Monthly Archives: October 2015

Acu for Seasonal Allergies

By Mary Vincent L.Ac.
The most common type of allergies people seek treatment for at BCA are seasonal allergies, otherwise known as “hay fever”, which includes lots of sneezing, stuffy noses, and itchy eyes. This is especially true in the fall and spring, when tree, grass, and ragweed pollen are at their highest and surge with the warm, windy weather. If your allergies are predictable and occur at a certain time of the year, we suggest starting treatments just before the onset and continuing 1-2 times a week through the season. Many people find this helps keep their symptoms mild and easier to control. If you have a random mild to moderate allergy flare up, we suggest coming in for a few treatments in a row, which can help temper down your symptoms (including digestive issues related to a food allergy).
An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune system has developed a hypersensitivity to something in the environment that would not typically affect the majority of individuals. Allergens can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through contact with the skin. When a person comes in contact with something they are allergic to, the body produces a specific antibody known as IgE which binds the allergen and attaches them to mast cells. Mast cells are found throughout the body, but particularly in the intestines and airways. When IgE attaches the allergen to the mast cells, they begin to release histamine, the chemical responsible for the unpleasant physical symptoms of an allergic reaction.

The most common allergens include pollen, dust mites, mold, animal dander, foods, drugs, latex, and insect venom. Adverse reactions include:
* Sneezing
* Itchy, runny or stuffy nose
* Itchy, watery eyes
* Fatigue

Acupuncture for Breech Baby

By Mary Vincent L.Ac.

Breech baby occurs when the presentation of the fetus is buttocks or feet pointing first toward the mother’s pelvis. Between 29-32 weeks gestation, 15 percent of all babies will be in a breech position, but by the time the pregnancy reaches full term (37 weeks or later), only 3 percent of babies remain breech. This bottom-first presentation can lead to increased risks for the fetus and mother during vaginal birth, particularly umbilical cord prolapse and head entrapment, both of which can lead to oxygen deprivation and possible neurological damage or death of the fetus. Though vaginal birth is still possible, it is a controversial topic in midwifery and obstetrics.The risks involved are substantial enough that U.S. hospital policies do not allow for it, and the vast majority of obstetricians are no longer trained to safely perform these types of births.

A TCM treatment known as moxabustion (moxa) has been shown to be around 70 percent effective in turning a breech baby (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=188144). This technique includes using moxa sticks, which are cigar-shaped sticks comprised of tightly rolled mugwort leaves, burned close to the outside of the acupuncture point UB 67 (at the outside corners of the little toes). The heat on this point causes the baby to become restless in the uterus and increases the chances of it flipping into a head down position. Ideally, the best time to attempt to turn the baby with moxa is between 32 and 35 weeks. Once the baby is big enough to be snug in the womb the odds of turning are low, and if baby has already engaged into the pelvis it will not turn. Many women prefer to try and turn the baby [...]