each acupoint lies a meridian that corresponds to a specific organ system in the body. For epilepsy patients, some of the needled points are associated with the brain organ system. The needles help boost the flow of blood to the brain. The acupuncturist can actually lower or boost the qi flow of a person in order to remove any blockages that has developed in a meridian. To produce enduring and substantial results, the acupuncturist would also prescribe herbs and suggest dietary changes to his/her patients.

Acupuncture’s goal goes way beyond the alleviation of symptoms. Its aim is to resolve the root cause of the problem. This means that the patient is treated as a whole through the restoration of balance between the emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of his being.

This treatment aims to aid the body to self heal. The factors that the patient considers important including his/her spiritual and inner life are taken into account in an acupuncture diagnosis and treatment.

Unlike acupressure, a needleless acupuncture procedure, acupuncture needs to be performed by a trained and qualified practitioner. Unfortunately, factors such as incompetent and unqualified practitioners or people who do not respond to the treatment are some of the reasons why acupuncture may from time to time, fail to treat a condition.


Unlike a doctor who takes our pulse to determine the amount of blood lost or the heartbeat of a patient, an acupuncturist needs to read our pulse to gain more information about different organ systems in the body (liver, spleen, abdomen, etc). For the acupuncturist, the pulse displays the condition of our qi energy systems. The acupuncturist divides the pulse into a dozen main parts. The wrist has six of these parts and each of them is related to a certain type of energy that flows to a certain type of meridian. By knowing how qi is flowing throughout the body of a patient, the acupuncturist determines where the needles need to be inserted.


Chinese studies have shown the safety, viability and potency of acupuncture as a reliable way to lower or lessen seizures. One particular study suggested that treating epilepsy with massage, acupuncture and herbs gave the best outcomes.

A study done in Germany had 100 people all suffering from epilepsy participating. Their ages ranged from two years old to 52 years old. During the initial weeks of therapy, drugs were not administered. They were instead treated with acupuncture lasting 18 months. About 67 of these people manifested significant improvements with zero seizures that lasted a whole year without medications. The patients later on were given acupuncture treatment for maintenance once every two or three months. Relapses were also recorded in five patients.

A bulk of the research about acupuncture treatment for epilepsy in the U.S. was performed on animals. A particular study where the subjects were dogs, all five of the dogs experienced a decrease of their seizures after being given acupuncture treatment. Three dogs showed lesser incidents of seizures with minimal amounts of anticonvulsants; the other two dogs also showed a lessening of their seizures.

One patient in New York artist, who at age 21 was diagnosed with epilepsy of the temporal lobe decided to try acupuncture. She was given treatments for a number of years in weekly and eventually monthly intervals. The treatment enabled her to lessen her intake of medications. She also was able to control her seizures. She stated that the she now can relax in a much better way and now experiences a renewed sense of well-being. She thought that her acupuncturist had a much better understanding of her condition than her neurologist had ever had of her condition. She had an acute sense of observation and this was gleaned when her patient told that she had a seizure the day before. Her acupuncturist knew all about it because she observed that the patient’s spleen spot was swollen.

Another case involved a man who was suffering numerous instances of grand mal seizures during sleep. His doctor diagnosed him with Partial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and prescribed Dilantin. Because he was wary of the side effects of the drug, the patient tried Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. These treatments allowed him to gain better control of his condition without experiencing the toxic and mind-numbing and toxic effect of the prescription medications.

Babies and children suffering from epilepsy can also benefit from acupuncture treatments. There is no age-requirement for anyone who need treatment for this extremely safe and effective alternative modality.


Although acupuncture is quite safe for anyone to use, studies have suggested that it can lead to certain risks. Researchers have found that there were more than a hundred cases of patients who were seriously injured by the treatment and four cases were an acupuncture procedure led to death. The piercing of the surrounding tissue and the lungs of the patient were the most common problem. All these accidents and fatalities were caused by the poor inadequate skill of the practitioner. These incidents have significantly been lowered due to current state laws requiring practitioners to pass an exam before they can practice.

The NIH in 1998 declared that acupuncture is a legitimate and effective form of treatment for several types of health conditions including lower back pain, substance and behavioral addiction, stroke, headaches, and migraines. Soon to be included in this official roster is epilepsy.

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