Bubba's Arthritis Helped by Acupuncture

Sure, we know acupuncture helps humans with all sorts of ailments, including the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. But did you know it works on animals, too?

It does. Especially in Bubba’s case.

The 25-year old Komodo Dragon who calls the San Antonio Zoo home was suffering from arthritis that left him with mobility issues along his lower extremities, so the veterinary staff decided to help via acupuncture treatments.

Lasting about 20 minutes each session, Dr. Rob Coke, head veterinarian and adviser for the Komodo dragon Species Survival Plan, provides the treatment, with assistance from other staff. Bubba also receives medications and B-12 shots, too.

You can learn more about Bubba’s journey and treatments here!

New Study Recommends Acupuncture as Alternative to Opioids

We’ve mentioned this before, but now even more research has emerged supporting the fact that acupuncture can be so powerful at relieving pain, it may even take the place of opioids in many patients.

In fact, the Joint Commission (an organization that accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States while developing performance standards that address crucial elements of operation, such as patient care, medication safety, infection control and consumer rights) recently released a statement that explained one of the new elements of pain . management performance, “requires that organizations provide non-pharmacologic pain treatment modalities.”

This includes acupuncture. But what does it mean, exactly?

Essentially, organizations are now required to provide non-pharmacologic (aka non prescription) pain treatment modalities relevant to its patient population and assessed needs of the patient. Noninvasive treatments, like acupuncture, can be used as a complementary and in some cases, in place of opioid medication in many circumstances. Thus potentially reducing the amount of people prescribed painkillers — which . is great news.
 
The Joint Commission also noted how important it is to have non-pharmacologic pain treatment modalities available for patients who refuse opioid treatment, or are deemed ineligible. This population, including recovering addicts, may be able to experience relief without prescription pills.

Aside from acupuncture, they write that recommended non-pharmacologic strategies, “include, but are not limited to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, physical modalities (i.e.: acupuncture therapy, chiropractic therapy, osteopathic manipulative treatment, massage therapy, and physical therapy) relaxation therapy, music therapy, aromatherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.”

While supportive evidence varies by modality and specialty, more research is consistently supportive.

The bottom line? The Joint Commission states, “our standards do not mandate that any specific complementary options are provided, but allow organizations to determine what modality(s) to offer.”
 

Beat Fall Allergies with Acupuncture

adult-black-blue-395088.jpg

As the holiday season begins to speed along, one thing that can slow you down from decking those halls and shopping ‘til you drop is the sniffling, sneezing, itchy eyes and cough that plagues all too many people during allergy season. (And yes, it’s still allergy season.)

If the drastic change in weather hasn’t had you feeling it, your fall and early winter allergies just might. Don’t worry, though — acupuncture is here to help!

Utilizing traditional Chinese acupuncture methods as opposed to pharmaceuticals is a helpful, restorative and more natural way to have you feeling much better in no time — though it’s not the first reaction many of us have when we start combatting the sneezing season. Before grabbing for the Zyrtec or Claritin, consider acupuncture. But how will it help, exactly?

First, it’s important to better understand exactly what allergies are. The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture explains, “Western medicine views seasonal allergies as a form of immediate hypersensitivity reaction which occurs when anti-bodies produced by lymphocytes interact with airborne particles such as pollen,” and this typically results in inflammation — which acupuncture is known to help remedy.

By restoring the flow of Qi, it an . also help to alleviate congestion and any associated sinus pain and pressure, too.

But is it effective? Nearly all patients will say they have shown some improvement — and scientific evidence is beginning to support the notion, too. In fact, Healthline reports, “In a review of published trials, researchers concluded that there is some evidence to support the claim that acupuncture is beneficial and cost-effective as an additional treatment for seasonal allergic rhinitis.”

So if you’re sneezing, itching and watery eyes and overall feelings of discomfort are bothering you, head on in for a session today. You have nothing to lose - except your sniffles!

New Study Shows Acupuncture Can Help Heal Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is one of the most common conditions ailing adults in the United States. A staggering 54 million among us suffer from osteoporosis, which literally translates to “porous bone”. Osteoporosis occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. This causes the bones to become weak, resulting in chronic pain, or worse. Low bone mass means that breaks can happen very easily, from falls or in serious cases even from something as low-impact as sneezing.

bench-daylight-daytime-1288484.jpg

Osteoporosis is a serious condition, with many of the fractures resulting from it occurring in the hip, spine or wrist. In elderly patients, these breaks can result in serious injury or death. 

The unfortunate thing is that osteoporosis cannot be reversed. It can only be treated. Thankfully, clinical trials have been recently done that show acupuncture as an effective treatment for osteoporosis.

The great thing is that acupuncture works two-fold: it is effective at treating the pain associated with osteoporosis, as well as crucially improving bone mineral density. This still does not represent an ability to reverse the effects of osteoporosis, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

Researchers at First Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu in China conducted a study of 182 participants, all who were suffering from the disease. The study compared acupuncture’s effectiveness at treating osteoporosis with calcium supplementation. Acupuncture treatment was administered supplementing the liver and kidneys and strengthening the spleen. While both methods proved to be effective, the acupuncture group outperformed the calcium supplementation. 77 cases in the acupuncture group registered as very effective, with 5 cases effective and 9 ineffective.

The study measured both pain levels as well as mean bone mineral density—those who received acupuncture reported a decrease in pain level, and their bone density was shown to have increased.

Osteoporosis is one of the most difficult conditions to deal with, one that greatly affects the patient’s quality of life. If you or one you know is suffering from the condition, be sure to tell them that acupuncture can help them on the road to recovery.

 

 

China Embracing Acupuncture for Dogs

In prior posts, we’ve shared stories of how acupuncture can help to improve the lives, pain levels and mobility in animals and beloved pets. This story is no different, but covers how animal acupuncture is now being incorporated into pet care in China, too.

adorable-animal-bull-160846.jpg

 

According to a post last week from TIME magazine, China’s use of pet acupuncture is booming — which is interesting given their controversial, inhumane and well, complicated history of relationships with dogs. 

 

While tons of animal activists are consistently making efforts to improve the lives of dogs and save them from the infamous Yulin Dog Meat Festival, other Chinese households are expanding their love and appreciation for our four-legged friends, and we couldn't be happier.

Some are even turning to the Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine. And Neurology Animal Health Center, seeking acupuncture treatments to help their pets with a wide range of issues and discomforts.

The TIME article quotes dog owner Mr. Wang, who brought his toy poodle to the acupuncture clinic after being involved in a car accident. Of the treatment experience he said, “ I think the treatment works, because now my dog  can stand up with just a little help, so I’m optimist about his recovery.”

Acupuncturist Jin Rishan explained that human and dog acupuncture are quite similar saying, “Acupuncture for pets is almost the same as that for humans,” and, “You have to figure out the main and accompany acupoints based on the disease.”

We love that more and more people and countries are beginning to incorporate acupuncture into animal care, as the therapy and it’s benefits does not have to be limited to humans.

While we only treat humans at NJ Acupuncture Center, we love our furry friends and are thrilled they are experiencing the healing benefits of the practice.

Acupuncture Found to be Safest Option for Treating Osteoarthritis

 

Osteoarthitis is the most common form of arthritis, and it can occur and create damage at any joint in our bodies. What happens is the cartilage in our joints that separates bones from one another gradually deteriorates. In the early stages, the cartilage becomes rough, which causes pain and stiffness in joints. But if untreated, eventually the cartilage can be removed completely, causing bones to run right up against each other.

 

This condition occurs most commonly in our major joints, like our hands and knees, and especially our hips. Hip Osteoarthritis affects anywhere from 3 to 11% of the population in Western countries, which means millions of people suffer from this nasty degeneration. Since there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are a number of ways doctors generally treat the condition. Physical therapy is popular, and surgery could be performed in the worst cases, but in the meantime the use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs is often prescribed to deal with the pain.

 

Thankfully, studies are beginning to be performed to show what acupuncturists have known for decades—that among all the treatments available for those suffering from a condition like hip osteoarthritis, acupuncture isn’t just on par or superior, but it’s by far the safest, with the fewest potential negative side effects.

 

Researchers in the US and China went back and looked at studies done historically on how to treat osteoarthritis and judged the combined findings. In all the studies, none of the subjects reported any adverse side effects.

 

As for acupuncture’s ability to heal those who are suffering, the strongest of the studies that were reviewed found  “that acupuncture plus routine physician care was more effective than routine care alone at decreasing pain, improving bodily function and increasing physical quality of life.”

 

We know that acupuncture is effective for treating disorders such as osteoarthritis because its goal is not to simply mask pain, but treat the root causes of pain brought about by unbalance in the body. If you think you suffer from any form of osteoarthritis or are beginning to feel pain and stiffness in your joints, we’re here to help.

 

Ostearthitis Treatment

Achilles Tendon Pain? Try Acupuncture.

feet-footwear-shoes-163535.jpg

One of the more common orthopedic surgeries is an Achilles tendon repair, which can help to treat pain and mobility issues that stem from Achilles tendinopathy, or a swollen and painful tendon located behind the ankle and above the heel.

The condition, according to the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society, is most common amongst athletes, runners and patients who have general calf tightness. A common method of treatment is to surgically repair the part of the damaged/diseased tendon, often by removing it and reattaching it to the bone of the heel, and including removal of bursas (painful fluid filled sacks).

This procedure often requires a long recovery time, up to many months, and is said to be quite painful too.

For these reasons and more, it is well worth it to consider acupuncture prior to going under the knife.

Why?

Well, according to the Healthcare Medicine Institute, acupuncture has been proven to be an effective treatment modality for disorders of the Achilles tendon. In fact, in a recent article they say, “Two clinical case histories were published by Dr. Hawks demonstrating that acupuncture is, ‘highly effective, with rapid results for both acute and chronic Achilles tendinopathy and was performed easily in an austere environment.’”

In both of these case studies, patients received targeted acupuncture therapy at specific acupuncture points, and angled into the Achilles tendon itself.  Electroacupuncture techniques were also used at 30 Hz for 15 minutes.

During an interview with patients, they are quoted as saying one, “was skeptical about getting acupuncture at first; however, after receiving acupuncture, he was ‘able to walk without a limp.’”

The overall takeaway of the study?

“Acupuncture speeds repair and assists in the return of normal functioning of the tendon. Additionally, acupuncture. Strengthens the tendons and may prevent exacerbations, aggravations and future injuries.”

We already know the healing abilities of the ancient practice, and these case studies only help to further prove that acupuncture should be considered as a noninvasive, alternative therapy prior to making nay surgical decisions.