My mom broke her rib back in May when she fall while gardening. Every time she took a breath, moved, sneezed, coughed or laughed she was in a great deal of pain. She had difficulty standing, sitting, sleeping, bending, turning… basically existing.
Her conventional solution (both my parents are western doctors) was ice and a super potent painkiller, that took her to la la land and also made her groggy. “Broken ribs heal on their own within six weeks” - she said over the phone.
Thankfully she's open to acupuncture and herbs so I was able to Fedex her liniments and herbs that I use at my clinic.
She started with two Trauma Pills a day for three days (Trauma Pills are meant for the treatments of acute traumatic injuries to the body. The herbs in it increase circulation, promote healing while reducing stagnation and inflammation). The herbs don't taste great, but her pain was unbearable so she was willing to take them.
Overnight she put a plaster of San Huang San (used when the tissue is swollen, bruised and inflamed. Composed of cooling herbs that reduce inflammation and kill pain while increase local blood flow. It helps circulation and healing) on the affected area.
On day four she started the Rib Fracture Formula twice a day. I’m from a small town, with no acupuncturist there so my mom went to see a massage therapist we have in town to help her release the intercostal muscles, that were in spasm.
The massage therapist used the Trauma Liniment (this liniment contains herbs that stops pain, reduces swelling & inflammation and increases local blood flow, just like San Huang San) The massage greatly reduced her pain and enabled her to move around and breathe more freely.
Over the next two weeks she went for massage 3x/week, used the Trauma Liniment and took the Rib Fracture Formula, and by the end of the second week she was pain free with most daily activities. The only remaining pain she had upon waking for an other week.
Overall it took her to heal three weeks, which is half of her self prognosis of six weeks.
(if she were here I would of additionally needled her intercostal Motor Points to reset her muscles, needled around the injury site to increase blood flow to help healing the fracture and Traditional Acupuncture Points to promote healing and reduce swelling and inflammation in the area)
Again, Yay for Chinese Trauma Medicine.
Next time you break your rib and want to cut your healing time in half keep acupuncture in mind :-)
Did you know that most of the time, when your back “goes out", your back is not actually going anywhere?
Although it may feel that parts of your back have moved, that something needs to be put back in place, however, there are no bones or discs moving from their regular position, so there’s nothing to “come back in.” Instead, what most often you’re experiencing is an injury to the muscles or ligaments around the spine.
The low back was designed to bend forward, backwards and to the side. It wasn't designed for rotational movements. Most often Strain occurs when you are rotating while bending forward your spine. The muscles and tendons are overstretched or torn, causing an inflammatory response. Often, the muscles in the front of your body (abdominal & hip flexor muscles) that help to stabilize the lumbar vertebrae also go into spasm as part of the body's protective response, leaving you stiff and in agony.
The conventional treatment involves a prescription for anti inflammatories and muscle relaxants. However if you are interested in a natural way of pain relief here are the steps you should follow:
1. Don't panic! Take deep breaths - inhale to a count of 10 and exhale to a count of 10 - and realize that you’re most likely not in any serious danger. The breathing muscle (diaphragm) has connective tissue attachments to the lumbar spine, so breathing actually helps loosening the tightness in your low back.
2. Lie on your back with both legs bent at 90 degree angles on a chair or block, hands by your side. Let the lower back relax. Hold this position as long as it is comfortable.
3. Massage & Trauma Liniment: Injury=inflammation. But stay away from the ice pack. (Read the blog post on why acupuncturist don't use ice). Turn to massage instead. Rub the tissue around the injured body part with Trauma Liniment. Initially use gentle pressure, but as swelling and pain decreases and the muscles start loosening up go deeper. Massage breaks up accumulations, loosens the tissue and helps improve blood flow while reduces swelling and pain. Trauma Liniment is used by martial artists all over the world, as the number one treatment for sprains, bruises, contusions and fractures. This liniment contains various herbs that stop pain, reduce swelling & inflammation and increase local blood flow without the unwanted side effects produced by icing.
4. Take herbs instead of anti inflammatories. Trauma Pill is the internal counterpart to Trauma Liniment. The pill helps preventing blood from congealing in the tissues of the injured area therefore facilitate the return of normal circulation, allowing the injury to heal. Take 1 pill twice a day for 2-3 days.
5. Get acupuncture: Stimulation of the motor points with acupuncture needles can be used to help retrain neuromuscular function lost due to muscle inhibition following injury or surgery.
6. Stay hydrated. Water helps hydrate your disks (the shock absorbers of the spine) and flushes toxins from the injury out of your system.
7. Movement: let pain be your guide. Don’t run the marathon the day after you throw out your back, but also don’t be afraid of moving around. Do simple range of motion exercises and stretches that do not aggravate the injury. Movements prevent muscle atrophy, restore normal function and help you return to your desired activities quicker.
8. Continue to take it easy for the first twenty-four hours. Rest as much as you can with your legs up on the chair (see point 2.) You should start to feel some easing of the pain now, and some renewed ability to move.
If you’re still unable to move much after 48 hours or if you feel numbness or shooting pain down your leg, or have bowel problems, please get to your doctor as soon as you can. In most cases, however, the combination of steps listed above will bring you gradual relief. After the first 48 hours, continue to gradually increase your movements, but give yourself 1–3 weeks to fully recover.
"Incidence of adverse events associated with acupuncture/pharmacopuncture treatment was low, and most cases were not serious. Still, however rare, avoidable adverse events can and should be prevented through education and corrective action"
Safety of Acupuncture and Pharmacopuncture in 80,523 Musculoskeletal Disorder Patients: A Retrospective Review of Internal Safety Inspection and Electronic Medical Records.Kim MR1, Shin JS, Lee J, Lee YJ, Ahn YJ, Park KB, Lee HD, Lee Y, Kim SG, Ha IH.Author information
We investigated the range and frequency of significant adverse events (AEs) in use of pharmacopuncture and acupuncture using large-scale, single-center safety data as evidence supporting safety of acupuncture with pharmacopuncture, used extensively in Asia, is scarce. Status reports (nurse records in ambulatory and inpatient care units, and administrative event records) as a part of an internal audit at a Korean Medicine hospital specializing in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, patient complaints filed through the hospital website, and medical records of patients visiting from December, 2010 (inception of internal audit) to October, 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. A total 80,523 patients (5966 inpatients and 74,557 outpatients) visited during this period. Inpatients received an average 31.9 ± 20.7 acupuncture, 23.0 ± 15.6 pharmacopuncture, and 15.4 ± 11.3 bee venom pharmacopuncture sessions, and outpatients were administered 8.2 ± 12.2 acupuncture, 7.8 ± 11.5 pharmacopuncture, and 10.0 ± 12.3 bee venom sessions, respectively. AEs associated with acupuncture/pharmacopuncture were forgotten needle (n = 47), hypersensitivity to bee venom (n = 37), presyncopic episode (n = 4), pneumothorax (n = 4), and infection (n = 2). Most cases were mild requiring little or no additional intervention and leaving no sequelae. Although serious AEs including infection (n = 2) and anaphylaxis associated with bee venom treatment (n = 3) were also reported, incidence was rare at 0.002% in infection and 0.019% in anaphylaxis. Incidence of AEs associated with acupuncture/pharmacopuncture treatment was low, and most cases were not serious. Still, however rare, avoidable AEs can and should be prevented through education and corrective action. Further prospective studies on the effect of error reduction strategies on incidence of adverse effects are warranted.
People who practiced acupuncture or the Alexander Technique had greater pain reductions than those who got standard treatment
Two alternative therapies get a boost of scientific legitimacy in a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Acupuncture, the ancient practice of needle insertion, and the Alexander Technique, a program that teaches people how to avoid unnecessary muscle tension throughout the day and improve posture, coordination, balance and stress, are two complementary therapies often used to help treat neck pain. Treating it is often difficult, and it’s common for people to seek out alternative therapies.
The researchers wanted to see how well two of these worked. They assigned 517 people, all of whom had neck pain for at least three months (and sometimes many years), to the standard care for neck pain, which involves prescription medications and physical therapy. Some of the patients were assigned to also receive one of two extra treatments: a dozen 50-minute acupuncture sessions or 20 private Alexander Technique lessons—which focus on teaching people how to move their body to avoid or correct muscular pain.
A year after the start of the study, people in the groups doing acupuncture and the Alexander Technique had significant reductions in neck pain—pain was assessed by questionnaire—compared to those who just got usual care. Both groups reported about 32% less pain than they had at the start of the study, which is far greater than the 9% typically associated with physical therapy and exercise. The interventions also gave people in the groups more self-efficacy, which were linked to better pain outcomes.
The study adds to growing evidence suggesting that acupuncture is effective against pain; a landmark review in 2012 involving almost 18,000 people with chronic pain concluded that acupuncture was better than standard care and sham acupuncture (which proved the effect is not due to placebo of simply sticking needles in the body.)
“You get a two-fold effect with acupuncture for pain: a natural pain-relieving effect and an anti-inflammatory effect,” says Jamie Starkey, lead acupuncturist at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine, who was not involved in the new study.
Acupuncture manipulates the nervous system, she says, activating the release of pain-relieving endorphins. “With neck pain patients, a lot will get steroid injections or take a non-steroidal anti inflammatory, like ibuprofen or a prescription medication,” says Starkey. “Those medications or injections have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, but the acupuncture needles can do that naturally.”
The influx of new research has helped legitimize alternative therapies like acupuncture, says Starkey. “That’s really brought acupuncture to the forefront of people’s minds and attention, and physicians are a lot more willing to refer their patients to an acupuncturist.”
Acupuncture is successful with smoking cessation and has turned a growing number of cigarette smokers into permanent ex-smokers. Treatments take all of your symptoms into account and aim at balancing the energy within your body to optimize health.
Here at The Holistic Athlete NYC we doubled up the fun and offer smoking cessation treatments in the infrared sauna.
Acupuncture treatments focus on jitters, cravings, irritability and restlessness; all symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.
The needles used are hair-thin and are superficially inserted into various points in the ears and body to assist with smoking cessation. In between treatments, small pellets are taped to the acupuncture points on the ear. When the craving hits, gently pressing on the pellets stimulates the acupuncture points to calm the mind and eliminate your cravings.
And sweating is good for you. Seriously, sweating is one of the body’s safest and most natural ways to heal and maintain good health. Ridding the body of toxins through a natural sauna detox may help further relieve your symptoms, prevent future illness and increase your overall health and vitality. Far infrared saunas are believed to be more effective in moving toxins through the skin than traditional saunas because in a far infrared sauna only 80 to 85% of the sweat is water with the non-water portion being cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, toxic heavy metals, sulfuric acid, sodium, ammonia and uric acid. Far infrared saunas are highly effective in detoxification because of their highly-efficient and patented Solocarbon far infrared heating technology – the only technology proven to raise core body temperature by two-to-three degrees. Rather than simply heating the ambient air to draw out toxins, this sauna detox will heat your core to expel them. 👂🏻🚬🚫📌
In an Italian trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lesi et al found that the addition of acupuncture to enhanced self-care improved hot flashes, climacteric symptoms, and quality-of-life measures in women with breast cancer.
In the trial, 190 women were randomized to receive enhanced self-care with (n = 85) or without (n = 105) acupuncture. Both groups received a booklet with information about climacteric syndrome and its management to be followed for at least 12 weeks. The acupuncture group also received 10 traditional acupuncture treatment sessions involving predefined acupoints.
The primary outcome was hot flash score at the end of treatment at week 12; the score was calculated by multiplying the mean number of daily hot flashes during the week before assessment by mean daily severity (1 = mild, 2 = moderate, 3 = severe). Climacteric symptoms and quality of life were assessed by the Greene Climacteric and Menopause Quality of Life scales.
The acupuncture group had a significantly lower mean hot flash score at the end of treatment (11.3 vs 22.7,P < .001) and at 3-month (14.0 vs 21.9, P = .0028) and 6-month (12.6 vs 17.3, P = .001) post-treatment visits. Acupuncture was associated with fewer climacteric symptoms at 12 weeks (P < .001), 3 months (P = .0063), and 6 months (P < .001) and better quality-of-life outcomes at all time points in vasomotor, physical, and psychosocial domains (all P < .05). No differences were observed in the sexual domain.
The investigators concluded: “Acupuncture in association with enhanced self-care is an effective integrative intervention for managing hot flashes and improving quality of life in women with breast cancer.”
The study was supported by Osservatorio Medicine Non Convenzionali Regione Emilia Romagna.
Giorgia Razzini, PhD, of Civil Hospital, Carpi, is the corresponding author of the Journal of Clinical Oncologyarticle.
The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.
1. If you have anxiety about your upcoming procedure acupuncture can help you relax and stay in balance.
2. Herbal products like the Yunnan Paiyao help reduce bleeding during surgery. These herbs do not interfere with western sedative drugs so they can be used even the day of your surgery.
1. Points on the ear will help your body recover quicker from the anesthesia, improve your appetite, decrease nausea. Body points are used to promote healing, decrease post-operative pain & soreness, reduce medication related side effects and to normalize bowel functions.
2. Certain herbal formulas like Resinall K from Health Concerns are used to help regenerate the tissues, stop the bleeding, bring down inflammation and help reduce reliance of pain killers.
Try acupuncture and have a faster, easier and less painful surgical experience.
Acupuncture never ceases to amaze me... Ganglion cyst treatment #4 - the cyst basically disappeared..
Ganglion cysts are the most common soft-tissue tumors found within the hand and wrist region.
A 28-year-old female patient complaining of a ganglion cyst on the back of the right wrist came in for acupuncture to alleviate the resulting discomfort. As an office worker, her primary concerns involved pain and interference with function as well as unpleasant appearance.
Upon palpation, a hard, soft tissue nodule was found on the back of the wrist. It was painful with pressure but the patient could continue to move her wrist. Initially measuring 1cm by 1 cm, the patient wished to reduce the size of the cyst.
After I treated the patient for three sessions over a week and a half with high frequency electroacupuncture, the patient reported that the ganglion cyst was no longer present.
The prevalence and appropriateness of acupuncture for addictions is well established. The US federal government’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (2007), the United Nations (2006), the State of New Mexico (Bigelow, 2008), as well as the US Department of Defense/Veteran’s Af- fairs (2010) have each published best practice guidelines that address the value of acupuncture for chemical dependency. Federal statistics (SAMHSA, 2000) show that over 500 addictions programs in the US use some form of acupuncture. A more recent estimate by Reuben et al. (2005) determined that at least 1500 addictions programs worldwide use some form of acupuncture for addictions. In Denmark, the NADA protocol is one of the most prevalent forms of Complementary and Alternative Medicine modalities used within rehabilitation programs (Skovgaard, la Cour, & Kristensen 2012). The evidence base for the adjunctive use of the NADA protocol for addictions continues to grow. Studies published in peer-reviewed journals support the adjunctive use of the NADA protocol for heroin, alcohol and cocaine addictions treatment (Bergdahl et al., 2012 Santasiero & Neussle, 2007, Russell, Sharp and Gilbertson 2000, Avants, Margolin, Holford, & Kosten, 2000, Shwartz, Saitz, Mulvey & Brannigan, 1999, Washburn, et al., 1993, Bullock, Culliton, Olander, 1989, Bullock, Ulmen, Culliton, & Olander, 1987,) as well as nicotine addictions (White, Rampes, Liu, Stead, & Campbell, 2011, Bier, Wilson, Studt, Shakleton, 2002, Stuyt & Meeker, 2006, He, Medbe, & Hostmark, 2001, He, Berg, & Hostmark, 1997). Recent studies by Chang, Sommers, & Hertz (2010), and Carter, Olshan-Perlmutter, Norton, & Smith (2011) demonstrate that the NADA protocol in addition to standard care is significantly better than standard addictions care alone. One observational study (Janssen, Demores & Whynot 2005) demonstrated the value of the NADA protocol for people with addictions problems within a harm reduction settings.
The use of ear acupuncture within behavioral health/psychiatric care has expanded in recent years, particularly within US and Indian military units (Niemtzow, 2011, Smith, 2012), European and US prisons and psychiatric hospitals (Smith, Carter, Landgren, & Stuyt, 2011). A national survey in Sweden found that the NADA protocol is widely used in public psychiatric programs (Lindell & Ek, 2010). An estimated 130 prisons in Europe offer the NADA protocol for inmates, with treatments provided by over 500 NADA-trained correctional staff (Smith et al., 2011). Acupuncture continues to be accepted within mainstream psychiatric treatment in the US. Yale Medical School has established a NADA training program for psychiatric residents (Bruce, 2011). The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense Evidence Based Practice Guidelines (2010) assigns a “good quality” of evidence to support the use of acupuncture to treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including symptoms of pain, insomnia, depression and addictions issues. Standardized ear protocols are applied for trauma and pain by mainstream military medics in the US (Niemtzow, Litscher, Burns, & Helms, 2009, Niemtzow et al., 2008, Niemtzow, 2011, Belard & Pock, 2011, Helms et al., 2011). A number of studies support the adjunctive use of the NADA protocol for non-addictions programs within psychiatric hospital, mental health, and prison settings (Lemaire & Gonzalez, 2011, Payer, Ots, Marktl, Pfeifer, & Lehofer, 2007, Berman, Lundberg, Krook, & Gyllenhammar, 2004, Nixon, Cheng, & Cloutier, 2003, Berman & Lundberg 2002). Carter et al. (2011), though conducted within an addictions recovery setting, demonstrated how the NADA protocol alleviates a number of different common health symptoms. Additionally, several published qualitative reports (Cole & Yarberry, 2011, Yarberry, 2010), program evaluations (DARE 2011), acupuncture field reports (Dolan & Menolascino, 2010, Sommers & Porter, 2011) and news stories (Kocherga 2012, Scudder, 2012) demonstrate the value of the NADA protocol as a disaster relief/humanitarian aid intervention for first responders as well as populations affected by violence and trauma. Preliminary reports on the Military Stress Recovery Project’s numerous clinics around the US demonstrate that the NADA protocol can assist veterans with a variety of psychiatric symptoms (Duda Harris, 2012).
The NADA protocol has been used as an adjunctive care and self-help support modality for people with immune and blood disorders, including sickle cell disease, AIDS/HIV, and cancer. Programs using the NADA protocol have been established in the Sickle Cell Support Group of Atlanta, Quest Center for Integrative Health’s breast cancer and HIV programs in Portland, and the University of South Carolina Medical School. Two recent studies have demonstrated preliminary evidence for the use of the NADA protocol as part of cancer therapy (Valois, Young, Robinson, McCourt, & Maher, 2012, Harding, Harris, & Chadwich, 2008).
These five designated points in each ear are a variations of an original protocol used for acupuncture analgesia in Hong Kong. Since then it has been integrated and now used in the treatment of:
1. Any addiction (cigarette, drugs, sugar)
2. Grief or loss
5. Panic attacks
7. Migraine headaches
8. The desire to feel deeply relaxed
9. Recovery from surgery.
Do you suffer from any of these? Come in and get help so you can feel better and live a better life.
In 2002, researchers conducted a random controlled trial* to assess the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating shin splints. Forty athletes with shin splints were divided among three treatment groups: standard sports medicine, acupuncture, and a combined group who received both. The patients received at least two treatments per week for three weeks. The acupuncture and combined groups reported significantly lower pain levels during all activities and at rest. For overall effectiveness, acupuncture was rated at 72.5%, the combined therapy at 54.5%, and standard sports medicine at 46.5%. Self-medication with anti-inflammatory drugs was also significantly lower in the acupuncture and combined groups.
*Acupuncture & Tibial Stress Syndrome [Shin Splints]. Journal of Chinese Medicine 2002 vol 70.
This Saturday I was helping a friend in labour. It was the kind of night you can never tell anyone about because you are either there or you are not. I did these ear acupuncture points. She had a super fast delivery. I got to the hospital at 1.30am and the baby was out by 3.30am. It was her second child. A fantastic experience :-)