Posts Tagged ‘chronic pain’

Empirical Point Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture Practice Launches “Healthy New Year 2011”

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 by Sharon Sherman
Chinese New Year  - Year of the Rabbit

Staying healthy with acupuncture and Chinese medicine

Empirical Point, LLC, a leading Philadelphia Chinese Medicine and acupuncture practice, today announced the launch of its “Healthy New Year 2011” campaign, designed to give patients more hands-on information and real-world tips about how to live healthier in the new year. This new program is kicking off today, the first day of the Chinese New Year, with a series of online information and news. More information can be found at

“The new year usually brings with resolutions and promises to improve our health. It also brings a renewed commitment to living well and living healthy,” stated Sharon Sherman, M.S.O.M., D.OM., L.OM and founder of Empirical Point. “Empirical Point was founded to deliver on that commitment – to provide patients with a Chinese medicine and acupuncture practice dedicated to improving their health. I don’t just treat patients. I work with them to get to the root of their ailments and to then map out an interactive and holistic plan to improve their overall well being. This Healthy New Year 2011 program is just one more way for us to provide the latest news and tips to our patients on how to be well.”

The first topic tackled by the Healthy New Year 2011 program is “Alternative Medicine – Not So Alternative Anymore” which will look at the growing use and success of alternative medicine in the U.S. While Chinese Medicine and acupuncture have been used for thousands of years, they are just now really taking hold in many Western cultures as effective medical treatments. Through the Empirical Point website, blog and social media and events at our offices, the practice will explore and offer up information about the growth of alternative medicine – and how it may be helpful for patients who may have not yet considered it for common conditions like stress or chronic pain.

The Healthy New Year 2011 campaign will go on to address the following topics later this year:

• Pain – How to Address and Relieve it with Chinese Medicine

• Building a Strong Immune System…and a Stronger You

• Stressed?  How to Relieve Anxiety and Be at your Best

About Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture

Chinese Medicine is one of the oldest complete medical systems practiced today – encompassing acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutrition and other modalities – and is recognized as an effective, empirical science. Acupuncture has been in use for over 2,000 years, and is one of the most commonly used medical procedures worldwide. Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are regularly used to safely and effectively treat a wide range of health challenges, especially the treatment of acute and chronic pain management. Today, the use of and demand for acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is increasing in the United States. Recent reports conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), USA Today, ABC News and Stanford University all point to increasing numbers of Americans using acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The most recent CDC study found that nearly 3.3 million U.S. adults and children had used acupuncture in the previous year.

About Empirical Point, LLC

Empirical Point’s overarching mission is to empower patients and to optimize their health and well being. Using her extensive Chinese Medicine and acupuncture training and expertise, founder Sharon Sherman has been treating patients and growing the practice steadily since 2001. Ms. Sherman has the highest level of licensure possible – an achievement rivaled by only 8% of her peers in Pennsylvania – and has logged more education and continuing education hours than the vast majority of other practitioners. Ms. Sherman is also licensed in New Mexico, which has one of the most arduous licensure processes in the U.S. Empirical Point welcomes patients at its Center City and Chestnut Hill offices in Philadelphia. For more information, please visit

Cold Weather and Joint Pain: Chronic Pain Sufferers Turn to Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Relief

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 by Sharon Sherman

acupuncture and chinese medicine for joint painAs the weather turns colder, many people feel not only the chill in the air, but can also suffer from increased joint and arthritis pain.  For many years, this correlation was often noted by patients and pain sufferers – think of anyone you know with a bad back or bad knees and how they can often “feel” wet, damp or cold weather coming – but not backed by formal studies.

Then, in 2003, a Japanese study published in the International Journal of Biometeorology found that there was a direct connection between low pressure, low temperatures and joint pain in rats. It was the first documented animal behavioral study of weather effects on joint pain.  More recently, in 2008, Johns Hopkins conducted studies on whether climate really does affect arthritis pain.  In one of the studies, 151 people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia (a rheumatic disorder that causes joint pain) as well as 32 people without arthritis were evaluated for one year.  All of the study participants lived in a warm climate and kept a journal for one year recording their pain.  Researchers matched these journals up with weather conditions and found that patients in all three experienced more pain on days when the temperature was low, while people in the control group were unaffected by any of the weather conditions.

So, that aching feeling in your joints and your back this time of year is not only in your head.  But, how can we use Chinese Medicine, acupuncture and herbs to help effectively treat it and the underlying cause for your pain?
In my practice in Philadelphia, I see many patients with chronic pain, joint pain and arthritis.  It’s actually a specialization of mine and I’ve spent hundreds of hours training with acupuncture and Chinese Medicine experts to learn how to most effectively treat patients and relieve this pain over the long-term.

In Chinese medicine, this type of musculoskeletal and/or joint pain is referred to as bi syndrome. “Bi,” in Oriental Medical terminology means obstruction – the symptomatic nature of the obstruction may exhibit qualities that cause you to feel achy or experience stabbing, fixed, or hot pain. Some people respond positively to movement or exercise while other patients feel better with rest. Most musculoskeletal and joint disorders are grouped into one of the several subcategories of bi syndrome. Accurate diagnosis of the type of bi a patient is experiencing ensures sound selection of an acupuncture and herbal protocol to relieve and “break” the obstruction of qi and blood in the affected area.

So, don’t dread this colder season, but instead enjoy the crisp weather, move freely and without pain and feel better doing it.

How Does Acupuncture Relieve Pain?

Sunday, June 13th, 2010 by Sharon Sherman

acupuncture reduces inflammation and painAlthough it has been practiced for thousands of years, there seems to be a lack of modern scientific language to explain how and why acupuncture works.  While modern day fans of the technique swear by its ability to reduce pain, many are skeptical, attributing the efficacy of acupuncture to placebo effect.

A recent study in Nature Neuroscience journal points to the naturally-occurring substance adenosine as a possible mechanism for the pain relief acupuncture has provided for millennia. The body sends adenosine to punctured or otherwise injured tissue.  Adenosine appears to cause an anti-inflammatory response, easing pain and discomfort.

In this study, conducted at the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, mice were treated with acupuncture.  After treatment, the level of adenosine in the tissue near the needle insertion points was nearly two dozen times greater than before the treatment.

Though the findings are promising, researchers agree that human trials are the next step in determining the role acupuncture and adenosine play in pain management.  As scientific evidence mounts, skeptics await proof of what acupuncture devotees know from real life experience and 4000 years of successful practice.

Study: Acupuncture and Pain Management

Friday, May 28th, 2010 by Sharon Sherman
shoulder pain

acupuncture increases pain threshold

A recent study published in the May issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS), illustrates the successful use of acupuncture to increase pain tolerance in two dozen patients.

Researchers used quantitative sensory testing to explore certain nerve fiber injuries related to chronic pain.  This type of testing measures a patient’s perception of hot and cold as well as pressure.

Three types of acupuncture were used: acupuncture alone and acupuncture with high-frequency and low-frequency electrical stimulation. Pain thresholds increased by up to 50 per cent in both the treated leg and the untreated (contralateral) leg.  Patient responses provide diagnostic clues to specific types of nerve injury and treatment possibilities.

“Our results show that contralateral stimulation leads to a remarkable pain relief. This suggests that acupuncturists should needle contralaterally if the affected side is too painful or not accessible-for example, if the skin is injured or there is a dressing in place,” commented Dr. Dominik Irnich, one of the lead researchers.

Studies like this one illustrate a scientific basis for acupuncture and inspire further research. Such research is immensely valuable to the field of Oriental Medicine and all who suffer from chronic pain.