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.

The Three Most Important Points for Cancer Patients

For Nausea and Vomiting (Pericardium  6/ Nei Guan)

Nei Guan (P6 or PC6) is commonly used to help relieve nausea, upset stomach, motion sickness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches. Nei Guan (P6) is located three finger breadths below the wrist on the inner forearm in between the two tendons. To find and use this acupressure point, (1) locate the point by turning your hands over so the palm is facing up then (2) apply downward pressure between the two tendons, massaging and stimulating the area for 4-5 seconds.

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The point is located at the medial aspect of the hand.

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Three-finger space below the wrist.

For Pain Control (Large Intestine 4/He Gu)

He Gu (LI4) is commonly used for stress, facial pain, headaches, toothaches and neck pain. It is an extremely important point in pain reduction. He Gu (LI4) is located on the highest spot of the muscle when the thumb and index fingers are brought close together. To use acupressure on this point, (1) locate the point then (2) use a deep, firm pressure to massage and stimulate the area for 4-5 seconds.

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The point is located at the highest point of the muscle when thumb and index fingers are held together.

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Locate the point between the web of the first and second finger.

For Reducing Anxiety (Yintang)

  • Place your thumb or middle finger between your eyebrows at the root of your nose (see figure). That is acupoint Extra 1.
  • Apply gentle pressure to the acupoint for 10 minutes. Less time is fine if you don’t have 10 minutes to spare.
  • For added relaxation, focus on your breathing and consider visualizing yourself in a peaceful place, such as in a garden, by a stream or on a cloud.

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Cancer Patients and Nutrition Response Testing

Nutritional support as an aid in boosting immune response in cancer patients, along with minimizing the immune and white blood cell suppression that occurs with most chemotherapeutic agents, has been receiving greater attention.

UCLA’s Oncology Department reported gratifying results utilizing nutrition and supplements combined with acupuncture.acupuncture for cancer patients

All cancer patients in our clinic receive Nutrition Response Testing to determine the most pressing issues of their bodies. Often, damages in the small and large intestines come up as No. 1 priority.

Toxemia caused by heavy-metal exposure and strong medications also show up as extremely important issues to deal with. Other prominently damaged organs/glands through cancer treatments are found to be the liver, thyroid glands, and the spinal structure.

If you or your loved ones have cancer and undergo cancer treatments, please call our office today at 201.760.8811.

Benefits of Acupuncture for Cancer Patients

The National Cancer Institute’s latest research says the following: Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of illnesses and ailments. Cancer patients use it for pain management, control of nausea and vomiting, fatigue, hot flashes, xerostomia(dryness in the mouth), neuropathy, anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbance.

Acupuncture is routinely employed in many large-scale cancer institutions in the U.S., including Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) in Boston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. An increasing number of hospitals with special cancer centers have adopted acupuncture as their adjunct services.

Nausea and Vomiting

The dreaded nausea and vomiting which commonly occurs in some patients undergoing chemotherapy can often be worse than the disease itself. At the University of Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, a well-controlled study reported significant reduction of nausea and vomiting when pre-treated with acupuncture. It is now routinely administered before, after and in between chemotherapy treatment sessions for control or nausea and emesis. The effectiveness of acupuncture in minimizing nausea and vomiting is often far superior to the standard, expensive multi-drug anti-nausea regimens.

Post-surgery Pain Control

It is widely known that acupuncture is a powerful tool for general pain control. Acupuncture is effective for control of pain, of local swelling post-operatively, for shortening the resolution of hematoma and tissue swelling. Acupuncture can also aid in minimizing use of medications and their attendant side effects.

There’s no difference in treating cancer patients vs. non-cancer patients in reducing the pain syndromes.  Since every patient demonstrates different etiologies, constitutional characteristics, and medical histories, acupuncture treatments can vary significantly across patients. Reduction of pain sensations after acupuncture treatments is quite remarkable.

Re-balancing Energy and Unblocking Energy Flow

Instead of focusing only on pain syndromes, Chinese medicine and Acupuncture adopts a wider patho-physiology approach by directing healing energy of the entire body. Most acupuncturists approach cancer patients to restore overall-balance of a patient’s energy patterns, while trying to augment depleted organs’ energy.  Since acupuncture aims at restoring energy level to the organism as a whole, and reestablishes homeostasis by re-balancing energy distribution, not only pain/nausea will be reduced, an overall sense of well-being increases significantly.

Can Acupuncture Help Cancer Patients?

Lately, I have started treating a number of new patients with breast cancer. Some have already gone through surgical procedures along with chemotherapy and radiation; some have opted to have surgery but decided to forego chemo/radiation therapies.

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The good news is that timely diagnosis and early surgery offer a high possibility of a cure for solid breast tumors. However, the battle against breast cancer, just like all cancer cases, is long, arduous, and often painful.

Most patients with cancer ask questions such as: Can acupuncture help me? Will the pain and swelling go down? Can I ever regain my strength? Can acupuncture address side-effects of chemotherapies and radiation?

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While the degree of beneficial results from acupuncture treatment is dependent on various clinical factors, the answer to the question “can acupuncture help me?” is, YES! It can definitely help in the care of the cancer patient.

Infertility, Fertility and Acupuncture

If you try to get pregnant, try acupuncture first. In 2014, we saw an amazing 90% success rate of pregnancy among our patients.

Most of these patients received medical fertility treatment along with acupuncture; some were treated only with acupuncture and nutrition programs.

Acupuncture and proper nutrition help the body to become balanced and healthy. Acupuncture can assist your body to be far more receptive to any medical fertility programs.

fertility and acupuncture

Numerous studies confirmed a dramatic increase of success rate when using acupuncture in combination with medical fertility treatments and on its own.

A well-known German study done in 2002 followed 160 women who underwent IVF, 80 of them received acupuncture as well and 34 of those women got pregnant: a success rate of 42.5%. Of the other 80 women, those who received IVF without any acupuncture treatments, only 21 women (26.3%) became pregnant.

Another study, American, of 114 women showed that 51% of the women who had acupuncture and IVF treatments became pregnant compared to 36% of women who had IVF alone. Further analysis of the data revealed a much lower rate of miscarriage for the women who had acupuncture as well as IVF.

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Primarily, acupuncture for infertility increases blood supply and flow to the reproductive organs, leading to increased egg follicles and elevated hormone levels around the ovaries. Increased blood flow causes thickening of the uterus lining which is essential in sustaining an implanted embryo, and reducing the chances of miscarriage.

In addition, acupuncture increases production of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good” brain chemical that also plays a role in regulating the menstrual cycle, egg production and ovulation.

men's fertility

In male patients, acupuncture is found to be beneficial in increasing sperm counts and sperm motility.

Acupuncture for fertility patients takes into account imbalances in the whole body, not just reproductive organs. Depending on patients’ physiological and emotional markups, we focus on treating underlying imbalances in organs such as the liver, kidney, or spleen, along with the endocrine/reproductive organs.