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Acupuncture

Boost Your Workout Performance and Injury Recovery

Qi Mail™
The Acupuncture Newsletter

July 2018

Vicki (Jessop) Irwin Lic. Ac., MAc, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)
Acupuncture Center of Southern NH
71 Spit Brook Road, Suite 407
Nashua, NH 03060
603-589-9805

Oriental Medicine for Injury Rehab and Relief

After sustaining an injury, the healing process goes through two stages. The first is called the acute stage and is characterized by redness, swelling, inflammation and pain. The second is the chronic stage in which a patient may experience pain only when overusing the injured body part. Noticeable signs of inflammation may be nonexistent or minimal. In general, acute stages last from a few days to about three weeks, at which point any residual problems and pain are considered to have reached the chronic stage.

Physical trauma resulting from accidents, post-operative conditions, labor, disease or other causes requires different treatment for each stage of convalescence. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine provide a comprehensive treatment from the very beginning of an injury throughout recovery. To help rehabilitate a patient and provide pain relief after an injury, a practitioner may have to resolve a condition known as blood stasis.

Blood stasis, according to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, occurs when the flow of blood slows down and blood begins to congeal. The pain associated with this condition is fixed, sharp and with clear boundaries. This means the pain does not change locations and can be located precisely by the patient.

A good example of blood stasis is a bruise on the leg. Judging by the color changes on the skin, unpleasant sensations and perhaps some puffiness, it is evident the leg endured a physical trauma. All evidence points to an eruption of blood vessels resulting in a small, visible pool of blood.

For a patient contending with the aftermath of an injury, getting back on one's feet again may take a variety of modalities to provide pain relief and help in regaining full mobility and range of motion in the injured area.

If you have suffered physical trauma and still experience pain or other symptoms as you enter the chronic stage of recovery call for an appointment today!

 

Boost Your Fitness and Sports Performance

When a top athlete like Kobe Bryant tweets a picture of acupuncture needles in his leg, you know it's time to consider how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help improve your sports performance. All athletes and coaches are involved in an ongoing search for ways to improve performance and gain a competitive edge over their rivals. Many are finding that acupuncture can often provide that edge.

From moving more fluidly to recovering from an injury, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you to stay active, boost your fitness level, and recover more quickly. By following the principles of Oriental medicine, an acupuncture treatment can strengthen body function and restore internal harmony and balance. Professional sports teams and top athletes often have an acupuncturist on staff to treat injuries and keep them performing at their peak.

Practitioners of Oriental medicine can help athletes, or even the amateur "weekend warrior," in many ways. In addition to acupuncture, tight, stiff muscles may be helped by manual techniques such as cupping, a suction-based massage, and Gua Sha, a Chinese form of friction massage. In 2011, researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen found that Gua Sha was effective at treating chronic pain and muscle stiffness in the lower back. In India, researchers from Majeedia Hospital found cupping helped to reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle stiffness in patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis. Cupping also improved blood supply to the area and simulated light exercise, leading to increased muscle flexibility in the region, researchers explained.

Some of the best Olympic athletes incorporate acupuncture into their wellness programs. China's 7 foot 6 inch basketball center, Yao Ming, used acupuncture and Oriental medicine to help him recover after undergoing surgery on his ankle. Chinese swimmer, Wang Qun, was photographed doing some last minute
training in Beijing with round marks on her back from cupping.

Call today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you meet your fitness goals and assist in recovering from an injury!

 

Want Less Pain and a Faster Recovery?

Acupuncture is well known for its effectiveness in reducing most types of pain, including pain from sports-related injuries due to trauma, or overuse syndromes involving the musculoskeletal system and its soft tissues. Trauma to these soft tissues, including ligaments, tendons and muscles are generally the result from a fall, blow, sprain/strain, collision, compression, or disruption of the healing process due to inflammation.

Due to its broad range of applications, acupuncture can be used during any of the phases of the injury healing process. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine may be used to help decrease swelling, spasms and inflammation, in addition to assisting in pain management, increasing range of motion and promoting healing.

The focus is not only to treat the injury, but also to treat any underlying conditions that may predispose an individual to injuries. This is especially important when treating chronic or recurrent injuries that interfere with life activities or athletic performance.

Acupuncture helps reduce pain and enable activity for athletes experiencing Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), Plantar Fasciitis, ankle sprain, and soft tissue adhesion, according to the Acupuncture Research Resource Center (UK).

In a study that covered a range of injuries and acupuncture techniques, researchers found that the underlying diagnostic principles of Oriental medicine could be useful for treating sports injuries.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo found that administering acupuncture above a healthy Achilles tendon led to increased blood flow and oxygen supply to the region, which indicates that this treatment could also help an injured tendon to heal.

Furthermore, athletes with chronic rotator cuff tendinitis who received acupuncture experienced significantly less pain, according to a study from the University of Heidelberg.

 

Strengthening Exercises to Reduce Chance of Injury

One of the best ways to wake up is by giving your arms a great big stretch in the morning, and if you can get on your feet and throw your whole body into it, all the better. Deep stretches are an excellent way to stimulate blood flow and invigorate your body and mind. Not only do they feel good, but they can also be performed as strengthening exercises and help reduce the chance of repetitive stress injuries.

Repetitive stress injuries come in many different forms. A soccer player may contend with tendonitis in the knee from relentlessly kicking the ball across the field. A janitor may feel the pain of bursitis in the shoulders from mopping floors all day. Even sitting in an office for eight hours and typing may cause a person discomfort in the hands and arms, plus pain in the lower back from being sedentary for extended periods of time.

There are many benefits to stretching, even before a problem sets in. One may expect an improvement in posture, a reduction in stiffness from under-used muscles, and an increased flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. Perhaps one of the best ways to counter the effects of repetitive activities is through the practice of tai chi.

This style of exercise is flowing, rhythmic and meditative. The pace is usually slow to moderate. Some may even say those practicing look like they are engaged in a well-choreographed slow-motion dance. In China today, many people, some well into their golden years, can be found openly practicing tai chi in the local parks. Often, it is performed as a group activity, creating a supportive social environment as well.

Tai chi movements are very structured and coordinate with the breath to bring about a more tranquil state of mind. The gentle, continuous flow of the movements is well-suited for people of all different athletic ability. However, there are many common stretches that can also be safely performed at home if tai chi instruction is not readily available.

To help achy or tired arms and hands, try this finger stretch. Start by extending your arm in front of you, with your palm facing outwards. Spread your fingers and gently, one by one, pull each finger delicately toward your body. Spend a few seconds massaging each one if you feel inclined. When finished, wring out
your hands by giving them a good shake.

Another good way to loosen up tension in the hands and forearms is to do the wrist stretch. Simply tap the insides of your wrists together 8 times and then do the same for the outsides of your wrists. Your fingers should be pointing upwards during the inner wrist move, and conversely, they will be dangling upside down for the outer move.

The shoulders may need some attention and loosening up, as they tend to become stressed without us even realizing it. Every couple of hours or so, take a few minutes to engage in shoulder rolls. Lift your shoulders as high as they will go while leaving the rest of your arms relaxed. Roll the shoulders forward three to four times, and then roll them backwards three to four times.

Sometimes life gets busy and it's easy to forget ourselves as we delve into a project or work. Setting an alarm for every hour can help you remember to bring attention to those body parts which absorb stress easily. For many, these include the shoulders, jaw and lower back.

If reaching a level of physical comfort is proving to be difficult, call today for an appointment.

 

 

In This Issue

·        

Oriental Medicine for Injury Rehab and Relief

·        

Boost Your Fitness and Sports Performance

·        

Want Less Pain and a Faster Recovery?

·        

Strengthening Exercises to Reduce Chance of Injury

·        

Acupuncture Enhances Endurance Athletics Performance

·        

Injury Prevention and Healing

Acupuncture Enhances Endurance Athletics Performance

Many people realize the value of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to treat sports injuries, but did you know that it can enhance athletic performance?

In 2010, a German practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine specializing in sports injuries conducted a scientific study to measure how acupuncture affects a runner’s performance. The research paper "Improved Performance in Endurance Sports through Acupuncture" appeared in the German medical publication Sportverletz Sportschaden.

The study included 3 groups of participants, all of whom were runners. One group received acupuncture, another received placebo acupuncture treatments, while the last group did not undergo any treatment at all.

For the trial, all the participants ran a distance of 5 kilometers once a week for a total of 4 weeks. At the start of the study the maximum pulse rates were taken for each runner. Their pulse rates were taken again right after finishing the run and 1, 2 and 5 minutes later.

The pulse rates for each runner were then multiplied with their respective maximum rate. This new figure is what is known as the complexity factor. These calculations provided the basis on which the researcher could draw reliable conclusions.

While all 3 groups demonstrated positive results, it was the acupuncture group which displayed “highly significant” results in the area of athletic fortitude.

Those lucky enough to be in this group yielded the most significant improvement in their running times and complexity factors. Thus, the researcher concluded definitively that acupuncture increases athletic performance in the domain of endurance sports.

Source: Benner, S., & Benner, K. (2010). Verbesserung der Leistungsfähigkeit durch Akupunktur im Ausdauersport. Sportverletzung · Sportschaden, 24(03), 140-143. doi:10.1055/s-0029-1245406

Injury Prevention and Healing

Fitness clubs across the country are full of enthusiastic individuals giving it their all to get fit or drop a few pounds. Unfortunately, trying to do too much too quickly can result in a painful price.

Common sports injuries treated by acupuncture and Oriental medicine include pulled muscles, neck pain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, lower back strain, pulled groin, hamstring strain, runner's knee, shin splints, ankle sprain, tendinitis, and foot pain.

Treatment for a sports injury with acupuncture and Oriental medicine has two objectives:

1. Reduce pain and inflammation of the injured area.

There is evidence that acupuncture can aid healing and resolution of injuries, including reducing pain, increasing local micro-circulation and attracting white blood cells to the area (both of which speed the healing rate), and aid dispersal of swelling and bruising.

2. Prevent further injuries and enhance athletic performance.

The best way to approach a fitness program without causing injury is to avoid diving in. Instead, take it slow and get the joints and muscles you haven't used in a while ready to be used again.

If you suffer a setback in your fitness routine, call today for more information about treatment options

Acupuncture Center of Southern NH May Newsletter

Qi Mail™
The Acupuncture Newsletter

May 2017

Vicki (Jessop) Irwin Lic. Ac., MAc, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)
Acupuncture Center of Southern NH
71 Spit Brook Road, Suite 407
Nashua, NH 03060
603-589-9805

Treating Autoimmune Diseases with Acupuncture

Over 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disease, Addison's disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barré syndrome. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body's immune system attacks healthy tissue. Due to the complexity of treating autoimmune disorders, integrative medicine solutions including acupuncture and Oriental medicine have received much attention as successful treatment therapies. Acupuncture is specifically noted for its use in pain relief, regulating the immune system, managing symptoms, and improving quality of life.

What Causes Autoimmune Disease?

Under normal conditions, an immune response cannot be triggered against the cells of one's own body. In certain cases, however, immune cells make a mistake and attack the very cells that they are meant to protect. This can lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases. They encompass a broad category of over 100 diseases in which the person's immune system attacks his or her own cells and tissue.

The exact mechanisms causing these changes are not completely understood, but bacteria, viruses, toxins, and some drugs may play a role in triggering an autoimmune process in someone who already has a genetic (inherited) predisposition to develop such a disorder. As the disease develops, vague symptoms start to appear, such as joint and muscle pain, general muscle weakness, rashes, low-grade fever, trouble concentrating, or weight loss. Numbness and tingling in hands and feet, dry eyes, hair loss, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or repeated miscarriages may also indicate that something is wrong with the immune system.

How Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Treats Autoimmune Disorders

According to Oriental medicine, autoimmune disorders occur when there is an imbalance within the body. Imbalance can come from an excess or deficiency of Yin and Yang that disrupts the flow of Qi, or vital energy, through the body. Acupuncture is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while specifically addressing the symptoms that are unique to each individual.

Clinical research has shown that acupuncture causes physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones and brain chemicals that control a number of bodily functions. Acupuncture affects blood pressure, body temperature and immune system by these actions.

In addition to acupuncture, a treatment program to manage your autoimmune disorder may involve a combination of therapies, including stress reducing exercises, moderate physical activity, herbal medicine, nutritional support and bodywork.

To learn more about how acupuncture can safely and effectively be incorporated into a treatment plan for an autoimmune disorder, please call for a consultation today.

 

Study Finds Acupuncture Effective for Systemic Lupus Pain

Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for pain caused by systemic erythematosus lupus (SLE). These positive results were shown in the 2008 study 'Acupuncture for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A pilot study RCT feasibility and safety study' published in Sage Journals which assessed the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture as a means to treat pain associated with lupus.

At the end of the trial, 40% of the patients in both the standard acupuncture treatment group and the minimal needling group experienced an improvement in their pain levels of at least 30%. In contrast, the group that remained on their usual care plan reported no improvement in their pain levels. The study concluded that acupuncture is a valid, safe and effective method to treat pain in patients with SLE.

Source: Greco, C., A. Kao, K. Maksimowicz-McKinnon, R. Glick, M. Houze, S. Sereika, J. Balk, and S. Manzi. "Acupuncture for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Pilot RCT Feasibility and Safety Study." Lupus 17.12 (2008): 1108-116. Print.

 

Relief from Raynaud's Syndrome Symptoms

Raynaud's syndrome, also known as Raynaud's disease, causes a sudden constriction of the vessels supplying blood to the skin, largely affecting the fingers and toes. The symptoms, commonly known as an attack, may be triggered by cold temperatures or emotional stress. Most cases are mild and can be treated with lifestyle changes such as wearing warm gloves and socks, and avoiding rapid temperature changes. While not life-threatening, in rare cases, when left untreated, the affected tissue may become necrotic and gangrenous.

According to a small 1997 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, acupuncture is effective in treating primary Raynaud’s syndrome. The patients that received acupuncture experienced a statistically significant decrease in the frequency, severity and duration of their vasospastic attacks. The patients in the control group showed no improvements. Researchers concluded acupuncture was safe and effective for treating the symptoms of primary Raynaud's syndrome.

As a cold environment or object is often responsible for triggering an attack, this may indicate a Yang deficiency. When Yang energy is low, blood circulation may slow down as a result. Symptoms of Yang deficiency include feelings of cold, lower back or knee pain and a weak pulse. Treatment in this case would focus on boosting Yang energy, circulation and the immune system.

Call today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can improve your quality of life!

 

 

In This Issue

·        

Treating Autoimmune Diseases with Acupuncture

·        

Study Finds Acupuncture Effective for Systemic Lupus Pain

·        

Relief from Raynaud's Syndrome Symptoms

·        

7 Nutrients to Support the Immune System

7 Nutrients to Support the Immune System

A class of plant chemicals known as bioflavonoids has been found to dramatically reduce inflammation and improve symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders.

Tea
Both green and black tea contain the flavonoids catechin and theaflavin, which are beneficial in treating autoimmune disease.

Apples
Apples (with the skin on) contain the flavonoid quercetin, which can reduce allergic reactions and decrease inflammation.

Quercetin also occurs naturally in other foods, such as berries, red grapes, red onions, capers and black tea.

Carrots
Carotenoids are a family of plant pigments that include beta-carotene. A lack of carotenoids in the diet is can cause inflammation.

Good sources of carotenoids include apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, kale, butternut squash and collard greens.

Garlic
Garlic contains a compound called allicin which supports the immune system and has both antimicrobial and antioxidant qualities. Research suggests that components of garlic may reduce the incidence of cancer cell formation in the body in much the same way vitamin C does.

Ginger
Ginger contains compounds called gingerols that reduce inflammation in the body by inhibiting prostaglandin and suppressing the immune system's production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.

Omega-3
Omega-3 essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation. Good, natural sources include flaxseed oil and salmon.

Fiber
A healthy and active colon can decrease food sensitivity and lighten the burden on your immune system.

Acupuncture Center of Southern NH Dec Newsletter

Vicki (Jessop) Irwin Lic. Ac., MAc, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)
Acupuncture Center of Southern NH
71 Spit Brook Road, Suite 407
Nashua, NH 03060
603-589-9805

Treatment of Neurological Disorders with Acupuncture

A neurological disorder refers to a problem with the nervous system, which is 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.

Some neurological disorders acupuncture can provide symptom relief from include:

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) - ALS is an irreversible neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells that invigorate our 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 - A neuromuscular disorder causing muscles under voluntary control to tire and become easily fatigued.

Peripheral Neuropathy - Presenting 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 - Facial pain, sometimes called Tic Douloureux, 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 Oriental medicine have been found effective as a conjunctive therapy for several neurological disorders 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!

 

Relief from Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms

Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder causing muscles under voluntary control to tire and become easily fatigued. This happens when the muscles and the nerves that enervate them miscommunicate. More than half of those diagnosed with myasthenia gravis present with eye problems as their first symptoms. This primarily includes droopy eyelids (ptosis) and double-vision (diplopia). However, roughly 15 percent of sufferers reported their first symptoms started in the face or throat muscles. These symptoms included difficulty talking, chewing, swallowing and breathing.

Someone who has difficulties with the face or throat muscles as a result of having myasthenia gravis, may experience altered speech, limited facial expressions, difficulty swallowing, and chewing may become an exhausting activity. The most severe symptom is what 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 needed 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 nerve to the muscles. There is also evidence that a protein helping the muscles to receive messages is prevented from doing so. It is also believed genetics may play a role.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to 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 it. This may include questions about your quality of sleep, digestive functions and emotional state.

Let's say, for example, that you first notice fatigue in the legs becoming a problem and then over the next few months poor appetite and frequent diarrhea are added as the latest symptoms, the diagnosis may be one of Qi deficiency in the stomach and spleen. Qi is the most fundamental, indispensable energy needed for life to exist. Treatment may focus on strengthening the Qi in the stomach and spleen to help the body produce a high-quality, healthy supply of blood to aid weakened leg muscles. An improved stomach and spleen can bring back the appetite and help stop diarrhea. It can also help make extracting nutrients from food more efficient, which, in turn, supports the immune and nervous systems. It is important to maintain realistic expectations as treatment is only used for symptom management.

 

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. The central nervous system is composed of the brain and the spinal cord, and is responsible for sending messages from the brain to other parts of the body via the nerves.

The severity of symptoms and the length of time they last can also greatly vary depending on the person. Some patients initially experience strong symptoms, and then they suddenly disappearance as the disease enters a period of remission. A remission can last weeks, or even years, in some cases. 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 Oriental 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, a 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, including subjective feelings such as depression and the ability of the patient to handle their illness, were measured and shown to improve.

If you suffer from the physical symptoms of multiple sclerosis or, related mental and emotional issues, call today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!

 

 

In This Issue

·        

Treatment of Neurological Disorders with Acupuncture

·        

Relief from Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms

·        

An Adjunctive Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

·        

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Symptom Relief

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:

 ● Problems walking, including tripping and dragging the feet

 ● Tired and weak feet, ankles and knees

 ● Cramping, trembling, and twitching of arms and shoulders

 ● Tongue spasms

 ● Difficulty keeping head upright

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 developing the disease.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist in managing the symptoms of ALS, including muscle weakness and cramping, fatigue and emotional issues.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the kidneys are responsible for the production and control of a vital substance called marrow, which, in turn, 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.

If you experience any symptoms contact us today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!

Acupuncture Center of Southern NH November Newsletter

Qi Mail™
The Acupuncture Newsletter

November 2016

Vicki (Jessop) Irwin Lic. Ac., MAc, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)
Acupuncture Center of Southern NH
71 Spit Brook Road, Suite 407
Nashua, NH 03060
603-589-9805

Healthy Aging and Living Life with Vitality

"Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator." -- Confucius

Could this be the fate of the aging as Confucius decreed? To be able to enjoy the golden years of life implies a life well lived and that a good, if not excellent, standard of health was maintained. Our attitudes towards the elderly and aging, in general, are not always so encouraging. How to live a life with vitality and exuberance, one that can last until the time of death is not a foolish quest, but one that is recognized by acupuncture and Oriental medicine as realistic and completely within reach.

Oriental medicine has a long history of healing and rejuvenation that teaches us a great deal about aging well. Two thousand years ago, ancient Chinese scholars described the stages of aging in the Huang Di Neijing (The Yellow Emperor's Internal Classic). They remind us that we cannot change our genetics, but we can change how we live to extend and improve the quality of our lives.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine emphasize prevention over treatment. This makes a great deal of sense because treating an illness that has already damaged the body is much more difficult than preventing the illness from occurring in the first place. It is never too late. You can begin today.

One of the basic tenets of acupuncture and Oriental medicine theory is the belief that all disease results from the imbalance of yin and yang forces. Yin qualities include darkness, quiet, moisture and formlessness. Yang qualities are represented by light, noise, dryness and form. Running is a yang activity, whereas the rest that comes afterwards is a function of yin. Resting allows for the renewal of depleted energy reserves, which, in turn, makes activity possible. This is one way to describe how the dynamic relationship between yin and yang powers our life force.

The challenges of aging also result from this lack of balance between yin and yang energies. This means that some conditions and symptoms of disease associated with advanced aging may be mitigated by bringing these two energies into harmony again. For example, dry eyes and poor vision can be addressed by acupuncture treatments that focus on nurturing yin and increasing yang. Yin fluids will provide lubrication to the eyes, while an increase in yang helps ensure more energy can reach the top of the head to help improve vision.

Whatever your starting point, you can make positive changes to enhance the quality of your life. Supporting the different ways of improving your health and preventing illness, Oriental medicine promotes living a balanced life. A healthy diet, active lifestyle and emotional well-being are the basic components of Oriental medicine that help point you on the path toward a long and quality life.

Are you experiencing a waning in your Qi? Have concerns about conditions associated with aging? Call for an appointment today!

 

Six Easy Tips for Greater Health and Longevity

Aging may be inevitable, but your later years can be vibrant and healthy if attention is given to supporting your physical, mental and emotional well-being. These tips are just a few of the ways that you can bring balance into your life. You don't need to try doing all of them at once. Focus on one or two of them.

Practice Gratitude
Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, and optimism, and lower levels of depression and stress, according to Robert A. Emmons, a researcher and professor at University of California-Davis who has authored four books on the subject of the psychology of gratitude.

Dr. Emmons states that the disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life, but they have a healthy attitude towards them.

Make Exercise a Priority
People who exercise more are less likely to be stressed and more likely to be satisfied with life, according to Danish researchers. Compared with sedentary people, joggers are 70 percent less likely to have high stress levels and life dissatisfaction.

Qi Gong and Tai Chi are non-impact exercises that focus on repetitive movements with attention to breathing. Tai Chi and Qi Gong use gentle movements and low physical impact, which are ideal for aging bodies.

The benefits of these exercises include a slower heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and drops in adrenaline and cortisol levels. Making these exercises a regular practice can lead to better health and vitality. The Mayo Clinic reported results from two studies on these ancient practices that concluded they can also alleviate chronic pain.

Take a Day of Rest
Take a day of rest per week from your regular schedule to recharge. Rejuvenation for the body and mind is worth its weight in gold and you will be more productive with the rest of your time!

Get Good Sleep Regularly
Your body repairs itself best at night, so allow plenty of time for it to do so. Good sleep patterns follow nature. Morning is bright and the most Yang time of day, indicating activity. Night is the dark period, a time to slow down and enter the Yin phase of the day.

Poor sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Research has shown that getting at least eight hours of sleep is needed for good heart health.

Alleviate and Manage Stress Levels
Stress is a normal part of life, but if left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains or an irregular heartbeat. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and mental health.

In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a whole gamut of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.

Address Health Concerns Quickly: Don't Wait!
Many diseases can be cured easily if they are caught early, but people often put off seeking treatment. They ignore important signals that something is wrong with their body. We all get warnings about our health and well-being, but these warnings are like traffic lights. They tell us what we ought to do, but they cannot make us do it.

 

 

In This Issue

·        

Healthy Aging and Living Life with Vitality

·        

Six Easy Tips for Greater Health and Longevity

·        

Managing Osteoporosis

Managing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes brittle or porous bones due to a reduction in the bone mineral density. Bone is comprised of living tissue, which is constantly dying and renewing itself.

Normally, old bone is cleared away as new growth occurs. However, when new bone cannot be generated, bones become soft and weak. So, should a fall or coughing fit occur, a fracture may arise. In more severe cases, a break can occur without a noticeable event.

Usually the early stages of osteoporosis do not include noticeable signs or symptoms. In later stages, back pain, loss of height, poor posture or easily occurring bone fractures may happen.

Although anyone can develop osteoporosis, it occurs most frequently among post-menopausal white and Asian women.

Other contributors include low calcium intake, prolonged use of corticosteroid drugs, heavy alcohol consumption, smoking and an inactive lifestyle.

A patient suffering from the consequences of brittle and porous bones may be diagnosed by a practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine with a deficiency of yin. Healthy bone depends on a system of blood vessels to deliver nourishment.

Considered a thickened form of body fluids, blood falls under the domain of yin. When yin is in short supply, dryness is the natural result. A disruption or deficiency in the blood supply to the skeletal system may interfere with its ability to properly lubricate and nourish bone.

In addition to receiving acupuncture treatments to help nourish yin, there are some things you can do at home to address your symptoms of osteoporosis, including increasing physical activity and consuming foods high in calcium that support the skeletal system.

An increase physical activity that includes resistance, flexibility and weight-bearing exercises will strengthen muscles, improve stability and balance, help slow mineral loss and improve cardiovascular health.

If you have osteoporosis, work with a therapist to select appropriate exercises for your health. Choosing exercises with slower controlled movements such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong and avoiding high-impact exercises with jerky movements will reduce the risk of fractures.

To learn how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist in prevention and provide osteoporosis support, call for a consultation today!

Acupuncture Center of Southern NH December Newsletter

Qi Mail™
The Acupuncture Newsletter

December 2015

Vicki Jessop Lic. Ac., MAc, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)
Acupuncture Center of Southern NH
71 Spit Brook Road, Suite 407
Nashua, NH 03060
603-589-9805

Relieve Pain Naturally with Acupuncture

Increasingly, people are looking for more natural approaches to help relieve painful conditions instead of relying on medications. Acupuncture can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of what is causing the pain or where the pain is located. Some studies have shown the pain relief it provides can last for months.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain before and after acupuncture treatment for pain shows dramatic decreases in brain activity -- up to 70 percent. This decrease in brain activity in certain areas of the brain is thought to be the reason for the reduction of pain caused by the acupuncture treatments. In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.

The basis of acupuncture is expressed in this famous Chinese saying: "Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong" which means "free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain." In other words, any kind of pain or illness represents an obstruction in the normal flow of Qi or life force. Simply put, acupuncture moves Qi, restoring free flow.

Acupuncture has become readily accepted in mainstream modern medicine as a viable option for pain management and studies support its therapeutic effects.

In a German study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 1,162 adults with chronic, lower back pain were divided into groups treated with either the standard pharmaceutical and exercise therapy commonly used in conventional medicine or acupuncture. The researchers reported that acupuncture provided relief and lasting benefit to nearly twice as many lower back pain patients as drugs and exercise. Forty-eight percent of the acupuncture patients reported at least a one-third decrease in pain along with improvement in their ability to function, versus 27 percent of the patients treated with conventional methods reporting such benefits.

If you or someone you love suffers from acute and chronic pain, please call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you.

 

Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

Low back pain is an extremely common concern, affecting anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of people at some point in their lives. Low back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost days at work and is one of the most common reasons to seek medical care, including acupuncture. In fact, one of the top reasons that people get acupuncture treatments is for low back pain.

In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine analyzed 33 studies covering more than 2,100 patients from around the world on acupuncture for low back pain.

They found acupuncture provided definite pain relief in the short-term (defined as relief sustained for three weeks after the end of the acupuncture sessions).

In spite of the large number of pathological conditions that can give rise to low back pain, up to 85 percent of the cases are classified by physicians as 'non-specific'. When low back pain is examined from an Oriental medicine perspective, it is seen as a disruption to the flow of Qi within the area and associated with a specific disharmony and is treated accordingly.

The disruption of Qi that results in low back pain is usually associated with the following three disharmonies:

Weak Kidney Qi - In Oriental medicine, the lower back is referred to as the “dwelling of the kidneys”. The majority of chronic low back pain conditions are associated with kidney deficiency. Pain related to kidney deficiency is typically dull and erratic. It is usually aggravated by fatigue and improves with rest.

Stagnation of Qi and Blood - When the flow of Qi along the meridians that traverse the lumbar region becomes congested, it is referred to as the stagnation of Qi and blood. This presents with a severe stabbing pain that is worse with rest and better with movement, tender to touch, and can be accompanied by stiffness and tightness.

Invasion of Cold and Dampness - Cold, damp type pain is generally worse in the morning and when the weather is cold and damp. This type of pain improves with movement and the application of heat. Stiffness and contraction of back muscles that is aggravated by immobility indicates cold predominance. Swelling, numbness, and a heavy sensation are indicative of dampness.

 

Ah Shi Points

Not all acupuncture points have a specific name and specific location. Some of the most effective points to use in acupuncture are local points of tenderness. These points are referred to as Ah Shi points, which in Chinese literally means, “That’s the point!”

Ah Shi points were first mentioned during the Tang dynasty (founded in 618 AD) classic book Thousand Ducat Prescriptions. These points become spontaneously tender when disease or injury occurs, or in locations where Qi has become congested. They are not among the regular acupuncture points on a specific meridian or pathway.

Their locations are not fixed; they are the points that, upon palpation, are the most sensitive. In many cases, a small knot or pea-sized nodule can be felt under the skin at these points of tenderness.

The Ah Shi points are especially effective in the treatment of pain and are often used in conjunction with local and distal acupuncture points.

If you have pain, palpate around the area of pain to see if you can find the Ah Shi points. This is a great way to self-treat the problem.

 

 

In This Issue

·        

Relieve Pain Naturally with Acupuncture

·        

Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

·        

Ah Shi Points

·        

Post Operative Pain Relief

Post Operative Pain Relief

Research from Duke University Medical Center has shown that acupuncture can significantly reduce surgical patients’ post-operative pain and their need for powerful opioids to treat pain.

Duke University anesthesiologists combined data from 15 randomized clinical trials to reach their conclusion. Using acupuncture both before and after surgery produced the best results for patients, who reported lower levels of post-operative pain and a significantly reduced need for painkillers. In addition, acupuncture mitigated the negative side effects of opioids when they were used.

“The most important outcome for the patient is the reduction of the side effects associated with opioids,” said T.J. Gan, M.D., the Duke anesthesiologist who presented the study at the annual scientific conference of the American Society for Anesthesiology in San Francisco in October 2007. Gan pointed out that acupuncture is a relatively inexpensive therapy that has virtually no side effects when practiced by trained professionals.

Many other studies have shown acupuncture effective in reducing post-operative nausea and vomiting compared with other medications.

According to a meta-analysis presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists' meeting, acupuncture reduced rates of post-operative nausea by 32 percent, pruritus (itchiness at the surgical site) by 25 percent, dizziness by 38 percent, and urinary retention by 71 percent compared with control groups.

Acupuncture is excellent for managing post-surgical side effects such as surgical pain, loss of appetite, and upset stomach or nausea. In addition to strengthening the immune system and increasing energy, acupuncture is also a great way to reduce swelling, decrease stiffness and pain, reduce scarring and scar tissue, and assist with a quick recovery.

If you, or a loved one, will be undergoing surgery, please call us to see if acupuncture can improve your recovery.

Acupuncture Center of Southern NH Oct Newsletter

Qi Mail™
The Acupuncture Newsletter

October 2015

Vicki Jessop Lic. Ac., MAc, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)
Acupuncture Center of Southern NH
71 Spit Brook Road, Suite 407
Nashua, NH 03060
603-589-9805

Enhance Your Emotional Wellness

The upcoming holiday season can be filled with a dizzying array of demands, visitors, travel and frantic shopping trips. For many people, it is also a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness and anxiety. Compound the usual seasonal pressures with economic strain, and you may find this to be one of the most emotionally trying times of the year.

At some point in life everyone deals with major upheavals or emotional distress. These events can trigger a host of unexpected feelings and behaviors, from depression and panic attacks to major disruptions in sleep and eating. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can alleviate symptoms associated with mental and emotional health issues by treating the root cause of the problem to help restore balance to the body's internal environment.

Mental health disorders are medical conditions that can disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, and ability to cope with the daily demands of life or relate well to others. Affecting people of any age, race, religion, or income, mental health issues are more common than you might think. In fact, experts estimate that a significant number of people report symptoms that indicate sufficient qualifying criteria of a mental disorder. Some mental disorders are less severe and can be easily managed with proper treatment. Other mental illnesses are more serious and require more extensive treatment, including major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder.

From an Oriental medicine perspective, mental health disorders can cause a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. These energetic imbalances can throw off the immune system or cause pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, menstrual irregularities and, over time, more serious illnesses. Acupuncture treatments can correct these imbalances and directly affect the way your body manages your mental health.

Oriental medicine does not recognize any mental disorder as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual, using a variety of techniques including acupuncture, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 100 patients are treated with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for anxiety, each of those 100 people will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.

Mental health issues are best managed when health professionals work together to meet the unique needs of each individual. Acupuncture is an excellent addition to any treatment plan as it is used to help the body restore balance, treating the root of the disorder, while also diminishing symptoms.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners have the ability to detect energetic changes that occur in the body and relieve symptoms by restoring equilibrium. The physical and emotional symptoms that you are experiencing will help create a clear picture for your practitioner, from which a treatment plan can be created specifically for you.

If you or someone you know struggles with a mental health disorder, or if you would like to know how to optimize your mental health, please call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your mental and emotional wellness plan today!

 

Hope for Patients with PTSD

Acupuncture has been getting more attention as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, particularly from post-combat military veterans.

There are good precedents for the use of acupuncture to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Walter Reed Medical Center, a military hospital, is investigating acupuncture as a viable treatment for returning veterans. The results from acupuncture have shown that it is an effective modality for treating the symptoms of PTSD.

How does acupuncture help the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder?

Correctly placed needles help the body re-regulate itself from the effects of stress, PTSD, depression and anxiety. In turn, this allows individuals to focus on their activities and enables them to better cope with daily events.

 

Move Your Qi!

When your Qi (life force) functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly. So, for optimum health, move your Qi!

Stretch - According to Oriental medicine, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, maintaining tendon health and flexibility. Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine.

Eye Exercises - Although all organs have some connection to eye health, the liver is connected to proper eye function. Take breaks when looking at a monitor for extended periods of time and do eye exercises.

Eat Green - Eating young plants--fresh, leafy greens, sprouts, and immature cereal grasses--can improve the liver’s overall functions and aid in the movement of Qi.

Do More Outdoor Activities - Outside air helps liver Qi flow. If you have been feeling irritable, find an outdoor activity to smooth out that liver Qi stagnation.

 

Acupressure Points for Moving Qi

A popular treatment for stress, anger, sadness and frustration, the following four acupuncture points, known as the "Four Gates," are thought to enhance the circulation of Qi and blood throughout the body, and have a calming and analgesic effect.

LI 4 is located on the padded area of your hand, between the thumb and index finger, between the first and second metacarpal bones. Massage this point with your thumb on both hands for approximately 30 seconds.

LV 3 is located in a hollow on the top of your foot, below the gap between your big toe and the next toe, between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones. To stimulate this point, place your right heel in the juncture between the bones that attach to the large and second toes, and gently knead the point for approximately 30 seconds. Then switch sides to stimulate the point on your other foot.

Massage acupuncture point, Baihui, for mental clarity. Located on the top of the head, midway between the ears, Baihui is used to clear the mind, calm the spirit and improve focus. Stimulate the point with your index finger for 30-45 seconds for a quick "brain boost."

Yintang, a point located midway between the eyebrows, is sometimes referred to as "the third eye." Stimulation of Yintang is known to calm the mind, enhance one’s ability to focus, soothe emotions, promote sleep and relieve depression.

 

 

In This Issue

·        

Enhance Your Emotional Wellness

·        

Hope for Patients with PTSD

·        

Move Your Qi!

·        

Acupressure Points for Moving Qi

·        

Soothing Your Stress

Soothing Your Stress

As a normal part of life, stress enables us to get things done. Left unmanaged, however, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems. Stress causes a disruption in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, through the body. This can throw off the immune system and cause new symptoms or aggravate already troublesome health conditions and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop.

Stressful situations that last over a long period of time can create an ongoing low-level stress that puts continual pressure on the nervous system and can cause the overproduction of stress hormones (such as cortisol).

The extra stress hormones sustained over an extended period of time may wear out the body's reserves, leading to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments.

Stress is often the cause of illness and the deterioration of health. Finding a release valve for your stress can help you stay healthy.

According to Oriental medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing pathogens to affect the body. Through acupuncture, these energy blockages can be addressed. Acupuncture points can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but the stress and anxiety itself.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress. Acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out stress hormones like cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.

In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a wide range of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your wellness plan to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.

While it isn't always possible to remove the external forces causing stress, the ability to effectively deal with stress is a choice. Take time for yourself to cultivate the energy you need to handle your stress more skillfully and effectively.

If you or someone you know is experiencing stress or a related disorder, contact us for more information about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you regain peace of mind and stay healthy!