Create Lasting Resolutions & Improve Memory

5 Ways Acupuncture Creates Lasting New Year’s Resolutions

It is the beginning of a new year and, once again, a time to reflect on what changes we can make to improve our lives. If you are intent on improving your health this year, acupuncture and Oriental medicine may be the very thing you need to “stick” to those resolutions.

Here’s how acupuncture can help you achieve your goals:

Resolution 1: Reach Target Weight and Stay There

Losing weight is the #1 most common New Year’s Resolution. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine can help you reach your goal weight and maintain it by promoting better digestion, smoothing emotions, reducing appetite, improving metabolism, and eliminating food cravings.

From an Oriental medicine perspective, the acupuncture points, foods and herbs that are chosen to assist with weight loss directly influence the Qi of the Spleen and Liver systems to treat the root imbalances that are causing the weight gain.

From a Western perspective, acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been shown to have an effect on the function of the nervous system, endocrine system, digestive system, food cravings, and metabolism. All of which can help to energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety.

Resolution 2: Stay Sharp

Your New Year’s resolution may be to learn a new language or take a class at your local college. However you choose to exercise your brain, acupuncture can help. Numerous studies suggest that acupuncture can help improve memory, mental clarity, concentration and cognitive function.

One recently published study (see below) shows how acupuncture can be used to treat memory impairment induced by diabetes and cerebral ischemia. Other studies have looked at how acupuncture affects the performance of students during an exam, post-menopausal “brain fog”, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. All results, thus far, have been positive.

Resolution 3: Relieve Pain Naturally

If pain is keeping you from living your life to the fullest, acupuncture can help. Increasingly, people are looking for more natural approaches to help relieve painful conditions instead of relying on medications.
Acupuncture has no side effects and can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of what is causing the pain or where the pain is located. Some studies have shown the pain relief it provides can last for months.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain before and after acupuncture treatment for pain shows dramatic decreases in activity in the pain centers of the brain – up to 70%.

In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.

Resolution 4: Quit Smoking

Acupuncture has turned a growing number of cigarette cravers into permanent ex-smokers. In fact, researchers say that acupuncture is a promising treatment for all types of addiction from cigarettes to heroin.

In one study, a team from Yale University successfully used auricular (ear) acupuncture to treat cocaine addiction. Results showed that 54.8% of participants tested free of cocaine during the last week of treatment, compared to 23.5% and 9.1% in the two control groups. Those who completed acupuncture treatment also had longer periods of sustained abstinence compared to participants in the control groups.

The acupuncture treatments for smoking cessation focus on jitters, cravings, irritability, and restlessness; symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.

Resolution 5: Eliminate Stress

Stress reduction is always on the top ten list for New Year’s resolutions and for a good reason. Stress is often the cause of illness and the deterioration of health. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and lowering blood pressure

In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a whole gamut of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.

Needless to say, if the stress in your life is throwing you off balance, consider coming in for a treatment to regain peace of mind and stay healthy.

Call now to see how Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you with your New Year’s Resolutions!

Acupuncture Improves Memory and Learning Capacity

Acupuncture can significantly improve learning and memory capacity that has been impaired by hyperglycemia and cerebral ischemia, according to a new study.

A study published in the journal, *Neuroscience Letters*, reported on whether electroacupuncture (acupuncture needles stimulated with a mild electrical current) could improve learning and memory in rats whose memory and cognitive functions were impaired by the decreased circulatory effects of diabetes resulting in cerebral ischemia.

In the study, the effects of the acupuncture treatments were measured with a passive avoidance test, an active avoidance test, the Morris water maze and electrophysiology. With all tests, significant improvements were seen in restoring memory and learning capacity.

The researchers remarked that previous investigations have demonstrated that electroacupuncture can improve primary and secondary symptoms such as peripheral neuropathy and diabetic encephalopathy in diabetic rats. They believe that the positive results of this study warrant further investigation.

Source: Neuroscience Letters Volume 443, Issue 3, 10 October 2008, Pages 193-198 doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2003.10.071

Acupuncture & Natural Cures for Headaches

Headaches are extremely common. While everyone experiences an occasional headache, statistics show that 1 out of 6 people suffer from chronic headaches.

Acupuncture can effectively relieve headaches, as well as treat their underlying causes. In fact, headaches are one of the conditions most commonly seen in acupuncture clinics today. It can offer powerful relief
without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause.

Headaches that can be treated with acupuncture include migraines, tension headaches, headaches occurring around the menstrual cycle, sinus headaches and stress-related headaches.

How Acupuncture Treats Headaches

Many variables are looked at in order to properly diagnose and successfully treat headaches. Each individual is treated differently depending on their unique symptoms.

Some of the factors that will determine what acupuncture points and other treatment techniques are used include: what triggers the headaches; the location, frequency and intensity of the headaches; the quality of the pain; the time of day that they occur; what helps the headaches and what makes them worse.

Types of Headaches

When treating with acupuncture, headaches are often classified by their location. This is only a broad guideline which needs to be further refined and integrated into the treatment for each individual, but this shows meridians and patterns that affect each area of the head.

Top of Head: Liver Meridian (Liver Blood Deficiency, Liver Yang Rising)
Sides of Head: Gall-Bladder Meridian (Liver-Yang, Liver-Fire or Liver-Wind Rising)
One Side Only: Gall-Bladder Meridian (Liver-Yang or Liver-Fire Rising)
Temples: Gall-Bladder Meridian (Liver-Yang, Liver-Fire or Liver-Wind Rising)
Behind the Eyes: Liver Meridian (Liver Blood Deficiency, Liver Yang Rising)
Forehead: Stomach Meridian (Stomach Deficiency or Stomach-Heat)
Back of Head (Occipital): Bladder Meridian (Kidney Deficiency or Damp-Heat in the Bladder) or External Wind
Whole Head: Kidney-Essence Deficiency or External Wind

Acupuncture can significantly relieve headaches and is an important component to managing recurring headaches and migraines. If you have any questions, please call for a consultation.

Studies Show that Acupuncture Stops Headaches

Two separate systematic reviews by Cochrane Researchers show that acupuncture is an effective treatment for prevention of headaches and migraines.

In each study, the researchers tried to establish whether acupuncture could reduce the occurrence of headaches. One study focused on mild to moderate but frequent “tension-type” headaches, whilst the other focused on more severe but less frequent headaches usually termed migraines. Together the two studies included 33 trials, involving a total of 6,736 patients.

Overall, following a course of at least eight weeks, patients treated with acupuncture suffered fewer headaches compared to those who were given only pain killers. In the migraine study, acupuncture was superior to proven prophylactic drug treatments.

In one specific study involving 270 patients, acupuncture cut tension headache rates almost in half. Researchers divided the patients who reported similarly severe tension headaches into three groups for the
study. Over the project=E2=80=99s eight-week period, one group received traditional acupuncture, one received only minimal acupuncture (needles inserted at non-acupuncture points, and at only shallow levels), and the third group received no 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. When they received acupuncture after the main study period, the “no treatment” group also reported significantly fewer headache days.

The improvements continued for months after the treatments were concluded, rising slightly as time went on.

Sources:
British Medical Journal, July 2005
Acupuncture for tension-type headache. Cochrane Database of Systematic
Reviews, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD007587 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007587
Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2009, Issue 1. Art.No.: CD001218 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001218.pub2

7 Healthy Habits for Headache Sufferers

Diet- Eat regular meals at regular times to avoid your blood sugar from falling too quickly. Also, avoid foods and drinks that are known to trigger headache attacks including processed meats, aged cheese, alcohol, and foods and beverages that contain aspartame.

Sleep- Maintain a regular sleeping schedule, including weekends and vacations.

Stress- Stress is one of the most common headache and migraine triggers. Implement stress reduction techniques into your daily life.

Exercise- Exercise stimulates the body to release endorphins, which are brain chemicals that improve mood and relieve stress, which are known headache triggers.

Headache Diary-Keep a diary of when your headaches occur, along with any triggers, and share the information with your healthcare provider.

See Your Healthcare Provider- Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to specifically discuss your headache.

Be a Partner in Your Headache Care- Be informed, be a participant in your treatment and be an advocate for your headache care.