According to Chinese medical theory, the symptoms and signs that indicate a Western diagnosis of allergies relate to imbalances in the meridian and organ systems of the body. These imbalances may stem from a variety of causes, including stress, poor diet, constitutional weakness, pollutants and environmental toxins.
Over time, if imbalances remain within the body, they will affect the functions of the organ systems. Some of these organ systems are involved in the production of Wei Qi (pronounced "way chee"). According to the theories of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, it is important to have the correct quality and quantity of Wei Qi circulating around the body in order to stay healthy.
What is Wei Qi?
The Chinese concept of Wei Qi is similar to the Western concept of the immune system. Wei Qi functions to protect and defend the body against foreign substances, that if not caught, can lead to allergies. When Wei Qi is strong and abundant, we remain healthy. When the supply of Wei Qi becomes inadequate, health is compromised and we become vulnerable to foreign invaders such as dust, mold, animal dander, bacteria, viruses and pollen. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine support and strengthen the systems of the body that are involved in the production of Wei Qi. By building up the supply of Wei Qi, and facilitating the smooth and free flow of it through the body, symptoms and signs related to allergies could be greatly reduced or eliminated.
What will an Acupuncture Physician do?
Dr. Kimberly Nguyen will conduct a thorough exam and take a complete health history. She will then develop a unique treatment plan that will address your specific concerns. The goals of the treatment plan will be to resolve visible symptoms and signs, while addressing the root causes and underlying imbalance affecting the quality and quantity of Wei Qi. Acupuncture treatments are usually combined with a customized herbal formulas to aid in the healing process and help balance, build and support the body's Wei Qi. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is a drug-free, safe, natural and effective way to eliminate hay fever, allergies, sinusitis and the common cold.
According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults and costing more than $42 billion a year.
Feelings of anxiety, worry and fear related to significant and challenging events are justified and very common. Anxiety becomes a problem when emotional reactions are out of proportion with what might be “normally” expected in a situation, and when symptoms interfere with a person’s daily functioning or sleep patterns. Mild anxiety leaves a person feeling a bit unsettled, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating.
Anxiety is used as a general term for several disorders that have common symptoms – such as nervousness, worrying, apprehension and fear. Anxiety disorders can be classified into several more specific types. The most common are briefly described below.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by unrealistic, persistent and excessive worry about everyday things. People with this disorder often expect the worst and experience exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is no apparent reason for concern.
Panic Disorder is characterized by brief or sudden attacks of intense terror and apprehension that leads to shaking, confusion, nausea, dizziness and difficulty breathing. Panic attacks tend to arise abruptly and seemingly out-of-the-blue, causing the individual to become preoccupied with the fear of a recurring attack.
Phobia is an irrational fear and avoidance of an object or situation. Phobias commonly focus on flying, bridges, insects, heights, dental or medical procedures and elevators. Having phobias can disrupt daily routines, reduce self-esteem, limit work efficiency and put a strain on relationships.
Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by a fear of being negatively judged and scrutinized by others in social or performance-related situations. Different variations of this type of anxiety include a fear of intimacy, stage fright and a fear of humiliation. People suffering from this disorder can sometimes isolate themselves in an attempt to avoid public situations and human contact.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted or intrusive thoughts, which often make the sufferer feel compelled to repeat certain behaviors or routines. Even when the OCD sufferers know the irrationality of their compulsions, they feel powerless to stop them. They may obsessively wash their hands, clean personal items or constantly check light switches, locks or stoves.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is anxiety that results from previous trauma such as military combat, rape, a natural disaster, a serious accident or other life-threatening events. Most people who experience such events recover from them, but people with PTSD continue to be anxious and severely depressed for months or even years following the event. They often experience flashbacks and behavioral changes in order to avoid certain stimuli.
If you live with arthritis, you know what a challenge it can be to find relief from joint pain and other symptoms. But there are many things you can do to manage and control your arthritis and live a healthy, active life. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can be a powerful addition to any treatment plan without causing harmful side effects. Arthritis according to Western Medicine, Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, affecting more than 21 million individual in America. It occurs when the cartilage between the joints breaks down, usually affecting the hips, hands, knees, low back, or neck.Some factors can increase your risk, including a joint injury, being overweight, aging, and genetics. Putting stress on a joint through repetitive motion can also increase your risk. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another common type, affecting 2.1 million people on the United States. This chronic condition occurs when the lining of the joints becomes inflamed, and can lead to long-term joint damage and even loss of movement. Women are two to three times more likely to get RA. RA often starts in the hands or feet, and usually affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Symptoms include:
Warm, swollen or tender joints
Join stiffness especially in the morning
Flu-like symptoms such as fever
Treatment generally focuses on relieving pain and preventing further joint damage. Often this is done through the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications, as well as through self-care and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may even be needed. Acupuncture offers a natural way to control joint pain and other symptoms and maintain overall health. In fact, a 2004 study showed that patients with OA of the knee experienced a 40 percent decrease in pain and 40 percent increase in function after receiving a series a acupuncture treatments. A whole-body approach to relief
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) take a holistic or whole-body approach to health. According to these theories, Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the life energy that animates the body and protects it from illness. It flows through pathways called meridians to nourish all of the body’s organs. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, physical symptoms may result. Causes of Arthritis from a TCM perspective are:
Weakness or deficiency of the internal organs
History of physical injury or trauma
Changes with the quality and quantity of Qi
Blockage or inadequate flow of Qi
Invasion from external factors such as Wind, Cold and Heat
Unresolved emotional upset, mainly related to stress and anxiety
Your practitioner will take a detailed health history and perform a physical exam to determine your body’s imbalances. He or she will create a detailed treatment plan that takes into account your unique symptoms and the effects of y our arthritis.
During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific acupoints along the meridians in order to rebalance and unblock any obstruction and allow Qi to flow freely. Your practitioner may also recommend herbal remedies, massage and stretching. Be sure to discuss any new medications with your doctor to avoid any potential interactions.
What you can do
It’s important to remember that there is no “quick fix” for arthritis, and it may take time and effort to achieve results. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make that may help you find relief faster. Exercise can help increase your flexibility, strengthen muscles and bones, and maintain a healthy weight. Diet is another important issue. Stick to a healthy diet made up of a wide variety of unprocessed, organic foods. Your acupuncturist may also suggest adding natural anti-inflammatory to your diet. Stress relief can also help. By learning to identify your stressors and lower your stress through techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation or gentle exercise, you’ll improve your state of mind and your health. Maintaining balance in your life is also key. A good balance of rest and relaxation with activity and exercise will keep you keep feeling your best. By working closely with your acupuncturist and other treatment providers, you will taking charge of your arthritis and taking a step toward a healthier life.
What is Ostereoarthritis? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases September 2006.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases May 2005.
Joswick, Diane LAc Acupuncture for Arthritis 2006 Acufinder.com
Asthma is a long-term condition that affects more than 20 million Americans. Caring for a chronic condition such as asthma can sometimes be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that it can be controlled. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be powerful allies in the management of asthma, and they work well in conjunction with other types of treatment. Asthma is an inflammatory disease in which the airways becomes blocked or narrowed, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Some people have long periods without symptoms, while others may always experience difficulty breathing. Asthma attacks occur when something triggers the inflammation of the respiratory systems. Flare ups can be severe – sometimes even life-threatening.
It is important to remember that you are a key part of controlling your asthma.
Here are a few ways you can take an active part in your treatment:
Try keeping an asthma diary to track your specific asthma triggers.
Be sure to keep all of your health care providers fully informed. This includes talking to them about any medications or herbs you may be taking, as well as any changes in your symptoms.
Follow your practitioner’s recommendations for self-care. These might include exercises such as Qi Gong, yoga, dietary changes, or stress-relief measures such as meditation.
By making positive lifestyle choices and working closely with your practitioner, you’ll truly be taking change of your asthma and your life.
Asthma attacks are generally caused by one or more triggers, including:
A cold, flu, bronchitis, or sinus infection
Allergens, including dust mites, tree and grass pollen, mold, and animal dander
Irritants that include tobacco, smoke, strong fragrances, and air pollution
Certain foods and food additives
Aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs
Changes in weather
Strong emotions such as anxiety, stress, grief and anger
Generally, the available approach of asthma treatment is to try and prevent attacks. This is usually done with regular use of anti-inflammatory, medications, inhaled steroids and leukotriene inhibitors. Once an asthma attack is underway, quick-acting medications like corticosteroids may be able to relieve it. Asthma according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) goes beyond a simple diagnosis of “asthma.”
Below are some of the more common TCM diagnoses that your acupuncturist may discover and treat.
Invasion of Wind
Wei Qi deficiency
Most of these medications can cause side effects such as nausea, headaches, muscle tremors, and insomnia. However, many people have found that acupuncture treatment may help reduce asthma attacks, improve lung function and even lower the amount of medication needed. Asthma according to ancient principles. In TCM, asthma is known as “Xiao Chuan,” which means “wheezing” and “shortness of breath.” It is caused by a variety of factors that involve an imbalance with Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”), and an imbalance with one or more of the organ systems, generally the Lungs, Spleen or Kidney. An acupuncturist will take a holistic or whole-body approach in order to determine what areas of the body are affected and out-of-balance and contributing to the attacks. Since acupuncture and TCM take into account your overall well-being, your practitioner may also address other issues that may be contributing to your asthma, such as exercise, diet and stress. Acupuncture is as safe, effective, and pain-free approach to many conditions and you may find that your overall health improves along with your asthma symptoms.
Lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Crohn’s disease… You may have heard of these conditions, but do you know what they have in common? They are all types of autoimmune disease and they are all lifelong conditions.
Approximately 50 million Americans are living with an autoimmune disease. If you are facing one of these conditions, you know how crucial it is to have a treatment plan in place to help you manage your symptoms and live the healthiest, most active life possible Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be powerful allies in living with an autoimmune disease. They can help:
Strengthen your immune system
Relieve painful symptoms
Reduce your stress and
Bolster your overall health
Perhaps most important, your practitioner will focus on you as an individual. Your care will be tailored to your specific needs and symptoms, so you won’t ever receive a “one-size-fits-all” treatment.
When the immune response goes wrong
To understand autoimmune disease, we must first understand how the immune system works. The immune system generally acts as the body’s protection against foreign substances and microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. When the immune system is working properly, it can tell the difference between the body’s own tissues and outside organisms. In the case of autoimmune diseases the immune system stops being able to differentiate, and begins to attack the body’s own cells tissues, and organs. This immune response causes harmful inflammation that eventually leads to an autoimmune condition. There are about 80 recognized autoimmune diseases, and several other conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia that are currently such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia that are currently believed to have an autoimmune component. Autoimmune conditions are often difficult to diagnose and treat because their symptoms and progression can vary from person to person. These conditions may either affect many organs or target one specific part of the body. The symptoms may be persistent, get progressively worse or go into remission with occasional “flare-ups,” and can range from being mild to so severe that they become disabling.
The exact causes of autoimmune diseases are unknown, but since many conditions run in families, it’s believed there is a genetic relationship. Since women are at much higher risk for many autoimmune diseases, hormones may also play a part. Treatments generally rely upon variety of medications, which can help to relieve symptoms but may have uncomfortable side effects.
How acupuncture can help
Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic or whole body approach to healing based on the idea of Qi, or vital energy. Qi flows through pathways called meridians to nourish all of the body’s organs, protect us from illness and keep us healthy. When the flow of Qi becomes diminished or blocked, disease can result. The goal of treatment will be to find and treat the underlying imbalances that are affecting the flow of Qi. By addressing the root cause of the disease,, TCM can help your body regain balance and help reduce inflammation, soothe uncomfortable symptoms, relieve side effects form medication and increae your energy levels. During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific points along the meridians in order to unblock any obstruction and allow Qi to flow freely. Your practitioner may also help improve your nutrition, reduce your stress, or start you on an exercise program. In addition, your practitioner may recommend herbal remedies and supplements designed to support your health and boost your immune system. It’s important to communicate with all of your health providers in order to maximize your healing potential. Acupuncture and TCM have proven effective against a wide variety of health concerns. By incorporating these powerful tools into your treatment program, you’re making the decision to support and nourish your body and take control of your autoimmune condition.
It's a diagnosis that no one wants to hear. It can leave you feeling frightened, uncertain, and powerless. But if you or a loved one is facing cancer, it’s important to have hope. In many cases, cancer can be cured, especially when it’s detected early. There are more treatments available now than ever before to cure cancer or slow it from spreading, relieve its symptoms, and help you live a healthier life.
It’s also important to know that you have options in addition to standard medical therapies. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of conditions. It can safety be used to naturally support your body and mind as you undergo conventional cancer treatments.
Understanding treatments and their side effect
Cancer is an overall term of a group of diseases that occur when cells begin to reproduce abnormally, eventually damaging or killing healthy tissue. Most cancers are named according to where they began in the body, and there are more than 100 different types. The most common are breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer.
Your treatment plan will be based on many factors, including the type and stage (how far it has spread) of the cancer and your overall health. White cancer treatments have proven to be effective, they do have serious side effects to take into account. The most common treatments include:
Surgery: Performed to remove the cancer if possible. Surgery may be used alone or along with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or biological therapy.
Chemotherapy: The use of medications to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy generally lasts from 3 to 9 months, and can have side effects including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and skin darkening at the site of the treatment.
Radiation therapy: The use of high doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells. Side effects generally include fatigue, hair loss, and skin darkening at the site of the treatment.
Biological therapy: This treatment works by boosting the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. Side effects depend on the specific type of therapy, but they can include rashes or swelling, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite.
How acupuncture and TCM can help
Acupuncture and TCM have been used for thousands of years to maintain health and relieve symptoms. Practitioners work to treat imbalances in the body’s Qi, or vital energy, by inserting fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints.
Since acupuncture has few side effects, it can be safely used as a complement to convetional cancer treatments. In fact, in many cancer cases it’s recommended as a way to soothe and reduce side effects. According to the National Institutes of Health, acupuncture has been found to be effective in relieving:
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Cancer treatment according to Traditional Chinese Medicinie is based on Fu Zhen Gu Ben principles.
Fu Zhen means strengthening what is correct. It is an immune enhancing herbal regimen using specific herbs. The objective is to support and stimulate deep energy systems with the body to make it stronger and more resistant to degeneration.
Gu Ben refers to strengthening and supporting the body to regenerate and repair.
Treatments may include:
Removing toxins that may contribute to cancer
Increasing the flow of blood and Qi
Removing accumulations of tissue that are believed to be the tumor.
Restoring self-regulation and balance among the Jing, Qi, and Shen.
Acupuncture and TCM can also help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety, which can greatly improve your quality of life during this challenging time. In addition to acupuncture, your practitioner may also provide massage, acupressure, nutritional counseling, or an exercise program designed to help you stay as healthy as possible. He or she may also recommend herbal medicines or vitamin supplements.
Remember to always communicate your health care providers about these and any other medications you take in order to avoid any drug interactions.
Treating the person, not just the disease
Acupuncture practitioners take a holistic, or whole-body, approach to cancer care. This means that not only lifestyle, emotional state, and overall health. Your whole being will take into account, not just the cancer. When you work with your practitioner to improve your health and relieve your side effects, you are not only helping yourself get the most from conventional treatments, you’re taking back control of your own life.
The American College of Chest Physicians recommends that acupuncture be used for patients who experience fatigue, dyspnea, chemo-therapy induced neuropathy or to soothe symptoms of pain or nausea and vomiting. Especially in patients who have cancer of the lungs.
Do you experience tingling in your hand and fingers? Pain that radiates from your wrist to you shoulder? Maybe even difficulty holding small objects? If so, you could be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), an uncomfortable and sometimes disabling condition that affects up to five million Americans.
The good news is that lifestyle changes can relieve symptoms, and there are many treatments available to help. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can effectively treat CTS without side effects or harmful medications.
What is CTS?
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist that protects the median nerve which innervates the hand as well that protects the median nerve which innervates the hand as well as tendons that control the fingers. This nerve controls sensation and muscle movements in the hand. If the carpal tunnel becomes narrowed from swelling or injury, the nerve is compressed and impinged. This can cause numbness, pain and severe weakness in the hands.
These are several causes of CTS, but the main culprit is repetitive flexion and extension of the tendons in the hands and wrists, especially when performed for long periods, leading to Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI). Symptoms usually start with dull wrist pain that gradually worsens. Other symptoms may include:
Loss of feeling in fingers
Numbness, tingling or burning sensations in the fingers or hand
Pain extending from the wrist up the arm to the shoulder or down into the palm or fingers
Weakness in the hands and difficulty holding objects
How can acupuncture help?
Typically, treatment for CTS is based on how severe the symptoms are, and may include immobilizing the wrist and hand, using anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids to reduce swelling, and surgery in severe cases. Acupuncture and TCM can safely be used in conjunction with Western treatments to relieve CTS symptoms.
Studies suggest that acupuncture can both reduce swelling of soft tissue and stimulate production of cortisol, a hormone that reduces inflammation. Since CTS is caused by the swelling of the soft tissue that leads to inflammation of the carpal tunnel, acupuncture can be effective in treating CTS. In addition to improving you CTS, treatment may also improve other symptoms often associated with this condition such as headaches, neck pain, and shoulder stiffness. More importantly, acupuncture and TCM can help relieve the emotional stress of living with this painful condition.
Dr. Nguyen will create a unique, personalized treatment plan designed to address your body’s imbalances. During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific acupoints along the meridians in order to support and strengthen your body and eliminate pain. Dr. Nguyen may also recommend herbal remedies, vitamin supplements, massage, and stretching as part of your treatment.
Acupuncture and TCM offer a safe, pain-free, natural way to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. With proper care, you can recover from CTS. As you continue with treatment, you may even find that your overall health and well being improve along with your symptoms.
Self-care for a pain-free life.
Actively taking part in your treatment is key. Consider these self-care techniques:
Take plenty of breaks during the day, especially if you perform repetitive tasks.
Try yoga to increase you’re flexible and strength.
Remember to gently stretch your hands, arms, and shoulders throughout the day.
If you work at a computer, consult an ergonomics specialist to ensure that your workstation is set up properly.
Ask Dr. Nguyenr about supplements such as B2, B6, and Omega-3 fatty acids for reducing numbness and inflammation.
Each year, more than 1000,000 people are hospitalized die to complications from the flu virus. Unfortunately, most of us get the “flu” or “influenza,” virus at least once in our lifetime. The associated symptoms and signs are all too common: fever, sore throat, congestion, fatigue, muscle and body aches runny nose, dry cough, sneezing, and watery eyes.
Colds are much less severe than the flu, but like the flu, viruses and germs cause colds. Colds cause less severe symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and light headaches. Though it may make you feel lousy, getting a cold is not always a bad thing. Instead, it’s a sign that the body’s resources are strong and vital, working to return you to a state of good health. However, if your immune system is already compromised, a cold could further weaken your body, leaving you opens to a more serious illness.
The flu, you and Chinese medicine
Clinical studies have suggested that using acupuncture as a preventative approach to colds and flu can reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the length of the illness. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine work by rebalancing the body’s systems, regulating the body’s healing energies and enhancing the immune system. Even though germs, bacteria, and viruses are everywhere in the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink, according to Chinese medical theory, they do not cause disease. Illness occurs when certain organ systems are weak and out of balance. When our bodies are in a weakened and unbalanced state, a hospitable environment is created for germs, bacteria and viruses to thrive, leading to a cold or the flu.
One of the main theories supporting acupuncture and its treatment of colds and the flu is the concept of Wei Qi. The concept of Wei Qi is similar to the Western concept of the immune system. Wei Qi functions as a barrier protecting and defending the body against foreign substances, which can cause illness and disease. When Wei Qi is strong and abundant, we remain healthy. When the supply of Wei Qi becomes inadequate, health is compromised and we become vulnerable to outside invaders.
Throughout or lives, a variety of factors affect our health and well-being. Although most of the time we recover quickly and regain our health, when these factors are numerous, our internal mechanisms become compromised and weakened, our Wei Qi becomes depleted and we get sick. By the time illness occurs, the body’s self-regulating, self-balancing and healing systems have already been affected.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine support and strengthen the systems of the body that are involved in the production of Wei Qi and can help rebalance and support the immune system and stimulate Wei Qi energy. By building up the supply of Wei Qi, and facilitating the smooth and free flow of it throughout the body, the body’s organs and meridian systems become strong, enhancing their ability to effectively fight off illness and disease.
Tips for Staying Healthy:
Consume 8-10 glasses of filtered water daily
Exercise regularly to support the immune system
Eat a healthy, organic diet, including foods with beta carotene (carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, garlic and tomatoes)
Limit sugar intake. Sugar taxes the immune system, especially when feeling under the weather.
Take Vitamin C and herbs to support the immune system, especially in the "cold and flu” season
Get plenty of rest
Enjoy fun and relaxing activities
Stimulate specific acupuncture points that support Wei Qi
Schedule regular acupuncture treatments to support the body’s self-regulating, self-balancing and healing system
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are drug free, safe, natural and effective ways to support the body’s self-regulating, self-balancing and healing systems. If illness does occur, acupuncture can help you get back on your feet again, helping to stave off prolonged illness without the use of medication and over the counter drugs.
Treatment of fever due to exopathic wind-cold by rapid acupuncture. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1992 Dec 21 (4)-267-71.
Preventive and curatve effects of acupuncture on the common cold: a multicentre randomized controlled trial in Japan Complementary
Depression can be debilitating for those who experience it. Prolonged feelings of sadness, discouragement and hopelessness greatly affect the quality of life.
At one time or another, most of us have experienced some form of depression. It's a healthy response to events in our lives that seem overwhelming. When we are balanced, physically and emotionally, we can easily bounce back from a depressed state and move on with our lives. But when negative feelings and emotions become persistent and consistent, depression may set in.
Today, more than 28 million Americans are taking antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs. (1) In 1998, doctors wrote more than 130 million prescriptions for antidepressants. According to the Physicians' Desk Reference the top antidepressant drugs only address signs and symptoms associated with depression, and may cause a variety of side effects including insomnia, anxiety, listlessness, fatigue, body rash, tremors, facial tics, diarrhea, loss of appetite and sexual dysfunction.
How can Acupuncture help?
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine incorporate thousands of years of experience in treating depression. Not only can they help to alleviate the signs and symptoms accompanying depression, they can address the root causes and underlying imbalances that have contributed to the problem, safely and naturally. Acupuncturists are aware of the powerful interplay between our body and emotions - the two are inseparable. When we experience emotional upset, our internal environment becomes disrupted. Likewise, when we experience physical problems, our emotions can become greatly affected. Over time, this disruption leads to what an Acupuncturist calls "stagnant or depressed Qi." This diagnosis is unique to Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Eventually it can cause a disharmony within our body, affecting our physical and emotional well-being. If not properly treated, this imbalance may lead to depression.
What will an Acupuncturist do?
A acupuncturist and doctor of oriental medicine such as Dr. Kimberly Nguyen will take a complete health history in order to find out where, why, and how Qi has stagnated or depressed. She will develop a unique treatment plan tailored to specific symptoms and signs of each individual. The goals of such a plan will be to activate the movement of Qi throughout the entire body, as well as to address the root causes and underlying imbalances. By treating the body as a whole and unique organism, Acupuncture care can support recovery from illness and disease toward health and wholeness.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine provide safe, natural, drug-free and effective ways to address depression. The focus is to restore a balanced and continuous flow of Qi throughout the body and mind.
~ Acupuncture is not a magic bullet. You may need to receive weeks or months of treatment in order to see lasting results. ~ Give yourself the time required so that you can experience the maximum benefits Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have to offer.
~ Surround yourself with people whom you trust to provide objective and unbiased input and insight. Develop a support group of friends, loved ones, family and co-workers who can lend an ear and listen to you.
~ Breathe, go slow and think things through. Don't make too many life changes all at once. A few at a time will support you and not overwhelm your emotions.
~ Try to get at least 20 minutes of simple exercise at least 3 days per week, if not more. Take a daily walk, breathe deeply, smile and let it all go.
~ Remember, you are not alone. Others are having similar experiences.
1. Acupuncture Today; December 2001
Chances are that you or someone you know has been affected by diabetes. It’s an increasingly common condition – one that approximately 1.3 million people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with this year alone. While it is generally a long term condition, diabetes can be managed through, self care, nutrition, and medication.
Another safe, effective approach to managing diabetes and its symptoms is acupuncture. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) help promote health and well-being. Both can be used safely along with your current medical treatment to provide the best results for you.
Understanding a complex condition
The body gets its energy from food through the process of digestion. Food is broken down into glucose (or sugar) which passes into the bloodstream. Then the glucose is moved into muscle, fat, and liver cells by the hormone insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. However, if you have diabetes, your body either does not produce enough insulin, or doesn’t respond to it’s properly, and this leads to high levels of sugar in the blood. Uncontrolled blood-sugar levels can cause serious complications if left untreated, including blindness, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, amputations, and nerve damage.
There are two main types of diabetes
Type I diabetes: Usually diagnosed during childhood, type I is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks insulin producing cells. Symptoms usually come on suddenly and treatment includes daily injections of insulin.
Type II diabetes: This type accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes cases, and is usually diagnosed during adulthood. Major risk factors include family history, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol and being overweight and sedentary.
Since symptoms may be mild, many people don’t know they have diabetes, which is why it’s important to get tested regularly, especially after age 45. Testing can also detect pre-diabetes, where blood sugar is high, but not yet at diabetic levels. With early detection and treatment, it is far easier to stop the disease from progressing, control your symptoms, and prevent complications. Treatments often include regular blood-sugar monitoring and medications to control blood sugar, as well as diet and exercise.
Diabetes according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) goes beyond a simple diagnosis of Type I or Type II goes beyond a simple diagnosis of Type I or Type II diabetes.
Below are some of the more common TCM diagnoses that your acupuncturist may discover and treat.
Liver Qi Stagnation
A natural approach that works
The good news is that certain types of diabetes respond very well to acupuncture along with other holistic health care choices and lifestyle changes – sometimes even making medications unnecessary.
Acupuncture and TCM can help put you on the path to a healthier lifestyle. Since diabetes has an impact on every part of your body, it makes sense to try a therapy that takes a holistic, or whole-body, approach to health.
According to TCM, QI (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that animates the body and protect it from illness. Qi flows through pathways called meridians and provides nourishment to all of the body’s organs, and glands. When there is an imbalance or bockage in the flow of Qi, symptoms associated with diabetes may appear.
According to TCM, diabetes is known as “Xiao Ke” or “Wasting and Thirsting disease,” caused by an imbalance of Qi and Yin. This produces heat which drains and consumes the body’s fluids. That is why symptoms related to heat appear – excessive thirst, irritability, itchy skin, dry mouth and red, swollen gums.
During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted in specific acupuncture points along the meridian pathways in order to restore the flow of Qi and nourish Yin. This can ultimately relieve symptoms, improve pancreatic function and control blood sugar levels. Your acupuncturist will also work to resolve other imbalances or concerns that may complicate your condition, and can help with common symptoms such as pain.
In addition to acupuncture care, Dr. Nguyen may offer recommendations for dietary changes, exercise plans, and herbal remedies.
Acupuncture and TCM addresses each patient’s individual needs in eliminating symptoms and potentially reduce the need for medication. The best approach to controlling your diabetes is to work with a team of health care providers who can address the many aspects of diabetes. Including an acupuncturist to your team and working together to manage your diabetes – can have lasting benefits and help you live a healthy, active life.
Choate, C. Diabetes Mellitus From Western and TCM Perspective. Accessed 2/10/2007.
Diabetes. U>S> National Library of Medicine Medical Encyclopedia. 2/8/2007.
Diabetes Overview and Facts. WebMD Accessed 6/9/2007.
Treating Diabetes with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Acufinder.com. Accessed 6/4/2007.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can provide a safe, effective, natural, and drug-free approach to reduce signs of aging. A facial rejuvenation using this ancient technique can improve muscle tone of the face and neck while addressing underlying imbalances that may have contributed to the aging process.
Why does skin sag?
According to Chinese medicine, wrinkles begin internally from a weakness and imbalance of Qi (pronounced "chee"). Qi circulates within a series of pathways called Meridians. These pathways travel throughout the body, including the face. Qi flows within the meridians and provides nourishment, support, and energy to every cell, tissue, muscle, and organ.
As we get older, it becomes more difficult for Qi to flow upwards to "lift" the face. This leads to inadequate muscle tone, and over time, wrinkles and sagging skin. There are a variety of things that can contribute to this - poor diet, digestion, circulation, or emotional and environmental stresses.
Give your skin a lift.
A facial rejuvenation using acupuncture improves overall skin and muscle tone while enhancing and increasing the elasticity of the skin. Acupuncture can reduce signs of aging by strengthening and stimulating the circulation of Qi within the meridian pathways, especially those of the face. You will look and feel more energetic, calm, vibrant, and healthy.
Acupuncture treatments may be combined with herbal supplements, exercise, and acupressure in order to maximize results. Before using drugs or surgery to improve appearance, consider acupuncture. It is an effective, natural, safe, drug free and painless alternative.
Herbal poultice - Thoroughly clean face. Make a poultice using equal parts of ground organic almonds, lavender and rose flowers, ground flax seeds, and oats. Add water and French clay, and stir into a thick paste. Apply to the face, avoiding the eyes, and let dry. Wash off after 15-20 minutes.
Stay hydrated - drink plenty of fresh spring water. This can keep the muscles and skin hydrated to prevent drying.
Gently massage the face.
Walk at least 20 minutes a day, and remember to breathe deeply.
The treatment of infertility with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine dates back 2000 years. These ancient, time-tested techniques improve fertility rates and support a woman's whole body, unlocking unlimited potential for health, healing and childbearing.
A landmark study published in the medical journal Fertility & Sterility (1) found that Acupuncture dramatically improves the chances of becoming pregnant when used in conjunction with other assisted reproductive techniques. Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical Center (2) in New York reviewed studies and concluded that Acupuncture helps to:
~ increase blood flow to the uterus, which improves the chances of an ovum implanting on the uterine wall
~ reduce anxiety, stress and the hormones that are secreted during stressful situations that can significantly decrease fertility
~ normalize hormone and endocrine systems that regulate ovulation, especially in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
~ positively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis, which plays a key role in fertility
~ regulate menstrual cycle
In a study published in Human Reproduction Journal (3), an ultrasound was used to evaluate blood flow to the uterus during Acupuncture treatments. The study found blood flow increases during treatment. According to Dr. Nancy Snyderman, "When Acupuncture needles are placed correctly, it can affect the nervous system. The idea is that if you stimulate the nervous system. You can make the uterus quiet and allow blood to flow". Relaxing the uterus and increasing blood flow allows for the successful implant of an embryo within the uterine lining.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can raise the fertility potential for women by affecting the quality, quantity, balance and flow of Qi and blood. When Qi (also called Life Energy) and blood are circulating freely throughout the body, every cell, tissue and organ is properly nourished and functioning well. When this occurs, a woman's health and fertility are ensured.
According to the theories of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, infertility is caused by an imbalance of Qi and blood affecting one or more of the Organ Systems. (Please keep in mind that the Organs described below reflect Eastern medical theories and philosophies).
Kidney Organ System - The release of an ovum is controlled by the Kidneys. The Kidneys also create a substance called Jing Qi, which is required in order to have a healthy body, mind and pregnancy. If an imbalance exists within the Kidneys, Jing Qi may be inadequate in supply and infertility may be a result. Chinese Herbal Medicine, along with Acupuncture, can nourish and support Jing Qi and overall Kidney health.
Spleen Organ System - An adequate supply of blood is required by a woman's body to sustain a normal menstrual cycle, a growing fetus and a healthy pregnancy. A disharmony within the Spleen can result in an inadequate supply and imbalance of blood. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can build and nourish blood, in order to promote a healthy flow of blood to the uterus.
Liver Organ System - In order to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy, it is important to have a free flow of Qi and blood throughout the body. The Liver is in charge of facilitating the smooth flow of Qi and blood. When it is out of balance, areas of the body will not receive the required supply of Qi and blood. This imbalance can lead to depression, anxiety, stress and Anger, and increase infertility.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine provide a safe, effective, drug-free, and natural approach to treating infertility and enjoying a healthy pregnancy. Here are five benefits of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine:
1. An Acupuncturist does not treat just symptoms and signs, but instead activates the body's natural healing potential by treating the root causes that have lead to the problem or disease.
2. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are completely natural.
3. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can be used to strengthen, support, and balance overall health and well-being, so other fertility procedures are more effective. Researchers in clinical studies have found that adding acupuncture to the traditional IVF treatment protocols substantially increased pregnancy success (6).
4. The practice of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is over 3,000 years old and has helped millions of people become well and stay healthy.
5. It works!
Also consider Acupuncture during your pregnancy and birth. According to the World Health Organization, Acupuncture has been found useful for relieving labor pain, nausea, vomiting and significantly reducing the duration of labor. There is also strong evidence that Acupuncture can help with a breech (7,8).
1. Paulus W. et, al.. Influence of Acupuncture on the Pregnancy Rate in Patients who Undergo Assisted Reproduction Therapy. Fertility and Sterility, volume 77. April 2002, 721-724.
2. 5 Ways Acupuncture Can Boost Fertility. Prevention.com. 2002.
3. Human Reproduction Journal. Volume 11. Number 6. 1996.
4. Fertility and Sterility. volume 78. December 2002, 1149-1153.
5. Pins & Needles. Could Acupuncture help promote pregnancy? ABCNews.com. April 16. 2002.
6. Bouchez, C. The Ancient Art of Infertility Treatment When it comes to getting pregnant, old world techniques may be just what today's high-tech doctors will order. http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/features/ancient-art-of-infertility-treatment, Oct 2003.
7. Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials. World Health Organization. Geneva. 2002. www.who.int/medicines
8. A Manual of Acupuncture. Page 326. Peter Deadman & Mazin AI-Khafajl
Fibromyalgia is the second most common rheumatic disorder in the United States behind arthritis, according to the America College of Rheumatology.(1) People diagnosed with fibromyalgia experience a wide range of symptoms including fatigue, pain, stiffness, aches and muscle tenderness, along with sleep disorders and intestinal and bowel troubles. The diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be confirmed when 11 out of 18 specific points on the body are tender to pressure. Interestingly, some of these tender points closely correspond to the location of ancient Acupuncture points.
How acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help.
According to the theories of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, an imbalance in the flow of Qi can create symptoms and signs that reflect a Western diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Qi (pronounced "chee") is the energy or the power that animates and supports the functions of the body. It flows through specific pathways, called meridians, and provides nourishment for the entire body. When Qi is abundant and freely circulating throughout the body, there is health and pain-free living. When Qi becomes "blocked," or the supply is inadequate, pain, stiffness and other symptoms related to fibromyalgia can appear.
What does an Acupuncturist do?
Dr. Kimberly Nguyen will take a complete health history in order to find out where Qi has become blocked, and/or why the amount of Qi within the body has changed. She will then develop a treatment plan tailored to address the meridian pathways that are out of balance. The goal of such a plan will be to eliminate visible symptoms, while addressing the root cause(s) and underlying imbalances.
What is out-of-balance?
The body constantly strives to maintain a healthy balance of Qi traveling through the meridian pathways. When the flow of Qi has been disrupted, or the supply of Qi has changed, the body becomes unbalanced and the meridians cannot properly nourish the body. This is when signs and symptoms appear.
Most cases of fibromyalgia fit into the Chinese Medical diagnosis of a Liver, Spleen and or Heart disharmony. This doesn't mean that these organs have a "problem," it means that the "functions" of these organ and meridian pathways according to Chinese Medical diagnosis are out of balance.
The functions related to the Liver organ, according to Chinese Medicine, are to control the smooth flow of blood, Qi and emotions and to nourish the tendons. When the Liver meridian becomes "blocked," there will be an inadequate supply of blood and Qi flowing throughout the body. The tendons and muscles will not be properly nourished, leading to stiffness and pain. Other symptoms of a "blocked" Liver are depression, anger, anxiety and insomnia. Improper diet, stress, deep unexpressed anger, drugs and alcohol may cause a Liver imbalance.
The Chinese function of the Spleen is to transform the food that we ingest into Qi and blood. The health of the Spleen is affected by diet and obsessive worry. An unbalanced Spleen can result in fatigue, digestive troubles, muscle stiffness and pain.
When there is an insufficient amount of Qi and blood produced by the Spleen, the Heart organ will be affected. The role of the Heart is to pump blood throughout the body. It is also considered to be the home of the Spirit. If the Spleen cannot generate enough blood to nourish the Heart, the Heart Qi does not have enough control to properly house the Spirit. Symptoms can include anxiety, palpitations, insomnia and emotional unrest.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can provide a safe alternative in the effective treatment of fibromyalgia. Along with Acupuncture, natural Herbal formulas, dietary recommendations and calming exercises can also help promote balance and health.
In November 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), stated that Acupuncture could be effective in treating fibromyalgia. (2) Not only can it treat the pain and discomfort, but it can also address the underlying problems that have caused the imbalance.
1. American College of Rheumatology
2. The 1997 NIH Consensus on the Efficacy of Acupuncture
Causes of Headaches
There are many factors in TCM theory that may play a key role in the root cause(s) of headaches. These include body constitution, emotional health, excessive work, social and exercise activities, improper diet, physical trauma and pregnancy. Headaches can also be diagnosed according to specific symptoms, times of occurrence, location on the body, type of pain, triggers and remedies which provide relief.
A natural path to relief
Acupuncture and TCM take a whole-body approach to health. Your practitioner will take a detailed health history, and perform a physical exam to determine how and why your body’s vital energy, or Qi, is out of balance, and what root causes are contributing to the overall problem. During treatment, in order to restore the balance and flow of Qi, fine sterile needles will be inserted at specific points along the meridian pathways. Based on your unique symptoms, the acupuncturist will choose to concentrate on acupuncture points related to specific organs. Afterwards, a variety of self-care techniques may be prescribed to further expedite your healing process.
What do you mean by Qi is out of balance?
An important part of Acupuncture and TCM is the concept of Qi. Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital life energy that animates the body and protects it from illness. It flows through pathways called meridians, and provides nourishment to all of the body’s organs. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, physical symptoms may result. Qi stagnation may be the cause of your headaches.
It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a “quick fix”. Changes may occur quickly or over a longer period of time, depending upon your overall constitution and health. It is important to closely follow the recommendations suggested by your acupuncturist. Whether it’s one visit to address a acute problem, or several visits to address a chronic problem, your acupuncturist will create a treatment protocol that will maximize your healing potential.
Below are a few ways that you can participate in your own healing, by making simple lifestyle change that may help soothe or even prevent head pain.
Track those triggers
Try to keep track of when your headaches start. Migraine sufferers may find it especially helpful to keep a diary of symptoms and possible causes. Triggers might include anything from eating chocolate, to anxiety or inhaling specific smells. Pinpointing these triggers and avoiding them when possible - could help.
Stress puts a lot of strain on the body, and can contribute to many types of health concerns, including headaches. Talk to your practitioner about healthy ways to handle stress, such as meditation or breathing techniques.
Physical activity is an important part of any health lifestyle, and is a great antidote to stress. Your doctor can recommend types of exercises that may work best for you.
Making minor changes can make a big difference in your overall health and vitality. Do your best to eat healthy, organic foods, and make sure to get enough sleep every day.
Acupuncture and TCM provide an effective, natural treatment for many different types of pain, including headache pain. By working with your acupuncturist and adopting some simple lifestyle changes, you’ll be on your way towards a healthier, happier, pain-free life.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a complex disorder in which the intestines lose their ability to efficiently move their contents. The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation. Less common symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, depression and anxiety. Symptoms may be triggered by stress, diet, emotional factors, hormone levels and medications.
Let's talk acupuncture.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can offer a safe, effective, natural and drug-free way to address IBS. This wholistic healthcare system looks at the body differently than Western medicine. According to Chinese medicine, the body is like a garden that must be cultivated and maintained in order to grow strong and remain healthy. Good health happens when all of the organs and meridian systems are balanced and working together.
How does your garden grow?
According to Chinese Medical theories, there are several possible causes for IBS:
One of these is an imbalance of the Spleen. The Spleen is the organ in charge of digestion and the assimilation of foods and liquids. One of the main functions of the Spleen is to aid in the production of Spleen Qi. Spleen Qi is the energy that provides power and nourishment for the entire body. Another function of the Spleen is to produce blood from the food it breaks down and to convert it into usable energy to power your body. If your Spleen isn't properly cared for, the body's energy levels will not be supported and illness may occur. The Spleen is easily affected and weakened by poor eating habits and diet, antibiotics, excessive worry, or a weak constitution. When a weakened Spleen cannot metabolize or process food efficiently, "dampness" appears in the body. Dampness occurs when rotting, undigested food sits in the gut, causing a variety of symptoms. If dampness "rises" to your head, you may experience headaches, a "foggy" feeling and an inability to concentrate. Over time, dampness can lead to bloating fullness and loose stools.
Another possible scenario is an imbalance in the Liver. According to Chinese medicine, the Liver is associated with emotional health. Stress and anger directly influence the function of your Liver. Alcohol, drugs and medications, or a poor diet further compromise its function. When this happens, your Liver energy overflows, in a figurative sense, and attacks the Spleen. If your Spleen is already weakened, it can be easily overcome. The result can be stress-induced IBS. If your Liver is compromised - you may experience alternating diarrhea and constipation, as well as bloating, gas, headaches and dull pain. In this case, your Liver may be the root of the problem, and your Spleen the secondary problem.
An imbalance in Kidney Yang could also cause IBS symptoms. Kidney Yang is energy that provides warmth for your body. This energy warms up your Spleen to aid in the digestion and breakdown of food. If your Kidney energies are compromised, you may experience early-morning diarrhea and possibly bladder incontinence, cold limbs, weak knees and a sore back.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can create a clear picture of the root imbalance(s) that lead to IBS symptoms. When you meet with your acupuncture physician, she will determine what organ and meridian systems are contributing to your IBS. She may also suggest adjunct therapies such as herbs, dietary changes, breathing techniques and exercises in order to maximize your healing.
Menopause is a natural, physiological cycle that occurs in all women. Conventional medical treatments only address various symptoms and signs associated with menopause. However, symptoms and signs are just one part of the whole picture. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine understand that symptoms and signs are merely indications of an imbalance deep within the body. This 5,000 year-old healing art focuses upon correcting underlying imbalances that have occurred over the years. These imbalances, if left unchecked will result in a variety of symptoms and signs normally associated with a Western diagnosis of menopause.
Acupuncture and a woman's natural process
Menopause signifies "a change" within a woman's life. This change occurs because a woman's body chemistry is shifting. Chinese medicine recognizes this chemistry change as a natural process. Estrogen is similar to what acupuncturists call Jing Qi. Jing Qi is like a gift that is given to all of us at the time of conception. It is the battery that provides us with the basic energy to power all our life functions. When Jing Qi is abundant, our ability to adapt to disease, illness and stress is optimal. As we age, our supply of Jing Qi energy is slowly drained. Generally Jing Qi naturally begins to decline between the ages of 35 to 60, although some people drain it faster than others. When Jing Qi declines, the organ systems within our body become unbalanced. This leads to various symptoms and signs, such as graying hair, loss of libido, weakness of knees, urinary difficulty, poor memory, backache and fatigue.
Another factor that can contribute to menopause is an imbalance in Yin and Yang energies. One possible scenario is all imbalance caused by the slowing of the flow of Yin. Yin can be thought of as the cooling system of the body. When this cooling system declines, heat symptoms will naturally arise leading to night sweats, restlessness, hot flashes, mood swings, heart palpitations and insomnia. The decline of Yang energy can also lead to imbalance. Yang represents the warming and metabolizing functions of the body. When Yang is unbalanced, symptoms may include water retention, cold hands and feet, weight gain, edema, indigestion, hypertension or raised cholesterol levels.
Left untreated, a decline and imbalance of Jing, Yin or Yang will lead to the symptoms and signs that are normally associated with a Western diagnosis of menopause.
What can an Acupuncturist do?
An acupuncturist like Dr. Kimberly Nguyen will conduct a thorough evaluation and a complete health history. The symptoms, signs and other information that is gathered are pieces of the diagnostic health puzzle. Putting together this puzzle allows your practitioner to develop a unique treatment plan that will address each patient's individual concerns.
When treating menopausal symptoms, the Acupuncturist must first determine where the energy has changed, and what Organ Systems have become unbalanced. Once this is known, various natural therapies such as Acupuncture, Herbs, meditation, Qi Gong and diet can be used to correct the imbalances.
How Jing Qi can be drained:
Over doing it
Poor dietary habits
Burning the candle at both ends
Sitting or standing for long periods
Excessive activities (sexual, alcohol, drugs, late nights)
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine offer a safe, natural, drug-free and effective way to address menopause. Treatment supports the healing energies of Jing, Yin and Yang, providing the body with the building blocks it needs in order to nourish, heal and regain balance.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex condition that currently affects approximately 4000,000 people in the United States, with 200 more people diagnosed every week. This chronic disease causes uncomfortable, sometimes debilitating symptoms that can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks.
An unpredictable condition
The exact causes of MS are not entirely understood and there is currently no cure, though there have been many advances in treatment in recent years. Western medicine considers MS an autoimmune condition, which occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. In the case of MS, the immune system starts attacking and breaking down a substance called myelin, the sheath that surrounds the nerve fibers of the central nervous system. Myelin increases the speed of the transmission of nerve signals.
When the myelin becomes “broken” or destroyed, nerve impulses are slowed down, leading to a progression of nerve related problems. When these nerve fibers become damaged, symptoms can result, including:
Loss of balance
Memory problems (Hair Loss)
Numbness or weakness of the limbs
The symptoms of MS vary from person to person, can range from minor to severe, can even disappear for a period of time only to show up unexpectedly.
Depending upon your symptoms and the progression of the disease, you doctor may suggest medications designed to slow the disease and/or medications for the symptoms.
It is important to take an active role in your treatment. More and more, people living with MS are choosing to complement their Western treatment with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture and TCM can provide a safe, natural way for those living with MS to stay as healthy as possible. Including, acupuncture and TCM in your treatment plan can help boost your overall health and relieve symptoms. Practitioner of TCM views MS differently than Western medicine practitioners, taking into account each individual’s overall health, lifestyle, and emotional well-being not just their symptoms.
TCM is based on the concept that Qi, (pronounced “chee”) or vital energy, flows through the body in channels called meridians. If Qi becomes stagnant, unbalanced, or deficient, symptoms such as those linked to MS can result. This can occur for any number of reasons, from an inherited constitutional imbalance or illness to stress or an external invader such as wind or dampness.
Your practitioner will work to determine the condition at the root of your symptoms in order to create a treatment plan. For example, the muscular stiffness and numbness associated with MS are often related to excessive dampness within the meridians, or deficiency in the Liver and Kidney organ systems.
Based on their diagnosis, your acupuncture practitioner will work to balance the Qi in the body’s organ systems by manipulating corresponding points on the body with hair-thin acupuncture needles. While acupuncture alone can’t cure MS, it has been found to be particularly useful in managing symptoms such as pain, muscle spasm, and bladder problems.
Self care for MS
MS can have an impact on every part of your life. To help support both your physical and emotional well-being. Your practitioner may suggest some of these lifestyle changes and self-care techniques.
Herbal remedies. Your practitioner may provide herbs or traditional supplements designed to help relieve symptoms and boost your overall health. Be sure to let your other health care providers know if you take supplements in order to avoid any potential drug interactions.
Staying cool. Heat can make symptoms of MS worse. Tepid baths, cool drinks, and air conditioning may help make you more comfortable.
Exercise. Yoga and Qi Gong can help improve strength, balance, and depression. Consider adding gentle aerobic exercise as well to improve your overall health and reduce stress.
Stress relief. Stress can exacerbate symptoms and cause other health problems, so it’s important to keep your stress levels in check. Meditation or deep-breathing techniques can help you stay calm and relaxed. Massage is another great way to help relieve stress and loosen tense muscle. If your anxiety becomes overwhelming, consider talking to a professional.
MS is a serious condition, but many people with MS live long, happy, fulfilled lives. Acupuncture and TCM can provide the support you need to cope with MS and its effects. If you or someone you love is facing MS, contact an acupuncturist today.
Most people experience significant pain at some point in their lives - whether from injury, illness, or an unknown cause. Pain is a warning signal - an alarm that goes off when your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong and out of balance. Often, people suffering from pain try to cover it up, either by ignoring the pain or taking medication. However, treated in this way, the source of the pain will never completely go away. It's like hitting the snooze button on an alarm. Unless the cause of the pain is treated, our body will keep sounding the alarm and reminding you that something is wrong. Eventually, the pain may get worse or become chronic.
What can you do?
One approach is to get plenty of bed rest in hopes that the pain will just disappear. This may help for a while but could possibly delay recovery and make the problem worse. Another choice is to take medication that dulls the pain for a short period of time. This is understandable when pain is constant and unbearable. It may be helpful, but it won't get at the root of the problem and correct it. Also, many medications may cause unwanted side effects and further compromise your health. Surgery may be another option. At times, this approach may make sense, but it could be both expensive and risky, and there is no guarantee that it will be effective.
Acupuncture is a time-tested, safe, effective, natural and drug-free way to eliminate pain. Unlike other methods for handling pain, there are no side effects. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) acknowledge the benefits of acupuncture in treating and eliminating pain due to a wide range of causes.
An acupuncturist's approach to pain
Acupuncture practitioners recognize that there is a vital life energy, called Qi (pronounced "chee"), circulating within the body. Qi flows through a series of pathways called meridians. Meridians are like rivers within your body. Wherever a river flows, it brings with it water that provides nourishment and life to the land, plants and people around it. Likewise, meridians transport life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, tissue, muscle, organ and gland in the body.
It is important for Qi to flow freely throughout the body. Think of water flowing through a garden hose. A blocked hose will not provide an adequate supply of water to a plant. Eventually, the plant will be unable to thrive, grow and blossom.
Similarly, a blockage in the flow of Qi anywhere in the body will inhibit the amount of nourishment that reaches our cells, tissues, muscles, organs and glands. Under normal circumstances, your body can easily return to good health and vitality. But if the disruption of Qi is prolonged or excessive, or if your body is in a weakened state, the flow of Qi becomes restricted and a variety of symptoms - including pain may arise.
Many things can cause Qi to become blocked:
Inherited weakness of Qi
Chemical, physical, and/or emotional stress
What does acupuncture do?
By inserting fine, sterile needles at specific points, an Acupuncturist is able to break up blockages that have hampered the smooth flow of Qi. Once this is done, Qi can travel freely throughout the body, promoting pain-free health, well being and vitality.
Not only can acupuncture treat signs and symptoms of pain and discomfort, it can also get to the root of the problem. When the initial cause of the pain is corrected, your body can begin to heal on deeper levels. Massage, stretching, yoga, herbal supplements and dietary changes may enhance treatment, speed healing and support acupuncture care.
Back pain is a very common problem, one that will strike four out of five American as some time in their lives. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons people seek medical care. Unfortunately, back pain isn’t always easy to diagnose or relieve. Low back pain in particular can become a chronic or ongoing problem.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are very effective in treating back pain, naturally. They can also be used together with traditional Western treatments to maximize your healing and recovery.
How back pain happens
There are many possible causes for back pain, including strained muscles or ligaments, often caused by improper lifting, sudden movement or traumatic injury. Other culprits can include arthritis, structural abnormalities of the spine, or when the disks between the vertebrate bulge or rupture and press on a nerve.
Depending on the specific diagnosis, back pain is generally treated with medications or physical therapy.
A more natural approach
Practitioners of acupuncture and TCM view back pain another way. An acupuncturist will not only work to relieve your symptoms, but will also work to find and treat the underlying cause of your pain. In a study conducted at a Swedish hospital, doctors concluded that acupuncture provided long-term relief along with improvements in physical activity levels, better sleep, and the diminished use of pain medication.
Acupuncture and TCM are based on the concept that Qi, (pronounced “chee”) or vital energy, flows through the body in channels called meridians. If Qi becomes stagnant, unbalanced, or deficient, symptoms such as back pain, ache, and inflammation can result. This can happen for any number of reasons, from injury and illness to stress or external invaders such as wind or dampness. Back pain can arise from disharmonies such as:
Stagnation type pain which is often linked to sudden, stabbing, severe pain and related to spasms, strains, or trauma. It can be accompanied by stiffness and tightness and become worse with rest. If it occurs often in the same area(s) it may reflect an underlying deficiency.
Cold, damp obstruction type pain which is generally worse in the morning, and exacerbated by cold or damp weather. This type of pain condition may by associated with numbness, swelling, and a sense of “heaviness.” Heat improves this condition.
Deficiency type pain which is usually a chronic condition that presents with a “dull” pain, and improves with rest.
Once Dr. Nguyen has determined the cause(s) of your back pain, she will create a specific treatment plan designed to address your concerns and boost your overall health and vitality. During acupuncture treatments, your practitioner will insert fine, sterile needles into specific acupuncture along the meridian pathways in order to restore the balance and flow of Qi. Dr. Nguyen may also perform acupressure or other types of therapy, based on your unique issues and symptoms.
Lifestyle changes and self-care techniques
Dr. Nguyen may also suggest lifestyle changes and self-care techniques, especially if you struggle with chronic pain. These may include:
~ Improving your posture
~ Examine your posture in a mirror. Try to stand with your head up, shoulders back, and pelvis in a neutral position. When ~ Sitting, try to it upright with your feet flat on the floor and your knees, and hips level. Try to balance your weight evenly when walking and standing.
~ Keep your back and abdominal muscles strong with regular exercise. Yoga and Qi Gong are both gentle and effective. ~ ~ Consider adding aerobic exercise as well to improve your overall health and reduce stress.
~ Managing stress -- Stress can take a toll on your health and contribute to muscle pain. Meditation or deep-breathing techniques can help you stay clam and relaxed. Massage is another great way to help relieve stress and loosen tense muscles.
More and more people are finding relief for both acute and chronic back pain through acupuncture and TCM. If you or someone you love is struggling with back pain, call today to find out how acupuncture can help.
At some point in our lives each of us will most likely experience some type of neck pain and/or whiplash. However, certain people may be predisposed to acute and chronic neck pain due to their occupation. Employees who perform repetitive tasks, sit for prolonged periods of time and use their upper extremities are a greater risk of developing neck pain.
The neck is one of the most flexible and delicate parts of the body. Throughout the day, many of us put stress on our necks without even realizing it. Unfortunately, this can be a literal “pain in the neck,” causing stiffness, pain, and limited movement in the neck and even the shoulders and arms.
If you suffer from neck pain, whether it’s occasional or chronic, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) may just provide the relief you need. In recent ears, acupuncture has become well-known as a effective treatment for various types of painful disorders. Acupuncture and TCM provide a natural, safe approach to treating neck pain and whiplash.
What’s behind that pain in the neck
Neck pain can be caused by a wide range of factors, including wear-and-tear, strains, sprains, or inflammation. A few of the most common culprits include:
Bending or hunching forward for prolonged periods can cause strains (overstretched muscles) or sprains (injuries to ligament(s) or other problems. This can happen at work when sitting in front of the computer, during long drives, when reading in bed, or even talking on the phone. Sleep in an awkward position is another common cause.
Injuries, trauma and motor vehicle accidents
This is a major cause of acute neck pain and whiplash. Common injuries include falls, sport-related injuries, direct trauma, and auto accidents.
Conditions such as arthritis can cause chronic pain and stiffness. Herniated disks in the neck can also cause pain, or illness like flu. Jaw injuries or conditions may also cause neck pain.
Being stressed or anxious can cause tension in the muscle of your neck, shoulders and back.
How acupuncture can help
Recent studies have shown that acupuncture can be a safe form of treatment for patients with chronic neck pain if the objective is to obtain relief from pain related to movement and to improve cervical mobility. As neck pain may be chronic condition with considerable socio-economic impact, single forms of treatment may be inadequate, and acupuncture merits consideration.” Other studies suggest that acupuncture can treat degenerative disorders of the neck and spine.
Neck pain according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be caused by a variety of factors. Below are some of the more common TCM diagnoses that Dr. Nguyen may discover and treat.
Invasion of Cold, Wind and/or Damp
Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic, or whole-body, approach to health. In TCM, Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness. It flows through pathways called meridians to nourish all of the body’s organs, muscles and cells. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, physical symptoms such as pain may result.
Acupuncture is safe, natural and has no side effects – unlike many of the medications often used to treat pain.
Dr. Nguyen will take a detailed health history and perform a physical exam to find out where and why your body’s vital energies have become blocked and out of balance. She will work to not only relieve your pain, but to identify and treat the underlying causes.
During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific points along the meridian pathways in order to restore the balance and flow of Qi. Dr. Nguyen may also perform acupressure or other types of therapy, based on your unique issues and symptoms.
Dr. Nguyen may also recommend herbs, changes in diet, stretches and other exercises to work in conjunction with acupuncture treatment. These adjunct therapies help you regain your health and prevent future problems. By working together with your acupuncturist and taking good care of yourself, you’ll be on your way to a healthier, pain-free future before you know it.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is often viewed as a “problem” or illness. It’s not. Instead, PMS is a variety of responses to an ordinary event in women’s lives: menstruation. PMS usually occurs monthly, accompanied with specific symptoms and signs that can appear seven to ten days before menstruation and then disappear after the onset of the menstrual flow. To better understand PMS, it is important to look at the whole picture.
Although PMS is due to unbalanced hormonal fluctuations, other factors such as stress, a nutritionally inadequate diet, lack of exercise and sleep, and a hectic or sedentary lifestyle can exacerbate the symptoms. Because most women exhibit as many as four to ten symptoms one to two weeks prior to menstruation, their lives – from relationships with family and friends, to work productivity and the ability to appreciate and take pleasure in their own bodies – may become diminished.
To make matter worse, women may be at increased risk for PMS if
1) they are over 39 years old,
2) they are experiencing significant amounts of stress,
3) their nutritional habits are poor,
4) they have suffered side effects from birth control pills,
5) they have difficulty maintaining a stable weight,
6) they do not get enough exercise,
7) they’ve had a pregnancy complicated by toxemia,
8) they have had children (the more children, the more severe the symptoms),
9) they have a family history of depression.
What to do about PMS
In treating PMS, Western medicine recommends diet and lifestyle changes coupled with medications that manipulate the levels of progesterone and estrogen (i.e. birth control pills), tranquilizers and/or antidepressants (for nervousness, anxiety and depression) that affect mood and emotions. Although prescription medications can sometimes bring immediate relief, they unfortunately do not address the underlying cause of PMS, and they can cause unwanted side effects that may mimic PMS symptoms.
A natural approach
In 1997, the National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a consensus report that suggested acupuncture is effective in the treatment of menstrual cramps, and other symptoms associated with PMS. Acupuncture can address PMS symptoms naturally without medication, by restoring balance and harmony, both physically and emotionally. In Chinese medicine, the root cause of PMS is usually an imbalance or blockage of Qi (pronounced “chee”) or vital energy, and blood within specific organ and meridian systems. When Qi and blood become imbalanced or blocked, symptoms and signs associated with PMS will appear.
Common PMS symptoms & signs:
Breast tenderness & swelling
Constipation and/or diarrhea
Irritability & anger
Joint pain & swelling
Lack of clear thinking & concentration
Lack of libido
Lower abdominal distension
Salt & carbohydrate cravings
Sore throat & cold sores
The role of an acupuncturist is to investigate the underlying causes leading to PMS symptoms. After a thorough diagnostic evaluation to determine what organ and meridian systems are out of balance, they treat PMS symptoms according to each individual patient’s imbalances and concerns.
By inserting fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body, an acupuncturist is able to stimulate and activate the movement of Qi and blood. When Qi and blood begin to travel freely throughout the body, balance and normal function are restored and PMS symptoms are alleviated. Acupuncture restores hormonal balance and provides deep relaxation to help reduce stress, ultimately encouraging and supporting greater health and well-being of both body and mind.
Dr. Nguyen may also recommend lifestyle changes such as eating a nourishing, organic, whole foods diet, getting regular aerobic exercise and adequate sleep, enjoying warm baths, supplementing the diet with vitamins and herbs, and practicing deep relaxation exercises such as meditation, breathing exercises, or yoga.
Whether you suffer from PMS symptoms on an occasional or a monthly basis, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can offer a safe, natural, and effective approach to alleviating these symptoms. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine may hold the key to a healthier, balanced, PMS-free life.
Pregnancy is a time of extraordinary physical and emotional change. It’s also a time when it’s more important than ever to support and care for your well-being. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help you meet the unique challenges of pregnancy, ensuring optimal health for you and your baby in a safe and natural way, without the use of harmful medications.
What to expect
Acupuncture has been used in China for thousands of years to regulate the female reproductive system. Acupuncture and TCM are based on the concept that Qi, (pronounced “chee”) or vital energy, flows through the body in channels called meridians. Practitioners of acupuncture and TCM work to balance the Qi in the body’s meridian and organ systems by manipulating corresponding points on the body.
For a healthy pregnancy, treatment is often recommended once a month, with weekly treatments in the last month. However, your practitioner will tailor your treatment entirely to your needs and choose points based on your unique symptoms and concerns.
Since some acupuncture points should not be used during pregnancy, it’s important to choose a practitioner experienced in prenatal acupuncture. It’s also important to discuss any treatments or herbal supplements with all of your prenatal health care providers.
During pregnancy acupuncture can help:
Back pain and sciatica
Labor and delivery pain
Relief for common concerns
Regular balancing treatments throughout your pregnancy can enhance your health as well as your baby’s health, potentially preventing complications and positively influencing the development of your baby. Many mothers-to-be find themselves facing anxiety, fatigue, back pain, heartburn, nausea, and other symptoms as a result of the many new demands being placed on their bodies. Acupuncture has been found to effectively relieve many of these symptoms.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture can support your health during your pregnancy by addressing these trimester symptoms:
Sets the foundation for a healthy pregnancy. It can alleviate morning sickness, vomiting, fatigue and headaches.
Offers relief and balances the body from common complaints. It helps to alleviate heartburn, hemorrhoids, stress, sleep problems, edema, elevated blood pressure and weight gain.
Prepares the body for labor and delivery. It helps to alleviate sciatica, hip, joint, pubic and back pain.
Morning sickness responds particularly well to acupuncture, and your practitioner can even show you specific points that you can massage at home to help restore your appetite. Recent studies have also shown promising results in using acupuncture for depression during and after pregnancy.
Breech babies and other issues.
Acupuncture can also help with more serious issues during pregnancy. Specific acupuncture points and techniques are very useful for turning “breech babies” (those positioned feet-first). One study concluded that fetal malpresentation is a relatively simple, efficacious and inexpensive method for breech birth presentation. Treatment involves moxibustion, or applying heat from the burning of the herb mugwort to a point just outside the nail of the little toe. The treatment causes no adverse side effects.
If your due date has passed, acupuncture can also be sued to induce labor through gentler means than traditional Western labor inducing treatments and medications. Acupuncture and acupressure can even be used to help control pain, calm the mind and reduce stress during delivery.
After baby has arrived it’s important to recover properly after childbirth. Acupuncture can help you heal and regain your strength and vitality, rebalance your energy, boost your body’s defenses, and help address concerns such as pain, fatigue, and postpartum depression.
Acupuncture and TCM provide a safe, gentle way to nurture and care for your health, and that of your baby, throughout your pregnancy and beyond. If you are pregnant or considering having a baby, contact an acupuncturist today!
Congratulations! If you're reading this, you are on your way to becoming smoke-free and healthier. Every year, more than 3 million Americans try to quit smoking, but only half of them succeed. With the help of Acupuncture you have a greater chance of success!
Most experts agree that quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health. More than 25 diseases are associated with tobacco use, including cancer of the lungs, bladder, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, uterus and cervix. Smoking also raises the chances of developing emphysema and the risk of having a stroke by 30 percent.
There is plenty of incentive to quit, but it isn't necessarily easy. The good news is that Acupuncture has helped millions of people to kick the smoking habit.
How acupuncture can help.
Some of the largest stumbling blocks to becoming smoke-free are the stress, anxiety, and depression associated with quitting. Fortunately, acupuncture treatment is quite successful at calming and relaxing the mind, reducing anxiety and alleviating depressive feelings. Specific acupoints in the ear and wrist are used to accomplish this. Additional acupoints may be included that help suppress your appetite, stimulate repair and healing of organ systems and reduce food and nicotine cravings.
More than just kicking the habit.
Using Acupuncture to quit smoking yields enormous benefits. Aside from taking care of the stumbling blocks that can cause you to resume the habit, acupuncture can help restore your body to a healthy state of balance and well-being. If you are ready to become smoke-free, acupuncture can provide you with the support you need.
Here are a few tips to guide you through your Acupuncture care:
Drink plenty of filtered water during the process.
Eat balanced, healthy meals with a variety of vegetables and fruits.
Refrain from sugar, which can cause further sugar cravings and unwanted weight gain.
Manage your cravings. They will actually fade within a few minutes. When cravings arise, distract yourself. Before you know it, the craving will have passed.
Scrub your skin with a dry brush or loofah to facilitate the cleansing process and help blood circulation. Take daily baths or showers.
Avoid spending time with other smokers so that you are less tempted to smoke.
Take a walk outside and take deep breaths. Upon exhale. gently place your teeth together and exhale with the sound of "Sssssssss." This sound stimulates the Lungs.
Stress is a natural nonspecific response of the body to the various demands we place upon it. However, stress is not necessarily negative. There is a distinction between healthy and unhealthy stress. Healthy stress includes appropriate physical exercise, good eating habits, positive thinking, adequate rest, and a natural response to emergency situations. These stressors keep us alert and motivated, and support our body's strength and vitality. Unhealthy stress, such as negative emotions and thinking, overexertion, poor eating habits, lack of sleep, and chemical and environmental pollutants and toxins, challenge our health and an trigger physical and mental problems, particularly if they are experienced over a prolonged period of time.
Signs & symptoms of an overactive response to stress:
Depressed immune system
High blood pressure
In ancient times, our stress response, also known as our fight or flight response, provided us with energy to preserve life during difficult situations, such as an attack or threat by a wild animal. Today, we don't have to look much further than our windows, or computer screens, to view various forms of stressors — everything from prime time news and road rage, to the 40-hour work week, terrorism talk, and cell phones. All of these combine to send even the most serene people into a stressful frenzy.
Unfortunately, modern day stress is considerably higher, more frequent and more consistent than what our predecessors experienced. Over time this excess stress can actually be detrimental to our health. Our body's natural response to stressful situations is to activate all available resources for survival, and to get us out of a scary situation fast. However, with the increase in physical, emotional and mental stressors, our stress response gets "locked in", resulting in the depletion of the body's resources.
Even if the stressors are no longer present, the body continues to keep the stress response active. This results in the depletion of our nervous system, lymphatic organs (spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes), kidneys and adrenal glands, and can pave the way for a wide variety of symptoms and signs. Medical studies have shown that with increased and consistent stress, our white blood cells, which defend our body against viruses, decrease. This decrease results in lower immune resistance, ultimately leading to physical disease and emotional instability.
There is Hope
Practitioners of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been helping people cope with stress for thousands of years. The ancient theories of TCM on how stress affects the body organs are similar to those of Western medicine; however, TCM theory and treatment go far beyond treating symptoms and signs. Along with treating physical and emotional symptoms and signs associated with stress, this ancient medicine addresses the root cause(s) of the problem. One way that stress affects the body is by causing a depletion or blockage of Qi, especially that of the kidneys and adrenals.
Qi (pronounced "chee") is the energy or the power that animates and supports the functions of the body. It flows through specific pathways, called meridians, and provides nourishment for the entire body. When Qi becomes "blocked" or the supply is inadequate, the body and organ systems become "stressed out" and our health is then compromised. Acupuncture and TCM support and restore the integrity of the various organs affected and depleted by stress response, along with evaluating the quality and quantity of Qi. There are other therapies to enhance treatment and speed healing. Proper eating habits, as well as the use of exercise, stretching, movement and meditation practices, support and promote a balanced and healthy body, mind and spirit.
If you struggle with your weight, you’re not alone. In fact, more than 30% of all U.S. adults meet the criteria for being obese. Unfortunately obesity is not just a cosmetic issue. Being overweight is a risk factor for many conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. The good news is that maintaining a health weight can reduce your risk and it’s never too late to get started. People seeking to address their weight concerns are turning to acupuncture as a natural and effective way to approach weight loss.
A Traditional approach to healing
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) take a whole body approach to health. This ancient form of healthcare works to restore the balance and flow of the body’s Qi or vital energy. According to TCM, the reasons why people gain weight, or find it difficult to lose weight, are numerous. It is important to determine the root cause or imbalances that have affected weight gain.
There are other factors to consider that may have lead to weight gain, including your lifestyle, dietary choices, emotion and mental well-being. The patient and the doctor needs to work together to find the root cause of their health concerns, rather than just treating the symptoms.
A Variety of Reasons:
Acupuncture works to control weight on various levels.
Release Endorphins – With diet changes, many people experience cravings, which can lead to binge eating. Cravings in the body are often due to lack of endorphins. Acupuncture can help to balance out the cravings by helping the body to release endorphins.
Reduce Stress – An increase in the “stress hormone” cortisol can alter the metabolism. Through the release of endorphins, the “stress hormone” can also be neutralized.
Support Digestion – Acupuncture can support the body to generate an efficient digestive process.
What will my Acupuncture Physician do?
During your first visit, Dr. Nguyen will take an extensive health history and perform various exams. At the completion of your first visit, the doctor will provide you with a comprehensive diagnosis and an explanation of your treatment plan. Your treatments will focus on correcting any underlying imbalances in your body, and will also help to support you in reaching you weight loss goals.
Based on your unique symptoms, Dr. Nguyen will choose to concentrate on acupuncture points related to specific organs. For example, restoring balance to the flow of Qi in the Stomach can help promote good digestion and suppress an overactive appetite. Emotional issues, such as anxiety and stress, both of which can lead to overeating, can be addressed by balancing the Liver.
A partnership for better health
It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a “quick fix”. By working with your acupuncturist, and committing to long-term goals, you will experience positive changes in your overall health, including maintaining a healthy body weight. In addition to acupuncture treatments, your practitioner may also recommend other lifestyle changes. Whether you want to lose a few pounds or a significant amount, people are turning to acupuncture as a natural and effective way to approach weight loss. By working together with your practitioner, you can help your body regain its natural balance and start taking steps toward true health and vitality.
Other ways to support your path toward a happier, leaner you!
Exercise is an important component of any weight loss program. Adding aerobic exercise, weight training, pilates, yoga, qigong or other types of exercise to your daily routine, will have a positive effect on your weight and general health.
Diet is another important issue to consider. In general, a healthy diet is made up of unprocessed, organic foods, including a wide variety of whole grains, and vegetables. Dr. Nguyen may offer nutritional counseling designed for your specific needs.
Stress relief may also be a part of your treatment. By learning to lower stress and anxiety through techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, or gentle exercise, you may lose weight more easily, and possibly stop destructive habits such as overeating.
Herbal remedies are usually recommended with acupuncture to help continue to balance the body and to help in reaching your goals of losing weight as well as in achieving other health benefits.
Obvious symptoms and signs...
Visits are frequent to promote quick recovery
Feeling healthy goes beyond the absence of acute or chronic illness. Often, we do not acknowledge our health until it is compromised. And only then, do we seek ways to regain it. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you along the path toward optimal health and vitality, physically and emotionally. These are the steps of care that can lead you toward a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
Most patients begin acupuncture treatment in order to receive quick relief from pain, discomfort and other symptoms. This is Acute Care. This type of care allows you to feel better faster. Each visit builds upon previous ones, paving the way toward eliminating your initial problems and complaints. Frequent visits over the next few weeks or months may be needed to further reduce your symptoms. This is determined by your condition, age, life-style and the quality and quantity of your energy, called Qi (pronounced ‘chee’). After Acute Care, you will notice that your arches or pains have been dramatically reduced or eliminated. You are now ready to enter the next phase of care.
Symptoms and signs disappear...
Visits are less frequent and you begin to feel better
This next phase is Maintenance Care. Signs and symptoms have been reduced, and visits are less frequent. This phase maintains and supports the changes you have achieved this far, and provides a foundation for deeper healing to occur. This is also the time when underlying problems or complaints can be addressed. Even though you may not be experiencing symptoms, it is important to continue to strengthen, build and support your body. Stopping care now could disrupt the progress and changes you have already achieved. Even simple activities could cause a relapse.
You feel great...
"Tune-ups" help maintain health & vitality
Wellness Care is the next phase. This type of care preserves all the progress you have made up until now. Visits may be monthly, every-other month or seasonal. Much the same way we bring a car in for oil changes, and tune-ups to keep it running smoothly, periodic visits to your acupuncturist can keep you running smoothly. These preventative maintenance tune-ups further strengthen your body’s resistance, keeping you healthy, balanced and potentially free from illness. Little problems may be caught before they become major concerns.
Wellness Care is the root of healing. In ancient times, an acupuncturist was only compensated as long as the patient remained healthy. If they became ill, it was the doctor duty to get them well again without compensation. An acupuncture lifestyle combined with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and other good habits can keep you looking, feeling, and performing at your best.
Treatments may be combined with herbs, cupping, moxabustion, meditation, massage, Qi Gong, or light exercise. These techniques are added to further relieve symptoms, speed recovery time and pave the way toward health and vitality.
What is Acupuncture ?
Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and wholistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy.
Acupuncture involves placing fine, sterile needles at specific points on the body. This activates the body's Qi and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity and physical and emotional health. It can also improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
What is Qi and how does it travel ?
At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced "chee"), or Life Energy, flows throughout the body. Qi helps to animate the body and protect it from illness, pain and disease. A person's health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
Qi circulates through specific pathways called meridians. There are 14 main meridian pathways through- out the body. Each is connected to specific organs and glands. Meridian pathways are like rivers. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water that nourishes the land, plants and people. In the same way, meridian path- ways transport life- giving Qi to nourish and energize every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle.
When Qi flows freely throughout the body, one enjoys good physical, mental and emotional well-being. An obstruction of Qi anywhere in the body is like a dam, backing up the flow in one area and restricting it in others. This blockage can hinder the distribution of the nourishment that the body requires to function optimally.
What can affect Qi ?
Many things influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi. Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, diet, accidents or excessive activity can lead to a blockage or imbalance of Qi. Normally , when this imbalance occurs, the body naturally bounces back, returning to a balanced state of health and well-being. When the disruption to Qi is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, then illness, pain or disease can set in.
What will my acupuncturist do ?
During the initial exam a full health history will be taken. Questions will be asked regarding symptoms, health and lifestyle. The acupuncturist may check pulses and your tongue and may conduct a physical exam. This information is then organized to create a complete, accurate and comprehensive diagnosis of where Qi has become blocked or imbalanced. After the interview process comes the acupuncture treatment. The first visit usually lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour. Follow-up visit last 30 minutes.
Why do they want to feel my pulses ?
There are 12 pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. There are 27 individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.
Why do they want to look at my tongue ?
The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians, focusing on the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.
How many treatments will I need ?
The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.
Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. Dr. Nguyen may suggest one or two treatments per week, monthly visits for health maintenance or seasonal "tune ups."
What should I expect during treatment ?
Where the acupuncture needle has been inserted, you may experience a vague numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache. Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading and moving around the needle. This is called the "Qi sensation". All these reactions are good and a sign that the treatment is working. After treatment, you may feel energized or may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.
How should I prepare ?
Come with any questions you have. We're here to help you.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to , acupuncture points.
Don't eat large meals just before or after your visit. Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to 6 hours after the visit.
Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.
Does the needles hurt ?
The sensation caused by an acupuncture needle varies. Some people feel a little pain when the needles are inserted. Most people feel no pain at all. The needles are tiny, just a little larger than a cat's whisker or a human hair.
How deep do they go ?
The depth of the insertion varies. For example, your acupuncturist will use a needling technique that is different in fleshier areas, such as your buttocks. Typically, needles are inserted at depths ranging from 1/8" to 2".
How safe is acupuncture ?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects except feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.
Is acupuncture safe for children ?
Yes! In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure or tuina.
What is Cupping ?
Cupping is a therapy designed to stimulate the flow of blood and Qi within the superficial muscle layers. It is used for sore muscles, tension, neck pain and the common cold. In this therapy, small glass or plastic "cups" are placed over specific areas on your body. A vacuum is created under the cup using heat or suction. They may be moved over an affected area or left in place. You may leave the office looking as though a large octopus gave you a big hug. There is no need for alarm. The slight redness may quickly dissipate or take a few days to go away.
What is Moxibustion ?
Moxibustion is a treatment that uses an herb called mugwort. It may be burned on the handle of the needle, above the skin, on salt or on a slice of ginger. This is used to "warm" acupuncture points or areas in order to quicken the healing process.
Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. They are used to strengthen, build and support the body or to clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever or acute pain. Your practitioner may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to your treatment in the future. This is suggested to build up your internal strength so you can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.
What can acupuncture treat ?
Addiction - drug, alcohol, smoking
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrom
Low back pain
Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD)
Urinary Tract infections
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