The integration of traditional techniques with modern technological advances can often lead to significant enhancements in therapeutic outcomes. This is exemplified in the combination of motor point electrical stimulation with acupuncture, a methodology that has been gaining traction for its effectiveness in treating various musculoskeletal and neurological conditions.

Understanding Motor Point Electrical Stimulation

Motor point electrical stimulation involves the application of electrical impulses to specific areas of muscles where the motor nerve enters the muscle. This is known as the motor point. The stimulation of these points is aimed at enhancing muscle activation and facilitating muscle contraction, which is particularly beneficial in patients experiencing muscle weakness or paralysis.

The Role of Acupuncture in Modern Therapy

Acupuncture, a staple in traditional Chinese medicine, involves the insertion of needles at specific points on the body to balance the flow of qi and blood. It is widely used for a range of conditions including pain relief, stress management, and overall wellness.

Synergistic Benefits of Combining Both Techniques

The combination of motor point electrical stimulation and acupuncture can amplify the benefits of each modality. Here’s how:

  1. Enhanced Muscle Activation: By targeting motor points with electrical impulses in conjunction with acupuncture, therapists can achieve more potent muscle stimulation. This helps in restoring muscle strength and improving motor function faster than using either technique alone.
  2. Increased Pain Relief: Acupuncture is renowned for its pain-relieving properties, which are believed to be mediated through the release of endorphins and modulation of the central nervous system. When combined with motor point stimulation, the pain relief can be intensified, providing greater comfort to patients.
  3. Improved Circulation: Acupuncture is thought to improve circulation significantly. When paired with electrical stimulation, this can lead to enhanced blood flow to affected areas, promoting healing and recovery.
  4. Broadened Treatment Scope: This combination allows practitioners to treat a wider array of conditions effectively. For instance, patients suffering from stroke-induced paralysis or severe muscle atrophy might find this combined approach more beneficial.

Clinical Evidence and Application

Several studies have explored the effects of this combination therapy. Research indicates that when motor point electrical stimulation is used alongside acupuncture, patients report quicker improvements in conditions like stroke rehabilitation, sports injuries, and post-surgical recovery. Practitioners often use this approach in clinical settings after assessing the specific needs and conditions of their patients.

Implementing in Clinical Practice

For acupuncture practitioners looking to incorporate motor point electrical stimulation into their practice, it’s essential to receive proper training and certification. Understanding the anatomy and exact motor points is crucial for effective treatment. Additionally, practitioners should keep abreast of the latest research and guidelines to ensure safety and efficacy.

Conclusion

The combination of motor point electrical stimulation with acupuncture represents a promising advancement in therapeutic practices. It marries traditional knowledge with modern technology to provide a powerful tool against various physical ailments. As more healthcare professionals adopt this technique, its role in enhancing patient care and recovery is set to grow significantly, marking a significant step forward in integrative medicine.

By providing this comprehensive treatment approach, practitioners not only enhance their therapeutic outcomes but also offer their patients a progressive and scientifically backed option that broadens the scope of traditional acupuncture therapy.

In the world of sports medicine, innovative methods are continuously being explored to enhance recovery and improve functional performance following muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries. Among these methods, kinesiology taping has emerged as a popular and effective technique, often used alongside traditional treatments such as acupuncture. This article delves into the benefits, techniques, and application of kinesiology taping, helping our patients understand how this method can be integrated into rehabilitation programs.

What is Kinesiology Taping?

Kinesiology taping is a therapeutic technique that involves applying a special elastic tape to the skin. This tape is designed to mimic the elasticity of human skin, facia, and muscles and can be stretched to up to 140% of its original length. Unlike conventional athletic tapes, which are primarily used to immobilize joints, kinesiology tape provides dynamic support, enhances sensory feedback, and promotes circulation.

The Science Behind Kinesiology Taping

The effectiveness of kinesiology taping is rooted in its ability to slightly lift the skin from the underlying tissues. This lifting effect creates a sub-dermal space that can help reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and facilitate lymphatic drainage. The tape's elastic properties also support the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, enabling them to perform their natural functions while recovering from injury. The application of kinesiology tape allows the muscles and ligaments to relax more fully when at rest, and not to be jarred or aggravated as aggressively when working out or active. In addition, decompression taping allows more space for the beneficial actions of inflammation healing to occur without causing pain or more damage.

Applications in Sports Acupuncture

Kinesiology taping can be a very helpful complementary addition to sports acupuncture treatments. When used in conjunction with acupuncture, the tape can help prolong the benefits achieved during the needling session. Kinesiology taping can enhance the therapeutic effects achieved through acupuncture by promoting better circulation and muscle function, and allowing the injured tissue more time and rest to heal post sports acupuncture treatment.

Techniques and Patterns

The application of kinesiology tape varies depending on the target area and the specific injury. Here are some common techniques used to tape different body parts:

Benefits of Kinesiology Taping

Kinesiology taping offers several benefits for athletes and active individuals recovering from injuries:

Conclusion

Kinesiology taping is a valuable tool in the arsenal of sports medicine, providing support, easing discomfort, and facilitating quicker recovery from muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries. When combined with sports acupuncture, the benefits of both therapies can be significantly enhanced, offering athletes a dynamic approach to recovery and performance maintenance. Whether you are a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, incorporating kinesiology taping into your recovery regimen could be a game-changer in your return to peak performance.

Biofilms significantly impact the behavior and resilience of Candida and other species of harmful gut flora overgrowth. A biofilm is a protective matrix that Candida and other microorganisms create to shield themselves from external threats, including immune responses and antifungal treatments.

Formation and Structure of Biofilms
When Candida shifts from a single-celled yeast form to a more aggressive, filamentous form, it begins to lay down a biofilm. This biofilm is a complex structure, consisting of yeast cells, hyphae (filamentous fungal cells), and an extracellular matrix. This matrix is composed of proteins, fibers, and polysaccharides, which together create a formidable barrier against external agents.

Impact on Candida Behavior and Treatment Resistance

1. Enhanced Resistance: Biofilms protect Candida cells from antifungal herbs and drugs. This resistance can be mechanical, as the matrix blocks drug penetration, or biochemical, where the environment within the biofilm induces herb and drug resistant phenotypes among the Candida cells.

2. Increased Virulence: The protected environment of a biofilm allows Candida cells to communicate and coordinate their behavior, often increasing their virulence. Biofilms enable the fungi to better adhere to surfaces and resist physical removal.

3. Chronic Infections: Biofilms are often associated with chronic, recurrent infections. They can adhere to bodily surfaces like the gut lining, dentures, and medical implants, causing persistent symptoms. Because they're difficult to eradicate and can release yeast cells that colonize other areas, infections associated with biofilms tend to recur despite treatment.

Strategies to Combat Candida Biofilms
Addressing Candida biofilms requires multifaceted strategies that go beyond conventional antifungal medications:

1. Disrupting Biofilm Formation: Agents that can prevent or disrupt the formation of biofilms can enhance the effectiveness of antifungal treatments. Substances like enzyme disruptors, chelating agents, and some natural compounds like garlic and oregano oil have shown potential in disrupting biofilm integrity.

2. Enhancing Immune Response: Strengthening the body’s immune system can help it better fight against biofilm-protected Candida. A healthy immune system can disrupt biofilms and control Candida growth more effectively.

3. Dietary changes: While many factors contribute to candida growth, diet is a significant player in managing and reducing this common yeast. Learn more about candida diet here.

4. Combination Therapy: Using a combination of antifungal agents can help overcome the high resistance within biofilms. This might include using different classes of antifungals simultaneously or combining antifungals and probiotics with biofilm disruptors.

Conclusion

Biofilms play a crucial role in the persistence and resistance of Candida infections, making them challenging to treat. Understanding the dynamics of biofilm formation and maintenance helps in devising more effective strategies against Candida overgrowth. It’s essential to consider these factors in both clinical treatment settings and preventive health strategies to manage and reduce the impact of Candida-related conditions effectively. At Lakewood Community Acupuncture, we can test for both heathy and unhealthy gut microbiome and have herbal and supplemental treatments to effect positive change.

Candida overgrowth can be a troublesome condition, causing a variety of symptoms like fatigue, digestive issues, brain fog, and frequent yeast infections. While many factors contribute to candida growth, diet is a significant player in managing and reducing this common yeast.

Understanding Candida

Candida are types of yeast that naturally resides in the gut, mouth, and skin. Under normal circumstances, it lives harmoniously with a diverse community of bacteria. However, when the balance of this microbiome is disrupted, Candida can proliferate, leading to an overgrowth. Factors that contribute to this include excessive sugar intake, antibiotics, stress, and compromised immune function.

Gut Microbiome Testing

Our gut micribiome testing is a cutting-edge method used to analyze the microbial inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract. This test can reveal the composition and diversity of your gut flora, which plays a crucial role in digestion, immune function, and overall health. Understanding the state of your gut biome can help us identify imbalances and potential causes of digestive issues, enabling a targeted treatment approach. Our gut microbiome test kit identifies both beneficial and harmful species of gut bacteria, including candida species. Unlike other tests which are limited to one type of candida test, our gut biome kit tests for three different types of candida:Candida albicans, Candida spp. and Candida tropicalis.

Learn more about Gut Microbiome Testing at Lakewood Community Acupuncture

Strategies to Combat Candida

1. Reduce Sugar Intake: Candida thrives on sugar. Minimizing sugar in all its forms is crucial—this includes refined sugars, natural sweeteners like honey, and high-sugar fruits. Instead, focus on low-glycemic fruits such as berries and green apples in moderation.

2. Eliminate Refined Carbohydrates and Yeast: Similar to sugars, refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, and pastries provide an ideal feeding ground for candida. Yeast-containing foods like breads can also exacerbate candida symptoms. Opt for whole, unprocessed grains like quinoa, buckwheat, and brown rice.

3. Antifungal Supplements and Herbs: In addition to starving the candida of its food—sugars and simple carbohydrates—it is important to attack the candida head on with anti fungal and anti microbial herbs and supplements and to break down candida's protective biofilm. This includes herbs such as berberine, anise, oregano, garlic, andrographis, Spanish black radish and more. Taking supplements that acidify the bowel—candida can't grow in an acidic environment). And breaking down the biofilm— a protective matrix that Candida and other microorganisms create to shield themselves from external threats, including immune responses and antifungal treatments.

4. Increase Intake of Probiotic-Rich Foods and supplements: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help restore the gut's natural balance. Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like plain yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. These foods can help crowd out candida and replenish healthy microbiota.

6. Include Antifungal Foods: Certain foods have natural antifungal properties that can aid in combating candida overgrowth. Garlic, coconut oil, turmeric, ginger, and olive oil all contain components that are hostile to candida. Regularly including these foods in your diet can support the body's defenses against yeast.

7. Support Liver Health: The liver is critical in filtering toxins produced by candida. Foods that support liver health include leafy greens, beets, carrots, green tea, and herbs such as milk thistle and dandelion root. A healthy liver enhances your body's ability to eliminate toxins and reduce candida symptoms.

Integrating Nutrition with Acupuncture

Combining dietary changes with acupuncture can enhance your strategy against candida. Acupuncture may help improve digestive health, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the immune system, creating an environment less conducive to candida proliferation.

How long does it take to get rid of candida

The time it takes to get rid of Candida overgrowth can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the overgrowth, individual health conditions, the effectiveness of the treatment plan, and adherence to dietary and lifestyle changes. Typically, a Candida cleanse or anti-Candida diet is followed for a minimum of a few weeks to several months and in severe conditions longer.

For mild cases, noticeable improvements may occur within a few weeks. In moderate to severe cases, a longer duration of three to six months may be necessary to effectively manage and reduce Candida levels. During this time, it's important to follow a strict diet that avoids sugars, refined carbohydrates, and fermented foods, while incorporating antifungal treatments and possibly probiotics to help restore a healthy gut flora.

However, because Candida symptoms can mimic many other health issues, it's essential to work with a healthcare provider to ensure the diagnosis is correct and to receive a personalized treatment plan. This plan may include diet adjustments, supplements, medication if necessary, and potentially supportive treatments like acupuncture to enhance overall health and wellbeing.

Conclusion

While diet plays a crucial role in managing candida, it’s important to approach treatment holistically. Factors such as stress management and sleep are also vital. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, gut biome testing, and dietary changes together can provide a synergistic effect, improving overall health and resilience against candida overgrowth. Remember, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet or health regimen, especially if you have ongoing health concerns.

This comprehensive approach not only aims at reducing candida but also at enhancing overall well-being, perfectly aligning with the holistic principles often explored in acupuncture and integrative medicine.

Gua Sha is an ancient healing technique that has been part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. It involves scraping your skin with a massage tool to improve your circulation. This age-old practice is not only deeply rooted in Chinese medical traditions but is also gaining widespread popularity in the West for its simplicity and the profound benefits it offers. In this article, we will explore what Gua Sha is, its benefits, how it is performed, and some tips to keep in mind if you are considering incorporating this therapeutic technique into your wellness routine.

What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha translates to "scraping" (Gua) "redness" (Sha) in Chinese. The technique involves using a smooth-edged instrument to apply pressure and scrape the skin in long strokes. This action causes discoloration of the skin, typically red or purple spots, known as "sha". The spots are an indication that circulation has been brought to the surface to facilitate healing as well as indicating a fascia release. While Gua Sha is most commonly performed on the back, neck, arms, and legs, it can be used on any part of the body that needs relief.

Benefits of Gua Sha

Gua Sha is more than just a technique to relieve muscle and joint pain. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Improves Circulation: The primary benefit of Gua Sha is promoting blood circulation, which speeds up the recovery of musculoskeletal injuries and improves overall health.
  2. Fascia Release: Gua sha is particularly good as a fascia release technique. It can be very hard to release the fascia, due to its strong fibrous makeup. Fascia contracts and becomes sticky and tangled when the muscles are injured.  To release fascia, you usually need to either stretch and hold the tissue for a few minutes (such as with Cupping technique) or strongly scrape across the muscle and fascia with a Gua sha tool.
  3. Reduces Inflammation: By enhancing circulation, Gua Sha helps flush inflammatory byproducts and increases the flow of oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to different parts of the body.
  4. Boosts Immunity: Gua Sha has been shown to boost the immune response, especially in those suffering from chronic illnesses. It helps stimulate the body’s inherent healing mechanisms. Often this is done by scraping along the back, where the lungs are prominent, also assisting blood flow and oxygen flow to the lungs and, according to TCM, releasing external pathogens.
  5. Relieves Tension: It can release tension in the muscles and fascia, thus helping to relieve pain from conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia, and reducing stiffness and discomfort.
  6. Promotes Lymphatic Drainage: The scraping technique helps with the movement of lymphatic fluids and can aid in detoxification.

How is Gua Sha Performed?

The procedure of Gua Sha involves the following steps:

Tips for Practicing Gua Sha

Conclusion

Gua Sha is a powerful, time-tested practice that holds significant therapeutic value. It’s a simple yet effective tool for anyone looking to enhance their wellness routine and tackle chronic pain and inflammation. As with any complementary therapy, it works best when integrated into a holistic approach to health and wellness. Whether you're a long-time advocate of Traditional Chinese Medicine or a newcomer to natural health practices, Gua Sha offers a unique blend of simplicity and effectiveness for maintaining optimal health.

Introduction to E-Stim Acupuncture

At Lakewood Community Acupuncture, we continuously strive to integrate traditional healing methods with modern medical techniques to enhance your wellness experience, including homeopathic injections and Heart Sound Recording. One of the innovative treatments we offer is electrical stimulation (e-stim) combined with acupuncture. This therapy merges the ancient art of acupuncture with contemporary electrical stimulation technology to provide a highly effective treatment for various conditions.

How E-stim Works

Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles at specific points along the body's meridians to balance energy flow and stimulate healing. When combined with electrical stimulation, a gentle electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles. This addition of electrical stimulation enhances the effects of traditional acupuncture by:

Conditions Treated

E-stim acupuncture is particularly effective for conditions such as:

What to Expect During Your Treatment

During your e-stim acupuncture session at Lakewood Community Acupuncture, you will experience a sensation that may vary from a mild tingling to a strong but gentle thrumming. These sensations are typically well-tolerated by patients. Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes, during which our licensed acupuncturists will adjust the intensity of the electrical stimulation according to your therapeutic needs and comfort. E-stim acupuncture is a safe treatment with minimal side effects and is supported by numerous studies demonstrating its efficacy in enhancing the therapeutic benefits of traditional acupuncture.

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Varicose veins: Rutin, Collinsonia Root & Horse Chestnut.

Varicose veins are bulging veins, most often in the legs, which can be very painful. Most people, understandably, don't like how they look cosmetically. There are multiple good astringent herbs that can help shrink the blood vessels such as Collinsonia Root and Horse Chestnut as well as herbs to promote circulation such the very famous Chinese herb, Dang Quai. And there are esential nutrients which distribute calcium to the appropriate areas of the body, such as phosphorus and essential fatty acids, which transport calcium from the blood to the bones and muscles respectively, thus thinning the blood and promoting circulation.

However, in addition to shrinking the vessels using astringent herbs such as those mentioned above and improving circulation overall, people with varicose veins need to deal with the weakness of the vessels. The most common reason for the vessels bulging in the first place is the lack of collagen. Our blood vessels should be able to handle pressure (to a given extent). But if our collagen is weak, the strength of our vascular walls are weak, and thus prone to bulging. This can cause varicose veins and also hemorrhoids. The most important nutrient to building collagen is rutin. Rutin is part of the vitamin C complex, found in high quantities in buckwheat. As a nutrient in the body, it stimulates the production of collagen. Because the strength of our blood vessels is dependent upon the strength of the collagen in the walls of our vessels, rutin is the most important nutrient for protecting our blood vessels from failing under stress. Rutin is found in high concentrations in the buckwheat plant. Our favorite whole food supplement that is high in rutin and the Vitamin C Complex is Cyruta Plus by Standard Process. Rutin has also been shown to reduce blood pressure, which is another major cause of varicose veins that needs to be addressed.

"Varicose Veins: the most common vein disorder in the US. Varicose veins occur when the veins around the thighs or calf muscles get inflamed. This weakens the valves around the leg region and, as a result, they no longer close properly. This condition leads to poor blood flow back to the heart causing the impure blood to pool in the veins as ugly lumps… Fortunately, there are natural ways to minimize and prevent varicose veins via nutrition. Buckwheat is shown to be one of the best natural remedies to treat this condition."—Natural Health 365


Rutin supplementation and its ability to promote the production of collagen also protects our body from harmful radiation (see this article), protects us from strokes and clotting (see this article), and protects our gut lining from breaking down, thus healing leaky gut (see this article).  Other than building colleges, rutin and buckwheat extracts have been shown in studies to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol (see this article) making rutin and buckwheat one of the best cardiovascular health supplements and nutrients out there.

Rutin Protects Against Harmful Radiation

Rutin is part of the vitamin C complex, found in high quantities in buckwheat. As a nutrient in the body, it stimulates the production of collagen. Because the strength of our blood vessels is dependent upon the strength of the collagen in the walls of our vessels, rutin is the most important nutrient for protecting our blood vessels from failing under stress. Radiation is particularly harmful to our vascular system, particularly the smaller vessels of our body, the capillaries.

"Within the vascular tree, radiation injures most often capillaries, sinusoids, and small arteries, in that order."—pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3387138/.

Some radiation is unavoidable as it is found in the atmosphere, food, water, medical imaging, and in some cancer treatments. For all of these incidents of exposure, particularly high levels of direct radiation in cancer treatments, it is very helpful to know of ways to protect our capillaries from harm. Taking supplemental rutin can help protect our vascular system from radiation. As with all vitamins, it is best to come from a whole food supplement—as apposed to a single chemical made in a lab. In our practice, we use Cyruta Plus from Standard Process  which is primarily a high concentrate extract of buckwheat greens.  Below are some extracts from studies and nutritional journals outlining the benefits of rutin in the face of radiation.

"Thus, it has been proposed that rutin either decreases the rate of vascular disintegration, or increases its repair…When...rutin was given to 350… irradiated dogs, not only was the hemorrhagic diathesis significantly reduced, but mortality fell from 60 percent to 11 percent. The control of purpura was achieved in the presence of marked thrombocytopenia and other typical manifestations of irradiation disease." —From the Department of Radiation Biology, University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, 1949

VITAMIN C, Buckwheat and Radiation with Dr. Royal Lee: “What is vitamin C? Vitamin C is a complex. Every vitamin is a complex. There are no simple, single vitamins to my knowledge. That’s been a misapprehension created by the chemist in his ignorance. Any more than a hunk of brass is a watch. A watch is a complex structure. It’s a unit as a watch but it’s not a unit as a chemical. So that our vitamin C complex, today we know, comprises number one, Ascorbic Acid which is an antioxidant; the most bulky part of the complex but not the most important. It contains the anti-hemorrhagic factor also known as vitamin P [Rutin], which is also found in lemon and orange peel but in far more potent quantities and type in buckwheat, in the green buckwheat juice. That prevents capillary damage, prevents protein degeneration, it prevents harm from x-rays. If you wanted to treat a patient with x-ray for cancer, it would be a very good idea to load that patient up very liberally with vitamin P or natural C Complex first. The normal tissues of the patient will be fortified possibly as much as ten to one against excess doses of x-ray.”—Excerpt from Lectures of Dr. Royal Lee, Vol. II., Selene River Press, Inc.

"Atom Bomb Defense: Rutin may save future radiation victims by strengthening the walls of their blood vessels to prevent hemorrhage." —SCIENCE NEWSLETTER for January17, 1948

"Rutin protects against radiations/X-ray burns by protecting capillaries."—Plant Foods For Human Nutrition, 2006

"From these observations it appears that the vitamin P compound [Rutin], which contains four flavonoids naturally present in citrus fruit, gives considerable protection to rats against a total-body, near-lethal dose of radiation."— Source: Science, New Series, Vol. 112, No. 2900 (Jul. 28, 1950), pp. 112-113


Rutin supplementation and its ability to promote the production of collagen not only protects our body from harmful radiation but also protects us from strokes and clotting (see this article) as well as protects our gut lining from breaking down, thus healing leaky gut (see this article) and prevent and heal varicose veins (see this article).  Other than building colleges, rutin and buckwheat extracts have been shown in studies to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol (see this article) making rutin and buckwheat one of the best cardiovascular health supplements and nutrients out there.

Leaky Gut, Food Allergies, Colitis & Vitamin P [Rutin]

Leaky gut is caused by a breakdown of collagen in the intestinal lining. The most important nutrient to build collagen is Rutin, which is part of the Vitamin C complex. Rutin stimulates the production of collagen which helps to close the gaps in a leaky gut by tightening the intestinal walls. It is also very important to have more collagen in your diet, and the best whole food way to get more collagen is to drink bone broth. Below are some extracts from studies using buckwheat (which is very high in rutin, and also called Vitamin P) to heal gut issues.

“Allergies are due to undigested protein being absorbed in the bowel. And the lack of digestion is due to pancreas weakness number one, and due to possibly ulcers and inflammation in the bowel. A combination of poor pancreas and a little colitis and you’ve got allergies.

“There again colitis is nothing but vitamin P [rutin] deficiency. It’s the same lesion that you find in the gingiva only down further in the mucosa. It’s the same remedy. You can stop that ulcerated and hemorrhagic colitis just as easily as you can the gingiva.” —Excerpt from Lectures of Dr. Royal Lee, Vol. II., Selene River Press, Inc.

"Not only oral administration of rutin but also rectal administration of quercetin remarkably ameliorated TNBS-induced colitis rats, indicating that quercetin liberated from rutin is therapeutically active." (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15652231)

"Our results suggest that rutin may be useful for the prevention and treatment of IBD [Inflammatory Bowel Disease] and colorectal carcinogenesis via attenuation of pro-inflammatory cytokine production." (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16132362)

"We conclude that rutin exerts intestinal antiinflammatory activity in chronic…colitis.  Our results suggest that rutin may be useful in the management of inflammatory bowel disease in appropriate dosage conditions."  (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15652231)

 


Sources

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  4. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25281414

 

Summary of Rutin and Collagen

Rutin promotes collagen production. The strength of our capillaries is in collagen. High blood pressure (HBP) can rupture weak capillaries causing hemorrhage. Weak collagen in the digestive tract causes leaky gut, colitis, IBS. Weak collagen in the vessels of the legs cause varicose veins. Radiation damages collagen of the cell walls. For all of these conditions, we need to increase our collagen and rutin intake.

Cholesterol Myths

It is a common misunderstanding that cholesterol is the cause of heart disease. However, cholesterol is produced by the body when there is inflammation present. Inflammation, most often caused by blood sugar and spikes in insulin, is the cause of high cholesterol in the bloodstream.  Thus, blaming cholesterol is like blaming he fireman who shows up to fight the fire. Below are excerpts of studies, which you can find links to in the sources section below, which have shown that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease. In the next section are excerpts of studies that show that buckwheat extract (which is high in the vitamin, rutin) lowers blood pressure and high cholesterol (by reducing its cause, inflammation).

“Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time, an international group of experts has claimed. —University Positions (46)

Our review has shown either a lack of an association or an inverse association between LDL-C and both all-cause and CV mortality. The cholesterol hypothesis seems to be in conflict with most of Bradford Hill’s criteria for causation, because of its lack of consistency, biological gradient and coherence. Our review provides the basis for more research about the cause of atherosclerosis and CVD and also for a re-evaluation of the guidelines for cardiovascular prevention, in particular because the benefits from statin treatment have been exaggerated.” —British Journal of Medicine (47)

“Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions” —British Journal of Medicine (48)

Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure and Rutin (found in high quantities in Buckwheat),

“A lot of research has been conducted in the functionalities and properties of buckwheat proteins, flavonoids, flavones, phytosterols, thiamin-binding proteins, and other rare compounds in buckwheat seeds. Buckwheat proteins have unique amino acid composition with special biological activities of cholesterol-lowering effects, antihypertensive effects…”—Food Science and Technology Department, Ohio State University(43)

“Buckwheat protein extracts may have strong healing effects to some chronic diseases, such as hypertension, hypercholester- olemia, and many other cardiovascular diseases” —Food Science and Technology Department, Ohio State University (43)

“Buckwheat proteins also show a strong supplemental effect with other proteins to improve the dietary amino acid balance with spe- cial biological activities of cholesterol-lowering effects, antihypertensive effects... “ —College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University (44)

"Buckwheat protein is presumed to improve health in various ways, notably reducing serum cholesterol" (44)

“Buckwheat (mainly the flavonoids rutin and quercetin) grain is a highly nutritional food component that has been shown to provide a wide range of beneficial effects. Health benefits attributed to BW include plasma cholesterol level reduction, neuroprotection, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic effects, and improvement of hypertension conditions.” —Division of Food Science, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (45)


Rutin supplementation and its ability to promote the production of collagen also protects our body from harmful radiation (see this article), protects us from strokes and clotting (see this article), protects our gut lining from breaking down, thus healing leaky gut (see this article) and prevent and heal varicose veins (see this article).


Reading Suggestions

Book: “Put Your Heart In Your Mouth,” by Natasha Campbell-McBride

Online: The Diet-Heart Myth: Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Are Not the Enemy, by Chris Kresser

Sources

***A special thanks to Dr Mark Anderson, and his Back to School for Doctors Seminars 2015 and 2016. Without him and his vast capacity to research, this article would not exist.

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  36. academic.oup.com/jn/article-abstract/11/6/515/4725678?redirectedFrom=PDF
  37. academic.oup.com/jn/article-abstract/12/5/455/4725372
  38. calcium-therapy-in-diseases-of-the-cardiovascular-system/
  39. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18268360
  40. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7560610
  41. heartrhythmjournal.com/article/S1547-5271(13)00043-X/abstrac
  42. Advances_in_the_Development_of_Functional_Foods_from_Buckwheat
  43. Bioactive_compounds_in_functional_buckwheat_food
  44. pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02498
  45. universitypositions.eu/article/high-cholesterol-does-not-cause-heart-disease
  46. bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010401
  47. bjsm.bmj.com/content/51/15/1111
  48. nytimes.com/2003/03/16/magazine/medicine-s-progress-one-setback-at-a-time.html

 

Acupuncture has a remarkable legacy as a successful healing modality which continues to adapt and develop. Acupuncture began in China and thrived for thousands of years, eventually spreading to all corners of the world. Acupuncture is not static but has continually improved according to the needs of the population, incorporating new ideas and understandings of how the body works and how illnesses develop.

As the practice of acupuncture moved from place to place, experts in those countries developed new acupuncture techniques. In Japan, for example, acupuncture became one of the primary vocations of the blind; to this day, approximately 30% of acupuncturists in Japan are blind! Because of this, Japanese acupuncturists developed gentle, tactile diagnostic and treatment techniques using thinner needles with guide tubes, and shallow or non insertion needling techniques. This differs significantly from acupuncture in China, which tends to be more aggressive, with thicker needles, and uses free hand and deeper insertion techniques. In France, after an enthusiastic french ambassador brought the knowledge of acupuncture back to his home country, the medical community there focused heavily on ear acupuncture and developed a unique microsystem of auricular acupuncture considered today to be one of the best models of auricular acupuncture in the world. In Korea, a hand acupuncture microsystem developed and flourished and Korean Hand Acupuncture is now regularly taught in acupuncture schools in the US. These are but a few examples of how acupuncture improved and adapted as it met new circumstances, cultures, and practitioners.

Similarly, there have been many great developments in the acupuncture field in the United States. Acupuncture is even used in the US military as a way to treat pain and PTSD and by cognitive therapists as a way to treat substance addiction. One technique developed in the US for treating pain is ‘dry needling,’ although licensed acupuncturists usually refer to these techniques as local acupuncture or sports acupuncture; ‘dry needling’ is a term usually only used by those who are not licensed acupuncturists and who have not attained an acupuncture degree (and thus with significantly less training in acupuncture techniques and safety than a licensed acupuncturist).

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling, a form of local acupuncture, primarily comprises of trigger point and motor point needling techniques—sometimes with additional electrical stimulation—and focuses on treating pain in the muscles, tendons, and joints.

The Foundations of Dry Needling

The foundations of dry needling have been around for thousands of years. Aside from electrical stimulation—which was not accessible to practitioners of ancient Chinese medicine—local forms of acupuncture have long been used in Chinese medicine, although almost always in conjunction with distal points to treat the body holistically. Classical acupuncture texts didn’t use the modern terms, ‘motor point’ or ‘trigger point’ needling, which make up the bulk of dry needling techniques. But motor point and trigger point needling are not new to acupuncturists and are referred to in classical texts using different language.

For example, in classical acupuncture texts, the successful arrival of qi is often described as when the tissue being punctured grabs the needle ‘like a fish grabbing onto the end of a fishing line.’ This is exactly what happens when you needle a motor point of a muscle. The motor point is where the motor nerve innervates the muscle, and if functioning properly, causes the muscle to contract when engaged; thus when motor points are needled, the muscle contracts around the needle like a fish grabbing at a minnow on a fishing line. What is also very interesting to note, almost every single muscle motor point correlates to a traditional acupuncture point or extra point found in Chinese medicine texts!

Classical acupuncture texts also inform the practitioner to palpate for tender points, called ‘ashi’ points, to find the exact spot to needle when needling locally. This is exactly how trigger point needling is done. Trigger points are local tender aggravated knots or bands of congested muscle fibers, often close to or extending from the motor points of the muscles. When trigger points are needled, local pain relief is accomplished through the release of natural pain killers and the disentanglement of muscle fibers.

What is the Difference Between Dry Needling and Acupuncture?

Simply put, dry needling is just one more acupuncture technique, and most acupuncturists incorporate it in their practice on a daily basis. The tools are the same; sterile, stainless steel single use filiform needles are used in acupuncture and dry needling to puncture the skin. Although, acupuncturists won’t often identify their process as dry needling. The term ‘dry needling’ is used primarily by non-acupuncturists to circumvent laws that prevent them from practicing acupuncture due to significantly lower standards of acupuncture technique and safety training compared to licensed acupuncturists.

To become a licensed acupuncturist, you need extensive training. At a minimum, licensed acupuncturists complete a Masters level education (usually 3-4 years). Practitioners at Lakewood Community Acupuncture, for example, all accumulated over 3,000 hrs of clinical and didactic education during their initial training to receive a Masters Degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. In addition, they regularly train in continuing education courses to keep their state acupuncture license active as well as their national boards, which are certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. In comparison, in some states, a non-acupuncturist who says they practice 'dry needling' only has to take 18hrs of training!  The difference in education of a licensed acupuncturist compared to a chiropractor, MD, or physical therapist who practices 'dry needling' is astounding. Those who practice dry needling who are not licensed acupuncturists are often dangerously undertrained. Dry needling, as taught outside acupuncture schools, is a very limited, narrow, and reductionist interpretation and understanding of acupuncture.

The training requirements to be licensed as an acupuncturist as compared to being certified in dry needling is one significant difference. But there are two other main differences: 1. Dry needling is often more painful, and 2. Dry needling doesn’t address the body holistically.

Dry needling techniques tend to be more painful than acupuncture because those non-acupuncturists who practice dry needling—usually a physical therapist or chiropractor—often need to accomplish results within a short appointment time-slot. Thus they tend to plunge the needle repeatedly into the tissue in order to get a strong motor point or trigger point response. This absolutely can be effective, but is often unnecessarily painful. Most acupuncturists don’t need to perform such a strong technique because they allow more time for their patients to rest with the needles once they have been appropriately placed. This allows the needles to affect the tissue gradually and gently. In addition, acupuncturists are always striving to balance the entire body, not just treat the symptoms; they apply a global approach to address the root cause of the dysfunction through addressing the differential diagnosis. Dry needling is focused only on the branch, or symptom, and doesn’t attend to the underlying conditions. This is an incomplete treatment according to Chinese medicine, even if the symptoms are simply a result of a sprain from running or playing a sport which often have underlying root causes, such as nutritional deficiencies, or imbalances in the organs and vessels.

What Type of Practitioner Should I Choose?

We recommend that you use your wisdom and common sense in choosing a practitioner. Find someone well trained in the condition you are concerned about, and who has the patient's interests in mind. Read reviews and bio's and ask about their education and experience. Practitioners are dynamic people, and so are the patients they serve. Matching the right practitioner of acupuncture to the right patient can produce remarkable results. All of our practitioners at Lakewood Community Acupuncture are licensed acupuncturist with over a decade of clinical practice, many thousands of hours of didactic and clinical training and patient visits in the tens of thousands and counting.

The Heart

The human heart weighs on average 12 ounces (1), and pumps around 6 quarts of blood (2) through 60,000 miles of arteries, capillaries and veins in only once minute. One person’s blood vessels could wrap around the earth 2.5 times! (3)

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States. There are almost twice as many heart attack deaths in the US than minutes in a year; every 37 seconds there is a heart attack death in the US. (6) 1,600,000 heart attacks per year total. (7)

Understanding the Dangers of Clotting

Blood clots, or thrombosis is the leading cause of death for Americans. Blood clots lead to heart attacks, strokes, deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms and are the cause of almost half of all deaths in the US! (24)

When a clot is pathogenic, it is called a thromboembolic disorder. This is a blood clot, or thrombus (this is the coagulation of blood where the blood becomes semi-solid) inside one of the blood vessels that is then carried from that original site and blocks another vessel. (24)

"While normal blood clots are a natural part of healing, abnormal arterial and venous blood clots are a significant cause of death and disability." (Mannucci 2011).

Collagen is one of most important factors in a blood clot. This is because collagen fibers make up the strength of the blood vessels. When the vessels are weak and are torn, blood clots form and plague develops to plug the leak in the vessels. It is this plague that can be dislodged, when pushed around by the every flowing blood being pumped by your heart, and find a new place to lodge. (24)

The most common form of heart attack occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) blocks a coronary artery that feeds your heart muscle. The leading cause of stroke occurs when a blood clot occludes, or obstructs, an artery supplying blood to your brain. Formation of vascular blood clots is also a leading cause of death in cancer patients because cancer cells create conditions that favor clotting. (24)

Rutin to the rescue

"All the blood clot related conditions are life-threatening, and so there is a need for safe, effective and preventive treatment. A natural substance rutin, also called rutoside, is a citrus flavonoid glycoside found in Fagopyrum esculentum (buckwheat), the leaves and petioles of Rheum species, and Asparagus. This flavonoid compound has shown effective thrombolytic activity (prevents the formation of blood clots) by blocking the enzyme protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) found in all cells involved in blood clotting. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established that rutin is safe and, thus provides a safe and inexpensive drug that could reduce recurrent clots and help save thousands of lives."—International Current Pharmaceutical Journal (24)

“Thrombosis, or blood clot formation, and its sequelae remain a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, and recurrent thrombosis is common despite current optimal therapy. Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) is an oxidoreductase that has recently been shown to participate in thrombus formation.” (20)

Summary of Rutin and Collagen

Rutin promotes collagen production. The strength of our capillaries is in collagen. High pressure (HBP) can rupture weak capillaries causing hemorrhage. Weak collagen in the digestive tract causes leaky gut, colitis, IBS. Weak collagen in the vessels of the legs cause varicose veins. Radiation damages collagen of the cell walls.

Rutin—Safely Curbing Clots

“Harvard researchers have found that rutin, a substance contained in that fruit (as well as in onions, buckwheat, and tea), has potent anti clotting powers that could help prevent heart attack and stroke.

“Researchers discovered rutin’s antithrombotic property when they screened a set of 5,000 compounds for their ability to block the action of a key protein involved in the formation of vessel-clogging blood clots. When rutin rose to the top of the list, ‘It was very surprising, and we still don’t understand exactly why it is so potent,’

“Indeed, if scientists had tried to design a clot-preventing molecule, they could scarcely have created one more perfect than —Harvard Magazine (9)

“These findings... [on rutin] ...identify a novel strategy for preventing thrombosis, and help pave the way for clinical testing of this popular flavonoid as a therapy for the prevention and treatment of stroke and heart attack, as well as deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.

“Of particular note, rutin was shown to inhibit both platelet accumulation and fibrin generation during thrombus formation. “Clots occur in both arteries and in veins,” explains Flaumenhaft. “Clots in arteries are platelet-rich, while those in veins are fibrin-rich. This discovery suggests that a single agent can treat and prevent both types of clots.

“Rutin proved to be the most potently antithrombotic compound that we ever tested.”—The Harvard Gazette: (8)

“...some flavonoids [rutin] are capable of increasing collagen and inhibiting the degradation of matrix...By inhibiting MMP, flavonoids could increase the rate and the amount of collagen synthesized by fibroblasts necessary for the formation of new wound matrix, thereby speeding up the healing process” (18)

“Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and the main protein that makes up the extracellular matrix in our tissues, i.e. the “bulk” of our tissues. It is a so called fibrillar protein, in that the collagen molecules self assemble into fibrils, and these fibrils are critical to both the tissue’s biological and mechanical roles. The collagen fibrils act as a scaffold, both supporting the cells in the tissue and providing tracks for them to move along when they need to move to a site of injury, for instance.” (19)

“Orally administered rutin also demonstrated antithrombotic activity…. These results indicate that PDI is the relevant antithrombotic target of rutin in vivo. Rutin is well tolerated at concentrations higher than that required to inhibit PDI activity in vivo. Thus, targeting extracellular PDI for antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy may be a viable approach to prevent thrombosis in a setting of coronary artery disease, stroke and venous thromboembolism.”—Blood (21)

Rutin doesn’t interact with warfarin because it doesn't affect prothrombin time and thrombin time:  “Only an ethanolic solution of rutin at the concentration of 830 µM prolonged aPTT, while TT and PT were unaffected. —Molecules (22)

“...rutin exerted a significant protective effect against collagen and epinephrine (or thrombin) induced acute thromboembolism in mice. These results suggest that rutin has a potent to be an anti-thrombotic agent for cardiovascular diseases.”—Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering(23)

Rutin (Vitamin P) Evidence of Post-Stroke Treatment

The results suggest rutin as an efficient drug to treat brain ischemia since it was able to promote significant recovery of sensorimotor loss, which was correlated to the reduction of neurodegeneration in the periphery of cortical injury. —Brain Research (25)


Reading Suggestions

Book: “Put Your Heart In Your Mouth,” by Natasha Campbell-McBride

Online: The Diet-Heart Myth: Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Are Not the Enemy, by Chris Kresser

Sources

***A special thanks to Dr Mark Anderson, and his Back to School for Doctors Seminars 2015 and 2016. Without him and his vast capacity to research, this article would not exist.

  1. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22182983
  2. healthline.com/health/how-much-blood-in-human-body
  3. livescience.com/39925-circulatory-system-facts-surprising.html
  4. wsj.com/articles/SB123552190314864789
  5. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19244190
  6. cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
  7. allheartattack.com/statistics.php
  8. news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/05/flavonoid-compound-can-prevent-blood-clots
  9. harvardmagazine.com/2012/09/curbing-clots
  10. www.justlivewell.com/whole-food-vitamins-ascorbic-acid-is-not-vitamin-c/
  11. The Lancet 1937—SYNTHETIC ASCORBIC ACID WILL NOT CURE SCURVY
  12. www.justlivewell.com/whole-food-vitamins-ascorbic-acid-is-not-vitamin-c/
  13. Szent-Györgyi - The scientist who discovered vitamin C & P 2013
  14. webmd.com/cold-and-flu/qa/what-foods-are-rich-in-vitamin-c
  15. Block That Stroke, by J.D. Ratcliff, COLLIER'S WEEKLY - The Unz
  16. RUTIN EFFECT ON POTENCY OF VITAMIN C 1950
  17. Gyorgyi LETTER to editor NATURE 7-4-36
  18. ch.cam.ac.uk/group/duer/research/collagen-glycation-and-diabetes
  19. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3366406/
  20. Protein-Disulfide-Isomerase-Inhibitors-A-New-Class
  21. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21301410
  22. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25777266
  23. Rutin-_potent_natural_thrombolytic_agent
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  30. naturalhealth365.com/food_news/buckwheat.html
  31. simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adenosine_triphosphate
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  48. nytimes.com/2003/03/16/magazine/medicine-s-progress-one-setback-at-a-time.html

 

Synopsis 

Calcium is vital in the functioning of our immune system. Depletion of tissue calcium not only leads to increased virus and bacterial infections, but can be a general indicator of susceptibility to severe illness with higher mortality rate. When we become feverish, this warming of our body releases calcium making this mineral available to assist our body to protect itself from an assault. To properly absorb calcium, we need a good source. Fresh spring water is the best. Calcium lactate is the next best and can be found in supplement form. Calcium carbonate is the worst, and unfortunately, is the most common form of calcium in over the counter vitamin products. Calcium is also needed for a healthy gut, and—as you can read more about in another LCA article, Improving Immunity and Gut Health Through Diet—our gut is an important component of our immune system.

Not All Calciums are the Same

Spring or well water is the best for drinking because hard water contains minerals like calcium bicarbonate. Calcium bicarbonate is essential in the blood stream to prevent our children from becoming susceptible to colds, flu and other childhood diseases like chickenpox and even polio, which produce fevers.”—Dr. Royal Lee, founder of Standard Process from "Water – the First Step to Health."

The best type of calcium is the same form of calcium that is found in our blood and that is calcium bicarbonate. However, you can't get this in supplement form because it has to be suspended in water. You can find calcium bicarbonate in spring water but not in tap water or boiled water. When you boil water it changes the chemical make-up of calcium, making it less absorbable—this process can be observed by the calcium deposits at the bottom of our hot water kettle and this in turn mirrors how the wrong types of calcium can negatively precipitate in different areas of our body (plaque, for example).

In supplement form, the best type of calcium is calcium lactate, followed by calcium citrate. Calcium lactate is called ionizable calcium because it is one chemical reaction away from becoming calcium bicarbonate (which is ionized calcium, a term referred to in many of the studies below). Ionized calcium is the usable form of calcium in our bodies (and by our immune systems). Calcium lactate is also the form calcium takes when provided in mothers milk.

Now—this can be a little confusing because their names are so close—calcium carbonate (missing the bi) is the most common type of calcium sold on the market and is basically useless. It almost certainly won't help you and may even harm you. Calcium carbonate is basically limestone, and it takes too many chemical reactions for calcium carbonate to become calcium bicarbonate for most people's bodies to accomplish, making it nearly impossible to utilize. Instead, this type of calcium often precipitates in the body causing stones in the kidneys, plaque on the teeth, deposits at the small joints, plaque in the arteries, and so forth. Avoid calcium carbonate supplements.

Foods that are rich in calcium include: raw milk and raw milk products (remember, heat chemically changes calcium so the process of pasteurizing milk harms the absorbability of calcium in dairy [30]), green leafy vegetables (especially collard greens, spinach and kale), sardines and other seafoods with bones in them, sesame seeds and almonds, and amaranth. (28, 29)

How Calcium Helps Your Body Fight Infectious Disease

Calcium surrounds foreign matter, locating it for other immune system players, such as phagocytes, to come and destroy. A helpful analogy is to think of calcium as like a GPS marker or beacon, marking the virus or bacteria or other foreign substance so that the Missile Command of our body (ie, the immune system) can locate and destroy.

"Through images of phagocytosis, the process by which a cell engulfs and then destroys it's target, [researchers are] able to track the movement of calcium waves as they send signals to key players in the immune response." (8)

Conversely, phagocytes—which as mentioned above are key players in our immune system's ability to fight infection—are inhibited by depleted blood calcium. (9) Thus, if we use up our calcium or interrupt it's absorption or distribution our immune system suffers greatly.

Calcium Deficiency in Infectious Diseases

Calcium is instrumental in assisting your body to fight infectious diseases, as shown in multiple studies.

The Department of Medical Microbiology at Linköping University in Sweden found that the ability for the body's immune system to kill the bacteria that causes tuberculosis was decreased in the absence of calcium in the cells and increased when calcium was sufficient. "We conclude that *neutrophil-mediated killing of mycobacteria is a [ionized calcium] dependent process." (4) *Neutrophils make up the majority of white blood cells involved in the immune response. (25, 26)

The Journal of Leukocyte Biology reported that bone marrow induced macrophages (white blood cells that function as an integral part of our immune system) were increased and more active when there was sufficient blood calcium. (5)

In Science, the researchers noted that when more calcium was used in therapy, the body was able to fight Epstein Barr Virus more effectively. (7)

Calcium Reduces Fevers

Fevers are a natural stage in our immune system's response to colds and flus. When the muscles around your bones warm up, ionized calcium is released from the bones so that this calcium can be used to help combat the virus, bacteria, or other foreign invaders. (24, 25)

This is a supply and demand process, sort-of like triage of the body. The body has to decide, where is calcium most important right now? If you have a virus attacking you, calcium is needed to assist white blood cells in fighting the virus, more than it is needed in your bones.

However, if you have enough ionizable calcium in the body, then you will not get a fever, even in the presence of a virus. I have seen many patients of mine reduce their fevers after taking calcium lactate or other calcium rich supplements or herbs. Shi Gao (gypsum) is the most famous Chinese herb to prescribe when someone has a fever. Why? Because it is rich in calcium.

Doesn't it make more sense to provide enough calcium for the body to fight infectious diseases, than for the body to have to resort to stealing calcium from our bones by heating it up?

Calcium Deficiency in Critically Ill Patients:

As noted above, calcium is one of the most important minerals for our immune system. This is true not only for viruses and bacterial infections. When we have a calcium deficiency, we are generally more prone to severe illness and death by those illnesses.

The American Journal of Medicine found that 70% of acutely ill patients in their study had deficient calcium and 40% of patients in the study who died were significantly deficient in calcium. "These findings suggest that hypocalcemia [low calcium] is a very common abnormality in acutely ill patients and is associated with a poor prognosis." (1)

A study in Scandinavia found that 85% of 993 critically ill patients were calcium deficient. "Ionized hypocalcemia [low calcium] is common among critically ill adults and it is associated with increased mortality." (2)

The Harvard Medical School did a study of 145 sick children and found 49% of the children had low calcium and 31% of the children who died in their study had low calcium. "We conclude the following: ...Ionized hypocalcemia [low calcium] is common in severely ill children [and] patients with ionized hypocalcemia have a higher mortality rate than those with normocalcemia [calcium sufficiency]." (3)

Other studies report, "We conclude that hypocalcemia is extremely common in hospitalized patients (up to 88%) and correlates with severity of illness, but not with a specific illness per se." (10) And, "Hypocalcemia has been documented in critically ill patients, including those with sepsis and shock." (21)

Calcium & Gut Health

Calcium is very important in gut health and has been shown to inhibit E-Coli and Salmonella in the gut. Calcium reduces the infection time of harmful gut bacterium and should be a part of any plan to rehabilitate healthy gut flora

"...dietary calcium supplementation is effective in reducing the severity of E. Coli-induced diarrhea. The protective effects of dietary calcium are not restricted to ETEC or E. coli infections only." (11)

"... researchers say high doses of calcium may prevent the bacteria [E. Coli] from multiplying in the intestine, relieving symptoms such as weight loss and diarrhea. The findings are published in the recent issue of Gastroenterology." (20)

"Researchers ... note that the positive effects of dietary calcium are not restricted to Montezuma's revenge from E. coli infections and they are testing calcium for treatment of other forms of bacteria." (20)

Our gut is a major immune system player and keeping our gut healthy is not only important for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients, but also for immune health. To read more about gut health and immunity, refer to this article: Improving Immunity and Gut Health Through Diet.

Sunny days—Calcium, Vitamin D, Essential Fatty Acids, & Viruses

Vitamins and minerals don't work alone. They are always interacting with each other. Calcium is no different and depends upon vitamin D, essential fatty acids, phosphorus, and vitamin K to transport it around the body.

An interesting example of how this works is revealed in studies showing how a person will have a higher chance of contracting a viral infection when they over expose themselves to sun! (22, 23) Don't misunderstand this—it takes some explanation. Sun itself is not bad. When we are exposed to sun, our bodies produce more vitamin D. Vitamin D pulls calcium into the blood. In general, this is good and proper, but when we have too much vitamin D, calcium is locked in the blood and cannot distribute to the tissues, and thus cannot mark the foreign invaders and trigger our immune system to attack.

A simple remedy is to increase your consumption of essential fatty acids (EFA). EFA help transport calcium to your tissues. Vitamin D and EFA work together and need to have a balance of quantities in your body. If you have too much vitamin D compared to your body's need for EFA, you will inhibit your body's ability to transport calcium. Other nutrients that help transport calcium are phosphorus and vitamin K, both of which move calcium into your bones.

In short, vitamin D helps pull calcium into the blood, EFA transport calcium to the tissues, and phosphorus and vitamin K help transport calcium to the bones. If there is too much vitamin D, it locks calcium in the blood, not allowing it to distribute around the body. An excess of vitamin D can even cause calcium to be stripped from the tissues and bones, pulling it back into the blood.

A common presentation of tissue calcium deficiency is cramping in the muscles. Often this is because a person is taking too much vitamin D and/or not enough EFA. Another presentation is cold sores, which only present on the mouth when there is not enough calcium in the tissues.

Takeaway 

Calcium, especially ionizable calcium (calcium lactate) or calcium bicarbonate (found in fresh spring water) are essential for proper immune system response. Anyone wishing to arm themselves with the best tools to protect against viruses, bacteria, and severe illnesses in general, would be bereft if calcium was left out of the equation. But, when boosting your immune system, you also need to include essential fatty acids in your diet so that calcium can be transported throughout the tissues and provide guidance for an effective immune defense.

 


Sources:

A special thanks to Mark Anderson of Selene River Press, who's immaculate capacity to scour research was instrumental in creating this article. Much of this article was heavily influenced by Mark Anderson's Seminar, "Dr. Royal Lee and the Immune System: Answers Before There Were Questions," Presented by Mark R. Anderson in September 2004, and the resources he provided or referred to.

  1. Prevalence and Clinical Implications of Hypocalcemia in Acutely Ill Patients in a Medical Intensive Care Setting. American Journal of Medicine, 1988 Feb; 84(2):209-14.
  2. Prevalence and Predictive Value of Ionized Hypocalcemia Among Critically Ill Patients Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavical, 2003; 47: 1264—1269
  3. Calcium in Critically Ill Children. Journal of Pediatric Med. 1989 Jun; 114(6):946-51.
  4. Roles of Calcium and Annexins in Phagocytosis and Elimination of an Attenuated Strain of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in Human Neutrophils. Microbial Pathogenesis Volume 24, Issue 5, May 1998, Pages 309-320.
  5. Calcium Spikes in Activated Macrophages During Fcy Receptor-Mediated Phagocytosis. Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 2002;72:677-684.
  6. Oxidase Activation in Individual Neutrophils is Dependent on the Onset and Magnitude of the Ca2+ Signal. Cell Calcium. 1990 Nov-Dec; 11(10):655-63.
  7. Calcium Modulation Activates Epstein-Barr Virus Genome in Latently Infected Cells. Science. 1986 Jun 20;232(4757):1554-6.
  8. How do Cells Signal and Attack Foreign Matter? Univ. of MI, Kellogg Eye Center researcher's April 17, 2003.
  9. Role of Serum Components in the Binding and Phagocytosis of Oxidatively Damaged Erythrocytes by Autologous Mouse Macrophages. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. Issue: Volume 58, Number 11/October 2001. Pages: 1727 – 1733.
  10. Hypocalcemia: a pervasive metabolic abnormality in the critically ill. Am J Kidney Dis. 2001 Apr; 37(4):689-98.
  11. Calcium in Milk Inhibits E. coli-Induced Diarrhea. Gastroenterology. 2003;125:469-476.
  12. Bacteremic hypocalcemia. A comparison between the calcium levels of bacteremic and nonbacteremic patients with infection. Archives of Internal Medicine. Vol. 147 No. 2, February 1, 1987
  13. Ideal Drinking Water. Article by Dr. Royal Lee Let's Live Magazine, 1958
  14. Protein and Calcium Interplay Important to Bone Health. United States Dept. of Agricultural
  15. Bone and Nutrition in Elderly Women: Protein, Energy, and Calcium as Main Determinants of Bone Mineral Density. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2003). 57, 554−565. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601577.
  16. Study: immune disease caused by lack of stimulation. The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. 2004.
  17. Effect of calcium lactate in erosion and S. mutans in rats when added to Coca-Cola. Pediatric Dentistry, December 1989.
  18. Dr. Weston A. Price’s ‘X’ Factor. Miscellaneous excerpts from Dr. Royal Lee followed by a 1949 article about vitamin F and the ‘X’ Factor by Dr. Lee entitled, Butter, Vitamin E and the ‘X’ Factor of Dr. Price
  19. International Foundation of Nutritional Health: Coronavirus Webpage
  20. High Doses of Calcium May Decrease Severity of E. coli Symptoms SOURCES: Bovee-Oudenhoven, I. Gastroenterology, September 2003; vol 125: pp 469-476.
  21. JAMA—Bacteremic hypocalcemia. A comparison between the calcium levels of bacteremic and nonbacteremic patients with infection.
  22. Sun Exposure Increases Risk of Virus-Sunlight Might Suppress Defense to Papilloma Virus, March 30, 2004 Associated Press
  23. Summer sun may increases women's chance of papilloma virus infection, DANIEL Q. HANEY Canadian Press, Tuesday, March 30, 2004
  24. New Therapy for Fever-Induced Seizures in Children Targets Calcium Channels
  25. Fever Written by Dr. Ronald A. Saltman D.C.
  26. medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323982
  27. healthline.com/health/neutrophils
  28. healthline.com/nutrition/15-calcium-rich-foods#section1
  29. mayoclinic.org/boost-your-calcium-levels-without-dairy-yes-you-can/art-20390085
  30. westonaprice.org/health-topics/making-it-practical/milk-it-does-a-body-good

Suggestions for a successful meditation:


Guided Meditations

Please click on the meditation of your choice below and the MP3 audio file will open

 


Jamie Holland has been practicing Kadampa Buddhist meditation since 2002 and during this time has volunteered with Kadampa Meditation Centers throughout the country in various ways, including teaching meditation classes for adults and kids. These meditations are practical and applicable for people of all beliefs.

If you are interested in learning more about Kadampa Buddhist meditation, please visit Kadampa.org. If you live in the Denver area, feel free to visit meditationincolorado.org for more information on local meditation classes.

In this article:

Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) consists of the sympathetic (fight or flight), parasympathetic (rest and digest) and enteric nervous system. The ANS is about balance, or homeostasis, and includes control of cardiovascular function, temperature, metabolism, digestion, reproduction and healing. In Chinese medicine, we can loosely relate the sympathetic nervous system to Yang functions of the body and parasympathetic nervous system to Yin functions of the body.

“Autonomic dysfunction produces a complex array of clinical problems including cardiovascular dysregulation resulting in inappropriate blood pressure and heart rate responses to physiological stressors, erectile dysfunction, and thermoregulatory and sweating.” —Reviews in Clinical Gerontology 2011 (33)

Phosphorus: The Gas

Phosphorus is the fire of the body. Think phosphorus flares. When the body is parasympathetic dominant (sluggish, slow heart beat, fatigue) phosphorus is often needed. Phosphorus is the fuel for the ANS and essential for energy (ATP).

ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) is our body's molecular energy currency. Within the word Adenosine triphosphate, you might notice Tri and Phosphate. Tri = 3 and Phosphate = Phosphorus. In order for our body to make ATP or energy, it needs 3 phosphate molecules per 1 adenosine molecule. Many of us are running on adeno diphosphate (only 2 molecules of phosphorus) or adeno monophosphate (only 1 molecule of phosphorus), which causes our sympathetic nervous system to underperform.

“Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a nucleotide used in cells as a coenzyme. It is often called the ‘molecular unit of currency’: ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism. Every cell uses ATP for energy.” (32)

At Lakewood Community Acupuncture, using the Heart Sound Recorder, we can assume parasympathetic dominance when we record a long rest period—longer than 1:2 (work to rest ratio) as seen above. For most patients with a long rest period and concurrent low energy or other parasympathetic dominant symptoms, taking phosphorus will significantly increase energy and begin to bring the ANS back into balance.

Potassium: The Breaks

Potassium acts as the brakes for your ANS. When the body is deficient in Potassium, the heart is unable to properly regulate glucose intake and your heart will race. This is a sympathetic dominant state, where your body is caught in a fight or flight response. Using the Heart Sound Recorder, we can assume sympathetic dominance when we record a short rest period—shorter than 1:2 (work to rest) ratio, as seen above. Potassium can calm the ANS, often relaxing an anxious or stressed body, improving sleep and bringing the heart back to a normal healthy rate.

“Potassium plays a role in every heartbeat. A hundred thousand times a day, it helps trigger your heart to squeeze blood through your body… It also helps your muscles to move, your nerves to work, and your kidneys to filter blood.” —WebMD (34)

“...If you’re deficient in potassium your heart tends to run away; to race. Paroxysmal Tachycardia is a specific example you can correct that right now with alfalfa tea or alfalfa tablets or mineral extracts of alfalfa or kelp... Paroxysmal Tachycardia often comes on after a heavy meal. Why? Because you eat a lot of carbohydrates and ice cream and sugar, pie, cake: That sugar has to be stowed away in the liver and muscles and it requires potassium to go along with it. When the potassium is all used up and there’s some sugar left maybe, that’s when you’re really in trouble, that’s when the ol’ heart starts popping off.... Number one, cut down the carbohydrates and number two, get more potassium. That will clear it right up.” —Excerpt from Lectures of Dr. Royal Lee, Vol. II., Selene River Press, Inc.

Calcium and an Irregular Heart Beat

Calcium is another mineral that is important for proper rhythm of the heart. When there is low tissue calcium, the heartbeat can become irregular. Getting enough tissue calcium requires Calcium, vitamin D and essential fatty acids.

“… found that calcium in arrhythmia revealed the anxiety, the dyspnea, and palpitations while it regularized the rhythm.” —Calcium Therapy in Diseases of the Cardiovascular System (39)

“Calcium cycling defects have emerged as a critical form of molecular dysfunction that directly contributes to contractile dysfunction and associated malignant arrhythmia in failing hearts”—The Journal of Physiology (40) 

“Deprived of sufficient calcium, the heart can beat erratically, possibly leading to fatal stoppage.”—Health, Novel Drug Attacks the Cause of Some Cardiac Attacks, Ron Winslow, 2004

“When the heart pumps properly, the muscle contractions are regulated by waves of calcium… In atrial fibrillation, the calcium is released too early. As it leaks out, the heart beats too fast and irregularly.” —Dr Xander Wehrens, assistant professor of molecular physiology and biophysics. 

Using the Heart Sound Recorder, we can record irregular heart beats as seen above, and assume some Calcium deficiency and/or B4 deficiency (images above and below).

Vitamin B4 (and B1): Enlarged Heart and Irregular Heart Beat 

B4 is the anti-paralysis vitamin. It helps the heart receive and interpret electrical information. This is not the same as the nervous system giving electrical information. When the heart muscle is deficient in B4, the muscle tone relaxes and the heart beat becomes irregular. The relaxation of the heart muscle can lead to an enlarged heart and a separation of the valves, causing the valves to not close properly. (49)

B4 is found in organ meats such as liver, and in lower quantities in rice bran and brewers yeast. Also found dried grass, peanuts, wheat germ, pork brain, pork kidneys (38). B4 cannot be synthesized in the lab, so most multivitamins and B supplements don't contain it. B4 is depleted by anything that stresses our liver: sugar, alcohol.

“...Well when the heart enlarges, the valves are made of cartilage, they don’t enlarge, so that the opening enlarges along with the heart and there’s bound to be leakage from the enlargement. It’s that simple. You supply some of this Vitamin B [B4] which promotes the muscle tone, the heart will contract to normal size, usually inside of ten minutes. The valve leakage disappears… ” —Excerpt from Lectures of Dr. Royal Lee, Vol. II., Selene River Press, Inc.

“...the most common reaction of B4 deficiency. The innervation to the heart becomes partly paralyzed, the pulse becomes erratic, extra systoles are common, and ultimately fibrillation may develop.” —The Vitamin Front, 1947, Address to Naturopathic Physicians of Florida by Dr Royal Lee. 

 


 

Sources
***A special thanks to Dr Mark Anderson, and his Back to School for Doctors Seminars 2015 and 2016. Without him and his vast capacity to research, this article would not exist.

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The basics

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the inability to hold an erection that is strong enough to engage in sexual activity, and is generally considered a disorder when it occurs for longer than 6 months (1, 2). It is a condition that effects nearly 40% of men in their 40's and upwards of 70% of those in their 70's. You can see a pattern here. For every 10 years, another 10 percent of the male population in that age group is affected by ED (2). A growing number of younger men are reporting ED, however, and it is no longer just seen as an aging or psychological problem (3).

The physiological process of  getting and maintaining an erection is complex and utilizes many different systems in the body including the brain, the parasympathetic nervous system, hormones, the vascular system, local glands and organs and emotional excitement. Additionally, there are many risk factors, diseases and disorders that often lead to ED, a small sample of which include depression, heart disease, diabetes, drinking, smoking and substance abuse (1, 2). The International Index of Erectile Function is the most widely accepted questionnaire to evaluate whether someone has ED, in addition to detailed sexual history and physical examination by a physician (2).

How does acupuncture work?

Blood Flow: Acupuncture increases blood flow to the extremities (10)

Stress: Acupuncture balances the autonomic nervous system, helping the body to relax into parasympathetic (rest/digest/heal/reproduce). (11)

Balances Hormones: Acupuncture and herbal treatments can help to balance hormones (14)

Can acupuncture help resolve erectile dysfunction?

A Healthline article explains how acupuncture may work to address ED like this: “Acupuncture is believed to work by stimulating your nerves, which release hormones, which then increase your threshold of pain. It may also increase the circulation of blood, help regulate blood sugar, and create other health benefits” (6)

One study found that acupuncture alone, completely resolved Erectile Dysfunction in 75% of participants. In this study, all patients were seen twice a week for a total of ten weeks.  (4) Other studies showed minor but significant improvements in participants receiving acupuncture with electrical stimulation at acupuncture points (5). Another study showed 60% improvement in a ED patients (8).

The best results come from a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine, "The results indicate that acupuncture with herbs is more effective than either herbs or acupuncture as a standalone therapy" (9). This is because herbs can help balance hormones and treat any underlying infection or inflammation, if present. Another study, using acupuncture and herbs, showed a 45% improvement. (12)Furthermore, acupuncture had no reported negative side effects.

  1. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes/syc-20355776
  2. clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/endocrinology/erectile-dysfunction/
  3. huffpost.com/entry/erectile-dysfunction-young-men-age-40-younger_n_3405085
  4. webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/news/20000505/impotence-gets-needled-in-acupuncture-study#1
  5. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10098953
  6. healthline.com/health/acupuncture-for-ed
  7. webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/news/20000505/impotence-gets-needled-in-acupuncture-study#1
  8. hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/2171923/
  9. nccaom.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Acupuncture%20Heals%20Erectile%20Dysfunction%20Finding.pdf
  10. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3388479/
  11. healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/770-nervousst36p5p6
  12. healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1364-acupuncture-combats-erectile-dysfunction
  13. healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1847-acupuncture-heals-erectile-dysfunction-finding
  14. healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1725-acupuncture-regulates-hormones-boosts-fertility

Acupuncture promotes blood flow

Acupuncture promotes the flow of blood throughout the body, including the microvascular system. Everything you need to heal is contained within your blood. Your organs, muscles, tendons, bones, your entire body, needs high quality access to oxygen, nutrients, hormones and a plethora of other vital substances to heal. Decrease in blood flow can cause serious damage, and increase in blood flow, especially microcirculation, can bring all the right substances to an area to allow it to heal.

Acupuncture releases the body's own natural painkillers

Acupuncture release our body's natural opioids, endorphins, and enkephalins.

Acupuncture reduces stress

Acupuncture modulates our autonomic nervous system. You've likely heard of the phrase 'fight or flight' and 'rest and digest'. This is your autonomic nervous system broken up into your sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest, digest and heal). An easy way to understand this is, if you were being chased by a tiger, it's not important to sleep, heal, digest, or reproduce at that time. Instead you need to stay away and run, go, go, go, resting will come later, healing will come later. Fortunately, most of us don't come into contact with tigers very often, however, our stressful lives, work, relationships, politics, financial situations and so forth, simulate this reaction and we can often be caught up in a fight or flight mode, and so our body is not in rest and digest and heal mode very often. Acupuncture appears to be able to modulate the autonomic nervous system and bring it back into a rest, digest and heal mode.

Acupuncture stimulates the body's own healing systems though local micro trauma

When the local pain areas are needled, a micro trauma occurs. This sends signals for the body to 'pay attention' to this area. As the body addresses the micro trauma, it addresses the tissue around it as well, thus healing past damaged tissue that has been causing a person pain.

Acupuncture resets the nervous system

Emerging studies are showing how acupuncture can help reset the nervous systems ability to address pain. There are two main types of nerves involved in a pain reaction, one that involves experiencing pain (nocioceptive) and the other that tells the body where the pain is (proprioceptive) and thus where to address healing. If these two nerves are firing correctly, the body should be able to know that it is injured and know where to address that injury and thus release pain killers and start the natural process of healing. Your body should be able to heal itself, however, this doesn't always go according to plan. In chronic pain conditions your body is sending pain signals (nociocpetive) but not communicating correctly where the problem is (proprioceptive). Thus, you are in pain and your body isn't able to react appropriately.

Sources:

  1. http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/headache-disorders
  2. https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1459-migraine-headache-acupuncture-relief
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/acupuncture-for-headache-2018012513146
  4. https://www.cochrane.org/CD007587/SYMPT_acupuncture-tension-type-headache
  5. https://chriskresser.com/chinese-medicine-demystified-part-iv-how-acupuncture-works/
  6. https://academic.oup.com/bjaed/article/7/4/135/466586
  7. https://chriskresser.com/chinese-medicine-demystified-part-v-a-closer-look-at-how-acupuncture-relieves-pain/
  8. http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jdms/papers/Vol13-issue11/Version-6/M0131166369.pdf
  9. Acupuncture in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomised trial. Lancet, July 2005.
  10. Acupuncture in Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, February 2006.
  11. Acupuncture in patients with tension-type headache: randomised controlled trial. BMJ, August 2005.
  12. Acupuncture for Patients With Migraine: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, May 2005.
  13. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine, October 2012.
  14. Survey of Adverse Events Following Acupuncture (SAFA): a prospective study of 32,000 consultations. Acupuncture in Medicine, December 2001.
  15. Safety of Acupuncture: Results of a Prospective Observational Study with 229,230 Patients and Introduction of a Medical Information and Consent Form. Complementary Medicine Research, April 2009.
  16. The safety of acupuncture during pregnancy: a systematic review. Acupuncture in Medicine, June 2014.
  17. Cost-effectiveness of adjunct non-pharmacological interventions for osteoarthritis of the knee. PLOS One, March 2017.
  18. Paradoxes in Acupuncture Research: Strategies for Moving Forward. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medcine, 2011.
  19. The Long-term Effect of Acupuncture for Migraine Prophylaxis: A Randomized Clinical Trial.JAMA Internal Medicine, April 2017.

An introduction to headaches in general

The W.H.O. calculates that 50% of the world population experience headaches in any given year (1). There are many different types of headaches including migraine, tension-type, cluster and medication-overuse headaches.

Migraine Headaches: A typical migraine headache is of moderate or severe intensity, unilateral, and can last from hours to days at a time. Often with an aura (nausea, sensitivity to light, halo vision, sound sensitivity, etc...). Migraines are experienced most often in persons  between the ages of 35-45 years of age, and are more common with women. (1)

Tension Headaches: Often described as pressure or tension that wraps around the head or spreads out from the neck. Tension headaches are the most common type of primary headache disorder, reported to be experienced by more than 70% of the population. Tension headaches can be categorized as episodic or chronic depending on how often they occur. Tension headaches also occur more often in women than men (3:1 ratio), and can often be triggered by stress and musculoskeletal tension in upper back and neck. (1)

Cluster Headaches: Much less common than tension or migraine headaches, affecting less than 1:1000 adults and more men than women (6:1 ratio). Cluster headaches are frequently recurring headaches (can occur many times per day), are intensely painful, of short duration, most often focused around one eye, and can be episodic or chronic in nature. (1)

Medication-Overuse Headaches: The most common secondary headache disorder, caused by overuse of medications that are meant to treat headaches. The excessive use of these medications can cause rebound headaches which can be persistent. (1)

How acupuncture reduces pain

Acupuncture is pretty remarkable in that it can reduce pain via multiple pathways in the body. In Chinese Medicine, most pain is characterized by a blockage of qi and blood in the meridian system, and the mechanism for reducing pain is to unblock the channels to get qi and blood moving again. In scientific terms, and supported by quality research, acupuncture is thought to perform multiple actions that modulate pain including, but not limited to, promoting blood flow (5, 6), releasing the body's own natural painkillers (6), balancing the body's stress responses (5), stimulating healing through micro trauma (5), and reseting the nervous system so that the body can correctly address chronic injury and pain (7, 8).

Studies show that acupuncture is an excellent approach to reducing headaches

Multiple studies have shown acupuncture's ability to reduce headaches, while working as good if not better than pain medicine, and having lasting beneficial results.

For example, randomized controlled studies reviewed by Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that acupuncture was able to reduce migraines in almost 3/4 of participants by 50% or more. Both pain, quality, duration and need for medication were reduced in the majority of participants (2).

Cochrane reviewed 12 trials with over  2,000 participants comparing pain medication to a combination of pain medication and acupuncture and found that half (50%) those who received acupuncture in addition to pain medication had headaches reduced by at least half (50%). This out performed pain medication which only reduced 17% of participant's headaches (4).

Harvard Health Publishing reported on a meta-analysis of acupuncture for common pain conditions, including headaches, which combined data from 23 high quality randomized controlled trials, involving nearly 18,000 participants that "conclusively demonstrated that acupuncture is superior to sham for low back pain, headache, and osteoarthritis, and improvements seen were similar to that of other widely used non-opiate pain relievers." (3)

The British Journal of Medicine concluded from randomized controlled studies that acupuncture reduces headaches (9), and the  Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that acupuncture has long lasting pain reducing affects on those with chronic migraines (10).

Summary

In short, some of the most renowned peer reviewed medical journals are reporting on the ability of acupuncture to reduce pain in those experiencing chronic and acute headaches, sometimes significantly out performing medication. Considering that there are almost no side effects from acupuncture, compared to devastating side effects from prescription medications such as opioids, and rebound headaches from other common headache medications, it makes sense that more and more people experiencing pain should give acupuncture a try.

How often should I receive acupuncture for headaches?

The University and Royal Melbourne Hospital researchers concluded, “Acupuncture can be used as alternative and safe prophylaxis for frequent migraine. Our recommendation is that practitioners treat migraine sufferers twice per week for at least eight weeks.” (2) At Lakewood Community Acupuncture, we recommend receiving acupuncture twice a week as you begin treatments, and then as your headaches reduce considerably, and the patient has no headaches between sessions, gradually spreading out treatments. We also recommend cupping therapy as an additional method of relaxing the upper back and neck muscles, in combination with acupuncture.

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization: Headache Disorders, 8 April 2016
  2. Acupuncture for Frequent Migraine: A Randomized, Patient/Assessor Blinded, Controlled Trial with One-Year Follow-UpEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015:1-14 · June 2015
  3. Acupuncture for Headache, Harvard Health Publishing, Helene Langevin, MD and Carolyn A. Bernstein, MD, FAHS, January 25, 2018
  4. Acupuncture for tension-type headache, 19 April 2016, Cochrane, Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, Fei Y, Mehring M, Shin B, Vickers A, White AR
  5. Chinese Medicine Demystified (Part IV): How Acupuncture Works, Chris Kresser, 03/11/2010
  6. Acupuncture in pain management, British Journal of Anaesthesia, Jonathan Wilkinson, MB ChB MRCP FRCA Richard Faleiro, BSc (Hons) DCH FRCA, Continuing Education in Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain, Volume 7, Issue 4, 1 August 2007, Pages 135–138
  7. Chinese Medicine Demystified (Part V): A Closer Look At How Acupuncture Relieves Pain, Chris Kresser, 03/14/2010
  8. A Randomized controlled trials on the effects of Acupuncture and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) on supraspinatus tendinitis, IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences, Volume 13, Issue 11 Ver. VI (Nov. 2014), PP 63-69
  9. Acupuncture in patients with tension-type headache: randomised controlled trial. BMJ, August 2005.
  10. Acupuncture for Patients With Migraine: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, May 2005.

Raise your hand if you get headaches

Imagine you are in a room filled with one hundred people who were all asked to raise their hands if they have had a headache this year. Are you one of the approximately fifty people who would raise their hand? There is a 50/50 chance that you are, because around 50% of the population experience headaches in any given year. (5)

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, and it’s no wonder why. Many of us work jobs requiring us to hold our bodies in awkward positions for long hours; this includes sitting at a desk job all day. We live in a high stress society with demanding jobs, lifestyles, societal pressures, tense politics, and social hardships that can make us emotionally and physically cringe on a daily basis.

No matter what our contributing factors are, many people hold their physical and emotional stress in the upper back, neck and shoulders and are unable to fully relax the muscles which attach to the base of the skull. These tense muscles, pull on the scalp and create a tension headaches.

How can acupuncture and cupping help?

Cupping is a suction therapy used to stretch the muscles and fascia, increase blood flow and break up knots and adhesions. For headaches, we often place a number of cups on the upper back, neck and shoulders to release the muscles attached to the occiput (base of the skull).

Acupuncture has been shown in multiple studies to reduce the intensity and duration of headaches (1, 3), often even better than drugs (2). Acupuncture stimulates the release of natural painkillers, decreases inflammation, increases healthy blood flow, and resets the nervous system (4). In Chinese medicine all pain is considered to have a stagnant quality in the channels and pathways of the body and the pain relieving function of acupuncture comes from acupuncture's ability to move Qi and blood and unblock the channels.

Here at Lakewood Community Acupuncture, we work with patients who have headaches regularly and have great results! Schedule an appointment today for an acupuncture and cupping session to get rid of those debilitating headaches.

Understanding Blood Sugar 

How much sugar do you eat per year, per day? High sugar intake is a major contributing factor to many modern diseases including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and Alzheimers. Thats right, even Alzheimers, which is now being referred to as type 3 diabetes.

These diseases have grown exponentially over the last century, along with our sugar intake. In the 1700s the average individual yearly consumption of sugar was four pounds, in the 1800s it was eighteen pounds, and in 2010 the average intake of sugar per person was one hundred and fifty to one hundred and eighty pounds of sugar per year.

77% of Americans ages 65 and older are diabetic or pre-diabetic. If that isnt enough information to make you think twice about that cereal bowl, studies have shown that the size of the human brain is smaller in those with consistently high blood sugar. No one wants a smaller brain, just as no one wants to develop heart disease, or dementia, but our standard American diet (S.A.D) provides just that and more!

Many people will say yes to some or all of these,
and all who do are brewing the dangerous recipe for a
blood sugar disorder
.

I became interested in nutrition the moment I realized that my symptoms of fatigue, nervousness, lack of concentration and foggy memory were related to my diet. For years I had eaten a high carbohydrate and sugar diet. Working at a bakery and then at an ice cream shop in my youth I consumed a high amount of baked goods and a ton of ice cream. Then, for five years I was vegetarian, in which the bulk of almost every meal was a grain.

This high carbohydrate/sugar diet had led me to become reactive hypoglycemic. It was so bad that I could eat chocolate and fall asleep within 5 minutes. I actually started to plan my desserts for bedtime knowing that I would immediately crash! This is a classic example of reactive hypoglycemia, and it became clear that my future health was in peril if I didn't change my ways, and quickly.

Symptoms Associated with Reactive Hypoglycemia Include:

Sugars, carbohydrates and starches can be used almost interchangeably when we are referring to how they react in our body. Why? Because they all break down (at least partially) as sugar in your body, whether or not they are complex or simple, wheat or rye, table sugar or maple sugar.

Now, there is a whole discussion to be had about the nutritional value of grains vs. table sugar, modern hybridized wheat vs. ancient grains, processed baked goods vs. fermented and sprouted breads and so on. But that is a discussion for future post. Here, I am talking about the insulin reaction, the glucose to glycogen to fat storage, and how this relates to your health.

When you ingest dietary carbohydrates/sugars/starches, they break down into glucose (among other things) and your pancreas is signaled to release insulin. Insulin converts glucose to glycogen and moves it into the cells where it is stored in the liver and muscles. However, when the liver and muscles are saturated and have no more room to store the glycogen, insulin converts glucose to be stored as fat instead.

When you have stable blood sugar, you should not get fatigued between meals, or after meals. When your body needs food, you should feel hungry, but not tired. This is because your body should be able to switch between burning glucose to burning fat seamlessly. But if you have excess insulin in your blood, you cannot burn fat and you get fatigued because your body and brain are starving.

When you consume sugar on a regular basis, insulin can be released in excess, this causes the blood sugar level to drop below a functional range and is called reactive hypoglycemia.

Eventually your cells become desensitized to insulin and stop allowing it access. This is called insulin resistance. This leaves consistent high insulin in your bloodstream which has a whole host of problems. For example, when insulin is in your blood you cannot burn fat!

Contrary to Popular Belief, Fructose is No Better Than Glucose.

In fact fructose turns to fat faster than any other sugar, can lead to liver damage and increases your appetite. Table sugar is half fructose, half glucose. Something like agave nectar actually is 90% fructose. For this reason it doesn't spike blood sugar in the same way, but it is extremely damaging to the body, causes rapid weight gain, and acts similar to alcohol on your liver.

When you ingest dietary carbohydrates, your pancreas is signaled to release insulin. Insulin converts glucose to glycogen and moves it into the cells where it is stored in the liver and muscles. However, when the liver and muscles are saturated and have no more room to store the glycogen, insulin convert glucose to be stored as fat instead.

When you have stable blood sugar, you should not get fatigue between meals, or after meals. When your body needs food, you should feel hungry, but not tired. This is because your body should be able to switch between burning glucose to burning fat seamlessly. But if you have excess insulin in your blood, you cannot burn fat and you get fatigued because your body is starving.

When you consume sugar on a regular basis, insulin can be released in excess, this causes the blood sugar level to drop below a functional range and is called reactive hypoglycemia.

Symptoms associated with reactive hypoglycemia include:

Eventually your cells become desensitized to insulin and stop allowing it access. This is called insulin resistance. This leaves consistent high insulin in your bloodstream which has a whole host of problems. When insulin is in your blood YOU CANNOT BURN FAT! ***

Further reading:

“Grain Brain” by David Perlmutter, MD

“Why Isn’t My Brain Working?” by Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS

Understanding Blood Sugar 

How much sugar do you eat per year, per day? High sugar intake is a major contributing factor to many modern diseases including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and Alzheimers. Thats right, even Alzheimers, which is now being referred to as type 3 diabetes.

These diseases have grown exponentially over the last century, along with our sugar intake. In the 1700s the average individual yearly consumption of sugar was four pounds, in the 1800s it was eighteen pounds, and in 2010 the average intake of sugar per person was one hundred and fifty to one hundred and eighty pounds of sugar per year.

77% of Americans ages 65 and older are diabetic or pre-diabetic. If that isnt enough information to make you think twice about that cereal bowl, studies have shown that the size of the human brain is smaller in those with consistently high blood sugar. No one wants a smaller brain, just as no one wants to develop heart disease, or dementia, but our standard American diet (S.A.D) provides just that and more!

Many people will say yes to some or all of these,
and all who do are brewing the dangerous recipe for a
blood sugar disorder
.

I became interested in nutrition the moment I realized that my symptoms of fatigue, nervousness, lack of concentration and foggy memory were related to my diet. For years I had eaten a high carbohydrate and sugar diet. Working at a bakery and then at an ice cream shop in my youth I consumed a high amount of baked goods and a ton of ice cream. Then, for five years I was vegetarian, in which the bulk of almost every meal was a grain.

This high carbohydrate/sugar diet had led me to become reactive hypoglycemic. It was so bad that I could eat chocolate and fall asleep within 5 minutes. I actually started to plan my desserts for bedtime knowing that I would immediately crash! This is a classic example of reactive hypoglycemia, and it became clear that my future health was in peril if I didn't change my ways, and quickly.

Symptoms Associated with Reactive Hypoglycemia Include:

Sugars, carbohydrates and starches can be used almost interchangeably when we are referring to how they react in our body. Why? Because they all break down (at least partially) as sugar in your body, whether or not they are complex or simple, wheat or rye, table sugar or maple sugar.

Now, there is a whole discussion to be had about the nutritional value of grains vs. table sugar, modern hybridized wheat vs. ancient grains, processed baked goods vs. fermented and sprouted breads and so on. But that is a discussion for future post. Here, I am talking about the insulin reaction, the glucose to glycogen to fat storage, and how this relates to your health.

When you ingest dietary carbohydrates/sugars/starches, they break down into glucose (among other things) and your pancreas is signaled to release insulin. Insulin converts glucose to glycogen and moves it into the cells where it is stored in the liver and muscles. However, when the liver and muscles are saturated and have no more room to store the glycogen, insulin converts glucose to be stored as fat instead.

When you have stable blood sugar, you should not get fatigued between meals, or after meals. When your body needs food, you should feel hungry, but not tired. This is because your body should be able to switch between burning glucose to burning fat seamlessly. But if you have excess insulin in your blood, you cannot burn fat and you get fatigued because your body and brain are starving.

When you consume sugar on a regular basis, insulin can be released in excess, this causes the blood sugar level to drop below a functional range and is called reactive hypoglycemia.

Eventually your cells become desensitized to insulin and stop allowing it access. This is called insulin resistance. This leaves consistent high insulin in your bloodstream which has a whole host of problems. For example, when insulin is in your blood you cannot burn fat!

Contrary to Popular Belief, Fructose is No Better Than Glucose.

In fact fructose turns to fat faster than any other sugar, can lead to liver damage and increases your appetite. Table sugar is half fructose, half glucose. Something like agave nectar actually is 90% fructose. For this reason it doesn't spike blood sugar in the same way, but it is extremely damaging to the body, causes rapid weight gain, and acts similar to alcohol on your liver.

When you ingest dietary carbohydrates, your pancreas is signaled to release insulin. Insulin converts glucose to glycogen and moves it into the cells where it is stored in the liver and muscles. However, when the liver and muscles are saturated and have no more room to store the glycogen, insulin convert glucose to be stored as fat instead.

When you have stable blood sugar, you should not get fatigue between meals, or after meals. When your body needs food, you should feel hungry, but not tired. This is because your body should be able to switch between burning glucose to burning fat seamlessly. But if you have excess insulin in your blood, you cannot burn fat and you get fatigued because your body is starving.

When you consume sugar on a regular basis, insulin can be released in excess, this causes the blood sugar level to drop below a functional range and is called reactive hypoglycemia.

Symptoms associated with reactive hypoglycemia include:

Eventually your cells become desensitized to insulin and stop allowing it access. This is called insulin resistance. This leaves consistent high insulin in your bloodstream which has a whole host of problems. When insulin is in your blood YOU CANNOT BURN FAT! ***

Further reading:

“Grain Brain” by David Perlmutter, MD

“Why Isn’t My Brain Working?” by Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS

Michelle Astringer
Michelle Astringer
2024-03-26
I have been working with Jamie 2x per week for the past couple of weeks. He is extremely attentive, understanding and thorough. I was nervous to start with acupuncture because of my herniated disc and fear of needles but he has made the experience feel very safe and comfortable. I’ve noticed a decrease in pain after suffering for over a year. Highly recommend!
Dani Zocante
Dani Zocante
2024-03-23
We learned about this facility years ago, and try to do a session every week, both practitioners are fantastic!
ashley snider
ashley snider
2024-03-05
My first visit to this clinic was incredible. I found it to be educational, supportive and a step in the right direction for my health. Jamie was attentive and provided helpful information and recommendations. Already have a treatment plan underway and my next appointment booked! Highly recommend for anyone interested in acupuncture and what it has to offer.
Carrie Butler
Carrie Butler
2024-01-24
Jamie was amazing! He was so nice and very knowledgeable. It was my first time getting acupuncture and he explained each step and what to expect. I would definitely recommend him.
Ginny
Ginny
2023-12-30
Crystal was able to get me in quickly. Highly recommend.
Sarah Llerena
Sarah Llerena
2023-12-14
I recently had an incredible experience at this place, and I don't even know where to begin. I found myself in unbearable back pain, unable to stand up straight, and unsure of what caused it. Fortunately, I was able to schedule a prompt appointment, and Jamie's expertise was truly amazing! After receiving both cupping and acupuncture treatments, I noticed a remarkable improvement right away and within just two days, i was 95% back to my normal self. Don't hesitate to book an appointment here—it made a significant difference for me.
Thomas Najar
Thomas Najar
2023-11-20
Great service at a good price. Convenient location, knowledgable staff, clean and inviting clinic.
Tracy Carr
Tracy Carr
2023-11-10
This is the best place ever! I get cupping and acupuncture when my back starts acting up and leave feeling like 50 pounds was lifted off my back. Crystal and Jamie are very thorough in their questions to understand what’s going on and the treatment they provide. And the prices can’t be beat. 10/10
Liz Spanos
Liz Spanos
2023-11-10
I have been going to Lakewood Community Acupuncture for over a year and can’t imagine my life without it now!! It can truly help with so much - from physical pain (I have issues with my pelvic floor and multiple herniated discs) to emotional blocks, energy deficiencies and more! I ALWAYS feel better after acupuncture. I’ve seen all the practitioners and they are all extremely skilled, but Crystal is my go-to. She is not only very gentle and effective but always a delight to connect with. For the quality of service, atmosphere and price, you cannot do better. It’s been a game changer for me. Wholeheartedly recommend!!

Contact

7114 W Jefferson Ave, suite 112
Lakewood, CO 80235
(720) 242-9756
info@lakewoodacupuncture.org

Hours

Monday: 9am-6pm
Tuesday: 9am-7pm
Wednesday: 9am-7pm
Thursday: 9am-7pm
Friday: 9-7pm
Saturday: 9am-3pm
Best Acupuncture in Lakewood
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