Acupuncture and Vertigo

Many people experience the moderate to severe spinning sensation that comes from the inner ear disorder of vertigo. There are several different causes of vertigo, such as calcium deposits or fluid that builds up inside, causing the brain to receive mixed messages in relation to gravity. Viral infections of the inner ear can also cause vertigo.

Symptoms of Vertigo

Individuals that have vertigo complain of a spinning sensation and the feeling of swaying, tilting, off balance, and as if they are being pulled one way. When people that suffer from vertigo turn their head, the vertigo is triggered and can be quite severe. Vertigo can also cause nausea, headache, sweating, and ringing in the ears. In some cases, it can even cause temporary hearing loss. These symptoms may be sporadic or last a long time, depending on what is causing the vertigo.

How Acupuncture Can Help

Acupuncturists blame an access of phlegm and dampness obstruction to the cause of vertigo. There may be other causes, of course, but these are two popular underlying causes. An acupuncturist may also focus on the meridians of the kidneys, and possibly the liver. Once you speak to the professional and discuss your symptoms, the treatment plan will be created for you.

Points on the scalp may be used for some types of vertigo, or on the meridians of the gall bladder, small intestine, stomach, or pericardium. It really does depend on your specific symptoms. Either way, acupuncture, in addition to identifying the specific points to channel, will restore and rejuvenate the body’s energy, and the body’s “qi” will be reset. Unblocking any energy channels is vital in healing vertigo, and it may take several visits to reach that point.
If you suffer from vertigo, seeing an acupuncturist may be worth your while. Many people combine acupuncture with traditional or alternative medications to help their vertigo; it is up to you and whatever works best for you to determine. Once you complete your acupuncture treatments, you may be on your way to living a happy life without the annoyances and dizziness of vertigo.

Myths and Misconceptions of Acupuncture

When people hear the word “acupuncture” they may think of all sorts of associations with it. Individuals who are not truly familiar or knowledgeable about the practice may not understand the realities versus the misconceptions of acupuncture. For example, some people think that acupuncture has side effects when in fact it does not have any negative results. After a session of this mode of treatment, people go on with their day as usual.

When people think of needles, they may instantaneously associate that with pain. With acupuncture needles are used; however, there is no pain as the needles are extremely fine. The only pain felt, if any, is the first tiny prick. If this is even felt, it goes away. Any other discomfort is the body’s way of healing using the energy within.

Some people may think that because it is such an old practice that it really doesn’t work. Even though acupuncture is an ancient practice, it is quite effective. Many physicians even recommend it. Studies have been conducted that prove the effectiveness of acupuncture on many illnesses and disorders. After a treatment, the brain releases endorphins to help with pain, and it helps the immune system with anti-inflammatory effects.

Acupuncture can be used in addition to other treatments for specific disorders or illnesses. People that are unfamiliar with the practice of acupuncture may believe that it interferes with other traditional treatments. This is certainly not the case; it works well and compliments other methods of treatment.
This type of treatment helps with more than painful symptoms. Acupuncture is also used to help dissipate other symptoms, such as nausea, high blood pressure, allergies, anxiety, depression, infertility, attention deficit disorder, autism, and many other disorders that are not acute illnesses.

Skeptics believe that if people get acupuncture that they will always have to have it. This is also untrue; some people receive acupuncture only once a month for chronic symptoms. Those who have it done for acute symptoms only need it a few times, as it does improve the main health issue. Also, people tend to think that if it doesn’t work the first few times that it won’t work at all. Some patients respond to acupuncture right away, and others do need more treatments as the effects build upon one another as the body is healing.

If you are considering acupuncture, but have questions about it, ask your physician, do some research, and find out if acupuncture is worth a try. More than likely, if you decide on giving it a chance, you will be satisfied with the results!

Types of Physical Therapy: Manual Therapy

When a patient visits a physical therapist due to the fact that they’re having pain in the soft tissues and joints, and once the physical therapist examines the patient, the medical professional may recommend manual therapy. This is one type of physical therapy that is quite effective in relieving joint and soft-tissue pain, thus allowing the patient to have mobility that is pain-free.

Manual therapy is a skillful, reflexive method of manipulating joints and the soft tissues that are giving the patient discomfort. In some ways, manual therapy is similar to massage; however, it is much more localized and therapeutic. One area of focus with physical therapists is the specific and centralized motions that occur between the surfaces of the joints that result in the mobility of the joints. The physical therapist looks closely at what is prohibiting the joints from moving without pain as well as the soft tissues that support the affected area.

The main purposes of manual therapy are: to restore or increase range of motion, reduce inflammation in the tissues, aid in soft tissue repair, help with stability and movement, and generally to improve the function of the affected area.

When a physical therapist performs manual therapy on a patient, he uses his knowledge of the proper placement of hands as well as the distribution of pressure to stabilize the painful joints and tissues. With several sessions, depending on the injury, normal and pain-free movement will be restored. Also, manual therapy can be combined with other modalities, such as stretching and exercising, for optimal healing and restoration.


“The Evidence-Based Practice of Joint Manipulation/Manual Therapy | Sportscare Physical Therapy.” Sportscare Physical Therapy. 2016. Web. 22 May 2016. <>.

How to know if a Child Needs Physical Therapy

When parents notice something amiss in their child’s developmental milestones and mobility, they may wonder if their child needs to see a physical therapist. The first step often taken by the parents is visiting the child’s physician with their concerns. With a complete physical examination, the physician will explain to the parents his findings. He will also offer his professional opinion as to if the child can benefit from physical therapy.

There are several different factors that will lead the physician to confirming the child needs physical therapy, either long-term or short-term. These factors include:

  • There is a delay in accomplishing specific milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, standing and walking.
  • The child appears to be using one side of the body more than the other, as in turning the head primarily to one side.
  • The child is walking in an abnormal manner.
  • The child is having difficulty keeping up with children that are the same age during social activities and play.
  • The child falls frequently.
  • The child is in pain when walking, running, or performing gross motor tasks.
  • An injury is not healing in a timely manner.
  • The child is having difficulty with gross motor activities, such as kicking a ball, throwing a ball, or other active play activity.

If the child’s physician recommends physical therapy, and once the child begins therapy on a regular and consistent basis, the child will begin to make progress in the area or areas of concern. Parents may also be able to attend the therapy sessions and learn what they can do at home to further the child’s progress. Before they know it, their child will be doing once-difficult tasks with ease.

Physical Therapy after Heart Surgery

After a heart procedure, many patients will receive cardiac rehabilitation while still in the hospital. This usually begins very slowly, and is often in the beginning to manage the care of the incision area and swelling. While most patients begin cardiac rehabilitation after a heart attack or procedure, the time in between the procedure and the rehabilitation in terms of exercise varies greatly.

Cardiac rehabilitation consists of several facets and levels of care. The rehabilitation program is catered to each patient by providing education about their particular illness and health, build up their physical fitness regimen, and move forward in reaching the goal of a healthy lifestyle. Often within the rehabilitation programs, counseling is provided to help patients understand the process of making healthy dietary choices, smoking cessation, weight loss, and how to effectively manage stress.

Many patients that have had a heart attack or a heart procedure require continued physical therapy to regain their daily functions. Usually, individuals that have had a heart condition will be assigned a therapist while they are still in the hospital in order to keep them on a regular schedule for recovery.  This professional works with the physician and surgeon to develop the proper cardiac-care therapy for each patient.

Physical therapy after a heart procedure will vary depending on the patient and diagnosis, and will begin slowly and build up over time. Activity can include walking, balancing activities, mobility exercises, and activities to increase the amount of oxygen to the heart. Once released from the hospital, it will be recommended that they continue physical therapy either as an outpatient at the hospital, at a rehabilitation center, or at a clinic. Some physical therapists even come to the patient’s home for the sessions. Either way, physical therapy done consistently after a heart procedure will greatly help the patient once again live a normal life.





The Benefits of Physical Therapy after Stroke

When a person suffers from stroke, the flow of blood to a section of the brain is obstructed. As a result, vital brain cells lose oxygen and die, causing all abilities that are controlled by that section of the brain to dissipate.  Once recovered from the stroke, the patient must relearn all abilities. For some people, the after effects of a stroke can be very mild, and for others, they may be more debilitating. The effects of a stroke can include short-term weakness of one side of the body, such as the face, leg, or arm area. However, a stroke can also lead to a patient being paralyzed within a specific area of the body or no longer be able to speak.

Physical therapy can help a person through the recovery process in several ways. Stroke rehabilitation through the use of physical therapy, in addition to other therapy types (speech therapy and occupational therapy), is comprised of movement activities of the effected limbs, such as relearning how to walk or lift an arm. This type of therapy can also help individuals who are paralyzed on a particular part of the body learn to do tasks for everyday living, such as bathing or cooking and dressing with one arm and hand.

In order for physical therapy to be effective, the physical therapist needs to schedule regular sessions and the patient needs to attend each session. The therapy sessions need to be carefully directed, concentrated on the area, and repetitive. With this type of therapy, survivors of stroke can possibly regain strength, mobility, coordination, and balance.


“NINDS | Post-Stroke Rehabilitation.” Post-Stroke Rehabilitation. NINDS. Web. 25 May 2016. <>.

Physical Therapy and Exercise

The benefits of physical therapy for any type of injury, pain, or movement difficulties are many. A physical therapist uses research-based methods to assist people of all ages with proper mobility. The physical therapist is trained to take a look at a variety of ailments and decide on the proper method of treatment.

One method of treatment that this professional may use is exercise. The therapist is able to establish an individualized exercise program for his patient after evaluating the client’s individual movement, body type, capabilities, and his activity level. Once the physical therapist studies these characteristics of his patient, he will be able to create the perfect exercise program.

There is a wide variety of methods to help treat and improve musculoskeletal conditions. Some methods focus on strengthening the muscles and others are used to help the muscles heal. Exercise that many physical therapist use include: aquatic therapy, muscular rehabilitation, aerobic and cardiovascular conditioning, exercises for the back and shoulder areas, therapeutic training for increasing balance and posture, exercises and movements to help the soft tissues and joints, and many more.

While focusing on the problem area (or areas), the physical therapist will guide the patient through different forms of exercise and strengthening, at first starting out very slowly and then increasing the amount of repetitions. In order for the patient to see the results of the exercise program in terms of healing and well-being he must be properly taught how to eventually do the exercise routines at home.

Physical Therapy and Alzheimer’s disease

The type of dementia known as Alzheimer’s causes memory loss, difficulty thinking, and problems with behavior. Alzheimer’s begins slowly and the symptoms worsen over time, thus interfering with daily living. Many patients with Alzheimer’s receive physical therapy to help delay the worsening of symptoms and to prolong a satisfactory lifestyle.

Physical therapy with Alzheimer’s patients consists of exercises in various movements. Physical activity has been shown to slow down the negative effects of dementia, as it can improve memory. The physical therapist is trained to design individualized exercise regimens for people with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The exercises are not always physical; they also operate mental awareness activities as well.

At the onset and into the next stage of Alzheimer’s, keeping patients mobile is the focus of physical therapy. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s; however, the physical therapist can facilitate movement and activities to keep the patient active.

In the advanced stages of this disease, the physical therapist can continue to work with the patient in a new role. The professional can assist the patient with everyday tasks in order to reduce the burden on family members. The physical therapists can also educate the family about the disease and teach them techniques for improving the safety of their loved one. The therapist can also teach family members or caregivers how to take care of their loved one’s needs.


“Alzheimer’s Disease.” American Physical Therapy Association. Move Forward, 2011. Web. 30 May 2016.

The Benefits of Acupuncture for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Sometimes people find themselves becoming depressed during certain seasons. Commonly referred to as the “winter blues”, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a real diagnosis of depression during the late fall to spring months. The depression from SAD depletes people of energy, makes people tired and lethargic, and causes moodiness and irritability. In order to keep your energy and happiness levels up all year long, it is important to recognize seasonal affective disorder’s symptoms so you can help yourself during that time of year.

Symptoms of SAD

Feeling sadness and having very low energy is very common in typical depression, which is what SAD is a part of. During seasonal affective disorder these depressive symptoms become a little more stronger and they come with more symptoms, such as sleep problems, changes is weight, changes in diet, moodiness, irritability, concentration issues, feeling sluggish and unmotivated, crying for no apparent reason, and poor socialization skills.

How Acupuncture Can Help

Seasonal Affective Disorder can be treated with acupuncture. The acupuncturist will meet with you and discuss your symptoms and the severity of the symptoms as well. Your treatment will be unique to you, and will have no harmful side effects or addiction to any medication, as many anti-depressants have.

In treating depression, the acupuncturist will channel the positive flow of energy by placing the feather-like needles on different parts of the body. The acupuncturist is trained and knows which pressure points represent each area of your healing. With depression, acupuncture will need to restore your positive life energy, or “qi”, and reset your body. While doing so, hormones will be naturally released to help your periods of sadness and irritability. This may need to be done over several sessions, and each session may take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour. It all will depend on your severity of seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder can be debilitating, and you may not feel you have anywhere to turn. Choosing to visit an acupuncturist is a wise decision, and you will begin to feel better in no time as your positivity will begin to shine through.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Physical Therapy

Numbing and tingling pain in the palmar side of the hand, fingers and thumb can make typing, writing, and other use of the hand quite painful. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a nerve that becomes compressed in the wrist area. The actual carpal tunnel is a very narrow passage within the wrist that is formed by small bones in a ligament. Tendons are also included in this area, and when the tendons swell the nerve becomes compressed.

With carpal tunnel syndrome, when the wrist is flexed or extended it can feel as if pain shooting through the arm. In severe forms of the syndrome, the affected individual’s grip decreases; this makes simple, everyday tasks extremely difficult. Physical therapy is an ideal way to alleviate the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Methods of therapy can include gliding exercises (the movement of fingers in a specific pattern to ensure the tendons and the corresponding nerves glide effortlessly and without pain through the carpal tunnel), the Graston Technique (utilizes soft tissue ability), manual therapy (hands-on methods), ultrasound therapy, and traction. When the patient is not in therapy, wearing a brace that keeps the wrist in a specific position when typing or performing other tasks that constrain the wrist can help.

With the above methods of therapy accomplished by seeing a physical therapist regularly, the carpal tunnel syndrome may diminish. Physical therapy may help sufferers of this condition so that surgery may be avoided.

Mishock, John, PT, DPT, DC. “Physical Therapy: A Treatment Option for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Mishock Physical Therapy and Associates.” Mishock Physical Therapy and Associates RSS. 2012. Web. 30 May 2016. <>.

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