Welcome to my blog

Acupuncture specialist for Fertility, Facial rejuvenation, Pain relief.
Based at Kensington Central London.Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine over 20 years ago in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences

Doctor who is passionate about acupuncture

I love what I do, I am good at it and I am always there for my patients. If you come and see me, you will know why I am standing out.
This blog is to introduce latest development and research of acupuncture and offer a chance of awareness of more treatment options for your condition. The blog is for information purpose only.

About Me

My photo

My specialised areas include fertility for women and men, facial rejuvenation, acne, various pain conditions, chronic fatigue and hormone regulation with acupuncture treatment.

Practice contact for appointments and address

Kensington: for appointments (Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays and Thursdays) at Anamaya center Kensington please call at 02030110355 or email at info@anamaya.co.uk

Address: 1 Adam and Eve Mews, Kensington, London W8 6UG

2 min walk from High Street Kensington underground station

My background: I became a qualified medical doctor in Western medicine 20 years ago in China and was well trained in Western medicine together with Chinese medicine in the best Medical University in Beijing, China. Also I was trained with Dr Zheren Xuan--famous orthopedics expert and founder of soft tissue surgery in China. I am dedicated to treat patients with acupuncture and am recognized as one of the world leading acupuncture specialists.

I obtained a PhD degree in the University of Leeds in the UK.

I had post doctoral training and worked as a senior researcher in St George's hospital, London, UK.

I had frequently presented my research findings in the top international conferences in the field.

I have many publications including ebooks and articles.

I have many year clinical experiences. Over the years of practicing, I have developed unique treatment approaches for infertility, skin aging, acne, vulvodynia, neck pain, headache, migraine, shoulder pain, back pain and hot flushes etc to achieve best treatment results. My devotion and skills are highly praised by my patients. 


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Muscles at the neck cause your headache and neck pain, acupuncture can help releasing the pain

Trapezius muscle

One of the first muscles to cause headache and neck pain is trapezius. This is a broad triangular muscle at neck and upper back, one of the largest superficial muscles at the back. It attaches to the base of the skull and extends down to the neck, the upper back until mid back; laterally it inserts to the shoulder blades. There are three functional regions to the muscle: the Upper, middle, and lower trapezius, and each region has its own function: upper region moves the shoulder blades and support the arms; the middle region retracts the shoulder blades and the lower region rotates and depresses the shoulder blades.

Levator scapulae muscle

Levator scapulae muscle is the muscle located at the back and side of the neck. It originates at the transverse process of the first to fourth cervical vertebrae and inserts at the superior corner of the scapula. It lifts up the shoulder as the name suggests when the spine is fixed. It rotates and flexes the cervical spine laterally, when one shoulder is fixed. This is the way you use the muscle when you hold your phone ‘hands free’. It flexes and extends the cervical spine, if both the shoulders are fixed. This muscle pain presents a stiff and painful neck on the affected side. The pain is at the one side of the neck and the upper shoulder and the pain may go down to the shoulder blade and between shoulder blades. There is limited movement of the head: It is difficult to turn the head fully to the side without pain.

The rhomboid muscles

The rhomboid muscles include the rhomboid muscle major and the rhomboid muscle minor. They connect the scapula to the vertebras (C7-T5). The rhomboids mainly help to adduct your arm and they retract the scapula pulling it towards to the spine. They work together with levator scapulae muscle to lift up the medial border of the scapula and downwards rotate the scapula. The rhomboid muscle major also holds the scapula onto the ribcage. If the rhomboid muscles contain trigger points, you may feel the pain along the inner side of the shoulder blade. This pain is common if you work on the desk all the time.

The serratus posterior superior

The serratus posterior superior is deep to the rhomboid muscles. It originates at the seventh cervical and upper two or three thoracic spine and attaches at the second, third, fourth, and fifth ribs under your shoulder blade. It elevates second to fifth ribs to aid diaphragm for deep breath. If trigger point is present in this muscle, pain is mainly felt at the top of the shoulder blade and can go down to the back of the arm and hand.

Splenius capitis and cervicis

Splenius captis and cervicis are located at the neck and upper back and they work together to extend the neck, turn the head to the same side and rotate the head. Splenius capitis originates from the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebra and the first three thoracic vertebrae. It goes under the sternocleidomastoideus and is inserted into the mastoid process of the temporal boneand surface of the occipital bone. The splenius cervicis originates at the spinous processes of the third to the sixth thoracic vertebrae and is inserted to the transverse process of the first three cervical vertebrae.

These two muscles can become tight and have trigger points, it contributes stiff neck and neck pain and the pain can radiate to the top of the head, under the skull and the eyes.

There are a group of six muscles under the occipital bone including rectus capitis posterior minor,rectus capitis posterior major, rectus capitis anterior, rectus capitis lateralis, obliquus capitis superior,and obliquus capitis inferior. Five of them attached the occipital bone connecting occipital bone with the neck. They contribute to the head and neck movements (extention, flexion, and rotation) and are also the cause of headache and neck pain.

Acupuncture helps to release headache and neck pain.

Below is an example from a research:

Acupuncture is effective for headache

Acupuncture is used to prevent and treat tension-type headache effectively. Recently a study investigated if acupuncture is more effective than routine care only; or more effective than 'sham' (placebo) acupuncture; or as effective as other interventions in reducing headache frequency in adults with episodic or chronic tension-type headache.

Result has shown that the proportion of participants experiencing at least 50% reduction of headache frequency was much higher in groups receiving acupuncture than in control groups. Acupuncture was compared with sham acupuncture in some studies. Among participants receiving acupuncture, 205 of 391 (51%) had at least 50% reduction of headache frequency compared to 133 of 312 (43%) in the sham group after treatment. The effect of acupuncture is comparable with physiotherapy, massage or exercise. This study suggested that acupuncture is effective for treating frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches

References
Linde K et al Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2016) Apr 19;4:CD007587. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007587.pub2.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Acupuncture is effective for acid reflux

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) or acid reflux disease is a common condition, where acid produced by the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus. At the entrance to the stomach, there is a lower oesophageal sphincter which is a ring muscle that closes the stomach as soon as food passes through into the stomach. If this sphincter becomes loos or opens too often the acid produced in the stomach and go back up to the oesophagus causing acid reflux disease. The symptoms mainly include heart burn and sore throat. Heart burn is a burning sensation in the chest just below the breastbone and it sometimes can spread to the throat. The burning sensation is worse after eating, or lying down or bending over. Sore throat is that acid produced in the stomach is brought back up into the throat and mouth which make you constantly clear the throat (persistent coughing) and sour taste at the throat or at the back of the mouth. Other symptoms include bad breath, bloating, feeling sick, pain when swallowing, difficulty swallowing, tooth decay and gum disease. Certain food and drinks can make acid reflux worse such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions and spicy or fatty foods; alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee or tea etc. There are some complications with acid reflux such as oesophageal ulcers, scarred and narrow oesophagus, barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal cancer.

Do you know acupuncture can help reducing acid reflux?

Recently much research has been done to investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture on acid reflux. For example, a study compared the effect of acupuncture with that of Omeprazole capsules. They showed that the effect of acupuncture is much superior to this medication to improve acid reflux symptoms. Another study has shown that acupuncture improved functional state of esophagus, neurohumoral regulation of lower esophageal sphincter, decrease of acid producing function of stomach. A review analyzed current status of acupuncture on acid reflux. They suggested that acupuncture inhibits acid production, increases gastric and oesophageal motility, improves esophageal peristalsis, limits lower esophageal sphincter relaxation and decreases pain perception.

References
Gao &Bai (2016) Zhen Ci yan Jiu 41:150-3
Efendieva (2013) Eksp Klin Gastroenterol 5:49-52
Patrick (2011) Altern Med Rev 16:116-33

How your face changes with aging and how facial acupuncture helps to rejuvenate

How the skin changes with aging?

Skin is an organ which protects us from the environment, controls our body temperature and prevents our body from losing fluid and electrolyte balance.

Skin can be generally divided into three main parts:

The outer part (epidermis) contains skin cells, pigment, and proteins.

The middle part (dermis) contains blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles, and oil glands. The dermis provides nutrients to the epidermis.

The inner layer under the dermis (the subcutaneous layer) contains sweat glands, some hair follicles, blood vessels, and fat. Each layer also contains connective tissue with collagen fibers to give support and elastin fibers to provide flexibility and strength.

There is a network of blood vessels in the two layers of the skin which provides oxygen and nutrients to the skin and takes away the waste from the skin.

Facial skin and facial skin aging

Human body is covered by the skin including face. However facial skin is different from body skin. The skin on the face is thinner than the skin on the body; fat layer is thinner as well. There are more hair follicles, sweat and oil glands on the facial skin. The skin cells on the face are generally smaller than skin cells on the rest of the body. Water is lost from the face more quickly than from the body. Pigmentation, fine lines and outbreaks can be seen on neglected skin. Degradation of collagen leads to dry skin, folds and wrinkles.

How your face changes with aging?

Environmental factors can speed up aging process: such as hormonal imbalance, sun exposure, smoking, stress, diet, diseases etc. This makes people look older than their age.

Face changes when people grow older. This change starts as early as in 30’s year old. The most prominent characteristics by which skin aging is recognized are facial wrinkles and sagging. A study suggested that the average age at which distinct wrinkles occur at the corners of the eyes is 36.5 years old. Wrinkles appear to develop early and rapidly at the corners of the eyes compared with other facial sites. Wrinkles rapidly increase in depth and width in women 40 years or older and reach a plateau at the age of 60 years. The strongest age dependent decline in skin elasticity has been seen at the corners of the eyes. A comparison of wrinkle depth with skin elasticity in the same corners of the eyes revealed that wrinkle severity occurs in proportion to the reduced elasticity of human facial skin. Sun exposure can accelerate facial skin aging and create wrinkles and skin sagging.

With aging, various spots and pigmentation are easily seen. These are not only changes in the aging skin. Also with aging, outer skin layer becomes thinner. Spots including age spot, liver spots etc may appear especially in sun-exposed areas. Skin’s strength and elasticity are reduced with the changes in the connective tissue. The blood vessels of the dermis become more fragile leading to bruising, bleeding under the skin. Skin becomes dry and itching because of less oil produced. The fat layer becomes thinner which reduces skin insulation and padding and one feels more difficult to keep warm in cold weather. The sweat glands produce less sweat which makes it harder to keep cool. Skin tags and warts are common with aging.

Aging change not only happens on the surface of the skin, but also underneath the skin surface such as fat muscle and bone etc. Loss fat volume and muscle mass on the face makes the face loss its fullness. Fat pulls downwards and the skin becomes loose and sagging due to gravity and muscle force. Bone also losses its mass and muscles are shortened and straightened. Corners of the eyes and mouth drop, tip of the nose drops as well and ears become longer.

Facial rejuvenation

Rejuvenation is the reversal of aging. This could be done by repairing or replacing damaged tissues. When people grow older, they want to delay the aging process. Can they? Facial rejuvenation is a cosmetic treatment which helps bring back youthful look. This can be achieved through surgical or non-surgical procedure. Facial rejuvenation procedure is more popular than ever. In 2013, over133,000 facelifts and nearly 216,000 eyelid surgeries were performed in the USA which was 6% increase from 2012. The current trend of facial rejuvenation is towards less invasive procedures. For example, facial rejuvenation procedures experienced the most growth is botulinum toxin type A injections; in 2013, it reached 6.3 million injections in USA, which increased 6% from previous year. Non surgical procedure is preferred because of less invasive, less expensive and quick recovery from the procedure.

What is cosmetic acupuncture, how does it work?

Facial acupuncture can help reducing wrinkles. Thin acupuncture needles are inserted in acupuncture points on the face. This is a natural way to relax facial muscles and reduce wrinkles. Also skin is better nourished by increased facial blood flow and becomes healthier. There is no side effects for acupuncture treatments apart from a small chance of little bruising which would disappear in a few days time.

Recently, cosmetic acupuncture has been introduced as an intervention for skin rejuvenation. It is a natural and healthy way to look and feel years younger. Why acupuncture can play a role in cosmetic purpose? Treatment benefits include elimination of some wrinkles and decrease in length and depth of others, decrease of facial edema, decrease of acne, improvement of facial muscle tone, improving skin texture with tighter pores, and decrease of sagging around the eyes, cheeks, chin, and neck, lifting of droopy eyelids, clearing or fading of age spots. Skin becomes more delicate and fair and at the same time overall appearance and health enhanced.

Acupuncture increases blood circulation leading to homogonous distribution of oxygen and nutrients as well as cellular regeneration. Facial mimetic muscles gradually straighten and shorten with age as a result of increased resting muscle tone and acupuncture can improve the muscle tone. Acupuncture helps regeneration of healthy skin cells, increase nutrition to the skin's surface, improves the quality of the skin and enhances a healthy glow, stimulates normal breathing of the skin and makes skin healthy and stronger to prevent infections and clogged pores. Good skin circulation takes waste and reduces grease accumulation resulting in deep cleaning of the skin. Acupuncture stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in the skin. Recently a research suggested that wrinkles were improved significantly after facial acupuncture treatment and facial elasticity was also improved in women aged 40 and 59 years.

Is there side effect of facial acupuncture? A study has shown that the most commonly reported adverse event that was clearly attributable to FCA treatment was mild bruising (20/140 treatment sessions; 14.28%) at the needle site. No adverse events of scarring, nerve damage, or lengthy recovery periods were observed.

Research shows that acupuncture improves blood circulation

Skin blood flow significantly decreased with increase in age. Skin blood flow is 40% less at age 65 than at age 25. This is because skin blood flow decreases with decreased pumping blood from heart; skin blood flow significantly decreased with increase in total cholesterol and systolic blood pressure; less blood is redirected to the skin from other part of the body; blood vessel movement is impaired with aging and blood vessels are not relaxed to increase the blood flow.

Many research data suggested that acupuncture improves blood perfusion. For example, there was a study of acupuncture on 140 healthy volunteers. In this study, acupuncture was applied in LI4’ skin blood flow was measured using a Moor full-field laser perfusion imager before and after acupuncture stimulation. Recently study has shown that stimulating LI4 also increased facial blood flow and hand blood flow. After acupuncture of the right LI4 acupuncture the change ratio of mean blood flux in the left LI4 was increased significantly compared with the control group 60 minutes after acupuncture stimulation. Another study has shown that acupuncture at LI4 and LI11 increased blood circulation along the meridian. Study at ST36 point also has suggested increased skin blood perfusion around the acupuncture point in healthy subjects. In 22 healthy volunteers acupuncture at PC6 point increased microcirculation blood perfusion units along the meridian. Increased blood circulation was also seen at the back acupuncture point study. This also demonstrated in some conditions For example, in a study patients with dysmenorrhea were treated with acupuncture. After 10 sessions of acupuncture treatment, microcirculation was increased and the symptom scores, pain index, and visual analog scale decreased significantly in treatment group.

Reduce wrinkles by botox injection

Botox is a neuro toxin. It has been used to treat various medical conditions. Recently it was approved for using in cosmetic purpose to reduce wrinkles on the face. This is because botox paralyses facial muscles. Botox injection is a procedure in which botox is injected into the desired area using injected needles. Following the treatments visible result can be seen within days or a couple of weeks. They tend to last for up to three or four months. Botox does not actually erase lines but relaxes them which means that deeper lines will become less deep and superficial lines will nearly disappear. Bleeding, bruising , swelling or redness at the site of injection is short term side effects. Other risks include headache, pain, and flu-like illness. In rare cases, there may be inappropriate facial expression, a drooping lid or eyebrow area, or double or blurred vision, dry mouth, fatigue and allergic reactions. If the toxin could travel back to the central nervous system, this would cause long-term damage.

References

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/brain-and-nervous-system/medicines/botox.html

Yun et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2013) 2013:424313

Barrett Aesthet Surg J (2005) 25:419-24

Imokawa G and Ishida K Int Mol Sci (2015) 16:7753-75

Tsuchida Y J Dermatol Sci (1993) 5:175-81

Guanjun W et al J Altern Complement Med (2012) 18:784-8

Huang H et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2012) 2012:604590

Wang SY et al Zhen Ci Yan Jiu (2012) 37:482-7

Li X et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2013) 2013:452697

Min Set al J Altern Complement Med (2014) Oct 29

Zheng SX et al BMC Complement Altern Med (2014) 14:323

An Y et al Med Devices (Auckl) (2014) 7:17-21

Xu QY et al Zhen Ci Yan Jiu (2013) 38:52-6

Huang T et al J Tradit Chin Med (2013) 33:757-60

Facial Aging, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture by [Ju, Dr Maggie]

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The nuchal ligament and neck pain

The nuchal ligament is a ligament at the midline of the neck which extends from the bottom of the skull to the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertibrae which is the lowest cervical vertebrae on the neck. It forms a septum between the muscles on the either side of the neck. There are four muscles including trapezius, splenius capitis, rhomboid minor and serratus posterior superior attached the nuchal ligament. The nuchal ligament limits flexion of the neck, stabilizes the neck and affects muscular activity in the neck. Trauma and overuse of nuchal ligament can result in ossification of the ligament which causes neck stiffness and pain, progressive cervical spine instability and malalignment and nerve route irritation. Acupuncture can help release neck stiffness and neck pain.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Acupuncture helps a stiff neck

Neck pain or a stiff neck is common problem. The neck becomes sore and it is difficult to move the neck and turn the head to the side. It could be associated with a headache, neck pain, shoulder pain or arm pain. The most common cause of a stiff neck is a muscle strain or soft tissue sprain. The levator scapula muscle located at the back and side of the neck connecting the neck with the shoulder is most affected. These muscles can be strained by everyday activities: for example, sleep in an awkward position, use a computer for a prolonged period of time, have a bad posture or have some sports injury such as swimming sudden fall, hold a phone between the neck and shoulder etc. Anxiety and stress can cause tension in the neck muscles leading to neck pain. Acupuncture can help stiff neck by relaxing muscles spasm.

Muscles related to shoulder pain, acupuncture releases shoulder pain

Trapezius muscle

You may experience a neck and shoulder pain and feel aching and burning from the base of your skull to between your shoulder blades. One of the first muscles to cause this pain is trapezius. This is a broad triangular muscle at neck and upper back, one of the largest superficial muscles at the back. It attaches to the base of the skull and extends down to the neck, the upper back until mid back; laterally it inserts to the shoulder blades. There are three functional regions to the muscle: the Upper, middle, and lower trapezius, and each region has its own function: upper region moves the shoulder blades and support the arms; the middle region retracts the shoulder blades and the lower region rotates and depresses the shoulder blades.

Pain caused from the upper trapezius includes headaches on the temples, facial, temple or jaw pain, pain behind the eye, dizziness, neck pain, stiff neck, limited movement, intolerance to weight on the shoulders. Pain caused by middle trapezius includes headache at the base of the skull, mid back burning pain or aching along the spine or to the top of the shoulder. Pain caused from the lower trapezius includes headache at the base of the skull, aching on the top of the shoulder, neck, mid back and/or upper shoulder pain; pain at the back of the shoulder blade which could go down the inside of the arm to the ring and little fingers.

Latissimus dorsi

Latissimus dorsi is the largest flat muscle at the back. This muscle is involved in adducting the arms, extending the shoulders and rotating shoulder joints medially. It also plays a role in extension and lateral flexion of the lumbar spine. The latissimus dorsi originated from the lumbodorsal fascia of the lower back, arising from the inferior thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, sacrum, iliac crest, and the four most inferior ribs, it runs laterally up through the back, inferior part of shoulder blades and insert on the humerus at the upper front of the upper arm. Tight latissimus dorsi and the trigger points on the muscles could be one of the causes of chronic mid back pain, shoulder pain, forearm pain, pain between shoulder blades, shoulder blades and pain in front of shoulder. The characteristic of pain is at lower shoulder blade and mid back and also the pain can go down the backside of the arm or the inner side of the arm and reach the hand and 4th and 5th fingers. Pain can be present at the front of the shoulder and to the side of the body just above the hip.

Rotator cuff

Rotator cuff comprises four muscles which are supraspinatus muscle, the infraspinatus muscle, teres minor muscle, and the subscapularis muscle. They all originate from the scapula and insert into humerus. They connect scapula to the head to humerus , stabilize shoulder joint and contribute to shoulder joint movement including abduction, internal rotation, and external rotation of the shoulder.

Rotator cuff disorder is one of the problems that cause shoulder pain. The main symptoms are pain around the shoulder and reduced shoulder joint movement. Acupuncture can help reduce the pain.

Teres major muscle

Teres major muscle is the muscle that connects shoulder blades to the upper arms. It starts from lower angle of the shoulder blade and ends at the upper arm in the front of the shoulder. The teres major muscle adducts the arm, extends the shoulder and rotates it inwardly. It also helps stabilize the humeral head. The pain caused in the teres major trigger is the back of your shoulder and also this pain can radiate to the front and side of the shoulder and down the backside of the arm. The trigger points for this muscle can be found at the lower angle of shoulder blades. Acupuncture can help release the pain.

How many muscles connect the humerus (upper arm) to the scapula (shoulder blade)?

There are muscles that connect the upper arm to the shoulder blades and help the movement of the shoulder. Do you know how many of them? There are seven muscles that connect the upper arm to the shoulder blades. They are coracobrachialis muscle, four rotator cuff muscles including infraspinatus, subscapularis, supraspinatus and teres minor muscles, teres major muscle and deltoid muscle. Overuse or injury to these muscles can cause shoulder and arm pain. Acupuncture can help release the pain.

Deltoid muscles

The deltoid muscle is the big muscle on the shoulder which forms the rounded contour of the shoulder. It has three parts; the front or anterior, middle and back or posterior. The anterior fibers are involved in flexing the shoulder and internally rotating the arm. The posterior fibers are involved in extending the shoulder and externally rotating the arm. The lateral fibers are involved in shoulder abduction. Deltoid muscle strain is less common than rotator cuff muscles strain.

Pectoralis major and minor muscles and shoulder pain

The perctoralis major muscle is a muscle located at the chest. Underneath the pectoralis major is the pectoralis minor muscle- a small triangular muscle.

The pectoralis muscle originated from inner half of the clavicular bone, sternum as well as the cartilage of the sixth or seventh rib and the aponeurosis of the abdominal muscle. The muscle run laterally and insert into the upper humerus. It adducts the arm and rotates the shoulder inwardly, pull down the shoulder joint and elevated the arm in front of you. The muscle trigger points contribute to the shoulder pain and upper and inner side of the forearm.

Pectoralis minor originates from the third, fourth and fifth ribs and it runs upward and laterally and inserts to the surface of the coracoids process of the scapula. It pulls the shoulder blade downward, forward and inward towards the ribs, stabilizes the shoulder, prevents the shoulder blade from being pushed backwards. The trigger point of themuscle contributes to the pain in front of the shoulder, that could radiate to your chest and all the way down the inner arm.

New research shows that acupuncture is effective for shoulder pain

Shoulder impingement syndrome which is the common cause of shoulder pain presents pain and weakness in the shoulder especially when you raise your arm. This will limit the movement of the shoulder making daily life difficult. This syndrome involves the rotator cuff tendon which connects the muscles in the shoulder to the top of the arm. You may experience a constant aching in the shoulder and pain at night. It can start suddenly after an injury or it can come on gradually without any obvious causes. The pain tends to be worse when you raise your arm over the head.

Recently a report has shown the effectiveness of acupuncture for shoulder impingement syndrome. In this report the effect of acupuncture in decreasing the intensity of short- and mid-term pain in the injured shoulder was studied. 68 participants with a mean age of 33.4 years were divided into two groups: one group received true acupuncture and the other received acupuncture at sham points. The treatment was carried out over 4 weeks, with the participants receiving a session every week. The result has shown significant difference in pain reduction between two groups both after treatment and 3 months after treatments. No side effects were reported.

References
Rueda Garrido JC et al Complement Ther Med (2016) 25:92-7