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

 

Reduce Migraine and Headache Pain with Acupuncture

Reduce Migraine and Headache Pain with Acupuncture                                                                                                                    By: Acufinder Staff Writer

Are you plagued by chronic headaches?

Do you or someone you know suffer from headaches or migraines?  

More than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, 20 million of whom are women. Scientific research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.

The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives.  A widely accepted form of treatment for headaches, acupuncture can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause.

Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for thousands of years.  Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

Oriental Medicine does not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of of techniques such as acupuncture, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables including:

  • Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
  • When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)?
  • Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain?
  • Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?

Your answers to these questions will help your practitioner create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs.  According to Oriental medical theory, illness or pain arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced. Acupuncture stimulates specific points located on or near the surface of the skin to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some headaches, migraines and related symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

Headaches Dramatically Reduced by Acupuncture.

Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that acupuncture is an effective treatment for migraines and headaches.  Researchers at Duke University Medical Center analyzed the results of more than 30 studies on acupuncture as a pain reliever for a variety of ailments, including chronic headaches. They found that acupuncture decreases pain with fewer side effects and can be less expensive than medication.  Researchers found that using acupuncture as an alternative for pain relief also reduced the need for post-operative pain medications.

In a study published in the November 1999 issue of Cephalalgia, scientists evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of migraines and recurrent headaches by systematically reviewing 22 randomized controlled trials. A total of 1,042 patients were examined. It was found that headache and migraine sufferers experienced significantly more relief from acupuncture than patients who were administered “sham” acupuncture.

A clinical observation, published in a 2002 edition of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, studied 50 patients presenting with various types of headaches who were treated with scalp acupuncture. The results of this study showed that 98 percent of patients treated with scalp acupuncture experienced no headaches or only occasional, mild headaches in the six months following care.

In a case study, published in the June 2003 Issue of Medical Acupuncture, doctors found that acupuncture resulted in the resolution or reduction in the frequency and severity of cluster headaches, and a decrease or discontinuation of pain medications. It was concluded that acupuncture can be used to provide sustained relief from cluster headaches and to stimulate the body’s natural production of adrenal cortisol to aid in discontinuing corticosteroids.

According to the July 2005 issue of the British Medical Journal, a randomized controlled trial in Germany found that acupuncture cut tension headache rates almost in half.  Researchers divided 270 patients who reported similarly severe tension headaches into three groups for the study. Over the project’s eight-week period, one group received traditional acupuncture, one received only minimal acupuncture, and the third group received neither treatment. Those receiving the traditional acupuncture reported headache rates of nearly half that of those who received no treatments, suffering 7 fewer days of headaches. The minimal acupuncture group suffered 6.6 fewer days, and the non-acupuncture group suffered 1.5 fewer days.  The improvements continued for months after the treatments were concluded, rising slightly as time went on.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a pinched nerve (called the Median nerve) in the wrist. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the inflammatory disorder that is caused due to repetitive stress, physical injury or any other condition that causes the tissues around the median nerve to inflated.

Actually carpal tunnel is a small canal or tunnel runs from the forearm through the wrist. Bones form three walls of the tunnel, which are bridged by strong, broad ligament.The median nerve passes through this tunnel, which actually supplies feeling to the thumb, index, and ring fingers, the nine tendons that flex the fingers and also provides function for the thenar muscles, which are actually the muscles at the base of the thumb.

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The Role of Hidden Food Allergy/Intolerance in Chronic Disease

Alan R. Gaby, M.D
Food allergy is well recognized in clinical medicine as a cause of acute attacks of asthma, angioedema and urticaria, and as a contributing factor in some cases of eczema and rhinitis.

These types of allergic reactions are considered to be mediated by IgE antibodies, and usually can be diagnosed by medical history and skin-prick or IgE-radioallergosorbent (RAST) tests.

Another type of food reaction, often referred to as “hidden” or “masked” food allergy,has been the subject of controversy for many years. Some practitioners have observed that hidden food allergies are a common cause of (or triggering factor for) a wide range of physical and emotional disorders. According to one estimate, as many as 60 percent of the population suffers from undetected food allergies.

A wide range of symptoms and disorders are reported to have a significant allergy component. See Table 1. On the other hand, many conventional physicians doubt hidden food allergy is a common problem, and some even deny altogether its existence as a clinical entity.

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Acupuncture Relieves Pain and Improves Function in Knee Osteoarthritis

Acupuncture provides pain relief and improves function for people with osteoarthritis of the knee and serves as an effective complement to standard care. This landmark study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), both components of the National Institutes of Health. The findings of the study — the longest and largest randomized, controlled phase III clinical trial of acupuncture ever conducted — were published in the December 21, 2004, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine *.

The multi-site study team, including rheumatologists and licensed acupuncturists, enrolled 570 patients, aged 50 or older with osteoarthritis of the knee. Participants had significant pain in their knee the month before joining the study, but had never experienced acupuncture, had not had knee surgery in the previous 6 months, and had not used steroid or similar injections. Participants were randomly assigned to receive one of three treatments: acupuncture, sham acupuncture, or participation in a control group that followed the Arthritis Foundation’s self-help course for managing their condition. Patients continued to receive standard medical care from their primary physicians, including anti-inflammatory medications, such as COX-2 selective inhibitors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and opioid pain relievers.

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Acupuncture Treatments for Headaches

A small but increasing number of US physicians have found acupuncture to be a useful part of their practice, despite the inability to explain in terms acceptable to their colleagues how they obtained favorable results by this method of treatment. Thus every day in the United States and elsewhere, thousands of patients are being treated with acupuncture for a variety of issues and reporting favorable results.

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Slipped or Herniated Discs – Symptoms and Chiropractic Treatment Options

By Stephen Daniels

A spinal disc herniation, more commonly known as a slipped disc, is when one of the intervertebral discs of the spine is torn slightly, allowing the soft central portion to leak out and become trapped between the vertebrae. This injury is more common in the elderly and those whose occupation requires them to lift heavy loads, as age and stress wear at the discs over time. While herniated discs can be quite painful, chiropractic treatment can aid in reducing pain, improving spine health and possibly even preventing the necessity of surgery in some cases.

Herniated discs tend to occur towards the base of the spine, most notably the lumbar region and segments of the tailbone. It is possible for this injury to occur elsewhere, although these are generally caused by trauma as opposed to wear and tear

The first and most obvious symptom of this injury is constant, unrelenting pain. In minor cases, the pain may be barely noticeable. In fact, studies have shown that a large percentage of the population has some degree of slipped discs that in fact cause them no pain, and are quickly healed by the body without their knowledge. However, in severe cases the pain can be so horrible as to incapacitate the sufferer. These pains tend to occur on only one side of the body, and are not confined to the spine. It is typical for limbs, most often the knees and legs, to also be a source of extreme pain as the nerve endings are pinched by the vertebrae.

The key symptom of a serious slipped disc is severe pain which does not vary in location or intensity for very long periods, often continuing unabated for days, weeks or months. Some sufferers may even experience nausea or numbness in affected limbs. Careful examination by a chiropractor or other qualified health professional and probing of affected regions is necessary to give an accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment.

Some slipped discs will repair themselves if the patient is given time to rest and an opportunity to take stress off the spine by reclining. Three quarters of patients with this problem heal within about three months of their initial injury, with many recovering much sooner. Appropriate treatment from a chiropractor can help to speed recovery and reduce pain.

Medical doctors may recommend aspirin or other over the counter painkillers for pain relief during healing of minor slipped discs, and prescribe high-powered painkillers for more serious pain. However, the possible result of prescription painkillers is dependency on such drugs. Anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed for patients who don’t show signs of recovery, in an attempt to help the disc shrink and be more quickly repaired by the body. In some cases, doctors will recommend back surgery to correct the problem.

By contrast, doctors of chiropractic use drug-free techniques such as manual adjustments to help correct subluxations, or misaligned vertebrae, which can cause herniated discs. Their techniques can provide effective pain relief without the need for medications. Many chiropractors also employ Cox flexion-distraction techniques to help correct slipped discs in the lower back. This method uses a special chiropractic table to gently stretch the lower spine in a series of slow, repetitive movements and decompress the discs, taking the pressure off the spinal nerves and allowing the center of the disc to return to its proper location.

Clinical studies have shown that over two thirds of patients who undergo a typical program of 12 flexion-distraction treatments report good to excellent improvement. In many cases, patients who otherwise would require surgery are able to heal without any invasive treatments. Because surgery on a slipped disc is risky, expensive, and often ineffective, it is highly recommended that sufferers try a chiropractor before turning to surgery.

 

 

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