Category Archives: Conditions Treated With Acupuncture

Guest Post From sleephelp.org

Acupuncture Helps Ease Insomnia Symptoms

Wouldn’t it be nice to “Sleep like a baby?”

Do you struggle to get to sleep at night? If you do, you’re not alone. While the exact numbers aren’t known, many, many people find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or sleep as long as they want to in the morning. This lack of sleep can become chronic, leading to reduced productivity, lower engagement in life, and even drowsy driving accidents.


Most people who struggle with insomnia feel like they have tried everything. Maybe they’ve purchased a new mattress or invested in a noise machine, but they still can’t stay asleep at night. If this describes you, consider acupuncture as your next step in fighting insomnia. It has been shown to help people sleep in a variety of ways, for several different reasons.

Acupuncture Increases Melatonin

You may know melatonin as a jet lag cure, but it is more than that. Melatonin is the chemical that tells your brain it is time to get sleepy. If you don’t produce enough of it, you will struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. All sorts of things can limit melatonin production, from the blue lights emitted by screens to stress and more.


Acupuncture raises melatonin levels, according to a 2004 study. As a result of the acupuncture they received and their higher levels of the chemical, subjects in the study fell asleep faster, experienced fewer sleep disturbances through the night, and slept longer than they did before they had acupuncture.

Acupuncture Reduces Anxiety

Many people struggle to fall asleep at night because they are anxious. They worry about everything from money to relationships to things that happened during the previous day. It’s like their brains don’t have time to process these things until they are trying to fall asleep.


In the same 2004 study as was mentioned above, researchers found that acupuncture reduced anxiety. People felt less anxious when they were trying to fall asleep, and they experienced less stress in their lives overall. This finding is in line with the relaxing effects of acupuncture that have been documented before.

Acupuncture Pairs with Medication and Herbs

You don’t have to give up your sleep medication or any herbs you use to fall asleep when you try acupuncture. If these are working for you, keep using them. In fact, acupuncture can work alongside these things to improve your sleep even more.


When they are used separately, studies show that acupuncture and medications have similar levels of effectiveness on sleep. However, the combined effect of the two used together produces better sleep then either do when used independently. Similarly, acupuncture combined with herbs results in better sleep than herbs do when used alone. Since acupuncture doesn’t have any long-term adverse effects, there’s no reason not to try it alongside your current sleep aids to see if it produces even better rest for you.


You don’t have to struggle with insomnia anymore. Even if you feel like you’ve tried a lot of things and nothing has worked, consider acupuncture as your next step.

To book an appointment:

Call: 905.5536.9255

Online: www.besthealthacupuncture.com

Email: amanda@besthealthacupuncture.com

Allergies & Acupuncture

https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Allergic+Rhinitis+Try+Acupuncture+for+Relief!

For many sufferers of allergic rhinitis, there’s no need to hear a news report detailing the pollen count outside, as their runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes will let them know. Often these symptoms strike in the summer and spring, but some patients also have symptoms due to an allergy to dust, mites or dander, to name a few. This condition is more commonly referred to as hay fever, seasonal allergies, or just plain allergies.

Symptoms typically include sneezing, runny nose, postnasal drip, and irritated eyes, ears, nose and throat. Normally, when a healthy body comes into contact with foreign particles in the air (allergens), the immune system initiates a response to neatly and harmlessly dispose of the allergens-not so for sufferers of hay fever. In their case, the immune system becomes hyperactive and destructive to the body, causing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) philosophy explains why this medical condition occurs. It is recognized as a condition that is provoked by an external pathogen (the Western medicine equivalent term is “allergens”), although it generally occurs because the body already has a pre-existing deficiency. For example, some patients with a long-standing lung Qi deficiency are more susceptible to dust, dander, pollen, etc. in the air.

Qi is an invisible, fundamental energy needed for all of life to exist. The Qi circulating in the lungs and its corresponding meridians is called Lung Qi. Meridians provide the pathways on which Qi flows throughout the body. When Lung Qi is not strong, problems with breathing, coughing and general immunity may arise. This is because according to TCM philosophy, the lungs are related to Defensive Qi. As the name implies, this Qi functions in the same capacity as our immune system.

The nose is the sense organ corresponding to the lungs, so when there are blockages in the lung meridian, the nose also may be obstructed. The emotions associated with the lungs are grief and sadness. Sometimes after crying or an attack of allergic rhinitis, one may experience a stuffy nose, red eyes and irregular breathing, which reflects the strain on the lungs. A good way to counter these symptoms is to concentrate on deep, regular breaths. This can help stabilize the emotions as well. In general, aerobic exercise is an excellent way to strengthen Lung Qi, which in turn helps strengthen general immunity.

Dietary recommendations according to TCM suggest restricting the amount of dairy products, refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine and fatty foods, in an effort to keep the body from producing too much phlegm. Phlegm is a thick, sticky substance that can worsen the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Drinking a warm herbal tea after meals, or in between meals, can also help lessen the production of phlegm. There is a saying in TCM that states, ‘phlegm is produced in the stomach but stored in the lungs.’ This is why diet plays an important in role when combating allergies.

Acupuncture treatments may be used year-round, even if your allergies only occur in certain seasons or in the presence of certain allergens. When your symptoms are not active, your acupuncturist can treat any underlying deficiency you have. When they are active, your practitioner can help bring relief from any of the issues you may be currently experiencing.

Call today to schedule your appointment with Amanda Barone, Registered Acupuncturist 905.553.9255 or book online www.besthealthacupuncture.com

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Despite recent advances in research, migraines and headaches are a poorly understood neurological disorder with an unclear pathogenesis. Fortunately, research studying the effectiveness of using acupuncture to treat headaches has been positive. Acupuncture has been shown to modulate cranial blood flow, … Continue reading

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Acupuncture & Pregnancy Health – Natural support for women during pregnancy, labour and delivery

Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life. Many women report feeling healthier than they have ever felt before; however, the physical growth of the baby and changes in hormone levels can bring about pain, discomfort and a variety of health problems.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can provide a safe, effective alternative for many of the health complications that may arise before, during and after pregnancy. A growing number of women are choosing acupuncture to use throughout their pregnancy and as an optional treatment for an overdue or difficult labor.
Planning for a Healthy Baby
Healthy parents produce healthy babies. With acupuncture and TCM, parents can improve their health to create the most optimal environment for their unborn child. In addition to their ability to strengthen, support, and balance overall health and well-being, acupuncture and TCM are an effective treatment for regulating menstruation and hormone levels, reducing stress and addressing any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns that a woman may have.
Acupuncture during Pregnancy
Acupuncture and TCM can play a vital role in the comfort of a pregnant woman. There is strong evidence to support that acupuncture is highly effective at treating some of the most common problems experienced during pregnancy including morning sickness, heartburn, insomnia, water retention and sciatica.
Here is a list of some of the problems that an acupuncturist often treats during pregnancy:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Edema and Swelling
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Neck and Back Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Leg Cramps
  • Fatigue and Exhaustion
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and Depression
Acupuncture For Malpostion of The Fetus
Study: Acupuncture Point, UB 67, for Turning a Breech Baby
An acupuncture point on the small toe of the foot (Urinary Bladder 67) has been found to effectively revolve fetuses in breech presentation.
In an Italian study, 240 women at 33-35 weeks of gestation carrying a fetus in breech presentation were randomized to receive acupuncture plus moxibustion (an herb used to apply heat to an acupuncture point) or to be assigned to the observation group. At delivery, the proportion of babies that had turned from breech position to vertex (head-down) position was 53.6 % in the group treated with acupuncture while the proportion of babies that had turned from breech position to vertex position in the observation group was 36.7%.
(Source: J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2004 Apr;15(4):247-52)
 

Acupuncture for Childbirth
There are many acupuncture points that can provide natural pain relief during labor, however, if you do not have the luxury of having an acupuncturist at your beside you can obtain significant relief from acupressure. Using your fingers and hands to produce strong stimulation at certain acupuncture points can be just as effective as needles. This works best if your support person learns these acupoints beforehand and massages them for you during labour. 

Acupuncture is also commonly used to induce labor. There are several points that stimulate contractions and influence cervical ripening. It is best to wait until after your due date or as a natural alternative to a medical induction as there are many benefits to your baby by waiting until 40 weeks gestation. 
Acupuncture Postpartum
Many women feel depleted after the birth experience. Acupuncture can help the transition of those first few months after birth to ensure a quick recovery. Postpartum care focuses on the physical, emotional and psychological recovery of the mother from the effects of pregnancy and labor, as well as encouraging breast feeding.
Here are some of the postpartum disorders that can be treated with acupuncture:

  • Fatigue
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Mastitis
  • Insufficient or Excessive Lactation
  • Post Operative Healing
  • Night Sweats

Safety of Acupuncture During Pregnancy
Acupuncture is safe to use while you are pregnant; however, there are some points that can cause contractions and should NOT be needled during pregnancy or should be used with extreme caution. ****It is important to see an acupuncturist that has specific training in pregnancy wellness**** Both Amanda Barone and Kim Tran are trained to safely and effectively treat pregnant women

 

For more information or to schedule an appointment please call: 905.553.9255 or email: amanda@besthealthacupuncture.com or book online: www.besthealthacupuncture.com

Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine for Asthma – a winning combination

asthma-airways
Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the lungs and, consequently, a narrowing of the bronchial tubes–also known as the air passages. This makes breathing difficult since the airflow is restricted. Tell-tale signs of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and a feeling of tightness in the chest.

The following substances and conditions may cause or worsen the symptoms of asthma:

  • Airborne toxins and allergens (i.e. pollen, mold, dust, and animal dander)
  • Physical activity
  • Cold air
  • Smoke
  • Some medications (i.e. ibuprofen and aspirin)
  • Emotional distress
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
There are also certain risk factors to be aware of. These include being overweight, smoking, having a family member diagnosed with asthma, and/or being afflicted with a separate allergic condition. Conventional medical treatment offers a variety of pharmaceutical drugs, which are specific to the patient’s triggers and symptoms of asthma.  If you suffer from asthma, additional treatment from your Registered Acupuncturist in addition to conventional medical treatment may prove to be a winning combination.

A study called “Immunomodulatory Effects of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Allergic Asthma: A Randomized Controlled Study”, published in 2007 in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, demonstrates the valuable role acupuncture can play in the treatment of symptoms of asthma.

Patients suffering from bronchial asthma were divided into two groups: a control group and a study group. The control group received acupuncture treatments that did not specifically treat their condition, while the study group received the appropriate acupuncture treatments. Before and after each treatment, information was collected on all patients regarding their general well-being and blood work samples gathered.
At the end of the study, it was shown that 79 percent of the study group felt an improvement in their general well-being as opposed to only 47 percent of the control group. Significant improvements in the immune system were detected from the blood samples collected by the study group as well. The authors of the study were able to conclude that acupuncture, in conjunction with standard Western medical treatment, provides outstanding improvements to the immune system.

Additionally, there are a few things one can do at home to help lessen the severity of asthma symptoms. According to the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the environment plays an important role in the health of an individual. For example, if one lives in a cold, damp environment, it may prove to be problematic. Not only may the cold contribute to constriction of the bronchial tubes, but the damp air may foster mold or other airborne pollutants that can irritate the air passages as well.

While it may not be possible to move to another climate, it is possible to focus on removing dust, animal dander, and other pollutants from your home. If your home is damp, consider using a dehumidifier, as this will help in eliminating mold. Sometimes breathing in cold air can cause wheezing and trouble breathing, so covering your mouth and nose in an effort to warm your breath may be helpful.

For soothing relief on a cold day, try a nourishing, warm soup. Keep the ingredients simple, such as vegetables, rice, lean meat, and herbs. The less processed and refined your food is, the easier it is on your digestive system. According to TCM theory, phlegm is produced in the stomach, but stored in the lungs. This is a direct reference to the importance of eating well and avoiding phlegm-producing foods. Consider reducing your intake of dairy products, sugar, and fatty foods.

Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising every day will help strengthen your immune system as well. If you are finding it difficult to lose weight and lack motivation to exercise, this is something your Registered Acupuncturist can assist you with. If an addiction to smoking is causing or worsening your symptoms of asthma, there are acupuncture treatment protocols to help reduce cravings for nicotine and other substances.

For more information or to schedule an appointment please call: 905.553.9255 or email: amanda@besthealthacupuncture.com
https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Oriental+Medicine+for+Asthma
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Fibromyalgia & Acupuncture

We got nostalgic today and looked up an article we wrote on fibromyalgia for “Whatever Vaughan” Magazine way back in December 2013. Thought we’d share the link with you here. Enjoy the throwback!

http://whatevermagazine.ca/index.php/fibromyalgia/

Acupuncture for the Treatment of Migraines and Headaches – It Really Works!

migraine-men-pain-400x400

Are you plagued by chronic headaches?
About 1 in 6 Canadians suffer from chronic headaches, women more so than men. Scientific research indicates  that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.
The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. Acupuncture is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches and can offer powerful relief without the side effects of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years.  Acupuncture and TCM can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

TCM does not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual in order to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables including:

  • Location of the headache: Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
  • Time of day or season: When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)? Are they worse in the summer or winter months?
  • Alleviating and contributing factors: Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain? Do you have sensitivity to sound?
  • Accompanying symptoms: Do you have a loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting? Do you have neck tension or muscles stiffness?
  • Nature of the pain: Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?

Your answers to these questions will help your Registered Acupuncturist create a treatment plan specific to your needs. The more customized the treatment plan is the greater your success. The basis for an effective treatment always starts with a thorough assessment on the Initial Visit. This allows the Acupuncturist to determine your body’s “constitution” and select appropriate acupuncture points that will yield the best results. Acupuncture stimulates specific points all over one’s body to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness. The purpose of treatment is to promote your body’s own self-healing mechanisms and completely eliminate your headaches and migraines or at the very least reduce the frequency and intensity.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary form person to person. Typical treatments last from 20 to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times per week. Some headaches, migraines and related symptoms are relieved after the first few sessions, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

Call today to book an appointment: 905.993.5255 or book online: www.besthealthacupuncture.com