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Read articles about treating various disorders with acupuncture and TCM. These articles appeared in the "Best of Health" newsletter published by the Honolulu Medical Group.

 

 

PMS

 

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a complex problem involving symptoms of mood swings and hyperirritability, depression, headaches, edema, bloating, breast tenderness, back pain, constipation, diarrhea, and food cravings (esp. chocolate and sugar) which arise 7-14 days before the start of the menses.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture have proven to be a successful way of controlling PMS.

In TCM, the body is looked at as a system of organs and their pathways. Through these pathways (meridians) cosmic energy (qi) flows freely and harmoniously. When this balance is disrupted, pain or other disease symptoms occur.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, PMS can be characterized as several different patterns of energy imbalance.

1)       Liver qi stagnation: The liver rules the emotions and regulates the smooth flow of energy throughout the whole body. When the liverís function is impaired, pain, anxiety, mood swings, and irritability may result. This pattern correlates with PMS-A (anxiety) which has high estrogen and low progesterone.

2)       Spleen qi and blood deficiency: The spleen is responsible for transforming food into blood. The unstable emotions of the liver attacking the spleen may impair food transformation, which may lead to increased appetite, fatigue, dizziness, headache, and palpitations. This pattern correlates with PMS-C (craving) which has decreased prostaglandin E1.

3)       Spirit (Shen) disturbance with heart blood deficiency: The heart governs the blood and is the house of the spirit. If the heartís blood is undernourished, by the spleen, the spirit becomes confused, which leads to depression, forgetfulness, and insomnia. This pattern correlates with PMS-D (depression) which has elevated adrenal androgens.

4)       Dysfunction of the Penetrating and Conception Vessels: These special meridians, running along the frontal midline of the human body, regulate the menstrual cycles and fluid distribution. When these meridians are undernourished fluid retention, swollen extremities, edema, weight gain, breast tenderness, and abdominal bloating may result. This pattern correlates with PMS-H (hyperhydration) which has excess aldosterone.

PMS can be effectively controlled with acupuncture in conjunction with herbal medicine, a carefully selected diet, qi gong (energetic exercise), and meditation.  

 

 

Allergy

 

Allergy is a hypersensitive reaction to intrinsically harmless antigens, most of which being environmental. Studies show that one of every six Americans has a severe allergy and that more than 20 million Americans have allergic reactions to airborne allergens, such as cigarette smoke, house dust, and pollens. Allergy can be divided into two types according to immune system reaction: immediate (type I: antibody-mediated) and delayed (type II: cell-mediated). Common allergy symptoms are bronchial congestion (asthma), rhinitis, conjunctivitis (itchy or burning eyes), edema, fever, urticaria (rash), headaches, fatigue, and vomiting. Severe allergic reactions can even cause shock or death.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture has proven to be a successful way of controlling allergy and its related symptoms. Clinical studies have proven patients to be free of symptoms in about 10 treatments at one treatment per week.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, allergy can basically be classified as external pathogens invading a weak immune system. Treatment plan strategies consist of strengthening the immune system and expelling pathogens.

Allergy suffers should also avoid certain foods and going outside when pollen counts are high. The more oneís system is challenged, the greater the chance of disorder.

Many people are opting for acupuncture over allergy shots because they have been unsuccessful with drugs due to side effects or reactions with other medications. Others seek only natural therapies and use medication as a last resort. Acupuncture can be used alone or in combination with conventional drugs. If patientís start feeling better, they should tell their doctor, who might modify their medication dosage. Ultimately, patients might be able to get off allergy medications.

 

 

Fibromyalgia

 

Fibromyalgia is a complex syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness of muscles, tendons, and ligaments of greater than 3 months duration. These symptoms are usually accompanied by fatigue, low grade fever, swollen lymph, chronic headache, gastrointestinal disturbances, chest pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and numbness.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and clinical studies, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture have proven to be a successful way of controlling fibromyalgia.

In TCM, the body is looked at as a system of organs and their pathways. Through these pathways (meridians) cosmic energy (qi) flows freely and harmoniously. When this balance is disrupted, pain or other disease symptoms occur.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, fibromyalgia can be characterized as several different patterns of energy imbalance:

1)       Cold in the channels w/damp-heat

2)       Qi stagnation and blood stasis

3)       Liver qi stagnation

4)       Spleen qi deficiency

5)       Blood deficiency

6)       Kidney qi and jing (essence) deficiency

7)       Dysfunction of the Penetrating Yang Motility, and/or Yin Motility Vessels  

 

1)     Cold in the meridians w/damp-heat:

2)       Qi and blood stagnation: This is the retarded or obstructed flow of energy or blood. When qi and blood flow is impaired, pain results.

3)       Liver qi stagnation: The liver stores blood, rules the emotions and regulates the smooth flow of energy throughout the whole body. When the liverís function is impaired, pain, anxiety, mood swings, and irritability may result.

4)       Spleen qi deficiency: The spleen is responsible for transforming food into blood and opens into the muscle tissue. The unstable emotions of the liver attacking the spleen may impair food transformation, which may lead to increased appetite, fatigue, dizziness, headache, and palpitations.

5)       Blood deficiency: Blood nourishes the organs and tissues (muscles). When there is insufficient blood, because of dysfunctional spleen or drastic emotional changes (liver qi stagnation) that consume blood, dizziness, insomnia, palpitations, or neuropathy (numbness) may result.

6)       Kidney qi and jing (essence) deficiency: The kidneys store essence, dominate growth and reproduction, and govern the distribution of body fluid. If kidney function is impaired, there may be chronic low back and knee pain, chronic fatigue, urination problems, spermatorrhea, leukorrhea, and edema.

7)       Dysfunction of the Penetrating, Yin Motility, and Yang Motility Vessels: These special meridians, consisting of points on various organ meridians, regulate the menstrual cycles, sleep, breathing, digestion, mental activity, and body coordination. When these meridians are impaired, pain, leg weakness, insomnia, anxiety, depression, gynecological disorders, and gastrointestinal disturbances may result.

 

Fibromyalgia can be effectively controlled with acupuncture in conjunction with herbal medicine, a carefully selected diet, qi gong (energetic exercise), and meditation.

 

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