Treating Diabetes with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

sugarIn the United States, over twenty-five million people of all ages are diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes refers to the condition that stops the body from producing enough insulin, which is the hormone used to convert food into fuel for the body. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that people with diabetes have a much higher risk of fatality than their healthier peers; specifically more than double the risk.

Unfortunately, the exact cause of this disease is currently unknown, but it is assume that obesity and inactivity play a huge role as a trigger. Prolonged diabetes can lead to worsened conditions such as hypertension, kidney disease, amputation of an infected body part, depression, extreme fatigue, hypertension, eye disorders, nervous system problems, and heart disease. Diabetes can lead to severe cardiovascular disease as well, which can affect both genders just as much as the other.

The best way to manage diabetes is to make adjustments to your lifestyle by eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and exercising more. There are a number of different types of doctors one can visit to aid them in healing diabetes include a dietician, eye doctor, physician, primary doctor, and acupuncturist.

Oriental medicine and acupuncture are best for treating diabetes. It is said that an imbalance of Qi in the body can cause diabetes to occur. The imbalance that affects Qi can also cause a number of symptoms that include lethargy, weight loss, poor healing of injuries, infections, moodiness, irritability, fatigue, blurry vision, plydipsia, polyphagia, and polyuria.

Oriental medicine and acupuncture doesn’t target diabetes itself, but does treat the conditions caused by it. These methods can also reduce the amount of insulin the body needs. Many Oriental techniques are used such as acupuncture, dietary changes, energizing exercises, lifestyle changes, and herbal medicines to treat diabetes and its symptoms.

Treatment involves rebalancing the life energy in the body which promotes the circulation of blood. Proper balance means that the organs are performing at their maximum efficiency which will prevent diabetic symptoms from recurring. Besides regaining normal functioning of the body, oriental medicine and acupuncture can be used to improve the general health of a person as well.

To perform the treatments above to heal diabetes you will need a trained professional. That is why you should give me a call or send me an email today so we can get started on setting up a consultation to change your life for the better.

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.


Treating Irritability and Moodiness with Acupuncture

April 2009
Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
1322 2nd Street, Suite 36
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Treating Irritability and Moodiness with Acupuncture

Every single person in the world suffers from a mood swing every now and then, but if you are facing the issue of constant moodiness and irritability then it may be a wise idea to look into receiving an acupuncture treatment. In most cases, a short temper can be the result of a high and constant stress level. If the stress level continues to remain constant, then this can lead to more severe mental conditions such as depression or anxiety and can even cause physical symptoms like insomnia, weakened immune system, and digestive problems.


As far as oriental medicine is concerned, stress and the conditions that result from it are all caused by an imbalance of Qi, defined as life energy, in the liver. The liver plays a huge role in managing one’s life energy by making sure it flows smoothly throughout the body. When this liver becomes stagnant, this Qi can cause a blockage of every in the body, leading to conditions like irritability and stress.


Liver Qi Stagnation refers to when the above occurs. It is the most common type of imbalance in the body today. Prolonged stagnation of the Liver Qi can also lead to pain around the ribs, constant signing, nausea, belching, sour regurgitation, diarrhea, painful menstrual cycles, abdominal distention, and congestion in the chest. This condition can often occur in women experiencing PMS.


Oriental medicine and acupuncture are two of the best methods in countering Liver Qi Stagnation. The techniques used include specific exercise and herbal medicines and focus on removing the blockage in the body and restoring the flow of Qi. When the liver in functioning like normal again, you will notice that your mental and physical health will greatly improve. Besides acupuncture there are lifestyle changes that can be done as well to help boost the flow of Qi in the liver.


Eating green can be a good first step is revitalizing the body. Vegetables and fruits can improve the basic functions of the liver as well as the flow of Qi throughout the body. Sour fruits like lemon are also helpful in the stimulation of Liver Qi. Besides water, milk thistle tea will also benefit the body by protecting the liver from toxins such as alcohol. Stretching exercises like Tai Qi or yoga can improve the flexibility of the tendons. Eye exercises are also advised since the liver is directly responsible for eye health. Make sure to take a break from the computer if you are staring at it for a long period of time, but do look up various eye exercises you could do while taking a break. Lastly, seasonal acupuncture will not only help the flow of Liver Qi, but will improve the body in its entirety.


With the above changes and acupuncture, you will not longer feel constantly stressed or moody. To set up an appointment to start you on acupuncture, call or send me an email today!

In This Issue

  • Treating Irritability and Moodiness with Acupuncture
  • Move Your Qi!
  • The Four Gates Treatment for Moving Qi
  • Signs and Symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation

The Four Gates Treatment for Moving Qi


Oriental Medicine for the Treatment of Seasonal Allergies

Every season people are affected by allergic rhinitis, which a seasonal allergy that is triggered only during certain times of the year, mainly spring or fall. Over twenty-five million Americans are diagnosed with chronic hay fever, and about forty million more people are known to have mild allergic reactions. Pollen, mold, animal dander, and dust mites carried by the wind are usually the main triggers of seasonal allergies. In the springtime, pollen fills the air because of all of the blooming agriculture. In autumn, leaf mold is the main issue and that mold can stay in the air all year long.

The reason the body contracts allergic rhinitis is due to how sensitive it is to certain byproducts of the environment. If one has such allergies, then they will feel congested, constantly sneeze, and have watery or dry eyes. There are many medications to treat allergies, though they do have side effects that can lead to other problems such as weakened immune function. Side effects, along with the weakness of medication over time, are two reasons why people are looking into receiving more natural treatments like oriental medicine and acupuncture. These methods have been used for centuries in treating season allergies, strengthening the immune system, and clearing out nasal passages. It will not only help relieve a person of the symptoms, but will also prevent the allergies from recurring as well.

Those who specialize in Eastern medicines believe that seasonal allergies are a condition related to the wind element and is caused by a lack of Wei Qi. Wei Qi is a type of life energy that protects the body from outside elements, such as colds or allergies. Those who have an imbalance of Wei Qi typically catch colds easier than most. Acupuncture treats the imbalances in the body to relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis as well as the root problem itself. Oriental treatments often call for a change in one’s diet and habits as well as herbal medications.

Study on Allergic Rhinitis and Acupuncture

Many studies have been conducted on how effective acupuncture is for season allergies. There is a specific study reported by the American Journal of Epidemiology that proved acupuncture and oriental medicine can relieve allergic symptoms significantly.

Five thousand people were separated into two groups in the study. One group received acupuncture with standard care while the other only received standard care. This occurred for three months until an evaluation took place, then the test continued for three more months. Results showed that the patients who received acupuncture not only have relieved symptoms, but also had better health in general.

A similar study reported by the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reported that those with hay fever who received acupuncture treatment weekly and three cups of herbal tea per day had a significant decrease in the severity of their symptoms. After a month and a half, over eighty percent of their patients showed improvement while the control group only had a forty percent increase.

Stress Less & Stay Well this Winter

December 2008

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

Acupuncture for Stress Reduction

Winter is the time of year for getting our rest to restore our energy and to revitalize our body and soul. Unfortunately, it also a very busy time of year where doing that is near impossible. Winter is the season where families visit one another, visitors come over, and shopping can be quite gruesome. This combined with the every stresses we face leaves us with no time to rest and with more stress than usual.

Stress is a major disruptor of the flow of Qi, or life energy, in our body. When this energy is imbalanced, is can cause all sorts of problems such as moodiness, headaches, menstrual pain, insomnia, depression, and can even lead to more severe conditions. The best method for reducing stress involves oriental medicine and acupuncture.

Many studies on how acupuncture relieves stress have been published, demonstrating how effective it actually is. Results show that this method is indeed a much better option than standard medications used for stress and depression.

A study reported by Anesthesia & Analgesia discovered that needling a specific acupuncture point and reduce preoperative anxiety in children. A similar study by Yale University found that acupuncture around the ears and lower preoperative stress in the mothers of those children. A study in Germany showed how acupuncture lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a huge amount, which reduces stress as well. A study on the effects of acupuncture for those who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder was conducted by the University of New Mexico and showed that acupuncture was extremely helpful in relaxing those affected.

Foods for Stress Reduction

There are certain foods one can consume to reduce the amount of stress they have. There are over one thousand changes that can occur in the body as a result of stress, such as Vitamin C deficiency or Vitamin B deficiency, which can all be reduced with the right kind of diet. The three main foods that can help a person manage their stress are blackberries, cauliflower, and salmon.

Blackberries contain a high level of magnesium, calcium, and Vitamin C. In fact, blackberries have more than double the amount of these substances than blueberries. Magnesium and calcium work as one to aid in the regulation of nerves and muscles. If there is a deficiency of magnesium in the body symptoms will occur such as sore muscles, cramped muscles, and fatigued muscles. Vitamin C is a natural stress reliever that lowers the blood pressure and manages cortisol levels.

Cauliflower, as well as vegetables similar to it such as cabbage and kale, contains a large amount of Vitamin B and pantothenic acid. This acid is responsible for turning carbohydrates into fuel for the body. It also improves how the body manages stress. If you lack Vitamin B, symptoms like numbness, burning, and tingling will occur in the feet as well as general fatigue.

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 and Vitamin B12. Omega-3 can increase one’s metabolic rate as well as keeps stress hormones in check. Vitamin B12 increases the amount of red blood cells in the body, which results in the proper development of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that induces happiness and relieves us of any worries we may have.

If you live a stressful life, then acupuncture and the right diet can help you manage it. Not only will these techniques reduce the amount of stress you have, but will also improve your life overall and in the long run.


Acupuncture for Skin Conditions

September 2008
Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
1322 2nd Street, Suite #36
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Acupuncture Treats Common Skin Conditions

Our skin is a good indication of the current condition of our body, how the current environment affects our body, and the specific imbalances of our Qi. Qi means life energy, and when that energy is disrupted it can lead to several skin disorders. Our Qi can be disrupted by our emotions or our lifestyle as well as by environmental conditions like humidity, wind, heat, and dryness in the air. Oriental medicine and acupuncture can be extremely effective for treating any kind of skin condition by relieving the symptoms associated with the specific disorder. Skin disorders generally include eczema, acne, shingles, pruritus, psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, and hives.

Oriental medicine treats skin problems specific to the symptoms rather than the particular condition itself.          This means that if several different people have the same condition, they would each have their own customized treatment plan using a variety of techniques. The techniques that are involved typically include herbal medications, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, dietary changes, specific exercises for balance restoration, and acupuncture.

Treating Hives with Acupuncture

Hives, also known as urticaria, is a condition that twenty percent of the United States popular will experience at least once in their lifetime. Typically hives is treated with a corticosteroid drug or antihistamines, but more people are discovering that oriental medicine and acupuncture address the condition and symptoms more effectively than any medication on the market. These methods will fix any imbalances in the body to relieve the symptoms and prevent it from reoccurring.

Red or swollen welts on the skin is defined as what is known as hives. The most common symptom of this condition is constant itching of the welts. Quite a number of people have reported a burning or stinging feeling as well. This condition can affect any part of the body such as the throat, legs, arms, hands, lips, ears, or face. The trigger of hives is usually caused by an allergic hypersensitive response to a chemical. Although this reaction can occur from certain medications, additives, food, sunlight, and environmental condition, three-fourths of the time the exact cause is unknown.

The length of time hives lasts can vary greatly. It can last as little as several minutes to more than a few months. It rarely causes a life-threatening state, but it still is possible if the condition shocks the body too much. Standard treatments are usually aimed at relieving itching, which involve taking antihistamines or by soothing the affected areas with a cool compressor.

Research has proven time and time again that acupuncture and oriental medicine are best for treating any skin condition. These methods date back all the way to the first century and are still used today. Specific herbs and needles were used to comfort pain caused by conditions like hives.

Common Acupuncture Points for Hives


The Easterners saw hives as “wind invading the skin.” They used terms and phrases such as this to diagnose the specific problems a person had and which acupuncture points need to be targeted as well as what lifestyle changes need to be made. The treatments used will target both the main condition and the symptoms that are caused from it. Acupuncture will restore balance to the body which will not only heal it from any condition, but improve it overall.

There are over three hundred acupuncture points on the body. Those who specialize in acupuncture will know which to target based on a person’s health condition and symptoms. The two points that are used to treat hives include the LI 11 and SP 10. LI 11, or Large Intestine 11, is located on the outside of the elbow which can be best exposed when the arm is at a ninety degree angle. The LI 11 helps remove any heat from the body which will reduce inflammation caused by hives. SP 10, or Spleen 10, is found right above the kneecap and can best be accessed when the knee is bent. This point is considered a significant point on the body and is used for many conditions including hives.

Study: Acupuncture and Hives

Recently a study was conducted by the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences that aimed to research how acupuncture affected those with a chronic hives condition. The study required two groups, the first half received acupuncture while the other group was treated with a mock version of acupuncture.

After roughly three weeks, results revealed that acupuncture does reduce the duration of hives by twenty-five percent as well as decreases the chances of it reoccurring. After the treatment was finished only a few had their symptoms reemerge, but at a much weaker strength than they were originally. This concluded that acupuncture is more efficient each time one receives it.

In This Issue

  • Treating Common Skin Conditions
  • Treating Hives with Acupuncture
  • Common Acupuncture Points for Hives
  • Study: Acupuncture and Hives