Recovering From Shoulder Surgery With Acupuncture

Different types of shoulder injuries will require different types of treatments. While it may be in your best interest to try natural healing options for certain conditions, surgery may be the best suited option in other cases. It is estimated that the average time it takes to recover from shoulder surgery (regaining 75-80% of strength and function) is 6-7 months. In some cases it may take up to a year, with complete recovery taking as long as 2 years. This all depends on the initial health of the individual, the extent of the injury, quality and commitment to rehabilitation, the patient’s diet and modalities of rehabilitation. Using acupuncture and Chinese herbs can shorten your recovery time in each of the phases of rehabilitation. It is possible to get the strength and function of your shoulder back sooner, reduce the pain of the trauma from the surgery, decrease scar tissue and minimize the loss of range of motion, all by using acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas.

Possible shoulder injuries or conditions are fractures, dislocation/subluxation, tears, impingement, tendinitis, bone spurs and bursitis. Obviously, not all of these conditions will require surgery. For the sake of this article the focus is on injuries and shoulder surgeries such as, arthroscopic, rotator cuff repair, Bankart surgery and prosthetic shoulder replacement. All of these surgeries can be greatly beneficial to the patient, but they can also cause great trauma to the area that takes a long time to heal and lots of dedication and time in physical rehabilitation by the patient.

There are certain risks associated with shoulder surgery including vascular and neurological injury, leakage of synovial fluid, increased stiffness and injury to the tendons due to iatrogenic causes (medical mistake). In most cases there are no complications and the patient only has to deal with the normal post-surgical shoulder issues. Shoulder surgery patients typically report pain, stiffness, swelling, decreased range of motion, keloid scarring, loss of strength, numbness and tingling as post-surgical issues. Each one of these issues can be minimized by using acupuncture treatments through the rehabilitation process. Treatments can be started the same day or day after the surgery, if possible. Different herbal formulas can be used to strengthen tendons and ligaments, reduce pain and move the blood (reduces swelling, aides lymph drainage and brings a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area). Make sure to get your herbs from a licensed practitioner to ensure you’re getting the right formula for you. Acupuncture can move you through the 4 stages of recovery faster and get you back to being functional up to 2 months quicker than rehabilitation without acupuncture.

Stage 1 of the recovery process is 5-6 weeks and involves the patient wearing a sling. In this phase, acupuncture can be performed in the areas surrounding the shoulder to increase blood flow to the area, minimize build up of lymph and swelling, keep the immune system high (lowering risk of infection) and lower pain levels. Acupuncture helps your body to release endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain-killer. For those patients who don’t like taking pharmaceuticals, this is a great alternative and can lower your need for prescription pain medications.

Stage 2 involves very minimal movement and therapy on the shoulder. Using acupuncture directly around the damaged shoulder in this phase can promote blood flow to the tendons. This helps to minimize stiffness and reduced range of motion. Stimulation of the surrounding muscles keeps loss of strength and muscle mass to a minimum. Mild electro-acupuncture is an excellent modality at this stage. Use of distal points on the hand ensures nerve conduction is maintained and limits the possibility of extended numbness and tingling in the limb.

Stage 3 encourages more physical therapy and has the patient using weights ranging from 6-10 lbs. Acupuncture is beneficial in this stage to continue nurturing the muscles and damaged tendons. It is also great at preventing the build-up of keloid scar tissue and breaking down any scar tissue that may have already built up. This is important to maintain full range of motion, flexibility and sensations.

Stage 4 is an ongoing rehabilitation to get the patient back to 100% again. If the patient has been compliant and the acupuncturist has done their job properly, this stage should be greatly shortened and the patient should be months ahead of the rehabilitation process.

While some orthopedic surgeries can be avoided using acupuncture and Chinese medicine, it can be used as a complementary service in the rehabilitation process from surgeries too. It can be used before the patient is able to move the arm and go to physical therapy. It can also be used in conjunction with physical therapy. When done properly, by a licensed acupuncturist, your post-surgical recovery time from shoulder injury will be kept to a minimum and as pain-free as possible, with greater range of motion, more strength and less chance permanent damage. Visit us online for more information on post-surgical rehabilitation using acupuncture and Chinese medicine to heal faster.

How To Get Massage Oil Out Of Sheets

Are you tired of throwing out sheets because they’re dreadfully stained by massage oil? Have you ever had your massage sheets smoking after they came out of the dryer? I know how you feel because I’ve been there! Over the years if I added up all the sets of massage sheets that I’ve thrown out, there would be enough to supply a mid-size hotel. Not to mention the dryer fires! No kidding, one day driving home in my car, I started to cough from the smoke coming from the backseat of my car. Holy Cow, my sheets were on fire! At first, I blamed this on the high-temperature dryers at the laundromat but now I know better. If you’re sick and tired of running through massage sheets because they are ruined by oil stains and or burn marks from the dryer, here’s what I suggest:

If you are busy enough and you can cover the overhead, I recommend using a linen service. This is especially great because you don’t have to spend your time in a laundromat or have high utility bills from all the extra appliance use at home. Also, if the sheets get stained or ripped, it’s not your problem. The main drawback to this is that you need to have an actual office location. The linen services will not deliver to a home, they want to pick up and drop off at a business location. The other bummer is that you have to commit to a weekly delivery quota. This means that you have to pay for new sheets every week regardless of whether you used up your previous supply. May I suggest that if you still want to go this route, partner up with someone who already has an account with a linen service and then you can help to split the costs.

So, I tried the linen service through a friend that has an acupuncture clinic and that was fine. I wanted to get back to washing my own sheets so I wouldn’t have to bother my friend every time, I ran out of sheets. This time, I did some research to find out how to get the massage oil out of sheets and to stop ruining my sheets so I had to toss them out. There didn’t seem to be much information on the Internet on this subject so between trial and error and talking with friends, here’s what I came up with.

1. Start with fresh new sheets. I know it feels wasteful to throw out sheets, but if they look bad, that gives our clients a lousy impression. If you can’t bear to throw them out, then donate them somewhere. I buying recommend industry grade sheets. The ones that the hotels and hospitals and linen services use are typically T-180 sheets. I like to buy the ones that would be as close as you can get to the dimensions of twin sheets. They may seem stiff but the soften up faster than you think they will.

2. Before you use the sheets for the first time, wash them in hot water and dry them completely. They will be nice and soft when they come out of the dryer. After you use your sheets for the first time, this is when it’s crucial to follow the next instructions.

3. Wash all your sheets in hot water.

4. Wash only a maximum of 3 sets of sheets together at a time. You want your sheets to get clean so avoid stuffing your machine.

5. Add a towel in the wash with your sheets. I always set aside my light-colored bath towels and hand towels to throw in with my sheets. They do a nice job of scrubbing the oil from the sheets.

6. If they seem a little on the oily side, add 1 regular box of regular size baking soda. When I add baking soda, I usually like to add a small box of peroxide with it. The baking soda and peroxide make a great paste for cleaning and brightening.

7. Spot treat stains on sheets and let them sit for a while before throwing them in the wash. They can always go in the next load.

8. Alternate your laundry detergents, Just like shampoo build-up, I think the laundry soap needs to be rotated as well. Sometimes, I use laundry soap and sometimes, I use a dish soap with a degreaser.

9. Avoid letting your sheets sit with oil in them for too long. I’ve noticed that if I let my sheets sit too long before washing them, the oil is harder to get out because it’s become set. Also, be careful about letting dirty sheets be exposed to direct sunlight. If your sheets are sitting in direct sunlight, the sun will burn the oil and it will be set in your sheets. It will smell rancid and you will never be able to get it out.

10. Hang your sheets to dry. This will probably be unpopular with many people but it is what has saved me from throwing out any more sheets. You never want to put your massage sheets in the dryer because if you didn’t get the oil out the first time, you will set the oil in the sheets and it can cause future fires in your dryer. One day I was driving home to find my car filling up with smoke. As It turns out, my sheets were on fire in the back seat of my car. I hope this never happens to you! If you have a sheet that has dried but it isn’t looking as clean as you like, throw it in the next load of sheets with a cup of stain remover.

Again, this approach isn’t for everyone but if you prefer to wash your own sheets, this is how you can keep them in good shape for a long time. I hope this helps you in your quest to get the massage oil out of your sheets.

Introduction To Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) involves the use of Chinese herbal medicine, Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Qi gong, Tuina (Chinese massage), and a medicated diet, and is one of the world’s most ancient medical systems, with its own principles, diagnostic methods and therapies. It has become very popular in the west.

Meridians and Collaterals

TCM views the meridians and collaterals networks using Zang-Fu, which categorises tissues and organs in an organic whole. Each Zang and Fu organ transports Qi and blood, and regulates Yin and Yang, maintaining the functions and activities of all parts of the body. This system guides the diagnosis, treatment and application of all the branch subjects of TCM.

Yin and Yang

TCM also holds as its central belief that health in all parts of body is due to the relationship between Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang theory is the general principle used to classify in TCM’s holistic approach to health and disease, and also offers a clinical guide to preventing and curing disease.

Diagnosis

TCM’s diagnosis depends merely on the doctor’s sense organs to acquire clinical data. It mainly consists of the four techniques of diagnosis, namely: interrogation, inspection, auscultation (listening) and olfaction (smelling), pulse feeling and palpation.

Treatment

TCM has three basic components: Chinese herbal therapy, Acupuncture and Tuina (Chinese massage) therapy, and Diet therapy.

Chinese herbal therapy

This is based on the principle that good health depends on achieving optimum vitality and balance – a balance described in terms of the polarity of Yin and Yang.

Chinese herbs come from nature, and include flowers, stems, leaves, roots and barks. Each herb has its own specific characteristics. Their different characteristics are employed to treat disease, rectify the hyperactivity or hypoactivity of Yin or Yang, and help the body restore its normal physiological functions – consequently, curing the disease and restoring health.

Chinese herbal administration (herbal dosages and powder forms) usually depends on your condition, your constitution and age. It should be larger for serious emergencies and stubborn problems with a young and strong patient, smaller for mild problems, and with the aged, the frail, and with children and pregnant women.

The doctor will carefully select different herbal dosages or powder forms to treat you as your treatment starts, and closely monitor your progress through regular consultations. As your condition change, the treatment will be altered accordingly.

Acupuncture and Tuina therapy

These are two practical therapies in TCM. They are to regulate the meridians or channels of the body, to unblock the stagnation of Qi and blood, and balance Yin and Yang, maintaining their function, via the extraordinary points, scalp points, auricular points, and other special points by needle (in the case of Acupuncture) or by the fingers, hands and limbs of the Tuina therapist.

When using Tuina for infant and prenatal care, some special points exist besides the acupoints on the 14 meridians and extra-points. Manipulation using pushing, kneading, rubbing is mostly used.

measuring the waistline

Diet Therapy

Each food (vegetable, fruit, meal, nut, etc.) has its own specific characteristics. We can guide you to the best foods to treat your condition, in accordance with the actual condition of disease, the characters and functions of the foods, and therapeutic requirements found through the doctor’s consultation.

Other treatments

Moxibustion, Cupping therapy, Ear authority, Electrolysis, Electrotherapy (without needle) are often used. All of them work by same principles of acupuncture therapy.

What does Chinese Medicine treat?

TCM treats your mind and body as a whole, not just the condition. Using the principles of TCM, a very wide variety of conditions, and any age can be helped, including:

1.Common Internal Diseases

Anaemia, Asthma, Arthritis, Cerebral Thrombosis, Cold, Colitis, Constipation, Constipation, Cholecystitis, Coronary Heart Disease, Digestive Ulcers, Diabetes, Diarrhoea, Oedema, Flu, Gout, Headaches, Hypertension, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Hay fever, Irritable bowel syndrome, Malabsorption, Nephritis, Neurosis, Neurasthenia, Thyroid, Pneumonia, Pancreatitis, etc.

2.Women’s problems

Pre-menstrual syndrome, Painful periods, Menopausal syndromes, endometriosis, Sterility, Morning sick, Pelvic Inflammation, etc.

3.Men’s problems

Ejaculation Praecox, Hypertrophy, Low Steam Court, Impotence, Prostitutes, Sex Drive Problems.

4.Skin problems

Herpes Zoster, Contact Dermatitis, Eczema, Urticaria, Neurodermatitis, Psoriasis, Acne Vulgaris, Alopecia Areata, Resaca, etc.

5.Muscular, neurological, skeletal and vascular problems

Arthritis, Back Pain, Frozen Shoulder, Gonitis, Hemiplegia, Lumbago (lower back pain), Neuralgia, Omalgia, Sciatica, Stiff Neck Stroke, Sprain, Sports Injury, Tennis Elbow, Trigeminal, Tendon Injury, etc.

6.Mental and Emotional Problems

Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Panic Attack, Insomnia, Palpitation, etc.

7.Ear, Nose, Throat and Ophthalmic Problems

Conjunctivitis, Optic Neuritis, Myopia, Obits Media, Sore Throat, Hay Fever, Halitosis, Pharyngitis, Rhinitis, Sinusitis, etc.

8.Oncology

Liver Cancer, Lung Cancer, Gastric Cancer, etc.

Mobile Massage Services Offer Therapy Anytime, Anywhere

For much of the past, getting a massage meant visiting a therapist at an office equipped with a massage table, oils and other specialized equipment. These days, mobile massage tables and other accessories have enabled massage therapists to perform their services at clients’ homes and offices. Here’s a look at the biggest advantages of mobile massage services for clients and therapists.

Lower Operating Costs

With the high rates involved in standard massage therapy, many clients are unable to spend as much time being massaged as they’d prefer. Overhead costs at an office can be tremendous, forcing massage therapists to charge higher rates in order to make a profit. Mobile massage reduces overhead costs dramatically, letting massage therapists perform their services for less and making massage affordable for more people than ever before.

Public Events

Since many mobile massage therapists are experienced at serving clients who are fully clothed, they’re able to provide their services at public events, such as industry conventions. Business conventions leave many professionals tired and stressed, eventually destroying their morale and productivity. With the services of a mobile massage therapist, the entire atmosphere of the convention can enhance with the individual improvements in mood and energy. In many cases, simply knowing that there will be massage offered at an event is added incentive for professionals to attend.

Less Time Involved

Receiving a massage at a therapist’s office involves making an appointment, driving to and from the office and waiting in a waiting room. Mobile massage eliminates this inconvenience, letting clients call massage therapists to their homes or offices and continue working in the meantime. As soon as the appointment is over, work or recreation can continue again without further interruption.

Workplace Productivity

Stressed employees can bring everybody down at work, resulting in the office getting less done as a team. Mobile message offers a simple, effective solution for this. By investing in a visit from a mobile massage service, employers can boost employee morale and enhance workflow at the office. This can also reduce stress for the manager, who can more easily concentrate on the big picture instead of handling issues among individual workers.

Reduce Worker Absenteeism

In recent years, preventative medical care such as massage has become more popular for improving immunity and reducing the risk of heart problems. Regular visits from mobile message services are very effective at reducing stress, which is a huge contributor to poor health. This way, workplaces can reduce absenteeism and frequent tardiness and postpone having to hire new workers due to disability among existing employees.

Many people find that the greatest benefit from message comes with regular treatments. With this in mind, many mobile massage services offer scheduling plans for regular therapy. Sometimes, discounts are available with these plans. Even single visits, however, are well worth the cost for preventative health care and peace of mind. Reduced pain, deeper sleep and better quality of life are all available from the comfort of home or the office with mobile massage services.

Top 3 Marketing Tools for Acupuncturists

Commitment and focus to your passion in acupuncture is important when it comes to making your practice a success. But some practitioners fail to understand that marketing is likewise just as important. It is challenging how to build and maintain a thriving acupuncture practice.

Most acupuncturists excel with their practice but the problem is they were never taught the right ways to market their acupuncture practice. Basically, you have to get that exposure for your practice and it is essential that you have the right approach and systems in place for you to be able to fully leverage your time and ensure that your current clients and potential customers get the best of what you can offer with your acupuncture practice.

But sometimes, your marketing approach isn’t exactly what you had expected. You have invested generous amount for your advertising and marketing campaigns only to find out that your efforts were fruitless because there was little or no return of advertising investment. And you’re back to step one which is a bit difficult now because your perception in marketing doesn’t actually work for this kind of business venture and career.

Here are three of the most common tools to get that niche in the world of marketing for potential clients for your acupuncture clinics:

1. The contents of your advertising or marketing campaigns is very important because marketing is not just an art, it is a science. Being creative is an incentive with regards to creating brochures, business cards, websites, and all the other marketing tools. But you have to understand that people doesn’t care about you or your practice per se; they care about what you can do to help them. That’s what you are there for anyway.

2. Getting your client’s testimonials is a must for marketing your acupuncture practice. This is one tool in marketing approaches that will make you credible with potential clients and retaining your current patients. A video or written testimonial is very powerful because this is another person talking about your services and practices thus making it more convincing.

3. Referral is another sure way to get customers into your doorstep. This just means that your potential client has already been sold on you and your practice. This is somewhat similar to testimonials in the sense that a third party is speaking of your credibility on your behalf.

You have to remember that marketing; may it be online or the conventional way, is very important to any business especially with acupuncture practice. Improve on your marketing tools and approaches. Potential clients can double their numbers and retention of your current patients will be high.

Are Acupuncture Ear Staples for Weight Loss Worth It?

You may want to find out about acupuncture ear staples for weight loss before you get it done. Losing weight can be one of the most important things that you ever do but if not done correctly acupuncture ear staples for weight loss can cause some pretty serious problems. There have been many patients who have reported serious infection and scarring due to this procedure but on the whole the occurrence is rare.

Not every practitioner of acupuncture ear staples for weight loss is approved for such things. Some of those who do acupuncture of any kind are not even licensed. If you are planning to get acupuncture ear staples for weight loss then you must find out what kind of credentials the practitioner you are considering has. If they are not licensed and they have not has a significant amount of training then you should take the time to find a new person to give you your acupuncture ear staples for weight loss. While we all want to lose weight we don’t want to do it at the risk of getting sick.

Finding the appropriate people to give you your acupuncture ear staples for weight loss can be a difficult process though. It can be hard to find the practitioners who can be trusted and that is why you should try to find some people who have already had the acupuncture ear staples for weight loss done. This way you will have some idea of whether that practitioner can be trusted. If your friends or coworkers have worked with these people and they did not get infected from the acupuncture ear staples for weight loss then there is a much greater chance that if you chose that same practitioner you would come out of the acupuncture ear staples for weight loss procedure just fine.

Choosing the right people to put in your acupuncture ear staples for weight loss is not the kind of thing you want to do straight from the yellow pages. You need to know who you are dealing with and you need to know what the procedure is all about. The acupuncture doctor that you choose will be able to tell you everything that you need to know about the entire procedure. They will be able to put your mind at rest and make you feel safe about the acupuncture ear staples for weight loss. This is good because there really is nothing to worry about as long as you choose a responsible acupuncture doctor.

The prices may vary from acupuncture doctor to acupuncture doctor to shop around not just for the best quality care but also the best price on the acupuncture ear staples for weight loss. Cost does matter; you do not want to end up paying more for something than you have to. You can find many doctors that will offer great low rates on the acupuncture ear staples for weight loss so shop for them.

For more information and resources about the procedure, cost, benefits and information, please go to: Acupuncture Ear Staples for Weight Loss

How Hypnotherapy, Massage, TfT, EFT and Acupuncture Can Benefit You

These techniques are all used to great effect to promote health, physical and mental, to improve your thought processes, immune system and general well being. When used in conjunction with each other the benefits to you can be great. Many practitioners only offer one service so by offering you all of these, you will be so much healthier and happier too.

Therapies explained:

Hypnosis

Well this can have a profound effect on your persona, it can be used to treat almost every condition known with the exception of Clinical depression, for everything else, its very good and extensive studies have shown that its the ONLY cure for IBS and is currently being taken up by medical staff in many hospitals to treat and cure a great number of conditions.

Any experience you have ever had can be recreated in your subconscious mind, the good parts can be enhanced and the unpleasant ones can be reduced or eliminated altogether, so for the likes of sexual problems, its a wonderful tool that has great results for both men and women.

The same can be said of pain, in cases of cancer for instance, or chronic diseases, pain can be totally eliminated, to give better quality of life, this can also be used in pregnancy and child birth, imagine giving birth with no pain or stress on you or the baby.

Elimination of addictions and fears/phobias, can be quickly undertaken and in the case of alcohol abuse, imagine being in control of what you drink rather than being out of control. Weight loss and smoking are 2 things which can be helped enormously by Hypnosis, in addition to dietary advice and exercise, great results can be felt in only a few weeks, think how that would make you feel.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy) and TfT (Thought field Therapy)

Although these therapies are similar to each other, TfT is more specific and is used to treat many common ailments and conditions such as fear, addictions, grief, panic, fatigue and eyesight to name but a few. The fact is that both of these interfere with the body`s magnetic field in a specific way there by causing changes in the body`s chemistry and change is effected that way, you don`t go into a trance, you are wide awake and its self administered too so you are always in control, you can choose how much or how little you do. Obviously the more you do, the better the results will be.

Massage

This is also a great tool to help you overcome unpleasant sensations in the body, whether it be pain or simply to relax and have some downtime, its a wonderful feeling to have a good massage from time to time and is great for couples too to learn as it allows you to stay intimate with your partner for a very long time indeed.

Electro acupuncture

A modern take on an ancient Chinese tool that’s been used for thousands of years to treat effectively many conditions and ailments but unlike traditional acupuncture, it`s non invasive, ie there is no penetration of the skin, instead it seeks out the body`s meridians and focuses on the specific acupuncture points and delivers a tiny electrical charge into the nerve, thereby causing a change to the nerve associated with that point and hence the therapy works and has exactly the same results, without the discomfort and the other risks that needles pose.

Are these treatments something for you?

You owe it to yourself to get the best possible care and attention that you deserve in life. For those who require relaxation or help with their busy lives, tiredness from a journey, sleep disorders or jet lag. Then these treatments can give you that boost of energy that will see you through your busy life and let you overcome tiredness.

Medpay, Auto Accidents and Acupuncture

If you’re injured in an automobile accident and you’re not sure how to get the medical treatment you need, look no further than Medpay. If the accident is severe enough, obviously you will be taken to a hospital right away and given the appropriate tests and treatments. For continuing services and less severe accidents, rest assured that you are probably already covered on your car insurance policy under Medpay. This insurance can be used by you to receive any medical treatment recognized and accepted by the medical community, including acupuncture.

So, what is Medpay. It stands for medical payments coverage and if you have car insurance, chances are you have Medpay on the policy. After an accident report has been filed and you have a claim number with your insurance company, you can use your coverage immediately. The health care provider you select will call to verify your Medpay benefits and start treatments as soon as possible. Verification usually only takes a few minutes. The bills for treatment are sent directly to the insurance company, with no out of pocket expense to you.

Are there any limitations to the coverage? Depending on your insurance policy, you may have $5000, $10,000 or $15,000 worth of Medpay coverage on your policy. This is the cheapest health insurance available and most people don’t even know they have it. The cost on your policy is minimal and it’s worth your while to pay an extra couple of dollars to increase the value of coverage to $10,000 or $15,000 if it’s at the lower end. You can still get a lot of treatments for $5000, but considering how cheap it is, I highly recommend getting more coverage. Another limitation is time. Most auto policies give you just one year to use Medpay benefits after an accident. The last limitation is that it will not cover experimental treatments.

Acupuncture is an accepted form of treatment and is especially helpful in treating pain from automobile accidents. The gentle approach of acupuncture helps to treat pain and relax muscle spasms to reduce nerve impingement. In cases such as whip-lash, you’re probably going to get the option of pain-killers and muscle relaxants from the doctor. For those who can’t or don’t want to take medications, acupuncture is a perfect modality. Acupuncture treatments will stop muscles spasms allowing the spine to naturally move back in place. Three treatments a week for the first 2-3- weeks, 2 treatments a week for a couple of more weeks and usually the patient is completely recovered. Some patients ween down to one treatment a week, then come in twice a month before stopping treatments.

Check out your insurance policy today to make sure you have Medpay on your policy. In some states it’s required. Feel free to call your insurance agent and see what the price difference is to increase the amount of coverage. Finally, if you get in an accident and you need pain relief, choose acupuncture. It’s cost-effective, all natural and the bottom line is….it works.

Acupuncture – A Cure For Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

BACKGROUND

I am 41, British, and have had Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) all my adult life. I cannot remember when I felt the first twinges, so it must have been gradual. My paternal grandmother suffered from RLS. I remember, when visiting my grandparents in Birmingham (United Kingdom) as a child, Nana would mention these mysterious ‘fidgets’ (as she called them), which kept her awake at night. I would remove her slippers and give her an inexpert foot massage, which she always said made her feel better. However, I suspect she was sparing my feelings, as in my experience a massage rarely brings relief. Indeed, whenever I have a particularly bad spell, I have to resist the urge to chop the wayward trotters off!

So what is Restless Leg Syndrome? Very briefly, it is an overpowering urge to move, in order to get rid of an exceedingly unpleasant feeling, described in turn as a crawling, itching, antsy sensation, to name but a few. As well as the legs, the condition can also affect the feet, ankles and/or wrists (and no doubt other areas as well) when they are at rest. So it can occur when you are trying to sleep, distract you when you are at the cinema, reading a book, on a plane, at a desk, or at the table having a meal. It disappears whenever you are active – walking, jogging, baking, hanging the clothes on the line, etc.

So in my case it is genetic – my father also suffers from Restless Leg Syndrome, as does my younger brother. My dad feels it in his ankles, my brother in his wrists and me in my feet. My dad only gets it when watching television, strangely enough. I get it at night, and when it is particularly bad, I get little or no sleep. Luckily my partner has not yet stomped out of the bedroom in search of a more restful bed companion. Oftentimes, though, I do move to the sofa for the night.

MY RLS SYMPTOMS WORSEN

I am currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and the Syndrome has got particularly bad during April, which is the hottest month of the year. Despite the air conditioning, I have also begun to feel it in my wrists. I tried reflexology (foot massages), but it was agony. To the massagers’ consternation my feet would leap out of their hands as the crawling sensations caused by their kneading became unbearable. What was meant to be a relaxing hour routinely turned into an ordeal. I think the sessions did help at first, but I got to dread them and so I dropped them altogether. It was doubly off-putting to see my partner fall asleep during his reflexology sessions, wake and stretch an hour later, briskly strap his sandals back on and walk jauntily back out onto the bustling street, whistling through his teeth. I felt like a ragged doll. My only consolation was that my wretched feet now felt as smooth and soft as (surely) the day I was born.

Things came to a head when I started getting the fidgets during the day. This is the time when I normally catch up on my sleep, but a few days ago this became impossible. I was very concerned indeed, especially as symptoms can worsen with age. My partner began surfing the internet to find out more (I stopped bothering as anything I read on the subject stated the cause of the Syndrome to be unknown with no known cure). My partner eventually found a testimonial from a female sufferer in the UK whose acupuncture sessions have partially cured her condition. ‘Partially’ because she says her fidgets do flare up occasionally, and that she has to go back for the odd treatment. After more searching, my partner came up with the name of a Doctor Petchara of the Christian McCormick Hospital in Chiang Mai (Christian because it was founded in 1889 by Presbyterian missionaries and named after Mrs Cyruss McCormick of Chicago who funded the main hospital building in 1925). Dr Petchara’s described as offering ‘a highly-rated acupuncture service for walk-in patients”. Furthermore, she studied in China and ‘her command of medical-related English is excellent’.

Unfortunately, when we went to McCormick hospital to see Dr Petchara, we found the acupuncture unit being fully renovated, and were subsequently told that it would only reopen on 19 April (2010). This was too long for me to wait, and so the nurse recommended the Ramkhamhaeng Hospital (referred to locally as the ‘RAM’) in Chiang Mai. We therefore drove over there on our motorbike and I duly registered at Reception. I filled out the form, handed my passport over to be photocopied, and was then directed to the SURGERY counter, where I made an appointment to see the acupuncturist, Dr Tosaporn Wittayakhom, at 11 o’clock the following morning. I was assured that the doctor spoke good English. It was all very efficient – the whole thing took 15 minutes. I was even told that I could get an appointment that same afternoon; I declined, however – my partner and I were hot and sweaty and thirsty by this time, and we just wanted to cool off in the pool with a good smoothie.

ENERGY-BOOSTING ACUPUNCTURE SESSION

6 April 2010

I presented myself at the SURGERY counter at 10.45 the following morning, and was promptly taken away to be weighed (which I could have done without – I had just finished breakfast), and have my blood pressure taken. I was then escorted to Dr Tosaporn’s office promptly at 11am, where he spent 15 minutes asking me questions, with the nurse sitting in. He said that I was the first patient to come to him for RLS, and that although he knew of the Syndrome, he had never been asked to treat it. As he had to read up on the condition further, the appointment was postponed until the 8th April.

As I did not want to leave empty-handed (as it were), I asked him to give me a session to increase my energy levels (I was drooping with the heat). I subsequently climbed on to the bed as directed and lay on my back. He placed the needles on top of my head and behind my ears, on my stomach, calves and feet, and stimulated four of the needles in my lower limbs further with some kind of electric pulse, which I have never seen before. The doctor left me there for 20 minutes, came back accompanied by the nurse and carefully removed the needles, disinfecting each area as he went. He told me I should feel the effects the next day – and that the session would quite probably help me sleep.

RLS-TARGETED ACUPUNCTURE SESSION

8 April (two days later)

Well, the doctor was right – the energy-boosting acupuncture session did help me. I got two great nights’ sleep. Not a single fidget, and I feel relaxed and alert.

This morning I went for my fidget-related acupuncture session. They weighed me again and took my blood pressure, and I was escorted, as before, to Dr Tosaporn’s office for 11am sharp. We chatted about how I was feeling, and then perceiving that all was well, he asked me to lie down – on my front this time. He placed the needles on my back and legs, and four were again electrically stimulated. 20 minutes later he came back with the nurse, removed the needles and disinfected the corresponding areas. My next acupuncture session is set for 11am on 20 April.

9 April

Last night I went to sleep seamlessly, but woke up with mild RLS in the early hours of this morning. I am disappointed, but I did go back to sleep quite quickly, which is unusual. I may need multiple acupuncture sessions. It’s ironic that the energy-boosting treatment worked better for my fidgets than the RLS-targeted one; maybe I should concentrate on the former and drop the latter. I will just have to wait and see how my next appointment goes.

CONCLUSION

I understand that Restless Leg Syndrome takes on average 2 years to diagnose. In light of this, if you suffer from RLS (or think you might) and are considering seeing an acupuncturist, you may like to print out the clinical paper “Treatment of 49 Cases of Restless Legs Syndrome by Acupuncture plus Acupoint Injection” published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science. Only the preview page is available for free, but it is possible to purchase and download the article on-line in its entirety.

Alternatively, you can simply print out the section on Acupoints (reproduced below) which indicates where to place the needles. This will be particularly useful if your Acupuncturist is unfamiliar with the Syndrome:

” Acupoints: Yanglingquan (GB 34), Jinggu (BL 64), Chengshan (BL 57), Chengjin (BL 56) and Shangqiu (SP 5). Ganshu (BL 18), Shenshu (BL 23) and Taixi (KI 3) were matched to the type of deficiency of liver and kidney yin; Xuehai (SP 10) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6) were matched to the type of cold-dampness entering the interior”.

Finally, one word of caution: it would seem that acupuncture does not work for everyone. Indeed, according to my doctor, only 70% of patients respond to the treatment. That is a pretty good average, but it still leaves a sizeable 30% who do not.

How Is Naturopathic Medicine Helpful?

Naturopathic medicine is a medical movement and profession that has recently moved to the forefront of health-care innovation in North America and elsewhere in the world. Focusing on prevention and using natural substances and treatments, naturopathic doctors support and stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself. The naturopathic approach is comprehensive, integrating scientific knowledge with several well-established alternative therapeutic systems (modalities), including:

  • Lifestyle counseling
  • Nutrition
  • Herbal medicine
  • TimeWaver technology
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Chinese medicine and acupuncture
  • Manual therapies (i.e. massage, physiotherapy, chiropractic, etc.)

These naturopathic modalities can be divided into two categories:

1. Modalities that address the causes of disease: our interaction with the physical environment (what we eat, drink, and breathe), as well as the physical structure of our body. These are best addressed through holistic nutrition, herbal medicine, and Chinese medicine.

2. Modalities that address the underlying mental, emotional, spiritual, and constitutional causes of physical or psychological symptoms: these reflect the internal imbalance that persists even in an optimal environment and ideal lifestyle. These are best addressed through energy medicine, Chinese medicine, and psychotherapy.

By applying these two perspectives together, our clinic is able to offer a comprehensive array of solutions for preventing and treating virtually any health condition, including and especially those considered medically incurable.

Naturopathic Assessment and Treatment

Through an in-depth assessment your naturopathic doctor will strive to understand your complaints and symptoms at the deepest level and to offer you a treatment plan that will bring revolutionary results and promote personal growth. This assessment involves an understanding of the following factors:

  • Lifestyle and physical activity
  • Food intake
  • Psychological temperament (behavioural tendencies, strengths, weaknesses)
  • Childhood history and family relationships
  • Social environment
  • Past physical or psychological trauma and stressful life transitions
  • Past medical interventions
  • Body chemistry (laboratory tests)
  • Exposure to environmental toxins
  • Heredity

Virtually all chronic and most acute conditions can benefit from naturopathic treatment, offering safe options for all ages from infants to the elderly, and for pregnant women as well. Some of these include:

  • Endocrine (hormonal) and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, thyroidconditions, infertility, menstrual complaints, and menopause.
  • Gastrointestinal disease, from baby colic to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
  • Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and interstitial cystitis.
  • Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
  • Asthma, allergies, chronic sinusitis, recurrent infections.
  • Mental health conditions such as addictions, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism.
  • Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and other stress-related (psychosomatic) conditions.
  • Personalized medicine for body, mind, and spirit

The primary goal of naturopathic treatment is to address the underlying causes of all illness rather than simply to treat individual symptoms. Naturopathic doctors take into account the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of an individual when diagnosing and devising a treatment plan, working from a mindset that emphasizes sustainable, long-term resolution of complaints as well as improvement in overall well-being. Although most patients first choose naturopathic treatment because of chronic concerns, naturopathic methods can also be used to bring relief in acute situations.

Naturopathic doctors complete a minimum of seven years post-secondary education. This training includes the study of medical sciences comparable to that of medical doctors, in addition to exposure to many alternative treatment modalities. Some naturopathic doctors work as general practitioners, utilizing a variety of modalities, whereas other specialize in a primary modality, using other modalities in a supportive role or by referring out to other specialized practitioners.