The Role Of Taste, Season, Element, Organ System, Direction, And Color Of Herbs And Foods In Chinese Diet Therapy

In Chinese medicine, herbal and diet therapies are subject to change based on the seasons of the year. In the cold season, for example, we need to consume warming herbs and foods as this helps maintain the thermal equilibrium of our bodies; conversely, we need take in cold herbs and foods in summer, to keep ourselves from overheating.

Some people tend to have a problem with certain foods in the spring than at other times of the year. Springtime is the start of the allergy season and even food allergies can become more common at this time of year. This is the time when Wind is the most dominant atmospheric condition which gives rise to allergies. Furthermore, Wind can exacerbate existing allergies and may likely contribute to the rise of new allergies. If you are not careful, some harmless foods that you consume at other times of the year, in spring, may cause you allergies or other kinds of problems.

In Chinese medicine, one of the external pathological factors you need to watch out for is Dampness. Some “allergies” are actually bodily reactions from eating foods that increase Dampness in the body. Dampness in the air or environment can infiltrate the Interior and harm your Spleen. The Spleen is especially sensitive to Dampness and if you have a weak Spleen, it can be very vulnerable to Dampness infiltration. A weak Spleen may even create more internal Dampness, which worsens the infiltration of external Dampness in your body. Dampness-producing foods include oranges, wheat, dairy products, milk, etc. For people with an unhealthy Spleen, when they eat damp herbs or foods during cold periods of the year, it can create further problems in their body. The Spleen is also very sensitive to cold but not as much as it is to Dampness.

During spring, Wind is the dominant atmospheric energy (Wood – The Gallbladder & Liver are the most vulnerable), in the early summer, it is Heat (Fire – Triple Heater, Pericardium, Small Intestine, Heart), in late summer, Dampness (Earth – Spleen & Abdomen), in fall, Dryness (Metal – Large Intestine & Lungs), and in the winter, Cold (Water, Bladder & Kidneys.

Like Western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Bellmore acknowledges that the body has a system of checks and balances built within it. In TCM, one of these checks and balances is the so-called Victor-Vanquished relationship. In this relationship, each Element controls another. These include:

Water (Bladder, Kidney) controlling Fire (Small Intestine, Heart), Metal (Large Intestine, Lung) controlling Wood (Gallbladder, Liver), Earth (Stomach, Spleen) controlling Water (Bladder, Kidney), Fire (Small Intestine, Stomach) controlling Metal (Large Intestine, Lungs), and Wood (Gallbladder, Liver) controlling Earth (Stomach, Spleen).

Earth will be over controlled if Wood is too “strong;” Earth will be out of control if Wood is too “weak”.

Certain individuals suffer from imbalances in the Spleen due to weakness of the Spleen. Their condition can be treated by simply supplementing their bodies with herbs and foods that strengthen the Spleen. But there are also cases when the cause of Spleen weakness is due to a strong Liver, and not because of a problem in the Spleen. In cases like these, merely providing the Spleen with strengthening foods and herbs is like continuously draining water out off a leaky rowboat. You have to keep on scooping water out until the leak is corked. The leak, in this instance, is the Liver that is too “strong”. It inhibits the Spleen, which causes it to function inefficiently. It is not enough to strengthen the Spleen you need to also calm the Liver to prevent it from being a control freak that suppresses and over controls the Spleen.

Wood over dominating Earth (which, in TCM, is the Elemental method of diagnosis) is similar to the Liver attacking the Spleen (This is the Organ Analysis method).

Each of the primary tastes in TCM is related to a specific Organ and Element. Salty taste is related to Water (Bladder, Kidney); spicy, pungent, or acrid to metal (Large Intestine, Lung); sweet to Earth (Stomach, Spleen); bitter to Fire (Small Intestine, Heart); and sour to Wood (Gallbladder, Liver). An Organ can be in trouble if it gets too little or too much of what it needs. Not consuming salt or taking too little of it may lead to a loss of significant amount of fluid passing through the urinary system. But when you load up on too much salt, and can be harmful to your heart. Fire (Heart) is controlled by Water (Kidney). Overconsumption of salt can lead to water buildup in the body that in turn, can overstress the heart.

Furthermore, each taste has its own specific qualities. The sour taste has a tendency to generate Yin and fluids, and it can also “plug leaks” (which may be helpful for diarrhea, excessive sweating, etc.). Earth (Spleen) is controlled by Wood (Liver). Spleen plays a huge role in the transport and conversion of drinks and foods. The buildup of Dampness is the symptom that’s likely to arise when the Spleen is weak. A person with Dampness should avoid drinks and foods that generate fluids.

The bitter taste has a quality that hardens, sedates and diffuses Heat. It also overcomes rebellious Qi and clears Damp Heat. Metal (Large Intestine, Lung) is controlled by Fire (Small intestine Heart). There are a wide variety of bitter herbs that bring about problems in the Lungs. While the Lungs are averse to Damp, they also have a dislike for excess dryness.

The sweet taste has a moderating, balancing, and tonifying quality. It can help halt pain and tonify deficiency. Water (Bladder, Kidney) is controlled by Earth (Stomach, Spleen). Be reminded of the urinary problems diabetics suffer when you think of this connection.
The pungent taste can eliminate pathogenic elements and has a scattering quality. Spices have a warming quality and can be hard on people who are too Hot but helpful for people who are too Cold. Metal is the Mother of Water. People become too Cold because of deficient Yin in the body, spices can be of great benefit for these people. Heat, however, has a rising or ascending quality and so when you over consume spicy herbs or foods, it can lead to a buildup of too much Heat in your Lungs. Wood (Gallbladder, Liver) is controlled by Metal (Large Intestine, Lung).

The salty taste has a descending or downward quality. It is useful for swelling and constipation and can help soften hardness. This activity can be biomedically portrayed as the osmotic slope generated when salt travels through the large intestine. This attracts fluids back into the Large Intestine (or it can hinder them from leaving) and this can benefit constipated individuals who need to pass dry and hard stools. The salty taste can help lubricate those dry stools.

In dietary therapy, one of the concepts of TCM is that in order to be in harmony with a season, one should consume foods that possess the energy of that season. Hence, in the winter, one ought to consume salty and cold foods in order to receive the energy of that season (and stave off conditions that may later develop). In the spring, Yang energy increases and so you should eat Yang foods. Still, you need to address idiosyncratic deficiencies. For example, if you are too Cold, regardless of the season, you need warming energy.

In Chinese medicine, an ideal balanced diet is one that has all the five tastes included at every meal. The percentage of the flavors may vary based on the needs of the person. For instance, although a person who is too cold needs to include all the five tastes, he may need to eat a higher proportion of salty and spicy foods to keep warm. Because of the negative viewpoint about the ill-effects of salt to health, a significant cutting back on salt for people with chronic fatigue syndrome can only aggravate their condition. Lots of people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome say that increasing their intake of salt in their foods helps them feel better. Most people with chronic fatigue syndrome also suffer from Kidney imbalance and so it’s also important for them to strengthen their Kidneys.

In Chinese dietary therapy, eating raw foods is prohibited. This is one rule that may not be appropriate at all times. Sometimes, eating a salad with raw foods can be good for the body provided that it is added with spices (like cayenne pepper). Obviously, eating raw foods should not be recommended for some people with deficient yang but the there are people who benefit from eating veggies and raw fruits in moderation.

In TCM, Directions are also related to the Elements: North is related to the Black Tortoise and the element of Water, South to the Red Phoenix and Fire, East to the Green Dragon and Wood, and West to the White Tiger and Metal. You would notice that there are also colors in diet therapy that correspondence the directions and elements. For TCM dietary therapists, this can be very helpful in determining diagnosis. More often than not, people with imbalance in the Liver have a greenish skin color. People with Kidney imbalance tend to have a dark or blackish complexion.

It is very difficult trying to explain how directions can be a helpful tool in diagnosing a condition. This is very foreign in how Western medicine diagnoses disease since it has no logical explanation. Nevertheless, it does work in Chinese medicine. For some reason or another, some individuals feel uncomfortable when they sit in a certain quarter. Some people with liver imbalance, for instance, may at times, experience discomfort when they sit “in the East” (facing West and back to the East). They may refuse to seat in a room on the West or on the West side of the table if they are given a choice of where to seat. Some people meditating in the four directions, testing sitting in the North, South, East, West, may find that some quarters feel more comfortable or uncomfortable than the others. This discomfort may at times suggest imbalance in an Element. No one can explain this phenomenon, but it nevertheless, happens.


The Various Healing Benefits of Tui Na Massage

There are incredible health benefits to be derived when combining massage with Chinese herbal medicine in Cleveland. Besides facilitating and boosting the action of herbal remedies, massage therapy can help the practitioner can determine a great deal of diagnostic information about the patient and touch adds a warm and tender dimension to the process of healing. Moreover, the lotions, oils, liniments, etc used in massage present an additional conduit for herbs to work.

Adding massage therapy, based on the holistic and energetic principles as herbal medicine, to herbal practice is highly likely to increase the healthful benefits of the patient. We need to turn to the glorious ancient civilizations of the East to find this type of healing system. Chinese massage is an ancient advanced living therapeutic tradition based on the Chinese medicine concepts of fluid-blood-chi, the five elements, and Yin-Yang. It has the power to alleviate tension, relax the body, and treat disease.

Chinese massage and acupuncture are very similar systems in that both use the meridian system. Both systems are deemed to work very well for a similar variety of health conditions. However, Chinese massage should not be considered inferior to acupuncture. Chinese massage is one of the basic therapeutic modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It a comprehensive and efficient therapy and is highly esteemed as qi gong, diet, and herbs.

Massage therapy is a very old tradition and is believed to have already been practiced by our prehistoric ancestors. It is mentioned in the Nei Jing, reputedly, the world’s oldest medical document written around (618-907 AD) during the Tang Dynasty. According to the Nei Jing, 56 massage physicians were working in the imperial hospital which was more than the number of total acupuncturists and herbalists in the hospital.

Chinese massage was brought to Japan around this time where it eventually evolved to Japanese Shiatsu. Later on, Peter Henrik Ling developed Swedish massage, the source of Western bodywork, which he learned from Chinese masters.

Traditional Chinese massage was developed from four sources:

1. Taoist and Buddhist monks who used massage to help support their spiritual yoga

2. Martial artists who complemented their ability to heal injuries with their profound knowledge of qi.

3. Ordinary people, usually blind practitioners who offered massage for relaxation and pleasure

4. Physicians who integrated the advanced medical principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine to massage.

Chinese massage has from the time of Mao Tse Tung, gradually developed and has imbibed western ideas into its traditional structure. It is taught in medical schools and is now widely practiced in hospitals in China as a vital component of primary healthcare. We can partly attribute the impressive performance of the gymnasts and athletes of China to the inclusion of traditional Chinese massage in their training.

There five therapies that make up Chinese massage. These are:

1. Dian Hsue – This is similar to acupressure where the therapist utilizes basic pressure techniques. This is sometimes used by acupuncturists when needles are not appropriate. It is usually used at home.

2. Infant Tuina – This type of massage is one of the most common ways Chinese people heal babies and young children. The meridians and pressure points used are not the same as the standard ones.

3. Wai Qi Liao Fa (Healing using external qi) – In this type of treatment, the therapist does not touch the body of the client; he instead discharges qi from a certain distance. Only qi gong masters possess this healing ability and only after undergoing several years of rigorous discipline and training.

4. Tuina – This is a type of Chinese massage that utilizes a push and grasp technique. It is used to treat internal disorders, muscle and joint problems, and injuries.

5. Amno – This massage is to maintain health and rejuvenate the body. It can be used at home, for sports training, qi gong, and in martial arts.

All these techniques share the same theory but in practice they differ in their goals and procedures. Their greatest feature is that each technique not only affects the physical body but also the energy or qi (the acupoints and energy channels/meridians) and the mental aspect (spiritual faculties, thoughts, emotions) of a person. Massage can treat these three aspects since both physical health and mental health rely on an abundant and unblocked flow of Qi.

The Foundation of Chinese Massage – Jing Luo Theory

Chinese Massage, like acupuncture, works on the basis of the collateral or channels (jing luo). This theory states that within the body there a network of channels (called meridians) in which blood and qi flow. The function of this network is to connect the exterior body to the internal organs, to protect the body against pathogens, and to balance yin and yang; any obstruction to the jing luo leads to pain and to all other health problems.

Chinese Massage mainly focuses on the acupoints (hsue) and jing luo. The hsue is where qi can be accessed and manipulated. Jing luo can be influenced by Chinese massage techniques through the:

• Scooping of the meridians (eliminating external pathogens like damp and cold)
• Regulating of blood and qi (directing counterflow and diffusing stagnation)
• Stimulation of blood and qi (boosting its movement)

The jin (the connective and soft tissue associated with flexibility and movement) can also be relaxed through Chinese massage which straightens the joints, improves flexibility, and relieves spasm. Both the joint and the jin directly influence the movement of qi in the jing luo.

Since pain is basically the slow or lack of movement of blood and qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the effects of Chinese massage bring about movement in one form or another making this therapy a very potent remedy for pain.

Techniques Used in Chinese Massage

At the core of all bodywork systems are the techniques. They are what characterize its therapeutic qualities and feel. Chinese Massage textbooks usually list around 30 to 70 hand techniques or shou fa. Besides discussing a variety of soft tissue techniques, they also teach joint manipulation and percussion techniques including spinal adjustments. Some of these hand techniques are unique and some are similar to western massage methods. The gun fa technique, for example, rapidly rotates the back of the hand back and forth over the skin in a manner similar to a heavy rolling pin.

Shou fa are generally considered as either sedating (yin) or stimulating (yang). Each technique is further classified based on the healing effects it produces. Pushing or tui fa, for instance, regulates counterflow, while rubbing or mo fa stimulates yang qi. In the same manner an herbalist mixes a blend of herbs in a formula a skilled therapist combines these techniques to see to it that treatment is achieved with the appropriate balance of yin and yang. Hence, when a condition arises in which yin sedating techniques are mainly recommended, the therapist will adopt yang stimulation techniques to stimulate blood and qi just as an herbal therapist will include ginger to a cooling herbal remedy.

The massage therapist can apply Shou fa to specific ashi points, acupoints, or energy channels and can achieve similar results as acupuncture treatment. Shou fa can be performed in various directions. It can go with or against the movements of the meridians/channels, out from or towards the dan tien, or counter clockwise or clockwise. Each of these methods has different effects.

Equally relevant is the manner the techniques are done. Shou fa is performed in a penetrating and deep yet soft and gentle manner. The application of strokes needs to be persistent and rhythmical. One of the best features of Tuina massage is the controlled use of moving and very deep pressure. A Tuina practitioner might spend a considerable amount of time treating a frozen shoulder condition as a western massage therapist would spend on a full body treatment. “Finger meditation” is the term to describe the repetitive administration of a single technique for several hundreds of times using qi communication and deep penetration.

Chinese Massage Practice

Chinese Massage is often administered with the client sitting on a stool or lying on a couch. Treatment is usually performed through clothing in the public clinics of Chinese hospitals. Some areas in China, however maintain the ancient tradition of massaging the naked skin and using herbal treatment to help speed up qi communication.

To relax a client, an anmo massage therapist will perform a balanced full body treatment that combines yin techniques to relax and calm with yang techniques to stimulate flow and treat stagnant qi. Then a series of routines is administered based on the condition and constitution of the client. If there is strong qi communication, a session can last as long as two hours and can be a very profound experience.

For specific illnesses, Tuina massage therapy will be based on a complete Traditional Chinese Medicine medical history utilizing the four examinations to diagnose a problem and its root pattern, and then plan a treatment. This comprehensive Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnostic system is what gives Tuina its strength and elevates it above other forms of massage. Specified techniques are used simultaneously to address the presenting problems and the underlying pattern based on the plan of treatment.

The following is an example that demonstrates the extraordinary ability of Tuina to treat chronic pain.

A woman came to the clinic of a tuina therapist complaining of stiff shoulder pain. Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnostic examination showed cold damp bi syndrome that affected the yang ming and hand tai yang meridians coupled with underlying kidney and liver deficiency. The therapist began treatment by performing firm but gentle kneading on the shoulder and along the problematic meridians to stimulate blood and qi. When the area was relaxed and warm, persistent and deep techniques were administered on acupoints and ashi points to scoop damp and cold. Next, rotating and shaking manipulation techniques were applied to increase mobility and open the joints followed by intense rubbing with an herbal ointment to warm the meridians. Lastly, to force the cold damp pathogens down and out of the meridians and to balance qi, external qi projection and soft stroking were performed.

A couple of sessions after, the symptoms of the client significantly improved. Later, treatment was started that concentrated on the stomach and back in order to strengthen the kidney and liver.

Tuina massage is a powerful treatment that works very well for a wide range of problems. According to reliable Chinese sources, there are over 140 medical conditions that respond well to this form of massage. These include several internal diseases and almost all kinds of musculoskeletal problems. For instance, in treating digestive and stomach problems associated with Liver stagnation or Spleen deficiency, we have discovered that when combined with herbs, abdominal Tuina can make a huge difference in the improvement of a client’s condition.


TCM And Neuroaid For Post-Stroke Rehabilitation And Recovery

Both physicians and patients have turned to Eastern healing methods in quest for a cure to the harm inflicted by stroke. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Ayurveda, and other ancient techniques have become highly favored options for stroke rehabilitation as outcomes have revealed their efficacy as much better than the Western approach.

Already favored among stroke patients, Traditional Chinese Medicine comes in different forms, some of which include ancient therapeutic techniques like Tong Ren therapy, acupuncture, and herbal medicine.

As fearsome as it seems, acupuncture in reality, is a painless procedure involving the insertion and manipulation of filiform needles into certain points on the body for stimulation and healing. Besides traditional Chinese acupuncture, there are other types of acupuncture. These are auricular or ear acupuncture, Korean hand acupuncture, and Japanese style acupuncture.

Whatever type you use, acupuncture can promote nerve regeneration and recourse extant nerve cells pass the parts of the brain damaged by stroke. This treatment also prevents the buildup and stagnation of blood cells, reduces blood viscosity, and increases blood cells. Stroke sufferers have felt relief from hypertension, dizziness, and headaches and also experienced improvement in emotions, mobility, balance, and walking.

The Tong Ren Therapy of traditional Chinese medicine is an energy healing procedure that is grounded on the TCM theory that each individual possesses energy that can be used for healing and acquired through various points on the body.

Though Tong Ren Therapy is not as famous as acupuncture, it is similar to acupuncture without the needles. It has been responsible for the healing of numerous patients suffering from issues in their nervous systems, hormones, and blood flow.

On the other hand, herbal medicine entails the intake or use of a specifically formulated mixture of herbs or a single herb for stroke recovery. Besides being used to boost blood flow, Chinese herbs also reinvigorate the internal systems that, in turn, re-establish the functioning of the brain impaired by stroke. Experience has demonstrated that periodic use or intake of Chinese herbs leads to the treatment of stroke patients with impaired speech and memory, disorientation, hemiplegia, and aphasia.

Ginseng, a very popular Chinese herb is often recommended to help tonify and restore the blood besides increasing the energy of the body. On the other hand, Gingko Biloba is believed to boost blood circulation especially the flow of blood to the brain. When used together, these two herbs can reduce the concentration of plasma cholesterol in the body although there is still debate about its effectiveness.

These days, thanks to technology, Traditional Chinese Medicine in Pembroke Pine has become more convenient and within reach of stroke patients. Neuroaid is one such wonderful example. With its origins based on TCM, this post-stroke remedial tool has proven to be extremely effective in post stroke recovery. Neurologists all over the world are now prescribing Neuroaid and it has been proven to assist stroke sufferers recover their functional skills. Respectable scientific journals have published a large number of clinical studies indicating the ability of Neuroaid to restore vision, speech, motor skills and other neurological functions of stroke patients. Intriguingly, the outcomes of additional scientific studies published on 2010, on the early part of February reveal that besides being safe, Neuroaid is also efficient for stroke rehabilitation as well as potent in lessening the severity of stroke if used as a preventive measure.


Cupping Therapy Can Be Extremely Effective For Various Illnesses And Pains

The medical industry over the last few decades has turned over a new leaf. People will usually go for alternative forms of treatment over invasive treatments and allopathic medications if they’re given a choice. I mean who wouldn’t if you’re assured of good health without the hassles of harmful and even dangerous side effects?

Cupping therapy is one alternative treatment that has caught a lot of attention quite recently. This healing method may still be a relatively novel form of treatment in the United States but it has been actually practiced for hundreds of years in European societies and thousands of years, in the Middle East, China, and especially ancient Egypt.

What is Cupping Therapy?

Heated cups are used by trained cupping practitioners and applied to targeted parts of a patient’s body, particularly muscular areas such as the legs, arms, abdomen, and back. The cups may be made of silicon, plastic, or glass.

Cupping therapy can be administered in four ways. One way is the method called “fire cupping” or “dry cupping”. In this procedure a cotton ball is immersed in a flammable substance, usually rubbing alcohol. The cotton ball is lit up and used to heat the cups. The cups are alternately heated in oil or hot water.

The cups are quickly set on the skin of the patient once they are sufficiently heated. The skin entirely seals the cup as it rises. A vacuum effect is generated by the heat causing the muscles and skin on the treatment site to develop a small puff. The practitioner allows the cup to stay in this position for some minutes prior to removing it safely. In another method known as “moving cupping”, the cups are moved slowly and gently over different parts of the skin and are left in a single position. But before setting the cups on the skin, the therapist first applies cream or oil on the skin to enable the smooth movement of the cups over the site of treatment. The treated body parts become reddened due to the dilation of the blood vessels and the suction effect.

Wet cupping is the third method and in this procedure, the practitioner makes small incisions on the skin after applying and removing the cups. The sucking procedure is repeatedly done to pull out small amounts of blood. The fourth style of cupping is a combination of acupuncture and cupping. Among the four types, this is the most effective. It entails the sticking of needles prior to the placement of the cups to the skin.

The following are some of the benefits you can receive from cupping therapy:

  • Relieves knotted and tensed muscles and relaxes the body
  • Alleviates inflammation
  • Boosts blood flood which facilitates healing
  • Eliminates toxins that have built up in the tissues
  • Improves performance by invigorating the flow of energy all over the body
  • Strengthens immune function helping combat allergies, colds, and flu

Pain Relief and Cupping Therapy

Well-known to be a versatile treatment for various maladies, cupping therapy is especially potent in the mitigation of pain. This is the reason why a great number of athletes swear by it. It is extremely efficient for various types of painful conditions.

  • For women suffering from intolerable menstrual cramping, cupping therapy can be a very helpful alternative for painkilling drugs
  • It is surprisingly effective for the relief of severe toothaches
  • It relieves pain caused by respiratory problems
  • People suffering from pain related to arthritis or rheumatism can find that cupping therapy can be a long-term answer to their problem
  • Cupping therapy lessens the severity of muscle and joint pain allowing you to experience relief from muscle stiffness and injuries, neck pain, and back pain
  • Cupping therapy helps alleviate tension headaches and migraines

As a type of alternative medicine, Cupping Therapy can do so much for your body’s general well-being and health. It can help you lose weight, promote blood circulation, relieve anxiety, alleviate stiffness and pain, and facilitate digestion. Combined with acupuncture in Reading, cupping therapy can be an extremely effective form of cure for various illnesses and pains.


Qi Gong Can Facilitate Longevity And Better States Of Youthfulness

One of the most potent means for nourishing longevity and staying young is Qi Gong. But how does it work?

Qi Gong Generate Suppleness and Internal Strength

Qi Gong is different from conventional Western exercise by the fact that it trains the body’s energy to stimulate internal organs to extend youthful appearance and facilitate balanced health.

The spleen, according to the Chinese medicinal system, is believed to control the muscles of the body. Some movements in Qi Gong activate the spleen organ system and its related meridians or energy channels. So, your muscles become more youthful helping remove wrinkles (more so in the facial muscles) and making your skin supple when you perform Qi Gong movements that focus on the spleen.

Likewise, increased amounts of oxygen enter the blood since Qi Gong movements also entail deep breathing techniques which lead to the rejuvenation of the internal organs on a cellular level.

And finally, on an energetic level, Jing or essential energy is believed to reside in the kidneys and is responsible for youthfulness. Through Qi Gong movements, the kidneys’ energy of can be nourished. This is the reason why a lot of Qi Gong masters possess very healthy kidneys that don’t seem to age with time.

Producing Juvenile Brain Cells

The University of California did a research and found a stronger pumping of blood occurred inside the brain when qi is generated by Qi Gong masters.

Brain cells are more nourished when there is a greater perfusion of blood to the brain. This helps prevent the rise of mental and cognitive issues related to aging like dementia. Thus, the brain and mind can be kept vibrant and young when you perform Qi Gong regularly.

Thwarts Issues that Age the Body Prematurely

You can experience higher levels of relaxation whenever you perform Qi Gong movements. Therefore, among people practicing Qi Gong, health conditions brought on by stress like specific forms of immunity imbalances, high blood pressure, and premature graying, rarely or sometimes never occurs.

Treats and Manages Problems that Age the Body

The circle walking movements in Qi Gong is used as a therapeutic means for people with cancer. This activity has been shown to contribute greatly to the prevention of premature aging and cellular break down. Some Qi Gong practitioners use a unique form of circle walking Qi Gong movements to help facilitate rejuvenation and enhance relaxation that help heal patients with cancer.

Nourishes the Body and Spirit

Through movement and meditation Qi Gong can enable a linkage with a higher power. A University of California research demonstrated that spiritual practices can strengthen the immune system of people.

So, as a spiritual exercise, Qi Gong has much to contribute in helping maintain the balance of the immune system that can prevent the rise of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis typically related to the aging process.

Produces Youthful Bones

There are two ways in how the bones are nourished by Qi Gong. First, it reinforces the kidneys, which in Chinese medicine, is the organ believed to govern the bones. This means that our bones can have greater protection and can heal faster from osteoporosis and degeneration. Certain Qi Gong movements can also have a positive impact on the fascia and bones.

A prime example of the benefits of Qi Gong to the bones is the case of a 75 year old woman who had ankle surgery and who had been practicing Qi Gong each for several years prior to the surgery. Two weeks ahead of schedule, she had her cast removed as her bones quickly mended compared to a patient who did not practice Qi Gong and who was half her age.

To sum up, Qi Gong can facilitate longevity and youthfulness by promoting greater spiritual and mental balance and by nourishing the bones, muscles, and internal organs of the body.

Eastern Healing Solutions, LLC
10875 Grandview St #2200
Overland Park, KS 66210
(913) 549-4322


Two Theories That Explain How Acupuncture Actually Works

Based on latest research dealing with Chinese medicine and acupuncture, a staggering 8.1 million Americans had tried acupuncture therapy at least once in their lives! Within the past year, more than two million of that humungous number had tried it. In 1971, a writer named James Reston published an article in the New York Times introducing the idea of utilizing needles to alleviate pain. Since then the media has been all over Oriental medicine. It goes without saying there’s a lot more to Chinese medicine than just consulting with an acupuncture practitioner in a clinic. There is a whole world of herbal remedies and herbal medicines out there to be considered.

How acupuncture actually works is still a mystery to a lot of Western medical practitioners which therefore causes them to question its validity. Actually, there are some theories that strive to explain the reason Austin Chinese medicine’s and acupuncture’s success at resolving certain health problems. One such theory is called the “Gate Control” theory that says pain signals moving slowly follow the internal highways of the body.

According to this theory, endorphins are produced and released into the bloodstream when an acupuncture needle is stuck into a specific acupuncture point. The endorphins move a lot quicker and shove the pain signals out of the way. The pain sensation, therefore, never actually reaches the brain, because the slow moving pain is obstructed in the shoving and pushing of signals.

The “Electrical” theory is another Chinese medicine theory that states that the body is constantly emitting weak magnetic waves and what Chinese acupuncture does is manipulate the electromagnetic fields of the body, in the process changing its chemical neurotransmitters. British physicians in 1999 discovered that collagen was actually a good electricity conductor. Researchers explain that collagen fibers have more or less the same electrical conductivity as water. These fibers match the so-called energy channels or meridians of acupuncture. So when one sticks a needle in your skin, you are given a local stimulation or electricity that then allows this positive electrical current to be conducted to certain distant areas of the body.

Each individual’s response to Chinese medicine and acupuncture is unique. There are people who experience no pain or minimal pain as the needles are inserted, some people may feel soreness. Some are calmed with Chinese acupuncture while others are invigorated. Over time, lots of patients come back for more than one treatment and discover that the treatment experience gets easier and easier.

If during a certain session, a patient starts to feel a little discomfort, then he knows that he pushed himself too hard during the past few days. If this occurs he just needs to slow down and take a moment to rest. This will help him be in much better shape – both physically and mentally.


Chinese Nutritional Therapy Provides People With Long-Term Health Benefits

For the past 5,000 years, documents show that the Chinese have been searching for the secrets of medical cures and wellbeing in food.

If we study ancient Chinese history, we will see that this is no exaggeration as there was a medical consultant assisting the chef in the royal kitchen of all the Chinese emperors.
Chinese food or nutritional therapy in Vancouver, which is quite identical to Chinese herbal therapy, is obviously not applicable in medical emergencies. Be that as it may, it is still the most effective way of giving an individual real long term health benefits. Mild stomach aches, for example, can be treated with drugs, but they can also be well-addressed by not eating certain types of food and following proper eating habits. So, stay away from medications if you can find a natural safe alternative type of treatment.

In China these days, it is trendy to bring back the ‘healthy eating’ from long ago. By ‘healthy eating,’ we do not mean having healthy habits or consuming healthy foods, what we mean is providing the body a needed boost in nutrition, or consuming specific foods to rectify health conditions.

Precious ancient ‘healthy recipes’ dating thousands of years ago are now being used in some restaurants in China. They specialize in this type of dishes; now, more and more ordinary restaurants have begun adding some of these recipes in their menus.

If you study Chinese nutritional therapy, you would probably encounter the phrase ‘Yang Sheng’. The Yang in this phrase can mean nourishing body, nursing problems, and maintenance while Sheng can mean growth, existence, and life. Yang Sheng is typically understood as preventing sickness in order to live a long health life, increase the strength of the body, or maintain a healthy life.

A few decades ago in China, most people were very poor. They did not have enough food to eat almost every day and therefore, working for food was the most important thing in their lives. Today, we now see all kinds of foods from all the seasons being sold in the markets at a reasonable price, and all the recipes of the Chinese emperors are now available to those who can afford them.

The recipes of the Chinese emperors are quite different to the recipes we use on a daily basis. The manner in which the ingredients are combined is very different as well as the manner the various dishes are combined in a single meal. Some of the ingredients can be occasionally quite expensive and very difficult to find, while some are easily found in the markets and sold at a reasonable price.

Some wild and rare mushrooms and other expensive ingredients require a unique way of combining with other ingredients and a special way of cooking, if not, they may produce the benefits anticipated. As for the less expensive ingredients, if combined with the right ingredients and cooked in the right way, can yield the same nutritional value as the more expensive ones. You might not get the best outcomes if the combination is wrong. Beef or land, for example, is known to have a nourishing effect on the blood, but after eating them, we then eat watermelon, then the benefits from the beef or lamb can be diminished.


Qi Gong Can Cultivate and Foster An Open Heart

If you want to identify a person with vibrant heart energy, you need to determine whether he has a nourishing quality whenever he interacts with others, has a charismatic smile, and possess a bright reflection in his eyes

A person with vibrant heart energies is one who causes others around him to feel happy and uplifted. This person has a heart energy that is fully nourished and very open.

We all have heart energies emanating from our heart center. When these energies are unblocked, we are able to receive love and can reflect it most fully.

When the heart center is open, we also have a higher sense of self awareness. We are compelled to actively share, and connect with others, and seek to know our emotional states that reside in this center. Opening up of ourselves enables us to interact emotionally and intimately with others, which is essential in fostering and maintaining deep friendships and romantic relationships.

For those who have shared their heart’s essence through words or actions and got back a negative response or a lack of acknowledgment or reciprocation of the gift you shared, it is very possible to derive certain pleasure in such interactions (as evidenced by a very large number of happy people who are living love-less relationships). In terms of vibration, there is a distinct difference in people who share love and embrace emotional intimacy.

People who have heart centers that are open also have a high level of acceptance and self-love that enable them to love and trust others deeply, and thus are able to receive more love in return.

We do not fear love given to be reciprocated when we have an open heart center as we have very strong faith in our abilities to love without any ulterior motive, for true love is neither connected to an ideal that aims to lead to a long-term relationship nor it is about what we expect to get back from others.

It is simply having the courage to open one’s heart to articulate the spirit’s essence absent any expectations, only acknowledgment.

Open hearted people can therefore love without selfish attachments. They are selfless in the sense that they admit they can always improve through the experience of love even if relationships are not forged or do not last.

If we allow our heart centers to be constantly open, each time we allow ourselves to love, our heart becomes more expansive. Conversely, if we choose to close our hearts after being disappointed with love, our hearts become less capable of love.

People usually have become adapted to living with a closed heart (although I would say that this has also very good benefits, one of which is extended longevity, but I digress) that they become unaware they are holding back heart energies from themselves and others and this becomes their default and natural state.

A blocked heart energy can manifest signs that include:

1. Difficulty in empathizing with others during sad moments in life: We are connected to feelings when challenges happen when we have an open heart center.

For people whose heart center is blocked, they are disconnected with their own spiritual and emotional aspects and this makes it hard for them to feel empathy.

People living with this type of disconnect usually attempt to solve problems through an intellectual approach and may not be able to offer emotional comfort or empathy to others.

Peter is distraught as his wife for 20 years has just passed away. His neighbor, Meg, wasn’t a person with an open heart center although she considers herself a compassionate and very giving person. She becomes uncomfortable with Ryan’s grief when she visited Ryan to console him. To “console” Ryan, she asked him if helping with other tasks around the house or cooking for him would “make him feel better”.

Although he appreciated Meg’s offer, Ryan experienced her offer as not soothing and empty. What he truly needed was a friend whose heart energies would give him words of empathy that recognized his feelings, Words like “Can I just sit with you in sadness or give you a hug?” or “I can only imagine how much you’re hurting and am so sorry,” would be more preferable to him.

When others are hurting, will you respond in an intellectual manner or in terms of feeling?

2. A long list of preconditions that should be met before one can extend love and trust to others: From time to time, you will meet people with a long list of demands that anyone must meet before they can fall in love or trust others fully.

This list or lists are etched in their hearts and deem it deal breakers or red flags if people do not meet their personal checklists.

Yes, in order to trust and feel safe around someone, it is good to identify the things one needs to experience in others, and to seek those qualities proactively.

But using a checklist in order to warrant not using your heart energies or extending trust to others becomes an act of avoidance and fear on your part.

Ivan had a list of lifestyle issues, habits, and qualities which he deemed preconditions for falling in love. He would adopt a style of interview during dates, probing his dates through a series of questions to see if they possessed these qualities. If a date showed she did not hold a quality on his list, he would be careful about reaching out his heart to her.

A lot of women usually would smile and say, “Thank you for the time,” and yet would refuse to date him further or return his calls. This is a sign of a closed heart. When one has an open heart, even casual contacts become more fulfilling and lively.

Some people have felt a warm heart sensation after having chatted with a total stranger. They may experience a new understanding about whatever was discussed with that stranger whom they know they will never see again.

This is essentially the things you can experience when your heart center/energy is open. It enables us to reach out to others in a deep and profound way that a soul connection occurs.

Over the course of time, you may notice the many times you require that certain conditions be met before you genuinely reflect your heart energies on others or give yourself the chance to be a recipient of the expressions of the heart from others.

3. Challenges with self acceptance and self awareness: When we develop a blockage in our heart energies, we usually create aspects of ourselves that are hidden. When we are disconnected from our heart energies we may not be aware there is sadness, anxiety, grief, or pain in our heart.

These unseen aspects are what often generate strife in relationships. For example, we may handle our relationships in a protective manner, not committing our hearts fully to the things we are experiencing (although we still can enjoy interactions and experiences with them) if we do not realize that we are carrying the aches and pains of long ago in our hearts.

If our hearts are not truly and fully in a relationship, we may lead the person to think that we are in love and express that love insincerely and cursorily. This causes a disconnection between our behaviors and what we really feel, and this path only leads to pain on the part of the ones meeting us with an open heart because it generates an energy of imbalance.

Fostering the Open Heart

According to Taoist philosophy, the heart center can be opened by performing certain movements in the Chinese medicinal therapy known as qi gong. Also, the circulation of Qi (energy) and the nourishment of the heart can be brought about by a series of movements of the five treasures.

Understand that as your heart opens like the petals of a rose, varied emotions may be felt. Therefore, never rush the process and take it easy and slowly but allow the unfolding to occur naturally.

In order to support your journey to the vibrational elevation of your heart center, make it a point to be around family and friend who have open hearts.

The spirit resides in the heart center after all, therefore every conscious choice and breath you make to eliminate blockages in your heart raises the vibration of your soul.

Once your heart becomes expansive and fully open, it will be a natural thing to give and surround yourself with love in its many variations. People who are not interacting with you with open heart energies may gradually move away from your life allowing you to create spaces for people willing to interact with open heart energy.

Whatever path you choose, whether your heart has been wounded so profoundly that you become happy being alone or seek out a relationship with an open hearted person, each one of us deserves to experience the blissful feeling of warmth and love in our lives.

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


Tai Chi Can Be Customized To Alleviate A Wide Range Of Acute And Chronic Musculoskeletal Conditions

Because Tai Chi gradually builds muscle strength and improves flexibility, physical therapists and physicians advocate it to individuals with a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. The soft-velvety motions of this gentle Chinese exercise are customized for alleviating sore muscles and joints.

According to physician, Tai Chi master, and Australian family practitioner, Dr. Paul Lam, there is no question that if done appropriately, Tai Chi can be an exercise that generates benefits for arthritis sufferers. It is an activity that virtually any person who can walk can safely do. Dr. Lam started practicing Tai Chi almost three decades ago to relieve his own osteoarthritis. He believes Tai Chi gently takes the joints through their range of movement while its aspect of inner stillness and breathing addresses anxiety and stress.

According to California rheumatologist, Peter Stein, M.D., Tai Chi is especially helpful for people suffering from severe muscle pain and fibromyalgia. He says, “Yoga is very difficult to perform when you are in pain, you need something more soothing and milder, and Tai Chi is quite effective in alleviating pain.”

In a 1991 study that lasted ten weeks, the safety of Tai Chi for people with rheumatoid arthritis was evaluated. As the end of the study, researchers concluded that the exercise’s weight-bearing factors have the ability to strengthen connective tissue and spur bone development.

A study performed in 1991 that observed practicing Tai Chi patients with multiple sclerosis found that the exercise it played a key role in improving the overall quality of life for people with disabling chronic conditions.

Tai Chi is an excellent option for people experiencing symptoms of MS, fibromyalgia, and arthritis given its low impact and validation that it promotes balance and muscle strength, and provides overall relief of pain.

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


The NADA Protocol Relieves And Releases People From Addictions And Emotional Distress Issues

In the last three decades, Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture in Orlando, has become an increasingly popular modality for not only helping people with health problems but also with addictions and emotional distress issues. For people who are detoxifying from alcohol and drugs acupuncture has been quite a boon for their needs. It also has worked well for those who have gone through a high degree of trauma, like returning military veterans. The NADA protocol or the five needle protocol is one of the most commonly used and innovative ways of assisting these groups of people from their problems.

The NADA protocol involves the application of acupuncture needles in five points in both auricles (outer ears). This treatment is administered in groups. The patients comfortably sit in chairs while the needles are applied in both their outer ears where they remain stuck for 30 to 45 minutes. The impact of the treatment for most patients is an immediate and incredible feeling of relaxation and calmness. Individuals burdened with the symptoms of psychomotor agitation, restlessness, and anxiety usually sense relief and release from the severity of their symptoms.

In several locations across the country, the NADA treatment protocol has been adopted as an integrative type of treatment in prisons, hospitals, mental health and detox centers due to its powerful effects. It got its name from the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association which is the organization that primarily promotes this method throughout the country. While licensed acupuncturists usually provide this service, NADA also allows non-acupuncturists who have become Acu-Detox Specialists to administer this therapy to people in their community.

In major US cities, there are mental health clinics you can go if you are uninsured or poor. These are clinics that offer counseling, Qi Gong classes, and the 5 needle protocol. They often cater to homeless people who have drug addiction problems. These clinics usually have a soothing and cheery atmosphere.

The adoption and innovation of the NADA protocol as a plan of treatment for people suffering from emotional distress or those who are detoxifying was developed by a physician named Dr. Michael Smith. After founding this therapeutic procedure in the 1970s, he went on to help establish NADA in 1985. This standardized treatment continues to grow and has been adopted by a lot states across the country.

The five acupoints in the ear relate to specific acupoints that generate different effects. These points include the autonomic point and “Spirit Gate” or Shen Men that help bring about relaxation and calmness, the lung point that helps release grief and facilitates deep breathing, the liver point that promotes detoxification and reduces intense anger, and the “kidney point” which helps decrease fear.

From the viewpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), each person is unique and thus requires holistic care for both the body and mind. Practitioners of TCM usually provide acupuncture (including the NADA) and massage, and recommend sacred movement like qi gong, as well as lifestyle and diet modifications.

The efficacy of the NADA treatment approach has been validated by several clinical studies in recent years. Much of the studies have demonstrated substantive results in numerous types of settings. In Europe, the NADA protocol is being used in over 130 prisons throughout the continent. It is being used in several psychiatric hospitals and in many Indian reservations. A NADA training program has been established in the Yale medical school program for its residents. The Veterans Administration advocates the use of this treatment for people diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A lot of people suffering from intense, unsettled emotions and anxiety who have had the chance to try “the ear treatment” have reported a sensation of profound calmness and relaxation, as if a heavy burden had been lifted from their shoulders. Some of them avail of this treatment whenever they feel overwhelmed.

The NADA protocol can be a valuable tool for people who are in the course of weaning or withdrawing off psychiatric medications. The most common symptoms of drug withdrawal include insomnia, restlessness, agitation, anger, bouts of depression, and extreme anxiety. The NADA can also be an extremely useful therapy for people who are prone to emotional distress and big mood swings. One of this protocol’s strong benefits is that it is administered in groups and so can be a much cheaper treatment compared to a one on one or regular treatment. Getting acupuncture treatment in a group can also be an opportunity for you to develop a strong bond between people without the need of asking them to explore uncomfortable and/or deep emotions.

Some therapists who promote mindfulness often find it a bit challenging to persuade people to embark on a regular practice of meditation. They found that introducing these people to acupuncture is one of the most effective ways to help them get started. Acupuncture is a much better way to help people experience the benefit of increased somatic awareness and deeper relaxation that often occurs while meditating compared to the pressure of integrating meditative practice into a busy lifestyle. While the NADA protocol is definitely not a cure-all, it has become a progressively indispensible complementary therapy that can help enhance well being and emotional health.