acupuncture be used for birth control? A friend of mine cannot take birth
control pills or any type of hormone treatment for preventing pregnancy
because she gets severe migraines.
Rick Woodward writes: The desired effect of acupuncture is to harmonize the
body and bring the body and its systems to an optimal state of wellness. Using
acupuncture as birth control would run counter to those desired effects. Also,
it is my experience that most acupuncturists do not have the level of mastery
needed to ensure that acupuncture would be as effective as birth control pills
and other traditional forms of birth control. I would recommend that your friend
consider other alternate forms of traditional birth control before acupuncture.
If other forms of birth control are not an option, your friend should consult an
acupuncturist, for acupuncture is safe and effective in reducing the side
effects of medications. It could greatly reduce the frequency, severity and
duration of your friend's migraines if not eliminate them all together.
I had a stroke six months ago and still have stiffness that keeps me from
normal walking and my left hand is not of any use. I am 71-years-old and
otherwise in good health. Can acupuncture help me?
David Schroevalier writes:
Yes, acupuncture can be used to both prevent further post-stroke problems and to
possibly decrease the "hemiplegia" symptoms you are defining. Many stroke
clients report acupuncture applied soon after the injury helps them to recover.
Scalp acupuncture is generally known as the modality of choice for neurological
and cardiovascular dysfunctions. There is no guarantee, and the longer you wait
after the stroke, the less beneficial the acupuncture tends to be. Note there
are minimal side effects to acupuncture and you generally should see measurable
results within the first three weeks.
After a stroke you also have to deal with compensating structures such as
gait or postural problems, temperature sensitivity and even depression.
Acupuncture can definitely provide help or relief for the symptoms you may
experience. Consider acupuncture, find an acupuncturist you trust, and give the
treatment a chance; I think you will be happy with the results.
Q: As a result of disc removal surgery I was left with a dropped
The L-5 nerve was damaged and I have constant pain in the big toe joint
in the foot. Could acupuncture assist this condition?
A: Brian Whidden writes: It
is possible that a combination of acupuncture therapies could work to treat the
condition. In my practice I would use a combination of techniques to address the
First, I would needle the motor point of the tibialis anterior (located
2/3 of the way between St 36 and St 37) and the extensor digitorum longus
(located lateral and proximal to St 40). The motor points are at the
neuromuscular junctions of the muscle, they are the most "excitable" part of the
muscle. These muscles are responsible for dorsiflexion, which is not occurring
due to the damage to the nerve.
The big toe joint problem would be addressed with moxa (direct heat
therapy) if it is due to an osteoarthritic-type condition. If it is
nerve related I would use LLT (low level laser therapy). I would needle and use
LLT at the L4, L5 and S1 spine area to increase circulation and reduce
inflammation at the nerve site.
The chronicity of this problem will determine the probability of positive
outcomes. The sooner the affected areas are treated post-injury the better.
I have a stepson who is eight-years-old, and he has several diagnoses
including: OCD, ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The doctors have
also not ruled out bipolar, but they cannot test him because he is so young.
The medications that he takes backfire after a while and he becomes toxic
and more poorly behaved. Are there herbs that he could take?
Deann Bishop writes: You
may find that a consultation with a trained Chinese Herbologist could really
help to determine what may be causing the behavioral and physical symptoms that
your stepson experiences. A thorough intake with a practitioner is crucial to
determining what is at the root of his problems.
There are many herbal formulas that could help to ease his mental
restlessness and lack of focus or concentration, as well as to help him feel
more relaxed. Chinese herbs are potent, but they also work with a person's
natural energy flow to smooth out imbalances and to help the body rid itself of
blockages and nourish pathways that need strengthening. Another benefit of
working with an herbologist is that a practitioner can finely tune a formula to
adjust for any negative reactions. A practitioner could also help navigate your
stepsonís nutrition so that his food reflects the course of treatment needed to
help his particular energy (or Qi) flow issues.
Be sure to get a good feel for your individual practitioner's comfort
level and experience with working with children at this age, and ask lots of
questions. Acupuncture may or may not be recommended, depending on the childís
About our Doctors
Rick Woodward, L.Ac., is a
licensed acupuncturist who received his advanced degree in Traditional Chinese
Medicine from the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Denver,
Colorado. He is currently in private practice in Basalt, Colorado. He can be
reached at: Rick Woodward, L.Ac., Roaring Fork Acupuncture & Massage, P.O. Box
1416, Basalt, CO, 81621-1416.
David Schroevalier is a Massage
and Craniosacral Therapist and also holds a Doctorate of Acupuncture. David has
been an instructor at The Canadian College of Massage Therapy and Hydrotherapy
since 1999. His interest in soft tissue therapies has encouraged him to complete
training in Therapeutic Touch, Reflexology, Suikodo, Shiatsu, Sports Massage and
Visceral Massage. His experience has allowed him to work in a hospital setting,
group clinic, sporting events and maintain his own personal clinic. His
specialties include Temporal Mandibular Dysfunction, Headaches and
Brian Whidden has his Master's
Degree in both Chinese and Japanese Acupuncture from the New England School of
Acupuncture (NESA, 1995). In his private practice in Kingston, Massachusetts
Brian integrates ancient medical theories and applies them with modern
biomedical applications. Using a multifaceted approach of traditional needling
theory, motor point therapy and laser therapy, Brian is able to treat a wide
variety of orthopedic conditions in a quick and efficient manner.
Besides orthopedic conditions he specializes in Ob/Gyn disorders, GI
disturbances and HIV care. Brian also combines his knowledge of traditional
Chinese herbology with scientifically proven nutritional supplements.
Deann Bishop received her
Masterís in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Santa Fe,
NM. She is a Licensed Acupuncturist with the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of
Medicine, an NCCAOM Certified Diplomate in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology and
a Shiatsu practitioner. She sees a wide range of health conditions in her
private practice. Her specialties include mental health, women's care and