Chicago Holistic Medicine
Dr Robert Wallace LAc, DACM 773.248.4489

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Get Pain Relief With Acupuncture!

Saturday, July 13th, 2019

Get Chronic Pain Syndrome Relief

There are 100 million Americans experiencing chronic pain, of which 25 million have chronic pain syndrome. While pain is a perfectly normal reaction to certain events, when it persists for over 12 weeks and additional debilitating symptoms arise, the condition is pathological and treated as chronic.

Chronic pain syndrome is not just a longstanding battle with pain. Over time, the constant discomfort and progressive disability take a mental and emotional toll and may cause anxiety, depression, sleeping issues, guilt, fatigue, thoughts of suicide, or substance abuse.

Typically, pain starts after a traumatic event, injury, surgery, or during a chronic illness such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer, or irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes the cause of chronic pain is a mystery. The risk for developing chronic pain increases if you are a female over the age of 65, smoke, or already have a painful condition such as osteoarthritis.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine theory, pain is caused by the stagnation of Qiblood, or both. When Qi, the most basic unit of energy found in all living beings, is dormant, pain moves around and can feel like a distending, dull or cramping sensation. Sluggish blood is more visible, such as when bruising occurs on the skin and the pain felt is fixed, sharp or stabbing.

Once the type and severity of pain are assessed, a treatment plan will be developed. Acupuncture coordinates the entire body to restore the balance between opposing forces on a physical, mental and emotional level. Even complex cases that include a combination of chronic headaches, insomnia, and mood swings are addressed in a single, eloquent treatment plan.

Are you in pain? Call today to schedule an appointment and see what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you! 

Reduce Pain, Improve Flexibility and Strengthen Joints

Your joints are the points in the body where two bones are attached. They are mostly composed of fibrous connective tissue and cartilage, and their purpose is to provide structure and allow for articulation.

Maintaining strength and suppleness in the joints is critical to preventing bursitis, sprains, tendonitis, dislocations, and other injuries.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine offer treatments and strategies that can help.

Tui na, roughly translated as ‘pinch and pull,’ is an excellent way to give a boost of power to ailing joints as well as the surrounding structures. It encompasses a wide range of therapeutic massage techniques.

Traditionally used as a tool to treat illness and injuries, words such as pulling, pinching, rolling, shaking, stretching, pressing, and kneading accurately describe the way a patient’s body is manipulated during a session.

There are many reasons why tui na is utilized for treating joint issues. It can reduce inflammation, control pain, help with the symmetry of movement, and relieve pressure on joints by applying its techniques to the muscles that support those joints.

As pain and inflammation reduce, proper articulation of the joint is attained. As joints strengthen, the body begins to move properly, ensuring no undue tension is placed in the wrong spots.

Increase your intake of healthy fats commonly found in fish, nuts, avocados, and olive oil to help your joints stay pliable and lubricated. Avoid or limit refined sugars and carbohydrates like pasta, pastries, bread, white sugar, and soda which are known to cause irritation and inflammation.

Make time for proper rest and relaxation. One of the foundations of Oriental medicine is meditation, a mindfulness technique that is ideally practiced daily. It comes in many different forms and not all of them involve sitting down with your eyes closed but, they do require a time of quiet contemplation and regeneration.

Any activity done with a conscious intention qualifies as meditation. Walking with deliberate steps, staring intently at an object, and noticing the flow of your breathing are all easy to perform. These meditations can be done for as little as 1 minute, or longer if it feels right.

Immediate effects from even the most modest of meditations can cause a lowering of the heart rate and a pleasing, relaxing sensation. Or, it could be, there is a physical or mental pain that had previously been suppressed but is now surfacing. This is normal. Disharmony or pain may arise in order to be dealt with.

Meditating shortly after a tui na treatment could prove advantageous to further amplify the healing energy generated for improving joint health.

If you find your activity is proving difficult on your joints, call today for a holistic treatment that benefits your body and mind. 

Meta Study Confirms Acupuncture Effective for Chronic Pain

In May of 2018, The Journal of Pain published a study called “Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis.” This large-scale project analyzed 39 scientific trials with 20,827 study participants. Researchers narrowed their focus to the patient’s pain levels and their ability to physically function. They also put great importance on the effect of acupuncture to produce results after the conclusion of treatment.

Researchers discovered that real acupuncture treatments showed significant results in the reduction of chronic pain, when compared to sham acupuncture or no treatment at all. Additionally, these outstanding results lasted for 1 year after the therapy ended and could not be attributed to the placebo effect. There was only a 15% reduction in its ability to alleviate pain, leading researchers to conclude that acupuncture is a viable, effective therapy to treat different kinds of chronic pain including bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and the head.

Source: Vickers AJ, Vertosick EA, Lewith G, MacPherson H, Foster NE, Sherman KJ, Irnich D, Witt CM, Linde K; Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration. (2018). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. Journal of Pain, 19(5):455-474. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2017.11.005. Epub 2017 Dec 2. Retrieved online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29198932 

In This Issue

  • Get Chronic Pain Syndrome Relief
  • Reduce Pain, Improve Flexibility and Strengthen Joints
  • Meta Study Confirms Acupuncture Effective for Chronic Pain
  • Get Relief from Frozen Shoulder

Get Relief from Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, begins with stiffness and pain in the shoulder. Over time, the pain gradually increases until the whole area is no longer able to move. This is due to a thickening of the connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint. The final stage results in extreme stiffness that greatly reduces or completely eliminates the full range of motion.

Lack of physical movement of the arms and shoulders can increase the risk for developing adhesive capsulitis. A simple remedy before any symptoms set in includes exercises that utilize the full range of motion for this area of the body. Sometimes, however, injuries or other medical conditions can prevent this from happening.

For those who can, give your body a nice, deep stretch by raising your arms as high as they will go. Swinging your arms in all directions, even just for a minute or two, will help stimulate blood flow and keep your muscles supple.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can also assist in bringing mobility back to the shoulder and reducing pain. Two excellent acupuncture points include a point on the leg called Yanglingquan and another one on the front of the shoulder named Jianqian.

The main function of Jianqian is to treat shoulder pain, stiffness, diminished mobility, and even paralysis. This acupuncture point encourages Qi and blood to move into the area. When Qi flows unimpeded into an injured part of the body, blood follows and brings with it the healing and lubricating agents needed to reduce the symptoms of frozen shoulder.

This healing process can be further enhanced with the needling of Yanglingquan. Even though it is located on the lower half of the body, it is widely regarded for its special effect on the sinew, soft tissue, and joints of the body. It is particularly useful in the case of adhesive capsulitis to help lubricate and soften the area surrounding the shoulder joint.

While a little pain and stiffness in the shoulders and arms may not be cause for alarm, especially at the end of a stressful day or a good work-out, sustained discomfort and an inhibited range of motion may be something more serious.

If you experience shoulder stiffness, pain or immobility, call today to find out how acupuncture can help you!

Chronic Fatigue? Acupuncture Can Help!

Saturday, April 13th, 2019
Acupuncture, massage,Chinese Herbal Medicine, Reiki, Qi Gong, Diet/Lifestyle Counseling in Chicago
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.

GET RELIEF FROM CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

Over one million Americans live with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a frustrating, complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that may worsen with physical or mental activity and does not improve with rest.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is far more than just being tired. Those affected can get so run down that it interferes with their ability to function in day to day activities; some become severely disabled and even bedridden. In addition to extreme fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome encompasses a wide range of symptoms including, but not limited to, persistent headaches, throat irritation, flu-like symptoms, enlarged lymph nodes, poor sleep quality, and chronic muscle and joint pain.

The cause of CFS has not been identified, but factors such as hormones, viruses, elevated stress or a compromised immune system are thought to be contributors. Despite no cure, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can give sufferers the relief they need to improve their quality of life. Treatments help you avoid getting sick as often, reduce recovery time, improve your energy and stamina, soothe emotions, and enliven the mind.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, a condition known as Damp-Heat may be the culprit. Symptoms of Damp-Heat include fatigue, a general feeling of heaviness throughout the body, sore throat, dull headache, decline in mental acuity, and thirst.

An unhealthy spleen produces excess dampness that disrupts the proper metabolism of fluids and stops vital nutrients from entering the cells. The condition known as Dampness is highly viscous and as it clumps together heat tends to build up. Treatment typically includes points on the Large Intestine and Spleen meridians that will clear heat and tonify the spleen.

Once the spleen starts functioning properly, it naturally clears dampness from the body, ensuring the proper flow of Qi to the head, which clears up muddled thinking and brings clarity to the mind. Limbs feel more fluid and easier to move without dampness obstructing their movements. As food metabolism improves and the cells become stronger, fatigue lessens and the quality of sleep improves. As heat leaves, symptoms such as sore throat and muscle pain subside.

If you feel fatigued without an obvious reason, or currently have a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, call today to see what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you!

STUDY FINDS ACUPUNCTURE BENEFICIAL FOR CFS

A 2017 meta-analysis, titled “A Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” revealed encouraging news for patients suffering from symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Published in the Journal of Acupuncture Research”, the study found that acupuncture treatment can significantly alleviate fatigue and pain.

Researchers evaluated the effectiveness and safety of using acupuncture therapy to treat fatigue in CFS patients. In this analysis, researchers scoured through 15 medical databases worldwide, specifically choosing studies that tested acupuncture as a lone treatment. Ultimately, 11 randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) were chosen, which included a total of 869 participants. Of the 11 RCTs, 9 were compared with sham acupuncture; the remaining 2 were compared to a wait-list group and medication group.

Researchers were able to evaluate the efficacy of treatment by observing several medical tools that were employed during the various trials. To evaluate the symptoms of chronic fatigue, the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) was used. This is a self-survey given to patients before and after treatment so there is an accurate measurement of symptoms on record.

Other self-survey tools included the Stress Response Inventory (SRI) and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). The SRI measures a patient’s emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and somatic responses. The ISI rates the level of sleep quality for each patient.

The acupuncture point selection for the real acupuncture treatments varied across the trials–a total of 21 acupoints were used. It was noted that a point on the stomach meridian, the path that energy traverses, was the most highly utilized. The urinary bladder was the most frequently treated meridian.

It was determined that real acupuncture treatments, when compared to sham acupuncture, did significantly alleviate fatigue, reduce levels of pain, improve quality of life, and positively affect mood.

The study concluded with researchers affirming the outstanding results acupuncture plays in reducing extreme tiredness and alleviating pain for patients suffering from CFS. Acupuncture was also noted for its safety, with no serious side effects reported.

Source: Kim HG, Ryoo DW, Jeong SM, et al. (2017). A Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Journal of Acupuncture Research. Retrieved online at https://www.e-jar.org/journal/view.php?number=2367

 

MINIMIZE STRESS WITH MEDITATION

The practice of meditation is a proven stress reducer that can help you overcome anxieties, agitation, and habitual thought patterns. To meditate, create a quiet, relaxing environment with comforting items around you.

Sit upright with legs folded, or on a chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Breathe easy and freely. Relax your shoulders and gently place your hands on your knees or in your lap.

Tuck your chin in slightly and keep your eyes half open. Your gaze should softly focus downward, about four to six feet in front. Keep mouth slightly open.

Focus on your breathing. Try belly-breathing from the navel. Don’t accentuate or alter the way you are breathing, just let your attention rest on the flow of your breath.

The goal is to allow the chattering in your mind to gradually fade away. If you’re distracted by a thought, gently bring your mind back to your breathing.

Continue to focus on your breathing for 10 or 15 minutes. Stay relaxed, yet awake and attentive.

Remember to be gentle and patient with yourself. Meditating for even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect.

 

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Get Relief from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Study Finds Acupuncture Beneficial for CFS
  • Minimize Stress with Meditation
  • Self Acupressure for Pain Relief

SELF ACUPRESSURE FOR PAIN RELIEF

These simple and effective methods of acupressure can be safely used to alleviate chronic pain.

As always, when engaging in self-acupressure, find a comfortable position before beginning. Take a minute or two for focused deep breathing to ease into a peaceful state.

Head Corner
for Headache Relief

You can find the Head Corner point on your hairline, roughly in the area just above the end of your eyebrows. If there’s not much hair to judge by, take your best guess. If you imagine your head as a square, the points are at the corners.

Apply gentle pressure in a circular motion with the pads of your three middle fingers. Gradually increase the pressure if needed.

In addition to alleviating headaches, rubbing here can soothe tired eyes and alleviate nausea.

Welcome Fragrance
to Open Sinuses

This point is nestled very close to the nose, at its base, just off to the sides. It is well-known for its ability to open up the sinuses.

Try experimenting here with your fingertips by delicately pulling the skin towards your ears, or in a slightly upward direction.

The free flow of air can help reduce chronic headaches induce a calming effect by allowing you to deep breathe through your nose.

Union Valley to Move Qi
This point is located near the thumb and is a highly effective point when addressing any kind of pain.

To locate, put the thumb and first finger in a position where they are straight but touching each other. The fleshy mound between the two should be visible to the eye and easily located.

Apply steady, strong pressure with your opposite thumb, as you make tiny, circular motions.

Commanding Middle Point
for Back Pain

This point is conveniently located at the back of the knee, in the center, right where it bends. Use your thumbs to press with moderate to strong pressure.

Circular motions or directly pressing this area can help bring relief to chronic lower backache and the pain associated with osteoarthritis.

How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation~

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

A profoundly simple practice that works for experts and amateurs alike.

1. Choose a quiet and uplifted place to do your meditation practice. Sit cross-legged on a meditation cushion, or if that’s difficult, sit on a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor, without leaning against the back of the chair.

2. Place your hands palms down on your thighs and take an upright posture with a straight back, relaxed yet dignified. With your eyes open, let your gaze rest comfortably as you look slightly downward about six feet in front of you.

3. Place your attention lightly on your out-breath, while remaining aware of the environment around you. Be with each breath as the air goes out through your mouth and nostrils and dissolves into the space around you. At the end of each out-breath, simply rest until the next breath goes out. For a more focused meditation, you can follow both out-breaths and in-breaths.

4. Whenever you notice that a thought has taken your attention away from the breath, just say to yourself, “thinking,” and return to following the breath. In this context, any thought, feeling, or perception that distracts you is labeled “thinking.” Thoughts are not judged as good or bad. When a thought arises, just gently note it and return your attention to your breath and posture.

5. At the end of your meditation session, bring calm, mindfulness, and openness into the rest of your day.

BY LION’S ROAR STAFF| AUGUST 8, 2018

Tips To Treat Insomnia~

Monday, March 11th, 2019

Acupuncture to Achieve a Healthy Weight: A Total Health Program

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

Finding the motivation to start or stick with a weight loss program can seem overwhelming, but using a multi-faceted program is a good approach. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine address system imbalances that can cause weight gain and create hurdles in achieving a healthy weight with effective tools to control appetite, improve digestion, knock out unhealthy food cravings, increase energy, and decrease bloating.

When the spleen cannot efficiently break down food, an excess of body fluid or mucus results. This is a condition known as dampness. Damp conditions also interfere with how well nutrients are extracted from food. Without proper nutrition, the body is unable to provide energy to its cells and in comes the onset of fatigue. Moreover, dampness causes stomach distention and interferes with digestion. If you can imagine how heavy and difficult your footsteps would be while trudging through knee-high thick mud, you can begin to see how unwieldy a debilitated digestive system can become.

The Spleen channel enjoys regularity. Aim to have meals around the same time every day. Balancing the Spleen and Stomach channels will correct energy imbalances throughout the digestive system and result in a physical shift toward more natural energy and less food cravings.

Each acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatment is customized to your needs and focuses on overall well-being, with the objective of correcting imbalances, increasing circulation, stimulating metabolism, and calming the nervous system. Techniques and points vary and are chosen, each session, based on the symptoms or triggers you are experiencing at that time. For instance, you may need help addressing a desire to overeat during your menstrual cycle or increased stress one week.

Deep breathing with visualization can strengthen willpower and be used as a tool to curb hunger and cravings. Most patients report a marked decline in appetite and cravings with acupuncture treatment alone, but healing foods and exercises can definitely enhance the results.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are powerful tools for achieving a healthy weight, by itself or as a supportive treatment for other weight management programs.

Call today and schedule a consultation to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist you with your weight management goals and help you to live a long, healthy life!

 

Curb Your Food Cravings with Acupuncture

It’s a challenge to eat healthy when there is junk food readily available. It only takes a single glimpse or thought of a sweet treat or salty, savory snack for a ravenous craving to kick in.

Over time, these binges, if not controlled, can lead to weight gain, fatigue, muddled thinking, and moodiness, to name a few.

A balanced meal, according to according acupuncture and Oriental medicine, consists of foods that represent all five tastes—sweet, sour, bitter, salty, pungent. Each taste corresponds with a specific organ channel. By understanding their connection, you can move toward maintaining a healthy appetite.

The five tastes are:

Pungent
Associated with the Lung and Large Intestine pungent tastes include the dry, hot taste found in garlic, ginger, and onions needed to help the lungs properly circulate energy throughout the whole body.

Sweet
Sweet tastes are associated with the stomach and spleen. Fruits, sweet potatoes, and some vegetables like carrots aid in digestion and reduce the toxicity of all foods.

Sour
Liver and Gall Bladder are associated with sour tastes. Sour foods, like pickles or vinegar, help your body metabolize fats better.

Bitter
The bitter taste found in dark chocolate, radish, and bitter gourd removes excess heat from the Heart and Small Intestine helping them function better and pacify negative emotions.

Salty
The salty taste associated with the Kidney and Bladder has a big impact on moistening hard bowels and regulating their movements.

Curbing your cravings takes knowing which system is out of whack. If there is an intense hankering for sweet and salty, this implicates the Spleen, Stomach, Kidney, and Urinary Bladder. The desire for rich, fatty foods can be traced back to the Liver and Gall Bladder.

Since the Spleen and Stomach are associated with obsession, which can certainly be the case in an inability to restrain oneself from devouring all cookies and chips in the kitchen, these are usually the culprit behind every craving. An acupuncture treatment typically includes points to help bolster a sluggish Spleen and other lagging organs.

To learn more about using food as medicine and how to address your food cravings call for an appointment today! 

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 to Achieve a Healthy Weight: A Total Health Program
  • Curb Your Food Cravings with Acupuncture
  • Self Acupressure for Weight Loss

Self Acupressure for Weight Loss

Using self-acupressure allows you to directly assist your digestive organs and provide a respite from unhealthy food cravings.

By pressing on certain areas of the body, Qi is activated and blood flows more freely. Your internal organs will feel invigorated and be able to perform at optimum levels.

Before starting a session of self-acupressure, always be seated and in a calm state of mind. Tension only impedes the technique.

Activate Your Lungs

It may be surprising to learn that the lungs are responsible for excreting the vast majority of fat from the body–up to 84%! This fact more than presses the point on how important exercise is. The more you breathe out, the more fat you release.

To activate lung power and really get your Qi flowing throughout your entire body, look down at your chest. On the same level as the nipples, in the middle of the chest, is a wonderful point called Chest Center. Apply moderate pressure here to stimulate the area.

If you’re feeling like you need a more vigorous shake-up of your energy, try beating your chest like King Kong. The area you want to hit is higher than Chest Center. Aim for the breastplate in the center and a little off to the sides. You can even let out a sustained low noise as you do this for a little extra mileage.

Give Your Digestion a Boost

To give your internal organs a massage, stimulate the acupressure points surrounding your belly button.

On either side of your belly button, about 1-2 inches away, are points that assist your Large Intestine. Simply press and make small circular movements. Do this for a couple of minutes.

If you line up eight fingers directly above the belly button, there is a point directly above the stomach that stimulates it. Be careful not to apply pressure here after a big meal.

Gently massage this area with the pads of three fingers. Use both hands if you’d like, just switch from a clockwise to a counter-clockwise direction.

 

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.