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Archive for July, 2014

Addiction may be a behavioral or addiction to a certain product

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The United States has a big problem not only with drug addiction but with other various types of addictions. Addiction may be a behavioral or addiction to a certain product. Regardless of the type of addiction one suffers, it can harmfully affect the overall balance and health of a person.

What is Addiction?

Addiction often ensues from excessive and longstanding engagement and/or consumption of pleasurable activities or substances that impact the psychological or physiological dependence on particular practices or substances that the addicted person cannot anymore control.  Certain people believe that addiction happens when the activity or substance takes hold of the individual and not the other way around.

Addiction is categorized depending on what thing the person is addicted to. It can either be behavioral addiction or substance addiction. Behavioral addiction is defined as a strong obsession in the engagement of activities such as sex, extreme workouts, internet browsing and gambling. Substance addiction means that a person’s addiction is towards harmful substances like alcohol, nicotine and cocaine.

The addict, at some point in time, may not realize that his/her behavior is getting out of control and it has become a problem to other people.  Apart from the helplessness to control his/her usage or consumption of particular substances, the user has become so dependent on these substances to deal with his/her life. The substance is continuously abused even if the user starts to experience its harmful effects on himself/herself on and others around him/her.

Based on research, the regular undertaking or use of addictive substances gives pleasure to the person and pretty soon, he/she discovers that the higher amount or dose he/she does or takes in, the more pleasure he/she gets. Eventually, the user’s level of tolerance likewise increases.  The conductors who did the research stated that as the tolerance level goes higher, the likelihood of addiction increases. Eventually, the user no longer gets pleasure in abusing the substance and usually, the only reason then the user continues taking it is to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms. The continued use of the substance makes him/her feel normal.

In order to resolve the addiction, the user should accept first the fact that he/she is addicted to the substance or habit. Therapy usually consists of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling and participating in self-help groups. Over the course of time, acupuncture has been shown to be a powerful complementary therapy for addiction.

The Perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) towards Addiction

One of the most ancient forms of healing modality in the world is acupuncture. It has been around for thousands of years and it involves the insertion of very thin acupunctures needles into certain parts of the body called acupuncture points. These special points lie along pathways of energy known as meridians where vital energy called qi flows. The needles stimulate the nerves near or in the meridians to adjust the flow of qi and to modify several aspects of mental and physical functioning. The needle insertion actually aids in enabling the natural process of detoxifying from addiction and abuse of substances.

Acupuncturists, practitioners and adherents of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) may have varied reasons for why addiction occurs although all their reasons are solely grounded on the idea of the balance of yin and yang. They believe that all addicts suffer from a deficiency in yin.  An imbalance in yin and yang can lead to the feelings of emptiness and desperation that compel addicts to abuse, consume and use. The problem is that the abuse of a substance only causes more yin depletion thus leading to further desperation.

Acupuncture Treatment to Help Deal with Addiction

The mode of treatment used by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine is acupuncture combined with Chinese herbal therapy. The latter is quite helpful in promoting relaxation and calmness and in decreasing cravings. Research demonstrates that in curtailing the intensity and regularity of occurrence of withdrawal symptoms as well as in alleviating anxiety, acupuncture is the best possible treatment compared to all types of modalities. Regardless if your unbridled addiction is to morning coffee or to heroine, acupuncture can provide you with a natural and powerful process of detoxifying your body from substances.

Based on studies, one type of acupuncture, ear or auricular acupuncture, is one of the best forms of acupuncture capable of treating many forms of addiction that can include tea, coffee, caffeine, methadone, crack, cocaine, morphine, heroin, alcohol and even addiction to painkillers like vicoden, hydrocodone, and oxycotin.

The NADA Protocol

The NADA Protocol states that five acupuncture points in the body are to be treated to help manage and/or treat addiction. These are the shenmen point, lung point, liver point, kidney point and the sympathetic point.

The stimulation of the sympathetic points causes the body to experience a strong painkilling effect. It also helps bring back the balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The stimulation of the shenmen points enables the body to experience a calming and relaxing effect that aids in the relief of anxiety and nervousness that often ensue with withdrawal symptoms.

The stimulation of the liver point helps banish the feelings of anger and aggression. It also heals the liver from the damaging effects of the drugs and alcohol.  Apart from speeding up the detoxification process of the body, lung point stimulation also assists in the reinforcement of the immune system which is vital in coping well with the withdrawal symptoms. Finally, the benefits that can be derived from the stimulation of the kidney point include the resolution of fear, the added willpower to overcome addiction and the restoration of the source and essence of energy that are usually severely affected during substance abuse.

More and more addicts are relying on acupuncture to help deal with their addiction because it is quite a “clean” treatment to use. The word “clean” means that acupuncture does not have any side effects whatsoever. The treatment is undertaken until the user is cleared of his/her addiction.  Once the person completely stops using the substances, he/she can decrease the acupuncture treatments although acupuncturists and other TCM practitioners strongly recommend that the person keep on having acupuncture treatments at least once a month to receive extra healthy benefits and guarantee longstanding recovery. The truth is, a lot of addicts do continue with their acupuncture therapy, seeing that it balances their health and improves their well-being.

Written by Valerie

July 27th, 2014 at 11:30 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Remedies for Dry Skin

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Diet is one important factor in acquiring a healthy skin. Unfortunately, not all people follow a healthy diet and the consequence of this can usually manifest in their skin.  There are people who have a rigid idea that all fats are bad and need to be avoided at all times.  The inflexible notion that a food is all bad or good can wreak havoc on the person’s body specifically on his/her skin. Minus the moisturizing effects of dietary fats and oils, the skin will completely dry out and wither like a prune.  The dry skin may not only require some lotion; the skin and the face can become deeply wrinkled and extremely desiccated as well.

If you suffer from dry skin, Chinese medicine may also believe that your internal body may be very dry as well.  The acupuncturist can diagnose your condition as due to a dryness pathogen or damage to the fluids of the body – all these merely mean that your body is deficient in moisture.

Acupuncturists see that moisture in a person’s body relates to Yin because of its moisturizing, nourishing and cooling qualities.  For every aspect of good health, the body requires moisture, from smoothing the transport of food through the digestive system to the lubrication of your joints.

Dryness, as a pathogen can come as a number of symptoms. These can be in the form of fever, indigestion, joint pain, dry eyes, nose or mouth, cough, dry sore throat and constipation.

It truly helps to be well-hydrated but the treatment for damaged fluids involve more than taking in adequate amounts of water.  If a person has, for example, constipation due to dryness, drinking water can help a bit.  He/she, however, will also require consumption of moisturizing foods in order to lubricate the intestines that will treat the constipation.

The following are helpful tips to properly moisten overall dryness:

Drink copious amounts of water – we now know that water alone can’t undo the damage caused by dryness, but if you become dehydrated your dryness problem will only get worse.

Eat lots of fruits – fruits often provide moisture to the body. For dry lungs, pears and apples can help. Darkly colored vegetables and fruits, in general, build up fluids in your body and nourish Yin.

Nuts and seeds have also moisturizing qualities – Chinese medicine often utilizes walnuts to treat constipation caused by dryness.  Avoid seeds and nuts that have been processed with other oils.

The body requires some amounts of fat to stay healthy – canola oil, olive oil, and flaxseed oil are some healthy oils your body needs.  Eat nuts, olives and avocadoes and other plant based fats.

Your house needs to be also properly hydrated- having the heater on in the cold seasons or living in a dry climate can cause your skin to be dry. Get a humidifier, boil water, build an indoor fountain or get some plant to supply moisture in the air.

Written by Valerie

July 19th, 2014 at 8:52 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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