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.

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!

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.

Do antidepressants have limitations?

 

antidepressant medicationPatients often times report to us that the antidepressant medications they are taking have limitations.

Western medicine oftentimes looks at problems such as depression as merely a problem related to brain chemistry. While clinically it seems to be accurate the brain chemistry is involved, our experience shows that particular theory simply scratches the surface.

The following seems to be a bit more accurate:

  • A person may have some kind a predisposition, based upon many possible factors including trauma and other previous experiences. Genetics may play some part possibly.
  • There is a potential breakdown and function internally under those stresses which changes liver function, the liver being very important when it comes to a person’s emotional outlook and the ability to deal with the mental and emotional stresses of life, according to ancient and accurate findings of Chinese medicine.
  • When the liver loses function, many symptoms may arise, including depression, irritability, frustration, angering easily and/or impatience.

From everything we have seen, the reason that occurs lies in the liver’s relationship with blood leading to a change in blood chemistry and therefore a reduction in the number of amino acids going to the blood brain barrier (those amino acids would normally convert into chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain that apparently give one a particular outlook on things).

So, as you can see, it is possible that in certain cases addressing only brain chemistry is simply looking at the tip of a very large iceberg.

Nothing in this document is intended as a substitute for your doctor’s diagnosis and/or treatment. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA.

How Chinese Herbs Work

Many people take Chinese herbs, but there is much confusion as to how they actually work.

Chinese herbs
Fundamentally, Chinese herbal formulas restore circulation and build organ function. The way that a formula is composed includes combining specific herbs to cause a very specific outcome and having those herbs complement each other.

In fact, the original basis of Chinese herb formulation was patterned after the hierarchical governmental system in China:

  • as an example there may be an “emperor” herb that has the most powerful effect,
  • a “general” herb which directs the activities of the formula,
  • and “envoy” herb that carries the herb to the correct location (for example if the person had knee problems this would drive the formula into the knee directly).

A typical Chinese herbal formula could have anywhere from three to twenty-five herbs in it, depending on the person and the complexity of their condition.

What is the difference between acupuncture and chirporactic

Patients often times ask what is the difference between Chiropractic and acupuncture.

First of all, the two are quite complementary. Chiropractic works directly on nervous system via the spine and sometimes other joints. Acupuncture works on the nervous system to cause changes in circulation and organ/glandular function.

Secondly, as a generalization one could say that Chiropractic deals with structural imbalances whereas Acupuncture deals more directly with circulatory imbalances and organ system imbalances.

Interestingly, it does seem from our experience clinically that function does govern structure, answering the questions of a debate that has been a part of man’s search for health for some time.  An example of a patient who reported having is “back go out”, which turned out to be a disc that had moved out of place and the acupuncture treatment we performed on his arms and legs caused changes in circulation in the muscles of his back that then popped the disk back into place 45 minutes after the treatment.

Irregular and Painful Menstruation

Unfortunately, many women suffer with monthly symptoms related to menstruation.  It is entirely possible that a woman with severe imbalances might have to live with some form of misery, but we have found the vast majority of the time that consistent treatment over time with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine will help improve that time of the month.

The following attributes illustrate high female reproductive system function:

  • Timing: menstruation should coincide with the new moon and ovulation should occur during the full moon (if the moon phases can affect the oceans’ tides, it can certainly affect body fluids)
  • Duration: typically, flow should last 3-5 days
  • Color: should be a healthy, red without abnormalities such as purple, pink, pale, brown, or black
  • Amount: moderate at onset, a slight increase at midpoint, followed by a slight decrease just before ending (there should not be particularly heavy flow at any point)
  • The rest of the month should pass without symptoms.

It can be very upsetting to some when they find out what a normal menstrual cycle should be.  Do not take offense; the intention is to not upset, rather to simply outline a normal reproductive cycle.  Thankfully, when one’s menstrual cycle normalizes, menopause is a very smooth and effortless process that passes very quickly without significant abnormal symptoms.

 

(source: http://www.amazon.com/Oriental-Medicine-You-500-year-old-Understandable/dp/0615456367)