Qi Mail™
The Acupuncture Newsletter
July 2013
Julee Miller AP, DOM, BS, LMT
Health Pointe Jacksonville, LLC
3840 Belfort Road, Suite 305
Jacksonville, FL 32216

Keep Your Skin Healthy with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be very effective at treating skin conditions.                                                          Treatments can provide quick relief for acute symptoms as well as significant and                                                                    lasting relief from recurrent or chronic skin conditions.

The skin reflects and reacts to imbalances within the body’s internal landscape                                                                                                                    and the effects of the environment. Internal  dis-harmonies caused by strong                                                                                                                      emotions, diet, and your constitution can contribute to the development of a skin                                                                                                                  disorder.  Environmental influences, such as wind, dryness, dampness, and heat                                                                                                              can also trigger or exacerbate skin disorders.

To keep your skin healthy and beautiful on the outside, you must work on the                                                                                                               inside of your body as well. Increasing the flow  of energy, blood and lymph                                                                                                                       circulation improves the skin’s natural healthy color. Promotion of collagen                                                                                                                            production increases muscle tone and elasticity helping to firm the skin.                                                                                                                     Stimulating the formation of body fluids nourishes the skin, adding moisture                                                                                                                       and making it softer, smoother and more lustrous.

General skin conditions that can be treated with acupuncture and Oriental                                                                                                                        medicine include acne, dermatitis, eczema, pruritus, psoriasis, rosacea,                                                                                                                               shingles and urticaria (hives). Evidence that Acupuncture and herbal medicine                                                                                                                   have been used for skin disorders, such as hives, can be found in early medical                                                                                                                 literature dating back to 3 AD. Medicinal plants and stone needles were utilized to                                                                                                       relieve and cure discomforts of the external areas of the body.

Oriental medicine does not recognize skin problems as one particular syndrome.                                                                                                                Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual                                                                                                                using a variety of techniques including acupuncture, herbal medicine, bodywork,                                                                                                                lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances                                                                                                             found in the body. Therefore, if 10 patients are treated with Oriental medicine for                                                                                                                eczema, each patient will receive a unique, customized treatment with different lifestyle                                                                                                   and dietary recommendations.

Acupuncture views nutrition in a complex light, through the application of Oriental                                                                                                               medicine wisdom to dietary habits. In short certain foods are considered too yang,                                                                                                             or hot, to eat in excess during the warmer months, while others are prized for  their                                                                                                             yin ability to cool the body. Overall, the goal is balance between the internal yin and                                                                                                             yang of the body. A healthy, nutritional diet,  good sleep and moderate exercise can                                                                                                           keep your skin and physical form at its best.

If you suffer from a skin condition or would like to know how to optimize your                                                                                                           skin health, call today to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental                                                                                                         medicine can help you: (904) 448-0046

Treating Hives with Acupuncture

Hives (urticaria) are swollen and red, bumps, patches or welts on the skin that                                                                                                                   appear suddenly. Itching is the most common  symptom associated with hives,                                                                                                           although some people report that hives cause a stinging or burning sensation.

Hives can occur anywhere on the body including the hands, face, lips, tongue,                                                                                                                     throat, or ears. A sign that the whole body is experiencing a hypersensitivity                                                                                                                   reaction, a hives outbreak can occur due to a wide array of stimuli. While                                                                                                                              intolerance to certain foods, additives, intense emotions, sunlight exposure,                                                                                                                         and medications can all cause hives, in 70-75 percent of outbreaks the  exact                                                                                                                     cause of hives remains unknown.

Whether lasting for just a few minutes, a few hours or persisting for several                                                                                                                         weeks, hives are rarely a medical emergence.  However, in some cases they                                                                                                                       are the first sign of a strong allergic reaction to something and can be                                                                                                              accompanied by shock or difficulty breathing, which can be life threatening.                                                                                                                           About 20 percent of people will experience hives (urticaria) at some point in                                                                                                                         their lives.

While standard treatment for acute cases of hives involves antihistamines                                                                                                                           or a corticosteroid drug to relieve symptoms, many people are turning to                                                                                                                        acupuncture and Oriental medicine to address underlying imbalances that                                                                                                                           cause this condition and help stop recurrent outbreaks.

In Oriental medicine, an outbreak of hives is described as wind invading the                                                                                                                   skin and the meridians, causing itching and swelling. When the eruptions                                                                                                                           are red, it is an indication that wind and heat are involved. When the eruptions                                                                                                                     are a pale pink or white, it is likely that the diagnosis will be wind-cold invading                                                                                                                   the skin. How the condition is diagnosed will determine what acupuncture points                                                                                                               are used, what herbal medicines are prescribed and what lifestyle/dietary re-                                                                                                                    commendations are made.

Treatments are directed at addressing both the cause and the symptoms by                                                                                                                       providing immediate relief from the itching and swelling and addressing the                                                                                                                   underlying imbalances and triggers that are causing the condition.

A study published in the Internet Journal of Dermatology examined the                                                                                                                                   efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic hives (urticaria). The                                                                                                                             results showed that acupuncture was able to reduce both episode rate                                                                                                                                 and episode duration of urticaria by as much as 25 percent. After three                                                                                                                                   weeks the majority of the acupuncture treated patients experienced partial                                                                                                                           remission of their symptoms. The researchers also noted that the greatest                                                                                                                           improvements were seen in the third week of treatments and that the efficacy of                                                                                                                   acupuncture seemed to increase with each treatment.

Foods to Help You Look Your Best


Be sure to integrate these items into your diet to help keep you looking your best:

Vitamin A: Acting as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful elements in our skin,                                                                                                                      vitamin A helps to prevent wrinkles, resist infection and maintain the skin’s                                                                                                                          elasticity. One of the best places to get vitamin A is from vegetables that are deep                                                                                                              orange in color, such as carrots or sweet potatoes.

Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Plums: Antioxidants and other                                                                                             phytochemicals in these fruits can protect cells from damage and dis-                                                                                                                                   integration, thus guarding against premature aging. In a study published in                                                                                                                         the Journal of Agricultural  and Food Chemistry, these four fruits weighed in                                                                                                                         with the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): Responsible for skin repair, moisture content, and                                                                                                                 flexibility, and because the body cannot produce its own, EFAs must be obtained                                                                                                                 from diet. Fish, walnuts, and flaxseed oil are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

Selenium: An antioxidant mineral responsible for tissue elasticity and healthy                                                                                                                     skin selenium can be found in brown rice,  tuna, turkey, Brazil nuts

Green Tea: Green tea’s ability to slow down the development of some signs                                                                                                                         of aging is attributed to its high levels of  polyphenols, which have been well-                                                                                                                       documented for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Water: Essential to maintaining your skin’s elasticity and suppleness, hydration                                                                                                                 plays a key role in keeping skin cells healthy. Hydration helps cells move nutrients                                                                                                         in and toxins out to keep skin clean and clear.