We are beginning to see a number of patients requesting help with post-covid long haul syndrome. Those symptoms may include fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, headache, and more. Acupuncture is being found to be helpful to these people, as is Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements. We are tracking current research in the field of professional Chinese medicine to learn specific techniques and herb formulas that are especially helpful. Laura is available by telehealth for consultation. Call our office to set up a visit by video chat. We do those visits first thing in the morning on weekdays. 319-341-0031
Acupuncture Fights Influenza, Decreases Mortality Rate
Acupuncture reduces mortality from influenza. Two independent investigations confirm acupuncture’s efficacy for fighting influenza. One laboratory investigation tested acupuncture as a monotherapy and determined that acupuncture lowers mortality rates, increases serum interferon levels, and improves the phagocytosis of viruses. Another investigation finds acupuncture effective for enhancing the clinical effictiveness of anti-viral drugs. Let’s start with the integrative investigation and we’ll look at the acupuncture monotherapy next.
Researchers from the Taizhou Municipal Hospital combined acupuncture with standard drug therapy. Patients receiving both oseltamivir and acupuncture in a combined treatment protocol had superior patient outcomes compared with patients receiving only oseltamivir.  In an independent laboratory experiment, the researchers proved that acupuncture exerts an antiviral effect by increasing the serum level of interferon (IFN) and improves phagocyte function in rats with influenza virus infections. 
The research team of Lang et al. compared a control group receiving only oseltamivir (an antiviral drug, also known by the brand-name Tamiflu) and a treatment group receiving both acupuncture and oseltamivir. The treatment group patients had significantly shorter recovery times for relieving fever, sore throat, and coughing. The researchers conclude that the addition of acupuncture to an oseltamivir treatment regimen increases the effective rate of oseltamivir for the treatment of influenza. Furthermore, the researchers conclude that acupuncture is both effective and safe; acupuncture did not produce any severe adverse effects.
Following treatment, the average recovery time from fever was 63.80 hours in the drug monotherapy control group and 57.05 hours in the acupuncture plus drug treatment group. On average, acupuncture reduced fevers by 6.75 hours.
The average recovery time from sore throat was 80.35 hours in the control group and 71.25 hours in the treatment group. Acupuncture improved the pharynx pain recovery time by 9.1 hours.
The average recovery time from coughing and other symptoms was 115.20 hours in the drug monotherapy control group and 104.70 hours in the acupuncture plus drug treatment group; acupuncture produced an improvement of 10.5 hours. The recovery time refers to the time it takes to completely relieve symptoms (including body temperature ≤37.4 degrees Celsius) for at least 24 hours from the start of treatment. The results showed that acupuncture significantly increases the total effective rate of oseltamivir and the combined therapy shortens the development course of H1N1 influenza.
Researchers (Lang et al.) used the following study design. A total of 80 patients diagnosed with H1N1 influenza were treated and evaluated They were randomly divided into an acupuncture plus drug treatment group and a drug monotherapy control group, with 40 patients in each group. Inclusion criteria were established and included the following:
- H1N1 influenza diagnosis
- Body temperature ≥38 degrees Celsius
- At least two indicative symptoms (e.g., sore throat, coughing)
Both groups were given identical drug therapy. A total of 75 mg of oseltamivir was administered twice daily, for a total of 5 days as one treatment course. Symptomatic treatment (antipyretic analgesics, antitussives, or expectorants) were also given if necessary.
The treatment group received acupuncture treatment. The following primary acupoints were selected bilaterally for the treatment group:
- LI11 (Quchi)
- TB5 (Waiguan)
- LI4 (Hegu)
- LU5 (Chize)
Additional secondary acupoints were added based on symptom presentation:
- High fever: GV14 (Dazhui)
- Severe cough: LU6 (Kongzui)
- Sore throat: LU10 (Yuji), LU11 (Shaoshang)
The Taizhou Municipal Hospital researchers determined that acupuncture improves outcomes for influenza patients taking oseltamivir. This includes reductions of fevers and symptomatic relief. Overall, the total recovery time improves when acupuncture is added to the drug therapy treatment regimen.
In another investigation, Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) researchers investigated the effect of acupuncture and moxibustion on rats infected with influenza virus. They found that both acupuncture and moxibustion decrease the mortality rate and increase the average survival time. In addition, they document that both TCM therapies significantly increase the serum level of IFN and improve phagocytosis of viruses.
Interferon (IFN) plays a major role in defective neutrophil recruitment and influenza virus killing.  The researchers conclude that both acupuncture and moxibustion are effective for the treatment of influenza. Notably, acupuncture produced superior outcomes over moxibustion therapy.
Three groups were compared. The first group received acupuncture. The second group received moxibustion. The third group was a control. For the acupuncture treatment group, a needle was inserted into one single point (Dazhui, GV14) and was manipulated with the twisting technique with a frequency of 30–50 times per minute. For the moxibustion treatment group, 10–15 mg of moxa cigar cuttings were applied upon the acupoint Guanyuan (CV4). A total of 4 cuttings were used in one treatment session. The above treatments were conducted daily, for 3 consecutive days in total. The control group received no treatment.
The mortality rate of the acupuncture treatment group was 63.5% and was 78.6% for the moxibustion group. The control group mortality rate was 96.4%. In addition, overall survival times improves in the acupuncture and moxibustion groups.
The aforementioned independent investigations indicate that acupuncture reduces mortality from influenza and acupuncture is an important treatment option for the treatment of influenza. Acupuncture improves the serum level of IFN and improves phagocytosis of viruses. Patients are encouraged to contact local licensed acupuncturists to consult about treatment options.
 Lang BX, Jin LQ, Liu SN, Liu XR. Clinical observation on the effect of acupuncture combined with conventional therapy on influenza H1N1 [J]. Chinese Archives of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2011, 29(2):411-412.
 Chou YF, Cao YM, Wang JL, Yang ZM, Qiu ML. Protective effect of acupuncture on mice infected with influenza virus [J]. China Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy, 1990(2):16-18.
 Wenjing Li, Bruno Moltedo, Thomas M. Moran. Type I Interferon Induction during Influenza Virus Infection Increases Susceptibility to Secondary Streptococcus pneumoniae Infection by Negative Regulation of T Cells [J]. Journal of Virology, Oct 2012, 86 (22) 12304-12312.
Acupuncture for Stress to be your best self. Everyone is feeling very stressed right now. And we know from research that stress suppresses the immune system. So it is more important than ever that we practice all the stress management techniques that we have. Acupuncture is one of those.
Consider scheduling an acupuncture treatment to help your nervous system settle, enhance the function of your Qi in being able to defend you from infection and keep your Qi strong to get through this challenging time. If you’ve had acupuncture before, you know very well how rested and refreshed you can feel after a treatment and for days after.
Chinese herbs can also be very helpful in strengthening our Qi, balancing whatever might be out of balance, and optimizing our health. In professional Chinese medicine we can treat the “constitutional disharmony” that underlies all your health issues. That can very much help keep you healthy in the face of current situations.
At our office we are keeping our waiting room free of patients, repeatedly sanitizing all surfaces during the course of the day, asking patients to wash hands as they enter the clinic and as they enter their homes. We are sanitizing every surface such as credit card machine and all door handles, as we always do. We want you to feel safe in attending your appointment.
If you are an older person or in poor health, we are recommending that you stay home and do not come to the clinic.
At your appointment we can make recommendations about how to support your immune system with nutrition and supplements and other lifestyle supports.
Science tells us that this virus will be with us for quite a long time and that we must all make changes for the long haul. We are doing our best to support you during this time.
THE HOLIDAYS are here. This is such a stressful time. Holiday stress management is always a challenge. Even when you try to plan ahead, keep it simple, and not add too many obligations, the stress is infectious. I went to the grocery store last night and picked up the feeling of stress, from the music, the crowds, the urgency in shoppers trying to find that special ingredient. In planning my holiday cooking I keep finding myself wanting to add one more dish to the menu and try one more new kind of cookie recipe. And I am not a big holiday person. Our culture has so much impact on us this way.
So we must be sure to build in stress management activities during these weeks. Here is my personal list:
Go to bed early instead of late
Use my SAD light for 30 minutes when I wake up
Don’t forget to walk after work when I feel tired
Be sure to take some time for myself to do something I love, like knitting or photography
Avoid drinking too much alcohol
Let Holidays be about people and relationships and not be about stuff
Listen to a lot of music that I like
Don’t spend hours in front of the computer or TV, find other ways to relax
Don’t worry about what I eat
Appreciate the people that I love, and try to appreciate the people that can trouble me
Remember that THE LIGHT IS COMING BACK soon
Be Thankful when you notice that the days are getting longer!
Consider having a massage or acupuncture for my wellness and stress management
You might find a lot more ideas for your list, but hopefully this one will give you some ideas to begin.
319-341-0031 Call for Appointments
Yes, flu season is here. You may not want to have a flu shot but there ARE things you can do at the first sign of getting sick. We have a whole protocol to help you manage symptoms, get better faster, and strengthen your immune system to prevent getting sick. Chinese herbs can be personalized for your exact condition. Supplements can assist with your immune system. Professional Chinese herbalist Laura Christensen is trained to help you!
Call for an appointment today and Laura can make a personalized plan for you. 319-341-0031
Herbs for cough and sore throat
It’s that time of year again. Everyone has a cold. It starts with a stiff neck and scratchy throat, then fatigue and chills and stiff body. Next step is getting a low grade fever alternating with feeling chilly and the sore throat gets worse. Next the nose begins running, the sore throat gets worse, it is painful to swallow. And then the nasal mucus gets thick, you are coughing up thick mucus and the cough gets spastic. You are hot and cold, your cough wakes you up at night, you still have a bit of a sore throat, and you feel very tired. Finally, your cough gets better, your nose gets less runny, you begin to get your energy back, and you feel some better. As each day goes by, your symptoms recede and finally, 2 weeks later, you are almost back to normal.
This is the usual progress of an uncomplicated ‘cold’. If things go sideways, you could end up with a severe bronchitis where you might need antibiotics, or even pneumonia, where the infection has settled into your lungs. What began with a little virus has turned into a bacterial infection that really requires antibiotics and some major over the counter medicine to control cough, help liquify phlegm, and dry out nasal secretions.
We’ve all been through it and this fall it is happening again. Once the kids are back in school the crud seems to make the rounds.
How can you reduce the severity of symptoms and get better faster?
Your acupuncturist has a wide variety of traditional herbal formulas to address each stage of this disease process, helping to support your immune system, reduce your sore throat, suppress that hacking cough, cut down on runny nose, and address the fever and chills that plague you.
Call at the very first sign of a cold and you can get the help you need.
Call to make an appointment or to order herbs for your cough and sore throat!
319-341-0031 Acupuncture of Iowa
Effective Herbs for fall allergies
This fall we are having amazing results combining acupuncture with our favorite product for sniffles and itching, Rootology.
This effective formula is based on a traditional and very effective herb formula called Bi Yan Pian. The American manufacturers of Rootology have combined the traditional herbs with a couple of additional ingredients to calm the histamine reaction and support appropriate immune response. They have come up with a product that I think is even more effective than the original. You can take this product as needed, or two to three times per day during severe outbreaks. It even works for itchy eyes and even itching all over.
The acupuncture treatment that is working well is one that combines a Master Tung point combination called 4 Horses with local points to open the sinuses and calm the immune reaction. We might vary this combination depending on the exact symptoms you have.
Call for your appointment now for effective herbs for fall allergies. 319-341-0031
Acupuncture Iowa City 52240
Seasonal Affective Disorder alleviate by Acupuncture and light box therapy
Acupuncture can help with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Now that the hours of daylight are becoming so few, it is time for us to get our acupuncture treatment and SAD lights going. Yes. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. These lights that help reduce the effects of the shortened daylight hours. You may have noticed that you begin feeling “blue” or depressed sometime in December or January. This is commonly the result of the reduced hours of light during our day. Using a 10,000 lux daylight bulb light for 20 minutes upon getting up in the morning is one of the best ways to alleviate SAD before it happens. NOW is the time to begin doing this, because by the time you have symptoms, it will not work as well. The light that I use is the Sun Touch Plus from the Nature Bright company. It is a lightweight box that I can place next to me in the morning while I read or do emails first thing. You can even use it during meditation. Just point it toward yourself even with eyes closed, at about 2 feet away. It really helps.
The other thing that can really help is acupuncture. I’m now using an approach called Sa’am acupuncture that is very powerful with just 4 needles. WE can bring you energy, help with conditions worsened by cold damp, assist with craving sweets (holidays are coming up), and help with insomnia. A few sessions of acupuncture at this time in the year can help us get back into balance as the seasons change around us.
Our body is very sensitive to seasons, outdoor temperatures and humidity. However, we can do a lot to optimize our health and comfort during these changes.
Call for your appointment today. 319-341-0031
Over the past 5,000 years or so the Chinese and their forebears developed a comprehensive system of medicine that is designed to be able to address any health condition effectively. The medicine originated, like many primitive medicines, dominated by ideas of possession by negative spirits but has evolved over these medicine to be a systematic approach to all types of illness.
In China practitioners may specialize in treating trauma, broken bones, perform surgery, treat infectious illness, all aspects of women’s reproductive health, or pediatrics. They do this with a wide array of tools, many of which are not seen in the US.
The primary tools that Americans know are acupuncture, oral medicinals such as herbs, and cupping. There are also moxibustion (burning of moxa near the skin) and bleeding (where small amounts of blood are released from the body safely). All acupuncturists trained in the US learn these primary tools in their three-to-four year graduate level education programs.
The diagnostic system of Chinese medicine may seem strange to westerners, but it is grounded in Eastern philosophies and world views that are completely natural to their place of origin.
We do not depend on a Western conventional biomedical analysis of a health problem to be able to determine what treatment is appropriate in Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine was developed long before these modern scientific approaches came along.
So, for example, in the fall in the midwestern part of the US we see an increasing amount of illnesses that are considered “dampness” in Chinese medicine. That includes increased runny and stuffy noses from ragweed, mold spores from rotting leaves, and airborne material from farm activity as they remove dusty moldy crops from the fields. People complain of increased joint stiffness and swelling, and feeling worse in damp cold weather. To the Chinese, this indicates an excess of dampness inside the body. So herbs can be used to improve the situation, or acupuncture strategies that help the body metabolize dampness better.
Call today for help with your fall illness. 319-341-0031