Welcome to IMB Acupuncture Blogger!

I have been served Greater Los Angeles community since 2003 as a Licensed Acupuncturist. I hope that this infomative blogger can help people with pain from simple strain to complicated herniated disk and Frozen Shoulder. While I've been in this pain specialized field for more than 10 years, I have helped thousands of people to pain free. David B Chung LAc.

IMB Acupuncture
698 S. Vermont Ave #210
Los Angeles, CA 90005


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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Acupuncture Good for Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) affects an estimated 2 percent of the population. Conventional therapies are limited in the success of treating this complex and unexplained condition. Current treatment is largely comprised of prescribing different medications for the varying symptoms in a trial and error approach. Research shows that as many as 90 percent of people with fibromyalgia have turned to complementary and alternative medicine to manage their symptoms. Acupuncture, in particular, has become a popular treatment choice and has shown to be an effective treatment for FMS.

What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome?

Fibromyalgia is a medically unexplained syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain, a heightened and painful response to pressure, insomnia, fatigue, and depression. While not all affected persons experience all associated symptoms, the following symptoms commonly occur together:

• chronic pain
• debilitating fatigue
• difficulty sleeping
• anxiety and depression
• joint stiffness
• chronic headaches and jaw pain
• difficulty swallowing
• dryness in mouth, nose, and eyes
• hypersensitivity to odors, bright lights, and loud noises
• inability to concentrate (called "fibro fog")
• incontinence
• irritable bowel syndrome
• numbness or tingling in the fingers and feet
• painful menstrual cramps
• poor circulation in hands and feet (called Raynaud's phenomenon)
• restless legs syndrome

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed when there is a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a minimum duration of three months and pain when pressure is applied to at least 11 of 18 designated tender points on the body. This condition does not result in any physical damage to the body or its tissues and there are no laboratory tests which can confirm this diagnosis.

Symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event. Women are more prone to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age.

From an Eastern Perspective

The Oriental medicine theory of pain is expressed in this famous Chinese saying: "Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong" which means "free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain."

Pain is seen as a disruption of the flow of Qi within the body. The disruption of Qi that results in fibromyalgia is usually associated with disharmonies of the Liver, Spleen, Kidney and Heart Systems.

The Acupuncture Treatment

Oriental Medicine does not recognize fibromyalgia as one particular disease pattern. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual depending on their constitution, emotional state, intensity and location of their pain, digestive health, sleeping patterns and an array of other signs and symptoms. Therefore, if 10 people are treated with Oriental medicine for fibromyalgia, each of these 10 people will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs and different lifestyle and dietary recommendations.

Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia are highly variable form one person to another, a wide array of traditional and alternative treatments has been shown to be the most effective way of treating this difficult syndrome. A treatment program may include a combination of psychological or behavioral therapies, medications, exercise, acupuncture, herbal medicine and bodywork.

If you have fibromyalgia, acupuncture and Oriental medicine may be what you’ve been looking for to ease your symptoms and reclaim your health and vitality. Please call for a consultation today.

Acupuncture for back pain?


from J. D. Bartleson, M.D. Mayo Clinic back pain specialist
When performed properly by trained practitioners, acupuncture has proved to be an effective therapy for back pain. Several studies have found that acupuncture can help reduce chronic back pain and improve daily function.
Acupuncture for back pain involves inserting very thin needles to various depths into strategic points on your body. This is thought to balance the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (pronounced chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body.
Scientists don't fully understand how or why acupuncture affects the amount of pain you feel. Several studies have found that acupuncture causes the same effects as sham (minimal or simulated) acupuncture used in some studies for comparison. Sham acupuncture involves tapping the skin with a toothpick at the same strategic points used in acupuncture to simulate the insertion of a needle. Sham acupuncture may not be an accurate way of studying the benefits of acupuncture, however, because it's possible that acupuncture points can be stimulated by even surface pressure. Both acupuncture and sham acupuncture showed improvement over usual medical treatments.
Acupuncture is generally recognized as safe if done by a competent, certified acupuncture practitioner. Possible side effects and complications can occur, which include soreness, bleeding, infection or bruising at the needle sites.

Acupuncture Stops Shoulder Pain?

There has been a great deal of controversy over the effectiveness of acupuncture for pain related conditions. Can acupuncture stop shoulder pain? A randomized, blinded, patient-blinded, multi-center research report published its conclusions. Researchers at Ruhr-University Bochum (Orthopedic Surgery and Research) conclude that acupuncture is an effective alternative to conventional orthopedic treatments for chronic shoulder pain. The specifics of the results draw clear demarcations.
A total of 424 patients were studied in 31 orthopedist offices. Each received 15 treatments over a period of 6 weeks. The orthopedists were trained in acupuncture and administered the acupuncture treatments. Three groups were compared. The first group of patients received textbook acupuncture (verum acupuncture). The next group received non-relevant needle puncture (sham acupuncture). The final group received conventional orthopedic care.
Results showed greater range of motion including abduction and arm-above-head-test for the acupuncture group over the sham and orthopedic groups. Pain level reductions were also assessed.
Three Month Follow-Up
The verum acupuncture group had a 65 percent recovery rate. The sham acupuncture group had a 24 percent recovery rate, and the orthopedic group had a 37 percent recovery rate measured three months following the cessation of acupuncture care.
Immediate Follow-Up
The verum acupuncture group had a 68 percent recovery rate. The sham acupuncture group had a 40 percent recovery rate, and the orthopedic group had a 28 percent recovery rate measured immediately following the cessation of acupuncture care. In both cases, the patients receiving acupuncture demonstrated the most clinically significant recovery rates.

Pain. 2010 Oct;151(1):146-54. Epub 2010 Jul 23. German Randomized Acupuncture Trial for chronic shoulder pain (GRASP) - a pragmatic, controlled, patient-blinded, multi-centre trial in an outpatient care environment. Molsberger AF, Schneider T, Gotthardt H, Drabik A.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Acupuncture has been reported to be effective for the treatment of frozen shoulder or shoulder arthritis.

 In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is termed ‘shoulder at the age of 50 years’.
Frozen shoulder is used to denote a limitation of shoulder motion, without abnormalities of the joint surface, fracture, or dislocation. The onset of frozen shoulder is usually gradual and idiopathic, but it may be acute and associated with a previous history of minor injury to the shoulder joint. The disease occurs mainly in middle-aged individuals and is usually self-limiting, but the duration and severity may vary greatly.

 Acupuncture has been used for the treatment of clinical disorders in Asia for more than 5000 years.
 It is now also valued in modern medical practice as a therapy for many medical problems, particularly where current western medicine is either ineffective or contraindicated. Acupuncture has gained increasing attention with respect to the treatment of chronic pain. Lewith and Machin’s review of the efficacy of acupuncture therapy for chronic pain concluded that ‘real’ acupuncture treatment was significantly better than both ‘sham’ acupuncture and placebo.

Moreover, acupuncture has been shown to cause fewer adverse reactions than the use of opioid analgesics and antiinflammatory medications. Richardson and Vincent found good evidence from controlled studies that acupuncture provided effective, short-term pain relief, for both acute and chronic pain.

 Classical acupuncture prescriptions for frozen shoulder are designed—by selection of local, distal, and tender (ashi) points according to the course of the meridians—to relax the muscles, disperse pathogenic factors such as excess wind, cold, and dampness,
remove obstruction in the affected meridians and their collaterals, and to regulate the Qi and blood.
 A combination of local and distal classical Chinese acupoints are commonly used for the treatment of frozen shoulder.45 Local points include GB 21 (jianjing), LI 15 (jianyu), LI 14 (Binao), TE 14 (jianliao), and SI 9 (jianzhen). Distal points utilised are LI 4 (hegu), LI 11
(Quchi), St 38 (Tiaokou),37,46 GB 34 (Yanglingquan),39 and Zhongping.36 Zhongping is an extra acupoint lying along the stomach meridian, the so-called Yang Ming Meridian.

 The stomach meridian has its Qi running across the shoulder. It is a Yang meridian
in balance with its Yin counterpart, an imbalance of which can cause the Bi syndrome.

 Acupuncture applied to this acupoint can relax the tendon and remove obstruction in the meridians to relieve pain. Contralateral needling, characterised by the contralateral selection of points is very effective in the treatment of shoulder pain. The mechanism of
action is possibly the stimulation of Shu points, and hence the meridians and collaterals, on the healthy side. This, in turn, is thought to excite the meridians and collaterals on the affected side, which have been in a state of stagnation of Qi and blood, thus, to an extent, clearing and activating the meridians and collaterals, and relieving pain.

 According to TCM, if a part of the body is not moved, then the Qi will not circulate through it, leading to stagnation. If this occurs in the shoulder joint, the joint becomes stiff and painful. Physical exercise is important in harmonising the body (Yin) and the spirit (Yang), as well as the Qi, helping to clear and activate the meridians and collaterals. This is essential for internal harmony between various organ systems, as well as between the body and the natural environment.

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is a common, but ill-understood disorder. It affects
the glenohumeral joint, possibly involving a non-specific chronic inflammatory
reaction, mainly of the subsynovial tissue, resulting in capsular
and synovial thickening. It has a number of medical synonyms including
scapulo-humeral periarthritis, adhesive capsulitis, periarthritis, pericapsulitis,
stiff shoulder, and obliterative bursitis. In traditional Chinese
medicine (TCM), it is termed ‘shoulder at the age of 50 years’.
Frozen shoulder is used to denote a limitation of shoulder motion,
without abnormalities of the joint surface, fracture, or dislocation. The
onset of frozen shoulder is usually gradual and idiopathic, but it may be
acute and associated with a previous history of minor injury to the shoulder
joint. The disease occurs mainly in middle-aged individuals and is usually
self-limiting, but the duration and severity may vary greatly.

Most patients recover within 2 years of the onset, although
for some symptoms may last longer. The clinical
picture of frozen shoulder is characterised by pain and
restriction of the range of active and passive motion of
the shoulder. Pain, which can be severe, may cause
pronounced sleep disturbance. Restriction of the range
of motion is usually more marked with external
rotation, but less prominent with abduction and
internal rotation.

Information on the conventional treatment and prognosis of
frozen shoulder is inadequate and based largely on
individual practice experience rather than randomised
controlled clinical trials. There is as yet no definitive
agreement on the most effective form of treatment.
Initial treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation and
increasing the range of movement. Thus analgesic and
anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used. Most
types of treatment focus primarily on restoration of
mobility. Although physical therapies such as massage,
heat application, ultrasound, interferential treatment,
osteopathic and chiropractic techniques, and
stretching and isometric exercise therapy are routinely
prescribed, the efficacy is variable. Controversial
results are reported with manipulation under anaesthesia,
distension arthrography, and arthroscopic
surgery. In osteoporotic or postsurgical frozen
shoulder, an open release with lysis of adhesions and
capsule release is recommended. Intra-articular
corticosteroid injection, and suprascapular nerve
block have also been strongly advocated. Metaanalysis
of randomised controlled trials evaluating
interventions for painful shoulder from 1966 to 1995,
however, failed to find evidence to support or refute
the efficacy of these interventions.

Acupuncturists in the United States

Acupuncturists in the United States are required to attend a four-year graduate level, accredited program to be licensed. Each state has their own licensure agencies and confer different titles ranging from the Acupuncture Physician in Florida to Licensed Acupuncturist in Oregon. The abbreviation "Dipl. Ac." stands for "Diplomate of Acupuncture" and signifies that the holder is board-certified by the NCCAOM. Twenty-three states require certification, according to that body.

A poll of American doctors in 2005 showed that 59% believe acupuncture was at least somewhat effective for treatment of pain. In 1996, the United States Food and Drug Administration changed the status of acupuncture needles from Class III to Class II medical devices, meaning that needles are regarded as safe and effective when used appropriately by licensed practitioners. As of 2004, nearly 50% of Americans who were enrolled in employer health insurance plans were covered for acupuncture treatments.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an alternative medicine methodology originating in ancient China that treats patients by manipulating thin, solid needles that have been inserted into acupuncture points in the skin. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians. Current scientific research supports acupuncture's efficacy in the relief of certain types of pain and post-operative nausea.

 The use of acupuncture for certain conditions has been tentatively endorsed by the United States National Institutes of Health, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, the World Health Organization, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

There is general agreement that acupuncture is safe when administered by well-trained practitioners using sterile needles but does carry a small (five in one million) risk of serious adverse effects.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia