Chicago Holistic Medicine
Dr Robert Wallace LAc, DACM 773.248.4489

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Care For Your Heart Health With Acupuncture

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

Acupuncture for Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the number 1 killer of women, the leading threat for men, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined, according to health organizations. People of all ages and population groups are affected–even children. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for high blood pressure and heart disease–a risk factor that was previously only seen in adults. There may be symptoms of cardiovascular disease, but in about 64 percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease, there were none. When symptoms do appear they are usually shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, back or jaw pain, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, and extreme fatigue.

With cardiovascular disease topping out as the leading cause of death worldwide the focus is on prevention to prevent systematic harms by managing high blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing stress, improving sleep quality, maintaining a healthy weight, increased physical activity, and smoking cessation increased. If you are having issues in any of these areas, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine the heart takes responsibility for the circulation of the life force of the body Blood, the basic unit of energy that powers all of life Qi, and the center of consciousness Shen. The Shen embodies our capacity for logic and emotional intelligence. When it is disturbed by injury, trauma, illness, poor diet, lifestyle choices or an accumulation of daily stress, it is said to be ‘disturbed.’ Having a harmonious Shen is of the utmost importance for maintaining heart health.

Often, it is the unbalanced energy produced by the liver that is a big culprit in this condition. Liver energy is, by nature, very active and easily flares upwards in an aggressive, uncontrolled manner. This rising Liver Qi aggravates the heart so that blood is pushed too forcefully against the arterial walls. If this aggression persists for too long a heart attack, kidney damage, and other serious consequences may result.

By integrating acupuncture and Oriental medicine into a heart healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. One obvious way to keep your heart tip-top shape is by maintaining an acceptable blood pressure level. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine provide treatments that will work directly to reduce high blood pressure and mitigate the symptoms of stress.

One way Oriental medicine can increase your physical activity is through the use of tai chi. Tai chi is a gentle exercise that keeps you moving and helps keep stress at bay. More like a slow, rhythmic dance tai chi is designed to encourage the body and mind into a state of calm. The routines involve continuous motions that are not difficult to learn and are gentle enough for any age group to engage in.

Come in for a consultation to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can benefit your heart and help you to live a long, healthy life. 

Reduce Your High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common disease making one out of three hearts work harder to pump oxygen-rich blood through the arteries. High blood pressure makes the heart work harder increasing its oxygen demands. Excessive pressure can lead to an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly), and damage blood vessels in the kidneys and brain.

Your emotional state, time of day, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, medication, thyroid problems, and obstructive sleep apnea are just some factors that can raise your blood pressure from the average reading of 120/80 mmHg to hypertensive levels of 140/90 mmHg or above. Risk factors for developing chronic hypertension include excessive alcohol consumption, a high salt and low potassium diet, and an inactive lifestyle.

It is very common for a person with hypertension to not experience any symptoms. If you do experience symptoms they may include headaches, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, fatigue, confusion, vision problems, and blood in the urine.

A German study published in the June 2007 issue of Circulation found that acupuncture significantly lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The top number in a blood pressure reading is systolic and refers to the force of blood flow when the heart is actively beating. The bottom figure is diastolic and measures the strength of flow when the heart is at rest. The extent of the blood pressure reductions by acupuncture treatments was comparable to those seen with anti-hypertensive medication or aggressive lifestyle changes, including radical salt restrictions. By the end of the 6 weeks, 24-hour ambulatory systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly reduced from baseline in the acupuncture-treated patients while there were no significant changes seen in the sham acupuncture group.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine the presence of dampness in the body can cause problems with the digestive system, low energy, swelling, and weight gain. When the stomach and spleen weaken, this condition has the potential to obstruct the body mechanics responsible for regulating blood pressure. Acupuncture can assist the body in removing excess body fluids and help normalize blood lipid levels.

The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi and when out of balance, Qi tends to rush upwards and cause symptoms such as headaches, red eyes, and shouting. When liver yang Qi rises uncontrollably, it can initiate the symptoms of high blood pressure. An acupuncture treatment is then needed to calm the liver Qi and stabilize the emotions of rage, frustration, and anger that can negatively impact blood pressure.

Source: Flachskampf FA, Gallasch J, Gefeller O, Gan J, Mao J, Pfahlberg AB, Wortmann A, Klinghammer L, Pflederer W, Daniel WG. “Randomized trial of acupuncture to lower blood pressure.” Circulation. 2007 Jun 19;115(24):3121-9. Epub 2007 Jun 4. 

Dr. Robert Wallace LAc, DACM
Chicago Holistic Medicine
1619 W. Montrose
Chicago IL 60613
773.248.4489
Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Qi Gong, 
Reiki, Massage Therapy, Mindfulness 
Meditation & Diet/Lifestyle Counseling.

In This Issue

  • Acupuncture for Cardiovascular Disease
  • Reduce Your High Blood Pressure
  • 5 Ways Acupuncture Helps Heart Health

5 Ways Acupuncture Helps Heart Health

1. Manage High Blood Pressure
Acupuncture has been found to be particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure. By applying acupuncture needles at specific sites along the wrist, inside the forearm or in the leg, researchers at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, were able to stimulate the release of opioids, which decreases the heart’s activity and thus its need for oxygen. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are an excellent adjunctive tool when it comes to losing weight. They can help to energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety.

3. Reduce Stress
Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and mental health. In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers many techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check.

4. Improve Sleep Quality
Poor sleep has been linked with high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Acupuncture has shown great success treating a wide array of sleep problems without any of the side effects of prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids. Acupuncture treatments focus on the root disharmony within the body, assisting it to achieve better sleep and an overall improvement of physical and mental health.

5. Smoking Cessation
Smoking is a major cause of coronary artery disease. In fact, about 20 percent of all deaths from heart disease are directly related to cigarette smoking. Acupuncture has shown to be an effective treatment for smoking cessation. Treatments focus on jitters, cravings, irritability, and restlessness–symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.

Nurture Your Emotional And Mental Health

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

Oriental Medicine Provides Mental Health Support

The start of the new year is a time of looking forward to the future, setting goals and putting in motion the steps necessary to achieve them. Emotional wellness enhances our ability to move forward effectively and includes recognizing and accepting our emotions, thinking clearly, and making decisions. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine nurtures emotional wellness and provides support for mental health disorders.

Almost a third of the population report sufficient qualifying criteria for mental health disorders at some point in their life. Mental illnesses like major depression, anxiety, panic disorder, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD), PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and manic disorders disrupt your thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning, which results in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Any major life upheaval, emotional distress or a chronic condition can trigger unexpected feelings and behaviors. These imbalances can throw off your immune system or cause symptoms of pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop.

Oriental medicine does not recognize any mental disorder as one particular syndrome but addresses the specific symptoms that are unique to you using a variety of techniques including acupuncture, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and exercises to restore imbalances found in your body.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help manage:

Anxiety and Stress Disorders
Anxiety comes in a wide range of manifestations, from mild worrying to more physical responses such as nausea, insomnia, shortness of breath and panic attacks. Acupuncture provides relief from stressors that cause anxiety along with managing the symptoms and related health issues that may develop as a result.

Depressive Disorders
Common symptoms of depressive disorders include a decreased interest in most activities, insomnia, fatigue, and feeling empty and worthless. Even when depression is sub-clinical, the body’s immune system is compromised and the symptoms reduce functioning, impair work performance and social relationships. Acupuncture treatments can correct these imbalances, support the immune system, and directly affect the way your body manages stress and your mental health.

Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorders (ADHD)
ADD and ADHD disorders are conditions of the brain that makes it difficult to concentrate or control impulsive behavior. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help enhance concentration, reduce fidgeting, augment mood management techniques, reduce hyperactivity and enhance concentration.

Mental health issues are best managed when health professionals work together to meet your unique needs. An excellent addition to any treatment plan used to manage a mental health disorder, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can relieve emotional and physical symptoms by correcting imbalances and providing immune system support.

Call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you optimize your emotional wellness and be integrated into your mental and emotional wellness plan! 

Acupuncture Provides Relief from Anxiety

Some anxiety is a healthy response to daily activity or new situations however random or excessive anxiety and can be debilitating. General anxiety, panic, social anxiety, separation anxiety and other phobias can present as mild worrying to more physical responses such as nausea, insomnia, shortness of breath and panic attacks.

A 2016 meta study published in the medical journal Revista Brasiliera de Enfermagem reviewed over 500 clinical trials from five international databases, including one from The Cochrane Library. The trials covered a wide variety of ages and socio-economic circumstances in which the feelings of anxiety, helplessness or apprehension remained as constant challenges in the patients’ lives. Researchers noted that a chronic state of mental unrest could lead to secondary health problems such as heart disease or gastrointestinal issues.

After having acupuncture, subjects saw a reduction in anxiety levels, trauma, and an improvement in their quality of life. Researchers concluded that acupuncture, compared to just conventional pharmaceutical treatment, provides a statistically significant benefit for those suffering from anxiety.

Acupuncture provides relief from stressors that cause anxiety along with managing the symptoms and related health issues that develop as a result. The calming nature of acupuncture decreases the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles. Oriental medicine tools such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi, meditation, dietary therapy and acupressure may also be used to manage anxiety.

Anxiety disorders and mental health issues are best managed when health professionals work together. Call today to see how acupuncture can help you! 

Source: Goyata, S. Avelino, C., dos Santos, S., et al. (2016). Effects from acupuncture in treating anxiety: integrative review. Rev. Bras. Enferm. vol. 69, no.3.

 

Relief from Irritability and Moodiness

Everyone suffers from irritability and moodiness from time to time, but if you find that a short temper and frustration are becoming a constant issue for you, your qi may not be flowing smoothly.

Often irritability and moodiness are the consequence of chronic stress in your life. Over time these emotions can progress into more serious emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression as well as other health conditions such as digestive problems, trouble sleeping and the tendency to get sick more frequently.

The liver meridian is responsible for the smooth flowing of qi throughout the body and for smoothing our emotions. When the liver’s function of moving qi is disrupted, qi can become stuck. This is referred to as liver qi stagnation.

Liver qi stagnation can cause intense feelings of frustration, anxiety, depression, rage, and anger, as well as irritability, resentment, and jealousy. Physically, you may experience digestive problems, trouble sleeping, and a lowered immune system.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are excellent at relieving liver qi stagnation. Treatment for irritability and moodiness associated with liver qi stagnation focuses on moving qi and supporting the liver and spleen organ systems with acupuncture, lifestyle and dietary recommendations.

 

In This Issue

  • Oriental Medicine Provides Mental Health Support
  • Acupuncture Provides Relief from Anxiety
  • Relief from Irritability and Moodiness
  • Move Your Qi
  • Acupressure Points for Moving Qi

Move Your Qi

When your qi functions smoothly so does your emotional, mental, and physical activity. For optimum health, move your qi!

Stretch – Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine. According to Oriental medicine, the liver meridian stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, helping to maintain tendon health and flexibility.

Eye Exercises – The liver meridian responsible for smoothing emotions is connected to eye function. Take breaks when looking at a monitor for extended periods of time and do eye exercises.

Eat Green – Eating young plants–fresh, leafy greens, sprouts, and immature cereal grasses–can improve overall function and aid in the movement of qi.

Do More Outdoor Activities –Outside air helps qi flow. If you have been feeling irritable, find an outdoor activity to smooth your emotions.

Acupressure Points for Moving Qi

Four Gates
The four acupuncture points He Gu and Tai Chong are a popular treatment for stress, anger, irritability, sadness, and frustration. They are thought to enhance circulation of qi and have a calming analgesic effect.

He Gu is located on the padded area of your hand, between the thumb and index finger, between the first and second metacarpal bones. Massage this point with your thumb on both hands for about 30 seconds.

Tai chong is located in a hollow on the top of your foot below the gap between your big toe and the next toe, between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones. To stimulate this point, place your right heel in the juncture between the bones that attach to the large and second toes and gently knead the point for approximately thirty seconds. Then switch sides to stimulate the point on the other foot.

Hundred Convergences
Located on the top of the head midway between the ears Baihuiis used to clear the mind, calm the spirit, and improve focus. Stimulate this point with your index finger for 30-45 seconds.

Hall of Impression
Stimulation of this point is known to calm the mind, enhance the ability to focus, soothe emotions, promote sleep, and relieve depression. Located midway between the eyebrows Yintang is sometimes referred to as “the third eye”.

Protect Your Investment~

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

Buying an automobile is probably one of the biggest financial investments you’ll make.  When you consider all the hard work that went into your purchase I’m sure you would agree that it only makes sense to protect your investment so that you get as much return on it as possible.  You understand that even though your car runs great, performs magnificently, and looks wonderful on the outside it is imperative that you keep up with regularly scheduled maintenance to keep it running smoothly.  Routine oil changes are essential to the life of your car’s engine.  It would be foolish to sink tens of thousands of dollars into a new vehicle only to neglect the maintenance and drive it to an early grave.

Restoring your health through acupuncture requires an investment of both your time and money, and is truly one of the best investments you can make for yourself.  If you have completed, or are in the process of following through with a schedule of comprehensive acupuncture treatments, then congratulations on your commitment to excellent health!  However, to remain at the pinnacle you worked so hard to achieve it is essential to incorporate acupuncture wellness care into your lifestyle.

Once you have completed an initial or comprehensive care plan it is important to follow up with routine visits to maintain your newfound level of health.  After all, if it was worth the investment to regain your health, then you owe it to yourself to maintain it.

The key is to remain proactive and to stay one step ahead of potential problems before they have a chance to develop.  It is far less costly to take your car to the mechanic for routine maintenance work than it is to wait for a breakdown.

Keep in mind, however, that even with routine automotive maintenance there is still the potential to develop trouble between service appointments.  When the warning lights on your dash alert you to a problem, it is best to get it checked right away rather than wait until your next scheduled service.

The same goes for your body. When pain, injuries, or illness occur between wellness visits, resist the temptation to hold out until your next scheduled visit.  If your body is talking to you, listen to it.  The sooner a problem is addressed, the easier and more cost effective it is to get you over it.

Your body is meant to last you a lifetime.  It is not leased and there is no trading it in.  Isn’t it time you started caring for your body as well as you treat your car?  Just like oil changes, fuel line flushes, and tire rotations, wellness visits will keep you running strong for a lifetime!

Call or Email Now to Schedule Your Next Maintenance [Oil Change] Appointment! Yours in Health, Robert

Stress Less and Be Well~

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Alleviate Your Stress

Holidays can be one of the most emotionally trying times of the year as it is often filled with a dizzying array of demands, visitors, travel and frantic shopping trips. For many people, it is also a time of sadness, self-reflection, loneliness and anxiety.

All of this amounts to stress that, if left unchecked, can cause illness and deterioration of health. Finding a release valve for your stress can help you stay healthy this holiday season — and year round. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of acupuncture in treating stress, anxiety and lowering blood pressure. Together, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help achieve the changes you seek as they assist in illness prevention, stress relief, minimizing aches and pains, improving energy and finding balance.

As a normal part of life, stress enables us to get things done and process feelings. Left unmanaged, however, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems. Stress causes a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. This can throw off the immune system and cause new symptoms or aggravate already troublesome health conditions and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop.

Stressful situations that last over a long period of time can create an ongoing low-level stress that puts continual pressure on the nervous system and can cause the overproduction of stress hormones such as cortisol. The extra stress hormones sustained over an extended period of time may wear out the body’s reserves, leading to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments.

According to Oriental medicine, stress, frustration and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing pathogens to affect the body. Through acupuncture, these energy blockages can be addressed. Acupuncture points can help energy flow smoothly and alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but the stress and anxiety itself. Acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out stress hormones like cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.

In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a wide range of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your wellness plan to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home. Regular acupuncture treatments serve to nurture and nourish your kidney Qi, which can greatly enhance the body’s ability to thrive in times of stress and aid in healing, preventing illness and increasing vitality.

While it isn’t always possible to remove the external forces causing stress, the ability to effectively deal with stress is a choice. Take time for yourself to cultivate the energy you need to handle your stress more skillfully and effectively.

If you or someone you know is experiencing stress or a related disorder, contact us for more information about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you regain peace of mind and stay healthy! 

Find Emotional Balance

At some point in life everyone deals with major upheavals or emotional distress. These events can trigger a host of unexpected feelings and behaviors, from depression and panic attacks to major disruptions in sleep and eating. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can alleviate symptoms associated with mental and emotional health issues by treating the root cause of the problem to help restore balance to the body’s internal environment.

Mental health disorders are medical conditions that can disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood and ability to cope with the daily demands of life or relate well to others. Affecting people of any age, race, religion, or income, mental health issues are more common than you might think. In fact, experts estimate that a significant number of people report symptoms that indicate sufficient qualifying criteria of a mental disorder. Some mental disorders are less severe and can be easily managed with proper treatment. Other mental illnesses are more serious and require more extensive treatment, including major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder.

From an Oriental medicine perspective, mental health disorders can cause a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. These energetic imbalances can throw off the immune system or cause pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, menstrual irregularities and, over time, more serious illnesses. Acupuncture treatments can correct these imbalances and directly affect the way your body manages your mental health.

Oriental medicine does not recognize any mental disorder as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual, using a variety of techniques to restore imbalances found in the body.

Mental health issues are best managed when health professionals work together to meet the unique needs of each individual. Acupuncture is an excellent addition to any treatment plan as it is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while also diminishing symptoms.

If you or someone you know struggles with a mental health disorder, or if you would like to know how to optimize your mental health, please call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your mental and emotional wellness plan today! 

Acupuncture Gives Hope To Patients With PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe type of anxiety disorder that results from a person witnessing or being involved in a traumatic event that causes intense fear, helplessness or horror, such as a natural disaster, rape, childhood abuse, a tragic accident, or war. Diagnostic manuals say that signs and symptoms of PTSD typically begin within three months of a traumatic event but can, in some instances, occur years after the event.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been getting more attention as a treatment for PTSD, particularly from the military and veterans because soldiers are at a high risk after serving in combat. Correctly placed needles help the body re-regulate itself from the effects of stress, PTSD, depression and anxiety. In turn, this allows the individual to focus on their activities and enable them to deal with daily events.

Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB), a group that previously provided relief to the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti and hurricane in New Orleans, launched The Military Stress Recovery Project that provided free acupuncture treatments for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. Treated military personnel reported improved mental clarity, less anxiety and a reduction in stress.

Source: Hollifield, M., Sinclair-Lian, N., Warner, T., and Hammerschlag, R. “Acupuncture for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial.” The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, June, 2007 V195(6):504-13.

Dr. Robert Wallace LAc, DACM
Chicago Holistic Medicine
1619 W. Montrose
Chicago IL 60613
773.248.4489
Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Qi Gong, 
Reiki, Massage Therapy, Mindfulness 
Meditation & Diet/Lifestyle Counseling.
Please note our 24 Hour Cancellation Policy.
~The highest compliment I can receive is a referral for a friend or family member~

In This Issue

  • Alleviate Your Stress
  • Find Emotional Balance
  • Acupuncture Gives Hope To Patients With PTSD
  • Practice Mindfulness
  • Walk Your Way to Relief

Practice Mindfulness

Being mindful is to focus awareness on the present moment, acknowledging and accepting what you are feeling and thinking.

Mindfulness enables us to let go of tension, increases our ability to form connections with others and deal with unexpected events.

Increasing mindfulness has many benefits, including improved mental well-being and better control of emotions and moods.

A small study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine showed that mindfulness meditation also improves sleep quality and helps fight insomnia.

A variety of techniques can be used to cultivate mindfulness such as tai chi and meditation.

The word “meditation” comes from a Greek word that means “to be mindful.”

Regular meditation creates a continuing sense of well-being, leaving us feeling confident and calm.

Source: Black DS, O’Reilly GA, Olmstead R, Breen EC, Irwin MR. Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment Among Older Adults With Sleep Disturbances A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):494-501. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8081

Walk Your Way to Relief

Taking a brisk walk boosts endorphins, which can reduce stress hormones and alleviate mild depression.

Walking also promotes health and wellness by putting gentle pressure on an acupuncture point on the sole of the foot known as Yongquan(Bubbling Spring).

This point is the start of the Kidney meridian. Stimulation of this energizing point can stabilize emotions and promote clarity of the mind, helping you to focus.

How To Stimulate Yongquan

While Walking:
Let your heel tap the ground gently and feel your weight transfer fully to the ball and toes of your foot. Focus on breathing into your lower abdomen. Keep your shoulders relaxed and allow your arms to swing freely.

By Tapping:
Use your fists to strike your Yongquan about 100 times on each foot.

By Rolling:
Gently roll a tennis ball under your foot while relaxing on the couch.

Cold and Flu Season is Here! Give Your Immune System a Boost With Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Staying Healthy during Cold and Flu Season

While you can get a cold or the flu at any time of the year, the peak season in the United States begins in November and runs through February. Give your immune system a much needed boost so that when it comes into contact with airborne virus particles it has a line of defense.

When it comes to staying healthy during cold and flu season, acupuncture and Oriental medicine have a lot to offer. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help prevent colds and flu by fortifying the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways.

As stated by Huangdi Neijing, “To treat disease that has already developed is comparable to the behavior of those persons who begin to dig a well after they have become thirsty, and of those who begin to cast weapons after they have already engaged in battle. Would these actions not be too late?”

In Oriental medicine, disease prevention begins by focusing on the protective layer around the exterior of the body called Wei Qi, or defensive energy. The Wei Qi involves acupuncture points known for strengthening the circulation of blood and energy to boost your body’s defenses.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can also provide relief and faster healing if you have already come down with a cold or the flu by helping to relieve symptoms you are currently experiencing, including chills, fever, body aches, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, and cough. While bringing some immediate relief, treatments will also reduce the incidence of an upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the length of the illness.

Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year also serve to tonify the inner organ systems and can correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems.

Call or Email to schedule an appointment today and see how acupuncture can help you stay healthy this flu season! 

Acupuncture for Sinusitis Relief

Sinusitis occurs mainly in young and middle-aged adults, although children are also at risk. When the condition does present itself, it can be due to one of four main causes: an infection, allergic rhinitis, formation of nasal polyps, or a deviated septum. While sinusitis simply refers to inflammation of the nasal passages, the symptoms and treatments can prove more complex. An acute case of sinusitis (recently occurring) becomes chronic when medical treatments fail to cure the problem after eight weeks.

The symptoms of sinusitis vary depending on whether the condition is acute or chronic. Many of the symptoms for either case are the same, though there are slight variations. With chronic sinusitis, in particular, symptoms last for eight weeks or more and may include facial pain and pressure, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, trouble breathing through the nose, congestion, cough, fever, fatigue, bad breath, headache, ear pain, sore throat, or nausea. If a case of severe sinusitis develops, symptoms such as confusion, double-vision, stiff neck, swollen forehead, and shortness of breath may happen as well.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine offers help for your symptoms of sinusitis–whether acute, chronic, or frequently occurring. There are acupuncture points on the face that can help bring immediate relief from nasal congestion. One set of points lies in the folds of both sides of the nose, at the level of the nostrils. These points may also safely be self-massaged at any point to assist in clearing the nasal passages.

There are other acupuncture points that respond well to self-massage, according to the philosophy of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. To help relieve pressure from a sinus headache, try gently but firmly pressing the points located at the beginning of your eyebrows, near the nose.

In addition, you can try the same technique with a single acupuncture point found right between your eyes, at the level of the eyebrows. This point is called Yintang and is revered by many acupuncturists and Oriental medicine practitioners for its ability to induce calmness and send energy (Qi) in a downward direction. Therefore, massaging Yintang is particularly helpful in cases of congestion and pain due to sinusitis, as blockages in the sinus make proper drainage difficult and potentially give rise to other symptoms of sinusitis.

However, if your face feels too tender for this massage technique, there is a point located on the hand that directly aids issues of the face and forehead, including headaches. This acupuncture point is located in the middle of the fleshy mound found between the base of the thumb and the first finger. Feel free to press here for any discomfort in the face, head, or sinuses–whether your symptoms are from sinusitis or another condition.

 

Study Shows Acupuncture Provides Relief From Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms

How well does acupuncture address the symptoms of allergic rhinitis? The study titled “Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” published in the January 2015 edition of the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy, answers this question.

Researchers took an in-depth look at numerous scientific studies from all over the world that focused on patients with nasal problems due to allergies. To maintain the integrity of the meta-analysis, only randomized controlled trials were utilized. The focus of the investigation centered on the potency and safety of using acupuncture to address symptoms affecting the nose.

The large-scale analysis included several studies with nearly 2,400 test subjects. To properly assess the efficacy of acupuncture, researchers looked at rhinitis quality of life questionnaires and 36-item short form surveys (SF-36). These are medical tools used to evaluate a patient’s symptoms.

To help discern the power of acupuncture, researchers scrutinized evaluation charts regarding the severity and symptoms of each patient. Additionally, levels of serum IgE in the bloodstream and medication usage for each participant were important factors.

In all studies, researchers discovered that the groups of patients receiving acupuncture experienced exceptional, statistically-significant reductions in nasal symptoms, compared to the participants in control groups. The results proved that acupuncture is a safe, effective therapy to relieve nasal symptoms resulting from allergies.

Source: Feng S, Han M, Fan Y, Yang G, Liao Z, Liao W, Li H. (2015). Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 29(1):57-62. doi: 10.2500/ajra.2015.29.4116.

 

Protect Your Lung Qi

Lung 7, or LU 7, is one of the most powerful points on the lung meridian points. It is a popular acupuncture point to use for stopping a persistent cough and relieving a sore throat.

Besides treating those symptoms, LU 7 is often used to treat conditions related to the head and neck, such as headaches, migraines, stiff neck, facial paralysis, and toothache. LU 7 is considered to be the “command point” of the head and neck and is also used to improve circulation in the brain and stimulate memory.

This acupuncture point is located above the wrist on the inside of the arm. To find this point, interlock your thumb and index finger of one hand with those of the other, the point lies on the edge of the index finger, in a depression between the sinew and the bone.

Stimulate this point on both hands with the tip of your index finger for approximately 30 seconds or until your cough subsides.

Call or Email to schedule an appointment today and see how acupuncture can help you stay healthy this flu season!

In This Issue

  • Staying Healthy during Cold and Flu Season
  • Acupuncture for Sinusitis Relief
  • Study Shows Acupuncture Provides Relief From Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms
  • Protect Your Lung Qi
  • 5 Tips to Stay Healthy
  • Boost Your Defensive Qi

5 Tips to Stay Healthy

Seasonal changes affect the body’s environment. With wind, rain, and snow come the cold and flu viruses, which are often accompanied with aches and pains.

Guard yourself this season with these five tips:

1. Boost your Wei Qi

If you catch colds easily, have low energy and require a long time recuperating from an illness, your Wei Qi may be deficient.

Once the nature of an imbalance has been determined, a customized program can be created for you.

2. Schedule a Seasonal Tune-Up

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can prevent colds and flu by building up the immune system. Just a few needles inserted into key points strengthen the circulation of energy and consolidate the outer defense layers of skin and muscle along energy pathways so germs and viruses cannot enter through them.

3. Wash Your Hands

Good lifestyle and hygiene habits are also proven to reduce your risk of getting sick. Protect yourself from picking up germs by washing your hands regularly and remembering not to touch your face.

4. Sleep In

The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese classic, advised people to go to sleep early, rest well, and rise late after the sun’s rays have warmed the atmosphere a bit.

This preserves your own Yang Qifor the task of warming the body. Even busy, working people can boost their health by sleeping in on weekends.

5. Stress Less

Find a release valve for your stress. According to Oriental medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing pathogens to affect the body.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been shown to be effective in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Boost Your Defensive Qi

Your defensive Qi, or Wei Qi, is the protective layer around the exterior of the body.

In order to boost the Wei Qi, there is one particularly important point to focus on: Dazhui or DU 14.

Often used to ward off as well as shorten the duration of colds and flu, Dazhui (DU 14) is located below the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebrae, approximately at the level where the collar of a T-shirt sits on the neck.

Dazhui (DU 14) activates the circulation of blood and Qi to strengthen the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle, so that your system is protected against germs and viruses.

Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relief with Acupuncture

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

Acupuncture: A Viable Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) are the most common job-related injuries and are responsible for the highest number of days lost. One of the most well-known types of repetitive stress injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) accounts for over two million visits to physicians’ offices and approximately 465,000 carpal tunnel release operations each year, making it the most frequent surgery of the hand and wrist.

Symptoms of repetitive stress injuries include tightness, stiffness, pain, tingling, numbness, coldness and loss of strength in the arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury that refers specifically to the inflammation of a specific ligament that puts pressure on the median nerve.

Acupuncture is extremely effective for treating repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, and often eliminates the need for surgery or the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids. In fact, one of the most common reasons that people get acupuncture is for repetitive stress injuries.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is suitably named as it is literally a tunnel located in the lower arm that encases and protects part of the median nerve. The median nerve controls sensory functions in the palm and all fingers (except the pinkie). It also enables impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. Even though some repetitive motions such as typing on the computer or using the phone are not strenuous activities in and of themselves, if performed often enough, a cumulative effect builds up.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as median nerve entrapment, occurs when swelling or irritation of the tendons in the carpal tunnel results in pressure on the median nerve, causing pain in the palm-side of the wrist and pain and tingling in the fingers. These symptoms often, but not always, result from inflammation due to frequent, repetitive physical movements. However, inflammation can also be a product of an injury, such as a wrist sprain, or certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms usually start gradually and become worse over time, especially if the same motions are repeated on a near daily basis. Those with carpal tunnel syndrome usually experience frequent burning, tingling, or numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the index, middle and ring fingers. Pain can sometimes travel up the arm and affect the shoulder. The symptoms often first appear during the night. As symptoms worsen, people might feel pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm during the day. Decreased grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other manual tasks. If not properly treated, CTS can cause irreversible nerve damage and permanent deterioration of muscle tissue.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Acupuncture

From an Oriental medicine perspective, a repetitive stress injury is seen as a disruption of the flow of Qi and Blood (Xue) within the area, and is associated with cold, dampness or wind penetrating the muscles and sinews. Acupuncture points, stretching exercises, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements are chosen to treat accordingly.

In addition to reducing swelling, inflammation and pain, acupuncture also addresses headaches, neck pain, shoulder stiffness and sleeping problems that often accompany this condition. Your treatment may also take into account any underlying conditions that contribute to its development, including posture, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems, diabetes and hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menopause.

If you or someone you know suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome or a repetitive stress injury, call and make an appointment today! 

Study Finds Acupuncture Effective in Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Acupuncture is as effective as the corticosteroid, prednisone, for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), according to a 2009 study published in The Clinical Journal of Pain.

The randomized, controlled study investigated the efficacy of acupuncture compared with steroid treatment in patients with mild-to-moderate carpal tunnel syndrome as measured by both nerve conduction studies and symptom assessment surveys.

Patients with mild to moderate symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome were split into two groups. One group received eight sessions of acupuncture treatments over the course of eight weeks. The other group received daily doses of a drug called prednisolone, a steroid used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Evaluations at the end of the second and fourth week revealed that both groups enjoyed a significant reduction in symptoms. However, the acupuncture group received an exceptional benefit that the steroid group did not. At the conclusion of the trial, the patients receiving acupuncture treatments showed a statistically significant drop in their nocturnal awakenings.

The researchers concluded that acupuncture is just as worthy and viable a treatment for those suffering from mild to moderate symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome as taking the drug prednisolone. This is good news for patients who cannot tolerate oral steroids or prefer to handle their condition without the use of pharmaceutical drugs.

Source: Yang, C., Hsieh, C., Wang, N., Li, T., Hwang, K., Yu, S., & Chang, M. (2009). Acupuncture in Patients With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 25(4), 327-333. doi:10.1097/ajp.0b013e318190511c

 

Reduce Your Repetitive Stress Injury Risk

Managing repetitive stress injuries often requires some lifestyle changes. It can take time to find a strategy that works best for you. Here are a few minor changes you can implement to minimize stress on your hands and wrists:

Alternate Tasks — avoid doing the same task for more than a couple of hours at a time and alternate between tasks that use different muscle groups where possible.

Take a Break — fatigue is a sign that you need to take a break. Take small breaks to gently stretch and bend your hands and wrists and readjust your position.

Reduce Pressure — many people use more force than needed to perform tasks involving their hands, which can increase pressure and cause irritation. Be mindful of the speed and amount of pressure used to perform tasks. Ease up, slow down and grip using your palm or whole hand to distribute the load. If using tools such as riveters or jackhammers for extended periods, take frequent breaks or operate the tool at a speed that causes the least amount of vibration.

Cultivate Good Posture — incorrect posture can cause your shoulders to roll forward, shortening neck and shoulder muscles and compressing nerves in your neck, which can affect your wrists, hands and fingers. Your shoulders and neck should be relaxed to open the chest and allow your head to float upwards without strain. When using a keyboard, wrists should be in a relaxed middle position and in a straight line with your forearms at elbow height or slightly lower.

 

In This Issue

  • Acupuncture: A Viable Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Study Finds Acupuncture Effective in Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Reduce Your Repetitive Stress Injury Risk
  • 3 Easy Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Relief

3 Easy Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Relief

Here are some easy exercises to help relieve pain and other symptoms

Posture Adjustment

If you are on a computer all day, or if you are engaged in any other repetitive daily activity, consider setting an alarm for every 20 minutes.

This will help remind you to change your posture, perform some stretches, or just take a break.

Keep your head up and your shoulders relaxed, but not slouched.

Maintaining good posture, whether sitting or standing, can help keep symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome at bay.

Prayer Stretch

Put the palms of your hand together, press lightly and hold the pose for 30 seconds.

Take a break for 10 seconds, then repeat up to four times.

In a variation of this pose, you can hold your hands out in front of you as though you were pushing them up against a wall.

Hold for 30 seconds, then shake your hands out. Repeat up to four times.

To stretch in the other direction, make your hands into fists and bend your wrist downwards.

This can be done for about 30 seconds, and then the wrists should be straightened and the fingers relaxed. Do this up to four times.

Another very simple technique is to make a fist, then open it up and fan out your fingers. Do this as many times as feels good.

Palm Up Stretch

Take one hand, with the palm side up, and extend it to your side.

If using your left hand, then extend it to your left side.

With your arm completely extended at the level of your shoulder, with your palm still facing upwards, point your fingertips downwards.

You should feel a good stretch throughout the entire length of your arm.

To increase this stretch, gently tilt your ear towards the opposite shoulder.

If your left hand is extended, then you will tilt your head to the right.

This last exercise can also help give your neck a good stretch.

 

Acupuncture For Neurological Health & Wellness

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

Treatment of Neurological Disorders with Acupuncture

A neurological disorder refers to a problem with the nervous system, which is a complex, sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates the body’s activities. Nerve pain can arise from trauma, inflammation, stroke, disease, infection, nerve degeneration, exposure to toxic chemicals and nutrient deficiencies.

Nerve pain is usually a sharp, shooting pain or a constant burning sensation. Typically occurring in the same location with each episode, it can often be traced along the nerve pathway. Sometimes weakness or impaired function in the affected area occurs and the skin may be either overly sensitive or numb.

Acupuncture can provide symptom relief from some neurological disorders including:

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) — ALS is an irreversible neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells that invigorate the muscles.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome — Also known as median nerve entrapment, it occurs when swelling or irritation of the nerve or tendons in the carpal tunnel results in pressure on the median nerve.

Headaches — Headaches that can be treated with acupuncture include migraines, tension headaches, headaches occurring around the menstrual cycle, sinus headaches and stress-related headaches.

Myasthenia Gravis — This is a neuromuscular disorder causing muscles under voluntary control to tire and become easily fatigued.

Peripheral Neuropathy — This presents as damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body. This kind of neuropathy can be caused by diabetes and often affects the feet.

Trigeminal Neuralgia — This presents as facial pain and is sometimes called Tic Douloureux. It affects the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for impulses of touch, pain, pressure and temperature sent to the brain from the face, jaw and gums.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been found effective as a conjunctive therapy for several neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and in treating pain and inflammation.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a neurological disorder or nerve pain, contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment! 

Study Finds Acupuncture Effective at Treating Parkinson’s Disease

A 2017 meta-analysis published in the journal Medicine set out to discover if acupuncture alone or acupuncture plus conventional treatment could mitigate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Conventional treatment for Parkinson’s disease involves the use of the pharmaceutical drug Levodopa, but long-term use can cause mild to serious complications.

After conducting their meta-analysis, the researchers concluded that acupuncture performed better than conventional treatment alone. Additionally, the combination of acupuncture with conventional treatment produced outstanding results when compared to just conventional treatment.

Even more promising was the conclusion that acupuncture could provide relief for symptoms of early-stage Parkinson’s Disease, before the onset of drug therapy.

Source: Lee, S.-H., & Lim, S. (2017). Clinical effectiveness of acupuncture on Parkinson disease: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 96(3), e5836. http://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000005836 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5279085/

 

An Adjunctive Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that progressively damages the central nervous system. This happens due to the wearing away of the myelin sheath, a protective layer encasing the nerves. Some patients initially experience strong symptoms which suddenly disappear as the disease enters a period of remission. Others may experience a more insidious process wherein mild symptoms develop slowly over time but ultimately increase in severity.

There is promising evidence that use of acupuncture and Oriental medicine as an adjunctive therapy can help mitigate symptoms and some complications of multiple sclerosis, including depression, problems thinking clearly and emotional instability.

An article called “Acupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis: A Review of the Evidence,” was featured in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, volume 2014. In this article, the authors assessed the validity of using acupuncture and Oriental medicine to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis. To do this, the researchers reviewed many scientific studies on the subject to reach their conclusions.

Researchers demonstrated that remyelination, repair of the damaged myelin sheath, occurred in a significant amount of study participants. The article also showed potential in regards to treating the mental and emotional challenges faced by patients with multiple sclerosis were measured and shown to improve — including subjective feelings such as depression and the ability of the patient to handle their illness.

 

Relief from Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms

Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder that causes muscles under voluntary control to tire and become easily fatigued. More than half of those diagnosed with myasthenia gravis present with eye problems as their first symptoms, including droopy eyelids (ptosis) and double-vision (diplopia). However, roughly 15 percent of sufferers report that their first symptoms started in the face or throat muscles.

Someone who has difficulties with the face or throat muscles may experience altered speech, limited facial expressions and difficulty chewing and swallowing. The most severe symptom is what is called a ‘myasthenia crisis,’ in which the muscles used for breathing no longer function. This is a life-threatening condition and emergency medical help is required immediately

As myasthenia gravis may affect any muscle under voluntary control, weakness could occur in other areas besides the face and throat. The arms generally are more affected than the legs, and symptoms may present in the hands and feet, although this is not as common.

The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but researchers have learned that the disease prompts the immune system to block signals from the nerves to the muscles. There is also evidence that a protein that helps the muscles receive messages is prevented from doing so. It is also believed genetics may play a role.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can support the treatment you receive from your primary care provider. As this disease is complex, all the things that bother you are reviewed, not just the signs and symptoms specifically related to the disease.

 

In This Issue

  • Treatment of Neurological Disorders with Acupuncture
  • Study Finds Acupuncture Effective at Treating Parkinson’s Disease
  • An Adjunctive Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
  • Relief from Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Symptom Relief

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Symptom Relief

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an irreversible neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells, or neurons, that invigorate our muscles.

Neurons are found in the brain and spinal cord, which comprise the central nervous system (CNS).

As these cells weaken and wither, so do the muscles associated with them. Ultimately, this leads to a paralysis of those muscles.

Early warning symptoms of the disease include weakness and fatigue of the arms or legs, and sometimes difficulty with speaking clearly.

Other symptoms that may appear in early stages of ALS include:
Problems walking, including tripping and dragging the feet
Tired and weak feet, ankles and knees
Cramping, trembling and twitching of arms and shoulders
Tongue spasms
Difficulty keeping the head upright
In later stages of the disease, more severe symptoms reveal themselves.

The muscles responsible for breathing, swallowing and moving the body deteriorate to the point where they can no longer function.

There is no known cure as of yet. The causes of ALS are not well understood, but it is accepted that genetics and chemical imbalances within the brain may play a role in the disease’s development.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist in managing the symptoms of ALS, including muscle weakness and cramping, fatigue and emotional issues.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the kidneys are responsible for the production and control of a vital substance called marrow, which produces essential components that make up a healthy central nervous system.

The brain is considered a repository for marrow, and is thus termed the Sea of Marrow. When the kidneys are deficient, this condition can negatively impact the central nervous system.

When kidney deficiency occurs, it is important to nourish and revitalize them, so they can in turn help nourish and revitalize the brain.

If you experience any symptoms, contact us today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!

Acupuncture stimulates cartilage repair~

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Acupuncture Repairs Knee Arthritis Cartilage Damage

knees

Acupuncture stimulates cartilage repair for patients with knee osteoarthritis. Using MRIs, researchers have quantified the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. Within four weeks, acupuncture successfully improves the condition of cartilage in the anterior medial and lateral tibial regions of the knee. In addition, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores document that acupuncture reduces pain and stiffness levels while simultaneously improving physical function.

In a controlled trial (Zhang et al.), acupuncture was compared with the therapeutic benefits of physical therapy. The MRIs demonstrate that acupuncture improves cartilage in the knee region. Physical therapy did not stimulate cartilage repair. Pain, stiffness, and physical functioning improved with both therapies. However, acupuncture significantly outperformed physical therapy across all three WOMAC indices (pain, stiffness, and physical functioning).

MRI Results
The researchers used T2 MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) to measure changes in knee cartilage integrity. The researchers selected T2 (transverse relaxation time) imaging because T2 pulses enhance visibility of fat, water content, and other anatomical structures in the body. The researchers note, “In the earliest stage of OA [osteoarthritis], collagen matrix of cartilage breaks down and cannot immobilize water protons, resulting in an elevation in T2 relaxation time.” The researchers confirmed the findings with “Sagittal T2 Mapping images for the medial and lateral tibiofemoral joints.” The T2 MRIs produced quality resolution documentation that acupuncture “improves medial tibial sub-region (MTa) and anterior lateral tibial sub-region (LTa)” cartilage.

Acupuncture
One group received physical therapy and another study group received acupuncture. For the acupuncture group, electroacupuncture was administered by licensed acupuncturists with a practice experience in excess of twenty years. Acupuncture was applied once, every other day, for a total of four weeks. Needle retention time per acupuncture session was 20 minutes.

The needles used in the study were Hanyi brand disposable stainless steel filiform needles, size 0.30 × 40 mm. The depth of insertion ranged from 0.8–3.5 cm. Manual needle stimulation was applied to elicit a deqi response for each needle. Additionally, medial and lateral Xiyan received 20 Hz electroacupuncture stimulation to patient tolerance levels. The acupoints used in the study were the following:

  • MN-LE16 Neixiyan (medial Xiyan)
  • ST35 Dubi (lateral Xiyan, Waixiyan)
  • EX-LE2 Heding
  • SP10 Xuehai
  • SP11 Jimen
  • ST34 Liangqiu
  • ST36 Zusanli

Medial and lateral Xiyan and Heding were chosen as the primary acupoints for all participants. Supplementary points were added to benefit local tissues. A total of 126 patient were screened for inclusion and 47 patients participants with 94 treated knees completed the clinical trials.
The researchers note that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles were used to make the acupoint selection for the study. Local points were used to benefit local tissues and ST36 located on the stomach foot-yangming channel was selected because this channel “is full of energy and nutrition.” The focus of ST36 stimulation was to invigorate qi through the channel.

The researchers note that acupuncture and physical therapy produced positive patient outcomes, especially for pain, stiffness in the morning, and joint dysfunction. The researchers note, “acupuncture treatment showed better curative effect than physiotherapy, suggesting that acupuncture may be a superior non-operative treatment for KOA [knee osteoarthritis] compared with physiotherapy.” To learn more, visit the HealthCMi course on the treatment of knee pain:

Integrative Medicine
Tuina massage, qigong, and taiji are traditional approaches to aspects of physical and movement therapy and have long been important modalities within TCM. Given that both acupuncture and physiotherapy produced positive patient outcomes in the study and that TCM includes physiotherapy within its scope of practice, integration of physiotherapy with acupuncture may produce greater positive patient outcomes than either treatment modality as a standalone therapy. This combination is consistent with TCM historical approaches to patient care.

Morphology and Detection
The researchers note that osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease involving  articular cartilage degradation. They add, “With the influence of age, wearing, biochemical and genetic factors, natural extracellular environment no longer exist because of damaged collagen scaffold and degraded proteoglycans in the chondrocyte matrix, leading to decreased cell counts and abnormal distribution. Attenuated cartilaginous layers, bony cleft and even bone defect will then appear along with biomechanics changes.”

Based on these morphological conditions, the researchers note, “As the quantitative MRI method, increased T2 values, to some extent, could represent damages of the cartilage collagen scaffold. T2 image could thus be used for the discrimination of the OA severities, which has been considered to be a sensitive method for detecting articular cartilage changes and curative effect evaluation in OA patients.”

The researchers note that high stress regions are important factors relating to articular cartilage degeneration in knee osteoarthritis. Two naturally occurring regions of high stress due to weight bearing loads are the medial tibial sub-region (MTa) and anterior lateral tibial sub-region (LTa). The researchers add that medial and lateral Xiyan reach both of these sub-regions and were therefore chosen as primary acupoints for the study. MRIs reveal that acupuncture improved the conditions of the MTa and LTa, “This study revealed significant differences in T2 values before and after acupuncture in MTa and LTa, while no significant difference in T2 value was detected in the physiotherapy group.”

The MRIs demonstrate that acupuncture “improves medial tibial sub-region (MTa) and anterior lateral tibial sub-region (LTa)” cartilage. The research team commented that prior research may give us clues as to the biochemical mechanisms responsible for acupuncture’s therapeutic and curative actions. “Previous studies have proved anti-inflammatory action of acupuncture by influencing expression of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, matrix metalloproteinase and tissue inhibitor. Additionally, acupuncture may play roles in improving cartilage repairing by influencing expression of transforming growth factor-β1 and basic fibroblast growth factor.”

The research confirms that acupuncture reduces pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis of the knee. The MRI documentation demonstrates that acupuncture initiates cartilage repair. Patients seeking advice regarding acupuncture are advised to consult with local licensed acupuncturists.

Reference
Zhang, Yan, Fei Bao, Yan Wang, and Zhihong Wu. “Influence of acupuncture in treatment of knee osteoarthritis and cartilage repairing.” American journal of translational research 8, no. 9 (2016): 3995.

 

https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1836-acupuncture-repairs-knee-arthritis-cartilage-damage

Top Two Tips To Treat Insomnia~

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

So Proud and Honored to be one of 2018’s Best Chicago Acupuncturists by Expertise~

Monday, September 17th, 2018

https://www.expertise.com/il/chicago/acupuncture

Chicago Holistic Medicine

Chicago Holistic Medicine is an Oriental medicinal clinic that helps patients from all over the Windy City. Licensed acupuncturist Robert Wallace uses acupuncture as well as massage therapy, herbal medicine, and nutritional counseling to resolve a range of health issues. These include arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain. Additionally, Wallace can support patients who are undergoing cancer treatment.

Chicago, IL(773) 248-4489

Website