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Auricular Acupuncture – How It Works

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The entire body, quite amazingly, can be treated by means of pressure application to certain acupuncture points in the ear.

The concept of the inverted fetus is the basis for this strange idea, an idea made known by a French doctor named Paul Nogier who developed an acupuncture map of the ear. Auricular acupuncture or ear acupuncture made its debut due to the development of Dr. Nogier’s studies and thoughts.
Auricular Acupuncture Alleviates Illness and Pain in Reading

Acupuncture points in the ear have been quite simply shown to help lessen pain throughout the body by a web-like preparation via the parasympathetic nervous system.

Long used as a treatment for various diseases and conditions, Chinese acupuncture is an ideal treatment for obesity, pain control, depression, and a slew of chronic conditions.

Auricular acupuncture takes advantage of the traditional approach to Chinese acupuncture. The principles and ideas behind the utilization of ear acupuncture points goes far back in time, and those ideas are still being used in modern acupuncture with extreme effectiveness.

Endorphins are released into the bloodstream where they travel throughout the body when an acupuncturist sticks needles into acupuncture points in the ear. Endorphins are hormones and chemicals that generate a feel good sensation and well being to the patient. Auricular acupuncture basically works extremely well as a treatment for specific conditions.

There are more than 200 acupuncture points scattered across the auricle or outer ear and each of these acupoints has its own name. All these points as well as their location should be known by a qualified and licensed acupuncturist. All the ear acupuncture points are associated with certain areas of the body in one way or another.

Electrical impulses commence their movement towards the brain and then on to the targeted areas of the person’s body when these acupoints are inserted with acupuncture needles. In this regard, one can envision the ear operating something like a telephone switchboard. Quite amazingly, one part of the body is stimulated when one point in the ear is stimulated.

Therefore, one shouldn’t be surprised when he visits an acupuncturist for treatment of ankle pain and the acupuncturist begins sticking small acupuncture needles into pressure points in the ear. A pleasant sensation can be felt when the pain in the ankle starts to wane despite the fact that the affected area has not been treated directly.

The ear lobe, surprisingly, has its own specific acupuncture points that when stimulated, is able to resolve problems in the throat, sinuses, tonsils, strode, head, and various other parts of the human anatomy. Problems affecting major organs throughout the body including the liver, heart, and lungs can be treated by stimulating the concha of the ear with needles.

Experts and professionals know very well that the ear and the related ear acupuncture points are probably the body’s most potent acupoints. The fact is, there is a very high probability (95 percent) for successful treatment when auricular acupuncture is used. And this is the reason why ear acupuncture points are most worthy of mention.

Written by Valerie

October 10th, 2017 at 3:12 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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TCM Products To Enhance Your General Health and Well-Being

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When people think of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), they often think of a third world, outdated type of healing system that has no legitimacy or value in the modern world. For the enlightened ones, however, TCM has real healing value that can address dozens of commonly occurring diseases. Today, in fact, products associated with TCM have a thriving market online.

TCM, as it turns out can be used as a highly effective and wholly natural fountainhead of alternative medicine. TCM products are now used by millions of people all around the world oftentimes in conjunction with modern day mediations or as an option to ineffective prescription drugs and surgery in the Western world.

Some people use TCM products as enhancements or supplements to modern day medicine therapies performed, recommended, or prescribed by their doctor. In the world of modern Western medicine, when something is not working for you, one can turn to traditional Chinese medicine treatment to obtain better results.

Listed below are just some benefits you can get from TCM:

  • Youthful and glowing skin complexion
  • Natural cough suppressant
  • Enhanced energy
  • Quicker healing from sickness
  • Improved sex drive
  • Stronger immune system

Besides those abovementioned benefits, TCM has still many, many other uses. It could treat practically anything that one would use modern day supplements or prescription drugs.

So they can be easily taken, certain TCM products are made in pill form just like any other supplement. There are also some pretty unusual products associated with TCM. One would a product called swiflet’s bird nest, which is an unusual form medicine. With this product, you get actual tiny pieces of the bird nest rather than receiving pills. The product can be soaked in water and then eaten.

One of the best things about traditional Chinese medicine is that instead of using expensive drugs and chemical compounds, it only uses 100 percent natural substances. Some of those products are not found in many areas of the world and some of them can only be found in China.

Thankfully, these products can be purchased online in the Internet. All you have to do is to search sites where they are sold and buy them there.

For practically any ailment you may encounter, there is a TCM product that can treat it. If you lack energy and you need a boost to start a healthier exercise routine or get through the work day, you can find a TCM product that can meet your current specific need. All you need to do is just find the traditional Chinese medicine products that traditionally are used for the problems, symptoms, or illnesses you are suffering from. If what you want it is to just look a bit or a lot younger and youthful, you can find certain traditional Chinese medicines that can help you achieve this.

You have to take advantage of a whole new world of medicine available out there. It’s also important to search for a site that only sells genuine TCM products in order to get real results. With TCM, you may be able to experience relief from the symptoms related to long term illnesses or have a faster healing time from short term health problems. The sky is the limit with TCM.

Acupuncture Plus
11851 Jollyville Rd #102
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 453-5352
http://www.acupuncturistaustin.com/

Written by Valerie

October 3rd, 2017 at 4:06 am

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Stimulating Acupressure “Poop Points” To Help Treat Constipation

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Some housewives have learned that applying pressure to acupressure point three finger widths below the umbilicus can induce an immediate urge to defecate sometimes within just ten minutes. Actually, there are a number of acupressure “poop points” on various parts of the body. Some are located on the legs, back, around the umbilicus and on the arms. Hence, it is up to the person to find where their “poop points” are located and stimulate them to relieve constipation.

Western medical science cannot fully explain how acupressure works and this has caused some skeptics to declare it as a type of pseudoscience despite the fact that there is incontrovertible proof of the effects of this therapy on neuro-imaging. For instance, when a famous orthopedic surgeon studied the possible effects of electro medicine, he observed that traditional acupressure points and meridians possessed quantities of electromagnetic energy that non-acupressure points didn’t have.

New York Times writer James Reston wrote an article entitled “Now, about my operation in Peking” in which he mentioned his post surgery constipation and how the effect of acupuncture was observed on a fluoroscope wherein the needles stuck on limbs generated movements in the intestines.

There have been hundreds of researches done on the effectiveness of acupressure and acupuncture and more work is being done by the day.

If one doubts acupressure, then he also doubts acupuncture as both therapies work on the same principles, the only difference is one makes of use of the hands while the other uses needles.

Be that as it may, both acupressure and acupuncture have been preferred by a lot of people especially the poor in East Asia as a way to treat and relieve a variety of illnesses. Acupuncturists and Chinese physicians often recommend acupressure as a part of the treatment process of their patents.

Acupressure can be an alternative to sleep inducing laxatives for people who can manage their constipation at home. Acupressure is not only soothing and relaxing it also increases one’s emotional and physical well- being.

You can apply acupressure therapy on yourself if you know how to do it properly. This technique is very easy to learn, and you can perform it anywhere and anytime. Besides the navel “poop point” mentioned at the beginning of this article, you can also induce bowel movement by working on the point at the outer edge in the bent arm’s crease. The length and frequency will depend on the severity of the constipation. If you can afford to pay, an acupressure therapist can perform the treatment on you. It may be combined with moxibustion in which the pressure points are warmed with a burning stick of moxa plant.

Acupressure is not recommended for pregnant women or for people with low or high blood pressure. It should not be performed on parts of the skin where there are blisters or an open wound.

Dr. Jeda Boughton is a licensed acupuncture physician and the medical director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, BC.</blockquote>

Written by Valerie

October 3rd, 2017 at 4:00 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Blockages, Qi Gong, and Essence Tai Chi

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In Chinese medicine, there is a saying that goes, “One is without illness when Qi flows freely along the meridians; pain follows when this flow is blocked.”

This is a fundamental aspect in Chinese medicine and reflects its wisdom that is still very true after thousands of years of practice. Some of the metaphors in Chinese Medicine need to be translated in order to be understood by people today.

Blockages and Chemical Toxins and Waste Accumulations- Sources of Chronic Diseases

In the human body a blockage can develop in any location. The stagnation or slowing of blood and qi flow in the body is a manifestation or a symptom of a blockage. So, when a blockage develops, the metabolism in the affected part of the body slows down and the localized as well as the general body structure becomes less energetic. This slow movement weakens the localized body systems making it difficult to eliminate toxins and chemical waste by lymph or blood and this in turn leads to more build up of these elements in the same area. These processes do not stop and without medical intervention, can damage the entire systems of the body. Chronic illness can develop once the local energy level goes under a certain threshold. Over time, the disease will become more and more severe if left untreated. Healthy muscles, for instance, tend to have a soft and very relaxed tone. There should be no swelling in the joint. But if your muscle tenses up and your elbow becomes swollen, pressure to the area will cause pain. These are symptoms suggesting that your elbow has developed a blockage of blood and qi.

The Meridians or Energy Channels in Chinese Medicine and the Connection between Blockage and Illness

A blockage is usually located in some part of the body when an emotional or physical illness occurs. This obstruction may not necessarily develop near or on the affected structure or organ. Chinese medicine was able to develop meridian systems that can explain most of these associations by a systematic mapping out of the acupuncture points. This is important since it allows practitioners to treat illnesses such headaches, for example, by using acupoints on the foot of the patient. The outcomes are usually immediate and profound.

Blocked Joints Do Frequently Occur

Interestingly, the joints are where most acupuncture points are closely located. And since the joints provide for movement this brings about a greater amount of stress to the joint structure than to the tissue around the joints. The circulation of blood and Qi should be adequate enough in order to resupply the energy required for joint movement. If this does not happen, a blockage develops which may be difficult for the body to treat on its own.

Opening Blockages – Treating Diseases

Our body preserves the knowledge of health blood and qi flow regardless of blockages that interrupt this flow. It regains the original healthy flow pattern of Qi once the blockages are opened and eliminated leading to the resolution of the disease. The unclosing of the blockage facilitates the pumping out of chemical waste deposits from the body through the process of sweating or excretion of body waste. Stimulation is essential in the opening up of blockages in the body. Chinese medicine practitioners achieve this through Qigong, Tuina, or Acupuncture therapy. The body is able to transport increased amounts of blood and Qi to specific parts of the body and toxins and wastes can be removed from the body once stimulation is provided. The increased energy helps pump the waste and toxins out of the body. In Qigong therapy, Qi is directly transported to the blocked area which usually opens up the area enabling toxins and wastes to be pumped out of the body efficiently and effectively.

Essence Tai Chi, a Great Way to Prevent Blockage

Being an extremely relaxing activity, Essence Tai Chi can help boost circulation and enhance breathing and metabolism. Within the deeper part of your body, Tai Chi can activate the cells, relax the joints, and massage the internal organs. When the joints are relaxed, blood and Qi can flow smoothly through the large joints and spine helping to maintain and/or promote health. On certain occasions, Tai Chi is used to cure certain illnesses. Essence Tai Chi is strongly recommended as it is a great way to boost and/or facilitate wellness and health.

Eastern Healing Solutions, LLC
10875 Grandview St #2200
Overland Park, KS 66210
(913) 549-4322

There is a Natural, Safe, Effective and Drug Free Alternative.

Written by Valerie

August 8th, 2017 at 1:01 am

Posted in Acupuncture

Using Silicone Cups For Cupping Therapy

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For thousands of years, health practitioners have been using Cupping therapy. The cups used were traditionally made of glass, a rigid delicate material. However, glass is difficult to use because the practitioner needs to start the fire within the cup and quickly apply them on the patient’s body to generate the sucking effect required to treat a condition. The healing sucking effect comes from the air cooling within the cup.

Due to advances in technology these days, cups made from silicone materials have been created that are practically unbreakable and elastic. But the best thing about them is that the amount of suction can be easily controlled by merely squeezing the cups more gently or firmly based on the needs of the patient.

This technological innovation combines modern science with a multi-millennial healing practice, bringing you the best of both worlds.

How Does Chinese Cupping Therapy Work?

In cupping therapy, the practitioner heats up the inside of a cup with fire to create a vacuum or sucking effect. The cooling of the air within the cup draws the blood, tissues, and skin from the body. Cupping therapy gently decompresses tissues and muscles. This is different from massage or acupuncture therapy which compresses the treated parts of the body. This decompression promotes the flow of lymph, tonifies tissues and the skin, increases circulation, and generates space.

Also, the procedure is quite relaxing and a lot of people who have tried it claim that it feels just like getting a deep tissue massage.

Cupping therapy is part of an ancient healing system known as traditional Chinese medicine and is often used to alleviate respiratory clogging by applying cups on the chest. Some of the health benefits of cupping are as follows:

o Promotes the flow of stagnant or sluggish moving fluids
o Increases the elasticity of tissues
o Enhances circulation

Silicone cups used in cupping are very safe to use on practically any part of the body, including the face, ankles, wrists, neck, arms, chest, stomach, back, and legs. The cups used can be of varying sizes. The smaller cups are specifically used on the wrists, neck and face and the larger cups on the wider parts of your body.

The practitioner leaves the cups on the patient’s for 10 – 20 minutes. This will produce a reddish purple blood circulation pattern on the treated part of the skin. This is the sign of the cup’s suction drawing blood to the surface of the skin, and it is part of the treatment. So, unless you want people to see those marks, tell your practitioner to not leave the cups on your skin for more than a minute.

Massaging Yourself Using Silicone Cups

Cupping therapy can be administered in a stationary manner with the cups staying in one place. It also can be done in a dynamic way by first applying body oil and then using gentle movement on the site of treatment.

After the cups are applied and the appropriate degree of suction is activated, while maintaining the air-tight seal of the cup, carefully move the cup across the length of your spine, leg, arm or other parts of your body. The gentle movement can be profound and can be felt in the deeper tissues, the same effects when you get a deep massage. This helps rejuvenate and refresh your muscles and skin and increases the flow of blood conveying fresh blood and bringing nourishment to the tissues.

You can also do Cupping therapy in the shower. Apply organic Castile soap on your calves, thighs, or arms, and then perform cupping therapy to massage those parts of the body including areas where there are stretch marks or cellulite. This will make you feel reinvigorated and refreshed!

Cupping therapy in Pembroke Pines is very affordable. It is even less expensive than a single massage session. Its effects are almost immediate. It is also very safe and can give you so many wonderful health benefits.

Written by Valerie

August 8th, 2017 at 12:59 am

Posted in Acupuncture

Chinese Massage Combines The TCM Techniques Of Acupressure Qi Qong, Nutrition, And Herbs

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Chinese massage has the unique ability of calming down tired nerves and relaxing a fatigued body. Moreover, this over two and a half millennia old therapy is an efficient combination of the power of acupressure and essential oils infused with healing qualities. The aim of Chinese massage in Reading is to provide deep tissue treatment and rejuvenate the body. It applies the theories of the five elements, fluid-blood-qi, and Yin and Yang all of which are deeply ingrained in Oriental medicine. It is still widely practiced and is a unique inheritor of the abundant knowledge healing practices that were handed down from generation to generation to heal the tired. Chinese massage is actually the precursor of Japanese Shiatsu, Swedish massage, and the other types of relaxing massages.

A holistic system of complete health care, Chinese massage applies the Chinese traditional medicine techniques of qigong, nutrition, and herbs. It combines herbal therapy and massage with the aim of stimulating the channels and networks of energy or qi within the body and to streamline the spiritual aspects and the wayward emotions and thoughts of a person. In Chinese medicine, Qi is known as the life force of the body and is closely related to ‘breath’. The lungs obtain qi from the air it inhales while the digestive system obtains it from water and food. The water and food is broken down and converted into qi and flows through the jing luo or meridians.

The principle behind Chinese massage is the concept of xue (hsue) and jing-Luo. According to Chinese medicine, within the human body is a structured network of meridians (jing-luo) that run across the body and meet at points called the xue which are known as acupuncture points or just acupoints. The purpose of these interlinking channels is to connect the exterior organs to the internal, normalize the yin and yang (respectively, the sedating and stimulating) forces in the body, to transport qi and blood, and to boost the immune function of the body. The cause of physical pain in the corresponding area is due to a disruption or blockage in the free flow of qi energy in the jing-Luo. The disruption can manifest in various types of symptoms which are actually the expressions of the internally standardized development of an ailment. Chinese massage works by relaxing the joints, ligaments, and soft connective tissues (which, in Chinese medicine are collectively known as the Jin) that play a role in promoting the movement of qi along the meridians.

Chinese massage pushes the proper movement of qi and blood through the channels and activates acupoints eliminating blockages in the Jing-Luo and abetting the self healing processes of the body in order to resolve any wayward irregularities. It accomplishes this by utilizing robust pushing and rubbing techniques. Methods such as the use of pressure points in clockwise and anti-clockwise direction, manual strokes, and kneading are also employed based on the needs of the patient. Apart from this regulated use of moving and deep pressure that has a profoundly penetrating effect, Chinese massage also aids in the stimulation of the stagnant acupoints and meridian channels.

The result of all these is the healing of stress and of certain disorders related to the reproductive, musculoskeletal, and digestive systems. Extreme proper care should be taken for people with infections, lesions, open wounds, or fractures.

Written by Valerie

August 8th, 2017 at 12:55 am

Posted in Acupuncture

The Advantages In Attaining A Certification To Practice Acupressure

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Recently in Taichung, Taiwan, the China Medical University School of Nursing did a double-blind clinical trial on premature infants who were given meridian acupressure massage over a course of 10 days, 15 minutes each day, three times a day. During the procedures, which were administered before the feedings, the premature babies in the study group were given abdominal meridian massage, had their stomachs rubbed, and received other acupressure kneading procedures.

Researchers observed that both the control group (who were given standard care) and study group showed some significant improvements. At the first week of the trial, no marked difference between the two groups was observed; the week after, the weight of the infants in the study group was significantly higher than the control group. These outcomes are promising and seem to indicate that acupressure in Austin can be a beneficial mode of treatment that neonatal nurses can perform even in premature infants to stimulate growth and boost health.

What is acupressure?

Like acupuncture, acupressure originated from the ancient form of Chinese medicine. As a natural and noninvasive health care treatment, acupressure has been known to eliminate blockages from Chi (life energy/force). This promotes self-healing abilities and restores balance to the body.

Acupressure is a type of massage therapy and is also an energy medicine that does not cause pain. Furthermore, needles are not needed in this firm but gentle touch therapy.

FAQs about Acupressure

Besides aiding in the promotion of wellness and health among premature infants, acupressure is often used to help alleviate pain, boost blood flow, enhance the function of the immune system, lower stress, and bring back balance in the bodies of children as well as adults.

Some of the common health problems that acupressure can be useful in treating include arthritis, lumbar pain, fibromyalgia, and nausea (especially in patients with cancer), among many others.

Can Anyone Do Acupressure?

Although community courses are offered for learning basic acupressure procedures to heal oneself, there are a lot of colleges of Oriental Medicine and schools of massage therapy that provide certification programs for acupressure. Regardless if what’s offered is an individual training program or an advanced study in acupressure, the training basically involves the application and background of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) philosophies and of course, the acupressure treatment itself. Also included in the studies are pathology, physiology, anatomy, meridian treatment, and the theory of the Five Elements.

Acupressure certification on the national level is contingent upon the student passing of the Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) exam, which is provided by the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine). To ensure that your training meets all educational and State training requirements (National certification level) it is important that you first carefully examine your prospective course of study before enrolling in it.

The demand for massage therapy is growing by the day. This type of holistic treatment is vital to both allopathic medicine and holistic therapy practitioners. In the aforementioned clinical trial, nurses who have received training in acupressure therapy for infants are at an advantage in getting work in neonatal units. Veterinary technicians, veterinarians and other conventional medicine practitioners are integrating acupressure into their practice and get training to better handle the needs of their canine equine patients. Acupressure certification attained by massage therapists make these therapists better equipped to provide clients with more in-depth bodywork therapies; and thus by adding these educational credentials to their resume, they can earn a substantially higher income.

Written by Valerie

August 1st, 2017 at 7:59 am

Posted in Acupuncture

The Importance Of Nutritional Therapy In Chinese Medicine

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One of the foundations of Chinese medicine is Nutritional or Dietary therapy. Chinese medicine has been focusing on foods that have been curing illnesses for thousands of years.

With regard to nutritional therapy, Western medicine and Chinese medicine have at least one major difference. In Western medicine, nutritional therapy is seldom used to treat symptoms but it’s widely used for treating obesity and excess weight problems; in Chinese medicine, it is used to cure lots of diseases.

Another difference is that Chinese medicine not only takes into account the energies, flavors, and the movements of foods as it relates to various body organs but also the nutritional content of foods such as minerals, vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates.

There are five food flavors in Chinese medicine: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, and bitter. These flavors have an impact on the internal organs and not just give you the taste.

1. Sweet tasting foods can include watermelon, chestnut, beef, banana, and, of course, sugar. They all can affect your spleen and stomach. They can help address toxicity from other foods and slow down acute symptoms. Sweet foods, in Western medicine, tend to increase your weight due to the fact that they are loaded with “empty calories.” Practitioners of Chinese medicine believe that sweet foods can negatively affect your spleen and stomach and impair your digestive functions, which cause you to eat more and thus, increase your weight.

2. Sour tasting foods like plum, pear, lemon, and mango can impact your gallbladder and liver and block movements. They are ideal for controlling excessive sweating and for treating diarrhea.

3. Your bladder and kidneys can be affected if you regularly eat salty foods such as seaweed, kelp, and salt. These types of food can soften hardness, and therefore can be used for symptomatic treatment related to muscle tension and stiffness.

4. Foods that have a pungent flavor tend to affect the large intestine and lungs. They include peppermint, parsley, ginger, coriander, clove, and chive and they all impact the large intestine and lungs. Pungent tasting foods can boost energy circulation and induce perspiration.

5. You small intestine and heart can be affected by bitter tasting foods such as radish, lettuce, and bitter melon. These foods can dry body fluids and increase body heat. This may explain why herbs utilized to treat diarrhea and fever always have a bitter taste because of their “drying” properties.

One should note that there are foods that possess more than one flavor, which is quite common (i.e., pork is both sweet and salty).

Foods, according to Chinese medicine, are also considered for their energies because they can produce cold or heat; this means they generate sensation of cold or heat to the human body. Drinking a glass of water, for example, will make your body feel cold but only for a short while, the sensations from foods, on the other hand, lasts significantly longer.

Regardless if they’re cold or hot, foods tend to produce a more enduring sensation on the body. They have five energies: neutral, cool, warm, cold, or hot. Interestingly, even when served in hot water, tea generates cold energy. Even if it is chilled, pepper gives out hot energy. While corn has neutral energy, chicken provides warm energy that is neither cold nor hot. Correspondingly, if you tend to suffer from acute and severe arthritis pain in cold winter days, then, to lessen the cold in your joints, you need to eat more foods that generate warm or hot energy.

Foods also have four movements: the downward movement that resolves asthma or vomiting, the upward movement that treats diarrhea, the inward movement that treats bowel movements, and the outward movement that relieves pain and induces perspiration.

The basis of Chinese medicine is harmony and balance. Nutritional therapy in Vancouver can contribute greatly to good health through its movements, energies, and flavors. This type of therapy has been used by the Chinese in curing imbalances within the body for thousands of years.

Written by Valerie

August 1st, 2017 at 7:57 am

Posted in Acupuncture

Moxibustion And Acupuncture Are Often Used Alongside Each Other

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Moxibustion is often accompanied with acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). These two modalities are so intertwined with each other that in the Chinese language they referred to in one word, zhenjiu, zhen meaning needle and jiu meaning to burn. Recently, a new English word has been invented that contains these two words, acu-moxa.

Be that as it may, there are still innate differences between moxibustion and acupuncture in Encino that make it essential to view their beginnings from different perspectives.

A form of traditional Chinese medicine that remedies disorder and disease by vivifying the energy channels (meridians) and acupuncture points with heat, moxibustion has its roots directly associated with the discovery and application of fire by prehistoric man. All human being and animals dislike cold and incline towards warmth by instinct. This preference even extends to plants that display thermotoaxic or phototaxic qualties. Utilizing heat as a healing tool is universal, and this has been documented in several medical traditions including those of ancient Greece and Rome. Our prehistoric ancestors at some point in time found out about the usefulness of fire as a way to warm their bodies and to cook food. Eventually, they also discovered it can alleviate and even cure their illnesses.

When we are sick or in pain, we do not instinctively prick our bodies with needles as this may seem counterproductive. Most of us would rather avoid being pricked with needles, and we relate needling to injury and pain. A lot of animals and plants have instinctively gotten knowledge of this fact and so some of them have evolved quills or thorns as a way to defend themselves from predators. A certain level of physical trauma can come about from needling, and it does not matter how skilled or how extremely small or thin the needle the practitioner uses. Recently, there is a report showing that when a 0.2 mm diameter needle (the dimension of acupuncture needles used today) is stuck on a rabbit, 10 – 20 nerve fibers and 4 – 20 muscle fibers of the rabbit are damaged. The traumatic level was considerably higher during ancient times, when needles were significantly larger. Even less than ten decades ago, the size of the acupuncture needles used measured up to 2 mm in diameter.

One of the weirdest things about acupuncture is that the needles are often inserted distant and not on or near the part of the body that has a problem. It has been scientifically established that the direct use of warmth can alleviate local ailment. It has also been scientifically established why the need to bring about further trauma to an injured area is essential in certain situations, like when a broken bone must be put in place or when surgery is needed. But there seems to be no clear reason why acupuncture requires the sticking of needles into body parts distant from the site where the problem is. Acupuncture has one axiom that goes like this: To heal the upper, needle the lower. To relieve toothache, for example, acupuncturists usually use the Liver 4 (Li 4, Hegu) acupoint which is situated on the hand. Of course, newbies to the treatment would wonder what the hand has got to do with an aching tooth.

Acupuncture, admittedly, can sometimes be painful; nevertheless, it causes no lasting or significant injury when administered properly. A lot of people would be willing to brave the minor pain of needling in order to get rid of a bigger problem. Unfortunately, for some, acupuncture may seem really scary. This is especially true in Western societies where most people are ignorant of or misunderstand acupuncture. For example, the Encyclopedia Americana, a reputable source of information has an entry about acupuncture that contains a picture of more than 70 needles inserted into a man’s head. In real practice, an experienced and licensed acupuncturist would never needle in such an excessive and exaggerated manner.

Acupuncture is widely believed to have originated in China. The earliest mention of this treatment was a few hundred years just before the start of the Common Era. Sharpened bones and stones that date back to 6000 BCE are believed to have been used as instruments for acupuncture treatment. There are no treatment modalities matching or similar to it in the ancient healing traditions of other cultures. Today’s acupuncturists still manipulate needles in the same way and follow the same doctrines as their peers during the time of the Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor or Nei Jing, the earliest recorded document on acupuncture. Needling is still the main method used by acupuncturists despite the entry of non-invasive and painless techniques like point stimulation using shortwave or electricity or acupressure.

Written by Valerie

July 25th, 2017 at 6:01 am

Posted in Acupuncture

Chinese Diet Therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine

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One of the great things about Traditional Chinese medicine is the acknowledgement of individuality. This also applies to dietary factors. In Traditional Chinese medicine, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” dietary or herbal regimens. Everything is uniquely customized based on the person’s needs, and it’s acknowledged that each individual’s needs may differ significantly.

Balanced Diet and the Five Tastes

A balanced diet, from the viewpoint of traditional Chinese medicine, differs very much from that in Western society. A balanced diet in the Chinese system involves the inclusion of the five tastes – salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and spicy. Herbs and foods that have a specific taste are likely to have specific qualities. Bitter foods and herbs, for instance, are likely to be Cold and drying. Their qualities are thus considered to be useful in the treatment of Damp Heat conditions, but not appropriate for individuals who are too Dry and/or too Cold. A lot of these bitter foods and herbs possess antibiotic-like attributes. Salty foods and herbs, on the other hand, are likely to be moistening and warming. This makes them ideal for individuals suffering from Dryness and Cold, although in people with Damp and Hot, they should be cautiously utilized.

Besides those five main flavors, Chinese medicine also recognizes a bland taste. Bland tasting foods and herbs usually have the effect of draining Dampness and entering areas in the body where other tastes cannot enter. Some researchers make a distinction between astringent and sour rather than grouping both tastes under sour. Foods and herbs with sour taste oftentimes are moistening and possess heating energy. Astringent foods and herbs usually are drying and cooling. It’s important to note that these general observations about taste also have certain exceptions.

There are herbs and foods that can possess more than one taste. One herb that actually possesses all the five tastes is Wu Wei Hsi and is prized for this unique quality. In English, it is actually called Five Flavor Seed.

Proportion of the Tastes

A balanced diet from the Chinese perspective is one that includes all the five tastes. However, the proportion of the tastes tends to differ based on the season of year and the needs of the person. For someone with Deficient Yang, the person might require a higher percentage of foods that possess Yang energy compared to people without such deficiency. These foods containing Yang energy will furnish the person with Yang energy adequate enough to obtain the proper balance of Yin/Yang energy in his/her body. Conversely, a Yin Deficient person will require a higher percentage of foods having Yin energy. Sour, salty, and sweet herbs and foods are not recommended for someone with Dampness conditions since they generate moist in the body. If an individual has Dampness issues in his body, he obviously should not eat an abundant amount of herbs and foods that have moistening qualities that will only exacerbate the Dampness. However, these foods are beneficial for people with Dryness problems. (Here again, there are exceptions. The practitioner or therapist should bear that in mind if a person is too Cold or too Hot Cold. Sweet is usually cooling while sour and salty are oftentimes heating even though these three tastes tend to moisten. In instances of Damp Heat, Sour is likely to be more heating compared to salty so therefore, be careful with Sour).

For people with excessive Damp, foods with bitter, spicy, and/or astringent tastes can be very good for their condition and fair for people with excessive Dryness. You should also take into account the herb/food’s thermal energy. The foods and herbs that are astringent are usually cooling, but the bitter herbs even more cooling than the astringent. On the other hand, spicy foods and herbs are usually very heating.

Yin and Yang Foods

Thus, we can see that traditional Chinese medicine is, in large part, all about balancing out opposites. Foods and herbs packed with Yang energy are recommended for people with Deficient Yang. During the most Yin time of the year, winter, eating a lot of Yang foods is advised while during the most Yang time of the year, which is summer, eating a lot of Yin foods is appropriate. It is sometimes also a good thing to be in harmony with the season –eating Yang foods and eating Yin foods during summer and winter respectively, are sometimes good. All these will depend on the needs of the person.

As a rule, veggies are categorized as Yin while meats are Yang. Also the preparation of the food can also be a factor in how much Yin or Yang energy the food will have. Yang is increased in frying while Yin becomes the more dominant energy in foods that are steamed. Therefore, steamed veggies are more Yin, while stir-fried veggies are more Yang. Yang Deficient individuals are more likely to prefer stir-fry veggies while, on the other hand, people who are Deficient in Yin would likely find eating steamed veggies beneficial than eating stir-fried ones. Foods that are served warm and cooked tend to be more warming compared to foods that are cold and raw. Celery that is cooked stir-fried and served warm, for instance, has a very Yang and warming quality compared to raw celery that is served in cold salad.

The Fives Tastes and the Organ Systems of the Body

Furthermore, some tastes or flavors have an association with some of the Organ systems in the body. Salty flavor, for example, is associated with the Bladder and Kidneys. Foods are sometimes salted in order to derive the attributes of the food to the Kidneys. For people suffering from Kidney imbalances, it’s traditionally believed that adding a little bit of salt to herbal teas can help tonify the Kidneys. The Gallbladder and Liver are especially affected by the taste of sour (although you need to be careful for Damp Heat or gallstones that cause problems in the Liver.) Sweet affects the Abdomen and Spleen (Pancreas-Spleen), spicy for the Large Intestine and Lungs, and Small Intestine and the Heart the taste of Bitter.

In traditional Chinese medicine, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” or forbidden diet or foods. Sugar can be sometimes used an herbal remedy for people who need it. (In the US, this almost never occurs, but in other cultures, sugar is considered a form of medicine. The extreme overuse of sugar in the US has caused this substance to be classified as a type of “poison”).

The Fallacy of the “One Size Fits All” Paradigm

Because Western societies believe that people are all the same, they believe in the “one size fits all” paradigm. Thus, they wrongly assume a diet that works for one individual can also work for other people. Salt, for example is dangerous for people with high blood pressure and so, a low salt diet will be recommended for these people. But for people suffering from Neurally Mediated Hypotension or adrenal inadequacy, a low salt diet can be incredibly harmful for their health. Most individuals need to drink a lot of water, but this can be harmful for people suffering from epilepsy, (that is, if they do not accompany it by eating even a small amount of food like a biscuit or cracker). There are people who need to eat a considerable amount of fat more than others. This is especially true among children who are likely to develop growth and health problems especially if their parents think that limiting fat in their diets can be detrimental to their health. Certain individuals have beyond normal needs for certain minerals or vitamins due to pathogenic weaknesses in their systems or genetics. For example, goiter can be caused by iodine deficiency, but too much iodine can bring about hyperthyroidism.

But you can also consume the wrong foods at the wrong time and exacerbate an existing illness.

Certain measures should be considered when selecting foods especially if they are eaten over a long period of time on a regular basis as these foods can have a long-term and profound effect on the functions of the body. The same measures should be applied when using a specific herbal treatment over a considerable period of time. From the viewpoint of both traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine, following a varied diet is generally good for overall health and well-being.

For people suffering from chronic pain, the use of sour taste should be limited as it can affect the nerves and harm the Liver.

In diseases related to the bone, the overconsumption of bitter foods should be avoided as this taste tends to negatively affect the bones.

The muscles are especially affected by sweet taste and so taking in too much sweet can lead to muscle weakness.

The Blood can dry from salty taste and so for people with deficient Blood, this taste should be avoided.

The pungent taste disperses vital energy (Chi) and so should not be taken where there is deficient Chi.

In general, salty taste affects the Kidneys; pungent taste affects the Lungs; sweet taste influences the Spleen; bitter taste, the heart; and sour taste, the Liver. Therefore, you should not consume bitter foods if you have a diseased Lung; sweet foods should be avoided if you Kidney is weak; sour foods should not be eaten if your Spleen is diseased; if your Heart is diseased, avoid salty foods; and pungent foods are not recommended for people with diseased Lungs.

You may be wondering about the limitation on sour for Spleen conditions when the Liver actually has an association with the sour taste, the limitation on salty foods for people with Heart disease when salty has a relationship with the Kidneys, spicy food for people with Liver problems when spicy has a relationship with the Lungs, etc. These limitations are explained in the Victor-Vanquished law of the five Elements.

The Victor-Vanquished Law

This law or rule basically refers to the inverse relationship of the Organ systems each other. In a Victor-Vanquished relationship, when one gets weakened, the other gets stronger and vice-versa. If, for example excess energy builds up in the Liver, it can invade the Spleen. In traditional Chinese medicine, this condition is called Liver Invading the Spleen (since the Liver is too powerful – it can assault the Spleen as the Spleen is substantially weak). And so, when Liver invades the Spleen, it can significantly harm digestion and can be painful. If you eat or drink something sour (which is related to the Liver) and you have a weak Spleen, you invigorate the Liver but weaken the Spleen. This is the Victor-Vanquished relationship at work in the Liver and the Spleen. From time to time, in these relationships, a Vanquished Element will reverse the outcome on the Element that normally is the Victor. When this occurs, the term “Insulting” is used. In this instance, it is the Spleen (Earth Element) Insulting Liver (Wood Element).

Health’s first line of defense is diet and in traditional Chinese, this matters a lot. In certain instances, before the healing herbs are prescribed or before the herbs can work properly, the person may need to rectify his diet first.

Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.

Written by Valerie

July 25th, 2017 at 5:59 am

Posted in Acupuncture