Some of the Alternative Therapies You May Want to Try if You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition caused by a malfunctioning immune system that attacks the lining of the joints and can occur at any age, unlike osteoarthritis, which is age-related and involves the degeneration of the joints and surrounding tissue. Rheumatoid arthritis can be quite debilitating and may, over time, lead to deformity. Western modes of treatment basically include medications designed to inhibit the abnormal immune activity, and hold back inflammation; oftentimes, however, these drugs have proven ineffective.

The best way to slow down the damage and get the best relief from the symptoms is to include natural alternative therapies to your treatment regimen. Some of these therapies are listed below:

1. Acupuncture – Used for thousands of years as a way to treat a host of health problems, acupuncture has been subjected to hundreds of tests and has proven to be very effective in improving health and treating dozens of health conditions. These include depression, substance and behavioral addiction, obesity, cancer pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, stress, IBS, ADHD, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and many others . A number of studies about acupuncture’s effectiveness against rheumatoid arthritis have revealed significant successes. One noted study done in 2011 in China showed that both electro-acupuncture and traditional acupuncture lessened significantly the levels of a number inflammatory substances in the body associated with triggering the symptoms of RA (rheumatoid arthritis) including VEGF and TNF-alpha. Other studies have also demonstrated these two treatments to be the best way through which acupuncture can help relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

2. Supplementation – Various types of supplements can be very helpful for rheumatoid arthritis although it is vital to first have an understanding of their use. There are supplements that should not be used if you are currently taking certain types of medications or are suffering from certain health conditions. Inflammation-reducing supplements include green tea, ginger, cat’s claw, bromelain, turmeric, and omega-3 fatty acids. Devil’s claw, GLA ( which can be found in evening primrose, black currant seed, and borage oil, and vitamin A can alleviate the stiffness and ease pain related to RA.

It may take a bit of time for those supplements to take effect, and expect anywhere from a couple of months or more to experience their full effects. If after three or four months nothing has changed in your condition, then you can stop taking them. They usually target the underlying cause of the problem and this really takes time.

3. Diet – There are two goals you want to see fulfilled when it comes to diet therapy. First, you expect the inflammation to go away and second, you want to avoid eating the foods that you are allergic to or which makes you more sensitive. A lot of people suffering from autoimmune disorders seem also to suffer from food allergies. Negative reactions can come about if you happen to eat foods that do not agree with your body. This may include an increase of inflammation.

The first thing you want to do not want to do it to eat fats when you’re in an anti-inflammatory diet. This includes walnuts, hemp seed, flax seed, salmon and other foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These types of fats are not bad in and of themselves but result in inflammation when consumed in large amounts, which is typical in a standard American diet. Also, stay away from trans-fats and minimize consumption of saturated animal fats. Lessen or avoid your intake of mixed vegetable oil, soy oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and corn oil.

Inflammation causing foods also include processed carbs, as well as sugary and refined foods and drinks. Select carbohydrates wisely.

Do not eat common foods that are known to trigger allergies for at least two months. Then slowly reintroduce one food back in at a time and see if your body still reacts to it. Gluten, dairy, nuts, and soy are the most common allergenic types of foods. It is to your advantage to read up on how to do a proper elimination diet to achieve the best results.

Some RA sufferers who now strictly follow a vegan diet have reported a significant lessening of their symptoms. If you have RA, you may want to try it out.

Acupuncture is A Surprisingly Powerful Treatment for Acne

A lot of people aren’t familiar with the basic aspects of acupuncture even though they might be aware of what the treatment is and may know someone who’s tried it

History

A form of Chinese medicine, or to be exact, a branch of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), acupuncture has been practiced in the Far East for over 5,000 years. This therapy consists of tiny needles being inserted into specific points on the skin known as acupoints to help resolve diseases, ailments and even mental conditions.

Theory

When an individual suffers from a certain illness, it is because the energy in one or more of his 12 pathways of energy is improperly circulating inside his body. This circulation can be restored to normalcy by inserting needles into one or more of the 1,000 acupoints on his skin.

Treatment of Acne

Acupuncture treatment of acne concentrates on the normalization of the hormones of the body. Acupuncture practitioners think that the disharmony and imbalance of the hormones results in more oil being secreted in the skin. When balance is restored in these hormones, the production of oil or sebum is lessened which cures the acne.

The Role of the FDA

The utilization of acupuncture needles is regulated by the FDA. These needles must be used only once, should be clearly labeled, sterile, and only available to qualified acupuncturists. Before you undergo treatment, be sure to ask your acupuncturist if he/she is using single use, sterile needles regulated by the FDA.

Searching for a Qualified Practitioner

It requires the completion of education and training set by your state to become a certified and qualified acupuncturist. Go to the webpage of the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) to look for a qualified practitioner in your area.

Your First Visit – What to Expect

Medical history: Your acupuncturist will question you about your medical history before he proceeds with the treatment itself. He or she may ask questions about your level of stress, diet, lifestyle, and other health concerns.

The needling process: During treatment, your acupuncturist will insert one to a dozen or more very thin needles into your body. The needle’s thinness compares to a strand of hair on your head. Your acupuncturist may likely administer auricular acupuncture, also known as ear acupuncture, on you in the treatment of acne. For most acupuncturists, ear acupuncture is the best way to cure acne, since specific parts of your ear are known to represent the health of your skin.

In an ear acupuncture treatment, the practitioner may insert up to a dozen needles in certain areas in your ear which are left in inserted for half an hour.

Is the Treatment Painful?

A majority of patients say that acupuncture is not painful at all. But since people have a different threshold to pain, some may feel varying degrees of sensation from the needle. Some people might feel a slight pinch during a needle insertion.

Acupuncture needles are not hollow which means they are solid and are different from the needles used for injections or blood transfusions, which makes them much tolerable. The patient might feel a numbing or tingling sensation once the needle is in place. This is to be expected and desired since it is a sign that the treatment is working

After Treatment

You may feel energized, groggy, or relaxed after the needles are removed. These effects should disappear within a day or two. Do not commit to appointments following treatment, since you may not how you’ll feel after treatment.

Does it Work?

Unfortunately, there’s been little research done on acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating acne. Outcomes have been ambiguous although some small studies and individual cases have demonstrated positive results.

Studies

In a study printed in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, most of the patients experienced a decrease in their acne symptoms after 8 to 15 treatments. Sixty one patients suffering from acne and other skin ailments in a different study were administered with nine acupuncture treatments. Half of the subjects had a complete cure of their acne while the rest saw noticeable improvements.

The Similarity of the Meridians and Qi of the Human Body to the Meridians and Qi of the Universe

In 1999, Klaus Dolag performed computer simulations of magnetic fields in galaxy clusters. He discovered that these clusters were entangled in a huge web-like structure of filaments. Other surveys of the galaxy also revealed that structures corresponding to filaments mark the distribution of galaxies. This distribution verifies the simulation discoveries of Dolag and resembles a complicated spider’s web with a diameter of several hundred mega parsecs. Hans Alfvén, a Swedish electrical engineer and a Nobel laureate in Physics said that space is full of a network of currents in which momentum and energy is conveyed over large distances. These filamentary currents are where hot plasma streams travel through space.

Astronomers have now actually found out that there is a “universal web” in which hot gas travels through vast filaments stretching throughout the universe. This web was detected by astronomers using the Chandra x-ray satellite observatory. They saw that the filaments stretched millions of light years through space with one filament stretching through our own Milky Way galaxy. The astronomers computed that the filaments contain mass whose sum was five times greater than all the stars in the universe!

These Filaments are Invisible in Space

Interestingly, these filaments are invisible to radio, infrared, and optical telescopes because they are so hot. They can only be detected through the radiation they emit generated by the higher density ordinary matter that have collected and condensed within them. Scientists are able to measure this radiation and confirm the existence of these filamentary structures throughout the universe.

These structures are considered “dark energy and matter” due to their invisible nature. According to scientists, dark energy and matter are materials that make up most of the universe (99%)! These filaments are built by both invisible and visible ordinary matter working in concert in space, with dense junctions where galaxies gather resulting in a structure analogous to a spider web with water droplets dappled over it.

The dark matter is “exposed” because with the filaments are ultra hot gas reaching millions of degrees that has a natural tendency to expand and spread. A very strong gravitational field must exist that is able to hold these hot gases into the filaments pulling them into place. Scientists believe that only dark matter can do this.

Unseen Filaments Exist within the Subtle Biological Body

Annie Besant, a metaphysicist living in the early part of the 19th century said that during the development of a fertilized egg to an embryo, fetus and a finally, to a fully matured infant, “a single thread weaves a network of minute meshes that form a shimmering web of delicate beauty and inconceivable fineness. Unrefined particles of the bodies are built all at once within the meshes of this web. Prana, which in metaphysics is plasma of super charged particles, flows along these meshes and branches during physical life.” This web resembles the cosmic spider web complete with the plasma that coalesces to dense material such as the planets, moons, comets, etc. In the development of human life, this plasma represents the prana or qi that flows through the meshes and branches of the unrefined material eventually metamorphosing into the physical human body in its infancy.

In metaphysics, it is well known that filaments exist within our subtle magma bodies. These filaments or webs are known in Tibetan, Indian, and Chinese lore as channels, nadis, and meridians respectively. In Qi gong and Taoist literature, these filaments are called orbits and circuits. Qigong practitioners often talk about macrocosmic and microcosmic orbits. It is the microcosmic orbit however, that is the primary channel or meridian wherein particles are sped up in the relevant practices to transport energy throughout the subtle human body.

Plasma metaphysics also states that these channels are magnetic lines of force within the subtle magma (magnetic plasma) bodies. The energy flowing through these magnetic lines are called “Birkeland currents”. There is little doubt that the web of nadis or acupuncture meridians and acupoints (along with vortexes or chakras rotating within) of the etheric human body are small scale versions of the filamentous structure of the universe, with filaments interspersed with rotating galaxies.

In the book “The Body Electric,” author Robert Becker said that hundreds of small direct current generators similar to dark stars transport their electricity along the meridians, an internal galaxy discovered and researched by the Chinese for over two millennia. The creation of the acupuncture charts was done in accordance with the workings of nature; the meridians were known to conduct electric (energy) currents.

Mapped by ancient Chinese acupuncturists, the meridian system is similar to the arterial system that metaphysicists define as the “lower physical-etheric body” (which is an integral part of the bio-molecular –physical body). Just like the invisible cosmic filaments, these meridians are invisible to the human eyes and can be detected by the radiation they emit.

In a landmark experiment Pierre de Vernejoul , a French researcher injected a radioactive material into people’s acupoints and used a special camera to measure the radiation. He discovered that the radioactive material traveled along the meridians that correspond to classical Chinese acupuncture charts. De Vernejoul made other experiments in which injections of the same radioactive materials into lymphatic pathways, veins and random points of people led to similar outcomes. This indicates that the meridian system is a distinct and unique interconnected web of channels in the body. Several more experiments revealed that eliminating a meridian associated with the liver led to a quick degeneration of the liver tissue. Cells, organs, and tissues of the physical-biomolecular body seem unable to function correctly without the supply of energy from the lower physical-etheric body through the meridians.

The Human Physical-Etheric and Universal Bodies

In cooperation with the dark matter that shapes them, the intangible cosmic web of filaments is actually connected with the universe’s lowest energy physical-etheric body. Our eyes can only see the physical-dense universe, formed by its lower physical-etheric body. Astronomers believe that the unseen space filaments can only be detected due to the high density matter accumulating and condensing in these filaments. In the same vein, the unseen meridians in the subtle human body can be perceived only due to the radiation from radioactive materials injected into the meridians.

Filaments (meridians) are naturally formed by plasma in response to fields of electromagnetic energy within the human body (which plasma metaphysics believe is made up of dark matter). Magnetic fields guide these ionized particles into and within these filaments sped up by the electric fields – producing currents like the ones observed by Robert Becker.

In the same way that the universe’s lower physical-etheric body produces a network of filamentary currents integral to the large scale structure of the universe, the human body’s lower physical-etheric body creates a network of meridians (filamentary currents) crucial for the development of the physical-biomolecular component of a human being. This discovery is quite an achievement of Modern science although the Chinese already knew this as they have been studying these filaments for thousands of years.

Heart Palpitations Can be Scary

You know how scary it can be if you’ve ever experienced the sensation of an irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations. You wonder if it’s harmless or fear that this might be the big one and at what point you should talk with your healthcare provider.

The fact is, arrhythmias or missed heartbeats, are often not a cause for concern, and if you feel them occasionally, they are harmless. But, if you feel like your heart is racing, or if you experience a string of missed beats, or if your heart skips frequently, then you should definitely go see your doctor. Also, you may need to go to your doctor if feel dizzy or light headed while your heart is skipping,

Just like Western medicine, Chinese medicine considers your heart as the organ system that pumps blood throughout your body. In Chinese medicine, however, the Heart is also where your spirit or Shen resides, and as such is the organ that controls your consciousness, memory, and emotions. There is some credibility in the phrases having a “broken heart”, “tugging on your heartstrings”, “knowing something with all your heart”, as your heart is the organ that connects your emotions to your body.

Your heart is very sensitive to stress and upsets since it is an organ of spirituality and emotions. Other symptoms related to the heart, in Chinese medicine, include nightmares, vivid dreams, insomnia, and anxiety.

There are a number of physical factors beyond emotional upsets that may contribute to the skipping of heart beats. Here are some tips to consider if you’re experiencing palpitations:

1. Know the side effects of the medications you are taking: A lot of over-the-counter and prescription medications can cause irregular heartbeats. These include certain antidepressants, asthma inhalers, decongestants, Tagamet, and meds that treat, ironically, arrhythmia. Seek advice from your pharmacist or doctor to know if the drug you’re taking causes skipped beats.

2. Take care of stress: Only when they’re under a lot of stress do individuals experience palpitations. To relieve stressful situations, and the stress itself, receive acupuncture or massage or do some meditation or yoga.

3. Do not overeat: Overeating can trigger an episode of irregular heartbeats for individuals prone to arrhythmias. Eat less and stay away from alcohol also along with cigarettes and chocolates.

4. For smokers, experiencing frequent palpitations is their body’s way of saying it’s really time to quit: There is never any good that can come out of smoking. Smoking is harmful to your cardiovascular system, and may be the underlying cause of your heart arrhythmias. If you’re a chronic smoker, then acupuncture might help you make it easier to quit smoking for good.

5. Exercise properly: Those prone to irregular heartbeats may set off an episode if they embark on a strenuous exercise too quickly. Give yourself a few minutes to warm up before starting workout. Later on, cool down a bit.

6. Don’t hold your breath: For certain people tense, shallow, or rapid breathing can trigger irregular beats. Be aware of how you’re breathing, and fully inhale and exhale with each breath.

7. Avoid caffeine: Irregular heartbeats can be exacerbated by drinking chocolates, energy drinks, tea, and coffee.

Lifestyle factors that you can control are frequently the causes of heart palpitations so changing your lifestyle is an ideal way of preventing them from happening. Heart palpitations can be alarming and make you worry about your health. The safest option is to see your doctor if you have any worries about what you are experiencing. You’ll have peace of mind even if it’s found that your skipped beats are harmless.

Performers Can Greatly Benefit from Acupuncture Treatment

What is Acupuncture?

Being an important tool of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture has been practiced for more than 4,000 years. It has brought about good health to countless numbers of people all throughout history both curatively and preventatively with regards to various kinds of human illnesses. Acupuncture is a form of energy medicine that is based on the balance of energetics of the mind and body to bring about good health. This implies that the treatment lessens or eliminates chronic and acute pain and aids in the recovery of health issues. Acupuncture is grounded in Eastern philosophy and associated with the natural cycles of balancing opposing energetic forces found in the human body , nature, and the universe.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

A unique form of Oriental healing procedure, acupuncture involves the use and insertion of filiform sterile needles into strategic points on the body where underneath lie meridians or energy channels that are stimulated when needles are inserted to initiate healing and ameliorate pain. Acupuncture has been used to restore a person’s wholeness. The practitioner adopts highly complex evaluation methods to understand the patient’s energetic state and then decide on what course to take to bring back the physical and/or emotional health of the patient. Based on a very specific diagnosis following a physical examination, thorough medical history, and observation of the tongue and pulse of the patient, a combination of acupoints are selected to treat the disorder. Acupuncture prescriptions are re-evaluated and re-assessed at each subsequent visit to see if the treatment needs to be changed or not.

An Acupuncture Treatment That Can Benefit Performers

As a type of preventive treatment, acupuncture can be of huge benefit for performers as it helps prepare their body for the wide scope of endurance needs they are faced with in order to properly prepare for a specific performance. By boosting the intake and dissemination of oxygen to the tissues and cells in the body and improving the flow of blood, acupuncture significantly lessens people’s reaction to any physiological, mental, and physical stresses they may encounter and also minimize their risk for muscle cramping and tension. Along with the proper vocal and/or instrumental technique, acupuncture can aid performers to attain optimum and long-term performance sans injury or pain.

However, if the onset of the discomfort develops into pain and causes a limit of body motion, injury oftentimes follows as performer such as dancers or musicians often push themselves beyond their limits, and perform under pain. Factors that may worsen this problem include emotional and mental strain, unhealthy posture, improper eating habits, and inadequate rest. These are signs that tell performers that their body is out of balance, and that something inside is weakened which means they should give themselves an adequate amount of time to heal, rest, and seek professional help. At this stage of their health, performers can try acupuncture along with a doctor-recommended medical treatment to recover.

Acupuncture and Musician Injuries

Performers such as musicians can experiences several possible disorders and injuries, such as anxiety, tendinitis, repetitive strain injury, and physical trauma that seem to arise in frequency these days. Being a thoroughly studied medicine model with hundreds or even thousands of studies behind it, acupuncture is especially especially effective for the treatment of insomnia, headaches, stress relief, shoulder and back pain, focal dystonia, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This treatment can be of great benefit to performers as these conditions are common health issues encountered that oftentimes limit and impede their performance. Most performers go for conventional medical treatments, and a number of physical therapies; acupuncture and other forms of Chinese medicine modalities continue to grow in popularity each day.

In terms of impact, acupuncture benefits the physical and psychological aspects of people. More often than not, the problem of the performer can be resolved with just a few rounds of acupuncture treatment. These people may, for example, have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and also suffer from other issues such as stage fright and anxiety. Chronic neck and shoulder pain may also be plaguing them which give rise to sleeping problems as their levels of stress caused by the pain are high.

Those above-mentioned symptoms are addressed by an acupuncturist who may come up with a specific treatment plan that works best for the performer displaying those symptoms. The acupuncturist will strive to resolve the main cause of those symptoms, and alleviate the presenting symptoms as well, especially the discomfort and pain. It may be necessary for the performer to undergo several rounds of acupuncture treatment to gain marked improvements.

Besides acupuncture, lifestyle and voice and/or instrumental technique changes need to be also made. The benefits of Chinese medicine treatment often last long if these changes are made and integrated into the lives of these performers.

Western Medicine and Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an excellent adjunctive treatment for Western medicine and other natural and alternative modes of treatment. If taken on a short-term basis, medication can help bring about a return to normal vocal and instrumental practice. It is a treatment of choice for a lot of people living in a competitive world of performing. The problem is that regular use of drugs can give rise to further injury, as well as several adverse after effects. These issues can greatly affect the performer’s overall vitality, endurance, and performance. Steroids, anti-inflammatories, and painkillers merely relieve swelling, stiffness, pains, and aches temporarily. These drugs just mask deeper rooted problems. The body uses pain to tell the person that he/she is suffering from a condition that warrants immediate attention in order to prevent further deterioration of the condition.

Apart from being medicine-free and safe, acupuncture treatment provides a person with long lasting health benefits that impacts all aspects of his/her health. Because of the nature of work of performers which is often viewed more as a vocation than as a job, it extremely essential that the mind and body are well taken care of. Conditions that cause pain can often turn acute or chronic if left untreated and the performer may be faced with a long recovery time that may mean a long absence of practice and performance. Acupuncturists often use Chinese herbal medicine along with acupuncture for preventative and curative purposes, to make the recovery period shorter, and the make the person less susceptible to further injury. He/she is treated on a deep, constitutional level, and as a result, the underlying root of the problem and the symptoms are treated leading to an improvement in longevity and general health.

Injuries can greatly impact the performance and well-being of performers. Besides acupuncture, practice, and lifestyle changes need to be made in order for the performer to recover quickly and fully and go back to performing within a short period of time.

An Acupuncture Point Chart is An Important Tool in Acupuncture Treatment

The art of healing via acupuncture therapy shows that the treatment targets almost every system of the person not only one area of the body. Acupuncture has different forms that have been developed for thousands of years; some of the most popular uses for acupuncture include its use for weight loss, arthritis, for the treatment of infertility, and of course, for pain, body ache, and headache relief.

For patients who want to conceive, the most important question is “how does acupuncture treatment for infertility work?” This treatment makes use of the so called “pattern spans” in a person’s body. A chart showing the various acupuncture points in the body helps allow the tactical placement of the needles designed to treat a specific organ. If stimulated correctly, these acupoints in lead to the resolution of illness and pain and the general well-being of the person. For most women, acupuncture treatment for infertility works by significantly energizing their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects which are necessary in order to conceive and attain a healthy and problem-free pregnancy.

The infertile patient may resort to an acupuncture treatment for infertility when all Western conventional modes of treatment fail. Moreover, if the conventional modalities are unsuccessful, most reproductive health care specialists will recommend acupuncture; and more often than not, this powerful ancient treatment approach to conceiving proves still can be a reliable way for couples for realizing their dream of becoming parents. Many couple have already benefited from acupuncture infertility treatment even if the exact mechanism of how it really works is not fully known. Acupuncture for the treatment of infertility may not work for everyone and you need to try it to see if it works for you.

Using the Acupuncture Point Chart

To know where the needles need to be inserted to treat a certain problem, an acupuncture point chart may be used. Performing an acupuncture treatment may be difficult or even impossible without an acupuncture point chart. As a rule, a licensed acupuncturist is taught on how to read an acupuncture point chart. Oftentimes, this chart is not just memorized but is meant to be carried along.

There may be exceptional acupuncturists who may not need a chart in order to perform acupuncture, but for most practitioners, novice and experts alike, this chart is an indispensible tool for their practice. Furthermore, acupuncture treatment is more meaningful and more precise if it is done using this chart.

An acupuncture treatment oftentimes is done to balance the energy in the body. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that that when Qi is imbalanced, the result is the rise of physical, emotional, or mental problems. Once Qi balance is restored you can start living a normal life once more.

Two Standard Auricular Acupuncture Protocols Used to Treat Addictions

A neurosurgeon in Hong Kong by the name of Dr. H. L. Wen found out in 1972, that the acupuncture treatment he performed on a surgical patient for analgesic purposes also led to the reduction of the opium craving and withdrawal of the patient. The good doctor adopted the ear or auricular acupuncture procedure in which acupoints are used to relieve pain throughout the body. He also did some research on ear acupuncture on several addicts, and discovered that he can attain a high percentage of success in the recovery of all types of addiction. Ear acupuncture, by 1974, was adopted by the South Bronx Lincoln Memorial Hospital in New York for the detoxification and recovery of drug addicts in conjunction with methadone therapies.

Eventually, because of acupuncture extreme effectiveness, methadone was dropped. From then on, drug addiction detoxification and recovery clinics using ear acupuncture have been created in most major cities in the U.S.

Although these acupuncture clinics are funded by the public, Medicaid and Medicare have decided not to fund them. Despite the incredible data (anecdotal and scientifically proven) in favor of acupuncture, the US Food and Drug Association decided that acupuncture is still an “experimental” type of treatment. This decision all but classified acupuncture as an alternative type of treatment that cannot be granted government insurance and dissuading private insurers from giving coverage.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is part of a larger Chinese medical tradition known as TCM or Traditional Chinese medicine, which is based on the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine or Nei Ching. This ancient document is estimated to be 2,500 years old, at least which makes the FDA decision of classifying acupuncture “experimental” as highly questionable.

There are five branches of TCM: a one-of-a-kind body/mind psychology; energetic modalities such as Tui Na massage, and Qi gong; dietetics, herbal pharmacology; and acupuncture /acupressure.

The principle behind TCM is centered on the belief that bio-electromagnetic vital energy known as chi or qi circulates throughout the body via a dozen main meridians or energy channels. Acupuncturists have been able to identify around a hundred major acupoints along these meridians. Chi is a singular form of bioelectrical energy with innate intelligence, akin to the forces of nature.

The 12 meridians are situated in the energetic or subtle body that serves as the energetic blueprint for the physical body. When the chi circulates smoothly and is in adequate levels, TCM practitioners see that as a sign of good health, harmony, and balance, which in Western medicine means a state of optimum health.

On the other hand, when there is a blockage in the flow of chi, the body will start to experience disease which will eventually show in the body. Thus, in a state of disharmony and imbalance, sickness and disease arise. The needles are inserted into strategic points to stimulate chi and remove the obstructions in chi flow.

Ear or auricular acupuncture is a subcategory of acupuncture. Auricular acupuncture is grounded on the principle that the macrocosm of the meridians of the body has a miniature similarity found in the ear. The hands, feet, or ear all contain mini-maps of the 12 meridian energetic systems for the whole body.

Basic Auriculotherapy Protocols for Addictions

The acupoints to be needled for treating addiction are determined from session to session although with regards to recovery protocols only one protocol is followed and never changes. There are a couple of basic ear acupuncture protocols adopted used for all types of addictions, which allow even non TCM professionals to perform them.

The NADA or National Acupuncture Detoxification Association is one protocol that utilizes five needle points in the ear: the autonomic point to help balance circulation and the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems; the shenmen point to relieve anxiety and stress; the C. kidney point, liver point, and the lung point.

Another protocol is the ACAD or American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders treatment. Same as NADA, this protocol uses the C. kidney, autonomic, and shenmen points. ACAD also utilizes three other points: the point zero for homeostatic balance, brain point for the endocrine glands, and the limbic system point for aggressive compulsive behavior.

Why Cosmetic Acupuncture Is A Much Better Way to Look Young Once Again

We consider that a youthful and beautiful looking face to start degenerating over time as a normal progression of life. Of course, time has a lot to do with this but there are also factors that contribute to this degeneration in a huge way: toxins in the body, pollution, stress, and the quality of food you eat among others. These can all lead to the development of the signs of aging including loose skin, dark spots, creases, and wrinkles. Although, in the end, these are all unavoidable as one ages, it can sometimes occurs at an early age. Pharmaceutical companies have manufactured thousand of products to battle the signs of aging but people always prefer natural modes of treatment and healing procedures more so when it involves the face to avoid the rise of any adverse after effects.

One of the greatest contributions of Chinese medicine to this battle is cosmetic acupuncture. It is an entirely natural form of treatment that do not use any type of harmful medications. Cosmetic acupuncture is also known as facial rejuvenation or acupuncture facelift and works on the basis of acupuncture needles inserted into specific points in the body known as acupoints. These points are located in the surface of the skin where directly underneath lie energy channels known as meridians. These meridians carry blood and energy to the bones and tissues of the face. A number of these channels lie on the chin, ears, forehead, and cheeks.

When the facial muscles are stuck with needles, any meridian with a stagnant flow of energy and blood can be treated which restores the smooth flow of oxygen, blood, energy, and nutrients in the face. The needles generate a numbing or tingling sensation on the site it is inserted in but no pain is felt. The needles stimulate healing that leads to an increase in muscle tone, a tightening of the loose skin, removal of wrinkles and promotion of a healthy skin complexion. A superficial insertion of the needles leads to a boost in collagen fiber production which increases the elastic quality of the skin. This elasticity makes a person look healthy and younger. It also aids in the relief of pain in the facial muscles by improving the movement of tense and stiff muscles.

Cosmetic acupuncture is extremely effective in boosting blood flow through which a person’s complexion is enhanced. The treatment among other increases dermal contraction; alleviates stress; clears pimples, acne, and dark spots; increases collagen production increasing skin elasticity; lightens the deep lines in the face; and flattens wrinkles. It is a natural and pain-free mode of treatment designed to improve your looks as well as your overall health.

Besides cosmetic acupuncture, there are other various techniques that produce the same results as cosmetic acupuncture but these techniques are highly invasive, dangerous, and very costly. One of them is surgical facelift, a very expensive procedure that has very high medical complications that can lead to disfigurement, skin scars and infections. Another one is Botox, a procedure that injects toxins into your face to inhibit muscle contraction. Botox can help lessen wrinkles but its side effects are the temporary dulling and paralyzing of the face. Acupuncture, on the other hand, acupuncture flattens the muscles to eliminate wrinkles to avoid any unwanted side effects.

Thyroid Diseases and Traditional Chinese Medicine

The most common thyroid condition in the United States is hypothyroidism. This is a disease in which the thyroid gland functions poorly and is unable to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone. Western medical doctors address this by recommending surgery, radiation therapy or by prescribing thyroid medications such as Synthroid.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition causing the immune system to attack the thyroid gland destroying thyroid cells and weakening or stopping their capacity to produce thyroid hormone. Excessive menstrual bleeding, high cholesterol, low sex drive, edema (water retention) in the feet and hands, puffy face, itchy and dry skin, hair loss, brittle nails and hair, concentration difficulty, heightened sensitivity to cold, joint pain, muscle soreness or weakness, forgetfulness, drowsiness, fatigue, and weight gain are some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Another less common type of thyroid problem is hyperthyroidism. This is a condition in which the thyroid gland functions hyperactively creating excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. Graves’ disease is the most common reason for hyperthyroidism. Light menses, diarrhea, muscle weakness, excessive sweating, trembling in the fingers and hands, insomnia, mood swings, anxiety, eye irritation, bulging eyes, palpitation, irregular or rapid heartbeat, increased appetite, and weight loss are some of the tell tale indications of hyperthyroidism.

Goiters – Goiters is a condition that is characterized by the enlargement or swelling of the thyroid gland. if you have goiter, it may be a manifestation of Hashimoto’s disease or Graves’ disease.

Nodules – People with nodules usually do not exhibit any symptoms apart from the enlargement in one side of their thyroid gland. Women over the age of 50 are susceptible to this disease.

Tests for Thyroid Disease

Free T3 and Free T4-Two Active Thyroid Hormone In The Bloodstream. The normal range of T4 and T3 is around 240 – 250/deciliter. If the level of T3 and T4 is low, the person is deemed to possess low amounts of thyroid hormone. But even if the person’s thyroid hormone level is within the normal range, he/she may still be deficient in thyroid hormone since a high amount of TSH stimulation can cause the Free T4 and Free T3 levels to stay within “normal range” for several years.

Hyperthyroidism- T4 levels are normal if they are within 0.9 and 1.8 nanogram/deciliter. Your thyroid gland is considered overactive if your T4 or T3 level goes beyond this range.

Hypothyroidism – The best indication of hypothyroidism is a raised TSH level in the blood. TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is manufactured by the pituitary gland that is located behind the nose in the center of the head. The TSH will elevate dramatically when the thyroid gland functions sluggishly. According to the American Academy of Clinical Endocrinologists, the normal TSH level ranges between 0.3 – 3, although some physicians consider that a TSH level higher than 2 is already a sign of hypothyroidism.

Body Temperature Test

Upon waking up, you can take your temperature to see if your thyroid gland is functioning normally. If the temp goes below 97.6 degrees for five days straight, you may want to consult with an endocrinologist or a GP to have your thyroid gland carefully evaluated.

Thyroid Disease Medications

Hyperthyroidism – Tapazole (Methimazole), Propylthiouracil
Hypothyroidism – Unithroid, Levothroid, Synthroid, and Levoxyl

Thyroid Disease Treatment Using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Modalities

Hyperthyroidism

TCM considers hyperthyroidism to be a result of liver Qi depression. This causes an excess in liver fire that in turn, results in the extreme rise in body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. The fire increases the desire to eat a lot but also causes rapid weight loss.

A TCM practitioner will recommend the use of conventional drugs that have been prescribed y by doctors/ endocrinologists to patients who have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. But apart from these medications, the practitioner will also prescribe Chinese herbs and recommend acupuncture as part of the treatment. Chinese herbs and acupuncture will aid in reducing the fire, detoxifying the liver, and supporting and balancing the body as well as relieving the side effects of the conventional medications (including immune system and liver damage). A combination of Chinese and Western medicine is probably the safest and best way of treating hyperthyroidism.

TCM practitioners will never recommend radiation therapy for their hyperthyroid patients. The reason is that this “treatment” is designed to destroy the thyroid gland and once it is destroyed there will be no use for the thyroid gland ever. More often than not, the practitioner will advise the patient to talk with an endocrinologist on how best to treat hyperthyroidism without the need for radiation therapy or surgery.

Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland can be affected when the person is in severe or prolonged physical or mental stress. A high level of stress increases the production of cortisol in the body which may cause the gland to slow down its production of thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is a component of the endocrine system which begins from the pituitary gland in the brain to the adrenal glands located on the kidney.

TCM practitioners believe that the liver is the organ responsible for stress. The liver is the organ most affected by too much environmental, physical, or mental stress in the body or if the medications the person uses causes certain health problems. The liver is also the organ that helps in the detoxification of the body and when the liver Qi is depressed, this leads to the accumulation of heat toxins in the body. The immune system can erroneously perceive the thyroid cells as foreign elements if the toxins are not properly removed. The immune system manufactures the antibodies that can kill the thyroid cells resulting in hypothyroidism.

Acupuncturists can provide help for people suffering from hypothyroidism. One of the signs of this condition is a pale swollen purplish tongue with greasy and thick coating. Also the pulse of the patient feels taut and deep with a weakened kidney pulse. These are all indications of a kidney, spleen, and liver disorder. The objectives of the treatment are to strengthen the spleen and kidney and detoxify the liver.

For hypothyroid patients, acupuncture can produce significant and amazing results. A lot of patients who have tried acupuncture have responded quickly and very well to Chinese herbal therapy and acupuncture with significant improvements that can be seen within two to four months of treatment. A continuation of the treatment may lead to the decrease in the use of thyroid medications until normal thyroid function is restored leading to a much better quality of life.

For hypothyroid sufferers who have no desire of taking synthetic medications for the rest of their life, their best alternative can be Chinese medicine. Optimal results can be seen within a few months or a year after depending on how well the patient responds to the treatment.

Chinese Medicinal Herbs Used To Treat the Various Symptoms of Sinusitis

A lot of individuals suffer from chronic sinusitis. This condition can be caused by allergies or it can be a residual symptom that stays a while after a bout of flu or cold. To clear up the issue, most people take antihistamines or antibiotics; however, sinusitis is usually resistant to Western modes of treatments. Symptoms oftentimes come back after a course of conventional treatment. One of the most effective treatments for chronic sinusitis is Chinese herbs. They can resolve resistant and stubborn types of sinusitis quickly and easily.

Sinusitis caused by allergies is treated by boosting resistance to allergens while at the same time removing the blockage in the sinus and nasal passages of the affected individual. Jade Windscreen Formula, which as type of Chinese herbal formula can be used for an extended period of time to mitigate a person’s tendency to have allergies. This formula contains schizonopeta , siler, and astragalus. Schizonopeta and siler can aid in the reduction of allergic reactions such as runny nose, rashes, itchy eyes, and sneezing. Astragalus, on the other hand, helps enhance the resistance of a person to allergies. Other herbs can be used to lessen the pressure and pain and open up the blocked sinus and nasal passages brought by sinusitis. Magnolia flower, xanthium and other Chinese herbs are used for this purpose. To clear up sinus congestion myrrh can be used.

Sinusitis can also be caused by a chronic infection after a flu or cold. Herbs that possess antiviral and antibacterial qualities can help remove phlegm in this type of sinusitis. Clean Air Tea or Ching Chi Hua Tan Wan is a Chinese herbal formula that can be used to help relieve sinusitis and bronchitis symptoms. Long Dan Hsie Gan Wan is one formula that can be used as often as needed to help treat a combination of inner ear and sinus problems.

For people who are highly susceptible to chronic sinusitis, herbs that cleanse the liver and the blood can be ideal for their specific condition. These can include nettle leaves drank as tea or dandelion. These herbs are excellent for diminishing acidity and inflammation. They can normalize the immune response, whilst helping create a less friendly environment for bacterial and viral pathogens to thrive in.

There are several herbal formulas and herbs that can help to resolve acute or chronic sinusitis in a natural way.