How Acupuncture Can Rejuvenate Your Face

Cosmetic Acupuncture is about the association of beauty and health. Yes, the focus is on the face but TCM have always appreciated that an internal balance of the body is reflected in the outward appearance. For this reason, acupuncture for facial rejuvenation also involves dietary and lifestyle recommendations as well as treating any underlying deficiency or excess, which will better able to help achieve a balance.

With time, the subcutaneous tissues of our skin becomes and less and our skin becomes, thinner, drier and less elastic. Wrinkles and crease lines develop. Environmental factors and smoking can also damage or skin.

Very small needles inserted in the depressed lines causes a small amount of microtrauma. The body’s normal physiological response to trauma is to restore and heal. The body achieves this by increasing the circulation to the area and bringing more collagen and elastin to the site. Elastin is responsible for the stretchy nature of the skin whilst whilst collagen is more like a supportive filler. By so doing, the facial skin lines are gradually filled out.

Because facial acupuncture brings more blood supply to the face the skin usually appear more radiant after the procedure. It is not necessary to wait for facial lines to develop facial acupuncture may also be done as a preventative measure.

 

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Improving your digestion for the new year!

Digestive issues are often a common complaint of my patients along with the desire to lose weight.
My patients ask me how come my metabolism is so slow; “I exercise and I am eating healthier but the weight doesn’t come off.” And in large part this has to do with how healthy your diet is and  how well the digestive system (Stomach/Spleen organs) are functioning. Moreover, many feel pressure and the stress of  change for the start of the new year  to eat healthy and stay slim; for this we need to treat the Liver to improve qi flow and provide calm and focus. Signs of digestive imbalances are bloating, indigestion, acid reflux,  constipation, loose stool, and much more. Patients with these imbalances will have a harder time to lose weight so the priority would be to correct these issues and then gradually focus on weight loss. One safe, natural, and effective way to improve digestive function is with Acupuncture. and Chinese Herbs to strengthen the digestive system while harmonizing the body. Once the your digestive imbalances are resolved we can then start to work on healthy realistic weight reduction goals.

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Natural Relief from Acid Reflux with Acupuncture

It’s been said that over 60 million Americans suffer with acid reflux at least once a month. Acid reflux or Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) symptoms  include painful heartburn, acid regurgitation, nausea, and upper abdominal bloating. Complications from heartburn may include esophageal bleeding, pain during swallowing, ulceration and Barrett’s esophagus (a pre-cancerous lining of the esophagus).

Acid reflex symptoms indicate in Chinese Medicine an imbalance in the  Stomach system; mostly caused by stress or  eating the wrong foods that are spicy.  We call this  stomach qi or energy is rebellious  or rising where  stomach acid instead of normally staying in the stomach ascends out into the esophagus. Two common energy imbalances related to acid regurgitation include Stomach Fire and Liver Qi attacking the Stomach. Stomach Fire occurs when too much heat overflows into the Stomach. Liver Qi invading the Stomach (people under a lot of stress) occurs when the Liver energy impairs the Stomach descending function resulting in acid regurgitation.

Western medical treatment for GERD includes calcium tablets (TUMS) and proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Acifex, and Protonix. Long term use of these overly prescribed medications include constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, abdominal pain, dizziness, headaches, nausea, rashes, breast enlargement in men, anemia, and bone loss.

For patients seeking natural relief from GERD, we recommend natural healing with Chinese Medicine that includes relaxing acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbals as well as dietary and lifestyle changes. Lifestyle recommendations such as eliminating tobacco use and alcohol, refraining from eating before bedtime, avoiding fast foods or spicy foods, and avoiding coffee.

 

If you want these effective solutions to your acid reflux issues, please call us for a free 20 min consultation at 713-721-7755.

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Joint Pain

Cold Bi syndrome of the thumb joint

By: George Huang LAc, MAOM

 

With the extreme changes in weather from warm to cold, I have been treating patients with joint pain and swelling of the thumb distal joint or DIP. For joint pain that worsens with cold weather either damp or windy or both weather conditions, I recommend using a heating pad around the joints instead of cold pack to help warm the joint and improve blood circulation to the joint. Pain that is related to cold weather is called Cold Bi syndrome; cold wind, damp, or both.

Heating pads or soaking in a warm bath will feel a lot better and overall, help in reducing pain and swelling of these joints.

In addition to using heat for self care at home, you may use Acupuncture to help improve blood circulation to the thumb joints.

I apply moxa spray or the warming herb Ai ye to the joints affected under a comfortable heating lamp. For the thumb joint swelling and pain, I will select points on the dorsal muscle web or LI 4 area between the thumb and index finger; I can also use a point on the palmar thumb pad and another point distal to the pisiform bone called Mu Guan and Gu Guan. Both are good for swollen joint issues. I may also select points on the big toe and LV 2,3 area of the foot to image the thumb joint.

These point combos usually are sufficient in helping with thumb joint pain management due to cold bi syndrome. To help further I use Golden Flower patent formula, Chase wind penetrate bone, to remove the painful obstruction of the thumb DIP, and reduce joint swelling.

If you are experiencing joint pain due to these cold weather changes, please contact me at 713-721-7755.

I am experienced in using Dr. Tan’s Balance Method, Master Tung , and TCM to help manage your pain whether it be joint, neck, shoulder, knee, low back and sciatica pain.

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Weight Management

Acupuncture is a safe approach to managing weight and reducing obesity. It can help with gradual weight loss by regulating and strengthening the digestive system or stomach and spleen channels in Chinese Medicine. This in turn will increase metabolism and energy, and help eliminate the accumulation of water and dampness or what we call fat in the west.Plus, the extra energy boost can help you to get to the gym more often!It is important to remember that there is no magic bullet for weight reduction but a change in lifestyle to include regular exercise and proper diet is essential.

Acupuncture can gently and effectively help with this lifestyle change. Moreover, we also can prescribe herbal formulas that can also bolster the weight reduction process and help with stress as well.

OK! magazine has written that famed actress, Jennifer Lopez uses acupuncture for weight loss and after undergoing the treatment program, she lost 15 pounds. With such a strong  desire to change her lifestyle, she was able to shed the pounds.

Many have tried and with strong commitment and our support, you can succeed, too!

This summer we have a very special “limited time” program that can help you lose weight.

We are offering 3 sessions each of acupuncture,  fitness training, and 3 sessions with a nutritionist to to jump start your weight loss goals.

Please call us today to get started at:
713-721-7755
George Huang LAc, MAOM
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Acupuncture for Knee Pain and Flexibility

My mother loves to tell her orthopedic doctors about why she is still walking. According to her xrays, she should not be able to walk at all. They all said it’s not a matter of if, but when she will need a knee replacement. Mom has been getting acupuncture treatments for her bad knees. It all started when her original bad knee (from a childhood skiing accident) was reinjured after slipping on some ice about twelve years ago. As she limped along favoring her bad knee, she damaged her good knee. So, two bad knees. A friend of hers suggested going for acupunture. Ironically, she started the acupuncture about the same time I went to get my degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She may still need to get a knee replacement at some point, but in the meantime, she is walking, virtually pain free about 85% of the time. So, the doctors keep saying, not yet…

The article below suggests via research that acupuncture is a good option for treating knee pain.

A new study concludes that acupuncture reduces knee pain and increases mobility for patients with osteoarthritis. This new randomized, controlled, double-blinded study also revealed some differences in acupuncture treatments. The researchers compared non-specific (sham) needling, modern acupuncture and classical acupuncture treatments.

The results showed that sham acupuncture only achieved a patient pain reduction rate in 48% of patients while modern acupuncture achieved a 64% rate and classical acupuncture achieved a 73% rate. Sham acupuncture did not improve knee mobility but modern and classical acupuncture made significant, measurable improvements in knee mobility. The researchers concluded that there is “a specific effect of acupuncture in knee mobility.” The researchers also note, “With respect to knee motility, individualised classical acupuncture achieved twice the effect of semistandardised modern acupuncture.”

Acupuncture for Knees
The sham acupuncture bodily points were those not specifically noted for the treatment of knee pain in Chinese medicine texts. The modern acupuncture points were those suggested based on the biomedical condition of knee osteoarthritis. The acupuncture points were: ST36, ST34, EX32, SP9, SP10, SP6, GB34, LI4. The classical acupuncture points chosen were based on a customized differential diagnosis based on tissue tenderness, tongue diagnosis, pulse diagnosis, syndrome differentiation and symptoms. Needles chose for the study in all cases were 0.22 X 40mm copper needles. Ear and hand points were excluded from the study. Needle stimulation was applied and needle retention was a total of 30 minutes per treatment.

The researchers note, “This suggests a considerable specific effect of acupuncture in objective knee flexibility, an effect that appears to be method-specific as well… we observed a rapid improvement of knee flexibility immediately after classical acupuncture, which was twice the effect observed after modern acupuncture and absent after non-specific needling.”

This is not the first study showing the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of knee disorders. One recent study discovered that acupuncture is more effective than both sham acupuncture and biomedicine for the treatment of knee pain. A meta-analysis of 14 random controlled clinical trials involving 3,835 patients states, “Acupuncture provided significantly better relief from knee osteoarthritis pain and a larger improvement in function than sham acupuncture, standard care treatment, or waiting for further treatment.” The study notes that acupuncture for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis is “better at relieving pain and restoring function” than both standard biomedical care and sham acupuncture.

References:
Max Karner, Frank Brazkiewicz, Andrew Remppis, et al., “Objectifying Specific and Nonspecific Effects of Acupuncture: A Double-Blinded Randomised Trial in Osteoarthritis of the Knee,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 427265, 7 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/427265

Sau. Med J. 2012 May;33(5):526-32. Needle acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee. A systematic review and updated meta-analysis. Cao L, Zhang XL, Gao YS, Jiang Y. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China.

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Doctor Heal Thyself

Over one month ago I was eagerly picking Satsuma oranges off the drooping branches of the tree in my backyard. I was excited to have a big bowl of this delicious fruit in the office to give to patients as they checked out. I had my arms full with harvest and was walking over to put the oranges into a nearby bag when I tripped over a brick and twisted my ankle. Historically, when I’ve stepped funny or slightly twisted my ankle, I’ve been able to shake or walk it off. But this time was different. I couldn’t put any weight on my foot and I had that sick feeling that I did some damage.

I was scheduled to start seeing patients shortly after I fell, so I quickly iced the ankle and then wrapped it in an ace bandage. I hobbled to the office and remembered that my associate David would be there seeing some patients. What a stroke of good luck, as I knew I was in trouble and needed to have my ankle treated ASAP.

So, like a good girl, I had David treat my ankle two times that week and just assumed the healing would take place and it would be better in no time. I did go to the podiatrist the next day who confirmed my fears of having done ligament damage to the outer ankle and also to the inside tendons. He put me in a soft cast for a week and then told me to keep it iced and wrapped.

Since I rarely get sick or hurt, I just assumed after a couple of weeks I’d be back and up to my usual walking ability. Well, a good month or so later, I was still in pain. Not only was the outside of my ankle still swollen and tender, I was having horrible pain along the inside part of my arch and heel. I was having great difficulty walking as well as finding shoes that did not hurt as I am on my feet pretty much all day long.

I decided to go back to the podiatrist and suggest an x-ray since I was in so much pain. He did a few movements with my foot and concluded that there were no stress fractures or broken bones, but that the ligament damage would take months—emphasis on the “s”—to fully heal. His suggestion to me was, (get this): get acupuncture treatments two times per week for a few weeks and it will speed up the healing process.

Of course I laughed because that is exactly what I would tell my patients. I started off right with two treatments immediately after the fall, but I didn’t stay with it. Silly me, thinking I would be different and would heal faster than most people. After the doctor’s wise counsel, I went back to the office with my tail between my legs and told David what the podiatrist told me. We all had a good laugh at the obvious recommendation.

As I was lying on the table yesterday during my treatment, it occurred to me that I needed to share this experience about the healer needing to heal herself. After four treatments and taking the ankle herbal formula, I suddenly realized that I had not taken any Aleve in two days and that I wasn’t limping quite as much.

I am not completely pain free, but I can honestly say that my pain is down from a seven or eight out of ten to a two out of ten, and that it is no longer necessary to take pain pills. The moral of the story is that the healer as well as the patient must follow up and be consistent with acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture is a wonderful facilitator of healing; I know it to be true from my patients. I just had not needed it myself until now. It’s what I tell patients all the time. I just needed to listen to my own advice.

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