I want to remind everyone that March is
Colon Cancer Awareness Month. On March 1, I had the privilege of
attending a health fair in Naperville sponsored by the American
Cancer Society. I spoke and distributed colon cancer awareness
materials to over 150 individuals.
Colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer in Illinois claiming
2,500 lives annually. Yet it's one of the only cancers that can be
prevented through screenings that allow doctors to find polyps
growing in the colon and remove them before they turn
It is recommended that if you are 50 years old or older, you are
due for a colonoscopy. Nine out of every 10 cases of colon cancer
are found in this age group. If you have a family history, I
recommend having the conversation with your doctor that you may
need to be screened even earlier.
The good news is that colonoscopy is covered by insurance once
every 10 years, and sometimes five years if recommended by your
doctor. Insurance plans like Medicare and Medicaid will pay for
preventive treatment. The American Cancer Society is working to
provide free colon cancer screening for patients who lack medical
coverage to pay for the test; free tests are available for those
without health insurance through partnerships with hospitals across
Illinois. Among the hospitals now offering free exams are
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center,
Southern Illinois Healthcare, Southern Illinois University School
of Medicine, and the University of Chicago Hospitals.
The American Cancer Society's Epidemiology Research Program is
currently inviting men and women between the ages of 30 and 65
years who have no personal history of cancer to join their Cancer
Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) that will begin in April. The ultimate
goal is to enroll at least 300,000 adults from various
racial/ethnic backgrounds across the U.S. By joining CPS-3, you can
help researchers understand how to prevent cancer, which will save
lives and give people more of their most precious
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the
study, please contact your local cancer society. The nearest local
for Dupage is the DuPage Regional Office at 1801 Meyers Road,
Suite 100, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181. The phone number is
630-932-1141. They are open Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Please contact Lauren Brandmeyer for additional information
regarding the study.
Thank you for your continued support of the AOM Blog. Have a
If you, a friend, a family member, or a patient is trying to
become pregnant, you may want to consider acupuncture and
Traditional Chinese Medicine. The enhancement of fertility has been
at the heart of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 5,000 years,
and there has been great success with acupuncture and herbal
medicine treating infertility. Below are real patient's questions
that I have been asked in the clinic regarding fertility
How does acupuncture improve fertility?
Acupuncture causes a reduction of stress hormones and a release
of endorphins that produce a profound state of relaxation. Research
has shown that women with elevated stress levels have significantly
lower pregnancy rates. Regular acupuncture treatments result in the
correction of the body's neuro-endocrinological activity resulting
in hormonal regulation and balance. The insertion of needles in
specific acupoints in the body increases ovarian and uterine blood
flow. This increased flow stimulates ovulation and enhances growth
of the uterine lining. Acupuncture supports implantation and growth
of the embryo during the very crucial initial stages of fetal
Fuke 11.24 (Tung's Point)
How does herbal therapy improve fertility?
Herbs work to nourish and strengthen the body; assimilation of
critical nutrients supports a healthy pregnancy. The quality of
ovarian eggs and the thickness of the uterine lining are dependent
on adequate nutrition. When present in the reproductive area,
inflammation creates yet another obstacle to fertility, so
acupuncturists prescribe specific herbs to reduce inflammation.
Lastly, other select herbs are effectively used to regulate and
balance hormone levels.
Can TCM also help with infertility in men?
Yes, Traditional Chinese Medicine is commonly used to increase
and improve the quality, motility and quantity of sperm. Since male
infertility accounts for over 40% of infertility issues in couples,
male partners are encouraged to partake in regular treatments to
address potential sperm issues. Strengthening the male partner
increases the odds of pregnancy. I often encourage couples to come
in together for fertility support.
Huanchao 11.06 (Tung's acupuncture)
Word to the Wise: Please be careful when treating women patients
who are trying to get pregnant or have history of miscarriage;
avoid acupuncture points ST12, GB21, LI4, SP6, UB60, UB67. These
are very strong points that move the qi and blood. I often use
these points: DU20, Zigong, Fuke 11.24 (Tung's point), Huanchao
11.06 (Tung's acupuncture) and sometimes auricular points in the
ear uterus, endocrine, ovary, LV, KD, depending on the patient. I
also remind fertility patient's that consistency is the key to
successful fertility support along with a healthy balanced diet and
exercises, such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi. In addition, I ask
patient's to create a menses calendar to track their menstruation
cycle and ovulation cycle.
Thanks for continuing to support of AOM blog. Remember spring is
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.
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!
"A disease that may not be treated by acupuncture, may be
treated by moxibustion." -- Miraculous Pivot
The Chinese medical therapy called moxibustion warms areas of
the body and can penetrate to the muscles, tendons and bones. In
Chinese we say "Jui" for moxibustion. Moxibustion helps to relieve
pain, stimulate blood circulation, relax muscles, and induce a
healthier flow of chi, or energy. By warming and opening the
channels and collaterals, it assists the body's natural healing
Moxibustion therapy uses the herb, mugwort or Artemesia Argyi.
The fuzz that grows on the underside of the mugwort leaf is made
into moxa. The properties of moxa are bitter, acrid and warm.
Acupuncturists and/or Chinese medical practitioners may use moxa
directly on the skin and on top of needles. Most commonly, a roll
of moxa, which can be smokeless, is held directly over an
acupuncture point, causing the patient to experience a calming and
warming sensation--never burning.
Moxibustion is thought to predate acupuncture. As early as the
discovery and use of fire, early man noticed that heat from their
fires could be warming and curative. Before mugwort was chosen as
the most effective substance for sustaining heat, hot stones or
sand wrapped in animal skins may have been used for local hot
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), moxibustion is especially
effective in the treatment of chronic pain conditions, weak
immunity, low appetite, poor digestion, cold hands and feet, kidney
failure, frequent urination, cold sensations, obstructed blood
circulation, and various other health conditions. It is especially
noted for its ability to help turn breech babies head down using
acupuncture point UB67. Moxibustion treats and prevents diseases by
applying the heat to acupuncture points. I have read that Chinese
people use moxa on St36 daily to help prevent disease and maintain
health. Remember, daily or weekly moxibustion over specific points
can extend life by strengthening the patient's qi as well as
digestive immune and circulatory systems.
Word to the Wise: Please always ask your patient if they have
high blood pressure, high fever, excessive or deficiency heat,
diabetes, functional heart problems, psychological problems, and
ask women if they are pregnant. We never use moxibustion on these
patients. We also want to avoid the face, large blood vessels area,
mucus membrane locations, ears, nose, mouth, throat, anus and
vaginal area. In addition, according to the classic text, there are
some acupuncture points recorded to which we do not apply moxa
(DU15 and Du16, for example).
Thank you for you continued support of the AOM blog. Remember to
stop by the clinic and ask about Moxibustion Medical Therapy
It is true that poor diet, pollution and stresses of daily life
all have negative impact on our health and well-being. Let's face
it, in our very busy lives we are bombarded by physical and
emotional stress that robs us of our vital life energy called Qi.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi fuels the essence
that connects our body, mind and spirit. Qi travels and circulates
through the channels of our bodies. When your Qi is weak, it
stagnates in these channels instead of powerfully flowing. As you
age, you may feel as though you no longer have the energy that you
I don't about most of us but I am always searching
for a way for a Qi-boost. Most days. I am bombarded with the noise
of five children and information overload from AOM classes at
night, online classes for herbal studies and holistic nutrition
certification, then working part-time on and off campus,
volunteering 4 hours a week, hitting the gym 3 times a week--and
that's just my schedule not including my kid's extracurricular
With all the non-stop activity, I easily feel drained,
scattered, stressed, and completely run-down. My desire is like
most of us who are busy people--how can I feel energetic and clear
minded and focus? Basically, I want to feel alive and not half-dead
My personal research has led to some great tips that I have
integrated into my life style that may be helpful for students,
faculty and our patients.
Also, keep in mind that to receive optimal benefits from food
and herbs, it is crucial that you choose in-season, natural foods
with no chemical additives or residues. Also, avoid overeating and
under eating because both will rob you of a consistent source of
I am currently taking the herb, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Pian to help
boost my Qi.
I hope that these tips will renew your energy.
Thank you for the continued support of the AOM blog. Remember to
increase your Qi this week!
• Fertility and TCM
• Cupping Therapy
• Boost Your Qi
• AOM and Autism
• New Spring AOM Interns
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