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Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - February 2006 | Issue 19

In this issue you will find:

Important PCOM Dates

  • March 11 – San Diego Open House
  • March 21 – Chicago Open House
  • March 22 – New York Open House
Upcoming CEU Events in New York
  • March 18-19 - Lianne Audette: Acupuncture for Addictions
  • March 25  - Steve Kaplan: Insurance Billing in the Acupuncturist Office

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Health Benefits of White Tea

Each type of tea from green and black, to oolong or white has a distinct difference about them.  However the differences that exist between them is caused from the oxidation levels that occur after tea leaves are harvested.  Tea leaves immediately begin to dry, after being picked, and in the process, chemical changes occur that affect the tea’s flavor. 

Typically, the longer the leaves are left to dry on their own, the darker they become. 
The leaves are usually rolled to break them down and release juices that will contribute to their flavor and facilitate oxidation. At a certain point, the oxidation process is brought to an abrupt halt by heating (or sometimes steaming) the tea leaves. Green tea is dried for only a day or two, while black tea may be left to oxidize for as long as a month.

White tea is made from immature tea leaves that are picked shortly before the buds have fully opened.  The tea takes its name from the silver fuzz that still covers the buds, which turns white when the tea is dried. Immediately after harvesting, the leaves are steamed after picking and immediately dried which keeps them from oxidizing, and preserves its high antioxidant content. The result is a tea with a very delicate flavor, that lacks the grassy aftertaste associated with green tea, and has none of the tannins associated with black tea.

Leaving tea leaves so close to their natural state means that white tea contains more polyphenols, the powerful anti-oxidant that fights and kills cancer-causing cells, than any other type of tea.  White tea also contains much less caffeine per cup than green, oolong, or black tea.  This is due to the fact the tea leaves are larger; they underwent less processing, and are brewed in a cooler temperature than other teas.

Recent studies at Pace University have shown that white tea extract can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the body, more so than the extract of other teas.  The study focused primarily on the bacteria that causes Staphylococcus infections, Streptococcus infections, pneumonia and dental cases.  The same study concluded that fluoride-rich white tea helps prevent the growth of dental plaque, the chief cause of tooth decay.

"Past studies have shown that green tea stimulates the immune system to fight disease," says Milton Schiffenbauer, Ph.D., a microbiologist and professor in the Department of Biology at Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts & Sciences and primary author of the research. "Our research shows White Tea Extract can actually destroy in vitro the organisms that cause disease. Study after study with tea extract proves that it has many healing properties. This is not an old wives tale, it’s a fact."

Another research study at Oregon State University in Corvallis has found that consumption of white tea may provide protection against colon cancer. The study suggests that white tea can be just about as effective as use of the prescription drug sulindac in preventing colon tumors in a certain type of laboratory mouse that is genetically predisposed to cancer.

A group of these mice that received no treatment each developed about 30 polyps in their colons. Other research has shown that a therapy with sulindac, could cut polyp formation in these mice about in half.

However, consumption of green tea, the scientists found, reduced the number of tumors in the mice from an average of 30 to 17; and consumption of white tea from an average of 30 to 13. Mice given both sulindac and white tea, in combination, saw a tumor reduction of about 80 percent, from 30 tumors to six.

As research continues to show that teas exert significant protective effects, and aids the body’s immune system against a myriad of different diseases, and bacteria, it is important to note that the polyphenols in white tea have also been show to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and fight fatigue.  For all the health benefits that white tea provides, it is a great addition to anyone’s preventative health routine.  

To find out more about white tea, or the health benefits of other types of tea, please visit www.royaldynastytea.com

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Chinese Medicine and Nutrition

Oriental medicine places high value on diet and nutrition. However, rather than the popular “you are what you eat” dogma, Oriental medical theory asserts that balanced dietary practices are just one piece of a healthy lifestyle.

“There are four basic foundations of achieving and maintaining good health,” said Bob Flaws, popular author and translator of Chinese medical texts. “These are: diet, exercise, adequate rest and relaxation, and a good mental attitude.”

The Chinese diet of balance is very different than that in the West. In cooperation with a Chinese medicine practitioner and nutritionist, individuals can tailor their diets to incorporate a variety of tastes; foods and herbs that will best serve their health needs. The Chinese diet system is about expanding food options in order to encompass all types of diet and nutrition sources.

Oriental medicine diet and nutrition includes five tastes – spicy, sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Particular tastes tend to have particular properties. For example, bitter foods and herbs tend to be drying and Cold in nature, which makes them ideal for treating Damp Heat conditions. The bland flavor property is considered in addition to the basic five, and tends to aid areas unreachable by other flavors. Foods and herbs can have more than one taste or can incorporate all five.

Certain tastes are drawn to particular organ systems. As a basic and not absolute nutrition guide, salty tends toward the Kidneys and Bladder; sour to the Liver and Gall Bladder; bitter to the Heart and Small Intestine; spicy to the Lungs and Large Intestine; and sweet to the Spleen and Stomach.

The Chinese diet differentiates between six food groups: meats, fruit, dairy, vegetables, grains, and spices and herbs. Miscellaneous foods such as processed sugars, coffee and salt are considered superfluous.

The principles of yin and yang also apply to foods. Meats tend to be yang in energy, while vegetables are yin. As a very general nutrition guide, one can achieve balance by eating yang foods during winter (the most yin time of year) and yin foods in the summer (the most yang time of year). Sometimes it is appropriate to have a diet that is in tune with the season, and each individual requires different properties and energies in their diet.

A diet rich in grains and legumes and poor in fats and refined sugars frees qi so it can move through your system. This flow can cause negative emotions until it has a chance to become established. You should attempt a gradual and comfortable transition. To help the body purify itself, eat Liver-cleansing foods such as beets, carrots and burdock. It is also wise to work in conjunction with other aspects of healing, such as acupuncture and herbs.

When choosing dietary therapy, people with chronic sinusitis, general fatigue or digestive problems should change their diet immediately. For others, the transition should be more gradual in order to ease into a new nutrient system, because sudden changes can shock the body.

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Herb of the Month: Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)

Native Americans made a bitter brew from the yellow root (or rhizome). Used in small doses, Barberry tonic was reputed to be an effective treatment for heartburn, stomach upset, and ulcers. It was also held to stimulate appetite.

Barberry was used in European and American herbal treatments to aid many conditions, especially infections and stomach problems. It has also been used to treat skin conditions.

Active Constituents
Studies have determined that Barberry contains a number of physiologically active alkaloids, the most useful being 'Berberine', 'Berbamine', and 'Oxyacanthine'.

The bitter compounds in Barberry, including the alkaloids mentioned above, stimulate digestive function following meals.

Berberine can stimulate some immune system cells to function better, and has been found to exhibit some antibacterial activity, accounting for its traditional use as an antiseptic when applied to the skin. It can be used to treat diarrhea caused by bacteria such as E. coli.

All parts of the plant can be used. The plant is mainly used today as a tonic to improve the flow of bile and ameliorate conditions such as gallbladder pain, gallstones and jaundice. It should be used with caution.

Berberine has strong anti-microbial and fungicidal properties, aside from being particularly astringent and anti-inflammatory. It is said to make a good eyewash. Inflamed eyelids or conjunctivitis can benefit from the application of a compress.

Barberry is one of the best remedies for correcting liver function and promoting the flow of bile. It is indicated when there is an inflammation of the gall bladder or in the presence of gallstones. When jaundice occurs due to a congested state of the liver, Barberry is also indicated.

As a bitter tonic with mild laxative effects, it is used with weak or debilitated people to strengthen and cleanse the system. It has been used to reduce an enlarged spleen.

Barberry tea is used as a gargle to soothe sore throats.

For digestive conditions, Barberry is often combined with other bitter herbs, such as Gentian, in tincture form. Such mixtures are taken 15 to 20 minutes before a meal, usually 2-5 ml each time.

An ointment made from a 10% extract of Barberry can be applied to the skin three times per day.

A tea/infusion can be prepared using 2 grams of the herb in a cup of boiling water. This can be repeated two to three times daily.

For a decoction, put l teaspoonful of the bark into a cup of cold water and bring to the boil. Leave for l0-l5 minutes. This should be taken three times a day

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

“Give those with whom you find yourself every consideration."

Sen no Rikyu

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - February 2006 | Issue 18

In this issue you will find:

Important PCOM Dates

  • February 25 – Chinese New Year Celebration in Chicago
  • March 11 – San Diego Open House
  • March 22 – New York Open House

Upcoming CEU Events in New York

  • February 26 - Mike Berkley: East Meets West in Reproductive Medicine
  • March 4-5 - PART II - Yefim Gamgoneishvili:  Orthopedics and TCM Series

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Acupuncture: The STRESS BUSTER

By: Kath Bartlett, L.Ac.

Stress. We all have it. The question is, "How do we get rid of it?"

The answer lies partly in eliminating the causes, but also in learning to manage life's curveballs. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are useful in the management end. Lifestyle counseling can help with the causes. How can acupuncture help, and what can you do stop stress in its tracks?

Before answering that question, let's look at what happens when we get stressed. Mostly, we tense up. This tightening causes our qi to get stuck. It's qi that mobilizes our arms and legs to move, our stomach to digest food, our heart to pump and blood to flow. Without qi, we're dead, lifeless.

When qi gets stuck, it builds up, and eventually it needs an escape valve. We might get angry and have outbursts. When qi in the stomach gets stuck, we have digestive problems, like acid regurgitation, or heartburn (qi is stuck, and can't flow down, so it escapes up and out the mouth). Some people get bowel problems, like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) because this stuck qi cannot move food through the intestines properly. Did you ever get angry and feel qi rising to your head (maybe you got warm)? This happens because the stuck qi builds up, and then has to get released. It goes up to the head, and can cause migraine or tension headaches, and high blood pressure.

Acupuncture effectively treats disorders caused by stress, by unblocking stuck qi, allowing it to flow properly throughout the body, and we feel more relaxed. Then food is digested smoothly and moves through the bowels properly. As our tension is relieved, so are the headaches. Instead of being so tense and angry that our blood pressure starts to rise, we remain calm and our blood pressure and our tempers stay even.

A new patient of mine came to me for treatment of knee pain from an old injury. During the initial intake, I discovered that he had acid regurgitation (heartburn) that is clearly worse with stress and spicy food. He told me that his whole abdomen felt large and full after meals (qi is not moving, building up in the stomach). He also had neck and back pain. I used acupuncture points that move qi in the stomach, and clear heat (for the burning regurgitation), and local points for the back, neck and knee pain. I did tui-na, a Chinese style of massage developed to move qi. I also prescribed herbs that he cooked and drank twice a day as a tea. After just three treatments, his stomach problem was nearly resolved, and he felt much less tense and worried. He no longer has back or neck pain, and his knee was much improved. Every person responds differently to acupuncture, but this case shows how well stress related problems are treated with acupuncture. When problems linger, then more lifestyle changes are needed.

Stress is our internal response to outside stimuli. By modifying the way we respond and react to external triggers, and the way we live, we can make a great impact to improving health problems caused by stress. Here are 10 things you can do change your response and eliminate stress.

1) Walk away from it. Walking is a great way to move qi, so it doesn't get stuck. When you have a problem that is making you tense, go take a walk. Get your qi moving. Sometimes while you're walking you'll see a new way to solve the problem. Or, some how in the fresh air, it just doesn't seem so bad, and you'll relax.

2) Exercise regularly. Doing regular exercise will move qi and relieve stress. This could include special Chinese exercises specifically designed to move qi, like Tai Qi, or Qi Gong, but any exercise will work. Swimming, biking, hiking or paddling, it doesn't matter, so long as you're moving.

3) Breathe. When life gets overwhelming, take a deep breath, and then slowly release it. Then another, and one more. Keep going, watching the breath, as it comes in, and as it goes out. I strongly recommend meditation as a stress reduction technique. Meditation requires you to focus on something other than your problems, like your breath, relaxing music or guided imagery. By doing this, you get your mind off your troubles, and when you come back they just don't seem so bad. People with regular meditation practices consistently report that they are calmer and less reactive to stress triggers.

4) Eat in a calm, relaxed environment. Eating on the run can cause digestive problems. Take time to chew thoroughly, taste and smell the aromas. Don't eat and work. Take a break, relax and enjoy your meal. I put my eating table by a window with a bird feeder outside. So I sit at the table and watch the birds. It's a fantastic stress-buster.

5) Do one thing at a time. Resist multi-tasking. Trying to do to many things simultaneously inherently causes tension. Prioritize, and then calmly and efficiently go down the list.

6) Shorten the list. When you're overwhelmed because of too many to-do's, cross some off the list. Taxes can be extended, deadlines can be post-phoned, and some things will just have to wait.

7) Get help. Often we feel there's just too much to do, and not enough hours in the day. When that happens, don't try to be superwoman (man). Let people know that your plate is overflowing, and enlist aid to get the must-do's done. This may include hiring personal services, like tax accountants, housecleaning or gardening. Or delegating at work. Often people around us are not aware that we need help because we're not telling them that we do.

8) Attend to your financial health. Financial stress can be insidious, affecting our emotions, sleep and physical well-being. Work out a budget to manage your expenses so that you know what your bills total and how you will pay them. If your income fluxuates, be sure you are saving enough during the higher months to cover the lean ones. Make sure your nest egg is large enough to cover unexpected expenses, or sudden changes in employment (this is usually 8 months expenses kept in cash in the bank). Having a plan and knowing that you are in control of your finances can go a long way towards relieving this kind of pressure.

9) Laugh. Laughter is the best medicine, and there's nothing like a good laugh to break the tension. Go to a comedy club, or rent a funny movie, and laugh long and hard. You'll find some of your troubles will melt away.

10) Have fun. What's life but to be enjoyed? When you troubles are mounting, go do something you love. It's hard to be tense when you're enjoying yourself. So whether it's dinner with friends, watching a favorite movie, or a bubble bath, remember to make fun part of your routine.

Courtesy of Pulsemed.org

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TCM Theory: Shen

Shen can be translated as "Spirit" or "Mind", and implies our consciousness, mental functions, mental health, vitality, and our "presence".

Shen lives in the Heart, where it retires to sleep during the night. If the Shen is disturbed, there may be insomnia. Shen is specifically said to live in the Blood Vessels (part of the system of the Heart) and to be nourished by the Blood. In TCM pathology, therefore, deficient Blood may fail to nourish the Shen. Alternatively, Heat (of various Organs) may disturb the Shen.

State of the Shen is said to be visible in the eyes. Healthy Shen produces bright, shining eyes, with vitality. Disturbed Shen produces dull eyes, which seem to have a curtain in front of them - as if no one were behind them. Often seen in those with long-term emotional problems or after serious shock (even a shock that occurred a long time ago.)

Healthy Shen depends on the strength of the Essence (stored in Kidneys) and Qi (produced by Spleen and Stomach). Thus, Shen is dependent on the Prenatal Jing and the Postnatal Jing. If Essence and Qi are healthy, the Shen will be nourished. As mentioned above, the Shen lives in the Blood Vessels, part of the Heart system in TCM. Blood is closely related to Qi in TCM, and is formed from the Postnatal Jing derived from food and fluids, hence Blood formation is simultaneous with that of the formation of Qi.

Jing, Qi and Shen are the "three treasures" in TCM. They represent three different states of condensation of Qi, ranging from Jing (more fluid, more material) to Qi, more rarefied, and Shen, more rarefied and immaterial.

This triad corresponds to the Heart, Stomach/Spleen and Kidneys.










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Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month and Cardiac Rehabilitation Month. Acupuncture and herbs treat many forms of cardiovascular disease, which is the number one killer in the U.S.

In 2002 the World Health Organization reported on the therapeutic effects of acupuncture for heart disease. Researchers at a traditional Chinese medicine hospital in China concluded that the herbal Buyang Huanwu Decoction is an effective remedy for patients suffering from coronary heart disease.

Chinese medicine has also been proven to lower high blood pressure. High blood pressure directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease, leading to heart attack or stroke. A University of California, Irvine study found that electro acupuncture treatments lowered high blood pressure in rats by as much as 50 percent.
"This suggests that acupuncture can be an excellent complement to other medical treatments,” said Dr Longhurst, the study’s lead researcher. “Especially for those treating the cardiac system.”

These studies suggest that acupuncture triggers the release of chemicals in the brain that dampen the response of the cardiovascular system. This decreases the heart’s activity and need for oxygen, which as a result could lower blood pressure. Therefore, acupuncture could promote healing for a number of heart conditions including heart attacks and hypertension.

 “Our goal,” Longhurst said, “is to help establish a standard of acupuncture treatment that can benefit everyone who has hypertension and other cardiac ailments.”

Traditional Chinese medicine views heart disease as arising from heart weakness or blocked energy flow. Standard treatments may include herbal remedies, massage, acupuncture and dietary recommendations. In addition, Tai chi and Qigong have shown excellent results reducing high blood pressure and stress.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others.

Analect ( Lun Yu )

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - December 2005 | Issue 16

In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • January 2 – First Day of Winter Term
  • January 17 – Chicago Open House
  • January 29 – Chinese New Year (Year of the Dog)

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By: Patrician McCarthy

The age-old Taoist practice of Mien Shiang is an art and a science that means literally face (mien) reading (shiang). It is an accurate means of self-discovery, and a great way to help us understand others. As the ancient Taoists said, the face records the past, reflects the present, and forecasts the future.

What we look for when we read a face are the characteristics associated with the sizes and shapes and positions of each facial feature, as well as the lines, shadings and marking that appear on the face. Simply by looking at someone’s face, we can determine his or her character, personality, health, wealth potential, social standing, and longevity.

Our Faces Accurately Record Our Chronological Passages Of Life
Certain facial traits are inherited from our parents and our ancestors, while others are acquired. These acquired lines, shadings and shapes should be celebrated as ‘proof’ that we have learned our life lessons. If we don’t do our life’s work at the proper times, we can suffer emotionally, physically, and spiritually. So, it’s good to see those markings of passage appear on our faces. People don’t value wisdom if they don’t value aging.

The Face Is a Puzzle With Perfect Pieces

Every part of the face reveals something significant. There are five to ten unique face shapes, the two sides of the face, the three primary zones, and the twelve principal features.

Each of the 12 principal facial features, the
· ears
· hairline
· forehead
· brow bones
· eyebrows
· eyes
· cheeks
· nose
· lips and mouth
· chin
· jaw

tells something specific about the person.

Learning to read the face shapes, the two different sides, the significance of the dominant zone, and all of the features together, is an intricate art.

Here’s Looking At You

Mien Shiang is not about reading facial expressions. Many people have good poker faces; they are experts at covering up their feelings by controlling their expressions. A good bluffer can easily change a look or a movement to fool others. But shapes, positions, lines, shadows, and other facial markings tell the truth. They are foolproof signs, if you know how to read them.

Because Mien Shiang is such a vast, extensive study that can take years to learn - for example, we could easily analyze 30 different types of eyebrows or 47 types of mouths - let’s start off with the bigger picture.

The Two Sides of the Face:

- the left side represents the true, inner, private self.
- the right side represents the outer, public self.

Suppose you meet someone who has a great smile, but you notice that the right side of their mouth goes up. That is probably someone who is “putting on a good face” - chances are they don’t feel, inside, as happy as they look, on the outside. See? Already, you can read a face!

Who Uses Mien Shiang?

We all have instinctive responses and reactions to people, but Mien Shiang is more than a gut level reaction. Mien Shiang recognizes that every facial shape, size, feature and position has a significant meaning. Each line, shading and marking reveals a little bit more to the whole face reading.

Facial features each have distinct characteristics regarding character, personality, health, longevity, wealth, and social status.

Let us first define each of the 12 major features’ general characteristics:

· ears - risk taking ability, longevity
· hairline - socialization
· forehead - parents’ influence
· brow bones - control
· eyebrows - passion, temper, pride
· eyes - receptivity
· cheekbones - authority
· nose - ego, power, leadership, wealth
· lips and mouth - personality, sexuality
· chin - character, will
· jaw - determination

Now look in the mirror and see how much risk-taking ability you have.
The bigger your ears, the bigger your risks; the smaller your ears, the more cautious you probably are.

Are your eyebrows dark and thick? If so, it is quite feasible that you have a lot of passion and anger. What about your eyes? The more open your eyes, the more open your heart. Do you have high, prominent cheekbones? If you do, you are likely to be authoritative. (Some might even call you bossy!) What if your left eyebrow is thicker than the other? Remembering that the right side of the face represents the outer, public self and the left side represents the inner, private self, you can see plainly that your face reveals that you are apt to feel more anger (inside) than you show (on the outside). Take a closer look at your ears. Are they the same size? The same shape? Even the same height? It’s not unusual for our ‘matching features’ to be different, though most of us do not notice such differences, on ourselves or on others, unless we are looking for them. If, indeed, your right ear is bigger, or more prominent in shape or position, it means that you appear to take more risks than you actually do take.
Interestingly, if our right side features are so much more distinct, or prominent, than the left features, we will sometimes ‘act out’ a certain behavior even though it may go against our inner nature. For instance, some people who have a more prominent right ear find that they take more risks than they actually feel comfortable taking.

Keep looking in the mirror. See if you can establish how much character and will you have, how determined you are, how much ego you have, and how outgoing you are. Do your features match your feelings? Do you think others see you as you really are?

The Marks of Wisdom and What They Mean

As we age our face changes. We get wrinkles and lines, dark spots and shadings. And though we tend to resent them, these signs of experience are good because they are recording our chronological passages of life. They are visual proof that we have been feeling the emotions of our experiences, struggling through our difficult times and learning the lessons of life. We can celebrate them as marks of wisdom that come with age.

Most markings appear on an area of the face that represents the age that the emotional experience first occurred.

The Face Represents a Chronological Map of Experiences:

- left ear rim - conception to early childhood
- right ear rim - mid childhood to adolescence
- hairline to eyebrows - adolescence through the 20s
- eyebrow area - early 30s
- eye area - mid to late 30s
- nose - 40s
- mouth area - 50s
- chin - 60s
- jaw - 70s and beyond

Facial lines and markings generally appear first on the forehead and work their way down to the bottom of the chin over the years. Take a close look at your own face, at your parents’, your children’s, siblings’, friends’ and co-workers’ faces and see if their marks of passage correspond with their ages.

Using Mien Shiang we read the face by interpreting the appearance of the lines and marks. We look for placement, size, shape, depth, color and shading of each line and marking. Lines between the eyes usually appear in the early to mid 30s and are frequently the first lines we notice on our own faces as well as on others. In Mien Shiang we call this area the Seat of the Stamp, or Yin Tong, and issues with father or the dominant parental figure are marked here.

Yin Tong Markings

- a single, vertical line can mean that one has difficulty getting or staying appropriately angry.

- a single, but stronger and deeper, vertical line indicates estrangement from father

- 2 vertical lines means one tends to anger easily

- 3 or more vertical lines suggest the ability to stand up for oneself and use anger appropriately.

- horizontal lines also represent separation from father, or son, or one’s own yang (male) side, as well as women who were never allowed to get angry

- a dark mark, or discoloration, indicates that one is backing off from their power.

The mouth is another area we tend to notice. Though the predominant
lines and markings generally appear in one’s 50s, they often occur as early as one’s 20s. Pursing the lips creates lots of tiny lines cutting into the lips, both top and bottom. Those lines show all the hurts that have been held on to, that have never been forgotten. They belong to the person who has ‘done all the right things’ but hasn’t been ‘rewarded’ for her ‘goodness.’

There are so many, many more lines that appear on the face that reveal our experiences or tendencies. Like the Grief Line than runs down the center or the cheek, or the Fa Ling Lines that show whether or not we are on our Golden Path. The telling lines around the eyes that warn us of an inclination for unfaithfulness, or reveal the pain of unshed tears. As you notice the lines and markings on your own face, as well as on others’, remember . . .

- the right side of the face presents the outer, public self, and that it represents the mother’s influence

- the left side of the face presents the inner, private self, and that it represents the father’s influence.

And remember the significant characteristic and trait that belong to each facial feature. Now look in the mirror and combine what Mien Shian has taught you, so far, about each side of the face, each of the 12 major facial features, and the different lines and markings and their placements. Does Mien Shian help piece together the puzzle of who you really are?

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Why Herbal Tea Really Is Good For You

According to new research, there's more to a cup of chamomile tea than you may think.

Scientists have just discovered that chamomile - renowned for its soothing, calming qualities - can also ward off colds and acts as a mild sedative to ease muscle cramps.

Used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes, the herbal tea, made from the scented flowers and leaves of the chamomile plant, now has scientific analysis behind its healthy reputation.

Researchers at Imperial College, London, gave 14 volunteers, both men and women, five cups of chamomile tea daily for two consecutive weeks.

It was found that drinking the tea increased levels of hippurate, a by-product of certain plant-based compounds known as phenolics, some of which have been associated with increased antibacterial activity.

This helps explain why the tea appears to boost the immune system and fight infections.

Drinking chamomile tea also increased levels of glycine - an amino acid known to relieve muscle spasms, including menstrual cramps, through relaxing the uterus.

Lead researcher Dr Elaine Holmes, says: 'This is one of a growing number of studies that provide evidence that commonly used natural products really do contain chemicals that may be of medicinal value.'


For centuries, green tea has been hailed as a wonder drink, and science has recently been unraveling its mysteries. Green tea can help maintain health because it's so rich in antioxidants.

These mop up and destroy free radical cells in the body, the cells that go haywire under everyday influences such as smoking, overexposure to sunlight and pollution.

White tea is made from the bud of the tea plant rather than the leaves and contains an even greater potency of antioxidants than green tea. Research by the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University shows white tea to have a better protective effect than green against colon and rectal cancer.

A regular intake of green or white tea can also accelerate weight loss.

Clinical studies conducted by Dr Abdul Dulloo, of the University of Geneva in Switzerland concluded that green tea raised metabolic rates and speeded up fat oxidation by up to 4 per cent.

Last year, a team at the University of Newcastle's Medicinal Plant Research Centre - led by Dr Ed Okello - found that both green and black tea inhibited the activity of enzymes connected with the development of Alzheimer's.

Green tea continued to have its inhibitive effect for a week while black tea's properties lasted a day.

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Curing The Winter Blues

To everything, there is a season. Our physical and emotional health is no exception. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is nationally recognized during the month of December, is an example of how a change in seasons can affect our wellbeing.

Between 4 and 6 percent of the U.S. population suffers from SAD. It is more commonly observed in those who live at high latitudes (areas farther away from the equator to the north and south). Seasonal changes are generally more extreme in these regions, supporting the idea that SAD is caused by changes in sunlight availability.

Seasonal Affective Disorder can occur during summer with limited symptoms such as weight loss, trouble sleeping and decreased appetite. Winter symptoms tend to be more severe. They include fatigue, increased need for sleep, decreased energy levels, weight gain, increase in appetite, difficulty concentrating and increased desire to be alone.

The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine states that, “People and nature are inseparable.” The winter months, which represent the height of the yin cycle and the water element, can cause those whose constitution tends toward yin to feel the effects of this season more acutely. Energetic imbalances, which are associated with emotional and physical disturbances in the body, can become more pronounced after a change in weather and sunlight. Western medicine currently treats seasonal affective disorder with light therapy and sometimes with antidepressants. The downside to these therapies is that they carry side effects such as eyestrain, headache, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, palpitations, high blood pressure and reduced libido. Also, these therapies do not address the underlying problems, but merely offer symptom relief.

Acupuncture, which has shown promising results treating depression by releasing serotonin and noradrenaline-norepinephrine, has no side effects. Together with a treatment plan created by a licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture can improve balance of mood and energy, relieving the patient from the burdens of a depressed, unbalanced system.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage."

Lao-Tzu (6th century B.C.)

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - January 2006 | Issue 17

In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • January 29 – Chinese New Year: Year of the Dog
  • February 11 – Chinese New Year Celebration in San Diego & New York
  • February 25 – Chinese New Year Celebration in Chicago

Upcoming CEU Events in New York

  • February 4-5 -  Yefim Gamgoneishvili:  Orthopedics and TCM Series
  • February 18-19 - Magnolia Goh: Oriental Medicine for Facial Rejuvenation

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How to Cook a Chinese Herbal Formula

by Al Stone, L.Ac.

As is the case with many aspects of traditional Chinese medicine, there are many ways to get results. When it comes to the steeping of raw herbs for medicinal teas, there are many methods that all serve to draw out the therapeutic qualities from the herbs. The following represents a few of the possible methods for cooking your Chinese herbal formula.

This article should be secondary to the advice of your herbalist. He or she can likely answer your questions better than a page on the web since each patient has different needs. However, with the following information you will, at least, be able to ask appropriate questions.

The Kind of Container
The best container is ceramic. Glass is okay. It is important that your teapot has a lid. Materials to avoid include cast iron or metals. Chinese herbs can interact with these metals casing chemical reactions that can alter the therapeutic qualities of your herbs, or worse yet, have an unhealthy effect on whoever drinks the tea.
Stainless steel is better than the other metals. Teflon coatings are not as good as ceramic coatings.

In ancient times the source of the water used in the tea was an important issue. Some teas required water from a spring, others called for water collected during a rain. Nowadays, any drinking water is acceptable. The purity and cleanliness of the water you choose is a personal choice.

Soak the herbs. Place the herbs into the water. The water should cover the herbs by about an inch and a half. Let them sit for 15 minutes without turning on the heat beneath the teapot. Some sources suggest allowing the herbs to absorb the room-temperature water for one hour.

Bring water to a rolling boil. Then, turn down the fire to a low simmer.
Cook herbs for 20 to 30 minutes. There is a great deal of variation in the time necessary to cook herbs. It depends mostly on the kind of herbs you're cooking. The average is 20 minutes. Diaphoretics are cooked for no more than 15 minutes. Aromatics only get steeped for 5 minutes. For tonic herbs, 40 to 50 minutes is appropriate. There is more on timing further on in this article.

Don't lift up the lid, especially with aromatic herbs as the volatile oils can evaporate out of the mixture very easily.

Strain the tea
Drink it. If you find the taste disagreeable, then your tongue is working right. However, if you find the taste so unpalatable that you don't drink it, then you need to do something to make it more drinkable. We suggest watering it down a bit. This helps a great deal. Also, it seems that after time, the body begins to crave a certain formula, especially one that is well suited. The taste will become more and more attractive. Some people add a little honey to sweeten it. This should only be done with the consent of your herbalist. Honey can adversely affect the therapeutic qualities of the formula and so it should only be added when appropriate.

Re-cook the same herbs a second time. During the first steeping, the temperature energetic comes out of the herb. This affects the patient mostly at the Qi level. It is more superficial, more Yang in nature.During the second steeping, the taste energetics come out of the herb. This affects the patient more on the Blood level. These energetics have more of an internal impact. The Yin is affected more. It would be a good idea to mix the tea from both batches for drinking.

Exceptions to the above rules
Herbs cooked for longer than 20 minutes. Some herbs are made from substances that require more time to leach out their therapeutic ingredients. Examples of these herbs are Bie Jia (Turtle Shell) and Ci Shi (Magnetite). These herbs need to be cooked 20 to 30 minutes longer. Simply place them in the water and steep for 20 to 30 minutes, then add the rest of the herbs and cook for another 20 minutes.

Herbs cooked for periods shorter than 20 minutes. Aromatic herbs are often used to relieve the patient of what we, in the West, call the "common cold" and stuffed nose. Examples of aromatic herbs include Bo He (Peppermint) and Mu Xiang. These herbs contain volatile oils that come out very quickly, and evaporate out of the decoction if steeped too long. Hence, they should be cooked only for the last five minutes.

If you cook your herb packets twice, be sure to add a fresh portion of your aromatics to the second batch of tea in the last five minutes to get the oils out again.

Wrapped Herbs
Sometimes, herbs are made of very small substances such that they will make your water kind of dirty if they are let loose into the decoction. A good analogy would be coffee grounds. They are too small to strain out, so an herb of that size would be steeped wrapped up in cheesecloth or a tied up coffee filter.

An example of this kind of herb would be Xin Yi Hua. The fine hairs on this flower come off and float around in the tea. When drunk, it is harmless, but very irritating to the back of the throat.

Cooked Separately
Expensive herbs such as fine Ginseng can be cooked separately for longer periods of time. This allows one to get the maximum amount of therapeutic effect from the herb without overcooking the other herbs in the formula.

Some herbs are not supposed to be steeped for 20 minutes. One would simply add such an herb to hot water and let it melt. A good example of this is E Jiao.

Aromatic Herbs
Soaked Herbs that are very aromatic or volatile can be decocted by placing them in hot water without cooking on the fire. Just boil some water, take it off the fire, and let the herb steep. Hong Hua is an example of an herb in this category.

Powdered herbs
Some herbs come in powdered form. With these herbs, you simply add the appropriate amount to hot water, stir, and drink. Some herbs that are especially expensive are powdered to make more efficient use of their properties with the minimum cost.

When to take your herbs?
Generally, as a rule, it is best to take your herb tea one hour before eating, on an empty stomach. This provides the best absorption of the ingredients of the herbs.

If the herbs cause a little stomach upset, drink the herb tea one hour after eating, or
drink some fresh ginger juice before taking the formula, or eat some fresh ginger before the formula. Fresh ginger is the sweet little slices of root often served with sushi.

Tonification formulas are best taken on an empty stomach
Shen calming formulas (for insomnia) are best taken two hours before sleeping. Formulas treating ailments above the diaphragm are best taken one hour after eating. The food in the stomach provides the energetics of the herbs a platform from which to rise up to the upper part of the body.

Formulas treating ailments below the diaphragm are best taken one hour before eating so the energetics can descend unimpeded by contents in the stomach.

Formulas for heat syndromes can be taken at room temperature or chilled. If drinking an herb tea at room temperature tastes bad, it should be consumed warm. It is more important to drink the tea than to add to its function by drinking it cold.

Formulas for cold syndromes can be taken warm or hot
Mixing herbs with Western pharmaceuticals is not something we can comment on without knowing the specifics of what you're taking and why. It is a personal choice. Generally, it never hurts to get everybody's opinion including your M.D. and your herbalist to better decide which therapies to mix, and which not to mix.

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Pacific College Celebrates Chinese New Year

To RSVP, please click here

In celebration of Chinese New Year, Pacific College has planned free events on each of its three campuses.

Pacific’s San Diego campus will be hosting a free event for the public on Saturday, February 11, 2006 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Treat yourself to a complimentary 15-minute acupuncture treatment targeted for smoking cessation and stress reduction, or a 10-minute Tui Na massage.  This event will also include Tai Ji and Qi Gong demonstrations, an informational lecture titled, “The Profession of Oriental Medicine and Asian Body Therapy” and a student panel to answer questions.

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York will also be hosting a free event on Saturday, February 11, 2006 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. An informational open house will be offered from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m, The afternoon celebration starting at 12:30 p.m. will offer complimentary community style acupuncture treatments for balance and stress relief are being offered as well as a Tai Ji and QI Gong workshop.  This event will also include an informational lecture titled, “Chinese Astrology: Year of the Dog”

Pacific’s Chicago campus will be holding a similar Chinese New Year celebration, Saturday, February 25, 2006 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The campus will be offering complimentary acupuncture treatments focusing on weight loss, stress management and smoking cessation.  10-minute intensive massages will also be offered.  Additional activities include a lecture titled, “The History of Chinese Medicine” and a Tui Na and Qi Gong demonstration presented by the faculty.
Celebrations at each campus will provide refreshments and an open invitation to the public to tour the campus.  Staff and faculty will also be available to further attendees’ knowledge of Pacific College’s programs and the field of Oriental medicine. These events are free and open to the public.

For more information on any of our Chinese New Year celebrations please visit www.PacificCollege.edu or click here to RSVP.

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Chinese New Year: Year of the Dog

Welcome to the year of the Dog! The Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in history, dating from 2600 BC. The Chinese calendar is a yearly one, with the start of the year being based on the cycles of the moon. Therefore, the beginning of the year can fall anywhere from late January to mid February. This year it falls on January 29, 2006.

A complete cycle of the calendar takes 60 years and is made up of five cycles of 12 years each. Each of the 12 years is named after an animal. Legend says that Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from the earth. Only 12 came to say farewell and as a reward he named a year after each one in the order they arrived. The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person was born has a profound influence on his/her personality. The Chinese Zodiac consists of the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

In the Lunar Calendar, the Dog posses the best traits, having a deep sense of loyalty, and compassion, while inspiring others to have confidence in them. People born in the year of the Dog are incredibly attentive, honest and trustworthy people, ethically strong and morally kept.  The Dog’s mantra is, Live right, look out for the little people and fight injustice whenever possible.

The celebrations of Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, last 15 days and are some of the most festive of the year. Preparations usually begin about one month before the New Year. Homes are thoroughly cleaned to sweep away any traces of bad luck. Doors and windowpanes are given a new coat of red paint and hung with paper scrolls decorated with themes of happiness, wealth and longevity, a practice believed to keep away ghosts and evil spirits. Many traditional Chinese homes also have live blooming plants and flowers symbolizing rebirth and wealth such as peony flowers and kumquat trees.

Because it is believed that one's behavior during New Year's sets the tone for the rest of the year, words that sound like unlucky or undesirable events, such as death or poverty, are not to be spoken. Arguments, scolding children, crying and breaking things are also taboo. During this time, it is typical to wear something red as this color is believed to ward off evil spirits. Black and white are avoided, as these colors are associated with mourning.

On New Year's eve, traditions are carefully observed. An elaborate dinner with large amounts of traditional food symbolizing abundance and wealth for the household is prepared. Each of the nine to 12 courses signifies a good wish such as happiness, good luck, or prosperity. Nian Gao, the New Year's cake and the "prosperity tray", an eight-sided tray filled with fruit, snacks, cookies and cakes, are also served to guests. Each item of the tray represents a type of good fortune: red dates and lotus seeds bring prosperity, melon seeds bring proliferation, and oranges and tangerines bring wealth and good fortune.

After dinner, families stay up and visit together until midnight, when fireworks light up the sky and doors and windows are opened to allow the old year to go out. The custom of putting up red paper and lighting firecrackers began as a way to scare off Nian, a beast that preyed on people the night before the beginning of a new year. Nian destroyed the villages, injured the villagers, and took away the livestock and grain stored for the winter. One year as the monster appeared, it was scared away by the color and crackling sounds made by bamboo used in the villagers' fires. From this time on, villagers burned bamboo sticks to keep the monster away during the New Year. Today, firecrackers have replaced the burning of bamboo sticks as a way to drive off "evil energy" and attain peace and good fortune.

New Year's day is spent visiting family, friends and neighbors. A custom called Hong Bao, or "Red Packet", takes place. As a symbol of good luck, married couples give children, unmarried adults, and the elderly money in red envelopes. Performances of the dragon and lion dances can also be seen in the streets. Chinese consider lions to be good omens able to repel demons and evil and bring good luck. The dances are accompanied by loud music played on drums, gongs, and cymbals. When the dancers stop in front of a residence or business, it is thought to bring good fortune to the occupants. In return, the residents usually present the dancers with money as a thank you and reward. The Festival of Lanterns, a celebration with singing, dancing, and lantern shows, marks the end of the New Year. Often used to adorn temples, the decorative lanterns come in many shapes and sizes and depict animals, flowers, historical figures, and scenes from popular stories.

The Chinese use the New Year as a time to express their appreciation for protection and good fortune during the year. It is also a time of reconciliation when debts are paid and old grudges are easily cast aside. Although celebrations of the Chinese New Year vary, the underlying message is one of peace and happiness.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

“ He who tip-toes cannot stand; he who strides cannot walk."

-- Lao-Tzu (6th century B.C.), Legendary Chinese philosopher

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - December 2005 | Issue 15

In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • December 1 – New York Open House
  • December 14 – Chicago Open House
  • December 22 – Fall Term Officially Ends

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Acupuncture Safe Alternative To Inducing Labor

Acupuncture has been used for everything from treating arthritis to providing cold and flu relief.  Now studies are showing that acupuncture can be a beneficial and safe alternative for inducing labor in expectant mothers.  Using acupuncture to induce labor in over due mothers, is a less invasive and safer method than taking Pitocin, a drug typically used in hospitals. 

When the drug Pitocin is used, it creates a strong reaction, inducing labor almost immediately.  While the effects this drug may have on the unborn child have not yet been determined, the side effects for the mother can range from nausea and vomiting, to experiencing more serious conditions such as postpartum hemorrhaging, cardiac arrhythmia’s, and pelvic hematoma.

Using acupuncture is a much softer and easier approach to inducing labor. 
Chinese medicine identifies more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected with pathways called meridians that conduct vital energy or qi throughout the body. Acupuncture trigger points to induce labor include points on the back, above the ankle, and specific points on the hand.  By needling these points, the body’s qi is stimulated, and helps prepare the body to begin labor.  The only side effect to using this treatment is potential light bruising at the needle points.

Currently, a research study is being conducted at the University of North Carolina to measure acupuncture’s ability to trigger labor in over due mothers.  The ongoing study will provide women five treatments over the course of a few weeks.  Women who are treated will either be needled using real acupuncture points, or in trigger points that are not though to affect labor.

As more women seek drug-free treatment for the conditions of pregnancy, acupuncture can be a beneficial tool for not only inducing labor, but also to relieve nausea, and back pain related to pregnancy.

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Treating Peripheral Neuropathy with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac. (www.acufinder.com)

For some people it is experienced as the uncomfortable sensation of "pins and needles" or burning pain (especially at night) of their hands or feet. Others may suffer even more extreme symptoms such as muscle wasting, paralysis, or organ or gland dysfunction.

With more than 100 types of peripheral neuropathies in existence, each with its own characteristic set of symptoms, pattern of development, and prognosis, the symptoms can vary as much as the cause. Nevertheless, Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition that can be treated with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy describes damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body.
In most cases, peripheral neuropathy is secondary to conditions including diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, alcoholism, nutritional deficiencies, AIDS, or poisoning from heavy metals, chemotherapy, or various drugs.

Other causes include compression or entrapment (carpal tunnel syndrome), direct physical injury to a nerve (trauma), penetrated injuries, fractures or dislocated bones, pressure involving superficial nerves (ulna or radial) which can result from prolonged use of crutches or staying in same position, tumor, intraneural hemorrhage, exposure to cold, radiation or atherosclerosis.

It is a syndrome which includes symptoms of numbness, tingling, pricking sensations, sensitivity to touch, burning pain, and muscle weakness and atrophy of the arms and legs. The feet and legs are likely to be affected before the hands and arms.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include:

*          numbness or insensitivity to pain or temperature
*          a tingling, burning, or prickling sensation
*          sharp, burning pain or cramps
*          extreme sensitivity to touch, even a light touch
*          loss of balance and coordination
*          muscle weakness
*          muscle wasting
*          paralysis

These symptoms are often worse at night.
Many people have signs of neuropathy upon examination but have no symptoms at all.

How can acupuncture treat peripheral neuropathy?

Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that Peripheral neuropathy is due to dampness moving to the limbs, where it obstructs the flow of Qi (energy) and Blood within them. The treatment is twofold, to treat the underlying factor that is causing this dampness to accumulate and to directly facilitate the circulation of Qi and Blood in the affected area. By improving the circulation, the nerve tissues of the affected area can be nourished to repair the nerve functions and reduce pain.

Peripheral neuropathy is a symptom for many different patterns of disharmony within the body. Oriental Medicine aims to treat each individual uniquely depending on what caused the neuropathy and how it manifests.

Your acupuncturist may do an interview and ask questions about how, what, where and when you feel pain, perspire, sleep, eat, drink and exercise, to name a few. The practitioner may also feel the pulse and observing the tongue. This interview and physical examination will help create a clear picture on which your practitioners can create a treatment plan specifically for you.

In addition to acupuncture, other methods such as transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS), which uses small amounts of electricity to block pain signals, cutaneous acupuncture, herbal and physical therapy may be combined to achieve faster results.

What is Cutaneous Acupuncture?

Cutaneous Acupuncture is the use of acupuncture needles to stimulate an area superficially by tapping to promote the smooth flow of Qi and Blood.

The Plum blossom needle and the Seven-Star needle are special tools that are composed of a small bunch of needles attached to a handle like a hammer or broom. They are often used in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy. The affected area would be lightly tapped starting at the toes or fingers and then up the legs and arms.

Plastic, disposable plum blossom needles or seven-star needles are available for treatment at home.

What Points Are Used?

In treating peripheral neuropathy, acupuncture points on the affected area are used (treating the branch) as well as points on various parts of the body to treat the person according to their particular pattern (treating the root).

Each patient is custom-treated according to his or her specific and unique diagnosis. There are many acupuncture points on the hands and feet. Often the points will be chosen by which are the most tender to obtain the best results.

What Studies have been done on Acupuncture and Peripheral Neuropathy?

Studies have suggested that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are effective treatments for peripheral neuropathy.

In a study of 46 diabetic patients with PN, 34 of them reported a significant improvement in their symptoms after six courses of acupuncture treatment, and only eight of them required further sessions. However, only seven of the 34 had complete relief of their symptoms.

A larger study of 250 patients with HIV-related peripheral neuropathy compared the effects of acupuncture, amitriptyline, and placebo. Participants were assigned to receive acupuncture at standardized acupuncture points or at placebo ("fake") points, or amitriptyline or a placebo. The researchers found no significant difference in pain relief between the active treatments or the placebos. The acupuncture points studied in this trial were standardized so that everyone received exactly the same treatment. Acupuncture treatments are usually designed to fit the individual, and, as the researchers concluded, individualized treatments may have a different effect.

What Lifestyle and Dietary Changes Should I Make?

Adopting healthy habits - such as maintaining optimal weight, avoiding exposure to toxins, following a physician-supervised exercise program, eating a balanced diet, correcting vitamin deficiencies, and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption - can reduce the physical and emotional effects of peripheral neuropathy.

Consider relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, self-hypnosis or biofeedback. These can help you learn to control the external factors that trigger pain.

Finding the Right Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine work! But your experience with acupuncture will depend largely on the acupuncturist and herbalist that you choose.

You want to find the right acupuncturist for you. If you like and trust your practitioner, your encounter with acupuncture will be more positive. You will also want to know about the acupuncturists training and experience and what to expect from the acupuncture treatment.

Decide in advance what your expectations are and discuss them with your acupuncturist. A chronic illness may need several months of acupuncture treatment to have a noticeable effect. If you are not happy with your progress, think about changing acupuncturists or check with your western doctor for advice about other options.

The clearer you are about who it is that is treating you and exactly what the treatment entails, the more you will be able to relax during the acupuncture session and benefit from this ancient form of health care.

For more information on this topic please visit www.acufinder.com

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Herb of the Month: Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

More than 5000 years ago the ancient Chinese and Indians looked upon Ginger as the 'universal medicine'. Ginger is today an ingredient in more than 50 percent of traditional herbal remedies. Over its long history around the world it has been used as a remedy to treat many conditions, including nausea, indigestion, fever, and infection.

Ginger contains high amounts of iron and calcium, in addition to its major constituents - gingerol and paradol. Gingerol is a powerful antioxidant - clearing up the free radicals that can do so much harm within the body - and it is anti-inflammatory.

Recent studies to test the validity of medicinal claims have proved positive in a number of areas. In particular, Ginger has been found to have the ability to stop nausea and vomiting, prevent coronary artery disease, and heal (and prevent) arthritic conditions and stomach ulcers. Ginger was also shown to be effective against tumor growth, migraines and rheumatism.

Nausea and motion sickness
Results of scientific tests, noted in the Lancet in 1982, show that "The powdered rhizome of Zingiber officinale has been found to be more effective than dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) in reducing motion sickness in individuals highly susceptible to this malady."

Ginger is a great aid to digestion. It increases digestive movement through the stomach and duodenum, and has also been shown to stimulate several valuable digestive enzymes in the pancreas.

Muscles and Joints
Ginger has been undergoing trials in Denmark to discover the herb's anti-inflammatory potential in the treatment of arthritis. Over 75% of those involved in the trials said they experienced relief in pain and swelling.

Numerous studies have confirmed the fact that Ginger can work as effectively as aspirin to help clear the build up in clogged arteries. As well as this, Ginger has been found to strengthen the cardiac muscle and lower serum cholesterol levels.

Other Uses
Ginger's anti-bacterial properties are recognized by the Japanese who use it as an antidote to fish poisoning, especially from sushi. Ginger has been found to kill the anisakis lavae (a parasite that infects fish and marine animals and can be harmful to humans if ingested).

Ginger protects against stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori and is effective against the growth of many bacteria including E Coli, and Salmonella. At the same time it actually helps the growth of the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

“The spirit that endows all things with life is Love.”