Treatment of Neurological Disorders with Acupuncture

Artemesia Acupuncture & Wellness Center

Lexington, Kentucky

  • Kathleen Fluhart, R.N., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.
  • Kris McClanahan, M.Ac., L.Ac
  • Tara Bissell, M.Ac., L.Ac.

A neurological disorder refers to a problem with the nervous system, which is a complex, sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates the body’s activities. Nerve pain can arise from trauma, inflammation, stroke, disease, infection, nerve degeneration, exposure to toxic chemicals and nutrient deficiencies.

Nerve pain is usually a sharp shooting pain or a constant burning sensation. Typically occurring in the same location with each episode, it can often be traced along the nerve pathway. Sometimes weakness or impaired function in the affected area occurs and the skin may be either overly sensitive or numb.

Some neurological disorders acupuncture can provide symptom relief from include:

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – ALS is an irreversible neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells that invigorate our muscles.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Also known as median nerve entrapment, it occurs when swelling or irritation of the nerve or tendons in the carpal tunnel results in pressure on the median nerve.

Headaches – Headaches that can be treated with acupuncture include migraines, tension headaches, headaches occurring around the menstrual cycle, sinus headaches and stress-related headaches.

Myasthenia Gravis – A neuromuscular disorder causing muscles under voluntary control to tire and become easily fatigued.

Peripheral Neuropathy – Presenting as damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body, this kind of neuropathy can be caused by diabetes and often affects the feet.

Trigeminal Neuralgia – Facial pain, sometimes called Tic Douloureux, affects the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for impulses of touch, pain, pressure and temperature sent to the brain from the face, jaw and gums.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been found effective as a conjunctive therapy for several neurological disorders and in treating pain and inflammation.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a neurological disorder or nerve pain contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment!


Relief from Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms
Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder causing muscles under voluntary control to tire and become easily fatigued. This happens when the muscles and the nerves that enervate them miscommunicate. More than half of those diagnosed with myasthenia gravis present with eye problems as their first symptoms. This primarily includes droopy eyelids (ptosis) and double-vision (diplopia). However, roughly 15 percent of sufferers reported their first symptoms started in the face or throat muscles. These symptoms included difficulty talking, chewing, swallowing and breathing.

Someone who has difficulties with the face or throat muscles as a result of having myasthenia gravis, may experience altered speech, limited facial expressions, difficulty swallowing, and chewing may become an exhausting activity. The most severe symptom is what is called a ‘myasthenia crisis,’ in which the muscles used for breathing no longer function. This is a life-threatening condition and emergency medical help is needed immediately.

As myasthenia gravis may affect any muscle under voluntary control, weakness could occur in other areas besides the face and throat. The arms generally are more affected than the legs, and symptoms may present in the hands and feet, although this is not as common.

The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but researchers have learned that the disease prompts the immune system to block signals from the nerve to the muscles. There is also evidence that a protein helping the muscles to receive messages is prevented from doing so. It is also believed genetics may play a role.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to support the treatment you receive from your primary care provider. As this disease is complex, all the things that bother you are reviewed, not just the signs and symptoms specifically related to it. This may include questions about your quality of sleep, digestive functions and emotional state.

Let’s say, for example, that you first notice fatigue in the legs becoming a problem and then over the next few months poor appetite and frequent diarrhea are added as the latest symptoms, the diagnosis may be one of Qi deficiency in the stomach and spleen. Qi is the most fundamental, indispensable energy needed for life to exist. Treatment may focus on strengthening the Qi in the stomach and spleen to help the body produce a high-quality, healthy supply of blood to aid weakened leg muscles. An improved stomach and spleen can bring back the appetite and help stop diarrhea. It can also help make extracting nutrients from food more efficient, which, in turn, supports the immune and nervous systems. It is important to maintain realistic expectations as treatment is only used for symptom management.


An Adjunctive Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that progressively damages the central nervous system. This happens due to the wearing away of the myelin sheath, a protective layer encasing the nerves. The central nervous system is composed of the brain and the spinal cord, and is responsible for sending messages from the brain to other parts of the body via the nerves.

The severity of symptoms and the length of time they last can also greatly vary depending on the person. Some patients initially experience strong symptoms, and then they suddenly disappearance as the disease enters a period of remission. A remission can last weeks, or even years, in some cases. Others may experience a more insidious process wherein mild symptoms develop slowly over time but ultimately increase in severity.

There is promising evidence that use of acupuncture and Oriental medicine as an adjunctive therapy can help mitigate symptoms and some complications of multiple sclerosis, including depression, problems thinking clearly and emotional instability.

An article called “Acupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis: A Review of the Evidence,” was featured in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, volume 2014. In this article, the authors assessed the validity of using acupuncture and Oriental medicine to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis. To do this, the researchers reviewed many scientific studies on the subject to reach their conclusions. Researchers demonstrated that remyelination, a repair of the damaged myelin sheath, occurred in a significant amount of study participants. The article also showed potential in regards to treating the mental and emotional challenges faced by patients with multiple sclerosis, including subjective feelings such as depression and the ability of the patient to handle their illness, were measured and shown to improve.

If you suffer from the physical symptoms of multiple sclerosis or, related mental and emotional issues, call today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!


Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!


 

In This Issue

  • Treatment of Neurological Disorders with Acupuncture
  • Relief from Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms
  • An Adjunctive Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Symptom Relief

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Symptom Relief

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an irreversible neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells, or neurons, that invigorate our muscles. Neurons are found in the brain and spinal cord, which comprise the central nervous system (CNS).

As these cells weaken and wither, so do the muscles associated with them. Ultimately, this leads to a paralysis of those muscles.

Early warning symptoms of the disease include weakness and fatigue of the arms or legs, and sometimes difficulty with speaking clearly.

Other symptoms that may appear in early stages of ALS include:

● Problems walking, including tripping and dragging the feet

● Tired and weak feet, ankles and knees

● Cramping, trembling, and twitching of arms and shoulders

● Tongue spasms

● Difficulty keeping head upright

In later stages of the disease, more severe symptoms reveal themselves. The muscles responsible for breathing, swallowing and moving the body deteriorate to the point where they can no longer function.

There is no known cure as of yet. The causes of ALS are not well understood, but it is accepted that genetics and chemical imbalances within the brain may play a role in developing the disease.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist in managing the symptoms of ALS, including muscle weakness and cramping, fatigue and emotional issues.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the kidneys are responsible for the production and control of a vital substance called marrow, which, in turn, produces essential components that make up a healthy central nervous system.

The brain is considered a repository for marrow, and is thus termed the sea of marrow. When the kidneys are deficient, this condition can negatively impact the central nervous system.

When kidney deficiency occurs, it is important to nourish and revitalize them, so they can in turn help nourish and revitalize the brain.


If you experience any symptoms contact us today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Aging and Living Life with Vitality

Artemesia Acupuncture & Wellness Center

Lexington, Kentucky

  • Kathleen Fluhart, R.N., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.
  • Kris McClanahan, M.Ac., L.Ac
  • Tara Bissell, M.Ac., L.Ac.

Healthy Aging and Living Life with Vitality

“Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.” — Confucius

Could this be the fate of the aging as Confucius decreed? To be able to enjoy the golden years of life implies a life well lived and that a good, if not excellent, standard of health was maintained. Our attitudes towards the elderly and aging, in general, are not always so encouraging. How to live a life with vitality and exuberance, one that can last until the time of death is not a foolish quest, but one that is recognized by acupuncture and Oriental medicine as realistic and completely within reach.

Oriental medicine has a long history of healing and rejuvenation that teaches us a great deal about aging well. Two thousand years ago, ancient Chinese scholars described the stages of aging in the Huang Di Neijing (The Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic). They remind us that we cannot change our genetics, but we can change how we live to extend and improve the quality of our lives.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine emphasize prevention over treatment. This makes a great deal of sense because treating an illness that has already damaged the body is much more difficult than preventing the illness from occurring in the first place. It is never too late. You can begin today.

One of the basic tenets of acupuncture and Oriental medicine theory is the belief that all disease results from the imbalance of yin and yang forces. Yin qualities include darkness, quiet, moisture and formlessness. Yang qualities are represented by light, noise, dryness and form. Running is a yang activity, whereas the rest that comes afterwards is a function of yin. Resting allows for the renewal of depleted energy reserves, which, in turn, makes activity possible. This is one way to describe how the dynamic relationship between yin and yang powers our life force.

The challenges of aging also result from this lack of balance between yin and yang energies. This means that some conditions and symptoms of disease associated with advanced aging may be mitigated by bringing these two energies into harmony again. For example, dry eyes and poor vision can be addressed by acupuncture treatments that focus on nurturing yin and increasing yang. Yin fluids will provide lubrication to the eyes, while an increase in yang helps ensure more energy can reach the top of the head to help improve vision.

Whatever your starting point, you can make positive changes to enhance the quality of your life. Supporting the different ways of improving your health and preventing illness, Oriental medicine promotes living a balanced life. A healthy diet, active lifestyle and emotional well-being are the basic components of Oriental medicine that help point you on the path toward a long and quality life.

Are you experiencing a waning in your Qi? Have concerns about conditions associated with aging? Call for an appointment today!


Six Easy Tips for Greater Health and Longevity
Aging may be inevitable, but your later years can be vibrant and healthy if attention is given to supporting your physical, mental and emotional well-being. These tips are just a few of the ways that you can bring balance into your life. You don’t need to try doing all of them at once. Focus on one or two of them.

Practice Gratitude
Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, and optimism, and lower levels of depression and stress, according to Robert A. Emmons, a researcher and professor at University of California-Davis who has authored four books on the subject of the psychology of gratitude.

Dr. Emmons states that the disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life, but they have a healthy attitude towards them.

Make Exercise a Priority
People who exercise more are less likely to be stressed and more likely to be satisfied with life, according to Danish researchers. Compared with sedentary people, joggers are 70 percent less likely to have high stress levels and life dissatisfaction.

Qi Gong and Tai Chi are non-impact exercises that focus on repetitive movements with attention to breathing. Tai Chi and Qi Gong use gentle movements and low physical impact, which are ideal for aging bodies.

The benefits of these exercises include a slower heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and drops in adrenaline and cortisol levels. Making these exercises a regular practice can lead to better health and vitality. The Mayo Clinic reported results from two studies on these ancient practices that concluded they can also alleviate chronic pain.

Take a Day of Rest
Take a day of rest per week from your regular schedule to recharge. Rejuvenation for the body and mind is worth its weight in gold and you will be more productive with the rest of your time!

Get Good Sleep Regularly
Your body repairs itself best at night, so allow plenty of time for it to do so. Good sleep patterns follow nature. Morning is bright and the most Yang time of day, indicating activity. Night is the dark period, a time to slow down and enter the Yin phase of the day.

Poor sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Research has shown that getting at least eight hours of sleep is needed for good heart health.

Alleviate and Manage Stress Levels
Stress is a normal part of life, but if left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains or an irregular heartbeat. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and mental health.

In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a whole gamut of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.

Address Health Concerns Quickly: Don’t Wait!
Many diseases can be cured easily if they are caught early, but people often put off seeking treatment. They ignore important signals that something is wrong with their body. We all get warnings about our health and well-being, but these warnings are like traffic lights. They tell us what we ought to do, but they cannot make us do it.


Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!


 

In This Issue

  • Healthy Aging and Living Life with Vitality
  • Six Easy Tips for Greater Health and Longevity
  • Managing Osteoporosis

Managing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes brittle or porous bones due to a reduction in the bone mineral density. Bone is comprised of living tissue, which is constantly dying and renewing itself.

Normally, old bone is cleared away as new growth occurs. However, when new bone cannot be generated, bones become soft and weak. So, should a fall or coughing fit occur, a fracture may arise. In more severe cases, a break can occur without a noticeable event.

Usually the early stages of osteoporosis do not include noticeable signs or symptoms. In later stages, back pain, loss of height, poor posture or easily occurring bone fractures may happen.

Although anyone can develop osteoporosis, it occurs most frequently among post-menopausal white and Asian women.

Other contributors include low calcium intake, prolonged use of corticosteroid drugs, heavy alcohol consumption, smoking and an inactive lifestyle.

A patient suffering from the consequences of brittle and porous bones may be diagnosed by a practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine with a deficiency of yin. Healthy bone depends on a system of blood vessels to deliver nourishment.

Considered a thickened form of body fluids, blood falls under the domain of yin. When yin is in short supply, dryness is the natural result. A disruption or deficiency in the blood supply to the skeletal system may interfere with its ability to properly lubricate and nourish bone.

In addition to receiving acupuncture treatments to help nourish yin, there are some things you can do at home to address your symptoms of osteoporosis, including increasing physical activity and consuming foods high in calcium that support the skeletal system.

An increase physical activity that includes resistance, flexibility and weight-bearing exercises will strengthen muscles, improve stability and balance, help slow mineral loss and improve cardiovascular health.

If you have osteoporosis, work with a therapist to select appropriate exercises for your health. Choosing exercises with slower controlled movements such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong and avoiding high-impact exercises with jerky movements will reduce the risk of fractures.


To learn how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist in prevention and provide osteoporosis support, call for a consultation today!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Male Menopause? Alleviating the Symptoms of Andropause

Artemesia Acupuncture & Wellness Center

Lexington, Kentucky

  • Kathleen Fluhart, R.N., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.
  • Kris McClanahan, M.Ac., L.Ac
  • Tara Bissell, M.Ac., L.Ac.

Though often referred to as “male menopause”, andropause is more than the male equivalent of menopause, as it presents its own unique set of symptoms, causes and patterns of onset. Andropause refers to the process a man undergoes when the body produces fewer androgens (male hormones). The hormone most strongly affected is testosterone, as it is the most dominant of all the male hormones we know of. Testosterone not only plays a vital role in male development, it greatly affects the overall health of a man’s body and mind.

Testosterone directly influences many bodily functions and organs, including the heart, prostate, muscles, blood sugar, fat metabolism, bone density, libido and mental cognition. Sudden mood changes, depression and anger also may result from andropause. The decline of testosterone production gradually starts in the early thirties and continues through the mid-fifties.

In contrast to menopause, which happens over a much shorter period of time, the signs of andropause creep up gradually, making an accurate diagnosis tricky. Signs and symptoms of andropause can include loss of libido, enlarged prostate, weight gain, osteoporosis, sterility, urinary problems and infections, and digestive problems.

According to Culley C. Carson, M.D., Boston University, School of Medicine, it is estimated that more than 60 percent of men over age 65 have free testosterone levels below the normal values of men in the 30 to 35 age range. While the incremental loss of testosterone represents the natural life cycle in an aging, healthy male, more severe levels of decrease can prove detrimental.

According to classical Oriental medicine texts, the physical and emotional effects of aging in general occur largely due to, but not limited to, the decline of the Mingmen Fire. Also known as the Ministerial Fire, it resides near the spine, between the two kidneys and at the level of the umbilicus. This life-giving force is the fuel from which all the organs of the body draw from. For instance, the Mingmen Fire provides the warmth and energy needed to stimulate the large intestine. Once in motion, it can perform its job of excreting waste from the body.

One reason why a man may experience the loss of libido or infertility in his middle or later years is due to the waning of the Mingmen Fire. If this is the case and the fire is out, other signs such as frequent urination, sore lower back or knees and/or lethargy may also be present.

For men, the onset of andropause may be gradual and, as such, the symptoms hard to diagnose. The natural decline of the Mingmen Fire or Ministerial Fire may also compound or worsen symptoms of andropause. When the Ministerial Fire is out, the body becomes cold and old age sets in. However, long before that, many of the mild to more severe conditions may respond very well to different acupuncture and Oriental medicine therapies.

Call today to learn more about andropause and learn what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you!


Easing the Transition through Menopause

As women enter the autumn of their reproductive years, major physiological changes occur that may give rise to symptoms of menopause. Like a plant going through many changes with the cycle of the seasons, it is natural for a woman in her middle years to cease menstruating on a regular cycle and to experience mild to extremely uncomfortable symptoms as a result.

The winter season of life, or menopause, is a time to take shelter and preserve energy. This is a quieter, calmer phase of life in which a healthy woman may need extra support to feel comfortable in her body as it changes. Age should bring wisdom, not excess heat and dryness that cause unnecessary discomfort. As women move from autumn to the winter phase of their natural feminine cycle, it is reassuring to know that acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your health plan to support this transition.

Some of the most common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, dizziness, insomnia, irritability, mood swings, osteoporosis and dryness. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine offers a variety of treatments for menopause, often including suggestions for lifestyle choices and diet, which may reduce the severity of symptoms. Avoiding spicy foods, hot beverages, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes may help prevent the onset of hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms. All of these foods and substances irritate the body. Cigarettes are considered to be particularly detrimental for menopausal women, because as the smoke enters the body, it dries up yin and fluids, which need to be preserved during menopause.

The organ system most involved in producing these symptoms of menopause is the kidney, specifically the decline of kidney yin. Kidney yin is like a cool, refreshing reservoir of water and when it dries up, heat and dryness more readily ensue. In general, yin represents the nourishing, cooling energies. When it reduces, metaphorically speaking, there exists in the body less water to put out the fire. Yang energy represents the moving, active principle, which is like the rays of sunshine providing the sustenance needed for plants to thrive. However, when in excess, heat destroys plants and leaves them brown, dried and withered. Based on this premise, it makes sense that menopausal women experience excess heat signs such as hot flashes and irritability.

According to the Huang di Nei Jing, the body dynamics of women significantly change every seven years. At 35 years of age, the blood and energy (Qi) of the Large Intestine and Stomach Channels start their decline. Here we see fine lines on the face and neck, thinning hair and a drier quality to the skin. For a woman of 42, these same channels weaken further as evidenced by deepening wrinkles, hair color changing to gray or white, and the continual loss of skin moisture and elasticity. At 49, a woman’s Conception Vessel and the related meridians exhaust themselves, giving rise to symptoms of menopause.

The changes in these meridians lead to the cessation of menstruation and loss of fertility. The Conception Vessel, or Ren, Channel is called the Sea of Yin. It is closely associated with pregnancy, fetal development and reproductive health in general. The Chong Mai, or Chong, Meridian is known as the Sea of Blood. It heavily influences blood flow in the uterus and the menstrual cycle.

In July of 2014, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) conducted a large-scale analysis of previous scientific studies examining the role of acupuncture in reducing various symptoms of menopause. Out of the 12 studies analyzed, researchers concluded that acupuncture positively impacted both the frequency and severity of hot flashes. NAMS executive director Margery Gass, M.D. stated, “The review suggested acupuncture may be an alternative therapy for reducing hot flashes, particularly for those women seeking non-pharmacologic therapies.” While hot flashes may not pose a health risk in and of themselves, the severity of them may affect quality of life and cause great physical and emotional stress.

Call today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can ease you through transitions in your life!


Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!


 

In This Issue

  • Male Menopause? Alleviating the Symptoms of Andropause
  • Easing the Transition through Menopause
  • Relief for Mood Swings

Relief for Mood Swings

There are many things that can provoke mood swings, such as chemical imbalances in the brain, side effects from medications, everyday stressful events and, in the case of women in menopause or men going through andropause, fluctuations within the hormonal system.

Rapidly changing moods can present quality of life issues and may be a symptom of a larger problem. Even the emotion of joy, when taken to the extreme, can lead to an unhealthy and exhausting expression of mania.

From the perspective of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, symptoms of menopause and andropause reflect the changes in an individual’s level of yin and yang. Together they reflect the belief that the universe consists of two opposing, yet complementary energies. The interplay of yin and yang is the process that maintains balance in the world.

This philosophy of yin and yang can help explain the condition of a menopausal woman who is suffering from severe mood swings and hot flashes.

In this example, the fluids and cooling factors, which represent yin forces, are said to be drying up as a woman undergoes the process of menopause. This means the yang forces, manifesting as excess heat in the body, become stronger, which ultimately may be experienced as hot flashes and mood swings.

A study published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine, owned by the British Medical Journal, brings good news about the use of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in treating these issues.

The patients receiving proper acupuncture treatments received a statistically significant reduction in mood swings and hot flashes, as compared to the sham acupuncture group. The authors of the study were able to conclude that acupuncture could be a viable therapy to treat symptoms of menopause.

While menopause and andropause are perfectly natural conditions for aging men and women, for some, the severity of symptoms can be debilitating.

Do you experience mood swings due to menopause or andropause that interfere with your well-being?

Contact us for a consultation today!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acupuncture: A Viable Treatment For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Artemesia Acupuncture & Wellness Center

Lexington, Kentucky

  • Kathleen Fluhart, R.N., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.
  • Kris McClanahan, M.Ac., L.Ac
  • Tara Bissell, M.Ac., L.Ac.

Acupuncture: A Viable Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) are the most common job-related injuries and are responsible for the highest number of days lost. One of the most well-known types of repetitive stress injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) accounts for over two million visits to physicians’ offices and approximately 465,000 carpal tunnel release operations each year, making it the most frequent surgery of the hand and wrist.

Symptoms of repetitive stress injuries include tightness, stiffness, pain, tingling, numbness, coldness and loss of strength in the arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury that refers specifically to the inflammation of a specific ligament that puts pressure on the median nerve.

Acupuncture is extremely effective for treating repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, and often eliminates the need for surgery or the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids. In fact, one of the most common reasons that people get acupuncture is for repetitive stress injuries.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is suitably named as it is literally a tunnel located in the lower arm, that encases and protects part of the median nerve. The median nerve controls sensory functions and enables the palm, plus all fingers (except the pinkie), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. Even though some repetitive motions such as typing on the computer or using the phone are not strenuous activities in and of themselves, if performed often enough, a cumulative effect builds up.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as median nerve entrapment, occurs when swelling or irritation of the tendons in the carpal tunnel results in pressure on the median nerve, causing pain in the palm side of the wrist and pain and tingling in the fingers. These symptoms often, but not always, result from inflammation due to frequent, repetitive physical movements. However, inflammation can also be a product of an injury, such as a wrist sprain, or certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms usually start gradually and become worse over time, especially if the same motions are repeated on a near daily basis. Those with carpal tunnel syndrome usually experience frequent burning, tingling, or numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the index, middle and ring fingers. Pain can sometimes travel up the arm and affect the shoulder. The symptoms often first appear during the night. As symptoms worsen, people might feel pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm during the day. Decreased grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other manual tasks. If not properly treated, CTS can cause irreversible nerve damage and permanent deterioration of muscle tissue.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Acupuncture

From an Oriental medicine perspective, a repetitive stress injury is seen as a disruption of the flow of Qi and Blood (Xue) within the area, and is associated with cold, dampness or wind penetrating the muscles and sinews. Acupuncture points, stretching exercises, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements are chosen to treat accordingly.

In addition to reducing the swelling, inflammation and pain, acupuncture addresses any headaches, neck pain, shoulder stiffness and sleeping problems that often accompany this condition. Your treatment may also take into account any underlying conditions that contribute to its development, including posture, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems, diabetes and hormonal changes of pregnancy and menopause.

If you or someone you know suffers from a repetitive stress injury, please call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you.


Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Relief

If you are on a computer all day, or if you are engaged in any other repetitious daily activity, consider setting an alarm for every 20 minutes. This will help remind you to change your posture, perform some stretches, or just take a break. Keep your head up and your shoulders relaxed, but not slouched. Maintaining good posture, whether sitting or standing, can help keep symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome at bay. Here are some easy exercises to help relieve pain and other symptoms.

The first exercise is called the prayer stretch. Put the palms of your hand together, press lightly and hold the pose for 30 seconds. Take a break for 10 seconds, then repeat up to four times. In a variation of this pose, you can hold your hands out in front of you as though you were pushing them up against a wall. Hold for 30 seconds, then shake your hands out. Repeat up to four times.

To stretch in the other direction, make your hands into fists and bend your wrist downwards. This can be done for about 30 seconds, and then the wrists should be straightened and the fingers relaxed. Do this up to four times. Another very simple technique is to make a fist, then open it up and fan out your fingers. Do this as many times as feels good.

This last exercise can also help give your neck a good stretch. Take one hand, with the palm side up, and extend it to your side. If using your left hand, then extend it to your left side. With your arm completely extended at the level of your shoulder, with your palm still facing upwards, point your fingertips downwards. You should feel a good stretch throughout the entire length of your arm. To increase this stretch, gently tilt your ear towards the opposite shoulder. If your left hand is extended, then you will tilt your head to the right.

If you are concerned about any symptoms you may have contact us for an appointment today!

Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!


 

In This Issue


  • Acupuncture: A Viable Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Relief
  • Reduce Your Repetitive Stress Injury Risk

Reduce Your Repetitive Stress Injury Risk

Managing repetitive stress injuries often requires some lifestyle changes, and it can take time to work out a strategy that works best for you.

Here are a few minor changes you can implement to minimize stress on your hands and wrists:

Alternate Tasks

Avoid doing the same task for more than a couple of hours at a time and alternate between tasks that use different muscle groups where possible.

Fatigue is a sign that you need to take a break. Take small breaks to gently stretch and bend your hands and wrists and readjust your position.

Reduce Pressure

Many people use more force than needed to perform tasks involving their hands, which can increase pressure and cause irritation.

Be mindful of the speed and amount of pressure used to perform tasks. Ease up, slow down and grip using your palm or whole hand to distribute the load.

If using tools such as riveters or jackhammers for extended periods, take frequent breaks or operate the tool at a speed that causes the least amount of vibration.

Cultivate Good Posture

Incorrect posture can cause your shoulders to roll forward, shortening neck and shoulder muscles and compressing nerves in your neck, which can affect your wrists, hands and fingers.

Shoulders and neck should be relaxed to open the chest and allow your head to float upwards without strain.

When using a keyboard, wrists should be in a relaxed middle position and in a straight line with your forearms at elbow height or slightly lower.

Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnify Your Memory and Learning Skills

Artemesia Acupuncture & Wellness Center

Lexington, Kentucky

  • Kathleen Fluhart, R.N., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.
  • Kris McClanahan, M.Ac., L.Ac
  • Tara Bissell, M.Ac., L.Ac.

Nourish, Stimulate, and Calm Your Brain

Having difficulties focusing, remembering tasks or organizing your thoughts?

It may sound strange to learn that cognitive function is not solely the job of the brain alone; other parts and organs of the body are involved—the heart and kidneys both partner with the brain to nurture a healthy and attentive mind. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help optimize your brain power through a treatment approach that incorporates different modalities, including nutritional support.

One reason why the heart needs constant attention is because it must constantly pump blood throughout the body via the blood vessels. Oxygen and vital substances are delivered to the brain in this manner to stimulate or calm it. The heart also has another important responsibility relating to the sustainability of the brain: to house the Shen.

The concept of the Shen can be described as the spirit or mind of a person. According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the spirit, or Shen, embodies consciousness, emotions and thought. Shen influences long-term memory and the ability to think clearly, contributes to wisdom, and presides over activities that involve mental and creative functions. When the mind is healthy, we are able to think clearly. When the mind is unhealthy or unbalanced, we experience confusion, poor memory and clouded thinking.

The kidneys also contribute to a healthy brain as they supply a vital substance called Jing, which then produces marrow. Jing is a unique, fundamental substance necessary for human life. Marrow is the material foundation for the central nervous system and is the matter that ‘fills up’ the brain, thus the brain is referred to as the Sea of Marrow.

The Sea of Marrow is indispensable for memory and concentration. It also rules over the five senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing and seeing. It is natural for the Sea of Marrow to wane as we grow older. However, there are acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatments that can help nurture even the most mature brain.

A healthy mind involves harmony between the brain (Sea of Marrow) and the spirit (Shen). Disharmony of the mind often manifests as anxiety, insomnia, muddled thinking, forgetfulness and chronic restlessness. Meditation and acupuncture, as well as diet and physical exercises such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong can balance and strengthen the mind.

Want to optimize your cognitive function and mental health? Call for a consultation today!


Challenge Your Brain

Keep your mind active and challenged. Brain function decreases with age. Studies show that cognitive exercise can improve blood flow to the brain. Spend at least 15 minutes each day on a mental exercise such as a crossword puzzle, journaling or learning a new language in order to slow memory loss.

However you choose to exercise your brain, acupuncture can help. Numerous studies suggest that acupuncture can help improve memory, mental clarity, concentration and cognitive function.

One recently published study showed how acupuncture can be used to help patients with vascular dementia. Cerebral functional imaging before and after acupuncture treatments showed a significant increase in the cerebral glucose metabolism of the brain, which is associated with improved cognitive function.

Other studies have looked at how acupuncture affects the performance of students taking an exam or those with Alzheimer’s disease and memory impairment induced by diabetes and cerebral ischemia. All results, thus far, have been positive.


Good Nutrition Boosts Brain Power

Looking to support your health and also boost your brain function? Good nutrition can help boost your brain power. Not only is it essential to overall physical health, it can also enhance the function and harmony of the mind.

The right foods enhance brain function by providing essential nutrients such as flavonoids, Omega 3s, vitamins, folate and iron–all great for improving the quality and quantity of learning capacity, cognitive abilities, memory and overall brain function.

Where to begin? First of all, avoid excess. According to Oriental medicine, overindulging in food or drink can impair your Qi–the energy which powers the body and the mind. Greasy, fatty, spicy and sweet foods can also lead to “stuck” Qi, worsening any symptoms of fogginess or sluggishness.

So how can you support your brain and body health with food? Consider these foods and their benefits for your brain and body:

Walnuts for Memory
Walnuts are a good source of vitamins B and E, which may support memory function and slow cell aging. Try eating 1-2 walnuts per day for optimal brain function. Nuts and seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, folate, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and zinc, all of which allow you to think more clearly. Seeds and nuts rich in thiamine and magnesium are great for memory, cognitive function and brain nourishment.

Leafy Greens for Concentration, Recall and Understanding
Cooked leafy greens support the Yin, which, according to Oriental medicine, enables better concentration and deep rest. Vegetables such as cabbage, kale, spinach, collards, turnip greens and others are rich in vitamins, folate and iron, all of which are essential for memory recall and increasing cognitive activity. Oriental medicine considers cooked foods easier to digest, so throw them in soup, steam them or stir-fry.

Water for a Calm and Restful Mind
According to Oriental medicine, drinking water is a crucial way to nourish your Yin, calming the mind and improving your rest. Oriental medicine recommends drinking warm water to support the body’s internal temperature.

Substitute any beverages with pure water to transport nutrients during digestion, to act as fluid between the joints, and help regulate our temperature and skin (via perspiration). As a broad guideline, drink half your weight in ounces of water.

Berries to Improve Learning Capacity
Most berries contain fisetin and flavonoids, which are great for improving your memory and allowing you to easily recall past events. Blueberries are well known for their role in improving motor skills and overall learning capacity.

Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!

 

In This Issue


  • Nourish, Stimulate, and Calm Your Brain
  • Challenge Your Brain
  • Good Nutrition Boosts Brain Power
  • Boost Your Mental Energy, Recall, and Focus

Boost Your Mental Energy, Recall, and Focus

Are you having difficulties recalling what you ate for dinner last night, or do you tend to forget what you are talking about in mid conversation? Do you have trouble coming up with new ideas or find yourself having to study twice as much to retain half the information?

Fuzzy thinking can muddle our words as much as our thoughts. It can drain our creative juices, zap our confidence and make us question our intelligence.

Here are a few acupressure exercises to improve your mental function:

Mental Energy Boost
For a quick boost of mental energy, press point Shuigou. It is located between the bottom of your nose and your upper lip, in the vertical groove that is technically called the philtrum. Simply tap the area with moderate force for about 30 seconds to help revitalize your mind and bring your awareness back to the present moment.

Memory Recall Boost
When you’re struggling to recall information and can’t quite do it, try applying pressure to point Yangbai. To locate this point, find the middle of your eyebrows with your fingertips and slide upwards about half an inch. Just press and make tiny circular motions for a minute or two. Doing this gentle exercise may help coax the information from your mind you are looking for.

Focus and Learning Boost
To enhance your focus and learning ability press on point Yintang, located between the eyebrows and sometimes referred to as “the third eye.” The translation for Yintang, is “hall of impression.”

A “hall” is defined as a corridor or passageway, or the large entrance room of a house. An “impression” is defined as a strong effect produced on the intellect, emotions or conscience. Thus, Yintang is the entrance or passageway to the mind.

Yintang is used to improve mental clarity, concentration and cognitive function, as well as soothe emotions and relieve stress, anxiety and agitation.

For effective self-administered acupressure:

• Breathe deeply
• Focus on the point as pressure is applied
• Pressure should be strong but not uncomfortable
• Begin when you first feel symptoms and continue until they subside.

Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cultivate Optimal Thyroid Health

Artemesia Acupuncture & Wellness Center

Lexington, Kentucky

  • Kathleen Fluhart, R.N., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.
  • Kris McClanahan, M.Ac., L.Ac
  • Tara Bissell, M.Ac., L.Ac.

Cultivate Optimal Thyroid Health 

The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and is found at the front of the neck, below the Adam’s apple. Although small in size, this gland has a big influence on the body’s ability to transform food into the energy needed to sustain life. Thyroid hormones control the growth, temperature, and function of every cell in the body. It is a vital component of the endocrine system, an elaborate network of hormone-producing glands acting upon the cardiovascular, digestive, neurological, and reproductive systems. The importance of this gland, therefore, cannot be understated.

When functioning properly, the thyroid gland secretes just the right amount of thyroid hormone to regulate almost all the metabolic processes in your body. Too much or too little of these vital body chemicals, and it can drastically influence energy levels, body weight, and your mental health. Cultivating your thyroid health, combined with proper nutrition and diet, can boost energy, improve appetite, reduce insomnia, relieve depression symptoms, improve circulation, relieve muscle aches, and assist you in recovering from endocrine disorders. An easy way to improve thyroid health and the health of your endocrine system, is to eat nutritious meals and maintain a well-balanced diet.

There are two primary ways the thyroid can malfunction: It can be overactive, or hyperthyroid, producing symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, excessive hunger, weight loss, diarrhea, and heat sensations. Or, conversely, it can underproduce, known as hypothyroid, creating symptoms like a slow heartbeat, reduced appetite, weight gain, constipation, and cold sensations.

If you experience any symptoms, it is important to see your medical doctor in addition to visiting your practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can be diagnosed by testing the levels of thyroid hormones in your blood. Hormones secreted by the thyroid are measured, as well as thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a chemical released by the pituitary gland that triggers hormone production in the thyroid.

Oriental medicine treatments take all symptoms into account and are aimed at balancing the production and release of thyroid hormones through a variety of approaches, including acupuncture and herbal remedies, lifestyle changes, and special exercises. In the treatment of thyroid problems, acupuncture can be used to restore hormonal balance, regulate energy levels, smooth emotions, and help manage sleep. There are several acupuncture points on the ear and the body that can be used to regulate the production of thyroid hormones.

If you have thyroid issues, call for a consultation. A custom-tailored treatment plan will be created to suit your individual needs so that you can feel better quickly and safely!


Exercises for Detoxification

In order for the endocrine system to function at optimum levels, the process of detoxification must occur. Detoxification removes waste and potentially hazardous material from the body. Waste can be eliminated by different means, including through urine, tears, sweat, and feces. When the body is able to properly detox, the thyroid greatly benefits. Whether you have symptoms relating to thyroid issues, or simply wish to be proactive and help prevent problems, here are a few detoxifying exercises you can perform.

According to the theory of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the spleen plays a vital role in removing waste products from the body. An efficient spleen will, therefore, help optimize the thyroid’s function of producing and releasing hormones. When food and drink are ingested, it is the spleen’s duty to separate the clear from the turbid. The clear, which contains valuable nutrients, is sent on to be utilized by other organs. The turbid, useless or possibly harmful matter, descends to the large intestine, where it is prepared for elimination.

To help invigorate your spleen, spending short amounts of time upside-down can help reverse the effects of gravity. If doing a head or hand stand for two to three minutes is not your thing, there are two alternatives: One is to lay face down on the floor, bend your elbows, and rest your chin in your hands so your head is positioned above the trunk of your body. Next, bend your knees and start swinging your feet back and forth. You may remember doing this one when you were a child. This can be done for as long as it is comfortable for you.

The next exercise involves lying on the ground, with your backside down. Raise your legs in the air and rest them against the wall. Relax comfortably into the pose for up to five minutes. You can keep your arms extended to your sides on the floor. If you like, you can raise your arms in the air for 30-40 seconds, and then rest them.

These upside-down exercises can assist in releasing stuck food, gases or other matter that remain trapped somewhere in your digestive system. Removing these obstacles helps improve the blood flow to and from all the organs.

One quick way to help jog your sluggish system is to literally jog in place. Even 30 seconds of doing this will stimulate your system. Or, you could try jumping up and down five times in quick succession.

The best time to perform these exercises is before eating, or waiting at least two hours after a meal.


Foods to Support Thyroid Function

When it comes to lifestyle changes, a diet rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, and iodine helps support thyroid function.

Here are three groups of foods to include in your diet:

Sea Vegetables/Seaweed
Iodine is an essential element that assists the thyroid in producing thyroid hormone. By increasing iodine intake, patients have seen an increase in the production of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

Although it is an essential element, too much iodine, such as an overdose of supplements, can have toxic side effects. The best natural source of iodine is kelp and other sea vegetables.

Brazil Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, and Walnuts
Containing high amounts of selenium, which is essential to efficient thyroid function and protects from goiter, these foods also contain zinc, iron, and copper–all trace metals vital to thyroid function.

Many hypothyroid patients have been found to have deficiencies in trace minerals.

Carrots, Citrus Fruits, Almonds
These are just a few foods high in antioxidants that help the thyroid gland mitigate oxidative stress

Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!

 

In This Issue

  • Cultivate Optimal Thyroid Health
  • Exercises for Detoxification
  • Foods to Support Thyroid Function
  • Focus on Lifestyle

Focus on Lifestyle

Exercise plays an important role in thyroid health.

For the hypothyroid patient, when the body feels sluggish and heavy, it is important to not force oneself to perform rigorous exercise, as it will deplete the body’s energy reserves even further.

Although a hyperthyroid patient may exhibit restlessness and appear fidgety, this does not indicate an abundance of healthy physical energy.

The body is overstimulated by the overproduction of thyroid hormones and if left untreated, may eventually lead to hypothyroid as the gland wears itself out.

In both cases, suitable exercises are swimming, walking, gentle yoga, and tai chi.

Tai chi is a form of exercise that strengthens the body through fluid, gentle motions.

The rhythm of tai chi brings tranquility to the mind.

The soothing movements can bring relief to runaway emotions, help increase blood flow to the head, and increase the availability of energy to all the body.

This practice is affectionately known as ‘meditation in motion.’ For this reason, tai chi also provides stress relief.

Managing stress levels is very important when it comes to managing symptoms of any thyroid condition.

Maintaining emotional equilibrium prevents the hormone cortisol from being produced. Cortisol is like an alarm bell telling the body to prepare to flee or fight.

Cortisol, when released into the bloodstream in excess, can exacerbate imbalances in the thyroid gland, interrupting the normal rate at which thyroid hormones are produced and released.

Although it is unrealistic to live a life without any stress, it is important to reduce the impact of stressful situations.

A daily routine of tai chi, yoga or a meditation practice may help mitigate the negative consequences of tension and adverse situations when they do occur.

Getting a good night’s sleep also improves the ability to handle stress well.

 

Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acupuncture for Integrative Oncology Support

Artemesia Acupuncture & Wellness Center

Lexington, Kentucky

  • Kathleen Fluhart, R.N., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.
  • Kris McClanahan, M.Ac., L.Ac
  • Tara Bissell, M.Ac., L.Ac.

Acupuncture for Integrative Oncology Support

Qi Mail™
The Acupuncture Newsletter June 2016
Kathleen Fluhart RN, MA.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.
Artemesia

The American Cancer Society has reported that half of all  men and a third of all women in the United States will develop cancer during their lifetimes. Although there are many forms of cancer, all forms of the disease begin with abnormal cells that grow out of control.

Unlike other illnesses that are eradicated by the body’s natural defense system, cancer needs to be treated with powerful medical interventions. Unfortunately, most of the current cancer treatments available have some debilitating side effects.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have received much attention as an adjunctive therapy in cancer treatments because they address many of the unpleasant symptoms and side effects that come up during and after chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy and surgery.

If you are currently undergoing treatment for cancer, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can provide real help by decreasing many of the side effects associated with conventional cancer treatments.

Some of the issues acupuncture can help with include:

  • Pain Management
  • Nausea
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Dry Mouth
  • Night Sweats and Hot Flashes
  • Fluid Retention
  • Weight Maintenance

Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to health care and is particularly useful in providing pain relief, reducing the impact of side effects, accelerating recovery, and improving overall quality of life.

According to the National Cancer Institute, acupuncture may cause physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain. It is proposed that, by stimulating physical responses in these areas, acupuncture positively affects blood pressure and body temperature, boosts immune system activity, and causes the body’s natural painkillers, such as endorphins, to be released.

To learn more about how acupuncture can safely and effectively be incorporated into an oncology treatment plan, call 859-402-2430 for a consultation today!


Science Provides Proof of Acupuncture’s Helpful Role in Cancer Therapy

Clinical trials have examined the effects of acupuncture on cancer as a disease, as well as the symptoms caused by cancer treatments. Results have shown that, for many patients, treatment with acupuncture relieves symptoms or keeps them from getting worse.

Relief for Nausea and Vomiting:
The strongest evidence of the beneficial effect of acupuncture has come from clinical trials that investigated its use for relieving nausea and vomiting. Several types of clinical trials using different acupuncture methods showed acupuncture reduced nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and surgery.

Boosts the Immune System:
Human studies on the effect of acupuncture on the immune system of cancer patients showed that it improved immune system response, including an increase in the number of white blood cells.

Improves Pain Management:
In clinical studies, acupuncture reduced pain levels for some cancer patients. In one study, most of the patients treated with acupuncture were able to stop taking drugs for pain relief or to reduce their doses.

Relieves Pain and Stiffness during Hormone Therapy:
In 2010, the Journal of Clinical Oncology published the results of a small study that concluded that acupuncture helped relieve pain and stiffness in breast cancer patients who were simultaneously being treated with hormone therapies.

Minimizes Dry Mouth:
In 2009, the medical journal Head and Neck reported the results of a pilot study done at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The subjects were people suffering from head and neck cancer. The authors concluded that the pilot study demonstrated that acupuncture can improve the subjective symptoms of radiation-induced dry mouth as early as two weeks after starting treatment. They found that benefits can last for one month after treatment ends.

A study published in January 2000 in the medical journal Oral Diseases, confirms the efficacy of treating xerostomia with acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Researchers analyzed the data of 70 patients who suffered from dry mouth due to radiation therapies, Sjogren’s disease, and other causes. Researchers discovered that patients who received 24 acupuncture treatments had an outstanding improvement in their salivary flow rate (SFR) for up to six months after treatment. It was also concluded that continued acupuncture treatments could increase one’s salivary flow rate for up to three years.

Reduces Pain and Shoulder Dysfunction:
In 2008, Dr. David Pfister, chief of the head and neck medical oncology service at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, reported that patients found significant reductions in both dry mouth and pain and shoulder dysfunction after neck dissection with the help of acupuncture. Dr. Pfister highlighted the potential role of acupuncture in oncology.

Reduces Hot Flashes:
In 2011 a Yale University/University of Pittsburgh study of women with hot flashes brought on by conventional breast cancer treatment, found that women who received acupuncture had a 30 percent reduction in hot flashes.


Acupressure for Nausea Relief

Nausea is an indicator that something else is wrong. Depending on the severity and duration of vomiting, some level of dehydration may occur. In severe cases, this may become a medical emergency. Small sips of warm water may help the patient stay hydrated or, if this is not tolerable, sucking on ice chips may help.

Here are three simple acupressure techniques you can perform at home to help alleviate your nausea.

1. Pericardium 6 (P6) or Inner Gate
To locate this point, place your hand with the palm facing up. Starting from the middle of the wrist crease, place three fingers down below your wrist. Your index finger should be in the middle of two tendons. If you are having trouble locating the tendons, flex your wrist and they should be displayed more prominently. Press Inner Gate lightly with the pad of your thumb. You can slowly increase pressure and go deeper into the point. Continue this exercise for up to five minutes if you are using heavy pressure. However, some people experience more relief from nausea when they continuously press with gentle to moderate pressure. If this is the case for you, it is safe to apply acupressure for longer periods of time. This may be especially helpful in cases of motion sickness.

2. Outer Gate or San Jiao 5 (SJ5)
If your nausea still persists, you can activate this partner point to Inner Gate. It is found on the opposite side of the forearm from Inner Gate. With your thumb on Inner Gate and your middle finger on Outer Gate, complete the circuit by squeezing the points together using moderate pressure. Hold for a few seconds and then release. This can be done for up to five minutes. If you feel you need a little extra self-care, you can place your hands near your heart, close your eyes, and breathe deeply as you perform this technique.

3. Abdominal Circular Motions
This exercise covers a larger area, and is less exacting. First, put your hands on your hips, at the level of your waistline. Next, adjust your fingers so they are all below your ribs, with your pinky resting around the level of your belly button. Your fingers should be lined up with the nipples. Press into the abdomen using circular motions and gradually expand your motions outwards for another couple of inches. This technique can be quite soothing and is best when performed sitting down, for two to three minutes.


Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

In This Issue

  • Acupuncture for Integrative Oncology Support
  • Science Provides Proof of Acupuncture’s Helpful Role in Cancer Therapy
  • Acupressure for Nausea Relief
  • Cancer Prevention in Daily Life
  • Relief for Dry Mouth

Cancer Prevention in Daily Life

Many items in the produce aisle can help, but other foods in the supermarket can also help protect your health and the health of your family.

Carotenoids – Found in produce like cantaloupe and carrots, these plant chemicals act as antioxidants and have been shown to reduce the risk of lung cancer.

Cruciferous vegetables – High in vitamins, fiber, and potent anti-cancer phytochemicals, cruciferous vegetables are widely considered to be one of the healthiest food choices you can make.

According to the American Institute for Cancer, there is solid evidence that links cruciferous vegetables and protection against cancer. Studies have shown that this vegetable group has the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells for tumors in the breast, uterine lining, lung, colon, liver and cervix. Studies that track the diets of people over time have found that diets high in cruciferous vegetables are linked to lower rates of prostate cancer among men.

Ellagic Acid – Found in raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, pecans and pomegranates, this phytochemical can act as an antioxidant, and may help break down and remove some cancer-causing substances.

Resveratrol – A polyphenol that may have antioxidant properties, resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes, cocoa, peanuts, blueberries, and cranberries.

Whole Grains – Fiber is rich in antioxidants, helps fight colon cancer, and the phenolic compounds in whole grains may help reduce the risk of certain gastrointestinal cancers.

Folate – Linked to lowered risk for gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancers, folate is found in dark green leafy vegetables, fruits and juices, nuts, beans, peas, dairy products, poultry and meat, eggs, seafood, and grains.

Pomegranate Juice – Extremely antioxidant-rich, this juice helps prevent colon and prostate cancer.


Relief for Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, sounds harmless but can create distressing symptoms. In a normal mouth, small glands produce saliva, which then helps in the processes of speaking, eating, swallowing, and tasting.

Saliva also contributes to good oral health, as it hinders the formation of cavities by reducing the build-up of harmful acids in the mouth. Xerostomia increases the chances for bad breath, dry nasal passages, and a hoarse throat as well.

Dry mouth manifests when there is an imbalance of yin and yang in the body. In this case, the yin quality of moistness is not present, or only in small quantities. This may indicate that the yang principle of heat may be overactive and contributing to the drying up of yin. Further examination is needed to determine the proper treatment.

To start addressing the issue right away, here are a few ideas to practice at home.
Frequent, small sips of water, with a little lemon or lime squeezed into it, may help moisturize your mouth.

Try to sleep with your mouth shut and just breathe through your nose while falling asleep.

Avoid drying substances like tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol.

Consider ending each meal with a light, warm vegetable broth to coat your mouth and throat.

Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your emotional wellness plan!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issues Impacting Women’s Health

Artemesia Acupuncture & Wellness Center

Lexington, Kentucky

  • Kathleen Fluhart, R.N., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.
  • Kris McClanahan, M.Ac., L.Ac
  • Tara Bissell, M.Ac., L.Ac.

Issues Impacting Women’s Health

Everyone wants to be healthy in order to enjoy a sense of well-being and have the best quality of life possible. Oriental medicine has always addressed the special needs of women throughout their lives. Women are more susceptible than men to certain health conditions, which can make it more challenging to achieve optimal health. Fortunately, many health issues women face respond extremely well to acupuncture treatments.

Several conditions that impact women more frequently than men include:

Cardiovascular Disease: As the number one threat to women’s health, cardiovascular disease is not just a man’s disease. According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases, causing 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year. They also state that women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men, and 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors, with fewer women than men surviving their first heart attack. By integrating acupuncture and Oriental medicine into your heart-healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Depression: The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that women are twice as likely to experience depression as men, and one in eight will contend with major depression during their lifetime. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the most commonly reported mental health problem among women.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): Four times as many women as men develop chronic fatigue syndrome.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Women are 2 to 6 times more likely to develop IBS. Acupuncture points can help relieve IBS symptoms, according to researchers from the University of York in the U.K., who found that integrating acupuncture into a treatment plan led to less severe symptoms.

Autoimmune Diseases: According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), about 75 percent of autoimmune diseases occur in women. As a group, these diseases make up the fourth largest cause of health-related disability among American women.

Some specific autoimmune diseases that affect women disproportionately more than men include:
Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Nearly half a million Americans have multiple sclerosis, and of that group two-thirds are women. According to the American Academy of Neurology, women with MS are nearly 1.5 times more likely to carry the gene associated with the disease, and are more likely to transfer the gene to female offspring.

Lupus: Ninety percent of all lupus patients are female. Lupus has no known cause. Some scientists believe it may be hereditary and caused by a combination of factors, including hormones, stress, environmental toxins, sunlight, exposure to fluorescent light, and some medications.

Celiac Disease: An autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive system due to an adverse reaction to gluten, 60 to 70 percent of celiac disease patients are women.

From an acupuncture and Oriental medicine perspective, a health problem is never just in the body or in the mind. Whether an imbalance or disharmony began as a physiological or spiritual issue, ultimately, all aspects of the body are affected.

If you or someone you know are struggling with any of the issues discussed in this newsletter, or you would like to improve your quality of life, call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help!


Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

When we are unable to do our basic daily activities, we may need more rest. For those with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), rest doesn’t help. Sufferers may feel tired for more than six months and experience reduced memory, insomnia or a wide range of other symptoms, including, but not limited to, headaches, flu-like symptoms and chronic pain. Contributing factors can include severe stress or trauma, a history of infection, and exposure to toxins.

From an acupuncture and Oriental medicine perspective, CFS reflects a disharmony. When we are out of balance, we may experience digestive upset, unclear thinking, habitual fatigue, muscle weakness or discomfort, and insufficient elimination. At the University of Hong Kong, researchers included acupuncture points in a protocol for patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Patients who received acupuncture experienced less physical and mental fatigue.

Oriental medicine can help relieve many of your symptoms because it is exceptional for relieving aches and pains, helping to avoid getting sick as often, recovering more quickly, and improving vitality and stamina.


Autoimmune Disease Support

Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders in which the immune system attacks the body and destroys or alters tissues. There are more than 80 serious chronic illnesses in this category, including lupus, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes. Due to the complexity of treating autoimmune disorders, integrative medicine solutions have received much attention as successful therapies in their treatment. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are specifically noted for use in pain relief, regulating the immune system, managing symptoms, and improving overall quality of life.

Multiple Sclerosis: A progressive disease wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective wrapper on nerve cells, known as myelin. As the damage accumulates, the brain and body communicate less well. Individuals may experience symptoms that include a loss of coordination, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling, dizziness, blurred vision, and paralysis.

Although multiple sclerosis can involve an array of symptoms, it is possible that no two patients will share the same underlying pattern. In Oriental medicine, as a whole, patients with MS present either wind- or dampness-based symptoms. Symptoms with an underlying wind factor arise and abate suddenly, can be quite intense, and jump between different areas of the body. Symptoms with an underlying dampness factor cause swelling and bloating, lead to muscle weakness or a sense of heaviness, and can cause unclear thinking. Oriental medicine may help restore balance and reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups.

Lupus: Lupus involves an overactive immune system that fights unnecessarily and can injure the skin, joints, organs (heart, kidneys, and lungs), and the brain. Symptoms may include red facial rashes, sore joints, upper abdominal pain when breathing deeply, severe chronic fatigue, memory problems, and scalp hair loss.

While every lupus patient may present symptoms differently, Oriental medicine views lupus as a reflection of toxic heat. Good health requires balanced yin and yang, which reflect cold and heat, respectively. While yin and yang both nourish and restrain each other, yang tends to multiply (or worsen) more quickly, whereas yin is slower to change. Having more estrogen than testosterone, women are more yin and vulnerable to yang conditions.

In a small study, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that by stimulating acupuncture points along the spine and on the four limbs, patients with lupus experienced less pain. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help clear heat and nourish yin. Combined with exercise and reducing stress, these modalities can work double-duty towards improving your overall health and reducing the likelihood of a lupus outbreak.

Celiac Disease: In patients with celiac disease, the small intestine becomes damaged and cannot absorb nutrients efficiently. Celiac disease may also cause fatigue, bone disorders, fertility problems, and skin rashes.

Treatment of celiac disease typically revolves around symptom management and dietary changes. Any products known to contain gluten (bread, pasta, processed foods, vitamins, and even cosmetics) may trigger symptoms and should be avoided.

Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

In This Issue

  • Issues Impacting Women’s Health
  • Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Autoimmune Disease Support
  • Depression Sufferers Can Find Balance
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief

Depression Sufferers Can Find Balance

Depression refers to severe and long-lasting ‘down’ times that impair regular activities.

Although caused by a variety of factors, a family history of depression and severe stress can increase the likelihood of the disease.

Qi (energy) enables the body to function in harmony. As women lose Qi during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and childbirth, it is more common for women to be Qi deficient than men.

Acupuncture treatments can correct these imbalances, support the immune system, and directly affect the way your body manages stress and your mental health.

Words can also move Qi, which explains why talk therapy can give patients a sense of physical relief from symptoms. A combination of talk therapy along with acupuncture and Oriental medicine may be even more helpful.

According to Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, researchers have noted greater therapeutic benefits from the use of combined therapies than from the use of independent therapies.

Call Artemesia today at 859-402-2430 to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your emotional wellness plan!


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) involves alternating constipation and diarrhea. Individuals with IBS have a noticeable and sustained increase or decrease in frequency of elimination. Patients may experience pain during stool elimination, cramping, nausea, bloating, gas, headaches, and backaches.

While other patterns may be present, irritable bowel syndrome is generally considered a disharmony between the liver and spleen meridians. The liver meridian is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. This flow can be upset by emotions or stress, causing Qi stagnation.

The spleen meridian is associated with the function of digestion and transforming food into energy (Qi). It can be weakened by a number of factors, including overeating unhealthy foods, overwork, stress, fatigue, and lack of exercise. When the spleen meridian is weak and the liver meridian is not moving smoothly, the liver overacts on the spleen and can manifest as symptoms of IBS.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine support Qi flow throughout the body, ensuring that all physiological and emotional processes run smoothly.

Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms and correcting any underlying imbalances through a variety of Oriental medicine techniques that may include acupuncture, stress management, dietary changes, and exercise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APRIL, 2014-Revitalize Your Reproductive System Health With Acupuncture

Artemesia Acupuncture & Wellness Center Lexington, Kentucky

Kathleen Fluhart, R.N., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., C.Ac.
Kris McClanahan, M.Ac., C.Ac.

______________________________________________

Revitalize Your Reproductive System Health 

Statistics show that one in five couples over the age of 30 has difficulty conceiving after one year of trying. Many of these couples turn to acupuncture and Oriental medicine for a safe, effective and natural solution to having a baby.

Oriental medicine has a long history when it comes to enhancing reproductive health and fertility for both men and women. In fact, evidence that acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used to aid fertility can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3 AD.

Fertility treatments were first recorded by Zhang Zhong Jing, a famous physician from the Han Dynasty, in his discussion of diseases in women in the Jin Gui Yao Lue or Essentials of the Golden Cabinet.

Successful conception is more likely when both partners are healthy. With acupuncture and Oriental medicine, parents can improve their health to create the most optimal environment for conception.

According to the principles of Oriental medicine, a person’s health is determined by the quality of Qi, the vital life energy, and blood circulating through the body. When Qi and blood are circulating properly, the body is properly nourished and functioning optimally which, in turn, enhances fertility.

In addition to their ability to strengthen, support, and balance overall health and well-being, acupuncture and Oriental medicine are effective in treating issues that affect reproductive health and fertility including:

* regulating the menstrual cycle
* addressing pre-existing medical conditions or concerns
* improving sperm count and motility
* reducing stress and anxiety associated with infertility
* normalizing hormone and endocrine systems
* improving blood flow in the uterus
* decreasing the chance of miscarriage
* increasing the chance of pregnancy for women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF)

Fertility treatment approaches and time-frames can vary from person to person, but are usually scheduled for at least three consecutive cycles (twelve weeks). Treatments can include acupuncture, customized herbal therapy, stress reduction and dietary counseling.

If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulties with reproductive health, please call us at 859-402-2430 to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help.

 Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Gynecological conditions, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), fibroids, endometriosis, menopause and infertility are some of the problems treated most successfully by acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Oriental medicine has long recognized that health and vitality can be sustained over a woman’s lifetime by restoring balance within the body and supporting the natural production of essential hormones.

Premenstrual syndrome covers a broad spectrum of issues that can include emotional symptoms such as depression, irritability, sadness, anxiety, or poor concentration. PMS can also include physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness, a change in bowel habits, acne, or loss of libido. Symptoms can change from month to month and vary widely in terms of severity. Imbalances can arise from a variety of factors, including poor diet, too much work, physical or emotional trauma, constitutionally weak Qi (energy) or stress.

In Oriental medicine, the liver is considered responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (life force) throughout the body and for smoothing our emotions. When the liver’s function of moving Qi is disrupted, Qi can become stuck. This is referred to as Liver Qi Stagnation and is commonly associated with PMS. In addition to irritability and moodiness, signs and symptoms may include: distending pain in the area below the ribs, chest congestion, abdominal distention, nausea, acid reflux, belching, diarrhea or constipation, feeling of a lump in the throat, irregular periods, painful periods and swollen breasts prior to periods.

Menopause

Menopause is a transitional period marking the cessation of ovulation in a woman’s body. Symptoms manifest as a woman’s body tries to adapt to decreasing amounts of estrogen. Varying from mild to severe, symptoms can include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, memory loss, dryness, headaches, joint pain and weight gain.

With its deep understanding of the female body, Oriental medicine has always addressed the special needs of women throughout their lives. Menopause, in particular, is an area in which Oriental medicine shines as it has the ability to detect energetic changes that occur in the body and quickly relieve uncomfortable symptoms that accompany the onset of menopause.

Oriental medicine does not recognize menopause as a particular syndrome and treats symptoms unique to each individual through a variety of techniques to restore imbalances found in the body.

Male Reproductive Health

Oriental medicine can help treat various male disorders. As men age, a decrease in the function of male reproductive organs occurs and they experience andropause, or male menopause. Andropause differs from menopause in that it is not characterized by a dramatic or marked physiological change.

Unlike the more dramatic reproductive hormone plunge that occurs in women during menopause, changes in men occur gradually over a period of many years. Some male reproductive health conditions that acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help include premature ejaculation, low sperm count, diminished sperm motility, impotence, hernias, testicular pain, prostatitis, male infertility, and andropause.

Prostate Health

The prostate is prone to enlargement and inflammation as men age, affecting about half of men in their sixties and up to ninety percent of men in their seventies and eighties. If left untreated, benign prostate gland enlargement, which presents with symptoms such as frequent nighttime urination, painful urination, and difficult urination, can lead to more serious conditions such as prostate cancer, urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, and incontinence.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to treat prostate problems to relieve the urinary symptoms and prevent more serious conditions from occurring. The few studies completed on acupuncture and prostatitis show positive results, with participants noticing a marked improvement in their quality of life, a decrease in urinary difficulties, and an increase in urinary function.

 

 

 

 

 

In This Issue

  • Revitalize Your Reproductive System Health
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Menopause
  • Male Reproductive Health
  • Prostate Health
  • Pregnancy & Childbirth
  • Postpartum Recovery

Pregnancy & Childbirth

 

Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life. Many women report feeling healthier than they have ever felt before; however, the physical growth of the baby and changes in hormone levels can bring about pain, discomfort and a variety of health problems.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can provide a safe, effective way to address many of the health complications that may arise before, during and after pregnancy.

A growing number of women are choosing acupuncture to manage their health throughout their pregnancy and as an alternative treatment for an overdue or difficult labor.

Acupuncture during Pregnancy

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can play a vital role in the comfort of a pregnant woman.

There is strong evidence to support the belief that acupuncture is highly effective in treating some of the most common problems experienced during pregnancy.
Some of the problems that an acupuncturist often treats during pregnancy include:
* nausea, vomiting
* heartburn
* constipation
* edema (swelling)
* pelvic pain
* neck and back pain
* sciatica
* leg cramps
* fatigue and exhaustion
* insomnia
* anxiety and depression
* water retention

Acupuncture for Childbirth

While there are acupuncture points that can provide natural pain relief during labor, acupuncture is more commonly used to induce labor. There are several points that stimulate contractions and influence cervical ripening.

Postpartum Recovery

Many women feel depleted after the birth experience. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help smooth the transition during those first few months after birth to ensure a quick recovery.

Some postpartum disorders that can be treated with acupuncture:
* fatigue
* postpartum depression
* mastitis
* insufficient or excessive lactation
* post-operative healing
* night sweats

Postpartum care focuses on the physical, emotional and psychological recovery of the mother from the effects of pregnancy and labor, and also supports breast feeding.

 

 

 

 

 

Get Seasonal Allergy Relief!

Artemesia Acupuncture & Wellness Center

Lexington, Kentucky

  • Kathleen Fluhart, R.N., M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.
  • Kris McClanahan, M.Ac., L.Ac
  • Tara Bissell, M.Ac., L.Ac.

Get Seasonal Allergy Relief!

Acupuncture has been used to treat seasonal allergies for centuries with great success. According to traditional medicine, treatment is directed toward clearing the nasal passages, supporting the immune system, and strengthening the systems of the body to prevent allergic reactions from recurring.

What Are Seasonal Allergies?

Commonly called hay fever or allergic rhinitis, a seasonal allergy is an allergic reaction to a trigger that is typically only present for part of the year, such as spring or fall. Pollens that are spread by the wind are usually the main cause. People who are allergic to pollens are also often sensitive to dust mites, animal dander, and molds.

Spring is traditionally the main season when allergies blossom because of new growth on trees and weeds. Fall, which ushers in a whole different set of blooming plants, as well as leaf mold, is a close second. Airborne mold spores can be found almost year round, along with other common allergens such as dust, dust mites, and animal dander.

About 26 million Americans endure chronic seasonal allergies, while the number of people with milder symptoms may be as high as 40 million, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Seasonal allergies are caused by the body’s hypersensitivity to substances in the environment. Symptoms primarily involve the membrane lining the nose, causing allergic rhinitis, or the membrane lining the eyelids and covering the whites of the eyes, causing allergic conjunctivitis.

While there are many medications to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies, these treatments can cause unwanted side effects, such as drowsiness and immune system suppression, as well as an over-reliance on medications. These side effects have motivated many people to search for alternative approaches like acupuncture and Oriental medicine to manage their allergies.


How Acupuncture Treatments Provide Relief from Allergies

According to Oriental medicine, allergic rhinitis is related to wind and a deficiency of the protective Wei Qi. Wei Qi is the Qi, or energy, that flows at the surface of the body as a protective sheath and is responsible for resistance to colds and other respiratory infections. People with a deficiency of Wei Qi catch colds easily and are more susceptible to allergens.

When treating with acupuncture, underlying imbalances within the body are addressed and a treatment plan is developed to relieve the acute symptoms of allergic rhinitis, while also treating the root problems that are contributing to the body’s reaction to allergens. Treatments often include dietary modification, the use of specifically chosen herbal formulas, and acupuncture.

Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year also serve to tonify the inner organ systems and can correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems.

If you experience seasonal allergies, now is the time to schedule an appointment. Call Artemesia at 859-402-2430 for a consultation today!


Oriental Medicine for Asthma Symptom Relief


Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the lungs and, consequently, a narrowing of the bronchial tubes–also known as the air passages. This makes breathing difficult since the airflow is restricted. Tell-tale signs of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and a feeling of tightness in the chest. Substances and conditions that may cause or worsen the symptoms of asthma include physical activity, cold air, smoke, emotional distress, some medications, gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and airborne toxins and allergens such as pollen, mold, dust, and animal dander.

There are also certain risk factors to be aware of. These include being overweight, smoking, having a family member diagnosed with asthma, and/or being afflicted with a separate allergic condition. Conventional medical treatment offers a variety of pharmaceutical drugs, which are specific to the patient’s triggers and symptoms of asthma. If you suffer from asthma, additional treatment from your acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioner may prove to be a winning combination.

A study called “Immunomodulatory Effects of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Allergic Asthma: A Randomized Controlled Study,” published in 2007 in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, demonstrates the valuable role acupuncture and Oriental medicine can play in the treatment of symptoms of asthma.

Patients suffering from bronchial asthma were divided into two groups: a control group and a study group. The control group received acupuncture treatments that did not specifically treat their condition, while the study group received the appropriate acupuncture treatments. Before and after each treatment, information was collected on all patients regarding their general well-being and blood work samples gathered.

At the end of the study, it was shown that 79 percent of the study group felt an improvement in their general well-being as opposed to only 47 percent of the control group. Significant improvements in the immune system were detected from the blood samples collected by the study group as well. The authors of the study were able to conclude that acupuncture, in conjunction with standard Western medical treatment, provides outstanding improvements to the immune system.

Additionally, there are a few things one can do at home to help lessen the severity of asthma symptoms. According to the theory of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the environment plays an important role in the health of an individual. For example, if one lives in a cold, damp environment, it may prove to be problematic. Not only may the cold contribute to constriction of the bronchial tubes, but the damp air may foster mold or other airborne pollutants that can irritate the air passages as well.

While it may not be possible to move to another climate, it is possible to focus on removing dust, animal dander, and other pollutants from your home. If your home is damp, consider using a dehumidifier, as this will help in eliminating mold. Sometimes breathing in cold air can cause wheezing and trouble breathing, so covering your mouth and nose in an effort to warm your breath may be helpful.

For soothing relief on a cold day, try a nourishing, warm soup. Keep the ingredients simple, such as vegetables, rice, lean meat, and herbs. The less processed and refined your food is, the easier it is on your digestive system. According to the theory of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, phlegm is produced in the stomach, but stored in the lungs. This is a direct reference to the importance of eating well and avoiding phlegm-producing foods. Consider reducing your intake of dairy products, sugar, and fatty foods.

Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising every day will help strengthen your immune system too. If you are finding it difficult to lose weight and lack motivation to exercise, this is something your practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist you with. If an addiction to smoking is causing or worsening your symptoms of asthma, there are acupuncture treatment protocols to help reduce cravings for nicotine and other substances.

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

In This Issue

  • Get Seasonal Allergy Relief!
  • Oriental Medicine for Asthma Symptom Relief
  • Foods to Fight Allergies

Foods to Fight Allergies

Having a healthy diet is one of the best ways to support your overall health.

When possible, incorporate the following foods into your meals to give your body additional tools to fight allergies:

Ginger:

Ginger is a natural antihistamine and decongestant. It may provide some relief from allergy symptoms by dilating constricted bronchial tubes.

Apples:

Apples (with the skin on) contain the flavonoid quercetin, which can cross-react with tree pollen.

Quercetin can reduce allergic reactions by having an antihistamine effect. It also decreases inflammation.

Additionally, quercetin occurs naturally in other foods like berries, red grapes, red onions, capers, and black tea.

Carrots:

Carotenoids are a family of plant pigments that include beta-carotene.

A lack of carotenoids in the diet is thought to promote inflammation in your airways.

Other than carrots, good sources of carotenoids include apricots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, kale, butternut squash, and collard greens.

Omega-3:

Omega-3 essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation of the air passages.

Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and salmon.

Yogurt:

Food sensitivities seem to be connected with seasonal allergies. In a study conducted at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, patients who were fed 18 to 24 ounces of yogurt a day experienced a decline in their environmental allergic symptoms by 90 percent.

Fiber:

A healthy and active colon can decrease food sensitivity, which, in turn, can lighten the burden on your immune system and may reduce the impact of seasonal allergies.

For maximum colon health, increase the fiber in your diet. Some fiber-rich foods include beans, avocado, and pears.