Major Acupuncture Study

Acupuncture is PROVEN 52% MORE EFFECTIVE

than the “standard of care” in Western Medicine

for chronic pain!!

Key Points

  • Massive study with 18,000 patients
  • Not one study, but a META-ANALYSIS by the NIH of 29 of the best quality studies ever conducted
  • 6 years spent rechecking and analyzing all the original data; most rigorous to date
  • Chronic pain included: osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain

Image result for new york times logo The New York Times provided an excellent summary of the study and you can read more here.

 

Acupuncture Helps Psoriasis

5 Alternative Treatments and Home Remedies for Psoriasis

For people with psoriasis, suffering from painful symptoms like inflamed, flaking and red skin is not pleasant. The chronic skin condition is due to an overactive immune system that can be triggered by a number of internal and external factors. Many Western treatments include steroid creams and oral medications that come with a slew of unwanted side effects.

Below are alternative treatments that are safe and natural and can help reduce symptoms of psoriasis, leading you back to better health.

1. Herbal Remedies

● Aloe Vera: The gel from this cactus plant can be used generously on your skin to reduce redness and scaling caused by psoriasis. Aloe vera can be found in almost any grocery or health store.

● Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is thought to have antiseptic properties. It can sooth irritated skin or scalp and can be applied daily.

● Turmeric: Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Because of this, turmeric has been found to reduce psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis flares. Turmeric can be found in pill form as well as powder form to be added to food.

● Dead Sea Salts: Soaking in a bath with Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts can remove scaly skin and reduce itching. It is recommended that you use warm water and stay in the tub for 15 minutes.

2. Mindfulness/Meditation

  • Mindfulness and meditation practices have been found to be effective in people suffering with chronic pain like psoriasis.
  • Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention on the moment and ridding yourself of all external thoughts you may be having. This can lead to a state of relaxation and calmness, bringing balance to your body and mind.
  • Mindfulness, which is practiced in meditation, includes becoming completely aware of your body, externally and internally. This can be a seated meditation that is focused on awareness of mind, body and senses.

3. Exercise

Not only is exercise important to maintain overall health and wellness, it is especially beneficial for people with psoriasis. Because people with psoriasis have an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, regular exercise can prove very helpful. Many find it hard to exercise because of the chronic pain associated with psoriasis. Exercise programs in the water prove to be an effective alternative that is easier on the body and still allows you to build endurance and strength. Other simple ways to fit more exercise into your day include short walks, taking the stairs and stretching.

 

 

4. Massage

Seeing a licensed massage therapist can help reduce symptoms and pain. Massage promotes the function of muscle and connective tissue and can increase relaxation and circulation in the body.

5. Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been proven to be effective in minimizing chronic pain in patients. Acupuncture takes a holistic approach with the body and symptoms you may be experiencing. By returning the body to its natural flow, acupuncture can help reduce the intensity of symptoms of psoriasis.

Home Remedies:

● Soak a towel in cold milk and apply to affected area to relieve itching.
● Add ½ cup ground oatmeal into a warm bath.
● Rub the affected area with the inner side of a banana peel.
● Apply aloe vera gel to affected area.
● Cut several fresh willow branches into 3-inch stems and place in a pot with plenty of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until water becomes black. Wash affected areas with the water three times daily.
● Slice 15 water chestnuts and soak in 3 oz. of rice vinegar crush and store in a sealed jar. Apply the paste to affected area and cover with gauze. Change daily.

 

 

 

 

Sources:
https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis

Research Update: Acupuncture & Lung Cancer

Acupuncture – Another Tool in the fight against Cancer

In a study conducted and published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information and in conjunction with the National Institute for Health, patients suffering from lung cancer showed improvements in several areas after being treated with acupuncture.

Pain was decreased, appetite increased, nausea and nervousness decreased, and overall, the patients well-being was improved. The study showed that 61 percent of patients reported less pain and 33 percent of the patients reported an increase in their total well-being. Those participants who received more acupuncture treatments reported that their well-being was positively affected and it was determined that a minimum of six acupuncture treatments were required for a 70 percent chance of clinical improvements regarding the overall well-being.

Lung cancer is the leading form of cancer in the United States, according to the American Lung Association. As with most forms of cancer, lung cancer is non-discriminatory in nature and can affect anybody, at any age. However, it is more prevalent in smokers, those exposed to secondhand smoke and people who have asbestos poisoning. Most lung cancer patients have multiple symptoms, including pain, fatigue, depression, difficulty breathing and anxiety. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be very useful tools in treating the symptoms of lung cancer, as well as decreasing the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

Every single person on the planet has cancer cells in their body. Those cancer cells only proliferate or duplicate when there is the perfect storm of conditions in the body, such as:

  • decreased immunity
  • prolonged stress and anxiety
  • improper dietary habits

When the body is balanced, the immune system attacks and destroys renegade cancer cells before they can become malignant. But an unbalanced immune system, will often fail to defend the body from the cancer cells.

TCM and specifically, acupuncture, has shown great promise in helping lung cancer patients deal with the many symptoms they encounter. One of the most important ways regular acupuncture treatments can help lung cancer patients, is by boosting the immune system. The acupuncture needles are homeopathic in nature, but when they puncture the skin, the needles are perceived as an enemy by the body. This causes the body to send an immune-mediated response to the area, which in effect, retrains the body’s immune system to attack the intruders. The needles can be placed near or around the area of the cancerous tumor, which allows the defensive action of the immune system to be channeled to the cancer site itself.

Acupuncture can also be very effective at treating the other common symptoms of lung cancer. Symptoms like fatigue, depression and anxiety, can be managed with multiple acupuncture treatments that balance hormones in the body. When these are decreased, the immune system and the overall body will become stronger.

As with any form of cancer, having the proper diagnosis and treatments are essential. But adding complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, can increase the probability of success at defeating the disease.

The Many Dimensions of the Heart

The Heart – the Universal Energy of Summer

The heart is an energetic system we often treat in Traditional Chinese Medicine. According to Chinese Medicine theory, there are many systems of energy within the body. Each of these systems corresponds to certain physiological and psychological functions. So when we talk about the heart, the lungs, the liver. However, when we are speaking about Chinese Medicine organs, we are not talking about the physical organ sitting in your body, but rather the energetic manifestations of a particular system in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual realms.

The heart is an incredibly important energy system in Chinese medicine, often said to be the emperor of all the other energy systems. It is related to the fire element, which is the universal energy of summer.

On a physical level, the heart is responsible for pumping blood through our body, just as it is in allopathic medicine. It controls the health and vitality of the blood vessels, and also controls sweating, the tongue and speech. But perhaps the most important role of the heart in Chinese medicine is that it houses the Shen, or spirit.

The Shen in Chinese Medicine is referred to as one of the three treasures of the body, and it encompasses consciousness, the emotions, mental acuity and thought, as well as the ability to process incoming sensory information. Each organ system in Chinese medicine is related to one aspect of the spirit (such as intellect, willpower or instinct) – but the Shen is the most important, as it governs all the other aspects. Prolonged emotional upheaval, mental illness, personality disorders, emotional imbalance, processing disorders and sensory disorders all are manifestations of a disturbed, ungrounded or weakened Shen.

The emotion associated with the heart is joy. This means that joy nourishes the heart, but excessive joy (ie, mania) is a symptom of an imbalance in this system.

The heart is all about the very act of being alive – from the physical heart beating in our chest, to the flow of blood through our veins, to our mental ability to stay present and focused, and our emotional selves being whole and complete. It is the energy of summertime – abundant, hot and lively.

Nourish the Heart through Food
The color associated with the heart is red, and the heart is nourished through red foods, such as cherries, strawberries and kidney beans. Being closely associated with the blood, it is also nourished by blood-tonifying foods such as organ meats, lean red meat and dark leafy greens. The heart is closely tied to appreciation of beauty and aesthetics, so the heart system is also nourished by food for which care has been given to present artfully, with beauty and grace, and a wide array of colors on one plate. Again, the heart is associated with summertime, so think of the abundance of fruits and vegetables available that time of year, and try to reflect that energy in your food choices.

Nourish the Heart through your habits
The heart is nourished through activities that bring you cheer and joy. Nourishing the heart is about celebrating that which you love in the world – people, places and ideals. As the heart governs our relationships with other human beings, it is nurtured by feeling connected to those that we love. Reach out to friends and family, forge new bridges and strengthen lasting bonds. The heart is also nourished through beauty – take time to appreciate the beauty of your natural surroundings, as well as music, poetry, art and dance. Lastly, the heart is nurtured by ritual. This can be a long-standing religious or cultural ritual, or one that you create for yourself. Some examples of heart-healthy rituals include writing down five things you are grateful for each night, incorporating some sort of gentle exercise during each morning, practicing 10 minutes of sitting meditation each day, or grab a coloring book and start coloring!

Foods to Improve Heart Health
Wonder how you can help your heart stay in balance? Well, what you put into your body goes a long way in determining how balanced you are. Check out some of these foods you should consume in order to promote good heart health.

Red foods have been shown to help the heart biochemically; foods such as hawthorn berries, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, watermelon, peppers and goji berries keep your heart happy with lycopene and anthocyanin, antioxidants and beneficial vitamins.

Other helpful foods include garlic, cayenne, cilantro, basil, magnesium (found in leafy greens, nuts and soy) and green tea. Also try ginseng, jujube dates, reishi mushrooms, dong quai, seaweed and schizandra berries.

Orange vegetables like carrots have carotenoids and lutein, powerful phytonutrients. And oranges, the fruit, can help decrease your risk of heart disease.

Liver Tune-Up

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season is ruled by a particular organ system and spring is connected to the liver. What does this mean? Well, you probably notice changes in the way you feel, both physically and mentally, as the seasons change. I know I tend to feel a bit more contemplative and introspective during the winter months. Once spring hits, I’m ready to recharge and get things done. The liver energy is strong and assertive, the type of energy you need to create plans and then propel them into motion. However, if your liver is a little out of balance, you might notice you are more irritable or on edge than usual. Here are a few signs that your liver is in need of an acupuncture tune-up:

1. You’ve noticed an increase in headaches lately, and these headaches seem to feel worse when you aren’t active. Generally these headaches tend to manifest at the vertex of your head.

2. You might begin to feel constipated or bloated. Your bowel movements might become irregular, alternating between constipation and loose stools. Hard, difficult stools that appear pebbly are also a sign of liver imbalance.

3. Your friends or coworkers are scared of you, because you are cranky, cranky, cranky. When liver energy is out of balance you might feel agitated, irritated and generally out of sorts. Sometimes irritation can expand into outright anger more easily than it would if this energy was flowing smoothly.

4. Ladies, you may notice your PMS symptoms have been worse lately. Bloating, breast tenderness, sensitivity…you can blame all of the above on your liver. If your periods are more painful or clotted, this is also due to a stagnation of liver energy.

5. Your eyes are red, itchy or irritated.

6. Your shoulders, neck or jaw are uncomfortably tight. If the liver energy is out of balance, it can flow upward. This causes everything in your body to rise up: you might grind or clench your teeth, your shoulders will levitate up around your ears, and you might experience symptoms of TMJ.

7. Your allergies are in full force, complete with itchy, red, watery eyes.

If you are suffering from any of these issues, your body is crying out for help!  Here are a few dietary tips to help:

  • Eat simply and lightly, pay particular attention to posture and tension during and after eating.
  • Eat a diet that is rich in vegetables and moderate in fruits which will help resolve stagnation.
  • Bitter foods will help resolve stagnation affecting the Liver and Stomach.
  • Moderate amounts of the pungent flavor will help to stimulate the system out of stagnation.  Onions and citrus peel are good for this purpose.

A trip to your Acupuncturist is also in order!