Whether physical or mental, we all experience stress to varying degrees. Stress plays a huge role in our everyday health and can aggravate health conditions that we already have. Routine, chronic stress can in the long run lead to serious physical and mental health consequences if not managed properly. Consider
In 2003 the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a report called “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials.” The WHO's 87-page report specifically listed 28 diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proven through controlled trials to
A hormonal imbalance occurs when there is too much estrogen relative to progesterone in a woman's body, also referred to as estrogen dominance. In a normal cycle, estrogen and progesterone hormones work together to maintain a woman’s menstrual cycle, each playing an important role. When a hormone balance occurs and estrogen
The hypochondrial region of the body is the area along the sides of the ribcage. When there is pain in the side area of the ribs, whether on one side or both, it is referred to as hypochondrial pain. In Western medicine, hypochondrial pain can be very puzzling. In Chinese Medicine, the liver meridian pathway travels bilaterally through the rib cage
Menorrhagia is the medical term for menstrual periods in which bleeding is abnormally heavy or prolonged. The cause for menorrhagia is not clear. Most women with menorrhagia report regular periods and have been shown to have normal estrogen and progesterone levels.
Perimenopause, also called the menopausal transition, is the natural shift in a woman’s reproductive cycle toward menopause, or ceasing of the cycle. When a woman has gone through 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, she is considered to have reached menopause, and the perimenopause period is over.
Sports injuries are injuries that occur in athletic activities. Some sports injuries result from accidents; others are due to poor training practices, improper equipment, lack of conditioning, or insufficient warm up and stretching. Many sports injuries can be due to overuse of a part of the body when participating in an activity. Other types of injuries can be caused by hard contact with something. Sports injuries typically involve the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, bones, and associated tissues like cartilage.
Bed-wetting, or involuntary nighttime urination, is a common occurrence for many children. It’s often simply a developmental stage, though an embarrassing one. It is most common for children under the age of 6 or 7, and most will outgrow it beyond this age. Between ages 8 and 11, fewer than 5% of children continue to have a problem with bed-wetting. It’s generally not a cause for concern because nighttime bladder control may not yet be established.
Of all the joints in the body the jaw joints or TMJ’s ( temporo-mandibular joints) are the only ones that move simultaneously. This creates problems that are unique to the jaw area. TMJ disorders can occur when the disc erodes or moves out of its proper alignment, the joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis, the joint is damaged by a blow, or the joint muscles become fatigued from overwork.
Thoracic outlet syndrome occurs when the blood vessels or nerves in the thoracic outlet (the space just under the collarbone) become compressed. This can cause pain in the shoulders and neck and numbness in the fingers. The symptoms vary depending on whether it is the nerves or the blood vessels that are affected. When the nerves are compressed, symptoms usually include numbness or tingling in the fingers, pain in the shoulder and neck, ache in the arm or hand, and weakened grip.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern, starting in the fall and continuing through the winter, sapping energy and making a person feel moody. Symptoms can include depression, changes in appetite (in particular a craving for sweet or starchy foods), weight gain, decreased energy, fatigue, a tendency to oversleep, difficulty concentrating, irritability, avoidance of social situations, feelings of anxiety and despair, loss of interest in activities, and a heavy or leaden feeling in the arms and legs.
Surgery is a powerful tool in the modern medical tool kit and is used today in a wide range of applications. Surgery for musculoskeletal conditions is called orthopedic surgery, and is used to treat musculoskeletal trauma, degenerative diseases, sports injuries, infections, tumours, and congenital disorders (disorders we are born with). With surgery comes certain post-operative side effects and risks.
Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes spontaneous episodes of vertigo along with fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), and sometimes a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear. In most cases, Meniere's disease will affect only one ear. The cause of Meniere's disease isn't well understood but is believed to be closely tied to the fluid in the inner ear.
Depression, also called major depression, major depressive disorder and clinical depression, is a medical illness that involves the mind and body, affecting how a person feels, thinks and behaves. It is characterized by low moods and a loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. About 16% of adults in Canada will experience depression at some point in their lives.
A muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary spasm or contraction of one or more of the muscles in the body, causing a sudden, sharp muscle pain. You may be able to feel or see a hard lump of muscle tissue beneath the skin. Muscle cramps often occur in the legs. Nocturnal cramps that occur in the calf muscles or toes during sleep are also common. Though generally harmless, muscle cramps can make it temporarily impossible to use the affected muscle.
It is estimated that 40% of Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime. The good news is that survival rates are improving thanks to improvements in cancer screening and cancer treatment. Cancer is not a death sentence, but it is a life-changing experience.
Indigestion, also called dyspepsia or upset stomach, is not a disease but rather a collection of symptoms that cause discomfort in the upper abdomen. Most people suffering from indigestion have one or more of the common symptoms: nausea, bloating, belching, a sensation of pain, heat, or burning in the upper abdomen, or feeling full early on in a meal or an uncomfortable fullness after a meal that lasts longer than it should.
Shift work refers to both long-term night shifts and work schedules where employees change or rotate shifts between daytime and evening or night schedules. Shift work is a reality for about 25 percent of the North American working population. Shift work causes at least some disruption to their family and personal life and some degree of negative health symptoms including insomnia, chronic fatigue and gastrointestinal disorders.
Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of the esophagus, stomach, and the upper portion of the small intestine. The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is burning pain that can be felt anywhere from the navel up to the breastbone, and can be worse on an empty stomach or at night and can disappear then return for a few days or weeks. This pain is caused by the ulcer, and is aggravated by stomach acid coming into contact with it.
Morton's neuroma, also called metatarsalgia, is a painful swelling of one of the nerves leading to the toes, causing pain in the ball of the foot. It most commonly occurs between the third and fourth toes. Morton's neuroma may cause the feeling of a pebble in your shoe. Other symptoms may be a sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot and tingling, numbness, stinging or burning in the toes.
Hip pain is a common problem that can have a wide variety of causes. The exact location of the hip pain can usually provide clues as to the underlying cause. Problems with the hip joint itself typically cause pain on the inside of the hip or the groin. Problems with the muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround the hip joint will typically cause pain on the outside of the hip, upper thigh or outer buttock.
The rotator cuff is made up of the various muscles and tendons in the shoulder that connect the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade. They also help hold the ball of the upper arm bone firmly in the shoulder socket. The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in our body. A rotator cuff injury is fairly common and can involve any type of irritation or damage to the rotator cuff muscles or tendons.
Diverticulitis occurs when one or more diverticula- small, bulging pouches that form in the digestive tract- become inflamed or infected. Diverticula can form anywhere in the digestive system, from the esophagus to the small intestine, but are most commonly found in the large intestine. Diverticula are common, especially after the age of 40, though a person may not ever know they have these pouches because they seldom cause problems.
Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the large band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis is caused by repetitive or intense strain on the Achilles tendon. It is most often caused by a sport-related injury that involves overuse, intense exercise, jumping, or other activities that strain the tendon and calf muscles. It can also be caused by exercising without warming up properly, poor flexibility of the calf muscles, or starting a new exercise regimen after a long period of little or no exercise.
Tendinitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon- the thick, fibrous cords that attach muscles to bones. Tendinitis causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint. While tendinitis can occur in any of the body's tendons, it's most common in the shoulders, elbows, wrists and heels. Tendinitis symptoms typically include pain (usually a dull ache), tenderness, and mild swelling at the point where the tendon attaches to the bone.
Gastritis is an umbrella term for a group of conditions that all share a common symptom of inflammation of the stomach lining. Gastritis can be chronic or acute, and for most people it is not serious and resolves quickly with treatment. Symptoms include a gnawing or burning pain or ache in the upper abdomen that may be either worse or better with eating, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, belching, bloating, a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating, and weight loss.
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation of the digestive tract lining. This inflammation often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissues. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease can range from mild to severe and may develop gradually or come on suddenly, without warning. When the disease is active, the most common symptoms are severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, blood in the stool, ulcers in the intestinal walls, and reduced appetite and weight loss.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, often starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. The symptoms can vary from person to person and gradually develop, often unnoticed at first. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors, slowed or delayed movements, muscle rigidity, impaired posture and balance, speech problems, loss of automatic movements, and in later stages, dementia (impairment of memory and mental clarity).
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition where the airways to our lungs narrow and swell. They produce extra mucus, and breathing becomes difficult. The most common symptoms of asthma are coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath but asthma symptoms range from minor to severe and vary from person to person. Some people only experience symptoms when they have asthma flare-ups, that may primarily occur at night, during exercise, or when exposed to specific triggers, allergies, or irritants.
Acupuncture is a great option to help to address the physical aspects of quitting smoking, and can provide support and encouragement to help make quitting a success. One of the effects that acupuncture has on the body is that it stimulates endorphin production. The endorphin boost helps to reduce stress and calm the mind, and by relaxing the body, it can help reduce cravings.
The ankle joint is an intricate network of bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. It is built for both strength and flexibility, as it needs to bear the weight of our body while also having the flexibility for the various surfaces we walk on. The ankle joint can be prone to various types of injury and pain and ankle pain may be experienced on the inside or outside of the ankle or along the back where the Achilles tendon connects the muscles in the lower leg to the heel bone.
The elbow is a complex joint formed by three long bones. Four sets of muscles help move the joint and are attached to the bones by thick tendons. Damage to any of these structures or to the joint's network of nerves, blood vessels and ligaments can lead to elbow pain.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a disorder that affects the trigeminal nerve, which runs from the jaw into the face. In trigeminal neuralgia, the nerve function is disrupted. This can cause attacks of mild or intense pain in the cheek, jaw, teeth, gums, lips or even the eye and forehead.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon), causing cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can vary widely from person to person and often resemble those of other diseases. For most people, IBS is a chronic condition, although at times symptoms may improve or even disappear completely.
Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system (the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord). A common symptom is numbness and pain in the hands and feet, often described as a tingling or burning sensation and a lack of feeling similar to wearing a thin stocking or glove. Peripheral neuropathy can affect many different nerves, from sensory nerves that register heat, pain or touch, to motor nerves that control how your muscles move, or autonomic nerves that control blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder function.
Most women have experienced menstrual cramps, or "dysmenorrhea," at one time or another. For some women, it is merely an annoying discomfort but for others, it can be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities for a few days every month. Dysmenorrhea can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, loose stools, sweating, and dizziness.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is reduced or interrupted, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within a few minutes, brain cells begin to die. Ischemic stroke, the most common type, occurs when the arteries to the brain are narrowed or blocked, severely reducing blood flow (ischemia). The other type of stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures, causing too much blood within the skull.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks the body’s myelin, the protective sheath that encases the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, eventually causing deterioration of the nerves themselves. When myelin is damaged, the messages that travel along that nerve may be slowed or blocked, interfering with the communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
Osteoarthritis, sometimes called degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in the joints wears down over time. The smooth surface of the cartilage becomes rough, causing irritation. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, there may be no cushion left between the bones and the joint may be left with bone rubbing on bone, causing damage to the ends of the bones and the joints to become painful.