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A poor sex drive in a woman may be due to a variety of factors; these factors often differ from woman to woman. Multiple roles that women are forced to assume, daily responsibilities and fatigue as well as other psychological and emotional causes can all be causes for a woman’s poor sexual desire or female sexual dysfunction. In order to know how Chinese Medicine can help improve a woman’s sex drive, one needs to know the underlying cause(s) of the problem. Some reasons for a woman’s low sexual desire include her inability to reach orgasm, pain during intercourse, hormonal imbalances, relationship problems, weight gain, stress, side effects of drugs, onset of menopause, breastfeeding, post-childbirth and emotional problems. Anxiety disorders and depression can also affect sexual desire, and even the drugs that treat these conditions can contribute to low sex drive.
Female Sexual Dysfunction – Chinese Medicine Treatment
Chinese Medicine has tools to treat female sexual dysfunction (FSD). In treating this condition, Chinese medicine practitioners target the Kidneys although the Heart, Bladder, Spleen and Liver can also be affected to a lesser degree and so may be targeted for treatment, as well. One of the most important functions of the kidney is its being a receptacle for Jing or Essence. Jing along with Shen (spirit) and Qi (energy) are the three of Chinese medicine’s most important elements in the provenance and nurturing of life.
A low libido is not the only thing Chinese Medicine can treat when dealing with FSD. This eastern modality can address other FSD issues including:
Chinese Medicine often sees female sexual dysfunction as the result of two factors: Blood Stasis in the lower stomach and Kidney Yang deficiency. Some of the symptoms arising in both women and men from inadequacy in Kidney Yang include low back pain, fatigue, cold limbs and frequent clear urination. When Kidney Yang deficiency is severe, a weakness in Mingmen (Life Gate) fire can occur resulting in cold symptoms. Migmmen may likewise refer to a woman’s uterus or to any part of the body between the kidneys. The Kidney Yang and the Mingmen must be warmed in order to restore balance in the body in instances when Kidney Yang deficiency is manifest.
When Blood Stasis is the underlying problem for FSD, there is usually blockage to Blood and Qi flow transpiring in the lower stomach that hinders blood flow to the genitals. A tender and tight sensation on palpation of the lower stomach region is usually an indication of Blood Stasis. The aim of the treatment is to resolve the stagnation in the lower stomach, and restore normal circulation to the problem area.
Retinitis pigmentosa is considered a hereditary disease and involves peripheral vision loss. This condition results in the gradual breakdown of the cones and rods in the retina. Over the course of time, this disease gradually impairs the peripheral vision of the person. The condition may leave the central vision of the person intact until it totally affects the entire eye leading to blindness in the person. Acupuncture has recently been shown to help people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The following are some frequently asked questions relating to acupuncture treatment of RP.
1. When you have been diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, when should acupuncture treatment be started?
Treatment of retinitis pigmentosa should be started the soonest possible time to make it more effective. Since this condition leads to a gradual worsening of your vision, which inexorably leads to blindness, an early diagnosis and treatment of this disease will help preserve the full integrity of your vision.
2. What difference does it make if you use Chinese herbs exclusively (or acupuncture exclusively) without the need to combine them in RP treatment?
Traditional Chinese medicine (which includes Chinese herbal therapy) and acupuncture are often used together to treat RP. Combining Chinese herbs and acupuncture is important for a couple of reasons. Chinese herbs are needed to address any underlying problems that cause the RP. These causes can include chronic inflammation, autoimmune and metabolic problems. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is important to halt further degeneration of your vision by boosting blood circulation to the eye thereby providing nutrients that allows the visual centers of the brain, photoreceptor cells and the optic nerve to heal and restore their normal healthy function.
3. Are there any long term results that acupuncture treatment provides?
One can already experience improvements in vision during the initial week of treatment and they can last for as long as six months. Follow up treatment is needed to preserve the effects of the treatment.
4. How many sessions of treatment do I need to experience the fullest results of the treatment?
In the treatment of RP, there is an initial assessment phase in which the patient’s response rate to acupuncture is determined and his/her need for ongoing maintenance. The patient needs to be thoroughly examined before actual treatment begins. A baseline needs to be established first to properly evaluate the patient’s progress. Improvement of the patient’s vision needs to be measured to see if the treatment works. This initial stage may require five days of intensive treatment. If an improvement is seen, the intensive treatment may continue for another week. The next stage involves further treatments twice or thrice per year with each session lasting one to two weeks.
5. Is intensive therapy much better than long-term therapies and do individuals normally require more than one round of therapy?
They both are equally effective. If you want immediate results, you need to undergo intensive therapy that needs to be followed up with treatments to help maintain the benefits of the intensive therapy. Long-term treatments, on other hand, lead to progressive results and need to be continued on a regular basis to halt the further erosion of vision.
6. How effective is traditional acupuncture when compared to laser acupuncture?
The effectiveness of a treatment is relative to the patient. Each patient reacts to different treatments in a unique way. This is no different when it comes to laser and traditional acupuncture. Laser acupuncture is a novel type of acupuncture that uses low intensity laser energy to stimulate treatment instead of needles. For patients who have a fear of needles, laser acupuncture is definitely a much better option.
7. There are certain cases where acupuncture simply does not work, why?
Since acupuncture works by transmitting signals to the brain to activate certain functions of the body, a brain damaged by disease or physical injury may not respond to the stimulus elicited by acupuncture causing the treatment to fail and produce the desired result. Other factors that can impede the positive effects of acupuncture include certain prescription medications and extreme emotional trauma.
Alida van Heerden is a licensed New York acupuncturist and a NADA certified acupuncture detoxification specialist.
Both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel have determined that acupuncture is a proper form of treatment for conditions directly related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. These include:
Furthermore, acupuncture has also been regarded as a potent way of reducing stress and resolving problems that trigger IBS symptoms including:
Like Tai Chi, acupuncture, is a very old form of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is performed by a trained and licensed practitioner who balances the energy of the body known as Qi by needling certain areas known as acupuncture points to stimulate the meridians (energy pathways) underneath the skin to enable the proper flow of Qi. These meridians normalize all psychological and mental processes. They are either activated or sedated to bring back balance to the flow of Qi.
Traditional Chinese medicine’s view on acupuncture mirrors the theory that the body comprises an emotional, spiritual, mental physical system that is holistic and complex and that the balance of its energy determines the state of health of the body. This means that an imbalanced Qi flow brings about dis-ease. To restore balance to Qi and to resolve dis-ease, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners (acupuncturists) usually use acupuncture in combination with dietary therapy and Chinese herbal remedies.
Acupuncture can help boost the flow of energy or remove the obstructions in the meridians through the use of hair thin needles inserted at specific acupuncture points in the body. It is important to note that your acupuncturist should only use disposable, sterile and single-use needles to prevent infections.
There are literally thousands of acupuncture points (acupoints) scattered throughout the human body and each one is connected to a specific organ system. The patient may feel a slight heaviness, warmth, aching or tingling sensation once the needles are pricked into the skin. A lot of patients profess no pain sensation from the needles; however, they may feel an unusual sensation that is neither discomforting nor unpleasant.
Sometimes, the needles are manipulated or heated with burnt moxa leaves to heighten the stimulation and make the treatment more potent. One acupuncture treatment may last for as short as five minutes to as long as a full hour. This depends on how well the patient responds to the treatment.
How many sessions of acupuncture are needed will depend on the acupuncturist and the condition being treated although usually they may range from one to several sessions in one week over a certain period of weeks or months. For the alleviation of pain, six sessions are usually needed to obtain significant results. If no relief from pain is achieved after ten sessions, the acupuncturist will deem the treatment as unsuccessful and will discontinue treatment. Treatments gradually lessen over time as the dis-ease gets better, though follow up treatment may be required from time to time to maintain the results.
Studies Done Regarding IBS and Acupuncture Treatment
We can cite a study that has been done that has observed the effectiveness of acupuncture vis-à-vis relaxation therapy in IBS patients. The study discovered that the gastrointestinal symptoms and the quality-of-life of both groups improved with acupuncture treatment with a notable improvement in stomach pain. However, after a month-lasting post trial period, the group given acupuncture therapy was the only group that attained long-lasting pain relief. Moreover, a substantial lowering in stress perception was also seen in this group and not in the relaxation group. The study administrators concluded that acupuncture can indeed effectively treat IBS, especially its stress and pain symptoms, and that its potency exceeds that of conventional relaxation therapy.
There is no doubt that acupuncture indeed provides relief from pain and resolves the other symptoms of IBS; the question Western medicine asks is how does acupuncture do it and if it does really achieve what it claims to achieve. One theory that tries to explain this phenomenon is that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release neurotransmitters known as endorphins that prevents pain signals from reaching the spinal cord and brain. Research has discovered that acupuncture affects the conduction of neural signals in the brain, which boosts the flow of blood to the area of the brain responsible for sending pain impulses into the body.
No one in the Western medical community knows how and why these changes happen. They probably will never know unless they accept the reality of Qi. For those suffering from the telltale symptoms of IBS, including constipation, diarrhea and daily pain, they wouldn’t care a bit as to how and why acupuncture works just as long as it helps them overcome their condition. The end result is what really matters, not the underlying reasons why it works.
The success of alternative healing techniques such as acupuncture, Tai Chi or even mediation cannot be explained without putting Qi into the picture. All these modalities have been proven successful for a wide range of conditions and because Western medicine cannot explain how they work, these therapies often come with the label “no proven therapeutic claim.” This label is misleading since they do have some therapeutic claims that are usually anecdotal in nature. But those who have gotten well using these modalities do not care at all what western medicine says about them. They just know that they work. Western medicine sees IBS as a psychosomatic problem, which is an excuse for its complete lack of understanding of the condition and its failure to come up with an effective cure or even a treatment for it. The most important thing for a treatment is the results it can accomplish. So if something helps relieve or prevent an IBS episode, then it should be considered a valid form of remedy for the condition. Of course, it would be desirable to know how and why the treatment works but if the treatment has no side effects and helps the patient get well, then why stop it at all?
Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.
Most of us get dry skin during the cold months of winter. There are others who may suffer from it all year round. Dry skin can lead to sensations of tenderness, burning, itchiness, scaling or discomfort upon touch. The most common treatment for this condition is skin creams that, sad to say, are loaded with toxic substances that may work their way into a person’s blood stream. The good news, though, is that natural alternatives are available that can help treat dry skin in a safe and effective way. Listed below are few tips to help your overcome and prevent the onset of dry skin
1. Chinese Herbs
Chinese herbs are especially useful in resolving severe types of dry skin. They can help nourish the skin by boosting fluid production in the body. Chinese Herbs help restore balance in the body by regulating the functions of the organ systems to resolve the manifestations of dry skin.
2. Get acupuncture
Dry skin is a sign of an internal imbalance. Like Chinese herbs, acupuncture helps restore balance in the body by supplying the organ systems with adequate energy and blood to help rectify the imbalance. It can also aid the body by conveying fluids to the tissues in a more efficient manner. Dry skin can come about from several possible pathologies. It can be caused by a weakness of the Lung Qi or by dryness in the Lung, to cite a few examples. Skin dryness on the face can be a pathological indication of an energetic imbalance, specifically, a Kidney essence condition. Dry skin that is accompanied by a burning sensation or a reddish skin can mean that there is an excess of heat in the meridians. It may also be due to a deficiency in blood energy that causes cold deficiency and poor moisture of the body. It is the job of the acupuncturist to determine what exactly is causing your dry skin problem and treat it accordingly.
3. Consume more moistening foods
Dry skin, in particular and dry body (dry cough, dry throat, dry mucus membranes, and dry skin), in general, can easily be resolved by eating moistening foods. They may include barley malt, honey, sesame seed, pine nut, almond, seaweed, loquat, persimmon, apple, pear, millet, barley, and spinach.
4. Drink adequate amounts of fluids every day.
This is the easiest way to treat or prevent the drying of your body and skin. Obviously if your body does not get the right amounts of water it needs, the tissues suffer because fluids cannot be transported to them. Lessen the amount of caffeine you consume as caffeine tends to increase your urine output leaving your body depleted. Lemon added to the water you drink can improve your body’s water absorption. Pear juice has a moistening quality and so can improve the Lung Qi in your body. This Qi controls the functions of the skin.
Ivelisse DeJongh is a Miami acupuncturist and the medical director at DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic.
A lot of people are pleasantly surprised when they hear that Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can be used to treat anemia symptoms like pale complexion, weakness and fatigue. These traditional Chinese medicine modalities have been used for thousands of years to treat several blood conditions including anemia. Anemia is actually the most common blood disorder in the world that can cause shortness of breath and heart palpitations.
It has been shown in numerous clinical studies that acupuncture raises the serum ferratin levels of a person and lowers TIBC pr Total Iron Binding Capacity. TIBS is a way to measure the body’s capacity to bind iron.
These studies all used the three leg mile (hsu san li) acupoint which has a history of helping strengthen the body to a point that the person can walk an additional three miles after walking all day. The treatment of this acupoint is known to better the function of the spleen.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners including acupuncturists believe that one of the functions of the spleen is to process food. When the proper acupoints are stimulated, the body’s ability to absorb iron and nutrients is improved. The proper treatment of those acupoints (including the three leg mile point) can resolve the anemia related symptoms of shortness of breath, palpitations, paleness, and tiredness.
A proper diet also needs to be implemented along with acupuncture when addressing anemia. Acupuncture, however, is the catalyst that can boost the function of digestion and absorption of the body.
Acupuncturists know the locations of the pressure points that need to be needled when treating a certain condition. The needles used for acupuncture therapy are not the same as hypodermic needles used to draw blood or inject a vaccine. Acupuncture needles are ten times thinner than these needles and may vary in length.
The acupuncturist may apply certain stimulation techniques once the needles are inserted into the skin. He can twist the needles in certain directions or lift it up and down for a few times to generate a more powerful stimulating effect.
Patients usually complain that iron supplements tend to make them constipated.
Acupuncturists need to also determine the underlying cause of their patients’ anemia in order to implement the right kind of treatment that will result in numerous long-term benefits for their patients.
Chinese herbs and acupuncture are reliable ways to boost nutrient absorption and resolve the symptoms of anemia.
Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center
6840 Dykes Road
Pembroke Pines, FL 33331
Phone: (954) 880-0090