|A new beginning ... balance .... to improve your quality of life|
|Opus Acupuncture 66 Nooseneck Hill Rd. W. Greenwich, RI 02817 401-397-6333|
means being much more than just disease free. It means a healthy balance
Smoking With Acupuncture
Quit Smoking With Acupuncture
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you are on your way to kicking the habit and becoming smoke-free and healthier. Every year, more than 3 million Americans try to quit smoking, but only half of them succeed. But with the help of acupuncture you have a greater chance of success!
Most experts agree that quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health. More than 25 diseases are associated with tobacco use, including cancer of the lungs, bladder, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, uterus, and cervix. Smoking also raises the chances of developing emphysema or increase the risks of having a stroke by 30 percent.
There is plenty of incentive to quit, but it isn’t necessarily easy. The good news is that acupuncture has helped millions of people to overcome their addictions and stay smoke-free.
How Acupuncture Can Help
Some of the largest stumbling blocks to becoming smoke-free are the stress, anxiety, and depression associated with quitting. Fortunately, acupuncture treatment is quite successful at calming, and relaxing the mind, reducing anxiety and alleviating depressive feelings.
Your practitioner will select specific acupoints in the ear and wrist to accomplish this. Additional acupoints may be included that help suppress your appetite, stimulate repair and healing of organ systems, and reduce food and nicotine cravings.
More Than Just Kicking The Habit
Using acupuncture to quit smoking yields enormous benefits. Aside from addressing the key problems that can cause you to resume the habit, acupuncture can help restore your body and its systems to a healthy balance. if you are ready to become smoke-free, acupuncture can provide you with the support you need.
Here Are A Few Tips To Guide You Through Your Acupuncture Care
Drink plenty of filtered water during the process.
Eat balanced, healthy meals with a variety of vegetables and fruits.
Refrain from sugar, which can cause further sugar cravings and unwanted weight gains.
Manage your cravings. They will actually fade within a few minutes. When cravings arise, distract yourself. Before you know it, the craving will have passed.
· Have a hate list. I hate feeling terrible. I hate the idea of dying from cancer or heart attack. I hate having smelly cloths and breath. I’ll hate not seeing my kids grow up. I hate throwing all that money away on cigarettes each year.
· Take daily baths or showers, and scrub your skin with a dry brush or loofa to facilitate the cleansing process and help blood circulation.
· Avoid spending time with other smokers so that you are less tempted to smoke.
· Take a walk outside and take deep breaths into your lungs. Upon exhale, gently place your teeth together and exhale with the sound of "sssssssss." This sound stimulates the lungs.
More than just kicking a habit. You’re changing you life and the lives of those around you. Its never to late to start.Be Well, Stay Happy
Lyme disease is a tick - transmitted inflammatory disorder. Its onset is typically in the summer and fall months. It usually occurs in people who are living near heavily wooded areas. There are five groups of symptoms associated with Lyme disease.
The predominate symptom include a skin rash that develops in 75% of people that have been bitten by a deer tick. It occurs as a red raised rash approximately 50 centimeters in size about 3 to 35 days after being bit by the tick. If left untreated most people develop the second group of flu-like symptoms. These include malaise, fatigue, chills, fever, headache, stiff neck, and muscle-joint pain. These symptoms are intermittent and change in intensity. The third group of symptoms is neurological such as meningitis, encephalitis and neuritis (pain, numbness, irritability, and paralysis). The fourth group has heart abnormalities such as palpitations and irregular heartbeats. The fifth group develops symptoms of arthritis. Sixty percent of Lyme disease sufferers develop intermittent swelling and pain in the large joints, with the knee being involved most of the time.Conventional Western medical treatment for this disease is antibiotic therapy and aspirin or NSAID medication for symptomatic relief. The best treatment approach to Lyme disease is prevention. Some handy tips are:
Wear socks pulled over long pants in an endemic area
If you have been diagnosed with Lyme disease I would like to help. Call 401-397-6333 to schedule an appointment.
Preparing For The Flu Season By Dr. Timothy O’Brien, D.Ac
It’s that time of year again. The cold and flu season has arrived. Unless you are a hermit during the winter months, you have a pretty good chance that you will come in contact with flu–like virus. Typical cold and flu symptoms may include:
Fever or chills, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, runny nose, cough.
The key to prevention is a healthy immune system. To prevent the flu from striking you try to live a balanced life-style. Good nutrition and plenty of rest, keeps your body strong. Avoid being out in the cold harsh winter environment, this can decrease the body’s defenses. People with suppressed immune systems, chronic heart or lung disease should receive vaccination (flu shot). Another way to improve your immunity is to use herbal supplements. Herbal supplements will provide added support to your immune system and help you lower the risk. For example:
is an immune booster. It also has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and
anti-inflammatory effects. 1 – 2 cups of tea per day is needed.
Shiitake Mushrooms it’s ingredients enhance the immune system as well as some anti-viral effects.
Garlic is high in allicin a potent anti-microbial agent.
Black Elderberry enhances the immune system and has anti-oxidant activity. It is available in health food stores, as Sambucol.
Ginger also has immune boosting effects. It also has a warming and anti-nausea effect. It can help in reducing achy muscles and joints.
Elder Flower has anti-viral benefits.
Rose Hips are high in vitamin C and have antiseptic properties.
Peppermint has antiseptic and diaphoretic properties to eliminate the virus.
Reishi Mushrooms inhibit viral infections and improves white blood cell and T-cell function.
There are two great immune boosting recipes that I often use.
Tea: Prepare as
Migraines By Dr. Timothy O’Brien, D.Ac
Migraines effect 12% of the population in the United States. Women are 2 to 4 times more likely to be afflicted with this type of re-occurring headaches. A typical migraine sufferer is young (under 35) and has had her first attack early in her teens. Hormonal changes play a significant role triggering these events. Women seem to have more attacks if they take oral contraceptives and around the time of menstruation. Attacks often lessen during pregnancy and after menopause. Other triggers for migraine attacks are; stress, fatigue, environmental changes and specific sensitivity to certain foods or drinks.
Some signs of migraines include; head pain that is one sided, lightheadedness, visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Attacks can last a few hours to days and usually occur 1 to 4 times a month. If you have severe recurrent headaches you should consult your physician for evaluation and treatment. In rare cases these headaches can be a sign of serious disorders. Proper evaluation is necessary to manage your complaint appropriately. The most common remedy in the United States is pharmaceutical medications. Both over the counter and prescription medication provide relief for some people. There are many people for whom these treatments are not effective.
There are many natural alternatives that you can try, if you are among those who have not been helped by conventional treatment. The following are some ways you can use to overcome migraines.
Acupuncture is effective in 71% of cases treated for migraines (Cephagia 1999:19). This is because Acupuncture balances the body and hormones to provide relief for those who suffer from recurrent headaches. Research has shown that Acupuncture will promote the production of endorphins. Endorphins are an integral part in breaking the body’s pain cycle. Acupuncture plays an important role in the reduction of acute pain and in the prevention of chronic pain.
Biofeedback can help migraine sufferers to gain control, decrease muscle tension and reduce anxiety.
Herbal treatment and vitamin therapy have also been helpful according to several studies. This is probably due to the replacement of deficient substances in the body.
Avoid triggering factors such as stressful situations and fatigue. Also avoid certain foods associated with migraines, such as; cold cuts, chocolate, nuts, aged cheese, yeast products and sulfates.
Aromatherapy can help relax the body. The aromatic effects provide mild to moderate pain relief.
Chiropractic spinal sub-luxations that are corrected can provide long lasting relief.
Regular exercise is always helpful in relieving tension and promoting good blood circulation.
Ice packs on the head can help decrease pain during an attack.
Maintain a regular schedule, avoid skipping meals and staying up late.
Massaging the neck and head can also help during an attack.
Relaxation techniques such as Yoga and Tai Chi can also help.
Proper hydration, drinking plenty of water is strongly encouraged.
The options listed above can help you find a way to improve your quality of life. Find the ones that work for you.
Be Well Stay Happy
Fibromyalgia Syndrome By Dr. Tim O’Brien, DA, M. Ac.
Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a condition that affects women between 20 and 50 years of age. The main signs/symptoms are; chronic severe muscle ache, stiffness, pain, fatigue, insomnia and depression.
This chronic debilitating condition has an unknown cause. Individuals with FMS are typically sensitive to bright light, loud noises and odors.
These individuals also complain of heaviness and numbness in the extremities. They will complain about feeling like their hands and feet are swollen, even though there is no indication of edema.
They have difficulty concentrating, often stating they feel "foggy". They will wake often during the night.
Many are diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid disease and other autoimmune diseases. They often complain of dull headaches and jaw pain.
The word syndrome means that all the signs/symptoms will vary with different intensity from mild to severe.
FMS sufferers are diagnosed when they have their syndrome for more than 3 months. There are 18 specific tender points on the bodies that are palpitated during the physical examination. The signs and symptoms can be aggravated by damp weather.
Western Medicine does not have a standard treatment for FMS. Commonly the treatments are targeted on the symptoms the syndrome produces. Most commonly the treatments include non-steroid anti-inflammatories, antidepressants and anti-insomniants.
Unfortunately there are patients who do not tolerate the side affects of the medications or their condition well. Most people have many years of a discouraging journey to try to find relief. Many will seek out the help of alternative medicine.Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, FMS is classified as a "knotty" or difficult to treat disease. The reason it is considered a difficult disease to treat is because, this syndrome is a combination of several diseases. Primarily it is a digestive disharmony that involves several organ systems within the body.
This syndrome is brought on by years of abuse either by faulty diet, excessive worry or over-thinking, anxiety, lack of physical exercise, overuse of antibiotics or living in a damp, hot environment.
Digestive weakness (spleen Qi vacuity) develops over time. This malnourishment upsets the free flow of Qi (the body’s energy).
The Qi stagnates within the body due to the accumulation of heat and phlegm from the poor-functioning Spleen/Stomach system. Prolonged Spleen Qi vacuity will lead to a deficient blood quality. This in turn will affect the Qi of the Liver and Kidneys.
The most predominant symptom to look for with Spleen Qi vacuity would be; fatigue, poor digestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, loose stools, cold hands and feet, muscle pain, pale complexion, irregular menstruation, restless sleep and irritability.
treating FMS with Chinese Medicine, attention is focused on improving digestion
and sleep. This is usually accomplished with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal
Medicine. Acupuncture releases the body’s natural endorphins and steroids that
Acupuncture will stimulate your body’s natural inherent healing abilities. It will calm your overtaxed system and restore harmony and balance to produce a restful sleep. Much of the body’s pain tends to disappear once the patient’s sleep has improved.
Moxabustion (a type of heat therapy) can also be used to warm the channels or meridians of body’s energy to free the flow of Qi (energy) and reduce the pain.
strengthen the digestive weakness herbal medicine and dietary changes are also
employed. The herbal therapy is designed on an individual basis to improve
energy and resolve the heat/phlegm accumulation. The restored digestive weakness
Most people will benefit from dietary changes almost immediately. Abstaining from alcohol, sugar, coffee and incorporating a diet low in wheat products and carbohydrates can result in dramatic changes.
Avoiding foods that are harder to digest will allow the weakened digestive system to recuperate. Some of the foods to avoid are; cold foods and ice drinks, raw foods (such as salads and uncooked vegetables), pork, beef and nuts.The treatment for FMS with Chinese Medicine usually lasts several months during its active or severe phase. It may be followed up by several more months of herbal therapy of preventative treatment. This "knotty disease" is treatable.
To achieve the greatest clinical success all of the various symptoms of FMS must be treated together as a whole. This is the foundation of Chinese Medicine, which has transcended the test of time. Don’t Suffer Needlessly.
BE WELL... STAY HAPPY
Helping You Cope with Stress By Dr. Tim O’Brien, DA, M.Ac.
The silent killer in today’s busy world is not cancer, high blood pressure, heart attacks or stroke. It is STRESS. Since the invention of the wheel we have been on the go. In today’s fast paced society stress is at an all time high. Left-unchecked stress will play a significant role in your physical health and emotional well being.
Stress can impair pre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular or gastrointestinal problems. It will lower your immunity and increase fatigue. It can cause anxiety, depression, irritability, infertility, loss of sex drive and eating disorders.
Signs and symptoms of stress can vary. Some of the most common include; frequent headaches, unusual amount of yawning, palpitations, teeth clenching, numbness in extremities, forgetfulness, inattentiveness, irritability, crying, losing your temper, being accident prone, nervous habits and an increase use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sugar or caffeine
There are many cost-effective ways to fight back and reduce stress to improve your overall health. The following stress relief strategies that will work wonders taken from Cedars-Sinai Integrative Medicine Medical Group is:
Take a deep breath Take a deep breath
Due to the events of September 11th the Acupuncture Peace Clinic was born in New York City. This free clinic provides stress management for the victim’s families and the workers of the World Trade Centers.
The stress reduction treatment involves using six acupuncture points on the body for 20 minutes.
The clinical results have been dramatic. People receiving the 20-minute treatments have reported less fatigue and a deep inner calmness. Also reported were less of the associated symptoms of stress and an improved out look of life.
Herbal therapy has been used for thousands of years. Valerian Root, Kava Kava, and Chamomile sooth the overactive nervous system and reduces stress. Check with your physician or certified herbalist whether they are right for you. Better sleep is reported using these herbal medicinal at the proper doses. A good nights sleep goes a long way in reducing stress.
Deep breathing techniques relax the body and mind. Clear your mind and take slow deep breaths. Inhale through your nose slowly. As you breathe push your abdomen out. Exhale through your mouth with a gentle sigh. Allow your diaphragm to expand. Focus your mind on the moment with rhythmic breathing. Practice this daily in the car, in the shower or after meals.
Take the time to decrease your stress level. Do it for you and it will be passed on to the ones that you love.
Anyone by Tim
O’Brien, DA, M.Ac.
If you're one of the 10% of Americans that can’t play due to tennis elbow here is some helpful advice to get back into the game.
Lateral epicondylitis, also called tenosynovitis consists of inflammation of the tendons attached to the lateral or outside of the elbow at the epicondyle of the humerus. Pain, burning and numbness usually effect the elbow and may radiate into the forearm and hand.
pain usually occurs whenever there is a grasping motion such as opening a door,
jar or holding a racket. It is accompanied by weakness and increased ache at
rest or during the night. A sudden injury or repetitive strain to the
Tennis elbow is not only found in tennis players but in any one who repeats an arm motion over and over again. Basketball players, carpenters, musicians, swimmers, meat cutters, excessive mousing on a computer and plumbers all have the potential in developing tennis elbow.The Western medical treatment for lateral epicondylitis mainly consists of rest, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy and the application of ice. Surgery is indicated in 5% of the cases whenever the above measures have failed. Patients then typically require 6-8 weeks of recuperation with several months before being able to do any heavy use of the arm.
Consider other alternatives if the conventional treatment has stalled or failed.In Chinese medicine tennis elbow is called zhou lao or elbow taxation. Overwork taxation causes detriment and damage to the sinews or tendon. This taxation causes insufficient blood flow to nourish the sinews, while on the other hand there is blood stasis obstructing the free flow of energy (qi) to the vessels. This usually results in a cold type ache with increased pain and numbness in the evening.
In order to get satisfactory results with tennis elbow you need to refrain from any (work or play) activity that causes discomfort.
This will allow your body to heal and the inflammation to dissipate. If you can’t rest the arm, alter activity by utilizing the opposite hand or using a lighter tool to complete the task.
Tennis elbow, from a Chinese medical perspective, is a weakness complicated by cold. Self-administration of moist heat several times a day is the best medicine, if your elbow is not red, hot, or swollen.
Acupuncture is extremely effective in treating this common injury. Acupuncture will reduce the pain and enhance your recuperative power. It can re-establish the flow of qi and blood to the local area. As your condition improves fewer acupuncture sessions are required.
For those of you that are needle shy, tui-na (massage) therapy and /or bio-magnetic therapy is also a useful adjunct if performed by a qualified practitioner.
improve the strength of the tendons you need to nourish your blood. Consume
more leafy greens, yellow and orange vegetables, berries and protein type foods.
Get back in the game before the summer season is gone. Enjoy yourself.
Be well, stay happy.
Treatment for Painful Periods By Dr. Tim O’Brien
Dysmenorrhea (painful periods) consists of painful cramps in the lower abdomen associated with the onset of menses. Secondary symptoms include headaches, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and irritability. Symptoms are typically severe during the first 2 days of the menstrual cycle.
Dysmenorrhea affects up to 90% of all women with approximately 20% having severe symptoms. The main cause of dysmenorrhea is an elevated blood level of hormones called prostaglandin’s. Other reasons why women suffer with these symptoms during menstruation are; gynecological problems, gastrointestinal upset and psychological/stress factors.
OCP (conventional therapies) will alleviated the symptoms in 40 – 60% of women. However, there are some women who don’t get any relief from the use of conventional therapies. Many women have found relief using acupuncture as an alternative treatment.
Acupuncture’s documented effects on prostaglandin levels are of specific interest in dysmenorrhea treatment. In a recent randomized controlled clinical trial, 43 women with recurrent pain were treated 3 times per month for 3 months.
The results showed significant improvement in symptoms in 90.9% of these women. There was also a reduction by 41% of the women in the use of NSAIDS and OCP medication.These women were able to improve their quality of life by using a therapy natural and chemical free. Why wait! Don’t hinder the quality of your life. If conventional treatment leaves you lying down, with a heating pad or a hot water bottle for two days a month, you should seek other ways to resolve your condition.
Conventional treatments offer only temporary symptomatic relief that is usually expensive, invasive and fraught with potential serious side effects. Acupuncture works by restoring the balance in your body. It unleashes your body’s natural healing powers for long lasting relief.
You don’t have to be miserable. You can be productive and active during this time. There is an alternative that works. Acupuncture has been effective for greater that 2 thousand years. Acupuncture’s well known effects are now supported by modern clinical research.
BE WELL STAY HAPPY.
Promoting Long Term Breast Health Dr. Tim O’Brien, D.Ac.
It is estimated that 190,000 women and 1,500 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Approximately 38,000 women and 500 men will die of breast cancer in 2002.
The major risk factor for this disease, from a western medical standpoint include; aging, family history and being a women.
Based on an Oriental Medicine perspective there is a higher incidence of breast cancer in women who have had other diseases (Premenstrual Breast Distension, Fibrocystic Breasts, Fibroadenomas, Mastitis and Papillomas).
Signs of breast cancer disease include: 1) a lump or thickening in the breasts or arm pit, 2) a change in the size or shape of the breast, 3) bloody, brown or green discharge from the nipple, 4) change in the color or texture of the skin or areola.
Detection can be made by palpation, mammography, needle aspiration or biopsy. Western treatments include; lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation or hormone therapy. The earlier breast cancer is detected and treated the better the chance of complete recovery.
For most women breast disease is a frightening topic the loss or disfigurement of the breast can affect many aspects of a woman’s life.
As an Oriental Medicine practitioner I feel it is essential for women to try to prevent serious disease from arising in the first place. Minor breast disorders should not be taken lightly or left untreated. The presence of breast tenderness, before a period, is a symptom of an imbalance, which can and should be improved. Treating these disorders early a women can help avoid a serious complication in the future.
In Oriental Medicine, breast tumors and other diseases such as; endometriosis, uterine fibroids and dysfunctional uterine bleeding are caused by imbalances of Qi (energy) and blood stagnation. If the Qi and blood transform to a severe state of stagnation a serious disease is born.
Oriental Medicine, based on its vision of balance (body, mind and soul), offers remedial treatment through Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine for all breast disease. It also offers numerous self-help techniques (nutrition, massage and relaxation) for the prevention of breast disease.
Some suggestions taken from Honara Lee Wolfe’s book on better breast health are:
Avoid over eating, this stagnates the stomach Qi. The stomach channel, in
Try to avoid becoming overweight. There is a known relationship between body
Avoid caffeine. Caffeine over stimulates the liver Qi that overacts on the
Eat a diet high in fiber with many fresh lightly cooked vegetables. Avoid
When you use oil use olive oil. Studies show it to be a better option for breast health.
Stress, when not released is an enemy of breast health. Try to let go of what
you can not
Go for a walk. Regular exercise will increase circulation and decrease blood
Breast massage is helpful in keeping Qi and blood circulating. Breast self-examination is great for early detection. The technique can be learned from the American Cancer Society.Finally don’t beat yourself up if and when you do get an illness or disease. Everyone’s body will develop disease at some point in life. Do as much as you can to stay healthy for as long as you can in your life.
Be Well, Stay Happy