Posts

Electroacupuncture Explained

 

Electroacupuncture is the specialized version of traditional acupuncture that involves running a small electrical current through the pre-placed needles. This is done in hopes of stimulating blood flow and achieving balance throughout the body. Today, we’ll explore the many benefits and uses to this newer form of TCM.

 

Invented by Chinese doctor Tang She-Cheng in 1937, it has a much shorter history in relation to the nearly 2,500 years of manual acupuncture. As a result, the practice is less widely in utilization, but does have proven benefits.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

 

So, how does it work? While it can seem scary initially, the principles are actually quite simple, and in essence, similar to manual acupuncture. Traditionally, an acupuncturist would place one needle per meridian point, and then manually stimulate the body using that needle and their hands. However, in electroacupuncture, two needles are placed per meridian point and an electrical machine is connected to these needles which sends a current back and forth, and stimulates the meridian point between. 

In electroacupuncture, two needles are inserted per meridian point, unlike traditional Chinese acupuncture.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Some people may be understandably wary about hooking their body up to an electrical current, so what is the point? According to multiple scientific studies, electroacupuncture has some pretty significant benefits, even when compared to the time-tested standard. Some specific benefits of this variation include increased efficacy in patients with arthritis and osteoarthritis. Likewise, chemo-therapy related nausea and other chronic stress issues have been found to be reduced by this method. Specifically nerve-related issues that benefit from electrical stimulation. 

 

For example, study done by researchers at Georgetown University found that the applied use of electroacupuncture can reduce physical symptoms of chronic stress quite dramatically. Furthermore, this method can lower production stress hormones, and can be an effective addition to treatments for various conditions.

In conclusion, there are many benefits to this variation of practice, certain groups are at a higher risk for complications. If you are elderly, pregnant, have a pacemaker, other heart-related issues, or experience seizures you should not attempt electroacupuncture.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

WOULD YOU TRY ELECTROACUPUNCTURE THERAPY?

Unfamiliar with traditional acupuncture benefits? Check some out here!

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3947586/

https://www.healthline.com/health/electroacupuncture#how-it-works

 

Your Gut is Compromised!

YOUR GUT IS COMPROMISED!

Whether you think it is or not, it’s true. Your gut is being compromised every single day. It doesn’t matter if you have physical symptoms or not.  It’s just the reality of the world we live in today. More than any other time in history, we are exposed – no we are bombarded – with harmful chemicals on a daily basis.

And here’s something even scarier. According to a 2013 New York Times article, “Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested?” by Ian Urbina states,

“MANY Americans assume that the chemicals in their shampoos, detergents and other consumer products have been thoroughly tested and proved to be safe. This assumption is wrong. Unlike pharmaceuticals or pesticides, industrial chemicals do not have to be tested before they are put on the market.”

Another major risk everyone is susceptible to is Leaky Gut Syndrome, which is when certain tiny particles that should never be able to enter your bloodstream start to make their way through. Leaky gut can be caused by the bombardment of chemicals and even certain foods, such as nightshades. Leaky gut syndrome often results in acute inflammation and your immune response over-performing, leading to chronic inflammation.

Over time all these attacks on your gut often result in toxic overload and a bacterial imbalance in your gut.

What can help combat this reality we face today? PROBIOTICS.

Probiotics bring your gut into balance. Potential benefits of probiotics have been seen in the treatment or prevention of

  • Diarrhea
  • Reduce symptoms of common digestive issues such as ibs, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and crohn’s disease
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Pylori (the cause of ulcers)
  • Vaginal infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Recurrence of bladder cancer
  • Infection of the digestive tract caused by clostridium difficile
  • Eczema in children

At To the Point Acupuncture we sell several kinds of Pure Encapsulation Probiotics. Ask Jill which Probiotic product would help combat your digestive issues, maintain your gut health, or augment your acupuncture treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

Acupuncture for Allergies

Spring means warm weather, blooming flowers, and outdoor activities for most people. For those suffering from allergies, it means the return of familiar but unwelcome symptoms such as itchy eyes, runny nose, sinus congestion and coughing.

Acupuncture is very effective in treating allergy symptoms and will also help boost your immune system. Chinese herbs can be taken in parallel to keep symptoms from re-occurring. Unlike antihistamines and other OTC medications for allergies-there are no side effects to Chinese herbs and your Acupuncturist will select an herb for your particular symptoms/constitution.

 

Here are a few home remedies to help you get through the season:

  1. Acupressure-the image below details where you should apply pressure along your sinuses. In most cases-stimulating the points yourself isn’t a direct substitute for receiving acupuncture treatment however applying pressure on the points below can delay the onset of your symptoms and minimize the severity of them as well.

 

  1. Use a Saline rinse/Neti-pot to irrigate your nasal cavity and clean out any mucus/debris
  2. Eliminate mucus producing foods from your diet such as dairy and sugar
  3. Take a daily tablespoon of locally produced honey
  4. Stay hydrated-drink plenty of water throughout the day

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 919 621-3363 or at To The Point Acupuncture

Weight Loss with Acupuncture

4 Ways Acupuncture Can Help Boost Weight Loss Efforts

I have read many statistics on weight loss and the numbers are staggering: one in four Americans are overweight. Even worse, Americans spend over 33 billion dollars every year on weight-loss programs. Despite all of the money spent on weight-loss, Americans have not become healthier. Actually, the statistics seem to get worse every year.Weight Loss with Acupuncture

As the owner of To the Point Acupuncture, I have been able to help many individuals boost their weight loss progress with acupuncture. But how acupuncture can help with weight loss?

4 ways acupuncture can help with weight loss:

  1. Endorphins: When we are in pain we tend to not want to exercise, which leads to weight gain. The increased weight on our joints tends to cause even more pain and so we have become locked in a vicious cycle of being in pain and overweight. So how do we break that cycle? The process of acupuncture naturally releases endorphins in the body. These endorphins help an individual feel happier and reduce the body’s perception of pain making it easier to begin an exercise program once again.
  2. Mood Changes: In America, we eat based on our moods. Commonly we eat when we are sad and depressed, hence the term “comfort foods.” Acupuncture does a great job of alleviating some of the quick mood changes which could lead to overeating.
  3. Stress: Stress can lead to increased weight gain. One way is by increasing cortisol levels in our bodies, which can lead to metabolism and immune response issues. Acupuncture is a great stress reliever for so many people. Being able to relieve some stress could be the pivotal point for an individual to start losing weight.
  4. Imbalances in the System: In Chinese medicine, excessive weight gain is regularly linked to imbalances between the spleen and liver organs. Acupuncturists are trained to zero in on specific acupuncture points that could be causing problems and are leading to weight gain.

If you believe that any of the above factors may be contributing to you struggling to lose weight, I would love to sit down and learn more about you. There are so many reasons and stressors in life that could lead to one’s inability to lose weight. It doesn’t have to be such an uphill battle! Please call me at (919) 621-3363 and let’s set up a time to chat!

Taking care of your body during the summer

summer yogaThe summer is a wonderful time to spend with family, take vacations, and enjoy the weather. But, warm weather activities and summertime come with negative effects on the body such as heat exhaustion, dehydration, sun burns, injuries, stressful schedules and so much more. These are just a few of the issues that I see during the summer.

At To The Point Acupuncture, I help my patients have the best summer of their lives and experience new things that were too stressful before. To make sure that this summer is the best one so far, there are a few health tips I recommend to put in place to stay happy, healthy, and protected this summer.

I always suggest scheduling the following tasks to make sure that the summer of 2016 is the best one yet:

  1. Drink a Lot of Water. It sounds simple, but this is one of the biggest things I have to remind my patients about. The majority of the heat based issues listed above can be prevented by drinking water. Wondering how much water is enough? On average, a normal adult should have approximately 64 ounces of water per day.
  2. Take Frequent Breaks. Frequent breaks are a great way to prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration, but can also help prevent any outdoor injuries. However, if a sports injury occurs, give me a call so we can help alleviate the pain and resolve any further issues.
  3. Schedule an Acupuncture Appointment. Although everyone is different, one acupuncture treatment per month works very well for most people for maintenance and prevention. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and acupuncture in particular, is a great way to keep healthy during the summer months. If an injury has already occurred, a weekly appointment with a Raleigh acupuncturist is best.

Balancing kid’s schedules in the summer can be very stressful and lead to anxiety; acupuncture is a great solution for this issue. The summer sun can also cause headaches and migraines which acupuncture has been proven to alleviate.

Never tried acupuncture before? The summer of 2016 is a great time to meet with a Raleigh acupuncturist for the first time. Contact me, Jill Doan, at To The Point Acupuncture with any questions and to schedule your first acupuncture appointment today.

 

Acupuncture and Breast Cancer: A Clinical Research Overview

shutterstock_154750382You have probably noticed little pink ribbons popping up everywhere and many people dressed in pink clothing. That’s right. It’s October. Breast Cancer Awareness month, and everyone is coming out to show their support. Whether you are a survivor yourself or you know someone who has had breast cancer, it has affected the lives of almost everyone.  Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and it is the second leading cause of death among women.  One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Research and studies show that acupuncture can help to:

Reduce nausea and vomiting

Decrease fatigue

Control hot flashes

Minimize and lessen pain

I have also found acupuncture to be effective in helping with the healing process and also reducing scar tissue post breast reconstructive surgery.

 

Nausea/Vomiting:

The Journal of the American Medical Association published an article in 2000 on the effectiveness of acupuncture, specifically electro-acupuncture, on managing emesis (vomiting). In the study, 104 women receiving high doses of chemotherapy for breast cancer were chosen. All subjects were given anti-nausea medication. There were 3 groups. Those that received acupuncture with electrical stimulation, acupuncture without electrical stimulation, and no acupuncture. Those that had acupuncture experienced significantly less episodes of nausea/vomiting than those who didn’t receive any acupuncture at all.

Researchers at Duke University published an article in Sept. 2002 in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia. The study showed that acupuncture worked better than the anti-nausea medication ondansetron, more commonly known as Zofran, in alleviating postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) after major breast surgery, such as a mastectomy.  Duke anesthesiologist Tong Joo (T.J.) Gan, M.D., who led the trial said, “In the areas of PONV control, pain relief, and general overall satisfaction, acupuncture appears to be more effective than the most commonly used medication (Zofran), with few to no side effects.”

 

Fatigue:

In 2012, the American Society of Clinical Oncology conducted a study of 302 participants with breast cancer. The study was to determine if acupuncture was effective in treating cancer related fatigue (CRF) in patients with breast cancer. Those participants that received the acupuncture for 6 weeks reported improvements in physical, mental, and overall fatigue. They had more motivation and felt less psychological distress. 

 

Hot Flashes:

Presented in part at the American Society for therapeutic radiation oncology conference in Boston in Sept 2008, Dr. Eleanor M. Walker presented her findings of acupuncture in the treatment in vasomotor symptoms in patients with breast cancer. The findings showed that acupuncture worked just as well as Venlafaxine (Effexor), a drug commonly used to treat night sweats and hot flashes in menopausal woman with breast cancer. The only difference is Effexor has numerous side effects and acupuncture does not. It also showed that 2 weeks post treatment,  the Effexor group had an increase in hot flashes, while the acupuncture groups hot flashes remained at low levels.

 

Pain:

Part of treatment for breast cancer is taking aromatase inhibitors. About 50 percent of people that take them develop arthralgia or joint pain, and so many people stop taking them because of this even though it is a vital part of treatment. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman school of Medicine found that acupuncture decreases this joint pain that is caused from taking aromatase inhibitors.

If you or someone you know has breast cancer consider acupuncture.  There are no side-effects and it can improve your overall well-being and quality of life.

 

References:

  1. http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-facts
  2. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=193319
  3. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040922070424.htm
  4. http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/30/36/4470.long
  5. http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/28/4/634.short