Monday, January 30, 2012

Acupuncture for Emotional Health in At-Risk Teens

Thompson Falls, MT, January 7, 2004 – Spring Creek Academy is a specialty boarding school for teenagers who are struggling in their home, school, or community. Most of the about 450 students are there because of problems with drugs, alcohol, negative peers, low self-esteem, poor academics and low motivation. Beside the academic program, students are participating in a variety of growth and development programs, and recently, progressive directors Cameron and Chaffin Pullan enlisted the help of Oriental Medicine.
From September to December 2003, Miami based OM Programs, founded and operated by Acupuncture Physicians Carmela and Felix Wolf conducted a four month controlled trial program to research the effects of Oriental Medicine on the emotional development of a group of Spring Creek students. The program consisted of a total of twenty acupuncture treatments, Qigong therapy, acupressure instruction, aromatherapy, and daily herbal therapy.
The treatment protocols targeted anxiety, irritability, substance abuse, and general emotional imbalances. Stress and anger management training was also provided. The students participated in daily sessions for one week every month. Every session started with approximately 30 minutes of Five Element Qigong and was followed by acupuncture, utilizing combined auricular and classical body point protocols. During acupuncture, meditation grade Japanese aloes wood incense was burned to enhance relaxation. An herbal formula, Bupleurum Dragonbone, was given twice daily for the whole four months in a conservative dosage. Progress was monitored through questionnaire feedback by faculty, participating students, and a control group.
The questionnaire asked participating students and the students in the control group if they felt stressed, tired, frustrated, unmotivated, irritated, unhappy, confused, misunderstood, unfocussed, anxious, angry, depressed, worried, or uninterested. Students could answer with never, rarely, sometimes, often, very often, or always, to each of the questions.
The same questionnaire was given to the family representative of each of the students. The family representative is the faculty member with the most regular and comprehensive contact to the individual student. The question here was if the respective student generally feels stressed, tired, etc. and the possible answers were identical to the student questionnaire: never, rarely, etc.
Each answer was given a numerical value: 0 for “never”, 1 for “rarely”, 2 for “sometimes”, 3 for “often”, 4 for “very often”, and 5 for “always”. There were 14 questions total, so the highest possible number per questionnaire was 14 x 5 = 70. A numerical value between 10 and 30 would be considered desirable.
The questionnaires were administered at the beginning (09/03) and end of the program (12/03) to 34 continuously participating students and 30 students in the control group. No explanations or rationale for the questionnaire was given to either group.
Beginning of program (09/03):
Control group had an average numerical value of 34.85 (36.1 self assessed and 33.6 by faculty)
Treatment group had an average numerical value of 38.7 (39.4 self-assessed and 38.0 by faculty)
End of program (12/03):
Control group had an average numerical value of 39.58 (40.86 self assessed and 38.3 by faculty)
Treatment group had an average numerical value of 25.0 (24.3 self-assessed and 25.7 by faculty)
As expected, both groups had a fairly high initial value, documenting emotional distress. The treatment group felt even worse reflecting the fact that particularly troubled students were selected for the program, either by their parents or by faculty.
The emotional distress worsened in the control group from September to December by 4.73 points or 13.6% which may be due to the approaching winter, holiday season away from family, etc.
The treatment group, however, improved by a very impressive 13.7 points or 35.4% from September to December. It is important to note that even the faculty assessment of the treatment group improved by 32.4% (student’s self assessment improved 38.2%)
A 13.6% worsening of emotional distress in the control group versus a 35.4% improvement in the treatment group adding up to a total difference of 49% speaks for itself.
The researchers took great care, not to influence or otherwise contaminate the evaluations by students and staff and feel therefore that the results are solid and replicable.
During the 3rd round of treatments in November students were asked to give some feedback on the program. A few sample answers are below.
Matt G.:
“This has actually been one of the most amazing things I’ve been through. It has really stabilized my state of being and brought me to a strange sense of inner peace and joy. I feel cured in many aspects, both, mentally and physically.”
Patrick R.:
“The acupuncture program here has helped me with my anger issues and how I react to things. It has also helped me to become more centered with myself and it improved my lower back pain.”
Matt M.:
“The acupuncture program has been a very good thing for me. I feel less stress and I feel calm and focused. This program has given me a positive thing to go home and get involved in. My craving for drugs has decreased and the focus in my life has increased. I look forward to the acupuncture every night.”
Christopher V.:
“This acupuncture therapy has been amazing! Over the last couple of months my anger problem and my mental obsessions over drugs and alcohol have decreased. I have been sleeping much better and I have been a lot calmer and less jumpy. I am very grateful for having been enrolled in it. Thanks a lot Felix and Carmela!!!”

Acupuncture and Herbs for Panic Attacks

Chief Complaint: Panic Attacks
History: panic attacks set off by exertion, social encounters. 6 year history, 1-2/month.
Symptoms: attacks: gets flushed, palpitations, energy surging upward in her chest (Running Piglet). cold hands and feet, cold body.
Palpation: Pulse: deep thin weak, slightly slippery, KD pulses weak.
Observation: geographic peeled patches, slightly red
OM Diagnosis: HT and KD Yin xu, Rebellious Qi in the Chong Mai
Treatment Principle: Harmonize KD and HT, treat Chong mai
Point Prescription: LU7 , K6, SP4 P6, CV4, LV3, GB34, ST36, CV17, shen men, yin tang
Herb Prescription: Tian wang bu xin dan
Lifestyle Prescription: ensure 8 hours sleep to help KD regenerate
Results: after 2 months treatment, no longer has full blown attacks.  apx 1/wk mild instances of palpitations with fluttering in the throat

Acupuncture and Herbs for Uncontrollable Laughter

Chief Complaint: Uncontrollable Laughter
Medical History: This patient is a 24-year old woman who has periods of uncontrollable laughter for two years. She was in a very bad car accident two years ago, and since that time has been easily startles or “jumpy” and had laughing spells that she is unable to stop. The laughter is worse when she feels overwhelmed. She describes the laughter as a sensation of stress in her chest which moves to her throat and then comes out as laughter. The patient reports that she can partially control the laughter by thinking peaceful thoughts.
Symptoms: Along with the laughter, this patient complains of Plum Pit Qi, or a lump in her throat. She feels hot and wakes up each morning sweating. She is thirsty and needs to drink cold water. The patient has difficulty getting to sleep because her mind is racing, and wakes occasionally, but usually can get back to sleep. She complains of chest tightness, heart palpitations, and has a lot of phlegm which causes her to frequently clear her throat. She feels nausea when she is hungry.
Pulse and Palpation: This patient’s pulse was deep and irregular, with missed beats.
Tongue and Observation: The tongue was light red with a red tip, swollen, and had a thick greasy coating. This patient had a difficult time controlling her laughter during the initial treatment.
OM Diagnosis: Phlegm heat disturbing the Heart.
Point Prescription: Yin Tang and Ear Shen Men to calm the Shen.
Ht 7 to calm the Heart, for insomnia and anxiety.
P6 to calm the Heart, address the middle burner, and for Plum Pit Qi.
LI 11 to clear heat.
St 40 to resolve phlegm.
Liv 3 to calm the mind and for insomnia.
Herb Prescription: Patient initially declined herbs, however after the heat symptoms and laughter had resolved, the Plum Pit Qi remained. At that time the patient took Ban Xia Hou Po Wan.
Lifestyle Prescription: Calcium supplements to help calm the Shen, B complex supplement to help with stress. Gave the patient lists of foods to resolve phlegm and damp, as well as foods to avoid.
Results: After the first treatment, the patient reported that she felt calmer and the laughter was 50-60% improved. She also reported that the feeling of heat was gone. However, the tightness in her chest and the Plum Pit Qi still remained at the third treatment, at which time herbs were prescribed. By the 4th and 5th treatments, the Plum Pit Qi was almost completely gone, and the patient reported that she had only one or two minor episodes of giggling during the previous month
Synopsis: This young woman’s pattern was brought on by the traumatic nature of her car accident two years ago. The accident was a shock which created a Shen disturbance and caused Qi stagnation, which ultimately engendered phlegm and heat. The manifestation of this pattern was a kind of mania (uncontrollable laughter)
as well as Plum Pit Qi. Because this patient was young and otherwise healthy, she responded quickly to the acupuncture and herbal formula.

Acupuncture and Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Chief Complaint: Fatigue
Western Diagnosis: Hypothyroidism
History: none
Symptoms: No energy, wants to sleep all the time, inability to lose weight, feel cold, low back pain, hair loss.
Palpation: Very deep in the kidney positions, slippery in the spleen position, weak.
Observation: Pale tongue with teeth marks
OM Diagnosis: Kidney Yang Xu, Spleen qi xu
Treatment Principle: Tonify the Kidney yang and Qi
Point Prescription: CV 6, ST 25, 36, SP 6, DU 20, Kid 3, 7, SI 3, UB 62
moxa at CV 8
Herb Prescription: Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan with an additional large dose of Huang Qi and an addition of Ren Shen
Lifestyle Prescription: Recommend eating foods that are low on the glycemic index chart, and increasing exercise.
Results: After 6 weeks of herbs and weekly acupuncture sessions, patients thyroid had stabilized and her energy was completely back to normal. Once she re-gained her exercise, she began to lose weight as well.

Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Habitual Miscarriages

Chief Complaint: Frequent miscarriages
Medical History: This patient is a 30-year old woman with a history of frequent miscarriages. In the past year she had two miscarriages, one twelve months ago, and a second miscarriage nine months ago. Each miscarriage occurred during the first trimester of her pregnancy. Her gynecologist prescribed Progesterone and Clomid, neither of which produced a period of viable pregnancy. She has not had a period in six months, and would like to become pregnant again without miscarrying.
Symptoms: This patient has a history of an eating disorder (bulemia), obsessive thinking, and excessive physical activity. She feels cold, especially her hands and feet, but experiences occasional hot flashes and night sweats. She also sweats during the day without exertion. This patient complains of soreness in the lower back and knees. Her appetite is poor, and she feels nausea when her stomach is empty. This patient also reports bruising easily.
Pulse and Palpation: Pulse was slow and thready. Not felt in the Kidney position on either side.
Tongue and Observation: Tongue was light red, light white coat, slightly scalloped, and quivering. The patient’s face was pale, and she was extremely thin.
OM Diagnosis: Sinking of Spleen Qi, Kidney Qi deficiency, and Blood deficiency.
Point Prescription: Du 20 to regulate and raise Qi.
Yin Tang and Ear Shen Men to calm the Shen.
Ren 12 and St 36 to tonify the Spleen.
Ki 3 to tonify Kidney Qi.
Liv 3 and Spl 10 to nourish Blood in the Ren and Chong.
Zi Gong (Baby Palace) to enhance fertility.
Herb Prescription: This patient declined herbs. Appropriate formula would be a combination of Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang plus Er Xian Tang.
Lifestyle Prescription: Decrease physical activity. Suggested that the patient stop running every day, and switch to walking, Yoga, and occasional short runs.
Also suggested gaining five to ten lbs. by eating good quality proteins, whole grains, and dark colored fruits and vegetables. With a history of an eating disorder, this patient was concerned about gaining weight, but was willing to do what was necessary to have a successful pregnancy.
Results: After being treated once a week, the patient had a period in the third week. After eight weeks she became pregnant. She continued treatments throughout the first trimester of her pregnancy, and ultimately delivered a baby boy at full term.
Synopsis: This patient was experiencing frequent miscarriages due to sinking of Spleen Qi. This was most likely caused by damage to the St/Spleen from her bulemia. In addition, the frequent miscarriages combined with excessive exercise created a deficiency of Blood and Kidney Qi, making it hard for her to resume her menses after the miscarriages. By combining acupuncture with dietary changes and decreasing intense physical acitivty, this patient was able to get pregnant and carry the pregnancy to full term.

Chinese Medicine for Colorectal Cancer

Chief Complaint: colorectal cancer
Western Diagnosis: colorectal cancer stage IV
Medical History: age – 55. female. was a smoker and alcohol abuser but quit both 15 years ago, diet includes little vegetable or fruit, high animal fats, high in refined foods, lots sweets, caffeine in form of coffee and also pop, little exercise.
Questioning exam: – blood in stool
- mucus in stool
- pencil stools
- irregular stool with cramping pain in lower abdomen
- night sweats
- poor sleep; wakes frequently to pee and thinking; hard to get back to sleep
Pulse exam: spleen sho – Japanese
moderate pulse – Chinese
doyo gone in all positions on right pulse
slight rapid
Hara: stomach reflex – very tight
spleen reflex area flaccid but hot and sticky
lung reflex both sides sticky
blood stasis reflex tender and tight
Tongue exam: pale body
coat is greasy white with yellow in rear
veins distended – +3
OM Diagnosis: zang du – CRC = organ toxin – stage 4 CRC
damp heat and blood stasis
underlying liver/kidney yin deficiency
Treatment Principle: transform damp heat toxin
stop bleeding
reduce pain with stop bleeding and blood regulating herbs
ameliroate conventional treatment side effects without undermining that treatment
extend life
improve quality of life
Point Prescription: Tianshu
Herbal Formula: huang qi 20gm
dang gui 12
dang shen 15
bai shao 10
hong teng 15
bai bian dou 15
bai hua she she cao 20
yi zhi ren 10
ban zhi lian 20
dan shen 15
gua lou ren 20
yi ren 15
mu xiang 10
hei da zao 5
Lifestyle Prescription: eliminate exposures which include dietary changes like low animal fat, nothing out of a box, no dairy, mostly vegetable – organic only – plus some complex carbohydrate
depends on how things progress but right now these are doable
Results: patient lived for two more years with combined care
even with stage 4 CRC = mets to liver and peritoneum and outer bladder wall.
Lived comfortable and passed away comfortably.
Synopsis: Stage 4 cancers are difficult to treat for cure. However, time can be bought utilizing conventional cytotoxic therapies combined with Chinese medicine. Quality of life is greatly improved.

Oriental Medicine Treatment for Low Libido

Chief Complaint: Low Libido
Medical History: The patient, RR is a 35-year-old male, approximately 5’10” tall and 180 lbs. His chief concern is low libido. The patient has had a normal libido for most of his adult life; however, six months ago he began having a lack of sexual desire.
RR states that he has led an active life, exercises regularly and is currently training for the Portland Marathon. He has been partnered with a woman for four years now and had a mutually satisfying sex life until six months ago. His partner is a 45-year-old female with two children from a previous relationship. The couple would like to have another due to RR’s age and lack of children. The patient is a financial adviser for an insurance company, which until this last summer was very stressful. He now enjoys less stress due to a promotion and hours that are more regular. His only other health concern is that at an annual exam two years ago his doctor found, due to a heart murmur, that he has a bicuspid valve rather than a tricuspid valve in his heart at an annual exam two years ago.
Questioning exam: The problem began approximately six months ago. Prior to this, the patient and his partner had enjoyed a full sex life, having sex approximately 3—4 times per week as a norm. The low libido slowly came on over the course of a month and has persisted and gotten worse. The couple currently enjoys sex 1-2 times per month, more often when she is ovulating. There is no erectile dysfunction and, he functions fine during intercourse.
The patient states that he is “not sure if the problem is mental or physical”. He believes that the condition started when his life relaxed out of a much more stressful time; and does coincide with the timing of them buying a house and deciding to try for a baby. The fact that his life got better and he manifested this causes him much guilt and grief.
Nothing apparently makes the situation better or worse nor is there any time associated with the problem. It seems to continue most of the time. He states that they have a healthy relationship and openly discuss the problem together. She is supportive of him and was the person who suggested he come and try acupuncture.
Diet / Digestion:
RR eats a healthy, varied and balanced organic, low carbohydrate diet. He is currently trying to lose 5 pounds gained over the Christmas season. His digestion is good; he has a little gas occasionally, usually from eating beans or peppers. He takes multi-vitamins as well as psyllium seed to “cleanse his system.”
The patient drinks 1-2L of water per day and has no issues with urination. He has no history of urinary problems, infections, stones etc. His urine is clear and commensurate with his input. He urinates 1-2 times during the night.
RR sleeps 6-8 hours per night and has no trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. For the last few months however, he has not been waking up rested at all and feels tired most of the time. He states that he does dream but does not remember them at all.
The patient’s eyes, ears and nose are normal. On his second appointment, he came in with phlegm in his lungs and a cough, which was resolved with acupuncture and herbal medicine. He otherwise has no lung problems, no history of smoking.
RR states that his emotions are “steady” and aside of one 2-year episode of depression, he is generally happy. He does not feel that he will be prone to the depression again. He wishes he could feel “elated” more often however, and states that being “steady” is somewhat boring and disheartening.
Regarding the libido, RR states that he feels very “passive” about the whole issue of having children. He was the one who began discussions to have the baby, yet he does not seem “active” in making it. He states that since the summer, he has generally felt passive about his entire life in general and this worries him.
Patient Concerns:
RR is obviously concerned about his complaint and has spent time discussing it with his partner. They both very much would like to have children and given her age, it may be difficult. He feels guilty for “adding to the problem by having no desire.”
It was pointed out by the patient that he had “some type of minor heart defect” that was pointed out to him as a child. He has never had issues around this, however, once discussed, the patient pointed out that he had always felt “closed” around the heart area.
Pulse exam: Thready in both the Cun and Guan positions, weak in the Chi on both sides.
Tongue exam: Red with small cracks in center and a thin white coating.
OM Diagnosis: Liver Qi Stagnation/Liver Yin Xu, Kidney Qi Xu, Heart Qi Xu
Treatment Principle: Treatment Principles: Move Liver Qi, soothe Liver; tonify Heart Qi, Tonify Kidney.
Point Prescription: LI 4/LV 3 – To move Qi and blood and assist with moving the Liver Qi.
LV 14 – Front Mu of Liver, moves LV Qi.
HT 3/Ht 7 – Calm the shen, tonify the heart
CV 17 – Front Mu of the Pericardium to help strengthen the Pericardium, but also to assist it in allowing the Heart’s Qi to bring Joy to the patient.
CV 14 – Front Mu of the Heart, tonfies the Heart Qi to strengthen the patient’s Heart Qi to ward off any future problems with the bicuspid heart valve problems, but also to bring more Joy to the patient.
GV 20 and GV 24 – This combination can calm the mind, as GV 24 can powerfully calm the mind, especially when there is the Liver involved. GV 20 helps to move the Qi upward and calm the mind.
Herbal Formula: Xiao Yao Wan patent formula was prescribed at a dosage of 12 pills three times per day.
Lifestyle Prescription: The patient is encouraged to continue his already good exercise program as well as diet. He was also encouraged to find some activities that bring joy to his life and participate in them more often during the coming months.
Results: The patient recieved some results from three treatments and it was determined that a focus on the Heart Qi Xu may be a good course of treatment.
After using Ht 3 and Ht 7 acupoints, the patient experienced a very “light hearted” sensation and began to laugh on the table, insisting that I somehow may be “tickling his chest”. After this treatment the patient reported back that he felt more “free to express joy and emotion” and his wife reported that he was more intimate and able to enjoy the time they had together.
Synopsis: The patient was treated four more times to help with eduction regarding stress as well as to continue to monitor emotional state. He and his wife continued to receive regular maintenance acupuncture as well, resulting in a pregnancy approximately six months later.

Epidemic Cholera treated with Acumoxa Therapy

Chief-complaint: Diarrhea
Western-diagnosis: Cholera
Medical-history: In flood affected areas in Pakistan, gastrointestinal Disorders are very common. Diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting, and colic to mention just a few.
Symptoms: Watery diarrhea, feelings of fullness, cramping pains.
CM-diagnosis: Excess type diarrhea
Treatment-principle: sedate spasms, tonify immunity
Point-prescription: Du 20,
Ren 4, 5 & 6
St. 25, 29, 36, 37 & 39
Li 4 & 11
U.B 25
Sp 4 & 6
Herb-prescription: Homoeopathic and allopathic medicines are being provided where available.
Results: We have tried acupuncture treatment in such cases and got very good results. Even without needling many patients are being treated with laser and electric pulse treatment at the specific acupuncture points. Moxibustion is also very helpful.
In flood affected areas, the diarrhea in children is of Excess type and we are providing Sedative treatment for controlling acute gastro-enteritis, feelings of fullness, cramping pains etc. In such cases we have experienced the specific points treatment along with immune enhancing points proved fruitful.
Synopsis: The members of Acupuncture Promotion & Welfare Society includes medical doctors, homoeopathic doctors and acupuncturists are serving the flood victims to the accessible areas under supervision of Dr Javed Iqbal Ch, The President, Acupuncture Promotion & Welfare Society (APS) Pakistan.

Left Knee Pain Treated with Acupuncture

Chief-complaint: Left Knee Pain for 2 weeks
Western-diagnosis: Left Knee fat pad irritation
Medical-history: 2 weeks ago gradually onset with progressive physical training. Resting, Ice, compression management received but no progression gained. Patient further seek bone-setter treatment but the situation got worse.
Symptoms: Left Knee inferior portion showed significant swelling, with local inflammatory signs significant. Patients walk with pain, and the discomfort increased with going up and down stair.
Pulse: Pulse: fast and superficial.
Palpation: local tenderness with increasing edema around the inferior part of left patella and tibial tuberosity.
Tongue: Red Tongue with thin coating.
CM-diagnosis: Wind heat
Treatment-principle: expel the wind heat
Point-prescription: LI4, LU5, SP9, ST36, LR3(all on painful side)
Herb-prescription: Nil
Lifestyle-prescription: Avoid fried food and keep relax lifestyle. Going up and down stair should be avoided.
Results: pain totally subsided in 1 week. Patient gain his confidence in continuous physical training.

Herbs and Acupuncture for Poison Wood Rash

Chief Complaint: Severe Rash
Western Diagnosis: Poison Wood Rash
Medical History: 57 year old male in good heath with moderately good diet, Plays basketball three times a week for exercise. Past history of fungal type rashes and respiratory infections.
Questioning exam: Patient was hiking on vacation in the Bahamas and brushed against a poison wood tree coming in contact with a black sappy substance. Unaware of what it was, patient tried to remove the sap from his arm. This sap then got under his finger nails and was unknowingly spread to other parts of the body. This sap later caused a severe red, raised rash that oozed and crusted over with bright red margins. Since patient was long distance and had few resources, he was advised to use tea bags on lesions, drink mint tea, and eat cooling foods until return home for treatment.
Pulse exam: Upon return: Wiry, LU, HT deficient at organ level.
Tongue exam: Red tip, wet, slight yellow coat
OM Diagnosis: Wind-heat fire toxin.
Treatment Principle: Dispel wind-heat toxin, relieve surface
Point Prescription: Lu 7, LI 11, LI4, Du 20, Ht 8, Liv 2 surround dragon for lesions
Herbal Formula: Xantium Relive Surface 3×3 times a day, Coptis Purge Fire 3 x two times a day for one week.
Topically: Paste made from Huang Lian, Huang Bai and Huang Qin. applied twice a day for 20 minutes.
Lifestyle Prescription: Once lesions were healed over patient used paste made from pearl powder to help prevent scarring. Patient was advised to seek treatment for underlying Lu deficiency and chronic damp-heat condition.
Results: Very good results. Within 24 hrs. rash was 50% improved. Within three days rash was flat, light red and lesions were 75% gone. Patient continued on Xanthium Relive Surface for one week at which time lesions were only flat, light-red areas
Synopsis: Patient was surprised and pleased with effectiveness of treatment.