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The Evidence is In: Try Acupuncture for Treating Elbow Pain

Its snow season in Maine, and the elbows, shoulders, necks and backs are going to start aching, if they haven’t already, due to all of the shoveling. What used to be called tennis elbow I’m now calling snow shoveler’s elbow because I notice it showing up often in the clinic this time of year. The medical terminology is lateral epicondylitis. Call it whatever you like, what we are talking about here is elbow pain. A quick google search for “tennis elbow” or “lateral epicondylitis” will show American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and everyone’s go to, Wikipedia (Wiki) at the top of the list. Both are interesting reads for background info and a western perspective about the condition. Usual care treatment is pain relieving drugs and physical therapy (PT). In May, 2013 the Cochrane Library published  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating lateral elbow pain in adults, an update of a 2002 systematic review of studies  looking at the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen). The authors concluded: There remains limited evidence from which to draw firm conclusions about the benefits or harms of topical or oral NSAIDs in treating lateral elbow pain. . . Evidence about the benefits of oral NSAIDs has been conflicting. . . Some trials demonstrated greater benefit from glucocorticoid injection than from NSAIDs in the short term, but this was not apparent in all studies and was not apparent by 6 months in the only study that included longer-term outcomes. Or, in plain english: We are uncertain whether topical NSAIDs improve pain because of the low quality of the evidence. . . We are uncertain whether NSAIDs taken orally in tablet form improve

Acupuncture for Management of Work-Related Stress and Anxiety

Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Water Snake

The Chinese lunar Year of the Water Snake began February 10th.  The Chinese New Year’s Days are also called the Spring Festival. The Spring Festival lasts 10 days, the Snake Year lasts one lunar year (12 months) until Jan. 30, 2014.The Chinese lunar calendar began in 2697 BC when the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) became king. The Yellow Emperor is important for Chinese medicine as he is credited for coalescing the Chinese medical knowledge at that time into one volume, The Yellow’s Emperor’s Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing) which lays out the basic theory of Chinese medicine. This volume is credited with being the world’s oldest medical text. Chinese medical practitioners continue to study the this text today to gain a deeper understanding of the medicine.

Cancer Study Says Avoid Red Meat

This post comes from my colleague, Dr. Marty Eisen. A new study by the American Association for Cancer Research supports recommendations by the World Cancer Research Fund to limit red meat intake and avoid processes meats to reduce risk of digestive organ cancer.Dietary protein is made up of amino acids, which can be turned into “biogenicamines.” Previous research has shown that the processing and storage of red meat, like liver and salami, increases amine concentrations. When these amines are in the presence of nitrites, they create “nitrosamines,”which have been linked to cancer. Moreover, the heme iron (found in red meat) may increase the formation of nitrosamines. A new study investigated whether people’s DNA-repairing enzymes could limit the damage. A wide array of genetic variables were tested by using collected data from 355 bladder cancer cases and 409 controls. They found that the link between red meat and bladder cancer was significantly higher in people with a certain genetic makeup. These results support recommendations by the World Cancer Research Fund to limit red meat intake, and to avoid processed meats to reduce risk for stomach and bowel cancer. It also suggests that exposure to red meat can affect secondary organs, like the bladder as well as the stomach and intestines.  See –Red Meat Linked to Another Type of Cancer“Two components of red meat combined with alteration in

Anti Cancer Effects of Maitake Mushroom

From my colleague Marty Eisen, LAc: Research by Hiroaki Nanba, Ph.D., a professor of microbial chemistry at Kobe Pharmaceutical University in Japan, shows that one powerful mushroom can be used to treat cancer. Dr. Nanba administered Maitake mushroom to cancer patients. The patients took no anticancer drugs. Yet the mushroom helped to halt the cancer’s progression. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is one of the world’s premier cancer centers. Their experts are also recognizing the anticancer effects of this mushroom. They’ve completed trials that show it helps breast cancer patients.  Researchers found that this mushroom had anti-tumor effects also enhances immune function. Maitake also contains a highly-concentrated cancer-fighting compound known as D-Fraction. According to a 2009 study published the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, Maitake D-Fraction activates cells that help fight cancer and other health dangers. This includes T-helper cells, which direct your immune system to focus exactly where it’s needed most, macrophages, which engulf and consume cellular debris while keeping cells healthy, and natural killer (NK) cells that target tumor cells and destroy them. Among the cancer patients Dr. Nanba treated, 86.4 percent saw an increase in NK cells. Maitake D-Fraction also suppresses production of other immune cells and so brings your immune system into perfect balance. Dr. Nanba says this potent substance is most effective against breast, liver

Studies Show Acupuncture Improves Athletic Performance

Studies are beginning to confirm acupuncture‘s ability to improve athletic performance. One example is a study of basketball players published in 2009 in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine. The study of 30 male elite university basketball players were randomly assigned to 3 groups: acupuncture group, sham group, and a control group. The acupuncture group got real acupuncture on 2 commonly used acupuncture points (P6 and ST36). The sham group had needles placed 1 cm away from the actual point location. The control group had no acupuncture. The subjects rode an exercise bike until exhaustion, and were tested at various intervals before, during and after exercise for heart rate (HT), oxygen consumption (VO2max) and blood lactic acid. The acupuncture group had significantly lower heart rate, VO2max and blood lactic acid 30 minutes post exercise than the sham and control group. 60min post exercise the acupuncture group still had lower lactic acid. The study’s authors note: In the athletic world, many nations have long strived for developing competitive advantages in sports by employing various scientific methods

Chinese Medicine for Summer: Acupuncture for Sports Injuires & Herbal First Aid

Please join me for an interesting evening learning practical information about herbal first aid and acupuncture for sports injuries. 7p Malaprops – Tuesday June 12th    Receive practical information about herbal first aid and the use of acupuncture for sports injuries. Learn remedies you can do yourself to heal cuts, wounds, scars, burns, hives & rashes, including poison ivy. See an acupuncture demonstration for pain relief, including sprained ankles. Hear why acupuncturists recommend against using ice on injuries, after the first 24 hours. Ask your questions during an informal Q & A and discussion after the presentation.  Take home practical knowledge and handouts with directions Enjoy this dynamic, informative & interesting evening.

Inspiration for Career Success: It’s Not About the Money

I have a couple of inspirational clippings which live on my desk that i thought i might share.  The first comes from Daniel Myrick, director of the Blair Witch Project, amongst others. the quotation comes from a 4/24/08 interview in the NY Times: ‘Blair Witch’ gave me some financial security at a time which I was having trouble coming up the money to pay the phone bill . . . being able to say no, to only make the work that you really love and have a good time doing it, is another way to be successful. The second comes from Sherry Lansing‘s Success Rules for Graduates in the UCLA Alumni Magazine, fall/winter 2004 issue. At the time, Ms. Lansing was the chairperson of the Motion Picture Group of Paramount Pictures, a member of the UCLA Theater, Film & Television Dean’s Advisory Board and a University of California Regent.  The UCLA Alumni Magazine describes Lansing’s rise: Although Lansing’s parents wanted her to marry and become an office assistant to her doctor boyfriend, she dreamed of being part of the movies.”But at the at time, telling somebody

Case Study: Trigeminal Neuralagia & Sinusitis

Case Study: Acute Back Pain Resolved in 2 Acupuncture Treatments

A gentleman (43y) came in to my office a couple of weeks ago complaining of acute lower back (lumbar) pain which radiated down the lateral side (outside) of the left leg (I/T band). He described stabbing pain, level 8 (1-10 scale). This had happened a year ago. After an acupuncture treatment from a colleague the pain resolved until this recent episode.  Discussion of Back Pain Acupuncture Treatment I used balance method acupuncture points in his right hand. The pain reduced immediately upon insertion of the needles. While he rested with the needles in place, I made up a custom herbal formula to circulate blood. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) theory, stabbing pain is due to blood stagnation, or poor blood circulation in the area. In western medicine, the radiating pain indicates possible nerve impingement, likely caused by a disc protruding and pressing on the nerve root. He had not had any imaging of the area. Results of Acute Back Pain Acupuncture Treatment He returned 3 days later for follow up treatment. The pain had much improved. It was no longer a stabbing nature. Now he experienced mild stiffness in the morning with no radiating pain. I repeated the acupuncture