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December 2014
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Dysmenorrhea Patients Can Benefit From Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Therapy

December 28, 2014   

A study published by the eCAM (Evidence-based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine) showed that a meaningful positive effect was achieved when patients with dysmenorrhea who did not respond well to Western medical treatments were given acupuncture treatments. Dysmenorrhea is menstrual cramping whose cause can be seen in a couple of ways: it can be due to an unknown cause/pathology (primary dysmenorrhea) or as cramping resulting from an identified pelvic condition. The main symptom of both primary and secondary types of dysmenorrhea is pain, and this pain cannot be relieved by NSAID medications in about a quarter of dysmenorrhea sufferers who participated in the study.

The participants were all suffering from moderate to extreme dysmenorrhea lasting for a year or more and they all had no resolution of their pain from NSAID treatments. Also, they all refused oral contraceptive treatment, which is a first plan of treatment these days for most sufferers of dysmenorrhea. The subjects were treated with acupuncture once each week for eight weeks. The needles were inserted at certain points in the body for half an hour.

Of the 15 people who participated, 13 manifested a vast relief of pain and a substantial reduction of their NSAID intake following the acupuncture therapies. The patients with primary dysmenorrhea experienced a greater lessening of their pain reduction than the ones with secondary dysmenorrhea. Seven of the fifteen subjects completely stopped the use of NSAIDs and they were free of symptoms even after half a year after the end of the study.

The NIH (National Institutes of Health) has stated that acupuncture is a proven modality for the relief of pain and it has endorsed it to be a valid form of treatment for scores of health conditions, including dysmenorrhea. One of the best things about acupuncture is that it is a very safe and non-invasive therapy that has virtually no side effects at all. It works on the principle that the insertion of needles in the skin boosts the circulation of blood towards the affected part of the body.

Often used in combination with acupuncture is Chinese herbal medicine to boost the effectiveness of the treatment. The proper herbal formula needs to be used to address the specific symptoms and signs of the patient. For primary dysmenorrhea sufferers, the most popular formula used is gui shi fu ling wan. It is made up of five herbs including peach kernel, moutan cortex, root of the peony plant, poria, and cinnamon twig. All these plants are known in Traditional Chinese Medicine to enhance blood circulation and invigorate blood and can help relieve pain by clearing out the stagnations and obstructions in the body. The gui shi fu ling wan can also be used in the treatment of ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids.

The aforementioned study ends by stating that acupuncture therapy may be a recommended solution for pain associated with dysmenorrhea, particularly for those in whom NSAIDs or oral contraceptives are contraindicated or ineffective. This correlates with the conclusions of a lot of acupuncture clinics that have dealt with cases of dysmenorrhea. Some drawbacks of this study though include the participation of a relatively few number of patients and its failure to use a randomized, double-blind protocol. More future studies of its kind are recommended to prove acupuncture to be a valid form of treatment for dysmenorrhea.


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.

Endometriosis Sufferers Should Consider Acupuncture and Herbs as an Alternative To Drugs and Surgery

December 28, 2014   

Endometriosis is a condition affecting women and can be very painful. It can also lead to other various conditions. A lot of the sufferers of this condition are now turning to herbal medicine and acupuncture because they are considered safe and very effective. Each Chinese herbal and acupuncture treatment varies per patient and the type of treatment that one gets will depend on the constitution of the patient and the severity of her condition; if a woman plans to have children in the future, this factor is taken into consideration and given the proper required treatment in order for this to come about.

Endometriosis is usually diagnosed in women who around 25 – 35 years of age, although it can occur at any stage in a woman’s life. The ovaries produce hormones once a month that stimulates the formation of a uterine lining in preparation for a potential fertilized egg. The cells that create the uterine wall are known as endometrial cells and they should only develop inside the uterus. However, due to some unknown reason, some of these cells develop outside of the uterus and a condition known as endometriosis occurs.

Endometriosis is a painful condition that can produce scars in the pelvic region, the ovarian tubes and the ovaries. It may result in infertility, formation of large cysts in the pelvis and chronic long-term pelvic pain. Some of the modalities offered by doctors when treating endometriosis include drugs, hysterectomy, and surgery. A lot of women have an aversion to medications and most of them want to avoid surgery as much as possible, especially those who plan to have children in the future. So, they are compelled to seek out alternative forms of treatment. It has been discovered that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be effective cures for endometriosis.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are used in combo to resolve not only physical conditions but spiritual, emotional, and mental issues, as well. Acupuncture has been a major form of treatment in China for thousands of years although it has only been widely practiced in the United States for a relatively short period of time (more than 4 decades). The most common use for acupuncture in this country is for the treatment of pain.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of sterile, small and filiform needles into certain points of the body known as acupoints. The acupoints used depend on the condition being treated. For endometriosis, the targeted acupoints are located on the stomach, wrists, ears, legs, and back. The needles are left inserted in the skin for around 20 – 40 minutes depending on how severe the symptoms are. Acupuncturists believe that acupuncture resolves endometriosis by increasing endorphin levels in the bloodstream which alleviates the pain, boosts blood flow in the affected organs, and balances the levels of hormone in the body.

Herbal medicine can be used externally and internally to treat symptoms and bring back the patient to a good state of health. For endometriosis, herbalists can avail of several plants including dandelion, motherwort, wild yam, burdock, cramp bark, and horsetail. They all help to resotre balance to the hormones and boost the immune system in order for the body to have a much greater capacity to fight endometriosis naturally.

Women who have endometriosis who are considering herbal medicine and acupuncture should know that these two modalities are much better alternatives to drugs and surgical procedures that come with certain harmful side effects and are less effective.


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

Natural Rejuvenation of the Face Using Acupuncture Treatment

December 27, 2014   

For thousands of years, acupuncture has successfully treated a wide range of health-related issues. It is widely used in the United States as a treatment for psychological disorders, pain and diseases. Acupuncture can also be used to rejuvenate a person’s face.

There are two benefits one can derive when availing of acupuncture to rejuvenate the face. First, it improves your overall health, and second, acupuncture fortifies the entire body. Specifically, acupuncture for facial rejuvenation:

-Makes you feel a lot younger as rejuvenation does not only take place in your face.
-Removes or at least, minimizes the bags and puffiness under the eyes; the jowls are firmed as well.
– Reduces or erases deep fine facial lines
-Reduces wrinkles and prevents new ones from developing
-increases collagen production to help increase muscle elasticity and tone
-Moistens the skin
-Increases blood circulation in the face

Acupuncture works when other treatments fail

Each modality be it Eastern or Western, has its own areas of greatest effectiveness. Acupuncture, for one, is a superior treatment when it comes to the health of the skin than most Western forms skin health products and treatment. Acupuncture is also extremely effective in three areas: in the treatment of stress-related conditions, for pain control and the treatment of chronic diseases.

How many treatments are needed?

The number of treatments varies per person and they depend on the nature of the complaint, severity of the condition and how long the condition existed. For acute conditions, more than one acupuncture treatment is required. For chronic conditions, around 6 to 10 sessions may be needed. Certain degenerative conditions may not only require more than one treatment but may also require the use of Chinese herbs, self-massage, relaxation techniques, exercise, and dietary changes.

What other conditions can acupuncture treat?

The WHO or World Health Organization has stated that acupuncture is a valid form of treatment for: drug Addiction, nicotine addiction, alcohol addiction, drug withdrawal symptoms, excess weight, sinusitis, ulcers, colitis, nausea, food allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, disc conditions, arthritis, back pain or ache, insomnia, migraines, headaches, and neurological disorders.

Dealing with the Side Effects of Juice Detoxification Therapy

December 21, 2014   

When the body filters out harmful substances and toxins, it spends a lot of energy doing so. Contaminants, pollutants, and chemicals need to be removed from the body since they prevent it from functioning optimally and properly. If a person has a high amount of toxicity in the body, the body is forced to set apart a huge part of its energy to help deal with the toxicity. When this happens, some of the body systems may not function properly due to the lack of energy which has been diverted to help deal with the toxicity. This can lead to several systemic malfunctions which is especially harmful for individuals who already have pre-existing conditions or who suffer from poor health.

Every person, literally, has toxins inside his/her body. The world is full of substances and chemicals that are considered harmful to our health. Unfortunately, the more society becomes modernized the more toxins proliferate the environment and the so-called modern-day foods and water we consume are very unhealthy and full of dangerous preservatives and chemicals that result in serious diseases. Even organic foods can be contaminated. Taking medications and touching a number of surfaces that may be covered with chemicals can result in negative consequences to our health. It’s simply impossible to avoid getting contaminated with toxins.

One might be wondering what can be done to help his/her body get rid of toxins. One of the most popular means to detoxify the body is through a juice detoxification program. This technique can help the body remove itself of pollutants in an efficient and healthy way.

What is a juice detoxification program?

A juice detoxification program is a method that entails regularly drinking a combination of fruit juice and/or vegetables for a limited amount of time. This detoxification procedure helps the body basically remove toxins by tearing down old material and replacing it with new ones. The toxins need to be filtered out first before new materials are sent in. This method, however, does have certain consequences on the body. When removing substances that cause one to be addicted to coffee, symptom of shakiness, nervousness and headaches may arise. When one needs to eliminate fats, meats and protein, he/she may suffer from a coated tongue, bad body odor and skin eruptions.

Of course, the reason for undergoing a juice detoxification program is to gain certain health benefits. Some of these benefits include improved quality of sleep, enhanced energy, a toxin-free body, mental clarity, healthier and clearer skin, loss of weight and the motivation to maintain one’s present health.

The drawback from a juice detoxification program includes the rise of a number of symptoms that may include gas, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, cravings, weakness, sleeping problems, irritability, flu-like symptoms, canker sores, a pasty, coated tongue, acne, dry skin, muscle pain, lethargy and headaches.

To help overcome the negative effects of juice detox, one can avail of acupuncture. This holistic and natural form of treatment can help relieve practically all of the symptoms related to the detox program. After thoroughly evaluating the patient, the acupuncturist will apply differential diagnosis to come up with a plan of treatment that can help treat the symptoms that arise from the detox program. Under the hands of a licensed, qualified and experienced practitioner, acupuncture can be extremely effective. It provides immediate relief without the need for pharmaceutical drugs that have nasty side effects of their own.

If you are into juice detoxification therapy, then you need the help of an acupuncturist who can deal with the consequences of your program. Consult with an acupuncturist today.


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.

Different Types of Menstrual Conditions – Acupuncture Can Treat Them All

December 21, 2014   

Chinese herbal medicine and Acupuncture have been proven in many clinical studies to work for the resolution of menstrual issues. While the reason why these therapies work (especially with acupuncture) is still a mystery and has yet to be identified by more research work, it has been shown in those clinical studies that they do provide several health benefits for those using them.


When a woman does not have any menstrual period, she is suffering from amenorrhea. There are two types of amenorrhea: Primary and secondary amenorrhea. The former is a condition where menstruation has still yet to occur and can be the result of a congenital disorder like the lack of a uterus. The former is the stoppage of the menses because of hormonal conditions. Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture can help in a lot of instances of secondary amenorrhea but may prove ineffective when the amenorrhea is of the primary kind.

Uterine Fibroids

These are the non-malignant outgrowths in the uterine muscles. Being non-malignant or benign, uterine fibroids often do not cause any problems and are asymptomatic; however, they can lead to several symptoms with back ache or painful or heavy periods being the most common. Fibroids may vary in size and if they are less than 5cm, they can be treated with Chinese Medicine. If the fibroids are located on the uterus’s inner wall, they can be easily treated with Chinese medicine; if the fibroids develop on the outer wall, they respond poorly to Chinese Medicine. Chinese herbal medicine is the most common Chinese medicine treatment used for fibroids.


This condition is a prolonged and abnormally heavy type of menstruation that occurs at regular intervals. There may be various causes that can lead to this health issue and they include a problem in the lining of the endometrium, hormonal imbalance, abnormal clotting of the blood. It can likewise be related with dysmenorrheal (painful menses). Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can help treat this condition.


This condition is defined as the irregular bleeding on the uterus at certain intervals. Metorrhagia is often effectively treated with Chinese Medicine, specifically Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture.


Menometorrhagia is a menstrual disorder that refers to severe or prolonged menstrual hemorrhaging that happens more frequent than normal and also one that occurs irregularly. It is especially vital to closely observe this type of bleeding first before dispensing treatment in order to exclude malignancy and uterine fibroids. Chinese herbal therapy is commonly the treatment of choice of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioners for menometrorrhagia and is often combined with acupuncture to make the treatment more effective.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners usually discover certain diagnoses for these forms of menstrual disorders. They include:

Liver Qi Stagnation

This type of TCM disorder develops when Chi flow stagnates throughout the body. Its symptoms include health issues that exacerbates with stress, painful periods, PMS, and headache.


Decreasing stress is important. Exercise is very helpful – pilates, yoga, cycling, walking are good for this type of condition.
Normalize your emotions – try not to dwell too much in sadness, frustration or anger. Channel your creative energy through dancing, writing, drawing, or painting.
Don’t eat too much food in a single meal.
Eat an early dinner, avoid heavy meals
Cut down on foods that strain the liver – these include fatty foods, spicy foods, sweets and sugar, coffee and alcohol.
Consume more leafy green vegetable such as asparagus, beetroot, rosemary, and sprouts.

Kidney Qi Deficiency

This condition refers to a set of symptoms associated with Kidney energy and the Water Element in Chinese Medicine: primarily joints and reproduction. Problems with kidney energy can cause ankle and knee conditions, lower back pain, irregular periods and infertility. Kidney Qi Deficiency can be effectively cured with dietary and Chinese herbal therapy and acupuncture.


Relieve stress – swimming and moderate exercises are good for this type of condition.
Do not do too much work and do not stand too much or too long.
Sleep early. Be in bed and asleep by 9 pm.
Stay away from salty foods or cut down on salt
Foods good for this condition include beef, lamb, figs, quinoa, walnuts, and shiitake mushrooms

Spleen Qi Deficiency

This condition refers to a syndrome that is the result of Chi production deficiency. Symptoms include heavy periods, poor digestion, bloating and fatigue. Spleen Qi Deficiency is easily treated by a combination of dietary therapy, herbal medicine and moxibustion. Spleen disorders are the ones most affected by what we eat of all the patterns of imbalance seen in traditional Chinese Medicine.


Lessening too much thinking and worrying is required. Activities such as gardening and singing and moderate activities can boost Spleen energy
Chewing your food thoroughly is important
Improving digestion by avoiding cooling foods such as vegetables and raw fruits and eating cooked and warm foods can help increase Spleen energy.
Foods recommended for the Spleen Qi deficiency include red lentils, rice, turmeric, cardamom, pumpkin and carrot.

Blood Stagnation

When the flow of blood and qi is poor, Blood Stagnation can occur. Normally, a woman with this condition may have visible purple veins underneath her tongue or may have a purple tinge on her tongue. She may also have large clots in her menstrual blood and very painful menses. Blood stagnation can be best treated with a combination of dietary therapy, herbal medicine and acupuncture.


Eating you last meal early in the evening
Not bringing your emotions to the table
Staying away from heavy meals, sugar, spicy food, coffee and alcohol


Willow Tree Wellness Clinic
1607 NE 16th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Ph: 503-281-0030

Combining Conventional and Acupuncture Treatments for Better Management of Epileptic Seizures

December 14, 2014   

Epilepsy is a scary and serious condition. Anyone who has dealt with this problem knows that when a person has an unexpected seizure it often causes panic and chaos in people caring for that person. There is still no known cure for epilepsy but there are various approaches to help manage it. Most people are unaware that acupuncture can actually help lessen the frequency and severity of the seizures.

Epilepsy – Its Origins

Classified as a petit mal or gran mal neurological disorder, epilepsy is marked by seizures. It has been mentioned in ancient medical texts and has been a misunderstood condition for a long, long time. During ancient times, an epilepsy seizure was believed to be an evil or even good spirit possessing the soul of a person.

When Hippocrates began to study this condition in the 5th century BC, he saw that epilepsy was more of a brain condition than the work of a divine or malevolent entity. He believed that epilepsy is due to a dysfunction emanating from the brain and therefore was treatable. However, since it was hard to prove his hypothesis during that time, he failed to sway the entrenched religious belief pervading society during that time allowing this false paradigm of spirit possession as cause for the problem to fester to up to the 18th century.

What Actually Causes of Seizures?

As mentioned, epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by a malfunctioning brain. A healthy, normal brain has connections that work all the time. The neurons also send and fire signals in a normal way. In an epileptic brain, however, connection is occasionally interrupted and the neurons misfire from time to time. This leads to a surge in electrical energy that causes the seizure. A person suffering from epilepsy can experience a minor tingle or a severe grand mal seizure.

Conventional Management and Treatment of Epilepsy

The best way to address epilepsy is to properly manage the seizure since cure for this disorder is not coming anytime time soon. Anticonvulsant medications are often prescribed to prevent or treat convulsions. One drug that has been used for centuries is Phenobarbital. This is a relatively cheap drug that has been endorsed by the World Health Organization for seizures and convulsions related to epilepsy. However, Phenobarbital is a very addicting drug that a lot of patients and doctors would rather avoid using. They would prefer using other modalities that have less powerful side effects.

Some other drugs used for epilepsy include Depacom (sodium valproate), Tegretol (carbamazepine) and Dylantin (phenytoin). These drugs share typical side effects including unsteadiness when walking, sleepiness, and mood swings.

Other conventional treatments for epilepsy include brain surgery to extracting affected parts of the brain or remove brain tumors. Surgery is often sadly, considered when medications fail to help relieve epileptic symptoms. One other alternative that can be considered is neurostimulation which is a less radical approach to brain surgery.

Epileptic Seizures – Other Alternative Treatments

It has been observed that diet can play a huge role in the treatment of epilepsy. A poor diet often leads to many health conditions and this may also be true with epilepsy. For epilepsy, some doctors recommend a ketogenic diet which is a low carbohydrate, high-fat diet. Ketogenic diets have been proven to lower seizures by half in about 40% of children based on statistics posted in Wikipedia.
One other means to properly manage seizures is through lifestyle changes. For better epilepsy control, one can engage in highly stimulating activities, view television or diet modification. Other doctors suggest an elimination program to identify food triggers and thus avoid them.

Acupuncture has been found to treat certain forms of epileptic seizures by alleviating nerve excitement. One type of acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, has and is being used to cease or prevent epileptic seizures.

A study posted in the website of Health CMI, showed that epileptic seizures helped significantly lower the frequency of seizures when acupuncture was used in combination with conventional modalities. This means that epileptic patients do not need to forego their traditional treatments since acupuncture can make them more effective in helping manage epileptic conditions.

Consider Acupuncture for Treatment of Epilepsy

If you know someone suffering from epilepsy or if you yourself have this condition, acupuncture can greatly aid you with your problem. Talk to a qualified licensed acupuncturist who preferably specializes in epilepsy treatment and see how acupuncture can change your life for the better.


Davis Acupuncture Clinic
2043 Anderson Rd
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 400-1239

Can Acupuncture Work for Your Itch?

December 7, 2014   

The urge to scratch and the tingling of the skin is known as itching and is a reaction that acts as a protective response emanating from the brain. In most cases, itching does not cause harm although the uncomfortable sensation may cause skin damage due to too much and intense scratching of the skin. Acupuncture is a very old type of Asian treatment that has been known to treat itching. Before embarking on acupuncture therapy though, talk to your doctor first.

Causes of Itching

The possible causes of itching are varied, and range from dry skin to damaged nerves. There are four kinds of itch according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: psychogenic, pruriceptive, neurogenic and neuropathic.

Psychogenic itching

If you suffer from a psychogenic type of itch, this means your noripeniphrene and serotonin hormones are imbalanced. Prescribed medications for this type of itching include antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs.

Pruriceptive itching

This type of itching is due to damage to the skin caused by inflammation, eczema, drug reactions, hives and other factors.

Neurogenic itching

This type of itching is an effect of kidney and liver disease.

Neropathic itching

This itching may come about due to damage to the nervous system

Acupuncture Treatment for Itching

In order to address the patient’s specific symptoms, the acupuncturist needs to follow certain diagnostic procedures based on TCM practices. Since acupuncture treatments are unique for each patient, a lot of patients can be given different courses of treatment for similar conditions. The several acupuncture points used by practitioners are obviously to treat itching. Some of these points include GB 31 or Gallbladder 31 situated on the thigh. This acupoint is needled to treat itchy red skin. The UB 17 or Urinary bladder 17 is an important acupoint if you’re suffering from eczema, acne, hives and other skin disorders. This point is found near the spine at the back.


Peer reviewed studies that were posted in the “Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology” in 2010 analyzed the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating itch. The studies showed that acupuncture decreased the severity and spread of itching. The studies, were however, single case studies and involved subjects with few episodes of itching. The conclusion was that although acupuncture was a promising treatment for itching, more studies need to be done to validate its effectiveness.


Each year, millions of Americans receive acupuncture treatments. One huge reason for this is that this treatment has very little side effects, if any. Acupuncture is seen by many as a very safe procedure although under the hands of an unlicensed and inexperienced practitioner, it may cause complications and negative effects like punctured organs from improperly placed needles or infection due to poor sanitation. Be sure to check the credentials of your acupuncturist to avoid being treated by someone who does not have the proper medical training.


Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.