Meredith Murphy, L.Ac., MaAC, DiplAc
Specializing in Chinese, Japanese, Korean Acupuncture as well as
many other Asian modalities of natural health and healing.
The Healing Point - Acupuncture and Wholistic Health Center
215 W. Church Road, Suite 112, King of Prussia, PA 19406 · 610-265-1827
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ADD & ADHD
Depression & Anxiety
Frequent Colds and Flus
Headaches and Migraines
High Blood Pressure
Indigestion and Nausea
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Pain - acute or chronic
Pregnancy (morning sickness, etc.)
Repetitive Stress Injury
Acupuncture and Depression, Anxiety & Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Over 28 million Americans take either antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. These popularly prescribed medications address the symptoms and signs of the disease, while producing a large number of side effects. Depression and anxiety alone are debilitating enough but the side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, palpitations, fatigue, body rash, tremors, facial tics, diarrhea, loss of appetite and sexual dysfunction can add even more stress to the body and mind.
Acupuncture treats the symptoms and signs of depression and anxiety as well as the root or underlying cause of imbalances of the body. Depression is most commonly caused by a blockage of Qi in the body. These blockages can be caused by many factors such as physical trauma, emotional trauma, inherited weakness of Qi, poor diet, or chemical, physical and emotional stress. An acupuncturist finds the root of the imbalances and treats the whole body, mind and spirit to restore equilibrium.
Acupuncture can also help with anxiety and ADD by treating the root and the symptoms. Even children can receive treatment for ADD and ADHD. Acupuncture is very effective in calming the mind, restoring focus, controlling palpitations and anxiety and panic attacks, and restoring balance in the body.
Acupuncture and Allergies
As of latest statistic, 35 million Americans suffer from allergies. Allergies can include symptoms ranging from sneezing, post nasal drip, runny nose, sinus inflammation and congestion, asthma, cough, itchy red eyes, and allergic dermatitis. The Chinese medical theory looks at allergies as a imbalance of Wei Qi and and Imbalance between the Lung and Kidney meridians. The Wei Qi in Chinese medicine and similar to the concept of an immune system. Wei Qi is the protective and defensive Qi in the body that defends the body against foreign invaders that can lead to colds and allergies. When there is not enough Wei Qi, the body becomes vulnerable to dust, mold, dander, bacteria, viruses, bacteria and much more. Through acupuncture treatments, the body is supported and strengthened so the is an increased production of the Wei Qi and that there is proper flow of Qi in all the meridians. During an acupuncture treatment, the visible signs will be addressed, as well as the root of the imbalance for a safe, natural treatment.
Acupuncture and Back Pain
What is back pain?
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention. It is one of the most frequent causes of missed workdays and one of the most expensive conditions in the United States; according to a recent government report, in 1999, nearly one million people in the U.S. took time away from work to treat and recover from some sort of back pain.
Back problems can be caused by an inordinately wide range of problems. It can exist alone, or it can be caused by a condition that occurs elsewhere in the body, with the pain being transmitted (referred) to areas of the back by the nervous system. The majority of backache sufferers complain of pain in the lower back; the second most common site of discomfort is the base of the neck.
Who suffers from back pain?
Half of all adults will experience some form of low back pain during their lifetime. The fact that humans walk upright puts great pressure on the spine and the muscles that support it. Over time, factors such as disease, accidents, poor posture and overexertion can lead to immediate and/or long-term back problems.
Most back pain is muscular in nature. Muscle pain perpetuates what is known as the pain cycle, a phenomenon of which the back is particularly susceptible. In the pain cycle, pain causes a muscle to spasm, which may distort the discs, joints and nerves of the spine. This spasm leads to further pain, leading to further spasm, which compounds the original problem. If the nerves are irritated enough, it may cause pain to radiate down into the leg, similar to pain experienced via a herniated disc.
In most cases, people who experience an episode of acute back pain will recover in 3-12 weeks. For those who don't recover, however, chronic back pain can be a significant source of inconvenience and suffering.
What can acupuncture do?
Acupuncture can play an important role in the reduction or elimination of back pain by reducing recovery time and preventing a chronic condition from developing.
Research has shown that acupuncture causes the body to produce natural steroids and promote the production of natural endorphins. Steroids decrease inflammation, while endorphins are produced by the body to kill pain. Both substances can play an integral part in the breaking up of the pain cycle.
By reducing acute back pain, acupuncture may also reduce the chances of chronic back pain from occurring. It can help avoid the need for costlier and more invasive surgical procedures. And if back pain can be significantly reduced with acupuncture, it also lowers the need for painkillers or other medications that can either cause unwanted side-effects or prolong a patient's condition.
Many styles of acupuncture may help ease back pain. Some practitioners may advocate very few needles at particular acupuncture points on the hand; other practitioners may employ electro-acupuncture at several points on the body simultaneously. In general, the longer the pain has been present, the longer it will take for acupuncture to produce a response.
As with any other form of care, however, remember that not all patients will respond to acupuncture. Make sure to discuss the situation thoroughly with your acupuncturist before undergoing treatment for back pain (or any other condition).
Acupuncture and Fibromyalgia
In the United States, Fibromyalgia is the second most common rheumatic disorder, the first being arthritis. People diagnosed with Fibromyalgia can suffer from a myriad of symptoms such as fatigue, pain, stiffness, aches and pains, muscle tenderness, sleep disorders, and intestinal and bowel trouble. The diagnosis is confirmed when 11 or 18 specific points are tender to pressure. Most of these tender points are also closely related to acupuncture points!
Through a thorough health history intake upon a patients first visit, an imbalance in the body and the meridians is uncovered. This imbalance is the root of the Fibromyalgia and the symptoms occurring from the disorder. Through regular acupuncture treatments, balance can be restored and the goal is to eliminate visible symptoms and the root. When there is balance and Qi is flowing smoothly, there is no pain, stiffness, or other symptoms. Also, the patient will receive dietary suggestions through Chinese nutritional theory to aid in achieving balance in the body as quickly and effectively as possible.
What are headaches? What types of headaches are there?
Simply defined, a headache is a pain in the head due to some cause. Headaches may result from any number of factors, including tension; muscle contraction; vascular problems; withdrawal from certain medications; abscesses; or injury.
Headaches fall into three main categories: tension-type, migraine and cervicogenic. Tension-type headaches are the most frequent. Patients who endure tension-type headaches usually feel mild to moderate pain on both sides of the head. The pain is usually described as tight, stiff or constricting, as if something is being wrapped around your head and squeezed tightly.
While migraines affect far fewer people than tension-type headaches and have a much shorter duration, their symptoms are much more severe. They typically affect women more frequently than men, with pain that usually occurs on one side of the head. Migraines can be so severe that they can cause loss of appetite, blurred vision, nausea and even vomiting.
Cervicogenic headaches are the most recently diagnosed type of headache and are musculo-skeletal in nature. They may be caused by pain in the neck or spine that is transferred to the head. Many times, cervicogenic headaches go undiagnosed because of their recent classification.
Who suffers from headaches?
Nearly everyone will suffer a headache at some point in time. They are one of the most common physical complaints that prompt people to treat themselves or seek professional assistance. Some estimates say that up to 50 million Americans suffer from sever, long-lasting, recurring headaches. While most headaches are not necessarily symptomatic of another condition, they can be very distracting and account for significant amounts of time lost from work.
What can acupuncture do for headaches?
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a very consistent and philosophically-based framework for headache etiology, physiology, diagnosis and treatment strategy. Acupuncture, as an effective treatment modality, has been applied to headaches from the earliest beginnings of TCM.
Acupuncture is not only effective for migraine headaches, but also works very well with tension headaches, cluster headaches, post-traumatic headaches, and disease-related headaches that might be due to sinus problems, high blood pressure or sleeping disorders. The greatest advantage of acupuncture over Western medicine is that it does virtually no harm. Some medications can have serious side effects and can (in some instances) actually lead to patients experiencing a "rebound" headache. Unlike synthetic drugs, acupuncture has virtually no side effects, and the procedures for treating headaches are much less invasive with acupuncture than with surgery.
Acupuncture and Infertility - Click here to visit The Natural Fertility Center of Pennsylvania for more information.
Infertility In the past decade, there has been a large handful of medical research studies on acupuncture and infertility. There is not one reason why a woman (or man) may be infertile. First, that must be diagnosed, usually by a specialist. Then, in conjunction with their doctor’s treatments, a couple will receive acupuncture to assist in the success of achieving pregnancy.
Infertility due to irregular menstruation or abnormal ovulation can be treated with acupuncture, where the goal is to regulate the menses and ovulation. Once this occurs, a woman can follow her ovulation and cycle to help in achieving conception.
In 2000, there was an acupuncture study published of research following 151 women with infertility due to Premature Ovarian Failure (POF). The age range of the women was 26-40 and the duration of POF was 1-9 years. 76 of the patients were placed in the acupuncture group and 75 in the Western Medical group with treatments of Clomiphene and Stilbestrol. The patients receiving acupuncture had an overall effective rate of 89.47% and the Western Medicine group had an overall effective rate of 64.00%.
In 1997, a study was published on acupuncture and effectiveness on treating infertility due to obstruction of the fallopian tubes. 116 cases were observed, all having infertility for at least 2 years, normal external and internal genitalia, partial or total obstruction of the fallopian tubes, normal basal temperature, and normal sperm count of the husband. The duration of the disease was 1-10 years and the age span was 23-39 years old. The results of the study were 71.6% cured, 10.3% markedly effective, 8.6% improvement and 9.5% non-effective, with an overall effective rate of 90.5%.
In 2001 a study was published studying women who were receiving acupuncture and Intracytoplasmis Sperm Injections (ICSI). Each woman received bi-weekly treatments for 3 or 4 weeks prior to their egg retrievals. 66.4% of the women achieved chemical pregnancy following the treatment and most patients had significantly more follicles retrieved than previously to their acupuncture treatments.
Acupuncture and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a complex disorder in which the intestines lose their ability to efficiently move their contents. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, headaches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, bloating, diarrhea and/ or constipation. There are also many triggers such as diet, stress, emotions, hormones and drugs. IBS is a term that can include Chron’s, Colitis, Ulcerated Colitis, and several other disorders. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offers a safe and effective and natural way to treat IBS. This holistic healthcare system looks at the body differently than Western Medicine. The body in Chinese medical theory, is looked at like a garden that should be cultivated and maintained in order to grow well and remain healthy. This occurs when all the organs and meridians in the body are in balance and working together. Western medicine usually looks at the body as a machine, where each organ is separate from the others, and worn out parts can be replaced and broken tubes patched up.
Acupuncture and Menopause
Menopause is a natural cycle that occurs in women. Most medical treatments today treat the symptoms and signs associated with menopause. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine understands that these symptoms and signs are merely indication that deep within a woman’s body there is an imbalance that exists. These imbalances can result in various symptoms and signs that are concurrent with the Western diagnosis of menopause.
Menopause signifies changes within a woman’s life. This change occurs because the woman’s body’s chemistry is shifting. Estrogen is similar to what acupuncturists call "Jing". Jing is a ‘gift’ that is given to all people at the time of conception. It is a storehouse of Qi (Energy) in the body, almost like a battery! This provides us with the energy to perform all life’s functions. When Jing in plentiful, one’s ability to adapt to disease and illness and change is at its highest. With age, Jing is slowly being drained from the storehouse. All people age at different rates, but between the ages of 35-60, Jing naturally declines. When this occurs, imbalances and various symptoms and signs will appear. These signs include graying of the hair, loss of libido, backache, weak knees, fatigue, and poor hearing.
Also, in women, the balance of Yin and Yang slowly moves into imbalance. As women age, the flow Yin decreases. Yin is the cooling system of the body, and when this declines symptoms of heat with arise, such as hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, insomnia and heart palpitations. In some women, it is the Yang that decreases causing imbalance. This leads to cool symptoms such as water retention, weight gain, edema, indigestion, hypertension and raised cholesterol.
Acupuncture offers a safe, natural, drug free and effective way to address menopause. Through acupuncture, the body gains the building blocks and direction to nourish, heal and regain balance in the body. With the large backlash on HRT, acupuncture is a safe treatment option for women.
Acupuncture and Pregnancy
Once a woman is pregnant, acupuncture can be safe and effective to treat many of the symptoms associated with pregnancy. Morning sickness, back pain and emotional symptoms can all be treated with acupuncture. Almost miraculously, acupuncture can be effective in turning a breech baby! When it is time for labor, acupuncture, most specifically electro-acupuncture, can be effective for a faster, less painful delivery.
Acupuncture and Women’s Health
PMS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, Painful Periods and Irregular Periods
Acupuncture can also effectively treat these conditions and offer a safe, natural, virtually painful treatment option for women. Acupuncture treats the person as a whole-body, mind and spirit. For example, the pain associated with PMS and the emotional symptoms can both be treated together.
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