Tag Archive for Endorphins

Acupuncture & Meditation affect PTSD: Part II

Meditation for the Military

Just how does acupuncture and meditation affect PTSD? Many returning Veterans suffer from difficult syndromes including flashbacks of overwhelming violence. Or they cannot down regulate their learned hyper-vigilance. Fortunately, there is an easy acupuncture protocol that involves stimulating five points in the ear that can help to relax and energize an anxious or traumatized patient since the ear is an outcropping, the “keyboard”, of the brain.

Another randomized controlled pilot trial, this one “Acupuncture for post traumatic stress disorder” was done at the Department of Psychiatry Behavioral Sciences, and Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40202, USA. [J Nerv Ment Dis. 2007 Jun;195(6):504-13.] The study evaluated the effect of acupuncture for PTSD.  Patients received either acupuncture treatment, or a group cognitive-behavioral therapy, or a wait-list control. Both acupuncture and cognitive-behavior therapy provided large treatment effects for PTSD. Symptoms still remained reduced at the 3-month follow-up for both modalities.

For four decades since we founded the first acupuncture clinic in the U.S. at UCLA, I’ve been watching acupuncture affect people’s emotional states.  I have worked with clinical psychologists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Towers, and I continue to treat serious depression with acupuncture and electro-magnetic pulse stimulus. Secondly, research for my book, “Rene Daumal, The Lilfe and Work of a Mystic Guide”, (SUNY Press & Paris, France) taught me how much awareness of spirit and focus on sensation are relevant to the healing process, especially for the psyche.

From these two strands, I was able to connect the importance of sensing the nervous system and all the cells of the body, once I had experienced myself how much each cell contributes and magnifies my emotional state.  Eventually I realized that my ‘state’ was happening all over my body. I was able to collect all the first hand data into my Cellular Meditation CDs.  Together, acupuncture and this bodily meditation can help to reverse the course of painful life experiences on the mind and body.

Thirdly, in Chinese medicine, each major organ has it own related emotional symptom, but it is a two-way street. There is a feedback loop between the organ and the feeling. The mind can affect the organ, and the organ can affect the mind. Excessive grief damages the lungs or, if the lungs are weak, then melancholy may appear.  Obsessive thinking damages the spleen; and excessive fear damages or can develop from–the kidneys. Excessive worry hurts the liver and likewise, if the liver is toxic, then anger or depression may develop. Acupuncture turns on endorphins and aims at rebalancing these organs which calms their aberrant emotion.

When balanced among themselves these organs work together in harmony, as the ultimate example of Wholistic health! But when out of balance, they can then lead to emotional obstructions resulting in blockages, pain, inflammation and overeating from stress.

Truly, treating the whole body affects both mind and body. Together, words and stimulation of our body’s electromagnetic wiring can both sink deep to balance the waters underneath—of our mind, emotions and total apparatus.

Please share your feedback in the comment box!

 

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!

Emotional Abuse: Generational and Self-Inflicted

Hurting Hearts - PTSD

Emotional abuse, both generational and self-inflicted, keeps us in an emotional prison that we learn to call ‘home.’  As in my last post, this emotional strangle-hold is literally that: a strangle hold around our throat, our lungs, and solar plexus. “My heart was in my throat”, “I had butterflies in my stomach.”  Those individuals most heavily burdened emotionally often have heartburn, acid reflux or a hiatal hernia–all impairments that occur right where the emotional center is happening. It is not an accident. Most depressed individuals are shallow weak breathers. They are not getting nourished adequately by this precious substance that enters when we breathe generously with gusto!

Nowadays the term ‘mind-body’ is mentioned so often that one assumes one understands all its ramifications.  But most people do not understand that the brain occurs all through the body. The preeminent endorphin researcher Candace Pert entitled her recent book: Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind. In it she shares new research that shows that the brain’s activity is more dependent on hormones than it is on the synaptic action of the brain neurons. She claims the term ‘brain blood barrier” is an anachronism left over from our old paradigm of separating the brain and

body. She states that AIDS researchers have isolated immune cells in the brain that originated for instance in the bones. The interaction is constant. The neuropeptide hormonal soup is lapping up in the brain but even more so around the spine and the entire digestive system.

When we breathe deeply into our lungs and abdomen we can begin to break up the strangle hold of negativity in our emotional center. We can clear from its walls the toxic plaque made up of old griefs and grievances. When this dissolves then we have space for something new. The bions of light blasting us from our Sun and magnetism from our living entity Earth. As we travel every day about 25 million miles through the galaxy we encounter brand new energies daily. Every day going where no man has gone before… Imagine!

Please share your feedback in the comments box below. I would love to hear from you!

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…

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