August 13, 2012 in Newsletter
Alleviate Arthritis Pain with Acupuncture
Arthritis isn’t just one disease, but a complex disorder comprised of more than 100 distinct conditions that can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While these two forms of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors and effects on the body, they often share a common symptom — persistent joint pain.
For many people, arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of 50 show some signs of arthritis as joints naturally degenerate over time. Fortunately, arthritis can often be managed with acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 21 million adults in the United States. Beginning with the breakdown of joint cartilage that results in pain and stiffness, osteoarthritis commonly affects the joints of the fingers, knees, hips and spine. Other joints affected less frequently include the wrists, elbows, shoulders and ankles. When osteoarthritis is found in a less frequently affected joint, there is usually a history of injury or unusual stress to that joint. Work-related repetitive injury and physical trauma may contribute to the development of osteoarthritis. If you have a strenuous job that requires repetitive bending, kneeling or squatting, for example, you may be at high risk for osteoarthritis of the knee.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many different joints and, in some people, other parts of the body as well, including the blood, lungs and heart. With this form of arthritis, inflammation of the joint lining, called the synovium, can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth and redness. The affected joint may also lose its shape, resulting in loss of normal movement. Rheumatoid arthritis can last a long time and is a disease characterized by flares (active symptoms) and remissions (few to no symptoms).
Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
According to Oriental medical theory, arthritis arises when the cyclical flow of Qi (energy) in the meridians becomes blocked resulting in pain, soreness, numbness and stiffness. This blockage is called “bi syndrome” and is associated with “bi” type pain. It is widely studied and successfully treated using a combination of treatment modalities. The acupuncture points and herbs that are used depend on whether the underlying cause of the blockage of Qi(arthritis) is caused by wind, cold, damp or damp-heat.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine aim to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 patients are treated with Oriental medicine for joint pain, each of these 10 patients will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs/supplements and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.
Your acupuncturist will examine you, take a look at the onset of your condition and learn your signs and symptoms to determine your diagnosis and choose the appropriate acupuncture points and treatment plan.
Call today to learn how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be incorporated into your treatment plan for arthritis!
Studies of Acupuncture for Arthritis
Several studies have shown that acupuncture can help people with arthritis and related auto-immune diseases.
Scientists found that acupuncture can reduce pain and improve mobility in arthritis patients by 40 percent based on results from a major clinical trial that investigated the ancient Chinese needle treatment. A total of 570 patients aged 50 and older with osteoarthritis of the knee took part in the American study. All had suffered significant pain in their knee the month before joining the trial, but had never experienced acupuncture. By the eighth week, patients receiving genuine acupuncture treatments showed a significant increase in function compared with both the “placebo” treatment and self-help groups. By week 14, they were also experiencing a significant decrease in pain.
In a German study, 3,500 people with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee received 15 sessions of acupuncture combined with their usual medical care. The results showed that the patients that received acupuncture had less pain and stiffness, improved joint function and better quality of life than their counterparts who had routine care alone. The improvements occurred immediately after completing a
three-month course of acupuncture and lasted for at least another three months, indicating osteoarthritis is among conditions effectively treated with acupuncture.
Another study, published in the journal Pain, looked at the effects of acupuncture among 40 adults with osteoarthritis of the knee. Among the patients in the study, those who had a daily acupuncture session for 10 consecutive days reported greater improvement in their pain compared with patients who received a “placebo” version of the therapy.
In one Scandinavian study, 25 percent of arthritis patients who had been scheduled for knee surgery cancelled their operations after acupuncture treatment. In the study, researchers compared acupuncture with advice and exercise for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip. Thirty-two patients awaiting a total hip replacement were separated into two groups. One group received one 10-minute and five 25-minute sessions of acupuncture, and the other group received advice and hip exercises over a 6-week period. Patients were assessed for pain and functional ability: Patients in the acupuncture group showed significant improvements, while no significant changes were reported in the group that received advice and exercise therapy. The results of this study indicate that acupuncture is more effective than advice and exercise for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip.
A University of Maryland School of Medicine study showed that elderly arthritis patients with knee pain due to arthritis improved significantly when acupuncture was added to their treatment. The randomized clinical trial determined whether acupuncture was a clinically safe and effective adjunctive therapy for older patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study addressed the addition of acupuncture to conventional therapy to determine if it would provide an added measure of pain relief, if the effects would last beyond treatment and if treatment would have any side effects. Seventy-three patients were randomly divided into two groups. One group received twice-weekly acupuncture treatments and conventional therapy for eight weeks, and the other group received conventional therapy only. Patients who received acupuncture had significant pain relief and showed improvement in function. Those who did not receive acupuncture showed no significant change. No patients reported negative side effects from any acupuncture therapy session.
Reduce the Impact
The Arthritis Foundation recommends the following to reduce the impact of arthritis:
Get Active – Regular physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. Tai Chi, a Chinese exercise that strengthens muscles, improves balance and flexibility, promotes relaxation, and has been shown to relieve chronic joint pain.
Control Weight – Maintaining an appropriate weight or reducing weight to a recommended level reduces the risk of osteoarthritis. Losing just 10 pounds relieves 40 pounds of pressure on knees. For those living with symptoms, losing 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half.
Modify Job Tasks – Try to modify your movements, since repeated use of joints in jobs that require bending and lifting is associated with an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Speak with a health care professional about ways to reduce strain on your joints.
A balanced, varied diet can help ease the pain of arthritis by providing vitamins and minerals that keep your joints healthy. Avoiding “damp” foods such as dairy products and greasy or spicy foods also helps joints.
Here are some healthy and delicious choices to include in your diet.
Ginger – Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory. A fresh ginger tea can be made by combining a half teaspoon of grated ginger with 8 ounces of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes, strain and add honey to taste.
Fresh Pineapple – Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple, reduces inflammation. Be sure the pineapple is fresh, not canned or frozen.
Cherries – Recent research has shown that tart cherries are an excellent source of nutrients that may help to reduce joint pain and inflammation related to arthritis.
Fish – Cold-water fish such as salmon and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep joints healthy as well as reduce pain and swelling.
Turmeric – A natural anti-inflammatory, it can be used in many food preparations including soups, sauces and salad dressings.
Aging Well with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Oriental medicine has a long history of healing and rejuvenation that teaches us a great deal about aging well. Two thousand years ago, ancient Chinese scholars described the stages of aging in the Huang Di Neijing (The Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic). They remind us that we cannot change our genetics, but we can change how we live to extend and improve the quality of our lives.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine emphasize prevention over treatment. This makes a great deal of sense because treating an illness that has already damaged the body is much more difficult then preventing the illness from occurring in the first place. It is never too late. You can begin today.
Whatever your starting point, you can make positive changes to enhance the quality of your life. Supporting the different ways of improving your health and preventing illness, Oriental medicine promotes living a balanced life. A healthy diet, active lifestyle and emotional well-being are the basic components of Oriental medicine that help point you on the path toward a long and quality life.
Schedule today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you live a longer and healthier life!
Six Easy Tips for Greater Health and Longevity
Aging may be inevitable, but your later years can be vibrant and healthy if attention is given to supporting your physical, mental and emotional well-being. These tips are just a few of the ways that you can bring balance into your life. You don’t need to try doing all of them at once. Focus on one or two of them at a time.
Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress according to Robert A. Emmons, a researcher and professor at University of California-Davis, who has authored four books on the subject of the psychology of gratitude. Dr. Emmons states that the disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life, but they have a healthy attitude towards them.
Choose friends who are joyous people. See these people frequently and you will find your spirits rise. The older you get, the more important it is to make it a priority to spend time with people who give you joy. If you have people in your life who are constantly unhappy, limit the amount of time you spend with them. Try it, and you may find that you perk up!
Make Exercise a Priority
People who exercise more are less likely to be stressed and more likely to be satisfied with life, according to Danish researchers. Compared with sedentary people, joggers are 70 percent less likely to have high stress levels and life dissatisfaction.
We hear it all the time and it’s true – if you don’t use it you will lose it! Exercise keeps our bodies and minds in good shape. Couch potatoes who start moderate exercise (the equivalent of 17 to 34 minutes a day) experience the greatest happiness lift.
If jogging is not the best exercise for you, go for a long walk or try a traditional exercise like Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Qi Gong and Tai Chi are non-impact exercises that focus on repetitive movements with attention to breathing. Tai Chi and Qi Gong use gentle movements and low physical impact, which are ideal for aging bodies.
The benefits of these exercises include a slower heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and drops in adrenaline and cortisol levels. Making these exercises a regular practice can lead to better health and vitality. The Mayo Clinic reported results from two studies on these ancient practices that concluded they can also alleviate chronic pain.
Take a Day of Rest
Take a day of rest per week from your regular schedule to recharge. Rejuvenation for the body and mind is worth its weight in gold and you will be more productive with the rest of your time!
Get Good Sleep Regularly
Your body repairs itself best at night so allow plenty of time for it to do so. Good sleep patterns follow nature. Morning is bright and the most Yang time of day, indicating activity. Night is the dark period, a time to slow down and enter the Yin phase of the day.
Poor sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Research has shown that getting at least eight hours of sleep is needed for good heart health.
Acupuncture has been proven successful in treating a wide array of sleep problems by focusing on the root of any disharmony in the body. It gives those who take advantage of it a better night’s sleep and an overall improvement in physical and mental health.
Alleviate and Manage Stress Levels
Stress is a normal part of life, but if left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains or an irregular heartbeat.
Humans were designed to handle short periods of intensely high stress followed by periods of relaxation. We were not designed to live with a constant low level stress that keeps us feeling overwhelmed. If you feel you have been under too many pressures for too long, stress reduction acupuncture can help you enjoy a more peaceful life.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and mental health. In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers a whole gamut of tools and techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, meditations and acupressure that you can administer at home.
Address Health Concerns Quickly: Don’t Wait!
Many diseases can be cured easily if they are caught early, but people often put off seeking treatment. They ignore important signals that something is wrong with their body. We all get warnings about our health and well-being, but these warnings are like traffic lights. They tell us what we ought to do, but they cannot make us do it.
Want to learn more about how Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can enrich and improve your life?
Schedule an appointment today!
Health Boosting Foods
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins are part of any healthy diet. Here are six nutrients that can enhance your health and vitality.
Garlic – Garlic boosts your immunity, increasing your ability to fight off infection. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels. One or two cloves of garlic a day is recommended for optimum health, so include it in your cooking!
Ginger – Ginger has been taken as a medicine by numerous cultures for thousands of years. This amazing spice is anti-inflammatory, reduces pain, and is excellent for many types of digestive distress (especially nausea.) More than one study has found that ginger may also be a potent cancer fighter.
Goji Berries – Small fruits that grow on evergreen shrubs in the Himalayas, Gou Qi Zi are slightly chewy and have a mild flavor. High in fiber and containing the highest antioxidant powers of any berry or fruit, they are used in Chinese medicine to increase longevity, strengthen the immune system, improve vision, protect the liver and improve circulation. The goji or wolf berry is widely available dried, and easily found as whole fruit or juice in natural-food stores.
Green Tea – There has been much research on the anti-carcinogenic properties of green tea. Studies of people in Asia who drink copious amounts of green tea daily have shown a correlation between green tea consumption and lower rates of a variety of cancers. Green tea is easy to find and can be purchased in most grocery stores and health food stores. It is refreshing iced or hot.
Honey – Known as Feng Mi in Oriental medicine, honey has many health benefits, and is often used in combination with other herbs. It contains anti-oxidants and the darker the honey, the higher the anti-oxidant content and deeper the flavor. Honey can be eaten or applied topically. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal.
Throughout history, honey has been used to soothe and clear the skin, and encourage the growth of healthy tissue. You might enjoy trying raw honey as a facial mask. Organic raw honey that has not been pasteurized, clarified or filtered is your best choice.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids help keep joints healthy, reduce pain and swelling and can also help with depression, stress, arthritis and menopause. Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 oils are fats that directly affect cognitive, cellular and kidney function. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include: salmon, sardines, tuna and other cold water fish; nuts and seeds, notably flaxseeds, hemp seeds and walnuts; and soybeans and winter squash.
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To all of our Patients, Friends, and Family,
It’s been a while since we’ve sent an email update, but there is so much that is new and exciting that we have to share it with you!
Randy Sorenson from Sorenson Acupuncture & Traditional Oriental Medicine and Heather Duke from Rising Phoenix Eastern Wellness Center are combining efforts and resources to bring you a wider range of Health Care Options, and flexible pricing.
A new name: Neighborhood Acupuncture and Healing Arts
Address: 12582 Fort Street
Draper, UT 84020
New Phone: 801-285-0871
Randy’s Cell: 801-618-8218
Heather’s Cell: 801-662-8610
Current website: www.sorensonacupuncture.com
Upcoming website: www.naahac.com
Register & schedule Online: using our new Online Scheduling service before the end of 2011, to take advantage of our current monthly specials.
New Appointment Hours: Monday: 11:30AM – 8:00PM
Tuesday: 11:30AM – 6:00PM
Wednesday: 11:30AM – 6:00PM
Thursday: 11:30AM – 6:00PM
Friday: 4:00PM – 8:00PM
Sat & Sun: 11:00AM – 3:00PM
New & Expanded Services Group Acupuncture
Body work & energy work are now available as stand-alone treatments or as an add-on service with Private or Group acupuncture.
Movement therapy and Reiki classes will be offered in 2012
Brief Bios for Heather and Randy
Heather Duke, L.Ac. C:801-662-8610
Master of Science Traditional Oriental Medicine
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine – New York, NY campus
Diplomat in Acupuncture
Licensed Acupuncturist – Utah DOPL
Nationally Certified – NCCAOM
Registered Yoga Teacher
Reiki Master Teacher
Certified Massage Therapist
Heather will function as Office Manager in addition to providing acupuncture treatments in the group acupuncture room; she specializes in treating Internal Medicine and Mental & Emotional conditions. Heather will be an integral part of developing and teaching our upcoming Movement Therapy classes and Reiki courses.
Randy Sorenson, L.Ac. C: 801-618-8218
Master of Science Traditional Oriental Medicine
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine – San Diego, CA campus
Diplomat in Acupuncture
Licensed Acupuncturist – Utah DOPL
Nationally Certified – NCCAOM
Advanced Acupuncture Training:
Richard Tan’s Balance Method, Master Tung Acupuncture,
Sports Medicine Acupuncture, Applied Channel Theory
Advanced Herbal Training:
Fang Jia Fang – The Art & Science of Herbal Combining
Qigong Certification – International Qigong Association
Postural Analysis Certification – Egoscue University
Holistic Health Practitioner
Oriental Body Therapist – Tui Na Specialist
Certified Massage Therapist
Randy will be engaged in Community Outreach and Clinic Development, Special Projects, and support to Heather in her new role of Office Manager. Randy will be primarily providing Private Acupuncture treatments and Herbal Consultations while continuing to expand one of the largest Chinese Herbal Pharmacies in Utah. In the Herbal pharmacy, we provide custom compounded formulas for your individualized health needs.
Our website and clinic now offers “Online Scheduling” for your convenience. We encourage you to check it out so that the next time you want to schedule an acupuncture treatment or herbal consultation, you can do so 24/7. In order to thank you for registering, we are offering two for one on select treatments through the end of 2011!
Finally, we’d like to remind you that we have resumed our monthly Newsletter and you may subscribe at our website, if you haven’t already subscribed.
Watch for updates as we continue making improvements. We look forward to your feedback.
Thank you & Happy Holidays,
Randy & Heather