Patient Help Sheet –
TCM for Neurological Disorders
Neurological disorders cover a wide swath of health issues. Everything from headaches to seizures, strokes to Alzheimer’s disease, and a whole lot of stuff in between fall under the category of neurological disorders. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 1 billion people suffer worldwide from some sort of neurological disease or disorder. And depending on the disorder, there is usually not a lot of hope for those suffering that they will ever recover. This leads to a lot of depression, anxiety, insomnia and other afflictions that can develop from being diagnosed with a neurological disorder.Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) looks at this and most other problems, from a much different angle. At the very base of our being is the cell. And when the cell is broken down even further, it literally can be translated into energy. Energy in TCM is sometimes called Qi (pronounced “chee”). While neurological diseases manifest frequently in the brain, the chances are high that they may actually begin somewhere else in the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine treats the patient holistically instead of compartmentalizing the issues. This leads to a greater overall and fully customized treatment plan for each patient. TCM utilizes many different treatment modalities to help the patient get better, including acupuncture, herbs and herbal formulas and even nutrition. Here are some ways that TCM can help those suffering with neurological disorders. Acupuncture for Neurological Disorders: Acupuncture is just one of the tools in the Traditional Chinese Medicine toolbox. Specifically, acupuncture works with the nervous system in the body to regenerate cells and promote healing. The use of specific acupuncture points can create a closed circuit between the point and the neurologic control center in the brain. By giving the body and brain the necessary tools, the two can work in conjunction to heal the body. From a scientific perspective, acupuncture shifts and moves energy, while stimulating blood flow and increasing cellular level oxygen. Acupuncture Points for Neurological Disorders:Du 20 - Located on the top of the head, midway between the apexes of both ears. Du 20 has been noted to improve mental clarity and awareness, while also enhancing memory. Du 20 is used frequently to treat stroke, epilepsy, and dementia.Kidney 1 - Located on the bottom of the foot, at the junction of the anterior one third and posterior two thirds of the line connecting the base of the second and third toes and the heel. Kidney 1 can sedate and calm the mind, while also regulating blood flow to the upper part of the body, aka the brain. Heart 7 – This point is located on the under and outer side of the arm, at the wrist crease. Heart 7 is used to treat mania, epilepsy and dementia.Chinese Herbal Formulas for Neurological Disorders: Combinations of herbs, known as formulas are used frequently in TCM. One such formula used to treat neurological disorders is Tian Wan Bu Xin Dan. This formula treats long term brain disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. The herbs in this formula stimulate the production of blood flow to the brain. Nutrition for Neurological Disorders:
A healthy diet will keep the brain and the body functioning properly while reducing the risk of developing a serious neurological disorder. Even things like chronic headaches can sometimes be cured just by supplementing magnesium into the diet. Nutrients like omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin B12, amino acids, and folate are all crucial when it comes to brain health. Being deficient in even just one of these can lead to memory loss, tremors or other debilitating symptoms. Foods like fish, avocados, hemp seed, flax seed, whole grain bread and a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables will provide the nutritional components listed above. As you can see, TCM is a great way to deal with neurological disorders. If you are having difficulties in dealing with these types of issues, contact me and we will figure out what we can do for you.
New York Sports Acupuncture
Dr. Bishara Wilson, DACM, L.Ac.
Patient Help Sheet – Handling Stress
The dictionary defines stress in multiple ways, but there is only one that matters when we discuss how stress affects our physical bodies. Stress is defined as a physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stress actually does have a function in our bodies, it’s the body’s way of signaling for help or a break in the routine. If we don’t listen to these signals, we can develop imbalances in our bodies, which can lead to illnesses.
Cortisol is the hormone most closely related to stress. Cortisol is a big component of the “fight or flight” response we feel when we are scared or threatened. In small bursts, cortisol is helpful. However, when stress becomes chronic, then the cortisol levels become elevated. This puts the body in a constant state of being on edge, eventually causing insomnia, depression, anxiety, digestive issues and mental illness. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) provides many ways of combating stress and keeping our minds focused. Here are a few examples of how this ancient medical system can help.
Acupuncture for Stress: Acupuncture acts like physical therapy for the nervous system. The tiny needles retrain the nervous system and the brain to behave as it should normally. For the nervous system to act and respond accordingly, cortisol has to be at normal levels and only used when a true “fight or flight” situation occurs. Studies show acupuncture does this. Acupuncture also helps reduce stress by keeping the heart rate normal. When the body is stressed, the heart tends to pump faster and in some cases, a person may even develop palpitations. The heart rate is closely connected to the vagus nerve. If the vagus nerve is stimulated, so too will the heart rate. There are specific acupressure points on the arms and hands that can calm the vagus nerve and the heart.
Acupuncture Points for Stress:• Yin Tang - Yin Tang is located directly between the inner edges of the eyebrows. It is a reflex point of the pituitary gland. Yin Tang calms the mind and relaxes the body by helping control hormone secretions.• Kidney 1 - Kidney 1 is located on the bottom of the foot, at the junction of the anterior one third and posterior two thirds of the line connecting the base of the second and third toes and the heel. Kidney 1 can sedate and calm the mind, while also regulating blood flow to the upper part of the body, aka the brain. • Du 20 - This point is located on the top of the head, midway between the apexes of both ears. Du 20 has been noted to improve mental clarity and awareness, while also enhancing memory. Chinese Herbal Formulas for Stress: Combinations of herbs, known as formulas are used frequently in TCM. Xiao Yao San is a popular TCM formula used frequently to address stress. This formula is knowns as “Free and Easy Wanderer” because it helps remove any stagnation in the energetic pathways that can lead to stress and difficulty focusing or staying on task.
Nutrition for Stress: Proper nutrition is vital for everyone. But when it comes to stress and focus, nutrition for the kidneys is crucial. The kidneys are the source of our vital essence and if they are damaged, our health will suffer. Foods like black beans, kidney beans, asparagus, plums, blueberries and blackberries are all beneficial for strengthening the kidneys. When the kidneys are strong, we are better prepared to deal with stress.
As you can see, TCM is a great way to deal with stress. If you are having difficulties dealing with stress, contact your local acupuncturist to see what they can do for you. New York Sports Acupuncture
Dr. Bishara Wilson, DACM, L.Ac.
888.375.5444 SOURCES: https://www.healthline.com/health/acupuncture-for-anxiety
Acupuncture for Dementia
Dementia is defined as a chronic disorder of the mental processes caused by either brain injury or brain disease. Dementia is marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning. Dementia is not a specific disease though. Dementia is an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms characterized by a decline in mental ability that becomes severe enough to interfere with daily life. This includes Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy Bodies and even Parkinson’s disease.Current estimates of dementia sufferers vary considerably based on the age group. But the numbers for just one segment of the dementia spectrum is staggering. This is Alzheimer’s disease, which affects up to 5.3 million Americans. Worldwide, the prevalence of dementia, in any of its forms, affects 5 to 7 percent of adults age 60 or older. Most forms of dementia are the result of changes in the neural pathways, but the cause of these changes is still undefined in most cases unless there was a traumatic brain injury. Due to this inability to define the cause of the neural changes, the current treatment methods are also variable and definitely not reliable.Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a holistic medical system that includes the modalities of acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, and herbal formulations. Of all these modalities, acupuncture has been studied the most intensely. And this has led to studies showing acupuncture can help with the symptoms of dementia.There are many symptoms associated with dementia, aside from memory loss, including depression, anxiety, and changes in sleeping patterns. Acupuncture can effectively treat depression and anxiety by balancing the hormones in the body. This will also help with insomnia, which is common in those experiencing dementia.Electroacupuncture has also shown promise for dementia patients. Electroacupuncture is the same as traditional acupuncture, but it adds a small current of electricity through the acupuncture needles, which increases the ability to break up blockages and get energy flowing properly. This is especially helpful for those suffering from vascular dementia, which occurs due to impaired blood flow that deprives oxygen and nutrients of the brain. Studies show the use of electroacupuncture can reduce behavioral deficits and improve memory over time.While there is no known cure for dementia, it is clear acupuncture can help those suffering from this debilitating disease. And when used in conjunction with common pharmaceuticals that treat dementia, the studies show even greater success. Contact us to see how we can help you or your family members who may be afflicted with dementia and memory loss.
New York Sports Acupuncture
Dr. Bishara Wilson, DACM, L.Ac.