Health Intuitive

Digestive Issues And The Impact They Have On Your Face And Skin

Troublesome skin conditions may vary from symptoms as painful as eczema, psoriasis, pimples, and acne to basically having a dull pale skin complexion. There are certain basic principles that should be followed in Chinese Medicine to treat skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, pimples, and acne. It doesn’t matter what kind of skin problem we have, they tend to be embarrassing and very uncomfortable if it occurs in our face. A multi pronged approach is required to address long term face and skin problems. Don’t get tempted by the quick single solutions for pimples, and acne, particularly the topical creams that you put on your face and skin and other things that you might have read about on the internet. Although simple, they are usually not powerful enough to ensure skin and face health.

In Chinese Medicine, there are seven major issues that need to be addressed in face health and skin problems. The skin is associated with the lungs and large intestine so when treating dermatological and face problems such as psoriasis, eczema, pimples, and acne, a good practitioner of Chinese Medicine should always start on the digestive system.

1. Change your Diet: This first basic step helps ascertain whether you tend to be more Yin or more Yang. There have already been a substantial amount of materials written about general dietary nutrition for the management of pimples, and acne, and other skin disorders. One example is to go on a detox diet, eat more fresh vegetables and fruit, and avoid greasy foods; however, in Chinese medicine, dietary nutrition can be much more specific. Sure, the same general principles apply but why is it necessary to determine whether a person is Yin or Yang? It is important because it can help know what kinds of foods that will better cure your pimples, acne, and other skin conditions. If, for instance, you tend to be more of a Yang person, you may want to refrain from eating spicy hot foods because they can worsen the heat toxin already within your body that’s responsible for the skin condition you now are suffering from. On the other hand, if you’re a Yin person, you may want to stay away from damp or cold foods that create your face and skin problems.

2. Address the gut: When it comes to treating skin and face problems through Chinese Medicine, parasite and leaky gut issues are actually very important issues. This strategy is not widely used nor well known in conventional or Western treatments. Conventional therapies rely mostly on topical skin treatments: steroids, facial and skin creams, and antibiotics that kill both bad and good bacteria, impact digestive function, and can only make the pimples and acne worse. When digestion worsens, the skin and face worsen as well potentially turning the problem into one vicious, embarrassing, frustrating, and aggravating cycle. Therefore, the improvement of digestive function is an essential step in the improvement of skin and face health and in the cure of pimples, acne, and other skin problems.

3. Healthy Breathing: Boosts lymph and blood flow, pumps more oxygen into the blood, and helps detoxify the skin, face, and body so that eczema, psoriasis, pimples, and acne symptoms can be reduced. Yoga Breathing, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Chi Kung are all excellent ways to increase circulation to your skin, get that heat toxin flushed out, help detoxify impurities from the skin, and get the pimples and acne on your skin cleared up.

4. Clear Heat Toxins: In Chinese Medicine, there are various forms of heat such as damp heat, heat in the blood, lungs, stomach, or liver. Various types of heat conditions can lead to various types of face and skin problems.

5. Emotions: Just like old trauma, pent up emotions can build or create heat. Therefore, in Chinese medicine, relieve stress as much as you can in order to lower the risk of pimples and acne on your face and skin.

6. Stop using skin products that actually hurt your skin: Skin products that contain preservatives and petrochemicals can contribute to the heat toxins in your skin and body that in turn are responsible for pimples and acne on your face. You can find these substances even in so-called organic skin products. They not only irritate the skin, they can also be absorbed into the skin and enter your body. So read the labels first before using skin products that are alleged to be safe and all-natural. Refrain from using avoid skin lotions, powders, and creams that are petroleum-based and contain Vaseline and propyl and methyl parabens. Household cleaning products as well as garden and household chemicals can also generate heat toxins that can ruin the health of your skin.

7. Let go of old Trauma: You may be more vulnerable to skin problems on the body areas where old accidents have occurred. These areas are weaker than the rest of your body which makes them more susceptible to skin issues. In Chinese Medicine, any body part that has experienced emotional or traumatic distress can generate a condition known as “stagnation,” which can give rise to heat toxins in the blood. This may appear as skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, pimples, or acne.

For a practitioner of Chinese medicine, perhaps, the most important question to ask a patient suffering from psoriasis, eczema, pimples, or acne would be “are you constipated?” This would enable the practitioner to determine what type of activities and Yin/Yang foods would help improve the health of his skin. Therefore, pay attention to the above factors and make sure you’re not constipated to attain a healthy and beautiful skin and face.

Ni Nan Gilbert is a licensed acupuncturist in Bellmore, NY with certification in Chinese Herbology and over 16 years experience in traditional Chinese medicine.

Study Shows That Acupressure Decreases Persistent Fatigue In Women With Breast Cancer

A new study has found that acupressure helped decrease persistent fatigue in women who have had breast cancer therapy.

One of the most common longstanding effects of breast cancer therapy is fatigue. About 1/3 of women suffer from moderate to extreme fatigue a decade after their therapy has ended.

The JAMA Oncology published the study that discovered acupressure has the ability to lessen fatigue by 27% – 34% after six weeks of treatment. 67% of women who used a certain type of healing method called relaxing acupressure attained normal levels of fatigue.

University of Michigan associate research professor of family medicine Suzanna Zick says “Across various types of chronic diseases, particularly cancer, fatigue is an underappreciated symptom. It can have a substantial impact on a person’s quality of life. Patients can do acupressure themselves and this therapy is easy to learn “.

Acupressure originated from a healing system known as traditional Chinese medicine or TCM. TCM involves the application of pressure with a device, thumbs, or fingers over specific pressure points on the body. Scientists examined two forms of acupressure: stimulating acupressure, which is utilized to increase energy and relaxing acupressure, which is used to traditionally treat insomnia. These two methods differ by which acupoints on the body are activated.

Researchers examined 424 breast cancer survivors from the Michigan Tumor Registry. These patients were randomly designated to usual care, which involves regular sleep-management methods, stimulating acupressure, or relaxing acupressure. The women learned how to locate and stimulate the pressure points so that they could do it at home once a day for one and a half months.

Both acupressure therapies lad sustained meaningful improvements in fatigue at the end of the study. However, it was only relaxing acupressure that improved the patients quality of sleep (that included overall quality of life and disrupted sleep).

Past research suggests acupuncture in Tarzana might work in relieving fatigue. Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not acupuncture therapies; in addition, it requires people go visit a therapist one or two times a week for at a month and a half.

On the other hand, acupressure proved it can be done at home and can be easy to learn in this study.

The subjects in the trial had 15 minutes of training and were able to locate precisely the proper pressure points and utilize the right amount of pressure. Some females experienced slight bruising at the selected acupressure points. About 12% of the subjects did not continue the study because they thought it was very time-intensive.

According to Zick, “Acupressure can be a low-cost option for the treatment of fatigue given the brief training required to learn it”.

To teach acupressure, the researchers have developed a mobile application. They intend to study why acupressure affects fatigue and whether it also works for patients in active therapy and with cancers other than cancers of the breast.

Acupressure’s role in TCM

For more than two thousand years, the role of acupressure in TCM or traditional Chinese medicine has been paramount, and the fact that it is still used today is proof of its effectiveness in the treatment of pain and disease. Basically, acupressure in King of Prussia works by transmitting a signal to the body (by manual pressure or other means) to “switch on” its own regulatory or self-healing mechanisms. Vital energy or chi normally flows through energy channels in the body known as meridians. When this flow is blocked or stagnates, there will an imbalance in Yin and Yang which can lead to pain and illness. To restore smooth flow of chi and correct functional imbalances, acupressure helps return the body to a better natural state of health and well-being.

An effective kind of stimulation, acupressure is used to help the muscles relax. If acupressure is applied on a regular basis, it can help minimize recurrence of symptoms and maintain improvement. Be consistent and patient when performing acupressure on people. An up-and-down movement for several minutes at a time and pressing firmly with a finger in a rotary movement are two simple ways to stimulate these acupoints. We suggest you use this information under the supervision of a doctor.

How to Perform Acupressure

a. Stimulate each acupressure point by using firm deep pressure to massage

b. Breathe deeply when massaging acupoints. Also close your eyes and try to stay relaxed by being in a comfortable position.

c. As there is no limit to the number of times you perform acupressure, repeat the massage as often as you like.

Anyone can help massage these points for you; you can also perform the massage on yourself.

Commonly Used Acupressure Points

The following is a list of eight widely used acupressure points:

1. P6 or Pericardium 6 (Nei Guan)

The P^ point is used to help relieve headaches, motion sickness, upset stomach, carpal tunnel syndrome, anxiety, and nausea. It is also used to regulate of heart palpitations.

2. Lv3 or Liver 3 (Tai Chong)

To locate this point you need to take your shoe off. This point is an ideal area for treating emotional upset, insomnia, limb pain, hypertension, low back pain, and stress.

3. LI4 or Large Intestine (He Gu)
This acupoint is used for neck pain, facial pain, toothaches, headaches, and stress. However, as a caveat, the LI4 should never be used during pregnancy as it can induce labor.

4. Stomach 36 or St36 (Zu San Li)

This point is known to help treat depression and fatigue as well as gastrointestinal discomfort and knee pain. The St36 point is frequently stimulated by Asians to help promote longevity and health.

5. Spleen 6 or Sp6 (San Yin Jiao)

This acupoint works for pelvic disorders and various urological factors. It can also help treat insomnia and fatigue. Do not use the Sp6 during pregnancy.

6. Triple Energizer 3 (Zhong Zhu)

This important point is found behind the knuckles in the fourth and fifth fingers’ tendons. It is usually used to stop upper back pain, neck tension, shoulder tension and temporal headaches.

7. Gallbladder 20 or Gb20 (Feng Chi)

This point is used for people who suffer from fatigue, has low energy, and eye blurriness, The Gb20 is recommended for flu/cold symptoms, low energy, fatigue, eye blurriness, migraine or headache. It can be found palpating the ear bone (mastoid) and along the groove where the skull is attached to the neck muscles.

8. Gallbladder 21 Gb21 (Jian Jing)

This acupoint is found when by using the middle finger and thumb and pinching your shoulder muscle the Gb21 is used for neck pain, toothaches, headaches, facial pain, and stress. Use carefully on pregnant women.

Acupressure Massage Therapy And Acupressure Massage Chairs

With an acupressure massage therapy, you can clean toxins and waste material that have accumulated out of the various systems of your body. This type of massage is a product of the ancient healing art of acupuncture but unlike acupuncture in Cleveland stimulates healing without the needles. Acupressure massage therapists administer light to medium pressure on selected trigger points on your body. This form of treatment bolsters the Chi or vital energy of the body in order to optimize immune function and restore balance in the body. Science has now given us the ability to identify and stimulate the acupressure points of the body via modern massage chair brands which are available in the market today.

Acupressure massage uses techniques that can liberate blocked energy in the meridians or energy channels of your body. Scientists have been able to prove the existence of Chi and the meridians using electrical techniques. For thousands of years, practitioners of Chinese medicine have been aware of the existence of these channels. Based on their observation, they discovered that certain junctures or centers can become blocked or inhibited causing imbalance in the body. Through the use of hard, medium or light pressure on selected pressure points in the body, the flow of energy can be restored.

Acupressure massage therapy can be administered through vibration, tapping, and kneading massage procedures. Combined with the activation of the acupressure points, these procedures can be implemented throughout the body. Acupressure massage therapy works by applying moderate pressure through rapid circular movements on selected trigger points in the body. The trigger points are then stimulated and body massage is performed to allow movement of blocked energy. Energy flow is then restored and the body returns to healthy balance.

Listed below are just a few benefits of massage acupressure therapy:

• Relieves pain
• Reduces stress
• Treats muscles tension and aches
• Removes toxins that have accumulated in the body

As toxins gradually build up in the body, it causes the muscles to harden. This stiffness adds adverse pressure on the lymphatic and circulatory systems and causes imbalances in the body putting it in disharmony.

Technology has given us massage chairs that can accurately locate the trigger points in our body. These points can be mapped in our bodies by software programs built in these chairs. Acupressure massage chairs can be programmed to specifically suit the user’s needs. There are over a hundred trigger points on our backs alone. These chairs are incredibly efficient in activating the acupressure points and in implementing massage techniques such as vibration, percussion, and kneading to the user. They can be quite helpful in relieving aliments such as soreness in the back, shoulder, and neck and in treating aches and pains.

Some acupressure massage chairs are designed with air compression systems that target the lower body. These systems come with uniquely designed airbags with special nodes to activate trigger points in the lower areas of your body. When turned on, the air compression system causes inflation of the airbag which causes the node to gently push into the trigger point. The trigger points are usually found in the back of the calves and bottom of the feet. When stimulated, these trigger points can free built up tension resulting in the relaxation of the body.

Current studies dealing with acupressure massage therapy suggest its effectiveness in the relief of digestive problems, constipation, insomnia, dizziness, motion sickness, and headaches. Western medicine is just starting to realize the incredible healing power of acupressure, which the ancient Chinese have already known for thousands of years. Using modern technology to manufacture reliable massage chair recliners has led to a very useful and efficient way of treating bodily ailments using the techniques of acupressure massage therapy. To manage stress in your body and to help you relax, make it a point to go for acupressure massage treatment on a daily basis. Each day, stress can be a major factor that can wear down your body and weaken you immune system; therefore it must be periodically alleviated.

The Practicality Of Chinese Medicine – The Aspects Of Yin And Yang

This article is a short summary that strives to describe the complex relationships of the various systems in our body. Chinese medicine has certain obvious advantages over conventional Western medicine in that it tries to explain the cause of a health problem and also uses a holistic approach for treatment of a disease.

The five elements theory in Chinese medicine in Walla Walla is based on an apocryphal approach of connecting energy channels in the body. After all, if we’re able to control energy, we can also control our health. In the system of the Five Elements, there is no such thing as absolute law. The classical Chinese perspective of the universe doesn’t allow room for the existence of absolutes. The rules of the Five Elements pertain to the tendencies toward change based on the foundation of the Five Elements.

The connection between the organs of the human body (zang fu) and the Five elements are as follows:

Elements – Water, Wood, Metal Earth, Fire
Yin (Zang) – Kidney, Liver, Lung, Spleen, Heart
Yang (Fu) – Bladder, Gall Bladder, Large Intestine, Stomach, Small Intestine
Sensory organs – Ear, Eye, Nose, Mouth, Tongue
Tissues – Bone, Tendon, Hair/Skin, Muscle, Blood Vessel
Emotions – Fear/Fright, Anger, Melancholy/Grief, Worry, Joy
Notes – Yu, Jiao, Shang, Gong, Zheng

The energies of the Five Elements, as a means of expression, are believed to contain the following creative qualities.

Water has the tendency to create Wood

Wood has the tendency to create Fire

Fire has the tendency create Earth

Earth has the tendency to create Metal

Metal has the tendency to create Water

The Cycle of Control (or Controlling Cycle) brings balance and harmony through opposite and complementary qualities. It is a type of control in what would otherwise be an unending increase.

The Cycle of Control:

Water has the tendency to control Fire

Fire has the tendency to control Metal

Metal to control Wood

Wood has the tendency to control Earth

Earth has the tendency to control Water

Broken Balance

When the balance is broken, the Insulting and Over Acting sequences govern the irregular relationship among the Five Elements.

Both the Controlling Cycle and the Over Acting Cycle have the same pattern save for the fact that each Element over-acts on another by one Element being energetically in excess.

The Over Acting Cycle is the opposite of the Insulting Cycle. The former cycle deals with energetics that’s opposed to the latter cycle.

There are Ten Stems in the theory of the Five Elements

Each Element has an aspect of Yin and Yang with one balancing the other – this is essentially what defines Yin-Yang.

As Yin lowers, Yang rises

As Yang lowers, Yin rises

If Yin rises, Yang lowers

If Yang rises, Yin lowers

Within each Element, there is an opposite and complementary balance.

Cycle of Creation of the Ten Celestial Stems

The understanding of the Ten Celestial Stems following the tendencies of the Cycle of Creation demonstrates how the elements of Yang create each other and the elements of Yin create each other.

Were there no restriction on the tendencies to create, the outcome would be a incremental rise from one Element’s energy to the other.

One way this is balanced and checked is through the aspect of each Elements’ Yin and Yang with each Element balancing one another within the system.

The system can also maintain balance by balancing the Yin and Yang aspect of any Element by means of the Controlling Cycle.

These tendencies are discussed below:

Ten Celestial Stems

Cycle of Control Balances

The balances follow a Yin/Yang pattern and are bi-directional. If Yin decreases, Yang increases and vice versa.

Wood Yin generated by Water Yin generates Fire Yin.

Fire Yin generates Earth Yin generating Metal Yin, which generates Water Yin.

The Yang elements are the same as the just mentioned Yin energetics.

The entire system is a fragile balance of all its parts.

This system continues to maintain and generate itself in perfect harmony; however, any number of changes of this imbalance can arise if any imbalance or disharmony develops anywhere in the system. The impact of transformations may generate symptoms deemed to be negative effects. Some transformations may not manifest any symptoms at all. Any of the Element’s Yin/Yang energetics can influence the other Elements in a manner based on the specific strength of their Yin or Yang.

The key to harmony is balance.

There is a passage in the book Lu Shih Chun Chiu that perfectly illustrates the dangers of stagnation and the importance of movement.

“The reason the door’s hinge does not age, yet the door does or the water in the stream remains vital, yet stagnant water does not, is because they move. The association between the Chi and the form is the same. The Jing does stream if the form does not move. The Chi turns stagnant if the Jing does not stream. Stagnation becomes like wind or like a tumor if it’s in the head. Stagnation leads to deafness, if it’s in the ear.”

Chung points out in the Lun Hung, written around 82 AD, “Illness is like chaos and confusion. The Shen and Jing become mixed up and confused.”

In the Huai Nan Tzu, the complementary viewpoint is emphasized. Order is the “going through without commotion” that allows action.

Within the Ten Stems, this relationship can be an integral and vital approach and is a better guide to determine diagnosis, disease, symptoms, and energetics.

The exciting implication of this is that if we understand this order and facilitate it, we become more capable.

Conclusion

The key to wellbeing is certainly movement with the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the body intimately tied to each other.

If you try to enhance only the physical, the system will collapse eventually; without yin, yang cannot exist.

This article is designed to express an opinion about the myriad of relative energy or tendencies related to each other as well as the integrity of yin and yang and also to make the reader understand that besides soft and hard, weak and strong, negative and positive, and yin and yang, that there are other countless numbers of relative energies between those opposites.

There are weak and strong areas between the opposite poles at all distances between the opposites similar to the various lines of a magnetic field. Endless tendencies exist between yin and yang in constantly moving and vacillating strengths of energy.

This article has shown us why movement is extremely vital in all things. Joints solidify if they don’t move. Blood stagnates if it doesn’t flow the right way. Death follows if the lungs stopped breathing. There needs to be some changing of thought into the physical by doing, because thinking is not enough.

For optimum health, balance is necessary in all activity.

Finding Your Center

Are you feeling disconnected from your body? Imagine spending 50 or even 80 hours a week in an office, extremely fatigued, and hunched over a computer. Working ourselves to death absolutely produces zero benefits in terms of general health and well being. In fact, it can ruin our lives and the lives of people who love and care for us

By neglecting the body, we pay a high price in our mental and physical health.

Getting centered is one of the most effective ways to connect with our bodies. Centering is an essential aspect of mind ~ physical practices such as dance, tai chi, martial arts yoga, and sports. Our center is called by different names: In Sanskrit, it’s called the Lower Chakra, in Japanese, Hara, in Chinese, Dantian, and the belly or gut in the United States.

The Location of the Center

The center lies in the middle of the body, approximately a couple of inches below our umbilicus or belly button. It is where our stability and balance originates. Strozzi Institute founder Richard Strozzi-Heckler said, “When people are centered, they become utterly relaxed. In this manner, they get an ally with gravity, rather than resisting it”.

You may recall a time when you felt grounded in your body and deeply relaxed even though things around you are beginning to turn chaotic. Maybe, you’ve felt time slowing down. This is the mystery of your center – the place or state of mind where your body and mind converge.

However, this center tends to be a moving one. Wherever you direct your consciousness, your center goes. The center could be in your head if you are deep in thought. It might be in your chest if you’re experiencing low heavy emotions.

The mind also becomes still and quiet when your center is in the midpoint of your body. Rather than thinking ahead to the future or dwelling in the past, you need to stay rooted in the present. Accept who where you are and who you are unconditionally without trying to change things. Chuang-Tzu said, “Let your mind be free and flow with whatever may happen: keep centered and accept whatever you are doing and whoever you are.”

The following is a list of basic recommendations for getting centered right now:

1. Align your body by standing up or sitting straight.
2. Take few slow and deep breaths.
3. Focus your attention on a point two inches below your belly button.
4. Allow your body to completely relax from head to toe and free any tension.

A few people think that, in theory, this sounds great, but do they have the time to perform this?
Tom Crum said that, any time can be the time to discover your center.

As an example, when a person takes a walk, with each step he takes, he may become more conscious of his center. From time to time, press your index finger on a point two inches below your umbilicus. When you do this, imagine that you’re pushing a button that energizes your center.

One other ideal time to become centered is when you’re stuck in traffic. Rather than getting stressing out, Crum recommends using the seat belt to center yourself. You can use the clicking sound of the seatbelt to remind you to connect with your center. Use a belt buckle, if you’re not in a car. Adjust the buckle so that it is comfortably placed on your center.

Most people unfortunately are off-centered for most of the day. So they become stressed and easily irritated which are surely signs that they have lost their center.

To restore your center, select certain times of the day to take centering breaks. Try it and see what happens! These times can be a great opportunity to regain the mystery of your center!

“Eastern Healing Solutions, LLC
10875 Grandview St #2200
Overland Park, KS 66210
(913) 549-4322
http://www.overlandparkacupuncturist.com

The Heart’s Role In TCM

Most of us would agree that the heart is the organ of the body most closely connected to emotion. When we talk about the heart, the terms heartache, heartbroken, sweetheart, or heartstring come to mind. This is the organ that’s notorious for not being subtle; it represents emotions that are on opposite poles, like ecstatic joy or intense sadness.

The heart, in traditional Chinese medicine in Fremont or TCM, has a physical function that has parallels in Western medicine. It is responsible for the function of sweating and the blood vessels. Excessive perspiration is a sign that the heart needs to be supported and built up (tonified). Because the heart also controls the tongue, it can also affect speech. Speech problems such as loss of words and stuttering are signs of heart deficiency.

But the most important responsibility of the heart is to manage the shen and store the mind. One’s “Shen” can be determined by the overall health and well being of the mind. You will know if a person is well spirited and healthy just by looking at his or her eyes. Their eyes have a sense of health and a certain bright lucidity that shines from within. Acupuncturists would consider this person as having good shen.

Conversely, you also have people with eyes that look cloudy and dull or shifty (that shift from side to side) when you observe them. These people are considered to have a weak or feeble shen. This weak shen are sometimes the product of distraction or mild depression; and if the shen is severely sick, it can also indicate a type of mental imbalance.

The heart is both the effect and cause of ecstatic joy. This type of joy is considered a good thing to most people, but its effect can cause ADHD or manic depression. ADHD is sometimes attributed to a heart that cannot control the mind properly.

Wise individuals argue that the heart’s job is to follow the principles of propriety. For instance, this would be a person wearing a bathing suit. If that person wears a bathing suit in a bank meeting, this just shows that his or her heart was not providing him or her with the appropriate information on what to wear on a specific occasion. But the heart is doing its job if the person wears the bathing suit in a swimming pool during summer. This would imply that the responsibility of the heart is to follow proper behavior for the situation at hand.

Gua Sha Therapy For Treatment Of Sports Injuries

In Chinese medicine, Gua Sha is an ancient hands-on therapy that’s been used to treat a wide range of conditions from tendonitis to tennis and golfer’s elbow to shin splints to heel and back pain.

In this therapy, the surface of the skin surrounding the affected area is oiled and then scraped with a round-edged instrument and applied with pressure; this process produces a “sha” – tiny bruises in the skin. Gua sha is also commonly known as scraping or tooling. It is designed to promote the healing process, boost flexibility, and break down recently developed scar tissue. The therapy is akin to re-injuring a body party in order to activate healing.

The instrument used in Gua Sha therapy is easy to hold. It enables the practitioner to work around bony areas where tendons are connected. These areas are non-porous which makes the therapy a hygienic and safe healing modality. The instrument’s edge is smooth and tends to generate an efficient and comfortable effect when a lubricant is applied on the site of treatment.

While clients are at first worried about the development of redness on their skin, they will be delighted at the enhanced function and flexibility of their muscles and joints and the decrease of their pain after treatment. The “bruising” produced by this procedure tends to last for merely a day or two after which it vanishes completely.

The number of treatments patients usually get is once to two times a year or every two to three months. Following treatment, there is no “down-time”. In a lot of instances, gua sha encourages a quick return to active function. It can be a great form of treatment for the following ailments:

• Tennis elbow
• Shin splints
• Rotator cuff tendonitis
• Posterior tibialis tendonitis
• Plantar fasciitis
• Patellar/knee tendonitis
• IT band or Iliotibial band tendonitis
• Tendonitis/Hamstring strain
• Golfer’s elbow
• DeQuervain’s
• Bicep tendonitis
• Back pain
• Achilles tendonitis

It’s important to work with your physical therapist who can set you up with a program that combines flexibility work and strength training in combination with Gua Sha and other types of manual therapies. This will enable you to return to sport activities faster than conventional rehabilitation therapy and physical therapy alone.

Dr. Guoen Wang is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and doctor of Chinese medicine in Austin Texas.

The Various Kinds Of Moxibustion Techniques And Their Applications

Moxibustion is a healing therapy involving the burning of Mugwort (Ai Ye) around, above, or on acupuncture points. Mugwort, the leaves of the Moxa plant, are typically sun-dried and finely grounded into a texture such as cotton or wool, and then sifted until a light green, soft texture is achieved. Moxa burns evenly, holds together well, and is quite inexpensive.

Moxa can be sold as long or tiny rolls. It can be shaped into cones or rolled into balls. The cones and balls can be indirectly placed on a substance in between the skin and the Moxa or directly burned on the skin. As in the Warm Needle method, tiny balls can be used on the upper tip of an acupuncture needle. “Shish” Moxa or small rolled Moxa is commercially available, and is used occasionally on the upper tip of a needle in lieu of loose Moxa. Longer Moxa sticks (eight to ten inches long) are often selected in a “sparrow pecking” (quickly moving the flaming end far and near the skin) or circular motion around an acupuncture point.

Various forms of herbs are sometimes included to both the commercially available Moxa and loose Moxa sticks to alter its healing qualities. Examples of these include frankincense, myrrh, atractylodes rhizone, root of angelica, asarum, realgar, sichuan pepper, cloves, dried ginger, cinnamon, and du hou.

Direct Moxibustion Techniques

These direct techniques can be either non-blister forming or blister forming therapies and each has its own healing attributes for a number of conditions.

Blistering Technique (Scarring Method)

Cones up to a centimeter long are completely burned on the skin in the more intense procedure. This causes blistering and burning of the skin as well as severe pain. Cold water and a sterile cloth may be used to soothe the skin and clean off the ashes after the complete burning of the Moxa. This procedure is usually repeated three to ten times. It is important that burn cream or salve is used on the burnt skin once a blister has formed along with a light clean dressing to prevent infection and to protect the burned area.

This kind of moxibustion therapy used on selected acupoints can help strengthen the Wei Qi or immune system of the body which boosts the overall health of the body and its resistance to disease. Ancient Chinese practitioners believed that scarring and blistering are signs of a good and successful treatment. These days, this technique is rarely used, due to the risk of pain, infection and permanent scarring.

Uses

• Non-Scarring/Non-Blistering Direct Method
• General Weakness of the Body
• Developmental Conditions
• Chronic Gastrointestinal Disorders
• Asthma

1. In non-blistering moxibustion, the skin is directly burned by Moxa cones, but immediately removed when the embers come too close to the skin or when the burning begins to generate severe pain. This type of moxibustion often causes no burn but rather creates a red and small circular mark on the treatment area.

Uses

Mild deficient Cold

2. Another non-blistering or non-scarring procedure involves the rolling of Moxa into rice or wheat size grains and lighting three to seven of them on the skin directly. Because these rolls are small-sized and quickly, there is small risk that they will scar or blister the skin.

Uses

• Warts
• Vertigo
• Deficient Blood

Indirect Moxibustion Methods

Mediums

Using a substance in between the skin and the burning Moxa is the most common way of implementing the healing attributes of moxibustion. A number of mediums can be used for this purpose. Some of them are as follows:

Garlic

Fresh garlic thinly sliced and punctures with several small holes can be used on a non-ulcerated carbuncle or an acupoint. Practitioners usually use three to eight Moxa cones. During the course of the treatment, the garlic slice may need to be replaced. Due to the qualities of Garlic combined with the fire, blisters may develop.

Uses

• Pulmonary Tuberculosis
• Non-Ulcerated Carbuncles
• Stomach Masses

Ginger

Practitioners may use fresh ginger, thinly sliced, that’s punctured with several small holes and then horizontally placed on top of the selected acupoints. Then a cone of moxa that’s been manually shaped is placed and lit in the center of the ginger. The practitioner should carefully remove the ginger slice and the burning Moxa once the heat becomes unbearable. This procedure can be repeated using a cone of fresh Moxa.

Uses

• Deficient Stomach and Spleen
• Aching or Pain in the Joints
• Diarrhea
• Deficient Cold conditions
• Cold Stomach Pain

Pepper

A white pepper is finely grounded and assimilated with flour. The practitioner then spoons over the acupoint as a medium for the Moxa. In addition, a small hole in the center of the powder can be created using the finger to place cinnamon, cloves, or other powders. Then, a cone of Moxa is placed on the powder and ignited.

Uses

• Numbness and Stiffness
• Pain related to Cold type Arthritis

Salt

The navel is poured with salt until the salt is level with the stomach. A cone of moxa with a slice of ginger under it is then placed on the salt. This technique may also be used alone minus the ginger slice. This technique can be useful in keeping Yang from collapsing.

Uses

• Collapse of Yang: Weak pulse, cold limbs, profuse sweating
• Navel Pain
• Hernia Pain
• Prolonged or Chronic Dysentery
• Acute stomach pain with Diarrhea and/or Vomiting

Rolls of Moxa

One other popular form of indirect moxibustion uses thin and large moxa rolls wrapped in paper. The rolls look very similar to long cigars and are commercially available. They can be lit up and then comfortably held in the hand to distribute heat to certain parts of the body. Usually, the stick is moved close to the skin in small circles for about five to ten minutes, or until the targeted skin area turns red. The practitioner rapidly moves the stick to and fro from the treatment area in order to drive the heat deeper into the body. This procedure is often used when strong stimulation is required.

To extinguish a flaming Moxa stick, a small bowl of rice can be used and once more at a later time.

Uses

• Soft Tissue Injuries
• Skin Conditions
• Pain from Blockage or Stagnation such as Cold Arthritic Pain

Aconite

A dried and thin slice of aconite, which is usually very hard and stiff, is placed on a selected acupoint. The Moxa is applied in the center of the aconite and ignited in the same manner as the Garlic and Ginger techniques. Aconite has spicy and hot qualities that can warm the Kidneys and tonify Yang. Hence, this technique is useful for the treatment of deficient Yang problems. Also, a paste derived from rice wine and grounded aconite can be used as a medium for this procedure.

Uses

• Carbuncles and Yin Abscesses that will not discharge
• Non-Healing Ulcers

Conclusion

For any of these procedures, it is vital that the patient is observed at all times and that the treatment area is properly ventilated (more so with patients suffering from asthma). One also needs to test the sensitivity of the patient to heat. This will make sure that the patient is not easily burned, even if he or she has a low sensitivity to heat or high tolerance for pain.

Heather Shultz is a licensed acupuncturist in Marlton, NJ with advanced training in modern acupuncture techniques and traditional Asian therapies.

Three Theories Explaining How Auricular Acupuncture Works

Traditional Chinese medicine has always given us unique and different ways of treating certain types of disease. These techniques are painless, safe, and natural and often do not involve the use of medication. The body, in Chinese thought, is deemed to preserve a delicate balance with the environment via the transfer of energy. The body always removes negative energy from the body and allows positive energy to circulate through. The entire systems of the body work for this exchange simply to preserve balance. One typical way this is achieved is with auricular acupuncture in Orlando.

A Chinese healing concept, auricular acupuncture focuses on the outer ear or auricle for treatment. The auricle is considered a complete bodily system that is responsible for the vital activities of the ear and the other body organs. This area of the ear is comprised of a number acupuncture points that are connected to the whole body. Filiform needles are inserted in these points which stimulate these points producing signals that reach the brain that in turn activates a targeted organ. This activation boosts the functioning of that organ by releasing toxins, increasing blood flow, and enhancing muscle movement.

Auricular acupuncture works according to the following theories:

Delta Reflex

This theory states that auricular acupoint stimulation results in the stimulation of the associated body part. This leads to a rise in temperature of that body part and a related body part which causes a rise in the temperature of the outer ear. Both work as lock and key whereby an auricular acupoint serves as a key for the lock of body organs.

Anatomical Model

According to this theory, the location of the auricular acupoints on the map can be likened to that of an inverted fetus. Whatever signals are conveyed to the parts of the body reaches back again to the outer ear thereby making it a bidirectional movement.

The meridian Theory

In Chinese medicine, this theory is the most commonly accepted norm. The meridian theory sates that energy or chi circulates through energy channels within the body called meridians. Any obstruction in this channel is the underlying root cause of any health issues; therefore, stimulation of specific auricular acupoints generates therapeutic effects on the meridians.

Chinese principles and method have been adopted in the western world. Western scientists have formulated the same techniques as Chinese medicine albeit with a few changes in the form of improvements. The use of needles in auricular acupuncture treatment is a Chinese based idea but Western medicine has now developed it in the form of modern auriculotherapy. Here, advanced technologies are used to activate the acupoints in the auricle without the use of electricity, pellets, pressure, magnets, laser, etc. Modern auriculotherapy was developed and refined by Dr. Paul Nogier, a French neurologist.

Since the various parts of the body is connected to each other via acupoints, auricular acupuncture treatment can provide a lot of therapeutic effects on the body. It balances a person’s emotional and mental status by relieving insomnia, stress, depression, and anxiety. Various forms of bodily pain such as muscular tension, migraine, headaches, back ache, and arthritis can be relieved by this therapy. Its connection with the respiratory and digestive organs can help treat constipation, bronchitis, asthma, colitis, indigestion, and many other health problems. In addition auricular acupuncture can significantly help in giving away the habit of drinking and smoking. It can help maintain balance in women during their menstrual period.

There is a there is a specialized type of acupuncturist who is trained in the art of auricular acupuncture who knows all about ear muscles. These professionals are completely aware of the over two hundred acupoints found in the auricle. It’s important to note that during treatment, the needle should be inserted into the auditory canal that reaches to the inner ear. This may result in total hearing damage to the individual therefore one has to be very careful during this process.