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Monthly Archives : November, 2015

Treating Crohn’s Disease with Natural Forms of Treatment Like Acupuncture

It is difficult to diagnose Crohn’s disease because it mimics several other health issues, doctors more often than not would not suspect it when you describe your symptoms. Individuals typically suppose that what plagues them is irritable bowel syndrome and then attempt to treat the condition themselves. Crohn’s deal, once diagnosed, would prompt doctors to prescribe certain medications as treatment. But since these drugs come with bad side effects, a lot of sufferers are forced to turn to alternative modes of treatment for relief. For some people, Crohn’s treatment with acupuncture in Bellingham is one of the most effective alternative and natural forms of treatment they can experience.

Most individuals suffering from get Crohn’s disease develop the condition during their teenage years although it tends to occur later in life for some people. Crohn’s is also suspected to be a genetically inherited disease. There is also evidence that it might be triggered by environmental factors, especially if one is genetically predisposed to it. The disease is not deadly but it can impact the quality of life of the sufferer in an extreme way. Crohn’s sufferers usually will try various kinds of treatments to help relieve their suffering. Conventional treatments include drugs and surgery; the most popular alternative treatment for the disease is acupuncture.

To help understand how acupuncture can be a treatment for Crohn’s, one has to know the basic background of this very old healing tradition. Running on the principle that the body consists of a number of energy channels (called meridians) running all over the body, acupuncture is a treatment that returns the flow of life energy (known as Qi) to normality in order to restore balance in the body thus giving the body the ability to heal itself. When a person is healthy, the Qi or Chi flows through the meridians freely. When these energy channels are blocked, sickness, disease and ailments arise. The acupuncturist treats this problem using very thin needles inserted into certain points in the body known as acupoints which are scattered throughout the body and are numerous. Just below these acupoints lie the meridians. The meridian that is affected is selected and treated with needles. The needle activates the meridian in order to remove the blockage or reroute the flow of Qi to make it flow freely again. Once free flow is established, the sickness is healed and the person returns to normal health once more.

Since Crohn’s is a condition involving the digestive tract, patients tend to suffer from weight loss as the body is unable to ingest nutrition efficiently. Problems can arise in almost any part of the digestive system although the disease usually affects the intestines. In acupuncture treatment for Crohn’s, practitioners target the energy channels that correspond to the digestive tract.

People respond to acupuncture in different ways. For some, it is an extremely powerful form of treatment for Crohn’s while for others, it does absolutely nothing at all. For those interested in trying out this treatment, the most important thing to do is to first seek out a licensed practitioner, one who has experience in treating digestive conditions such as Crohn’s. It is also important that you continue consulting with your medical physician and follow all of his recommendations. Keep on taking your vitamins (if recommended) and tell everything to your physician and acupuncturist about how your condition, how you feel, and the symptoms you are experiencing. You always get the best care and treatment if you are able to communicate clearly with your doctor and/or acupuncturist.

Treating Chronic and Severe Anxiety Using Alternative Treatments Such As Acupuncture

Anxiety sufferers often have a difficult time dealing with their condition. Unfortunately, there is not much that Western medicine can offer to help them with their problem. Because of this, many of them are turning to alternative therapies such as acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for help.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal emotional response to situations that are beyond a person’s control. People normally get anxious when, for example, they are about to speak in public or take an exam. However, there are people who experience severe anxiety for even minor events. Some suffer from panic attacks frequently that tend to affect their health and sleep. These are good reasons to seek out ways to lessen their anxiety levels on a day to day basis.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is based on the existence of a life energy flowing in our body. This life force is called Qi or Chi by the Chinese who have been using acupuncture thousands of years as way to treat a wide range of illnesses and disease. When Chi circulates smoothly and freely throughout the body, the person experiences good health. But when this circulation is blocked or becomes imbalanced, the person develops sickness and/or pain. When this occurs, the acupuncturist uses needles to restore balance to the flow of chi and/or clear out the blockage to the flow. The body site where a needle is inserted is called an acupoint. There are more than 2,000 of these points scattered throughout the body and underneath them lie the channels where Chi flow. These channels are called meridians and the body possesses a dozen internal primary meridians. Before the needling process begins, the acupuncturist first needs to know the medical history and physically examine the patient using diagnostic tools unique to Chinese medicine. These are the ways to diagnose the patient’s condition and to know what acupoints needs to be treated. A good acupuncturist will come up with a plan of treatment that is unique and in accord with the needs of the patient.

Acupuncture and Anxiety

Studies have been done that validated the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating anxiety. More often than not, the patients who go for acupuncture have already tried prescription medications to no effect. And since studies have revealed acupuncture’s superiority over medications when it comes to treating anxiety, a growing number of physicians in the United States are now integrating acupuncture into their treatment of anxiety with impressive results. It is thought that acupuncture stimulates Chi that calms the mind and relaxes the body helping reduce anxiety levels. It is also suspected that one of the reasons why acupuncture works for anxiety is that it raises the level of “feel-good” hormones such as serotonin in the body. Chronic and severe anxiety sufferers usually have low levels of serotonin in their body. Acupuncture raises serotonin levels leading to the relief of anxiety in the mind and body.

Other Options

Some individuals may not really show interest in getting acupuncture treatment for certain reasons. Obviously, the fear of needles is one of the biggest reasons to avoid acupuncture. The fear of needles may even aggravate the anxiety even more which defeats the purpose of acupuncture treatment. If this is the case, you need to know that there are other less scary acupuncture techniques you can opt for. One of these is cupping, a very non-invasive procedure that works in the same way as acupuncture but without the needles.

Besides cupping, there are other alternative and TCM treatments you can avail of. Meditation, progressive relaxation, physiotherapy, yoga, and Tai chi are some of the therapies you can consider. For anxiety sufferers, a treatment they feel most at ease is the best treatment they can get. If you are seeking out alternative therapies for your anxiety problem, it is advisable to do a little research and talk to your doctor about a type of treatment that is best for you.

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

The Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective on Dry Skin

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) states that the skin is not a separate entity of the body. Being the largest organ of the human body, the skin possesses pathological and physiological functions that affect certain internal organs. Listed below are the organs that are closely associated with the skin and are affected when the skin suffers from certain conditions.

1. The Large Intestine – It is the skin that will show what kind of food we eat. If the body eats, for example, too much spicy and hot food, toxins will build up in the intestines, which may manifest as itchiness, rash, pimples, or boils. Other symptoms that may arise include bloating, malodorous flatulence, and constipation.

2. The Kidneys – The Kidneys govern the original Yin and Yang of the body. Original Yin and Yang, in turn, governs all stages of the skin and body. Profuse sweating, hot flushes (particularly around the face and neck), and dry skin are some of the skin problems that may arise if the body has a Yin and Yang disorder in the Kidneys.

3. Liver and Heart – These two organs are responsible for the body’s emotions and circulation of substances. Any emotion and circulation can affect the skin. If a disorder in one of these two organs arises, toxins and heat may develop in the blood which can flare up the skin resulting in rashes, eczema, pimples and other skin problems.

4. The Lungs – In TCM, the Lungs govern the skin and help with the opening and closing of the skin pores. If the Lung malfunctions, skin health is affected which can lead to the following conditions:

a. If you have smoked for ages, besides developing a lung disorder or chronic phlegm or cough, you may also suffer from chronic dry skin.

b. Shingles, rash, and/or itchy skin as well as sore throat and sneezing may develop when your body is infiltrated by external Heat (virus) and Wind that affects the function of your Lung.

Dry Skin Symptoms

One can suffer from dry skin within a short period of time or it may develop over long periods of time progressively worsening as time moves on. Dry skin can be painful, irritated, itchy, cracked, or scaly and can develop around the heels of the feet, elbows, nails, or mouth. Besides the simple dryness, the person can become susceptible to eczema, itchiness, rash, or infection if the skin has been dry for a long period of time. Depending on the person’s condition, these symptoms can be severe or mild or it may be permanent or may appear from time to time.

Dry Skin Causes

The Different Types of Dry Skin

Each person’s lifestyle, disease history, and constitution are unique. The cause of dry skin may be different from person to person, which means if these factors are all taken into account, a different plan of treatment will be formulated by the acupuncturist or TCM practitioner in Cleveland for each patient to correctly treat each patient’s dry skin condition.

Heat in the Lung & Liver

Excess Heat in the Lung and Liver can have many possible causes. They can include Heat that came from the other organs, certain drugs, spicy and hot foods, chronic or excessive consumption of alcohol, pneumonia, virus, cold, or flu. When the Lung or Liver overheat, it can lead to dry and unhealthy skin which often develops to the following diseases and symptoms: hay fever, eczema, asthma, constipation, insomnia, insomnia, intense emotions, dry and red eyes, dry throat, and dry cough.

Blood and Liver Yin Deficiency

Acupuncturists believe this is the most common type of dry skin. This condition occurs more in women past the age of 40 years, in postmenopausal women, and in women after labor. Occasionally, dry skin due to Blood and Liver Yin Deficiency can develop in males and in people of other ages, as well.

When a person suffers from Blood and Liver Yin Deficiency, his/her skin has a hard time getting adequate moisture and nutrition. Sufferers of this type of deficiency not only have dry skin but also can experience dream disturbed sleep, insomnia, intense emotions, anxiety, hot flushes that usually occur during sleep or in the evening, increased thirst, heat sensation in the body, dry stools, unhealthy looking nails or cracks around the nails, poor quality of hair or loss of hair.

Other Causes

Certain foods and drugs, chronic illness or injury, and poor circulation can be additional causes that lead to dry skin.

What to do if you have dry skin

Medical attention

Consulting with your doctor and getting a general check up is one way of addressing your dry skin especially if your skin is becoming dryer and dryer over time.


If conventional modes of treatment fail to address your dry skin problem, then you ought to consider Traditional Chinese Medicine. This alternative form of treatment offers natural therapies that can help cure your condition safely and efficiently

Diet & lifestyle

Sleep – Avoid sleeping late at night (the best time to retire is before 11 PM). Make sure you get enough sleep

Exercise in a comfortable and nice environment – Avoiding direct sunlight as well as fast and intense exercises as they tend to flare up Heat in your body. Light and passive exercises such as swimming, slow bike riding, gentle walking, and yoga are highly recommended.

Consume cooling foods and greens – These include pear, lemon, eggplant, mung beans, peppermint tea, green tea, spinach, carrots, green leafy vegetables, cucumber, and celery.

Refrain from eating deep fried, spicy, or hot foods – These include lamb, shellfish, chives, garlic, ginger, and onion. Stay away from alcohol. All of these cause Heat in the digestive system, Lung, and Liver and flare up the skin.

Relax – Your work and lifestyle should be arranged in such a way that it does not lead to too much stress in your mind and body. Avoid emotional outbursts as they tend to weaken your Liver causing Liver Heat.

If you properly take care of your skin and know and avoid the factors lead to dry skin, then this condition can be easily avoided.