Acupuncture For Pain Management

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Tai Chi And Qigong Health Benefits

Originating in China, tai chi and qigong are mind-body practices accessible to people of any age or physical condition. A recent review of tai chi and qigong finds these practices offer many health benefits for the heart, immune system and overall quality of life. … Read More

Acupuncture For Pain-Related Conditions

Although the World Health Organization recognizes more than 30 conditions that can be treated with acupuncture, one of the primary uses of acupuncture is for pain management. Acupuncture effectively treats many acute and chronic pain-related conditions including: Back and neck pain, arthritis, neuralgia, frozen shoulder, bursitis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, myofascial pain, and fibromyalgia. Acupuncture releases natural pain-killing chemicals, known as endorphins, in the muscles, spinal cord and brain. Some of these natural substances are more potent at pain relief than many prescription drugs. A drug-free way to minimize pain, acupuncture improves energy and biochemical balance while enhancing the body’s natural healing abilities. For individuals receiving conventional care, acupuncture is an effective complementary therapy for pain management. For those who opt for holistic care, acupuncture as a primary therapy can help to prevent and alleviate pain. Acupuncture’s underlying mechanism acts on pain generation, transmission of pain signals and processing of pain signals by the central nervous system and is stronger than the action mechanism of conventional therapy. A recommended acupuncture pain management therapy plan is typically comprised of biweekly treatment for four to five weeks. Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture for pain management as well as a wide range of other health conditions. To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about Acupuncture & Massage College’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director, at (305) 595-9500. … Read More

Mapping The Effects Of Acupuncture On The Brain

Important recent research about the effects of acupuncture on the brain may provide an understanding of the complex mechanisms of acupuncture and could lead to a wider acceptability of the treatment in conventional health care. The study, by researchers at the University of York and the Hull York Medical School published in Brain Research, indicates that acupuncture has a significant effect on specific neural structures. When a patient receives acupuncture treatment, a sensation called deqi can be obtained; scientific analysis shows that this deactivates areas within the brain that are associated with the processing of pain. “These results provide objective scientific evidence that acupuncture has specific effects within the brain which hopefully will lead to a better understanding of how acupuncture works,” says Hugh MacPherson, M.D., of the Complementary Medicine Research Group in the University’s Department of Health Sciences. Neuroscientist Aziz Asghar, M.D., of the York Neuroimaging Center and the Hull York Medical School, adds, “The results are fascinating. Whether such brain deactivations constitute a mechanism which underlies or contributes to the therapeutic effect of acupuncture is an intriguing possibility.” Recent studies in the US have also shown that acupuncture affects the brain’s ability to regulate pain. Acupuncture increases the binding availability of mu-opioid receptors (MOR) in regions of the brain that process pain signals. Opioid painkiller medications, such as morphine, are believed to work by binding to these opioid brain and spinal cord receptors. The increased binding availability of these receptors stimulated by acupuncture is associated with reductions in pain. For information about Acupuncture & Massage College’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director, at (305) 595-9500. … Read More

Acupuncture For Adolescent And Adult Obesity

Being obese in adolescence increases the risk of being severely obese in adulthood. Individuals with severe obesity encounter serious and potentially life-threatening health complications. … Read More

Decriminalizing Marijuana

Derived from the cannabis sativa plant, marijuana (hemp) has been used as an agricultural product in the United States to make cloth, lacquer and rope since the colonial period. Recreational drug use of marijuana dates from the 1920s. Those who advocate decriminalization of marijuana argue that legalization would: • Reduce drug-related crime. • Redirect resources used for investigation, prosecution and punishment of drug offenders to more productive purposes. • Reduce prison system overcrowding. • Result in research development of medicinal use of marijuana. “The vehemence of marijuana’s opponents and the harsh punishments routinely administered to marijuana offenders cannot be explained by a simple concern for public health,” writes author Eric Schlosser in The Atlantic Monthly article More Reefer Madness. “The attack on marijuana, since its origins early in this century, has in reality been a cultural war—a moral crusade in defense of traditional American values.” “In order to eliminate marijuana use, state and federal legislators have sanctioned an enormous increase in prosecutorial power, the emergence of a class of professional informers and the widespread confiscation of private property by the government without trial—legal weapons reminiscent of those used in the former Soviet-bloc nations,” says Schlosser. California is leading in terms of progressive drug policy reform, and has become the first state to decriminalize marijuana. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill last month that fully decriminalizes possession of less than one ounce of marijuana in the state, making the maximum punishment just a $100 fine. In November, California citizens will vote on Proposition 19, a ballot proposition to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. … Read More

Acupuncture Treatment of Hot Flashes

Nearly 80 percent of women experience hot flashes during menopause. Caused by changes in estrogen, hot flashes typically begin with a rise in body temperature followed by perspiration, rapid heart rate and discomfort. Lasting from 30 seconds to a minute, they often occur at night. Women usually experience hot flashes for four years while going through menopause. They may begin two to three years before the cessation of the monthly period and last up to five years after the cessation of menses. Hot flashes are associated with an increased blood flow in the blood vessels of the chest, back, neck, and face. Symptoms of hot flashes may include: • Flushing. • Body warmth. • Night sweats. • Facial redness. Finding effective treatment options for hot flashes can be difficult. Hot flashes have been conventionally treated with estrogen and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, HRT has been linked to an increased risk for heart attack, breast cancer and stroke. Acupuncture is a holistic therapy option for the treatment of hot flashes with virtually no adverse side effects. Acupuncture, when compared to drug therapy, has a longer lasting effect on the reduction of hot flashes. Women also report that acupuncture improves energy and alertness. … Read More

Acupuncture for the Treatment of Fatigue

People experience fatigue when they cannot effectively manage daily activities and responsibilities while allowing time for their health. Many feel continually fatigued. Acute or chronic, fatigue can lead to exhaustion and constant low energy. Fatigue is not improved with sleep and can impair functioning and quality of life. … Read More

Tai Chi For Stress

Tai chi, a low impact martial art, has been associated with reduced stress, anxiety and depression, and enhanced mood, in both healthy people and those with chronic conditions. A review of the health effects of tai chi, published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that tai chi does appear to have positive psychological effects. "Tai chi, the Chinese mind-body exercise, has been practiced for centuries for health and fitness in the East and is currently gaining popularity in the West. It is believed to improve mood and enhance overall psychological well being,” says Dr. Chenchen Wang, Associate Professor, from Tufts University School of Medicine. Wang and colleagues pooled results of 40 tai chi studies to assess the mental health effects of tai chi. She found that practicing tai chi was associated with reduced stress, anxiety, depression, and mood disturbance, as well as increased self-esteem. "More detailed knowledge about the physiological and psychological effects of tai chi exercise may lead to new approaches to promote health, treat chronic medical conditions, better inform clinical decisions, and further explicate the mechanisms of successful mind-body medicine,” says Wang. Benefits of tai chi: • Reduces stress. • Improves balance and flexibility. • Lowers blood pressure. • Increases energy and endurance. Tai chi improves cardiovascular fitness and is suitable for all ages and levels of physical ability. Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and massage therapy for a wide range of health conditions as well as for overall wellness. To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director. … Read More

Essential Oils Combat Bacteria

Essential oils can be an effective alternative to antibiotics and may have potential to combat drug-resistant superbugs, according to a new Society for General Microbiology study. The antimicrobial activity of eight plant essential oils was tested by Yiannis Samaras and Effimia Eriotou, M.D., from the Technological Educational Institute of Ionian Islands. They found that thyme essential oil was the most effective and was able to almost completely eliminate bacteria within 60 minutes. The essential oils of thyme and cinnamon were found to be particularly efficient antibacterial agents against a range of Staphylococcus species. Strains of these bacteria are commonly found on the skin and can cause infection in immunocompromised individuals. Drug-resistant strains are extremely difficult to treat. "Not only are essential oils an effective treatment option for antibiotic-resistant strains, but decreased use of antibiotics will help minimize the risk of new strains of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms emerging," says Samaras. Essential oils’ therapeutic properties have been utilized for hundreds of years, although very little is still known about how they exert their antimicrobial effects. Tea tree oil has been used to treat colds, sore throats, skin infections, and insect bites and has been used as a medicinal antiseptic since the early 20th century. “The oils, or their active ingredients, could be easily incorporated into antimicrobial creams or gels for external application,” the researchers state. Essential oils are: • Capable of being antiseptic. • Are probiotic, aiding the body to combat infection. • Are stress reducing and have a sedative effect. • Are synergistic when blended together. … Read More

Immunity Boost With Chinese Herbs

Boosting your immune system with herbs can aid in keeping your body in optimal condition to combat bacteria, infections and viruses. Today there is an increasing emphasis on strengthening the immune system through disease prevention rather than by treating existing illness. Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes that illness is caused by a weakened immune system. Herbal remedies can enhance the body’s natural defense mechanisms. Herbs can also allow your body to resist infectious agents without the adverse side effects of conventional medications. The immune system has two defense mechanisms: Natural, which utilizes white blood cells to protect from disease, and acquired, in which specialized cells strengthen and increase antibodies to defend against pathogens. While many individuals depend on pharmaceuticals for health and treatment of illness, over 80 percent of the world’s population relies on herbal remedies for healing and health. By allowing the body to combat infections without antibiotics, medicinal herbs can strengthen the immune system against future illness and disease. Herbs that strengthen the immune system: • Echinacea activates immune system chemicals which can increase defense mechanisms against viruses and bacteria. • Astragalus is a Chinese herb which has anti-viral properties and contains antioxidants. • Ginkgo biloba improves circulation and strengthens blood vessels. • Goldenseal stimulates the immune and digestive systems. Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine therapy for health and disease prevention. To schedule an appointment at the Clinic call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director. … Read More

Tai Chi For Treatment of Dizziness and Imbalance

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