Archive for tag: clinic

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!

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!

Graduating Senior Interview - Meet Lauren Warner

2013-07-23_laurenQ: Why did you decide to come to National University of Health Sciences and dual enroll in both chiropractic and acupuncture?

A: I majored in mass communication and nutrition in undergrad at Miami, and when I graduated, I ended up working in the advertising industry for 4.5 years. It was a great experience, but I really wanted to be involved with health care and wanted to help people on a day-to-day basis. My father is a chiropractor and I've seen what a great influence he's had on his patients and their well-being over the years. I chose NUHS because of the well-rounded curriculum and evidence-based practice program. In my 4th trimester of the DC program, I decided to try acupuncture in the clinic to see what I thought about it, just in case I was going to recommend it to patients in the future. I ended up loving it so much I decided to pursue my master's degree in acupuncture.

Q: What are the pros and cons of dual enrollment?

A: Being dual-enrolled was great because the acupuncture classes are at night, so I was able to do both programs full-time without having to slow down. It was also nice when studying to be able to approach a condition from a western and eastern medicine standpoint. Both chiropractic and acupuncture are awesome treatments on their own, but they are so complementary with each other that it's very beneficial for the patients to have a practitioner that can do both. The downside of being dual-enrolled is that it can be exhausting and it's easy to get burned out. Since I chose to stay full-time with both programs, there were multiple 14-hour days in there that really kicked my butt.  

Q: What are the pros and cons of AOM clinic and DC clinic?

A: The pros are that you get to see a variety of patients and get to use both eastern and western treatments. The clinic experience has been great on both sides, and the clinicians are awesome and have really given me the guidance I needed. The AOM clinic has allowed me to work with veterans here in Lombard and work in a hospital atmosphere downtown as well. However, it can be frustrating, because even as a dual-enrolled student I still had to treat an AOM patient with acupuncture and a DC patient with chiropractic, and I couldn't combine them in the same visit because they are separate shifts and are overseen by separate clinicians. But it's still good experience because it gives me an idea of how I'll operate when I have my own practice.

Q: Where do you see the future of integrative medicine?

A: I think more and more patients are going to be searching for a doctor or health care practice that can provide them with a variety of treatment strategies instead of a single option. I think patients can only benefit from having a plethora of resources available to them that address them as a whole person and take into account all aspects of their lifestyle. Students should really read up on Andrew Weil, MD, who has put out some great material regarding the importance of integrative medicine. A recent article described his treatment strategy as "not being wedded to a particular dogma, western or eastern, only to the get-the-patient-better philosophy," which is the way all practitioners should think.

Q: What are your future plans?

A: I will be opening my own practice in Indiana after I graduate in August. I'll be working out of the same office as my soon-to-be husband, who is also an NUHS graduate, so it will be nice to have a National colleague to bounce ideas off of. He does a lot of ART/DNS/MacKenzie work, where I will focus more on acupuncture, so we'll have a variety of treatment options for our patients. I'd love to get in part-time with a hospital in the area after a few years of private practice, as well as focus on using my advertising background to work with national and state organizations to promote CAM therapies.

A BIG thanks to Lauren! We wish her the best in her future endeavors and upcoming wedding in August.

Thank you for your continued support in the AOM blog!  Have a great week as we count down to finals and graduation.

Cupping Therapy

What is cupping? Cupping was used in China for thousands of years. The method was used primarily to withdraw pus and blood in the treatment of boils. Cattle horn was used in early years for cupping therapy. The Qing dynasty introduced the use of bamboo, ceramic and glass cups for cupping. The modern cupping instruments, which are used in United States clinics, are glass, plastic and rubber cups. Occasionally, bamboo cups are used. 

Cupping is a simple method of suction or negative pressure that pulls "stuck," stagnant, and congealed blood and fluids out of the injured area. Plastic or glass cups are placed on the skin and then applied using suction. Cups are kept on from five to 30 minutes, according to the judgment of the acupuncturist. Cupping releases tight, painful muscles and increases blood circulation. 

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Cupping therapy can also be used to treat pain, Bi syndromes, such as low back pain, shoulder pain, leg pain caused by wind dampness, digestive problems, and even respiration problems. Cupping therapy has been used for cosmetic purposes such as broken veins, breast enhancement and cellulite. I regularly use cupping in the clinic for stress reduction, muscle pain and tightness in the upper and lower body. Patients are always saying how wonderful cupping feels and how relaxed they feel after their treatment.

Helping Veterans' Pain 

We have been using cupping therapy in the NUHS Whole Health Center PTSD Clinic in Lombard. Many of the veterans' bodies have been bruised and battered. They live with constant physical pain. They find cupping as one of the many therapeutic therapies to help with pain management and stress reduction for PTSD.

Cupping therapy has precautions and contradictions. As a result of performing cupping, red or purple circle will often be produced on the skin, or you may even see black circle that may take a few days to heal. These circles are only dark colored in the area cupped and may result in bruising. Since cupping marks take a few days to heal, please consider if you are going to the beach or to an event where you will be revealing the cupped area.

Cupping is not advisable or recommended if you are pregnant, have a circulation disorder, hemophilia, lupus, or diabetes, sunburns, wounds, skin ulcers, edema, high fever, hemorrhages, and are using anticoagulant drugs. Cupping is also not recommended for children under the age of seven.

Remember cupping helps to release tight muscles, increase blood circulation, relieve stress, move congealed body fluids, however bruising and bleeding may sometimes occur.

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog. Ask about cupping therapy next time you make your next appointment in the Lombard clinic. Have a stress free week!