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The Second Point: Pericardium 8 (Laogong) “Palace of Labor”

Laogong or Pericardium 8 is in the center of the palm, between the 2nd and 3rd metacarpal bones, closer to the 3rd metacarpal bone. laogong-56a92d8b5f9b58b7d0f8f31eWhen a fist is made, the point is where the tip of the middle finger touches.

Taoist practitioners and other energy healers who use Qigong emission (external qi therapy) techniques to amplify and balance another person’s Qi frequently use this point from which to emit energy. This point has a direct connection with Kidney 1. Any change at Kidney 1, for example a weight shift, has an immediate and direct reflection on Laogong. In Qigong practices, these four points must connect to Dantien at the lower abdomen for the Qi of the entire body to be integrated.

This point must be open and hollow for Qi to spread into the hand and fingers, and to the entire upper body. It is extremely important point to release pent-up heat in the heart and the head. Laogong is excellent in calming the spirit and resolving exhaustion and fatigue.

HOW TO ACTIVATE LAO GONG

pc8To massage your own Lao Gong, simply rest one hand, palm up, then use the other hand’s thumb to locate and press Laogong. Apply moderate pressure, with your thumb, moving it in tiny circles, as you place your mental focus gently upon the point. Again, two or three minutes will be sufficient.

The sequence of massaging is left Yongquan, left Laogong, right Laogong, then right Yongquan, to make a full circle. It’s best to use this technique before bed, however, it can be used anytime of the day. One full week of self-massaging  these four points will renew your vitality tremendously.

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The First Point: KID 1 (Yongquan) “Bubbling Well”

acu-points-kid-1The first point is Kidney 1, or YongQuan, located at the sole of the foot. This point lies in the depression that appears when the toes are curled. It is between the second and third metatarsals, about one third of the distance between the base of the second toe and the heel.

Yongquan is the only acupuncture point on the sole of the foot, the lowest and most Yin part of the body. In my clinical experiences, I’ve found that Kidney 1 is almost completely blocked for most people. Perhaps, it means that in this cyberage, we have simply lost the key in connecting with Mother Earth.

Actually, we use Kidney 1 all the time when our feet are on the ground. Through this point, we maintain our contact with the Earth. This point can be used as a portal through which we can draw upon the energy of the Earth as a tree’s roots draw nourishment from the soil.

Yongquan is a major energy vortex that has the ability to revitalize body, mind and spirit. When a person lacks stamina, strength, will or perseverance, Kidney 1 can help him/her to draw on reserves in order to get a kick-start.This point can also be used in restoring consciousness when someone has fainted. Additionally, this point has been widely used in treating dizziness, headaches, brain-fog, blurred vision, nosebleed and hypertension.

kidney1acupointApply a gentle but firm pressure on this point for two or three minutes. In the beginning, it can be very painful, but the the pressure will lessen as you progress. Always start with left Kidney 1, then progress to your left hand point, LaoGong.

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How to Perform “bloodletting”?

Where Do You Need to Prick?

For stroke-like symptoms, traditional Chinese medicine suggests puncturing the finger tips of all 10 fingers. In my opinion, it’s a bit too much; puncturing the tip of middle finger is sufficient. Puncturing both right and left finger tips can be beneficial, but the key point to puncture is the LEFT middle finger tip. This point is called Pericardium 9 (Zhong Chong, Chinese Character 中衝, meaning Central Hub). As shown in the picture, the pericardium meridian starts right outside of the heart (PC1) and ends at PC9 at the middle finger tip. (Note: The pericardium is two thin layers of a sac-like tissue that surrounds the heart, holds it in place and helps it work.)pericardium-meridian

What do you need for bloodletting?

Sterilized medical lancets, Alcohol swabs for sterilization, Sterilized cotton balls, Biohazard trash container, First-aid cream or gel, and First-aid bandages.

How to do bloodletting

Swab the tip of the middle finger with alcohol, then insert the lancet quickly in a shallow depth. Those with a very high blood pressure may experience blood shooting out as soon as lancets are inserted (this will drop blood pressure immediately). Some may have to squeeze out the finger tips. Elicit a few drops of blood. Absorb the blood with sterilized cotton, and dispose in the biohazard trash container along with the used lancets. Make sure bleeding stops completely by pressing hard with sterilized cotton ball. Apply first-aid cream or gel, or place a band-aid on the points that are bled to prevent infection, and then wash your hands.

The frequency of bleeding depends upon the patient’s medical condition. If the patient has more than a few symptoms of a TIA on a regular basis, bleeding can be performed once a day until the symptom abates. If the patient has a mild condition, bleeding can be done 1-2 times per week.

For nutritional support, I would highly recommend a supplement called “Cardo-Plus” produced by Standard Process. I would love to hear from you if you would practice bloodletting and what kind of results you have experienced.

For general health of the heart, I cannot think of anything better than “meditation focusing on slow breathing.”  If you suspect you have some TIA symptoms, think of it as if your “inner self” is calling for your attention.

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“Bloodletting” to Prevent Mini-Stroke?

Most of stroke prevention programs are geared to lowering cholesterol level, modest exercise, and modified diet. All of these are good for not only heart diseases, but overall health of all ages. But is there a really impressive, well-proven method to prevent strokes? Well, there is an ancient healing technique called “bloodletting.”  My late father had never failed carrying a few medical lancets with him, especially when he had to take a long flight. In many Asian countries, “bloodletting” has long been considered one of the most effective measure in preventing and treating stroke-like conditions.

What is “Bloodletting”?

bloodlettingBloodletting literally means let the blood coming out by puncturing some part of the body. According to Chinese medicine, bloodletting has many functions: speeding up the blood flow, transforming stagnation and clearing internal heat (associated with the heart). Surprisingly, this particular technique has been used throughout the world (from the land of Hippocrates, Mid-eastern countries, and Asian countries) well into the 20th century. These days, most Chinese medical doctors and acupuncturists shun away from bloodletting, mainly due to blood-borne disease scares (The state of California prohibits bloodletting).

Numerous research studies (mostly conducted in China) have been published asserting the efficacy of bloodletting. Not only preventing strokes and treating post-stroke symptoms, bloodletting has widely been used in treating tonsillitis, severe earaches, asthma, febrile disease, hypertension, back pain, and even eczema.

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How to Prevent for a Mini-Stroke?

What is Mini-Stroke?

A “mini-stroke” or “transient ischemic attack” (TIA) occurs when there is a temporary drop in the blood supply to the brain. It can be caused by a variety of reasons–the most notable cause is underlying weakness of the heart. Usually, the patient experiences stroke-like symptoms, although they don’t last very long (sometimes only a few minutes to few hours). A TIA doesn’t cause any permanent damage, however, the scary part of  a TIA is that between 10 and 15 percent of TIA patients have a full-blown stroke within 3 months.

stroke_graphicMost people don’t even recognize that they experience a mini-stroke. Furthermore, since the symptoms fade away rather quickly, they seldom seek medical help.

Typical symptoms of a TIA include:

  • Face – the face may fall on one side as some of the facial muscles become paralyzed. The patient’s eye or mouth may droop, and they may be unable to smile properly.

  • Arms – arm weakness or numbness might make it hard for the patient to either raise both arms, or to keep them raised.

  • Speech – speech may be slurred and garbled.

Other signs and symptoms of a TIA can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty talking

  • Difficulty understanding what others are talking about
  • Swallowing Difficulties
  • Very bad headache
  • Paralysis, numbness, or weakness on one side of the body
  • In severe cases, loss of consciousness

If you suspect that you may experience a TIA, It is imperative to seek medical help immediately. So what can be done in addition to conventional western medical treatments?

Nurture Your Cardiovascular Health

February is the American Heart Association’s Heart Health Awareness Month. The cardiovascular system consists of the heart and blood vessels, and is responsible for carrying nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other waste from them.

susanna heart pic

Diseases affecting the cardiovascular system include arteriosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, arrhythmia, heart failure, hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, and congenital heart disease..

Cardiovascular disease is the leading health threat, with heart disease and stroke topping the list of leading causes of death worldwide. One out of every two men and one out of every three women will develop heart disease sometime in their life.

By integrating acupuncture and Oriental medicine into your heart-healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 80 percent. Let’s take a look at how acupuncture can assist your cardiovascular health.

cardiovascular health

1. Manage High Blood Pressure
Acupuncture has been found to be particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure. By applying acupuncture needles at specific sites along the wrist, inside the forearm or in the leg, researchers at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, were able to stimulate the release of opioids, which decreases the heart’s activity and thus its need for oxygen. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is associated with diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease–all of which increase the risk of developing heart disease. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is an excellent adjunctive tool when it comes to losing weight. They can help to energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite and reduce anxiety.

3. Reduce Stress
In Chinese Medicine, the Heart is the King of all of our physiological, emotional, and spiritual health. Excessive stress can easily damage the heart so that people with a high degree of stress often suffer from high blood pressure, chest pains, or irregular heartbeats. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety and mental health.

cardiovascular health 2

4. Improve Sleep Quality
Poor sleep has been linked with high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Acupuncture has shown great success treating a wide array of sleep problems without any of the side effects of prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids. The acupuncture treatments for problems sleeping focus on the root disharmony within the body that is causing the insomnia. Therefore, those who use acupuncture for insomnia achieve not only better sleep, but also an overall improvement of physical and mental health.

5. If You Smoke, Quit
Most people associate cigarette smoking with breathing problems and lung cancer. But did you know that smoking is also a major cause of coronary artery disease? In fact, about 20 percent of all deaths from heart disease are directly related to cigarette smoking.

Acupuncture has shown to be an effective treatment for smoking. Acupuncture treatments for smoking cessation focus on jitters, cravings, irritability and restlessness–symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.

cardiovascular and acupuncture

 

Manage Your Cholesterol Level with Nutrition

What is cholesterol and how is it bad? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your body and many foods. Your body needs cholesterol to function normally and makes all that you need. Too much cholesterol can sometimes build up in your arteries. After a while, these deposits narrow your arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

cholesterol and nutrition

Cholesterol has been a fixture in dietary warnings in the U.S. at least since 1961, when it appeared in guidelines developed by the American Heart Association. Later adopted by the federal government, such warnings helped shift eating habits — per capita egg consumption dropped about 30 percent. In the mean time, tens of millions of people were advised to take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to prevent heart attacks or strokes. Statin drugs work by blocking the action of the liver enzyme that is responsible for producing cholesterol.

However, the side-effects of statin drugs are enormous. More than 900 studies have been published illustrating the side-effects of statin drugs, most notable of which are the risk of developing diabetes, liver failure, memory loss and lower sexual functions.

cholesterol and nutrition 3

I personally believe that unless someone’s overall cholesterol level is higher than 300, no one should take statin drugs. The fact is that 75 percent of your cholesterol is produced by your liver, which is influenced by your insulin levels. Therefore, if you optimize your insulin levels, you will automatically optimize your cholesterol.

Nutrition response testing can determine the root causes of cholesterol issues. For some individual, unregulated sugar metabolism caused by weak pancreas may be the most important issue; for others, metal or chemical toxicity in their kidneys may cause an elevated cholesterol level. Once the root cause is determined, cholesterol level can effectively be managed by real-food-based nutrition protocols..