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Alternative Medicine – Acupuncture

The World Health organization recognizes over 40 conditions that acupuncture can treat. Migraines, Sinusitis, Asthma, Paralysis, Myopia to name just a few.

Acupuncture eases the pain and boosts the immune system by balancing the flow of life energy through the body. It has been used in China for thousands of years. The West however, uses it as a stand-alone treatment for a broad range of disease and conditions, from cold and flu to addictions, to chronic fatigue.

It is based on the belief that the body has a balanced flow called ‘qi’ ( also called chi) which flows through the body in 12 energy points. These are called ‘meridians’, linked to specific organs in the body.

Most modern acupuncturist uses sterile disposable needles that are so hair-thin ( about 0.007 to 0.020 -or – 0.18mm to 0.51mm) and therefore less painful. The upper third of the needle is wound with copper wire or plastic to stiffen the needle for insertion. Size, type, and how far inserted depends on the acupuncture used.

Western medicine treat vascular headaches with pills, but in acupuncture, it is treated by inserting the needles in the center, between thumb and the palm of the hand called the he-gu points. In acupuncture, this area is said to treat the head and face of the body.

Research has shown there is a relationship between the acupuncture points, called meridians and the electrical current in the body.

Acupuncture has also been shown to be beneficial to kids with ADHD. Studies show that 50% of kids treated with acupuncture improved the symptoms. Thus, researchers have concluded acupuncture is a good alternative to pills for hyperactive kids.

Acupuncture is growing in accepting by conventional medicine because almost a 3rd of the Medical schools are now requiring something in relation to acupuncture be part of the courses.

As with other forms of alternative medicine, the legal aspects of varies from state to state. Some state’s has to requirement of acupuncture, while other states limit the practice of it. Still others require a referral to an acupuncturist from a regular Dr. Where it is legal, the acupuncturist must graduate form a state approved medical school, and pass a state licensing exam.

Healthcare providers can be used for referrals, in addition to national acupuncture organizations, a simple web-search can help. Also, ask the acupuncturist how much treatments are, and how many are needed. Some insurance companies cover these cost’s, and some don’t. Check with your insurance to see if acupuncture is covered before getting treatment.

How Cleaning Out Your Home’s Junk Can Help You Get the Down Payment for a New Home

You may be considering buying a home, but perhaps you don’t have the down payment money needed. Many are not able to set aside large amounts of their income for the down payment so they just end up not getting a home. What many don’t realize is that they may have the money needed for the down payment sitting in the basement, or in the attic of their home. What could possibly be sitting in your home?

Why not try planning a yard sale. A yard sale where you sell all of your items for just one dollar. You may be thinking that there is no way that you can get the money you need for your down payment but you may be happily surprised. First by placing everything on sale for just one dollar you will attract just about everyone in your neighborhood to look at the items you have for sale. More people have a few dollars that they can spare to buy a few things for their home or for their kids. If you put all of your items on a table for a dollar you will be surprised at how quickly you can get rid of them.

Of course you will need a large amount of items to add up to your down payment for your home, but this means that you have to put all of your items into individual pieces. For example each of your dishes should be no more than a dollar. If you don’t want to list all of your items for a dollar why not list some of them for five dollars. For example old coats, and clothing can be placed at a five dollar charge. I would recommend that you keep the price below the five dollar mark, in order to keep these items affordable, and keep all those who come interested in buying. Remember to check every area of your home for any items that you are not using. Remember that the more items that you have for sale the more money you will get. If you don’t want to go with the one dollar price you can have a set your own price sale. If you allow people to set their own price for items, you may be able to get a lot more money. Don’t negotiate with anyone over the price just let them pick their price. I would set a limit so that no one can go under $1. You can write down on the sign that you can name your own price over one dollar. These are just a few suggestions on how you can come up with the money you need for your homes down payment.

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Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome is caused by an entrapment (pinching) of the sciatic nerve as it exits the Greater Sciatic notch in the gluteal region. There are two normal variations for the exit of the sciatic nerve in this region. The first places the sciatic nerve inferior (below) to the Piriformis muscle and superior (above) the gemellus muscle. Entrapment in this area is likely due to a myospasm or contracture (tightening or shortening respectively) of either of these two muscles.

The second common site of entrapment is when the sciatic nerve actually pierces the piriformis muscle itself. This can occur in about 1% to 10% of all humans. In this case myospasm and or contraction of the piriformis muscle itself can lead to pain along the back of the thigh to the knee, loss of sensation or numbness and tingling in the sole of the foot. This particular syndrome can often mimic its more notorious counterpart known as sciatica, and that being the case, it is often misdiagnosed as sciatica. The main difference between sciatica and piriformis syndrome is in the cause. Sciatica is directly due to a lumbar disc pressing on the sciatic nerve as it exits the intervertebral foramen in the lumbar spine. What both of these complaints have in common is that both can produce pain, numbness and tingling below the knee and into the foot.

The main diagnostic tests performed by your doctor of Chiropractic is what distinguishes one from the other. With piriformis syndrome your chiropractor will not get positive tests results that indicate lumbar spine involvement. Often the patient may not be aware that there is a problem. Some cases won’t show up until a complete neurological exam is performed on the lower extremity. The patient may have chief complaints ranging from no pain to pain in the lower back to gluteal pain to numbness and tingling in the foot. As can be seen the symptoms in this condition can vary widely making the doctor who is not used to differentially diagnosing this condition from sciatica confused as to the cause of the condition.

Many weekend athletes and people who spend long hours sitting are prone to this syndrome. The athlete’s cause is primarily due to improper stretching and warm-up exercises as well as overuse during activity. In this case it is most likely that the piriformis muscle is irritated and usually in spasm.

For the patient who sits for extended periods of time, their primary cause is due to contracture of the piriformis muscle. In this case the piriformis muscle is shortened and does not allow for the smooth movement of the sciatic nerve during leg motion. A one-time direct trauma to the pelvis is very rarely a cause for piriformis syndrome due to the protection afforded the pelvis by the overlying musculature and fat. The causes of myospasm are many. Over use as during excessive fast walking without proper warm up and stretching (as during exercise), prolonged sitting, as for your treatment, many variables can hamper your successful recovery. Smoking, obesity, job and exercise as noted above in prolonged sitting and not warming up and stretching.

Any treatment plan must include stretching of the gluteal muscles as well as stretching of the piriformis muscles. Your Chiropractor can help you by instructing you on the proper exercises and stretches to perform. Many Chiropractors may also prescribe some form of massage be performed to the piriformis muscle in the gluteal region in order to relax these muscles.

Your chiropractor may also prescribe certain herbals remedies such as valerian root and passion flower to help relax the associated muscles during your recovery phase. Spinal adjustment as well as hip adjustment may also be required to relieve your symptoms.

Copyright: Acupuncture in Arlington Heights IL

Life as a Coach’s Wife

I have always loved football. Although I don’t remember it, there are pictures of me in Penn State cheerleading outfits (my Dad’s alma mater) when I was 5 years old. Which is why fall is without a doubt, my favorite time of year. The weather, the excitement, the social networking and just the competitive nature of it – I really do love it all. I do not have children yet, but when Friday hits at this point in my life and everyone gathers at the stadium, I am there too, number one fan cheering not for the players, but for the coach.
When I was first introduced to my husband several years ago, my friend prefaced the introduction with “He is a really sweet guy, he plays ithe guitar… oh and he is a football player”. I was hooked then but I had to get him hooked on me. Which is why I spent the next couple of the nights with him spatting out my love of the game as if it would mean something to him. I couldn’t just say that I liked the sport though, because girls everywhere claim to love the sport but for them, it’s only show. No, I REALLY did love the sport and I was convinced if he knew that I knew what a tight end was and who held the record for the most TD”s in the NFL at the time, that I would be in for good. To top it off, he was in school to be a football coach. Football in my life forever, I thought, could life get any better? I automatically started fast forwarding my life as a coach’s wife… team parties at the house, becoming best friends with all the other coaches’ wives… it really was an unhealthy obsession.When we started dating, I was elated and when we got married, I knew football would be in my life forever.

Call me stubborn (and I am) but when people would tell me “oh you are marrying a coach, get ready to turn your life over to the game” and people started to call me a “football widow” I didn’t quite get it. No, I thought to myself, certainly this wouldn’t be the case with MY husband and HIS football teams. I naively thought we would have winning seasons and happy players every year. My hubby was the best coach ever right?
Enter a few examples of the many sacrifices we coaches’ wives deal with when football season comes around each year:
Example #1: During the fall, accept the fact that you will never see your husband. I’m lucky if my hunny gets home before 8 on a weeknight and most nights we are so tired by that point that we tell each other hello and plop in front of the television for the rest of the night.
Example #2: Weekends aren’t much better either. Friday night you see them on the field… you MIGHT get a wave, if the team is winning and they are feeling lucky, but other than that… kiss Friday good bye. Most Friday nights (actually they are Saturday mornings) he gets home around 3am exhausted obviously but still rev’ed up about the game….. rethinking failed plays in his head, trying to figure out how to teach the offensive line to give the quarterback better protection and, sometimes, how to keep his job another year with such an awful record.
Example #3: Don’t get excited about Saturday’s either. You might think, “Game over! We are free for two days.” Right? WRONG! Of course, coaches need to meet at 8am on Saturday to talk about the game (could be shorter if they played well, longer if not), watch film, wash clothes etc. By 2pm when your exhausted hubby gets home, you feel so bad for him that you let him off the hook from all the things you have been waiting since the summer for him to finish (in our house, this is namely a fence) and retreat to your own tasks for the day.
Example #4: Whereas football games used to be all about fun and excitement, you now find yourself feeling like you are going to throw up because you are so nervous for your man. You hear the stories everyday about the good players and the team improving and you become so invested in the boys and each game that when you lose (and you feel like YOU lost) you feel like you are a presidential candidate that just lost the election. You go into a state of depression all the way home until coach gets home and you have to put on your adoring wife, “you did your best hunny”, we’ll get ’em next time face.
Example #5 and this is a biggie: You might think your husband is the absolute best coach in the world and you believe in him and what he stands for wholeheartedly, but unfortunately, not everyone does. And so on certain plays, and certain calls, you get to hear from the fans next to you in the stands how much your husband sucks, how awful he is as a coach, and how so and so’s 80 year old grandmother could do a better job coaching. And these are the people you consider your friends most days! The one’s that greet you and ask how you are doing. And while you want to turn around in the stands and stand up for your man telling them if they knew how much time and energy he put into those kids and the game and how many restless nights of sleep he has during the season and how passionately he feels about what he does, you grit your teeth and bat it off with a smile and something about how not everyone is perfect until they forget about that one play or call and go on their merry way.
So you see, being a Chicago Life coach wife is a multidimensional task. There are good days and there are bad days… great games and awful games. Tired husbands and husbands so pumped about winning the championship that they turn into a 10 year old again but you smile and take it all in: every moment, every game for what it is worth, because you really love football… and that coach… that much.

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