The 5 Useful Tips in Managing Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain

1.) Walk More
You’re not running a marathon or joining a bootcamp. Spend 20-30 minutes twice per day walking and enjoying the fresh air and mindful freedom. You can start slow too! Work up to it. Before long, you will be craving that walk.
2.) Enjoy An Activity
Find something you truly enjoy doing. Having a hobby turns from a distraction into a passion and passion is hope.
3.) Try A New Food
We’re never in short supply of good food these days. Whether it’s a new restaurant, cooking magazine or blog, treat yourself to a new flavor, a new recipe, or new atmosphere, your mind and body will appreciate it.
4.) Take A Break
In our busy society, it is far too easy to be overly busy with daily work and activities. Sometimes it can be too much. Don’t be shy or scared to take a short vacation from certain activities. Also, say no to giving extra help when you are overtired and stretched too thin. Allow your body to distress from the overstimulation.  
5.) Go On An Adventure
We’ve all heard this, but life is temporary and short! You owe it to yourself to experience as much of this world has to offer as you can. Check out a new park, a new store, or even a new part of the world.

Asthma: Your Need To Know!

哮喘
Asthma
Dr. Brian Grosam
Definition: Asthma affects approximately 25+ million Americans today. It’s a pulmonary disorder characterized by wheezing and dyspnea due to obstruction and inflammation of the airways. Asthma may be triggered by allergy, exertion, irritant particles, weather, psychological stress, etc.
Etiology: There are many causes of asthma. Allergens such as pollens, smoke, molds, house dust and animal hair may trigger an asthma attack. Asthma may also be induced by non-allergy related factors such as exertion, cold air, stress, anxiety, crying, hearty laughing, and viral infection. Common morbidity associated with asthma includes sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, gastroesophageal reflux, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and hyperthyroidism.

Clinical Manifestations: In an asthma attack, there will be a combination of spasm of the bronchi, inflammation of the airways, and increased mucous secretion. In mild to moderate cases, the patients will experience shortness of breath, wheezing, hyperpnea, and use of accessory muscles (such as neck and chest muscles) to facilitate breathing. Anxiety and sweating are commonly seen in asthmatics as they struggle for air. In severe cases, the patients will experience marked respiratory distress, cyanosis, use of accessory muscles, wheezes, lethargy and possibly confusion. Patients with severe asthma may not have any wheezing, as there is very little air moving in and out of the lungs.

Diagnosis: Asthma is diagnosed based on the characteristic episodes of wheezing, coughing, dyspnea or chest tightness interspersed with asymptomatic intervals. Objective confirmation is made with repeated spirometry tests performed over symptomatic and asymptomatic periods. Spirometry is a device that measures the breathing capacity of the lungs and is helpful in making the diagnosis, assessing the severity of the illness, and monitoring the effectiveness of the treatment. If the asthma is allergy-induced, identification of the allergen is very important. Skin […]

Better Sleep!

Let’s face it, sleep is what most of us enjoy and look forward to after a day of hard work. Curling up in a comfortable bed and sleeping is a daily ritual. Everyone needs quality sleep too, not only because it is amazing, but also it is beneficial for our overall physical and emotional health. So when we cannot fall asleep easily, or we are waking at night, or simply waking early without getting enough sleep, these patterns over time will influence our wellbeing.
Many of you who’ve been in to our clinic know I will always ask you about your sleep, whether you are having trouble in any of the abovementioned categories. In Chinese medicine, we look for the root cause of our health issues and often times there is a simple solution. Our example here is sleep: Why are you not sleeping well? Stress, overthinking, working long hours, digestion, exercise routine or lack thereof, diet, and so on, are the first places to look for the disharmony and can often be remedied in a short period of time.
You may be wondering, “but what about more complex issues, such as hormone imbalances, women’s issues, disease, pharmaceuticals, acute or chronic pain, or other long standing problems?” Insomnia and trouble sleeping caused by these issues, although seemingly more complex, are still treatable.
The treatment of sleep issues is not difficult, but does take some time for some people. Trust me though we can help you. The use of acupuncture can help on many levels. It will retrain your brain and regulate neurochemicals, relax the body and muscles, and overall balance all of the body systems. Separate or in conjunction with acupuncture, herbal formulas too, help support the […]

Treating PCOS with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively common ovulatory disorder we see in the clinic. Although sometimes multifaceted and complex, it is oftentimes easily treatable with the acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas.

PCOS is a diagnosis made in the clinic based on manifestations. A woman with at least two of the following symptoms meets the diagnosis: 1.) Ultrasound showing polycystic ovary morphology; 2.) Infrequent, irregular or no ovulation, cycles longer than 35 days, or fewer than 9 periods per year; 3.) Hirsutism or unwanted hair growth, acne, male pattern hair loss, or high androgen levels from blood tests.

In the clinic, it is very important to look at many aspects of PCOS to gain a better understanding of the individual and to tailor proper treatment, including: Genetics, epigenetics, uterine and early life factors, androgens and folliculogenesis, insulin resistance, stress, age, and metabolism.

Your Western medicine practitioner will treat PCOS from these few common angles, including: Weight loss, oral contraception, metformin, clomid, gonadotrophins, statins, or surgery. Different approaches will be taken based on the individual and what the health goals are, for instance: regulating the period, fertility based, or if there are more serious health risks.

In Chinese medicine, our treatments are focused on a holistic approach. From a full intake and based on past and present symptoms, we treat PCOS from a variety of angles to help regulate the menstrual cycle and promote healthy ovulation. The main goal is to eliminate the cause of cyst formation, promote healthy egg growth and ovulation, promote healthy blood flow for a regulated period, while at the same time, reducing stress, and strengthening the metabolism.

Whether you are in the category of PCOS with weight gain, or the category of PCOS without weight gain, if you have irregular periods, […]

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Acupuncture in Minnesota

The latest Minnesota Physician Magazine has a great article about the use of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic pain and its utilization in integrative care. Use this link and you can read it on pages 26-27.
Enjoy!

Treatment Plans

Here is our brochure explaining the typical acupuncture treatment plans.

Effective Treatment Protocols

• Understand your patient!
• Understand the symptoms!
• Understand the severity!
• Understand the effectiveness of your treatments!
“50% – 20% – 20% – 10%” Rule
• 50%: Patients will naturally respond to acupuncture treatments with full efficacy results.
• 20%: Patients will respond slower and more gradual and will need acupuncture prescription modifications.
• 20%: Patients will need long treatment courses, herbs, and lifestyle changes.
• 10%: Patients will not respond to Chinese medicine.

“Mild – Moderate – Severe” Rule
1.) Quantity: based on severity and duration of symptoms:
• Mild Conditions: (3-6 Tx).
• Moderate Conditions: (6-12 Tx).
• Severe Conditions: (12-24+ Tx).
• Short Duration/Acute Conditions: (3-12 Tx).
• Long Duration/Chronic Conditions: (12-24+ Tx).
2.) Frequency: based on severity and duration of symptoms:
• Mild Conditions: (1 Tx/wk).
• Moderate Conditions: (1-2 Tx/wk).
• Severe Conditions: (2 Tx/wk).
• Short Duration/Acute Conditions: (2 Tx/wk).
• Long Duration/Chronic Conditions: (1 Tx/wk).
3.) Every individual person is different.
• Every individual will respond uniquely to acupuncture based on your particular lifestyle, diet, exercise, work, and sleep habits.
• Emotional, environmental and genetic factors will also play a role and are a necessary consideration.

Treatment Schedule
1.) Set up acupuncture protocol based on diagnosis.
2.) Give the patient a predetermined set amount of treatments based on severity.
3.) Continue treatments if there are changes in: Severity, Duration, or Frequency of symptoms.
4.) If there are no changes, modify acupuncture prescription and repeat.
5.) Once the patient’s symptoms are manageable and controlled (within quality of life parameters), start spacing out the treatments or start maintenance treatments.
6.) If there are no changes after set amount of treatments, add herbal prescriptions and suggest lifestyle modifications.

“Constant changing of […]

Dry Needling: A New Acupuncture Technique?

There are hundreds of acupuncture techniques, styles, and procedures. Why wouldn’t there be? Acupuncture has been a medical procedure and a world leading medicine for well over 2,000 years.
Entry-level acupuncture books list many of these common techniques, styles, and procedures. Diagrams of Acupuncture lists the many types of needles, holding techniques, needling skills, posture, insertion techniques, angles, direction and depth of insertion, needling manipulation and retention time. The book then goes into great detail about the many different styles of acupuncture listing over 170 techniques! Many are simple while many takes years to master, for example, from relaxing muscles and easing pain, to raising or lowering blood pressure, or its use for surgical anesthesia. Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Acupuncture: A Comprehensive Text, and A Manual of Acupuncture, all support this information in great detail and explain the importance of mastering the variety of techniques, styles, and procedures, for not only improving therapeutic effectiveness, but also for patient safety.

Alongside these great acupuncture books, all acupuncturists study and train for 2,500-3,000 hours over a 4-year time period. Acupuncture students are taught by some of the top acupuncture doctors in the world and who’ve been practicing acupuncture for decades.

The novel technique adopted by physical therapy practitioners called dry needling has been around for less than 50 years. Its history is short and the technique is identical to acupuncture. Some students of dry needling are even taught by acupuncturists and use the acupuncture books and manuals as references. The only difference is that these unregulated courses offer certification for only 25-50 hours of training. That is 1% of the time in which an acupuncturist is trained.

Acupuncture has traditionally used theories of Qi to explain how it works. Today, there […]