In This Issue:
Acupuncture, Massage, Articles, Press Releases, Newsletter, Images, Videos
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2010
One of the most traumatic events that the body can experience is a spinal cord injury. The aftermath of this debilitating injury is usually severe and in the most extreme of cases can result in death or permanent paralysis. When the nerve roots or fiber tracts of the spine are damaged, signals to and from the brain fail to occur or have difficulty happening, thus causing the impedance of certain motor functions. Throughout history, humans have searched for various procedures to aid victims of spinal cord injuries, but one of the most ancient long-lasting and thoroughly used methods would be oriental medicine via acupuncture and massage therapy.
The road to recovery after a spinal cord injury can be a long and enduring ordeal that requires faith, will power, hope, stamina, patience and above all, an effective treatment, such as the combination of oriental medicine and physical therapy. Acupuncture is a virtually painless procedure where hair thin needles are inserted into the trouble areas of the patient, stimulating muscles and areas where qi (or energy) moves through the body from one point to another.
Respiratory and digestive disorders can sometimes be difficult to treat. Other than the symptoms that appear as a result of these disorders, patients often have to deal with stress and fatigue caused by their illness. Many patients dealing with multiple symptoms associated with respiratory and digestive disorders often turn to alternative methods to complement their treatment and seek relief. One of these methods is called tui na, a form of Chinese bodywork that uses massage techniques that are similar to those used with shiatsu.
Tui na (pronounced twee-nah) is a type of manipulative therapy that was developed in ancient China. Translated roughly, 'tui' means to press while 'na' means to grasp. It involves the use of hands to manipulate and stimulate muscles, joints and acupressure points, in order to treat certain ailments and conditions. It developed from an earlier technique known as anwu or anmo, a form of massage that was also widely used in China.
In traditional Oriental medicine, good health can only be achieved by creating a balanced state in the body. In Eastern philosophy, energy consists of two forces ‚ yin and yang. As long as these forces are balanced, the flow of energy throughout the body is kept smooth and unhindered. As a result, the person maintains good health. Any loss, interruption or blockage of this balance can lead to chronic diseases, illnesses and other ailments caused by stress, such as respiratory and digestive disorders. These health issues can include constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, sinus problems and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. The therapist begins a session by assessing the patient's specific health issues and then applying specific protocols for treatment. Massages are applied at specific acupressure points, joints and muscles.
To correct problems associated with digestive and respiratory functions, tui na practitioners massage specific points in the body that correspond to the functions of the organs involved for healthier respiratory and digestive systems. Massage techniques often involve pressing, kneading and tapping.
In principle, tui na uses the theory of gate control in neurophysiology. By manipulating certain points in the body, the therapist is able to encourage the proper circulation of blood, along with lymph-vascular fluids. This in turn prevents the blockage of blood, alleviates pain and inflammation and promotes relaxation. The massage also reduces any hyper function of the internal organs and wake up a sluggish system. Because it helps boost the immune system and fight stress and depression, tui na helps prevent digestive problems and respiratory issues.
There have been numerous, yet small studies regarding the use of tui na in treating certain conditions. One of the most recent was presented by the Massachusetts-based Chi Wellness Clinic. They had conducted a study regarding the use of tui na in the management of stress and treatment of pain due to an illness, specifically neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
There is also a study published in 2003 with the American Journal of Chinese Medicine regarding the use of acupressure techniques in improving gastrointestinal motility among postoperative women. The study is small, involving only 41 patients but the study group that received regular acupressure massages in three specific meridian points indicated significant improvement in GI motility. This prompted the researchers to recommend the incorporation of acupressure in clinical and technical curriculum for nursing courses.
Shiatsu massage, also called Zen shiatsu, is an Oriental technique to treat common physical and psychological ailments through finger pressure. This particular type of massage therapy alleviates pain, get rids of depression, stress and anxiety and also reduces blood pressure.
High blood pressure (HBP) is a severe condition that may lead to heart failure, stroke, or coronary heart disease among other health problems. Many people around the world suffer from high blood pressure, with 1 in 3 adults in the US alone. Blood pressure is pressure from the blood against artery walls. If this is too strong, it can damage not only the artery, but the body as a whole.
There are lots of ways to treat high blood pressure, including taking medications and going under a diet program. Some people however are not satisfied because it is either the drugs they are taking are not working, or the diet program does not make them feel any better. Most of these people seek alternatives to treat HBP and more often than not, they resort to Shiatsu massage.
At the time of pregnancy, nutrients are needed to cerate the cell needs to give the extra pounds of nerves, organs, glands, uterine muscle, skin of the fetus and bones, a placenta,several pounds of amniotic fluid, and an increase in blood volume. Moreover, extra liver and kidney cells are required to process the waste for both child and the mother. For such a process, a large amount of vigor and energy is required in the mother's body, which is why it's very important that extra nourishment is taken to meet all these requirements.
There are many herbs, which can be useful for certain ailments related to pregnancy. They can give you daily nourishment if you take it fresh with your meal or as an infusion or standard brew. Herbs have a large variety of the minerals and vitamins that our bodies require for good health and when you eat the herbs in your meal or drink as an infusion, your body can easily digest the nutrients as they are being consumed in natural form. The herbs can also fight with particular health challenges, which are seen during pregnancy. Some of the basic health remedies are available for conditions like iron deficiency, muscle cramps, aches, heartburn and morning sickness. With the help of the herbs, the effect of the symptoms are reduced, and it supports the body in healing the main cause of these different conditions.
Herbs are also used in the end of the pregnancy for supporting the birth process. They are very helpful in several birthing situations like ripening the cervix, initiating labor, vaginal pain following birth, addressing post-partum hemorrhage.
Herbs can also continue to be used once your baby has arrived. Some can assist you with post-partum depression, lactation and sore nipples. They also provide options for dealing with such conditions thrush, jaundice and colic.
Here are two examples of herbs very beneficial to a woman during pregnancy:
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a condition that affects millions of women yet Western medicine has yet to provide a conclusive solution for. The term "premenstrual syndrome" was first coined in the early 1930s. It refers to a set of symptoms that are associated with, or can be directly attributed, to the menstrual period. These symptoms usually appear a week or two from the onset of the menses and can last anywhere from 4 to 10 days.
PMS ranges from a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, which can include:
- Breast pain and tenderness
- Abdominal bloating
- Nausea or dizziness
- Inability to sleep well
- General fatigue
- Depression and unexplained sadness
- Confusion and forgetfulness
- Irritability and anxiety
Women who use conventional medical treatment for their PMS are often prescribed drugs or therapy to treat one or multiple symptoms, usually the most problematic ones. They are not given treatment for other symptoms, particularly if they are considered manageable. This is because symptoms of PMS appear differently for every woman and as a result, the syndrome as a whole is simply ignored or overlooked.
With Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, premenstrual symptoms are considered as patterns. These patterns are studied closely and are traced to specific pathways or meridians in the body and related internal organs in order to treat the root cause of the problem and not just the symptom. Depending on the list of complaints, the pattern is discovered and the deficiency is diagnosed. Corresponding corrective measures are then prescribed.
Methods of treatment
Acupuncture is a common treatment for women suffering from PMS. Fine needles are inserted into specific meridian points in the body to relieve stagnant energy, increase circulation and restore balance. It is an effective method to treat pain and promote relaxation.
Herbal remedies are a major component of TCM. As treatment for PMS, herbs are carefully chosen for their specific effects on the reproductive functions of women. The herb called dang gui, for example, is commonly prescribed for its ability to regulate menstrual cycles and relieve cramps.
Specific herbs are also carefully chosen depending on the diagnosed deficiency patterns in the patient. If the pattern deficiency is found to be in the heart or blood, herbs such as jujubee and biota seeds are used. If PMS is traced to the stagnation of the liver qi pattern, the herb buplerum or chai hu is prescribed.
There are different types of massages that can be used to relieve the symptoms of PMS. Reflexology, for example, focuses on specific points in the body in order to encourage better blood circulation and bring on relief, while basic massages may be used to complement the abovementioned treatments and induce relaxation and rest.
- stress management workshops with Qi Gong, acupressure, and nutrition
- demonstrations on cupping, guasha, herbs, and acupuncture
- complimentary lunch sponsored by Applebee’s
- live music featuring the band, Rock of Ages
- kids activities such as face painting and seed planting
The use of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in the U.S. military and other civil service sectors is gaining nationwide acceptance. In 2009, The US Air Force launched a program to train doctors in taking acupuncture into the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Forty-four Air Force, Navy and Army physicians went prepared to use acupuncture as part of their emergency care in combat and frontline hospitals. Acupuncture has also been introduced to Law Enforcement, and through organizations like Friends of Firefighters, providing acupuncture services ranging from acute and chronic pain to stress and trauma treatments.
Celebratory and educational events like the one at Pacific College’s San Diego campus, will take place near October 24th throughout the nation, marking the eighth annual observance of North American Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, which was conceived by the National Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) as part of a national campaign to educate the public about the benefits, progress, and promise of acupuncture and Asian healing.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is caused by excessive or abnormal activity in the neural areas of the brain. It is more likely to occur in younger children and those above 65 years of age, but other instances are not uncommon. Epilepsy is rarely cured by medication, but can be controlled so that the seizures are spaced out. Brain surgery is considered in rare cases, but is not a guarantee of a cure. It is often confined to certain stages of life and the patient may simply outgrow these problems. It is not a single disorder and can have many symptoms, but in all cases, the episodes are built around abnormal activity in the electrical parts of the brain. Seizures can be partial or generalized and would depend on the extent of involvement of the various parts of the brain. Some seizures may lead to muscular contractions in some parts of the body. Epilepsy can also lead to amnesia, loss of consciousness, and other unusual sensations or emotions. There may also be deep sleep episodes caused by epilepsy. It is also known to cause out-of-body sensations. Allergic reactions to food are also sometimes responsible for epileptic seizures and it is necessary that this aspect be examined where children are concerned. Low allergen diets are known to help reduce the incidence of epilepsy.
Vitamin and folic acid supplements can help to control epileptic seizures, however, these need to be carried out with strict medical supervision as adverse effects can also happen. Vitamin B6, taurine (an amino acid) and omega 3 fatty acids are also known to help patients with epilepsy. There is a Chinese herb called bupleurum which is used in combination with peony root, cassia bark, jujube fruit, ginger root and pinellia root to form two different herbal formulae known as sho-saiko and saiko-keishi. Other ingredients in the two formulae are ginseng root, licorice root and skullcap root. These Chinese medicines are known to help people with epilepsy without any negative side effects.
Acupuncture and massage therapy are other therapies for epilepsy that have had a significant presence in the treatment of this disorder. Acupuncture has been known to reduce seizures and also control abnormal brain activity that causes the seizures. Studies in China have established that treatment of epilepsy where acupuncture and massage is used along with certain herbs have had the best results. A study in Germany which involved almost a hundred people established that acupuncture treatment over a period of up to 18 months showed marked improvement in 65 percent of the cases. All drugs were discontinued during the period of the test.
There are two types of massage therapy that have been known to be effective in treating epileptic patients. They are Cranial-Sacral Therapy and Aromatherapy. Cranial-Sacral therapy helps to get fluid moving freely around the brain thus releasing any blockages that can cause seizures. Aromatherapy using Jasmine makes the patient associate the scent with relaxation and this induced state of relaxation can reduce the possibility of seizures.