Can an Acupuncture Affect Your Joints?
Many people are surprised to know how an acupuncturist can help with joint health and alignment. Indeed, acupuncture can help straighten abnormal spinal curvature, realign hips, shoulders, and knees, treat out of place ribs, relax jaws that are too far forward, and treat many other problems related to improper positioning of a joint. At first it may seem confusing as to how a tiny acupuncture needle, so thin it requires eye strain to see, could move a spinal misalignment or malpositioned joint. But it is possible as I will explain using a little bit of modern physiology and mixed with a some Chinese medicine “Five Element Theory” theory.
Let’s get a little technical for just a moment…. A subluxation is medically defined as “a partial abnormal separation of the articular surfaces of a joint.” What this essentially means is the two bones being connected to form the joint are not in their correct place. This leads to uneven contact pressure on the cartilaginous surface of the joint and may lead to increased friction and rubbing and subsequent pain, inflammation, swelling, and dysfunction. It’s obviously important to have proper alignment of your spine and joints, but the question has yet to be answered, “How can an acupuncturist with their hair-thin needles create physical changes in joint position?” Isn’t acupuncture just an endorphin releasing painkiller?
The answer to the question is “yes and no”. There are many types of connective tissue in the body including fascia, tendons, and ligaments, but for our purpose here lets talk about the skeletal muscle. All of your joints are held in position by your skeletal muscles. If a muscle is too tight it may stress and pull on the bone where it attaches so that the joint loses its proper position. In the image below you can see just one layer of muscles that move, stabilize, and align the muscles in your neck. If like me, you spend a lot of time using a computer mouse, the muscles that attach to your vertebrae on your mouse side may become too tight. Besides pain and tension, this can lead to your cervical vertebrae being pulled out of position by the tension.
All that makes sense but “what does the acupuncture needle have to do with it?” you may ask. The answer is refreshing the “action potential”. Your skeletal muscles contract based on electrical impulses generated by your nervous system and travel through your nerves to the muscle. When the signal is incorrect skeletal muscles may be over-contracted (aka tight) or under-contracted (aka weak). The muscle imbalance due to the incorrect impulses through your nervous system lead to subluxations, misalignments, and pain in your joints.
An acupuncturist interacts with your nervous system to change the impulses and action potential to a more balanced state. This effect in essence is one of the main ways acupuncture exerts its effect on the body. When the nerve impulse to the muscles that stabilize and align joints are corrected, the joint naturally realigns, tension melts away, and pain disappears. This is illustrated in ancient Chinese five element theory called the controlling cycle “Earth controls Water”. Each of the five elements has an associated tissue type. The tissue of earth is muscle and the tissue of water is bone. According to five element theory “Earth controls Water” or in other words “Muscle controls Bone”. In the diagram below it is illustrated by the blue arrows in star formation in the centre of the diagram:
The arteries of the body are lined with smooth muscle and can contract or dilate based on nerve impulses as well. In this way your body is able to open blood flow to the area it needs and “squeeze” it out of areas it doesn’t need. When you are doing heavy exercise your circulation will flow into your muscles, heart, and Lungs and leave your digestive system, liver and other organs in an effort to maximize your bodies resources. Conversely, after a large, heavy dinner you may feel tired and lethargic as blood flow is directed out of your lungs, heart, and skeletal muscle and directed to your stomach, intestines, and liver to support digestion. An acupuncturist goal is to direct Qi and blood flow in this way and more importantly direct circualtion to areas of injury or dysfunction. In the five element theory, we use the same relationship "Earth controls Water". In Chinese medicine physiology the Earth element "controls blood" and is key in fluid physiology like river banks controlling the direction and flow of a river.
In conclusion, acupuncture and Chinese medicine are an excellent option for reducing the pain and discomfort from joint misalignments and subluxations.
Are Your Knees Killing You?
Chronic knee pain can come with a wide variety of western diagnoses. Osteoarthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, Baker’s cysts, meniscal tears, and torn ligaments are just a few of the many causes of chronic knee pain. For all of these conditions acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help to ensure healthy mobility throughout our lives so that we can fully enjoy our fabulous Kelowna lifestyle.
Surgeries and knee replacements are becoming more and more common and in many cases provide a good solution to the pain and loss of mobility a bad knee can bring. These interventions provide no guarantee of success however, and we have had many patients at our Kelowna clinic who’ve had knee replacements and had no relief in pain at all. Sometimes the pain has even become worse after the operation. Another negative about knee replacements most people are unaware of is there is about a .25% chance you won’t survive the thirty days following the surgery. Currently the the mortality rate for a total knee replacement is about 1 in 400. Not terrible odds I suppose, however, at the time of writing it's about the same as a middle aged person not surviving the coronavirus. Infections and blood clots are just a few of the possible complications that may arise. Another downfall to think about is that artificial knees are temporary and may need to be replaced every ten to twenty years.
Interestingly, current research has discovered a relationship between knee pain and mortality from every other cause. Those with knee pain had a 15% greater chance of death from all other causes. Shocking studies like these suggest that one of the most important things you can do for longevity is make sure you don’t have knee pain!
I find this study truly fascinating as the acupuncture points we generally use to treat knee pain relate to the lung, heart, and liver. Cardiopulmonary disease gets nearly 30% of us in the end. Cancer, how I view it in Chinese medicine and acupuncture theory, relates greatly to the lungs, gets another 21%. The liver has a whole host of functions including protein metabolism and regulating cholesterol levels. In acupuncture and Chinese medicine theory it maintains the health of tendons and ligaments and regulates circulation to the heart, lungs and entire body. Exactly how and why knee pain relates to mortality isn’t really understood scientifically. My Chinese medicine brain can theorize but, I may save that for another blog. Regardless of mechanism, using this knowledge we can see how important it is to maintain healthy knees not only for our mobility and ability to do the things we love to do in Kelowna, but also to ensure good overall health and a long life.
At Balance Point Acupuncture, chronic knee pain is something we see regularly and in most cases find the results in terms of both pain and function to be very positive. In our experience acupuncture reduces the pain and inflammation rapidly in most cases restoring mobility and joint function.
How does acupuncture work to treat knee pain even when the points used are not located near the knee? In my opinion, the problem is that the knee joint is not straight or aligned properly. A quick google image search for “Knee Osteoarthritis Xray” will show a bunch of pictures of the knees that have shifted or look like they are leaning to one side. When your knee joint isn’t aligned there will be uneven weight distribution and, as a consequence, rubbing of the cartilage in the joint which then leads to inflammation, pain, swelling, bone spurs, and eventually joint damage. You may be told “bone on bone” as the cartilage in your knee becomes worn away.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can greatly reduce the pain, and swelling as well as increase the mobility of sore knees. From our experience acupuncture balances the signals to your nervous system to the muscles and connective tissue that stabilize and realign your knee joint reducing uneven weight distribution and improving joint function. Furthermore, acupuncture can increase circulation and healing to the joint itself. Besides acupuncture, we also like to use a classical Chinese herbal formula called “dang gui nian tong tang” which increases circulation and speeds healing to any joint in the lower body, especially the knees.
Kelowna is such a beautiful place with so many activities to enjoy. It is so important to take care of our bodies, especially our knees, so that we can long enjoy our beautiful Okanagan Valley.
Better Than Blueberries but Punishable by Death!
There’s a hot new superfood receiving a lot of attention long known to the immortality-seeking emperors of ancient China. This superfood is higher in antioxidants than the superstar health food blueberries and so revered by the emperors of ancient China that they kept it solely for themselves. Sneaking even a handful was punishable by death. These days it’s readily available at supermarkets and health stores in Kelowna and more good news, there is no death penalty for eating it. In fact, the opposite may be true as many studies on this superfood are proving it to prevent disease, delay the aging, heal your vision, prevent cancer and even extend life.
If you haven’t guessed the food by now it’s forbidden rice also known as emperor’s rice or black rice due to its dark black colour. In traditional Chinese medicine theory, longevity is determined by the strength and amount of kidney essence with which you are born. Kidney essence from our modern point of view has a lot of similarities to genetics, DNA and even stem cells. Kidney energy is the vitality and ability to resist stress and disease with which you are born. According to traditional Chinese medicine this essence slowly erodes over your life and once it’s exhausted, that’s it! TCM kidneys are the water element in Chinese medicine theory and pertain to the colour black. Generally speaking, naturally black foods are thought to be good for the kidneys and provide anti-aging and life-extending properties. Emperors in ancient China were obsessed with living long lives and even becoming immortal. Royal acupuncturists and herbalists primary jobs in old China were to prevent their emperors from getting sick and help them live well… forever! Forbidden rice was so revered for this purpose that it was strictly forbidden to commoners (hence the name) and reserved only for the Chinese emperors as it strengthened, replenished, and preserved kidney essence.
According to acupuncture theory, black rice regulates appetite, strengthens the kidney and liver, improves vision, nourishes the spleen, and invigorates blood circulation. Black/emperor’s rice also has been shown to strengthen the heart and blood vessels, prevent cancer, and reduce blood pressure. Heart disease, stroke, and cancer are currently the top three causes of death in the west. Forbidden rice helps with them all. Maybe the ancient acupuncturists were on to something?
In the lab black rice has shown to possess more antioxidants than blueberries. One of the antioxidants, anthocyanin, imparts its black colour to the grain. This is a well researched antioxidant shown to have a myriad of health benefits. In fact, the bran of black rice is the most concentrated source of anthocyanin of any known food.
Forbidden rice is great for your eyes!. Black rice has also been shown to benefit vision including age related visual decline such as macular degeneration. Forbidden rice contains high amounts of vitamin E, aforementioned anthocyanin and other carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin have been show to protect the retina by filtering out harmful blue light. Other research has show lutein and zeaxanthin to be the most effective phytochemicals in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration which is the leading cause of age-related blindness. Another study demonstrated anthocyanin prevented retinal damage from fluorescent lighting. As I use Microacupuncture for treating eye conditions such as ARMD in our Kelowna clinic, I am always on the lookout for new foods that can help improve and protect the vision of our patients.
Black rice is also good for sexual and reproductive health. It’s considered a mild aphrodisiac and has long been considered a fertility food. We treat a lot of fertility patients with acupuncture and herbal medicine in our Kelowna clinic and forbidden rice is a delicious way to promote fertility for both men and women through strengthening the TCM Kidneys.
Some other purported benefits of forbidden rice are: it supports liver detoxification, prevents diabetes, treats asthma, improves digestion (naturally gluten free) and aids in healthy brain function. The acupuncture and herbal doctors of ancient China really did seem to know what they were doing!
When buying Forbidden rice try to buy the blackest version you can find. Some varieties I’ve seen aren’t as dark and look more purply, especially after cooking. Included below is a recipe I make at home for snacks and breakfast for my kids. They love it!
This recipe takes just a minute or two to prepare and lasts in the fridge for a few days. My family enjoys it hot during Kelowna winters and cold during Kelowna summers.
Forbidden Rice Pudding Recipe
1 cup of Forbidden rice. (rinsed)
1.5 cups of water
1 can of coconut milk
Instant Pot - cook on high pressure for 22 minutes. (this is how I do it)
Rice cooker - cook like regular rice.
Stovetop - Bring water and coconut milk to a boil, add rinsed rice and other ingredients. Cook covered on low heat for 18 minutes or until the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and let sit covered for five minutes.
Optional black foods that could be added before or after cooking depends how you like it.
1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses.
1 tablespoon of Black Sesames
1 tablespoon of poppyseeds
1 cup of frozen blueberries, wild blueberries, black cherries.
A tablespoon or two of dried black currents, or dried prunes.
Top with fresh fruit, coconut flakes or walnuts (also a kidney tonic in TCM and acupuncture theory) and your favourite non-dairy milk. Make it taste good!
By Travis McIndoe
Acupuncture and TCM Against the Coronavirus
Everyone is aware of the coronavirus named COVID-19 sweeping through countries in Asia and now across the world. Indeed the first case in interior BC was reported last week after a woman flew to Vancouver from Shanghai and then proceeded to drive to her home in Interior BC, the exact locale undisclosed. The news and internet are full of images of the difficulties the people of China are having with this virus. Not in recorded history have we seen such large populations even whole cruise ships quarantined. Many Kelowna residents are worried that it is only a matter of time before COVID-19 finds its way into the Okanagan. A great website to monitor the the global cases is worldometer.com. This site gives up to date statistics on reported COVID-19 cases.
With the development of a vaccine nowhere in sight, doctors are searching for viable treatments to reduce the mortality rates of the COVID-19 infections which currently hover around two percent. Many antiviral drugs, including those used to treat HIV, are being tested against the virus. But to date unfortunately, there has been limited effect. In general, modern medicine often does not have good treatments to viral infections. Most of the incurable disease we face today such as AIDS, hepatitis B, rabies, dengue fever, the flu, ebola, etc are caused by viruses. These diseases are difficult to cure and generally managed instead. The main weapon against viral diseases has been vaccination to promote immunity, however vaccinations are only effective before you have the disease.
Another coronavirus of recent memory was SARS from 2003. The SARS coronavirus caused 8000 infections across 26 countries, killing almost 800 people, and a mortality rate of about ten percent. At the time of writing coronavirus COVID-19 has killed 2250 people worldwide, more than double SARS, and so far has shown no signs of slowing down. During the SARS epidemic I lived in Taipei, Taiwan and remember clearly the worry and concern of the Taiwanese people about SARS growing out of control. Canada was also affected with travel restrictions to Canada as well as some restrictions on Canadians travelling to other countries abroad.
Rarely is it reported in our media, Chinese medicine has been used in conjunction with western medicine in Asian countries in the fight against both SARS and COVID-19. After the SARS outbreak and before moving to Kelowna to start our acupuncture practice, Vivi and I had the pleasure and opportunity to intern with Dr Hsu Zhong Hua who led the team of doctors using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to fight against SARS during the 2003 outbreak. Following him at Taipei City Hospital, we learned a lot not only about treating viral infections but other conditions as well. Vivi and I were particularly interested in his use of Chinese herbal medicines in the treatment of breast cancer with which he was having a good deal of success. A blog for another day perhaps.
Over the weekend I rewatched the almost prophetic Matt Damon and SARS inspired movie from 2011 “Contagion” which had come up on my Netflix account as “trending”. I had watched the movie years ago but this time I noticed a lot of similarities to the current coronavirus pandemic such as theories that it may be an escaped bioweapon, that it happened just before a holiday (Thanksgiving) in which there was a lot of travel and opportunity to spread, that it came from bats, and that it started in Hong Kong/China were just a few of the many similarities to the current coronavirus pandemic.
Interestingly one character in the movie played by Jude Law claimed a herb called forsythia was a cure for the fictional viral epidemic. Forsythia is a Chinese herb that has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine for the treatment of epidemics in China. Forsythia is called Lian Qiao and is the “Qiao” in the extremely popular Yin Qiao San that we carry for early stage upper respiratory infections. We also carry Lian Qiao on its own to create custom formulas at Balance Point Acupuncture. We use this for all sorts of “heat” disease especially for the upper body/respiratory system. Of course this is a fictional Hollywood movie, I just found it engaging to see a Chinese herb used in the movie. More info on Forsythia / Lian Qiao can be found at this website:https://www.americandragon.com/Individualherbsupdate/LianQiao.html
Chinese medicine has a long history of treating epidemic diseases similar to COVID-19 and has developed several herbal categories each with different functions and effects. Lian Qiao belongs to the “Clear Heat, Purge Fire” category which in acupuncture lingo means it is good for infections causing heat or fever. Gypsum, honeysuckle, and Chinese skullcap are more examples in the is category. Clearing heat and purging fire would represent modern antibiotics, antivirals and anti-fever medications from a TCM perspective. Traditional Chinese medicine has other categories that are used in treating respiratory infections as well. Some herbs such as "Ban Xia” and Xing Ren are in the “resolve phlegm and stop coughing” category. These herbal medicines help to dissolve thick and congealed phlegm so that it can be easily expectorated and thereby clear the lungs of mucus, phlegm, and the viral or bacterial load. Another common Chinese herb which can assist in opening the airways in cases involving difficulty breathing is Ma Huang or ephedra which is put to use in some western medications as a bronchodilator and decongestant.
Acupuncture and moxibustion can also be used to open the lungs, activate the immune system, and expel phlegm. A skilled acupuncturist can use treatments to direct the Qi (immune system) to the lung. In many cases of chronic lung conditions an acupuncturist may diagnose a Lung Qi deficiency wherein the circulation of Qi and blood is at a weakened state in the lungs. This is done by Chinese tongue and pulse diagnosis as well as assessing presenting symptoms. Acupuncture point Stomach 36 stimulates the immune system and directs it upwards to the lungs. Stomach 40 is a phlegm point and is used to resolve and expel phlegm from the body. Lung 7 opens the lungs and also assists the body at expelling phlegm from the lung. Other acupuncture points could be used for reducing heat, fever and inflammation. Common heat clearing points for lung infections are Large Intestine 4 and 11, and Lung 10 and Lung 5. One of my personal favourites for clearing heat in the body is Large Intestine 1, a pinchy point located near the tip of the index fingers. This point helps vent heat trapped in the body and shows instant changes on the radial pulse.
China in cooperation with the World Health Organization has begun over 80 clinical trials testing various treatments for coronavirus infection. About 15 of these test Chinese herbs and Chinese medicine techniques combined with western therapies as is commonly done in Chinese hospitals. One of the largest studies, which includes 400 participants, is testing the efficacy of the Chinese herbal formula shuanghuanglian, which includes the aforementioned herb Lian Qiao. This herb has been used to treat lung infections for more than 2,000 years. The clinical trial tests shuanghuanglian against a control group given standard care but not a placebo therapy. I’m looking forward to the results of the study.
Viral epidemic diseases are not a new thing for China or the rest of the world. For thousands of years Chinese medicine has been employed as the first line of defence against these epidemics within China. Hopefully the world joins together to defeat COVID-19 as it has SARS and other epidemics. As a practitioner of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine I am proud to see our medicine recognized by the WHO and being used on the front lines to save lives.
Nothing above is meant as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms related to Covid-19
Alternative treatments for Infertility
Thеrе аrе ѕеvеrаl options fоr іnfеrtіlіtу trеаtmеntѕ bеѕіdеѕ thе use оf drugѕ аnd artificial insemination. Fіrѕtlу, thеrе іѕ thе natural аррrоасh. Trаdіtіоnаl Chіnеѕе Mеdісіnе and hеrb treatment hаvе proven еffесtіvе іn some саѕеѕ. Lаѕtlу, there іѕ асuрunсturе treatment.
Natural Trеаtmеntѕ for Infеrtіlіtу
Nаturаl trеаtmеntѕ fоr іnfеrtіlіtу hаvе wоrkеd wеll for some. Thеrе аrе mаnу different factors lеаdіng tо іnfеrtіlіtу. By making сhаngеѕ to tackle thоѕе infertility fасtоrѕ is thе simplest fоrm оf nаturаl trеаtmеntѕ fоr іnfеrtіlіtу. Start by еlіmіnаtіng the bаd hаbіtѕ that could bе саuѕіng уоur іnfеrtіlіtу. Enhance уоur health bу hаvіng a good dіеt аnd nutrіtіоnаl ѕuррlеmеntѕ whеrе nесеѕѕаrу. This wіll also еnhаnсе your сhаnсе of conception. Thе rеѕult for nаturаl trеаtmеntѕ fоr infertility will vary depending оn the рrоblеmѕ present.
Indіvіduаlіzеd Natural Trеаtmеntѕ
Yоu wіll need to undеrѕtаnd thаt thе rеѕult fоr nаturаl trеаtmеntѕ fоr infertility wіll tаkе tіmе tо show. It may bе a fеw mоnthѕ bеfоrе thе result іѕ apparent. Thе vеrу fіrѕt things you should do аrе tо еlіmіnаtе аnу саffеіnе, аlсоhоl, аnd tоbассо frоm your bоdу. Stау clear frоm non-organic fооdѕ as thеу mау саuѕе hоrmоnаl imbalance. You wіll need a healthy аnd balanced diet. Making thеѕе сhаngеѕ mау bе аll уоu nееd tо іnсrеаѕе the chance of соnсерtіоn.
Yоu ѕhоuld соnѕіdеr аddіng folic асіd, zіnс, ѕеlеnіum, fatty асіdѕ, vіtаmіn E, vitamin A, аnd vіtаmіn c to уоur dаіlу dіеt. You саn get thеѕе if you are tаkіng рrеnаtаl vіtаmіnѕ. Fоr men, L-Cаrnіtіnе tаblеtѕ аrе grеаt nаturаl treatments fоr infertility. It іѕ аn аmіnо асіd that hеlрѕ thе body tо рrоduсе gооd ԛuаlіtу ѕреrm. It will hеlр to іnсrеаѕе the sperm соunt аnd аlѕо tо gіvе thе ѕреrm grеаtеr mоtіlіtу.
Trаdіtіоnаl Chіnеѕе Mеdісіnе (TCM)
Trаdіtіоnаl Chіnеѕе mеdісіnе іnfеrtіlіtу trеаtmеnt works on thе bаѕіѕ thаt a mixture of herbs аnd acupuncture саn help tо rеѕtоrе thе bоdу dіѕhаrmоnу, whісh causes іnfеrtіlіtу.
Bеfоrе starting TCM fоr іnfеrtіlіtу trеаtmеntѕ, уоu ѕhоuld соnѕult a mеdісаl doctor. If thе dосtоr саn dеtеrmіnе that thе саuѕе оf іnfеrtіlіtу is duе to structural рrоblеm, уоu wіll probably nоt bеnеfіt from thе trаdіtіоnаl Chіnеѕе mеdісіnе. Aсuрunсturе trеаtmеnt sought tо аddrеѕѕ thе kіdnеу, ѕрlееn, аnd lіvеr. Thеѕе thrее оrgаnѕ directly аffесt the reproductive оrgаnѕ, hеnсе, TCM treatment focus on thеm.
TCM еnhаnсеѕ rеѕult bу uѕіng hеrbаl mеdісіnеѕ. Thе treatment takes into consideration any problems that mау еxіѕt. If thеrе іѕ dіѕhаrmоnу, thе аррrорrіаtе hеrbѕ wіll be uѕеd tо correct thе соndіtіоn. Hеrbѕ thаt will help іn соnсерtіоn саn аlѕо uѕеd іn unіѕоn. Hеrbѕ tо сurb ѕtrеѕѕ аnd anxiety аrе аlѕо аddеd tо bооѕt thе chances for success.
TCM trеаtmеnt саn improve thе chances of рrеgnаnсу. However, it іѕ аlѕо important to соntіnuе wіth Wеѕtеrn mеdісаl trеаtmеntѕ. TCM trеаtmеntѕ mау рrоduсе rеѕultѕ but uѕіng аll аvеnuеѕ fоr treatment will іnсrеаѕеѕ thе сhаnсеѕ of рrеgnаnсу.
Acupuncture has bееn uѕеd for centuries by thе Chіnеѕе аѕ a hеаlіng tool. Aсuрunсturе wоrkѕ оn the theory thаt еnеrgу flоw or blооd pressure can bе rеgulаtеd by ѕtіmulаtіng the central nеrvоuѕ ѕуѕtеm. This рrосеѕѕ rеlеаѕеѕ neurotransmitters аnd neurohormones, whісh hеlр thе body tо heal. Aсuрunсturе also rеlеаѕеѕ еndоrрhіnѕ which will block раіn and gіvе the bоdу a ѕеnѕе of wеllnеѕѕ. Aсuрunсturе fоr infertility іѕ nоt painful at all. You mау fееl a lіttlе tіnglіng ѕеnѕаtіоn аt thе treatment ѕроt аnd you mау experience ѕlіght bruіѕіng.
Aсuрunсturе fоr іnfеrtіlіtу wоrkѕ on thе thеоrу thаt сhаnnеlѕ оf еnеrgу run thrоugh thе dіffеrеnt parts оf the body аnd the bоdу surface. Whеn these channels аrе blocked for whаtеvеr rеаѕоn, hеаlth problem wіll occur. Thе needles in асuрunсturе fоr іnfеrtіlіtу hеlр tо ореn these blосkаgеѕ. Thе nееdlеѕ аrе uѕеd tо ѕtіmulаtе the vаrіоuѕ nеrvеѕ and cause thеm to rеlеаѕе сhеmісаlѕ which influence the muѕсlе, brаіn, and ѕріnаl соrd. Thіѕ аllоwѕ thе body tо heal itself.
Aсuрunсturе for infertility works fоr those whо hаvе a funсtіоnаl rеаѕоn fоr іnfеrtіlіtу. If уоu have іnfеrtіlіtу саuѕеd bу a рhуѕісаl рrоblеm such as dаmаgеd rерrоduсtіvе оrgаnѕ, іt may not bе еffесtіvе. The еffесtѕ ѕhоuld bе арраrеnt аftеr a fеw visits tо thе acupuncturist if thе trеаtmеnt іѕ іndееd ѕоmеthіng thаt саn help уоu. Tо еnhаnсе thе еffесtіvеnеѕѕ of acupuncture, уоu may аlѕо wаnt tо соmbіnе wіth hеrbаl rеmеdіеѕ аѕ wеll. Thеу are соmрlеmеntаrу treatment mеthоdѕ. Gеnеrаllу, оnе or twо sessions реr wееk of асuрunсturе is nесеѕѕаrу fоr gооd results.
The Fertility Clinic Kelowna can help achieve the results you want if you visit them.
Contributed by: Vivi Wu - RAC and Foremost expert in fertility and womens health
Balance Point Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine
2080B Springfield Road
Kelowna, BC. V1Y 9N7
People may have heard that acupuncture is great for relieving stress and various forms of pain but they don’t know how it actually works. Well, the answer is both complicated and simple.
Acupuncture simply means "to puncture with a needle,” It is a system of complementary medicine in which fine needles are inserted in the skin at particular points along points in the body which are considered to be lines of energy (meridians), used in the treatment of various physical and mental ailments.
In acupuncture, fine, flexible needles about the diameter of a human hair are inserted into points along the principal meridians of your body. Acupuncture is a part of the philosophy and practice of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) which uses an intricate system of pulse and tongue diagnosis. Studies show that acupuncture works and it can ease pain and treat almost all ailments, chronic body pains ranging from osteoarthritis to migraine headaches. Approximately 2,000 different acupuncture points lie along the body's meridians. Stimulating these points with acupuncture needles or pressure relieves obstructions in the flow of energy, enabling the body to heal.
How Acupuncture Works
As a part of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture has been present for over three thousand years and has contributed to good health both preventatively and curatively to many human ills over centuries. As an energy medicine, acupuncture is based on balancing out energetics of the body and mind to promote good health; to reduce and eliminate acute and chronic pain and help in recovering process of ongoing health issues. It is rooted in oriental philosophy and linked to natural cycles of balancing opposing qualities within nature and human body as a part of nature itself.
Acupuncture treatment is based on inserting fine, hair thin needles into certain points on the body meridians and in to acupuncture reactive points to activate and stimulate healing and reduce pain. Acupuncture is used to treat the wholeness of the individual and the acupuncturist uses very sophisticated assessment methods to determine the energetic state of the body. They then decide the best and shortest way to restore health in each individual circumstances, on both physical and emotional levels. Combination of points assembled in a prescription is assessed according to a very specific diagnosis, following taking extensive medical history, observation of the pulse and tongue, and physical examination. Acupuncture prescriptions are re-assessed and re-evaluated at each subsequent session and may or may not change, according to the changes detected during pulse, tongue and palpation diagnosis.
Acupuncture has been known for the treatment of muscle spasms and pain, chronic back problems and pain, headaches, reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines and neck pain, osteoarthritis, knee pain, allergies, digestive problems, depression alleviation, etc. To know more about acupuncture- how it works, its functions, consult Balance Point Acupuncture-Pain Clinic, we treat issues including neurological problems, digestive problems, respiratory problems and musculoskeletal problems, gynecological and sexual health problems. Visit http://www.balancepointokanagan.com for more information.
According to Statistics Canada’s 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) on Mental Health, 5.4% of the Canadian population aged 15 years and over reported symptoms that met the criteria for a mood disorder in the previous 12 months and an estimated 1 in 4 Canadians has a degree of depression serious enough to need treatment at some time in his or her life.Sadness and grief are normal reactions to the ups and downs of life. Often time heals, and our mood improves, however depressive illnesses are different. There is a change in the person – perhaps a loss of interest in regular activities, food or sex, waking early in the morning, or not wanting to get out of bed at all. Without treatment the symptoms can linger for months and sometimes even years.
Depression may come once, twice or many times in a person’s life. Or it may be a chronic, lasting problem. There are three major types
– major depressive disorder, dysthymia and bipolar disorder.
Although different types may have similar symptoms, our treatment and therapeutic approach might be different for each type.
People with major depressive disorder may be constantly sad, hopeless, irritable, and unable to feel pleasure. They may have changes in sleeping and eating habits, and difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly. They often feel guilty and unworthy of love. Some very depressed people might hear imaginary voices confirming their feelings of worthlessness. They start believing bad things about themselves and others, adding to their unhappiness. Some think about dying, or punishing themselves. Some try to kill themselves. This type of depression generally goes away in a few months, especially with proper treatment.
Dysthymia (or depressive neurosis) lasts years at a time. It can be confused with other forms of mental or physical illness that produce chronic distress.
Bipolar depression (once called manic depressive illness) involves cycles of highs and lows. At times there are symptoms of major depressive disorder. At other times, there is mental excitement (mania). There may be little need for sleep, and increased social, sexual, and physical activity. Manic people may feel capable of anything and overlook possible harm.
About 1 in 10 people with a depressive disorder have manic episodes.
What causes depression?
Several factors may be at work, alone or combined.
Some depressions are at least partly inherited. Children, brothers and sisters of depressed people are more likely to suffer from depression themselves. Family environment may also play a role. Children growing up with a depressed person may learn unhealthy ways of handling stress.
Some depressions may be related to abnormal brain or body chemistry or abnormal intestinal flora. Chemical and hormone changes in other parts of the body and some physical ailments can also lead to depression. Change, loss or stress can trigger depression. Losing a loved one, becoming unemployed, having money problems or moving to a new home are common stressors.
What Can Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Do for Depression?
Acupuncture and TCM incorporate thousands of years of experience in treating depression. Not only can they help to alleviate accompanying symptoms of depression but they can also address the underlying imbalances that lead to depression.
There is a strong connection between our mental-emotional and physical state. As we feel emotion, our bodies have a particular physical response and vice versa. If there is a disconnect, blockage or imbalance either between the two or in one or the other, illnesses, such as depression, can occur. The traditional application of acupuncture is used to correct these imbalances, which allow the body to return to its natural state of well-being. Acupuncture for depression is effective, safe, natural and drug free. Like other therapies for depression acupuncture is not a miracle cure, and often requires several and continued treatment for the best results.
Chinese herbal medicine may also be used if necessary. Chinese herbal medicine is a safe and natural alternative or compliment to traditional drug therapy for depression. *Never stop taking your antidepressant medication without the direction of your Medical Doctor.
What Types of Allopathic Treatments Are Available ?
Depression responds better to treatment than many other forms of mental illness. Different treatments may be used alone or together. This depends on the patient’s condition, diagnosis and personal choice.
Drug therapy includes antidepressant drugs and mood stabilizers. Antidepressant drugs seem to correct the chemical imbalances in the brain that produce some forms of depression. Mood stabilizers can prevent the return of depression. But even when they work well, both types of drugs act slowly and can produce side effects.
Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is used to relieve severe depression. It is not known why this treatment makes patients feel and act less depressed. Side effects can include disorientation immediately after treatment, headaches and sore, stiff muscles. Some complain of memory loss in the long term. If ECT is recommended, patients should ask questions. If they have any concerns they should seek a second opinion.
Psychotherapy (talk therapy) can help anyone who is depressed. Treatment may include partners and other family members.
Self-help groups can also be a valuable support for depressed people, as well as their families and friends. Any mental health professional can provide the names of groups.
Remember, proper treatment can return a person to a full, productive life.
“The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture therapy in depressive disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis.” Zhang-Jin Zhang, Hai-Yong Chen, Ka-chee Yip, Roger Ng, Vivian Taam Wong. Journal of Affective Disorders – July 2010 (VOl. 124, Issue 1, Pages 9-21)
Contributed by: Travis McIndoe TCMP - Foremost expert in Acupuncture and traditional chinese medicine.
Approximately 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t even realize they have it! The reason is because many people aren’t aware they are ill until the symptoms have progressed significantly. Unfortunately, kidney disease is one of those silent ailments which can wreak havoc on your body unbeknownst to you.
Some symptoms of kidney disease include the following:
The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for tens of millions of Americans at risk, and March is national kidney month! It is important to take care of your body, and your kidneys are no exception. Your kidneys are pretty powerful if you think about it – they work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and never get a break!
Interesting Facts About Your Kidneys:
Preventing Kidney Disease and Promoting Kidney Health
As the nation’s 9th most deadly killer, kidney disease can be prevented by educating yourself and by taking easy, daily steps that promote kidney health.
The risk for this disease can be reduced by controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, maintaining proper weight, stopping smoking, exercising regularly and avoiding excessive use of medications that can harm the kidneys, such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
One interesting fact is the skin and the kidneys both help detox the body.
Traditional Chinese medicine often refers to the skin as the third kidney. Modern research is discovering new insights into the value of skin detoxification for those with kidney disease. Dr. Jenna Henderson writes about one German study evaluated the benefit of sweating for Stage 4 chronic kidney disease patients. Patients sweated into towels, and the towels were then chemically analyzed for content of uremic waste (this waste can build up in the blood and can cause kidney damage). Not only were uremic waste products found, but the researchers noted that the more often the patients experienced these sweating sessions, the more uremia came out in each session. The body learns to push this pathway through repeated stimulation.
This is where we mention our favorite topic: the benefits of sweating via infrared saunas! However, it is also important you talk to your doctor should you have kidney disease before partaking several sweating sessions.
Foods Which Keep Your Kidneys Happy & Healthy
In addition to using infrared saunas for happy and healthy kidneys, and to support them in their never-ending job of filtering waste out of the blood, there are other things you can do to support kidney health. Naturally, exercise and a good diet are a couple of those things, but there are foods which also support your kidneys. They are as follows:
Contributed by: Travis McIndoe TCMP and foremost expert in internal medicine at Balance Point Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine Kelowna.
Headaches are one of the most common complaints I see in my Acupuncture Clinic. Due to the local weather patterns we experience in our lovely city, many people’s bodies have a hard time adjusting to the drastic change in pressure and temperature. Headaches are a sign of imbalance in your body, when your body is healthy and in balance it is easily able to handle many changes that can happen around you. However, if your body is out of balance, it will not be able to handle theses changes and stresses without exhibiting symptoms.
With the use of ultra-fine acupuncture needles your Kelowna Acupuncturists, Dr. Travis McIndoe and Vivi Wu, can give immediate relief for most types of headaches and migraines. Once we’ve achieved relief of your immediate acute symptoms, we can begin the work of rebalancing your system in order to avoid or reduce the occurrence and severity of headaches in the future. Some cases may also require the use of Chinese herbs for better and faster results.
If you suffer from headaches and are looking for a natural and holistic solution, book your acupuncture appointment today.
Insomnia and poor quality sleep are common problems for many . Regularly getting a good night’s sleep is for some a luxury they’ve not experienced in a long time and has a negative impact on almost all aspects of daily life and overall health.
Benefits of Better Sleep:
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are safe and effective in the treatment of insomnia regardless of the cause (except maybe for your kids waking you up early). With the use of ultra-fine acupuncture needles, your Kelowna Acupuncturists Travis McIndoe and Vivi Wu can help bring relief from your sleepless nights.
Though it is not an overnight fix (all puns intended), over the course of several treatments your sleep should improve either by falling asleep more easily, staying asleep longer or just improving the depth and quality of sleep. There is also no risk of dependency with Acupuncture like there is with prescription medication and no negative side effects. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to continue getting frequent acupuncture treatments indefinitely to see long term benefits, though some percentage of people do require ongoing “tune-ups” every month or two to maintain their quality of sleep over the long term.
If snoring is keeping you up, either from yourself or your partner, acupuncture can also improve many types of snoring.
Other Benefits of Acupuncture:
Contributed by: Travis McIndoe TCMP and foremost expert in Acupuncture. Contact us Today to let us help you get on the road to more restful sleep.