Category Archives: Health

Acupuncture and Moxibustion Treatments

Acupuncture and Moxibustion is a medical treatment that has been practiced for thousands of years in China and other Asian countries as well as now around the world. It is used as a means of treating and preventing disease. Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific sites (acupuncture points) along the body’s meridians to clear energy blockages and encourage the normal flow of energy (Qi) through the individual.

“Health Goals”

The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease. Acupuncture corrects imbalances of flow at identifiable points close to the skin. Today, acupuncture is an effective, natural and increasingly popular form of health care that is used by people whole over the world.

Acupuncture needles are so fine that there is no discomfort when they are inserted but a slight tingle (known as needle sensation) may be experienced. The needles are usually left in for approximately twenty minutes to more; during this time there may be a heaviness of the limbs and a feeling of relaxation. The Doctor / practitioner may also stimulate the acupuncture points using other methods, such as moxibustion (a traditional technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb used to facilitate healing), cupping and electro-stimulation etc. in order to re-establish the flow of qi.

Since Acupuncture and moxibustion Medicine promotes the body’s natural healing ability, many conditions can be treated. It is also a comprehensive system of preventative health care and maintenance. The effectiveness of acupuncture is well-documented. Throughout its long history, acupuncture has established a solid reputation as an excellent alternative for health care that actually works, and is very effective to treat some diseases, where other methods of treatment could not achieve good result or failed.

An Acupuncture medicine doctor should possess adequate knowledge and experience for providing proper treatment to his/her patients. To avoid the unwanted complications in Acupuncture treatment please avoid taking treatment by quack / fake Acupuncturist. There are many around us without proper qualifications. Because inadequate knowledge and experience may lead to serious medical problems.

The World Health Organization recognizes Acupuncture as a viable means of treatment for a wide range of conditions. In an official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the WHO has listed the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:

low back pain, neck pain, sciatica, tennis elbow, knee pain, periarthritis of the shoulder, sprains, facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders), headache, dental pain, tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, induction of labor, correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation), morning sickness, nausea and vomiting, postoperative pain, stroke, essential hypertension, primary hypotension, renal colic, leucopenia, adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy, allergic rhinitis, including hay fever, biliary colic, depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke), acute bacillary dysentery, primary dysmenorrhea, acute epigastralgia, peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis.

In the field of acupuncture some good clinical researches have been completed, and there has also been some follow-up assessment of many of the conditions that have been treated by Acupuncture Doctors. Some diseases are more successfully treated by acupuncture and Moxibustion where other methods of treatment could not achieve good result or failed. Though this method of treatment has already been started in our country but due to quite less number of medically qualified acupuncture doctors available in our country and lack of proper perception about the application of this method in some specific diseases, the patients are depriving from the advantages of Acupuncture & Moxibustion treatment.

So, I have made an attempt to provide little information about the effects of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in few diseases. Many of the facts and figures quoted in the following sections are the results of my own experience and clinical trials carried out in China and others countries.

Diseases of the Muscles, Bones and Joints:
The muscles, bones and joints are usually called collectively the musculo-skeletal system. When disease or damage occurs to this system it nearly always results in pain, and most people use words such as rheumatism or arthritis to describe this type of pain.

There are three main types of damage that occur to the musculo-skeletal system; the first is a sudden injury or sprain which might be a domestic injury, or might be incurred during a sporting activity or in a car accident. This usually causes local pain and bruising lasting for a few days, or even a few weeks or more. The other main group is arthritis and this can be divided into two important types, Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Sprains: Sudden injury or sprains usually respond well to acupuncture. The pain resulting from a sprained shoulder, ankle etc will often continue for some days or weeks after the initial injury. Once a clear diagnosis has been made acupuncture can usually be used to relieve this type of pain.

The experience of a many of Acupuncture doctors, shows that, of the people treated for differing acutely painful conditions, about 70 percent obtain swift and significant pain relief. If a fracture of the bone is present then the pain relief gained from acupuncture is less effective than if the injury is due to a strain or tear of the muscles, tendons or ligaments. The main advantage of treating these acute pains with acupuncture is that chronic pain can be avoided. A sudden shoulder injury may produce pain and immobility for many months, sometimes years, but if acupuncture is used when the pain occurs then it seems that chronic pain may be avoided.

Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis and the rheumatic pains that result from this type of joint damage are quite a common problem. People frequently complain that their arthritic knee pain is worse in cold or damp weather and this demonstrates quite clearly the origin of the concept of pathogens in traditional medicine. The pathogen in osteoarthritis is almost always cold or damp and therefore these pains should be treated by moxibustion.

A great deal of research work has been done to investigate the effects of acupuncture on the pain caused by osteoarthritis. Clinical trials have been completed on knee, hip, elbow, neck and lower back pain, and the information from these trials shows that significant pain relief can be achieved in about 70 per cent of those who receive acupuncture. Some work suggests that only 50 per cent of people benefit from acupuncture while other trials show 95 per cent of the patients benefiting. Acupuncture also has a ‘magical quality’ that drugs do not have, so it is difficult to sort out the effects of the ‘magic’ as compared to the real effects of acupuncture. In spite of these problems, acupuncture is a safe and effective form of treatment for osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: The effects of acupuncture on rheumatoid arthritis are not so clear cut. During the early, acute, inflammatory stage of rheumatoid arthritis there is some evidence to suggest that Acupuncture might worsen the pain (though which usually may subside gradually) and therefore many acupuncturists do not treat acute rheumatoid arthritis. After some months the acute inflammatory stage subsides and the residual joint destruction may then lead to the development of a secondary osteoarthritis. This type of pain is amenable to acupuncture and responds in the same way as other osteoarthritic aches and pains. Chronic pain, due to disease of the musculo-skeletal system, is frequently amenable to acupuncture treatment. The published research shows that pain which has been present for many years can respond as well as pain that has been present for only a few months; therefore, from the available information, it is fair to say that acupuncture is ‘always worth a try’ in this type of condition.

Headaches: Headaches can be due to a multitude of factors; arthritis of the neck, dental problems, psychological problems, sinusitis, stress and tension, and head injury are a few of the many causes. Headaches are a common complaint and a notoriously difficult one to treat effectively, and they can be the cause of a considerable amount of distress and marital disharmony. Acupuncture treatment has been used to treat a wide variety of headaches, particularly migrainous headaches, and the results obtained have been very encouraging. The published work suggests that between 65-95 per cent of all headache sufferers obtain significant and long lasting pain relief from acupuncture treatment. Migraines seem to respond as well as, if not better than, other types of headache. Acupuncture therapy for headaches may cause the headaches to vanish completely, or occur with a markedly decreased intensity and/or frequency. The pain relief resulting from acupuncture treatment can sometimes be maintained for some years and re-treatment is usually required less frequently for headaches.

Diseases of the Nervous System:

Strokes: A stroke is caused by a disturbance of the blood supply to the brain. The blood vessels that normally supply blood to the brain can be compromised by becoming blocked or bleeding. This result in a deficient blood supply to the brain tissue and these events can be precipitated by a variety of factors such as raised blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and severe head injury. The brain is divided into many different functional areas, one area controlling speech, while another dominates the sensations of touch and pain. The functional impairment that occurs with a stroke depends on the area of the brain that is damaged; if the speech area is damaged by a lack of blood supply then the patient may be unable to speak properly. In China, acupuncture is the standard treatment for strokes. In the Western countries, the mainstays of stroke treatment are speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, but the Chinese feel that these methods have less to offer than acupuncture medicine. Both scalp and body acupuncture are techniques that can be used to aid recovery from a stroke. The research work suggests that acupuncture increases the blood supply to the brain, and for some unexplained reason this seems to improve functional ability and acts as a stimulus to recovery after a stroke.

Clinical trials completed by the Chinese doctor’s state that some effect can be gained from acupuncture in about 80 per cent of strokes. The success rate claimed is very high but to some extent this success rate is mirrored by the experience of a variety of doctors in the West. Western medicine often has little to offer the stroke patient and therefore acupuncture therapy is always worth considering. Ideally strokes should be treated within six months of the damage occurring. The Chinese doctors also treat their patients for long periods and a stroke patient may receive one hundred or two hundred acupuncture treatment sessions before being declared a success or a failure.

The Neuralgias (Nerve Pain): Trigeminal neuralgia usually presents with severe unilateral facial pain. Its cause is unclear but the painful facial spasms are often precipitated by cold or wind. The Chinese acupuncturist claim to be able to gain improvement, with acupuncture, in about 70 per cent of cases of trigeminal neuralgia. Judging by the experience of Western acupuncturists this success rate represents a rather high figure, although acupuncture can undoubtedly have a beneficial effect on this type of pain.

Postherpetic neuralgia is the pain that occurs after an attack of shingles. Shingles is a viral infection of the nerves, and the nerves affected by shingles can occasionally continue to cause severe pain after the shingles has cleared. It seems that of those patients with established postherpetic neuralgia, about 40 per cent gain some degree of long term benefit from acupuncture treatment. There are a vast number of aches and pains that are often described as neuralgic. Many of these occur as facial pain and most of them cause severe discomfort. It is always worthwhile to attempt to alleviate these pains by using acupuncture treatment.

Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia and Other Nervous Disorders: It is difficult to be objective about the treatment of disorders such as anxiety, Insomnia and depression, as the problems themselves are difficult to assess objectively, and therefore no good clear figures are available about their treatment with acupuncture. In spite of this, many acupuncture doctors, including the Chinese, treat a wide range of ‘mental disorders’ and insomnia (sleep problem) with acupuncture. Many people have stated that acupuncture is clearly effective in helping symptoms such as insomnia and bed-wetting, and can also create a feeling of general well-being. The Chinese doctors have completed trials on some of the more clearly defined and serious mental diseases, such as schizophrenia. In a trial involving over 400 patients they claim a 54 per cent cure rate for this disease, with a further 30 per cent showing ‘significant improvement’. However, from a variety of excellent research papers it is clear that acupuncture can influence quite radically many areas of the central nervous system, as well as neurotransmitters and others brain functions also. Therefore this therapy has a great role in brain related problems or neuro-developmental dysfunction.

Nerve Paralysis: Paralysis can also be treated by a variety of acupuncture techniques. The acupuncture must be continued for a long period. Sometimes daily for six months and the results from some of the Chinese research works are very encouraging. Chinese doctors claim that some 50-60 per cent of patients are likely to gain significant return of function if treated with acupuncture.
Facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy) is a disease of sudden onset that causes one side of the face to lose muscular power; the cause of this is unknown. Acupuncture and moxibustion can be used to treat this and the research claim a 75 per cent complete recovery rate but, again, this disease allows a significant percentage of spontaneous recovery. The Chinese research also claim that a further 20 per cent gain benefit from acupuncture, although not complete recovery. Even allowing for the known level of spontaneous resolution in facial paralysis it does seem that acupuncture has something extra to offer.

Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy, nerve deafness etc: Acupuncture has been claimed to be effective in Parkinson’s disease, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, nerve deafness, and a large variety of other problems. According to some studies, Parkinson’s disease may be accompanied by an imbalance of energy along one or more meridians. The muscle stiffness, soreness, imbalance etc. of Parkinson’s may be alleviated by a series of treatments. It is always wise to remember that acupuncture is a harmless technique and can sometimes give excellent results in above casese where other medical methods have failed.

Autism /ASD, Cerebral Palsy etc: Acupuncture along with herbal therapy have been found highly effective for treating children with brain dysfunction, resulting in improvement in the patient’s overall functional abilities. Excellent results are being achieved through simultaneous application of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in the cases of ASD / Autism and Cerebral Palsy in different countries of the world. There are several research papers, articles etc. that has been published all over the world about the efficacy of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicines in this context. In my clinical practice I am also getting very effective result by applying integration of Acupuncture and Herbal treatment. I noticed that, formulated Herbal Medicine along with acupuncture session gives much result other than only Acupuncture treatment or only Herbal Medicine. Like other diseases, I treated several patients. Some of them improved tremendously just after few days of treatment.

ADD and ADHD: Acupuncture can help the patient to manage the Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), and may provide some relief which will help the patient to gain greater benefit from the therapies available to him or her, and can help with the side effects of those therapies. Taking advantage of everything the medical knowledge of both hemispheres has to offer is a great way to ensure the most effective treatment for this disruptive, often limiting and painful condition. Acupuncture can be an excellent complementary therapy for the treatment of ADD and ADHD. In some cases Acupuncture works as a magic bullet for the treatment of ADD and ADHD. A research showed that, Acupuncture treatment has a good effect on infantile attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, its total effective rate was higher and the changes in abnormal electroencephalogram and the curative effect were better.

Diseases of the Digestive System:
IBS: An increasing number of studies have been conducted on treating IBS, with promising results. These studies have documented that Chinese medicine can effectively treat IBS in a safe and drug-free way.

Indigestion: Exact figures for success rates are not available, but the ‘clinical impression’ that arises from a number of acupuncture doctors indicates that about 60 per cent of patients gain some long-term relief of their symptoms with acupuncture.

Diseases of the Respiratory System:

Asthma: Acupuncture causes the contracted muscular walls to dilate; the mechanism of this is unknown, but there is good Western research data to support this claim. A recent Chinese clinical trial on asthma showed that some 70 percent of asthmatics gained a ‘very good effect’ from acupuncture and moxibustion. The acupuncture treatment was able to decrease the frequency and intensity of asthmatic attacks over a period of a year or more. This result is encouraging as it shows that acupuncture and moxibustion can affect the response of the body to the environmental stimuli causing asthmatic attacks. Our clinical experience also supports this efficacy of Acupuncture and Moxibustion medicine.

Bronchitis: Acupuncture cannot rebuild lung tissue, but by opening up the breathing tubes it can allow the remaining lung tissue to function efficiently. The mechanism of acupuncture in bronchitis is probably much the same as in asthma, allowing more air to enter the lungs. Recent Chinese research works has shown that about 50 per cent of bronchitis ‘benefit’ from acupuncture. The treatment must be repeated regularly if the effect is to be maintained for long period. On the other hand acupuncture treatment also help to control the infection effectively in bronchitis.

Diseases of the Heart and Blood Vessels:
In China it is a common and acceptable form of treatment for some of these problems. A variety of experiments carried out in the western countries give clear support to the idea that acupuncture does have an effect on the circulatory system.

Angina: Using sophisticated measuring equipment the Chinese researchers have completed a variety of trials to assess the effects of acupuncture on the heart, and they have shown a marked increase in the functional ability and efficiency of the heart muscles after acupuncture. This is further supported by clinical work, which shows that some 80 per cent of patients with angina have improved after acupuncture. When acupuncture is used to treat angina a course of treatments is given, and then followed by booster treatments.

The Correction of Abnormal Heart Rhythms: Heart diseases can frequently cause an abnormal rhythm to the heart beat; this may manifest itself as palpitations, an irregular heart beat, or dropped beats. Acupuncture can correct a small number of these arrhythmias. In established atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beats), acupuncture affects a small percentage of cases, some 1.5 per cent, although in recently acquired arrhythmias, acupuncture can be effective in up to 70 per cent of cases.

The Use of Acupuncture in Addiction and Obesity:
A large number of Western countries acupuncturists are using a variety of acupuncture techniques to treat obesity, smoking and hard drug addiction. There is some excellent physiological and clinical evidence to support the use of acupuncture method in these areas. The withdrawal symptoms experienced by people giving up smoking, or drugs, can be alleviated by raising the levels of endorphins in the nervous system. Some people believe that the desire to eat is also mediated by the endorphin level in the brain. It is clear that endorphin levels throughout the nervous system can be increased by Acupuncture. The techniques used to achieve an increase in endorphin levels center around the use of ear acupuncture. It must be stressed that acupuncture cannot replace willpower. It can only help the withdrawal symptoms, or hunger pains, experienced by those already motivated and committed to solving their particular problem.

Obesity: Acupuncture seems to relieve the problem of hunger usually created by dieting. Many people who receive acupuncture to help with weight loss also go on a diet at the same time. It is difficult to assess exactly which factors are responsible for weight loss, the acupuncture or the diet, or both in combination. Most acupuncturists claim that 40-50 per cent of their patients experience some significant weight loss during treatment.

Hard Drug Addiction: Some excellent research work has been done in this field, especially in Hong Kong. It is clear that acupuncture can help to solve the severe withdrawal symptoms experienced by those coming off hard drugs like heroin.

Smoking:
Acupuncture treatment helps about 40 per cent of people to give up smoking over a period of about six months. Again, it is essential to be well motivated before embarking on a course of treatment. Acupuncture does seem to decrease the desire to smoke and also to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms produced by abstinence from tobacco.

Reduce the Discomforts and Side Effects of Chemo/Radiotherapy for Cancer:
The effect of acupuncture on chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting etc. has been studied over the past 20 years, and clinical evidence gathered to date has been favorable. Current practice guidelines recommend acupuncture as a complementary therapy for uncontrolled nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy.

The Use of Acupuncture in Obstetrics:
In China the major use of acupuncture in obstetrics is to provide analgesia (pain relief) during Caesarean section, and to correct foetal malpositions, such as breech (breech means when the baby is ‘bottom first’ rather than ‘head first’).

Fertility and Gynecologic Problems:
Women who are having problems with conception, premenstrual symptoms or menopausal issues will often see positive results with Acupuncture medicine. It may be possible to reduce or eliminate the need for Western pharmaceuticals. If drugs or hormones must be used, side effects may be reduced. For women who are experiencing disorders of conception, my own experience suggests that acupuncture and Herbal medicine is more effective and much less unpleasant and dangerous than hormonal treatments or in vitro fertilization procedures.

Foetal Malposition:
The correction of foetal malposition is achieved by applying moxibustion to an acupuncture point. In about 60 percent of women the foetus turns naturally prior to the thirty-fourth week of pregnancy; this can be increased to 90 per cent with the aid of moxibustion. After the thirty-fourth week, when natural version is less likely, the Chinese claim that 80 per cent of foetal malpositions will be corrected permanently by this procedure. Once corrected, the malposition does not recur, provided moxibustion is applied daily. There seems to be no available physiological basis with which to explain this finding.

Anaesthesia for Labour and Delivery:
Acupuncture anaesthesia is widely used for caesarean sections in China. A report recently published, discusses the results of 1,000 cases managed in this manner. The Chinese Acupuncturist claim a 98 per cent success rate in the abolition of pain, a quicker recovery rate from the operation, less blood loss, and the obvious advantage of the mother being able to see the baby at, or soon after, birth. This report finds acupuncture a superior form of analgesia compared to other forms of pain relief (general or epidural anaesthesia) for caesarean section. Acupuncture can also be used to provide pain relief in normal obstetric deliveries. Adequate assessment of this form of obstetric analgesia has not yet been published, although the experience of a wide variety of acupuncturists in the western world would indicate that it is a useful and effective procedure.

Acupuncture Anaesthesia:
Acupuncture anaesthesia is widely used in China and it has been used in a wide variety of operations, from minor procedures to open heart surgery or brain operations. It is undoubtedly an effective form of pain relief in the majority of people, but there is always a small percentage who fail to gain adequate analgesia from acupuncture. In general, acupuncture allows for a safer operation, with less likelihood of complications, and a swifter post-operative recovery. (Excerpted from Acupuncture: It’s Place in Western Medical Science, George T. Lewith M.A., M.R.C.G.P., M.R.C.P. )

Acupuncture & Mushroom Nutrition

An Ancient History of Healing

Some of the earliest written Chinese medical texts dating back 3000 years and more place certain rare mushroom species amongst the most potent types of healing herbs available in the world today. Respected for their proven ability to promote optimum health, longevity and wisdom without negative side effects they were for many centuries available only to the wealthy merchant or ruling classes of ancient China due to their rarity and prohibitive cost.

Secret to Immortality..?

You may know of Mushroom species such as Reishi, Cordycepts or Shitake? As mentioned above these were once reserved only for the wealthy classes or royalty. Known as “The Emperor’s Secret to health”, they were available only to he and his family due to their rarity and expense. With them lay the keys to health, vitality, longevity, and some even believed immortality.

Specific strains of Mushrooms have Immune-regulating properties which can result in many health benefits.

Recent research has shown Mushroom Nutrition to be beneficial in the following areas:

Mental / Emotional

Improve Concentration Lift Depression Moderate Anxiety

Fertility

Promotes Fertility Regulates Menstruation Alleviates PMT Reduces Period Pain

Sports Performance

Increased Energy Increased Endurance Injury Recovery Increased Blood Oxygen Levels

Circulatory System

Hypertension Hypotension Arteriosclerosis Cholesterol Anemia Elevation Sickness

Digestive System

Gastroenteritis Liver Necrosis Obesity Diabetes Constipation Gallstones Appetite

Chinese Medical Herbs

Did you know that the pharmaceuticals — old and new — that find their way into your medicine cabinet are direct descendants of the herbs your ancestors tucked into their medicine bags? Health care providers who ‘know-their-herbs’ are uplifted by Spring, and welcome humanity’s oldest friends as they stand up once again in woodlands and gardens. This is a primordial relationship: one our forebears depended on for their strength and health. Without herbs the human race might not exist today.

The Power of Chinese Medical HerbsThe power of these plants is proven every day in the Oriental medicine treatment room, and is particularly poignant in Spring, when, according to Five Element Theory the Liver and Gallbladder are particularly active, processing more ‘Chi,’ (Life-force/Energy) than during other times of year. When these organs are healthy and balanced, calm and creativity flow; when they’re not, irritation and frustration are common symptoms — and Chinese medical herbs and acupuncture provide the remedy.

Today, so many of us are so busy trying to balance so many different requirements in our lives, to the point where the energy that powers our organs gets out-of-balance; and logically, if my organs are out-of-balance, I am out of balance. And while you can’t easily change the situations that cause the migraines, eczema, hypertension, general stress, or whatever ails you, you can get relief from ancient herbal formulas — what some have called “forgotten foods” — that have been helping people with their health through the millennia.

So in Spring, when for one reason or another you feel some tightness in the jaw, jittery nerves, or pressure in the head, drinking a Chinese medicine herbal “tea,” comprised of 24 different herbs, can transform those discomforts into a feeling of calm and balance.

Feel The PowerSo as you continue to flow through the seasons of your life, keep in mind how Oriental medicine can help you cultivate and maintain your health. If you’re new to this type of medicine and want to get started, begin by paying attention to what you’re feeling so you can discuss your symptoms with someone who can show you the next steps to take.

Kitty Bradshaw is a licensed acupuncturist, with an advanced clinical degree in Oriental Medicine. Studying and working with Oriental Medicine since 1986, Kitty combines Traditional Oriental Medicine with Taoist healing methods to offer healing possibilities beyond the level of standard health care. Her deep understanding of Chinese medical herbs, combined with her intuitive abilities to diagnose and treat difficult problems, has helped many people regain and maintain their health.

Chinese Medical Herbs

Oriental medicine takes an integrative approach to health and well-being by combining Chinese medical herbs, acupuncture, acupressure, and Chi Kung. These powerful practices have been used for thousands of years and are very effective for treating a wide variety of ailments, in addition to cultivating and maintaining long-term health.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Herbs and humans have a primordial relationship, one so essential that you could say that without herbs the human race might not exist today because our ancestors depended on them for their strength and health.

Chinese medical herbs comprise a unique system of herbal medicine, where the herbalist combines a specific mix, or ‘formula,’ of individual herbs to help address a particular health problem. This approach to herbal medicine is based on the ancient wisdom that instructs: “the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.”

Chinese medical herbs comprise a unique system of herbal medicine.

Embodying this ancient knowing, a Chinese herbal formula is like a symphony which combines a wide array of instruments to achieve a musical effect not attainable by an individual instrument playing on its own. An experienced Chinese medicine herbalist knows how to combine herbs in way that generates a greater magnitude of healing, and like an accomplished “composer” can adapt generalized formulas, to specifically address your unique health situation.

Just as a well conducted orchestra creates beautiful music, a properly composed Chinese herbal formula supports the beautiful feeling of health.

Kitty Bradshaw is a licensed acupuncturist, with an advanced clinical degree in Oriental Medicine. Studying and working with Oriental Medicine since 1986, Kitty combines Traditional Oriental Medicine with Taoist healing methods to offer healing possibilities beyond the level of standard health care. Her deep understanding of Chinese medical herbs, combined with her intuitive abilities to diagnose and treat difficult problems, has helped many people regain and maintain their health.

Alternative Health Solutions

Alternative health in its simplest form is natural healing.
Using nature’s resources to cure the ills and diseases
that plague our society. Relieving pain without using toxic
drugs is the best result when one chooses alternative health
solutions. Alternative health may be answer to the problem of increased
medical costs.

Dr. Pelzer, in his book ‘The Health Revolution states

“Approximately one seventh of the U.S. economy, about $1.5 trillion,
is devoted to what is erroneously called the ‘healthcare’ business.
Healthcare is a misnomer, as this one seventh of the economy is really
devoted to the sickness business – defined in the dictionary as ‘ill
health, illness, a disordered, weakened, or unsound condition, or a
specific disease.’

Changing our health when we change our choices is the first step to
achieving optimum health. Some alternative health techniques include
massage, acupuncture, nutrition, therapy, aromatherapy and stress
management.

Practitioners in the field of alternative health suggest, that our
mind is sick if our body has disease. Getting the body in balance
with the mind and spirit is the second but very important step to
achieving optimum health and vitality.

Alternative health is more than eating organic vegetables, taking
vitamin supplements or joining a yoga class. Alternative health is
a calm state of mind that nourishes the body and the soul. Choosing
alternative health does not negate the advances of traditional
medicine.

People who choose to follow the lifestyle have little
need for traditional medicine. What alternative health offers
is the opportunity for the individual to direct their own life
choices toward a lifestyle that promotes robust health.

The third step to reaching optimum health is body awareness..
Alternative health Sickness in the body is usually a symptom of
an imbalance. Become aware of the body in order to get the three
areas in harmony. Alternative health trains the client to find
a bonding of the physical, emotional and spiritual.

The Alternative health lifestyle can be combined with other positive
healthful endeavors but the basic doctrine of alternative health
involve holistic nutrition, holistic healing and Accupunture.

Holistic Nutrition is all about foods that nourish the body.
Our food choices affect how we feel, how we look and our health
quotient. The choices we make now will affect our well-being for
many years to come. The goal is to nourish the bodies for optimal
health

Holistic Healing or Acupuncture

Herbs, exercise, nutrition, massage, were the primary tools of
the Chinese physician a thousand years ago The Chinese doctors
could identify and prescribe
therapeutic responses for the whole
range of human ailments.

What we call alternative health today is really a recreation of
Ancient Chinese medicine that is over 3000 years old.

The body responds almost instantly to alternative health methods.
When the nutritional requirements of the body are supplied, there
is an instant increase in the feeling of well being and vitality.
With the addition of nutritional supplementation and herbal
augmentation where warranted, the body can reverse the disease
process.

With surveillance and correction, the remission of some symptoms
are alleviated. The body starts to heal itself and a reversal of
negative symptoms is observed. The body is quick to respond to
alternative medicine therapy.

Taking responsibility for our health is the end result to
alternative health involvement. We observe and become aware of
the messages that the body send. We respond To these messages
by augmenting our diets, becoming more aware of what our
Bodies need . We learn and educate our minds and our bodies
to work together to rid the body of the negative inputs.

You Should Know About Acupuncture

Today’s interest in Eastern remedies has led many to go to acupuncture as a way to heal the wounds and pains of shoulders, back, and body aches. Stress related pains and other kinds of trauma can be relieved by the wonders of acupuncture and other natural and homeopathic remedies.

Developed some time in ancient origins, it spread through the decades and the world until it became part of traditional Chinese medicine. This type of medicine considers your entire body as one whole that has many different component like systems. Sometimes these systems are directly connected, other times not associated, but your health is determined by the balance of these systems. Acupuncture strives to find the fourteen channels through which blood flows and various other points are also touched upon and treated. These channels lead to the lungs, intestines, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, pericardium, gall bladder, and the intangible.

When an acupuncturist decides what to do, they focus on the face and tongue to determine the size and color and to see if there is any tension or coating or absence or presence of teeth marks. Also they will listen to see if you are wheezing or making any particular sounds or if you are attending to your body odor. Finally, they will see if you have chills or fever, perspiration, a good or bad appetite, thirst and taste, pain, sleep, and whether you are enjoying proper bladder functions. This is sort of like a typical physical, except in this case you will be diagnosed about how much your body is in harmony.

When you go in for an acupuncture treatment, you can expect to be stuck with needle points in the webs between your thumbs and palms in order to target the head and hands. Most likely you will feel a twinge of sensation and then some twitching between your thumb and hand. Some patients experiences some severe pain, others have bad headaches and feelings of nausea, as well as a relief of their headache. Needle points also can be placed on your head in various points that affect and dilate your scalp’s blood vessels, which are meant to relieve any headaches you might have.

This natural remedy is often stated as much safer than any other kind of remedy out there. The effects of taking drugs can be much more harmful to the body and when experiencing pain, taking various steroids or pain killers can cause acidity problems and other dysfunctions in the body. But with this natural homeopathic remedy, you will be certain that you will not expose the insides of your body to anything that could be potentially harmful or even toxic to your body.

Certainly there are many dangers, too. You are at a higher risk of getting any kind of intravenously transmitted diseases through any unclean needles. Also, you need to be sure you select a professional acupuncturist because many people set up shop with no experiences or with unclean and shoddy materials. They will most likely damage your nerves and cause you more pain than relief. Doing your research before deciding to get this procedure is a very wise idea and a necessary precaution. But, if you choose wisely and manage to get a good procedure done, you might experience immense pain relief.

Health Goals

Most of us believe self control is largely a character issue. However recent research suggests that willpower by itself is inherently limited. Because the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the area of the brain in charge of willpower, can become easily overtaxed willpower can decrease dramatically when you try to do too much too soon. Studies show that the PFC can be improved by focusing on 1 behavior change at a time which in turn can lead to other positive changes. One such study asked college students to improve their posture and over the course of two weeks noticed other improvements of self control happened as a consequence. The key take away here is that the PFC cannot process multiple requests to change at the same time. Some of my patients who attempted to do too many health goals at once were not successful.

Three tips to help you reach your health goals

1. The brain cannot handle multiple health goals at once
For example, all it takes is 5 extra bits of information to decrease willpower in the PFC. One study tested willpower by having subjects choose a fruit salad or a slice of chocolate cake while keeping in mind a two digit or seven digit set of numbers. Those trying to juggle 7 digits were twice as likely to choose the cake over a fruit salad. The solution is to focus on only 1 health goal at a time. This way you not only start your health goal but continue to commit to it until it becomes a positive habit and is successful.

2. Calories do count but not in the way you think
Another study gave one set of students lemonade with artificial sweetener and the second set of students lemonade with sugar. After viewing a video all the students were tested on several self control tasks. Those given the lemonade with artificial sugar, which had 0 calories, performed tasks less successfully than those who had consumed the sugar lemonade, which contained calories. The conclusion suggests that calories are needed to supply the brain with food to function effectively and increase self control. Skipping meals to lose weight or because you are too busy only makes it harder to maintain your willpower and will often lead to overeating or eating snack foods. I recommend you plan your meals and eat at regular times throughout the day to maintain proper blood sugar levels, and nourish the brain so it supports your health goals.

3. Even simple exercise is important to maintaining your health goals
Exercise releases positive endorphins so you end up feeling better once you adhere to a regular activity routine. By exercise I mean just doing some daily physical activity to start. For example it could mean something as simple as a daily walk around the block or joining a gym. Exercise activates the brain reward center which helps us feel good, improves our mood, helps us sleep better and stimulates the flow blood to nourish the brain.

Many of my patients talk to me about losing weight and ask if acupuncture alone can help. I always make the joke that if acupuncture worked perfectly for weight loss by itself I’d be a wealthy woman. What I do know is acupuncture can help sustain your health goals in these areas:

o Become more relaxed which cuts back on anxiety induced cravings
o Feel clear headed and better able to concentrate on your goals and daily tasks
o Have more energy to sustain your commitment to positive behavior change
o Improve your digestion which allows the body to efficiently process the food you eat

Investing In Your Health

This is the starting point for learning how to thrive, as investing in your health is one of the most powerful steps you can take to dramatically enhance the quality of your daily life. It sets the stage for success in every dimension of life. When you have more energy, confidence, mental clarity, and improved physical health, you are more able to gracefully handle daily stressors and challenges that would have previously overwhelmed you. Composure, control, and peace become the foundations of your life rather than isolated experiences.

Committing to and being proactive about your health in this way will lead to not only immediate improvement in your life, but will also set the stage for greater vitality and resilience as you age. In this way, there is a strong pre- ventative aspect to claiming optimal health right now. Most of us have been taught to put off our own needs until our bodies and minds are screaming at us for acknowledgment. We wait until we are given a wake up call that usually comes in the form of illness or worsening health problems.

But what if you were to be proactive right now? What if you decided to care for yourself enough to take the steps necessary to optimize your current state of health, thereby preventing future problems? What is preventing you from living a life of boundless energy and radiant health right now?

These are powerful questions to ask yourself. You see, most of us are caught in a constant game of negotiation with ourselves to buy more time to put off the most important things in life. We think we have time to postpone our deepest needs for health, peace, and balance.

What we are getting at is that, in order to thrive in the modern world, it is essen- tial that you commit right NOW to your health as a top priority. This means:

1. Partnering with the right holistic and allopathic (Western) medical practitioners

2. Eating an organic whole foods diet

3. Exercising 3-4 times a week

4. Taking time each day to be present using relaxation techniques

5. Freeing yourself of any limiting beliefs that undermine your health and quality of life

As with all important priorities in life, it is essential that you surround yourself with a community of people that can inspire and guide you in the direction of optimal health. We all need this kind of guidance or else we easily feel alone and confused. As you will see, a skilled acupuncturist can be an incredibly helpful resource in this regard.

Let’s summarize the main points here, then we will jump into an exploration of Chinese medicine and how it can help you achieve your health goals:

1. Your health and quality of life depend on the choices you make every moment you are alive

2. You can choose to claim a much higher level of health right now

3. You do this by freeing harmful beliefs, establishing healthy lifestyle patterns, and allying yourself with a team of skilled holistic and allopathic medical practitioners

4. NOW is the only moment we have; putting off your deepest needs will create bigger problems down the road

Explore Acupuncture

A Migraine is a common health problem which affects more often, women than men. Because of the nature of migraines as being intermittent, they have a significant impact on a patient’s professional and social life.

“Acupuncture History”

My client was suffering from migraines for four months, having headaches at least three times per week. Those headaches were accompanied by nausea, vomiting and lately it was causing her to feel depressed. The patient’s sister called me to try to arrange an emergency appointment for her. I asked her why she needed an emergency appointment. She said that she had a horrible headache and she was vomiting. I asked her if she was recently evaluated by an MD. She said yes and her diagnosis was a migraine. We scheduled an immediate appointment. When they arrived she explained that the headaches started during preparation for acceptance into law school, and they just got worse after she was denied acceptance. She was put on several medicines by her MD, and they were working only for a short period of time. She also said that she was missing a lot of time on her job, and that she was worried about her potential for promotion.

I explained to her the concept of acupuncture and how it is performed. I then explained about her specific and unique treatment protocol that was created only for her condition. As she lay on the treatment table with a plastic bag (for vomiting) next to her and a pain level of 9 out of 10, I started to treat her. Her sister, who was finishing up her year in medical school started to ask me how one chooses a point if you do not have lab work or an MRI.

I kindly explained the basic principles of acupuncture, making sure that she understood diagnostic procedures in acupuncture. I also reminded her about the fact that acupuncture has been practiced for more than 3000 years.

About 15 minutes later she came out of the room and said that her sister was sleeping. She had not been sleeping well with a migraine but now she was asleep. I explained that her body was re-balancing and recuperating and needs energy. That is why she was sleeping.

About 30 more minutes later I went back in the room to take her needles out. I asked her about the status of her pain and nausea. She said that she had no more pain and nausea. She also said that she felt that she needed sleep.

Introduction to Acupuncture

Acupuncture forms a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves the insertion of hair-thin solid needles at specific points of the body. The process is intended to discharge blocked energy and deal with inequalities of body that could lead to ill-health. The practice has been prevalent in China since generations. Though it has recently been introduced in the West, it is quickly gaining popularity.

The main principle of acupuncture is the belief that everyone is full of a life force known as chi or qi. If the male and female facets of a body, called yang and yin, are balanced, the qi remains balanced and efficiently flows through the body all along the meridians of power. If a person is unhealthy, this is indicative of an imbalance or obstruction that needs to be corrected. After having talked to the affected person, a TCM professional chooses to apply acupuncture, along with other modalities for treatment.

During the process of acupuncture, the patient is made to lie flat over a table, the height of which is adjusted to suit the professional. Depending on the point where needles need to be inserted, the patient may remain clothed or undressed, but draped in clothes. The angle at which needles are inserted may vary from fifteen to ninety degrees to the patient’s skin, as per the findings of the professional. After the needles get inserted, these may be controlled manually, twisted or vibrated by hand or cooled, heated or electrified, using mild current to arouse the meridian.

At the end of the process, the patient might feel very relaxed or rejuvenated. The results can be varied, as per the session. The basic cause of any malady may get resolved by itself, and its complete eradication could take numerous sessions. The process should be painless. The correct positioning of needles should not cause any bleeding or bruising. To ensure that your session with the acupuncturist is fruitful, you should look for a certified professional which has been trained by one of the reputable TCM schools.

As a result of the studies carried out in the West, it has been realized that acupuncture could help relieving headaches, pain, alleviate asthma, treat conditions of nerves, as well as deal with vomiting and nausea. Additionally, acupuncture is found helpful in the treatment of back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis pain, fibromyalgia and cramps. The World Health Organization also suggests acupuncture to handle stress, allergies and substance abuse. Generally, the West utilizes acupuncture as a paired type of medicine in association with additional treatments to maximize effectiveness.