Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Atopic Eczema

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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 … Read More

What Makes a Great Acupuncture Treatment

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 include:

  • What acupuncture points to use
  • Length of the acupuncture treatment
  • Comfortable positioning
  • Electro-acupuncture
  • Cupping

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 … Read More

All About Acupressure

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.   

acupressureThe book is a conversation between the Yellow Emperor and his doctor, named Qi Bo.  Qi bo explains that health comes from a state … Read More

Itch

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 … Read More

Acupuncture reduces itch in atopic eczema

Atopic eczema causes profound itching.  Often the itching is the first sign of the condition and scratching leads to the inflammation.

This leads to the dreaded  itch-scratch cycle.

Acupuncture can stop the itch and can be a help in stopping the itch scratch cycle.

Research Shows Acupuncture Reduces Itch

A recent research report examined acupuncture treatment of itch in atopic dermatitis (1).

This study was quite sophisticated.  They compared acupuncture versus antihistamine medication treatment to reduce itching in atopic dermatitis.  They also compared acupuncture and antihistamine to an acupuncture and an antihistamine placebo.  Finally, they looked at if … Read More

The Art of Electro-Acupuncture

The success of an acupuncture treatment lies in the details.  This is what I call the art of electro-acupuncture is in the details of how one uses the therapy.  The specific stimulation machine, proper selection of acupuncture points, how long you use the stimulation, and the proper frequency are all factors in success of the therapy.

Acupuncture Microstim

In my 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 … Read More

Electro-Acupuncture for Pain Relief

Acupuncture is a constantly evolving art.  Electro-acupuncture was only developed within the last 100 years.

Electro-acupuncture can be used for many conditions such as hormone imbalances, menstural cramps, poor digestion, stroke, Parkinsons and other issues.   But it is most often used to augment the pain relieving and anti-inflammatory aspects of acupuncture.(1,2) The pain relief with electro-acupuncture can be so dramatic it has been used for certain types of surgery in China.

Electro-acupuncture is very similar to regular acupuncture.  That is the acupuncture point selection is generally the same.  Electro-acupuncture provides additional small amount electric stimulation to the acupuncture needles.  The … Read More

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is mysterious.  It can come and go.  It can get worse, or get better.  Often without explanation.

Chronic pain is also very serious.  It interferes with work, school, and relationships.  Chronic pain is the most common issue that I treat and I have helped hundreds of patients reduce and relieve their pain. 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 … Read More

Acupuncture for Stress Induced Back Pain

lower back painCar 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 back pain because it can address both the physical and mental aspects of the cause of the back pain.

Case Study: Stress Induced Back 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.

She had back pain for a … Read More

Acupuncture during the IVF cycle

This is the fourth in a series about acupuncture and IVF written by Jessica Yunker, my associates.  Jessica is an expert in infertility, womens’ health, and acupuncture for IVF.

Acupuncture is helpful at each stage of the IVF cycle.

In our last article we introduced the IVF procedure.  In this article, we’ll discuss in depth the key ways acupuncture can enhance fertility and optimize the chances of a successful IVF cycle.

Acupuncture helps IVF by…

1. Regulate the cycle: Your fertility doctor will start you on hormones to regulate your cycle. During this time, acupuncture can be used to … Read More