Tag: pelvic pain

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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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.

Manage IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) with Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs & Diet

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the proper function of the large intestine. It is one of the most common disorders in America with no biomedical explanation or cure. But Chinese medicine is effective in eliminating or reducing the problem. The chief signs and symptoms of IBS are as follows1:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Bloating and gas
  • Diarrhea or constipation or both

Other signs and symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome that may or may not occur are as follows2:

  • Mucous in the stool
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Anal or rectal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Feeling of incomplete emptying of the colon after a bowel movement.

These signs and symptoms can range from mild to severe and can really put a damper on a person’s day as the symptoms can sometimes last for an extended period of time resulting in a canceling of activities for a day spent near the toilet. This disorder really reduces the quality of one’s life.

Do you suffer from IBS? Give a call to schedule an appointment 646-504-2251
Call 646-504-2251 To Schedule

IBS affects 1 in 5 (20%) Americans, it occurs more often in women than in men, and it begins before the age of 35 in about 50 percent of people.3 As was stated above, there is no known biological cause for irritable bowel syndrome which is why it is characterized as a disorder and not a disease. It is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that an IBS diagnosis is made after ruling out all other possible diseases that could be causing the signs and symptoms of IBS. It is necessary to perform tests in order to make sure a serious disease is not presents, and diagnosing can be a long and aggravating process.

What causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Two of the most common triggers of IBS are food and stress. This is frustrating because the foods and stress that trigger IBS can be different for each person. For one person, coffee causes IBS; for another, grapes are the culprit. Finding the right IBS diet for you is very important for your healing. One person can manage stress at work

Stress reduction can reduce or eliminate symptoms but not at home and vice versa. IBS could possibly stem from these two triggers when considered in conjunction with the decline in food quality and rise in stress in America. TCM teaches that worry, stress, and poor diet are all related factors that can contribute to bowel disorders, and this is just one of many examples of the mind-body connection. IBS can be a real struggle to deal with, but it doesn’t seem to cause inflammation or changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer. In many cases, one can control irritable bowel syndrome by managing one’s diet, lifestyle and stress.

but not at home and vice versa. IBS could possibly stem from these two triggers when considered in conjunction with the decline in food quality and rise in stress in America. TCM teaches that worry, stress, and poor diet are all related factors that can contribute to bowel disorders, and this is just one of many examples of the mind-body connection. IBS can be a real struggle to deal with, but it doesn’t seem to cause inflammation or changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer. In many cases, one can control irritable bowel syndrome by managing one’s diet, lifestyle and stress4.

Are you experiencing IBS symptoms?
We can help.
Call 646-504-2251 for an appointment.

Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM) Explanation of the Cause of IBS
The cause of IBS can be explained using TCM theory, and the pattern of IBS primarily involves disharmony between the liver and the spleen. TCM offers many natural remedies for IBS sufferers.

SPLEEN

In TCM, the spleen is responsible for the transformation and transportation of new qi and blood in the body that is derived from food taken in during each day. A healthy spleen means that one has no digestive issues at all:no heartburn, no gas, no bloating, no diarrhea, etc. If the spleen becomes depleted and weak from overwork, too much worry, stress, poor diet, etc., disease of the gastrointestinal type could result causing any of the signs and symptoms listed above.

Diet Changes for IBS patients with spleen qi vacuity

This is called spleen qi vacuity.

        • Diet Changes for IBS patients with spleen qi vacuity
      • Avoid in these foods:
Raw food can worsen symptoms
      • raw foods
      • fruit
      • tomato
      • tofu
      • milk
      • cheese
      • beer
      • ice cream
      • simple sugars
      • wheat and gluten

LIVER

    • The liver is in charge of the free coursing or flow of qi in the body. The liver can become stagnant from stress, frustration, or emotional issues creating an inactivity of the body’s physical and mental functions, which go hand-in-hand in TCM. This disease could present with emotional problems such as depression or with physical ailments such as pain. This is called liver qi stagnation. Many patients notice an increase of IBS symptoms when they are under stress.
      • Some foods to avoid in liver qi stagnation:

      • fatty foods
      • excess coffee (1 cup is okay)
      • excess alcohol (1 drink is okay)
      • excess protein
      • junk food/processed foods
      • dairy
      • excess salads

LIVER QI STAGNATION + SPLEEN QI VACUITY = IBS

    • The following is a statement of fact in TCM:

“Wood (liver) normally restrains earth (spleen), but if earth is weak, then wood overwhelms it rendering earth even weaker.”5

What does this statement exactly mean?

    The liver and spleen have a relationship that is interdependent; meaning when one is diseased, the other is usually affected. In health, the liver restrains the spleen meaning that it gives proper order to the spleen. It can be thought of as a foreman in charge of a bunch of contractors. If the contractors are healthy, the foreman will keep them ordered and on task, and the team will construct a beautiful building. In IBS, the liver that is normally in control becomes excessively so and overwhelms the spleen that is already weak and vacuous. This could be seen as a foreman who is angry and controlling. He would bully a bunch of already tired contractors into overworking and they would make mistakes. The resulting building will not be well put together and will have many problems along the way.

This dual-disease of liver qi stagnation and spleen qi vacuity draws a pretty distinct parallel between the triggers of food and stress in the biomedical diagnosis. Stress stagnates the liver, and poor diet can weaken the spleen. This is just one of many possible patterns of energetic disharmony associated with patients with IBS. Please consult with a practitioner of TCM who will diagnose your specific pattern and design a tailored treatment plan for you.

Suffer no longer!
Call 646-504-2251 to see how we can help with treating your IBS with acupuncture, diet and natural remedies.

Research Studies

Results of a pilot study on acupuncture’s effectiveness treating IBS showed a significant improvement both in general well-being and in symptoms of bloating.6 A study on Chinese herbal medicine shows that Chinese herbal formula offer improvement in symptoms for some patients with IBS. Compared with patients in the placebo group, patients in the active treatment groups (using Chinese herbal medicine) had significant improvement in bowel symptom scores and significant global improvement in overall symptoms as rated by patients and by gastroenterologists. Patients reported that treatment significantly reduced the degree of interference with life caused by IBS symptoms.7

What can acupuncture do for you?

Acupuncture is very effective in treating IBS. We will take a look at your diet to see if there are changes that can be made. Overall, the goal would be to reduce the daily, physical stress on the gut caused by bothersome foods such as beans, coffee, raw fruits and vegetables. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are natural remedies for IBS that can also help to move the stagnant liver qi and help you deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. We will also provide you with some meditative breathing exercises to perform daily to help with continual, daily stress reduction. Daily herbal medicine will aid in keeping the liver from overwhelming the spleen while simultaneously tonifying & strengthening the spleen to relieve the symptoms of IBS and help get your digestive system working properly.

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

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1 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/irritablebowelsyndrome.html
2 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000246.htm#Symptoms
3http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/#what
4http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/irritable-bowel-syndrome/DS00106
5Wiesman, N. & Ellis, A. (1996). Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine, revised edition. Brookline, MA: Paradigm Publications.
6Hepatogastroenterology. 1997 Sep-Oct;44(17):1328-30.
7The Journal of the American Medical Association. 1998;280(18):1551