Monday, July 15, 2013

Acupuncture and Stroke Patients

Through my years as an Acupuncturist, both in school, out in Temecula, and here in Orange, I have had the opportunity to treat a number of stroke patients, and the results keep me hoping another patient will walk through the door that I can help.

Unfortunately, these patients often show up months and months after the actual stroke has occurred, making it frustrating for me because the most effective way to administer Acupuncture in stroke cases is as close to the actual event as possible. The sooner the treatment is given, the more dramatic and effective the results.

You see, Acupuncture is effective in these cases due to its ability to stimulate specific regions of the brain. MRI studies have shown that when an acupuncture needle is inserted in one part of the body, it will increase brain activity in a certain part of the brain. One instance is the insertion of a needle in a point near the little toe along the channel connected with the Bladder. This increases brain activity in the visual cortex of the brain. It is no surprise then, that the Bladder channel begins near the eye.

The rule of the mind and body is that if you don't use it, you lose it. And so if a part of the brain is damaged due to the stroke, it is less likely to regenerate function if it is not being used. And if it is damaged, it is not being used. But Acupuncture can stimulate that area of the brain and restore function more quickly, so that it can be used, and therefore not permanently lost. Typically after about 6-9 months, he damage can be irreversible, even with Acupuncture.

If you'd like to learn more about how acupuncture works and why it is effective, visit

Friday, July 12, 2013

What makes a good Acupuncturist?

If you've never had Acupuncture before, it may be confusing trying to figure out who to go to, and what they can do for you as a physician. Most people don't even know what is involved in getting the actual procedure of Acupuncture. This blog will attempt to give some guidance about what you should look for before you trust someone to perform Acupuncture.

1. Certification: Like all professional physicians, your Acupuncturist should be licensed to practice by either the State, if they have their own license, or Nationally. In California, this information can be found on the State of California's website by simply typing in the Acupuncturist's name.

2. Specialties: Most Acupuncturists can treat most general disorder, but many have specific specialties that they have developed over the years. If you have chronic back pain, it's probably a good idea to see someone who specializes in pain management and not wrinkle treatments.

3. Communication: Are you comfortable communicating with your Acupuncturist? Can they translate the jargon of Chinese Medical Theory into relate-able information that you can understand? Or do they just have you point at the problem area and stick a bunch of needles in that spot?

4. Accessibility: Are you practically able to see them? Is their office nearby? Do they accept your insurance coverage? Do they have regular office hours? Most Acupuncturists have normal Doctor's office hours and Acupuncture is covered by a large number of insurance providers. If they only accept cash and have limited office hours, find out why.

5. History: What is their history of success? Do they have patient testimonials available?  Have you been referred to them by a friend or by your medical doctor? Often times another person's experience can be expected to be at least a little bit similar to what you can expect, but obviously every person is different, and their problems may respond differently to the same types of treatment.

Hopefully this has given you a good idea of how to approach your first experience with an Acupuncturist, and you can feel confident trying out this safe and effective medicine.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Acupuncture and Kids

At my Acupuncture practice in Orange, I am often asked by my patients, "How old do you have to be to get Acupuncture?" While this is something that most people might wonder, the motivation for the question is often that their own children are suffering from something that they have not been able to effectively treat using western medicine.

The reality is that I have done Acupuncture on my 3 year old son, and if you could get your kids to sit still, you could do it on them at an even younger age! There is no reason that a child should have to suffer if a solution cannot be found at the general practitioner's office. Chinese medicine and Acupuncture have a long, rich history of treating pediatric problems, using such modalities as simple as applying a slice of raw ginger to a specific Acupuncture point.

You see, because kids have such abundant energy and internal resources, they are able to self correct problems much easier once proper treatment has been given. And if their path can be corrected as soon as possible, then it can change the course of their life and take them to a very different place down the road. That's why it is important to address pediatric issues immediately, and some patient's even bring their children in right away at the slightest hint of a cold or flu!

By correcting health issues early on in life, you are putting your children on a path to success and vitality, one that I assure you they will thank you for one day.

If you live in the Orange County area, and have questions about how Acupuncture can help your kids, please visit my website and click the "Contact us" link.