Monday, September 12, 2011

ASTHMA

Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.

Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 22 million people are known to have asthma. Nearly 6 million of these people are children.

Asthma is caused by environmental and genetic factors. These factors influence how severe asthma is and how well it responds to medication. The interaction is complex and not fully understood.

Asthma in Chinese Medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine theory, asthma is clearly differentiated between the actual attacks and the periods between attacks. When the attacks are happening, this is considered to be an acute, Excess condition, and the objective is to disperse the Excess and stop the attack. Wind, a non-substantial pathogenic factor, lodges in the bronchi and combines with Cold or Heat pathogenic factors to cause bronchospasms.

Between attacks, the body is considered to be in a Deficiency condition. The Lungs and Kidneys work together to produce "wei qi," or Defensive Chi. Defensive Chi can be thought of as analogous to the immune system. It is a Yang energy that is manufactured from the food we eat. The Kidneys are the root of our ability to produce Defensive Chi, and the Lungs spread Defensive Chi near the outer surface of our bodies to ward off pathogenic factors like Wind, Cold, and Heat. When the Lungs or Kidneys (or both) are weak, there is often a deficiency of Defensive Chi, making us more vulnerable to colds, infections, asthma attacks, etc. It is thought that a person's Defensive Chi can be weak due to a hereditary constitutional weakness (up to 75% of children with asthma have a family history of the disorder); but mothers who smoke during pregnancy and childhood immunizations are also cited as contributing factors in asthma.(www.tcmpage.com)

Acupuncture can have a remarkable effect in stopping an acute asthma attack. Many patients experience immediate relief after an acupuncture treatment, feeling that the airway blockage was simply removed. Because bronchospasms result from over-stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, some traditional acupuncture points for "calming the spirit" are widely used for asthma. Stimulation of these points can relieve both physical and emotional stress, possibly because they trigger the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. The patient can therefore experience both a physical release from his bronchial constriction, and also an emotional or psychological release from the fear of constriction and suffocation. (www.tcmpage.com)

In Chinese philosophy, and in Chinese medicine, man is seen as an integral part of nature. The fact that allergen-induced asthma attacks are strongly seasonal, with the most devastating attacks occurring in winter and spring, leads Chinese medicine practitioners to coordinate their treatment of asthma sufferers with the seasons. In the winter and spring, during attacks, the emphasis is on dispersing the pathogenic factors of Wind, Cold, and Heat. In the summer, attention is turned to tonifying the Deficiency condition of the Lungs and Kidneys, and stimulating the body to increase its reserves of Defensive Chi. Because summer is the most Yang time of the year, the energy of the season is used to build up the body's supply of Yang energy.(www.tcmpage.com)

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help in building up the body's defenses from the root cause in order to ward off asthma attacks. Schedule your acupuncture treatment now to prepare your body for the upcoming winter months.

www.acupuncturepainfree.com

Call for an appointment today: 713-533-1717

Read more on asthma at:

http://www.tcmpage.com/hpasthma.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asthma

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hypertension

Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure.

Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures. Usually they are written one above or before the other. A reading of
• 120/80 or lower is normal blood pressure
• 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure
• Between 120 and 139 for the top number, or between 80 and 89 for the bottom number is prehypertension

Classification Systolic pressure Diastolic pressure
mmHg
kPa
mmHg kPa
Normal 90–119 12–15.9 60–79 8.0–10.5
Prehypertension 120–139 16.0–18.5 80–89 10.7–11.9
Stage 1 140–159 18.7–21.2 90–99 12.0–13.2
Stage 2 ≥160 ≥21.3 ≥100 ≥13.3
Isolated systolic
hypertension
≥140 ≥18.7 <90 <12.0
Source: American Heart Association (2003).[5]

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure.

There are two types of hypertension from a western medicine perspective. Primary hypertension has no known cause. It typically arises in middle age and has associated risk factors such as obesity, high cholesterol/salt/alcohol intake, smoking, diabetes, etc. Secondary hypertension is associated with a known cause which may be pregnancy, kidney disease, blood vessel abnormalities, endocrine disorders, etc

In TCM hypertension is not an identified pathology per se but is effectively treated. Patients with hypertension will likely have a diagnosis involving LV wind with LV a/or KD involvement. As the liver controls the blood in TCM, circulation issues generally arise from a disharmony of the Liver. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are effective in treating hypertension especially in the beginning stages in conjunction with diet and exercise.
Diet and exercise is extremely important in keeping blood pressure down. Maintaining a low sodium, low sugar diet is important with lots of leafy greens and other vegetables. Also drinking plenty of water and eliminating the consumption of alcohol as well as smoking.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_blood_pressure

http://www.yinyanghouse.com/tcmtheory_hypertension_treatment

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Herb of the week

GOU QI ZI

Other names: Go ji berries, Chinese Wolf berries, Fructus Lycii Berries





Properties: Neutral, Sweet
Channels entered: Liver, Kidneys, Lungs
Non-toxic

Actions:
Nourishes Liver and Kidneys
Tonifies Liver and Kidneys.
Improves vision.
Moistens the Lungs.
Benefits: diabetes, hypertension, fever, malaria, and cancer. It's also used for improving circulation, erectile dysfunction, dizziness, and tinnitus. It is used as an eye tonic for blurred vision, macular degeneration, and other ophthalmic disorders. Gou qi zi is also used orally to strengthen muscles and bone, and as a blood, liver, and kidney tonic. It is used orally to reduce fever, sweating, irritability, thirst, nosebleeds, hemoptysis, cough, and wheezing.
Can be eaten alone as a snack or put into oatmeal or other cereal. Since it has now become popular, can be found in most health food stores.
Is used in many formulas, please consult a Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioner for a prescription that best suits your individual needs.

tcm.health-info.org/Herbology.Materia.Medica/gouqizi-properties.htm



Check out our webpage for more info:

www.acupuncturepainfree.com

Friday, August 5, 2011

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for the Treatment of infertility

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been treating infertility for many, many years and has been successful in doing so. Evidence of Traditional Chinese Medicine, (TCM), treating infertility dates back to 11AD.

Fertility is achieved by manipulating the flow of qi using acupuncture and using Chinese herbs to nourish, support and strengthen the qi and the vital fluids (including blood), as well as the internal organs.(Randine Lewis, LAc. Author of The Infertility Cure.)

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) has been proven to regulated the menstrual cycle, treat PMS, endometriosis, treat pelvic inflammatory disease, unblock fallopian tubes, increase fertility, treat certain causes of miscarriage, and raise sperm numbers, quality and motility.

Our modern lifes have afforded us a large amount of stress causing all kinds of imbalances in the body leading to different health problems and malfunctions.
“Functional related infertility is very often related to stress. This may be the reason that infertility seems to be extremely common in women who work in stressful office environments. Acupuncture is very beneficial for decreasing excess tension in the body by balancing the autonomic nervous system. Possible hormonal imbalances and circulatory problems are also addressed by acupuncture.” (Dr. Tim Tanaka, Pacific Wellness Institute, Toronto)

In this day and age, both women and men have often depleted their Kidney energy and due to stress have stagnated the energy of the liver, making it hard to conceive.

With TCM and the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, there are no side effects and the treatments not only enhance fertility, but also leave the person feeling more energetic. There are also things that the people trying to conceive can do along with having acupuncture treatments, such as:

Eating a healthy diet
Exercising in moderation
Learning about the best time to conceive
Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake
Making lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation

In TCM, infertility isn’t seen as a localized problem, but one that can encompass the whole body and has to do with the flow and amount of energy (qi) that is in the body.

Conditions such as infertility are fundamentally seen as blockages or imbalances in the body's "qi" (pronounced chee), a vital force or energy that flows throughout the body along channels called meridians.

Even if TCM isn’t used alone in enhancing fertility, it has increased the chances of pregnancy when combined with IVF or other western medicine treatments.

In conclusion, TCM has worked in a broad range of cases and in the case of different ages as well to provide a fertile and welcoming environment for the chance of conception. Working to increase the blood flow to the uterus, increase the body’s natural endorphine levels and stimulate the natural and adequate flow of qi throughout the body. Fertility is a natural process that our bodies are able to fulfill and therefore we need healthy balanced bodies to insure that we are able to bring forth creation in the way that it was indented to bloom.

Come see us for treatment at Acupuncture and Holistic Care. Check out our website: www.acupuncturepainfree.com

For more reading:

Lewis, Randine. The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies. 2004

Ni, Daoshing and Herko, Dana. The Tao of Fertility. New York City. Harper Collins Publishers, 2008.

Wu, Angela C with Antilla, Katherine and Brown, Betsy. Fertility Wisdom: How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Help Overcome Fertility. Rodale Inc, 2006.



Friday, July 29, 2011

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is defined as the inability to control the bladder. This condition can be characterized by dripping, urgency to urinate, frequent urination and not being able to control the flow of urine often resulting in accidents.

We usually see urinary incontinence as we get older, but it is not limited to our elders. Traditional Chinese Medicine speaks to this condition being a deficiency that is connected to the energy of the Kidneys. The energy of the Kidneys becomes depleted as we age (stress, diet, overworked - all contribute), thus taking away from its ability to control the flow of urine.

Other symptoms that may accompany urinary incontinence are:

Impotence
Infertility (male and female)
Spermatorrhea
Irregular menstruation
Lower backache/soreness
Low Energy

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs function well to tonify the Kidney energy and stop the urinary incontinence. Dr. Linda Peng has had much success with the treatment of Urinary Incontinence.

Check out the links below for more info:

http://www.tcmworld.org/heal_with_tcm/urinary_incontinence/

http://www.yinyanghouse.com/theory/traditional-chinese-medicine/kidney-yang-deficiency-tcm-diagnostic-pattern

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urinary_incontinence

http://www.sacredlotus.com/theory/substances/jing.cfm/highlight/urinary%20incontinence


Check out our next post will be related to Infertility. A new disharmony/imbalance/condition will be posted every Friday. Questions and comments are welcomed!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Control xerostomia … Start with acupuncture & Chinese herbs

Radiation is a method used by conventional medicine to treat cancer. High energy beams (x-ray, gamma ray) are projected through the affected tissue. Radiation exerts its cell inhibitive effect through the creation of a high concentration of free radicals that create high local oxidative stress. The oxidative stress causes irreparable DNA damage and results in cell death. Since the cell death caused by radiation is not selective to cancer cells the whole radiated area is affected and the body responds to it with a strong inflammatory reaction.

Xerostomia occurs as both a chronic and acute complication of radiation administered in the treatment of head and neck cancer. In addition to mouth pain and difficulty speaking resulting from xerostomia, alterations in taste and difficulty swallowing can compromise nutritional status, and changes in the oral flora can lead to dental caries and even jaw infections

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) views radiation as an extreme external attack of heat and dryness that damages the yin fluids and the Spleen qi, with local accumulation of heat, fire and toxins. Inhibition of the Spleen's ability to transform pure from impure and results in a complex picture of heat-fire dryness above, stagnation of heat toxins locally and deficient damp-heat below. In order to increase the cell killing effect of radiation and control its local side effects, what is needed is to provide oxygenation to cells, and promote peripheral blood flow.

A ScienceDaily (apr. 25, 2009) report shows that twice weekly acupuncture treatments relieve debilitating symptoms of xerostomia - severe dry mouth - among patients treated with radiation for head and neck cancer. Another study published in the july 2008 issue of BMC Complementary Alternative Medicine found that the acupuncture point, Large intestine 2 (LI2), increased saliva production as well as brain activity that is associated with saliva production.

Xerostomia is under estimated and under treated.Don't wait for the onset of symptoms; damage to the lining of the mouth occurs on the first day of cancer therapy. – Control xerostomia ask your doctor about starting acupuncture & Chinese herbs

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Be Slim and Fit with Acupuncture

Are you struggling to lose weight? Why not try out an effective, holistic, natural and painless approach?
acupuncture slimming is a natural way to loose weight and get back to your ideal shape. Very thin needles are used to pierce the skin on various points to promote blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.
It also helps to curb cravings and to deal with other ailments like high blood pressure and cerebral palsy.


Acupuncture slimming is gaining approval among people from a wide range of cultural and social background. Try it and see the results.