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Research Confirms the Superiority of Acupuncture Over Standard Medical Care in the Treatment of Osteoarthritic Knee Pain

November 27, 2016   

New studies confirm earlier studies revealing acupuncture’s superior ability to treat osteoarthritic knee pain compared to Western biomedicine treatment.

The website of the Healthcare Medicine Institute posted a study involving a meta-analysis of 14 random, separate clinical trials. It concluded that “Acupuncture provided a larger improvement in function and gave relief for osteoarthritis knee pain that was significantly better than waiting for further treatment or conventional care treatment.” This study involved 3835 participants all suffering from osteoarthritic knee pain.

The study also observed that osteoarthritic knee pain treatment led to “the restoration of function and a much better relief of the pain” compared to conventional biomedical treatment and sham acupuncture.

The HMI said that following the publication of research by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), interest in acupuncture treatment for knee pain sprang. This research, which started in 2006, involved also a meta-analysis of 13 separate studies, “that dealt with adults suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee or chronic knee pain who were randomly chosen for treatment with either placebo acupuncture (sham acupuncture), other sham therapies, active intervention, the usual care, or real acupuncture treatment.”

In the end, the analysis showed that “Acupuncture following the criteria for adequate therapy led to significant improvements in function and pain relief in patients with chronic knee pain compared to no additional intervention and sham acupuncture.”

For thousands of years, acupuncture has been the go to treatment for countless numbers of people suffering from knee pain.

Studies done throughout the years, have demonstrated acupuncture’s value in the treatment of osteoarthritic knee pain in terms of efficacy and cost; furthermore, acupuncture is deemed to be a much better alternative to knee surgery.

The Acupuncture in Medicine journal, in 2008 published a study noting that this ancient form of Chinese medicine was administered for two years on 90 individuals whose ages averaged 71 years old.

The Counsel & Heal reported that the patients, at first, were treated with acupuncture once each week for four weeks and later, the number of treatments was scaled down to once every one and a half months. After a year, 41 of these individuals were still getting treatments and after two more years, 31 were.

Physicians observed that even after the first month, the patients manifested marked improvements in their levels of pain.

Instructed to examine two factors were nurses who were specifically trained to provide acupuncture treatment care; these factors were whether acupuncture was a valid alternative to costly knee replacement surgeries or whether the treatment led to improvements whilst minimizing cost of care.

The study observed that while pundits see knee operations as worth the cost since they’re typically successful, they’re not for everyone, which made searching for alternative options imperative. The reason for this: At that time, it was reported that in one in seven patients were still in constant pain and they were unable to walk far.

These limitations seem to be transcended by acupuncture. While relieving pain, acupuncture led to a reduction in medical cost in the tens of millions in the U.S. each year.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

It may seem a bit strange at first, to those who have never tried acupuncture, but this very old healing technique has survived for thousands of years precisely due to its efficacy in treating certain illnesses.

Filiform or filamentous, sterile needles are stuck just below the surface of the skin in specific parts of the body, based on the condition the patient requires treatment from. (gastrointestinal problems, back pain, sore knees, allergies, etc.).

The acupuncture points or acupoints are where the needles are inserted are controlled by what energy channels called meridians. These channels are where the Chinese believe the vital energy of the body flowed. There are several specific spots along these meridians that regulate levels of health and various parts of the body. The human body has a dozen primary meridians and eight secondary meridians.

If you have stomach problems, this does not necessarily mean that’s where the needles go. A few of the acupoints that are commonly used include:

Stomach – The acupoint that’s situated on the leg’s front below the knee.

Lungs – The acupoint found on the inside of the arm above the wrist.

The Large Intestine – The acupoint found between the thumb and index finger on the back of the hand.

Balance Within – Integrative Acupuncture
16200 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 478-9401

There is a Natural, Safe, Effective and Drug Free Alternative.

Research Confirms Acupuncture’s Ability to Ameliorate Pain

November 27, 2016   

Research shows that acupuncture reduces pain following C-section surgery (and other surgeries) and the use of painkillers in a significant way.

Researchers in Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Medical University did a study that was published in the 2009 edition of the Chinese Medical Journal. In the study, 60 women who had C-section surgery were randomly assigned to either a group that would receive with electro-acupuncture or acupuncture treatment or to a control group for the relief of postsurgical pain. They found that the group treated with acupuncture or electro-acupuncture showed much lower pain scores within a full 24 hours following C-section, used an average 32.5% less morphine, requested morphine treatment an average of 10 minutes later and experienced lesser side-effects related to morphine compared to the control group.

Pain Relief Using Acupuncture Treatment in New York

A traditional Chinese medical practice, acupuncture consists of sticking filform needles into certain areas of the body where energy channels called meridians are located as dictated by the health condition being addressed. An increasing amount of scientific research now validates acupuncture’s ability in addressing a wide variety of health issues, especially pain. Private insurance companies are now providing coverage for this type of treatment.

There have been earlier studies done than the Cesarean study discussed above that have connected acupuncture to lesser usage of painkilling drugs following surgery. In 2008, a Duke University research team did a study which was discussed in a conference of the American Society for Anesthesiology also on 2008. The conference reviewed the results of the study which involved 15 independent clinical trials on pre- and post-surgery acupuncture treatment. They outcome of the study revealed that acupuncture helped reduce the levels of pain in a significant way as well as helped decrease the use of painkilling drugs in patients after surgery regardless if it (acupuncture) was administered before and after surgery.

Because painkillers were used much less, it led to fewer side effects. The subjects who weren’t given acupuncture treatment were 3 ½ times likely to experience urinary retention problems, 1 ½ times more likely to suffer from nausea, 1 3/5 times likelier to experience dizziness, and 3 ½ times more likely to resort to painkillers.

For addressing all types of pain, including, of course, the above-mentioned post-surgical pain, acupuncture seems to be extremely effective. In 2008, the Archives of Internal Medicine published a study in which 1,162 adults all suffering from longstanding lower back pain were randomly divided into either a group that received Western conventional therapy of exercise and medications, a group treated with sham acupuncture or to a group that was given real acupuncture treatment. Results showed that only 27% of the patients who received Western conventional treatment experienced a 33% reduction of pain and betterment in their functional capabilities compared with the 48% and 44% of the ones treated with real acupuncture and sham acupuncture respectively.

In 2012, the Archives of Internal Medicine published a meta-analysis review, about data collated from 29 past studies in which a total of 18,000 individuals participated. The subjects in these studies all suffered from chronic (longstanding) pain caused by shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, or headaches. The participants were assigned either to conventional Western therapies (physical therapy and medications), sham acupuncture, or real acupuncture. On a pain scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is the lowest score for pain felt and 100 being the highest, the researchers measured an average pain score of 60 at the start of any given study. At the end of the study the real acupuncture group scored an average 30, the score of the sham acupuncture registered 32, while that of the Western conventional treatment group scored an average of 43.

From these outcomes, some researchers theorize that the placebo effect accounts for much of the success of acupuncture’s pain-relieving abilities and that it does truly work; knowing why it works seems irrelevant, states University of California-San Francisco researcher Andrew Avins. He suggested in an article published in in 2012, in the Archives of Internal Medicine, that there is scientific evidence that now justifies acupuncture’s use for patients suffering from acute or chronic pain.

Believe It Or Not, Acupuncture Works For Scoliosis

November 20, 2016   

Scoliosis is a condition many acupuncturists have had the opportunity of treating. Some of them were delighted that their scoliosis patients responded well to the treatment even if Western medicine sees this condition is a very hard spine disorder to resolve without surgery or the use of a brace. The condition, generally speaking, is usually caused by an imbalance in the strength of the back’s right side and left side. The hips can also suffer from an imbalance that the spine has to compensate for.

In treating scoliosis patients, the traditional way is to beef up the back’s weaker side, and to relax its stronger, tighter side. Acupuncturists use the acupoints along the Du Meridian, Huatuojiaji acupoints, and the meridian associated with the Urinary Bladder. A type of Japanese acupuncture that uses magnets to balance out both sides of the hip has been shown to work very well.

Some Chinese herbal formulas can be made to help strengthen the back. These herbs are designed to tonify Kidney energy and remove stagnation. In tincture form, a western herb known as Solomon’s Seal can very be helpful in balancing out the ligaments and tendons on both sides of the back while it strengthens the spine.

Some patients with S–shaped or C-shaped curvature have responded well to the treatment. Actually, in most patients, the curves do lessen over time, usually in a rapid way. Some acupuncturists have seen patients experience improvements in terms of alleviation of their discomfort and pain. Some acupuncturists, within a few weeks of treatment, have observed curves as extreme as 45 degrees improve. A few practitioners have frequently witnessed incredible improvements in the angle of curvature after just a single treatment.

In 2009, a study published in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine dealt with the effectiveness of acupuncture on the treatment of scoliosis. The researchers saw that after six weeks of treatment, the spine’s angle of curvature declined by ten degrees in a patient with a curvature of 35 degrees. The patient had two years of previous conventional treatment that failed to stop the curvature degradation of the patient.

For best acupuncture scoliosis treatment outcomes, in order to ease built-in tension, it is important to reinforce the back’s weaker side by using it for activities involving weight bearing, and to stretch out the back’s stronger side regularly. Over time, the spine’s capacity to correct itself to a great degree will take effect which eventually helps the body develop greater symmetry.

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.

Three Ancient Chinese Wisdoms Deemed Solutions To Everyday Wellness Concerns

November 14, 2016   

Occasionally, an issue that develops in one part of the body can be a sign of an illness elsewhere in the spirit, mind, or body. This basically mirrors the Chinese perspective of balance, the notion that everything in life is connected. Do positive modification in one area, and you can see desired changes affect other aspects facets of your world, life, or body. What a refreshing and powerful concept!

Chinese medicine tends to be sensitive and gentle with intentions of maintaining or restoring balance and boosting vital energy flow or qi flow, at its core; that is, without the adverse side effects that oftentimes come with more invasive therapies. The important albeit small methodologies as well as diet and lifestyle changes that have been practiced by the ancients are easy to implement and sensible indeed.

To put this venerable knowledge to work, we will mention three ancient Chinese wisdoms deemed solutions to everyday wellness concerns.

1. Your Aim: to have Smooth Digestion – if after eating, you feel uncomfortable, unsettled, or bloated, even when meals are properly portioned and healthful the cause of the problem might not be the food. What can cause imbalances in your ability to digest, absorb, and burn nutrients is the manner in which you eat.

The Chinese medicine Treatment: Key to a more relaxed digestive system is to be proactive in seeking ways to stop worrying. The body’s ability to get what it needs from foods can be interrupted by anxiety. This interruption can also cause water retention (edema) in your body. Eating and working at the same time may reduce digestive qi and disrupt the healthy normal functioning of your abdomen. By separating these activities, you can smooth the digestive process. Make sure you your eat meals in a quiet environment and manner and avoid noise and distractions. Also, as too much cold can slow down the digestive process, so do not drink ice water.

Acupressure treatment: Press above the web between the second and third toes on the top of your foot.

Some patients appreciate the Chinese way of healing as it is quite effective; it does not require radical changes to attain significant improvements to your own wellbeing.

2. Your Aim: to Have Strong Bones and Teeth – For those suffering from frequent tooth decay or fragile bones, your condition may not only be discomforting, it can also affect you daily life in a huge way.

The Chinese Medicine Treatment: Your skeletal system’s and teeth’s health can mirror the health of your Kidney Qi; therefore, to remedy bone and dental problems, optimizing the kidney meridian is needed. To strengthen this pathway, take small amounts of salty foods. Also, eating, squash, mushrooms, seaweed, melons, and grapes can emphasize self-compassion and minimize fear both of which can bring back balance in your body.

Acupressure Treatment

Press the acupoint located on the region next to your inside ankle bone.

3. Your Aim: to Become Thin – A body /mind strategy that no one diet can deliver is needed in order to shed those pounds. If you have the tendency to go straight for comfort foods when bored, during times of emotional distress, when you feel annoyed or nervous, then you need to take hold of your emotions. You may want to look and feel your best, but emotions result in overeating or mindless munching. Your distress will only increase if you pack in too much pounds.

Your Chinese Medicine Treatment

Greasy, fatty, and sugary foods can weaken the function of your Spleen Meridian. Consuming these foods when you are emotionally down might be a quick fix to your emotional needs, but their effect on your health can be dramatic and long-term. Junk foods can compromise your overall wellness by weakening your natural immunity and depriving you of energy not to mention taking you further from your aim of losing weight. But you also need to carefully choose seemingly healthful substitutions to eat. Avoid eating raw cold foods that require a lot of qi to digest. Instead, go for steamed items. Also, carry out activities that can relieve and calm the feeling of being overburdened as this can help your qi to circulate freely.

Acupressure treatment

Press your lower inner leg, four finger widths from above your inner ankle bone.

If you believe that the time has come for you to try Chinese medicine, remember to put those three sensible and simple aforementioned solutions to the test. Overall wellness and greater balance will be your reward.

Dr. Yelena Pakula is a licensed acupuncture doctor and the medical director of Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center in Pembroke Pines, FL.

The Importance of De Qi In Acupuncture Treatment

November 13, 2016   

A new Chinese study comparing standard acupuncture to a more intensive form of the treatment saw that the latter led to greater improvements in function for facial paralysis-stricken patients.

Scientists discovered that when the acupuncture needles are wiggled after being inserted into the skin, it generated a sensation known as “de qi” which gave the patient a better chance of getting back his/her full facial function within half a year than if the needles were left alone after being inserted into the skin.

Wuhan, Hubei, Key Laboratory of Neurological Diseases of Chinese Ministry of Education Dr, Wei Wang states that de qi “needs to be taken into consideration in acupuncture treatment clinical guidelines.”

The study failed to observe how well patients would have recovered without being given acupuncture, so there’s no way of telling whether the treatment worked any better than no therapy at all or Western conventional modalities.

Wang said that de qi can be a blend of feelings – including tingling, warmth, coolness, and achiness – which TCM or traditional Chinese medicine sees as a good sign that guarantees good therapeutic results.

Wang added that “although the belief about de qi has been held by TCM practitioners for thousands of years, it has not yet been confirmed by Western medicine.” He and his colleagues requested 317 adult Bell’s palsy patients to receive 30-minute acupuncture treatments for five days for a whole month to see whether de qi makes a difference to acupuncture therapy’s effectiveness.

Bell’s palsy usually lasts a few months and is a temporary facial paralysis that oftentimes affects side one of a person’s face. The condition is usually caused by a viral infection causing facial nerve inflammation. The most common treatment for it is the steroid prednisone. Also used for treatment are physical therapy, vitamins, and over-the-counter analgesics.

Based on statistics from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 40,000 people in the United States develop Bell’s palsy each year.

Since the recuperation of the facial nerves affected by Bell’s may seem not to be as susceptible to the placebo effect as pain and other nerve conditions, Wang and his group decided to focus on this condition.

Treatments that were meant to generate de qi were randomly assigned to half of the subjects. All the subjects were given prednisone. The treatment involved the twisting of the needles by the acupuncturist as well as moving the needles up and down many times during the procedure. The rest of the subjects were also treated with acupuncture without any manipulation of the needles while they were inserted into the subjects’ skin.

Neurologists measure the facial function score of the subjects on a scale of 200 with higher numbers corresponding to better movement. The neurologists were not told what type of treatment each subject was given.

Subjects In both groups started out with facial function scores around 130 – 135. Those in the de qi group showed improved facial function such as baring teeth, blinking, and raising the eyebrows after half a year of treatment. The acupuncture without de qi group scored 186, while the de qi group scored 195, on average.

Wang noted that it’s hard to know just what these numbers signify in terms of the performance of the facial muscles – say, whether the patient a person can fully smile or not – although a nine point difference can be readily noticeable to the subjects. Also, the researchers saw that 77% in the acupuncture group without de qi treatment showed complete facial function after six months, while 94% of the subjects given de qi treatment did. Despite acupuncture’s success, no one can explain how it is able to treat Bell’s palsy.

Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School assistant professor Dr. Jian Kong explains that the acupuncture needles tend to boost the flow of blood in the face “therefore, doctors can provide more nutrition to the affected part and quickly lessen the inflammation in order for the person to recover. “

Like the researchers, Kong agreed that de qi is a key factor in acupuncture study, and unfortunately, it is usually ignored. Why is this so? Kong explained that clinical studies usually overlook de qi because acupuncturists practice different types of acupuncture with some giving greater importance on de qi than others.

De qi is also difficult to quantify, subjective and complex. Kong said that there are people who even think that, at times, the acupuncturist’s sensations may even be a stronger factor in generating de qi than the patient’s. He added that “a lot of clinical trials don’t measure de qi sensation so no one really knows how clinical results are connected to this sensation. The lack of testing standards when it comes to acupuncture treatment is perhaps the reason research has produced a mixed bag of results – sometimes not showing a benefit and other times producing one.” He said that “acupuncture’s effect can be significantly compromised when de qi is not elicited.”

Dr. Kong continued by saying that he and other researchers have been developing standard de qi scales in order to give uniformity across studies. He said that “we can hopefully, know hen, how de qi is related with the study’s results.”

Vickery Health & Wellness
18455 Burbank Blvd #306
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 578-6730

Welcome To Vickery Health & Wellness

Overcoming Anxiety with More Natural and Safer Treatments

November 3, 2016   

Do you live with severe anxiety on a daily basis? Has it become a daily part of your life? Have you always felt overwhelmed by life and have been unable to control it? There can be several signs of anxiety. It may manifest as apprehension, palpitations, obsessive thinking, and palpitations due to fear of future uncertainties.

If you are suffering from severe and/or chronic anxiety, I can help.

In my clinic, I have been treating quite a number of patients who believed they had tried everything (from drugs to counseling therapy) but have found no answer in the curing of their problem. A lot of these individuals only tried acupuncture because it’s the last thing they still haven’t tried. I now staunchly vouch for the extreme effectiveness of a treatment in Boynton Beach that combines acupuncture, aromatherapy, Chinese herbs, counseling, and yoga and meditation, and nutrition therapy in dealing with the signs of symptoms of anxiety and its underlying root causes based on my experience working with a lot of these anxiety-plagued patients. This type of approach is definitely a lot less invasive to the brain and a lot more comprehensive than the use of SSRI medicines. It not only influences the patient’s biochemical aspects, but also his/her energetic, spiritual, and nutritional dimensions, as well.

We live in a society full of neurotics. There are over 39 million Americans suffering long-term anxiety/ depression and the number just keeps on rising each year. Antidepressant drugs are taken by one out of eight adult Americans. While they (the drugs) do provide some benefits and help for some, a lot of people find that these drugs do not work for them. This may due to certain reasons:

1. A system of belief suggesting their anxiety condition is not the result of a chemical imbalance but rather of a condition that’s spiritual in nature
2. Too much sensitivity to the drug that makes the drug ineffectiveness and/or weakens its benefits.
3. A tolerance to the medicine causing a lessening of its potency.
4. Several unwanted side effects which make the benefits not worthwhile

Acupuncture:

Acupuncture has been used for more than 2,500 years. It is a branch of TCM or traditional Chinese medicine that addresses issues in the energetic level of a person’s body/mind. It may come as a surprise to some people that acupuncture is actually a treatment that generates a profoundly relaxing experience which promotes balance and a deep quality of restoration to the CNS (central nervous system). The patient comes out of the treatment feeling changed, sleepy, dreamy or relaxed and this feeling tends to linger for some time after the therapy; with frequent sessions, it becomes a more continuous experience. Acupuncture balances the body’s internal life work which is the flow of Qi in the body. In Chinese medicine the derivative of anxiety is a weak Qi in the kidneys or heart. Accompanying anxiety are the symptoms of nightmares, low back pain irritability, heart palpitations, and insomnia.

Essential Oil Therapy:

For anxiety disorders, there are several wonderful essential oils that can help. These include:

– Lavender
– Marjoram
– Chamomile
– Jasmine
– Neroli
– Rose

Be aware that these oils are of medical grade with intact active chemical ingredients.

Chinese Herbs:

For anxiety conditions, certain powerful Chinese herbal formulas can be used. Some of the most commonly used herbs for the treatment of anxiety include:

– Calm spirit
– Peaceful spirit formula
– Suan Hsiao ren tang
– Amber and salvia
– Free and easy wanderer
– Heavenly emperor’s formula

Some of the Western herbs used for treating and can be easily found in health food stores are:

– Kava
– Chamomile
– Passion flower
– Lemon balm
– Valerian

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation are the two most powerful allies of people who want to heal their anxiety problems. When practiced regularly, the various forms of posture and breathing techniques can help people gain better control of their anxiety to the point that it does not anymore affect their lives in a strong and profound way. These passive practices can lead to the restoration and relaxation of your nervous system. They can, on a deeper level, instill in us safety and an unshakable sense of trust in the workings of the universe by helping make a spiritual link with our lives.

Our symptoms are never random from a holistic point of view. When they creep in, there’s always a reason for that. When talking about anxiety, it can help to not attach ourselves from our own feelings about what’s causing the worry and instead see the bigger picture. Is our anxiety telling us something about our life that we probably need to change or understand? Whatever the answer is the abovementioned practices can give you some support in getting to the underlying reason of your problem and help you set a course towards insight and peace.

Nutrition

Stabilizing and maintaining your proper blood sugar levels throughout the day are some of the most important things you need to consider when dealing with anxiety. Hypoglycemia is a condition most of anxiety patients have in common. To start the day, these people often drink coffee and eat refined carbohydrates. Later on, they experience a sugar crash that tends to occur around 2pm to 4pm. Start the day right by eating a high protein breakfast consisting of turkey bacon, eggs, turkey bacon, whey, whole oats, or goat protein. Every two to three hours eat a low glycemic snack. Don’t drink coffee and other caffeine products. Your anxiety can improve by also not eating allergenic foods such as wheat, refined sugar, pasteurized dairy, and gluten.

For the treatment of anxiety below is a list of helpful nutritional supplements:

– 5HTP
– B vitamin complex
– Fish oil
– GABA

Acupuncture Is One Of The Most Trusted and Popular Forms of Alternative Medicine Today

November 3, 2016   

A form of alternative medicine, acupuncture in Vancouver may look painful, yet multitudes of people who have tried will testify to its healing effects. This treatment works by precisely placing thin non-hollow needles into various parts of a person’s body to relieve pain and/or cure disease. It would seem that acupuncture only increases suffering at first glance, but people who have benefited from it swear that it does not. But how did the idea of sticking needles in the body to promote healing evolve? When did it start?

Having been practiced over 4,000 years ago in China, acupuncture is now a worldwide phenomenon which one can avail of in virtually any part of the world. This treatment evolved and was refined to the noble healing art it is now long before there was a scientific method or Western medicine to talk about. Over time, science advanced to a point where it could study and explain how acupuncture needles work the way they do.

During ancient times (and even today), disease was explained as an imbalance of Yin and Yang in the body. You had to bring back balance if you want to treat the disease. Releasing the life energy known as chi that like blood circulate throughout the body is one way balance can be restored. This life energy is believed to travel through energy vessels known as meridians. Chi is released in the body when needles are stuck into these meridians.

Acupuncture remains one of the most trusted and popular forms of alternative medicine even if the ancient explanation of how it works has been replaced with more cogent theories. But whatever explanation one might want to believe, this treatment, for thousands of years, has helped countless numbers of people feel better. Many have been able to overcome their fear of the needles and thus are now enjoying enjoyed a greater sense of well-being only acupuncture can provide.