Addressing Crohn’s Disease With Traditional Chinese Medicine

We will discuss in this article some ways we can treat Crohn’s disease using TCM or traditional Chinese medicine. Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune inflammatory disease affecting the bowels.It’s marked by physical symptoms such as inflammation, ulcers and fissures. It is associated with other symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, severe abdominal pain and weight loss.

With fibrosis being a key physical marker of Crohn’s disease, this indicates preceding inflammation and therefore, preceding stress, whether that’s psychosomatic stress, chemical stress, biological stress etc. The increased level of stress hormones leads to the inflammation of the bowels and that chronic inflammation is causing fibrosis of the intestinal wall.

Now turning to Chinese medicine for help, TCM has been able to successfully treat various chronic digestive conditions for thousands of years. The primary reason why Chinese medicine is so successful in managing digestive diseases is through its systematic holistic approach. Most digestive diseases have their roots in psychosomatic factors.

It’s not enough to just treat the symptoms or manage the inflammation, we have to take it a step further and figure out what’s causing that inflammation, what sort of patterns and habits are leading to that chronic inflammation that is inflaming the bowls and causing them to become fibrotic.

In terms of treatment, there are two predominant types of Crohn’s. There are mild to more severe cases. In treating mild to moderate cases of Crohn’s, a practitioner of TCM is going to recommend a few things: immunomodulatory herbs to help regulate the immune system that is otherwise autoimmune so the immune system is not functioning properly.

The use of immunomodulatory herbs is very helpful in treating Crohn’s disease and in regulating the immune system rather than simply suppressing it with an immunosuppressant drug. Other routes of treatment include an anti-inflammatory diet that supports the health of the spleen and the stomach as well as anti-inflammatory herbs.

Other approaches include addressing the underlying psychosomatic factors that are so prevalent in digestive diseases. This is usually going to involve the use of acupuncture, Qigong and maybe even meditation to help with the psychological stress that could be setting off the Crohn’s disease.

In addressing more severe cases of Crohn’s disease, a very similar route can likely be taken; with one adjustment, which is usually going to be the goal of getting the person out of antibiotics, immunosuppressants and anti-inflammatory medications. All these things are just for managing the symptoms; however, they likely lead to new issues associated with toxic side effects.

Also, these drugs just inhibit the natural homeostasis of the body. Once a person comes off them, their illness usually comes back. These medications are just for managing the symptoms and not addressing the person’s underlying health problems. So another goal in the treatment of Crohn’s disease is to help the person gradually get off these drugs as his body becomes healthier.

That part is obviously going to be accomplished by working with a Chinese medicine practitioner and a practitioner who has prescribed those medications in the first place.

Now getting to some simple things you can do. Keep in mind these tips are recommended for people with mild to moderate conditions or for people who are just interested in getting a different perspective. I wouldn’t recommend jumping into these things, just coming off medications and just abandoning everything. Gradually follow these tips, implement them and see if you notice any improvements.

Again, bear in mind that one of the major causes of symptoms of Crohn’s disease is inflammation. Inflammation on a cellular level is usually always preceded by some sort of energy interference. Something is happening in the metabolic system and in cellular respiration. The cells are basically not properly uptaking energy, which leads to inflammation on the cellular level.

So, one thing you’re going to really want to look into is what’s inhibiting cellular energy production. This is the biochemical definition of stress. Anything that inhibits the production of energy on a cellular level is called stress and the byproduct of that is going to be increased stress hormones. I highly recommend the works of Ray Peat in regards to cellular respiration, as follows metabolism and energy production.

I highly recommend looking into how to properly care for your thyroid and liver. These are the two governing glands and organs that govern metabolism and most of the body. Actually, most inflammation can be traced right back to the liver. If this organ is not working properly, then thyroid function shuts down and your overall metabolism stops working efficiently, which leads to cellular stress and inflammation.

Generally speaking, a healthy liver is going to improve the overall health of your body. You want to make sure you’re feeding your liver healthy sugars and that it has enough energy to perform its functions. Not doing so is a major way that the liver can become impaired. However, there are also other causative agents that can also weaken and damage the liver.

You need to better take care of your liver and improve thyroid function, overall metabolic function and reduce inflammation. Remember that thyroid function, when it’s operating well, the thyroid hormone inhibits things like estrogen, cortisol and other inflammatory hormones.

Other simple forms that you can do to manage Crohn’s or any digestive disease is to manage emotional and mental stress. It doesn’t matter whether you’re mentally or physically stressed, the byproduct is increased stress hormones and those again inhibit proper metabolic function, which can increase inflammation.This can lead to cellular damage, breakdown of tissues and cells, etc.

So, we want to make sure we’re getting a handle on our emotional and mental stresses, which is easier said than done. There is no short-term solution for this that I’m aware of other than perhaps, going for a walk, talking about your feelings, finding somebody that you can confide in and then figuring out what is causing your mental and emotional turmoil.

In terms of simple dietary recommendations, the major foods you may really want to get rid of include processed junk foods, specifically, the things in these foods that are really damaging to your gut and metabolism. You need to avoid polyunsaturated fats, unrefined or refined and grains since they usually contain high levels of phytate and lectins, as well as anti-nutrients that damage the gut. If they are not digested very well, they can lead to the overgrowth of pathogens that can bring about inflammation and other sorts of issues.

You can avoid a lot of these hard to digest, anti-metabolic ingredients just by avoiding most junk foods. However, the things you’re going to want to look out for include grains, legumes, polyunsaturated fats, canola oil, vegetable oil, soy, peanut oil and all the plant fats that are unsaturated. Those things are not synthesized by the body properly and can lead to inflammation.

Eating a diet that supports spleen function is going to be helpful in terms of Chinese medicine. These things are usually easy to digest. Raw foods over cooked foods also can be helpful for people with Crohn’s disease.

Something that might be controversial in Chinese medicine is that you need going to get some high amounts of calcium. What people don’t realize is that calcium, when it’s chronically low, para thyroid hormone goes up as follows prolactin, which causes the cell to uptake more calcium. You can counter the effects of parathyroid hormone and prolactin by getting a generous supply of dietary calcium.

The best source of calcium is going to be high quality dairy. Take some easy to digest dairy, and if you’re not able to digest it, it may likely indicate that you have SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and those endotoxins decrease the production of lactase, which causes you to not digest dairy very well. So you need to work on managing SIBO bringing down that gut bacteria, which if you adhere to these dietary recommendations, you’re halfway there. But you definitely need to get a good amount of calcium in your diet because, if you’re calcium is low, parathyroid hormone as well as prolactin hormone goes up and they interfere with energy production that causes the cells to pull in more calcium, which leads to inflammation and edema.

Keep in mind that Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease that causes fibrosis. One simple thing you can do is get enough calcium in your diet. If you don’t want to take in dairy, then try to eat cooked kale on a daily basis.

These are some of things that you can do in terms of managing Crohn’s disease.

Anxiety And Stress Treatment By Means Of Craniosacral Therapy

In dealing with danger, anxiety and stress are part of the natural defense mechanisms of the body. Heart and cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure can develop if the body continually secretes stress hormones. Anxiety is a condition characterized by phobias or feelings of panic that’s related to certain social situations. If left unchecked, this can result in depression. Most of us are searching for non-invasive natural therapies to manage our stress and relieve anxiety. In this regard, Craniosacral Therapy is one lesser known healing technique that’s worth considering.

What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral Therapy is an alternative form of healing that concentrates on the spine and cranium, or skull, of the body. According to this therapy, the spinal fluid around our nervous system is critical to our health. Craniosacral Therapy helps improve the mechanisms of all our body’s organs through the manipulation of the cranium. It has been utilized for relief and treatment of a wide gamut of illnesses and disorders including anxiety-related problems, stress, spinal cord and chronic brain injuries, fatigue, motor coordination disorders, tension, and back and neck pain.

Anxiety and Stress

Stress is marked by the release of stress hormones into the blood stream that causes our breathing rate, blood pressure, and heart rate to elevate. Normally, these responses help us deal with potentially dangerous situations, such as fleeing from a threat. When the release of stress hormones is activated continually or too often, the body organs are subjected too extreme pressure – and this can cause the phenomenon of stress. Anxiety can be brought about by encountering and/or having to deal with new situations – when anxiety occurs too often because of reasons or feelings that are often irrational, the signs and symptoms felt can include breathing difficulty, sweating, and a rapid heartbeat. This can cause depression and anti-social behavior. Properly managing stress is one way of preventing people from experiencing the negative health implications of these two strong negative emotions. Anxiety and stress can be managed by integrating the following lifestyles into your life:

• Sufficient rest and sleep
• Adequate exercise
• Limiting or avoiding stress or anxiety in your life
• Healthy eating habits
• Downtime and adequate relaxation

People under anxiety and stress can also try disciplines such as Craniosacral Therapy, meditation and yoga which are used by more and more people to help them heal and recover.

How Does Craniosacral Therapy Relieve Anxiety and Stress?

The ultimate objective of Craniosacral Therapy is to eliminate the blockages in the flow of energy within the nervous system by means of manipulation techniques similar to gentle massage. This is often administered by therapists trained in the discipline with the client lying on a massage table and partially or fully clothed. Therapists usually concentrate on the pelvic area, spine and head with the therapy session that often lasts an hour or so. Multiple sessions are usually required to bring about positive effects.

Auricular Acupuncture For Treating Hypertension

The development of hypertension or high blood pressure development is an ongoing and long term process. If not treated, hypertension can lead to damage to the kidneys, eyes, brain, heart, and blood vessels without causing any symptoms. Only until a life-threatening problem appears, most people wouldn’t even be aware of their blood pressure condition. In 2013, the World Health Organization released a statement saying, hypertension affects a third of the adult (people 25 years age and above) population all over the world. That’s one in three adults. This means that hypertension is responsible for almost 9.4 million deaths each year.

Fortunately, hypertension is both treatable and preventable, and along with early detection, long term management and aggressive treatment is essential.

Lots of alternative and complementary therapies are available for preventing and treating hypertension. One popular form of Chinese treatment is auricular stimulation which involves the stimulation of specific acupuncture points on the ears. These points are associated with the various organ systems in the body. The ears, in TCM, (traditional Chinese medicine) are intimately related to the internal organs and not merely for hearing. In TCM, the ears are regarded as an important part of the body for medical diagnosis and treatment, activating the acupoints on the ears can lead to local or general effects. The manner by which the ear acupoints are stimulated can be achieved by moxa heating, pressure, bloodletting, injection, electricity, or needling.

TCM practitioners use auricular stimulation for a number of conditions. It is a simple process and quite easy to apply. The most common selected acupoints for lowering BP and hypertension are the adrenal gland, sympathetic, shen men, kidney, liver, and heart points. The following are some of the more popular auricular stimulation techniques for hypertension:

Magnetic bead pressing technique

Choose magnetic beads with a magnetic intensity of (400G) or (0.04 teslae) around and a size of 1 ½ to 2.0 mm in diameter. Prepare three groups of acupoints: lowering BP notch; kidney and liver and heart and shen men. Every week, place the beads on both ears and on one ear. Measure blood pressure for records prior to replacing the magnetic patches; halt the treatment if no improvement is seen after 9 weeks.

Seed pressing technique

White mustard seed or vaccaria seed are seeds used for this technique mainly because they are tiny enough to precisely place on the ear acupoint. The seed can serve to reduce blood pressure, alleviate pain, to calm down and to treat cramps. Depending on the sickness, the seeds are held in place with adhesive tape on certain points of the ears. They may be left in place for a few days or weeks. The person should regularly press these seeds to generate a therapeutic effect.

For hypertension, commonly used points for activation are on both eyes, occipital, forehead, lowering BP notch, liver, and ear eyes apex. The site of treatment and the tool should be sterilized and cleaned before the operation. In one ear, choose three to four acupoints. Place the seed patches on them, and press for half a minute in order to make the areas turn red, and feel pain and heat. Advise the patient to perform that at home for 5 minutes, pressing for four to eight times a day every three days. Replace the patches on other side, and measure your blood pressure for recording.

Bloodletting technique

Also known as “blood-letting acupuncture” this process often use as tool a three-edged needle. Some people believe that applying the right techniques to release a few drops of blood can enhance the localized vital energy or chi and circulation, which is helpful to issues such as head symptoms, restless mind, hyperactive organs, blood stasis, pain, swelling, and buildup of toxic heat.

The site of treatment and tool should be sterilized and cleaned prior to the operation. In treating hypertension, make the veins congested by rubbing the back of the ear. Then prick quickly on a vein and gently squeeze gently to release four to five drops of blood. Then, stop bleeding by applying pressure on the punctured acupoint with a clean swab. You can do this every 2 days, insert needle on alternative side ten times as one course. This therapy is not recommended for pregnant women, hypotension, anemia, and bleeding problem.

Needing technique

Choose acupoints such as heart, lowering BP notch, shen men, and adrenal gland. Sterilize one ear and activate with 13mm or 25mm needles. Stick the needle into the cartilage and then quickly twirl for half a minute. It’s important not to penetrate through the ear. Leave the needle in place for twenty to thirty minutes to promote further manipulation and to boost stimulation. After treatment and to prevent bleeding, press the acupoint with a cotton ball for a short while; then sterilize again. Stimulate on both ears or on one ear every two days or every day. Intradermal needles can be used instead if people cannot get treatment on time due to work, which can take about two to four days. Remind the person to apply pressure on the patches many times a day.

Although considered a very safe treatment, auricular therapy should not be used on people with skin problems or if their ears are damaged or inflamed or if they suffer from infections, sores, and ulcers. In addition, for needling procedures auricular therapy should not be used on pregnant women, and for people with anemia, and people who have a tendency to bleed. This therapy can attain a better healing outcome when it’s combined with other healing modalities.

Acupressure Natural Diabetes Treatment

A lot of people believe that no natural cure for diabetes exists. Others don’t even think that there are treatments that can help decrease diabetes symptoms. Actually, these beliefs are false since many people who have suffered from diabetes now have been cured through natural healing therapies. Many of the people who believe a natural cure for diabetes exists think that the cure can be found from eating natural foods. This again is not totally true.

This article will discuss a natural but secret treatment for diabetes: Acupressure. There have been medical reports showing how people who have tried acupressure have reduced or have totally been cured of their condition. How is the possible? Acupressure activates the various acupuncture points in your body which can help normalize the heath levels of a person. By targeting and stimulating preselected acupoints in the body, you’re assisting your body activate healing processes. These processes are usually disrupted by fatigue and stress that your body is subjected to on a daily basis.

According to ancient Chinese medicine, when we release certain acupressure points, we also are releasing unhealthy chi or energy that may be related to a specific acupressure point. This can have a significant healing effect on the body. Although acupressure can definitely give you incredible benefits, it is still wise to first talk to a doctor or healthcare provider before deciding to go through this non-conventional healing protocol.

If you’ve made up your mind getting acupressure as a treatment alternative, you need to make sure that the practitioner performing the procedure is a licensed and qualified practitioner. Look for references and verify his or her credentials. Also you need to determine whether he or she has the knowledge required to administer successful acupressure procedures. Talk to the practitioner about your expectations of the treatment and if he or she can discuss with youany success stories from past patients. It might be in your interest if the practitioner has successfully treated patients with diabetes before using acupressure.

Before starting acupressure, you need to do some research about this age-old healing modality. You can search online to know what it is all about. It’s better if you’re mentally prepared about this treatment and so you need to know all about it as much as you can. It will be extremely useful if you know what pressure points are used to help treat diabetes.

Acupressure is a natural therapy and so does not have any adverse side effects. It can very well provide you the results you’ve been looking for.

Acupressure Techniques For Treating Constipation

The techniques used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) mentioned below will all work provided the patient has no substantial health problem like obstruction or tumor.

Acupressure is the most convenient and ideal form of TCM treatment for constipation that can be done at home. All a patient suffering from constipation requires is to let his fingers stimulate specific acupressure points on his/her body. Housewives have been telling stories of a “poop button” that’s 3 finger widths from under the belly button. However, it seems a lot better to say that a constipated individual would require regular and longer acupressure sessions to cure his/her problem.

Here are a few acupressure points that are commonly used to treat constipation:

On the back – Located a couple of finger widths from the backbone on the pelvic bone; with arms bent, utilize thumbs to feel under the lowest rib bone.

Around the belly button – 3 finger widths and left from the belly button, from the aforementioned further three finger widths downwards.

On the arms – Between the index finger and thumb’s fleshy area, on the wrist under the pinky, between the index finger and thumb’s bony area, and, when the arm is folded, on the end of the elbow’s crease.

Having second thoughts about trying acupressure?

Keep in mind that acupressure is founded on the principles of acupuncture. Patients who aren’t responding to acupressure are most likely to respond when needles are stuck into the four acupuncture points around the belly button. Acupuncture’s effect on post surgical constipation was seen on a fluoroscope in which inserted needles on a person’s limbs stimulated movements in the intestines. While Western medical science is unable to explain how and why Traditional Chinese Medicine works, researchers in the field of electro medicine have noticed that acupressure points and meridians do possess levels of electromagnetic energy that non-acupressure points don’t have.

For a more intensive constipation treatment at home that not as invasive as acupuncture, a healing technique known as gua sha can be a viable alternative. Gua sha means to scrape the surface of the skin until petechiae, which are reddish spots that look like sand, appear. Gua sha is widely used in the homes of Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Vietnam. In regard to constipation, the practitioner uses a smooth edge instrument such as a spoon lubricated with herbal oil or rice wine to scrape the acupressure points in downward strokes around the backbone and the belly button.

A patient suffering from constipation will first be examined by a TCM practitioner. The practitioner will use TCM diagnostic techniques such as a tongue and pulse examinations to evaluate the symptoms of the patient. The practitioner will assess whether the problem is the result of excess cold, excess warmth, or chi deficiency in the patient’s body. He then rectifies the yin and yang imbalance accordingly, usually recommending herbs to bring back harmony in the body.

For instance, constipation associated with excess heat would not only require herbs to heal the intestines but also herbs to strengthen the kidneys and lungs which control the fluids responsible for smooth bowel movements. Does Traditional Chinese Medicine work in the treatment of constipation? Several clinical studies show that it does.

A Combination Of TCM Treatments The Best Way To Treat Chronic Asthma

Cupping, moxibustion, herbal medicine, and acupuncture have been shown to work in the treatment of asthma. Continuing education acupuncture researchers from Chengde Municipality Agency of Sanitation and Zinglong County Hebei Hospital examined two separate strategies of patient care. The study group was treated with a combo of herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, and acupuncture while the other group was only treated with acupuncture. Cupping is a clinical technique involving the use of suction cups applied to the skin surface of the skin applied in order to generate health benefits. Moxa or Moxibustion is the healing art of burning medical herbs near the skin surface to generate a warming healing effect on the body. Both groups manifested meaningful improvements, but the group that was treated with a combination of TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments exhibited far better clinical results. Because of this, the researchers concluded that a combination of herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, and acupuncture had more superior benefits than acupuncture alone.

Another study investigated the effectiveness of herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, and acupuncture in people suffering from chronic asthma. A total of 110 chronic asthma patients participated and were divided randomly and equally into two groups. The first group was treated with herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, and acupuncture while the second group was just treated with acupuncture. The group that received combo the treatment of cupping, moxibustion, herbs, and acupuncture had a total rate of effectiveness of 98 percent while the total rate of effectiveness of the acupuncture only group was 58 percent.

The first group received acupuncture stimulation at the Bl 11, Bl 12 and Bl 13 acupoints. After an acupuncture treatment session, the bleeding method along with cupping was administered to enable two to five ml of blood to come out of the acupoints.

The second group was needled at the St 36, Hua Tuo’s paravertebral point, Bl 12, Bl 13, and Bl 11 acupuncture points. Acupuncture therapy was administered once a day with even reducing and reinforcing manual manipulation procedures. The needles were stuck into the patients’ skin for about thirty minutes. One treatment course was made up of ten days and after each course of care there was a 2-day break. The results of the patients were evaluated after the end of the three courses of treatment.

The treatment was administered once a day. A unique external herbal treatment was done on the Kl 1, Ex-HN 15, Bl 13, and EX-B1 acupuncture points. The substances used in the external herbal treatment included Pinellia Rhizome, White Mustard Seed, Cocklebur Fruit, Ephedra, Dried Cinammon Bark, and Sparrow faeces. The herbs were finely pulverized and made into rationseach weighing about 2 mg. Moxibustion was administered for ten minute to the same acupoints after herbal treatment. The therapy was administered for ten days once a day which make up of one course of care. After 30 days, the results of the study were thoroughly assessed.

The total rate of effectiveness and overall rate of cure for the first group (treated with cupping, moxibustion, herbs, and acupuncture) and the second group (the group that only received acupuncture) was 58 percent and 18 percent respectively. The total rate of effectiveness and overall rate of cure for the first and second group was 98 percent and 78 percent respectively. Researchers concluded that a treatment that combines herbs, cupping, moxibustion and acupuncture was superior to standalone acupuncture in treating chronic asthma based on the results of their study.

Chinese Medicine And Treatment Of Type 2 Diabetes

In most countries of the world, especially in Western countries, diabetes is a very serious problem. Modern Western medicine is mainly used to address this disease but this doesn’t mean Eastern medicine isn’t reliable in controlling or even curing this disease. TCM or Traditional Chinese medicine actually can be a more effective treatment for diabetes compared to the drugs prescribed by a doctor.

According to TCM, an imbalance affecting the movement of one’s Chi in the body causes diabetes. The Chi, which is sometimes called the ‘life force,’ is the energy channels (meridians) and organs responsible for sustaining good health. An imbalance produces heat inside the body, resulting in such symptoms as:

• Unexplained loss of weight
• Slow healing of wounds
• Overeating
• Mood changes
• Lethargy
• Fatigue, tiredness
• Urination
• Excessive thirst
• Foggy vision

For over two thousand years, Chinese medicine has been treating diabetes. Since people have different constitutions, treatments may vary according to patient. However, the governing principles remain the same.

The objective is to resort balance to the life force/Chi in order for the body function properly. Treatment may include:

• Meditation
• Exercise
• Dietary changes
• Chinese herbal therapy
• Acupuncture

The therapy can help get your blood circulating smoothly so that your internal temperature returns to balance and oxygen can travel to each part of your body as you regain lost fluids.

Chinese medicine is a holistic treatment which means practitioners looks at your body as a whole rather than simply focusing on one spot. Only by brining the body back into alignment can health be restored.

The human body has 12 meridians that correspond to the 12 major organs. A person’s Chi must circulate properly through the meridians to maintain wellbeing. Acupuncture can be used to repair the problem when one or more are meridians out of sequence. To help make your Chi circulate smoothly, needles need to be inserted into some of the 361 various acupuncture points along the meridians. If needles won’t work or if you are scared of them lasers, acupressure, and magnets can also do the same job.

In Chinese medicine, the blood feeds your tissues and organs. Problems only occur when you have insufficient or congealed blood. Blood that coagulates can result in swelling, tumors, cysts, swelling, and pain in the organs (e.g. your heart, spleen, or liver).

Aside from blood, saliva, urine, sweat, tears, and other fluids moisten both the external and interior parts of your body. You may feel drier than normal and become hot when there’s not enough fluid in your body. The spleen, kidneys, and lungs are responsible for allocating fluids on areas where they’re needed.

One other form of Chinese medicine that can help treat various diseases is Qigong. It’s mainly used to balance the connection between body and mind. To calm people and make them feel better breathing techniques and meditation may be used. If it’s focused properly, your mind can potentially perform remarkable things.

If you have diabetes you don’t have to necessarily rely on western medications. If you follow the correct protocols the same way you would for Western medicine, Eastern medicine can be very good and effective alternative. Towards any treatment that can help, always keep an open mind towards any because you’ll never know what will or won’t work. You have nothing to lose so long as it’s not dangerous.

You can take control of type 2 diabetes and take back your health. This is not a disease you have to live with. Traditional Chinese medicine can potentially be the answer you’ve been waiting for.

The Five Important Acupoints Used In Moxibustion To Treat Influenza

The constant outbreak of avian flu virus infections in people appears not yet under control in many regions and countries. This extremely pathogenic flu infection can turn into a full-blown epidemic with the death toll continuing to rise.

When compared to the common cold, Influenza is a common infectious disease that comes with the changing of the season. September is normally the time many countries are at the onset of autumn. According to the 6 pathogenic factors and 5 elements theory in the development and treatment of sickness, we need to do adequate preventive measures and be alert, treating the disease before it spreads.

According to the Huang Di Nei Jing or The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, influenza is a disease caused by viruses that invade our bodily system. “Body with rich internal energy, cannot be infiltrated by pathogens”. When the human body organs suffer from a disorder, the body’s energy is weak, it has inadequate defensive ability, suffers yin and yang imbalance, or other internal pathogen factors, the external pathogens will invade the body that may affect the normal functions of meridians and body leading to the formation of disease.

We have the “Greatest Level procedure in Preventing Diseases” in traditional Chinese medicine aside from the prevention of disease; it involves addressing the illness before its onset, limiting the risk of becoming disabled, preventing its return; and so on. Enhancing our immune system and possessing a warming effect, Chinese Moxibustion has the ability to prevent and resist the invasion of the influenza virus. Heat from moxibustion stimulates the corresponding meridians and acupoints can treat fatigue, cough, fever, and other symptoms caused by the flu curing the illness immediately.

Listed below are the 5 fundamental acupoints in moxibustion therapy to help prevent the rise of influenza:

1. Li 4 (Hegu): for alleviating external syndrome; treating aversion to cold, fever, and headaches; alleviating pain; curing of influenza; eliminating cold; dispelling wind; clearing up heat; and adjusting blood and qi flow. This point is commonly used to treat damp and cold.

2. Bl 13 (Feishu): moxibustion therapy on Bl13 points acupoints is used to boost pulmonary function. This is a series of important acupoints to treat respiratory disease.

3. Li 11 (Quchi): Dashui and Quchi are a series of acupoints designed to strengthen the immune function of the body. Their uses are to better the circulation of collaterals and meridians, alleviate tendon and muscle stiffness, relieve external syndrome, and eliminating heat from the body.

4. Gv 14 (Dashui): important acupoint for treating fever, has a regulatory effect on yin and yang, eliminating pathogenic factors, enhance the resistance of the body. relieves headaches, and prevents influenza.

5. St 36 (Susanli): enhances the immunity which is the initial step in the prevention of influenza. This point prevents the infiltration of pathogen that attack the body. The St 36 point is an important acupoint in Chinese medicine used to stimulating the body and mind. In Traditional Chinese medicine, moxibustion therapy application on the St 36 can boost disease resistance, improve body immunity, conditions the abdomen and spleen and stomach, nourish the middle burner area and energy, stimulate the collaterals and meridians, disperse dampness and clear wind. It used to strengthen body resistance to kill pathogenic factors

How Does Auricular Acupuncture Treat Smoking Addiction?

A lot of smokers find it so difficult to quit smoking. They are hooked on nicotine, a substance that’s three times more addictive than cocaine or heroin. Most probably, these people have tried all sorts of ways to quit: counseling, nicotine patches, and gum, etc. All have failed.

In this article, we will delve into one clinically effective technique that has helped a lot of ex-smokers overcome their nicotine addiction withdrawal. This technique stems from tens of hundreds of years of Chinese Acupuncture, and over a half century of European medical innovation, research, and practice. This therapy is known as Auricular Acupuncture and it may just be the answer smokers are looking for.

What is Auricular Acupuncture?

Auricular acupuncture (Also known as Auriculomedicine, auricular therapy, or ear acupuncture) is a procedure that originated in France. It is a form of treatment that uses basic Western medical science (mainly based on neurology/neurophysiology) and theories of classical acupuncture.

The process itself involves either the application of filiform, single use sterile needles into the skin of the auricle or the outer ear. As an alternative to needles, low level laser may also be used for stimulation. In general, the acupuncturist uses a series of acupuncture points (usually two to five), and often combine them with predetermined points in the body (also to be stimulated by laser or needle). The process is 100 percent pain-free leaving the patient extremely comfortable and relaxed.

How Does Auricular Acupuncture?

Several theories abound as to how acupuncture works. But the potency of auricular acupuncture is well known and has been thoroughly researched. When the outer ear is stimulated, either with laser or needle, the body releases euphoria-inducing chemicals known as endorphins.

The endorphins are produced and released by the pituitary gland and some areas of the CNS or central nervous system. There is evidence that Auricular Acupuncture influences the CSF or cerebrospinal fluid and blood serum levels of endorphins.

When a person is addicted to nicotine (through smoking tobacco) he tends to experience high endorphin levels. So, how does Auricular Acupuncture, which also stimulates the release of endorphins, work?

A couple of reasons, one is when a person decides to quit smoking. The endorphins inside his CNS will decrease naturally and will need to be maintained. Two, the amount of endorphins in his body doesn’t increase with Auricular Acupuncture therapy; it simply regulates the rate of release. Because of these, patients who have quit and require assistance with their withdrawal can be helped, and patients that need assistance in putting down the cigarette and resisting the urge to smoke can also be helped.

The benefits related to Auricular Acupuncture therapy (a sense of relaxation and calmness) occurs when endorphins are released and the stimulation creates an analgesic or painkilling effect. This effect happens from the activity generated through reflex stimulation inside the prefrontal and somatosensory cortex, thalamus, hypothalamus and periaqueductal gray. This causes the symptoms of withdrawal (physical cravings, stress, restlessness, and anxiety) to be successfully treated.

What Occurs During an Auricular Acupuncture Treatment?

First, the patient needs to be sure that the physician or acupuncturist is qualified and has experience in Auricular Acupuncture therapy (he has undergone specialized training in Auricular Acupuncture and not just in traditional Acupuncture). A majority of people who are trained in this technique have undergone their training in clinics, in the US and Europe. In Australia, there are just a few practitioners who are able to use this method properly and effectively.

Treatment often involves a thorough evaluation of the patient’s health status via a number of diagnostic methods. One specific form of assessment that acupuncturists often use is the inspecting of laterality dysfunction. The term laterality refers to the harmonious state of interaction between the brain’s two cerebral hemispheres. The hemisphere that is dominant (which is the right side for a left-handed person and the left side for a right handed person) needs to be first established so that a correct acupuncture point selection can be made. Laterality dysfunctions may occur from any emotional or physical trauma that the patient has experienced in his past – it can happen at any time.

Signs of laterality dysfunction may include productivity difficulties (such as confusion in co-ordination and concentration problems), behavioral problems (stress, anxiety, depression), and learning disorders (dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, etc.). Clinical studies have discovered that people addicted to nicotine or any other substances are trying to balance or “re-lateralize” themselves. There has been clinical evidence to support the claims that Auricular Acupuncture is the fastest and best way to cure such problems.

One should know that Laterality Dysfunction is the reason a lot of acupuncture treatments are not as effective as they should be. In reality, this issue can be seen as an obstruction to treatment, and hence needs to be diagnosed and addressed first. To determine the points on the outer ear that are the most “active,” the acupuncturist may either use a polarized or filter object combined with a pulse procedure (known as VAS or Vascular Autonomic Signal) to ascertain which of the acupoints on the outer ear are the most “active.” This needs to be done because the auricle literally has hundreds of acupoints and acupuncturists are merely “stabbing in the dark” when they don’t utilize this method. Unfortunately, laser therapies that are protocol based are like this and hence do not often completely help the patient.

Patient Cooperation

The acupuncturist needs to explain to the patient the procedure he or she needs to go through and the duration of the treatment. Typically, the number of treatment sessions the patient needs is around two to six. From time to time, to ensure patients are still on track, a “booster” or follow-up treatment is advised.

The cooperation of the patient is very important and we usually recommend the patient to not smoke a few hours before the initial treatment. This is because most of them tend to become anxious just before the procedure and may need to light a cigarette to calm their nerves. After the procedure, we advice patients not to attend social gatherings or any stressful situations in which they would normally tend to smoke.

Conclusion

For those wishing to quit smoking, Auricular Acupuncture is an extremely effective form of treatment. The myths surrounding acupuncture about being uncomfortable and painful do not apply to this procedure. Patients who have tried it have discovered a deeper sense of relaxation that usually bolsters their confidence and makes them more determined to quit.

Studies Validate Auricular Acupuncture’s Effectiveness In Treating Insomnia

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACA) published a study showing ear acupuncture or auricular acupuncture to be quite effective in treating insomnia. The researchers in the study gathered data from six controlled randomized trials. All the trials were done in conducted in Hong Kong or mainland China. One was in English and five were in Chinese. 402 out of the 673 subjects were given auricular acupuncture therapy. Western drugs were given to the control group in four of the trials. One used fake or auricular acupuncture and the other used routine medical care.

The researchers observed that the subjects treated with auricular acupuncture experienced greater improvement compared to the people in the control groups. In addition, auricular acupuncture brought about better recovery from insomnia than diazepam. For feeling refreshed upon waking, for boosting sleep to 6 hours a night, and for remaining asleep during the night, auricular acupuncture was preferred over the control methods.

Diazepam initially sold under the label Valium. Doctors commonly used this drug to treat alcohol withdrawal, seizures, insomnia, and anxiety.

No conclusions were done about the efficacy of longstanding treatment of insomnia using auricular acupuncture due to the lack of follow-up information. Also, no conclusions were made about the safety of auricular acupuncture use for the treatment of insomnia again due to a lack of information on harmful effects.

A typical disorder marked by difficulty going to sleep and/or staying asleep, insomnia is often related with functional impairment while awake. Functional impairment associated with insomnia during the day includes occupational impairment, depression, irritability, and drowsiness.

Based on a study sponsored by the WHO or World Health Organization, 16 percent of subjects experienced problems falling asleep and 25 percent of subjects either woke up too early or had problems remaining asleep. Based on statistics gleaned from the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are about 60 million Americans suffering from insomnia affecting about 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women.