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September, 2021

acupuncture modelCosmetic Acupuncture

Someone a long time ago once said time and tide wait for no man. This maxim expresses a truth that, under no circumstances, can time or aging reverse itself. But they never said some assistance wouldn’t work.

Cosmetic facial acupuncture can play a key role in minimizing the signs of aging. There may be laugh lines around your eyes from all the girlfriends who made you chuckle, vertical lines near your eyebrows from years of concentrating or frustration, horizontal lines across your forehead from all the surprises and feelings of awe you’ve experienced, or sagging jowls with deep lines that reveal your times of sadness or concern.

Less invasive and virtually side-effect-free, this beauty treatment reduces wrinkles, dryness, under-eye bags, sinking jowls, and lacklustre skin. Acupuncture needles are placed at specific sites directly on the face. The needles rally Qi (energy) and blood to help repair damaged skin by activating the body’s ability to produce collagen and elastin.

Collagen is a protein found in many types of body cells and is essentially the glue that binds things together. It is famous in the cosmetic world for its ability to promote vital, vibrant skin. Elastin is a substance located in connective tissue that helps tissue rebound and keep its shape after being poked, prodded or stretched.

To address fine lines and wrinkles on the face, a technique called ‘threading’ may come in handy. The process calls for applying small, hair-thin acupuncture needles all along the length of the wrinkle. This invigorates the area with fresh blood and Qi to help plump out and fill in the furrows.

Sometimes dark, puffy circles persist under the eyes, resembling bags. There are acupuncture points near the eye that can assist in reducing fluid retention and stagnation. One of the points is called Tear Container, and it is located right under the eyeball. When this point is activated, it relieves dark bags, alleviates red, itchy eyes and improves blurry vision.

While undergoing facial treatment, you could also wind up with acupuncture needles in other parts of your body. For instance, there is a point near the thumb, called Union Valley, that strongly activates Qi so it can quickly reach the areas of your body that require healing.

Complement therapy with small lifestyle changes and a diet rich in collagen and elastin-producing foods. Remember to eat lots of veggies that have a red, orange or dark green colour to them. Then think white, as in white tea. This variety of tea is the least processed and contains high levels of antioxidants, giving it a special talent to fight the free radicals that destroy healthy, vibrant skin. The more free radicals eliminated, the better your skin will be.

Don’t forget to protect your skin if you’re going to be in direct sunlight for more than 20 minutes. Enlist the help of a wide-brimmed hat to keep your face in the shade.

Sources:

Facial Acupuncture: Natural Age-Defying. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/blog/2015/04/12/facial-acupuncture-natural-age-defying

Mcallister, J. (2018). Food That Builds Collagen & Elastin After Age 50. Livestrong. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/485132-foods-that-build-collagen-elastin-after-age-50/

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Read our e-book on practical strategies to reduce the sign of aging.

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Adapted from Qi Mail™ Acufinder.com 909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

 

August, 2021

nausea

Acupressure tips for dealing with nausea

 

Everyone will probably experience the occasional bout of nausea. While nausea may be associated with a variety of medical conditions for which help should be sought, it can also be symptomatic of less severe imbalances that often resolve themselves over the course of a few hours.

When the feeling of nausea is not a prolonged or frequent experience, here are three simple acupressure techniques that can be performed at home to help.

1. Pericardium 6 (P6) or Inner Gate

To locate this point, place your hand with the palm facing up. Starting from the middle of the wrist crease, place three fingers down below your wrist. Your index finger should be in the middle of two tendons. If you are having trouble locating the tendons, flex your wrist and they should be displayed more prominently. Press Inner Gate lightly with the pad of your thumb. You can slowly increase pressure and go deeper into the point. Continue this exercise for up to five minutes if you are using heavy pressure. However, some people experience more relief from nausea when they continuously press with gentle to moderate pressure. If this is the case for you, it is safe to apply acupressure for longer periods of time. This may be especially helpful in cases of motion sickness.

2. Outer Gate or San Jiao 5 (SJ5)

If your nausea still persists, you can activate this partner point to Inner Gate. It is found on the opposite side of the forearm from Inner Gate. With your thumb on Inner Gate and your middle finger on Outer Gate, complete the circuit by squeezing the points together using moderate pressure. Hold for a few seconds and then release. This can be done for up to five minutes. If you feel you need a little extra self-care, you can place your hands near your heart, close your eyes, and breathe deeply as you perform this technique.

3. Abdominal Circular Motions

This exercise covers a larger area and is less exacting. First, put your hands on your hips, at the level of your waistline. Next, adjust your fingers so they are all below your ribs, with your pinky resting around the level of your belly button. Your fingers should be lined up with the nipples. Press into the abdomen using circular motions and gradually expand your motions outwards for another couple of inches. This technique can be quite soothing and is best when performed sitting down, for two to three minutes.

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Adapted from Qi Mail™ Acufinder.com 909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

 

June, 2021

5 Superfoods for men’s health

 

Adding nutrient-rich superfoods to the diet can give men a healthy boost.

Here are just a few foods that can help maintain muscle mass, prevent prostate cancer, and more.

 

Avocados

Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, and copper. Rich in potassium, avocados contain more of this nutrient than bananas. Potassium is needed to regulate nerves, heartbeat and, especially, blood pressure. An added bonus for men: Avocados inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Blackberries

Blackberries are packed with Vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium, with more than double the amounts than their popular cousin, the blueberry. Vitamin C is a powerful stress reducer that can lower blood pressure and return cortisol levels to normal faster when taken during periods of stress. Magnesium and calcium act together to help regulate the nerves and muscle tone.

Too little magnesium in your diet can cause nerve cells to become over-activated and can trigger muscular tension, soreness, spasms, cramps, and fatigue. Blackberries also score high on the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) scale assesses the antioxidant content of food: the higher the score, the better the food’s ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that lead to cancer.

Spinach

Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. Spinach can help protect against prostate cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, lower blood pressure, and strengthen muscles.

Walnuts

When it comes to their health benefits, walnuts are the king of nuts. Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more antioxidants than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken, walnuts are one of the all-time superfoods.

Yogurt

Eating yogurt that contains live bacterial cultures every day improves digestive health, boosts the immune system, provides protection against cancer and may help you live longer. Not all yogurts are probiotic though, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.

 

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Adapted from Qi Mail™ Acufinder.com 909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

 

May, 2021

immune cellsAutoimmune Diseases and TCM

 

Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders in which the immune system attacks the body and destroys or alters tissues. There are more than 80 serious chronic illnesses in this category, including lupus, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes.

Due to the complexity of treating autoimmune disorders, integrative medicine solutions have received much attention as successful therapies in their treatment. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are specifically noted for use in pain relief, regulating the immune system, managing symptoms and improving overall quality of life.



Multiple Sclerosis: This is a progressive disease wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective wrapper on nerve cells, known as myelin. As the damage accumulates, the brain and body communicate less well. Individuals may experience symptoms that include a loss of coordination, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling, dizziness, blurred vision, and paralysis.



Because multiple sclerosis can involve an array of symptoms, it is possible that no two patients will share the same underlying pattern. In Oriental medicine, as a whole, patients with MS present either wind or dampness based symptoms. Symptoms with an underlying wind factor arise and abate suddenly, can be quite intense, and jump between different areas of the body. Symptoms with an underlying dampness factor cause swelling and bloating, lead to muscle weakness or a sense of heaviness, and can cause unclear thinking. Oriental medicine may help restore balance, and reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups.



Electro-acupuncture may help MS patients, according to researchers from University of Campinas, Brazil. Researchers stimulated acupuncture points, noting that patients in the study experienced less pain and depression and greater overall quality of life.



Lupus: Lupus involves an overactive immune system that fights unnecessarily and can injure the skin, joints, organs (heart, kidneys, and lungs), and the brain. Symptoms may include red facial rashes, sore joints, upper abdominal pain when breathing deeply, severe chronic fatigue, memory problems, and scalp hair loss.



Though every Lupus patient may present differently, Oriental medicine views lupus as a reflection of toxic heat. Good health requires balanced yin and yang, which reflect cold and heat, respectively. While yin and yang both nourish and restrain each other, yang tends to multiply (or worsen) more quickly, whereas yin is slower to change. Having more estrogen than testosterone, women are more yin and vulnerable to yang conditions.



In a small study, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that by stimulating acupuncture points along the spine and on the four limbs, patients with lupus experienced less pain. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help clear heat and nourish yin. Combined with exercise and reducing stress, these modalities can work double-duty towards improving your overall health and reducing the likelihood of a lupus outbreak.



Celiac Disease: In patients with celiac disease, the small intestine becomes damaged and cannot absorb nutrients efficiently. Celiac disease may also cause fatigue, bone disorders, fertility problems and skin rashes.



Treatment of celiac disease typically revolves around symptom management and dietary changes. Any products known to contain gluten (bread, pasta, processed foods, vitamins, and even cosmetics) may trigger symptoms and should be avoided.



 

Call today to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be integrated into your wellness plan!

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Adapted from Qi Mail™  Acufinder.com   909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr   El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

 

April, 2021

Acupuncture for the Relief of Stress

 

Some anxiety is a healthy response to daily activity or new situations however random or excessive anxiety and can be debilitating. General anxiety, panic, social anxiety, separation anxiety and other phobias can present as mild worrying to more physical responses such as nausea, insomnia, shortness of breath and panic attacks.

A 2016 meta-study published in the medical journal Revista Brasiliera de Enfermagem reviewed over 500 clinical trials from five international databases, including one from The Cochrane Library. The trials covered a wide variety of ages and socio-economic circumstances in which the feelings of anxiety, helplessness or apprehension remained as constant challenges in the patients’ lives. Researchers noted that a chronic state of mental unrest could lead to secondary health problems such as heart disease or gastrointestinal issues.

After having acupuncture, subjects saw a reduction in anxiety levels, trauma, and an improvement in their quality of life. Researchers concluded that acupuncture, compared to just conventional pharmaceutical treatment, provides a statistically significant benefit for those suffering from anxiety.

Acupuncture provides relief from stressors that cause anxiety along with managing the symptoms and related health issues that develop as a result. The calming nature of acupuncture decreases the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles. Oriental medicine tools such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi, meditation, dietary therapy and acupressure may also be used to manage anxiety.

Anxiety disorders and mental health issues are best managed when health professionals work together. Call today to see how acupuncture can help you!

Source: Goyata, S. Avelino, C., dos Santos, S., et al. (2016). Effects from acupuncture in treating anxiety: integrative review. Rev. Bras. Enferm. vol. 69, no.3

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Adapted from Qi Mail™  Acufinder.com   909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr   El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

 

March, 2021

arthritis

Meta Analysis Finds Acupuncture Effective for Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptom Relief

 

The medical journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study entitled “Clinical Efficacy of Acupuncture on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Associated Mechanisms: A Systemic Review,” in April of 2018. This scientific review highlights the benefits of using acupuncture to address symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Researchers reviewed several medical databases worldwide to find high-quality studies focusing on the efficacy of using acupuncture alone, or in combination with other treatments, for rheumatoid arthritis patients. In the end, 43 studies were deemed adequate for the meta-analysis.

Each of the individual studies used standardized medical tools to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on their patients. Tools used included the visual analog scale, pain disability index, TCM symptom scoring, 10-meter walk test, grip power test, American College of Rheumatology 20, quality of life questionnaire, health assessment questionnaire, Pittsburgh sleep quality index scale, and the depression, anxiety, and stress scale.

Throughout the viable studies, researchers noticed the most frequent acupuncture point used was Stomach 36 followed by Gall Bladder 34, Large Intestine 4, Urinary Bladder 60, and Gall Bladder 39.

Researchers concluded that acupuncture is a safe, effective method to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It is especially useful in improving patient quality of life. Acupuncture is highly recommended as there are no toxic side effects.

Source: Chou, P. C., & Chu, H. Y. (2018). Clinical Efficacy of Acupuncture on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Associated Mechanisms: A Systemic Review. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative medicine: eCAM, 2018, 8596918. doi:10.1155/2018/8596918

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Adapted from Qi Mail™  Acufinder.com   909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr   El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

February, 2021

sleeping person

Acupuncture for Sleep Difficulties

HealthCMI

 

Acupuncture has been found effective for the alleviation of insomnia in modern research. Several investigations make important clinical findings. The first piece of research covered in this article finds acupuncture superior to placebo controls. The second study finds acupuncture effective for improving sleep, reducing anxiety, and increasing neurohormonal endogenous secretions of melatonin.

In a meta-analysis of 1,108 patients, acupuncture was found superior to sham/placebo controls for improving sleep. [1] The study quantified total sleep time, sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency, and waking from sleep after onset. Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI) scores were used to verify the results. Several styles of acupuncture therapy were examined. Auricular, standard body style acupuncture, and electroacupuncture were all found therapeutically effective.

Another investigation published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences by researchers from the University of Toronto (Ontario) and additional sleep and mental health centers (Toronto, Ontario) finds acupuncture effective for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety. [2] The patients did not have herbs, pharmaceuticals, hormonal agents, or other interventions. Using only acupuncture, patients had improved sleep, reduced anxiety, and increases in endogenous secretions of melatonin (aMT6).

A total of 10 acupuncture treatments were administered over a five week period. Improvements occurred in sleep continuity, sleep architecture, fatigue levels, and emotional well-being. The research team quantified improvements in nocturnal melatonin secretions, polysomnographic measures of sleep onset, arousal index, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency. Significant reductions in anxiety scores were also found.

Nocturnal elevations in melatonin levels paralleled the sleep improvements. The researchers note that “acupuncture improved overall sleep quality and had significant effects on anxiety are therefore noteworthy.” [3] They add, “acupuncture was shown to be of value as a therapeutic intervention for insomnia in anxious subjects and may therefore represent an alternative to pharmaceutical therapy for some categories of patients.” [4]

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References:

1. Zhang, Jinhuan, Yuhai He, Xingxian Huang, Yongfeng Liu, and Haibo Yu. “The effects of acupuncture versus sham/placebo acupuncture for insomnia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2020): 101253.

2. Spence, D. Warren, Leonid Kayumov, Adam Chen, Alan Lowe, Umesh Jain, Martin A. Katzman, Jianhua Shen, Boris Perelman, and Colin M. Shapiro. “Acupuncture increases nocturnal melatonin secretion and reduces insomnia and anxiety: a preliminary report.” The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences 16, no. 1 (2004): 19-28.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

 

Article Credit / Source:

https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/2065-acupuncture-ups-melatonin-and-improves-sleep-finding

 

 

 

 

December, 2020

 

christmas tree

Holiday Wishes!

As the holidays fast approach, we wish to take this opportunity to thank all of our amazing patients for their support and understanding through the unprecedented challenges of 2020!

We look forward to 2021 with hope and optimism and wish all our patients and visitors a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

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November, 2020

Acupuncture Allergy Relief Confirmed

HealthCMi   

 

Acupuncture and moxibustion are effective treatment modalities for allergic rhinitis relief. In a meta-analysis of 39 studies involving 3,433 allergic rhinitis patients, acupuncture improved nasal symptoms and rhinoconjunctivitis scores. Researchers determined that all types of acupuncture modalities are significantly superior to sham controls. [1] Moreover, moxibustion was found effective within six treatments.

 

Integrative medicine produced excellent outcomes. A combination of acupuncture plus conventional medicine significantly improved overall nasal symptom reductions and quality of life scores within nine acupuncture treatments. The combination was more effective than conventional medicine monotherapy.

 

Allergic rhinitis (hay fever, allergies) is an inflammatory disorder of the nasal mucosa caused by allergen exposures triggering IgE mediated inflammation. Approximately 40–60 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis annually in the USA. Symptoms include rhinorrhea (thin & primarily clear nasal discharge), sneezing, nasal itching, and nasal congestion. It is associated with decreased concentration and focus, irritability, sleep disturbances, and fatigue. Patients with allergic rhinitis have an increased risk of developing asthma.

 

The researchers conclude that acupuncture is “not inferior to pharmacologic therapy.” They conclude that acupuncture is recommended for patients that are unresponsive to conventional medicine or are intolerant to the adverse effects of medications. The researchers add that a combination of manual acupuncture plus conventional medicine produces superior patient outcomes over patients receiving only conventional medicine.

 

Data was based on quality of life scores and assessments of serum allergen specific IgE. The parameters were analyzed by STATA software (College Station, Texas) to generate plots of the meta-analysis network. Funnel plot digital modeling was used to eliminate bias.

 

Across the 39 randomized controlled trials, 37 were in Chinese and 2 were in English. The total sample size consisted of 3,433 allergic rhinitis patients. The main acupuncture points most commonly used across all of the studies were the following:

 

    Yingxiang (LI20)

    Yintang (DU29 extra)

    Shangyingxiang, Bitong (EX-HN8)

    Feishu (BL13)

    Dazhui (DU14)

    Hegu (LI4)

 

The treatment duration across all studies ranged from four to eight weeks of acupuncture sessions. Based on the data, the researchers conclude that acupuncture is an effective therapy for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

 

Guidelines from the American Academy of Otolaryngology state, “Clinicians may offer acupuncture, or refer to a clinician who can offer acupuncture, for patients with allergic rhinitis who are interested in nonpharmacologic therapy.” [2] This is consistent with UCLA (Los Angeles, California), Morehouse School of Medicine (Georgia), and Henry Ford Health System (Michigan) researchers that note, “There are high-quality randomized controlled trials that demonstrate efficacy and effectiveness for acupuncture in the treatment of both seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis. Smaller head-to-head studies also show some preliminary benefit of acupuncture when compared with antihistamines.” [3]

 

In a related study, Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Affiliated Hospital researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 30 clinical trials (sample size: 2,602 allergic rhinitis patients). The researchers conclude, “Acupuncture, either used alone or combined with other treatments such as moxibustion, herbal medicine, and western medicine, were proven to have both short and long-term clinical benefits to allergic rhinitis sufferers.” [4] Common acupuncture points used across the multiple studies in the meta-analysis were the following:

 

    LI20 (Yingxiang)

    Yintang (extra)

    LI4 (Hegu

    ST36 (Zusanli)

    EX-HN8 (Shangyingxiang, Bitong)

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References:

  1. Yin, Zihan, Guoyan Geng, Guixing Xu, Ling Zhao, and Fanrong Liang. “Acupuncture methods for allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and bayesian meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Chinese medicine 15, no. 1 (2020): 1-28.

 

  1. nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/seasonal-allergies-and-complementary-health-approaches-science#mind-and-body-practices. NCCIH Clinical Digest for Health Professionals, NIH, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 11-9-2020.

 

  1. Taw, Malcolm B., William D. Reddy, Folashade S. Omole, and Michael D. Seidman. “Acupuncture and allergic rhinitis.” Current opinion in otolaryngology & head and neck surgery 23, no. 3 (2015): 216-220.

 

  1. Qu SH, Liu YX. Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Randomized Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Allergic Rhinitis [J]. World Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine, 2016,11(07):900-906+948.

 

 

Article Credit / Source:

https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/2063-acupuncture-allergy-relief-confirmed

 

October, 2020

virus

Cold and Flu Season

Seasonal changes affect the body’s environment. With wind, rain, and snow come the cold and flu viruses, which are often accompanied by aches and pains.

Guard yourself this season with these five tips:

 

 

  1. Boost your Wei Qi

If you catch colds easily, have low energy, and require a long time recuperating from an illness, your Wei Qi may be deficient. Once the nature of a related imbalance has been determined, a customized program can be created for you.

 

  1. Schedule a Seasonal Tune-Up

 

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help prevent colds and flu by building up the immune system. Just a few needles inserted into key points strengthen the circulation of energy and consolidate the outer defense layers of skin and muscle.

 

  1. Wash Your Hands

 

A good lifestyle and hygiene habits are also proven to reduce your risk of getting sick. Protect yourself from picking up germs by washing your hands regularly and remembering not to touch your face.

 

  1. Sleep In

 

The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese classic, advised people to go to sleep early, rest well, and rise late after the sun’s rays have warmed the atmosphere a bit. This preserves your own Yang Qi for the task of warming the body. Even busy, working people can boost their health by sleeping in on weekends.

 

  1. Stress Less

 

Find a release valve for your stress. According to Oriental medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in throwing the immune system off and allowing pathogens to affect the body. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been shown to be effective in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression.

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Adapted from Qi Mail™  Acufinder.com   909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr   El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

 

September, 2020

 

Endocrine Health

 

The endocrine system is responsible for hormonal functions in the body and produces 30 distinct hormones, each of which has a very specific job to do. This system controls your physical growth, mood, hormone output, reproductive system, mental function, and immune system. When it’s not working properly, you become more susceptible to disease, and your ability to fight off infection is weakened. Endocrine glands and how they function impact every area of your health.

 

The keystone of acupuncture and Oriental medicine has always been awakening the body’s natural intelligence to heal itself and restore balance to the system of energy pathways (called “meridians”) in the body. If the meridians within your body have become depleted, you can suffer from fatigue, infertility, weight gain, depression, digestive problems, hair loss, arthritis, and feeling chilled no matter the temperature.

What are the endocrine glands and what do they do?  The major endocrine glands include the adrenals, pancreas, pineal, pituitary, reproductive, and thyroid glands.

 

Adrenals – Adrenal glands regulate the body’s response to stress and are made of two parts, each of which secretes a separate set of hormones. The outer part produces corticosteroid hormones that regulate the balance of salt and water, stress response, metabolism, immune function, as well as the development and function of the reproductive system. The inner part secretes adrenaline hormones that increase blood pressure and heart rate in response to stress. Over time, chronically elevated stress levels can lead to weight gain, decreased resistance to infections, fatigue, muscle aches, and low blood sugar.

 

Pancreas – The pancreas produces insulin and glucagon, two hormones that work together to provide the body`s cells with a constant supply of energy in the form of glucose.

 

Pineal- The pineal gland is also known as the epiphysis cerebri, epiphysis, or the “third eye.” It produces the serotonin derivative melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and seasonal functions.

 

Hypothalamus and Pituitary – These are a collection of specialized cells that provide the primary link between the endocrine and central nervous systems. Nerve cells and hormones signal the pituitary gland to secrete or suppress the release of various hormone messages to the other glands. The pituitary gland is also responsible for secreting growth hormones.

 

Reproductive – These glands secrete hormones that control the development of male and female characteristics. In males, these glands secrete androgen hormones, most importantly testosterone. In females, they produce estrogen, progesterone, eggs, and are involved in reproductive functions.

 

Thyroid- Thyroid hormones control the growth, temperature, and function of every cell in the body. The gland acts as the metabolic engine of the body — if it secretes too little hormone, the body slows and dies; if it secretes too much, the body burns out and dies.

 

When treating a suspected endocrine condition with acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the practitioner seeks the root cause of the patient’s imbalance. The endocrine system is closely tied to the internal balance of Yin energy and Yang energy. Imagine that the Yang energy is like gasoline that fuels a car, and Yin energy is the engine coolant. Without the coolant, the engine overheats and burns out. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine work to make sure the Yin and Yang are equal within the body to restore balance.

The root of the body’s energy in Oriental medicine is the kidney meridian, so strengthening that meridian also restores nourishment to your endocrine glands. Acupuncture can be used to restore hormonal balance, regulate energy levels, smooth emotions, and help manage sleep and menstrual problems.

Many patients benefit from an integrated Eastern and Western medical approach to endocrine health. The strong point of Western medicine is intervention in life-threatening illnesses, whereas the strong point of Eastern medicine is increased quality of life. Therefore, it is optimal to have both Eastern and Western medicine options available for the most comprehensive care.

A healthy endocrine system that continues to secrete adequate amounts of hormones will slow the aging process and keep you vibrant and healthy as you age.

 

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Adapted from Qi Mail™  Acufinder.com   909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr   El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

 

July, 2020

 

Nutrients to Help Prevent Cancer

Did you know that eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, and keeping physically active can prevent up to 1/3 of the most common cancers and up to 1/2 of all colorectal (bowel) cancers?1

In this month’s blog article, we present some key nutrients and foods with cancer fighting properties.

 

Carotenoids – Found in produce like cantaloupe and carrots, these plant chemicals act as antioxidants and have been shown to reduce the risk of lung cancer.

Cruciferous vegetables – High in vitamins, fiber, and potent anti-cancer phytochemicals, cruciferous vegetables are widely considered to be one of the healthiest food choices you can make. Studies have shown that this vegetable group is linked to lower rates of prostate cancer and has the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells for tumors in the breast, uterine lining, lung, colon, liver and cervix.

Ellagic Acid – Found in raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, pecans and pomegranates, this phytochemical can act as an antioxidant, and may help break down and remove some cancer-causing substances.

Resveratrol – A polyphenol that may have antioxidant properties, resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes, cocoa, peanuts, blueberries, and cranberries.

Whole Grains – Fiber is rich in antioxidants, helps fight colon cancer, and the phenolic compounds in whole grains may help reduce the risk of certain gastrointestinal cancers.

Folate – Linked to lowered risk for gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancers, folate is found in dark green leafy vegetables, fruits and juices, nuts, beans, peas, dairy products, poultry and meat, eggs, seafood, and grains.

Pomegranate Juice – Extremely antioxidant-rich, this juice helps prevent colon and prostate cancer.

 

Source

1 https://www.healthlinkbc.ca

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Adapted from Qi Mail™  Acufinder.com   909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr   El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

 

June, 2020

 

We are reopening!

While many things remain the same as before our closure , there will be some changes to our procedures due to the COVID-19 situation.

Important changes include:

  • We will be restricting entry to the clinic to one patient at a time and scheduling a 30 minute downtime between patient visits to allow for the disinfection of treatment rooms. Other than the practitioner, patients should encounter no one else during their visit.
  • We will be wearing the requisite personal protective equipment during all consultations. (As per city bylaws, patients are requested to wear a mask while inside the clinic.)
  • Patients will be screened prior to their entry and provided with disinfectant for their hands.
  • Patients requiring family members for support during their appointment times will be restricted to bringing along only one person per visit.

We regret any inconvenience that these measures may cause and thank our patients for their cooperation and  understanding.

 

 

May, 2020

The Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai chi is a special form of exercise originating in ancient China. The name, tai chi, translates as ‘Supreme Ultimate Exercise’ or ‘Skill’. Initially, it began as a martial arts practice but developed into forms that an ordinary person could easily adapt as part of a daily routine. Tai chi exercises consist of flowing, relaxed physical movements coordinated with the breath. This effectively links the body and mind in an effort to maintain optimum health.*

There are many reasons to practice tai chi. The continuous, graceful exercises soothe a stressed-out mind and serve to strengthen the physical body. Circulation of the blood and fluids improves muscle tone and the ability to concentrate. The purpose of tai chi is to enhance energy levels without the use of external substances. This is comparable to waking up with a strong cup of coffee but relying on your body’s internal resources, rather than caffeine, to start your day.

Tai chi exercises play out as an eye-pleasing dance in its elegance and grace. Performing them should bring satisfaction and joy. In this way, one can look forward to it and find relief from daily stress. This is different than the rush, or massive energy surge, experienced in competitive sports or other rigorous exercises. Tai chi is appropriate for all age groups and is very popular amongst seniors in China today.

Many forms of tai chi exist and most emphasize the use of relatively easy motions. It doubles as a form of meditation to address issues of the mind. This makes it an excellent choice for those needing to unburden their minds from overthinking or anxious thoughts. A great time to practice is early morning, preferably before eating or after a light breakfast. However, there is really no bad time to practice, although it is not recommended right after a heavy meal.

The best way to get started is with a professional teacher. Usually, it is a group activity performed outside in a local park or outdoor setting. However, those options may not be viable for everyone. Luckily, there are simple, basic exercises that most people can safely perform on their own. Some are as easy as standing with the legs shoulder-width apart, as the arms swing slowly in large circles. Even 10 minutes a day of tai chi exercise can make a difference in someone’s life.

The benefits will vary according to each individual. For example, an active young person with a taxing office job, who experiences acute stress in the form of ‘butterflies in the stomach,’ needs to reduce his or her anxiety. While practicing tai chi, such a person may feel that unpleasant sensation in the center of the body dissipates, as fluid movements help disperse energy more evenly through the body. This benefit can spread into other areas of life, allowing someone to fall asleep more easily or naturally desiring more nutritious foods.

To further assist a person in falling asleep at night, a short set of the right tai chi exercises, as part of a bed-time ritual, may prove useful. As mentioned, correct breathing, timed with the physical movements, is key to unlocking the full potential of this ancient art form. Perhaps motions which gently rock the body with a soothing, rhythmic pace can signal the mind to switch off, as one’s physical form prepares to slumber.

In other cases, tai chi may come in handy to help stave off unhealthy food cravings. Sometimes the lure of sweets is strong and a distraction may be in order.

Many tai chi exercises do not require large spaces to practice, some can even be performed while sitting. Even while comfortably seated, movements that enlist only the arms and a concentration on the breath just might be enough to get someone to override the desire for a not-so-good choice in snacks.

To find out more about which tai chi exercises are perfect for you and your particular health issues, consult with your practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to learn more about integrating the practice into your daily life.

 

*Altern Ther Health Med. 2019 Sep;25(5):48-53.

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April, 2020

Coping with Covid-19

 

This month, we present some tips and advice from our newsletter that we feel is helpful for getting through these challenging times.

 

Physically Isolate but Stay Connected

 

A big part of staying grounded through social distancing is staying socially connected. Physical isolation from others does not have to mean social isolation.

 

How perfect that available technology today allows us to stay in touch with anyone, at any time. Online groups, social media, videoconferencing via Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype and FaceTime are saving the day. Maybe some of us find that we are more in touch with family and friends than ever before.

 

The prevalence of online support from our trusted sources is also skyrocketing. Messages from our health care practitioners, spiritual teachers, friends, and other important social groups abound. They are true gems, shining ever more brightly because of their necessity.

 

Take time, too, to think of who can you help by being in touch? Who can use a friendly ear or even just a short note to let them know you are thinking of them?

 

Eat Right

 

The best thing you can do at the moment for yourself, and for society, is remain healthy. These are epic times and you are a part of it. For an exercise in self-exploration, consider your daily decisions as epic as well. When we are dealing with intense emotions (grief and fear may be common now) the decision to eat a healthy lunch, as opposed to snacking on junk food, for example, takes on extra importance.

 

Mealtime is the perfect time to exercise judgment. In an effort to minimize over-eating, there are several hacks. First, keep regular meal times. Eat at a properly set table, and eat only when in this dining area. Start with a small portion of food and take more only if you are not full. Try these foods that combat stress.

 

On the flip side, now is not the time to make harsh demands of yourself. If you gorged yourself on your stockpile of carby foods within the first day of your quarantine, give yourself a break. We are facing something unprecedented here, and we are all doing our best. Particularly, if you are someone who has issues with food, now is not the time to be overly demanding of yourself. In the words of body positivity advocate Megan Jayne Crabbe, “it’s OK if your body changes because your routine has.”

 

Start Your Day Right

 

An excellent way to start the day is to center yourself, before checking social media, and tuning into the news. This can take the form of meditation, stretching, breathing exercises, or taking a walk. Even if only for a minute, close your eyes and flood yourself with positive intentions and images. Take it a step further and offer the world your beautiful thoughts.

 

Before connecting with the rest of the world, first nourish yourself with a good breakfast and a cup of hot tea or coffee. This type of self-discipline helps you feel strong, allowing you to calmly digest the day’s news, at your pace, when you are ready. It also puts you in a position to help others who may need your compassion that day.

 

Again, stay flexible with yourself. These are unpredictable times, some days simply getting up and out of bed deserves an acknowledgment.

 

Less News, More Music

 

While staying informed is essential in a pandemic, being glued to the TV or the Internet is counterproductive. Set aside dedicated time to read the news and peruse social media. The media we consume is powerful as is the food we eat. News and media organizations are tasked with creating an enormous body of content in the forms of articles, video, and social media posts, much of it with headlines designed to grab our attention–often through sensationalism and fear. You don’t have to read all of it.

 

In addition to limiting your time spent consuming media, also choose your sources wisely. Be mindful of how you feel when you watch videos or read articles or posts. If you feel enraged, polarized, scared, or confused perhaps it’s the integrity of the content you’re taking in.

 

To stay informed, going directly to the source can also be useful. Be sure to check facts with the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization directly.

 

On the flip side, DO take in plenty of music. “When we satisfy our desire to eat, sleep, or reproduce, our brain releases dopamine—the “feel-good” neurochemical involved when we experience pleasure and reward. Turns out this same chemical is released when listening to music” according to an article in Psychology Today.

 

 

Take it from an Astronaut

 

Who better to advise on dealing with isolation than someone who lived for a year in space?

 

In these days of COVID-19 astronauts are stepping up to share their advice.

 

“When you are living and working in the same place for days on end, work can have a way of taking over everything if you let it,” retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly says in his now well-read New York Times article. “I deliberately paced myself because I knew I was in it for the long haul — just like we all are today,” he says.

 

To maintain a healthy pace, Kelly recommends carving out time for non-work activities and one could argue this includes working on yourself. So be sure to always give yourself a break.

 

“You can be successful in confinement if you are intentional about your actions and deliberate about caring for your team,” according to astronaut Ann McClain. “When we work together, we will continue to be #EarthStrong.”

 

People from all corners of the earth are sharing an extraordinary journey together, changing our personal lives and transforming our societies. Striving to maintain a peaceful mind does not mean you must become the Buddha, it simply means you seek balance when you feel overwhelmed or disturbed. The gift of great trials is that they always inspire us to let our humanity and ingenuity flourish. Use the time now to develop your healthiest self by remembering the words of an ancient Chinese adage, He who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left.

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March, 2020

Sleep Hygiene Tips

 

sleeping woman

Our society puts a premium on our waking hours and has the tendency to underestimate the importance of a full night’s sleep.

 

The evening is a time to allow our minds and bodies to turn inward to our subconscious. Excessive lighting at night, evening shift work, evening computing, video games, television and late-night eating all serve to counteract the body’s natural rhythms. It’s no wonder people have trouble sleeping. Exposure to early morning light and dusk helps to regulate sleep hormones in the body. Rather than embrace nighttime, we tend to let our minds wander from one element of stress to another keeping us up for hours or perhaps an entire evening. We are then forced to approach the new day without having benefited from the regenerative powers that night time brings.

 

In Oriental medicine, sleep occurs when the yang energy of the day folds into Yin – nighttime. Yin energy of the body is cooling and restorative. It is the time of day when our bodies turn inward and regenerate. This is the time we dream and explore the caverns of our unconscious mind. Conversely, the daytime is yang, which is expansive. We expend the energy we have built up from the process of sleeping. Together, this is the cycle of yin and yang.

 

To apply the concept of yin and yang to your everyday life try eating your last meal at least three hours before going to bed. If you are a hot excess type, you can cool your body down by avoiding hot and spicy food and drink. Avoid alcohol, coffee, chocolate any other stimulants, especially late in the day.

 

Help circulate your body’s energy by working out or by gentle exercising. Build your body’s nutritive aspect by eating marrow based soups and stews, dark pigmented vegetables and fruits. Avoid overworking or over rumination as well.

 

One contributor to insomnia, stress, weakens the function of the liver, which in turn affects the health of your nerves. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have a calming effect on the nervous system clearing obstructions in the muscle and nerve channels, assisting the flow of oxygen-enriched energy and relaxing the system. Commonly noted benefits include deeper breathing, improved digestive abilities, better sleeping patterns, and a general sense of well-being.

 

By implementing just a few of the following suggestions you should notice a great improvement in your sleep and how you function in the daylight hours.

 

  •     Maintain a routine sleep schedule.
  •     Keep it dark, cool, and quiet.
  •     Reduce nicotine, caffeine and alcohol use.
  •     Avoid rigorous exercise 3-5 hours prior to bedtime.
  •     Avoid heavy meals near bedtime.
  •     Position clock away from the bed.
  •     Limit television and computer use to early evening.

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January, 2020

Chinese Medicine and Diabetes

 

Blood sugar tset

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk for death is approximately twice that of persons of similar age without diabetes.

 

The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles. Complications of diabetes include heart disease, hypertension, eye problems, kidney disease, nervous system disease, periodontal disease, amputation, fatigue, depression, and complications during pregnancy.

 

In order to manage diabetes, it is essential for people to make healthy lifestyle choices in diet, exercise, and other health habits. Another important factor when treating diabetes is creating a support team of health care professionals. This support team may include your primary doctor, an eye doctor, nurses, a dietitian, and a licensed acupuncturist.

 

Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used to treat diabetes for over 2000 years. A patient with “Xiao Ke” or wasting and thirsting disease (the Traditional Chinese medical term for diabetes) is discussed in detail in the Nei Jing, a classic Chinese medical book written about 2,500 years ago. The patient is described as having symptoms of excessive hunger and thirst, frequent urination and rapid weight loss; all symptoms of diabetes.

 

Diabetes According to Traditional Chinese Medicine

 

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, diabetes is caused by an imbalance of the cyclical flow of Qi within the meridians and organ systems.

 

This particular imbalance produces heat that depletes the body’s fluids and Qi causing symptoms such as:

 

  •     Fatigue
  •     Lethargy
  •     Unexplained Weight Loss
  •     Excessive Thirst (Polydipsia)
  •     Excessive Urination (Polyuria)
  •     Excessive Eating (Polyphagia)
  •     Poor Wound Healing
  •     Infections
  •     Irritability
  •     Blurry Vision

 

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Treats Diabetes

 

In treating diabetes, Oriental medicine offers a way to address each patient individually to eliminate the symptoms associated with diabetes and reduce the need for insulin. The practitioner may choose to use a variety of techniques during treatment including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises. The treatment for diabetes will focus on regulating the circulation of blood and Qi and balancing the organ systems to improve pancreatic function and address internal heat and the depletion of fluids.

 

Acupuncture

 

The acupuncture points used to treat diabetes are all over the body and on several meridians. A point on the back, called ‘Yishu’ (located on the back, lateral to thoracic vertebrae 8) is often used. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for increasing weight loss in obese diabetes patients and stabilizing insulin levels.1

 

Should I try Acupuncture for Diabetes?

 

When treating diabetes, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist the body to regain its normal healthy functioning. Add acupuncture and Chinese medicine to your arsenal when fighting diabetes!

 

Source

1 Cai Shuhang (2018) “Therapeutic effect of acupuncture on new type 2 diabetes with obesity patients” Diabetes New World (September 2018) pp.9-11.

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December, 2019

Acupuncture and Migraines

 

acupuncture model headTo understand the long-term results of acupuncture treatments for migraine headaches, researchers organized a randomized, clinical trial. The results of this trial appeared in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal in 2017, under the title of “The long-term effect of acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis.”

 

The study included 249 patients, aged 18-65 years old, who complained of migraine headaches without aura. Aura is a medical term describing the unpleasant experience which may accompany a migraine or a seizure. It is a disturbing change in vision, smell or thoughts, which precedes the onset of the event.

 

Each participant received 4 weeks of acupuncture treatments coupled with 20 more weeks of follow-up visits. The patients were arbitrarily divided into three groups–the true acupuncture group, the sham acupuncture group and a control group. The control group patients received no treatment.

 

To track the effects of the treatments, patients monitored their symptoms daily and recorded them in a personal diary. Researchers tracked the frequency of headaches, how long they lasted, the severity of, and any additional medications ingested by the patients. At the end of the trial researchers concluded that the acupuncture treatments significantly reduced the frequency of migraines.

 

Source:

Zhao L, Chen J, Li Y, Sun X, Chang X, Zheng H, Gong B, Huang Y, Yang M, Wu X, Li X, Liang F. The Long-term Effect of Acupuncture for Migraine Prophylaxis “A Randomized Clinical Trial”. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(4):508–515. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.9378

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November, 2019

Acupuncture for the relief of Raynaud’s Syndrome

 

Raynaud’s syndrome, or Raynaud’s disease, causes a sudden constriction of the vessels supplying blood to the skin, largely affecting the fingers and toes. These symptoms may be triggered by cold temperatures or emotional stress. Most cases are mild and can be treated with lifestyle changes such as wearing warm gloves and socks and avoiding rapid temperature changes. While not life-threatening, in rare cases, when left untreated, the affected tissue may become necrotic and gangrenous.

 

 

According to a small 1997 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, acupuncture is effective in treating primary Raynaud’s syndrome. The patients that received acupuncture experienced a statistically significant decrease in the frequency, severity, and duration of their vasospastic attacks. The patients in the control group showed no improvement. Researchers concluded that acupuncture was safe and effective for treating the symptoms of primary Raynaud’s syndrome.

 

Call today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help improve your quality of life!

 

Source:

Appiah, R., Hiller, S., Caspary, L., Alexande, K. and Creutzig, A. (1997), Treatment of primary Raynaud’s syndrome with traditional Chinese acupuncture. Journal of Internal Medicine, 241: 119–124. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2796.1997.91105000.x

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November, 2019

Seven Nutrients That Can Support The Immune System

 

virus

A class of plant chemicals known as bioflavonoids has been found to dramatically reduce inflammation and improve symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders.

 

Tea

Both green and black tea contain the flavonoids catechin and theaflavin, which are beneficial in treating autoimmune disease.

 

Apples

Apples (with the skin on) contain the flavonoid quercetin, which can reduce allergic reactions and decrease inflammation.  Quercetin also occurs naturally in other foods, such as berries, red grapes, red onions, capers, and black tea.

 

Carrots

Carotenoids are a family of plant pigments that include beta-carotene. A lack of carotenoids in the diet can cause inflammation. Good sources of carotenoids include apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, kale, butternut squash and collard greens.

 

Garlic

Garlic contains a compound called allicin which supports the immune system and has both antimicrobial and antioxidant qualities.  Research suggests that components of garlic may reduce the incidence of cancer cell formation in the body in much the same way vitamin C does.

 

Ginger

Ginger contains compounds called gingerols that reduce inflammation in the body by inhibiting prostaglandin and suppressing the immune system’s production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.

 

Omega-3

Omega-3 essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation. Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and salmon.

 

Fiber

A healthy and active colon can decrease food sensitivity and lighten the burden on your immune system.

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October, 2019

Osteoporosis and TCM

 

skeleton

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes brittle or porous bones due to a reduction in the bone mineral density. Bone is comprised of living tissue, which is constantly dying and renewing itself.

Normally, old bone is cleared away as new growth occurs. However, when new bone cannot be generated, bones become soft and weak. So, should a fall or coughing fit occur, a fracture may arise. In more severe cases, a break can occur without a noticeable event.

 

Usually the early stages of osteoporosis do not include noticeable signs or symptoms. In later stages, back pain, loss of height, poor posture or easily occurring bone fractures may occur.

Although anyone can develop osteoporosis, it occurs most frequently among post-menopausal white and Asian women.

Other contributors include low calcium intake, prolonged use of corticosteroid drugs, heavy alcohol consumption, smoking and an inactive lifestyle.

A patient suffering from the consequences of brittle and porous bones may be diagnosed by a practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine with a deficiency of yin. Healthy bone depends on a system of blood vessels to deliver nourishment.

Considered a thickened form of body fluids, blood falls under the domain of yin. When yin is in short supply, dryness is the natural result. A disruption or deficiency in the blood supply to the skeletal system may interfere with its ability to properly lubricate and nourish bone.

In addition to receiving acupuncture treatments to help nourish yin, there are some things you can do at home to address your symptoms of osteoporosis, including increasing physical activity and consuming foods high in calcium that support the skeletal system.

An increase physical activity that includes resistance, flexibility and weight-bearing exercises will strengthen muscles, improve stability and balance, help slow mineral loss and improve cardiovascular health.

If you have osteoporosis, work with a therapist to select appropriate exercises for your health. Choosing exercises with slower controlled movements such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong and avoiding high-impact exercises with jerky movements will reduce the risk of fractures.

To learn how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist in prevention and provide osteoporosis support, call for a consultation today!

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September, 2019

Acupressure for Fibromyalgia

 

person in painFor anyone suffering from fibromyalgia, knowing where to apply self-acupressure may help ease some of the symptoms associated with the disorder. It is important to recognize that psychological stresses can play a significant role in the presentation of fibromyalgia. Employing self-acupressure can help one regain emotional well-being and better control the onset of symptoms.

For best self-acupressure results, apply gentle yet firm pressure from your middle-finger as you make tiny circular motions. This may be done as little as once a day or as much as once every hour.

Here are a few areas self-acupressure can be applied to provide symptom relief:

Yintang located between the eyes, at the level of the eyebrows. This point is renowned for its ability to soothe anxiety and promote a general relaxation of the body. Stimulation of this point may help with obsessive and unproductive thoughts.

Ear Shen Men located on the upper portion of the ear in the triangular fossa, nearly a perfect fit to gently place a fingertip and press. The name of this point speaks for itself, stimulation here brings the potential for great relief from any kind of physical and/or emotional pain, metaphorically allowing the patient to enter “heaven.”

Ren 17 located in the center of the chest at the level of the fourth intercostal space, at the same level as the nipples. This is a great point to help relieve the sensation of rising anxiety and help the body physically relax as well.

Pericardium 6 located on the side of the arm, four finger widths from the wrist crease and between the two tendons in the middle of the arm. Gentle pressing can help promote a sense of well-being and relief from nausea.

Stomach 36 located about four finger widths down from the outer eye of the knee, then over about the width of the middle finger from the shin bone. This invaluable point is known for its ability to promote general wellness by stimulating the immune system, stopping pain anywhere in the body and calming the shen. “Calming the shen” refers to the stabilization of negative mental and emotional states

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August, 2019

Good Sleep Practices

 

sleep image

Over the long term,  having an appropriate quality and quantity of sleep is as basic to one’s good health and wellness as is the regular consumption of quality food and water.

Because we encounter many patients in our practice who experience sleep-related difficulties, this month we present a helpful article on basic sleep hygiene from one of our resource websites.

What is sleep hygiene? Please read on.

 

 

Sleep Hygiene,  August 6, 2019, by Tuck.com

 

Did you know there’s a term for your bedtime rituals and nightly habits? Collectively, these behaviors are known as sleep hygiene.

Whether you practice good or bad sleep hygiene is up to you. But if you want to get a better night’s sleep, the answer often begins with improving your sleep hygiene.  Article continues here…

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August, 2019

Meta Analysis Shows Oriental Medicine Controls IBD Symptoms

 

The ability of acupuncture and moxibustion to control symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) was examined in a 2013 study called Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials, which was published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

 

Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of chronic diseases that inflame various parts of the digestive tract to produce symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea. Moxibustion is an Oriental medicine therapy in which smoke from the burning of the herb mugwort penetrates through the skin and into the body.

 

The meta-analysis compiled evidence from 7 major databases from all over the world. Researchers investigated 43 scientific studies. Ten of these studies compared the use of moxibustion with a popular pharmaceutical drug called sulphasalazine (oral SASP), which is used to address the irritation in the large intestine. The heat therapy produced statistically significant benefits for symptoms of IBD over the use of sulphasalazine.

 

The other trials also yielded results favoring the use of acupuncture to manage the pain and other symptoms of IBD. Researchers stated in their analysis of overall clinical efficacy that whether utilizing acupuncture alone, moxibustion alone, or a combination of the two, they all demonstrated superior results over the drug sulphasalazine for addressing symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Although this is a very promising conclusion, researchers also make clear the importance of future studies to further advance the use of acupuncture and moxibustion for inflammatory bowel disease.

 

Source:

Ji, J., Lu, Y., Liu, H., Feng, H., Zhang, F., Wu, L., … Wu, H. (2013). Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2013, 158352. http://doi.org/10.1155/2013/158352

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July, 2019

Large-scale Pain Study and Acupuncture

 

acupuncture modelIn May of 2018, The Journal of Pain published a study called “Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis.” This large-scale project analyzed 39 scientific trials with 20,827 study participants. Researchers narrowed their focus to the patient’s pain levels and their ability to physically function. They also put great importance on the effect of acupuncture to produce results after the conclusion of treatment.

Researchers discovered that real acupuncture treatments showed significant results in the reduction of chronic pain, when compared to sham acupuncture or no treatment at all. Additionally, these outstanding results lasted for 1 year after the therapy ended and could not be attributed to the placebo effect. There was only a 15% reduction in its ability to alleviate pain, leading researchers to conclude that acupuncture is a viable, effective therapy to treat different kinds of chronic pain including bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and the head.

Source:

Vickers AJ, Vertosick EA, Lewith G, MacPherson H, Foster NE, Sherman KJ, Irnich D, Witt CM, Linde K; Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration. (2018). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. Journal of Pain, 19(5):455-474. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2017.11.005. Epub 2017 Dec 2. Retrieved online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29198932

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June, 2019

Acupuncture and Allergies Study

 

allergic woman

How well does acupuncture address the symptoms of allergic rhinitis? A study entitled “Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis” answers this question. This trial can be found in the January 2015 edition of the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy.

Researchers decided to take an in-depth look at numerous scientific studies from all over the world that focused on patients with nasal problems due to allergies. To maintain the integrity of the meta-analysis, only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were utilized. The focus of the investigation centered on the potency and safety of using acupuncture to address symptoms affecting the nose.

The large-scale analysis included several studies with nearly 2,400 test subjects. To properly assess the efficacy of acupuncture, researchers looked at rhinitis quality of life questionnaires and 36-item short form surveys (SF-36). These are medical tools used to evaluate a patient’s symptoms.

To help discern the power of acupuncture, researchers scrutinized evaluation charts regarding the severity and symptoms of each patient. Additionally, levels of serum IgE in the bloodstream and medication usage for each participant were important factors.

In all the studies, researchers discovered that the groups of patients receiving acupuncture experienced exceptional, statistically-significant reductions in nasal symptoms, in comparison to the participants in control groups. The results proved that acupuncture is a safe, effective therapy to relieve nasal symptoms resulting from allergies.

Source:

Feng S, Han M, Fan Y, Yang G, Liao Z, Liao W, Li H. (2015). “Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. American Journal Rhinology Allergy. 29(1):57-62. doi: 10.2500/ajra.2015.29.4116.

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May, 2019

Skin-Care and TCM

 

skin

The skin reacts to imbalances within the body’s internal landscape and to the effects of the environment. Your skin is a reflection of those internal disharmonies and environmental influences. Strong emotions, diet, anatomy, wind, dryness, dampness, and heat can all contribute to the development of a skin disorder.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can quickly alleviate acute symptoms and provides significant, lasting relief from chronic skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, pruritus, psoriasis, rosacea, shingles and urticaria (hives).

To keep your skin healthy and beautiful on the outside, you must work on the inside of your body as well. Increasing the flow of energy and blood and lymph circulation improves the skin’s complexion and appearance. This output triggers collagen production, which increases muscle tone and elasticity, thus helping to firm the skin. Stimulating circulation also nourishes the skin and encourages it to be moister, softer, smoother, and more lustrous.

Oriental medicine treats specific symptoms that are unique to each individual by using acupuncture, herbal medicine, bodywork, energetic exercises, lifestyle and nutrition recommendations to restore imbalances found in the body.

According to a large-scale analysis carried out by medical researchers1, acupuncture is an effective primary treatment for a variety of dermatological conditions. As reported in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2015, evidence compiled from 24 different scientific studies, underwent a thorough investigation.

Researchers evaluated scientific studies that examined the efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment for ectopic dermatitis (eczema), pruritus (intense itching), urticaria (hives), acne, neurodermatitis (chronic, severe itching), chloasma (rashes due to pregnancy), and facial elasticity.

Out of the 24 studies, 17 showed acupuncture significantly reduced flare-ups, improved symptoms, and provided greater clearance of skin lesions and wheals (red, raised, itchy patches of skin). Researchers recommend further studies to fully understand the mechanisms of acupuncture that produce these results.

 

Source:

1 Ma C1, Sivamani RK1. Acupuncture as a Treatment Modality in Dermatology: A Systematic Review. J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Sep;21(9):520-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0274. Epub 2015 Jun 26.

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April, 2019
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 

Chronic fatigue syndrome is far more than just being tired. Those affected can get so run down that it interferes with their ability to function in day to day activities; some become severely disabled and even bedridden. In addition to extreme fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome encompasses a wide range of symptoms including, but not limited to, persistent headaches, throat irritation, flu-like symptoms, enlarged lymph nodes, poor sleep quality, and chronic muscle and joint pain.

The cause of CFS has not been identified, but factors such as hormones, viruses, elevated stress or a compromised immune system are thought to be contributors. Despite no cure, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can give sufferers the relief they need to improve their quality of life. Treatments help you avoid getting sick as often, reduce recovery time, improve your energy and stamina, soothe emotions, and enliven the mind.

A 2017 meta-analysis, titled “A Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” revealed encouraging news for patients suffering from symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Published in the Journal of Acupuncture Research”, the study found that acupuncture treatment can significantly alleviate fatigue and pain.

Researchers evaluated the effectiveness and safety of using acupuncture therapy to treat fatigue in CFS patients. In this analysis, researchers scoured through 15 medical databases worldwide, specifically choosing studies that tested acupuncture as a lone treatment. Ultimately, 11 randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) were chosen, which included a total of 869 participants. Of the 11 RCTs, 9 were compared with sham acupuncture; the remaining 2 were compared to a wait-list group and medication group.

Researchers were able to evaluate the efficacy of treatment by observing several medical tools that were employed during the various trials. To evaluate the symptoms of chronic fatigue, the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) was used. This is a self-survey given to patients before and after treatment so there is an accurate measurement of symptoms on record.

Other self-survey tools included the Stress Response Inventory (SRI) and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). The SRI measures a patient’s emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and somatic responses. The ISI rates the level of sleep quality for each patient.

The acupuncture point selection for the real acupuncture treatments varied across the trials–a total of 21 acupoints were used. It was noted that a point on the stomach meridian, the path that energy traverses, was the most highly utilized. The urinary bladder was the most frequently treated meridian.

It was determined that real acupuncture treatments, when compared to sham acupuncture, did significantly alleviate fatigue, reduce levels of pain, improve quality of life, and positively affect mood.

The study concluded with researchers affirming the outstanding results acupuncture plays in reducing extreme tiredness and alleviating pain for patients suffering from CFS. Acupuncture was also noted for its safety, with no serious side effects reported.

Source: Kim HG, Ryoo DW, Jeong SM, et al. (2017). A Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Journal of Acupuncture Research. Retrieved online at https://www.e-jar.org/journal/view.php?number=2367

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Adapted from Qi Mail™  Acufinder.com   909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr   El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

March, 2019
The Health Benefits of Kefir

 

kefir

Having recently experienced, firsthand, some of the key benefits to be had from the drinking of kefir, this month we’ve been inspired to share a list of eight of kefir’s proven health promoting effects as summarized on the Healthline website.  To access the full article, please click here.

 

  • Kefir is a fermented milk drink, cultured from kefir grains. It is a rich source of calcium, protein and B vitamins.
  • Kefir may contain up to 61 different microorganisms, making it a much more potent source of probiotics than many other fermented dairy products.
  • Kefir contains the probiotic Lactobacillus kefiri and the carbohydrate kefiran, both of which protect against harmful bacteria.
  • Kefir made from dairy is an excellent source of calcium, and full-fat dairy kefir also contains vitamin K2. These nutrients have major benefits for bone health.
  • Some test-tube and animal studies indicate that kefir can inhibit cancer cell growth. However, there are no current studies in people.
  • Probiotics like kefir can treat several forms of diarrhea. They can also lead to improvements in various digestive diseases.
  • Kefir is low in lactose because its lactic acid bacteria have already pre-digested the lactose. People who have lactose intolerance can often drink kefir without problems.
  • Limited evidence from animal studies suggests that drinking kefir may reduce allergic reactions.

 

Try this delicious Kefir based white sauce on your next meatloaf or gyros!

 

recipe icon60 g Olive oil Mayonnaise

90 g Kefir

3-4 Cloves of Garlic

3  tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

1 tsp Sugar

1/2  tsp Ground White Pepper

1/2  tsp Salt

 

Blend all ingredients with a stick blender till smooth. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

 

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Source:
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-health-benefits-of-kefir#section1

 

February, 2019
Acupuncture for Cardiovascular Disease

 

heart

Cardiovascular disease is the number 1 killer of women, the leading threat for men, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined, according to health organizations. People of all ages and population groups are affected–even children. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for high blood pressure and heart disease–a risk factor that was previously only seen in adults. There may be symptoms of cardiovascular disease, but in about 64 percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease, there were none. When symptoms do appear they are usually shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, back or jaw pain, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, and extreme fatigue.

With cardiovascular disease topping out as the leading cause of death worldwide the focus is on prevention to prevent systematic harms by managing high blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing stress, improving sleep quality, maintaining a healthy weight, increased physical activity, and smoking cessation increased. If you are having issues in any of these areas, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine the heart takes responsibility for the circulation of the life force of the body Blood, the basic unit of energy that powers all of life Qi, and the center of consciousness Shen. The Shen embodies our capacity for logic and emotional intelligence. When it is disturbed by injury, trauma, illness, poor diet, lifestyle choices or an accumulation of daily stress, it is said to be ‘disturbed.’ Having a harmonious Shen is of the utmost importance for maintaining heart health.

Often, it is the unbalanced energy produced by the liver that is a big culprit in this condition. Liver energy is, by nature, very active and easily flares upwards in an aggressive, uncontrolled manner. This rising Liver Qi aggravates the heart so that blood is pushed too forcefully against the arterial walls. If this aggression persists for too long a heart attack, kidney damage, and other serious consequences may result.

By integrating acupuncture and Oriental medicine into a heart healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. One obvious way to keep your heart tip-top shape is by maintaining an acceptable blood pressure level. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine provide treatments that will work directly to reduce high blood pressure and mitigate the symptoms of stress.

One way Oriental medicine can increase your physical activity is through the use of tai chi. Tai chi is a gentle exercise that keeps you moving and helps keep stress at bay. More like a slow, rhythmic dance tai chi is designed to encourage the body and mind into a state of calm. The routines involve continuous motions that are not difficult to learn and are gentle enough for any age group to engage in.

Come in for a consultation to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can benefit your heart and help you to live a long, healthy life.

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Adapted from Qi Mail™  Acufinder.com   909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr   El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

January, 2019
Oriental Medicine Provides Mental Health Support

 

The start of the new year is a time of looking forward to the future, setting goals and putting in motion the steps necessary to achieve them. Emotional wellness enhances our ability to move forward effectively and includes recognizing and accepting our emotions, thinking clearly, and making decisions. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine nurtures emotional wellness and provides support for mental health disorders.

Almost a third of the population report sufficient qualifying criteria for mental health disorders at some point in their life. Mental illnesses like major depression, anxiety, panic disorder, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD), PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and manic disorders disrupt your thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning, which results in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Any major life upheaval, emotional distress or a chronic condition can trigger unexpected feelings and behaviors. These imbalances can throw off your immune system or cause symptoms of pain, sleep disturbances, abnormal digestion, headaches, and, over time, more serious illnesses can develop.

Oriental medicine does not recognize any mental disorder as one particular syndrome but addresses the specific symptoms that are unique to you using a variety of techniques including acupuncture, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and exercises to restore imbalances found in your body.

 

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help manage:

 

Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Anxiety comes in a wide range of manifestations, from mild worrying to more physical responses such as nausea, insomnia, shortness of breath and panic attacks. Acupuncture provides relief from stressors that cause anxiety along with managing the symptoms and related health issues that may develop as a result.

 

Depressive Disorders

Common symptoms of depressive disorders include a decreased interest in most activities, insomnia, fatigue, and feeling empty and worthless. Even when depression is sub-clinical, the body’s immune system is compromised and the symptoms reduce functioning, impair work performance and social relationships. Acupuncture treatments can correct these imbalances, support the immune system, and directly affect the way your body manages stress and your mental health.

 

Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorders (ADHD)

ADD and ADHD disorders are conditions of the brain that makes it difficult to concentrate or control impulsive behavior. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help enhance concentration, reduce fidgeting, augment mood management techniques, reduce hyperactivity and enhance concentration.

 

Mental health issues are best managed when health professionals work together to meet your unique needs. An excellent addition to any treatment plan used to manage a mental health disorder, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can relieve emotional and physical symptoms by correcting imbalances and providing immune system support.

Call to find out more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you optimize your emotional wellness and be integrated into your mental and emotional wellness plan!

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Adapted from Qi Mail™  Acufinder.com   909 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 11th Flr   El Segundo, CA 90245 USA

 

 

 

 

Archived:

 

April, 2017

We are pleased to announce the completion of our two part video series “Introduction to Chinese Medicine!”

Based on the lecture series of the same name and inspired by the positive feedback and encouragement that we received from attendees at our classroom sessions, the series offers a brief introduction to some of the basic themes and methods of classical Chinese medicine in a readily accessible and entertaining slideshow format.

 

To access these videos, please click here.

 

 

January, 2017

Join Sherry on Saturday, January 21st from 10am to 11:30am at Burlington’s Goodness Me for her lecture entitled:

“TCM and Weight Management”

Synopsis:

Did you know that according to Statistics Canada:
– One in four adult Canadians and one in 10 children are clinically obese?
– Just over a third of Canadians are overweight?
– Canada ranks third, internationally, in the percentage of the population that is overweight or obese?
Obesity and overweight status are linked to a variety of health risks such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, and osteoarthritis. In this presentation, registered practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine Sherry Fang Liu highlights some of the numerous advantages of incorporating TCM methods into conventional diet and exercise-based programs of weight-management. Following a brief overview of some related physiological concepts, you will learn: how TCM identifies and aims to treat the root causes of weight gain, how TCM and Western methods can complement each other, and what clinical research has demonstrated- regarding the effectiveness of TCM techniques. Over the course of the presentation, several acupressure points of assistance in the reduction of cravings will be demonstrated.

 

November, 2016

Shanghai Acrobats come to Burlington!

For more information about this world class act of choreographed acrobatics,
please visit the website of The Burlington Centre for the Performing Arts

 

November, 2016

Join Sherry  on Saturday, November 19th  at Hamilton Mountain’s Goodness Me for her presentation:

“Fertility and Traditional Chinese Medicine”

Synopsis:

According to some estimates, infertility affects approximately one in six couples in Canada. In this presentation, registered practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine Sherry Fang Liu presents some of the results of contemporary research regarding the effectiveness and action of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of infertility. You will also learn about how the methods of TCM can effectively compliment conventional medical treatments such as IVF and IUI. Along the way, some examples of things that can be done at home to facilitate the chances of conceiving a healthy baby naturally will be discussed.

 

September, 2016

Join Sherry  on Saturday, September 17th  at Hamilton Mountain’s Goodness Me for her presentation: “Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine”

Synopsis:

Traditional Chinese Medicine serves the health care needs of over a quarter of the world’s population. In this seminar, Registered Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine Sherry Fang Liu offers a fascinating look into the foundations and methods of what is one of the oldest but, especially today, still highly relevant systems of health-care. You will learn about the intriguing way in which health and illness are defined from an Eastern perspective, how illness is believed to come about, as well as of the various healing techniques characteristic of TCM and how they can be used to effectively, naturally and safely treat a wide range of illnesses. Along the way, practical tips will be provided regarding small and simple changes that you can make in your day-to-day routines that can have lasting and positive effects on your own health and wellness.

 

May, 2016

Drop by our booth and meet Sherry at the 2016 Burlington Wholistic Wellness Expo on Sunday, June 5th

This year’s venue will be at the  Burlington Holiday Inn Hotel, 3063 South Service Road.

For more information about the show, or to purchase tickets, please visit the Expo’s website.

 

February, 2016

Join Sherry  on Saturday, February 20th (10am -11:30 am) at Brantford’s Goodness Me for her presentation on the topic of TCM and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Residents of Burlington and the surrounding areas may wish to catch her second offering of this seminar on Saturday, March 12th (10am-11:30am) in Burlington.

Synopsis:

Canada has one of the highest rates of IBS in the world.Five million Canadians (14%) suffer from IBS with 120,000 Canadians developing the condition each yearIt is a common health concern that can be safely and effectively treated through the use of traditional Chinese medicine.In this presentation, Registered Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine Sherry Fang Liu will discuss IBS, from the perspective of Oriental medicine.  You will learn how what is commonly diagnosed as IBS here in the West, is otherwise known as a group of related but separate disorders, each with a different cause, pattern of symptoms and treatment. You will also learn the location and function of 6 different acupressure points, along with breathing exercises and dietary tips, that you can easily use at home to help manage your symptoms and stay healthy.

 

Call 2897071148