Acupuncture for Women’s Health

The modern woman is pulled in different directions on a daily basis, whether it’s the demand of work, home, or school. Regardless of what today’s woman is capable of doing, her needs haven’t changed. She could benefit greatly from acupuncture to address the stress, emotional, and hormonal challenges.

Being a woman is empowering, however there are certain aspects of women’s health that can become a strain including menstruation, menopause, maintaining weight, and more. There’s a natural timeline women experience, from monthly menstruation to pregnancy to menopause, and all the seasons in between, and during through these trends various symptoms can arise. Acupuncture can help with easing the transitions of these stages of life and help to achieve a more balanced YOU. Acupuncture is a natural and effective treatment that helps empower women to live a healthy lifestyle.

Acupuncture can be used to treat a number of condition and health problems, including:

  • Menstruation issues such as irregular cycles, no periods and PMS

Irregular menstruation and PMS can be disruptive to a woman’s hormones and fertility. Acupuncture is a natural solution for PMS because it helps better manage the monthly cycle by reducing qi stagnation by promoting blood and qi flow through the body’s meridians. Irregular menstruation can be due to a number of reasons including, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and endometriosis. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have helped patients with these conditions achieve stable cycles for optimal health.

  • Hormonal Balancing

Most women have at some point experienced hormonal imbalance, possibly manifesting as emotional outbursts, irritability, fatigue, to name a few. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies help to calm these manifestations with also addressing the root cause. Most patients feel a sense of calmness even after their first acupuncture treatment. After a thorough evaluation of each individual, our doctor creates compounded herbs tailored to each patient. Not all patients will be advised to take herbal formulas, but for some this is a way to adjunctively help to balance hormones, especially between acupuncture treatments.

  • Infertility

There are a number of reasons a person can develop problems with trying to conceive, whether it is due to hormonal imbalance, stress, restricted blood flow, or poor ovarian reserve. Acupuncture as a natural resource to help with these obstacles has been proven with research. Our doctor is a Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Sonya Patel’s approach with fertility is to review patient’s history and then work with the patient to obtain optimal fertility. We have several patients who are receiving acupuncture as a supplemental therapy alongside their fertility procedures with their reproductive endocrinologists. Acupuncture improves medication absorption for fertility treatments and lessens side effects brought on by fertility medications.  The goal is to have optimal egg quality and quantity, improve lining thickness and quality, and assist with implantation of the embryo with the use of acupuncture and nutritional supplements.

 

  • Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the woman’s body drastically changes as the fetus grows and develops into a baby. These changes can cause unusual symptoms that many women may have never experienced in the past, such as low back pain, ankle swelling, headaches, nausea, constipation, etc. A significant amount of research supports the use of acupuncture for all of these symptoms without affecting the baby. In fact, some insurance companies cover acupuncture for these symptoms because there are limited pharmaceuticals available to pregnant women without side effects and harm to the fetus. Towards the end of a pregnancy, acupuncture can help progress labor, softening the cervix and promoting dilation. The acupuncture points for progression are typically located on the low back, shoulders, hands, and legs and never in the genital area. Acupuncture for labor treatments are calming for both the mother and baby.

ACUPUNCTURE IN A NUTSHELL

One of the most ancient forms of medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, is still celebrating its effectiveness in today’s modern world. Acupuncture activates spontaneous healing reactions in the body by encouraging endorphin release and altering levels of neurotransmitters. Scientific studies have proven its potency for treating inflammation, pain, depression, and many other health disorders.

 

ACUPUNCTURE CAN ALSO HELP WITH:

  • Addiction
  • Fertility
  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Low back pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Constipation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems

 

Contact our office to schedule an appointment at our award-winning office!

281-491-0110

 

Our practice serves Sugar Land, Houston, Katy, Missouri and surrounding areas in Texas.

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Acupuncture for Back Pain in Houston

Acupuncture treatments for back pain is one of the most researched ailments in traditional Chinese medicine.

Some common causes of back pain include:

  • Work injury
  • Sports injury
  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive use
  • Ineffective ergonomics

When an injury occurs in muscles and tissues, the energy flow in the back becomes imbalanced.

That’s where acupuncture comes in!

There are several pathways which flow through the back which the acupuncturist will place needles in to encourage more blood flow in pathways. Electrical stimulation and or moxibustion (moxa) may be used to encourage the tension to release. Moxa is an herbal component burned or smoked in the area of the pain to warm the muscle and relax it. Cupping is another technique to help soothe knotted muscles. Cupping is the use of glass cups as a suction on top of the tense muscle to encourage blood flow thereby releasing the muscle. Acupuncture doesn’t only address the physical issues, it can bring calmness to the body, mind, and spirit.

At Mirvana Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs, our practitioner can treat your back pain addressing the pathway imbalances thereby decreasing pain. Most back patients at Mirvana Acupuncture never need to take herbal therapy to alleviate their pain. Dr. Patel believes in feeling the pain difference with using a combination of acupuncture, cupping, and moxa to alleviate the pain and have lasting relief.

Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment to feel the relief soon!

Our practice serves Sugar Land, Houston, Katy, Missouri and surrounding areas in Texas.

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Fertility Acupuncture at Mirvana Acupuncture

Acupuncture makes healing possible through the use of sterile, thin needles insertion in specific acupuncture points on pathways in the body. The pathways correlate with different organs and systems within the body and can help with a variety of physical and emotional issues; it can even assist with improving fertility. Dr. Sonya Patel is boarded by the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine and often writes scientific articles for publications on the use of Eastern and Western medicine for optimal fertility.

What Are The Causes?

There are various causes of infertility. Some common ailments affecting infertility include:

  • Thyroid issues
  • Ovarian blood flow
  • Endometrium lining thickening
  • Endometriosis
  • PCOS
  • Premature Ovarian Failure
  • Recurrent miscarriages

Sonya listens to each patient’s history and tailors acupuncture, herbal therapy, and supplements to each person’s needs. Often Sonya communicates with patients between acupuncture treatments to ensure customized patient treatments during fertility protocols such as IVF, FET, IUI, and even natural pregnancy.

How Does Acupuncture For Fertility Work?

Fertility acupuncture focuses on correcting energy imbalances in the pathways affecting reproductive organs and related systems.

Traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes qi (vital energy) to flow through all pathways for optimal health. Acupuncture aids in either releasing excess energy or bringing in additional energy into the pathways when needed. With proper qi flow within the pathways, the body functions effectively and efficiently.

Acupuncture therapies are progressive treatments. Frequency of acupuncture treatments are necessary over a period of time to see positive changes within the body. We often advise acupuncture treatments at least three months prior to starting fertility protocols to regulate hormones and balance pathways. Acupuncture is effective even after conception for pain management, gastrointestinal disorders, migraines, stress, and other common pregnancy ailments. Acupuncture can be continued throughout pregnancy and help with assisting in labor towards the end of the third trimester.

 

Our practice serves Sugar Land, Houston, Katy, Missouri and surrounding areas in Texas.

Please call us today to schedule an appointment. Call 281-491-0110

 

 

 

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Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain in Houston

The shoulder joint is flexible and optimally has great range of motion compared to other parts of the body. Shoulders are one of the most frequent parts of the body injured during sports activities. In addition, excessive and repetitive daily usage can easily wear the adjoining cartilage and bones which can cause pain. Acupuncture can decrease pain symptoms with regular treatments.

The following shoulder conditions can benefit with acupuncture:

  • Sprains and Strains of the Shoulder
  • Tendinitis, Tendinosis in the Shoulder
  • Bursitis
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Arthritis

How does acupuncture relieve shoulder pain?

Acupuncture for shoulder pain entails the treatment of ligaments, tendons, and muscles surrounding the joint. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the human body consists of 12 main meridians consisting of internal and external pathways.

Insertion and stimulation of fine needles into acupuncture points along the meridians help release neurotransmitters called endorphins and decrease inflammation around the surrounding pain site. Acupuncture corrects the imbalance of the body by interacting with neuromuscular receptors and improving muscle memory and pain relief.

Recent studies also demonstrate:

  • The release of the body’s natural chemical opioids that interact with the body to inhibit pain signals
  • Vasodilation of blood vessels and increased oxygen flow on the injured area
  • Accelerated healing mechanism of the injured tissue, allowing pain relief and faster recovery,        including post surgically

During the initial visit, our doctor customizes a treatment plan for after palpating and evaluating the shoulder. Most times, patients see improvements after their first visit but may be advised to come for additional visits for total relief.

Our practice serves Sugar Land, Houston, Katy, Missouri and surrounding areas in Texas.

Please call us today to schedule an appointment. Call 281-491-0110

 

 

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Pinning Down Headaches

As a teenager I suffered with frequent headaches. I was evaluated many times by my general practitioner and neurologist. There was really only one option: Medication. My mother, the pharmacist, was not happy with this resolution. She wanted me to try acupuncture for relief after studying the side effects of the prescribed medications. A few acupuncture treatments later, my headaches were not completely gone but I was able to function even when it came on. Eventually, the intensity, duration, and frequency decreased. I no longer suffer with frequent headaches. Of course, I’ll get the occasional headache but I can usually analyze what brought it on; i.e. dehydration, stress, etc.

Headaches can be classified into numerous groups. There are tension headaches, cluster headaches, TMJ headaches, and trauma headaches, to name a few. Acupuncture is very effective in treating headaches, no matter what the onset.

In Chinese Medicine, headaches are classified into various groups based on location. The location of the headache tells us about what channel is affected. I am a true believer of the power of foods. When patients come in for acupuncture, I also present a listing of foods, based upon their diagnosis, which can improve their condition(s). Below are classifications of headaches and some helpful food therapy.

Top of the Head/ Affected Channel: Liver

Food Therapy: Apples, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Chrysanthemum Tea, Eggplant, Garlic, Onion, Peanuts, Persimmon, Royal Jelly, Tofu, Spinach, Watermelon

Side of the Head, Temples/ Affected Channel: Gallbladder

If only on Left side: Deficiency condition or chronic condition (i.e. weakness in the jaw caused by TMJ disorder)

If only on Right side: Excess condition or acute condition, i.e. common cold.

Food therapy: Excess condition: Coriander, Duck Egg, Green Onion (white part), Apricots, Bamboo Shoots

Deficient Condition: Brown Sugar, Eel, Beef, Licorice, Lamb, Rice, Potatoes, and Sweet Potatoes

Behind the eyes/ Affected Channel: Liver (blood deficiency in the channel)

Food Therapy: Beef, Eggs, Oysters, Spinach, Mint Tea,

Forehead/Affected Channel: Stomach

Food Therapy: Crab apple, Green/Red Pepper, Nutmeg, Papaya, Pineapple, Sweet Basil, Radish, Clam (saltwater), Crab, Peanut, Chinese Dates, Mango, Rosemary, Star Anise, Turnips, Taro, Chinese Cabbage, Shitake Mushrooms

Back of the head/ Affected Channel: Kidney and Urinary Bladder

Food Therapy: Pork, Shrimp, Mussels, Clam (freshwater), Plum, Raspberries, Cinnamon

All over the head/Affected Channel: Kidney (essence)

Food Therapy: Whole Wheat, Millet, Black Sesame Seeds, Dill seed, Cloves, Chinese Cabbage Avoid: Dairy, Alcohol, Yeast Foods

These are just general foods to help prevent and relieve headaches. Acupuncture and food therapy can work very well together to resolve the pain faster and prevent future occurrences.

 

 

Our practice serves Sugar Land, Houston, Katy, Missouri and surrounding areas in Texas.

Please call us today to schedule an appointment. Call 281-491-0110

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Natural Relief for Insomnia

Not getting enough sleep? There can be many reasons why you may not be sleeping. With so many pharmaceutical sleep drugs on the market, I was compelled to write this blog entry. While I was watching a commercial, I noticed most of the time was spent listing the side effects for the sleep medication. One of the side effects was DEATH! Gosh, with that side effect, you will be sleeping for a VERY LONG TIME!

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), poor sleeping patterns can cause problems throughout the body, including weight gain and pain. There is an unbalance in your qi and is causing your body not to work effectively and efficiently.

 

Before we get into therapeutic treatments for sleep disorders, let’s start with the obvious NOT-TO-DO’s:

 

  1. Are you taking vitamins at night? Stop! Vitamins need to metabolize, so if you are taking your vitamins at 8pm or 9pm at night, you are certain to wake up when those vitamins are at its peak, possibly around 1-3am. You may be full of energy too early in the morning, then burning out earlier in your day. Take your vitamins in the morning instead.
  2. Do you have children waking you up every night? It is a good idea to get your children in a routine and provide them with some incentive so they do not wake you up at night. My 5-year old was waking up every night and I was averaging between 3-6 hours of sleep per night. It was exhausting to work full time and not having the energy. I also started to gain weight, needed more caffeine, and was not motivated. So, I bought my daughter a lavender herbal pillow and warmed it for her before bedtime. She would hug the pillow and fall fast asleep immediately. She slept through the night with the comfort of her special pillow. Though this may not apply to all the children out there, just a suggestion to “think outside the box” when getting your children to sleep.
  3. How late are you eating? If you are eating within 3 hours of bedtime, you may want to change your dinnertime. Digestion gets slowed with fatty foods and may interrupt sleep. Drinking alcohol may make you sleepy, but after a short nap can cause insomnia.
  4. Remember nicotine is a stimulant; it is best to avoid smoking prior to bedtime. Quitting smoking completely would be optimal.
  5. Avoid caffeine containing foods in the evening- i.e. cola, coffee, chocolate, hot cocoa, green teas.

 

 Stop counting sheep and finally get some zzzz’s with:

  1. Acupuncture and herbal remedies- Consult with an acupuncturist and get information about how your channels can get back into balance to work efficiently.
  2. Eat food high in tryptophan- warm milk, nuts, seeds, honey, bananas, and eggs.
  3. Try taking a warm bath or shower. Use lavender products (avoid if pregnant) in the shower to enhance the calming effects.
  4. Turn off the TV! Watching shows late at night can cause you to get excited instead of relaxing your mind.
  5. Take a dose of melatonin- Melatonin is a natural hormone in our body. Additional melatonin can be taken to help induce sleep sooner. Please note: Melatonin is contraindicated in pregnancy and may interfere with ovulation. Do not plan to drive after taking Melatonin.
  6. Do you suffer with night sweats? Get it treated with acupuncture. A good acupuncturist would be able to help with the night sweats and with the sleep disharmony at the same time. Avoid red meats and spicy foods.
  7.  Stop stressing! Stress keeps your mind working 24/7. You need to allow your mind to take a break. Most people will find that they have a clear mind when they get good sleep and stop stressing. When I hired my staff, the first thing I told them- “Leave your work stress at the door before you leave every night”. I would like them to come in every morning refreshed, happy, and clear minded.

Getting enough sleep can affect your daily performance, weight, organ functioning, and moods.

Most importantly, consult with your physician about your sleep habits. Sleep disorders could be a sign of a major health problem.

 

References

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/ss/slideshow-sleep-foods

http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/aama_marf/journal/vol13_3/article4.html

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/940.html

 

 

Our practice serves Sugar Land, Houston, Katy, Missouri and surrounding areas in Texas.

Please call us today to schedule an appointment. Call 281-491-0110

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Essential Oils to Avoid While Pregnant and Breastfeeding

Expectant and new moms are always careful to eat and do the right things to protect the health of their babies. We often take for granted that the many products we put on our body can affect the fetus and breast milk as well. This is because skin care product ingredients are absorbed instantly through our skin and directly into the blood stream impacting the health of both mommy and baby.

Even if you’re seeking an all natural skin care line while you are pregnant or breastfeeding (which is recommended), you should also know that certain essential oils should be avoided.

What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are a concentrated liquid that are derived from a plant by using the flowers, leaves and/or roots in a distillation process. The term “essential” signifies the aroma or “essence” of that plant. They are found in a variety of products more commonly including skin care, perfume, cleaning products, soaps, and food flavorings. Traditional and alternative medicine may incorporate essential oils into medical and healing applications, and have various regulations for use depending on the country. Generally speaking, essential oils can be infused in products, used directly on the skin, or used in a nebulizer to diffuse the essence into the air. Not all essential oils are created equal. This means, some oils shouldn’t be used directly on the skin, and some should only be used as aromatics.

Essential Oils to Avoid While Pregnant & Breast Feeding
While some would say approach with caution, we say, “Why take the risk?”

Below is a list of some ingredients that should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding (partial list). While pregnant and breastfeeding, always consult with your medical doctor before using these or any essential oils. Consult your physician before using any essential oil in a diffuser while pregnant.

  • Aloe (drinking juice): Do not use during pregnancy, lactation.
  • Anise (essential oil): Avoid internally and externally in pregnancy, breast-feeding.
  • Basil (essential oil): Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Bay (essential oil):  Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Bergamot (essential oil):  Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Cassia (essential oil): Should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Cedarwood (essential oil):  Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Dandelion (root, tincture): Do not use during pregnancy or nursing.
  • Roman Chamomile (essential oil):  Avoid chamomile in the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Cinnamon (essential oil):  Avoid during pregnancy, breast-feeding.
  • Clary Sage (essential oil):  Use with caution during pregnancy.  Only use after the first trimester.  Do not use when lactating.
  • Clove (essential oil):  Use with caution in pregnancy; externally, only after the first trimester.
  • Cypress (essential oil):  Avoid in pregnancy, breast-feeding.
  • Elemi (essential oil):  Avoid in pregnancy, with infants and young children.
  • Fennel (essential oil):  Avoid in pregnancy.
  • Garlic (essential oil):  Do not administer essential oil to babies. Best to avoid in pregnancy.
  • Geranium (essential oil):  Contraindicated in the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Ginger (essential oil, teas):  Should not be used for morning sickness.
  • Jasmine (essential oil): Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Juniper (essential oil):  Contraindicated during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Lavender (essential oil):  Only after first trimester.
  • Lemongrass (essential oil): Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Marjoram (essential oil):  Has the potential to stimulate menstruation, do not use during pregnancy.
  • Nutmeg (powder):  Avoid in pregnancy.
  • Parsley (leaf): Avoid in excess during pregnancy and breast feeding.
  • Peppermint (essential oil):  Do not use during the first trimester of pregnancy or while breast-feeding.  Do not use with children younger than two years old.
  • Pine (essential oil): Contraindicated during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Red Clover (tincture): Avoid during pregnancy.
  • Rose (essential oil):  Contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Rosemary (essential oil):  Contraindicated in the first trimester of pregnancy and should not be administered to babies or children younger than the age of four.
  • Sweet Basil (essential oil, leaf): Contraindicated for use while pregnant, breast-feeding, and with infants or toddlers. Do not use the essential oil during pregnancy or nursing.
  • Thyme (essential oil):  Contraindicated during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Yarrow (essential oil):  Contraindicated during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Ylang Ylang (essential oil):  Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Using Naturally Unscented Skin Care
Naturally unscented skin care is quite easy to find. You can even make your own with some basic carrier oils such as grape seed, olive, sunflower and coconut oils. You can also use butters such as shea, jojoba, almond, macadamia, Brazil nut, and others.

Salvenaturals.com offers a natural and organic line of unscented body care products including scrubs, face care, and soap. You can always go online and search for additional unscented skin care manufacturers.

Written by: Dahlia Kelada

Source: http://traditionswellness.com/Herbs_and_Essential_Oils.html
Image: blahtherapy.com

Our practice serves Sugar Land, Houston, Katy, Missouri and surrounding areas in Texas.

Please call us today to schedule an appointment. Call 281-491-0110

 

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The Art of Facial Reading

For thousands of years, the Chinese have diagnosed people by looking at their faces. Much can be revealed by facial observation such as illness, energy blockage (qi stagnation), energy deprivation (qi deficiency), fertility problems, emotional history and even diabetes. Traditional Chinese masters look at the skin color, wrinkles, area of wrinkles, and skin thickness to diagnosis.

READING BETWEEN THE LINES Wrinkles on the face can tell you about your health andemotional well-being.

Horizontal Forehead wrinkles
Possibly a history of grief, or possibly some intestine problems, i.e. chronic constipation

Vertical wrinkle between the eyes
Easily irritated or annoyed

Horizontal line between the eyes
Pancreas line; if the line is:

  • White: hypoglycemia
  • Purple: hyperglycemia
  • Green: insulin/diabetes
  • Red: inflammation

Wrinkles curving down from the corner of the eye to the cheek
Sadness/possibly grief

Wrinkles curving upwards from the corner of the eye to the eyebrow
Happiness

Horizontal wrinkles above the lips
History of hysterectomy

Vertical wrinkles above the lips
History of smoking or drinking from straw frequently.

COLORS OF THE FACE

  • Red/Purple Blood stagnation, pain in the body
  • Green- Live or Gallbladder problems; possibly other cancerous problems.
  • Yellow– Jaundice, Liver, Gallbladder illness
  • Brown “Liver Spots”, less energy flowing in the liver and gallbladder channels. These people may suffer with something simple as sciatic pain to more complex, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Dark spots on the lower lips can indicate constipation and digestive tract problems.
  • Black- Kidney (possible failure or on dialysis). People will blackness under their eyes could have fertility problems or early menopause. Darkness under the eyes could also be a sign of B vitamin deficiency.
  • Pink Normal
  • Bright red- Broken capillaries; indication that the heart is not circulating blood efficiently. Tip of the nose redness indicates high blood pressure.
  • Dark Purple High blood pressure or rosacea.
  • Grey Swollen, Hard liver (cirrhosis or the liver or scleroderma)
  • White Over consumption of dairy
  • Pale Asthma, allergies, lung weakness

WHAT CAN HELP?
Organic face products can help cosmetically and constitutionally. Essential oils paired with the right base can penetrate the skin and help systematically. Salve [all natural and organic skin care] products can deliver just the right amount of essentials to help decrease wrinkles and rebalance skin texture and color.

Written By:
Sonya Patel, LAC, Dipl OM (NCCAOM), FABORM
Mirvana Acupuncture, Sugar Land, Texas
281-491-0110
www.mirvacu.com

References:
Bridges, L. (2013, February). Facial Diagnosis Lecture. Southwest Symposium, Austin, Texas.

Patel, S.  and Graham, L. (2007, May). Cosmetic Acupuncture-Part I Lecture.  TCM Specialists. Clearlake City, Texas.

Wakefield, E. (2006, May). Advanced Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal Certification Lecture. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, New York, New York.

 

Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment to feel the relief soon!

 

Our practice serves Sugar Land, Houston, Katy, Missouri and surrounding areas in Texas.

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The Role of Acupuncture for Cancer Treatments

While receiving my degree in Nutrition, I worked as an intern at MD Anderson hospital. I came across many patients utilizing acupuncture to help with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. After speaking with patients about the benefits they received, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in Oriental medicine.

Acupuncture is certainly a form of medicine that has been recognized by the World Health Organization. In fact, the WHO recognizes acupuncture to be effective at treating many conditions such as: Addiction, Anxiety, Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Colitis, Depression, Dental pain, Dizziness, Nausea, Pain, Reproductive Problems, Sinusitis, Trigeminal Neuralgia, and Menopause to name a few.

Several research studies have come out on what points, herbs, and how many treatments are needed to help patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Over the past four years, I have been working with MD Anderson on a systematic review investigating articles using acupuncture for cancer patients. A small listing of articles published on this topic include:

Acupuncture treatment of vasomotor symptoms in men with prostatic carcinoma: A Pilot Study. Hammar M, Frisk J, Grimas O, et al. J Urol. 1999;161:853-856.

Acupuncture-point stimulation for chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting. Ezzo JM, Richardson MA, Vickers A., et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;(2).

Pain-relief and movement improvement by acupuncture after ablation and axillary lymphadenectomy in patients with mammary cancer. He JP, Friedrich M, Ertan AK, Muller K, Schmidt W. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 1999;26:81-84.

Regression of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ After Treatment with Acupuncture. Dehen R. J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Mar 28.

Cancer patients find relief with acupuncture for a wide range of illnesses and ailments, including hot flashes, xerostomia, neuropathy, fatigue, pain management, and control of nausea and vomiting.Laboratory and animal studies to explore the mechanisms of acupuncture for cancer treatment have focused mainly on the role of acupuncture in the activation of immune functions, such as blood cell count and enhancing lymphocyte and natural killer cell activity. The aim of most acupuncture clinical trials in cancer patients has been to evaluate the effects of acupuncture on symptom management. This is where the terminology of “complimentary medicine” plays a big role. There is a difference in “alternative” and “complimentary” medicines. Alternative medicine means that the patient is seeking another form of treatment for the sole purpose of helping them and not using any form of conventional medicine. Complimentary medicine is when another form of medicine may be applied in conjunction with traditional medicine. Cancer patients should utilize acupuncture  as a complementary form of medicine.
Pain Management
Pain is the most common symptom treated by acupuncture.Researchers found patients who received electroacupuncture after thoracotomy used significantly less pain medication than patients who received sham treatment.Use of anesthesia points and/or auricular points can be very helpful in treatment of cancer pain. Some of these ear needles can be retained even after the acupuncture session has ended to prolong the analgesic effects.
Nausea & Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are among the top 3 most commonly reported adverse effects of cancer treatment. Some studies are showing patients who received electroacupuncture plus antiemetics experienced significantly less nausea than patients who received antiemetics alone.
Xerostomia (dryness of the mouth)
An interesting study conducted by Deng et al, used functional MRI to evaluate changes in saliva production associated with acupuncture at point LI-2 (located on the hand). Manual stimulation of LI-2 was associated with neuronal activations that were absent during sham acupuncture. Neuroimaging signal changes appeared to correlate with saliva production.
Vasomotor Symptoms
Acupuncture has shown to suppress hot flashes and night sweats during cancer treatments.Studies have suggested that acupuncture before, during, and after cancer treatments can help with keeping hot flashes tamed up to 6 months post acupuncture treatments.
Other studied symptom management with acupuncture include Fatigue, Stress/Anxiety, Depression, Constipation, Quality of sleep and Postoperative Ileus.
References:
Randomized, Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Patients, Deng G, Vickers A, et al. J. Clin Oncol 2007; 25(35):5584-90.

Systematic Review of Acupuncture in Cancer CareA Synthesis of the Evidence. M. Kay Garcia, Jennifer McQuade, Robin Haddad, Sonya Patel, Richard Lee, Peiying Yang, J. Lynn Palmer, & Lorenzo Cohen.J. Clinical Oncology. 2013

Acupuncture treatment of vasomotor symptoms in men with prostatic carcinoma: A Pilot Study. Hammar M, Frisk J, Grimas O, et al. J Urol. 1999;161:853-856.

Acupuncture-point stimulation for chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting. Ezzo JM, Richardson MA, Vickers A., et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;(2).

Pain-relief and movement improvement by acupuncture after ablation and axillary lymphadenectomy in patients with mammary cancer. He JP, Friedrich M, Ertan AK, Muller K, Schmidt W. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 1999;26:81-84.

Regression of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ After Treatment with Acupuncture. Dehen R. J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Mar 28.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) changes and saliva production associated with acupuncture at LI-2 acupuncture point: a randomized controlled study.Deng G, Hou BL, et al. BMC Complement Altern Med, 2008; 8: 37.

 

Our practice serves Sugar Land, Houston, Katy, Missouri and surrounding areas in Texas.

Please call us today to schedule an appointment. Call 281-491-0110

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PCOS Unleashed

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is an endocrine disorder, which can cause irregular menstruation and infertility. If the disorder is not treated it can cause heart problems and diabetes in the future.

The imbalance of hormones can be seen with visual changes of the body. One example of this would be unwanted dark facial and body hair, typically on the face, chest, and back. This characteristic is due to the increase in androgen production in PCOS women. As a practitioner, it is difficult to diagnose a patient just on this one measure. With laser hair removal readily available, sometimes looking at a patient doesn’t always fit this symptom.

Patients may also stop ovulating or not ovulating regularly. Due to the over-producing Luteinizing Hormone (LH), women will not have an egg released every cycle. Therefore, the egg stays in the overcrowded ovary. If we look at the ovary through an ultrasound, it would look like a string of pearls in the ovary.  Since the ovary is very full, the follicles do not have room to grow and typically these follicles only reach 5-7mm (18-20mm is optimal).

Traditional Chinese Medicine can help in many ways with PCOS patients. One way is to help regulate cycles. Most PCOS patients may not have a regular 28-32 day cycle.

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“In a study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, a group of women with PCOS were given acupuncture where the needles were stimulated both manually and with a weak electric current at a low frequency that was, to some extent, similar to muscular work. A second group was instructed to exercise at least three times a week, while a third group acted as controls. All were given information on the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet.” (1)

“The study shows that both acupuncture and exercise reduce high levels of testosterone and lead to more regular menstruation,” says docent associate professor Elisabet Stener-Victorin, who is responsible for the study. “Of the two treatments, the acupuncture proved more effective.” (1)

In another study, acupuncture showed to have a role in PCOS by: increasing of blood flow to the ovaries, reducing of ovarian volume and the number of ovarian cysts, controlling hyperglycaemia through increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood glucose and insulin levels, reducing cortisol levels and assisting in weight loss and anorexia. (2)

Herbs such as Zao Jiao Ci, Ban Xia, and Fu Ling can be helpful in breaking down stagnate cysts in the ovaries. A licensed acupuncturist should prescribe any herbs. Dosage, preparation of herb, and drug/herb interactions are very important to note prior to taking herbs.

Reference:

(1) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207101026.htm

(2) Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010 Mar 16., PMID: 20230329 Current evidence of acupuncture on polycystic ovarian syndrome. Lim CE, Wong WS.

(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCOS

 

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Our practice serves Sugar Land, Houston, Katy, Missouri and surrounding areas in Texas.

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