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
While some of us marvel at all the new flowers and trees in bloom, others suffer from hay fever—an allergic reaction to pollen and mold that flourishes with the arrival of spring, summer, and fall. Itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, and other hay-fever symptoms may have you running to the drugstore for relief. But hay fever natural remedies and herbs can also offer some help.
Based on traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is one of the oldest healing practices, but it’s still relatively new to Western medicine. By inserting the tip of very thin needles into specific points on the body, acupuncture aims to restore the body’s flow of energy, thought to affect a variety of health problems, including how the immune system responds to allergies.
Recent studies show some promise on hay fever with acupuncture. For example, a small study compared adult patients who received weekly acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine with patients who unknowingly had fake acupuncture. It found that the real acupuncture and Chinese-herb patients noticed that the severity of their hay fever was significantly less pronounced and that their quality of life was significantly improved. And in another small study of children who were treated twice a week with real vs. sham acupuncture for seasonal allergy symptoms, the children who received the real treatment had fewer symptoms.
First and foremost, prevention. This is the number one reason for trying acupuncture and although it’s not the most common reason to try it. Most people try acupuncture for the first time because they have some kind of ailment such as pain, digestive distress, or emotional imbalance. Acupuncture can and should be looked at as preventative medicine, instead of waiting to get a diagnosis of a specific condition. An acupuncturist is be able to detect much more subtle imbalances in your system and work to correct them.
• Acupuncture can be used to offset stress and the effects of aging. Research proves that neglected stress can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds, leading to all kinds of ailments ranging from digestive distress, painful periods, chronic pain, hormonal imbalances, allergies, blood pressure and sugar imbalances, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and fatigue. Cosmetically speaking, wrinkled skin, grey hairs, thin hair, and dark circles under the eyes are no strangers to the extremely stressed body. Acupuncture has been proven to help offset these adverse effects and can help promote a more youthful energetic self.
• Acupuncture can help you understand your body and mind better. Acupuncture is not just all about tiny needles. In addition to being treated with acupuncture to help regulate your system, most practitioners offer dietary and lifestyle suggestion that may help you make the changes you want to see in your life.
The next time you have trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, consider seeing an acupuncturist which might detect subtle imbalances that could be leading to those distressing symptoms. Furthermore, acupuncturists are trained to treat not only the “symptoms” but the “root causes,” which means making changes on deep fundamental levels of your being.
Filed under Acupuncture, Back pain, Chronic pain, Cosmetic acupucnture, Depression, Digestive problems, Facial acupuncture, Facial rejuvenation acupuncture, Fatigue, Headache, Hot flashes, Insomnia, Menopause, Neck pain, Pain relief, Shoulder pain