In a 2015 study published by the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, researchers found auricular acupuncture treatments, provided extended pain relief and people needed fewer dosages of pain medications. According to the study, a specific type of acupuncture, known as Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA) was used to treat 56 patients who were afflicted with an acute onset of a sore throat. All the participants were monitored for pain levels and dosages of medications taken at the 15-minute mark, six-hour mark, 24-hour mark and 48-hour mark. In both areas, the group of participants who received Battlefield Acupuncture reported decreased pain levels and less need for pain medications. This
study concludes Battlefield Acupuncture is associated with reduced levels of pain for up to 24 hours and decreased dosages of pain medication for up to 48 hours.
A sore throat can be more than just an annoyance. It can be painful and costly when missing work becomes a necessity. Unfortunately, in the United States, many people cannot afford to take time off work for illness because they don’t get any paid leave. This can exacerbate the issue and sometimes make it even more severe, turning it into something like strep throat, which can lead to severe health complications.
The typical treatment for a sore throat is non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and possibly antibiotics
when deemed appropriate. But Traditional Chinese Medicine treats a sore throat differently. In TCM there are two
common causes of an acute sore throat, an attack by wind-heat or an attack by wind-dryness. There may be others
also, but these are the two most common. This is how TCM differentiates the causes of the affliction. TCM theory
states there are certain elements that can attack the body and create illness. Because a sore throat is almost always
accompanied by some form of inflammation, there is usually heat generated.
A wind-heat invasion occurs when the Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”) is weaker than the invading force or pathogen.
The Wei Qi is thought to be the defense that protects our bodies from outside forces. Think of Wei Qi as our immune
system. When the Wei Qi is depleted or decreased, pathogens can break through and take root. With a wind-heat
attack there may be fever, chills, sweating, headaches, body aches, a cough and a sore throat. A wind-dryness invasion
is very similar to a wind-heat invasion, but there are more predominant signs of dryness, such as dry nose, mouth and
throat and a dry cough. Regardless, the way to tackle either attack is by clearing heat and boosting the Wei Qi. This
can be done fairly quickly through the use of acupuncture and herbs.
Acupuncture and in particular, Battlefield Acupuncture can bring quick relief to those suffering from a sore throat. Battlefield Acupuncture involves placing needles at specific points in the ear. When these points are stimulated, they help to balance
the flow of the body’s energy. Studies show using these points can inhibit certain neurotransmitters and inflammatory markers, as well as release endogenous opioids that fight off pain.
As with any type of illness, the sooner somebody receives treatment, the sooner the illness may clear up. The same goes with an acute sore throat. If you feel a sore throat coming on, schedule an appointment with a local licensed acupuncturist. You might just be surprised at the results. acupuncture treatments, osteoarthritis sufferers can effectively manage this debilitating disease.
The organs in Chinese medicine are more than just a physical representation. The organs include not only their physiological function, but also their mental, emotional, spiritual and elemental qualities that align with nature and the seasons. Let’s explore the heart.
The heart season is summer, and heart is considered the most yang: hot, bountiful and abundant. Yang is what is bright, moving, outward, hot and loud. Yin is what is more inward, still, dark and cooler. The color of the heart is associated with red, the climate is heat, the flavor is bitter and it’s paired organ is the small intestine (many urinary issues are due to “heart fire” heat descending). The sense aligned with heart is the tongue, and the vessels associated with heart are the tissues. The heart sound is laughing, and the emotion is joy. The heart houses what is known as the shen, which is the mind and spirit. You can see a person’s shen in a healthy complexion and radiant eyes that are clear and bright. The heart is in charge of circulation and keeps the tissues well nourished. It is also associated with mental clarity, memory and strength. The motion of this fire element is upward, like a flame. Many who have this element dominant in their personality have red hair that is curly or spikes upward. The heart is also connected to speech. An imbalance in heart energy can result in stuttering, speaking excitedly or talking excessively.
A healthy heart energy exudes a sense of joy, fun, enthusiasm, action, warmth, charisma and fun. These people are the “life of the party,” and love to have a good time with friends and to be the center of attention. When the heart is balanced, sleep is sound and one is well rested.
On the other hand, when there is an overabundance of fire this can result in restlessness, anxiety, sweating, excitability and symptoms such as palpitations, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, disturbing dreams, mouth sores, thirst, red face, constipation and dryness. This person might shrink if not in the limelight and would constantly seek attention and need activities that produce a lot of excitement. He or she might have trouble being introspective and could not be alone. “Overjoy” is an imbalance of heart energy and is likened to manic behavior. A dominant fire may also be extremely sensitive to heat. A lack of the fire element, on the other hand, can result in a lusterless complexion, low energy, inertia, depression, feeling cold, low libido and the personality may lack warmth. This type may seem cold, frigid, lack drive and may be prone to addictions.
How to help your heart stay in balance? Red foods have been shown to help the heart biochemically; foods such as hawthorn berries, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, watermelon, peppers and goji berries keep your heart happy with lycopene and anthocyanin, antioxidants and beneficial vitamins. Other helpful foods include garlic, cayenne, cilantro, basil, magnesium (found in leafy greens, nuts and soy) and green tea. Also try ginseng, jujube dates, reishi mushrooms, dong quai, seaweed and schizandra berries. Calming activities such as walking, tai qi, or qi gong help calm the shen.
It is best not to self-diagnose, so see your healthcare provider to see if those foods are right for you. You don't want to assume you have too much of one element and end up eating the wrong foods. A Chinese medical specialist can give you a proper diagnosis as far as the Five Element theory goes to see which element is dominant in you, and they can treat your condition with acupuncture, herbs and offer advice for beneficial changes in diet and lifestyle.
Lara Aitken, Holistic Doctor, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture Physician, Life & Health Coach, Women's Business Coach, Reiki Practitioner, Hypno-therapist, Yoga therapist.