Acupuncture for Pregnancy

Acupuncture is used during pregnancy for many conditions as follows:-

Miscarriage/Threatened miscarriage

Early pregnancy  – nourish the fetus therapy

Nausea/vomiting

Constipation and hemorrhoids

Low Back pain, pelvic and hip pain

Cold & flu

Hypertension/gestational diabetes

Breech and posterior positioned babies – ideally week 34-36

Natural induction with acupuncture

Prebirth acupuncture to prepare for labour

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Treatment of Tiredness in Chinese Medicine

The chief symptom of tiredness is exhaustion which is a deficiency of the bodys qi and can be caused by overexertion. The excess conditions causing tiredness are liver conditions, phlegm and damp in the body causing obstructions. Injuries to qi, blood, muscles, tendons, bones whereby the following organs themselves are injured, spleen, liver, kidneys,  lungs, heart and brain.  Also exposure to weather wind, cold damp can cause exhaustion. The spleen & lungs are the first organs to cause exhaustion.  Aetiology, weak constitution, overwork, physical overexertion, poor diet, severe illness (influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, measles meningitis, common cold, upper respiratory infection, childbirth, recreational drugs.  Based on what the symptoms are, the treatment is repairing the following, 1. Lung deficiency, 2. spleen deficiency, 3.heart deficiency, 4. kidney deficiency, liver deficiency, blood deficiency.  Common diseases which are in this category are chronic nephritis, Glandular fever, ME, carcinoma, addisons disease, HIV, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus and anaemia.  The treatment is relevant acupuncture points and relevant herbal prescription to achieve a successful outcome.

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Hayfever – Allergic Rhinitis and what Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine can do!!!

Treatment of Hayfever (Allergic Rhinitis) with Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine                                           Causative factors: 1.cold and insufficiency of lung qi weakening the body resistance, insufficiency of 2.spleen qi and 3.kidney yang deficiency failing to warm the body.  4.Heat accumulated in the lung channel where symptoms are yellow discharge and a rapid pulse.  Acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine regulates the immunological function of the human body, thus giving therapeutic effects.    Symptoms: nasal itching, frequency sneezing, nasal obstruction, itching of the eyes, watery nasal discharge, aversion to wind and cold, shortness of breath & disinclination to talk, swelling in the interior nasal concha with watery secretions from the bottom of the nasal cavity.  Allergies to house dust, animal hair, chemicals, pollen, feathers are a trigger for the above condition …The chief treatments are Acupuncture, herbal prescriptions and auricular acupuncture for this case with immediate results.  Improving the function of the above mentioned organs is the strategy to alleviate the problem strengthening the body.

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Acne

Acne Vulgaris is a chronic inflammation of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands.  Occurring in adolescence and presenting as skin lesions that become red inflamed papules and sometimes developing into nodules/cysts/abscesses/ulcerations.    Acne occurs on the face, neck, upper part of the chest and back.  Organs involved in Chinese medicine are the Kidney the Lungs, with some stomach involvement along with pathogens in the body which are blood heat, phlegm and toxic heat.  Other pathogens like dryness (deficiency of liver blood), wind (itchy skin)and blood stasis (bluish color) do have an involvement in this case.   There are a couple of differentiations and treatment of this common syndromes 1. Blood heat, hence the red nature of the papules, burning  feeling, itching 2, Phlegm-accumulation, cystic acne 3. Toxic heat type inflamed skin, malar flush, scattered inflamed nodules, acnes abscesses on the face. Acupuncture treatment of the patient is Facial Acupuncture, distal acupuncture points on the body and herbs to take in pill form and lotions to calm the skin and clear up infections.  Diet should be less greasy food, avoid heavy dairy and spicy food  whilst increasing your diet with more green organic fruit & veg and drinking more water at room temperature and exercising.  Try  A natural facial scrub is recommend i.e. sea salt

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Natural Labour Induction – using Acupuncture & Herbs

  • Acupuncture for labour induction involves treatments week 41 onwards know as pre-birth Acupuncture. Monitoring should be carried out week 36-37 for the following conditions, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, foetus position and heartbeat and other minor complaints, i.e. heartburn, haemorrhoids, constipation, varicose veins, low backache, insomnia & exhaustion.  Preparation for labour can start at week 36/37.  Acupuncture prepares the cervix and the pelvis for delivery.  Breech baby treatment can be given from week 33 onwards until an optimal anterior position is achieved.  Also to achieve an optimal anterior position of the baby acupuncture is also applied if there is a breech baby or high presentation.  There are acupuncture points for cervical dilation & ripening and for a spontaneous labour.  More and more women are interested in a social induction which revolves around their life plan.  Despite the best efforts of Acupuncture and/or herbs a medical induction may be performed in the hospital if there is any risk to the baby(foetal distress) and mother, which involves rupturing the membranes and administration of intravenous oxytocin.  The advantages of acupuncture are, spontaneous labour, an efficient labour, decrease in need for caesarean section, decrease in duration of labour, de-stress mothers, less pain during labour, fewer interventions, soften ligaments, tonify qi and blood, increases cervical dilation, increases descending action of qi in the body and prevention of delayed labour failing to progress.   Herbs for labour induction can also be included in the treatment and auricular acupuncture for natural labour induction.  Finally, a healthy diet is recommended for the health of both baby & mother, ……… avoid greasy, damp and spicy food…..
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Treating knee pain in Cyclists with Acupuncture

 

Acupuncture treatment for Cyclists with Knee Injuries

In cycling one of the most common injuries  is knee pain just below the patella (kneecap).   Endurance cycling can cause pain progressing to the lateral side of the knee and the lower back – iliotibial band syndrome.  Of course, muscle compensation plays a part and the medial side of the knee, the vastus medialis oblique (VMO), begins to hurt.

These injuries are considered an overuse neuromuscular response, arising from either excessive use of an unconditioned, agonistic muscle in a very short period of time or repetitive agonistic use of a muscle over a long period of time. Treatments include Acupuncture, Chinese liniments, auricular therapy and Chinese herbal medicine. Anterior knee pain is one of the most common conditions treated in this particular setting. The two most common symptoms are the patello femoral pain and patellar tendonitis.  Both of these conditions are the result of agonistic neuromuscular overuse, with signs/symptoms surrounding the patella. When cycling, the hip, knee and ankle joints are synergistically working together.  These joints will respond to neuromuscular compensations associated with the neuromuscular tightness (agonistic movements).  Of course, all are dependent upon how one is sitting on the seat and the position of the foot while cycling. Over time, improper positioning can lead to neuromuscular imbalances that cause a variety of muscular compensation patterns.  The key is to identify and anticipate where these compensation patterns are and treat them accordingly – before pain or other symptoms occur.

This neuromuscular tightness (excessive shortening) creates muscle imbalances and puts stress upon structures surrounding the patella, which causes pain. These neuromuscular imbalances create weaknesses in the VMO, vastus lateralis (VL), IT band (gluteus maximus and TFL) and the patellar tendon. The causative factors are: increased daily mileage (between 50 and 102 miles), hill work, biomechanical positioning of toe clips, seat adjustments and ride-duration fatigue.

The mechanism of injury involves physiological responses of the neuromuscular tissue to excessive agonistic movements of flexion/extension of the hip and knee joints, with slight internal or external rotation of the knee. This is dependent upon each cyclist’s toe-clip position and neuromuscular compensation. Essentially, the neuromuscular response of agonistic contractions stemmed from overuse of the quads, gluteals, and/or hamstrings producing stress upon the structure surrounding the patella (iliotibial band, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris and vastus medialis). These muscles can pull the patella laterally, and due to the neuromuscular imbalance of the surrounding structures of the patella, pain may be felt medially and/or laterally, depending upon the individual and their natural biomechanical gait, stress, compensation and fatigue factors.

The agonistic knee flexors include the bicep femoris, semi-membranosus, semitendinosus, sartorius, gracilis, popliteus and gastrocnemius. The neuromuscular compensation is the result of the excessive agonistic movements, which create neuromuscular compensation patterns with the glutes and iliotibial band. The knee extensors (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedialis) tend to trigger agonistic contractions at the patellar tendon so pain is present just below the patella. This is known as patellar tendonitis.

Cyclists are exposed to weather on every cycle.  In Chinese medicine, this plays a role in part of the diagnostic method of six external pathogens associated with bi syndromes (osteo-arthritis), wei qi deficiency due to pre-existing Lung qi, Spleen qi deficiency, damp accumulation, and Liver qi stagnation.

Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine

According to the Oriental philosophy, the primary pathological mechanisms are blood and qi stagnation, due to overexertion, with further susceptibility to the invasion of wind, cold, and damp affecting the channels externally and organs internally. This results in decreased nourishment to the sinews and bones. Of course, the manifestation of pathogenic factors varies, cyclists initially can develop  stagnation of qi/blood and, subsequently, liver qi stagnation.  Excessive physical exertion creates deficiency patterns, if not already present due to previous preparation training, resulting in system depletion or further deficiency of kidney qi/yin deficiency and spleen qi deficiency.

However, another aspect that needs to be considered is that excessive physical overexertion consumes the zheng qi, which can result in a lowered resistance.  With excessive physical exertion days, internal deficiency conditions start to become more apparent involving the following patterns: wei qi deficiency, Spleen qi deficiency, Liver/Kidney qi deficiency, Kidney yin and yang deficiency. Channel and organs became susceptible to invasion of wind, cold and damp due to the environmental conditions riders endure on a daily basis.  Deficiency of qi and blood is predicable for lowered resistance, allowing the invasion of the six exogenous pathogenic factors.

Acupuncture treatments include moxa over channels/meridians/vessels, herbal formulas and auricular acupuncture/plasters with heat/cooling or magnet plasters are given to those athletes for deficiency conditions to improve blood and qi deficiency  to prevent further deficiency from overexertion. Those who are susceptible to wind, cold and damp bi syndrome (arthritis) are given herbs in the morning and late afternoon. Those also with Spleen qi deficiency, Lung  qi deficiency, Kidney qi /yin/yang deficiency  among other conditions during their training prior to exercise.  In the sports medicine arena, most practitioners do their work after the injury already has occurred.   The key is to identify and anticipate where these compensation patterns are and treat them accordingly before pain or the symptom occurs. This is difficult because there are a variety of ways to prevent these compensation patterns. One of the easiest is stretching, but getting the riders to stretch is rather difficult if pain is not present. This is a double-edged sword in education and application. The other dilemma is using Oriental medicine as prevention rather than after the injury has occurred.  This is particularly due to lack of understanding of what Oriental medicine has to offer athletes/patients in general.

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Treating Fibromyalgia with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine

Treatment of Fibromyalgia with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine.  Standard Fibromyalgia symptoms are pain of the muscle fiber,  trigger points soar when pressed, nervous exhaustion, fatigue, flu like symptoms, insomnia, & cognitive dysfunction.   Triggers can be physical trauma, surgery, infections.  Patients may be taking pain medications however there is acupuncture and a herbal alternative to resolve muscle and joint pain.  Some patients maybe intolerant to wheat/dairy/gluten and may also have symptoms i.e.  IBS.  and other patients may have been overworking or stressed and have developed fibromyalgia.   There are 4 categories that a therapist will check and then complete a Chinese Acupuncture/Herbal Solution.  There are Acupuncture Point Prescriptions specifically for this condition and  a herbal prescription to take.  Symptoms should begin to resolve and a patient can get back to normal.  These herbs treat Pain and a patient may not have to continue pain medications once the herbs/acupuncture take effect.  This therapy will strengthen the organs involved, move qi and blood and resolve pathogens from the body.  Exercise will help increasing oxygen to the body and a healthy diet.

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Infertility caused by immunological causes and the role of Chinese Medicine

Some autoimmune and alloimmune diseases are associated with three or more miscarriages due to a group of antibodies know as aPLs,  antiphospholipids.  In other words the females immune system does not protect the fetus with protective antibodies hence she is prone to blood clotting in the placenta and risk of fetal death from results found in the aPL test.  However in Chinese medicine the strategy to treat this condition would be to strengthen the patients immune system with acupuncture and herbs.   In this case the patient could have spleen and kidney deficiency and removing antagonistic antibodies which are considered pathogenic in Chinese medicine since they obstruct the patients reproductive function.  There is a famous herb in particular with the action of removing antagonistic antibodies.  The strategy of promoting new qi and blood, nourishing kidney yin and invigorating kidney yang with acupuncture and the appropriate herbal prescriptions over a couple of weeks and up to three months. Then starting the IVF and embryo transfer will be more successful with the Chinese Medical intervention, i,e, more follicles, better quality eggs and eventually embryos for transfer and some may be frozen for future plans.  I also have to mention that during the first trimester the patient is kept on a specific Chinese herbal prescription preventing miscarriage which is a continuation of the treatment  for a successful outcome.

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Vertebrobasilar Ischemic Vertigo

Vertebrobasilar ischemic vertigo will result in a patient feeling a sensation of spinning, floating, and swinging and flaccid legs.  A feeling of nausea, vomiting and/or blackout, visual field defect and/or double vision, ataxia, balance disturbance and numbness.   Acupuncture to certain points on the head and body resolve these symptoms.  According to western medicine arteriosclerosis and cervical spondylosis are the main causes whilst TCM views the causes to be emotions and dietary factors and overstrain.    This prescription of Acupuncture points resolves pathogens such as phlegm/damp and wind  in the body due to lack of nourishment to the brain whereby there was already an underlying deficiency of  qi and blood in this patient.

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Acupuncture protocols for treating Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Neurosis

Effective points in treating depression are  points on the scalp where the meridians enter the brain.  It is not painful but very relaxing and a patient will just feel calm and relaxed for the duration of the treatment.  Body acupuncture points will also be added to the treatment.   Acupuncture is a drug free option with no side effects.  Depending on a patients case history results, a practitioner will decide which points will be most effective for a particular case. Emotions of depressive psychosis would be sadness, worry, grief, sorrow and acupuncture immediately raises your frequency and clears these emotions and a patient will feel much more optimistic.    Supplements for the brain should also be considered to speed up the recovery process and a recommended antioxidant for the brain is green tea which removes free radicals especially in the case of senile dementia.   Some cases may require herbal treatments depending on a diagnosis to sustain a patient over a month to two month treatment plan.  Psychological problems block the liver channel in particular and impair the flow of qi and a patient will become depressed.  Chemicals overburdening the liver will also make a patient feel depressed.  Auricular acupuncture will also be added as a patient will have  auricular magnets in their ear for a week and continue to have treatment before their next treatment.

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