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An ancient and integral component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture is a form of treatment that strives to balance the life forces in the body, heal the body in a natural way, and promote physical and emotional well-being. Modern acupuncture helps maintain, promote, and restore the good health of the body. In the treatment of sciatica, Western medicine has provided scant evidence to prove that acupuncture does provide quality relief from sciatic pain. Nevertheless, in thousands of acupuncture clinical all over the United States, acupuncture is an alternative form of treatment that leads to pain alleviation in a number of patients.
How can acupuncture help alleviate sciatica? Acupuncture achieves this by:
-Promoting the regeneration of the sciatic nerve
-Raising noradrenalin and serotonin and levels that alleviates pain, boosts the patient’s sense of well-being, and accelerates the repair of nerves
-Improving the flow of blood resulting in better joint mobility and relaxing muscles that are in spasm or are tense resulting in pain
-Stimulating the nerves in affected muscles and other tissue in the body – Acupuncture can help boost endorphin levels in the body. Endorphins are natural body chemicals that help block pain signals from being received by the brain.
TCM theory states that in every part of the body, an inter-connection exists. Before the actual acupuncture treatment for insomnia in Miami takes place the acupuncturist will first discuss the symptoms with the patient and take a complete medical history of the patient.
If treatment is implemented as soon as the pain is first felt or if the injury has just occurred, acupuncture treatment of sciatica will be quite successful.
Comparing Acupuncture to Medication Therapy for Sciatica
NSAIDs are the most common forms of western conventional treatment for sciatica. These medications are known as anti-inflammatories and can adequately mask the pain albeit temporarily. But because of the many side effects such as liver damage and gastric irritation that come with these use of these drugs, NSAIDS are not recommended to be used in the long-term. Most anti-inflammatory, prescription pain, and over-the-counter medications are able to provide short-term sciatica pain relief by its ability to block out pain hormones such as prostaglandins.
These prostaglandins have the ability to open up the blood vessels improving circulation. So while these medications alleviate pain temporarily they also restrict the blood supply to the affected area as a result prolonging the patient’s recovery to good health.
Acupuncture can boost the flow of blood to the affected tissues which enables pain to subside, repairs damaged tissue, and helps relax the muscles responsible for the pain. Acupuncture increases circulation to the tissues that are causing the sciatica pain, helping the muscles to relax, the tissues to repair and the pain to subside. Improved blood flow to injured tissue can aid in the nourishment of the tissues, remove fatigue, and filter out pain-causing substances like lactic acid.
To make sure your sciatica is completely cured several rounds of acupuncture treatments will probably be needed. Performing meditation along with acupuncture treatment can be quite helpful in the treatment of sciatica; the relaxation techniques and breathing exercises can relieve tension, pain, and stress. The hip and back muscles are usually tense and tight in sciatica and may also spasm. Both acupuncture and meditation aid in releasing tension in order for the body to heal naturally.
The name of the painful wrist condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome is derived from the tunnel or tube that reeves through the carpal bones in the heel of the hand. The focal point of the pain is situated in the area where the hand and the wrist meet. Pressure bears on the median nerve if the size of the tunnel narrows, causing the pain and numbness that distinguishes carpal tunnel syndrome.
The median nerve is just below the tendons that can be identified when you turn your palm toward your face, make a fist, and squeeze. These tendons that pop up and run like railroad tracks side-by-side from your wrist to your hand.
Because a lot of people nowadays spend a great deal of time typing away on the keyboard of their computer, they tend to develop carpal tunnel syndrome which has now become a famous work-related condition.
Carpal tunnels syndrome can cause symptoms that often arise after people indulge on a new hobby or start a new job that forces them to use their finger and/or wrist in a repetitive manner. Men are less prone to this condition than women more so if the woman is between the ages of 40 and 70 or if she’s pregnant. The palm, wrist, and/or forearm are the body parts most affected by the pain. There are carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) patients who may experience a sharp pain when performing repetitive movements and there are patients who may feel a constant tingling or numbing of half of their ring finger, middle finger, index finger, or thumb. Nighttime is when these symptoms worsen. The pain may become so unbearable that in order to lessen the pain the sufferer has to wake up and shake his/ her hands. It’s common for CTS sufferers to have problems with fine motor skills, like crocheting or writing. The affected hand may frequently drop things due to the pain.
According to traditional Chinese medical, carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of three factors: wind, damp, and cold. Wind causes the symptoms of shooting pain in the nerve, damp causes the hand and forearm to feel achy and heavy, cold, makes the patient feel more pain when in a cold environment. These three factors prevent the smooth circulation of qi and blood in the arms.
To treat CTS, acupuncturists stimulate acupoints proximal to (near) the wrist by sticking a needle in and out of the point. The sensation you may feel may be a light electrical sensation that tends to relieve the numbness and pain and help relax the tendons. Various acupuncture techniques may be used to treat CTS. They include laser acupuncture, magnet therapy, electromagnetic acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, or acupuncture needles. More often than not, these may be complemented with moxibustion and/or Chinese herbal medicine.
Besides acupuncture treatment CTS sufferers are advised to refrain from activities that might worsen the condition of the wrists. They may include performing acrobatic activities, doing assembly work, working at a computer, and prolonged writing with a pen or pencil.
Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center
6840 Dykes Road
Pembroke Pines, FL 33331
Phone: (954) 880-0090
For followers and practitioners of acupuncture, the condition of endometriosis is just another health issue to deal with and heal. Scientists, however, have a different way of looking at this treatment. They consider acupuncture as merely a pacifier or a way to trick the mind that a health condition is being cured. They explain that women suffering from endometriosis may see positive outcomes from the treatment because of the optimism that a possible cure can bring.
Can Acupuncture Really Treat Endometriosis?
To determine whether or not a link in the relief of endometriosis symptoms and acupuncture exists, we need to understand what the fundamental principles of acupuncture are.
Acupuncture is an important part of TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine that works with a life force known as chi existing in each individual.
The normal unimpeded flow of chi in the body of a person means that the person enjoys good health and can put him/her in tune with his/her environment. A blockage or disruption in this flow in our body or in nature will lead to sickness and destruction.
TCM corrects this problem by using modalities such as acupuncture to restore the proper flow of chi which results in the bringing of pain relief and the reversal of sickness in the person. Acupuncture achieves this with the use of filiform needles that are stuck into specific points in the body known as acupoints where the flow of chi can travel undisturbed.
If the balance of chi is brought back, the process of self-healing can commence. This outcome is quite attractive to the Western World and because it really works, it can be used to help a person to think better, relax and lead a healthy happy life. Acupuncture is now a very popular form of alternative treatment in the United States and Europe.
It helps to know how endometriosis develops in order to better understand how acupuncture can cure this condition.
During the menstrual cycle of a female, her uterus develops an inner lining known as the endometrium. This lining is where the fetus attaches itself after successful conception. If the fertilization process does not occur, the endometrium lining will be eliminated from the body through menstruation.
However, there are instances when the endometrium goes to other parts of the body, resulting in the disruption of certain body functions, scarring, and internal bleeding. This condition is known as endometriosis and females who have this usually experience progressive and intense body pain.
The way physicians address this is by controlling the patient’s estrogen levels, or by prescription painkillers to help the patient deal with the pain caused by the disease. One other treatment alternative option for endometriosis is surgery. Surgery removes the misplaced endometrial tissue and adhesions and scarring.
A lot of times however, these Western conventional treatment provide inadequate symptomatic relief forcing a number of sufferers to turn to alternative therapies to either complement the conventional treatments or to use these alternative treatments as a standalone option for curing endometriosis.
When the patient first comes in for acupuncture treatment, the practitioner will ask the patient a number of questions regarding certain aspects about her life and her menstrual cycle. Each patient is treated in a different way and the acupoints selected for treatment will differ from person to person. However, the most common acupoints selected by acupuncturists are located on the legs, stomach, back, ears, and neck.
Chinese herbal medicine is also used alongside acupuncture in treating endometriosis. Herbal remedies are formulated based on the patient’s needs and act in conjunction with the acupoints chosen.
The inserted needles re-channel the flow of chi which helps the patient feel stronger and better giving her body the ability to overcome endometriosis. This means that acupuncture does not cure endometriosis per se but aids the body in curing the condition by itself.
Experts believe that acupuncture helps in a number of ways. It relieves the symptoms of discomfort and pain by releasing endorphins in the body and makes it easier for the female to relax. Acupuncture also boosts the circulation to the stomach thus helping promote healing.
If you have endometriosis and are interested in getting acupuncture for the relief of your symptoms, you need to talk to your doctor first and ask him/her about acupuncture and other available treatments that can be good for you. If your doctor gives you the go ahead for acupuncture, you need to look for a licensed acupuncturist in your area.
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.
Sadly, around 200,000 women living in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Despite the proliferation of information on how and what Western medical treatments are useful for treating breast cancer, therapies that can help prevent this deadly disease from occurring are quite unknown. Regardless if a woman is predisposed or not to breast cancer, there are certain ways one can follow that can help them prevent the rise of this greatly feared condition. Few people are aware that men can also develop breast cancer although cases for this are quite rare accounting for just a mere 2% of all breast cancer cases.
The causes of breast cancer are varied. They include prolonged estrogen exposure of the breast tissue brought about by external and endogenous factors such as an accumulation of pesticides, contaminated water, food additives and other environmental toxins, unresolved mental and physical stress, lack of exercise, and a poor diet.
Breast Cancer from the Viewpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Based on the theories of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a lot of breast conditions have the same root problem processes and are also related. The ability of TCM to diagnose these processes before any symptoms appear makes it easy to diagnose and treat the diseases in their initial stages. And by identifying these conditions in their early or initial stages, preventing these diseases from advancing to a much more serious stage (like cancer) is very good.
TCM practitioners believe that all breast diseases have as their underlying cause stagnation of vital energy and blood. The body, according to TCM, has within itself a form of vital energy known as qi that circulates throughout the body through invisible routes known as meridians in the same way blood travels through blood vessels such as veins, capillaries, arteries, etc. Any blockage of disruption of this movement in the entire system or locally leads to an imbalance in the body.
TCM has this saying that “if there is free flow, there is no pain.” The question then is what is it that is not flowing freely that can lead to pain? There are three things in TCM that flow in the body. They are the Body Fluids, Blood, and Qi.
A blockage of Qi will also interrupt the flow of lymph material and blood since it is Qi the moves these two essential materials in the body, as well.
A blockage of Qi is called stagnation of Qi in TCM. This stagnation leads to lumps, pain, or distention. Blood Stasis is a condition in which the Blood is not flowing. This can result in clotting in the menstrual blood, or stabbing or intense pain. Lastly, if the fluids are not flowing, a condition known as phlegm nodulation or damp accumulation can causes that can lead to cysts, and sensations of heaviness or swollenness. Although they do not necessarily result in cancer, these underlying problems are the processes almost found in all types of breast diseases, including breast cancer.
More and more breast cancer patients consider acupuncture to have some of their symptoms observed and treated. In terms of breast conditions the most commonly complained are:
-Mastitis or breast abscesses
-Fluid filled sacs or cysts
-Benign masses or fibroadenomas
-Breast soreness and premenstrual breast pain
Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are the two primary modes of treatment used for breast diseases. As a rule, herbal medicine is used over acupuncture if it is observed a lot of physical changes in the breast tissue have occurred. However, acupuncture is still a very important part of treatment because of its ability to produce immediate treatment and relief of anxiety, pain, and swelling.
The needling of the correct acupoints results in the removal of the blockages the caused Qi and fluid stagnation. This leads to the quick relief of the swelling and pain and are some of the reasons why acupuncture for breast disease treatment is growing in popularity.
Pain and breast soreness that presage menstruation are actually the two most commonly heard complaints involving breast diseases. These conditions are relatively harmless but still, correcting them should be a priority as they may lead to more serious and deadly conditions
The moment breast symptoms related to PMS start to appear, acupuncture treatment should be given and repeated as often as possible until the female reaches her first day of menstruation. This protocol can be done again the next month and if treatment is combined with a proper change in lifestyle and diet, the symptoms tend to become less prolonged or severe. The protocol should be continuous till the symptoms have completely vanished. Usually after three to six cycles of menstruation will premenstrual breast distention be resolved.
Besides preventing the rise of PMS breast soreness, maintaining the free flow of the qi of the breast can also help prevent any development of cysts, tumors, and even cancers in the breast.
Individuals who suffer from food allergies or substances such as animal dander, molds, or pollen are always in search for the best cure of their problem. Unfortunately, though, the proliferation of over-the-counter allergy medications does not mean a guaranteed resolution of their allergies since most of these have proven ineffective. Besides that, these sufferers may still have to endure the side effects that come with the use of these medications. Allergy problems can be much more effectively addressed through the use of an alternative treatment known as acupuncture.
The major reasons for using these types of treatments are to get rid of the symptoms of allergies as well as to correct the underlying problem responsible for the development of the condition as well as to prevent the occurrence of future allergy attacks. These are reasons why acupuncture is considered to be a truly unique type of allergy cure. It may be a good idea to discuss what an allergy is before we begin to understand why acupuncture works for this type of problem.
What exactly are allergies?
Allergies develop when the immune system becomes imbalanced. Seasonal allergies often arise due to wind borne allergens. What are allergens? These are things that trigger allergy reactions in a person. There are different types of allergies. They include respiratory allergies, seasonal allergies, skin allergies, and food allergies.
Acupuncture uses specific meridians points to treat a specific allergy problem. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners believe that the principal cause of most health problems is the obstruction to the different areas of the body. Acupuncture is used to remove this obstruction to guarantee the free flow of energy.
For people who are having problems with food allergies and facing symptoms such as vomiting or nausea, acupuncture can guarantee them a cure from these dysfunctions. This is basically because this alternative type of remedy gives relief by addressing the real reason for the occurrence of these problems.
Acupuncture also aids a person to rid if his allergies related to asthma as well as heal the tissues in the sinuses.
Acupuncture generally stimulates the acupoints that help restore or improve the normal flow of energy.
What’s the best way to undergo these kinds of treatments?
Because an acupuncture needle involves the insertion of needles right into predetermined acupoints to resolve a condition, you always need to undergo treatment only under the guidance or the skilled hands of a licensed and qualified acupuncturist.
This article is created to provide the reader with a better concept of how allergies can be effectively eliminated through the use of alternative therapies such as acupuncture in case other forms of conventional therapies fail to produce satisfactory results. It is important to remember that when performed in the right manner, acupuncture and other forms of alternative treatment, and under the supervision of an expert, can provide you with a cure or maximal relief of your allergies.
Most of us know where our thyroid gland is located but few know that it is an organ that serves to regulate metabolism and preserves the normal balance of calcium levels in the body. The thyroid gland has two lobes on both sides of our windpipe and both lobes are made up cells known as parafollicular cells and follicular cells with a large part of the tissue made up of follicular cells that manufacture the iodine possessing T3 and T4. Calcitonin is produced by the parafollicular cells.
The hormones T3 and T4 hormones coming from the follicular cells are needed by the body to help normalize metabolism, regulate the utilization of oxygen in the hard working cells and boost protein production. In order for the cells to develop and function well, it needs proteins to utilize and release energy from digested nutrients. The process in which nutrients is converted into proteins is known as metabolism or the metabolic process. If T3 and T4 are inadequate in the body, the cells will be unable to function normally. This causes the metabolic process to either decrease or increase resulting in hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism respectively. To balance the levels of calcium in the body, the calcitonin coming from the parafollicular cells interacts with another chemical produced by the parathyroid hormone. The thyroid gland’s activity is usually kept normal by a hormone known as TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) produced by the pituitary gland.
What role does the thyroid gland contribute to health? Well, if this small but very important gland malfunctions and produces too little or too much T3 or T4, then the metabolic process of your body will not function properly. An imbalance of the thyroid is diagnosed through laboratory results. Usually TSH levels are measured but if the doctor sees that your T3 or T4 levels are off, you probably will be diagnosed with a thyroid condition. Too little thyroid activity would mean hypothyroidism and too much activity would imply hyperthyroidism. Radiation or surgery to relieve or extract the hyperactive gland, and drugs such as levothyroxine to replace T4 (for a weak functioning gland) are the Western modes of treatment for a malfunctioning thyroid gland.
Women are more prone to thyroid conditions than men, and unless women have a genetic predisposition to a faulty thyroid, these conditions come about more so as women near menopause. Hypothyroid sufferers would often feel cold and have problems regulating their temperature. Fatigue and weight gain is also experienced since metabolism is affected. Hyperthyroidism symptoms, on the other hand, manifest symptoms opposite that of hypothyroidism and they include an inflamed thyroid gland (goiter), weight loss, insomnia, palpitations, flushing, nervousness, and anxiety.
Acupuncture can be used to restore balance to the thyroid gland and bring back the under or over active thyroid back to its normal function. Acupuncture has the power to effectively treat endocrine disorders and diseases. Its relaxing benefits have an effect on hormone and brain activity inside the body. Besides the power to directly treat the thyroid, this ancient Chinese healing technique can also be a very valuable way to resolve the undesirable symptoms of thyroid conditions. Acupuncture for the treatment of thyroid conditions involves the use of filamentous needles painlessly stuck in the ears (ear acupuncture). To enhance the treatment, Chinese herbal remedies are also given to the patient to either subdue or enhance the function of the thyroid. Herbal remedies such as ginger, mint, or ginseng are oftentimes used.
The importance of iodine for the proper function of the thyroid gland must be emphasized since the typical American diet oftentimes lacks this very important element. You can augment iodine into your diet by supplementing it with sea salt, or seaweed, which are both rich in iodine to help improve the function of your thyroid gland. If you suffer from hypothyroidism, you must know that taking levothyroxine or other medications that contains synthetic T4 (to augment the T4 deficiency caused by this condition), will cause the body to adjust its own TSH or thyroid hormone levels. The result might be increased side effects and a rapid switching of hormone levels. If you would rather avoid surgery or drugs, then Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are natural and sensible alternatives you should consider to help manage and resolve your thyroid condition.