Posts Tagged ‘exercises’
Jul 11, 2012
Acupressure is the massage of acupressure points and channels. I often use acupressure and tui na (Chinese medical massage) combined with with acupuncture in my NYC acupuncture clinic.
Acupressure in context
To really understand how acupressure works, we have to see it as part of the whole of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Chinese medicine dates back thousands of years. The first book of Chinese medicine is called the Huang di nei jing, or the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Cannon.
The book is a conversation between the Yellow Emperor and his doctor, named Qi Bo. Qi bo explains that health comes from a state of balance within the body, and between the body and the environment. To prevent illness, people should live a balanced life. It is a very simple idea.
Chinese medicine uses many therapies, including acupuncture, acupressure, and Chinese herbs to bring balance to the body by regulating the nervous system, decreasing inflammation, and improving circulation. Once the body is in balance, it can work to heal itself.
Acupuncture channels, called the jing lou in Chinese, connect the body. These channels provide a pathway for the circulation. Qi flows through the channels, warming the body and protecting it from disease.
Acupressure and acupuncture manipulates these channels to bring you back to a healthy state.
May 8, 2012
Acupuncture has a unique effect to help individuals who have stubborn injuries and chronic pain which have not improved despite treatment.
A recent report at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting suggests that acupuncture helps to stimulate muscle tissue regrowth. The research group showed that acupuncture reversed the decrease in muscle mass in mice and in the mRNA expression level of the E3 ubiquitin ligase atrogin-1.
A story from the acupuncture clinic
This report is very important because it helps to explain why acupuncture can help patients can regain strength after an injury.
It is quite common for patients to come to the acupuncture clinic with chronic injuries and pain that are not improving. These patients are very diligent in seeking help yet their muscle weakness and pain are stubborn.
I have a patient who is in her 60’s who had an injury from falling. After her injury it was very difficult to regain muscle strength and decrease her pain despite physical therapy. She had weakness in her arm and shoulder.
I recommended that in addition to the acupuncture she continue with physical therapy. Within two weeks her muscle strength improved almost 50%. After two months of treatment she had very little pain and her muscle strength almost completely returned.
This is an exciting theory to explore new ways acupuncture helps to reduce pain and improve health.
photo: Journal of Cell Biology
Oct 21, 2011
Acupuncture is helpful to treat the symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome. This guide will explain how acupuncture works for Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome.
Interstitial cystitis (IC), also called painful bladder syndrome, is a chronic condition characterized by pelvic pain, urinary frequency, and urgency. Interstitial cystitis impacts almost all aspects of your life, including professional, educational, and personal, and can be an overwhelming experience.
Both men and women can get IC, although it occurs mostly in women. People with interstitial cystitis can have symptoms similar to a urinary tract infection, but without an infection (1). Often, there is painful, frequent, urgent, inhibited, or incomplete urination. Sometimes there may be blood in the urine. There may be a dull feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen and bladder. The pain in the bladder can be intense or dull, and sometimes it is located in the pelvis, or on the pelvic floor. Some people experience sexual dysfunction.
These symptoms can resemble many different conditions. It is important to see a urologist to get a complete exam to rule out other illnesses.
Acupuncture for Interstitial Cystitis
Over two thousand years ago, acupuncture physicians described a syndrome which is characterized by painful and frequent urination called Lin Syndrome (2). Accompanying symptoms can be tenderness in the lower abdomen, a feeling of incomplete urination, sexual dysfunction, changes in the color of urination, urinating at night, and also depression and anxiety. Although they were not speaking specifically about interstitial cystitis, these same principles can be used to create an effective acupuncture treatment.
During the Acupuncture and Chinese medicine diagnosis process, urinary symptoms along with your overall health are considered. This paints a picture of the underlying imbalance that is causing the disease. Common imbalances for interstitial cystitis are qi (energy, pronounced “chee”) weakness, lack of circulation of qi, and heat. It is not uncommon for women to suffer from more than one of these imbalances.
People with qi weakness, or lack of energy are often tired and have digestive problems. This can cause frequent urination, urination at night, and a feeling of fullness in the abdomen. Qi stagnation is a lack of circulation of the energy and can cause pain, bloating, and muscle spasms. Qi stagnation may cause spasm in the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Heat is also a frequent cause of interstitial cystitis symptoms. Heat in the body can cause dryness, burning urination, abnormal sweating, stiff joints, and headaches. Often, heat is a reflection of inflammation. Heat may develop after having a urinary tract infection. Infection may also lead to qi vacuity.
Once the proper imbalance is identified, the acupuncture point prescription is tailored to correct that imbalance.
How does acupuncture treat interstitial cystitis?
Traditional Chinese Medicine works by identifying specific imbalances in the body and using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and acupressure to correct them. Physiologically, acupuncture helps to reduce the symptoms of interstitial cystitis by regulating pain sensation, releasing pain relieving chemicals in the nervous system, and reducing inflammation (3). Correcting the imbalance does not just treat the symptoms or mask the condition, but rather corrects the root of the problem by encouraging self-healing of the body.
The acupuncture point prescription will vary based upon the underlying imbalance. Generally, the acupuncture points for interstitial cystitis are located on the arms and legs, as well as the lower abdomen and lower back.
Auricular, or ear, acupuncture is very helpful for pain and spasm of the bladder. Points such as bladder, ureter, pelvis, and the spirit gate are helpful. Often, I will use small magnets on these points to stimulate them in between acupuncture treatments.
Acupressure massage helps to support the acupuncture in relaxing the muscles as well as relieve stress. Sometimes electro-acupuncture can relieve the constant feeling of fullness and urgency in the bladder.
The results of acupuncture are cumulative over a series of treatments. Once the imbalance is corrected, the body can work to heal itself and can result in long lasting benefit. Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation can be a vital support for relieving stress and preventing the tension from returning.
Interstitial Cystitis Resources
- National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
- Interstitial Cystitis Association
- Interstitial Cystitis Network
1. Genitourinary Pain and Inflammation: Diagnosis and Management . Ed. J.M. Potts. Humana Press. NJ
2. Wiseman N, Feng Y. A Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine
3. Napadow V, Ahn A, Longhurst J, et.al. The Status and Future of Acupuncture Mechanism Research. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 September; 14(7): 861–869.
by Joseph Alban
Mar 18, 2011
On Monday is the last class of my Acupressure for Self Healing Class at the Open Center. My some of students asked for a preview of the class.
- We will discuss imbalance that cause back pain such as qi stagnation, qi vacuity, dampness, and cold
- We will cover powerful acupressure points for back pain like Small Intestine 3 and Kidney 3
- We’ll discuss San Jiao 5, 6, and 8 for neck pain
- I will teach you some qi gong and back exercises for back pain and exercises for shoulder pain and neck pain
- And we’ll review the Dao Yin acupressure and the acupressure tune up
Jan 13, 2011
Over the years I have used acupuncture to treat many patients for neck and shoulder pain. My approach is unique assessing the strength of the energy and using acupuncture and acupressure to correct it.
Here are the best posts explaining the theory and treatment of acupuncture for neck and shoulder pain as well as stretches and exercises you can do at home.
How acupuncture works for Neck and Shoulder Pain
- Acupuncture to Relieve Neck and Back Pain
- Three Reasons Acupressure works to treat Neck and Back Pain
- Acupuncture for a Rotator Cuff Injury
Stretches and Exercises for Shoulder and Neck Pain
- Exercises for Opening the Shoulder, Neck, and Rotator Cuff
- Five Essential Stretches for Neck and Shoulder Pain
- Ten Ways to Prevent Neck and Shoulder Pain
I would be happy to speak with you more about how acupuncture can help reduce your neck, back, and shoulder pain. Call 917-887-4946 or request an appointment online.
Sep 1, 2010
This is the third post about how to treat back pain with acupuncture.
Back stretches and exercises are helpful to loosen your back and keep it pain free. I use them in conjunction with acupuncture.
Here are three stretches to loosen your back, relieve tightness, and prevent pain. Go slowly and don’t overdo it in order to avoid injury.
Bouncing is a great way to loosen up the back. Place your hands on your lower back and gently bounce at the knees. If you have tight spots, make your hand into a fist and massage them out.
Rotate the Waist
Put your hands on your back and rotate at the waist. The goal is to keep your shoulders and ankles steady, and move the waist in a circle. This will loosen the muscles of the lumbar, hips, and pelvis.
Tilting the Pelvis (This is going to look a little like Dirty Dancing)
Put your hands on your hips. Tip your butt backwards to tilt the pelvis. Now, tilt the pelvis up int the front, and repeat 9 times.
The combination of these exercises will help you loosen and, over time, strengthen your lower back.
Call 917-887-4946 to find out more about acupuncture for chronic back pain.