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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Happy (Day After) Thanksgiving From CT Acupuncture Center! (Now Here’s How to Get Rid Any Digestive Troubles!)


Happy Thanksgiving!

Wherever you are, whatever the weather, I hope you had the happiest and most abundant of Thanksgivings!

After the turkey has been cooked and enjoyed, the various salads and pies and after dinner treats have been eaten, and then perhaps seconds…or so…sometimes the body has a hard time dealing with all you’ve asked of it.

Digestive disorders indicate that there is a disharmony between the body organs responsible for digestion.The stomach doesn’t realize it’s Thanksgiving and it needs to up its game! When this happens over a period of many years, digestive disorder imbalances occur.

The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment for digestive imbalance as well as a wide range of medical conditions, including upset stomach.

Acupuncture corrects the imbalances and regulates digestion. Specific acupuncture points increase gastrointestinal muscle contraction and relaxation and reduce gastric acid secretion, making acupuncture helpful in treating general gastrointestinal symptoms. Acupuncture addresses the acute and immediate symptoms that are occurring in your digestive system. Acupuncture evaluates more of your history and other symptoms as well to get a greater understanding of your body’s condition, and will then choose other point sites located on your legs, arms, back, etc. to facilitate a deeper clearing and correction of the chronic symptoms you frequently experience. Food allergies, and sensitivities will improve.

Diet is a primary consideration, as are emotional issues. Stress, worry, sadness, fear, anger, and all derivatives of these basic emotions will contribute immediately to the digestive system and its ability to “stomach” your experiences and your perceptions. Relaxation before, during, and after meals helps to enable a healthy processing of food. Troubles during mealtime may switch you to a “fight or flight” mode, which shortcuts away from digestion. (Perhaps some large family gatherings might not always go as smoothly as one would hope.) Meditation is a good practice to help you maintain a healthy frame of mind for longer periods of time.

Acupuncture will give immediate improvements, and a longer series of treatments will help to clear up really stubborn conditions with deeper and older causes. And isn’t that something to be grateful for!

For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo: George GrimmHowell

Americans Are Turning to Acupuncture More Often – Could it Work for You?


More People Turning to Acupuncture Treatments for Many Health Concerns

Have you wondered whether to try acupuncture? It’s not such a strange thought.  A survey recently published showed an increasing acceptance and use of acupuncture for treatment and health promotion.

The study is based on results of the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, a series of questionnaires prepared and collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. For over 50 years, the survey has monitored the health of the nation and tracked health status and health care access. The analysis, published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, looked at utilization rates, reasons for using acupuncture, and demographics. The researchers found that between 2002 and 2007 there was a significant increase in the number of patients using acupuncture.

Overall, the study found that six percent of Americans are using or have used acupuncture as part of their health care — over 14 million users, up from 8 million in 2002. The growth is impressive, considering that less than one percent of the population reported trying acupuncture in the past two decades.  Acupuncture has traditionally been used as a complementary or alternative treatment, however, this report demonstrated that a growing population of people are using acupuncture to promote their general health.

What else are people seeking acupuncture for? A special analysis of acupuncture data from an earlier National Health Interview Survey also found that pain or musculoskeletal complaints accounted for seven of the top ten conditions for which people use acupuncture. Back pain was the most common, followed by joint pain, neck pain, severe headache/migraine, and recurring pain. 

The American College of Rheumatology, which is a major organization for medical professionals that treat arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases, endorses the use of acupuncture for chronic pain.

Whether it’s for relief of stress, chronic pain or easing of symptoms from a health concern, acupuncture can help! 

For more information, visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com



Be Thankful Acupuncture Eases Symptoms of Acid Reflux This Holiday!


Don’t Let Acid Reflux Ruin Your Dinner Plans!

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and many will feast on a whole sumptuous array of goodies. And then…the meal will have its revenge.

Acid reflux, or heartburn, is a common digestive complaint affecting approximately 44 percent of the adult U.S. population at least once a month, and 20 percent feel it at least once a week. Holidays, watch out! It occurs when the sphincter of the lower esophagus does not close completely. As a result, stomach contents leak back into the esophagus and even up into the throat, causing a burning sensation. Because the esophagus and throat do not have the same sturdy lining as the stomach, they cannot endure the strong acids of the stomach and become injured.

Acid reflux is also called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and it can lead to more serious problems. Often pregnant women experience GERD, partly because the stomach has less room and contents are more easily upset. Many people undergo dangerous surgery to heal acid reflux or take drugs that list serious side effects: irregular heartbeats, seizures, trouble breathing and a severe intestinal condition called Clostridium difficile. The great news is that you don’t need to take any of these risks when you heal your heartburn the natural way.

Acupuncture heals the channels of the entire digestive system, curing the underlying causes of acid reflux. Acupuncture helps ease symptoms and discomfort immediately, relieving indigestion, stomach ache and acid reflux. A 2007 study in the journal, “Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, as well as a 2006 review in the Journal of Gastroenterology suggest that acupuncture may be a viable treatment option for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, a chronic form of the condition.

Acupuncture may also benefit acid reflux patients who find their symptoms are brought on or worsened by stress, anxiety and emotional issues. Acupuncture works to relieve the body of these stressors by helping to calm the nerves thus inducing a state of relaxation. And that is certainly something to be grateful for!

Here are some tips that will make you feel like being thankful, instead of being in pain.

– Enjoy your food! Take your time eating at the table, preferably with loved ones, instead of in front of a screen.

– Avoid caffeine and nicotine.

– Avoid foods heavy in sugar or fat, especially ice cream.

– Avoid fizzy foods.

– Avoid foods that you’ve noticed give you acid reflux, such as spicy foods, acidic foods such as tomatoes or oranges or gassy foods, such as Brussels sprouts.

– Stop eating several hours before bedtime. This can be done!

– Eat highly nutritious foods. These foods will reduce your cravings for “quick-fix” foods.

– Drink more water. Drink more water. Did we mention drink more water?

– Reduce the stresses in your life. Again, this can be done!

– Increase relaxation with yoga, meditation or Qi Gong.

-See your acupuncturist!

For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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Sources: “Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics”; Clinical trial: acupuncture vs. doubling the proton pump inhibitor dose in refractory heartburn; R. Dickman, et al; September 2007

“Journal of Gastroenterology”; Acupuncture for functional gastrointestinal disorders; T. Takahashi; 2006

Photo: Alex Grichenko

Tears, Sprains and Bursitis (and More) — Acupuncture Helps with Knee Pain!

Happy Knees with Acupuncture!

Happy Knees with Acupuncture!

Let’s face it, we depend upon our knees. We sometimes can ask more from them than they can handle, especially athletes, or as we age. Conventional medicine uses drugs to reduce pain and inflammation or knee surgery to repair ligaments or replace knee joints when they’ve been injured. However, patients take on risks and possibly undergo lengthy rehabilitation with knee surgery. There is a safe and viable alternative. Acupuncture can revitalize the energetic systems surrounding the knee, enabling the body to heal the knee tissues.

ACL tear is one of the most debilitating knee injuries, in which case a knee-stabilizing ligament tears. Acupuncture helps to stabilize the knee muscles during the healing process and decrease pain and swelling. Less pain is good!

Often when people say they’ve torn the cartilage of the knee, they’re referring to the meniscus. A torn meniscus occurs very commonly in sports participation and even in the motions of every day life. The meniscus is a crescent-shaped tissue that cushions the knee from the leg bones and allows a wide range or motion. When the meniscus tears, the knee’s range of motion becomes limited. When the tear is severe, conventional medicine recommends surgery.

However, as in the case of other knee injuries, acupuncture can allow you to recover full function of the knee at a fraction of the cost and without the trauma of surgery. Without intervention, the meniscus can take a long time to heal because of limited blood flow into the area. Acupuncture is extremely effective in healing the meniscus as it increases blood flow and energy circulation, speeding up the healing process.

Cartilage tears of the knee occur from wear and tear. They affect the range of motion in the knee, since the patient will walk in such a way as to avoid pain. Acupuncture stabilizes the muscles of the knee to prevent their misuse. It also reduces pain and inflammation and speeds the healing process.

Medial collateral ligament strain occurs when the two ligaments that stabilize the knee are strained. This injury occurs commonly, resulting in pain, swelling and limited movement. Acupuncture is employed to treat the pain, swelling and inflammation that occur as a result of the injury.

Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease, or growing pains, occurs when adolescents grow very quickly. It occurs more frequently in boys than in girls and happens when the upper border of the shin bone (tibia) becomes inflamed because of the traction forces of rapid growth. Acupuncture helps to reduce the inflammation resulting from the traction and also helps lesson the traction forces.

Runner’s knee, also called patella femoral syndrome, occurs frequently in, as you probably guessed, runners. This chronic condition arises from friction between the knee cap (patella) and the thigh bone (femur). As a result, the thigh muscles become strained as they try to protect the knee. Acupuncture is very effective with runner’s knee, as it reduces pain and stimulates the muscles to ease tension, thereby reducing friction and allowing normal knee function.

Bursitis in the knee, also called prepatellar bursitis, occurs when the bursa, a fluid-filled sac at the lower end of the knee cap, becomes inflamed due to overuse. Acupuncture reduces the inflammation of this common injury and restores normal muscular tone in the area so that the friction is reduced and healing can occur.

Because of the large number of possible causes of knee pain, (we have listed only a few) we will discuss your health history with you and conduct a thorough examination of your knee and its tissues to determine the most expedient acupuncture remedy to will heal your knee quickly and restore complete function as quickly as possible! That’s worth a jump for joy!

For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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There’s No Place Like Home For the Holidays (and Acupuncture Helps You to Not Be Car Sick When You Get There!)

Don't Let Motion Sickness Keep You From Happy Travels!

Don’t Let Motion Sickness Keep You From Happy Travels!

Have you ever traveled over the river and through the woods, hurling in the back seat as you go? Or realized that flying makes you a queasy seat-mate?

You don’t need to reach for another in-flight doggie bag…acupuncture is helpful for those who suffer from motion sickness, and relieves its symptoms.

Acupuncture will treat nausea and vertigo often with immediate success. Depending on the causes, more treatments will be relevant. We will evaluate your history, your tongue, and your pulse energies to determine what more is involved to be treated. Emotions and diet come to mind, as well as other medical issues.

It’s not just motion sickness that can cause a stomach to be queasy. There are also other issues that can cause a person to feel nauseous, including food poisoning, dehydration, some medications (such as chemo), migraines, and vertigo. In a large number of cases, a stomach infection is to blame for the nausea, but in about 10% of cases, the root cause is unknown.

Sometimes, it doesn’t just stop at feeling sick…most people classify vomiting as one of the more unpleasant experiences in life. Acupuncture can also treat this evil sister of nausea. Vomiting is not a stand-alone symptom, is just stands out! We need to look deeper into all the interrelationships of your physiology to treat underlying causes. Acupuncture is a holistic therapy, considering the whole body-mind complex when considering a single symptom — it doesn’t exist alone.

Often low blood pressure people are sensitive to altitude and motion sickness. That relates to an imbalance between the neurological and vascular systems. Acupuncture is a wonderful holistic therapy that looks into all the relationships that are important for generating these symptoms. We treat several meridians, with local point sites to the surface of the stomach area, as well as back points, and leg points. A complete history helps to uncover all of the factors that can be participating. The procedures are relatively painless, and can even be relaxing. It is true that immediate relief is so welcome!

Don’t let motion sickness or stomach issues keep you from being happy at home for the holidays!

For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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Photo by: Alex Grichenko

Stiff Neck? Acupuncture Extremely Effective for Neck Pain!

Happier Necks with Acupuncture!

Happier Necks with Acupuncture!

Stiff necks are surprisingly painful!

What causes this awesomeness? Common causes for a stiff neck include poor posture, stress, extra hard work, reading or using hand-held devices too much, holding the neck and/or shoulders in an unnatural position (such as talking on a standard telephone “hands free”), sleeping without proper head support, poor ergonomics while working, turning and reaching at the same time, or even exposure of the neck to a cold draft. Chronic infections, flu, Lyme disease, etc, can also include neck pain. Many people suffer neck injuries from auto accidents and/or sports or exercise related strains.

Also, most everyone has times of stress, and when we’re stressed, the majority of people who are overwhelmed by it will tell you that the physical manifestation of their stress is tightness, muscle knots, and pain in their neck and upper back. The tightness in the upper back and neck creates a slowdown in the circulation of blood and energy in the area, causing energy stagnation. In addition, as the neck becomes tight and painful, the pain can move upward causing headaches, tooth grinding, and jaw pain; or it can move downward and cause back pain and tightness, wreaking havoc with your sleep, your health, your ability to back the car out of the driveway, and certainly your attitude!

Well, guess what? Acupuncture is very helpful and quickly so! The precise location of the needles depends on the location of the pain and whether it’s sharp or dull, constant or intermittent, and other factors. Often relief is felt at the first treatment, and usually only a few are needed, with range of motion restored. When longstanding pain or injuries are the cause, then more treatments will be needed, and acupuncture will help speed the healing process. In addition, acupuncture is good at reducing the tension in the neck tendons and muscles. It can help relieve the pain and tightness in the neck by increasing the circulation of blood and energy, and it can also help to relieve stress.  Acupuncture has a relaxing effect on many people and some even fall asleep during the treatment.

For more information on how acupuncture can help you, visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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Reduce Flare-ups! Lupus Sufferers Helped with Acupuncture

Feel Better with Acupuncture!

Acupuncture Brings Relief to Lupus Sufferers!

Lupus can affect people of different races, ethnicities, and ages, both men and women, but lupus is most common in women between the ages of 15 and 44.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects multiple body systems, causing inflammation of the connective tissue. It is a chronic illness, and there are four types: discoid lupus erythematosus, drug-induced lupus erythematosus, neonatal lupus and the most common form, systemic lupus erythematosus, (or SLE).

Lupus causes the body to turn its immune system against itself, resulting in widespread inflammation that can affect the joints, organs, skin and blood cells. Antibodies created by the immune system are supposed to attack bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and other substances that are invading the body. However, in individuals with lupus, these antibodies attack their own bodies, causing damage to their skin, joints, muscles, nerves, and major organs. Lupus has levels of severity, with mild lupus that doesn’t affect one’s life-style up to severe lupus, which can be potentially life threatening.

Everyone reacts differently. Depending on which part of the body is attacked, lupus produces a wide range of symptoms, They range from skin disorders, (acute and chronic), including the classic butterfly rashes on the face, pain and swelling in the cheeks, redness across the skin, especially after exposure to sunlight, to swelling, pain and redness in joints and muscles, fatigue, and nerve and brain damage, including headaches, memory loss, depression and mania. Lupus can also cause blood disorders, such as low white blood cell count, which causes immune deficiency, low red blood cell count (causing anemia), low platelets that can cause bleeding and bruising, and lung, heart, kidney and liver issues.

Acupuncture offers relief from the painful symptoms involved with lupus. As lupus tends to be a chronic and relapsing disease with periods of remission that can last for years, acupuncture helps strengthen the body and reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups. While there is no established cure for lupus, regular and consistent treatment with acupuncture can greatly improve the symptoms, especially pain management and fatigue issues, as well as regulating the immune system and improving the overall quality of life!

Acupuncture can create change positive change, and, along with important dietary changes (as it is found that lupus sufferers also suffer food allergies) and exercise,  acupuncture allows patients to maintain their health and lead a more normal and active life. Lupus can be a very difficult disease to cope with, but acupuncture is a wonderful tool to use in the quest for health!

For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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Have More Fun in Bed with Acupuncture (Reduce Snoring, Leg Cramps and Insomnia!)


Stop Snoring, Kicking People or Not Sleeping with Acupuncture!

Snoring, leg cramps and under eye bags just aren’t sexy.

Plus, when the Old Man (or, ahem, Old Lady) is snoring it can cease to be amusing pretty quickly! Night time breathing problems can disrupt sleep patterns, oxygen intake, REM sleep, and can even lead to more serious conditions. Nocturnal calf or leg cramps are an annoying problem that decreases sleep quality and increases stress and quite frankly can be quite painful! But guess what? Acupuncture is helpful and relevant for treating all sleep problems and can get you back to feeling like your fantastic self!

Here’s some reasons why it’s good to address these nighttime annoyances…

Snoring usually brings with it other health problems: headaches and sore throat, among others. Snoring can result from stress, sleep apnea or cardiovascular issues. Sinusitis is also a condition that is commonly a cause for snoring, and is a direct result of allergies. Sinusitis can cause nasal passages to become obstructed, resulting in noisy breathing. Chronic nasal congestion due to allergies is very common and can be relieved and sometimes reversed with acupuncture. Whatever the cause, acupuncture can successfully treat snoring and its causes.

Many scientific studies show the positive correlation between snoring reduction and acupuncture. People who receive treatment for snoring report better sleep, greater sense of well being and markedly less stress. Studies show that people who receive acupuncture for snoring cessation also decrease their risk of heart disease and stroke. Needless to say, stopping snoring can also improve your intimate relationships!

Speaking of improving relationships — leg cramps can cause tossing, turning, kicking of unsuspecting bed-mates and sleeplessness for all. Leg cramps occur in a high percentage of the population, with it being more common among women in the older age groups.

In most cases, leg cramps are occasional and harmless. Leg cramps are involuntary muscle contractions that can appear at any time. Muscle fatigue and nerve dysfunction appear to be more central to most cases, as well, although the exact cause isn’t known. Some experts believe they may be due to abnormal processing of electrolytes by muscles, repeated viral illnesses, certain habitual work habits, such as sitting too long without movement. Other culprits? Walking in high heels or working in hard soled boots, having poor posture while working with locked knees while standing and a forward lean, or standing with a foot up on a chair. Here’s some more — driving long distances with the foot plantar flexed against an accelerator or clutch pedal, exercise that involves jogging uphill, in addition to walking or running on the beach or a sloped surface. Dehydration, low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, could also be a cause of nocturnal muscle cramps. And pregnancy! Leg cramps are common in pregnant women, particularly during the second and third trimesters. Who knew legs could be so finicky?

So those are some of causes of nocturnal leg cramps, (and there sure seems to be a lot of them) — but acupuncture can help.

Acupuncture can effectively suppress overactive muscles, and play a role in promoting circulation, loosen the tendons, alleviate the cramps and ease pain. Acupuncture treatment for muscle cramps will typically involve restoring the liver energy flow and treating any problems with the way that it is functioning. Each case will be treated according to the condition of the individual, and we will identify the symptoms and body signs of each patient to diagnose the body imbalances, working holistically with the whole person. Repair of tissue injury can be accelerated, pain relieved, overall health and function of the liver, kidney and hormonal system can be enhanced, and the activities of the blood and qi are freed.

And that can mean no more night time leg cramps!

Last on this list of Night Time Annoyances…we’ve all been there — sleepless nights. When it happens regularly, it can can affect all areas of one’s life. Whether it’s due to a hectic schedule and the wheels that won’t stop turning, poor lifestyle choices, or an emotional crisis, a sleep disorder is never cause for celebration.

A sleep disorder can be caused by a large number of problems, including night terrors, stress, grinding of the teeth, or sleep apnea. In many instances, there is nothing that can be pinpointed as the cause for the inability to fall asleep or remain sleeping. And insomnia can be the worst bed friend of all. They just won’t let you sleep!

Acupuncture to the rescue!

In acupuncture, we reduce the tension in the upper body which will help TMJ and teeth grinding. It also helps with numbness to the hands that can show up early in the morning. Some people wake up so very tired! It is better to wake up rested, and acupuncture treats point sites that affect that. There are other point sites which are chosen depending upon the time of night you tend to fall asleep or wake up. This is because the meridian energy systems involved have their high tides and low tides at certain 2-hour intervals.

Acupuncture combined with lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Luckily most people experience improvement quickly, with few treatments.

Acupuncture helps snoring cease, dreams become sweet and legs to be happy! Before turning to prescription drugs, give acupuncture a try. It might be the answer you’re (about to be) dreaming of!

For more information visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

Attack of the Intruders of the Flu Kind? Acupuncture Boosts Your Immune System…

Acupuncture Keeps Colds at Bay

Acupuncture and a Healthy Diet Keeps Your Immune System Happy!

Wouldn’t it be nice to be that person that never gets sick? Colds arise from viruses. Viruses are everywhere, all the time. We don’t catch colds all the time, though, because our immune system usually keeps us healthy. It’s when our energy wanes and our immune system struggles that we become susceptible to viruses.

Many Americans believe that catching two or three colds a year is normal. They endure the symptoms, often relieving them with over-the-counter medications that can cause serious health injury.They also take cold and flu shots, which can actually cause illness themselves. But did you know that you can live your life entirely cold-free without taking anything harmful into your system? Your immune system can heal itself the second an intruder sneaks in, preventing a cold from ever happening.

Chinese medicine practitioners and many traditional medical doctors, (including Dr. Oz) recommend acupuncture as a natural way to boost your immune system, keeping it strong against intruders. Acupuncture heals imbalances in your immune system and also restores energy channels that have become disrupted. When these channels are open, the immune function functions at an optimal level and your body stays healthy. Scientifically, researchers have found that acupuncture enhances the production of natural killer cells, the body’s defense mechanisms against viruses and bacteria. Acupuncture also regulates the activity of white blood cells, which also fight against infection and allergic reactions.

Diet also plays an important role in keeping your immune system strong, and often minor adjustments will make a major difference in you staying healthy. Simple diet modifications can greatly improve the functioning of the immune system.

During cold and flu season, particularly for people susceptible to colds, it’s a good idea to boost your immune system every few weeks with acupuncture. The great benefits are that besides avoiding illness, you will see numerous positive side effects, such as a deeper sleep, clearer skin and a more relaxed and positive attitude. Take that, nasty germs!

For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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Smile! Acupuncture Helps with Tooth Pain!


Acupuncture Relieves  Tooth Pain!

Toothaches can be painful! Toothaches can be caused by a number of issues, including a cavity, gum disease, impacted wisdom teeth, a damaged tooth, or an infection, although sometimes there are other causes. The pain from a toothache can range from a minor annoyance to severe pain that radiates throughout the entire head.  It can interfere with chewing and eating, and can keep one awake all night. Needless to say, it can certainly have a negative effect on your life!

Treatment for a toothache depends on the cause. Damage to the teeth, cavities, and gum disease are issues that should be treated by a dentist. For non-specific toothaches, a number of treatment options are available, and avoiding cold and hot food and drinks (which can make the pain worse) is recommended.

However, acupuncture is used successfully to treat toothaches and it is also effective in reducing post-operative tooth pain. It is a wonderful complementary therapy to traditional dental treatment. Acupuncture therapy is very effective in pain management and therefore, very effective in alleviating a toothache. Treatment is directed toward soothing the circulation and detoxifying the meridians near the affected area. Acupuncture point sites are on the skin surface right on the cheek at the site of the pain, as well as a few nearby meridian pathway point sites to help clear away the “blockages”. We help the lymphatic system drain as well. the immune system is given a boost to promote healing, and best of all…the treatment is gentle and painless. What a relief!

For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

Photo: Vera Kratochvil