Healthy Chinese Nutritional Therapy Tips

Chinese nutritional therapy espouses quite a number of healthy eating habits that anyone can practice in their everyday lives. In Chinese medicine, prevention is a more important aspect to healthy living than treatment (although this doesn’t mean that Chinese medicine does not offer any effective treatment for illness, it does). Chinese nutritional therapy is one very important aspect to disease prevention although some of its guidelines and recommendations may challenge some of your long held notions about healthy eating. However, you should know that this branch of Chinese medicine has been developed, time-tested, and refined for more than 2500 years and if it didn’t work, then it should have been discarded a long time ago. The fact that this therapy is still used by millions of people throughout the world suggests that it is effective and worth trying.

Some Healthy Eating Habits Recommendations

1. Avoid overeating – Go easy on your bowels and digestive organs. When you are three quarters (75 percent) full, stop eating. Overeating can cause indigestion since it weakens your abdomen and intestines. It can also cause weight gain, gas, decay, constipation, sluggishness, and bloating.

2. Preferably eat cooked foods – Chinese nutritional therapists usually recommend that meals should be served cooked and warm. Too much consumption of raw fruits and vegetables weakens and cools the digestive system which leads to lack of energy, watery stools, and bloating. In Chinese nutrition, cooking facilitates digestion making it easier to digest and absorb the nutrients in the food. On the other hand, the body needs to spend more energy in digesting and breaking down raw or cold foods. Stir-fry cooking and steaming are appropriate ways of cooking since they cook lightly and quickly preserving the precious nutrients in the food.

3. Avoid cold drinks – As much as possible, avoid drinking cold fluids particularly iced drinks because it severely impairs digestions. The process of digestion requires heat to dissolve and melt the substances you eat and drink. Cold by nature contracts and slows and this means cold foods and cold drinks (the colder, the more worse) such as ice cream, hinder and retard digestion, causing stomach discomfort and pain or an upset stomach. Drinking warm liquids like green tea or warm water is preferred. Warm green tea prepares your digestive system to receive and digest food properly while warm-hot water can help wash out toxins in your body. Ten to twenty minutes before eating, drink a cup of warm green tea. This is especially advised if you’ll be consuming fried foods, meat, or their types of heavy food. Post-prandial green tea drinking also promotes digestion.

4. Chew properly and eat slowly – Chewing food is the start of the digestion process. Eat slowly and before you swallow food, chew them thoroughly so they can get quickly and completely digested. If you eat when you are emotionally troubled or angry, your digestion can be severely affected. Therefore, if you feel angry or emotionally upset allow yourself to calm down before eating or totally skip your meal.

5. Eat at a regular and fixed time – Your body gets used to regular practices and this is true in working, sleeping, waking up, and eating meals. If you want a well-functioning body, good health, and well-being it’s vital that you set and maintain a regular time schedule for working, sleeping, waking up, and eating your meals.

6. Exercise before breakfast – Lose weight by doing a bit exercise before breakfast. As you have been sleeping for eight to twelve hours and have not eaten during that time, your body depends on the reserves of fat in your body for energy. One great exercise you can do after waking up in the morning before breakfast is the Abdominal Lift. This is an easy workout and only requires a couple of minutes to perform. In the Abdominal Lift, you use your stomach muscles to lift your stomach upwards and towards your spine. That position is held for a few seconds and then released slowly and gently. To enhance digestion, absorption, and elimination do this exercise one hour after breakfast or after every meal.

7. Walk outdoors after meals – Anytime you exit a restaurant in China, the crew will thank you for coming then utter the words, “man shou”, which means, “walk slowly”. After a meal, taking a slow pleasant walk outside for about 15 minutes can enhance digestion and food absorption. Using your two hands to rub your stomach (specifically in your umbilicus) in slow circling motions in the direction of your colon also facilitates digestion. You can use this as a remedy or to prevent the rise of digestive conditions. You can do this while slowly walking or while standing still.

Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic
8855 San Jose Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32217-4244
(904) 260-2598

The Health Benefits Of Black Fungus, Bojenmi Tea And Green Tea

Are there vegetables that have the tastes and textures of meat and fish? According to Chinese nutritional therapists there are. One of the more renowned is Chinese Black Fungus which is used as a dietary supplement. It is endowed with vital nutrients that can boost the overall health and fitness of a person. Chinese Black Fungus needs to be washed before it’s used and is usually bought in dried packaged form.

As a Diet Aid

In the fight against weight gain and obesity, Black Fungus can be an important ally. It is a very low caloric food and when boiled has a meat-like taste and texture which makes it especially satisfying. Black Fungus has valuable nutritional contents. It is usually integrated with other dishes in order to ‘enrich’ these dishes, and bulk them up for slimming purposes.

You can buy Black Fungus in Chinese supermarkets and stores. Wash and soak it thoroughly before use.

As a Health Supplement

Western medical science has discovered Black Fungus to help enrich blood and prevent the rise of iron deficiency anemia. It is also known to help modulate blood viscosity by preventing platelet aggregation which leads to low blood-viscosity levels. In TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine, Black Fungus is used to treat high blood pressure, hemorrhoids, uterine bleeding, anemia, and coronary heart disease. It can be also used to prevent cancer and significantly relieve its symptoms.

Black Fungus is an inexpensive and commonly used food in Chinese cuisine. Because it is full of nutrients like vitamins, fat, protein, iron, and polysaccharides as well as essential trace elements like manganese, selenium, and potassium, all which are essential to the long-term health of the body, Chinese medicine practitioners have been using it as medicinal food for millennia.

The flavor of Black Fungus is bittersweet. It has a meat-like texture and is added to dishes mainly to boost the flavors of the main ingredients.

As a ‘Fat Buster’

Serious dieters can complement their consumption of Black Fungus by drinking Bojenmi Tea or Green tea and other proven Chinese nutrition, weight-loss, and slimming aids.

Green tea benefits your health by promoting digestion, and stimulating the heart. Drinking green tea can help detoxify the body, facilitate weight loss, and promote the metabolism of fat.

People suffering from anemia (including women who lose a lot of during menstruation) should not drink Green Tea as it somewhat prevents the body from assimilating iron. To resolve iron deficiencies, they are encouraged to drink Bojenmi Tea instead.

Bojenmi literally means health maintenance and is known to help lose weight and encourage slimming. It is based on an ancient Ming Dynasty treatment and is made up of a dozen medicinal herbs. Bojenmi tea has a pleasant taste and is a mild laxative. It can help lower cholesterol levels and promote digestion.


Both Green and Bojenmi teas can help cleanse fatty deposits off the internal systems of the body. Green Tea is very inexpensive and it is so efficient in removing fat that Chinese restaurants use it to remove grease from tables.

You can purchase Black Fungus, Green Tea and Bojenmi Tea in Chinese stores and supermarkets. They all possess longevity-inducing, detoxifying, and internal cleansing qualities especially when they’re combined with fitness, health, anti-aging, and dietary regimes.

Thrive Wellness Center
1244 S Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: (954) 713-6118

The Health And Medicinal Value Of Chinese Foods

Chinese foods are extremely beneficial to health as they are considered to have medicinal value and healing powers and promote longevity. Preparing the Oriental cuisine requires a good deal of experience and knowledge. It uses no milk based ingredients such as cheese, butter, or cream and is cooked with poly unsaturated oils. It also uses meat but to avoid high levels of cholesterol and animal fat, meat is not used in excess. This type of cuisine is called authentic Chinese food, which is usually delectable but still ideal for good health. Chinese food usually includes vegetables, noodles, and rice.

There is also a special way of serving Chinese food. More often than not, you need to slice the food into small cuts before serving, and at the dining table, there are no knives set. It is very important to get the right combination of things like condiments and herbs. The food should be enjoyed and eaten in peace and served in tempting in texture and color. One can select from a wide range of dishes having various nutritional value. Vegetable, beef or chicken are a great combination. You can also serve sesame chicken, broccoli and beef, or cashew beef or chicken in lieu of fried dishes. These servings are extremely nutritious while traditional dishes (such as lo mien) has noodles that are soaked in carbohydrates, fats, and oil and are not good for health.

To avoid carbohydrates and high levels of cholesterol, eat brown rice instead of fried rice. Additives that are oftentimes used in Chinese food such as soy sauce are high in sodium content. We all know that too much intake of sodium is not good for the health and so you may need to avoid using too much soy sauce. You can eat steamed dishes and vegetables that’s been stir fried with no or little oil. Eat a healthy diet comprising of dishes that are vegetable-based along with steamed rice and some sauces to help lessen fat calories.

In conclusion, a healthy Chinese food is one that’s low in salt, and filled with lots of vegetables like snow peas. You restaurant of choice will determine the quality of food you eat. The manager or the waiter can also assist you with the kind of dishes sold and their nutritional value. So, choosing the right things to eat and the right place to eat are two very important aspects in the search for good health and well-being.

Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.

Common Foods Used In Chinese Nutritional Therapy To Treat Flu and Colds

People automatically think of acupuncture, when they talk about Chinese medicine; however, equally (perhaps, even more) important to Chinese medicine is Chinese herbs. This type of medicine works on the theory that each herb wields a variety of effects on the body via the organ or organs it influences and via its inherent actions and temperature.

Foods, like herbs, also possess therapeutic attributes. There are foods that are also actually considered herbs because they impact the body in a very powerful way. They include:

o Garlic: This food/herb is strong enough to kill parasites in your body. It’s used for food poisoning (food toxicity) with symptoms such as dysentery and diarrhea, and a preventative measure against flu.

o Ginger: A warm herb that’s known to help heal an upset stomach. Eat broth made of ginger and scallions to combat the early stages of a cold.

o Scallions: Scallions have moving (dispersing) and warming qualities. As mentioned above, scallions boiled with ginger are ideal remedies against the early stages of a cold. Before going to bed, drink the broth that will give you a mild sweat to break the cold before it becomes worse.

o Chinese dates: If you need to tonify your Spleen, this is an ideal food to eat. Symptoms of a weak spleen include lack of energy, weak appetite, fatigue, and shortness of breath. You can purchase Chinese dates in health food stores and Asian markets. You can add them to other dishes and salads or you can eat them alone.

o Hawthorne fruit: This herb is sold in Asian groceries and markets in the form of a supplement or candy named Hawflakes. In Chinese medicine, hawthorne is ideal for indigestion which in Chinese medicine is known as food stagnation.

o Cinnamon: An energy moving and warm herb. Ideal for various types of pains and aches and for colds.

o Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts are used to alleviate constipation and help moisten the intestines. They are also used in Chinese food and herbal therapy in Jacksonville to moisten the intestines and relieve constipation. They are also deemed to help tonify the Chinese Kidney and make one live for a very long time.

o Mung beans: Mung beans can be ideal for a Chinese medicine condition known as Summerheat. Eat the beans by first boiling it until it becomes soft. Along with eating the beans, you can also drink the water the beans were cooked in. If that doesn’t sound appealing, make it into a soup by adding some vegetables, seasoning, and a little broth.

o Goji berries: These berries have been the focus of attention for the past several years due to its ingredients that promote longevity and health. They are also called Chinese Wolfberries and have a sweet and sour taste, and are red. Chinese medicine practitioners have been using them to treat eye problems such as diminished eyesight due to aging and blurry vision. Eating them can benefit the Chinese Kidneys, which are affiliated with aging.

o Watermelon: There are good reasons why you often love to eat watermelon on a humid and hot day. Watermelon is a moistening and cooling food, and is also used to address Summerheat, a condition generates that a nauseous feeling when the weather is sticky and very hot.

The Uses And Various Aspects Of Nei Gong

In English, Nei Gong means “internal work.” It is a set of breathing exercises that has been practiced for thousands of years in China to soothe and calm the spirit, body, and mind. Furthermore, Nei Gong can be used to promote weight loss, tonify the skin, and improve health as well as boost the immune system which gives the body the strength to combat and ward off disease and illness.

This type of Chinese therapy originated in China and its knowledge and traditions have been passed down from generation to generation. The techniques of yoga, tai chi, and qi gong owe their roots to the healing practices of Nei Gong. It is a type of internal martial art that has everything to do with internal strength. It can help strengthen your actions without needing to exert a lot of effort.

In Nei Gong, the practitioner performs a series of steps that excites the inner energy for revival to its pristine state of being. Nei Gong’s internal elements work in combination with qi gong’s external energy elements which lead to balance of energy or chi. The motions are continuous and fluid, as well as laconic and slow. One of Nei Gong’s internal styles is Neijia that involves the work of internal martial art, which fuses occasional rapid eruption of movements with slow movements whilst bringing in a state of relaxation.

Nei Gong Has Many Types

Certain Nei Gong practices concentrate on breathing and in the harmonizing and coordinating of the body. It is not about the body’s physical movements but how the body moves. It is usually combined with breathing exercises to generate inner peace and relaxation.

Nei Gong is also a meditate art that allows your body to be more conscious of normal body processes, like balance, musculoskeletal alignment and movement, digestion, and the flow of blood in the body. The non-martial art practice of NeiGong is considered an indispensible way to maintain a program of optimal health. It is the manifestation of the Three Treasures of Shen, Chi, and Jing, known respectively as spirit, vitality, and essence.

The Benefits of Nei Gong

An important component of all internal martial arts, Nei Gong connects the body with the mind through physical movement and breathing. Its regular practice can give you more power to deeply concentrate which enables you to reflect internally which can lead to an enlightened self awareness of your body. Your body becomes stronger and your health improved when you alter what arises inside the body.

You may feel an increase of your energy within the first practice. You may also experience a new degree of body awareness which can enhance your self confidence. Besides this, you may see that your sleep patterns have improved and thus may need less sleep. Because of the benefits of enhanced relaxation, you may also see that your high blood pressure readings decrease. All in all, you experience a much improved sensations of tranquility, peace and well being.

Nei Gong has techniques that help you exercise to improve your physical condition, enable the body to detoxify the body of harmful substances, and to help you attain a deeper understanding of spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical states.

All these things bring your spirit, body, and mind to a harmonious balance of chi which leads to a better quality of life, decrease in stress, and improved health.

Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St #101
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 715-1824

The Role Of Chinese Nutritional Therapy In The Prevention And Elimination of Dampness In The Body

Based on energetic principles, Chinese nutritional therapy is used to promote clean burning digestion, balance, and an optimally functioning body that’s filled with energy and free of disease.

Chinese medicine practitioners are trained in bringing back balance to the body when it becomes imbalanced and manifests disease or pain. They are taught how to use herbs and needles, and other tools including tai chi, qi gong, and nutritional or dietary therapy. While these techniques are designed to rectify imbalances to heal disease, the more important thing is to not allow the body to fall into imbalance in the first place.

Chinese nutritional therapy pinpoints and resolves the underlying imbalance patterns that are causing your symptoms.

Foods That Generate Dampness In The body

For thousands of years, the Chinese have been eating for balance as a way of life. Balance is a concept deeply implanted into their cultural choices of what and when to eat. In the Chinese diet, the foods and ingredients chosen are based on their nutritional value and also on their taste and nutrition. Foods such as pearled barley and spices such as ginger are common. Barley has long been discovered by the Chinese to drain dampness, while ginger helps promote digestion. Selecting spices and herbs that contribute to good digestion is easy to understand. But in the Chinese diet, another principle unfamiliar to most Westerners is aimed for, and that is to drain dampness from the body.


Dampness is derived from the eating of foods that cause blockage to the free flow of energy within the body. Sugar, white flour, yogurt, and cheese are some of these foods that contribute to dampness. This condition leads to the stagnation of fluids in the body by creating blockages in the body that causes the bodily systems malfunction resulting in disease and pain. Swollen joints, excess weight, constipation, and loose stools are some of the signs of the buildup of dampness. Arthritis and chronic allergies are a few of the more common Western diseases associated with dampness. Once it accumulates, dampness can be hard to treat, so we should eat in a way that would help prevent it from forming in the first place.

Dampness Begins In Your Digestive System

How is dampness formed? Do you have any idea how food is processed in your body? The Chinese have been observing the process of digestion for over 2,500 years and have declared proper digestion the bedrock of the Chinese Medicinal system and the basis of good health. The formation and buildup of dampness begins in the digestive system.

When you eat, food is masticated in your mouth and then swallowed where it passes through the abdomen and intestines. Energy from the foods is extracted in the intestines and the waste products are ejected at the other end. The energy extracted from the food is transformed into bioelectrical energy called Chi or Qi which provides the fuel your body needs to live. Normally, digestion is a quiet and unnoticeable process. To extract the maximum amount of nutrition and energy from the food, your digestive system should be clean burning and quiet. ‘Clean burning’ is similar to metabolism. If the foods you ingest are metabolized properly, the food is utilized efficiently and there’s no leftover residue after excretion of waste material. But if you have a clogged up system, the food materials and energy don’t get separated well enough and despite expelling waste materials, leftover residue can still stick to various places in the body. This residue is regarded as ‘dampness’ and it affects the functions of your body in many ways.

The lungs and others organs can clog from the buildup of dampness, causing asthma or allergies. When the digestive tract becomes clogged, bowel problems or indigestion can develop. Damp can also block the meridians, which are the pathways where Chi flows. This results in stiffness, pain, or swollen joints. If dampness is not removed from the body, over time, it turns warm and wreaks havoc in the body causing inflammatory diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. In Chinese medicine, one of the keys to treating disease is to understand and treat dampness. It is important not to allow dampness to develop in the first place because it is extremely hard to remove once it has accumulated.

Chinese Nutritional Therapy

Chinese medicine has quite a number of foods to recommend that can help anyone achieve good health. If you’ve been to a Chinese restaurant, you might notice that the meals are built around cooked vegetables, steamed rice, and small portions of bean or animal protein. In Chinese restaurants of higher quality, cooking oils are used minimally and sparingly. If you avoid flour-based food products and foods that are deep fried, you have the basic nutritional Chinese diet, which, at any age, is designed to maintain and/or foster balance in the body.


When you order a dish in a Chinese restaurant, you might see large amounts of lightly cooked vegetables on a typical plate of Chinese food. This is because vegetables are rich in life giving nutrients and contribute greatly in the draining of dampness in the body. Different textures and colors generate a combination that is both pleasing to the palate and the eye. Texture and taste can play an important role in the regulation of your appetite. Satiety is guaranteed by eating a wide variety of foods, so you feel full. Different colors indicate a wide range of antioxidants and nutrients that boost longevity and health. It’s recommended that you start with half a plate of lightly cooked vegetables and as leafy greens are one of the most nutrient rich and balancing foods you can eat, you might want to eat lots of them.


Rice is an easily digestible and balanced food. It is a hypoallergenic food and gentle to the digestive system so it should be recommended to people sensitive to allergies. Brown or white rice are interchangeable and you should choose the one that your body more easily digests. Brown rice is deemed to be more nourishing while white rice tends to be more cleansing. In Chinese Medicine, rice is a food that is ‘clean burning’ which implies that it can gently drain dampness off your body. It should comprise 25 percent of your plate.


Beans and small portions of animal protein are essential in a Chinese nutritional diet. As beans provide protein and fiber and absorb dampness, they can be consumed more often. Animal proteins can be difficult to digest, which is the reason they should be served in small portions. They are considered ‘building’ foods. An ideal serving of animal protein would be around two to four ounces and served three to four times a week. The other 25 percent of your plate would comprise your choice of protein.

Avoid Cold Raw Food

Chinese nutritional therapy would never recommend raw cold food of any type. This includes frozen foods, iced drinks, chilled food and salads. In the development of damp, cold, raw foods are culprits mainly because the body has a hard time processing them. The foods you eat should be approximately body temperature in order for the digestive system to begin breaking them down and extract their essence. Your energetic resources can be overstrained when the foods inside your body still need to be heated by your body. Over time, this weakens your energy system. Well-cooked grains and lightly cooked vegetables help your digestive system to immediately extract energy without needing to heat them first to body temperature. Despite the fact that raw foods such as salads possess more nutrients and enzymes and nutrients, their net gain is lower compared to that of cooked vegetables because you lose energy to the internal heating process as your body tries to assimilate these foods.

Also, No Dairy

You will never find any dairy products such as milk, butter, or cheese on a Chinese menu. Dairy also generates dampness in the body. Cold is the energetic nature of dairy which impairs digestion, even if it’s heated. In Chinese nutritional therapy, dairy is deemed to be a building food but it is meant to be eaten only by people who are undernourished. If you’re well-fed, dairy will only stagnate the function of your bodily systems.


Calcium is a highly touted mineral in Western societies. Western doctors and the media pushes dairy as the only source of this bone building mineral. This is a lie. Foods high in calcium that are just as important in the development of strong robust bones include broccoli, leafy greens, salmon, and almonds. They all can meet your daily calcium requirements especially when you eat several servings of vegetables each day, and each week you can add almonds and small servings of salmon to your diet.


Sugar quickly produces damp in the body. Unfortunately, “health foods” such as energy bars and sweetened yogurt as well as candy and soda are oversaturated with sugar and are widely over-consumed in the West. Interestingly, in Chinese nutritional therapy, sweet flavor is deemed to be nourishing. Most of the foods in the Chinese diet are mainly sweet. In Chinese medicine, sweet does not mean concentrated sugars; it means vegetables, animal proteins, and rice. If vegetables are sweet foods, you can imagine the oversaturated sweetness of a piece of candy. The digestive organs benefit tremendously from the sweet flavor of vegetables, meat, and rice. Sugar and other concentrated sweets weaken the ability of the body to turn food into energy and to move waste materials for elimination. Incompletely converted food turns into dampness, and over time, accumulates causing blockage and sickness.

In Chinese nutritional therapy, there are five different flavors to food: sweet, salty, bitter, pungent, and sour. Balance those flavors according to the current season, disease pattern, and your body type.

Seasonal Eating

Different food choices and altering cooking methods are needed to match the different seasons of the year. In winter, people naturally eat heavier, more warming foods such as baked foods, stews, and soups. Cooler and lighter kinds of foods that can be quickly cooked such as steamed vegetables are much preferred by people during summer. Food choices should vary based on the current season in order to be in tune with the natural environment. During colder months and weather, eat warmer foods and during warmer days and months, eat cool and cold foods to keep you healthy at all times.

In addition, eating the foods that’s indigenous to your region will help maintain the balance in your body. A person living near the equator, for example, where all year round is warm weather, would eat foods that are different from that eaten by people living in cold, southern or northern climates. A person in a tropical climate would naturally avail himself of tropical fruits since they probably grow in abundance in that region and climate. Someone living in northern temperate regions would probably find it difficult to find a tropical fruit sold in their area let alone, grown there.

Without indoor refrigeration and swift transportation on any point on the globe, a lot of modern food choices would not exist. Humans naturally eat what is in season and what is locally available. Preservation techniques have become very efficient although the preserved foods still have to be cooked first. The grocery store of today sells tropical and temperate climate foods such as pineapples, watermelons, and grapes all year round. Some of those foods may not grow in your part of the world and eating them liberally over the course of time will eventually lead to imbalances.

Eating in-season, local foods are still commonly practiced in many regions of the globe. Many studies have been done on indigenous cultures that have a large number of people living beyond a hundred years. Most of these studies focus on the dietary habits of those people to discover the secret behind their longevity and health. Certain foods they eat are isolated by scientists in order to find the key to their healthy and long lives. However, a lot of these studies often overlook the fact that the indigenous people have never consumed foods that have been grown outside their region. Also, when those longevity studies are seen from the viewpoint of Chinese nutritional therapy, there are several resemblances between their choices of food. Conspicuously noticeable are the significant absence of processed and sugary foods and smaller portions of protein as well as a large ratio of whole grains, rice and locally grown vegetables compared to their Western counterparts.

Thrive Wellness Center
1244 S Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: (954) 713-6118

The Role Of The Heart In Traditional Chinese Medicine

Most of us acknowledge that our heart is the body organ most closely linked to emotion. The terms heartache, heartbroken, sweetheart, or heartstring come to mind. More often than not, the heart is not associated with subtlety; the emotions it embodies always seem to be on opposite poles, either extreme joy or intense sadness.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the heart has a physical responsibility which is somewhat similar to its roles in Western medicine. In TCM, the heart controls the sweat and the blood vessels. Profuse perspiration is an indication that the heart needs to be supported and built up (tonified). The organ also can affect speech because it also controls the tongue. Signs of a deficient heart include speech difficulties such as loss of words and stuttering.

However, the heart has a main responsibility which is to control the shen and house the mind. “Shen” can be determined by the general health and well being of the mind. You will know a good spirited and healthy person just by looking at their eyes. Their eyes have a sense of health and a certain bright lucidity that sparkles from within. For acupuncturists, this person would be acknowledged as having good shen.

On the other hand, there are people with eyes that when you look at them seem to be cloudy and dull or shifty (their eyes tend to shift from side to side). These people have a poor or weak shen. This unhealthy shen can sometimes be caused by distraction or mild depression; it can also indicate mental imbalance if the shen is severely unwell.

The heart is both the victim and cause of extreme joy. A lot of people would consider extreme joy as a good thing, but it can lead to ADHD or manic depression. ADHD is sometimes due to the heart not controlling the mind properly.

Some wise people believe that the job of the heart is to maintain proper timing in life. An example of this would be a person wearing a bathing suit. If this person wears a bathing suit for a business meeting, this indicates that his heart was not him giving the correct information on what to appropriately wear on a specific occasion. But if he wears the suit in summer in a swimming pool, his heart is doing its job. This means, the heart’s responsibility is to maintain the correct behavior for the appropriate situation.

Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.

The Therapeutic Effects and Uses of Moxibustion Therapy

The FDA has recently announced it will enforce tighter controls on the use of Vicodin and other hydrocodone-based pain medications.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 75 percent of prescription medication overdoses are due to prescription painkillers. Since 1999, there has been a threefold increase in the sales of these products and a 265 percent rise in overdoses related to the use of prescription painkiller in men and a 400 percent rise in women.

Two million people in 2010, bought prescription pain medications without a prescription in order to get high. These statistics are very alarming and a lot of acupuncturists have treated several patients suffering from chronic injuries who became addicted to these pain medications.

People can choose not to use these dangerous products as there are much safer alternatives for healing injuries and relief of pain. One of these alternatives is Moxibustion, an ancient Chinese medicine form of treatment that is gradually gaining popularity in the US.

For people plagued with chronic pain, moxibustion can be a natural treatment for pain that can help allay discomfort minus the side effects of surgery and drugs. It is extremely effective for treating knee arthritis and low back pain.

Moxibustion involves burning of a mugwort plant near or over an acupuncture point to stimulate the flow of energy or Qi and enhance circulation for faster recovery and pain relief. The mugwort is grounded into a paste called moxa. The paste is then burned on the acupuncture needles or on the skin of the patient.

The Origins of Moxibustion

Moxibustion was first practiced around 500 BC in China and some authors believe it was widely used by a legendary Chinese doctor named Bian Que. He often used it to address chronic conditions without using acupuncture on patients who were not healthy enough to tolerate the needling process.

Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan have also widely practiced moxibustion, which is also deemed to be a type of acupuncture. According to some researchers, acupuncture actually came later after moxibustion. Oftentimes, a treatment combining acupuncture in Boca Raton and moxibustion therapy is used to bring about maximum pain relief.

Uses and Benefits of Moxibustion

The promotion of healing and the prevention of illness are the usual reasons for the use of moxibustion. These days, Chinese medicine healers utilize it more for the relief of pain through the stimulation of specific acupuncture points along meridians to enhance blood flow to body parts damaged by injury and to balance energy (Qi) flow.

Moxibustion produces a heat that has an effect similar to the heat generated by a heat lamp or a heating pad which are used to alleviate stiffness related to arthritis; the soothing effect of the heat helps improve circulation and relaxes the muscles.

Moxibustion can be combined with ginger and other substances to heal diarrhea, menstrual cramps, and abdominal pain. Since this therapy can be used to treat a wide range of injuries and health conditions, it is important to choose an experienced practitioner to get the best results.

Different Forms of Moxibustion Therapy

Direct moxibustion – In this technique, the practitioner burns the moxa directly on the skin. This practice is seldom used in the United States due to high risk of skin burning. However, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine believe the burn and ensuing scars are a vital part of the healing effect.

Indirect moxibustion – This method involves that practitioner wrapping the moxa into a pole stick, which is shaped like a cigar. The stick is then lit and is hovered an inch or two above the skin. The pole’s tip is moved in small circles over the acupoint until the sites of the treatment get warm and a little red. The procedure lasts for 5 to 10 minutes and it leads to a slowly buildup of heat in the body that allows for the therapeutic effects of oils from the mugwort and heat to penetrate the skin without burning it. The oils have properties that penetrate the body stimulate the blood independent of the healing effects of the heat.

Another form of moxibustion treatment combines acupuncture and indirect moxibustion technique. The moxa is burned on top of an acupuncture needle that’s been inserted into the patient’s skin. This procedure delivers heat to a certain acupoint via the needle. Most acupuncturists use moxibustion and acupuncture together to alleviate all types of pain.

To achieve optimal outcomes, heat needs to be applied to the specific acupoint for a certain period of time. Though there are some who may get instant relief, others may need to undergo several rounds of treatment to get lasting effects.

Physiological Effect of Moxibustion

The burning moxa produces heat that stimulates specific acupuncture points, helps alleviate pain, and increases warmth leading to overall well being. The mugwort herb is a natural booster of blood circulation throughout the body.

For Chinese practitioners, the burning moxa boosts a specific frequency of infrared energy and this frequency is the one that augments the qi needed for your body to completely heal. The practitioners likewise believe that using indirect heat to certain acupoints can strengthen metabolism and the immunity of the body.

Moxibustion Therapy for Relief of Pain

For treatment of all sorts of injuries, Moxibustion therapy can be very effective. It’s usually performed after the injury’s acute stage, once the swelling and inflammation has subsided. It is very effective for treatment of tendon muscle, knee arthritis, back pain, and joint injuries.

It also works well for the relief of menstrual cramps and muscle tension. For back pain, moxibustion therapy is widely recommended alongside the use of acupuncture. It has also been proven to work well when combined with cupping and acupressure therapy.

Moxibustion is used to:

 To eliminate congestion and blockages caused by fluid and blood accumulation after an injury.

 Ameliorate stiffness pain, and swelling

 Warm injured areas that are cold to touch. This is usually seen in chronic injuries in which pain gets worst in damp or cold weather.


As long as the fire and hot substances are safely handled in a controlled setting, indirect moxibustion therapy is safe to use. If you want maximal safety without comprising the effectiveness of the treatment, apply a small slice of ginger on the skin as a shield from the heat’s burning effect.

Moxibustion should not be used if:

 Your skin sensitivity is poor or if you suffer from diabetic neuropathy

 You have a fever

 You have heat, redness, and/or active inflammation

Avoid using moxibustion:

 Over ulcerations or open skin lesions

 Over the lower back and abdominal area during pregnancy

You can use smokeless moxa sticks instead if you are sensitive to smoke or suffer from respiratory problems.

The Various Types And Uses Of Cupping Therapy

Cupping is a way of resolving local congestion by using a partial vacuum that is generated in a cup or cups, either by suction or by heat. Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of healing that’s been used for thousands of years. Nevertheless, the entire world once knew this therapy and used it despite the fact that it’s usually associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians have also been known to use cupping therapy. In fact, the Ebers Papyrus of Egypt, the oldest medical document in the world, written around 1550 BCE, was the first text that mentioned cupping. This therapeutic practice has also had a long history in the UK and actually, the British medical journal, The Lancet, got its name from cupping therapy as it means the surgical instrument that can grate the skin to perform cupping.

The Various Types of Cupping

1. Water Cupping – This is the least practiced cupping technique. In water cupping, 1/3 of a cup is filled with warm water. Whilst the cup is held close to the client with one hand, it is brought to the point to be cupped and then cotton wool is burned and placed into the cup, then quickly and at the same instant, the cup is turned onto the skin. No water spillage occurs when this technique is performed rightly.

2. Strong Cupping – As implied by its name, strong cupping involves strong suction and so it is not recommended for the elderly and children.

3. Needle Cupping – Cupping and acupuncture in Boynton Beach are conducted in the same place. Needle is inserted first; then over it, the cup is applied

4. Massage Cupping or Moving Cupping – A very effective technique that involves massage. Massage cupping is performed by placing oil on the skin and moving the cup, by a weak suction, on the treatment site.

5. Medium Cupping – A general purpose, medium strength cupping.

6. Light Cupping – This method applies a weak suction in the cup. It is ideal for the elderly and for children.

7. Hot Cupping – This technique uses dried leaves of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) leaves which are sometimes called Moxa. In hot cupping, a needle is inserted first then warmed with a dried lit Mugwort. Afterwards, a cup is applied over it.

8. Herbal Cupping – Into the cup an appropriate herbal tincture is placed and then the cup is applied with suction.

9. Flash Cupping – In this technique several medium cuppings are done many times in quick succession to stimulate the targeted area.

10. Bleeding Cupping – Also called Wet Cupping or Full Cupping. It is the most effective, oldest, and most frequently technique. The skin is scraped with a surgical instrument and then a cup is applied to collect blood.

Illnesses That Can Be Treated With Cupping

Blood disorders, asthma, chest pain, diarrhea and constipation, fever, stroke, insomnia, flu and the common cold, bedwetting, breast enhancement, high blood pressure, rheumatic diseases, sexual disorders, infertility, muscle and joint pain, back pain, and headache.

Contra-Indications and Precautions

You or your therapist should always take sensible precautions when performing cupping. These include:

• Using the proper cups for the site being treated.

• Sterilization

• Not applying strong cupping to the face

• Using extra care when treating the elderly and children

• Not using cupping on cut or inflamed skin.

• Taking extra care when scraping the skin and be sure to not cut an artery or vein.

• Not using cupping on people with serious heart disease and pregnant women.

Using Cupping Therapy on Acupuncture Points

In 2005, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Biomechanics that said “In acupuncture treatment, cupping is deemed to be a practical alternative to needles in stimulating acupoints. One of its biggest advantages is preventing the transfer of blood-borne diseases since the skin is not penetrated.”

Thus, we can see that cupping is a viable alternative to acupuncture, or can be used as an adjunct to it. Several researchers have studied and shown the cupping therapy’s benefits which in the near future will be the most used alternative medical practice in the US.

The Importance Of Traditional Chinese Medicine In Treatment Of Chronic Fatigue

Low energy/fatigue is not an illness in the true sense of the word; instead it is a profound exhaustion that impacts our daily joy and our capacity to achieve the purpose and goals we have set in life. When you feel temporary fatigue, this is usually a sign from your body telling you to take heed and to implement certain healthy lifestyle changes to improve your overall health. Fatigue that persists is your body telling you that your energy system requires treatment.

Signs and Symptoms

In Chinese Medicine, a set of signs and symptoms are diagnosed together. A practitioner would never place a label on or refer to an illness as a “syndrome” that becomes something that the patient is suffering from and has a complicated name. Instead, the practitioner is all the time mindful that the condition is a dynamic process, viewing it in the whole person as a pattern of disharmony and not merely as an illness affecting a system or an organ. A healing effect that’s natural and more balanced will take place when one treats all the signs and symptoms and not just one. Basically speaking, in Western medicine, the doctor addresses the manifesting symptoms, and very rarely considers the underlying cause of the symptoms. An allopathic doctor will strive to give a ‘disease name’ to a set of symptoms and signs. If the signs and symptoms are not obvious or if the doctor has difficulty giving a name to these signs and symptoms, one or more medical tests will normally be carried out. The patient is deemed free of any medically perceived illness if the tests come out negative, even if the patient still insists he is unwell. When this happens, some doctors will tell the patient that it is all in the patient’s head. But with a practitioner of Chinese medicine, all patterns are considered as probable indications of an imbalance that need attention, absent or not a Western diagnosis. This is the reason why traditional Chinese medicine or TCM is especially useful for people who have symptoms defined as long-term lack of energy, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or other issues that western medicine has no answers to.

Patterns of Disharmony

According to TCM, there are a couple of distinct patterns of disharmony that tend to appear in people suffering from chronic fatigue: Lack of energy due to deficiency of energy (Qi) or stagnation of Qi. Deficiency of Qi occurs when the energy of a person has become run down and the person simply does not have enough energy to accomplish his normal daily activities. On the other hand, stagnation of Qi develops when the energy or Qi of a person becomes stuck and cannot freely move through the body’s meridians. In Western medicine this is analogous to nerve impedance and/or sluggish circulation through the body that transports energy to a limb or an organ system. Those two Chinese medicine patterns of disharmony are addressed by means of an entirely different combination of herbs and acupuncture points. Some acupuncturists tend to see both these patterns on a regular basis, and it is important that both patterns be treated with different treatment standard procedures in order to generate a long lasting and effective cure. Herbal medicine and acupuncture in Bellmore are artistic forms of medicine in the sense that the practitioner needs to be extremely creative in selecting the proper prescription of herbs and acupuncture points that are in accordance with the patient’s specific needs. That is the only way to bring about a long and lasting cure to low energy.