Doctor who is passionate about acupuncture

Doctor who is passionate about acupuncture

Welcome to my blog

Leading acupuncture specialist for facial rejuvenation, pain relief, stress and anxiety relief, fertility and miscarriage, fatigue, acne and insomnia
Based in London Kensington, Chelsea and Richmond . Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

What cause pelvic pain?



Pelvic pain is the pain presented at the low abdomen and very common in women. Here are some common causes:

Pain from the reproductive system:

Period pain and cramps is the pain during the periods. The typical period pain will occur immediately before a woman starts her period or soon after the period starts, as the uterus contracts and sheds its lining. The pain may feel similar to a muscle spasm.

Ovulation pain is the pain at one side of the pelvis in the middle of the menstrual cycle around ovulation time. Ovulation is that the ovary releases an egg, along with some other fluid. The egg will be picked up by a fallopian tube and the fluid can spread within the pelvic area, sometimes, causing irritation and pain in the pelvis.

Endometriosis is that uterine lining shed and the cells grow outside of the uterus causing bleeding, inflammation and pain. Pain severity varies from mild to severe.

Ovary cysts occur when the ovaries fail to release an egg causing bloating, pressure, or pelvic pain on the side of the body with the cyst.

Fibroids are lumps of muscle and fibrous tissue within the uterus. It can cause pain excessive bleeding, period cramps.

Ectopic pregnancy

The embryo implants and grows elsewhere other than uterus. A woman may feel very sharp pain, and cramps in her pelvis on one side of the pelvis. There could be other symptoms associated such as nausea, vaginal bleeding, and dizziness. This is life-threatening condition and needs immediate medical care.

Pain from urinary system

Interstitial cystitis or bladder pain is normally in the middle of the pelvis or low abdomen close to the pubic bone. Other symptoms include painful urination, frequent and urgent urination, and pain during sex.

Urinary stones are from minerals built up and formed crystals in the bladder or kidneys that often cause pain in the pelvis or lower back.

Pain from digestive system

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is inflammable bowel disorder causing low abdominal pain and constipation, diarrhea and bloating.

Appendicitis is inflammation in appendix presenting pain at the right low abdomen.

Pelvic adhesion

Scars in the abdomen from previous inflammation can cause pelvic pain.

Infectious diseases and tumors

Such as urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and pelvic inflammatory disease and various tumors.

Friday, 23 November 2018

No periods for a year, should you be concerned?

Menstruation, or period, is normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman's monthly cycle. This is caused by uterine inner lining breaks down by responding hormonal changes in the body. Every month, uterine lining prepares for pregnancy. If no pregnancy occurs, the uterine lining sheds off and the bleeding starts. The menstrual blood is partly blood and partly tissue from inside the uterus. It passes out of the body through the vagina. Good monthly cycles indicate healthy reproductive system. If your periods stopped for a year and you are in reproductive age, it means something goes wrong with your reproductive system. This needs to be investigated by doctors. If you don’t have periods, the hormones in the body will not be balanced and this could cause further problems to other systems. Knowing the cause of stopped periods and get it treated is important.

Acupuncture can help some cases depending on the causes. It is worth trying.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Acupuncture beyond Ying and Yang, Qi and meridians.

Acupuncture refers to the procedure that the thin needles are inserted into the body. It originated from China and is a type of Chinese medicine and is also recognised as an alternative medicine in western countries. Chinese acupuncture is based at traditional Chinese medicine theory: Ying and Yang balance and Qi circulation along the meridians.

Acupuncture was expanded internationally to Korea ,Vietnam and Japan in Asian and then to Europe and America. The techniques were developed such as electrified needling, fire needling and cluster needling etc. It also developed combined with other therapists such as dry needling and medical acupuncture.

Based on advanced science and research, new theory about how acupuncture works also established. Many studies in animals and humans have demonstrated that acupuncture can cause multiple biological responses. These responses can occur locally, i.e., at or close to the site of application, or at a distance, mediated mainly by sensory neurons to many structures within the central nervous system. This can lead to activation of pathways affecting various physiological systems in the brain as well as in the periphery. Endogenous opioids in acupuncture analgesia is well established. opioid peptides are released during acupuncture and that the analgesic effects of acupuncture are at least partially explained by their actions. That opioid antagonists such as naloxone reverse the analgesic effects of acupuncture further strengthens this hypothesis. Stimulation by acupuncture may also activate the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, resulting in a broad spectrum of systemic effects. Alteration in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones and changes in the regulation of blood flow, both centrally and peripherally, have been documented. There is also evidence that there are alterations in immune functions produced by acupuncture. Which of these and other physiological changes mediate clinical effects is at present unclear.

References

https://www.medicinenet.com/acupuncture/article.htm#how_does_acupuncture_work

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

What do you know about endorphins and acupuncture?

Endorphins are neurotransmitters produced in the brain known as endogenous opioids and they can be found in the pituitary gland, in other parts of the brain, or distributed throughout the nervous system. They transmit electrical signals within the nervous system by interacting with opiate receptors in the brain. The action is similar to morphine and codeine, but without addiction or dependence. At least 20 types of endorphins have been found in humans. In response to pain and stress, they decrease feelings of pain and also lead to feelings of euphoria, modulate appetite, release sex hormones, and enhance the immune response. As a result, it makes people feel less pain and less stressed.

Many studies in animals and humans have demonstrated that acupuncture can cause multiple biological responses. Endorphins are released during acupuncture and that the analgesic effects of acupuncture are at least partially explained by their actions. That opioid antagonists such as naloxone reverse the analgesic effects of acupuncture further strengthens this hypothesis.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Acupuncture around embryo transfer

Embryo transfer refers to a step in the process of assisted reproduction IVF and ICSI. In this process, the embryos are placed into women’s uterus for them to implant in the uterus. Embryo transfer can be done at day two, day three, or day five. Embryos are all delicate cells and they need to be in precise environment to survive. The most important environment is the uterus of course. The uterine lining (endometrium) needs to be perfect to accommodating the embryos. To assist embryo implantation, acupuncture was used around the time of embryo transfer. The most common protocol used is from a research in Germany known as German protocol. In this study, acupuncture was performed before and after embryo transfer. The acupuncture points are:

Before embryo transfer, the following Acupoints were used:

PC6 (Neiguan), SP8 (Diji), LR3 (Taichong), GV20 (Baihui), and ST29 (Guilai).

After embryo transfer, the following Acupoints were used:

ST36 (Zusanli), SP6 (Sanyinjiao), SP10 (Xuehai), and LI4 (Hegu).

Also some ear points are used including ear point 55 (Shenmen), ear point 58 (Zhigong), ear point 22(Neifenmi), and ear point 34 (Naodian).

Clinical pregnancies were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group.

They concluded acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.

The mechanism of acupuncture used around embryo transfer is to reduce stress, relax uterus and increase uterine blood flow to provide best environment for embryos.

References
Paulus WE et al Fertil Steril. 2002 Apr;77(4):721-4.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Get cold very often? Acupuncture can help

A runny nose, scratchy throat, and nonstop sneezing, sometime fever accompanied-- you can't miss the signs of a cold. One can get a cold year round, but, it is most common to catch cold during autumn and winter. It is known as cold season. People are more likely to get colds when the weather is cold. Do the cold weather makes you sick? Absolutely not. That are the viruses that make one get cold. The viruses that cause colds also spread more easily in colder, drier air- The temperature in autumn and winter is suitable for viruses growing. As a result, in the autumn and winter, there are more viruses. Exposure to viruses is one factor to get cold. In the winter, people spend more time indoors sharing germs with other people. The nasal passages are drier during the winter (due to drier air), allowing cold viruses to gather and grow. Another important factor is the immune system function. Why some people don’t get cold while other people who expose to the same viruses others do. Why do you seem to get them so often while your best friend stays well? This is because some people’s immune function is stronger than others. If you get cold very frequent, you might have weakened immune function. Acupuncture can help to strengthen the immune function to reduce getting cold.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Understand the brain—frontal lobe

The brain has two hemisphere and each hemisphere is divided into four lobes: the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes. The frontal lobe is located near the front of the head, under the frontal skull bones and near the forehead. Human has larger frontal lobe compared to other animals. The frontal lobe controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotion, feelings, personality and problem solving, motivation, (Most of the brain's dopamine-sensitive neurons are in the frontal lobe; Dopamine is associated with supporting feelings of reward, attention and motivation etc), long term memory, language, judgment, attention and concentration, and sexual behaviors. The frontal lobe accommodating the primary motor cortex plays an important role in voluntary movement, ability to move muscles, such as walking and running.

Stress impairs frontal lobe function. Many of these early studies showed that stress exposure impaired the performance of tasks that required complex, flexible thinking which is performed by frontal lobe. Prolonged stress is a major risk factor for depression.

Acupuncture reduces stress.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Having dark circles under the lower eyelids? Acupuncture can help

Dark circles under the lower eyelids are very common. They really make you look much older than your age and make you look tired. The risk factors include

Fatigue and lack of sleep: it can make the skin dull and pale showing dark blood vessels underneath and build up fluids under the lower eyelids causing shadows under the lower eyelids.

Aging: aging is risk factor for those dark circles beneath the eyes. As one gets older, the skin becomes thinner and also loses the fat and collagen needed to maintain your skin’s elasticity. As this occurs, the dark blood vessels beneath your skin become more visible causing the area below your eyes to darken.

Eye strain: Staring at your television or computer screen can cause significant strain one the eyes. This strain blocks the blood circulation around the eyes. As a result, the skin surrounding the eyes can darken.

Dehydration: dehydration is another risk factor for dark eye circles. It makes the skin losing water and dark blood vessels would show.

Sun exposure can cause the skin to produce an excess of melanin, the pigment that provides your skin with color causing pigmentation in the surrounding skin to darken.

Treatments for dark circles under eyelids can be difficult. At most of the time, people use makeup to cover the dark circles which is not ideal solution. Changing life style may help such as get enough sleep, don’t make yourself too tired, eye relaxation techniques, drink more water, avoid sun exposure etc. Facial acupuncture can help blood circulation around the eyes and reduces dark circles under the lower eyelids.

Acupuncture is effective for piriformis syndrome

The piriformis muscle is a small muscle located deep in the buttock near the top of the hip. It Starts at the lower spine and ends at the top of the hip (thigh bone). The sciatic nerve runs directly beneath it. This muscle is important in lower body movement. It stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. It shifts weight from one foot to another, and maintains balance, when walking. If this muscle is spasm, it compresses sciatic nerve causing pain known as piriformis syndrome. A typical symptom is a dull ache in the buttock with/without the pain down to the back of the thigh, calf and foot like sciatic pain; pain triggered or worsened when walking up stairs; prolonged sitting, walking, running makes the pain worse; there is reduced hip movement. The exact cause is unknown.

A few research has shown that acupuncture is effective to reduce pain of piriformis syndrome.

References
https://aim.bmj.com/content/acupmed/18/2/108.full.pdf
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11726-006-0377-2

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Always feeling bloated? Acupuncture can help

Bloating is when the abdomen feels swollen after eating. Bloating is a symptom that can appear at any age. It is usually caused by excess gas production or disturbances in the movement of the muscles of the digestive system. Bloating can also cause pain, discomfort and a stuffed feeling. It can also make abdomen look bigger. Bloating is often caused by some medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), coeliac disease, constipation, etc, or food intolerance and increased sensitivity.

IBS is a common inflammatory condition that affects the digestive system. It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.

Coeliac disease is a common digestive condition where the intestine can't absorb gluten found in wheat, barley and rye. Eating foods containing gluten can also trigger bloating, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fatigue.

Constipation is common, and it affects people of all ages. It is often accompanied with a stomach ache and feeling bloated or sick.

Food intolerance can lead to bloating when the bowel doesn't empty properly; the food causes gas to be trapped; too much gas is produced as a reaction to the food. Other associated symptoms include tummy pain, bloating, wind and/or diarrhoea or skin rashes and itching. These symptoms are related to eating the food. Finding out which food that you are intolerant to is the first step to solve the problem.

Acupuncture can help reduce bloating by targeting the causes of the bloating.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Suffering hot flashes and night sweats? Acupuncture can help

Hot flashes are sudden feelings of warmth, which are usually most intense over the face, neck and chest. Hot flashes can also cause sweating. Because of losing too much body heat, you might feel chilled afterward. Hot flashes can vary greatly in frequency and intensity. How long symptoms last varies significantly. On average, symptoms persist for more than seven years. Some women have them for more than 10 years. Hormone replacement is most frequently used treatemnet. There are the pros and cons of the treatment. If hot flashes don't interfere with your life, you probably don't need treatment. Hot flashes subside gradually for most women, even without treatment, but it can take several years for them to stop. Nonpharmacological methods are used for hot flashes. Acupuncture is one of them. A research analysed three published trials of nonpharmacological interventions for menopausal hot flashes to compare the effectiveness of interventions. Data from three randomized controlled trials of interventions for hot flashes (two acupuncture trials, one yoga trial) were pooled. All three studies recruited perimenopausal or postmenopausal women experiencing ≥4 hot flashes/d on average. The primary outcome for all three studies was frequency of hot flashes as measured by the Daily Diary of Hot Flashes. Study 1 participants were randomly assigned to 8 weeks of acupuncture treatments (active intervention), sham acupuncture (attention control), or usual care. Study 2 participants were randomly assigned to 10 weeks of yoga classes, health and wellness education classes (attention control), or waitlist control. Study 3 randomly assigned participants to 6 months of acupuncture or waitlist control. To standardize the time frame for these analyses, only the first 8 weeks of intervention from all three studies were used. There results have shown that the three active interventions and the two attention control groups had statistically similar trends in the percentage reduction of hot flashes over 8 weeks, ranging from 35% to 40%. Acupuncture, yoga, and health and wellness education classes all demonstrated statistically similar effectiveness in reduction of hot flash frequency compared with controls.

References
Avis NE et al Menopause. 2018 Oct 22. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001255. [Epub ahead of print]

Friday, 2 November 2018

Want to increase the chance for your embryo to implant? Acupuncture can help

Embryo implantation is the start of pregnancy which the embryo implants to the uterine wall. The word implantation is used for this stage. You can imagine that the embryo is not gluing to the uterine wall but growing into the uterine lining. If the lining is good, it provides good bed to hold the embryo for the embryo to grow bigger; if the lining is not good, the embryo would fall off from the bed causing miscarriage. At this stage the good uterine lining is key. How to make better uterine lining? The thickness of uterine lining depends on the hormone progesterone in the body. Low progesterone makes thin uterine lining which does not hold the embryo strong enough, miscarriage would occur, or does not good enough for the embryo to implant at all causing difficult to conceive. Blood supply is also a key factor to provide oxygen and nutrients for the lining cells to get good uterine lining thickness. Acupuncture can balance the hormone by improving ovarian circulation and improve uterine circulation. This will improve uterine lining thickness for embryo implantation.

How many eggs retrieved in IVF are good numbers?

How many eggs retrieved in IVF are good numbers? IVF becomes a popular technique for infertility treatment since it was invented 30 years ...