Trigger Finger is an annoying condition which can affect any finger including the thumb and typically occurs as a result of repetitive use such as texting, gaming or occupational practices and more prevalent in females and people who have diabetes.
Traditional treatment options include using a finger brace, steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medications and even surgery for severe cases.
Acupuncture is highly regarded for management of musculoskeletal issues such as pain management and triage of sports injuries. The treatment of this condition in Chinese medicine varies slightly from person to person. The muscles of the arm, hand and fingers are evaluated to locate trigger points which when stimulated with light electrical frequency disinhibit stuck muscle memory for greater flexibility.
Symptoms of trigger finger are easily managed for mild to medium cases with acupuncture alone and may compliment traditional therapies for severe cases possibly preventing the necessity for surgery.
As all conditions and treatment outcomes differ from person to person, consult your practitioner to see if acupuncture may be helpful for your condition and request a treatment plan. As a general guide 3-4 treatments might be appropriate for a newer, acute injury and 6-8 treatments for a condition which is more chronic.
Acupuncture has some very effective treatments for this complicated condition which can often be treated naturally without pharmaceutical or surgical intervention.
In fact, one of the techniques employed using electrical stimulation on two needles close to the ankle has been patented and actually used by Drs in Urology clinics.
The acupuncture points used lie on the Kidney and the Spleen ‘pathways’. These points are located close to the Percutaneous Tibial Nerve which innervates the same nerve plexus which controls the bladder. Interestingly the ancient sages of Chinese Medicine described the Spleen as controlling muscles and sphincters and the kidney overseeing water metabolism; just another way of looking at the same pathology.
There have been several studies in which it was found to be just as effective as other Western Medical interventions, however with fewer side effects (de Wall LL, Heesakkers JP, 2017, p145–157).
Why wait on a list to drive to a specialist outpatient clinic, pay for exorbitant parking fees and get charge through the nose for a technique which we can provide for possibly half the price?
Click on the green button check out Dr Mark’s (TCM) availability.
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
References: de Wall LL, Heesakkers JP. Effectiveness of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation in the treatment of overactive bladder syndrome. Res Rep Urol. 2017;9:145–157. Published 2017 Aug 14. doi:10.2147/RRU.S124981
Did you know that the easiest way to make an appointment for your next Shiatsu Therapy or Chinese Medicine is to bookonline?
It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a practitioner late at night before bed, or even if you have insomnia and decide to book at 5am! You can easily access our availability with the online booking tool. If you are thinking about coming in to see us the same day there is a short blackout window, so some times for the same day will not show even if they are available. So, don’t hesitate to send us a text to request a specific time if you can’t find it online, we are always open to finding a way to get you in so that you can feel better, more alive and more relaxed as soon as possible!
Click on the green button to see available times for your practitioner. Otherwise you can SMS:
Masa (Japanese Shiatsu Therapy): 0425 737 896.
Mark (Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine): 0425 722 217.
Gift Vouchers now available for everything we do at Root & Branch – Shiatsu, Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Oriental Therapies etc… Give a healthy gift to your loved one!
We find that people are often time poor, shy, not ready to make the commitment or simply not sure of the effectiveness of alternative medicine.
A gift voucher is a great way to allow those people to take the next step at their own pace, and allow them to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment themselves. We find that most people respond well and many of them make the decision to continue care.
Contact us to purchase or for further detail.
Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre
Shiatsu Massage is a style of massage which was developed in Japan based on traditional oriental medicine doctrine. It is still very popular in Japan today, particularly at traditional hot springs & ryokan. Each treatment typically takes between 60-90 minutes which includes a short interview to ascertain the specific needs and heath status of the client.
Treatment is undertaken with the recipient dressed, lying flat on a floor mat and includes finger, hand, and foot pressure in combination with a number of stretches and gentle rotations. Your practitioner will probably also recommend some dietary and lifestyle advice which will support your condition after the treatment.
Post treatment most people feel invigorated, occasionally there is a healing reaction as toxins are released, however this is usually only temporary and will pass with adequate water intake.
Shiatsu not only feels great, but but it also proactively restores health, remove blockages of energy flow to stimulate circulation, promote relaxation, alleviate pain and support the body back to it natural state of homeostasis. It is a total body therapy which may assist numerous conditions including digestive disorders, anxiety, sports injuries, insomnia, fatigue and stress.
Acupuncture taught at Western Universities is usually a type of Traditional Chinese Medicine style of acupuncture which can incorporate a distal point or two, but often more needles are located closer to the site of disharmony; there are however many different styles which practitioners study & practice post-graduate. In addition to the general study of TCM, Mark has trained in two popular styles of Distal Acupuncture – ‘Master Tung Style’ and ‘The Balance Method.’
Master Tung was a famous modern day acupuncturist from Mainland China who later settled in Taiwan; he was not formally trained, but honed his skills from a family lineage of acupuncturists from whom secrets were passed from father to the eldest son over many generations.
Balance Method Acupuncture is based on ancient I-Ching theory, modernized in recent times by the late revered Dr Richard Tan. Dr Tan was an engineer before immigrating to the USA and spent many decades analyzing and perfecting his own acupuncture techniques which have become famous worldwide in recent times.
Distal Acupuncture uses theories of embryology to explain its effect on different areas of the body through neural pathways to the brain, which have existed since the time that the body was still a foetus. We all start out the same way, as you see from the photo below – everything is connected, it is only later that the limbs separate, however the neurological connections still exist many decades later.
The photo below shows a distal acupuncture point used for fertility, as you can see the points are located nowhere near the gonads, however they are highly effective points for fertility.
(photo courtesy of ‘Art of Acupuncture’)
For physical symptoms, practitioners will often needle points of similar body landmarks on the opposite side of the body, or even opposite and distally such as needling the shoulder to resolve pain in the hip.
There is an excellent book, which details these theories called ‘The Spark in the Machine’ it was written by a Western Medicine ER Doctor known as Daniel Keown, it explains these theory in everyday language.
Although needling locally (traditional acupuncture) is beneficial for some conditions by increasing blood flow to the area, for acute conditions you could think of it like – shaking an overtired crying baby, which is only likely to seriously exacerbate the problem!! A smarter approach (similar to distal acupuncture) is to use techniques which will lull them into a sound sleep from afar, music in the background, rocking the cradle, aromatherapy etc, etc.
The benefits of a distal style include the fact that most treatments are on the arms & legs, so there is no need to disrobe; secondly it relies on the ‘Homokulus Effect’ (see the diagram below):
Because our hands and our feet are so important to our everyday function, they use a proportionally large area of our brain’s motor cortex, needling in these places has a very strong effect. For this reason distal acupuncture typically uses fewer needles with a higher rate of success.
Using specific neural pathways the intervention sends a signal to the brain via the nervous system to release natural painkillers through the circulatory system, vasodilation occurs delivering extra nutrients and oxygen to heal the affected area. Treatments are quick, effective and I have found that they have better results in the longer term.
Most people who experience a Distal Acupuncture session are usually slightly confused initially, it isn’t always obvious why a practitioner might be needling an unrelated body part, however they are often later amazed with the results experienced.
Dr Tan would often explain the distal theory by saying that the switch that ‘turns on the light’ need not be at the actual site of pain, it can be located anywhere in the room, no matter how large – so long as there is an electrical connection…
Sciatic pain (sciatica) typically affects the body unilaterally, with pain extending from the hip / lower back down one leg. People often describe the uncomfortable sensation as a ‘pain in the butt cheek’, often worse when sitting, as numbness, burning or tingling which runs down the leg or even as sharp and shooting sensations from the hip the calf.
Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying lower back condition such as a structural impingement or compression of the sciatic nerve, which exits the spinal column around the upper sacrum. Trauma, chronic disk degeneration or even pregnancy can be the cause of the condition. Sciatica and Piriformis syndrome are two conditions which are often confused, they are quite different structurally however the pain and symptoms are very similar, pain management of both conditions resolves over time, and the symptoms of sciatica can be expected to improve in the absence of significant structural damage.
Sciatica is a condition, which can come and go over time; western medicine typically treats it with surgery, painkillers, anti-inflammatory medicine and even cortisone injections.
Research into acupuncture treatments has shown effective pain relief and the resolution of symptoms are manageable naturally with acupuncture. Fine needles are inserted into specific sites, which trigger a nerve system response including a cascade of natural endorphins and enkephalins for pain relief. Blood circulation to the area is increased which nourishes the surrounding tissue and over the course of several treatments it is likely to resolve the symptoms and prevent further deterioration of the condition (McDonald & Janz 2017.)
At Root & Branch Oriental therapies, Mark Davis [Dr of Chinese Medicine] treats sciatic pain using a combination of trigger points, electric stimulation, cupping and distal acupuncture using the ankles and wrists. Increasing blood flow and relaxing the muscles around the lumbar vertebrae is the first step followed by targeting the nerve itself to increase circulation and muscle relaxation along its pathway down the back of the leg.
Manual therapies such as Shiatsu can also contribute significantly to rehabilitation through stretching and by working on the tight muscle tissues of the Glutes, piriformis and hamstrings.
Table 1 & 2 of the Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald J, and Janz S, 2017) retrieved from: www.acupuncture.org.au
I have been making Kvass this week, it is basically lacto-fermented raw beetroot cubes with added water, the resulting deep red liquid is taken in small doses internally for its health benefits.
Beetroot is a powerhouse of nutrition packed full of vitamins and minerals, however it is higher in natural sugars than any other root vegetable, when fermented, enzymes and beneficial bacteria consume the sugars to make the nutrients more bioavailable. Beetroot is particularly good for heart health, blood production and it is even said to lower blood pressure; anecdotal evidence suggests that is especially beneficial for the Liver.
Taste-wise, the Kvass is a little sour, sweet and salty all at the same time. In Chinese Medicine, the sour taste directs foods to the Liver, the sweet taste to the Spleen and salty to the Kidneys. So you can see already that it is quite a well balanced tonic for all three organs.
Although it’s origins are not Chinese, as an integrated health practitioner, I prefer to mix the best from all traditional health concepts regardless of where they originate.
We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat,” and the famous quote by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine.”
Asian countries have a long history of using fermented foods including miso, tempeh, kimchi, natto etc. In the West also, particularly Eastern European countries have traditions such as Sourdough, Kefir, Sauerkraut and Kvass.
Before refrigeration was available these processes were used to preserve staple foods so that they were available during the colder seasons when there was less produce, however as they have been shown to be a valuable resource nutritionally, the tradition continues today and the consumption seems to be gaining popularity.
Regular intake of fermented vegetables will improve digestion, resolve bloating and compliment intestinal health. Important research is currently exploring the associations between gut health and cognitive function.
In Chinese Medicine dietary guidelines, over-indulgence of fermented foods can result in ‘dampness,’ typically noticed as excess mucous, a heavy feeling, diarrhoea and sluggishness.
So these foods should be enjoyed in small doses, as an accompaniment to meals, on a daily basis.
Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis, by Mark Davis, BHSc (TCM).
Plantar fasciitis is sometimes referred to as “Runners Heel,” it is an inflammation of the muscles on the underlying surface of the foot – the long, flat ligament that runs along the sole of the toes. It is one of the most common & painful foot problems which some people typically experience when getting out of bed in the mornings, or after being seated for prolonged periods.
Plantar fasciitis is usually caused from repetitive strain to the heel area, it is a common, and very persistent injury afflicting runners, walkers and hikers, and people who stand on hard surfaces like concrete & tiled surfaces for extended periods.
Although pain is typically felt between the arch and heel of the foot, plantar fasciitis pain often originates in the muscles of the lower legs and calf. When these muscles are tight and overstretched, it puts strain on the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot. Being quite a stubborn condition, people can often see many health practitioners and typically invest quite large amounts of money in ongoing treatment for cortisone injections and orthotics.
At Root & Branch Oriental therapies, we have found quite a good success rate using manipulation of the calf muscle with heat therapy, combined with distal acupuncture which avoids upsetting the already inflamed facia of the plantar surface; typically most cases resolve within 3-4 consultations. Several products such as liniment patches and foot soaks are available to compliment the physical intervention between treatment.
Medical Science shows similar results; Xu Xuemeng et al., Guangzhou Dongcheng Hospital randomly divided 66 plantar fasciitis patients into an acupuncture group and a conventional therapy control group. The acupuncture group received standard acupuncture and the control group received triamcinolone acetonide acetate injections and local blocking therapy. The results were assessed 6 months after the completion of all treatments. The acupuncture group achieved a total effective rate of 97% and the drug therapy group had a 76% effective rate.
The aforementioned research is not an isolated finding; Guangzhou Social Welfare House researchers (Tang et al.) performed a meta-analysis of 19 independent plantar fasciitis clinical trials. A total of 16 of the 19 studies made extensive use of Ahshi acupuncture points. Based on the data, the researchers determined that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. The following are some of the studies included in the meta-analysis.
Acupuncture has a proven and lengthy track record for producing significant positive outcomes rates for patients with plantar fasciitis. The data indicates that access to acupuncture, moxibustion, and TCM herbal foot baths is an adequate solution for the vast majority of patients.
Additionally it is worth considering that adverse reactions to acupuncture and trigger point therapy under controlled conditions by a properly accredited practitioner are rare.
Tang, Cuanqi, et al. “Progress of Clinical Research on Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Heel Pain.” World Chinese Medicine 9.1 (2014): 120-123.
Gao F, Zhao B, Fan XH. Thrust acupuncture and injection therapy in treating plantar fasciitis 150 cases [J]. Yunnan TCM Herbs Journal, 2015, 36(6): 80-81.