Migraine headaches are a bit of mystery to the medical world. This ailment tends to be poorly understood and frequently undiagnosed and under-treated. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, this neurological disease affects nearly 39 million Americans. Migraines are characterized by severe, throbbing pain usually found on only one side of the head. Migraine headaches can also be accompanied by visual disturbances, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. These types of headaches can last from four hours to several days. Because modern medicine doesn’t completely understand this neurological phenomenon, the typical treatment is somewhat hit or miss. continue reading »
Five Reasons to Get Acupuncture for Migraines was last modified: December 31st, 2018 by admin
There are four main types of headache: tension, cluster, sinus and migraine. And, there are varying triggers for these headaches, such as food, stress, hormones, dehydration and weather. Fortunately, eliminating the triggers and finding natural ways to prevent and help an ongoing headache are possible. continue reading »
It’s All In Your Head: Headaches and TCM was last modified: December 31st, 2018 by admin
Ever had one of those days or weeks where you just can’t pull yourself out of bed in the morning? Or perhaps you just can’t say “No!” to the dessert tray. Regardless of the activity, willpower is what keeps some people disciplined. But it doesn’t make you a bad person if you have dessert with every meal, buy more shoes than you really need or take longer to get going in the morning. It just means your willpower isn’t strong. And just like any other habit, that can be changed. continue reading »
Acupuncture for Harnessing Willpower was last modified: November 26th, 2018 by admin
Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a form of depression that affects people all throughout the world. Most commonly experienced during fall and winter months, the symptoms of SAD include depression, hypersomnia, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, negative thoughts and decreased social interaction. Higher levels of anxiety are experienced at the end of the summer season as those who suffer from this ailment start to anticipate the coming months of less sunshine and increased symptomatology. continue reading »
TCM and Seasonal Affective Disorder was last modified: November 26th, 2018 by admin
Acupuncture is a medical treatment that involves inserting very thin needles into the body at very specific locations. The pins are left in for varying amounts of time. Acupuncture is associated with the treatment for pain, migraines, muscles tightness and injury recovery.
The procedure originated in China several thousand years ago and still plays a critical role in Chinese medicine. Doctors who conform to a western style of thinking have developed acupuncture with a focus on human anatomy. Acupuncture has been growing in popularity and is being adapted into many ‘normalized’ medical treatments.
The procedure still has many critics that dismiss the practice as an archaic method of treatment that relies on superstition rather than hard fact. There has been some clinical research into the use of chronic pain treatment by acupuncture. But like many studies into the treatment of chronic pain, many of these have found it difficult to get clear results as setting a baseline for pain is extremely difficult. Each person experiences pain very differently and so setting measurable indicators is very difficult.
But one study that was able to determine objective outcomes was a recent investigation into the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). This is a neuropathic pain disorder caused by pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. A patient’s pain levels can be validated by measuring electrical conduction across the median nerve. The study also examined the way the patients’ brains reacted to the pain from CTS.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans of the selected patients showed that when particular fingers were manipulated that would increase the pressure on the meridian nerve (and therefore the pain associated with CTS) the brain scans showed areas of the brain as blurry. To put it simply, one part of the brain, known as the primary somatosensory cortex is ‘remapped’ by CTS. The scans show this as a blurry patch when the nerve is affected.
During the clinical experiment, patients suffering from CTS were divided into two groups. The first group was given real acupuncture treatment, the second group was given sham acupuncture. Sham acupuncture is a clinical method of acupuncture where acupuncture needles have been blunted making them unable to adequately pierce the body to give ‘true’ acupuncture effects. All patients in the study reported having improved symptoms of CTS (that is they experienced less pain or discomfort). At this point, it would be easy to say that acupuncture is therefore effectively useless as the sham and the true procedure returned the same results. However, the patients that received the real acupuncture actually experience long-term improvement of their health, while sham patients did not. The same part of the brain was re-scanned following the acupuncture treatment and shows that S1 re-mapping immediately following therapy was linked with better long-term symptom reduction.
Researchers have concluded that this study is a good example of the way acupuncture not only works in a bodily and mental response (ie the patients felt better) but it also has proven neurological effects. While there are still many questions to be answered about the ways that acupuncture actually relieves pain, this study is the first in many exciting steps to using acupuncture as a reliable way to treat chronic pain.
Many people like to add walnuts to food to add some zest and a little crunchy kick, but walnuts are much more than a flavor additive, as they are chock full of healthy properties and have been used in Asia as an overall health tonic and brain booster for years. Let’s take a nutty look at walnuts.continue reading »
Walnuts and Your Brain was last modified: October 24th, 2018 by admin
Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at things differently and while it may be a little confusing, there is usually some common ground that can be found upon examination and explanation. One such area is the idea of the mind. The mind in Traditional Chinese Medicine is commonly referred to as the shen. continue reading »
The Shen Mind Connection was last modified: October 24th, 2018 by admin
In the world of Traditional Chinese medicine, the lung is probably the organ whose TCM functions overlap the most with its Western functions. Respiration, the immune system and the skin are all systems heavily influenced by the lung, both in acupuncture and in Western medicine. continue reading »
Physical Aspects Related to The Lungs was last modified: September 24th, 2018 by admin
This study was made with a very low dose BPA exposure. We imagine a worrying levels with regular exposure, possibly including frequent use of disposable water bottles.
In a previous blog, we discussed the mechanisms by which Bisphenol A (BPA), a compound used to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, induces undesirable weight gain. By disrupting the entire adipocyte metabolism and inducing a pro-inflammatory state, BPA is considered an “obesegen”.
Now, in a first-of-its kind human study by the Journal of the Endocrine Society, BPA has been linked to altering insulin release in non-diabetic subjects, even when people are exposed to what is considered a “safe” daily amount. After witnessing insulin resistance in animal studies, the University of Missouri-Columbia researchers conducted this human study. Non-diabetic men and post-menopausal women were orally administered a safe dose of BPA (50ug/kg body weight, an amount comparable to what they may encounter by handling cash receipts) and were compared to a control group. They assessed the insulin response using an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and hyperglycemic clamp (HG), tests that measure both the initial and later phases of the insulin response to stable levels of glucose.
In the OGTT, a “strong correlation was found between HbA1c and the percent change in the insulinogenic index (Spearman=.92) and the equivalent C-peptide index (Pearson=0.97). In the HG clamp study, several measures of insulin and C-peptide appeared suppressed during the BPA session relative to the control session; the change in insulin Cmax was negatively correlated with HbA1c and the Cmax of bioactive serum BPA”.
Results from both experiments showed that the subjects receiving “safe” amounts of BPA had an altered insulin release compared to the placebo exposure.
As an acupuncturist, I am constantly assessing. Before my patients answer a single question, I am taking in cues as to what types of imbalances might be going on. In five-element acupuncture, the five major organ systems are the kidney, liver, lung, heart and spleen. When any of these systems are out of balance, certain physical, mental and emotional issues can manifest. Even if you aren’t experiencing a specific health issue, however, you will likely display particular personality traits that fall within these five organ systems. In the five-element world, the lungs are connected to the element of metal. continue reading »
Mental and Emotional Aspects of the Lungs was last modified: September 24th, 2018 by admin