5 Tips to Help With TMJ

5-Tips-to-Help-TMJ-img_450Commonly known as TMJ, temporomandibular joint pain affects over 10 million Americans and can involve difficulty chewing, jaw muscle stiffness and painful popping or clicking, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Although for some people the pain of TMJ goes away on its own, others develop long-term problems and need treatment to help their pain.

Here are five tips you can practice at home to help your TMJ symptoms. continue reading »

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5 Steps to Improve Your Hearing

5-Steps-to-Improve-Your-Hearing-img_640Many of us have already experienced or will experience some amount of hearing loss. This can be due to aging or noise-induced factors. Exposure to loud sound over time can permanently damage the ears and result in hearing loss.

If you find yourself struggling with hearing and feeling the need to turn up the TV or your music louder, you may be experiencing hearing loss. Here are five steps to improve your hearing and prevent further damage. continue reading »

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PTSD and Acupuncture

NCPTSD-Aware_FBYou’ve seen the strained look on his face. He’s far away. He doesn’t sleep well and sits around all day doing nothing. He’s always tired. You’ve invited him to the things he loves doing, but he never feels like doing them anymore. Sometimes he yells a lot—really overreacts. But when you ask him what’s wrong, he denies any problems.

You’re happy he is back from Iraq, but you thought it would be different. You thought you could get back to normal.

You thought that having him home safe would make both of you happy again. he’s not at war anymore—why is he acting this way?

Your loved one may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Many veterans suffer from PTSD. The Veterans Administration (VA) reports that as many as 11-20% of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have it. Common war traumas include having been shot at, having seen someone shot or having seen death, but anothim cause of PTSD in veterans is military sexual trauma (MST). According to the VA, 23% of women in the military report sexual assault.

These numbers are scary but the good news is that there is help. There are even free clinics that provide acupuncture.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a physiological disorder that can result from being exposed to a traumatic event. The disorder results in several different symptoms.

  • • Re-experiencing.  Some PTSD sufferers relive the traumatic event over and over. This can be in the form of bad memories, nightmares and flashbacks. Sights, sounds and smells can trigger re-experiencing the event.
  • • Sometimes people with PTSD avoid the people, places and events that remind them of what happened.
  • •  Symptoms of numbing include trouble expressing emotions, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, and the loss of memory of parts of the traumatic event.
  • • Anger, irritability, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, feeling on guard and being easily startled or surprised are common arousal symptoms.

The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in someone’s life can be far reaching. Feelings of hopelessness, shame and despair, problems at work or with relationships, serious health problems, depression, anxiety and drug or alcohol abuse are not uncommon.

How Can I Help my Friend or Relative with PTSD?

There are many ways you can help your friend or relative with PTSD.

  • • Learn everything you can about PTSD so you have a good idea what your friend is going through.
  • • Offer to go to doctor visits with your friend. Help keep track of medications and therapy. If your friend is learning new techniques to cope with stress, ask if there is any way you can help.
  • • Be available to listen, but be understanding if your friend doesn’t want to talk. Listen with an open heart. Don’t judge, argue or problem-solve. Listen with compassion.
  • • Plan fun activities to get him. Be aware of events or environments that are difficult and plan events to be as stress-free as possible.
  • • Encourage your friend to get support from family and old friends.
  • • Pay attention to any comments about hurting himself and report them to him therapist or doctor.

Sometimes supporting someone with PTSD is challenging. Get support for yourself so you are able to help your loved one. Seek safety and help immediately if your friend or relative becomes violent or threatening.

PTSD Crisis Resources

If you or your loved one is in crisis:

  • Call 911.
  • Go to your nearest Emergency Room.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Press “1” if you   are a veteran.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in Spanish/Español 1-888-628-9454.
  • Go to the Veterans Crisis Line website to chat live with a crisis counselor at any time of day or night.

There are many new treatments available for soldiers and veterans suffering PTSD. The Veterans Administration has information about some of the thimapies that have been most effective.

Acupuncture for PTSD

The Military Stress Recovery Project (MSRP) is a unique program that provides free community acupuncture to veterans and active duty soldiers with PTSD and their family members.

MSRP has its roots in helping hurricane victims. In 2005, Diana Fried organized Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) to bring free community acupuncture to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. With the success of this program, Diana decided to use the same techniques to bring trauma relief services to veterans. he created MSRP and the program has since expanded to 27 different clinics.

Treatment in a MSRP clinic is unique for several reasons. Patients are treated in a group setting, sitting in comfortable chairs. Thime is an environment of calm and support. And the patients are treated using the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol, a series of 5 needles placed in one ear. The program is designed to address all the needs of people with PTSD.

The MSRP clinics have been very successful. Patients report stress reduction, improved mental clarity, improved energy, enhanced performance, better sleep, fewer bad dreams and headaches, less anxiety and depression, reduced anger and pain, improved general health and better relationships.

Of course, if your loved one doesn’t have a MSRP clinic nearby, or if he or he prefers a private environment, you can contact me for an appointment or a referral to local acupuncturist.

What Can You Do to Help Veterans with PTSD?

If you know someone with PTSD, reach out to them and offer support. And if you want to help even more, donate money or volunteer at community services for veterans.   Many programs offer free services for veterans and they can always use assistance. Some places to start:

Thank you to the soldiers and veterans who have served our country so bravely.

 

Please contact me at 912-424-2871 with any questions on how acupuncture can help those that suffer from PTSD. Complimentary Consultations are available.  I also offer a FREE Community Clinic using the NADA protocol from 1:00 – 2:00 pm on Wednesdays in the lobby of Advanced Healthcare Center.

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Fit versus Healthy

balanced-stones-blog-61515There is a difference between being in top physical shape and holistically healthy. Some people may be in great athletic shape, but actually neglecting their body’s other internal health needs.

There have been numerous cases where professional athletes in the peak of their careers have died of heart attacks and other natural complications. Could these deaths have been prevented by taking better care of their overall health? Possibly. continue reading »

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5 Oils and Alternative Treatments for Your Skin

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Photo credit: Dầu dừa (Flickr)

Skin issues can happen at any age. Whether you have dry, oily or sensitive skin, it can get complicated.

Although there are many products on the market that promise to “cure” your skin ailments, natural alternatives have proven to be effective and one of the safest options for skin treatment.

Here are just a few of the different oils that are easy to add to your skin maintenance routine and can help with frustrations you may be facing. continue reading »

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Relieve Your Arthritis With Acupuncture

hand-351277_1280Arthritis is a painful and oftentimes debilitating condition that’s characterized by inflammation within one or more joints. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 2 people will develop osteoarthritis of the knee by the age of 85. It’s important to note, however, that there are several different types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being just one. Other common types include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, septic arthritis, Still’s disease, and ankylosing spondylitis.

While most people living with moderate-to-severe arthritis resort to prescription medication to mask their symptoms, a safer and more effective form of treatment may come in the form of a 2,000-plus-year-old Chinese practice called acupuncture. Numerous studies have found acupuncture to offer relief of many different types of arthritis. And best of all, it doesn’t come with the adverse side effects associated with arthritis medication.  continue reading »

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Alternative Treatment Options For Allergies and Asthma

woman-699008_1920 copyDo you suffer from allergies or asthma? It’s a little-known fact that these two conditions are directly linked to each other. Asthma, which affects roughly one in 12 people according to the CDC, is characterized by spasms of the small airways and inflammation. Furthermore, about 90% of children under the age of 16 with asthma have allergies, while 70% of people between the ages of 16 and 30 have allergies, and 50% of adults over the age of 40 have allergies.  continue reading »

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Alternative Treatment for IBS

peppermint-tea-1109Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disease suffered by an estimated 25-45 million people in the United States. Symptoms include chronic abdominal pain, bloating, excess gas and irregular bowel movements. Symptoms can be brought on by a number of triggers including anxiety, insomnia and stress. Although there is no known cure to IBS, there are numerous alternative treatments to prescription medication that can help relieve symptoms. continue reading »

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Alternative Treatments for Fertility

pregnant-422982About 10 percent of couples struggle with infertility and an inability to conceive, according to the Centers for Disease Control. For those struggling to have children, fertility treatment can become tiring and expensive very quickly. There are numerous alternative treatments including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that have been thought to improve fertility. continue reading »

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The 7 Secrets You Never Knew About Acupuncture

acu-03092015There’s a certain level of mysticism surrounding the ancient holistic practice of acupuncture. Those who haven’t tried it may view it as some sham practice with no real value or benefit. On the other hand, those who have tried are fully aware of its powerful effects on the human body.

#1) There Are Hundreds of Acupuncture Points Throughout The Body

Acupuncture is typically performed on specific points throughout the body, including points both along the meridian and outside the meridian. The number of acupuncture points continues to change on a regular basis, but the latest estimate is around 695 (not including ear treatments). continue reading »

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