Tag Archive for back pain

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!

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!

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!

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

September 29 2012 | 5,880 views | + Add to Favorites
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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…

Acupuncture for Back Pain

The neat thing about treating low back pain with Acupuncture is that it benefits the body in many more ways than just alleviating pain. The adrenals, the power pack of the hormone system, are ‘ad-renals as they sit on top of the kidneys, and 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 how so many people suddenly throw their back out with no exertion or instigation.

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 that eventually becomes brittle and easily cracked from oxidation.

When I treat the back, I address the muscles and the electrical conduits that run its entire length. 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.
After forty years of getting better and better at this, 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. I love those stories…! Please comment here on the blog and share Your views or stories!! I would love to hear…
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