Acupuncture Doesn't Just Help Cancer Patients, But Caregivers Too

Learning that a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer can be one of the most difficult things for someone to experience. It not only changes the life for the person who is fighting the battle themselves, but it can radically alter the life of those closes to them.

Depending on each situation, close family or friends may have to take a lot of time out of their schedule to help care for their loved one. Often times, caregivers can put forth such an effort in taking care of their loved one that their own self-care gets ignored. This can lea to a snowball effect, causing emotional stress as well as pain and discomfort.

The benefits of acupuncture for cancer patients reach far and wide. But it can also do wonders for those who are taking care of cancer patients, whether professionally or for somebody close to them. Tamera Anderson-Hanna, herself a cancer survivor, wrote on CureToday.com about her experiences as a caregiver for family who were also diagnosed with cancer, and how acupuncture became a crucial part of her self-care regimen.

Most of her discomfort was emotional, as she explains, “I was definitely experiencing stress with the news of family members being diagnosed with cancer after the new year and have found acupuncture has helped me to experience improved sleep and feeling less stressed as a caregiver.”

But as we know, emotional stress also takes its toll on the physical body. Tamera’s acupuncturist also treated her neck, which is where she was carrying most of her stress. Acupuncture helped Tamera “sleep better at night, assists in experiencing less pain or tension in my body and allows me to redirect my energy to a more positive focus and perspective, thus having more good energy.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing emotional or physical distress from taking care of someone else, acupuncture isn’t just there for those who have been diagnosed with an illness. Caregivers must ensure they’re taken care of as well.

Horses Staying On Track Thanks To Acupuncture

It’s the time of year, where every few weeks we gather around the television for a couple thrilling minutes in anticipation of who’s going to win the big race (or have the greatest hat, the best tasting mint julep, and win the most money, of course).

And while this year’s Kentucky Derby ended in bigtime controversy, there’s a crystal clear winner when it comes to treating horses for many of their physical issues.

Acupuncture is one of the best ways to treat equine injuries and illnesses, whether the horse is being groomed for racing or not. One disorder that is debilitating to horses that acupuncture is uniquely suited to treating is laminitis. Laminitis is a very painful hoof disease that can result in lameness—greatly affecting the horse’s mobility and total quality of life.

California-based veterinarian Kevin May conducted a study of 12 horses with laminitis, ensuring their caretakers didn’t give them any other treatments while he administered acupuncture to each horse. Despite the horses ranging in age, condition, and breed, all 12 responded positively to the treatment.

This is important, because while laminitis sounds like it may not be serious, it can often lead to serious outcomes.

According to May, “Thirteen percent of barns and/or owners deal with laminitis each year, with 50% of those referred to hospitals eventually euthanized.”

Thankfully, May seems to have found a way to help horses affected by laminitis stay on their feet, happy, and healthy.

Acupuncture Helping San Diego's Homeless

“I was desperate. My back was so sore.”

The above was said by David Knoles, of San Diego. David is homeless, living alone in a canyon. Being homeless takes an unbelievable toll on the body. Constantly trying to create comfort in the places that most of us use for walking, traveling, hiking or other activities puts tons of strain on the bones and muscles of the homeless. David, in particular, once threw out his back while trying to move a rock that he says weighed about 150 pounds.

When you or I get injured like that, we have the benefit of seeking a number of medical care options. The homeless don’t have that luxury, if they can even receive any care at all.

But at the Pacific Beach United Methodist Church in San Diego, Knoles and the areas other homeless are being offered free acupuncture every week.

“Primarily, it’s for chronic illness and injuries,” Robin Kohler of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and the UC San Diego School of Medicine told the San Diego Tribune. “A lot of them had injuries sustained on a job where there was no insurance.”

Acupuncture is an especially beneficial treatment for folks like Knoles because of its versatility. Acupuncture is well known for it’s effectiveness at treating physical pain, but also emotional and mental conditions like insomnia, stress and anxiety, and depression—which our homeless are unfortunately susceptible to.

“I liked it so much, I kept coming in,” Knoles said, speaking to acupuncture’s wide-ranging benefits. “I wanted to keep doing it. It was not just healing my back, but other pains I was having.”

Hopefully, other locations around the country will follow this community’s lead and help those out who need our help the most.

How Acupuncture Can Help Those With Diabetes

Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes every year, with about 30 million people suffering from it across the country. Chances are we all know somebody directly or indirectly who is living with diabetes.

For those who are unaware, diabetes is a disease that causes the body to be unable to properly process food to be used as energy. The result of this inability is a buildup of sugar in the blood. These high glucose and low insulin levels can lead to a number of symptoms that affect daily life, like fatigue, frequent urination, frequent hunger and thirst, and weight loss.

There are medications available that diabetics can take to help ease the burden brought on by these symptoms, but there’s also a holistic, safe and effective way to treat many of the side effects too—acupuncture.

A study in Beijing found that consistent acupuncture lowers glucose levels, increases insulin levels, and improves glucose intolerance, which all combines to keep symptoms in check. In particular, “low intensity and low-frequency electroacupuncture could help in reducing insulin resistance and increasing insulin sensitivity,” says Medical News Today. And, in 2015, a study showed that acupuncture treatment combined with an anti-diabetic medication called metformin produced better results for patients than just taking the medication alone.

Of course, there is no cure for diabetes, and those who live with it will always have to consider the best diet and treatment options for their specific case. But acupuncture can play a role in making dealing with diabetes just a little bit easier.

Beat Fall Allergies with Acupuncture

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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!

Acupuncture for Man's Best Friend

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Those who are dog owners know, they’re much more than just animals — they’re a part of the family. So, when your pup is suffering from any ailment, chances are you’ll go to great lengths to help them.

With a common prevalence among older breeds, many canines suffer from hip pain or tension which can affect everything from the way they walk, sleep and behave.

In Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, Dr. Cooke of Cooke Veterinary has said she founds that many dogs need, and benefit from acupuncture treatment around the hips.

She told ABC 13 News Now that the results of doing so speaks for itself saying, “Statistics on acupuncture, it can be as effective as surgery, 85 percent success.”

If you’re worried that acupuncture might cause your pooch from pain — you can also rest assured. Just like in human acupuncture, Cooke says, "The biggest owner misconception is that it’s painful, like, 'How do you get those needles into them?' It’s simple, it’s just this wimpy little needle but it’s so powerful.”

Though, it;s important to engage in a dialogue with your care provider to determine the best course of action. While acupuncture can, and does, help - there are often situation where veterinary orthopedic surgery is the best course of action. This is typically when the animal is in significant and often unbearable pain, or even is suffering from paralysis, according to Cooke.

Also, it’s important to have realistic expectations for results, as it may take time. Cooke notes, “It’s just like in human medicine, if you’re really sick it’s not going to be one thing that makes you better. We’re going to have to work over time.”

Though, she says that for minor conditions, results might be noticeable in as little as three treatment.

She adds that canine acupuncture treats more than hips, too, noting, “We see a lot for back pain, weakness issues, arthritic issues.”

If you’re noticing . your precious pup might be struggling with hip or joint pain, be sure to ask your veterinarian about acupuncture and how it might help. It (literally) can’t hurt!

Controversial Research Sparks Heated Acu Debate in China

Acupuncture is an ancient practice that originated in China millennia ago. It is an incredibly popular form of medical treatment in China, not only because of its effectiveness for treating a number of ailments, but because it is an important part of Chinese culture.

Perhaps there’s no better sign of how important acupuncture is to Chinese history and society than the reaction to a recent study in one of China’s most respected medical journals.

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Last year, the journal Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion published an article written by three respected doctors from Dongzhimen Hospital in Beijing. The article claimed that a new study conducted by the doctors that acupuncture that is administered to a parent could benefit that parent’s child. That is, if I a child is feeling ill, the parent undergoing acupuncture—not the child—could help treat the child’s illness or pain.

The doctors claim that the concept of “quantum entanglement” is responsible for this phenomenon. Quantum entanglement says that “two particles, no matter how distant from each other in space and time, can be inextricably linked, in a way that defies the rules of classical physics.” 

 

The authors backed up their theory with an experiment of 15 patients with pain symptoms and their direct relatives. Fourteen of the patients were in the room alongside their relative who was receiving acupuncture, while one patient was in a separate room. The study claims that all 15 subjects reported a decrease in pain, while four subjects said their pain disappeared altogether.

 

The article has caused a wave of backlash, with many doctors coming out and disavowing its conclusion. One doctor said he was “speechless” after reading the article…and not in the good way. On Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, one popular comment read “The only thing that the researchers of this paper prove, is that they themselves need to be treated,” and one hashtag around the controversy received over 4 million views.

 

While we know acupuncture is an effective treatment for numerous ailments and pain management—for adults and children alike—we’re holding off on the whole “quantum entanglement” idea…for now!

 

 

College Football Team Using Acupuncture To Stay on the Field

It’s that time of year—the leaves are changing, the temperatures dropping, pumpkin spice lattes are being drank, and of course football is in high season.

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Football is one of the most physically demanding sports for its participants, and it’s understandable that many players are often seeking as many different types of treatments to deal with their injuries and overall pain. And while most college and all professional teams employ big medical staffs that include doctors, trainers, and massage therapists, not too many have a team acupuncturist on staff. Boise State University is one of them.

 

A few years ago, a player on the Boise State team was dealing with a hamstring issue. The team medical staff had an idea—the player should try acupuncture to see if his injury would heal faster. They called on local licensed acupuncturist Dana Logan.

 

“They were flying out the next day, and I thought, ‘If this doesn’t work, acupuncture isn’t happening again.’ I had that session to make an impression, and it obviously worked,” Logan recalls.

 

The treatment was a success, and that that moment was the beginning of a fruitful relationship between the team and Logan. Logan’s treatment regiment isn’t just about helping heal players’ one-off injuries. She has developed treatments that help players with everything from improving range of motion, to properly functioning muscles, to helping players’ bodies be better prepared for post-football life, something we know many former football players struggle with after their playing days are over.

 

“Acupuncture in football is going to become more and more mainstream,” Logan said. “I think it’s awesome Boise State is ahead of it and has given it a chance.”

 

Many individual athletes utilize acupuncture to help stay on the field. As acupuncture gets more popular, there’s no doubt that more teams and organizations will encourage their players to seek it out.

 

 

Skin Problems? Go Under the Surface

It may only be the very beginnings of fall, but it’s never too early to prepare for the harsh winter months.

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For many people, the return of cold temperatures brings about some negatives s to go along with the holidays, hot cocoa and building snowmen—dry skin. Whether its on your face, hands, feet, or really anywhere, dry skin can be one of the most irritating ailments to deal with. And for some, it can affect them year round, and lead to painful cracks and bleeding.

Most people think of dealing with dry skin and other skin conditions with expensive and chemical-laden creams and serums. For some these medications may work, but there is another, more natural way to heal dry and affected skin: acupuncture.

Our skin is actually the biggest organ in our body. If something is wrong with our skin on the outside, that means that something needs fixing on the inside.  So it only makes perfect sense that acupuncture is a proven remedy for a number of skin ailments and general skin dryness.  

Skin conditions are a result of internal imbalances between Qi, blood flow, yin, yang, and blockages of different energy pathways within the body. When those pathways are opened up and the energy of the body is allowed to balance, our skin operates in a much healthier way.

Diana Hermann, a board-certified, Colorado-based acupuncturist explains further why acupuncture is a viable solution for many skin conditions: “Acupuncture clears heat from the lungs and stomach to reduce flushing and heat rising to the face,” Hermann explains, adding that a pooling of heat in the face and head inhibits proper circulation throughout the rest of the body.”

Whether you suffer from general dry skin or other more intense disorders like rosacea, eczema, acne, etc. acupuncture is here to help you look and feel revitalized, and refreshed.  

 

Can Acupuncture Help Animals Live Longer Lives?

Traffic the cat once made the daredevil choice to jump out of a car going 65 miles per hour and lived to tell about it. There’s no question that Traffic has gotten the most out of his 19 years on earth, perhaps even using up some of his 9 lives in the process. But those years have taken their toll.

An article recently posted by K5 news entitled, "Animals Living Longer Lives Through Acupuncture," introduced us to Traffic, who a few years ago, was diagnosed with a high level of liver enzymes, among other health issues. The Bradic family sought many treatments for Traffic, including steroids, but nothing seemed to work.

That’s where Darla Rewers stepped in. The Bradics brought Traffic to the Fremont, WA based veterinarian, who runs the Ancient Art Holistic Veterinary Service center where, among other holistic treatments, Rewers specializes in animal acupuncture.

"It's really minimally invasive. There's these little tiny needles that can really affect a lot of change,” Rewers told King5 News.

"The acupuncture points actually communicate with the main part of the nervous system. And all those nerve endings connect and communicate so that the body can restore, repair, remodel and rebuild."

A few weeks ago we talked about the positive impacts acupuncture treatments had on an arthritic giraffe, and Rewers has used acupuncture on all sorts of animals, from dogs to cats and even birds, with successful results. How did the treatments work for Traffic the cat? The Bradics say that after 3 treatments, Traffic’s liver enzymes reduced from a count of 850 to 200. The family also said that Traffic has regained his healthy look and playful nature, and continues to receive regular acupuncture three years from the initial treatment.

There are many times in our lives where physical and mental stress can zap us from our own healthy and playful natures. Like Traffic the cat, acupuncture can often be the key to unlocking a pain-free and overall healthier life. While we won’t recommend leaping out of a speeding car any time soon, we can say with confidence that acupuncture will benefit you just as it did Traffic.

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Woman Shares How Acupuncture Cleared Her Acne

Unless you’ve experienced it first hand,  it’s hard to understand how frustrating, painful, and upsetting acne can be. Whether you struggle with painful cystic acne, hormonal breakouts, unsightly patches of inflammation or anything in between, thankfully acupuncture can help.

Over on Health.com, author Chelsea Taber Burns opened up about how her experience with acupuncture completely cleared her acne, even after having tried the harsh and potentially dangerous drug Accutane, and “every new zit-zapping product that comes across my desk.”

Originally skeptical, she booked an appointment with a certified acupuncturist specializing in cosmetic acupuncture in New York City. Even though she’d describes herself as being terrified of needles, she decided to give it a go.


After her first treatment she describes, “After assessing my face in the mirror at home, it definitely looked fresh, bouncy, and dewy. Elana had told me it can take a few treatments before you start seeing serious skin-clearing results (I have!), but because the pins get your blood flowing, you immediately leave with a youthful flush.”

For Chelsea, facial acupuncture used in conjunction with lasers and products form a sensitive skin line have helped her, “each peak glowy, pimple-free skin potential—the kind of skin I’ve been dreaming about my whole life.”

So exactly how does acupuncture help your skin? A holistic way to help fight skin irritation, infection and inflammation, acupuncture treatment can help ensure your energies are flowing, and thereby nutrients are flowing, too. It can also help to restore any hormonal imbalances that might be responsible for skin impurities.

In contract to topical treatments, acupuncture is a minimally invasive way to try to fight the acne and blemishes from the inside, out. Much like how food is used for medicinal purposes, as well as ingested medications.

 

Where Science & Acupuncture Merge

By now you’ve probably heard about the endless benefits of acupuncture, and how sticking tiny acu-needles in specific points throughout the body can help combat or treat a slew of both physical and mental ailments. But have you ever thought about how, exactly, it works on the body?

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In a previous post, we explained the concept of qi, energy that flows through the body. Acupuncture can help restore the flow and rid any qi that is stagnant or stuck – thus helping relieve tons of health complaints from anxiety to pain, depression to trouble sleeping, and much more.

But beyond that, what are the biological theories behind the practice?

First, where the needles are inserted are incredibly important.  In a recent article on Greatist.com entitled “The Science Behind Acupuncture and How it Really Works,” it explains that, “researchers have found acu-points are packed full of neurovascular structures, which means that inserting a small sterile needle into a specific point in your leg actually can trigger a reaction in your eye,” an thus supporting the ancient notion of physical meridians within the body.  

In regard to traditional medicine versus modern medicine, many agree that the merger of idea and supports is finally happening, The article states, “For a long time, acupuncture was the weird thing mainstream medicine gave the side-eye, but deep study of why it works and where it works best has formed a link between the traditional and the contemporary.”

One such example of modern and traditional medicine working together? The use of acupuncture treatment to support in vitro fertilization, or IVF. The post refers to a study from 2012 in which researchers found that using key points throughout the IVD process acupuncture can not only improve clinical pregnancy rates, but also live birth rates, too.  While the science behind IVF is undoubtedly modern, the support acupuncture provides is holistic and traditional. Chris Chen, a licensed acupuncturist, is quoted as saying, “Even if acupuncture cannot be used to plant the seeds, it can be used to create strong soil.” The strong soil he is referring to, can include all the fertility benefits provided by acupuncture that can include an increase in blood flow and nutrients, improvement in digestion, sleep/rest and calming the mind.