Has Pain Got You Down?

May is National Arthritis Month and there’s no better time to take action. If you suffer with arthritis, acupuncture can help.

Arthritis is one of the most pervasive diseases in the United States and is the leading cause of disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every three Americans (an estimated seventy million people) is affected. For most people, arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of fifty show some signs of arthritis as joints degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can often be managed with acupuncture.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is not just one disease; it is a complex disorder that comprises more than one hundred distinct symptoms and can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these two forms of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors and effects on the body, they share a common symptom—persistent joint pain.back_pain

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in the United States. OA begins with the breakdown of joint cartilage, resulting in pain and stiffness. Commonly affected joints include the fingers, knees, hips, and spine. Other joints affected less frequently include the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. When OA is found in a less frequently affected joint, there is usually a history of injury or unusual stress to that joint. Repetitive injury and physical trauma may contribute to the development of OA. If you have a strenuous job that requires repetitive bending, kneeling, or squatting, for example, you may be at high risk for OA of the knee.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks synovial joints. Inflammation of the joint lining, called the synovium, causes pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, and redness. The affected joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement.

Studies show that acupuncture can stimulate the production of hormones that reduce pain and inflammation.

In a German study, 3,500 people with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee received 15 sessions of acupuncture combined with their usual medical care. The results showed that acupuncture_for_back_pain-549x283the patients that had acupuncture had less pain and stiffness, improved function and better quality of life than their counterparts who had routine care alone. The improvements occurred immediately after completing a three-month course of acupuncture and lasted for at least another three months, indicating osteoarthritis is among conditions treated with acupuncture.

Another study, published in the journal Pain, looked Knee-pain-300x199at the effects of acupuncture among 40 adults with osteoarthritis of the knee. Among the patients in the study, those who had a daily acupuncture session for 10 consecutive days reported greater improvement in their pain compared with patients who received a “sham” version of the therapy.

Resources:
Pain Online, December 15, 2009.
Arthritis & Rheumatism, November 2006; vol 54: pp 3485-349

How you go from engineering to acupuncture!

The question that I probably get asked the most is how I got into acupuncture. I thought this would be a good place to start for my first blog entry.

The adventure started back in 1992. My first child, Taylor, was born for all practical purposes allergic to this world. Taylor consistently vomited breast milk and within a couple of months was on formula. The conversion to formula turned out to be a troublesome trial and error experience. Based on my wife’s and my upbringing we first approached Taylor’s pediatrician. He did not believe allergies were the cause because of his age, but he could not provide any alternatives. At age 9 months, Taylor had his first glass of milk. After the initial sip, he immediately vomited, and his face became covered with hives. The doctor told us to avoid milk products, but he was too young for allergy testing. I personally went through my childhood getting allergy skin test and shots and knew what he was going to experience. Taylor’s reactions got more frequent and more severe. When he was two, we convinced the doctor to do a series of RAST tests. He was allergic to everything. The doctor’s answer was to eliminate additional foods and do more testing. At this point, we felt we could count the number of foods that did not get him sick on both hands. We continued the avoidance routine by cooking everything from scratch. We would not let anyone give him any food.Fullscreen capture 4182013 20213 PM.bmp At this time in my son’s life, a typical day consisted of eating only foods that we prepared, taking 3-4 Nebulizer treatments and taking several medications to control his asthma. My wife and I did not have a hopeful picture of his future.

When Taylor was four, the Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Treatment (NAET) was introduced to us. Both my wife and I have petroleum engineering degrees and found this technique unbelievable, but we were at the point where we would try almost anything. We started the treatments and immediately saw a positive impact. Our friends also began to see the difference in our son’s appearance and attitude. After the initial phase of treatments, we tried giving Taylor a danish. We were ready for a reaction, but nothing happened. Before the treatment, he would have gotten sick. My wife and I then knew the treatments were the answer to his allergies. We continued the treatments on a daily basis for about 3 months, then bi-weekly for about a year.

I also started the treatments for my allergies. My results were not as dramatic as Taylor’s, but I found them successful. I had significantly less seasonally allergy symptoms and noticed that I was not as congested after eating certain foods.

After 15 years as a petroleum engineer, I had the opportunity to change careers. I decided to learn acupuncture and became a full time student. In 2002, I received my Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine from the Dallas College of Oriental Medicine and opened my practice. I have found that my engineering background has led me to use several computer-based programs to aid me in treating my patients. Even though I studied Traditional Chinese Medicine, I am not a traditional practitioner. I use a combination of several energy balancing techniques (Zyto, NanoSRT Stress Reduction Therapy, Advanced Allergy Therapeutics (AAT), Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Treatment (NAET), AcuGraph) and nutritional supplementation. By applying the combination of these different techniques, I am able to address a wide variety of conditions from acute to chronic pain, symptoms due to allergies, symptoms due to hormonal imbalances, headaches, and many other disorders.

TaylorHomoky1As a matter of an update, Taylor will be 21 in a few weeks. You would never know how rough his first few years were. He continues to be athletic and plays on several sports teams. I have to admit that he still has an occasional reaction that requires some maintenance treatments, but I will take a 98% improvement while rarely taking any prescribed medications any day.

If you would like to watch the news report that was done about our story please click:

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