Beach Community Acupuncture

5 Ways Acupuncture Can Fix Your Health Problems

If you are struggling from any of these ailments, BCA can help you out with $20 treatments to get you better, faster!

http://www.menshealth.com/health/5-ways-acupuncture-can-fix-your-health-problems

Here Comes Change. Acupuncture Can Help!

When seasons change, acupuncture can help!
Our treatments are always $20 ($30 for the first visit).

http://acutakehealth.com/here-comes-change-acupuncture-can-help

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 [...]

Can acupuncture help the common cold and flu viruses?

by Mary Vincent, L.Ac.
There are several weeks to months from fall to spring when we have a large number of people calling in to report the onset of various cold and influenza strains, asking if we might be able to provide some relief from the uncomfortable symptoms and to shorten the duration of the illness. While western medicine has some measures to help protect and ward off flu viruses, it has no means at this time to assist in fighting off cold viruses. Since Traditional Chinese Medicine has been treating cold and flu symptoms for thousands of years, treatments for colds and flu viruses include acupuncture points and herbal formulas that not only help lessen the specific symptomology of the presenting illness, but additionally improve one’s own immune system and lend a hand with certain antiviral properties (many antiviral herbs are commonly used in China, not only by the general population, but by medical doctors and in regularly in their hospitals). It is the acupuncture treatment itself that boosts the body’s own immune system functions, making it more effective in targeting and destroying viruses, while many of the herbs in the formulas used for the common cold and flu viruses have specific antiviral properties to aid and speed up the healing process. Both acupuncture and herbs are also effective in targeting specific symptoms, to help provide quicker relief from common cold and flu symptoms.

What exactly is the difference between a common cold and flu virus?
Common colds are mild, viral upper respiratory infections that are associated with rhinitis(inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nasal cavity), laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx, or voice box), pharyngitis (inflammation at back of throat) and sometimes tonsillitis [...]

Chronic Pain-the Paradox and the Approach

by Nicole Murray, L.Ac.
Every day at Beach Community Acupuncture, we treat many patients for chronic pain, a phenomenon that is widely misunderstood. Pain specialist Elliot Crane explains in this TED talk that most of us think of pain as a symptom of an injury or disease, which is correct-for some people. He goes on to tell us that in about 10 percent of cases, the pain persists after the patient has recovered from the injury or event. In this case, pain becomes a distinct disease with measurable changes to nerves that get worse over time.
With acute pain, chemical and electrical signals relay information from nerve endings to the brain. This helps to ensure that we are aware of injury and the need to take care of ourselves, as well as to avoid harm (if you get burned once, you probably won’t intentionally put your hand in the fire again). With chronic pain, these “pain signals go on for weeks, months, or even years.” (NIH). The signals continue to go off after the injury is resolved-it’s like malfunctioning circuitry. This is different from cases in which there is a direct cause of the pain, such as arthritis, or overuse- where a job demands too much of the body (for example, hairdressers with wrist pain).
The National Institutes of Health provides some facts about chronic pain:
▪ Due to its persistence, chronic pain can cause major problems in every aspect of a person’s life, and is frequently resistant to many medical treatments. A person may even have two or more coexisting chronic pain conditions. Among the most common pain challenges for Americans are headaches, low back pain, arthritis pain, cancer pain, and nerve and [...]

Treating PTSD with Acupuncture

by Nicole Murray, L.Ac.
At Beach Community Acupuncture, we treat the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on a regular basis. Acupuncture regulates the nervous system response and lowers stress. At BCA, our patients with PTSD report reduction in symptoms like: obsessive thinking, insomnia, panic attacks, and nightmares. To be most effective, we prescribe daily treatments for 10 days, then maintenance as needed.
About PTSD
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people may develop after living through or witnessing a dangerous event. When facing danger, it is natural to feel anxious and fearful-the nervous system “fight or flight” response is designed to help keep us safe. When these symptoms persist long after the danger has passed, PTSD is the likely diagnosis. In essence, the signals become damaged and the person experiences fear even when there is no danger.
We hear a lot about combat veterans with PTSD. Aside from the trauma experienced during war, people may develop PTSD after an accident, assault of any kind, natural disaster, or any terrifying event. The sudden death of a loved one or other strong emotional shock may also trigger PTSD.
The National Institute of Mental Health classifies the symptoms of PTSD in three categories: re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and hyperarousal symptoms. Symptoms are outlined below.
Re-experiencing symptoms
* Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
* Bad dreams
* Frightening thoughts.
* Re-experiencing symptoms can be triggered from within-according to the person’s thoughts or feelings. External reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing (think of a car backfiring after a person has heard gun shots).
Avoidance symptoms
* Staying away from places, events, or objects that [...]

Multiple Sclerosis

by Mary Vincent, L.Ac.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system in which the person’s own immune system attacks the protective covering (myelin sheath) that surrounds their nerves. This myelin sheath is crucial to proper functioning of the nervous system, including the speed and accuracy of messages sent between the brain and the body. When damage occurs to the myelin sheath and proper brain-body communication is disrupted, the resulting impact on the nervous system can include a variety of symptoms, depending on which nerves are being attacked. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, can vary from person to person, and may include:
▪ Tingling, numbness, weakness in the face, body, or extremities.
▪ Blurry vision, double vision, eye pain, or colors that suddenly appear dull.
▪ Nerve pain like an “electric shock” when moving the neck (particularly bending it forward).
▪ Fatigue
▪ Dizziness
▪ Tremors
▪ Muscle spasticity
▪ Unsteady balance or gait
▪ Itching
▪ Headaches
▪ Speech or swallowing problems
▪ Declining bladder and bowel function

The above symptoms are often exacerbated when the body is warmer than usual, such as in hotter climates or during exercise. Most people will have periods of relapse and remission with their symptoms, in which their particular symptoms will flare up for days or weeks at a time, followed by a partial or complete improvement of these same symptoms for months to years. In at least 60% of people with MS, the disease course will eventually progress with less frequent remissions and a steady worsening of symptoms (known as secondary-progressive MS). A small percentage of individuals with MS will experience a gradual onset of symptoms and a steady progression of the [...]

Can Acupuncture Help Fibromyalgia?

by Mary Vincent, L.Ac.
Fibromyalgia is a common disorder of the central nervous system which manifests as a vast array of physical and emotional symptoms in the affected individuals. It affects more than 5 million people in the US alone, is more likely to occur in adults between 20 and 50 years old, and is far more common in women than men. There is no specific medical test that can detect fibromyalgia, but rather it is diagnosed based on the following criteria:
▪ Widespread body pain which presents as a specific and recognizable pattern in those affected. This includes having pain in all 4 quadrants of the body (both sides of the body and above and below the waist), and tenderness at at least 11 out of 18 specific trigger points. It can also be associated with an increased sensitivity to light and sound. The majority of people with fibromyalgia find themselves very stiff after sleeping or prolonged inactivity (this typically improves with movement). Pain can often be worse in cold and damp weather and during times of increased stress
▪ Difficult or disordered sleep patterns, often referred to as non-restorative sleep (one sleeps “lightly” and does not wake feeling rested or refreshed).
▪ Memory problems and/or difficulty concentrating.
▪ Significant and ongoing fatigue.
Other symptoms and coexisting disorders often found with fibromyalgia include:
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome
• Interstitial Cystitis
• Anxiety and/or depression
• Chronic tension headaches and/or migraines
• Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
• Tingling of the hands and feet
• Painful menstrual cycles
The causes of fibromyalgia remain unclear, and there is no known cure for the disorder. Symptoms are typically managed with a wide variety of over the counter and [...]

Acupuncture and Weight Loss

By Mary Vincent, L.Ac.

Happy 2015, everyone! The new year is here and, as you might guess, the #1 question we are asked every January is “Can acupuncture help me lose weight?”. The answer, of course, really depends on how motivated you are to change your habits. If you are looking for acupuncture as a quick fix to losing weight, then of course, just like any quick fix weight loss solution, it’s not going work for you. There are no magic points that will somehow amazingly help you shed pounds with no additional effort. What we do find, however, is that many individuals benefit from adding acupuncture as an adjunct therapy while simultaneously modifying their diet and boosting their daily exercise. Since the endorphins released during acupuncture are helpful in reducing one’s stress response and elevate the mood, it helps many to control their impulse to eat or overeat when stressed, and can also help take the edge off grouchiness and cravings for sugar that can occur in the beginning of cleaning up one’s diet.

If you do an internet search of acupuncture for weight loss you will find most information surrounding the use of 5 specific points located in the ear (shen men, stomach, spleen, hunger/appetite, and endocrine). This specific treatment protocol will come up often due to a Korean study published in 2013 that specifically included these 5 auricular points. For 8 weeks, study participants received either 5 points in the ear, 1 point in the ear, or no points (sham acupuncture). The study concluded that participants who had received 5 ear points had a 6.1% overall reduction in weight, compared to 5.7% for the 1 point group and 0% for the sham group. [...]

Acupuncture and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

by Mary Vincent, L.Ac.

Many people have been turning to acupuncture for chronic digestive issues, with especially good outcomes for those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a common, chronic condition that affects the large intestine, causing uncomfortable symptoms which include:

Constipation and/or diarrhea (can alternate between both)
Bloating and gas
Abdominal pain and cramping

 

A diagnosis of IBS is given based on the presence of the above symptoms, but without bloody stools, weight loss, or inflammation so severe that it causes discernible changes in the tissue of the large intestine. If you present with the above symptoms, your doctor may run tests to rule out other diseases (e.g., stool sampling tests, blood tests, and x-rays). If something more serious is suspected, you may also undergo a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Contrary to more serious gastrointestinal disorders, there is no increased risk of colon cancer with IBS. While the symptoms that do exist can be ongoing, they are rarely severe, though they can cause enough physical discomfort or embarrassment to interrupt one’s regular daily activities. Currently, there is no known cause of IBS, though there has been some speculation that it may be caused by incorrect signals to the bowel from the brain. It is recognized that it is common to have an IBS flare up after stressful life events or a gastrointestinal illness, and it is more common among those who suffer from anxiety or depression.

IBS typically affects people younger than 45, and is about twice as common in women as in men.

How does acupuncture help?

A great number of acupuncture points exist on areas of the body that correspond with many large nerve branches of the peripheral nervous system (the part of the nervous system that [...]