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The value of regular acupuncture treatments

regular acupuncture treatments

An early case for preventative medicine

Regular acupuncture treatments are a great form of preventative medicine. This is the way medicine was practiced in ancient times as documented in the classics, which are ancient Chinese medical texts. “The sage does not treat those who are ill but those who are well.” This is a quote from the Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen, the oldest surviving book on Chinese medicine. Legend has it that ancient Chinese doctors were paid to keep patients well, and they would not be paid if patients became sick.

 

Routine acupuncture treatments help manage stress

Stress is a major cause of disease. The research paper Inflammation: The Common Pathway of Stress-Related Diseases in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience Journal states that “Stress is the common risk factor of 75%–90% diseases”. The paper lists the most common overall stress-related diseases as follows:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Metabolic diseases like diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Psychological and neurodegenerative disorders like depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease

 

Additionally, a report shared in the National Library of Medicine states that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 75% of doctor visits are stress-related with complaints including:

  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Heart problems
  • Upset stomach
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Sleep problems
  • Tiredness and accidents

 

Furthermore, the Occupational Health and Safety news and the National Council on compensation of insurance have an even higher estimate, stating that up to 90% of all doctor visits are for stress-related complaints. Stress reduction is key to maintaining well-being and preventing disease. Acupuncture treatments promote the relaxation response and are very effective in managing stress. Please see my blog Healing yourself with the relaxation response for details about the relaxation response.

 

Maintenance

Regular acupuncture treatments promote wellness and help reduce stress. By comparison, it is well understood that regular exercise maintains muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness. We can start an exercise program where we go to the gym for eight weeks and achieve the results we want. If we stop going to the gym completely, over time our bodies will return to the way they were before. We know that we need to shift into a maintenance exercise routine to maintain our overall muscle tone and cardiovascular health.

 

Similarly, patients find it beneficial to continue with maintenance acupuncture treatments on a regular basis to maintain their results and prevent symptom recurrence. I typically recommend monthly treatments for maintenance, but even every two or three months can be beneficial.

 

Additional benefits of regular acupuncture treatments

Please consider regular acupuncture treatments as investment in your well-being. I share personalized lifestyle recommendations with my patients.  They are often inspired to create positive changes that enhance their longevity and health. This might include nutritional considerations, mindfulness, and even qigong exercise. The better we feel, the more motivated we are to choose healthy habits.  When we balance our body, mind, and spirit, we feel wonderful and fulfilled.

 

Want to talk about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email me through our website or call or text 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directions. Click this link for a listing and description of services offered.

Acupuncture for painful periods

painful period

Background on painful periods

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be a great support for painful periods. This condition is called dysmenorrhea. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists shares that more than half of women who menstruate have some pain for 1 to 2 days each month. For some women, this pain can be mild. But for other women, the pain can be so severe that it keeps them from doing their normal activities for several days a month or more. Women have many options to get support for dysmenorrhea. One of those options is acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

 

Why acupuncture and Chinese medicine are a great option for supporting painful periods

Here are some of the many reasons why acupuncture and Chinese medicine are a great option for supporting dysmenorrhea:

  • It is oldest recorded medicine and is thousands of years old
  • It focuses on whole body wellness
  • It takes a holistic approach – body, mind, and spirit
  • An emotional or mental event is just as important as a physical one
  • It focuses on the individual
  • It is complementary to other healing modalities, including western medicine, massage, chiropractic, therapy, and others

 

Getting to the root cause

When I’m working with a patient who has painful periods, it’s important to understand the root cause. Chinese medicine is individualized. There is no one size fits all treatment strategy. For example, we might have five women experiencing painful periods. But each one may be experiencing pain for very different reasons, and it’s important to understand why and what’s going on with each woman at a foundational level so I can understand the root cause and give her the specific support she needs.

 

I ask a lot of questions about menstrual cycles, including:

  • Average cycle length
  • How many days of bleeding
  • The quality of the blood (color, thickness)
  • Where is the pain, how many days does it last, and when in the cycle does it occur
  • Are there any premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or post-menstrual symptoms that are noteworthy
  • Is there spotting before or after the period
  • Has the patient had any diagnoses of cysts, endometriosis, fibroids, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

 

Diagnosing from a Chinese medicine perspective

In addition to the menstrual cycle questions that I shared above, I ask questions about all facets of the patient’s overall health, health history, and lifestyle. I start to form an opinion on the root cause of the pain, and then when I see the patient in my office, I also feel their pulses and look at their tongue. This gives me additional insight into what is going on in their body.

 

Dysmenorrhea can result from a number of different kinds of disruptions to the body’s energetic pathways and energy flow. For example, painful periods often result from qi stagnation, cold stagnation, or blood stagnation. Qi refers to energy, or life force. We have channels of energy that flow through our bodies just like we have arteries and veins. One thing that’s key for optimal health and wellbeing is the free and smooth flow of qi. When our qi stagnates, pain can result. Additionally, if we have too much cold energy in our body, in particular in the uterus, the accumulation of cold can result in painful periods. I gather all of this information to create a diagnosis to treat the root cause and balance the patient’s energy so that their body can then heal itself and restore smooth menstrual cycles.

 

Want to talk about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you with painful periods? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email me through our website or call or text 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directions. Click this link for a listing and description of services offered.

 

Acupuncture for Menopause

acupuncture for menopause

Background on acupuncture for menopause

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be a great support for menopause. The National Institute on Aging defines menopause as a point in time 12 months after a woman’s last period.  The time leading up to and after that event is called perimenopause. It typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. During this time, women can experience a variety of symptoms including hot flashes, palpitations, digestive issues, insomnia, and mood changes.  Women have many options to get support during this important life change. One of those options is acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

 

Why acupuncture and Chinese medicine are a great option for supporting menopause

Here are some of the many reasons why acupuncture and Chinese medicine are a great option for supporting menopause:

  • It is oldest recorded medicine and is thousands of years old
  • It focuses on whole body wellness rather than the treatment of or fighting a disease or painful condition
  • It takes a holistic approach – body, mind, and spirit
  • An emotional or mental event is just as important as a physical one
  • It focuses on the individual
  • It is complementary to other healing modalities, including western medicine, massage, chiropractic, therapy, and others

 

A holistic and individualized perspective

An important facet of Chinese medicine is that all signs and symptoms are understood in relationship to the others. In western medicine, you’re likely to get prescribed different medications for each of your symptoms, and perhaps referrals to various specialists. In Chinese medicine, the symptoms often relate to underlying patterns of disharmony that can be addressed as a whole.

 

Additionally, Chinese medicine is individualized. There is no one size fits all treatment strategy For example, we might have five women experiencing hot flashes. But each one may be experiencing hot flashes for very different reasons, and it’s important to understand why and what’s going on with each woman at a foundational level so we can understand the root cause and give her the specific support she needs.

 

Yin and yang in relation to menopause

One of the most fundamental concepts in Chinese medicine is yin and yang. Yin is nurturing, cooling energy. Yang is warming, quick energy. They complement each other and are defined in comparison to one another.

 

When yin and yang are out of balance, disorder and discomfort can arise. I see this often in patients going through menopause. Typically, they have an excess of yang energy and a deficiency of yin energy. The yin energy is needed to hold down the yang energy. When there is not enough yin, it does not adequately hold down the yang, and hot quick energy flows upward in the body. In other words, a hot flash.

 

Why does this happen, you might ask? Well, it can be quite simple. Women today have a lot of responsibilities. We do it all. We take care of everyone and everything. We’re also rewarded by how productive we can be, how many accomplishments we can have, how many plates we can juggle.  That is all yang energy. Most of us are not balancing this with yin activities, like resting, meditating, quiet stretching. Too much yang, and not enough yin.

 

Qi and menopause

Another important concept in Chinese medicine is qi. Qi refers to energy, or life force. Qi is running through our body, and in particular, in what are called channels or meridians. We have channels of energy that flow through our bodies just like we have arteries and veins. One thing that’s key for optimal health and wellbeing is the free and smooth flow of qi. When our qi stagnates, dis-ease can result. An injury can cause stagnation of qi, for example, a broken bone, a cut, or stitches.

 

An interesting emotional situation that can cause qi to stagnate is when we feel mentally stuck. Have you even been in a situation where you feel like you have no ability to change it, and no outlet for your frustration? That kind of stuck mental feeling is a reflection of qi stagnation.  How about feeling like you have no down time, are you always behind, running late, don’t have enough time to do all that you need or want to do? That’s also what qi stagnation feels like.

 

One of the things I like most about Chinese medicine is that if focuses on optimizing the flow of energy so that they body can heal itself. The body has innate wisdom and knows what it needs to be healthy. When our energy is not balanced, disharmony, illness, and pain can result. Chinese medicine helps restore the smooth flow so the body can focus on healing itself.

 

Aging beautifully

As we age, what we look like changes. It can be unsettling.  It can even be scary. As we enter this phase of life, some of us may question our worth, our value, or our purpose. Our intrinsic beauty and wisdom that is emerging may not be obvious to us.

 

How we look, and more importantly, how we feel about how we look, can have a big impact on how we feel about ourselves. It’s ok, and normal, to want to be the best version of ourselves and to want to enhance and maximize our beauty.  That can be an important part of self-care. Some of us might consider face lifts, botox, injectables, and things of that nature. Others may want to do those things but are concerned about the invasiveness and possible side effects of those procedures.

 

Light therapy is a wonderful non-invasive way to enhance your natural beauty. Light therapy is the use of specific wavelengths of light to produce therapeutic benefits. The light we have at HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese medicine has red, blue and yellow lights which provide a number of benefits, that include things like stimulating collagen production that helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, healing acne and skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. It does not have any UV rays and in fact helps heal sun damage. It can also stimulate hair growth. You can read more about light therapy in my blog The benefits of light therapy.

 

Relaxation is key

Another thing to consider is relaxation. Chinese face readers say that when we get to be in our middle ages, our faces reflect what we think and feel. Relaxation is a key to good health, beauty, and menopause. Relaxation is the ultimate way to nurture and increase your yin energy to balance that busy yang energy. Consistency is important. Ideally, something you do every day for yourself, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Want to know more and get some ideas? Read my blog on Healing yourself with the relaxation response.

 

Ear seeds for menopause

Ear seeds can also be very helpful for menopause. An ear seed is a small sphere placed on an acupuncture point on the surface of the ear. Adhesive tape holds the ear seed in place. It works by exerting a gentle pressure on the acupuncture point. A patient can wear ear seeds for up to five days. They are a great way to continue treatment at home. Ear seed kits are also available for people who are afraid of needles. You can learn more about ear seeds in my blog All about ear seeds and auriculotherapy.

 

Want to talk about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you with menopause? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email me through our website or call or text 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directions. Click this link for a listing and description of services offered.

What acupuncture can treat – it may surprise you!

acupuncture can treat

I had no idea that acupuncture can treat all that!

People often ask me what acupuncture can treat. They are usually surprised by my response. I tell them that acupuncture can treat almost anything that is causing someone to feel unwell. That is, except for life threatening or acute conditions like a heart attack, stroke, or severe bleeding. In those cases, I advise a prompt trip to the emergency room. So, why would I make such a broad statement about acupuncture? Acupuncture and Chinese medicine focus on identifying where the body’s energy flow needs support. If a person’s energy is blocked, excessive or deficient, then pain, discomfort, and illness can result.  Acupuncture and Chinese medicine help restore the optimal flow of energy so the body can heal itself. Therefore, it is effective in helping with a multitude of challenges people face.

 

Examples of conditions that acupuncture can treat

Dermatological

  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Pruritus
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Rashes / hives
  • Dryness
  • Swelling
  • Wrinkles
  • Sagging skin

Digestive

  • Heartburn
  • Acid Reflux
  • Bloating
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Chronic indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Acute and chronic gastritis
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Side effects of chemotherapy

ENT / Respiratory Pain

  • Sinusitis
  • Colds / Flu
  • Cough
  • Allergies / wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Hearing issues
  • Tinnitus
  • Symptoms from long COVID

A note on allergies – people are surprised to learn that acupuncture can even treat the “red meat allergy” to alpha gal, where someone is not able to consume red meat or products containing alpha galactose. You can read more about the treatment for the alpha gal allergy in my blog How auricular acupuncture can help the alpha gal allergy.

 

 Mental & Emotional Wellbeing

  • Stress
  • Anxiety, palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Grief, healing from trauma
  • Weight loss / loss of appetite
  • Smoking cessation
  • Addiction

Neurological

  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Vision issues
  • Twitches, tics, tremors
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Recovery from stroke

Pain

  • Sports injuries
  •  Muscle pain and cramps
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatica
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Leg, ankle and foot pain
  •  Arm, wrist and hand pain
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Jaw pain (TMJ)
  • Dental pain
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Myofascial pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Eye pain
  • Postoperative pain
  • Cold hands / feet

Reproductive / Genitourinary

  • Menstrual issues
  • Fertility
  • Menopause
  • Hot flashes / night sweats
  • Incontinence

 

Articles about what acupuncture can treat

Here are links to articles from the Mayo Clinic,  Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the Cleveland Clinic that describe conditions that acupuncture can help.

Want to talk about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you? We’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email us through our website or call or text us at 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directionsClick this link for a listing and description of services offered.

 

Acupuncture for Fertility

acupuncture for fertility

Background on acupuncture for fertility

Before diving into acupuncture for fertility, first let’s address the terms fertility vs. infertility. Western medicine often focuses on a problem or disease. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Infertility FAQs state that “infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex”. The CDC further states that infertility is a common problem that is experienced by 19% of women aged 15 to 49 years old with no prior births. Additionally, 26% of women in this group either have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.

 

Acupuncture for fertility can be a complex topic. When I get calls from patients asking if I treat infertility, I make a point to talk in terms of fertility rather than infertility.  Words are important, and I believe that a positive attitude is essential for attracting what we want to bring into our lives. I choose to focus on fertility.

 

Fertility from a Chinese medicine perspective

Chinese medicine looks at the person as a whole and from an energetic perspective. There are a variety of things that can cause an energetic imbalance resulting in decreased fertility. For example, someone can be too hot or too cold. She can be energetically deficient with a lack of the vital substances necessary for conception and to nourish a fertilized egg. She may have stagnant energy which can result in endometriosis, cysts, or fibroids.

 

Sometimes, a patient can get pregnant yet then suffers recurrent miscarriages. This can be due to a different kind of energetic imbalance. In this case, it is important to help reinforce the patient’s energy in a way that the uterus is supported and nourished appropriately.

 

Every person is unique, and I make the time to understand a patient’s whole health history and background so I can determine exactly what might be hindering their fertility.  For example, someone who spent years as a competitive swimmer in cold pools might have very long menstrual cycles due to an excess of cold in their system.

 

Treatment options

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine alone can help improve fertility and result in a healthy pregnancy and childbirth experience. When a patient chooses this pathway of treatment, the first thing that is often done is to help balance the patient’s overall energy. Then, acupuncture treatments are timed and tailored to the patient’s cycle with the goal of achieving a balanced 28-day cycle though the following four phases:

  • Week 1: Period
  • Week 2: Pre-ovulation
  • Week 3: Ovulation
  • Week 4: Post-ovulation

In most cases, I include lifestyle advice in each treatment. This involves customized recommendations for diet, level of rest and activity, managing stress, and exposure to heat or cold.

 

Supporting Western medicine treatments like IVF

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be a great support to western fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF). In fact, more and more fertility clinics are seeing the value of combining eastern and western medicine. Many clinics recommend that their patients receive acupuncture treatments. There have been a number of studies showing the increased success rate of IVF when combined with acupuncture.  Examples include:

 

The male part of the equation

A thorough practitioner considers the male part of the equation as well. It’s important to make sure the male partner is also evaluated and supported in the fertility journey. Poor fertility impacts men in terms of a deficient sperm count, low motility, or even poor morphology (shape) of their sperm. Stress, overwork, diet and environmental factors can affect men as well as women. Men can receive acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments to help improve their fertility.

 

Ear seeds for fertility

Ear seeds can also be very helpful for fertility. An ear seed is a small sphere placed on an acupuncture point on the surface of the ear. Adhesive tape holds the ear seed in place. It works by exerting a gentle pressure on the acupuncture point. A patient can wear ear seeds for up to five days. They are a great way to continue treatment at home. Ear seed kits are also available for people who are afraid of needles. You can learn more about ear seeds in my blog about ear seeds.

 

Want to talk about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you with fertility? I’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email me through our website or call or text 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directions. Click this link for a listing and description of services offered.