Pain and Inflammation Relief in Santa Monica

Research has shown that Acupuncture can effectively suppresses the body’s inflammatory response to speed healing & reduce tissue inflammation and swelling.  This effect is seen in both muscle tissue, connective fibers and within joints. As a result of this reduction in inflammation, acupuncture treatment reduces or eliminates pain by improving blood flow to the injured site and encouraging the body to heal itself.  In addition to providing a true healing response, acupuncture stimulates the body’s innate pain-relief chemicals (endorphins) to alleviate pain.

Depending on the condition to be addressed, an acupuncturist will choose a series of points (a “point prescription”) that will best improve the healing time and reduce inflammation in the effected tissues. Traditional Chinese medicine (including herbal medicine) offers many safe and effective methods to reduce inflammation and stop pain, where acupuncture is only one of these methods.  Other healing modalities include: electro-acupuncture stimulation, cupping, moxibustion, gua-sha and tui na (Chinese medical massage).  Generally a combination of these modalities will be used along with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

If you have body pain and signs of inflammation, get started with a consultation today:

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Inflammation & Disease:
Recent research has shown that many chronic diseases are highly correlated with systemic inflammation.  Some of these related conditions include: heart disease, stroke, arthritis, colitis, fibromyalgia, lupus, MS, diabetes, chronic fatigue, and Alzheimers.  Scientists are finding that  illnesses are the end-result of a inflammatory process.  Inflammation is mediated by a class of hormones called prostaglandins.  Some prostaglandins promote inflammation and others reduce inflammation.  You can change these hormones through a number of factors, including emotions, lifestyle, and especially through diet.

This inflammatory “heat” can come from a variety of sources.  One is through improper diet, which according to Chinese food therapy includes too many spicy, greasy, or rich foods, and sweets.  Heat also occurs from stagnation in Chinese medicine.  This simply means that when things don’t move well, it creates a buildup that causes heat.  In your body, anything from your energy or digestion to your emotions can stagnate.  If you’ve ever seen someone get hot with anger, that’s an emotional stagnation causing a little heat.

Western scientists have found that the foods you eat can be pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory.  Fats are strongly linked to inflammation, because your body makes prostaglandins from fatty acids.  Similar to Chinese food theory, the fats that promote inflammation include partially hydrogenated oils/fats, and polyunsaturated oils, such as corn, peanut, and safflower.  Also, trans-fats, such as margarine or vegetable shortening, and saturated fats, as found in animal products (except fish) promote inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory foods include fish (especially deep sea fish), fish oils, olive oil, nuts (especially walnuts), ground flax seeds or flax seed oil, and soy foods.  Other anti-inflammatory foods include colorful fruits and vegetables, known for their high anti-oxidant content, which also decreases inflammation.  In addition, ginger and turmeric, both Chinese herbs are effective in taming inflammation.

Some quick tips that can lower inflammation include:

  • Maintain an appropriate weight.
  • Get regular exercise.  It gets energy moving and relieves stress, both of which can contribute to inflammation.  It also improves the health of your heart and lungs. Biking or walking for 20-30 minutes at least four times a week is generally sufficient.
  • Remove processed foods as they are generally made sugars, trans-fats and chemicals; all of which can contribute to inflammation.  If an item has a long list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, don’t eat it.
  • Moderate stress levels.  Yoga, deep breathing, and visualization are all helpful.
  • Floss daily – There is a direct relationship between gum disease, inflammation, and heart disease.
  • Get medical care for any infection that doesn’t heal quickly.  Again, there’s a direct link between chronic infections and systemic inflammation.
  • Eliminate food sensitivities, as they can cause inflammatory symptoms, not only in your gut, but throughout your body.  Some common culprits include grains that contain gluten, dairy foods, and the nightshade plants, like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.  If you suffer from digestive problems, you may want to experiment with eliminating those foods that you suspect are causing problems.

 

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