Archive for tag: veterans

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.

2013-09-24_sarcsympt

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!

Save a Vet Benefit

2013-07-16_dogvet1I wanted to share on my blog this week about a wonderful organization for which I was honored to volunteer this weekend at Four Lakes Recreation in Lisle, Illinois. This event was the Harley Davidson 6th Annual Bike and Hot Rod Poker Run benefitting military working dogs through Save-A-Vet.org.

Save-A-Vet began in the heart of Iraq War veteran Danny Scheurer when he was stationed in one of the most dangerous places in Baghdad during one of the worst times in the war. Danny learned that a military contractor whose contract with the government was not being renewed had decided to abandon their corporate-owned K-9s on the backstreets of Baghdad, leaving behind these noble animals to avoid the costs of transporting and sheltering them.

The Save-A-Vet mission helps rescue military and law enforcement working dogs and other service animals from being put down when their service to country and community is done, and provides housing and relief for disabled veterans who help take care of them.

2013-07-16_dogvet2The invitation to volunteer to help our canine friends but also our veterans was an inspiring opportunity. I want to thank Holistic Health Care Centers LLC, Healer Warrior, and the seven AOM interns for all their time and effort for this very worthy cause. I met many veterans, active duty and reserve, from all branches and their canine companions.

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please visit their website at Save-A-Vet.org. This is a great way to show our support to our veterans, Stoic professionals and four-legged friends.

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog. Stay cool! It's going to be hot one this week!