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The itch in atopic dermatitis can take over your life. It is so intense, those with atopic eczema of wake up scratching. And after your scratch, the skin becomes more inflamed, itchy, dry, and lichenified. Most people with atopic eczema have a family history eczema, hay fever, and asthma. Allergies to foods, mold, or irritant substances may cause a flare in the condition (1). Atopic eczema is increasing rapidly in industrialized countries. Atopic eczema is treated most often with topical steroids that suppress the inflammatory response. Unfortunately, steroids also have many side effects. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help reduce eczema naturally. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine approach to Atopic Eczema Traditionally, Chinese medicine called eczema the “wind of four crooks”

April allergies can be cruel.  Headache, itchy eyes, sneezing, and scratchy throat are overwhelming.   Chinese herbal formulas are very effective for reducing the runny nose and stuffiness, headaches, and itchy eyes, Nasal Symptoms and Sinus Headache For people with hay fever and sinus symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and sinus headache the overall most effective formulas is called Bi Min Gan Wan, the nasal congestion formula.  This is a mild formula that helps to reduce headache, nasal congestion. Itchy Eyes In Chinese medicine, itchy eyes from allergies is generally from heat.  The herbal formula best for itchy eyes form heat is Sang Ye Tang.  This formula has mulberry leaf and chrysanthemum flowers that help to relieve itchy eyes.  Another effective formula

The process of treating back pain with acupuncture, or any pain for that matter, is complex.  As an acupuncturist, we have many factors to consider in the treatment. Important factors for the acupuncturist to decide are what acupuncture points to use, how long the needles stay in, what position the patient should lie, the use of electro-acupuncture, additional use of cups, and other factors. 1. How to choose acupuncture points: Acupuncture points can be chosen based on location of the pain, type of the pain, and the underlying imbalances causes the pain.  Some pain, such as pain from sciatica, is best relieved by acupuncture locally in the lower back, around the sacrum, and throughout the course of the sciatic nerve.

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 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

Itching is an annoying and curious phenomenon.  Your body feels an annoying sensation so you irritate the skin by scratching.   It makes you feel extremely uncomfortable. This causes pain.  The pain trumps the itching sensation and you no longer feel the annoyance.  But the scratching causes inflammation and irritation in the area.  The scratch causes more itch and the cycle continues. Pain trumps itch because the sensations are felt through many of the same nerve endings.  Although researchers looking at itch specifically are finding more itch specific pathways in the spinal cord and brain. Itching takes a toll on people’s lives.  This annoying symptom keeps people awake at night, distracts from daily activities, and leads to habitual irritation of the

Atopic eczema causes profound itching.  Often the itching is the first sign of the condition and scratching leads to the inflammation. A recent research report examined acupuncture treatment of itch in atopic dermatitis (1).  This study was quite sophisticated.  They compared acupuncture versus antihistamine treatment to reduce itching.  They also compared acupuncture and antihistamine to an acupuncture and an antihistamine placebo.  Finally, they looked at if acupuncture was better for preventing the itch or treating the active itching. The acupuncture was stronger than the antihistamine in its ability to reduce itching.  In fact, the acupuncture was the only clinically relevant reduction in the itch.  While the antihistamine also reduced itch, it was not as strong as the acupuncture.  Also, acupuncture

The art of electro-acupuncture is in the details of how one uses the therapy.  An effective electro-acupuncture treatment comes from what electric stimulation machine is used, proper selection of acupuncture points, how long you use the stimulation, and the proper frequency. Acupuncture Microstim In our New York City Acupuncture clinic, we use the Pantheon Research microstim machine.  This is one the highest quality machines ensure a safe and effective treatment.  Microstim means that the amplitude of the electric stimulation is much smaller.  This is much more comfortable for the patient. Acupuncture Point Selection Selecting the best acupuncture points is important when using the electro-acupuncture.  The acupuncture points should be chosen based upon the type of pain, the location of pain,

Acupuncture is a constantly evolving art.  Electro-acupunctrue was only developed within the last 100 years. Electro-acupuncture is used to augment the pain relieving and anti-inflammatory aspects of acupuncture Electro-acupuncture is very similar to regular acupuncture.  That is the acupuncture point selection is generally the same and the treatment time is also similar.  Electro-acupuncture provides additional small amount electric stimulation to the acupuncture needles.  The electric stimulation enhances muscle relaxation, the release of natural pain killers in the body, as well as decreases inflammation. Electro-acupuncture is most often used for chronic pain and inflammatory conditions.  The pain relief with electro-acupuncture can be so dramatic it has been used for certain types of surgery in China. History of Electro-acupuncture Electro-acupuncture for pain,

Chronic pain is mysterious.  It can come and go.  It can get worse, or get better.  Often without explanation. Chronic pain is serious.  It interferes with work, school, and relationships.  Chronic pain is the most common issue that comes into my acupuncture clinic. Pain can effect almost any place in the body: headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, knee pain, and any other location. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain Acupuncture is a complex therapy and works in a combination of ways to reduce pain and inflammation. Acupuncture works to reduce pain and inflammation through regulating neural pain pathways, stimulating the release of natural pain relieves in the body, such as opioids, as well as regulating pain relieving opioid receptors. Many

This is the fourth article in a series focusing on acupuncture for back pain. Car accidents, injuries, and training are not the only reason people develop back pain. Stress is also be a significant cause of back pain. Acupuncture is very effective for stress induced back pain because it can address both the physical and mental aspects of the cause of the pain. This patient came to me with chronic back pain on the lower left side. When I asked where the pain was specifically, she pointed to the sacro iliac joint. This is a very common location for lower back pain.  Stress also causes back pain by creating muscle tension and spasms. She had back pain for a number