Natural Health and Wellness

How Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture works by balancing and optimizing healthy Qi. Qi (chee) doesn’t quite have a western medical definition.  It can be described as the vital force in the body. This Qi can be accessed at specific points on the body referred to as Acupuncture points. Energy flows through the body like water flows through a river. When the flow of energy is interrupted, it is like the river gets blocked. When Qi is blocked or in excess, this causes imbalance in the body and creates an environment for illness or pain. When Qi is deficient, an Acupuncture treatment can replenish it. Inserting Acupuncture needles into the appropriate spots on the body will resolve the imbalance, allowing the free flowing of energy and health to resume.

Los Angeles Acupuncture
Pain Relief

In Western medical terms, acupuncture stress treatments will release endorphins, which are natural pain-killing chemicals. It also works to boost the blood circulation in the body, making sure to oxygenate its tissues and eliminate the waste chemicals. It’s also been found to reduce the heart rate, drop blood pressure and help the muscles relax.

Repeated treatments and occasional herbal formulae (if deemed necessary) extend the effectiveness of the treatments until the Qi’s disharmony is resolved.

Quit Smoking with Acupuncture

Oriental medicine and acupuncture has proven a high degree of success in helping cigarette smokers to quit. Acupuncture can alleviate withdrawal symptoms like moodiness, restlessness, and jitters. Acupuncture treatments will also make the body feel more relaxed during the withdrawal process.

quit smoking acupuncture

A study by the University of Oslo has found that one’s desire to smoke can be completely removed with acupuncture. People tested have reported that after receiving treatment, they have found that they dislike the taste of tobacco and refuse to touch it.

The extremely thin needles used in acupuncture are completely safe and sterile. They are extremely small, scarcely larger than a hair. There definitely will not be any pain involved in treatments. The acupuncture points in the ears are a focus point to quitting smoking so naturally they will be targeted. Often a small pellet (called ear seeds) will be put on these points in order to stimulate them if a craving occurs.

Acupuncture is not a magical cure for any addiction, though it is one proven to help quit smoking. In order to make quitting easier, give me a call or send me an email to set up a consultation so that we can help you take control of your life and live it smoke-free.

Acupuncture for Digestion and Gastrointestinal Problems

How Acupuncture Relieves Digestion and Gastrointestinal Pain

More than 30% of the population of the US report issues with the gut or digestion.  These issues can be disorders such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, food poisoning, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.  Thirty percent was figured only based on people who visit the physician’s office due to a digestive problem, which means there could be thousands of unreported cases. Gastrointestinal problems are not usually cured with standard medications, but effectively treated with oriental medicine and acupuncture.

acupuncture gastrointestinal problems

It was found that acupuncture and oriental medicine treatments have been used since before 3 AD originating in ancient China. Literature from this time period suggests that there are certain acupuncture points on the body and specific herbs that can help treat digestive disorders like diarrhea and abdominal pain. Traditional Chinese medicine says that digestive problems are due to an imbalance of the patient’s spleen Qi (life energy), since the spleen is responsible for managing the nutrients we take in and turning it into energy.

Below are the top three complaints physicians hear about and how acupuncture can help

Keep in mind that acupuncture can be used for any digestive conditions, not just the three below.

Acid Reflux (GERD)

Several studies have been conducted on how acupuncture affects acid reflux. Most notably is one published by the American Journal of Physiology. Research states that by stimulating certain acupuncture points on the body, esophageal sphincter disorders are reduced by over forty percent. There are many prescription and over the counter treatments for this disease on the market, though many of them come with side effects whereas acupuncture does not.

In the notable study, electro-acupuncture was used to treat this disorder. When the esophageal sphincter is relaxing at abnormal times it will cause stomach acid to flow upwards causing symptoms such as heartburn. When a specific point on the wrist, called Neiguan, is stimulated with electro-acupuncture, abnormal relaxation of the esophageal sphincter was greatly reduced.

Besides acupuncture, oriental medicine will suggest specific Chinese herbs for you to take, like ginger. Ginger is not only used for acid reflux, but all kinds of digestive problems such as diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and indigestion. It increases the production of gastric juices which means food is digested more effectively.

Food Poisoning

This common digestive malady, also known as gastroenteritis or infectious diarrhea, is caused by consuming foods infected with viruses, parasites, and bacteria. It can cause symptoms such as fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping. The bacterium typically responsible for this condition is either E. coli, salmonella, or staphylococcus. If you were to let the body fight off food poisoning without any medical help, it would take anywhere from one week to a few months to fully recover from it, assuming you are consuming the proper amount of water and getting enough rest.

Food poisoning will weaken the overall immune system over time. This will make the immune system much more susceptible to getting infected again. This is why it isn’t always the best idea to let the body handle the problem itself. If the problem persists for longer than two days, it is advised that you seek treatment.

Acupuncture and oriental medicine techniques are best used for mitigating symptoms, like severe diarrhea and vomiting. It helps the immune system remove the toxins from the body. Once the food poisoning is treated, acupuncture should be continued until the body regains its strength.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

About twenty percent of adults in the United States will experience irritable bowel syndrome at some point in their life. It occurs when the lower digestive track is irritated. Common causes of IBS can be stress or a poor diet. Symptoms include diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, bloating, constipation, and gas.

Oriental medicine states that IBS is a result of imbalanced Qi in the liver and spleen. The liver is said to be the central control system of Qi while the spleen is responsible for our digestive systems. Stress, an unhealthy diet, fatigue, and overeating all can disrupt the flow of our Qi and cause IBS. Acupuncture, a proper diet, exercise, and frequent relaxation exercises will help treat IBS and prevent it from reoccurring.

The Acupuncture Treatment

When you meet with the acupuncturist (me), explain your exact symptoms so that a customized treatment plan can be created for you. You will also get suggested lifestyle and dietary changes.

If you are affected by any digestive disorder, call or send an email to set up an acupuncture appointment

Acupuncture Nutrition Herbal Treatment and TCM

Nutrition for Natural Health

Traditional Chinese medicine is a medicine of balance. In order to achieve optimal health, four basic pillars must be strong. They are diet, exercise, adequate rest and relaxation, and “a good mental attitude.” A healthy and balanced dietary practice is just one portion living a healthy lifestyle.

Chinese herbs

The Chinese diet of balance is not the same as what is considered to be healthy diet in the west. A balanced diet is achieved by eating according to one’s Chinese medical diagnosis. Each and every person requires different properties in their diet. In order to understand what is required for each individual, a Chinese medical diagnosis must be obtained. There are certain foods that should be incorporated into some diets, and different foods that should be avoided in others. In addition to this, foods should be fresh, and eaten in season. All should be free of pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. Animal protein should be free range and fed according to what is natural for their species.

There are certain tastes that resonate with certain organ systems. Predominant tastes according to meridians are as follows: The spleen/stomach goes towards sweet, liver/gallbladder is sour, heart/small intestine is bitter, and lung/large intestine is spicy.
One follows a diet appropriate to their constitution, dramatic improvements in health can be realized.

Chinese Herbal Therapy

Chinese herbal formulas are prescribed to reinforce the acupuncture treatments and help to restore balance in the patients body. Traditional Chinese medicine including herbal medicine has been used to promote optimal health for over 2500 years.

Chinese herbal remedies have been used for many years, long before the introduction of western medicine. Westerners have only recently learned of the amazing benefits these herbs contain. As Chinese herbal remedies grows in use and popularity, people are wondering how exactly they work. It is confusing to some individuals that a plant could offer healing. What they may not realize is that much of western medicine is derived from plant sources. The following explains how Chinese herbal remedies work in the human body.

Treating the Source

Much of western medicine treats the symptoms rather than the source of an illness or discomfort. Chinese herbal remedies target the source of the problem. For example, depleted blood causes problems with eyesight, sleep, and mood. Blood enriching herbs assist in fixing the deficiency thus eliminating the symptoms. Many issues are caused by fatigue, so specific herbs are taken to increase energy.  There are also herbs to treat specific symptoms related to things such as pain, colds and allergies. They are quite effective in this area. But for the most part, herbal medicine focuses on the causes of the disorder rather than particular symptoms.

Reciprocal Relationships

Herbs are used in combinations to boost effectiveness. They work together, promoting other. In essence, they help each other to increase usefulness. The proper mixture of herbs can have a powerful impact on the body. The use of a single herb in treatment is rare. There are a number of excellent formulas available on the market today to treat virtually any ailment.

3 Basic Functions of Chinese Herbal Medicine

  1. Supplement – These are used to correct any deficiencies in the body.
  2. Cleansing – These are used to clear toxins and harmful substances from of the body.
  3. Balance – These are used to bring organ systems into balance.

In the past, most western physicians have overlooked or simply denied the benefits of herbal remedies. However, they are now beginning to understand the role of herbs in treating illness. You do not have to choose between western medicine and herbal remedies. They often work very well together.

east meets west for more natural health -green staff
Laurie is the Best! Her treatments have been so helpful for my optimal wellness, especially in times of extra stress. Highly recommended!
Tyler Sussman
Tyler Sussman
I was not a believer in acupuncture but my trainer insisted that I go and try it for several issues I had going on. Laurie was great. She was very patient with me when I listed all my health concerns. She was very considerate and caring. She explained my conditions in traditional Chinese medical terms which made a lot of sense to me. I was concerned that the actual treatment with acupuncture would hurt but it didn’t at all and I felt great after! Acupuncture works! Highly recommend.
Jeffrey Nicholas
Jeffrey Nicholas
Laurie is the best acupuncturist in Los Angeles! She keeps my periods regular and pain free and treats my chronic back pain to keep me moving!
Tracy Anderson
Tracy Anderson
I truly wish I could give Dr. Laurie Binder more than "5 Stars" as she's worth at least 10! She has truly transformed my life in a very short time. I started meeting with Laurie about 5 weeks ago, having never done acupuncture and not knowing what to expect. She was so kind, ebullient, compassionate and patient (I ask a LOT of questions) while explaining the procedure, the needle point placements, the history of acupuncture and the benefits of the therapy. Just by taking a quick glance at my tongue and feeling my pulse, she was able to diagnose a Spleen Qi Deficiency. Obviously, I had no clue what that meant, but when she started listing the symptoms--chronic fatigue, anxiety, being a worrywart, trouble losing excess weight, bloating and gas--the diagnosis was spot on! And, honestly, I had resigned myself to the fact that "that's just who I was" at this point in life. But to my extreme delight, after just one treatment with Laurie I noticed tremendous improvements in most of these areas. Almost instantly, that incessant chatter and worry that had filled my brain for years was quieted; and, it has continually diminished with each additional treatment. I now have a clear headspace and can focus on things that matter and bring me joy - I signed up with a Personal Trainer (I had been "thinking about it" for 2+ years), I am eating a clean/healthy diet for the first time EVER, I have let go of toxic/unhealthy relationships that I held onto for far too long and I just signed the lease on a new apartment after vacillating for the last 6 months. All of this in 5 weeks! In addition to those tangible "life" changes, my energy is phenomenal, my sleep has improved, I have little to no mood swings (I'm a Cancer lol) and I am the happiest I have been in many many years. I can't thank Laurie enough for her truly gifted work. I am, quite frankly, amazed by just how quickly and dramatically she has helped me transform my life for the better. I recommend her without reservation.
Simon Smith
Simon Smith
Laurie gets six stars in my book. She is attentive, knowledgeable and a healer. She has always been present with me...every single time I've seen her. In my opinion, there is nothing more important, comforting and healing than that
Stephen Capaldo
Stephen Capaldo
Acupuncture may not be for everyone, but if you have a fear of needles, please don't let that be a factor in seeking treatment from Dr. Binder. Acupuncture needles are so thin that the sensation you feel is more like a "zing" than a pin prick. I know, because I'm one of those people who really doesn't like needles at all. It took me a long time to try acupuncture as a way to relieve some aches and pains that otherwise wouldn't go away. I tried massage, body work, chiropractic, everything but would wake up feeling stiff and tired - no it wasn't my mattress or pillow. After two treatments with Dr. Binder my energy levels had increased dramatically and my aches and pains were gone. Really. Since then, I have found acupuncture treatments to help a variety of issues in a natural, healing way rather than seeking medications that only mask symptoms. Dr. Binder is a kind, caring, healing person with an abundence of knowledge and an excellent "bedside manner." Her offices are calm and soothing and so is her treatment process. I highly recommend her to anyone, especially those of you who are not fans of needles.
Jill Mazur
Jill Mazur
I have seen Laurie for just over one month regarding weight loss. I have lost 10lbs so easily. Her acupuncture and her diet sheet is amazing. There was no pain but lots of gain (loss) in weight! I have never been so happy with any other method of weight loss, her scheme is enjoyable and certainly gets the results.
Victor Green
Victor Green
I started going to Laurie for pain. It was my first time receiving acupuncture and really didn't know what to expect. Laurie's office is comfortable, relaxing and quiet. Laurie took the time to discuss my concerns. She really listened and really made me feel comfortable my first time. I am very active; I was in a lot of pain and discomfort and did not know how to manage that. Within a few sessions with her I could feel a great difference in my over all heath and had a lot less pain. Every time I see her I feel better. She is truly amazing at her work and really knows what she is doing. She has changed my life and helped me get my body running it's best with very little pain throughout my day. I see her weekly and her services only get better, she never rushes my appointment, she always listens to my needs and I truly feel better every time I see her. Not just after the session but truly better and the pain does not come back. It's amazing, some of the issues I have had my entire adult life and have been seen by several doctors and they could never help me. Laurie is helping me with these issues and I have incredible results from her. I would highly recommend her acupuncture and alternative health services. She knows what she's doing and truly cares about her patients and bettering their health.
Gia Genau
Gia Genau
I'm so glad I found this wonderful acupuncturist in Dr. Laurie! I have had acupuncture with several practitioners but Laurie is the best. Great bedside manner and you can tell she genuinely cares about her patients.
Jim Carraway
Jim Carraway
I have had back pain for years and haven’t been able to find relief with doctors. Dr. Binder was very companionate, listened to my complaints, and was extremely thorough. Dr. Binder is very knowledgeable and explained the process in a way that was easy to comprehend. I felt at ease with her and the process was painless. I felt immediate relief after my first treatment. I highly recommend Dr. Binder for any ailment you may have.
Elaina Hassan
Elaina Hassan
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