Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a syndrome characterized by pain persisting for more than 3 months following the resolution of shingles. Symptoms of PHN include central pain sensation, unpleasant sensation to touch, and itchiness along the distribution of the involved dermatome. Often times patients are prescribed with anti-viral medications at the initial outbreak of shingles and when the lesions resolved and PHN kicks in, many providers are left with prescribing more medications that may or may not be effective.
The conventional treatments for PHN, such as tricyclic antidepressants, antiepileptics, opioids, tramadol, lidocaine and capsaicin, which are probably effective to relieve some of the pain for a period of time. However, approximately 50% of patients may still not obtain satisfactory analgesia despite treatments with these medications.
Acupuncture, which has a history of more than 2000 years in the prevention and treatment of diseases, plays an important role in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Different kinds of acupuncture methods such as needling, electroacupuncture, and cupping are in use for the treatment of PHN in hospitals in China. In the past 5 years, acupuncture for treating PHN has been used in more than 137 studies. The benefit of the treatment group was reported between 84.1% and 97.5%.1 The clinical trials indicate that acupuncture could reduce pain and discomfort among most patients and also remove pain and discomfort among some patients.
Vitamin B12 has long known has a nerve food. In deprivation of vitamin B12, individuals can experience numbness and tingling. It is an excellent choice in alleviating symptoms of PHN. According to researches, the injection of methylcolbalamin (methyl vitamin B12) significantly reduced continuous pain, paroxysmal pain, and allodynia in the subacute herpetic neuralgia patients2. Thus, methyl B12 may be an alternative candidate for treating SHN.
Acupuncture and vitamin B12 and other naturopathic approaches should be considered at the onset of shingles to help minimize the occurrence or the severity of PHN.
- Yan, Z. J. Acupunct. Tuina. Sci. (2004) 2: 39. doi:10.1007/BF02848360
- Neural Plasticity. Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 424651, 6 pages
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a type of inflammation in the nose which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. Signs and symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, red, itchy, and watery eyes, and swelling around the eyes. Many people with allergic rhinitis also have asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, or atopic dermatitis. Research shows that more than 3 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies every year.
Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and is employed for a wide variety of conditions, including pain relief, asthma, migraines, and arthritis.
A study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, where a team of researchers designed a large trial to figure that out the effects of acupuncture to relieve hay fever. Scientists recruited people with allergies to grass and pollen and randomly assigned them to one of three groups. One group received 12 acupuncture treatments over eight weeks. Another was given sham acupuncture treatments equivalent to placebo, and a third group received no treatment. Each group had access to an antihistamine. After the given time, those in the acupuncture group showed greater improvements in symptoms, compared with the other two groups, and they used the antihistamine less frequently. Another study published in the journal Allergy also found that acupuncture treatments, given three times a week over four weeks, relieved allergy symptoms compared with a sham procedure. Overall, acupuncture can be a great method of relief and even resolution of allergy symptoms when combined with proper attention to the root cause, and continued care for one’s well being. A lot of factors may contribute to symptoms such as lifestyle, environment, diet, and constitution. Once stabilized with acupuncture and/or herbal medicine, allergy patients who are dedicated to self care and lifestyle changes see significant improvement of their symptoms and overall health.
For more information about acupuncture for allergies and other symptoms, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center.
Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(4):225-234.
Neck pain is very common and can originate from various different causes. It can be caused by poor posture, muscle strain, stress, abnormalities in the joints, etc. Neck pain can range of an acute pain to a more chronic type of pain. There are many treatments for neck pain such as massage, pain relieving medication, physical therapy, etc. However, one very effective way to combat chronic neck pain is through acupuncture.
Acupuncture is type of healing technique that has been around for thousands of years. This technique promotes natural self-healing by stimulating certain points throughout the body. These points are referred to as acupuncture points. Thin needles are inserted through the skin various precise point throughout the body. Stimulating an acupuncture point will cause the body to respond to that area. This stimulation relieves chronic pain such as neck pain.
Acupuncture for neck pain is very successful because it uses the body’s self-healing response to combat the pain. The acupuncture points that are stimulated directly affect the area that is causing the pain in the neck. Acupuncture helps restore balance in the body and regulate physiological functions. Therefore, this method is very successful because it relieves pain without the use of pain medications. Pain medications just treat the symptoms for chronic neck pain; however, acupuncture confronts the root of the imbalance in the body that is causing the pain.
If you are experiencing neck pain and want to have acupuncture to help relieve the pain or want to know more about the benefits of acupuncture, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call at (206) 319 – 5322 to make an appointment.
Being in a car crash can be one of the most life changing events, and depending on the severity of crash can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain. Whiplash, also known as traumatic cervical syndrome, is one of the most common collision injuries and occurs when the neck is jolted in such a way that tweaks the delicate muscles, tendons and ligaments of the neck and spine. Some of the physical symptoms experienced from whiplash include neck pain/ stiffness, headache dizziness, back pain, arm/shoulder pain, numbness and tingling, amongst other symptoms. The pain experienced as well as potential bruising and swelling after a car crash is the result of trauma to the tissues of the body that causes stagnation of blood and the body’s vital energy, Qi.
Acupuncture is a passive yet effective way to activate and increase the body’s circulation of Qi and blood in order to restore damaged tissues. Acupuncture also causes the release of endorphins that block the transmission of pain signaling in the brain. After a car crash, passive treatment may be the best approach immediately following an accident in order to allow traumatized muscles and ligaments time to heal without further strain. Acupuncture is a holistic form of healing and can vastly improve your body’s innate ability to heal itself and therefore increase the rehabilitation and healing rate and reduce the risk of chronic pain long term following a car accident.
Most auto accident injuries are covered by automobile insurance. We know exactly how to find out what coverage is available for you and how to bill for it. If you have any questions regarding to how acupuncture can help with pain from a car accident or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call (206)319-5322.
Filed under Acupuncture, Back pain, Chronic pain, Cupping, Depression, Fatigue, Headache, Insomnia, Jaw pain, Neck pain, Pain relief, Shoulder pain
In addition to the many health promoting effects throughout the body that acupuncture provides, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture aims to correct the signs of aging by both local treatment and by treating the underlying causes of why an individual is specifically manifesting the aging process the way they are. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is painless and non-surgical. Based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the treatment involves inserting hair-thin needles into particular areas of the face, ears, hands, stomach, chest, and legs along channels or meridians of energy called “qi”. Specific points are chosen to manipulate the movement of energy in the body according to the individual’s needs. Thousands of years ago the Chinese discovered that many meridians either begin or end on the face while some have internal branches that go to the face. Thus, practitioners of Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture know how to specifically effect the face while simultaneously treating the underlying factors contributing to the aging process.
Though Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is sometimes referred to as the acupuncture facelift, it is more than a cosmetic procedure. It is a rejuvenation and revitalization process designed to help the whole body look and feel younger.
Benefits of facial rejuvenation acupuncture include:
- Improved muscle tone and dermal contraction
- Increased collagen production
- Helps to eliminate and reduce bags under the eyes, and decreases the tendency toward sagging and jowls
- Helps to eliminate fine lines of the face and has a diminishing effect on larger wrinkles
- Improves hormonal balance; thus, even those with hormonal acne can benefit
- Moisturizes the skin by the increased local circulation of blood and lymph to the face
- Reduces or eliminates double chins
- Tightens the pores
- Helps to lift drooping eyelids
- Reduces stress evident in the face
- Promotes overall health and well being
- Slows the aging process from within
Anyone who is interested in looking and feeling younger is a good candidate for Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture. The decision to begin treatment may be professionally or personally inspired or a combination of both. In addition, those who are considering surgical facelift may want to try acupuncture first, avoiding the cost and discomfort or surgery. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is particularly beneficial for those who have already undergone surgical facelift as acupuncture will promote healthier skin and prolong the effects of the surgical facelift. Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation treats the blood stasis, scarring and potential numbness and pain of surgical facelifts.
For more information about facial acupuncture, please contact Seattle Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322.
A 28-year-old male patient came in with the complaint of chronic abdominal pain and environmental allergies. A recent outbreak of eczema after consuming a burrito was also a concern. His symptoms included a chronic cough, dryness of skin, hot face, rosacea and increased anxiety. Before coming in, he had been taking an over the counter antihistamine to alleviate the symptoms which slightly improved the environmental allergies, but the dull and tight abdominal pain along with constipation and bloating was exacerbated possibly due to the antihistamine. Two major changes were advised to the patient including excluding foods which may be a cause of his food allergy response including garlic, ginger, quinoa, avocado, carrots, dairy and wheat according to his food sensitivity panel. Next was to take a natural antihistamine, not an over the counter, which included nettle in a tea or a capsule form along with vitamin C. During this visit a blood panel was taken which showed increased levels of triglycerides caused by carbohydrates such as pasta, rice and high fat foods. His thyroid function was low and had low levels of vitamin D. To address the low functioning thyroid, it is recommended to increase iodine intake through eating seafood and seaweed.
In his next appointment, a month later, he showed signs of allergy relief as well as improved digestion, but the abdominal pain lingered. We ordered an imaging ultrasound since the patient has a family history of gallbladder dysfunction, however, the patient showed normal results. Another month later, his allergies had resolved but the stomach pain continued so we started acupuncture monthly which seemed to help with stress and the pain. Fast forwarding 3 months from the original appointment, the patient ate a food item he knew he was intolerable to and the abdominal pain came back. Once we started regular weekly acupuncture on the patient, stress levels decreased, chronic and seasonal allergies subsided and the dryness of skin also went away.
For more information on acupuncture and food allergy testing, visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322
Cupping can be combined with acupuncture to help treat a large variety of problems and has been used for athletes and non-athletes alike. There are many different ways to achieve the effects of cupping most of which involve oiling the area of skin and placing a smooth rimmed cup on it with a suction. The suction can be obtained through two methods; one is by firing the cup to remove all of the oxygen from within it and then placing it on the skin. The other is to place the cup and create a localized low pressure region through a mechanical device. Once the cups are in place, they can be moved across the back, pulling toxins to the surface; a common area for cupping is the back, especially along each side of the spine. Once the procedure is over, patients will notice some bruising and red to pink marks along the treated area due to the blood coming to the surface. Color, texture and longevity of the marks indicate the amount of toxins pulled from the system. According to traditional Chinese medicine, cupping helps improve qi, which is the flow of natural energy throughout the body.
Myofascial Decompression Treatment, known as cupping, is a way to loosen tight muscles, increase blood flow, and helps improve respiratory problems in patients. It does this by pulling blood and toxins to the surface that are trapped between the constricted muscle layers known as muscle fascia. Lymph and stagnant blood are pulled to the surface. In essence, it is the opposite of a deep tissue message.
Examples of usage for cupping are upper and lower back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, tightness in the muscle, asthma, and chronic cough. Cupping is often performed in the same treatment as acupuncture to enhance the effectiveness of both therapies.
For more information about cupping, please contact Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322