Ulcerative Colitis – Treating with Chinese Medicine

Chinese medical texts rarely differentiate Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or other chronic inflammatory intestinal disorders. In Chinese medical terms, most ulcerative intestinal disease is classified as spleen deficiency type, because it is believed that the spleen Qi is necessary to maintain the health of the intestines.

More specifically, any bowel-related issues can be caused by four major factors, all of them involving stomach/spleen deficiency.

  1. Stomach/Spleen Deficiency: Most common cause of any bowel-related and any other digestive disorders.
  2. Deficiency Complicated by Cold: Usually cold in the stomach and spleen meridians affect either the small or the large intestines.
  3. Deficiency Complicated by Damp Heat: Severe pain and/or bleeding can be caused by damp heat lodged in the intestines.
  4. Qi and Yin Deficiency: deficient Qi causes stagnation of the stomach and the spleen over time; not enough Yin (cooling element) makes Yang (hot element) invading the stomach, spleen, and liver meridians.

Chinese medical practitioners can establish protocols by examining the underlying causes of ulcerative colitis, not just symptomatic demonstrations. Quite often, acupuncture alone cannot effectively deal with this particular disease, and Chinese herbal concoctions (most notable is Jianpilling) are strongly recommended, along with strict diet changes.

A word of caution is that Chinese medicine, however, has its limitations. If the patient has such complications as toxic colitis or toxic megacolon, immediate hospitalization is required. In addition, serious complications such as massive hemorrhage, free perforation, or fulminating toxic colitis require immediate surgical intervention.

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.

Insomnia, Acupuncture and Nutrition Response Testing

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. People with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Feeling tired upon waking

Major Causes of Insomnia

  • Significant life stress (job loss or change, death of a loved one, divorce, or moving)
  • Illness, pain, or discomfort at night
  • Environmental factors like noise, light, or extreme temperatures (hot or cold) that interfere with sleep
  • Medications (notably those used to treat depression, asthma, or high blood pressure) may interfere with sleep
  • Interferences in normal sleep schedule such as jet lag switching from a day to night shift
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Hormonal imbalance

Millions of people suffer from insomnia these days. Sleep deprivation is the root of many health issues like memory impairment, a weakened immune system and stress that can lead to cardiac disease, heart disease and digestive disorders. Sound sleep is the foundation of good health. We need 6-8 hours of sleep every night to recharge our batteries. Practicing good sleep hygiene and keeping your body in sync with the rhythm of day and night can help your body cope with sleep deprivation and give it an opportunity to get stronger and heal.

insomnia

We can address the root cause of insomnia by applying the yin-yang principle. In Chinese medicine, sleep occurs when the yang energy of the day folds into the yin energy of night time. Yin energy of the body is cooling and restorative; it is the time of day when our bodies turn inward and regenerate. Conversely, day time is yang, which is expansive. We expend the energy we have built up from the process of sleeping. This yin-yang principle provides invaluable tips to improve our sleeping patterns.

What to Do:

Keep your body and mind as much Yin as possible by following: Exposure to the diminishing light at dusk, eating your last meal at least three hours before going to bed, gentle and slow-moving exercise such as yoga or Tai-Chi, and Unwind your mind through meditation (Meditation is best practiced dung the day to help improve your sleep patterns at night.)

What to Avoid:

Cool your Yang energy down by avoiding hot and spicy food and drink. Avoid alcohol, coffee, chocolate and any other stimulants, especially late in the day. Excessive lighting at night, evening shift work, evening computing, video games, television, and late-night eating all serve to counteract the body’s natural rhythms.

Nutrition:

Just like any other human health issues, insomnia can be caused by: improper diet, immunological challenges, heavy metal or chemical toxins in your body, and unhealed scar tissues. Fruits and vegetables, seaweeds, bone-marrow soup, foods rich in minerals, and Vitamin B Complex can induce peaceful sleep at night..

If you or someone you know suffers from insomnia, call today to see what Acupuncture and Nutrition Response Testing can do for you!

Managing Diabetes with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

It is estimated that 25.8 million people in the United States have diabetes, a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

Untreated diabetes affects the whole body and can lead to other medical problems, including heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, peripheral neuropathy, digestive disorders and periodontal disease.

diabetes and acupuncture

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 4 people remain unaware that they live with diabetes. Sometimes the body will give warning signs that a person’s sugar metabolism is out of whack. Common signs of Type II(adult-onset) diabetes include:

  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination or urinary infections
  • Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
  • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches

Diabetes is Called “A Wasting Disease” in Oriental Medicine

Acupuncture and Oriental medicines have been used to treat diabetes for over 2000 years.

According to Oriental medicine, diabetes is called “a wasting disease” caused by an imbalance of the cyclical flow of Qi within the meridians and organ systems.

This particular imbalance produces heat that depletes the body’s fluids and Qi, causing symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lethargy, unexplained weight loss, excessive thirst, excessive urination, excessive eating, slow healing of cuts and wounds, infections, irritability, tingling or numbness in the extremities, and blurry vision—all of which are signs of a person being “wasted.”

The treatment for diabetes will focus on regulating the circulation of blood and Qi and balancing the organ systems to improve pancreatic function and address internal heat and the depletion of fluids.

diabetes and acupuncture2

In addition, acupuncture can treat peripheral neuropathy, one of the most devastating symptoms of diabetes.

Common signs of peripheral neuropathy include tingling, numbness, loss of sensation, muscle weakness and pain. For some people, it is experienced as the uncomfortable sensation of “pins and needles”, or burning pain (especially at night) of their hands or feet. Others may suffer even more extreme symptoms such as muscle atrophy, paralysis, or organ or gland dysfunction.

Oriental medicine teaches that peripheral neuropathy is due to dampness moving to the limbs, where it obstructs the flow of Qi (energy) and blood within them.

The treatment is twofold: to treat the underlying factor that is causing this dampness to accumulate, and to directly facilitate the circulation of Qi and blood in the affected area.

By improving circulation, the nerve tissues of the affected area can be nourished to repair function and reduce pain.

diabetis and acupuncture 4

Well-Known Procedures in Managing Diabetes

There are a number of well-publicized recommendations in managing diabetes.

1. Diet Changes

Anything too sweet must go. While a sweet taste delights our taste buds, overindulgence can cause or worsen digestive problems and upset our metabolic and emotional balance. In Oriental medicine, meats such as pork and chicken are considered sweet.

Vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, corn, snow peas, squash and even turnips are also considered sweet.

Anything heavily processed or too greasy must be abstained. Too much dairy, deep-fried foods or canned foods must be avoided. Even fruits are recommended only in moderate amounts due to their relatively high sugar content.

2. Adopt Healthy Life Habits

Healthy habits such as maintaining optimal weight, avoiding exposure to toxins, following a well-supervised exercise program, and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption can reduce the physical and emotional effects of diabetes.

3. Boost Circulation with Massage (for neuropathy patients)

Massage can help boost circulation, which is generally poor and leaves these areas vulnerable to trauma. You can stimulate your feet, lower legs, hands and arms with gentle massage using light pressure.

4. Relax to Reduce External Triggers

Consider relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, self-hypnosis or biofeedback.

5. Soak for Pain Relief

A warm foot bath with Epsom salt may also help relieve pain. If there is loss of sensation in the hands or feet, you should avoid extreme temperatures, as you may not feel the damaging effects.