that Acupuncture Treats
Can Acupuncture Help?
acupuncturist may be consulted by people with specific
symptoms or conditions, such as pain, anxiety, arthritis,
eczema, sports injuries hay fever, asthma, migraine, high
blood pressure, menstrual disorders, intestinal problems or
pregnancy management and delivery.
extensive practice and research has shown that acupuncture
is effective in helping people with such conditions as well
as with many others, it does more that simply relieve
symptoms. The aim of acupuncture is to treat the whole
patient and to restore the balance between the physical,
emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual.
traditional acupuncture, since all illness is considered the
result of an imbalance of energy, treatment can benefit
almost any ill person as long as the degenerative process in
the tissues of the body is not too extensive.
people also have acupuncture as a preventative treatment or
because they feel unwell in themselves but are not `ill' in
the Western sense.
are a few of the conditions acupuncture treats:
and Chronic Back Pain
Conditions and Diseases
for Back Pain
pain is commonly considered a nerve displacement syndrome.
The way it works is that there's some kind of structural
problem that inhibits a nerves function as it exits the
spinal cord through the spinal vertebrae and out into the
body. When there is something displacing one of these nerves
as it exits the spine it causes pain because the nerve
swells and is inflamed. The common term for this problem is
way in which doctors determine if there is a nerve
displacement going on is by having the patient lean to the
right, then to the left to see if that has any effect on the
pain. If it does, then it seems pretty clear that there is a
displacement of the nerve going on and if that nerve
displacement can be relieved, the pain will go away along
with it. That's just one way of testing for a nerve
displacement syndrome. This test isn't always the end-all
the obstruction to the nerve should remove the nerve pain.
But it doesn't always work, or else it requires a surgery
which is expensive at best and dangerous at worst.
sees this pain as one of a few possibilities. Let's take a
look at those possibilities and talk a little about the
suggested treatment for each. Perhaps you'll recognize your
own situation below and be able to see an acupuncturist to
is pronounced "Chee" and is sometimes spelled Chi.
This is basically the energy that circulates throughout your
body and does stuff for you like keep you alive, etc... This
Qi flows through a network of channels and meridians. This
sounds much like our neurological system. One could say that
this Qi stagnation is the nerve displacement syndrome. But
its kind of strange, because acupuncture is very adept at
treating this frequent cause of back pain without having any
effect on the mechanics of the situation. We simply insert
needles near the location of the pain as well as a few other
strategic locations to stimulate the movement of Qi in the
desired area and the pain goes away. But we don't do any
adjusting to the spine nor perform any surgery to remove a
herniated disc. All that is done is that some thin needles
are inserted in the area of the pain to stimulate the flow
of Qi and the pain goes away.
untreated, the Qi stagnation can lead to blood stagnation,
and what was a dull ache that kind of radiates outward from
the central location, can become a very sharp fixed pain.
And Qi stagnation lower back pain is sometimes found in
women who have painful periods. In this case, again
acupuncture is the treatment of choice.
are two main causes of blood stagnation, one is that there
was some local trauma such as lifting up something too heavy
for you, or some sport's injury. Perhaps even an automobile
accident. Any specific trauma to the back will give rise to
what we call blood stagnation. The treatment principle is
the same as the Qi stagnation. We just get the blood moving
and the pain goes away.
other cause of blood stagnation would be a long history of
Qi stagnation. The Qi is said to move the blood. Should the
Qi be stagnated for long enough, then the local body fluids
that are supposed to be flowing around begin to stagnate as
well and that includes blood. We might see some emotional
component in this particular pathology. For instance a long
history of frustration, resentment or some other really
bitter emotional pathology. We all get frustrated once in a
while and that can give rise to the Qi stagnation type of
back pain, but if it goes on for long enough it becomes more
tight, compacted, the body begins to really manifest that
stagnation in the form of lumps, tumors, sharp pains and
other blood circulation problems.
pathology can cause radiating pain that actually circles the
lower back down into the groin area. This kind of symptom
may suggest some problems that would be better addressed by
Western medical attention. Check in with your MD and if your
pancreas and liver are okay, go visit your practitioner of
Chinese medicine, we have some great answers for you.
this is a back pain, normally in the lower back that is
associated with a kind of infection in the urinary tract or
other area in the lower abdomen. This might be kidney
stones, this might be a bladder infection. This is often
some uro-genital disorder that may include a local infection
of some sort.
the damp heat problem listed above, this is not a nerve
impingement syndrome but an issue that deals with the organs
found beneath the skin in the lower back. Those are the
kidneys. Kidney pathologies run the gambit from stones, to a
deficiency of Yin or Yang in the body. Yin deficiency tends
to include lower back ache that is a long term problem, six
months minimum with no history of trauma. It just started
hurting one day and never went away. Other symptoms of Yin
deficiency include hot flashes, night sweats, tinnitis,
irritability, restlessness and the feeling that your hands
and feet are too hot. Acupuncture treatments would be
consistent with stimulating the kidney functions and herbal
medicines such as Liu Wei Di Huang Wan would be employed to
treat the root cause of the pain.
deficiency of Kidney Yang could also give rise to lower back
pain. Other symptoms of Kidney Yang deficiency would be
early morning diarrhea, cold hands and feet, lack of energy,
pale face, hearing loss, feeling cold all the time, frequent
urination, low libido.
either case, we would seek to strengthen these most
important organs to take away the lower back pain. This
might take a little longer to achieve than the Qi or Blood
stagnation problems. But it is still very treatable with
acupuncture for the specific pains and herbal medicines that
go a little deeper into the organs to strengthen what is
are a common pathology among people everywhere and thanks to
the Westward expansion of traditional Chinese medicine,
people everywhere are coming to appreciate the age old
medical wisdom of the Orient, especially in regards to back
Chinese medicine can quickly treat the symptoms of pain
associated with the pinching of the sciatic nerve as it
leaves the spinal cord in the lower back.
are a few reasons that one could get sciatica pain.
the biomedical perspective, the cause is generally
considered structural in nature, the symptoms having to do
with the sciatic nerve, itself.
the bones of the spine are damaged, or just lined up poorly,
they can pinch or irritate the sciatic nerve as it leaves
the spine. Often times, the irritation comes about because
of a portion of the disc that should remain between the
spines sticks out a little bit from between the spines and
pinches the nerve as it exits the area. This creates the
pain in the lower back as well as the pain we feel traveling
down the back of the leg and into the foot. Acupuncture can
make quick work of the pain, but you may need to see a
chiropractor or osteopath if you have serious structural
problems in your back that require more mechanical
attention. On the other hand, the problem could be something
as simple as a bad chair that you're sitting in.
the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, we look
at the pain as one of a number of problems.
American culture, we commonly talk about catching a cold.
In Chinese medicine, we can catch a cold as well as many
other environmental factors such as catching a damp or
wind. Not only that, but these factors can settle into the
acupuncture meridians causing pain that may feel hot, or
cold, they may move around like wind, or become kind of
thick and turbid like dampness. In the case of sciatica,
we say that one of a few different external factors has
settled into one the meridians that traverse the leg.
Usually, that is the urinary bladder meridian.
factors that can lead to sciatica, from the traditional
Chinese perspective include a deficiency of the Kidney and
Liver organs, or the stagnation of the blood circulation
through the acupuncture meridian. I'll get to those later
in this article.
pain associated with sciatica follows almost exactly, the
path of the urinary bladder meridian in Chinese medicine,
from the lower back all the way down to the foot. When
there is pain along that line, it suggests to the
acupuncturist that the Qi energy is stagnated there and
needs to be helped along in its circulation. What is
causing the stagnation of the Qi energy can be one of many
factors such as wind, damp, cold, or heat, as I mentioned
prior. The fact that it occurs in the urinary bladder's
meridian doesn't actually suggest that there is anything
wrong with the patient's bladder. Its the same thing as
understanding that a pinched nerve doesn't mean that you
have a problem with your brain, even though the two are
due to an invasion of wind, cold or dampness:
Pain is aggravated by overcast or rainy weather. The quality
of the sciatica pain could include a heaviness, numbness
and/or cold sensation along the pain pathway.
due to deficiency of the Liver and Kidney:
Sciatica pain along with listlessness and weakness in the
knees and lower back. This is usually a long term condition.
of the channels by the stagnation of blood due to local
Sciatica pain that follows a fall, or accident where the leg
or lower back has been injured.
needles, some so thin as to appear more like wires than
needles, would be inserted along the pathway of the pain
to move the Qi energy locally and dissipate the external
pathogen as well as activate the movement of the Qi energy
to remove the pain. Sometimes other points in the body
would be used to treat the damp or cold or wind that may
have spread out into the rest of the body in addition to
the urinary bladder meridian.
stimulation ("electro-stim") can be used on the
needles that pass through the leg to provide an even
greater amount of stimulation. Electro-stim is a more
recent invention applied to acupuncture. While the
treatment principle is not at all "traditional
Chinese medicine", it is a commonly used tool within
the acupuncture clinic. The reasoning is that with minute
pulses of electricity, the local nerves are over
stimulated, not with pain, but with a painless electrical
shock. This over-stimulation makes the nerves turn down
their own sensitivity, and hence, all the other pain that
travels through those nerves is also diminished. This is
the basis behind acupuncture anesthesia. And it is
applicable to sciatica.
Acupuncture can be used for additional assistance in
treating the pain associated with sciatica. Once the
needles are removed, seeds can be taped into the ears so
as to supply on-going stimulation to these points. These
seeds, or even magnets can be worn for a few days at a
time. Of course, care should be given to the condition of
the ear's skin so as to avoid any infection caused by dirt
or moisture collecting beneath the tape used to affix the
ear seeds. There are a number of products that your
acupuncturist will have access to that make use of flesh
color tape, not unlike the flesh color Band-Aid bandages.
These pieces of tape needn't look funny in your ears.
the past, subcutaneous needles have been used instead of
ear seeds. Subcutaneous needles are like really tiny
thumbtacks. They are also effective, but because the skin
is broken, and often times, the needles are not changed
everyday, the risk of infection increases. For this
reason, I don't personally suggest this treatment. However
if you're in a position to change the little subcutaneous
needle everyday and clean the ear, then they can be an
effective adjunct to acupuncture for your sciatica pain.
Gong (Chi Kung):
exercises direct the Qi in the body toward the area of the
body where the Qi energy is either deficient or stagnant.
Personally, I think that Qi Gong exercises and acupuncture
have something in common. In Qi Gong training, it is said
that the Shen leads the Qi. That means that if you're
doing an exercise in which you are focusing your mind (Shen)
on your lower back, then the Qi goes there, and healing
takes place. Acupuncture performs the same function. The
funny thing about having a needle stuck into your back is
that you think about it. You're acutely aware of it. It
forces the mind to become conscious of that area, and so
the Qi is lead to that area. Qi Gong exercises are used in
between acupuncture treatments.
Gong, is about as close to yoga as the Chinese get. Like
yoga, that are hundreds of kinds. Some Qi Gongs move, some
stand still, some sit, some stand. Some require superhuman
patience and strength, others only require a little mental
your practitioner will apply Qi to your body from his or
hers by placing his or her hands onto your body. Often
times, their hands will be very warm, signifying that
they've successfully directed their own Qi energy into
their hands for "expression" into you.
with any therapy that requires touching, it is absolutely
essential that you feel comfortable with the treatment. If
you don't, your muscles will tighten up and the therapy
will produce negative effects. You don't want that. If you
don't know how you feel about being touched with either
external Qi Gong or even massage, your body will tell you.
Muscles tightening up beneath the pressure of a therapist
is called a guarding response. Your body is guarding
itself from further injury. If your body senses the
opportunity for further injury due to the activities of
your practitioner you need to honor that body knowledge.
Your body's really smart, and regardless of how much you
like the practitioner, or believe in his or her medicine,
your body has the last word, and if it doesn't believe in
what's happening, then believe me, nothing will happen.
you're uncomfortable with this type of therapy, please
tell your practitioner.
the other hand, if you are comfortable with it, you'll
find that with the right practitioner, this can be among
the most significant and moving of all therapies. This
technique of external Qi Gong can certainly begin to look
much like the more Christian "laying on of
hands" and can have some truly divine manifestations
in your life.
Massage or "Tui Na":
therapy for sciatica can't be underestimated. Massage
therapy is given for twenty minutes. Massage therapy
usually requires daily sessions.
And Women's Conditions
Oriental Medicine (acupuncture, herbal medicine and other
therapies) is rapidly growing in acceptance in the West
simply because it works. It's strongest feature is probably
its ability to treat chronic conditions for which
conventional medicine has no answers, no treatments and no
relief other than harsh chemicals with potentially
unpleasant side effects. Traditional Oriental medicine
treats women's health very differently from conventional
Western medicine. This article describes some typical
problems that woman have treated with Oriental medicine.
Oriental medicine is based on the law of Yin and Yang. This
law teaches that health only comes from a balance between
these two fundamental principles. In the same way as
American culture is struggling to find equality between the
sexes, Chinese culture has, for thousands of years,
understood that health only comes about after the masculine
(Yang) and feminine (Yin) principles within ourselves are
balanced and working in harmony.
the law of Yin and Yang socially is the basis for men's and
women's groups in our culture. Oriental medicine seeks to
insure health through this same concept as applied to one's
Chinese Medicine approaches Menopause as a variety of
syndromes. All of them have been successfully treated by
acupuncture and herbal medicine. The most typical cause
for the symptoms associated with menopause is the slowing
of the flow of "Yin." When applied to the health
of the physical body, this is the Chinese concept of the
hydration or the cooling system within the body. Typical
symptoms of this deficiency of Yin includes hot flashes,
night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, and heart
instead of the Yin level dropping down, it is the Yang
that becomes deficient. The Yang in the body represents
the warming function of the cells, their metabolism and
other active processes. When the Yang is deficient,
symptoms include: water retention, edema, weight gain,
indigestion, hypertension, and a raised cholesterol level.
untreated, Yin or Yang deficiency can lead to Qi
deficiency. Qi is pronounced "chee." It's the
Chinese word for internal energy. Symptoms of a Qi
deficiency can include: feeling "run-down,"
fatigue, decreased sex drive, dry vagina, cold
extremities, lower back pain, weakened knees and
China, maturity is highly revered, perhaps that is why
they call the time after menopause to be a women's
"second spring." It is this reverence for the
elder years that Oriental herbal therapies have evolved to
their current beneficial status. Menopause can be made
much smoother through Chinese herbal therapy.
good. Although the symptoms associated with "the
change" are obviously transitory, Oriental medicine
has helped women for thousands of years to enjoy their
second spring without any the growing pains of the
is interesting to note that many women, after menopause,
because of the slowing of the flow of "Yin,"
discover their Yang principle and go on to achieve, for
the first time in their lives, success in business and
other areas which have been traditionally dominated by
men and their prominent "Yang" principle. In
the same way, men, after the age of fifty or so, often
find the time to discover their "Yin" or
feminine principle and develop a more refined sense of
compassion and nurturing in life.
thousands of years, Chinese medicine has been treating the
symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome. PMS is a reasonably
simple syndrome to treat with Chinese medicine, however,
left untreated, this little problem can become a big one.
According to traditional Chinese medical theory, the same
condition that gives rise to PMS is also a precursor to
lumps, cysts, lesions, and even cancerous tumors in the
breasts and uterus.
and herbs can provide enormous relief from PMS, however
the underlying cause of PMS is often times due to one's
lifestyle, or the way in which one relates with the world.
Methods such as meditation, relaxation techniques and
exercises that require mental focus, can be employed to
treat the root causes of PMS.
to Chinese medical theory, PMS is mostly indicative of a
disharmony in the Liver. Organs in traditional Chinese
medicine theory are very different from the organs as we
know them according to modern Western science. That's why
organs are capitalized in this article, to denote the
Chinese concept for the organs, not the Western.
Liver initiates the menstrual cycle and the Spleen
controls the creation of the blood in the body. When there
is any disharmony in the Liver, symptoms arise such as the
mood swings that we often associate with PMS, including
periods of depression, sadness, irritability, crying, and
anger. When the Spleen is also involved, a woman can
develop symptoms such as a foggy sense of clumsiness, a
dull pain of the abdomen and/or breasts, or insomnia.
comes about when the Liver's function is impaired. In
Chinese medicine, all of the body's functions are
regulated and energized by what the Chinese call "Qi."
That's pronounced "chee", sometimes spelled
"chi". It could translate to anything from
bioelectric energy to cellular metabolism. For our
purposes, calling it simply "energy" is probably
the jobs that the Liver is expected to do in the body,
according to Chinese medicine, is maintain the free flow
of this Qi energy. When the Qi is moving well, we feel
flexible, flowing and graceful within our bodies as well
as within life. When there is a problem in the Liver, its
function of circulating the Qi is compromised and one
manifestation of this Qi stagnation is what we call PMS.
medicine is based on Taoism. This philosophy teaches that
health comes from a balance between the masculine and
feminine principles (or "Yin" and
"Yang") within everything. For instance, the
Yang nature of the Liver makes us want to move forward and
succeed, but this must be balanced with the Liver's Yin
aspect which represents the ability to move backwards, to
be flexible, and to respond to conditions in new and
spontaneous ways. Where there is a lack of Liver Yin, we
tend to become angry or frustrated. When there is no Liver
Yang, we can become overly timid.
the Yin element of the Liver is deficient we can become
violently angry when we encounter barriers to what we
want, obstacles to our future, or any shortcoming to our
expectations in life. Another typical Liver disharmony
that comes from excessive attachments to goals is the lack
of free flow of Qi energy within the body.
is what a woman feels when the Qi's free flow is
compromised. Disharmonies of the Liver will have two
effects on the menstrual cycle. One is Liver Qi stagnation
which causes moodiness and unexpectedly intense emotions.
The other problem that comes from Liver disharmony is a
painful period. It is said that anger makes the Qi rise to
the head. That's why our eyes get red, we get headaches,
dizziness, and even nosebleeds when we're very angry.
However, for the menstrual flow to begin the Qi must be
descending. Without the free descending flow of Qi at the
onset of the menses, there is pain.
doesn't always have to mean that there is anger at the
root of the condition. However, anger is part of the
symptomatic picture because of the Liver's involvement.
can be various other symptoms along with moodiness and
pain in PMS. Sometimes, the Liver gets so angry that it
lashes out at the Spleen. This causes the Spleen's
functions to be compromised. Symptoms associated with this
portion of PMS include: cravings (especially for sweets),
water retention, fatigue, abdominal bloating, breast
tenderness with possible lumps, and of course, pain,
especially toward the end of the period.
a mental or emotional level, this so-called "Liver
attacking Spleen" can show up as obsessions in our
lives. The Spleen is in charge of the digestive system,
but it also controls the digestion of our experiences in
life. When we talk about "processing" an old
relationship, or a change in our lives, it is the energy
of the Spleen that is performing this function. So, when
the Liver is attacking the Spleen, not only do we feel
angry, but we can't get it out of our heads. We
obsessively think about the object of our desire all the
time. Nothing is ever really processed, or digested in our
minds because the Liver is making it difficult for the
Spleen to do its job. Plus, with all this Spleen energy
being used in the mental and emotional realms, the
physical digestive system suffers, leading to further
aggravation of the symptoms mentioned above.
will gently break free the stagnation of the Qi in the
body. This also has the effect of easing the emotions and
pain associated with menstruation. As with many menstrual
problems, it may take a few menstrual periods to regulate
the cycle completely, although some improvement can often
be seen after the first month, or even after the first
is a special Chinese herbal formula which is often used
for PMS called Xiao Yao Wan (sometimes spelled Hsiao Yao
Wan), pronounced "shao yao wan". Confusing,
isn't it? Ironic too, since it translates to "Free
and Easy Pill." Many know of individual herbs such as
Dang Gui that are effective for women's health, but this
herb is rarely used alone. Chinese herbal formulas are
created with balance and harmony in mind. Xiao Yao Wan has
Dang Gui as well as many other ingredients to relieve Qi
stagnation, nourish the Blood, strengthen the Spleen,
sedate the Liver and relieve pain. They all support each
other to increase their various functions. Xiao Yao Wan is
widely available at stores that carry Chinese herbs.
an herbal pharmacy will create its own brand of Xiao Yao
Wan and call it something else. The K'an Herbals brand
"Free & Easy Wanderer" is an example of a
domestically produced Xiao Yao Wan.
the Liver is angry, the Qi stops flowing smoothly. When
there is stagnation of this Qi energy, other things get
stopped up behind it. Qi Stagnation can lead to Blood
stagnation which can lead to lumps, cysts, lesions, and
even cancerous tumors in the breasts and uterus.
Chi or Qi Gong (breathing exercises to amplify and
invigorate the Qi energy) helps at the root of the
problem. Even meditation will have this same effect.
Pulling the consciousness into "The Now" makes
the Liver less attached to preplanned goals. With this
added flexibility, we can become more able to accept
obstacles in life which allows us to find appropriate and
creative solutions consistent with the needs of the
Qi Gong's breathing exercises stimulate the functions of
the Lungs which help to sedate the Liver. In the same way
that the Liver can attack the energy of the Spleen, so it
is that the Lungs can sedate the Liver. This is all due to
the way in which the organs relate to each other within
the paradigm of Chinese medicine.
are also many lifestyle changes that can be incorporated
into your life to help control PMS at its root level.
would suggest that you live in accordance with nature.
Many suggest that this includes a vegetarian diet, living
off the land, going to bed with the stars, and getting up
with the sun, but in the middle of the city in the 20th
century, this is very difficult. Instead, it would be wise
to become sensitive to the nature within yourself. If
you're doing something you don't feel comfortable doing,
don't do it anymore.
you can't live with yourself within traditional female
roles, listen to your nature and create the life that is
consistent with your heart's stirrings.
you want to be a mommy instead of a high power account
executive, then make that change and watch your health
improve. If you must work to survive, then find a job that
allows for more of your nurturing side to come out.
sorts of changes in one's life are not easy, nor is it
something that can be adequately addressed in an article
about PMS, but it is amazing how our health issues clear
up when the internal issues are resolved.
the Buddhist standpoint, the calming of the Liver might
include seeing things As They Are, without any additional
meaning. Things that make us mad do so because of the
weight that we give to the things that bother us. Buddhism
teaches detachment. With detachment comes the ability to
see things as they are, because there is no need to make
events in your life signify anything other than the random
experiences that they ultimately are. Chinese medicine
says that the Liver is attached to the eyes. Seeing life
clearly with complete acceptance and a lack of
interpretation provides the Liver with the freedom to
attack life or retreat from it as is appropriate to the
moment. With this balance, the free flow of Qi is
restored, anger and frustration are calmed.
acupuncture and herbs give excellent results for PMS. As
with all menstrual problems, it will take a minimum of 3
menstrual periods to regulate the cycle completely,
although some improvement can often be seen even after
the first month.
occurring before, during or after menstruation.
pain often occurs in the lower abdomen or lower back.
Associated Western conditions include; mittelschmerz,
endometriosis, uterine fibroids and myoma.
the Chinese point of view, this comes from either of lack
of "Blood" in the body (this approximates anemia
in Western terms, though it has other meanings as well),
or stagnant Qi or Blood. Stagnated Qi or Blood can both
effect and be effected by emotion. Stagnation makes you
emotional, and emotions make you stagnant. Chinese
Medicine seeks to free up the stagnant Qi and blood,
nourish and increase the amount of Blood in circulation
Blood, remove the pain and ease the emotions.
untreated, stagnated Qi leads to a stagnation of Blood.
This causes intermittent sharp pains in the abdomen, or
what the West calls mittelschmerz. If the Blood stagnation
is allowed to slow the circulation of Qi or Blood for a
long time, a soft nodule can appear in the area. This is
one way of describing endometriosis. Again, should the
soft nodule go untreated and the stagnation in the body
remain, in time it can become a harder nodule like a
uterine fibroid. Should that nodule begin to grow more
rapidly, it can become what the West calls myoma, or
tends to come from stagnated Qi or Blood in Oriental
medicine. At that stage its a simple matter of getting
that Qi or Blood moving again to remove the monthly pain,
however, left untreated, other complications can appear.
It isn't the intent of this article to frighten anyone
with the discomfort associated with menstruation, but it
is a reminder that pain is nature's way of reminding us to
be aware of our body's needs. Often times pain is simply a
first alert to a problem that can be solved as by
something as simple as expressing your emotions or feeling
menstrual flow or spotting.
reasons for these condition according to Chinese medical
theory are numerous. They include Qi Stagnation due to
emotional strain, and Qi deficiency due to a variety of
situations including overwork, too much sexual activity,
chronic illness, or childbirth. Another cause could be
"heat" in the Blood which would likely be
associated with a feelings of restlessness, fever and
constipation. One could even spot after the period because
of a weakness in the Spleen. Symptoms associated with a
Spleen deficiency might include an abnormally low
appetite, shortness of breath and a pale complexion.
the case of excessive flow or spotting after the period,
the treatment principle could range from wearing
"shields" in the case of spotting that falls
within normal limits to an aggressive treatment plan to
rebalance all of the various organ systems involved with
Treatment For Breast Lumps
lumps could occur in women at any age, but are more common
in middle age. Most breast lumps are benign, if they are not
attached to surrounding tissues and skin and they are
movable when being manipulated with the fingers. When breast
lumps are present, patients often notice distending pain or
a painful pressure within the breast. Typically, the skin
over the breast is not red or swollen. Hard lumps can be
felt within the breast or on the upper, lateral portion of
the breast. These lumps are round in shape with an uneven
surface, the lumps have distinct edges. Subcutaneous blood
vessels are rarely visible through the skin and lymph nodes
under the armpits are seldom enlarged. These lumps may occur
on one breast or both breasts.
to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), lumps are generally
caused by blood and QI (energy) stagnation. Acupuncture, a
main branch of TCM, is very effective in treating these
lumps. There are many different causes for breast lumps.
However, three of the most common are related to injury,
diet and stress.
breast lumps are a result of trauma, injury, and accidental
compression. Patients have sharp pain at or around the lumps
most of the time. For this condition, several key
acupuncture points are selected to stimulate the blood flow
and soften the lumps. Normally, these are NEI GUAN, TAN
ZHONG, DA LING, GE SHU and ASHI (painful) POINTS.
too much hot and spicy food can result in stomach fire
(heat) which results in abnormal blood and Qi flow, also
blocking the channels and generating breast lumps.
Acupuncturists often treat this problem with needling the
points on the stomach and spleen channels plus ZHONG WAN and
QI HAI on the Ren channel to sedate the heat in the stomach,
tonify the spleen and improve the blood and QI circulation.
cases of benign breast lumps are caused by emotional stress.
In this condition, breast pain is usually apparent or more
severe just before the menstrual period and relieved or
lessened afterward. Some patients have the accompanying
symptoms as insomnia, dry mouth, bitter taste in the mouth,
bloating in stomach, distending pain in lower abdomen, chest
or ribs, poor appetite and loose bowels. Some patients may
to TCM theory, the nipple belongs to the liver channel, and
the breast belongs to the stomach channel. Blockage of these
channels can cause blood and Qi stagnation resulting in
breast pain and lumps. Anxiety and anger can cause liver Qi
stagnation, which attacks the stomach and impairs stomach
functioning. This, in turn, blocks the blood and Qi on the
stomach channel. Consequently, the liver and stomach
channels are the main channels to be regulated in TCM
treatment. The treatment principle includes calming liver,
relieving anxiety, tonifying spleen, sedating stomach fire
(heat) and activating blood flow, thus dissolving the lumps.
Using this treatment, points on the liver, stomach, spleen
and Ren channels along with confluential and ASHI points are
needled to clear the blockages and return Yin and Yang into
all these conditions, patients often experience reduction
or complete elimination of pain after the first
acupuncture treatment and the lumps are diminished or
completely eliminated after several treatments. Normally,
the treatment requires 10 -15 office visits. Even after
the symptoms have totally disappeared, the patients should
continue the treatment to completion to assure a long
For Varicose Veins
of the lower extremity (leg) become enlarged, widen,
bulging, swollen, winding, extending. The veins under skin
are visible showing pink, red, purple, blue or black lines
with possible clots. In some severe cases the twisted veins
look like earthworms. Varicose veins can cause skin changes,
damage, sclerosis, heaviness, weakness, tiredness and pain
on the leg.
is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine which has more
than 2000 years of history. This ancient treatment method
has very good effects on varicose veins. However, it is
rarely known to the Western world. According to Chinese
medicine theory, varicose veins are caused by stagnant blood
which could be produced by many factors. Under this
condition, the blood flow is abnormal. Acupuncture can
improve the blood circulation effectively. By inserting the
tiny needles into the key points along the meridians, the
acupuncturist forces the blood to move in the veins and
surrounding areas. Meanwhile, the points for coordinating
the internal organs are selected to enhance the energy and
blood flow to supply and develop the source of blood to the
area. Like the clogged pipe being washed wide open by a
forceful supply of water.
is not as painful as people imagine. Patients usually feel a
tingling, or heavy, distended sensation. It has no side
effects. It is normal that some patients may feel itchy--
deposited blood in veins and peripheral blood vessels starts
moving, but the blood still can not circulate until the
stagnant blood in the vessels is washed away by the new
blood completely. Patients can see the improvement
gradually. The dark color becomes lighter and lighter and
the lines, clots spread out to a wider area. Finally the
varicose veins disappear. Some patients need to use a hot
herbal decoction to soak and wash the area to speed up the
healing process. The more treatments the patient receives,
the more progress will show.