Health Intuitive

Music And The Five Elements Theory

The Five Elements theory is the organizing of all facets of the phenomenological world into categories of Metal, Earth, Wood, Water, and Fire. Its theories became inseparably intertwined with the I-Ching or the principle of changes of Yin Yang, in 202 B.C., during the Han Dynasty. The Book of Changes Cycle of Elemental Music states that Water, Fire, Wood, Metal, and Earth correspond with the kidney, heart, liver, lung, and spleen respectively. Certain musical modalities also correspond with these body organs. Through the use of instrumentation, intensity, texture, and rhythm, these modalities (Yu, Ji, Cheu, Shang, and Kung) of ancient Chinese music, help in bringing in better efficient organ function.


The music associated with Water reinforces and resonates with the kidney organ-system. It can be used to treat high blood pressure, ear problems, and swelling.


The music associated with Fire strengthens and resonates with the heart organ-system, regulating the pulse.


The music related to Wood strengthens and resonates with the liver organ system, calming restlessness and nervousness in sleep.


The music related to Metal strengthens and resonates with the respiratory system and the lungs. It can help resolve all respiratory system discomfort and difficulties.


The music related to Earth strengthens and resonates with the pancreas/spleen organ-system, enhancing digestion and bolstering appetite. It also invigorates the Chi, a Chinese concept of balancing energy balance within each person.


The music associated with Regimen is made up of the principle of the five main elements — a lively balance of earth, fire, water, wood, and metal. This kind of music is appropriate for daily regimen and health-keeping.

Yin Music

Most helpful for people whose physical abilities are predisposed to Yang temperament. It matches people who are easily agitated, sturdy, strong, and people who suffer from paranoia, anxiety, and insomnia. People working and living in a male dominated environment are urged to listen to Yin Music.

Yang Music

This is for emotional/physical type people are predisposed to Yin temperament (i.e., people born with physical defects, who are timid, sensitive to cold, undernourished, or with weakening bodily functions, etc.). People working and living in humidity or darkness or in an environment dominated by females must replenish their masculine energies by listening to Yang Music.

Dr. Jignesh Panchal is an acupuncturist in Winter Park, FL who customizes treatment plans using Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine or Ozone Therapy.

Muscle Strength And Chi

According to the principles of Tai Chi, we establish an internal pattern of nerve and muscle activation which may feel like some sort of movement inside our bodies that will be sensed in different ways for each individual. This sensation tends to follow the path of the associated muscular action and sequential nerve stimulation – in other words, the habitual pattern that moving actually generates is an internal pattern that’s quite significant on a rather alternatively random environment that can then turn into a way of directing our development by observing the way the sensation progresses with practice and the manner we’re able to function in the world (e.g. in daily normal tasks and with other people). As a result, we can expect this sensation to become more defined and more noticeable as we practice.

This feeling, which we call Chi, can therefore provide us with a means to evaluate our body usage and to know the parts around us by which we can effectively function and to do so with strength and balance. This sets up a wide range of personal space that’s very organic in shape depicting various capabilities and scores of good abilities and scores of not so good as well as an outer limit of minimal skill (that can be quite close to the body or a long way out from it).

This comfort zone volume of operation describes the ways by which we can relate to others in a fight – that we should remain within the ranges of maximum ability and to lead our foe into areas of weakness so that we can establish control – we attain this by depriving them of their balance – by what is known as “finding their center” while simultaneously preventing them to do the same thing to us.

We neutralize and control when we unbalance our opponents making their attack futile.

In cultivating this sequential, segmental, whip-like motion, we carefully and slowly practice to bring about specified electrical pathways and neurological patterns.

The way of moving with internal power or Chi requires that the body move with each joint and muscle changing ever so slightly – allowing the best use of the fibers (that are more powerful and more efficient and at small changes near their mid-point) and working with the joints around their most effective angles and range of operation to generate the greatest leverage possible. Small unified motions prove to be more sensitive and stronger in application – and at the same time can be a bit gentler on the body.

This allows for greatest use of whatever muscle strength is ready for use and explains why for disabled and old people, Tai Chi is a very valuable practice – since it prepares us to exploit the use of the things we have.

The level of physical development and skill that a few practitioners of Tai Chi have can help preserve this style of functioning. And even with very low and extended postures, the level of physical development and skill makes it possible to attain skills with sufficient practice.

However, we still require powerful muscles when we desire to utilize power in order to counter the programming. To attain this, we need to cultivate the control system – i.e. the way of moving – before striving to build up power. From the viewpoint of people who’ve been practicing external martial arts forms, this can be interesting since it implies that until we have set up the Chi based flow of an internal control power system, we should set strength aside and concentrate on the soft details we have developed – the Chi based movement of an internal control power system. We should “invest in loss” as the Tai Chi masters tell us.

How is this dealt in Tai Chi?

Basically, Tai Chi is a structured program that originates from a very pragmatic and practical perspective that takes us through each natural stage which is designed to deal with external energies and change.

Kung Fu is a repetitive practice of fluid exercises and forms done every day involving consideration, observation, effort, exercise, and refining. It strives to cultivate the body and mind in a cyclical manner – developing skill first – then physical capacity – then skill again – then physical capacity and so on and so forth. At each cycles or step, there is expansion of physical ability or skill into the space generated on the previous cycle.

Chi Kung and Meditation – training body and mind independent of each other – and to cooperate together, both unconsciously and consciously

The six harmonies – establishing harmonious movement internally and externally including proper concentration on balance and posture

Partner work or pushing hands – We train jointly to elevate our skill level in Tai Chi partner practice – hence the relationship is a bit mixed in its intent – on one side, to disrupt and unbalance and on the other side, to do so in a creative manner that allows both parties to observe and grasp.

Sung state of mind and body – attaining a level of Wuji or potentiality and the power to instinctively produce harmonious movement

The eight energies (peng, kao, lu, zhou, ji, lie, cai, an) – Jin – means of applying energy from the extremely lightest to the strongest – ward off, body stroke, elbow, press, split, pluck, push.

Adhere, stick, follow and continue (nian, zhan, sui, lian)

Going down into emptiness – the skill to create emptiness we develop for the foe to fall into – so they are susceptible to the issuing of explosive power – Fajin.

Seasoned teachers whom we model to our own movement and to provide opportunities and examples for us to learn and practice skill

Words related to Taoist philosophy:

1. Wuji – being in a condition of potentiality
2. Wuwei resuting in Tai Chi – automatic generation from a condition of potentiality resulting in immediate harmonious action
3. Meditation in the style of Zen Buddhism – that promotes a mindful way of being.
4. Wuji – coming back to potentiality

Tai Chi practice physically speaking promotes development of tissue in a number of areas:

1. Major mobilizing muscles- by alleviating these mobilizing muscles, they are allowed to relax and can then can be strengthened in line with Qi style movement.
2. Support tissues- ligaments, tendons, joint capsules, fasciae, slow twitch components of major muscles, small internal support muscles, etc. are worked in such a way that they become more resilient and stronger.
3. Bones – through regular load based exercises from Chi Kung partner work and forms and the use of gravity, the strength and health of bones are maintained.

All these are offered by Tai Chi, which simultaneously encourages us to think deeply and observe about why it works and what we are doing.

Jamie Catlett is an acupuncturist in Jacksonville, FL and the founder of Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic.

Lower Your Cholesterol Levels By Following A Few Healthy Tips

To lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, most people would prefer using natural alternative treatments instead of drugs such as statins. The following is a couple of recommendations formulated by dietitians and doctors to help people manage their cholesterol levels.

1. Add more fiber in your diet

Research shows that people who have the lowest rates of heart disease in the world tend to be the ones who eat a diet that is low in fats and rich in fiber. Some fascinating studies by the Cornell University traced the eating habits of over 6500 people in China. What they discovered was that the traditional Chinese diet contained a high amount of unrefined carbohydrates that’s low in fat (less than 16 % of calories) and high with fiber (comprising about 76 percent of the calories). The researchers observed that this diet was connected to rare instances of cardiovascular-related diseases and low levels of cholesterol.

A vital part of this research involved the foods that are high in fiber content. They observed that eating a minimum of 36 – 50 grams of total fiber each day led to the reduction of LDL cholesterol. Foods such as garbanzo and black beans, potatoes and sweet potatoes, beans or legumes, peas, yams, barley, oats, and oat bran have shown to be great sources of soluble fiber. Veggies such as carrots, beets, okra, and eggplant have also been proven to be excellent sources of soluble fiber.

2. Stay from foods that are high in trans fats

People should minimize their intake of foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats and need to stay away from foods that contain trans fats. The National Cholesterol Education Program, the American Heart Association, and other leading heart-health institutions in the US have stated that diets rich in trans fats and saturated fats tend to elevate blood cholesterol levels in people that can lead to leading to inflamed and clogged arteries and atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is one of the deadliest and unfortunately most common diseases in the US. It is also the main cause of strokes and heart attacks. It’s very important to refrain from eating the following unhealthy foods:

• Trans fats – found in partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable shortening, and margarine
• Cholesterol – this can be found in cheese, meat, and other animal products
• Saturated fats – found in palm oil, butter oil, coconut oil, meat fats, and milk fats

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

Cooling Herbs To Relieve The Hot Flashes Related To Menopause

While menopause is not a disease, its annoying symptoms can last for many years. So far, all existing treatments are designed to treat hormonal imbalances. Since the Women’s Health Initiative study of 2002, menopause experts have been endlessly debating the advantages of bio-identical hormones and the dangers of artificial hormones.

These days, women seeking relief from their menopause symptoms are searching for safer hormones without realizing the bottom-line: Hormonal therapies are just short term solutions for their symptoms.

A result of aging and degeneration of multiple systems, menopause is usually treated with conventional approaches that emphasize a one-chemical solution that merely hides the symptoms without treating the underlying cause: the positive effects vanish once the patient stops taking the hormones. Therefore, she may be required to take hormones for many years during menopause transition.

What treatment provides enduring benefits for menopause?

Exercise and a healthy diet are essential, but they may not be enough to relieve your hot flashes. You can use natural herbs if you savor the thought of using fewer synthetics and more natural ingredients. Cool herbs for hot flashes are the real secrets of true Chinese wisdom.

A woman’s body systems are the causes of her hot flashes. Taking cool herbs is like pouring cold water into hot water to balance the temperature. If the intake of sugar and fat is reduced, the balanced temperature of the body will last for a long time. But if those hot flashes return after weeks or months, this is because your body systems has a build of heat again; the herbal remedy to cool the hot body systems can be repeated again. Just pour cold water into hot water once more. To cool down the hot flashes related to your menopause, you may therefore only need a number of months for your body to cool down.

Balance Within – Integrative Acupuncture
16200 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 478-9401


Clearing Out Cellular Memory With Chua Ka Therapy

The self massage therapy practiced by the Huns is called Chua Ka. The Huns believed Chu ka could help increase success in battle.

These days, this massage form is used to remove cellular memory and boost success in whatever personal battles one faces.

Physical remembrances that were not cleared on the mental and emotional level is called cellular memory. These experiences can come in the form of past injuries, but usually it is merely that annoying recurring ache that’s felt once in a while.

During massage, people can sometimes become emotional because massage can clear or trigger cellular memory. Some clients have reacted emotionally all of a sudden because the emotions that have been blocked are now finding a way to express itself.

Most massage therapists often do not know what their client is experiencing, and they do not need to know. More often than not, the client feels better emotionally after the emotional release, and the body begins to experience a greater range of movement and motion in the area worked on that set off the emotion.

Based on my experience as a massage therapist, I find that people have more range of motion in their lives as afterward. In other words, a clearing out of cellular memory is usually followed by a new response to an experience that has already occurred usually in the lifetime of the person.

For instance, if a person played softball once as a kid and his arm was hit by the ball, and he wasn’t able to articulate the pain that he was feeling at the time (perhaps, because of embarrassment), until it is released, he carries that cellular memory around. If someone comes to me and begins to cry when his/her arm is massaged, the next time that person is asked to play softball, he/she might agree to play despite the fact that, before the emotional release, the same person would probably have refused.

Chua Ka was practiced by the Huns because they believed that if they were still holding on to old experiences and issues on an energetic level, the warrior would psychically, mentally, and emotionally hold back from exercising the best warriorship that he could when facing the challenge of a new battle.

The Healing Art of Chua Ka

Put at least an hour aside as Chua Ka tends to be a very slow process. To finish cleaning every bone in their body, the Huns would spend several hours; these days, however, therapists trained in the art of Chua Ka would start at the client’s feet (since each foot has 26 bones, this may take some time) and work their way up. Compared to rushing through the whole body, taking one’s time to perform Chua Ka can bring about better results.

For many therapists Chua Ka, is considered some sort of a special ritual. They may advice the client to take a salt bath prior to the massage, drop a few drops of aromatherapy essential oils into a burner and then light some candles and then listen to the sounds of nature or an instrumental music on a CD. For greater energetic healing support, crystals may also be placed around the client.

For about five minutes, tell the client relax and breathe deeply. If they know how to ground their energy, this is a fine time to do that. If the client does not know how to ground his or her energy, as best as possible, be conscious of the energy field around you. Visualize a bubble of colored light or white bubble ten feet in all directions floating around you, and that you see a cord that connects you to the earth’s center coming out of the end of your vertebrae, and another cord that connects you to the the infinite heavens coming out of the top of your head.

Thrive Wellness Center
1244 S Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: (954) 713-6118

Home with specials

Acupressure For Labor Pain – The Role Of The Partner

Around the events of pregnancy and childbirth, mother usually gets the lion’s share of attention, having countless appointments, drugs, dates, and responsibilities to remember and keep. For the father, it might be an inviting notion to just relax, sit back and, think that he has no urgent obligations, or feel worried that his ongoing subdued role will make him unprepared for fatherhood and redundant during labor.

This is partly the way it should be, obviously: The mother needs to bear the obligation of sustaining her unborn baby until the time comes for the baby to be born. The baby needs to eat well, he or she needs to furnished with the building blocks that would develop his or her brain and body; the baby should be sustained with adequate prenatal care to ensure that both Mom and baby remain healthy; the mother abstains from eating certain things that could expose her baby to harmful elements. And that’s not even an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination. But, while mother remains in the center of public attention throughout her pregnancy, this shouldn’t excuse the father of performing various things in order to assist mother – prepare himself to be the best father he can be and be truly useful during labor.

Soon as the baby makes his/her mother mindful of his presence, Dad usually makes it a point to respond to his new responsibilities. His first task is usually assisting mother with her morning sickness, and a lot of Dads has had to make a midnight run to pick up weird assortments of food to satiate the cravings of mother. The health of the child can be well cared for by Dad by reminding mother to take her prenatal vitamins, drink lots of water, get enough rest, and eat well. The mother may also find it comforting that father accompanies her to her prenatal doctor appointments. And of course, dad may also need to ask whether he meets Mom’s needs if not all, most of the time.

A lot of couples usually decide to take a class on childbirth together. Since women will usually have their partners or husbands as their partner to support them during labor, it is only right that they learn about the labor and delivery processes together. In the childbirth class, they usually learn the correct relaxation and breathing techniques that will be of great help to the mother when labor time comes. The father may have the option of catching the baby as it is born (this will depend on the doctor) — these are the classes in which both mother and father can examine their options for how much the father can be involved in the actual birth.

With some training, father can have the option of being very useful come labor time. Acupressure labor techniques are simple, can be easily learned, and can provide a way of helping mother undergo her labor expeditiously. The technique of acupressure for labor may sound a bit complicated, but this therapy is simply a certain way of touching the body: palms and fingers massage some pressure points on a person’s body bringing about specific and easy to foretell outcomes. Father can help induce labor with a set of points (you shouldn’t try this before 40 weeks) if the mother’s labor just doesn’t seem to want to start. Dad can provide relief of mom’s pain by massaging and touching a different set of acupoints once labor is on its way. There are some acupoints father can stimulate to try to overcome the hitch if Mom’s labor is delayed.

The father can finally read up on childcare methods, help spruce up a nursery, and usually think about his objectives as he raises his child. Before one can be totally prepared, they’ll definitely be putting all of those knowledge and things to good use.

Are you tired and overdue? You can naturally stimulate your labor at home and refrain from medical induction. Acupressure for labor therapy is an easy and simple technique that has proven to be safe and ideal for both the baby and mother.

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

Cool Yourself Down With Spicy Foods And A Warm Beverage

Humans are endothermic mammals or warm-blooded mammals, which are scientific ways of saying (independent of the environment) we can control our body temperature. We are able to achieve this because of our bodies’ ability to continually generate heat from our metabolism (chemical processes within).

How does this work?

In order for our bodies to function properly, we need a well functioning metabolic process. This includes digestive functions that break down nutrients from food, transport and absorption of the cells of those nutrients, and their transformation into building blocks of energy needed for physical activity.

The heat generated can be useful when the environment cools down, but when external temperatures increase, it’s important to prevent ourselves from overheating. While eating something cold such as ice cream, may seem a good idea to lower temperature, its initial cooling effect is quickly substituted by heat coming from digestive functions required to dissolve the nutrients in the ice cream. Ingesting foods rich in calories will result in a rise in body temperature.

Ice cream, therefore, is not really a good way to cool down.

How about cold drinks?

The transfer of heat between the digestive system and a cold drink can directly affect temperature. But this may depend on the caloric content of the drink and its temporary effect.

As a small amount of drink gets warmed up by the surrounding organs, it will lose its cooling ability quite rapidly. Also, drinking lots of cold drinks can cause flow of blood to slow down, making it less effective to transport heat throughout the body.

As one can imagine, drinks such as soft drinks having enormous amounts of calories will have the same effect as ice cream that set about our metabolism immediately after ingestion generating heat.

Cold drinks have cooling qualities that are likelier to be made clear by their effects on rehydration. A build up of heat can cause the body to lose excess heat by moving it away from the internal organs to the surface of the skin where it is directly dispersed to the environment via radiation and convection.

As mentioned before, cold drinks have cooling qualities that are likelier to be made clear by their effects on rehydration. This occurs when the ambient temperature is lower than our body temperature.

The fastest way our bodies lose heat is through sweating. It happens when the brain detects the rise in temperature in the core of our body, which reacts by activating the sweat glands scattered throughout the body to generate sweat.

Sweat or perspiration on the surface of the skin dries up, causing the cooling down of the skin (aka evaporative cooling). The blood circulating near the skin surface meanwhile gets cooled helping lower the body’s core temperature.

An adult, on average, may lose up to ½ to one liter of perspiration each day. However In hot environments, this can rise to about a liter just within half an hour. This is why it’s important to keep yourself rehydrated during hot weather.

Another Better Approach

Can alcoholic drinks cool you sufficiently? On a hot summer day, lots of people reach for a cold beer to help themselves cool down. Alcohol however, is a diuretic and this means that it can reduce the water content in your body thereby lessening your ability to lose heat through perspiration.

This may come as a surprise but warm beverages can be an ideal way to help you keep cool down. While it may be counter intuitive, drinking a warm beverage causes the receptors in your throat and mouth to stimulate a sweating reaction enabling you to cool down without having to drink lots of warm liquids.

Spicy foods have active ingredients that have similar effects as warm beverages; they also activate a perspiration reaction that helps the body to cool off. This is the reason these kinds of foods are widely used in tropical environments.

Therefore, while you can refresh and satisfy yourself with cold treats, eating spicy foods to get your sweat on is the best way to cool down and, most importantly to rehydrate.

Complementary Healthcare
1000 Valley Forge Cir #105
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(484) 392-7023

What Practice Is Best For You, Chi Kung Or Tai Chi?

Qigong and Taiji share one thing in common. They are both mind-body-spirit practices, including the distinct way they are spelled. This article will use Tai Chi/Taiji and Chi Kung/Qigong which may be both different spellings but still mean the same thing. They also have other key differences as well. What practice is best for you will depend on how you answer the following questions.

1. Are you interested in learning self defense?

Tai chi translated means ‘ Ultimate Supreme Fist.’ In the past, this practice was primarily designed for the martial arts that just happened to provide energy and health benefits. However, Tai Chi is now mainly practiced for its energy and health benefits; for some, it is practiced as a martial art.

While not a martial art, chi kung has special types of practice that can be used to enhance self-defense capabilities although it does not provide any self defense benefits. Chi Kung is mainly performed to develop spiritual and mental cultivation, enhance energy, and boost health.

2. How much free time do you need to learn the moves?

The main similarity between chi kung and tai chi is that they are a mix of mind, energy, and form. This implies that external gentle forms or movements are often coordinated with breathing techniques and practice in a contemplative state of mind.

While a set of Tai Chi typically comprises 24 – 108 distinct patterns, a set of qigong has three or four patterns. This implies that learning one set of Tai Chi takes a considerable longer time to master than a tai chi set and what we mean by a considerable longer time is months. The reason for this is besides not only do you have to remember ‘what comes next?,’ you should also be able to move from one pattern to the next in a flowing manner. People who practice tai chi usually commit their entire life to mastering one set of tai chi. If you have the time to invest in tai chi, then that’s absolutely fine.

On the other hand, a set of chi kung involves significantly fewer patterns, which means it can be mastered in a much easier and quicker way.

3. Are you interested in learning complex theory?

The Taoist practice of Tai Chi can be very confusing and complex, often intentionally so. The reason for this is that this art was originally taught in a very personal way (face to face by master to student). Because of this, the students comprehended what ‘bring chi to the dan tien’ meant and other esoteric terms and they, first and foremost, learned how to do it.

When one deems that such information was very valuable and usually attained at huge personal cost, it was then essential to keep it hidden so that only the initiated could correctly apply and understand the concepts even if this information fell into the wrong hands.

There are a lot of very complex theories to be mastered if you wish to become a Tai chi master and they can only be learned and applied when learned from a master of those theories. Such masters have always been rare and hard to find.

Chi kung theory, on the other hand, is relatively simple to perform when compared to Taiji. From Chi Kung’s point of view, there is just one disease and this disease is an issue dealing with energy. Disease, regardless of what name we give, it is deemed to be the result of obstructions to balanced flow of energy of the meridians or energy channels of the body. Chi Kung strives to eliminate these obstructions or obstacles and once balanced flow of energy is brought back good health will be also restored.

However, that’s just the initial step. Chi kung then boosts the circulation of energy once balanced flow of energy is brought back which then restores vitality. Finally, Chi Kung develops a wealth of energy which then extends your longevity.

Probably, the biggest benefit of chi kung is that as long as you practice it properly, there is no other theory that you need in order to benefit from its practice.

The main difference between chi kung and tai chi is that if taught properly, the latter can be used for self defense, whereas the former cannot. If there is no need to defend yourself, then the best way to decide between practicing Chi Kung or Tai Chi is to ask yourself how much time you can allocate to their practice. Chi Kung is probably the better choice if you haven’t much time to spare.

One ideal way to choose between chi kung and tai chi, if you still are undecided, is to attend a chi kung and tai chi class and see which you prefer. On this decision, you should trust your instincts.

Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac.
Asian Health Center
27059 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy
Cleveland, OH 44143
Tel: (440) 833-0983

The Different Classifications Of Food In Chinese Nutritional Therapy

Aliment, nourishment, or nutrition, is the stockpile of food needed by cells and organisms to survive and thrive. In Chinese Medicine, nutritional therapy is a system that provides clients the right dietary choice combining food-like Chinese herbs and pertinent foods.

Foods, from the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, are arranged in a manner similar to herbal food therapies. For instance, we have foods with hot, warm, cool, and cold properties. We have foods that that help drain or dispel the pathogenic elements and we also have foods that nourish our bodies. When a pattern of disharmony is recognized by a practitioner, in addition to acupuncture treatments in Bellmore, specific foods are recommended to either destroy the pathogenic factors or tonify the body. We have Chinese herbs that are acceptable to be eaten as foods. These are known as food-like herbs and they are often mild, with zero or minimal side effect even when taken in the long term. According to the State Administration of Drugs of China, there are more than 60 herbs that are deemed food-like herbs. In Chinese nutritional therapy, these herbs can be indicated as part of the daily diets of the patient.

Commonly Eaten Foods that can be considered as Chinese Medicines

Chinese nutritional therapy involves the use of food-like herbs and foods in order to address disease illness and encourage health.

In Western dietary therapy, foods are assessed for their nutritional contents. These include vitamins, proteins, and calories. In both Western dietary therapy and Chinese nutritional therapy, foods as well as herbs are categorized into hot, warm, cold, and cold energies with five flavors. They can be prepared and appropriately chosen to regulate the balance of yin and yang of the body, eliminate pathogenic factors, and tonify the body.

The healing effects of foods with Different Thermal Properties (hot, warm, neutral, cool, and cold) and Flavors

The energy that foods generate refers to their ability to create sensations – either cold or hot – in the body. Neutral, cool, warm, hot, and cold are the five types of energy, and this pertains not to the food’s physical state but on its impact on the human body. Foods with cold or cool quality are usually indicated to patients with heat or warm constitutions or patients categorized as heat patterns. Foods with hot or warm quality are usually indicated for patients classified as cold patterns or patients with a cold constitution. Foods are also indicated based on their functions and flavor. When it comes to the aspect of nutrition, a balanced diet is of course the most important factor.

Foods with pungent flavor tend to bolster circulations, distributions, and perk up appetite.

Pungent tasting foods include among others wine, onion leeks, Sichuan peppercorn, green onion, garlic, Chinese radish, celery, mustard seed coriander, Chinese chives, kumquat fresh ginger, , tangerine peel radish leaf, spearmint, sweet peppers, turnips, chili pepper, leaf mustard, taro, cinnamon, Shanghai cabbage, and tangerine peel.

Foods with sweet flavor tend to nourish and lubricate the body, neutralize the toxicity of other foods, and impede acute reactions. Examples of sweet foods are abalone, carps, longan aril, lotus seed, grapes, chestnut, cherry, pears, apple, milk, peanut, sugar cane, corn, wheat, rice, soybean, peas, glutinous rice, carrot, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, taro, shiitake mushroom, dates, and honey.

With their astringent quality, sour foods can help prevent heavy sweating, emission, diarrhea and other irregular fluid seepage from the body. Examples of sour foods include royal jelly, lemon, vinegar, tomatoes, tangerines, strawberry, pomelo, pomegranate, plums, pineapple, pears, peaches, papaya, oranges, olives, mango, loquat fruit, hawthorn fruit, grapes, and apple.

Foods classified as bitter tend to bolster depressing effects like bowel movements and urination, boost appetite, dry dampness, and eliminate heat. Examples of bitter foods include coffee, bitter gourd, wine, wild cucumber, vinegar, turnips, tea leaf, seaweed, plum kernel, pig’s liver, peach kernel, lotus leaf, lily bulb, Indian lettuce, gingko, bergamot, asparagus, arrowhead, and apricot seed.

Foods that are salty can emolliate intestines to stimulate bowel movements, tonify blood, soften hardness, and deplete accumulations. Examples of salty foods are cuttlefish, amaranths, seaweed, sea shrimps, sea cucumber, sea clams, razor clam, preserved jellyfish, pork, pigeon’s egg, pig’s organs, pig’s bone marrow, pig’s blood, oyster, millet, laver, kelp, ham, field snail, duck meat, dried mussel, crabs, barley, and abalone

Cold Foods

Soya sauce, bamboo shoot, wild rice stem, watermelon, watercress, water spinach, water chestnut, tomato, sugar cane, star fruit, sprouts, snails, seaweed, sea clams, salt, root of kudzu vine, preserved jellyfish, pomelo, pig’s bone marrow, persimmon, mulberry, lotus root, lettuces, kelp, grapefruit, cuttlefish, crabs, chrysanthemum, bitter gourd, banana, arrowhead, and angled luffa

Cool Foods

Barley, millet, buckwheat, wheat, eggplant, coix seed, wax gourd, cucumber, Chinese radish, loofah, celery, lettuce root, broccoli, peppermint, leaf mustard, cauliflower, Peking cabbage, spinach, amaranth, Chinese cabbage, lily bulb, Indian lettuce, , mung bean, pea, muskmelon, apple, pears, coconut, pineapple, orange, strawberry, loquat fruit, tangerine, papaya, mango, tea leaf, water caltrop, mushrooms, bean curb, duck egg, lily flower, pig skin, egg white, conch, rabbit meat, sesame oil, frogs, yogurt, cheese, and cream.

Neutral Foods

Sugar, round-grained rice, honey, white fungus, turnips, sweet potato, sunflower seed, soybeans, soybean milk, shiitake mushroom, sea shrimps, sea eels, royal jelly, rock sugar, radish leaf, quail egg, quail, potato, pork, plums, pistachio nut, peanut, oyster, olives, milk, lotus seed, loach, lemon, grapes, goose, fuzzy melon, fig, egg yolk, duck, corn, taro, cashew nut, carrot, cabbage, black sesame, black fungus, beetroot, beef, adzuki beans

Warm Foods

Chinese chives, coriander, wine, walnut, vinegar, venison, vegetable oil, tobacco, sword bean, sword bean, sweet peppers, sweet basil, star anise, spearmint, sparrow egg, sparrow, Sichuan peppercorn, sea cucumber, rosemary, rose bud, raspberry, pumpkin, pomegranate, pine nut, pig’s liver, peach, osmanthus flowers, onion, nutmeg, mutton, mussels, maltose, longan fruit, lobster, litchi, leeks, jasmine, ham, hairtail, green onion, goose egg, goat milk, glutinous rice, ginger (fresh), garlic, Garland chrysanthemum, fresh water shrimps, fresh water eels, fennel, dill seed, dates, cumin, coffee, clove, chicken, chestnut, cherry, carps, brown sugar, asparagus, apricot, and abalone.

Hot Foods

Mustard seed black pepper, ginger (dried), chili pepper, cinnamon, and mustard seed.

There are foods that may possess a bland flavor or foods with two kinds of flavors. Bland Foods often tend to bring about urination and can be used as diuretic. Wax gourd and coix seed, for example, can be utilized for this aim.

Moreover, there are foods that have a powerful scent that are considered “aromatic.” They include citrus fruits, peppermint, coriander, fennel, and basil. Eat these to stimulate the spleen’s circulation (In Chinese medicine, the spleen is the organ responsible for digestion, not the Western medicine concept of spleen), detoxify, eliminate turbidity and dampness, promote energy circulation, and boost appetite.

When Is Used Moxibustion Therapy Used?

A type of heat therapy, moxibustion uses dried plant ingredients called “moxa” which is burned very near or on the surface of the skin. It is designed to eliminate a number of pathogenic influences as well as invigorate and warm the flow of Chi in the body.

Usually made from the dried leafy ingredient of Chinese mugwort, moxa can also be made up of other products as well.

How does the practitioner perform moxibustion?

As a rule, Chinese medicine practitioners in the U.S., hold a burning stick of moxa close to the skin but not touching its surface. This type of treatment is known as indirect moxibustion.

In the indirect method, the moxa substance is pressed into a pole or stick that’s shaped like a stick of oversized cigar. The stick is ignited and allowed to burn, generating an uncommon form of extremely penetrating heat.

The burning stick of moxa is held over the site of treatment, which often corresponds to a few or several acupuncture points in the body. The stick’s glowing tip is hovered just about an inch or two over the skin surface until the area becomes reddish and becomes saturated with warmth.

What sensations can I expect to feel from moxibustion therapy?

For patients receiving moxibustion, it is not uncommon to experience a sudden flooding of mild heat that quickly travels along a certain channel pathway (usually associated with the jing luo meridian that is being resolved) away from the site of treatment. This is a positive effect since it means the arrival of Chi and indicates that the flow of Hsue and Chi that have been freed in the meridian or energy channel.

When do I use moxibustion?

Moxibustion is used for the treatment of the following conditions:

1. Protection against cold and flu strains

2. Pain due to arthritis or an injury, particularly in patterns of “cold” in which the pain feels naturally better with the application of heat.

3. irregular elimination and digestive disorders

4. Obstetrical and gynecological disorders including breech babies during late term pregnancy

When it’s appropriate, practitioners usually administer both moxibustion and acupuncture in the same session depending on the plan of treatment and diagnosis. They argue that when the treatments are used together, they complement each other’s effectiveness.

Moxibustion can be easily performed at home which is unlike acupuncture, which should be performed in a clinic setting by a qualified practitioner. For Chinese medicine practitioners it is a common duty for them to train their patients in the self-use of moxibustion to augment the benefits of the treatments between sessions.

How does moxibustion therapy smell like?

The smoke and odor are two small inconvenient consequences of the therapy. While there are smokeless forms of moxa therapy available, the chosen true moxa (produced from mugwort) can generate a lot of smoke when ignited. A lot of TCM clinics are fully furnished with a good air purification and ventilation system; therefore, this is not a big problem.

However, the enduring aroma generated from the smoldering mugwort unfortunately somewhat smells like marijuana. In the United States, around the offices of most TCM practitioners, small signs are placed to inform visitors and patients about the real nature of the smell that they may be noticing.

Jubal J Bewick, EAMP, MSAOM – Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist in Walla Walla, WA