Strengthening the Heart and The Liver with Acupuncture is One Way to Overcome Stress

Stress and modern day living go hand in hand – commuting, relationships, workplace stresses, financial issues, and even reading the daily news cause stress. But stress has been around ever since the humanity came into existence. Everyone experiences stress. It is a part of life. The ancient Chinese of course, had their fair share of problems. They had endured as with the rest of the world, sickness, marital problems, work problems, money, and food shortages.

Worry, uncertainty, and anxiety are just a few among a million other problems that stress causes. Gynecological problems, headaches, digestive issues, overeating, appetite loss, and insomnia can come about if the stress is severe enough. Too much stress in relationships may generate more quarrels amongst family members and may result in irritability towards other people, drug abuse, alcoholism, and too much smoking. It can also bring depression.

The emotions from the viewpoint of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), are viewed as major causes of stress and disease. Stress leads to too much expression of the emotions and this affects the human body in such a negative way.

Fear, anger, and worry or pensiveness as well as sadness, and joy are the five key emotions of human beings. Expressing these emotions can be beneficial and are a part of a healthy human life. We should be sad if someone close to us passes away. We should be a bit angry or a little upset if we lose our job. When used, prudently, this anger can help us reassess our life and give us the fire to move forward once more. When I say prudently, I mean to use emotions such as anger in moderation; when they’re expressed too much, it can result in disease. Chronic or excessive sadness can hinder us from moving on. Longstanding anger causes us to assail others or even turn the anger inward to self-loathing or even depression.

According to Chinese medicine, the different organs of the body are associated with the different types of emotions. The spleen, for example, is associated with worry or pensiveness, the liver is affiliated with anger, the kidney associates with fear, the lung corresponds to grief or sadness, while the heart associates with joy. An emotion that is extremely expressed affects the body causing an overstimulation of the affiliated organ which leads to a weakness that can affect the organs and the rest of the body since in the human body everything is connected to each other.

In Chinese medicine, stress is usually associated with the emotions irritation and anger, which corresponds to depression (Spleen and Liver), worry (Spleen), irritation and anger (Liver), and to a lesser extent, sadness (Lung) and fear (Kidney). In this regard, we can see that stress can potentially impact the entire system of the human body and to treat it accordingly, it is up to a qualified acupuncturist in Bellingham to know what system is in most need of treatment and what specific emotion has caused the problem. Oftentimes, it is the Liver that is most affected by stress.

To describe how the body works, the ancient Chinese liked to use analogies. One way was to imagine the organs as members of the government. The leader or the emperor was the Heart since it was considered the most important of the organs. The Liver Is the general or military chief since it traditionally was viewed as the organ system’s General. Being the military head, the General is a powerful official whose job was to keep the Empire stable and safe. But if a foreign army invades, the General comes under pressure and may well become short tempered and thrash out at his subordinates. He may well instruct the farmers to stop producing crops and might even use force to follow through with his commands. He may bully all his advisors and ministers bending their will to his own and command that they cease their duties. Even worse, the General may organize a coup against the Leader and gain control of the empire. Metaphorically, this is what happens inside the human body.

Stress causes the Liver to become over active. This is a powerful organ in the body and has the means to affect everything else. The Liver may overexert itself on the digestive system (stomach and spleen) when it is stressed, leading to IBS, gas, constipation, diarrhea and other digestive conditions. It can also affect the lungs resulting in respiratory conditions such as asthma or hyperventilation. A woman’s gynecological system is also controlled by the liver as well as by the kidney and may cause infertility, or irregular or painful menses. An overactive Liver can disrupt the heart (which controls sleep) resulting in insomnia and bad dreams. Migraine and headache can be felt if the Liver causes energy to rush upwards the body.

Why drinking alcohol is common among overly stressed individuals is because it helps depress the Liver which in the short term calms it down although at the same stimulating it in the long term. Therefore, even if in the short term, alcohol can be helpful, it likely can make things worse and may cause addiction over the long term.

The good news though, is that there are ways you can do to help soothe the overactive Liver and regain some sort of balance in your life enabling you to manage the stresses in your life with a clearer mind.

Consulting with an acupuncturist is one such way. When you talk and eventually get treated by a licensed and accredited acupuncturist it can lead to a relaxed body, a calm mind, and the removal of physical and emotional stress. Through the sticking of needles into specific acupoints in your body, your acupuncturist can restore balance to the organ systems in your body. The treatment puts your body in a relaxed state allowing you to think more prudently about the stressful situation and handling it on a more constructive manner. Individuals who regularly go for acupuncture treatment have discovered that they can better control their emotions which make it much easier to deal with stress.

There are several other ways to calm down your mind and relax your body besides acupuncture. One means to quiet or calm the General is to make the Emperor much stronger – when the Emperor is very strong, the General has to obey. How can you make the Heart stronger? One great way is by meditating. The Heart becomes healthier with Meditation. This activity can be a potent way of tonifying the Emperor especially if the heart chakra energy field is the focus of your meditation. This chakra is located between the breast regions.

One other way is by “green” therapy. The Liver is related to the color green. This color has the ability to calm the Liver. Putting green plants in your home can help calm your mind. Eating leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, or cabbage or even walking in the park can benefit your mind and body in so many ways.

Our eyes also have an association with our Liver. Present-day society has a tendency to over utilize the eyes and thus overwork and over stimulate the Liver. This may mean doing too much computer work, smart phones, internet, and TV. During meditation, our eyes are closed allowing us to turn to our inner vision which can be beneficial.

All those are just few of the things you can do to help overcome stress. But even tiny changes can bring about huge improvements over time since we’re here for a long period of time. We will be beset by life stresses in their various manifestations as long as we’re living here on earth. Maintaining some sort of level headedness is what we can do to deal with the worst that life usually hurdles towards us.

Liver Wind, Corydalis Yan Hu Su, Pain, Seizures and Parkinson’s

Liver wind, in TCM or traditional Chinese medicine, partly refers to liver to pain and also to jerks, shaking, spasms, or seizures and other uncontrolled movements in Parkinson`s. It also corresponds to pain such as fibromyalgia that travels from one body area to another. Used for hundreds of years to keep seizures such as grand mal away and reduce pain, Corydalis Yan Hu Su accomplishes this by helping control liver wind and moving the blood. This TCM way of managing pain has long been used in Eastern cultures more so when other herbs complement the Corydalis to the affected part of the body.

This effect has been investigated by drug companies and as expected, their response is one of jealousy. They have attempted to isolate the essential active ingredient and create a synthetic drug that they will patent and make money out of regardless if it safe to use or not. These are their findings:

The root of corydalis Yan Hu Su has an active compound known as THP or dl-tetrahydropalmatine. It was tried on how it affects amygdala development that was electrically kindled, which was meant to mimic the effects of seizures on the brain. An ultrasonic machine was used to measure the vertical motion of the seizure activity. To prevent the occurrence of kindling, an Injection of THP intraperitoneally half an hour before the everyday kindling stimulus was applied.

The motion responses that usually occur during electrical kindling and the score for behavioral seizure decreased below their original values. This indicates that when applied to rats that were electrically kindled, THP is an extremely effective anticonvulsant and antiepileptogenic agent.

However, when dl-tetrahydropalmatine is isolated, it turns toxic and may result in liver disorders such as hepatitis. It never occurred to these companies that Mother Nature didn’t intend these chemical compounds hidden in certain plants to be extracted just like that. There is a certain way that corydalis Yan Hu Su can be safely used. This is how it’s done:

Create a gram of corydalis crystal extract from 5 grams of raw herb. The crystal can then be easily dissolved in any liquid and processed with alcohol and natural water using low heat and organic fresh cordyalis.

Added to the herbal formulas He Shu Wu and Tien Ma Guo Teng, Corydalis has been successfully used to treat Parkinson`s when it’s boiled daily and taken as water tonic. But, it is also tastes bad and patients may find it difficult to prepare. The TCM protocol presently followed for treating Parkinson`s disease is to take 2 grams of corydalis two times a day in a five to one ratio extract powder combined with He Shou Wu (in liquid or powder extract)and Tien Ma Guo Teng Wan which is an herbal pill formula taken for the rest of the patient’s `s life.

Besides seizures and pain, Corydalis along with other herbal formulas, has been used for centuries for the management of pain to affected parts of the body.

Vickery Health & Wellness
18455 Burbank Blvd #306
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 578-6730
http://www.vickeryhealth.com/

Why It Makes Sense To Try Cosmetic Acupuncture For Facial Rejuvenation

Try face-lift acupuncture treatment if you want to look good and don’t like to be injected with Botox or go under the knife.

Acupuncture Face-Lift Procedure

The acupuncturist will ask you several questions at your first visit the acupuncturist. These questions may, for example, be about how much water you drink and how many times a day you go to the bathroom. Along with diagnostic examinations, this will enable the practitioner to make an accurate diagnosis and come up with a proper individualized treatment for your needs.

The acupuncturist will next make you recline or lie down in a position you are comfortable with. Then a few needles may be stuck into acupoints along certain areas of your body. The needles help stimulate the circulation of blood and activate the sluggish organs into vitality. One the Qi (life energy) is strengthened by the needles, your acupuncturist will then initiate the needling of your facial tissue. Acupuncture needles are not the same as those used for injections and transfusions. They are finer and thinner and are gently placed into the skin along the parts of the body that need a little rejuvenation. Some patients may request to have their “smile lines” softened or perhaps tone down that small furrow in their brow. A mild electrical stimulation may sometimes be needed to enhance the needles’ effect just enough to enhance the new production of elastin and collagen in the problem area.

Treatment Outcomes

The course of the treatment may differ from person to person although most patients say that they feel an overall sense of vitality in the face, which is in accordance with the treatment’s goal: facial rejuvenation. Besides this, there is a tangible diminution of those ugly fine lines without the patient ever experiencing the dangers and nasty side effects of chemical injections and surgery.

Reduction of Cellulite

An ideal traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) cosmetic treatment to eradicate or lessen undesirable cellulite is cupping. This inexpensive procedure is a much better alternative to cellulite creams and chemical injections that your cosmetic physician is wont to recommend.

Cellulite Reduction Procedure

Cupping has been traditionally used by TCM practitioners in their everyday practice for relieving backaches, reducing headaches, and preventing the flu and colds. As the benefits of this treatment are being known by more and more patients, other novel applications for this safe and simple procedure are being developed.

Regular cupping treatment can safely and quickly promote metabolic waste elimination through the lymphatic system at substantially less cost and time than chemical injections, topical creams, and endermologie. With just a single or a couple of treatments, one can expect a smoother skin. Frequency and duration of treatment is determined by the patient’s needs.

Dr. Yelena Pakula is a licensed acupuncture doctor and the medical director of Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center in Pembroke Pines, FL.

Natural Ways to Treat Fungal Infections

Some of the most tenacious and common dermatological conditions afflicting humans are yeast and fungal infections. These infections are created by parasitic organisms that thrive on the skin of susceptible people. They especially like moist body parts such as the groin and feet. If the person has not had the infection before and if the infection is recent, it can be cured easily with minimal price and effort using tree tea oil preparations or conventional drug store creams.

If the infection has persisted for years, or if they keep on recurring, then a more intensive or complex treatment is needed in order to treat the patient’s internal environment. The pH of the skin becomes an ideal place for the fungal pathogens to live in if the internal environment is excessively damp and moist. These organisms can be reduced if you optimize digestion, cleanse the colon, and detoxify and dry up the skin.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are generally categorized as tineas. These include nail fungus (Tinea unguium), jock itch (Tinea cruris), athlete’s foot (Tinea pedis), and ringworm (Tinea corporis).

Athlete’s foot is the most common fungal infection which now more than ever thrives in the age of hot yoga, sauna, and steam rooms. Men are more prone to this condition than women – children rarely develop it. Athlete’s foot being contagious as it is, people suffering from it should always wear flip-flops when going to pools or gyms and need to thoroughly dry off. One good way to prevent the rise of athlete’s foot is to immerse your feet in plain white vinegar once a week.

The Three Distinct Manifestations of Athlete’s Foot and Their Corresponding Treatments

1. Initial signs of athlete’s foot are seen when the skin between the 4th and 5th toes turns grayish white and soggy, and splits or peels open. The affected region becomes itchy and painful – an issue that further degrades when sweating or wearing tight shoes. A mineral powder and herb made up of strong anti-fungals such as indigo powder and rhubarb root sprinkled right on the affected skin can effectively close the skin and restore the tissues to health. But to ensure that the fungus is totally eliminated, we need to follow the treatment up by soaking the foot for a couple of weeks with white vinegar and herb. Strong anti-fungals like plain white vinegar can be an ideal home remedy; however, if the infection persists, you may want to add with herbs such as gleditisia vine and schizonepeta leaf to the treatment. These herbs and similar ingredients need to be soaked for a week in the vinegar, and the solution can then be used as a foot bath every day.

2. Other manifestations of athlete’s foot can involve secondary eczematous infection and large blisters developing over the sole and occasionally on the top of the foot. Walking may be difficult due to the crusting and oozing developing in the infection. These symptoms require soaking the foot into a solution filled with a mineral salt known as alum, such as the one found in crystal deodorant stones. This formula magically dries up blisters and the oozing within a day or two. But since we also need to prevent blisters from recurring, this needs to be followed up with herbs taken internally to clear out the toxins and infection. Phellodendron, gentian, dandelion and other herbs that have strong anti-toxin qualities can be used. They are boiled and drank as herbal soup.

3. Lastly, for a condition that has lasted for several years, the infection can turn into a tender, fissured, flaky, red, and itchy affliction on the soles of the feet. Soggy cracks and blisters can also develop especially when the person engages in work that require standing for long periods of time, such as postal workers or cooks or during humid weather.

Internal therapy as well as the vinegar foot soak is needed if the infection has lasted for years since it means that the fungus loves the environment of your body and has decided to make it its home. The skin is stripped of its beneficial hydrating components by this chronic condition. Moisturizing herbs taken internally like rehmannia root and dictamnus bark, with has powerful anti-itch properties combined together can serve as an ideal treatment for this problem.

One of the most stubborn infections to cure that necessitates dedication and patience on the part of the sufferer is nail fungus. The vinegar and herb soak needs to be used every night for six months to a year or even longer while filing away and cutting the thickened, yellow affected regions. Those long periods of time are what it takes for normal nails to grow completely. Prematurely halting the treatment causes the remaining fungi to grow abundantly once more.

Oregano and tree tea oils and other antifungal plants can be good alternatives to the vinegar soak, although dedication and perseverance is also needed to completely eradicate the infection.

Yeast Infections

Yeast infections generally develop on the genitals, scalp, or body. One of the most common forms of this type of infection is Tinea versicolor (Malasezzia furfur/(Pytiriasis versicolor) which usually develops on the back and trunk. It is a scaly, multi-hued infection. Other forms of yeast infections include Candida albicans, a recurring infection that strikes women more than men and often affects the genitals; and Pityosporum ovale, usually developing on the scalp of persons with dandruff. All these infections are longstanding and hard to get rid of. You may need to invest several weeks of your time to completely cure yourself of these infections.

Yeast infections also need a combo of external and internal washes and teas to completely kill the fungi and also to stop the itch, and clear inflammation (dampness) and heat.

Candida Albicans: This fungal disease can be treated effectively with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). If the patient has a sexual partner, the partner may be treated (at least, topically), as well, to prevent the passing of the infection back to the partner and perhaps to other people. A lot of women may strive to treat themselves of their infections through diet therapy (garlic and acidophilus) but the infection may be transmitted to them by their male partner who may not know they are infected due an absence of symptoms. A white vinegar solution or a simple herbal wash can help rid his infection.

For TCM practitioners Candida infection is an internal problem caused by an excessive dampening diet, dysfunctional or weak digestion, and excessive damp heat. This jibes with Western medicine’s notion that candida overgrowth starts in the intestine. The overgrowth can then infect the adjacent vaginal canal. Practitioners do not think that avoiding alcohol, fruit juices, pastries, sweets and other foods that feed candida can completely cure the infection. They believe that the key to cure is to improve digestion and absorption in order for the person to tolerate more foods.

For this purpose, the use of internal herbal treatment for recurring or chronic candida is two-fold. Firstly, one needs to eliminate the damp heat (candida colonies) through the use of Gentiana scabra, Phellodendron amurense, Sophora flavescentis and other strong bitters. For really severe forms of Candidiasis, herbal tablet formulas can act as suppositories that usually contain a powerful ingredient for all types of genital itches and infections, the cnidium seed. The second phase of the treatment can begin once the discharges, burning, and itching have been alleviated. This phase involves strengthening the digestive function.

Anti -candida herbs such as the sour plum Mume, the Poria mushroom, aromatics such as orange peel and cardamom, and acrid herbs such as Atractylodis root can be used. Besides battling Candidiasis, these herbs, also normalize the intestinal membranes and boost the intestine’s assimilative function. Once the digestion is strong and healthy, the body stops producing too much mucus and inflammation that induces the Candida to thrive.

Tinea Versicolor: a slice of cucumber slightly immersed in a solution of typhonium root , sulphur, and others, and then applied on the affected region until it becomes slightly flushed is one unusual but effective treatment for this infection. It takes a few days for the skin to start returning to normal, which is quite fantastic if your infection has lasted for several years. Internal treatment is also needed to completely cure the infection and to prevent its recurrence in the future. TCM practitioners should use alum, typhonium, sulphur, and several other TCM topical medicines that should not be taken internally.

Diet

Individuals who are highly susceptible to yeast and fungal infections should not consume ‘dampening’ drinks and foods such as alcohol, fruit juices, sardines, salmons, other types of fatty fishes, shellfish, tropical fruits, sweets, and tofu. Instead of synthetic outfits such as spandex, wear cotton to keep your skin dry. To prevent excessive perspiration, use body powder such as cornstarch or rice powder.

Dr. Jeda Boughton is a licensed acupuncture physician and the medical director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, BC.

The Philosophy Behind Chinese Medicine Practice

When they think about acupuncture, most individuals mentally conjure up a diversity of concepts and definitions that are included in the practice. When applied to helping with ailments and to healing, Chinese medicine is limited by a specific set of procedure or principles. There are in fact, certain methods that are used within Chinese medicine practice that are applicable in any area.

Chinese medicine, during its millennia of evolution, has integrated an ever increasing array of ideologies and methods that can assist in the enhancement of one’s health. Chinese medicine is essentially a philosophy that guides one to a holistic style of living. Its practice involves the spiritual and emotional aspects of a person that is as equally considered as the physical aspect of his/her health and bringing these three aspects to peak levels leading to optimal health. The practitioner finds indication of disharmony to try to prevent, understand, and prevent the specific disease and/or illness.

Using principles of natural law, this type of alternative medicine and other holistic methods can accelerate and enhance the healing process. A person’s body, according to Chinese medicine, is inversely proportional to the laws of the universe. Chinese medicine practitioners consider these two to be a reflection of each other and because of these every process within the Universe as well as the Universe itself, is in a constant process of balancing itself. Regardless of what Chinese medicine mode of treatment you are considering (Qi gong, Chinese herbs, or acupuncture, for example), you can be sure that natural law will be the basis for understanding how your body works.

Chinese medicine then moves into procedures concerning energy once the holistic lifestyle of the person and an understanding of natural law has been considered. This type of healing tradition, at all degrees, is one of the most important universal laws that can be applied. It is hypothesized within this practice that there are certain energies that are linked and when unified these energies maintain their flow in a natural and complete way. This is principle behind Chinese medicine.

Following a balanced lifestyle in which the correct type of energy flows appropriately is the key to healthy living and general well-being. Your well –being and health is not only enhanced with Chinese medicine, it also enhances all areas of your life.

Dr. Nelya de Brun, AP, DAOM
Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC
3459 Woolbright Rd
Boynton Beach, FL 33436
(561) 932-3905
http://www.acu-wellness.com/