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
Tourette'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
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
There 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
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
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.
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
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
-- Thomas Jefferson
Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog! Happy
4th of July!
Summer is slowly approaching. What does this mean? Summertime is
a season full of energy, heat, longer daylight, and sunny days.
Summer is the season of yang, a time when the body undergoes
vigorous metabolic (body energy) processes.
According to TCM, summer is yang as mentioned earlier, but
summer is also based on the five elements. Summer is fire, color is
red, emotion is joy, and the organ associated with fire is heart
and small intestine. Fire is symbolic because in TCM it is the
maximum activity or greatest yang, which means that it is a time of
heat, outgoingness, and moving outward in nature and in our lives.
In human anatomy, the heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire
element. We should give greatest focus on our heart, mind, and
spirit for staying healthy in summer.
It is important to make sure our body is balance during the
summertime. When we are balanced in the summertime, our heart is
strong and healthy, the mind is calm and sleep is sound. But if we
are not balanced in summertime we create an imbalance in the fire
element, which may cause either lack of joy (depression) or an
excess of joy (mania). Indicators of an imbalance in the fire
element include agitation, nervousness, heartburn, and
Cherry tree in bloom
Dia's Helpful Tips for the
Before we get started on the blog, I want to wish everyone at
NUHS a Happy New Year and a Happy Chinese Year of the Snake!. I
have some great tips for everyone this week to keep us healthy in
the winter season especially if you cannot make it into National's
Whole Health Clinic.
"During the winter months, all
things in nature wither, hide, return home, and enter a resting
period. This is a time when yin dominates yang."
-- The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Chinese
Thinking of Midwest winters, the first thing that pops into our
heads is snow, and more snow, more and more snow, and lots more
snow (just kidding, but typically true), winter break, family
gatherings, overeating, holiday parties, desserts, hot cocoa, puffy
coats, and of course, colds and flu. How do we take care of
ourselves mentally and physically? I have four lifestyle changes
that we can integrate in our daily lives to keep us healthy in the
winter season. I also added Chinese nutritional food therapy, which
includes a classic herb and cooking spice that we can add to our
Keys to Healthy Winter Lifestyle
Cumin: Nutritional Food Therapy Herb
Gui Zhi Tang is the most important formula in the classical
medical text Shang Han Lun, which translated in English
means "On Cold Damage" or "Treatise on Cold Injury." This formula
can be taken regularly to harmonize your Yin and Yang and to
strengthen your immune system. Cumin is a spice that boosts
immunity and improves liver function, reduces flatulence and aids
in digestion. It is an excellent addition to meat curries, stews,
vegetables, seafood, and sauces.
According to nature, our bodies are meant to slow down and
conserve energy during the winter. Times have changed since the
times of the Yellow Emperor thousands of years ago in China, but
the basic principles should not. Keep in mind winter's wisdom in
order to stay healthy throughout the New Year! Remember this is
cold and flu season, so prevention is the key. I would recommend
herbs and getting acupuncture at least once a week during this cold
and flu season will strengthen your immune system.
Happy New Year and thanks for continuing to support the AOM
• Fertility and TCM
• Cupping Therapy
• Boost Your Qi
• AOM and Autism
• New Spring AOM Interns
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