27. October 2013 · Comments Off on Eczema Causes · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

No one knows exactly what causes eczema. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. Although it resembles an allergic reaction, eczema is not brought about by allergies and it strikes children more than adults.

The widely accepted view about eczema is that it arises due to a number of combining factors that may consist of:

•    Dysfunctions in the skin barrier that seep out moisture whilst enabling germs to enter the skin
•    Activities that enhance the sensitivity of the skin
•    The environment
•    A dysfunctional immune system

Eczema cannot be transmitted to others and no one catches this skin disorder from contact with people who have eczema.

Genetic predisposition – Eczema can be genetically inherited and people with relatives who have seasonal allergies like hay fever, asthma or eczema are at high risk to develop eczema. Researchers also verify that a great number of children suffering from severe eczema will later on develop certain allergies or asthma.

Mother’s age at time of birth – For some unknown reason, statistics have revealed that mothers who give birth to babies at an advanced age will birth children that are likely to acquire eczema compared to babies born to younger women.

Environment – Children will likely get eczema if they:

•    Reside in areas with cold climates
•    Reside in areas that are highly polluted
•    Are in high social classes

Foods – As mentioned before, eczema is not an allergy symptom but it does develop in children who have food allergies. This means that common food allergens like nuts, eggs and dairy although triggering allergy symptoms do not cause or worsen eczema.


Unlike allergy triggers, an eczema trigger is a factor that does not cause eczema. It does, however, cause an eczema flare up or worsens a flare up. Typical eczema flare-up triggers are materials that irritate the skin like synthetic fibers or wool. When they come into contact with the skin, they trigger a flare up. Some common skin irritant products and substances include:

•    Cigarette smoke
•    Irritants in the environment
•    Solvents
•    Chlorine
•    Sand and dust
•    Perfume
•    Cleansers and soaps

Flares can likewise be caused by some conditions that affect the immune system. Some conditions that can cause or exacerbate a flare include:

•    Allergic response to common allergens like animal dander, pollen or mold
•    Bacterial infection
•    Flu or cold
•    Stress

Certain environments and specific activities that make the skin sensitive or dry out can cause flare ups. These can be:

•    Living in a year-long dry climate
•    Low humidity during winter
•    Not lubricating the skin with lotions and emollients after bathing
•    Becoming cold after sweating
•    Being either too cold or too hot
•    Prolonged immersion in water

Daniel Haun is a licensed acupuncture practitioner and the clinical director of Bailey & Haun Acupuncture in Oceanside, CA.

27. October 2013 · Comments Off on Causes of Dandruff · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

The skin’s natural cycle that becomes speeded up eventually leads to the development of dandruff. The acceleration causes the accumulation of dead skin of the scalp that appears as patches on the scalp coming away into the hair. This results in skin flaking on the scalp that we know as dandruff.

The cause of why the skin cycle starts to accelerate is still a medical mystery; however, some suspected factors may be:

Malassezia – Malassezia is a fungus that typically resides itself on skin. This type of fungus is harmless to the body but if it develops into substantial quantities on the skin, it can speed up the development of new skin.

Seborrheic dermatitis – This skin problem is quite a common condition that is still even now not clearly understood.  Seborrheic dermatitis causes the skin condition to become oily. It can also cause skin flaking on various parts of the body including the side of the nose, the eyebrows and parts where skin folds together like the armpits.

Malassezia and seborrheic dermatitis are thought to be interlinked. The fungus residing on the skin can trigger an irregular reaction from the immune system that in turn can tend to make the skin oily.  Furthermore, the skin’s oiliness may spur the growth of the fungus that can then lead to the appearance of dandruff symptoms.

Some other suspected factors that can lead to dandruff include:

A weak immune system that can be due to a side effect of a drug or “treatment” such as chemotherapy or the result of a disease like HIV

Other problems of the skin like eczema or psoriasis – These two are very commonly occurring skin conditions that can cause the skin to become flaky, red and dry

Availing of hair products like hair mousse, hair gel and hairspray

Seldom washing of your hair and also too much washing of your hair – There are people who suffer from scalp irritation due to frequent shampooing of their hair.

Emotional stress

Individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease strangely usually develop both seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.


Nelya de Brun, DAOM
Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC

3459 Woolbright Rd
Boynton Beach, FL 33463
(561) 932-3905

27. October 2013 · Comments Off on Causes of Colitis · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

Medical researchers have not really been able to pinpoint the true cause of colitis; they have, however, five consensual theories about what causes it. These theories are:

1. Antibiotics – The 1950s saw the first use of antibiotics and likewise a sharp increase of colitis cases. One of the effects of antibiotics to the body is that they decrease the number of naturally occurring and beneficial bacteria living in the digestive system. With the decrease in these bacteria the inner lining of the colon starts to weaken. Worse, while antibiotics decrease the population of normal bacteria, it aids in the increase of other bacteria in the body one of which is the bacterium called Clostridium difficile. Clostridium difficile is one of the toxin-producing bacteria in the body that can result in the development of colitis. The major contribution of antibiotics for the development of colitis in a person may be the fact that they damage the intestine’s mucosal lining. This lining helps protect the gastrointestinal tract and so is a very important part of the digestive system. When this lining has been compromised, the digestive enzymes of the body help in further eroding it. The erosion of the lining then gives way to symptoms such as diarrhea, bowel urgency and bleeding.

2. Immune system – Researchers at the Mayo Clinic posit that an immune system that has been undermined by illness can result in the inflammation of the digestive system and thus colitis. Other researchers think that certain pathogens like Shigella, Salmonella, botulism, Listeria or E. Coli can also play a major role in colitis development.

Blood supply – Insufficient or restricted blood circulation to the colon can lead to the inflammation of the blood vessels. Medical conditions such as cholesterol, high blood pressure, infections, hernias or diabetes and even arterial narrowing due to aging can weaken blood flow to the colon.

Heredity – The Mayo Clinic have also indicated that heredity plays a major role in the development of colitis. Researchers at the clinic have claimed that gene mutations can be passed on that predisposes a person to colitis development. This assumption has not yet been validated since the genes referred to have not yet been identified. Still, statistics reveal about 15% of colitis cases have relatives who also suffer from certain types of irritable bowel diseases.

Stress – Stress may not be considered a direct cause of colitis but it can be one of the major causes for colitis flare ups. Most doctors consider stress as one of the triggers for colitis.

Tree of Life Acupuncture
1215 120th Ave NE #206
Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 732-3201

19. October 2013 · Comments Off on Migraine Complications · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

The International Headache Society has identified five complications that can ensue resulting from migraine headaches. These five complications are migraine seizures, migrainous infarction, persisent aura without infarction, status migrainosus and chronic migraine. Apart from the usual pain involved, these complications come with their own distress and worries as well.

Migraine Seizure

This is an epileptic seizure experienced after when the person has experienced a migraine with aura. People experiencing auras usually see them in different forms. These forms can be a temporary blind spot, bright flashes or zigzagging lines.

Migrainous Infarction

The International Headache Society states a migrainous infarction can happen along with a migraine with aura. The patient experiences a stroke from the part of the brain where also the aura symptoms emanate.

Persistent Aura without Infarction (PAWI)

A PAWI complication rarely occurs and sources are few about this condition. There are some treatments available to address PAWI

Status Migrainosus

This type of complication actually mimics the symptoms you experience with your regular migraine symptoms. The only difference is that the symptoms of status migrainosus can last for three days unlike regular migraine symptoms that usually last for some hours. There are intermittent pauses of status migrainosus symptoms but they last at the most for only 4 hours.

Chronic Migraines

Symptoms of chronic migraines are long-term thus its name. Chronic migraines are also called “transformed migraine.” The reason for this is that chronic migraines can change from being episodic in nature to regularly experienced headaches (daily) headaches.  Chronic migraines symptoms are usually mild.

Other complications that can result from migraine can include:

Serotonin syndrome – This complication is brought about not as a result of the effects of the migraine itself but from its medications particularly from triptan medication. Triptans like zolmitriptan or Zomig or sumatriptan or Imitrex when combined with SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or SNRIs like Effexor or Cymbalta can have deadly effects to the person taking them.  The occurrence of serotonin syndrome is rare, fortunately.

Rebound headaches – This condition usually occurs when you keep on taking migraine medications (over-the-counter or prescription) for nine days or more each month or when you take them in high doses that are not indicated by your doctor. The medications do not provide relief of pain and discomfort as intended and in fact, are now the ones causing more headaches to occur. Using these same medications for your rebound headache will make these headaches continue.

Stomach problems – Some headache medications like Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) can cause side effects like ulcers, stomach bleeding and pain particularly if they are used in large doses for a considerable amount of time.

Linda Lesperance is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of The Lotus Center of Oriental Medicine in Boca Raton, FL

19. October 2013 · Comments Off on Sciatica – Lifestyle and Home Remedies · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

Barring any serious underlying condition a conventional home care program is usually the first course of treatment for sciatica and other back pain conditions in King of Prussia. The program’s aims are to improve function and relieve swelling. This entails moments or movement and rest, gentle exercises, the use of NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and heat and ice therapies. Assessment of work ergonomics can also be helpful.

Home Care Tips for Relieving Pain

  • Weight, diet and exercise all play significant factors for back pain – Modifying particular lifestyle factors can lead to the reduction and perhaps even the prevention of sciatica.
  • Yoga – A lot of sciatica sufferers state that yoga provides far better relief for their back pain than self-help books or conventional exercises.
  • Getting adequate and restful sleep – A good quality sleep is very important in sciatica recovery and relief. Abstaining from caffeine in the afternoon and evening can facilitate sleep in the night time. Indulging in relaxation techniques or taking a warm bath can help you unwind and make you fall asleep. Back pain causes sleeping difficulty especially when the pain gets worse at night. Some sufferers get by with pain medicines or sleeping pills to help control pain or to get some sleep. Sometimes curling yourself up in a fetal position and a pillow tucked between your knees or just lying straight on your back with a pillow under your knees can minimize the pain.
  • Supportive back corsets, braces or belts can temporarily relive the pain in some people. But these things need to be used only for a short time since their long-term use can weaken muscle tone over time.
  • Alternate your use of cold and hot packs – Physicians advice their patient to alternate between hot and cold compresses every 3 minutes doing this sequence three times. This procedure can be done thrice a day.
  • Apply a heat (around 104 degrees Fahrenheit) compress to the site of the pain for about 30 minutes then rest for an hour before continuing the procedure again for another half hour.
  • Use NSAIDS that can be bought over-the-counter in your local pharmacy. These drugs can include ibuprofen or aspirin. You can also non-NSAIDS medicines like paracetamol. All these can provide substantial temporary pain relief.
  • If you suffer from acute sciatica, never indulge in any intense physical activity and exercise especially any trunk twisting or heavy lifting.
  • Go back to performing normal activities the moment you are able to – When your back pain has subsided, bed rest is no longer required and it can even retard the healing process. Rest only when it’s time to rest (at night or when tired) or when you are applying heat or ice therapy on your body. Remember not to strain or stretch yourself when performing activities.


Smoking weakens the circulation of blood in the body and makes the person’s threshold for pain lower. One British study revealed that young adults considered long-term smokers were almost twice at risk to have sciatica and other low back pain problems compared to nonsmokers of the same age group.

Tips for Daily Movement and Inactivity

  • Good posture is essential in the prevention of sciatica – Good posture means that your shoulder, ears and hips are in a straight line with the stomach tucked in and the head up. Try not to stand for prolonged moments of time. If you need to walk frequently wear shoes with no heels and with soft cushioned soles. Rest your feet by alternately setting them on top a low foot stool.
  • Use ergonomically designed chairs when sitting – Chairs you should sit in should either provide low-back support or have straight backs. Swiveling chairs are good since they avoid the need for waist twisting. Good chairs should also come with adjustable backs and arm rests. When you sit, the hip should be lower than the knees and so a hassock or a low stool is ideal to put the feet on. You can place a rolled towel or a small pillow at your lower back to draw pressure away from your back when you drive or sit.
  • Driving or riding in a car for many hours can be stressful to the body. Sit on a comfortable position by sliding the car seat forward to avoid bending forward. Do not recline your seat beyond 30 degrees at it can affect your range of sight and strain your neck while you drive. Try to tilt the seat bottom slightly upward in front, if possible. For long trips, try to stop every hour and walk around. Try not to carry or lift objects immediately after riding or driving.
  • Children often complain of neck and back pain due to heavy backpacks they tote to school each day. Children should not carry backpacks that are over 20% of their body weight. Behavioral or emotional problems can also be contributing factors for back pain in children.

Tips for Lifting and Bending

  • Get help when attempting to lift an awkward or heavy object
  • Spread your feet apart to get a wider support base when you lift an object
  • Stand as close as possible to the object you plan to lift
  • Do not use your waist when you lift. Instead bend at the knees. Tuck buttocks in a manner that the pelvis is rolled under and the spine maintains a normal S curve and make sure your stomach is tightened as you move up and down. Apply this posture as well when stooping down even if no lifting is involved.
  • Use your leg muscles instead of the back when lifting.
  • Stand up without bending forward from the waist.
  • When lifting a heavy object or when bending, never twist from the waist. When moving an object to one side, shift your toes in that side and pivot toward it.
  • Pull, not push an object if it can’t be lifted.



12. October 2013 · Comments Off on Causes of Low Blood Pressure · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

The true cause of low blood pressure is not known; however, it can be connected to the following factors:

  • Liver disease
  • Heat stroke or heat exhaustion
  • Dilation or widening of the blood vessels
  • Irregular heart rhythms or arrhythmias
  • Heart failure
  • Certain drugs for Parkinson’s disease, depression or high blood pressure
  • Certain over-the-counter drugs
  • Hormonal conditions like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), diabetes or, hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid
  • Pregnancy

Blood pressure that suddenly drops can be potentially fatal. This kind of hypotension can involve:

  • Extreme allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis
  • Bodily response to alcohol or medication
  • Serious dehydration due to fever, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Serious infection of the blood called sepsis
  • Heart failure due to heart muscle disease
  • High body temperature
  • Low body temperature
  • Loss of blood due to hemorrhage

One type of low blood pressure called postural hypotension results when you suddenly stand up. This condition can be experienced by potentially anyone due to a number of reasons including extreme fatigue, lack of food or dehydration. Postural hypotension can also arise due to acute triggers like allergy and infection, psychological and dietary factors, medication, aging and your genetic make-up.

This type of hypotension comes about quite frequently among individuals who utilize hypertensive drugs to regulate their blood pressure. It can also arise due to diabetes, atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, strong emotions or pregnancy. Seniors are especially affected particularly those who suffer from problems in their autonomic nervous system or high blood pressure.

Postprandial hypotension (after-meal hypotension) can result in dizziness. It usually occurs after a person consumes large meals entailing huge amounts of carbohydrates. This condition is believed to be the result of blood pooling into the vessels of the intestines and stomach.

One of the side effects of certain medications is postural hypotension. These drugs can be categorized into two. These are:

  • Medicines that have hypotension as a side effect – These can include, tricyclic antidepressants, sedative-hypnotics, anti-anxiety drugs, neuroleptics, antipsychotics, meds for Parkinson’s disease and nitrates
  • Medicines for addressing high blood pressure – These can include ACE or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, calcium-channel blockers, beta-blockers and diuretics

Postural hypotension can also be caused by natural factors. These can include:

  • Problems in naturally regulating blood pressure due to aging that can be aggravated by medicines or certain health problems
  • Conditions like too much blood loss due to menstruation, vomiting or diarrhea that leads to electrolyte loss and dehydration

Specific diseases can likewise result in postural hypotension. They include:

  • Neural conditions – Autonomic or peripheral neuropathy
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Alcoholism
  • Nutritional diseases
  • Central nervous system dysfunctions – Multiple system atrophy or Shy-Drager syndrome

Harmony Wellness Center
110 N Orlando Ave
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 234-6454

05. October 2013 · Comments Off on Depression – Preparing for your Appointment · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

It is best to be prepared when meeting with your doctor for your depression problem.  You may have a lot of questions that you want answers to but when the time to ask them comes, your mind might go blank. So prior to your appointment with your physician or therapist, you can sit down, calm your mind and determine what you’d like to discuss.  Decide what you want to gain from the therapy or treatment and come equipped with questions as well as information

Listed below are some tips to make you better prepared when going for your therapist or doctor appointment.

Write down questions. The questions can be about specific things you desire to know about.  Sometimes, the doctor may not be able to tell you all that you need to know about your depression so it’s best that you gain as much information as possible from your doctor by proactively writing down the questions you need to know.

Some of the questions you can ask your doctor include:

  • Do any of the other therapies, supplements or herbs I am using interact with my medications?
  • Does my depression entail the taking of medications?
  • What are the medications you will prescribe for my condition?
  • What are their risks and side effects?
  • How frequent do I need to take those medications?
  • Will they work quickly?

Some of the questions you can ask your therapist include:

  • What type of procedure or approach will you adopt?
  • What will be the aim(s) of the treatment?
  • What are your expectations about me? Will you make me do certain tasks or assignments in between sessions?
  • How frequent will our meetings be?
  • Is this therapy long-term or short-term?
  • If I pay privately, what then is the price for each session?

Keep a log or diary – Writing down your everyday mood changes in a diary, doing this can help a lot in correctly diagnosing your depression. You don’t need to be too specific, merely write down a few lines each day. Your entry can consist of:

  • The specific doses of medications you’ve taken each day
  • The amount or length of sleep you had the night before
  • The things or events that occurred each day that has affected your mood
  • Your present symptoms
  • The way that you’re feeling that day
  • You should then bring your diary with to your first appointment. You can show your diary to your therapist or doctor. If you keep on writing in your diary, after a few weeks or months, you may discover that there are patterns to your mood changes which you’ve never been aware of before.

You need to also mention to your doctor about the physical symptoms of your depression. Tell him if you’ve been suffering from sleep problems, stomach problems, pain and any other type of physical symptoms.

You can ask help from family members or friends asking them to accompany you especially when you feel anxious about your first appointment.  Your friends or family may even report to your doctor or therapist symptoms that you were not aware of or have overlooked.

05. October 2013 · Comments Off on Causes of Itching · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Itchiness, itchy skin or pruritus often comes with a root cause. Once the root cause is identified, treatment of it becomes quite easy. Several health conditions like celiac disease, kidney failure and liver disease among others can produce skin itching. When a disease causes the itching symptoms, the symptoms often affect the whole body. Skin problems like rashes and hives, however, can cause skin itching albeit affecting only localized areas of the skin.

  • Dehydrated/Dry Skin – The skin becomes dry when the sebaceous glands of the skin produce less oil (sebum) to moisturize the skin. Dehydration of the skin, on the other hand, is when the skin does not contain enough moisture to make it supple. Enough oil and moisture is needed by the skin to make it comfortable, smooth and soft. The lack of water and oil in the skin will make it crack, tear and itch. Your skin can get dehydrated from exposure to harsh natural environments like desert climates or from man-made environmental factors like cold air from air-conditioners. Your skin can become dry even by taking hot baths and utilizing soap that is absorbed by the skin.
  • Skin Conditions – Skin inflammation oftentimes called dermatitis or eczema is characterized by itchy, swollen and red skin. When left untreated for a long time, this condition can cause the skin to become leathery and thick. Dermatitis is suspected to be genetically acquired and can develop in one year old babies. Some experts have observed that individuals suffering from dermatitis usually have a family background of asthma, allergies or hay fever. Another skin problem that causes itching is psoriasis. Psoriasis accelerates the life of the skin, making it die earlier than normal. Typical symptoms of psoriasis include pain and itching.
  • Irritants – As the name suggests irritants are products that irritate the skin making the skin feel itch. Typical irritants can include detergents, waxes, soaps and harsh chemicals like acetone or benzene. These irritants strip away the oil on the skin surface that protects the skin making the skin dry and itchy.
  • Allergens – These are substances that trigger an allergic reaction in people. When the allergy affects the skin, itching or pruritus often occurs. Allergen exposure can develop allergy in people over time which means that the first few exposures will not trigger an allergic reaction. When the allergen has been properly validated in the blood cell genes of the person, each exposure to the allergen will then elicit allergic responses in the person. Allergens that typically trigger an allergic response on people can include jewelry, preservatives, poison ivy and wool among others.
  • Insects – Small insect parasites like mites and lice can cause skin itchiness. Lice are wingless insect parasites that drink the blood of a person and can easily infect other people through contact. Lice often reside in human hair (head and pubic hair) and are often transmitted on people when they share or use combs, head accessories or helmets with people who have lice. Lice movements in the hair can cause skin itching wherever they reside and whenever they move. Mites use the skin to lay their eggs in. They build holes in the skin and lay their eggs there. They also can be passed from person to person through direct contact or from contact with items ridden with these creatures. These insects’ bites are quite itchy and the bite leaves a skin rash on the bitten area.
  • Nerve disorders – Diseases affecting the nervous system like shingles, pinched nerves, diabetes mellitus or multiple sclerosis can cause itching symptoms.
  • Pregnancy – During pregnancy women may often experience itching sensations in parts like their arms, breasts, thighs and abdomen. If they had unresolved dermatitis before their pregnancy, their dermatitis condition might get worse during pregnancy.

Dr. Yelena Pakula is a licensed acupuncture doctor and the medical director of Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center in Pembroke Pines, FL.