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Acupuncture

When most people hear the word acupuncture they immediately think of the insertion of needles in various parts of the body. While this is the most common type of treatment, acupuncture can refer to a variety of different stimulation techniques.

It has had a long history as part of traditional Chinese and Asian medicine before growing in popularity in the United States in the early 1970s. Frequently used for pain relief, the Chinese philosophy believes by putting needles in certain locations the body’s energy flow or qi can be rebalanced and provide relief. Many Westerners think the stimulation of certain nerves, muscles and connective tissues increases the body’s blood flow and release of endorphins which can lessen discomfort.

How It Works

An initial evaluation can take about an hour. Exact details depend on the practitioner and his or her approach but it may include examinations of the area in pain along with the tongue, face color and wrist pulse. Discussion of general health, lifestyle and behavior factors may also occur. After the first meeting, treatments generally last about 30 minutes. Depending on the problem 6 to 12 appointments over several months is often typical. Between 5 and 20 very thin needles are inserted in various locations of the body (sometimes some are nowhere near the area in pain). Discomfort should be very minimal or nonexistent. Once the needles are in the practitioner has a variety of options from twirling them to heating them to applying light electrical pulses to them. After 10 to 20 minutes the needles are removed.

Benefits

Acupuncture can by tried for a number of painful ailments ranging from headaches, back pain and dental pain to fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and even labor pain.

Accupuncture is beginning to emerge as a combination therapy across western medicine that has been shown to show relief for patients after surgery.

When approaching menopause, accupuncture has been shown to significantly reduce the duration and intensity of hot flashes and other symptoms associated with that phase of life.

Precautions

Acupuncture is generally considered pretty safe but there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, practitioners should always use sterile, disposable needles to prevent infections and exposure to serious diseases. A little bit of soreness or even small amounts of bleeding or bruising where the needles were inserted is possible. In rare cases needles can puncture organs if they are pushed in too far. Individuals with bleeding disorders or who take a blood thinner may not be good candidates for acupuncture. Similarly anyone with a pacemaker should likely avoid this treatment as the electrical impulses to the needle could affect the pacemaker. Finally, acupuncture in some forms may trigger labor so pregnant women may need to avoid it.

Summary

Acupuncture is an ancient Asian treatment that involves very thin needles inserted in certain locations to help relieve pain.

References

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction.htm

Mayo Clinic mayoclinic.com/health/acupuncture/MY00946

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Acupuncture for Bursitis

A bursa is a fluid-filled, saclike structure that provides cushioning between bones, tendons, and muscles around joints in the body. Lined by synovial membrane and containing an inner capillary layer of viscous fluid, bursae help reduce friction and allow free movement of the body.

When bursae become inflamed, a condition called bursitis arises. Joints may feel achy or stiff, look swollen and red, and there may be pain when one moves or presses on these areas. Bursitis may involve disabling joint pain, pain that lasts for more than 1-2 weeks, excessive swelling, redness, bruising, a rash in the affected area, sharp or shooting pain, or a fever. 1

Symptoms of bursitis may be caused by direct injury to a part of the body, prolonged pressure (such as when one prolongs kneeling or leaning on an elbow), overuse or strenuous activity, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or spondyloarthritis, infection (septic bursitis), or crystal-induced arthropathy (such as in cases of longstanding or tophaceous gout). Common areas for bursitis are the shoulder, elbow, buttocks, hip, knee, and ankle. 2

In most cases, isolated bursitis is a self-limited condition that is reversible. Unlike cartilage, bursa has the ability to heal, which makes typical treatments for bursitis focus on relieving immediate symptoms to avoid secondary complications related to immobilization such as muscle atrophy or joint contracture,and to maintain range of motion. 3

While conventional treatments of bursitis involve icing affected areas and analgesia in the form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen, acupuncture can also be used as a natural therapy. 4

A part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture supports the idea that our bodies, out of balance due to years of stress and unhealthy lifestyle choices, can be brought back to equilibrium through the practice of needling points on energy channels (located throughout the body) called meridians. When certain points on these meridians are stimulated, several things happen: acupuncture activates anti-inflammatory chemicals, releases particular hormones, and inhibits cell receptors – some of which may control the pain experience.

In addition, early researchers believed that the benefits of acupuncture resulted from the release of endorphins that caused the “feel good” sensation. However, recent research is demonstrating that there are possibly several mechanisms of action that occur with acupuncture that include an enhancement of blood flow, stretching of connective tissue, and nerve signals that reboot the autonomic nervous system. Some theories about how acupuncture works include the release of neurotransmitters, effects on the stress response system (or the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis), and gate control theory in which stimulation of certain pain nerves creates a competing pain sensation in the body which results in a decrease of pain. 5

Like any medical treatment, acupuncture needs to be administered by a highly and properly trained acupuncturist. Most states require acupuncturists to be licensed and the FDA requires all needles to be new and sterile. 6

That being said, the acupuncture treatment one receives depends on the locality of bursitis in the body. Acupuncture is not a treatment that can be performed at home or on oneself, so one must first consult with their physician to see if acupuncture is safe for them. If so, one can then contact a licensed acupuncturist and commence treatment.

Written by Nicole Kagan

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bursitis/basics/symptoms/con-20015102
  2. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00325/Bursitis.html
  3. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/bursitis-an-overview-of-clinical-manifestations-diagnosis-and-management?source=search_result&search=bursitis&selectedTitle=1~131
  4. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/bursitis-an-overview-of-clinical-manifestations-diagnosis-and-management?source=search_result&search=bursitis&selectedTitle=1~131
  5. https://wholesomeone.com/article/science-behind-acupuncture-treatment-osteoarthritis
  6. https://wholesomeone.com/article/science-behind-acupuncture-treatment-osteoarthritis

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Treating Eye Disease Holistically With Micro Acupuncture

People turn to acupuncture and other holistic remedies to treat numerous conditions such as allergies, migraines, digestive problems and more, but what about the eyes? When people are faced with an eye condition like glaucoma or macular degeneration, a holistic treatment probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

There is a treatment that has proven to be effective in managing several eye conditions. It’s called Micro Acupuncture.

Acupuncture is a type of Chinese medicine that treats patients by inserting fine needles into specific points along energy pathways in the body called meridians. The practice aims to restore the body’s normal balance and flow of energy, known as Qi, so that organs and systems can work together in harmony to repair the body and maintain health.

Micro Acupuncture stimulates Qi energy and blood flow to the eyes through 48 acupuncture points located in the hands and feet. That’s right – The Micro Acupuncture points are only in the hands and feet. None of the needles come close to the eyes!

Micro Acupuncture is a new system that isn’t associated with other acupuncture systems. The 48 points were discovered in 1984 in Denmark by Freddy Dahlgren. The procedure was originally designed to treat arthritis but has proven to be especially effective in controlling eye disease.

Dr. Andy Rosenfarb, clinical director and founder of Acupuncture Health Associates in Westfield, New Jersey, is one of only five practitioners in the world performing Micro Acupuncture with a specialty in eye conditions. The procedure is rare because there is limited information on how to treat eye diseases holistically. In fact, eye disease is only a small part of the Chinese medicine curriculum, Dr. Rosenfarb says. Because the procedure is rare, Dr. Rosenfarb’s patients come from around the world, including Africa, India and Australia. Dr. Rosenfarb, who has been practicing holistic medicine for about 17 years, uses Micro Acupuncture to treat glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy and other eye conditions. About 80% of patients attain their expectations for vision improvement, Dr. Rosenfarb says.

There is a lack of improvement in only 2% of patients who are treated. Micro Acupuncture doesn’t aim to cure the eye disease but rather manage the disease. With the procedure some eye conditions can even revert slightly, allowing patients to manage milder conditions.

For example, a patient might have 50% vision loss because of an eye disease. Micro Acupuncture might be able to bring the patient’s vision loss to about 30% and then maintain it at that point with continued treatment.

The procedure also can slow the rate of vision loss. If a patient is losing her sight at a rate of 3% to 6% a year, Micro Acupuncture might be able to slow that rate to 1% to 2% a year and hold it there with continued treatment. Treatment typically starts with an initial vision test and then five treatments over a period of about two weeks. After the two-week period, the patient receives a second vision test. Dr. Rosenfarb then compares the two vision tests to see whether the treatment is working. If it’s successful, the treatment continues until the patient is satisfied or until there is no additional improvement in the vision tests.

Patients usually continue to receive the Micro Acupuncture treatment once or twice a year to maintain the vision correction. Says one patient who received Micro Acupuncture from Dr. Rosenfarb: “My last eye exam…showed that my eyesight went from 25-40 to 25-30. Also, the pressure in my eyes went from 23 to 18. I am thrilled beyond words.”

Dr. Rosenfarb’s offices are located in Westfield and Watchung, New Jersey. Contact information is available on his website at www.acuvisiontherapy.com.

– By Jessica Braun Jessica Braun is an editor at Wholesome. She can be reached at jessica.braun[at]wholesomeone[dot]com.

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Why Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a treatment that is becoming more popular, especially as it gets integrated into conventional medicine.

It involves needles being placed into specific parts of the body, which can have an effect on nerve endings. It is thought to help people achieve internal balance, which allows their body to overcome a variety of health concerns.

There is a lot of information in Traditional Chinese Medicine about how this takes place. It is thought that meridians exist within the body that channel energy. When this is interrupted, it can cause the kind of imbalance that leads to issues such as psychological distress, illness and infection. These issues can be tackled by the selective use of carefully applied needles (done by a trained practitioner).

Acupuncture began many years ago in China and is part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine system. It has helped treat both physical and psychological ailments, and it has worked for many people from different backgrounds.

Acupuncture has long been used as a complimentary therapy and is especially helpful in dealing with problems that conventional medicine cannot combat. Not everyone responds well to treatments like prescription drugs and medications that are prescribed for common health complaints. When this is the case, there are many alternatives. This is becoming more common in the modern world as people gain a greater understanding of other cultures and different healing methods.

Acupuncture has been successful in allowing people to obtain better health and well being. It does not involve anything that will affect the balance of chemicals internally – unlike drugs. There have also been few reported acupuncture side effects.

In conjunction with other healing methods, acupuncture can help with addictions. It can also help relieve pain and inflammation.

Author Resource: Providing five fully private Acupuncture Mississauga rooms with a relaxing ambience, we work hard to make sure your Massage Therapy Mississauga and best Mississauga Massage experience is one to remember. European Massage Centre Inc 1140 Burnhamthorpe Road West, Unit 123, Mississauga, ON L5C 2S9 905- 270-5553 Article From Holistic Health Articles

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Forget Botox, Try Acupuncture!

I have been going to the Acupuncture Dr. a lot lately, to help my body get ready to conceive and then, unfortunately, to help my body heal from a miscarriage.

I had heard about cosmetic acupuncture through the grapevine and at a recent appointment I asked my practitioner about it.  I asked her to help me with my frown lines in the middle of my forehead.

She put a few needles in my forehead and low and behold they went away!  I was totally impressed.  A few weeks later, when I was going through a stressful period, they came back.  So it is not a one time deal.  The next time I had her work on my wrinkles I took pictures. Now don’t judge, I have no makeup on in these pictures and I had the flu.  Also, in the first one, I swear I am not making a face, that is seriously what my face looked like, not smiling, before my appointment. This time it didn’t completely eliminate the wrinkles, but greatly improved them, don’t you think?

Before Acupuncture

After Acupuncture

I am new to my thirties, but I am a Floridian born and raised and my crow’s feet and smile lines will tell you so.  I am starting to pay the price of all those days on the boat and at the beach with not enough protection from the sun.Even at my age, I have fantasized about botox in the past, it seems like such an easy and simple procedure to rid you of wrinkles.  But I know better than to utilize a chemical as an easy out. And really, it is not an easy out, it’s super expensive (not to mention we don’t really know if it is safe) and it doesn’t last forever.So why not get a couple of needles in your forehead while you are at your acupuncture Dr. anyway?  Not only are you reducing or eliminating wrinkles in a natural way, those acupuncture needle points are improving your overall health.  It really is a win-win.You can find Stephanie Brandt Cornais at her at her blog www.MamaAndBabyLove.com

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Bodywork for Migraines

When treating migraines from a holistic approach, sufferers may wish to consider bodywork and physical treatments to alleviate symptoms and frequency of attacks. Several techniques are available from practitioners and specialists to relieve migraine pain, control physiological responses and eliminate nerve inflammation.

The Chinese Medicine Practice of Acupuncture has shown much promise for the treatment of migraines. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles through the skin at reflex points to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue for the relief of migraine symptoms. Clinical trials have shown acupuncture to help reduce headache pain by targeting the health of blood vessels involved in migraine attacks.

[themedy_media type=”youtube” url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqSKVn-Syx0″]

Similarly, the practice of Acupressure is also effective in treating migraines. Acupressure uses the same reflex points as acupuncture, but the areas are stimulated with gentle pressure using fingers, hands or small seeds instead of needles. Points can be held, rubbed or tapped during an acute attack to relieve migraine pain. Acupressure can self-administered or migraine sufferers can attend sessions by a certified acupresure specialist to prevent migraine frequency.

The alternative medicine technique called Biofeedback is another option for the treatment of migraines. Biofeedback aims to condition the body’s response to the onset of imbalances. Biofeedback focuses on connecting your mind to physical reactions from the body and helps train it to control bodily functions such as muscle tightening and heart rate. During a treatment session, an individual has electronic sensors that measure biological feedback, including migraine stress triggers. Learning to control your body’s response to stress can help prevent or stop a migraine attack.

Lastly, treating migraines with Chiropractic therapy can significantly help migraine sufferers. Chiropractic therapy offers spinal alignment to help keep the body balanced and functioning optimally. When used for migraine treatment, chiropractors align the vertebrae in an attempt to alleviate nerve irritation. Chiropractors believe that nerve irritation along the spine can create chemical imbalances in the brain, which are perhaps the number one cause of migraines. When specific attention is given to posture and restoring spinal alignment, the nerves function freely and without interruption.

Visiting a chiropractor migraine headaches can include a single or multiple visits to correct spinal misalignment. Most sessions provide immediate relief from symptoms associated with migraines but proper posture, consistent stretching, and good spine health are required for more permanent relief.

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Juvenile Fibromyalgia: Identifying and Managing Fibromyalgia in Children

What is Juvenile Fibromyalgia?

Juvenile Primary Fibromyalgia Syndrome (JPFS) is part of a group of conditions collectively known as Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome. Juvenile Primary Fibromyalgia Syndrome, or JPFS, is a condition that results in symptoms of overall musculoskeletal and joint pain and fatigue. Data is sparse in the area of prevalence, but it is thought that up to 7% of children under 18 have JPFS or similar condition. It is more common in females and the diagnosis in children usually occurs between the ages of 13 and 15.

Along with joint pain and fatigue, other symptoms include disturbed sleep, morning stiffness, headaches, abdominal pain, irritable bowel, tight muscles and periods of swelling. Depression and anxiety are often present. JPFS is frequently triggered by an injury, illness or stress. Many patients with JPFS also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

How Is Juvenile Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

Diagnosing JPFS starts with a medical exam which includes a family history, physical exam and a tender point test of all 18 sites. Diagnostic tests should be conducted to rule out all rheumatic diseases and arthritis. To meet diagnostic criteria there must be patient report of pain in three or more body areas over a minimum of three months. In addition, at least five painful tender points must be experienced upon palpation during the exam. Additional symptoms such as difficulty with sleep, irritable bowels, fatigue and headache are often present and these symptoms tend to worsen with stress and/or anxiety.

JPFS can have severe effects on a child’s physical and emotional functioning. School attendance, socialization, and general quality of life are all impacted by this condition.

Managing Juvenile Fibromyalgia Holistically

JPFS is incurable but its symptoms can be controlled by understanding and preventing triggers, maintaining a focus on physical and psychosocial wellness,  and effective management of pain symptoms. As with the treatment of any minor, family involvement is a critical part of the treatment plan.

A traditional therapeutic treatment approach involves a team. This team consists of a combination of collaborating professionals to include at minimum: a pediatric  rheumatologist, physical therapist, and psychologist along with the identified patient and his or her family. The traditional treatment course utilizes a combination of medication, exercise, physical therapy and a form of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

A holistic treatment approach is meant to be “in addition to,” not necessarily “instead of a” traditional treatment approach. In general, holistic treatments focus on addressing all aspects of an individual, not just the physical. The overarching philosophy is to live a more balanced lifestyle and understand that physical illnesses are the symptoms of a greater imbalance that may or may not have a root cause in the physical. Holistic treatment of JPFS may include the traditional therapies discussed above in concert with non-traditional medicine.

Recently published studies suggest that the use of Yoga, Tai Chi, and/or Acupuncture may reduce pain, fatigue and stiffness and improve quality of life in patients with Fibromyalgia. Many living with Fibromyalgia manage their diet and nutrition to alleviate symptoms and also utilize therapeutic massage to ease muscle soreness. However, there has not been enough scientific evidence supporting the use of vitamins, nutrition or massage to date.

Many alternative treatments can assist with pain management in Fibromyalgia.  Though patients report positive outcomes in using these alternative treatments, scientific support has not been substantially rigorous enough to make any hard effectiveness claims. Nonetheless, so many are searching for holistic treatments and will consider these minimally-invasive treatments to avoid medication side-effects and to adopt a balanced approach to health and wellness.

The following alternative treatments have been used in the treatment of Fibromyalgia:

No child need be robbed of a full life following a diagnosis of JPFS. Incorporating a holistic approach to the treatment of JPFS most often includes the traditional route of coping strategies, physical exercise, physical therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and perhaps medication with any of the alternative treatments that help reduce or alleviate the associated symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

By Alicia DiFabio, Psy.D.

Resources

  • fibromyalgia-treatment.com
  • Treating Juvenile Fibromyalgia by Jennifer Cerbasi, (2012) FoxNews.com
  • webmd.com – Fibromyalgia Guide
  • KidsHealth.org – Fibromyalgia.

 

Alicia DiFabio, Psy.D. is a freelance writer with a doctorate in psychology. Her personal essays and parenting articles have appeared in various newspapers and magazines. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four girls, one of whom has extensive special needs. She can be found writing about her adventures in parenting at her blog, Lost In Holland.

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The Science Behind Acupuncture As Treatment For Osteoarthritis

Acupuncture Explained

Acupuncture is one of the most ancient healing practices in the world and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine. Dating back about 2,000 years Acupuncture refers to a collection of procedures involving the stimulation of points on the body by using very thin, stainless steel needles. These needles penetrate through the skin at 365 meridian points and then are manipulated either manually or via electrical stimulation. Stimulation of these points is thought to correct the body’s imbalance in the flow of qi (pronounced CHEE). It is believed that the blockage in the flow of qi is the root cause of disease and illness.

Trying to understand qi, an invisible life source coursing throughout our bodies, has long baffled scientists and doctors – especially those trained in Western medicine. Skepticism about Acupuncture has long existed, and continues to this day. However, there is a growing body of research that supports the effectiveness of Acupuncture in the treatment of a variety of diseases and conditions – particularly with pain management. The medical and scientific community no longer view Acupuncture as quack medicine or as a treatment without merit.

The Science Behind Acupuncture

The scientific world does not fully understand how acupuncture works. Yet, with greater technological advancements scientists are able to utilize objective measurements such as neuro imaging, thermal imagining and doppler ultrasound to document the very real effects of Acupuncture. Research has demonstrated that Acupuncture impacts a variety of the body’s systems. It activates anti-inflammatory chemicals, releases particular hormones, and inhibits cell receptors – some of which control the pain experience. Early researchers believed that the benefits of Acupuncture resulted from the release of endorphins that caused the “feel good” sensation. However, recent research is demonstrating that there are possibly several mechanisms of action that occur with Acupuncture to include blood flow, the stretching of connective tissue, and nerve signals that reboot the autonomic nervous system. Some theories about how Acupuncture works include:

  • The release of neurotransmitters
  • Effects on the stress response system (or the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis)
  • Gate control theory in which stimulation of certain pain nerves creates a competing pain sensation in the body which results in a decrease of pain.

Neuroimaging studies show how specific networks in the brain respond during Acupuncture when different areas either light up or show a decrease in activity before, during, and following an Acupuncture treatment. In fact, many scientifically rigorous studies have demonstrated that Acupuncture calms areas of the brain that register pain, increase the blood flow in treated areas, and cause a decrease in inflammation.

A meta-analysis conducted in 2012 reviewed all of the relevant scientific research on Acupuncture and concluded that this form of ancient Chinese medicine is indeed effective in the treatment of chronic pain. It is also proving itself to be an effective non-pharmacological treatment for Osteoarthritis, Migraines, and Fibromyalgia.

The World Health Organization published a long list of the diseases, symptoms and conditions for which Acupuncture has been proven to treat as demonstrated through controlled clinical trials. There is an even longer list of all the body’s ailments where Acupuncture has demonstrated effective results, but research needs to be continued. These include a wide variety of circulatory disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, immune disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, ear-nose-and throat disorders, carpel tunnel, addictions and some psychiatric conditions. It also has a long and well-documented history of helping with post-operative nausea, the side effects of chemotherapy and chronic pain, such as the pain that occurs with Osteoarthritis.

Acupuncture and Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Pain and stiffness resulting from Osteoarthritis has a significant impact on quality of life, activity level, and mobility. Western medicine’s treatment of choice is typically anti-inflammatory medication which often have unpleasant side effects.

Enough compelling studies have reported that the traditional form of Acupuncture delivered by a trained, qualified individual is more effective in pain relief of Osteoarthritis than a placebo. Pain management research on Acupuncture has been rigorous enough that the Osteoarthritis Research Society International released recommendations in 2008 stating that Acupuncture may be an important component of treatment for Osteoarthritis of the knee. The US National Institutes of Health and the UK’s World Health Organization have both endorsed the use of Acupuncture for Osteoarthritis of the knee.

Acupuncture, like any medical treatment, needs to be administered by a highly and properly trained Acupuncturist. Most states require Acupuncturists to be licensed and the FDA requires all needles to be new and sterile. If using an Acupuncturist, do your research and avoid shams and poorly trained Acupuncturists that put you at risk for harm.

By: Alicia DiFabio, Psy.D

Reference

  • Vickers, AJ; Cronin, AM; Maschino, AC (2012). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis”. Arch Intern Med: 1. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3654.
  • Zhang, W; Moskowitz, RW; Nuki, G; Abramson, S; Altman, RD; Arden, N; Bierma-Zeinstra, S; Brandt, KD et al. (2008). “OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines” (PDF). Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 16 (2): 137–162. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2007.12.013. PMID 18279766
  • Beck, M. (2010) Decoding an Ancient Therapy: High-Tech Tools Show How Acupuncture Works in Treating Arthrisits, Back Pain, Other Ills. The Wall Street Journal, Health Journal.
  • Berman, B. M., Lao, L., Langenberg, P., Lee, W.L., Giopin, A.M.K., & Hochberg, M.C. (2004). Effectiveness of Acupuncture as Adjunctive Therapy in Ostearrthritis of the Knee: A Randomized, Control Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 141 (12): 901-910.

Alicia DiFabio, Psy.D. is a freelance writer with a doctorate in psychology. Her personal essays and parenting articles have appeared in various newspapers and magazines. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four girls, one of whom has extensive special needs. She can be found writing about her adventures in parenting at her blog, Lost In Holland.


Natural Treatment for Osteoarthritis

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Using Yoga to Get the Most Out of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a fantastic healing modality that can address many physical and emotional issues, as well as mental stress. Your acupuncturist works to balance your energy by clearing the meridians, or specific channels, through which your energy runs. You can help your acupuncturist out by doing yoga before your session.

An intelligently designed yoga practice can help to clear out some of those blocked channels allowing your acupuncturist’s work to go deeper without having to pay attention to superficial issues that you could be taking care of yourself.

If you don’t have time to do a full hour or even 30 minutes of yoga try this short yoga routine:

  • Get centered by breathing with a rhythm that helps you to feel a little more relaxed and helps you connect to a deeper (physically, mentally, whatever) sense of yourself. Once you’ve connected to that place use your breath to help you take an internal inventory of where you are able to relax and where you are tense.
  • See if you can release the detected tension by feeling the movement of your breath ripple throughout the body and particularly into that place. Be patient and don’t push. Try moving through that area by stretching or making circles with surrounding joints. If you can’t feel release stop, give yourself a break and try again a little later.
  • After your quickie practice feel if you can detect any differences in your body. Have you been able to make a difference in your own sense of balance? Were you able to get a better idea of what your body might need to relax? Don’t underestimate the benefits of this short practice!

Connecting to your breath in this way can help you to align joints and release tension in muscles that will allow your acupuncturist to focus on addressing the root cause of your issue as opposed to having to spend time on any symptoms that may be a result of an underlying cause. Help her to do her best work! Doing this before you get needled could be the most cost effective technique to help you get the most from your session.

By: Melissa Gutierrez

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/83905817

Holistic Health Resources for Acupuncture

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Treating Migraines with Acupuncture

Migraine headaches have a history of afflicting pain, nausea, sensitivity to light, and overall bed feeling on those that suffer from them. They can begin from variety of sources including tension, smells, flashing lights, and stress. Many believe that migraines are a result of over-active nerve endings that are signaling the brain to react in negative ways. Under that theory, acupuncture could provide a strong degree of relief to migraine sufferers.

One of the theories behind acupuncture is that when situated correctly, the procedure can help to reorganize the flow of energy throughout certain parts of the body. This flow stimulates the nervous system in a way that allows the natural energy to be restored, which promotes self-healing and balance.

Essentially, the nerve endings will re-learn how to communicate to the brain. This communication will allow the brain to process migraine triggers differently and could lead to less pain and symptoms. The natural energy flow that allows the brain to process nerve messages, often referred to as the Qi, will translate a trigger such as bright light to simply flinch or squint, rather than respond with pain and nausea.

The treatment is relatively non-invasive, but does require insertion points for the pins at various parts of the body. Though painless, many fear the procedure more than the treatment because of its nature of application. The fact is that many people only experience a minute amount of discomfort for only a split second while the pin penetrates the skin. Most sessions are relatively short with insertion lasting no more than 30 minutes.

Acupuncture is an ancient technique that has grown in popularity throughout the years from an Eastern Chinese philosophy to a world renowned technique to ease pain and discomfort for migraine sufferers. It has not only garnered the support of many medical professionals, but is now being used as a successful treatment aspect of many migraine care plans.

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Migraine Infographic

Migraine's 4 stages and natural holistic remedies

Migraine’s 4 stages and natural holistic remedies

Read about Natural Holistic Therapies for Migraines that formed the basis for the infographic above

 


Supplements – 5 supplements (Riboflavin, Magnesium, Ginkgolide B, Coq10, Omega 3) have shown to benefit migraine sufferers.

Herbs – Feverfew and butterbur are popular herbs that are commonly used to provide relief from migraines.

Biofeedback – This relaxation technique uses special equipment to teach you how to monitor and control certain physical responses related to stress, such as muscle tension.

CranioSacral Therapy – CranioSacral therapy is a form of treatment which has its origins in osteopathy and can be very effective in the treatment of migraine headaches.

Meditation – Meditation, an age-old technique of mentally concentrating to have resolution, can help treat migraine symptoms both physically and emotionally.

Essential Oils – Lavender oil is touted as being one of the best for migraine pain management.

Heat & Cold Therapy – Apply hot & cold compresses to the head or neck can be helpful in relieving pain & tension.

Homeopathy – Delivered at small homeopathic dosages, the SNRA molecule has shown to be fast-acting in migraine relief.