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!

Got Addictions-Try Acupuncture!

Addiction is defined as the compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance, which means addiction can come in a lot of different forms.  People can be addicted to illicit drugs like heroin or prescription drugs just as easily as they can be addicted to sugar. But for the purpose of this article, let’s stick to drugs and alcohol.

According to the Health Services Administration, 23.5 million people ages 12 or older have needed treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. And the treatments provided aren’t guaranteed, nor are they always easy. Luckily, there are alternative treatment options that can help.

Acupuncture is based on the correlation of individual locations and energetic meridians found in and on the body. For addiction, micro-acupuncture has been used with good results. Micro-acupuncture uses points on a small part of the body, like the ear, that also show correlations with balancing and restorative functions.

Auricular acupuncture is probably the most common technique used when treating addiction. There is a specific protocol utilized for treating addiction. It is called the NADA protocol. NADA stands for National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.  NADA was established in 1985 to promote education and training. The NADA protocol utilizes five specific points in the ear that not only address substance abuse, but also the emotional, physical and psychological attributes involved in addictions. This five-point protocol allows one practitioner to treat many patients at a time, making it more time-effective, as well as more cost-effective.

The NADA protocol consists of five specific points, the sympathetic point, Shen Men, the kidney point, the liver point and the lung point. The sympathetic point balances the nervous systems and has a strong analgesic effects. Shen Men has a relaxing effect and helps alleviate anxiety and nervousness that may accompany withdrawals. The kidney point boosts the source energy of the patient while helping to resolve fear and increase willpower. The liver point promotes the repair of the liver and aids in resolving anger and aggression. The lung point strengthens the immune system and accelerates detoxification. It also helps addicts deal with grief and letting go.  When somebody is going through the initial detoxification process, it is important to receive acupuncture treatments daily until you are able to remain clean.

Acupuncture provides a solid foundation for recovery and rehabilitation. It is a supportive component of addiction treatment as well as a tool enabling addicts for a normal life after rehabilitation. Acupuncture works to enhance overall functioning in several ways. Because it is nonverbal, it helps reach patients that are resistant to change. It has been shown to reduce anxiety and agitation. And it helps develop an inner meditative state in those who are fearful or severely troubled.

Acupuncture for addiction and substance abuse offers a proven method of assisting people in the process of recovery without any side effects. Acupuncture provides relief of anxiety, depression, cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.  Freedom from addiction is just a phone call away.