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- Jean Donati Acupuncture604 E. Joppa RD
Towson, MD 21286410-984-3700
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According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, almost 50,000 people die every year from opioid overdoses, more than 10 million misuse opioids in a given year, and opioids are a factor in 72% of overdose deaths. You hear about the opioid crisis on the nightly news frequently but what can be done to help people deal with chronic pain (the reason they are likely taking the opioids in the first place). Can acupuncture really help? continue reading
In a nutshell, traditional acupuncture, also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, works under the belief that the body is controlled by a flow of energy called qi traveling through pathways in the body that are called meridians. Acupuncturists believe that when these pathways become blocked and the energy can’t flow freely, various health problems begin to appear. continue reading
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.
Over the past few days, I have had several patients ask me …”I am coming in for neck pain or back pain or shoulder pain…where are you going to put the needles”? Or if I have been seeing the patient I am asked “when are you going to treat my pain… why don’t you just put the needles where my pain is?”
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the flow of energy or Qi, moves in specific pathways called meridians. There are 14 major pathways, and these pathways interact with each other. Initially, when I first see a patient, I like to make sure that the overall energy is clear, so I do a few “clearing treatments” before I focus on shifting any energy in a specific pathway.
Your energy is like a garden. I want flowers or crops to grow, so I need to make sure the ground is ready for planting. This means removing any unnecessary weeds, or rocks or debris. This is what the clearing treatments do. They make the energy channels clear and ready for shifts in energy. The clearing treatments are generally on the front, or back of the body and can consist of 2-4 treatments if necessary. This is to ensure that the energy is moving in the proper direction, not being contaminated. It is like removing a kink form a hose so you can let the water flow.
There is another important thing to note. Say you come in for wrist pain, there are 6 pathways that encompass the wrist area. These include the heart, small intestine, triple heater, pericardium, lung and large intestine pathways of energy. They all start at the fingertips and go up the wrist, to the forearm. Some of these pathways diverge to the chest, face and back. So, needles may not be placed in the wrist for wrist pain if there is a blockage of energy along a pathway is say the small intestine at the level of the scapula or shoulder blade.
Traditional Chinese medicine takes all of this into account. So, when I am asked “When are you going to treat my pain?” My answer is… I already am…I started with the first session. Sometimes clearing the general energy blocks (which can include internal and external factors such as emotions, heat, cold, wind, damp, excess or deficiency, side to side energy pathway balance) can make a profound change in the symptoms you came in with and others you were not aware of such as sleep, mood, digestion and concentration.
My treatment protocol consists of the following…
Clear general energy blocks -Internal Dragons, External Dragons, Aggressive Energy, Alkabane (side to side balance). 1-4 treatments if needed.
Clear local pathway energy blocks form one pathway to another (Entry/exit blocks) if needed
Treat meridian root cause with local and distal points at each treatment after the clearing treatments
Ashi points or painful points not specifically on an energy pathway.
As a team, we are teaching your energy how to stay open and clear, but sometimes life gets in the way, and blockages can reoccur. Each part of this protocol may need to be done, or just one part, or perhaps several at the same time to shift the energy when it needs to shift. Each treatment builds on the one before, so it is important to have regular and frequent treatments early in your treatment course. As your symptom resolves, the length of time between treatments can be increased as long as you remain symptom free. Once we get to this point, I generally like to have my patients come back monthly for a tune up so that we can continue to keep their energy clear and keep them symptom free.