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  Here are some of the medical providers we work closely with.
 
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By Quansheng Lu, CMD, PhD, L.Ac, Chinese medicine specialist
Published in Your Health Magazine, March 2011
 
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture began more than 3,000 years ago and is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Acupuncture involves the placement of very slender needles into the skin along predetermined points for therapeutic effect.
 
In Chinese medicine, it's believed that acupuncture works by unblocking the flow of energy along channels, or "meridians". The theory behind acupuncture is that when the body's energy channels are blocked, discomfort results.
 
Benefits of Acupuncture
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year more than 8 million Americans use acupuncture to treat different ailments. Studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in the treatment of a host of non-cancer-related health issues, such as back pain, chronic headaches, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, infertility, and hot flashes. Acupuncture is also safe, tolerable and effective for a range of side-effects resulting from conventional cancer treatments (Current Treat Options Oncology, December 2010).
 
Relief of cancer pain
Forty percent of individuals with early or intermediate stage cancer and 90% with advanced cancer have moderate to severe pain, and acupuncture has a role in management of cancer pain. A recent study, published in Journal of Clinical Oncology, April 2010, found that individuals receiving acupuncture experienced significant reductions in pain and dysfunction when compared with individuals receiving standard care.
 
Easing chemo-radiation therapy side-effects
The preliminary data suggest acupuncture might be effective for chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, leukopenia, radiation therapy-induced xerostomia, insomnia, and anxiety. A recent study reported acupuncture reduces some of these common side effects and produces fewer adverse effects than antidepressant, venlafaxine (Journal of Clinical Oncology, February 2010). Another trial also suggested that acupuncture reduces vasomotor symptoms in breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant tamoxifen (Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, December 2010).
 
Increasing Quality of Life
Acupuncture can increased energy and provide a sense of well being to cancer sufferers.  A study, (International Journal Women’s Health, September 2010), was to examine the quality of life of breast cancer patients medicated with estrogen antagonists, 2 years after having acupuncture treatment for hot flashes. Patients treated with acupuncture complained less of hot flashes, and had a more positive outlook on life.
 
Safety of Acupuncture
Although acupuncture is generally considered safe, it may cause dizziness, local internal bleeding, dermatitis, nerve damage, and/or increased pain (especially when the acupuncturist is not well-trained). A well-trained professional acupuncturist is very important for a better treatment result.
 
 
 
By Quansheng Lu, CMD, PhD, L.Ac, Chinese medicine specialist
 
Chinese medicine has been used therapeutically in China for thousands of years and is growing in prominence in Europe and the United States. Chinese medicine works by reestablishing balances within the body, the balances between yin and yang, between qi and blood, and so on. The main professional methods are Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture/moxibustion. Recent controlled studies indicate that Chinese medicine therapy including herbal medicines and acupuncture for allergic disorders is promising.
 
Acupuncture for itch
 Itch is a major symptom of allergic skin disease. Acupuncture has been shown to exhibit a significant effect on itch.  A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial concluded that acupuncture at the correct acu-points showed a significant reduction in type I hypersensitivity itch in patients with atopic eczema (Allergy,2010 July).
 
Acupuncture for allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis affects 10-40% of the population globally with a substantial health and economic impact on the community. Ear-acupressure was as effective as body acupuncture or antihistamine for short-term effect, but it was more effective than anti-histamine for long-term effect (Clin Otolaryngol,2010 Feb).  Another pragmatic randomized trial of 5,237 patients with allergic rhinitis in German suggests that acupuncture is effective in the symptomatic treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis (Ann Allergy asthma immunology,2008 Nov). Acupuncture may help to improve the blood theology indexes with an increased volume of blood flow, and regulate the immunological function of the human body, thus giving therapeutic effects for allergic rhinitis.
 
Acupuncture for asthma
Asthma has become an important public health issue and approximately 300 million people have suffered from the disease worldwide. Nowadays, the use of acupuncture in asthma is increasing. A study on children with asthma finds that life quality activities of the group of acupuncture-like stimulation improved significantly more than those of the control group (J Asthma,2010 Dec). One review points to the potential benefits of pharmacopuncture for adults with asthma (Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,2011). Gene expression of immune response and steroid hormone may play an important role in the treatment of asthma (J Biomed Sci.2009 May).
 
Safety of Acupuncture
The risk of serious adverse events in the overall population is as low as 0.05/10,000 treatments (J Pediatr Hematol Oncol,2008 June). Some findings suggest that personalized medical treatment should be essential for acupuncture treatment in patients with allergic rhinitis ( J Altern Complement Med,2010 Jan). So a well-trained professional acupuncturist is vital for safety and efficacy reasons.
 
3. Acupuncture for sexual dysfunction
 
Q: Sir I want to ask some questions:  Masturbation depletes kidney energy.  Does it also weakens parasympathetic nervous system?  Does hyper and hypo thyroidism is caused by insufficient SHBG that is sex hormone binding globulin???  Which herbs can strengthen parasympathetic nervous system and can treat thyroidism problems?
Can SHBG be increased by herbs? Sir can you tell me in detail???
(4/11/2011)
 
A: Dear ####,
Before answering your questions, I want to introduce some background on kidney function in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory.  Western medicine and TCM are two kinds of medicine system. In TCM theory, the kidney is vitally important, which is considered as the "foundation of prenatal life". The kidney's main physiological functions include storing essence of the body; dominating growth, development and reproduction; regulating water metabolism and receiving qi (meaning energy). Some factors, for example, excess masturbation (once or twice a week is normal if you don't feel too tired and uncomfortable), can damage the normal kidney function, resulting in pathological situations. For example, kidney yin deficiency symptoms  include seminal emission, dizziness, tinnitus, back pain, lassitude, poor spirit, thin body, and so on; kidney yang deficiency symptoms, failure of the penis in erection, or weak erection,listlessness, soreness and weakness in lumbar and knees, aversion to cold, cold limbs, dysuria, or urination at night.
 
Right now let's go back to your questions. Excess masturbation certainly depletes kidney energy, and it also weakens parasympathetic nervous system.
 
In the thyroid, there are lots of sex hormone (SH) and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which is related to the normal thyroid function. So hyper or hypo thyroidism can affect the levels of SH and SHBG, and sexual dysfunction. Abnormal SHBG can also result in thyroidism problems.
 
Many herbs and herb formulas can strengthen parasympathetic nervous system, treat thyroidism problems and increase SHBG level and activity. But I don't recommend that you use them by yourself for the safety and effectiveness reasons. Because we need first decide which type of  kidney problem you have and then use the right herb formula, not single herb. In order to meet your interest, I give you some herbs for your try. Ginseng or fleeceflower root for parasympathetic nervous system, kelp for thyroidism problem, morinda root or eucommia bark for SHBG activity.
 
4. Chinese acupuncture for neck pain
 
ByQuansheng Lu, CMD, PhD, L.Ac, Chinese medicine specialist
 
What is Chinese acupuncture?
Chinese acupuncture began more than 3,000 years ago and is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Acupuncture involves the placement of very slender needles into the skin along predetermined points for therapeutic effect.
 
Howdoes acupuncture work?
In Chinese medicine, it's believed that acupuncture works by unblocking the flow of energy along channels, or "meridians". The theory behind acupuncture is that when the body's energy channels are blocked, discomfort results.
 
Neck pain causes
Most neck pain may result from staying in the same position longer that increase the tension of the neck. Neck pain may also arise from an injury. In adult, narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck (cervical spinal stenosis) is common. In Chinese medicine theory, external wind and cold, or injury, or excessive activities can block the flow of qi and blood in the neck, which lead to neck pain.
 
Neck pain symptoms
The most common symptoms include a knot, stiffness, or acute pain in the neck. The pain may extent to your shoulders, upper back, or arms. Sometimes, you may have a headache, have trouble in moving or turning your head and neck, or have numbness, tingling or weakness inyour arm.
 
Acupuncture can control neckpain
Acupuncture is widely used for the treatment of neck and other musculoskeletal pain and there is some evidence supporting its effectiveness for short and long term pain relief. An Australian randomized controlled trial was designed to compare the effectiveness of acupuncture with simulated acupuncture in patients with sub-acute and chronic whiplash-associated disorders. The patients were conducted acupuncture treatment for 12 sessions during a six week period, with 3 and 6 months follow up.  Participants receiving the real electro-acupuncture treatment had significantly greater reduction in pain intensity at 3 and 6 months respectively in comparison to the sham electro-acupuncture group (Spine, April2011).
 
Traditional Chinese medicine includes Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture/moxibustion, and so on. Chinese medicine therapy including herbal medicines and acupuncture for neck pain is very common and successful in China, even in Europe.
 
Safety of Acupuncture
Although acupuncture is generally considered safe, it may cause dizziness, local internal bleeding, dermatitis, nerve damage, and/or increased pain (especially when the acupuncturist is not well-trained). So a well-trained professional and experienced acupuncturist is vital for safety and effectiveness.
 
5. Chinese acupuncture for shoulder pain
 
ByQuansheng Lu, CMD, PhD, L.Ac, Chinese medicine specialist
 
What is Chinese acupuncture?
Chinese acupuncture began more than 3,000 years ago and is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Acupuncture involves the placement of very slender needles into the skin along predetermined points for therapeutic effect. It works by unblocking the flow of energy along channels, or "meridians". The theory behind acupuncture is that when the body's energy channels are blocked, discomfort results.
 
What is shoulder pain cause?
Shoulder pain is an extremely common symptom, and there are many common causes of this problem. The major causes of shoulder pain include tendon inflammation (bursitis or tendinitis) or tendon tear, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), instability, arthritis, and fracture (broken bone). Other much less common causes of shoulder pain are tumors, infection, and nerve-related problems.
 
Can acupuncture control shoulderpain?
Chinese acupuncture is an effective treatment for both acute and chronic shoulder pain. In June 2009, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center reported a single-blind randomized, controlled trial. The participants were adults with shoulder pain for at least 8 weeks with a diagnosis of osteoarthritis or rotator cuff tendonitis and a total Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) score of > or =30.
 
Thirty-one subjects were randomized to one of three treatment groups: individualized acupuncture points according to the approaches of traditional Chinese medicine; fixed, standard acupuncture points conventionally used for shoulder pain; and sham nonpenetrating acupuncture. After 6 weeks of treatment, the mean total SPADI score improved in all three groups, but the change was clinically significant only in groups 1 and 2, respectively. The conclusion is that acupuncture may be an effective treatment for chronic shoulder pain.
 
Why does acupuncture sometimes not work?
Traditional Chinese medicine, including Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture, is a complex systemic science, which needs to take a long time to learn and practice. To obtain the best treatment result, at least two major things need to know: finding correct acupuncture point formula and finding correct point location. Otherwise, acupuncture may not work very well. This may explain the opinion reviews were inconclusive for shoulder pain, lateral elbow pain, and low back pain ( 2011 March).
 
Is acupuncture safe?                    
Yes. Acupuncture is a safe treatment. It may occasionally cause dizziness, local internal bleeding, dermatitis, nerve damage, and/or increased pain (especially when the acupuncturist is not well-trained). So a well-trained professional and experienced acupuncturist is vital for effectiveness and safety.
 
6. Chinese Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain
By Quansheng Lu, CMD, PhD, L.Ac, Chinese medicine specialist
 
Chinese acupuncture began more than 3,000 years ago and is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Acupuncture involves the placement of very slender needles into the skin along predetermined points for therapeutic effect. It works by unblocking the flow of energy along channels, or "meridians". The theory behind acupuncture is that when the body's energy channels are blocked, discomfort results.
 
What is lower back pain?
Four out of five adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives in USA. Acute back pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks, but chronic back pain may last more than 3 months. There are many causes of lower back pain, but the most common causes are muscle strain and degenerative disc disease. In traditional Chinese medicine theory, external factors such as extreme weather, injury, and excessive sexual activity, can lead to the block of qi and blood, which results in low back pain if the block of qi and blood is located at the lower back.
 
Can acupuncture control lower back pain?
Lower back pain limits activity and is the second most frequent reason for physician visits. Previous research shows widespread use of acupuncture for lower back pain. One meta-analysis is designed to assess acupuncture's effectiveness for treating lower back pain. The 33 randomized, controlled trials that met inclusion criteria were sub-grouped according to acute or chronic pain, style of acupuncture, and type of control group used. For the primary outcome of short-term relief of chronic pain, the meta-analyses showed that acupuncture is significantly more effective than sham treatment and no additional treatment. At last, the study concluded that Acupuncture effectively relieves chronic low back pain (Ann Intern Med. 2005 Apr 19;142(8):651-63).
 
How many/often acupuncture sessions do I need?
Usually, 1-3 sessions for acute back pain; 6-16 sessions for chronic back pain, depending on the situation. Twice a week is recommended for a better treatment result.
 
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes. Acupuncture is a safe treatment. It may occasionally cause dizziness, local internal bleeding, dermatitis, nerve damage, and/or increased pain (especially when the acupuncturist is not well-trained). So a well-trained professional and experienced acupuncturist is vital for effectiveness and safety.
 
By Quansheng Lu, CMD, PhD, L.Ac, Chinese medicine specialist
 
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), or complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), has been used therapeutically in China for thousands of years and is growing in prominence in Europe and the United States. Chinese medicine works by reestablishing balances within the body, the balances between yin and yang, between qi and blood, and so on. The main professional methods are Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. Recent studies indicate that more and more couples in the U.S. are seeking Chinese medicine for fertility care.
 
Infertility, inability to conceive or carry a child to delivery, is usually limited to situations where the couple has had intercourse regularly for one year without using birth control. About one in every eight couples is infertile. Most cases involve the female partner, 30-40% involve the male, and 10% are caused by unknown factors. In women, the most common problems are failure to ovulate and blockage of the fallopian tubes. In men, low amount and activity of sperm is the most common problem.
 
Acupuncture has been used to treat infertility extensively, including ovulatory dysfunction, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET), and male infertility. One recent review in the Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine concluded that most of the existing studies suggest a positive effect of acupuncture in infertility treatment. Firstly, acupuncture may improve ovulation by modulating the central and peripheral nervous systems, the neuroendocrine and endocrine systems, the ovarian blood flow, and metabolism. Secondly, acupuncture can improve the outcome of IVF-ET, and the mechanisms may be related to the increased uterine blood flow, inhibited uterine motility, and the anesis of depression, anxiety and stress. Its effect on modulating immune function also suggests helpfulness in improving the outcome of IVF-ET. Finally, the studies suggest that acupuncture plays a positive role in male infertility, the mechanism of which is not yet clear.
 
Recent studies demonstrated that traditional Chinese medicine could regulate the gonadotropin-releasing hormone to induce ovulation and improve the uterus blood flow and menstrual changes of endometrium. In addition, the recent research also suggests that it has impact on patients with infertility resulting from polycystic ovarian syndrome, anxiety, stress and immunological disorders.
 
However, according to the Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society it seems, that acupuncture has a positive effect and no adverse effects on pregnancy outcome. It is vital to select a well-trained professional acupuncturist for ideal outcome.
 
8. Chinese Medicine for Dysmenorrhea
 
By Quansheng Lu, CMD, PhD, L.Ac, Chinese medicine specialist
 
Dysmenorrhea means that women have periodic pains during or prior to, or after menstrual periods in the lower abdomen caused by disruption of contraction within the uterus as a result of excess bad prostaglandins. For some women, it can be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities for a few days every month. This is a common health problem for women all over the world.
 
Menstrual pain will take the form of cramping, lower abdominal pain, lower back pain or a pulling sensation in the inner thighs. Pain is often accompanied by headaches, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea or constipation.
 
Dysmenorrhea can be primary or secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea involves no physical abnormality and usually begins within three years after you begin menstruating. Primary dysmenorrhea factors include allergic reactions, unhealthy diet, excessive estrogen, overweight, smoking, and stress. For primary dysmenorrhea, many experts believe that prostaglandins, hormone-like substances involved in pain and inflammation, trigger the uterine muscle contractions. Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by gynecological disease, like endometriosis, fibromas, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
 
In Chinese medicine, pain is the symptom of a deeper problem. The theory is that the root cause of pain can be either an excess pattern or a deficiency pattern. The blockage of Qi and blood, or the retention of heat, dampness or wind, are believed to be excess patterns. Deficiency of Qi and blood, or imbalance of kidney and liver are believed to be deficiency patterns. Chinese medicine practitioners use acupuncture and herbal medicine through one or a few of the following strategies: expelling wind, dissipating cold, eliminating dampness, moving Qi, invigorating blood, nourishing the blood, clearing the heat, and tonifying the kidneys.
 
A review, Acupuncture for Primary Dysmenorrhea, is published at Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2011. The goal was to determine the efficacy and safety of acupuncture in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. Ten trials were included in the review with data reporting on 944 participants. Six trials reported on acupuncture (n = 673) and four trials (n = 271) reported on acupressure. There was an improvement in pain relief from acupuncture compared with a placebo.
 
Ginger is most commonly used in Chinese medicine in treating dysmenorrhea for a long period of time due to its stimulated function of anti-inflammation, spasmolytic, and circulation. Ginger helps to inhibit cyclo-oxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes that cause menstrual cramps. Peach kernel is also commonly used in Chinese medicine for treating dysmenorrhea.
 
9. Acupuncture for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
 
By Quansheng Lu, CMD, PhD, L.Ac, Chinese medicine specialist
 
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder in which the ovaries produce excessive amounts of male hormones and develop many small cysts. It is a common gynecologic endocrinopathy and affects 6%–8% of reproductive women. The pathogenesis of PCOS is associated with both heredity and environment; however, the exact pathogenesis remains uncertain. 
 
It has been demonstrated that PCOS can impact the women’s reproductive health, leading to 75% of anovulatory infertility and contributing to the increased rate of early pregnancy loss (EPL). PCOS has additional metabolic derangements, such as insulin resistance (IR), impaired glucose tolerance, and dyslipidemia. The risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and endometrial cancer among PCOS patients are significantly increased as well. Therefore, PCOS is defined not only as a gynecologic endocrinopathy but also as a kind of metabolic disorder. Its impacts can emerge during puberty and last up to postmenopause, which makes it a nightmare persisting throughout a woman’s life.
 
Therefore, we should not only focus on the complaints of PCOS patients but also pay more attention to their long term health consequences, especially for the ones with obesity and/or IR. To prevent against the adverse consequences, early effective interventions are crucial for PCOS patients.
 
The current conventional medical treatments for women with PCOS are prescription medications, surgery, and lifestyle changes. Associated problems with current western therapies are the cost, risk of multiple pregnancies, undesirable side effects, and inconsistent effectiveness. Non-randomised acupuncture studies in PCOS have suggested a low associated adverse events rate, no increased risk of multiple pregnancies, and that it is inexpensive (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2011 Aug 10;(8):CD007689).
 
Traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture has been used therapeutically in China for thousands of years and is growing in prominence in Europe and the United States. Given that acupuncture has an impact on beta-endorphin production, which may affect gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion, it is postulated that acupuncture may have a role in ovulation induction and fertility. 
 
Recent studies demonstrated that traditional Chinese medicine could regulate the gonadotropin-releasing hormone to induce ovulation and improve the uterus blood flow and menstrual changes of endometrium. In addition, it also has impacts on patients with infertility resulting from polycystic ovarian syndrome, anxiety, stress and immunological disorders (Current Opinion in
Obstetrics & Gynecology 2008 Jun;20:211-5). However, it is vital to select a well-trained professional acupuncturist for ideal outcome.
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Professional acupuncture for your whole family!
301-340-1066
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