What is Arthritis?

As one of the most pervasive diseases in the United States, arthritis affects  one out of every three Americans, or roughly 70 million people. For most people, arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of 50 show some signs of arthritis. Joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can often be managed Acupuncture, Nutrition, and sensible exercise programs.

Arthritis isn’t just one disease; it’s a complex disorder that comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these two forms of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors, and effects on the body, they often share a common symptom—persistent joint pain.

Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis ~

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. OA begins with the breakdown of joint cartilage, resulting in pain and stiffness. OA commonly affects the joints of the fingers, knees, hips, and spine. Other joints affected less frequently include the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. When OA is found in a less frequently affected joint, there is usually a history of injury or unusual stress to that joint. Work-related repetitive injury and physical trauma may contribute to the development of OA. If you have a strenuous job that requires repetitive bending, kneeling, or squatting, for example, you may be at high risk for OA of the knee.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) ~

The other arthritis is Adult and Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They are a type of autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the synovial fluid membranes surrounding the lubricating fluid in the joints (there are at least another 100 lesser known subtype autoimmune arthritic diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis AS).

RA can affect many different joints and, in some people, other parts of the body as well, including the blood, the lungs, and the heart. Inflammation of the joint lining, called the synovium, can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, and redness. The affected joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement. RA can last a long time and can fluctuate between flares (active symptoms) and remissions (few to no symptoms).

Can Acupuncture Help Carpal Tunnel Patients?

A study appeared in “The Clinical Journal of Pain” in May, 2009, revealed the efficacy of using acupuncture and Chinese medicine. This study compared two groups of patients with mild to moderate symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. One group received eight sessions of acupuncture treatments over the course of eight weeks. The other group received daily doses of a drug called prednisolone, a steroid used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Evaluations at the end of the second and fourth week revealed that both groups enjoyed a significant reduction in symptoms. However, the acupuncture group received an exceptional benefit that the steroid group did not. At the conclusion of the trial, the patients receiving acupuncture treatments showed a statistically significant drop in their nocturnal awakenings.

From an Oriental medicine perspective, CTS is seen as a disruption of the flow of Qi and Blood within the area and associated with Cold, Dampness or Wind penetrating the muscles and sinews of the wrist.  Acupuncture points, stretching exercises, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements are chosen to treat accordingly.

Acupuncture is extremely effective at treating carpal tunnel syndrome; eliminating the need for surgery or the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids. In fact, one of the most common reasons that people get acupuncture is for repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome. Not only reducing the swelling, inflammation and pain in the wrist, acupuncture addresses any headaches, neck pain, shoulder stiffness and sleeping problems that often accompany this condition.

Your treatment may also take into account any underlying conditions that contribute to the development of CTS including obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems, diabetes, hormonal changes of pregnancy and menopause.   

If you or someone you know suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome, please call our office at 201.760.8811 to find out more about how acupuncture, Chinese medicine and nutritional supplements can help.

Treating Candiasis with Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes the development of candida as a Triple Burner-related condition (The Triple Burner is not directly related to body organs, rather it is a concept.)  Regulating the activities of the other internal organs and fluid metabolism, the Triple Burner consists of three burners: the Upper Burner (the Heart, and Lung), Middle Burner (the Spleen and Stomach) and Lower Burner (the Liver, Intestines, Bladder and Kidneys).

In candidiasis, the Middle Burner, and particularly the Spleen, is the key issue. The Spleen is responsible for taking the food and fluids that we ingest and processing them into the Chi and Blood that are the true “fuel” of our bodies. When the Spleen is functioning well, Chi and Blood are in balance, intestinal flora is in balance, and there is no excess fluid or phlegm in our system. However, when the Spleen becomes weak, this imbalance often progresses to digestive disorders, irregular bowel movements, diarrhea, constipation, and/or fatigue. When the Spleen is weakened further, Damp Heat accumulates in the Lower Burner, resulting in white, cheesy vaginal discharge, genital itching, or urinary tract infections. At the Upper Burner, Damp Heat caused by the weakened Spleen causes an infection of the oral cavity called thrush or chronic cough.

Candidiasis3

If treated appropriately at an earlier stage by balancing of the Spleen and Stomach, the problem will resolve with no yeast-related symptoms. But candidiasis is not a well-defined disease pattern. It is difficult to diagnose at the early stages, and many people are completely unaware that they are developing a severe problem. Without a proper treatment, the disease gains ground, spreading to the Upper Burner (thrush, cough, etc.), or to the Lower Burner (vaginal infection, etc.), or both.

Acupuncture is extremely effective in strengthening the weakened Spleen–the organ about which conventional medicines do not have a clear understanding. Whether it is an early stage or a full-blown candidiasis affection all three burners, acupuncture can safely and effectively address issues with candidiasis, as long as a proper diet change and nutritional supports are implemented simultaneously.

If you or your loved ones demonstrate any of candida-overgrowth issues, please call us as soon as possible.

Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

Low back pain is an extremely common concern, affecting anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of people at some point in their lives. Low back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost days at work and is one of the most common reasons to seek medical care. In fact, one of the top reasons that people get acupuncture treatments is for low back pain.

In spite of the large number of pathological conditions that can give rise to low back pain, up to 85 percent of the cases are classified by physicians as ‘non-specific’. When low back pain is examined from an Oriental medicine perspective, it is seen as a disruption to the flow of Qi within the area and associated with a specific disharmony and is treated accordingly.

acupunctureforlowbackpain

The disruption of Qi that results in low back pain is usually associated with the following three disharmonies:

Weak Kidney Qi – In Oriental medicine, the lower back is referred to as the “dwelling of the kidneys”. The majority of chronic low back pain conditions are associated with kidney deficiency. Pain related to kidney deficiency is typically dull and erratic. It is usually aggravated by fatigue and improves with rest.

Stagnation of Qi and Blood – When the flow of Qi along the meridians that traverse the lumbar region becomes congested, it is referred to as the stagnation of Qi and blood. This presents with a severe stabbing pain that is worse with rest and better with movement, tender to touch, and can be accompanied by stiffness and tightness.

Invasion of Cold and Dampness – Cold, damp type pain is generally worse in the morning and when the weather is cold and damp. This type of pain improves with movement and the application of heat. Stiffness and contraction of back muscles that is aggravated by immobility indicates cold predominance. Swelling, numbness, and a heavy sensation are indicative of dampness.

Five Most Common Causes of Human Diseases

***As published in naturalawakeningsnj.com – see original article here.

The fundamental premise of alternative/complementary medicine is centered on the notion of treating causes of disease instead of treating symptoms, and in the attempt to identify these root causes, thousands of testing procedures, treatment protocols and techniques have been developed. Nonetheless, finding the true cause of any disease is extremely difficult because our bodies are made up of so many layers, organs and tissues, all of which affect each other at all times. It is more akin to detective’s work, and often the findings appear to be irrational, unlikely, or even absurd.

Outside of stress, which may well be the single most important cause, there are five major causes of all human diseases, regardless of age, geographic location and DNA disposition. They are food sensitivity, pathogens, metal toxicity, chemical toxicity and scar tissue. The root cause of any disease can be found among these five factors.

  • Food sensitivity: Certain foods wreak havoc on our health. Foods that can cause major troubles include wheat, sugar (including fruit sugar and honey), dairy, nuts, eggs and certain seafood. GMOs, animals being fed on growth hormones and antibiotics and the dumping of chemical and medical waste into soil and water have made many foods incompatible with our DNA. Gluten intolerance is a merely an outcry of the body telling us that it hates chemically-processed proteins. Not only wheat, but grains like barley, soy, corn, rye, millet and rice, as well as many different vegetables, are grown out of GMO seeds.

food sensitivity

  • Pathogens: Our bodies are inundated with many types of pathogens, notably viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungus/yeast. Many of these pathogens are buried deep inside our tissues and never leave our bodies. Among all pathogens, overgrown Candida (fungus/yeast) is perhaps the most challenging medical issue in modern times.

pathogens

  • Metal toxicity: Heavy metal toxicity is usually caused by lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. We absorb metals through exposure to industrial products, polluted air and water, medicine, paint products and jewelry. When it comes to heavy metal toxicity, the most notable is mercury poisoning caused by amalgam tooth fillings (made of 50 percent liquid mercury and another 50 percent a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin and copper).

metal toxicity

  • Chemical toxicity: We are exposed to hundreds of different toxic chemicals. The water we drink contains fluoride, chloride, medical waste, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and dioxin. The air we breathe is mixed with toxic fumes, chemical sprays and other harmful chemicals. All kinds of plastic materials, food coloring, dry cleaning materials, paints, heavily scented lotions and shampoos contain chemicals that are harmful to our bodies. The most harmful chemical toxin is in nail polish remover, commonly known as acetone.

chemical toxins

  • Scar tissue: Scar tissue formed by surgeries or injuries essentially blocks the flow of energy and blood in our bodies. Scar tissue that has not healed properly continuously excretes body chemicals that can be extremely harmful to surrounding tissues and organs.

scar

Using a cookie-cutter approach based on conventional medical knowledge and previous research findings to determine the main cause of any medical condition among these five common factors can be dangerous and costly, because each individual has a uniquely different genetic makeup, diet and medical history. Even if two people demonstrate almost identical symptoms, what one person’s body needs can be vastly different from what the other individual needs.

However, we can find the deepest cause of any medical condition through applied kinesiology. When done properly, applied kinesiology yields extraordinarily accurate information about our health by allowing us to tap into our body’s “infinite intelligence”. Regardless of the severity and length of illnesses, at any given moment, our bodies are ready to point out the areas needing the most attention. Once the root causes are known, diseased bodies can be effectively treated by using real-food-based nutrition programs. When being fed with the right amount and type of nutrients, our bodies never fail to utilize their incredible self-healing power.

Dr. Susanna Eun, LAc, Ph.D., offers free seminars on nutrition response testing every month. For more information, visit AllendaleAcupuncture.com, or call 201-760-8811.