Is It Me Or Is It Hot In Here? | Easing Menopause with Oriental Medicine

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In addition to supplementation with soy, there are many ways to balance the body and reduce discomfort during this natural change. In Chinese Medicine, the symptoms associated with menopause are considered to be a result of a decline in the yin energy of the body. Yin is the feminine, nourishing, fluidic, structural energy of the body. It is closely related to the feminine hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. The bone loss that some women experience at this time would also be related to yin deficiency and to deficiency of the Kidney in Chinese Medicine. The Kidney in Chinese Medicine relates to the health of the bones.

While many women seek out hormone supplementation, use of acupuncture and herbs along with lifestyle and dietary changes can alleviate menopausal symptoms naturally. One herbal remedy that Chinese Medicine practitioners often use for symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness is called, Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, or Six Flavor Tea, which contains rehmannia, cornus, Chinese wild yam, moutan bark, poria, and alisma. These herbs are not commonly known here in Western culture, but this formula’s function is to moisten the body and nourish yin. These herbs may also have phytoestrogenic properties. The herb, vitex agnus castus, or chasteberry can also be useful for reducing discomfort. Acupuncture is also used to treat the symptoms associated with menopause. Two commonly used points are Spleen 6, which is three finger lengths above the inside of the ankle, and Kidney 6, which is directly below the bump on the interior side of the ankle.

In addition to acupuncture and herbs, certain nutritional and lifestyle changes are very useful. Certain healthy oils, such as evening primrose oil and flaxseed oil, which contain essential fatty acids can help to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. It is also crucial to eat healthy food and reduce stress during this time in a woman’s life, and if possible, in the years leading up to this change. All of these natural remedies may help ease the symptoms of menopause naturally without the side effects of hormone supplementation.

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What is Acupuncture | What to Expect

Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles to various depths at strategic points on your body. Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago, but over the past two decades its popularity has grown significantly within the United States. Although scientists don’t fully understand how or why acupuncture works, most studies indicate that it may provide a number of medical benefits — from reducing pain to even helping with chemotherapy-induced nausea.

What should I expect during an acupuncture session?

Acupuncture normally involves a series of weekly or biweekly treatments in an outpatient setting. It’s not uncommon to have just 2 or 3 sessions but based on the specific condition, a patient can have up to 12 treatments in total. The course of treatment will be discussed with the Acupuncturist at the first meeting. Although each acupuncturist has their own unique style, each visit typically includes an exam and an assessment of your current condition, the insertion of acupuncture needles, and a discussion about self-care tips and diet. An acupuncture visit typically lasts about 30 minutes although the first session should be about one hour.

Basic Acupuncture.
Image via Wikipedia

Before the needles are placed, you will lie down on a comfortable surface. Depending on where the needles are to go, you will lie face down, face up or on your side. All certified acupuncturists use single-use sterile packaged needles. You may feel a brief, sharp sensation when the needle is inserted, but in general the procedure is not painful. Points can be needled anywhere in the range of 15 to 90 degrees relative to the skin surface, depending on the treatment called for. In most cases, a sensation, felt by the patient, is desired. This sensation, which is not pain, is called deqi (pronounced dah-chee).

It’s common, however, to feel a twinge or an aching sensation when the needle reaches the correct depth. After placement, the needles are sometimes moved gently. As many as a dozen needles may need to be placed for each treatment. Once the needles are inserted, they’re usually left in place for five to 20 minutes.

How does acupuncture work?

The traditional Chinese theory behind acupuncture as a medical treatment is very different from that of Western medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine, health results come from a harmonious balance between the complementary extremes (yin and yang) of the life force known as Qi or Chi (pronounced ‘chee’).

Qi is believed to flow through pathways or meridians in your body. These meridians and the energy flow are accessible through more than 350 acupuncture points. Illness results from an imbalance of the forces and by inserting needles into these points in various combinations, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.

Are You Afraid of Needles?

At one time or another, every one of us has been pricked by tiny metallic things called needles. These are the ones used by our grandmothers for stitching or sewing. But more often than not, this pointed little thing is usually used in hospitals for almost everything, like getting blood samples, injecting liquid medications, and so on. It is that thing that most of us are so afraid to even look at.

Although, a lot of people fear them, needles for some are beneficial, especially when used correctly. A lot of people have tried Acupuncture, the ancient chinese medication using hair like thin needles. Research has shown that it’s popularity is continually increasing. Acupuncture is a safe and effective natural therapy that is used to heal illness, prevent disease and improve well-being. Tiny, hair-thin needles are inserted into specific points in the body, where they are gently stimulated to trigger the body’s natural healing response.

The use of acupuncture can be traced back as far as the Stone Age in China. It was during the time when stone knives and pointed rocks were used to relieve pain and diseases. These instruments were known by the ancients as “bian.” In the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) an Analytical Dictionary of Characters “Shuo Wen Jie Zi” describes the character “bian”, meaning a stone to treat disease. Later these stones were replaced by needles made of bamboo and slivers of animal bone. During the Shang Dynasty, bronze casting techniques made metal needles possible, which conducted electricity (and qi) which led to the mapping of the meridian system or channels?of energy within the body.

According to traditional acupuncture theory, there are twelve energy channels called meridians running vertically along the length of the human body, each one linking to a specific organ. The theory believes that illnesses are caused by obstructed energy flow at certain points along the meridians and acupuncture therapy stimulates meridian flow. It harmonizes the body’s energy to influence the health of both body and mind.

Acupuncture gained popularity and recognition in the United States when the media followed President Richard Nixon, on his visit to China in 1974. Representatives of major US news networks witnessed and reported on several demonstrations of serious surgeries being performed with acupuncture as the only anesthetic. While these demonstrations didn’t teach the American public how Acupuncture works, it did make the term a household word and drove millions of people into clinics for treatments when conventional medicine failed them.

Acupuncture has become an increasingly popular alternative therapy for a wide variety of illnesses in the United States and other Western nations over the last 25 years. Acupuncturists in these countries were comparable to that of the physician. Today, acupuncture treatment remains an integral component of the health care system.

Acupuncture can relieve a person from illnesses and discomforts such as headaches, neck pains, allergies, arthritis, digestive problems, painful menstruation and can even treat some causes of infertility. It is said that acupuncture can increase blood flow to the endometrium on women, helping to facilitate a thick, rich lining.

Function-related infertility is very often related to stress. This may be the reason that infertility seems to be extremely common in women who work in stressful office environments. Acupuncture is very beneficial for decreasing excess tension in the body by balancing the autonomic nervous system. There are some evidences that acupuncture increases the production of endorphins, or brain chemicals that make you feel good and help reduce stress. For couples who has fertility problems, going to an acupuncturist will definitely save them money, since acupuncture is less expensive than intrauterine insemination which can cost hundreds of dollars and a single cycle of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can cost $10,000-$20,000.

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years now and this phenomenon is still evident even in the modern world where technology seems to never stop exploring and inventing cures for illnesses. Acupuncture is one alternative medication that has helped a lot of people in more ways than they can ever think of.

Now, are you still afraid of needles?

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tortoise clinic best ofThanks to all of our patients and loyal followers, we have once again (6th year) won the coveted Best of the Emerald Coast. Every patient at Tortoise Clinic receives not only their specific acupuncture but also dietary advice based on 3,500-year-old Chinese dietetics, as well as hot and cold therapy. The clinic also makes its own pain relief liniment based on a 600-year-old formula.