Category Archives: acupuncture

Acupuncture for Cold Prevention

Acupuncture to Prevent the Portland Common Cold

Acupuncture treatment for the common Portland cold.A study published by the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine concludes acupuncture treatments can indeed help treat the common cold. The study followed 187 participants based on the onset of when the cold occurred. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group reported an onset time of cold symptoms within 36 hours and the second group reported an onset of symptoms greater than 36 hours.  Both groups showed significant decreases in symptoms, as well as cold duration. This study demonstrates how receiving acupuncture treatments can shorten the length of time a person deals with the common cold and its symptoms.

Everybody has suffered from the common cold at some point along this journey called life. The common cold is an acute viral infection that affects the throat and nasal passages. Symptoms of a cold may include headaches, fatigue, a sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, a runny nose and coughing. With the normal progression of a cold, the throat symptoms, such as coughing, tend to be worse around the fifth day, while the nasal symptoms are nearing the end of their duration. Overall, the symptoms of the common cold tend to last about seven to 10 days. The typical treatment for a cold is to make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, taking in enough fluids and using steam to break up the mucus in the nasal passages. Because the common cold is caused by a viral infection, the virus must be allowed to run its course, while the symptoms are merely managed.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) takes a different approach though. It utilizes modalities like acupuncture, cupping and herbal formulas that can dramatically decrease the severity of symptoms and time that somebody suffers from a cold.

The practice of acupuncture is supposed to be used as preventive medicine. Not to say acupuncture can’t be used to treat already existing ailments, because it can, and it works very well in this capacity, but isn’t it better to avoid getting sick than to wait until the ailment is already affecting you? This is where acupuncture can help. Regular acupuncture treatments can increase your immunity, which will help fight off any disease, including the common cold. Acupuncture also helps decrease stress which can be a key factor in any disease. Studies indicate when the body is relaxed and not stressed, the immune system functions more efficiently.

Cupping, another technique utilized in TCM, helps boost the immune system. Cupping creates negative pressure that suctions the skin into the cup. This action causes the cells in the body to develop a greater number of receptors on the surface that can better respond to an enzyme known as heme oxygenase 1. This enzyme acts as an antioxidant that protects your body against harmful elements like the common cold virus.

TCM also uses herbs to prevent and treat many ailments, including the common cold.  For instance, herbs like licorice root, also known as Gan Cao in TCM, can be used to treat a cough. It also has the ability to boost the immune system and help get rid of mucus in the respiratory tract. Cinnamon, or Gui Zhi, is another commonly used herb that helps ward off the common cold.

With all this evidence, it makes perfect sense to start using acupuncture as a method of preventing the common cold. Make an appointment at our Portland area office to learn more!

Acupuncture Research To Help Your Allergies

Acupuncture Can Help Offer a Permanent Solution to Seasonal Allergies

The American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy published research that found acupuncture effective for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is also known as hay fever. The researchers compiled the results from 13 quality studies, which followed 2,365 participants. The various studies confirmed acupuncture significantly lowers the antibody known as immunoglobulin E or IgE. IgE is the antibody associated with allergies and hypersensitivities.  The researchers found not only was the IgE antibody lowered, but so too were the symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis. The participants also reported better quality of life.

Herbal oils can help with allergies. As well as acupuncture.Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine offer a permanent solution to seasonal allergies with an all-natural approach that will ultimately save you money. Since TCM attacks allergies in a much different method than Western medicine, there is a good chance your allergies will cease to be a problem. Western medicine knows how allergies work and what happens to the body, but there is still no explanation as to why. TCM doesn’t need to know why, this is because TCM looks at the body as a whole and uses an elemental system to determine where there are excesses and deficiencies in each person. So the TCM treatments are completely customized to each patient, thus making them much more effective than over-the-counter medications.

When using TCM to treat allergies, practitioners focus heavily on something called Wei Qi. Wei Qi is similar to the immune system in Western medicine. Wei Qi protects the body against foreign materials that can lead to inflammation and eventually allergies. People with lower immunity/Wei Qi are more susceptible to allergies and frequent colds. Acupuncture helps to boost the Wei Qi making it more difficult for allergens to attack the body.

Acupuncture by itself will make a difference in fighting allergies, but adding herbs and herbal formulas will provide the final punch to help eliminate allergies for good. Because each patient has different causes for their allergies, adding herbal formulas can greatly increase the efficacy of the acupuncture treatments by extending the effect of the needles. For example, if a patient specifically gets itchy, watery eyes when their allergies flare up, then the practitioner would likely want to draw the excess energy/element down. In this particular case, the patient would have an excess of fire creating wind. The practitioner would use acupuncture points known to decrease fire and wind in the body. Also adding herbs that do the same thing, would create a one-two punch type of treatment that has longer lasting, more permanent effects.

Ultimately what acupuncture does is boost the Wei Qi/immune system while decreasing the inflammatory response in your body that occurs when an allergen is encountered. The other aspect of treatment, as stated earlier, is to look at the patient as a whole versus just the symptoms. A good acupuncturist will also focus on dietary habits that may be contributing to your allergies. Many times a person’s Wei Qi is depleted from within due to the foods they are eating. Things like sugar and dairy are often associated with a lower immune system.  Eliminating or drastically reducing these items will allow the body to recover more quickly, making allergy attacks easier to resolve.

A comprehensive plan that includes acupuncture treatments, herbs and dietary changes can yield the best results when it comes to fighting allergies. Make an acupuncture appointment at our Beaverton office to see how we can help you with your allergies.

Acupuncture Helps Those Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes

3 Quick Facts Acupuncture and Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes Help with Acupuncture at Beaverton OfficeType 1 diabetes can be an extremely debilitating disease, and those diagnosed with this form of diabetes face many challenges along the way to living a healthy life. When somebody is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes it means their body can no longer produce insulin. This requires those affected by type 1 diabetes to take insulin shots regularly to balance the insulin levels in their body.

Acupuncture and other forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine produce beneficial effects for those experiencing type 1 diabetes. Although acupuncture cannot completely cure type 1 diabetes, it can make it easier for those battling the disease to manage it.

Check out these important facts about acupuncture and type 1 diabetes.

  1. Acupuncture has been shown to increase insulin levels in the blood plasma. Research shows acupuncture and electroacupuncture have both increased the amount of insulin found in a patient’s blood plasma.
  2. The use of acupuncture on patients with type 1 diabetes lowers blood glucose levels and can assist in regulating the patient’s endocrine function.
  3. Improved circulation, decrease in depression, a bolstered immune system and reduction in anxiety are all benefits of receiving acupuncture. These benefits can be critical in improving the life of someone living with type 1 diabetes.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, contact our Beaverton office and make an acupuncture appointment.

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.

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!

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

Study Shows Effects of Acupuncture on Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Acupuncture Treatments Help Allergy Symptoms

A study “The Effects of Acupuncture on Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis,” published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in February of 2013, brings encouraging news for sufferers of seasonal allergies.

Researchers set out to determine if acupuncture treatments plus the use of antihistamine drugs could significantly reduce symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis. 46 physicians from 6 hospitals and 32 outpatient medical clinics contributed to the large-scale trial.

Patients who received real acupuncture treatments experienced a statistically important reduction in their symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis when compared to the sham acupuncture and histamine-only groups. Additionally, the real acupuncture group also witnessed a reduction in the need for antihistamines to manage their symptoms.

For many sufferers of allergic rhinitis, there’s no need to hear a news report detailing the pollen count outside, as their runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes will let them know. Often these symptoms strike in the summer and spring, but some patients also have symptoms due to an allergy to dust, mites or dander, to name a few. This condition is more commonly referred to as hay fever, seasonal allergies, or just plain allergies.

Acupuncture treatments may be used year-round, even if your allergies only occur in certain seasons or in the presence of certain allergens. When your symptoms are not active, your acupuncturist can treat any underlying deficiencies you have. When they are active, your practitioner can help bring relief from many of the issues you may be currently experiencing.

If you have allergies and are suffering, contact us to make your acupuncture appointment at our Portland area office.