More than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, 20 million of whom are women. Scientific research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.

The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. A widely accepted form of treatment for headaches, acupuncture can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause.

Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for thousands of years. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

Oriental Medicine does not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of of techniques such as acupuncture, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables including:

Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)?
Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain?
Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?

Your answers to these questions will help your practitioner create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Oriental medical theory, illness or pain arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced. Acupuncture stimulates specific points located on or near the surface of the skin to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some headaches, migraines and related symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

Headaches Dramatically Reduced by Acupuncture

Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that acupuncture is an effective treatment for migraines and headaches. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center analyzed the results of more than 30 studies on acupuncture as a pain reliever for a variety of ailments, including chronic headaches. They found that acupuncture decreases pain with fewer side effects and can be less expensive than medication. Researchers found that using acupuncture as an alternative for pain relief also reduced the need for post-operative pain medications.

In a study published in the November 1999 issue of Cephalalgia, scientists evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of migraines and recurrent headaches by systematically reviewing 22 randomized controlled trials. A total of 1,042 patients were examined. It was found that headache and migraine sufferers experienced significantly more relief from acupuncture than patients who were administered “sham” acupuncture.

A clinical observation, published in a 2002 edition of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, studied 50 patients presenting with various types of headaches who were treated with scalp acupuncture. The results of this study showed that 98 percent of patients treated with scalp acupuncture experienced no headaches or only occasional, mild headaches in the six months following care.

In a case study, published in the June 2003 Issue of Medical Acupuncture, doctors found that acupuncture resulted in the resolution or reduction in the frequency and severity of cluster headaches, and a decrease or discontinuation of pain medications. It was concluded that acupuncture can be used to provide sustained relief from cluster headaches and to stimulate the body’s natural production of adrenal cortisol to aid in discontinuing corticosteroids.

According to the July 2005 issue of the British Medical Journal, a randomized controlled trial in Germany found that acupuncture cut tension headache rates almost in half. Researchers divided 270 patients who reported similarly severe tension headaches into three groups for the study. Over the project’s eight-week period, one group received traditional acupuncture, one received only minimal acupuncture, and the third group received neither treatment. Those receiving the traditional acupuncture reported headache rates of nearly half that of those who received no treatments, suffering 7 fewer days of headaches. The minimal acupuncture group suffered 6.6 fewer days, and the non-acupuncture group suffered 1.5 fewer days. The improvements continued for months after the treatments were concluded, rising slightly as time went on.

Bron: Acufinder

Gepost in Acupunctuur ~ Geen Reactie

New research demonstrates that acupuncture reduces the presence of toxins in the bloodstream. Two acupuncture needle manipulation techniques were evaluated for their ability to eliminate endotoxins from the blood. The first technique is referred to as Shaoshanhuo (Setting the Mountain on Fire) and the second technique is Toutianliang (Penetrating Heaven’s Coolness). Acupuncture Needle Laboratory results demonstrate that both techniques reduce serum endotoxin levels and lower rectal temperatures in rabbits with bacterial infections. However, penetrating heaven’s coolness demonstrated greater clinical efficacy over setting the mountain on fire for reduction of toxins in the bloodstream.

In this randomized and controlled clinical study, rabbits received the acupuncture needling techniques applied to acupoint LI11 (Quchi) for a total of five minutes. LI11 is a standard point used for the treatment of inflammation and infections. These disorders are categorized as heat-syndrome in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Rectal temperatures were monitored and serum endotoxin levels were assayed by luminescence measuring. The control group showed a significant increase in blood toxins whereas both acupuncture groups showed significant down-regulation of endotoxins.

Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2012 Aug;37(4):277-80. [Effects of heat and cool-producing needling manipulations on rectal Temperature and serum endotoxin content in endotoxin-induced heat syndrome rabbits]. Zhou HY, Yang J, Feng Y, Yang SQ. College of Acu-moxibustion and Tuina, Chengdu University of Chinese Medicine.

Gepost in Acupunctuur ~ Geen Reactie

Common Cold

It’s been said that the ultimate achievement of medicine would be to cure the common cold. Of course, modern medicine hasn’t reached that point yet, but there are quite a few options within the realm of alternative medicine that will hopefully shorten the length of your cold or lessen the symptoms. Here are a few alternative options for you to try next time you have a cold.

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting small metal needles into specific spots on your skin, a process that sounds painful at first, but is actually mostly painless. It originates in China and has been in use for well over 3000 years. It has been shown to enhance people’s immune systems, reduce pain from migraines, and generally promote well-being.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the best time to get an acupuncture treatment is at the first sign of the cold. This way, your acupuncturist can align your qi and speed your recovery along. To help with their treatment, they will ask you a set of specific questions on the symptoms you are experiencing so that they can determine the exact points that they will need to stimulate to align your qi. Many people report that if they get acupuncture as soon as they experience the symptoms of a cold, then their recovery from the cold happens within a day or so. This is much faster than the expected disease time, which ranges from 3 days to more than a week.

2. Chinese Herbs

Another cold remedy from China involves a mixture of specific herbs, also depending on your symptoms. As always with a cold, it’s best to start treatment right away if you want to shorten the length of your cold. However, herbs can also help to ease the symptoms of a cold, such as aches, chills, or sore throat. Below are some quick recommendations of herbal formulas for different symptoms and phases of a cold

Yin Chiao is recommended for a cold that is first felt in the throat and neck. The sooner you take this mixture, the better. If the cold is more in the nose and head area, Gan Mao Ling is recommended. Again, take it early. If you’re already in the throes of battle with a cold, or your first symptoms are aches and chills in the body, try Zong Gan Ling. This can help to relieve symptoms and to speed up your recovery.

Most of these herbal supplements can be found in health food stores, especially if you live on the Westc coast. If you’re having trouble finding them in a brick-and-mortar store, you can definitely find them in online stores. It’s always good to have some on hand so that you can stop your cold before it gets a chance to take hold in your body.

3. Vitamin D

If you already have a cold, then Vitamin D may not help you get out of it any faster. However, there are numerous studies showing that people who have a healthy intake of Vitamin D are less likely to even get a cold. Everyone can agree that not getting a cold at all is better than having to treat a cold.

Vitamin D is useful in more than just preventing a cold, though. People with good levels of Vitamin D are less likely to get osteoporosis and have generally stronger bones. It may also help if you’re trying to lose weight, as it has been correlated with successful weight loss as well. There is also some data that suggests Vitamin D may help prevent Multiple Sclerosis, help keep the brain working as you grow older, and reduce the risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis in women. In other words, there are a lot of good reasons to supplement your diet with Vitamin D; cold prevention is a nice bonus, too.

4. Garlic

Garlic is not just delicious in many of your favorite foods, it can also help to prevent you from getting the cold. Many cultures have home remedies involving garlic, like chicken soup or drinks made with raw crushed garlic. The general rule of thumb is to use the freshest garlic you can, although there are also pills that specifically preserve the parts of garlic that are important for fighting colds. Basically, anything involving raw garlic can help you recover, and taking it as a supplement can prevent colds altogether.

As a quick warning about garlic, it can interfere with blood thinning medications and should be avoided by those with blood disorders. It can also cause increased chances of bleeding in pregnant women, and can lower blood glucose levels. On the whole, it’s relatively safe, but high amounts of garlic can cause problems if you fall into any of the categories above.

So, the next time you get a cold, remember that you have more options than going to the doctor. Alternative medicine is a growing industry for a reason: it works. So keep some of these supplements handy, find a good acupuncturist, and you’ll be prepared the next time you get the sniffles.


Gepost in Traditionele chinese geneeskunde ~ Geen Reactie

Acupunctuur beter dan slaappil

{ 6 december, 2012 }

Taiwanese onderzoekers zagen bij 33 patiënten met slapeloosheid geen verschil tussen acupunctuur en een slaappil, toen ze de twee behandelingen met elkaar vergeleken. Acupunctuur hoefde slechts één keer per week ondergaan te worden, terwijl de andere groep dagelijks 10 mg van het slaapmiddel ‘zolpidem’ moest nemen.

Een derde van de volwassenen heeft slaapproblemen en minstens 10% zoekt daar een arts voor op. Belgen nemen dagelijks 735.000 slaappillen.
Zolpidem kan echter gedragsstoornissen veroorzaken, zoals slaapwandelen en ‘slaaprijden’. Bij dat laatste gaan mensen in hun slaap achter het stuur zitten, wat uiteraard levensgevaarlijk is! Van zolpidem kun je afhankelijk worden; het is ook gerelateerd aan kanker.


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