Shoulder pain caused by rotator cuff injuries can be very painful and cause restricted movement; making daily tasks almost impossible. The usual cause of this type of shoulder pain is an impingement of the tendons or bursa, which are being pinched by the bones of the shoulder. If left untreated, this can cause inflammation of the aforementioned structures (tendinitis or bursitis).
In April of this year, a group of Spanish researchers published the results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that investigated the effects of acupuncture on pain caused by shoulder impingement.
Study participants were placed into two groups, one received verum (true) acupuncture, and the other group received sham acupuncture. Treatments were given once a week for 4 weeks, and pain levels were recorded after every treatment, and at a 3 month follow-up.
Researchers concluded that true acupuncture provided clinically significant results for reducing shoulder pain and for increasing shoulder functioning compared to sham acupuncture; and they recommended acupuncture as a safe and reliable treatment for shoulder impingement.
Both chronic and acute shoulder pain are common complaints in the clinic. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that shoulder pain is easily treated with acupuncture, which has been proven more effective than conventional medicine, and most importantly, does not produce the side-effects that Western medicine does.
This past June, a joint study by Chinese Universities and the University of Maryland conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to determine the effects of contralateral manual acupuncture on chronic shoulder pain.
Patients with chronic shoulder pain were divided into two groups. Group 1 received contralateral acupuncture for 4 weeks, and group 2 was placed on a waiting list for acupuncture, but received orthopedic therapy for 4 weeks.
Patients reported their pain levels before and after the study, and also took a health survey prior to and after the 4 week period.
The results of the RCT indicated that contralateral acupuncture for chronic shoulder pain significantly reduced pain scores and improved shoulder mobility.
Have you heard the latest buzz? There are signs of some periodic visitors that usually show up every 13 or 17 years for one of the biggest mating parties around. In fact, you might have noticed some of their clothes left behind, either clinging to the side of trees or lying on the ground.
The metaphorical clothes scattered about are the dried shells of cicadas. And guess what? Those shells have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine as an herb; and are still used today.
In Chinese, the dried carcass shells are called Chan Tui (蟬蛻), and they’re part of a category of herbs that release the exterior of the body.
According to classical texts, the perfect specimen has a thin – unfragmented shell, and is clean with no sand or dirt.
As an herb, Chan Tui has the properties of being sweet, salty, slightly cold, and has an affinity for the Liver and Lung meridians, which can be cooled down by the herb's cold temperature; particularly in cases of toxic heat brought on by a viral / bacterial invasion.
The main functions are:
The main indications are:
Disclaimer: I do not recommend going out and collecting cicada shells and consuming them for any reason. Herbs are mother nature's drugs and they can interact with other herbs, prescription medications, vitamins, minerals and supplements. You should always consult with a licensed & board certified practitioner and follow their recommendations. The Internet is not a substitute for an experienced practitioner.
. . . is one of my favorite summertime drinks to cool off with; and it's super easy to make!
Just chop - up a cucumber and throw it into a quart jar or a pitcher with some mint leaves, shake it up and stick it in the fridge overnight.
The next day you shake / stir - it again and enjoy!
Related article: 5 Cooling Foods to Boost your Health This Summer