How Acupuncture Can Help Lupus Patients

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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a form of the autoimmune disease also known as Lupus.

A difficult and often frustrating autoimmune disease, Lupus affects nearly 1.5 million people across the US with symptoms including inflammation, pain and tissue damage.

Patients are often willing to try anything to combat their symptoms and restore their immune systems. Thankfully, acupuncture can play a significant role in their efforts.

A recent article by Very Well explains how the ancient art of acupuncture just might help a Lupus patient.

It’s long been believed (and proven) that acupuncture can help reduce inflammation and pain by improving circulation and the proper flow of qi, and this can be especially importnat for someone with a Lupus diagnosis.

In fact, the 2008 study entitled 'Acupuncture for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A pilot study RCT feasibility and safety study' published in Sage Journals examined the role of acupuncture as a means of pain treatment within the Lupus population.

Twenty four patients with the SLE manifestation of Lupus were given either standard acupuncture treatment, acupuncture treatments performed with less needles, or to remain on their existing treatment plan without treatment.

The results?

“At the end of the trial, 40% of the patients in both the standard acupuncture treatment group and the minimal needling group experienced an improvement in their pain levels of at least 30%.”

Interestingly but perhaps unsurprisingly, “the group that remained on their usual care plan reported no improvement in their pain levels.”

Ultimately, “the study concluded that acupuncture is a valid, safe and effective method to treat pain in patients with SLE.”

If you hare struggling with a lupus diagnosis and the pain, inflammation and malaise that can typically come with it — you’re not alone. Let NJ Acupuncture Center help.

Acupuncture and Herbs for Autism?

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Diagnoses of disorders along the Autism Spectrum continue to rise throughout the United States, now affecting nearly one in 68 children, according to the CDC. 

As more and more children struggle with the wide range of social, emotional and intellectual struggles that come along with living with Autism, treatment options are seemingly rising to the occasion to help, too. 

While we're well aware of the physical benefits of acupuncture treatment, a recent study from Hebei Province has yielded some promising results — that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine can help children with autism. 

How? According to the study, acupuncture has shown to be able to potentially improve, “communication, language, physical movement and sensory perception.” Additionally, it reports that children whom participated in the study also demonstrated improvements in self-care, another area that some children on the spectrum struggle with.

Within the study, 92 children were randomly assigned to either receive “standard rehabilitation” or treatment that included acupuncture and herbs. With results measured using the ABC Checklist (Autism Behavior Checklist) and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) both groups showed significant improvements, but the effective rate in the group that received acupuncture was 89.96%, versus 65.22% in those who did not receive the added holistic therapies.

Overall, the conclusion is that the addition of acupuncture and herbs are, “both safe and effective for the treatment of children with autism.”

If your child, or someone you know has been diagnosed on the spectrum, acupuncture may help to provide supports in addition to traditional therapies including speech, physical and occupational therapy, and education.

While acupuncture may not be for every child, it’s worth considering and speaking with providers to find a potential fit for your child’s unique needs.

 

Acupuncture for the Aging

One of the inevitable, often dreaded but yet beautiful aspects of life is the physical process aging and the gift of getting older.

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Though it means we’ve been blessed with the gift of longevity, there are some inevitable aches, pains, physical changes and other maladies that can come along with it, too.

Luckily, acupuncture can help.

We’ve already outlined how acupuncture for anti-aging beauty can be powerful here.  Considered an all-natural facelift of sorts, it can take the place harsh chemicals and restore your skin to a more youthful state. But what else can it do for the aging? 

Acupuncture can actually help with most complaints from seniors, including sleep issues, muscle pain and tension, arthritis, energy, mobility and mood.

Explained in this article on Chinese Medicine Living, as we age we see a gradual decline in our “Jing” which is considered to be the vital energy, or life source we all embody. It is believed that we are only born with a finite amount, and lifestyle can impact how and when it is used, and whether it’s used “wisely.”  Acupuncture treatment can help to reduce the loss of Jing which can cause symptoms of premature aging, thus potentially improving your vital energy.

Additionally, acupuncture is considered extremely safe in the aging.  Many senior citizens may find themselves taking various medications to treat medical conditions that have arisen through the years — but unlike other conventional or pharmaceutical interventions, you don’t have to worry about any potential interactions when it comes to acu.

Unfortunately, many seniors are often finding themselves alone, with feelings of loneliness or isolation. So, an acupuncture regimen with a friendly practitioner can also help to provide a bit of the social and emotional connection they have been longing for.

If you are or happen to know a senior who might benefit from acupuncture to help improve their daily life — call to schedule an appointment today!

 

 

 

 

 

Yep — Acupuncture Can Help That, Too.

Nothing is worse than a pain in the butt. Literally.

Though often not discussed, hemorrhoids are a problem that are believed to affect at least 50% of the US population at some time in their adult life. While most people keep them private, if you’re suffering — you’re far from alone.

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Hemorrhoids can range from being itchy, to being extremely painful depending on the type (internal or external) and the size. Those who suffer from them are eager to find relief and treatment, and fast.  While conservative treatment is always recommended initially, unfortunately many patients need to undergo surgical treatment or repair known as a hemorrhoidectomy.

But before taking any of those steps, acupuncture can help.

Because a leading cause of hemorrhoids is inflammation and swelling (something acupuncture combats quite well) a simple, noninvasive treatment may be all you need for relief.

In fact, according to AcupunctureToday.com, in addition to the traditional approach of acupuncture treatment for hemorrhoids  —while utilizing one, or a combination of the Du Mai points 1 ,2 ,3, 4, 5 and 6 is effective, there is also a “One-Point, One-Minute Acupuncture” method that might do the trick, too.

Developed by Carolina Beth, LAC, the Dua Mai 4 point (also known as Mingmen or Life’s Gate) is utilized. Located within the lumbar region near the second lumbar vertebra, it’s a powerful point also known to be used for importance, menstruation issues, diarrhea, and back pain. Manipulation of this point via acupuncture “increases the vital Yang energy of the patient, a therapeutic effect, which is very useful in this treatment of hemorrhoids,” says Beth.

Using her technique, the point is manipulated for one minute only, with the needle being stimulated by steady movement back and forth for the entire sixty seconds.  Beth shares two case studies that demonstrated the reported effectiveness, including a 62 year old woman who struggled with hemorrhoids  since pregnancy at age 26. With only one session, she reported being free of any symptoms over the course of the next seven months.

If you are suffering from hemorrhoids, give us a call and make an appointment. While our approach might be a bit different — we are eager to help restore health and happiness to all our clients.

Acupuncture To Help With Postoperative Recovery

 

It’s no secret that our country is currently facing an opioid epidemic, and among the most common ways opioid addictions begin is after being legally prescribed pain relief for painful conditions, as well as post-operative recovery.

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While surgeries are undoubtedly painful and require rest and treatment to fully recover, more and more patients are turning to alternative therapies as opposed to filling pain killer prescriptions, or to at least lessen the amount of time they require them for.

 

Is it working?

 

HealthCMi reports the findings from a clinical trial performed by researchers out of the Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The study followed the recovery of patients who received surgical treatment of intestinal cancer. These patients received both epidural morphine analgesia as well as acupuncture of the scalp  and showed improvement in both the visual analog scale scores as well as the Bruggman comfort scale scores.

 

The article states that gastrointestinal functioning was also improved in those who received scalp acupuncture, for both bowel recovery time as well as anal exhaust time, which were both significantly decreased by many hours.

 

In layman’s terms, this study found, “that scalp acupuncture combined with epidural morphine analgesia into an integrated treatment protocol is more effective than epidural morphine analgesia as a standalone therapy. The researchers conclude that scalp acupuncture is safe and effective for the relief of postoperative intestinal cancer pain.”

 

This doesn’t really come as a surprise to us, though, as it has long been known and studied that acupuncture can both improve pain as well as gastrointestinal issues. My promoting steady movement of Chi, unblocking energy and restoring balance to the body, acupuncture can help to restore many imbalances – and the body is often incredibly imbalanced after invasive surgery.

 

While it’s of course important to speak with your surgeon regarding post-operative pain protocols and acceptable therapies, it’s always a great idea to consider all options and be a well-informed patient.

 

You have a say in your recovery, and often times there are ways to avoid overexposure to opiods.

 

Maya Fertility Massage

Anyone struggling with infertility is likely researching any and everything they might be able to do to improve their chances of getting pregnant. 

While there are fertility specialists, medications, nutrition consultations, and of course acupuncture - there’s another modality that might be able to help - the Maya abdominal massage. 

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This technique is said to help improve fertility, and uterine alignment, helping those with tilted uterus or even uterine prolapse. Here's how. 

Rooted in the ancient Mayan belief of the significance of the reproductive organs, specifically the uterus, being the "center" of the body, it's a gentle and external massage that should only be performed by trained professionals - like those at New Jersey Acupuncture Center. It might even be helpful for indigestion and constipation, too. 

As Daphne OZ reported on Oprah.com of her personal experience with the technique uses a mix of , "anatomy, physiology and herbology. Through noninvasive massage, this technique gently manipulates the muscles and tendons that hold all the belly organs in place to bring all things back into alignment and promote proper functioning."

Of course, proper circulation and alignment is key to fertility function, as well as to overall wellbeing, too. 

It also feels relaxing and therapeutic.  Of her experience, Oz recalled, "t doesn't sound like much, and I'm not doing it justice, but it was one of the most soothing sensations I've ever experienced..."

As opposed to more modern treatments, this is one of the most least invasive, pleasant, and affordable methods you might want to consider if you’re trying for a family. In some cases, it can even be performed during the prenatal and postpartum period as well.

Here are some of the specific benefits of the Maya massage technique:

Before conception:

  • Fibroids, polyps, endometriosis
  • Painful periods
  • Absence of a period
  • Preparation for IUI or IVF
  • Organ prolapse (out of position uterus)
  • Trauma support (emotional and physical)

Prenatal:

  • Maintain positive flow of vital fluids (blood, lymph, oxygen and chi)
  • Establish the “love through touch” connection in utero
  • Ease digestive distress
  • Maintain proper uterine position, setting the stage for easy delivery
  • Ease discomfort from stretching and straining ligaments and muscles
  • Reduce chances of varicose veins

Post-Partum:

  • Reestablish integrity of the pelvic bowl (ligament strength, organ prolapse, pelvic pain, incontinence)
  • Nourish a new connection with the beauty of your post baby belly
  • Maintain balanced hormonal transition
  • Reduce possible scar tissue build up and adhesions post c-section
  • Ease digestive distress
  • Learn simple belly massage for you and baby! (great for colic)

If you’re interested in Maya Massage, call us today to make your appointment. The technique is also perfectly complimented with acupuncture!

 

Acupuncture Shown to Improve IVF Success Rate

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Infertility is one of the most under-talked about issues facing women and families across the world. There are many reasons women may struggle with infertility, and every women is different. Whether the cause of infertility is known or unknown, it can be a stressful and difficult thing for women and families to cope with.

When struggling to get pregnant naturally, many families will turn to alternative fertility methods. Success rates vary depending on the individual, but intrauterine insemination (commonly known as IUI) has an average success rate of 20%, while In Vitro Fertilization (commonly known as IVF) has an average success rate of 40% for women under 35, with decreasing rate at older ages.

These treatments are incredible modern medical marvels, and their success rates will only likely rise, but they can be very costly and time consuming for families. What if there were a natural, safe way to increase the chances of a procedure like IVF working to bring a beautiful baby into the world?

That might just be happening. A recent study conducted at Homerton University Hopsital in London, UK reveals that acupuncture has been shown to significantly increase the success rate of IVF. In the study, the ongoing pregnancy rate of those who received acupuncture was over 53%, and just under 28% for those who did not.

“The protocol uses acupuncture points to stimulate blood circulation to the ovaries in order to achieve good follicle quantity and size,” says Karen Gillerman,LAc, BSc (Hons), MBAcC, the lead author of the study. “It also uses points to stimulate blood flow to the uterus and improve the uterine lining, as well as points to relax the patient.”

Infertility can be one of the more trying things for a family to endure, something we wish on nobody. But acupuncture is here to help.

 

How To Find Out if Acupuncture is Covered By Your Insurance

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Medical bills and dealing with insurance companies can often be quite stressful, to say the least. When trying to find a holistic treatment that can help solve an array of. Different maladies and symptoms, it can be even more frustrating. To help, here are some helpful tips that can make navigating the process a bit easier, and hopefully lead to a resolution.

Know The Terms

This may sound simple, but so many people are not aware of what. Is considered a covered expense, and what is not. Terms like “in network”, “out of network”, “deductible” and “out of pocket max,” are also enough to make your head spin.

This might help:

In-Network: A provider has agreed to join the network of providers for your specific insurer, and accept their rates/amounts for services.

Out of Network:  A provider who does not accept the plan or insurer and often is not covered, or is covered at a lesser amount that is reimbursable.

Deductible: A deductible is a specific dollar amount that your health insurance company may require that you pay (of your own money) each year before your plan starts to make payments for claims. But, not all health plans require a deductible. Most of the. Time, HMO plans typically do not require a deductible, while most Indemnity and PPO plans do. (So it’s important to know which one you have.)

Out of Pocket Max: A set figure that once. You have met, you no longer have to pay your own money for any covered services within that specific year.

Ask Your Provider & Insurer

Next, what’s most important is to first ask your desired acupuncture provider if they, in fact, even accept insurance. (NJ Acupuncture Center does!) Then, ask if they “take” and are “in or out of network” with your specific plan. If they are out of network, it is then important to call your insurance company (or check your coverage online) to see if they provide any coverage or reimbursement for out of network services. If not, it can never hurt to ask your preferred provider if they offer any special rates or discount specifically for cash-pay, or uninsured patients.

It’s also really  important to know where you stand with your deductible. If it has been met, then your coverage has kicked in. If it hasn’t yet, you might be responsible to pay in full for services until it is met. What’s even better, is if by chance your out of pocket maximum has been met, then you may not have to pay anything for the remainder of the calendar year.

For any insurance questions or concerns, we are always more than happy to help navigate and find out your coverage for you! 

Acupuncture shown to restore facial movement in stoke patients

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. 140,000 people in the US each year die due to a stroke. However, there are many different levels of stroke, and not all are fatal. In fact, stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the country.

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Strokes occur due to restricted blood flow to the brain. When that happens, oxygen is cut off and can’t reach the brain. Depending on the level of the stroke, even a survivor may incur physical ailments as a result of the episode. These include numbness, soreness, muscle weakness and more. One common side effect is facial paralysis, one that can have a very long lasting and difficult, day-to-day impact on health and quality of life.

Thankfully, a recent study shows that one treatment in particular can help restore facial movement in stroke patients: acupuncture.

In fact, it’s a combination of acupuncture treatments that was deemed most successful. Fujian Ningde Hospital in China conducted a study of 60 patients diagnosed with post-stroke paralysis over a two-year period. All patients were administered body acupuncture, while half of the group were administered an additional acupuncture procedure to the scalp.

It’s not surprising that the body acupuncture was found to be quite successful on its own. The results of the study showed a 71% effective rate for those who received only the body acupuncture. But the addition of the scalp acupuncture raised the effective rate to just over 93%. The combination of the two was shown to bring back facial movement in nearly every patient.

“In related findings, laboratory research confirms that acupuncture supports brain repair after a stroke,” the study notes. “Yang et al. note that acupuncture “promote[s] the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells in the brain.”

Acupuncture is a safe, non-invasive and effective way to treat many stoke side effects, including one of the most common and life-altering.

Aches and pains? Ditch the Ibuprofen.

We all know the feeling. Maybe you slept in the wrong position, or upped your physical exertion in an effort to exercise more. Maybe you banged a knee or elbow playing a sport or stretched too far while horsing around with your kids. Or maybe you’re just getting old (it happens!). Worse off, those who complain about consistent aches and pains may suffer from arthritis.

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It’s almost like second nature for many of us to head straight to the medicine cabinet and grab for the ibuprofen bottle. Pop a few in and go on with your day. The problem is that medications like ibuprofen only address the symptom and don’t have any regenerative ability. While tears and serious injuries may require surgery and/or physical therapy, the root cause of every day aches and pains can get worse if only treated with something like ibuprofen and physician prescribed pain killers (not to mention the addictive properties of the latter).

Thankfully, there is another way—acupuncture. And a recent study performed in China has put some data behind what is becoming more commonly known; that aside from being the safer, natural alternative, acupuncture is more effective at treating arthritis than ibuprofen.

Researchers at Yueyang Hospital sampled 80 patients who suffer from arthritis, administering either ibuprofen or a combination of acupuncture and tui na massage. The second group received acupuncture treatment daily for 20 minutes for 20 days, followed by a 20 minute massage treatment. The acupuncture and tui na treatments were successful in 90% of patients as opposed to 87% in the ibuprofen group – a small but meaningful difference given the safety and holistic differences in the two approaches.

A further study showed that of acupuncture and tui na, acupuncture was the more meaningful and effective of the two treatments for arthritis. We figured!

 

 

 

Cupping 101

Perhaps you’ve seen the photos on Instagram of celebrities, or even your peers, having big red circle marks on their back that look quite gruesome. Or, maybe you’ve heard of one of the many benefits of cupping, but aren’t quite sure what it is, exactly. Regardless, here’s a quick crash course in cupping -  the process, the benefits, why it leaves those crazy marks.

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A hot topic in the media, especially after Michael Phelps back looked just a little strange the 2016 Olympian, cupping therapy is nothing new.  Actually it's an ancient form medicine, much like acupuncture, with opriginal roots dating back to ancient China and Egypt. 

Essentially, the process uses suction to move blood and lymph in patients suffering from neck, thoracic, or lower back pain. By improving circulation and combatting stagnation, a patient can experience. Reduced inflammation, restored blood flow, and a. sense of relaxation and overall wellness.

With three variations, “wet cupping,” “dry cupping”  and “fire cupping,”  the cups can be made of glass, bamboo, or silicone. While wet cupping actually involves a small incision in the skin to draw blood, dry cupping does not – creating suction on its own as the trapped air cools and contracts. Perhaps the most fascinating to watch, fire cupping lives up to its name, as. Fire is used to heat the inside of the cup to create suction.

Afterwards, the treatment area may look a bit unsightly, or even downright painful – but it’s not. While some bruising might occur, the aftermath looks much worse than it feels, and typically resolves itself within a few days. (You just might want to avoid getting the treatment before rocking a backless dress or hitting the beach.)

*Cupping therapy is a service provided here at NJ Acupuncture Center, using both dry cups and fire cups. To make an appointment, please call us at 201-668-0343*

 

Avoid Bee Sting Acupuncture!

 

Those who turn to acupuncture treatments for their specific goals and ailments are typically open to holistic and creative ways to improve their health and wellness. However, it’s important to be an educated consumer, one that does their own research and only seeks out treatments that are as safe as they are effective.

While you can enjoy acupuncture with confidence in its safety and efficacy, one thing that should be avoided is “Bee Sting” acupuncture, especially after a woman from Spain has recently died as a result.

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As cosmosmagazine.com explains, the death was reported in the Journal of Investigational Allerology and Clinical Immunology, and has raised red flags about the practice. With roots in Korea and China, “Bee Sting Acupuncture” includes, “the application or consumption of bee products such as pollen and royal jelly in a quest to alleviate a wide range of symptoms.” The use of actual bee stings as a treatment method is controversial, and has raised some eyebrows.

A woman earlier this year claimed that the application of bee stings cured her persistent migraine headaches, and while her back was in fact covered in, “scares and lesions from the practice,” the doctors concluded, “any relief gained was psychosomatic, and that the sting applications represented an extension of a long clinical history of self-harm stemming from mental illness.”

However, in the case of the woman. Who passed away in Spain, there was no indication of any mental illness. Unfortunately, she had been receiving bee acupuncture, “every four. Weeks for two years,”  and at her last session, she developed wheezing, labored breathing, and lost consciousness. She died of multiple organ failures. 

It was said, “this is the first. Reported case of death by bee venom apitherapy due to. Complications of severe anaphylaxis in a confirmed sensitized patient who was previously tolerant.”  Doctors advise that bee acupuncture, “is both unsafe and unadvisable.”

The bottom line? Stick to traditional acupuncture, provided by licensed professionals, who only use approved acuneedles.

 

How Acupuncture Saved One Woman's "Mom Bod"

There’s nothing more beautiful and precious than bringing a new life into the world. But pregnancy can of course also be a physical burden on mothers, the incredible changes that the body goes through causing all sorts of aches and pains all over.

Caitlyn Doenges always suffered from back pain, and it only got worse when she was carrying her first child. Once her daughter was born, Caitlyn expected her pain to get better. Now that she wasn’t pregnant, wouldn’t her back have less strain on it? However Caitlyn soon realized that her baby brought many more physical challenges—holding the growing child, pushing her in a stroller, taking her in and out of car seats, etc. The day-to-day rigors of child care include lots of stretching, reaching, and straining—for someone who has a history of back pain, raising a child can often make it even worse. Eventually, Caitlyn’s pain took an even worse turn.

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“All of this combined with my already bad back led to the herniation of a disc in my lower back,” she wrote. “The pain from this herniation radiated all the way down my leg and caused such severe nerve damage that three years later, a large part of my leg is still numb. I had to do something to get better.”

That something, for Caitlyn, wasn’t surgery or medications, both options she could have taken. Instead, she went down a holistic path that she had previously known nothing about: acupuncture.

Caitlyn initially was treated three times a week for the first few months, then eventually went down to at least once a week continuously for the past three years. Now that Caitlyn has two children, she certainly is doing plenty of lifting and stretching and pulling – but she’s living a much more comfortable and pain-free life. 

“Those tiny little needles have saved my mom body by allowing me to put away the pain meds and focus on being present with my kids.”

 

 

Acupuncture for Your Furry Friends

If you’ve given acupuncture a try for yourself, you know the incredible benefits of the ancient practice. By balancing the energy in the body, acupuncture has proven to be a beneficial treatment for a wide array of human ailments and conditions. But did you know that humans aren’t the only animals who can benefit from acupuncture? That’s right—if you’ve got a furry friend who is struggling with their own ailments, veterinary acupuncture may be just what you’re looking for.

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Veterinary acupuncture has been around since the 1970s, but didn’t really gain popular acceptance until nearly two decades later. While many people are still opting for medicinal treatments to treat the health issues ailing their dogs or cats, acupuncture works on many animals at nearly zero risk. Acupuncture is a beneficial treatment option for many types of pets, including ill pets, animal athletes, geriatric pets, cancer patients, surgical and post surgical pets and more.

One recent story is evidence of the treatment’s success (and a real heart-warmer, too!) Dan, a rescue cat located in Columbia, South Carolina, was treated at Seven Oaks Animal Hospital late last year for hind end paralysis—leaving him unable to use his legs and walk. But after three months’ worth of acupuncture treatment, coupled with medical therapy, Dan was once again able to walk.

And veterinary acupuncture is not just for cats and dogs—Seven Oaks says they’ve also treated non-venomous snakes as well as chickens, too!

While we only treat humans here, it’s always good to know what options can be out there, whether it’s you or your furry friend who is in need of pain relief. Knowing what we do about its efficiency and benefits, it’s no wonder that the lovely animals we share the earth with have also found acupuncture to be a reliable, low-risk treatment that seriously improves quality of life.

 

Can Acupuncture Help Your Menstrual Cramps?

Any woman has been there before - the aching, throbbing, crampy pains that come along with the territory of being a woman and having a monthly cycle. No matter which way you choose to think about it, they are never fun to experience. 

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Whether your remedy of choice includes heating pads, Tylenol, exercise, sleep, or curling up in the fetal position until it's all over, acupuncture is something you should definitely consider adding into your bag of tricks to help combat painful periods, also known as dysmenorrhea. 

A HelloGiggles writer who had struggled with cramps and pain for quite some time recently documented her own experience in seeking relief through the alternative treatment. And while she loved relaxing and listening to music throughout her session, what was most notable was that her two subsequent periods following regular treatments were much improved. She explained, "But the two periods I have had since starting with regular treatments have been so much better. Suddenly, I’m not relying on painkillers as often to ease menstrual cramps and headaches, but honestly, the benefits are evident all month long. Acupuncture helps my anxiety and moods, while also helping with my insomnia. I’ve slept better than I have in years."

Her results are not surprising, as many of our clients have found relief from their monthly symptoms via acupuncture.  Yet she set out for more information by speaking with some experts in the field. 

Three experts she spoke to all agreed that acupuncture can demonstrate long-term improvement, with one Dr. Alban explaining, " 'Some people improve and do not need further treatment. Others need ongoing or occasional maintenance,' by way of monthly tune-ups around the start of their cycle."

Her conclusion? "If you’ve been struggling with heavy, painful, and seemingly never-ending periods, you might want to give acupuncture a try. It certainly can’t hurt and just might be the self-care technique you’ve been missing to finally feel better each month."

We couldn't agree more.

Acupuncture and Hot Flashes

Until you experience one for yourself, it’s hard to accurately describe. Intense heat sensation and sweatiness followed by an equally unsettling chill—across the entire body. It can last a few minutes or more, and then once you think it’s all over, the pattern starts up again. That’s right, we’re talking about hot flashes. And despite what you may have heard, women can experience this unfortunate phenomenon before they experience menopause. If you can bear to imagine it, the combination of cramps and hot flashes is a possibility for many women.

That’s what happened to Lisa Montrose, who started getting hot flashes at the age of 47. She tried supplements that claimed to help with the symptoms, but none worked. That’s when Lisa decided to give acupuncture a shot. Why? As Montrose mentions, Western medicine often addresses symptoms while Eastern techniques address root causes by balancing the energy flowing through the body.

Describing her first treatment, Montrose says, “A few minutes and 18 needles later, Phyllis was done. She told me to breathe steadily and that she'd be back soon to check on me. At first I lay there stiff and unmoving, despite the dim lighting and spa music. Then my body started to release and my mind calmed; I was no longer on a treatment table but instead drifting on a quiet sea.”

Then, the kicker: “And here's the thing: The hot flashes stopped that day. That day. I didn't understand how it worked, but my around-the-clock heat waves were gone.”

Montrose continued her acupuncture treatment consistently, about every two weeks. She says that after six months or so her hot flashes returned, but they were much milder than they used to be and occurred less frequently.

While it’s important to note that extensive studies haven’t been done on acupuncture as a treatment for the symptoms of hot flashes, we do know that balancing the energy in our bodies leads to incredible things.

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Can Acupuncture Help Asthma?

Approximately 8.4% of children and 7.6% of U.S. adults suffer from bronchial asthma, more commonly known as asthma. Common treatments for this disruptive and concerning breathing disorder include prescription medicine—often administered through an inhaler.  However, while many of these treatments for bronchial asthma help the symptoms, they aren’t too effective at attacking and healing the root causes. Those who suffer from the disorder may thankfully get a temporarily reprieve from symptoms, but those symptoms are likely to return. When it comes to something like asthma, every attack is one too many.  

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However, a potential breakthrough in treatment appears to be on the horizon: acupuncture.

The China Academy of TCM recently performed a number of studies to see how effective  acupuncture and other holistic treatments can be in treatment of bronchial asthma. One study consisted of a comprehensive acupuncture regiment on 111 patients. Needles were retained for 20 minutes on a daily basis at the outset, with treatment ramping down to every other day as symptoms subsided. Of the patients, 48 underwent a positive change, 61 saw significant improvement, and 2 saw no change—an impressive 98% effective rate.

Further studies were done using moxibustion as well. Moxibustion was administered to a specific acupuncture point, and then moxibustion paste was applied to the point every day until the initial moxibustion scar was healed. This study of 299 patients yielded a 70.6% success rate—57 experienced a positive effect, and 124 saw a significant improvement.

How might these treatments help curb symptoms of asthma and have long-lasting effects?? Acupuncture allows relaxation of the muscles, relieving spasms that can cause asthmatic attacked. This increases ventilation, allowing the patient to breathe more safely and naturally.

If you or anyone you know suffers from bronchial asthma, acupuncture and moxibustion may be the next crucial steps to take.

 

Acupuncture in the Age of the Opioid Crisis

Dealing with any type of pain can be frustrating. When pain is chronic, it becomes more than simply frustrating, but life-changing.

When in pain, many people’s first instinct is to go for medication. Pharmaceutical companies have created a number of medications meant to lessen pain. However, many of these medications, particularly opioids, have proven to be very harmful to the people who take them because of their addictive properties. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 90 people in the United States die from overdosing on opioids each day.

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When Brandy Golden of Columbus, Ohio had two daughters who both were suffering from amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome, luckily acupuncture was there to help. Thankfully the nearby Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Comprehensive Pain Management Clinic treated 13-year-old Gloria and 11-year-old grace without prescribing any medications.

Sharon Wrona, the administrative director of the clinic, says: “I think in the pediatric arena for chronic pain, we’ve always been more about minimizing medications and maximizing [treatments] like acupuncture.”

One of the roadblocks to acupuncture becoming more readily available for children and adults alike in the U.S. is insurance. Many insurance carriers didn’t cover acupuncture, leaving patients fewer, more dangerous options to treat their pain. As we learn more and more about the serious state of the opioid crisis and the harmful potential these drugs can have, availability of acupuncture is becoming more widespread.

In the fall of 2017, the National Association of Attorneys General sent a letter to America’s Health Insurance Plans urging insurers to prioritize coverage of non-opioid pain treatments like acupuncture. In response, Ohio’s Medicaid program in 2018 will start covering acupuncture treatments for certain types of pain, and hopefully will be expanding it to a larger range of pain management treatments. Let’s hope that more and more carriers follow in these footsteps.

Acupuncture is something that all people should know about as one of the safest, most effective pain management treatments. If you know anyone dealing with chronic pain, be sure to recommend a holistic treatment, especially if the alternative is a pain medication.

 

 

Why You Should Incorporate Acupuncture into Your Self Care Routines

Whether improving your self-care efforts are part of your New Year’s Resolutions, or you’re only beginning to recognize the importance of “me” time, acupuncture is worthy of incorporating in to  your self-care routines. After all, if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

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Self-care is more than just taking time out for yourself. It involves recognizing your needs, both met and unmet, and taking care of them – both mentally and physically. Whether you’re looking to improve a physical ailment, your overall health, mental health or appearance, acupuncture is a fantastic, affordable, and non-invasive practice to incorporate into your efforts.

In an article on Acupuncture Together,  it explains that acupuncture can be used as both reactive and preventive treatment, and that, “Some self-care is preventive (eating a balanced diet; regular exercise; getting enough sleep) and some is responsive (getting extra rest when you’re sick).

It’s also important to change your thinking of self-care, and challenge any negativity that may come with it. Instead of thinking that making yourself a priority is selfish or unnecessary, an article from Still Point Acupuncture elaborates, “self-care may be the most generous, responsible and compassionate choice we can make. It allows us to not only take care of ourselves, but also ensures that we have the physical and emotional resources to share our talents and gifts with others.  It allows us to be physically and emotionally present for the people in our lives.”

The article goes on to suggest the following ways to practice positive self-care, in addition to acupuncture services:

  • Get a massage
  • Take time to meditate
  • Stay hydrated
  • Make getting to bed on time a priority
  • Speak kindly to yourself
  • Do something that brings you joy
  • Love your body with healthy food
  • Have lunch with friends

 

 

 

Can Acupuncture Help Improve Your Workouts?

Working out and physical activity is an incredible way to improve your health, tone your body, and increase your overall sense of well-being. When complimented by a healthful diet, it’s even better. Certain vitamins and nutrients can help your body both prepare for, and recover from, a physical workout.

But what about when workouts are complimented by acupuncture? Can acupuncture improve your workouts? It can. Here’s how.

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According to a recent post on ActiveHealthCenter.com entitled 5 Ways Acupuncture Can Boost Your Workout, “Whether you’re on a regular schedule at the gym, you play recreational sports, or you simply make it a point to get the 2 ½ hours of moderate physical activity Health Canada says you should get every week, acupuncture can help improve your performance.”

It then outlines five ways that acupuncture can improve the quality of your workouts, and your overall health.


The first, no surprise to us, is that it increases blood flow. The author explains, “Acupuncture stimulates the production of nitric oxide in your body. In turn, nitric oxide helps your blood vessels to relax and opens your arteries. Not only will you have more oxygen and nutrients being delivered to your muscles and joints, you’ll enjoy better overall circulation.”

The second benefit?  The promotion of homeostasis, which can, “boost in muscle function, biomechanics and balance” and ensures your system is running properly.

Next up, injury prevention. If your body is running optimally, the likelihood for injury is reduce.

Fourth, most gym junkies know the importance of rest, recovery and stretching. Since acupuncture can help aid in sleep, relaxation and production of feel-good neurotransmitters and hormones, you’ll be able to make the most of your down time and rest-days physiologically, and mentally.

Lastly, the article explains that the psychological benefits of acupuncture can also improve your workouts indirectly. It explains, “The best workouts come from a mind/body balance. If you’re mentally fatigued, depressed or anxious, it can dull your workout focus and energy and affect your performance and results. In addition to helping balance all your physical systems, acupuncture can do the same for mental systems too. The release of endorphins helps promote a more positive outlook, and the balance in energy helps to relieve stress”

If you’re looking for a sixth reason, how about – acupuncture is simply great and can help in most areas, not just workouts and physical activity. So, why not give it a try.