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Qi Gong

  What is Qi Gong?   Qi Gong (pronounced chee goong) is a Chinese system of physical training, philosophy, and preventive and therapeutic health care. Qi (or chi) means air, breath of life or vital essence. Gong means work, self-discipline, achievement or mastery. This art combines aerobic conditioning, isometrics, isotonics, meditation, and relaxation. Qigong is a discipline whose practice allows us to gain control over the life force that courses throughout our bodies.   Different types of Qi Gong   There are more than 3,000 varieties of qigong, and five major qigong traditions: The Taoist, Buddhist, Confucian, martial arts, and medical. Qi Gong is thus a soft form of a related set of disciplines that includes Taiji (Tai Chi Quan) and the hard form of Kung Fu. Here I treat only the medical tradition. Like the other forms, medical qigong is “the cultivation and deliberate control of a higher form of vital energy” (Dong & Esser 1990:xi). It is also, as Yan Xin (1991: i) defines it, “an ancient philosophical system of harmonious integration of the human body with the universe.” As a radical denial of the human species’ separation from nature, qigong challenges the foundations of modern Western biomedical thought. Medical Qi Gong Medical qigong involves breathing exercises combined with meditation. The breathing exercises induce help induce the state of meditation, and vice versa. One is aware of what is going on, but not too aware, fully relaxed but not in a trance. In a qigong state, cares and troubles wash away. Replacing them are positive images, increased confidence, and enhanced spirit. Eventually, there will be no distractions, depressing...

Back Pain FAQ

  Back Pain FAQ   Q: I hurt my back just today or yesterday, can I have acupuncture or not? A: Yes, acupuncture is very good for acute back pain even during the very first stage.   Q: Part from acupuncture treatment, what should I do if I have acute back pain? should I use heat pack or ice? A: You should have full rest (lie in bed) and apply ice on the sore spot for 20 minutes every 2 hours in the first 24 hours after injury; Then you may use heat.   Q: Should I have massage at the early stage? A: Generally not. Although massage may help ease off the spasm a little bit, do it in the first 24 or 48 hours may aggravate the pain.   Q: I have bulging/ruptured disc, can you help me? A: Yes. No matter the back pain is caused by bulging disc/ruptured disc/herniated disc, muscle sprain or over-strain, we can help ease off the pain and help prevent the pain come back. In our long time clinic practice, we experience as high as 90% improvement for back pain.   Q: I have chronic back pain and have seen my doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other acupuncturists without much improvement, what’s the difference of your treatment to others? A: Firstly, we use a combination diagnosis technique both in Western and Chinese Medicine, such as SLR (Straight Leg Raising Testing), Braggers testing, Local palpation, unique Chinese medicine tongue and pulse diagnosis, to understand your back problem and we are able to know the right treatment for your back pain and how is...

Back pain

“Acupuncture represents a highly promising and effective treatment option for chronic back pain. Patients experienced not only reduced pain instensity, but also reported improvements in the disability that often results from back pain, and therefore in their quality of life.” ~ Dr. Heinz Endres, MD   Back pain is a very common problem; one that will strike four out of five Australian at some time in their lives. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons people seek medical care. Unfortunately, back pain isn’t always easy to diagnose or relieve. Low back pain in particular can become a chronic, or ongoing problem.   Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are very effective in treating back pain, naturally. They can also be used together with traditional Western treatments to maximise your healing and recovery.   How back pain happens   There are many possible causes for back pain, including strained muscles or ligaments, often caused by improper lifting, sudden movement or traumatic injury. Other can include arthritis, structural abnormalities of the spine, or when the disks between the vertebrae bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. Depending on the specific diagnosis, back pain is generally treated with medications, physiotherapies, chiropractic care, and in some cases, surgery.   Acupuncture – A more natural approach   Practitioners of acupuncture and TCM view back pain another way. We will not only work to relieve your symptoms, but will also work to find and treat the underlying cause of your pain. In a study conducted at a Swedish hospital, doctors concluded that acupuncture provided long-term relief along with improvements in physical activity levels,...

Sciatica

  Are you suffering from back or hip pain that can radiate down your leg or calf? Is the pain worse when sitting?   You may be suffering from a condition called Sciatica. Sciatic is the pain of your sciatica nerve. The pain can be a dull ache in the lower back and hip (buttocks) that travels down the leg to the back of the knee, calf, even down to the foot. The pain can also feel like a burning sensation, shooting pain or tightness that won’t go away with treatment or rest. Sciatica is a condition that can be stubborn and difficult to treat with pain killers or other forms of complementary medicine. Acupuncture has been proved to be one of the best conservative treatment for sciatica pain. Risk Factors People at risk of suffering from Sciatica are those who have back injuries from over exertion or sports. Normally are those people who: Have manual labour jobs involving heavy lifting; Repetitive physical tasks; Sitting for long periods of time without being able to get up and walk around (e.g. driving and office jobs). Sciatica is a condition that most commonly affects men and the elderly. However it can be a problem for anyone and especially those who suffer from lower back tightness, fatigue and pain in the leg. Am I having Sciatica? Main symptoms of Sciatica are: Lower back pain or without lower back pain; Aching or burning pain in the buttock; Pain in the back of the thigh (hamstring); Pain radiated to calf, ankle and foot; Pins and needles in the buttock, hamstring, calf or foot; Increased...

Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy

One research showed acupuncture can improve pregancy rate after ART. The research is to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in assisted reproduction therapy (ART) by comparing a group of patients receiving acupuncture treatment shortly before and after embryo transfer with a control group receiving no acupuncture. After giving informed consent, 160 patients who were undergoing ART and who had good quality embryos were divided into the following two groups through random selection: embryo transfer with acupuncture (n = 80) and embryo transfer without acupuncture (n = 80). Acupuncture was performed in 80 patients 25 minutes before and after embryo transfer. In the control group, embryos were transferred without any supportive therapy. The result showed that, the clinical pregnancies rate of each group are: in the acupuncture group: 42.5% In the control group:  26.3% The research showed that acupuncture is a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART. References Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. Fertil Steril. 2002 Apr;77(4):721-4...

Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial

To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on reproductive outcome in patients treated with IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). One group of patients received acupuncture on the day of ET, another group on ET day and again 2 days later (i.e., closer to implantation day), and both groups were compared with a control group that did not receive acupuncture. DESIGN: Prospective, randomized trial. SETTING: Private fertility center. PATIENT(S): During the study period all patients receiving IVF or ICSI treatment were offered participation in the study. On the day of oocyte retrieval, patients were randomly allocated (with sealed envelopes) to receive acupuncture on the day of ET (ACU 1 group, n = 95), on that day and again 2 days later (ACU 2 group, n = 91), or no acupuncture (control group, n = 87). INTERVENTION(S): Acupuncture was performed immediately before and after ET (ACU 1 and 2 groups), with each session lasting 25 minutes; and one 25-minute session was performed 2 days later in the ACU 2 group. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Clinical pregnancy and ongoing pregnancy rates in the three groups. RESULT(S): Clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates were significantly higher in the ACU 1 group as compared with controls (37 of 95 [39%] vs. 21 of 87 [26%] and 34 of 95 [36%] vs. 19 of 87 [22%]). The clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates in the ACU 2 group (36% and 26%) were higher than in controls, but the difference did not reach statistical difference. CONCLUSION(S): Acupuncture on the day of ET significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF/ICSI, compared with no acupuncture. Repeating acupuncture on ET day +2 provided no...

Electro-acupuncture shows promise for knee arthritis

A modern twist on traditional acupuncture may bring some pain relief to people with knee arthritis, at least in the short term, a small study suggests   The study, published in the journal Pain, looked at the effects of electro-acupuncture among 40 adults with knee osteoarthritis — the common “wear-and-tear” form of arthritis in which the cartilage cushioning the joints breaks down. Electro-acupuncture is similar to traditional acupuncture, where fine needles are inserted into specific points in the skin. What’s different is that the practitioner fits the needles with clips that are attached to a small device that delivers a continuous electrical impulse to stimulate the acupuncture point. Among the patients in the current study, those who had a daily electro-acupuncture session for 10 consecutive days reported greater improvement in their pain compared with patients who received a “sham” version of the therapy. Patients in that latter group received acupuncture, but the needles were inserted at random points on the skin rather than traditional acupuncture sites. And while the needles were attached to the electrical device, it was not actually turned on. The findings suggest that true electro-acupuncture may offer at least short-term pain relief to knee arthritis sufferers, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Sadia Ahsin of the Army Medical College Rawalpindi in Pakistan. Acupuncture has been used for more than 2,000 years in Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. According to traditional medicine, specific acupuncture points on the skin are connected to internal pathways that conduct energy, or qi (“chee”), and stimulating these points with a fine needle promotes the healthy flow of...

2010 Spring News Letter

The season of change is finally here and heaven knows no one appreciates like Melbournians, I think it’s actually the reason we stay so cheery during the winter now, there a couple of things that we get as a bonus to the feeling of sun on our face and If I warn you about it now, maybe you can enjoy the change! With the sun we also get… Wind, not so affectionately referred to in Chinese Medicine as the “bearer of a hundred diseases…” demands particular respect in early spring because our protective energy, like the rest of us, is usually a little weak after winter. So, • leave your winter clothes on until well past the start of the warmer weather because the sun is out well before our environment is warm, • carry a scarf or wear a collar so you can cover your neck on windy days, it’s the area most susceptible to “wind invasion”, • if you have a history of health problems in Spring it is much easier for us to treat them before the symptoms come, And yes, I’m talking about hay fever, and asthma, and eczema or any other skin problems because it’s the skin and the Lungs that often show the first signs of an “external wind invasion”. “Stirring internal wind” is another risk of windy weather; ask the school teachers what happens to the children on windy days! Now adults are also affected, so symptoms related to the Liver function in Chinese Medicine may arise for example, insomnia, trembling hands, vertigo, migraines, some arthritic conditions and mood swings to name...

Research found acupuncture more effective for lower back pain

A German research found that acupuncture treatment for lower back pain is more effective. German doctors found that acupuncture treatment for lower back pain is more effective (almost twice) than the conventional therapy, a combination of drugs, physiotherapy and exercises. Dr. Michael Haake from the University of Regensburg, who presided over the clinic trial, said: “Acupuncture provide a effective way to treat lower back pain, and has less effects.” Acupuncture is more effective than Physical therapy In the clinical trials, Dr. Haake and his colleagues recruited 1162 patients with chronic low back pain. These patient in average have 8 years of lower back pain. These 1162 patients were divided into three groups and received 30 minutes treatment twice per week for a total five weeks. One group received acupuncture treatment; the second group received “Sham acupuncture” treatment; The last group received conventional routine treatment, a combination of drugs, physiotherapy and exercises. 6 months after treatment, a questionnaire has sent to patient who received the treatment. Of which nearly half of the patient who received acupuncture treatment (47.6%) claimed the treatment is effective, compare to the conventional therapy group, only 27.4% found the treatment helpful. The result showed that lower back pain improved after acupuncture treatment for at least 6 months. effectiveness of acupuncture was almost twice that of conventional therapy. Researchers believe acupuncture may change the mechanism of brain receiving pain signals, or acupuncture may stimulate brain to release a natural analgesic substances leading to pain relief. References: Arch Intern Med. 2007; Vol. 167 Issue 17 pp: 1892 -1898...

Acupuncture Research

Acupuncture has been employed as a health care modality for over 3,000 years. Practitioners of this ancient medical practice have experienced clinical success with a variety of health issues. Today, acupuncture is receiving wide acceptance as a respected, valid and effective form of health care. When most people think about acupuncture, they are familiar with its use for pain control. But acupuncture has a proven track record of treating and addressing a variety of endocrine, circulatory and systemic conditions. Acupuncture and modern medicine, when used together, have the potential to support, strengthen and nurture the body towards health and well-being. What is known about the physiological effects of acupuncture Over the last few decades, research has been conducted seeking to explain how acupuncture works and what it can and cannot treat. The 1997 National Institute of Health (NIH) Consensus on Acupuncture reports that “studies have demonstrated that acupuncture can cause multiple biological response, mediated mainly by sensory neurons, to many structures within the central nervous systems. This can lead to activation of pathways, affecting various physiological systems in the brain, as well as in the periphery.” The NIH Consensus also suggests that acupuncture “may activate the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, resulting in a broad spectrum of systemic effects. Alteration in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohomones, and changes in the regulation of blood flow, both centrally and peripherally, have been documented. There is also evidence of alterations in immune functions produced by acupuncture. Below are current theories on the mechanism of acupuncture: 1. Neurotransmitter Theory – Acupuncture affects higher brain areas, stimulating the secretion of betaendorphines and enkephalins...

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