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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Save Your Sleep (and Other’s Sanity!) – Acupuncture Helps Relieve Snoring!

Acupuncture Can Relieve Snoring!

Acupuncture Can Relieve Snoring!

Whether it’s raining, or pouring, when the Old Man’s 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. 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. 

Your sleep patterns and your health history is examined to determine the source of your snoring. We then focus on specific meridians that balance the tone and tension in the many tissues of the neck and throat. Besides acupuncture, healthy lifestyle changes are recommended to help relieve your snoring symptoms. These lifestyle changes include a slight diet modification to improve the structure and quality of the neck tissues.

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!

 

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

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Suffering Sinus Issues? Acupuncture is Nothing to Sneeze At!

Breathe Easier with Acupuncture

Breathe Easier with Acupuncture

When you can’t breathe, and your sinuses are revolting — acupuncture can help!

Chronic sinusitis affects over 37 million Americans a year. Sinus pain can result from sinusitis, sinus congestion or allergic reactions. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the sinuses. Sinus congestion and sinusitis can result from a viral infection, as in the case of a cold. Sinus pain can also arise from allergies to smoke, pollen, pollution or cosmetic fragrances. In addition, our homes often contain air-borne irritants, such as household cleaners, carpet or varnish pollutants and dust. Even outdoor use of lawn chemicals and pesticides can trigger sinus pain. And the nose knows that’s no fun.

In the case of viral infections or allergies, usually the respiratory channels and mucous membranes are also affected. Sometimes the pain is severe, triggering a sinus headache, or facial pain.

If you experience allergic reactions or hypersensitivities, it helps, first of all to remove as many possible sources of allergens as possible. Obviously, in the spring it is impossible to get rid of the pollen outdoors, but it’s easy enough to eliminate most dust, household cleaning chemicals, cosmetic fragrances, pesticides and lawn chemicals from your home. Acupuncture and diet changes will also help reduce your allergic reactions. If you’re using drugs to control allergic symptoms, you’ll notice immediately that with acupuncture treatments, you can eliminate the drugs quite quickly and still have the same relief of symptoms, without the undesirable side effects.

In the case of viral infections, acupuncture helps to relieve stress and restore balance to your system so that your body can heal itself and return to full health quickly. Not only will your cold get better quickly, but you’ll experience some beneficial side effects from acupuncture!

And that’s nothing to sneeze at.

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

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When the Shrimp’s Being Shellfish…Acupuncture Helps with Food Allergies!

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Food Allergies Helped With Acupuncture!

People suffering from food allergies aren’t always aware that their symptoms are caused by the food they are eating. Some people continue their day-to-day life with symptoms such as headaches or fatigue and have no idea that their symptoms could be from food allergies.

Food allergies are your body’s adverse reaction to a particular protein (or proteins) found in many foods. Similar to other types of allergies, it occurs when your immune system mistakes a protein as harmful, triggering an allergic reaction. The allergic reaction can range from the mild (skin rash, and gastrointestinal issues, for example) to the life threatening, (such as respiratory problems or vascular distress).

The most common food allergies are nuts, dairy products, wheat, soy and shellfish, (sorry, Mr. Shrimp) although there are many others. Children who suffer from food allergies may outgrow some of them; many of them (peanuts and shellfish, for example) are present throughout the sufferer’s entire lifespan.

Acupuncture is very helpful in improving the symptoms as well as the underlying causes of the food allergies. The digestive system as well as the immune system can be improved with the right choice of point sites. The point sites will include abdomen points, leg and feet points, as well as possibly a few back points. There are pathways (water) that allow the ripple of information coordinating the various parts and functions of the body, so that is why point sites are in seemingly strange places.

Each case is evaluated individually, with a full history, and examination which includes tongue and pulse evaluation. We will talk about your symptoms and some of the underlying causative factors when you come in for your first visit. The body has ways of harboring in its layers information that it has trouble “stomaching or digesting”, as it were. Acupuncture can release that stuck energy, restore healthy responses to food, and send you on the path to wellness!

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

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Craving Ice, Dirt or Paint? Maybe You’re Anemic– Acupuncture Can Treat Anemia!

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Acupuncture Helps Anemia!

Or maybe you’re just the creative type — but either way, acupuncture is very helpful for treating the cause and symptoms of anemia!

Anemia comes from the Greek word, anaimia, which means lack of blood. It refers to insufficient red blood cells or hemoglobin in the red blood cells, which means that the body has difficulty delivering oxygen to tissues, including muscle and brain cells. The result? If you’re anemic, you probably feel tired and possibly grumpy, lack energy and strength and experience headaches or shortness of breath.  Other symptoms can include dizziness, chest pain, pale or sallow appearance of the skin, ringing in the ears and sensitivity to cold in the extremities. Some people display an unusual symptom of having cravings for ice, clay, dirt, starch or paint.

Because all cells depend on oxygen, long-term oxygen deprivation can have a wide range of clinical consequences, from an inability to concentrate to inferior motor skills, to a heart attack! Causes of anemia include B12, folic acid or iron deficiency, insufficient red blood cell production, immune system problems or excessive loss of blood. There are several types, with iron deficiency anemia being the most common. Iron is an important factor because it is used to make hemoglobin.  In the US, 20% of all women of childbearing age have iron deficiency anemia, compared to only 2% of men. The difference is that women can lose an excessive amount of blood during menstruation.

Acupuncture works by effectively treating the primary cause of anemia. The key to prevent anemia is to have adequate nutrition daily. Stimulation of appropriate acupuncture points can improve nutrient and hence iron absorption. If the primary cause is nutrient deficiency, along with increased nutrients, acupuncture will improve nutrient absorption by helping to heal the intestine lining. If the primary cause is lack of hemoglobin or red blood cells, acupuncture stimulates bone marrow for more effective red blood cell production.

Acupuncture is an effective way to help improve nutrient absorption and treat the symptoms of anemia. This is one instance where a small amount of treatment can equal a large amount of cure!

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

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Low Heart Rate Keeping You Down? Bradycardia Helped with Acupuncture!

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Love Your Heart! Acupuncture Does!

Bradycardia can affect anyone, from young children to the elderly. Bradycardia describes the condition where the heart is beating at a rate lower than the normal resting heart rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute. Bradycardia has various causes — heart attacks, hypothermia (low body temperature), and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) may all cause bradycardia. Use of certain medications, such as beta blockers and calcium channel blockers, may also result in bradycardia.

If you’re an athlete, you may not need treatment for bradycardia; you may simply have a powerful heart and very high blood oxygenation. Some professional athletes demonstrate a resting heart rate as low as 28 beats per minute!

People with mild bradycardia generally display no symptoms, but those with heart rates of less than 60 beats per minute have very little energy and complain about fatigue, shortness of breath, feeling faint and dizziness.

Since the elderly are most likely to be affected by bradycardia, they generally attribute these symptoms to “getting older”.

While mild bradycardia is not cause for much concern, If your resting heart rate is under 60 beats a minute and you experience those symptoms of dizziness, fainting, or shortness of breath, then you should obtain a professional diagnosis as well as treatment, especially since a slow heart rate can lead to heart or other health problems, if the body isn’t receiving enough oxygenated blood.

In this case, acupuncture can prove very valuable in helping the heart maintain its strength and possibly preventing the need to future surgical intervention. In general, heart arrhythmias are either due to not enough Qi (energy) or too much Qi causing the heart to beat irregularly. There are many acupuncture points which can help either supplement the heart’s Qi or help reduce it to help balance your condition. It is important to note that treatment of heart arrhythmias tend to be more successful as a co-managed condition, between the use of acupuncture treatments and the use of western treatments, compared to using just one treatment approach alone.

Acupuncture can offer effective treatment for the many different types of heart arrhythmias. For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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Here’s to Health! Acupuncture Works To Ease Chemotherapy Side Effects

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Acupuncture Eases Chemo Symptoms
and Strengthens the Body!

Acupuncture can provide a safe and easy way to improve the quality of life of cancer patients who receive chemotherapy. Chemotherapy, also called chemo, is a drug treatment medical professionals use to destroy cancer cells. The drugs work by affecting the growth of cells that divide rapidly, such as cancer cells. However, the drugs also affect other cells which divide frequently, such as the ones that line your mouth, the ones found in hair follicles and the cells of the lining in your intestine. For this reason, persons undergoing treatment often experience a range of symptoms, including hair loss, a bad taste in their mouths, mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Damage to blood cells can cause anemia and as a result, fatigue. Damage to cells that produce hormones can cause chills, hot flashes, sleep disturbances and night sweats. It’s easy to see why the treatment often feels worse than the disease!

Whenever cancer occurs, there has been a weakening of the body and an inability of the body to heal itself completely. Cancer, in fact, is an attempt of the body to heal itself. This is good news, because it means that strengthening the body will help to heal it from cancer.

Studies at the National Institutes of Health resulted in a 1997 Consensus Statement on Acupuncture stating that “promising results have emerged” after studies of the effectiveness of acupuncture showed an easing of nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy.

Acupuncture is useful in many other ways to chemotherapy patients as well.

Before chemo treatments, acupuncture will help make the body stronger and better able to resist the negative effects of chemotherapy, thus diminishing the symptoms. After chemotherapy treatments, acupuncture helps in a number of ways to restore the body’s balance. Even under chronic conditions, acupuncture at specific points will set into action the body’s own healing abilities, reinvigorating the affected cells and helping them to recover, thus diminishing the symptoms.

Acupuncture always works with the body’s natural energy. Clearing the energy meridians will allow the body to release endorphins, which reduce fatigue and nausea and increase energy levels and feelings of well-being. Acupuncture can radically improve a patient’s quality of life. With balance and harmony, you have health. A happy, healthy life!

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

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Photo: Woman by George Hodan

Let’s Get Rid of Headaches with Acupuncture!

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Get Rid of Headaches with Acupuncture!

Almost everyone gets a headache at some point in time. A headache can really ruin your day, and if you get them often, can really affect your life negatively. They are one of the most common physical complaints that prompt people to treat themselves or seek professional assistance.  Acupuncture offers powerful relief from headaches and migraines without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause.

Headaches fall into three main categories: tension-type, migraine and cervicogenic. A “tension headache” is the most common (and usually mildest) type of headache, and can be caused by stress, lack of sleep, bad posture or substance withdrawal, including nicotine and caffeine. As the name suggests, it is caused by increased muscle tension in the head and neck region.

While migraines affect far fewer people than tension-type headaches and have a much shorter duration, their symptoms are much more severe. They typically affect women more frequently than men, with pain that usually occurs on one side of the head. Migraines can be so severe that they can cause loss of appetite, blurred vision, nausea and even vomiting.

Cervicogenic headaches are the most recently diagnosed type of headache and are musculoskeletal in nature. They may be caused by pain in the neck or spine that is transferred to the head.

Because “headache” is a blanket term for over 200 conditions that fall into multiple classifications, the symptoms (and treatment) depends on the type of headache. The severity of a headache ranges from a tightness in the neck area to an incapacitating migraine that can last several days. Also common to the headache group are those caused by stuffy sinuses. Acupuncture has been used to relieve headaches and migraines (as well as their underlying causes) for thousands of years. Acupuncture always looks to the underlying causes as well, and thereby can help to prevent any future occurrences.

In a case study, published in the June 2003 Issue of Medical Acupuncture, doctors found that acupuncture resulted in the resolution or reduction in the frequency and severity of cluster headaches, and a decrease or discontinuation of medications. It was concluded that acupuncture can be used to provide sustained relief from cluster headaches and to stimulate adrenal cortisol to aid in discontinuing corticosteroids.

Acupuncture points to treat headaches are located all over the body. During the acupuncture treatment, tiny needles will be placed along your legs, arms, shoulders, and perhaps even your big toe! The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments. Either way, relief can be found!

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

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You Asked for a Walk in the Woods — And Now You Have Lyme Disease! Acupuncture Can Help!

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Acupuncture Can Help Fight Lyme Disease!

Lyme disease by now is the best-known, worldwide example of a tick-borne disease. Many people have Lyme disease without experiencing any discomfort from symptoms. Many others are struggling with complex symptoms of Lyme, but are unaware that they are infected, and so are not getting treatment.

Left untreated, it leads to permanent problems with the heart, joints and nervous system. Typical symptoms include joint ache, a rash on the skin (particularly in the area surrounding the bite) that often looks like a bull’s eye, headaches, fever, profuse sweating and fatigue, though all of the symptoms are not present in every case. Lyme disease imitates a variety of illnesses and its severity can vary from person to person. Early detection and treatment is vital in preventing Lyme disease from advancing to the later stages.

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick, specifically deer ticks. Deer ticks are extremely small (about the size of a poppy seed) and are found in tall grass, wooded areas and anywhere else where deer or other small rodents are present. This tick, which is infested with a spirochete, bites a human and transmits the bacterium into the bloodstream. The bacterium responsible for Lyme disease is a spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi, which burrows its way into various tissues in the body, in particular the collagen tissues.

Fortunately, deer ticks don’t bite humans immediately upon contact; they typically spend several hours crawling around before attaching themselves to the skin. Even then, it takes longer than 12 hours after that for the disease to be transmitted, so finding a deer tick on your body isn’t necessarily an indication that you have been infected. However, if you have been bitten, the symptoms typically appear within 7 to 14 days. A simple blood test is all that is required to determine if Lyme disease is present.

At the earliest point in time, as soon as recognize you may have Lyme, go to a doctor, and get antibiotics immediately. The quicker and earlier the treatment, the better. The spirochetes are a serious problem that require proper antibiotics and MD care.

Acupuncture is highly relevant and helpful for all phases of this disease, and is a wonderful addition to your primary support physician. It can improve the body’s immune response, the healing action, the body chemistry, and correct and support the subtle energetics.

You will be amazed at the immediate improvement of joint symptoms, as well as the chronic fatigue factors that respond to the very first treatments. You can return to being pain-free, with a clear mind and good energy, without unpredictable ups and downs.  Depending on how long you have had Lyme, how many times, or how many years, you will need a series of treatments to hasten your complete recovery. Also important is ongoing attention to a healthy diet, nutritional supplementation, physical activity, and a positive mental outlook. Lyme disease can be a very challenging condition to fight and recover from.  As in all conditions and all patients, each person’s regime of treatment is individually designed.

Acupuncture is truly an ally in the fight against Lyme disease!

Please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com for more information.

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Photo: Path in Woods by David Wagner

Acupuncture Supports Survivors of Stroke

Acupuncture Can Aid Recovery from Stroke

Acupuncture Can Aid Recovery from Stroke

A stroke can change your life in an instant. 

But acupuncture can aid with the recovery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in adults. The American Heart Association estimates that between 500,000 and 750,000 strokes occur in the U.S. each year, approximately 150,000 people dying from the stroke itself or from related complications.

A stroke happens when a part of the brain dies from lack of blood, usually because one of the arteries that supply oxygen-carrying blood to the brain has been damaged. This can be caused one of two ways:

Clogged vessel or ischemic stroke: Caused by blockage of a blood vessel in the brain, usually by a blood clot or by fatty deposits on the vessel wall. 80% of strokes are ischemic.

Burst vessel or hemorrhagic stroke: Caused by a ruptured blood vessel, preventing normal flow and allowing blood to leak into brain tissue, destroying it. This occurs in 20% of strokes.

Although stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect the entire body. A common disability that results from stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body (hemiplegia). A related disability that is not as debilitating as paralysis is one-sided weakness (hemiparesis). Stroke may cause difficulties with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. Stroke survivors often have problems understanding or forming speech.

A stroke can lead to emotional problems, as stroke patients may have difficulty controlling their emotions or may express inappropriate emotions and experience depression. Stroke survivors may also have numbness or strange sensations. The pain is often worse in the hands and feet and is made worse by movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures.

Acupuncture can improve not only the physical symptoms of stroke but also the emotional malaise that often accompanies such a significant life change. As you can see, there are a variety of side effects from stroke, and acupuncture can work for speech problems (aphasia), facial paralysis, and muscular paralysis/weakness (hemiplagia, rigidity). Acupuncture also works to preserve brain tissue by decreasing the stress response, stabilizing the brain’s healing process, and signaling the brain to keep making active connections to arms and legs which have lost their normal brain control systems, and helps to treat spastic dyskinesia (difficulty in performing voluntary movements), a common problem among stroke patients. Acupuncture can also work to boost balance for stroke survivors, as well as muscle strength.

The rehabilitative stage of the treatment involves treating any existing underlying factors such as hypertension, to balance the yin and yang, open the blood vessels, promote the flow of energy, while stimulating blood circulation and decreasing blood or Chi stagnation, and choosing points that deal with local issues.

Symptoms of stroke appear suddenly! 

Watch for these symptoms and be prepared to act quickly for yourself or on behalf of someone you are with:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble talking, or understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms indicative of a stroke, do not wait. Call 911 emergency immediately. There are now effective therapies for stroke that must be administered at a hospital, but they lose their effectiveness if not given within the first 3 hours after stroke symptoms appear. Every minute counts!

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

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Photo: Woman Watching The Ocean by Karen Arnold

Make Stress Say “Rats!!” Acupuncture Protects Against Stress!

Relieve Stress with Acupuncture!

Relieve Stress with Acupuncture!

Did you know that a little stress can be essential?

Human beings have natural built in mechanisms that help us to know how much effort to exert. These environmental cues are essential to keep us safe in a world that can be difficult to navigate. Well-managed stressors can be good motivation for us to keep reaching for our full potential.

The human body also reacts to stress appropriately when faced with a “fight or flight” situation and adrenaline is released inside the body. This is the reaction that helps us cope in a disaster or stressful situation. Imbalance occurs when this reaction is frequent and is not due to outside factors. The body can become used to the adrenaline and corticosteroid release and become dependent on this state.

When stress gets out of control, it can manifest itself in a virtually unlimited number of ways, including headaches, muscle spasms, depression, insomnia, hypertension, and inappropriate social behavior. Increased heart rate, changes in breathing patterns, muscle tension and high blood pressure are common reactions from a change in brain chemistry that occurs with stress. And chronic stress can lead to serious health repercussions.

However, acupuncture has been shown to greatly reduce stress!

The Journal of Endocrinology recently published a Georgetown study in its April, 2013 issue on how acupuncture can significantly reduce the stress hormone response in an animal that models chronic stress.

Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center conducted the research on the procedure, which is already commonly used on humans to treat chronic stress. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists funded the study, and co-authors include Georgetown researchers Susan Mulroney and Eva Permaul.

The researchers found that electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of blood hormones and a peptide secreted by the sympathetic nervous system.

“Many practitioners of acupuncture have observed that this ancient practice can reduce stress in their patients, but there is a lack of biological proof of how or why this happens,” says the study’s lead author Ladan Eshkevari, an associate professor of nursing at the School of Nursing & Health Studies. “We’re starting to understand what’s going on at the molecular level that helps explain acupuncture’s benefit.”

Eshkevari, a physiologist, nurse anesthetist and certified acupuncturist, designed a series of studies in rats to test the effect of electronic acupuncture on levels of proteins and hormones secreted by biologic pathways involved in stress response.

Rats are often used to research the biological determinants of stress, because they regularly have a stress response when exposed to cold temperatures for an hour a day.

“Our growing body of evidence points to acupuncture’s protective effect against the stress response,” says Eshkevari, assistant director of the school’s Nurse Anesthesia Program.

This is excellent news indeed.

When acupuncture is used for human beings, it has the added benefit of re-uniting the body with the mind so that the flow of electricity, blood, lymph, and qi (life force) is harmonious in the body. The end result is a place of peace; a solid foundation for managing  stress. The positive changes that occur as a result of an acupuncture session can last a long time, and are cumulative in effect.

There are many relevant point sites, and the choice depends on each person’s complete story of signs and symptoms. The treatment is gentle, painless, and relaxing. Lots of relief from even the first treatment!

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

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Photo by Petr Kratochvil