Author Archives: Meridian Acupuncture

How Acupuncture Can Help Cancer Patients

Acupuncture Complementing Cancer Treatment for Portland Patients

Acupuncture has many healing properties. Acupuncture and other forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine are known to be great complementary forms of treatment for those fighting cancer. Forms of TCM, such as acupuncture, are even used by hospitals and other health practitioners to work alongside chemotherapy.Portland area cancer patients acupuncture.

Chemotherapy and radiation can exhaust and break down a patient’s body, so the rejuvenative properties of acupuncture and TCM are welcomed by the recipient.

Check out these reasons acupuncture is a great complementary treatment for cancer patients.

  • Can help manage acute and chronic types of pain
  • Acupuncture can increase your white blood cell count, which is important for fighting cancer cells
  • Bolsters immune health
  • Assists with managing debilitating side effects, such as vomiting, depression, weight loss and physical and mental fatigue.
  • Acupuncture is a safe treatment and can be used for all ages.
  • Specific methods have been created to fight cancer
  • Acupuncture has been an effective form of pain management for thousands of years

For more information on how acupuncture can help you, contact our Portland area office.

Holistic Health & Acupuncture Treatments for Insomnia

Acupuncture & Insomnia Holistic Health Research 

A study published by the Journal of Sleep Medicine shows acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for insomnia sufferers. The study group was composed of 72 patients with primary insomnia. Acupuncture treatments were given three times a week for four weeks and the patients Tigard holistic health treatment for insomniawere required to wear sleep monitors, as well as complete regular questionnaires. The outcomes were measured by the Insomnia Severity Index, sleep efficiency, sleep awakenings and total sleep time. The Insomnia Severity Index of the patients improved greatly, as did the sleep efficiency and the total sleep time. This study provides evidence that acupuncture can be of great help to insomnia sufferers.

Insomnia is a pathology that affects an estimated 32 million people in the United States.  Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by an inability to obtain sufficient sleep, due to difficulty falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep. Insomnia can be either acute or chronic in nature. Acute insomnia is brief and can happen because of certain stressful life circumstances.  Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three times per week and continues for at least three months. Of the two, chronic insomnia is the worst to experience. Chronic insomnia can lead to fatigue, mental sluggishness, brain fog, irritability, depression, anxiety, excessive worry, difficulty focusing and even accidents.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acknowledges adequate sleep as vitally important for physical, as well as mental well-being. TCM usually views insomnia as an imbalance of energies throughout the body. These energies are known as Qi (pronounced “chee”). There are multiple energetic pathways or meridians that run through the body. A person suffering from insomnia may have imbalances in one or more of these meridians. Most typically, the imbalances occur along the heart, liver and kidney meridians. Stress, poor diet and a lack of exercise can produce a blockage or stagnation of Qi in the body. This stagnation can create heat and deplete fluids or yin in the body. One of the ways to bring balance back to these meridians is through the use of acupuncture.

Acupuncture can be used very effectively, to treat all types of sleep disorders and with none of the toxic side effects associated with medications or sleep aids. Because acupuncture is very customizable to the individual, there may also be beneficial side effects associated with the treatment of insomnia. Many patients report after receiving acupuncture treatments for insomnia that they also notice an overall improvement of both their physical and mental wellness.

There is not just one set of points to treat every person with insomnia. Also the root cause of the insomnia may stem from one or multiple issues. Each person is treated holistically with TCM and their bodies are considered unique. Qi may flow differently in some people due to previous surgeries and medical implants. These are things the TCM practitioner considers before determining the treatment plan for each patient.

If you or somebody you know is suffering from insomnia, make an appointment at our Tigard office to learn more about holistic health treatments.

How Acupuncture Treats Back Pain

Bladder Helps in Acupuncture Neck & Back Pain Treatment

Portland area acupuncture to treat back painIn Traditional Chinese Medicine, the bladder is one of the six yang organs, paired with one of the six yin organs. The yin organs store vital substances (such as Qi, blood, yin, and yang), whereas the yang organs are more active and have a function of constantly filling and emptying. The bladder is a perfect example of a yang organ. Its main physiological function is to remove water from the body in the form of urine. To do this, the bladder uses Qi (energy) and heat from its paired yin organ, the kidneys.

Obviously urination is an essential component to the functioning of our bodies, and as such, the bladder plays a vital role through its filling and emptying of urine.

However, the bladder system in TCM has far more influence in the body than just over fluid transformation and excretion. As mentioned above, each yang organ is paired with a yin organ, and the bladder is paired with the kidneys. The kidneys are one of the most important energy systems in TCM, they store some of our deepest levels of energy, being the root of all yin and yang in the body and hold our essence. The kidneys often exert an effect on the bladder system when there is a weakness, this means that sometimes problems with the kidney energy can be detected and treated sooner by treating the bladder or the bladder channel. An example is low back pain. The kidneys in TCM govern the low back and the knees. The bladder meridian runs down the length of the back in not one but two trajectories on either side of the spine. Most forms of low back pain can be treated with bladder points on the back, as well as bladder points on the backs of the legs.

In acupuncture, one of the most essential aspects of the bladder channel is treating the back. The bladder channel runs from the inner canthus of the eye, over the top of the head, down the neck and the back on either side of the spine, through the sacrum and down the back of the leg to the knee. Then the channel travels back up to the top of the back and begins its downward trajectory again, tracing another trail down the length of the back, more lateral than the first. It then continues down the back of the leg to the outside of the pinky toe. The bladder channels trajectory makes it a powerful channel for treating most kinds of neck, back, sacral, hamstring, calf and achilles pain. It is particularly helpful when there is a pain condition affecting more than one of these sites.

Every energy system in TCM exerts an effect on both the physical body and the mental/emotional self. The kidneys are associated with fear – this means excessive fear will weaken the kidneys, but irrational fear can also be a symptom of a kidney imbalance. As the bladder is linked to the kidneys, it can be used to support the kidneys in treating fear. When the bladder itself is out of balance, there may be negative emotions such as jealousy, suspicion and inability to let go of grudges.

To take care of the bladder, make sure you drink plenty of non-caffeinated, non-sugary beverages throughout the day to optimize its water transforming function. Eating a kidney-nourishing diet will also help the bladder energy. To keep energy flowing optimally through the bladder meridian, make sure to stretch! Create a daily stretching routine that includes stretches for the whole posterior portion of the body. You might think about including foam rolling, massage, myofascial release, cupping, gua sha or tuina. For more information on how acupuncture can help with your pain, contact us and make an appointment at our Portland area office.

How Acupuncture Can Help With Alcohol Detoxification

Ear Acupuncture Can Help With Detox

Alcoholism affects nearly 16 million adults in the United States, yet only approximately 1.5 million Americans actually seek and get help to deal with their addiction. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths every year, which makes alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States. After all the research that has been done on alcohol, people in the United States are still dying from something completely legal. And ultimately, we are paying for it, not just with our lives, but also with our tax dollars.

Ear acupuncture helps with alcohol detox.There are approximately 15,000 rehabilitation facilities in the United States. With that many rehab centers, one would think there wouldn’t be such a huge alcoholism problem in the United States. But unfortunately, 80 percent of those facilities are outpatient only and they accounted for about 90 percent if the total number of people served (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). This means most of the people who are admitted to these rehab centers are released very shortly after they enter. This leads to higher numbers of repeat offenders and unsuccessful alcohol rehabilitation.

One of the ways to help insure that alcoholics truly succeed when they enter rehab is to offer them more than just a quick fix. Traditional Chinese Medicine can provide a very useful tool when trying to overcome alcohol addiction. Alcoholics have to first detox and then learn how to deal with their addictions, so as to avoid relapsing. But detoxing is usually the hardest part. This is why so many people who enter into the aforementioned outpatient rehab centers, usually don’t stay sober. The cravings and the lack of willpower often become overbearing and the person once again succumbs. But many inpatient rehab centers are starting to offer acupuncture in conjunction with their programs.

The benefits of acupuncture during alcohol rehabilitation are numerable. Regular acupuncture treatments can decrease cravings, decrease depression and anxiety, decrease anger and irritability associated with detoxing, decrease headaches, increase concentration and also improve and increase sleep quality.

The NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) protocol is frequently used when treating addicts. This protocol specifically uses auricular or ear acupuncture points to help people deal with and recover from substance abuse. These detoxification protocols, in contrast to much of TCM, do not involve a traditional diagnosis and they do not need to be modified in any way. The protocol is generally administered on its own without the addition of other auricular or body acupuncture points.

The NADA protocol uses only five points in the outer ear. These points include Lung 2, Shen Men, the Autonomic Point, Liver and Kidney. Each point has its own set of properties that make it unique, but when used in conjunction, these points can be an effective adjunctive therapy for treating nearly any form of addiction. To find out more about this protocol, seek out a properly licensed acupuncturist.

If you would like to know more about our acupuncture services, please make an appointment at our Portland area office.

Holistic Health Advice for Why You’re Feeling So Cold

Why Are You So Cold? Holistic Advice for Full & Empty Cold

Feeling Cold Can Have a Holistic Health Answer.

Everyone feels cold sometimes, but some people are perpetually chilled to a point where it interferes with their lives.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, there are two different kinds of cold in the body: full cold and empty cold. Full cold refers to a condition where there is an excess of cold-type energy in the body leading to a feeling of cold, and most likely other health problems, as well. The other kind of cold is empty cold. This means there is not an abundance of cold energy but rather a weakness of the warm fiery energy. When there isn’t enough warmth in the body, you will feel cold – not because the cold is so strong, but because you don’t have enough fire to balance it out.

Full cold

As mentioned, a full cold condition refers to an over-abundance of cold type energy in the body. This is often an acute case and may relate to being outside on cold weather, or exposing a certain area of your body to cold water, cold wind or cold weather. Symptoms really depend on the location of the cold in the body.

For instance, you might feel really cold when you are coming down with a cold virus. From a TCM perspective, this is cold being trapped under the skin or in certain channels on the back of the neck. Other associated symptoms may be a stiff neck, a runny nose or an occipital headache.

Full cold can also lodge itself in the digestive system – this may happen following a meal of cold food, drinking cold beverages in a cold environment or following exposure to very cold temperatures. Full cold in the digestive system can lead to a feeling of cold, as well as painful cramping, diarrhea or loose stools and pain in the abdomen.

Another common site of a full-cold condition is the uterus. This can be from exposure to cold temperatures such as swimming in cold water or sitting on a cold surface. Certain gynecological procedures can also introduce cold into the uterus. This type of cold manifests as a feeling of cold, particularly with the period and very painful cramping before and during the period. There will likely also be clots and possible problems with fertility.

All of these full-cold conditions can be avoided by limiting exposure to cold environments and cold foods. Also introducing heat internally through teas, soups and warming herbs can help.

Empty cold

In TCM, health is a state of balance between yin and yang. Yin refers to the cool, watery, passive parts of our physiology, whereas yang refers to the hot, fiery, active parts. When the yang energy is weakened, there isn’t enough fire to balance out the cool and watery yin. This leads to a pervasive feeling of cold that is hard to shake, even with lots of blankets and warm drinks. This is someone who always feels chilled, no matter what. There may be other symptoms, as well, such as loose stools, a lack of energy or motivation, wanting to sleep all the time or fluid accumulation. Yang deficiency cold often requires use of herbal medicine, acupuncture, and moxa to treat appropriately.

While these are the main reasons for feeling cold, there are two other energetic imbalances that can also lead to feeling cold – Qi stagnation and blood deficiency.  When Qi is stuck, circulation is impaired and heat can’t get to our extremities effectively. This kind of cold often manifests as very cold hands and feet. It can be helped by regular exercise, reducing stress and limiting heavy foods. A weakness in the blood energy of the body leads to a low-grade constant feeling of cold less severe than a yang deficiency cold, but still pervasive and consistent. It can be helped with getting enough sleep, reducing stressors and eating a well-balanced diet of blood-nourishing foods.

If you are feeling cold and are interested in holistic health treatments, contact our Tigard office. 

Positive Side Effects of Acupuncture

Your Portland Acupuncture Treatment Reduces Pain And More!

During an initial session of acupuncture, most practitioners began with an extensive health intake that goes over all of the systems in the body. We use this to determine certain patterns of imbalance, allowing us to treat the root cause of issues. This is one way we differ from Western medicine.

Acupuncture has multiple positive side effects.I have learned throughout the years when someone makes an appointment to deal with their pain, this is all they are concerned about. I understand completely. If I pulled a muscle in my back and went to a doctor who gave me medication to help with digestion, I would be confused and annoyed he wasn’t dealing with the issue I came in with. So, when I see patients, I focus on their presenting issue. I know once this problem has resolved, they will likely see other beneficial side effects from the treatment, such as:

  • A reduction in stress or anxiety. Acupuncture is incredibly calming, and when you get acupuncture on a regular basis, that feeling of peace and well-being tends to become your new norm. Life’s little stresses just seem easier, somehow.
  • You don’t get sick as often. Acupuncture boosts the immune system, and patients who come consistently often comment on having lesser colds and illnesses throughout the year.
  • Better sleep. I’ve had some of the best night’s sleep of my life after a session. It promotes a deep, restorative sleep that can’t be matched by anything else I have tried. Acupuncture is very effective for insomnia, but even those without sleep issues look forward to a fantastic night’s sleep after a treatment.
  • Less painful periods. When the blood and energy of the body flows as it should, pain and stiffness disappear. Acupuncture moves the blood, lessening cramps and even alleviating the symptoms of PMS.
  • Happier digestion. Again, acupuncture is moving, so it creates movement within the digestive tract too. If you are prone to constipation, this medicine can get you unstuck. And if you fall on the other end of the spectrum and suffer from frequent or loose bowel movement, acupuncture can help to regulate that as well.
  • More energy. When your body is in balance, you have the appropriate amount of energy to get through your day without dragging. Patients who get treatment regularly tell me that they feel more energized and alert throughout the day.
  • Increased fertility. Studies have shown getting regular acupuncture increases your chances of getting pregnant. It regulates the hormones and lowers stress levels.
  • Better relationships. I know it sounds strange, but hear me out. Acupuncture helps to regulate the emotions. It can vent your anger, ease your grief and help you to let go of negativity you’ve been holding on to. Irritated or frustrated? Try a treatment. You will immediately feel those emotions slipping away. When your negative feelings begin to transition into a lighter, calmer place, you will connect with people around you in a very different way.

With all of the benefits of acupuncture, stop by our Portland area office and make an appointment today!

Holistic Health Food for Type 2 Diabetes

A Diabetes Holistic Health Diet

Fresh fruits are a holistic health food for a Diabetes diet.When diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it is imperative to watch your diet. Eating a healthy and holistic balanced diet can greatly improve your way of life, and help you avoid potential health complications. Those with type 2 diabetes know it can be hard to create a healthy diet just right for their constitution. But if you focus on obtaining a balanced amount of healthy carbs, fats, sugars and salts, you can live a more active and vibrant life.

Here are a list of food tips every person should consider adding to their diet, regardless of type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

  • Focus on the fiber – Fresh fruits and vegetables are a must for every healthy diet. Incorporate these into your diet to promote healthy blood pressure and promote circulation
  • Healthy fats are important – Limit your amount of trans and saturated fats, choose lean cuts of meat, low-fat cheeses and milk
  • Less is more – Use little amounts of salt in your cooking. You can still make your food delicious without dousing it with heavy amounts of salt.
  • Carbs with a purpose – Healthy carbs are good carbs. Make sure to stock your diet full of healthy carbohydrates such as cereals, nuts and whole grains.

For more information on holistic health practices to help with your Diabetes, contact us at our Tigard office.

Auricular Acupuncture Treats the Ear as a Microsystem

Traditional & Modern Acupuncture Treatment of the Ear for Pain Relief in Portland

Auricular acupuncture is acupuncture treating the ear for other body symptoms.Traditional Chinese Medicine is a medical system that dates back nearly 4,000 years. Auricular acupuncture was first mentioned around 500 B.C. in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which is the equivalent of the Bible for TCM practitioners. However, the method in which auricular acupuncture is practiced today is actually based upon discoveries that occurred in France in the 1950s.  Modern auricular acupuncture is based upon the work done by Dr. Paul Nogier of France.

Auricular acupuncture is the stimulation of the external ear for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions. These health conditions may be taking place anywhere throughout the body. The stimulation of these acupuncture points can be done manually, with an acupuncture needle, a laser, magnets or ear seeds. Regardless of the means of stimulation, auricular acupuncture can be a very powerful addition to regular acupuncture treatments. Continue reading

Holistic Health for Your Body Type with Five Elements

Healthy Eating for Your Body Type with These Holistic Guidelines

What's the right food for your body type? Holistic health at Tigard, OR.Traditional Chinese Medicine, a medical system that has been around for nearly 3,000 years, views the body differently than modern medicine. When the body is broken down to its core, its tiniest molecules can be classified as energy. This means every element of the universe resides within the human body, to some degree. And every organ has its own properties and energies that must remain balanced for the body to function properly. The energies within the body must be a perfect synergy of elements. This allows for homeostatic balance, biochemical balance, longevity and harmony between the body and mind in holistic health.

The food we put in our mouths can either fuel us or slowly kill us. By knowing which body type we fit into based on the five elements, wood, fire, water, earth or metal, we can then eat a balanced diet that will allow us to remain healthy and strong throughout our lives. Here are some guidelines that may be helpful. Continue reading

Building Protective Qi with Natural Medicine

Holistic Treatment of the Immune System (Wei Qi) With Oregon Natural Medicine

By: Kim M. Filkins, L.Ac.

Immune System Wei Qi Health with Natural MedicineEverybody gets sick at some point in their life. For some, it’s just a quick weekend thing. For others, it can last for several days and even weeks. Why do some people always get sick whenever there is a bug going around and others don’t? It all comes down to immunity. People who have a stronger immune system, tend to be sick less often. Those with compromised or weak immune systems, seem to get sick at the drop of a hat. There are many things that can be done to strengthen the immune system though. And Traditional Chinese Medicine is probably one of the best and least invasive ways to boost the immune system, not just during the winter months, but all year long. Continue reading