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Acupuncture for dry mouth and throat?
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Acupuncture for dry mouth and throat?

I was actually referred for acupuncture by and ENT doctor. I had never been and was skeptical. Went to a good one here in town (who is also an MD).  Due to all the mouth/throat issues, I now deal with anxiety.  I can't necessarily say I notice any more saliva production but it has helped with anxiety.  Unfortunately, as this one doctor was an out of service provider, I had to switch to another acupuncture doctor.  I can't say I get the same positive effects from this latest one.  They all do things a little differently but both are well educated.  I will say, when I went to the first acupuncturist, I had been having hip and right leg pain (probably sciatica) and had been going to a chiropractor for at least 5 weeks with little relief.  Asked the acupuncture doctor if he could treat that and he said he could. I had a treatment on a Tuesday.  On Thursday morning, I got up and realized I had a slight twinge in my hip and leg. By Friday, there was no pain and I had been dealing with that for weeks!!!!  I'm certainly a believer and it does seem to help my anxiety.   Read that the Anderson Cancer hospital in Texas is studying acupuncture treatments for dry mouth in chemo/radiation patients with some good results. Wish it would work for me.  Has anyone tried this?  I was skeptical about this but am becoming a believer.
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In Chinese medicine, the "jin" and the "ye" are our normal body fluids that serve many functions from lubricating joints to moistening our mouths.  When these normal body fluids become deficient, the treatment strategy is to try to increase those body fluids.  Sometimes performing local needling around the jaw and throat area is employed, needles in the hands and feet are also used to address the constitutional weaknesses, and often herbs are prescribed to try and replace the fluids that are becoming deficient.  
As with any condition, in Chinese medicine there is not one single herb or one single point that addresses each symptom.  Instead the entire person is considered, and the symptom (in your case, the dry mouth and throat,) is the manifestation of an internal imbalance.  
I can certainly understand how anxiety-producing your condition is, and do believe the acupuncture can be helpful at addressing the anxiety component, because acupuncture has a regulatory effect on the nervous system.  
Last but not least, it never hurts to get a second, third, or fourth opinion.  There are certain auto-immune conditions that present with dry mouth and throat, and if you have not already had a complete physical from your physician, you might want to consider doing so.  Certain blood tests check for auto-immune markers.  
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Thank you so much for your reply.  My story has become a saga and too long to post here.  I have probably seen more then a dozen doctors in various fields, mostly ENT but other specialists also. Been tested for Sjorgens with blood work (Stanford) and a salivary gland biopsy (negative).  More blood tests then I can count.  The latest ENT ordered more recent MRI's of my neck and head. Saw a Neurologist who listened to my story and ordered more blood work, this time for things like Lyme disease, HIV, Hepatitis, Herpes and EBV.  Readings were high for the Herpes and EBV.    ENT is planning on doing biopsies of my mouth and throat (I think) next week. I had some done almost 3 years ago.  I do have thyroid nodules (biopsied) but that is not the cause of these problems.  Oh, it just goes on and on. Yes, I've even seen a psychiatrist that does not feel this is psychosomatic but suggested I see a counselor (which I now do) because of all the stress. I am almost house bound due to this.  I was so hoping the acupuncture would help but, so far, can't say that it helps the dry mouth and throat.  I was told to try drinking tea with honey and lemon. I don't like tea but am using the honey and lemon in warm water.  This all started about 3 years ago prior to me having a bilateral oopherectomy.  I had a hysterectomy years ago.  I am waiting to hear about setting up an appt with another endocronologist.  It's a nightmare.  I am not good at taking medications and have had to stop some they have given me due to side effects and I usually feel worse.  I have myself off all of it now except for low dose of Xanax.  For some reason, with this latest acupuncturist, I don't feel well the day after the treatment and usually have a *bad* day.  I wish I could use the first one I went to but it is just too expensive to do on a regular basis.  Each does things a bit differently, regarding placement of the needles.  
Well, thanks again.  Maybe I'll keep going to this latest one a couple more times.  
:-(
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Supplement your treatment with this pranayam and you will notice benefits in days.Try to do 30 minutes, twice a day,daily, for 4 weeks and then drop to 15 minutes. The pranayam will balance your body systems, and in turn your symptoms will gradually reduce. Let me know how you get on, at some point.
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Anulom Vilom pranayam –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.
January 17, 2011
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Acupuncture helps relieve severe dry mouth, protecting people from the dental decay, speaking problems and oral ulcers that can accompany the condition.Acupuncture may contribute to increasing the tear film in patients with Sjogren's syndrome and other etiologies where the aqueous component of the tear film is significantly reduced. This technique did not produce any adverse effects. Longer observations in a significant number of patients to optimize the technique and further prospective objective measurements of both the tear film and its components should be the subjects of further research.
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