December 21, 2016

Things You Need to Know About Acupuncture

acupuncture-1211182_960_720Typical treatments for pain can include a variety of medications or alternative therapies such as massage or physiotherapy. Acupuncture, which is a traditional Chinese therapy, has gained popularity in North America over the past few years. This therapy is based off of traditional Chinese philosophy and uses a unique approach – needles – to cure conditions related to the digestive, endocrine, immune and cardiovascular systems [1].

The core of this philosophy is based on energy being stimulated in the human body. Traditional Chinese medicine specialists believed that there is a continuous flow of energy in the body and if it was stopped it would result in complications in the above mentioned body systems. They intended to treat this by stimulating certain parts of the body with very fine sterile needles. The more specific procedure of what occurs during a typical session of acupuncture therapy is as follows:

  • The session should begin by the therapist examining the patient’s health history. Similar to any other type of treatment, it is vital that the professional knows about any conditions or interactions that may complicate the process.
  • Next the therapist may examine different attributes of the tongue for shape, color, and coating. This is due to the fact that traditional Chinese medication outlines certain parts of the body as acupoints, which are the best points to stimulate with needles.
  • Next the therapist evaluates the primal acupoints and notifies the patient when each point will be stimulated.

It is important to remember that the results of this treatment are highly relative and may vary person to person [2]. This is due to the variance in relief each person feels. Since it is hard to definitively determine the results of the treatment, it is a wise idea to consult people or read testimonials.

[1] How acupuncture can relieve pain and improve sleep, digestion and emotional well-being. UC San Diego: Center for Integrative Medicine. Retrieved from:

[2] Acupuncture. Medicine Net. Retrieved from:

August 30, 2016

How to Properly Use Over-the-counter Drugs

Pharmacy Pills When purchasing medications at your local pharmacy, the wide variety of drugs can be sorted into two basic categories: prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs. There are many common diseases or conditions that can be managed or treated early on with some OTC medication. Due to the use of self-diagnosis, if your symptoms are new or worrisome, consult a healthcare professional.

For instance, if you are have a simple fever it may be beneficial to start periodic doses of acetaminophen. Acetaminophen or Tylenol is the most common OTC drug that works to reduce fevers and/or pain relief. If your general symptom is not helped or is deteriorating, you should consult a healthcare professional.

OTC medicines are sold off the shelf and do not require a doctor’s prescription. For instance, a common OTC drug is Reactine. This can be used for relief against common seasonal allergy symptoms. It provides short-term relief and is milder form of medicines used for allergic reactions. It is advisable that people take OTC medications when they already identified the cause of their symptoms and know that the chosen OTC drug will help them.

Although if a person tends to exhibit more severe symptoms and they cannot be controlled by common OTC medicines, it is advisable that they see a doctor. A doctor can then prescribe some medication which can be purchased at a local pharmacy. These prescription medications can only be purchased when a prescription from your doctor is available. And due to their stronger effect they may have more side effects depending on case to case. This is why a doctor’s consultation is necessary before attaining a stronger medication.

If symptoms are new, severe, or do not react the same way as in the past after using the OTC drug, you should consult a healthcare professional.  In some cases, you may require a prescription drug which is usually stronger, more specific to you, and potentially have more side effects.