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Acupuncture for poor circulation

Common reasons for poor leg circulation include diabetes, peripheral artery disease and varicose veins. Any condition that causes poor leg circulation falls under the category of peripheral vascular disease. The consequences of poor circulation can be life threatening. This is why it is important that it be treated. One of the ways it can be effectively treated is using acupuncture, which is low risk.

 

Reflexology

 

Who Can Benefit From Reflexology?

Reflexology is a holistic therapy suitable for all ages, and may bring relief from a wide range of acute and chronic conditions. Reflexology has been shown to be affective for:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Menopause
  • Back pain
  • Migraines, headaches
  • Sleep disorders
  • Digestive problems
  • Circulatory problems
  • Stress related disorders
  • Arthritis
   
 
 

How Can Reflexology Help Me?

By working specific reflex points on the feet, this improves circulation and lymph flow, cleanses the body of impurities and revitalises energy, which will encourage the body to naturally restore its own healthy balance. Additionally, Reflexology can bring soothing stress relief and relaxation to the mind, body and spirit. The treatment can be pleasurable and extremely relaxing to receive, as well as invigorating and energising.

 
   
   

Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety

Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety

At one time or another, all of us experience stress. These feelings are a healthy response to events in our lives that may feel beyond our control. When we are healthy and the stress is short-lived, we are usually able to recover without too much wear and tear to our overall health. However, when the stress is extreme, or if it lasts a long time, our emotional health and ultimately, our physical health begin to suffer.

Our bodies are hardwired to help us react to stressful events. At the first sign of a threat, whether real or perceived, our sympathetic nervous system kicks in and facilitates what is called the “fight or flight” response. Our heart rate increases, our pupils dilate, and our digestion temporarily shuts down, directing blood to our extremities, so that if need be, we can either fight what is threatening us, or turn and run if the threat is too formidable.

Unfortunately, the “fight or flight” response, which worked well in caveman days, does not serve us as well if the “threat” is a demanding boss, nasty co-worker or even a worrisome situation that is not being resolved. More often than not, the stress in our lives is long-term, and as a result, we find ourselves in a constant state of “fight or flight”, or stress. Over time, the constant state of stress takes its toll. Cortisol, the body’s stress hormone elevates, blood pressure increases, and our immune function is suppressed. Over time, these symptoms become worse and can develop into anxiety, depression, fatigue, digestive problems, and tension headaches.

Emotions from a Chinese Medical Perspective

In Chinese medicine, stress, anxiety, depression or any strong emotion interrupts the smooth flow of energy throughout the body. According to Chinese medical theory, energy flows through our body through a network of “roads”, almost like a highway system. Stress, anger, or any intense emotion acts like a traffic jam, blocking the free flow of energy in the body. For example, many people who are very stressed out complain of upper back, shoulder and neck pain. This is because stress is causing tension in those areas, blocking the free flow of energy, causing pain, tightness, and often leading to headaches.

In a highway system, when there is road construction or an accident, traffic may be also backed up on other secondary roads that feed into or out of the affected area. This is true in the body, too. Stress may affect many other parts of the body, most notably digestion, the ability to sleep, pain conditions, and blood pressure. Stress can also aggravate an already troublesome health condition.

Through acupuncture, theses energy blockages can be addressed. Acupuncture points serve as the on and off ramps to the energy highway, and can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but the stress and anxiety itself.

From a Western viewpoint, acupuncture works to alleviate stress by releasing natural pain-killing chemicals in the brain, called endorphins. In addition, acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.

 

Benefits of a Therapeutic Massage

Benefits of a Therapeutic Massage

A number of methods are used in professional massage, including moving pressure, fixed pressure, holding, kneading, point pressure, and distributed pressure. A professional therapist may use hands, elbows, forearms, and even knees and feet to release the tension deep in your muscles.

Therapeutic massage helps the patient with pain control/relief by sending impulses to the brain through the same nerves that transmit pain signals. By doing so, the receptors in the brain never receive pain impulses because they are effectively blocked. As a patient receives a therapeutic massage, natural pain killing endorphins are released which act very much like a high power drug in dulling the senses to pain. In addition, muscles are loosened which improves circulation allowing oxygen and nourishment to reach painful muscles, thereby allowing them to relax.

A therapeutic massage stimulates the lymph system. The lymph system brings nutrients to every cell in the body and takes away waste products produced by the body's cells. Sore and tight muscles are usually starved for oxygen and nutrients because their tightness is preventing the lymph system from operating effectively. A therapeutic massage dilates blood vessels while loosening muscles. This restores the lymph system, allowing for nutrients to pass and waste to be taken away.

Healing through therapeutic massage is a common practice, especially among professional athletes and others who are hard on their muscles and overall body. A weak, injured, or sore muscle can have a profound effect on someone who is required to operate at peak performance. A sports therapist is likely to use a mechanical motorized massager in their work. This allows them the quickly provide deep tissue massage without wearing themselves out. Massagers used by professionals, such as a Thumper massager, use percussion as their primary massage action. A high quality professional percussion massager is much different than most consumer models which only vibrate and rub the skin. While a vibrating massager may feel nice, it lacks the ability to penetrate through thick muscle.

This ancient form of healing and rejuvenation has been refined over thousands of years. While still retaining the same basic principles, massage is applied to many different ailments and situations. A deep tissue massage that exercises and relaxes muscles can provide relief to pain, heal, and enhance overall wellness.

 

Chinese Herb Medicine

     

Chinese Herb Medicine

In general, herbs can treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions. Comparing with chemical medicine, Chinese herbal medicine is much more gentler and safer because it is made of natural herbs. Most of Chinese herbs do not cause side effects. Even some side effects that do occur among a few herbs, those side effects can be easily counteracted with other herbs. For these reasons, people turn to herbal therapy for a number of indications. More and more people rely on Chinese herb medicine as alternative after chemical medicine failed.

Chronic illness treatment - As we know, many people with chronic illness may take a number of different conventional drugs daily. Chinese herb medicine is a very good alternative for those who are looking for a natural alternative for the conventional western medicine. There are many very efficient Chinese herbal patent medicines and prescribed herb formulas for the medications taken for pain syndromes, gastrointestinal disorders, neurological disorders, stress related syndromes, respiratory disorders, heart problems, sexual dysfunction, allergies and immune system deficiencies, as well as replacements for antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Side effect reduction - As mentioned early, Chinese herbs are safer and less side-effects. Actually they can be taken to reduce the side effects of other medication such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, etc. It is well known that antibiotics weaken the immune system. Herbal therapy can strengthen the system. Also, during chemotherapy, the white blood cell count drops, which causes fatigue, lack of energy and appetite. Herbal therapy has proven quite successful in relieving the side effects of chemotherapy.

For prevention - People may take Chinese herb medicine for disease prevention. For instance, for a person suffering from frequent headaches, taking herbs to prevent the headache from ever starting is a much better option than taking a pain reliever after the fact. Herbs are also used to prevent the flu, menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome, among other things. For health maintenance- Herbal therapy can also be used for general health maintenance. Tonic herbs are used to increase energy and to slow the aging process. They are also used for enhancing sexual energy and for cosmetic purposes. Herbs are also used to treat minor symptoms that are not severe enough for heavy chemical drugs, symptoms that cannot be diagnosed by Western medicine, and symptoms and illness that are not easy to treat, such as mononucleosis and immune system deficiencies.

     

Acupuncture and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common chronic inflammatory joint disease. It is classified as an autoimmune disorder, which is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. I find it fascinating that our immune system, which protects us from so many pathogens on a day to day basis, would attack itself. Essentially what happens is that our body designates one of its own cells as a foreign cell. How could this happen? Throughout our lifetime, and even before we are born, we accumulate environmental toxins, hormone disruptors, and other agents that have become part of what it means to live in a modern society. It is practically unavoidable. With all these components of non-self that are now integrated into our bodies, it is understandable why the body would be confused! These toxins don’t belong there but have become part of our inner landscape none the less. Thus, when managing cases of rheumatoid arthritis, we not only need to regulate pain levels, but we need to support the proper functioning of the immune system and try to uncover what has caused it to wage war on our own tissues.

It is believed that the tendency to develop rheumatoid arthritis may be genetically inherited. It is also believed that certain infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses or environmental factors may trigger the activation of the immune system in susceptible individuals. Other risk factors include smoking, obesity, and in women, an adverse pregnancy outcome or never having children. It is more prevalent in female populations, which suggests a hormonal component. Factors supporting this hypothesis include the observed protective effect of the oral contraceptive pill, the increased risk in women who are nulliparous (never having given birth to a child), and the increased susceptibility to disease during the first three months postpartum. More research is needed on the role of hormones and genetics, but some of the risk factors for developing RA are preventable with proper health education and good choices.

Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by inflammation of the same joints on both sides of the body, which results in progressive destruction of the joints and surrounding tissues. Often symptoms appear suddenly, and include tenderness and stiffness in the joints, early afternoon fatigue, low-grade fever, deformities and rheumatoid nodules.

     

Acupuncture has received wide spread attention for its ability to decrease pain. In fact, the proportion of chronic pain relieved by acupuncture is generally in the range of 55-85%. This compares favorably with that of potent drugs, such as morphine, which helps in 70% of cases, and far outweighs the placebo effect, which is demon strated in about 30-35% of cases. Acupuncture points, modalities, and Chinese herbs will be selected depending on which syndrome type predominates. If the diagnosis is Cold dominate Bi, moxibustion is an excellent choice. Moxibustion involves burning Mugwort, Artemisia Vulgaris, either directly on the skin or indirectly over acupuncture points. Doing so decreases inflammation by increasing white blood cell count in the area.

However, since its therapeutic actions are achieved by mobilizing the patients’ own potential for healing, acupuncture does not produce adverse effects like many drug therapies. Instead, it is believed that acupuncture decreases pain by increasing endorphin levels, which block pain. This makes it an excellent treatment option, especially in chronic conditions, because most people do not want to take a pill for the rest of their life. In addition, drug interactions are potent causes of illness in our modern society, so keeping the number of medications to a minimum is a high priority.

Rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as Bi (Bee) Syndrome in Chinese Medicine. Most pain conditions fall into this syndrome, including osteoarthritis, rheumatic fever, gout and sciatica. ‘Bi’ means obstruction or blockage. Bi syndrome describes a set of syndromes in which the invasion of external pathogens such as Wind, Cold, Damp, and Heat obstruct the flow of energy and blood in the body. This affects the tendons, bones, muscles and joints, presenting symptoms of pain, soreness, heaviness, numbness, limited range of motion, redness or swelling. Depending on the symptom presentation, Bi syndrome will be classified as heat, cold, wind, or damp dominant. In heat dominant Bi, there will be more redness and burning. Cold dominant will present with limited range of motion with severe fixed pain that is alleviated by warmth. Wind dominant is primarily in the upper half of the body and presents with fairly mild pain that changes location. Damp dominant pain will usually feel heavy and swollen. Each of these will be aggravated by their respective environmental condition. For example, arthritis that is worse in the cold months is usually a Cold dominant Bi.

Acupuncture points, modalities, and Chinese herbs will be selected depending on which syndrome type predominates. If the diagnosis is Cold dominate Bi, moxibustion is an excellent choice. Moxibustion involves burning Mugwort, Artemisia Vulgaris, either directly on the skin or indirectly over acupuncture points. Doing so decreases inflammation by increasing white blood cell count in the area.

 

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