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Some Health Conditions Men Encounter That Can Be Treated with Acupuncture

January 29, 2017   

Studies reveal that when it comes to visiting a physician for routine care, men are 24% less likely to do so than women. During all stages of life both men and women, should take care of their health. Men find it more difficult to reveal certain health issues such as infertility, erectile dysfunction, or prostate problems to their doctors. But if you want those issues resolved, you need to be honest with your doctor. Those health problems can severely impact your emotional health, relationships, sex life, and overall health.

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Acupuncture Can Help Optimize Your Health

Listed below are some of the conditions a lot of men encounter that can be cured with acupuncture in Miami:

Prostate Cancer

In the United States, prostate cancer affects a sixth of the male adult population. Doctors recommend annual screening for men 50 years of age and older. When it’s diagnosed early, prostate cancer can easily be treated. Its symptoms include urinary problems, blood in the semen or urine, hip pain, and lower back pain. Acupuncture and TCM can treat the symptom of prostate cancer and relieve the side effects of cancer drugs to enhance the health of prostate cancer patients.

Prostatitis

This is a condition in which the prostate gland is inflamed resulting in urinary symptoms and pelvic pain. Being a condition that has no known cause, prostatitis can be difficult to treat. A frequent urge to urinate, lower back pain, pain in the pelvic region, and burning or pain when urinating, are some of the symptoms of this condition. Research reveals that acupuncture and herbal treatments can help alleviate chronic bacterial prostatitis.

ED or Erectile Dysfunction

Most men do suffer from this condition at some point in their lives. But if this problem persists, it may indicate a more serious underlying issue. ED can be caused by stress, depression, anxiety, drugs, heart disease, clogged blood vessels, and diabetes. Western modes of treatment include medical devices, drugs, and surgery. Acupuncture’s way of treating ED is by boosting a man’s sexual stamina.

BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia)

When the prostate puts pressure on the urethra, it compresses the urethra causing benign prostatic hyperplasia. This condition is actually a very common problem that affects over half of men over 60. Some of the symptoms include the urge to urinate deep in the night, frequent urination, slowness of the urinary system, and difficulty starting to urinate. Western modes of treatment for BPH include self-care techniques, drugs, and surgery. Acupuncture helps bring back balance and contributes to overall urinary system health.

Male Depression

This emotional problem can exhibit itself through sleep disturbances, low interest in socializing or work, fatigue, and irritability. Through acupuncture, anxiety and stress can be relieved resulting in a calm body and mind.

Infertility

This condition typically occurs in men due to low quantities, poor movement, or low quality of sperm. In conjunction with Western medicine, acupuncture has been proven to boost the quality and production of the sperm thus increasing the chances of conception. TCM and acupuncture can also assist both men and women to cope with emotional stress when having difficulty conceiving.

MM or Male Menopause

MM is also termed androgen decline. Symptoms include fatigue, sexual problems, depression, and mood swings. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help relieve the symptoms of MM as men age.

What to Expect During a Treatment?

First, your acupuncturist will take note of your medical history and do a physical examination in order to determine the reason for your health problems. Then he/she will design a plan of treatment to help bring back the natural balance of your body.

During treatment, sterilized filiform needles are stuck at certain points of your body in order to regain its balance of energy. Besides acupuncture, your practitioner may also include in your treatment plan herbal and nutritional remedies.

Combining Western Medicine and TCM is the Best Way of Treating Diabetes

January 22, 2017   

TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine has been touted as one of the newest natural remedies for diabetes. The truth is however, TCM does not really “treat” diabetes. What it does is assist the body attain the best result in order for it to function the best way possible. I recommend more studies to validate and/or discover the benefits TCM can give to the body.

The foundation of TCM is based on the interdependence of two major concepts, the yin and the yang. TCM believes that diabetes mellitus is due to an imbalance or an inadequacy of yin for certain reasons including physical and mental exhaustion, imbalanced diet, emotional stress, and other diseases that have made yin deficient. This has led to a wider search for natural treatments for diabetes.

TCM practitioners are one in saying that nurturing the yin is vital for treatment of diabetes. The question is how, can this be accomplished. Those practitioners only prescribe natural cures such as Solomon’s Seal, raw Rehmannia root, raw gypsum, Glehnia root,Scrophularia root, and Trichosanthes root.

Although Western Medicine practitioners believe that the anatomy and physiology of Western Medicine is more accurate, TCM adherents argue that traditional Chinese medicine has also its own unique advantages. For one, TCM has a variety of treatments available. Also, the medicines these practitioners prescribe have no known lethal effects simply because TCM only uses natural cures for diabetes.

TCM practitioners always regard a person as a whole being with one system comprising of the spirit, body, and mind. This is the reason why they stress the importance of treating the whole person and not just target the problematic part of the body. Their aim is to identify and treat the symptoms as well as the source of the disease. They have been trained to do this that their healing methodology may be what some diabetics, who do not positively respond to Western modalities, need.

For example, a diabetic who goes on a hyperglycemic state will be prescribed an injection of insulin and hypoglycemic pills by his/her physician in order to lower the patient’s blood glucose levels. TCM doctors, on the other hand, believe that the problem lies on the islets of Langerhans, the part of the body that’s responsible for insulin secretion. Blood sugar levels will rise again when the medications are stopped because the problem in the islets of Langerhans is still there and has not been addressed.

What does a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner do? This Eastern medicine trained healer use Chinese medicinal herbs to ascertain why the condition is so and attempt to resolve the root of the problem. They strive to make the insulin factor do its work. A TCM practitioner also can help diabetics manage their lipids. Bile plays a key role in the mixture of insulin and when it’s not functioning normally, the production of insulin is also disrupted.

Both TCM and Western medicine has its own advantages when it comes to treating diabetes. Therefore, the best way a diabetes patient can benefit from a treatment is when Western and Traditional Chinese treatments are combined. Both a TCM practitioner and a Western-trained physician who decide to combine the two types of treatment know that closely monitoring the blood sugar level of the patient is important as well as knowing the potential side effects of the treatment.

All in all, one should not lose sight of the fact that the objective is to ascertain what type of care can provide the best benefit for the diabetes patient. Being open-minded and considering all avenues of treatment will certainly be advantageous in the long term. We long for the best help for our patients after all and give the best of ourselves in the process, no matter what type of treatment is utilized.

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.

The Growing Popularity of Proven Alternative Therapy in North America and Europe

January 15, 2017   

Proven alternative therapy is a term that usually ends up in several rounds of arguments with some adherents defending it while some being completely skeptical about it. Alternative medicine can mean different things to different people. It could, for example, mean the ancient Indian system of Ayurveda to some, while it may mean traditional Chinese medicine to others, while for other people it may mean herbs coming from the Amazon rainforest.

The sheer diversity of different medicinal systems makes scientific research on all of them difficult to do. This is why in several instances,marking a particular product as proven alternative medicine can be arduous.

In spite of the ongoing debate as to what type of medical system is more effective, there is no doubt that alternative medicine has been growing in popularity for several years now. This type of medicine is used by almost all people in every part of the world. In fact, there are countries where alternative treatments are used more than Western conventional prescription treatments. This is quite the case in many countries of Africa and Asia. Proven alternative medicine’s popularity is gradually reaching its zenith in Western Countries such as Canada, the US, Germany, the UK, France, Belgium and other parts of the world.

There is very good reason why proven alternative medicine is popular. They have almost no adverse side effects because their products are made up of only natural ingredients. In a vast majority of cases, this is one of the biggest reasons why proven alternative medicine is deemed much better than conventional prescription drugs.

The fact is, people suffering from chronic illness are very hesitant in taking prescription medications for long periods of time. They are looking for remedies that contain no toxic chemical ingredients at all and they usually discover them in proven alternative medicine. Clinical studies into different medicinal approaches are being conducted all over the world and some of these studies have led to breakthroughs that can benefit mankind in the near future.

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.

Caring For a Mother During The Postpartum Phase Using Traditional Chinese Medicine

January 8, 2017   

A sit directly affects the fetus’s growth and development,the goal during pregnancy is to support the health of the mother. In TCM, (traditional Chinese medicine), however, the maintenance of the health of the woman during the postpartum phase is also seriously considered and how well she receives care during this time will oftentimes determine her state of health in the future. Basically, older women have a more difficult time recovering from the effects of pregnancy, labor, and delivery compared to younger women although certain factors such as the constitutional strength of the woman, her state of health prior to conception and how well she cares for herself during the pregnancy can also determine how well she handles her pregnancy labor, and childbirth.

The postpartum phase, in Chinese medicine, includes the four months after labor and delivery, and the most important time to take special care is the first month. Only after the fourth month post-delivery that blood and yin are deemed to be full once more and the Chong mai, Ren, and the womb fully recovered. What can be expected to occur are occasional tendencies to imbalance, which can be mild or serious, short or long term and can especially manifest especially when postpartum conditions occur.

Considerations During Postpartum Diagnostic

Main postpartum imbalances:

• Blood stasis in the lower burner
• Uterus invaded by pathogenic cold
• Blood and yin deficiency
• Abdomen/Spleen deficiency
• Blood and Qi deficiency

Inorder to nourish the developing fetus and the placenta, the blood volume of a woman will almost double during pregnancy. The loss of blood and the effort exerted during delivery further exhaust the blood and qi of the mother. And since breast milk is produced from the same substrate as blood, breastfeeding can be equated as a continuous loss of blood. Because of all these, women during the postpartum phase are usually deficient in blood and qi. As a result,the spleen is constantly taxed (albeit temporarily) by the body’s constant demand for blood, leading to probable low production of milk, poor appetite, and poor digestion. One common symptom of Heart blood and Spleen qi deficiency is difficulty falling asleep resulting in sleep deprivation and fatigue, which in turn, can lead to postpartum depression. Hence, the need to tonify blood and qi with herbs and food and give support to the middle burner is very much recommended.

Yin deficiency is usually accompanied by Blood deficiency. Again, because of the huge demand of Liver blood and Kidney yin needed for the development of the fetus, mothers,after delivery, are usually severely deficient. This is especially true in the case of older women more so if they had problems conceiving because of issues related to kidney deficiency or poor egg quality, and those who used conception therapies such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Other possible issues related to yin deficiency include the inability to easily go back to sleep, insomnia with walking, profuse night sweating, and dry constipation. Yin and/or Blood deficiency may also cause anxiety, rashes, dizziness, headaches, and excessive loss of hair.
After labor and childbirth, the uterus or womb becomes blood deficient. The energy pathways known as meridians and the collaterals that pass through the uterus and lower stomach are open and left empty, which makes them prone to pathogenic cold infiltration. To prevent this from occurring, one should avoid environmental cold and wind, and foods that are cold in nature or temperature. Scanty bleeding with clotting, retention of the lochia, and stomach pain associated with blood stasis may develop due to the cold invading the uterus. Mania and extreme postpartum depression may happen from blood stasis in the uterus disrupting the Heart.

Healthy Tips for Postpartum Moms

A lot of easy and healthy tips can help mothers get back their balance and health during the postpartum phase. This phase is deemed by Chinese medicine to be a very critical part in a woman’s life and so giving time to nourish and care for one’s health post childbirth can greatly and directly affect the future of her health and well-being.

1) After delivery, a woman’s digestion tends to be become pretty weak, and due to the body’s huge demand for nutritious food in order to produce new blood and create breast milk, foods that are easy to digest, nourishing, and warm are very much recommended. Traditionally, the emphasis is on warm soups. The things that should be avoided are drinks, foods, or herbs that are either energetic in nature or cold in temperature. Fresh ginger root in small amounts used as a tea or mixed into soups can be very beneficial.

2) During the postpartum phase, it is very important for women to get lots of nourishment and rest. In several cultures around the world, a woman is given a specific rest period of about 40 days or 28 days in a moon cycle. When they start to feel stronger andin order to help improve the flow of blood and qi in their body, women should try to find time for walking or other moderate activity.

3) Moxibustion– This is a very effective TCM treatment designed to warm the uterine collaterals and the uterus. Moxibustion has proven to work extremely well for stimulating milk production, reducing the uterus back to its normal size, drying up the lochia, and treating or preventing hemorrhage. The life gate (Mignmen) opens during childbirth, allowing the infant to pass. The Mingmen then must close after delivery and get back its strength or else the Kidney qi will become deficient for a long period of time.

During a moxibustion procedure, a moxa plant is burned over the lower back or lower stomach for twenty to thirty minutes until a feeling of deep warmth penetrates the site of the treatment. The treatment is usually extremely revitalizing and relaxing and can be repeated several times, if so desired. It helps a lot if the partner or family member of the woman learns and administers moxibustion treatment on her at home.

4) In order to allow the pelvic tissues to renew and completely heal and to prevent uterine prolapse, heavy lifting should be avoided for the first four months. One should not resume heavy physical exercise or work until the fourth or fifth month after childbirth.

Herbal Prescription for Breastfeeding Mothers

The most important thing to remember is that when giving herbs to breastfeeding mothers, some of the herb constituents will also reach the baby via breastfeeding; therefore, caution should always be used. There may be a few exceptions, but the overall rule is to select herbal remedies that are considered neither too cold nor too hot, and neither too difficult to digest nor too drying. Qi depleting herbs should never be used. These include blood regulating and strong qi herbs, diaphoretics, and purgatives. Although this information can result in the limited use of herbs, all in all herbs are still extremely helpful, especially blood tonic and general qi formulas.

A mother with an emergent problem that requires the prescription of western drugs is an exception to this rule. In the case of mastitis, for example, the doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics, and Chinese herbs may hinder the need for such cold medications. If the use of antibiotics is required, herbs used as adjunct can prevent the need for high doses or long term use of the antibiotics.

The best guidelines for treating a breastfeeding woman are good diagnostics and plain old common sense. Make sure to use care with cloying herbs and support the middle burner if the woman suffers from blood and qi deficiency. If she suffers from blood and yin deficiency, do not use herbs that are too dry or warm in nature or ascending herbs. If she shows signs of stagnation due to cold, dispel cold gently and give her warmth, and stay away from cloying or cold substances. It’s always good to tonify any deficiencies as they usually are the underlying cause of various problems.

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

Chinese Medicine Treatments for Sciatica and Lumbago

January 1, 2017   

Pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve is known as sciatic pain or sciatica. This pain begins in the lower spine from a bundle of various nerves from the lumbosacral part of the body. From the spine the nerve branches out to the right and left buttocks and then goes down the back of the legs, the middle parts of the thighs, and then down to the feet. Only one side is usually affected. The origin of the pain, albeit felt in the fleshy part of the body, emanates from a pinch of one or more nerves that exits the spinal cord of the area of the intervertebral disks. At first, an extrusion or temporary prolapse of the disk(s) might occur causing the spinal column to bear down on the nerves. Chronic pain will most probably occur if there is damage to the disks. Also, damage to the vertebra themselves can put pressure on the nerves. If there is significant and severe pressure, the signals transmitted by the affected nerve can be interrupted possibly leading to a resultant wasting, loss of sensation, and weakness of the leg. Sciatica can be aggravated whenever pressure is applied to the problem area, such as what results from common physical activities as well as from straining during defecation, sneezing, or coughing.

So we can see that sciatica is actually a problem of the spine associated with certain instances of lower back pain, which is commonly called lumbago or lumbosacral pain. Arising from similar kinds of disk problems, lumbago is a back condition that isn’t associated with sciatic nerve pain. The pain it generates is localized and does not radiate to other parts of the body. Lumbago can be caused by lower back tendon and muscle strains, regardless if it leads to disk protrusion or compression. Achilles tendonitis is another type of pain syndrome that is highly related to lumbago and sciatica. It may be due to injuries affecting the lower back. Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition which can lead to an abnormal gait.

Currently, the Western conventional treatments for damaged vertebrae and disks include limiting activities, resting, stress avoidance on the spine, and the taking of painkillers. Unfortunately, bed rest has shown to have minimal effects on the long term treatment of sciatica (that involves spontaneous healing within three months for 86.8% of patients) even if it can significantly relieve the immediate pain. Job dissatisfaction and other causes of emotional distress have a high correlation to both the persistence and development of sciatica and back pain. Recurrence of back pain can be prevented by performing certain exercises. Controlled randomized chiropractic treatment studies for sciatica and lumbago has been done, but the methodology has been of low quality and as usual, these corporation-funded studies will almost always conclude that there’s no evidence that chiropractic treatment has significant effects on lumbago and sciatica.

Sciatica or lumbago patients are diagnosed by Chinese medicine practitioners as suffering from a certain kind of bi syndrome. If you have bi syndrome, this means you are suffering from pain and blockage that more or less affects the lower part of your body. So far, the real cause of Bi syndromes is still not known; that is, there may be very few clues as to the reason although a substantial injury to the back would be an obvious cause. Bi syndrome, from the time of the Neijing period (around 100 B.C.) up to the present, was believed to be mainly induced by the elements of wind, damp, and cold. Due to its lower body location, the pain tends to travel downward and the condition can be blamed on a combination of dampness and cold: both of which are characteristics of yin that have a downward natural course. Believed to bring pathogenic influences into the body, Wind is an external pathogenic entity of mysterious nature which is also thought to contribute to the variable nature of the pain.

An Internal inadequacy of yang is known to give rise to damp, wind, and cold syndromes that affect the lower body. In this instance, the pain is not caused by external wind, though it potentially can combine with dampness and cold to aggravate the underlying problem. Chinese herbs for lumbago and sciatica typically entail dispelling damp-cold-wind syndromes (which means using certain “antirheumatic” herbs), clearing dampness (which usually means revitalizing the spleen), removing chill, and warming the kidney yang). For these categories of treatment, a wide range of potentially useful herbs are available although a few specific patent and traditional formulas are more highly recommended than others in treating lumbago and sciatica. Knee arthralgia, gout and other painful lower limb conditions, are addressed with the same formulations and herbs.

Nelya de Brun is a licensed acupuncturist in Boynton Beach, FL., practicing acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and Western medical pathology. She is also the founder of Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC.

TCM and Acupuncture Is Strongly Recommended For the Quick Recovery of Bell’s Palsy Symptoms

January 1, 2017   

Bell’s palsy is a neurological condition that affects an estimated 40,000 people in the United States each year. This disorder manifests as a paralysis of the face and usually impacts just one side of the face. It is believed to be caused by facial nerve damage that controls the muscles on one side of the face. The muscles begin to droop which affects the sufferer’s ability to cry as well his ability to control his saliva and taste. Pregnant women, people with diabetes, old people, and young adults are the most at risk for this condition although it can potentially strike anyone.

Bell’s palsy usually develops overnight and without warning. Most sufferers wake up to find that their facial muscles have been paralyzed. A lot of them either manifest no symptoms beforehand, or they overlook the warning subtle signs, including pain in the back of the head, pain behind the ear, and pain in the neck. Bell’s palsy sufferers can experience several difficult facial dysfunctions including slurred speech, and difficulty smiling, eating and shutting their eyes. Oftentimes, people mistake these signs as the effects of a stroke, which thankfully, Bell’s palsy is not. While the symptoms can dramatically appear, they are only temporary and gradually disappear or get better within three weeks.

There are a number of natural remedies that can hasten the recuperation process whilst the patient is waiting for the disorder to abate. Herbal remedies are used by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners to alleviate stress (believed to worsen Bell’s palsy), boost the functionof the nervous system, and provide a therapeutic effect on the body. Herbal preparations such as Aconite, Dulcamara, and Causticum, as well as herbs such as Avena Sativa, St. john’sWort, and Valerian can be used to address conditions associated with the nervous system. Intake of zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12 can stimulate nerve growth and may accelerate the healing of the damaged facial nerve.

Bell’s palsy symptoms can be substantially assuaged with massage therapy. Practicingdaily facial exercises and/or a mild massaging of the affected parts of the face can improve the condition. One can also go for a full body massage that includes body parts not affected by the condition. This type of massage targets stress which can worse the condition, and is believed to be a factor that precipitates the onset of an episode; therefore, receiving a full body relaxingmassage may relax a patient which can result in quick and full recovery.

A syndrome of disharmony known as “External Wind Invasion of the Meridians of the face” is usually the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) diagnosis for Bell’s palsy. TCM practitioners believe that one of the primary implications of this condition is an underlying deficiency of vital energy (qi). For thousands of years, practitioners in China have used acupuncture to aid in the recovery of Bell’s palsy. Initially, the goal of TCM treatment is to boost flow of blood to the face, invigorate qi, clear Damp and, expel Wind. Acupuncture treatments in Vancouver once or twice a week can improve nerve function, quicken the dissipation of the paralysis, and help relax a patient.

Bell’s palsy patients may require some weeks of recovery time. They can take some time off from their normally daily routines and just rest at home. Holistic healing and TCM can offer several options, from vitamin supplements, acupuncture, massage to herbal remedies to help quicken recovery from Bell’s palsy.