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Monthly Archives : March, 2016

TCM and Acupuncture Can Be the Treatments that Just Might Cure Your Acid Reflux

More popularly known as heartburn, acid reflux is a burning painful sensation felt in the chest (specifically in the esophagus with the pain traveling to the neck, throat, and jaw) that happens when gastric acid flows back from the abdomen to the throat.

Besides the chest burning pain, others acid reflux symptoms can include:

-Swallowing difficulty
-Dental erosion
-Food regurgitation
-A hoarse voice

What Causes Acid Reflux?

In physiological terms, acid reflux is the result of a badly functioning LES or lower esophageal sphincter. This is the terminal point of the esophagus that opens up to allow food and fluid material to enter the stomach and shuts tight the moment all these materials pass through the sphincter. While scientists are still debating, listed below are some of the reasons that are believed to cause the LES to malfunction in the first place. They include:

-Overeating, large meals
-Certain food triggers
-Bending forward
-Hiatus hernia
-Inadequate number of digestive enzymes in the abdomen
-Peptic Ulcers

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a medical procedure that originated in China thousands of years ago. It involves the use of needles pricked into the skin to bring back the body from symptoms of disease, injury, and illness.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on the theory that energy pathways known as meridians are spread all over the body providing the tissues with vital energy. A blockage in any of these meridians will prevent the energy from reaching the tissues. This will lead to unhealthy states of mental, emotional and physical health.

TCM and acupuncture bases its workings on the principles of yin and yang energy, which is in balance in a healthy person. An imbalanced yin and yang, specifically, when yin is deficient and yang abundant, will lead to feelings of emptiness and desperation. This may result in the individual attempting to fill the emptiness with something addictive (a behavior or a substance) that causes pleasure, which may physically manifest as some sort of hyperactivity. However, instead of helping the person this hyperactivity only tends to increase the abuse, which further depletes yin energy. This creates more and more a craving for the addictive behavior or substance.

How Can Acupuncture Treat the Symptoms of Acid Reflux in Tarzana?

It was shown that needling of specific acupoints on the wrist led to the lessening of relaxations of the lower esophageal sphincter based on studies done by researchers at the University of Adelaide. This prevented the stomach acid and materials from welling back into the esophagus. This outcome proves that acupuncture can be a recommended treatment for acute and chronic acid reflux.

Acid reflux sufferers can also find acupuncture to be beneficial for them as the treatment can help remove emotional tension, anxiety, and stress, factors, which tend to exacerbate or even cause acid reflux. Acupuncture removes these stressors from the mind and body thus calming the nerves of the patient inducing them into a state of relaxation.

Acupoints Used to Treat Acid Reflux

St 36 acupoint – located on the lower leg; when stimulated, the St 36 can harmonize the abdomen and help lower any abdominal qi to that may be causing the reflux.

Pc 6 acupoint – this point is found in the forearm and when stimulated can help alleviate any pain and discomfort caused by heartburn and relieve nausea, as well. The needling of the Pc 6 point also can decrease the number of LES relaxations by as much as 40%.

Ren 12 acupoint – this point is located on the stomach. Needling it can lead to the harmonization of the abdomen and the resolution of any digestive stagnation.

How Many Acupuncture Treatments are Required for Acid Reflux?

The number of Acupuncture treatments needed to treat acid reflux will depend on how well the patient responds to the treatment and how severe his/her acid reflux is.

Talk to a qualified TCM practitioner or acupuncturist if you are interested in availing of acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat your acid reflux.

Why is Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture the Best Modes of Treatment for Low Back Pain?

The issues of arthritis, joint pain, and chronic pain, especially in the lower back are some of the biggest reasons why a lot of people go and seek out acupuncture treatments. For many of these sufferers, TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) and acupuncture have been their go-to treatment for their pain. But how exactly do acupuncture and Chinese Medicine work, and more importantly, will they work for you?

Pain in Chinese Medicine

Bi syndrome is the term Chinese medicine uses to refer to joint and/or musculoskeletal pain. In Chinese medicine, bi means obstruction. The obstruction’s symptomatic qualities will manifest features that cause one to feel hot, fixed, stabbing pain, or just achy pain. Certain persons positively respond to exercise or movement while others may feel relief with rest. Several joint and musculoskeletal disorders are set in a subcategory of bi syndrome so as to make it easy for TCM practitioners to come up with an exact diagnosis of what kind of bi the patient is suffering from. An accurate diagnosis means an appropriate plan of treatment of Chinese herbs and acupuncture can be implemented to break and relieve the blockage of blood and qi in the affected area.

How Does Acupuncture Work for Back Pain?

Acupuncture works to deactivate and eliminate the trigger points (areas of localized inflammation and constriction). The acupoints that are selected for treatment are based on the type of pain pattern the patient exhibits.

The use of Chinese medicine and acupuncture facilitates healing in a two pronged manner:

1. First, by helping to relieve the local stagnation, congestion, and inflammation, pain is alleviated.

2. After the restoration of normal local circulation, the next task is to restore the body to a more subtle and mobile state. This is done by nourishing the muscles, discs, and tendons.

Chinese Medicine practitioners believe that when a person feels body pain, specific muscles often radiate pain patterns in parts of the body not necessarily affected by inflammation or constriction. The practitioners (which include licensed acupuncturists) are trained in techniques to deactivate these trigger points. Moreover they are capable in identifying and locating these patterns; upon identifying and locating these patterns, the acupuncturist can then insert needles both to nearby and distal acupoints that correspond to the pain itself and the source of the pain. This strategy enables the acupuncturist to stimulate the energy channels in the patient’s body in order to resolve the pain while at the same time addressing the underlying energy flow within the body to treat the source of back pain.

Studies Demonstrate Acupuncture’s Effectiveness in the Treatment of Back Pain

The Archives of Internal Medicine featured a recent study showing acupuncture’s superior ability to relieve back pain compared to Western conventional treatments. The NIH (National Institutes of Wellness) funded this study which involved the participation of 638 individuals all suffering from pain. They were divided into three groups. The control group continued whatever treatment protocol they were on (physical therapy or medications) and was not given acupuncture. Another group was given real acupuncture while the last group received placebo acupuncture where the skin was not pierced but was stimulated.

Seven weeks after, the two acupuncture groups showed constant significant progress in the treatment of their back pain compared to the control group.

Because of the impressive way placebo acupuncture fared in this study, the researchers are more than ever puzzled about how acupuncture really works. What is it about the treatment that spurs recovery? All in all, only 39% of the people in the control group showed substantial gains in their back pain condition while an impressive 60% of the members of both acupuncture groups experienced significant improvements in their condition.

Why Use Acupuncture for Low Back Pain?

About 85% of the people living in the United States will experience back pain at least once in their lifetime. Economically, this condition costs Americans an estimated US $40 billion each year. Good and safe treatments are required for back pain as anyone who has suffered through this exhausting and chronic pain knows only too well. In terms of cost, effectiveness, and safety, acupuncture is an excellent treatment for back pain.

Being a specialist in chronic pain, (I’ve had hundreds of hours of training with Chinese Medicine and acupuncture), I have learned to approach each of my patient’s condition with thorough physical examination using modern and ancient diagnostic tools to correctly diagnose and effectively treat my patients alleviating their pain over the long-term. I’ve personally worked with and seen many individuals who have discovered relief through Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. Of course, I have met and treated skeptics who believed that acupuncture and Chinese Medicine won’t work for their problem. Their recovery made them believers and even adherents for these therapies. Also, more and more studies have confirmed that acupuncture works in the relief of pain. Acupuncture has enabled people to enjoy long-term treatment benefits keeping them pain-free, happy, and healthy.

Nelya de Brun is a licensed acupuncturist in Boynton Beach, FL., practicing acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and Western medical pathology. She is also the founder of Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC.