A new study out concludes that a 'relatively short course of acupuncture could significantly reduce some of the most unpleasant symptoms of menopause'. You can check out an article about it here. Menopause is something that we have always treated at the Acupuncture Center, and it usually responds well to treatment. This is most likely because the theory that Chinese medicine is based on actually predicts menopause and the symptoms that go along with it. And has developed tried and true treatments to help. My partner Remee is really the expert in treating menopause, and you can check out her practice website (Empress Acupuncture) here. But I also must treat menopause in order to get the best results. Because even if you are treating pain, you need to take into account the increase in inflammation associated with menopause. Because inflammation, or heat as we call it, can turn an acute pain into a chronic pain. So points and sometimes herbal remedies and also dietary guidelines are given which treat pain issues more effectively during menopause. And pain is one of the most common symptoms of menopause.
New research reported in the journal 'Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience' show that the subjects who all did yoga for just 8 weeks, were helped with physical and psychological symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. You can read a report on the research here. This is good news because the drugs used for RA are old chemotherapy drugs. And are not easy on the body, and do not cure the disease. I have patients who have been diagnosed with RA, who no longer have any symptoms to speak of. So are they cured? Maybe. But its always good to have a healthy lifestyle and yoga is something that is amazing for the body and something really anyone can do at some level. I remember my Mom's friend Mary Ellen who has MS and is confined to a wheelchair most of the time and needs help even eating. She was telling me that she goes to yoga twice a week and that she loves it. I thought that was just great.
I was just reading an article talking about how fibromyalgia is often misdiagnosed. Here is the link. It made me think about how different Chinese medicine diagnosis is and how different addressing illness is between these two types of medicine. With Chinese medicine we look at patterns of illness that are at the root of the issue. The root is the major cause of the illness. Then we use whatever is needed, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and dietary tweaks, to go after the root problem. When the root is eliminated, then the illness is over, done. So, I know I have said this before, but you really want to promote health instead of trying to kill illness. The Chinese have been doing this with their medicine for 3000 years.
As many of you know who read my blog, last year I tried tried the ketogenic diet, pretty hard core, for 2 solid months. I wanted to lose 12 pounds and I lost about a pound a day for the first week, then I cheated some and lost 7 more pounds over the remaining time. I started back on a more 'normal' American diet and added intermittent fasting to keep at my goal range of weight. But adding back more carbs, I noticed that I just didn't feel as well, that I was often hungry, and the weight goal I set was harder to maintain. The more cards I consumed the more carbs I wanted. So, I have again cut way back on carbs, and after a short while I don't miss them hardly at all. Sugar for one, I believe is one of those substances that must be held in check. If you don't control sugar it will control you. And in the American diet it is ubiquitous. Its hides in the most unexpected products. Food manufacturers know that it sells more products (see the book 'Fat, Sugar, Salt'). So if you are trying to reduce the sugar in your diet, start reading labels closely. And if you don't understand an ingredient then look it up, because they will try and trick you into thinking their product is not so bad. And start planning your meals and cooking more at home, the only way you can really control the ingredients.
I have talked in other blogs about the many benefits of intermittent fasting. And just as some patients fear the acupuncture needles before they get a treatment and find out that the needles don't hurt - many people are afraid if they fast they will get hungry. It's true you might get a little bit hungry, for a while. But the benefits far outweigh any temporary discomfort. I just read an article that explains recent research that shows some of these benefits - which include helping you live longer! Here is a link to the article: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324347.php
Can you or should you treat colds and even the flu with Chinese medicine? I think we have shown our patients over the years that the answer is yes. Usually the patients we treat for this are our regulars, people who have been coming to see us for years are even over a decade. These people know that we have some good Chinese herbal formulas that work quickly to fight a cold or flu as well as make them feel better almost immediately. And we also use herbs on ourselves to treat an cold that might come up. I have used herbs often to treat upper respiratory infections as well. Some people do not like taking antibiotics and herbs can be an effective and inexpensive alternative. But if you have say a 101 degree temperature or have an extremely sore throat or infected ears, it might be best to get some antibiotics. But herbs can also be taken at the same time to help you feel better and get well even faster.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond