Traditional Chinese Medicine is a medical system that dates back nearly 4,000 years. Auricular acupuncture was first mentioned around 500 B.C. in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which is the equivalent of the Bible for TCM practitioners. However, the method in which auricular acupuncture is practiced today is actually based upon discoveries that occurred in France in the 1950s.
Auricular acupuncture is the stimulation of the external ear for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions. These health conditions may be taking place anywhere throughout the body. The stimulation of these acupuncture points can be done manually, with an acupuncture needle, a laser, magnets or ear seeds. Regardless of the means of stimulation, auricular acupuncture can be a very powerful addition to regular acupuncture treatments.
The current form of auricular acupuncture came about after Dr. Nogier noticed a scar on the upper ear of some of his patients. When he inquired about the scar, he found out a local practitioner had been treating his patients for sciatica pain and she was cauterizing this specific area on the external ear to relieve their low back pain. Dr. Nogier conducted similar tests on his own patients and found their low back pain was also relieved. He tried using other means of stimulation as well, such as acupuncture needles and found it to be just as effective as cauterizing the area. So Dr. Nogier theorized if an area of the upper external ear is effective on treating low back pain, then perhaps other areas of the ear could treat other parts of the body. This led to the model now used when teaching auricular acupuncture.
The ear is thought to represent the whole anatomical body. However, it is upside down in orientation, so the head is represented by the lower ear lobe, the feet are at the top of the ear and the rest of the body is in between. According to history, the Chinese actually adopted this model of auricular acupuncture in 1958.
Auricular acupuncture is considered a microsystem, in that the ear is like a microcosm of the whole body, meaning one part of the body, the ear in this instance, represents the whole body. Microsystems also appear on foot and hand reflexology, facial acupuncture and scalp acupuncture.
This system has been practiced in Asia, albeit in a different form, for over 2,000 years. Auricular acupuncture has been used in Europe for the past 40 to 50 years. And it is finally starting to take root in the United States. The U.S. military, over the past 5 to 10 years, has started utilizing auricular acupuncture for its battlefield personnel. This form of battlefield acupuncture is used to help soldiers deal with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) brought on by being in combat.
Since auricular acupuncture allows for every part of the external ear to connect through the microsystem to every part of the body, many conditions can be treated using only a few very tiny needles. Not only can PTSD be treated using auricular acupuncture, but also things like chronic pain, drug addiction, high blood pressure and nausea. And for those who are a little needle-shy, auricular acupuncture is a great way to treat them because they will never see the needles and they will still get the help they need to achieving health and wellness.
The modern world is changing every single day. Because of this constant state of change, our bodies are frequently having to adjust. We have a food supply being degraded and depleted of nutritional content, which in turn, causes our bodies to become depleted. Our soil and water is contaminated with antibiotics and deadly fertilizers. All of which become part of the food chain we rely upon. Because of this, antibiotics are failing and superbugs like MRSA are on the rise. Lack of nutrition and the overuse of antibiotics are just a couple of the things wreaking havoc on our intestinal health. But there are ways to combat this and keep the gut healthy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been around for thousands of years and the approach of this medical system is to treat the patient holistically. TCM has been shown to be effective at treating a wide variety of ailments, including digestive issues. Part of this is because TCM focuses heavily on diet and nutrition.
Qi is equated with energy and every organ, pathway and cell in the human body is composed of energy. For the body to function properly, Qi needs to be sufficient at all times. One of the best ways to maintain sufficient Qi is through our daily diet. Science is proving what TCM practitioners have known for centuries, our digestive health is vital for the cells of the body to function optimally.
The gastrointestinal tract acts as a “second brain.” It has the ability to constantly transform us. The Human Microbiome Project is an ongoing study confirming microscopic bacterial colonies in our digestive tract have very important jobs to do. The bacterial colonies help keep us healthy both physically and mentally. But because of human intervention, these bacterial colonies in our guts are becoming sick, depleted and are dying.
To rejuvenate these gastrointestinal bacterial colonies, many people are turning to TCM for help. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas are great methods of reviving our gastrointestinal Qi. The stomach and spleen are the two main pathways TCM practitioners focus on when treating somebody who exhibits digestive Qi deficiencies. TCM can help to repair the Qi of the spleen and stomach meridians. But TCM can’t do it alone.
This is where fermented foods come into play. Fermented foods have been around for centuries as well. Fermentation is one of the oldest attempts to preserve food. But in today’s world, fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi and yogurt are being utilized to help restore the healthy bacterial colonies found within the gastrointestinal tract. In fermentation, bacteria or yeast feed on natural sugars found in foods. This makes certain foods easier for the gut to digest and allows for the nutrients to be absorbed during digestion. People who do not ingest fermented foods can actually develop immune deficiencies which can lead to serious illness and disease. For instance, sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage, actually has anti-carcinogenic components that can help prevent cancer. Yogurt can help prevent colorectal cancer, breast cancer and yeast infections. Kimchi has been shown to help improve symptoms of asthma and other allergic reactions, while also lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels.
Incorporating fermented foods into the daily diet and getting regular acupuncture treatments that help balance out the body’s Qi, can lead to a very healthy gastrointestinal tract. And when the gut is happy, the body is happy.
Most people have heard of the field of acupuncture by now, but did you realize the scope of the practice encompasses Chinese medicine, which includes so much more than needles? Let’s explore this ancient therapy.
First of all, the practice of Chinese medicine starts with a diagnosis. The practitioner asks many questions to build a history; this includes the answers to digestion, appetite, diet, sleep patterns, bowel movement urination, pain, lifestyle, and stress level, for example. The acupuncturist will also be noting the voice pitch, hair luster, skin color and tone, as well as posture and mood of the patient and any significant odor. After that, there is a pulse and tongue analysis to determine where the pattern and root are, primarily. Finally, blood pressure is measured and other applicable tests done, including palpation of the body. After this history, a diagnosis and treatment plan is determined. What might be included in this plan?
Needles: Acupuncture needles are very fine, sterile, painless and safe. They are, of course, the main component of the treatment plan. They are placed into certain acupuncture points on the body, either locally (at the pain site) or distally (away from the pain). The needles are retained anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes and most find the treatment to be relaxing and calming.
Herbal formulas: Chinese medicine includes herbal formulas for the most part. The herbs and acupuncture needles work together to bring the body into harmony naturally. Herbal formulas come in either patent formulas, or the practitioner will make you your own formula. What is special about formulas is that they are designed to not overdo the amount of one herb that might cause harm in another part of the body; for example, if you are trying to get rid of heat, there will be herbs to clear heat (by promoting urination perhaps) but also herbs to mitigate the strong effects a heat-clearing herb might have on other organs. In this way, there is always a balance. Herbal formulas treat not only the symptoms but also the root cause.
Nutritional counseling: In Chinese medicine, food is medicine, and if you don’t get an herbal remedy, you will probably get dietary advice tailored to your specific constitution. For example, if someone has a pale tongue with a white coating, and it is puffy with teeth marks on the side, this might indicate this person has too much cold in the stomach, which is hampering the digestive fire. Chinese medicine rates food according to its temperature, season, color, shape and whether it’s right for your individual body. Cold foods include too many cold, raw vegetables, iced drinks and smoothies. A food such as ginger might be a nice addition to one’s diet in this case.
Cupping and Gua Sha: Cupping uses glass cups heated with a small flame to create a suction on the skin. This dissipates stagnation of blood and lymph fluid, promotes blood flow, eases stiffness, encourages better circulation to muscles and tissues, and feels great. It leaves a purple bruise and “cup” mark, only temporarily.
Gua sha uses a flat edged tool that is scraped in one direction on the skin, usually on large areas such as the back. Gua sha is used for many ailments, but especially for pain and stiffness. It removes blood stagnation and promotes the smooth flow of oxygen and blood. Waste and toxins are removed, and the scraping helps circulate fluid and nutrients, encouraging microcirculation in soft tissue. Gua sha can be used on the face for health and beauty, as well.
Moxibustion: Moxibustion is heated mugwort and comes in many forms. Usually this smoky herb is held over an area of the body to warm and circulate. It’s great for menstrual cramps and chronic pain. Smoky moxibustion is used less nowadays due to shared office space and its smoky quality, but there are plenty of practitioners who still use it; find one and you’ll be happy you did. Alternatives to the smoke are smokeless moxa sticks and oil moxa.
As you can see, the wide practice of acupuncture is much more than just needles. In addition to the above mentioned supplements to treatment, some practitioners use massage techniques, a form of manipulation called Tui Na, or acupressure.
Qigong is a highly refined system of exercises and meditations that develop self ability to acquire, store, circulate, and purify our vital energy. We learn how to use our mind as a tool to direct the flow of electrical signals and energetic currents that comprise the integrated matrix of our body, mind, and emotions. This leads to a greater sense of mastery over our mental, physical, and emotional health, as well as greater resistance to everyday stresses and disease.
Medical Qigong therapy is the oldest therapeutic modality of Traditional Chinese medicine. Along with acupuncture, herbal medicine, and medical massage it is one of four main branches of TCM. The practitioner, is able to assists the patient by redirecting, cleansing, and restoring the patient’s vital energy based on the principles of Chinese Medicine. He or she restores health and wellness by emitting and directing Qi to the patient and/or by teaching Medical Qigong exercises and meditations based on a diagnosis rooted in Chinese medical theory
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States with about 60,000 deaths from it every year. Like all cancer, treatment can be long, uncomfortable and come with many side effects. Those getting chemotherapy may experience nausea, vomiting, postoperative pain, cancer related pain, insomnia and anxiety. The chronic pain can significantly impact quality of life. Most patients are prescribed medications such as opioids for pain that have side effects and are highly addictive.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is believed that colon cancer comes from a number of underlying factors such as spleen yang deficiency, kidney yang deficiency, kidney yin deficiency and liver yin deficiency. Acupuncture works by addressing these deficiencies to return the body back to balance. Using specific points on the body related to these organs, acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural energy flow, Qi, and blood flow to improve organ health.
Going through chemotherapy treatment can cause severe fatigue. Study shows that acupuncture resulted in a 30 percent improvement in a baseline fatigue score.
Insomnia and anxiety are one of the most common symptoms that cancer patients experience. Acupuncture has been proven in numerous studies to be just as effective, if not more, than prescription drugs in improving sleep and decreasing stress and anxiety levels. This alternative treatment has also been shown to improve overall mood.
Acupuncture can help boost the immune system. Chemotherapy can greatly lower the body’s immune defense, leaving one in a vulnerable state due to a decrease in white-blood cell count. By increasing blood flow and stimulating Qi, acupuncture is a great way to improve immune function.
Cancer and cancer treatment is nothing to take lightly. A diagnosis can drastically change one’s life not only physically but mentally as well. If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer and/or going through chemotherapy, it is important to remember that there are alternative, safe treatments that can help make the process easier. If a loved one is going through treatment, support is the best thing you can do for them. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and there is no better time to get tested and become educated on the facts.
Every February men all over the world flock to the local flower shops and jewelry stores in search of the perfect bouquet or piece of jewelry to express their undying love to their significant other. Why? Nobody knows for certain, but there are at least a couple of theories.
One theory is a Catholic priest, Valentine, was imprisoned for helping Christians escape Roman prisons. While he imprisoned himself, Valentine fell in love with a young girl who visited him. Allegedly, before his death, Valentine wrote a letter and signed it, “From your Valentine.” Thus, the first Valentine’s Day card was created, or so it is reported.
Where does Traditional Chinese Medicine fit in? Well, it really doesn’t. However, in TCM, the heart houses the Shen. The Shen is sometimes described as the spirit, but it also includes the mind. During the winter months, when the hours of sunlight are short, the weather is typically colder and very little is growing; many people develop something known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD. So perhaps, celebrating Valentine’s Day in the middle of winter is a way to keep our hearts healthy and our Shen lively. The feeling of love can permeate every cell of the body and mind. This can bring healing to those who are experiencing SAD, while helping to keep the heart healthy.
Heart health is extremely important. Without a healthy heart, the body does not function properly. Just as equally important is the state of the mind. This is where TCM can be extremely beneficial. Acupuncture, the main modality of TCM has been shown to help lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate and calm the mind. There are specific acupuncture points and point prescriptions that can help the mind and the heart, which can strengthen the mind-body connection.
The emotion associated with the heart in TCM is joy. The heart is also the center of perception. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to experience joy, and it doesn’t have to be from a significant other. Sharing special moments with those who are closest to us, friends, family, etc., helps to keep the heart full of joy. Even acts of “selfishness” can have profound effects on the mind, body and soul. Spending time alone can also keep the heart healthy, as it gives us time to reflect, relax and take in the beauty all around us.
So this year, when Valentine’s Day rolls around, don’t fret over trying to find the perfect card or gift. Instead, try focusing attention on the people, places and things that bring joy to your life. Your heart will beat a little slower and your mind will be a little calmer.
January 28, 2017 is the start of the Chinese Year of the Red Rooster. The Yin Fire nature of the Rooster forecasts a calmer year and should bring a lot of relief from the shock, strain, tension and anxiety of last year. This Rooster is trying to wake people up to the challenges of the year!
People will feel more sentimental and emotionally sensitive. They will also be prone to more bickering and can lose their temper and explode if they repress their anger too long, but anger is not so long lasting this year. All emotions will pass more quickly and it will be hard to hold onto strong feelings. People will also feel more connected to each other and want to be closer to their friends and family and will feel more loved and feel more loving as well.
Career will be important this year and collaboration and team building will work well. Chickens are sociable creatures and there will be a lot of socializing, especially in small groups like dinner parties.
A Rooster Year is one where there is a lot of Peach Blossom Luck, particularly for Monkeys, Rats and Dragons. This means you attract more people for any reason and you also attract romantic interest. Most people will act more charming this year and become more charismatic. It will also be a very romantic year and the sale of greeting cards, flowers and small gifts, often expensive will increase. Appearance will be important - people will want to dress up,
It is a very good year for losing weight. Fitness will focus more on fun and softer uses of the body. Walking, Dancing, Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are some good examples of the kinds of movement that are good in the Rooster Year. And activities like doubles Tennis, Badminton, Ping-Pong, Bowling and Pool will become more popular.
Many Asian people will choose to have a baby this year as Rooster children will be blessed with the Academic Star and will therefore do well in school. Roosters are also considered deep thinkers so academically this is a particularly good year for literature, mathematics, economics and languages, as the Fire Element is especially involved with these subjects.
Most areas of science also benefit from the Rooster Year and innovations will be appreciated and rewarded.
Medicine in particular will benefit from the Rooster Year, espepcially
Holistic/Alternative/Complementary practices that rely on ancient wisdom such as Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine. The health conditions that will receive the most attention are all illnesses or diseases of the Cardio-Pulmonary System. It is a year that will see an increase in minor Heart Attacks, Transient Ischemic Attacks, Pulmonary Embolisms and Deep Vein Thrombosis due to small clots. There will also be more cases of Heart Failure along with Heart Rhythm problems such as Tacychardia, Arythmia and Atrial Fibrillation.
People will suffer from breathing problems from any number of causes. Therefore, an increase in people coming down with cold and flu viruses is expected. Problems with skin, such as rashes, hives and itchiness will bother a lot of people. And people will flush and blush more and will experience more sunburns.
Nerves have been frayed in the Monkey year, so it is important to support the nervous system by meditating, practicing deep breathing and increasing Essential Fatty Acids in your diet. Otherwise, nerve problems and nerve pain are likely and you will see an increase in neurological glitches, including an increase in: epileptic seizures, migraine headaches, mitral valve problems and irritable bowel flare-ups.
Eating for health is very important this year and herbal medicine will work better and become more popular. It is advised that people eat lighter. Many people will be suffering from tiredness, as this will be the second year that the Water Element will be deficient. So, people will have more problems with their teeth and their brains as well and the kidneys and bladder will be problematic organs for many people, although in a mild way. And it is easier to break small bones, so be careful with your fingers and toes. It is very important to sleep and rest more this year. This is actually a good year for getting well and rejuvenating
if people act consciously to improve their habits.
People will be more punctual, more particular and often feel more critical this year and there will be a strong focus on details. Perfectionism will emerge in people who were previously easy-going and most will find themselves paying more attention to details. They will also be neater. Many people will feel more scattered and confused and there will be a lot more fear and anxiety. The good news is that people will be more warmhearted and friendlier and will try to find humor where they can. A lot of the humor will be sarcastic or silly.
Family life will be a bigger comfort to many and others will find the most enjoyment out of gathering with like-minded others. People will be seeking fun and want to play although most forms of play will be more passive. People will also become more enthusiastic and it will be much easier to find little moments of happiness. Yin Fire is like small flowers hiding in the woods. If you go slower and pay attention, you can find that hidden beauty that will bring joy. Cultivating beauty, like having fresh flowers, can lift the spirits, but try to create subtler arrangements. Personal creativity of all kinds is encouraged this year, as creating and finding beauty in the Rooster Year will soothe the soul.
Individual Animal Forecasts for 2017
Rat - Water Element: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020
This year may be strenuous at times. However, there is chance for a big change in lifestyle, occupation or home. But long term, these results will be very good. There may be some financial loss but you can gain some unexpected benefits.*
Ox – Earth Element: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 and 2021
This is a great year for Oxes, who have waited a long time for this kind of luck. Expect that Oxes will emerge from their chrysalis recharged, with more energy and better health. This is an excellent year for career and self esteem.
Tiger – Wood Element: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022
This is a year of moderate luck for Tigers. They have to work hard and then promotion is likely and business will improve. However, Tigers may have to travel and friends and family may feel neglected, as Tigers will be very busy.
Rabbit – Wood Element: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
This is not any easy year for Rabbits and they will feel more irritated and frustrated than usual. There are some good times with family and this brings happiness. Rabbits need to practice patience and focus on finding enjoyment.*
Dragon – Earth Element: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024
This is a year when Dragons feel powerful. They are likely to have financial gains and find favor from superiors. However, they need to watch their cash flow, as there will be some unexpected expenses at home and some family tensions.
Snake – Fire Element: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025
This is a good year for Snakes. They will be happy cocooning at home and spending more time with family. They will have some trouble with friends and financially they will feel some stress but overall, this is a happy year.
Horse – Fire Element: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026
This is a year where Horses will feel some discontent and they may feel slightly out of step with what is happening around them, so travel is especially freeing and enjoyable. However, there is luck and practical accomplishments.*
Sheep – Earth Element: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
As another barnyard animal, Sheep have luck this year. This is a good year for making future plans. Family life is happier and they will experience more fun and pursue more recreational activities. They will also feel more creative.
Monkey -Metal Element: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
This is a good year for business and finances will be stable. Monkeys need to become more organized. They will enjoy travel, particularly foreign travel more. However, they need to spend time recovering from last year’s stresses.
Rooster –Metal Element: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981,1993, 2005, 2017
Roosters will feel strained this year and will be less organized. They need time alone and people around them will be needier. They will want to play more and can’t, causing frustration. Practicality is essential for achieving success.*
Dog – Earth Element: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
This is a turbulent year, but there is sudden good luck if opportunities can be grasped. Dogs will want to remodel, redecorate or move to a new home/office. They need to hold their tongue so they don’t criticize or fight with loved ones.*
Pig – Water Element: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
As another barnyard animal, Pigs have some luck coming their way. Their finances will be steady and they will improve their business prospects if they are cautious. Family life is happy and previous worries fade. Only romance is tricky.
*Rabbits and Roosters should carry a Dragon charm for protection this year. Rats, Horses and Dogs may want to carry a Dragon charm to bring more luck their way.
DISCLAIMER: All information provided in this forecast is based on the ancient principles of the Chinese Five Element Theory and on an understanding of the animal symbolism in Chinese Astrology. It is intended for entertainment purposes only. There is no express or implied guarantee of results from using this information, and individual users are solely responsible for their own interpretation or application to their own circumstances. Further, the information is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for legal, medical, or psychological advice, evaluation and/or treatment. You are welcome to share this post, but please refer to the source -
When the seasons change you have to be ready for a change in mood, especially as we move from fall into winter. Although it may not seem as drastic of a shift as you think, it matters more to our mental and physical states than you may know. Seasonal affective disorder is estimated to affect around 10 million Americans a year, and this isn’t even the full number of reported cases.
As we begin to lose the summer sun and transition into the darker months of the year, depression and fatigue seem to make that transition with us. But, there are ways to shake off the impending gloom and brighten your day, if you follow some of these steps you can combat seasonal affective disorder and find yourself being just as happy as you are in the warm summer months.
Try light therapy. Doctors have called this idea phase shifting. Because we lose sunlight so quickly as we head into the winter, you should start setting out bright lights when beginning your day. By eating breakfast and starting your daily routine under bright indoor lights, you get used to not having sunlight and can better acclimate to your new surroundings.
Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. Regular exercise works wonder for depression in general, so why would it not work for SAD-induced depression? By maintaining regular exercise habits you can work to get rid of the fatigue, depression and tiredness by adding at least 60 minutes a day of activity into your life.
These next two ideas go hand in hand, as both work together to not only combat SAD, but promote a healthy lifestyle. Maintain a heart-healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. No brainers? Maybe. But, you would be surprised at the amount of people who do not follow both or one of these guidelines, I’m sure you know someone who fits into those categories. Make sure to maintain a regular sleep schedule while keeping up with a heart-healthy diet in order to fight seasonal affective disorder.
Last, but not least, try acupuncture! Acupuncture is a great solution to combating SAD. There are various points on the body that have been known to alleviate symptoms of SAD. A primary point that should be addressed when treating SAD is Yintang, and when being treated for SAD by an acupuncturist you should be seen between one to two times a week.
Try some of these techniques and you should have no problem battling and conquering the seasonal affective disorder that may be bothering you this winter.
It has been shown that acupuncture can help the body in many ways. From repairing the digestive system to boosting Qi, enhancing athletic performance to mending strains and sprains, acupuncture has many uses and most of these uses are beneficial for professional athletes.
As the Olympics in Rio every athlete wants to be at their top performance level as they put everything on the line for their country. Acupuncture is one key some Olympians use to achieve that extra competitive edge and get their physical and mental aspects ready for the games. Some of the biggest names on the Olympic stage are making acupuncture part of their health regimen.
In 2012, during the London Olympics, acupuncture was widely acknowledged in the Olympic community as an extremely beneficial solution to guaranteeing a higher level of athletic performance. Since London, more and more Olympic athletes have been turning to the needle to and have been receiving excellent results.
Wang Qun, an Olympic swimmer for the Chinese team has been known to perform in events with cupping marks still present on her skin. Cupping is a form of traditional Chinese medicine, which involves applying heated glass cups to the skin to encourage smooth energy flow; it stimulates your Qi as the cups are placed along the meridian lines of your body. In addition to Qun, other members of the Chinese Olympic Team use acupuncture, most notably being windsurfer Yin Jian, a gold medalist in the 2008 Olympics. Jian attributed nightly acupuncture with helping her achieve success and curing the muscle strains she experienced on a daily basis.
Acupuncture isn’t solely practiced by the Chinese Olympic Team. This form of traditional Chinese medicine has made its way to Olympians from the U.S. and Canada as well. Bronze medalist and track-athlete Dee Dee Trotter used daily visits from her local acupuncturist to help her unlock the potential needed to win third place in the 400-meter run at the London Olympic Games.
Mark McMorris, a Canadian snowboarder, upped his game with acupuncture before his bronze-medal finish at the Sochi Olympics. After injuring his body during the X games weeks prior to the Olympics, McMorris began to attend acupuncture sessions to recalibrate his body, and by the results shown, we know it worked. McMorris went on to perform outstandingly in the Slopestyle event and brought back the bronze medal for the Canadian Olympic Team.
See, acupuncture is beneficial in many ways. Although you may be hesitant to stray away from the trusted and commonplace forms of Western medicine, you should really consider giving acupuncture a try. If it wasn’t enough that one in every 10 U.S. adults have tried acupuncture, just consider the facts, even the pros are doing it to recover, enhance and overall better their body.
1. Jaw Exercises
Stress and anxiety are very common inducers of TMJ. Some people tend to clench their jaw when feeling stressed or anxious, which results in TMJ symptoms.
Deficiencies in calcium and magnesium are found to be common in people suffering from TMJ. The International Dental Association conducted a study on 50 TMJ sufferers who added calcium and magnesium supplements to their routine and found pain relief in 70 percent of the participants.
Acupuncture has proven to be effective in treating TMJ in a number of ways. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, TMJ often represents an imbalance in the liver and gallbladder meridians which traverse the areas usually associated with TMJ pain. Acupuncture points focused on these areas can stimulate the healing process, and return the meridians and the body back to balance, improving your TMJ symptoms.
7 tips to sleep better
Many of us find it hard to fall asleep at night and stay asleep, as a result we often wake up feeling groggy and not rested. Sometimes improving sleep is as simple as changing your habits during the day. Below are easy ways that can dramatically help you get a good night’s rest!
Cut yourself off in the afternoon. Believe it or not, even having caffeine at 2pm can affect your sleep. Make sure to get that last cup of coffee in beforehand and watch out for certain drinks you may forget have caffeine in them such as soda and many teas.
Try medical Qigong. Practicing deep breathing and stretching before bed can help relax the mind and body. Try spending even just ten minutes to stretch and practice mindfulness.
Limit your screen time. Let’s face it, we are all addicted to our phones and computers. It’s tempting to look at your phone until the moment you fall asleep. Turn off all electronics an hour before bed to help the brain get into sleep mode. The screens on your devices make it hard for the brain to relax.
Acupuncture. If you are finding yourself struggling with insomnia you may want to consider acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture is non invasive and has been proven to reduce stress, help chronic pain and increase quality of sleep.
Aromatherapy. Lavender has been proven to lead to a better, deeper sleep and help those with insomnia fall asleep more easily. Sniff or rub lavender oil on your wrists before bed to feel the effects.
Exercise. Exercising regularly has many health benefits. It can also help you get a better sleep. Even just 20 minutes of some form of exercise a day can make a difference.
Cut down on the alcohol. Although some drink a glass of wine before bed to unwind and fall asleep, you are actually more likely to get a poorer quality of sleep. If you do decide to drink, do so earlier in the night to ensure a deep sleep.
TCM for sleep
If you are suffering from insomnia or unable to get a good night’s rest, you are not alone. Around 60 million Americans experience insomnia and sleep related problems on a daily basis. Prescription sleeping pills are one of the most highly overused medications and can lead to side effects and addiction. Acupuncture is a centuries-old practice that has been proven to help sleep disorders without the risk of addiction or putting chemicals in the body.
How acupuncture works
Acupuncture works by addressing the root of the problem to return the body back to health. One clinical study found that patients with anxiety had increased sleep time, quality of sleep and felt less stressed with acupuncture treatment. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses the meridian system, the body’s channel in which energy flows through, to stimulate Qi to return the organs to balance. When there is an imbalance in the body, illness such as insomnia arises. Acupuncture uses specific points on the body related to sleep problems to treat underlying issues.
There are many problems that contribute to insomnia such as chronic pain, depression and stress. Acupuncture is known to be a great alternative treatment for these related issues. In TCM, insomnia is looked at as a heart and liver imbalance. Acupuncture especially addresses these organs to help calm the nervous system and improve the muscle and nerve channels by increasing blood flow.
Chinese herbs for sleep
There are many Chinese herbs that have been known to help insomnia and to get a better quality sleep. These herbs are easy to find at the store and are widely safe to use.
Chrysanthemum tea: Chrysanthemum is known to help the clean the liver. When the liver is not working properly, it can cause insomnia, irritability and dizziness.
Ginseng tea: Ginseng is used for a number of health benefits. It is commonly used to help fatigue, dry mouth and shortness of breath. Although ginseng is typically known as being a stimulant, the root works by normalizing your body’s stress levels. Because of this, when taken during the day, studies have shown that it can help increase quality of sleep at night.
Schisandra tea: Schisandra berry tea can be found at health stores and is known to promote lung and kidney function. Because of this, it is a great tea to help insomnia and fatigue.
There are many options when it comes to treating insomnia. Traditional Chinese Medicine offers an effective treatment that leaves out the dependency of sleep-aid medications.
Dr. Igor Bril