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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.

Acupuncture and Depression

Over years of practice, I have encountered many people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. More distressing is that a growing number of adolescents and children seem to be affected by these conditions. Although it appears to affect only one’s emotional state, depression is manifested in all areas of one’s life: physical, mental, and emotional.

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Despite intensive research,  scientists still do not know the real cause of depression. A general belief is that a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors can trigger  imbalances in brain chemicals.  These chemicals include serotonin, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine. What is not known is whether these imbalances are a result or a cause of depression.

Medications and psychological therapies are the most commonly recommended procedures.  Let me add my own recommendations: A balanced diet, the right amount and type of physical exercise, singing and laughing therapy, and MEDITATION. Also, regardless of whether it is  clinical depression or stress-induced depression, one may want to seek help from an acupuncturist.

acupuncture relaxation

How can acupuncture help patients with depression and anxiety? According to Chinese medical theory, depression can be defined as “Disturbed Shen.”   What is Shen?   It can be roughly interpreted as “Spirit.” This Spirit is so delicate and powerful that without a balanced shen, we cannot be happy, healthy, or maintain a normal daily life.  Disturbed shen is most often displayed through the Heart meridian, yet the real causes may also come from the Liver, Spleen or  Kidneys.

Example 1. A person with a major blockage in the Liver meridian: This person will experience a high level of stress, frustration, or repressed anger. The liver imbalance can spill into the heart meridian, as a result, this person may experience intermittent heart pain and/or irregular heart beats. In this case, an acupuncturist may focus on pacifying the liver first. When the liver meridian is more balanced, the heart meridian will be strengthened naturally.

Example 2. A case of menopause:  Women going through menopause often experience severe mood swings along with hot flushes and night sweats.  Depression during this period is very common; a woman’s body is going through a  major upheaval which disrupts energy flows in all meridians.  Typically, a woman’s kidneys cannot provide enough support to other organs, including the heart.  In this case, priority should be given to tonify her kidneys first.  The kidneys will, in turn, strengthen her heart.

Example 3. Troubled digestive functions: A person with chronic digestive issues is more likely to be depressed than the one with healthy digestive organs.  It is common to see cranky, whining people among those with chronic digestive disorders.  The basic sustaining power of our bodies is provided through our digestive organs.  Low energy level and fatigue caused by weak digestive functions impact one’s Shen negatively. So, the most important organs to treat for this person are the stomach and spleen, along with the intestines. When the digestive functions improve, the energy flow through the heart meridian will become much stronger.

The above examples show how Chinese medicine approaches depression/anxiety issues. Most acupuncture patients feel incredibly relaxed and  peaceful after treatment. If you have not tried acupuncture, or if you want to have a really good handle on your depression/anxiety issues, you may want to visit an acupuncturist’s office.

 

Insomnia, Acupuncture and Nutrition Response Testing

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. People with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Feeling tired upon waking

Major Causes of Insomnia

  • Significant life stress (job loss or change, death of a loved one, divorce, or moving)
  • Illness, pain, or discomfort at night
  • Environmental factors like noise, light, or extreme temperatures (hot or cold) that interfere with sleep
  • Medications (notably those used to treat depression, asthma, or high blood pressure) may interfere with sleep
  • Interferences in normal sleep schedule such as jet lag switching from a day to night shift
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Hormonal imbalance

Millions of people suffer from insomnia these days. Sleep deprivation is the root of many health issues like memory impairment, a weakened immune system and stress that can lead to cardiac disease, heart disease and digestive disorders. Sound sleep is the foundation of good health. We need 6-8 hours of sleep every night to recharge our batteries. Practicing good sleep hygiene and keeping your body in sync with the rhythm of day and night can help your body cope with sleep deprivation and give it an opportunity to get stronger and heal.

insomnia

We can address the root cause of insomnia by applying the yin-yang principle. In Chinese medicine, sleep occurs when the yang energy of the day folds into the yin energy of night time. Yin energy of the body is cooling and restorative; it is the time of day when our bodies turn inward and regenerate. Conversely, day time is yang, which is expansive. We expend the energy we have built up from the process of sleeping. This yin-yang principle provides invaluable tips to improve our sleeping patterns.

What to Do:

Keep your body and mind as much Yin as possible by following: Exposure to the diminishing light at dusk, eating your last meal at least three hours before going to bed, gentle and slow-moving exercise such as yoga or Tai-Chi, and Unwind your mind through meditation (Meditation is best practiced dung the day to help improve your sleep patterns at night.)

What to Avoid:

Cool your Yang energy down by avoiding hot and spicy food and drink. Avoid alcohol, coffee, chocolate and any other stimulants, especially late in the day. 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.

Nutrition:

Just like any other human health issues, insomnia can be caused by: improper diet, immunological challenges, heavy metal or chemical toxins in your body, and unhealed scar tissues. Fruits and vegetables, seaweeds, bone-marrow soup, foods rich in minerals, and Vitamin B Complex can induce peaceful sleep at night..

If you or someone you know suffers from insomnia, call today to see what Acupuncture and Nutrition Response Testing can do for you!

Tips for Maximizing for Your Cardiovascular Health

There’s really no reason to take statins and suffer the damaging health effects from these dangerous drugs. Adopt a holistic approach that will benefit your overall health—which includes a healthy cardiovascular system.

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  • Optimize your vitamin D levels. Appropriate sun exposure is critical in maintaining a healthy heart.
  • Reduce grains and sugars in your diet.
  • Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables such as kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, radish, turnips and cabbages.
  • Eat at least three cloves of garlic a day.
  • Consume a moderate amount of high-quality animal (organic grass-fed) fats.

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  • Other heart-healthy foods include olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products, eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds.
  • Exercise daily. Make sure you incorporate peak fitness, which also optimizes your human growth hormone (HGH) production.
  • Address your stress level through yoga, Qi-kong, or Emotional Freedom Tapping(EFT). Daily meditation for only five minutes can dramatically reduce your stress level.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.
  • Be sure to get plenty of good, restorative sleep.

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Managing Diabetes with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

It is estimated that 25.8 million people in the United States have diabetes, a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

Untreated diabetes affects the whole body and can lead to other medical problems, including heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, peripheral neuropathy, digestive disorders and periodontal disease.

diabetes and acupuncture

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 4 people remain unaware that they live with diabetes. Sometimes the body will give warning signs that a person’s sugar metabolism is out of whack. Common signs of Type II(adult-onset) diabetes include:

  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination or urinary infections
  • Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
  • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches

Diabetes is Called “A Wasting Disease” in Oriental Medicine

Acupuncture and Oriental medicines have been used to treat diabetes for over 2000 years.

According to Oriental medicine, diabetes is called “a wasting disease” 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 extreme fatigue, lethargy, unexplained weight loss, excessive thirst, excessive urination, excessive eating, slow healing of cuts and wounds, infections, irritability, tingling or numbness in the extremities, and blurry vision—all of which are signs of a person being “wasted.”

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.

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In addition, acupuncture can treat peripheral neuropathy, one of the most devastating symptoms of diabetes.

Common signs of peripheral neuropathy include tingling, numbness, loss of sensation, muscle weakness and pain. For some people, it is experienced as the uncomfortable sensation of “pins and needles”, or burning pain (especially at night) of their hands or feet. Others may suffer even more extreme symptoms such as muscle atrophy, paralysis, or organ or gland dysfunction.

Oriental medicine teaches that peripheral neuropathy is due to dampness moving to the limbs, where it obstructs the flow of Qi (energy) and blood within them.

The treatment is twofold: to treat the underlying factor that is causing this dampness to accumulate, and to directly facilitate the circulation of Qi and blood in the affected area.

By improving circulation, the nerve tissues of the affected area can be nourished to repair function and reduce pain.

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Well-Known Procedures in Managing Diabetes

There are a number of well-publicized recommendations in managing diabetes.

1. Diet Changes

Anything too sweet must go. While a sweet taste delights our taste buds, overindulgence can cause or worsen digestive problems and upset our metabolic and emotional balance. In Oriental medicine, meats such as pork and chicken are considered sweet.

Vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, corn, snow peas, squash and even turnips are also considered sweet.

Anything heavily processed or too greasy must be abstained. Too much dairy, deep-fried foods or canned foods must be avoided. Even fruits are recommended only in moderate amounts due to their relatively high sugar content.

2. Adopt Healthy Life Habits

Healthy habits such as maintaining optimal weight, avoiding exposure to toxins, following a well-supervised exercise program, and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption can reduce the physical and emotional effects of diabetes.

3. Boost Circulation with Massage (for neuropathy patients)

Massage can help boost circulation, which is generally poor and leaves these areas vulnerable to trauma. You can stimulate your feet, lower legs, hands and arms with gentle massage using light pressure.

4. Relax to Reduce External Triggers

Consider relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, self-hypnosis or biofeedback.

5. Soak for Pain Relief

A warm foot bath with Epsom salt may also help relieve pain. If there is loss of sensation in the hands or feet, you should avoid extreme temperatures, as you may not feel the damaging effects.

Tips For A Restful Night And A Good Restorative Sleep

Practicing good sleep hygiene and keeping your body in sync with the rhythm of day and night can help your body cope with sleep deprivation. By following few of these suggestions, you should notice a great improvement in your sleep.

Ambiance

Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Keep it dark, cool and quiet. Angle the clock face away from the bed. If you get up to use the bathroom during the night, don’t turn on the light; use a nightlight to safely guide you. The optimal temperature for sleep is 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

When Hungry

Avoid heavy meals and sugary or high grain snacks before bed. They will raise your blood sugar and make it difficult to fall asleep. Reduce nicotine, caffeine and alcohol use. If you are hungry, try yogurt, a banana or half of a turkey sandwich.

restful sleep

Reduce Late Night Activity

Stop working at least an hour before you plan to go to bed. Let your mind relax. Limit television and computer use in the evening. If you want to read in bed, avoid backlit devices as the light stimulates the brain. Read a book or use a device that requires you to use a separate soft light source.

Bedtime Routine

Establish a relaxing routine as you prepare for bed. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time everyday, even on weekends. Relax by taking a hot shower, practicing mediation, or try progressive muscle relaxation, starting at your toes and working up to the top of the head.

It is important to leave the day’s worries behind. Do not over think while you lie in bed. Take a deep breath, clear your mind and drift into a state of restful sleep.