Acupuncture Validated for Pain Management by NIH

NIH Study Validates Acupuncture

Recently scientists from Europe finished a 5 year study on the effectiveness of acupuncture for pain relief and concluded that it is a legitimate and effective means of pain treatment. The study, which was funded by the National Institute of Health, drew data from 29 different scientific studies on acupuncture for pain management; data that involved over 18,000 study participants. The European scientists culled the data and went through it exhaustively before releasing their findings.

It is nice to see acupuncture beginning to receive some widely publicized  scientific validation from an agency as well respected as the NIH. Despite myriads of scientific studies that have been done in the past in Asia, Europe and in the U.S. that have validated acupuncture’s effectiveness, critics and skeptics have continued to lambast the profession citing poorly designed studies and other poorly concocted rationale. Let’s be real here. 1.4 billion Chinese people can’t be wrong; at least not consistently for over 4,000 years. Acupuncture is a very effective healing therapy that has withstood the test of time and will forever retain an integral place as one of humanity’s great systems of health care.

Please see my full article on the NIH study here: Acupuncture Eugene OR

Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow and Acupuncture

Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow, also known as lateral and medial epicondylitis are conditions that are effectively treated by acupuncture. Overuse of muscles and tendons can lead to what are known as “repetitive motion disorders” that are often accompanied by pain and compromised function. Acupuncture helps to heal such repetitive motion disorders by reducing inflammation, increasing circulation and stimulating an immune response to speed the body’s own healing mechanisms in damaged soft tissue. Please read my full article on the subject here:

http://acupunctureeugeneoregon.com/2012/08/acupuncture-chinese-medicine/acupuncture-for-repetetive-motion-disorders-tennis-elbow-and-golfers-elbow/

The Immune System – Acupuncture and TCM

Acupuncture Santa  Cruze Immunology

Acupuncture and Immunity

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have a long history of studying and treating the immune system of human beings that dates back several thousands of years. The Chinese described the human immune system in terms of energy; the same way that they described all of the components that comprise a human being and the entirety of the universe. The TCM equivalent of the immune system is termed “Wei Qi” which literally translates as “protective energy”.

According Chinese Medicine principles, the Wei Qi is governed by the lungs and respiratory system and courses throughout the the skin, protecting a person from external pathogens. Although the Wei Qi is considered to be most closely associated with the lung energy, it is actually a combination of “Gu Qi” derived from the food essence in the Spleen and Stomach, the air we breathe or “Gong Qi”, the “Jing Qi” or kidney energy and our inherited genetic energy. As the Wei Qi courses throughout the exterior of the body and protects it, its counterpart is the “Ying Qi” that courses throughout the interior nourishing the internal organs, coursing with the blood and flowing through the acupuncture channels.

In instances of colds, flu’s and other types of immunodeficiency; and also in instances of allergies, many skin conditions and other autoimmune disorders, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine offer a very effective method of helping to strengthen and balance the immune system.

Please see my full article on acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and the Immune system here: http://acupunctureeugeneoregon.com/2012/07/acupuncture-chinese-medicine/chinese-medicine-acupuncture-and-the-immune-system/

Treat Depression with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture for Depression - Santa Cruz, California

Acupuncture for Depression

Depression is the most common psychiatric illness in the world, accounting for approximately 40% of all psychiatric illness. Depression affects women more than men 2 to 1 and is most prevalent in the age group ranging from 50-65 years old. Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture have a long history of treating depression. It has been demonstrated in clinical studies that acupuncture can stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain and therefore may be a useful alternative to SSRI’s (serotonin reuptake inhibitors).

The most common form of depression is termed “Yu Zheng” in Chinese and like all TCM diagnoses, it has a clear treatment plan including acupuncture points and herbal formulas to treat it when the proper diagnosis has been made. In addition to Yu Zheng, there are four other TCM classifications or diagnoses that correspond to the Western diagnosis of depression and so it is important that the proper distinction be made according to TCM diagnostic principles before treatment is started. With the proper diagnosis and corresponding accurate treatment with acupuncture, herbs, diet and exercise, depression is a very treatable disease using Traditional Chinese Medicine. If you or someone you know is fighting with depression, consider utilizing acupuncture and TCM as a primary or adjunctive therapy to help beat the blues and boost emotional health. Please see my full articles on acupuncture and TCM for depression here:

Acupuncture and TCM for Depression I

Acupuncture and TCM for Depression II

 

Terry M. Chen, L.Ac.

Acupuncture Santa Cruz Blog

Acupuncture Eugene Oregon

Acupuncture and TCM for ALS

ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks the motor neurons in the brain and spine and eventually renders voluntary muscle movement severely diminished in those with the disease. Amyotrophic literally translates from Greek to mean “without muscle nourishment”, a reference to the wasting of the muscles that often occurs as the communication between the motor neurons and the muscles is gradually lost. Lateral refers to both sides of the spinal cord as the motor neurons are affected and begin to degenerate. Sclerosis is a reference to the hardening and scarring of the motor neurons. About 10% of ALS cases are identified as having a genetic component, while the other 90% of cases have no known cause as of yet. Patients diagnosed with ALS generally die within 4 years of diagnosis, commonly of respiratory failure as the muscles controlling respiration are affected. As of yet there are no real effective treatments for ALS via conventional medicine, although there has been one drug approved for use: Riluzole, and current research does hold some promise for further treatment options. Meanwhile, from the data that I have seen so far, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture may have the ability to improve quality of life, including helping to slow muscle wasting and loss of strength for ALS sufferers and to help improve overall longevity as well. Please see my full article here: Chinese Medicine and acupuncture for ALS.

 

Terry M. Chen, L.Ac.

Acupuncture Santa Cruz Blog

Acupuncture Eugene Oregon

Shin Splint treatment with Acupuncture

shin splints - Acupuncture Santa Cruz

Shin Splints

Shin splints, also known as tibial stress syndrome, are one of the most common injuries for runners and other athletes such as hikers, football players and soccer players. Normal healing time for mild to moderate cases can be around 3 weeks. It is important to diagnose and treat shin splints early in order to avoid more serious injuries such as hairline fractures of the tibia. Healing time and the pain associated with shin splints can be dramatically decreased with acupuncture treatments. Recently I treated a cross country runner for shin splints and she had dramatic pain relief after the very first treatment. Please see my full article here:

http://acupunctureeugeneoregon.com/2012/05/acupuncture-chinese-medicine/acupuncture-for-shin-splints/

Terry M. Chen, L.Ac.

Acupuncture Santa Cruz Blog

Acupuncture Eugene Oregon

Rotator Cuff Injury Treatment With Acupuncture

acupuncture for rotator cuff injury - Santa Cruz

Rotator Cuff

Rotator cuff injuries are a common sports injury in baseball, tennis, swimming and other sports where the arm is consistently lifted over the head with force. The incidence of rotator cuff injury also increases with age as ischemic changes in the soft tissue deprive the muscles and tendons of adequate blood flow, nutrition and oxygen and lead to weakness. In cases where damage to the rotator cuff is still minor, such as in degenerative tendinosis or minor tears, acupuncture can be an effective treatment to reduce pain and speed healing and recovery. Please read my full article here:

http://acupunctureeugeneoregon.com/2012/05/acupuncture-chinese-medicine/acupuncture-for-rotator-cuff-injuries/

 

Terry M. Chen, L.Ac.

Acupuncture Santa Cruz Blog

Acupuncture Eugene Oregon

 

Quit Smoking with Acupuncture

Increasing numbers of people are utilizing acupuncture to kick the habit and for good reason. We’ve all seen the quit smoking commercials at this point: people hooked up to oxygen machines with tracheotomies and voice boxes to talk through. The health consequences of long term smoking can be quite devastating to be sure. Not only that, but you just feel better when you’re off of the nasty little buggers. Please read my full article about quitting smoking with acupuncture here:

http://acupunctureeugeneoregon.com/2012/05/uncategorized/acupuncture-to-quit-smoking/

 

Terry M. Chen, L.Ac.

Acupuncture Santa Cruz Blog

Acupuncture Eugene Oregon

 

 

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for MS

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for MS - Santa Cruz, CAMultiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which inflammation leads to demyelination in the brain and spine. The term multiple sclerosis itself describes the multiple scars that develop in the white matter of the brain and spine as a result of demyelination. Demyelination is damage done to the nervous system at the myelin sheaths of neurons, which in turn leads to poor signal conduction and eventually, various neurological symptoms. Like many autoimmune diseases, the cause of MS is still unknown. Some hypotheses of etiology include genetic inheritance, infection leading to inflammatory response and a lack of essential fatty acids in the diet. There also appears to be a correlation between climate and levels of exposure to sunlight with the development of MS. MS is more prevalent in people who live farther from the equator and thus receive less exposure to sunlight. The onset of MS generally occurs in younger adults, ages 18-45 and it occurs slightly more in women than men.

The signs and symptoms of MS are many and diverse. Muscle weakness, numbness and tingling in the limbs, muscle spasms, loss of coordination, speech problems, trouble swallowing, loss of visual acuity, loss of cognition, fatigue and mood changes are all potential symptoms of MS. Symptoms may alternate and have periods of exacerbation and remission as the disease progresses.

Chinese Medicine and acupuncture have, in many instances, shown to slow the progression of MS when treated appropriately. Stress reduction, lifestyle and dietary changes along with the appropriate supplements and herbal formulas can also help the MS patient maintain a higher quality of health and wellness throughout their life.

Terry M. Chen, L.Ac.

Acupuncture Santa Cruz Blog

Acupuncture Eugene Oregon

Acupuncture for Pain Management

acupuncture for pain management - Acupuncture Santa Cruz

Acupuncture for Pain Management

As a student of Traditional Chinese Medicine I spent long hours with my nose in books, charts and flashcards, methodically memorizing the traditional locations of some 400 acupuncture point locations, names, indications, actions and correspondences. I mentally stored all this information dutifully, but started to see a difference, at least location wise, between what was described in the books versus the anatomical reality of acupuncture points on real human bodies in practice.

Acupuncture points, I’ve come to realize, are a dynamic phenomenon. They are a changing map that correspond with and describe the ever changing nature of a patient’s particular pathology. In patients with acute pain, tender acupuncture points are smaller and tend to fit more easily within the traditional maps of known acupuncture points. In patients with severe and chronic pain however, acupuncture points, surrounding tender areas, and entire areas of muscle mass often become painful and tender to the touch. Acupuncture points that do not necessarily correspond with traditional point locations are commonly termed “ashi points” in TCM parlance. In my personal acupuncture practice, especially in the treatment of pain management and orthopedic acupuncture, I have found that ashi points are as important, if not more important than traditional, fixed, acupuncture points in effective treatment.

 

Because the ashi points that correspond most directly with various types of injury and physically painful conditions are not fixed, palpation and precise location of these points is an acquired skill that is improved and perfected over time with long practice. When these points are accurately located and properly treated with acupuncture, stimulation of the body’s peripheral nervous system helps to promote homeostasis in the body via the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Chinese herbs are sometimes used to help nourish the body and to provide further assistance in achieving a harmonious balance in the bodies various systems, primary of which is the nervous system. Homeostasis is achieved when the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system are allowed to normalize, thereby conserving the body’s energy while optimizing energy metabolism. For example, when the sympathetic nervous system is relaxed and functioning evenly, food is digested and assimilated properly and nutrients are distributed appropriately throughout the body. Such homeostasis and ensuing proper conservation, transformation and distribution of the body’s energy is an absolute prerequisite for the body’s natural healing mechanisms to work effectively. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs help to optimize the body’s natural healing capability while acupuncture simultaneously helps to mediate the pain signals firing through the body’s nervous system pathways to the brain.

 

Terry M. Chen, L.Ac.

Acupuncture Santa Cruz Blog

Acupuncture Eugene Oregon