Archive for Musculo-Skeletal & Nerve Inflammation

Marks on Michael Phelps? What is Cupping Again??

Michael Phelps of the US is seen with a red cupping mark on his shoulder as he competes in the Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil August 7, 2016. . REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler/File Photo FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - RTSLTVJ

Michael Phelps of the US is seen with a red cupping mark on his shoulder as he competes in the Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil August 7, 2016. . REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler/File Photo

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What are those marks on Michael Phelps?  By now the public is hearing the term ”cupping.” Since I was interviewed last year by Agence France Press to do a demonstration of this procedure for their global media outreach, I will explain cupping again. Seems the sighting of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston with cupping marks on their backs had put this ancient practice in the news…You can view it at this link: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/videonetwork/2571529145001/Remedy-of-the-Stars-Cupping-Leaves-Its-Mark-on-Hollywood.

“Cupping,” is the term for an ancient Chinese technique to eliminate the stagnant blood that typically occurs around the neck and shoulders. A small glass jar with a vacuum inside creates a suction that pulls this stuck blood to the surface capillaries. From there this ‘old’ blood can easily return through the capillary system to the heart to be re-oxygenated to restore more active blood circulation. (Here Jennifer’s marks have faded from red to white.) Other partakers are Victoria Beckham and Jessica Simpson.

I did two versions in French and English, shown worldwide. A French friend caught it on TV in Brazil.  In 1975, when actress Lee Grant was up to win an Oscar for “Shampoo,”  she declined this treatment before the gala so as NOT to have marks.  We did it the day AFTER… It took 40 years to become fashionable!

Darin 2What did not get included in the segment was my contrasting of cupping with another similar technique called Gua Sah, a friction rub that achieves the same results with some added benefits. It may look dramatic but it is not painful and most of the time actually feels great even while it is being applied! And especially afterwards.  As in cupping, these are not bruises–only the presence of stagnant blood come to the surface.  The marks recede in a day or three, depending on one’s circulation.

In my estimation, it is more comfortable and controllable, less labor intensive and more thorough. In the news clip another acupuncturist’s cupping shows the unnecessary, potentially uncomfortable side effects. Temporary raised red welts resulted from the strong degree of suction that can hurt when pulled off. This is not necessary to achieve results.

But both techniques perform a simple yet critical action of stimulating of blood, lymph and chi circulation around the neck and shoulders, and sometimes elsewhere on the body. These trapezoid muscles work overtime to hold up the 12 pound “bowling ball” that we carry around all day. And when it is hanging over a computer or a steering wheel, the head is more the equivalent of 20 lbs…Cupping and Gua Sah to the rescue!

Ancestral Soul at Solstice Part III

road-homeOur ancestral soul at Solstice time is geared for extra holiday joy but sometimes instead we plummet from seasonal stress, especially after the holiday. Is there a solution–even one for the whole year?

As described in my article in the Malibu Chronicle, (”Staying Balanced at the Winter Solstice, p. 49,) if our emotions are volatile and easily sabotaged, then we can look for cause and effect factors inside and out.  There IS an emotional vortex in our middle section that has the potential of being boiled into a block–even though this area is called ”the solar plexus” and should have sunshine flowing out of it.  Instead, this pressure cooker boiling in our middle causes heat to get trapped above.

This heat rising in the body is one of the main causal imbalances that an acupuncturist addresses. We can break up this quagmire to alleviate this polarizing of our energy.  Sometimes it is just shut down–a dormant area, stifling the normal circulation of blood and chi through the body.

This dam of emotional plaque now results in a hot head and cold feet. Hot upper symptoms are headaches, heartburn, tight muscles, and even ringing in the ears, as the excess energy is under pressure above. Meanwhile below we might have low back pain, weak flaccid intestines, low libido, varicose veins, and cold feet. Heartburn, acid reflux or a hiatal hernia occur right in the emotional center.

In Part IV  I will discuss how we can empty out the psychic plaque of our personal drama and be ready to refuel with these special cosmic energies pouring in all the time but especially at the Solstice season. Our solar plexus can again be a SUN radiating out to all parts of the body and out to others. The sunny chakra that knits the upper and lower halves back together. A bright solstice solar light to the world! Let’s drink to that Holiday Cheer and an amazing New Year!

 

 

 

Massage with Acupuncture Treatment

Woman with enhanced spinal column, rear view (Digital Composite)

Why do I always include massage with acupuncture treatment? The combination of Acupuncture and Massage can accomplish more together than either separately to breathe life back into muscles. While normal muscles are able to contract and relax without restrictions, over the years they can become gummed up [thixotropy]. Without the ability to contract freely, the muscle becomes weak, tight, and often painful. Overused muscles become chronically shorter, a result of fibrous scar tissue.  This then entraps the nerves running through the muscles, causing numbness and/or tingling sensations.

Chiropractor Adjusting Infant Spine

I apply several types of massage before and after needle or magnet application. While Acupuncture works directly on the laser beam-like meridians, GENTLE MASSAGE can nudge these muscles to let go and breathe again. My technique is to slowly allow the muscle to open up at its own speed without imposing painful pressure. Gradually I move into deeper massage that can access underlying muscle layers.  I believe that ”Hurts Good” is far enough and I always listen to the patient’s feedback.

Stressed muscles can block nutrients and oxygen from getting to where they need to go, and this will cause inflammation that allows toxins to build up in your muscle tissue, a feedback loop that contributes to yet more pain and stress. The combination of Massage and Acupuncture breaks up and releases the built-up toxins. With the toxins released, blood and oxygen can circulate as they should through one’s body.  Feel good endorphins are released, dopamine relaxes the brain, and the muscles then crave activity and exercise–as they did when they were part of a younger body!  Start the ball rolling!

Korean Hand Acupuncture Rules the Brain

Did you know that your hand rules the brain, according to Korean Hand Acupuncture? Our human body never fails to impress us with its inner intelligence and its internal communication system. The ear, hand, and foot are each microcosms of the entire body. Each can serve as a keyboard to program and affect any other part of the body.  Hand points can reveal real time information about tHomonculushe entire body and is a holographic record of the whole.

Hand acupuncture has developed due to the large role that the hand plays in the brain. This picture illustrates how the brain experiences the hands and mouth. The particularly high concentration of neurological connections between the hands and the brain means that the hand is the most able of all body parts to activate the brain. The brain will follow its direction and relay its neural messages to the body.

motor cortexHere is an image of the cortical homunculus, a physical representation of the human body, located within the brain. The amount of brain cortex devoted to any given body region is proportional to how richly innervated that region is, not to the region’s physical size. Thus the brain devotes disproportionately larger space to the hands (grabbing, defending, feeding, working) and mouth (talking, breathing, eating, sucking).

Acupuncturist Dr. Tae Woo Yoo, OMD, Ph.D., of South Korea discovered the reflex potential of the hand and laid out the holographic mapping of the body on the hands.

hand stim cropFor example, in Korean Hand Therapy [KHT], the little finger corresponds to the leg. Therefore, any leg problem will have a corresponding tender point on the little finger. Stimulation of that point on the pinkie will give pain relief and healing support on the leg. The most effect stimulation is the placement of a teeny magnet taped over that point, staying in place for at least 30 minutes. The treatment is simple, painless, fast acting, and easily repeated until the condition is resolved. Hands on!

 

Tune up Back Pain and Internal Organs

 

 


Woman with enhanced spinal column, rear view (Digital Composite)

Woman with enhanced spinal column, rear view (Digital Composite)

Most doctors do not try to tune up internal organs while treating back pain.  Yet that is part and parcel of acupuncture treatment.  When our back aches it is often the cause AND the result of various other underlying problems in the body. While inflammation can migrate to any number of joints and limbs, it often gravitates to the overworked lower spine.  A treatment of acupuncture combined with heat and special massage techniques will often give immediate relief and restore lumbar flexibility.

What is not generally known is that this same treatment protocol often results in improvements in the kidneys, bladder, sexual organs and intestines as well.  Many people report fewer sleep interruptions from urination during the night.  Some have noticed improvements in prostate function, erectile dysfunction or frigidity, and menstrual issues.  Therefore we see that treating the spinal muscles, spinal fluid, bones and nerves affects all the neighboring organs. Sometimes knee pain is misdiagnosed as a local problem when it actually stems from a low back issue. Likewise many pains in the lower leg originate from the sacrum.

Male Back pointsTo grasp the effectiveness of acupuncture is to realize that an acupuncture meridian has all the properties of a laser beam. Visualizing our bodies as a light-streaming entity helps us to appreciate the magnitude of this electromagnetic energy system. Consequently, the manipulation of certain points along these light streams can have ramifications in many directions. Repairing one short circuit can activate many appliances!

A NATURAL Antibiotic

Herbal ABX 2Is there such a thing as a natural antibiotic? Actually there are several remedies that can affect bacterial as well as viral infections and inflammations.  One I order regularly from Evergreen Herbs: HERBAL ABX [Herbal Antibiotic].  With eleven Chinese herbs, it has broad spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal effects. It addresses all kinds of infections, with or without fever: respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urinary tract infections, hepatic disorders, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Why would one use such a thing when the heavy duty antibiotics are available?  Well, we have all heard that many ”super bugs” are becoming impervious to antibiotics due to overuse.  Furthermore, antibiotics disrupt the ”good” bacteria that we desperately need to help break down and digest our food.  Our systems are becoming desensitized from ingesting meats treated with antibiotics.  And many times, antibiotics with unpleasant side effects, clean up the current bacterial mess without addressing the underlying condition that brought on the microbial overload.

group-of-bacteria-100125305[photo: Bacteria] After all, our bodies are virtually a Noah’s arc of bacteria.  We are FULL of bacteria—good and bad strains that are beneficially active or safely dormant.  So why do certain ones take over suddenly and run amuk? Stress, diet, environmental conditions, weather, contagion, etc.  If antibiotic treatment has so many downsides, then here is one product that can act as an insurance policy to reduce or even PREVENT inflammations.  One 80 yr. old patient got rid of a 12 years long sinus infection with Herbal ABX after many rounds of antibiotics through the years. ABX is only available through practitioners. I try to keep it on my shelf since it is so popular.

flu-virus-structure-100216828[photo: Flu Virus] And how do these herbs work together to fight bacteria and viruses?  With 4,000 years of experimentation behind them, let’s take these Chinese herbalists at their word… Therapeutic Action of ABX: “Clears fire and toxic damp heat; cools blood, invigorates blood circulation, drains pus, promotes urination, clears toxins.”  Thus it deals with the terrain.  Damp heat is more than just a metaphor.  I invite your comments here on the blog page.

One formula for Menstruation and Menopause Symptoms?

Lilith RossettiIs it possible to find a single powerful formula for women in general for menstruation and menopause symptoms?  Something to cover most of the fluctuations that can occur in the intricate female system?  The Longevity Pure Medicine line has just such an all-round tonic for women: Female Essential. One important ingredient is Sepia, possibly the most famous female remedy in Homeopathic literature.  For over 100 years, homeopaths have extracted Sepia from the ink of cuttlefish to treat depression, menstrual problems, and menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.

A tiny Sepia pill would typically contain 1/100th of a molecule of cuttlefish ink. Just like the effects of splitting the atom, this breaking down of the substance unleashes the atom’s energetic potential without the dense material substance. The discovery of this homeopathic extraction process became the basis for the development of  innoculations…the birth of vaccines.

Female EssentialA miraculous substance, Sepia is known to improve overall mood and eliminate irritability, especially useful during times of PMS or menopause. Practitioners may use the tincture for bodily aches, infertility, libido loss, or exhaustion.

Female Essentials helps with monthly PMS and cramps.  It seems to address most female issues by balancing heat and cold fluctuations.  If chemicals release MORE power when they are reduced, then they become more innately deep acting—not just a band aid to cover the underlying problem, like most conventional medicines.  For $10., a tube lasts forever.  Check it out!

 

How Acupuncture for Low Back Pain helps Organs too!

Male Back pointsMost people are unaware of how Acupuncture for low back pain helps internal organs too.  Its well known success for back pain usually goes much deeper than merely achieving pain relief.  The ramifications are much greater.  When I apply a treatment of acupuncture with heat, special massage techniques and Electromagnetic Stimulation [PEMF]—all effective for regenerating muscle and nerve tissue, I often see improvements in the kidneys, bladder, metabolism and intestines as well.  For instance, many people report fewer sleep interruptions for urination during the night.  Some have noticed improvements in prostate function, erectile dysfunction or frigidity, and in intestinal and menstrual issues.

Sciatic-nerve-ppic1When our back aches, it is often the cause AND result of various other underlying problems in the body.  While inflammation can migrate to other joints and limbs, it often gravitates to the lower spine–one of our most vulnerable spots.  And yet this area is a vital command center for our adrenal power activation.  Therefore, whether I use laser, PEMF, infrared heat or acupuncture needles,  I find treating the  arthritic build-up or injury of the vertebrae, nerves, and spinal fluid, will also affect the neighboring organs.

The acupuncture meridian channels have all the qualities of a laser beam. In fact they ARE laser beams. So manipulating acupuncture points can have ramifications in the 3-dimensional body and beyond… Multi-tasking at its best!

Miracles for Dogs with Lasers and Electromagnetic Field Stim (PEMF)


Can Lasers and Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Stim [PEMF] do miracles on dogs? In my experience they have consistently proven to transform animals. I have worked with cats, dogs, and dairy cows with Acupuncture and they responded positively. Now recently I have treated three dogs with PEMF and Laser only, with amazing results.

The most dramatic change occurred in a 9 yr. old, fifty-pound Staffordshire Pitbull named Bleu, who had suddenly developed paralysis in his hind legs due to a lesion on his spine revealed by a veterinary MRI. For almost two months he dragged his bottom behind him until he was bloody. The Veterinarian offered expensive diagnostic tests but had no solution for Bleu’s condition. He advised putting him down. But in five visits with me, Bleu was walking. The first visit he immediately improved his incontinence…; after visit #2 he stood up; fourth visit had him walking albeit wobbly, and fifth visit he was on his way. Now the report is that he is running and back to his old self. The short video shows his progress through the treatments.

Rusty, a large 12 yr. old Rotweiler-Golden Retriever, was diagnosed with a tumor in his intestine. He became lethargic, refused to eat and was plagued with vomiting and diarrhea. With every treatment he continues to keep things down better and regain his appetite and his spirit. Bear, a 12 yr. old Huskie-Chow, was becoming an old dog with severe arthritis and old dog habits–stiff and lethargic. Immediately after each of his three treatments so far he seems to regain more and more of his movement and his spunky, interactive personality.

The electromagnetic field stimulator reestablishes the animals’ own electromagnetic fields exactly as it does for human beings. Just as an MRI uses magnetic resonance to diagnose, so the same magnetic properties can apply to curative treatment. And the laser has the ability to penetrate the skin to reorganize the normal functioning of the organism. The treatments are comfortable and speedy so that animals are willing patients for repeated treatments. And their positive response cannot be due to mind over matter! There is no placebo effect here. Thy are not expecting anything. They simply get better! Please use the comment button and share your feedback and responses with me and my readers.

My Media Gig about Cupping for Neck Tension & Hollywood Stars

I must share my media gig about Cupping away neck tension and its usage by Hollywood stars…  “Cupping,” is the term for an ancient technique used in Chinese medicine to eliminate the stagnant blood circulation that typically occurs around the neck and shoulders. Seems the sighting of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston with cupping marks on their backs has put this ancient practice in the news…  A small glass jar with a vacuum inside creates a suction that pulls this stuck blood to the surface capillaries. From there this old blood can easily return to the heart to be re-oxygenated so that a more active flow of blood circulation can be restored. (Here Jennifer’s marks have faded from red to white.) Other partakers are Victoria Beckham and Jessica Simpson.

I was recently interviewed by Agence France Press to do a demonstration of this procedure for their global media outreach. You can view it at this link: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/videonetwork/2571529145001/Remedy-of-the-Stars-Cupping-Leaves-Its-Mark-on-Hollywood.                                    I did two versions with different patients, one in French for some markets, and one in English that has already shown in countries all over the world. A French friend caught it on TV in Brazil.  When legendary actress Lee Grant was about to win an Oscar for “Shampoo,”  she declined this treatment right before the gala so as NOT to have marks.  We did it the day AFTER… It took 40 years for it to become fashionable!

What did not get included in the segment was my contrasting cupping with another similar technique called Gua Sah, a friction rub that achieves the same results with some added benefits. (The marks resulting from this style are visible on my patient in the clip.) In my estimation, it is more comfortable, more controllable, less labor intensive, and more thorough.  In my opinion, the second example of cupping performed by another acupuncturist shown in the video is an example of extreme over-the-top treatment that is potentially uncomfortable and excessive. Temporary raised red welts resulted from the strong degree of suction. This is not necessary to achieve results.

But both techniques perform a simple yet critical action of stimulating of blood, lymph and chi circulation around the neck and shoulders, and sometimes elsewhere on the body. These trapezoid muscles work overtime to hold up the 12 pound “bowling ball” that we carry around all day. And when it is hanging over a computer or a steering wheel, the head is more the equivalent of 20 lbs. Now with the trend among young people to slump forward, they will have even worse problems as they age.

This pandemic of poor posture across many groups and generations has become a pet peeve for me. I am on a crusade to help individuals learn to let their head ‘float’ evenly between the front and back by Leading with the Heart.  Pulling in the chin and pushing out the chest. Immediately one feels a relaxation of the neck muscles and a tingling in the nerves as they start to breathe. Meanwhile, one feels a new pressure in the chest and sternum muscles as they begin to work.  It is a good sign that they are engaging.  This constitutes a light work-out for these forgotten muscles, an isometric action that makes one appear taller, leaner, and more confident. I implore patients to let Vanity work for them! Work it—and your neck and shoulders will feel sooo grateful!

Furthermore, this area of the body is in the crossfire between brain and emotional center so there are tremendous psychological repercussions to creat tension there.  Even these actresses with great posture carry literally the weight of the world–and its attention—on their shoulders. Even for them– some form of emotional tension while working their sometimes stressful craft and maintaining careers. Here are two eye-opening links about them and cupping:

http://nky.cincinnati.com/VideoNetwork/2571546077001/Remedy-of-the-Stars-Cupping-Leaves-Its-Mark-on-Hollywood

and   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3879447.stm  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3879447.stm

What is old is New…!

PLEASE post your comments here.

 

Medical Pollution: Poli-Meds that Kill

Drugs

Medical Polution: Poli-Meds that Kill

Medical polution and poli-meds that kill is a problem that needs addressing. According to OffGridSurvival.com, “One out of every  5 U.S. adults is taking at least one behavioral pharmaceutical drug and more than one in four women is taking at least one mood altering medication.”  Dr. Mercola writes, “Death by medicine is a 21st-century epidemic, and America’s “war on drugs” is clearly directed at the wrong enemy!”

Prescription drugs are now killing far more people than illegal drugs.  An analysis of recently released data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the Los Angeles Times revealed that deaths from prescription drug use are increasing. The Times analysis of 2009 death statistics, the most recent available, showed: For the first time ever in the US, more people were killed by drugs than motor vehicle accidents.  37,485 people died from prescribed drugs. Drug fatalities more than doubled among teens and young adults between 2000 and 2008, and more than tripled among people aged 50 to 69.

There are few research studies on the effects of multiple drugs on a single individual.  The specialists who each prescribe for you are in different departments, different buildings.  Do your specialists confer with one another about your case? One gives an antacid; another gives a blood pressure medication; yet another an anti-depressant. Throw in an allergy medication.  How ’bout a steroid? An antibiotic?  As we all know, there is nothing unusual about such a concoction. Maybe you need another few pills to counteract ALL the combined side effects.  Now you might need a laxative for the drug-induced constipation, or something for the drug induced lethargy and lack of libido.

Recently I took a webinar featuring the fifty most popular drugs contrasted with Chinese herbal formulas for addressing the most common medical issues.  Time-tested formulas to replace the beta-blocker, the antacid, the steroid, the antibiotic, and the anti-depressant.  These carefully crafted formulas might act slower but have virtually none of the side effects of prescribed drugs.

The best thing about these formulas is that they do more than just MASK the symptom and numb the pain—an action which often drives the problem deeper.  Instead, the REMEDY is what goes deep to get to the bottom of the problem, working on the underlying causes. You could also call it ‘working upstream,’ getting at the cause of inflammation before it differentiates into arthritis, or a stroke, or any other possible inflammatory conditions.

I have had good results with patients going this route. A 12-year sinus infection resistant to antibiotics—Gone! Smell and taste returned. And in this current climate of HMO and Insurance company control of doctors and medical procedures, the ability to probe deeper has been removed even further from the doctor’s hands.  I’m told that an MRI MUST preceed a simple appointment with the physical therapist who might be able to work out that kink before it needs anything else.

Let vanity work for you.  Multiple medications confuse the body and make it age faster. Find an informed doctor who uses what is called “functional medicine.”  If the energy body underlying all the physical organs is not addressed, and if the mind and emotions are not exercised and healed, then it is like making a cake lacking crucial ingredients.  We are dealing with human bodies programmed over 30,000 years to have adequate exercise, clean air and lots of time between hunting raids and food gathering for simple relaxation. We must turn to Nature for cures and equanimity…!

I invite your feedback in the comment box below!

Dr. Mercola: Acupuncture and Chronic Pain

 

I am happy to pass on this article by Dr. Mercola about Acupuncture and Chronic Pain. It includes a study, an overview, and other alternative measures for pain.  Please comment below with your much welcomed feedback and…Enjoy!

cupuncture Confirmed Helpful for Chronic Pain

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By Dr. Mercola

Chronic pain is an exceedingly common condition impacting an estimated 76.5 million Americans, one-third of whom describe their pain as severe and “disabling.” When it comes to treating ailments such as chronic pain, I definitely prefer non-toxic options to modern medicine’s poor excuses for “cures.”

One such option is acupuncture, which can be an effective option for a number of health problems, but pain in particular.

In a recent analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,1 researchers concluded that acupuncture has a definite effect in reducing chronic pain, such as back pain and headaches – more so than standard pain treatment. Real acupuncture also produced slightly better results than using sham needles, which suggests the benefits of needling are due to more than the placebo effect.

According to Time magazine:2

“The findings counter those of the last large study on the subject, which found that the needle technique was no better than a fake acupuncture treatment – using random pricking with toothpicks – in reducing people’s pain. But Vickers says his meta-analysis of the data, in which researchers reviewed 29 previous studies involving 17,922 participants, does a few things the previous studies did not.

For one, he and his colleagues began by looking at only the most rigorous trials involving acupuncture and pain relief – those that directly compared acupuncture treatment with some type of sham needle therapy in which needles were either inserted only superficially or placed in locations that are not known by acupuncture standards to be key treatment points in the body.

The authors of the analysis contacted each of the researchers on the previous studies to discuss with them how they separated the two treatment groups. By limiting their review to the most robust studies published, the authors could assess with more confidence acupuncture’s true effect on participants’ reports of pain before and after treatment.”

Clear and Robust Effects of Acupuncture

The researchers also went the extra mile by retrieving the raw data on self-reported pain. By standardizing the various study participants’ responses, they were able to more accurately assess and compare them as a whole. The team discovered a “clear and robust” effect of acupuncture in the treatment of:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Headaches

On a scale of 0 to 100, participants who started out with a pain rating of 60 experienced an average 30 point drop (a 50 percent reduction) in response to the real acupuncture treatments (using needles); a 25 point drop when receiving sham acupuncture; and a mere 17 point drop when receiving “standard pain care” that did not include acupuncture. According to the lead author:3

“The effects of acupuncture are statistically significant and different from those of sham or placebo treatments… So we conclude that the effects aren’t due merely to the placebo effect.”

Furthermore, as reported by HealthDay:4

“The authors stressed that although the superiority of true acupuncture over sham acupuncture appeared to be relatively small, the real-world choice patients face is not between acupuncture or fake acupuncture but rather between acupuncture or no acupuncture at all. And in that context they suggested that their findings are ‘of major importance for clinical practice.’

‘Basically what we see here is that the pain relief difference from acupuncture versus no acupuncture is notable, and important, and difficult to ignore,’ [lead author] Vickers said.”

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice with roots that go back thousands of years. According to the Eastern mindset, your body is a cohesive unit, or whole – a complex system where everything within it is inter-connected, and where each part affects all other parts. A major component is the acceptance of an invisible flow of chi (or ki). This chi can be translated as “energy” or “life force,” which circulates through meridians in your body. When energetic blocks or deficiencies occur within a meridian, an imbalance is created that can cause a ripple effect of physical symptoms. Needles inserted into certain points along the meridians can stimulate sluggish chi, disperse blocks, or otherwise manipulate the flow of energy.

In essence, lack of balance within this bio-energetic system – which also includes blood flow and nutrients – is the precursor to all illness. Your body exhibits symptoms when suffering from inner disease and if it is not rebalanced, these symptoms may lead to acute or chronic illnesses of all kinds.

Chinese medicine, contrary to Western allopathic medicine, does not treat symptoms, but rather seeks to find the origin of the imbalance that produced the symptoms in the first place. Another major difference is that acupuncture, which is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is remarkably safe with few, if any, negative side effects, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to try.

Traditionally, acupuncture is used to treat all kinds of health problems. In many Asian cultures, you see an acupuncturist in the same way you’d see a primary care physician here in the West, and in someUSstates acupuncturists are in fact considered primary health care physicians. Still, many Westerners have been slow to grasp this type of holistic view, where your body is perceived as being perfectly capable of self-correction and healing without drug intervention. Scientists are still at a loss to explain why acupuncture works, but for those who get relief or healing, the mechanics may not be of great importance.

Other Alternative Pain Treatments

Besides acupuncture, there are a number of treatment modalities that can help ease pain, such as:

  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Few people want to be told that their pain is psychological or emotional in origin, but there’s quite a bit of evidence that backs this up. Underlying emotional issues and unresolved trauma can have a massive influence on your health, particularly as it relates to physical pain. According to Dr. John Sarno, a psychiatrist who uses mind-body techniques to treat patients with severe low back pain, EFT has a greater than 80 percent success rate
  • Chiropractic adjustments: According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine5 and funded by the National Institutes of Health, patients with neck pain who used a chiropractor and/or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain free in 12 weeks compared to those who took medication
  • Massage: Massage releases endorphins, which help induce relaxation, relieve pain, and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline – reversing the damaging effects of stress by slowing heart rate, respiration and metabolism and lowering raised blood pressure. It is a particularly effective therapy for stress-related tension, which experts believe accounts for as much as 80 to 90 percent of disease
  • Neuro-Structural Integration Technique (NST): NST is a gentle, non-invasive technique that stimulates your body’s reflexes, which can provide relief for back pain. Simple movements are done across muscles, nerves and connective tissue, which helps your neuromuscular system to reset all related tension levels, promoting natural healing. The results can be both profound and lasting, and are usually apparent within two or three sessions.

More Natural Solutions for Pain

If you have chronic pain of any kind, please understand that there are many safe and effective alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter painkillers, though they may require some patience. Among the best are:

  • Start taking a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil. Omega-3 fats are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work, they positively influence prostaglandins.) The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA contained in krill oil have also been found in many animal and clinical studies to have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Reduce your intake of most processed foods as not only do they contain sugar and additives but most are loaded with omega-6 fats that upset your delicate omega 3-6 ratio, which will contribute to inflammation.
  • Eliminate or radically reduce most grains and sugars (especially fructose) from your diet. Avoiding grains and sugars will lower your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels are one of the most profound stimulators of inflammatory prostaglandin production. That is why eliminating sugar and grains is so important to controlling your pain.
  • Optimize your production of vitamin D by getting regular, appropriate sun exposure, which will work through a variety of different mechanisms to reduce your pain.

In the meantime, you don’t need to suffer unnecessarily. Following are options that provide excellent pain relief without any of the health hazards that pain medications often carry.

  • Astaxanthin: One of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known. It has very potent anti-inflammatory properties and in many cases works far more effectively than NSAIDs. Higher doses are typically required and one may need 8 mg or more per day to achieve this benefit.
  • Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.
  • Curcumin: Curcumin is the primary therapeutic compound identified in the spice turmeric. In a study of osteoarthritis patients, those who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility. In fact, curcumin has been shown in over 50 clinical studies to have potent anti-inflammatory activity, as well as demonstrating the ability in four studies to reduce Tylenol-associated adverse health effects.
  • Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this herb contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which have been prized for thousands of years. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many rheumatoid arthritis patients.
  • Bromelain: This protein-digesting enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful. Keep in mind that most of the bromelain is found within the core of the pineapple, so consider leaving a little of the pulpy core intact when you consume the fruit.
  • Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a “joint lubricant” and an anti-inflammatory. I have used a topical preparation for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards.
  • Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain.

 

Acupuncture for Back Pain II

Let us look at Acupuncture for back pain—the pandemic in our society among stressed sedentary workers who overdo on weekends. So many people depend on NSAIDs “band aid” pain meds with deleterious effects even when easy alternatives exist. The great thing about treating low back pain with Acupuncture is that the treatment will benefit internal organs while alleviating pain. Certain trigger points for pain are also activating points for intestines, kidneys, and bladder. The adrenals—the power pack of the hormone system, are ‘ad-renals’ as they sit on top of the kidneys. Together these joined organs ‘govern’ the back, according to Chinese Medicine theory. So when the adrenals become run down from stress and agitation, they directly affect the nerves of the back, making it susceptible to stiffness and pain. This explains why so many people will suddenly throw their back out with no causal exertion or injury.

The low back is a vulnerable spot where our two bendable upper and lower halves are linked solely by the narrow spine and its adjoining muscles & fascia. This area gets both overworked and under used. The muscles become board-like and lose their flexibility, just like a new supple garden hose will eventually become brittle and easily cracked from oxidation.

When I treat the back, I address the muscles and the electrical conduits that run its entire length.  There are points along the Bladder Meridian running down the leg that pull low back congestion down and away. So I start with a vibrating massage tool to relax the body from head to toe to “wake it up” and get all the cells vibrating. The patient LOVES this part and can sink into a relaxed state of “letting go.” The infra-red heat lamp gives luxuriant heat to the area and helps break up inflammation.

 

Painless, fine needles are inserted so quickly that, in most cases, the brain does not have time to register any sensation at all. The heat from a moxa stick or the lamp penetrates the tissue and is also conducted down the shaft of the needle to reach the core of the tight muscle or the pinched nerve. It can flow into the joints, deep into the thickest part of the buttock, addressing the sciatic nerve and any inflammatory arthritis in the hip joint. The heat and the electric effect of the needle cause the muscle fibers to relax around the nerve, discharge the built-up charge, and turn off the pain nerves. The increased circulation brings in nutrients and carries away toxins. And the overall treatment induces the feel-good endorphins all through the body and mind…

If only people realized that they could alleviate their back pain AND balance and rejuvenate their internal organs at the same time. Then they would get it that this kind of treatment achieves much more as a ‘5,000 mile tune-up,’ and is worth pursuing.  After forty years of watching miracles happen, I feel bad for so many who still bear it in silence, allowing the condition to worsen while suffering from the accumulating side effects of pain meds.

One patient was on 10 Vicodin a day after 2 surgeries, was screaming as he maneuvered his walker into my waiting room. After 2 treatments he was almost pain free, and then okay ever after. I love those stories…! Please post your comments here on the blog in the box below and share Your views or stories!! I would love to hear…

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