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Hypertension is a chronic cardiovascular condition suffered by a third of the US population. This common disease has become widespread primarily due to a sedentary lifestyle and increased stress. The good news is holistic treatments such as acupuncture are available that can help control hypertension and enhance your overall well-being effectively and safely.
What Is Hypertension?
When your blood pressure increases beyond normal levels, due to increased vascular resistance, increased contraction of your heart muscle, or both, you are considered to be suffering from hypertension. A measurement of normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. Any blood pressure reading that goes beyond 140/90 is considered hypertension. This disease is a silent killer because it often has few obvious symptoms and without any sign can become fatal all of a sudden. Hypertension (HTN) and high blood pressure (HBP) are one and the same condition. Hypertension can lead to a greater risk of kidney failure, heart attacks, or strokes, if left untreated.
The two forms of hypertension are primary and secondary hypertension. A hypertension caused by an unknown condition is called primary hypertension. Secondary hypertension is brought about by different kinds of disorders including medication side effects, cancer, endocrine problems, and kidney diseases.
Modern Western medicine uses pharmaceutical drugs along with lifestyle changes for long-term management of hypertension. Doctors prescribe a combination of drugs including ACE Inhibitors, Calcium channel Blockers, Dopamine derivatives, Beta-blockers, and Diuretics to manage high blood pressure. Other ways to manage hypertension include regular exercise, a healthy low sodium diet, and avoidance of alcohol and tobacco smoking.
What is Acupuncture?
Along with Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture is one of the most important treatment modalities in traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is a Chinese healing technique that originated in China over 5,000 years ago. It involves the use of fine sterilized needles that are applied at strategic locations in the body to produce a regulatory effect on the body. The points where the needles are inserted are called acupuncture points (or just acupoints) that lie just above energy channels called meridians that connect the internal organs to the surface of the body. When a needle is inserted into an acupoint, it generates a mild electric sensation that stimulates the corresponding meridian and generates a chain reaction of events within the body that helps restore balance and well-being in the body.
While Western science still cannot explain the exact mechanisms that make acupuncture treatment work, acupuncture has been proven to work for several kinds of health conditions. It is extremely effective in the alleviation of pain, sometimes even used as a replacement for anesthesia during surgery in China. The extreme potency of acupuncture underscores the marked physiological effects of the treatment. To determine the clinical efficacy of acupuncture for other illnesses, further research is undergoing and being investigated.
The way modern Western medicine views hypertension is totally different from that of ancient Chinese medicine. In Chinese medicine, the various physiological processes surrounding hypertension are considered. There are different physiological relationships existing between each of the internal organs. Various disease patterns arise when those relationships become disharmonious. Chinese medicine diagnosis that includes listening to the patient’s symptoms and signs, palpation of his radial artery pulse, observing his tongue are performed in order to determine the exact pattern(s) of disharmony within the patient. Only then can the acupuncturist identify the acupoints to needle to restore balance in the body.
More often than not, hypertension is the result of a disharmony affecting the Liver organ. In Chinese medicine, when we talk about the Liver or any other organ, we refer to an energetic function of the organ and not necessarily the physical organ itself. The regulation of the Blood and the smooth flow of vital energy called Qi are the Liver’s responsibilities. Hypertension can be caused by a number of underlying patterns of disharmony including Kidney Yin and Liver Deficiency, Liver Qi Stagnation, and Liver Yang Rising.
Kidney Yin and Liver Deficiency
This pattern occurs due to aging and causes the weakening of the body’s Yin energy. As the Yin becomes deficient, it no longer can balance and contain the Yang energy of the body. This deficiency causes Yang to rise up and elevate the person’s blood pressure. The pattern of Kidney Yin and Liver Deficiency can be blamed for a variety of symptoms associated with aging, including: menopause. To boost the body’s cooling Yin energy, acupuncture treatment using the acupoints Liver 3, Kidney 3, and Spleen 6 are used.
Additional Treatment Information
Besides those above-mentioned acupuncture points, acupuncturists usually use various additional points to better manage the symptoms of hypertension and normalize and stabilize blood pressure levels. Several acupoints found on the ear have been proven to work extremely well and generate almost instantaneous effects in reducing blood pressure levels. Those ear acupoints are found on the backside of the ear and tip of the ear. They are usually used along with the body acupuncture points to augment the benefits of the treatment.
If necessary, the acupuncture point Stomach 9 that’s found directly adjoining the carotid artery on the neck is used to quickly lower and control blood pressure during times of emergency. Traditionally, this point is contraindicated for bilateral needling because it may lead to a state of hypotension as it can very quickly lower a person’s blood pressure.
Liver Qi Stagnation
Liver Qi Stagnation is usually the result of a stressful lifestyle. Symptoms often associated with this disharmonious pattern include a sensation of distention in the head, PMS, muscle tension, digestive problems, and agitation. The increased tension causes a tightening in the body that creates greater resistance to the circulation of blood and energy. Treatment can involve the needling of acupuncture points Liver 3and Large Intestine 4. These acupoints generate a powerful circulating therapy that is able to remove the obstruction of energy.
Liver Yang Rising
This pattern shows up as a dramatic uprising of Yang Qi to the face and head accompanied by symptoms such as a bitter taste in the mouth, headaches, sudden dizziness, red eyes, and anger. The cause of this pattern is often attributed to out of control emotions. The rising Qi needs to be suppressed and this is accomplished through the needling of the acupoints Stomach 36, Liver 2, and Kidney 1. These acupoints are all found on the lower legs and feet assisting in the downward guidance of Yang energy.
How to Manage Hypertension with Acupuncture Treatment
In order to alleviate the symptoms and balance the disharmonies causing hypertension, regular acupuncture treatment may be necessary. In the management of hypertension, during the first few weeks, you may need to undergo acupuncture treatments several times per week. It may be possible to have less frequent treatments once your condition has stabilized. Acupuncture can help you reduce or avoid the use of medications, but only with the advice of your medical physician. For patients desiring to limit or avoid the longstanding use of medications, integrative therapy is one option that should be considered.
When you combine Chinese Herbal Medicine with acupuncture, which is usually done by most licensed acupuncturists anyway it can boost the effectiveness of the treatment.
Cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart attack all share the same pathogenesis.
1. Hypertension – A condition in which your blood pressure is abnormally elevated.
2. Atherosclerosis- A condition that occurs when the arteries are narrowed due to the buildup of fatty tissue and the hardening of the blood vessels.
3. Coronary heart disease, including angina pectoris – A type of cardiovascular condition caused by an interruption of blood flow to the heart.
4. Stroke – Caused by disruption of blood flow to the brain.
5. Heart attack – Also called myocardial infarction. Heart attack happens due to the sudden death of a portion of the heart muscle as a result of blood supply blockage to the heart.
All these diseases are associated with issues involving the brain, heart, and blood circulation within the vascular system. They are also related to the irregular blockage of blood flow in the body.
Normal blood circulation in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory is based on the smooth movement of Liver Qi, the driving force of Heart Qi, balance of Yin and Yang, and the healthy transportation and transformation of body fluids and blood or Spleen Qi. Blood is the mother of Qi and Qi is the governor of Blood. The major pathological factors that negatively influence blood circulation include:
Blood Stasis and Liver Qi stagnation
Phlegm with deficient Spleen Qi blocking the Vessels and Heart
Deficient Heart Yang and Qi with buildup of coldness
The Patterns of Disharmony of Cardiovascular Diseases
In TCM, disease treatments and prevention are very much customized based on the differentiation of patterns and diagnosis of the disease. This article will deal with the most common patterns of cardiovascular diseases to provide the reader with a basic knowledge about the cause, prevention, and remedies of these health issues, based on TCM protocols.
Blood Stasis with Liver Qi Stagnation
Adequate tonification and unhindered circulation of qi is the main requirement for normal blood circulation. The main organ that controls the smooth circulation of qi throughout the body is the Liver. The flow of liver qi can be easily disrupted by emotional disturbance, particularly, mental stress. In times of stress, the flow of qi may slow down and eventually can stagnate which can lead to blood stasis. Blood stasis can also lead to Deficient Qi due to the weakness of driving force. Blood stasis can cause Yin and blood deficiency due to the inadequate amount of fluid in the blood vessels caused by blood and qi stagnation impeding the flow. Coldness that remains in the vessels and meridians will lead to the accumulation of blood and the constriction of blood vessels. The body fluids can dry up due to excess heat, resulting in the thickening of the blood resulting in blood stasis. Phlegm buildup also can lead to blood stasis.
The diagnosis of the patient and differentiation of certain patterns of disharmony based on TCM theory is the most important factor for providing effective and safe treatment. For deficient qi, remedy should deal with tonifying qi moving blood. For stagnant qi, remedy should focus on boosting blood circulation and in invigorating the flow of qi. Treatment using warm methods such as hot herbs and moxibustion can be used to eliminate coldness and to move blood and warm the body. For deficient Yin and Blood, herbs nourishing yin and tonifying blood should be used. Cooling herbs can be used when there’s too much heat in the body. While all these modalities address the main cause of blood stasis, herbs to eliminate stasis and invigorate blood flow can also be used. They include Honghua (Safflower), Taoren (Peach Kernel), (Sangi) (Pseudo-ginseng), and Danshen (Red Sage Root). Acupuncture points Sp 6, UB 17, Sp 10 are used as they are crucial in the strengthening of blood circulation and in normalizing blood.
Studies have revealed Chinese herbs that eliminate blood stasis and invigorate blood possess cardiovascular benefits for both animals and humans. Decoction of Red Sage Root has proven to generate a significant vasodilatory effect on the heart of rabbits and coronary arteries of guinea pigs. In one study, researchers administered a preparation of Red Sage Root on 323 patients for one to nine months. Results showed a significant clinical improvement in 20.3 percent of the control group and a 62 percent improvement in the Red Sage Root group. The Red Sage Root group reported a 52 percent improvement based on ECG. In other studies, Red Sage Root was also shown to help improve cholesterol metabolism. They showed that Red Sage Root injections helped reduce the levels of serum cholesterol in some patients. Pseudo-ginseng which, in TCM pharmacopeia can alleviate pain and swelling, invigorate blood flow, and halt bleeding, has been shown to also alleviate angina pain, lower blood pressure, and significantly boost the flow in the coronary artery.
Phlegm with Spleen Qi Deficiency
In TCM, the principle of phlegm encompasses a range of conditions. Phlegm can come in the form of various signs and symptoms. When it is retained over a long period of time, phlegm can itself be a cause of illness. The two types of Phlegm are non-substantial and substantial. Non-substantial Phlegm may accumulate in the internal organs, collaterals and channels or under the skin. It can obstruct the Heart vessels and orifices. When Phlegm builds up subcutaneously, it manifests in the form of nodules and lumps such as swelling of the thyroid, lymph nodes, and the nerve ganglia. It can also manifest as water retention and dampness, heaviness of the body, or excess buildup of fat tissue. Substantial Phlegm manifests as phlegm, mucus, and sputum in the throat and lungs that can be coughed or spat out.
When the channels have an excess buildup of phlegm, the phlegm may not be as tangible as nodules or as swelling, but can nevertheless cause paralysis, pain, and numbness most commonly seen in people with hemiplegia and Bell’s palsy as well as in the elderly. When blockage of Phlegm to the mind and heart orifices occurs, it may result in mental or emotional conditions such as manic depression, schizophrenia, mild cases of anxiety or depression, problems concentrating, confusion, and in severe cases, epilepsy or stroke. When there is an aggregation and accumulation of phlegm in the vessels, it may cause the artery walls to thicken and harden and the vessels to constrict or narrow. If there is fat or Phlegm in the blood, it can increase the thickness and viscosity of the vessels, thereby resulting in hypertension, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, stroke, or even a heart attack.
Phlegm is transformed mainly due to a deficient Spleen. If the Spleen is unable to deliver and convert body fluids, the fluids will buildup and transform into Phlegm. Too much consumption of sweet, greasy, or fatty foods and dairy products may lead to the over-production of phlegm. Too much thinking and overwork can disrupt the function of Spleen which can lead to phlegm buildup in the body. Longstanding stress and emotional tension can also harm the Spleen and result in phlegm.
The emphasis on disease prevention and the underlying cause of illness are the main focus in TCM treatments. In order to treat or prevent illnesses and disease including cardiovascular diseases, Phlegm needs to be resolved and Spleen needs to be strengthened. A healthy diet containing balanced and sufficient nutrients, avoiding dairy products as well as greasy, sweet, and fatty foods, proper exercise, and eschewing both physical and mental overstrain are all important factors to maintain the healthy functionality of the Spleen and to lessen the risk of Phlegm development.
TuiNa massage can help boost body fluid metabolism and improve blood and qi flow. This activity involves a light patting on the head and patting of the body’s back, legs, arms, and front from top to bottom. Tuina can lead to better nourishment of the body, enhanced blood and qi flow, and improved health both mentally and physically. Kneading and pressing the acupoints St 40, Sp 6, St 36, and Ren can bolster the functionality of the Stomach and Spleen resulting in improved conversion and transportation of water and food, and enhance digestion. St-40 is often used by acupuncturists to clear out phlegm. Studies on the St 40 acupoints have shown that regular use of this point can help in the lowering of cholesterol level in the blood.
Deficient Heart Yang and Qi with Buildup of Coldness
The warmth of Heart Yang and the driving force of Heart Qi are essential in order to bring about smooth blood flow within the body. A deficient qi makes it difficult to maintain smooth and adequate blood flow and leads to symptoms such as a weak and deep pulse, pale face and tongue, shortness of breath, spontaneous perspiration, chest pain or heaviness in the chest, and palpitations. These symptoms can be felt while performing physical activities and are exacerbated with overexertion. A deficient or weak Yang makes the body lose its warmth, thickens and cools blood, slows down circulation, and obstructs and contracts the blood vessels and Heart. When this occurs, patients suffer from even greater chest pain that’s often described as a constrictive or strangling pain traveling from the chest to the back. Other symptoms such as an uneven, tense, and tight pulse, purplish tongue and lips, pale face, and cold extremities with feelings of extreme coldness can also manifest from Yang Deficiency.
The goal of the treatment is to dispel coldness, warm Heart Yang, and tonify Heart Qi. Herbal formulas are used containing ingredients suitable for the patient’ spepcifc needs. They include Guizhi (Cinnamon Twig), Shengjiang (Fresh Ginger), Renshen (Ginseng), Gancao (Licorice), Huangtzi (Astragalus), Gualou (Trichosanthes), and Fuhsi (Aconite Root). Moxibustion combined with acupuncture using the acupoints Ren 17, St 36, Ren 4 and Ren 6 is utilized to tonify qi and yang. A decoction of Guishi composed of three pieces of Dazao, Licorice (Gancao 2g), Fresh Ginger (Shengjiang 2g), White Peony Root (Baishaoyao 3g) and Cinnamon Twig (Guizhi 3g). The mixture is boiled in three cups of water for half an hour and drank while warm. When the body is feeling warm, stop drinking the decoction. Each day, before going to bed, use hot water to soak your feet in for 20 minutes. This can help remove coldness and warm your yang.
TCM practitioners often use the following herbs:
Baishu (White Atractylodes)
Chenpi (Tangerine Peel)
Bansha (Pinellia Tuber)
Shanzha (Hawthorn Fruit)
Research reveals that herbs with Phlegm-resolving qualities can help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood which improves cardiovascular health. A simple decoction of 10g of Shanzha (Hawthorn Fruit) and 10g of Chenpi (Tangerine Peel) boiled in three cups of water for half an hour and drank each day can help lower cholesterol levels. Chinese massage or tuina on the stomach can reduce stress and help blood and qi flow smoothly. Tuina can also increase energy and help patients improve their sleep and digestion. When performed every day, this massage can even help you lose weight after just a few weeks.
Jamie Catlett is an acupuncturist in Jacksonville, FL and the founder of Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic.
Angina pectoris, more commonly known as chest pain, is a sign of coronary artery disease, which is a cardiovascular condition. Chest pain develops when insufficient amounts of oxygen-transporting blood reaches an area of the heart, causing a tightening or squeezing sensation in the various parts of the body particularly in the back, neck, shoulders, arms, or chest. According to the American Heart Association, angina pectoris affects about 10 million Americans and around 500,000 new cases of stable angina occurring each year. This means that around five percent of men and women in the United States suffer from angina.
Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been treating angina and other types of coronary artery diseases for hundreds of years by means of herbal formulas, acupuncture, tai chi and qi gong long before the development of modern pharmaceutical medications. Nowadays, these TCM therapies are still being used albeit as alternative and adjunctive treatments for cardiovascular diseases.
What is Angina Pectoris?
Angina pectoris can be classified into three types—variant, unstable, and stable. Variant angina is a cardiovascular condition that rarely occurs. It usually happens during nighttime and when the body is at rest. It generates an acute type of pain that can be alleviated with the use of drugs. Unstable angina is a condition that’s almost impossible to predict. It may occur when the body is either being overexerted or at rest. As unstable angina can induce a heart attack, it requires immediate medical attention. The most common form of angina is stable angina and it follows a pattern that can be predicted. When the heart is overexerted, it can cause chest tightness and pain as well as pain in the back, neck, shoulder, and arm. This type of angina is controllable and its occurrence does not necessarily indicate an impending heart attack.
Angina Treatment via Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
TCM treatments for cardiovascular conditions combine pharmaceutical, psychological, and physical, approaches that include manipulations, acupuncture, dietary modifications, and herbal medicine, which are all designed to enhance the flow of energy in the body.
Extensive animal and human studies have been done on all major TCM treatments. The outcomes of these studies range from “zero effect” to “significant effect(s).” The different protocols and standards from studies done in different countries make it difficult to compare results. Because of the large number of sufferers, treatments for cardiovascular conditions are among the most frequently studied. These studies have dealt with the cost of allopathic modalities, as well as the severe effects on health and lifespan of cardiovascular conditions.
North American, European, and Asian studies involving angina patients suggest some degree of effectiveness of acupuncture treatment as a standalone therapy and as an adjunct to other therapies, including conventional Western treatments, shiatsu massage, and herbal medicine.
According to TCM, angina can be caused by several forms of syndromes. It may arise when there is a deficiency in the yin and kidney qi; when the heart is obstructed by phlegm, cold, or heat; or when qi stagnates in the heart. Qi or energy travels throughout the body via energy vessels known as meridians. These meridians connect the internal organs to the surface of the body. When qi stagnates in a meridian, this affects the balance between yin and yang causing a deficiency within the body. Physical exercises like qi gong or tai chi are performed to stimulate the flow of qi; acupuncture uses specific acupoints to stimulate the affected meridians; while herbal medicines are prescribed in order to balance energy and self-regulate the body.
Tai Chi and Qigong
Tai chi and qi gong are exercises that can help calm the mind and energize the body through precise gentle stretching movements and concentration. The ensuing harmony removes the obstructions to energy flow— in Western medicine, this means an improvement in cardiovascular, circulatory, and respiratory activity. One great benefit of tai chi is its adaptability; certain routines that are highly useful in any physical condition, including limited mobility or disabilities, can be designed by practitioners. Due to its meditative, low impact nature, tai chi can be a good option for low- to moderate-risk cardiovascular patients, prior to and post-surgery.
It was found in a Chinese study that following a course of qigong exercise, blood pressure can be lowered in women suffering from coronary heart disease resulting in a significant decrease in the severity and frequency of angina attacks. One other study showed that depression, social functioning, bodily pain, blood pressure, and general well-being of the patients all improved after a course of qigong (which is comprised of controlled breathing and movement as well as medication) lasting 16 weeks.
Angina Treatment Using Chinese Herbal Medicine
There are literally thousands of kinds of Chinese herbal formulas and they can come in the form of simple teas to complex decoctions (extracts derived by boiling down an herb). Herbal medicine is actually the most widely used and most popular component of TCM. Over the past 20 years, several studies have revealed that herbal formulas are used by around 25% to 50% of patients with cardiovascular disease.
The aim of Chinese herbal medicine is to normalize the smooth movement of qi through the energy channels in order to restore yin/yang balance. By promoting the smooth and unhindered flow of qi, blood flow is also restored resulting in the alleviation of angina-related pain. For heart qi deficiency a formula known as Protect the Source Decoction or Bao Yuan Tang can be used; for blood and qi stagnation Stasis in The Mansion of Blood Decoctionor or Hsue Fu Zhu Yu Tang can be prescribed; and for heart yang deficiency complicated by phlegm, Trichosanthes Fruit, Chinese Chive, and Wine Decoction or Gua Luo Hsie Bai Bai Jiu Tang can be used. These formulas contain herbs such as root of angelica, safflower, Chinese chive, pinellia tuber, trichosanthes fruit, and macrostein onion, to name a few.
A licensed or experienced Chinese medicine herbalist or practitioner customizes the herbal remedy based on the specific needs of the patient. A variety of single herbs are either subtracted or added to boost the effectiveness of the therapy.
Acupuncture Treatment for Angina
Research shows that acupuncture combined with patient education can lead to substantial improvements than intervention alone. In some Western and Chinese studies, following acupuncture treatments, the severity and frequency of angina attacks were lessened.
In animal studies dealing with acupuncture treatment of heart-related conditions, results show that needling of the PC 6 or Pericardium 6 acupoint (the Neiguan acupoint) can help strengthen myocardial contractions by inhibiting earlier physiologic processes that play a role in angina attacks. A 2005 study showed that acupuncture treatment at the PC 4 and Neiguan acupoints led to an improvement in heart’s stroke volume by improving the contractility of the wall of the left ventricle.
Other acupoints such as the Ren 17 (Shanshong) and B 15 (Hsinshu) can help relieve angina symptoms. For acute angina conditions, acupoints on the fingertips such as the Lu 11 (Shaoshang), Ht 9 (Shaochong), and Pc 9 (Zhongchong) can work very well.
Depending on your current symptoms and constitution, your acupuncturist will select the most effective acupuncture points for the treatment of your angina.
Risks in the Use of TCM Modalities
1. Talk to your healthcare provider first before embarking on any type of exercise programs. You should also seek an experienced tai chi or qigong instructor to in order to be guided properly when doing these exercises.
2. As with all medicines, Chinese herbal formulas can heal as well as cause harm. The active ingredients in some herbal compounds and herbs can interact with standard medications (over-the-counter and prescription) as well as with other herbs. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult with a Chinese herbalist and with your physician before using herbs.
3. Massage and acupuncture are both very low risk modalities especially when they’re done by an experienced and trained professional. Select only an acupuncturist who is licensed by your state.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a healing system that works on the principle that the mind and body of each individual function through the movement of intangible forces such as qi (vital energy) and yin and yang within the body. The flow and production qi and yin/yang are controlled by organ systems such as the stomach, spleen, large intestine, lung, liver, gallbladder, etc. Each organ system is affiliated with one of the basic TCM elements that comprise the human body: water, fire, earth, metal, and wood. TCM treatments are designed to stimulate the organs and the energy channels through which flow yin/yang, and qi in order to bring about proper balance and movement of these elements.
Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St #101
Bellingham, WA 98225
According to a May 2010 study, conducted by researchers at the Rochester Medical Center, acupuncture in Boynton Beach definitely works for the relief of pain.
Acupuncture does not rely on conventional Western medical principles and is an alternative form of healing system that has been the subject of intense debate and discussion about whether it just relies on the belief of the patient that it works to deliver results or if it truly works.
In Western medicine, a health problem is directly addressed and for this reason it relies heavily on medications and drugs. Acupuncture, which is a branch of TCM or (Traditional Chinese medicine), follows a more indirect route; acupuncturists believe in and practice the holistic healing of the body instead of focusing on one part of the body. For them, balance between the spirit, mind, and body is of utmost importance, and the manner by which this is established is through correction of the movement of vital energy or “chi”, within the body.
Among the various ancient Chinese medical treatments, acupuncture is probably the most famous in the West. To correct the uneven circulation of energy, acupuncture needles are applied at specific points in the body in order to restore health. For a lot of Western medical researchers, acupuncture is a technique they believe really does not produce any health benefits. According to them, acupuncture treatment should not lead to a cure of illness and that it is unable to return a patient to full health.
Western medicine has a problem because a lot of studies that have been done about acupuncture consistently show that acupuncture truly works and this cannot be refuted. In a lot of instances, success has been achieved after conventional Western treatments have proved unsuccessful in curing the patient. Yes, acupuncture may not be able to remedy every illness and disease any more than western medicine can, and this argument has been used as an excuse by a lot of people in the West to brush it aside and see it as quackery.
The findings from the Rochester Medical Center have actually tested acupuncture to see whether its effects are merely psychosomatic or if it truly addresses health issues. The researchers sought to find whether a desired outcome comes from the patient being manipulated into believing that acupuncture will work, or if the treatment really works.
The Rochester researchers used mice with sore paws. Acupuncture treatment was given to all the mice in the same manner it would be given to humans. Obviously, the mice carry no biases or beliefs on whether the therapy was going to work or not.
A natural painkiller known as adenosine was measured in the mice after the treatment. High amounts of adenosine can help relieve a person when he is experiencing pain. Results of the study showed that the adenosine levels in the mice increased by 20000 percent and 67 percent of the mice experienced a reduction of pain compared to mice not treated with acupuncture.
The study seemed to prove beyond doubt that acupuncture is a bona fide alternative remedy for the relief of pain. To be fair, the outcomes that have been gotten from animal experiments are not quite the same as those obtained from experiments on humans. This is the reason why Rochester researchers refused to support the notion that acupuncture needles can restore balance to the vital energy in the body or that energy flow in the body gone wrong can be corrected.
A patient suffering from pain would only want to find relief from it. Most probably, he will not be interested on whether his body is not balanced or whether the vital energy within him is not flowing smoothly as it normally should. If the illness dissipates or the pain stops, then the patient is happy and the acupuncture treatment is successful.
Besides pain, acupuncture treatment can resolve several other issues including smoking addiction and weight gain. It can help people with fertility problems succeed with IVF treatment, something that in no way associates with the release of natural opioids in the body, as detractors of acupuncture are quick to point out. From all these, we can see that that there’s more to acupuncture than its ability to relieve pain.
Being frequently associated with several kinds of illnesses, acupuncture is a treatment that provides several kinds of benefits. One of its little-known benefits is its anti-aging effects which when practiced is often termed cosmetic acupuncture. This article will provide the reader with a brief description of acupuncture and the principles that underlie the treatment particularly when it comes to the slowing down or even reversal of the aging process.
What is Acupuncture?
A therapy that is part and parcel of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points around the body. The idea behind this treatment is that health problems are the result of an imbalance caused by blockage in the flow of energy within the body. Through the application of needles at certain acupuncture points, bioelectrical energy known as Chi or Qi can flow without obstruction around the body helping the body restore itself to health. Each person is given a specialized type of treatment based on his/her symptoms, medical history, and constitution. This implies that a full analysis for each person is conducted before treatment is given.
The information above mentions how acupuncture works in treating illnesses. Acupuncture as an anti-aging remedy will help you feel better and boost your overall wellbeing as it balances out the Qi in your body. This treatment is non-invasive and works to help remove the effects of aging on your skin and your face.
During treatment for anti-aging, the needles are applied at acupoints specifically designed to promote blood circulation to the face and produce collagen. One of the greatest effects of the treatment is the dramatic decrease of wrinkles and fine lines in your face. Acupuncture also helps tonify the facial muscles helping you look years younger.
This treatment also restores balance to the whole body making the organs function more efficiently and upgrading the general health of the body causing you to not only look younger outside but feel younger inside, as well.
Why Choose Acupuncture?
People choose to get acupuncture treatment for various reasons. One reason is that the conventional beauty-enhancing treatments such as liposuction and Botox as well as cosmetic surgery are highly non-invasive, extremely risky, and carry very serious side effects. Acupuncture, on the other hand, works, is extremely safe to use, and has very few side effects. This means that people who do not want their fat sucked out, their face injected with Botox, or undergo risky surgery, can have a much better option with acupuncture.
Moreover, in terms of costs, the alternatives to acupuncture can be quite expensive and may be beyond the price range of most people. Although there may be costs involved, an acupuncture treatment can be considerably much less than standard therapies. For a lot of people, this advantage is a very important one since it would help them with their health problems without costing them an arm or leg, so to speak.
The anti-aging treatment of acupuncture is a thing that people should try because of its many wonderful benefits. However, you should seek a qualified and licensed acupuncturist in order to get the best treatment possible. At the same time, you also need to do some research about the treatment and how it works in the reversal or slowing down of aging. You can talk to some previous clients to discover how acupuncture has worked for their condition and/or if they can give you referrals for an acupuncturist.
Studies less than five years ago have revealed that acupuncture is able to help control certain side effects and symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, pain, and fatigue associated with some forms of cancer and their corresponding treatments. Researchers from the Integrative Medicine Service of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who have either reviewed or performed several of those studies, advise that cancer patients considering acupuncture therapy should consult with a licensed or certified acupuncturist who has past experience working with individuals with cancer or has the right training.
A part of a traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is a 2500 year-old ancient therapeutic technique that involves the stimulation of one or more preselected points on the body, known as acupoints, with needles to generate a healing effect. The treatment may be augmented with electricity, pressure, or heat to amplify the effect of the needles. Based on traditional Chinese medicine theory, energy circulates like blood throughout the body through “meridians” or energy channels. The needles in the acupoints stimulate the flow of energy and blood along different channels throughout the body to a particular an organ, tissue, or organ system.
The treatment is always tailored based on each patient’s specific symptoms. The treatment usually lasts about 30 minutes and uses 10 to 20 sterilized stainless steel filiform needles. Most patients treated with acupuncture do not complain of pain from the needle insertions. The treatment is completely safe with very little risk of injury; in fact, fewer than one adverse event in more than 10,000 treatments has been reported.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year there are more than eight million Americans who get acupuncture treatment for various types of ailments. Several researches indicate acupuncture’s efficacy in treating a lot of health issues unrelated to cancer like hot flashes, infertility, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, chronic headaches, and back pain, among many others. Recent reviews and studies have investigated acupuncture’s use for the treatment of side effects and symptoms of a number of cancers.
In the United States, greater than 100,000 people are diagnosed with neck and head cancer each year. The cancer usually metastasize (spreads) from its original location to lymph nodes in the neck. This can result in the removal of the affected lymph node and nerves known as spinal accessory nerves that in turn, can result in shoulder function problems.
In April 2010 the Journal of Clinical Oncology published a study performed by Memorial Sloan Kettering researchers who sought to see whether acupuncture could alleviate dysfunction and pain in people with cancer of the neck or head who underwent a surgical removal of lymph nodes in their neck. A total of 58 people who suffered from dysfunction or chronic pain caused by neck surgery participated in the study. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups for four weeks: one group received conventional treatments such as anti-inflammatory and painkilling drugs as well as physical therapy while the other group received weekly acupuncture treatments.
The results of the study showed that when compared to the patients who received conventional care, the people in the group treated with acupuncture experienced marked reductions in dysfunction and pain. The acupuncture group also showed significant improvement in extreme dry mouth or xerostomia, a condition experienced by patients who have undergone radiation therapy
Leukemia and Acupuncture
Hoping to improve their treatment outcome or at least manage their symptoms, a lot of leukemia sufferers try treatments other than the conventional care they are receiving. A study that was published in Expert Reviews Anticancer Therapies in September 2009 and again conducted by researchers at the Memorial Sloan Kettering analyzed the outcomes from available studies that tested the efficacy of such approaches. They state that acupuncture is extremely beneficial for the management of symptoms among the adjunctive treatments used to reduce side effects and symptoms.
Cancer chemotherapy can be damaging to the peripheral nervous system of some leukemia patients (it can cause neuropathy), which leads to symptoms such as muscle weakness, swelling, tingling, numbness, and pain in various parts of the body, especially in the feet and hands. In certain instances, physicians need to lower the chemotherapy dose in order to halt the further progression of the neuropathy. Acupuncture has shown to reduce these burdensome symptoms, making it possible to use the maximum amount of chemotherapy, thus improving the patient’s chance for a successful outcome.
This treatment has also shown to lower the effects of nausea that a number of chemotherapy agents for leukemia induce. Studies reveal that timing the acupuncture sessions one to two days prior to chemotherapy procedures and continued weekly throughout the chemotherapy regimen produce the best outcomes. Moreover, the authors state that acupuncture is safe for patients taking heparin, Coumadin or other anticoagulation medications during leukemia therapy.
The writers of the review say that, generally speaking, distinguishing between complementary treatments (therapeutic massage, meditation, yoga, self-hypnosis, and acupuncture) and other alternative treatments that are ineffective and unproven is important because these alternative therapies may interfere with conventional cancer therapies.
Breast Cancer and Acupuncture
Several types of breast cancer have receptors for the estrogen hormone. These receptor-positive breast tumors that exploit the dependence of the cancer cells on hormones to develop are highly likely to respond to anti-estrogen drug therapy. People with these tumors are usually given treatment that halt the manufacture of estrogen, which hopefully, will slow down the development of the tumor. These therapies can lead to early menopause, resulting in symptoms such as excessive perspiration, fatigue, and hot flashes. Doctors usually prescribe Effexor (venlafaxine) or other antidepressants because hormone replacement therapy that is usually used to treat such symptoms is contraindicated for these women.
The Journal of Clinical Oncology in its February 2010 issue published a study that observed whether acupuncture can relieve some of the typical side effects and help lessen the adverse effects of antidepressants. In the study 50 women with hormone-receptor positive breast cancer were divided into two groups. One group was treated with venlafaxine while the other group received acupuncture treatment for 12 weeks.
Quality-of-life symptoms such as depression and hot flashes significantly decreased in both groups. The venlafaxine group, however, began re-experiencing the symptoms a couple of weeks after discontinuing drug therapy. In the acupuncture group however, a total of 15 weeks went by before the symptoms returned. Moreover, during treatment, the acupuncture group members experienced no significant side effects, compared to the venlafaxine group that reported 18 incidences of adverse effects, including anxiety, dizziness, dry mouth, and nausea.
Searching for the Right Acupuncturist for Cancer Patients
The NCCAOM or National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine gives a list of practitioners who are certified nationally in Asian bodywork therapy, Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and Oriental medicine. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Integrative Medicine Service has trained thousands of acupuncturists from several other countries and across the United States. A list of acupuncturists who are cancer-trained is kept by the Integrative Medicine Service. All integrative medicine specialists emphasize how important an acupuncturist who has training in working with cancer patients and who is NCCAOM licensed or certified is in the treatment of cancer.
It is a fact that when compared to Western medicine, Chinese medicine and acupuncture can save you money. These alternative treatments are much less costly than conventional western medicine in a couple of ways. First, in terms of actual treatments costs, Western medicine is significantly less cheaper than Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Second, Chinese medicine and acupuncture are mainly preventative types of treatment which means it keeps you from falling into disease or illness which helps you avoid spending on treatment for health condition when it does occur.
Actually, numerous studies have already been done on how much money one can save by using acupuncture and not just on how well the treatment works in the resolution of a disease. One very good example of this was a study published in the 1992 edition of Acta Anethesiol Scand showing that because of acupuncture, seven out of 29 patients awaiting surgeries were able to avoid their date with surgery helping save $9000 for each patient.
The 1994 issue of Neurology published a study showing that when acupuncture was used on patients who suffered from stroke, it helped cut their hospital stay by almost 50% helping the patients save $26,000 each.
Another study showing how acupuncture can save people a ton of money was published in 1980 in the Journal Spine. In the study, 18 of the 29 people given acupuncture treatment in Boca Raton for low back pain were able to return to work compared to only four out of the 27 patients given conventional Western treatments. For the people returning to work, this meant less debt and for companies, this meant savings in terms of lesser medical insurance cost.
Also when you visit a medical doctor, you may need to spend as much as $265 for just one visit. This can go even higher (as high as $325) when you see a specialist. On the other hand, a visit to an acupuncturist would only cost an average of $65. This means that a visit to a specialist is five times more expensive than a visit to an acupuncturist.
As mentioned a while ago, acupuncture can help you save money more than Western medicine by helping prevent your body from falling ill. Acupuncture is a preventative type of treatment which is the opposite of Western medicine which is merely preoccupied in repairing things that are malfunctioning and broken. Western medicine pays very little attention to preventing disease and staying healthy. Pharmaceutical drugs are designed to be mere palliatives for symptoms and have become the primary means of treatment in Western medicine. Under the pretense of preventive medicine, your doctor will likely prescribe low doses of the same medications that he/she uses to address the condition when it is fully developed if he/she believes that you might develop hypertension or diabetes.
Preventative medicine is a very important aspect of healing to an acupuncturist. Disease prevention is actually the highest level of Chinese medicine. Before the imbalance gets too severe or too big, your acupuncturist will determine the reason why your body got out of balance in the first place, and then will strive to repair the problem as quick as possible. If the imbalance has been in the body for a long time or if it has gotten too big or severe, the result is illnesses and diseases. This restoration of balance and prevention is achieved through the use of exercise, diet changes, Chinese herbal medicine, and, of course, acupuncture. What’s so great about this approach is that food, exercise, herbs, and acupuncture are much, much less expensive than high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer treatments and has no side effects to boot!
The most important point is that Chinese medicine and acupuncture treatments are much cheaper than modern Western treatments. Also, you need not have to undergo medical treatments for health issues and you are able to stay healthy longer. And did I mention that acupuncture and Chinese medicine are virtually side-effect free?
Managing the confusing and complex array of symptoms of menopause can become easier with Chinese herbal medicine, a type of traditional Chinese medicine treatment that is based on the premise that everything moves or changes. The circulation of vital energy (Chi) animates and invigorates the organs and the rest of the body. This circulation depends on maintaining equilibrium between the complementary yet opposing forces of Yin and Yang. The development of disease may imply an imbalance between Yin and Yang and/or that the flow of Chi has been disrupted.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the human body has twelve main meridian channels that are responsible for the health of the body. Because it stores Jing (Kidney energy), the Kidney meridian–organ system is extremely important in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. The Jing is where Yin and Yang originate and they regulate the movement of Qi through all the other organ-meridian systems.
The importance of the Kidney organ-meridian system in women with menopause is due to its governance of the adrenal glands, ovaries, skeletal structure, brain, teeth, kidneys, inner ear, urethra, fluids, hormones, and other substances produced by the kidneys, adrenals and ovaries, as well as the physiological functions of growth fluid, reproduction, and balance during all ages.
Menopause – Its Signs and Symptoms
Menopause usually starts by the age of 45. This is the time when few primordial follicles stay in the ovaries to produce egg (mature ovum). As a result, there is not enough production of progesterone and estrogen to bring about a normal monthly cycle.
When menopause starts, the first sign may be a change in a previously regular menstrual cycle, either in a missed period duration or volume; onset of hot flushing, excessive perspiration and sweaty palms or clamminess; moods changes including depression and anxiety; the exacerbation or occurrence of pre-menstrual symptoms (headaches , breast pain, and fluid retention); changes in the skin (dryness and lessened elasticity particularly of the vagina resulting in dyspareunia or pain during intercourse); cramps and numbness especially at night; changes in body shape, loss of sexual desire, and joint pains.
Chinese Herbal Medicine for Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms
The focus of Traditional Chinese management of menopause is in balancing yin and yang and restoring Jing to regulate the functions of various tissues and organs that the Kidney organ-meridian system governs. According to Western medicine, this approach aims to
? Relieve mood swings, mild anxiety, insomnia, and irritability
? Treat profuse sweating and hot flushes and regulate hormonal function
? Resolve vaginal and skin dryness
? Boost genital sensitivity and sexual vitality
? Enhance bone integrity
The Chinese Herbs Used in Alleviating the Symptoms of Menopause
Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) – This herb is infused with isoflavonoids and phytoestrogens which have specific health benefits during menopause. In postmenopausal women, Kudzu prevents or slows down bone loss and relieves hot flushes. Its extract has estrogenic effects on vaginal tissue to address dyspareunia and vaginal dryness and to bring back vaginal membrane or epithelial integrity.
Anemarrhena asphodeloides – This herb contains steroidal saponins that improve hormone function. It can also be used as a tonic for the Kidney Yin that possesses nourishing (tonic), moistening (mucogenic), and cooling (refrigerant) qualities that can help reduce profuse sweating and hot flushes, lubricate vaginal dryness, and reinforce the adrenal glands to replace ovaries as the producer of hormones in the body after the cessation of menstruation.
Morinda officinalis and Epimedium sagittatum – They are used to tonify Kidney Yang. When used together, these two herbs reinforce Yang, provide warmth to the Kidney organ-meridian, and strengthen Yang. Both herbs have hormone regulating activity that assists in restoring sexual vitality, psychological motivation, and physical drive. Both Morinda officinalis and Epimedium sagittatum are urogenital tonics and aphrodisiacs that besides helping dispel sexual disinterest also resolve urinary incontinence and bladder weakness. Being an adaptogen, Morinda gives the body the ability to boost its resistance to stress. Epimedium is deemed biphasic which means that while it tonifies Kidney Yin, it also fortifies Yang preventing it from rising and causing flushing and heat in the upper body.
Angelica polymorpha – In Chinese medicine, this is a very popular herb, and is used for so many female health issues. Because it invigorates and nourishes Hsue (Chinese word for ‘blood’), angelica polymorpha is also considered a ‘female ginseng.’ It also harmonizes Chi which is helpful in the treatment of low vitality, fatigue, recuperation from childbirth, pelvic pain, and dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation). Studies have shown that Dong Quai is best used when combined with other herbs. It is an ideal remedy for people suffering from Yin deficiency, a condition that usually develops in menopause (frequency and intensity of hot flushes).
Dr. Nelya de Brun, AP, DAOM
Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC
3459 Woolbright Rd
Boynton Beach, FL 33436
You heard the saying the “eyes speak a lot”. The eyes can completely reflect your thoughts and feelings. It can even give an indication of how healthy your body is. The eyes play such an important role in a person’s life as it is primarily the organ through which we see the universe. Therefore, it is necessary that we keep them healthy. The mouth, on the other hand, helps us communicate with people and is a very important part of our body as our eyes. Acupuncture in Boca Raton can be a very beneficial treatment for these body parts as it can keep our eyes, mouth, teeth, and gums healthy and functioning at their best. A lot of eye and mouth disorders can be addressed with this ancient Eastern healing remedy without the need for harmful medications. Acupuncture treatment works by stimulating the energy channels or meridians in the body with thin solid stainless steel sterilized to initiate the body’s healing processes.
Acupuncture treatment for the eyes involves needling specific acupuncture points around that area. When a needle is inserted into a point, it increases the flow of energy along the chi channels helping move more blood to the eyes. The carries all the hormones and vital nutrients to the eyes making them strong, health, and free of disease. The common acupuncture points used for the treatment of eye problems include the Urinary Bladder 1 (UB 1) located in the inner corner of eye, UB- 2, found at the depression of the eyebrow’s inner end as well as the points found at eyebrow’s midpoint, outside of the eyebrow and at the corners of the eyes.
These acupoints are quite useful in treating eye problems such as photophobia, facial paralysis, pain and swelling, excessive tearing, redness, sore eyes (conjunctivitis), blurred vision, night blindness, cataract, and others. Besides acupuncture, you can proactively take part in the care of your eyes in general. Some of the ways you can take care of your eyes include:
? Drinking eight glasses of water every day to keep your body hydrated.
? Blinking frequently while working on your computer or watching TV
? Quitting smoking
? Regular exercise
? Proper nutrition
The last includes daily intake of special nutrients in your diet such as essential minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoid compounds, bioflavonoid, and vitamins A, B, & E. These are all simple but worthwhile efforts can make your eyes healthy and clear and could make them speak a lot about you.
Our facial muscles are all connected to each other, and so if any disorder arises in one part of the face it affects the whole face as well. In the treatment of eye problems acupuncture points that are associated with the eyes can also be used for treating mouth disorders. This is also true with various ear and neck acupoints that are sometimes used to treat mouth problems. The mouth disorders that acupuncture can address are:
Gingivitis is a condition in which the gums in the mouth become inflamed resulting in acute pain, mouth odor, redness, and bleeding. This develops because of blood and nutrient deficiency in the gums and mouth. Acupuncture enhances blood flow to those regions helping to heal the symptoms and addressing the underlying cause of the symptoms.
Pharyngitis comes from the words “pharynx” which is the throat and “itis” which, in Latin means inflammation. Thus, pharyngitis simply means throat inflammation or simply, sore throat. Children are the most prone to this condition due to their still undeveloped immune system making them easily susceptible to infection. Acupuncture dispels the cough and converts phlegm to help clear the respiratory tract. It also helps prevents the recurrence of infection by strengthening the immune system.
Toothache can range from slight to mild pain to severe pain that can make it very difficult to chew, eat, laugh, and speak. Acupuncture treatment is usually performed near the problem area leading to the detoxification and enhanced energy and blood flow in the meridian of that area. This treatment is very good at removing pain.
Acupuncture treatment for problems in the eyes and mouth requires the skill of a licensed acupuncturist who specializes or has extensive experience in handling these types of disorders. So, be sure to choose an acupuncturist who is well versed with the required techniques and who will take into account all the necessary precautions that will lead to a safe and successful outcome.
From time to time, anyone may experience difficulties tuning and focusing out distractions but for adults and children with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), this is a frustrating battle they have to deal with every day.
Behavioral therapy and drugs are the common Western conventional modes of treatment for ADHD symptoms. Now, these symptoms can likewise be eased through an alternative form of medicine with ancient roots.
The Mayo Clinic conducted a recent study showing that 7.5 percent of all school-age children in the United States manifest varying degrees of ADHD symptoms.
Some children struggle with hyperactivity, impulsivity, distractibility, or focus or a combination of them.
Allison Bower, licensed acupuncturist states “ADHD is looked at by Western conventional medicine as a dysfunction of the brain, specifically a dysfunction of brain chemistry.” “ADHD, in Eastern medicine is seen as a malfunctioning of certain organs that causes the dysfunction of the brain.”
Bower, who has been a practicing acupuncturist for over two decades, sees both adults and children with ADHD and according to her, acupuncture is a complimentary form of medicine for most of those people.
Acupuncture works well when integrated into other therapies, such as nutritional plans and behavioral therapy. According to Chinese medicine, which acupuncture is a part of, the energy of the body known as qi (pronounced chee) moves freely within the body when you are well. But, from to time, it can be weakened or blocked.
To restore the free flow of energy, filamentous needles are inserted into the skin at predetermined points in the body. Bower explains “If the qi or energy of the organs systems of the body can be balanced, then the brain chemistry can adjust”.
Besides helping calm the disruptive nature of ADHD, acupuncture can also offset or ameliorate the side effects of the drugs used to treat ADHD.
At age 11, Peter Henson was diagnosed with ADHD.
He admits “Social anxiety, impulsivity, and distractibility has always been an issue for him.” Those are quite common symptoms for children with ADHD.
Besides the symptoms of ADHD other issues ranging from facial tics, to depression or social anxiety can also occur. According to the Executive Director and Founder of the Attention Center, Jill Zupon, “ADHD is usually accompanied by some anxiety and/or depression. And since we know acupuncture addresses these conditions, it will most certainly address ADHD.” The Attention Center is a facility that is devoted to the exclusive care of adults and children with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD.
Apart from coaching, testing, nutritional services, and therapy, Zupon saw the benefits of acupuncture which was the reason why she brought Bower on board.
Zupon explains “Our facility is not a provider of homeopathic medicine. But to those who are not too keen on using medications, we knew that acupuncture would be a good alternative”.
Peter Henson’s parent’s tried ADHD drugs on Peter, but that it didn’t work for him. His parents decided to bring him to the Attention Center to help ease his symptoms. When his parents found out the center offered acupuncture, they decided to give it a try.
Henson claims that he felt more like himself than he had in a whole year and it was just the biggest relief for him and his parents.
There was a time when Peter went two months without any acupuncture treatment. During that time, he had lost two sets of keys in recent weeks, and says he had difficulty with his thought processes and organization.
For Peter, the beneficial effects of acupuncture worked almost instantaneously.
He told us, “The treatment really works. My attitude and manner of speaking is different in a positive way”.
As the treatment starts, Peter and Allison are seated at a table. Allison speaks to Peter first asking him a series of questions related to his emotional and physical well-being and his health. Once the interview was done, Peter is told to lie on a table, while Allison palpates a series of six different pulses in each of Peter’s hands.
Once she has gathered the necessary information, Allison sticks four needles on each of Peter’s ears. Then, she also applies needles in the acupuncture points located on Peter’s hands, feet, arms, and legs, as needed. Once all the needles are inserted, Peter is allowed to rest quietly for 20 minutes, undisturbed.
Peter says, “I am organized. I am thinking clearly. I am centered”.
Ear acupuncture or auriculotherapy can be either used in combination with body acupuncture or as a standalone treatment. Ear acupuncture is a much preferred treatment for children since the acupoints in the ear are non-invasively stimulated.
Acupuncture aids in calming the impulses that make it hard for a person with ADHD to stay still. It also can be used to boost the immune system and enhance the concentration and energy of the patient that can address both the hyperactivity usually experienced by patients with ADHD and the sluggishness often seen in ADD patients.
Zupon opines that from the time a patient walks into Allison’s clinic, to the moment the patient walks out, a transformation takes place. She says “. We witness a person go in one way and come out another way. It’s remarkable”.
The use of acupuncture in Cleveland for controlling and managing the symptoms of ADHD is still a fairly new procedure. There is still no scientific study to prove its benefits. Nevertheless, for patients like Peter, this millennia-old therapy has made a huge difference in their lives.
Peter does not use any kind of ADHD medication. But for those who do, acupuncture can be used to help reduce or offset the typical adverse side effects of the medications such as dry mouth, insomnia, and poor appetite.