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Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - November 2005 | Issue 14

In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • November 16 - Chicago Massage Open House
  • November 19 - 20 Treatment of Orthopedic Disorders and Sports Related Injuries with Yefin Gamgoneishvili,
  • December 1 - New York Open House

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Great American Smokeout 2005: Change Your Life Today

Smokers who quit smoking gain almost immediate benefits, regardless of age, or how long you have been smoking. Within 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse rates drop to normal. Eight hours after quitting, the oxygen level in the blood increases to normal. One day after quitting, the odds of having a heart attack start to drop. Within 48 hours nerve endings start re-growing and the ability to smell and taste is enhanced. Within two weeks, lung function will have increased by up to 30 percent. Two weeks to 3 months after quitting, circulation improves and walking becomes easier. One year, the body's energy level increases and the risk of coronary heart disease will be half that of a smoker.

Since 1977, the American Cancer Society and Citizens for a Smokefree America have sponsored the Great American Smokeout TM , an event based on the idea that smokers who can manage to quit for a day can quit for good.

Cigarette smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the U.S. , says the American Cancer Society, but each year it kills more Americans than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, suicides, murders and fires combined. According to the American Lung Association, smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 440,000 American lives each year. Cigarettes and cigarette smoke contain over 4,000 chemicals, including 60 known to cause cancer. Smoking greatly increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, heart disease, asthma, and women's reproductive disorders.

Millions of Americans will stub out their cigarettes on November 18. For individuals truly motivated to stop smoking, acupuncture can be just the help they need. Join Pacific College and make the Great American Smokeout the first day of your smoke-free life!

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Nuad Bo'Rarn: The Traditional Healing Massage of Thailand
By: Richard Gold, Ph.D., L.Ac.

The traditional medicine of Thailand is the result of a long historical and cultural development dating back at least 2500 years. As with many indigenous peoples that were capable of establishing a specific cultural expression, the Thai people created their own unique synthesis of traditions and techniques. The Thai people were able to reach a level of societal stability which included the ability to competently treat disease and disharmony of physical, emotional, and spiritual origins. The medicine developed in Thailand evolved into four major branches. These are:

Herbal medicine Nutritional Medicine and Food Cures Spiritual Practices (essentially from the Theravada Buddhist tradition) Physical Medicine: Nuad Bo'Rarn (Traditional Medical Massage)

Thai medicine represents a coherent traditional medicine that has developed and been refined over the past 25 centuries. Thai medicine has been strongly influenced by both the Ayurvedic tradition of India and the traditional medicine of China . Within this synthesis, there are important components that are purely Thai. Many of the primary techniques to treat the wide range of disorders that afflict people are contained within the practice of Nuad Bo'Rarn, the physical medicine of Thailand . Although Nuad Bo'Rarn is often considered to be a form of massage, it contains elements and techniques that are quite different from the common notions of massage and would more correctly be categorized as a form of peripheral stimulation. Contained within these techniques are the direct and clear intentions of the practitioner to effect the physiology and energetics of the body and mind of the recipient.

Nuad Bo'Rarn, the traditional physical medicine of Thailand , is practiced very slowly, with an emphasis on both the practitioner and client being in a heightened or meditative state of consciousness. Nuad Bo'Rarn is recognized to be a practical application of the Buddhist concept of 'Metta,' or loving kindness. Nuad Bo'Rarn demonstrates the 'Four Divine States' of mind that are discussed in Buddhism: compassion, loving kindness, vicarious joy and equanimity. This form of healing work allows for the fulfillment of the Buddhist teaching of bringing higher ideals into everyday life and activities. Furthermore, this style of healing work has always placed an emphasis on the mind/body connection and has been utilized as a tool in the treatment of emotional and spiritual disorders.

Stretching and extending the range of motion of the client's body are an important part of Thai massage. The stretching often takes the form of double or assisted Yoga. Once the client has relaxed deeply, the practitioner, with a heightened sensitivity, stretches the client to his or her comfortable limit.

A vital aspect of the theory underlying Thai Medicine is the importance placed on the abdominal region. According to Thai Medicine, all the major energy p A vital aspect of the theory underlying Thai Medicine is the importance placed on the abdominal region. According to Thai Medicine, all the major energy pathways of the body have their origin in the abdominal region in the vicinity of the navel. Therefore, the abdominal massage is a crucial component of the healing benefit of this medicine.

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Teas From Plants Around You And Their Benefits

All teas unless specified are brewed with 1 teaspoon dry material or 2 teaspoons fresh material to 1 cup of water. Always steep. This means pouring hot water over material and letting set for 5 - 15 minutes. Always dry leaves and roots out of the sun, in dark airy places. Then store in airtight containers.

Persimmon Tea: The leaves when dried and crushed make a fine strong tea. Rich in Vitamin C, it is an excellent healthy drink. Can be used all year round

Sassafras Tea: Boil fresh roots after washing, until water turns reddish brown. Can be sliced and dried for later use. Claimed by some to be a blood thinner, a blood purifier, to help bronchitis, a stimulating spring tonic. Mostly it is used for pure enjoyment.

Birch Tea (Wintergreen): Black, yellow and white birch. Dried leaves can be used year round. A large handful of fresh leaves steeped in hot water and drink 1 to 2 cups a day for rheumatism and headaches. Said to reduce pain of passing kidney stones, and a fever reducer. Used cold can be used as a refreshing mouthwash.

Blackberry/Raspberry Tea: The dried mature leaves of these brambles make a good tea. Used to help control diarrhea, as a blood purifier and tonic. Use all year round.

Blueberry Tea: The dried mature leaves are steeped until cool and drunk 1 to 2 cups per day as a blood purifier and tonic. Also used to help inflamed kidneys and increase the flow of urine. This tea can be used all year round.

Alfalfa Tea: The dried and powdered leaves and flower heads make a very nutritious tea, but it is somewhat bland. We suggest mixing them with normal teas to stretch them and add nutrition. Its vitamin content was the reason it was used. Used all year round.

Wild Strawberry Tea: Use dried leaves normally. Pour several cups boiling water over a handful of fresh leaves in the evening. Cover and let steep overnight. Strain water and reheat in the morning. Believed to help with a multitude of things, from stomach troubles, eczema, diarrhea, etc. According to experts, it is much more healthful than purchased coffee or teas. Use all year round.

Wild Rose-Hip Tea: A handful of these steeped for 10 minutes, then strained, make a healthful tea. Can be used dried or fresh in season. Instead of boiling, place a handful in cool water overnight, then stain and reheat in the morning. Use all year round. Strong Vitamin C content. Helps with Colds and the flu and can be beneficial for a sore throat.

Sweet Goldenrod Tea (Anise): Can use dried or fresh leaves or flowers. Makes a very flavorful tea. Pure enjoyment only, and great for all year round

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

"Past scholars studied to improve themselves;

Today's scholars study to impress others."


Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - October 2005 | Issue 13

In this issue you will find:

Important PCOM Dates

  • October 24 - National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day
  • October 24 - New York Open House
  • October 29 - Chicago Fall Open House

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Pacific College Reaches Out to Hurricane Victims

Pacific's New York campus has been working to raise funds to assist Acupuncturists without Borders, to help the healing process from this tragedy.

In order to aid and support those who have suffered from this natural disaster, acupuncture can be extremely beneficial in helping people facing enormous stress, anger, frustration, depression, fatigue and other emotional and physical pain.

As a part of the relief effort, Acupuncturists without Borders will be traveling to Houston and surrounding areas where evacuees are being housed to provide free acupuncture treatments.

Community style acupuncture provides the opportunity to set up treatment facilities anywhere, as well as the ability to treat large groups at once. Auricular treatment is provided to each patient for 30-60 minutes while sitting in a chair.

In addition to reaching out to the victims of this disaster, treatments will also be made available to all service workers including police, search and rescue volunteers, Red Cross volunteers, as well as all medical personnel.

Throughout the month, Pacific College Acupuncture Center , will be accepting donations in support of this program.

For more information on the relief efforts or to make a donation, please contact Pacific College at (800) 729-3468.

Pacific College 's Chicago campus has also dedicated its time to aiding hurricane victims through a fundraising event held on Sunday October 9 th . Chicago provided acupuncture and massage therapies at a discounted rate on this day to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity.

In response to the wide spread devastation left by both Hurricane Katrina and Rita, Habitat for Humanity recently launched "Operation Home Delivery" a three-phase response to aid people rebuild their lives and their homes in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast.

All proceed that were raised on this day went directly to Habitat for Humanity.

In San Diego , PCOM continues to support the efforts of clinic supervisor Erin Raskin as well as other PCOM alumni and faculty as they provide acupuncture to both victims of the hurricanes and volunteers of the Red Cross Family Assistance Center. PCOM donated the necessary supplies for the make shift clinic set up to treat patients for stress, pain, grief, as well as various medical conditions. Acupuncture treatments began September 22 and continue today to a majority of patients who have never before experienced acupuncture. The Red Cross Family Assistance Center , which has helped more than 1100 people to date, is expected to remain open through the end of the month.

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Using Herbs to treat Cancer:
Traditional Medicine in a Modern World
By: - Patrick Paine, L.Ac.

The simple fact that plants are a major source of many drugs is not a surprise to most. Penicillin comes from mold, coumadin from sweet clover and aspirin from the bark of the white willow. Many of the most effective cancer drugs are also plant derived such as Vincristine (from periwinkle), Etoposide (from mayapple) and Taxol (from the pacific yew tree).

In China and Japan , the mainstream medical opinion is that supplementing chemotherapy with traditional herbal formulas can improve survival rates and life expectancy of cancer patients. Skeptics might doubt any herbal effect but for cancer patients, it raises a very simple question, "What does the research say?"

Coriolis versicolor, the common turkey tail mushroom, has over 400 published studies including several long term human clinical trials confirming its cancer killing, anti-metastatic, and immune enhancing effects. (1-9) It is referred to as a Biological Response Modifier as it improves the patients own anti-tumor response (10). Researchers at the St. Mary's Medical Center in San Francisco reviewed several randomized clinical trials and agreed with the Japanese Ministry of Health that this common mushroom significantly improves survival rates and lifespan for gastric, esophageal, colorectal, breast and lung cancers ( 9).

Coptis chinensis (Huang Lian) is a favorite herb of traditional Chinese medicine for signs of infection associated with heat or inflammation. Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) have demonstrated effects on hepatoma, gastric, colon, and breast cancer cells in the lab. Researchers also discovered that the whole herb is more effective than the single major constituent, berberine (11). A phase one clinical trial is currently underway on the effects of Huang Lian on solid tumors at MSKCC.

Artemisinin annua (Qing Hao), commonly known as sweet wormwood, has recently gained fame as the best treatment for quinine resistant malaria. A University of Washington study shows Artemisinin selectively kills several cancer cell lines in the test tube. It worked against breast cancer cells but was most effective for aggressive forms of pancreatic and leukemia cell lines (14,15). Artemisinin damages cell membranes by reacting with iron, high concentrations of which are found in both the malaria parasite and quickly dividing cancer cells. Researchers observed cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy were still killed by aremisinin (16).

Oldenlandia (Bai Hua She She Cao) is used traditionally for snakebite or any conditions of heat due to toxin. The Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy published an article in 2004 that showed oral doses of Bai Hua She She Cao inhibited lung cancer growth and metastasis in rats and eight other cancer cell lines in the test tube (12).

In the near future, America 's healthcare will be very similar to what is found in China and Japan : an integrative system that takes the best of all worlds for the benefit of the patient. Clearly, herbs can be potent medicines and in the case of the turkey tail mushroom a clinically proven complementary option for stomach, colon, lung and throat cancer.

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Top Food For Allergies

For those who suffer from allergies throughout the whole year from offending allergens such as animal dander and dust mites, one way in decreasing the severity of your allergies is to boost your immunity with immune-enhancing foods. These foods will have high levels of vitamin C, magnesium, beta-carotene, and quercetin.

Vitamin C
It has been shown to decrease production of histamine, thus reducing an immediate allergic episode. It is a natural antihistamine. It helps relieve allergic symptoms and prevents inflammatory reactions. 

Green and red peppers, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, potatoes, cabbage

When converted to Vitamin A, it helps boost immunity and keeps the respiratory system working optimally. It also is a powerful antioxidant.

Sweet potatoes, kale, spinach. carrots, winter squash, collard greens

May reduce constricted airways in asthma by relaxing the muscles around the bronchial tubes. It can buffers the acidic stage of an allergic reaction. Some think a deficiency in magnesium can release histamine.

Almonds, spinach, avocados, oysters, seeds, peanuts, buckwheat

Rich in bioflavonoids. It can reduce allergic reactions by having an antihistamine effect. It also decreases inflammation

Apples, cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, pears, spinach, kale, cabbage

In addition, ginger is a natural antihistamine and decongestant. It may provide some relief from allergy symptoms by dilating constricted bronchial tubes.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

 "Whoever loves the world as his self may be entrusted to care for the world."

Lao Tzu

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - August 2005 | Issue 11

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In this issue you will find:

Important August Dates

  • August 13: San Diego Open House
  • August 14: New York Graduation Ceremony
  • August 21: San Diego Graduation Ceremony

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Oriental Medicine For Insomnia

Insomnia is more serious than an inability to fall asleep early and has more debilitating effects than are commonly recognized. An estimated 32 million people suffer from insomnia in the U.S. Oriental medicine, with its focus on healing whole syndromes rather than individual symptoms, has shown great success treating those who experience insomnia.

Insomnia may present itself in different ways. For some, the inability to fall asleep is the most noticeable symptom while others are unable to reach a deep level of sleep and are startled awake by every noise. Any insomnia symptom would frustrate most sleepers, but night after night for months or years, the most serious issues of insomnia accumulate - the daytime effects. These can include physical tiredness, difficulty concentrating and feeling depressed, irritable or lethargic. Oriental medicine is effective for treating insomnia. It focuses on patients' individual symptoms and builds a whole-healing plan from each symptom. It also has been widely successful in treating depression, stress and physical pain.

Acupuncture and herbs have shown to be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of insomnia by treating the root of the problem. Insomnia may have a number of causes, including stress, depression or anxiety; irregular work schedules; medications, drug or alcohol abuse; major life changes; chronic pain, hyperthyroidism or arthritis.

A study published recently in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, reports that patients who received acupressure and transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) experienced a significant improvement with their symptoms, including problems of fatigue, sleep quality and depression. The results from this study suggest that acupressure or TEAS might have an important role in managing patients with fatigue, poor sleep quality and depression.

By addressing all of the contributing factors using acupuncture and herbs, a patient can completely resolve their sleep disturbances. Oriental medicine helps do this by treating the whole person and focusing on bringing the entire body into balance.

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Classical Five-Element Acupuncture
By: Neil R. Gumenick

For thousands of years, the Chinese have recognized that the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water exist in everyone, everything, and are essential for life. In the seasons of the year, for example, we can clearly see the elements in their never-ending cycle of change and transformation.

In spring (the season of the Wood element), new buds appear, animals awaken from hibernation, and a new growing cycle begins summer (the season of Fire), sees the buds expand into full fruits and flowers. Summer is the season of maximum fruition and fullness. Late Summer (the season of Earth) is harvest time, the season in which Mother Earth offers us of her bounty to gather and store Autumn (the season of Metal) is nature's time to let go of what is no longer necessary, clearing the way for the growing cycle to come. Winter (the season of Water) is a time of rest and recharge, its energy latent and potent for the explosive energy of rebirth in spring.

The ancient Chinese lived and worked in nature. They observed that in order to have a harvest, there must be a balance of the five elements: fire, earth metal, water, and wood. There must be enough sunlight and heat, soil in which the plant can root and draw sustenance, a proper amount of minerals and trace elements, the right amount of water, and a seed capable of growth. Too much or too little of any of these would mean that the harvest, and life itself, would be in peril. They recognized that the same elements that operate in nature also operate in human beings. We have the same elements within us, manifesting as our organs and functions - physically, mentally, and spiritually. When the elements are in balance, we harvest radiant good health.

Classical Five-Element Acupuncture asserts that every human being is born with, or develops early in life, an imbalance in the natural functioning of one of these elements. This imbalance becomes the root cause of illness at all levels.

Each of the elements contains specific organs or functions (e.g. Heart, Lungs, Kidneys, Spleen, etc.) When an element is imbalanced, so must the organs and functions residing within it become imbalanced. Within a space of time, this primary imbalance will spread disharmony throughout the system and affect all other elements, as well as their corresponding organs and functions. Therefore, Classical Five-Element Acupuncture considers that any symptom can be the result of imbalance originating in any element, as they all are invariably connected and affected.

The Causative Factor
The job of the Classical Five-Element practitioner is to determine which element is the primary imbalance. Once it is correctly identified and treated, all the other elemental imbalances will resolve naturally. Classical Five-Element Acupuncture is thus set apart from other systems of acupuncture by its fundamental premise of diagnosing and treating a patient's Causative Factor: his/her root imbalance.

The Causative Factor is assessed by way of information provided by the body itself. Each of the elements has a corresponding color, sound, emotion, and odor, which can be perceived when a particular element is out of balance. While it is relatively easy to memorize these associations, developing the skills to truly see, hear, feel, and smell these imbalances requires focused study, practice, and skilled guidance. Accurate diagnosis and treatment of the Causative Factor is the key to Classical Five-Element Acupuncture.

Energetic Blocks
There are, additionally, a number of energetic blocks, which can overlay the Causative Factor and must be removed before work on the Causative Factor element will be effective. Practitioners are trained to identify and remove all such energetic blocks.

Using Points for Treating the Spirit Directly
In addition, this elegant system recognizes that the health of each individual's body, mind, and spirit must be taken into account to fully understand and treat the cause of disease. Each acupuncture point has a unique spiritual gift, suggested by its point name, that it is capable of delivering (e.g. Spirit Storehouse, Great Esteem, Abundant Splendor, etc.). These points, when used at the right time and in conjunction with their respective elemental diagnoses, can literally turn the course of disease.

Regardless of the presence of physical symptoms, the vast majority of patients are imbalanced at the level of the spirit. To reach a patient fully means reaching all of him or her: body, mind, and spirit. With this medicine, we have the means to treat, not only the body, but also the mind and spirit directly, according to the unique needs of each patient. Thus, we assist nature to heal from the inside out.

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Recipes for Sunburn Relief

Prepare for the hot days of summer by making your own herbal sunburn remedies:

Aloe Vera gel
Break off one leaf from an aloe vera plant. Using a sharp paring knife, remove the outside skin and the thin latex-like membrane that is attached to the skin (this part can cause intestinal distress if mixed into the gel).

Place the remainder of the leaf in a small bowl. Use a spoon to "mush" the leaf until it is gel-like. Apply directly to burn. This mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for a week. 

St. John 's Wort oil

1/2 cup dried St. John's Wort (medicinal species; not from your yard)

3/4 cup olive oil

Fill a small glass jar with the dried herbs. Fill the jar almost to the top with olive oil. Return the lid and shake the mixture well.

Continue to shake once a day for two weeks and allow it to sit at room temperature. After two weeks, squeeze the mix through a cheesecloth. What has been strained is then ready for use. Apply directly to the affected area. This mixture can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a year.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

"Life is finite, while knowledge is infinite. "

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - September 2005 | Issue 12

In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • September 14 - Chicago Open House
  • September 21 - New York Open House
  • September 24-25 - NY CEU Event: I-Ching Acupuncture & Taoist Time Acupuncture

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Health Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai chi, an ancient Chinese discipline that integrates mind, body, and spirit. Practitioners use meditation and deep breathing as they move through a series of continuous exercises, called "forms," which resemble slow-moving ballet. Though it originated as a martial art (evolving from qigong), tai chi is now practiced more for its therapeutic benefits, which include reducing stress, promoting balance and flexibility, and even easing arthritis pain.

Tai chi increases strength and promotes calm and harmony by improving the flow of internal energy (or qi ) throughout the body. It is the calming, meditative aspect of tai chi that makes it particularly useful for reducing stress and anxiety.

As an aerobic exercise, tai chi benefits the entire body, increasing muscle strength and enhancing balance and flexibility. People who practice tai chi are also said to exploit the strength of yin (the earth) and the energy of yang (the heavens) through exercises designed to express these forces in balanced and harmonious form.

Tai chi can be used as a preventive health measure, as a way to maintain good health, or to help with a specific ailment. Specifically, tai chi can be used to help:

Arthritis. By strengthening the muscles surrounding an arthritic joint and improving flexibility, tai chi increases range of motion without causing pain. Although tai chi cannot treat bone and cartilage damage caused by arthritis, it can lessen the severity and pain of the disease when started early enough.

Balance. Research shows that practicing tai chi improves balance in older people and thus reduces the risk of falling--a major cause of death and disability in the elderly.

Circulation problems. Tai chi may enable the heart to pump more blood with each beat, thereby improving circulation.

High blood pressure. A recent study done at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions revealed that tai chi lowered blood pressure almost as much as moderate-intensity aerobic exercise in older adults who had been sedentary.

Multiple sclerosis. Preliminary studies suggest that tai chi helps people with MS to increase their physical functioning as well as their mental well-being.

Stress. Although the evidence is limited, some studies have shown that tai chi is as effective as meditation and walking for reducing the amount of stress hormones in the body.

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Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
Creating Physical and Emotional Health with Acupuncture
by Diane Joswick, L.Ac. (Acufinder.com)

Menopause doesn't have to be a dreaded curse of aging during which we can look forward only to hot flashes and whacked-out hormonal mood swings. Menopause often marks the beginning of a woman's most sexually passionate, creatively inspired, and professionally productive phase of life.

While this may sound like wishful thinking, examine how a woman's lifestyle, emotions, and beliefs are affected by menopause. With the right diet, attitude, and Oriental Medicine women can actually look forward to a resurgence of energy and a revolutionary opportunity for personal growth--one that rivals the hormonally driven period of adolescence.

What is Menopause?
Menopause is a transitional period marking the cessation of ovulation in a woman's body. This time of change may last a few months to several years. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, and are brought on as our bodies try to adapt to decreasing amounts of estrogen. Symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, memory loss, vaginal dryness, headaches, joint pain, and weight gain.

According to Chinese Medical theory, menopause occurs when a woman's body begins to preserve blood and energy in order to sustain her vitality and allow for the maximum available nourishment for her body, especially her kidneys. The kidney is the organ Chinese Medicine sees as the root of life and longevity. Therefore, the body, in its wisdom, reserves the flow of a channel in the center of the body which sends blood and energy down to the uterus. Instead, blood and essence from the kidneys are conserved and cycled through the body to nourish the woman's spirit and extend her longevity. Thus, in the Chinese Medicine, menopause is seen as true change in life from mother to enlightened and wise being.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Menopause
Few areas of women's health stir up as much confusion and debate as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which is normally started when the first symptoms of menopause appear. While they may alleviate hot flashes and prevent osteoporosis, they will also increase the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, and have a number of significant side-effects. But HRT isn't the only solution. Menopause is an area in which Oriental Medicine shines. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have the ability to detect energetic changes that occur in the body and quickly relieve symptoms such as hot flashes, foggy mind, and irritability.

Evidence that Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine have been used for women's health can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3AD.

Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize menopause as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 women are treated with Oriental medicine for hot flashes, each of these 10 women will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.

How Acupuncture Works
The mental and emotional symptoms that you are experiencing will help create a clear picture on which your practitioners can create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced. Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.

The Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncture points to treat the emotional and physical effects of menopause are located all over the body. During the acupuncture treatment, tiny needles will be placed along your legs, arms, shoulders, and perhaps even your little toe!

There seems to be little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles. They are so thin that several acupuncture needles can go into the middle of a hypodermic needle. Occasionally, there is a brief moment of discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin, but once the needles are in place, most people relax and even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments. The style of acupuncture that your acupuncturist has been trained in will play a roll in length of treatment, number of points used and frequency of visits.

Studies on Acupuncture and Menopause
Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are effective treatments for hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia, vaginal dryness and many other symptoms associated with menopause. Recent studies show extremely positive results:

From 1997 to 1999, one of the first studies in the United States to explore the effectiveness of acupuncture in alleviating hot flashes, insomnia and nervousness, conducted by Dr. Susan Cohen, D.S.N., APRN, associate professor of the University of Pittsburgh, it was found that during the course of acupuncture treatments, hot flashes decreased by 35% and insomnia decreased by 50%. A follow-up study revealed hot flashes significantly decreased in those receiving acupuncture, compared to those receiving routine care.

A 2002 pilot study in England found that acupuncture reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes in women being treated with tamoxifen for breast cancer.

While these results are promising and the United Nations World Health Organization has approved acupuncture as a treatment for symptoms associated with menopause, further clinical trials with larger samples are currently underway

A 2003 study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, involves a larger number of participants than previous studies. Participants will be divided into three groups; one will receive menopause-specific acupuncture, one will receive non-menopause-specific acupuncture, and one will receive usual care.

Stanford Medical Center researchers are now studying whether acupuncture can help alleviate hot flashes. During the one-year, placebo-controlled study at Stanford, volunteers may receive 10 treatments over an eight-week period.

Lifestyle and Dietary Instructions
Menopause patients are encouraged lose that extra weight and to follow a diet with a high content of raw foods, fruits and vegetables to stabilize blood sugar. Some foods may exacerbate hot flashes or increase mood swings. Steer clear of dairy products, red meats, alcohol, sugar, spicy foods, caffeine, and don't smoke. Lastly, try to eliminate stress, tension and anxiety or learn techniques to cope with stress so that you can diminish the effects that it has on your body and mind.

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Herb of the Month: Peppermint

(Mentha piperita) oil is refreshing, cooling, and stimulating and is a great anti-nausea and digestive aid. Peppermint oil in water can be a mouthwash or a gargle for a sore throat. For sunburns, add three to five drops of peppermint oil to a tepid bath and splash around. After your bath, add one drop of peppermint and three drops of lavender to a palm full of Aloe Life topical aloe gel and apply to affected area. Peppermint also works as an insect and rodent repellent.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

Friendship is one mind in two bodies."

Mencius (4th century BC) , [Mengzi] Chinese Confucian philosopher

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - July 2005 | Issue 10

In this issue you will find:

Important Summer Dates

  • July 28: New York Open House
  • August 10: Chicago Open House (Massage)
  • August 13: San Diego Open House
  • August 14: New York Graduation Ceremony
  • August 21: San Diego Graduation Ceremony

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Summer Herbal Medicine Chest

Vacations, bug bites, poison ivy and sunburn: summer just wouldn't be summer without them all! Use these herbal remedies to combat summer ailments, so you can focus on enjoying the outdoors.

Technical Name: (Aloe vera) gel extracted from the inside of aloe leaves

Used For: Topical treatment of sunburn, first and second degree burns, skin irritation or inflammation, mosquito bites, rashes from poisonous plants, constipation and colic

Available In: Whole, living plants, commercial gels and lotions.

Technical Name: (Arnica montana ) a daisy-like mountain flower

Used For: Bruises, sprains, soreness and swelling/muscle spasms from sports activity; arthritis set off by seasonal change; general muscle and joint pain

Available In: Tincture, homeopathic ointment, cream, salve and pills 

Technical Name: Enzyme extracted from the fruit of the pineapple plant

Used For: Swelling, pain and bruising after injury, persistent hematoma, bunions, bursitis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, gout, sinusitis

Available In: Capsules

Technical Name: (Zingiber officinale), fresh or dried pieces of the underground stem of the ginger plant

Used For: Arthritis, bursitis; motion sickness, nausea; relief of chest congestion; it is a natural anti-inflammatory agent.

Available In: Whole fresh root, crystallized ginger, honey-based ginger syrups, capsules containing powdered ginger extracts, alcohol extracts

Technical Name: (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil from the leaves of the Australian tea tree

Used For: Fungal infections of the skin (athlete's foot, ringworm, jock itch); acne; localized infections and sores on mucous membranes (canker sores, boils, abscesses); yeast infections, bee stings, lice. It's a great germicidal and antibacterial agent.

Available In: Pure essential oil and many formulations (toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.)

Technical Name: Hamamelis virginiana ,distillation of leaves, bark and twigs

Used For: Insect stings; sun and wind burn; poison ivy blisters; disinfectant of minor cuts and abrasions; skin care, cleansing, toning and refreshing; muscle soreness, and hemorrhoids.

Available In: Liquid distillation of leaves, twigs, bark

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Tui Na - Chinese Bodywork Therapy
By Bill Helm


Tuina is an Oriental Bodywork Therapy that has been used in China for 2,000 years. Tuina uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi through the meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tuina seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body the naturally heal itself.

Tuina methods include the use of hand techniques to massage the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body, acupressure techniques to directly affect the flow of Qi , and manipulation techniques to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships (bone-setting). External herbal poultices, compresses, liniments, and salves are also used to enhance the other therapeutic methods.

Tuina has a variety of different systems that emphasize particular aspects of these therapeutic principles. The main schools in China include the rolling method school which emphasizes soft tissue techniques and specializes in joint injuries and muscle sprains, the one finger pushing method school which emphasizes techniques for acupressure and the treatment of internal diseases, and Nei Gung method school which emphasizes the use of Nei Gong Qi energy generation exercises and specific massage methods for revitalizing depleted energy systems, and the bone setting method school which emphasizes manipulation methods to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships and specializes in joint injuries and nerve pain.

In a typical session, the client, wearing loose clothing and no shoes, lies on a table or floor mat. The practitioner examines the specific problems of the client and begins to apply a specific treatment protocol. The major focus of application is upon specific pain sites, acupressure points, energy meridians, and muscles and joints. Advanced Tuina practitioners may also use Chinese herbs to facilitate quicker healing. Sessions last from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on the specific problems of the client, they may return for additional treatments. The client usually feels relaxed but energized by the treatment.

Tuina is now being popularized in this country as a powerful therapeutic extension of traditional western massage methods. Tuina's simplicity and focus on specific problems, rather than a more generalized treatment, make it both an excellent alternative and/or extension of the Swedish-style massage. By utilizing treatments of shorter duration, it can be used in a variety of settings, including home, office, clinic or hospital. It is well suited for both the professional massage therapist or the active, health conscious individual.


Tuina dates back to the Shang Dynasty of China, 1700 B.C.E. Oracle bones show that tuina massage was used to treat children's diseases and digestive complaints in adults. By 600 C.E. Tuina was included in the Imperial Medical College as a separate department. Tuina flourished throughout China until the Qing Dynasty where it was suppressed along with other Chinese cultural arts. Following the Communist revolution, Tuina was restored along with other traditional medical arts and was included in the creation of the current system of Traditional Medicine Colleges.

Currently, Tuina is taught as a separate but equal field of study in the major traditional Chinese medical colleges. Tuina doctors receive the same demanding training as acupuncturists and herbalists and enjoy the same level of professional respect.

Benefits, Limitations, Contraindications

Tuina is well suited for the treatment of specific musculoskeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems. Effective treatment protocols have been tested in a practical setting. Tuina is not especially useful for those seeking a mild, sedating and relaxing massage since it tends to be more task focused than other types of bodywork. Contraindications include conditions involving fractures, phlebitis, infectious conditions, open wounds, and lesions.

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International Massage Week

International Massage Week, July 17-23, 2005, is designed to raise public awareness of the benefits of therapeutic massage and encourage people to take the extra time to care for their health through massage.

Popular among all age groups, massage is effective for relaxation and stress reduction, as well as medical reasons, including muscle soreness/stiffness/spasms, injury, headaches, pain reduction, blood and lymph circulation and improved immune system function. Massage has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate and increase endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. More than one in four Americans report having had a massage from a massage therapist in the past five years, spending a total of between $4 and $6 billion on 114 million visits each year. And in recent years, massage therapy has reached some of the nations' top hospitals, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Stanford Hospital in California .

The explosion in the popularity of massage can be attributed in part to the growing population of aging baby boomers and an increased awareness of the effects of stress and the physiological benefits of massage. Doctors are now prescribing massage to their patients, and sports teams are hiring massage therapists as well. A growing number of businesses and organizations, including the U.S. Department of Justice, are also offering massage in the workplace to decrease job stress and increase productivity.

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

"The heavy is the root of the light. The tranquil is the ruler of the hasty."

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