Welcome to my blog

Leading acupuncture specialist for cosmetic acupuncture, pain relief, stress relief, fertility, fatigue, anxiety.
Based at Harley Street and Kensington Central London.Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Over 25 year research and clinical experiences

Doctor who is passionate about acupuncture

I love what I do, I am good at it and I am always there for my patients. If you come and see me, you will know why I am standing out. .

My profile

Practice contact for appointments and addresses

Kensington: for appointments at Anamaya center Kensington (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays) please call at 02030110355 or email at info@anamaya.co.uk
Address: 1 Adam and Eve Mews, Kensington, London W8 6UG
2 min walk from High Street Kensington underground station

Harley Street: for appointments at Harley Street (Wednesdays) please call 02076368845 or email at info@aloclinic.com

Address: Suite 3 Harmont House 20 Harley Street, London W1G 9PH

5 min walk from Oxford Circus underground station

My background: I became a qualified medical doctor 25 years ago in Western medicine in China and was well trained in Western medicine together with Chinese medicine in the best Medical University in Beijing, China. Particularly I was trained with Ji-sheng Han famous professor and neuroscientist in China and with Dr Zheren Xuan--famous orthopedics expert and founder of soft tissue surgery in China. Furthermore I had training in dermatology and oral and maxilofacial surgery in China. Also I had training in fertility and had research experiences in uterine smooth muscles and blood vessels in China and the UK. I am dedicated to treat patients with acupuncture and am recognised as one of the world leading acupuncture specialists.


I obtained a PhD degree in the University of Leeds in the UK.
I had post doctoral training and worked as a senior researcher in St George's hospital, London, UK.
I had frequently presented my research findings in the top international conferences in the field.
I have many publications including ebooks and articles.

I have many year clinical experiences. Over the years of practicing, I have developed unique effective treatment approaches for cosmetic acupuncture, acne, pain relief including vulvodynia, bladder pain, pelvic pain, chronic prostatitis, neck pain, headache, migraine, shoulder pain, back pain, stress relief, anxiety, fatigue, fertility, hot flushes, nerve pain, insomnia to achieve best treatment results.

My devotion and skills are highly praised by my patients.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKdoRpfr0ic

Sunday, 16 December 2018

How the brain and the head get oxygen and food?

Although the brain is only about 2% of the total body weight in humans, it receives 15-20% of the body's blood supply. Because brain cells will die if the supply of blood which carries oxygen is stopped, the brain has top priority for the blood. Even if other organs need blood, the body attempts to supply the brain with a constant flow of blood. The blood brings many materials including oxygen, carbohydrates, amino acids, fats, hormones and vitamins necessary for the brain to function properly. The blood also removes materials including carbone dioxide, ammonia, lactate and hormones from the brain. This function is performed by many blood vessels.

The head’s blood supply comes mainly from the external and internal carotid arteries.

The internal carotid artery travels up from the aortic arch just outside the heart. It travels into the brain to provide oxygenated blood to the eyes, the front of the brain, and portions of the scalp.

The external carotid artery helps supply part of the brain through its many branches, and it also gives blood to the thyroid gland in the neck.

These arteries go through the neck and reach the head.

The vertebral arteries arising from the subclavian arteries and continuing to the basilar artery is another source of the blood vessels to the brain.

In the brain, a circle consisting to of two carotid arteries and the basilar artery form the circle of Willis. This supplies blood in the center of the brain and branches to the cerebrum, pons, medulla oblongata, cerebellum, and the beginning of the spinal cord.

Deoxygenated blood leaves the brain and the head and goes back to the heart through veins accompanied with the arteries.

The cranial venous sinuses also remove blood from the head. Unlike normal veins, these are large channels that drain blood.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Hip joint, hip pain and acupuncture

The hip joint is a ball and socket cynovial joint. The ball is the femoral (thigh bone) head, and the socket is the acetabulum (a part of the pelvic bone). The hip joint is one of the most flexible joints in the body and it allows a great range of movement. Because of hip joint, walking, running and jumping become possible. It supports the body’s weight and bears the force of the strong muscles of the hip and leg when standing, walking, running etc. The hip joints have very important roles in retaining balance, and for maintaining the pelvic inclination angle.

Surrounding the hip joint are many tough ligaments that prevent the dislocation of the joint. The strong muscles of the hip region also help to hold the hip joint together and prevent dislocation.

Injury of ligaments and muscles around the hip joints is a common cause of hip pain. Acupuncture can help reduce hip pain.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Suffering from period pain? Acupuncture can help

Period pain or painful period is the most common gynaecological complaint. Lower abdominal chronic pain is the most common symptom accompanied with or without other symptoms such as headaches, nausea and vomiting. Typically symptoms occur at around the start of menstrual flow and last for the first 24-48 hours. Smoking may prolong the duration of the pain due to nicotine-induced vascular vessel constriction. The majority of the period pain is primary or functional, associated with normal ovulatory cycles without pelvic pathological changes. The pain for primary period pain is caused by over-production of prostaglandins (PGs) and leukotrenes (LTs) within the endometrium after ovulation. PGs and LTs are inflammation modulators which cause myometrial contractions and vasoconstriction resulting in local tissue ischemia, which is involved in cramp pain (muscle contraction).

Treatment for primary period pain is divided into two categoies: traditional (ie, medical and surgical) and alternative. Traditional approach includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which inhibit PG synthesis, combined oral contraceptives and long-acting hormonal therapies. Alternative approach is as follows: vitamins including vitamin E and B1, previous research suggested that vitamin E and B1 significantly reduce period pain through inhibition of PG synthesis; minerals such as magnesium; diet containing omega-3 fatty acids (such as fish) which lead to the uterine production of less potent PGs.

Acupuncture. Acupuncture has analgesic effect. There was one study which investigated the effect of acupuncture in the treatment of primary period pain. The result showed significant difference of pain relief between acupuncture group and control group (without acupuncture). Acupuncture is very effective on primary period pain probably by regulating prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) level in menstrual fluid and also regulating hormones related receptors.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

The gluteus maximus and low back pain, acupuncture can help


The gluteus maximus is located at the buttocks and is regarded as one of the strongest muscles in the body. It is one of the three muscles connecting the spine to the thigh and attached to the coccyx, or tailbone, as well as the surrounding pelvic bones and ended at thigh bone around the hip joint and connect to IT band. Its main function is extending the hip and maintaining the trunk in the erect posture. There are three trigger points that can be found in gluteus maximus which contributes to the muscle pain: medial trigger point is along the edge of the sacrum, the tailbone trigger point is around the tailbone region and the lower trigger point is below the hip joint. The presence of trigger points is a common cause of low back pain. Acupuncture can help release trigger points at the muscle, reduces muscle spasm and reduce back pain.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

The psoas muscle, back pain and acupuncture

3 muscles connect the spine to the thigh and they are the gluteus maximus, piriformis, and psoas muscles.

The psoas muscle originates from lumbar spine, crosses the outer edge of each pubis, and attaches at the femur (thigh bone) after it joins iliacus muscle. Your iliacus and psoas muscles are together known as the iliopsoas. The psoas major is divided into a superficial and deep part. Between the two layers lies the lumbar plexus (nerves to the lower limbs). The main function of psoas is to flex the hip joint and also rotate laterally and adduct weakly to the hip. It plays essential role of walking, standing, running. Tightness of the psoas can result in spasms or lower back pain by compressing the lumbar discs. Tightened and inflamed psoas can lead to irritation and entrapment of the ilioinguinal and the iliohypogastric nerves, resulting in a sensation of heat or water running down the front of the thigh. Tight psoas pulls the low back vertebrae forward and down toward the femur, pushing the abdominal contents outward and overarching in the lumbar spine. The inflamed iliopsoas or trigger points in the muscle can cause pain in the region of the lower back and the upper thigh. As a result, walking or standing could be painful.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Painful urination? Acupuncture can help

Painful urination is a symptom that presents discomfort, pain, burning or stinging during urination or soon after. This is a common symptom. This pain may originate in the bladder, urethra or perineum.

Infection is one of the most common causes leading to painful urination. Infections can occur in any part of the urinary tract from kidney, bladder to urethra. Apart from urination pain, there are often other symptoms associated with such as, more frequent and urgent urination, fever, strong smelling urine, cloudy or bloody urine.

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is also known as painful bladder syndrome. It presents urination pain burning, stinging. When examine, it shows pain and tenderness in bladder and pelvic region.

Urethritis is a condition in which the urethra, becomes inflamed and irritated. Painful urination is the primary symptom of this condition.

Prostatitis is a cause of painful urination in men. It is the inflammation of the prostate gland. It presents urinary burning, stinging, and discomfort.

Vulvovaginitis is an inflammation of the vulva and vagina in women. It can cause urination pain.

Nonspecific painful urination. If the causes for painful urination, this is nonspecific. The causes need to be rule out by all the available tests.

Acupuncture can help, if you have painful urination.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Facial acupuncture, the best way to prevent wrinkle formation.

Wrinkles are formed by the folding of the skin. Why the skin is folded? This is because what is happening under the skin. Under the facial skin, there are expression muscles. Every time people make facial expressions such as frowning, smiling or squinting, These muscle are contracting resulting in the skin above folding.

a natural part of the aging process. As people get older, their skin gets thinner, drier, and less elastic, and less able to protect itself from damage. This leads to wrinkles, creases, and lines on the skin. Facial expression stops, the muscles are relaxed, the skin should unfold. If the muscles are not relaxed completely, the skin will stay folded and the lines will not go. When a person is young, the skin springs back, but as they get older, the skin loses its flexibility. Springing back becomes harder and less frequent, resulting in more permanent grooves.

UV light accelerates wrinkle formation. UV light breaks down the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin which causes the skin to become weaker and less flexible. The skin starts to droop, and wrinkles appear. Regular smoking accelerates the aging process of skin, because of the reduced blood supply to the skin. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, and dry skin is more likely to wrinkle.

Facial acupuncture can help prevent and reduce wrinkles. It can relax facial expression muscles unfolding the skin and also increases collagen and elastin fibers synthesis. It improves skin blood circulation and keeps the skin hydrated.

Friday, 30 November 2018

What causes leaking urine?

Urinary incontinence or bladder incontinence is involuntary passing urine. It affects millions of people. There are several types of urinary incontinence:

Stress incontinence: Urine leaks when bladder under pressure such as coughing.

Urge incontinence: Urine leaks when a sudden, intense urge need to pass urine occurs.

Overflow incontinence: Frequent leaking when bladder is not fully emptied.

Total incontinence: The bladder fails to store urine causing constant or frequent leaking.

The pelvic floor muscles including urethral sphincter become weak, damaged is one of the causes. Pelvic floor can be damaged during child birth, or increased abdominal pressure such as pregnancy, surgery neurological conditions such as parkinson’s disease, connective tissue disorders.

Other causes include drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, dehydration, constipation, overactive bladder, urinary tract infection, increased age.

Tried acupuncture?

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.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Suffering from migraines, acupuncture can help

Migraines are severe headaches. Migraines present episode attacks. When migraines attack, it can last hours or days. Migraines are recurring and can come and go for years. They appear on one side of the head. There could be other symptoms and warning signs associated such as sensory disturbances: seeing flash light etc. They tend to affect more for people aged 15 to 55 years. Migraines are special type of headaches: Some people who experience migraines can clearly identify triggers or factors that cause the headaches, such as allergies, light, and stress; some people get a warning symptom before the migraine attack and can take action to prevent the attack by recognizing the warning signs. The cause of migraines is not known. Many things can trigger migraines: such as hormone changes stress, depression, anxiety, lack of sleep shoulder and neck tension, poor posture, alcohol, caffeine, dehydration, flashing light, strong smells, smoking and loud noise etc.

Research a review analyzed recent studies of acupuncture on migraines. There were 62 studies involved 4,947 participants. The treatment duration varied from 1 month to 6 months. Result has shown that Acupuncture was more effective for short-term treatment compared with no treatment. Compared with medication, manual acupuncture resulted in better efficacy or safety, especially at follow-up times of up to 3 months after treatment.

References
Jiang Y et al Front Pharmacol. 2018 Oct 26;9:1190. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.01190. eCollection 2018.

Monday, 26 November 2018

IVF starts from stimulating ovaries, how can acupuncture help?

Women have natural menstrual cycles. In a natural monthly cycle, the ovaries normally produce 1 egg. If this egg is fertilized by a sperm, an embryo will be formed; if the embryo is implanted in the uterus and pregnancy occurs. In IVF treatment, more eggs are needed to increase success rate. This ovary stimulating process starts from day 1 to encourage the follicles growing. The medications used to stimulate follicles are follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Both hormones are produced naturally in the body. The eggs are already there; the medication boosts the hormone levels to encourage more eggs to develop. Blood tests and ultrasound scan will be used to monitor follicles growing. This first step of IVF is the same as egg freezing and embryo freezing.

What can you do to help the follicles (eggs) develop? Having acupuncture treatment is a good way to help the eggs development. Acupuncture reduces sympathetic nerve activities and release tension of the body; this will facilitate blood flow to the ovaries to provide more oxygen and nutrients for the fast growing egg’s needs and also take toxins away from the ovaries.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

What is trigger point? Need help from acupuncture?

A trigger point is muscle knot in the muscle. It is a small patch of tightly contracted muscle or a micro-cramp. They form as a local contraction in a small number of muscle fibres in a larger muscle. These in turn can pull on tendons and ligaments associated with the muscle. The tight contraction of the muscle blocks its own blood supply, changing the metabolism of the muscles. Excessive production of some chemicals such as acetylcholine, noradrenaline and serotonin and a lower pH causes sustained contractions restricting local blood supply further and limiting local energy needs leading to energy crisis, pain, aching or soreness. It is tender when being pressed and it can also cause referred distant pain. Triger point is a source of the myofascial pain. If trigger point is present, there is often pain and weakness in the muscle. Trigger points can be found in many acute and chronic pain conditions such as back pain, neck pain, headache bladder pain etc. Trigger points may be caused by many factors, such as injury, muscle overuse, disease, psychological distress, hormone imbalance, infections etc. Acupuncture can effectively remove trigger point and release pain.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Tech neck pain, acupuncture can help

Modern technology such as smart phone and tablet may cause stress to the neck. When using them, you hold your head flexed and forward while looking down at your handheld device causing severe angle to the neck. Over long periods of time, maintaining this head-forward posture can lead to muscle strain, disc injury, nerve impingement and arthritic changes of the neck—and the potential for developing ongoing neck and shoulder pain, headaches, and pain radiating down the arms.

The symptoms of tech neck pain include pain in the neck, upper back, and/or shoulder; the pain may be mild or intense and feeling stabbing, achiness and soreness; the pain is associated with neck, upper back or shoulder tightness and reduced movement of the region; it may also accompanied with headache due to muscle spasm at the base of the neck; pain may be worse with neck movement.

Acupuncture is very effective to release tech neck pain by releasing muscle spasm and tension.

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.

What is DHEA?

What is DHEA?

The hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is produced in the adrenal gland. In turn, DHEA helps produce other hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. Natural DHEA levels peak in early adulthood and then slowly fall as you age.

What is already known on DHEA

Research on DHEA for specific conditions includes:

Aging. But research hasn't proved its anti-aging effects.

Depression. DHEA might be more effective at treating depression than placebo.

Osteoporosis. Research suggests DHEA might improve bone mineral density in elderly people with low DHEA. But improvements in bone density were small compared with those seen after treatment with approved osteoporosis medications.

Vaginal atrophy. Limited research suggests that DHEA might improve vaginal dryness in postmenopausal women.

Research on the effects of DHEA on well-being and body composition has had mixed results. Studies have shown quality control of this supplement to often be low.

What is Mayo clinic suggestion?

Avoid

While some research suggests that DHEA might be slightly helpful in treating osteoporosis, depression and vaginal atrophy, there's little evidence to support anti-aging claims. Also, DHEA use can cause serious side effects. Avoid using this supplement.

Safety and side effects

DHEA is a hormone. Use of this supplement might increase levels of androgen and have a steroid effect. DHEA also might increase the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers.

Don't use DHEA if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.

Use of DHEA also might worsen psychiatric disorders and increase the risk of mania in people who have mood disorders.

DHEA also might cause oily skin, acne and unwanted, male-pattern hair growth in women.

References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-dhea/art-20364199

Monday, 19 November 2018

Egg freezing, how can acupuncture help?

Many women are postponing their plans to have a family until their 30s. Unfortunately a woman’s fertility declines with age, and particularly rapidly after the age of 35, The eggs are running out which increases the risk of age-related infertility. How to extend fertility age? Egg freezing is a way to extend women’s fertility years. Egg freezing is often referred to as fertility preservation because it allows a woman to preserve her fertility for late age. It can be performed for medical or social reasons. Egg freezing is performed using advanced cryopreservation (freezing) techniques. Similar to IVF treatment, the age at which a woman freezes her eggs is an important factor in her success rate for achieving a pregnancy using those frozen eggs later in life. Can acupuncture help in this process? Yes, egg freezing is a very stressful process. Acupuncture can reduce stress. Acupuncture can also increase blood flow to the ovaries to increase the chance to get good quality of eggs.

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.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Suffer from winter blue? Acupuncture can help

Winter brings with its darker mornings and evenings, and some may feel they hardly see the sunlight at all---going to work in the dark and coming back home in the dark. Many people find themselves feeling sad, blue and even depressed around the winter. The medical name for winter depression is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It’s fairly common, and it’s more mild than serious. You wake up before the sun even rises, you might start feeling a persistent low mood or lack of energy.

The cause of SAD is not fully understood, shorter days seem to be a main trigger for it. Reduced sunlight in winter can disrupt your body’s internal clock, or circadian rhythm. This 24-hour clock responds to cues in your surroundings, especially light and darkness. At night, the brain produces melatonin, helping you sleep. Light stops the brain producing melatonin to help keep you awake. Shortened daylight in winter may increase the production of melatonin and affect the body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm leading to SAD in certain people.

To cope with winter blue or SAD, eating healthy food, keeping active, taking vitamin D may help. Also light therapy and talking therapy may help too. Don’t forget acupuncture. Acupuncture can help reduce winter blue symptoms such as fatigue, low mood and depression.

Emotional stress and tension related muscles, how can acupuncture help

The occipitofrontalis muscle (epicranius muscle) is a muscle which covers most part of the skull on the top of the head. It consists of three parts: The occipitalis, at the back of the head near the occipital bone, which draws the scalp backward; The frontalis, at the forehead near the frontal bone, which raises the eyebrows, draws the scalp forward, and causes wrinkles in the forehead; Epicranial aponeurosis at the top of the head and it is tendon that connects the occipitalis and frontalis muscles.

The tension level of the occipitofrontalis muscle was detected under stress condition. Trigger points can be found in this muscle. One at the forehead just above to the eyebrow and another one at the back of the head above the neck. Muscle tension can also be found under palpation.

Acupuncutre can help release the tension of this muscle to reduce emotional stress and tension.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

World acupuncture day

World acupuncture day is 15th November. It will be celebrated, in Paris, on 15 November 2018 by the international acupuncture and moxibustion community. It is being organized to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the inscription of acupuncture and moxibustion, in November 2010, into the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This is one-day event, organized under the patronage of UNESCO and the WHO. It takes place in Paris to bring together practitioners, researchers, politicians, academics, and administrators of all disciplines related to acupuncture and moxibustion to share their knowledge and experience. There are demonstrations of use of acupuncture and moxibustion throughout the world, exhibition exhibition on acupuncture history, practice, and education as well as methods of associated care, conference on the historical developments, clinical highlights, and the latest research in acupuncture and moxibustion on all continents. and evening show. After this day, a two days events 16 and 17 November 2018, will bring together medical and health professionals and researchers from around the world to exchange knowledge, skills, and practices.

References

https://www.etcma.org/news/world-acupuncture-day-wad-and-the-world-scientific-and-cultural-dialogue-on-acupuncture-wscda-/

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.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Acupuncture can help reduce emotional stress

Emotional stress is emotional tension or mental strain. This is a common feeling for many people. There is a link among emotional stress, depression, anxiety, mood changes, irritability and anger. Emotional stress can be caused by many factors, relationship is one of the most common causes. Conflicted relationship has great impact on emotional wellbeing. Other factors include financial problems, unpleasant work environment etc. Emotional stress can be particularly painful and be challenging to deal with. There are many ways to tackle emotional stress, such as meditation and other relaxation techniques. Acupuncture can help you to reduce emotional stress and go through the difficulty times. For example, there was a study investigated the effect of acupuncture on emotional stress. Participants received weekly session for average 5 weeks. The emotional stress was significantly reduced.

References
Sochos A, and Bennett A. Altern Ther Health Med. 2016 Mar;22(3):8-16.

Suffer from headaches and fatigue? Acupuncture can help

Chronic migraines and tension type headaches are the two common types of chronic headaches. Chronic migraines affect one side or both sides of the head, sufferers have a pulsating and throbbing sensation and they often have moderate to severe pain. Migraines are often accompanied with nausea, vomiting or both and sensitivity to the light and sound. Tension-type headaches affect both sides of the head causing mild to moderate pain with pressure and tightening. People with headaches are very likely to suffer from fatigue. Fatigue is that sufferers experience extreme tiredness and feeling exhausted. Patients with recurrent or chronic headaches and/or chronic fatigue are suffering from inadequate blood flow to the brain that results in inadequate brain oxygen levels causing fatigue. Patients also have difficulty to concentrate.

Acupuncture can help reduce headaches both migraines and tension-type headaches and reduce fatigue.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Having Raynaud’s disease? Acupuncture can help

Raynaud's disease also known as Raynaud or Raynaud's phenomenon or syndrome affects more women than men. It causes some areas of the body — most often the fingers and toes — to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperatures or stress. This is because smaller arteries that supply blood to the skin contract(vasospasm), limiting blood supply to affected areas when exposed to the cold or stress. Over time, these small arteries can thicken slightly, further limiting blood flow.

Symptoms of Raynaud's disease include: cold fingers or toes; color changes in the skin in response to cold or stress; numb, prickly feeling or stinging pain upon warming or stress relief. During an attack of Raynaud's, affected areas of the skin usually first turn white. Then, they often turn blue and feel cold and numb. As you warm and circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle or swell. Although Raynaud's most commonly affects fingers and toes, it can also affect other areas, such as the nose, lips, ears and even nipples.

Cold temperatures are most likely to trigger an attack. Exposure to cold, such as putting the hands in cold water, taking something from a freezer or being in cold air, is the most likely trigger. For some people, emotional stress can trigger an episode.

Acupuncture is effective for Raynaud's disease. This was proved by research. For example, a study investigated the effect of acupuncture on primary Raynaud’s syndrome. Seven acupuncture treatments were offer to the patients with Raynaud's disease. The result has shown that there was a significant decrease in the frequency of attacks; the mean duration of the capillary flowstop reaction decreased.

References

Appiah R et al J Intern Med. 1997 Feb;241(2):119-24.

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

National stress awareness day? Acupuncture can help reduce stress

Stress affects everyone on a day-to-day basis. 85 per cent of UK adults experience stress regularly. In severe cases, it can provoke a number of psychological and physical symptoms, such as headaches, chest pain, nausea and anxiety. Mental health charity Mind created the national day to raise awareness of stress. National Stress Awareness Day is a part of an annual campaign to promote stress prevention. Mind wants to get people talking about stress and how it affects them. It is also to make sure those who are stressed know to seek advice and the right help. So the first Wednesday in November each year becomes National Stress Awareness Day. We all know what it’s like to feel stressed - being under pressure is a normal part of life. But becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to physical and mental health problems or make existing problems worse.

Acupuncture can help reduce physical and psychological stress. Have you tried?

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]

Sunday, 4 November 2018

How do you know you are stressed? Acupuncture can help

You feel stressed. This is psychological stressed that you can feel mentally. 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.

Acupuncture can reduce stress effectively psychologically and physically.

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.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Is exercise good for your sperm?

Male factor, or sperm problem may be the cause of infertility in 50% of cases. How to improve sperm quality to boost male fertility is important for male fertility. We know that sperm production may be affected by testicular heat stress, oxidative stress, endocrine pathology, improper nutrition, drug side effects, or irradiation. Physical inactivity may be associated with reduced semen quality. It is important to be aware of the impact of sports on the quality of semen. Does exercise help to improve sperm quality?

Research result is still controversial. Some observation studies have suggested that the level of physical activity is not related to semen quality, but others have. This also depends on the intensity of the exercise level and time spent on the exercise.

Recent studies have reported evidence of decreased sperm concentrations in cyclists and mountain trekkers after periods of intense physical effort. Semen volume tends to increase after training. Furthermore, the sperm count tends to increase after 4 weeks of training (30 minutes per session three times a week for 1 month, at 40% or 80% of the participants maximum heart rate) but to decrease after 60 weeks of high (compared with moderate) intensity training (80% vs. 60% maximal oxygen uptake). The percentage of normal morphology spermatozoa and their motility may also be reduced in athletes undergoing intensive cycling training for 16 weeks running on a treadmill five times a week, for 120 minutes, at 60% to 80% of maximal oxygen uptake, for 60 weeks or trekking in the high mountains for 6 to 8 hours a day for 5 days.

Choosing the exercise level and intensity that suits your needs and helps the sperm quantity and quality is important.

References
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5675222/

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Suffer from muscle pain? Acupuncture can help

Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) refers to pain and presumed inflammation in the body's soft tissues or muscles. It is a condition of muscle pain. It is a chronic, painful condition that affects the fascia (connective tissue that covers the muscles). It could involve either a single muscle or a muscle group. The main complaint is muscle pain. The pain can be deep, aching pain in a muscle and it can persist or worsen with activity or stress. It can affect one’s sleep. Examination can find trigger points in related muscles and a tender knot in a muscle. The causes include a muscle injury, strain on a muscle, ligament or tendon, disks problem, chronic fatigue, repetitive movement, lack of activities, some medical conditions. Muscle tightness creates trigger points in the muscles. An acute muscle injury or continual muscle stress may lead to the development of trigger points. People who frequently experience stress and anxiety may be more likely to develop trigger points in their muscles.

There are four types of trigger points

An active trigger point is an area of extreme tenderness that usually lies within the skeletal muscle and which is associated with a local or regional pain.

A latent trigger point is a dormant (inactive) area that has the potential to act like a trigger point. It may cause muscle weakness or restriction of movement.

A secondary trigger point is a highly irritable spot in a muscle that can become active due to a trigger point and muscular overload in another muscle.

A satellite myofascial point is a highly irritable spot in a muscle that becomes inactive because the muscle is in the region of another trigger pain.

Acupuncture can reduce myofascial pain effectively by releasing muscle tension and removing trigger points in the muscles.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

How to make the skin glowing naturally? Facial acupuncture can help

Your skin looks tired, dull, dry? How to make your skin glowing naturally? When you search on line, there are many tips, which one is useful? There are a simple and effective way to get healthy glowing skin. And you don’t have to try every tip that makes life much more easier.

Drink more water to keep the skin hydrated. Dehydration can damage skin cells. It will make the skin look dull, dry and lack of glow causing premature aging.

Eat more vegetables and fruits to get enough minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which are needed for healthy glowing skin.

Use moisturiser to protect the skin from losing water. Get a moisturiser that is suitable for your skin.

Facial acupuncture can help improve skin circulation, so that the skin can get enough oxygen and nutrients that needed and get rid of toxin that would damage the skin. As a result, it improves skin health to get glowing skin. Also, facial acupuncture can help get rid of pigmentation. This is the key step to make your skin glowing.

Don’t pop a pimple, acupuncture can help

When you have pimples on the face, you want to pop them to make them go. But popping a pimple is not a good idea. It causes a disruption in the skin, it increases the chance of infection, worsening inflammation and even scarring, especially repetitively picking/scratching at acne pimples could lead to not only infection but scarring and possibly permanent change in pigment. If you have painful cystic acne, avoid popping it at all costs. Squeezing the contents of acne cysts through their small opening creates pressure, this pressure can rupture the cyst inside, creating a severe inflammatory reaction and possible infection that will likely require drainage and taking oral antibiotics.

Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation and help reduce acne pimples.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Mood swing? Acupuncture can help

Women have menstrual cycles every month, this could cause emotional problem in many women. It is a part of premenstrual syndrome. Apart from physical signs, they feel tired, stressed, anxious, having bad mood and difficulty to sleep and having headache. Mood swing sometimes is unbearable and could ruin their relationships. Abnormal spontaneous brain activity is found in PMS patients. Acupuncture effectively treated the emotional problems such as stress, anxiety, mood swing, insomnia and headache. A recent research has found that acupuncture can regulate brain activities to reduce these emotional symptoms such as mood swing.

References
Liao H et al Front Hum Neurosci. 2017 Feb 13;11:62. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00062. eCollection 2017.
Pang Y et al Front Hum Neurosci. 2018 May 31;12:104. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00104. eCollection 2018.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Having elbow pain, tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow? Acupuncture can help

The elbow joint is joined together by the tendons and surrounded by muscles that move the elbow, wrist and fingers and control the muscles of the forearm. Sometimes the elbow can become painful. Elbow pain is often caused by overuse. Many sports, hobbies and jobs requiring repetitive hand, wrist or arm movements can cause overuse the tendons and fascia in the joints.

Tennis elbow a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis. It often occurs after strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm on the outside of the elbow joint. If the muscles and tendons are strained, tiny tears and inflammation can develop near the bony lump (the lateral epicondyle) the elbow. The main symptom is notice pain: on the outside of the upper forearm, just below the bend of the elbow, when lifting or bending the arm, when gripping small objects, such as a pen, when twisting the forearm, such as turning a door handle or opening a jar.

Pain that occurs on the inner side of the elbow is often known as golfer's elbow. The cause is similar to tennis elbow. Acupuncture can help to reduce inflammation and pain of tennis or golfer’s elbow. It's also important that you rest your injured arm and stop doing the activity that's causing the pain.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Having melasma, facial acupuncture can help

Melasma is a common skin condition of adults. It presents as brown or greyish patches of pigmentation, usually on the face. Most people get it on their cheeks, bridge of their nose, forehead, chin, and above their upper lip. It also can appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun, such as the forearms and neck. It is more common in women, particularly during pregnancy (when up to 50% of women may be affected), so it is also called as pregnancy mask. Sometimes men may also be affected. The exact cause of melasma is unknown. For some reasons, the skin cells that produce melanin (which colours the skin) make more melanin that they should do, this causes pigmentation on the skin. Several factors can contribute to developing melasma: sun exposure, hormonal changes such as pregnancy, taking contraceptive pills, hormone replacement therapy etc. Skin affected by melasma darkens more than the surrounding skin when exposed to light. One of the most important things to prevent melasma worsening is protecting the skin from UV radiation.

Acupuncture can be used to treat melasma effectively. In a study, patients in the acupuncture treatment group received acupuncture needling on the Yangming meridians. Patients in the control group received oral administration of vitamin C and 3% hydroquinone topical cream. Hydroquinone is a cream used to lighten dark patches of skin. The acupuncture treatment group achieved a total efficacy rate of 82.22% and the drug control group achieved an efficacy rate of 62.50%. The acupuncture treatment did not have any serious adverse effects.

The effect of facial acupuncture on melasma was also studied. In this study, women suffering with melasma were randomly assigned into: 1) facial acupuncture (n = 20); or 2) facial/body acupuncture (n = 21). Each group was given 2 sessions per week for 8 weeks. Melasma area and darkness of its pigmentation were assessed using digital images.

Results have shown that

95.2% and 90% of participants in facial/body and facial acupuncture, respectively, had decreased melasma areas. 66.7% (facial/body acupuncture) and 80.0% (facial acupuncture) of participants had lighter melasma pigmentation compared to their baselines. The conclusion is that facial acupuncture, with or without body acupuncture, was shown to be effective in decreasing the size of melasma areas.

References
https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1869-acupuncture-beats-drug-for-melasma-treatment
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1744388115300128

Feeling tired without causes, acupuncture can help

Chronic fatigue is a widespread symptom, with a prevalence of approximately 10% to 15% in the general population worldwide. Chronic fatigue presents as an overall lack of systemic energy that last for a few months and cannot be released by rest, affecting daily normal activities. It impairs the normal quality of life dramatically. Unexplained chronic fatigue is categorized into idiopathic chronic fatigue (ICF) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Idiopathic chronic fatigue (ICF) is sustained fatigue with unknown underlying pathologies. A prevalence of ICF is 10 times higher than that of CFS in the general population. Research has shown that older adults with ICF had reduced overall mitochondrial content which is energy producing device and its signalling function in the muscle compared to their age-matched group without ICF. Another study has shown significant alterations of oxidative parameters as well as antioxidant parameters in patients with ICF which indicates that oxidative stress is related to ICF.

Acupuncture can help with ICF. A research studied the effect of acupuncture on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and idiopathic chronic fatigue (ICF). The result has shown that 4 weeks in addition to usual care may help improve fatigue in CFS and ICF patients.

References

Jung-Eun Kim et al Trials. 2015; 16: 314.
Nicholas R. Wawrzyniak, et al Oncotarget. 2016 Aug 16; 7(33): 52695–52709.
Jin-Seok Lee et al https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-31270-3

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Feeling tired all the time, acupuncture can help

Always feeling tired and lack of energy can make you exhausted. You would wonder why this is happening to the body. Chronic fatigue Syndrome is persistent fatigue that cannot be alleviated with sleep or rest, and that is exacerbated by physical or mental activity. Severe fatigue can be accompanied with muscle pain, poor memory and concentration, joint pain, headache, poor sleep etc. New research showed that chronic fatigue flare-ups can be triggered by mild to moderate muscle and nerve strain.

A research studied the effect of acupuncture on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and idiopathic chronic fatigue (ICF). The result has shown that 4 weeks in addition to usual care may help improve fatigue in CFS and ICF patients.

Jung-Eun Kim et al Trials. 2015; 16: 314.

Published online 2015 Jul 26. doi: [10.1186/s13063-015-0857-0]

Having leaking urine? Acupuncture can help

Leaking urine involuntarily or urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control is a common and embarrassing problem. It is not life threatening, but it does affect quality of life greatly. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that's so sudden and strong you need a toilet in no time.

Types of urinary incontinence include:

Stress incontinence. Urine leaks when there is pressure on the bladder, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting.

Urge incontinence. There is a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. A minor condition, such as infection, or a more-severe condition such as a neurologic disorder or diabetes can be the cause of it.

Overflow incontinence. This is caused by the bladder not being emptied completely.

Functional incontinence. A physical or mental impairment keeps you from making it to the toilet in time.

Mixed incontinence. Combination of any types above.

There are many causes for urinary incontinence: Some food and drinks such as alcohol caffeine, chilli peppers and food containing high in spice, sugar, or acid. It can be caused by come medical conditions such as urinary tract infection, constipation enlarged prostate in men, pregnancy and childbirth in women etc.

Risk factors for urinary incontinence include gender, women are more likely to have leaking urine, age, older people turn to get more. Overweight, smoking, having diabetes, and neurological conditions.

Acupuncture is effective to treat urinary incontinence. This is proved by research papers. For example, a new research paper investigated the effect of acupuncture on stress urinary incontinence. The result has shown that after 6 weeks of treatment, the mean 72-h urinary incontinence episode frequency, proportion of participants with at least a 50% decrease in mean 72-h incontinence episode frequency, participant-reported SUI severity, International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form scores, and participants' self-evaluation of therapeutic effects all improved.

References
Wang W et al World J Urol 2018 Oct 13. doi: 10.1007/s00345-018-2521-2. [Epub ahead of print]

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Fascia thickening, back pain and acupuncture

Fascia is a band or sheet of connective tissue consisting of collagen lying under the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs. Fascia is classified by layer, as superficial fascia, deep fascia, and visceral or parietal fascia, or by its function and anatomical location.

A recent study by Helen Langevin a researcher at the University of Vermont has suggested that people with chronic and recurrent low back pain had 25 percent greater fascial thickness than a low back pain-free group. She concluded that increased thickness and disorganization of connective tissue layers may be an important and so-far neglected factor in human LBP pathophysiology. Another study in Skeletal Radiology, 2005,2 found that pathological Achilles tendons showed increased thickness and 89 percent were painful.

Antonio Stecco, MD, recently completed an unpublished study3 using ultrasonography on chronic (longer than 3 months' duration) neck pain patients, evaluating fascial thickness in the distal third of the SCM and scalenus medius. The deep fascia in both muscles were thicker due to the increased amount of loose connective tissue between the layers of the deep fascia (usually three layers) and the loose connective tissue between the deep fascia and the muscle. Study has shown that there was a correlation between the intensity of the pain and the thickness of the fascia compared to the control patients. Besides the thickening of fascia beneath the deep fascia and muscle, there may be thickening between the superficial and deep fascia, and the intramuscular fascia surrounding perimysium and endomysium.

Acupuncture can help reduce chronic pain.

References
Warren Hammer Dynamic Chiropractic (2012) Vol. 30 Issue 11

Monday, 22 October 2018

How to get ready for pregnancy

Eat well.

To boost your fertility from food aspect, you don’t have to make a long list for what you eat. To make it simple, what you eat need to include a few resources:

1 proteins: Proteins come from fish, meat, bean, nuts, eggs and milk.

2, minerals and vitamins: They come from fruits and vegetables.

3 fibres: They come from whole grains, some fruits and vegetables.

4, unsaturated fat: they come from nuts and seeds, oliver oil,fish, yogurt.

Sleep well.

Poor sleep damages body function and potentially causes illness. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity and poor brain function are all linked to bad sleep. Disruption of hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis function by poor sleep can affect fertility in both in women and men. Getting good sleep will help to boost fertility.

Life style changes

Stop smoking, reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption.

About alcohol affecting. It became common knowledge that alcohol affects health. If a couple are trying to conceive, their fertility could be affected by alcohol. There are studies that show the link between alcohol and infertility. Alcohol has negative impact on men’s fertility, such as testicular atrophy, decreased libido, and decreased sperm count, sperm morphology, sperm motility and semen volume. Alcohol has also negative impact on women’s fertility. Though the amount of alcohol is linked to fertility is not clear yet. Study showed that amounts of alcohol ranging one drink a week to 5 units a day can have various effects on fertility, for example, anovulation, luteal phase dysfunction, increased time to pregnancy, decreased probability of conception rate by over 50% and decreased implantation rate, abnormal blastocyst development, increased both the risk of spontaneous abortion and of fetal death.

Exercise.

Is exercise good for your fertility?

In men moderate amount of exercise can be good for their fertility. Study has shown that all sperm parameters are higher in men who did an hour exercise three times a week compared with those who did more frequent and rigorous exercise. Riding bicycle for over five hours per week has negative impact on sperm. In women excessive exercise can have negative effect on their fertility too. Increased frequency, intensity and duration of exercise were significantly related with infertility in women who exercised every day.

Blood flow is reduced in your reproductive system when you exercise

Blood flow (BF) increases with increasing exercise intensity in skeletal, respiratory, and cardiac muscle. In humans during maximal exercise intensities, 85% to 90% of total cardiac output is distributed to skeletal and cardiac muscle. During exercise BF increases modestly and heterogeneously to brain and decreases in gastrointestinal, reproductive, and renal tissues and shows little to no change in skin. If the duration of exercise is sufficient to increase body/core temperature, skin BF is also increased in humans. Because blood pressure changes little during exercise, changes in distribution of BF with incremental exercise are essential approach the body used to supply adequate oxygen to the active skeletal muscles.

Recognise anything unusual related to fertility

In women, if you have irregular cycles, spotting, shorter or longer cycles, chronic abdominal pain, chronic low back pain, severe period pain, these could potentially be a problem of fertility.

In men, sperm checking could identify any problems from sperm.

Acupuncture

Blood supply to the reproductive system is key for eggs and sperm to get nutrients and oxygen. Acupuncture increases blood flow to reproductive system and boosts fertility for both women and men. Acupuncture can reduce inflammation and balance hormone to improve eggs and sperm quality.


Saturday, 20 October 2018

Acupuncture is effective for pelvic floor dysfunction

Pelvic floor consists of muscles and ligaments. These muscles can contract and relax and coordinate with abdominal muscles to assist pelvic organ function. If the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments are impaired and are not be able to contract or relax, this will affect pelvic organ’s function causing pelvic floor dysfunction. For example,50 percent of people with chronic constipation have pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD). The symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include urinary problems such as feeling urgent to urinate or painful urination, constipation, low back pain, pain or pressure in the pelvic region, genitals or rectum, discomfort during intercourse, muscle spasms in the pelvis. The common causes of pelvic floor dysfunction are childbirth, pelvic trama, obesity, pelvic surgery, nerve damage. Recent research has shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for pelvic floor disorders, particularly with respect to pelvic pain.

References
Arnouk A et al Curr Urol Rep. 2017 Jun;18(6):47. doi: 10.1007/s11934-017-0694-7.

Pelvic pain, pelvic floor physical therapy and acupuncture

The pelvis is the lowest part of abdomen. Within the pelvis there are the bowel, bladder, uterus, and ovaries. If something goes wrong with these organs and pelvic suroundings, it can cause pelvic pain. People should know that pelvic pain is not normal. Getting treatment early is important. Pelvic pain can be caused by any of those pelvic organs. Pelvic pain can also originate in the pelvic bones, muscles, nerves, joints, or blood vessels. Pelvic pain from a pelvic floor muscle problem can be helped by a special type of physical therapy known as pelvic floor physical therapy. Pelvic pain sometimes occurs when muscles of the pelvic floor are too tight. This causes a condition called myofascial pain, or pain caused by muscle irritation. Pelvic floor muscle pain tends to be ignored, doctors tend to look for other causes from pelvic organs, such as a problem with the bladder, uterus, or vulva. Pelvic physical therapy can help not only with myofascial pelvic pain but also reduce symptoms of other conditions caused by pelvic floor problems, such as urinary and fecal incontinence, painful intercourse, and sexual dysfunction. How effective pelvic physical therapy will always depend on individuals and the severity of the case. Pelvic floor physical therapy can also serve as an adjunct therapy and does not always have to be the sole treatment. Acupuncture can be one of the combination therapies involved in treating pelvic pain. Acupuncture can help release tension of pelvic floor and inflammation that causes pelvic floor muscle tightness.

Friday, 19 October 2018

What is pelvic floor?

Pelvic floor is the area underneath the pelvis and it comprises muscles and connective tissue such as ligaments and fascia. It separates the pelvic cavity above from the perineal region below. It provides support to the bladder, intestines and uterus (in females). It assists with continence through control of the urinary and anal sphincters. It facilitates birth. it helps to maintain optimal intra-abdominal pressure.

Ligaments of the Pelvis

Iliolumbar ligament - from tip of transverse process of L5 to posterior aspect of inner lip of iliac crest; strengthens the lumbo-sacral joint.

Lateral lumbosacral ligament

Sacrotuberous ligament- from sacrum to tuberosity of the ischium

Sacrospinous ligament - from ischial spine to lateral margins of the sacrum

Sacroiliac Ligaments

Ventral/Anterior sacroiliac ligament- from antero-lateral aspect of sacrum to auricular surface of the ilium

Dorsal/Posterior sacroiliac ligament

Upper portion (short posterior sacroiliac ligament) - from 1st and 2nd transverse tubercles of sacrum to tuberosity of ilium

Lower portion (long posterior sacroiliac ligament) - from 3rd transverse tubercle of sacrum to posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS)

Interosseous sacroiliac ligament- lies deep to posterior SI ligament and runs between the tuberosities of the sacrum and ilium

Sacrococcygeal Ligaments

Ventral/Anterio sacrococcygeal ligament -from anterior surface of sacrum to the front of the coccyx; continuation of the anterior longitudinal ligament of the spine

Dorsal sacrococcygeal ligament

Deep portion - from inside sacral canal at the 5th sacral segment to the dorsal surface of the coccyx; continuation of the psoterior longitudinal ligament of the spine

Superficial portion - from free margin of sacral hiatus to dorsal surface of the coccyx; corresponds with the ligamentum flavum of the spine

Lateral sacrococcygeal ligament - from inferior lateral angle of the sacrum to the transverse process of the 1st coccygeal vertebra

Pubic Symphysis Ligaments

Superior pubic ligament - runs between pubic tubercles

Inferior pubic ligament (aka arcuate public ligament) - runs between inferior pubic rami and blends with fibrocartilagnous disc of pubic symphysis

Anterior pubic ligament

Posterior pubic ligament - membranous structure which blends with periosteum

Endopelvic Fascia - Ligaments

Female: Pubovesical ligaments - attach bladder to pubic symphysis

Male: Puboprostatic ligaments - attach bladder to pubic symphysis

Sacrogenital - these are thickenings of the fascia, not specific ligaments

Uterosacral ligaments - attach upper vagina, upper portion of cervix and uterus to the 3rd sacral vertebra

Cardinal ligaments (aka Mackenrodt's) - attach upper vagina, cervix and uterus to the side walls of the pelvis

Round ligaments - attach uterus to mons pubis

Broad ligaments - attach uterus to medial aspect of the ilium

Uracus ligament - attaches bladder to umbilicus (formed from the remnants of the umbilican vein)

Penile Suspensory Ligaments

Penile Suspensory ligament - attaches to anterior aspect of interpubic disc and divides in two to sling around the penis

Fundiform ligament - extends from inferior linea alba and divides to wrap around the penis

Parietal pelvic fascia - lines the internal surface of the muscles of the pelvic floor and walls

Visceral pelvic fascia - invests each pelvic organ

The parietal and visceral fascia are continuous where organs penetrate the pelvic floor. They thicken to form the arcus tendineus, arches of fascia running adjacent to the viscera from the pubis to the sacrum.

Endopelvic fascia* - meshwork of smooth muscle, ligaments, blood vessels and connective tissue lying between the parietal and visceral fascia, sometimes condensing to form fibrous fascial septa which separate and suspend the organs.

Anatomists use the name subserous fascia whereas surgeons refer to this layer of retroperitoneal fascia as endopelvic fascia.

Hypogastric sheath - separates retropubic space from presacral space; conduit for vessels and nerves

Transverse cerical (cardinal) ligaments - part of hypogastric sheath; runs from lateral pelvic wall to uterine cervix and vagina; transmits uterine artery and provides passive support for the uterus

Vesicovaginal septum

Rectovesical septum

Rectovaginal septum

References

https://www.physio-pedia.com/Pelvic_Floor_Anatomy

Thursday, 18 October 2018

What are pelvic floor muscles

Pelvic floor muscles are the skeletal muscles spread on the bottom of the pelvis. They stretch from front at pubic bone to the back at the tailbone and from one side of the sitting bone to the other side of the sitting bone. They support the pelvic organs including bladder and bowel in men and bladder, bowel and uterus in women. These organs lie on the pelvic floor muscle layer. The pelvic floor muscle layer has holes for passages to pass through. There are two passages in men (the urethra and anus) and three passages in women (the urethra, vagina and anus). The pelvic floor muscles normally wrap quite firmly around these holes to help keep the passages shut. There is also an extra circular muscle around the anus (the anal sphincter) and around the urethra (the urethral sphincter). The sphincters help conscious control over the bladder and bowel so that the release of urine, faeces (poo) and flatus (wind) can be controlled until it is convenient. Pelvic floor muscles are also important for sexual function in both men and women. The pelvic floor muscles in women also provide support for the baby during pregnancy and assist in the birthing process. The muscles of the pelvic floor work with the abdominal and back muscles to stabilise and support the spine.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Suffering sciatic pain? acupuncture can help

The sciatic nerve starts from the spin and is the longest single nerve in the body. It runs from the lower back, through the buttock, and down the back of each leg. If this nerve is irritated, it causes pain. This is known as sciatic pain or sciatica.

sciatic pain or Sciatica is an extremely common pain condition and is estimated to affect around 5 percent of men and 4 percent of women in their lifetimes.

The typical sciatica symptoms are constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg; it can accompany with numbness, tingling, weakness, and the pain radiates into the foot—largely depend on where the nerve is pinched. Pain that is worse when sitting. A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk. Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and irritating to constant and debilitating.

Recent research discovered that neuroinflammation seen in spinal cord, nerve roots of patients with chronic sciatica. A study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has found that patients with chronic sciatica -- back pain that shoots down the leg -- have evidence of inflammation in key areas of the nervous system. Average levels of a marker of neuroinflammation were elevated in both the spinal cord and the nerve roots of patients with chronic sciatica. The pain can be relieved by steroid injection for some people. The study showed an association between neuroinflammation and response to anti-inflammatory steroid injections, with levels of neuroinflammation differing between those whose pain was and those whose pain was not relieved by steroid injection treatment.

Acupuncture can release sciatic pain effectively.

References

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180509185451.htm

Acupuncture possible treatment for dental anxiety

Dental anxiety affects up to an estimated 30% of the adult population in countries world-wide. Patients can experience nausea, difficulty breathing and dizziness at the thought of going to the dentist, during an examination, and following treatment.

Acupuncture possible treatment for dental anxiety

A review of six trials with 800 patients studied this subject. A points scale was used to measure anxiety and studies and the result has shown that anxiety reduced by eight points when dental patients were given acupuncture as a treatment. This suggests that acupuncture could be a possibility for tackling dental anxiety.

references

https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2018/research/acupuncture-possible-treatment-for-dental-anxiety/

Thursday, 11 October 2018

IVF could make first-time mothers in their 60s a common site, Is this good or bad?

World's largest fertility conference says there will be a rise of 'grey mothers' comes after UK's oldest mother gave birth at the age of 66 following IVF. Latest figures show that, in England and Wales, babies born to women aged 50 to 54 quadrupled in a generation – from 55 in 2001 to 238 in 2016. In those over 55, there were two babies born in 2001 and 20 in 2016. There are no figures for women in their sixties, but Britain’s oldest mother, Elizabeth Adeney, gave birth aged 66 in 2009 following IVF treatment in Ukraine.

These women not only put themselves on the risk during pregnancy by increasing pregnancy complications and they also put their children at risk by traumatizing them losing their parents at young age when they still need to be looked after by their parents. This is common sense.

What does experts say about this?

Fertility psychologists warn that women using IVF to have babies in their fifties and sixties risk traumatising their young children by dying or becoming ill, as well as the serious medical complications they face by becoming pregnant so late in life.

Dr Zweifel said: ‘The drive to be a mother is so strong they don’t think about the problems their child will face until after it is born.

References
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6262685/IVF-make-time-mothers-60s-common-site.html

Having low progesterone? Acupuncture can help

Progesterone is one of female sex hormones. It is produced in the ovaries. Progesterone level varies during the menstrual cycles and high level after ovulation is seen. It help uterine lining development and make it ready for embryo implantation. If pregnancy occurs, it helps to maintain the uterine lining throughout pregnancy; if there is no pregnancy, progesterone level drops and period starts.

You should be concerned about low progesterone level, if you want to get pregnant. If you don’t have enough progesterone, you may have trouble getting or staying pregnant. If progesterone level is low, the uterine lignin will not develop well and if the lining is not thick enough, the egg won’t implant. Irregular cycles including short cycles, spotting after ovulation, absence of periods are the signs of low progesterone level. This indicates that ovaries are not functioning well. Low progesterone is one of the causes of miscarriage. Pregnancy needs progesterone to support. If progesterone levels are too low, the uterus may not be able to carry the baby to term.

Acupuncture can help, if you have low progesterone. Acupuncture improves ovary circulation and improves follicle development to increase progesterone production.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

How to live long, according to a Japanese doctor

It’s wonderful to live long. But how? A Japanese doctor lived to 105. Here's his advice for a long life.

Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, the physician, chairman emeritus of St. Luke's International University, and honorary president of St. Luke's International Hospital recommended several basic guidelines for living a long, healthy life.

Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. He said that We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.

All people who live long — regardless of nationality, race or gender — share one thing in common: None are overweight. For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat.

Others include always plan ahead and keep working, stay healthy and do exercise.

He believes that pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it.

Science alone can’t cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.

References

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2009/01/29/people/authorphysician-shigeaki-hinohara/#.W73anmhKiUm

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

How the body get energy? Acupuncture can help improve the body energy supply.

The food that we take are digested and absorbed into the blood; the oxygen that we breath in is also absorbed into the blood. And then the blood will be circulated by the blood circulatory system to provide energy to the body needs. The blood circulatory system (cardiovascular system) delivers nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body as an energy. The circulatory system comprises heart and blood vessels. Blood vessels consist of arteries, capillaries and veins, they form an intensive network and run through the entire body. The heart pumps blood with nutrients and oxygen from it into arteries. When the blood runs through organs the nutrients and oxygen are released and provides energy supply to the organs of the body. The heart also pumps blood with wastes and carbon dioxide from the veins back and disposes the wastes and carbon dioxide. If the blood circulation is not as good as it should be, the energy supply to the body will be compromised and you would feel tired. Acupuncture can improve blood circulation, improve energy supply  and reduce fatigue.

Bladder pain syndrome no laughing matter for comedian, acupuncture can help

Bladder pain syndrome (BPS) or Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic bladder health issue. It is a feeling of pain and pressure in the bladder area together with frequent urination and urgency. Local comedian Ashley Corby shares with her audience as part of her standup routine, including a 5-minute bit about “shady” rest areas she has visited due to interstitial cystitis (IC).

Corby said. “I don’t want to use them because I know what those bathrooms are like and they never have toilet paper,”

“But if you have IC you don’t have the choice to just wait until the next stop. You have to take that chance that you might not ever leave that bathroom.

She has long dealt with a bladder pain syndrome known as interstitial cystitis, which was diagnosed at age 19. It is debilitating, and people weren’t talking about the bladder problems. People tend to get the sense that there is nothing they can do, but live with it and that’s really not true because there are a lot of things you can do to help increase your sense of control over the pain and reduce the frequency and urgency.

Acupuncture appears to be an effective, useful, non-invasive method in IC/BPS patients. A study reviewed a recent research papers and found that acupuncture significantly reduces the 24-h urinary frequency and pain score.

References

http://news.vumc.org/2018/05/17/bladder-pain-syndrome-no-laughing-matter-for-comedian/
Verghese TS et al Int Urogynecol J (2016) 27:1127-36

Monday, 8 October 2018

The back is aching, burning? Acupuncture can help.

Treating lower back aches without drugs and surgery

Low back pain is a very common condition, but what is the right treatment is still in debate. New research on back pain encourages exercise, shows having back surgery is not necessary and the evidence of benefit from surgery is weak, scans, x-rays, cortisone injections and long-term opioid use are often unhelpful.

Despite this, plenty of people are still going under the knife. Lumbar spine surgery rates are doubling roughly every 10 years, according to University of NSW professor of orthopaedic surgery Ian Harris.

There are however, cheaper, more effective ways to deal with back pain.

Get moving or exercising. Once you have the all clear from a doctor or physiotherapist, you are safe to move. In the case of chronic pain the brain is sensitized. It is over protective and creates a bigger than necessary pain buffer zone. you can still move and exercise within that pain buffer zone, without causing tissue damage, according to University of South Australia professor of clinical neurosciences Lorimer Moseley. Exercise reduces the rate of recurrence by 50 per cent. That's a good reduction. Not a lot of medical treatments are that effective. Experts said that there is no strong evidence that one type of exercise is superior to another, most exercise is beneficial.

Corticosteroid injections reduce sciatica (leg pain associated with back pain) by only five points on a 100-point scale compared to placebo in the short term, with no long term benefit," Associate Professor Hancock said. Professor Harris said that surgery is not best option for ordinary low back pain. Stay of drugs. Try to avoid opioids in almost all cases.

Acupuncture can trigger brain release endorphins to have analgesic effects for back pain.

References

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-06-11/treating-lower-back-pain-without-drugs-and-surgery/9850798

Can berries prevent your back from aching? Acupuncture certainly can

Back pain is a very common condition. Many people get it at some point of their life. An article revealed that berries can reduce your back pain, claimed by a nutritionist from a news in express.co.uk. According to nutritionist Kimberly Snyder: Acai berries are a great choice of food for patients looking for pain relief from back pain. They’re rich in antioxidants, which help to get rid of damaging free radicals in the body. Free radicals can damage cells, and even lead to inflammation in some people. Inflammation is one of the main causes of back pain. Delicious acai berries are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are powerful pain fighters. Dark leafy green vegetables could also help to prevent the painful signs of backache, said Snyder. Spinach, kale and Swiss chard are also high in antioxidants and nutrients that fight oxidative stress. she said that certain foods could trigger back pain and should be avoided. Avoid eating too much dairy products, eggs, gluten or fried foods.

Acupuncture can help reduce back pain. It is recognised by more people. A research has shown that Acupuncture treatment for back pain increased 22% from 2006-2016. People with back pain who had acupuncture treatment have seen benefit from the treatment.

References

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1027071/back-pain-diet-prevent-lower-backache-symptoms-acai-berries
Riccio B et al ,Front Vet Sci. 2018 Aug 23;5:195. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2018.00195. eCollection 2018.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

How can acupuncture help in the treatment of migraines?

According to the Migraine Trust, migraine is the third most common disease in the world, affecting about one in seven people. A chronic migraine affects approximately 2% of the world population and three times as many women as men get migraines. Research suggests that there are more than 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK. There is a large body of evidence to suggest that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of a migraine.Research supports acupuncture for a migraine. A review involved 4,985 participants in 25 randomised controlled trials, found that adding acupuncture to symptomatic treatment of attacks reduces the frequency of headaches. It also showed that the available trials also suggested that acupuncture may be at least similarly effective as treatment with prophylactic drugs. Acupuncture can be considered an option for patients willing to undergo this treatment, the review concluded. NICE recommends acupuncture for a migraine. 10 sessions acupuncture could be offered for migraine prevention. Acupuncture is considered very safe treatment, well, of course, for well trained acupuncturists.

7 reasons why acupuncture is good for a migraine based on the research

It provides pain relief – by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, acupuncture leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Zhao 2008, Pomeranz, 2001)

It reduces inflammation- increasingly there is evidence that inflammation is associated with a migraine. Acupuncture promotes the release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors that can counter this (Kim, 2008; Kavoussi, 2007; Zijlstra, 2003).

It reduces the degree of cortical spreading depression – This is an electrical wave in the brain associated with a migraine. (Shi, 2010).

It reduces plasma levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance – These are pain-signaling neuropeptides that may be implicated in the pathophysiology of a migraine. (Shi, 2010).

It modulates extracranial and intracranial blood flow – changes in cranial blood flow don’t necessarily initiate migraine pain but may contribute to it. (Park, 2009)

It affects serotonin levels in the brain – serotonin may be linked both to the initiation of migraines and to the relief of acute attacks (through triptans, drugs that promote seretonin levels). (Zhong, 2007)

It increases local microcirculation – This aids the dispersal of swelling. (Komori, 2009)

References
https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/acupuncture-treatment-migraines/51651/

Why your hip hurt? Acupuncture can help

If your hip hurts, this needs to cause your attention and get it treated as soon as possible. The causes for hip pain vary. Hip bursitis is a common diagnosis. Hip bursitis is an inflammation between the thighbone and nearby tendons. The pain is from outer side of the hip. Tendinitis: there are many tendons around the hip connecting buttocks to the hip bone. This tendons can get inflamed causing outer side of hip pain.IT band syndrome. IT band is a long band f connective tissue that runs from the hip to the knee on the outer side of the thigh. If IT band is injured and inflamed, it causes our side of hip pain. Tight gluteal muscles and IT band and they pull the bone that they attached causing pain on the hip. Low back pain can be a source of hip pain. Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation and release muscle tension, it reduces hip pain and improve hip movement. Of course if you can do some exercises as long as pain allows, this can help balance the muscles and speed up the recovery.

Having acne? Acupuncture can help

Acne is a problem for the young: How do you cope with acne?

Study: Teenage pimples may mean success in college, workplace. What do you think about this?

A Ball State University professor studied the link between struggles with teenage acne and higher levels of educational achievement and higher earnings. In a study to be published in the Journal of Human Capital, economics professor Erik Nesson provides what he sees as a comforting sense of reassurance that problems for pimple-prone teens may clear up in the long run as they secure success.

The point that he was making is that kids battling acne tend to feel less socially accepted and participate less in sports clubs and more in non-sports clubs, which hints at “a possible shift from physical to intellectual pursuits.”Rather than push themselves socially, teens with acne may feel compelled to focus more on their studies, which may elevate their educational attainment. Women may also go on to reap higher earnings, according to the first-of-its-kind study.

Have you tried acupuncture to treat your acne? Acupuncture is effective for reducing acne breakouts and acne scarring. A research has shown that after 12 acupuncture treatment sessions, there was a significant reduction in the inflammatory acne lesion counts.

References

https://eu.knoxnews.com/story/news/education/2018/10/05/teen-acne-upside-success-college-workplace-study/1496666002/

Son BK et al Acupunct Med. 2010 Sep;28(3):126-9. doi: 10.1136/aim.2010.003004.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Do you know how acupuncture work?

Dr Matthew Brown from the Royal Marsden hospital explains how acupuncture is used to treat pain. Hes said that "It's as effective as a lot of the other medications that can be started and it doesn't have any side effects," .Click the lick below to watch.  How acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is effective to treat acne

Acne vulgaris (acne) is a chronic condition that begins in adolescence and can last over 10 years. Globally, acne vulgaris affects 85% of individuals aged 12 to 25 years. The condition affects 80% of people in the United States at some point in their lives. 25% of women over 30 are still experiencing acne. Acne is characterized by inflamed and noninflamed comedones, oily skin, and cysts. New drugs are approved for treating acne. Officials with the FDA have approved a group of antibiotics -sarecycline (Seysara, Paratek and Almirall) for the treatment of inflammatory lesions of non-nodular moderate to severe acne vulgaris in patients aged 9 years and older. it becomes available in 2019 in the US

FDA approves Seysara™, a New Chemical Entity for moderate to severe acne [news release]. Barcelona, Spain; October 2, 2018: Almirall website. https://www.almirall.com/en/media/press-releases/media-detail-new?title=fda-approves-seysaratm-a-new-chemical-entity-for-moderate-to-severe-acne&articleId=3540239. Accessed October 3, 2018.

FDA Approves SEYSARA (Sarecycline) for Inflammatory Lesions of Non-Nodular Moderate to Severe Acne Vulgaris in Patients 9 Years of Age and Older [news release]. Silver Spring, MD; October 3, 2018: FDA Office of Clinical Pharmacology, Office of Translational Sciences, CDER.

Is there other option for treating acne without antibiotics? Yes, acupuncture is effective for reducing acne breakouts and acne scarring. A research has shown that after 12 acupuncture treatment sessions, there was a significant reduction in the inflammatory acne lesion counts.

References

https://www.pharmacytimes.com/news/sarecycline-granted-fda-approval-for-acne-vulgaris

Son BK et al Acupunct Med. 2010 Sep;28(3):126-9. doi: 10.1136/aim.2010.003004.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Clear & Simple faulty digital pregnancy tests recalled

Spread the words

More than 58,000 digital pregnancy tests have been recalled after some wrongly told women they were expecting.

Women who have bought the Clear & Simple test, manufactured by Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech, are being advised to return it.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency "strongly encourage" women to report issues with the test, which has been distributed in the UK.

The specific lot number of the affected tests is on and inside the packaging.
Description - Clear and Simple Digital Pregnancy Test
Catalogue Number - DM-102
Lot Number - DM10220170710E
Expiry Date - January 2020

A recall notice from the manufacturer dated 1 September said this particular batch of tests was "producing a number of false positive results".

Dr Duncan McPherson, clinical director of medical devices at the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said: "Patient safety is our highest priority.

"We strongly encourage anyone to report any issues with this product, or more generally with any medical device, to our Yellow Card Scheme.

"If you have any questions about using digital pregnancy tests, please speak to your healthcare professional."

Positive results in normal circumstances are almost always correct, the NHS advises, while a negative test result is less reliable.

References
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45749573

Having back pain? Acupuncture can help

Back pain is very common, with around one in three of us getting it every year. It’s usually the lower back that’s affected. Lower back pain doesn’t normally have a serious cause and in most cases the pain will improve within four to six weeks. However, for some back pain can continue for many months or even years.

When your back is painful, what do you do about it? Do you take pills? Do you go for acupuncture? What else do you do? Do you take placebo pills?

A recent research studied the effect of placebo pills to back pain. 100 people with back pain participated the study. All the volunteers had suffered for years and felt their current medication wasn't up to the job. These people were randomly split into two groups. One group received no more than nine minutes and 22 seconds with the GP to discuss their back before being given a supply of pills and hustled out - that's the length of an average GP consultation. The other group was given more than twice as long. These people were given placebo pills (fake pills) which contain no pain killers’ drugs. Three weeks later, half of people reported significant relief from taking the pills - even though they were fake. And the time they spent with the doctor had a substantial effect on the outcome, with people benefitting from having a longer consultation with their GP.

Why this happened? research has shown that taking a placebo can trigger the release of endorphins from the brain- natural painkillers that are similar in structure to morphine.

It is like acupuncture, acupuncture can trigger brain release endorphins to have analgesic effects.

References

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45721670