Traditional Chinese Medicine

Stay Healthy This Winter with a Balanced Qi

Winter’s element is water and is associated with the kidneys, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is considered the source of all qi and energy within the body. Winter is also associated with the bladder and adrenal glands.

Focusing on inner reflection, rest, energy conservation and storage during the winter months is when it’s most important as it helps us to properly nourish our Kidney Qi.

Below are a few methods you can learn about and apply during this season in order to maintain a balanced qi. continue reading »

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Joint pain

Joint pain can arise from many different sources. Overuse of the joints leads to pain, which is common in osteoarthritis. Various autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis can also lead to joint pain.

 

When it comes down to it, all joint pain is inflammation. When there’s any type of trauma, whether internal or external, the body urgently tries to repair itself. It sends a whole army of defender cells, clearing damaged and foreign particles out, as well as trying to repair the damaged tissue. Often in the case of chronic joint pain, the damage is either too great to be repaired by the body’s endogenous systems, or something has gone wrong and the body’s immune system is attacking itself.

 

Arthritis and joint diseases are incredibly widespread. Approximately 350 million people worldwide and around 43 million people in the United States suffer from some form of chronic joint inflammation. Nearly 2.1 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/). These numbers are expected to keep rising drastically in the coming years.

 

Increasing age, improper diet, smoking, obesity, stress, and lack of sleep can greatly increase the likelihood that a person will experience increased inflammation and joint pain (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/). In today’s world, it’s easy to check off several things on the list of these risk factors. Our jobs are stressful, our sleep cycles are erratic, our diets are often quick, on-the-go foods, containing pro-inflammatory trans fats and sugars. Our bodies end up taking the brunt of this lifestyle.

 

Chronic inflammation can last from several months to several years. It becomes part of people’s day-to-day lives. The joints keep hurting and they accept it as something that will be there for the rest of their lives. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or Corticosteroids are often used to treat painful, inflamed joints. Both of those options, however, come with a host of side effects associated with repeated and long-term use.

 

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are great, safer alternatives to conventional medication. Studies have shown that acupuncture works to down-regulate inflammation in various conditions. Blood tests during studies suggest that after receiving acupuncture, inflammatory markers were reduced (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1781596/pdf/12775355.pdf). In the clinic, joint pain is one of the most common conditions that we treat. A steady regiment of treatments, lasting 1-3 months, returns people to a pain-free life. Often times, this has to be combined with lifestyle modifications. When we have an underlying offending factor that keeps causing the problem, no amount of treatment will make the problem go away completely. Unlike conventional treatments, that often just mask the problem, eastern medicine gets to the root of the issue and keeps it from recurring.

 

If you or someone you know suffers from arthritis or any joint pain, acupuncture might be a great solution for them. We are always happy to help people get their life back!

 

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health topics but does not constitute medical advice. If you have any questions related to your condition, you should contact your doctor or healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention
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Winter Acupuncture: Governing Vessel 14

Governing Vessel 14 is called The Great Hammer. This point is located below C 7 on the spine. C 7, the seventh cervical vertebrae is the one which is the most prominent. Traditionally the vertebrae were referred to as hammers because of their resemblance to the tool. This point is great because it is the intersecting point for all of the Yang meridians in the body. In wintertime, this point is often used to treat colds and other illnesses that are common this time of year. continue reading »

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Five Self Care Tips for Fall

Fall is a favorite season for many people. The weather starts getting a little cooler, things are beginning to slow down and preparations for the holidays are in full swing. For many others, fall is not so festive. Many people get sick during the fall months, allergies can flare up for some, and many don’t like the steady decrease in hours of sunlight, sometimes leading to seasonal depression. Here are some tips on how to get through the season without incident. continue reading »

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TCM and Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that disrupts the normal function of the epithelial cells in the body.  Epithelial cells line the passageways of many of our vital organs, including the lungs, liver, kidneys, reproductive system and the skin. Those who have cystic fibrosis have a defective gene that impairs epithelial cell function. This can lead to a buildup of sticky mucus throughout the body that may eventually lead to lung damage and chronic coughing, affecting how patients with cystic fibrosis breathe and filter air, digest their food and absorb the nutrients from that food. In the United States alone, there are nearly 12 million people who suffer from this disease. Unfortunately, there is no known cure and most of those affected with the disease only live into their 20s and 30s. Current modern medicine treatments focus on increasing the quality of life by managing symptoms. continue reading »

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