29. September 2013 · Comments Off on Definition of Sciatica · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

When you experience pain on your lower back when you bend and the pain goes down to your legs, chances are you are experiencing sciatica. Sciatica is the manifestation of pain resulting from the irritation and pinching of the sciatic nerve. Pain induced by sciatica usually starts at the lower middle back. Then it goes down to the calf all the way to the foot depending on what nerve root is affected. Sciatica results from another health problem and is not a medical problem per se.  Oftentimes, the medical condition that causes sciatica is a herniated disc. There are other factors besides a herniated disc that can also cause inflammation and irritation on the sciatic nerve that can then result in the symptoms of sciatica.

The largest nerve in the body is the sciatic nerve. Its origins begin in the lumbar spinal cord situated in the lower back. Then it stretches through the buttocks, hips and all the way down to the lower limb. An irritated and/or inflamed sciatic nerve creates pain that feels like a leg cramp. The intensity of a sciatic pain is such that it makes standing up or sitting down extremely difficult to do. The pain can be exacerbated when the sufferer coughs, sneezes or sits. Acute sciatic pain often endures for a month to a couple of months depending on the cause.

As mentioned, sciatica often results from a herniated or slipped disc. People with a high risk for slipped discs are typically those who are in their 30’s up to 50’s.  The aging factor that implies the wear and tear of the back muscles, ligaments and joints make the back prone to disc problems potentially causing sudden pressure on the discs. The discs in question are the vertebral discs that function like cushions of the bone in the lower spine. As it slowly weakens, the disc can slip or become displaced that can result in sciatic symptoms. Sciatic pain can vary in intensity depending on the severity of the nerves affected.

A disc can cause additional pressure leading to sciatic pain when it slips or bulges. Other sciatica symptoms can include tingling sensation, numbness and a burning sensation.

Vital Gate Acupuncture
107 W 82nd St
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-4244


29. September 2013 · Comments Off on Infertility Symptoms · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

The term infertility itself infers that the singular symptom of infertility is the person’s inability to produce a child. Most couples only find out about their infertility problems after trying for months or even years to conceive. To properly diagnose infertility, the doctor may do a number of exams and tests on you and carefully observe the symptoms associated with this problem. A woman trying to conceive but is always unsuccessful to do so is considered suffering from infertility. Exteriorly infertility does not manifest any symptoms. All symptoms of infertility can be gleaned on tests and examinations and of course from the couple’s absence of having a baby after at least a year of trying to make one. If the woman has not shown any signs of the condition, the doctor may then set his attention on the male. If the doctor does not find any symptoms of infertility on him, the diagnosis may be termed infertility due to unknown causes.

Unfortunately for some couples, it may entail years of several tests and prolonged waiting to verify whether one of the couple or both suffer from infertility. There are a few symptoms, however, where we can get to glean a person’s likelihood for infertility.

Some Symptoms of Infertility

One symptom can entail the might be no sign of monthly period but zero result on test for pregnancy. The physician might monitor this for a certain period. This symptom is a common manifested symptom on all infertile females.

Another symptom likely to manifest female infertility is pain originating in her pelvic area.

With regards to temperature, if your basal body registers a low temperature on the first half of your ovulation period, it can be assign of an above normal estrogen level. If your basal body on the other hand has a low temperature on the last half of your menstrual cycle, then it might indicate that you have a very low progesterone level. The proper and normal balance of estrogen and progesterone are important for a successful conception; having a higher than normal basal body temperature during the first half of your menstrual period can be a sign of low estrogen level in your body or an overactive thyroid gland.

Men have no physical signs of infertility except for impotence. This can be verified if he subjects himself to a semen analysis test.


21. September 2013 · Comments Off on Causes of Osteoarthritis · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

When a person’s joints and its surrounding areas become damaged that his body cannot repair, then he is likely to experience osteoarthritis signs and symptoms.  The real underlying reason why osteoarthritis happens is still unanswered by science although there may be many factors that are suspected of increasing your likelihood of acquiring this condition.

Each person is exposed to factors that slowly cause the joints to wear down and sometimes become damaged. Most of the time, the body is capable enough in repairing this damage itself without too much fanfare and without you even being conscious that the healing process is taking place.  Some of the joint damages that can potentially lead to osteoarthritis include:

  • Damage to the surrounding areas that protect your joints and enable it to move well and painlessly (cartilage)
  • Swelling within the bone or in the joint itself
  • Tendon or ligament problems

Osteophytes which are bony lumps can develop when your joints start to become knobbly and bones start to protrude. When the bones broaden and thicken, the joints can start to have motion difficulty, and become painful and stiff.  When the joints are inflamed it can lead to fluid accumulation in the affected joints causing swelling in the affected area.

Factors that Contribute to Osteoarthritis

The reason why the process of repair of the body ceases causing the eventual onset of osteoarthritis is still a mystery. Nevertheless, many factors have been observed to play a role in the development of osteoarthritis. These factors include:

  •     Joint injury – A bad joint surgery or joint injury can lead to osteoarthritis. Also, osteoarthritis can occur later in life when you haven’t given your joints adequate time to heal after an operation or injury and you immediately put them to use.
  •     Secondary arthritis – You can develop osteoarthritis if your joints have been seriously damaged by an existing or previous joint condition like gout or rheumatoid arthritis. You can also experience secondary osteoarthritis even after several years have passed after the initial damage to your joint.
  •     Age – The older you become the higher your chances of developing osteoarthritis. This is because your joints and muscles become weaker as you get older especially if your joints have become worn out.
  •     Family history – Osteoarthritis can also be genetically inherited. Studies in the genes have not discovered a single gene responsible for the development of osteoarthritis and the hypothesis then is that more than one gene may be responsible or contribute to this condition. There are no signs that any genetic tests for osteoarthritis are being developed in the near future.
  •     Obesity – The role of obesity or excess weight in contributing to osteoarthritis is widely known. Obesity/excess weight causes more than enough strain on the joints, especially the joints that bear a substantial part of your weight. These often are the joints in the hips and knees. Hence, many obese/overweight people suffer from serious types of osteoarthritis.

Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.

21. September 2013 · Comments Off on Back Pain Prevention · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags: ,

The best way to prevent back pain is to keep your body strong and to apply proper body mechanics especially when lifting heavy objects.  A good posture is also essential in preventing backaches.

How do you keep your back sturdy and healthy? Below are some of the ways you can achieve these.

Acquire and keep a normal weight – Putting on extra weight puts more strain on the musculoskeletal system of the body, especially on the vertebrae. Lose weight and the risk of getting back pain is substantially reduced.

Strengthen muscle tone and make your muscles more flexible – By toning and stretching your back and abdominal muscles, these muscles will provide enough and good support for your back. Regularly working out and toning your lower body muscles can improve their flexibility and properly align your upper legs and hips to your pelvic bones improving the function and quality of your back. You can inquire the proper exercise programs for the health of your back from your physical therapist or physician. Regular low-impact aerobic activities, particularly those that don’t strain or shock your back are great ways to improve the endurance and toughness of your back muscles making them stronger and enhance the back’s range of motion. Swimming and walking are also great activities for strengthening your back.

Apply proper body mechanics – Forming a habit using good body mechanics keeps your back protected from injury. Proper body mechanics also include developing a good posture. If you need to stand for a long time, you can relieve stress in your back by alternately perching your feet on a low footstool diverting the center of gravity of your body to your legs and feet instead of the back.

A good sitting posture and an ergonomically designed seat are also important factors in preventing back pain. Seat on a chair that has a swivel base and has good arm rests as well as adequate lower back support. To properly support the curvature of your spine, you can place a rolled towel or a small to medium sized pillow to the lower curve of your spine. Sit with your hips and knees on a level position to each other. Keep on shifting your seating position to relieve strain off certain body areas for at least every 30 minutes. When lifting an object, distribute the weight of an object to your legs. The back needs to be straight; lower your body with your legs rather than your back. Lift the object straight up and keep it close to the body to maximize your body strength. Never lift and twist at the same time.  If you think that lifting the object can be risky, ask someone to assist you.

Wear loose and comfortable clothing – Wearing high heels or tight clothing can cause muscle pain and can lead to injury in the musculoskeletal system. Blood flow is restricted and can cause body pain when you wear tight fitting clothes.  People have different clothing, furniture, pillow or shoes they feel comfortable with so it’s a matter of finding the right clothing, bed or furniture you are comfortable using that will help you prevent back pain from occurring.

13. September 2013 · Comments Off on Allergy – Lifestyle and Home Remedies · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

With regards to preventing allergies each day, there are many helpful ways you can follow to help you keep yourself allergy-free.  Options to be considered need not entail the taking of allergy medications like antihistamines. Antihistamines only mask the symptoms and are useless in healing the physical problem brought about by allergy.

Better ways to prevent allergy are to reinforce the body’s immune system, lessen negative responses to chemical or environmental irritants and lessen inflammation. Here are some helpful tips to achieve these:

Eliminate or reduce intake of refined sugars – Refined sugar or white flour oftentimes lead to inflammation. Sugar can also result in an imbalance of minerals in the body. Both the imbalance and inflammation weaken the body’s immune function making the body hard to repel an allergy attack. A strong immune system neutralizes allergies and sugar only weakens the body’s ability to ward of conditions like these.

Netti pot – A netti pot is very effective in filtering the sinus cavities of environmental irritants, pollen or any kind of impurities. Using a netti pot minimizes nasal congestion especially when you are suffering from a cold.

Distilled or boiled water – Regardless if you use unfiltered or filtered tap water, the water always needs to be boiled for 5 minutes or more then cooled to a temperature safe enough to be drunk. Boiling a large amount of water is more convenient since you can use it twice or more times in a day. The same is true with bottled spring water – you may need to boil it before you drink it. Never drink unboiled tap water since you will only be putting toxins and pathogens inside your body particularly your nasal passages that can lead to allergy reactions.

You can also add a quarter teaspoonful of salt to your boiled/distilled water and even add one more ingredient – baking soda, to neutralize salt’s drying properties.  The salt you add to your drinking water should not be laced with anticaking agents or iodized salt. The salt you use needs to be labelled just plain “Salt.”

Place the spout of your netti pot into one nostril, and be in a position that enables the water to drain out the other nostril. Incline your head forward and towards the nostril’s side (the nostril where there is draining). Breathe with an open mouth while using the netti pot. After the treated nostril becomes uncongested, change nostrils and perform the same thing on the untreated nostril. After you’re done, slowly move your head in a circle to drain out the remaining fluid still in your nostrils, and then blow your nose.

Honey – You can eat local honey that is raw. Doing this slowly introduces tiny amounts of pollen to help you become immune to this type of allergen. Eating local raw honey works in the same manner as allergy shots. The body starts to build immunity to the allergen by regularly being introduced to it. Taking in two tablespoons everyday is a good amount to build allergy resistance. If you’re taking this honey for the first time, you should eat only small amounts initially because you may be very sensitive to its allergen that a small amount can give you serious allergic reactions.

Probiotics and fermented foods – Your gut is where much of your immune system is found. Taking in fermented and cultured foods increase the beneficial bacteria that helps strengthen your immunity.

Know the foods that trigger your allergy reaction – If you think that certain foods are giving you allergies or making you sensitive to allergy, abstain from eating these foods for about half a month. After that period, eat those foods again and observe how your body reacts. Eggs, soy, peanuts, dairy and gluten are the ones that often give a person allergy sensitivities.  Do not belittle your food allergies as they wreak havoc to your body by compromising your immune system.

Eliminate stress – This factor weakens the immune system of the body and a person sensitive to a lot of allergens who suffers from severe stress can easily develop allergic reactions. Reducing stress implies a lifestyle change. You can lessen stress in so many ways: go for regular acupuncture therapy in King of Prussia, indulge in a recreation or a hobby, do some exercises or workouts, perform yoga, meditate or even pray.

Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids – This fatty acid is found in walnuts, chia seeds, cold-water fish like sardines, trout, herring or salmon and flaxseed oil.  Grass-fed animals are also high in omega-3.  Omega-3 fatty acids have been seen to fight inflammation.

Eat foods high in vitamin C – You can also take in vitamin C supplements. This type of vitamin is helpful in giving you a strong immune system.

Stinging nettle herb – This herb has great anti-inflammatory attributes and is commonly utilized by holistic medicine as a treatment for allergies.

Inflammation-reducing foods – The foods that have great anti-inflammatory properties include spices like turmeric, garlic onions and ginger as well as vegetables, fruits, olive oil, coconut oil, berries, walnuts and pineapple to mention just some.

Abstain from foods that can cause body inflammation – These foods can include trans fats, polyunsaturated fats, farm factory animals, refined grains, alcohol, table salt and processed foods among others.

The natural way to treat allergies often involves a slow and gradual process. Start by making good lifestyle and dietary modifications today. You can then expect to see improvements little by little during the progress of time. There may be improvements that can manifest much quicker than the rest and there will be improvements to your immune function that you will gradually experience over a certain period of time.


13. September 2013 · Comments Off on Back Pain – Lifestyle and Home Remedies · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags: ,

A sedentary lifestyle may make you prone to developing back pain. One of the best ways to turn your sedentary lifestyle around and to remedy your back pain is to do stretching exercises. Doing some stretching exercises can help relax your tight muscles and help loosen the compression of your nerve root which might be the cause of your back pain. When you engage in stretching workouts, avoid any twisting, bouncing or jerking during the stretch. Also when you do a stretching routine be sure to hold your stretching posture for at least half a minute.

Acupuncture or Physiotherapy

Having a back massage or undergoing acupuncture for your back pain greatly helps in relieving back pain. These procedures not only help mitigate the pain but can accelerate the healing process of any back injury as well.

Diet Changes

If you can, eat a raw whole food diet for at least one day in a week.  This means solely eating vegetables and fresh fruits and/or drinking natural unprocessed fruit juices for a whole day. This type of diet will help lessen the inflammation of your spinal cord. If you have arthritis that affects your back, then it is important to abstain from eating red meat. Your doctor may recommend you take certain dietary supplements especially vitamin B- complex to help battle inflammation and to neutralize emotional and physical stress.  Soups and alfalfa salads are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that can greatly improve your condition.

Patients with arthritis can also take cider vinegar, capsaicin, chamomile, honey and ginger to build back strength and battle back pain and swelling. Herbal supplements like turmeric capsules and green tea are very good antioxidants that can help in relieving body pain including back pain.

Adequate Rest

Sometimes a good rest may be all you need to remove body stress and pain in your body. Lying down for a few hours many times a day can help reduce discomfort and soreness in the back and can help quicken the healing process as well.  It is not advisable to lie on your back for long periods of time as it can aggravate your backache by increasing muscle stiffness. Move your legs and hands from time to time to release muscle tension in your extremities.

Heat and Ice

If your back pain comes with serious muscle inflammation and/or spasms, applying ice pack over the painful and swollen areas can help relieve your pain. Using also a hot water bag on the painful area is good to help mitigate your discomfort.  You can also have a hot water bath if you want to further reduce back pain and loosen muscle tension.

If all these aforementioned home remedies and lifestyle changes seem to fail you, then you can avail of the services of a physical therapist or consult with an orthopedic doctor to chart a more effective treatment course for your back pain.

AcuHealing Medical Center
2700 SW 3rd Ave #2
Miami, FL 33129
(786) 449-9026