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Posts Tagged: sleep apnea

Lighten Up, It’s Spring — Lose Weight with Acupuncture!

Eat healthy, and get acupuncture!

Eat healthy, and get acupuncture!

Whether you want to just drop a few pounds or many, acupuncture works with you to make it easier!

Spring is definitely in the air, and for many of us, Winter helped us pack on a few pounds more than we’d like to admit.

Overeating is the obvious first choice, but there are many reasons people become overweight – poor nutrition, heredity, hormonal imbalances, a slow metabolism, and lack of exercise are also some of the most common.

Becoming overweight can also be the consequence of various medical conditions. This includes hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis.

The ancient practice of acupuncture helps to heal a host of ailments, and it also aids in weight loss!

Acupuncture can power up any other weight control strategy by helping to keep your appetite in check, easing cravings, improving digestion, and enhancing the way nutrients are used.

Boost your energy and your mood with acupuncture!

Boost your energy and your mood with acupuncture!

Acupuncture treatments release endorphins which have a calming and relaxing effect. It makes it easier to deal with stress, frustration and anxiety that can trigger overeating fattening foods.

Those endorphins also affect the digestive and hormonal systems. Acupuncture can help rebalance the organ systems that are running too fast, or in this case too slow; specifically your metabolism and will power. If lack of energy is an issue, acupuncture treatments will give you a boost!

In addition, acupuncture strengthens the function of the liver, the organ that produces many chemicals critical for digestion, processing nutrients and breaking down of fats. A healthy liver is a happy liver! Acupuncture can also increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach to help people know that they are full.

Acupuncture is effective, painless, and best of all, drug-free! 

Want more information on how acupuncture can help you? Visit us at CT Acupuncture Center

Questions about acupuncture?  Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture

Back pain relief in action! Want to see an acupuncture session in action for yourself? Check this out…

 Acupuncture in Action with Ingri Boe-Wiegaard 

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

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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

Sleep Apnea is Scary! Acupuncture to the Rescue!

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Acupuncture Relieves Symptoms and Addresses Causes of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain — and the rest of the body — may not get enough oxygen. These episodes can occur up to 100 times in one hour.  Most people don’t completely wake up when this occurs, but will feel exhausted in the morning and tired throughout the day. Sleep apnea is a very dangerous disease, because if left untreated it gets progressively worse and has serious health consequences. In some cases, sleep apnea can cause impotence or high blood pressure.  In the worst cases, it can lead to stroke, heart attack and death.

There are two types of sleep apnea, the first and more common is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is caused by the airway being blocked, usually when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses during sleep. The second kind is central sleep apnea.   Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center.

Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, male or female, even children. Sometimes alcohol, sleeping pills, or heart medications can trigger apnea. It can even be inherited.  Other causes include obesity, large tonsils and adenoids.

The biggest risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Being male
  • Being overweight
  • Being over age 40
  • Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
  • Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea
  • Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
  • Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems

If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, irregular heart beats, and heart attacks. When breathing stops during apnea episodes, carbon dioxide levels in the blood increase and oxygen levels drop. This sets off a chain of physical and chemical events. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to remain elastic, but sleep apnea causes decreased levels of nitric oxide and thus less elasticity in blood vessel walls.

One recent study showed that the greater the number of nightly apnea episodes a person had, the more likely they were to develop hypertension. Blood pressure fluctuates widely and rapidly in response to episodes of apnea and hypopnea. This is an autonomic nervous system response that controls involuntary muscle activity such as the heart. The transient constriction of blood vessels controlling the heart can lead to sustained hypertension (high blood pressure) and eventual heart damage. The National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research estimates that sleep apnea results in 38,000 cardiovascular deaths each year.

The list of potential health problems caused by sleep apnea also include diabetes, depression, and worsening of ADHD. Studies in older people with sleep apnea and excessive daytime sleepiness demonstrate lower test scores for cognitive function. In one study 32% of adult apnea patients also had suffered from depression. Studies of children and adolescents with sleep apnea reported academic underachievement, short attention span, and hyperactivity, all thought to be a result of sleepiness.  In addition, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, and more distressingly,  motor vehicle crashes and occupational accidents due to excessive daytime sleepiness.

So that’s the bad news about sleep apnea. And rather a lot of it.  But here’s the good news! Acupuncture is extraordinarily helpful in treating sleep apnea!  Here’s how it works…

A recent study showed that acupuncture as a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has immediate effects in reducing nocturnal respiratory events, sleep disruptions, and desaturations (low oxygen levels in the blood). The researchers hypothesized that this improvement is due to acupuncture’s effects on serotonergic pathways and also acupuncture’s anti-inflammatory effects. Acupuncture works by stimulating the muscles of the upper respiratory airways, which usually collapse during episodes of sleep apnea.   The researchers note that the acupuncture points of the neck are of specific interest because they stimulate the genioglossus muscle — stimulation of this lingual muscle affects airflow dynamics and may be a key reason as to why acupuncture is effective for improving the symptoms of patients with sleep apnea.  Clinical studies have also shown that acupuncture helps release extra neurotransmitters into the central nervous system, including serotonin which regulates sleep patterns.

Before treating a patient who suffers from sleep apnea with acupuncture, we will learn as much as possible about your medical history and lifestyle and what is causing the blockages of energy within your body.  Information provided will allow us to identify the likely points that require treatment. We treat the whole person, safely, effectively and painlessly, and acupuncture can relieve the symptoms and underlying problems that create sleep apnea.

That’s something to breathe easy about!

To learn more, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com, and check us out on Facebook!

Author: Andrée Lambertson

Reference:

Immediate effect of acupuncture on the sleep pattern of patients with obstructive sleep apnoea, Anaflávia O Freire, Gisele C M Sugai, Sônia Maria Togeiro, Luiz Eugênio Mello, Sérgio Tufik; Acupunct Med 2010; 28:115-119.

Summer Insomnia Giving You the Mid Winter Blues? Acupuncture Puts Insomnia to Bed!

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No More Sleepless Nights With Acupuncture!

We’ve all been there — sleepless nights.  When it happens regularly, it can have serious consequences to one’s health — in fact, it 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 emotional crisis, a sleep disorder is never cause for celebration.

A sleep disorder is a disruption of the body’s natural sleep patterns. It 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. Though there are many disorders that affect the quality and/or quantity of sleep, they’re usually lumped under the label of “insomnia.”

Treatment for sleep disorders is based on the specifics of the patient and the diagnosis, family and medical history as well as the patient’s overall emotional health. Also important to factor in is the age of the patient; treatment for children with sleep disorders will be different from that for adults who have the same symptoms. Looking into diet issues, as well as the body ph (acid/base balance) can be helpful.

Acupuncture is helpful and relevant 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.

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. Before turning to prescription drugs, give acupuncture a try! It might be the answer you’re (about to be) dreaming of!

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

Like our Page on Facebook!

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.

No Snoring, Please! Acupuncture Successfully Treats Snoring and Its Causes

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Acupuncture Solves Snoring Problems

While often a subject that leads itself to humor, snoring is a potentially serious subject — 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.

I examine your sleep patterns and your health history to determine the source of your snoring. I then focus on specific meridians that balance the tone and tension in the many tissues of the neck and throat. Besides acupuncture, I recommend some healthy lifestyle changes 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

Like Us on Facebook!