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.

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.

Good and bad fluids in the body

water in bodyFluids and water can take many forms in the human body. Good forms of “fluid” in the body are many-fold and include the substance that lubricates your eyes, the material that surrounds the baby in the uterus before birth and many more.

Bad forms of water/fluids in the body would be the many things that people experience that cause discomfort, including a sensation of foggy–headedness, nasal congestion, runny nose, a productive cough, edema, excessive urination, excessive fatty tissue in the body (one way to think of fatty is a condensed version of phlegm, interestingly), and even cysts and or tumors.

So no, water is not simply just the stuff that you drink out of a glass and is not in the body easily replaced by simply “drinking more water.”

There are key systems in the body such as the spleen/pancreas, the stomach, the lungs and the kidney/adrenal that are in charge of the distribution, metabolism and elimination of water throughout the body. If you get those systems working, and you eat a diet that doesn’t increase dangerous fluid production in the body, you will have a balance of fluids and not experienced negative effects of “bad” fluids.

New Year’s Resolution: Seasonal Eating

Every January many of us resolve to make changes to better our health. One of the most common of these goals is to eat right in order to lose some extra weight. Sadly, only about 8% of us actually manage to achieve this goal long-term. There are a few ideas of proper diet in Chinese Medicine that can help many more make this particular goal a reality.

Seasonal Eating

In Western culture, we use lots of salads, raw veggies and cold smoothies to cut calories, increase fiber intake and hopefully, shed some pounds. While these foods are all very nutritious, their raw state and often “cold” quality can cause digestive function strain that, in the long run, will hurt rather than help attaining an appropriate body weight by disrupting fluid metabolism and making the body collect unwanted fluids.

steamed vegetables
Steamed Veggies. If you want some recipes, feel free to email or call us.

When it’s cold outside, we should be putting warm foods inside to support the natural temperature of our digestive process. It’s best to choose foods that would have been available at this time of year before the invention of refrigeration, freezing and long-distance shipping. This means we should be eating more things like root vegetable (beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions), fermented or pickled foods (sauerkraut, pickles), healthy grains (rice, oats, quinoa or wheat if you tolerate it), legumes (beans and peas), and lean organic meats, fish an poultry. Warm the food up! It’s cold outside, and your insides work best when warm. Lightly saute, stew, steam, or roast meals. Soups are awesome in the winter. Try some new spices like ginger, curries or chilis. Experiment with a steamer, slow cooker, or pressure cooker.

By eating appropriate, fresh, freshly prepared foods we strengthen and protect the digestive system in the body. This will reward us with less cravings, better digestive health, a more even metabolism, less puffiness and fluid buildup, and long-term healthier weight and energy regulation. By thinking long-term for our bodies we set ourselves up for lasting success and good health into the new year and beyond.

Chai

Winter is a time for chai, which is one of the most wonderfully warming and stimulating and good tasting thing is you can drink in winter that is truly healthy for you.

chai tea

Literally translated, Chai means “tea”, funny enough. As you can see, calling it “chai tea” is a bit redundant.  Funny, no?  This article over at Mental Floss will give you some very interesting chai word history: Don’t “Chai and “Tea” both mean the same thing?

Give the following recipe a try at home in your crock pot. Ingredients are easily found at any health food store including the Outpost, Whole Foods and such. Done right, this is far better and healthier than the often over – sweetened, syrupy versions that you may find it coffee shops in United States.

This is a recipe to be modified to suit your taste.

First, buy the following ingredients from the Outpost store (or other health food store):

  • 4 TB Green Cardamom Pods, crushed
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 10-15 2” cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 6 quarter-sized pieces fresh ginger root
  • 4-6 cups milk alternative (almond milk or cashew milk)
  • Optional: few drops stevia extract as sweetener (stevia can also be bought in a powder form)
  • 2 black tea bags

Directions: Bring 1 ½ gallons of water to a boil in large pot.  Add above herbs.  Lower heat to a simmer & simmer for 60 minutes.  Strain herbs.  If you prefer to add black tea, at this point steep black tea bags for 5-10 minutes (steep: to let tea bags sit in hot  water). The final step is to add milk substitute & stevia & serve warm.  Refrigerate remainder of tea, for later use (re-heat before drinking again).

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.

Western Medicine and Your Health

One of my earliest inspirations when studying Acupuncture was the book Between Heaven and Earth by Beinfield and Korngold.

There is a lot of wisdom to be gotten from that particular book, but the concept that struck me most was understanding how Western medicine developed.

In short, there was a Frenchman in the 1600s, René Descartes, who developed certain theories about the mechanistic aspects of the natural world. He drew certain conclusions about health and disease based on mechanical laws, which ultimately led to the logic used in the western scientific method.

Although incredibly accurate and responsible for much western scientific development, Descartes’s ideas also limited our worldview; in my opinion, by not accounting for subtlety in the natural world and also in the human body.

Western science, and therefore Western medicine, has incredible value in effective diagnosis and in addressing crisis situations, far more than any other medicine developed on the planet.

However, as one can see by the astounding number of Americans who are simply not healthy, living on medications that they need to take their entire lives in order to suppress certain symptoms, the truth of health goes beyond the scientific method. The key to health is more likely found in a subtle understanding of relationships between organ systems, glandular systems, the nervous system, and the circulatory system in the body that has been eloquently developed over the last 3500 years…known as Chinese medicine.

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)