Find relief for Menstrual Cramps

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been treating women's gynecological issues for over 2500 years. In my practice, I treat painful periods often and with great success.

Results for painful periods vary depending on how long the patient has suffered. I find that coming in once a week for a period of two months to be an ample treatment, and women notice significant results by their second cycle after receiving acupuncture.

Menstrual cramps in Chinese medical theory are attributed to a liver imbalance that is based on Qi (energy) and blood stagnation. (The liver is responsible for balanced circulation throughout the body.) Cramping pain is due to a congealing and stagnation of blood, which is why one often has big clots and some brownish color in the blood, both signs that qi is not moving the blood properly. Acupuncture simply moves blood and gets that stagnation flowing, which will lessen the pain.

Many women have resigned themselves to painful periods every month and consider it normal because they believe there is no treatment for it. That is simply not the case and suffering every month is not necessary. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs work beautifully to restore balance. Along with pain relief, women feel more energetic and less moody. 

Come in and find relief, acupuncture works.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Each Major Organ Corresponds to a Specific Emotion

By Margery Keasler
While doing my residency in China, I witnessed an unforgettable moment. I was sitting in on an intake with a very learned Acupuncturist when a rugged and strong Chinese man came in the clinic for urinary difficulty. He stood around 6' 3″ and was quite broad. The doctor asked the usual questions about his sleep, energy, digestion, etc. before asking him, “What are you afraid of?” The man’s expression shifted to that of a small boy and he answered, “The dark.”

I was intrigued by the Acupuncturist’s question and asked why he asked that. He explained that the five major organs all correspond to an emotion and that each organ is affected by its related emotion.

The kidneys are associated with fear. Fear makes qi descend, which can cause urinary trouble. Think of the expression I was so afraid I peed in my pants. The liver: anger. Anger makes qi rise quickly, so most symptoms are felt in the head as dizziness or headaches, perhaps. The Spleen: rumination. Rumination affects digestion, so signs and symptoms include bloating, distention, and gas. The lungs: grief. Greif manifests with colds or pneumonia. The heart: excessive joy. Joy can manifest as mania or depression.

Emotions are, of course, a natural part of being human. It is when these emotions become excessive or are repressed and turned inward that they can become a pathology and cause disease. In the above-mentioned man, fear of the dark was not the main cause of his urinary difficulty. But the emotion of excess fear is strongly considered when coming up with a diagnosis. The emotions are considered as a piece of the puzzle when ascertaining what we call a pattern in traditional Chinese Medicine.

Chinese medicine is both scientific and poetic. The humanity that took place in that intake reiterates why I love this medicine so much. The connection that took place when that man opened up to the practitioner and the dialogue that transpired was remarkable. The whole person was considered with both a very human and scientific approach, which I found both fascinating and profound.

Acupuncture is Effective for Treating the Symptoms of Menopause

A study (March 2011) tested the efficacy of acupuncture in treating the symptoms of menopause. The study placed women who were suffering from a variety of menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, into two groups. The control group received ‘sham’ treatments consisting of blunt needles that were not inserted into the body. The other group received acupuncture at 10 specified points. The trial consisted of treatment for 20 minutes, 2 times a week for a 5 week course of treatment. Patients in the control group enjoyed significant reductions in the severity of their symptoms when compared to the control group.

This comes as no surprise to anyone who has studied Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine has a history of treating gynecological conditions that dates back over 2000 years. While acupuncture by itself can be effective in treating many conditions, the overall efficacy can often be increased by adding the prescription of Chinese herbs.

Source: aim.bmj.com/content/29/1/27.abstract

The Importance of Sleep

By Margery Keasler
We often forget the benefits of sleep. Most of us are sleep-deprived on a regular basis either because we cram too much into our lives or because of sleep problems. Sleep deprivation can be detrimental to our health. It makes us cranky, hurts our concentration, and even predisposes us to a number of chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart problems. In addition, it takes a toll on our appearance as well. Bags or circles under the eyes, sallow, dull or blotchy complexion, lack of sparkle to the eyes, all are a result of lack of sleep.

During the night, deep sleep helps to repair the damage that is done to our bodies during the daytime. Our skin also uses this time to regenerate, repair, and regain its elasticity. A standard eight hours of sleep may not be the magic number for everyone. Some people require more and some less. The right number of hours of sleep for you is when you can fall asleep easily, stay asleep, and wake refreshed.

Regularity of sleep is also important. It is best to try to retire for bed and awaken at the same time every day, including weekends. According to the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, around ten o’clock is the ideal time to retire. Night represents the Yin time, which means a time of stillness, darkness, coldness, and being passive. In comparison, the daytime represents the Yang time of day which is a time of action, movement, brightness and warmth.
Unfortunately, a good number of us suffer from anything as simple as occasional sleeping problems to serious, full blown insomnia. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry, there are ways to treat these problems. Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and lifestyle adjustments are effective ways of treating sleep issues.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the organ systems that most heavily influence sleeping patterns are the Heart and Liver. The amount and quality of sleep depend on the state of the Mind (Shen). And in turn, the Mind is controlled by the state of the Heart. If the Heart system is disturbed by too much heat, or it is undernourished, then the Mind will not be properly rooted and sleep will be restless or there will be difficulty falling asleep. Likewise, if the Liver is stagnant due to stress, irritated by too much heat, or undernourished for the same reasons as the heart, sleep will not be sound and replenishing.

What causes the Heart and Liver systems to be disturbed by too much heat? Stimulants, too many spicy foods, alcohol, smoking, too much television, (especially shows that cause a lot of excitability), and anything that causes our emotions to get ‘worked up’ or ‘excited’. Things that cause the heart system to be undernourished include poor diet, worry, extreme mental stress, and ‘student syndrome’, or studying a lot at night. Acupuncture, herbs, dietary modifications, and lifestyle adjustments can greatly improve sleep quality, and your outward appearance. An acupuncturist will assess and diagnose the imbalance that is contributing to poor sleep quality. Points will be chosen that either release heat from the Heart or Liver, or nourish those organs and calm the mind. Many people that come to see me for other health issues report that their sleep quality has also improved from the acupuncture sessions.

An herbal formula can be designed for each individual to help increase the effect of the acupuncture treatments and help to see results more quickly. Nothing feels better than waking up from a sound, restful sleep. The mind feels clear, the body feels rejuvenated, the face has a healthy glow, eyes sparkle, and your energy appears light and happy. Commit to a good sleeping regimen and notice the difference it makes in your appearance! A good night’s sleep truly is nature’s most effective beauty treatment.

Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study

By Anahad O'Connor
Link: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/acupuncture-provides-true-pain-relief-in-study/

A new study of acupuncture — the most rigorous and detailed analysis of the treatment to date — found that it can ease migraines and arthritis and other forms of chronic pain.

The findings provide strong scientific support for an age-old therapy used by an estimated three million Americans each year. Though acupuncture has been studied for decades, the body of medical research on it has been mixed and mired to some extent by small and poor-quality studies. Financed by the National Institutes of Health and carried out over about half a decade, the new research was a detailed analysis of earlier research that involved data on nearly 18,000 patients.

The researchers, who published their results in Archives of Internal Medicine, found that acupuncture outperformed sham treatments and standard care when used by people suffering from osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.

“This has been a controversial subject for a long time,” said Dr. Andrew J. Vickers, attending research methodologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the lead author of the study. “But when you try to answer the question the right way, as we did, you get very clear answers.

“We think there’s firm evidence supporting acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain.”

Acupuncture, which involves inserting needles at various places on the body to stimulate so-called acupoints, is among the most widely practiced forms of alternative medicine in the country and is offered by many hospitals. Most commonly the treatment is sought by adults looking for relief from chronic pain, though it is also used with growing frequency in children. According to government estimates, about 150,000 children in the United States underwent acupuncture in 2007.

But for all its popularity, questions about its efficacy have long been commonplace. Are those who swear by it experiencing true relief or the psychological balm of the placebo effect?

Dr. Vickers and a team of scientists from around the world — England, Germany, Sweden and elsewhere — sought an answer by pooling years of data. Rather than averaging the results or conclusions from years of previous studies, a common but less rigorous form of meta-analysis, Dr. Vickers and his colleagues first selected 29 randomized studies of acupuncture that they determined to be of high quality. Then they contacted the authors to obtain their raw data, which they scrutinized and pooled for further analysis. This helped them correct for statistical and methodological problems with the previous studies, allowing them to reach more precise and reliable conclusions about whether acupuncture actually works.

All told, the painstaking process took the team about six years. “Replicating pretty much every single number reported in dozens of papers is no quick or easy task,” Dr. Vickers said.

The meta-analysis included studies that compared acupuncture with usual care, like over-the-counter pain relievers and other standard medicines. It also included studies that used sham acupuncture treatments, in which needles were inserted only superficially, for example, or in which patients in control groups were treated with needles that covertly retracted into handles.

Ultimately, Dr. Vickers and his colleagues found that at the end of treatment, about half of the patients treated with true acupuncture reported improvements, compared with about 30 percent of patients who did not undergo it.

“There were 30 or 40 people from all over the world involved in this research, and as a whole the sense was that this was a clinically important effect size,” Dr. Vickers said. That is especially the case, he added, given that acupuncture “is relatively noninvasive and relatively safe.”