New Research Acupuncture Can Ease Menopause Symptoms

A new study has found that acupuncture treatments can reduce the number of hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause by as much as 36 percent.

“Although acupuncture does not work for every woman, our study showed that, on average, acupuncture effectively reduced the frequency of hot flashes and results were maintained for six months after the treatments stopped,” said Nancy Avis, Ph.D., a professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and lead author of the study.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study included 209 women between the ages of 45 and 60 who had not had a menstrual period for at least three months. On average they had at least four hot flashes or night sweats a day in the previous two weeks.

Participants received a baseline assessment and were then randomly placed in one of two groups.

The first group received acupuncture treatments during the first six months. They were then followed without receiving acupuncture for the second six months.

The second group did not receive any acupuncture during the first six months, but did receive acupuncture for the second six months.

The women were allowed up to 20 treatments within six months provided by licensed, experienced acupuncturists in the community.

According to Avis, the study was designed to make it more “real world” by leaving the frequency and number of the acupuncture treatments up to the study participants and their acupuncturists.

All the women kept a daily diary on the frequency and severity of their hot flashes. They also answered questionnaires about other symptoms every two months.

After six months, the first group reported an average 36.7 percent decline in the frequency of hot flashes compared to baseline measurements. After a year, the benefits persisted, with the women maintaining an average 29.4 percent reduction from baseline.

The second group reported a six percent increase in symptom frequency during the six months when they were not getting acupuncture, but had similar results — an average 31 percent reduction in frequency — to the first group after receiving acupuncture during the second half of the trial, the researchers reported.

“There are a number of non-hormonal options for treating hot flashes and night sweats that are available to women,” Avis said. “None of these options seem to work for everyone, but our study showed that acupuncture from a licensed acupuncturist can help some women without any side effects. Our study also showed that the maximum benefit occurred after about eight treatments.”

Avis cautioned that the effect shown in the study could be due to non-specific effects, such as the additional care and attention the study participants received or the expectation of a benefit.

She also said that additional research is needed to identify individual differences in response to acupuncture.

The study was published in the journal Menopause.

Source: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Diabetes & Acupuncture Combined with Chinese Herbal Medicine

Diabetes has become a common disease, as more than 1 million Americans will be diagnosed with Diabetes, this year alone. Diabetes is considered a long-term condition, however the symptoms are are manageable and greatly diminished by using alternative healing modalities like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

If you have Diabetes, this means that your body isn’t producing enough insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the pancreas is considered to be part of the Spleen organ system, and the root cause of Diabetes is viewed as a correctable energetic disharmony.

Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself and the ability to produce insulin cells.  Type II Diabetes accounts for more than 90% of Diabetes in American, and it is often a disease caused by poor nutrition and a lack of regular exercise.  The theories behind treatment strategies can vary, both Type I and Type II Diabetes can be treated and managed effectively with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine may be used to help reduce the dependency on insulin.  The best approach approach treating Diabetes often includes a team of health care providers, but if you or someone you know if suffering from Type I or Type II Diabetes be sure to consider Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in your treatment plan and recovery strategy.

Cancer Care and Management with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Cancer is a diagnosis that may leave you feeling frightened and powerless, but it is important to have hope.  In many cases, cancer is a curable disease, especially when detected early.  Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can not only reduce the side effects of standard Western medical therapies like radiation and chemotherapy, but they can also harmonize the body’s energy and tonify the immune system to help fight cancer.  Cancer is a blanket term for a group of diseases that occur when the body’s cells begin to reproduce abnormally and damage healthy tissues.

Acupuncture Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners take a whole body (holistic) approach with health care.  In addition to acupuncture, you TCM practitioner may suggest Chinese herbs, nutrition advice, massage and/or vitamin supplements.  The goal is to treat the entire person, not just the disease.  Accordingly, the patient’s lifestyle, overall health and emotional state are considered when diagnosing and treating cancer in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help to relieve nausea and vomiting, post-surgical pain, and fatigue resulting from cancer treatments like surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.  It is important to take into consideration alternative healing treatments and health care options that can help you fight cancer and win.  Acupuncture is preventative, it is a good way to continue treatment even when you’ve beaten cancer.

Acupuncture for Arthritis

arthritis Arthritis is one of the most pervasive diseases in the United States and is the leading cause of disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one out of every three Americans (an estimated 70 million people) is affected.

For most people arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of 50 show some signs of arthritis. Joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can often be managed Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis isn’t just one disease; it’s a complex disorder that comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these two forms of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors, and effects on the body, they often share a common symptom—persistent joint pain.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in the United States, affecting an estimated 21 million adults. OA begins with the breakdown of joint cartilage, resulting in pain and stiffness.
OA commonly affects the joints of the fingers, knees, hips, and spine. Other joints affected less frequently include the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. When OA is found in a less frequently affected joint, there is usually a history of injury or unusual stress to that joint. Work-related repetitive injury and physical trauma may contribute to the development of OA. If you have a strenuous job that requires repetitive bending, kneeling, or squatting, for example, you may be at high risk for OA of the knee.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can affect many different joints and, in some people, other parts of the body as well, including the blood, the lungs, and the heart. Inflammation of the joint lining, called the synovium, can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, and redness. The affected joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement. RA can last a long time and can be a disease of flares (active symptoms) and remissions (few to no symptoms).

Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

According to Chinese medical theory, arthritis arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes blocked. This blockage is called, “bi” type pain and is widely studies and successfully treated using a combination of acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine have been found to be extremely effective at treating the pain and inflammation associated with all types of arthritis. The acupuncture points and herbs that are used depend on if the blockage of Qi (arthritis) is caused by the pathogen wind, cold, damp or damp-heat.

Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize arthritis as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 patients are treated with Oriental medicine for joint pain, each of these 10 patients will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.

Your acupuncturist will examine you, take a look at the onset of your condition and learn your signs and symptoms to determine your Chinese diagnosis and choose the appropriate acupuncture points and treatment plan.

The Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture points to treat Arthritis are located all over the body, not just directly over the affected area. During the acupuncture treatment, tiny needles could be placed along your legs, arms, shoulders, and perhaps even your little toe!

There seems to be little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles. They are so thin that several acupuncture needles can go into the middle of a hypodermic needle. Occasionally, there is a brief moment of discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin, but once the needles are in place, most people relax and even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

Chinese Herbs for Arthritis

There are many Chinese Herbal formulas that are prescribed for arthritis. Your acupuncturist will examine you, take a look at the onset of your condition and learn your signs and symptoms to determine which herbs are best for you.

Here are some commonly prescribed Chinese herbal formulas for arthritis:
Remove Painful Obstruction Decoction (juan bi tang)- For joint pain that increases with cold and is possibly accompanied by heaviness and numbness in the limbs.

Cinnamon Twig, Peony, and Anamerrhena Decoction (gui zhi shoa you zhi mu tang)- For swollen and painful joints that are warm to the touch and worse at night.

Angelica Pubescens and Sangjisheng Decoction (du huo ji sheng tang)- For heavy and painful sensations at fixed locations in the lower back and lower extremities accompanied by weakness and stiffness.

Studies on Acupuncture and Arthritis

Several studies have shown that acupuncture can help people with arthritis and related auto-immune diseases.

In one Scandinavian study 25 percent of arthritis patients who had been scheduled for knee surgery cancelled their operations after acupuncture treatment. In the study, researchers compared acupuncture with advice and exercise for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip. Thirty-two patients awaiting a total hip replacement were separated into 2 groups. One group received one 10-minute and five 25-minute sessions of acupuncture, and the other group received advice and hip exercises over a 6-week period.

Patients were assessed for pain and functional ability: Patients in the acupuncture group showed significant improvements, while no significant changes were reported in the group that received advice and exercise therapy. The results of this study indicate that acupuncture is more effective than advice and exercise for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip.

Another study at the University of Maryland showed that elderly arthritis patients with knee pain due to arthritis improved significantly when acupuncture was added to their treatment.

The randomized clinical trial, performed at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, determined whether acupuncture was a clinically safe and effective adjunctive therapy for older patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.

The study addressed these questions:
1.Would the addition of acupuncture to conventional therapy produce an added measure of pain relief?
2.Would the effects of acupuncture last for 4 weeks following the end of treatment?
3.Would acupuncture have any side effects?

Seventy-three patients were randomly divided into 2 groups. One group received twice-weekly acupuncture treatments and conventional therapy for 8 weeks, and the other group received conventional therapy only. Patients who received acupuncture had significant pain relief and showed improvement in function. Those who did not receive acupuncture showed no significant change. No patients reported side effects from any acupuncture therapy session.

Safe Alternative to Medication

Even without the studies, the popularity of acupuncture for arthritis continues to grow because more and more people have found significant relief from Oriental Medicine without the negative side effects that come from Western pharmaceuticals.

Lifestyle and Dietary Instructions

Your diet plays a crucial role in helping you avoid or control arthritis. The first objective of a healthy diet is to help you lose weight if you are overweight. Being overweight can cause additional stress to your joints.

The second way a balanced, varied diet can help ease the pain of arthritis is by providing vitamins and minerals that keep your joints healthy and avoiding “damp” foods such as dairy products and greasy or spicy foods.

If you have arthritis or knee or hip pain, vitamin C and vitamin D can help prevent bone and cartilage destruction. And a multivitamin can help ensure that you always get the nutrition you need.

Here are some other healthy (and delicious) choices to include in your diet.
Ginger – A natural anti-inflammatory, available as powdered extracts in capsules as well as alcohol-based extracts. Follow the dosing directions on the label. Or make tea by combining one-half teaspoon of grated ginger root with eight ounces of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain and add honey to taste.

Fresh pineapple – Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple, reduces inflammation. Be sure the pineapple is fresh, not canned or frozen.

Cherries – Recent research has shown that tart cherries are an excellent source of nutrients that may help to reduce joint pain and inflammation related to arthritis.

Fish – Cold-water fish such as salmon and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep joints healthy as well as reduce pain and swelling. If you don’t care for fish, consider supplementing your diet with fish oil capsules.

Turmeric – Another natural anti-inflammatory. Look for an extract of whole turmeric, in health-food stores; follow the dosage directions on the label.

Find an Acupuncturist

Today, acupuncture is an acknowledged and respected field of medicine which requires formal training and certification in order to practice. In most States, provinces and countries, acupuncture is legislated in order to assure quality of treatment.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is an art and a science that takes years to master. Look for an acupuncturist with formal training and experience in the treatment of Arthritis on www.Acufinder.com

References:

Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM

Rheumatology in Chinese Medicine, 2002. By G. Guillaume & M. Chieu
Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas and Strategies, 1990. By Dan Bensky & Randall Barolet
Acupuncture: A Comprehensive Text By Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1981

Acupuncture For Smoking Cessation

    Acupuntureforsmoking
    Acupuncture as an alternative approach to smoking cessation has a growing number of converts. In fact, acupuncture is often a court mandated treatment for drug addicts because of its ability to reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety and difficulty concentrating.

    Stop Smoking with Acupuncture

    Among current U.S. adult smokers, 70% report that they want to quit smoking and millions try to quit every year. If you have attempted to quit smoking, you know how difficult it can be. Nicotine is a powerful addiction. In fact, research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.

    It is estimated that most smokers will attempt to quit two or three times, or more, before finally kicking the habit. When conventional methods to quit smoking have failed, smokers often look outside mainstream approaches and turn to alternative medicine.

    Acupuncture as an alternative approach to smoking cessation has a growing number of converts. In fact, acupuncture is often a court mandated treatment for drug addicts because of its ability to reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety and difficulty concentrating.

    A Formidable Addiction

    More than 50 million Americans smoke. The numbers are even higher in other parts of the globe, with worldwide statistics showing that one out of three people over the age of 18 are smokers.

    The reasons to quit smoking are endless. Cigarettes have 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins. These include nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic and DDT. According to the CDC, tobacco is the cause of 443,000 premature deaths each year, and is associated with emphysema, lung cancer, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, chronic cough and an increase in frequency of colds and flu.

    Many people want to quit because of the enormous expense of a cigarette habit or are just plain tired of being dependant on a substance. There is also considerable social pressure not to smoke. Most smokers can recall a dirty look or rude comment from someone that was nearby when they lit up.

    How Does Acupuncture Help Break the Cigarette Habit?

    Acupuncture is successful with smoking cessation and has turned a growing number of cigarette smokers into permanent ex-smokers. Treatments take all of your symptoms into account and aim at balancing the energy within the body to optimize health.

    The acupuncture treatments focus on jitters, cravings, irritability and restlessness; all symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.

    In one study conducted at the University of Oslo, Norway, acupuncture was found to significantly reduce the desire to smoke up to five years after the initial treatment. Subjects of the study also reported that cigarettes tasted worse than before treatment and that the treatments had effectively reduced their taste for tobacco.

    The acupuncture needles used are hair-thin. They are superficially inserted into various points in the ears and body to assist with smoking cessation. In between treatments, small pellets are often taped to the acupuncture points on the ear. When a cigarette craving hits, gently pressing on the pellets stimulates the acupuncture points to calm the mind and eliminate the craving.

    Acupuncture is not a panacea or a magic cure in the treatment of any addiction, including smoking. But, acupuncture is effective in making it easier to quit and remain smoke-free for good.

    If you are ready to quit, call an acupuncture provider near you for a consultation to see how acupuncture can empower you to take control and begin a healthy and smoke-free life!

    Eight Tips to Quit Smoking

    What Lifestyle and Dietary Changes Should You Make?
    Exercise more. Getting moving is a great way to remind yourself why you shouldn’t smoke. Exercise can reduce your stress and help you relax far better than cigarettes.
    Get plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable juices to neutralize and clear the blood of nicotinic acid and to fortify blood sugar.
    Carrots, Carrot juice, celery, leafy green salads and citrus fruits promote body alkalinity and decrease cravings.
    Avoid junk food, sugar and coffee. They can upset blood sugar levels and increase blood acidity which can aggravate smoking withdrawal symptoms.
    Lobelia Tea or Green Tea can be sipped daily during the detox period to keep tissues flooded with elements that discourage nicotine cravings. Lobelia is traditionally used to rid the body of a strong toxin such as a snake bite.
    Drink water. Research shows that dryness causes cravings. Sip water frequently throughout the day.
    Practice deep breathing exercises to increase body oxygen and keep calm.
    Schedule your acupuncture treatment!

    How Many Treatments Will I Need and How Long Do they Take?

    The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

    A stop smoking program will often consist of 4-6 initial treatments scheduled in the first few weeks followed by monthly treatments for four to six months.

    Find an acupuncture provider to help you quit smoking on Acufinder.com

    Source:

    Preventive Medicine. Volume 33, Issue 5, November 2001, Pages 364-372

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Hawaii

acupunctureartshawaii

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Combat Cravings with Ear Massage

Combat Cravings with Ear Massage
By: Acufinder Staff Writer
Ear massage is an extremely relaxing and effective therapy aimed at decreasing cravings, reducing stress, promoting well being and addressing various health issues. Ear acupuncture is used throughout the world to reduce food cravings, assist in the detoxification of addictive substances, manage pain and calm anxiety.

Medical experts in ancient times regarded ear massage as a practice for health enhancement and disease prevention. Ancient Chinese medical literature states that the “ear is the meeting point of all the meridians” and “vital energy of human body converges on the ear”.

Ear massage triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Studies have demonstrated that ear stimulation increases levels of endorphins in both the blood and cerebrospinal fluid.

Here is a great ear massage that you can do for yourself or your loved ones:
Rub in small circular motions with your thumbs inside the widest upper part inside the ears, holding them from outside with the index and middle fingers.

Use your index finger to massage inside the smaller crevices if your thumbs don’t fit and along the front of your ear where it attaches to the head.

Massage the earlobes by gently pulling them down and making circles with your thumb and index finger.

Acupuncture Helps Hypothermic Turtles Article

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Acupuncture Helps Hypothermic Turtles

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Fibromyalgia

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) affects an estimated two percent of the population. It is diagnosed when there is a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a minimum duration of three months, and pain when pressure is applied to at least 11 of 18 designated tender points on the body. In addition to musculoskeletal pain, patients with fibromyalgia can suffer fatigue, sleep disturbance, memory loss, mood swings, and digestive problems.

On its own fibromyalgia does not result in any physical damage to the body or its tissues and there are no laboratory tests which can confirm this diagnosis. Symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event. Women are more prone to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age.

Research shows that up to 90 percent of people with fibromyalgia have turned to complementary or alternative medicine to manage their symptoms. Acupuncture, in particular, has become a popular treatment choice and has been shown to be an effective treatment for FMS.

An Oriental Medicine Perspective

Oriental medicine does not recognize fibromyalgia as one particular disease pattern. Instead, it aims to treat the symptoms unique to each individual depending on their constitution, emotional state, the intensity and location of their pain, digestive health, sleeping patterns and an array of other signs and symptoms. In Oriental medicine, fibromyalgia pain is seen as a disruption of the flow of Qi within the body and is usually associated with disharmonies of the Liver, Spleen, Kidney and Heart systems.

Since symptoms of fibromyalgia vary greatly from one person to another, a wide array of traditional and alternative treatments have been shown to be the most effective way of treating this difficult syndrome. Therefore, if 10 people are treated with Oriental medicine for fibromyalgia, each of these 10 people will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs and different lifestyle and dietary recommendations.

A treatment program may include a combination of psychological or behavioral therapies, medications, exercise, acupuncture, herbal medicine and bodywork.

Read more about acupuncture and Oriental medicine for fibromyalgia!

Contact us today and schedule a consultation to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist you and help you to live a long, healthy life!
Find Fibromyalgia Symptom Relief

Although fibromyalgia is a disorder that can be disabling for many due to chronic widespread pain and fatigue there are some things you can do to alleviate the symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

Learn and Practice Stress Reduction Techniques

Chronic stress can lead to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments. When under stress your muscles contract and tense affecting nerves, blood vessels, organs, skin and bones. Chronically tense muscles can result in a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and disorders including muscle spasms and pain.

While it isn’t always possible to remove the external forces causing stress the ability to effectively deal with stress is a choice. Take time for yourself and cultivate the energy you need to handle your stress more effectively.

Eat a Well Balanced Diet

Managing your diet may seem time-consuming but the benefits it offers make it worthwhile. Many fibromyalgia sufferers find relief through a properly managed diet.

Exercise

While even basic movements may be painful, exercise helps restore strength and endurance. Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Yoga are great for easy stretches, careful strengthening, deep breathing, along with relaxation techniques.

Gentle stretching will clear tension that builds when muscles tighten, and will improve overall circulation. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Meditate

The practice of meditation is a proven stress reducer that helps the body create a sense of calm and a continuing sense of well being.

While 15 minutes daily is recommended, even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect on your day.

Get Restorative Sleep

Try to get at least 8 hours of restorative sleep. Maintain a routine sleep schedule and make your bedroom a sanctuary from every day stress.

Practicing good sleep hygiene will give your body an opportunity to get stronger and heal.

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