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Migraines & Headaches
Treatment of Neurological Disorders with Acupuncture
A neurological disorder refers to a problem with the nervous system, a complex, sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates the body’s activities. Nerve pain can arise from trauma, inflammation, stroke, disease, infection, nerve degeneration, exposure to toxic chemicals, and nutrient deficiencies.Nerve pain is usually a sharp, shooting pain or a constant burning sensation. Typically occurring in the same location with each episode, it can often be traced along the nerve pathway. Sometimes weakness or impaired function in the affected area occurs, and the skin may be either overly sensitive or numb. Acupuncture can provide symptom relief from some neurological disorders, including: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) — ALS is an irreversible neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells that invigorate the muscles. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome — Also known as median nerve entrapment, it occurs when swelling or irritation of the nerve or tendons in the carpal tunnel results in pressure on the median nerve. Headaches — Headaches that can be treated with acupuncture include migraines, tension headaches, headaches occurring around the menstrual cycle, sinus headaches and stress-related headaches. Myasthenia Gravis — This is a neuromuscular disorder causing muscles under voluntary control to tire and become easily fatigued. Peripheral Neuropathy — This presents as damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body. This kind of neuropathy can be caused by diabetes and often affects the feet. Trigeminal Neuralgia — This presents as facial pain and is sometimes called Tic Douloureux. It affects the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for impulses of touch, pain, pressure, and temperature sent to the brain from the face, jaw, and gums. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been found effective as conjunctive therapy for several neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and in treating pain and inflammation. If you or someone you know is suffering from a neurological disorder or nerve pain, contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment!
Study Finds Acupuncture Effective at Treating Parkinson’s Disease
A 2017 meta-analysis published in the journal Medicine set out to discover if acupuncture alone or acupuncture plus conventional treatment could mitigate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Conventional treatment for Parkinson’s disease involves the use of the pharmaceutical drug Levodopa, but long-term use can cause mild to serious complications.http://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000005836 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5279085/After conducting their meta-analysis, the researchers concluded that acupuncture performed better than conventional treatment alone. Additionally, the combination of acupuncture with conventional treatment produced outstanding results when compared to just conventional treatment. Even more promising was the conclusion that acupuncture could provide relief for symptoms of early-stage Parkinson’s Disease, before the onset of drug therapy. Source: Lee, S.-H., & Lim, S. (2017). Clinical effectiveness of acupuncture on Parkinson disease: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 96(3), e5836.
An Adjunctive Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that progressively damages the central nervous system. This happens due to the wearing away of the myelin sheath, a protective layer encasing the nerves. Some patients initially experience strong symptoms which suddenly disappear as the disease enters a period of remission. Others may experience a more insidious process wherein mild symptoms develop slowly over time but ultimately increase in severity.There is promising evidence that use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine as an adjunctive therapy can help mitigate symptoms and some complications of multiple sclerosis, including depression, problems thinking clearly and emotional instability. An article called “Acupuncture and Multiple Sclerosis: A Review of the Evidence,” was featured in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, volume 2014. In this article, the authors assessed the validity of using acupuncture and Oriental medicine to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis. To do this, the researchers reviewed many scientific studies on the subject to reach their conclusions. Researchers demonstrated that remyelination, repair of the damaged myelin sheath, occurred in a significant amount of study participants. The article also showed potential in regards to treating the mental and emotional challenges faced by patients with multiple sclerosis were measured and shown to improve — including subjective feelings such as depression and the ability of the patient to handle their illness.
Relief from Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms
Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder that causes muscles under voluntary control to tire and become easily fatigued. More than half of those diagnosed with myasthenia gravis have eye problems as their first symptoms, including droopy eyelids (ptosis) and double-vision (diplopia). However, roughly 15 percent of sufferers report that their first symptoms started in the face or throat muscles.Someone with difficulties with the face or throat muscles may experience altered speech, limited facial expressions, and difficulty chewing and swallowing. The most severe symptom is called a ‘myasthenia crisis,’ in which the muscles used for breathing no longer function. This is a life-threatening condition, and emergency medical help is required immediately. As myasthenia gravis may affect any muscle under voluntary control, weakness could occur in other areas besides the face and throat. The arms generally are more affected than the legs, and symptoms may present in the hands and feet, although this is not as common. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but researchers have learned that the disease prompts the immune system to block signals from the nerves to the muscles. There is also evidence that a protein that helps the muscles receive messages is prevented from doing so. It is also believed genetics may play a role. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can support the treatment you receive from your primary care provider. As this disease is complex, all the things that bother you are reviewed, not just the signs and symptoms specifically related to the disease. If you or someone you know is suffering from a neurological disorder, contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment! 410-984-3700
In This Issue
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Symptom Relief
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an irreversible neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells, or neurons, that invigorate our muscles.Neurons are found in the brain and spinal cord, which comprise the central nervous system (CNS). As these cells weaken and wither, so do the muscles associated with them. Ultimately, this leads to a paralysis of those muscles. Early warning symptoms of the disease include weakness and fatigue of the arms or legs, and sometimes difficulty with speaking clearly. Other symptoms that may appear in early stages of ALS include:
In later stages of the disease, more severe symptoms reveal themselves. The muscles responsible for breathing, swallowing, and moving the body deteriorate to the point where they can no longer function. There is no known cure as of yet. The causes of ALS are not well understood, but it is accepted that genetics and chemical imbalances within the brain may play a role in the disease’s development. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can assist in managing the symptoms of ALS, including muscle weakness and cramping, fatigue, and emotional issues. According to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, the kidneys are responsible for the production and control of a vital substance called marrow, which produces essential components that make up a healthy central nervous system. The brain is considered a repository for marrow, and is thus termed the Sea of Marrow. When the kidneys are deficient, this condition can negatively impact the central nervous system. When kidney deficiency occurs, it is important to nourish and revitalize them, so they can in turn help nourish and revitalize the brain.
PTSD and Acupuncture
Those who have experienced trauma including, physical, emotional and sexual trauma can experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for months to years after the initial event. Traumatic events can include physical events such as experiencing or witnessing a car accident or near-death experience, physical combat such as faced by veterans in war, and sexual trauma in the form of incest, rape or unwanted sexual encounters. Individuals can carry the remnants of those events with them for a long time. These remnants often continue to affect them in profound ways, disrupting their relationships, their overall mental health, and their daily lives. Acupuncture is one of the modalities which can address the physical and emotional aftermath of traumatic events and assist on the path of healing.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a physiological disorder that can result from being exposed to any traumatic event. The disorder results in symptoms that can be different for each individual.
Possible symptoms include:
- Some PTSD sufferers relive the traumatic event over and over. Flashbacks, memories, and nightmares are common. Often, sounds, smells, and sights can trigger a flashback.
- Avoidance is also common. Individuals with PTSD avoid people, places and events that remind them of the event.
- Numbing is another self-preservation mechanism. Numbing can include difficulty expressing emotions, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, and the loss of memory of parts of the traumatic event. Certain memories may resurface yeas after the event took place. This is a common occurrence.
- Arousal can be exhibited by anger, irritability, trouble concentrating or sleeping, feeling on guard and being easily startled or surprised.
The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in someone’s life can be wide ranging. An individual with PTSD may have feelings of hopelessness, shame and despair. There may be problems at work. Relationships may be strained. Serious health conditions such as depression, anxiety and drug or alcohol abuse are not uncommon. Other health issues include insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression, digestive disorders, anorexia, bulimia, difficulty with concentration and focus, and headaches.
How Can I Help my Friend or Relative with PTSD?
There are many ways you can help your friend or relative with PTSD.
- Learn everything you can about PTSD. Knowledge is power. The more you know about the disorder, the better you can understand what your friend is going through and why they are responding the way they are to specific triggers.
- Offer your assistance. This may be going to physician visits with them, keeping track of medications, or going with them to therapy. If your friend is learning new techniques to cope with stress try learn the new techniques with them. Be supportive as possible.
- Be available and fully present to listen. Listen with a compassionate open heart. Don’t judge, argue, or problem-solve. Your friend my not be willing or able to talk. That is ok, just sitting with someone in silence may be what they need.
- Plan fun activities to get them out and about. Be aware of events or environments that are difficult and plan events to be as stress-free as possible.
- Pay attention to any comments about hurting themselves and report them to the therapist or doctor. If necessary, call 911.
- Sometimes supporting someone with PTSD is challenging. Get support for yourself so you are able to help your friend or loved one. Seek safety and help immediately if your friend or relative becomes violent or threatening.
PTSD Crisis Resources
If you or your loved one is in crisis:
- Call 911.
- Go to your nearest Emergency Room.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in Spanish/Español 1-888-628-9454.
- Go to the veterans crisis website at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ to chat live with a crisis counselor at any time of day or night.
- Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or chat online 24/7 at https://www.rainn.org/resources
There are many new treatments available for people who have experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse, assault, and trauma. Acupuncture can foster a safe environment for healing and growth. Jean Donati Acupuncture has experience in treating patients with PTSD. For more information, please call 410-984-3700 for a confidential discussion.
Allergic Rhinitis? Try Acupuncture for Relief!
For many sufferers of allergic rhinitis, there’s no need to hear a news report detailing the pollen count outside, as their runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes will let them know. Often these symptoms strike in the summer and spring, but some patients also have symptoms due to an allergy to dust, mites or dander, to name a few. This condition is more commonly referred to as hay fever, seasonal allergies, or just plain allergies.
Symptoms typically include sneezing, runny nose, postnasal drip, and irritated eyes, ears, nose and throat. Normally, when a healthy body comes into contact with foreign particles in the air (allergens), the immune system initiates a response to neatly and harmlessly dispose of the allergens—not so for sufferers of hay fever. In their case, the immune system becomes hyperactive and destructive to the body, causing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine recognize allergic rhinitis as a condition that is provoked by external factors, although it generally occurs because the body already has a pre-existing deficiency. For example, some patients with a long-standing lung Qi deficiency are more susceptible to dust, dander, pollen, etc. in the air.
The Qi circulating in the lungs and its corresponding meridians is called lung Qi. When lung Qi is not strong, problems with breathing, coughing and general immunity may arise because the lungs are related to defensive Qi. As the name implies, this Qi functions in the same capacity as the immune system.
The nose is the sense organ corresponding to the lungs, so when there are blockages in the lung meridian, the nose also may be obstructed. Emotions associated with the lungs are grief and sadness. Sometimes after crying or an attack of allergic rhinitis, one may experience a stuffy nose, red eyes and irregular breathing, which reflects the strain on the lungs. A good way to counter these symptoms is to concentrate on deep, regular breaths which can help stabilize the emotions as well. In general, aerobic exercise is an excellent way to strengthen lung Qi, which in turn helps strengthen general immunity.
Acupuncture treatments may be used year-round, even if your allergies only occur in certain seasons or in the presence of certain allergens. When your allergy symptoms are not active any underlying deficiency you may have can be addressed.
If you have allergies, call 410-984-3700 today to see what acupuncture and Chinese medicine can do for you!
Chinese Medicine for Asthma Relief
Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the lungs and, consequently, a narrowing of the bronchial tubes–also known as the air passages. This makes breathing difficult as airflow is restricted. Tell-tale signs of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and a feeling of tightness in the chest. Some substances and conditions may cause or worsen the symptoms of asthma including physical activity, cold air, smoke, emotional distress or airborne allergens.
Conventional medical treatment offers a variety of pharmaceutical drugs, which are specific to the patient’s triggers and symptoms of asthma. If you suffer from asthma, additional treatment from your acupuncture and Chinese medicine practitioner in addition to conventional medical treatment may prove to be a winning combination.
A study called “Immunomodulatory Effects of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Allergic Asthma: A Randomized Controlled Study”, published in 2007 in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, demonstrates the role acupuncture and Chinese medicine can have in the treatment of asthma symptoms. At the end of the study, it was shown that 79 percent of the study group felt an improvement in their general well-being. Significant improvements in the immune system were detected from the blood samples collected by the study group as well. The authors of the study were able to conclude that acupuncture, in conjunction with standard treatment, provides outstanding improvements to the immune system.
There are a few things one can do at home to help lessen the severity of asthma symptoms. According to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, the environment plays an important role in the health of an individual. For example, if one lives in a cold, damp environment, it may prove to be problematic. Not only may the cold contribute to constriction of the bronchial tubes, but the damp air may foster mold or other airborne pollutants that can irritate the air passages as well.
While it may not be possible to move to another climate, it is possible to focus on removing dust, animal dander, and other pollutants from your home. If your home is damp, consider using a dehumidifier, as this will help in eliminating mold. Sometimes breathing in cold air can cause wheezing and trouble breathing, so covering your mouth and nose in an effort to warm your breath may be helpful.
For soothing relief on a cold day, try a nourishing, warm soup. Keep the ingredients simple, the less processed and refined your food is, the easier it is on your digestive system. According to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, phlegm is produced in the stomach, but stored in the lungs. This is a direct reference to the importance of eating well and avoiding phlegm-producing foods.
Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising every day will help strengthen your immune system as well. If you are finding it difficult to lose weight and lack motivation to exercise, this is something your practitioner of acupuncture and Chinese medicine can assist you with. If an addiction to smoking is contributing to your symptoms of asthma, there are treatment protocols to help reduce cravings for nicotine and other substances.
Acupuncture Provides Allergic Rhinitis Relief
The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study that showed that acupuncture can significantly relieve allergic rhinitis symptoms.
In this German study, 5,237 men and women were analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture in addition to routine care in patients with allergic rhinitis, compared to treatment with routine care alone.
In this trial, patients with allergic rhinitis were randomly allocated to receive acupuncture for a three month period or to a control group that received no acupuncture. All patients were allowed to receive routine medical care. The Rhinitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ) and general health-related quality of life (36-Item Short-Form Health Survey) were evaluated at baseline and after three and six months.
Improvements were noted at the three- and six-month evaluations for the patients receiving acupuncture. The authors of this trial concluded that treating patients with allergic rhinitis in routine care with additional acupuncture leads to clinically relevant and persistent benefits.
Source: European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2008 Nov;101(5):535-43.
Study Shows Reduced Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
A study “The Effects of Acupuncture on Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis,” published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in February of 2013, brings encouraging news for sufferers of seasonal allergies.
Researchers set out to determine if acupuncture treatments plus the use of antihistamine drugs could significantly reduce symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis. 46 physicians from 6 hospitals and 32 outpatient medical clinics contributed to the large-scale trial.
All of the study participants tested positive for allergies to birch and grass pollen. Their symptoms included nasal blockages and runny noses. An evaluation occurred at 8 weeks, after the patients underwent 12 sessions of treatment each.
Patients who received real acupuncture treatments experienced a statistically important reduction in their symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis when compared to the sham acupuncture and histamine-only groups. Additionally, the real acupuncture group also witnessed a reduction in the need for antihistamines to manage their symptoms.
Source: M. Ortiz, C.M. Witt, S. Roll, K. Linde, F. Pfab, B. Niggemann, J. Hummelsberger, A. Treszl, J. Ring, T. Zuberbier, K. Wegscheider, and S.N. Willich. The Effects of Acupuncture on Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. (2013). Annals of Internal Medicine, 158(4), I. https://doi.org/10.73260003-4819-158-4-201302190-00001
Small Study Finds Reduction in Adult Bronchial Asthma Symptoms
To study the effects of acupuncture for the treatment of adult bronchial asthma, researchers conducted a clinical trial in 2009 called “Effects of Acupuncture Treatment in Patients with Bronchial Asthma.”
The results appeared in the journal Japanese Acupuncture and Moxibustion. The trial demonstrated that acupuncture is an effective and safe therapy to help reduce the symptoms of adult bronchial asthma, which causes inflammation of the airways, wheezing and dyspnea (labored breathing).
During the study, participants with mild to severe bronchial asthma received one acupuncture treatment per week for a total of 10 weeks. The number of asthma attacks and the unpleasant sensations of dyspnea, were recorded before and after treatments. Each patient’s level of difficulty breathing, whether on the inhalation or exhalation, was reported subjectively.
Researchers reported that acupuncture treatments significantly alleviated the patients’ dyspnea, and there was a major decline in their number of asthma attacks. There were no negative side effects resulting from treatment.
Source: Suzuki, M., Namura, K., Egawa, M., & Yano, T. (2006). Effect of Acupuncture Treatment in Patients with Bronchial Asthma. Zen Nihon Shinkyu Gakkai Zasshi (Journal of the Japan Society of Acupuncture and Moxibustion), 56(4), 616–627. https://doi.org/10.3777/jjsam.56.616 https://ssl.jsam.jp/onlineJournal/pdf2/39.pdf
|Jean Donati Acupuncture, LLC
604 E. Joppa Rd
Towson, MD 21286
The Health Benefits of Acupuncture and Yoga
Acupuncture is an ancient healing technique originating in China over 5000 years ago. It is the process of moving qi (chee) or energy, in the body to decrease pain, facilitate health, wellness, and allow the body to heal itself. Disruption of qi energy is responsible for pain and illness in the body. By using certain acupuncture points, this energy is allowed to move freely and decrease pain and improve health.
The practice of yoga can be traced back to Northern India 5000 years ago. It incorporates body postures, meditation, breathing and relaxation techniques all dedicated to moving prana or energy.
Acupuncture and yoga share the philosophy of connecting the body, mind, and spirit. Through the practice of acupuncture and yoga, you can experience many health benefits.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine the benefits of acupuncture and yoga include….
*Pain relief, in particular, improving back pain.
*Easing arthritis symptoms.
*Benefiting heart health
*Relaxation for improved sleep
*Increased energy, brighter moods and mental clarity.
Both and acupuncture and yoga benefit the whole person by enhancing health of multiple body systems and increasing the sense of well-being.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture to be helpful for many conditions affecting the body, mind, and spirit. These include pain, stress, nausea and vomiting, headache and sciatica, plus many more medical conditions.
Come enjoy Acupuncture with Jean Donati Acupuncture in Towson, MD., and Yoga with Janet. Your body will thank you for it.
Schedule an acupuncture appointment with Jean Donati Acupuncture in Towson, MD here https://www.East2WestMedicine.com
Schedule a virtual yoga class with Yoga with Janet here https://www.yogawithjanet.yoga/