What Is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes ongoing inflammation and ulcers (open sores) in the innermost layers of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. The ulcers bleed and produce pus and mucus, and the inflammation causes the colon to empty frequently, causing diarrhea.

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Ulcerative colitis is similar to Crohn disease, another IBD. Crohn disease can happen anywhere in the digestive tract, often in patches, and can spread deeper into tissues.

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Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, is usually confined to the innermost layers of tissue and is uniform throughout the colon. Ulcerative colitis can be painful and have life-threatening complications.

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.

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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.

It’s Already Allergy Alert Season!

Symptoms of runny nose, sneezing, and watery itchy eyes that recur certain time of the year cause a great deal of suffering among a large segment of the U.S. population. The worst offender of all is tree pollen which is most prevalent in the spring; grass and weed pollens follow in late spring and summer.

allergy alert

While many over-the-counter remedies promise symptomatic relief, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine offer healthier and more balanced solutions by addressing the underlying causes of symptoms, and treating the whole body instead of focusing only on the respiratory-related issues.

What are allergies?

Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is an example of misplaced immunity. It is a learned response by the immune system wherein rapid physiological changes resulting in itchy eyes and throat, sinus congestion and sneezing, asthma, and even diarrhea are produced. Typically, exposure to an allergen such as tree pollen elicits a massive release of IgE antibodies which attach to white blood cells known as mast cells. These cells are mostly located in the lungs and upper respiratory tract, the lining of the stomach and the skin. When these cells are stimulated, they release a number of chemicals including histamine which produce the allergic symptoms.

Allopathic Treatment of Allergies

Basic allopathic [western] medical therapies often rely on inhibiting the allergic response; antihistamines (Chlor-trimetron, Benadryl, etc.) are a good example. Other types of drugs used to treat allergic rhinitis or asthma include ones which act on the nervous system (Albuterol, epinephrine), cortico-steroids (prednisone), and decongestants.

Western medicine also emphasizes the importance of avoiding the allergen if possible, and the use of air filters to decrease exposure. When avoidance or elimination is impossible or impractical, the next level of treatment may be desensitization, the injection of small amounts of the allergen in gradually increasing doses in order to neutralize over time the number of antibodies present.

Acupuncture for Addison’s Disease Symptoms

Addison’s disease, also known as adrenal insufficiency, occurs when the adrenal gland cannot produce adequate amounts of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. This can be a serious and potentially life-threatening situation, as the adrenal gland influences many essential functions in the body. The risk of getting this disease is the same for all people, regardless of age and other factors. Signs and symptoms may take months to appear, or they may develop very quickly and unexpectedly.

addison's disease and acupuncture

For example, if a patient with Addison’s disease also experiences muscle weakness and diarrhea (which is common). An acupuncturist and Oriental medicine practitioner may determine that spleen deficiency plays an important role in the way the disease presents itself. According Oriental medicine, some functions of the spleen include keeping the bowel’s movements running smoothly and helping maintain muscle and limb strength. So, no matter what your specific complaints may be, acupuncture and Oriental medicine is equipped to help you manage the signs and symptoms of Addison’s disease.

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Strengthen Your Digestive Health with Acupuncture

Our gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) starts from the mouth and ends at the anus. There are a number of diseases associated with our GI tract ranging from excessive gas build-up, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea to more serious conditions such as acid reflux (GERD), ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and Crohn’s disease. Most of these conditions are chronic, although some conditions of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can be life-threatening.

Early Chinese medical texts state that “The origins of any chronic disease can be traced back to compromised digestive function.” In other words, Chinese medicine views digestive health as the foundation to total health.

digestive health

According to Chinese medical theory, most digestive disorders are due to disharmony in the spleen and stomach. In fact, it’s not so much the stomach that holds the key in maintaining optimal digestive function, it’s the SPLEEN.

Unlike Western medicine that views the spleen as not-so-vital, Chinese medicine considers the spleen an extremely important organ, not only for digestive functions, but for reproductive health, immune functions, and vascular strength.

The spleen (which includes the pancreas in Chinese medical theory) takes a lead role in the assimilation of nutrients and maintenance of physical strength. It turns digested food from the stomach into usable nutrients and Qi (energy).

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The liver also plays a critical role in the digestive process. When the spleen is weak, the liver cannot move smoothly, so that the combined effects of weak spleen and liver often result in serious digestive disorders.

In addition, the large/small intestines, the gallbladder, and the kidneys are intricately involved in our digestive process. Therefore, maintaining optimal digestive heath always requires a holistic approach that takes into a whole body into account, not just the organs associated with the GI tract.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

A common disorder affecting 10 to 20 percent of adults at some point in their lives, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has a combination of symptoms that may include constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, fatigue and headaches that can be worsened by certain foods, stress and other irritants.

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IBS is the end result of nervous interference with the normal function of the lower digestive tract. Symptoms can be managed by avoiding overeating, exercise, identifying trigger foods and reducing stress.

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Inserting acupuncture needles on certain points on the liver and spleen meridians, along with some points on the stomach meridians often produce astounding results in handling IBS symptoms.

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Crohn’s Disease Symptom Relief

Crohn’s disease is a medical condition that can cause chronic inflammation anywhere in the GI tract–from the mouth all the way to the rectum.

Often, the inflamed tissue is specifically found in the ileum (the end of the small intestine) and the beginning of the colon. Inflammation can spread into the deeper layers of the tract and frequently has what is known as a “cobblestone appearance.”

crohns' diseqse

Symptoms vary from patient to patient, and may include persistent, recurrent diarrhea, bleeding from the anus, urgent need to evacuate the bowels, constipation or feeling of incomplete evacuation, abdominal cramping, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, mental and physical developmental delays (in certain cases occurring amongst children), fever, night sweats, or irregular menstrual cycle

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Crohn’s is a difficult condition to cure. In some cases, surgery to repair or remove affected areas of the GI tract is necessary.

It is important to receive an early diagnosis as untreated Crohn’s disease can eventually cause life-threatening symptoms such as tears in the lining of the rectum and fistulas.

Fissures can cause excess bleeding and pain. Fistulas happen when inflammation erodes tissue, causing the formation of a tunnel starting from the intestines, going to the urinary bladder, vagina or even the skin.

I cannot stress enough how important diet is in reducing some symptoms.