23. October 2014 · Comments Off on How does acupuncture treat women with pre-menstrual syndrome? · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Premenstrual syndrome or PMS, for short, affects about 70% to 90% of women in the United States, women who are not in menopause; however, PMS is not a problem for most of the women living in Southeast Asia. This difference may be attributed to the contrasting social structure and living style between the two cultures. Premenstrual syndrome is known as a dysfunction of the ovaries associated with a women’s cycle of menstruation. This condition affects a woman’s emotional and physical state and may, at times, interfere with her daily activities due to fluctuation in her hormones. PMS happens one to two weeks prior to menstruation. It then dissipates when the period begins. This article will deal with how acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy can be used to treat PMS.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of treatment that has been utilized to alleviate the tension on any part in the body caused by blood and qi stagnation in traditional Chinese medicine or TCM.

How does acupuncture treat women with pre-menstrual syndrome?

Kidney deficiency – this type of deficiency leads to edema or water retention in the body of a woman suffering from PMS. To restore the function of the kidney, acupuncture is used. This treatment helps stimulate more fluid secretion which helps to remove toxins via urinary secretion.

Cramps and pains – acupuncture is able to alleviate menstrual cramps and pain resulting from overactive muscles in the stomach area. It does this by removing the cause of blood and qi stagnation. This causes the muscles to relax that then lessens stomach cramps and pain.

Yin and Yang qi – these two opposing but at the same time complementary forces of TCM play a huge role in the overall health of a person. Licensed Chinese herbalists agree that PMS is occasionally due to an imbalance in yin and yang qi in the woman’s body. When herbal therapy brings back the balance of these tow forces, the woman’s hormonal system starts to normally function that eventually helps in eliminating the symptoms of PMS.

Releasing the tension in the nervous – when blood flow improves due to acupuncture, the nervous system begins to relax, this results in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and depression

Blood and liver qi stagnation – Chinese herbalists state that a large number of women suffering from PMS may have blood or liver q stagnation or even both. So, when inserting the needle in the important areas in the body (occasionally, electrical current can be utilized to make the results more effective), it also releases pressure and improves the function of liver resulting in lessened symptoms of PMS.


Acupuncture Plus
11851 Jollyville Rd #102
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 453-5352

17. October 2014 · Comments Off on Acupuncture Treatment for IBD · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is an umbrella term that describes digestive conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns Disease. These conditions can be seriously debilitating issues that occasionally need extreme care for severe cases although all of them do require long term care.

Crohn’s Disease – This is an inflammation of the intestinal tract that is chronic in nature. It affects mostly the ileum which is the end of the small intestine as well as the colon’s (large intestine’s) beginning, known as the “Cecum” although it can also affect the whole gastrointestinal tract. The entire layer of the bowel wall can also be affected by Crohn’s disease and may leave “skip lesions;” while in the case of Ulcerative Colitis, the superficial thickness of the large intestine is only affected.

Ulcerative Colitis – Like Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory disease that is essentially chronic in nature; however, it only affects the colon (Large Intestine). The colon’s lining is inflamed, while ulcerations arise that produce pus and bleed. The ulceration and inflammation result in frequent bowel movements, cramping/pain and spasms.

Both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are autoimmune conditions in which the body attacks itself.

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

-Constipation leading to bowel obstruction

-Feeling of incomplete evacuation

-Stomach pain and cramps

-Urgent need to move bowels

-Rectal bleeding

-Persistent diarrhea

More severe symptoms:


-Fissures in the lining of the anus

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

-Crampy stomach pain

-Generally bloody stools

-Persistent diarrhea with blood in the stool and stomach pain

-Bowel movements which are more urgent and loose

Symptoms related to IBD:

-Disruption of normal menstrual cycle

-Night sweats


-Weight loss

-Appetite loss


Treatment with Chinese Medicine:

Chinese medicine usually discovers different patterns in varied forms of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. The patterns seen, however, depend on the patient’s medical history; manifested symptoms; the diagnostic of the tongue, pulse, and abdomen; general demeanor; body odor; color and facial color. All these are collated that results in one of many “diagnostic patterns” that determines what lifestyle, diet, herbal formulas to prescribe and acupuncture points to be treated.

In Chinese medicine the organ system that this type of medicine often refers to needs to be explained. Chinese Medicine attributes an organ to certain functions that don’t necessarily jibe with a western scientific perspective. The “Stomach” and “Spleen,” for example, in Chinese medicine are seen to be responsible for water metabolism and digestive functions. The “Spleen” governs some of the functions of the western conventional medicine’s small intestine, pancreas and spleen. The “Liver” controls the unfettered flow of qi that can be easily blocked by lifestyle, diet, emotions and stress. The “Kidney” controls genetics and water metabolism as well as our “reserves.” The way lifestyle and stress damage the kidneys can be metaphorically described and “burning the candle at both ends.” The “Heart” deals with blood and emotions. “Heat” can describe inflammation while “Dampness” talks about malfunction of water metabolism.

Listed below are some examples of different patterns that can be a diagnosis for Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis including the recommended treatment for the condition.

Spleen Qi Deficiency – Light-headedness, dizziness, spontaneous sweating, shortness of breath with exertion, weakness, fatigue, sallow/waxy pale complexion, appetite loss, diarrhea/loose stools, nausea, early satiety, stomach distention and intermittent dull stomach pain relieved with pressure. There is a possibility of mild bleeding of purplish, dark blood or red blood preceding or following a bowel movement in rare occasions; or unformed, sticky, tarry, black stools; or occult blood in the stool; other signs of bleeding, such as easy bruising or heavy menstrual periods.

Tongue: swollen and pale, with tooth marks (or thin and pale with significant blood inadequacy).

Pulse: moderate or weak, thready.

Suggested treatment: Stop bleeding and nourish blood. Elevate qi and supplement and strengthen Spleen.

Liver Qi invading the Spleen – Cramping stomach pain followed by recurrent diarrhea that can be urgent. Defecation relieves the pain. Alternating diarrhea and constipation and symptoms worsen with eating, tension and stress. There is possibility of blood and mucus in the stool. Other symptoms and signs include breast tenderness, PMS, cold extremities, tension or temporal headaches, neck and shoulder tension, moodiness, depression, irritability, tightness and ache felt more on the right side, hypochondriac discomfort, belching and flatulence that alleviates stomach discomfort, borborygmus, indigestion, heartburn, nausea, poor appetite, stomach distention.

Tongue: slightly red edges with pale, darkish or normal body: greasy coat particularly over the root

Pulse: Wiry

Suggested treatment: Stop diarrhea, relieve pain and spasm, strengthen and support Spleen, normalize Liver qi, harmonize Spleen and Liver.

Stagnation of Blood – Chronic loose bowel movement along with tenesmus. Stools can look tarry or sticky , black or purple. Constipation may alternate with diarrhea. Stabbing or sharp stomach pain often felt in the lower left quadrant that is localized and fixed and worsens with pressure. Purple nails, dark rings surrounding the eyes, dark complexion. Vascular abnormalities or spider naevi over the legs, face and stomach.

Tongue: purplish or with purple or brown stasis spots; distended and dark sublingual veins

Pulse: thready, choppy or wiry.

Suggested treatment: stagnant Blood from the Intestines should be eliminated or transformed.

Damp Heat dysenteric disorder – Explosive, foul smelling, frequent diarrhea with pus mucus and blood. Thirst with no urge to drink, dry mouth, red eyes, red complexion, concentrated scanty urine, stomach distention, colicky stomach pain, tenesmus , and burning anus. The early stages may include a floating pulse, headache fevers and chills.

Tongue: coating that is greasy and yellow; if there’s more Heat a dry coat and red tongue; if there’s more Dampness, a tongue coating that is greasy and thick

Pulse: rapid and slippery.

Suggested treatment Principle: Stop pain, normalize Qi, Clear Damp Heat from Intestines.

Kidney and Spleen Yang Deficiency: Mucoid, watery and thin diarrhea that is relentless, chronic, and may contain blood and pus; rectal prolapse and bowel incontinence in serious cases. The diarrhea worsens with eating of cold foods and cold; a dragging sensation or mild tenesmus in the lower stomach, not alleviated by diarrhea; depression; fatigue; listlessness; appetite loss; persistent mild stomach pain relieved by pressure and warmth; soreness and weakness of the lower legs and back; cold intolerance; cold extremities; and pale or sallow and waxy complexion.

Tongue: A white thin coat that is swollen and pale.

Pulse: Slow, weak, thread and deep.

Suggested treatment: Elevate qi, astringe diarrhea, transform Dampness, disperse Cold, strengthen and warm the Kidney and Spleen Yang and disperse Cold.


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

10. October 2014 · Comments Off on With acupuncture, we can see a very high success rate for the treatment of UTI using an alternative type of modality · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Health experts and authorities are very much concerned about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance among individuals suffering from urinary tract infection or UTI. The truth is these professionals are deeming this to be one reason why UTI, especially among women, has turned out to become a persistent or acute health condition.

There are already about 11 million people in the United States suffering from acute UTI that is underlined by the fact that sales for over-the-counter (OTC) antibiotics has multiplied by 800%, ever since the US Food and Drug Administration allowed it to be sold even without a doctor’s prescription.

Based on research by the health community, too much dependence on antibiotics in resolving urinary tract infection is mainly why so many UTI sufferers no longer get well with antibiotic drugs.

These days, physicians permit some of their UTI patients to opt for alternative kinds of therapies particularly if they have developed some form of antibiotic resistance. This permission, though, comes attached with the condition that they (the patients) should first consult with their doctors prior to actually getting an alternative form of treatment for their urinary tract infection. In terms of safety and effectiveness, Chinese acupuncture can be ranked among the best forms of alternative treatment for urinary tract infection.

Clinical tests and medical studies have been done to give proof for the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy for UTI. The studies’ results conducted by medical scientists in Norway at the University of Bergen in Norway showed the extreme efficiency of acupuncture in treating urinary tract infection in about ¾ of the women who took part in the clinical studies.

In the reports, the acupuncture treatments were given randomly on a group of women patients. The treatment entailed the insertion of acupuncture needles on the lower extremities, back or the lower abdomen based on the diagnosis of TCM or traditional Chinese medicine. Treatments of acupuncture were performed two times a given a week for about a month or four weeks and any recurrence of UTI symptoms following the therapy was recorded by the researchers for about half a year.

The results were remarkable as almost ¾ (73%) of the women treated with acupuncture were completely cured of their UTI symptoms compared to just a success rate of a little above half (52%) for the women who were given other types of UTI treatment.

It is the belief of those researchers that acupuncture’s success in resolving urinary tract infection lie to its ability to lessen the levels of residue in the urine. Based on the perspective of TCM, the results were due to the success of Qi (vital energy) restoring its normal flow in the body especially in the lower stomach.

What is Qi?

The idea of Qi can be based on one aspect which is the reference to the important elements that comprises the human body, including the life giving substances. One can refer to Qi as very essential elements in the body and to any substances that sustain life such as water and food.

Clinical research about the decreasing of urine residues on patients who were given acupuncture treatment is very encouraging. With acupuncture, we can see a very high success rate for the treatment of UTI using an alternative type of modality. People have now a greater chance for success in treating urinary tract infection using alternative forms of treatment such as acupuncture.


Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness Center in central Florida.