Tag: take con

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.

The Fertility Awareness Method: Myths and Facts

Samantha was dismayed at the options for birth control because of the side effects of the pill, the chemicals used with the diaphragm, the unreliability of the rhythm method and the yeast infections from using latex condoms. Jean and Greg were longing for a baby, yet having difficulty conceiving. The Fertility Awareness Method was just what they all were looking for.

The Fertility Awareness Method for Natural Birth Control or Pregnancy Achievement is a way for a woman to track her fertility day to day. She checks and charts her cervical fluid and basal body temperature to determine each day whether she is potentially fertile. Information about the fluctuations in cervical fluids and basal body temperatures at various phases of the menstrual cycle can be used to plan or prevent a pregnancy.

Myth: The Fertility Awareness Method for Natural Birth Control is the same as the rhythm method.

Fact: The Fertility Awareness Method is much more reliable for birth control than the rhythm method. The rhythm method uses a mathematical formula based on past cycles to predict future fertility. The Fertility Awareness Method determines days which are potentially fertile by the fertility signals in a current cycle. The success rate of the rhythm method is estimated around 50%. The Fertility Awareness Method, on the other hand, is 98% effective when followed precisely, according to Contraceptive Technology. In practice, various studies place the effectiveness rate of Fertility Awareness around 85%.¹ The effectiveness of Fertility Awareness depends on how diligently the couple follows the birth control rules and whether they choose to abstain or to use a barrier method of birth control during the woman’s fertile phase.

Myth: A woman ovulates on day 14 of a 28 day cycle, so to prevent pregnancy, you simply need to avoid intercourse around that time.

Fact: There is a wide range of days that a woman may ovulate, even in a cycle that lasts 28 days. For example, ovulation could occur on the day 8 or day 20. And she does not know whether she will have a 28 day cycle until menstruation signals the end of the cycle. It is quite common for a woman to have unexpectedly short or long cycles, even if she is usually “like clockwork.” During those short or long cycles, ovulation day can vary widely. In addition, when a woman is fertile, she produces cervical fluid which is designed to keep sperm alive until ovulation. Sperm can live in this fertile fluid for up to five days. That means that intercourse on Monday can lead to conception on Friday. For this reason, the Fertility Awareness Method includes careful observations of cervical fluid before ovulation.

Myth: A woman cannot get pregnant during her period.

Fact: While it is true that a woman does not ovulate during menstruation, she can begin producing fertile cervical fluid (masked by blood) during her period. This can keep sperm alive for up to five days, when ovulation may occur. Certain days of menstruation may be considered infertile with Fertility Awareness, which involves charting your cycles to acquire additional information, including, but not limited to, basal body temperature and length of cycles.

Myth: Couples who are infertile should use ovulation predictor kits to optimize the chances of conception.

Fact: Ovulation predictor kits let you know ovulation is occurring only if used on the very day of ovulation, and even then, the results are often misleading. Most kits (which cost around $30) contain only 5 to 9 days of tests, which is often not enough to cover the range of days ovulation could occur, especially for women with irregular cycles. Many couples who are having difficulty conceiving find Fertility Awareness an invaluable tool, with less hassle and less expense. By observing the cervical fluid, a couple can pinpoint the best days to make love to optimize their chances of conceiving. Charting body temperature can also help an infertile couple determine whether the woman is still fertile in a given cycle, whether her luteal phase is long enough for implantation, or whether she is ovulating at all.

Fertility Awareness is not for everyone. It requires a high level of commitment, discipline, and communication. Those women and couples who practice it find that the high level of personal responsibility enhances their lives by deepening relationships and increasing self-awareness.

By Corinna Wood, who has opened the hearts of thousands to the wisdom of the plants and their own bodies. She is director of Red Moon Herbs, an herbal medicine company focusing women’s health and fresh, local plants. Corinna’s background includes a B.S. in biology and an extensive apprenticeship with Susun Weed. Corinna is certified as an Herbalist, a Fertility Awareness Teacher, and also in Permaculture Design. Corinna lives with her family at Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC. She can be reached at (828) 669-1310 or at corinna@redmoonherbs.com.

To learn more about Corinna’s Fertility Awareness workshops, visit www.redmoonherbs.com.

¹ Weschler, Toni. Taking Charge of Your Fertility, pg 313. Harper Collins, 1995.