Carpal tunnel syndrome
The carpal tunnel is formed by eight wrist bones called carpals, which form a tunnel through which run nerves, and tendons. Repetition of tasks involving the hand and wrist (often occupational) can cause swelling around the tendons, and in turn compression and restriction of the nerves. This nerve compression is called “carpal tunnel syndrome”. Working on a computer keyboard, or intensive piano playing can cause carpal tunnel. Women are more likely to develop CTS than men, and are especially vulnerable during pregnancy and menopause.
- painful tingling in one or both hands, especially at night
- feeling that the fingers are weak and useless
- feeling that fingers are swollen even though they are not
- tingling in the hands during the day and weak grip
- shooting pain from hand up as far as the shoulder
Acupuncture can be very effective in the treatment of CTS. Treatment is usually twice weekly to begin with, gradually decreasing to once a week. The length of a course of treatment may vary from as little as 6 treatments, through to 12 or more treatments for full resolution of the problem.
Clinical trials show that acupuncture can restore normal, healthy nerve function, resolve swelling and provide long term pain relief.
Urinary tract infections can occur in both men and women, but are many times more common in women. Usually symptoms result from a bacterial infection in the bladder, with E.Coli being the most common infective agent.
- Typical symptoms include:
- Urinary frequency and urgency
- Burning urine
- Pain and dragging in the lower abdomen
UTI episodes are often triggered by sexual intercourse. A diet high in sugars; drinking too little water, and infrequent urination can predispose a woman to infection.
Women with chronic recurring UTI’s often have a deficiency of the cooling energy of the kidney meridian (kidney yin). A yin deficiency is often accompanied by symptoms of:
- Restlessness and inability to relax
- A flushed complexion especially in the late afternoon
- Night sweats and night waking
- A red tongue with little coating
Kidney yin deficiency is often the result of years of overactivity, stress and lack of rest.
While treating an acute infection can result in a great improvement, the aim is to have regular acupuncture treatment to rectify the yin deficiency and prevent further infections. During an acute infection, acupuncture treatment is recommended daily for 3 -–4 days. Between infection, treatment may initially be twice weekly, and then reduce to once weekly for a total of 6 – 8 weeks, before reducing treatment frequency to monthly.
Herbal medicine may include traditional kidney yin tonics, along with antibacterial herbs. Dietary modification includes: eliminating alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and consuming a predominantly alkaline diet (between infections).