I recently wrote an article on treating your dog for arthritis using acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I included 4 Dos and 4 Don'ts when considering acupuncture for your pet, there are even some things you can do at home to help your furry friend feel younger again! Check it out!
Because Chinese medicine has been around since long before modern science, some of the ways that it views the human body can seem a little strange to us. I like to remind my patients that Chinese medicine is a system of analogies, and the analogy for our immune system is one of my favorites!
A healthy immune system should be like a bubble that lives right underneath your skin. It protects what's inside the bubble from what's outside the bubble. In fact, your skin itself is one of our first defenses against disease and is an important part of our immune system!
Sometimes our bubble doesn't quite work right, which leads to 2 basic types of problems.
The first issue is an immune system that lets things into the bubble that it shouldn't. The most common symptoms of a weak immune system is catching colds really easily and frequently.
The second issue is an overactive immune system that actually attacks things inside the bubble. With an overactive immune system you get diseases like allergies, eczema, psoriasis, celiac disease, lupus and more.
Chinese medicine is very effective at reminding your body's immune system how it should be acting. It calms an overactive immune system and boosts an underfunctioning one. This not only leads to symptom relief, but prevents the symptoms from recurring. Isn't that the dream of anyone who suffers from immune system disorders?
I find that it can take anywhere from 1-3 months to get good symptomatic relief. Keep in mind that the goal is to keep the symptoms from recurring, so I recommend that my patients continue taking their herbs and return for acupuncture quarterly to insure that they stay on the path to having a well-functioning immune system!
Something that you can do to boost your immune system at home (and this works for an over or underfunctioning one!) is to massage the acupuncture point Zu San Li (Stomach 36). It's safe for anyone to use, including pregnant women, and has been shown to increase immune function! Click here to read more about Stomach 36 and to see pictures of its location.
A recent study shows that acupuncture and tuina (pronounced twee-NAH which is a type of Chinese medical massage) is better than standard medications for treatment of migraines.
Anyone who's ever had a migraine can tell you how horrible and life-affecting they are. It becomes difficult to function, and unfortunately, many migraine medications just aren't all that helpful. They may reduce the frequency or severity of the migraines, but they don't always get rid of them completely. This is where acupuncture comes in - it can eradicate them.
Part of the reason acupuncture works so spectacularly is that treatment is highly individualized. Everyone has different symptoms that accompany their migraines, and it's these secondary symptoms that help paint the picture for your acupuncturist of who exactly you are, what is happening in your body to create the migraines, and what sort of treatment you will require.
Every acupuncture patient will respond differently in how long it takes to become migraine free, so talk with your acupuncturist about what to expect, but most patients will get relief!
If you're suffering from migraines, book your appointment today. Get yourself on the path to being migraine free!
I get asked all the time, how it is that acupuncture reduces pain, so I figured I'd answer it here as well, since many of you are probably wondering the same thing!
Let's start with what we know biomedically about how acupuncture relieves pain:
And here's how Chinese medical theory looks at it (and remember, acupuncture was invented long before we had biomedical testing and imaging - the ancient Chinese used metaphors seen in nature to describe the workings of the human body):
Think of the body as a river system, with rivers and streams flowing all throughout your body. When healthy, our rivers should be unblocked and smooth-flowing. When we get injured (as in the picture above - ouch!), a dam is placed across the rivers, and they can no longer flow smoothly, or even in the same directions that they previously had. When the rivers aren't reaching the same areas they used to, the symptom that we experience is pain. So what acupuncture does is remove the dam so that the rivers can flow smoothly once again.
Now, let's compare the two ways of looking at acupuncture (biomedical and Chinese medical theories): Couldn't inflammation and decreased blood flow be analagous to a dam across a river? And by removing that dam, wouldn't we be restoring (blood) flow to the area?
I know that oftentimes acupuncture seems mysterious and almost magical in its theories, but if you can see through the metaphors, you'll find that the ancient Chinese were on to something. They had the story right, it's just that some of the details had different names!
Tax Day has finally come and gone! Now's a great time to destress with an acupuncture treatment!
I'll be giving away extra punches on your Supportland Card toward a free acupuncture treatment during the rest of April.
Who couldn't use a free acupuncture appointment this time of year?
You've once again helped Thrive Acupuncture be voted as one of Spot Magazine's Top Dog Businesses of Portland!
Thrive took second place in the Holistic Practitioner category behind Heal Massage (to which I regularly refer my pet patients!).
Thank you all for voting for your favorite pet-related businesses and helping to let Portland know how much your pet loves Thrive Acupuncture!
A new study has been published that used CT scans to reveal differences between acupuncture points and non-acupuncture points. Click here to read more about it!
How freakin' cool is it that 5000 years ago the ancient Chinese knew that there was something special about certain parts of the body and that these points could be used to restore health? How did they figure it out? I am loving that science is finally figuring out ways to look at our bodies to see what the ancients somehow knew so long ago!
A new study shows that the herb Corydalis (known as Yan Hu Suo in Chinese medicine) is effective at decreasing pain. Especially long-term, low level chronic pain.
There's a reason my teachers called this herb the Tylenol of Chinese medicine! Now, just imagine how effective it is when it's used in a pain-relieving Chinese herbal formula that's been formulated just for you and the specifics of your pain!
I'm adding a new service to the line up at Thrive Acupuncture - Rejuvenation Acupuncture!
Sometimes you don't want to dive head first into your deepest darkest health problem. Sometimes you just want to relax, have a moment of peace and quiet all to yourself and to destress!
Enter Rejuvenation Acupuncture.
For just $40 you can get a treatment that will reduce stress, improve sleep and increase your energy levels. And what's more? Instead of the typical hour-long treatment, Rejuvenation Acupuncture takes only 30 minutes, so it's much easier to fit into your busy schedule!
We're coming into the busy busy holiday months, so if you need a quick destress, or a sweet pick-me-up, Rejuvenation Acupuncture is just what you need!
Schedule yourself for a treat today.
It's National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day (AOMDay) - a great day to share your love for acupuncture and how it has helped improve your health and your life!
I came to acupuncture out of desperation because of allergies. Biomedicine was unable to help me, but acupuncture gave almost instant relief. And now I've decided to bring this medicine and relief to many more people.
How has acupuncture and Oriental medicine changed your life?