Artemesia in “Health and Wellness” Magazine
January 2016 “Mental Health” edition: Read it online at
Check out Tara’s article. Some good info about the uses of acupuncture, acupressure, tuina, cupping, moxabustion and Chinese herbs in the treatment of anxiety.
December 2015 “Men’s Health” edition:
Men Enjoy the Benefits of Acupuncture
By Kathleen Fluhart, R.N., Dipl.Ac., M.Ac., L.Ac., Artemesia
Are you a man that suffers from stress, high blood pressure, low back pain, fertility issues, anxiety, depression, insomnia, prostatitis, benign prostate enlargement (BPH) or erectile dysfunction (ED)?
If so, you may want to consider acupuncture. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) recognize acupuncture as an effective treatment for all those conditions — and more.
Eighteen years ago, when I first started practicing acupuncture, my practice was probably 90-95% female. Now, on any given day it’s not unusual to see almost as many men as women in my clinic. While it is true that most of my male patients come to me seeking pain relief, they also often report enjoying acupuncture’s various “side effects” such as improved sleep, lessened irritability, lowered blood pressure, cleared sinuses, decreased use of inhalers for asthma, increased sexual energy, or simply an increased sense of well being.
Let’s examine stress and it’s relationship to some of the common health issues men deal with today: depression, insomnia, anxiety, low libido, erectile dysfunction and various pain conditions. We live in a fast-paced, stressful world that requires us to be productive and gives us little time to relax and contemplate our health and our lives. In addition, we’re entering the cold months of decreasing daylight hours, and many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Add to all this the demands of the upcoming holidays (increased spending, overeating and drinking, travel and perhaps even a few “difficult” relatives) and it’s reasonable to expect stress levels to increase further! Our bodies react to high stress by releasing cortisol, a hormone that can manifest within the body in many ways and can cause or aggravate many of the problems listed above.
How can acupuncture help stress, depression, and anxiety?
Rather than masking symptoms, acupuncture helps the body heal itself. In oriental medicine, all dis-ease is due to vital energy (qi) that is either deficient or excessive in various places in the body. Sounds simple, but it’s not. Most people have combinations of both excess and deficient energy manifesting in a variety of ways. This is why one needs to seek out a fully educated acupuncturist who has a master or docterate degree in Chinese medicine – someone who can truly understand and customize your acupuncture treatment.
When the trained acupuncturist inserts a needle, he/she stimulates the body to transport its healing fluids and its vital energy so the patient moves into a more harmonious state. Your practitioner may also recommend dietary changes or a Chinese herbal formula to increase the effectiveness of the acupuncture.
Can acupuncture help my sexual function problems?
Acupuncture is recognized by leading national and international health organizations as an effective treatment for ED. This is an ideal opportunity to explain that there are 362 main acupuncture points on the human body. Many treatments use points far from the area being treated. Be assured that there are no acupuncture points on the genitals, nor are they examined. (Think “Treating the mainland also treats the peninsula”).
ED can occur due to stress, lack of sleep, and medication side effects. “Kidney yang deficiency” is the most common diagnosis in Oriental medicine, however a trained practitioner may also inquire about palpitations, the color of your urine, a heavy feeling in the scrotum, and your thirst levels to determine if the heart, spleen, or liver meridians (energy pathways) are also involved. FYI, many of the medications currently used for ED can potentially exacerbate the problem by creating medication dependancies. Getting to the underlying imbalances of ED may start making a lot more sense when all this is considered.
Can prostatitis be helped with acupuncture?
Most men don’t pay attention to their prostate gland until they have problems such as frequent, painful or nighttime urination and/or dribbling urine. Leading nation and international health organizations recommend acupuncture as an effective treatment. In younger, asymptomatic men, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can also be used preventatively. We can proactively prevent both prostatitis as well as enlargement of the prostate (BPH).
How about male infertility?
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are also useful for correcting imbalances related to male infertility such as low sperm count, poor sperm motility/morphology and premature ejaculation.
When addressing your health needs, please join many other men and consider using this gentle healing system to help bring your body back into a harmonious and balanced state.
Acupuncture and Diabetes: Restoring balance and health is treatment target
By Kris McClanahan, Dipl.Ac., M.Ac., L.Ac., Artemesia
Over the past several decades, diabetes has clearly become more prevalent. We read in the news about rising numbers of cases in the United States, and it’s also more likely that we now have family members who have been diagnosed with diabetes.
In recent years, people are learning more about acupuncture as a treatment modality and are including it as an option in their overall health care plan. Acupuncture is widely known for treating pain, and many people are learning how it can address the symptoms of other health conditions, including diabetes.
In my practice, I see many people coming for acupuncture treatments to help manage stress, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, weight-loss challenges, chronic pain and digestive complaints. Many of these people also report having diabetes or a “pre-diabetic” condition with elevated blood sugar levels.
So how can acupuncture help those with diabetes and pre-diabetes? Let’s begin with some background on the condition.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is defined as a metabolic disorder where the body is unable to process glucose (sugar) in the blood. When we consume foods that contain sugar, our bodies normally store the sugar for later use when we need energy. This is where insulin, one of the hormones in the body, plays an important role. Insulin processes and converts sugar so it is available when needed for energy. High blood sugar happens when insulin cannot move glucose from the blood to the tissues, where sugar is needed for energy. The three most common symptoms of high blood sugar are excessive thirst, frequent urination and persistent hunger even when eating regular meals.
While there are several types of diabetes, the most common is type 2. Sadly, in the United States, a rising number of children and young adults are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. Over time, these young people are at risk of developing the early signs of serious diabetic complications usually seen only in adults. The complications can include fatigue, eye problems, heart disease, hypertension, kidney disease, periodontal disease, complications with pregnancy, depression and diseases of the nervous system.
Traditional Chinese medicine recognized diabetes as a “wasting and thirsting” condition or a “sugar urine illness” characterized by excess thirst, hunger and frequent urination. Those who had this condition were treated with Chinese herbs, foods, acupuncture and exercise. Each individual was evaluated and treated based on specific patterns observed by the Chinese medicine doctor. Today, diabetes is still less prevalent in China than in the United States; however, China has also seen a rise in diabetes cases in recent years.
How can acupuncture help people with diabetes?
Acupuncture works to restore balance and health by inserting thin sterile needles at specific sites on the body. Today in China, clinics and hospitals offer both traditional therapies and Western medicine therapies. Acupuncture, along with herbal formulas, diet, exercise and regular blood sugar monitoring, is a routine prescription in that country.
When I began gathering information about how diabetes is treated in traditional Chinese medicine – and more specifically how acupuncture helps people with diabetes – I found very little documented research. Some research results indicate acupuncture may be helpful in improving circulation, lowering pain levels and managing blood sugar. For example, individual case studies describe patients with peripheral neuropathy symptoms reporting less pain and numbness in their lower extremities after acupuncture. A single case study described a person with diabetes who also reported improved eyesight after one year of twice-weekly acupuncture.
Diabetes is a complex health condition that requires one to be under a doctor’s care. More controlled clinical research studies are certainly needed to specifically measure the effects of acupuncture on lowering blood sugar levels. Acupuncture is recommended for people with diabetes who seek support for their weight-loss program and for those who need additional pain management, two therapeutic areas in which acupuncture has been shown to be effective.
Acupunctures Role in Cancer Treatment
By Tara Bissell, Dipl.Ac., M.Ac., L.Ac., Artemesia
Did you know that acupuncture is endorsed as a valid therapy by the National Cancer Association and that The Mayo Clinic now recommends acupuncture as a way to enhance the immune system and possibly alleviate cancer symptoms and cancer-treatment side effects?
It’s true. In fact, a majority in the western oncology community as well as many medical insurance companies, health savings and flexcare spending accounts now support the use of acupuncture as an adjuvant to chemo and radiation therapies. The known benefits of acupuncture for cancer patients can include improved pain management, immune system modulation, reduction of inflammation, nausea, dry mouth and dry throat, improved sleep, reduced hot flashes (common in female reproductive cancers) and improved quality of life.
What is it?
Acupuncture is the insertion of extremely thin, sterile, single-use needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the body’s healing resources and bring about greater health and balance in the body’s systems.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are unique in that they are personalized therapies; your innate constitution and current health situation are assessed to select the acupuncture points and therapies that will be used in your treatment each time. The aim is to support you and to assist your body to regain balance, since the body’s wisdom knows how to be healthy once stresses are removed. As you change and feel better, your treatments will change to match your needs. This is not a one-size-fits-all medical model. Another plus is the amount of quality time you receive from your practitioner. You will have time to talk, ask questions and receive quality treatment with every visit. Your feedback is critical.
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture needles are so thin and flexible that they are nothing like those used in other medical modalities. They are not hollow, so they can be as thin or thinner than a cat’s whisker. During a treatment you may feel nothing at all or you may feel immediate change/relief or you may feel a unique sensation. Response to needle insertion varies from person to person, from point to point and from treatment to treatment. Most people experience deep relaxation and a feeling of restored wellness during and after treatments. Many even report feeling quite blissful!
Are there other therapies used?
Yes. Many practitioners incorporate other non-needle therapies such as Chinese herbal applications, acupressure, manual manipulation of muscles, joints and connective tissue, as well as nutritional and exercise recommendations.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture treatments are very safe. Acupuncturists must undergo extensive training in this country to learn traditional Chinese medicine. They are also educated in some of the basics of western biomedicine. Additionally, the FDA regulates the sterile needles used by practitioners; acupuncture needles are discarded after each use and are never re-used.
Are there side effects?
Side effects of acupuncture are practically zero, other than feeling a bit sleepy or energized after a treatment.
Will acupuncture help me during chemotherapy and radiation?
Acupuncture can enhance the immune system’s regulatory ability, provide relief from pain and nausea and offer an oasis of well-being and peace while you undergo chemotherapy and radiation. It is appropriate in every stage/grade of cancer and it will not interfere with the effectiveness of your other therapies.
How do I choose the right acupuncturist?
Although national regulations and state medical board licensure ensure that practitioners receive proper training and stay current with their skills, each practitioner is unique in their style of treatment. Some acupuncturists specialize in treating certain populations and conditions, such as women’s health or cancer support. Or they may specialize in certain techniques or modalities within Chinese medicine, such as herbal medicine, Japanese acupuncture or sports medicine.
It is helpful to do some research before scheduling your appointment to see if you are drawn to the individual’s approach and personality. Research practitioners’ websites, blogs and even photos to help select someone that feels like a good fit for your needs. Visiting and touring the clinic, or calling and chatting with the office staff are also excellent ways to get a sense of the practice, since most offices are happy to answer questions before scheduling an appointment.
Artemesia featured in The Lexington Herald-Leader!
Acupuncture offers an Alternative Gentle Form of Medicine
Click here to read the article: