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Acupuncture for Cervical Dysplasia

May 25, 2014   

Cervical Dysplasia or CD is seen as an abnormal change in the cells on the surface of the cervix.  CD is not cancer but it can help develop cancer of the cervix if the condition is not addressed promptly. Cancer of the cervix is a very common cancer causing 16,000 incidents as well as 5,000 deaths each year in the United States.  Women need to undergo a cervical dysplasia diagnosis as soon as possible if they suspect themselves of having one.  For moderate and mild cases of CD, however, traditional Chinese medicine procedures along with a healthy lifestyle can help fight CD effectively.

The primary cause of cervical dysplasia is the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV. This is a common virus that is usually transmitted by means of sexual contact. HPV can have different kinds.   Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM is not capable of diagnosing HPV or CD. If you suspect yourself of having HPV, It is very important to get a Pap smear exam since this test is the only way to ascertain if the cells in your cervix is normal or to guarantee that you have a healthy cervix.

Western medicine sees the following as factors that can heighten your risk of developing CD:

Smoking
Using medications or having sicknesses that weaken your immune system
Possessing more than one sexual partner
Not getting regular Pap smear tests
Becoming active sexually before 18 years of age

Physicians are uncertain why the likelihood of being infected with HPV is high in females 18 years or below who are already sexually active. They opine that a female is likely to have more than one sexual partner at these ages.  They may also see that the cells of the cervix change over time through a process known as metaplasia.  This is the reason why the exposed part of the cervix (the columnar cells) is termed as the “transformation zone”.  Over several years, squamous cells, replace the columnar cells. The likelihood of developing pre-cancer is enhanced if the transformation zone is infected with a sexually transmitted carcinogen during the time of maximum cellular activity during adolescence. This jibes with the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective that sexual activity at an early age is harmful to the Penetrating and Directing Vessels (related to the female reproductive organs) since at those ages, the uterus is still quite vulnerable. For TCM, adolescence is quite a delicate phase for a female and any disease she may incur at this time can bring about extreme consequences.  Other diseases may also play a role in the rise of cervical dysplasia among young females. During the time of puberty, emotional problems can deeply affect a young female’s health; it may lead to a slowdown in the flow of her qi in the liver that can easily impact the female’s genital system.

Treating Cervical Dypslasia and HPV using TCM

Traditional Chinese Medicine considers the entire body when treating any disharmony and disease.  A specific detailed intake process can aid TCM practitioners in determining the underlying cause of the disharmony. The initial intake process assesses the patient’s condition internally and also his/her habits, environment and lifestyle. Furthermore, the process of diagnosis process depends on the evaluation of the tongue and the palpation of the stomach and pulse. TCM practitioners consider all of this information to help diagnose the pathways and underlying problem of the disharmony, using the diagnostic patterns of procedures of TCM.  After successfully diagnosing the condition, the practitioner will craft a plan of t treatment that considers the unique constitution of the patient.

Treatment often entails the use of dietary and lifestyle modifications, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture.  Eastern diet therapy is very important for the plan of treatment since studies have revealed that women suffering from CD also suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Women with cervical dysplasia were particularly lacking in vitamin B6, vitamin C and beta-carotene. TCM practitioners help patients by enabling them to know what foods are quite beneficial for them; these practitioners accomplish this by using an eastern nutrition profile. Foods that help improve the constitution of the patient can aid in healing and rejuvenating the body.

The duration of the treatment is determined by any preexisting conditions the patient has, the patient’s overall health and the degree of severity of his/her HPV infection. They all are considered during the first meeting of the patient with his/her TCM practitioner.

 

Harmony Wellness Center
110 N Orlando Ave
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 234-6454
http://www.harmonywellnesscenter.com/

 

Acupuncture for Urinary Tract Infection

May 18, 2014   

There are about 11 million Americans who suffer from acute urinary tract infection each year. Urinary tract infection (UTI) affects men but most of its cases involve women. Any part of the urinary system can potentially be affected with UTI. This disease is caused by bacteria that have entered the urethra where it starts to rapidly multiply.  It is seen as a debilitating condition and the pain it generates may sometimes be more painful the childbirth according to some women who have been affected by this condition.

The most commonly used conventional western treatment for UTI is antibiotics. However, the increasing resistance of the bacteria towards antibiotics forces UTI patients to cease taking antibiotics and just allow the infection to gradually go away. This often results in the rise of worse conditions in the body. Moreover, women who have a high chance of developing UTI usually utilize large doses of antibiotics before the infection actually sets in; this merely accelerates the resistance of the bacteria to the drugs.

The danger of antibiotic resistance has prompted researchers to look into other natural and alternative ways to help lessen the duration and frequency of urinary tract infections.  A study done in October 2002 in Norway involving the use of acupuncture to treat gynecological conditions showed results (which were published in the American Journal of Public Health issued October 2002 issue) favoring acupuncture therapy – it showed that the rate of infection decreased by more than a half after 6 months of acupuncture treatment.

The study involved 94 women ranging 18 to 60 in age.  All of these women have had urinary tract infection at least 3 times for the past 12 months with a minimum of two infections having been diagnosed as UTI and resolved by a doctor. All the women were diagnosed based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) protocols.  Then they were divided into two groups: the acupuncture and control groups. The control group was not given any treatment while the acupuncture group was treated on acupuncture points in the back, lower stomach and lower extremities based on the TCM diagnosis.  The treatments were performed two times a week for four weeks.

Results

The researchers observed a substantial lessening of the group treated with acupuncture.  About 73% of subjects treated with acupuncture reported no symptoms of UTI during the six-month followup visit. In contrast, the control group only had a 52% improvement of their symptoms.  The acupuncture group exhibited more than half (55%) of a decreased risk of incurring another UTI infection in the six months after the last treatment session.

The subjects given acupuncture also had a 51% improvement in the average amount of urine that remained in their bladder during the six-month examination compared to baseline. The untreated subjects showed no major change in residual urine.

Acupuncture for Pre-Menstrual Syndrome

May 18, 2014   

About 90% of women undergoing their menstrual cycle can experience the effects of an approaching period either every month or some months. PMS or pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is also sometimes called PMT or pre-menstrual tension. PMS can manifest in a number of ways from mood swings, to headaches and painful cramping among many others. Symptoms can range as minimally irritating to very painful and conventional modalities like prescription drugs may not always be as effective as you want them to be. You may want to try electronic acupuncture if you have PMS or PMT and you’re not entirely satisfied with the relief given by conventional drugs.

Electronic Acupuncture

The very old Chinese healing art of acupuncture has been utilized since time immemorial for the resolution of pain and other health problems. Acupuncture is part of a collection of oriental modalities known as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM believes that the body contains several energy pathways called meridians interconnected via connective tissues. If you begin to feel headaches, cramping and other symptoms of PMS, some of these meridians may be blocked impairing your body’s life energy from traveling to the blocked areas. Acupuncture is done by inserting sterile and very small needles into strategic spots in the body called acupuncture points or acupoints for short, to remove the blockages in these meridians.

Acupuncture has been used for many decades now in many Western countries and is considered a great treatment option that a lot of insurance companies are now willing to cover in their policies.  The problem is when you have a fear of needles or when repeated sessions of acupuncture are out of the question because you cannot afford them.  One solution to this problem is to buy a portable electronic acupuncture device that has been approved by the US FDA. This device follows the same principles of traditional acupuncture healing without using needles at all.

The advantage of having an electronic acupuncture device is that you can use it right in the comfort of your own home and on your own treatment schedule. The electronic acupuncture device has a wand-like component that conveys electromagnetic impulses to certain acupuncture points in the palm, wrist and hand that are associated to specific areas of your body. If, for example, your PMS causes bloating and cramping in you, you may want to place the wand to the acupuncture point associated with the ovaries and uterus to remove the blockage in the meridians causing pain. You can apply the same principle to your mood swings and headaches which are usually caused by hormones.

When you buy an electronic acupuncture device, it usually comes with a very useful acupoint hand map that you can use as reference for treating yourself of your PMS symptoms.  The ability to treat yourself can enable you to lessen your dependency on prescription drugs, more so if these medicines have ingredients that can cause nasty side effects. When the pain and symptoms of your PMS causes you so much distress and discomfort, acquiring an electronic acupuncture device may just be the one thing that will help you deal much better with your PMS problem.

Before deciding to purchase an electronic acupuncture device, you need to consult with your doctor regarding your PMS symptoms first. There are certain types of PMS that may need medical intervention. One thing is certain and that is your electronic acupuncture device will not only help you cope much better with your PMS, it will also help you address your other health conditions as well.

Acupuncture for Itching

May 9, 2014   

Acupuncture is a very unique type of oriental healing technique that is very effective in relieving itch. If you are considering using it for the first time, you need to consult with your doctor first.

Causes of Itching

There are many causes of itching and they can range from damaged nerves to dry skin. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology categorizes itching into four types:

Psychogenic – This type of itch can be caused by imbalances in levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in your body. Psychogenic itching is usually treated with antipsychotic and antidepressant medicines.
Neurogenic – This type of itching happens with kidney and chronic liver disease
Neuropathic – This can be caused by problems in the nervous system
Pruriceptive – This can be due to skin damage resulting from conditions like inflammation, eczema and drug reactions

Acupuncture Treatment for Itching

In treating itching acupuncturists first need to evaluate the symptoms of their patients to customize treatments that address their patients’ particular needs. Acupuncture is uniquely customized that each patient usually gets different treatment even if they have the same medical complaint. Acupuncture points identified for a specific type of itch can be different for another type of itch. For example, an acupoint for the Gallbladder organ located on the thigh indicates for itchy, red skin is needled. An acupoint associated with the Urinary bladder located in the back near the spine is treated if the patient is suffering from eczema. For generalized itching, acne and hives, acupoints connected to the Urinary bladder is treated.

Effectiveness

Studies published in the 2010 edition of the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology showed that acupuncture treatments lessened the duration, distribution and intensity of itching. The journal also noted that the studies involved low numbers of episodes or single-case studies which imply that even if acupuncture showed its efficacy for treating itch, more testing and research are required to verify its effectiveness.

Considerations

There is not doubt that acupuncture is now a popular type of treatment in the United States. It is considered to be a safe procedure with few side effects, if any at all. However, if done by an inexperienced or untrained practitioner, acupuncture can have negative effects that can include punctured organs due to incorrectly placed needles or infections from unsterile needles. If you want to make sure you are given safe care, check the credentials of your acupuncturist and never select an acupuncturist who possesses no traditional medical training.

 

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

Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

May 9, 2014   

In terms of injury and/or muscle soreness, back pain is the most widely reported complaint. Most people will experience back pain at some point in their life and so it is important to discuss this condition and learn how to resolve it and even prevent it since you may suffer from it in the future if you haven’t already.

One of the best treatments of most types of body pain bar none is the ancient Chinese healing art of acupuncture. Acupuncture is one component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Other TCM modalities such as moxibustion or cupping therapy have also demonstrated outstanding results for treating low back pain. Acupuncture is versatile enough to be utilized in combo with any type of natural or conventional therapy.

Your lower back broadly encompasses the part of your body below the rib cage including the buttocks. When pain emanates from the sciatic nerve, it can travel down to one leg or the other but oftentimes only one leg is affected.  According to TCM, lower back pain can be the result of a pathogenic infiltration, zero or little exercise, overwork, pregnancy and labor, too much sexual activity or excessive physical work.  When the underlying cause of your low back pain (LBP) has been identified, a diagnosis based on TCM principles is then attained.  It is important to note that you avail yourself of treatment to a qualified TCM practitioner even if you only want acupuncture treatment for your LBP.  An LBP diagnosis based on TCM usually involves chi deficiency of the Kidney system.  This deficiency is either due to the stagnation of blood and chi in the kidney meridian or a pathogen invasion such as accumulation of Damp-Cold in the affected area.

Chi deficiency in the Kidney often manifests in chronic low back pain as well Cold-Damp. This condition can develop from frequent infiltration of Cold-Damp in the body that eventually leads to the Kidney energy deficiency and thus to low-back pain. Other symptoms of LBP besides the pain can include knee pain, night sweats, relief from the pain but recurring during work or sexual activity, and a cold feeling in the lower back.

Damp-Cold invasion likewise can manifest in acute low-back pain cases. The pain generated by this infiltration is at its worse in the morning and acts up during cold or damp weather. The pain can be resolved by the application of heat. If you suffer from Cold and Dampness infiltration, one often predominates the other. You may sometimes experience symptoms of Dampness more than cold or vice versa.  If Cold infiltration is stronger, you can find relief by walking around or being active rather than resting; the heat from your movement will alleviate the pain. If you feel the effect of Dampness more than Cold, some swelling may develop as well as feel a heavy sensation in your back.

LBP caused by blood and chi stagnation is often associated with Kidney deficiency (in chronic cases) and the result of muscle strain (in acute cases).  Blood and chi stagnation comes with symptoms such as stabbing and sharp pain that becomes worse with excessive exertion or even with rest. The LBP caused by blood and chi stagnation is usually tender making it difficult for the sufferer to sit or stand.  This type of pain is accompanied by severe muscle rigidity and stiffness and is not affected by the application of heat or changes in the weather.

After your TCM practitioner has diagnosed you with LBP, he may suggest an acupuncture plan of treatment. The duration of the LBP treatment may be determined on how long you’ve been suffering from it. Acute LBP cases tend to have a quicker treatment time than chronic cases. The acupuncture points to be treated will be based on your diagnosis though more often than not certain points on your back are included. Western medicine diagnosis for LBP may not focus on its underlying cause but will instead concentrate on the symptoms. Whatever the case, you need to consult with your doctor to at least determine that you are not suffering from any structural problems in the back such as, for example, a prolapsed lumbar disc or osteoarthritis.

Acupuncture for Itching

May 2, 2014   

An itching sensation ensues when the skin starts to tingle and the urge to scratch is very strong.  Most cases of itching are not serious but the uncomfortable sensation can eventually result in too much scratching that can injure the skin. Acupuncture is a Chinese healing modality thousands of years old that can help relieve the itching sensation.  It is recommended that you talk with your doctor first before getting acupuncture treatment.

Causes of Itching

There may be so many possible causes of itching – some may be caused by dry skin and in some severe cases, it may be due to damaged nerves.  There are four classifications of itching according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, these are psychogenic, neurogenic, neuropathic and pruriceptive.  Chemical imbalances in the body, especially the ones involving norepinephrine and serotonin may lead to psychogenic itching. This type of itching may be relieved with antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs. Neurogenic itching can occur when the patient suffers from kidney or chronic liver disease, neuropathic itching can result from damage to the nervous system,  Pruriceptive itching can be caused by damage to the skin due to conditions such as inflammation, eczema, drug reactions and hives.

It is the job of acupuncturists to evaluate the symptoms of their patients in order to customize a plan of treatment that will treat their patient’s specific needs.  Since acupuncture treatment is really based on the symptoms and physiology of the patient, patients may get different treatments for basically the same health problems. Acupuncturists can identify the acupuncture points that are often utilized to stop itching. The Gall Bladder point 31 point, for example, situated on the thigh is needled to address itchy red skin. The Urinary Bladder 17 point is essential for itchy skin problems such as eczema, and is found on the back near the spine. The Urinary Bladder 13 point, very near to the Urinary Bladder 17 point, is treated to address acne and hives as well as generalized itching.

Effectiveness

The Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology posted studies in 2010 assessing case studies and scientific research on the treatment of acupuncture for itching. The studies stated that acupuncture therapies decreased the duration, distribution and intensity of itching. The conductors of the study, however, said that since the studies only involved low numbers of episodes or were single-case studies, they weren’t the kind of studies that can truly validate acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating itching. More testing and research are needed to prove acupuncture’s effectiveness.

Considerations

In spite of the millions of Americans who get acupuncture treatments, very few cases of side effects have been reported. Acupuncture is considered to be a safe treatment although it can have adverse effects if it is performed by an inexperienced or untrained acupuncturist. The effects may include punctured organs due to improperly placed needles or poor sanitation. To guarantee safe care, you need to check the credentials of the acupuncturist and stop relying on a diagnosis from an acupuncturist who has no traditional medical training.

 

Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.

Acupuncture for Pregnancy-Related Problems

May 2, 2014   

Acupuncture is a very good medical option for addressing several uncomfortable issues and conditions related with being pregnant.

Lack of breast milk

Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture – when given combined with a Guinness beer each day can result in moderate to good effects in the enhancement of the production of milk.

Mastitis (Blocked milk duct)

When given at the earliest possible time, acupuncture combined with herbal compresses and vigorous self-massage can help accelerate the healing process of a woman suffering from a mastitis infection. This kind of infection quickly develops and so one should not procrastinate in getting treatment and should likewise proactively address this condition at home.

Induced Labor

A lot of women quickly progress into active labor even after just a single session of acupuncture. Occasionally two or three sessions in a week may be needed post due date.

Cervical Ripening or Labor Preparation

Around the 37th to the 40th week of pregnancy, acupuncture performed once a week can help prepare a woman for labor by strengthening and increasing her vital energy and helping the smooth flow of blood and emotions during the process. When a woman undergoes cervical ripening acupuncture protocol, induction may not be needed.

Breech Presentation

Clinical trials have revealed that moxibustion can help turn a baby who is manifesting breech. Moxibustion is ideal if it is performed everyday for 10 to 14 days between the 34th and 36th week of pregnancy.

Back pain

Acupuncture is a fundamental treatment for any type of body pain, including back pain. It is simply one of the best, if not the best, choices humans have for alleviating pain of any kind. Moxibustion and cupping can also be given when back pain is burdening a woman that is pregnant.

Restless legs

Studies have revealed that acupuncture can help relieve the occasional agonizing frustration related with restless legs. Combined with acupuncture should be the addition of more calcium in your diet for this condition.

Stress

Stress and anxiety can be caused by certain hormones released by the adrenal glands. These two emotions can impact the amount of blood and nutrients the embryo receives during pregnancy. And so, the removal of stress or utilizing stress-releasing techniques such as acupuncture is imperative.

Depression

When the emotions are balanced, the pregnant woman and her unborn child can both enjoy good health during the entire term of the woman’s pregnancy. Some acupuncturists may even combine acupuncture therapy with singing lessons conducted by a singing teacher skilled in proper breathing techniques to treat pregnancy and/or post-partum related depression.

Headaches

A lot of women may develop headaches during the end of their first trimester. For the relief of body pain and headaches, acupuncture can be given them during those periods.  For anyone getting headaches that may not be related to fatigue or dehydration, acupuncture can be a good choice of treatment.

Morning sickness or Nausea

One to five sessions of acupuncture per week may be needed based on the degree of your nausea to bring back your ability to eat and restore your quality of life. Acupuncture is always a very good medical option for this condition, especially if you keep your blood sugar levels at a safe level.

Sub-Chorionic Hematoma or Spotting

Moxibustion and acupuncture can help eliminate or lessen uterine bleeding

Prevent miscarriage

Sessions of acupuncture one to two times a week can help prevent early pregnancy loss or miscarriage by increasing circulation the embryo, eliminating stress and decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity.

 

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