Monday, February 25, 2013

Acupuncture an Antidote for Allergies

Hay fever sufferers who underwent 12 acupuncture sessions experienced fewer symptoms and required less antihistamine medication compared to a control group, researchers from Annals of Internal Medicine.

Acupuncture already helps to relieve pain in some patients, and the latest study hints that it might relieve sneezing and itchy eyes as well.

Most patients plagued with sniffles brought on by seasonal allergies turn to antihistamines for relief, but when they don’t get relief, some opt for alternative treatments like acupuncture.

In a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers examined 422 people who tested positive for pollen allergies and had allergic nasal symptoms such as a runny nose. The participants reported their symptoms as well as what medication and doses they used to treat them. The researchers then divided them into three groups; one received 12 acupuncture treatments and took antihistamines as needed, a second group received 12 fake acupuncture treatments (needles placed at random, non-meaningful points in the body) and took antihistamines as needed, while the final group only took antihistamines for symptoms.

After two months, the researchers asked the patients about their symptoms and how much medication they used. The participants who received the real acupuncture treatments with their antihistamines showed a greater improvement in their allergy symptoms and less use of antihistamines compared to the other groups. 

But if the treatments are providing some type of relief, then acupuncture’s potential role in treating allergies should be investigated further, the authors say. “The effectiveness of acupuncture for [seasonal allergies] compared with other antiallergic interventions and the possible underlying mechanisms of any effect, including context effects, need to be addressed in further research,” they write in the study.

That view is supported by Dr. Remy Coeytaux of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Dr. Jongbae J. Park of the Regional Center for Neurosensory Disorders and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study. They note that acupuncture’s benefits have started to emerge over the last 15 years and enough high-quality clinical trials support “patient-level meta-analyses for several clinical indications.” They suggest that more rigorous research, which would incoude comparing acupuncture with existing teatments for conditions such as allergies, should be conducted in coming years.

They write:
It may be time to begin asking such questions as: How does acupuncture compare directly with other therapeutic approaches? Which of the many acupuncture traditions or approaches is most effective or appropriate for a given clinical indication? What outcomes or process measures should we be assessing in clinical trials of acupuncture? Is the magnitude of effect, if any, associated with acupuncture for a given clinical indication “worth it” from the perspective of patients, payers, or policymakers?

In the meantime, study author Dr. Benno Brinkhaus of the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics at Charité University Medical Center in Berlin wrote in an email response describing the study that “From my experience as a physician and acupuncturist, and as a researcher, I would recommend trying acupuncture if patients are not satisfied with the conventional anti-allergic medication or treatment or they suffer from more or less serious sides effects of the conventional medication. Also because acupuncture is a relative safe treatment.

Share your personal experience with us - what do you think about acupuncture as a way to address seasonal allergies? It's right around the corner....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Acupuncture Petition Reaches its Goal!

We made it!! 
I want to thank everyone who signed the government petition that asks for acupuncturists to be recognized as health care providers under the Social Security Act. 
The Social Security Act recognizes many other health care professionals such as dietitians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, and clinical social workers. More than 26,000 signatures were collected. I hope this will influence the powers-that-be. If we are included legally as health care providers, it increases the likelihood that Medicare and your insurance will cover your treatments, you will have easier access to acupuncture, and we will all benefit from better wellness care. The first step was fittingly accomplished in the first days of the Chinese New Year.

With gratitude,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chinese New Year of the Snake = Renewal for Health On Point!

Yesterday marked the Chinese New Year, kicking off the Year of the Black Water Snake in Chinese astrology. Snake years tend to bring unexpected transformations to our lives. Even while there may not be many outward manifestations of change, there will be plenty of activity beneath the surface.
Snakes have quite complicated and varied symbolism, depending on personal experience.
Snakes, as on the medical emblem, may signal an especially healing time. Since snakes are found in dark places and water, some believe that this particular year of the snake represents magical forces, our own primal energies or instincts.

The snake swallowing itself is related to a cycle, the wheel, the Great Mother archetype. In many cultures across the world, including our own, the symbol of serpents are associated with healing. The ancient Mayan goddess, IxChel, is incredibly powerful. She is a symbol of birth, motherhood and healing.

Snakes especially represent renewal or resurrection since they shed their skin. This week at Health On Point, we would like to announce to our community that soon we too shall be shedding our skin.
Beginning March 1, Health On Point will be moving! Our new home is 325 E. Washington Street (.1 miles away - or a 3 minute walk according to Google Maps!). This is the beautiful Commerce building at Washington and Gilbert - just opposite Gabes. We look forward to sharing the work, transformation, and love we are putting into our new clinic space. This is a wonderful change for us - and YOU! We'd love to hear your input about what you need to complete your own personal renewal and growth in 2013. 
Of course this week includes a very special program for our Facebook fans. In celebration of Chinese New year, Valentine's Day - AND our upcoming move, our transformative essential oil blend, Renewal, is priced at only $5 (that's half off)! Stop by - pick up a bottle for yourself, and a friend (or just yourself).

Thank you for your continued support during this year of the Water Snake. We are embracing this year as a time of Renewal for all of us in the Health On Point community. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sign the White House Petition to Designate 'Acupuncturist' as a Recognized Healthcare Provider under the Social Security Act

Dear Friends & Lovers (of Acupuncture),

There are only days left to sign a crucial petition to alert the Obama Administration to the fact that acupuncturists are not currently recognized as healthcare providers under the Social Security Act and, therefore, cannot get reimbursement for services provided to Medicare patients.

The Social Security Act does recognize other healthcare professionals such as dieticians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, and clinical social workers.
By changing the compensation structure allowed under Medicare, we can ensure that patients have access to their local acupuncturists.

The petition, started one month ago, needs 25,000 signatures by February 10 to get a response from the White House regarding the inclusion of acupuncturists in the Social Security Act. Currently, we have over 10,000 signatures. If you have not yet signed this important petition, please do so now by visiting the following link by February 10:

Please immediately spread the word and forward this petition to your friends and family as every signature counts!

From all of us at Health On Point, thank you for your support and action

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Gateway to Love: a Cup of Tea

Did you know that in some cultures tea is considered an aphrodisiac and is even drank during love making? Under the Ming dynasty in China, tea developed into a positive ritual symbolizing poetry and beauty: a cup of tea became the mirror of the soul. Japanese treat tea as the drink of immortality which had to be brewed in accordance with a very precise ceremonial, making each gesture and each mouthful both an initiation and a poetic ecstasy. When tea began to make its way west in the 17th century, a doctor of Corsican origin, Simon Paoli, tasted it and exclaimed that it should be banned because it was too 'intoxicating'.

Vanilla Bean: The scent and flavor of vanilla is believed to increase lust, which is why it is so common in perfumes. The German physicist Bezaar Zimmermann states in his book, On Experiences, published in 1762, that more than 342 men who had been declared impotent became model lovers after having drunk his vanilla-based decoctions. Even now, in certain regions of Central and South America, including Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela, men try to recapture their former vigor by soaking a few vanilla beans in a glass of tequila or another white alcohol for almost a month.

Gingerroot Slices: It is widely known that gingerroot stimulates the circulatory system. Avicenna, the great Arab physician from the 11th century prescribed honey mixed with ginger and a little pepper to stimulate sexuality. French legend Madame du Barry made a practice of serving ginger to her lovers. It was said to drive all, including her most famous lover, Louis XV, to a state of complete and utter submissiveness. A faculty of medicine founded in Salerno Italy by four legendary physicians produced a collection of precepts of hygiene and diet and spoke of ginger's aphrodisiac qualities:
    "Within the stomach, loins, and in the lung
    Praise of hot ginger rightly may be sung.
    It quenches thirst, revives, excites the brain
    And in old age awakes young love again."

Whole Cloves: Cloves are also a stimulating spice. Its sensual qualities date back as far as 1497 where a king in Kenya spoke: if you are going to the East for the merchandise it produces, if you want cinnamon, cloves and those various aromatics which encourage lust by feeding pleasure... you shall find them in such abundance that you need only content yourself here and go no farther."

Honey: Medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey including cures for sterility and impotence. Medieval seducers plied their partners with mead, a fermented concoction made from honey. Lovers on their "Honeymoon" drank mead and it was thought to "sweeten" the marriage. Galen (2nd century), physician to the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius recommended honey taken at bedtime. Sie Shonagon (14th century), the Japanese authoress, lists honey as a favored aphrodisiac. Sheikh Nefzawi (16th century), author of the notorious sex manual, "The Perfumed Garden", recommended having pine kernels mixed with honey before love making.

Put these alluring ingredients together and you not only have a passion potion, but a very delicious tea as well. Now you know the gateway to love is just a cup of tea away.

This week at Health On Point, stop by for a complementary cup of tea. In addition all teas are 15% off! Not only will we be offering our usual all organic, hand blended teas, but a tiger spice chai blend AND a new limited edition blend - AMOUR.
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