Don’t Let Bursitis Pain Slow You Down…

by Cindy Chamberlain on April 26, 2018

Bursitis Pain Relief Treatment In Overland Park, KS - Eastern Healing Solutions

When you experience joint pain, it’s common to first think about arthritis, tendonitis, or some kind of structural damage. What most folks won’t think about is bursitis. However, bursitis is a condition that can affect anyone, can be very painful, and is frequently underdiagnosed. Here are some important things to know about bursitis and how to treat it:

What Is Bursitis?

Bursae are small fluid-filled pockets found near your joints designed to decrease friction and to cushion your bones, tendons, and ligaments as they move and rub against each other. You have over 160 bursae in your body. Bursitis occurs when one or more of these pockets, or sacs, become irritated, inflamed, swollen, or even infected.

Some of the most common causes of bursitis are overuse of the affected joint, injury, and positions that put pressure on the joint or bursa. Frequently the first symptom of bursitis is pain, especially during times when you’re using the affected joint. You may also experience redness and/or swelling in the area, and the pain may be worse when pressure is applied. It’s common for an irritated bursa to swell with more fluid, which puts pressure on the surrounding tissue and making the area more painful.

Bursitis is most common near joints that perform repetitive motions or undergo constant pressure. Bursitis of the shoulder tends to be felt along the top of your shoulder and occurs frequently in people who do a lot of throwing, painting, or other overhead movements. Bursitis of the elbows is common in people who rest on their elbows. People who lay carpet or garden for a living and spend a great deal of time on their knees are prone to getting bursitis in their knee joints. Sitting on a hard surface for long periods of time can increase your chances of getting bursitis near your ischial bones—also known as your sit bones. And bursitis of the hip is extremely common, especially in people who already have arthritis in their hips.

The risk of developing bursitis is higher in people who have other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or diabetes. Your risk for bursitis also increases as you get older. In addition, flare-ups are common in bursae that have been previously inflamed.

How Can It Be Treated?

Standard treatment of bursitis includes resting the affected joint, ice, heat, over-the-counter pain medication, physical therapy, steroid injections, and in rare cases, surgery. In addition, if the involved bursa is infected, you might also be prescribed an antibiotic.

In Chinese medicine, bursitis is considered a kind of blockage or stagnation. The Chinese say that where there is pain, there is stagnation. This simply means that this painful condition is, at its source, caused by poor circulation, swelling, and inflammation that is not going anywhere. Therefore, the goal of treating bursitis with acupuncture and other Chinese medical methods is to decrease the swelling, restore circulation to the area, support healing, and decrease your pain.

In order to best treat your bursitis, your practitioner needs a great deal of information, such as whether your condition is acute or chronic, the exact location, the quality of your pain (dull, achy, burning, sharp, etc.), what makes it better or worse, if there’s swelling or redness, and any other health conditions you may have. In addition, in Chinese medicine joint pain is considered to be something called a Bi (bee) syndrome, and can be diagnosed as one of several different types. Cold and painful Bi is characterized by intense pain, a limited range of motion, and may get worse during the cold weather. Damp and fixed Bi comes with a heavy achiness, swelling, and possible numbness in the area. Heat Bi describes a red, swollen, and painful joint that feels warm to the touch. Wind and wandering Bi is rarely used to describe bursitis, because the pain moves from joint to joint, which is uncharacteristic of this condition. Arriving at the proper diagnosis allows your practitioner to develop the best treatment strategy for you, such as warming the joint, drying or draining dampness (swelling), or clearing heat. In all cases, improving circulation to the affected area is a goal in order to allow healing and to relieve your pain.

If you seek out an acupuncturist or practitioner of Chinese medicine to treat your bursitis, they will likely needle near the area of your pain, as well as other points on your body, depending on your unique symptoms and health history. They may also incorporate the use of heat, electro acupuncture, herbs, and diet or lifestyle modifications to get the best results.

Acupuncture can be effective for bursitis because research has shown that it reduces inflammation locally where the needles have been placed.  It also increases circulation in the area, stimulates your central nervous system to reduce your pain, and supports healing.

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The Answers To What Your Food Cravings Are Telling You…

by Cindy Chamberlain on April 9, 2018

The Meaning Of Your Food Cravings - Eastern Healing Solutions

Did you ever wonder why you crave certain foods? Have you ever stopped to think why you go crazy for sugar while your co-worker only wants salty snacks? While the idea of food cravings may seem random, Chinese medicine actually has some explanations as to why you crave certain foods and not others.

According to Chinese medicine, each organ system in your body is associated with and is nourished by a specific flavor. Foods with a particular flavor are directed by your body to support its corresponding organ system. However, this is only true up to a point— eating too many foods of the same flavor can become overwhelming to that organ system and may bog it down or hinder its function.

Essentially, what you crave indicates which organ system needs attention. Here is a rundown of the basic flavors and how they relate to your body:

Sweet

Many people will tell you that they have a sweet tooth or that they crave pasta, potatoes, bread and other carbohydrates that are quickly converted to sugar in your body to be used as energy. Foods that are sweet help regulate your digestion and help build up your energy; a process called tonification in Chinese medicine. The organs of digestion are your Spleen and Stomach, and when you’re having digestive symptoms or low energy, you may crave sweet foods and carbohydrates. Interestingly, many people crave a little something sweet right after a meal as a digestive aid, which is not necessarily a sign of imbalance. However when that craving is fulfilled with a triple chocolate cheesecake or some other rich dessert, it only bogs down your digestion, rather than helping the process along.

A common sign that your Chinese Spleen/Stomach needs some help are digestive symptoms and consistently feeling fatigued. In addition, people who are struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression, often have uncontrollable cravings for sweet foods and carbohydrates. This is because as part of the fight or flight response associated with these emotions, your digestion is put on the back burner as your body prepares to deal with the threat at hand. Craving sweets is a signal that your digestion needs some attention and your energy may be suffering.

Spicy

Strongly flavored spicy foods, like horseradish and hot pepper, make your nose run. That’s because your nose is considered to be part of your respiratory tract—your Lung system in Chinese medicine—and spicy foods affect your lungs.

Spicy or acrid foods, expel wind and cold, which is a way of saying they help you fight off colds and the flu. Your Lung system is responsible for immunity, which in Chinese medicine is thought to be something akin to a protective shield that keeps out pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and pollen. So add a little spice to your diet to strengthen your immune system. Also, if you feel yourself getting a cold or the flu, a good strategy is to make a broth with some ginger and scallions—both acrid foods—and going to bed to sweat it out.

Salty

Craving salty foods is a sign that your Kidney system may need some attention. In Chinese medicine, your Kidneys are important organs that house your vital body substances (Yin, Yang, and Essence), and is related to your overall body constitution. This means how you grow, your fertility, how you will age, and your overall health are related to the strength of your Kidney system. Your Kidneys also regulate water; it plays a role in regulating blood pressure, hydration, and urination. Physically, your adrenal glands are located on top of your Kidneys, and when your life is consumed with overwhelming stress, it’s your Kidney system that suffers the most.

The bottom line is that when stress or fear is dominating your life, if you’re working way too hard, and/or eating poorly, your Kidney system takes a hit, and the end result is that you may find yourself craving salty foods. Salt stimulates your Kidneys, helps remove excess water, and reduces other stagnant buildups in your body. While you may crave a bag of your favorite grease-laden salty snack, a better choice would be fish, crab, clams, sea vegetables, miso, and other naturally salty foods.

Sour

The sour flavor is related to your Chinese Liver system. In Chinese medicine, your Liver is responsible for the nourishing quality of your Blood and regulates the flow of everything in your body, from your digestion to your emotions. One of the most common imbalances associated with your Liver system is stagnation—a lack of flow. Strong emotions, frustration, and stress all have the ability to stagnate your Liver, causing symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, PMS, flushing, red eyes, and even pain in your ribs.

Sour foods are calming and directed to your Liver. Good choices are vinegar, citrus and other sour fruits, tomatoes, and dill pickles.

Bitter

Bitter is the taste that is associated with your Chinese Heart. While your Heart moves blood through your body, in Chinese medicine it’s also home to something called your Shen, which is like your Heart, mind, and spirit all rolled into one. Your heart holds your memories, consciousness, feelings, and thoughts; and when you’re upset your Heart is out of balance.

Your Chinese Heart also corresponds to the fire element, and here is where the bitter flavor comes into play. Bitterness is said to taste like something burnt or burning.  Ironically bitter foods are used to clear heat in your body. Foods like bitter coffee, hoppy beer, bitter greens, mustard leaves, and especially dark chocolate can cool you down and improve your mood.

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Alleviate The Symptoms Of Autoimmune Diseases With Chinese Medicine

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So How Does Acupuncture Work?

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Emotional Healing… What You Should Know.

June 20, 2017

Your emotions are considered to be a primary cause of ill health in Chinese medicine. In fact, the Chinese say that emotions are the cause of a hundred diseases. You know this is true when a stressful time in your life led to chronic insomnia, or a major loss gave way to depression. However, in […]

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