In this issue you will find:
- Important PCOM Dates
- Pacific College Celebrates World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day
- Spring and Traditional Chinese Medicine – 5 Elements Theory
- Acupuncture Helps Dental Patients Control Gag Reflex
- Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
April 26th: (Saturday)
New York World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day
May 4th: (Sunday)
San Diego Healing Arts Festival
May 20th: (Tuesday)
New York Open House 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Pacific College Celebrates World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine is one of many institutions around the world to recognize World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day (WTCQD). Groups around the world will gather at 10:00 am on Saturday April 26 to practice Tai Chi and Qi Gong. World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day will see people in over 80 countries gather to practice these disciplines and to educate the public about the benefits of such practice.
World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day provides teachers, schools, and Tai Chi and Qi Gong associations with many free tools and services to educate communities about the potential benefits of these disciplines. It is also a day to promote worldwide wellbeing.
Qi Gong has a long history. In ancient China, people believed that through controlled body movements and mental concentration, paired with various breathing techniques, they could balance and enhance physical, metabolic and mental functions. Qi Gong exercise relies on the traditional Chinese belief that the body has an energy field, known as qi. “Qi” in Mandarin Chinese means breath or to breathe, and “gong” means work or technique. The pairing of the two is the basis for the art of Qi Gong.
Tai Chi is also a centuries-old Chinese discipline that aids health, relaxation, balance, flexibility, strength, meditation, self-defense, and self-cultivation. It is referred to as moving meditation. The practice began as a martial art and is based on the principles of the Yin Yang symbol, called Tai Chi in Chinese, meaning “grand ultimate.”
Activities at most events include Tai Chi and Qi Gong exercise demonstrations, and many feature prominent masters leading exercises. Events are free and open to the public. A good way to find events in your area is to check with the nearest Oriental medicine school. In stressful times such as these, a day such as WTCQD is much needed. It can bring both relaxation and a sense of community and shared peace. It also brings people together across economic and geopolitical lines to celebrate health and healing.
Spring and Traditional Chinese Medicine – 5 Elements Theory
The Five Element Theory serves as a major diagnostic and treatment tool in traditional Chinese medicine. It is based on the observation of the natural cycles and interrelationships in the environment and within ourselves. For example, there are five environmental elements – Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood – each corresponding with certain body organs, such as the heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys, liver, intestines, stomach, urinary bladder, and gull bladder. The five different elements are associated with different times of the year: Fire with summer, Earth with late summer, Metal with autumn, Water with winter, and Wood with spring.
The five elements interact with each other (they depend on each other). For example, the liver, belonging to the Wood element, directly affects the spleen, which belongs to the Earth element. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners try to maintain a balance among the body’s organs.
Spring is associated with the Wood element, which governs the liver and gall bladder. Strong winds are typical during spring. The blowing of wind in spring could over-strengthen the liver, which in turn could affect the spleen. If so, a disharmony of the liver and spleen occurs. TCM practitioners may detect this imbalance by observing symptoms such as stomach pain, acid regurgitation, stomach distention, and diarrhea.
Allergy problems are abundant during spring. If the liver is not healthy, it could affect the spleen and the lungs. Symptoms of this disharmony between organs include: chest congestion, sneezing, running nose, itching eyes and other symptoms that are associated with allergy problems. It is very important, especially during spring, to cleanse the liver and lungs and to bring a balance among them and other body organs. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help to accomplish this balance.
TCM practitioners pay attention to weather, especially very extreme weather, like an unusually windy spring. Extreme or unusual weather can cause health imbalances in people. Health problems tend to occur during or immediately following certain seasons. The liver, which is said to “open into the eyes” in TCM, is associated with cases of infectious hepatitis and cases of pink eye, which tend to be more numerous in the spring.
TCM practitioners believe that a person should cater his or her diet to the seasons. Because spring is associated with the liver, it is important to have a diet that strengthens and cleanses the liver. There are many foods serving the purpose of soothing and cleansing the liver. Green is the color of the liver and of spring. Green and leafy vegetables, especially if the plants are young, help by cleansing and freshening the body. They benefit the liver’s overall well-being. Dandelion also works well as a spring cleanser. A balanced diet with a variety of juices such as citrus fruits, pear, apple, celery, and carrot is very helpful. Sprouts from seeds such as beans, mung, and radish are valuable for spring use as well.
Acupuncture Helps Dental Patients Control Gag Reflex
By Michelle Fletcher, B.A., michellefletcher.net
For many Americans, a visit to the dentist causes anxiety, pain, and fear. Many health experts estimate that nearly half of all adults will not seek dental care out of fear of going to the dentist. Some patients are particularly sensitive to dental equipment, which may cause them to gag uncontrollably when an instrument such as a mirror or drill is placed in the mouth. Others are so terrified, either due to a bad prior experience or to stories they've heard about bad dental experiences, that the mere thought of dental treatment causes them to gag even before any work has begun.
“The gagging reflex is a psychological reaction which safeguards the airway from foreign bodies ,” said Janice Fisk at the Department of Sedation and Special Care Dentistry in London in a recent article in the British Dental Journal. “In some people, this response is exaggerated to the extent that the acceptance/provision of dental treatment is not possible.”
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been making headlines in the past few years for its contribution to dentistry – namely using acupuncture to treat patients suffering from serious gag reflexes at dental offices. Studies have asserted that acupuncture, when applied to dentistry, is a safe, cheap, quick, and relatively non-invasive technique to control the gag reflex in patients.
“Acupuncture needles were inserted into a specific anti-gagging point on each ear, manipulated briefly and left in situ ,” said Fiske about her study. “Dental treatment was then carried out and the effectiveness of the acupuncture in preventing gagging was assessed. After treatment, the needles were removed and the patient discharged. All acupuncture was carried out by a dentist trained in its use.”
Results were quite positive: “Dental treatment could be carried out in all cases and at all visits ,” Fiske said. In another study at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield, UK, doctors observed similar results. “Before acupuncture, the patients that had moderate to severe [gag reflexes] and after acupuncture the [gag reflex] had reduced to a level which only complicated dental treatment slightly. ”
“Ear acupuncture was successful in controlling the gag reflex,” concluded Fisk in her article. “It is a safe, quick, inexpensive, and relatively noninvasive technique. ” Including simple acupuncture techniques in dental medicine can greatly increase not only the effectiveness of treatment performed, but also decrease anxiety and fear in the minds of patients.
Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
“Forget injuries but never forget a kindness.”