Bell’s Palsy is a condition of facial paralysis or weakness, not resultant from a stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack). It affects the facial nerve that controls the muscles on one side of the face, causing drooping and lack of responsiveness to that side of the face. This impairment may also affect your ability to form tears, close your eye, make expressions, or to taste. Most often, the patient wakes with this condition and it appears suddenly. Western medicine attributes this condition to the herpes virus that causes cold sores, and typically treats it with corticosteroids or antiviral medications.
Most patients do not find pharmaceutical treatment to be effective. Many cases will resolve on their own within a few weeks, however it’s possible that the paralysis or weakness can be permanent. Or, you can use acupuncture! This is one of those cases where Chinese medicine offers dramatic results where there is otherwise little remedy.
In Chinese medicine, this condition is due to what we call “wind invasion”. Quite literally, most of my patients with this condition report being exposed to air conditioning drafts for extended periods of time, working in a refrigerated environment, or other unusual condition involving cold drafts to the face.
Headaches and Migraines
Headaches can originate from a number of different causes, and different approaches are needed to address the underlying imbalances that cause them. While taking headache medication may temporarily bring relief, long-term use of medications can lead to ulcers, hypertension, and a host of unpleasant side-effects. With acupuncture, muscular tension in the neck and shoulder area can be released, and blood circulation regulated in the occipital and temporal areas. Stress, allergies, digestive problems and hormonal imbalances are all factors that can trigger headaches, and are also effectively addressed with acupuncture.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is defined as repeated blood pressure readings above 140/90. Often, we don’t check our blood pressure regularly and this condition can sneak up on us. Typically without symptoms, hypertension can silently cause dangerous changes in your body, including vessel changes in the retina, thickening of your heart muscle, brain damage and kidney failure In traditional medicine, there is no definitive cause identified in 95% of cases. You may have been treated with one or multiple medications that are typically increased over time.
A responsible doctor will also advise you on natural methods for lowering blood pressure including exercise, weight management, stress relief, a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and lowered sodium intake. These should be components of any plan to treat hypertension, whether or not you are on medications.
Sometimes, these changes are easier said than done. It frustrates me to see how many of my patients have been given little to no coaching on these critical aspects of treatment from their doctor. In my office, We have helped many patients to naturally lower their blood pressure, often lowering stress and cholesterol in the process. In addition to personalized nutrition and exercise recommendations, we take a look at the underlying imbalances in your body that are causing elevation of your blood pressure. Chinese medicine identifies several patterns. Using your individual diagnosis, We can help you to resolve hypertension through acupuncture and herbal medicine. My patients appreciate that while their blood pressure is normalizing, they experience no discomfort or side effects. Some patients, with cooperation from their doctor, are able to completely stop their medications. Others are able to reduce the number of medications or dosages to a safer level, thus experiencing fewer side effects.
From a scientific perspective, clinical practice and laboratory studies have proven that acupuncture lowers hypertension mainly through blocking beta receptors of the sympathetic nerve and stimulating the adrenaline-angiotensin system. Studies have also shown that the descending of elevated blood pressure after acupuncture is a result of regulation of the whole body.
Once your blood pressure has returned to normal, it is typically well-sustained if you continue to practice healthy habits
Heavy legs and painful
Many of the most common ailments facing patients today relate to digestive problems. Emotions, stress, medications, and dietary habits all have a great impact on the proper functioning of our digestion and elimination. Energetic blockages anywhere in our digestive tract quickly cause symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux, burping, stomach ache, indigestion, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. Commonly, clinical testing reveals the patient is “fine”, despite their discomfort.
Emotions: Did you know that 80% of our serotonin is found in our digestive tract? It’s no wonder emotional or stressful events can easily trigger bouts of constipation, diarrhea, or IBS. So many of us live under constant low to high level stress that our digestive systems function at very low levels.
Stress: Stress causes inflammation in the GI tract, making the body more susceptible to inflammation and ulcers. This combined with frequent use of headache or pain medications really make the digestive tract prone to ulceration. Furthermore, stress can cause spasm of the esophageal muscles and increases in stomach acid, leading to acid reflux, heartburn, stomach pain, and other issues.
Dietary Habits: Most of us have heard that sugary, fried, and spicy foods can aggravate the digestive system. Acidic foods, such as meat, coffee, alcohol and soft drinks may also be problematic, lowering the body’s pH and causing digestive discomfort. But, Chinese nutrition takes this one step further by considering properties of foods (like taste and temperature) in relation to your body’s constitutional imbalances. Often these subtle changes are just what your body need to achieve well-being and freedom from symptoms.
By releasing energetic blockages, relieving inflammation, and improving digestive efficiency, acupuncture has helped millions of people find relief from digestive discomfort. Typically, We will also consult with you regarding your diet, as the addition and/or elimination of certain foods, drinks or herbs will usually provide more permanent resolution.
Below are some digestive issues Acupuncture and Chinese Medicinals can help you with:
Anorexia – Bulimia
Intestinal gas, flatulence, flatulence
Indigestion or heavy
Ulcer of the stomach or duodenum
Male and Female Infertility
Pregnancy is a wonderful time to be in awe of our bodies and to connect with that little joy inside of us. It’s certainly miraculous to watch our bodies go through all the changes…some delightful, and some not so much! During this time, your body is going through incredible fluctuations in hormone levels, emotional swings, and spurts of growth. Acupuncture is a beautiful way to nourish and nurture your body and that little one inside you. It’s one of the few methods of treatment that is completely safe and healthy during this delicate time of life. Of course, be sure you see a Licensed Acupuncturist who is experienced in working with pregnancy to ensure the proper protocols are followed.
The benefits of acupuncture begin with conception: it can help to regulate hormones and the menstrual cycle to allow for optimal conception. If you have conceived with the help of western fertility medications, acupuncture is vital to cleanse the body and protect your baby from harmful effects. After conception, acupuncture supports the growth and development process of the baby, helping to prevent miscarriage.
Pregnancy can bring about lots of new symptoms including morning sickness. digestive sensitivities, headaches, back pain, sciatica, joint pain, emotional swings, fatigue, excessive sleepiness, insomnia, blood sugar imbalances, high sugar blood pressure, and other complications specific to pregnancy. Acupuncture is a natural way to balance your body and nourish the blood. Often the sharing of blood and nutrients with your baby can leave you feeling a bit low. Treatments during this time can help to support the demands on your body and optimize all its functions.
Having acupuncture throughout your pregnancy not only keeps symptoms at bay, but it improves circulation to help prevent varicose veins and hypertension as well as boosting your immune system to keep you well. When it comes time for labor and delivery, several studies have shown that women who have acupuncture weekly during their last month of pregnancy have shorter periods of labor, feel more relaxed, and experience easier deliveries.
Many couples today are struggling to conceive. Whether you are already using western fertility treatments, such as IVF or IUI, or are trying for pregnancy on your own, acupuncture is a fantastic way to improve your chances of a successful and healthy pregnancy. Often, conception is difficult due to menstrual or hormonal irregularities or low sperm function, but other times stress, blood deficiency, or energetic blockages are impeding results. If you currently or have previously used fertility drugs, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help cleanse and balance the body to protect you and the baby from the harmful effects of medications. Both men and women can benefit from the nourishing and balancing effects of acupuncture — before, during and after your pregnancy.
Cold, Flu’s and Your Immune System
While most of us treat colds by grabbing some over-the-counter medications, and “working through it”, this approach can allow a virus to penetrate deeper, often causing latent illness and fatigue for months or even years to come. Over-the-counter medications like cough suppressants, fever reducers, and headache medications aid in suppressing symptoms, but simultaneously suppress expression of the virus. It is not merely the virus itself that causes us to become ill, but our body’s susceptibility to infection. In Chinese medicine, we believe that colds are one way the body rids itself of toxins and accumulations, and forces the patient to rest.
A fever is the result of the body’s efforts to purge toxins and illness. If you ignore the body’s efforts to cleanse and restore, or battle it with symptom-focused medications, you might well be pushing the virus deeper into the body. Though you may feel ok at first, many patients find they feel fatigued or symptomatic for extended periods following a cold; even traditional medicine links several serious illnesses with latent, untreated viruses.
Using Acupuncture and Herbs, your treatment will assist the body in its efforts to expel the virus from the body. The sooner you seek treatment, the faster you will recover and experience relief from symptoms. Your Acupuncture treatments can help prevent a little cold from turning into bronchitis, respiratory tract infections, and strep throat, resulting in less suffering and less time away from work and the things you love to do.
We encourage you to call the minute you begin to feel “under the weather”, overly tired, chilled or feverish, or notice a scratchy throat. As a bonus, Acupuncture also boosts the immune system, so most people having regular acupuncture treatments report fewer colds, flu’s, and health problems in general. Oh, and if you have an autoimmune condition, no worries – Acupuncture allows the body to regulate itself, and it won’t make your condition worse. We’re pretty smart, huh?
Allergies and Asthma
Your immune system serves to protect you against harmful bacteria and viruses. However, sometimes it also reacts to allergens, which are typically harmless to most people. If you have allergies, your immune system is oversensitive to these substances. When your body senses an allergen, it releases “histamines” to fight off the allergen. Histamines cause itching, hives, inflammation, mucus, rashes, hives and other unpleasant symptoms. So…let’s take anti-histamines, right? (We hope you shouted “no!”)
Sneezing, sinus pressure, headaches, itchy eyes, and difficulty breathing can really make you feel awful. While it’s certainly tempting to reach for allergy medications (typically anti-histamines and bronchodilators), these suppress your immune system and do nothing to alleviate the underlying issue. Plus, you might like having an immune system! Many allergy sufferers also find that medications become less effective over time and have a host of unpleasant side effects.
Unlike traditional medicine’s approach, acupuncture and Chinese medicine don’t suppress the immune system, but regulate the body’s immune response, making your body less hyper-reactive to allergens in the environment. This is especially helpful if you are allergic to multiple things, or are not sure what triggers your allergies. Treatments are also tailored to address your individual symptoms and energetic blockages, quickly opening the sinus passages, facilitating breathing and relieving sinus pressure & headaches.
With a course of acupuncture treatment and recommended herbal formulas, your body can often rid itself of the allergic reactions altogether. That’s certainly better than hiding indoors all Spring.
Laryngitis – Pharyngitis
Reduction of visual acuity
Typically if you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you’ve been suffering for a while. Many people struggle with muscle pain, fatigue, and headaches for years before they’re able to figure out what’s wrong. Fibromyalgia is a fairly recent and vague diagnosis, simply because there is not a definitive test for it. As a result, we see many different presentations. Common symptoms include:
Fatigue/Low Energy One of the most common things patients express is a lack of energy or difficulty getting through their day. Sleepiness, lethargy, and food cravings can all result from stress, digestive imbalances,, blood deficiencies, poor sleep, or simply energetic imbalances. While clinical tests may indicate nothing is wrong, you are suffering, nonetheless. Releasing blocked energy, regulating diet, restoring restful sleep, and balancing the system through acupuncture, herbs, and nutrition can help you to feel much better. You will undoubtedly feel stronger, more energetic, and experience relief from lethargy and mood swings
One of the most common things patients express is lack of energy or difficulty getting through their day. Sleepiness, lethargy, and food cravings can all result from stress, digestive imbalances, blood deficiencies, poor sleep, or simply energetic imbalances. While clinical tests may indicate nothing is wrong, you are suffering nonetheless. Releasing blocked energy, regulating diet, restoring restful sleep and balancing the system through Acupuncture, herbs and nutrition can help make you feel much better.
Stiffness, especially in the morning
Tingling/Numbness in hands and feet
Memory and Focus difficulties
Western medicine has not defined a cause; often stressful events, repetitive injuries and illness are contributing factors, but not always. Similarly, treatment options are limited – usually to medications.
In Chinese medicine, your physical body and emotions are intimately linked. Our patients almost always comment on emotional stressors as well.
A variety of natural remedies will likely be more effective, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, meditation, exercise, nutrition, Aromatherapy and Homeopathy. We have had great success treating fibromyalgia patients with Acupuncture. Because Acupuncture works by releasing energetic blockages, improvements in energy levels and circulation are among the biggest benefits. When circulation and balanced energy flow are restored, you will notice improvements in energy levels and pain. Acupuncture also affects neurotransmitter levels, reducing anxiety and depression and improving your quality of sleep. As a bonus, acupuncture intercepts pain signals in the body, heading off sensations of discomfort and pain.
Since fibromyalgia is complex and often chronic, a series of treatments will likely be recommended, but patients often start to experience improvements relatively quickly. We utilize a combination of acupuncture, herbal prescriptions, nutrition, and movement to optimize your results.
Go ahead, breathe a deep sigh of relief!
A surprising number of women suffer with menstrual problems, including PMS, painful or irregular periods, heavy bleeding, endometriosis, migraines, and more. In Western Medicine these problems are usually treated with birth control pills, surgery, or other medication. Acupuncture offers a natural alternative by regulating uterine blood flow, balancing hormones, relaxing uterine muscles, and releasing mood-elevating neurotransmitters. Treatments are painless, relaxing and can be done at any time during your menstrual cycle.
Menopause is not, in itself, a disease. Many women worldwide smoothly transition through this time with little or no symptoms. However, especially in America more women than not do experience mild to severe discomfort and imbalance during this time. Unfortunately, even if you’ve been able to quell the symptoms temporarily, the overall impact on the system creates deeper and progressive issues that need to be treated, not masked.
Yes, there is an effective & natural alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Did you know that in China there is almost no incidence of menopausal syndrome (the term for the unpleasant effects that often accompany cessation of the menstrual cycle)? More and more women each day across the world are benefitting from the powerful effects of acupuncture and herbal medicine in addressing hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, insomnia, and other unpleasant symptoms. In addition to treating your symptoms, Chinese medicine helps the body to find balance much more quickly, also addressing the emotional and stressful elements of life that may be affecting a woman at this time, such as caring for parents, working full-time, or seeing children off to college.
Fibroid of uterus
Vaginal yeast infection
Arthritis and Joint Pain
Whether your joint pain stems from sprain/strain injuries, broken bones, “frozen shoulder”, rotator cuff trauma, arthritis, or other unknown cause, Acupuncture is an effective way to heal your condition and manage the pain.
Tendinitis, arthritis, and bursitis are common diagnoses, which all reflect inflammation of the joint. Through increases in white blood cell counts, increased circulation, and release of muscular tension, Acupuncture effectively relieves joint pain and improves range of motion, in areas that are often hard to reach with superficial treatments.
Sciatica Nerve Pain
Back and Neck Pain
Most of the time, these conditions result entirely or in part from muscular spasms and resulting inflammation. When muscle fibers become shortened and “knotted”, sensations can occur ranging from mild achiness to sharp pain. While massage feels great, and can often release superficial muscular spasms, acupuncture provides longer-lasting and even permanent release of spasms. Furthermore, when muscles become knotted, blockages in circulation of energy and blood occur, creating pain and oxygen/nutrient deficiency at the affected area. With acupuncture treatment, inflammation and pain can also be relieved, facilitating the body’s natural healing mechanisms. If your condition involves skeletal changes, such as with scoliosis or disc injury, Chiropractic treatment is recommended in conjunction with Acupuncture, for the fastest and most lasting relief
Inevitably, your emotions will fluctuate from day to day. However, often traumatic events, hormonal changes, or high stress levels will make it difficult for your body to cope with these fluctuations, and emotions can become increasingly suppressed. By activating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, acupuncture helps balance and soothe emotional swings and elicit an overall sense of peace and well-being. Patients typically feel improvements in sleep, digestion, energy, and pain levels, as emotions become more manageable. Acupuncture effectively treats depression, seasonal affective disorder, irritability, anxiety and panic disorders, and helps patients cope with grief and post-traumatic stress. Processing and releasing emotions not only feels better, but is a healthy way to reduce the likelihood of physical manifestations. Many illnesses are thought to have strong emotional components.
Insomnia and Sleep Disorders
Even after your first Acupuncture Treatment, you will likely feel improvement in your sleep that night. Acupuncture stimulates dopamine and serotonin release, and allows for more restful, deep sleep. Multiple sessions are recommended for long-term changes, to address underlying roots that cause chronic sleep problems, such as stress, menopausal syndrome, or energetic imbalances.
In addition, here are some things you can do to improve your sleep naturally:
Unwind before bed – start turning off the TV, computer, and other distractions to begin quieting your mind; spend a few minutes in quiet meditation right before bed, clearing your mind and breathing deeply; moderate or eliminate caffeine in your diet, especially in the late afternoon and evening; stay hydrated throughout the day and begin to taper off fluid consumption at night; take up a regular exercise program to improve your daytime energy and naturally enhance fatigue at night; stick to a regular sleeping schedule so your body gets used to a sleeping and waking routine.
Take a recommended Chinese herbal formula to regulate imbalances that might be causing sleep troubles, frequent waking, nightmares, phobia, sadness, and anxiety.
If you suffer from anxiety, you’re not alone. Anxiety is one of the most common emotional disorders that people experience. All of us experience situational anxiety to some extent – nervousness before your performance review at work, distress when your child is late getting home, or even restlessness in an elevator full of people. These are normal responses. That said, there are many of us who feel disproportionate amounts of anxiety or these feelings and symptoms seem to come on for no reason. “Anxiety” might mean different things to different people: nervousness, stomach ache, chest pain, palpitations and difficulty breathing, or even full-blown panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The great thing about Chinese medicine is that we believe the mind and body are intimately connected (how can they not be, right?) When something is out of whack in your body, expect your mind to be affected – and vice versa. Good news is, We can help. Through detecting energetic changes in your pulse and viewing your tongue (yep, stay with us here)…we can find out which pattern of imbalance your body is experiencing. In Chinese medicine, it’s often the heart and kidney systems that are affected.
Utilizing Acupuncture points along the corresponding energy pathways, we can help your body restore energetic flow, treating both the symptoms and underlying imbalance. For a “Western” translation, think about the Acupuncture needles stimulating the nervous system, activating the parasympathetic response (calming state) and affecting neurotransmitters like serotonin, which help us to relax and sleep.
You will be amazed at the sense of calm and well-being your treatments can bring, as well as improvements n sleep and energy. Better than Xanax or Valium, right? (Unless you enjoy the memory loss, depression, and disorientation that can come with these meds.)
We get the best results combining Acupuncture with Chinese Medicinals and Nutritional guidance. You will be smiling in no time!