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Rolla, 65401


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Rolla Acupucture Clinic
Rolla Acupucture Clinic

Specialties and Services

Pain Mangement

Muscle cramps, Strains, Sprains, Muscle and ligament tears, Wrist pain, Elbow pain, Shoulder pain,
Neck pain, Foot pain, Ankle pain, Knee pain, Hip pain and Back pain

Sports injury, Arthritis, Postoperative pain, Cancer pain, Shingles, Fibromyalgia
Mental/Emotional

Depression

Stress

Anxiety

Anger

Fear

irritability

Restlessness

Postpartum

Post Traumatic Stress

Dusirder (PTSD)

Gasstrointestinal

Spasms of esophagus

Hiccough

Abdominal pain

Constipation

Diarrhea

Indigestion

Nausea & vomiting

Irritable Bowel syndrome

Respiratory

Common cold/influenza

cough

sinusitis

Rhinitis
Neurological

Stroke rehabilitation

Headache

Migraine

Facial Palsy

Facial pain and spasm

Trigeminal Neuralgia

TMJ

Insomnia

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Osterics & GYN

Menopause

Fertility enhancement

Morning sickness

PMS (Premenstrual syndrome)

Irregular menstrual cycle

Heavy menstrual period

Painful menstrual period (Dysmenorrhea)

Amenorrhea (loss of menstrual period)

Genito-urinary

Nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting)

Neurogenic bladder dysfunction

Retention of urine

Incomtinence

Female urethral syndrome

Recurrent lower urinary tract infection

Prostatitis
Miscellaneous Weak immune system Chronic fatigue, Lack of energy Night sweating, Excessive Lactation

Lactation deficiency, Meniere's disease Weight loss/gain, Facial rejuvenation, Anti-aging, Multiple sderosis _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Chinese Medicine

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), recently more commonly known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS), is a chronic pain condition, which most often affects one of the arms, legs, hands, or feet. The pain often spreads to the entire arm or leg. Usually, its onset is precipitated by a physical injury, such as a fracture, sprain, or surgery. RSD/CRPS can be classified into type I and type II. Type I is the most common, which is frequently triggered by tissue injury without underlying nerve injury, while type II is clearly associated with a nerve injury.

Signs and Symptoms
The key symptom of RSD/CRPS is continuous, intense pain out of proportion to the severity of the injury (if an injury has occurred), which gets worse rather than better over time. RSD/CRPS is also often accompanied by:

Increased skin sensitivity

Changes in skin temperature: warmer or cooler compared to the opposite extremity

Changes in skin color: often blotchy, purple, pale, or red

Changes in skin texture: shiny and thin, and sometimes excessively sweaty

Changes in nail and hair growth patterns

Swelling and stiffness in affected joints

Motor disability, with decreased ability to move the affected body part

Pathogenesis and Etiology

The pathogenesis and etiology for RSD/CRPS are not clear. However, recent studies demonstrate that the following may be

involved in the pathogenesis of RSD/CRPS.

Autonomic nervous system: Increased sweating and vasoconstriction-related coldness of the affected limb have long been considered as results of autonomic hyperactivity.

Somatic nervous system: Pain and sensory disturbances in RSD/CRPS have been attributed to pathology of the sensory somatic nervous system.

Inflammation: In the early phase, CRPS/RSD is characterized in the acute stage by symptoms of regional inflammation. In RSD/CRPS patients, pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-1b, tumor necrosis factor-a, tryptase, or IL-2 increase in affected extremities or venous blood, while anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-4 or tissue growth factor-b decrease.

Hypoxia: Hypoxia is observed in the patients with RSD/CRPS. In the skin, decreased capillary oxygenation and increased lactate levels are observed. In muscle, signs of acidosis and impaired high-energy phosphate metabolism are noticed. Hypoxia leads to acidosis and free radical formation, which are well-known triggers for primary afferents to cause severe painful sensations.

Psychological factors: Psychological factors and behavioral aspects may contribute to RSD/CRPS. A psychophysiological mechanism that possibly affects chronic pain in RSD/CRPS patients is the mode of anger expression. For example, anger-out influences pain intensity. Another psychophysiological mechanism in RSD/CRPS may be the stress-induced release of catecholamines, which have been observed as systemically elevated in RSD/CRPS patients.

Conventional treatment
Because there is no cure for RSD/CRPS, treatment is aimed at relieving painful symptoms so that people can resume their normal lives. The following therapies are often used:

Physical therapy

Psychotherapy

Medications: Many different classes of medication are used to treat RSD/CRPS, including topical analgesic drugs; antiseizure drugs; antidepressants; corticosteroids; and opioids. However, no single drug or combination of drugs has produced consistent long-lasting improvement in symptoms.

Sympathetic nerve block: One technique involves intravenous administration of phentolamine to block sympathetic receptors. Another technique involves placement of an anesthetic next to the spine to directly block the sympathetic nerves.

Surgical sympathectomy: One technique destroys the nerves involved in RSD/CRPS, which could have favorable outcome but could make RSD/CRPS worse.

Spinal cord stimulation: The placement of stimulating electrodes next to the spinal cord provides a pleasant tingling sensation in the painful area. This technique may help patients with their pain.

Intrathecal drug pumps: These devices administer drugs directly to the spinal fluid, so that anesthetic agents can be delivered to pain-signaling targets in the spinal cord at doses far lower than those required for oral administration.

Chinese medicine
Chinese medicine has more than 3000 years of history. In recent years, it has become popular in western world, especially for treatment of RSD/CRPS. Since Chinese medicine can address every aspect of RSD/CRPS, the utilization of acupuncture or/and herbal medicine can be extremely effective. Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can:

Attenuate inflammation

Regulate immune function

Relieve pain or reduce pain level

Improve or relieve stress, anxiety and depression

Improve sleeping quality

Increase the energy

Reduce reliance on inappropriate medication

Enhance the quality of life

Scientific researches
Over the years, scientists throughout the world have done numerous studies to explore the mechanism of acupuncture. The results show that acupuncture possesses scientific basis. The following are some of the evidence:

Increase blood circulation to the injured areas, therefore alleviating tissue swelling and expediting recovery of injury

Reduce the muscular contraction, therefore, lessening muscle spasm

Inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increase anti-inflammatory cytokines, therefore reducing inflammation and edema

Increases the release of natural pain-relieving endorphins

Block the conduction of sensory fibers in the algetic nerves

Perform local and systemic immunomodulation

Modulate neuroendocrinological factors

Increases the levels of serotonin (5-HT), acetylcholinesterase, dopamine and homovanillic acid, all of which help to increase the pain threshold and result in pain relief

Stimulate the brain to produce polypeptides that reduce pain sensitivity

Principles of pathogenesis and classification
The principle of Chinese medicine is that the body maintains a balance between yin and yang, and among qi, blood and body fluid. qi and blood travel through the body along the pathways called meridians or channels. When there is not enough qi or blood, or when qi or blood is stuck in some area, there is an imbalance between yin and yang, or an imbalance among qi, blood and body fluid, which result in dysfunction of the tissue or organs, and illness develops.

Chinese medicine considers RSD/CRPS as obstructive “bi” Syndrome. In early stage, meridians and channels are damaged and blood is extravasated. Therefore, qi is stagnated and blood is stuck, so that qi and blood could not be flowed freely and pain occurs. Protective qi is deficient in the patients with RSD/CRPS so that blood and fluid can not be flowed smoothly, which results in edema. Protective yang can not express that leads to protective qi can not go out to protect skin so patients is afraid of cold and sweating. Due to stagnation of qi or blood, meridians and channels are blocked and skin and nails are lack of nourishing: skin becomes thin and atrophy; nails become crispy and easy to break; the tendons, ligaments and joints are easily invaded by coldness and dampness. If these situations last for long time, the devils disturb heart and spirits, the patients may present psychiatric symptoms.

There are two theories for the pathogenesis of RSD/CRPS
1. Stagnation or obstruction

qi stagnation

Blood obstruction

A combination of qi stagnation and blood obstruction

Cold retention to stagnate the flow of qi and blood

Dampness retention to block yang qi, therefore blood can not be passed along smoothly

2. Disharmony of yin and yang
  • yin deficiency: yin consists of blood and body fluid. If blood or body fluid is deficient, the tissue or organ can not get nurtured and pain develops.
  • yang deficiency: yang initiates, activates, and maintains the function of body and promotes blood circulation. Yang deficiency may happen to heart, spleen, or kidney.
RSD/CRPS is a complex disorder. Clinical symptoms and manifestations are various from person to person. In my clinical practice, the following types of RSD/CRPS are commonly observed.
  • Liver qi stagnation
  • yin deficiency and fire domination
  • Deficiency of kidney essence
  • Dominant damp restraining spleen
  • Phlegm fire disturbing interiors
  • Deficiency of both heart and spleen
  • Disharmony of heart and kidney
  • qi deficiency of both heart and gallbladder
Treatment

Herbal medicine (oral administration)
1. buyanghuanwutang as a major formula but additional herb(s) can be added, according to individual situation.
  • Numb in the limb: add juanxie, puochuanshanjia, sigualuo, mugua, and dianshen
  • Severe pain: add chaoruxiang, chaomeyao, xuchangqing, mugua, and yanhusuo,
  • Edema: add fuling, cheqiangzi, and zexie
  • qi deficiency: add taizishen, fuling, and baishu
  • yang deficiency: duchong, tusizi, and weilingxian
  • yin deficiency: shashen, tianhuafeng, yuzhu, and lugen
2. guizitang as a major formula but additional herb(s) can be added, according to individual situation.

* qi deficiency and blood stagnation: add dangshen, huangqi, jixieteng, sanling, and eshu
* Aversion to coldness and wind in affected area: fangfen, yianghou, danggui, and chuanqiong
* Severe edema and pain in affected area: xiuanhum xixing, and dilong
* Finger spasm: chuangmugu, gegen, xiuanxhen, and zhishouwu
* Severe pain affecting sleeping: jiangbanxia, zhanzhumu, suanzhaoren, and yiejiantang

Herbal medicine (topical administration)

* Tangliaoyao: stuff these herbs into a cotton bag, boil it, and place it onto the accupoints according to patient’s symptoms
* Shujinhuoluosan: stuff these herbs into a bag, cook it, and made into pasta. Place the bag on the accupoints according to patient’s symptoms
* Shujinxiyaokeli: boil these herbs, and soak sick limb in the solution

According to recent studies, these herbs possess dilate blood vessels, eradiate spasm, increase urine, attenuate edema, suppress pain, inhibit central nerve system and calm the mind, and improve sleeping.

According to individual patient’s diagnosis, different accupoints can be applied. Electric acupuncture is often used for the patients with RSD/CRPS. First, according to individual patient’s diagnosis, appropriate accupoints are chosen for:

* qi stagnation
* Blood obstruction
* qi stagnation and blood obstruction
* Cold retention to stagnate the flow of qi and blood
* Damp retention to block yang qi
* yin deficiency
* yang deficiency

Second, according to patient’s location of affected tissue or organ, as well as characteristics of patient’s signs and symptoms, additional accupoints should be chosen for:

* Numb
* Severe pain
* Severe edema
* Swelling and stiff joints
* Insomnia due to severe pain
* Motor disability with decreased ability to move the affected body part

Other modalities of Chinese medicine

* Accupiont injection: Accupiont injection is another modality of Chinese medicine and is a technique in which some liquid medicines (western medicine or herbal medicine) are injected into the accupoint(s). This is technique is banned in Arkansas.
* Moxibustion: Moxibustion is one of modalities of Chinese medicine. It stimulates the acupoints to adjust or realign stagnated qi, restoring normal flow of qi to the areas where the pain or illness was originating from.
* Tui Na: Tui Na is another modality, also called Chinese therapeutic message and is now very popular in US as a powerful therapeutic extension of traditional western massage. Tui Na utilizes the theory of Chinese medicine (such as meridians and qi) as its basic therapeutic principle. Tui Na has a variety of different systems that emphasize particular aspects of these therapeutic principles, such as rolling, gliding, kneading, percussion, friction, pulling, rotation, rocking, vibration, and shaking by using fingers, thumb, knuckles, palm, and elbow. Tui Na relaxes tightened tendons and ligaments, opens up the meridians and channels, warms meridians and eradicates coldness, improves blood circulation and eradicates stagnation, eradicates edema and attenuates the pain, and strengthens spleen and harmonizes stomach. According to individual patient’s diagnosis, appropriate accupoints are chosen for Tui Na.
* Cupping: Cupping often follows the pattern of point selection that is used for standard acupuncture therapy. During cupping therapy, the practitioner creates a vacuum in a cup by a fire and applies the cup onto selected point of the body, which then draws the skin and some subcutaneous tissues up into the cup. Cupping warms up qi and promotes the free flow of qi and blood in the meridians, therefore, dispelling coldness and dampness and diminishing swellings and pains. Cupping improves local blood circulation, increases the tissue threshold to pain, relaxes muscle tightness, eradicates spasm, and attenuates the pain and edema. Cupping is also useful to strengthen immune system.
* GuaSha: GuaSha is one of Chinese medicine modalities, which involves repeated pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edged wood or ceramic cap. The smooth edge is placed against the pre-oiled skin surface, pressed down firmly, and then moved down the muscles along the pathway of the acupuncture meridians, along the surface of the skin. GuaSha:
o Improve local blood circulation
o Reduce fever
o Attenuate fatigue
o Relax muscle, tendon, and ligaments
o Ameliorate headache
o Improve stiffness, pain, and immobility
o Treat digestive disorders

o Treat urinary and gynecological problems

In Chinese medicine practice, making correct diagnosis and choosing correct accupoints or herbal formula are the first two most important steps. Second important thing is that during the period of treatment, adjust accupoints and regulate herbal formula such as adding additional herb(s) to the original herbal formula, taking off existing herb(s) from original formula, or increasing/decreasing the quantity of individual herb(s) in original formula, according to patient’s response to the treatment. Third is to combine different modalities of Chinese medicine according to individual patient’s situation and diagnosis. Appropriate combination of different modalities has synergistic effect, which reaches maximal effects of Chinese medicine. In my practice, I have successfully treated the patients with RSD/CRPS. For each RSD/CRPS patient, I make individual treatment plan according to one’s situation and diagnosis. I often take acupuncture and/or herbal formula as a major regimen and combine it with moxibustion, cupping, Tui Na, GwaSha, or reflexology, according to individual patient’s diagnosis. During the period of the treatment, I adjust the accupoints or herbal formula, according to patient’s response.

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Multiple sclerosis and Chinese medicine

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a serious chronic neurological disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord. It results from damaging the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects nerve cells, leading to demyelination and scarring. MS onset usually occurs in young adults and it is more common in females. There are several subtypes of MS: relapsing remitting; secondary progressive; primary progressive; and progressive relapsing. The specific cause of MS is not fully understood and there is no known cure for MS.

Causes and Pathophysiology
The cause of MS remains unknown. MS is currently believed to be an autoimmune disease mediated by a complex interaction of the individual's genetics and environmental factors and infection. Myelin sheath provides a covering or insulation for nerves, improves the conduction of impulses along the nerves, and maintains the health of the nerves. In MS, inflammation causes the myelin sheath to disappear. Consequently, the electrical impulses that travel along the nerves slow down or stop. Therefore, communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted. In addition, the nerves themselves are damaged. As more and more nerves are affected, a person experiences a progressive interference with functions that are controlled by the nervous system such as vision, speech, walking, writing, and memory.

Signs and Symptoms
Because nerves in any part of the brain or spinal cord may be damaged, patients with MS can have a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms, which may include:
Central nerve symptoms:
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased attention span
  • Difficulty of reasoning and solving problems
  • Memory loss
  • Depression and unstable mood
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Hearing loss
Sensation:
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Loss of sensitivity
  • Tingling, pricking, crawling, or burning feeling in the arms and legs
  • Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain head movements
Musculoskeletal symptoms:
  • Weakness in one or more arms or legs
  • Muscle spasms
  • Problems with moving arms or legs
  • Problems with walking
  • Lack of coordination or unsteady gait
  • Tremor in one or more arms or legs
Bladder symptoms:
  • Difficulty of beginning to urinate
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Strong urge to urinate
  • Urine leakage (incontinence)
Bowel symptoms:
  • Incontinence
  • Diarrhea or
  • Constipation
Eye symptoms:
  • Double vision
  • Blurring of vision
  • Vision loss (usually affects one eye at a time)
  • Uncontrollable rapid eye movements
Sexual symptoms:

Problems with erections

Problems with vaginal lubrication

Speech and swallowing symptoms:

Slurred or difficult-to-understand speech

Trouble chewing and swallowing

Conventional treatment
There is no known cure for MS at this time. However, there are the therapies that may slow the disease and relieve the symptoms. Consult with your physicians.
Medications used to slow the progression of MS may include:

Interferons, glatiramer acetate, mitoxantrone, and natalizumab

Methotrexate, azathioprine, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), and cyclophosphamide

Steroids may be used to decrease the severity of attacks

Medications to control symptoms may include:

Lioresal, tizanidine, or a benzodiazepine to reduce muscle spasms

Cholinergic medications to reduce urinary problems

Antidepressants for mood or behavior symptoms

Amantadine for fatigue

The following may help MS patients:

* Physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and support groups
* Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, bed lifts, shower chairs, walkers, and wall bars
* A planned exercise program early in the course of the disorder
* A healthy lifestyle, with good nutrition and enough rest and relaxation
* Avoiding fatigue, stress, temperature extremes, and illness

Chinese medicine
MS is chronic disease. Currently in China, treatment strategy for MS is a combination of Western and Chinese medicine. Western medicine is mainly used in acute stage while Chinese medicine is taken as adjunct treatment. In chronic stage, Chinese medicine is major regimen since it has fewer side effects for long-term treatment. In recent years, Chinese medicine is becoming very popular in the western world for treating MS. Chinese medicine attenuates clinic symptoms of MS and prevents the relapse of MS, therefore controlling the development and progression of MS. Another advantage is that Chinese medicine is a personalized medicine, in which the treatment plan is made according to individual’s situation.

Acupuncture or herbal medicine can improve local or systemic blood circulation, regulate cellular and humoral immune function, attenuate inflammation and reduce edema, relieve pain or reduce pain level, regulate skin sensitivity, relax tightened and spasmodic muscles, tendons and ligaments, ameliorate bladder symptoms, regulate bowel movement, improve vision, relieve fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression, improve sleeping quality, increase the energy, reduce reliance on inappropriate medication, and enhance the quality of life.

Classifications: MS is often classified as the following:

1. Phlegm-heat blocking meridians
2. Damp-heat invading
3. Stagnation blocking meridians and channels
4. qi deficiency of lung and spleen
5. Liver and kidney deficiency
6. Kidney yang deficiency

Herbal Medicine: treatment principles and herbal formula
  1. Phlegm-heat blocking meridians
  • Treatment principle: Clear heat, eradicate phlegm, open up meridians and activate channels.
  • Herbal formula: Ditantang as a major formula but additional herb(s) can be added or some herb(s) can also be taken out from this formula, according to individual situation.
  1. Damp-heat invading
  • Treatment principle: Clear heat and eradicate damp.
  • Herbal formula: Jiaweiermiaosan as a major formula but additional herb(s) can be added or some herb(s) can also be taken out from this formula, according to individual situation.
  1. Stagnation blocking meridians and channels
  • Treatment principle: Tonify qi, nourish internal organs, activate blood circulation, and open up meridians.
  • Herbal formula: Shengyutang as a major formula but additional herb(s) can be added or some herb(s) can also be taken out from this formula, according to individual situation.
  1. qi deficiency of lung and spleen
  • Treatment principle: Tonify qi and nourish spleen.
  • Herbal formula: Shenglingbaishutang as a major formula but additional herb(s) can be added or some herb(s) can also be taken out from this formula, according to individual situation.
  1. Liver and kidney deficiency
  • Treatment principle: Tonify and nourish liver and kidney, and supply marrow and replenish essence.
  • Herbal formula: Zuguiyin as a major formula but additional herb(s) can be added or some herb(s) can also be taken out from this formula, according to individual situation.
  1. Kidney yang deficiency
  • Treatment principle: Lightly tonify kidney yang, and supply essence and replenish marrow.
  • Herbal formula: Erxiantang and Zuoguiyin as a major formula but additional herb(s) can be added or some herb(s) can also be taken out from this formula, according to individual situation.
Acupuncture treatment
First, according to individual patient’s diagnosis (phlegm-heat blocking meridians, damp-heat invading, stagnation blocking meridians and channels, qi deficiency of lung and spleen, liver and kidney deficiency, and kidney yang deficiency), appropriate accupoints are chosen:
  • For the patient with the diagnosis of Phlegm-heat blocking meridians, choose the accupoints that can clear heat, eradicate phlegm, open up meridians and activate channels.
  • For the patient with the diagnosis of Damp-heat invading, choose the accupoints that can clear heat and eradicate damp.
  • For the patient with the diagnosis of Stagnation blocking meridians and channels, choose the accupoints that can tonify qi, nourish internal organs, activate blood circulation, and open up meridians.
  • For the patient with the diagnosis of qi deficiency of lung and spleen, choose the accupoints that can tonify qi and nourish spleen.
  • For the patient with the diagnosis of Liver and kidney deficiency, choose the accupoints that can tonify and nourish liver and kidney, and supply marrow and replenish essence.
  • For the patient with the diagnosis of Kidney yang deficiency, choose the accupoints that can lightly tonify kidney yang, supply essence, and replenish marrow.
Second, according to patient’s location of affected tissue or organ, as well as characteristics of patient’s signs and symptoms, additional accupoints can be added. For example:
  • Arm paralysis: Jianyu, qiuchi,shousanli, waiguan, and hegu
  • Leg paralysis: Huantiao, piguan, fengshi, zushanli, yangliqiuan, shanyijiao, xuanzhong, and kuenluon
  • Speech problems: Lianqian, hegu, tongli, and yamen
  • Swallowing problems: Tiantu, lianquan, futu, fengshi, and hegu
  • Urine retention: Guanyuan, qihai, zhongji, and shenshu
  • Urine incontinence: Zhongji, guanyuan, and qihai
  • Constipation: Zusanli, yangliqiuan, tianshu, dachanbshu, and zhongwuan
  • Blurring eye: Jinming, taoyang, and guangming
  • Paralysis of mouth and eye: Yifeng, xiaguan, and qihai
Other modalities of Chinese medicine
  • Accupiont injection: Accupiont injection is one of the modality of Chinese medicine and is a technique in which some liquid medicines (western medicine or herbal medicine) are injected into the accupoint(s). This is technique is banned in Arkansas.
  • Moxibustion: Moxibustion is one of the modalities in Chinese medicine. It stimulates the acupoints to adjust or realign stagnated qi, restoring normal flow of qi to the areas where the pain or illness was originating from.
  • Tui Na: Tui Na is another modality, also called Chinese therapeutic message and is now very popular in US as a powerful therapeutic extension of traditional western massage. Tui Na utilizes the theory of Chinese medicine (such as meridians and qi) as its basic therapeutic principle. Tui Na has a variety of different systems that emphasize particular aspects of these therapeutic principles, such as rolling, gliding, kneading, percussion, friction, pulling, rotation, rocking, vibration, and shaking by using fingers, thumb, knuckles, palm, and elbow. Tui Na relaxes tightened tendons and ligaments, opens up the meridians and channels, warms meridians and eradicates coldness, improves blood circulation and eradicates stagnation, eradicates edema and attenuates the pain, strengthens spleen and harmonizes stomach. According to individual patient’s diagnosis, appropriate accupoints are chosen for Tui Na.
  • Cupping: Cupping often follows the pattern of point selection that is used for standard acupuncture therapy. During cupping therapy, the practitioner creates a vacuum in a cup by a fire and applies the cup onto selected point of the body, which then draws the skin and some subcutaneous tissues up into the cup. Cupping warms up qi and promotes the free flow of qi and blood in the meridians, therefore, dispelling coldness and dampness and diminishing swellings and pains. Cupping improves local blood circulation, increases the tissue threshold to pain, relaxes muscle tightness, eradicates spasm, and attenuates the pain and edema. Cupping is also useful to strengthen immune system.
  • GuaSha: GuaSha is one of Chinese medicine modalities, which involves repeated pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edged wood or ceramic cap. The smooth edge is placed against the pre-oiled skin surface, pressed down firmly, and then moved down the muscles along the pathway of the acupuncture meridians, along the surface of the skin. GuaSha:
    • Improve local blood circulation
    • Reduce fever
    • Attenuate fatigue
    • Relax muscle, tendon, and ligaments
    • Ameliorate headache
    • Improve stiffness, pain, and immobility
    • Treat digestive disorders
    • Treat urinary and gynecological problems
In Chinese medicine practice, making correct diagnosis and choosing correct accupoints or herbal formula are the first two most important steps. Second important thing is that during the period of treatment, adjust accupoints and regulate herbal formula such as adding additional herb(s) to the original herbal formula, taking off existing herb(s) from original formula, or increasing/decreasing the quantity of individual herb(s) in original formula, according to patient’s response to the treatment. Third is to combine different modalities of Chinese medicine according to individual patient’s situation and diagnosis. Appropriate combination of different modalities has synergistic effect, which reaches maximal effects of Chinese medicine. In my practice, I have successfully treated the patients with MS. For each MS patient, I make individual treatment plan according to one’s situation and diagnosis. I often take acupuncture and/or herbal formula as a major regimen and combine it with moxibustion, cupping, Tui Na, GwaSha, or reflexology, according to individual patient’s diagnosis. During the period of the treatment, I adjust the accupoints or herbal formula, according to patient’s response.

Life style and dietary suggestions
  • Positive Attitude: Having a positive outlook cannot cure MS, but it can reduce your stress and help you feel better.
  • Exercise: Exercises (moderately and regularly) such as tai chi, yoga, or walking, which can lower stress, help you to be more relaxed, and increase energy and balance, and flexibility.
  • Diet: It is important for people with MS to follow a healthy, well-balanced diet. These nutritional tips may help reduce symptoms:
    • Eliminate all suspected food allergens, including dairy, wheat (gluten), soy, chocolate, corn, preservatives, and food additives.
    • Eat more antioxidant-rich foods (such as green, leafy vegetables and peppers) and fruits (such as blueberries, tomatoes, and cherries).
    • Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
    • Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, or beans for protein.
    • Use healthy oils in foods, such as olive oil or vegetable oil.
    • Reduce or eliminate trans-fat.
Avoid coffee and other stimulants such as alcohol and tobacco.

Acupuncture and Hyperhidrosis

What is hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating, is a medical condition in which a person sweats excessively and unpredictably. Although neurological, metabolic, and other systemic diseases can sometimes cause excessive sweating, most cases occur in people who are otherwise healthy. Heat and emotions may trigger hyperhidrosis in some, but many who suffer from hyperhidrosis sweat nearly all the time, regardless of their mood or the weather. The excessive sweating may occur in the face, underarms, hands, feet, or the whole body.

What are the causes of hyperhidrosis?
Hyperhidrosis is categorized into two groups: primary and secondary. The cause of primary hyperhidrosis is unknown. One under hyperhidrosis may be hereditary and it involves hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system which controls the sweat glands). When excessive sweating affects the hands, feet, or armpits, it's called primary or focal hyperhidrosis.

If the sweating occurs as a result of another medical condition, it is called secondary hyperhidrosis. The sweating may be all over the body, or it may be in one area. The conditions that cause secondary hyperhidrosis include: panic attacks, anxiety disorders, menopause, obesity, acromegaly, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, lung disease, spinal cord injury, some cancers or carcinoid syndrome, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, pheochromocytoma, tuberculosis, or other conditions.

The treatment by western medicine includes: antiperspirants that plug the sweat ducts, medication such as anticholinergics drugs, Iontophoresis, local botox injection, surgery (endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy).

Chinese medicine
Chinese medicine considers health as a balance of yin and yangand this balance is regulated by qi. The qi is body natural energy, which travels throughout our entire body and is responsible for the proper harmonious functioning of body organs and processes of the body. The qi produces the body fluids and controls its flow, and prevents their extravasation or unnecessary loss.

Hyperhidrosis is caused by imbalance of yin and yang or disharmony of qi with blood and body fluids. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are very effective in the treatment of excessive sweating. The principle of treating excessive sweating by Chinese medicine is to adjust or regulate the imbalance of yin and yang and disharmony of qi with blood and body fluids. Acupuncture is often combined with other modalities of Chinese medicine such as herbal medicine, TuiNa, cupping, gwasha, or moxibustion to treat hyperhidrosis.

Acupuncture and In Vitro Fertilization

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process by which egg cells are fertilized by sperm outside of the womb, in vitro. The process involves collecting eggs and sperm from you and your partner and placing them together in a laboratory dish for fertilization. Days later the embryos are transferred into the uterus where implantation and pregnancy will hopefully occur, as in a normal pregnancy. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. Studies demonstrate that acupuncture (before and after embryo transfer) increase the success rate of IVF, reduce miscarriage rate, enhance the live birth rate, and improve the quality of life of patients undergoing IVF. An increasing number of fertility specialists and centers start to recognize the benefits of acupuncture, offer acupuncture as a part of their IVF protocol, and suggest acupuncture as an adjunct therapy of IVF. How does IVF benefit from acupuncture? A number of physiological effects may contribute to its effectiveness:
  • Reduce stress, anxiety and depression
  • Normalize abnormal immune system
  • Improve uterine ability of anti-oxidation
  • Regulate hormones-mediating receptors in the uterus
  • Modulate neuroendocrinological factors
  • Regulate the menstrual cycle
  • Increase blood circulation to uterus and ovaries
  • Improve endometrial lining of uterus
  • Reduce uterine contraction
Women experiencing infertility often have higher levels of physical and psychological symptoms, which include insomnia, headache, back pain, fatigue, anxiety or depression. These symptoms may affect the ability to implant successfully through abnormalities in the immune system. A study from Italy demonstrates that patients doing IVF who have higher scores for anxiety, also have abnormalities within their immune systems, and that this group of patients has lower implantation rates and lower success with IVF compared with patients who were less anxious and were found to have less disturbance of their immunological systems. Acupuncture and herbal treatment regulate the autonomic nervous system and activate the parasympathetic nervous system to decrease stress, muscle tension, anxiety and irritability, resulting in the improvement of immunological system, as well as the quality of life of IVF patients.

During the implantation of embryos, the uterus often has small contractions, which could cause expulsion of the transferred IVF embryos and result in the failure of implantation or early miscarriage. Acupuncture helps to relax uterine muscles around the time of the transfer and reduces the uterine contractions, which increases successful implantation of embryos.

The condition of endometrial lining of uterus, especially its thickness, is an important factor for successful pregnancy. Studies show that acupuncture stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, improves uterine and ovarian blood flow, and increases the thickness of endometrial lining, therefore making the uterus ready for implantation of embryos and for the changes that take place in the uterus at the site where the embryo implants itself. In Chinese medicine, the common diagnosis of female infertility includes the following:

* qi and blood deficiency
* kidney deficiency: kidney yin deficiency or kidney yang deficiency
* Liver qi stagnation
* Blood stagnation
* Phlegm dampness

Acupuncture is often combined with other modalities of Chinese medicine such as herbs, cupping, TuiNa, or maxibustion in the regimen of enhancing IVF. The purpose of Chinese medicine is: to tonify qi, nurture blood, improve deficient kidney yin or deficient kidney yang, disperse liver qi to reduce stagnation, strengthen spleen and clear phlegm, drain the dampness, stimulate blood circulation, and eliminate dampness. The beauty of Chinese Medicine is that it treats each patient individually, thus each patient's protocol is tailored to their specific needs, like personalized medicine.

It is recommended to have eight acupuncture treatments (2-3 times per week) before embryo transfer. It starts at the beginning of the fertility cycle (usually with the start of Lupron) and continues until the embryo transfer date or until 12-14 mm of endometrial thickness. After the embryo transfer, acupuncture can be continued once per week for the first trimester to help prevent miscarriage by strengthening the kidney qi. However, if the patient has one of above-mentioned diagnosis, I strongly suggest that patients be given acupuncture or other modalities of Chinese medicine to improve abnormal situation before Lupron is given.

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Acupuncture and Sports Injury

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are becoming very popular in the sports medicine. Many countries include acupuncture and related therapies in their regular training regimens. Many teams and clubs are also catching on and offering acupuncture to their members. A growing number of professional and amateur athletes visit acupuncturist for the treatment of injuries, enhancement of sports performance, acceleration of recovery time, improvement of mental focus and rebalance of body energy.

Regardless of your age or skill level and no matter whether you play recreationally or professionally, sports injuries are very common. Sudden voluntary contraction of a muscle or sudden overstretching can cause tearing of muscle tissues. Repetitive use or overuse of our body parts results in repeated micro-trauma of tissue. These injuries often happen to wrist, elbow, shoulder, low back, shin splints, hamstring, Achilles tendon, or plantar fascia. The tissue injury initiates an inflammatory response, which results in redness, swelling and pain, as well as reduced range of motion of the joint. If acute tissue damage is not given proper treatment, it becomes chronic. Thus, the injured tissues such as muscle, tendon or bone produce degenerative changes or become fibrotic, which lead to weakness, loss of flexibility and sustained pain.

Locally, acupuncture improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation and swelling, and relaxes the tension of muscle and tendon, which result in alleviation of pain. Acupuncture not only provides immediate relief but also long lasting benefit. Acupuncture is particularly effective for tennis elbow, arthritis, back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, repetitive strain injury, sprains, stiffness, or numbness. Systematically, Acupuncture will help balance your body, reduce your stress and irritability and anxiety, improve insomnia, eliminate fatigue, and accelerate recovery time. Whether your sport is golf, biking, running, skiing, basketball, hockey, tennis, soccer, martial arts or weightlifting, acupuncture can provide healing benefits to improve your sports performance and enjoyment.

Acupuncture is part of a broad-based treatment approach. Acupuncture may be combined with other modalities of Chinese medicine such as herbal medicine, TuiNa, cupping, gwasha, moxibustion or acupressure to alleviate pain and accelerate tissue healing.

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Acupuncture and Pain Management

Pain is the most prevalent health condition in U.S. and in the world. One survey reveals that as many as nine out of 10 Americans suffer some sort of pain on a monthly or more frequent basis and another one shows that more than six out of 10 adults over the age of 30 experience chronic pain. Furthermore, one of the primary reasons people seek acupuncture treatment is to address pain in the body relating to a specific illness or problem, or relating to a chronic condition.
Pain may affect any part of our body, causing pain in different locations: head, neck, torso, back or any of the extremities as well as internal organs. Pain may arise from a variety of etiology:

* External physical injuries caused by sports, motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, or surgery: strains and sprains, carpal tunnel syndrome,tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, or rotator cuff syndrome
* Inflammation: cystitis, cholecystitis, bursitis, shingles, or hepatitis
* Metabolic disorders: gout, cholelithiasis , choledocholithiasis, bladder stones, ureteric stones, or kidney stones
* Immune or autoimmune disorders: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, Raynaud’s disease, or multiple sclerosis
* Oxygen deficiency/ ischaemia: angina pectoris, infarction, claudication, or mesenteric arterial ischaemia
* Central or peripheral neuropathy: cerebral palsy, tremor, Bell's palsy, facial spasm, trigeminal Neuragia, TMJ, sciatica, headaches, or migraines,
* Degenerative disease: osteoarthritis or osteoporosis
* Cancer-induced pain
* Emotion-induced pain: such as over angry or sadness induced pain
* Others: fibromyalgia

Pain is categorized as acute or chronic. Acute pain can be brief (lasting moments or hours) or it can be persistent (lasting weeks or several months until the disease or injury heals). Chronic pain is defined as persistent pain, which can be either continuous or recurrent and of sufficient duration and intensity to adversely affect a patient's well-being, level of function, and quality of life. If a patient's pain has persisted for six weeks, it is considered to be chronic.

Chinese medicine (acupuncture, herbs, or other modalities such as cupping, TuiNa, or moxibustion) is best known for its effects in reducing or eliminating pain and its usage dates back for over 3000 years in China. For the past 26 years since it was first introduced to the US after President Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, acupuncture has been becoming the choice of treatment in pain management. In terms of pain control, the effects of Chinese medicine include:
  • Relieve pain completely, or give as much relief as possible
  • Reduce pain levels
  • Improve the ability to deal with pain
  • Regulate the emotions
  • Increase the energy
  • Increase the ability to perform everyday functions
  • Reduce reliance on inappropriate medication
  • Enhance the quality of life
Over the years, scientists in the United States and throughout the world have done numerous studies to explore the mechanism of how acupuncture attenuates or eliminates pain. The results show that acupuncture possesses scientific basis in term of reducing or eliminating pain. The following are some of the evidence:
  • Block the conduction of sensory fibers in the algetic nerves
  • Increases the release of natural pain-relieving endorphins
  • Increases the levels of Serotonin (5-HT), acetylcholinesterase, dopamine and homovanillic acid, all of which help to increase the pain threshold and result in pain relief
  • Stimulate the brain to produce polypeptides that reduce pain sensitivity
  • Inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, therefore reducing inflammation and edema
  • Increase blood circulation to the injured areas and reduce the muscular contraction, therefore alleviating tissue swelling and lessening muscle spasm
Some people may wonder what the principle of Chinese medicine is applied in term of attenuating or eliminating pain. Chinese medicine considers that the body maintains a balance between yin and yang, and a balance among qi, blood and body fluid. qi and blood travel through the body along the pathways called meridians or channels. When there is not enough qi and blood, or when they are stuck in some area, there is an imbalance between yin and yang or an imbalance among qi, blood and body fluid, which result in dysfunction of the tissue or organs, and illness or pain develops.

There are two major theories regarding the mechanism of pain:
1. Stagnation or obstruction
  • qi stagnation
  • Blood obstruction
  • Both qi stagnation and blood obstruction
  • Cold retention to stagnate the flow of qi and blood
  • Excessive heat to consume qi and stir blood
  • Dampness retention to block yang qi, therefore blood can not be passed along smoothly
  • Excessive food, bugs, or stone retards the qi flowing
2. Disharmony of yin and yang

* Yin deficiency: yin consists of blood and body fluid. If blood or body fluid is deficient, the tissue or organ can not get nurtured and pain develops.
* Yang deficiency: yang initiates, activates, and maintains the function of body and promotes blood circulation. Yang deficiency may happen to heart, spleen, or kidney.

The purpose of acupuncture treatment for pain is to use selected points on the meridians or channels to regulate disharmonized yin and yang, stimulate stagnated or obstructed qi and blood, dispel coldness and dampness, or relieve heat. Acupuncture works better if it is combined with other Chinese medicine modalities such as Chinese herbs, cupping, TuiNa, or moxibustion.

Arkansas is one of very few states in the US that grant the title of doctor of oriental medicine (DOM). To be a DOM, one has to have both Diplomates in Acupuncture and in Chinese Herbology by National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in America (NCCAOM). As a DOM in Arkansas, I am able to use my knowledge of Chinese herbal medicine to prescribe herbal formula, in addition to acupuncture. I consider Chinese medicine a personalized medicine because the accupoints are chosen and the herbal formula is made according to each individual specific need or situation. For a new patient visiting my clinic, I will first carry out a detailed inquiry of individual’s medical history, perform a thorough physical examination that includes pulse and tongue diagnosis. After diagnosis, a treatment plan is then conceived. Each plan varies according to the patient’s specific situation. For most patients, two weekly treatment sessions are required, even though for some once per week may be sufficient. Depending upon each individual’s body response, I have had the patients who become better after only one or two treatments. However, for most patients with acute pain, a recommended 8-10 treatment sections is needed. On the other hand, for severe or chronic pain sufferers, more extensive treatments are required.