Acupuncture pain relief
Acupuncture

Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study – NYTimes.com

“In conclusion, we found acupuncture to be superior to both no-acupuncture control and sham acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain.”

Article

Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study – NYTimes.com.

Meta-Analysis Cited

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain, Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis

Key Points

  • True acupuncture outperformed sham acupuncture and no-acupuncture controls in the treatment of chronic:
    • back pain
    • neck pain
    • osteoarthritis
    • headache
    • shoulder pain.
  • In studying 29 randomized controlled trials of roughly 1800 patients, researchers concluded that the pain relief found from acupuncture treatment is more than just placebo effect.
  • “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is therefore a reasonable referral option.”

Not all acupuncture is the same

Aiguille d acupuncture avec regle.dsc02265.untilted+cropped+WB Most people don’t know there are many different types of acupuncture: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Japanese, Korean, 5-Element, Classical, trigger point and more. The technique between these practices can be very, very different. Differences may include:

  • Number of needles: Typically a practitioner will use no more than 8 in a treatment on the conservative end to over 30 in a single session.
  • Size of needles: On the finer end, a practitioner might use a needle .16mm in width, going up to about .30mm (still about a third the width of a sewing needle).
  • Needle retention: Needles can be left in for only a matter of seconds, or up to 45 minutes or longer.
  • Needle placement/location: Some practices will have preferences for distal points, local points, hands-only points, ear-only points, etc. Needle placement doesn’t have to be the same for two practitioners to both get great results from treatment.
  • Qi response: Some practitioners will want a strong “qi response” (think: zinger!) while others will just watch for changes in your breathing.

So, if you think you’ve tried acupuncture, I’d encourage you to consider the breadth of the practice. Don’t give up until you find the right match for you and your condition!

More on Acupuncture and Pain Relief

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Chinese Herbs & Supplements, Reiki

“Gluten Sensitivity” May Be a Misnomer for Distinct Illnesses to Various Wheat Proteins (Article, Scientific American)

Gluten Sensitivity

I remember about ten years ago I started hearing and meeting more people with celiac disease. And then a few years after that it was non-celiac gluten sensitivity. And now recently, as highlighted in the latest Scientific American (“Gluten Sensitivity” May Be a Misnomer for Distinct Illnesses to Various Wheat Proteins), it’s becoming more apparent that isolating gluten might be missing the point; “it might be better to call it nonceliac wheat sensitivity.”

What is gluten?

Gluten is comprised of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin; these proteins are found in the wheat endosperm and are responsible for the elasticity of the dough. Interestingly enough, “[t]hough ‘true gluten’ is sometimes defined as being specific to wheat, gluten is often said to be part of other cereal grains — including rye, barley and various crossbreeds — because these grains also contain protein composites made from prolamins and glutelins.

How is wheat problematic?

Wheat is problematic for different people for different reasons. For instance, some might experience it as a:

    • Genetic Autoimmune Disease

The proteins found in wheat can damage the small intestine in those with Celiac Disease. As this disease affects the absorption of nutrients from food, its complications can be quite serious. Symptoms of Celiac Disease beyond GI distress may include anemia, osteoporosis, reproductive health issues, and chronic fatigue.

    • Non-Specific Immune Response

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is not currently considered genetic; however, in many ways it mimics the same symptoms of Celiac Disease, to a lesser degree. Many people complain of ‘brain fog’ in addition to other common complaints of abdominal pain, fatigue, headaches, etc (symptoms that cease with a wheat-free diet). To learn more about the difference between Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, read this informational piece by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

    • Metabolic Food Disorder

Some folks with Fructose Malabsorption may be sensitive to fructans (a type of carbohydrate, and fructose chain) in wheat, but not gluten. The body cannot break down fructans (we’re missing the necessary enzymes); but the bacteria in our gut have no problem noshing on it. As a byproduct of their feast, a person can experience very painful gas, diarrhea, constipation, brain fog and even depression. To learn more about fructans, visit Food-Info or Food Intolerance Diagnostics.

Next Steps

If you think your diet might be negatively affecting your health, a great place to start is working with a good dietitian or Naturopath. Chinese herbs can also be very helpful for treating the side effects of sensitivity, such as fatigue, bloating, diarrhea, etc. Meanwhile, it’s not uncommon for there to be underlying emotional aspects, such as when one is ‘trying to stomach’ more than one can handle. For this aspect of healing, Reiki energy work can be invaluable.

Have you or has someone you know been affected by wheat allergy or sensitivity? What words of advice would you want to pass on to the uneducated?

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