Posts Tagged ‘medications’

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The medical definition of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is as follows: ‘The compression of the median nerve as it passes through the wrist to enter the palm of the hand, causing pain and numbness in the index and middle fingers and weakness of the thumb.’ This definition is generic as pain and weakness in the hand and fingers can certainly be attributed to other conditions.

Because of the medical definition many people are improperly diagnosed, even though their symptoms might fit the criteria above. No matter what the cause, if you are experiencing tingling, muscle tightness, numbness, stiffness, sharp pain, and loss of muscle strength either in the arms and hands or legs and feet. A pinched nerve may occur anywhere along the spine or body.

Many musicians are especially prone to carpal tunnel syndrome or similar symptoms, due to the constant overuse of certain muscles and joints, causing inflammation and irritation. Performers and athletes as well as the general aging population, also have repetitive motion injury, old sprains that flare up, herniated or bulging discs, or misaligned vertebrae. In certain cases it may be necessary to consult an M.D. to find the root of nerve compression.

Acupuncture reduces pain, stimulates nerve conduction, increases blood circulation, moves vertebrae and discs back into place, and relaxes muscle tightness and spasm. Electrical acupuncture, moxibustion, massage are also a part of treatment protocol for treating the symptoms listed above. All of these reduce or eliminate compression on specific nerves. Daily intake of herbs can also reduce pain, relax muscles, and increase blood circulation to the area of discomfort.

Whatever the cause of this pain or discomfort, I can help. My therapeutic efforts work to prevent injury or if after the fact, speed recovery time. Let us help you put an end to daily doses of Advil, or in more severe cases, avoid surgery. For those in the performing arts, working with me will help increase your performance capabilities as well as help prevent the cancellation of shows.

Patient testimonial:

“My sciatica flared up right in the middle of recording and I could barely move. I was desperate. Thanks to Doc Heather, recording went on uninterrupted, actually saving us money.”

- Jeff R., Keyboardist

Chinese Medicine and Treating Autism

Acupressure/acupuncture, herbs, and comprehensive nutrition are a safe, comfortable, and effective way to treat problems associated with autism. It is especially helpful in conjunction with Western therapies. Each person responds differently to treatment, but there is a decrease in symptoms and more fulfilling way of life as a result.

What Chinese medicine treats:

  • Hyperactivity Increasing attention span
  • Increasing immunity
  • Improving verbal and non verbal communication
  • Reducing temper & aggression
  • Improving motor skills
  • Regulating sensitivity to pain
  • Detoxification Insomnia
  • Decreasing side effects of medication

Do I Need to Detox?

Do I Need to Detox?

I get asked this question a lot. Our bodies aren’t made to handle the amount of toxins we’re constantly exposed to. Toxin overload can lead to a whole host of illnesses and side effects. Take the quiz below to see if you need to do a cleanse.

  • Do you eat processed foods, fast food and/or eat out regularly?
  • Do you eat non-organic animal products and produce?
  • Do you consume genetically altered foods?
  • Do you eat foods containing hydrogenated oil?
  • Do you or have you used artificial sweeteners (Nutrasweet/Aspartame, Splenda, Sweet n Low)?
  • Do you eat foods containing preservatives, additives, dyes, or sweeteners?
  • Do you charbroil or grill foods?
  • Do you drink coffee, soda or alcohol regularly?
  • Do you drink unfiltered tap water?
  • Do you use a microwave?
  • Do you microwave/cook/store food in plastic containers?

If the majority of your answers are yes, then your diet contributes significantly to your toxic load. Most likely, you’re also exposed to other irritants such as pollution, cigarette smoke, dry cleaning fluids, cosmetics and beauty products, exhaust fumes, cleaners, and medications.

You might want to consider detoxing, if you’re experiencing any of the following:

Weight gain

Fatigue

Food cravings

Insomnia

Reduced mental clarity

Poor digestion

Low libido

Autoimmune disorders

Cancer

Hormonal Imbalances

Thyroid Disorders

Adrenal Exhaustion

Infertility

Arthritis

Not all cleanses are created equal. Many of my patients try one, that ‘everyone’ is doing with no results.  Sometimes, they even feel worse. It’s important to have a qualified physician help you find one that is right for you. When done correctly, the results can be life changing. And remember, if you go back to your old habits once you’ve completed a cleanse, the benefits won’t last. I see a lot of people go through the effort, but don’t change their lifestyle. I highly recommend avoiding unhealthy foods and products to guarantee long lasting results.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

ADD and your child

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 percent of children aged    4 to 17 are diagnosed with ADHD.  Many of these cases are prescribed Ritalin.  For those  of you without kids, Ritalin is a drug made up of methylphenidate which is a stimulant affecting the central nervous system.

As more and more kids are being prescribed Ritalin, more and more parents wonder:  What am I giving my child?  Most can agree that the number of children under 17 that     are taking drugs to treat ADHD in this country is surprising.  However, Attention Deficit Disorder and hyperactivity is a real problem and parents feel a burning need to ensure the wellbeing of their children. I fervently believe that these mental health issues in children are real, and must be treated, but I would like to recommend acupuncture, herbs, and proper nutrition are safer, long lasting approaches.

While doctors will often refer to the drug as a “mild” stimulant, the fact is, Ritalin is a stimulant.  While some stimulants can indeed yield positive results in adults and children, it is important to understand what’s going on physiologically, and to be aware of potentially harmful side effects.  Here are some of the basics:
- Stimulants can raise heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure.
- Stimulants are often addictive.
- Stimulants can lower appetite thus compromising a child’s sense of proper nutrition.
- Prolonged use or abuse of stimulants can have mental side effects as well,
including anxiety, paranoia, and may cause aggression.

If your child is currently using Ritalin and experiencing unpleasant side effects, ask your physician about alternative treatments.  As a healthcare professional, I know that first and foremost is your child’s wellbeing.  Whenever using acupuncture for kids, I like to show them that it is safe by placing the needles on their parents.  This eases some of the worry that children may have when it comes to needles.  Any licensed acupuncturist will make sure to move slowly and adjust for a child’s comfort level.  Most kids feel triumphant after undergoing the treatments and their parents proudly report a new sense of calm that has swept over their household.

Acupuncture for kids (or acupressure as an equally effective no-needle alternative), has been growing and the results are incredible.  Over 150,000 kids received acupuncture treatments last year alone, and recent studies are showing that these treatments have been effective for almost two thirds of patients, according to the 2008 report published by the National Center for Health and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

I have seen these results firsthand.  For the past decade of my practice I have been so inspired by the children who have come through my doors.  Children who could not sit still, had no interest in studying, and who’s mood swings were off the charts.  These are special, sometimes brilliant children whose hyperactivity has crippled their performance in school and put strain on their social development.  Chinese medicine has provided kids and parents with a working solution that is painless, and side effect free.

Please, if you have more questions about Attention Deficit Disorder or anxiety, do ask.  Because when it comes to the health of you and your children, communication is key.

Live natural.  Live well,

Heather

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