What is a “disease process?”

Let’s talk about the concept of “disease process”.

Disease is defined as: “a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.”

Process is defined as: “a natural or involuntary series of changes”

Putting this together, when we look at the definition of “disease process,” we would say that it is “a series of natural or involuntary changes that caused a disorder of structure or function, which produces symptoms.”


 

One of the things that makes our treatment style unique is the fact that we treat the underlying cause of the problem. After we develop a diagnosis of the underlying cause (or disease process), we treat that to resolve the symptom(s). A term that could be used to explain in broad terms that underlying cause of a symptom would be the term disease process.

Let’s use an example of high blood pressure: We view high blood pressure as a symptom of an underlying disease process. A person has long-term emotional stress, which leads to a breakdown of liver function. The liver (known in Oriental medicine as intimately connected to stress in day-to-day living), may have a negative effect on the heart. This, in turn, leads to tension in the blood vessels, increasing the pressure (due to less elasticity) of the fluid in the inside of the blood vessel. Hence, high blood pressure.

Outlined above is obviously one of many potential causes of high blood pressure, however is relatively common and illustrates the fact that a disease process will often lead to a symptom. If a person treats the symptoms only, it will never fully resolve.

Nothing in this document is tended as a replacement for a medical doctor’s diagnosis or treatment.

What is a “symptom?”

Let’s look at the actual definition of the word symptom.

SYMPTOM: “a physical or emotional manifestation of an underlying disease process, indicating there is an imbalance.” We look at your symptoms as indicators that there is something wrong a deeper level.

Many people come to us with a particular condition that the doctors diagnosed as a disease. What we have found many times is that the diagnosis is merely a symptom OF a disease.

Example: a person comes in with a diagnosis of “migraines”.

Sounds perfectly straight forward, doesn’t it? Well, unfortunately for the patient, the diagnosis given is usually a description of specific symptoms that are slightly unique for each person, but fall under the diagnostic category of “migraines.”

What we have found clinically is that the body has an imbalance which is the actual and TRUE disease process. The disease process is what is causing the migraines, which is when the symptoms of pain, visual disturbances, etc. appear.

It seems a major misstep in conventional Western medicine lies within a misunderstanding of the following word….SYMPTOM.

How to get the most out of supplements you take

It seems that a lot of patients have been asking us lately: “How can I get the most out of the supplements and herbs I take?”

A lot of people take supplements and herbs with all kinds of drinks, and oftentimes either those drinks are cold or on ice.

human body temperature at 98.6 degrees
The temperature of the human body is 98.6 degrees

That can go OK, but the most optimum way to take herbs and/or supplements would be with warm water. The reason for this is that the human body’s temperature is at 98.6°F. The body would best absorb  supplements and herbs at close to that temperature, without burning yourself obviously.

What is a TDP lamp and how does it work?

TDP lamp for acupuncture treatmentTDP stands for Teding Diancibo Pu, in Chinese, which translates to “special electromagnetic spectrum” lamp.

If you’ve been to our clinic, you’ve probably seen these used in the treatment area.

The reason these lamps are so incredibly effective is because there is a mineral plate that has many elements from the earth that sits between the heating element and the body.  The lore of this therapeutic heat lamp is that these minerals were discovered in a mine in China where the workers were particularly healthy. The content of that mine’s walls were duplicated in the lamp’s mineral disk.

What we’ve seen clinically is that those minerals seem to infuse into the body, giving a far more intensive therapeutic outcome than just heat. These lamps are used to treat very specific circulation problems in the body. If you have any questions, you can always ask us!

[ Spring Acupuncture Special ]

Spring Acupuncture Deal

Spring Acupuncture Deal

When you first come to our acupuncture clinic, you will meet with one of our health care professionals and our acupuncturists. During your first visit, we conduct a very thorough evaluation and do some preliminary diagnostics to determine your current state of health as well as your health care needs. We will also go over what you can expect from acupuncture and how we are treating you, specifically.

Fill out the form above to get started. You can also call our clinic directly to schedule your appointment and talk to someone today!

**Remember to mention code SPRING101**

There are over 2,000 acupuncture points in the human body.

acupuncture pointsYes, it is true…2,000 acupuncture points! Now you can see why the training to become an acupuncturist is so involved. And that’s not even counting the study of anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, Chinese herbology, bodywork, nutrition and so on.

Basically, after we establish that we can help somebody using acupuncture, we must establish exactly what points are going to help the person the most.

The combination of points is VERY important. The most effective combination of points gets the body to begin functioning again, similar to the exact combination that opens a safe.

There are specific diagnostic methods that of been in use for literally hundreds and hundreds of years that we use in the clinic that guide us to the best point combination which leads to the most effective healing.

2000 acupuncture points may sound like a lot, but in using the logic of Chinese medicine, anywhere from a very select 4 to 25 points will usually do the trick in a typical treatment.

What’s best: Ice or Heat?

Knee injury

We treat A LOT of injuries. The one question gets brought up every time: “Should I use ice to help treat my injury?” The answer isn’t always simple.

In the West, healthcare providers often times recommend applying ice to areas of swelling and/or inflammation. Sometimes that is the best thing to do, but not always. Other people only apply heat, and, again, it may help in some cases, but not in every case.

To help decide what is best for you and your specific situation, here is some basic data about injuries and pain:

  • First, in our clinical experience, we have seen that inflammation (swelling) after an acute injury to a joint is generally the body’s attempt to immobilize the joint to prevent further damage. Therefore, in simply applying ice to eliminate that inflammation, one is also reducing the body’s healing ability.
  • Next, it is important to realize that different pain conditions are either worsened or improved by hot or cold. Sometimes, cold makes an injury better. Other times, heat can make an injury heal faster.
  • Another useful piece of information is to understand that cold generally reduces circulation whereas heat increases circulation.

It is our stance that each case needs to be taken individually. Talking to an acupuncturist would help to guide you in the decision-making process. As a general rule, you could probably most safely alternate applying hot and cold. In cases of significant inflammation, ending with cold may be best.

Athletes and Acupuncture

athletes who use acupunctureAthletes and acupuncture go together very well. Even famous athletes have seen the benefits of acupuncture. (See this tweet from Kobe Bryant here). Over the years we have helped many people that participate in many sports, including basketball, football, hockey, volleyball, running, baseball, golf, swimming, rowing, and people who go to the gym regularly.

Acupuncture is good for three different areas when we deal with athletes:

  • Sports injuries: the athlete who has injured him or herself “in the line of exercise duty.”
  • Injury Prevention:  athletes who want to prevent injury, which acupuncture is particularly good at helping with.
  • Performance enhancement: athletes who want to improve their performance naturally. Patients often notice improved hand/eye coordination, smoother muscle function, improved muscle control, improved cardiovascular function, increased lung capacity and quicker recovery times after intense activity.

By stimulating circulation throughout the body, acupuncture can help heal injuries, prevent injuries, and enhance performance.

If you have any questions, you can always ask. Email (info@milwaukeeacu.com) or call (414) 332-8888.

Chinese New Year

2016 is the 4713th Chinese Year. (Sounds crazy, right?!)

chinese new year red monkeyBeginning on February 4th, we officially move into the year of the “Red Monkey.” The day of Chinese New Year falls on February 8th.

The exact origin of this holiday is too old to be traced, but many explanations still exist. One idea is that the holiday originated when a beast named Nian (which means year in Chinese) came out the night before the new year and started to prey on the people in the villages. Of course, the people were very frightened by this monster and so a brave old man went up to the beast and said to him that instead of eating the people of the villages, he should eat the other beasts that frightened these people. Nian followed the old man’s request and all of the beasts were chased into the forest. The old man rode away on Nian’s back, and as it turns out, the man was an immortal god. The people of the village were very grateful to the old man for giving them a peaceful life. Before the old man left for good, he told the people to put up red paper decorations on their windows and doors at the beginning of each new year because the color red scared the beast. They also set off firecrackers to scare away the horrible beast.

During the Chinese New Year’s celebration, people participate in many traditional activities. The Chinese believe that as they enter a new year, they should put behind them all things of the past. They clean their houses, pay off debts, purchase new clothes, paint their doors and window panes, and even get new haircuts. These activities symbolize new life and new beginnings.

Homes are decorated with flowers and paper decorations stating wishes of prosperity, good luck, happiness, good fortune, wealth, and longevity for the coming year. Decorations of the incoming zodiac animal are also displayed. Red and gold are very popular colors to decorate with. Red represents power happiness, vitality (and scares away beasts). Gold represents wealth and good fortune.

The dragon is another popular symbol for Chinese New Year. It is a symbol of strength, goodness, and good luck, and supernatural forces. The dragon is said to be a mythical combination of many animals.

A Chinese New Year celebration would not be complete without fireworks. There are many beliefs about why fireworks are used. One is that the noise wakes up the dragon who will fly across the sky to bring the spring rain for the crops. Another belief is that the noise of the fireworks is supposed to scare away all evil spirits and misfortunes, preventing them from coming into the new year. In fact, gunpowder was invented in China over 1000 years ago for that very purpose.

 

What is  the difference between acupuncture and acupressure?

The answer to that is quite simple. Acupuncture affects your body in a very precise way and on a deeper level then acupressure. Acupuncture can stimulate as deep as the organ system, for example the liver or the kidneys. When we place an acupuncture needle into a specific point, say on the top of the foot, it can actually cause a functional change in the liver.

acupressure

Acupressure, although potentially powerful, may not cause as deep and as precise of a change. As a result, acupuncture’s results tend to be more permanent than acupressure.

We find that in certain cases, you may get much faster results utilizing both scopes of practice. With some patients, we recommend continued stimulation of certain acupuncture points outside of the clinic for best results, although in many cases, it is not necessary.

In short, one is neither better or worse than the other. Depending on the condition, they can both be very helpful.

If you have any questions about acupressure, we’re always here to help. Give us a call or shoot us an email and we’d be happy to assist you.