A new study funded by the Army and the National Institutes of Health helps explain how acupuncture eases chronic pain. Using brain imaging, the study showed that acupuncture increases the availability of receptors in the brain that process and weaken pain signals. Moreover, acupuncture treatments – in this case twice a week for four weeks – affect both the brain’s short- and long-term ability to reduce pain sensation.
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
According to a Duke University Medical Center review of over 30 research studies comparing acupuncture versus medication for chronic headaches, acupuncture is significantly more effective. The studies included nearly 4,000 patients with migraines, tension headaches and other forms of chronic headaches. A bonus finding: “Acupuncture patients also reported better physical well-being compared to the medication group." www.dukehealth.org
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Taking the hormone melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime can help prevent migraines. That’s because headaches may be related to disturbances in our biorhythms, and melatonin can help regulate our sleep-wake cycles. Melatonin taken nightly for 1-3 months reduces the frequency, intensity and duration of migraines that may occur, but melatonin cannot treat migraines that have already started.
This month’s spotlight on Chinese herbs focuses on freshwater pearl, or zhen zhu (Margarita). Pearl has been used for centuries to create a smooth, radiant complexion. Not only is it a valuable source of minerals — including calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, strontium, copper, and selenium — it contains dozens of amino acids and antioxidants that are necessary for maintaining health. Studies show that hydrolyzed pearl extract is easily absorbed, generates new skin cells and tissue, and controls acne. Other benefits include improving eyesight and reducing anxiety and insomnia.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
So, how do you catch a cold virus anyway? No surprise here, the leading theory shows the hands touching the nose to be the culprit. Not even sneezing or kissing spread a cold to the extent that contaminated hands do, with active rhinovirus being found on skin and household surfaces even three hours later. When you then touch contaminated surfaces, you pick up the virus at least 60% of the time and it enters the body through your eyes, nose or mouth. This explains how you can catch a cold without even having contact with someone who has one. (Even weirder, scientists are surprised at how difficult it is to catch a cold from a kiss.)