How Acupuncture Promotes the Quality and Duration of Sleep

In order to begin and maintain sleep the autonomic nervous system and hormones need to be balanced. Several studies have revealed that with acupuncture therapies the restoration of homeostasis can be restored and the balance of the natural chemicals in the central nervous system can be maintained.

1. Acupuncture improves the quality of sleep by boosting blood flow in the body – A study led by Hecht observed the connection between sleeplessness (insomnia) and blood circulation. The study saw that when the flow of blood to the brain was insufficient, it led to low blood sugar levels and involuntary waking from sleep. Another study dealt with the consequences of poor circulation to the brain on the malfunctioning of different organs. Most of the subjects whose blood pressure in the head was extremely low (< 30 mmHg bilaterally), experienced sleeping difficulties but occasionally, also various levels of irritability, forgetfulness especially of recent events, concentration problems, and extreme sleepiness. A person may still experience low blood pressure in the head even with normal or higher blood pressure in the arm. It has been revealed that with electro-acupuncture stimulation of the GB 20 and St 36 acupoints (just below the occipital bone, between the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius attachments) insomnia can be treated by raising the circulation of blood to the brain.

2. Acupuncture causes the body to manufacture more melatonin – The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience published an article that examined the connection between acupuncture treatments and melatonin. Researchers saw that there was a significant increase in the secretion of endogenous melatonin in all 18 participants suffering from severe insomnia who were treated with acupuncture for five weeks, two times a week. Based on muscular and electrical measurements during the subjects’ entire sleeping time, it was shown that the subjects took less time to fall asleep, had a longer total sleeping time, experienced fewer instances of waking up during sleep, and enjoyed deep sleep time, after acupuncture treatments. Fatigue, depression, and anxiety were also reduced. Interestingly, alertness in the morning was also decreased.

3. Acupuncture in Bellmore treats insomnia by reducing stress hormones in the bloodstream – People who constantly overwork and over-think are under chronic stress, their bodies overproduce cortisol that keep them awake and alert during the daytime. People experiencing acute stress causes their body to manufacture norepinephrine and adrenaline (epinephrine). Both these stress hormones profoundly affect a person’s quality of sleep. A Pennsylvania State University study led by Vgontzas evaluated the connection of chronic insomnia to the process of the stress system. The study rated the levels of norepinephrine, free cortisol, and the subjects’ urine and discovered that the level of free cortisol positively correlated with total wake time; the duration of stage 1 sleep positively correlated with levels of norepinephrine but negatively with stage 3 and 4 (deep) sleep duration. Both systems connected to the stress system (the sympathetic nervous system and adrenal gland systems) are responsible for the disturbances in sleep experienced in chronic insomnia. So, when we are stressed, sleep tends to become lighter which causes us to wake up more frequently. With acupuncture we can reduce our stress hormone levels, lessening wake time and raising time for deep sleep. Cortisone is widely known to affect sleep as seen when one gets a shot of hydro cortisone.

4. Acupuncture relieves pain – The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia conducted a study dealing with the effects of chronic pain on adolescents’ sleep patterns. The study found that there was no difference between the healthy control group and the pain group in bedtime and total sleep time. But the group with chronic pain experienced more instances of night waking, significantly longer onset of sleep latency, later wake times in the morning, and more signs of daytime sleepiness. Acupuncture produces a powerful analgesic effect which can assist people suffering from pain enhance their quality of sleep.

5. Acupuncture slows down the effects of aging – Systemic inflammation, edema or fluid retention, erectile dysfunction, insomnia, constipation, irregular and increased heartbeats, and other signs of aging can ensue when parasympathetic function starts to weaken. These effects can, in turn, increase the risk of several common health conditions associated with aging, including arteriosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Type-II diabetes, and cancer. The restoration and maintenance of parasympathetic function may slow the aging process and improve the functions of the internal organs. It has been proven that acupuncture has the ability to improve the function of the parasympathetic nervous system.

To conclude, by enhancing optimizing the metabolism and manufacturing of chemicals that help balance our nervous systems and affect sleep, acupuncture can support the duration and proper pattern of sleep.

Powerful Alternative Treatments for Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Whooping cough or pertussis is a very contagious disease caused by bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. The name whooping cough is derived by from the “whoop” sound in the inhalation of sufferers when they cough violently due to the disease.

In babies and small children, whooping cough can be a deadly condition. In the US, children, are routinely vaccinated to protect them against this disease. However, it seems that pertussis is making a comeback, hitting infants who have not been able to finish the required number of vaccinations and teens who have worn off their immunity.

A set of three vaccines are required for babies to full protect them from pertussis; however, it’s been shown that with just one dose of the vaccine, babies can already gain significant protection. Children who are at high risk from getting the disease can be well prevented by the vaccine. To boost their immunity, children and teens can get vaccinated but this doesn’t guaranty them full protection and still may get a milder form of the disease. Children from 11 years to 18 years of age should get a booster shot that includes vaccination for whooping cough, as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Signs and Symptoms of Pertussis

Pertussis has three stages:

The first stage lasts one to two weeks and its symptoms include:

• Slight fever < 100.4 °F
• Upper respiratory infection
• Loss of appetite
• Sneezing
• Extreme runny nose
• Occasional and mild coughing

The second stage lasts one to six weeks. Signs and symptoms include:

• Cough that has a "whooping" sound, which can occur when a person tries to draw a breath (this does not occur in all people suffering from whooping cough)
• Worsening cough (two to fifty times a day) and longer lasting coughing spells
• Choking or vomiting that occur after coughing spells
• Pneumonia may develop
• Sudden coughing that are intensely severe and result in a bluish discoloration of the face, tongue sticking out; and tearing and bulging eyes.

As the cough slowly goes away during the third stage, the sufferer may endure coughing for a couple of weeks to a number of months.

What Causes Pertussis?

A bacteria known as bordetella pertussis is the main culprit for pertussis. It can be spread via droplets by sneezing or coughing into the air. This condition is highly contagious disease and besides babies and children, adults who have not yet been vaccinated can be infected by a mild form of this disease.

Doctor's Office Treatment of Pertussis

By listening to your cough, your doctor may be able to diagnose whooping cough. However, in its early stages, whooping cough can be difficult to diagnose. While you are contagious, your doctor or healthcare provider may take a mucus or saliva sample from your throat or nose, and advise you not to make contact with other people. If a child below two years old is experiencing severe coughing spells or complications, that child needs to be hospitalized.

Treatment Options

For a baby not yet six months of age, whooping cough can be a deadly disease; in toddlers, it can cause complications. It is important for a baby who has pertussis be immediately treated by a doctor. Pertussis treatment in adults is designed to prevent the disease from spreading and to control it. In certain cases, a ventilator, oxygen, nutrition, IV fluids and quarantine may be needed.

Drug Treatments

Betamethasone and other types of corticosteroids – This may decrease the duration and magnitude of the coughing spells, particularly in infants.

Antibiotics – They help you get better and lower the likelihood of transmitting pertussis to others. Also usually prescribed are erythromycin and Zithromax (Azithromycin)

Over-the-shelf cough suppressants should not be used especially in children under two years old primarily because they don't work.

Albuterol – Significantly lowers the intensity of the coughing spells.

Surgical and Other Procedures

For infants, mist by tent may be helpful

Physicians may utilize suction secretions and electrolytes, IV fluids, and oxygen in adults and infants who are at risk for longer illness.

Complementary and Alternative Treatments

Antibiotics are important for people suffering from pertussis. It’s not recommended to use supplement and herbs alone, especially for children. When combined with conventional medications, homeopathy, herbs, and supplements may help you recover faster. Often consult with your doctor and a knowledgeable provider when combining your medications with alternative treatments.

Herbs

The bodily systems can be tonified and strengthened with the use of herbs. But as with any healing modality, one should cooperate with a healthcare provider in order to diagnose the problem prior to beginning treatment. Herbs used can be in the form of alcohol extracts (tinctures), glycerine extracts (glycerites), or teas, powders, or capsules (dried extracts). Teas should be made using 1 tsp of the herb mixed in a cup of warm or hot water, unless otherwise indicated. For flowers or leaves, steep covered five to ten minutes, and for roots, ten to twenty minutes. Drink two – four cups a day. You may use a combination or tea or tinctures or tinctures alone.

To treat whooping cough in children, herbs should not be used by themselves. Before giving any herb to a child, it is important to first seek the approval of the pediatrician.

There are still no studies dealing with herbal therapy for whooping cough. The herbs that are used have been traditionally used to boost the immune system and treat coughs. Since all herbs can interact with other drugs and have side effects, it’s important that you consult with a pediatrician or doctor before trying out even a single herb. They can tell what herbs can be appropriate for your child and in what dose they should be taken.

Immune-stimulating herbs:

Garlic – The problem with garlic is that it can interfere with several drugs and may increase the risk of hemorrhage, more so if you are using blood thinners, such as Plavix (clopidogrel) or Coumadin (warfarin).

Echinacea – Echinacea can also interfere with several medications. Echinacea should not be taken by individuals with plant allergies.

Astragalus – This herb can interfere with lithium and medications.

Acupuncture

Despite the fact that the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating pertussis has still not been studied, some sufferers may opt for acupuncture treatment to help strengthen their immune system.

Nutrition

For children frequent meals of fresh fruit, steamed vegetables, and vegetable broths should be given.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation

The doses indicated below are meant for children. The doses should be doubled for adults.

Beta carotene (10,000 – 25,000 IUs a day), zinc (10 -15 mg a day), and vitamin C (200 – 500 mg twice a day)

For children above four years of age, up to three grams of vitamin C a day in divided doses for short periods of time can be given.

Antispasmodics:

Thyme – This herb may increase the likelihood of bleeding, especially if you’re using blood thinners.

Indian tobacco – Taking Indian tobacco can be dangerous, so it should only be used under the close supervision of a doctor.

Jamaican dogwood – This herb should not be combined with sedative medications. Taking Jamaican dogwood is also potentially dangerous, and so should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor.

Chamomile – If you are allergic to ragweed, you need to consult with your doctor first before taking chamomile.

Catnip – This herb can be helpful in relieving nausea and vomiting. However, it can also cause heavy menstruation and interact with lithium and sedatives.

Expectorants (for expelling mucus):

Mullein

Elecampane – This herb should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you have low or high blood pressure, diabetes, or are allergic to ragweed you need to talk to your doctor first before using this herb. Do not combine elecampane with any sedative drugs.

Anise – This herb may interact with drugs that affect hormones, including tamoxifen and birth control pills

Hyssop – Hyssop is contraindicated for use by pregnant women.

Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac.
Asian Health Center
27059 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy
Cleveland, OH 44143
Tel: (440) 833-0983

There is a Natural, Safe, Effective and Drug Free Alternative.

Electromagnetic Wave Acupuncture For People Suffering From Stomach Upset and Nausea

The most commonly-used treatments for general stomach upset and nausea these days are skin patches, over the shelf drugs, and even prescription medications. But if you are not too keen on experiencing the negative side effects that come with their use, you could opt for a more natural non-invasive treatment known as electromagnetic wave acupuncture therapy in Bellmore to treat your gastric distress.

Stomach Upset, Its Causes

There is practically an endless list of causes for getting stomach upset. With reasons such as overeating of spicy foods, the problem fortunately goes away within a day or two and that depends on how fast your digestive system works. But what if you are prone to motion sickness? You can easily suffer from nausea when you ride in a boat, airplane, or even a car.

Stomach upset or pain can also be caused by chronic pain conditions such as migraine headaches and fibromyalgia. Nausea that can lead to stomach problems can also be triggered by IV drugs, anesthesia, or any type of surgery. Some psychosomatic condition or even the common flu can likewise bring about general stomach upset and nausea.

Sometimes, even the standard treatment for GI (gastrointestinal) distress and nausea may worsen the problem it was designed to treat. It’s illogical to take drugs for an illness and then take more medications for the nausea that stems from the illness and original drugs! What’s more, besides causing more nausea, the drugs can also cause concentration problems, memory loss, drowsiness, dizziness, and headaches. To avoid this undesirable scenario, you need a natural solution that will help your body heal itself. Electronic acupuncture is one such solution.

Acupuncture is Effective

The ancient Chinese healers knew fully well the great healing powers acupuncture can provide when they first invented it. They saw that the body consists of energy pathways known as meridians. When a blockage develops in one or more of these meridians, illness arises. The traditional style of acupuncture uses solid stainless steel sterile needles applied into specific acupoints in the body to remove the blockage and reestablish the smooth flow qi, resulting in an overall state of wellbeing. But if you have a problem with needles, you can opt for a needleless type of acupuncture treatment that uses an electronic device but still produces the same effects as traditional needling acupuncture.

With an electronic acupuncture device you can actually self-treat yourself, which makes a lot of sense as you cannot predict when general stomach upset and nausea can occur. With a handheld wand-like gadget, you can send impulses of electromagnetic energy into the acupoints on your palm and hand that are connected to your GI tract. You may also be able to address the other areas of your body that you think may be contributing to your nausea. You may, for example, use the acupoints associated with the ears to resolve an imbalance that cause motion sickness oftentimes manifesting as stomach upset.

If you want a convenient way of treating GI problems and nausea, electromagnetic wave acupuncture therapy is a treatment you should consider. An electromagnetic wave acupuncture device is very affordable and you could use it anytime not only for gastric problems but for other health problems as well.

Scalp Acupuncture Can Benefit People With Neurological Disorders

For scalp acupuncture, acupuncture points closest to the brain are used. This is the most effective and efficient way to direct and stimulate energy circulation to the brain. The brain is known in ancient Chinese medicine as the “the sea of marrow”. We can imagine this sea of marrow to be a dam located on top of a mountain. The dam holds energy in its reservoir, instead of water. It has several gates and when a specific gate is opened, the energy flows down to whatever organs or body parts it was intended to flow. The rivers or passageways through which the energy travels are known as meridians.

According to Chinese medicine, the rivers or meridians that are blocked result in illnesses or pain. As there can be a number of blockages along the rivers, so too can there be several variations of pathogenic conditions. Those blockages include: typhoon, flood, drought, iceberg, minerals, mud, lava, wood, etc.

The flow of energy is partially blocked when these blockages occur. A practitioner of Chinese medicine may use different acupuncture techniques to clear the blockages based on the types of blockage(s) within the body.

Minerals Blockage – Boiled water can be used to melt away those ores. Associated conditions: allergy, asthma, etc.

Mud Blockage – Fresh water is needed to wash away the polluted and stick dirt. Associated conditions: dermatitis, diarrhea, cough, etc.

Lava Blockage – Use cold water to cool down those enlarged heated rocks. Associated conditions: Twisted ankle, swelling and inflammation of the knee, etc.

Wood Blockage – Metals are used to saw off those stiff lumbers. Associated conditions: Frozen shoulder, tight lower back, stiff neck, etc.

A scientific group from the World Health Organization in 1989 suggested a universal acupuncture nomenclature for international use. The group standardized the areas and lines for scalp acupuncture. Acupuncturists are trained to know the functions of the various parts of the brain in order to stimulate the intended acu-lines areas and parts of the brain to raise the flow of energy to those areas. People suffering from neurological conditions such as post-stroke syndromes, multiple sclerosis, paraplegia due to injury, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy can greatly benefit from scalp acupuncture therapy in Overland Park.

Recovering Your Zest for Life With Chinese Medicine

The methods of Chinese medicine have been tested over time helping us enjoy and achieve everyday wellness and our daily living goals. A few of the benefits that Chinese medicine can provide us are as follows:

o Good digestion
o Strong bones and teeth
o A trim body
o Healthy skin
o Adequate and quality sleep
o Stress relief

Challenges that tend to offset these benefits would usually force people to go and see a medical professional. Chinese medicine can actually be used along with your physician’s recommendations because the focus of Chinese medicine is in the balancing of your body, spirit, and mind. Think about this when you need to see your medical doctor. The results of combining Chinese medicine and conventional Western treatment are usually a whole lot better than opting for a standard form of treatment alone.

In Western society, we are used to think of life’s many joys and challenges as unrelated to each other and compartmentalized. If, for example, we are faced with difficult social, business, or spiritual situations, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that we would bring those issues up at your meeting with your doctor. They are usually deemed as separate issues, in Western culture.

This is where Chinese medicine and Western medicine differ. The Taoist philosophy that underpins Chinese medicine considers everything in the universe as interrelated. All aspects and facets of a person’s life are part and parcel of a larger reality. All things that are in the world influence each other in one way or another, and consciously or unconsciously figure into one great balance. This connection becomes even more evident in the life and world of a person: his work, environment, friends, family, spirit, and health – they all work together to bring either imbalance or balance in that individual.

When we take these emotional-physical connections into account, we can understand why Chinese medicine is applied to a social issue of a person, an issue you probably wouldn’t think of bringing up with your medical doctor.

Building Stronger Relationships is Your Goal

Are you stuck in a one-sided, unsatisfying relationship? Do you have problems giving and receiving as you would really like to? Or are you obsessing or having strong feelings over someone whom you know you’ll never have? Do you have a real connection to other people? Do you feel alone? Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is a yes for a lot of people. This leads to sadness, disappointment, and isolation in their lives.

What Can Chinese Medicine Do for You?

Chinese medicine can strengthen and support your Heart Meridian and help you develop a bond between yourself and others. The center of your spirit and emotions is your heart which is associated with joy, relationship, and love. Balance to this meridian can be restored by communication, honesty, trust, and openness to others and to yourself. Eating a healthy diet of moderate spices, pitted fruits, broccoli, kale, and spinach can also contribute to the health of this meridian and help you recover your zest for life. Your heart can be calmed by quieting your mind which can be done through Meditation.

Sometimes, you might encounter problems that may not be entirely physical, but nevertheless, can still affect your contentment with life and your sense of well-being. If that comes, you can turn to the wisdom of the ancients and apply it to your life. A practitioner of Chinese medicine or a qualified and licensed acupuncturist might just be able help you guide you back the right path. And while seeking these natural healers, try the solutions mentioned above. The stunning outcomes will surprise you.

Dr. Yelena Pakula is a licensed acupuncture doctor and the medical director of Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center in Pembroke Pines, FL.

When It Comes To Allergy Treatment, Most Licensed Acupuncturists Achieve Very Good Clinical Results

Across the United States, allergies are a common problem for a lot Americans especially during spring and early summer. This is the time when pollen counts are at their highest. At the least, allergies can be extremely bothersome for a lot people and when an allergy becomes severe, it can become a major hindrance to the person’s quality of life and greatly impact his/her normal daily activities; it can even become life-threatening if it becomes really extremely severe.

What triggers an allergic reaction is the presence of an allergen which causes the immune system to manufacture Immunoglobulin E or IgE, a form of antibody. Immunoglobulin E attaches itself to basophils, mast cells, and immune cells and when the allergen is confronted, these cells set off an immune response like releasing certain chemicals such as interleukins, leukotrienes, cytokines, prostaglandins, and histamines that modulate inflammatory response resulting in various side effects such as breathing difficulty, sneezing, red and itchy eyes and skin, and increased mucus production in a person. In Western medicine, allergy treatment is typically aimed at reducing the immune response by hindering the function of the immune cells as well as the consequent allergic reactions through the use of anti-leukotrienes, glucocorticoids, and antihistamines and by avoiding the allergen at all times, if possible. While providing significant symptomatic relief Western conventional therapies, merely serve as palliatives to the symptoms. Chinese medicine and acupuncture, on the other hand, are natural alternative forms of treatment whose aim is to beef up and balance the immune system itself that ultimately addresses the root cause of the problem.

Allergies, from the perspective of Chinese Medicine, are caused by a weakness in the zhen qi and wei qi of the body. Zhen qi and wei qi means righteous energy and protective energy respectively. This weakness is usually accompanied by a build-up of damp inside the body resulting from digestive weakness and/or an unhealthy diet. The cause of these weaknesses can be acquired or congenital although, most of the time, both lifestyle and congenital factors are involved. Zhen qi and wei qi weakness usually means there is weakness in the energetic systems of the kidneys, spleen, liver, and/or lung. And because each person has a unique pattern of disharmony that underlies his/her allergy symptoms, the diagnosis and resolution of the symptoms and their underlying cause within the context of Chinese Medicine is also unique per individual. Correct diagnosis is always the most effective way Chinese Medicine and acupuncture in Reading treat allergies. The best outcomes can only be achieved through appropriate customized treatments that are in accordance with a patient’s unique constitution. Specific Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture treatment are applied based on an exhaustive diagnosis to rectify any weaknesses within the organ systems resulting in the strengthening of the overall energetic and immune system of the patient.

When it comes to treating allergies, most licensed acupuncturists achieve very good clinical outcomes through the use of multidisciplinary approaches such as dietary therapy, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and a procedure known as Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique or NAET. A NAET procedure involves muscle testing to identify the allergens. The treatment then focuses on strengthening the immune system of the patient through the use of acupuncture while the allergens are present. This reinforcement of the immune system requiring also the reinforcement of the patient’s underlying energetic weaknesses is a very powerful way to help eliminate or even totally cure allergies.

Studies Indicate Acupuncture’s Positive Effects in the Treatment of Eye Problems

For eye health issues, acupuncture can certainly be used as an alternative form of treatment. A lot of individuals have derived benefits and results on their overall eye health with acupuncture. Research efforts demonstrate that this treatment may resolve dry eye syndrome and other eye conditions.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a healing procedure that utilizes thin needles stuck through specific points on the skin of a person. Western medicine is still unsure as to how acupuncture works but somehow it has proven to provide alleviation of nausea and relief of pain relief associated with cancer therapies.

Ancient historical documents have been found depicting the use of acupuncture in Korea and Japan although it is believed to have originated in China. Acupuncture in Austin is basically designed to restore health and balance by manipulating vital energy (Qi) flow through unseen pathways radiating from the head down to the toes. These pathways, called meridians, are distinct from blood vessel and nerve pathways.

Studies show that local aggregations of specific neurotransmitters by nearby nerves can be controlled by the application of needles and may probably be the reason for acupuncture’s beneficial health effects.

Eye Conditions and Acupuncture

For certain individuals, an eye disease or problem can be a manifestation of an internal imbalance in the body. Any imbalance that may result in symptoms acupuncture can adequately address. Acupuncture eye treatment is designed to boost the flow of blood and Qi surrounding the eyes. This therapy at times is used as an alternative way of curing chronic dry eye syndrome.

Some acupuncture studies have demonstrated a decrease in the temperature of the surface of the eye that aids in lessening tear evaporation throughout the day. This procedure can also be used to address glaucoma, an eye condition affecting the optic nerve that’s typically caused by abnormal pressure bearing on the eye.

In a certain study, eye pressure was significantly reduced after acupuncture. One other study revealed that acupuncture treatment led to a successful reduction of symptoms of inflammatory and allergic eye disease.

Acupuncture Points Around the Eyes

This is a list of acupuncture points that are often used to strengthen the health of the eye:

1. SJ 23 (San Jiao) – This acupoint is situated on the outside part of the eyebrow in the hollow area. Acupuncturists believe it is a point that can be used to relieve facial and eye pain including facial paralysis, eye toothache, blurred vision, eye pain, redness, and headaches.

2. UB 1 (Jingming) – Jingming in Chinese literally translates to “bright eyes.” It is a point found in the eye’s inner corner and is believed to help move blood and Qi to the eyes to treat eye problems such as blurry vision, conjunctivitis, night blindness, glaucoma, and cataracts.

3. Yuyao – One can find this point right above the pupil in the middle of the eyebrow. It is used to treat swelling, redness, cloudiness of the cornea, ptosis, eyelid twitching, and eye strain.

4. UB 2 (Zanzhu) – Found in the crease of the eyebrow’s inner end, the zanzhu is the point used when patients complain of glaucoma, eye twitching, redness, tearing, pain, blurred vision and headache.

5. GB 1 Tongziliao – GB 1 can be found on the eye’s outside corner. It is used to brighten the eyes. When this point is stimulated it can help treat conjunctivitis, cataracts, dry eyes, photophobia (sensitivity to light), eye pain, redness, and headache.

What You Should Know

So far, the best form of treatment for people suffering from eye disease or significant eye problems is one that combines acupuncture and conventional Western treatment. Acupuncture is a valid and safe alternative treatment for people with eye problems who have not found a cure from conventional treatments.

Liver Cirrhosis and Acupuncture Treatment

The condition in which scar (fibrous) develops in the liver is known as Liver Cirrhosis or just Cirrhosis. This is the end result of long-term injury due to both excessive alcohol intake as well as non-alcoholic causes.

The liver’s destruction as well as the death of liver cells obviously impairs the normal function of the liver. This organ plays a major role in the digestion of food and is also responsible for blood storage including its assistance in blood clotting, creating proteins, and metabolizing drugs.

Liver cirrhosis is a very serious condition. Only about a third of sufferers survive it five years after being diagnosed with the disease. If the cirrhosis is alcohol-related and the patient still persists in drinking the outlook is even grimmer.

What causes Liver Cirrhosis?

1. Too much alcohol drinking – The number of cases of cirrhosis in a country is directly connected to that country’s average alcohol consumption. About 50% of all cirrhosis cases are the result of excess alcohol intake.

2. Primary biliary cirrhosis – This condition primarily affects women. It is a rare disease, however and is not related to alcohol drinking. In primary biliary cirrhosis, the body starts to attack the person’s liver for some unknown reason.

3. Chronic viral hepatitis – The viruses that are known to cause liver cirrhosis are the Hepatitis B and C viruses. In Asia and Africa, the hepatitis B virus is the one that commonly brings on cirrhosis while in the US and Europe, it is hepatitis C. hepatitis A is not known to cause cirrhosis.

4. Inherited and metabolic disorders – These not so common conditions can cause the build-up of toxins in the liver. Hemochromatosis is the most common and it is due to having too much iron deposits in the liver.

5. Chemicals and drugs – A lot of chemicals and drugs can cause damage to the liver but only a few can cause cirrhosis.

6. Autoimmune chronic active hepatitis – This is also a rare disease that can cause the immune system to attack and kill liver cells.

Acupuncture’s Viewpoint on Liver Cirrhosis:

According to acupuncture theory, Liver Cirrhosis is deemed to be mainly brought on by chronic Liver Yin stagnation. Accumulation of certain fluids such as bile in the Liver along with Liver Yin stagnation can result in too much fat deposit in the Liver that can lead to Fatty Liver. Fatty Liver, in turn, can lead to Liver Yang excess producing too much heat in the Liver. When there is excess heat in the Liver, it completely dries out all the tissues and the cells in the liver. The tissues and cells collapse and spindle like a thin fiber around the liver causing liver fibrosis. Damaged connective tissues develop instead of healthy ones due to the liver fibrosis and they cause the Liver to shrink and malfunction finally resulting in Cirrhosis of the Liver.

Liver Cirrhosis Symptoms

The extent of damage that has occurred in the liver will determine what symptoms will manifest. During the initial stages of Liver Cirrhosis, no symptoms may develop and the condition may be discovered from examination of another illness.

As the cirrhosis progresses, the symptoms of weight loss, nausea, a weak appetite, lack of energy, weakness, and tiredness may arise.

At the advanced stages, the liver struggles to perform its functions and symptoms such as the following may be experienced:

Nail changes: The appearance and shape of the nails may change. The nails may look more pinkish than white and clubbing (curved nails) may develop.

Jaundice: In this condition, the eyes and the skin turn yellowish as a result of the liver’s incapacity to expel bilirubin from the blood.

Ascites or Edema (fluid retention): During certain stages of cirrhosis, this is a common symptom. One of the vital functions of the liver is remove excess fluid from the body via the kidneys. When the liver cannot perform this function, fluid wells up in the stomach (ascites) or in the legs (edema).

Abnormal blood vessels: A blood vessel condition known as the spider nevus, which is a spot surrounded by fine blood vessels is a very common abnormality. A red face also commonly occurs.

Skin changes: Darkening of the skin occurs in about 25 percent of patients.

Enlarged breasts in men (Gynecomastia): In cirrhosis, the female sex hormones in men proliferate as the liver is incapable of destroying them as it normally does when it is healthy and functioning well. This causes the breast enlargement in men as well as shrinkage of their testes.

Easy bruising: Because the liver is unable to produce enough clotting proteins, it can lead to delayed clotting and abnormal blood vessels and as a result, to easy bruising and nosebleeds.

Serious complications may happen during the disease’s very late stages. They can involve vomiting of blood, either from leaking varicose veins in the lower end of the esophagus or from stomach ulcers.

It is the duty of the liver to rid the blood of toxic substances. But, when cirrhosis occurs, the blood may skip the liver allowing the toxins to enter the brain where they can wreak havoc in its function causing drowsiness, confusion, and finally, coma. This is known as hepatic encephalopathy.

Usually, there are stages to the development of Liver Cirrhosis. They include:

1. The pre-ascites stage: Most of the symptoms at this stage are related to the digestive system. They include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, poor appetite, etc.; hepatomegaly is the main sign.

2. The ascites stage: Symptoms include breathlessness, palpitations, poor appetite, and stomach fullness and distention, especially after meals.

3. The Cachexia stage: Hepatic coma may occur.

Modes of Treatment

Acupuncture usually combined with moxibustion.

Acupuncture:

The main acupoints are classified into two groups:
Group 1: St 36, UB 18, and Ren 96
Group 2: Sp 6, Liv 13, and UB 20

Procedure: Both main groups of acupoints are alternately utilized with 10 treatments of each group. The related acupoints are used based on the clinical signs and symptoms and the course is 10 treatments with an interval of three to five days between two adjacent courses.

For other Liver Cirrhosis-related symptoms, the acupuncture points used will include:

St 21 and Ren 12 – For stomach fullness and distention
UB 25 and St 25 – For diarrhea
Ren 3 – Weak urination
GB 34 – Pain of hypochondrium
Ren 17 and P 6 – Dyspnea and palpitations

Moxibustion:

Acupoints: Sp-15, Ren 4, Ren 12, and Ren-8.

Method: Request the patient to lie on his/her back. Apply moxibustion for an hour to the areas Ren 12 to Ren 4 and the areas from Sp 15 (left side) to (right side) Sp-15 with a moxa-cone moving from left to right side and using Ren-8 as the center. This type of treatment is done in 10 sessions once each day, with an interval of 3 to 5 days between two adjacent courses.

BodaHealth
1245 West Broadway #302
Vancouver, BC V6H 1G7, Canada
(604) 733-2632

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The Background of Ancient Chinese Acupuncture

Acupuncture is widely used by millions of people throughout the world. In China, it is a highly revered form of treatment. The first treatise on Chinese acupuncture was named the Hei Ching and it is around 4,500 years old. It is comprised of 34 volumes and several books and includes the modes of treatment and medical cases used throughout ancient Chinese history. A Chinese physician named Pien Chi’ao tells in the first book how he was able to resuscitate a patient in a coma. The medical methods used and cases are scientifically explained and comprehensively described. The acupuncturist also states that, to be able to attain the ideal balance of energy, he combined the use of medicinal herbal extracts to his acupuncture treatment for 20 months.

A Chinese acupuncturist follows a methodology that comes out of the psychology and philosophy of Kampo – traditional Chinese medicine. This methodology is derived from the Chinese culture, and has been merged into the Taiwanese and Japanese modes of treatment as well. All the things that surround us, as well as all of nature’s manifestations and phenomena, Kampo has comprehensively collated. It expounds the seasonal and natural phenomena and all the studies and researches in traditional medicine conducted by all civilizations of the world over the course of time. In this variety of beliefs, the energy systems of people are philosophically defined and the existence of negative, female energy (Yin), and positive, male energy (Yang) is affirmed. These principles are used to classify the various organs in the human body; thus, in Chinese medicine, we see the vital organs being categorized as either Yin organs or Yang organs. The Yin and Yang concept is based on the observation of the relationship between the Universe and man that continuously strives to a attain balance between these two opposing complementary energetic forces. In Western conventional medicine, when these energies are in balance, the body is deemed to be in a state of homeostasis. The human body, in Yin and Yang theory, is subject to five elements: fluids, vegetation, mineral, earth, and warmth. The human body’s energy is associated with the organs and that each organ relates to a specific element. For example, liver corresponds to wood, kidneys to water, lungs to metals, pancreas and spleen to earth, and heart to fire. The entire body is grouped into energy channels (meridians) related to the major organs. Chinese Acupuncture treatments are utilized on the 14 primary meridians spread across the human body.

There are six basic acupuncture points (acupoints) that makes up a single meridian. There are acupoints of reduced vibrations and of low resistance along each meridian and, in order to balance the energy system, these acupoints are needled during an acupuncture procedure. There is an alarm point or hot foot point on each meridian. The alarm point becomes painful even when gently touched when it has a disruption in the flow of energy. The existent therapy on the corresponding meridian begins at these points, through the use of herbal formulas, moxibustion, or acupuncture (needling). A hundred years ago, it was known that the human body had a little over 800 acupoints. Today, there is over 940 known acupoints mapped throughout the human body.

In traditional Chinese medicine, a disease or illness is the result of an imbalance between yin and yang. To restore balance between these two forces, acupuncture, along with Chinese herbal formulas that’s administered in appropriate dosages, can be used. The effectiveness of a combined acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treatment for thousands of years has proven to be the key to longevity and well-being for countless number of people. Visit a licensed Orlando Chinese acupuncturist to begin utilizing the healing effects of traditional Chinese medicine today.

Dr. Hailing Fu, D.O.M.
Ling’s Acupuncture, Inc.
120 Gatlin Ave
Orlando, FL 32806
(407) 851-2533

Stop the Pain or Ailments That Keep You From Doing the Things You Love Most…

Acupuncture Can Handle Various Types of Neuropathies Very Well

One of the most difficult bodily pains to tolerate is neurological pain. This type of pain typically causes a constant burning sensation or sharp shooting pain in the body. It usually is felt in the same body part with each episode and its origin can be usually traced along the nerve pathway of the patient. Other symptoms can include numbness or oversensitivity of the skin, and impaired function or weakness in the affected area.

Factors that can give rise to nerve pain include toxic chemical exposure, degeneration of the nerves, infection, disease, stroke, inflammation, trauma, and surgery. A lot of times, however, the underlying cause of the pain is unknown. What is known is that nerve pain affects older people more than others.

There are several kinds of nerve pain although the more common ones are:

1. Diabetic neuropathy that often affects the feet.

2. Shingles. This condition is the after effect of a herpes zoster infection and often affects one side of the body, usually the back and chest.

3. Sciatica pain that oftentimes originates in the lower back and travels down the leg.

4. Tic Douloureax or trigeminal neuralgia, a nerve pain that tends to affect the face

Nerve pain can also be caused by amputation, alcoholism, chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, HIV, and AIDS.

All these aforementioned neuropathies can be potentially debilitating especially when they are severe. Analgesics or painkillers are usually woefully inadequate in providing relief from the ailment. The good news is the acupuncture has proven to work very well for nerve pain especially when it is augmented with electrical stimulation. With acupuncture, the pain can be significantly alleviated and the nerves can be restored to their normal function. Here are some of the things acupuncture in Encino can do to treat nerve pain:

1. Acupuncture activates nerve receptors that gate out or reduce pain signals.

2. Acupuncture induces the brain to release opioids, neurotransmitters, and other natural painkilling chemicals into the bloodstream to regulate the nervous system and lessen the body’s sensitivity to pain.

3. Acupuncture raises endorphin levels in the body and courses them towards the ailing parts of the body. These natural chemicals resolve inflammation that can be the result or cause of nerve pain.

4. Acupuncture facilitates healing by modifying the electrical system of the body to enable the movement of electrical energy and materials between injured tissue and normal tissue thus accelerating the process of recovery.

5. Acupuncture coupled with electrical stimulation blocks the pain signal giving the nerve the chance to calm down leading to the relief of pain.

There is no pain involved when electrical stimulation is included in acupuncture treatment; on the contrary, patients oftentimes state it feels very relaxing. To get long-term results, the patient may need to undergo several treatments although it is not uncommon to see patients feeling better after the first treatment. With regards to degenerative disease, total cure may not be achievable but the patient can expect to have an improved quality of life as the treatment slows down the degeneration of the nerves, enhances nerve function, and reduces pain. Acupuncture nerve pain treatment usually lasts around 30 minutes to finish.

So, if you or someone you know complains of nerve pain, consider talking to a licensed and qualified practitioner to see if acupuncture is the best approach to your problem