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August 2016
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For Really Good Results Back Pain Sufferers Should Turn To Acupuncture

August 26, 2016   

Persistent back pain sufferers would be wise to go to a practitioner who is skillfully trained in acupuncture in Vancouver. This treatment has proven to be of great benefit for people with persistent back pain as it is known to relieve pain when all other treatments have failed.

A proven but ancient way of healing, acupuncture is a process in which filiform needles are stuck into different pre-determined points on the body known as acupuncture points or acupoints. It is a surprisingly painless treatment even if needles are used as the means of generating symptomatic relief. Acupuncture originated from China and besides being used to relieve pain, it also is used to promote general health, prevent and treat various types of diseases, and for other therapeutic purposes. For millennia, this treatment has been practiced throughout the world.

Acupuncture, in theory, works through a process that leads to a balance of body function, and in the restoration of normal flow qi or energy and blood that guides in the self healing of the body. The procedure usually lasts more or less 30 minutes (about 15 to 20 minutes). It has the ability to treat chronic and acute conditions, lessen anxiety and stress, speed up the healing process, and aid smokers in stopping smoking, among many other health benefits. It does not need the use of any type of drug in the treatment process. It is based on a holistic and natural type of treatment that has no serious side effects over time.

For hundreds millions of people around the world, back pain is a problem that has become so troublesome, unbearable and debilitating that over the counter and prescription medication won’t anymore be enough to relieve the pain. Most of them are forced to consult with their doctors who oftentimes really have no means of treating their condition. Back pain does not only affect the elderly although it is more common in this age group. It can be due to various causes including arthritis, poor posture, or accidental injury. Mild or serious back pain sufferers oftentimes turn to pain medications that initially and temporarily ameliorate the pain. The pain keeps on returning though. Acupuncture can be extremely effective for back pain, especially, for back pain that keeps on recurring. It can provide pain relief that lasts for months, years or even forever. For chronic back pain sufferers, acupuncture can help a great deal in developing their level of activity.

Being a safe procedure, acupuncture has shown positive results for other conditions that may be causing the back pain. Most patients can begin to notice a difference in just a single visit. Depending on the degree and cause of the pain, back pain sufferers may expect one to multiple treatments enough to heal or even completely cure the pain. One huge benefit the treatment provides is that it can treat the original complaint or issue that has developed even years after. The treatment helps boost your range of motion and can bolster your back muscles enabling you to better manage your pain.

Drug therapy for back pain is merely a palliative that leads to side effects over time. Acupuncturists will recommend patients to make a few modifications in their lifestyle in order to prevent the return of the pain in the future. A healthy immune system, as we all know, is important for the maintenance of good health. One of the greatest advantages of acupuncture is that is helps strengthen your immune system.

So, if you are in dire need of relief from your back pain, instead of instinctively reaching for a painkiller in the medicine cabinet, look for a licensed acupuncturist who has experience in treating back pain. The results will astound you.

How the NADA Protocol Significantly Transformed the Face of Substance Abuse Rehabilitation

August 25, 2016   

For over 2,000 years, acupuncture has been a traditional way of treating people suffering from various types of discomforts and diseases. It is based on association of specific locations and a form of bioelectric energy moving within the body whose function is to support health. Its practice is regulated throughout the U.S.

A lot of well-known alternative healing practices follow the same principles that acupuncture is based on. These include Qi Gong, shiatsu, reiki, reflexology, and acupressure. Micro-acupuncture needles work on small areas of the body that are known to help restore and balance bodily functions. Used in this regard are the points on the ears, scalp, hands, and feet

In the United States, there are more than 2,000 alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs who have integrated ear acupuncture (auriculotherapy) into their protocol. This move was inspired by the more than three decades experience of the Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, New York, which administered 100 acupuncture treatments each day for the treatment of alcohol, drug, and other types of substance addiction. An offshoot of the Lincoln experience is the Miami Drug Court which is nationally recognized.

A foundation for psycho-social recovery and rehabilitation is what acupuncture provides. This treatment is meant to be a supportive element of a substance abuse treatment and also helps the patient for job readiness.

Overall functioning is improved through the several benefits that acupuncture provides. These benefits include acupuncture’s ability to:

– Help in reaching resistant patients
– Lower agitation and anxiety while contributing to receptive and calm behavior
– Help bring out an interior meditative core in even the most fearful and troubled individuals

The most common acupuncture technique used to treat addiction is auriculotherapy. Treatments are usually administered in large groups during for 45 minutes during which time patients are told to sit quietly together. This treatment protocol is known as the NADA or the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol. Certain laws in many jurisdictions allow the training of clinical personnel who are then licensed to implement this protocol in facilities approved by the state. Some states such as California and Florida that have no such provision have very few NADA programs as compared to states that have these standards like New York and Virginia. Training for NADA includes integration with social services and sterile precautions. For those interested to work at NADA programs, apprenticeship training is required.

This present century has seen a significant rise in the use of the NADA protocol. Community members provided post-trauma treatments to victims of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. Treatments have been permanently introduced for firemen in both New Orleans and New York. In the UK, 130 prisons are now using acupuncture NADA protocol. All the treatments are given by correction officers who have undergone a five-year training sponsored by Smart-UK. The result of all this was an 80% decrease in violent incidents. In India, he NADA protocol has helped thousands in the military who were suffering from suicidal tendencies and stress.

In Northern Europe, the method of psychiatric hospital care has been radically changed by NADA acupuncture. A hundred public facilities have trained three thousand nurses for this procedure. The result was a significant reduction in the use of the drug benzodiazepine and much less use of seclusion. In war ravaged areas, services for refugees have been especially remarkable. In Thailand, the DARE program for several years have provided ear acupuncture for dozens of Burmese tribes living in camps near the border. In May 2008, in East Africa, the Real Medicine Foundation gave a two-week NADA training for treatment of people living in refugee camps. In just one year, 29,000 treatments have been administered by trainees living in these camps.

For children who have bed wetting problems, or suffering from night tremors, autism spectrum disorders, or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and adolescents who are prone to violence magnetic beads have been used as treatment. This technique is in the early stage of evaluation although countries such as the Philippines, Ireland, England, Germany, and the U.S have already reported some measure of success.

Being an inexpensive and safe treatment, the ear acupuncture protocol obviously has a potential for wider usage in the field of psychiatry.

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

Profound Experiences Can Be Felt During Acupuncture Treatments

August 16, 2016   

Central to a lot of healing treatment from ancient Shamanic healing to Jungian psychoanalysis is the concept of The Shadow. In new age way of thinking, the healer is the one who traditionally treks into the nether world on behalf of his/her “patient.” The truth is, when properly understood the art of healing can be a terrific way to understand what goes on when a person is being healed.

One cannot talk about the health of the modern person without including the environment. Every day and all day since birth, a person has been asked to process stimuli or information that often is in conflict with the way we see ourselves, our beliefs, and ideals. To prevent us from going mad, our mind develops a repository in which to store things that does not fit our environment. This repository cannot be accessed by anything or anyone until it has been judged harshly by other or ourselves. And so, in order to match our environment, we start to deny who we really are.

Within this repository are raw traumas that have been very difficult to endure. For it to not affect our health, all you need to do is release the trauma completely which implies that one needs to experience all the pain and discomfort that comes with it. But to continue to participate in society, we would rather hold onto the shadow as much as we can. The shadow, however, naturally wants to come out and it needs to come out.

What does this all mean? It is no accident that we have certain traits that have been considered undesirable by society. We have them for a reason. During our birth, our traits prepare us and are ready to help us on our paths to life. They were meant to aid us when we need them and especially designed for us and only for us.

Some Boynton Beach acupuncturists have discovered that deep healing happens for several reasons during an acupuncture procedure. Some of them have observed that during acupuncture, people tend to escape linear time. They transcend the three dimensional world of reactions, demands, and schedules. A lot of times, all that pulls them down, they are able to let go. They also go to a space where both their subconscious and conscious mind can integrate and mingle with each other and they are moved closer and closer towards wholeness (oneness) when this happens.

One of the phrases closest to my heart is the saying, “Illness helps us manifest our destiny.” For me, this means that your symptoms are your guides. Respect and heed them since they bring you to a much closer alignment to whom you really are and always push you into being more creative and guide you towards more joy.

Vanity Calamity and Mei Zen Acupuncture

August 16, 2016   

Calamity is defined as something that brings severe affliction, lingering distress, or terrible loss; a disaster.

Vanity Calamity results in two phenomena. One, it leads to an obsession on how we look as we get older. Second, it gives us an impetus to try almost anything to look attractive again –implants, peeling, injected, suction, and others to satisfy our needs.

Let’s first talk about the first phenomenon. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look vibrant and young once more. Everybody wants to look good and there is no question that maintaining or attaining a young healthy look requires some kind of action since time waits for no one. And to help you with your dream of being an ageless beauty, one of the best and safest treatments I recommend to suspend the effects of aging is cosmetic acupuncture, or more specifically, Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture, which is tangential to the second phenomena.

What is Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture?

Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture is a superficial needling technique that originated in China thousands of years ago. In this procedure, the needling of the face causes an increase in blood and Qi flow to enhance the production of elastin and collagen to the targeted areas of the face. Besides the facial acupoints, the Mei Zen acupuncturist also selects specific acupoints on the body to consummate the balance of energy, in accordance with the principles of TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine. The result is a general rejuvenating effect not only on the body but on the spirit and mind, as well. Skincare, lifestyle, and diet are also analyzed and addressed. The end of Vanity Calamity is on the horizon when we use Chinese Medicine to improve and maintain our health and youthful appearance whilst enjoying cosmetic enhancements at the same time.

The endless and continuous obsession with looking more beautiful and younger and the point to which a lot of people are willing to go to attain it are the main concerns of the Mei Zen practitioner. This obsession is responsible for the insane popularity of Botox injection in which Americans spent billions of dollars in a bid to eradicate wrinkles and look young once more. Yes, the beautifying industry is huge a business. There are dozens of procedures to make your chin, cheeks, or lips look plump, make the skin sag less, and help remove wrinkles.

Psychologically speaking, attractiveness often translates to positive outcomes and the more attractive you are, the higher your chance of being perceived as intelligent, finding a mate, and getting a job. People are conditioned to believe that the more beautiful or attractive a person is, the more intelligent she or he is. It’s a simple and plain fact that our society emphasizes beauty to a very high degree and has done so for centuries. We despise the effects of aging and aging itself unlike in several other cultures. The media especially Hollywood has led us to believe that getting “old” is not cool and so most beauty treatments are aimed at removing the effects of aging.

A lot of Women are so obsessed on how they look. Even if they’re already perfect the way they are, most of them would still notice something in their face they hate. Some have a pathological view of their body. They think they are fat when in truth they are already severely undernourished. You don’t usually hear people commenting about how they love their face. They usually complain about a tiny wrinkle on some part of their face, age spots, eye bags, double chin, and a host of other issues.

Oftentimes, we tend to compare our looks with others usually movie and TV stars, musicians, and fashion models. We often feel that we can never measure up to their looks and maybe, just maybe, with permanent make up, liposuction, implants, plumping injections, and surgery we just might resemble them in some way. Our society has a very high criterion for beauty and no amount of surgery will ever reach this insubstantial benchmark.

One other sign that not wanting to look older is a serious obsession in the US is that even young women, usually in their 20’s are seeking these procedures. A lot of these young adults are now already dissatisfied with how they look. Worse, there are some teenagers who want seriously invasive cosmetic procedures and they are likely to go through with it which might lead to permanent disfigurement of their face or body if it weren’t for the intervention of their parents or guardians. The most popular beauty treatment these youngsters seek is breast augmentation so they may look irresistibly desirable to men. If we don’t start having a healthy view of our faces and bodies, then we will end up getting psychotherapy instead, instead of plastic surgery.

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Traditional and Contemporary Herbs Used to Treat Dysmenorrhea

August 7, 2016   

Whenever women are having the time of the month, it is typical for them to be quite irritable. During the menstrual cycle, the sex hormones involved in the reproductive process jump to very high levels which affects the nervous system and bring about sporadic mood swings. Women affected by dysmenorrhea also have to deal with stomach pain, cramping, fatigue, and bloating that only worsens the gravity of the condition. So, rather than dallying over the discomforts of menstruation, we should instead, know about a few of the contemporary and traditional herbs that can help relieve the pain of dysmenorrhea and help ease the discomforts that come usually with the menstrual cycle.

1. Pasque Flower – This deciduous herb’s medicinal properties has been known and used for hundreds of years by the Native American Indians. Traditionally used for the inducement of childbirth, Pasque Flower has now been confirmed in clinical studies to help support the female reproductive system.

2. Chasteberry – Toning effects on the female reproductive system can be provided by the berries of this plant. Chasteberry is known to have properties that can help balance the hormones. The compounds derived from its extracts can be used to treat PMS, endometriosis, and dysmenorrhea.

3. Pot Marigold – This plant has pain killing and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help regulate the menstrual cycle which in turn promotes a relaxing effect during menstrual cramping.

4. Dong Quai – This herb is a very popular Chinese herb used as a tonic to treat both circulatory and gynecological ailments in traditional Chinese medicine. Because of its hormone-balancing, analgesic, and antispasmodic attributes, dong quai is often used for the normalization of the menstrual cycle.

These are just a few of the most commonly used herb to help alleviate the discomforts related to the menstrual cycle. There are actually a diverse portfolio of herbs and homeopathic treatments that have been used for centuries by different healthcare systems and cultures around the world for treating menstrual issues. However, the pharmaceutical industry has made it more difficult to physically seek out these herbs to obtain relief from pain.

Herbal medicine as it is currently practiced uses extracts from medicinal herbs that are then combined with other herbs to come up with a concentrated herbal infusion that provides relief from symptoms. These herbal supplements are readily available in local health food stores and are wonderful alternative treatments for dysmenorrhea.

Gigi Terinoni is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in Louisville, CO. She is also a certified massage therapist, yoga instructor and the founder of Dova Center for Health and Healing.

Lifestyle and Dietary Changes are Needed to Help Treat or Prevent Hypothyroidism

August 7, 2016   

When the thyroid gland malfunctions and starts to secrete huge amounts of thyroid hormones, this is known as hyperthyroidism which is marked by signs and symptoms such as increased bowel movements, tremors, fatigue, loss of weight, agitation, anxiety, profuse perspiration, and increased heart rate. Scientists are beginning to understand hyperthyroidism better and how natural modes of treatment can help restore harmony and balance to the body.

Graves Disease, which is an autoimmune condition and thyroiditis (chronic thyroid inflammation) are the two most common reasons for hyperthyroidism. Both auto-immune and inflammatory disorders are the result of an under-coordinated and over-active immune system. Heavy metal toxicity, vitamin D levels, nutritional habits, environmental and food allergens, intestinal dysbiosis and a number of important factors must be resolved with any auto-immune and inflammatory condition.

1. Heavy metal toxicity – Factors that can affect the thyroid gland and immune system environmental toxicity include non-stick coated paints, tap water, household cleaning agents, personal hygiene products, household molds, overexposure to herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals, and others.

2. Vitamin D deficiencies – Unfortunately, this is a common problem these days. Vitamin D is needed to properly coordinate the immune response by helping the body to recognize between the body’s own proteins and foreign proteins. This helps decrease auto-immune reactions and inflammation. Vitamin D (25-hydroxy cholcalciferol) in adequate amounts (around 60 to 100 ng/ml) which is significantly more than the conventional 32 ng/ml daily dosage is the is a much better recommended daily dosage. However, make sure you know your levels and get them over 60 ng/ml. Just spending five minutes directly under the noonday sun can be extremely beneficial for your body. You can take 10,000 to 50,000 IU of emulsified high quality vitamin D3 supplements or spend 20 to 30 minutes a day in the sun every day until you attain the desired levels.

3. An anti-inflammatory lifestyle and diet – Full recovery will not be achieved unless diet and lifestyle changes are done by the hyperthyroid patient. Foods that possess anti-inflammatory qualities can help regulate the immune system preventing it from inflaming when stimulated. It is important to completely avoid food allergens, and all forms of processed sugars and foods. DHA, EPA, and omega 3 fatty acids are powerful de-inflammatories that can bring back natural balance to your cell membrane’s lipid wall.

Non-denatured whey protein from free range goats and cows, berries, and coconut products are also deemed to be great anti-inflammatory foods. The whey protein from these animals is packed with L-glutamine and boosts cellular glutathione stores that are required for de-inflaming the body and rebuilding the gut. Use oregano, rosemary, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric, and other anti-inflammatory herbs as much as possible.

Raw kale, cabbage, broccoli and other types of cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogens that obstruct the production of thyroid hormone and so aid is slowing down the thyroid. Therefore, eating these veggies raw can greatly benefit those people suffering from hyperthyroidism.

4. Food allergens – Avoid grains that contain gluten. These include spelt, kamut, oats, rye, barley, and wheat, heavy proteins, eggs, various nuts, and soy products. All man-made and processed foods obviously should always be avoided at all costs. Onions, tomatoes, and eggplant and other members of the nightshade family are known allergens and so should also be avoided. People suffering from excessive inflammation or auto-immune reactions need to be tested for food allergies and undergo an elimination diet to see if their conditions get better.

5. Dysbiosis – This is a condition in which antagonistic organisms overpopulate the gut causing intestinal wall damage which, in turn allows food particles to pass over and enter the bloodstream. When these undigested materials are detected by the immune system, they are often seen as foreign invaders in the body causing the immune system to release antibodies to eliminate these food particles. The attack of the antibodies then causes an allergic reaction and inflammation.

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