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Archive for April, 2017

Chinese Medicine Treatment Plans for Primary and Secondary Amenorrhea

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There are two types of amenorrhea: primary and secondary. The failure to menstruate in a 16 year old or older female who has developed secondary sex characteristics or in a 14 year old or older female who has not developed secondary sex characteristics is classified as primary amenorrhea. Inexistent menstruation for either three cycles or six months or in a woman who has had regular menstruation is deemed secondary amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is normal when a woman is pregnant or when she is breast-feeding.

Careful diagnosis should be considered if an adolescent girl is suspected to suffer from amenorrhea. Adolescence is the transitional phase of a person in-between childhood and adulthood. Menstruation tends to be typically irregular during this stage, even occasionally missing menses for as long as six months.

Etiology and Pathology

Amenorrhea has an etiology and pathology that is quite complex. In Chinese medicine, it may be a type of strength or deficiency.

Strength Type

When an amenorrhea is due to a strength type, it is usually the result of Cold in the blood caused by blood stasis, blockage due to Phlegm-Dampness, or blood stasis with Qi stagnation. These conditions cause blockage of the Ren and Chong energy channels (Meridians) leading to amenorrhea.

Cold in Blood caused by Blood Stasis

In this condition, Blood can become inadequate during and after the period of menses or right after childbirth. Too much eating of raw and cold foods or exposure to water and cold in such conditions allows the pathogenic Cold to attack and remain in the Ren and Chong Meridians. Blood congeals as a result of the lodged Cold inducing stasis.

Phlegm-Dampness Accumulation

In obese people, Phlegm and Dampness are commonly abundant. These two conditions can also develop when the functions of the spleen are weakened. Phlegm and Dampness as well as Fats, usually block the Ren and Chong Meridians. When the meridians of the uterus are closed, amenorrhea develops.

Blood Stasis and Qi Stagnation

Passions, particularly longstanding rage or depression can cause internal injury to the heart. This may lead to blood stasis and Qi stagnation. When blockage arises in the Ren and Chong meridians, the flow of blood and Qi becomes blocked resulting in amenorrhea.

Deficiency Type

Commonly the result of Yin deficiency resulting in depletion of blood, blood and Qi deficiency, kidney and liver deficiency, deficiency-type amenorrhea, in turn, leads to blood and essence deficiency in the Ren and Chong Meridians. Menses then does not happen simply because there is no blood available for it to occur.

Kidney and Liver Insufficiency

In certain instances, prenatal development of the kidney is insufficient, causing the inadequacy and failure of kidney-Qi to flourish. Since Qi and kidney essence are inadequate, Liver-Blood is also inadequate and the Ren and Chong Meridians are poorly nourished and are unable to supply blood for menses. In some patients, Liver-Blood and kidney-essence deficiency can be caused by chronic illnesses affecting the kidney, too much excessive sexual activity, miscarriage, and multiple pregnancies. All these can result in the failure of the Ren and Chong Meridians to furnish blood for menses.

Blood and Qi Deficiency

Any one of the following may cause blood and Qi deficiency leading to a poorly functioning Ren and Chong Meridians:

• Excessive anxiety, grief, brooding, or fatigue that may harm the heart
• Improper diet
• Chronic weakness of the abdomen and spleen

Yin Deficiency Caused by Blood Depletion

This can be the result of excessive consumption of dry and spicy foods, Yin deficiency caused by too much blood loss, or constitutionally inadequate Yin can all cause the emptying of the sea of blood, and therefore, amenorrhea. Deficiency amenorrhea can also come about due to extreme chronic conditions that can deplete Yin and essence.

Clinical Manifestation

In certain occasions, amenorrhea can be connected to tuberculosis, galactorrhea, infertility, hirsutism, obesity, menopause, deformities or poor physical development. Patients having these conditions can manifest their own unique symptoms.

Herbal Medicine

The patient’s medical history is vitally important. In family member and in the patient, observe disorders such as congenital defects, or retarded physical development. Also, inquire about the use of contraceptives, tuberculosis, postpartum uterine bleeding, multiple endometrial curettage, pattern of menstruation, and delayed menarche.

The patient’s development of secondary sex characteristics, nutritional status, physical development and general condition should be evaluated during physical exam. See if associated conditions exist as well as any deformities or abnormalities of the patient’s internal genital organs.

Lab tests may include adrenal gland function tests, tests for thyroid hormone levels, ovarian hormone levels, formulas, pituitary function tests and ultrasonic B scanning tests. It may be proper to do tests specifically for ovarian and uterine functions. These may include ovarian stimulation test, cervical smear cytology, special x-ray studies, and diagnostic curettage.

Typically, if the menstrual flow of the patient has progressively lessened then stops or if the patient is past the normal age of menarche and the menses has stopped, and symptoms of deficiency show, then she has a deficiency type of amenorrhea. If the patient has had normal menses that suddenly stops, and she manifests symptoms of strength condition, her amenorrhea is deemed a strength type.

In treating amenorrhea, the key to effective treatment is to know whether the absence of menses is a deficiency or strength type. Knowing if it’s caused by some other illness is equally important. Usually, the basic plan of treatment is as follows: if the amenorrhea is a strength type, remove what is strong; if it is a deficiency type, restore what is deficient.

It is not proper, however, to restore very vigorously or apply indiscriminate purgation. The practitioner should see to it that the strong is not aggravated or that the deficiency gets worse. Also, the illness must be treated first if the amenorrhea is caused by some other illness.

The strength type of amenorrhea is less common the deficiency type.

Kidney and Liver Insufficiency

Main Symptoms: Either the menses show a progressive decrease in amount or menarche is delayed, ending eventually in amenorrhea. Moreover, the constitution of the body tends to be weak, manifesting in tinnitus, dizziness, and aching weakness in the knees and waist. The patient’s pulse is impeded and threadlike or weak and deep. The patient has also a pale red tongue with a slight coating.

Plan of Treatment: Nourish the liver and reinforce the kidney to normalize menstruation.

Treatment: Polygonum (heshouwo), spatholobus suberectus (jihsueteng), augmented with Kidney-Restoring Pill (Gui Shen Wan).

Blood and Qi Deficiency

Main Symptoms: Menstruation can become progressively longer with the menses being thin and light-colored, decreasing in amount until amenorrhea sets in. Other symptoms include anorexia with dull skin and hair, tired limbs and lassitude, heart palpitations with shortness of breath, and dizziness with blurry eyesight. The pulse is even and deep while the tongue is pale with thin or slight coating.

Plan of Treatment: Normalize menstruation and nourish blood and Qi.

Treatment is Ginseng Blood-Qi- Nourishing Decoction (Renshen Yang Rong Tang) that has the following composition: 6 g of glycyrrhiza (fried gancao), 8 g of cinnamomum (rougui), 12 g rehmannia, (shudihuang), 10 g peony (baishaoyao), 10 g angelica (danggui), 10 g schisandra (wuweihsi), 6 g citrus tengerina (chenpi), 10 g polygala (yuanzhi), 20 g poria (fuling), 12 g Atractylodes (baizhu), 20 g astralagus (huangqi), and 10 g panax (renshen).

Patients who occasionally suffer from amenorrhea include those who have experienced severe postpartum hemorrhage that’s accompanied by genital atrophy, low libido, axillary and vulvar hair loss, vaginal dryness, and lack of interest, as well as blood and Qi insufficiency symptoms. This is caused by emptiness of the Ren and Chong Merdians, kidney Qi deficiency, and blood and essence depletion.

Treatment may entail the use of Renshen Yang Rong Tang combined with 10 g Cervus nippon (lujiaoshuang), or certain restorative herbs. This remedy needs to be taken for a long period of time.

Yin Deficiency Resulting in Blood Depletion

Main Symptoms: Menses progressively decrease until there’s zero menstruation. Also, symptoms such as recurrent fever with hemoptysis or night sweats, fever with exhaustion, and hotness in the five centers may arise. The pulse is rapid and threadlike while the tongue is reddish with thin coating.

Plan of Treatment: Regulate menstruation, cool Heat, and nourish Yin.

Treatment: Prescription of Yin-Generating Liver-Opening (Yi Guan Jian), along with zhichiao, danshen, and huangjing. This formula is made up of: 10 g poncirus trifoliata (shichiao), 12 g salvia (danshen), 12 g polygonatum (huangjing), 6 g glycyrrhiza, 12 g lyceum, digupi, 10 g anemarrhena (zhimu), 10 g ophiopogon maimendong (maimendong), 20 g peony, and 15 g rehmannia.

Add 15 g amyda (biejia) and 15 g artemisia (chinghao) for recurrent fever and restlessness. Biejia needs be decocted first.

If there is also hemoptysis and coughing, add 15 g equus (ejiao), 10 g fritillaria (beimu), 10 g lillium (baihe), and 10 g schisandra. You need to dissolve ejiao in the finished decoction.

For heart palpitations, insomnia, and restlessness, add 15 g polygonum multiflorum (yejiaoteng) and 12 g biota (baiziren).

Blood Stasis and Qi Stagnation

Main Symptoms: Secondary amenorrhea arises in the patient along with subcostal distending pain, chest pain, irascibility, agitation, depression, and lower stomach pain with guarding. The pulse is impeded and taut or taut and deep, while the tongue is speckled with purpuric spots or cyanotic.

Plan of Treatment: Unblock the meridians, remove stasis, move blood, and regulate Qi.

Treatment: Releasing Blood StasisDecoction (Hsue Fu Zhu Yu Tang).

Add 15 g aucklandia (muhsiang), 10 g citrus tangerine, 10 g curcuma (ezhu) if Qi stagnation is more serious than blood stasis, with lower stomach and subcostal distention, and marked chest.

Add 10 g sparganium (sanleng), and 10 g curcuma if blood stasis is more severe than Qi stagnation.

Phlegm-Dampness Accumulation

Main Symptoms: The patient suffers from secondary amenorrhea along with a rise in vaginal discharge that is viscid and white. The patient typically has generalized edema or is obese. There are also epigastric and chest tightness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, blurry eyesight, dizziness, flexed limbs, and lassitude. The pulse is slippery while the tongue is plump and pale, with greasy and white coating.

Plan of Treatment: Regulate menstruation, move blood, and remove Dampness and Phlegm.

Treatment: Decoction of Atratylodes-Poria Phlegm-Dissipating (Augmented Cang Fu Dao Tan Tang) – see treatment for Phlegm-Dampness resulting in abnormal menstruation.

Cold in Blood Resulting in Blood Stasis

Main Symptoms: Besides secondary amenorrhea, the patient suffers from cold pain in the lower stomach, with guarding. Warmth alleviates the stomach pain. The patient has a pallid complexion and her limbs and body are cold. The pulse is tight and deep while the tongue is bluish and a white coating.

Plan of Treatment: Regulate menstruation, move blood, remove Cold and warm the meridians.

Treatment: Meridian-Warming Decoction (Wen Jing Tang) – see treatment for Cold in the blood resulting in abnormal menstruation due to strength.

If the limbs are cold, add 12 g of processed epimedium (yinyanghuo ) and 8 g aconitum (fuzi).

If is there is severe lower stomach cold, add 10 g curcuma, 8 g feniculum vulgare aiye (hsiaohuihsiang), and 10 g artemisia.

Acupuncture Treatment

For strength type amenorrhea, choose the acupoints LR 2 (Hsingjian), SP 6 (sanyinjiao), SP 10 (Hsuehai), LI 4 (Hegu), and RN 3 (Zhongji).

For deficiency type amenorrhea, choose acupoints ST 36 (Hsusanli), RN 6 (Chihai), BL 23 (Shenshu), and BL 20 (Pishu).

Thrive Wellness Center
2499 Glades Rd #305a
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Phone: (561) 416-4391

Boca Raton

Written by Valerie

April 25th, 2017 at 11:55 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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Acupuncture Studies Reveal the Treatment’s Ability to Resolve Arrhythmia and Palpitations

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Reputed to be the oldest medical practice in the world, acupuncture has its roots in China around 5000. It was also practiced by the ancient Egyptians in about 1250 BC. Acupuncture was first mentioned specifically around 500 BC or 2500 years ago in the Nei Ching, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine published about 2500 years ago. Although it has been practiced in the United States for over a century and a half now, it was only in the early 1970s that the treatment got a big boost when James Reston, a New York Times reporter wrote an article detailing his surgery in China in which doctors used needles instead of medication to relieve his post-surgery pain. In 2006, the number of Americans who have used acupuncture reached over 3 million.

Medical journals have published peer-reviewed articles describing the efficacy of acupuncture in dealing with various types of conditions such as pelvic pain associated with pregnancy, hiccups, cocaine addiction and many others. So, it is not surprising to know that Italian researchers have discovered Cleveland’s acupuncture’s ability to prevent atrial fibrillation (AF).

The highly regarded Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology published this study that involved the participation of 80 patients suffering from persistent AF. These patients had just undergone successful cardioversion. Seventy percent of the patients were male and the patients’ average age was 65 years old. One third of them suffered from diabetes and the rest experienced accompanying hypertension. They all showed normal left ventricular ejection fraction (52% to 61%). They showed no signs of congestive heart failure or heart disease and had a left atrial diameter of 36 to 43 mm. An average of three years has passed since they were diagnosed with AF.

Thirty three percent or 26 of the subjects were taking amiodarone before their cardioversion and they continued taking it for the rest of the study. These subjects belonged to the Amio (short for amiodarone) group. The rest of the patients were randomly designated to either get acupuncture treatment (17 patients, Acu group), no follow-up treatment (24 patients, Control group), or sham acupuncture (13 patients, sham acu group).

Acupuncture points

Acupuncture is a healing technique involving the sticking of thin, solid, and sharp needles at certain points on the body known as acupuncture points or acupoints, for short. These acupoints are found on channels and meridians known to facilitate the flow of Qi (Chi, energy) all over the body. In the Italian clinical trial, three specific points were used. They include:

1. BL 15 or Xinshu: This acupoint is found on the meridian associated with the bladder proximate to where the fifth rib joins the vertebrae on the left side of the back. When the BL 15 is stimulated, it can have a regulating effect on the ANC (autonomic nervous system).

2. HT 7 or Shenmen: Found on the meridian related to the heart in the depression between the pisform bones and the ulna. near the wrist’s crease on the side of the little finger. The HT 7 is also known as the Spirit Gate and when it’s stimulated can help calm irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations, and anxiety.

3. PC 6 or Neiguan: Found on the pericardium channel between the two tendons on the inner arm, approximately two finger’s width above the crease of the wrist. The PC 6 controls pulse rate and the flow of blood. When the Neiguan is stimulated, it can counteract a fullness sensation in the chest and palpitations. Proof also exists showing that the stimulation of this acupoint can help restore balance to the autonomic nervous system.

Back to the Italian trial, both the members of the Acu sham group and The Acu group attended ten acupuncture sessions once each week. In the Acu sham group, needles were applied in areas at least 2 cm from an acupuncture point. In the following 12 months, 44 percent of patients (35 patients) experienced recurring afib.

The results showed that statistically speaking, there was major difference between the rate of recurrence in the Acu and Amio groups. However, in the Acu sham and control groups the rate of recurrence was markedly higher.

The researchers state that ample proof exist showing acupuncture effectiveness in treating both supraventricular tachycardia and hypertension. Needling the Xinshu and Neiguan acupoints both result in the stabilization and modulation of the autonomic nervous system, while stimulating the Shenmen acupoint helps sedate and calm cardiac excitability. According to the researchers, “acupuncture has the capacity to prevent arrhythmic recurrence after cardioversion in patients suffering from persistent AF. This treatment is extremely safe, noninvasive and well tolerated.”

Written by Valerie

April 25th, 2017 at 11:47 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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The Various Applications of Acupuncture

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The term Alternative Medicine can be defined in various ways. The definition that’s most widely accepted is one that says alternative medicine is the several natural therapies used to treat illness. In the United States, acupuncture has become a widely popular form of alternative treatment for decades; in China and other Asian countries, it has been practiced for thousands of years.

China is where acupuncture allegedly originated. It has been used for more than 3,000 years and was the mainstream treatment there and not an Alternative treatment for pain. Acupuncture is a technique that applies slender needles into the skin at specific points in the body. It is performed to help relieve pain and restore balance to the energy in the body. It is thought there are two kinds of energy: the Yin and the Yang. They tend to attract each other and generate an energy known as Qi. The energy circulates throughout the body in energy channels called meridians. Pain will occur when the energy is not balanced. Needles are used to redirect this energy to the meridians to restore balance

Acupuncture was actually first introduced to America by Sir William Osler, an Englishman. It didn’t click with the Americans during that time. It only became popular in the 1970s when a reporter named James Reston did a news story about his appendectomy in China in the New York Times. He complained of pain in his stomach and had an appendectomy. His pain was successfully relieved not with drugs but with acupuncture. His story inspired doctors in the US to learn more about the technique to relieve postsurgical pain. Now, a lot of Western trained physicians travel to China to learn acupuncture.

Studies show that acupuncture has the capacity to treat a variety of conditions. It can prevent stroke, treat lung conditions, relieve nausea, treat drug, alcohol, and tobacco addiction, and of course, to alleviate pain. There are unlimited uses for Acupuncture which is the reason it is the most popular type of Alternative Medicine in the world.

A lot of Western trained physicians still are skeptical about the effectiveness of Alternative Medicine, especially acupuncture in treating health conditions. However, a growing number of them are starting to combine Western Medicine and Alternative Medicine to their practice. Some physicians, for example, will conduct surgery using Western techniques then afterwards use acupuncture to ameliorate postsurgical pain. This approach has proved to be one of the most effective ways to resolve diseases.

Ni Nan Gilbert is a licensed acupuncturist in Bellmore, NY with certification in Chinese Herbology and over 16 years experience in traditional Chinese medicine.

Written by Valerie

April 18th, 2017 at 9:03 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

The Many Benefits and Advantages of Using Acupuncture

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Acupuncture can be the answer to many of your health problems. It is an ancient Asian healing technique that originated in China a few thousand years ago and spread into Korea and Japan. Today, it is practiced by thousands of Americans in various styles. Filiform needles are inserted into important points in the body in order to improve the health of a patient. These needles are made of metal and are slender and so minuscule that they resemble the hairs in your head. A lot of people fear that the needle will hurt if it is stuck into their body; however, acupuncture in Overland Park is not a painful process. It actually relieves a lot of ailments, illnesses, and painful conditions after just one course of treatment. The needle insertion somehow stimulates a body’s healing response and immune system and elevates pain threshold.

What can conditions can acupuncture treat?

 Anxiety and depression – Acupuncture not only addresses physical ills, people suffering from mental maladies such as anxiety and depression can find the treatment extremely helpful as well.

 Nausea and vomiting – Stomach conditions such as nausea and vomiting are quite uncomfortable. Your tummy can feel soothed after a course of treatment of this ancient Chinese healing art.

 Dry-eye syndrome – Dry eyes can lead to poor vision. Sometimes, the tear ducts of a person can become dry or clogged impairing lubrication of the eye. A course of acupuncture treatment can help alleviate this problem.

 High blood pressure (Hypertension) – You can develop heart diseases, strokes, and cardiovascular diseases if you suffer from high blood pressure. Acupuncture can help you lower it to improve your longevity and quality of life.

 Digestive conditions – The digestive system is a complex labyrinth involving several body parts aside from the stomach. In order to have healthy digestion the colon, mouth, liver, throat, liver, and intestines all to need run smoothly. Malabsorption, colitis, Crohn’s Disease, and other digestive issues can be resolved with acupuncture.

 Infertility – People who are finding it hard to conceive may achieve their dream of having a baby after receiving acupuncture. To make this possible, both the female and male body ought to be aligned properly in many regards. When these elements are in harmony through acupuncture, it often leads to the reward of conception.

 Chronic pain – People long suffering from chronic pain may want to think about boosting the natural pain relievers in their bodies. Their acupuncturist can help them achieve this.

 Smoking cessation – Chronic smokers should consider seeing an acupuncturist in their battle if they are serious in stopping their habit. It is very difficult to quit smoking but doing so would be well worth the health benefits. Cigarette smoking weakens the immune systems, costs a lot of money, gives your teeth an unattractive yellowish color, and makes your skin look weathered. Curing this habit can definitely turn your life around.

Acupuncturists have other techniques in their bag of tricks as well. Lifestyle change advices, herbal remedies, moxibustion, and more can be obtained by these practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine. More and more people are accepting this methodology and many western medicine physicians are integrating it into their practices as well.

Written by Valerie

April 18th, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

Why Acupuncture Is Important in the Treatment of Cancer

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As they continue to gain acceptance in the West, Chinese medicine and acupuncture are more and more being used along with western conventional medicine to address cancer and a variety of conditions. Acupuncture, specifically has gained a lot of attention for its use in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and postsurgical and cancer pain. The research journal, Harefuah published an article by Dr. N. Samuels that stated:

The use of Pembroke Pines’ acupuncture in cancer patients has been suggested by the ACS (American Cancer Society) for the treatment of cancer and cancer treatment-related symptoms. This mode of treatment has been found to work successfully against limb edema, vasomotor symptoms, breathlessness, nausea, and pain.

Furthermore, Dr. Samuels says that acupuncture can combat carcinogens through its capacity to beef up immune function and alleviate stress. In fact, a number of cancer centers have started integrating acupuncture for symptoms associated with cancer such as pain and a lot of patients have experienced substantial results in the decrease of their symptoms.

It may be helpful to inform the reader what cancer is and the several types of western conventional therapies that is commonly utilized to address it prior to explaining how acupuncture can be incorporated effectively into the care of the patient.

What is cancer?

In North America, one of the top causes of death is cancer. This is a disease that occurs due to abnormal changes in the cells’ genetic make-up that make them multiply uncontrollably. These abnormal cells tend to spread locally and can then travel to other parts of the body via blood or lymphatic fluid circulation. Triggering the mutation of the cells that bring about cancer can be attributed to several factors. They include environmental, infectious and other agents that are connected to the development of cancer (such as hormonal therapy and other therapeutic carcinogens), extreme stress, inappropriate dietary intake, old age, immune dysfunction, and heredity.

Conventional modes of treatment

Cancer therapies that are commonly used include hormonal therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. While surgery physically removes the tumors, therapies such as chemotherapy are designed to slow down cell multiplication and growth. These treatments are sometimes effective and are essential tools to help a patient survive. Radiation therapy and surgery remove tumours that can prevent complications and the spread of cancer to other parts of the body (metastases). The downside of these treatments is that they are extremely toxic and harsh on the body that can make it very difficult for the body to recover. Chemotherapy uses a lot of drugs that not only destroy cancer cells but all healthy cells as well and can lead to mild or severe nausea. Because it weakens the bone marrow that impair the production of platelet cells, red blood cells, and white blood cells chemotherapies can cause dizziness and fatigue, and raise the risk of infection of the person as well as weaken the body’s ability to heal wounds. Moreover, chemotherapeutic agents can cause skin rashes and hair loss since they also kill the skin cells and the cells of hair follicles. Tamoxifen and other breast cancer drugs are hormonal drugs that have been proven to raise the likelihood of endometrial cancer and blood clotting (thrombosis).

Cyberknife and gamma knife radiotherapy and therapies that use focused radiation to a specific region of the body are occasionally suggested as an alternative to surgery. Besides these, newer chemotherapeutic agents that have fewer side effects and lesser toxicity are now being promoted. With all these advances in the fight against cancer, where then does Chinese medicine and acupuncture fit in?

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine or TCM is an ancient and comprehensive Chinese medical system that is made up several components: Qi Gong, Tai Chi, counseling, nutrition, Chinese massage therapy (Tuina), Chinese herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, dietary therapy, acupuncture, and more. TCM is based on more than two thousand five hundred years of experience. The earliest drawings of tumours are from the 1100 B.C. and have been written on “oracle bones” and turtle shells. Texts written in 200 B.C. give detailed descriptions of the cause and quality of tumors.

As with conventional western medicine, cancer according to TCM is attributed to one or a combination of factors such as the environment, lifestyle, and genetics. Cancer is a disharmony brought about by the build-up of internal or external factors that cause the normal functioning of the body to become abnormal, to produce a diseased state. In millennia-old documents, it was theorized that factors such as intense sadness and extreme cold could result in cancer and other unhealthy conditions. The TCM practitioner treats his patients by first taking a complete inventory of the patient and carefully considers the patient’s overall lifestyle, emotions, digestive functioning, diet, appetite, sleep, complexion, body temperature, energy level, and musculoskeletal abnormalities.

In the book, Comprehensive Cancer Care, the authors Curtis and Gordon stated that TCM adopts a holistic approach to cancer treatment:

TCM’s treatment of cancer follows the principle of fu sheng gu ben. Fu sheng, in Chinese means strengthening qi, the vital energy in the body that regulates healthy and normal development. Gu ben pertains to enhancing and beefing up the processes of repair and regeneration, that according to Chinese medicine lies in the kidney. Treatment traditionally involves strengthening the flow of qi and blood, clearing out toxins that may contribute to cancer, taking out unwanted build-up of tissue (tumors), and bringing back balance and self-regulation among the qi, shen, and jing. The processes through which this is done include counseling, tui na, qi gong, tai chi, nutritional and herbal treatments, and acupuncture.

Acupuncture for the different stages of cancer

Acupuncture can preserve and boost the normal functioning of the body for conditions where the cancer is detected early. Quite a number of studies have already been done about this although the tests were performed mainly on animals. Nevertheless, the results show the ability of acupuncture to improve the growth of healthy cells and reinforce the immune system. This can be very important in shielding the body from the harmful effects of chemotherapy and radiation that kill both abnormal and normal cells. Acupuncture can also relieve emotional and physical tensions, as well as relax and deeply calm the body.

In instances where a tumor has developed, acupuncture can serve as a proper adjunct therapy to chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. In a 1997 study, 250 patients who were treated with acupuncture after undergoing gynecological surgery for cancer, experienced a faster recovery time. A 2001 study headed by Aldridge showed that acupuncture treatment on 40 breast cancer patients led to a reduction of nausea and vomiting post-surgery and a significant reduction in postsurgical pain.

Acupuncture can be used as an adjunct to other types of palliative care to significantly relieve pain during the advanced stages of cancer. On certain occasions, patients can be allowed to substantially lower the dosage of painkillers which helps them avoid the adverse side effects that often come with these drugs.

How does acupuncture work?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine the body is made up of a complex web of energy channels called “meridians”. There are 12 primary meridians and eight secondary meridians that help bring about a balance of yin and yang. Yin is associated with nourishment of the body while Yang is associated with body function and activity. A meridian’s name is based on the specific internal organ through which it passes and encompasses. The external and internal aspects of the body are connected via these energy channels.

When there is free flow of hsue (blood) and qi (vital energy) in the meridians, the body experiences good health and can perform optimally. But if a meridian does not function properly, the flow of hsue and qi can become blocked, deficient (hypoactive), excessive (hyperactive), or even flow in the opposite direction. This usually affects the function of the organs that the meridian is associated with, which leads to an imbalance of yin and yang in the body that in turn disrupts the overall functioning of the body.

From the standpoint of TCM, acupuncture activates certain points on the body via the meridians wherein energy flows and collects and normalizes the overall flow of energy in order for the body to return to a state of health and balance.

From the viewpoint of Western medical science, the application of single use, sterile, and filiform needles into the skin’s subcutaneous layers can lead to significant changes on a number of the regulatory systems of the body. When properly performed, acupuncture produces neurophysiological effects that can improve immune function and circulation, alter both mood and pain perception, and lead to the production and release of pain-killing endorphins. The treatment specifically works to alleviate nausea via the release of chemicals that prevent gastric contractions, reduce acid secretions, and control the vomiting center in the brain.

According the book Cancer Pain: Assessment and Management published 2004 the needles are inserted in points on the body known as acupuncture points or acupoints. These are points believed to be easily influenced zones of lymphaticoneurovascular bundles in the subcutaneous tissue. Penetrations of neurovascular bundles via superficial fascia and peripheral endings of spinal and cranial nerves have been cited as morphological discoveries of acupoints.

Acupuncture treatment, what to expect

The sticking of needles into certain points of your body may sound unappealing. The fact is however, that the needles generate no pain or at worst minimal discomfort since they are just inserted below the layer of the skin. The patient may feel a heavy, dull heavy sensation once the needles are stuck. This may be accompanied by numbness or a slight tingling in the site of insertion that oftentimes wanes a few seconds after. The needles are left inserted for about 20 minutes. An overwhelming majority of people find this experience to be quite relaxing that it usually puts them to sleep in the midst of the treatment. After the session is over, the acupuncturist completes the treatment by also utilizing other techniques such as Chinese massage therapy or tuina. For cancer and other chronic conditions, regular treatments are to be expected. This involves treatment at least once or two times a week and the plan of treatment is based according to the specific condition of the patient.


Though it is a very serious disease cancer does not always leads to death. It is an experience that profoundly changes your life and the lives of others. There are several treatment options available and you need to educate yourself as to what options can give you the best results that will lead to a happier and healthier life.

Chinese medicine and acupuncture are very important resources that can guide the body towards a healthier state. They can serve as an adjunct treatment for emotional aspects relating to cancer, pain, cancer therapy side effects such as nausea, and weakened immunity due to the invasive and toxic conventional therapies.

The Western medical system’s approach to cancer is derived from a viewpoint known as reductionism, in which person is reduced to the sum of his body parts. This leads to a treatment approach that tends to deal with the parts rather than the whole. Moreover, rather than prevention, Western health care in large part is focused towards treatment. While these approaches may be acceptable, we need a shift towards treating the person as a whole, prevention, allowing the body’s natural healing abilities to participate in the healing process if we truly want to promote health.

Written by Valerie

April 18th, 2017 at 8:54 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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People Are Now Turning to Acupuncture to Treat A Variety of Conditions

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More and more individuals are turning to natural healing therapy over standard Western medicine to treat a variety of conditions. Acupuncture is one of these natural healing modalities that have its roots in China. It is used to alleviate chronic pain and suffering and to promote health. For more than five millennia, this medical procedure that has very few side effects has been administered to improve health functions.

This natural healing treatment is administered by qualified and trained acupuncturists. They are specialized practitioners who have undergone strict criteria, such as completion of four years of training at an accredited college of Oriental Medicine. The practitioner is also required to obtain a genuine license from the Medical Board of the state they intend to practice their profession. The license should be displayed visually in the office of the practitioner at all times.

The Chinese natural healing treatment is based on a theory that indicates the physiological functioning of the body. In addition, the medical art visualizes that the body has an energy force circulating throughout it distributing forces within energy vessels called meridians and channels. The concept suggests that negative and positive forces, referred to as yin and yang are fundamentally important for the well- being of the body. A healthy body implies that the yin and yang are in balance and conversely, when they become unbalanced, illness occurs. Acupuncturists utilize methods to restore balance among the forces of energy that consists of essential life activities: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual activities.

The basis of acupuncture is to stick slender and fine needles under the surface of the skin (where the channels and meridians meet at the skin’s surface). The acupuncture points used are identified by the condition and can be used in combination with other natural healing therapies. Lasers, magnets, electricity and other modern forms of stimulation are incorporated into the procedure along with the more traditional complementary treatments such as herbs. Acupuncture adjusts the vital energy to assist the body into healing itself.

Balance between yin and yang can be restored by acupuncture. It achieves this by penetrating certain acupoints that besides needling are easily accessible via acupressure, moxibustion, and electrical stimulation. Since needling can be an intense procedure, it needs to be precisely administered in accordance to guidelines and regulations medical biohazard has mandated. Nowadays, the needles are all disposable and may vary in length, head shape, shaft, or width. After the needles are inserted the acupuncturist applies certain methods to attain maximum sensation based on the ailment. He or she can utilize rotation, plucking, thrusting, raising and vibrating techniques known as Trembling or Scraping.

Along with acupuncture, techniques that are used to enhance stimulation may be used, again, in accordance with the condition. Electro-acupuncture transmits mild electrical impulses via the inserted instruments. Sound waves and lasers can also be used to produce the same effect. Typically, the technique is designed to prevent or relieve pain. It has also been used successfully to treat drug addiction, alcoholism, and obesity.

Acupressure and moxibustion are the other techniques that are commonly incorporated during an acupuncture treatment session. Moxibustion is commonly used because it is a very effective complimentary form of treatment. It involves the application of heat to a targeted acupoint to treat a disease. It has been used to treat certain types of paralysis, arthritic disorders, and bronchitis. Acupoint stimulation through acupressure uses manual application (the use of a hard ball shaped head instrument or the fingers) and is often used as in lieu of needles. Conditions affecting the internal organs are commonly treated by this technique.

While acupuncture may treat a variety of conditions and illnesses, it may also cause minor side effects, such as disorientation or nausea. It adheres to the principle of the healing system that aids in the smooth flow of vital energy throughout the body and in maintaining balance between yang and yin.

Mark Whalen is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Board Certified Herbalist and the founder of Five Points Acupuncture and Wellness in Reading, MA.

Written by Valerie

April 11th, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

GERD Can Be Treated Naturally and Safely with Acupuncture or Acupressure

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Acupuncture in Austin is defined as the treatment of disease or pain by the intrusion of solid acupuncture needles into specific points on the skin.

Traditional acupuncture (Chinese acupuncture) has been used to address digestive diseases and disorders for over three 3000 years. Practitioners of traditional Chinese acupuncture, insert slender long needles into strategic parts of the body to alter the flow of yin and yang and Qi (vital energy) in order to restore organs to their normal function. The site where a needle is inserted is affiliated with what are known to be the underlying cause(s) of reflux. Acupuncture is not always but very frequently used in combination with Chinese herbal medicine.

Another very closely related treatment is acupressure, a type of acupuncture minus the needles. The mechanism behind this treatment is that by applying pressure to targeted areas and/or organs in the body, the body can heal itself. The Neiguan acupoint or P6 point is very important in the treatment of acid reflux and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Application of pressure to this point is known to lessen relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter which is what lets acid go back up or reflux to your esophagus. Acupressure to the P6 has been used for thousands of years to alleviate vomiting and nausea and lately, to cure motion sickness. One can use a wrist band (which can be purchased in health food stores) to apply pressure to the wrist. The band has a small plastic button that exerts pressure to the Neiguan point. People can carefully apply this pressure on themselves.

The Neiguan point is situated between 2 tendons on the underside of the wrist. If you hold out your hand and bend it toward you, you can find the P6 in the middle of the wrist about two finger widths from the crease where the arm and hand meet. I should note that when pressure is applied to this point, you should not feel any pain, just a slight numbness. Acupoints are never found on arteries, blood vessels, or bones. They are found between tendons and bones.

In a study published in the Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, on August 2005, it was indicated that when certain acupoints are stimulated, it inhibited the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter by as much as 40%.

Calcium, PPI’s and GERD

The Mayo Clinic has warned that taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for a year or more will inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium. If you’ve been taking PPIs for more than a year, you should be evaluated by your doctor. To prevent the loss of calcium, I highly recommend eating lots of fresh vegetables and salads.

A four year study showed that adults who ate lots of foods containing carotenoids, i.e. leafy green veggies, carrots, tomatoes had a greater bone density than those who consumed fewer vegetables. Carotenoids stop stress that’s believe to contribute to age- related bone weakening; therefore, they should be a part of your diet to help protect your bones. They can also assist vitamin D in increasing the growth of bone cells.

Written by Valerie

April 11th, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Acupuncture Minus The Needle Penetration

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A survey recently conducted by NCCAM showed that around 12% of children ages 17 years and lower and 38 of adults in the US, are undergoing some type of alternative and complementary medicines. There are however, also concerns about the safety and effectiveness of some treatments.

Throughout history, the ancient Chinese therapy known as acupuncture has benefited countless numbers of people health-wise. And now it has been discovered that it can benefit animals as well. Scientists are now exploring newer uses of this traditional complementary mode of healing: “Acupuncture without the insertion of needle.”

Acupuncture Minus The “Puncture”

Recent studies that used acupuncture without insertion was used on cancer patients suffering from radiotherapy- associated nausea. The patients experienced relief from nausea through this novel type of acupuncture procedure that produced the same effect as an “acupuncture with penetration” procedure.

All four studies were done in Sweden at the Vårdal Institute and at the Medicine and Health Sciences Department at Linköping University. One noted study involved the participation of 215 patients who were receiving radiation therapy and were administered with one of these two acupuncture types.

The 106 patients received only a simulated acupuncture treatment using blunt telescopic placebo needles that barely touched the skin while the rest were treated with traditional acupuncture that involved the penetration of needles into certain points on the skin.

The outcomes were astounding. Nausea was relieved in about 95% of the patients in both treatment groups.

Acupuncture is a much better treatment for relieving several maladies compared to several other forms of alternative therapy. However, when it’s not properly administered it’s also well-known to cause serious negative effects, including punctured organs and infections.

However, with this new study that showed acupuncture without penetration as equally effective as its traditional counterpart, it is likely that the risks of infections and organ injury can be prevented once and for all.

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Written by Valerie

April 11th, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment of the Three Most Common Types of Cough

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Because of its specific differentiation of the various types of coughs Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is especially effective in treating all sorts of coughs. A cough caused by heat, for example, produces sticky phlegm that can be very hard to expectorate; TCM treats this type of cough with acupuncture points and moistening, cooling herbs that dispel heat from the lungs. A cough due to cold, on the other hand, is marked by copious mucus and chills and is treated with the application of moxibustion and with drying, warming herbs.

If there is no differentiation, it can lead to an unfocused treatment that is ineffective or can even cause the cough to worsen. The following are a few of the Chinese medicine diagnoses of the more common forms of coughs and their specific corresponding treatments.

1. Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment of a Wind Dryness Cough

Oftentimes contracted after exposure to a dry environment, this type of cough is not the same as a chronic dry cough associated with lung yin deficiency (usually due to smoking). In a wind dryness cough, the air’s dryness allows the external adverse influence of the dryness to attack the lungs. This type of cough leads to symptoms such as headache, sore throat with a ticklish sensation, and a dry cough, mouth, and lips.

The aim of the treatment is to stop the cough, moisten the lungs, and overcome the pernicious influence of the dryness. Herbal treatments for this type of cough include an herbal formula known as “Mulberry Leaf and Apricot Seed Decoction,” which in Chinese is called Sang Hsing Tang. This formula is an effective substitute for Chuan Bei Pi Pa Gao.

The diet should involve lots of liquids and soups. One should take hsi yang shen or American ginseng every day for a few weeks once the condition is gone. This will fortify the yin and qi of the lungs and prevent any future attack.

2. Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment of a Cold or Damp Phlegm Cough

This type of cough is marked by persistent coughing that expectorates copious amounts of sticky white or clear phlegm that tends to be more plentiful after meals or in the morning. Other symptoms can include a sensation of heaviness, fatigue, poor appetite, fullness sensation in the stomach or chest, and nausea. The goal of treatment for this syndrome is to strengthen digestion, and dispel the phlegm from the lungs since an underlying spleen qi deficiency can trigger an excessive production of mucus.

To warm the lungs and repel the pathogen, the classic formula known as “Two Old Things Decoction,” (Er Chen Tang) and other herbs are prescribed. Er Chen Wan is the patent version of Er Chen Tang. If this syndrome is accompanied by nasal congestion, stiff neck, headache and other wind-cold symptoms, the patent medicine Chuan Hsiong Cha Chao Wan can also be prescribed.

Dietary therapy involves not eating mucus-producing foods such as sweets, dairy products, and cold foods. Recommended foods include whole grains, vegetables, and hot soups as well as small amounts of raw juices at room temperature to help moisten the lungs and induce expectoration. People with this syndrome should stay warm, get plenty of rest and eat lots of hot liquids, particularly ginger tea. Hot vegetable soup is ideal for this condition.

3. Traditional Chinese Medicine of Hot Phlegm Cough

This type of cough leads to accumulated phlegm that turns sticky and thick because of heat. The cough can cause a loud, barking sound. The heat gives the phlegm a dark color that ranges from yellow to dark green or brown. The phlegm is very hard to expectorate. This type of syndrome necessitates an aggressive approach as the green means the mucus has been infected. When the mucus goes into the lungs, it can be easily infected with bacteria, making the immediate removal of the mucus extremely important. Dislodging the mucus and stimulating expectoration is done by using herbs that moisten the lungs.

One excellent herbal formula for hot phlegm cough is the Pinellia Expectorant Pills which may come under several names, like Pinellia Root Teapills or Ching Chi Hua Tan Wan, but they are all the same formula. It is recommended to take it along with Yin Chiao Jie Du Pian or Gan Mao Ling to get the best results. Diet therapy is the same as cold or damp phlegm cough.

Plan of Treatment for a Cough

Unless cough sufferers get some rest and change their diet, their acute cough will fail to respond to the aforementioned treatments within a week. If this is the case, the cough can last for weeks, resulting in a weakened immunity and a series of colds. Cough due to any cause can be addressed with acupuncture treatment. Inserting a needle or needles an acupoints associated with the Conception Vessel meridian located above the sternum can rapidly assist breathing and quell a cough. Moxibustion is typically applied in a damp, cold type of cough, since warmth is required for that pattern.

Alexander Ezzati is a Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist, and the founder of Balance Within – Acupuncture Clinic in Encino, CA.

Written by Valerie

April 4th, 2017 at 10:55 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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A Brief History of Acupuncture

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The ancient Chinese were the first to discover acupuncture which was over 2000 years B.C. Acupuncture was first mentioned in a Chinese medical text called “Hwang Di Nei Juing.” Since then, it became the number one medical modality in ancient China.

During the 6th Century, the transportation in China improved. The Chinese people traveled far and wide bringing their knowledge and goods along with them throughout Asia. Apart from Buddhism, they introduced Chinese medicine and acupuncture to Japan.

In the 17th Century, a man named Waici Sugiyama sought for a simpler way to utilize acupuncture in which there would be less insertion of needles and therefore less pain involved. Several experiments and studies later, he was able to devise a small cylindrical tube through which as acupuncture needle is inserted. This technique is still being used today and is actually widely used by acupuncturists all over the world.

The 19th century saw the nadir in the use and popularity of acupuncture. This is because German and Dutch medicine rapidly became the go-to medical treatment for various types of disease even though acupuncture has been incomparable in its medicinal effects for thousands of years.

Presently, acupuncture is practiced in virtually all parts of the globe. Acupuncture in Japan still holds a prominent position in the country’s health care system. It has become a modality for pain management therapy In North America in a lot of clinics and hospitals. In 1994, a study showed around 15 million American or 6% of the population have tried acupuncture that led to cures of a number of several digestive conditions, nausea, arthritis, fatigue, and chronic pain.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA the next year designated acupuncture as a type of medical modality and guaranteed its effectiveness and safety.

In 1997, the NIH or National Institute of Health of the US issued a report entitled “Acupuncture: The NIH Consensus Statement” saying that acupuncture has proved to be effective in addressing various kinds of conditions. It said that acupuncture in Maitland is a very safe treatment compared to the side effects of treatments like surgery or drugs. According to the report, the NIH has advocated acupuncture to the insurance companies in the US to provide acupuncture for specific illnesses. This landmark report is one reason why acupuncture has risen in popularity and usefulness in the United States and Canada.

These days, acupuncture is now included in insurance plans and used in hospitals across the US. The application of this ancient traditional medical treatment can now become even more effective with the help of the new discoveries of medicines and drugs.

Written by Valerie

April 4th, 2017 at 10:51 am

Posted in Acupuncture