Category Archives: acupuncture

Acupuncture for Our Seniors Act Introduced

Beaverton Acupuncturists Could be Medicare Providers

senior acupuncture Beaverton Oregon
On July 29, 2021, U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 4803, the Acupuncture for Our Seniors Act. H.R. 4803 would instruct the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to recognize qualified acupuncturists as Medicare providers. Medicare recognition would align Medicare policy with acupuncturists’ independent service-delivery model by enabling eligible acupuncturists to provide covered services to Medicare beneficiaries without supervision. This alignment would also authorize acupuncturists to directly bill Medicare for services they provide.

CMS has the authority to recognize specific services, but must receive instruction from Congress to recognize a provider group. Obtaining Medicare provider status requires legislation to amend the Social Security Act, which authorizes the Medicare program. H.R. 4803 is the first step to achieving this recognition and advancing the profession.

Continue reading at Acupuncture Today.

If you would like to know how acupuncture can help Seniors, contact our Beaverton area office.

A Life-Saving Benefit of Acupuncture

Acupuncture Treatment for Depression Symptoms

Depression is associated with cardiovascular disease via both lifestyle and physiological mechanisms. Depression makes one more likely to eat poorly, stop exercising, suffer sleep irregularities, etc.; and has been shown to elevate heart rate and blood pressure, reduce blood flow to the heart, and increase cortisol production.

New research suggests acupuncture use is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD; the most common form of cardiovascular disease) in depressed patients. The study by Chia-Yu Huang, et al. (for full text, click here), found that patients diagnosed with depression who received acupuncture experienced a significantly lower rate of CHD than depressed patients who did not receive acupuncture. These findings were independent of age, sex, comorbidities and medication use.

The study involved more than 43,000 patients, identified through the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database, and divided into an acupuncture group and a non-acupuncture group for comparison based on a review of insurance claims records. TCM services are reimbursed through National Health Insurance, which covers more than 99 percent of the Taiwanese population, according to the study authors.

Continue reading at Acupuncture Today.

If you have depression or know someone who does, make an appointment to learn more about how acupuncture can help with depression at our Beaverton area office.

Calming the Mind: Three-Point Combinations for Anxiety and Insomnia

Acupuncture to Help Anxiety & Insomnia

acupuncture treatment for anxiety in Beaverton area

Anxiety and insomnia are extremely common patient presentations encountered in the clinic – undoubtedly even more so in today’s challenging times. Often these patients are also apprehensive or sensitive to needling sensation; or blatantly afraid of acupuncture needles in general.

Let’s discuss three of my favorite acupoint prescriptions that offer a minimalist approach for patients suffering from general anxiety and insomnia. These prescriptions use only three points apiece, yet provide highly effective results, allowing apprehensive patients to experience the benefits of acupuncture with minimal invasiveness.

Point Prescription #1

Benshen (GB 13) + Shenting (DU 24) + Sishentong (EX-HN 1)

This is perhaps my favorite point prescription for anxiety and insomnia in all patients; however, this three-point formula is particularly applicable for patients who are anxious about using acupuncture points on the hands or feet. All points are located on the scalp, and work quickly and effectively to calm the mind in cases of anxiety and insomnia. It is extremely effective for patients who suffer from anxiety / insomnia and/or chronic headaches, chronic nasal allergies, poor memory, poor concentration, mild to moderate depression, tense shoulders, and visual fatigue / eye strain due to daily work with computer screens.

Continue reading at Acupuncture Today.

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

Acupuncture: A Great Choice Prior to Surgery

Acupuncture Help Before Surgery

acupuncture treatment for surgery preop

Medication, including opioids, is commonly prescribed following surgery; and many veterans deal with chronic pain with opioids, independent of surgery. Exciting new research suggests veteran surgical candidates who receive acupuncture prior to their procedure experience less postsurgical pain and are less likely to require opioids – a win-win for both veterans and the acupuncture profession.

Study findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), and subsequently detailed in an ASA press release, detailed the encouraging results involving more than 100 veterans randomly assigned to one of two groups prior to surgery.

Continue reading at Acupuncture Today.

If you are interested in learning more about acupuncture & how it can help you, make an appointment at our Beaverton office.

Acupuncture for Regulating the Immune System

Research of Acupuncture Methods Shows Decreased Inflammation

Acupuncture research shows decrease in inflammation.A study published by the National Institutes of Health evaluated the efficacy of acupuncture for stimulating or regulating the immune system by comparing the results from several studies that each used different methods of acupuncture. Through the use of electroacupuncture, moxibustion, herbs, and acupuncture, the studies concluded Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, can be helpful for the immune system. The combined studies demonstrated that moxibustion helped repair the gut mucosa of rats suffering from ulcerative colitis, electroacupuncture can increase the number of T cells in the body and that general acupuncture can decrease inflammation, which plays a vital role in the immune system.

Your immune system is what keeps you healthy and helps you ward off pathogens like the flu or a cold. Most of us don’t spend a lot of time worrying about our immune system until we’re sick. Then we reach for the over-the-counter medications to help relieve our symptoms. By looking to TCM instead, we can be proactive about supporting our immune systems in a safe and natural way.

According to TCM, the body is protected by something known as the Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”). The Wei Qi, or Defensive Qi, is comparable to the immune system in conventional medicine. It acts as the first line of defense when the body is under attack from external pathogens. If the Wei Qi is strong, then the body is capable of fighting off bacteria and viruses. Extreme stress, lack of sleep and a poor diet can all play into how strong the body’s Wei Qi is and how well it performs.

There are multiple tools in the TCM practitioner’s toolbox that can assist in keeping the immune system strong and healthy, including acupuncture, moxibustion, electroacupuncture, herbs, cupping, and nutrition.

Each of these tools has a similar effect on the body. TCM can regulate immune function, while also treating the underlying causes of the disease. This is done by reducing the symptoms, speeding up the healing, decreasing excess phlegm, decreasing inflammation, and boosting the immune-mediated cells in the body that help ward off invasions.

Studies show regular acupuncture treatments can actually increase the number of T cells the body produces. T cells destroy harmful bacteria and viruses in the body. Acupuncture needles stimulate the brain into thinking an invader (virus or bacteria) has entered the body. The brain signals the increased release of T cells and white blood cells to fight off the intruder. The amazing part is the increased cellular response lasts for several days after the acupuncture treatment. Thus, receiving regular acupuncture treatments can actually prevent the body from getting sick.

To learn more about how acupuncture can help your immune system, contact us for an appointment at our Portland area office.

5 Acupuncture Points to Help Stress This Winter

Relieve Stress with Acupuncture Acupoints in Beaverton

There are several acupressure points that are known to treat stress and stress related symptoms. It’s important to understand that acupressure is not the only form of treatment and having a balanced diet, exercise regime and lifestyle will also decrease the chances of stress being a factor in your life. Acupuncture points for stress relief this winter.

ACUPOINTS
The following five acupoints are known to help alleviate stress and other related symptoms.

LU 1—Zhong Fu
GV 24.5—Yin Tang
KI 1—Yong Quan
LI 4—He Gu
S 36- Zu San Li

THE BREAKDOWN

Lu 1, Zhong Fu- This point is often used to treat vomiting, stops coughing, disperses fullness in the chest, stops pain and regulates Lung Qi. It’s located in the upper chest in the space below the first rib, six cun from the midline. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Lu 1 regulates Lung Qi and stimulates the Lung Qi to descend. It also disperses fullness in the chest and stops coughing.

KI 1, Yongquan, Bubbling Spring- This acupoint is located on the sole of the foot approximately at the junction of the second and third toes. Indications that this acupoint will aid you are if you’re experiencing headaches, dizziness, loss of voice, blurring of vision and so on. In TCM, this acupoint is known to subdue wind and empty-heat, clear up the brain, and tonifies yin.

LI 4,  Hegu, Joining (Union) Valley- The LI 4 is known to treat swelling and pain of the eye, nasal obstruction, toothache, facial swelling, deafness, sore throat and much more. In TCM, it’s said to dispel exterior wind, stimulate the dispersing function of the lungs, removes pain, and harmonizing descending and ascending functions. This point is located on the back of the hand at the apex of the webbed triangle between the thumb and the index finger.

ST 36, Zu San Li- This acupoint is often used to treat vomiting, stress and fatigue and gastrointestinal discomfort. This point is located along the outside of your shin bone about 4 finger lengths from the knee cap. You will know you’re in the right location because a muscle will mom out as you move your foot up and down. In TCM, this point is stimulated frequently to promote health and longevity.

GV 24.5, Yin Tang, Third Eye- This point is located about one finger above the point between the eyebrows and will be almost directly in the middle of the forehead. Working this point is said to calm the mind, clarify ideas and intuition as well as strengthen mental projection. It can be used to alleviate dizziness, stress, vertigo, sinusitis and headaches.

TREATMENT

Each of the above points can be used to aid in relieving stress and/or other symptoms that can cause stress. It’s helpful to bring a list to your Acupuncturist of any symptoms you may have or are looking to treat, any information will be helpful in curating your individualized treatment plan. Please communicate with your Acupuncturist if you are pregnant or looking to become pregnant as some pressure points may affect you.

If you are wondering how acupuncture can help with your stress, make an appointment at our Beaverton area office.

ACUFinder

 

 

 

How Acupuncture Treats Lower Back Pain

Portland Acupuncture Treatment for Back Pain

A study published in the British Medical Journal examined how acupuncture can be beneficial for low back pain. The researchers split 241 people into two groups. One group received acupuncture treatments and the other group only received conventional treatments for pain. Over the course of the two-year study, researchers found that those participants receiving acupuncture reported their pain levels were less and that they needed less medication. While the differences in pain scores were not astronomical, this study does demonstrate that the addition of acupuncture to conventional treatments for low back pain can be helpful.

Lower back pain treatment with Portland acupuncture.Statistics show that almost eight out of ten people will experience low back pain at some point during their life. Seeking medical treatment for back pain is very common. Typically back pain is fleeting and can be easily resolved with rest, heat and an occasional anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. However, once the damage is done, the recurrence of back pain can be as high as 50 percent. Part of this is because as we age, things like muscles and tendons become less flexible and pliable. It is also very well known that in the United States people are too sedentary, and this leads to excess weight gain that can create added pressure on the body, especially the low back.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical system that dates back nearly 3,000 years. Despite its age, TCM has a lot of validity to offer in the age of modern medicine. Thousands of studies have proven that acupuncture, just one of the modalities used in TCM, can be very beneficial in the treatment of low back pain.

Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles to stimulate specific pressure points on the body. By invigorating these points, the brain is triggered to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers. The energy within the body is also moved and adjusted. According to TCM medical theory, when the energy is blocked or weak, then pain and illness can attack the body.

One of the advantages of utilizing acupuncture to treat low back pain is that the acupuncturist doesn’t need to diagnose the cause of the pain before treating it. Since acupuncture has no real adverse side effects when performed by a qualified and professionally licensed practitioner, pain relief can begin the very first time a patient is treated.

The treatments are very customizable because this medicine is not a “one size fits all” type of solution. This means that as the pain shifts and changes, the patient will receive customized treatments that not only address the pain and inflammation, but they also work on resolving the root of the problem. Most patients who are dealing with pain also have added stress, insomnia and depression or anxiety. Acupuncture is great at treating all of these conditions. So the patient gets more than just pain relief.

Acupuncture is so effective at treating and relieving pain that it is now showing up in hospitals and emergency rooms. In fact, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota is now successfully using acupuncture in its emergency room to treat conditions ranging from low back pain to car accident injuries to kidney stones. Their initial results show that pain scores are just as low with acupuncture as they are with analgesic painkillers. Another positive action regarding the utilization of acupuncture came just recently. The Food and Drug Administration released proposed changes that plan to educate health care providers about treating pain. The new guidelines recommend that doctors get information about acupuncture and suggest it to their patients before prescribing opioids.

With these kinds of recommendations and testimonials, it is hard to believe that only about ten percent of Americans have ever tried acupuncture. But that statistic is slowly changing as more and more people are seeking natural and alternative methods of dealing with low back pain. If you are having problems with lower back pain, make an appointment with our Portland area office to learn more about acupuncture treatment.

Three Acupuncture Points to Reduce Stress

Listen to Your Body’s Stress & How Acupuncture Can Help

3 acupuncture points to help stress in BeavertonThe dictionary defines stress in multiple ways, but there is only one that matters when we discuss how stress affects our physical bodies. The definition is this, “stress is a physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension.” And while most people think of stress as being detrimental, it truly does have a function in our bodies. Stress is the body’s way of signaling for help or a break in the routine. If we don’t listen to these signals, we can develop imbalances in our bodies, which can then lead to illnesses.

Cortisol is the hormone most closely related to stress. Cortisol is a big component of the “fight or flight” response we feel when we are scared or threatened. And in small bursts, cortisol is helpful. However, when stress becomes chronic, the cortisol levels become elevated and never return to normal. This puts the body in a constant state of being on edge, eventually causing insomnia, depression, anxiety, digestive issues and even mental illness.

There are ways to fight and reduce stress though. Simple things like exercise, meditation, coloring, talking with friends and even acupuncture. Admittedly, most people don’t think of being stuck with tiny needles as “relaxing”, but it really is. Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and it is becoming more mainstream every single day. It is even being used in some hospital emergency rooms for those who are in pain and anxious.

Acupuncture acts like physical therapy for the nervous system. The tiny needles re-train the nervous system and the brain to behave as it should normally. For the nervous system to act and respond accordingly, cortisol has to be at normal levels and only used when a true “fight or flight” situation occurs. Studies show acupuncture does this.

There are over 400 acupressure points on the body and another 100 or more in the ears. But within all these choices, there are certain points that are much better for treating stress. Here are three great choices for dealing with your stress levels.

Yin Tang – This point is located midway between the inner ends of the eyebrows. Yin Tang is used to treat stress, anxiety and insomnia. It is also a great point to use for eye issues, nasal problems and headaches.

Ren 17 – Located in the center of the chest, midway between the nipples on the breastbone or sternum, this point is great for opening the chest. Many people feel chest tightness and constriction when they become stressed. This point will definitely help. It is frequently used to treat anxiety, depression and nervousness, as well as asthma or other lung issues. It can also be added to treatments to help with digestive issues or heart problems like palpitations.

Heart 7 – This point is located on the underside of the wrist crease on the outer edge. It is found in the depression on the outer side of the tendon. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this point is used to calm the mind and heart. It works well for anxiety, stress and anger too.

If stress is something you experience frequently, seeking out a licensed acupuncturist might just be the remedy you need to get it under control. And don’t forget that long-term mental stress can turn into physical stress that leads to disease.

For more information on acupuncture contact our Beaverton area office to make an appointment and see how we can help with your stress.

Acupuncture for Rehabilitation from Sports Injury

Acupuncture & Holistic Health Practices for Sports Injuries

Sports injuries are an incredibly common reason patients first seek out treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine. From a holistic health perspective, there are numerous energetic imbalances that may have predisposed someone to a particular injury, or may now be affected by the injury. A trained practitioner will look at the location of the injury, the depth of the injury, and the pathology of the injury.

A sports injury anywhere on the body may have the following components:

acupuncture & wellness treatments for sports injuries.Blood Stasis: Blood stasis is often caused by trauma to the local area, such as falling on the soccer field or getting hit with a hockey stick. Symptoms of blood stasis include sharp and stabbing pain that is worse with pressure, bruising and skin discoloration. When the stasis is severe it may affect sleep. Sports injuries such as bone breaks, contusions, fractures, tendon and ligament tears frequently have a blood stasis component.

Qi Stagnation: Qi stagnation can be caused by trauma but more frequently is caused by overuse, repetitive motion, poor posture or form while doing an exercise. Pain from a Qi stagnation injury tends to be dull, achy, throbbing and diffuse. Normally it is worse with pressure, but may be better with gentle movement. Common injuries that often involve Qi stagnation are tendonitis, muscle strains, chronically tight muscles and shin splints.

Heat: Both Qi stagnation and blood stagnation can generate heat, which is a holistic health explanation for lots of kinds of inflammation. Any sports injury that presents as red, hot and swollen has a heat component to it.

Cold: Just as pathogenic heat can be a factor in sports injuries, so too can pathogenic cold. There is an idea in holistic health that cold can “direct strike” an organ or energy system, leading to severe, acute, cramping pain. This often occurs after exposure to cold, such as running a race on a cold day, swimming in cold water or sitting in an ice bath after a workout. Cold can also be a factor in certain chronic areas of pain, particularly when bone is involved or when the injury is in a location that doesn’t get a lot of blood flow.

Blood deficiency: Any acute sports injury has a component of stagnation or stasis. However, there may be an underlying blood deficiency that allowed the tissues to be more susceptible to injury. The blood is said to nourish the tendons, so this is particularly true in tendon injuries such as tennis elbow or achilles tendonitis. Blood deficiency may also be a result of a sports injury, such as a concussion, which means the body needs more resources to rebuild itself after the injury.

Luckily, holistic health has numerous ways of treating sports injuries and helping in the rehabilitation process:

Acupuncture: Acupuncture can help to increase blood flow to an area, reduce pain, inflammation and help tissues heal.

Chinese Herbal Medicine: Herbal formulas can be applied topically in the form of liniments, plasters, poultices, creams and ointments. Certain herbal formulas are also appropriate to be taken internally to help with pain or associated symptoms during the recovery phase. Depending on the herbal formula, it may target pain, tension, inflammation, swelling, or circulation. Herbal formulas can be tailored to fit any of the diagnoses mentioned above. Clinically, we often use topical applications of herbs for soft tissue injuries such as tendonitis, muscle strains and sprains. Certain formulas are also appropriate for bone injuries such as fractures, breaks, and spurs.

Moxa: Burning moxa, or moxibustion, can be a very effective therapy for many sports injuries. Moxa is burned over certain points or locations to reduce pain, increase range of motion, eliminate cold from the channels and reduce inflammation. Moxa is frequently used for injuries to the bone, injuries involving cold or any injury that heat seems to make feel better.

Gua Sha: Gua sha refers to a holistic health technique of scraping along a channel or particular muscle fibers with a hard curved tool. Gua sha breaks up adhesions that have formed in the muscle tissue, increases blood flow to the area and helps eliminate toxins stuck in a particular location. Gua sha is excellent for treating Qi and blood stagnation injuries.

Cupping: Cupping is another technique from holistic health that uses special sterilized cups to create suction over large muscle areas. This helps muscles to relax, pulls toxins out of the channels and helps to physically pull apart layers of fascia that get stuck together with injury.

If you are interested in acupuncture or other wellness treatments for sports injuries, make an appointment at our Portland area office.

Stagnation Pain Treatment For Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

Acute Injuries Can Have Stagnation Pain

Most of the stagnation-types of pain involve traumatic injury or a palpable-pathogenic process. This is an area where acupuncture and its associated modalities truly shine, treating traumatic injury such as fractures, sprains, infection of tissue and acute pain efficiently and gently. After an acute injury has been assessed by urgent or primary care, go to your acupuncturist for a complete plan of care for immediate physical recovery when other modalities such as physical therapy are not yet indicated.

Treatment for stagnation pain from motor vehicle accident injuries.1) Starting from the most superficial type of stagnation, Qi stagnation involves a type of movement that becomes stuck. Most often it manifests as a tendency to have shoulder and neck pain due to stress which goes away with conscious relaxation and mild exercise. In this case, the muscle tissue itself has not yet been affected. The most common treatments for Qi stagnation involve stress-relieving acupuncture, trigger-point and motor point acupuncture, massage and exercises. Qi stagnation is a component of all the other types of stagnation as well.

2) The next level of stagnation involves the blood. A common example of blood stagnation is a muscle that has been tense and has formed a series of knots in the tissue, disallowing the full relaxation of the muscle, often present in low back and shoulder muscles. Blood stagnation is treated with strong local acupuncture, cupping and gua sha to physically move the blood. It often presents in combination with heat, cold, damp and phlegm stagnation.

3) Heat is part of the inflammatory process, along with redness, swelling and pain. Heat stagnation can be a secondary effect of lingering blood stagnation that starts to become inflamed, or it can be a rapid onset inflammation or infection. Heat stagnation is treated with cooling techniques, using acupuncture distally to relieve heat and inflammation while applying cooling herbal poultices and/or liniments topically. Internal herbs can be used to treat infection and inflammation concurrently. Heat is often combined with damp and blood stagnation.

4) Cold stagnation can either have a fast or a slow origin of onset, with the fast type of onset a physical exposure to cold causing the tissues to tense and the local cellular metabolism to slow down. This causes sharp stabbing pains similar to muscle cramps, accompanied by a deep ache. This can be seen with low back pain after a long bike ride with the low back improperly covered, riding through a cold and rainy environment. Cold stagnation is treated with warming topical liniments and poultices as well as heat packs and moxibustion combined with acupuncture to relax and warm the area. Cold stagnation is often combined with blood or phlegm stagnation.

5) Damp stagnation involves swelling that is still soft, as in the puffiness after a sprain or around a repetitive-motion injury. This can be found around the shoulder blades from overuse of the arms or across the whole low back after intense physical labor. Dampness is treated with cupping, heat poultices, local acupuncture and constitutional body points for eliminating dampness.

6) The most bizarre and deep-seated type is phlegm stagnation: a type of hard nodule or mass the center of a deep bruise, a fatty lipoma, or the swelling of vertebrae involved in arthritis. Blood and Qi stagnation must both exist prior to the formation of phlegm stagnation. This potentially takes the longest to resolve due to the need to diminish the tissue accumulation. Strong local acupuncture, plum-blossom acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion and topical plasters and soaks are all used to treat this more difficult type of stagnation.

These six types of stagnation interact with each other and change over the course of an injury or illness. If you have had a trauma or been involved in a motor vehicle accident, make an appointment to learn more about treatment for stagnation pain at our Portland, Oregon area office.