Daily Health Information

Allergies and Acupuncture

Posted: April 28, 2017
By: Karla

Are your allergies driving you crazy this season?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies are increasing. They affect as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children. Allergic disease, including asthma, is the fifth leading chronic disease in the United States in all ages.

Seasonal allergies (also known as Hay Fever and Allergic rhinitis) result from the inflammation of the nasal airways and eyes caused by allergens such as ragweed pollen and other grass and tree pollens. Arizona used to be one of the best regions in the country for people suffering with allergies and asthma but with the large growth in population, the desert is now covered with green grass and new plant life. We love seeing all this spring vegetation. It is beautiful! But now we have too many allergens in the air. Not fun!

The symptoms of seasonal allergies vary between individuals but the main ones are sneezing, nasal itching, postnasal drip, red eyes, eye puffiness, headache, fatigue and cough.

The first step to address allergies is to avoid exposure. You can do this by staying indoors when the pollen counts are higher, keep home and car windows closed and the air conditioner on, making sure your air  conditioning filters are clean and HEPPA certified and showering before bed to remove pollen. All are good options and good guidelines to follow, however they are not enough.

Acupuncture is now recommended by the American Academy of Otorhinolaryngology to treat allergies.  It is safe, effective and well researched.

The American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy published recently a meta-analysis comparing groups of patients that received acupuncture to control groups. The study concluded that Acupuncture “produced significantly greater diminution of nasal symptoms” and that “the acupuncture group has superior effects in reduction of both rhinitis symptoms and the requirement for anti-allergic medication compared with the control group.”  Acupuncture has a strong anti-inflammatory effect thus reducing the bodies response to allergens all in a drug free manner.

In another study conducted in the Clinic of Otorhinolaryngology at the University Hospital Dresden, Germany, acupuncture treatment for dust mite allergy was 87% effective compared to 67% effectiveness of loratadine (Claritin®).  At 10 weeks after the completion of the study 80% of the acupuncture group and 0% of the loratadine group showed long-term relief.  This shows that acupuncture has a true therapeutic benefit compared to medication which may simply mask symptoms temporarily. This is not to mention the side effects that allergy medication can bring.

Alivia Acupuncture Clinic uses safe and effective acupuncture techniques, gua sha and Chinese nutritional counseling to help you. On your initial evaluation we will perform a complete evaluation, physical history and exam to determine what is going on with your body that is leading to your suffering and give you an individualize treatment plan. Knowing the root of your problem we can work so allergies won’t come back again and of course to get rid of the symptoms that you are suffering with at the moment.

It is better to start treatments before allergy season, however, it is not too late!! If you are having allergies acupuncture is waiting for you.

Call to make an appointment. Monday to Friday 8:30-2:30.

Office: 480-661-7000

Cell phone: 480-243-2453






Feng, Shaoyan, Miaomiao Han, Yunping Fan, Guangwei Yang, Zhenpeng Liao, Wei Liao, and Huabin Li. "Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis." American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy 29, no. 1 (2015): 57-62.

Hauswald, Bettina, Christina Dill, Jürgen Boxberger, Eberhard Kuhlisch, Thomas Zahnert, and Yury M. Yarin. “The effectiveness of acupuncture compared to loratadine in patients allergic to house dust mites.”

Murray MT, Pizzorno J. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Third Edition, Atria Paperback, 2012.

CDC Study Says Most People Seeing Chiropractors Are Paying for Care

Posted: August 15, 2016
By: Dr Marc Weissman

A January 2016 report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics showed that even though insurance affects how people purchase healthcare, more people than ever are choosing to pay for their chiropractic care. The report was based upon the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) taken in the years 2002 and 2012.

The study reported on usage for what the researchers termed as "complementary health approaches" which included acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic. They checked the usage of these three services specifically in the years 2002 and 2012. Researchers also looked to see if those surveyed had insurance that covered those services, and if insurance coverage affected the amount of usage of those services.

The results showed that there was increased utilization in all three services from 2002 compared to ten years later in 2012. The rates of utilization in 2002 were: acupuncture – 1.1%, massage – 5.0%, and chiropractic – 7.5%. These figures all increased ten years later to: acupuncture – 1.5%, massage – 6.9%, and chiropractic – 8.3%.

When examining who had insurance coverage, it was noted that the group with insurance coverage did not show an increase in utilization, while those without insurance, who would have to pay for their care, showed a statistically significant increase in utilization. This means that having insurance did not cause more people to seek out these three services. The study stated, "Although increases were observed in the percentage of adults who saw a practitioner for acupuncture, chiropractic, or massage therapy and did not have health insurance coverage for these visits, no changes were observed among those who saw a practitioner and had coverage for these complementary health approaches."

For chiropractic, the study noted that 18.7% of those who sought those services had full insurance coverage. Partial coverage for chiropractic made up 41.4% of those who went to the chiropractor, while 39.9% had no chiropractic insurance coverage at all. Both acupuncture and massage had considerably less insurance coverage than chiropractic.

In their summary the authors of the CDC study noted, "Increased use of acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage therapy between 2002 and 2012 was previously noted. There was a significant increase in the percentage of adults who saw a practitioner for acupuncture, chiropractic, or massage therapy but did not have health insurance coverage for these approaches. No change in use was observed among those with insurance coverage. These data suggest that consumers are increasingly willing to pay out of pocket for the use of acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage."

Gallup poll shows public recognizes chiropractic care is helpful

Posted: August 12, 2016
By: Dr Marc Weissman

A new Gallup Poll released on September 8, 2015, showed that a large number of people in the United States have used chiropractic and believe it to be of help for a number of conditions. The poll, commissioned by Palmer College of Chiropractic, was based on the results from a Gallup Panel study of 5,442 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted February 16 through May 6, 2015.

Some of the highlights of the Gallup Poll reveal:

  • Two-thirds say chiropractic is effective for neck and back pain.
  • Many adults say chiropractors think of a patient's best interest.
  • More than 33 million U.S. adults saw a chiropractor last year.

Overall, about half of U.S. adults have seen a chiropractor sometime in their lives. Each year about 14% of the adult population goes to a chiropractor. Additionally, most people think chiropractors have their patient's best interest in mind and are trustworthy.

In spite of decades of organized opposition from the medical society, only a small percentage of the population had a negative view of chiropractic or chiropractors thinking they did not have their patient's best interests in mind (8%), or were not trustworthy (9%). People who went to chiropractors were more likely to have a positive opinion of chiropractic than those who did not.

The poll also showed that there were no specific groups of people more likely to go to a chiropractor. Income level and education was not a significant factor in who utilized chiropractic care. The poll did show that people aged 35 and older (56%) are more likely than younger adults (37%) to go to a chiropractor. Also, the poll reported that blacks are less likely than whites or Hispanics to use chiropractic care. Additionally, women are slightly more likely to see a chiropractor than men.

The poll did point out that the public had two areas where their knowledge related to chiropractic was failing. The first area was in relation to the rigorous education needed to become a chiropractor, and the second was the extent to which their insurance covered chiropractic services. The poll researchers estimated that chiropractic utilization would be even higher if the public were aware of the level of education a chiropractor is required to have, and if information on insurance coverage for chiropractic were more readily available.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "Adults younger than 50 represent a unique opportunity for the future of chiropractic because this group is more likely than older respondents to say a chiropractor would be their first choice to see about neck or back pain. However, adults aged 18 to 34 are more sensitive to chiropractic costs than are older adults."

A copy of the full Gallup poll can be found at http://www.palmer.edu/uploadedfiles/pages/alumni/gallop-report-palmer-college.pdf

Infant's Constipation Resolved After Chiropractic

Posted: August 10, 2016
By: Dr Marc Weissman

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on February 1, 2016, documenting the case of a baby boy suffering from constipation being helped by chiropractic. The study reports that constipation is a common pediatric problem affecting about 3% of children.

According to the Mayo clinic website, constipation in infants and toddlers is not determined by the frequency of bowel movements but rather by the difficulty, pain and consistency of the movement. Their website describes how to detect painful movement in an infant. "Infants experiencing painful bowel movements might arch their backs, tighten their buttocks or cry. Keep in mind that infants have weak abdominal muscles and often strain during bowel movements."

The authors of the study note that most medical approaches to constipation are not very effective. They explain, "When one considers the perspective that approximately 30% of children beyond puberty continue to struggle with symptoms of constipation, new therapeutic strategies are necessary thus making alternative therapies an attractive care option for children suffering from the disorder."

In this case, an 8-month-old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother to see if he could be helped with his constipation. The infant's mother noted that her son had not had a bowel movement for five days and was in obvious pain and discomfort. She observed that her son would strain for a bowel movement without success. The baby was given fluids and not given any medications.

A chiropractic examination consisting of heat readings, static and motion palpation was performed. It was determined that subluxations were present, and with the consent of the mother, specific corrective chiropractic adjustments were begun.

The effects of the chiropractic adjustment were immediate. The case study reports, "As the mother and son were in their car to leave the clinic parking lot, the patient proceeded to have a very large bowel movement while sitting in his car seat. The mother phoned the clinic two hours later to inform that the patient had proceeded to have an additional two bowel movements since they had left the chiropractic clinic." The mother also reported that her infant son's disposition had greatly improved.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "We described the successful chiropractic care of an infant suffering from constipation. In addition to resolving the child's presenting complaint, the patient's quality of life improved significantly as reported by his mother."

Substantial Growth in the Use of Chiropractic Care by the Department of Veterans Affairs!

Posted: August 9, 2016
By: Dr Marc Weissman

The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) issued a release on June 20, 2016, with the headline, "New Study Reports Substantial Growth in the Use of Chiropractic Care by the Department of Veterans Affairs." The new study appeared in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT).

The F4CP begins by reporting that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has included chiropractic services as part of the standard medical benefits package offered to all enrolled veterans for more than a decade. The chiropractic care has been available at VA facilities by doctors of chiropractic employed through the VA to offer their services.

As a result, the JMPT study showed a 700 percent increase in chiropractic utilizations over that time period. In the F4CP release, lead author of the JMPT study, Anthony J. Lisi, DC, Director of the VA Chiropractic Program, and Chiropractic Section Chief at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System commented, "Our work shows that VA has steadily and substantially increased its use of chiropractic services each year following their implementation in late 2004."

The study revealed several facts relative to chiropractic utilization at the VA. The number of patients seen yearly in VA chiropractic clinics increased by 821 percent. As a result, the number of chiropractic visits grew by 693 percent annually. Additionally, the total number of VA chiropractic clinics increased by 9 percent each year, and the number of chiropractor employees increased yearly by 21 percent.

Dr. Sherry McAllister, a chiropractor and executive vice president of the F4CP, commented on the study, "The growing utilization of chiropractic services among veterans for pain management and other health concerns, particularly those in the Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and older adult populations, showcases the clear-cut demand for chiropractic care and is a direct reflection of the improved clinical outcomes and high patient satisfaction scores that have been documented previously."

The chiropractic VA program was initially mandated by an act of the US Congress. However, the growth of the program was driven by the need for care and the VA responding to that need. Dr. McAllister noted, "We commend VA for its participation in ongoing chiropractic research to help further improve the health and well-being of our respected and valued veterans."

Menstrual Problems Helped With Chiropractic - A Case Study

Posted: June 5, 2012
By: Dr Marc Weissman

On May 23, 2011, a case study appeared in the scientific periodical, The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, documenting the case of a 21-year-old woman who had not had a menstrual cycle in 5 years, and was helped by chiropractic care.

In this case, a woman went to the chiropractor suffering from back pain and with a history of amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is described as an absence of a menstrual cycle for more than three months. In this case, the history noted that at the early age of 7, this girl started to have menstrual cycles. Her medical doctor treated her with Lupron injections, a drug used to stop menstrual cycles and the onset of puberty. At the age of 9, her medical doctor discontinued the treatment believing that the girl was old enough to start menstruation.

From the age of 9 until the age of 15, the girl's menstrual cycles were irregular and became less frequent, discontinuing at age 16. She did, however, have menstrual cramps without having a normal menstrual cycle. At that point, the girl was placed on oral contraceptives in an attempt to help regulate her cycle. However, the medication caused her menstrual bleeding to become extremely heavy. Additionally, the drugs negatively impacted her emotional state which eventually led to her discontinuing use of the medication. In addition to this, the woman also suffered a fall, injuring her lower back, which coincided with the total interruption of her menstrual cycles.

Upon going to the chiropractor, an examination was performed consisting of a postural evaluation, static and motion palpation, thermography, and surface electromyography. A determination was made that subluxations were present. Care was initiated consisting of regular specific adjustments for correction of the subluxations. As care progressed, the woman reported experiencing better posture, more energy, and improvement in overall health. Approximately 12 weeks into care, the patient reported the start of her menstrual cycle for the first time in 5 years.

Further examinations continued to show improvement with the woman's overall health. She reported a loss in weight, and the continuation of normal menstrual cycles. In their conclusion, the authors discuss how subluxations can have a detrimental effect on body functions including reproduction. They stated, "This case, as well as the reviewed literature, shows that chiropractic may play a beneficial role in reproductive health."

Chiropractic Care for the Elderly Studied

Posted: May 30, 2012
By: Dr Marc Weissman

A study published on March 5, 2012 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics looked at several factors concerning how Medicare recipients received chiropractic care. Since the study is specifically based upon Medicare claims, the results are affected by how Medicare covers chiropractic.

Medicare, in the United States, covers chiropractic care specifically for the correction of vertebral subluxations. According to the Medicare.gov website, "Medicare covers manipulation of the spine if medically necessary to correct a subluxation (when one or more of the bones of your spine moves out of position) when provided by chiropractors or other qualified providers. A subluxation is a displacement or misalignment of a joint or body part."

One of the things the study was trying to determine was if Medicare patients under chiropractic care were also receiving non-chiropractic care for the same problems while they were receiving chiropractic. The significance of this would show if chiropractic was effective, and would also show if there was a cost savings because patients did not need two types of care at the same time for the same condition.

The results of the study showed that, in the Medicare system, the most common diagnosis listed for the need for chiropractic care was one of two codes used to describe subluxation. The associated problems that were shown by code to be most prevalent were back pain, neck pain, and degenerative disc problems.

The study did show that 89.1 percent of the people who went to a chiropractor for a specific problem under Medicare only saw a chiropractor for this condition. In other words, only slightly over 10 percent also went to an MD or other health practitioner for the same problem they were going to the chiropractor for. The researchers state that this indicates that most chiropractic care is not rendered in conjunction with medical care. They stated, "This suggests that there is likely very little referral to chiropractic from other nonchiropractic providers and vice versa, indicating that co-management simply does not occur."

Dr. Coralee Van Egmond, special projects director for the International Chiropractors Association, summed up these interesting findings by saying, "Chiropractic is demonstrated by this research as being highly clinically effective for this growing patient population. Chiropractic has a special significance for the aging population because it aides significantly in maintaining mobility, and mobility is life for our elderly patients, and serves to help maintain clarity of mind since chiropractic is a drugless science. The research record continues to show chiropractics unique cost-effective contribution to the health and well-being of all ages."

Losing the Tonsils Packs on the Pounds for Children

Posted: May 29, 2012
By: Dr Marc Weissman

The journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery published research in their February, 2011 issue that found children who have undergone a tonsillectomy have also gained weight.

Researchers reviewed nine studies that spanned a 40-year period. The review studied the weight of 795 children, ages 0 to 18 years, before a tonsillectomy and for eight years after the procedure. The results showed that over 50 percent of the children had gained weight.

A tonsillectomy is the most common operation done on children. Each year, over one-half of a million children have their tonsils removed. Tonsils are a defensive organ and part of the lymphatic system. Their main job is to trap bacteria and viruses entering into the body through the mouth.

The children who had their tonsils removed gained approximately 7 percent more weight after the surgery. These results are alarming considering the number of children in the US who are obese. The Center for Disease Control has determined that 18 percent of children ages 12-19 are obese, 20 percent of children ages 6-11 are obese, and 10 percent of children ages 2 -5 are obese.

Obesity is a major cause of diabetes, high-blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. The review's findings showed that some normal weighted children were pushed into the overweight range after surgery, and overweight children were determined to be obese after surgery.

Although a correlation between the surgery and weight gain has been shown, the cause of the weight gain in children after a tonsillectomy is still not known. In a February 1, 2011 interview with Reuters Health, Dr. Anita Jeyakumar, an ear nose and throat specialist at Saint Louis University in Missouri who worked on the study stated, "For some patients, the surgery might be considered more of a risk than a benefit."

Drug-Related Poisoning Causes Nearly 700000 Emergency Department Visits a Year

Posted: May 25, 2012
By: Dr Marc Weissman

A study released on March 3, 2011, in the The American Journal of Emergency Medicine showed that there were almost 700,000 visits to emergency room departments for drug poisoning in the year 2007. Study authors note that deaths due to drug poisoning have been documented prior to their study but not much was known about the number of visits generated by this problem.

The study noted that children between birth and five years of age are at the highest risk statistically of poisoning from drugs, but that there has been an increased rate of all drug related poisonings. The study also reported that drug-related poisonings were three times higher in rural areas than in other locations.

A March 14, 2011, article in MD News quoted the authors of the study, "Antidepressants and analgesics were responsible for nearly 44 percent of emergency department visits for drug-related poisoning in the United States. Interventions and future research should target prescription opioids, rural areas, children 0 to 5 years old for unintentional drug-related poisoning, and females ages 12 to 24 years for suicidal drug-related poisoning".

In response to the research, Dr. Sandra Schneider, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians commented in a March 16, 2011, PRNewswire-USNewswire article by adding, "People are abusing prescription drugs and over-the counter drugs, and it's a serious and growing problem. Very young children had the highest rate of unintentional drug poisoning, which is a wake-up call for parents to make sure their medicines are out of reach."

"We all need to work together, take responsibility and use common sense to protect people from drug poisoning," said Dr. Schneider. "We see too many people affected by this in our emergency departments. With all of the information and warnings available to the public, that should not be the case."

The PRNewswire-USNewswire article offered some facts about drug poisoning:

  • An estimated 699,123 US emergency department visits for drug-related poisoning occurred in 2007.
  • Nearly 28,000 unintentional drug-related poisoning deaths in the United States in 2007.
  • Infants to children 5-years-old have the highest rate of unintentional poisoning.
  • Antidepressants and painkillers were responsible for 43 percent of all drug-related poisoning.
  • The estimated emergency department charges for drug-related poisonings were $1.4 billion.

Whooping Cough Outbreaks Higher Among Children Already Vaccinated

Posted: May 23, 2012
By: Dr Marc Weissman

Above is a headline from a news article that appeared on NaturalNews.com on April 4, 2012. The article cites new information showing that a recent outbreak in Whooping cough was higher among vaccinated children than among unvaccinated children. The Natural News article was based on a similar article on April 2, 2012 published by Reuters news.

The new information is based on a study led by Dr. David Witt, an infectious disease specialist at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Rafael, California. In early 2010, a large outbreak of Whooping cough started appearing in the records of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. Dr. Witt noted that the outbreak was the largest seen in 50 years and he expected that the incidences of the disease would be led largely by unvaccinated children. However, the statistics showed a vastly different reality.

"We started dissecting the data. What was very surprising was the majority of cases were in fully vaccinated children. That's what started catching our attention," said Witt. The Reuters article reported that out of the132 cases of Whooping cough in children under the age of 18, 81 percent were up to date on recommended Whooping cough shots and only eight percent had never been vaccinated. The remaining 11 percent had not received the complete series but had received at least one shot.

In spite of the factual evidence, the Natural News article reports that several other media outlets completely ignored the study and have issued news articles announcing the outbreak and then urging people to rush out and get vaccinated. Mike Adams, author of the article and editor of NaturalNews.com commented in his article, "Despite the fact that the Whooping cough vaccines actually cause an increase in the risk of being infected with Whooping cough, every time a Whooping cough outbreak occurs, there's a mad rush of everybody screaming, "Vaccinate! Vaccinate! Vaccinate!"