Increase blood flow and healing through Cupping!

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

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Acupuncture, Back pain, Chronic pain, Cupping, Digestive problems, Headache, Neck pain, Pain relief, Shoulder pain, TMJ

Low Back Pain Study Shows Acupuncture Works Twice As Well As Conventional Therapy

According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 80 percent of the general population in the United States will suffer from low back pain sometime during their lifetime. Low back pain is the second most frequent reason Americans visit a medical doctor for treatment. It is also, according to a widely publicized study, the most frequent reason that Americans visit a licensed acupuncturist for care.

 

A German study on chronic low back pain showed that acupuncture works twice as well as standard care (Haake et al 2007). Standard care is defined as using drugs and physical therapy.

 

This was a double blinded randomized, controlled trial conducted in Germany involving 340 outpatient practices, including 1162 patients aged 18 to 86 years with a history of chronic low back pain for an average of 8 years. Patients underwent ten 30 minute sessions, usually 2 sessions per week, of acupuncture according to principles of traditional Chinese medicine; or conventional therapy, a combination of drugs, physical therapy, and exercise.

 

The conclusion of the study was that chronic low back pain improved after acupuncture treatment for at least 6 months. The effectiveness of acupuncture was almost twice that of conventional therapy.

 

Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(17):1892-1898

 

If you suffer from back pain and live in Seattle, call us at 206-319-5322 today to set up your appointment for pain free health.

Leave a comment

Filed under Acupuncture, Back pain, Chronic pain, Headache, Neck pain, Pain relief, Shoulder pain

Eczema solution with acupuncture

Eczema is a common skin disease characterized by inflammation, itching, and oozing vesicular lesions that become scaly, crushed or hardened. The condition usually occurs symmetrically on both sides of the body and is recurring.

 

Internal factors:

  • Heredity
  • Predisposition for eczema
  • Functional disorders of the secretion glands
  • Digestive system disorders (stomach problems, intestine problems, constipation, diarrhea)
  • Nervous system issues
  • Metabolism problems
  • Stress, exhaustion
  • Varicose veins
  • Excessive sweating
  • Skin dryness

 

External factors:

  • Chemical imbalance caused by prescription medication
  • Cosmetics such as perfume and make-up
  • Certain spices and condiments
  • Detergents
  • Animal toxins
  • Certain foods such as eggs, seafood, and milk
  • Airborne irritants such as pollen and dust
  • Bacterial and viral infections
  • Sun and wind exposure
  • Cold temperatures
  • Scratching

 

Eczema is an allergic or auto-immune reaction to any one or combination of the internal and external factors affecting the body. There are many different kinds of eczema, some with unknown causes.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that itchy skin is caused by “wind evil.” In TCM, itchiness can move across different places on the body, like the movement of the wind. Inflammation and oozing vesicular lesions are caused by “wet evil.” In TCM, a negative kind of wetness causes effusion from eczema lesions, so we call it wet evil. In this sense, the main causes of eczema are a combination of both wind and wet evil.

 

Acupuncture: Able to treat internal organs or external skin problems, acupuncture adjusts entire organ systems by maintaining balance through acupuncture channels. Upon inserting the needle into the skin, a reaction causes white blood cells and lymph cells to rush around the needled area. This strengthens local skin repairing functions to rapidly induce healing. Acupuncture is used for both its localized effect and for readjusting the entire body balance to repair the organ system to reduce the symptoms of eczema.

 

Cupping: Increases blood circulation, releases toxins by putting pressure on the skin directly, and reduces the swelling and redness that are manifestations of eczema.

 

Diet: Eczema patients should avoid consumption of meat, as animal proteins can cause allergic reactions. Other foods to avoid for this reason include nuts and fried, spicy, and canned foods. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes the above foods belong to “hot” foods and produce “heat evil” and “wet evil,” both of which promote and worsen eczema symptoms. As everybody’s condition is different, each patient will get a recommended individualized diet plan.

 

Internal Use Herbal medicine:

Depending on the above factors, individual herbal formulas can be prescribed. Patients can choose to drink real herbal tea, herbal pills or herbal powder. While the taste of real herbal tea is not pleasant, it is the most effective treatment.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Acupuncture, Cosmetic acupucnture, Eczema, Facial acupuncture, Facial rejuvenation acupuncture

A pain in the neck? Why acupuncture could be the answer

Chronic pain is an increasingly common ailment or condition and most often patients are suffering from lower back pain, general joint or arthritis pain or neck pain. It’s estimated that 26% of Americans suffer from chronic pain, compared to 7% that have diabetes, 6% with heart disease and less than 2% diagnosed with cancer. For those living with chronic pain, neck pain is the third most common cause, according to a survey conducted by the National Institute of Health Statistics.

There are many causes for neck pain. The Mayo Clinic has some great online resources and information about what can lead to neck pain, including muscle strains, worn joints, nerve compression, injuries and diseases.

 

Physicians and researchers have also been conducting studies to test the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic neck pain. The results have been compelling. A 2001 study showed that acupuncture was effective in relieving neck pain and improving range of motion. In a 2004 study, the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic neck pain was evaluated in 153 patients. Nearly 70% of those patients had a successful outcome from acupuncture, reporting an improvement in pain of at least 50%.

 

So, while having chronic neck pain can be…well, a pain in the neck, acupuncture can make a significant difference. A licensed acupuncturist or practitioner of TCM can help develop a plan that is customized for you and eases that ache.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Acupuncture, Chronic pain, Fatigue, Headache, Neck pain, Pain relief, Shoulder pain

Natural remedies for hay fever

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Acupuncture, Allergies, Digestive problems, Headache

Why all busy women should try acupuncture?

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.

Leave a comment

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

Acupuncture can treat hot flashes, study finds

Turkish researchers say women who got acupuncture showed more relief.

By Karen Kaplan

Los Angeles Times

Women who suffer from hot flashes and other uncomfortable symptoms of menopause may be able to find relief through acupuncture, according to a new study.

The idea of having to lie still for 20 minutes with needles sticking out of you may not appeal to everyone. On the other hand, hormone replacement therapy — often employed to make menopause more bearable — has some problems of its own, including an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and breast cancer.

So Turkish researchers recruited 53 postmenopausal women and assigned 27 of them to a five-week course of acupuncture (twice a week for 20 minutes at a time) and 26 of them got sham treatments that they thought were real. Women in the treatment group had needles inserted at 10 acupuncture points (bilaterally at ST36, LI4, KI3 and LR3, and also at EX-HN3 and CV3); women in the placebo group were treated with blunted needles that didn’t penetrate the skin.

At the end of the study period, the women who got acupuncture showed more relief from their symptoms compared to their counterparts who got the fake treatment. Their hot flashes were less severe (there was no change for women who got the sham treatment). Both groups had improvements in their psychological symptoms (as measured by the Menopause Rating Scale), though the benefit was much greater for women who got acupuncture. In addition, estrogen levels were significantly higher for the women in the treatment group compared to the controls.

Had there been more than 10 sessions, the benefits of acupuncture might have been even greater, the researchers said. The results were published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine.

Leave a comment

Filed under Acupuncture, Hot flashes, Menopause