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.

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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.


Chinese Nutritional Therapy Suggestions To Prevent Or Lower High Blood Pressure

In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the building up of a person’s health is the most fundamental aim. One of the ways this is achieved is through Chinese nutritional therapy. According to a TCM physician that lived during the Ch’in Dynasty, nutritional therapy, is always and easily accessible, with the foods recommended for good health oftentimes enjoyable, and the therapy leaving no side effects whatsoever.

As stated in the Manual of Internal Medicine of the Yellow Emperor, high blood pressure has a very close relationship with the liver. The lack of inner energy and irrational eating is also believed to be the cause of this high blood pressure. Statistics indicate that this disease affects 8.1% of the people who frequently eat fatty food, and just 2.4% of people who often eat light food. Manual workers are less prone to high blood pressure than mental workers.

A Few Healthy Advices

The following are three health advices that one should observe in order to maintain a healthy diet to prevent the onset of high blood pressure.

1. Eat light food and cut down on salt – According to the Manual of Internal Medicine of The Yellow Emperor, high salt intake in your diet slows down blood flow in your body and even changes the color of blood. Suggested foods for people with high blood pressure include low calorie, low cholesterol, and low fat foods. Eating less salt is very important. Compared to people with low salt intake, those eating too much salt have higher incidences of hypertension (high blood pressure). Eating animal fat can result in buildup of plaque deposits inside the blood vessel walls, which makes the heart work harder, which causes blood pressure to elevate.

2. More tea, less liquor – Tea has an ingredient known as tannin which has the effect of vitamin E and makes the capillary walls stronger. This, in effect, helps lower high blood pressure. Drinking tea on a regular basis lessens blood lipoids as well as body weight. However, strong tea may over-stimulate and cause the heart to beat faster. Overconsumption of alcohol reduces the heart’s systolic function, which, in turn, increases the internal organs blood vessels’ systole, which causes blood pressure to rise.

3. Eat protein foods, vegetable oils, and vegetables. Bean products, lean pork, and egg white are rich in protein that’s essential for good health. Eat in moderation and don’t get fat. Vegetable oil increases the efficiency of the oxidization of cholesterol into cholic acid that’s eliminated from the body. This lowers cholesterol and boosts the resiliency of the capillaries.

To help prevent the rise of high blood pressure, the following are foods recommended for eating:

1. Fruit

a. Persimmon – Eating this fruit is a good way to reduce blood pressure. Ripe persimmon can be cooked into a heavy mixture and eaten three times a day with rice water or milk.
b. Haw – Haw is a fruit that’s known to help reduce high blood pressure. To eat it as gruel, boil slowly 7 gm of haw flowers or 12 gm of haw and drink it.
c. Bananas – This fruit is known to lessen chronic dysfunction of the internal organs. People with high blood pressure may consume up to five bananas every day.
d. Watermelon – The rind and juice of watermelon possess diuretic properties and can help reduce high blood pressure. You can slowly boil 10 gm of cassia tora with 12 gm of watermelon rind and drink the mixture as tea. It can help lower high blood pressure but it should be taken less by people with weak abdomen and loose bowels.

2. Staple foods

a. Celery porridge – Clean the celery with water and cut it into sections. To eat the celery as gruel, cook 50 gm of polished rice and when the rice is almost cooked, put sections of celery into the rice and keep on cooking till the celery becomes soft. You can eat this gruel or porridge for breakfast. Results from lab tests reveal that celery has a tranquilizing function and can help decrease high blood pressure. For high blood pressure people who have headaches, celery can address both their high blood pressure and their headache. For overexcited people, eating celery can help them calm down.
b. Lotus leaf porridge – Fifty grams of polished rice is cooked and turned into porridge. When the porridge is almost done, place a lotus leaf over the porridge, lower the fire and continue cooking for a few moments more. During a hot summer, lotus leaf porridge is especially recommended as it enhances the secretion of body fluid and saliva. It can benefit fat, old, and weak people suffering from high blood pressure as well as patients suffering from apoplexy.
c. Corn porridge – Corn porridge helps eliminate cholic acid which reduces the level of cholesterol in your blood and prevents constipation. Cook corn and rice into a gruel or steam 100 gm of crushed corn and eat.

3. Honey

a. Mix the honey in lukewarm water and drink half a cup two times a day. Better results are achieved when this is done regularly.

4. Aquatic products

a. Mussels – Cook 30 gm of celery or shepherd’s purse and 10 gm mussels then drink regularly.
b. Jellyfish – Wash 600 gm water chestnuts with skins and 200 gm of jellyfish. Boil them in a liter of water. The broth is ready to eat when the water goes down to about 250 gm. Eat the broth before or after meals. Reduce the number of times you eat the broth when the symptoms disappear and blood pressure goes down to normal levels.
c. Kelp – Kelp contains high amounts of ammonia acid which can help reduce blood pressure. Boil 15 gm of Cassia tora and 20 gm of kelp and eat the kelp or drink the soup.
d. Lotus seed pistil – Take out the plumule from the lotus and dry. Create 7 gm of broth with the seed and drink it each day.

5. Meal dishes

a. Spinach mixed with sesame oil – Wash 250 gm spinach. For three minutes, boil spinach in water and sprinkle a little pinch of salt in. Serve the spinach mixed with sesame oil.
b. Steamed eggplant – Sprinkle little salt and add a little vegetable oil on two washed eggplants. Steam the eggplant and serve.
c. Stewed beef mixed with tomatoes. Slice 250 gm of washed tomatoes into even pieces. Cut a hundred grams of beef. Stew both with sugar, salt, and vegetable and serve.

6. Instant drinks

a. Cassia tora and chrysanthemum – Place 15 gm of Cassia tora, 15 gm slices of raw haw, and 3 gm dry, clean chrysanthemum flower into a thermos bottle. Pour boiling water in and cover to steep for 39 minutes. Drink many times each day.
b. Blue dogbane – After washing 500 gm of blue dogbane leaves, boil in water for 20 minutes and stain off juice. Then add more water and boil once more. Repeat the procedure three times. Take out the dregs. Combine the juice at different times and boil slowly over a low fire till it’s concentrated. Allow it to cool and then to take up remaining water, add half a kg of powdered sugar. Stir, allow to dry and crush, putting crystals in a bottle. Dissolve 10 gm each time in boiling water and take it as tea.
c. Corn Tassel – Boil 1 kg of clean corn tassel for an hour in water and remove the dregs. Keep boiling on low fire till the broth becomes concentrated. Kill the fire and allow the broth to cool. To take up the remaining water add ½ kg of powdered sugar. Stir then, dry it. Break into small pieces then place it in bottles for use. Dissolve in water 10 gm of the solidified broth and drink three times a day. Corn tassel can help lower blood pressure and is a diuretic.

7. Tea

a. Black fungus tea – A fragrant but sour tasting tea. Sweeten by adding sugar and adding more water. Three times a day drink 150 ml of the tea. Drink only after meals if you have stomach problems.
b. Chrysanthemum tea – In a cup put 3 gm Dragon Well tea and 10 gm dried petals of chrysanthemum petals. Put boiling water in cup and cover to steep. Drink it after a minute or so till the tea is cool enough to drink.

8. Soup

a. Vinegar soup and crystal sugar – Into a bottle place ½ kg of crystal sugar and 100 ml of vinegar. Shake till sugar is dissolved. After each meal, take a spoonful. For people with high blood pressure who suffer from blood stagnancy or deficient body fluid this remedy can be quite useful. If you have stomach trouble, do not take this.

9. Others

a. Peanuts – The skin of peanuts can help reduce cholesterol level and blood pressure. Boil the skins into a broth and in the morning and night, drink 150 gm of it as tea. The peanut plant’s tender leaves can be used as an alternative for the peanut skins. The raw peanuts can also be soaked in vinegar and 20 of them can be eaten in the morning and evening. Blood pressure can actually be lowered by also eating the peanuts themselves.
b. Garlic – You can eat one or two cloves of garlic soaked in vinegar in the morning before breakfast. The vinegar that has been used can also be drunk. After doing this for two weeks a reduction of blood pressure can be seen.

Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac.
Asian Health Center
27059 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy
Cleveland, OH 44143
Tel: (440) 833-0983


The Many Health Benefits You Can Derive From Cupping Therapy

Almost all of us will experience some type of body pain at least once in our lives. Pain is the sensation that tells us that there is some imbalance or disorder happening in our body caused by certain internal or external factors. Right from the Stone Age to the present day, various modalities and medicines have evolved to address several types of pain in various parts of our body. Some of the modern treatments practiced today are merely modifications of hundreds of years old therapies; nevertheless, the basic underlying principles behind them remain the same.

Cupping therapy is one such type of therapy where some of its techniques have changed a bit although the underlying principle remains unchanged. It is a treatment that was practiced in the Far East and by Arabs dating back over 3500 years ago mainly to alleviate aches and pain. The main equipments used in cupping therapy mainly are glass or plastic cups. Practitioners use the cups to generate a vacuum on a body part to boost the flow of lymph and blood through the tissues. Thousands of years, bamboo cups or animal horns were used instead of glass or plastic cups and were applied to the painful areas of the body. The heat accelerates healing in those specific areas.

Cupping therapy targets the energy channels in the body called meridians. They are invisible vessels in our body where energy travels throughout the body. They are spread across the body reaching to all organs and tissues. The energy within our body is known as chi and it normally flows in a smooth and free fashion through the meridians. If a blockage develops along a meridian, it slows down the movement of chi causing the body to experience illness and pain. Cupping is used to remove the blockage in the energy pathways restoring the normal function of the lymphatic system and enhancing the circulation of oxygen and blood in the body. It is usually performed on our back as it is believed that our back has the most number of meridians (five) in the body. Furthermore, this aids in the removal of toxins from our organs and tissues. As the vacuum creates a suction-like effect, the force penetrates deep inside the tissues and cells causing the toxins to be removed from the tissue and cells.

There are two ways to perform cupping therapy. One way is though a procedure called moving and the other way is through a procedure called stationary. The areas of treatment are first applied with oil in order to smoothly move the cups on the body. When a vacuum pump is continuously moved on the body over a large area, this method is known as moving cupping treatment. The cups are sometimes kept on a specific area without any movement for five to seven minutes. This is called the stationary procedure. Sometimes, five to six cups are simultaneously placed on different parts of the body then cyclically removed. This method is called Flash Cupping.

Once the treatment has ended, you may feel a tingling sensation deep within the body tissues. This indicates that the blood flow in your body is moving much faster than before you began treatment. It is a good idea to use essential oils just after the treatment since the oils can reach the tissues and nourish them which can lead to a healthy shining and glowing skin.

The Chinese cupping medicine therapy can provide you with so many other health benefits. It is commonly used to relieve fatigue, headache, back pain, stomach pain, and neck. It balances and regulates the hormones that helps reduce excess weight, makes your skin smooth and healthy, eliminates skin problems, treats constipation, and regulates ovulation in women. Cupping can also bolster our immune system giving us the strength and resiliency to withstand diseases.

Visit a health center that can offer you a complete treatment package if you are keen on trying this therapy yourself. You can also go online and search for a qualified practitioner near your area. Because of its many health benefits, cupping therapy is being used by more and more people from all walks of life each day.

Five Points Acupuncture & Wellness
20 Pondmeadow Dr #107
Reading, MA 01867
(781) 944-3000


The Approach of Traditional Chinese Medicine Vis-à-Vis Dysmenorrhea

A lot of women experience painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea) prior to, during, and after menstruation. The cramping is usually felt in the lower stomach although some women feel it in the lower back and sometimes, even down the legs. The painful symptoms can be different for each woman although they usually manifest as a constant, nagging pain or a sharp throbbing pain that often come and go. In severe dysmenorrhea, nausea and vomiting as well as lightheadedness can also occur. Recurrent dysmenorrhea affects about 50 percent of women and usually lasts one – three days and their symptoms can be mild to debilitating. Western medicine considers dysmenorrhea as merely a normal part of being a woman but in Chinese medicine, the symptoms indicate underlying imbalances that can be easily rectified.

According to Western medicine, high amounts of the hormone prostaglandin is responsible for menstrual cramping brought about by abnormal muscle contractions in the uterus that block the circulation of blood in parts of the uterus. This condition is classified into two types:

1. Primary dysmenorrhea – This condition starts from adolescence up to early adulthood and is connected with hormonal imbalances that cause severe uterine contractions.

2. Secondary dysmenorrhea – Women around their 30’s and 40’s are the ones most commonly affected by this condition. Other conditions that usually accompany secondary dysmenorrhea include fibroids, benign tumors (myomas), endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease.

The Western conventional treatment for hormonal imbalances causing dysmenorrhea and irregular menstruation involve the use of contraceptive pills. Doctors usually prescribe analgesics if no specific cause can be diagnosed for the menstrual pain.

There are two common Chinese Medicine approaches for gynecological conditions. The “organ energetics” approach is one popular approach that sprouted from recent developments in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The other is called the “channel energetics” approach that’s espoused by Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM). Among the two Chinese medicine systems, TCM is the more recent type (developed by the Communist Chinese government during the 1950s). TCM is not actually seen as a step forward but an abbreviated and oversimplified version of what Chinese medicine truly was before the communists came into power. During this time, China’s healthcare system was thrown into disarray and not enough practitioners were available to address the medical needs of the entire population. To address this shortage, the government truncated the apprenticeship training from ten years to three years of class room education that taught only less than half of the energetics of the body.

The body’s energetics is composed of more than 70 channels or meridians and 12 organ energetics that have their own specific energetics. TCM practitioners are only trained in just 12 organ energetics and fourteen meridians; that is, meridians connected to the twelve organs plus the two extra channels of Du and Ren. On the other hand, practitioners of CCM have been taught organ energetics plus the 70 plus recognized by Chinese medicine. In TCM, the signs and symptoms of a patient are deemed to be the result of organ energetics imbalances that can be rectified by restoring balance to the organ energetics. Organ energetics imbalances as well as the imbalances that occur in channel energetics are all recognized by CCM.

Why is it important to bring up these differences? Well, there are very fundamental dissimilarities in these approaches that transcend what has been already discussed here. Also, even though the TCM perspective of dysmenorrhea will be the one discussed here (since it is the one readers most usually read about), CCM needs to be mentioned in order for you to see how broad Chinese medicine really is and you not mistakenly believe that TCM is the entirety of Chinese medicine.

A healthy period, from the perspective of TCM, requires sufficient flow and volume of blood, aided by subtle energy or qi. The organ energetics meridians of the kidney, spleen, and liver as well as the Chong meridian energetics play a major role in a woman’s menstrual cycle. Liver qi, for example, aids in the smooth circulation of qi and blood. If emotional stress causes the stagnation of Liver, then blood cannot flow in sufficient amounts and this causes pain a day or two prior to menses. If there is stagnation in the Liver-blood, the menstruation will be accompanied by pain.

Chinese acupuncture based on TCM, basically strives to restore the smooth flow of qi and blood through the treatment of the Liver channel since it’s primarily aimed at the Liver channel that travels through the reproductive organs and genitalia. If a woman suffers from a TCM syndrome called “deficient blood,” acupuncture can be used to help transform her body resources into new blood. This is important because deficient blood implies there’s not enough blood in the body that can abet the smooth and even flow of blood resulting in sharp or dull pain.

Actually, dysmenorrhea and other gynecological conditions cannot be treated by Chinese medicine. What Chinese medicine actually does is restore and regulate the organ systems of the body and boost blood and qi flow in order to create an environment within the body that can set off the self-healing processes of the body. Chinese medicine practitioners adopt a naturalistic stance and after they conduct an exhaustive evaluation of the patient, arrange the signs and symptoms of a patient into basic patterns of imbalance. In a patient’s health presentation, there are usually multiple patterns of imbalance involved.

Patterns Associated with Dysmenorrhea Often Seen in TCM

1. Deficient Blood and Qi – Symptoms include dull pain felt during or after menses that improves with pressure and scanty menses.

2. Blood Stasis and Qi Stagnation – Pain that worsens with pressure during menses or starts before or at the first day of menses and dark-red blood with clots.

3. Deficient Yang caused by Cold in the Uterus –Pain during or post menses that improves with heat and scanty pale bleeding.

4. Deficient Kidney and Liver Yin – Pain in the lower stomach and scanty thin menses.

5. Damp-Cold in the Uterus – Pain prior to or during menses that improves with heat and worsens with pressure; low back pain; and scanty and dark menses.

6. Damp-Heat in the Lower Stomach – Burning pain during menses; pelvic inflammation; and bright-red or yellowish and strong-smelling menses.

Acupuncture treatments in Overland Park based on TCM typically involve the use of Chinese herbs, and lifestyle and dietary modifications.


The Rise In Popularity And Uses of Cupping Therapy

There are several modalities Chinese medicine uses to address specific health issues. The ones most commonly used include acupuncture, diet therapy, massage, and herbal medicine. Another Chinese medicine treatment known as cupping has recently gained enormous popularity due in large part to the recently concluded Rio Olympics that saw US swimmers sporting big red spots on their back and shoulders, spots that indicated their use of cupping therapy. Before that, some of you may have seen photos of Hollywood stars like Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and yes, even Justin Bieber with the same bright purplish red spots.

The Chinese have been using cupping therapy for thousands of years. It was initially done using bamboo wood or cattle horns. To generate pressure inside the bamboo or horn, the ‘cups’ where either ignited with fire or boiled in water to remove the air and suck the cups to the skin. The cups were often used to treat boils by drawing out blood and pus. In the beginning, cupping was used as an adjunctive treatment for ancient Chinese surgery. Later on, practitioners have found it useful in remedying illnesses and it evolved into a unique healing technique.

The ancient book of Bo Shu written around the time of the Han Dynasty was the first to mention cupping therapy. It was also mentioned in several ancient texts later on. Hundreds of years later, another famous document, the medical text, Su Sen Liang Fang discussed cupping therapy as a potent treatment for chronic cough and a successful remedy for venomous snake bites.

Extensive clinical experience that has been amassed over tens of hundreds of years has led to the rise in popularity in cupping therapy’s several clinical applications. Presently, this modality is used to address specific skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, indigestion issues, chronic cough, the common cold, asthma, and arthritic symptoms.

In China, there is a saying that goes “Greater than half of maladies cured through cupping and acupuncture in Pembroke Pines.” Over two centuries later after the Bo Shu was written, the book Ben Cong Gang Mu She Yi was compiled by a Chinese doctor named Zhao Xue Ming. This book depicted in detail the origin and history of the various forms of cup shapes and types of cupping as well as their applications and functions.

There has been a rapid development of cupping therapy in the Chinese mainland. Its effectiveness was validated in the 1950’s by Soviet acupuncturists and Chinese researchers and was made an official form of treatment for hospitals throughout China.

As more and more people are looking for alternative treatments to address their specific health issues, the use of cupping and other traditional Chinese medicine treatments is growing in popularity by the day. Almost all the techniques and tools used in cupping today are exactly the same as the ones used thousands of years ago. Today, suction cups are used and some mechanized or electronic pumps have been invented; but practically an overwhelming majority of cupping practitioners still uses glass, bamboo, or horn cups. With the exception of a few acupuncturists, the practice of cupping has essentially remained the same as in ancient times for the main reason that it is the de facto mode of treatment in rural communities where very little or no modern medicine is accessible.

Cupping targets the circulation of blood and vital energy (Qi). It draws out pathogenic elements such as heat, wind, damp, and cold and eliminates them. This treatment opens the skin pores and promotes the flow of Blood and Qi, accelerating the expulsion of pathogenic elements through the skin itself.

In a cupping procedure, the patient lies in a prone position in a bed or table. The acupuncturist first rubs the patient’s back with fragrant oil and the cups are then applied. The cups are heated and then placed in the back of the patient. The cups are firmly put in place and generate a suction effect on the skin. The acupuncturist moves the cups up and down on the patient’s back. The cups are left in their place for a certain amount of time then gently removed once the acupuncturist has determined enough time has passed for the treatment to take effect.

Oftentimes, the therapy provides immediate results. The bright purple suction cup marks that appear on the treated parts of the body vanish after a few days and so too will the patient’s condition.


Studies Suggest Acupuncture Helps Reduce Pain And Abnormal Spinal Curvature In Scoliosis Patients

Acupuncture is a 2,500 year old Chinese traditional medicine treatment that strives to balance energy pathways in the human body to foster optimal health. Based on clinical studies published in the journal “Scoliosis” in 2008, acupuncture has been proven to help inhibit the development of scoliosis, an abnormal sideway curvature of the spine. However, before getting acupuncture treatment for the treatment of scoliosis or any other health problem, you need to talk to your physician first.


Acupuncture in Austin is widely used to relieve and control pain and treat other illnesses. It works by stimulating points on your body through the use of various techniques although the most widely studied procedure is the insertion of solid metallic thin needles that penetrate the skin and then are manipulated by electrical stimulation or manually. According to traditional Chinese medicine, good health and well-being is based on the internal balance of energy forces known as yin and yang. Yin represents passive, slow energy while, yang symbolizes active, excited energy in the body. When an imbalance in these two energy forces occur, this means certain energy channels or meridians have developed blockage that restrict the flow of energy in the body resulting in disease. Acupuncture is then administered to remove the blockage restoring the smooth flow of vital energy as well as the health and well-being of the person. Despite being considered safe, you need to consult with your physician before using acupuncture as a remedy for your condition.


So far, there is no cure for scoliosis (also called kyphoscoliosis), a spinal cord disorder that affects about six million Americans. This condition causes an abnormal curvature of the spine brought on by an improper formation of a person’s spinal bones before birth. It can also be caused by paralysis and muscle weakness such as spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and cerebral palsy. According to PubMed Health, a different type of scoliosis, called idiopathic scoliosis, can happen in a number of adolescents for unknown reasons. A breakdown of the spinal column associated with aging, can also cause scoliosis. Spinal deformity symptoms include a front-to-back abnormal spinal curvature, an abnormal sideway curvature of the spin, uneven shoulder or hips, and low-back pain. Besides that, after standing or sitting for long periods of time you may also suffer from fatigue in your spine. Conventional scoliosis modalities will be based on the gravity and cause of the condition, and may involve surgery or the use of a back brace. Acupuncture can be used to reduce the deformity and the other symptoms.

Idiopathic Scoliosis

A German study conducted at the Asklepios Katharina Schroth Spinal Deformities Rehabilitation Center in January 2008 investigated the efficacy of acupuncture in 24 girls who have been diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Researchers grouped the girls into two during the first day. One group was treated with 25 minute sessions of sham acupuncture in which needles were inserted at incorrect points. The other group was treated with real acupuncture with the same number and duration of treatment sessions as the sham acupuncture group. The next day, all the subjects were treated with one real acupuncture treatment. In the subject whose spinal curvature was greater than 35 degrees, no improvement was observed. In subjects with spinal curvatures 16 to 35 degrees, who were treated with real acupuncture treatments, significant improvements were observed. While results suggest that one real acupuncture session seems to lead to a reduction of the scoliosis deformity in some of the subjects, the researchers concluded that more scientific evidence is required to validate the efficacy of acupuncture in treating the symptoms of scoliosis.

Scoliosis and Pain

Older patients suffering from adult degenerative scoliosis (that may be due to a combination of factors: degeneration of the spine and age) can also benefit from acupuncture. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in its August 2009 edition published a study that monitored the efficacy of acupuncture treatment on curvature progression in adult degenerative scoliosis and low-back pain. The study observed a 74-year old female patient who had been suffering from scoliosis and low-back pain for two years despite using conventional therapies, such as drugs and rehabilitation during those times. The woman’s back pain was not only alleviated but her abnormal spinal curvature also decreased after getting acupuncture treatments for six weeks three times each week. Results indicate acupuncture’s importance in controlling pain as well as improving curvature progression in sufferers of degenerative scoliosis. As usual, the researchers concluded that there was not enough clinical evidence to prove conclusively acupuncture’s effectiveness the treating degenerative scoliosis and pain.