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.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Referred pain makes acupuncture points sensitized and tender.

Referred pain is the pain felt in somewhere in the body other than in the site of origin. Pain referral has a neural basis. Specific pathways and neural connections in the brain are thought to lead to the possibility of pain referral.

One group of nerve fibres conduct information about touch and another group conduct information about tissue damage or noxious stimulation via different sensory nerves. Many sensory fibres from different parts of the different area can terminate on the same set of second order neurons. The second order neurones are part of the pathway that sends sensory information to higher centres for perception. However, since there is so much convergence of sensory information from different body parts onto the same second order neurones, these second order neurones may provide ambiguous information as to the exact location of the noxious stimulus. This neural mechanism is thought to be one way whereby the higher centres of the brain can become "confused" as to the exact location of the noxious stimulus.

Another explanation of pain referral is the activating of silent or latent synaptic connections. When there is prolonged and/or intense noxious stimulation, some of these ineffective synapses may become effective connections. The information is transmitted from other parts unrelated to the source of the pain. The brain therefore can become confused as to the correct location of the pain.

Recent research has investigated correlation between referred pain distribution and acupoint sensitization in patients with intestinal diseases. In clinical research, 443 patients from 8 hospitals were recruited, including the outpatients and inpatients of Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic appendicitis and other intestinal diseases. The site with tenderness on the body surface and the morphological changes of local skin were observed and recorded in the patients. Using a sensory tenderness instrument, the pain threshold at the sensitization point was measured in 60 patients with ulcerative colitis. The referred pain on the body surface in the patients with intestinal diseases was mainly located in the lower abdomen, the lumbar region and the lower legs. The diameter of tenderness region was 1.5 to 2.5 cm. Compared with the region without sensitization, the pain threshold of the sensitization point in the patients with ulcerative colitis was reduced significantly. The referred pain on the body surface in the patients with appendicitis was located in the right lower abdomen, the waist and back and the right lower limbs on the medial side. The tenderness region was 1 to 2 cm in diameter and was irregular in form. Intestinal diseases induce referred pain on the body surface where is the same as or adjacent to the location of the spinal segment corresponding to the affected intestinal section. These sensitization regions are related to the locations of acupoints.

References
Cui X et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2019 Nov 12;39(11):1193-8. doi: 10.13703/j.0255-2930.2019.11.016.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Acupuncture releases trapezius muscle fatigue, increases muscle activity and reduces pain in nonspecific neck pain

Trapezius muscle is a broad triangular muscle at neck and upper back, one of the largest superficial muscles at the back. It attaches to the base of the skull and extends down to the neck, the upper back until mid back; laterally it inserts to the shoulder blades. There are three functional regions to the muscle: the Upper, middle, and lower trapezius, and each region has its own function: upper region moves the shoulder blades and support the arms; the middle region retracts the shoulder blades and the lower region rotates and depresses the shoulder blades.

Pain caused from the upper trapezius includes headaches on the temples, facial, temple or jaw pain, pain behind the eye, dizziness, neck pain, stiff neck, limited movement, intolerance to weight on the shoulders. Pain caused by middle trapezius includes headache at the base of the skull, mid back burning pain or aching along the spine or to the top of the shoulder. Pain caused from the lower trapezius includes headache at the base of the skull, aching on the top of the shoulder, neck, mid back and/or upper shoulder pain; pain at the back of the shoulder blade which could go down the inside of the arm to the ring and little fingers.

A recent research investigated immediate effect of acupuncture on electromyographic activity of the upper trapezius muscle and pain in patients with nonspecific neck pain. Fifteen patients with nonspecific neck pain and 15 healthy participants participated the study. They received one session either acupuncture or sham acupuncture as a control. The electromyography (EMG) signal of the upper trapezius muscle was recorded before and after acupuncture treatment. After acupuncture treatment, pain was significantly reduced and significant decreases in the EMG amplitude were identified for the nonspecific neck pain group. This research suggested that muscle fatigue and decrease of activity of the upper trapezius muscle was found in nonspecific neck pain patients. Acupuncture contributes to pain relief among patients with nonspecific neck pain.

References

Calamita SAP et al J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2018 Mar - Apr;41(3):208-217. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2017.09.006.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

How long can you get rid of the pain?


Pain and burning in the affected area, decreased strength and flexibility, and pain caused by everyday activities are very common. This is often caused by tendinopathy-tendon injury.

Tendon is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that usually connects muscle to bone. It is responsible to transmit muscle force to the bone. A healthy tendon is up to twice as strong as the muscle, making the body of the tendon unlikely to tear before the muscle unless the tendon has already been weakened by degenerative changes. The effects of ageing, wear and tear, genetic pre-disposition and inflammation are known factors contributing to tendon injuries. Injured tendon can cause pain, loss of limb function and prevent exercise and activities of daily living. Injured tendons heal by fibrotic repair and are highly prone to re-injury.

Tendons consist of collagens, proteoglycans, glycoproteins, water and cells. It takes over 100 days to make new collagen.

The healing time for injured tendon varies. Tendon healing can be largely divided into 3 overlapping phases, inflammatory, repairing and remodelling phases: The initial inflammatory phase lasts about 24 hours. During this time erythrocytes, platelets and inflammatory cells migrate to the wound site, recruit tendon blast cell and clean the site of dead tissues and then initiate new collagen synthesis and deposition. After a few days of injury the repairing phase begins. Tendon fibroblast synthesise abundant collegan and other extra cellular matrix components. After 6 weelsthe remodelling phase starts. This phase is characterised by decreased cellularity and decreased collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis. During this period, the repair tissue changes to fibrous tissue, this again changes to scar like tendon tissue after 10 weeks. After 10 weeks remodelling continues

Treatment at an early stage can be as brief as 6–10 weeks. Once it becomes chronic the treatment can take 3–6 months. The effective treatment might take 9 months or longer when it is chronic. Knowing these timelines is part of creating an effective treatment plan.

Acupuncture helps release the pain. Acupuncture helps with tendon injury

Acupuncture is used to treat tendon injury and it improves pain and functional activity in patients with tendinopathy. This is suggested that acupuncture can modulate both anti-inflammatory and mechanotransduction molecular pathways which can increase type I collagen synthesis. Collagen synthesis is the main factor that influences tendon biomechanical properties. Therefore one reason of acupuncture for tendon healing is that acupuncture increases synthesis and subsequent reorganisation of type I collagen during tendon healing process.

Almeida Mdos S et al Acupunct Med (2014) 32:178-82

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Acupuncture is a good choice for chronic pain management with research evidence

Chronic pain is pain that lasts more than three months. It’s a very common problem. Results from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey show that:

About 25.3 million U.S. adults (11.2 percent) had pain every day for the previous 3 months.

Nearly 40 million adults (17.6 percent) had severe pain.

Individuals with severe pain had worse health, used more health care, and had more disability than those with less severe pain.

Acupuncture is a good choice for chronic pain management according to NIH.

Clinical investigators have found that chronic pain patients often have lower-than-normal levels of endorphins in their spinal fluid. Acupuncture activates endorphin systems and increases levels of endorphins in cerebrospinal fluid.

References

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/pain/chronic.htm
https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/chronic-pain-information-page

Thursday, 18 July 2019

C-section scar care with acupuncture

Some babies have to be delivered via C-section which is a surgery to deliver your baby through a cut made in your tummy and womb. A four to six-inch skin incision is made horizontally just below the pubic hairline to fit baby’s head coming through. The abdominal muscles are moved aside and a horizontal incision is also made in the uterus.

Since the incision is usually made below the pubic hairline, you might not see your scar at all. It'll look red or pink for several months but eventually it fades to a pale, flat, thin line. Some women create bigger, thicker, or raised scars than others. If your scar is itchy or painful after a few months there is inflammation. Acupuncture can help to reduce inflammation of the scar to make the scar smoother.

A recent review has studied efficacy of acupuncture in treating scars following tissue trauma. All studies reported positive outcomes for the use of acupuncture for scar symptoms, though treatment frequency, duration, number of treatments and points used varied between studies.

References
Scars Burn Heal 2019 Mar 11;5:2059513119831911. doi: 10.1177/2059513119831911. eCollection 2019 Jan-Dec.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Acupuncture is effective for eczema

Eczema is a very common skin condition due to skin inflammation. Atopic eczema is the most common form and is included in a group of allergic conditions like asthma, hay fever and food allergy. They are all linked by an increased activity of the allergy side of the body’s immune system. Eczema often starts in childhood, and it may also start later in adult. It tends to run in families. People with eczema typically have alterations in their skin barrier, and overly reactive inflammatory and allergy responses. Environmental factors include contact with soaps, detergents and any other chemicals applied to the skin, exposure to allergens, and infection with certain bacteria and viruses.

Eczema comes from the Greek word to boil and is used to describe the symptoms of the condition: red, dry, itchy, skin which can sometimes become weeping, blistered, crusted, scaling and thickened. The main symptom of eczema is skin rash associated with itch. Scratching can fire up the skin rash and makes the itching worse. Itch can be severe enough to interfere with sleep, causing tiredness and irritability. The symptoms can sometimes be severe while other times less severe. Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread red, inflamed skin all over the body. atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, it most often affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp. Many things can flare up atopic eczema: such as heat, dust woollen clothing, pets and irritants including soaps and detergents, cold and infections, teething in babies, food allergies and stress.

Acupuncture is effective for atopic eczema. For example, a recent study involving in thirty participants with eczema. They were received four weeks of acupuncture treatments. All eczema symptoms were improved in 4 weeks’ time.

References

Kang S et al Complement Ther Med2018 Dec;41:90-98. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.08.013. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Research suggested that acupuncture is for scar treatment after tissue trauma

Abnormal or prolonged healing responses can lead to the formation of abnormal scars such as hypertrophic scars (HTS) and keloid scars. Scar tissue may cause adhesions between layers of skin and connective tissue (fascia) resulting in disordered circulation around the scar and adjacent areas. Scar tissues are often raised, red, itchy and painful from abnormal healing. C-nociceptor (sensory receptors) is involved in itch (low level stimulation) and pain (high levels of stimulation).

Acupuncture was widely accepted in treating chronic pain such as lower back pain, knee knee pain, and headaches etc. It is adapted into a conventional biomedical practice based on anatomy, neuroscience, pathology and evidence-based medicine. A recent review analysed efficacy of acupuncture in treating scars following tissue trauma to assess the current level of evidence for the use of acupuncture for treating abnormal scars such as hypertrophic or other symptomatic scars. They found five case studies, one retrospective cohort study, one cohort study and three clinical trials that investigated the use of acupuncture for scars. The result has shown that all studies reported positive outcomes for the use of acupuncture for scar symptoms; however, treatment frequency, duration, number of treatments and points used varied between studies.

The mechanism involved is that mechanical stimulation of sensory receptors induces neuropeptide release that further stimulates chemically sensitive nociceptors and leads to neurogenic inflammation of the scar tissue, disrupting and prolonging the healing process. Acupuncture treatment stimulates mechanoreceptors and nociceptors in the skin and underlying tissue and is suggested to enhance the activity of inhibitory neural mediators, thereby modulating neurogenic inflammation

References

Tuckey C et al Scars Burn Heal 2019 Mar 11;5:2059513119831911. doi: 10.1177/2059513119831911. eCollection 2019 Jan-Dec.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Try acupuncture, if you have chronic pain.

Chronic pain is a common condition in adults. You can get pain anywhere particular around the joints. There is a research analysed two hundred eighteen publications (202 trials), though many included trials were small and evidence on outcomes beyond 1 year after treatment completion was sparse. Most trials enrolled patients with moderate baseline pain intensity (e.g., >5 on a 0 to 10 point numeric rating scale) and duration of symptoms ranging from 3 months to >15 years. The most common comparison was against usual care. The conditions include chronic low back pain, chronic neck pain, osteoarthritis (knee, hip and hand), fibromyalgia, chronic tension headache.

They conclude that exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, CBT, and mind-body practices were most consistently associated with durable slight to moderate improvements in function and pain for specific chronic pain conditions. Our findings provided some support for clinical strategies that focused on use of nonpharmacological therapies for specific chronic pain conditions. Additional comparative research on sustainability of effects beyond the immediate post-treatment period is needed, particularly for conditions other than low back pain.

References

Skelly AC et al, Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2018 Jun.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

How muscles change with aging?

Muscles controlled by the brain provide the force and strength to move the body. With aging muscles are change.

Muscle mass decreases with aging. This seems to be most prevalent in the seventh decade and beyond. Research has shown that a 0.5% to 1.0% loss of muscle mass per year after 70 years of age and a 4.7% loss compared with peak mass in men and 3.7% decrease for women per decade.

Muscle protein synthesis is deceased without much change in degradation. This suggests that muscle turnover and repair capacity is likely decreased with age.

Muscle basal metabolic rate is deceased, insulin resistance is increased, and higher percentage body fat mass is increased. All these contribute to the decrease in lean body muscle mass. Other contributing factors include decreased physical activity, lower hormone excretion, nutritional deficits, and chronic inflammation.

With aging, muscle endurance capacity declines 10% per decade (as measured by maximal oxygen consumption) and aerobic energy production is decreased with age. Decrease in endurance can be due to the reduced number of mitochondria (energy provider) and the subsequent reduction in mitochondrial-based aerobic enzymes

With aging muscle fibers also change with increased percentage from type I muscle fibers and decreased type II muscle fibers. Type I fibers are small, slow-contracting, low-tension output fibers with many mitochondria and aerobic enzymes for energy production. These fibers are highly resistant to fatigue and are capable of metabolizing fat for energy expenditure. Type II fibers are much larger and faster contracting fibers that produce large tension output but fatigue quickly. with age, there is less of a contribution to tension output from the higher tension type II fibers because the lower tension–output type I fibers are now more predominant. Overall, the muscle mass of the elderly is smaller and weaker because of the loss of type II fibers.

References

Patrick N. Siparsky et al https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3874224/

Friday, 15 March 2019

Acupuncture treatment is recommended for acute and chronic neck pain

Current interventions for neck pain include themal, electrotherapy, ultrasound, mechanical traction, laser, and acupuncture. But definitive knowledge about optimal modalities and dosage for neck pain is limited. Granham N et al from McMaster University, Hamilton Canada analysed existing data to provide the evidence for recommendations on physical modalities for acute to chronic neck pain. The data included was from January 2000 to July 2012. Their result showed that short term pain relief- moderate evidence of benefit: acupuncture, intermittent traction and laser were shown to be better than placebo for chronic neck pain. Moderate evidence of no benefit: pulsed ultrasound, infrared light or continuous traction was no better than placebo for acute whiplash associated disorder, chronic myofacial neck pain or subacute to chronic neck pain. There was no added benefit when hot packs were combined with mobilization, manipulation or electrical uscle stimulation for chronic neck pain, function or patient satisfaction at six month follow-up. They concluded that the current state of the evidence favours acupuncture, laser and intermittent traction for chronic neck pain.

Liang Z et al in China studied the effect of acupuncture on chronic neck pain. 178 patients with chronic neck pain were recruited. These patients were allocated into two groups 88 in acupuncture group and 90 in control group which received acupuncture and placebo treatment respectively. The Northwick park neck pain questionnaire (NPQ), visual analogue scale (VAS), short from 36 health survey (SF-36) and doctor’s judgement were applied for measuring effectiveness. The effect was assessed before treatment, immediately after the treatment, at the end of first month of follow-up and at the end of third month follow up. They found that the NPQ, VAS and SF 36 scores in acupuncture group were significantly improved after the treatment and the two follow-ups compared with before the treatment. Acupuncture group had better effect than that for control group. They concluded that acupuncture has immediate effect and lasting effect for chronic neck pain.

Another research of effectiveness of acupuncture on neck pain by Dong and Lin was published recently. They compared different effects of acupoints. 60 patients received acupuncture 5 times a week for 2 weeks. The Pain Rating Index (PRI, VAS and Present Pain Intensity (PPI) were measured before and after the treatments. They found that the scores were significantly reduced.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Poor posture? acupuncture can help

Poor posture is a major cause of neck pain; while neck pain prevents the neck from getting back to normal posture. Poor posture results from certain muscles shortening and lengthening in an abnormal way. Poor posture can place strain on the related muscles and other soft tissues causing pain, such as neck and back pain. Inflammation is one of the causes of poor posture. If there is an inflammation in somewhere in the body, it causes pain. The body automatically protects itself to avoid the pain resulting in an abnormal posture. For example, people with neck pain would tilt the head involuntarily to one side to avoid the neck pain. Acupuncture can help to reduce the inflammation and pain to help to correct the poor posture.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Hamstring muscle strain, acupuncture can help


The hamstring muscle group is made up of three separate muscles: the semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris. They originate from the lower part of the pelvis, lie on the back of the thigh and insert into the back of the shin bone. They mainly bend the knee and extend (straighten) the hip joint when contracting. Hamstring strain is a very common condition. When the muscles are pulled, a sudden sharp pain at the back of the thigh can be felt. This pain is sudden onset often after certain activity. The muscle will often feel tight and tender and go into cramp. Walking may be painful. In severe case, there could be swelling and bruising. It is likely to get hamstring strain, if the activities involved in hamstring such as running, jumping or sudden stopping and starting; if you don’t warm up before exercising, if the muscles in front of the thigh are tight since they pull the pelvis forward and tighten the hamstring, if glutes are weak, Glutes and hamstring work together weak glutes can make hamstring overloaded and become strained. Acupuncture can reduce the pain and help hamstring recovery.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Fertility key factors and acupuncture

Four key factors affect fertility

First of all, inflammation in reproductive system affects fertility. Inflammation in or around ovaries affect egg development, egg quality and ovulation. Inflammation around fallopian tubes could stimulate tube spasm affecting egg and embryo passing through. Inflammation in uterus affects implantation. Even if there is inflammation in pelvic area or abdominal area could make environment not supporting fertilization and pregnancy.

Secondly, blood stagnation that is poor blood circulation in pelvic area causes poor egg quality in ovary and poor nutrition in uterus. This affects fertilization and implantation.

Thirdly, hormone imbalance is another important factor affecting fertility. Imbalanced hormone affects egg development; as a result, poor quality egg was produced. Imbalanced hormone could cause anovulation. Also imbalanced hormone affects uterine inner lining preparation which makes implantation harder.

Finally stress could affect fertility. Stress hormone called cotisol is made from progesterone in female and testosterone in male. If one is stressed, the body keeps making stress hormone which would exhaust sex hormone and this compromise fertility.

About fertility acupuncture

Women work hard with potentially increased sympathetic activity which causes poor pelvic circulation. Also there are more potential environment toxins to ovary. Many women have difficulty to get pregnant and seek help. Fertility acupuncture is an effective method to help women getting pregnant. What do you expect from fertility acupuncture? There is tons of information from internet about fertility acupuncture. There are many amazing stories that a few sessions of acupuncture helped women become pregnant. Are these stories true? I believe that this could happen from my experiences. Some women do get pregnant after a few sessions of acupuncture treatments. This really depends on what is the cause of the problems. However not everyone gets pregnant very quickly. If you see an acupuncturist for fertility treatment, you need to be prepared and have realistic expectation. If you do not get pregnant after a few sessions, don’t be discouraged. This is not because acupuncture does not work to you, but because it takes longer for you than for anyone else. Everyone is different. After a few sessions of acupuncture, some women get pregnant while others only start to see changes. Acupuncture works for infertility and this is based on scientific evidence. Acupuncture could tackle these four issues by stimulating the nerve endings at particular acupuncture points. It improves reproductive system blood flow and reduces inflammation; it regulates hormone level to correct hormonal imbalance; it reduces stress.

Acupuncture programme for IVF support

Acupuncture has been used worldwide for IVF support for over a decade. There are many promising research results for effectiveness of acupuncture on helping IVF success rates. There are many purposes for the use. Some is to reduce pain on egg retrieval; some is used simply to reduce anxiety and depression during IVF; some are used for improve egg quality etc. If you are having acupuncture for IVF, make sure you know what kind of acupuncture you are getting and what you want.

Which type of acupuncture increased pregnancy rate in IVF? There are three types of acupuncture aiming to increase pregnancy rate in IVF. Type A: acupuncture was performed around the time of embryo transfer. Type B: acupuncture was perfomed around the time of egg collection. Type C acupuncture was performed during the course of ovary stimulation.

References

Zheng CH et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2012)2012:543924

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Thigh numbness? Acupuncture can help

Meralgia paresthetica (MP) or lateral femoral cutaneous neuropath is a condition that also causes thigh pain and numbness. It is caused by injury or entrapment to the nerve that innervates to the thigh called the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. This causes numbness or pain in the outer thigh. Pain is constant burning or lightening on the outer side of the thigh which is also extending to the outer side of the knee or spreading to the buttocks. It could be accompanied with numbness or tingling in the same area.

There was a report that 10 patients with MP were treated with acupuncture. These patients were aged 30-70 years with MP. The causes of MP were not clear. One patient had diabetes and several were obese. Three patients had inflammatory joint disease. Four patients were receiving high doses of analgesics. Average period of symptoms was 3-4 years. All had tried conservative treatment, physiotherapy or injections and two patients had refused surgery. All patients had tender points especially at acupuncture point GB31 and upper lumba spine. This points were less tender after acupuncture treatment. An average 4-5 sessions of acupuncture was given to these patients. Electroacupuncture was applied from second session. The pain scores for all 10 patients improved by at least 50%, including that of a patient with a 20 year history. At 3-36 months follow-up, improvement was 100%. Most patients were able to stop their analgesics.

References
Alexander RE Acupunct (2013) 31:435-9

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Acupuncture is for chronic musculoskeletal pain, which acupuncture points are more effective?

Chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP) is very common which happens to one in four people. More and more people used acupuncture for pain relief for CMP. If you do choose acupuncture, you need to know that there is diverse usage of acupuncture points for pain relief. Commonly, a combination of local and distant points is used. However, the difference between the effects of local and distant point stimulation is not clear. Recently a review investigated this subject. They studied a difference in effects between stimulating local and distant points, and the combination of both when compared with either alone. Nineteen were included in the qualitative analysis and 15 in the meta-analysis. Local and distant point stimulation was more effective than their respective controls in pain reduction immediately after treatment. Three studies directly compared the stimulation of local and distant points and found no significant difference between the two. No studies compared combined local and distant point stimulation with either alone. Subgroup analyses showed that, local tender point stimulation was more effective than local acupuncture points. Local and distant point stimulation induces similar degree of acupuncture analgesia. The benefit of combining local and distant point stimulation is unknown. However, subgroup analyses suggested that local tender points could be important in the treatment of CMP for short-term pain relief.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Acupuncture is the best option for depression with pain problems

Up to about 70% patients with depression also have pain problems. Depression may make the pain problem worse and more pain may make depression worse as well. The existing research data has shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment option for several chronic pain conditions. Acupuncture is also suggested to treat depression, though this is not available option in NHS. Counselling for depression is widely available in primary care practices, however there is limited evidence for counselling compared to usual care as a treatment for patients with depression and a chronic physical health problem. Recently a report compared acupuncture or counselling with usual care alone for 755 patients with depression complicated with pain. They found that at 3 months, both acupuncture and counselling interventions were effective for depression compared to usual care alone whether there was pain or not. Patients in the pain group had greater reductions in both depression symptoms with acupuncture from baseline to 3 months than those who received counselling or usual care. All treatment options were effective in reducing pain between baseline and 3-month follow-up after controlling for baseline pain, however, acupuncture delivered a greater degree of pain relief than counselling or usual care in the short-to-medium term. Reductions in both depression and pain were most marked in the acupuncture group, followed by the counselling group and then the usual care group.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Research has shown that acupuncture is effective for muscle pain

Muscle pains are common and can involve more than one muscle. Muscle pain also can involve ligaments, tendons, and fascia, the soft tissues that connect muscles, bones, and organs. Muscle pain is most frequently related to tension, overuse, or muscle injury from exercise or physically-demanding work. In these situations, the pain tends to involve specific muscles and starts during or just after the activity. It is usually obvious which activity is causing the pain. Trapezius muscle is a large superficial muscle that extends longitudinally from the skull to the upper back and laterally to the shoulder blade. Its functions are to move the scapulae and support the arms. These muscles are usually overused and painful due to much stress and improper postures.

Acupuncture is a useful tool to release trapezius muscle pain. There were 20 women aged ranging from 18 to 40 years with upper trapezius muscle pain for average 5.55 years. They were treated with acupuncture After 9 sessions of acupuncture treatments, a reduction in pain intensity was observed on the upper trapezius muscle on both sides. The Pain pressure threshold increased significantly on both sides at the end of the treatment. A significant increase in the electromyography values of the trapezius during isometric contraction was observed at the end of treatment.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

What is important when using acupuncture to treat chronic pain?

Many researches with huge sample sizes showed that acupuncture is effective to treat chronic pain. Acupuncture is not a standardized treatment method. If you see different acupuncturists, you would receive acupuncture with different characteristics for sure. There are different styles of acupuncture, Chinese acupuncture, Western acupuncture or mixed Chinese and Western acupuncture, which are based on different theories. Even for the same style of acupuncture, the duration and frequency of the treatments could be different performed by different acupuncturists. The points used could be different as well. Additional usage of electrostimulation or electroacupuncture, moxibustion or manipulation could be applied by some acupuncturists.

From research point of view, there is a great variation of acupuncture characteristics. MacPherson et al analysed the research trials for acupuncture effect on chronic pain. Majority of research trials (59%) was based on traditional Chinese acupuncture and majority of points (55%) selected were flexible. Most of the research trials are manually stimulated and only a few trials used electrical stimulation and a few trials added with moxibustion. Attempts to obtain de qi sensation were made in all 25 trials which provided this information. The maxium number of sessions varied broadly from 3 to 30 and duration of sessions also varied from 15-32 minutes. The needles or points used were range from 1-18 points. The frequency of treatment was from one session every eight days to two sessions a week.

Their results showed that when comparing acupuncture with sham acupuncture controls, there was little evidence that the effects of acupuncture on pain were modified by any of the acupuncture characteristics evaluated, including style of acupuncture, number or placement of needles, the number, frequency or duration of sessions, patient-practitioner interactions and experience of the acupuncturist. When comparing acupuncture to non-acupuncture controls, better pain outcomes were obtained when more needles were used and also when a higher number of acupuncture treatment sessions were provided. They conclude that there was little evidence that different characteristics of acupuncture or acupuncturists modified the effect of treatment on pain outcomes. Increased number of needles and more sessions are associated with better outcomes when comparing acupuncture to non acupuncture controls. They suggested that dose is the key factor.

There was a report that investigated the outcomes of acupuncture for chronic pain in urban primary care from New York. Patients selected for the acupuncture treatment were over 21 years old with chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis or neck or back pain. Acupuncture was provided by supervised acupuncture students for up to 14 weeks. Pain and function were evaluated before during and after acupuncture treatment. They found that back pain was the most common referring diagnosis 59.5% followed by osteoarthritis 16.3%. Pain severity and function significantly improved at 12 and 24 weeks after baseline assessment. They concluded that weekly acupuncture improved pain severity and quality of life.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Acupuncture reduces inflammation

The signs of inflammation include increasing temperature, oedema, redness, pain and loss of function. In molecular side, neuropeptides, cytokines and vasoactive mediators are suggested to be a part of the inflammation. After inflammation has been initiated, vasoactive mediators could regulate blood flow and blood distribution to affected organs and tissue. Acupuncture stimulates local blood flow and activates the defence systems and clear up all bioactive mediators, as result it reduces local inflammation.

References
F. Zijlstra1 Et al Mediators of Inflammation, 12(2), 59/69 (April 2003)

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

How can acupuncture help you?

Cosmetic acupuncture

Recently, cosmetic acupuncture has been so popular as an intervention for skin rejuvenation. It is the most natural and healthy way to look and feel years younger. Does it work? This is the first question people ask? The result speaks itself. Come along to have a treatment with Dr Maggie and you will like it.

Where do you often get wrinkles?

With aging, facial expression muscles contracting create lines on the face; collagen production reduces, and damaged skin cells contribute to the firm wrinkle formation. Exposure to the sun accelerates to wrinkle formation.

​Wrinkles on the forehead are formed by the frontalis muscle (frontal belly) which is the muscle on the forehead. They attach to the skin of eyebrow.

Crow feet wrinkles are the wrinkles at the out corner of the eye and formed by contraction of the orbicularis oculi muscle which is the ring like muscle surrounding the eye and spreads over the eyelids, temple and down to the cheek.

​Wrinkles on the cheek are deep nasolabial groove from the side of the nose to the upper lip are related to four muscles on the check.

Wrinkles around mouth are also called perioral wrinkles, also known as barcode lines or smoker’s lines. They are the fine or deep vertical lines around the mouth and lips. These wrinkles are formed by contracting of the muscle around the mouth called orbicularis oris.

Marionette lines are the vertical wrinkles that can be found at the corners of the mouth. These lines can give the face a downturned expression and make you look sadder, serious, or even angrier. They are related to a few muscles by the mouth.

Sagging skin: The skin can become sagging when it loses collagen and elastin. The most common cause of skin sagging is aging and the skin becomes thinner and looser due to loss of collagen and elastin.

Cosmetic acupuncture can reduce muscle tension, increase skin elastin and collagen synthesis and hydration and help skin cell regeneration. As a result, the facial skin is free of wrinkles, becomes tighter and firmer. This gives you the glowing younger looking skin.

Acne treatment with acupuncture:

Acne is a very common skin disease affecting a majority of the population at some point in their life. Acne is caused by bacteria infection, increased oil production and inflammation. Acne is not life-threatening condition but it does affect people quality of life dramatically and damage people’s confidence. It is one of the most difficult conditions to treat. Acupuncture is used to treat acne effectively.

Stress and anxiety relief acupuncture

Stress is the body's reaction to harmful situations. The symptoms of stress vary from person to person. You feel stressed. This is psychological stress that you can feel mentally. Emotional symptoms include feeling agitated, frustrated, easily getting crossed, easily losing control, having difficulty relaxing and calming down, feeling anxious, depressed etc. Stress is not just psychological, but physical too. People often ignore physical stress. If you have these signs below and no specific causes are found for it, you could be under physical stress: hormone imbalance. Stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which changes the body metabolism. Consequently, you would see signs of weight changes gaining weight or losing weight in short period of time. Also, you may see acne wouldn’t go away. Cortisol causes skin oil glands making more oil and if the oil is stuck inside hair follicles creating pimples. Weakening immune system. Stress supress the immune system, cold would not go away or cold come back more frequently. Hair is falling too much because the immune system attacks hair follicles resulting hair loss. Inflammation and tension in the body. The brain is not sharp causing memory problem because too much cortisol can also make it harder to concentrate. Have headache very often, stress creates muscle tension causing headache. Abdominal pain: stress causes more acid production in the stomach causing bloating and pain in the abdomen. Stress inflames bowels causing diarrhea and constipation. Other physical symptoms include low energy, feeling tired, headache, aching or pain in the body, muscles tension, dizziness, insomnia, digestive problems, frequent illness, loss of libido, shaking, clenching jaw, cold hands and feet etc. Behaviour symptoms include always worrying, lack of concentration, poor memory, feeling slow, being pessimistic, unable to stop eating or eating less. Acupuncture is a best way to relive stress, psychologically and physically.

Pain relief acupuncture

Acupuncture can relieve pain. This is one of the acupuncture’s well-known effects. Acupuncture is used to relieve many pain conditions including a headache, neck pain, back pain, chronic pelvic pain, vulvodynia, prostatitis, bladder pain, chronic abdominal pain, shoulder pain, arm pain elbow pain, hand pain, hip pain, thigh pain knee pain, leg pain and ankle pain etc. You name it.

Vulvodynia

Vulvodynia is a medical condition characterized by nonspecific vulval pain. With up to 15% of women suffering from this condition, you can be sure that you’re not alone if you have vulvar pain. It is a persistent burning or stinging pain of the vulva. It could be a constant pain and get worse when under pressure or it could be only painful under pressure such as using tampon or sex. The pain can be only in the vulvar area. It can also spread to the thigh, tummy or back. Women with vulvodynia could have severe period pain, heavy periods, frequent urination and pain and changed bowel habit. This condition is not life threatening, but it has great impact on a women’s life physically and emotionally. It could affect their daily activity and relationships. Some of them can only stay in bed all the time when the pain is severe. Some women with severe vulval pain feel that it is so difficult to cope with this pain every day especially when they are told that there is no effective treatment and they have to live with the pain all of their lives. Acupuncture can help reduce vulval pain effectively.

Prostatitis/Chronic pelvic pain syndrome

Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis is the most common type of prostatitis. Around 1 in 5 men has this condition at some point in their life. The most prominent symptom is chronic pain lasting longer than 3 months. Pain can be in the perineum, testicles, tip of the penis, pubic or bladder area and may spread out to the abdomen, the back and the rectum. Urination pain and frequent urination can be associated with the pain. The prostate can be enlarged due to swelling and tender due to inflammation. Acupuncture is effective to reduce the pain.

Bladder pain/Interstitial cystitis (IC)

Interstitial cystitis (IC)/bladder pain syndrome (BPS) is a chronic bladder condition. It is a feeling of pain and pressure in the bladder area. Symptoms range from mild to severe. For some patients the symptoms may come and go, and for others they don't go away. The pain may be worse when the bladder is full and may be temporarily relieved after urination. The pain could be worse during periods or after having certain foods or drinks. IC/BPS is not an infection, but it may feel like a bladder infection. Women with IC/BPS may feel pain when having sex. This condition is poorly understood. Apart from the pain, it is also accompanied with problems of urination, such as sudden, strong urges to urinate, more frequent urination than normal, pain when passing water, waking up quite a few times during the night to urinate. The exact cause of interstitial cystitis isn't clear. Unlike other types of cystitis, there's no obvious infection in the bladder. Acupuncture can help reduce the pain.

Low back pain

95% of back pain occurs in the lower back. It is defined as non-specific low back pain, if there is no cause found. Nonspecific low back pain is tension, soreness and stiffness in the lower back region. Acupuncture is very effective for nonspecific low back pain and it helps patients with low back pain reducing lumber surgery rate. This is number one reason that people seek acupuncture treatment.

Hip pain

Hip pain is a common condition that can be caused by a wide variety of problems. The precise location of the hip pain can help to find out the underlying cause. Hip pain on the outside of the hip referred to the upper thigh or outer buttock is usually caused by problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround the hip joint. Hip pain can also a referred pain from low back. Acupuncture can help reduce hip pain.

Fertility acupuncture  and IVF  support acupuncture

Acupuncture boosts women's fertility by stimulating nerve endings and brain, as a result increases reproductive system blood flow, reduces inflammation, improves hormone balance, egg quality and reduces stress. It also releases tube spasm and improves uterine lining and uterine receptivity.

IVF is one of the most successful infertility treatments and this treatment brings hope for pregnancy for many people. However, the majority of IVF cycles do not result in pregnancy. It is important to maximize the chance to succeed. Many patients have turned to acupuncture treatments to increase the success rate of IVF. The first report was by Stener-Victorin et al. 15 years ago suggesting that acupuncture can increase the IVF clinical pregnancy rate (CPR). In recent years, there have been many randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating acupuncture in IVF. There were more positive effects from acupuncture during IVF from these researchers.

Energy boost acupuncture

Chronic fatigue and low energy: If you are feeling tired all the time, you are not alone. It could affect about 20% population. At most of the time, this is not caused by severe illness. It could be linked with mood and the accumulation of too much stress. Poor circulation is one of the causes. Microcirculation includes blood circulation in the smallest blood vessels and lymphatic circulation in the lymphatic capillaries. Microcirculation carries oxygenated blood away from the heart through the arteries, capillaries to the tissues of the body. It provides the functional blood supply with oxygen and nutrients to the cells to all body tissue. It picks up carbon dioxide and waste products and returns deoxygenated blood through veins back to the heart. Circulation is the key for body function. It provides energy that body needs and detoxifies the body. If this circulation is poor, the body will not
function well and you could feel tired. Acupuncture can help to boost energy and reduce fatigue.
Other conditions: Regulating hormones and immunity, hot flushes, nerve pain, insomnia, Parkison's disease, MS, acid reflex, IBS, etc

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Prefrontal cortex plays a role in pain management including acupuncture

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the cerebral cortexcovering the front part of the frontal lobe. This brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behaviour. It is also important in pain processing. Changes in neurotransmitters, gene expression, glial cells, and neuroinflammation occur in the PFC during acute and chronic pain, that result in alterations to its structure, activity, and connectivity. This function replies on its connections to other areas of the cerebral neocortex, hippocampus, periaqueductal gray (PAG), thalamus, amygdala, and basal nuclei.

“The medial PFC (mPFC) could serve dual, opposing roles in pain: (1) it mediates antinociceptive effects, due to its connections with other cortical areas, and as the main source of cortical afferents to the PAG for modulation of pain. This is a 'loop' where, on one side, a sensory stimulus is transformed into a perceptual signal through high brain processing activity, and perceptual activity is then utilized to control the flow of afferent sensory stimuli at their entrance (dorsal horn) to the CNS. (2) It could induce pain chronification via its corticostriatal projection, possibly depending on the level of dopamine receptor activation (or lack of) in the ventral tegmental area-nucleus accumbens reward pathway.”

“The PFC is involved in biopsychosocial pain management. This includes repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, antidepressants, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, music, exercise, partner support, empathy, meditation, and prayer. Studies demonstrate the role of the PFC during placebo analgesia, and in establishing links between pain and depression, anxiety, and loss of cognition. In particular, losses in PFC grey matter are often reversible after successful treatment of chronic pain.”

References
Role of the Prefrontal Cortex in Pain Processing.
Ong WY et al Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Jun 6. doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-1130-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Frontal lobe of the brain

The frontal lobe is located at the front of the brain just underneath frontal bone. It controls important cognitive skills, such as emotional expression, personality, problem solving, memory, language, communication skill, judgment, and sexual behaviors. It makes up about one third of the brain and is the largest lobe of the brain. It also controls muscles movement and speech. The frontal lobe enables us to respond to any changes accordingly. Acute stress can impair the function of the frontal lobe that required complex and flexible thinking by increasing both dopamine and noradrenaline release. Chronic stress induces the structural changes. chronic stress weakens the structures that provide negative feedback on the stress response and strengthens the structures that promote the stress response. Stress and anxiety are related to this part of the brain that is not functioning well.The stress and anxiety of frontal lobe is reflexed at the forehead tension. Facial acupuncture releases the stress and anxiety.

References

Amy F. T. Arnsten Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009 Jun; 10(6): 410–422.

doi: 10.1038/nrn2648

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Elastin and aging

Elastin is a protein in connective tissue that allows tissues in the body to resume their shape after stretching or contracting. Elastin is synthesized early in life and by the time of around age 40 elastin biosynthesis slows down. The loss of elastin biosynthesis is closed related to the appearance of skin wrinkles and other aging processes. With aging, clearance of damaged elastin also slow down, as a result accumulation of damaged elastin increases abnormal elastin synthesis.

Unfortunately, externally applied elastin can not pass through the skin and can not slow the loss of elastin from aging issues.

Why the aged skin loose and how to tighten the skin with facial acupuncture

Collagens are a hard, insoluble, and fibrous protein, the most abundant protein in the human body. Collagens are strong and flexible. They are found in the skin forming long, thin fibrils and contribute to skin strength and elasticity. In the middle layer of skin, collagen helps form a fibrous network of cells called fibroblasts for new cells growing and replacing dead skin cells.

Collagen production declines with age especially after menopause and exposure to factors such as smoking and UV light. If the skin produces less collagen, the integrity of the skin declines, as a result the skin is looser and wrinkles form.

What damages collagen and how?

High sugar: high sugar increases blood sugar attaching to the proteins to form new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which can make collagen dry, fragile ad weak.

Smoking: chemicals in the tobacco can damage collagens in the skin.

Sun exposure and UV light: UV light make collagen breaking down quickly and damaging collagen fibers. UV light also damage the skin collagen synthesis forming wrinkles.

Aging: With aging the collagen production is reduced.

Unfortunately, collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin. So, no cream applied to the skin gives the skin more collagen.

Facial acupuncture can increase skin collagen production by creating micro injury to the skin. As a result the skin becomes tighter and wrinkles are repaired.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Ovulation and conceiving

Ovary is a special reproductive organ in women. In ovaries follicles develop into oocytes; eggs are released from ovaries; remaining part of the follicles forms corpus luteum. This generates women’s menstrual cycles. There are three phases of menstrual cycles: follicular phase, ovulation and luteal phase. Each phase has distinct with featured hormone levels. The hormones are produced in three areas: hypothalamus, anterior pituitary gland and ovaries. The hypothalamus produces gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnR) which stimulates the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland produces both follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which stimulate the ovary. The ovary secrets estrogen and progesterone. FSH and LH inhibits production of GnRH. Low concentration of estrogen increases release of FSH from the pituitary gland. High level of estrogen decreases FSH and increases LH secretion causing LH surge. This is called hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis. This axis is in control ovulation. Any dysfunction of this axis may result in anovulation and irregular period. It also can lead to infertility caused by no ovulation. The leading cause of infertility is ovulation dysfunction, either no ovulation or irregular ovulation.

Anovulatory cycle is a menstrual cycle which ovulation does not occur and there is no egg released from the ovaries. Women would think if they have periods, they must be ovulating. This is not necessarily the case. You don’t have to ovulate to have periods. This is called anovulatory cycle. The cycles could be regular with variations of period intervals. These cycles are without ovulation and a luteal phase. Anovulation is a common cause of infertility which occurs in up to 40% of infertile women. Women without ovulating may have irregular periods, or no periods. It is possible that women with regular periods have no ovulation. Once they try to conceive and they start to detect the problem. Because no egg is released and fertilization becomes impossible, the women cannot conceive. Basal body temperature charting is a valuable tool to identify anovulation.

Normal menstrual cycles are 28 days (21-35 days) with follicular phase, ovulation and luteal phase. Ovulation occurs in the middle of the cycle and corpus luteum which produces progesterone forms after ovulation. After 14 days, corpus luteum decayed and stopped producing progesterone. Uterine inner lining shed off without the support of progesterone in the case without pregnancy. This is called progesterone withdrawal bleeding. In the case of anovulation, there is no progesterone produced. Bleeding is caused by inability of oestrogen to support uterine inner lining growth. It is called oestrogen breakthrough bleeding.

If you want to get pregnant, it is important to make sure you ovulate.

Acupuncture can help regulate ovulation and irregular cycles to conceive

Friday, 18 January 2019

Why you should try cosmetic acupuncture to avoid plastic surgery

Our face changes or ages when we grow older. This change starts as early as in 30’s year old. This change not only happens on the surface of the skin, but also underneath the skin surface such as muscles. The skin becomes dry, dull, wrinkles, loose and sagging; the muscles are shortened and straightened; face, corners of the eyes and mouth droop; various spots and pigmentation appear on the face. The most common places to get wrinkles on the face are the forehead, around the eyes and around the mouth. Environmental factors can speed up aging process: such as hormonal imbalance, sun exposure, smoking, stress, diet, diseases etc. can make people look older than their age.

Facial acupuncture or cosmetic acupuncture is the acupuncture on the face for anti-aging purpose. Does it work? If you ask this question, you haven’t tried yet. Everyone who tried cosmetic acupuncture loved it. Recently, facial acupuncture has been introduced as an intervention for skin rejuvenation and becomes more and more popular. It is a natural and healthy way for anti-aging. What is the benefit of facial acupuncture? Facial acupuncture can eliminate wrinkles, moisturise facial skin, improve skin texture and colour, relax facial muscles, and decrease sagging skin, clear spots and pigmentation. Recently a research suggested that wrinkles were improved significantly after facial acupuncture treatment and facial elasticity was also improved in women. It is an alternative way to avoid plastic surgery, if you want to. Start early to get better results.

Why acupuncture on the face can play a role on cosmetic purpose? Acupuncture relaxes facial muscles and improves blood flow and microcirculation in the skin. Muscle relaxation unfolds the skin to reduce the wrinkles and lifts up the face. Good skin circulation takes waste away and reduces skin toxin; it provides more nutrients and oxygen to the skin. Acupuncture also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, helps skin regeneration and increases skin elasticity.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Having wrinkles around the mouth? Acupuncture can help to reduce them.

Wrinkles are a part of the aging, you will find wrinkles appearing in different areas of your face like the forehead, around the eyes, and wrinkles around the mouth.

Wrinkles around mouth are also called perioral wrinkles, also known as barcode lines or smoker’s lines. They are the fine or deep vertical lines around the mouth and lips. These wrinkles are formed by contracting of the muscle around the mouth called orbicularis oris.

The orbicularis oris muscle is a complex of muscles in the lips that encloses the mouth. It consists of four independent quadrants that connects each other which gives it a look of circular. It blended in with other expression muscles on the face. When it contracts, it closes the mouth and puckers the lips creating vertical wrinkles around the mouth.

Acupuncture can help this muscle to relax and reduce the vertical wrinkles around the mouth.

Other wrinkles around the mouth

Smile Lines (nasolabial lines) – These are those lines that run from thebottom of the nose to the corners of the mouth.

Marionette lines – These are the vertical wrinkles that can be found at the corners of the mouth. These lines can give the face a downturned expression and make you look sadder, serious, or even angrier.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

What is a recent research development about acupuncture on In vitro fertilization (IVF)?

There were many debates about the effect of acupuncture on IVF in the past decade. What is the recent view about this? A very recent research paper published is about the effects of acupuncture on the secondary outcomes of anxiety, and quality of life for women undergoing IVF: a randomised controlled trial. IVF treatment has a significant impact on women's quality of life and anxiety is common during IVF treatment. Some studies suggest acupuncture may reduce anxiety. This new study was to examine the effects of acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture on quality of life and anxiety for women undergoing an IVF cycle. Women were randomised to acupuncture or a sham acupuncture control group and three treatments were administered, the first treatment between day 6-8 of ovarian stimulation, and two treatments were given on the day of embryo transfer. 848 women were included, and 608 women underwent an embryo transfer, of which 526 (86%) received all three treatments. Women receiving acupuncture reported reduced anxiety following embryo transfer. The conclusion from this study is that acupuncture may reduce anxiety at embryo transfer.

References
Smith CA et al Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2018 Dec 28. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13528. [Epub ahead of print]

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Medial line of the body and energy circulation with acupuncture

The medial line (midsagittal plane) is on the midline and the central axis of the body, dividing the body vertically into right and left haves. On the back side, the medial line starts from the sagittal suture, the midline of the head, follows the spine to the tail bone. On the front side of the body, the medial line travels down from the sagittal suture of the head, breastbone, navel, and pubic bone. The line continues between the legs down to the ground without anatomic structure. Movements within the sagittal plane are flexion and extension – forward and backward movements of the head, spine, and limbs.

The sagittal suture is a dense, fibrous connective tissue joint between the two parietal bones of the skull.

Down to the back, the sagittal suture moves to the ligaments on the spine.

The nuchal ligament extends from the external occipital protuberance on the skull and median nuchal line to the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebra in the lower part of the neck. It is the starts of the trapezius and splenius capitis muscles attached to the shoulder and the head separately.

Supraspinous ligament connects the tips of the spinous processes from the seventh cervical vertebra to the sacrum and is the continuous of nuchal ligament down to the spine. Part of the trapezius and latissimus dorsi start from this ligament and connect to the shoulder.

Spinal erectors are a group of muscles and tendons which run from the sacrum or sacral region to the base of the skull. They are paired lying on the left and right of the spine.

Down to the front, the sagittal suture moves to the frontal suture on the forehead. The frontal suture is a fibrous joint that divides the two halves of the frontal bone of the skull.

On the midline of the chest, it raises the pectoralis major and connects to the shoulder.

The white line in the medial line of the abdominal wall (linea alba) is a fibrous structure that runs down the midline of the abdomen from the xiphoid process to the pubic symphysis. It is formed by the fusion of the aponeuroses (deep fascia) of the abdominal muscles, it lies between the left and right rectus abdominis muscles.

The medial line tightness can create tension on the whole body blocking blood and energy circulation. Acupuncture can release tension and improve blood and energy circulation.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Neck spasm and sudden neck pain, acupuncture can help

Neck spasm occurs when the muscles in the neck contract involuntarily and sudden tightening of the muscles can cause severe pain. The pain come up suddenly. Other symptoms accompanied with the pain include problems moving the neck and shoulder, increased pain when moving the neck and shoulder, headaches, dizziness or tingling at the neck. Neck spasm can be caused by a few reasons: repeated or prolonged movements of the neck, sitting at one position for a long time, poor posture, turning suddenly while sleeping, carrying too much weight at one shoulder or one arm, cradling a handset against neck, stress, and dehydration.

One of the first muscles to cause headache and neck pain is trapezius. This is a broad triangular muscle at neck and upper back, one of the largest superficial muscles at the back. It attaches to the base of the skull and extends down to the neck, the upper back until mid back; laterally it inserts to the shoulder blades. There are three functional regions to the muscle: the Upper, middle, and lower trapezius, and each region has its own function: upper region moves the shoulder blades and support the arms; the middle region retracts the shoulder blades and the lower region rotates and depresses the shoulder blades.

Acupuncture can effectively release muscle spasm.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Irregular periods to get pregnant, acupuncture can help

After puberty, women usually have a regular menstrual cycle. Periods occur around the same time each month. These menstrual cycles last on average 28 days but can vary individually. However, there are many reasons why some women may experience irregular periods. Some women find that they have periods early or late in their menstrual cycle. Many medical conditions can affect women’s menstrual cycles. You need to see doctors to get it checked out if there is an underlying condition for the irregular periods. Hormonal changes can affect the periods: using hormonal contraception is a common cause. Unbalanced of the female sex hormones progesterone and oestrogen can also make your periods irregular. Stress and anxiety can also induce hormonal changes which can cause irregular periods. When the stress hormone cortisol is released by the body, it can have a direct effect on the levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Other factors cause irregular periods include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid problems, extreme weight loss or weight gain, excessive exercise.

If you have irregular menstrual cycles and want to get pregnant, this could cause problems. This is because 1) it is hard to know ovulation time; 2) the eggs might not good enough in some cycles which reduce the chance to get pregnant. 3) the uterine lining might not develop well due to imbalanced hormones.

Acupuncture can help regular hormone to achieve balanced hormone and reduce stress to regular menstrual cycles to get pregnant.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Wind exposure can damage the skin, facial acupuncture can help skin repairing

We all know that sun exposure can damage the skin. Do you know wind and chill can damage the skin too? The body gives off a layer of heat that protects the skin from cold temperatures. A strong wind can blow this layer away from the skin, taking away this natural defence to the cold. As the wind increases, the body is cooled at a faster rate causing the skin temperature to drop. Exposure to wind and chill can cause windburn and frostbite. Being exposed to below zero wind chills can induce frostbite within five minutes. While wind chills below minus 20 degrees can result in frostbite within a minute of exposure. The affected skin and tissue go numb. It’s most likely to strike the fingers or toes, ears, cheeks, chin, or nose. The exposure can lead to severe damage.

Other conditions related to wind and chill.

Chilblains is a condition in which the small blood vessels in the skin is inflamed after being exposed to cold. These clusters of small blood vessels get red, itchy, and swell or blister. Patches usually appear on your fingers, toes, ears, and cheeks. Wearing layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing can trap air between the layers to insulate you. For dry and cracked skin, apply of cream can help to moisturise the skin.

Facial acupuncture can help damaged skin on the face repairing.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Having jaw pain and jaw tightness? acupuncture can help.

Many people experience jaw pain from time to time. Stressed jaw joints are one of the reasons. The symptoms can include jaw pain and jaw muscle tightness, this can be mild or intense aching, throbbing or tender. Chewing or yawning can worsen the symptoms. Tension or tenderness can be felt on one or both sides of the face and this pain and tension can also affect the nose, mouth, and ears. The neck muscles connect to the lower jaw, so pain and tension can radiate down to the neck and shoulder and up to the head causing headaches. Jaw movement can be limited. Toothaches and earache can also be accompanied with the jaw pain and tension. Stress is one of the causes including emotional and physical stress. Jaw can be clenched and tightened when experiencing stress, anxiety or anger. Grinding teeth at sleep can also cause jaw pain and tension. Poor posture, neck pain and headaches can also lead to jaw pain and tension. Acupuncture is an effective way to release jaw pain and jaw tension.

How many eggs retrieved in IVF are good numbers?

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