Archive Monthly Archives: May 2018

Traditional Chinese medicine treatment for common cold

The common cold is a pesky sickness that has been around for centuries, and unfortunately, there’s no one cure for the common cold in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Treatment of Colds and Flu with Chinese Medicine varies depending on the individual situation.

Colds and flus occur when an external bacterium or virus enters the body. The etiology or cause of the virus’s ability to enter the body is usually because of an immune deficiency,  which, can be healed. There’s a myriad of things that can cause the body’s defense system to weaken, including overworking, not sleeping enough, and not eating right.

Most of the time, the symptoms of an individual are determined by the pattern of how often they are sick, and the type of virus they are infected by. A common disbelief is the fact that if one person has the flu, the illness they pass on to someone else will have the same effects as when it infected the person who first had it. This plays a large role in the prevention of such illnesses.

Because of the distinctiveness of each individual, there is no spesific supliment that prevents the flu. But, there are many herbs like Huang Qi, which do have this effect, and boost your immune system.

Herbs are not often given by themselves, because although the herb given may be known as an immune booster, the effects it may have on different people may vary. For instance, an herb given to one person may cause them to become ill, while the same herb given to someone else could cure their sickness. Understanding this is one of the most important parts of Tradtional Chinese Medicine.

TCM doctors can take a very proactive role in wiping out the virus and stopping the disease process, which immensely reduce the period of time in which you are sick. The reason this is so important is because many chronic diseases, such as asthma and heart disease, can originate from having a cold that was never treated properly.

FORGIVE AS YOU REST (CHINESE POEM)

In traditional Chinese medicine, most health issues are caused by external etiological factors and internal etiological factors. External etiological factors are natural elements. These include wind, coldness, dampness, dryness, heat, etc and attack the body and cause sickness. Internal etiological factors are emotions such as anger, worry, over thinking, sadness, fear etc. Long term internal etiological factors can overload the body cause health issue. In modern society, there are more internal etiological factors that can cause health problems than ever.

Lately, I have several patient’s health issues related to their mood. By coincidence, I also saw this poem on a Chinese website. I translated it into English, so more people could benefit from it.

      Forgive everything before going to sleep,    IMG_9662-300x218

forget our body’s fatigue and discomfort

closed your eyes as you lay in bed

enjoy the peace at the moment

forgive everything 

all the mistakes and misunderstandings that happened today

they have all already happened, and become the past

just accept life as it is

forgive everything before going to sleep

Everyone has their own path

the separation will come after all the crossing of lives

we have to learn to accept the unpredictability and give ourselves a break

forgive everything before going to sleep

do not recall other’s mistake and misspeakings 

do not be the focusing point of negative emotions

or the starting point of the negative energy

No discomfort is needed.

forgive everything before going to sleep

you might have a lot of memories

but no matter what you remember

either a good or bad thought

forget all of them when you wake up, for you have no need to remember them

forgive everything before going to sleep

till the sun rises up next morning

the sunlight will fill your room

and your soul

when you open your eyes

you awake a new person

THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF OVER EATING, NOT JUST BECOMING OVER WEIGHT

Bad breath, bloating, sore throat, tooth grinding and drooling at night are symptoms we’ve all experienced, but have you ever thought it was from overeating?

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Most of people try to eat healthyfoods such as grains, high protein meats, and veggies, but, the action of eating is a huge spending of energy, and can often result in the symptoms above.
Do you know even as you eat food, you are being drained of your energy, and in a way, being consumed? 
Eating is a dynamic process of using the energy within our body to convert the food which we consume into more energy. The energy from our body creates various digestive enzymes which transforming grains, vegetables, fruits, and animal meat into our own flesh. In this process, the energy which was previously in the food is transformed into energy now in our body.
Eating certain healthy foods, will use a very small amount body energy, but on the other hand, eating unsuitable food, or eating too much, will consume a lot of body energy. When we don’t have enough energy to digest all the food we eat, the food we’re too tired to digest will stay in our body instead of being filtered for nutrients, and will be the direct factors to cause abnormal blood lipid, glucose, and uric acid, etc. After a continued amount of time, it can develop into serious diseases.
Remember: Your access to food may be unlimited, but the energy your body has isn’t.IMG_9017 
The key is to waste as little effort consuming and digesting food while intaking as much nutrients, or energy, as possible . To do this, we need to maintain the balance of the bod, and eat foods which contain things we lack. For example, daikon radish would be preferable for someone who over eats a lot, instead of more heavy foods. New mothers who have just delivered their new child should have a bowl of porridge made of red sorghum with dates, which can help remedy the loss of Qi and blood during birth.
One of the most important reason to eat healthy foods is: Foods all have their own purposes and natures. Let’s compare rice and wheat. Wheat symbolizes increased or accelerated nature, while rice symbolizes nature reduced or blocked. For people who easily lose their temper and have high blood pressure, rice is more suitable. On the other hand, for the people are always being tolerant instead of speaking out, and are hiding from being in public or are depressed, a wheat product will be a better choice. As you probably can now see, there is even huge difference between daily staples most people think are very similar, rice and wheat.
Sometimes the nature of our body is complicated, and hard to understand. In cases, a little help from TCM doctor can be necessary.
One more thing that needs to be mentioned is the preparation and cooking of food. Proper cooking can help us to finish the digestion and absorption job which would otherwise have to be done by the body, and is a great way to conserve energy. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal formula, “Promote Digest”, also known as the “Digest Ease Tablet” works wonderfully well for simple lack of digestion issues caused by overeating, but, if symptoms last, or if other discomfort appear,  you may need to contact a TCM doctor.

HOW TO OVERCOME A STUBBORN COUGH WITH CHINESE MEDICINE

This winter many people suffer from cold, some people even keep catching it for several time. The comman cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract which is associated with symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, an itchy or sore throat, cough, nasal congestion, fever, body aches or a mild headache. Everyone’s symptoms are slightly different because there are hundreds of different virus caused it.

Most people recover from a common cold in several days, but sometimes, a cough can linger for weeks even after the infection has cleared. This is because the airways may still be inflamed and sensitive to triggers like dry air, smoke and dust.

In traditional Chinese Medicine, we consider the common is lung dysfunction. The lung system disseminates protective qi over the body’s surface, which forms the first barrier against the invasion of external pathogens. Cold symptoms are the result of a battle between the protective qi and the external pathogens in the superficial portion of the body. Besides the body’s natural resistance, environment and seasonal factors play important roles in determining what pathogens are prevalent. Generally, wind evils are the leading pathogens and they are often accompanied by cold, heat or dryness evils, making people have different symptoms when they have a cold. When coughing becomes a major complaint, it means the pathogens have disturbed qi activities inside the lungs. TCM treatment for cough and cold symptoms in different stages:

  • Strenthen the protective qi to drive the pathogens through the body surface;
  • Smooth the Qi flows inside the organ;
  • Resume flow of normal secretions in the throat or airways.

Acupuncture & TCM herbal formular are tailor-made to target different aspects of the cold symptoms, promote a comprehensive healing process, that can suppress the urge to cough, soothe an itchy or sore throat, promote expectoration, relieve nasal congestion, ease breathing, and alleviate headache and fatigue. They deliver a general feeling of wellness, and will not induce the drowsiness or other unwanted side effects caused by antihistamines or decongestants.

Normally coughs caused by external pathogen invasion are not difficult to treat, but ineffective management of a cough can cause the cough develop into chronic,  long-term treatment.  Improper diet is one of the factors. Eating too many cold and raw foods will weaken the digestion system, make it produce phlegm and dampness which will disturb lung functioning; on the other hand, over-consumption of hot and spicy foods promote heat accumulation, which dries up the lungs and makes the mucus sticky and hard to expectorate. When this type of cough is associated with internal damage, there will be a long process to cure the cough.

MY JOURNEY TO TCM

Welcome to Nature’s Balance Acupuncture website. My name is Amy(Huimei) Zhang, California licensed acupuncturist. Before I moved to US, I lived in Tianjin China and studied Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. My journey at TCM has been long and interesting, My mother is a doctor of TCM so I have been around traditional Chinese medicine my whole life. I also studied medical laboratory technology and worked as a licensed medical lab scientist in a hospital for a while. I have three wonderful sons and a loving and supportive husband.

We moved back to China eight years ago when my youngest sons were born so I could be close to my family, and get my master degree in TCM. My parents and older brothers were helpful during our time there, and my husband and sons love Chinese culture.

Now I start my Acupuncture practice in Santa Cruz California, using this website to help to chronicle my business and my path forward in the amazing field of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

WHY VISITING A TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE PRACTITIONER?

In most of cases, people go to visit a healthcare provider when they feel sick or something is wrong. In the world of Chinese medicine, people are encouraged to consult with a TCM doctor before something goes wrong so that they may be advised how to maintain their health, optimize their well-being and prevent illness. The highest level TCM doctor are those who can prevent from the incoming disease of the patients.

It is a lot easier to do if you are relatively healthy to begin with. Why wait till you are thirsty before digging a well? But most of us wait, often times to our detriment.

Please see the story below to get further understanding of how TCM works:

BIAN QUE: LEGEND OF AN IMMORTAL MEDICAL SAGEEdited by Yun Zhongjun,Translated by Lu Lu | Web editor:大唐風 | 2013-06-14 22:27:54

Bian Que was a Chinese medical sage who created the four diagnostic methods. He was a legendary doctor in ancient times, though his real name Qin Yueren has gradually come to be forgotten. He was respectfully given the name Bian Que because of his amazing medical skills.

Bian Que learned medicine from Chang Sangjun and was given a special power to see people’s internal organs through their bodies. When he traveled through various states he told the King of Wei he was the worst doctor among his family members even though he was the most well known. The King of Wei then suddenly realized that prevention is better than a cure.

Bian Que (407 B.C. – 310 B.C.) lived in Bo Hai (now known as Qiu County, Hebei) during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. Because of his amazing medical skills that could bring back the dead, as well as providing accurate diagnosis, people respectfully called him Bian Que, a legendary doctor from the time of the Yellow Emperor.

As a youth Bian Que was taught medicine by an elder civilian doctor named Chang Sangjun. He studied diligently during his long-term medical practice until his knowledge and medical skills reached a superb level. They became absolute magic, leading to his good reputation as a Chinese medical sage that will forever be remembered.”

Que was the founder of Chinese medicine theory. He created the four diagnostic methods that are “Looking (at tongues and outside appearances), Listening (to the voice and breathing patterns), Inquiring (about symptoms), and Taking (the pulse)”. These four methods formed a complete diagnostic system of Chinese medicine. Bian Que is respected by the Chinese medical community as the founder of ancient medicine and the sage of Chinese medicine. He left many legendary stories during his lifetime. Among these, the most amazing story is that he could see internal body structures, including organs, with his naked eyes and his special powers. Even today there are many stories about Bian Que spreading among the Chinese. Examples include an apprenticeship served by Bian Que to Chang Sanjun, the enlightenment given by Bian Que to the King of Wei, Bian Que met with Duke Huan of Qi, and Bian Que angrily hurled stone needles. Such Chinese idioms as bringing the dying back to life and concealing malady for fear of taking medicine come from his stories as well.

FATE BRINGS SUPERIOR MEDICINE AND THE GAINING OF SUPERB MEDICAL SKILLS

Bian Que was born in the state of Qi. When he was young his family was not wealthy. He nevertheless cultivated himself to be diligent in character. He worked in an inn as a youth, welcoming and seeing off guests every day, being busy with all the rushing around. With his warmth and sincerity, diligence and consideration, the inn was managed in good order. At that time there was a long-stay traveler named Chan Sangjun in his inn, who had a very close friendship with Bian Que. One day Chang Sangjun told Bian Que: “I have some secret recipes. Because I am very old, and find you a very decent, honest, kind-hearted and diligent person, I want to impart my medical skills and secret recipes to you. But you should keep it secret, and not let anyone else know.”

Bian Que immediately asked Chang Sangjun to be his mentor. Chang Sangjun took a packet of medicine out of his pocket, and gave it to Bian Que. He said: “Divide this medicine into thirty parts. Take one every day with dew. You will see the effect in thirty days.” With these words, he gave all his treasured medical books and secret recipes to Bian Que. When Bian Que took them, he felt the excitement surging up in his heart, and could not help bursting into tears. When he was about to salute and pay homage, Chang Sangjun had already disappeared. Bian Que then knew that Chang Sangjun was no ordinary person. He took the medicine everyday as instructed. On the thirtieth day, he did not feel anything until he took the thirtieth part of the medicine. Suddenly he could see clearly the people in the next room through the wall. When he looked at the counterjumper standing next to him, all the counterjumper’s internal organs emerged in front of him, as if the counterjumper was transparent. Bian Que laughed in his heart, and did not call out. He read up on the medical books left by Chang Sangjun, and soon began to diagnose and treat his neighbors. With his skilled medical knowledge and extraordinary eyes, he eventually reached eminence as a doctor.

BETTER PREVENTION THAN CURE

After Bian Que became famous he traveled through the various countries as a doctor. Not only the king of each country, but also the common people received Bian Que’s treatments. In Handan he heard the local people respected women, so he became a gynecologist; in Luoyang, because the local people respected the elderly, he became a geriatrician; people in the state of Qin favored children, so he became a pediatrician there. He became famous wherever he went. One day the King of Wei asked Bian Que: “You and your brothers are skilled in medicine, but who is the best?” Bian Que said: “My eldest brother is the best, followed by my elder brother. I am the worst among the three of us.” The King of Wei did not catch on, and said: “Tell me more about it.”

Bian Que explained: “My eldest brother always cures disease before it actually attacks. At that time patients cannot feel the disease yet, but my brother will give them the medicine to uproot the disease. Therefore it is difficult for his medical skills to be accepted by people. That is the reason why he is not famous – but his skills are held in the highest esteem by our family. My elder brother cures patients when diseases have just started to attack them. At this point the symptoms are not obvious and the patients do not yet feel bad. The villagers therefore think my elder brother is skilled at treating minor ailments. The patients that I diagnose have been very sick and in great pain. Their families are burning with anxiety. At this point they will see me puncture their veins and channels with a needle, letting blood from them or applying poisons to fight poisons, or undertaking major surgery to re-sect lesion zones. Patients will be in remission or be cured very soon, so my name is heard around the world. The King of Wei suddenly realized what was written in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine was true – prevention is better than cure. People can only see appearances, while a good doctor can cure serious illness and take preventative measures.

Keywords :CHINESE CLASSICAL chinese medicine Chinese Wisdom

SOME THOUGHTS OF WINTER HEALTH CARE FROM TCM STANDPOINT

Traditional Chinese medicine is founded on the principle of Yin & Yang balance theory.

The following 15 days starting from today December 7 ( “Big Snow” season) is the time when Qi of Yin reaches its peak in the Chinese lunar calendar. It is the last period when the Qi of Yang starts to kick in.

During these 15 days, as it is getting colder, our body will react differently based on how much Yang energy we have preserved.

It is easier for those who have plenty of Yang energy, but for those that lack Yang energy, some extra warm food such as curry and red-pepper may needed.

The simple way to handle this is to add some spice which is full of hot energy into your vegetables and meat, such as onion, spring onion, ginger, cinnamon, red pepper, curry, star annex, etc. The food will be easier to digest with these spices full of Yang energy.

Advice to the people with cardio disease:

Winter is a hard season for people have Cardiovascular disease.

The severe cold weather can cause your blood vessels to shrink. For those who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood density, the shrink of blood vessel will make the blood clogging situation worse.

For these people, should reduce the meat intake to prevent more fat accumulation inside your blood vessel. Instead drinking some TCM tea formula with JueMingZi, SanQi, DanShen, and some moderate exercise to metabolize extra cholesterol are very important.

Advice to depression and anxiety:

Winter is also the season for the relapse of depression and anxiety, but their treatment is different.

For depression: Too much sun light will damage the skin, but too little is not good either. Less sunlight exposure will reduce the stimulation of growth factor, and cause the feeling of depression and unhappiness.

In the noon time, it is good to go outside to get some sun light, eat some colorful fruit like orange, tangerine, these seasonal fruits are the best gifts full of brightness and happiness from the nature.

Sometimes life is cruel to us, suffer through varies painful experience, all your scars is the riches experience. You can call the positive power in the universe to heal your past, that is unconditional love, a bright, kind, mercy, warm positive energy. So, listening some music from Mozart, or watching some movies full of positive influence are also very helpful.

For anxiety: insomnia

In TCM’s five element theory, winter stands for water and cold, too much cold water irritate the fire of the heart where our soul is hiding, and result in insomnia and anxiety. we can reduce the symptom through some simple methods at home:

1. Soaking your feet with warm water (about 110 Fahrenheit ) for about 30 mins till you feel all body warm up before you go to bed.Press the point YongQuan (1/3 of the bottom of your foot) to advocate foot blood circulation. This method will help the insomnia patient with cold hand and feet .Note: not recommend for diabetes patients or people have wound and cut on the feet.

2. Put a warm towel in your belly GuanYuan point (3 inches below belly button) to help blood circulation too.

3. Using Moxibustion treatment for your GuanYuan point.

Advice for nocturnal enuresis:

Nocturnal enuresis can be caused by weak kidney Qi. Winter coldness make it worse. Keep yourself warm all the time. The care advice for people suffering from insomnia is also suitable for here.

Many diseases that get worse in the winter are related with deficiency of Yang Qi. That is why we need to keep our body warm in the winter, and make some adjustment of our lifestyle – dress warm, eat warm food, and plenty of sleep.

Talking of sleep, I would like to add a couple of words here.

In an ancient TCM book thousands years ago, it recommend us to sleep follow the sunlight cycle.

In another word, when sun goes down, we need to go to bed, then get up next morning when the sun rise up. This is the best way to keep you healthy. In winter, it is naturally has longer night, so we should sleep a little longer accordingly to restore all the energy.

Do you have any questions I can answer? Feel free to contact me!

Amy Zhang

Phone: 831-515-8068.

THE ORIGIN OF TCM

pic1Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)  is a direct descendant of one of the oldest and continuously practiced systems of medicine in the world, and can trace its roots back 2500 years. Ancient Chinese realized human being can live a healthy long life if their life style harmonizing with the universe.  The treatment is the adjustment of time and space of your body through acupuncture, herbal medicine, and many other method to get body to its original balance, the harmony inside and outside with universe. It developed to a very sophisticated and rational system of medicine over years, and helped Chinese going through all the plague, famine, and many other natural disasters.Today, TCM continue to develop in modern and exciting way, and is widely utilized around the world by more than a billion people. It is truly a world class medicine system! Hopefully the modern technology can be advanced enough to explain the mechanism of TCM in the near future

SHED AWAY HOLIDAY WEIGHT WITH PU’ER TEA

Some studies show that on average Americans can gain a pound or two weight a week during the holidays.  How do you think 5 or 10 pounds of holiday lumps, bumps, and humps look on  you when you see yourself in the mirror? The good news is if you drink Pu’er tea, it will help you digest the fat after a heavy meal.

Scientific studies report that consumption of pu’er tea leaves significantly suppressed the expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS) in the livers of rats. Gains in body weight, levels of triacylglycerol, and total cholesterol were also suppressed. The compositions of chemical components found to have been responsible for these effects are found in pu’er tea.

Specific mechanisms through which chemicals in pu’er tea inhibit the biosynthesis of cholesterol in the laboratory have been suggested, such as polyphenols. Small amounts of the cholesterol-reducing drug lovastatin have been measured in ripe tea samples.

Here is a web page talk more details about Pu-er tea.

http://www.teavivre.com/info/pu-erh-tea-weight-loss/

Hopefully every one is healthy everyday including holidays without worrying about weight gain !

 

HOW CAN YOU RECOVER FROM THE COMMON COLD?

This holiday season, many of my friends complained that they did not enjoy their holiday because they caught a cold. This made me think that there must be more people that I don’t know who couldn’t enjoy their holiday because of the cold also.

In fact, having a cold is not a big deal. But it can prevent you from doing many fun activities with your family, and affect your work too. So how should we deal with cold if you get it by pure bad luck?

Based on TCM theory, any factor can clog the meridian flow, weaken our body defense system, or make things outside your body attack it. These factors include COLDNESS, which can clog the Qi & Blood flow because of low temperature, HEAT, which dries out the liquid of the flowing system, and DAMPNESS, which is sticky and paralyses the flow.

Other things that can weaken our body system include WIND, DRYNESS, etc. These can make our body feel even worse, adding on to the effect of the original outer body dangers.

Different factors cause different type of cold sickness symptoms. In this season, the major attacking factor is COLDNESS, sometimes with Dampness as well. When Coldness attacks, it normally has several stages:

First stage:  Attack the surface of bodypost2

You will sneeze, and have a running nose. But if you pay attention, you will realize that the mucus is not yellow. Sometimes this will also give y ou a cough, make you feel colder than usual, or both.

In this stage, using medicine is not necessary.  Some simple tricks can cure you, but this stage is really short, making most people miss this best healing time.

Anything that can make your body warm up is good for this stage. For example, drinking ginger tea with brown sugar, using heating pad on C7 (7th Cervical Vertebra) on your neck, soaking your feet in hot water, etc. 

There are some Chinese herbs you can take to help drive the cold out of your body. The key point is this stage is really short, usually less than a day. If you do not heal by this stage, it will get to the next one.

Stage #2: Outside cold, inside hot

Most people will go into the second stage before they realized it. In Stage #2, you will sneeze, have a running nose (some people will have yellow mucus), sore throat, little fever, tired, muscle ache, and deeper cough.

Even at this point, TCM have herb combinations that can be used to drive the cold out, and to evacuate the heat inside your body. If the throat hurts, eating some daikon radish soap or even raw slice daikon radish can help.

Stage #3: Heat burst inside and out

In this stage the patient will have high fever, a very sore throat, a lot of yellow mucus, and a deep cough into the chest. This means that you did not successfully defense yourself from the coldness attack, which can cause upper respiratory tract infection, even pneumonia. Doctors help is necessary now. You should not deal with it by yourself any more.

Stage #4: Back to Cold

In this stage your fever will be gone, but you still won’t be fully recovered. You might have a little stuffed nose still, a chill once after a while, or a sneeze here or there, but most uncomfortable symptoms should be all gone. Many people think they are fine, so stop taking care of themselves. This can cause people to develop Sinusitis and other problems just because of ignorance.

Some herbs such as JingJie, ChenPi, JieGeng, QianHu, XinYi, and BaiZhi, can help the recovery.

Stage #5: Weak digestion system

In TCM theory, the reason you catch a cold in the first place is because your body isn’t strong enough to resist the disease. Most energy you absorbed into your body was through your digestion system. So after a battle fighting the sickness, the body energy is low, and we need to nourish and boost up the digestion system.

Yam is well known in Chinese culture for strengthening the digestion system. Also eating porridge with multi-grains is always easy on your stomach after a sickness. Grains are also seeds, which have concentrated energy.

Many TCM treatment methods can help to speed up the recovery, such as acupuncture, cupping, TuiNa massage, and Guasha etc, but nothing is as good as taking care of your body by yourself before you get sick!

I hope all the loving people of the world have a healthy 2017!