Why do Acupuncture

Why Does Acupuncture Work?

For millions of people who live with pain, acupuncture is no longer an exotic curiosity. It’s now widely accepted among the medical community. And it’s pretty popular with patients as well. A recent survey found almost 3.5 million Americanssaid they’d had acupuncture in the previous year.

“In our clinic, we have been in existence for like 22 years,” says Ka-Kit Hui, MD, founder and director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine. “We have a 4- or 5-month wait for new patients.”

Acupuncture — in which needles, heat, pressure, and other treatments are applied to certain places on the skin — has come a long way since 1971.That’s when the 2,000-year-old Chinese healing art first caught on in the United States, thanks to a story in The New York Times. The piece was written by a reporter who had visited China and wrote about how doctors healed his pain from back surgery using needles.

In 1996, the FDA gave acupuncture its first U.S. seal of approval, when it classified acupuncture needles as medical devices. In the 20 years since, study after study indicates that, yes, acupuncture can work.

“There’s nothing magical about acupuncture,” Hui says. “Many of these [alternative] techniques, including acupuncture, they all work by activating the body’s own self-healing [mechanism].”

And that’s the main goal of acupuncture: self-healing.

“Our bodies can do it,” says Paul Magarelli, MD, a clinical professor at California’s Yo San University. “We are not animals who are dependent on drugs.”

If you’re deciding if acupuncture is right for you, it’s best to be open to its benefits and skeptical of claims it’s a magical cure-all.

“It should be part of a comprehensive approach to solve problems,” Hui says.

Chronic Pain

Acupuncture has long been recognized as an effective treatment for chronic pain. In 2012, a study found acupuncture was better than no acupuncture or simulated acupuncture for the treatment of four chronic pain conditions:

The National Institutes of Health calls the study “the most rigorous evidence to date that acupuncture may be helpful for chronic pain.”

Now, doctors are eager to find a drug-free approach to pain treatment in light of the dangers of opioidsthe class of powerful pain medications that includes codeine, morphine, OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. In March, the CDC called deaths from opioid overdoses “an epidemic.”

Now, the CDC says doctors should turn to other treatments for chronic pain in cases that don’t involve active cancer, palliative care, and end-of-life care.

“Now, you’re like, ‘OK, well, if we’re not using opioids, what should we use?'” says Houman Danesh, MD, director of integrative pain management at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital. That dilemma has many people giving acupuncture a second look when it comes to treating pain.

“If a lot of people recognize the value of acupuncture,” Hui says, “it will be one of the components of addressing the prescription drug epidemic that we’re talking about in our country right now.”

Cancer

Many who get treatment for cancer get acupuncture in addition to standard cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. Acupuncture can help people who have nausea and vomiting during treatment.

“We have many patients come through with cancer,” Hui says. He adds his department treats people in all phases of cancer treatment: from those who are newly diagnosed, to those dealing with the discomfort of cancer treatment, to those in the later stages.

Keep in mind, chemo and radiation weaken the body’s immune system. So it’s important for your acupuncturist to follow strict clean-needle procedures.

Menstrual Cramps

Some women who have extremely painful periods, a condition known as dysmenorrhea, try acupuncture. The science looks promising. Some research suggests acupuncture may help with pain from menstrual cramps. So far, though, that research is limited.

Fertility Treatment

For women trying to get pregnant with expensive and time-consuming fertility treatments, acupuncture can make a big difference. It can improve the success rates of treatments such as in vitro fertilization. One study suggests acupuncture can help some women get pregnant by:

  • Alleviating anxiety and stress felt by those having fertility treatment
  • Promoting blood flow to the uterus

“Logic tells me more blood flow, more access to eggs,” says Magarelli, who founded Reproductive Medicine & Fertility Centers in Colorado and New Mexico. “More eggs, more embryos, more choice, better chance for a baby.”

If You’re Considering Acupuncture

Acupuncture is safe if done correctly. Ifyou’re thinking about getting it, remember these tips:

Acupuncture can be dangerous if you take certain medications, have a pacemaker, are at risk of infection, have chronic skin problems, or are pregnant. Talk to your doctor before you jump in.

Check your acupuncturist’s credentials. Most states require a license to practice it. You can get a referral from your doctor.

Don’t rely on a disease diagnosis you may get from an acupuncture practitioner unless they’re also a licensed medical doctor. The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture can provide a referral list of doctors who practice it.

If you get a diagnosis from a doctor, ask him if acupuncture might help.

Check your insurance. Some plans cover it. Some don’t.

The Final Word

Doctors learn more about acupuncture each year. But still, no one fully understands how acupuncture works. Does it boost your body’s painkilling ability? Does it affect your blood flow? Can it help your body manage depression to promote further healing? Scientists continue to study — and debate — the issues.

But those who practice acupuncture say that’s no reason to stop doing it. Danesh suggests we remember how aspirin became accepted as more than an over-the-counter painkiller.

“It took years and years for us to figure out the exact molecular mechanisms, but we were [still] giving aspirin,” Danesh says. ‘You have a headache? Take aspirin.’ ‘You have back pain? Take aspirin.’ You have heart problems? …’ We accepted that aspirin was used.

“Acupuncture has good evidence [supporting it]. Just because we can’t necessarily explain it down to the molecular level doesn’t mean we need to abandon it.”

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Cupping

Health & Balance

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which cups are placed on the skin to create suction. The cups can be made of a variety of materials, including:

  • Glass
  • Bamboo
  • Earthenware

Supporters of cupping therapy believe the suction of the cups mobilizes blood flow to promote the healing of a broad range of medical ailments.

Cupping therapy dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians were using cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.

In general, Western medical societies are skeptical of the health claims made by cupping therapy supporters. “Available scientific evidence does not support cupping as a cure for cancer or any other disease,” states the American Cancer Society. “Reports of successful treatment with cupping are mainly anecdotal rather than from research studies.”

But a 2012 study published in the journal PLoS ONE suggests that cupping therapy may have more than aplacebo effect. Australian and Chinese researchers reviewed 135 studies on cupping therapy published between 1992 and 2010. They concluded that cupping therapy may be effective when combined with other treatments like acupuncture or medications in treating various diseases and conditions, such as:

But the researchers acknowledge that many of the studies in their review may have contained some bias. They say better studies are needed to draw a definite conclusion.

Types of Cupping Therapy

There are various types of cupping therapy, including:

  • Dry cupping (suction only)
  • Wet cupping (combination of suction and controlled medicinal bleeding)

During both types of cupping, a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs, or paper is placed in a cup and set on fire. As the fire goes out, the cup is placed upside down on the patient’s skin.

As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes the skin to rise and redden as bloodvessels expand. The cup is generally left in place for five to 10 minutes.

A more modern version of cupping uses a rubber pump to create the vacuum inside the cup. Sometimes practitioners use medical-grade silicone cups. These are pliable enough to be moved from place to place on the skin and produce a massage-like effect.

Types of Cupping Therapy continued…

During wet cupping, a mild suction is created using a cup that is left in place for about three minutes. The practitioner then removes the cup and uses a small scalpel to make superficial skin incisions. Then he or she performs a second suction to draw out a small quantity of blood.

After the procedure, the site may be covered with an antibiotic ointment and bandage to prevent infection. The skin’s appearance generally returns to normal within 10 days.

Cupping therapy supporters believe that wet cupping removes harmful substances and toxins from the body to promote healing.

Benefits of Cupping Therapy

The British Cupping Society says cupping therapy can treat a variety of conditions. This has not been backed up by studies. But the organization says cupping therapy is used to treat:

Supporters also believe that cupping therapy can reduce pain and inflammation throughout the body. And they say it can promote mental and physical relaxation and well-being.

Side Effects of Cupping Therapy

Cupping is considered to be relatively safe, especially when performed by trained health professionals. Potential side effects include:

  • Mild discomfort
  • Burns
  • Bruises
  • Skin infection

According to the British Cupping Society, cupping therapy should be avoided by the following groups:

The organization also says cupping therapy should not be applied to sites on the body that have:

According to the American Cancer Society, one problem associated with cupping therapy is that patients may skip conventional treatment: “Relying on this treatment alone and delaying or avoiding conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.”

Also, a health care provider may mistakenly think marks left from cupping therapy are evidence of physical abuse.

Like many alternative treatments, cupping therapy has not been extensively studied. Researchers say that most cupping therapy studies have been small and poorly designed. More studies are needed to prove or disprove claims of health benefits.

WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

British Cupping Society: “A Brief Overview of Cupping Therapy,” “Al-Hijamah Cupping Therapy.”

American Cancer Society: “Cupping.”

Cao, J. PLoS ONE, February 2012; vol 7: pp 1-14.

Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD on October 06, 2014

 

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Natural Antibiotics

5 Natural Antibiotic Solutions for Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

jar of honeyOur dependence on antibiotics has helped us to create some monsters—these monsters are antibiotic-resistant infections like superbugs being transmitted in hospitals, certain strains of E coli., and MRSA. The infections, if you went the traditional route, would be hard (if not impossible) to kill. But, there are foods that act as natural antibiotics that may prove effective where modern medicine is failing.

As a whole, doctors have been prescribing antibiotics at the slightest sign of illness, even for things they simply won’t help like the common cold. These prescriptions have been routinely handed out like candy despite the fact that illness, including common infections, can be successfully treated with a healthy immune system and a few natural helpers.

All of this over-prescribing has led the bacteria which causes these illnesses to morph, evolving in the interest of self-preservation, into strains that will not be stopped with antibiotics, even those antibiotics largely considered to be the last resort.

It might be time to try some natural alternatives – and stick with them.

5 Natural Antibiotics

You need foods, natural foods that will help foster a healthy immune system while annihilating bacterial invaders. Fortunately, there are several solutions that may just be in your kitchen right now.

  • 1. Garlic – Garlic has known antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties. It has successfully be used to treat infectious diseases like pneumonia, MRSA, and even the black plague. It can also kill intestinal parasites—which can wreak havoc on your immune system.
  • 2. Echinacea – People usually reach for the Echinacea tea to ward off a cold or the flu, but this powerful herb is a known infection-buster as well. The herb fights infections by strengthening the body’s own defense system, helping you to fight the bacteria rather than just coming in and killing everything in sight (like Big Pharma’s antibiotics).
  • 3. Honey – Also among the many amazing natural antibiotics, honey is a well known food harnessing antibacterial properties (along with a bunch of other beneficial properties). One study published in the journal Microbiology found that honey – particularly that derived from bees foraging on manuka flowers – halted one type of streptococcus pyogenes from inhibiting the healing of wounds. Other research shows that honey could be a potent answer to drug resistant bacteria like MRSA. Honey is a great natural antibiotic.
  • 4. Turmeric – The bright yellow spice that gives curries their rich color and smoky flavor, turmeric is far more than a culinary tool—it has amazing healing properties. MRSA typically forms in wounds or boils. Turmeric acts as anantibacterial agent and can be taken internally or applied directly to the skin. Try making turmeric into a paste by adding water or even manduka honey and applying to the infection.
  • 5. Oregano –Oregano, and specifically oil of oregano, has potent antibacterial and infection-fighting properties. One study in particular found these properties to be as effective as antibiotics and offering great promise particularly in the fight against antibiotic-resistant infection. You can find this oil in health food stores or you can make your own.

The body is a miraculous machine and when properly maintained, it will fight off infections without assistance. Even when an extra boost is needed, we needn’t run to the doctor for a prescription. Instead, rely on natural antibiotics and healers to help maintain optimal health.

Additional Sources:

Webmd

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Police Officer Appreciation Day

To honor and show our support for our local West Suburban Police Departments, during Police Memorial Week, Red Aspen Acupuncture is holding a Police Officer Appreciation Day on Wednesday May 18, 2016 at our offices located on 512 W. Burlington Ave. Suite 104 Lagrange, Il.
Between the hours of 7am and 7pm any officer – on duty or off, will receive a complimentary Acupuncture treatment and consult. Appointments are not necessary but would be appreciated. Session will take about 45 minutes with some basic health information gathered and a 15-20 minute treatment. So if you just need to de-stress, or you have a muscle aliment that could use some attention stop in.
Serving those who serve us.

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Do you have any of these??

There are numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, immune system disturbances that increase susceptibility to infections, a host of viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold and herpes to AIDS and certain cancers, as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. In addition stress can have direct effects on the skin (rashes, hives, atopic dermatitis, the gastrointestinal system (GERD, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis) and can contribute to insomnia and degenerative neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease. In fact, it’s hard to think of any disease in which stress cannot play an aggravating role or any part of the body that is not affected (see stress effects on the body stress diagram) or. This list will undoubtedly grow as the extensive ramifications of stress are increasingly being appreciated.

50 common signs and symptoms of stress

1. Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain2. Gritting, grinding teeth

3. Stuttering or stammering

4. Tremors, trembling of lips, hands

5. Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms

6. Light headedness, faintness, dizziness

7. Ringing, buzzing or “popping sounds

8. Frequent blushing, sweating

9. Cold or sweaty hands, feet

10. Dry mouth, problems swallowing

11. Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores

12. Rashes, itching, hives, “goose bumps”

13. Unexplained or frequent “allergy” attacks

14. Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea

15. Excess belching, flatulence

16. Constipation, diarrhea, loss of control

17. Difficulty breathing, frequent sighing

18. Sudden attacks of life threatening panic

19. Chest pain, palpitations, rapid pulse

20. Frequent urination

21. Diminished sexual desire or performance

22. Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness

23. Increased anger, frustration, hostility

24. Depression, frequent or wild mood swings

25. Increased or decreased appetite

26. Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams

27. Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts

28. Trouble learning new information

29. Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion

30. Difficulty in making decisions

31. Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed

32. Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts

33. Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness

34. Little interest in appearance, punctuality

35. Nervous habits, fidgeting, feet tapping

36. Increased frustration, irritability, edginess

37. Overreaction to petty annoyances

38. Increased number of minor accidents

39. Obsessive or compulsive behavior

40. Reduced work efficiency or productivity

41. Lies or excuses to cover up poor work

42. Rapid or mumbled speech

43. Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness

44. Problems in communication, sharing

45. Social withdrawal and isolation

46. Constant tiredness, weakness, fatigue

47. Frequent use of over-the-counter drugs

48. Weight gain or loss without diet

49. Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use

50. Excessive gambling or impulse buying

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February is American Heart Month

Make Blood Pressure Control Your Goal

This American Heart Month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Million Hearts®–a national effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the United States by 2017–are encouraging Americans to know their blood pressure, and if it’s high, to make control their goal.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure[469 KB] is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. In fact, more than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure.1 People with high blood pressure are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those with normal blood pressure.2

High blood pressure often shows no signs or symptoms, which is why having your blood pressure checked regularly is important. It’s easy to get your blood pressure checked. You can get screened at your doctor’s office and drugstores or even check it yourself at home, using a home blood pressure monitor.

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Do you know the Top Ten Sports Injuries? Check here daily for the count down !!! Number 10

Do you know the Top Ten Sports Injuries? Check here daily for the count down !!! Number 10

10 Shin Splints
Shin splints are pains in the muscles near the shin bones. They can be caused by running or jumping on hard surfaces or simply overuse. They occur most often in people unaccustomed to training, although they can also plague experienced athletes who switch to lighter shoes, harder surfaces or more concentrated speed work.

The pain occurs on the inner side of the middle third of the shin bone. The muscle responsible for raising the arch of the foot attaches to the shin bone at that spot. When the arch collapses with each foot strike, it pulls on the tendon that comes from this muscle. With repeated stress, the arch begins to pull some of its muscle fibers loose from the shin bone. This causes small areas of bleeding around the lining of the bone, and pain.

If the irritated area is about the size of a 50-cent piece or smaller, or shin pain suddenly increases, you may have a stress fracture. The twisting of the tibia can cause the bone to crack. A stress fracture may not show up on an x-ray, and therefore a bone scan is indicated.

Shin Splints Treatment
The key element of treatment is an arch support to prop up the foot and prevent excessive pronation and pull on the tendon. Many people do well with a simple commercial arch support. This usually solves the problem almost immediately. Others who have a more serious problem may need an orthotic device to control the pronation.

To help prevent shin splints, start exercising slowly to warm up the leg muscles, wear athletic shoes with good support and run on a softer surface, for example, changing from asphalt to grass every few runs.

Acupuncture treatment accompanied electrical stimulation about 30 min will get the best results.
Know someone you is struggling with Shin Splints? Have them give us a call or check out our website for more information on how Acupuncture can help

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