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Acupuncture & Natural Health Solutions Newsletter   Providing Natural Health Care for the Entire Family
Issue #2016-2c

Acupuncture and HIV

More than 1 million Americans are living with human immunodeficiency virus, known as HIV. HIV is not curable, although many live long lives after being initially infected. HIV destroys the body's T-cells, which makes it harder to fight
off infections and disease.

Acupuncture can help promote immunity, treat side effects of medications, and be a complementary therapy for HIV treatment. Many patients with HIV/AIDS suffer from pain and anxiety. Acupuncture can help lower stress in patients as well as pain that results from their decreased immune system.

Patients have found that acupuncture can help relieve symptoms of fatigue, chest tightness, flu-like symptoms and digestion issues that
are associated with HIV. Acupuncture proves to improve quality of life for those living with HIV and increase their energy level and mood. Treatment can lower stress and anxiety levels, which are usually high in HIV patients due to the nature of such a serious disease.

Because there are not only physical effects of HIV, but mental and emotional as well, acupuncture is a great complementary treatment to help both the body and mind handle the changes that are occurring because of the illness. Being diagnosed with HIV can be traumatizing in itself, acupuncture treatment can help calm the mind and improve overall quality of life. Although HIV is not thought to be curable, it can be effectively managed.

"Acupuncture is one additive method of maintenance, which can help improve the quality of life for patients with HIV through balancing the forces through an individualized baseline." - Claudia Briones

Professionals have concluded that patients who are stressed, anxious and depressed can adversely affect their health. For this reason, acupuncture works well to lower these feelings.

Most people with HIV are taking some sort of medication to help their T-cell count. Because acupuncture treatment is completely natural and involves no drugs, it can be used at the same time as Western medicine to help manage symptoms and side effects.

Acupuncture works by addressing the body as a whole. When the body's natural energy flow is blocked or stagnated due to illness, an individual does not have optimal health. Treatment works
by returning the body back to it's natural flow and restoring health to organs and the entire body and mind.

A study done at the University of Boston found that acupuncture treatment improved overall quality of life in HIV patients.

It is believed in Traditional Chinese Medicine that HIV, which causes a high susceptibility to infections, are heat toxins in the body and burn the system out, damaging the cooling part of the body. This causes an imbalance between yin and yang in the body. This imbalance is a disruption in the body's qi, or natural energy flow.

"CAM treatments are supportive rather than curative by nature, which helps an individual with HIV not feel like they are in limbo between life and death, but rather feeling, and truly being, alive." - Complementary Therapies for the Treatment of HIV: In Search of the Evidence. International Journal of STD and AIDS.

Contact an acupuncturist today if you or someone you know is living with HIV and wants to consider a natural, safe, complementary treatment. 


Alternative Treatments to Support HIV

Complementary and alternative medicine can have great effects in helping those dealing with HIV. Acupuncture, herbal treatments and other alternative medicines have found to especially help side effects from medication for HIV, as well as feelings of depression and anxiety someone with HIV may be dealing with.

The National Institutes of Health gave almost $520 million to the complementary and alternative medicine field in 2010. Included in government-sponsored trials were potential HIV therapies such as acupuncture, yoga and Reiki.

Yoga & massage to reduce pain
HIV patients deal with chronic pain, sometimes it can be debilitating. It is easy to turn to pain killers to help the pain, but these can lead to even more problems like dependency. Yoga and massage are natural alternatives that can be used to reduce pain. Massage helps relax the muscles and can help decrease joint and muscle pain. Massage is also a great mental relaxer as well.

Yoga can help improve overall health and peace of mind. Yoga positions and stretches can help mobilize the body and at the same time reduce tension areas.

Foods that can help reduce symptoms
* Eat foods rich in B-vitamins, calcium, and iron.  Common foods that have high amounts of these vitamins and minerals include almonds, beans, whole grains, spinach and kale.

* Antioxidant-rich food such as blueberries, cherries, bell peppers and squash.

* Take fish oil to help reduce inflammation and promote the immune system.

* Consider probiotics, probiotic supplements help support gastrointestinal and immune health.

* Green tea: has antioxidant and immune-strengthening benefits

* Maitake mushroom: Maitake mushroom also has immune and antiviral effects. Another way to take the mushroom is by an extract, which you can find at a local health store.

Acupuncture is used to help alleviate common symptoms of HIV like fatigue, insomnia and nausea. There are almost no side effects to acupuncture and is completely natural. Acupuncture can also help pain management and anxiety and stress caused by HIV. 

Awaken Your Kidney Energies

In Chinese Medicine, Kidney energy provides the most important part of vitality. The Dan Tian breath is a powerful, and extremely beneficial variation of our natural breathing. Dan Tian breathing is important to cultivate health, facilitate self-healing, and to increase the vital energy, known as Qi. This is a simple exercise to relax both the body and mind, release stress, reduce anxiety, and massage the internal organs.
  1. Sit upright in a chair, close your eyes, and place the tips of your thumbs and index fingers together, forming a triangle. Place the center of where your thumbs touch directly above navel, with tips of your index fingers pointing downwards. The area just below the navel is where the Dan Tian is located.
  2. Tap your upper and lower teeth together 36 times, swish and swallow the resulting saliva in 3 parts, sending it down to the Dan Tian. Place the tip of your tongue where your front teeth and upper palate meet.
  3. Inhale through your nose and into your abdomen. Direct your awareness and breath into the Dan Tian, expanding your lower abdomen and lower back. Gently hold your breath as long as you can without straining or tensing up.
  4. With the exhale, contract your lower abdomen and low back. Imagine sending gray waste out through your nose. You can perform this breathing technique 9, 18, or 36 times. 

  A Few Healthful Pointers for HIV/AIDS:

  • Eat foods high in Vitamin B - Wheat germ, oysters, salmon, tuna, cottage cheese, sun flower seeds, walnuts, brown rice, beef, avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes. Vitamin B helps the body break down foods into usable energy, enhances immune and nervous system function, and promotes the growth of red blood cells.
  • Drink tea - Add 1/4 oz. of green tea leaves to 1 cup of cold water and soak for 5 hours. Sip throughout the day. 
  • Avoid consuming greasy foods, as well as dairy products and sugar, as they can weaken immune function.
  • Add berries to your diet. Many berries are rich in antioxidants that support immune health. Blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, cherries and hawthorn berries, are all high in antioxidants.
  • Jump start your immune system. Try jumping rope for at least 5 minutes per day, or use a mini-trampoline, called a rebounder. These simple exercises can increase blood circulation and oxygenation, helping to remove toxins from your body more easily.
  • Take some herbs. Certain herbs can help boost your immune function and energy levels. American ginseng, ashwagandha, garlic, sage, onions, turmeric, astragalus, angelica (Dong Quai), echinacea and reishi mushrooms all have immune boosting properties. Herbs should be viewed like medicine, and you should consult with a qualified herbalist before beginning an herbal regimen.

The information contained within the  newsletter is only used to educate 
and inform. This newsletter is  not a substitute for the advice of a licensed 
and registered health  care provider. Seek prompt attention for emergencies. Consult  a health care provider for specific health concerns, and before 
starting a diet, cleanse or exercise routine.
Monthly Acupuncture Column Featured in SW Florida's Health & Wellness Magazine 

Toni Eatros, AP,
Acupuncture Physician, 
is the  featured acupuncture columnist in the popular SW Florida's Health & Wellness Magazine.
Be sure to check out the February issue, on stands now, entitled Treating Erectile Dysfunction with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs

Click the link below 
to view January's Article, entitled 
Acupressure Points

Rubbing acupuncture points with your finger for 
30 - 60 seconds can stimulate and promote the circulation of Qi within your own body, restoring health and 


Stomach 36 (ST36)
English Name:  
Leg Three Li
Pinyin Name:  

On the outside of the leg, approximately one hand width below the kneecap, just off the bone. 
Resolves phlegm, stimulates the Kidney function of reception of Qi, stops cough, calms asthma, relieves chest tightness, tonifies the Liver to counter adrenal exhaustion and lowered immunity.

Kidney 27 (KD27)    
English Name:  
Shu Mansion
Pinyin Name:  

Located in the depression below the lower border of the collarbone, approximately 2 inches from the middle of the chest. 

  Resolves phlegm, stimulates the Kidney function of reception of Qi, stops cough, calms asthma, relieves chest tightness, tonifies the Liver to counter adrenal exhaustion and lowered immunity.

Research Update:

Acupuncture & HIV   

Research studies have shown that acupuncture can help those living with HIV improve their quality of life.

HIV is a disease that doesn't have a cure, but can be managed with the right treatment. A large factor for those with HIV is not only their physical well being, but their mental health as well.

Being diagnosed with HIV
is a traumatic experience and can lead to feelings of anxiety, loss of self and feeling hopeless.

A study done by the University of Boston gave acupuncture treatment to HIV patients and found that a large patient response included having an increased quality of life. 

Another study done by Yale University School of Nursing found that acupuncture offered relief of psychological distress and improvement of symptoms and quality of life.

The study was published in the journal, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. In TCM, it is believed that HIV represents an imbalance in the body's energy. Although acupuncture isn't a cure, by the specific placement of needles, it can help calm patients and reduce pain and symptoms of anxiety.

Contact an acupuncturist today and learn how treatment can help HIV symptoms and improve overall quality of life.


1. Acupuncture for symptom relief in HIV-positive adults

2. On Using Acupuncture for HIV to Improve Quality of Life
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