Hydration’s Role in Healing

Hydration’s Role in Healing

Water affects every system in the body.

When we see muscle tissue that’s slow to heal –or the healing mechanism doesn’t spark in the body quite as well– often the culprit is dehydration.

 

Water helps keep the the muscles pliable. The muscle has a more difficult time healing itself after treatment if the person is not properly hydrated. If your body is well-hydrated before acupuncture the healing potential is heightened. It usually takes 2-3 days to become fluid. Many of us are chronically dehydrated.

Water helps keep the blood alive and healthy. Without water the blood gets sticky.

The body’s tissues are what holds the water in the body. The way to get the water into the tissues – here’s the secret: Drink a bunch of water and then stretch. If you sit still it will go right through you, if you move it will go into the the soft tissue of the body – the muscles and the fascia.

If the fascia is dry, the conductivity and communication in the body is hampered.

Whenever you have enough water in the fascia system – the connective tissue– the body can work more efficiently at immunity, tissue healing (muscle repair), oxygenation, brain function, and heart health to name a few.

Hydration goals: Drink half your body weight in ounces per day – for example 140lbs = 70 ounces water per day.

The quality of water is important. Taste and cleanliness are paramount  (no chlorine or fluoride) opt for local spring water.

Drink mindfully,  good water.

Read more about healthy hydration techniques in article 4 Ways to Make the Most Out of Water.

Neck, Shoulder and Back Pain

Neck, Shoulder and Back Pain

Research: Acupuncture for Cervical Health

A study conducted by the Tzu Chi University in Taiwan demonstrated that cupping, a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine, provided significant pain relief for chronic neck and shoulder pain. The participants in the study received a total of four cupping therapy treatments that lasted 10 to 15 minutes. They also received acupuncture and massage. The effects were measured using skin surface temperatures, blood pressures and pain intensity levels of each participant. Overall, the surface temperatures increased, indicating better blood flow to the area, while the blood pressure measurements and the pain intensity levels decreased. This study confirms acupuncture and specifically, cupping therapy, can be provide effective pain relief without the harsh side effects of pharmaceuticals. (more…)

Meridian Point for Winter: Large Intestine 4

Meridian Point for Winter: Large Intestine 4

Large Intestine 4 is one of the most important and influential points in the entire body.

The Chinese name for Large Intestine 4 is “He Gu” meaning union valley or converging valley. The point is located on the hand in the web between the thumb and index finger, also described as the depression where the index finger and thumb bones part. This area of the hand is often described as “valley like” hence the name converging valley.

The large intestine has many important functions in the body. Connected to the Western medicine function of the large Intestine, it is vital in digestion and bowel regulation, but it also has many functions above and beyond that in Chinese medicine. The large intestine is associated with the emotions of sadness and grief, it can help build immunity as it works as a paired channel to the lung meridian and has a big effect of the flow of Qi and blood in the body.

Large Intestine 4 is a strong point for building the immune system and can be used for when someone has a cold or the flu. It can be used to treat febrile illnesses, rashes from wind or heat, allergic reactions causing rhinitis, as well as sore throat and difficulty swallowing. It is the command point of the face, nose, jaw and mouth and can be used to treat many problems associated with those. Toothaches and TMJ can be painful, but Large Intestine 4 can reduce the pain without even going near the affected areas. It is one of the main points for headaches and many people instinctively press it on their hand when they have a headache, without even realizing it is an acupuncture point. If someone has suffered a stroke, this point can help with paralysis and aid in recovery.

The large Intestine has a great effect on the flow of qi and blood in the body and Large Intestine 4 is a very strong point to get everything moving. Pain, in Chinese medicine, is often when the Qi and blood are stuck and Large Intestine 4 is critical to move this stagnation, especially when coupled with another point called Liver 3.

Coupled with Liver 3, this pair of points is called The Four Gates and together they are a powerhouse in getting the Qi and blood circulated.

They can effectively treat pain, depression, constipation, promote labor, expel retained placenta and help alleviate menstrual disorders caused by stagnation such as endometriosis.

Large Intestine 4 is contraindicated in pregnancy because it is so powerful and moving, but it can be effectively used to induce labor. Used in conjunction with another powerhouse acupuncture point Spleen 6, these two points are commonly used together to start labor, often with electroacupuncture to stimulate the points even more than needles alone.

Once labor has started, Large Intestine 4 can be used if labor is stalled or prolonged as well as used after childbirth to expel the placenta, decrease postpartum bleeding and decrease the time between childbirth and the discharge of the placenta.

Large Intestine 4 is an exceedingly influential point and one of the most commonly used points in acupuncture treatments.

It can also be effective in treating a range of emotional issues such as depression, insomnia, stress, irritability and severe PMS. This point should not be underestimated and its alternative name of Tiger’s Mouth is barely descriptive of its strength in acupuncture treatments.

7 Reasons to Seek Out Acupuncture

7 Reasons to Seek Out Acupuncture

Do you ever feel your life’s a ride that won’t ever stop? How many nights do you wait for Mr. Sandman to magically appear? How often do you truly take time for yourself? Do you have aches and pains almost daily? Are over-the-counter or prescription medications controlling your life? When was the last time you actually felt at peace? If any of these questions resonate with you, then it might be time to look at Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture for an answer. People in Asian countries have known the magnificence of acupuncture for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese Medicine is growing in popularity in the United States and here are some reasons why you might want to consider utilizing it also.

1. Insomnia / Restless Sleep

Acupuncture can address imbalances in your body that may contribute to your
inability to get a good night’s sleep. The needles can actually encourage the brain to produce the chemicals that help you relax and sleep better. If you have difficulty falling asleep, you wake up frequently or you toss and turn a lot, acupuncture might just be the missing link.

2. Anxiety / Depression

Thousands of people in the U.S. suffer from depression and anxiety. And while there are many amazing therapists available to talk to, psychotherapy may not be enough. Also, many of the prescription medications available have terrible side effects. This is where acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas can help. Acupuncture can actually start to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety in as few as two treatments without any harsh side effects.

3. Allergies

Runny nose? Sneezing? Watery, itchy eyes? Does this sound familiar?
Seasonal or otherwise, allergies can be debilitating.  But multiple studies have shown that allergy symptoms can be decreased and sometimes even eliminated with the use of regular acupuncture treatments. Immunity begins in the gut and acupuncture treatments for allergies will focus on the energetic meridians that support your immune system.

4. Migraines

For those who suffer from these monsters, life can be a toss of the dice. Migraines can come on without warning and can be completely devastating. And yet again, the pharmaceuticals that most migraine sufferers are prescribed can lead to harsh side effects. Acupuncture can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines over time.

5. Menstruation Issues

Many women suffer monthly from menstruation problems. It can be that the period is irregular, painful or so heavy that it leads to anemia and fatigue. There can also be mental-health effects associated with periods such as depression and anger.  Over-the-counter medications only mask the symptoms. To treat the root of the problem, give acupuncture a try. Once again, it’s all about balancing your body. That’s how acupuncture works to regulate menstrual problems.

6. Chronic Pain

Pain is the number one reason why people turn to acupuncture, and for good reason. If you’ve tried everything else and got little to no relief, acupuncture may be right for you.  But remember, chronic pain took time to develop and it will also take time for acupuncture treatments to work. Many people get some relief immediately, but acupuncture works on a cumulative basis, so commitment to the process is a must.

7. Preventive Medicine

Did you know that acupuncture’s main function is to help keep you healthy? If not, then you’re not alone. While acupuncture may not be known for preventive care, it should be.  Waiting until there is an injury or illness will only cause the treatments to take longer.  Using acupuncture preemptively will help you fight off illness and let you recover more quickly. That’s reason enough to give it a try.

Now that you know how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you, what are you waiting for? Find a licensed acupuncturist nearby and go get healthy.

Cupping Therapy – It Ain’t Pretty but it Works

Cupping Therapy – It Ain’t Pretty but it Works

We see a lot of pain and injury in our offices. Cupping is one of those things that looks mysterious but is really a straightforward therapy that provides quick, effective results.

There is a lot of buzz about Michael Phelps and his use of Cupping Therapy, so we thought we’d give you the inside scoop on this ancient therapy used in our office and all over the world.

The Basics on Cupping Therapy:

  • Cupping Therapy is used on athletes and non-athletes alike.
  • Tight muscles = stasis (stagnation of blood)
  • Cupping Therapy breaks up stasis – the stagnation of blood, helps release connective tissue, and relaxes tight muscles.
  • It does this by pulling deeper levels of blood to the surface, breaking the capillaries in the process. That’s what creates the bruise-like circles on Micheal Phelps.
  • The body then moves to heal the capillaries and in the process brings fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the site, increasing blood flow and healing.
  • It also boosts the immune system and is a wonderful therapy at the onset of a cold, knocking it out very quickly- sometimes within 24 hrs.
  • There are different styles of cupping: fire cupping – which looks very mysterious – this uses the vacuum created by the fire to create the suction and help the glass cups “stick” to the skin and suction. There is also vacuum cupping where an apparatus helps the cups create the suction. Both work in the same manner as described above.
  • Sometimes we slide the cups across the muscles, sometimes they stay stationary.

Cupping Therapy is very relaxing and works quickly to achieve results.

The cups are sterilized after each treatment. A cupping therapy session happens within your regular massage or acupuncture treatment and lasts about 10-20 minutes.