Shiatsu Is The Most Popular Form Of Acupressure Therapy In The Western World

Shiatsu is the most popular form of acupressure therapy in the western world of all body work techniques. However, equating shiatsu to acupressure is not entirely accurate because acupressure can also entail the use of needles for applying pressure on the acupoints of the body. In Shiatsu massage, there are no needles used, rather, one uses the knees, elbows, the heels of the hands, and the feet to induce therapy.

Shiatsu is typically performed on a mat on the floor with the client remain clothed. Various acupoints along the body are pressed, and the therapist/practitioner/masseuse works along the client’s energy channels or meridians and his Ki or energy points.

Most of the time, a lot of the work is administered on the soles of the feet and other acupoints across the body that as a result can set off various therapeutic sensations.

On needs to realize that when working on someone, the therapist/practitioner/masseuse needs to be always aware of his own body. He needs to make sure that he is centered, not over reaching, and that he is coming from a place in his lower stomach. During the massage, he should maintain contact with the client at all times with one of his hands, which is known as the mother hand.

Shiatsu massage offers a lot of benefits especially when dealing with ailments such as anxiety, tension and pain in the shoulders, headaches, pain in the lower back, and fatigue.

These benefits include relief of discomfort and tension in the body, increased relaxation, and enhanced circulation. Shiatsu massage eases knots, releases tension, and brings blood to the problem area. Its other benefits include increased and flexibility as well as getting more in tune with his own body. Some folks claim that shiatsu massage has the ability to lower their blood pressure.

Revive Acupuncture
43353 Mission Blvd #B
Fremont, CA 94539
(510) 438-0128

Chinese Nutritional Therapy And The Five Elements

A helpful dietary principle in traditional Chinese medicine in Overland Park (TCM) relates to Wu Xing or the Theory of the Five Elements. This article will explore the concept of the microcosm of humanity in the macrocosm of the universe.

The Sheng Cycle or the Cycle of Creation

Water, Metal, Earth, Fire, & Wood make up a sequence know as the Sheng cycle or cycle of creation. This sequence runs clockwise on the circle symbolizing the Sheng cycle. This cycle is also referred to as the mother-child relationship. Each element generates another, as with the cycle of the seasons; this means that one element is deemed to be the “mother” of the next

To help remember;

Wood kindles Fire
Fire generates Earth (ash)
Earth produces Metal
Metal transports Water (as in tap or bucket)
Water nourishes Wood

Nourish the mother if the child is deficient/weak. As the Liver is considered to be the Heart’s mother, fortify the Liver or the Wood element with herbs or food if there’s not enough Fire relating to the Heart.

There is a positive relationship between the body systems, the Five Elements, and the colors of food:

1. Liver is nourished by green foods.
2. The Abdomen and Spleen are nourished by orange and yellow foods.
3. The Heart is nourished by Red foods.
4. The Lungs are nourished by White foods.
5. The Kidneys are nourished Dark Blue/Black foods.

An individual having weak digestion that affects the Spleen, (according to TCM), should consume abundant orange and yellow foods such as winter squashes and sweet potatoes, as these are the colors that represent the element of the Earth. Eating lots of red foods such as tincture or tea, hawthorn berries, beetroot, and tomatoes is good for an individual with a weak heart since red represents the Heart organ and the Fire element.

The Ko Cycle/Control Cycle

The Ko Cycle or Control Cycle is another relationship that’s within the Five Elements. The Ko Cycle is also referred to as “fathers”, “restrains”, or “controls”. This cycle is also known as the grandmother-son cycle.

To help remember:

1. Wood cracks Earth open
2. Earth soaks up Water
3. Water puts out Fire
4. Fire melts Metal
5. Metal cuts Wood

If Liver (Wood) becomes overabundant, manifesting as headache, red eyes, hypertension, etc., strengthen the Lungs (Metal element) to control the Wood element.

Flavor and the Five Elements Theory

Flavor is a physical sensation that plays an important role in TCM. Many documents make a reference to the Five Flavors or Tastes and a couple of sub-tastes. These five flavors are sweet, salty, bitter, sour and pungent. The two others are bland (which is classified under sweet category) and astringent under sour category.

1. The Gallbladder and Liver absorb the sour flavor
2. The Small Intestine and Heart absorb the bitter flavor
3. The Abdomen and Spleen absorb the sweet flavor
4. The Large Intestines and Lungs absorb the pungent flavor
5. The Bladder and Kidney absorb the salty flavor

Hence, herbs and foods with different flavors and energies are imbibed into the body to nourish the various organs in the body. A person with say, digestive problems (due to weakness of the Abdomen or Spleen) would tend to crave excessive sweets. TCM will use foods with sweet flavor, like such winter squash or yams, to strengthen the Abdomen and Spleen.

The general consensus is that reasonable consumption of food with a specific taste will benefit specific organs. We also need to emphasize that too much consumption of individual flavors can also injure the related organs. This is especially common when it pertains to the sweet flavor. Consuming excess amounts of bitter foods, for example, is highly unlikely.


Sweet flavor has the following qualities: slowing, harmonizing, and tonifying. In cases of deficiency or fatigue, sweet products have a strengthening and reinforcing quality. Deficiencies may arise in different aspects of the body, such as deficient Yin or Yang, Blood, or Chi. However, eating too much sweets can weaken the spleen. This is why during episodes of lethargy and fatigue, sweet cravings tend to arise. Sweet flavor can also be used to relax. It is also useful in cases of acute pain to ease pain and help one relax. Sweet herbs or foods can be used as a counter balance or an antidote to the negative effects of some herbs. Rice, licorice, corn, and yams, are a few examples of sweet tasting foods.


Salty flavor has softening qualities and has the ability to dissolve hard masses. This flavor can also lubricate and moisten the intestines. Symptoms such as tumors, cysts, masses, nodules, and lumps can be dissolved and softened by salty foods. Goiter, for instance, can be addressed by eating seaweed. If you are constipated, lubricate the intestines by drinking salt water.

Salty foods include seaweed and celery among many others. Glauber’s salt or Mang Xiao in Chinese, is cold, salty, bitter, and pungent. It’s composed of a mineral known as hydrated sodium sulfate which can be found in salty lakes all over the world. Glauber’s salt is used to relieve constipation among other things. Heart disease and hypertension can develop if you’ve been eating too much salty foods for a long time.


Bitter flavor can eliminate blockages and possesses a drying damp quality. This flavor can also dispel heat. Swelling caused by water retention (edema) can be treated by consuming this type of food. Manifestation of excess heat such as hypertension, headaches, red eyes, etc, as well as obesity can be treated by these foods as well. Its ability to clear blockages can be utilized in cough related to Chi stagnation.

Samples of bitter tasting foods are kale, burdock root, mustard greens, dandelion leaves, cos lettuce, endive, radicchio, apricot kernels, and rhubarb. Eating too much bitter foods can cause fatigue and diarrhea and can injure a weak spleen.


Sour flavor has astringent, consolidating, and absorbing properties. It can be used to halt inordinate discharge of body substances and fluids such as enuresis, spermatorrhea, seminal emission, excessive sweating, and diarrhea.

Vinegar, lemon, and sour plum are a few examples of sour foods. Eating too much sour foods can exacerbate skin problems and cause retention of toxic heat.


Pungent flavor tonifies the descending and dispersing function of the Lungs. This flavor also helps enhance and energize circulation. Its dispersing quality is mainly utilized to break up pathogens from the outer portion of the body, such as seen in flu and colds. Its invigorating quality helps boost circulation of jin ye (body fluid), blood, and Chi. According to Chinese Medicine theory, illness is the result of blood and chi stagnation. Pathological signs of stagnation manifest as fibroids cysts, tumors, edema, painful or irregular menses, local pain, etc. Pungent foods can help alleviate these conditions and energize circulation.

Mint, radish, garlic, and ginger are few examples of pungent tasting food. Eating too much of these foods can injure the Yin and/or Blood and lead to itching or dizziness and exacerbate wind pathologies.


Bland flavor is considered a subcategory of the sweet flavor. Eating bland tasting foods can help treat edema and encourage urination. This flavor has diuretic qualities.

Pearl barley is one example of a bland tasting food.

Treat Acne Naturally Using Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been constantly evolving for the last three millennia.

While Western medicine attributes germs, bacteria, and viruses to illnesses and diseases, Chinese Medicine functions in a totally different way.

Well-being, health, and nature are represented by the two the forces of Yin (Female) and Yang (Male), from which stem certain other concepts. One concept is that illnesses and diseases can be ascribed to the six environmental external elements of fire, dryness, dampness, summer heat, cold, and wind.

The balance of Yin and Yang is disturbed when an illness develops in the body. The objective of Chinese Medicine is to restore balance and bring healing to the body.

In regard to acne, Western medicine sees this as due to blockages in the sebaceous follicles caused by excess production of sebum resulting in the spotty appearance on the affected area.

The explanation of Chinese Medicine as to the cause of acne is far more profound. Chinese medicine traces the cause as far back as the aforementioned environmental elements. It explains that the causes of acne are Damp Heat and Heat, and exploits one of a few methods to combat these causes, namely to cool the blood.

Whereas conventional Western medicine uses ointments, antibiotics, skin peeling, cortisone injections, freezing, and ultraviolet light, Chinese Medicine makes use of the techniques of nutritional therapy, Chinese herbal medicine, and acupuncture in Walla Walla, among others. According to this ancient practice, the proper restoration and balance of yin and yang benefits a person suffering from acne. Aside from curing acne, Chinese medicine can also help treat gynecological conditions, provide better quality sleep, relieve digestive pain, promote emotional stability, and help increase the energy in the body.

Regarding nutrition, recommended foods for acne include carrots, cucumber, squash, celery, potato and lettuce. Also, drinking plenty of water is highly recommended.

What You Need To Know About Cupping Massage Therapy

How does Cupping Massage Therapy Work?

Cupping treatments can have a variety of techniques. A vacuum is created during a treatment session and there is suction that draws up your body’s tissues and skin. In a stationary cupping procedure, the cups are placed on the skin and are not moved until the entire treatment session is complete. In massage cupping, the cups are moved across the site of treatment to help relieve sore joints and muscles.

Cupping Therapy – A Brief History

Egyptian archeologists have discovered pictorial records of cupping dating back to at least 1500 BC. Cupping was also utilized by the ancient Greeks and Chinese to address a variety of symptoms. Initially, the cups were made from animal horns that have been hollowed out were used to suck toxins and waste materials out of the body. The cups made from hollowed out animal horns gave way to bamboo cups which was finally replaced with glass cups which are still used today.

Cupping Therapy – Some of Its Benefits

Cupping Therapy is deemed to have a profound effect on the body tissues up to four inches under the skin surface. This is believed to help the body cleanse itself of toxins. The process improves circulation by opening up the capillaries, arteries, and veins. It can also be used to bolster the function of the lymphatic system.

In addition, it can address issues such as varicose veins and stretch marks and also deemed to be useful for the clearing of congestion. Cupping has shown to work in relieving asthma and cold symptoms.

Cupping therapy as well as Cupping massage can also aid in eliminating or reducing pain. On the website of the Mayo Clinic, Doctor Brent A. Bauer answered a question on whether cupping therapy can help alleviate fibromyalgia pain. He said research regarding cupping therapy shows the method can help cure fibromyalgia symptoms much better than conventional medication especially if the therapy is combined with acupuncture in Cleveland.

Lots of evidence now exists showing that the use of cupping can lead to the treatment of a variety of symptoms and ailments. There are certain instances whereby the use of cupping is not recommended. These include people who easily bleed, have skin disorder, or have a high fever. For most individuals, the therapy is completely safe and should be an option they may want to try. Before attempting to diagnose or treat any disease, it is important to consult with a medical doctor first.

The modern world has now been given a facelift to traditional cupping. A South African company called Bellabaci came up with the Bellabaci Massage System for the face and body. This system and the cups in particular make it easy for just about anybody to treat their families and themselves for a range of common ailments at home naturally and affordably without the need for costly doctor’s visits and toxic medications.