Acupressure Treatment For Insomnia And Depression

Perhaps, the most common psychological condition related to insomnia is depression. A basic connection exists between the two that transcends the chemical factors produced by the brain in a number of central nervous system disorders. Insomnia and depression are actually related to the presence of negative ideations focused towards the rest of the world and to oneself.

Highly stressful working conditions, high emotional problems and personal dissatisfaction are the main causes of insomnia and depression. The most meaningful disadvantage in the use of conventional medication prescribed for the treatment of these two conditions is its inability to address the underlying cause of the problems in the first place.

As a result, increasing recurrence is highly likely when the prescription is discontinued. People suffering from insomnia and depression are urged to develop as many rewarding activities as they can. Emotional stability, openness and communication, small successes and a boost of self-confidence are some of the best long-standing cures for such conditions.

Many nervous system disorders related to insomnia, from the very simple to the most complicated of cases, as well as depression is fortunately deemed to be a mild affliction that can be cured through a variety of alternative therapies. Acupressure in Jacksonville, for instance, have been used successfully in the treatment of both insomnia and depression, with great results seen immediately after treatments.

The acupressure therapist opens the natural circuits of the body through the stimulation of special points in the body to eliminate the negative energies that have built up in the recipient’s body. The treatment of insomnia and depression through acupressure is an ancient Asian healing method. The underlying principles of this treatment are that each health issue has a multidimensional structure: physical, energetic and spiritual.

Each time a person is unhappy, a physical reaction takes place in his body that secretes chemicals which can be, depending on the amount, rather harmful. Because of this, people suffering from depression have a hard time sleeping well; tension builds up in the tissues and hinders the healthy functioning of their system.

The use of acupressure helps restore the natural flow of energy in the body, which results in feelings of contentment and relaxation that diminishes the negative burden in their mind that can interfere with sleep. Almost all patients (about 90% of them) who have utilized acupressure have reported meaningful gains in the treatment of insomnia and depression. So, in order to maintain a state of well-being and health, one needs to limit negative emotions to a minimum and stick to a balanced way of life.


Acupressure For Nausea, Vomiting, Depression, Cancer Pain And More

Acupressure is an ancient Chinese art of healing that works by stimulating the natural self-healing powers of the body through the application of pressure on the most essential pressure points of the body through the use of the elbow, palms, fingers, or even feet. It is believed to have been practiced by countless numbers of people for over five millennia.

How Effective is Acupressure Therapy?

Acupressure has shown to effectively cure a wide variety of conditions that are associated to stress. It also can actually develop the general health of a person, enhance the flow of blood, alleviate pain, and ameliorate tension. Besides addressing stress-related conditions, acupressure has been shown to regenerate reproductive organs, enhance skin tone, and detoxify the body.

This therapy can help prevent the body from falling to diseases and strengthen resistance to illness and pain. It can be self-administered by anyone who have studied pressure points and the therapy’s various techniques so that he or she can self-heal certain medical problems such as emotional trauma, learning disabilities, mental stress, muscle pain, and many others more.

How Does Acupressure Work?

During an acupressure procedure, the healer will ask you to lie along a massage table. The treatment does not require you to take your clothes off. The healer then begins to gently apply pressure on selected pressure points in your body and then massage them. Ordinarily, a session of acupressure may last an hour or so. If you want to get the most out of this therapy, you may need to attend multiple treatment sessions.

The real objective of any bodywork including acupressure is to regain the overall well being and health of a person by modulating the negative (yin) and positive (yang) energies circulating though the body. Some individuals believe that acupressure not only can treat the fields of energy in our body but also our emotions, mind, and spirit.

Commonly Used Pressure Points

There are a lot of pressure points (also called acupressure or acupuncture points) in the human body, that it may take some to list them all down. The only thing one needs to know is the most important pressure points that healers most often use. These points include:

1. Spleen 6 acupoint(SP-6) – This pressure point is used to treat ailments associated with the liver. It is located within a distance of 3 cuns (or 3 finger widths) just above the ankle. It is very tender in this region of the lower calf muscle.

2. Liver 3 acupoint(LR-3) – This pressure point is used in treatment of diseases associated with the liver and is located between the second toe and big toe.

3. Large intestine acupoint(LI 4) – This point is used to treat conditions associated with the large intestine and is found in the thick flesh between the thumb and forefinger.

Who Can Benefit from Acupressure?

While a lot of people believe that acupressure can address a wide range of ailments, you have to admit that this healing modality and its capacity to improve many health problems have still not been thoroughly vetted. In the West, acupressure is a “new” treatment approach.Proper studies should be done before issuing statements like, “Acupressure can effectively cure such and such condition in this many weeks.”

Nonetheless, time and again, this therapy has certainly improved a lot of medical conditions. There is absolute proof, albeit a little that it really does work, but absolute proof is needed to show that it can treat the following medical conditions:

Nausea related to pregnancy and post pregnancy
Motion sickness
Chemotherapy side effects
During or after injection of spinal anesthesia
Postoperative nausea and trauma
Nausea and vomiting

Several studies have indicated that wrist acupressure can very well treat nausea and vomiting caused by the following factors:

Post chemotherapy
During or after injection of spinal anesthesia

In a lot of the above mentioned cases, wrist acupressure has proven shown to work very well.

Nausea and Vomiting

For curing nausea and vomiting, the P6 pressure point is used. It is found in between the two nerves that begin at the base of the palm. Uniquely designed wristbands which can help manage nausea and vomiting conditions can be bought online or in your local pharmacy.

Anxiety and Depression

Several research efforts done on people have shown the ability of acupressure to uplift the mood of a person and to help allay anxiety, depression, and fatigue.


Studies demonstrate that the use of acupressure on patients with arthritis resulted in a meaningful decrease in the sensation of inflammation in the joints. The scientific explanation behind this is,the use of acupressure stimulates the production and release of endorphins that reduces the inflammation in the joints, thereby relieving the ordeal suffered by arthritis patients caused by their condition.

Physical Pain:

There is preliminary evidence that shows acupressure’s capacity to relieve headache, post-surgical trauma and pain, and lower back pain. Problems caused by other medical conditions can also get better through the use of acupressure. As far as headaches are concerned, pressure is administered to the pressure point concerned.


Based on many individual reports, besides relieving chemotherapy-related nausea, acupressure has also been reported to reduce pain, boost the levels of energy, eliminate, and relieve tension in cancer patients.


Acupressure,in general, is safe to use. However, patients with chronic health conditions like heart disease, arthritis, and cancer should talk to their doctor before deciding to go ahead with this procedure. Acupressure is merely a precautionary measure.

To Conclude

Although acupressure therapy is still in its infancy in the West, most of those people who have tried this mode of therapy appear to be satisfied. Many of them believe that this,undoubtedly,is one of the best forms of treatment around that can guide people to a healthy lifestyle. If you want to get the best outcomes, acupressure should be only performed under the guidance of a qualified acupuncturist vancouver.


A Recent Study Shows Acupuncture’s Effectiveness In Treating Headaches And Traumatic Brain Injury

A recent study has shown that acupuncture in Fort Lauderdale is an effective remedy for headaches related to traumatic brain injury

Widely known as an ancient Chinese practice, acupuncture is used by millions of people around the world not just for restoring or maintaining the balance of the energy of the body known as qi, but also for treating a wide number of diseases. A study featured in the Medical Acupuncture Journal shows that the practice of acupuncture has led to the treatment of headaches caused by TBI or traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, makes up, at least, approximately 30% of deaths related to injury in the US. About 2.7 million people each year suffer from this serious issue.

In addition, about 79% TBI-diagnosed servicemen have manifested instances of recurring or chronic headaches. This has prompted researchers to determine if these headaches can be decreased by two forms of acupuncture – Chinese acupuncture and auricular acupuncture.

The study’s authors visited three military treatments facilities located in Washington D.C.where they talked to 43 military men showing cases of TBI and who were previously deployed. Their ages ranged from 18 to 69 and they have a history of mild to moderate headaches and traumatic brain injuries.

To guarantee the efficacy and safety of the therapy, the researchers utilized the services of practitioners with a master’s degree in acupuncture as well as licensed acupuncturists affiliated with institutes in Virginia or Maryland.

The subjects were grouped into three. One group was given the usual care administered by healthcare practitioners. The second group was treated with 10 to 60 minute sessions of acupuncture. The last group was given ten 45-minute treatments via AA.

TheAA intervention group was given around six to nine needle points and was evaluated after each treatment. The group treated with traditional Chinese acupuncture underwent 22 needle points and was also evaluated after each treatment. They were all dependent on the pain level the headache caused each participant.

Six weeks after, in the group that was treated with traditional Chinese acupuncture, results revealed a significant reduction in their HIT or Headache Impact Test. Compare that to the group given usual care whose score was at positive 0.8 percent. Meanwhile, the AA group scored -10.2% while the traditional Chinese acupuncture group scored -4.6%.

The researchers noted that the only differencein the secondary result was in the NRS or global pain levels among the servicemen. Compared to the UC group, the TCA and AA groups experienced lower incidences of NRS. Moreover, when the TCA and AA were combined, even greater outcomes manifested for both primary and secondary results.

The study concluded that acupuncture can definitely relieve headaches resulting from traumatic brain injury. In addition, acupuncture was found to be more effective than conventional or usual care treatments that sufferers where given in medical facilities.


Acupressure Is The Art Of Nature That Heals Diseases Via The Built-In Mechanisms Of The Body

The human body is perhaps the greatest wonder in the universe. Our body is fully furnished with the most complex, sophisticated, automatic, and most powerful machines ever devised by Mother Nature – the Lungs and Heart, perfect perpetual machines that both work non-stop, 24/7; the unparalleled computer with infinite capacity called the Brain; miles of extremely fast and efficient communication system known as the Nervous System; a marvelous chemical laboratory called, the Abdomen; the excellent sound system of the Ears; and a wonderful projector-cum-camera, known as our Eyes.And the best thing about it is the incredible co-ordination of all these machines that makes the body work flawlessly for more than a hundred years.

It’s a fact that in any perfectly functioning machine, contingencies are made whereby during times of danger, it automatically stops and restarts when a switch is turned on e. g. a circuit breaker or a motor boat. It does not come as a surprise that such a provision is found in the human body as well. It’s widely known that our body system of our body is extremely complicated and convoluted. However, maintaining it is surprisingly easy. If needed, to repair and maintain these machines, our body is equipped with a natural an ‘in-built mechanism’.

The health discipline that exploits this in-built mechanism is commonly referred to as Acupressure. This healing art is the most precious gift to humanity given by the Creator Himself.

According to the Sushrut Samhita, acupressure was discovered over five millennia ago, in ancient India. Unfortunately, it was not properly preserved and went to Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) in the form of acupuncture. From Ceylon, it was brought by nomadic Aryans or Buddhist monks to China and Japan. China is presently teaching acupuncture to the world.

Way back in the 16th century,acupressure was already used by the Red Indians. Medical studies in the US in the 20th century, have significantly contributed towards the advancement of this healing art. Today, hundreds of Naturopathic and Allopathic practitioners are practicing acupressure in this country. It’s an easy and simple therapy that,in recent decades, has even caught the attention of the WHO or World Health Organization.

Acupressure is closely associated with acupuncture in Maitland. The words “acu” and “puncture” means “needle” and “to pierce,” respectively. Acupuncture is the method of treating diseases by inserting needles into certain points on the body. Acupressure is the technique of treating illnesses by applying pressure at certain points in the body through the use the thumb, hands and other unpointed things.

Principles: The human body is made up of five essential elements: Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth/Wood. Each element is controlled by a Life Battery or Electricity called chen (negative energy) and qi (positive energy).

The electricity of our body is known in the West as Bio-Electricity, and this Bio-Electricity is what controls the five elements. The ‘Chetana’ is the electricity or current generated by this non-changeable Life Battery. At the moment of conception,this battery is installed in our body. With the help of certain Yogic techniques, a dazzling white light can be created with this battery,which can manifest in the middle of our forehead, with eyes closed. Many people,including me, have witnessed this light.

Electric current from this battery passes through the body via energy channels called ‘Meridians,’ which begin from the tip of each finger of our right hand moving through the body and end in the right and left foot’s toes. The body remains healthy and strong so long as this flow of electricity properly moves through the body.

There will be pain and malfunctioning of the area of the body if this current does not reach that area for whatever reasons, and if this is not addressed promptly and properly may lead to sickness and disease. Therefore, if the bioelectricity is sent properly to the affected areas, sickness, disease, and/or pain would diminish and the causes of malfunction in that area would be addressed.Acupressure is therefore, the Art of Nature that tells us how to heal diseases through the built-in mechanisms of the body. It is the art of how to send bioelectricity to all areas of the body.


A Right Amount Of Sugar Can Actually Benefit Your Gut

Not sure if your sugar is making your IBS worse? This article will help you to find out and learn how you can actually use sweetness to support your gut.

If you’re finding it really hard to resist those sugary sweets, this article will help you understand why you get those cravings and how it’s related to your IBS. I know all about IBS confusions. I teach my clients how to use food to actually heal their guts.

It’s the holidays and sugar is all around you people are bringing that holiday baking, gifting you with cookies and cake, baked with love and care. And not to mention even those candy canes that are everywhere you go. I don’t normally eat sweets, but even our house has more baking in it than usual. You already know that sugary sweets aren’t healthy.

Even cookie monster changed his tune to, a cookie is a sometimes food. But issugar even worse for people struggling with IBS? Does sugary foods flare up your IBS gut? For a lot of people, sweets are a comfort food. Many of you probably grew up finishing your meals with a sweet dessert. So it’s part of your everyday diet.

On top of that, you might crave a chocolate pick me up after a bad day, or grab something sweet and starchy to help boost your energy in the afternoon. But have you ever stopped to consider what’s causing your sweet cravings and how it’s affecting your IBS? From a traditional Chinese medicine or TCM perspective, different flavors soothe, heal and affect different internal organ systems.

For example, salty flavors correspond to the TCM kidney organ, and sour flavors to the TCM liver. Your digestive system is made up of two main organs, the TCM spleen and the TCM stomach, and these two organs are affected by sweet flavors. So, what does this mean? With IBS and any other digestive condition, the TCM spleen and stomach are weak and when they are weak, they have a tendency to crave sweet flavors to help soothe and rebuild their energy.

But wait! Before you start adding cakes and cookies back into your regular diet, there are a few important things you need to know.

Tip 1

The first is, that a little goes a long way – there’s a fine balance between supporting your gut by eating sweet foods and doing damage by eating too much of it. Although sweet flavors do nourish a weak gut, having too much of It actually weakens it a bit more, which brings me to number two:

Tip 2

Sugar versus sweetness – our organ’s definition of sweet is very different from that of our taste buds. It’s much more subtle and the craving isn’t actually for sweet processed foods, but for sweetness naturally found in whole foods. What do I mean by that? Well, if you’ve ever done a sugar detox, are you’ve cut down the amount of processed sugar in your diet, you might have discovered that every day non-sweet foods actually have a degree of sweetness to them.

I’m not just talking about sweet potatoes, but things like carrots, other vegetables, rice, different fruits, even meats like chicken. Non-dessert foods have a sweet flavor that’s enough to support and rebuild your gut, which brings me finally to number three:

Tip 3

Avoid processed sugars – sorry guys, but in TCM, those sweets, candies, cookies, all those foods cause sluggishness in your gut, producing what we call “dampness and phlegm,” which actually slows down your gut and prevents it from doing its job instead of helping to heal it. So unfortunately, if you want to really be able to manage your IBS symptoms, you need to resist those tempting baked goods and delicious hot cocoa.

Yes, even the gluten-free low sugar kind, at least for this year. But next year could be a totally different story if your IBS is fully under control. Those sweets in my house, I’m definitely enjoying them without a second thought about IBS attacks because my IBS has been under control for years. And I know that the holidays are my sometimes for sugary sweetness. After that, I’ll go back to eating fruit, which is my favorite all-time dessert.

Thrive Wellness Center
2499 Glades Rd #305a
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Phone: (561) 416-4391


A Short Description Of Traditional Chinese Medicine

TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine is the term given to a wide variety of therapies that have originated from several parts of East Asia. Although TCM is classified as an alternative therapy in Western countries, it’s been a widely accepted and long-standing medical practice in several East Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, and China. But what exactly is TCM?

Basic Definition

TCM is basically all about balance. It is a holistic health system that considers and treats the spirit, body, and mind as one. Any single part of an entire human being or animal that becomes unbalanced – in both the meta-physical and physical sense – will lead to illness.

TCM owes its origins to the theory of yin and yang (which has been integrated into Taoist philosophy). Again, all about balance, Yin & Yang lies on the theory that all developments in the universe can be divided into two complementary yet opposite parts. Some common examples of these include dark/light, moon/sun, cold/hot, female/male, etc. Strictly speaking, there is neither good nor bad in Yin & Yang, rather both are components of the whole. TCM strives to maintain health and balance in the process.

Meridians and Chi

Chi or Qi pertains to the body’s vital energy. It’s usually mistaken to be the “soul” or “spirit” when it fact, it’s more akin to energetic blood that circulates within your body. Chi moves inside your body through energy channels called meridians and through other channels in your body.

Learning the specifics of chi alone can take an entire lifetime to finish. The only thing you need to know is that chi is the energy in your body that’s very important to Chinese medicine and circulates like blood throughout your body.

Treatments Offered in Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic healing system that includes therapies such as:

Acupuncture in Bellingham: Acupuncture is an ancient healing that involves the insertion of very thin needles into specific points along the body. Chinese acupuncture mainly uses the aforementioned meridians, although these days, practitioners have added their own spin to their techniques. Acupuncture is mainly for the treatment of nervous-system disorders, psychological disorders, and chronic pain. Its hard core adherents will recommend it for just about any condition.

Herbal Therapy: This involves the use of medicinal mushrooms, roots, herbs, and other natural products. Some minerals and exotic animal parts may also be used but these tend to be shunned and outlawed in almost all countries except in communist China. There are herbal medicines that are known to treat practically every condition and illness known to Western medicine, and even some that aren’t.

Gua sha: Gua sha is one unusual treatment that involves rubbing of the skin using smooth bits of tusk, bone, stone, or jade. It’s a rather harsh treatment in which the patient usually ends up with painful red marks or bruising on the skin. Be that is at may, the therapeutic benefits of this therapy is quite broad and can be used for everything from cholera to hot weather. If you have a low threshold for pain, this not a treatment for you!

Cupping: An unusual type of detoxification/massage cupping is a therapy involving the use of special glass cups that have the air inside heated by smoke or flame. The cups are placed on the back while they’re still warm inside where they then draw the skin into them. In some modern clinics cups with pumps installed are used. Cupping is designed to purify the body of toxins and should not be used on people planning to go to the beach because it tends huge red circular marks on the back.

Breathing and Physical Exercises – Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners encourages their patients to occupy themselves in healthy exercise. In order to promote the balance and flow of Chi, only the right exercises will suffice. Martial arts, meditation, yoga, qi gong, and tai chi, all are deemed to be great exercises, as is various breathing exercises and meditation.

Is Traditional Chinese Medicine Safe?

Of course Traditional Chinese Medicine is safe. That is, if you use it correctly. But like any other therapy, if used incorrectly, TCM can be potentially risky and dangerous. Before embarking on a new treatment, talk to a health care specialist first.

Another disadvantage of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that is also less regulated. Con and scam artists abound, therefore, it’s important to check the credentials of any potential TCM practitioner. This absence of regulation also means that a lot of Chinese medical practices have not been vetted by the scientific community which then implies that the treatments can range from useless or harmful or outright dangerous to beneficial. When it comes to TCM, let common sense be your guide.

Will Traditional Chinese Medicine Work for You?

The simple answer to that is maybe. Between skyrocketing medical costs, doctor errors, and drug recalls more and more people are turning to alternative modes of treatment. A lot of these therapies benefit patients in very many ways. However, some people believe that TCM is not the best choice for their problem. For people suffering from acute disorders such as appendicitis or from really bad conditions like cancer, Western medicine still has a better track record. But this doesn’t mean these modalities can’t be complemented by Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments for even greater effect. In the end, the choice is up to your healthcare plan and to you.


Relevant Questions Pertaining To Moxibustion And Acupuncture Therapy

Moxibustion is literally defined as “burning of mugwort”. The herb Artemesia Vulgaris (Mugwort) is a common plant and grows throughout the world. In Chinese and other cultures, it has been used for medicinal purposes. In the Chinese language, the actual word for acupuncture is zhen jiu meaning acupuncture point needling and applying to acupuncture points the burning of mugwort.

What are the procedures in using moxibustion?

Moxa can be used in a variety of ways. Lighting the moxa stick and holding it close over the chosen acupuncture point is the most common method. The practitioner slowly lowers and raises the stick enabling soothing warmth to enter the area. One other process is to apply physically small parts of the moxa stick onto the top end of the needles. This allows a deeper kind of heat penetration that specifically goes into the acupoint. Moxibustion may also be placed onto thin slices of ginger and directly placed on the skin.

Where is the mugwort herb used in moxibustion grown?

The mugwort herb is grown commercially in China, it is harvested and dried into a fluff and sometimes rolled into cigar shaped sticks to be used by acupuncturists.

One common use of moxibustion therapy is to boost flow of blood in the body.

You would know how therapeutic administering moxibustion would be if you think that just by plainly rubbing your hand on a sore knee tend to improve the flow of blood to the affected area and generate some form of pain relief.

A lot of patients have reported feeling the heat very deeply penetrating their bodies without their skin being burned. The healing effects and heat of moxibustion is far superior to the heat generated by infra red lamps.

Can arthritis be cured by moxibustion?

According to Chinese medicine, arthritis is caused by a buildup of damp and cold from the external environment that has settled into the joints. This is the reason some arthritis patients always state that their stiffness and pain worsen when it gets cold. This is where moxibustion can be an ideal treatment as it literally heats the buildup of cold helping eliminate it.

Can moxibustion treat depletion, weakness, and tiredness?

One of the basic diagnostic rules of Chinese medicine depends on whether the patient’s condition is one of excess or deficiency. If you can conceive in your mind of a person who has been doing stressful and difficult work, working long hours, and living off stimulants to get him through the day, he will eventually begin to feel tired, weak, and even suffer from adrenal exhaustion. In traditional diagnostic thought, this is deficiency of energy. Because of its heating nature, moxibustion is regarded as a yang tonic and can supplement the weakened energetic state.

Is moxibustion more effective than acupuncture?

There are a lot of health problems in which moxibustion is used and some even regard it as being superior to standalone acupuncture needle therapy. The fact is, in traditional Chinese medicine, there is a saying, “A physician who utilizes needles alone and avoids mugwort burning, is only half a physician”. In modern day China, the hospitals have special smoke extractors set up in the wards to contend with the excessive smoke that moxibustion therapy generates.

Here are some of the problems in which moxibustion can be especially effective:

• Ankylosing spondylosis
• Ulcerative colitis
• Arthritis
• In sports medicine, boosting of Athletic performance
• Tiredness
• Herniated spinal disks
• Breech baby
• Stroke recovery
• Sports injuries

Moxibustion’s actual process on its ability to turn breech babies has been studied.

Various studies have demonstrated the therapy’s success rate in this regard. The studies have confirmed that moxibustion is what provides the outcome compared to acupuncture needling therapy.

Moxibustion is used on the zhiyin or Bladder 67 acupuncture point, for breech baby conditions.

Moxibustion and its significance in stem cell research

Chendu University has studied and demonstrated that moxibustion and acupuncture could boost the production of neural stem cells, but only the therapy of moxibustion could cause to happen the differentiation of neural stem cells into the neuron.

This shows the synergistic impact of combining moxibustion with acupuncture in Bellmore.

Could a person just have moxibustion therapy and not undergo needles?
Some patients who are scared of needles regularly get treated at acupuncture clinics across the US and choose to have only moxibustion. Other patients are taught by their practitioners how to perform moxibustion on their family members and on themselves so they can do it at home.


Gua Sha Therapy Subjected To Tests

In the relief of pain there is a growing body of evidence that an ancient form of Chinese medicine called gua sha works extremely well. This form of therapy is a modality in which the skin is scraped by a blunt instrument.

Gua sha therapy is a 2,000-year-old healing procedure used by Chinese mothers for generations as a home remedy to treat their sick children. Gua sha is now used among Asian immigrant communities and throughout Southeast Asia, as well as by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine in Tarzana and all over the world.

Over 120 studies on gua sha was conducted since 2005, usually pertaining to its effect on chronic back pain and other severe musculoskeletal conditions. Harvard university scientists in 2009 discovered that gua sha can potentially be used to treat immunological and anti-inflammatory conditions. Another Harvard research in 2011 demonstrated that gua sha lessened liver inflammation in active chronic hepatitis B.

Several months ago, research was done that investigated the healing outcomes of gua sha on 40 patients suffering from chronic lower back and neck pain. In the study, which was featured in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, the subjects were assigned randomly to either a waiting list control group or a treatment group that was treated with gua sha therapy only.

Both groups were then reviewed a week after the treatment. As compared to the control group, the subjects in the treatment group reported a decrease in pain and improved health status. In the treatment group however, pain sensitivity got better in subjects suffering chronic neck pain but not in the subjects suffering from lower back pain. The conductors of the study suggest this was because of increased pressure sensitivity in the neck region.

In the University of Essen-Duisburg, a researcher by the name of Romy Lauche recalled that several patients found substantial relief for over a week, and one subject, who had felt anxiety about the treatment, experienced unexpected outcomes. “A woman suffering from back pain with a scale of seven on a 10-point scale came back for assessment without any pain. Before and after examination, Mr Lauche could observe that gua sha had cured all muscle tension. “The number of tight muscles had vanished,” recalled Lauche in a phone interview.

Similar to several alternative and complementary therapies, gua sha is not without issues, mainly because of the seemingly and distinctive severe marks that are the trademarks of the therapy. These marks are neither rashes nor bruises, but something known as petechiae. It appears severe enough to put off a lot of patients looking for an alternative type of medication-free pain relief.

A 2001 film starring Hon Kong star Tony Leung Ka entitled Gua Sha Treatment, did something to mitigate the misconception. Gua Sha Treatment is a tale about Chinese-American immigrants who battled head on cultural misapprehensions when a physician finds out the outrageous gua sha marks on the school-aged son and phones the authorities. While the movie had a happy ending, it does not mean that all gua sha therapies are equal in reality.

Hong Kong resident Annie Tong underwent the treatment in a Kowloon clinic more than ten years ago, and still vividly remembers the discomfort. She remembered that her back was as red as a tomato. The treatment hurt for days, and there was little relief. Ms Tong says she would never try the therapy again.

TCM practitioner Dr Gladys Leung thinks that gua sha doesn’t need to be painful. It is contingent on the communication between practitioner and patient, and the sensitivity of the patient’s skin. She says “A healer may be administering it too vigorously without requesting feedback from the patient”.

Singapore practitioner of TCM Dr Wu Yue, a specialist in acupuncture treatment states there are various levels of firmness for varying degrees of pain in patients. According to Dr Yue, “It depends on the state of congestion in qi and blood flow of the patient”. A heavy stroke may be utilized for every blocked Chi indicated by extremely tense muscles.”

Acupuncturist Arya Nielsen has spent a considerable part of her career teaching gua sha to physicians throughout North America and Europe. She wrote a book on gua sha fundamentals, spearheaded studies to provide proof of gua sha effectiveness for pain, and deems the treatment as “an easy and elementary medical miracle”.

To raise the caliber of practice standards and eliminate risks, Nielsen has proposed safety guidelines for cupping and gua sha therapies. She says that during the procedure pain should not be part of the patient’s treatment.

The belief that the treatment causes bruises is the biggest misunderstanding about gua sha therapy. Nielsen says “Gua sha doesn’t result in bruising. Bruising signifies traumatic injury and bleeding to the tissue.” After gua sha therapy, the red marks that arise signify the movements of red blood cells in the surface of the skin.

“Gua sha will cause the cells to go ‘outside’ the vessels, when there is blood stasis [seen as recurring, persistent, or fixed pain] and the cells will begin to be immediately reabsorbed.”

The procedure boosts nervous system function, bolsters blood flow, and releases pain. Skin oil is applied during the therapy because of its relaxing, detoxifying, or protective properties based on the patient’s needs. The practitioner starts the therapy by press-stroking or scraping with a smooth-edged tool made from metal, horn, or jade.

These days, to eliminate infection, practice protocols entail the tools be single use or sterilized.
Press-stroking should be done in one direction and should be done again until the red dots or petechiae develop. From the petechiae’s color, we may see if the blood stasis is a chronic (black, purplish or dark reddish) or recent (lighter red) type of stagnation. The red marks typically vanish completely in three days to a week.

Patients can feel a gamut of symptoms after the therapy. Nielsen says they notice, “an instant change in wheeze, vomiting, nausea, cough, fever, range of motion, pain, etc.”

According to Nielsen, the treatment is not recommended over pimples, moles, wounds, rash, or sunburn. A lot of physicians think that those with diabetes or pregnant women or people with cancer should not also be treated with gua sha. However Nielsen disagrees saying that “gua sha provides a defensive immune reaction at the internal organs”.

At the Korean Oriental Medicine Institute, researchers conducted a systematic review of clinical studies of gua sha in controlled settings and released their findings in BioMed Central journal in 2010.

They found seven trials in eleven databases, three of which the scientists claimed exhibited positive effects in the relief of pain but were of insufficient quality of research. They concluded that “Recent proof is inadequate to claim that gua sha works well in the management of pain.”

The Pain Medicine journal published another study conducted by German scientists who assigned randomly 48 patients suffering from long term neck pain either to a localized thermal heating pad therapy or a gua sha treatment to be followed up a week after the end of the study.

In patients with chronic neck pain, the scientists agreed that gua sha showed positive short-term benefits on functional status and relief of pain;, its efficacy remains to be seen, over the long-term.


Classifying Autism Using Chinese Medicine

One of the most common forms of brain development disorder, autism strikes one in every 166 child. Children diagnosed with autism often have auto immune problems and weak immune systems. While conventional Western medicine describes autism as a condition in which a child exhibits the following impairments: repetitive behavior; limited interest; speech; and poor communication and social skills, traditional Chinese medicine views autism as a health issue caused by middle burner stagnation, five weakness, and five delays.

1. Wuchi or Five delays also means five types of retardation represented in the delay of

a) Speaking
b) Hair growth
c) Speaking
d) Walking
e) Standing
f) Teeth eruption

2.5. Wuruan (weakness) also means five types of flaccidity that represent the softness and weakness of

a) Muscles
b) Neck
c) Muscles
d) Lower extremities
e) Upper extremities
f) Mouth

3. Ganji (stagnation of the Middle burner) also means dysfunctions of organs that are found above the navel and below the lung and heart, including the diaphragm and spleen represented by

a) Food stagnation
b) Malnutrition

Other Autism Symptoms

• Vomiting
• Schizoid personality behavior
• Excess phlegm
• Peptic ulcer
• Nausea
• Dizziness
• Distension of the chest
• Chronic hepatitis
• Chronic gastritis
• Rapid-wiry pulse
• Slippery-rapid pulse
• Greasy-yellow coating
• Red tongue
• Slight thirst
• Shyness
• Loss of consciousness
• Bitter taste
• Anxiety
• Chronic bronchitis

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The Importance Of Winter In Traditional Chinese Medicine

The season of winter is a period of hibernation. It is the time when night time comes sooner, plants stay underground, and leaves are falling. We desire for heartier and warmer foods during winter. We want to sleep more, our energy is a bit low and our bodies want to slow down. Can our bodies be in harmony in the Winter? It can by accepting and recognizing our relationship with nature.

Winter, according to Chinese Medicine, is the season of the Kidney organ. The Kidneys is where the source of our energy reside – the fire energy that stimulates the functions of our entire body. This ‘fire’ is driven deep inside by the cold weather where the body is able to save this energy thus making it essential to shield ourselves from cold. To safeguard the lower back where the Kidneys are located, during Winter, we need to wear lots of layers – gloves, hat, and a scarf. Our bodies should be protected from the wind, especially wind that hits your lower back and the back of your neck.

During Winter, the foods that should be consumed are the ones that grow naturally with the season: citrus fruits, pears, apples, mushrooms, winter greens, root vegetables, and squashes. Grains, beans, and nuts are some foods that’s harvested in the fall and dried for the winter. We also need to eat fermented vegetables to increase the good bacteria and healthy enzymes into our diet. Our body seeks warm foods during Winter – so rich stocks made from animal bones and soups made from vegetables can help nourish us this season. To keep warm, we may need to drink warm herbal teas all through the day. When it comes to cooking, stew, roast, bake and slow-cook foods are recommended in Winter. Cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and other warming spices are delightful to add to recipes. We don’t recommend eating super hot spicy food in the Winter in TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is because those foods induce sweating, which actually is a cooling method. However, to enhance circulation, a small pinch of hot spice can suffice. We therefore can add other flavorful spices and a tiny amount of pepper for taste and refrain from using a lot of hot spices.

Foods that can warm and nourish the Kidneys include dark leafy greens, black sesame seeds, chestnuts, walnuts, chicken, broths, kidney beans, and black beans. A tiny pinch of unrefined sea salt into home-cooked foods can also help since “salty” is the taste related to the Kidney organ. Use Himalayan salt, french fleur de sel, or Celtic sea salt that are rich in healthy minerals. When cooked in beans, grains, and soups seaweeds can also give a salty quality to the diet. Bear in mind that the body always seek balance. The kidneys can be damaged from excessive use of salt especially if we eat restaurant, packaged, and canned foods and high sodium and overly salted foods. So, it is always important to maintain moderation.

During Winter, it is definitely good to avoid cold temperature foods and healthiest to eat very little raw foods. Avoid cold milk with cereal in the morning, ice, frozen fruits, and smoothies during Winter. Eat instead warm soups, toasted bread, eggs, and warm grain porridges and avoid iced drinks and foods. Rather than eating raw cold salads create roasted vegetables, flavorful cooked salads with greens, mixed with a delicious dressing. A salad made of sauteed dino kale and slices of roasted kabocha is my personal favorite. I eat this warm and include a homemade dressing of lemony tahini. For dessert, I recommend baked pears and apples with cinnamon instead of sugary cold ice cream. If you want added sweetness, you can include a few drops of raw honey.

During winter, satiate your cravings for fats by consuming healthy fats instead of processed/packaged and fried foods. Consume fattier slices of meat from local, free-range animals that have sufficient amounts of Omega 3 fats than grain-fed animals. Include organic whole fat coconut milk to curries, stews, and soups. Include in your diet, stable fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, and organic butter. Ghee is a type of butter that’s produced by heating butter gently to separate fat from protein solids. This method takes out the casein and lactose and just leaves butter fat, and it’s so it’s ideal for a lot of dairy-sensitive people. In Ayurvedic medicine, Ghee is a healing food and is wonderful to prepare and to add to recipes. Make sure that the ghee and butter you are eating come from cows that have been grass-fed so that they are indeed healthy to eat. Consume fermented vegetable such as sauerkraut (should be eaten at room temperature instead of direct from the fridge) with your food to help digest fats. To promote digestion of heavier foods, we recommend eating bitter leafy greens.

Winter is the period when one needs to slow down in all aspects of life. It is a time for you to get good quality of sleep. Winter is the key to the phrase, “Early to bed and late to rise”. It is the time for planning and introspection, but not thinking too much. This is a time to reserve and resupply our reserves through rest. Spring is the time when new ideas are born and converted into action. Winter is a time when you need to rest and stay home. It’s a time to be less active and a time for socializing. It is promoted for physical activity to be less intense and strenuous. Wear layers and protect yourself from the cold air if you plan to do outdoor activities. In TCM, we never stop thinking about balance. If we stop moving completely, it can lead to stagnation wherein the flow of energy in our body slows down. We need to maintain balance to prevent stagnation. In this regard, exercise, activity, and social connections are very important. If you are feeling overly unmotivated and tired, we recommend consulting with a qualified Chinese Medicine practitioner and undergo acupuncture treatment in Cleveland to enable the movement of stagnant energy.

Our bodies need to slow down and appreciate our roots in winter in order to experience the dynamism and energy of spring (the age of re-birth). We are naturally healthier when we are in harmony with the seasons.