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You Wanted Spring…But the Allergies? Acupuncture Gives Allergy Relief!

 
Enjoy Spring! Allergy Relief with Acupuncture!

Enjoy Spring! Allergy Relief with Acupuncture!

Spring’s sprung, your allergies have been triggered and your nose and eyes are running in fear. What do you do?

It was a long winter, for certain. And it’s not like you don’t appreciate the beauty of the flowers and the budding of the trees. But…you know what it means. Weeks of sneezing, nose-blowing, headaches…and that’s just the average symptoms.

It’s not just Spring…it’s ALLERGY SEASON.

An allergy is an immune system disorder that occurs when your body has an inflammatory, hypertensive reaction to what is a normally benign substance. Like pollen. Common conditions such as hay fever, eczema, hives and asthma are actually allergic reactions; others include food allergies, reactions to bee stings, and certain medications. There are several types of tests you can take to gauge exactly what allergens your body has a reaction to.

There are two main factors that can make you susceptible to allergens — host and environmental factors.

Host factors are items that are genetic (race, age, gender, and heredity) while environmental factors are exposure to pollution, diseases, and exposure to high levels of allergens, particularly at a young age. The dangers posed by allergies range from the merely annoying and/or inconvenient (pollen that causes a runny nose) to the truly life threatening (exposure to certain foods, such as shellfish).

Most treatments aim to reduce the discomfort of the symptoms temporarily, and they often come with negative side effects.

Well, Spring allergies…Acupuncture is always in season.

Acupuncture is one of the major holistic therapies used for thousands of years to address the underlying energetic relationships in the body that makes those allergic reactions happen. Acupuncture treatments aim to, and yes, give immediate relief from the symptoms, and further, it can address the variety of underlying causes.

Point sites for the underlying causes will be found on an individual basis after a thorough case history. Point sites for immediate relief include local points near the actual symptom places such as the sinus areas, and others not so obvious to understand such as near the hands or feet.  The point sites are always on the skin and the surface of the body.  A patient will happily experience immediate improvement of the symptoms, and be encouraged therefore to continue to pursue the underlying causes in future treatments.

Long term? The symptoms stop, and the reactiveness calms down.

You can get back to your regularly scheduled life. Enjoy the outdoors again!

Interested in how acupuncture can help you or a loved one?

Please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

Questions about acupuncture?  Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture

Like to watch interesting stuff? Check out this video below…

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“The Long Goodbye” — Acupuncture Beneficial for Alzheimer’s Sufferers

 

Acupuncture Can Help with Alzheimer's

Acupuncture Can Help with Alzheimer’s

There is good news for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and someone develops it every 67 seconds. It is the sixth leading cause of death.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia diagnosed in the aging population worldwide. 

It is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. The cause of Alzheimer’s is still not clear, and there is no cure.  The search for new treatment is made ever more urgent due to increasing population aging.

But there is help and hope for those who suffer from it. Researchers around the world are working on a number of treatment strategies that might change the course of the disease. And acupuncture is one of them.

A new study using MRI imaging revealed that acupuncture enhances brain activity in Alzheimer disease patients. Researchers investigated the effects of two important acupuncture points on the human brains of Alzheimer disease patients using fMRI imaging with a SIEMENS verio 3-Tesla scanner. After acupuncture, MRI imaging revealed that AD patients had significant improvements in connectivity for both frontal and lateral temporal regions of the hippocampus. The researchers note, “Due to the cognitive impairment associated with AD, acupuncture on specific acupoints can modulate the cerebral blood flow and strengthen the hippocampal connectivity in AD patients.” The study suggests that acupuncture may provide important clinical benefits to AD patients.

Acupuncture can also assist with the emotional toll of Alzheimer’s. Another study conducted  by a senior scientist, Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo at Wellesley College concluded that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for anxiety and depression in persons with Alzheimer’s disease.

The subjects in the study were 11 patients, average age 76 years, diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease or Vascular Dementia. Assessments were completed by the research team neurologist, psychologist, and acupuncturist, as well as by family caregivers and the subject. A number of standardized tests were used to measure pre- and post-treatment anxiety, depression, and cognitive functioning. Researchers concluded that acupuncture is very helpful for reducing anxiety and depression associated with Alzheimer’s. They also found that the patients had a positive change in mood, experienced more energy, and received relief for age-related pain complaints like arthritis. Decrease the Pain of Arthritis and Increase Mobility with Acupuncture

Knowledge is power. Check over this list from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease 

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
2. Challenging in planning and solving problems
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
4. Confusion with time or place
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8. Decreased or poor judgment
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood and personality

If you notice any of the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s in yourself or someone you know, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. If the disease is detected early, medical intervention can extend the period during which patients and their families can enjoy a relatively high quality of life.

Interested in how acupuncture can help you or a loved one? Please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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References:
Wang, Zhiqun, Peipeng Liang, Zhilian Zhao, Ying Han, Haiqing Song, Jianyang Xu, Jie Lu, and Kuncheng Li. “Acupuncture Modulates Resting State Hippocampal Functional Connectivity in Alzheimer Disease.” PloS one 9, no. 3 (2014): e91160.

Emerson Lombardo N, et al, Acupuncture to treat anxiety and depression in people with Alzheimer’s disease and with vascular dementia: a pilot feasibility and effectiveness trial. Presented at World Alzheimer’s Conference, Washington DC, July 9-18, 2000 and at Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, Wellesley, Massachusetts, June 7, 2000.

Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org

Photo by: Rhoda Baer

Is That Bundle of Joy Making You Want to Heave? Acupuncture to the Rescue!

 
Acupuncture is great for Moms-to-be!

Acupuncture is great for Moms-to-be!

Morning Sickness Is Not the Best Baby Gift…

Motherhood. The beautiful glow of pregnancy, the sudden running to the bathroom…

Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy are definitely issues for some women, and for others the “morning sickness” can last all day, every day.  What Mama-to-be has time for that!?

Did you know that acupuncture is a fantastic addition to traditional Western prenatal care, and that it has many benefits that come with it? And as acupuncture has very few side effects, many pregnant women now seek this other option to drug therapy for these and many other common pregnancy complaints.

And it’s been shown that acupuncture can help. A single blind randomized controlled trial was undertaken by a maternity teaching hospital in Adelaide, Australia to determine whether acupuncture reduced nausea, dry retching, and vomiting, and improved the health status of women in pregnancy.

The trial consisted of 593 women less than 14 weeks pregnant that had symptoms of nausea or vomiting that were randomized into 4 groups. The results? Women receiving traditional acupuncture reported less nausea throughout the trial and less dry retching from the second week, compared with women in the no acupuncture control group. Women who received p6 acupuncture reported less nausea from the second week of the trial, and less dry retching from the third week compared with women in the no acupuncture control group. Women in the sham acupuncture group reported less nausea and dry retching from the third week compared with women in the no acupuncture group.

So, acupuncture was indeed found to be an effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy.

But is acupuncture safe?

Another study in 2002 conducted at the same hospital on the safety of acupuncture for nausea in early pregnancy verified that there is no increased risk of congenital anomalies, miscarriage, stillbirth, placental abruption, pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, premature birth, or normal measures of neonatal health (such as maturity or birth weight) when women receive acupuncture during pregnancy.

The study was conducted during the first trimester of pregnancy, when fetal development is most vulnerable. These results have been replicated at other research institutions worldwide.

So not only is acupuncture effective, it’s safe!

Acupuncture is an ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that has been used for thousands of years, and is a wonderful holistic therapy.  The procedures are relatively painless, the effect can be immediate and can even be relaxing. Acupuncture is also excellent for relieving stress, hip and low back pain, breech position, mild to moderate depression, inducing and decreasing the length of labor. A true Mother’s Helper!

Pregnant and Depressed? Acupuncture Can Help…

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

Source: Birth. 2002 Mar;29(1):1-9.
Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial.
Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J.
Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Adelaide University, Adelaide, Australia.

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Suffering and Want Dizziness and Vertigo Verti-gone? Experience Acupuncture!

 
 
Get back in to the groove with acupuncture!

Get back in to the groove with acupuncture!

Dizziness and vertigo are two very uncomfortable traveling companions.

How to tell them apart? Dizziness may be experienced internally with uncomfortable sensations, and occasionally loss of balance, and vertigo may be experienced as more of an external imbalance where objects may seem to move around while the sufferer feels still.  In most cases, vertigo occurs when the the inner ear and its nerves (which are not functioning properly) disrupt the brain’s ability to accurately perceive motion. People with Labyrinthitis and Meniere’s disease often suffer vertigo.  When severe, vertigo can be debilitating, and in some cases can cause vomiting and imbalance.

It seems the unsavory traveling companions aren’t always traveling alone, either.  Vertigo can exist on its own, or it can be associated with other issues, such as migraine headaches and nausea. Let’s Get Rid of Headaches With Acupuncture!

Ailments like dizziness and vertigo result from imbalances within the body, and acupuncture is used to restore the balance and alleviate symptoms.

Acupuncture is an ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that has been used for thousands of years, and is a wonderful holistic therapy that looks into all the relationships that are important for generating these symptoms. The acupuncture points used differ from patient to patient. 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, the effect can be immediate and can even be relaxing. You will welcome the relief!

Feeling Dizzy or Suffer Vertigo? Check this list…

  • Read the labels on your medications. Dizziness can be a side effect of certain medications, including some antihistamines, blood pressure medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, and many others. Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist for side effects.

  • Be sure to stay hydrated. Dehydration can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy. Be sure that you’re getting enough water or other liquids during the day.

  • As they say, “You are what you eat.” By eating or drinking certain foods or liquids, it can set off the symptoms of vertigo for some people. Everyone is different, but food items to consider as triggers for vertigo may include sugar, dairy, and gluten. For some, just cutting out/ limiting certain foods can go a long way to curbing the effects of vertigo. Take a good, critical look at your diet. Are you getting enough protein, whole grains (if gluten is not an issue), vegetables, and fruit each day? Good nutrition is very important, too.

  • Do limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. All have the ability to cause you to feel dizzy. Feel it’s time to quit? Acupuncture can also help you quit for good! Help Beat Addiction with Acupuncture

  • Stand up slowly, as this is a prime cause of some episodes of dizziness, and can help those with vertigo keep their balance.

  • Try Acupuncture!

If you suffer from vertigo or dizziness, schedule your acupuncture appointment today and experience relief sooner than you could have imagined!

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

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Sinus Issues, Sinus Pain, Sinusitis — Whatever You Call It, Acupuncture Can Help!

 
Breathe Easier with Acupuncture!

Breathe Easier with Acupuncture!

Is your nose revolting? Are you one of the 30 million Americans that deal with sinus issues each year?

Headaches, tightness of the facial muscles and increased production (and discharge) of mucus. Oh, happy day! Sinusitis is a condition when the paranasal sinuses become inflamed. Other symptoms include dizziness and the feeling of a “heavy head,” both of which are the results of congested (or blocked) sinus and other nasal passages. Sometimes nosebleeds are suffered. Sinusitis is either classified as acute (less than four weeks) or chronic (eight weeks or longer). Either way, it can be annoying, embarrassing (and painful) to deal with.

Because a viral infection is often to blame, the virus usually resolves itself without requiring any medication. Treatment consists of relieving the symptoms and not the virus itself. However in the case of allergies, the course of treatment depends on multiple factors, including the type of allergy, the patient’s overall health and also eliminating or avoiding certain environmental factors (think mold, dust, extra dander, and extra pollen). Food allergies play a subtle role in increasing the incidence of sinus symptoms. Symptoms are often aggravated by dairy products, caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol. Limiting or eliminating these are advised.

Want sinusitis relief now? Try acupuncture! Acupuncture is helpful in giving immediate relief of the symptoms, as well as treating underlying factors. We take a complete history to understand all the body systems. Point sites will be local for the immediate relief, and also other places determined by your history, as well as tongue and pulse diagnosis. The headache you may have will be relieved immediately. There will also be an immediate improvement on the stuffiness, and usually only a few treatments are needed to be of great help. We will look at deeper underlying issues as well. 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.

Here’s some more helpful tips to deal with those sinuses…

  • Humidify Your Indoor Air — Dry air or a dry climate can dry out your nasal passages and mucus, making mucus thicker. Thick mucus is more likely to clog sinuses, resulting in pain and pressure. Add humidity! Consider using a room humidifier in the bedroom from October until April.

  • Irrigate Your Nasal Passages — Try irrigating your nasal passages with a saline solution to remove allergens, irritants, and excess mucus. You can use a drug store saline spray. Or make your own solution at home and use a nasal irrigation system such as a Neti pot.

  • Open Up Your Sinuses — Apply a warm moist washcloth to your face several times a day. This can help open up the transition spaces in your sinuses. Keep your nasal passages moist. Inhale steam two to four times a day. One simple way: Sit in the bathroom with the hot shower running. Drink plenty of fluids, which will help thin the mucus.

  • Avoid Sinus Irritants — Many environmental irritants can worsen your sinus problems, such as pollution, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, hair spray, and any other material that gives off fumes. If you smoke, it’s important to quit. Avoid others who smoke, or ask them to smoke outside. On high air pollution days, stay indoors if possible.

  • Try Acupuncture!

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

Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases web site: “Sinus Infection (Sinusitis): “Prevention.”

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Adjust to Daylight Savings and Put the Spring in Your Step with Acupuncture!

 
Adjust to Daylight Savings with Acupuncture!

Adjust to Daylight Savings with Acupuncture!

Time change have you knocked for a loop? Acupuncture can help you adjust!

Ok,  we changed the clocks. At least the ones we found on the first pass. And now many of us are feeling majorly off.  So what’s going on?

Well sunrise now comes as late as it did at the end of December, during the darkest days of the year. Sure, we also get a nifty hour added on at the end of the day, but for your inner clock, that’s no help. It is early morning light that we rely on to keep in sync with the natural world. The easiest explanation is that the time shift confuses the circadian clock in the brain. Your inner clock relies on timed exposure to light, especially natural light, to keep itself in synchronization with the daily cycle of 24 hours.

So when you’ve lost an hour of sleep and your daily rhythm is thrown off, it can also throw off your inner clock and sleeping patterns. Most of us need a week or more to adjust, and some researchers suggest that our clocks never fully adjust to Daylight Savings Time.

As a result, the loss of an hour in March is hard on a lot of people. It is particularly hard on those who are battling winter depression. The Season Changed and Now You’re Depressed – Acupuncture Soothes Seasonal Affective Disorder

Many people also suffer from headaches, drowsiness, and additional stress. In fact, sometimes the stress can overwhelm the body.

According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, during the week after the shift into Daylight Savings Time, the rate of hospital admissions for heart attacks rise by as much as 10 percent. And scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have examined how the incidence of myocardial infarction changes with the summer and fall clock-shifts since 1987.

“There’s a small increase in risk for the individual, especially during the first three days of the new week,” says Dr. Imre Janszky, one of the researchers behind the study. “The disruption in the chronobiological rhythms, the loss of one hour’s sleep and the resulting sleep disturbance are the probable causes.”

Stress no more! Acupuncture is a wonderful ally for the body to help it adjust to Daylight Savings Time. One way to make this transition is to use the energy of the meridians that we all have, the are rivers of energy that flow through our bodies. The meridians have many points on them. Acupuncture stimulates the body to adjust and heal itself. When we gently contact these meridians it balances our daily time clock. When the energy flows free of obstructions we experience a sense of ease.  Acupuncture also helps to release neurotransmitters such as endorphins. They are our “feel good” hormones that invite relaxation and peacefulness during treatments. 

Acupuncture treatments also help with insomnia, and eases many other stress related issues. Acupuncture 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.

The treatment is gentle, painless, and relaxing. Acupuncture can calm and balance the body as well as help it sleep.  It is fantastic for readjusting the body seasonally as well as for jet lag.  It will help you adjust in this time of change!

OTHER HELPFUL TIPS FOR ADJUSTING TO DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME
  • Exercise, preferably outdoors, and early in the day. Working out releases serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps our bodies adjust. A brisk morning walk? Perfect. Avoid exercising too late in the evening though, as this could interfere with the quality of your sleep.
  • Nap wisely. Try to resist the urge to take long naps late in the day. If you get tired, take a short, energizing walk around the block instead. If you must nap, keep it to earlier in the day and limit it to no more than 20 minutes.
  • Don’t imbibe. Alcohol interferes with normal sleep cycles, so don’t rely on a nightcap to fall asleep.
  • Allow for proper digestion. After the time changes, you may be hungry for meals earlier or later than before. Be sure to give yourself ample time to digest your dinner before heading off to bed. A heavy meal in your stomach will interfere with the quality of your sleep, too.
  • Try Acupuncture!

Acupuncture Works for the Bad Traveler! Get Out of Town (Without the Nausea and Motion Sickness!)

Travel Happy with Acupuncture!

Travel Happy with Acupuncture!

Wouldn’t you like to be one of those people that can just grab a bag and go? (And not the airsickness kind…) 

Acupuncture is very helpful for those who suffer from motion sickness, and relieves the symptoms of nausea and vertigo so that you can be a happy traveler! (And better yet…there will be no more fighting over who has to sit next to you!)

People who suffer from migraines and inner ear problems seems to be affected more by motion sickness, and women are are as well compared to men, to some degree. If you are someone who gets car sick, you’re also more likely to get motion sickness on a cruise. However, that being said, many people who travel by car and airplane without issue still get seasick because of the unique low frequency and rocking motion of a boat. 

Fun Fact: The root of the word nausea is naus, which is the Greek word for ship. Motion sickness is very common, especially on boats. Why does it happen? When your brain gets conflicting signals, and your eyes sense relative stillness, but your balance and position centers sense motion — well, this can spell Trouble in River City.  The body’s mechanism that determines motion and orientation becomes confused, and often the result? Most people classify vomiting as one of the more unpleasant experiences in life. And when you’re on a plane or on a cruise ship…definitely not how one likes to arrive in style.

Chances are you know by now whether or not you’re affected by motion sickness and here’s some good news!

Acupuncture treats the nausea and vertigo associated with motion sickness, often with immediate success. Depending on the causes, more treatments will be relevant. Your history will be evaluated, as well as 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. 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 holistic therapy, considering the whole body-mind complex when considering a single symptom — it doesn’t exist alone.

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. You will welcome the relief!

Don’t let motion sickness keep you from adventuring! See how acupuncture can help…

Here’s some more helpful tips for happy traveling!

Even Gilligan’s Island had Ginger.

  • Try eating/drinking ginger before, during and after traveling. Ginger root is a classic remedy because of its widely recognized anti-emetic (nausea-preventing) effects. If you don’t mind the heat, try ginger coated in sugar, ginger biscuits, ginger mints and/or ginger tea.
  • Peppermint tea is also a great soother. Fresh mint can be bought in the produce section of your supermarket, and mint tea is another great resource for easing nausea. Letting a peppermint candy melt in your mouth also can help.
  • Can’t stand peppermint, or smelling it makes you feel worse? Try lemon drops!

And finally, mind over matter…

  • Try listening to some great music! Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of remembering your vacation when you hear that song again.
  • To very loosely paraphrase Henry Ford, “If you think you’ll vomit, you probably will.” Psychosocial factors play a role in motion sickness. If you expect it to happen it might just increase the likelihood that it will. So stay positive! Happy Travels!
CT Acupuncture Center 2014

Bad Case of the Winter Blahs? Feeling Anxious or Depressed? Be Soothed with Acupuncture!

Beat the Winter Blahs with Acupuncture!

Beat the Winter Blahs with Acupuncture!

Winter has been beautiful. However, who is now sick of shoveling? And careening down ice coated staircases? And feeling like it will never end? The other big question…have you been feeling really blah? Acupuncture can help with back pain, neck pain, headaches, and insomnia, but did you also know it can help with depression and anxiety?

Depression affects one in ten 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 two 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. This is where acupuncture can really help.

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.

Also, for some, change of seasons can trigger depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects over ten million of us in the United States each year, two-thirds of which are female, but males may have symptoms that are more severe. For many, the symptoms start in the fall and carry on through the winter.

Ranging widely in severity, anxiety and depression are often found to occur together and have overlapping symptoms. Acupuncture is a safe and natural way to help with mild, short-term cases of both anxiety and depression. In the United States, anxiety disorders affect about 40 million adults — women twice more than men. In Western medicine, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a psychological and physiological state characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about every day or upcoming life events with no obvious reasons for the worry. People with symptoms of GAD tend to always expect disaster and seemingly can’t stop worrying about things such as health, money, family, work, or school, and the worry is often unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. Therefore, daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety dominates the person’s thinking and eventually interferes with daily functioning.

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.

Be kind to yourself and remember, Spring is coming!

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

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!

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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.

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Wouldn’t you like to feel well-rested? 

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

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Reference:

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.