Welcome to my blog, discover acupuncture with Dr Maggie Ju

Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

What do you know about endorphins and acupuncture?

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

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

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Acupuncture around embryo transfer

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

Before embryo transfer, the following Acupoints were used:

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

After embryo transfer, the following Acupoints were used:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 8 November 2018

How to get rid of dark circles under the lower eyelids naturally?

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. 

Facial acupuncture can help blood circulation around the eyes and reduces dark circles under the lower eyelids.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Always feeling bloated? something is not right.

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.

Which muscles are involved in upper back pain?

Trapezius muscle Trapezius is a superficial broad triangular muscle at neck and upper back, one of the largest superficial muscles at the up...