Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Cholesterol Management

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Cholesterol Management
By: Acufinder Staff Writer

What is cholesterol and how is it bad? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your body and many foods. Your body needs cholesterol to function normally and makes all that you need. Too much cholesterol can sometimes build up in your arteries. After a while, these deposits narrow your arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

Since you can have high cholesterol without realizing it, it’s important to have your blood cholesterol levels checked. Most of the 65 million Americans with high cholesterol have no symptoms. All adults age 20 and older should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years, or more frequently if cholesterol levels are elevated.

High cholesterol can also develop in early childhood and adolescence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the risk increases as weight increases. In the United States alone, more than twenty percent of youth aged 12-19 years have at least one abnormal lipid level. Children over the age of two should have their cholesterol checked if they are overweight or obese, have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or certain chronic conditions such as kidney disease, inflammatory diseases, congenital heart disease, and childhood cancer.

Research has clearly shown that lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Whether you have heart disease already or want to prevent it, you can reduce your risk for having a heart attack by lowering your cholesterol level.

According to the American Heart Association, exercise and a healthy, balanced diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats is important to lowering risk and improving your cardiovascular health. Speak to your health care providers to make sure your cholesterol is being monitored and find out how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you stay healthy.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to treat many of the health conditions known to drastically increase the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol including smoking, high blood pressure, excess weight, and diabetes.

Osteoporosis: Not Just An Elderly Disease, ACA

American Chiropractic Association

It used to be that osteoporosis was considered a disease that affected only the elderly. We particularly associated osteoporosis with older women whose backs were slightly hunched over or those who could no longer stand up straight. Today, the truth is that an estimated 20 million American women suffer from osteoporosis, and 80 percent of them don’t even know it.

Osteoporosis is a chronic, progressive condition that steals bone from the body, leading to fractures of the hip, spine and wrist. Older people can suffer disability and even death from osteoporosis-related fractures. Alarmingly, one in two women and one in eight men will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture in his or her lifetime.

Many people confuse osteoporosis with arthritis, and wait for swollen joints and discomfort before being tested. Even though osteoporosis is painless until a bone fracture occurs, it is important to find out how healthy your bones are now and if need be, adjust your lifestyle to avoid this brittle bone disease. The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following tips to maintain healthy bones:

  • Start a regular exercise program. Walking, skipping rope, jogging, playing racquet sports, swimming and aerobics are all helpful in reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Exercising for 20 minutes, three times a week, is helpful.
  • Although weight lifting exercises are generally recommended, the National Osteoporosis Foundation says those suffering from osteoporosis should consult their health care practitioner before beginning a weight lifting program because excessive strain on the bones could result.
  • Those with severe osteoporosis and who have suffered from fractures may find Tai Chi, a form of martial arts, to be a beneficial strength training exercise system.
  • People suffering from osteoporosis should be careful when bending and lifting heavy objects, including grandchildren. Bend from the knees, not the waist, when lifting, and try to avoid hunching while sitting or standing.
  • Be sure to include calcium in your daily diet. The National Institutes of Health’s recommendations are 1,000 mg/day for post-menopausal women taking estrogen; 1,500 mg/day for postmenopausal women not taking estrogen, and 1,500 mg/day for men and women over 65 years of age.
  • If you are looking for a calcium supplement, try one that’s highly absorbable, such as microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate (MCHC), or one of the malates, fumarates, succinates, glutarates, or citrates. But don’t overdo it. Taking more than the recommended amount of calcium may cause kidney stones.
  • Consider taking additional nutritional supplements, such as vitamin D, C, magnesium, zinc and silica after consulting with your doctor of chiropractic.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet, including fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. Try broccoli, kale, collard greens, cabbage and turnip greens. Experiment with tofu, salmon, sardines and grains. Low-fat milk and/or yogurt are good sources of calcium. (A glass of low-fat milk and a cup of yogurt add 600 mg of calcium to your daily diet.)
  • Drink 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day (herb teas, juices and coffee are not a substitute for water.) Avoid caffeine, carbonated sodas, alcohol, baked goods and junk food.
  • Watch your animal protein intake.

Chiropractic Care Can Help…
Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about ways to improve the health of your bones. Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and trained to treat patients of all ages and can help people suffering from osteoporosis lead healthier lives.

 

Study: Acupuncture for acute Low Back Pain, more effective than drugs

Acupuncture Today
July, 2013, Vol. 14, Issue 07

Study suggests that acupuncture works effectively for pain relief, draws international attention

By Jaseng Center Staff

New research by Korean doctors of Oriental Medicine suggested that an acupuncture method could reduce acute lower back pain faster and more effectively than conventional drug injections.

It is the first study of Oriental Medicine for pain relief that has received international recognition through the PAIN journal.

In a joint study conducted by doctors of Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine and researchers of the Korea Institute for Oriental Medicine, pain was reduced significantly more among patients who received a nontraditional acupuncture treatment called motion style acupuncture (MSAT) compared with another group who had an injection of diclofenac sodium, a drug widely used for immediate pain relief.

“Our study has shown that MSAT was more effective for pain and function in acute low back pain patients with severe disability in the short term and up to four weeks (longer) than conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug injection,” the report said.

The clinical trial report titled “Motion style acupuncture in acute low back pain patients with severe disability” was published in the online edition of the Journal of the International Association for the study of Pain, one of the leading organizations for pain relief and treatment.

It will be published in the July print edition as the first study of Oriental Medicine for pain relief to be featured in the U.S – based medical journal, the authors said.

“This is the first study that shows objective evidence that acupuncture works better as pain relief than drugs. We are glad to get such international attention and recognition,” said Ha In-Hyuk, a doctor at Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine.

The study assessed the pain level on a scale of 0 to 10 as well as the functional level in activities of patients from the two groups. A group of 28 patients who received the motion style acupuncture said the pain level reduced 46 percent on average in 30 minutes while the other 28 patients who had the drug injection had their pain level drop 8.7 percent in the same amount of time. The level of physical disability of patients who were treated with the acupuncture method dropped 39 percent on average in the first 30 minutes while others said their disability merely improved.

The treatment method, developed by Jaseng Hospital, is similar to traditional acupuncture in that it places needles in specific meridian acupuncture points and uses manual stimulation of the needles. It requires a patient to exercise while having acupuncture needles inserted. MSAT differs in that it keeps that patient engaged in active or passive action of related body parts for a certain amount of time during acupuncture. Practitioners lift a patient in pain with severe disability by putting their arms around his or her waist and apply needles to acupoints – the back of a neck, elbow, hands and top of the foot. Patients are asked to walk with assistance from practitioners. In less than in 20 minutes, patients were able to walk on their own and the level of pain was reduced, the hospital said.

The pain level cited from the two groups reached a similar stage six months after the treatment. However, more patients who had the drug injection were hospitalized for intensive care for a longer period of time, it added.

Of the 28 patients in the injection group, 27 were hospitalized for nearly 18 days on average. A total of 19 patients in the acupuncture group admitted themselves to hospitals and stayed 12.5 days on average.

“The strong stimulation of distal acupuncture points in motion style acupuncture treatment may enhance the effects of pain relief by triggering ‘diffuse noxious inhibitory controls’ and increasing the secretion of endorphins by stimulating internal activity of the central nervous system,” Shin Joon-shik, coauthor of the study, said in the paper.

Joon-Shik Shin, a Korean Eastern Medicine doctor, developed the MSAT- a non-traditional acupuncture treatment around 1990. “The technique is highly effective in reducing musculoskeletal pain and increasing limited mobility, and provides almost immediate relief in acute cases with severe pain and restricted motion,” Dr. Shin said.

The motion style acupuncture technique (MSAT) is highly effective in reducing musculoskeletal pain and increasing limited mobility, and provides almost immediate relief in acute cases with severe pain and restricted motion. MSAT has been used for a wide range of applications from first-aid treatment for patients suffering from intense pain of acute musculoskeletal origin to various spinal and joint sprains, temporomandibular joint syndrome, frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis), gonarthritis, and intervertebral disc herniation.

The study has shown the effectiveness of MSAT for acute low back pain patients with severe disability can reduce the treatment period in the short term. According to cost-effectiveness threshold values, our new research can be associated with further health economic effects such as cost-effective treatment strategy in patient with acute low back pain.

Jaseng Hospital of Korean Eastern Medicine gave a presentation on the “Immediate effects of motion style acupuncture treatment (MSAT) in acute low back pain with severe disability: a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial” at the America Pain Society (APS)’s 31st Annual Scientific Meeting in May 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the short term effects at the World Congress on Pain hosted by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) in August 2012 in Milan, Italy.

The distinct treatment methods of Jaseng Hospital of Korean Eastern Medicine is attracting more and more worldwide attention and admiration.

In 2009 Jaseng Center for alternative medicine, a branch clinic of Jaseng Medical Group, opened in Fullerton, Calif. and six more clinics in the U.S.

“Requests and invitations for joint research and education to learn more about and adopt Jaseng’s non-surgical disc treatment are constantly flooding in from all corners of the world. Those include leading American conventional treatment hospitals such as Beverly Hills’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Chicago’s Rush Univ. Medical Center,” said Dr. Joon-Shik Shin, the president of Jaseng Medical Group.

Alpha-linolenic acid associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease

New study finds alpha-linolenic acid associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease                                Source: PR Newswire   

November 23, 2012 — A meta-analysis published in the recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition evaluates how the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) offers protective effects on cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

The study found ALA to be associated with a lower risk of CVD, particularly coronary heart disease (CHD) death. These findings support the potential heart health benefits of ALA and suggest consumers should obtain adequate amounts of ALA in their diets.

Walnuts1 are a key source of ALA and the only nut that provides a meaningful amount of the essential plant-based omega-3 fatty acid offering 2.5 grams of ALA in a mere handful.

This systematic review incorporated 27 original studies and included 251,049 individuals and found that overall ALA exposure was associated with lower risk of CVD. In fact, in the pooled dietary analysis, each 1 gram per day increment of ALA intake was associated with a 10 percent lower risk of CHD death. Previously, the majority of research funding of omega-3 fatty acids have been directed towards marine sources, however recently increased attention has been given to its plant-based counterpart ALA, and has been suggesting that ALA consumption also offers cardiovascular benefits.

The researchers believe that there may be a direct or indirect antiarrythmic effect of ALA that could partially explain why ALA appeared protective against CHD. Previous studies have found ALA consumption may lower cholesterol levels, positively affect thrombosis, improve endothelial function and decrease inflammation.

The type of omega-3s found in walnuts and other plant sources are different from the type of omega-3s found in fish. According to Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, professor of nutrition at The Pennsylvania State University, consumers need to understand the nutritional benefits of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. She notes that “research is showing that the effects of ALA may have unique and independent benefits important to our well-being.”

Cardiologist Dr. James Beckerman finds this study extremely noteworthy and suggests people include more ALA rich food sources into their diet to promote heart health and potentially lower the risk of fatal cardiac events. “Given that plant sources of ALA are cheaper and more accessible to many people as compared to omega-3 fatty acids from fish, this study expands our arsenal to fight heart disease with safe and well tolerated dietary interventions that are easy for people to incorporate into their lifestyles,” notes Beckerman.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM), which establishes nutrient requirements, recommends that people should consume 1.1 to 1.6 grams a day of ALA which can easily be attained. “Eating a handful of walnuts, for example, is a great way to boost your ALA intake. In just a handful, or ounce of walnuts you get well over the amount of ALA recommended by the IOM, not to mention a whole host of additional nutrients,” states Dr. Kris-Etherton. In addition to ALA, walnuts have high antioxidant content, along with numerous micronutrients that Dr. Kris-Etherton thinks may work together synergistically.

Source: PR Newswire

 

Smart Exercise

Source: Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health

January 7, 2013 — Despite the importance of physical activity, many people feel they don’t have enough time to exercise. An active lifestyle that includes engaging in physical activity for less than 10 minutes multiple times a day can have the same health benefits as more structured exercise, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

“There were little differences in levels of health outcomes between those who received moderate to intense levels of physical activity in 10 minute bouts or longer compared to those who were physically active in shorter bouts of activity,” said lead author Paul D. Loprinzi, PhD, assistant professor in the department of exercise science at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. “This suggests that shorter bouts of about activity of 150 minutes a week may be just as beneficial as engaging in fewer bouts of longer duration.”

The researchers pulled data from a national survey of 6,321 people between 18 and 85 years old whose activity levels were measured along with blood pressure, glucose, and total cholesterol levels. With the exception of body mass index, people who engaged in a so-called active lifestyle, with multiple bouts of moderate to vigorous physical activity lasting less than 10 consecutive minutes had similar improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, and other health measures as people who engaged in structured exercise for longer periods.

“This research demonstrates the same findings I regularly see in my practice,” said Laura Pady-Porter, MS, a clinical exercise physiologist at the University of Wisconsin Health Center in Madison, Wis. “As healthcare providers, we are still telling our patients to exercise for 30 minutes daily and are not taking into account busy schedules, health concerns or general deconditioning levels.”

 

She added that both consumers and healthcare professionals need to be informed that even 10 minute bouts of physical activity, preferably several times a day, are just as advantageous as 30-minute minimum bouts a day.

 

“I continue to be amazed when patients say they have never been informed that 10-minute bouts of physical activity can be just as beneficial as ‘suffering’ through 30 minutes of consecutive exercise,” said Pady-Porter. “Once I explain the option of several 10 minute sessions, I see better compliance.”

 

Regular exercise not only benefits a person’s health, it can improve their overall quality of life. But one of the biggest barriers to getting people moving is their attitude about exercise.

 

“A person’s attitude or beliefs can hold them back from being active,” said Loprinzi.  “Our findings are particularly informative as an individual who perceives him or herself to be too busy to be active may still be able to enhance their healthy by adopting an active lifestyle approach.”

 

 

 

 

 

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