Acne is a skin disease affecting the hair and oil glands of the skin. In most cases, acne affects adolescents, but it can also be found in adults, especially women in their late 40’s. Aside from affecting one’s appearance, acne can be painful and itchy. More importantly, it can impact a person’s work and social life. In the practice of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, practitioners address not only the surface-level skin condition, but focus on the patient’s diet, living environment, work habits and stress. At our center, we take into account skin biology, general health, and lifestyle to design an individually tailored treatment plan. We combine acupuncture treatment with Chinese herbs and dietary advice to restore the Ying-Yang balance and heal this skin condition.
Furrowed brows, bunny lines, and a sagging jaw line are all common signs of aging. Prolonged sun exposure also produces blotches and uneven skin tone on the face and neck. Facial rejuvenation procedures, ranging from non-invasive to aggressive, have become very popular over the past few decades. While medical treatments such as Botox, fillers, laser removal and plastic surgery can temporarily improve a person’s appearance, they only address the superficial aspects of aging and not the body as a whole. In recent years, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been incorporated into the armamentarium of procedures aimed at rejuvenation. Among other anti-aging benefits, acupuncture is effective in reducing wrinkles. After a series of treatments in which fine needles are inserted into the face, most patients notice smoother skin. In addition, acupuncture along with herbal medicine can improve the overall energy level of the body, thereby creating a robust and glowing outward appearance.
Alopecia Areata is a type of hair loss characterized by small to large, round patches of hair loss. The average size of these hair loss areas is about the size of a quarter. In most cases, the disease is fairly localized, and patients only have a few patches of hair loss on the scalp. However, the disease can advance to encompass the entire head, face and body. This is considered an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune cells actively attack the hair follicles. Stress and viral infection can worsen the disease. Aside from allopathic treatments, which often involve corticosteroid injection and steroids, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have shown to be effective in treating alopecia in a subset of patients. The combination of acupuncture treatment and herbal medicine reduces stress levels and restores the balance of the immune system, thereby giving the damaged hair follicles the time they need to recover and grow. Because average human hair grows very slowly (0.3 inches/month), complete re-growth of hair in the affected area may take a few months.
All of us have experienced some degree of anxiety at one point in our life. A small dose of fear actually helps us to focus and concentrate. However, frequent, constant, and exaggerated levels of fear and worry are taxing to our health. The increased level of adrenaline and cortisol is harmful to our heart and other organs. Some patients suffer from constant anxiety or episodic panic attacks. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs (e.g. Paxil, Zoloft etc), acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are natural therapies that aim to adjust the qi and the patterns of nerve firing in our brains. While they work more slowly than drugs, they attempt to address the root of anxiety and help to balance the nervous system.
Arthritis is a general term for inflammation of the joints. There are numerous causes for the condition including autoimmune diseases (e.g. Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis), past sports injuries, gout, and trauma. By far the most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which occurs frequently in individuals over 40. To relieve pain, patients can take anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Alleve. Acupuncture is very effective in treating osteoarthritis of the knees, hands, elbow and hips. The effectiveness of this treatment of arthritis was demonstrated in a landmark study sponsored by NCCAM and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Patients that received acupuncture treatment showed both improved mobility and relief from pain.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting the airway. Patients with this disease often have symptoms such as wheezing, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms are due to the obstruction of flow in the airway. The causes of airway inflammation are multiple. Some allopathic treatments include steroids, Beta-2 adrenergic agonists, leukotriene modifiers, and mast cell stabilizers. The addition of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine has provided significant benefits for patients in our center. The current thinking is that acupuncture treatment restores the overall balance of the immune system and decreases the frequency of inflammatory reactions in the airway. It may also help to expand the airway. Furthermore, some traditional Chinese therapies have shown to be effective in alleviating symptoms of asthma.
Cancer is characterized by the proliferation of malignant cells that grow and expand in an uncontrolled fashion. Eventually, these cells destroy normal tissue and organs and impair the body’s biological functions. Recent DNA studies have shown that mutations in specific genes, along with harmful environmental exposure, play a major role in the development and progression of all types of cancer.
How can acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) help patients with cancer? Although these healing modalities are not curative, a number of studies have shown that they have enormous benefit for cancer patients. Acupuncture treatment can reduce the pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss commonly associated with surgery and chemotherapy. In addition, it helps to boost the body’s immune system, which is needed to fight cancer. At our center, we have participated in the care of many cancer patients and helped to improve their quality of life.
Chronic pain can result from injury, trauma, after effects of surgery, and neurological diseases. This can be a very debilitating and difficult condition to treat. Many individuals who suffer from this condition require narcotics and other forms of painkillers for relief. However, prolonged use of these medications can produce undesired side effects. Acupuncture treatment is a much safer alternative in the long run and works very well to control and relieve pain. Acupuncture treatment can stimulate the release of endorphins in the body and reduce the level of pain that one experiences. A large number of patients at our center have responded extremely well after a series of treatments. Most were able to decrease their dosage of narcotics and some even stopped using painkillers all together.
The common cold is caused by acute viral or bacterial infection and subsequent inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Clinically, patients may experience running nose, sneezing, sore throat, and a hoarse voice. In some cases, they may also have a low grade fever, headache, or pain in the joints. Acupuncture treatment and herbs can help boost the immune system and combat the common cold. In addition, these treatments can reduce the discomfort associated with headache, joint stiffness and running nose. At our center, we have treated many patients suffering from colds, especially during the winter months. Most have benefited greatly from our treatments, which have shortened the course of their colds.
Constipation is a common digestive complaint affecting millions of Americans. Irregular or difficult bowel movements may be caused by a number of different factors. For most patients, dehydration and lack of fiber in the diet play major roles. Common symptoms of constipation include a distended abdomen and a bloated feeling in the stomach. In addition, continual straining to pass stool may lead to hemorrhoids. Acupuncture treatment in conjunction with natural herbs can help patients attain normal, healthy bowel movement. At our center, many individuals have found immediate and lasting relief after only a few treatments.
Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects multiple organs. The disease is caused by one of two conditions: 1) low production of insulin or 2) unresponsiveness of the end tissue to insulin stimuli. Diabetic patients have an elevated glucose (sugar) level in their blood stream. When the disease is not treated or controlled, patients can have a large number of complications including nerve pain, deterioration of eyesight, stroke, heart attack, erectile dysfunction and slowness to heal from injury. Acupuncture treatment can help diabetic patients in a number of different ways. Most importantly, it relieves the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. Herbal remedy can also reduce the level of glucose in the blood.
This disease is characterized by numbness of the face and paralysis of the affected side. The angle of the mouth will deviate to the healthy or non-affected side of the face. Some patients may also suffer from an inability to close the eyes. There are a number of possible causes for this condition, such as viral infection, tumor, and stroke. Acupuncture and herbs can reduce inflammation and improve circulation to the affected area. These treatments stimulate and promote the healing of the affected nerve. More importantly, acupuncture can prevent atrophy of the facial muscles. Most patients also find broader health benefits, such as reduction of stress and anxiety due this condition.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain and stiffness. Side effects include fatigue, insomnia, and discrete tendon pain. It is estimated that 3.7 million Americans suffer from this disease, and most of them are women. A number of scientific studies have shown that acupuncture works to relieve pain in individuals suffering from fibromyalgia. In a study involving 70 patients treated with acupuncture as opposed to a placebo, there was a statistically significant improvement in pain relief in the group that received acupuncture treatment. When combined with Traditional Chinese Medicine, a subset of fibromyalgia patients found a reduction in pain, fatigue, and insomnia. In addition, they experienced a greater sense of wellbeing on a daily basis.
Hypertension is a chronic and systemic disease characterized by rising pressure in the blood vessels. Symptoms associated with high blood pressure include headache, insomnia, dizziness, and heart palpitations. However, most patients with high blood pressure do not experience any symptoms at all. The biggest dangers of hypertension are the risk of heart attack or stroke. Acupuncture treatment works to adjust the autonomic nervous system and regulate blood pressure. Some herbs also have the effect of lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol in patients with this condition.
Our body is under constant assault from environmental pollution, weather, bacteria and viruses. Our ability to resist foreign contaminants is largely dependent upon our immune system. If levels of harmful exposure exceed our immune system’s ability to defend them, we become sick. Conversely, if the strength of our immune system exceeds that of foreign intruders, we remain healthy. The immune system is crucial to our body’s health. Our center provides a comprehensive health program involving acupuncture treatment, herbs, exercise, and diet that can boost the immune system.
Insomnia and other sleep disorders are serious problems in this country, especially in New York City, where people tend to live a fast-paced, stress-filled lifestyle. At our center, we see many patients who have difficulty falling or staying asleep. To obtain the needed amount of sleep, patients often turn to over-the-counter or prescription drugs, which may have side effects. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are safe, natural remedies that can help people to improve their sleep. Acupuncture treatment reduces stress hormones and tunes down the heightened nerve stimulation associated with insomnia. Most of our patients report a sense of calm and relaxation after each treatment. Some even fall asleep during their sessions. The addition of specific herbs also expedites the healing process and helps patients return to a normal, healthy sleep cycle.
Menopause is a natural part of the aging process in women. It is a time period when a woman’s ability to bare children comes to an end. Typically, menopause starts at around age 45 and lasts for about 6 years. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, excessive sweating, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and difficulty sleeping. In addition, there may be changes in mood, such as depression, anxiety or irritability. Conventional medical treatment usually involves hormone replacement.
Menopause is an area in which we have done extensive clinical research. At our center, we believe in a natural, holistic approach to treating menopause, one that helps women move through this transition period in an easeful and non-disruptive way. Over the past ten years, Dr. Wang has developed an effective regimen for treating menopause. In addition to acupuncture treatment, he offers specific herbs that can help reduce or eliminate the discomfort of hot flashes, excessive sweating and mood swings.
Migraine headache is a common illness. Millions of Americans suffer from this condition. It can range from a mere annoyance to debilitating agony. Patients may have visual, auricular or olfactory auras before the onset of the headache. Acupuncture treatment can reduce the intensity of the headache, and also decrease the frequency of migraine attacks. At our center, we have treated a large number of patients with this condition who have subsequently benefited.
PMS (short for Pre-menstrual Syndrome) refers to pain in the lower abdomen and lower back that occurs before, during or after a woman’s period. Acupuncture can address this condition by attuning the nervous system and balancing the hormones in a woman’s body. In addition, acupuncture treatment helps to release natural endorphins in order to minimize the pain associated with PMS. Herbs can also reduce discomfort by improving circulation throughout the body.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition characterized by the presence of red and white scaly rashes and serious itching. The rashes can be found almost anywhere on the body including the scalp, torso, arms, legs, buttocks and even the genital area. Stress or trauma can worsen this disease. Currently, psoriasis is believed to be an inflammatory condition in which the immune system creates an excessive and rapid turnover of skin cells. Conventional treatments include topical steroids, Vitamin D cream, and antimetabolite drugs. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs, in particular, are used extensively in China to treat this skin condition. Both work to reduce anxiety and stress levels, thereby preventing psoriatic flares. In addition, acupuncture treatment helps to restore the normal balance of the immune system over the long run.
Sciatica is pain that radiates to the hip and leg due to a pinching or irritation of the sciatic nerve. It is not a disease but rather an uncomfortable symptom of a herniated disc or tightening of the muscles. Sciatica can worsen from poor sitting posture and lack of exercise. Acupuncture works especially well for this condition. At our center, we have had many patients who improved dramatically after a series of treatments. Initially, patients are hunched over and must walk with caution because of the periodic shooting pain in their hips and legs. After successive acupuncture treatments, however, they are able to straighten their backs and walk with a normal gait without any signs of discomfort.
Smoking is a very difficult habit to break. According to some studies, smoking is more addictive than cocaine, narcotics, and heroine. There is also undeniable scientific evidence that proves smoking is harmful to one’s health. Aside from oral and lung cancer, smokers have a greater risk of developing heart conditions, stroke, and peripheral vascular diseases. Acupuncture has been used extensively in China to help patients quit smoking. It calms the increased anxiety that arises during the initial weeks of withdrawal. In addition, it is believed that acupuncture adjusts the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby suppressing the urge to light up. At our center, we use both traditional and auricular (ear) acupuncture treatment to help patients end the habit of smoking.
Stress is a part of everyday life. Living in a fast-paced city, we New Yorkers know too well what stress is. Too much stress is not healthy for the body and the mind. It depletes our immune system and makes us more susceptible to infection and illness. The “fight or flight” response triggered by stressful situations can also be taxing. Routine acupuncture treatment and daily use of herbal medicine can calm the mind and reduce one’s level of stress.