Acupuncture Can Be Useful in The Treatment of Schizophrenia

Practiced for millennia, TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine has actually only recently become known in the West during the time when President Nixon went to China in 1971 and was treated with acupuncture. This type of Oriental medicine considers the emotional, physical, and spiritual as closely interrelated, and, so it is used to treat psychological and emotional problems, such as schizophrenia as well as physical conditions like osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and back pain.

To give you a better idea of how TCM works in schizophrenia therapy, we need to give you a quick overview of some basic TCM concepts and examples. According to this holistic medicinal system, everything is energy or qi that can manifest in various forms; this is a perspective that jibes with modern quantum physics.

A part of nature, his community, nature, and the universe, man is, at the same time, a microcosm of the universe. Mind, body, and spirit are considered as interacting, and, as one with each other, and healed. Man is affected by the forces of nature including his community, the foods he eats, the wind, and temperature. Man is healthy only to the extent that he/she is in balance and harmony with himself/herself, the community, and nature. Illness develops when this balance is lost. TCM provides modalities that aim to restore harmony and these modalities gives less emphasis on treating illnesses than on returning health.

According to TCM, everything has two contradicting but inseparable and relative aspects: yin and yang. Yin’s attributes include negative, female, front, below, interior, and dark while Yang represents positive, male, back, above, exterior, and light. Yang cannot exist without yin and vice versa, and over time each becomes the other. Change is constant and everything is relative.

From the perspective of TCM, everything has also 5 processes or characteristics that depict the dynamics of relationships. Those characteristics are the Five Phases or Five Elements of Water, Wood, Metal, Earth, and Fire. Water represents resting, death, or storage; Wood, the birth process; Metal, ripening or harvesting; Earth, transformation; and Fire, growth. Each of these phases have other aspects that correspond to the seasons, bodily organs, directions, weather conditions, smells, colors, tastes, sounds, and emotions. Emotions and organs, relate to a certain Phase. Patience and anger and the gallbladder and liver relate to Wood; love and hate, the small intestine and heart to Fire; empathy and worry, the spleen and abdomen to Earth; courage and sadness, large intestine and lungs to Metal; and calmness and fear, gallbladder and kidneys to Water. People living in the West can feel some affiliation in the Fire element of TCM as it relates to hate and love, the heart, and the color red.

Energy or qi moves throughout the body within energy channels called meridians. The meridians interconnect various parts of the body with one another, including the bodily organs. There are hundreds of points called acupoints or pressure points wherein qi can be accessed in the meridians. Each organ has specific relationships with other organs. The correct flow of qi in the body that also encompasses the flow to and from the various organs will determine a person’s state of health. All the different conditions outside (the environment) and inside a person can affect the flow of qi. The internal factors that can affect a person’s qi are his/her temperature, nutrients, will, and emotions. External factors include the environment, foods, life experiences, heat, wind, and weather.

Sickness can be brought on by several internal and external factors affecting the body. They can include stagnant or weak qi, or the emotions. For instance, “little vital capacity or poor Lung development may directly lead to depression, sadness, and a propensity to become pessimistic in ideas and attitude. If qi movement in the Heart meridians is blocked or when Heart-qi is weak, the person may be unable to fully understand the world that may cause him/her to often lose his/her direction in life. The consequences of all these limitations may include mental disorders, such as autism, schizophrenia, and anxiety. External factors may result in excessive emotion such as chronic or acute intense fear, anger, or sadness. They can disrupt the normal flow of blood and qi, and lead to physical disturbances such as depression (bereavement due to loss of a loved one), or PTSD or post-traumatic stress syndrome (due to natural disaster or war).

TCM diagnostic procedures include a review of the medical history, and reading the tongue and the pulse of the patient. The symptoms are examined, along with the duration of the condition, emotional features, physical condition, and constitution of the patient. A reading of the pulse can mean reading three different positions on each wrist, three different levels at each position that considers 28 distinct qualities, including rhythm and rate. Tongue examination includes observing the texture and color of the different areas of the tongue that represent the different parts of the body. This diagnostic process will help the acupuncturist determine the meridians and organs involved, the type of disharmony or disturbance, the factors that caused the disturbance occurred and how it arose, and the influence and impact it has on the mind and body.

A differentiation of the symptoms is applied which means the acupuncturist determines how, why, and where the symptoms were derived and not just what the symptoms are. Patients who, for example, were diagnosed with depression in mainstream psychotherapy can manifest the same symptoms including a weak appetite, tiredness, and a lost interest in life. But, in TCM, after pulse and tongue examination, the acupuncturist may discover that the depression in some patients is due to qi deficiency of qi of the Spleen and Lung, while in other patients the depression may be brought about by blood and qi disturbance, Liver qi stagnation, deficiency of Kidney-qi, etc., which may create new pathologies in the body. Excessive emotions, for example, can interfere with the movement of Liver-qi. When the flow of qi is inhibited, heat is created. This directly affects the Heart and this creates Heart-Fire. If a person with an already dominant heat constitution develops this problem, the heat may turn into strong Fire that can manifest in dryness of the throat and mouth, sleeping problems, concentration problems, and a quick temper. Moreover, when the body fluids and yin become depleted, they become insufficient to control the Fire and yang which makes the Fire become more aggressive and active. This causes the patient to become more restless and angrier without any reason, or the patient may develop insomnia or become hyperactive, such as in manic disorder. The Fire, in the meantime, eats up the blood and causes blood stagnation causing the stuck blood to block the Liver and Heart meridians. When this happens the patient suffers from delirium and paranoid obsessive ideas.

Various TCM techniques can be utilized. Acupuncture treatment will involve the insertion of needles into specific acupoints to help stabilize the flow of qi. Massage can be used to manually control the flow of energy. Moxibustion uses heat at specific meridian points. For adequate qi, diet and herbal medicines are used to guaranty proper nutrients. Meditation facilitates balance and harmony via the mind. Qi gong exercises apply body motion to do the same.

Given the person’s specific constitution and symptoms as well as his/her life experience and temperament, a customized plan of treatment is made. However, some procedures are commonly used for various symptoms besides the required customized therapy. Sadness, for example, common in mental disturbances, can develop from a disturbance of Lung-qi, when, for example, a great loss or disappointment in life occurs. Kidney-qi deficiency can cause Lung-qi deficiency which leads to sadness. This is because the Kidney supports the Lung. Thus, to stimulate Lung qi, psychotherapy accompanied by moxibustion, acupuncture, breathing or physical exercise is recommended for a person who is sufficiently fit.

For the symptoms of schizophrenia and visual and auditory hallucinations, as well as to alleviate lactation, tinnitus, dizziness, and headaches and other side effects associated with the use of neuroleptics, specific acupuncture points can be used. One can also use acupuncture in Boca Raton for schizophrenic symptoms such as anxiety, hyperactivity, anger, frustration, fear, agitation, obsessions, mania, and insomnia.

Bullet Points of Information Regarding Acupuncture Theory

If you have some doubts or little knowledge about what acupuncture is all about, perhaps this article will illuminate you a bit as it is about the seven acupuncture theory bullet points that can give you a basic understanding of the concepts behind this ancient healing modality that began in China more than two thousand five hundred years ago.

General Overview

For a lot of people living in the West, acupuncture is viewed as a foreign or mysterious concept because of its Oriental roots. Many of these people have been influenced by hearsays and misconceptions. Acupuncture deserves to be recognized as a bona fide healing practice in its own right.

Acupuncture Needles

Acupuncture needles are designed to regulate the control of the flow of qi, the life energy within the body. It is a vital key in the workings of acupuncture therapy.

Sections of the Body

The body is divided into sections called meridians as per acupuncture theory. These sections aid the acupuncturist in determining where deficiencies exist and the flow of qi.

Acupuncture Points or Pressure Points

Acupuncture points lie in locations just over the meridians. Needles are inserted into these points to control or balance the flow of qi within the body. The acupuncturist needs to identify the pressure points where qi flow stimulation is required.

Qi

To initiate healing, the acupuncturist needs to activate the flow of qi. Though invisible to the naked eye, Qi is the energy that is always present in your body. The needles are the tools to help balance and control the movement of qi.

Application of Pressure

Applying the right amount of pressure is essential to eliminate the blockages to energy circulation in the meridians

Qi Blockage and Imbalance

According to acupuncture theory, the cause of all sorts of illness in a person is the blockage to qi flow and/or qi imbalance. The former is much easier to treat since treatment it only entails one or a few sessions of acupuncture.

All these bullet points presented above are information that you must need to know in order to have a basic understanding of what acupuncture is all about.

Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac.
Asian Health Center
27059 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy
Cleveland, OH 44143
Tel: (440) 833-0983
http://www.clevelandacupunctureclinic.com/

The Concept of Acupuncture Theory

The theory of acupuncture is a concept that can be easily understood. The basic principles underlying this treatment are what you only need to know. This article will discuss three steps for those who are interested in knowing what acupuncture is.

The first step is to know what acupuncture theory is. The principle behind this treatment began in the Far East which makes it difficult for some people in the West to understand its concepts. Due to the way acupuncture works compared to how modern medicine operates, skepticism surrounds the practice of acupuncture.

The second step is to know the terms that are used in acupuncture theory. Qi is the foremost term used and it plays a primary role in the practice of acupuncture which deals with the way qi flows in the body. It is the responsibility of the acupuncturist to maintain the proper balance of qi within the body during treatment. Qi is the energy force that circulates like blood throughout the body. It plays a huge role in maintaining or restoring the proper functioning of all the organs and systems of the body. Qi (pronounced chee) can be compared to the brainwaves that were once deemed as nonentities by doctors and scientists centuries ago. Qi exists even if Western medical science cannot find or detect it.

The third step is the need to understand the process involved in acupuncture treatment or how acupuncture works. Acupuncturists are trained to feel the flow of qi through a person’s body. They are able to determine if qi flow is balanced and if certain areas of your body do not have proper amounts of qi. Qi is important in the treatment of any disease or illness. The proper distribution of qi maintains or restores balance to the body that help you overcome diseases and illnesses.

Ni Nan Healing Art Center
2579 Merrick Rd
Bellmore, NY 11710
(516) 442-7408
http://www.ninanhealing.com

Cure Your Acne Safely and Effectively With Acupuncture and Cupping Therapy

Acupuncture in Overland Park is one extremely potent treatment for acne according to those who believe and practice traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). From experience, they see acupuncture as an effective means of restoring balance in the body in order to resolve illnesses due to a specific imbalance such as acne and other skin conditions.

Acupuncture works on the principle that the body is made of certain pressure points or acupuncture points and energy channels called meridians. When illness occurs, this means that the yin and yang of the body is out of balance. The result is physical manifestations such as acne. Certain acupoints along a meridian then needs to be inserted with a needle in order to restore the proper balance. The needles cause an effect that helps the outflow of energy regain balance, and in the process treat the disease.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, acne breakouts or zits are signs that the body has too much heat in the lungs. To get rid of these breakouts, the lungs, the organ that controls your skin, needs to cleansed or cooled down. One way to do this is through the sticking of filiform needles into specific acupoints along the meridians of the body.

To be totally effective against acne, there needs to be more than one acupuncture treatment. And apart from the needling, a process known as cupping that involves the use of glass cups to suction areas of your skin is also used. TCM practitioners believe that this technique will help cool down your lungs and clear out toxins that might be causing the imbalance.

Acupuncture is a needle-probing technique that views acne very differently from Western medicine. It is a holistic treatment that not only addresses the actual breakouts and zits but also resolves the underlying imbalance or disease.

Electro-acupuncture treatment (EAT) has the ability to treat the hormonal imbalance underlying certain types of acne, one study has revealed. If Western medicine had been able to produce drugs that can resolve hormonal imbalance that’s causing the excess production of sebum or oil, TCM by means of EAT can deal with the imbalance as well in a safe and natural way. EAT uses an electric current from an outside source that’s sent through the needles while the needles are inserted into the acupoints.

Additional studies show how acupuncture effectively treats breakouts.

Only you will decide whether to resort to acupuncture treatment to prevent acne breakouts. The best thing you can do first is to talk to a dermatologist to give you recommendations as to what course of treatment will give you the best results.

People respond to acupuncture treatment for acne in different ways. You need to try it to see if it works for you. Some people respond positively to the treatment while some don’t experience any results at all. And just like any conventional acne treatment, do not expect immediate results after a few rounds of acupuncture.

The Origins of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is thousands of years old. It is a Chinese system of medicine involving the use of fine needles inserted into the skin. To know the beginnings of the practice and art of this ancient therapy, we must enter the folds of time and focus our minds back to ancient China.

The beginning of Chinese acupuncture may have been almost 4,000 years ago (1600 B.C.) based on the discovery of bone etchings depicting the use of the treatment.

Through the last century, archaeological excavation of sites around China has yielded several pointed stones that archeologists have determined to be ancient acupuncture needles that were used for medical purposes, specifically to create skin incisions and to activate certain points on the body.

Ancient acupuncture’s history began with the use of these stones. Later on, slivers of animal bones were also used. Then, bamboo needles took the place of these slivers of stone and animal bones to treat certain maladies.

A tomb from the Shang Dynasty (1766 – 1122 B.C.) was excavated at the site of another archeological dig in China. Around the tomb, a lacquer casket containing a stone hook was found that indicated a valuable object. After thorough investigation, it was deemed that this hook was also a medical instrument associated with ancient Chinese acupuncture.

These ancient needles and medical instruments not only gave us a glimpse of acupuncture’s popularity at those times, but along with these things, large, bronze artifacts were also discovered that showed the importance of Chinese acupuncture during those times.

One of these artifacts was a life sized bronze man that was marked with acupuncture points on the body. This artifact contributed greatly to the rise and development of ancient acupuncture in China. Wang Weiyi (circa 987 to 1067) the maker of this bronze man, also created two more bronze statues that represented the front and back of a man. Acupuncture points totaling 657 were engraved on these statues which were used the Imperial acupuncture examinations for new acupuncturists in ancient China. Thick wax was applied on the statues and then filled with water. During an exam, the student needed to locate the acupuncture point and needle the point into the statue. If a drop of water appears when the needle was withdrawn, this means that the student had needled the correct acupoint.

A manual illustrating acupoints and moxibustion points in the Bronze Man was also compiled by Wang Weiyi. It was called Tongren Shuhsue Zhen Jiu Yujing. In a couple of stone steles measuring approximately seven meters in length and above two meters high erected in Kaifeng (this was the Northern Song Dynasty’s capital during that time), the text of this manual were engraved for the benefit of the public. The great work of Wang Weiyi had a huge boost in the advancement of ancient Chinese acupuncture. The ancient medical tools have been invented, the body’s acupoints have been mapped out, and the ancient people of China were being healed.

The book, History of the Song Dynasty (Sonshi), featured a recorded history of ancient Chinese acupuncture. The book recounts that in 1034, the Emperor Renzong fell ill and successfully recuperated with the help of acupuncture. The story made acupuncture even more popular in China and its practice became the specialty of legendary physicians like Wang Zhizhong who had lived during the Southern Song dynasty. The ancient acupuncture classic text Zhenjiu Hsishengjing Wang (A Description of Moxibustion and Acupuncture) was written by Wang and was published in 1220.

Actually, the ancient Egyptians were also using ancient acupuncture as early as 1550 B.C. During this time, the papyrus Ebers was written, which was ancient Egypt’s most important medical treaties. The document pertains to a book on the subject of vessels that could conform to acupuncture’s twelve primary meridians.

In South Africa, the Bantu sometimes scratch parts of the body to treat disease. To treat sciatica, the Bantu cauterize a part of the ear with a hot metal probe which somewhat corresponds to the practice of ear or auricular acupuncture. Just like ancient Chinese acupuncture, some Eskimos utilize sharp stones to stimulate certain parts of the body. In the Amazon jungle, an isolated tribe in Brazil shoots small arrows with a blowpipe into certain body parts.

The Chinese great contribution to acupuncture is that they have developed a fairly comprehensive systemic method of this treatment. This method has been described and catalogued in several text books. It can be reproduced in clinical studies and is taught in universities in China.

The desire and interest to learn acupuncture’s practices and methods is as fresh as ever. This treatment has certainly come a long way since its ancient beginnings.

Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center
12301 Taft St #200
Pembroke Pines, FL 33026
Phone: (954) 880-0090
http://www.vitahealthmedspa.com

TCM Therapies For Anemia

The body suffers from a condition known as anemia when it is unable to manufacture sufficient amounts of red blood cells (RBCs) to provide oxygen to the rest of the cells of the body. As a result, the body ceases to function healthily. Tiredness is the characteristic symptom of anemia that occurs as a result of the body’s inability to function efficiently. It is this symptom for which anemia is sometimes referred to as “tired blood.” There are several forms of anemia and they can last a lifetime or for a few hours or may be mild, light to very serious. Allopathic medicine’s solution varies from the kind of anemia the patient suffers from. Natural and alternative treatments for anemia include among others traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), specifically, acupuncture and Chinese herbs as well as various types of bodywork.

Anemia Treatment Through The Use of Traditional Chinese Medicine

The several various kinds of anemia are known by allopathic physicians. They include aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia, sickle-cell anemia, iron-deficiency anemia, vitamin-deficiency anemia, thalassemia and many others. Each type of anemia is caused by distinct factors and hence, requires different types of treatment. In traditional Chinese medicine, however, practitioners believe that all kinds of anemia are indications that the circulation of qi (pronounced chee) or vital energy, which is the life giving energy force of the body that makes the body healthy, has stopped flowing due to obstructions in the energy channels through which it flows. It may also mean that the body does not create adequate quantities of good-quality blood. This condition can be addressed by adopting certain methods that would energize the organ systems to boost the movement of qi and produce more good-quality blood. The symptoms that the patient exhibits will determine the type of treatment used.

Acupuncture in Reading for Anemia

One of traditional Chinese medicine’s modes of treatment for various conditions including anemia is acupuncture. This involves the use of long and thin needles stuck at certain points on the body known as acupuncture points or acupoints to bring back the healthy movement of qi in the body. In the treatment of anemia, acupuncture needles are stuck at energy channels known as meridians to strengthen the flow of qi to the spleen and stomach systems. Other meridians can also be stimulated with needles to strengthen the flow of qi to the liver system. According to TCM, the liver system is the place where blood is stored and is the system that keeps the healthy circulation of blood all over the body.

In the treatment of anemia, acupuncturists usually needle the following acupuncture points:

• Liver 8 (Li 8) – Known as the Qu Quan (Spring at the Crook), the liver 8 meridian is an acupoint that can help tonify the liver system. This system is usually related with disorders of the blood. Li 8 beefs up both the yin of the body and the blood and nourishes blood as well.

• Stomach 36 (St 36) – Located on the abdominal system the Stomach 36 point is known as Zu San Li or Foot Three Mile. This name implies that when this acupoint is stimulated, it leads to the treatment of tiredness or fatigue which gives the person additional strength to walk much farther, probably for an extra three miles. The St 36 boosts the ability of the body to enhance digestion and absorb nutrients as well tonify both qi and blood.

• Spleen 10 (Sp 10) – The Sp 10 acupuncture point is referred to as Xue Hai or Sea of Blood. It is used to invigorate and tonify the blood that can help address various kinds of disorders of the blood.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Treatment for Anemia

The use of Chinese herbal medicine for the curing of anemia may involve the use of single herbs or a mixture of herbal compound. There are several kinds of herbal formulas that can help increase the creation of good quality blood and qi. They include:

• Bai zhu or White Atractylodes rhizome – Augments qi and strengthens the spleen

• Dan gui or Angelica root – Used for invigorating, tonifying and harmonizing the blood, and expelling cold

• Dang Shen or Root of Pilose asiabell – This herb nourishes the blood and reinforces the energy of the body

• Gan cao or Licorice root – Strengthens and energizes spleen qi and qi of the abdomen

• Huang qi or Root of Astragalus – An herb that tonifies blood and spleen qi

• Lu ron or Deer antler – This formula is made into a tonic to strengthen yang and tonify blood and qi yang

• Sheng Di or Rehmannia – An herbal compound that when processed form is known as Shu Di. Sheng Di nourishes yin and helps generate fluids

• Bai Shao or rhizome of white peony – An herbal remedy that nourishes blood and astringes yin

The TCM style of treating illnesses is usually through the use of Chinese herbal medicine combined with complementary therapies. A TCM treatment known as Four Ingredient Decoction or Hsi Wu Tang is a classical formula that can help address deficiency of blood. This mixture is comprised of Shu Di, Bai Shao, Chuan Xiong, and Dang Gui. There are other potent herbal remedies that are just as good as Si Wu Tang that help create more good-quality blood. One such formula is Decoction of Angelica Tonify the Blood or Dang Gui Bu Hsue Tang, a mixture that’s actually only made up of two herbs: Wang Chi (Huang Qi) and Dang Gui. Based on the symptoms presented by the patient there a number of different formulas available that can treat specific types of anemia. They include herbal remedies that have been widely tested and have been proven to work against various kinds of anemia. They include:

• Sheng Hsue Jiao Nang
• Hsue Bao Hau Jia
• Ye Hsue Jing
• Yi Hsue Sheng
• Zhang’s Anemia Formula
• Zhou’s Anemia Formula

Tui Na Massage for the Treatment or Anemia

The Chinese have used Tui Na massage therapy for thousands of years to treat a lot of health conditions. The foundation of this therapy is the same as acupuncture’s. Tui Na massage, like acupuncture, involves the activation of the energy channels meridians to regulate the circulation of qi, and restore balance to yin and yang in the body. Some practitioners of Tui Na focus on foot and hand massage to regulate the flow of qi throughout the body and boost the creation of blood in the spleen.

Studies Show Acupuncture And Chinese Herbs Relieve Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms

In the United States, there are about 15 million people suffering from eczema. This is a condition that’s marked by skin patches that appear reddish, scaly, and dry accompanied by extreme itching. The itchiness and inflammation can be relieved by several various types of conventional medical treatments although corticosteroids are the drugs most commonly used. However, this type of medication can lead to weight gain, osteoporosis, hypertension, and some other serious side effects. Folks who opt for a safer and more natural healing alternative may find acupuncture treatment to be quite useful, safe, and effective for their condition.

Thirty people suffering from eczema were involved in a German study that immediately treated them after being exposed to allergens such as pollen and dust mites. These allergens exacerbated their condition leading to flare-ups. The study was designed to provide alleviation from the itch. All patients underwent three different test conditions of which “point-specific” acupuncture was the first. This treatment focused on certain acupuncture points of the body to help quell the itchy skin. The points used were Hsuehai and Quchi acupoints. “Placebo-point” acupuncture was the treatment that was next in line for the participants. It involved using points that were not meant to treat the itchy skin. No treatment was the last test condition following the allergen exposure.

When comparing the three test conditions, the researchers noticed that after receiving point-specific acupuncture as opposed to the no treatment at all or placebo acupuncture all thirty subjects showed lower levels of itchiness. Moreover, some fascinating reports showed that after point-specific acupuncture the subjects were exposed once more to the allergen, their flare-ups were not as severe as before. This result suggests that with just one point-specific acupuncture treatment, sustained improvement can be achieved. The study showed that acupuncture at the appropriate acupoints leads to a marked decrease in type I hypersensitivity itch in atopic eczema patients.

Another study similar to the above-mentioned German study, this time done in Palestine, observed the efficacy of herbal medicine plus acupuncture in atopic dermatitis treatment. The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis. Twenty patients with ages ranging from 13 – 48 all suffering from atopic dermatitis were treated with acupuncture and herbs for twelve weeks, three times a day. The subjects were examined during the third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth week of the study. They reported a 45 percent improvement in their itch. They also experienced a 39 percent improvement in their quality of life. Based on these results, the study concluded that a treatment combining Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can indeed provide a positive effect on patients with atopic dermatitis.

Those outcomes indicate a direct association between acupuncture and herbal treatments and a lessening of itch in eczema sufferers. The results also showed that there is a better alternative to potentially adverse prescription drugs for people suffering from the condition. Eczema sufferers are then able to make an informed decision about the kind of healthcare that’s best suited for them when they have scientific results to support the use of natural treatments such as acupuncture.

Acupuncture Plus
11851 Jollyville Rd #102
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 453-5352
http://www.acupuncturistaustin.com/

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs Are Safe and Really Good Remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

A UK study conducted at the University of York, Department of Health Studies revealed promising outcomes of acupuncture treatment in Vancouver for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The report from the study typically includes the pandering that relegates any treatment deemed unconventional or alternative as complementing standard medicine. However, the study actually showed intriguing results.

A total of 233 patients suffering from IBS symptoms for an average period of 13 years participated in the study. The symptom severity scores of these patients were 100 or above. They were divided into two groups with one group receiving conventional medical treatment for 10 weeks and the other treated with one acupuncture session per week also for 10 weeks.

The patients who were administered with acupuncture experienced a more significant decrease in their symptom severity scores and more importantly the results lasted through follow-up tests during the third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth month post treatments.

What is not clearly understood is why did the report deem acupuncture to be an ideal complement to conventional treatments when the subjects had been taking these treatments for at least 13 years in a nation that provides healthcare to all its citizens without them paying out of their own pockets? Clearly, this shows that conventional medicine did not work for these patients.

Because Western medicine has little to offer patients with severe IBS symptoms, it’s not unusual for them to resort to careful watching of their diet to keep their symptoms from reappearing and to help them cope with their problem better.

In the treatment of IBS, Chinese medicine practitioners also recommend to their patients the management of stress and to observe what they eat. A lot of practicing acupuncturists in the States claim really get good results with Chinese herbs and acupuncture to balance spleen and liver Qi in the treatment of IBS.

What is Acupuncture?

For a lot of Westerners, the concept of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) may be a bit difficult to understand. This is especially true for Western-trained practitioners who find the theory and basics of 5,000-year-old medical tradition quite alien to what they have been taught. Ayurvedic medicine and TCM are founded on essentially the same paradigms that are totally different to Western medical theories.

When certain herbs are prescribed by a TCM practitioner, diagnosis can be made based on Qi and organ energy functions instead of physical or biochemical. Acupuncture works by activating the qi energies to remove blockages to their flow along properly identified energy channels or meridians.

Rather than undertaking invasive biopsies, X-rays, and lots of blood tests, practitioners of TCM have been trained to locate excess, blocked, or low, qi and understand how it affects health by observing the quality of your pulse through palpation.

These practitioners will also closely observe your tongue and notice signs that are oftentimes ignored while regarding your symptoms.

Their ability to correctly read your symptoms based on these unique TCM diagnostic procedures is amazing. These professional can even determine how your health will end up before the technology of Western medicine’s can. Diagnosing at the subtle energy levels of qi can determine a health problem before it turns into a full blown physical reality.

From the results of those Chinese medicine diagnostic procedures, a treatment plan consisting of Chinese herbs and acupuncture is drawn up. It may take multiple visits to the acupuncturist’s office and weeks of herbal and acupuncture treatment to come up with really significant positive results which is why most Chinese today are relying more on Western medicine to help relieve their conditions as quick as possible. More often than not, Chinese medicine leads to outcomes that include actual improved health and a lot of times, even a cure.

Big Pharma, the FDA, and AMA make sure their toxic monopoly over America’s healthcare system continues. The type of healthcare system that has been set up actually creates more sickness than it cures. And even though they are less expensive, the insurance industry nevertheless refuses to cover those “alternative” health practices.

In western medicine, patients may experience some relief from their symptoms and think they are cured while experiencing the side effects of antibiotics, toxic pharmaceuticals, radiation from X-Rays and CT scans, and reactions from the toxic injections associated with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

Chinese Herbal Medicine Can Provide Relief for Various Skin Conditions

Acne, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin disorders affect around 20% of Americans. Western-trained physicians usually use conventional treatment to provide temporal relief for these dermatological problems. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners, on the other hand, not only address the symptoms of the patient they also treat the root causes of the symptoms. They are able to customize treatments for each patient and alter the treatment as needed as the skin naturally repairs itself.

How Long Does Treatment Take Effect?

You are stressed, uncomfortable, and extremely itchy. Your skin is something you’d rather not look at. We know that what you want is prompt relief.

Substantial relief from the discomfort and itching are commonly experienced by patients inside a couple of weeks with TCM treatments such as Chinese herbs and acupuncture as well as changes in their diet and it just keeps getting better after that. The entire duration of the treatment may take six months but if you suffer from a severe type of skin condition, treatment may take even a bit longer.

TCM practitioners will focus on treating the symptoms of cracked dry skin, bumps, plaques, oozing, heat, dryness, redness, pain, itching, and other uncomfortable symptoms during the first three months of treatment.

For the next three months, they turn their attention to nourishing and repairing the skin. To prevent flare-ups, they resolve the underlying cause of energetic disharmony. When patients fail to undergo the second phase of treatment, it is very likely that their skin condition will return.

The method of TCM is designed to completely cure skin disorders within six months with the conditions very rarely reoccurring.

The skin may permanently degrade and thin if steroid creams are used quite frequently. The topical ointments made from Chinese medicinal herbs are safe and has no side effects whatsoever even if they’re used for a lifetime. The immune system can also be impaired with overuse of internal steroids. Chinese medicine, however, actually strengthens the health of the immune system. The use of
topical steroid creams can result in serious withdrawal rashes. This does not happen in a patient that completes the required Chinese herbal treatment regimen.

If you have a persistent rash that would not go away or a rash that may be connected to a fever, a new mole, or even skin cancer, we suggest that you see a doctor immediately.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been known to be effective against the following dermatological skin disorders:

Eczema
Dermatitis herpetiformis
Nummular Dermatitis
Steroid induced dermatitis
Hand eczema
Pityriasis rosea
Contact dermatitis
Shingles
Seborrheic dermatitis
Cradle cap
Dyshidrotic eczema
Chronic itching
Ear eczema
Acne
Scalp eczema
Hives/Urticaria
Psoriasis

Alexander Ezzati is a Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist, and the founder of Balance Within – Acupuncture Clinic in Encino, CA.

Symptoms and the Underlying Cause of the Symptoms: An Analogy

The aim of Chinese Medicine is to provide symptomatic relief to the patient and to treat the symptoms’ underlying cause. Conditions that produce the symptoms were actually already in the body long before the symptoms began to manifest. The underlying issues usually are due to more than one factor and likely to go unnoticed for years until the symptoms become more intense and frequent.

The underlying cause and symptoms can best be illustrated with the “Leaky Roof” analogy: say, that the roof in a home has a leak, and water starts to drip inside every time it rains, making the carpets and floor wet. After a certain period of time, the ceiling and wood start to rot and carpets and roof begin to mold. If the owner of the home merely took action on the symptoms, which is the leak, he probably will just put a few buckets to catch the water, keeping the floor dry. Over the course of time, however, the ceiling continues to mold and rot and if the rain is strong enough (the external stressors), the buckets may not be big enough to contain all the water and the water flows out on to the floor and carpet. The temporary solution (relief of symptoms) over time no longer works, and had never solved the problem (the rotting and the mold) due to the fact that the underlying cause (the leaky roof) was never addressed.

Now, if the home owner still decides to let things stay the way they are and does not fix the leaky roof, the CAUSE of the problem ,the roof continues to mold and rot. He may buy bigger buckets to contain the rain water but rotting and mold start to cause further problems. He and his children start developing allergies to the mold that gets bigger. After a while, the rotting causes the roof to buckle and begins to cause structural damage to the house. From the same root cause, his house, himself, and his children start to suffer from problems (symptoms) due to the same root cause. No one benefits if things stay the way they are. The amount of money and time required to replace the roof is now substantially larger compared to when the leak was still relatively small.

Relief of Symptoms = the bucket
Rectification = repairing the roof

Our bodies, like the roof, will manifest specific signs that a problem exists within us (i.e., occasional pain and aches turning to chronic pain or high cholesterol that can lead to heart disease). If those signs and symptoms continue to be ignored, or if we aren’t aware of them, they will get worse and larger over time and may result in more disruptive and frequent symptoms. A person who values his/her health and well-being will go to a Chinese medicine practitioner at the first sign of symptoms. The practitioner will be able identify the symptoms and the underlying cause of the symptoms and treat them BEFORE they really become a full-blown disease. Unfortunately, though, for various reasons, most patients will not seek treatment until they actually are experiencing really serious symptoms. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is aimed at giving symptomatic relief to the patient and to address the underlying root of their problems to provide long-term relief or even a permanent cure and to keep the symptoms from recurring.

One extra step is maintenance to make sure symptoms do not return. If the owner of the house that has the leaky roof maintained the health and integrity of his home, he would inspect his house and treat any minor issues BEFORE they turn into a much larger problem.

Chinese medicine and acupuncture encompass all three phases to ensure durable and highly effective results. A few factors would determine the length of each phase. They include the consistency of treatment, the person’s general health, diet, lifestyle, age, and his/her condition/symptoms.

Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.