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The development of hard muscle tissue in the uterus is known as uterine fibroids. They may be known by other names like leiomyomas, myomas or fibroid tumors. Fibroids usually develop in women who are over 40 years of age. In fact, about half of the women 40 years old and over suffer from this condition. The fibroid can become huge that it has been known to grow about a hundred pounds (albeit very rarely)! Most sufferers though have significantly smaller fibroids, usually the size of a walnut.
In the United States, the number one reason for hysterectomies is the development of fibroids.
Uterine fibroids have no known causes although estrogens particularly estradiol, often makes it conducive for their development. Because the levels of estrogen may increase during the early years of menopause, previously asymptomatic fibroids can grow during the years just prior to the complete stoppage of the menstrual cycle leading to symptoms like severe menstrual flooding and pain, bowel problems, urinary incontinence or frequency, pain during coitus, low back pain or a sensation of heaviness in the stomach.
White women are less prone to fibroids than colored women. The latter are 3 times to 9 times more likely to develop this condition and develop it more quickly than the former.
Although not usually cancerous, fibroid tumors can still become malignant. Still the there is only less than 0.1% chance of that from ever occurring.
Small fibroids usually vanish spontaneously. More hard to resolve are large fibroids although they can be treated using natural remedies.
In Eastern medicine, the lowermost energy center in the body is known as the “root chakra” and this area includes the uterus. This chakra is the part believed to store anger that is unexpressed. Eastern medical practitioners believe unwanted growths in the uterus can be neutralized by allowing the anger to discharge in a safe way.
Menstrual cramps and uterine fibroids can vanish within or after three months following a vigorous exercise program. Irregular ovulation often accompanies the presence of the fibroids and it can even exacerbate the condition. Exercise can help because it promotes regular ovulation.
Daily eating of three or more serving of beans or whole grains helps to decrease the size of the fibroid as well as afford protection to the endometrium and breasts from development of endometrial and breast cancers.
Trifolium pratense or red clover flowers should not be used during menopause as it can complicate your condition if you have fibroids.
Using yellow dock root, milk thistle seed and other herbs can help tonify the liver helping it metabolize estrogen out of the body helping decrease fibroids in the process.
Chasteberry tincture or Vitex can decrease the size of the fibroids after two months of use although results can take longer perhaps up to a couple of years. Use twice to four times daily at 25-30 drops per use.
Burning moxa over the part of the body where the fibroid is located can help shrink the size of the fibroid.
Poke root utilized as a tincture for internal use can help relieve symptoms of fibroids. Use from one to 10 drops daily. When used externally for rubbing the stomac, poke root can greatly alleviate distress and pain related to the fibroids. A WARNING: Poke is known to be poisonous and so is not usually for sale.
Lupron is a medication that can induce menopause by stopping the body from producing estradiol. This usually helps shrink the size of the fibroid size within two to three months. The problem with this treatment is that the fibroids tend to grow back when the drug’s use has been stopped.
Warm ginger compresses (hot ginger water in a towel) or castor oil packs on the stomach can decrease the size of the fibroids and alleviate pain.
Consuming beans and whole grains can improve the ratio of estrogen and progesterone in the body as well decrease the size of the fibroids.
Fibroids can be lessened by avoiding exposure to estrogen. This means not eating foods that have been exposed to pesticides and herbicides (that have residues that mimic estrogen), eating organic foods, not using birth control pills and not avoiding ERT/HRT.
Chlorine-bleached tampons should not be used as they can also mimic estrogen.
Women with fibroids can also consider surgery. There are now several options aside from the extraction of the uterus (hysterectomy). They include suprecrvical hysterectomy, myomectomy, uterine embolization and hysteroscopic resection. It is highly recommended to seek a surgeon who specializes in these procedures since they are relatively new procedures.
Hysterectomy is a very important procedure as it can be a life-saving one. However, a third of American women who have reached 60 have had their wombs already surgically removed. Fibroids that do not manifest any symptoms are not enough reasons to undergo a hysterectomy. A woman is healthier with her ovaries intact, although there can be rare exceptions to this. Therefore, even if you need to undergo hysterectomy, it’s best to keep your ovaries.
Galina Semyonova is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist in New York City. She has studied extensively in the fields of biofeedback therapy, SCENAR therapy, Chinese herbal treatments and Chinese and Western nutrition.
A chronic form of inflammatory bowel condition, ulcerative colitis is an inflammation of the rectum and the lining of the colon (large intestine). Typically, ulcerative colitis starts on the lower area of the colon and in the rectal area. The inflammation can affect the entire colon over the course over time. Initially, the attack is gradual and starts with a heightened urgency to pass stool, pus and blood on the feces, and mild lower stomach cramps. In degrees of severity, this disease may differ from patient to patient.
People of any age, can develop ulcerative colitis (UC) although it usually occurs at the ages of 15 to 30 and even around the ages of 50 to 70 years old. It affects both women and men and sometimes, people with this disease have a family history of it.
UC sufferers are at high risk of developing bowel cancer, particularly if the disease is extensive or severe. A lot of these sufferers have tried acupuncture that proved extremely effective in the relief of their symptoms.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
Western medical science still does not know what exactly causes ulcerative colitis although researchers have found several factors that can trigger this condition. Ulcerative colitis is considered a type of autoimmune condition. Scientists think that the immune system of the body that battles bacterial or viral infection by inflaming the wall of the large intestine. Some scientists argue that no infection actually is involved and the cause of this disease is instead a malfunction of the immune system. One popular theory is that the immune system erroneously attacks the beneficial bacteria inside the large intestine and so attacks the tissues of the colon, causing the inflammation of these tissues.
There is no clear explanation why the immune system acts this way although experts believe that environmental and genetic factors are involved.
It is widely believed that UC is not directly due to food or food product sensitivity or emotional distress, though they can trigger symptoms in certain individuals.
What are the complications and symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
Diarrhea can develop due to the inflammation that causes frequent emptying of the large intestine. The surface of the colon lining begins to develop little open ulcers that can lead to bloody stools. The inflamed lining also causes an inordinate amount of mucus in the large intestine that at times may contain pus.
Common symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis:
-Weight and appetite loss
-Frequent urge to pass stools
-Bloody diarrhea with mucus
When the inflammation is severe and has penetrated into the deeper walls of the large intestine, extreme complications such as perforation of the colon and profuse bleeding from deep ulcers may occur. Osteoporosis, eye inflammation, arthritis, cirrhosis, primary sclerosis cholangitis and other complications can develop when the immune system causes inflammation in other areas of the body.
Ulcerative Colitis – A Traditional Chinese Medicine Viewpoint
According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory, ulcerative colitis can be the result of an unhealthy diet, external pathogen invasion or by constitutional deficiencies. A poor diet (i.e., cold or raw foods) can damage the abdomen and spleen by blocking the transporting and transforming functions of these organs with regards to nutrients and foods. Diet modification can be complemented by therapies like acupuncture. External pathogen invasion refers to damp-cold or damp-heat. Constitutional deficiencies typically talks about kidney, stomach and spleen deficiencies.
TCM theory states that each patient is a unique individual with a body and mind connected to the environment.
UC can be divided into seven major categories, based on its attributes and seriousness:
-Deficiency of kidney and spleen yang
-Spleen deficiency with accumulation of damp
-Blood and qi stagnation
-Liver overacting on the spleen
-Cold and heat alternate attacks
-Damp-cold impacting the spleen
-Damp-heat in the large intestine
TCM states that spleen deficiency is the most common diagnosis of chronic ulcerative intestinal conditions. TCM practitioners believe that the spleen is mainly responsible for the health of the intestines. Its main function is to transport and transform the essence of food in the body and this includes the removal of waste material. Dampness, a pathogenic condition can accumulate in the body when the body experiences deficiency in Yang or Qi which can then lead to symptoms of colitis like fatigue and diarrhea. The Liver and Kidney and even other organs can play a part in intestinal distress. Lifestyle recommendations, diet as well as TCM therapies such as Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are used to treat these imbalances. When they are correctly applied, these modalities clear dampness, nourish the organs, harmonize blood and Qi and balance Yin and Yang.
Ulcerative Colitis – Treatment Options
Western Medicine considers UC as a chronic inflammation of the large intestine. No particular therapy is available for UC since it is a disease with no known origins. Its treatment therefore is a response to the manifested symptoms and the seriousness of the disease. Drugs that are commonly recommended and provide symptomatic relief include immunosuppressants, corticosteroids and aminosalicylates. The bad news is that extended use of these drugs will not cure the disease and may cause side effects as well. A patient with severe UC may require surgery to excise the problematic colon. Though it can cure UC, surgery will entail lifetime ileostomy.
Western medicine has so far been unable to cure or significantly treat ulcerative colitis and so alternative therapies become a vital option for patients with this condition. Traditional Chinese medicine is a proven complementary therapy to treat this disease.
TCM is not only about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. It is a varied modality encompassing dietary prescriptions, and other bodywork therapies like Chinese massage or Tui Na. Traditional Chinese medicine originated in China and it is grounded on the belief that disease results from malfunctions or blockages of energy vessels known as meridians in the body.
Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture have been used for millennia to treat digestive conditions such as ulcerative colitis and often show outstanding results in the treatment of conditions. This is so because they address not only the symptoms but the root problem of the condition as well.
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Pharyngitis more commonly as a sore throat is usually a sign of an allergic reaction or an infection like the common cold. The belief of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) about sore throats is that they are the result of a number of different factors that include dryness, wind and heat. Your acupuncturist or TCM practitioner will usually utilize a number of points to resolve the symptoms as well as target the root of the condition. Consult with your doctor about your symptoms and see if acupuncture is apt for your condition.
Points and Meridians
TCM believes that the body is made up of vital energy or qi. This qi circulates throughout the body through energy vessels known as meridians. Stimulating affected meridians with very fine acupuncture needles can restore the balance within the troubled organ, potentially harmonizing the entire body of the person. Each acupuncture point possesses a unique function and sometimes a number of functions for just one point. A combination of points may be selected for sore throat which often includes the ones that can clear heat, promote moisture and target the underlying problems.
Points to Clear Heat
Sore throats may be observed by the acupuncturist as red, indicating heat, based on TCM theory. Acupuncture points Lung 10 and 11 (L10 and L11) are needled to alleviate the pain and clear heat. These points can be either manually pressured or needled. The L11 point, situated next to the outer end of the thumb nail’s base can be needled and allow drops of blood to fall in order to remove heat. The same procedure can be performed on the large intestine point one (LI 1), located close to the index of the finger’s nail. When pricked, this point can also relieve sore throat pain and remove heat.
Points for Dryness
Sinus blockages can cause a stuffy nose that may force you to breathe through your mouth and thus result in a sore throat and dry mouth. When this happens, your acupuncturist can treat points that help relieve the pain and increase moisture, while at the same time, regulate mucosal fluid and drain sinuses. The large intestine point 4 and lung point 7 can treat symptoms related to head colds and congestion. Needling the points kidney 6 and spleen 6, both located on the leg, as well as conception vessel 12, found on the chest, can aid in improving moisture and regulating body fluids.
There are certain acupuncture points that lie on the affected area itself that also need to be stimulated. These points are located on the throat and neck areas and can help treat throat pain. They are the points LI (large intestine) 17 and 18. Their stimulation can benefit the throat by alleviating swallowing difficulty and reducing soreness. Conception point 22 is found in the cavity above the breastbone. Stimulating it can help treat loss of voice and pain and clear phlegm in the throat.
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.
Unlike the human male species, human females have to deal with their oftentimes onerous monthly periods. Yes, there are women whose monthly cycles are short and easy but for the rest of them, these periods are too long and unpleasant. By means of alternative therapies, these issues can be easily dealt with.
It is not only the reproductive system that is affected by female hormones. They affect the looks of a woman and how she feels as well. The reproductive system has a lot of issues associated with it and fortunately, most of them can be treated with Eastern medicines and acupuncture. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are two of the most common problems besetting multitudes of women. When talking about PMS, symptoms may range from extreme moodiness to excruciating pain. It can be moderate to severe pain that may come from cramping required to remove the entire uterine lining that had thickened. These symptoms often plague a lot of women who nevertheless often find a way of relief from them. Many of them happily have found the relief that they desire from Eastern treatments such as acupuncture.
PCOS has a huge impact on a woman’s body. Weight gain without any means to lose it, moodiness, depression, menstruation that is sporadic or ceases completely for long periods of time and unnatural hair growth are just some of the effects it can wreak on a woman’s body. Going for acupuncture treatment can help balance a woman’s hormones. People who are undergoing discomforts from their monthly periods require physical manipulation in order to realign their body and restore it back to health. Nutritional supplements can be useful with some of the ailments but only a therapy such as acupuncture can resolve the pain, bloat and inflammation.
Hormonal imbalances that affect menstruation can likewise cause fibromyalgia, migraines, and other kinds of issues. A holistic treatment such as acupuncture can lead to a balance of the hormones and energy that is required to maintain good health. With acupuncture, the menstrual cycle of a female can be normalized and other problems related to imbalances in the body all addressed.
Over the course of time, acupuncture has demonstrated to help reduce cramps, improve blood flow to the reproductive organs and overall, reduce the harmful side effects of Mother Nature. One can only shake in disbelief about Western physicians being poorly informed of the benefits a acupuncture and spinal alignment can give. You need not suffer from your monthly periods and it should never be allowed to dictate how you live.
Having something that can cause a minor problem is one thing, but having it entirely affect the quality of your life is never good.
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A study published in the NCBI/NLM/NIH website regarding atrial fibrillation show positive results of the efficacy of acupuncture in treating this condition. The constant needling of a specific point in order to treat a condition is quite unusual in Chinese medicine. It may be an issue when studies demonstrate good results, and especially when inconclusive results arise. The kind of treatment acupuncturists perform are usually successful but procedures that they use will never be considered the “right way” when it comes to the standards of western scientific methodology (i.e. randomized double blind control trial, western gold standard of research).
That being said, the ancient Chinese doctors have dealt with palpitations for thousands of years, and they have constructed over the course of time syndromes that is quite understandable from the viewpoint of Chinese medicine. Even if a symptom is not yet assigned to a known type of pattern, the Chinese medicine practitioner/acupuncturist will first indicate that the symptom is an indication of internal disharmony, which implies that bringing back balance to the system is usually the aim of Chinese medicine in order to treat or reduce the palpitations. Acupuncture helps treat the underlying problem that gave rise to the palpitations while at the same time addressing the symptoms as well. This restores balance back in the body. You need to seek treatment only from a qualified and experienced acupuncturist or Chinese medical practitioner.
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Bellingham, WA 98225
Chinese acupuncture is a time tested healing tradition that has been practiced for more than 4000 years. It has been proven to treat scores of ailments, including PMS and other issues related to women’s health. PMS or Premenstrual syndrome is usually marked by chronic symptoms just before the start of the menstrual cycle. Some of these symptoms include food cravings, changes in the female’s emotional state and changes in the skin, cramping, discomfort and pain.
Some of the more popular ways to treat these symptoms are to lower your intake of caffeine, take vitamins, eat a highly nutritious diet, exercise and remove stressors. Sadly these basic changes in lifestyle are often inadequate to alleviate the discomforts of those suffering from chronic PMS.
Does PMS have a solution?
In spite of this bad news, PMS sufferers can find hope with acupuncture, a treatment that has been around for thousands of years. Acupuncture can help relieve these monthly ailments by obliterating blockages to energy bringing back vitality in the body. A licensed acupuncturist or herbalist can provide you with an effective and permanent cure for the imbalances connected with this condition.
Natural Remedies that Help Treat PMS Symptoms
An acupuncturist is knowledgeable in identifying the points on the body that need to be stimulated to help remove the blockages where Qi flows. This practitioner may focus on removing blockages or relieve certain maladies like stagnation of Qi. With just a few months of treatment, the patient can be wholly treated of the stagnation that brought about her PMS symptoms.
Besides acupuncture, certain Chinese herbal formulas can help to bring back balance and harmonize the body systems. Hsiao Yao Huan is an herbal formula widely used to treat PMS. When translated, Hsiao Yao literally means “Free and Easy Pill.” It can be purchased in TCM clinics or health food stores. This formula is made up of several herbs that all work to relieve pain, calm the Liver, fortify the Spleen. nourish the Blood and correct Qi stagnation.
Qi gong, Tai Chi and other physical practices are likewise very effective therapies against illness, as they maintain the continuous flow of energy in the body. When Qi flows easily and freely, discomforts and diseases are significantly reduced.
Improve Your Life
It is wrong to think that monthly onsets of PMS symptoms are a way of life, and there is very little anyone can do to alter that. Becoming proactively involved in addressing this monthly condition can greatly enhance your vitality and sense of health.
Kine Fischler is a licensed acupuncture physician and the clinical director of Willow Tree Wellness Clinic in Portland, OR.
Love and excitement are often generated when a baby is born but so too are anxiety and fear. Chemical changes in the body can be experienced by the mother after birth that can lead to postpartum depression.
A lot of new mothers can pass through this emotional funk and it can involve negative emotions such as mild depression, mood swings and outbursts of anger. There are new mothers who may experience this phase longer than normal. Postpartum depression can last even many years after birth.
A lot of individuals often acknowledge their postpartum depression to be an indication of mental weakness or a flow in their character. These are all misconceptions as postpartum depression is the result, actually, of severe chemical and emotional changes that happen during or post childbirth. Postpartum depression women usually require medical attention even for a short while. The medical care will deal with the chemical imbalance in the brain due to childbirth.
In the treatment of postpartum depression, acupuncture can be a great way to resolve the symptoms that come with this disorder but before we talk about that, we need to determine the factors that can lead to the development of this condition.
Causes of Postpartum Depression
Genetics – there are women who may be genetically predisposed to suffer from postpartum depression. This predisposition is akin to the classical depression we see in a lot of individuals as they likewise suffer from a condition that is due to their genetic inheritance of it.
Emotional factors – coping with one’s emotions due to the changes in life can lead to a sense of being overwhelmed and problems sleeping. During this time, you may experience happiness in having a newborn child. At the same time, you may also think that you are now less attractive, struggling with your identity, and may even feel that your life seems to be out of your control.
Physical changes- the hormones of a woman after childbirth are in constant flux and this makes it difficult for her body to cope with these changes. Progesterone and estrogen are the hormones in question. The woman’s thyroid gland may be unable to produce the same amount of hormones as it did before childbirth. This constant state of flux and inadequacy of hormones can leave the woman depressed, sluggish, and tired. Other physical changes the woman may experience include changes in metabolism, poor immune system reaction, lowered blood pressure, and a decrease in blood volume.
Lifestyle influences – postpartum depression can be caused by several lifestyle factors. They can include, for example, a baby that is demanding attention besides that of her other children or other people in her household, or she may be facing financial challenges that come with her baby’s birth, a lack of support from her spouse/partner or just coping with sheer exhaustion.
Acupuncture for Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
It is widely known that acupuncture is a very potent treatment for postpartum depression symptoms. The natural hormonal balance of the body can be restored in a relatively short amount of time through acupuncture therapy. A lot of the emotional symptoms have been observed to dissipate with some sessions of acupuncture. Some have even stated that acupuncture can even prevent the rise of postpartum depression.
If you experience postpartum depression, it does not imply you are a bad mom or a bad person. The one thing you need to do is get medical attention and so you need to consult with your obstetrician or family doctor to find out what your condition is really all about. It’s best to seek help immediately before your depression becomes unmanageable. If you are unable to provide care for your baby, or even feel angry at your baby, due to sadness or frustration, you can ask a relative or friend to watch over your child until you recover from your condition.
It’s important to look for medical attention if there is an emergency (which may involve a feeling of harming yourself and/or your baby). Acupuncture can help you a lot. It is a legitimate form of treatment for both depression and postpartum depression symptoms.
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