Category Archives for Chinese Medicine

Insomnia and Acupuncture

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia includes inability to fall asleep, waking up at night, restless sleep. Also included, waking up early and dream disturbed sleep as well as being unrefreshed by sleep. Sleep is vital to us as it is the way the body and mind to restore and refresh itself. Sleep helps to restore the immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems. These are vital processes that maintain mood, memory, and cognitive function, and also plays a large role in the function of the endocrine  and immune system.  In TCM terms, good quality sleep as well as a properly functioning digestive system is the way to restore Qi. Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits, specific substances, and/or certain biological factors. It’s important to first understand what could be causing your sleep difficulties.

What are the Medical Causes of Insomnia? 

There are many medical conditions (some mild and others more serious) that can lead to sleeplessness. In some cases, a medical condition itself can be the cause. While in other cases, symptoms of the condition cause discomfort that can make it difficult for a person to sleep.

Examples of medical conditions that can cause insomnia are:

  • Allergies/sinus
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as reflux
  • Endocrine problems such as hyperthyroidism
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Low back pain

Medications such as those taken for the common cold and nasal allergies, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid disease, birth control, asthma, and depression can also cause insomnia.

In addition, insomnia may be a symptom of underlying sleep disorders. For example, restless legs syndrome-a neurological condition in which a person has an uncomfortable sensation of needing to move his or her legs-can lead to insomnia. Sleep apnea is another sleep disorder linked to insomnia. With sleep apnea, a person’s airway becomes partially or completely obstructed during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing and a drop in oxygen levels. This causes a person to wake up briefly but repeatedly throughout the night. People with sleep apnea sometimes report experiencing insomnia.

If you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to review your health as a whole and think about whether any underlying medical issues or sleep disorders could be contributing to your sleep problems. In some cases, there are simple steps that can be taken to improve sleep. Like avoiding bright lighting while winding down and trying to limit possible distractions, such as a TV, computer, or pets. Some people experience insomnia when light levels in the bedroom are too high, especially during the period of the full moon. In that case installing black out blinds can help. You should not simply accept poor sleep as a way of life.

Is there a link between Insomnia & Depression?

Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric conditions such as depression. Psychological struggles can make it hard to sleep. Insomnia itself can bring on changes in mood, and shifts in hormones and physiology can lead to both psychiatric issues and sleep issues at the same time.

Sleep problems may represent a symptom of depression, and the risk of severe insomnia is much higher in patients with major depressive disorders. Studies show that insomnia can also trigger or worsen depression.

It’s important to know that symptoms of depression, such as low energy, loss of interest or motivation, feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and insomnia can be linked, and one can make the other worse. The good news is that both are treatable with acupuncture and herbal medicine regardless of which came first. Exercise systems like Qigong are a mind/body exercise system and can help with insomnia.

What about Insomnia & Anxiety?

Most adults have had some trouble sleeping because they feel worried or nervous, but for some it’s a pattern that interferes with sleep on a regular basis. Anxiety symptoms that can lead to insomnia include:

  • Tension
  • Getting caught up in thoughts about past events
  • Excessive worrying about future events
  • Feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities
  • A general feeling of being revved up or overstimulated

It’s not hard to see why these symptoms of general anxiety can make it difficult to sleep. Anxiety may be associated with onset insomnia (trouble falling asleep), or maintenance insomnia (waking up during the night and not being able to return to sleep). In either case, the quiet and inactivity of the night often brings on stressful thoughts or even fears that keep a person awake.

Increasing work loads can lead to insomnia as the mind begins to process the days work during sleep leading to wakefulness.

Insomnia & Lifestyle

Insomnia can be triggered or perpetuated by your behaviors and sleep patterns. Unhealthy lifestyles and sleep habits can create insomnia on their own (without any underlying psychiatric or medical problem), or they can make insomnia caused by another problem worse.

Examples of how specific lifestyles and sleep habits can lead to insomnia are:

  • You work at home in the evenings. This can make it hard to unwind, and it can also make you feel preoccupied when it comes time to sleep. The light from your computer could also make your brain more alert.
  • You take naps (even if they are short) in the afternoon. Short naps can be helpful for some people, but for others they make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
  • You sometimes sleep in later to make up for lost sleep. This can confuse your body’s clock and make it difficult to fall asleep again the following night.
  • You are a shift worker (meaning that you work irregular hours). Non-traditional hours can confuse your body’s clock, especially if you are trying to sleep during the day, or if your schedule changes periodically.

Simple problem gets worse

Some cases of insomnia start out with an acute episode but turn into a longer-term problem. For example, let’s say a person can’t sleep for a night or two after receiving bad news. In this case, if the person starts to adopt unhealthy sleep habits such as getting up in the middle of the night to work, or drinking alcohol before bed to compensate. The insomnia can continue and potentially turn into a more serious problem. Instead of passing, it can become chronic.

Once this happens, worry and thoughts such as, “I’ll never sleep,” become associated with bedtime, and every time the person can’t sleep, it reinforces the pattern.

This is why it’s important to address insomnia instead of letting it become the norm.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

This varies from person to person. Some people need as little as 4-5 hours of sleep a night while others need 9-10 to function normally. As a general rule look to how much sleep you used to have in the past.

Can Insomnia be linked to certain Foods?

Certain substances and activities, including eating patterns, can contribute to insomnia. If you can’t sleep, review the following lifestyle factors to see if one or more could be affecting you:

Alcohol is a sedative. It can make you fall asleep initially, but may disrupt your sleep later in the night.

Caffeine is a stimulant. Most people understand the alerting power of caffeine and use it in the morning to help them start the day and feel productive. Caffeine in moderation is fine for most people, but excessive caffeine can cause insomnia. Caffeine can stay in your system for as long as eight hours, so the effects are long lasting. If you have insomnia, do not consume food or drinks with caffeine too close to bedtime.

Nicotine is also a stimulant and can cause insomnia. Smoking cigarettes or tobacco products close to bedtime can make it hard to fall asleep and to sleep well through the night. Smoking is damaging to your health. If you smoke, you should stop.

Heavy meals close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep. The best practice is to eat lightly before bedtime. When you eat too much in the evening, it can cause discomfort and make it hard for your body to settle and relax. Spicy foods can also cause heartburn and interfere with your sleep.

Insomnia & The Brain 

In some cases, insomnia may be caused by certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are known to be involved with sleep and wakefulness.

There are many possible chemical interactions in the brain that could interfere with sleep and may explain why some people are biologically prone to insomnia and seem to struggle with sleep for many years without any identifiable cause—even when they follow healthy sleep advice.

How can TCM help?

A customised combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas can offer fast and lasting results.

Acupuncture – A TCM practitioner would select specific acupoints depending on the type of disharmony and use stimulating hand techniques to stimulate Qi.

Herbal Medicine –Chinese herbs for insomnia are a very effective treatment for insomnia.

Gui pi wan, for example, is herbal formula in pill form is particularly effective for overworked patients especially if they have digestive issues.

Suan Zao Ren/Sour Jujube Seeds is a herb, which when included in a formula, will help with insomnia, palpitations, anxiety as well as night sweats. Jujubes contain a wide array of different trace elements, including magnesium, potassium, copper, niacin, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and iron. They contain 20 times more vitamin C than any citrus fruit, strengthening the immune system and fighting infections, which may be why they’ve been used medicinally for millennia in many cultures, as a tea for sore throat, for example.

Medical studies have found that jujube fruits and extracts have the capacity help lower blood pressure, reverse liver disease, treat anemia, and inhibit the growth of tumor cells that can lead to leukemia. Jujube extracts are also used in skin care products used to diminish wrinkles, relieve dry skin, and treat sunburn pain.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of the best things we can do for good health. If you find yourself short of sleep, TCM can help trace the roots of your insomnia and design an effective treatment for you. In TCM, there is no one solution which cures all for everyone. Rather, each patient receives an individualised formula for them to address the symptoms presented. There are a variety of herbal formulae that have been shown to help those with insomnia, that is, to sleep more deeply and achieve a full night’s sleep and wake up refreshed. Pairing a herbal formula with regular acupuncture treatments helps. Also, mindfulness exercises/Qigong, will help. As a result, TCM can be used to improve the quality of sleep without the sluggish side effects of sleeping tablets.

To make an appointment with David Hankey, call Acupuncture Cork on 087 2744735, or email: davidwhankey@gmail.com

Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) in the treatment of tumours

Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) in the treatment of tumours

                               dong-ling-cao-tabletsdong-ling-cao

Dong Ling Cao : Latin Name : Herba Rabdosiae

dong-ling-cao

Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) is a herb used in Chinese Medicine for the treatment of tumours and cancer. When treating tumours and cancer it is normal to use a combination of herbs to make a formula which is specific for that patient. Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) is usually prescribed as well as a single herb, in tablet form. While the herbal formula is prescribed specifically for the symptoms of that patient, Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) acts against tumours in general. In my practice, I have treated many patients successfully using this herb, alone and with herbal formulae.

 Overview This herb is the dried whole plant of Rabdosia rubescens of the family Labiatae. It is grown in the northern provinces of China. mainly in Henan province and areas south of Yellow River Valley. Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) is an antipyretic. Many medications have antipyretic effects and thus are useful for fever but not specifically “heat” illness.  It detoxes the body, is a blood-circulation activating agent, and is an anodyne/relieves pain, as well as an antitumor agent.

Use of Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) in TCM

Bitter in taste and cool, it acts on the stomach, liver and lung meridians.

Effects, Medicinal Uses, and Combinations

  1. Antitumorous: Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) in tablet form is used for malignant tumors, specifically esophageal, breast, liver, stomach, lung, and thyroid cancers. I have found it good for skin cancer and mast cell tumours. It can be used alone or with other anticancer herbs.
  2. Relieves Heat and detoxifies: can be used for the common cold, flu, fever, acute laryngitis, pharyngitis, and bronchitis. Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) is used alone or as part of a herbal formula.
  3. Invigorates blood circulation and relieves pain: for arthralgia – swollen joints, and pain. Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) is used in tablet form part of a herbal formula.
  4. Dosage 3-5 tablets, 2-3 times a day or as prescribed.

Precautions 

The herb is potent. Do not overdose. Not for pregnant or breast feeding women without consulting a qualified practitioner.

Side Effects and Toxicity

As reported in classical Chinese materia medica, the herb may sometimes cause nausea, stomach pain, a feeling of fullness in the stomach, and diarrhea after administering the herb to cancer patients.

Pharmacological Findings

Rabdosia is antimicrobial and antitumor.
As part of Chinese Medicine strategy, it clears heat and toxins, nourish yin, remove blood stasis, reduces swelling, and relieves pain.

Dong Ling Cao (Rabdosia) is used to treat cancer of esophagus, and gastroesophageal junction, breast and liver. For swelling of throat, insect bites, snake bites, and inflammation of the tonsils.

It is effective for epithelial hyperplasia of esophagus; for stomach ache due to stomach-heat, inflammation of the throat, cough, mammary abscess, chronic bronchitis, and chronic inflammation of the pelvic area.

These herbal tablets are not sold over the counter or are generally sold without a proper diagnoses by a practitioner of Chinese Herbal Medicine.

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms or would like a consultation with me, please email:

davidwhankey@gmail.com

or phone 087 2744 735

David Hankey

Acupuncture Cork.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for Weight Loss Part 2

Traditional Chinese Medicine For Weight Loss Part 2

Here are some thoughts on how Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can help with weight loss and improving the digestion. Acupuncture for weight loss involves the insertion of tiny needles to help improve the digestion. Traditional Chinese Medicine for weight loss would be the use of herbal medicine to improve the digestion.

One pill makes you thinner
Diet drugs have made a comeback, but even the medical profession acknowledges their limits. Most produce modest result for the majority of patients and are for short -term use only. And some studies show that once you stop taking the medication, any lost weight is gained back. Then there are the possible side effects, such as elevated blood pressure, dizziness, insomnia, gastrointestinal disturbances and impotence to be taken into account.
Some diet programs use nutritional supplements or prescription medications to suppress your appetite. This makes no sense from a TCM perspective. TCM views hunger as a vital signal from your body. Appetite suppressants send a wrong message, telling your organs to reduce or stop their natural functions. If there is damage caused by the appetite suppressant, then your body will have to supply extra Qi to the organ to fix it, which is contrary to the healing process needed for healthy weight loss. Also, any damage to the organs’ function will make it harder to maintain weight loss later, once you stop taking the pills.

Going to extremes
Gastric banding, or stomach stapling, has received a great deal of media attention recently. From the TCM perspective, reducing the stomach’s size must surely interrupt its function. Also, operating on any organ can damage the corresponding meridians, the invisible energy pathways that rum throughout your body. Aside from the obvious loss of appetite and serious side effects from this surgery, TCM recognises other side effects that might not seem connected. The Spleen/Stomach organ system in TCM theory is related to muscle and fat. So, if the organ that controls these tissues is being reduced, one possible side effect could be muscle pain all over, particularly on the side of the legs where the Stomach meridians run. The Heart, as the mother organ of the Stomach, would possibly carry an added energy burden after this surgery, too, in an attempt to make up for the reduction in the size of the Stomach and its customary functions.

Pain? No gain?
In many diet plans, exercise is a major component. “No pain, no gain” is the credo. Again, TCM takes a different stance. Instead of improving cardiovascular health, very vigorous, sweat-producing exercise regimens can actually impair it, according to TCM. Sweat is the body fluid related to the Heart in TCM theory, and excessive perspiration can throw this vital organ out of balance and impair its function. Aside from expending large amounts of Qi, strenuous high-impact exercise frequently causes tendon problems. Because the tendons are considered the “tissue” of the Liver, TCM believes that exercise that impacts the state of the tendons can also have a negative impact on the Liver.
Because the human body is approximately seventy percent water, from the TCM perspective it responds best to soft, fluid movements and exercise such as dancing, Tai Chi, Yoga, jogging, cycling, gentle swimming and best of all, walking in nature. Qigong (Chi Kung) is a system of energy exercise that is used extensively in China to treat a wide range of conditions including obesity. TCM regards Qigong as a self-healing energy practise, especially helpful to people trying to lose weight because it can help increase your body’s Qi. Tai Chi and Aikido are very good forms of exercise for those with more energy. To heal your body and lose weight, TCM recognises that Qi needs to be increased, not decreased, so exercise must bring energy into your body, not expend it.

The weight of your emotions
How much does anger weigh? What about sadness? Perhaps the most interesting aspect of TCM’s view of excess weight is the role played by your emotions. TCM treats the body, mind, emotions and spirit as an integrated and interrelated whole. This means to have true physical health there must be emotional health.
When TCM looks at digestion, it takes the broadest view: digestion is the ingestion, absorption and letting go of food and drink- and emotion. According to TCM theory, each of the five organ pairs has a corresponding emotion. For instance, anger and stress are related to the Liver and Gallbladder. TCM understands that chronically held emotions act like internal pathogens, setting up an imbalance in the way your organs function. Often, TCM practitioners urge their patients to emotionally “let things go” or to slow down and take more rest. If you hold on to an emotion, it will stay “undigested” or stagnant in your system and create disharmony and disease.
From the TCM viewpoint, stress plays a large part in overweight conditions. Unrelenting stress creates a negative vibration that impairs Liver function. Because the Liver controls the digestive process that takes place in the Spleen/Stomach organ pair, its dysfunction can disturb healthy digestion. TCM encourages you to tune in to your own body and spirit, recognising that each of us is entirely unique.
It’s up to you. Do you want quick weight loss results at the expense of your long- term health? Or do you want lasting weight loss that brings the benefits of harmony and balance? There are many health benefits of acupuncture. Traditional Chinese Medicine, with its age-old specialities of prevention and lifestyle modification, is a safe and truly healing weight loss resource just waiting to be discovered.

If you would like to speak to me about weight loss or improving your digestion, contact me at:
Acupuncture Cork David Hankey, phone 087 2744735
or email davidwhankey@gmail.com

Traditional Chinese Medicine For Weight Loss Part 1

Traditional Chinese Medicine For Weight Loss;
What Have You Got To Lose? Part 1

Recent statistics show that more people in Ireland are overweight, with some meeting the criteria for obesity. And the numbers are steadily rising. Most alarming are the statistics for children.
From all the magazine articles and commercials on TV that barrage you with ways to lose weight, you’d think it would be a piece of cake to stop this “epidemic” in its tracks. Consumers have countless choices. There are low-carbohydrate diets and raw food regimens; nutritional supplements and exhaustive exercise workouts; diuretics and diet pills; and perhaps most dramatic of all, stomach stapling. So why are people constantly struggling with their weight? And why aren’t their dieting efforts more successful? Perhaps we’ve been looking for weight loss in the wrong places. Take a chance on traditional Chinese medicine’s unique point of view. Here are some thoughts on how Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can help. What have you got to lose? Acupuncture for weight loss involves the insertion of tiny needles to help improve the digestion. Traditional Chinese Medicine for weight loss would be the use of herbal medicine to improve the digestion.
Losing weight…OR…Gaining health?
One of the biggest differences between Western weight loss programs and the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) approach is that Western methods focus on external issues. It’s all about the food and the amount of it. Instead, TCM addresses the root cause of being overweight. From the TCM perspective, it’s necessary to find and treat the root cause of any condition. TCM aims to make the digestive organs work more efficiently. If the digestive organs are not working to transform the food we eat in to usable energy, we can get overweight. Excess weight is considered just one symptom of an underlying health problem. The end result of a series of internal events in your body that usually begin with a Qi (pronounced CHEE) or energy deficiency or imbalance. Unless the root cause is addressed, the weight loss won’t be permanent. As if to prove the point, some medical statistics show that nearly 95% of dieters who use conventional weight-loss methods regain some or all of the weight they lose.
When your digestive organs fall out of balance, your organs can’t perform their tasks, for example, promoting healthy metabolism and ridding your body of excess water and fat.
Have you ever experienced problems like headaches, emotional difficulties, depression and allergies before a weight gain? These are all signals that your body is having functional difficulties. Frequently, the problem is an imbalance in the relationship between the digestive organs – crucial to proper digestion. TCM believes that when your body is in balance, you don’t have weight problems. When your Qi is strong and balanced, weight will be lost naturally and normal weight will be maintained.

An apple a day
The majority of diet plans require you to eat – or stop eating – specific foods. TCM’s view is that a healthy body will simply “ask for” what it needs. When your Qi is strong and balanced, you won’t experience extraordinary food cravings or have an uncontrollable appetite. Cravings indicate that your body requires a certain type of Qi or energy. For example, craving sweets or a sweet taste, that’s your Spleen telling you it’s out of balance. Crave salt or salty foods like crisps? That’s your Kidney looking for help. These are not necessarily bad things, we always seek to keep in balance. Women craving chocolate at certain times of the month may need magnesium, which chocolate contains. Each food, according to TCM, carries a specific essence that resonates energetically with one or more of your organs. Cravings are viewed as signals that an organ may be imbalanced and requires treatment.
It’s common for a TCM practitioner to “prescribe” certain foods to a patient – food is just one of a variety of healing resources used in TCM treatment. Food recommendations are selected with an eye to healing the root cause of your specific health problem and without side effects. Used in this way, food is a means of healing one or more organs to restore your health as a whole.
When you make intelligent choices and keep an eye on high quality, food becomes a resource that can be used every day for healing. TCM has a unique understanding of the effects of different foods and methods of cooking on your body because it recognises the impact they have on your body’s energy system. For overall well-being and to maintain a healthy weight, TCM advises a varied diet of vegetables, fruits, some grains, legumes and nuts. Seafood, especially shellfish, has many healing benefits. Meat, if it is included in your diet, should be eaten in small quantities because it puts a burden on your digestive system and requires extra Qi/energy to process. Approximately, 30% meat, 30% vegetables and 40 % carbohydrates is beneficial. Fried and barbecued foods should also be eaten in moderation because they tend to create too much internal heat, particularly in the stomach. Raw or uncooked foods are not recommended. They have a cold essence that impairs Stomach function. Raw food may have a little more nutrition, but it requires more Qi in the digestive process, offsetting any benefits.
Some weight loss diets ask you to eat very small portions or skip meals altogether. TCM believes that this practice actually undermines dieting efforts. According to TCM, there are two main sources of energy in the body. One, called “Inborn Qi,” is inherited at birth and stored in your Kidney. The other, called “Acquired Qi” or the energy derived from food, is continuously made each day from what you eat and drink. It is processed by the Spleen/Stomach organ pair, and stored there, on hand to support the function of all the organs, supply their energy needs, and help maintain your body’s capacity to regulate and heal itself.
Not eating enough food or skipping meals can lead to a Stomach function disorder. Eventually your Stomach won’t be able to extract the nourishment you need from the food you eat. This can result in bloating, allergies and even weight gain! When there is not enough Acquired Qi available, your body is forced to draw the energy it needs from the constitutional strength stores of energy.

About that bottle of water
Frequent urination, irregular heartbeat, an increase in cholesterol levels, weakness, and impotence are a high price to pay if you want to lose a few pounds. But that’s what you can expect if you use diuretic pills as a routine to lose weight.
Eliminating water from your body will result in lower numbers on the scale, but at what cost? Excess water is a sign that one or more organs has an imbalance.
TCM sees diuretics, which stimulate the kidneys to remove sodium and water, as an attempt to force the kidneys and bladder to work overtime. Diuretics will rid the body of water, at first, yet will create different health problems later on when the organs exhaust themselves.
Some weight loss regimens encourage you to drink more water to create a “full” feeling and to rid your body of toxins. From the TCM point of view, drinking large amounts of water is not a healthy practice. It forces your body to drain its Qi by keeping the Kidney/ Bladder organ system in a constant state of production – even during the night when these organs should be resting and conserving energy. And this expends precious energy that that your body needs to heal the internal conditions that caused your weight problem in the first place.

Do you want quick weight loss results at the expense of your long- term health? Or do you want lasting weight loss that brings the benefits of harmony and balance? Traditional Chinese Medicine, with its age-old specialities of prevention and lifestyle modification, is a safe and truly healing weight loss resource just waiting to be discovered.
If you would like to speak to me about weight loss or improving your digestion, contact me at:
Acupuncture Cork David Hankey, phone 087 2744735
or email davidwhankey@gmail.com

Acupuncture and Hepatitis C

Acupuncture and Hepatitis C

Treatment by acupuncture. The doctor uses needles for treatment of the patient.

Treatment by acupuncture. The therapist uses needles for treatment of the patient.

Whether or not you are taking antiviral medications, make sure you know how acupuncture can help in the fight against Hepatitis C.

There are many new drug therapy treatments currently on offer to patients who suffer from Hepatitis C. This progress is encouraging; however, there are many individuals with Hepatitis C who still need help. Acupuncture is one such therapy which is of benefit to many. This eastern-based therapy can be extremely valuable to people fighting Hepatitis C – whether they take conventional drugs or not.

Drug Treatment Side Effects

The goal of Hepatitis C drug treatment is to suppress the virus so much that it becomes undetectable in the blood.

While the effectiveness of modern drugs is good, the side effects are often severe. The side effects frequently incurred from a Hepatitis C drugs can involve:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache and/or muscle aches
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Anemia
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Heart disease aggravation
  • Pancreas inflammation

Experiencing any of the side effects above can make Hepatitis C treatment a grueling process. Side effects may be the cause of reducing drug dosage. In more severe cases, several of the side effects can spell the end of Hepatitis C treatment all together – and a consequential surrender of hope.

Acupuncture Helps Minimize Side Effects

Acupuncture is not intended to be a substitute for Hepatitis C treatment. Rather, acupuncture maximizes the body’s potential for health by creating an energetic balance. For someone on a Hepatitis C drug cocktail, that balance is likely to reduce the incidence or severity of side effects. Those who have had acupuncture can attest to its ability to make a significant impact on the following symptoms:

  • Reduces fatigue
  • Stops nausea and/or vomiting
  • Eases headaches and muscle aches
  • Helps with itching and Rash
  • Improves mood/relieves stress

Another side effect is Anemia. Anemia, not having enough red blood cells, poses a major obstacle to successfully completing Hepatitis C treatment. Because red blood cells provide other cells with the oxygen they need to function normally, anemia can cause devastating fatigue.

One of acupuncture’s strengths is that its stimulation of the body’s energy to create balance can influence blood cell creation. In the treatment of anemia, points are typically selected that increase this effect.

Acupuncture for Liver Health

Many patients with chronic Hepatitis C don’t receive the antiviral drug treatment. There may be many reasons for this, such as:

  • Financial or health insurance constraints
  • Refusal to endure the medication’s side effects
  • Other health problems that complicate treatment
  • Previous failure of drug therapy

Individuals who fall into this category are encouraged by their physicians to do all they can to prevent their Hepatitis C from progressing to advanced liver disease. This usually involves healthy lifestyle choices that focus on nutrition and exercise, avoiding fat, sugar and processed foods, minimizing exposure to toxins, abstaining from drinking alcohol, supplementing with milk thistle or another liver protective herb, and loading up on antioxidants to prevent cellular damage. Gentle exercises like Tai Chi and Qigong can help too.

Adding acupuncture to this liver health plan increases its effectiveness even further. That is because regular acupuncture treatments can invigorate energy flow through the liver, a process that prevents congestion and inflammation. This is a major benefit, because congestion and inflammation in the liver are the physiological events that precede liver cell damage.

With the unified goal of staying as healthy as possible, it seems logical to utilize acupuncture alongside western medicine for a thorough Hepatitis C treatment plan. If taking a powerful drug cocktail to suppress Hepatitis C, acupuncture helps reduce the drugs’ side effects. This benefit increases the odds of successfully beating Hepatitis C by enabling people to complete the drug regimen. If waiting for a safer, more effective way to defeat the Hepatitis C virus, acupuncture can help protect liver health by deterring against congestion and inflammation. Either way, it’s hard to deny the inherent value this ancient alternative medical practice has for those with Hepatitis Cimage foot Liv 3

If you have any questions about how acupuncture could help you, or someone you know, let me know and I will try to help.

David Hankey

Acupuncture Cork

Chinese Medicine and the Treatment of Colds and Flu

Chinese Medicine and the Treatment of Colds and Flu

Chinese Herbal Medicine

With the autumn and winter seasons on the way what can an individual do when using Chinese medicine to help improve the immune system? What can be done to treat symptoms of Colds and Flu?
Chinese medicine is very effective in the treatment of Colds and Flu as well as playing a role in their prevention. Prevention is centered around strengthening the immune system. Acupuncture, exercise diet and getting proper amounts of sleep and rest can help do this. Strengthening the immune system can take a few years, give it time.
A healthy immune system is half the battle, you need to have a strategy to deal with a Cold when you come across one. According to the principles of Chinese Medicine, it’s best not to get the Cold in the first place as the immune system would be strong enough to deal with it. Second best would be to get rid of it before it takes hold. To do this, it’s best to eliminate the Cold when you encounter a person with a Cold or have the first sniffle or shivers. Colds and Flu are best dealt with using herbal medicine as these can be used by yourself anywhere and anytime. Two very common and effective herbal formulae are Yin Qiao San/Honeysuckle and Forsythia Powder, and Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan/Clear the Qi and Resolve Phlegm Pill.
Honeysuckle and Forsythia Powder/Yin Qiao San is very effective in the prevention of Colds/upper respiratory tract infections as well as in treating them in the early stages; that is, the first few days. Depending on the severity of the Cold and the state of the immune system at the time, taking this formula may completely deal with the Cold/upper respiratory tract infection at that stage. Because this formula is so effective and needs to be taken when you are first aware of a symptom of a Cold/upper respiratory tract infection, or if you are in contact with someone with a Cold/upper respiratory tract infection, it makes sense to have a supply in advance of the situation, as time is of the essence in treating this condition. Symptoms of a Cold/upper respiratory tract infection may include fever or chills, headache, thirst, cough, etc.
Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan/Clear the Qi and Resolve Phlegm Pill is used when the upper respiratory tract infection develops to a deeper level such as Flu or Bronchitis. Tests have shown that this formula will lower the temperature of the patient, which is significant when treating conditions like the Flu.
Both of these formulae are available from David Hankey Acupuncture and should be included in the medicine cupboards of anyone interested in using herbal medicine to help maintain health, and as a first step in treating symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. These are only two examples, there are others depending on the circumstances. Of course, anyone with more complicated or serious symptoms would need to see a herbalist to have a specific formula recommended for them. If symptoms persist or secondary symptoms develop a doctor’s advice may be recommended.
Another product is the Cough Bottles/Fritillary Bulb and Loquat Leaf Liquid, which is effective for symptoms of coughs, and Watermelon Frost, which is effective for symptoms of sore throats.
Acupuncture is also good for treatment. Cupping is very good if done when the first symptoms appear.
Of course prevention is always best, so it’s good to conserve energy which will help boost the immune system. In other words get enough sleep, eat healthily and get enough exercise without overdoing it. Stay warm as chills will also temporarily lower the immune system.
Be healthy, stay healthy. Treat the Cold or Flu in the early stages to prevent it’s getting worse. Treatment of Colds and Flu with TCM is possible and effective.
David Hankey Acupuncture
Cork.

8 Ways Acupuncture will Benefit your Health

Practised in China for more than three thousand years, acupuncture is a part of a complete system of medicine known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture is increasingly accepted throughout the Western World as an adjunct to or in place of western medicine. Other aspects of TCM include Herbal Medicine, manipulative therapy (Tuina/massage), diet, relaxation and special exercises (Qi Gong).

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine, sterile disposable needles at specific points on the body. In all treatments sterile, disposable needles are used.

  1. Drug-free healthcare system. It works by restoring the body’s energetic balance by stimulating the body’s natural healing ability.
  2. Acupuncture effectively relieves pain. Restores energy and improves individual health and wellbeing. Women can be treated for any complications of pregnancy without causing any harm to mother or baby, although certain acupuncture points need to be avoided if there is any likelihood of miscarriage.
  3. Can be used to treat most diseases and illnesses as well as physical injuries such as sport injuries and joint mobility. It is dramatically effective in the alleviation of pain, whether acute or chronic.
  4. Cosmetic acupuncture and facial acupuncture offer a natural alternative to invasive cosmetic surgery. Chinese doctors have been using points on the face for thousands of years to help combat signs of ageing in men and women and to help skin conditions.
  5. Daily stresses, lifestyle choices and injury upset our natural balance and lead to physical and emotional symptoms. By identifying the root cause of your symptoms Acupuncture can activate specific energy points on your body to help bring both body and mind back to health. MRI scans show that acupuncture triggers the body’s healing process by calming the central nervous system, regulating hormones and releasing endorphins.
  6. Treatment is aimed at the root of your condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps resolve your main problem but also enhances your general wellbeing. You may notice other niggling problems resolve.
  7. Will help you sleep better and feel less stressed.
  8. Now prescribed by most health insurance policies for certain conditions. There is much research into the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment.

Get in touch today to book your treatment.

 

David Hankey – Acupuncture Cork

Conditions Treated

If you do not see your condition listed on this page, please email me on davidwhankey@gmail.com

Addictions

David Hankey Acupuncture Conditions Treated

Alchohol, drugs etc.
Arthritis and pain conditions
Circulatory Disorders
Digestive disorders
Irritable bowel syndrome
Constipation
Diarrhoea
Bloating
Nausea
Heartburn
Crohn’s disease
Colitis
Diabetes
Dizziness
Facial paralysis
Fatigue/Tiredness

Fertility

Unexplained infertility
Polycystic Ovaries (PCOs)
Endometriosis
Blocked Fallopian Tubes
IVF assistance
High FSH
Male Infertility

Hayfever

Sinusitis, seasonal allergies
High blood pressure
Insomnia
IVF assistance treatment
High FSH
IVF Assistance

Menstrual Problems

Irregular cycle
Painful periods
No periods
Heavy periods
Cysts
Polycystic Ovaries (PCOs)
Endometriosis
Fibroids

Menopausal Symptoms

Hot flushes
Night sweats
Depression
Mood change
Irregular Menstruation
Mental/Emotional disorders
Anxiety states
Depression
Mood change
Insomnia
Migraines & headaches

Musculo-Skeletal Conditions

Back pain
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Neck pain
Frozen Shoulder
Sciatica
Tennis Elbow
Knee pain
Repetitive strain injury
Sports Injuries
Indeterminate aches and pains

Chronic Conditions

MS Cancer Parkinsons Disease Stroke

 

Post Natal/Partum Depression

Pregnancy care
Morning sickness
Constipation
Heartburn
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Back pain
Pre-conception care
Breech presentation
Induction of labour
Pain relief during labour
Pre-menstrual symptoms
PMT
Breast distention
Headaches
Bloating
Tiredness
Digestive upset
Respiratory disorders
Asthma
Bronchitis
Coughs and colds

Rheumatism

Skin conditions
Eczema
Psoriasis

Stress Related Illness

Urinary/Kidney disorders
Cystitis
Oedema/Water retention
Well-Being
Preventative care
General well-being
Weight Loss

David Hankey Acupuncture Cork

Book your Appointment Today

How can Acupuncture help Fertility Treatments

How can Acupuncture help Fertility Treatments? Many healthy couples find they have unknown barriers to becoming pregnant
that are beyond the scope of western medicine. These are often undiagnosed or
overlooked, since lab results can be misleading.

At Acupuncture Cork, I use acupuncture, herbs and dietary changes to re-balance the body, and restore it to health and vitality.
Even if you have no physical evidence that would indicate infertility, the
body must work together in balance. Undiagnosed food sensitivities, particularly
Learn More

Chinese Medicine and the Treatment of Stress

Chinese Medicine and the Treatment of Stress. Moderation is essential in whatever activity we are involved in; it is the extremes of excess and abstinence that are frequently associated with health – so, RELAX.

It is commonly recognized that our lifestyle affects our ability to be healthy. In the West, people live at a fast pace with little time for rest and relaxation. Stress is seen as one of the most powerful problems we have to deal with in the modern world; long-term exposure to high stress levels and emotional disturbances has a powerful effect on us.

Chines medicine takes the view that it is not necessarily the level of stress that is the problem, though of course this is relevant; more importantly, it is how we react to the world we live in that can be the problem. Stress is like an indication that some level of activity is leading to ill-health – stress is like a red warning light in a car. Stress will also manifest as low energy. It will also affect our sleep.

To effectively deal with stress, it is important too;

a) to recognize the external cause and take steps to eliminate or reduce the cause through life-style changes, and,

b) to deal with the effects of stress through self-help.
Learn More