Psoriasis is a skin condition caused by skin cells that replicate too quickly resulting in a scaly, often itchy, patch. Biomedicine often prescribes cortisone to try to control the overgrowth. For some people this works, but for many it doesn't. Many people find their scaly patches minimized, but not gone.
When you visit your acupuncturist or herbalist they'll ask you many health questions as well as look at your tongue and pulse to determine what course of treatment is the right fit for you and your psoriasis. They may:
It will take some time for the psoriasis to heal, but instead of dealing with the symptoms, you'll be teaching your body how to grow healthy skin!
If you're in the Portland, OR area and have psoriasis, feel free to call or email me to discuss how we can work together to get your skin looking its very best!
I didn't write this article, but I couldn't have done a better job of answering these commonly asked questions!
I find that pets really come to love acupuncture and look forward to their appointments. If you have any further questions about pets and Chinese medicine, feel free to ask!
If your pet is in need of some acupuncture, schedule an appointment with me today and start seeing them get back to their old selves!
If you've already been following me on Twitter and Facebook you may have noticed some sweet deals being offered for any of my services!
I'm calling them Last minute Appointments and they mean big savings for you!
Here's how it works:
So follow me on Twitter and Facebook and get ready to do some major healing with only a minor dent in your wallet!
I've written about cupping before.
It's a great therapy for releasing tight muscles, improving circulation and promote overall healing in an area.
If you've never had cupping before, or if you've only had cupping on your back (which you can't see very well!), here is a great video showing what a treatment looks like!
Call or schedule your appointment online for cupping today!
Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I try to preface every treatment by addressing this question.
Because Chinese medicine is a holistic medicine, and we're all different people, we all respond differently.
Some people will feel tired.
Others will feel energized.
Some won't feel any different at all.
When I was in acupuncture school, we joked about acupuncture treatments taking you to "Aculand." Aculand is that place that leaves you feeling blissed out after a treatment, but not exactly sure if you're safe to drive for a few minutes. It's kind of like when you take a nap in the middle of the day and take a little while to fully wake up. Lots of patients visit Aculand. I've had patients describe it as the feeling of being ever so slightly tipsy. (Taking sips of cool water and sitting for a minute or two helps clear the feeling, by the way)
But what might you feel in the days following your treatment?
Again, you may feel tired or energized. (Feeling tired usually only lasts a day or two)
Almost all of my patients mention how they slept the best that they have in a long time the first couple of nights after treatment.
Another reaction that most of my patients experience is a decrease in stress levels. Almost across the board, people like coming to acupuncture regardless of their original health complaint because of the reduction in stress and anxiety. Who wouldn't want to feel more relaxed?
Some people will notice that other minor health complaints start to resolve. Their slightly looser bowel movements might never have been something to complain about, but now that they're firmed up, it's pretty exciting! Or maybe they felt cold all the time and realized that they haven't needed that extra sweater all week.
If you were treated for body pains, your muscles may feel a little sore or tired (as if you exercised a little too exuberantly). Some people may experience flu-like symptoms, much like is possible after a good deep-tissue massage. In relaxed muscle, the byproducts of normal cell function are flushed away by our body fluids. In tight, spasmy muscles these byproducts get trapped. When tight muscles relax, they may release all of those pent-up byproducts all at once, rather than gradually, which can cause body aches, a sensation of chills and fever and mild nausea.
Flu-like symptoms can be prevented by drinking copious amounts of water after such treatments. Really, it's a good idea to drink lots of water after acupuncture treatments regardless of what's being treated. It helps your body accomplish all of the functions that it needs to accomplish!
Oh, and of course, many people start seeing a change in their original health complaint. Their painful knee might not be cured, but they notice that they can walk just a little longer before it starts getting cranky. Or their headaches aren't likely gone, but they had fewer that week.
Most people are pretty pleased with that last reaction ;)
Auricular acupuncture, acupuncture that is done in the ear, is a common system for treating almost any health complaints. It's most known for its use in treating drug addiction, but it can be used for so much more! Even the military is starting to use it to help ease PTSD and pain.
Auricular acupuncture is considered a microsystem. Much like reflexology (which is also a micro-system - of the foot), the entire body is reflected in the ear. Take a look at the picture above. If you use your imagination, you can see the human figure. (The picture I chose even has a skeleton superimposed to help with those of us with a little weaker imagination skills ;) ) The ear lobe represents and treats the head, the middle ridge of the ear treats the spine and the deep part of the ear near the ear canal treats our internal organs.
I've used the ear to treat many conditions, including assisting with weight loss, addiction, quitting smoking, back pain, labor pain reduction, stress reduction, anxiety and depression. I've even used it to help a cat with cancer who had no appetite and hadn't eaten, except when force-fed, for almost 2 weeks. I needled his ears and within 10 minutes he was scarfing down a bowl of canned cat food!
In addition to needles, we have what are called "ear seeds." Ear seeds can be an actual seed (often a mustard seed that has been treated so it won't sprout) or a tiny metallic ball that is placed on the point in the ear and then held in place with a tiny band-aid. The benefit? They're a great way to extend your treatment between appointments! Yep - feeling stressed? Press on your ear seeds to help even your mood. Experiencing back pain? Press those seeds!
For an over all pick-me-up, feel free to massage your ears! It may look a little silly, but you'll be having the last laugh when you're feeling reduced stress and increased energy!
This is Toby. He's coming to see me for arthritis. He's 16 years old - he looks GREAT for his age, right?
People ask me, all the time, HOW I do acupuncture on pets.
Don't they move around?
Do they bite you?
Do you have to anesthetize them?
Nope! Just look at Toby! He hardly even notices that the needles are in! Some dogs will lay down and fall asleep. Some do move around (and this is fine!). My main goal (aside from making them feel better via acupuncture and herbs, of course) is to make sure that they're comfortable and unstressed when they come visit me.
A stressed animal is preventing the acupuncture from working to its full potential, so keeping a relaxed environment is KEY to speedy healing.
Stay tuned for video of my buddy Benny who's being treated for post-surgical pain in his knee, and you'll see just how relaxed most dogs are during their treatments!
This is a question that I get asked regularly. We're used to seeing our doctors only in times of trouble (even if then!) and otherwise, we go on our own merry ways. So when an acupuncturist says that they'd like to see us again in a week, we question it.
In our society, because we don't go to the doctor until we're experiencing symptoms that are bringing us to our knees, we've dug ourselves into a bit of a "health hole." What do I mean by that? We spend our lives worrying, and stressing, and not exercising or eating properly, in effect neglecting our bodies, until our bodies finally break down and we experience a symptom that is worth complaining about. But in Chinese medicine, we've been unhealthy and out of balance for a lot longer than this uncomfortable symptom has existed!
In order to get back to a truly healthy state of being, one in which our uncomfortable symptoms don't come back a short while after treatment, it takes time - and practice. Our bodies have forgotten, and need to relearn, how to be healthy!
When we get acupuncture, it does its thing for a certain amount of time. Some people may feel better for a whole week after their first couple of treatments, while some may only feel better for a couple hours. How long an acupuncture treatment lasts depends on the person, how out of balance they are and how quickly their body responds.
It is best to get another treatment before much of the effects of the acupuncture have worn off. For some people this will be a couple times a week, but for most people this is once a week.
Now remember, the whole point here is that your body starts remembering how to be healthy on its own - without ANY outside help. So once you become symptom-free from treatment to treatment, your acupuncturist will start spacing out your treatments. If you were coming in once a week, perhaps you'll go to every other week for a while, then maybe once a month.
In effect acupuncture is reminding your body how to be healthy again, and once it starts remembering, it's time to wean you off treatments so that your body has the opportunity to practice being healthy between visits!
Just like riding our first bikes, once we get the hang of it, and our bodies know how to be healthy again, it's time to take off the training wheels!
Reflexology is believed to have been used in China, India and Egypt as long ago as 5000 years. It was brought to the US by Dr. William Fitzgerald during the 1920s, and has continued to flourish as a treatment option to this day.
Reflexology theory holds that your entire body is mapped out onto your feet. When certain points are massaged, corresponding areas of your body will be effected. All treatments involve a Chinese Medical diagnosis so that appropriate areas can be massaged for each individual patient. Much like other forms of Chinese medicine, Reflexology is a system that treats the body as a whole, not just the symptoms of a biomedical complaint.
Reflexology has been shown to be an effective treatment for digestive disorders, headaches, various body pains and more!
If you receive a reflexology treatment, always make sure to drink plenty of water following treatment as uric acid that has settled into your feet due to gravity will be released during your treatment! Much like after a massage, if these chemicals are not diluted by water you consume, you may experience feelings of nausea or muscle aches.