Acupuncture Treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue SyndromeExtreme fatigue is a serious disorder that can complicate primary physical and mental functions. It is not a simple problem to fix, so rest alone won’t do the trick. Serious cases of chronic fatigue syndrome can cause an extreme sense of heaviness and can even disable a person from being able to walk or think properly. Other conditions occur as a result of it such as fever, vomiting, pain, and migraines to name a few.

For an all-natural way to increase your stamina, oriental medicine and acupuncture can help. These techniques will first treat the symptoms causes by chronic fatigue syndrome, then it will try to address the initial problem itself, which is said to be an imbalance of life energy throughout the body.

Several studies have been conducted on the effects of oriental medicine for people diagnosed with this syndrome. One in particular involves cupping patients who have chronic fatigue, insomnia, muscle pain, diarrhea, sore throat, abdominal distention, short-term memory, excessive sweating, and digestive problems. A group of patients between the ages of twenty-nine to fifty-five received this cupping treatment twice a week for six weeks. After the twelve treatments, each patient showed noticeable signs in the recovery of the mentioned symptoms.

fall-runningA similar study was also conducted in China with acupuncture techniques. A selection of patients was divided into two groups, one being the acupuncture group while the other received standard treatment. Once the study was completed, it was reported that those who underwent acupuncture showed more signs of improvement than those who received injections. Another acupuncture study was done in Hong Kong that showed the exact same results. With the many other tests conducted, it has been proven that acupuncture therapy is superior to standard procedures for treating chronic fatigue syndrome.

If you are or know someone who is suffering from insomnia or chronic fatigue syndrome, then give Dr. Laurie Binder a call to set up an appointment with her at Los Angeles Acupuncture and Wellness. We’ll devise an oriental medicine treatment plan to help cure whatever symptoms you may have.

Acupuncture and Skin Conditions

acupuncture and skinOriental medicine and acupuncture are used to effectively relieve skin conditions of all types. Our skin lets us know the condition of our body overall and reacts to certain substances, like pollen or poison oak, in order to let the body know that it is best to avoid if possible. Skin conditions can be caused by imbalances in your diet, emotions, environment, and weather.

In order to keep the skin healthy inside and out, it is important to address internal problems. Acupuncture can be used to increase the flow of life energy, lymph circulation, collagen production, and blood circulation in order to make the skin look and feel its best. Collagens are proteins that help the skin become elastic, smooth, soft, moist and firm as well as increase the natural muscle tone of the body.

The skin problems acupuncture and oriental medicine can treat include psoriasis, shingles, rosacea, urticaria, pruitus, acne, eczema, and dermatitis. When treating any of these conditions, a customized plan will be created to suit your specific needs. Even if several people all have rosacea, different treatment plans will be created around specific symptoms and their current lifestyle. The techniques involved will include different types of exercises, diet changes, general lifestyle adjustments, and herbal medicines to restore balance to one’s life energy.

Oriental medicine states that our body’s condition is decided on what we eat, and it’s completely right. There are some foods, like refined and processed foods, that can cause in imbalance in our life energy and cause the said skin conditions. Below are the top foods and beverages you need to include into your diet in order to feel and look your best.

Water is the most important substance for keeping the body and skin healthy. Proper hydration is vital to our health as it keeps the cells that transport nutrients into the body and removes toxins hydrated. Water also is important for increasing the quality of our life energy.

Green tea is the second and only other beverage recommended for daily consumption. The effects of green tea have been studied for quite some time with results showing that green tea decreases aging as well as increased polyphenols. Polyphenols are chemicals that reduce inflammation and improve immune function. A study in the Archives of Dermatology reports that green tea is also used to decrease the risk of skin cancer developing either by consuming it or apply it to the skin.

Blueberries, plums, strawberries, and blackberries are the top four fruits that we absolutely need in our diet. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports that in order to get the maximum amount of antioxidants our body needs it is recommended that we should consume those four fruits. Antioxidants are responsible for protecting our cells from dying out as well as guarding them from outside forces, which increases the strength of our immune system while reducing our body’s aging process.

Brown rice, whole grain bread, tuna, and turkey all contain selenium, which is a specific antioxidant designed to increase the elasticity of our skin and keeps it healthy. This antioxidant also plays a huge role as a preventative for skin cancer cause by skin damage from the sun.

Flax seed, walnuts, salmon, and olive oil contains the essential fatty acids our body needs in order to keep our skin moist, body flexible, and promotes the skin repairing process. In order to get these fatty acids, we must have a diet that contains walnuts, flax seed, flax seed oil, or fish. Besides the omega 3 fatty acid, olive oil promotes lubrication and firmness of the skin. Make sure to look for olive oil that states that it hasn’t been refined too much in order to get the most from it.

Sweet potatoes and carrots are two vegetables we must have in order to get a sufficient amount of vitamin A. This vitamin is responsible for protecting our skin against harmful entities as well as increases elasticity, reduces the chance of infection, and prevents wrinkles. Deep orange vegetables, like sweet potatoes and carrots, are the foods containing the most vitamin A.

In order to set up an acupuncture session and create a diet especially for you, contact me today so we can start healing the condition of your skin or just to make it look better overall.

How Chinese Herbal Remedies Work

american ginseng - Chinese Herbal RemediesChinese herbal remedies have been used for many years, long before the introduction of western medicine. Westerners have only recently learned of the amazing benefits these herbs contain. As herbs grow in use and popularity, people are wondering how exactly they work. It is confusing to some individuals that a plant could offer healing. What they may not realize is that much of western medicine is derived from plant sources. The following explains how Chinese herbal remedies work in the human body.

Treating the Source

Much of western medicine treats the symptoms rather than the source of an illness or discomfort. Herbal remedies target the source of the problem. For example, depleted blood causes problems with eyesight, sleep, and mood. Blood enriching herbs assist in fixing the deficiency thus eliminating the symptoms. Many issues are caused by fatigue, so specific herbs are taken to increase energy. This the organs maintain top performance. There are, of course, herbs to treat specific symptoms related to things such as colds and allergies. They are quite effective in this area. But for the most part, herbs focus on the particular causes rather than symptoms.

Reciprocal Relationship

Herbs are used in combinations to boost effectiveness. They work together, promoting other. In essence, they help each other to increase usefulness. The proper mixture of herbs can have a powerful impact on the body. There are a number of excellent formulas available on the market today to treat virtually any element.

Basic Functions

There are three basic functions of herbal remedies.

  1. Supplement-These are used to correct any deficiencies in the body.
  2. Cleansing-These are used to clear toxins and harmful substances from of the body.
  3. Balance-These are used to bring organ systems into balance.

In the past, most western physicians have overlooked or simply denied the benefits of herbal remedies. However, they are now beginning to understand the role of herbs in treating illness. You do not have to choose between western medicine and herbal remedies. They often work very well together.

Acupuncture in the News: Success Stories

A needle here, a needle there; a doubt defeated, an ache relieved. Skeptics continue to have their suspicions blown out of the water as more and more reports emerge of acupuncture’s effectiveness. Here are a few of those stories making headlines in recent months.


Acupuncture combats side effects of cancer treatment


After undergoing chemo and radiation for her tongue cancer, Beth Dowhen turned to acupuncture to combat the side effects—reluctantly, at first. “I thought, you know, acupuncture? Is it going to be some old hippie somewhere doing it?” she explains. The immediate effects were enough to convert her; “I really do credit acupuncture with helping me feel better.”

To combat the dry mouth that accompanies radiation, a needle in Dowhen’s chin did the trick. “About five minutes after that first treatment,” she says, “I felt saliva come into my mouth and that just amazed me.” Her acupuncturist also helped her relieve a months-long sore throat, reduce stress, and induce relaxation.


Acupuncture improves quality of life for furry companion


That’s right—a 12-year-old pug named Keeohnee found relief through acupuncture. After losing feeling and movement in his hind legs, Keeohnee’s owner Miranda Ratzlaff was determined to do whatever she could to make life easier for her “fur baby,” who was developing chronic bladder infections due to being unable to move to empty his bladder.

Dr. Mark Ekerberg, a veterinarian who practices alternative therapies in addition to traditional veterinary medicine, proposed an avant-garde method to help the Wichita pug. “It seems crazy,” Ekerberg concedes. “I’m sticking a needle in their back saying that I’m going to make their kidney function better. When I first heard that I thought it was ridiculous.” After focusing on points that correspond with the bladder, bowels, and kidneys, Keeohnee’s condition began to improve. They paired the acupuncture with underwater treadmill sessions and soon witnessed the pug transform “from a completely stationary dog to a dog that’s interacting with his entire family,” Ratzlaff rejoiced.


Acupuncture boosts fertility


pregnant womanA study scheduled for publication in June in the Reproductive BioMedicine Online Journal examined the effect of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) on live birth rates for women undergoing IVF. Researchers divided the women into three groups: those who chose IVF alone, those who had two treatments of acupuncture on the day of IVF, and a third group who received TCM in the form of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and dietary recommendations throughout their treatment.

Women who utilized Traditional Chinese Medicine, the study found, had almost double the live birth rate compared to those who had IVF alone. “This is good preliminary evidence that suggests TCM as it’s practiced in the real world may positively impact IVF outcomes,” says lead researcher Lee Hullender-Rubin.

Curious as to how acupuncture might improve your own quality of life or fertility efforts? Contact us and we’ll walk you through the promising options available at Los Angeles Acupuncture and Wellness.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Formulas to Complement Acupuncture Treatments

Chinese herbal medicine has been around for 2,000 years, and the variety of herbs available on the market is quite extensive. But when given as a treatment, they’re usually intended to complement acupuncture treatment and help reinforce the balance of Qi we work toward establishing in your body. If you’ve never heard of Qi (pronounced “Chee”), it’s the energy flow in the body that helps prevent pain and illness.

While personal experience is the best way to show you how acupuncture successfully works, what herbs can you take that help restore your health? Some you may have heard of, and others perhaps not.

american ginsengAmerican Ginseng Root

This may be the best known Chinese herb out there, and the proper Chinese name is Xi Yang Shen. Used in conjunction with acupuncture, it’s been long known for helping numerous conditions, including blood pressure and strengthening the heart. It works well on the central nervous system and in muscles in particular. In that regard, athletes who come in for acupuncture treatment can find a lot of good in taking American Ginseng Root.

Keep in mind we’ll analyze your health carefully before taking this because it does have side effects if you have certain health conditions.

xixinWild Ginger Plant

Otherwise known as Xi Xin in Chinese medicine, there’s been some controversy with wild ginger plant, though it’s known for being a powerful remedy for pain. That’s important when most people coming in for acupuncture have been dealing with pain for far too long. While some say that it’s safe to take wild ginger plant in larger doses, others say it’s better in lower doses to avoid risks of toxicity. It can strengthen the heart and muscles to help alleviate pain in just about any part of the body.

watermelon rindWatermelon Rind

In Chinese medicine, this is called Xi Gua Pi. Since it comes from a fruit that we all eat every summer, you might be surprised to learn that watermelon rinds have medicinal properties. It’s known for helping many things from diabetes to erectile dysfunction. The magic of watermelon rind comes in something called citrulline that’s seen in the drug Viagra. Yes, now you know that Viagra comes partially from nature, despite seeming like an artificial pharmaceutical.

Using watermelon rind in conjunction with acupuncture can help those we treat for erectile dysfunction and impotence. It’s just some of the conditions that acupuncture can successfully treat.

chinese plumChinese Plum

You probably didn’t know that Chinese plum was also an herb that can be used to help solve a number of health problems. Known in Chinese medicine as Wu Mei, this can help boost your immune system, even though it also focuses on helping stomach issues. That means it can help constipation and general indigestion. We have many who visit us who deal with these issues, and acupuncture helps the condition in association with other treatment.

Contact us here at Los Angeles Acupuncture and Wellness so we can help get you started on Chinese herbal medicine and explore the many other varieties not mentioned here. With each one designed to help a particular condition, you have a lot to choose from and to use as an overall acupuncture treatment program in addition to exercise.

Traditional Chinese Medicine for Postpartum Care

Traditional Chinese Medicine for Postpartum CareThere is a common misconception that once a woman gives birth, her body immediately returns to “normal” and there are little, to no concerns (aside from nursing) that a new mother must face.  Yet, the truth of the matter is, even when not considering “baby weight” factors, a woman’s body is changed by pregnancy.  Some of these changes are permanent, and some are temporary.  Those that are temporary can often take months, if not longer, to return to a “pre-pregnancy” state, leaving many new mothers frustrated by a slower post-natal recovery time frame than initially anticipated.

It is important to remember that just because the birth has occurred, a new mother should not stop getting the proper care she needs to treat the issues that could arise post-delivery. Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine for postpartum care is a holistic option for a mother looking to deal with both the physical and emotional elements in the post-partum period.

While pregnant, a woman’s body produces many hormones that are necessary for the growing and delivery of human life.  Once a child is born, the body may no longer be producing those hormones, but their effects do not diminish immediately.  One of these hormones is relaxin, the hormone responsible for the relaxation of the ligaments in the pelvis, as well as the softening and widening of the cervix shortly before giving birth.  Once a baby is born, a woman’s body no longer makes hormones such as relaxin as it did shortly before the birth.  However the muscles in the pelvis remain in a relaxed state for some time.

Likewise, the muscles in a post-partum woman’s back and abdomen can remain effected after delivery.  Due to the physical burden of carrying a baby for nine months, muscle tone can be effected and muscles can remained stretched for some time, causing muscle pain and discomfort.  Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can be used by a skilled practitioner to help a woman’s body regain both muscle tone and hormonal balance.

Another side effect of the hormonal fluctuations a woman can experience after giving birth can be what many refer to as the “baby blues.”  “Baby blues” usually refers to a short amount of time, lasting from a few days to a month, or longer, in which a woman’s body is hormonally out of balance, causing mood swings, anger, anxiety, problems sleeping and sometimes depression.  Post-partum depression however, is categorized as a more severe in nature than the more common “baby blues,” as well as more prolonged in duration and occurs in anywhere between 9 to 16% of new mothers.  As with all hormonal imbalances after giving birth — acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine and a hormone balancing diet can all be extremely helpful in returning a woman’s body its optimum balance, as well as successful in alleviating some of the anxiety that occurs for many during the early days of motherhood.

baby back painAside from hormones, it is easy to forget wear and tear that pregnancy and birth can put on a body, both in the muscles and the nervous system.  Many new mommies find that even after giving birth, they still suffer from the dreaded “baby back” as well as a gamut of aches and pains caused by stretched and weakened muscles throughout the body.  As it can take months for muscle tissue to return to normal after a pregnancy, neck, back and hip pain can be fairly common.  Pain and pressure caused from weakened muscles can also create undue pressure on nerves and create “interference” in the nervous system, keeping a woman’s body from healing and functioning at 100%.  Acupuncture is commonly used to not only speed up the recovery of muscle tone, but also to alleviate pressure being placed on nerves throughout the body, both assisting with the aches, pains, and strains common in the post-natal period.

There are many ways that acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can assist in a woman’s post-natal period.  Contact us now to learn more about how acupuncture is being used to help with not only the previously mentioned health concerns, but also with everything from lactation concerns to incision, or perineal discomfort post delivery.  Let Los Angeles Acupuncture and Wellness and Dr. Laurie Binder help make those amazing first weeks with baby amazing for mommy as well!

Lose Weight and Improve Your Health with Acupuncture

weight loss acupuncture Los AngelesAcupuncture for weight loss?  Yes!

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the main reason why we gain weight is because of an energy imbalance disrupting the flow of Qi in the liver and spleen. These two organs manage your weight by making sure your digestive system and energy flow is running smoothly. The liver is responsible for keeping up with the flow of blood and life energy that flows throughout your entire body while the spleen is directly involved with the body’s ability to extract life energy from the food we eat.

When these two systems have disrupted Qi, it can lead to problems such as compulsive eating, increased appetite, slow metabolism, loose stool, food cravings, and higher water retention. Acupuncture is an ancient method that has worked for various problems since many generations ago. This technique involves activating specific points on your body with an extremely thin needle to improve the flow of Qi. Each point is used to address a specific problem which means that different points will be targeted as new symptoms arise. This will help negate the problems above and improve several weight loss factors like increased metabolism, less frequent appetite, reduced cravings, prevents over-eating, increased energy levels, and it help the body absorb the nutrients it needs in order to function and lose weight properly.

Acupuncture is just one treatment of many involved in the weight loss process. Treatments are determined by a person’s individual needs, so every single patient will receive a customized plan created only for them. Typically, a full weight loss plan will consist of body acupuncture, ear acupuncture, herbs, supplements, breathing exercises, physical activity, and lifestyle changes.

For weight loss, specific foods and herbs will be selected to improve digestion, increase natural energy, reduce toxins, and relieving the mind of any negative emotions. Combined with acupuncture, you can be assured that your body is performing at the best rate possible to shed weight. Breathing exercises are used for the psychological challenges that come with weight loss. This will improve your ability to resist bad foods and cravings. Acupuncture and oriental medicine treatments are great weight loss techniques to add to your weight loss routine.

As you know, physical activity is needed to reduce the size of your waist. Walking alone will not be enough, but it is an important part of your routine due to the pressure it puts on the acupuncture point Yongquan. When this point is stimulated, it can clear your mind and improve focus on the task at hand. It is best stimulated by walking, rolling a tennis ball across this point, and by massaging it with your fist.

Acupuncture for Addiction Management

Numbers show that acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to break tough addictions. In fact, this technique is responsible for converting many people from full-time smokers to non-smokers. Acupuncture helps treat addiction by managing the symptoms of withdrawal by reducing symptoms such as cravings, restlessness, jitters, and irritability. This technique will also detoxify the body and induce relaxation.

Health specialists have stated that acupuncture does not only apply to smoking addictions, but can help with other substances such as cocaine. This conclusion resulted from a study conducted at Yale University who used ear acupuncture to attempt to treat addiction to cocaine. The study consisted of two control groups and one for acupuncture. At the end of the program, results found that over fifty percent of those in the acupuncture group were free of cocaine. The two control groups had percentages of twenty-three and nine. Furthermore, those who received acupuncture during this study stayed off cocaine indefinitely or longer than the two control groups.

Acupuncture is not the only factor in breaking an addiction. There are several tips to keep in mind as well. Dietary changes are a must if you want an easier time during the withdrawal period. Avoid all processed foods and beverages high in caffeine like coffee as these will antagonize the symptoms caused by withdrawal. Consume plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, juice, green tea, lobelia tea, and water to keep your body in good shape while overcoming your addiction. Exercise will surely help as well as it will reduce the stress and restlessness you will feel. Be sure to practice breathing exercises and meditation techniques in order to completely relax the mind and body.

Oriental Techniques for Increasing Willpower

Both weight loss and addiction recovery require enormous amounts of will power. It is the factor that determines whether or not we will succeed at whatever goal you want to achieve. In ancient Chinese medical texts will power if referred to as Zhi, which is controlled by the flow of energy in the kidneys. Zhi also correlates with the health of your defensive energy (Wei Qi) which acupuncture will improve as well.


Acupuncture and oriental medicines will help manage any physical or psychological problem you may have. They can control weight by reducing appetite and improving digestion as well as help manage addiction by decreasing the severity of the symptoms that result from withdrawal. Revitalizing your Qi will also improve various aspects of your life such as a stronger immune system, relaxes the mind, and promotes good health in general.

If you want to use these techniques for weight loss, addiction management, or to improve your life then give Laurie a call at Santa Monica Acupuncture today to set up a consultation. She’ll come up with a plan to help you address your specific problems so that you can start living the healthy life you want to live.

Women’s Health and Wellness with Acupuncture

acupuncture for womenThe top health problems associated with women today can all be treated or prevented through the use of acupuncture and oriental medicines. Throughout the history of the world, these techniques have been used to keep people of either gender naturally healthy and to prevent any illness or disease. Below are the top five women’s health problems faced today and how acupuncture can help.

Common Health Problem #1: Gynecological-Related Problems

These problems can include endometriosis, menopause, premenstrual syndrome, infertility, or fibroids. Fortunately, gynecological problems are a bit easier to manage with acupuncture and oriental medicines than other problems. By restoring the flow of life energy in the body, these techniques can prevent any gynecological problems of occurring or to treat them.

The most common gynecological problem women face is menopause. Menopause is the period when the ovulation of a woman ceases permanently. During this time all sorts of symptoms can occur due to the dramatic decrease of estrogen in the body. These symptoms include weight gain, joint pain, hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, insomnia, exhaustion, migraines, memory loss, and dry skin.

Oriental medicine and acupuncture techniques does not treat the menopause itself, but the symptoms that arise from it using techniques specific to a person like herbal therapy, lifestyle change, dietary change, and exercise. Each person receives their own special treatment plan in order to maximize the recovery process.

Common Health Problem #2: Cardiovascular Disease

This disease is considered the most life-threatening of them all in women. Statistics show that twenty-nine percent of all deaths in women are due to cardiovascular problems. It is true that more men are diagnosed with a cardiovascular problem of some sort, but with women cardiovascular system is not as checked as thoroughly as it should so it is often that the condition is discovered far too late. It’s extremely important that women take the necessary precautions and get their cardiovascular system checked as well as look into implementing oriental medicine and acupuncture to prevent any problems from occurring.

The preventative steps a woman will be advised to take will include eating healthier, exercising more, managing blood pressure, improving sleep, and reducing stress. These steps can all be easier to take with the help of oriental medicine techniques. High blood pressure is the most common cause of cardiovascular problems, and luckily acupuncture is considered especially helpful for lowering the blood pressure and increasing the release of opioids.

Common Health Problem #3: Depression

Up to a quarter of all women face some type of depression during their lifetime. Depressive disorders do not only cause mental problems, but can weaken the immune system as well as ruin social relationships. Symptoms affiliated with depression can include fatigue, insomnia, apathy, or lack of interest in previous hobbies. Eventually, worse symptoms such as sickness and suicidal thoughts can occur if the problem is not taken care of.

To prevent or treat such a disorder, it is important to make sure the entire life energy is flowing well throughout the body. By brining the body, mind, and spirit together as one, the body will feel at its best and treat problems that may be affecting the body. This is exactly what acupuncture and oriental medicine will do and by using these methods you will feel better than ever before.

Common Health Problem #4: Osteoporosis

Over forty million people in the United States alone are affected by osteoporosis in which seventy percent of the people affected are women.  Osteoporosis occurs when there is a decrease in bone mass which induces the chances of fracture occuring. It usually is found in those of an older age, but can be developed early on as well especially to those who put repetitive strain on a specific part of their body. Acupuncture and oriental medicine are both used to prevent join pain and bone problems from happening as well as to upkeep a healthy lifestyle. This is important to start looking into around the age of thirty when the bones in our body stop growing.

Common Health Problem #5: Autoimmune Diseases

Diseases like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, thyroid disease and lupus are all considered autoimmune diseases, which is a condition where the body’s own immune system attacks itself as well as other tissues in your body. The American Autoimmune Release Diseases Association has found that about eight percent of the population is affected by a type of autoimmune disease; women make up eighty percent of that population. Standard medical procedures have trouble treating autoimmune disease, so it is best to look for alternative routes such as oriental medicine and acupuncture. Both of these methods have been proven to manage the symptoms of an autoimmune disease as well as regulate the immune system.

As you can see, oriental medicine and acupuncture are important to both prevent and manage all sorts of conditions. If you have such a condition or just want to improve your life in general, contact me in order to set up an appointment.

Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia – A Natural Alternative Treatment

What is Fibromyalgia?

fibromyalgiaQuite simply, fibromyalgia syndrome is a disease that is currently unexplainable by modern medicine though it affects over two percent of the United State’s population. Treatment for this syndrome is a complex process because so little is known about it. Doctors will prescribe a variation of medications depending on the symptoms you have (listed below) to attempt to figure out what works. Many look into using alternative medicines rather than test medications with potentially harmful side effects. Acupuncture is the number one alternative method people use because it has been found to be much more effective than any other type of treatment.

Fibromyalgia syndrome causes chronic pain throughout the body, as well as exhaustion, depression, insomnia, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, numbness of fingers, poor blood circulation which can lead to Raynaud’s phenomenon, lack of focus, restless leg syndrome, painful menstrual cycles, migraines, pain in the jaw, stiffness of joints, dry mouth, dry eyes, dry nasal passages, incontinence, and hypersensitivity to sounds or bright lights.

In order for a doctor to diagnose a person with fibromyalgia, they must have a history of chronic pain in all four quadrants of the body for at least three to four months. As of now there are not any tests that can verify that one actually has this syndrome, so a diagnosis is simply a highly educated guess. The symptoms of fibromyalgia typically show after some sort of physical or mental trauma, but no one can be certain that is the main cause. It has been discovered that women have a higher chance of developing this syndrome compared to men.

From the perspective of oriental medicine, any type of pain or disease results when there is an imbalance of Qi, or life energy, somewhere in the body.  They have found that disruptions in the spleen, cardiovascular system, liver, and kidney can cause fibromyalgia syndrome to occur.

How Acupuncture Helps

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain ReliefAn acupuncture session will not treat fibromyalgia as a whole. Instead it treats it by dividing up the symptoms that the patient has and treating the imbalances related to those symptoms. The diagnosis looks at their emotional state, type of pain, sleeping patterns, general health, age, and the specific symptoms they have. There is no standard acupuncture treatment for fibromyalgia.  Each treatment will be unique to each patient.

Lifestyle change is necessary when dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Implement the following tips for best results:

7 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Help Treat Fibromyalgia

1: Drop sugar. Stop drinking beverages filled with sugar, such as soda. Sugar increases inflammation and raises blood sugar which later crashes.  Watch out for so called “natural” beverages too that are loaded with sugar.  Refined sugar in any form is not your friend.

2: Reduce stress.  This is a tough one, as life comes with stress.  You can deal with it by taking up meditation (below), any kind of activity or exercise, a daily nap, going to the beach, listening to relaxation tapes, even seeing a therapist or hypnotist.  Prolonged stress can significantly damage the body and mind.  It could be that a radical change may be necessary such as changing jobs or the like.  Finding a way to manage stress is essential.

3: Meditate. This is a form of stress reduction.  The practice of meditation is a proven stress reducer that helps the body create a sense of calm and a continuing sense of well being. While 15 minutes is recommended, even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect on your day.

4: Eat clean. Stop eating processed and refined foods like white bread and pasta.  They raise blood sugar which increases inflammation.  Inflammation causes discomfort and pain.  Slow burning carbohydrates like oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, beans and potatoes do not.

5: Start exercising!  While even basic movements may be painful exercise helps restore strength and endurance. Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Yoga are great for easy stretches, careful strengthening, deep breathing, along with relaxation techniques. The gentle stretching will clear tension that builds when muscles tighten and tense and improve overall circulation. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

6: Protein power. Consume foods that contain protein like lean meats and fish.  Also eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and complex carbohydrates.

7: Sleep.  The body requires 8 hours of restorative sleep per day for optimum health.  Lack of sleep increases inflammation, cortisol, lack of energy and more.  Maintain a routine sleep schedule and make your bedroom a sanctuary from every day stress. Practicing good sleep habits will give your body an opportunity to get stronger and heal.

8: Blood flow.  Look into performing a Chinese self-massage every morning. This will stimulate your acupuncture points, which improves the flow of one’s Qi. Doing so will help your body defend against any oddities, as well as fibromyalgia.

A Mayo Clinic Study on How Acupuncture Affects Fibromyalgia

The Mayo Clinic recently performed a study on if acupuncture actually does help treat fibromyalgia. They did find that acupuncture is indeed a reliable treatment for the syndrome and the symptoms that develop because of it. The patients who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia reported that acupuncture treatments helped them overcome their fatigue, depression, anxiety, as well as many other symptoms they had.

The study required two groups of people with the first group consisted of twenty-five people who were to receive acupuncture, while the second group contained twenty-five people who received mock acupuncture treatments. The group that received the real treatments reported a significant improvement in their health after one month.

Dr. David Martin, the lead doctor of this study, reported that this study had proven acupuncture to be a helpful treatment as well as proved that studies on acupuncture can be efficiently performed. There has been an increase in the amount of scientific studies on the efficacy of acupuncture.  It was also reported that the study only used those who had severe conditions, which made the entire process more controlled. Dr. Martin suggests that more doctors should perform more studies on how acupuncture affects those with fibromyalgia.


What Your Endocrine Glands Do For You

What is the Endocrine System?

Endocrine glands create different types of hormones that have a specific job to do in the human body. These hormones manage every aspect of your health by regulating a person’s mood, reproduction system, physical growth, hormonal output, immune system, and mental conditions. If a person’s endocrine system isn’t working as it should, this could cause a weakened immune system which means you will be at risk for diseases you wouldn’t normally catch.

Acupuncture and oriental medicines have been used to restore function of the endocrine system if a problem ever occurs. This is done by clearing and blockades or disruptions of the body’s meridians, or energy pathways. If there are any imbalances of these pathways, then a person might suffer symptoms like arthritis, cold feeling, digestive problems, fatigue, depression, infertility, or weight gain.

The Responsibility of the Endocrine Glands

Each endocrine gland produces specific hormones to accomplish a certain job. These glands are the pineal, thyroid, pancreas, reproductive, pituitary, and adrenals glands. Below is a little insight to what each gland does.

Gland: Pineal (also known as Epiphysis or “Third Eye”)
Responsibility: Produces melatonin in the body, which is a hormone that manages the waking and sleeping patterns of a person based on seasons, phase of the moon, ect.

Gland: Thyroid
Responsibility: Hormones produced by the thyroid gland controls the temperature, physical growth, and main function of each cell in a person’s body. The thyroid is also responsible for your metabolic rate.

Gland: Pancreas
Responsibility: Produces glucagons and insulin hormones. These hormones work to supply your cells with glucose, the body’s form of energy.

Gland: Reproductive
Responsibility: The hormones produced by this gland manage the reproduction areas of the body. Each gender produces different types of reproductive hormones. Male glands produce androgen and testosterone while females produce estrogen and progesterone.

Gland: Pituitary (also known as Hypothalamus)
Responsibility: These hormones work together with the endocrine system to provide a link to the central nervous system. When nerve cells need a certain hormone for a specific part of the body, it is the pituitary gland’s job to make sure the right hormone gets there. This gland is also responsible for the physical growth of a person.

Gland: Adrenals
Responsibility: The adrenals gland is responsible for managing how the body handles stress. This gland is divided into two different parts that each product their own unique hormone. The inner adrenals gland produces hormones that increase the heart rate and blood pressure depending on how stress affects a person’s body. The outer adrenals glands hormones make sure the immune system is working right, is responsible for sexual development, manage the metabolic rate of the body, and regulates stress levels. Stress is the major concern here, so if there is a problem with your adrenals gland then it could cause symptoms such as fatigue, low blood sugar, weight gain, and muscle aches.

Acupuncture for Endocrine Health

To be able to treat an endocrine disorder, an acupuncturist must discover the main problem that is causing an imbalance in the system. The entire endocrine system is what links the two types of qi together, Yin-qi and Yang-qi. Yin-qi and Yang-qi refers to two opposite energies that flow in every single creation. Without one type of energy the other cannot exist and when one is disrupted the entire system will be disrupted. Acupuncture techniques are used to help balance these two energies by targeting the kidney meridian which helps strengthen a person’s endocrine system.

Acupuncture is also used for balancing out energy levels, managing sleep, restoring hormonal balance, managing menstrual problems, and helps calm emotions. An acupuncturist must know all of the symptoms wrong with your body so that they can target the right points in order to restore the energy flow of your body which will relieve you of any symptoms, boost the immune functions, and optimize health in general.

Many people like to use a good mix of Western and Eastern healing techniques for managing their endocrines health. Western medicine techniques are best for treating illnesses that are fatal while Eastern methods, like acupuncture and oriental medicine, is best for improving the quality of one’s life. It’s a good idea to mix both Western and Eastern techniques in order to attain a healthy endocrine system. Keeping the system healthy will make sure hormones are being produced at a normal rate which means you will not age as fast as those who are sick and will look young for a long time.

Oriental Medicine and Lifestyle Changes for Endocrine Health

Besides acupuncture, it is important to manage your endocrine system by taking care of your body. Oriental medicine involves making changes to your lifestyle and diet in order to boost endocrine health, improve blood circulation, relieve stress, gain natural energy, relieve muscle aches, as well as help rid the body of any endocrine disorders. Below are a few changes you can make to improve your life overall.

Change: Exercise More
Improves: Exercises such as weight lifting or yoga will improve overall health, boost the functions of the immune system, builds muscle mass, burns any extra fat, strengthen the bones, increase flexibility, and provides you with natural energy that is better than what any caffeinated drink could provide.

Change: Sleep Better
Improves: Rest and proper sleep are extremely important for the body, especially if you exercise as you’re supposed to. Sleep increases our general health, reduces stress, and increases productivity throughout the day.

Change: Eat Slower
Improves: Take your time eating so the body can manage the digestion process easier. Doing so will enable the endocrine system to regulate nutritional information a lot easier.

Change: Relax to Reduce Stress
Improves: Stress is the major cause of malfunctions in the endocrine system. A stressful body will overproduce hormones which can lead to failure of many major organs. Stress relief will also improve your concentration and let you enjoy life at your own pace.

Acupuncture and Men’s Health

October 2010
Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
1322 2nd Street, Suite 36
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Five Top Men’s Health Concerns and How Acupuncture Can Help

Acupuncture techniques have been used on men for thousands of years to treat common problems associated with them. Now more than ever people are becoming interested in these techniques due to the fact it is a natural way for the body to heal as well as one of the most powerful treatments on could get. Restoring life energy in the body can help restore health issues many men face today. Problems include depression, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, sexual health, and prostate health. Below is a little more insight about these major problems and how acupuncture can help.

Health Issue #1: Depression and Mental Instability
When men are feeling depressed or become mentally unstable, the brain over produces stress hormones which disrupts the balance of our life energy. Depression can lead to suicide, which is the number one cause of death for most men today. In the past, suicide was thought to be more common in women, but statistics have shown that men tend to hide these feelings more than women do.

A depressed state will also ruin eating habits, energy levels, and sleep patterns. It is extremely important to consult with an expert in acupuncture or oriental medicine if you’re feeling even the slightest bit of depression. Acupuncture will restore the body’s balance which will treat depression, insomnia, and anxiety. This treatment has become so popular that the military uses it for veterans and military personnel returning from war to treat any mental of physical problems they may have.

Heath Issue #2: Lung Cancer
This type of cancer is the most common in men due to the large number of men who smoke and use tobacco. In most cases lung cancer results in death. To prevent or treat the symptoms of this cancer, acupuncture is the recommended treatment.

Acupuncture techniques can help treat addiction as well as symptoms caused by smoking withdrawals such as cravings, jitters, restlessness, and irritability. It is also good for detoxifying the body of all of the chemicals from smoking.

Researchers conducted a study on the effects of acupuncture for substance abuse. The results of the study showed that acupuncture was indeed a success for the treatment of cocaine addiction. Compared to the twenty-three percent of people who quit because of group sessions, over fifty percent quit with acupuncture treatments and also has a fewer number of people that get back into smoking again.

Heath Issue #3: Cardiovascular Disease
Heart attacks and strokes are not only the leading cause of death for men, but for the entire world. By making changes to your diet and partaking in acupuncture, these two heath issues can be successfully prevented. Even the slightest lifestyle changes can increase prevention by over eighty percent. These changes can include eating a healthy diet, managing blood pressure, improving the quality of sleep, reducing stress, and quitting tobacco which can all be done with acupuncture techniques.

Lowering the blood pressure can be extremely important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Certain points on the body are targeted by acupuncturists in order to stimulate the production of opioids which are chemicals that relax the activity of the heart. These points include the legs, forearms, and wrists.

Health Issue #4: Sexual Health
This is not a major life threatening concern, though poor sexual health can indicate certain problems that may be. Statistics show that about forty percent of men over forty and sixty-five percent of men over seventy have poor sexual health. Acupuncture techniques along with oriental medicine can improve a man’s sexual performance. Problems that can be treated with these techniques include male climacteric, low libido, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction, decreased sperm motility, and premature ejaculation.

Health Issue #5: Prostate Health
Older men, which include men as low as their sixties to as high as their eighties, may have an enlarged or inflamed prostate. Painful urination, difficult urination, frequent urination, urinary tract infections, bladder damage, kidney damage, incontinence, bladder stones, and prostate cancer are what can occur is the prostate is untreated. Acupuncture is recommended to prevent such problems, but can also be used to treat the symptoms mentioned above. Studies have shown that the combined use of acupuncture and oriental medicine has shown positive results for those with prostatitis. Not only have their symptoms been cured, but it is also reported that a person’s quality of life improved as well as basic urinary functions.

In This Issue

  • Five Top Men’s Health Concerns and How Acupuncture Can Help
  • Foods Men Should Eat Every Day