Archive for tag: acupunc

Acupuncture and Tourette's Syndrome

This week's blog is about Tourette's Syndrome and acupuncture. I currently have a new patient with Tourette's. I have only seen her twice in the Lombard clinic but I find her case very interesting.

2013-11-12_brainTourette's is an inherited neuropsychiatric disorder, believed to be organic damage to the central nervous system, which is also associated with attention deficit, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Currently, there is no cure for Tourette's, and no medication that works universally for all patients. The medications prescribed have significant adverse effects.

My patient was diagnosed with Tourette's as a young child. She is now 22 years old. She has a dual diagnosis of OCD and anxiety. The patient has very positive outlook. We are working on anxiety, stress and sleep. We are also focusing on muscle jerks and spasm.

2013-11-12_ribbonThere was a very inspiring article I read last week in Acupuncture Today, November 2013 issue, titled "Beating Tourette's Gaining Life." This article talked about Miss Arizona 2013 (also Miss America pageant hopeful) Jennifer Smesthad beating Tourette's. Miss Arizona, like my patient, was diagnosed around age 10 with Tourette's and with the help of herbs and acupuncture controlled the syndrome and brought awareness to Tourette's syndrome.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tourette's syndrome can be understood as Yang excess due to deficient Yin leading to wind. Those show a deficiency in Kidney yin deficiency or Liver yin deficiency leading to Liver yang rising. Acupuncture has a long and successful history in the treatment of the tics, uncontrolled movements, and vocal disturbances of Tourette's syndrome. I hope in the case of my patient, acupuncture can effectively treat her chronic disorder. In other cases, like Miss Arizona and my patient, patients are seeking a better clinical outcome to control and eliminate Tourette's syndrome rather than take western medications.

I used these acupuncture points this week: Buddha triangular on dominant hand, PC6, four gates LI4, LV3, Cv17, Cv14, Yintang, SP6, and St36, KD3, KD6. I cannot wait to see if these points helped my patient this week.

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog. Have a great week!

Sarcoidosis and Acupuncture

In this week's blog I wanted to share an interesting case that I am currently treating in the veterans' clinic in Lombard. A Vietnam veteran came into the clinic three weeks ago for acupuncture to help with sarcoidosis. He is a 56-year-old black male who was diagnosed sarcoidosis two years ago.

Sarcoidosis is a disease that results from a specific type of inflammation of tissues of the body. It can appear in almost any body organ, but it starts most often in the lungs or lymph nodes. The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown. The disease can appear suddenly and disappear, or it can develop gradually and go on to produce symptoms that come and go, sometimes for a lifetime.

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As sarcoidosis progresses, microscopic lumps of a specific form of inflammation, called granulomas, appear in the affected tissues. In the majority of cases, these granulomas clear up, either with or without treatment. In the few cases where the granulomas do not heal and disappear, the tissues tend to remain inflamed and become scarred (fibrotic). (Mayo Clinic, 2012)

My patient has sarcoidosis in both eyes and has completely lost vision in one. He has sarcoidosis in his spinal cord and lungs. As a result, he is hemiplegic and has suffered many complications. The patient feels that this is result of Agent Orange he inhaled when he served in the Marine Corps during one of his tours in Vietnam.

My patient's symptoms are shortness of breath, fatigue, skin rashes, poor vision, blindness, tinnitus, weight loss, depression, and arthritis in the joints. He also has bowel issues and a Foley catheter, and has a history of diabetes and high blood pressure controlled by medication. He is currently taking over 20 different medications prescribed by the VA hospital.

Acupuncture Points

Acupuncture therapy for sarcoidosis is aimed at draining excess and especially resolving phlegm accumulation. ST-40 (fenglong) is a well-known example of a point used to transform phlegm-damp. Acupuncture may be especially suited to addressing individual constitutional patterns and symptomatic manifestation of the disease (e.g., one might add GB-23,zhejin, in cases of sarcoidosis yielding difficult breathing), while herbal therapies can be used to address the more general characteristics of the disease.

In addition, I have been working with my patient on dietary counseling and Tui Na for arms, hands and shoulders. After the first treatment, my patient has shown improvement with his posture range of motion, and says he feels better after each treatment.

Resource sites: Mayo Clinic 2012 and Subhuti Dharmananda, PhD, director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon, May 2000.

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog! Have a great week!

NUHS AOM Students First Walk for Acupuncture

First, I would like to say welcome back students and faculty at NUHS. I had a wonderful two weeks break. At the end of this trimester, I will graduate with my master's degree in acupuncture. I will still be around campus, though, since I officially dual-enrolled this trimester in the naturopathic medicine program and will be working on second doctorate at Midwestern University in Downers Grove starting in winter quarter.

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This week's blog is about the first Illinois Walk for Acupuncture sponsored by the Illinois Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (ILaaom).  ILaaom is Illinois' oldest professional organization representing licensed acupuncturists and students, along with oriental medical schools and acupuncture-related businesses. It is registered with the State of Illinois as a nonprofit corporation. ILaaom was formed in 1983 (as the Illinois State Acupuncture Association) to be the unifying force for Illinois acupuncturists to uphold ethical and well-regulated standards of practice and to lobby for legislation to advance the profession. ILaaom acknowledges and respects all traditions of acupuncture and oriental medicine, and believes that cooperation and strength among practitioners and supporters will ensure that this ancient medical art will retain its integrity and achieve the recognition and legal status to which it is entitled, thus enhancing the quality of health care for people in Illinois.

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The first Illinois walk for acupuncture was held this past Saturday, September 7th from 9am to 12pm in downtown Chicago along our beautiful lakefront. We had a great turnout. They coined the phrase "Move your Qi - Walk for Acupuncture." Everyone had a great time!

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The walk helped raised money to continue our work of increasing awareness of the benefits of acupuncture, advancing and defending the practice of acupuncture in Illinois, and improving services and support for practitioners. ILaaom will be having future walks and events. You can visit their website: Support Acupuncture.

A Big Thanks to NUHS students, friends, and family who were able to attend the event.

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog! Have a great week!

TBI and Acupuncture

Acupuncture can be used as complementary treatment for stroke, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I am currently treating a 29-year-old Marine veteran who suffered a stroke and a traumatic brain injury in 2006.

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While there is no definite evidence that acupuncture treatments can cure severe brain injuries, studies and clinical experience demonstrate that victims of brain injury and stroke have a higher chance of recovery and rehabilitation if acupuncture treatment is used soon after the injury.

My patient case is very complex and unique. His acupuncture treatment focus is on his brain injury, stroke and PTSD. His main objective is to bring back feeling and function to his body, help with vision, speech impairments due to apraxia, spasticity (uncontrolled movements) in both his hands, and regulate stress and anxiety.

His TCM DX (diagnosis) is shen disturbance with trauma bi. His treatment strategy is to calm the shen and relieve bi pain. I use scalp acupuncture, but I also incorporate Tui Na (Chinese massage) and Sotai. Sotai is a systematic form of exercise using active and passive exercises. It is similar to kinesiology, but the key to Sotai is correct breathing and a natural balancing of one's weight while moving. Sotai treatments are often immediately effective in reducing the effects of the stress on one's body.

2013-07-30_sotai _footEach time he comes in for treatment he responds well overall. His wife has seen the improvement in his conditions over the past 9 months at our Lombard clinic. His progress has been slow and steady, but significant. He also receives chiropractic treatment, speech therapy, cold laser therapy, massage, equestrian therapy, and intense physical therapy. His motto continues to be Semper Fi!

It is an honor and a privilege to treat him. His dedication and determination is inspiring to me and those around him.

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog! Have a great week!

9000 Needles

Have you seen the video documentary "9000 Needles"? If you haven't, I highly recommend this video to my patients, friends and family and especially prospective AOM students. Why you ask?

While we watch, the video asks us one powerful question. How far would you go for a fighting chance? The documentary discusses the complicated case of a person named Devin Dearth. He was a healthy 40-year-old married man, a father of three, who suffered a stroke that paralyzed the right side of his body. His case is a complicated one because of his brain stem bleed, which was the cause of his major stroke.

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I was moved by this documentary--Devin's determination to fight his way back to a somewhat normal life after his severe stroke and his family's deep seeded love for him and each other. I could not contain my tears of joy and sadness for the Dearth family.

I don't want spoil the documentary but this documentary is not just about Devin Dearth and his family. It also brings to the forefront the importance of integrative medicine and our failing health care system in United States.

What do I mean by failing? The U.S. continues to have the highest cost per capita--twice what other major industrialized countries spend--for health care, and has dropped to last among 19 countries on a measure of mortality amenable to medical care. We spend more and more money with nothing to show for it. We have a number of Americans who have little or no health care insurance. We lack adequate preventive care. We lack appropriate primary care. We allow greedy insurance and pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of our health care system, therefore, taking advantage of us.

I close with this quote:

If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their body will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny. 
-- Thomas Jefferson

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog! Happy 4th of July!