Monday, November 28, 2011
"Herbs have been around longer than mankind. Through the ages every culture has discovered the healing properties nature provides; this has been a universal phenomenon. The Chinese began embracing natural botanicals and documenting their medicinal value circa 300 BC. The Yellow Emperor's Inner Cannon was one of the first ancient Chinese medical texts from this era and the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Materia Medica Classic) was the first to index 365 medicinal plants and compiled circa 100 AD. Some 2,000 years later, these same medicinal plants are still in use and have been extensively studied and dissected by Western science looking for keys to how they work.
A study by the Cochrane Library -- an international, not-for-profit, independent organization which promotes and disseminates systematic reviews of heath care interventions -- found evidence from 39 clinical trials involving 3,475 women, that Chinese herbal medicine can be used safely and has merit as therapy for women suffering with menstrual cramps also known as primary dysmenorrhea: "Chinese herbal medicine gave significant improvements in pain relief when compared to pharmaceutical drugs. It also reduced overall symptoms. The research revealed that Chinese herbal medicine was also better at alleviating pain than acupuncture or heat compression."(1)
"All available measures of effectiveness confirmed the overall superiority of Chinese herbal medicine to placebo, no treatment, NSAIDs, OCP, (oral contraception pills) acupuncture and heat compression, and, at the same time, there were no indications that Chinese herbs caused any adverse events," said lead author Xiaoshu Zhu, who works at the Center for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney, Australia.(2)"
Read the full article here
Saturday, November 26, 2011
It’s a good thing that my mother has a career because, being a Virgo, she would be excluded from some jobs in china. No kidding. I just read an article that appeared in The Telegraph which said that people who were born under the signs Scorpio and Virgo need not apply! Why? Because they have strong personalities, are too moody and critical.
Since I know that you will want to forward this to your Virgo and Scorpio friends, just to needle them ;) Here are the jobs for which they are unsuitable; teachers and clerks.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I imagine that when you are an NBA star and have a contract worth millions, you take your injuries seriously and are willing to be open to new therapies. Certainly, that is the case with Mickael Pietrus, the famous NBA player for the Phoenix Suns who sought treatment at the Shaolin Temple in China. This Temple is well known for it's Eastern medicine approaches. While he was there he received acupuncture, massage and other traditional remedies performed by the Shaolin monks.
Pietrus is not the first basketball star to receive treatment here, both Abbot Shi Yongxin and Shaquille O'Neal have also come to the Temple. Not to mention the many other NBA players who have tried acupuncture elsewhere.
When Pietrus recently left the Shaolin Temple he said he felt better. That his knees no longer had pain and he would resume practice soon.
Read more here
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Here in the U.S. and in most Western countries, we think of food as food and medicine as medicine; rarely linking the two. Many countries understand that food IS medicine. I found a particularly useful article in a Bangkok paper (applause for the internet) that explains food as medicine and want to share it with you.
"Traditional Chinese medicine has been practised for 5,000 years, so it's no wonder that Chinese people have integrated it into their culture and everyday lives. You see various Chinese herbs being used in Chinese cuisine, of course, and Chinese people are very aware of the need to balance yin and yang.
As far as many Chinese are concerned, traditional medicine derives largely from simple common sense, plus a way of life to which they've become accustomed. Those of us who are not of Chinese ancestry, however, might benefit health-wise by incorporating some of their theories about medicine into our daily lives.
Chinese people tend to prefer drinking tea to coffee. I assumed this was merely a cultural thing until scientists found out that tea contains more antioxidants than coffee. So, by drinking tea, the Chinese still get caffeine to boost their energy levels, but they also increase their antioxidant intake at the same time.
If the Chinese suspect that they're coming down with a cold - if they have symptoms like nasal congestion, clear nasal discharge, headaches, muscular aching - they immediately brew some fresh ginger tea to warm up their bodies and induce perspiration; they believe that this action wards off the organisms that are making them ill. But if they are having flu symptoms (fever and a sore throat), they start drinking chrysanthemum tea or mint tea, which have cooling properties, to relieve the sore throat and make the fever subside more quickly.
The Chinese also believe that different foods have different properties, with each falling into one of five categories: cold, cool, neutral, warm or hot. These categories refer to the effect that a particular foodstuff or beverage has on your body; its temperature at the moment that you consume it is irrelevant. For example, coffee is regarded as hot, so even if you drink an iced coffee, afterwards you will feel more alert and energetic; so the "hot" coffee has elevated your yang energy levels. The Chinese eat more cool and cold foods (like watermelon and bean sprouts) in summer and more warm and hot foods (pumpkin, spices) during the winter months."
Read the rest of the article here
Friday, November 11, 2011
Repeatedly, in psychology, researchers have linked the experience of being "grateful" to mental health and well-being. Here is an informative summary of the findings from some researchers in the field of gratitude.
"Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life." - Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough
*Read more here
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
During this last month, I have had so many people coming into my Chicago acupuncture office complaining of colds, that I thought I’d post some good tips on how to avoid and treat the common cold.
Yin Qiao (also spelled Yin Chiao) – This Chinese herbal formula is a great first line of defense against the common cold. It is best taken at the initial signs of a cold or flu, especially if you have a sore throat. If you take it soon enough, you can prevent the illness. If it is too late for prevention, you will have lessened the duration and severity of the cold.
Jade Windscreen – This is a popular and classic formula with a well-deserved reputation for boosting your immune system. The history of Jade windscreen goes back 1000 years in China where it has been effective for people who are prone to colds, flus, and allergies. It is also a great preventative formula if you are traveling, flying or have been exposed to sick people.
Miso Soup – I like the soup best with scallions added. Miso is a soy soup and, when your cold is just beginning, have some Miso soup to head it off. Recipe here
Get Acupuncture! - Of course ;) Acupuncture can prevent colds and flu by strengthening your immune system and significantly improving symptoms like congestion and sore throat. It can also shorten the duration of the illness with just a few needles inserted into key points in the body.
Many of these suggestions are easy to find but always purchase a good brand. Whole Foods often carries popular formulas and for those of you in Chicago, you can stop by my office. There are many other Chinese herbal formulas, but it is better to work with your acupuncturist or herbalist to choose the best formula for you.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
"If you've traveled to China, you've likely encountered senior citizens flapping their arms early in the morning in public parks, or perhaps squatting, walking, singing or dancing in groups, twisting waists and wiggling hips and watching their own hands while performing repetitive movements. Most likely, these folks were engaging in their morning qigong.
Ranging from simple to quite complex, this popular mind-body exercise represents a uniquely Chinese method of uniting good intentions with specific results. Because it is more accessible and less challenging than practices like tai chi or yoga -- and takes far less time to learn -- it is growing in popularity among New Agers, the alternative medicine crowd and just about anyone whose mind is more open than their wallet when it comes to taking good care of themselves."
To read the rest of the article click here