Relief Is Here For Migraine

Migraines are excruciatingly painful and can ruin the quality of one’s life. There is good news if you suffer from headaches and migraines you can find relief without prescription drugs. Acupuncture without a doubt can help migraines, I see it all the time in my practice.

When you suffer from migraines it is imperative to be checked out by a neurologist to rule out anything more serious before receiving acupuncture.

Migraines in Traditional Chinese Medicine are not a disease in themselves but a sign and symptom showing an underlying imbalance in the system.

Chinese Medicine does not broadly diagnose just a migraine. There are many things I as a practitioner take into account so I can treat a migraine that is specific to your individual case.

My son went to a neurologist for a migraine during his adolescence and I was astounded at how different western and eastern medicine are, specifically the questions asked. The doctor just asked him where was the pain located and what type of pain he felt.  In Chinese medicine, you ask where is the pain located? Is the pain dull or stabbing? Is the pain worse in the mornings or evenings? Does the pain move or is it in one place? Do certain foods aggravate it? Are there sensations of heat or cold? All of these questions that are done in an intake allow a practitioner to come up with a diagnosis and to treat accordingly.

You could have two patients with a left-sided cluster migraine behind the eyes but I would treat them very differently based on their intake. The intake would take into consideration diet, stress levels, digestion, mood, menstrual cycles, menopause, and general constitution.

What can you expect when you come in to treat your migraine? I would place tiny sterile acupuncture needles in the chief points used throughout the body for a headache. These points are on the legs, arms, and feet. The insertion is likened to less than that of a mosquito bite and once they are inserted there is an almost immediate sense of relaxation and calm. Many patients fall asleep. The number of treatments will vary depending on how chronic the migraines are. A treatment lasts about 45 minutes to an hour. It is a very soothing experience. I heat the table and the lights are off with soothing music. I do not treat a patient during an actual migraine because nothing is relaxing when you are hurting so bad. The best place to be during a migraine is home in bed with the lights off.

If you suffer from migraines come in and try acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I have remarkable success and feel very strongly I can help you. Call 802-859-8900

Cold And Flu Season Is Upon Us

I often say when explaining Qi to a patient, Qi is unseen but so is the wind, we do not see it move the trees but we know it is doing just that. Qi acts the same way in our bodies. It is unseeable but it moves within us and subsequently generates movement. We can feel it through tremors and convulsing, which are both signs and symptoms of wind. It produces change and speed when things would normally be calm and motionless. Parkinson’s and Arthritic symptoms which wonder and move from body to body part would be considered a wind bi. Wind Pain.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine wind is considered the main culprit in cold and flu. Pernicious wind can enter the body through the skin as an exogenous pathogen (a virus). Wind attacks the upper body and cold symptoms often appear in the head with stuffiness and cough. I would remove an exogenous pathogen with an acupuncture point prescription geared at pushing the virus out of the body, and I would use points to help with a cough and congestion.

Cold and flu medicines sold over the counter dry up the fluids and suppress a cough, but the root cause is not treated and in the end, you end up becoming too dry inside.

Cold and flu are virulent and once inside the body it can interiorize further causing a worsening of symptoms. Acupuncture and Herbs can help with the symptoms of running nose, postnasal drip, headache, congestion, cough, and fatigue.

I tell my patients that the quicker they get in when they catch a cold the quicker I can push out the virus so it does not interiorize, causing a worsening of symptoms.

Come in for treatment of Cold and Flu. Call 802-859-8900

310 Pine St. Burlington Vermont.

Acupuncture For Stress In A Changing World

I see many people for Anxiety and Depressive fatigue. Acupuncture has become a very sought out modality for those who suffer from stress and anxiety. Young people, especially seem to suffer from anxiety the most. The daily pressures. Difficulty in connecting with peers due to the age of the internet, people are feeling much more isolated and working very hard. The economy is not propagating confidence and young and old alike feel that their futures are precarious. The planet’s demise is on all of our minds.

Acupuncture and herbs help curb stress. How? It works on both the Heart and the Liver meridian. The heart is responsible for Shen, Spirit. The Liver is responsible for how we take in stress and move it thru our bodies. Liver Qi can become stagnant when too many stressors are presented to the body. Stagnant Qi causes outbursts and crying jags and rage. A woman who becomes moody and low due to PMS is a perfect example of stuck liver Qi.

You can liken the blocked Liver meridian to a swampy stuck bog and the meridian needs to be cleared allowing vital energy to flow and help that particular organ, the liver in this instance, to work better. The emotion associated with the liver is anger. Anger turned inward is depression.

The Heart Meridian needs to be calmed and in this instance, it is about calming spirit. As mentioned before the heart is directly related to the well-being of the Spirit.   

When a patient receives a treatment there is often an immediate calm felt on the Acupuncture table, a hormonal shift. A slowing down. The whole system is very much affected by acupuncture

There is a 2013 article in the Journal of Endocrinology of a study done at Georgetown University Medical Center which showed that “ Rats who endured stress conditions and then received acupuncture had lowered blood hormone levels secreted by the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis which controls reactions to stress and regulates processes like the immune system, digestion, emotions, sexuality, and moods.”

So many symptoms arise from stress, anxiety, and low-grade depression. TCM can help with the symptoms that are by-products of anxiety, such as, digestive issues, PMS, insomnia, and rage.

Try Chinese medicine and see if it works for you.

Call for an appointment. 802-859-8900

Using Acupuncture for Sinus Relief

Anyone who suffers from chronic sinusitis would  tell you that it is miserable. The symptoms include  headaches, facial pain and pressure and an inability to breathe, dizziness, sneezing, and an upset stomach.

Sinusitis  is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Healthy sinuses are filled with air. But when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection. If the mucus is green or there is fever there is likely an infection, which should be looked at by your MD in case a course of antibiotics are needed.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been using Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for over 3000 years, successfully treating this condition. The underlying cause of Sinusitis in Chinese Medicine is directly related to the Spleen Meridian. The Spleen’s  function according to acupuncture theory is instrumental in dealing with body fluids. One of the Spleen’s jobs in Traditional Chinese medicine is to transform and transport fluids in the body.  The spleen transforms food into Qi (vital energy) and the Spleen transports fluid throughout the body. When the transformation and transportation become impaired, fluids can accumulate and cause a buildup of damp and phlegm. If a patient has an underlying Spleen Qi deficiency and is predisposed to eating spicy and fatty foods and/or alcohol,  that patient then introduces an external heat to the equation. When you introduce heat, the fluids in your body dry up a and become stuck in the sinus cavities, this is known as damp heat. The build up of fluids in turn causes more pain and swelling in the mucous membranes of the sinuses.

A patient who presents with more cold damp symptoms presents differently. They may have more cold signs and symptoms such as chills, sneezing and coughing. In both instances either, damp heat or damp cold,  the chief organ system treated is the Spleen meridian. The Spleen points are located on the legs.  I would also use local sinus points on the face for localized pain and stuffiness. Strengthening the Spleen meridian with acupuncture and Chinese herbs will help the spleen do its job of managing the damp in the body and moving the fluid through the sinuses.

Patients often claim to feel relief after the first treatment and usually experience nasal drainage immediately, which aids in relieving painful pressure and helps with their ability to breathe.

Schedule an appointment call 802-859-8900

Turning A Breech Baby with Moxibustion

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses moxibustion in combination with acupuncture. Moxibustion is  a technique which involves the burning of mugwort, a spongy herb shaped like a cigar and smokeless. The moxa stick is shaped like a cigar and is held just  a couple of inches above the major acupuncture point on the pinky toe which is specifically used to turn a breech presentation. The patient just feels a warm glow on the little toe which is soothing and relaxing. It is said that the moxibustion can relax the uterus and allow more room for the fetus to turn around.

The herb (Artemisiae argyi) , is used to move and strengthen Qi, which can in turn facilitate the turning of the baby into a downward position. In China, where this practice is common, there is a 75 percent success rate in turning breech babies. The highest success rate is when moxibustion is performed in the 34th week for a period of 7 to 10 days.

 Breech presentation is very common up to about 28 weeks but most of the time there is nothing to worry about because  the baby will turn head down naturally. Only about 3% of babies are breech by the end of a pregnancy. Very seldom is a woman allowed to birth a breech baby and about 90% of breech presentations result in a Cesarean section.

I myself experienced the turning of a breech fetus first hand with my third baby. I was in Acupuncture school at the time and had already had two caesareans with my boys. I was a pregnant with my daughter who was also breech. My teacher told me of the very high success rate that they have in China. I had tried an external version, a process where the obstetrician manually tries to turn the baby with my first son and found it stressful and was not going to try that again. I gladly climbed up on the treatment table, and my professor did moxibustion on my pinky toe. While on the table I could feel the baby become much more active.  For me, it worked very quickly. The next day I felt a significant flip in my womb. I called my obstetrician and did an ultrasound and much to my amazement my daughter had flipped and was head down. I was thrilled by the outcome. I had a VBAC, Vaginal birth after (two) caesareans.

Using inversion exercises prescribed by your midwife or OB and receiving acupuncture and moxibustion is a wonderful way to address the malposition of your baby you can also help along a transverse presentation.  The treatment for breech presentation is very soothing and you leave feeling very relaxed and rejuvenated.

Moxibustion should be done by a licensed Acupuncturist and any inversion exercises should be prescribed directly by your midwife or OB. Come into my office on Pine St. and see if it can work for you.

Call for an appointment in Burlington Vermont 802-859-8900.