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Archive for January, 2015

Helping Get Rid of Allergic Rhinitis Using Traditional Chinese Medicine Procedures

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Allergic rhinitis can be a year-long or seasonal condition that is characterized by symptoms and signs such as itchy and red eyes, asthma-like symptoms, abundant nasal congestion and discharge, sneezing, thickened mucosal discharge, headaches, breathing difficulties and poor memory.

Medical doctors argue that these signs and symptoms are caused by extreme sensitivity of the nasal walls to allergens such as fumes, pollens, spores, animal dander, and/or dust. For still unknown reasons, the sufferer’s immune system has made the region in question to become hypersensitive to latent dangers that may enter the body via the mouth, throat, or nose. When these supposed threats do enter the body through the aforementioned organs, the infiltrators are kept by the immune system isolated within the part of the body they have entered. The immune system then dispatches killer leukocytes or white blood cells to do battle with these invaders and eliminate them. The battle causes the signs and symptoms typical of allergic rhinitis.

Western Modes of Treatment

Conventional ways of treating allergic rhinitis usually involve the lowering of the body’s sensitivity to the potential allergen or administering antihistamine drugs to inhibit the body’s immune response. Basically, these modalities re-channel or lower the sufferer’s immune response to a certain external influence. They do not modify or strengthen the other facets of immunity that may help better the condition of the patient nor do they clear away the blockages that block or slow down body systems from returning to a state of harmony and balance.

Chinese Medicine for Allergic Rhinitis

Traditional Chinese Medicine treats allergic rhinitis by relieving the symptoms caused by the body’s hypersensitivity to certain elements and zooming in on the internal elements that led to the disorder of the immune response (the hypersensitivity) of the body to these elements. Chinese herbs and acupuncture are used to correctly and calmly gauge the level of threat and thus regulate the body’s response to the threat based on a proper assessment of it.

Wei Qi:

In Chinese Medicine, Wei Qi is about understanding the immune systems essence and function. It is Qi’s (vtial energy) defensive component. Wei Qi travels all over the body just under the skin and between the muscles. It serves as a shield to protect the body from external factors such as heat, wind, cold and other potential invaders that lurk in nature. Assisting Wei Qi are the organ systems of kidney and lungs. They guard Wei Qi’s boundaries from wind borne elements that can be potentially pathogenic. The respiratory passages, mouth and nose are nourished and protected by Lung Qi while Kidney Qi is responsible for the transmission of endocrine information as well as the transport of nourishment to the lungs to assist Wei Qi in mounting a calibrated and proper response to whatever pathogen it may encounter. An adequately nourished and healthy Wei Qi can correctly assess the pathogen and so can perform a proper inflammatory response to trap the infiltrator, whilst prompting the leukocytes into attacking and destroying the histamine trapped allergen. Mucosal discharges and sneezing then aid in removing these deceased pathogens from the body.

Deficiency Complicating the Allergy

If an obstruction or deficiency arises in one or more of the body systems nourishing Wei Qi, then the battle between leukocytes and allergens can lead to severe symptoms. As the mucus builds up, the sufferer might find breathing becoming extremely difficult and his/her sneezing can become much more severe. Deficiency complicating the allergy can occur with a change in the weather. People with ongoing eczema or asthma or have a history of both are prone to this type of condition and can lead to signs and symptoms such as:

-Persistent and transitory sneezing
-Weak, deficient pulse
-An increase in itchiness around the eyes and nose
-A pale and waxy complexion

Allergies Aggravated by stagnation

If the energy and channels become blocked it can also affect the function of Wei Qi. Severely stressful emotions can create blockages in the liver Qi meridian. This can be unvented anger or frustration that can literally throttle liver Qi stagnating blood and energy flow to other systems of the body. The defense mechanisms of the body weaken and poorly function without the efficient and proper flow of nutrients and energy causing the immune system to overreact. This pattern of rhinitis has certain aspects like:

-A pulse with a string-taut quality
-Red or white face turning purple when angry
-Easily angered with an anger that is disproportionate to the targeted situation

Allergies that are affected by consumption of certain foods

Poor dietary selection can lead to another type of obstruction/stagnation. Frequent eating of phlegm-creating and cold foods can cause dampness in the body that impedes the digestive function causing delay in the absorption and transport of nutrients throughout the body. Dairy products, cold fruit juices, peanuts as well as all drinks and foods that contain sugar induce the production of mucus in the digestive pathway that ends up in the lungs and nose. This is usually seen in children who have frequent noisy breathing, itching in the nose and runny noses. Some of the aspects of this rhinitis pattern include:

-Loose fecal matter
-Thirsty but no desire to drink
-Selective eater (low appetite)
-Fatigue, droopy posture, muzzy headed
-White face

The effectiveness of acupuncture:

Herbal remedies and acupuncture are the usual modes of treatment traditional Chinese medicine practitioners use to treat allergic rhinitis. In order to relieve symptoms, the acupuncturist slowly inserts extremely fine needles into the appropriate acupuncture points where energy channels known as meridians are located. These meridians are stimulated to either re-channel the pathways of communication so as to prevent allergic attack in the future or suppress a current allergic reaction. The acupuncturist can perform two or three treatments a month before the onset of the allergy season to strengthen and regulate the Wei Qi, kidneys in a way that the patient may no longer be bothered by allergens again.

Chinese Herbal Medicine is Quite Effective for Alleviation of Symptoms

When taken daily, certain types of Chinese herbal formulas can significantly relieve the discomfort that is felt during an allergic reaction. They can also help strengthen the kidney and lungs in the long term. If foods that cause allergies are taken out from the diet, the person can enjoy the outdoors without fear of an allergic reaction.

Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.

Written by Valerie

January 28th, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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Female Weight Gain May be Due to a Condition Known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

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One of the seemingly endless struggles for a lot of women is losing weight. Endless hours in the gym and everyday dieting are not enough to cut their weight down. As a result, they usually end up frustrated, angry and feel tired and fatigued as all their efforts have amounted to nothing. However, some of them may be overweight not because of how they eat or how they live their life but because they may be suffering from a condition known as PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that makes it very, very difficult for a female to lose weight and besides, weight gain, this condition has various other symptoms including irregular periods, abnormal facial hair growth, acne, and thinning hair on the scalp. Happily, both Western and Eastern medicine provide treatments for PCOS. They include hormone therapy, acupuncture and herbal medicine.

As the name indicates, polycystic ovarian syndrome means that sufferers of this condition have multiple cysts in their ovaries. When they exercise, even on a regular basis, the weight in their stomach would not decrease. Most of the time, these sufferers may experience a lag in their periods or entirely skip a period. And when their menses comes, it may be accompanied by severe pain. PCOS problems can lead to infertility; in fact, it is one of the most common causes of infertility. The symptoms that come with PCOS may be linked to the high amount of testosterone in a woman’s body. Chinese Medicine has proven to help PCOS sufferers by normalizing their period and bringing back regular ovulation.

Whereas Western medicine may view health conditions in a linear way, Chinese and Eastern Medicine, on the other hand, adopts a holistic strategy. The latter uses a treatment plan that specifically takes into account the patient’s constitution and symptoms which means that a treatment for one patient may be different from the other even if both suffer from the same condition. This is entirely different from Western medicine’s way where one type of treatment is utilized for all patients suffering from a similar condition. Furthermore, Chinese and Eastern medicine not only addresses the symptoms, they treat both the symptoms and the underlying cause of the problem as well. Because it’s driven by profit, Western medicine is more interested in relieving symptoms than in curing the condition causing these symptoms.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, polycystic ovarian syndrome may be caused by three types of pathological differentiations (this simply means three types of diagnoses). These three differentiations are overabundance of Phlegm and/or Damp, Blood and/or Qi stagnation and Kidney Yang deficiency. Some patients may have one or two of these diagnoses while others may manifest all three of them although one diagnosis may be more preponderant than the others. These three conditions are usually treated with acupuncture combined with Chinese herbal medicine. The aim of the treatment is to restore normal Blood and Qi flow, strengthen Kidney Yang and clear damp and phlegm. Some studies have demonstrated that electro-acupuncture can be very helpful in treating PCOS.

Since PCOS can lead to even more serious diseases such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, stroke, and obesity apart from the aforementioned weight gain, sufferers of this condition need to take this problem seriously. Opting for acupuncture therapy combined with herbal medicine and regular exercised can help resolve PCOS and prevent your condition from getting any worse; they can also help you avoid undergoing a more invasive procedure known as hormone therapy.


DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic
2929 SW 3rd Ave #610
Miami, FL 33129
(305) 677-3214
http://www.miamiacupunctureclinic.com/

Written by Valerie

January 21st, 2015 at 12:01 am

Painful Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms can be Relieved with Herbs and Acupuncture

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One of the best treatments for Carpal Tunnel syndrome is acupuncture. This wonderful treatment has the ability to relieve Carpal Tunnel syndrome symptoms within a short span of time. A person can suffer from carpal tunnels from syndrome long, frequent repetitive movements of his hands and fingers like typing in a keyboard 5 days a week, 8 hours a day for several years. Carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS can come about when a nerve in the wrist is pinched. This usually causes pain and weakness of the thumb, and pain and numbness in the middle and index fingers. CTS got its name from carpals which is the part of the hand has a tunnel-like shape through which the nerve that extend to the hand passes through.

Carpal tunnel syndrome originates from a median nerve disorder affecting the first two fingers and the thumb. Occasionally, due to certain factors, the median nerve gets trapped in a pathway near the wrist known as the carpal tunnel. CTS is marked by painful symptoms felt in the forearm as well as a paralyzing sensation in the arms and hands and coldness in the fingers. This disease is usually described by doctors as dysesthesia (unpleasant sensation) or pins and needles paresthesias”.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Besides Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include frequent irritation in the hands. However, following are the other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms:

-Frequent irritation in the hands
-Shooting hand pain quickly moving up to the shoulder and arms
-Loss of strength in the muscle located near the palm at the base of the thumb
-Fingers that suddenly swell
-Night and day pain and tingling of the affected hand that can be followed by an inability to squeeze objects
-Paralyzing sensation in the fingers and hands

Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

CTS detoxification is important for long-term relief of pain and irritation as well as the restoration of normal nerve functions. Acupuncturists usually insert the needles on specific points corresponding to the gall bladder, kidney, and liver meridians where qi usually gets blocked during a CTS condition. The needles stimulate the meridians to help relieve pain.

To help boost the effects of acupuncture, herbal remedies may also be given to the CTS patient. These may include wild yam, St. John’s wort, and cramp bark. These herbs can be in the form of teas, tinctures (alcohol extraction), or dried extracts [capsule, tablets and pills). In tea form, mix tea to water in a cup and drink it thrice a day for faster results.

Written by Valerie

January 20th, 2015 at 11:59 pm

Why Not Turn to a Natural, Safe, and Effective Treatment for Your Anxiety Problems

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We today may have the most potent medications and state of the art technology when dealing with emotional disorders; the problem is they are not as effective as we want them to be when addressing conditions.

Acupuncture, on the other hand, is a very old medical procedure that originated in China that has been proven time and time again to significantly treat emotional issues such as panic attacks, depression, and anxiety.

Helping Deal with Anxiety through Acupuncture Therapy

As with all forms of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture works on the principle that the body and mind are intimately connected. Problems of the emotions often arise from internal and external factors. Some of these internal factors include worry, fear, sadness, and anger while external factors include cold, heat, and wind.

With acupuncture, the mind and body is allowed to calm down and relax. This enables the mind and body to heal and cope with stress and highly tensed situations in a much better way.

Acupuncture for Anxiety Attacks

There are different forms and degrees of anxiety. However, this condition usually stems from reactions to new situations and tension (one example is being tense before giving out a speech). There are also anxiety cases that may be disproportionate and random. Regardless of the cause and type of anxiety experienced, the anxiety sufferer can always turn to acupuncture to help balance the mental and physical aspects of his body.

A person experiencing anxiety can manifest a slew of symptoms. These can include headaches, vomiting, chest pains, shallow and rapid breathing, and increased heart rate. The acupuncturist needs to examine the patient’s tongue and pulse in order to determine the type of acupuncture treatment to be used to address the condition.

Most of the anxiety conditions are associated with the kidney and heart. In Chinese medicine, the heart is known as a yang organ which provides energy throughout the body, the kidney, on the other hand, is considered a water organ that helps balance the yang energy of the heart whenever an upsurge of emotions in the body takes place.

The acupuncturist addresses the disharmony in the body that results in severe and chronic anxiety.

For anxiety treatment, one or two sessions may suffice; however, for severe or chronic anxiety, the treatment may require one to a couple of sessions each week for several months. Vitamin, herbal and diet therapy are usually included in the treatment to help nourish and balance the body.

For sufferers of anxiety who want a safe and natural treatment, acupuncture is the perfect treatment for you. Talk with a licensed practitioner today and get immediate and appropriate help.

Vital Gate Acupuncture
107 W 82nd St
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-4244
http://www.vitalgate.com

Written by Valerie

January 13th, 2015 at 3:51 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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The Extreme Effectiveness of Acupuncture in Resolving Substance Addiction

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The neurotransmitter dopamine is responsible for sending signals between neurons. This is needed for smooth and meaningful muscle activity. Dopmanine is also needed to produce adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine). Depending on the attributes of the protein it contains, dopamine can either have an inhibitory or excitatory effect on the neurons.

This chemical is also related to the sensation of pleasure and pain. A rise in dopamine levels in the frontal lobe increases pleasure and lowers pain. If someone has a naturally high level of dopamine, out of a good diet, good genes or good personality, the person would a have a high tolerance for pain. This is the reason why individuals tend to react to back pain or arthritis of a similar nature in different ways; some of them may experience intolerable pain while some may sense no pain at all.

Dopamine is usually involved in meaningful behavior, alertness and feelings of reward. It usually is connected with the brain’s ‘pleasure system’ motivating us and eliciting reinforcement and joy to help us persevere in certain activities. Dopamine is produced when we stimulate ourselves with certain drugs, food, and sex and other things that make us happy and aroused. However, when dopamine levels become too high, especially in the limbic system, this can cause memory and emotional problems. Too little dopamine in the cerebral cortex, on the other hand, can result in paranoia and an extremely suspicious personality that may affect the social life of the individual.

Alcohol can also be a factor in the rise of dopamine levels in the brain, particularly in the part of the brain known collectively as the mesolimbic system. Alcohol somehow preserves dopamine by interfering with the enzyme activity that breaks down dopamine. When an alcoholic suddenly stops consuming alcohol, his dopamine levels dramatically drop resulting in uneasiness, depression, and anxiety and the inability to experience pleasure, which is clinically termed anhedonia. He may be unable to experience any pleasure at all from previous stimulating events like social interactions, exercise and even eating.

When an alcoholic’s dopamine level suddenly plunges due to stoppage of alcohol consumption, it usually leads to an intense craving for ethanol, which is a classic withdrawal symptom sign among alcoholics. This ethanol-induced drop in dopamine levels fuels the alcoholic’s craving for alcohol. Individuals who drink alcohol or coffee whose dopamine releases are very strong tend to be addicted to alcohol, more so if they do not enjoy social occasions and/or are very smart. There are individuals whose enzyme levels are insufficient to break down alcohol causing them to experience dizziness, nausea, and pain whenever they drink alcohol. They will never take delight in drinking alcohol.

In helping treat alcohol addiction, acupuncturists will insert needles at specific points in the body. The HT 7 point is usually selected. This point can help prevent a lowering of dopamine levels in the region of the brain known as nucleus accumbens during alcohol withdrawal as well as a rise in dopamine after long-term alcohol exposure. Alcoholics who desire to quit in earnest may need to undergo acupuncture treatment at least twice or thrice each week in order to stabilize their dopamine level to prevent any feelings of agitation or depression when withdrawing from alcohol.

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Nicotine acts on the central dopaminergic neural pathways, which causes pleasure sensations. This substance stimulates the central nervous system, causing reduction in appetite and increasing alertness. Women smokers fear quitting smoking because they think it would lead to an increase in weight. When a smoker partially quits, it can result in withdrawal symptoms (intense craving for cigarettes, congestive impairment, hunger, sleeping problems, anger, and high anxiety).

Western medicine use medications that prevent the reabsorption of dopamine to help treat nicotine addiction. The problem is that these drugs are contraindicated for smokers who suffer from uncontrolled hypertension, eating disorders, epilepsy and for those who recently abstained from alcohol and those taking mono-amine oxidase inhibitors (medications to boost adrenaline and noradrenaline levels).

There would have been specific alterations in your enzyme activity if you have been smoking for ten years or more. If you quit smoking all of a sudden, the sudden drop in your dopamine will lead to feelings of misery. Traditional body acupuncture as well as auriculotherapy (ear acupuncture) can restore chemical balance in your brain helping increase the feel-good neurotransmitters including endorphins, encephalins, serotonin, and dopamine while at the same lowering the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Acupuncture helps rebalance hormones instead of just stimulating or inhibiting their action. It is difficult to explain the reaction of the entire body with just a single chemical change.

A woman who was smoking one pack of cigarettes each day decided to go for acupuncture therapy to help her quit the habit. She had been smoking this much each day for the last 33 years of her life. She said she decided to quit after her 55 year-old cousin died of lung cancer. She underwent treatment two times a week for a month and a half. She did not gain any weight nor experienced any withdrawal symptoms during treatment, which rarely occurs in treatment for nicotine addiction.

Another woman chronic smoker had ear acupuncture treatment for 12 weeks; her treatment was successful since she never smoked any cigarettes again. Her daughter was pleasantly surprised that her mother got over her habit since she had been a heavy smoker for about 25 years. Not all chronic smokers, however, end up with success stories. In treating nicotine addiction, two factors need to be taken into account to determine whether the treatment will be a failure or a success. The first factor is the determination of the smoker to quit and the other is how much time the person can allocate for his/her therapy.

Morphine can be an addictive substance since it also can increase dopamine levels in the body. In helping morphine addicts, acupuncture can make morphine withdrawal symptoms less severe. In 2005, doctors in South Korea performed a study on the way acupuncture can affect behavior and modify dopamine levels in rats that were injected with morphine. The results were published in the Neuroscience Letter magazine. They revealed that acupuncture treatment at the HT 7 point helped to substantially lower behavioral hyperactivity and dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens caused by morphine. The findings suggest that acupuncture can be an effective therapy for morphine addiction due to its ability to regulate dopamine and lower body sensitivity to morphine.

 

Dr. Jeda Boughton is a licensed acupuncture physician and the medical director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, BC.

Written by Valerie

January 13th, 2015 at 3:10 am

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Famous Athletes who Have Used Acupuncture to Help Them Perform at their Best

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Whether you’re an individual who likes to stay active or a professional athlete, acupuncture can help you perform at your peak level and enable you to feel great. It’s not surprising to hear athletes training for an international and gold medal competition going for regular acupuncture therapies to keep their mind and body in balance and harmony. Besides helping you feel terrific, acupuncture uses no drugs at all and thus has no adverse side effects whatsoever.

You don’t need to be reminded that during intense training, injuries can occur which can result in muscle and joint inflammation and pain. Athletes are now aware that acupuncture is a very powerful treatment that not only relieves pain but also boosts circulation, and hastens recuperation from intense workouts and injuries. Continue reading to see how top athletes and sports stars have benefited hugely from acupuncture.

1. Ray Emery – This ace hockey player from the Chicago Blackhawk availed of acupuncture to hasten his recovery from hip surgery in 2010.

2. Dee Dee Trotter – This Olympic track & field bronze medal winner is a major endorser of acupuncture. She started using acupuncture when several muscle problems were affecting her performance and her coach recommended that she try it. The amazing effects of acupuncture made her a firm adherent of the treatment that she brought along her acupuncturist to London where she participated and won bronze medal in the 400 meter run in the 2012 London Olympics.

3. Vincenzo Nibali – This Tour de France winner underwent acupuncture everyday during the entire three week cycling tournament. His practitioner, a Belgian acupuncturist known as Eddy De Smedt focused on the pain relieving, fast recovery and rest aspects of this cyclist.

4. Kobe Bryant – Perhaps the most famous athlete among this list. This basketball superstar posted a picture on twitter of him being treated of his leg injury with acupuncture.

5. Daniel Kowalski – Another Olympian who has won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in swimming. He actually created a video talking about the huge role acupuncture played in maintaining his health during and after his stint in the Olympics. In the video, he said that acupuncture enabled him to ward off flu and colds, improved his sleep, helped him recover from his shoulder injuries, and basically bettered his overall well being.

These are just a few of the athletes who have benefited greatly from acupuncture when it comes to peak performance , injury healing and recovery, quality sleep, and overall well being.

 

Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St #101
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 715-1824
http://www.bellinghamacupuncturecenter.com

Written by Valerie

January 6th, 2015 at 10:08 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

Relieve Bronchitis Symptoms and Boost Your Immune System with TCM and Acupuncture

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Bronchitis is a disease of the lungs that is triggered by smoke, dust, and other industrial pollutants. If left untreated, bronchitis can lead to lung tissue problem that can never be mended. Asthma can be due to the body’s sensitivity to common allergens such as dust, mold, pollen, and cigarette smoke. Asthma is usually connected to bronchitis. This is because an asthmatic person has a very high likelihood of developing bronchitis. During an asthma attack, the muscle walls of the respiratory tract going to the lungs suddenly constrict resulting in a sudden loss of oxygen causing the person to laboriously struggle to breathe.

Based on the viewpoint of TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine, the life energy of the body known as qi which normalizes the physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional health of a person flows throughout the body on qi vessels known as meridians. The flow of qi can be severely disrupted by elemental, emotional, and environmental factors that usually result in the development of illnesses. TCM considers bronchitis as a pathogenic infiltration of cold or hot wind into the body. Western medicine sees bronchitis in the same way as TCM, which is an infection albeit caused by a virus or bacteria. Acupuncturists take into account a patient’s specific condition including his/her emotional and physical condition. Acupuncture treatments are customized to activate certain acupuncture points via the insertion of fine stainless steel needles into these points. The needles help clear the blockages in the circulation of qi, enabling the body to go back to its normal and robust state of health.

Oftentimes, Chinese herbs are used alongside acupuncture to resolve the symptoms of bronchitis including cough, headaches, colds, chills, perspiration and stomach pains. Studies done a few years back have shown that patients with bronchitis had shorter durations of bronchitis signs and symptoms after using Chinese herbs. Herbs such as Chinese Paris Rhizome, frankincense, calculus bovis, and myrrh are used to remove toxins and heat, lessen swelling and stimulate the generation of new tissue.

The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine published a study that showed patients who had regular acupuncture sessions had a significant decrease in the use of drugs, especially steroids that relieved bronchitis symptoms. The long term use of these medications can lead to liver damage. Acupuncture treatment can help a person be less prone to bronchial infections. It also can bring relief to some of the symptoms of bronchitis by boosting the immune system and clearing out internal blockages in a safe and effective way.

 

Kine Fischler is a licensed acupuncture physician and the clinical director of Willow Tree Wellness Clinic in Portland, OR.

Written by Valerie

January 6th, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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