Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

by Clark and Ann Zimmerman, L.Ac.

In our private practice, PMS and dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) are certainly common reasons for seeking treatment with acupuncture and herbs, as these holistic methods tend to be very effective and safe options for most women. Chinese medicine and acupuncture have enjoyed a rich history in treating gynecological issues. Even today, many women turn to this style of treatment for numerous female health concerns. PMS and cramping usually respond very well to treatment. The key is to give it sufficient time before discerning if it is working for you. Our experience has been that women younger than 25 typically respond very quickly to acupuncture and herbs, while women in their 30’s and 40’s may need to be a bit more patient. This is because the time frame of progress is usually based on how long one’s symptoms have been present. The longer they have been there, the longer treatment tends to take. Even in worst case scenarios (long-term and severe symptoms), we still expect that the woman’s overall health should improve greatly within 2 months of weekly treatment.

Both PMS and cramping are generally attributed to an underlying liver imbalance that is based on qi (energy) and blood stagnation. The liver is responsible for balanced circulation throughout the body; cramping pain and PMS are signs that the blood has congealed and qi has become stuck. The primary cause of liver qi and blood stagnation is emotional in nature and is specifically related to the suppression of anger and frustration. When you feel stuck in your life and your creative resources are thwarted, the natural byproducts are anger and frustration. The continued attachment to these emotions makes us feel stuck on all levels. Thus, the body will mirror to us this stagnation by impairing the circulation of qi and blood through the liver meridian. This in turn causes pain, mood swings, and further emotional upset.

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

by Clark and Ann Zimmerman, L.Ac.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a commonly misunderstood condition that currently affects around 5 million Americans. Acupuncture, along with a variety of natural treatment approaches, can often offer profound benefit to people diagnosed with PTSD or share a similar constellation of symptoms.

Acupuncture can treat PTSD by harmonizing the underlying energetic imbalances that cause the condition. In acupuncture theory, PTSD is treated as a state of shock that must be cleared out of one ‘s nervous system and body. Shock can linger long after the triggering event occurred, often for several years. There are a number of acupuncture treatment strategies that effectively take someone out of a state of shock. This is accomplished by clearing the underlying energetic imbalance that is causing the shock to persist. Another important factor is to stabilize the pulse, as almost all patients in shock exhibit unstable pulses that show continuous deviation in rate, rhythm, intensity, or amplitude.

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Sciatica

by Clark and Ann Zimmerman, L.Ac.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have proven to be effective for many people who suffer from sciatica. This condition, which is characterized by nervy and gnawing pain that radiates from the low back down one or both legs, can be debilitating and frustrating. Many patients have tried conventional therapies such as pain medications, physical therapy, and chiropractic but still struggle with the condition.

In acupuncture theory, pain is believed to be due to stuck energy and blood in the body. It is always a result of impeded circulation, which can lead to inflammation or degeneration. In the case of sciatica, the gall bladder meridian is typically in need of energetic balancing. This meridian runs from the piriformus muscle in the buttocks down the lateral side of the legs, which is the pathway of the sciatic nerve. Qi stagnation (stuck energy) occurs in this meridian due to suppressed anger and stress. Because of this, a common dynamic amongst sciatica patients is that they tend to hold onto anger or express it inappropriately.

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