Tag: Kidney qi

The Three Treasures; Jing, Qi, Shen

Jing Qi Shen

The calligraphy above depicts the Three Treasures: Jing, Qi, Shen. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the preservation, protection and nourishment of the Three Treasures form the foundation of optimum health and spiritual well being.

The Basics:

Jing means Essence
Qi basically translates as Vital Energy
Shen means Spirit

The Details:

Jing – Essence
Jing is the source of life, health and longevity. We all are born with Jing Essence, which is stored in the Kidneys and which fuels all other energies. As we age, we naturally deplete our Jing essence; but chronic stress, illness and imbalance will exhaust our Jing faster than we can replenish it through foods and herbs. We must nourish Jing daily with acquired nutritive energy derived from healthy foods, water, meditation, exercise and Chinese herbs. To preserve and protect our Jing from depletion, we must avoid drug and alcohol abuse, bulimia or anorexia, excessive exercise and excessive sexual activities. The latter is especially important for men. Most healthy women don’t have to worry so much about losing essence through sexual activity. For all women it is more important to preserve blood. Chinese medicine tells us that Blood and Jing Essence share the same source. Blood preservation is especially important for a woman because when she loses blood, she loses Jing. The wisdom of a woman’s body initiates menopause as a way to preserve blood and essence for a longer healthier life. Women who experience very heavy menstrual periods or whose periods are absent may experience an Essence vacuity and require acupuncture and herbal treatment to regain healthy balance.

Qi – Vital Energy
In English, Qi roughly translates as vital energy, but its full meaning is as vast as the universe. The calligraphy of the Chinese word Qi depicts rice steaming, meaning that Qi is invisible like steam but also as substantial as rice. This energy is not an ethereal philosophical concept; Qi is palpable, movable, dynamic, storable, fluid and sustentative. It makes and defines everything about us, in us and around us. We are all made of Qi. Plants, herbs, insects and animals are made of Qi. The air we breathe is Qi. The energy we get from exercise is Qi. Acute or chronic illness, poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyles and excessive exercise or sleep will deplete Qi. Breathing exercises and healthy eating habits replenish Qi. Kung Fu practices such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong and other healing exercises that generate, move and store Qi. To nourish our Qi we must live a balanced lifestyle, eat well, breath, exercise and preserve our energy by avoiding types of situations and people that drain our energy.

Shen – Spirit
Chinese medicine views the Spirit as an integral part of our life and our physical wellbeing. Therefore Qi, Jing and Spirit cultivation is essential for health maintenance. The definition of spirituality is uniquely individual because different spiritual practices work for different people. Though the process of Spirit cultivation is dynamic and ever changing, most spiritual practices call for mindful living, intentionally based on right thinking and right action. In addition, certain herbs and tonics can help enhance and develop Shen energy. Buddhist teacher and writer Llama Surya Das imparts these words of wisdom, “Living spirituality and its religions are not monuments or mausoleums, but ARE more akin to rivers, which need and want to keep flowing and inexhaustibly replenishing themselves, outflowing anew while returning to the source, endlessly recycling and revitalizing themselves. Not static but ecstatic — a living river of Dharma, of truth and love, of genuine spirit.” When we nourish our Spirit, we cultivate truth, authenticity and compassion for ourselves and others in our daily lives, the result of which is energetic balance and mental clarity.

 

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com
Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
32 Union Square EAST, Suite 615N
New York, NY 10003
(646) 504.2251

 

Endometriosis Treatment with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs

Endometriosis Treatment with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Therapy

It is safe and effective, learn more below…

Endometriosis is a condition suffered by women of reproductive age and affects an estimated 89 million women around the world, regardless of background or race–Learn more about Endometriosis Treatment with Acupuncture. The word endometriosis is derived from the word “endometrium,” which is the lining inside of a woman’s uterus. The uterine endometrium (sometimes called endometrial tissue or lining) is normally shed during each menstrual period. Every month when a woman has her menstrual period, if the ovulated egg is not fertilized, the endometrial tissue along with blood and the unfertilized egg are shed from the uterus resulting in menstruation. Endometriosis Treatment with Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are a safe and effective natural treatment for endometriosis.

With woman suffering from endometriosis, the endometrial tissue normally found in the uterus is also present on the outside of the uterus, in the pelvic cavity. The endometrial tissue outside the uterus responds to the hormonal changes that occur each menstrual month in women but unlike the uterine endometrial lining, this tissue is not expelled from the body during menstruation. Instead, the endometrial tissue lingers and is slowly absorbed into the body which then inflames the surrounding tissues.

Women with endometriosis usually experiences lower abdominal pain 5-7 days before menstruation, during menstruation or with ovulation. Many women who are suffering from endometriosis experience irregular menstruation with excessive bleeding and clotting during their menses, low back pain, nausea, vomiting,intestinal upsets, fatigue, pain with sexual intercourse, discomfort with urination or bowel movements, and infertility. It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of women who report infertility problems have endometriosis.

After undergoing two pelvic surgeries that led to adhesions which caused more pain than the fibroid or endometriosis I had the surgeries for, I was despondent. Pain medication left me unable to function during the day and the alternatives the medical community offered me: a hysterectomy, nerve blocks or hormones, held no guarantees, had risks and were just unacceptable to me. My personality changed as I was in constant, unrelenting pain.

The only relief I had was the sleep I feel in to every night after taking prescription pain killers. I stopped making plans with friends, did not want to socialize and just counted the hours until I could medicate and go to sleep. One day, I was on an endometriosis website and one of the bloggers was singing the praises of acupuncture. I decided I had nothing to lose and found Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist in her NYC office. At my first appointment I told her that I was just looking for relief, not a cure, and while she made no promises Juliette made it clear that her goal was to cure me of all pain. I knew then how serious, professional, caring and dedicated she is.

With acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, supplements such as fish oils and B-complex, and heat lamp therapy, Juliette Aiyana, has literally given me my life back and she achieved her goal; I am pain free. I continue to see Juliette pro-actively, although I can honestly state that I was “cured” after about two months of treatment. I don’t like to think about what would have happened to me if I had not found Juliette”. – Caroline, Age 47.

Read more success stories from Juliette Aiyana’s patients.

 

Call 646-504-2251 for an appointment.

Western Diagnosis and Treatment

Although the causes of endometriosis remain unknown, several different theories have been put forward as to what the cause(s) may be. The most commonly accepted theory is retrograde menstruation, also known as “backward menstruation.” Normally during the menses the menstrual blood is shed and comes out. In some women, a small amount of blood flows backwards down the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity. This blood contains cells from the uterine lining (endometrium). It is not known why in some women this might implant and lead to endometriosis, it may have something to do with a particular woman’s immune response and ability to fight off and remove these cells. Another theory suggests that endometrial tissue is distributed from the uterus to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or through the blood system. A genetic theory suggests that it may be carried in the genes in certain families or that some families may have predisposing factors. If your mother or sister has endometriosis, you are six times more likely to get the disease than other women.

The Western diagnosis and treatment for this condition are invasive and include surgery and drug therapy. A laparoscopy or laparotomy is usually performed to diagnose the condition. For laparoscopy surgery, a lighted optical tube is inserted through a small incision in the navel, and is often referred to as “bellybutton surgery.” Laparotomy is a more extensive procedure where there is a full incision and a longer recovery period. Radical surgery, which may be necessary in severe cases, involves hysterectomy, removal of all growths, and removal of ovaries.

 

Eastern Endometriosis Treatment with Acupuncture and Diagnosis
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), groups of symptoms, or syndromes, are typically classified into patterns that involve the internal organs and/or energy pathways of the body. In TCM, the primary pattern or mechanism which causes endometriosis is Blood stagnation.

If there is a free flow of qi and blood, there will be no pain, but if there is no free flow of qi and blood, there will be pain.

This means that if the blood and qi are stagnant and not flowing freely (specifically in lower abdominal region), there will be pain.

Spleen qi deficiency and blood stasis: The cause of this pattern is chronic illness or constitutional weakness. Some of the signs and symptoms of this pattern include lower abdominal pain, fatigue, abdominal tenderness that may feel better with pressure, pain during or after periods, preference for warmth, prolapsed bearing down feeling in the uterus, a feeling of anxiousness and worry, loose or soft bowel movements, bruising easily, pale complexion, menstrual periods that are either heavy or scanty and contain blood clots, thick-pale tongue body with tooth-marks on the sides and visible red dots, and a thin-wiry or weak pulse.Blood stagnation can be caused by emotional disturbance, chronic illness, exposure to cold temperatures, surgery, and genital infections. Although blood stasis is the primary pattern in endometriosis, it is often combined with other patterns such as spleen qi deficiency, kidney deficiency, liver qi stagnation, cold stagnation or heat obstruction. The TCM diagnosis is differentiated based on the clinical manifestations associated with each case of endometriosis. The timing, location, nature, and severity of pain are taken into account, along with associated symptoms. The following syndromes are the most commonly seen patterns in women who are suffering from endometriosis:

Liver qi stagnation and blood stasis: The cause of this pattern lies in emotional stress and anxiety. Some of the signs and symptoms include severe lower abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness with an aversion to pressure, breast distention and tenderness before periods, feeling of frustration, distending pain under the rib cage, aversion to pressure on the abdomen, bitter taste in the mouth, menstrual periods that contain a lot of blood clots, menstrual pain relieved after the periods, a dark purple tongue with red spots, and a wiry-choppy pulse.Kidney deficiency and blood stasis: The cause of this pattern is either a constitutional weakness, or a history of surgical procedures. Some of the signs and symptoms of this pattern include lower abdominal pain, lower back weakness and aches, sore knees, fearfulness, ringing in the ears, a feeling of pressure and pain during or after menstrual periods, dizziness, irregular periods, scanty periods or spotting that include blood clots, a history of infertility or habitual miscarriage, a pale tongue color that has red spots, and a deep-thin-choppy pulse.

Cold stagnation and blood stasis: The cause of this pattern is a history of exposure to cold – either cold temperatures (externally), or the chronic consumption of cold foods (internally), especially during menstruation. Some of the signs and symptoms of this pattern include lower abdominal pain and tenderness, pressure and pain before or during periods with a preference for warmth, an aversion to cold, watery menstrual period with blood clots, menstrual pain relieved after the periods, nausea, loose stools, pale complexion, a pale, bluish/purplish tongue with red spots, and a wiry-tight pulse

Heat obstruction and blood stasis: The cause of this pattern is a history of genital infections (in TCM this is considered to be an accumulation of heat toxins in the body). Some of the signs and symptoms of this pattern are, lower abdominal pain and tenderness that are worse with pressure, a fever before, during, or after periods, preference for cold temperatures and foods, bitter taste in the mouth, dry throat, feeling of frustration, constipation, pain during intercourse, a red tongue with red or purple spots, and wiry-rapid pulse.

We advise you to come into the clinic 1 – 2 times per week for acupuncture and will usually combine a Chinese herbal formula for you to take as well. Effectively treating the root cause of endometriosis takes approximately three menstrual cycles. Some women will see a reduction in their symptoms right away while others may take a longer period of time. Stress levels, lifestyle, and general health are important factors involved in response time.It is important to note that most women suffering from endometriosis have more than one pattern diagnosis, therefore you may have symptoms from one or all patterns described above.

 

 

 

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac. Herbalist

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What is Qi?

Qi

What is Qi?

Is Qi energy? Those who are fatigued, or always tired, will be particularly interested in Chinese Medicine’s views on qi.

This is one of the most common questions Americans ask about Chinese Medicine, and not an easy one to answer. Qi (pronounced “chee” and sometimes spelled ‘chi’) is possibly the most essential and the most controversial aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Biomedicine often feels it can quite easily dismiss parts or all of TCM by maintaining that modern science cannot verify the existence of qi. The false idea that qi is an ‘energy’ like electricity has worsened this controversy.

Is Qi Energy?

Some TCM practitioners say qi is ‘energy.’ This is not too bad of an explanation. But don’t go away thinking we believe there are electrical circuits running through your body! Some scholars (D.E. Kendall, and Paul Unschuld) maintain that the idea of qi as ‘energy’ was a mistranslation from the Chinese.

Then What is It?

In terms of basic TCM ontology (“what exists”), Qi is one of the four basic constituents of the body:

Yin Blood Qi Yang
< — Substance Function — >
< — Cold Hot — >

Consider this convenient car-engine analogy: Yin is water from the radiator to cool the engine, blood is oil, qi is the force that moves the pistons, and the engine can be said to be in a yang state when operating. Perhaps the explosion itself is yang, while the force of the explosion is qi. We can also say that the gas contains a qi that has yet to be utilized.

(In the actual chinese character for the word, qi is the steam rising from a cooking pot of rice. I hope that explanation made sense to ancient Chinese, because it doesn’t make much to me! To be fair to the ancient chinese, we can think of the steam coming from the rice as being less substantial, more yang than the rice itself, but still…)

What Happens Without Qi?

Another way to understand things is by their absence (darkness is defined as the absence of light). Without sufficient qi,

  • your digestive system cannot break down food or transport nutrients to the rest of your body
  • you become easily fatigued and are always tired
  • you lose your appetite
  • your limbs are heavy
  • you might wake up frequently at night because you need to urinate
  • academic/organizing thought is difficult or impossible
  • everything is overwhelming (you cannot ‘digest’ what is going on)
  • you tend to worry (the emotional component – TCM is a holistic medicine that does not separate body and mind)

How Do I Get More Qi?

  • The proper diet goes a long way. TCM dietary principles are too complex to cover here (I must say though that it is surprising to many patients, perhaps because vegetarianism is thought to be synonymous with alternative medicine, that TCM advocates eating meat and mostly cooked foods).
  • Herbs that increase the qi include ginseng, and codonopsis.
  • Avoid activities that drain the qi – Be sensible about your energy expenditure by living a balanced life; don’t be too sedentary or too active. If you are a couch potato, your qi can’t flow without exercise. If you are a type-A personality, relax and don’t use yourself up too early in life – you may live to regret it!
by Brian B. Carter, MS, LAc. Reprinted with permission by the author
Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com
Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
32 Union Square East, Suite 615N
New York, NY 10003
(646) 504.2251

 

Natural Support for Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease with Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Food, Vitamins and Self-Care

How Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Diet, Exercise and Supplements
Can Help Manage This Auto-Immune Disorder

Stay warm!

Hashimoto’s disease effects women eight times more often than men. Clinically, the thyroid is enlarged, accompanied by hypothyroidism. The typical medical treatment is lifelong administration of a thyroid hormone.

Patients diagnosed with Hashimoto’s complain that they are extremely fatigued, suffer from a cold body, many have chronic joint pain or inflammation; sometimes they even have numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. Some present with allergies to food such as wheat or airborne allergens. In my practice, it seems the severity of complicating symptoms exacerbate with age.

How Can Chinese Medicine Help You?

Chinese Medicine treats the root cause of disharmony in your body. During the first visit with your practitioner, she will take an extensive health history and use techniques called Tongue Diagnosis and Pulse Diagnosis. She will connect all of the information she has gathered into a “pattern differentiation”.

Basically, what that means is she finds your unique pattern of energetic disharmony and treats that instead of administering one cookbook treatment for every patient with the same disease.

It is said in Chinese Medicine, “Same Disease, Different Treatment. Different Disease, Same Treatment”. In other words, your treatment is based upon specific Chinese medical methodology to create an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Chinese Medicine works so effectively because your practitioner acknowledges that you are not merely your disease.

So unlike western medicine which gives all Hashimoto’s patients the same treatment, practitioners of Chinese medicine will design a unique Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture treatment protocol especially for you.

How Many Treatments Will You Need?

Treatments for auto-immune disorders are ongoing. At first you may go to your practitioner every week for about 3 months. Then you and your practitioner will decide the best treatment plan for you.

Auto-immune disorders are chronic; therefore, acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapies can be used to support your health and energy throughout your life especially in times of stress.

I teach my patients the self care techniques listed below so that we can create a healing partnership and so they can take care of themselves on a daily basis.

 

Call Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs in NYC for an appointment: 646-504-2251

Not in NYC? Schedule a Skype Wellness Consultation: 646-504-2251

 

Self-Care Techniques and Home Remedies For Patients with Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease:

  1. Diet Adjustments
    Eat cooked leafy greens, black beans, yellow squash, meat and meat broths for blood vacuity. Patients with blood vacuity are often cold, experience fatigue, have dry skin, hair and nails and possible scant menstruation, skipped, late or missed periods.

    Essential fatty acids reduce inflammation

    Therefore blood supplementation is important for Hashimoto’s patients. Eat almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and avocado for essential fatty acids which reduce joint inflammation and are shown to level out blood glucose levels. Avoid white refined flour and sugars. Eat whole grains and rice instead.  Special attention should be paid to your Spleen Qi. The Spleen produces qi, blood and body fluids essential to health.

  2. Supplements
    Take a complete whole foods based multi-vitamin daily and a Calcium- Magnesium blend the ratio of which should be two times the amount of Calcium to Magnesium. Choose the bio-avilable form of calcium; citrate or citrate/malate.  Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) found in fish oils especially Omega 3’s reduce joint inflammation. EFA’s can be found in flax seed oil, hemp seed oil and evening primrose oil, fatty fish oils, nuts, seeds and avocado. Vitamin D3 aids thyroid function. Selenium level are usually extremely low for patient with thyroid dysfunction yet it is important for thyroid health.   Join our e-mail list to gain access to 15% all supplements via our online ordering system, wellevate, every time you order.
  3. Exercise Regularly
    If you feel more energized after exercise keep it up, but if you feel drained try a different form of exercise which consume less energy like simply walking everyday. Exercise will help you feel warmer and reduces stress. Yoga, tai-chi and qi-gong build energy and help many people feel relaxed and centered. In the case of my 25 year old patient, she can work out several times a week, and feel energetic after. But when she stops her routine, fatigue worsens, and it is hard for her to get back into the routine because of the increased fatigue. So maintain a regular program even if that simply means you walk 20 minutes a day.
  4. Dress Warmly
  5. Reduce Stress
    Keep your immune system strong by managing stress. Stress creates over-thinking and worry depleting the Spleen qi. The Spleen transforms and transports food energy into qi, blood and body fluids necessary for balance. Anger, resentment, unfulfilled desires and emotional depression can further stagnate Liver Qi energy. The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of energy for the whole body so it is important to keep it healthy. Expressing feelings in discussions and in writing can be very helpful. Avoid people who usurp your energy. Strengthen your support system of friends and family. Avoid overworking.
    Get enough sleep. Some people find that mediation or prayer is helpful or qi cultivation/relaxation exercises such as yoga, tai chi or qi gong. Seek professional care from a therapist or support group if needed. Make choices that nourish your spirit.
  6. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. TCM offers herbs which help to warm the body, reduce or eliminate pain, and increase energy.  Acupuncture treats pain, relaxes the mind and body and reduces stress.

Special Note: Women who take thyroid medication have a higher incidence of Osteoporosis. That is why it is very important for them to take a calcium supplement 500-1000 mg/daily along with a blend of co-factors that aid the absorption of calcium such as boron, K2, and Vitamin D3,  eat lots of leafy green veggies and participate in weight bearing exercise regularly. In Chinese medicine it is the Kidney qi energy that nourishes the bones and marrow. So by eating well and exercising, you can supplement the Kidney energy. You can also supplement the Kidney qi with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

Call Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs in NYC for an appointment: 646-504-2251 Not in NYC? Schedule a Skype Wellness Consultation: 646-504-2251

 

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com
Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
32 Union Square East, Suite 615N
New York, NY 10003
(646)-504-2251

Got Low Back Pain? Try Acupuncture. It Works!

A study published on January 23, 2008 by the well respected Cochrane Review showed that anti-depressants do not relieve low back pain despite the fact that about one in four primary care doctors prescribe them for such pain. The anti-depressants did however cause side-effects.

Clinical trials show that acupuncture relieves low back pain without causing side-effects.

According to medicinenet.com, “In an analysis of 33 studies, published in 2005, acupuncture was found to be an effective short-term treatment for low back pain, even when compared with sham treatments using fake acupuncture”, says Eric Manheimer, MS, of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland. “Our analysis suggested that the benefits of acupuncture for low back pain are not due to a placebo effect,” Manheimer tells WebMD”. Check out this video on WebMD that interviews a patient whose back pain was relieved with acupuncture.

How does it work?
There is a saying in Chinese medicine, “Where there is pain, there is no free flow and where there is free flow there is no pain.” The free flow is of Blood and Qi (pronounced “chee”). Health is when Qi and Blood flow smoothly throughout the body to nourish, heal and balance.

Your practitioner at Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs will spend a considerable amount of time with you during your first visit to discover where your Qi and Blood are stagnated or out of balance and why. The where and why are called a pattern of energetic disharmony. The acupuncture points and herbs chosen are appropriate to balancing your unique pattern of disharmony.

Every person’s pain pattern is different, so you will be treated based upon your individual pattern. One pattern may manifest as stagnation of Qi and Blood thus inhibiting flow into or out of the painful area.

A pattern common to chronic pain patients is that there is not enough Qi or Blood to circulate into the affected area which slows or inhibits healing. Therefore the treatment strategy would be to build, nourish and circulate Qi and Blood to that area.

In cases of acute pain, the pattern may be excess Qi and Blood stagnation in the painful area, so your practitioner will insert needles to move out the excess, thus relieving pain. These are just a few common clinical patterns which may cause pain.

How many visits will I need?

Each patient’s needs vary according to their pattern of disharmony. However, we often recommend that the patient come in for about 8 visits within a 2-3 week period. Many acute injuries only require about five to eight visits, whereas chronic pain patients will need more treatment. Most patients start to feel relief after the first or second treatment. Your acupuncturist will give you a tailored treatment plan during your first visit.

To learn more about how acupuncture can help your pain read our article Acupuncture: The Natural Pain Reliever.

Call 646-504-2251 for an appointment.

Runner’s Knee: How Acupuncture Can Help

One of the most common aliments for any athlete is knee pain, as I know all too well from personal experience. I played soccer as a child and teen as much as I could in all types of weather. I loved it. Indoors, outdoors, in snow, in hot humid weather – I was there. In soccer, the knees are utilized for running and for maneuvering the ball. There is a lot riding on healthy knees for soccer players to be successful. I began to get knee pain my junior year of high school from all the years of playing. All the MRIs and x-rays told the doctors nothing. They couldn’t find any tears or breaks in the bones, cartilage, tendons, or ligaments. “Runner’s knee” was the diagnosis. They prescribed physical therapy and rest, but I wanted to play. So, I played through the pain using my own adrenaline and desire. I used ibuprofen and ice after games as temporary stopgaps that only slightly touched the pain until I found acupuncture later in life. Now I can play pain free.

Acupuncture is a proven and safe therapy to help knee pain.

Why is it called Runner’s Knee?

The name is a bit of a misnomer because this type of knee pain can occur in anyone, but frequently occurs in runners and athletes (whose activities usually involve some running). Many types of athletic movement can particularly stress the knee due to the repetitive, high-impact action of the leg with the ground and the twists and turns that are taken at high speeds. Knee pain can also result from jobs that require a lot of walking, or from a person being overweight.

What is Runner’s Knee?
A very common form of knee pain is patellofemoral pain syndrome or “runner’s knee,” as it is more commonly known. The pain is usually in the front of the knee and it usually results from the patella (kneecap) rubbing against the femur (thighbone) causing pain, hence the name: patellofemoral pain syndrome. Commonly, there may also be some breakdown of the cartilage that is behind the kneecap causing more friction between the kneecap and the thighbone, or there could be some improper tracking of the kneecap over the femur causing increased friction and pain. These last two problems are common, but not always necessary to have patellofemoral pain syndrome.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom of patellofemoral pain syndrome is knee pain, especially when sitting with bent knees, squatting, jumping, or climbing stairs. You may also experience occasional knee buckling, where the knee suddenly and unexpectedly gives way and does not support your body weight. A catching, popping, or grinding sensation when walking or with knee movement is also common1.

What are the treatments?

1. Biomedical treatment
Biomedical treatment of runner’s knee is usually as follows:

  • Avoid activities that aggravate the condition.
  • Ibuprofen might be advised by your doctor to kill the pain.
  • Rest and ice the area.
  • Physical therapy to balance the tendons, ligaments, and muscles surrounding the knee.
  • If all else fails… surgery.
Manage your knee pain drug free!
Call us at 646.504.2251 to set up an appointment.

This is a bit discouraging as it involves avoiding something in your life that could be giving you some sense of pleasure, such as sports, or just day to day walking, which is practically impossible to avoid. It involves taking pain medication that has an impact on your body. The physical therapy is the most promising of the treatments because it typically involves stretching the tight muscles and strengthening the weak muscles that may be pulling the patella out of alignment causing the pain. Surgery should always be and usually is a last option unless there is something seriously wrong. Patients should always get a second opinion whenever surgery is advised.

2. TCM Treatment
There is a saying in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that “when there is stoppage, there is pain and when there is free flow, there is no pain” (bu tong ze tong tong ze bu tong). In this context, “stoppage” means the inhabitation of the free flow of qi/blood through the acupuncture channels resulting in pain2. The goal of acupuncture is to increase circulation of qi and blood in the channels in order to promote free flow and reduce pain.

Qi and blood stagnation and stoppage can come from many different factors in TCM. Some of these factors are due to the elements of the environment. Have you ever known someone whose knees become painful in the cold and rain and another person whose knees become painful in the heat and dryness? These mean something diagnostically in TCM, and a skilled practitioner can adjust treatments accordingly. Pain can be exacerbated by certain lifestyle circumstances or choices such as too much movement or not enough movement. For example: Does your pain feel better with rest or with movement? Either answer means something in TCM. There are many different diagnoses of pain in TCM, and a skilled practitioner will be able to diagnose your pain correctly and treat accordingly.

Acupuncture treatment for runner’s knee is a great option because it is drug free, kills pain, improves circulation, and releases tight muscles. The acupuncture needles are one of the only tools that can access the area between the patella and the femur, improving circulation to this area that does not have much blood flow. Chinese medicine also utilizes herbs internally and externally. Herbs can relieve pain and improve circulation to the area. The inclusion of herbs in treating knee pain can exponentially increase the recovery.

Research proves acupuncture is as effective as prescription pain killers for knee pain.
In a blinded study analyzing the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating patellofemoral pain syndrome, 75 patients were randomly selected to receive acupuncture treatment or to not receive acupuncture treatment3. Individualized acupuncture treatment was administered twice weekly for 4 weeks, and patients were followed for 1 year to evaluate how their pain progressed. After 1 year, the acupuncture group reported less pain overall than the group that did not receive acupuncture. This is also promising because it shows that acupuncture treatments have long-term effects.

In my practice, I treat a lot of athletes from the weekend warrior to the professional. There are many aches and pains that come up all over the body, but knee pain comes up more frequently. I have seen great results treating runner’s knee when acupuncture is used in conjunction with some strengthening exercises, stretching, and certain Chinese medical massage techniques.

Call for an Appointment.

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac.
Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
32 Union Square East, Suite 615N
New York, NY 10003
(646) 504.2251

– – – – – – –

1 http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/patellofemoral-pain-syndrome-topic-overview
2 Riley, D. (2001). Treating Pain with Traditional Chinese Medicine. Brookline, MA: Paradigm Publications.
3 Jensen R, Gothesen O, Liseth K, Baerheim A. Acupuncture treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome. J Altern Complement Med Dec 1999;5(6):521-7.

Fertility Success Stories — Fertility Acupuncture NYC

Discover more about Fertility Acupuncture NYC

At Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs in NYC, Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac. works with female fertility patients in a variety of Fertility Success Storiescircumstances. Many women like to try Chinese Medicine alone before trying other fertility methods such as Artificial Insemination or In-Vitro Fertilization/IVF to achieve true Fertility Success Stories.

 

Regardless of which route you choose, our patients are offered a program including most, or all of the following treatments; acupuncture, diet and nutritional health counseling, lifestyle counseling and Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements to build Fertility Success Stories regarding Fertility Acupuncture NYC.

“I’ve had acupuncture in Japan and was looking for someone in NYC to help me through my IVF process. Juliette was wonderful. She is an experienced mother and just has positive energy!! Happy to say that I am almost 8 months pregnant thanks to her help”!! -Chie, who delivered a healthy baby boy who breastfeeds like a champ. Read more patient endorsements HERE.

 

Call us at 646-504-2251 for an Appointment for Fertility Acupuncture NYC

 

How often you come for fertility treatments depends on which method you chose and your health history. If you want to go all natural, and both you and your partner are under 35 and relatively healthy, our patients tend to become pregnant between 3 and 9 months. Several of our patients have become pregnant as soon as 3 months! We also need to make sure that your partner does not have any fertility problems. Both partners should seek out a physician who specializes in fertility testing and bring your results to us. During IVF or artificial insemination, we like to work with you the whole way through, but it is essential that we give you acupuncture treatments before and after the medical procedures (Click here for Fertility Research Briefs). You can also just come in on the day of your IVF procedure. We need to treat you before and after the procedure.

Fertility Success Stories

 

Traditional fertility treatments can be extremely expensive. A single cycle of IVF could cost $10,000-$20,000. So couples are looking for other options that can possibly give them a greater chance at success. Fertility Acupuncture NYC treatments have the potential to save you $10-15,000 which can be better spent on your new bundle of joy.

 

Fertility Success Stories regarding Fertility Acupuncture NYC — Just to name a few.

  • A female patient, age 29, came to us after her medical doctor urged her to start an IVF cycle immediately. Her sister had recently undergone several IVF treatment attempts (without acupuncture), but after watching what her sister went through, both she and her 31 year old husband decided to try a natural method first. Even though the husband’s fertility tests were fine, he had seven acupuncture treatments and took Chinese herbs. She and I worked together using acupuncture once weekly, Chinese herbs and diet. She became pregnant within two and half months. She continued acupuncture and herbs through out her pregnancy as needed.
  • A 42 year old female patient, who had never been pregnant, came in seeking fertility treatment with her second IVF procedure. This second procedure was only a few weeks away. I advised that her prognosis would be better if she used acupuncture and herbs for three months before her next procedure, but that I was willing to work with her current plan. She wanted to stick with her plan and didn’t want to take herbs with the hormonal treatments so we just used acupuncture and diet. Unfortunately the IVF failed. She decided that she wanted to accept my advice before a undergoing a third IVF round. Not only did she get acupuncture weekly and take herbs for three months, but she even took herbs during the hormone treatment. She became pregnant during the third IVF cycle.
  • My 32 year old female patient, who was being treated for another complaint, told me that she wanted to stop taking the Birth Control Pill because she and her husband were ready to start a family. She was concerned that, like many women, she would have fertility problems after she stopped taking The Pill. We worked together using acupuncture, Chinese herbs and dietary therapy. She became pregnant within two months. She continued acupuncture treatments as needed during the pregnancy and for a few treatments post-partum for her “new mommy” neck and arm pain caused by looking down at her beautiful baby girl while breast feeding.
  • A 31 year old female sought out my help for natural fertility. She had one two year old child with her 47 year old husband. They tried to achieve pregnancy for four months before coming to my office. She took acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatments. We worked together for several months, but she still did not become pregnant. I believed that her fertility was healthy so I suggested that even though she and her husband had successfully conceived a child three years ago that he be tested for fertility. His test results showed fertility problems. Eventually, she opted for treatment with acupuncture, herbs and IVF. She became pregnant after only one round of IVF.
  • “My husband and I were trying to get pregnant when we first saw Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac..  We had been trying for well over a year and had just begun to see specialists about the root of the infertility. We underwent 3 rounds of IUI and a round of IVF without any success. Juliette was treating us during this period, but continued to emphasize that there was another way to deal with this problem and the experts might be wrong about the root causes of the infertility (low sperm count and ” bad egg quality”). She told us to give her a few months to see if we could work this out. We had nothing to lose, so before our second round of IVF, we put everything on hold and followed Juliette’s advice and protocol. We changed out diets, started taking herbs and came in for weekly sessions. We went and saw a specialist that she recommended who agreed with Juliette that there were natural ways to deal with this issue and that we didn’t have the ” problems” everyone said we had. Only a few months later, we were pregnant. Naturally! 9 months later we welcomed our baby.  It was an easy pregnancy and birth all helped along the way by Juliette. It seems to good to be true, but it’s true. There is no way we could ever repay Juliette for the warmth, knowledge and courage to guide us through this journey. She has become a friend and mentor and my go-to person on everything. We continue to see her and will continue to do so as long as she is around. There is absolutely no one better!” -Lauren, Age 29

Can Acupuncture Help You Conceive? CBS News Article

Call us at 646-504-2251 for an Appointment for Fertility Acupuncture NYC

Healing Male Infertility With Chinese Acupuncture, Herbal & Food Therapy

SpermChinese herbal therapy has been used for nearly 3,000 years to treat fertility problems.

Modern day research  statistics suggest that 35 to 40 percent of infertility problems are caused by male conditions, another 35 to 40 percent by female conditions, and the last 20 to 30 percent a combination of the two, plus a small percentage of unknown causes.1

Many approaches to treating infertility focus solely on the woman, wrongly assuming that female conditions are always the cause.

But these statistics make clear that in order to treat infertility; male conditions need to be explored.

If you have been trying to become pregnant without success for over one year, have both contributors to the baby -making Pie Chartprocess checked out by an MD to see how healthy things are overall.

I prefer to treat both contributors because Traditional Chinese Medicine does such a wonderful job at regulating, improving, and preparing the body for the pregnancy process for both the male and female.

Infertility can also create more stress in one’s partner’s life, and acupuncture and herbal therapy can help greatly with reducing that stresses to help better support the partner in treatment.

This article will focus on the male part of conception, the problems that can arise, and the TCM treatment of herbal therapy, acupuncture, and diet that can increase the chances of pregnancy.

 

“Six months ago, after feeling uncharacteristically lethargic for several weeks, I was diagnosed by my physician with low testosterone. My doctor suggested that I try testosterone replacement, which was an unappealing option for me. Luckily, a Google search connected me to the acupuncture practice of Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist. Within one session I had a treatment plan that was tailored for me.

Juliette used a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, heat lamps and aromatherapy. We also discussed which foods, according Chinese medicine, that I needed to incorporate into my diet to would help my situation and nourish my energy. I felt that I was in caring hands. My energy level was back to normal in about three weeks. And when I got my lab results six months later they confirmed not only how I was feeling but that I had made a very good choice in turning to Juliette Aiyana for my care because the lab test proved that my testosterone levels rose”. -Male Patient

 

Common Causes of Male Factor Infertility 

 

  1. Sperm Count – How many sperm are in one’s ejaculate.

  2. Sperm Motility – The ability of one’s sperm to move independently, swiftly, and in the correct direction.

  3. Sperm Morphology – The shape and structure of the sperm.

  4. Seminal Fluid – Mixes with the sperm before ejaculation. Pathologies include the volume of semen, pH of the semen, and fructose level of the semen that mixes with the sperm.

  5. What sperm Don't like

Are you having trouble conceiving?
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Traditional Chinese Medical Theory about Sperm & Male Fertility

In Chinese medicine theory, the sperm are pure essence (jing) of the male. A person (male or female) is born with their overall essence, or pre-heaven qi. This essence is stored in the kidney and is gradually used up throughout one’s life until it expires and life ends. One can protect his/her essence by eating when hungry, sleeping when tired, and acting moderately and appropriate in life.

In this way, one uses more of the qi of the outside world to live daily and therefore can preserve the essence. Essence is like your savings account; qi of the outside world is like your checking account. You use your checking account to pay most of your daily and monthly expenses and only tap into your savings account when the checking account balance is getting low.

causes of male infertilityWhen one is not eating healthily, not sleeping enough, or living to excess (drinking too much, having too much sex, etc.), the essence is tapped into and utilized for daily living, which could result in infertility and could shorten one’s life in the long run. Sexual regulation should change as one ages.

Overall, this reasoning applies directly to male infertility. In general, sperm is more viable for egg fertilization when a man ejaculates once every other day, rather than daily. Additionally, many other lifestyle attributes have been connected very closely to male fertility.A younger man can typically have sex and ejaculate without damaging jing more times in one week, than a man of older age. The older one gets, the more moderate and gentler one’s lifestyle should naturally become including the frequency of sexual activity which can tax one’s energy and tax the jing.

Lifestyle Tips to Increase Fertility

from the Mayo Clinic about how you can increase your chances of producing more viable sperm2:

  • Take a multivitamin. A daily multivitamin can help provide selenium, zinc and folic acid – trace nutrients that are important for optimal sperm production and function. A multivitamin also usually contains antioxidant vitamins such as C and E, which may help protect sperm from damage.
  • Reduce stress. Researchers are investigating whether stress might interfere with certain hormones needed to produce sperm. Stress can also impair sexual function.
  • Get regular exercise. Physical activity is good for reproductive health as well as your overall health. But don’t overdo it. Men who exercise to exhaustion show a temporary change in hormone levels and a drop in sperm quality.
  • Watch your weight. Too much or too little body fat may disrupt production of reproductive hormones, which can reduce your sperm count and increase your percentage of abnormal sperm. You’re most likely to produce lots of high-quality sperm if you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Watch out for toxins. Experts think certain workplace and household substances might have an effect on sperm quantity and quality. These include heavy metals, and pesticides and chemicals in solvents. When working with toxic substances, ensure proper ventilation, and wear protective clothing and face masks to reduce the risk of absorbing such toxins.
  • Quit using tobacco – smoked and smokeless. The sperm of men who smoke may be misshapen and may move more slowly than those of nonsmokers. Smoking can also damage your sperm’s DNA. Experts suspect such damage could even affect fetal growth and development and increase a child’s chance of having certain health problems, including cancer. And chewing tobacco isn’t safe either – it also may cause low sperm counts and damage. As if that weren’t enough, tobacco use can increase erectile dysfunction.
  • Limit or remove alcohol. Heavy drinking may reduce the quality and quantity of sperm. Limit alcohol to no more than one or two drinks a day. The combination of tobacco and alcohol is particularly harmful to male fertility. Research shows men who both smoke and drink alcohol have lower sperm counts and motility than do men with either habit alone.
  • Steer clear of recreational drugs. Marijuana can decrease sperm density and motility and increase the number of abnormal sperm. Cocaine, heroin and other opiates can contribute to erectile dysfunction, and amphetamines can decrease sex drive.
  • Skip the hot tub. To maximize the quality and quantity of your sperm, avoid hot tubs and baths. Spending more than 30 minutes in water 102 F (40 C) or above may lower your sperm count. Saunas and steam rooms may have a similar effect.
  • Avoid hormone havoc. Anabolic steroids, usually taken illegally, can shrink the testicles and drastically reduce fertility. Anti-androgens used to treat prostate enlargement and cancer interfere with sperm production. Testosterone supplements also decrease fertility.
  • Stay cool. Increased scrotal temperature can impair sperm production. Experts know that hot work environments, tight-fitting underwear (choose boxers instead of briefs!), prolonged sitting, and use of laptop computers placed on the lap can all increase scrotal temperature.
  • Avoid lubricants during sex. Personal lubricants, lotions, and even saliva can create a hostile environment for sperm and interfere with sperm motility . However, Emerita and PreSeed brands makes safer lubricants sold in most health food or online stores.

cell Phone pocket

Experiencing Fertility Difficulty?
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Patterns of Energetic Disharmony

Typical patterns of male infertility generally fall into two broad categories: repletion and vacuity.

Repletion patterns usually manifest in younger males who have a taxing lifestyle. They can really respond well to lifestyle changes including herb therapy and acupuncture.

The vacuity patterns tend to show up in older males who have naturally used up more jing/essence because they have lived longer lives than the younger males.

This being said, there are repletion patterns that show up in older males and vacuity patterns that show up in younger males. Sometimes there is also a combination pattern of repletion and vacuity in the patient. Acupuncture treatments and herbal therapy are tailored and unique to each patient depending on the pattern present.

Treatment with Chinese Medicine & Research Studies

Man and WomanNew sperm production in the testicles takes about 90 days.3 Then the sperm is ready to be utilized and is integrated into ejaculation. The sperm that have been affected by the TCM treatment of herbs and acupuncture will be ready to fertilize after a minimum of three months.

I present this information in order to stress that male patients need to be receiving acupuncture and be stringently compliant with herbal medicine for at least 3 continuous months.

In a recent study, a general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the structural integrity of sperm, was seen after ongoing acupuncture treatments.4 In another controlled study, 16 infertile males were treated with acupuncture twice per week for five weeks. Compared to the control group, patients receiving acupuncture had increases in total functional sperm fraction, percentage of viability, total motile sperm per ejaculation, and overall integrity of the tail of the sperm.5

In these studies, acupuncture was received more than one time per week, and the use of herbs, which is used frequently in China to treat male infertility, was not analyzed or discussed. Herbal medicine can exponentially increase fertility in males. Acupuncture appointments will usually be one time per week for male infertility.

Herbs will be taken everyday as an ongoing treatment that the patient can utilize during the time between acupuncture treatments. It is like homework for the mind and body. The herbal formula is tailored to fit the different patterns that we talked about earlier of repletion and vacuity.

Diet analysis and modification is also extremely important because the food that you eat will help to treat the TCM pattern that is creating an infertile environment in the body. A balanced diet which focuses on eating a variety vegetables, can improve your sperm overall and increase your chances for conception.6

Other men’s health issues may coexist with infertility such as prostate enlargement, pelvic inflammatory disorder, impotence, etc. These issues will also be addressed using acupuncture and herbal therapy when we treat the infertility because the treatment goal is to create overall health to improve chances of conception.

Acupuncture and herbs can help you successfully achieve fertility and conception, call us now! Here’s to good health!

father

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com
Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
32 Union Square eAst, Suite 615N
New York, NY 10003
(646) 504.2251

 

Call 646-504-2251 To Schedule

– – – – –

1 Boxers or Briefs: Myths and Facts about Men’s Infertility
2 Healthy sperm: Optimizing your fertility
3 Lifespan of Sperm
4 Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility.
5 Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, et al. Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality. Arch Androl 1997:39:155-161.
6 Dads-to-be: Diet changes to boost your fertility;
Trying to conceive? Five changes to make to your diet now

The Treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs

Together with changes in diet and exercise, acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbs are empowering women with PCOS to lead healthier and more satisfying lives.

For women trying to become pregnant, either naturally or through IUI/IVF treatments, treating PCOS will help with fertility and overall balance through harmonizing hormones and regulating the menstrual cycle.

While there is still no cure for PCOS, the good news is that Chinese medicine offers many effective ways to manage polycystic ovary syndrome.

All of Juliette Aiyana’s PCOS patients have restored their menstrual periods and many of them become pregnant naturally through natural treatments including Chinese herbs, dietary adjustments and acupuncture!

Overview of Healthy Ovarian Physiology

Thee ovaries are two organs on each side of the woman’s uterus which contain follicles, tiny fluid filled sacs (also called cysts), that hold the eggs. Each month approximately twenty eggs start to mature but usually only one egg fully matures; when the fully mature egg is ready, the follicle breaks open to release it. The fully mature egg then travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus for fertilization and implantation.

E-mail from a PCOS patient, “Just got my period!!!! Two weeks ago the cramps and moods meant I must have been ovulating! This explains why perhaps why I yelled a bit at my boss. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! And have a good weekend.”

Overview of Women with PCOS
In women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the ovary doesn’t make all of the hormones it needs for any of the eggs to fully mature. Follicles may start to grow and build up fluid but no one follicle becomes large enough. Instead, some follicles may remain as sacs/cysts. Since no follicle becomes large enough and no egg matures or is released, ovulation does not occur.

The distinctive appearance of PCOS is a thick, shiny, white coating overlying many rows of cysts on the surface of the ovary. These ovarian changes give PCOS its name (“poly” = many, “cystic” = cysts). PCOS is believed to be the most common hormonal abnormality in women of reproductive age and affects approximately 1 in 10 women (an estimated 5 to 7 million women in the United States).

Have you been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome?
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What are the Causes of PCOS?

The cause(s) of PCOS is unknown at this time; research suggests that many women with this condition may have decreased sensitivity to insulin. When cells are resistant to insulin it means that the effect of insulin on sugar, and other functions, is deficient. More insulin than normal is required to be produced to ensure that the body cells absorb enough sugar. This leads to high insulin levels in the blood stream which, among other effects, make the ovaries overproduce male hormones, called androgens, leading to hormonal imbalances that lead to symptoms of PCOS.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of PCOS?
PCOS is considered a syndrome because it has a number of unrelated symptoms. For this reason, PCOS often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Symptoms include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle (infrequent menstrual periods, no menstrual periods, and/or irregular bleeding)
  • Infrequent or no ovulation
  • Weight gain or obesity
  • Increased levels of male hormones, called androgens, which may lead to excessive hair growth on the face +/or body (especially the face, chest, abdomen, nipple area, or back)
  • History of diabetes, over-production of insulin, and inefficient use of insulin in the body
  • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
  • Patches of thickened and dark brown or black skin on the neck, groin, underarms, or skin folds
  • Skin tags, or tiny excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area

Polycystic Ovarian SyndromeHow Does PCOS Contribute to Infertility?

In short, if you are not ovulating regularly every month, the chances of fertilizing the egg are reduced. Because the egg is not released, there is no egg ready for fertilization and implantation in the uterus. Because PCOS affects the quality of the follicle and the state of the endometrium, the result will be that menstrual cycles become more erratic and less predictable. Women with PCOS will often very long cycles and very heavy bleeding, amenorrhea (missed periods), or anovulation (no ovulation) with scanty bleeding. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs help to regulate the menstrual cycle and harmonize the hormonal cycles of the body.

How Do Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs Help PCOS?

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs provide a safe, effective, drug-free and natural whole body approach.

This natural approach helps strengthen and (re)balance the hormonal systems of the body, encouraging conception and a healthy pregnancy.

“Years ago, I saw Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, when I wanted to be come pregnant. A fertility specialist told me I needed IVF, but after 3 months of acupuncture, I was pregnant. Since then, she has helped me though morning sickness, colds, and allergies. Each time, I’ve found her comprehensive and effective. She takes time with her patients and you always feel as if you are being well cared for“. -N.C.

 

Etiology of PCOS in Chinese Medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, the treatment of PCOS is seen as an excess condition, a deficient condition, or clinically PCOS is seen as mixed excess and deficiency syndrome.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Acupuncture & Chinese herbs are effective treatments for PCOSmore of a combination of both an excess and deficient condition*.

Excess conditions:

  • Phlegm dampness
  • Liver qi stasis
  • Blood stasis

Deficient conditions:

  • Kidney yang deficiency
  • Kidney yin deficiency
  • Spleen qi deficiency

*It is important to note that most women will have both excess and deficient conditions as their root cause of PCOS.

 

Polycystic Ovarian SyndromeSelf Care Tips:

  • Avoid processed foods and, when you can, eat organic foods. People who have PCOS already have a hormonal and/or chemical imbalance, and processed foods contain chemicals, additives and artificial colorings, which make conditions worse
  • Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, soda, fruit juice and refined carbohydrates, which impact insulin resistance. Eat only complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat or grains, oatmeal, and brown rice
  • Avoid cold food and ice cold drinks. Cold food and drinks take longer to go through the digestive system and slow the body’s metabolism. People who have PCOS usually also have a low metabolism
  • Eat Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) help to regulate hormonal balance, this is very important when trying to conceive. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dark green vegetables, which contain high amounts EFA
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol can lead to a disturbance of hormonal balance
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes or stop smoking. Smoking may affect the fertility in tubal pregnancies, cervical cancer, pelvic infection and early menopause

Natural Asthma Control with Acupuncture, Herbs & Diet

Using Acupuncture for asthma and allergies is safe and effective.

In the 10th grade, I played baseball with a kid who had a swing that begged you to take notice. He was a natural, and everyone from the kids to the adults knew it. Though his swing was as sweet as honey, he had an Achilles heel. He had asthma. When a ball is hit into the gap in the outfield, that usually means a double in baseball, but he could not make the effort to run to second because he might end up with an attack. His doubles were usually singles. He would have attacks at the beginning of the season when a chill was still in the air that ended up keeping him out of the entire game. Talent does nothing for a team when it is riding the pine. He did not play baseball beyond the 11th grade. His natural talent was hindered by asthma and more importantly, the quality of his life was diminished. He loved playing, but it was too much for his body to handle. He was not the only kid I knew whom suffered from asthma. Growing up, I was surrounded by kids who had a variety of ailments, and I could see how it affected their lives in so many ways. They got called down to the school nurse every day for medication; they had certain things that they couldn’t eat, etc. I took note of these things as a kid, and maybe it had influence on my choice of profession as an acupuncturist and herbalist.

What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. During an acute asthma attack, the inside walls of these tubular airways become inflamed, the muscles spasm, and excess mucus accumulates. The attacks can be triggered by a variety of things such as:

  • Environmental allergens (pollen, mold, animal dander, etc.).
  • Irritants (changes in air temperature, cigarette smoke, air pollution, perfume, chemtrails, etc.)
  • The common cold.
  • Exercise.
  • Mental stress.
  • Medications.
  • Foods or food additives – sulfites are a big culprit and are found in dried fruits and wine, among a whole host of other foods.

Click here to read about sulfite sensitivity and a list of foods that could contain sulfites.

When the airways react and are having an attack, they become narrower, and less air flows through to your lung tissue. This causes symptoms like wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and trouble breathing.1

Do you have questions about how Chinese medicine

can help your or your child’s asthma?

Call Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac, Herbalist for a Free 10 minute Phone Consultation.  

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The Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) Treatment of Asthma
The severity and frequency of asthma varies from patient to patient.

For example, here are two possible manifestations:

  • Patient #1:
    • is asymptomatic between attacks.
    • asthma attacks are mild and only come once each year and are manageable with rest.
  • Patient #2:
    • has a cough, phlegm, and wheezing between asthma attacks.
    • asthma attacks occur once a week and can be so severe that the patient is hospitalized once a month.

Treatment for asthma is broken down into two categories: managing the acute attacks by easing the intensity of the attack and maximizing the time between the attacks. The long-term goal of treatment is to provide the patient with a better quality of life or increased feeling of well being. If a patient is having attacks every week, and with treatment they are able to have them every other week, treatment should theoretically bring them a better quality of life because they are suffering half of the attacks over 1 year than they would have without treatment. This reduction is a very important aspect to treating recurrent, chronic diseases such as asthma.

TCM Theory about Breathing and Asthma

Breathing
According to TCM theory, the lung and the kidney both take part in breathing. The lung opens at the nose, is responsible for breathing, and the production of true qi. The lung is the way that the da qi (“great qi” aka air) enters the body. The da qi is important to the person because this is mixed with the qi of food to create usable qi that a person can use day to day. The kidney plays an important role in breathing, too. The kidney is the root of a person’s qi. If the kidney qi is insufficient, other organs may dysfunction. The lung’s ability to absorb da qi is partly dependent on the kidney. If kidney essential qi is insufficient, it is incapable of ensuring the absorption of da qi through the lung. This results in respiratory insufficiency which can result in the signs and symptoms of asthma.2

Acupuncture for asthma and allergies
Breathe easy with Chinese medicine

Asthma
Through the use of acupuncture, herbs, and dietary analysis, asthma can be managed through TCM. Asthma presents as a repletion or excess pattern during the acute attack. The periods in between attacks are characterized as a vacuity or depletion pattern. Let’s explore the acute attack and the period between the attacks to see how TCM categorizes each.3

Repletion – the asthma attack
The acute asthma attack is something that the body reacts to that is in excess, meaning it is not supposed to be there in the body; it is too much (in excess). The trigger that causes the attack is something that is not supposed to be in the body, and the asthma sufferer’s body responds with an asthma attack. These triggers are called external evils in TCM. The more frequently the external evils attack the body, the weaker the body becomes. The body is like an army that is attacked over and over again by the asthma trigger, sometimes without fully replenishing its resources. This can cause a vacuity or a weakness in the patient’s body leaving it even more vulnerable to future attacks sometimes making them more frequent and intense.

Vacuity – the state of the patient’s body and health
The period between the attacks show the state of patient’s true body strength and ability to fend off the trigger. This tends to be a state of

Acupuncture for asthma and allergies
Acupuncture, Chinese herbs and diet change can boost immunity & reduce inflammation

weakness or vacuity in asthma patients. This is the time for the patient to replenish the resources that were depleted due to the asthma attack. There are occasional instances where phlegm can become lodged in the lungs. This is called a mixed pattern of vacuity (state of the patient’s body) and repletion (an abundance of phlegm making a home in the lungs). The overall treatment goal at this stage is to strengthen the body (fill the vacuity) so that the attacks are less frequent and less intense because the body is stronger. Phlegm can be dislodged from the lungs while simultaneously strengthening them. This will make the patient’s life easier and much more enjoyable because he/she does not have to take so much time off from work or time out of recreational activities.

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Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for Asthma
Giving acupuncture and cupping during an asthma attack can help to calm the patient down and to aid in opening up the chest muscles to provide easier breathing. Acupuncture can help to shorten the length and severity of the asthma attack.

Acupuncture for asthma and allergies
Cupping is painless, and opens the airways.

It is more common to treat people when they are in the remittent state. The goal of the treatment during this stage is to supplement the body with acupuncture, Chinese herbs and dietary changes in order to strengthen the body’s qi. If there is some phlegm lodged in the lungs and some cough and wheezing during this time, relieving those symptoms are also part of the treatment. The diet is analyzed to see if what the patient is eating is exacerbating the asthma attacks. In general, it is best to stick to a diet that consists of whole foods that are not prepackaged or fast food. Whole, organic, real foods have less/no additives and have better qi. The more healthy the qi of the food you put into your body, the stronger your body’s defenses and the better able your lungs will be to resist your asthma trigger. Try to keep dairy intake to a minimum as TCM dietary theory states that dairy products can exacerbate phlegm production. A qualified, well-trained TCM practitioner will be able to diagnose your vacuity pattern correctly and get you on the path to a better quality of life!

NYC Air Quality & Differences in Seasonal Air
One of the hot topics in NYC since 9/11 has been air quality. There was a severely diminished quality of air in the city for that acute time, but there is now more attention paid to this topic. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your outdoor air is and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. For each of these pollutants, EPA has established national air quality standards to protect public health.4 The worse the air quality, the worse your asthma could become due to the fact that more particle matter in the air can cause more irritation and inflammation.

Here is a link to a fact sheet talking about asthma and air pollution put out by the EPA. They have some good tips about how to protect your lungs during differing levels of pollutants in the air. Here is a link to a daily update on the air quality in NYC.

Another thing to consider is if you are affected by the air of the different seasons. Does cold, dry winter trigger your asthma? Maybe the humid heat of the NYC summer? How about spring air that is full of pollen? Take the seasons into account to see when you should be taking more of a break from the outdoors as opposed to being more active. Speak with your practitioner about what your triggers are so that your attacks can be minimized.

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1 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/asthma.html
2 Wiseman, Nigel & Ye, Fang (1998) A Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine. Paradigm Publications: Brookline, MA.
3 Wu, Yan (1997). Practical Therapeutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Paradigm Publications: Brookline, MA.
4 http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=static.background