Interestingly, the main causes of the overgrowth of candida albicans are presumed to be MEDICATIONS and MEDICAL THERAPIES. These include: antibiotics, hormone replacement, corticosteroids, birth control pills, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and multiple surgeries. These medications and therapies tend to kill beneficial bacteria and interfere with normal hormone functions. Improper diet, such as over-consumption of yeast products, sugar, or alcohol, also can promote yeast growth.
Those with immune or endocrine disorders such as patients with AIDS, cancer, or diabetes are more prone to candidiasis. Due to the hormonal involvement and the reproductive tract, women tend to present with more symptoms than men.
The effects of anti-fungal medicines are highly questionable. The protocols recommended by alternative health practitioners are extremely difficult to follow. Mostly, the protocols focus on “candida cleanse” that helps to rid the body of excess candida through the flushing of the digestive tract, and the introduction of healthy candida fighters found in fermented foods or probiotics.
Some suggest liquid-only cleanse for an extended period of time; some recommend a thorough gut reboot along with a drastic diet change.
Increasingly, people are looking for more natural approaches to help relieve painful conditions instead of relying on medications. Acupuncture can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of what is causing the pain or where the pain is located.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain before and after acupuncture treatment for pain shows dramatic decreases in brain activity — up to 70 percent. This decrease in brain activity in certain areas of the brain is thought to be the reason for the reduction of pain caused by the acupuncture treatments. In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.
The basis of acupuncture is expressed in this famous Chinese saying: “Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong” which means “free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain.” In other words, any kind of pain or illness represents an obstruction in the normal flow of Qi or life force. Simply put, acupuncture moves Qi, restoring free flow.
Acupuncture has become readily accepted in mainstream modern medicine as a viable option for pain management and studies support its therapeutic effects.
Research from Duke University Medical Center has shown that acupuncture can significantly reduce surgical patients’ post-operative pain.
Duke University anesthesiologists combined data from 15 randomized clinical trials to reach their conclusion. Using acupuncture both before and after surgery produced the best results for patients, who reported lower levels of post-operative pain and a significantly reduced need for painkillers. In addition, acupuncture mitigated the negative side effects of opioids when they were used.
Many other studies have shown acupuncture effective in reducing post-operative nausea and vomiting compared with other medications.
According to a meta-analysis presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ meeting, acupuncture reduced rates of post-operative nausea by 32 percent, pruritus (itchiness at the surgical site) by 25 percent, dizziness by 38 percent, and urinary retention by 71 percent compared with control groups.
Acupuncture is excellent for managing post-surgical side effects such as surgical pain, loss of appetite, and upset stomach or nausea. In addition to strengthening the immune system and increasing energy, acupuncture is also a great way to reduce swelling, decrease stiffness and pain, reduce scarring and scar tissue, and assist with a quick recovery.
If you, or a loved one, will be undergoing surgery, please call us to see if acupuncture can improve your recovery.
Hives (urticaria) are swollen and red bumps, patches or welts on the skin that appear suddenly. Itching is the most common symptom associated with hives, although some people report that hives cause a stinging or burning sensation.
Hives can occur anywhere on the body including the hands, face, lips, tongue, throat or ears. A sign that the whole body is experiencing a hypersensitivity reaction, a hives outbreak can occur due to a wide array of stimuli.
While intolerance to certain foods, additives, intense emotions, sunlight exposure and medications can all cause hives; in 70-75 percent of outbreaks, the exact cause of hives remains unknown.
In Chinese medicine, an outbreak of hives is described as wind invading the skin and the meridians, causing itching and swelling. When the eruptions are red, it is an indication that wind and heat are involved. When the eruptions are a pale pink or white, it is likely that the diagnosis will be wind-cold invading the skin.
How the condition is diagnosed will determine what acupuncture points are used, what herbal medicines are prescribed and what lifestyle/dietary recommendations are made.
Over years of practice, I have encountered many people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. More distressing is that a growing number of adolescents and children seem to be affected by these conditions. Although it appears to affect only one’s emotional state, depression is manifested in all areas of one’s life: physical, mental, and emotional.
Despite intensive research, scientists still do not know the real cause of depression. A general belief is that a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors can trigger imbalances in brain chemicals. These chemicals include serotonin, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine. What is not known is whether these imbalances are a result or a cause of depression.
Medications and psychological therapies are the most commonly recommended procedures. Let me add my own recommendations: A balanced diet, the right amount and type of physical exercise, singing and laughing therapy, and MEDITATION. Also, regardless of whether it is clinical depression or stress-induced depression, one may want to seek help from an acupuncturist.
How can acupuncture help patients with depression and anxiety? According to Chinese medical theory, depression can be defined as “Disturbed Shen.” What is Shen? It can be roughly interpreted as “Spirit.” This Spirit is so delicate and powerful that without a balanced shen, we cannot be happy, healthy, or maintain a normal daily life. Disturbed shen is most often displayed through the Heart meridian, yet the real causes may also come from the Liver, Spleen or Kidneys.
Example 1. A person with a major blockage in the Liver meridian: This person will experience a high level of stress, frustration, or repressed anger. The liver imbalance can spill into the heart meridian, as a result, this person may experience intermittent heart pain and/or irregular heart beats. In this case, an acupuncturist may focus on pacifying the liver first. When the liver meridian is more balanced, the heart meridian will be strengthened naturally.
Example 2. A case of menopause: Women going through menopause often experience severe mood swings along with hot flushes and night sweats. Depression during this period is very common; a woman’s body is going through a major upheaval which disrupts energy flows in all meridians. Typically, a woman’s kidneys cannot provide enough support to other organs, including the heart. In this case, priority should be given to tonify her kidneys first. The kidneys will, in turn, strengthen her heart.
Example 3. Troubled digestive functions: A person with chronic digestive issues is more likely to be depressed than the one with healthy digestive organs. It is common to see cranky, whining people among those with chronic digestive disorders. The basic sustaining power of our bodies is provided through our digestive organs. Low energy level and fatigue caused by weak digestive functions impact one’s Shen negatively. So, the most important organs to treat for this person are the stomach and spleen, along with the intestines. When the digestive functions improve, the energy flow through the heart meridian will become much stronger.
The above examples show how Chinese medicine approaches depression/anxiety issues. Most acupuncture patients feel incredibly relaxed and peaceful after treatment. If you have not tried acupuncture, or if you want to have a really good handle on your depression/anxiety issues, you may want to visit an acupuncturist’s office.
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
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.
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.
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!