by William Alexander | May 4, 2016 | Uncategorized
When used in conjunction with Western fertility treatments, acupuncture increases conception rates by 26%. A recent study from Tel Aviv University reports, ““When combining IUI with TCM treatments, 65.5 percent of the test group were able to conceive, compared with 39.4 percent of the control group, who received no herbal or acupuncture therapy.” For the 4.5 million couples experiencing infertility each year, acupuncture may be just what the doctor ordered.
Acupuncture can increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to several studies and medical research. “The goal of an infertility treatment from a Chinese Medicine perspective is not just to get pregnant, but to stay pregnant and to have a healthy baby,” says Deb Davies, LAc, a Pacific College alumnus who practices at Herbin Acupuncture and Wellness in San Diego. Among many other benefits, acupuncture can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term.
Acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable sterile needles at strategic points near the surface of the body. Over 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body connect with 14 major pathways, called meridians. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that these meridians conduct qi , or energy, between the surface of the body and internal organs. It is qi that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. When the flow of qi is disrupted through poor health habits or other circumstances, pain and/or disease can result. Acupuncture helps to keep the normal flow of this energy unblocked, thereby increasing a couple’s chances of conceiving.
Acupuncture infertility treatment can improve almost every cause of this obstacle. While 40 percent of infertility is caused by problems in the female, another 40 percent is caused by problems in the male, such as low sperm count or motility. The cause of female infertility stems from problems such as anovulation and endometriosis. The remaining 20 percent is caused by unknown factors.
One of the ways acupuncture infertility treatment increases fertility is by reducing stress, which is often a key factor in the fertility of both men and women. When people are under stress, the hormone cortizol is released in the brain. This alters the brain’s neurochemical balance, thus changing hormone levels and disrupting the pituitary balance that is key to the reproductive cycle. “Chinese medicine can help support a woman through this important time in her life—whether that is emotionally or physically, acupuncture can help with much more than just conception. It can help with morning sicknesss, nausea, aches and pains (low back pain, for example), anxiety preparation for birth, and insomnia, among many others,” explains Davies.
Because of the delicate balance between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and reproductive glands, stress is capable of preventing a woman from ovulating entirely. This can contribute to the cause of female infertility. Stress can also create spasms in both the fallopian tubes and the uterus, which can interfere with movement and implantation of a fertilized egg. In men, stress can alter sperm counts, motility, and cause impotence. Acupuncture infertility treatment counters the effects of stress and cortizol by releasing endorphins in the brain. An herbal impotence cure is also an option for men and can reduce stress.
Hormonal balance does not have to be disrupted by cortizol to cause infertility. The most common cause of female infertility is an ovulation disorder, in which the release of a mature egg from the ovary is prevented, usually because of a hormonal imbalance. Without enough progesterone, for example, the fetus is unable to attach to the uterus. High levels of prolactin, the hormone that stimulates the production of breast milk, can also prevent ovulation.
An imbalance in reproductive hormones can also negatively affect male reproductive function, such as sperm motility and production. However, the fertility drugs that stimulate ovulation in women by regulating the hypothalamus and pituitary, the glands that control reproductive hormones, don’t perform nearly as well for men (success rates are about a third of those for women), nor have they been approved for men by the FDA. Male infertility treatment must take another track. An herbal impotence cure — if impotence is a factor in a couple’s infertility — causes no side effects and has a reported success rate when taken in conjunction with male infertility treatment.
While the fertility drugs commonly prescribed for women can produce a 20 to 60 percent pregnancy rate, they also commonly include such side effects as abdominal tenderness, bloating, fluid retention, weight gain, and nausea. Some studies show that they may also cause breast cancer.
Acupuncture infertility treatment, by contrast, produces few or no side effects while performing the same function as the drugs do: stimulating the hypothalamus to effectively balance the endocrine system and its hormones and to get to the root cause of female infertility as well as male infertility.
Tel Aviv University study http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&;id=15808 –
Article found at: http://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/blog/2015/04/17/how-does-acupuncture-fertility-work-increase-chance-conception-without-side#sthash.yOaIAQJy.dpuf
by William Alexander | Apr 28, 2016 | Uncategorized
In this fast-paced world we find it’s pretty hard to slow down. Everyday stressors are the norm and although some stress is good, too much can hurt the body not only mentally but physically as well. Work, family, finances and everything in between can start to take a toll on your health. Below are tips that not only help to reduce stress but are good for heart health as well.
Not only is exercise a good way to relieve stress, but is great for strengthening the heart as well. Try getting some sort of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day. Focus on activities that get your heart pumping. Exercise will reduce your stress and improve your overall health short term and long term.
Give Yourself A Break
It is easy to forget to give yourself time to relax when you’re busy taking care of others. Schedule time devoted to yourself and what relaxes and makes you happy. Go for a walk, read a book or take a bath. These activities can calm you and clear your head.
Meditation and deep breathing has the power to slow your body and mind down. Try meditating for even just five minutes a day. Practice deep breathing to help lower your heart rate. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and handling too much, meditation is a great way to slow down.
Break Your Habits
Consistent stress can lead to unhealthy habits such as drinking too much alcohol and smoking. Although you may feel these substances help you cope in the moment, the long term damage far outweighs the short term benefits. Both smoking and alcohol can cause heart damage. Turn to alternatives if you’re reaching for a cigarette or a drink and reach out to family and friends to help you break the habit.
Acupuncture is an effective alternative medicine that can help improve heart health as well as lower stress. By the specific placement of needles on acupuncture points, the treatment works to treat the entire body back to optimal health. Acupuncture can help reduce blood pressure, decrease stress and improve sleep.
Massage therapy is another alternative treatment that is beneficial in lowering stress. The treatment has been shown to reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure and increase blood circulation. Through manual manipulation, massage can relax not only the body but the mind as well.
It can be hard to accept that things in life don’t go exactly as planned. Practice letting go of what you can’t control and accepting that the future is unknown. It is easy to stress about the future. Remind yourself to live in the moment.
by William Alexander | Apr 26, 2016 | Uncategorized
There are more than 80 chronic illnesses that are immune related including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, and celiac disease.
Autoimmune diseases result when the immune system mistakenly attacks its own body’s tissues. Immune deficiency is more common than most people think; around 20 percent of the population suffers from some form of an autoimmune disorder, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.
Although symptoms vary greatly depending on the specific disease, commons symptoms include chronic fatigue, joint pain, muscle weakness, weight loss, dry eyes and abdominal pain.
Autoimmune diseases are not always easily treated, as they are a chronic illness with no known cure. However, there are natural ways to ease and reduce symptoms such as acupuncture treatment.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that immune deficiencies come from an imbalance in the body. When there is a stagnation in the body’s natural energy flow, called Qi, the body becomes out of balance, whether it is from a deficiency or excess of yin or yang.
Acupuncture works by addressing the body as a whole. By using specific acupuncture points on the body, the treatment is able to release any blockages and return the body back to its natural balance.
Research has shown that acupuncture can affect the release of hormones, proteins and chemicals in the body, which can affect blood pressure and the immune system.
Although there is no cure, immune deficiencies can be managed properly to have the best quality of life possible. Acupuncture has also been shown to help boost mood and lower stress and anxiety, which can be triggers for increased symptoms.
If you think you may have an autoimmune disease and are not getting a diagnosis, don’t give up. Immune deficiencies are hard to diagnose because of the wide range of symptoms. It may take multiple doctors to get a correct diagnosis.
Acupuncture is a safe, non-invasive treatment option that can decrease symptoms and improve overall well being.
by William Alexander | Apr 20, 2016 | Uncategorized
Chronic pain in the muscles and joints can make life miserable. Standard treatments like ice and heat, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and appropriate exercises can often ease the pain. But when they don’t, acupuncture is an option with a good track record that’s worth considering.
Over the years there has been substantial debate about whether acupuncture really works for chronic pain. Research from an international team of experts adds to the evidence that it does provide real relief from common forms of pain. The team pooled the results of 29 studies involving nearly 18,000 participants. Some had acupuncture, some had “sham” acupuncture, and some didn’t have acupuncture at all. Overall, acupuncture relieved pain by about 50%. The results were published in Archives of Internal Medicine.
The study isn’t the last word on the issue, but it is one of the best quality studies to date and has made an impression.
“I think the benefit of acupuncture is clear, and the complications and potential adverse effects of acupuncture are low compared with medication,” says Dr. Lucy Chen, a board-certified anesthesiologist, specialist in pain medicine, and practicing acupuncturist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
by William Alexander | Apr 19, 2016 | Uncategorized
A very recent study found that ‘moderate’ coffee drinkers (1-2 cups a day) have 26% lower odds of developing colorectal cancer. The risk is reduced up to a 50% when the coffee intake is more than 2.5 servings of coffee daily. This included decaffeinated coffee.
This data comes from a large study conducted in Israel. There were 5,145 participants who had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 4,097 people, as controls, who did not have the disease.
Coffee has caffeine and polyphenols which have antioxidant effects that can reduce the growth of colon cancer cells.
Other beneficial compounds found in coffee include melanoidins and diterpenes which help reduce bile acid secretion, and improve bowel function.
I plan to really enjoy my next cup of coffee!
*Source: Cancer Epidemiology, April 2016:25:634-639.
by William Alexander | Apr 13, 2016 | Uncategorized
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States with about 60,000 deaths from it every year. Like all cancer, treatment can be long, uncomfortable and come with many side effects. Those getting chemotherapy may experience nausea, vomiting, postoperative pain, cancer related pain, insomnia and anxiety. The chronic pain can significantly impact quality of life. Most patients are prescribed medications such as opioids for pain that have side effects and are highly addictive.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is believed that colon cancer comes from a number of underlying factors such as spleen yang deficiency, kidney yang deficiency, kidney yin deficiency and liver yin deficiency. Acupuncture works by addressing these deficiencies to return the body back to balance. Using specific points on the body related to these organs, acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural energy flow, Qi, and blood flow to improve organ health.
Going through chemotherapy treatment can cause severe fatigue. One study showed that acupuncture resulted in a 30 percent improvement in a baseline fatigue score.
Insomnia and anxiety are one of the most common symptoms that cancer patients experience. Acupuncture has been proven in numerous studies to be just as effective, if not more, than prescription drugs in improving sleep and decreasing stress and anxiety levels. This alternative treatment has also been shown to improve overall mood.
Acupuncture can help boost the immune system. Chemotherapy can greatly lower the body’s immune defense, leaving one in a vulnerable state due to a decrease in white-blood cell count. By increasing blood flow and stimulating Qi, acupuncture is a great way to improve immune function.
Cancer and cancer treatment is nothing to take lightly. A diagnosis can drastically change one’s life not only physically but mentally as well. If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer and/or going through chemotherapy, it is important to remember that there are alternative, safe treatments that can help make the process easier. If a loved one is going through treatment, support is the best thing you can do for them. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and there is no better time to get tested and become educated on the facts.
Sources: https://coloncancerfoundation.org/treatment/, http://bit.ly/1Toqw3p