Acupuncture and Pain
Most people experience significant pain at some time 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?
No one should have to live with pain. But what treatment is right for you?
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, like Debra Wood, 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:
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. Your Acupuncturist may also suggest adjunct therapies to enhance treatment and speed healing. Massage, stretching, yoga, herbal supplements and dietary changes support Acupuncture care.
"I can't see a better
solution to long-term chronic pain. There is no
question in my mind that Acupuncture is safer than
surgery or drugs."
Acupuncture and Infertility
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:
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 correctlv, it can afect 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 a four reasons to try 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. No drugs are ever used. In the Western treatment of infertility, undesired side effects and accumulated toxicity from invasive procedures and drug therapies may occur.
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.
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 (6,7).
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.
Acupuncture and Menopause
Why is menopause treated like a disease, when it's a naturally occurring process?
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 Debra Wood 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, your 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:
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.
Acupuncture and Allergies
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 acupuncturist do?
An acupuncturist like Debra Wood will conduct a thorough exam, taking 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 eliminate visible symptoms and signs, while addressing the root causes and underlying imbalance affecting the quality and quantity of Wei Qi.
Acupuncture treatments may be combined with herbs, a plan for exercise, dietary changes or breathing exercises. These therapies accelerate the healing process in order to 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 or the common cold.
Acupuncture and IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome (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 holistic 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 practitioner, 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.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can provide a safe, natural, drug-free and effective way to address IBS.
Acupuncture and Depression
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 can cause a variety of side effects including insomnia, anxiety, listlessness, fatigue, body rash, tremors, facial tics, diarrhea, loss of appetite and sexual dysfunction. Depression alone is stressful enough on the body - and while medications may provide temporary relief, they can further compromise our health.
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?
An acupuncturist like Debra Wood 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.v 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 and Fibromyalgia
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?
An Acupuncturist, like Debra Wood, 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
Acupuncture and Facial Rejuvenation
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 throughout the body within a series of pathways called meridians. Flowing through these pathways, Qi 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. A variety of factors can contribute to this - poor diet, digestion and 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, breathing and physical exercises 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.
Acupuncture and Quitting Smoking
Congratulations! If you're reading this, you are on your way to kicking the habit and 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.
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.
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:
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can provide a safe, natural, drug-free and effective way to quit smoking. The focus is upon achieving a balance of body and mind, and eliminating cravings so you can become smoke-free and healthier.