Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chnonic Neck & Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder tension are common complaints from our clients. Prolonged sitting at the computer, driving, and stress are some of the many causes of neck and shoulder pain. The rushed lifestyle of our culture also greatly contributes to pain in this area of the body. Tension arises as the neck muscles attempt to pull the head backwards to keep it in its proper place on the shoulders. Hunching the shoulders from stress also tenses this meridian.  Jobs that require us to keep our heads in a fixed position for a prolonged period of time may also cause neck pain.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, this area of the body is traversed by the gallbladder meridian. A region of this meridian travels from the base of the skull on either side of the head and across the top of the shoulders. Smooth movement of Qi throughout the gallbladder meridian is essential for the neck and shoulders to be pain free. Movement of Qi brings healing energy to the region to relax the muscles. When there is free flow of Qi, there is no pain.

So the next time you are in pain and ask someone to rub your shoulders, tell them that you need help moving the Qi in your gallbladder meridian!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Are You Sleeping Well?

More and more Americans suffer from sleep issues. Insomnia and the accompanying fatigue are concerns that we see frequently in our clinic. While acupuncture an herbal medicine can be very effective for restoring healthy sleep, there are many things that you can do on a daily basis to improve the quality of your sleep. These tips may help you to get to sleep, stay asleep, and wake up well rested, ready to greet the day.

1. Have a regular sleep-wake schedule.  Regularity helps the body to get into deeper and more restful sleep.
2. Purchase room darkening shades for you bedroom to block out all light. The  hormone melatonin is released naturally by the pineal gland when there is darkness.  Melatonin helps to regulate the circadian rhythms that relate to sleep.
3. Avoid eating large meals for 2-3 hours before bedtime. Activity of the digestive system keeps the body active and makes it harder to sleep.
4. Some of our clients report disturbed sleep after eating a lot of carbohydrates throughout the day. Try to notice if this is a concern for you.
5. Avoid electronics before bed. Check you email and do your web searches during the day.

You deserve a good night's rest every night! Changes in lifestyle can have a great impact on your quality of sleep. For more information please contact our office.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Acupuncture Points for Fertility

Chinese medicine is now used by many people around the world as a way to enhance their fertility. Women and men alike  may benefit from the vast knowledge available to us from this ancient healing art.  Acupuncture is the focal point of Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into specific points on the body to achieve desired results. These points are specific locations on the body that are stimulated by acupuncture needles. To locate an acupuncture point, an acupuncturist looks for specific anatomical locations on the body. Treatment involves combining acupuncture points to form a  "prescription" for each individual client based on their unique constitution.
For clients looking to enhance their fertility, there are many acupuncture points on the body that may be used.  Below is a description of a few of the acupuncture points that are commonly used to enhance fertility. For specific points that may benefit you, please consult an acupuncturist.
  • Spleen 6 - located on the inside of the lower leg, 3 inches above the prominence of the ankle bone, just behind the tibia.  Spleen 6 regulates menstruation and calms the spirit.
  • Ren 6 - located on the midline of the body 3 inches below the navel.   Ren 6 benefits the uterus to aid conception.
  • Stomach 29 - located 4 inches below and 2 inches lateral to the navel.  Stomach 29 is one of the points used in the treatment before an IVF transfer to help improve pregnancy rates.
  • Zigong - located on the lower abdomen on either side of the body just above the pubic bone. Zigong is a classical point for enhancing fertility.
  • Kidney 3 - located on the inside of the lower leg half way between the inner ankle bone and the achilles tendon. Kidney 3tonifies the Kidney Qi to support healthy reproductive function.

Deadman, Peter. A Manual of Acupuncture.  East Sussex:  Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications, 2001