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Jing Fan, LAc

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9 Things to know about Musculoskeletal Health

Posted by Jing Fan, LAc on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 @ 02:21 PM

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Back pain and general muscle soreness are common problems for many people. Understanding correct force postures and maintaining your musculoskeletal system will help to both treat and prevent pain and disease. 

What causes musculoskeletal pain? 

The most common causes of musculoskeletal pain are soft tissue injuries (such as car accidents and sports injuries) and aging. Qi stagnation, Blood stasis, poor posture, and some life factors such as lack of exercise and excessive muscle use, can also contribute. In addition, dietary factors, mental factors, and other diseases such as cancer, gastrointestinal discomfort, dysmenorrhea, etc. can cause musculoskeletal pain.

The above factors cause muscle contraction, vasospasm, lactic acid accumulation, accumulation of inflammatory substances, and nerve excitement. They also lead to spasms of muscle and blood vessels which are not easily relieved, causing more metabolites to be developed. Such an abundance of inflammatory substances is too much to be taken away by normal blood flow, leading to a vicious cycle of dysfunction of muscle contraction and metabolism. Then the body will feel soreness, pain, pressure and tingling. So any methods which can increase blood circulation would be excellent ways to treat musculoskeletal pain!

What are the correct postures to prevent musculoskeletal pain?

The most common musculoskeletal pains are due to poor posture; for example, back pain. Being aware of correct posture during all activities can prevent back pain, but most especially when:

1. Picking up items

Bend your knees instead of bending your back. Avoid lifting heavy items with a bent back and straight legs, and do not twist the body when lifting. Try lifting items close to the body using your legs to provide the force, and you should not lift items higher than your chest. Sometimes using a pad will help, and of course it would be better to find someone to help you when lifting a very heavy item.

2. Standing and Walking

A good walking position is with raised head and lowered chin, with the toes facing forward and wearing a pair of comfortable shoes. When you are standing, do not stand too long in one posture. Avoid bending back with straight legs. Do not wear high heels or flat shoes to walk or stand for a long period of time. 

3. Sitting Position

Chair height should be moderate in order to keep the knees and buttocks at the same height. It is appropriate that the feet can step on the ground. Your back should be close to the back of chair. Pay attention to the height of the chair armrest and make sure to keep your arms naturally drooping with both elbows resting on the armrest. Do not sit in a chair which is too high or too far away from your work in order to prevent your upper body from leaning forward and your back from arching. Do not slouch in the chair, which has the potential to cause cervical spondylosis and numbness of hands. Such problems most often occur in people who use the computer for long periods of time.

4. Driving a Car

Your seat should move forward in order to keep the knees as high as the waist. Sit straight and hold the steering wheel with both hands when driving. Protect your lower back with cushions or rolls of towels. Do not sit too far away from the pedal, which may cause excessive stretching of the foot and leg or straightening of the arm, which can reduce the curvature of the spine.

5. Sleeping

Sleep on a solid mattress. A good sleep will do great help to your back. When side sleeping, slightly bend your knees. A pillow can be caught between the legs. When sleeping on your back, it is better to put a pad below the knees.

Traditional Chinese medicine for musculoskeletal pain 

6. Acupuncture

Acupuncture, with the theory of "Pain to Shu" to find the appropriate point of pain to do the needling, often has a magical effect on pain. Modern studies have shown that acupuncture can improve blood circulation, increase endorphin levels, and inhibit nerve conduction in order to relieve pain.

7. Tuina

Tuina, which is a type of traditional Asian bodywork therapy, can soothe fascia, activate meridians, promote muscle rigidity, improve fibrosis, relieve pain and fatigue, and restore the original muscle function. Asian bodywork combined with acupressure can often achieve a better effect than either modality used alone. 

8. Herbal fumigation and hot compress therapy

Herbal fumigation and hot compress therapy integrate hyperthermia and traditional Chinese herbal medicine to increase muscle blood circulation, reduce pain, and restore the original muscle function.

9. Chinese herbal medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that pain comes from the stasis or malnutrition of Qi and Blood. Chinese herbal medicine can adjust the patient’s constitution to improve blood circulation and PH and strengthen bones and tendons. Commonly used herbal formulas for the treatment of pain can regulate Qi, stimulate blood circulation, dispel wind, drain cold and dampness, and tonify the Liver and Kidney.

This article is written by Dr. Jing Fan, a practitioner at AOMA Clinics. AOMA Acupuncture Clinics offers all of the above Chinese Medicine treatment options, as well as the benefit of an herbal medicine store on site. Please make an appointment with us today!

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Topics: acupuncture, tcm health, musculoskeletal health

ED: The Effects and Prospects of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Posted by Jing Fan, LAc on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 @ 03:54 PM

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Erectile dysfunction (ED), defined as the consistent inability to attain or maintain penile erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance, has become a global health issue with a high prevalence and considerable impact on the quality of life of sufferers and their partners. In addition, ED may share a common pathologic mechanism with cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndromes, and other endocrine disorders. The cause of ED is complicated and may be divided into three categories: psychogenic causes, organic causes (including endogenous, vascular and drug causes) and mixed causes.

Currently, research focuses on the dysfunction of endothelial cells of the cavernous body of the penis and disordered release of NO. To date, several phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors have been developed. Despite the advances in clinical and basic research which have led to several new options, the ideal treatment of ED has not been identified [12].

TCM has been used to treat sexual dysfunction such as ED in China for more than 2,000 years. Many studies show that TCM treatment could significantly improve the quality of erection and sexual activity of ED patients [13–17]. TCM achieves better regulation, especially with regard to ED patients’ anxiety, fatigability, changing hormonal levels, insomnia, and gastroparesis.

Correct syndrome differentiation (“Bian Zheng”) was the prerequisite for achieving the hoped-for efficacy of TCM for treating ED. Syndrome differentiation is one of the essential characters of TCM. It means analyzing and judging the data obtained from the four diagnostic methods (inspection, auscultation and olfaction, inquiry, and pulse-taking and palpation) so to differentiate the nature, location, and cause of disease. So pattern differentiation is the premise and foundation of treatment. 

In the past, traditional treatments based on syndrome differentiation (an overall analysis of signs and symptoms) placed importance on the kidneys and liver. Herbs and acupuncture points to invigorate qi can enhance physical fitness, and to warm the kidneys can regulate sex hormones, increase sexual drive, invigorate the spleen, regulate the stomach and improve the overall situation. Herbs and acupuncture points used for a stagnated liver provides tranquilisation and helps stabilize the mind, which can improve mental processes and emotional wellness. This treatment can not only increase the effects but also improve the patient’s overall condition and quality of life. More research also shows that using the concepts of integrative Chinese medicine, sexual dysfunction, especially ED with premature ejaculation, should be treated concurrently based on syndrome differentiation of the heart.

This approach does not conflict with the concept of TCM that the heart controls mental activities, blood circulation, and eroticism. Concurrent treatment of the heart and kidneys can coordinate these organs. Thus, the concept of integrated medicine offers a perfect, traditional treatment for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

According to the latest pharmacological research on TCM, many Chinese herbal medicines (e.g., ginseng, epimedium and pilose antler) function as the male sex hormone. According to domestic and international research, ginsenoside and red ginseng extracts can stimulate penis tissue to produce NO and phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors. Additionally, ginsenoside and red ginseng extracts can also regulate the function of sex glands and increase semen volume to reinforce sexuality. Epimedium and Lycium berry can inhibit nitric oxide synthase and are helpful for improving endothelial cell function in the penis and promoting the formation of NO.[18] Research has shown that Chai Hu Shu Gan San can increase the duration of erection in the male rat and can increase NO content in penis tissue. Medicine that promotes blood circulation, such as Tao Ren Si Wu and Jin Kui Shen Qi Wan, can help to regain an erection that was lost or achieve a repeat erection. Therefore, the treatment of ED with TCM has practical effects and is supported by scientific research.

In ED, acupuncture also has shown moderate efficacy, with an early study in 1999 of 16 men with ED treated with twice weekly acupuncture for 8 weeks demonstrating an improvement in erectile function in 39 % of men [19]. The potential mechanism of acupuncture for ED is that it may modulate the nitric oxide related to the treatment of ED [20].

Overall, TCM treatment for sexual dysfunction can not only increase the effects of simultaneous treatments but also improve the patient’s overall condition and quality of life.

Dr. Jing Fan treats at the AOMA acupuncture clinics. Request an Appointment with us today! 

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References:

[1] “Impotence: NIH consensus development panel on impotence,” The Journal of the AmericanMedical Association, vol. 270, no. 1, pp. 83–90, 1993.

[2] I.A.Aytac¸, J. B.McKinlay, and R. J.Krane, “The likely worldwide increase in erectile dysfunction between 1995 and 2025 and some possible policy consequences,” BJU International, vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 50–56, 1999.

[3] R. K. Mutagaywa, J. Lutale, A. Muhsin, and B. A. Kamala, “Prevalence of erectile dysfunction and associated factors among diabetic men attending the diabetic clinic at muhimbili national hospital in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania,” Pan African Medical Journal, vol. 17, article 227, 2014.

[4] J. F. Guest and R. das Gupta, “Health-related quality of life in a UK-based population of men with erectile dysfunction,” PharmacoEconomics, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 109–117, 2002.

[5] A. U. Idung, F. Abasiubong, S. B. Udoh, and O. S. Akinbami, “Quality of life in patients with erectile dysfunction in theNiger Delta region,Nigeria,” Journal ofMentalHealth, vol. 21,no. 3, pp. 236–243, 2012.

[6] R. E. Gerber, J. A. Vita, P. Ganz et al., “Association of peripheral microvascular dysfunction and erectile dysfunction,” The Journal of Urology, 2014.

[7] E. Vicenzini, M. Altieri, P. M. Michetti et al., “Cerebral vasomotor reactivity is reduced in patients with erectile dysfunction,” European Neurology, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 85–88, 2008.

[8] A. Sai Ravi Shanker, B. Phanikrishna, and C. Bhaktha Vatsala Reddy, “Association between erectile dysfunction and coronary artery disease and its severity,” Indian Heart Journal, vol. 65, no.

2, pp. 180–186, 2013.

[9] K. T. McVary, “Sexual dysfunction,” in Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, A. S. Fauci, E. Braunwald, D. L. Kasper, S. L. Hauser, D. L. Longo, and J. L. Jameson, Eds., chapter 49, section 8, pp. 271–275, McGraw-Hill, Chicago, Ill, USA, 17th edition, 2008.

[10] S. H. Golden, K. A. Robinson, I. Saldanha, B. Anton, and P. W. Ladenson, “Prevalence and incidence of endocrine and metabolic disorders in the united states: a comprehensive review,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 94, no. 6, pp. 1853–1878, 2009.

[11] J. Buvat, M.Maggi, L. Gooren et al., “Endocrine aspects of male sexual dysfunctions,” Journal of Sexual Medicine, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 1627–1656, 2010.

[12] D. K.Montague, J. Jarow, G. A. Broderick et al., “American urological association guideline on the management of priapism,” Journal of Urology, vol. 170, no. 4, pp. 1318–1324, 2003.

[13] L. S. Yaman, S. Kilic, K. Sarica, M. Bayar, and B. Saygin, “The place of acupuncture in the management of psychogenic impotence,” European Urology, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 52–55, 1994.

[14] P. F. Engelhardt, L. K. Daha, T. Zils, R. Simak, K. K¨onig, and H. Pfl¨uger, “Acupuncture in the treatment of psychogenic erectile dysfunction: first results of a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study,” International Journal of Impotence Research, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 343–346, 2003.

[15] Y. Cui, Y. Feng, L. Chen et al., “Randomized and controlled research of Chinese drug acupoint injection therapy for erectile dysfunction,” Zhongguo Zhen Jiu, vol. 27, no. 12, pp. 881–885, 2007.

[16] W. G.Ma and J. M. Jia, “The effects and prospects of the integration of traditional Chinese medicine andWestern medicine on andrology in China,” Asian Journal of Andrology, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 592–595, 2011.

[17] J. Jiang and R. Jiang, “Molecular mechanisms of traditional Chinese medicine for erectile dysfunction,” Zhonghua Nan KeXue, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 459–462, 2009.

[18] Fu J, Qiao L, Jing TY, Lin GT, Wang YY et al. Effect of icarrin on cGMP levels in penile corous cavernosum of rabbit. Chin Pharmacol Bull 2002; 18: 430–3.

[19] Lee MS, Shin BC, Ernst E. Acupuncture for treating erectile dysfunction: a systematic review. BJU int

2009:104:366-70.

[20] Kho HG, Sweep CG, Chen X, Rabsztyn PR, Meuleman EJ. The use of acupuncture in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res. 1999; 11(1)

 

Topics: tcm, men's health

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