Do you suffer from allergies or asthma? If so, you aren't alone. It's estimated that more than 26 million Americans have the chronic inflammatory disease asthma, and more than 50 million Americans have nasal allergies. While most people resort to harsh prescription drugs to treat these conditions, a safer and more effective solution may lie in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture.
Some people might turn your head at the thought of treating asthma by placing small needles under your skin. However, this ancient practice is believed to be effective in the treatment of numerous respiratory disorders, including asthma. The World Health Organization (WHO) even listed asthma as being “a condition for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed.” This doesn't necessarily mean that acupuncture will cure your asthma, but it can help alleviate the symptoms and reduce the frequency of flare-ups.
Acupuncture involves the placement of fine needles in specific points of the body, known as acupuncture points. The idea behind this practice is that placing the needles in these areas will restore the body's flow of energy (Qi). When Qi becomes stagnant, it leaves the individual susceptible to disease and illness, which is why it's important to keep it moving throughout the body. Professional acupuncturists often treat asthma by using acupuncture points found in the Lung, Stomach and Kidney meridians.
Of course, acupuncture may also help those who suffer from allergies. Allergies are the result of the immune system's wrongful identification of what it believes to be a foreign invader. When you are exposed to an allergen, for instance, your immune system may view the substance or pathogen as being a foreign invader, at which point it responds by manifesting symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, etc.
By restoring the body's Qi, the immune system is given a helpful boost of energy that allows it to properly identify what's a foreign invader and what's not. Whether your allergies are minor or severe, you should consider seeking the services of an acupuncturist. It's a safe and painless process that can reinvigorate your body and mind, alleviating the symptoms of both allergies and asthma. A study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found acupuncture to offer greater relief of allergies when compared to both antihistamines and sham acupuncture.
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If you suffer from headaches, you are not alone. Over 50 million of us experience some form of a severe headache at some point in our lives. Whether you experience minor head pain or severe migraines, headaches can take valuable time out of your day and your life, and leave you searching for relief.
Many seek relief by reaching for drugs and other medications. This may work temporarily and can help you get out of pain fast. Unfortunately, common headache medications do not address the root cause(s), and when used over long periods of time can cause unwanted side effects.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine offer a safe and effective approach to relieving headache pain without causing harmful side effects. These healing modalities provide a comprehensive diagnostic protocol that can help your acupuncturist understand and address the root cause(s) of your headaches.
Causes of Headaches: There are many factors in Chinese Medicine theory that may play a key role in the root cause(s) of a headache. These include body constitution, emotional health, excessive work, social activities and exercise, improper diet, physical trauma and hormones. Headaches can also be diagnosed according to specific symptoms, times of occurrence, location, type of pain, and triggers.
A natural path to relief: Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine take a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. Your practitioner will take a detailed health history, and perform a physical exam to determine how and why your body’s vital energy, or Qi (pronounced chee), is out of balance and identify what type of headache you are experiencing. To determine the most effective care, he/she will focus on illuminating the root cause(s) of the problem.
It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a quick fix. Changes may occur quickly or over a longer period of time, depending upon your overall constitution and health. Whether it is one visit to address an acute problem, or several visits to address a chronic problem, it is suggested to closely follow care recommendations of your acupuncturist to maximize your healing potential.
Below are a few ways that you can make simple lifestyle changes that may help alleviate or even prevent headaches:
Track your triggers - Try to keep track of when your headaches start. Migraine sufferers may find it especially helpful to keep a diary of symptoms. Certain types of foods and hormonal changes can be possible causes.
Stress relief - Stress can contribute to many types of health concerns, including headaches. Talk to your practitioner about healthy ways to handle stress.
Exercise - Physical activity is an important part of any healthy lifestyle and is a great antidote for stress.
Healthy habits - Do your best to eat healthy, organic foods, stay hydrated and get enough sleep every night.
Acupuncture care - is extremely effective in reducing the frequency and severity of many types of painful conditions, including headaches and migraines, naturally. By working with your acupuncturist and adopting some simple lifestyle changes, you will be on your way toward a healthier, happier, pain-free life.