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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Acupuncture Eases the Grip of Mother Nature (and helps with PMS, headaches and cramps!)

Ease PMS, Headaches and Cramps with Acupuncture!

Ease PMS, Headaches and Cramps with Acupuncture!

You’d think that you’d be used to it by now. Bloating. Mood swings. Headache. Fatigue, anxiety and depression. It must be that time of the month! It doesn’t have to be this way…

Scientists are unclear of the exact cause of PMS, although they have found correlations. Some studies show that glutamate levels in the brain spike prior to menstruation, which can cause mood swings and anxiety. Other scientists suspect that low levels of serotonin or beta-endorphin (both neurotransmitters that promote positive moods) may underlie the symptoms of PMS. Premenstrual syndrome occurs during the luteal phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle.  In extreme cases, PMS can interfere with everyday life. Regardless of the exact cause, premenstrual syndrome is easy to cure!

Hormone levels naturally fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. However, stress, discomfort and anxiety that arise from these changing levels are not! Minor lifestyle adjustments can help reduce symptoms. Also, acupuncture can help! With its balancing effects, acupuncture restores harmony to the hormonal and energy systems of the body, healing the causes of PMS.

The end result? You feel better, your mood improves, your headache goes away and your energy returns. If you suffer any discomfort during menses, such as cramps or nausea, acupuncture will ease these symptoms for you as well. 

In fact, recent German study published in the February, 2008 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology confirms that acupuncture can relieve a woman of her menstrual pain.

In the study, 201 women were randomly assigned to acupuncture or no treatment for menstrual pain, severe cramps and discomfort. The majority of patients receiving acupuncture reported at least a 33 percent improvement in their pain level.

It was observed that after three months of treatment the average pain score was 3.1 in the acupuncture group, compared with 5.4 in the control group, using a pain scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain. The treatment included an average of about 10 sessions.

“Patients with chronic dysmenorrhea [menstrual pain] treated with acupuncture as an adjunct to routine care showed significant improvements in pain intensity and quality of life compared to patients who received routine care alone.” Dr. Claudia Witt of Charite University Medical Center in Berlin said.

Acupuncture is extremely effective at treating menstrual disorders including: painful periods, irregular periods, amenorrhea and PMS. It’s also excellent at relieving symptoms of stress of all kinds. Whether it’s easing PMS or alleviating painful cramps, acupuncture is certainly an excellent ally during the challenging part of a woman’s month! Doesn’t that sound like a great friend to have?

For more information, please visit our site at www.ctacupuncture.com

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Source: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Volume 198, Issue 2, Pages 166.e1-166.e8 (February 2008)

Tired of Winter? No, REALLY TIRED? Acupuncture Relieves Fatigue and Insomnia!


No More Work Naps! Acupuncture Helps Fatigue and Insomnia

Old Man Winter is gripping us all, and for many, it’s difficult to feel like one is getting a good night’s rest, or being able to wake up fully the next morning. Fatigue is often the cause. The reasons? Not enough sleep, poor dietary choices, nutritional deficiencies and/or too little exercise are a few of the basic ones, and some are a little more life- threatening (heart disease, cancer, and neurological disorders). Fatigue is also felt by people going through and/or who have gone through cancer treatments. Fatigue poses a danger to sufferers because normal brain and physical activity is often compromised, in addition to a reduced quality of life. Also, The Boss tends to know you’ve been napping when you have keyboard marks on your face, and that can be a danger to the quality of your work evaluation.

Fatigue is a very common complaint that brings people to an acupuncturist — whether it’s from being on the go all of the time, dealing with stressful situations, or from an underlying medical problem like fibromyalgia, fatigue is a general term for a number of issues that affects people mentally, physically, or both. Fatigue is typically classified as a symptom as opposed to a condition.

Physical fatigue is indicated by a general lethargy or listlessness, while mental fatigue is characterized by a feeling of drowsiness and an inability to pay attention. Acupuncture is extraordinarily helpful with both physical and mental fatigue, as well as chronic fatigue syndrome — when the tiredness and heavy feeling won’t stop, and headaches and pain are added to the mix of exhaustion.

Acupuncture helps to improve fatigue immediately, after the first treatment. Often patients remark that for even other primary concerns, fatigue was the first improvement they noticed. That is encouraging, and helps them continue further treatments for the other perhaps more stubborn symptoms. Win/win!

Acupuncture isn’t just great for fatigue, it is also very helpful for treating all sleep problems. A preliminary report in 2004 found that in patients with anxiety, acupuncture increased night time melatonin production and total sleep time. The patients who received acupuncture also fell asleep faster, were less aroused at night, and were less stressed. The researchers concluded that, “Acupuncture treatment may be of value for some categories of anxious patients with insomnia.” This is excellent news, as many prescription drugs for insomnia are addictive and cause drowsiness or dizziness the next day, and come with other side effects.

Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system and cause the release of neurotransmitters. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for insomnia. Acupuncture also reduces insomnia through increasing nighttime endogenous melatonin secretions. Melatonin = Snoozetime.

When treating fatigue specifically, point sites on the spleen meridian energy system will be considered, as well as possibly the kidney energy system. It is strongly recommended that sugar in the diet needs to be reduced. A complete history, with tongue and pulse diagnosis, helps to determine all the points to be included. As with any acupuncture treatment, all aspects of a person’s well-being are considered when dealing with fatigue, and treatments and council will correspond in kind.


Wouldn’t you like to feel well-rested? 

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

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J Neuropsychiatry Clinical Neuroscience 2004 Winter;16(1):19-28.
Acupuncture increases nocturnal melatonin secretion and reduces insomnia and anxiety: a preliminary report.
Spence DW, Kayumov L, Chen A, Lowe A, Jain U, Katzman MA, Shen J, Perelman B, Shapiro CM.

Migraines Be Gone! Acupuncture Works Wonders with Migraine Headaches

Smile! Acupuncture Helps with Migraines!

Smile! Acupuncture Helps with Migraines!

Migraines hurt. Acupuncture can quickly bring relief to those suffering from migraines, and without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter medications can bring. And the less time with a migraine, the better!

Here’s a little about life with migraines. In the worst attacks some sufferers of migraines become so debilitated that the pain seems unbearable, a temple is throbbing and they have to retire to a darkened room. Then often comes hours of excruciating pain and feelings of nausea, then a welcome relief as they may vomit, the pain recedes and they can perhaps fall to sleep. Needless to say, this all can lead to an inability to go to work, school, or attend social activities.

What is a migraine, anyways? Migraine is a condition defined by a painful headache and nausea, often accompanied with an increased sensitivity to light and sound, the aforementioned vomiting and a pulsating sensation, which is usually only present in one side of the head. Typically, a migraine can last from a few hours to as long as three days, which in some cases may completely incapacitate the person suffering an attack.

Approximately 75% of sufferers are female. Signs that a migraine is imminent include the Prodrome phase (typically involving mood swings, fatigue and muscle tightness) followed by the Aura phase (visible bright flashes, dizziness and loss of sensation in extremities).

Triggers for a migraine include stress, changes in sleep and eating patterns, foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG) or tyramine (red wine, certain cheeses, smoked fish and chicken livers, among others), menstruation, and sensory overloads (such as bright lights, loud noises and certain odors).

Acupuncture to the rescue!

In my own practice at CT Acupuncture, I have worked with migraine patients, (classic, cluster, and variations on the theme) for over 25 years, and my surveys have shown close to 100% improvement on virtually all the patients I have treated. Migraines can be treated preventatively, and a few treatments will clear up most migraine patterns, permanently! The points chosen are usually on the upper back, neck, ear, abdomen, and the temple area of the head. Leg points are also relevant. Each person is evaluated individually – history and other problems (symptoms) are taken into consideration, so the treatment points will vary. The treatment is painless and gentle.

Are you the type that likes to see things in print? Here’s some interesting news…a recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal demonstrates that acupuncture can reduce the days each month suffered with migraines to be reduced by half.

In the four-week study, almost 500 adults were treated with either traditional Chinese acupuncture or a sham treatment in which acupuncture needles were inserted in nonspecific points. Participants did not know which type of acupuncture treatment they were receiving.

After completing the study, all of the participants — including those in the sham group — reported fewer days with migraines than before the study began. Before the study, most suffered monthly migraines, on average six days of migraines a month. After the completing the study, they reported migraines on an average of three days in the month.

In the month following the treatment, all of the participants also reported improvements in the frequency and intensity of migraines. However, lasting effects were seen only in study participants who received traditional acupuncture. Three months after treatment, people who received traditional Chinese acupuncture continued to report a reduction in migraine days, frequency, and intensity. People who received the sham treatment did not.

Suffer migraines no longer! Wouldn’t you like to know what life is like without them?

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

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Cupid’s Arrow is a Good Start — Acupuncture Can Help Increase Fertility!


Acupuncture a Safe and Effective Way to Increase Fertility

Is the love nest almost complete, but missing the sound of little feet pattering about? 

Acupuncture is a safe, non-invasive and easy way to potentially increase your chances of getting pregnant, and there are many who are turning to acupuncture for fertility solutions when they are having difficulty conceiving children. 

In May 2006, the journal Fertility and Sterility published two studies showing significantly increased pregnancy rates for women receiving acupuncture treatments in conjunction with the embryo transfer stage of in vitro fertilization (ITF). In one study, women receiving acupuncture were more than twice as likely to become pregnant. In another, acupuncture prior to embryo transfer increased rate of pregnancy by 50 percent. It also improves the success rate for women who do not pursue ITF and conceive by traditional means.

Acupuncture helps in curing fertility problems mainly by encouraging follicle production, improving blood circulation in the uterus, which creates a more welcoming environment for the embryo, improving uterine lining thickness, improving egg quality, treating menstrual cycle disorders and improving overall health, which leads to the ability to more easily conceive and remain pregnant. 

While 40 percent of infertility is caused by problems in the female, another 40 percent is caused by problems in the male. Male impotency can result from genetic factors, drug/alcohol/tobacco/steroid intake, strenuous riding (bike, horseback), or a number of diseases, including mumps and malaria, among others. The cause of the remaining 20 percent is through unknown factors. 

One of the ways acupuncture infertility treatment increases fertility is by reducing stress, which is often a key factor in the fertility of both men and women. When people are under stress, the hormone cortizol is released in the brain. This alters the brain’s neurochemical balance, which changes hormone levels and disrupting the pituitary balance that is key to the reproductive cycle. In men, stress can alter sperm counts, motility, and cause impotence. A 2005 study published in Fertility and Sterility showed acupuncture can help treat male infertility by increasing the number of normal sperm and decreasing the number of defective sperm. Acupuncture infertility treatments counter the effects of stress and cortizol by releasing endorphins in the brain. Acupuncture also works at stimulating the hypothalamus to effectively balance the endocrine system and its hormones and to get to the root cause of both male and female infertility. Acupuncture infertility treatments also have the added bonus of producing few or no side effects. 

Acupuncture is relaxing, painless and gentle. Less stress, a healthy body, balance – and the endorphins are certainly a bonus! The goal is to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and to have a healthy baby. Five out of five storks agree!

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

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When the Hunk of Burning Isn’t Love…Try Acupuncture for Heartburn!


Acupuncture Relieves Heartburn!

Oh, romantic holidays…delicious steak dinners, elegant chocolates, expensive red wine. The heart is a’thumping…and then burning! That’s no way to start a romantic evening.

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. 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, with up to 80 percent of moms-to-be suffering heartburn, stomach pain or discomfort, reflux, belching and bloating, partly because the stomach has less room and contents are more easily upset. Symptoms tend to worsen over time, and many women avoid taking medicine for fear of harming the developing fetus.

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 GERD.

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.

Here are some tips that can further help you fight the acid attack!

– 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!

There is so much more in addition to digestive health that acupuncture can be helpful for. For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com.

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

Hey There, You Delicate Flower! Acupuncture Gives the Beat Down to Bruises!


Acupuncture Speeds the Healing of Bruises!

Whether it’s from a serious spillage on an icy sidewalk, a bit of a rough game of backyard ball, or an argument your hip had with the corner of the kitchen table, a bruise can sure be painful!

A bruise is a traumatic injury of the soft tissues of the body that results in breakage of the local capillaries and leakage of red blood cells. A bruise forms when blood vessels near your skin’s surface are broken, allowing a small amount of blood to leak into the tissues under your skin. The trapped blood appears as a black-and-blue mark. 

Trauma sufficient to cause bruising can occur from a wide variety of situations including accidents, falls, sports injuries and surgeries. How often and how badly you bruise depends on many factors, including your health. Easy bruising can occur when the blood vessels are weakened by diseases (such as scurvy), and certain medications (such as aspirin and prednisone, and especially blood thinners) also make it more likely for you to bruise. Age is also a factor. Bruising can occur at any age, but as you age, your skin becomes thinner, and the capillaries under your skin become more prone to breaking.

Acupuncture aids in the healing and resolution of injuries of all kinds, and bruising is no exception. Treatments are effective for reducing pain in the affected area, as well as increasing the local circulation and attracting white blood cells to the area of injury, which increases the delivery of nutrients and removal of waste elements. This speeds the healing process and lets that bruise be a thing of the past!

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

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Don’t Begrudge the Groundhog, He’s Just the Messenger…Acupuncture Can Help with Mid-Winter Blues!

Beat the Mid-Winter Blues!

Beat the Mid-Winter Blues!

Groundhog day has come and gone, and it seems we’re stuck with winter. And I know there’s plenty of people out there that are feeling the effects of “cabin fever”. However, when ordinary winter blahs turn into something more serious, acupuncture can help.

Depression affects one in 10 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How does one know if they’re depressed? When someone is feeling sad, hopeless, discouraged, unmotivated or disinterested for over 2 weeks or these feelings start to interfere with their activities and duties it could be a major depressive episode. For men, depression can also show up as irritability, anger, or self-destructive behavior. There are a large number of causes for depression, including genetics, chemical imbalances, hormone issues and other medical conditions. Depression may also be the result of a “dysregulation” of the seven emotions — joy, anger, worry, contemplation, grief, fear and shock.

If acupuncture is able to reestablish a balance among these emotions, the symptoms of depression are relieved. Treating depression with acupuncture has a positive and holistic effect on depressed patients, and avoids the potential side effects of traditional medication.

Ranging widely in severity, anxiety and depression are often found to occur together and have overlapping symptoms. Acupuncture can help with mild, short-term cases of both anxiety and depression.

In more severe cases that are interfering with your daily activities and responsibilities over the long term, acupuncture can work in conjunction with other treatments such as therapy or medication, helping to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment and minimize side effects.

Acupuncture often gives an immediate improvement on the symptoms present, as well as a deeper improvement on the underlying causes, Acupuncture works well with diet corrections, supplementation, as well as necessary medications. Meditation and exercise are often important additions to a healthy approach. Also…be sure not to get dehydrated. Beings made mostly of water need it to be happy and healthy! Breathing exercises are also very helpful. Brisk walking or another form of exercise is very beneficial to those suffering from anxiety. Many people find yoga, tai qi or qiqong to be very helpful, as they are excellent forms of mind-body exercise that can improve the ability to control both anxiety and depression. Practicing these arts in conjunction with regular acupuncture treatments help provide the foundation for positive change. Acupuncture helps you by bringing your body into balance, giving it a chance to rest, relax and heal.

Here’s to good mental health!

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

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