Acupuncture Alexandria LLC

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By Sarah Shupe Hung L.Ac., Sep 24 2017 06:00AM

A study published by the Journal of Sleep Medicine shows acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for insomnia sufferers. The study group was composed of 72 patients with primary insomnia. Acupuncture treatments were given three times a week for four weeks and the patients were required to wear sleep monitors, as well as complete regular questionnaires. The outcomes were measured by the Insomnia Severity Index, sleep efficiency, sleep awakenings and total sleep time. The Insomnia Severity Index of the patients improved greatly, as did the sleep efficiency and the total sleep time. This study provides evidence acupuncture can be of great help to insomnia sufferers.

http://www.sleep-journal.com/article/S1389-9457(17)30093-X/fulltext

Insomnia is a pathology that affects an estimated 32 million people in the United States. Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by an inability to obtain sufficient sleep, due to difficulty falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep. Insomnia can be either acute or chronic in nature. Acute insomnia is brief and can happen because of certain stressful life circumstances. Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three times per week and continues for at least three months. Of the two, chronic insomnia is the worst to experience. Chronic insomnia can lead to fatigue, mental sluggishness, brain fog, irritability, depression, anxiety, excessive worry, difficulty focusing and even accidents.

Traditional Chinese Medicine acknowledges adequate sleep as vitally important for physical, as well as mental well-being. TCM usually views insomnia as an imbalance of energies throughout the body. These energies are known as Qi (pronounced “chee”). There are multiple energetic pathways or meridians that run through the body. A person suffering from insomnia may have imbalances in one or more of these meridians. Most typically, the imbalances occur along the heart, liver and kidney meridians. Stress, poor diet and a lack of exercise can produce a blockage or stagnation of Qi in the body. This stagnation can create heat and deplete fluids or yin in the body. One of the ways to bring balance back to these meridians is through the use of acupuncture.

Acupuncture can be used very effectively, to treat all types of sleep disorders and with none of the toxic side effects associated with medications or sleep aids. Because acupuncture is very customizable to the individual, there may also be beneficial side effects associated with the treatment of insomnia. Many patients report after receiving acupuncture treatments for insomnia they also notice an overall improvement of both their physical and mental wellness.

There is not just one set of points to treat every person with insomnia. Also the root cause of the insomnia may stem from one or multiple issues. Each person is treated holistically with TCM and their bodies are considered unique. Qi may flow differently in some people due to previous surgeries and medical implants. These are things the TCM practitioner considers before determining the treatment plan for each patient.

If you or somebody you know is suffering from insomnia, it might be worth the time to locate a properly trained and fully-licensed acupuncturist in your area. With licensed acupuncturists in nearly all fifty states, restful sleep may be just a few pin pricks away.



By Sarah Shupe Hung L.Ac., Sep 12 2017 06:47PM

One of the most common frustrations for those suffering from depression is the lack of motivation to do regular daily activities, an inability to find enjoyment and an overwhelming amount of negative thoughts. Depression cannot be simply cured by “mind over matter”, but that does not mean it can’t be treated and improved significantly. Depression is not an illness that one should have to suffer through alone, treatment and therapy can be crucial to the healing process back to better health.


Along with treatment options you may be considering, small additions to your daily routine can prove to have significant effects on lowering depression symptoms over time.


Put yourself and your mental health first

It is easy to put your health on the backburner when life gets busy and stressful. Maybe you are hating the office job you have, or you're fighting with a spouse. When life gets tough, it is easy to neglect our bodies physically and mentally. Look at life in the larger terms and understand how you take care of your health now, will affect you for years down the road. If you are suffering from depression, seeking treatment is the first step back to better quality of life and can truly make all the difference.


Get a routine going

It may be hard to keep and be motivated about a routine. However, by setting goals and habits on a daily or weekly basis, you are continuing to improve upon your condition. Just stick with it. Try to set goals for exercise, if you can go on a jog just three days a week, you’ll be boosting your serotonin, your mood and your physical health. Take time to go outside in nature and get some fresh air. Depression is hard, but getting out of your normal environment can help you get out of your head for a bit. Practicing mindfulness is something everyone should do on a daily basis. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and not the past or future. By doing so, we let go of anxieties we feel about the future or negative thoughts we have about the past, eliminating feelings of worry.


Reach out

Don’t go through this alone. Chances are there are people in your life that love and care about you very much. Although it may seem hard to reach out or socialize, being around people can help you feel more connected. It is easy to isolate yourself when depression is consuming your mind and thoughts, but talking to friends and family can have profound benefits on beginning the process to better health.


Depression is not easy, but also doesn’t mean it can’t get better. Contact a medical professional about the best treatment options for you and consider alternative treatments such as acupuncture.

By Sarah Shupe Hung L.Ac., Aug 21 2014 06:32PM

Acupuncture can help: Acupuncture has shown to help achieve a relaxing and sound sleep. Two powerful points in the ear can send you off to dreamland.


Take a moment: Make some time in your schedule for a pre-sleep relaxation ritual. Taking a hot bath just before bed has been shown to promote a deep, restful sleep. You can also add a handful of hops to the bathwater or place a small amount of dried hops wrapped in a cloth inside your pillow case. Hops are used to reduce restlessness during sleep.


Aromatherapy: Put a few drops of chamomile essential oil on your pillow just before bed. You can also use an aromatherapy diffuser or add a few drops to water in a spray bottle to disperse the scent around your bedroom.


Relax your soles: Tap the soles and both sides of the feet gently with a hairbrush for five minutes, paying special attention to the point below the ball of the foot in the center, about one-third the distance between the toes and heel.


Evening snack tips: If you choose to eat before bed, a light snack should consist of mostly carbohydrates with a small amount of protein. This combination increases the availability of tryptophan to the brain. Try eating a small bowl of low sugar oatmeal along with low fat milk. A sliced apple with a few slices of cheese can also do the trick. Avoid large amounts of protein before bed, it may keep you from falling into a sound sleep.


Want more? Read an article about sleep in my August newsletter.


By Sarah Shupe Hung L.Ac., Jul 27 2014 09:00AM


Cancer. It’s a diagnosis that no one wants to hear. It can leave you feeling frightened, uncertain, and powerless. But if you or a loved one is facing cancer, it’s important to have hope. In many cases, cancer can be cured, especially when it’s detected early. There are more treatments available now than ever before to cure cancer or slow it from spreading, relieve its symptoms, and help you live a healthier life.


It’s also important to know that you have options in addition to standard medical therapies. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of conditions. It can safely be used to naturally support your body and mind as you undergo conventional cancer treatments.






Understanding treatments and their side effect


Cancer is an overall term for a group of diseases that occur when cells begin to reproduce abnormally, eventually damaging or killing healthy tissue. Most cancers are named according to where they begin in the body, and there are more than 100 different types. The most common are breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.


Your treatment plan will be based on many factors, including the type and stage (how far it has spread) of the cancer and your overall health. While cancer treatments have proven to be effective, they do have serious side effects to take into account. The most common treatments include:


Surgery: Performed to remove the cancer if possible. Surgery may be used alone or along with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or biological therapy.


Chemotherapy: The use of medications to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy generally lasts from 3 to 9 months, and can have side effects including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, early menopause, and hot flashes.


Radiation therapy: The use of high doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells. Side effects generally include fatigue, hair loss, and skin darkening at the site of the treatment.


Biological therapy: This treatment works by boosting the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. Side effects depend on the specific type of therapy, but they can include rashes or swelling, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite.


It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a quick fix.



How acupuncture and TCM can help


Acupuncture and TCM have been used for thousands of years to maintain health and relieve symptoms. Practitioners work to treat imbalances in the body’s Qi, or vital energy, by inserting fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints.

Since acupuncture has few side effects, it can be safely used as a complement to conventional cancer treatments. In fact, in many cancer cases it’s recommended as a way to soothe and reduce side effects. According to the National Institutes of Health1, acupuncture has been found to be effective in relieving:


• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Fatigue

• Post-surgical pain


Acupuncture and TCM can also help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety, which can greatly improve your quality of life during this challenging time.






Treating the person, not just the disease


Acupuncture practitioners take a holistic, or whole-body, approach to cancer care. This means that not only will your symptoms be considered, but also your lifestyle, emotional state, and overall health. Your whole being will be taken into account, not just the cancer. When you work with your practitioner to improve your health and relieve your side effects, you are not only helping yourself get the most from conventional treatments, you’re taking back the control of your own life. By adopting some simple lifestyle changes, you will be on your way toward a healthier, happier, pain-free life.


Resources:

1. NIH Consensus Conference. Acupuncture. JAMA 280 (17): 1518-24, 1998.

Acupunct Med. doi:10.1136/aim.2011.004069. A safety and efficacy pilot study of acupuncture for the treatment of chronic lymphedema.

Cancer Biol Ther. 2010 Aug;10(4):397-405

Understanding CancerTreatment. WebMD. Accessed February 11, 2008. http://www.webmd.com/cancer/understanding-cancer-treatment

New Lung Cancer Guidelines Oppose General CT Screening - Lung Cancer Recommendations - Avoid Select Vitamins, Try Acupuncture. Chest, September 2007.

Acupuncture. American Cancer Society. May 25, 2007. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Acupuncture.asp

Comprehensive cancer care: integrating alternative, complementary, and conventional therapies. Gordon JS, Curtin S. NY: Persus Publishing, 2000.




By Sarah Shupe Hung L.Ac., Jul 22 2014 12:25AM




Movie stars demand it. Professional athletes swear by it. And now the masses are discovering the ancient “secret” to enhanced beauty, a stronger immune system, increased mental and physical performance, and drugless recovery from chronic illness. Often regarded throughout the West as a mysterious form of pain relief, acupuncture is so much more than that! Here are just a few celebrities who love acupuncture, and why they use it.


Sandra Bullock reportedly demands that acupuncture be included in her contract with studios, whether she's at home or on set. Studios gladly foot the bill for her thrice-a-week treatments. According to one source, Bullock has needles placed in her forehead, face, stomach, and feet, and believes it helps her look more youthful and feel healthier in general.


Cosmetic acupuncture, a specialized method of acupuncture that aims to reduce wrinkles, balance oily or dry skin, clear acne, eliminate shadows under the eyes, get rid of puffiness, and bring a healthy color to the face by stimulating circulation, is hot among a number of celebs (as well as ordinary people who just want to look as great as their favorite celebs). Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Sean Connery, and Madonna keep looking gorgeous in the spotlight thanks to their acupuncturist!



In addition to helping celebrities look youthful without going under the knife, acupuncture also helps them get slim and trim or events where paparazzi are sure to be snapping photos of everybody's bare triceps as they wave. Jennifer Lopez used acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help her lose 15 pounds. According to OK Magazine, one source revealed that Lopez has “been gushing about how obsessed she is with acupuncture and herbs.” Acupuncture can assist with weight loss by stimulating the body to balance its hormones and stimulate a sluggish metabolism. The relaxation brought about by acupuncture can greatly improve sleep quality, which assists with building lean muscle and reducing a voracious appetite for unhealthy foods.


Robert Downey, Jr., told one source that acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine has impacted all areas of his life a several years. “I confess that I am as close to being a Chinese-American as any Caucasian ever could be in his life,” he said. In addition to acupuncture, Downey utilizes Chinese herbal medicine and practices qigong.


Or Gwyneth Paltrow, acupuncture is not just about the physical benefits. According to her, acupuncture has brought her to a higher state of consciousness. The positive influence of acupuncture on her mental and spiritual well-being has helped her in her marriage, and it has helped her cope with her father's death. Paltrow told Oprah, “I have been a big fan of Chinese Medicine for a long time because it works.”


Supermodel Elle McPherson eschews new fads for tried and trusted ancient remedies. She sees a Chinese Medicine doctor or acupuncture on a regular basis, and she prefers to use herbal preparations for her ailments instead of reaching for pills. McPherson reports that she looks after her body from a Chinese Medicine perspective, which she believes promotes optimal health.


Celebrities and top performers are not going to waste their time on therapies that simply don't work. The fact that many of Hollywood's elite take advantage of the healing and restorative powers of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is a sign that it's a superior method of healthcare. The spectacular news is that acupuncture and herbs are very affordable to the average American.






Sarah's Wellness Blog

Welcome to my blog

 

My name is Sarah Shupe Hung and I'm a licensed acupuncturist working in Northern Virginia.  My goal with the blog is to bring you current information on acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, as well as other health related topics like nutrition, meditation, and exercise.  Feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions.  

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