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Archive for October, 2013

Arthritis Complications

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The basic health complication from arthritis is stiffness of the joint.  The restrictions of your body’s range of motion are due to inflammation and pain of the joint or from actual damage to the joint.  As for osteoarthritis, bone spurs can develop on a normal bone causing pain and compression of the nerves as well as restriction of body motion. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, damages the joint’s synovial lining which eventually causes the limitation or actual loss of range of motion of the joints.

The following are complications that rheumatoid arthritis can cause:

  • The incapacity of the sufferer to perform his activities of daily living
  • The shortening of the lifespan of the sufferer
  • Peripheral neuropathy – The sufferer may experience burning, numbness or tingling in his hands and feet
  • Spine instability
  • High or low blood platelets
  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease/failure – RA ups the risk for heart disease, primarily because of the inflammatory effects of RA. These effects may damage heart muscle tissue and the arteries.
  • Joint distraction
  • Social limitations
  • Stiffness of the joint
  • Lung disease
  • Anemia
  • Periodontal disease – People who acquire RA are twice at risk than people without RA to develop periodontal disease. Both periodontal disease and RA are the result of immune dysfunction and chronic inflammation
  • Osteoporosis – If not properly managed RA can lead to osteoporosis which is a condition that erodes bone density, a condition which commonly affects postmenopausal women. The hipbone is usually the body part affected most by RA.
  • Gastrointestinal problems – RA can lead to colorectal cancer among its sufferers
  • Skin problems – RA can lead to dermal conditions especially the fingernails and the fingers
  • Infections – Sufferers of RA are more prone to infections even more so if they are taking immune-suppressing drugs
  • Scleritis – RA can lead to scleritis which is the inflammation of the blood vessels located in the eye. Scleritis in turn can lead to damage to the cornea and possible blindness

Complication of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA in young people can lead to a condition named macrophage activation syndrome

Psoriatic Arthritis Complications

The daily routine activities of sufferers may be severely affected by psoriatic arthritis.  This type of complication is quite painful prompting the sufferer to sit or lay down until the pain dissipates. Psoriatic arthritis causes the gradual erosion of the joints.

Gout Arthritis Complications

If unmanaged or poorly controlled, gout arthritis can lead to complications such as chronic problems in the joints and the creation of kidney stones. Gout can also cause permanent disability to a person.


Mark Schwartz is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of Buckhead Acupuncture & Herbal Center in Atlanta, GA.

Written by Valerie

October 27th, 2013 at 3:50 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Anemia – Tests and Diagnosis

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The diagnosis for your anemia may be based on the findings of your family and medical histories, your physical examination and from procedures and tests.

Anemia frequently does not cause any symptom manifestation and the doctor may discover it when studying a different condition that may be related to your anemia.

Family and Medical Histories

The doctor will study your family history and may see if anyone in your family has suffered from anemia. He will also query you about any symptoms and signs of anemia you may be experiencing. He will also question you if you’ve had any condition or ailment that could have lead to anemia.

You need to inform your doctor if any member of your family has anemia, if you’ve had past anemia conditions before and the typical foods that you regularly eat.

Physical Examination

The purpose of your physical exam is to know the severity of your anemia and its probable cause(s). The doctor may:

  • Feel your stomach to assess the size of your spleen and liver
  • Listen for sounds of uneven or rapid breathing in your lungs
  • Listen for any irregular or rapid heart beat you may have

Specific exams like a rectal or pelvic exam may be done by the doctor to identify the areas of the body where hemorrhaging occurs.

Diagnostic Tests and Procedures

Some blood tests and procedures may be required to know the kind of anemia you have and the degree of its severity.

Complete blood count – This test is usually the first one given to someone suspected of having anemia. It measures the levels of hematocrit and hemoglobin of a person. Hematocrit is the rate of space that red blood cells use in your blood. Anemia is more or less diagnosed if the amount of hematocrit or hemoglobin in the blood is low.

The doctor may consider the patients ethnic or racial background since the typical range of hematocrit or hemoglobin levels is different among different races.

A CBC also measures the amount of platelets, red and white blood cells in the person’s blood. Results beyond or below normal can indicate an underlying health problem, infection, a blood disorder or anemia in the patient.

The CBC also measures MCV or mean corpuscular volume which is a measurement of the size of the patient’s red blood cells which can help them verify if the patient is suffering from anemia. If the patient’s red blood cells are smaller than normal and healthy red blood cells, it is an indication of iron-deficiency anemia.

Other Tests and Procedures

  • Hemoglobin electrophoresis – Hemoglobin electrophoresis can identify the kinds of hemoglobin you have in your blood and can help the doctor diagnose the type of anemia you have.
  • Reticulocyte count – This is a test that determines how many fresh red blood cells you have in your body and is used to see if the bone marrow produces the right amount of red blood cells in your body.
  • Iron level in your body and blood tests – These tests usually include serum ferritin and serum iron tests. Other tests of these kinds include total iron-binding capacity and transferrin level tests to measure iron levels in your blood.

You can get anemia from potentially a wide number of causes. The doctor can recommend tests to determine conditions like vitamin inadequacy (lack of folic acid and/or vit B12), lead poisoning and kidney failure.

If you are diagnosed with anemia because of internal hemorrhage, the doctor may require you to undergo several tests to see what part of the body is suffering from hemorrhage. A stool test is used to determine the presence of blood in the stool and can be done at the clinic or at home. The stool sample will be sent to a lab for analysis.

If blood is present in the stool, other tests may again be required to locate the specific area of bleeding. One typical test done is endoscopy, a procedure that uses a tube attached with a tiny camera to view the digestive tract’s lining.

A marrow test can also be preformed to see whether the patient’s bone marrow is producing enough blood cells to sufficiently supply the body of red blood cells.


Rodd Sanchez Sydney Acupuncture
Suite 410, Level 4,
229 Macquarie Street
Sydney, NH 2000
Phone: 02 8213 2888

Written by Valerie

October 27th, 2013 at 3:48 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Allergic Reaction Treatments and Drugs

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There may be no real cure for allergic reactions but, nevertheless, a vast array of medicines both over-the-counter and prescription, are available to address irritating and uncomfortable symptoms such as congestion, headache and runny nose. Some of the most popular of these medicines are corticosteroids, combination medications, antihistamines and decongestants among many others. Other treatment procedures for allergic reactions can include allergy shots that boost the body’s ability to fight the allergens.

Mass Cells Inhibitor – The primary role of a mass cells inhibitor drug is to block the release of histamine and other chemicals that can cause allergic reactions from mast cells when a person is exposed to allergens like pollen. When utilized, frequent dosing is necessary since the effects of this drug does not last long (lasting only around 8 hours). This type of drug is available in nasal spray form or in eye drops to ward off runny nose and treat itchy eyes respectively.

Leukotriene Inhibitors – These drugs are designed to hinder substances/allergens from causing inflammation and swelling in the person.

Anti-allergy Eye Drops – Anti-allergy/antihistamine eye drops are designed to address symptoms like watery or itchy eyes. Some anti-allergy drops are reinforced with other anti-inflammatory agents to further relieve irritation and puffiness. Nonprescription eye drops are also available that give substantial relief to hay fever and allergies. These drops need to be used with care since they can cause temporary stinging when used. You may need to talk with your doctor if the irritation does not improve. Also people using soft-contact lenses need to wait for about 10 minutes after they have applied the eye drops before wearing their contact lenses.

Steroid Nasal Sprays – Steroid nasal sprays are useful in reducing inflammation inside the nasal passages thus lessening the other symptoms of nasal allergies. Sometimes, however, certain steroid nasal sprays can cause sore throat or nose bleeding.

Anticholinergic Nasal Allergy Spray – This type of spray is used in the nostrils to help minimize secretions from the glands that are blocking the nasal passage helping lesson runny nose symptoms in the process. This spray is contraindicated for individuals who are allergic to any ingredients used in this spray. This spray is applied about twice or thrice a day.  It can cause few side effects and does not negatively react or interfere with other drugs.

Decongestants – Decongestants helps remove nasal congestion. They also cause blood vessels to constrict leading to reduced blood circulation into the nasal passage. These drugs should obviously not be given to individuals who are allergic to chemical ingredients in these drugs.

Antihistamine – These medicines are offered in liquid, chewable tablet, capsule and tablet forms. The dosage that should be taken for antihistamine medication depends on the type of preparation that is given and the individual’s characteristics. As antihistamines can make a person drowsy, so therefore, you should not perform any activity that needs mental concentration when you take these types of drugs.

Natural Allergy Relief – These include herbal supplements that give relief to allergic reactions. Tonic derived from goldenseal herb and freeze-dried nettles are very helpful forms of these remedies.  One can also use saline nasal spray that helps wash away pollen and rid of excess mucus. Some doctors also recommend taking some nutrients that can relieve seasonal allergic reactions. These can include a flavonoid known as quercetin and grape seed extract.

Allergy Shots – Also called by its lesser known name, immunotherapy allergy shots are given to individuals suffering from allergies so as to enhance their tolerance to allergens. They are usually given to those who have been suffering from serious allergies or for people who have been experiencing allergic reactions for more than 3 months in one year.  It is important to note that these shots never are designed to cure allergies; they instead only reduce the person’s sensitivity to some of his allergens. Allergy shots should be given on a regular basis and during the course of time the doses need to be increased as well. If you experience tightness of the throat or shortness of breath after being given an allergy shot, you need then to see your doctor.

Ridding of Allergens By Yourself – One of the best ways to prevent allergic reactions is to identify the substances that cause the attacks. A person with asthma who is allergic to dust, for example, needs to rid his home and surroundings from the elements. If strong perfumes give you allergic reactions you then need to remove these perfumes in your home. This way is quite commonsensical, inexpensive and the most effective for individuals suffering from allergy and they need to give it a try.

Allergy Fighting Foods – Certain studies have shown that consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids substantially reduces symptoms of allergy to individuals who do not usually eat foods that are high omega 3.  Omega-3 fatty acids is very good in treating inflammation, you can find high amounts of these types of fatty acids in eggs, animals that have been grass-fed, walnuts, flaxseed oil and cold-water fish.

Acupuncture – Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) states that allergies are caused by weakness of the righteous (zhen qi) and protective energy of the body (wei qi) and a combination of a collection of internal damp in the body brought about by digestive weakness and/or poor diet choices. Lifestyle and congenital factors are also responsible for these weaknesses. These weaknesses indicate deficiencies in body systems such as the kidneys, spleen, liver, and/or lung. Allergy treatment is unique per person because the precise patterns of disharmony that cause a specific allergy are different for each individual. Proper diagnosis of allergy is the basis for getting the most effective TCM treatment and acupuncture. Individualized treatments that consider the patient’s unique constitution are important to gain the best results. Certain Chinese herbs, acupuncture and a comprehensive diagnosis are used to strengthen the organ systems and return the patient to normal and good health.


Davis Acupuncture Clinic
2043 Anderson Rd
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 400-1239

Written by Valerie

October 27th, 2013 at 3:43 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Insomnia – Preparing For your Appointment

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You need to consult with your doctor if you’re having problems with your sleep. In order to make your appointment productive, help your doctor by coming fully prepared for your insomnia appointment.  Listed below are some tips that can better prepare you for your appointment.

What you can do

  • Know beforehand if there are any requests from your doctor you need to fulfill prior to your appointment – Your physician may request that you keep a sleep journal or diary wherein you can write down everything related to your sleep (number of hours you have slept, time of sleep or bedtime, the number of times you wake up, the how many times and the hours you wake up in the night and the hour in the morning you usually wake up). Include in the journal your normal daily activities and routines, and your sleep or rest during the day. You may start writing down all these a week or two prior to your appointment.
  • Use a journal to list down all your questions to ask your doctor
  • Have your sleeping partner accompany you to your appointment – Your partner can share valuable information about the way you sleep and about your problems with your doctor. This can help the doctor gain more insight to your problem and eventually formulate a correct diagnosis to your problem.
  • List down in the journal the list of all medicines, herbs, supplements and steroids you are currently taking
  • Also include in your journal all your medical conditions and information about yourself including recent noteworthy changes in your life, stress factors in your life and recent and current health issues.
  • Jot down any symptoms you have even issues that may not be caused by your main complaint.

The questions you can ask your doctor that you should include in your journal can be like these:

  • What is causing my sleeplessness?
  • Are there other possible factors besides the likeliest factor that may be causing my insomnia?
  • What do you think is the best way to address my insomnia?
  • What is the best thing for me to do to properly address my other health problems including my insomnia?
  • Do I need to go to a sleep clinic? If so, how much will it cost?  Is it covered by my insurance?
  • Can I bring home insomnia-related articles and brochures from your office?  Can you recommend a website I can go to research further about my sleeping problem?

The doctor will need to ask you certain questions about yourself and your condition to help him come up with a correct diagnosis. Some of the questions can be like these:

  • How long have you experienced your sleep problem?
  • What are the symptoms of your sleep problem?
  • Does your problem occur from time to time or does it affect you every night?
  • What is your normal sleep pattern?
  • Has anything occurred in your life that may have started to affect your sleep?
  • Have you suffered from past sleeping problems? If yes, how was it addressed?
  • Are you suffering from certain symptoms that may have arisen due to your sleeping problem?
  • Is there anything that worsens your symptoms?
  • Is there anything that makes your symptoms improve?
  • Have you used nonprescription or prescription drugs to help you sleep?
  • Do you take other types of drugs (prescription or nonprescription) for other health problems?
  • Do you take illegal drugs like cocaine or drink alcohol to aid you in sleeping?
  • Any home remedies you have tried? If so what are they? Have they been useful?
  • Do you always feel very sleepy or sleep during the day especially during driving and work?
  • Are your normal daily routines affected by your sleep problem?
  • Do you have any family member that has been diagnosed with a sleep problem or with any type of depression?
  • Do you have any health risks?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you snore?
  • Have you experienced choking for breath while sleeping that forced you to wake up?
  • What time do you sleep at night? What time in the morning do you wake up? Are your sleeping and waking times different during weekdays and weekends?
  • How often do you wake up at night? If so, is it hard going back to sleep after you’ve waken up?
  • Does it take a while for you to fall asleep at night?
  • How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?
  • What part of the house do you sleep?
  • Is your sleeping area noisy and/or brightly lit?
  • What foods and drink do you eat at night?
  • Do you exercise?
  • Have you traveled recently?


Written by Valerie

October 27th, 2013 at 3:40 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Drug Addiction – Coping and Support

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Coping with one’s drug addiction can be a lifetime process. The person suffering from drug addiction may utilize different coping strategies to make him stay on the path to recovery and normalcy of life. Some of the coping strategies are oftentimes used by rehab counselors to help their patients successfully treat their addiction.

One of the ways the recovering addict can do to stay sober is to control his emotions through logical thinking.  Drug addicts often seek recourse to drugs because of their emotional problems.

Another way to cope with drug addiction and avoid drug relapse is to avoid triggers to your addiction.  These can be objects, places and people which oftentimes stimulate your drug cravings. For a lot of addicts, the lack of knowledge of their triggers is what makes avoidance of them difficult. So during sessions of counselling, the rehab specialist uses strategies and procedures to identify the triggers of a patient’s addiction. Knowing these triggers can help the patent better manage his cravings for the rest of his life.

Oftentimes avoiding these triggers can be difficult. The addicted person may only have friends who are active addicts and may live in an area with high drug abuse activity. The addicted person also oftentimes is in bad financial standing that causes him to be extremely anxious and look for unhealthy ways to curb this anxiety. It is therefore important to modify a person’s lifestyle in order to avoid these triggers.

A recovering addict will find that the path to recovery is filled with moments of high anxiety, paranoia and other kinds of stressful states of emotion. Therefore it is important for that individual to learn to calm himself to help him avoid getting these emotions that may trigger drug cravings. The recovering addict can vent his troubles to a counselor, family or close friend, meditate or even pray to unload his mental stress and relax his mind. Exercises, passive or active ones can help the body and mind feel calm and relaxed.

One way to better manage one’s emotional and mental state is to regularly monitor them. In order to control drug cravings, the person may need to learn proper self-reflection techniques in order not to fall into relapse.

Continuous support from support groups and drug rehab centers is needed for a lot of recovering addicts who may not yet be strong enough to battle their addiction and cravings on their own.  It is good to know the there are rehab centers that offer various kinds of therapies like family therapy, group therapy and extra counselling for individuals who require extra assistance. Community support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous often invite addicts who underwent rehabilitation to join them and discuss about their ongoing experiences. In order to make their resolve much stronger many of them create accountability partnerships to make them more resilient to their addiction and make their lives more productive and meaningful.

 Juliette Aiyana is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs in New York City.

Written by Valerie

October 18th, 2013 at 2:48 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Low Blood Pressure – Preparing for Your Appointment

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You can list down all medications (including any steroids, herbs, supplements, prescription and over-the-counter medicines) you are taking and bring that list along when you come in to have your blood pressure examined. Unless your physician says otherwise, continue taking your prescription and over-the-counter medications whether or not they affect your blood pressure.

Oftentimes, doctor’s appointments are not long enough for you to know more about your condition; hence, it’s a good idea to prepare well in order to make the most out of your appointment. Listed below are some helpful advices that will enable you to prepare well for your appointment and what you can expect from your doctor.

  • List down all questions related to your condition to ask your doctor.
  • Know any restrictions or to-do activities to follow prior to your appointment. These may be diet restrictions or performing light exercises among others.
  • You need to know about your exercise and diet habits as they will be talked about between you and your doctor. If you don’t have any exercise or diet habits, then tell your doctor about the things that may be hindering you from doing them.
  • List down all the symptoms you have experienced from your hypotension as well as symptoms that may be totally unrelated to it.
  • Bring along someone who knows you very well during your appointment. He or she may be a wife, close friend or family member. This person may help you remember important things about your condition that you have forgotten to divulge to your doctor and help you remember things the doctor said that you may have forgotten.
  • Also make a list of all medications (like steroids, herbs, supplements, prescription and over-the-counter medicines) that you’re presently using.
  • List down important information about yourself like the stressors in your life, major life changes you have experienced and if you have a family or personal history of hypotension.

In order to optimize your appointment, come prepared with a list of questions to ask your doctor. Here are some suggested questions to ask your physician:

  • What do you think is the real cause of my condition/symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes for my condition/symptoms?
  • Will I need to undergo tests? If so, what are they?
  • What do you think is the best treatment for my condition/symptoms?
  • Do I need to avoid or eat certain foods?
  • Are there physical activities I should do or avoid?
  • Do I need to be tested for my blood pressure frequently?
  • How can I properly handle my low blood pressure along with my other conditions?
  • Do I need to consult with a specialist?
  • Can you prescribe generic medications to the medicines you’re prescribing me?
  • Can I bring home materials or brochures in your office regarding my conditions? Do you know of any websites that provide good information about my condition?

If you any questions in mind outside the scope of the aforementioned list of suggested questions, you need to ask them to your doctor. Also if you do not understand some points in your conversation with your doctor, tell your doctor about it. It is his responsibility to explain those points to you in a way that will make you fully understand what it is he’s saying.

What to expect from your doctor

The doctor may also need to ask you some important questions that you need to answer as correctly and honestly as possible. These questions may include:

  • When did you first notice your symptoms?
  • Are your symptoms occurring from time to time or have they been continuous?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Is there anything that makes your symptoms better?
  • Is there anything that makes your symptoms worse?
  • Were you diagnosed with other health problems?
  • What medicines are you presently using?
  • What kind of foods do you eat most of the time?
  • Do you exercise? If so how frequently do you exercise?
  • Do you have a family history of heart conditions?

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

Written by Valerie

October 18th, 2013 at 2:48 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Asthma – Preparing for your Appointment

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When you begin suffering from more severe attacks of asthma, the best thing to do is to consult your general practitioner or family doctor.  After assessing your condition, your GP or physician may refer you to either a pulmonologist or an allergist. Time limitations to your appointment may require you to be well prepared to get the most information possible for your condition. Listed below are relevant information to make you well prepared as well as the things that you can expect from your physician.

To be properly prepared and make the most out of your appointment time you can:

  • List down all questions to ask your doctor
  • Bring a friend or a member of your family to your appointment. The saying two heads are better than one applies here and a close companion can help you remember all the information you may have missed giving your doctor and to remember all the information the doctor has given during the appointment.
  • List down all the supplements, vitamins and medications you are presently taking
  • List down all relevant information in your personal life especially the recent changes in your life and the things that you consider are major stress factors in your life
  • List down the time of day when symptoms are at their worst. You may also write down the seasons when your asthma worsens or what factors or allergens trigger your asthma attacks
  • Jot down all the symptoms related and even unrelated to your asthma particularly the symptoms that compelled you to go to your doctor in the first place.

If you’ve printed these lists or have good or easily readable penmanship you can submit them to do your doctor. If you have questions you can ask your doctor and have written them down, you can submit these to your doctor for him to read or read them yourself in front of him during your appointment. Some practical questions you can ask your doctor can include:

  • Will I still be able to indulge in my favorite or regular activities with my asthma?
  • What do you think is the best treatment plan for my asthma?
  • Can my asthma be cured?
  • Will my asthma get better or get worse as I get older? Will I ever outgrow?
  • What are the long-term consequences of my asthma?
  • Will my treatment plan help get rid of my more serious symptoms?
  • Can I be treated without medications?
  • What medication do I need? How does it work?
  • How frequent and long should I need to use the medication?
  • What are the medication’s side effects? What are the most severe side effects of taking this medication? What side effects will require me to stop taking it?
  • What risks are involved if I don’t follow directions in taking or forget taking my medication?
  • Is this drug habit-forming?
  • Is it safe to take it on an empty stomach?
  • Will this drug interact with the other drugs medication I’m presently using?
  • Should I avoid herbal supplements, other drugs, vitamins, alcohol and other drinks and specific foods when taking this medication?
  • Will this medication aggravate my other health conditions?
  • Can you recommend any alternative or complementary therapies I can try?
  • Is acupuncture a great alternative treatment for my asthma?
  • Are massage therapies or chiropractic good therapies for my asthma?
  • Can you suggest certain natural supplements and herbs for my asthma?
  • What changes in my lifestyle can help reduce the risks of asthma attacks?
  • What kinds of food can I eat that will help prevent my asthma attacks?
  • Can I exercise when I have asthma?
  • Can you recommend any websites, magazines or books that can help me gain more information about asthma?

What to expect from your doctor

Before performing a physical exam and certain diagnostic tests, the doctor will ask certain questions about you and your asthma problem. Some questions may force you to think about the answer for some time. Take your time and try to answer all the doctor’s questions as truthfully as possible. Some of the questions your doctor may ask can include:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When was the first time you noticed these symptoms?
  • What symptoms are the most severe to you?
  • Do you often have difficulty in breathing or only during certain circumstances or at specific times of day and night?
  • What allergies do you have? Do you have hay fever or atopic dermatitis (among others)
  • Are there things that exacerbate your asthma symptoms?
  • Are there things that help improve your asthma?
  • Does you family have a history of asthma or allergy?
  • Are you suffering from any chronic medical condition?

Written by Valerie

October 18th, 2013 at 2:09 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Dry Skin Complications

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One of the likeliest complications derived from dry skin is bacterial infection that often is caused by extreme itching that tends to lead to abrasions or cuts; the severe itching and scratching response can be termed as an itch-scratch-rash-itch” repetition. When the persistent scratching leads to cuts or cracks in the skin, pathogens can then enter into the bloodstream and infect the body.

Some of the other complications of dry skin can include:

Impetigo – This is a skin condition caused by bacterial infection that results in red rashes on the skin.  Impetigo usually afflicts children and often causes yellow fluid drains from the skin. The skin surface also develops brown scabs from this skin problem.

Skin abscess – This is a skin infection with attributes such as a collection of pus below the skin’s surface. Skin abscess can often come about by abrasion of the skin which is a typical skin injury.

Folliculitis – This is a dry skin complication of the inflammation of hair follicles.

Cellulitis – This is a skin condition that can potentially lead to bacterial infection. Cellulitis usually develops on the underlying tissues of the skin. There is also a chance that bacteria can infect the blood vessels and the lymphatic system which can potentially become a very severe dry skin complication.

Eczema or atopic dermatitis – Eczema often arises when the skin experiences severe dryness. Eczema usually manifests as inflammation, cracking and redness the skin.

A person is likely to experience these complications when his are skin’s normal protective functions are dysfunctional.  Extreme dry skin, for example, may result in fissures or deep cracks that can open and bleed, allowing bacteria to enter into the body.

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

Written by Valerie

October 12th, 2013 at 7:50 am

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Definition of Premenstrual Syndrome

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Premenstrual syndrome or PMS is also referred to as PMT or premenstrual tension. This type of condition is a collated form of emotional, physical and psychological symptoms that is associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle. Though most females of child-bearing age have physical and psychological symptoms that can be attributed to normal ovary functions like bloating or tenderness of the breast, the medical definitions of PMS often refer to the frequent pattern of emotional and physical symptoms that occur during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. PMS symptoms typically manifest ten days before menses with symptoms that are quite predictable. The symptoms may vanish either after or shortly before the onset of menstrual flow.

PMS is not a widely common occurrence among women as it only affects about 2% to 5% of women who are of childbearing age. There can be many possible underlying reasons for PMS but the real cause is not yet truly known. While the lutal phase of the ovulation cycle is associated with PMS, the levels of sex hormones are within the normal range. Thorough studies done on twins show that incidence of PMS is two times higher in monozygotic twins than in dizygotic twin. Women with PMS symptoms have shown to have low levels of beta-endorphin which may be a sign of susceptibility to PMS symptoms.

Tree of Life Acupuncture
1215 120th Ave NE #206
Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 732-3201


Written by Valerie

October 12th, 2013 at 7:48 am

Posted in Acupuncture

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Lifestyle and Home Remedies

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Implementing home remedies and changes to diet and lifestyle that help prevent or lessen IBS symptoms should be as important in properly managing your symptoms as seeing your doctor and getting treatment for your condition. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can strike people of any age and causes stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea.

Diet Changes

When you have IBS, the muscles and nerves of your digestive system, particularly the neuromuscular system of your intestines become very prone to irritation from certain foods and fluids that you are eating. The intestines contract and start to cramp, accumulate gas and you begin to have either diarrhea, or become constipated during or a little while after your meal. To prevent this from happening you need to determine what foods and fluids irritate your intestines so you may avoid them in the future. Many IBS sufferers find that foods and drinks like artificial sweeteners, beverages containing caffeine, fatty foods, dairy products and chocolate. Pain can be caused by intestinal gas during an episode of IBS and certain fruits, cabbage and beans can only exacerbate the pain. Keep in mind that although fiber betters the function of the intestines it causes the cramping and gas to become worse. In order to avoid gas and cramping, slowly incorporate foods and fluids that contain fiber into your diet over a number of weeks to a month. Have a journal that contains a list of the foods and fluids you have eaten for two to three weeks and write down the symptoms you have experienced after you have eaten or drank some of these products. Doing this will help you either to cut down eating or drinking these products or avoid them altogether.

Stress Relief

Too much distress or even extreme joy can exacerbate your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Better control of your emotions means better control of your symptoms as well. To help relieve physical and mental stress, you can sleep or do relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation to bring your mind and body to a state of placidity banishing any feelings of depression or anxiety you have. When you’re relaxed, your intestinal contractions will then start to normalize.   Exercise can also relieve stress and help you feel relaxed later on. You can then start to enjoy lesser bowel symptoms. You can go to your doctor to talk or a counselor if you suffer from anxiety or depression because of your IBS.


Medications for IBS are all designed to lessen or relieve IBS symptoms. One type of drugs used is antispasmodics and its purpose is to lessen the pain from the cramping of the intestines. Another type of medications is antidiarrheal drugs which take care of diarrhea. Laxatives are used for IBS sufferers suffering from constipation. Certain antidepressants taken in small doses are also used to address intestinal pain. Sedatives or tranquilizers can be used to address anxiety-exacerbated IBS symptoms. These drugs should be only used for short amounts of time. Be sure to follow the instructions that come along when you purchase laxatives and antidiarrheal drugs or instructions in their use coming from your doctor or pharmacist. Over-the-counter meds for diarrhea like Kaopectate or Imodium should be taken in the most minimum dosage that proves effective for the problem. You can take Imodium for half an hour after you have eaten especially if what you’ve eaten will likely lead to diarrhea. Use all these medications properly and responsibly since abusing them will bring you other health problems in the future. To be 100% sure that you use these medications correctly consult with your doctor or pharmacist first before taking them.

Drink lots of water since water can help wash away harmful contents in the intestines that aggravate your stomach problems. As mentioned a while ago, stay away from drinks that contain caffeine since it can worsen your diarrhea. Alcohol too as well as carbonated drinks like soda should be avoided since these drinks will cause gas to develop in your intestines.


Manhattan Acupuncture Clinic
900 Broadway, Suite 404
New York, NY 10003
Ph: (917) 968-6456

Written by Valerie

October 5th, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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