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As a reader of my blog, you’ll recognize a common thread: Balance = Good Health! The body knows this, instinctively, and is constantly adjusting so as to right itself and stay in the state of stasis. In Chinese medicine, one of the goals is to balance heating and cooling aspects of the body.  Now, as we move past the hottest summer on record, most of us are thankfully packing away thoughts of heat along with our window AC units.  But not so fast! Heat, in this case, refers not only to the environmental temperature but also your body. Our bodies possess qualities of heating and cooling. Health problems can occur if the heating and cooling goes out of balance.  That’s why

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Traditional Chinese Medicine has a long history of promoting longevity and treating age related conditions. Recently, research shows that Chinese medicine therapies such as herbs, acupuncture, and tai ji all have antioxidant capabilities. Oxidative stress can be understood as an imbalance between the creation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the body’s ability to detoxify through antioxidants and other mechanisms.[1]  Health in TCM is based upon the idea of balance which can be understood as a homeostatic state.[2] Herbal Antioxidants Traditional Chinese medicine has long focused on longevity and improving health for those with age related diseases such as arthritis, joint pain, senility, and maturing skin. Recently, scientists have theorized that herbs which enhance and boost yin and yang properties

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As an acupuncturist I know that digestive health is central to feeling good and preventing illness. Unfortunately, if you have irritable Bowel Syndrome you know you can have bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and lots of other uncomfortable symptoms that stop you from feeling good. In addition to acupuncture for IBS, there’s a lot you can start doing today to help yourself feel better. 1. Acupressure at the acupressure point Stomach 36 can help reduce IBS symptoms. This point is one of the most important and frequently used acupuncture points. It helps regulate your GI tract to stimulate gastric motility and can be used to treat all the IBS symptoms. I tell my patients to massage this point daily for 30

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The idea of qi has both mystical and practical aspects.  In Chinese philosophy, qi (pronounced “chee,” and is sometimes spelled “chi.”) is an energy that is in all things in the universe and comprises the building blocks of the universe.  Trees, rocks, and mountains all have a specific type of qi. It is the universal energy present in all of nature. In Chinese medicine qi is the body’s energy is a very practical concept. Qi is the energy we use to keep us healthy. It allows us to work, grow, exercise, and reproduce. Imbalances in the qi can lead to many health issues. Qi circulates through channels in the body. In Chinese medicine, it is said “When the qi flows there

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Yin and Yang, Balance as Health One of my secret indulgences is watching food television programs. In a recent international baking competition, the American team created a cake based on the theme of yin and yang. It occurred to me that what started as a Chinese philosophy has now become a part of the world’s vocabulary, but few people understand this concept in the context of Chinese philosophy and medicine. Origins of Yin and Yang Originally, the terms yin and yang referred to the two faces of a sun-bathed mountain. They called the sunlit face yang and the shady side yin. Philosophers observed that while these two sides are opposites, they are inextricably linked. When there is light, there is

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Many people with chronic headaches take pain killers almost daily. A report from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the United Kingdom states that taking too many pain killers is actually making your headaches worse. The guidelines define overuse of pain medication for more than 15 days out of the month. Types of chronic headaches include migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches among others. What happens is the nervous system becomes accustom to the medication, which makes it require more and more medication for relief. But taking more of the medication may actually lead to another more intense headache.  This can lead to a cycle of headaches and pain relievers causing more headaches. The guidelines suggest that

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By Hannah & Joe Plans are made to be broken. Knowing this, when anybody asked us if we had a birth plan, one of the staples of contemporary childbirth, we always said we just want him to be healthy. But the truth is we had more plans than we were willing to admit. It was assumed that we would have a natural childbirth following the traditions of Hannah’s family. When Hannah was six months pregnant, we started a Bradley childbirth classes, which reinforced our assumptions and underlying suspicions of medicalized birth in the United States. These assumptions shaped our decision to give birth with a midwife at a birth center. Our birth class challenged many of the ideas and images

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The itch in atopic dermatitis can take over your life. It is so intense, those with atopic eczema of wake up scratching. And after your scratch, the skin becomes more inflamed, itchy, dry, and lichenified. Most people with atopic eczema have a family history eczema, hay fever, and asthma. Allergies to foods, mold, or irritant substances may cause a flare in the condition (1). Atopic eczema is increasing rapidly in industrialized countries. Atopic eczema is treated most often with topical steroids that suppress the inflammatory response. Unfortunately, steroids also have many side effects. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help reduce eczema naturally. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine approach to Atopic Eczema Traditionally, Chinese medicine called eczema the “wind of four crooks”

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We are happy to announce the new home of Alban Acupuncture at 124 East 40th Street, Suite 902, New York, NY.  We are conveniently located in Midtown close to Grand Central. Our new expanded beautiful office has many features to better serve our patients including a larger waiting room and 5 spacious treatment rooms. Nearby transportation includes the 4, 5, 6, S, 7, and Metro North at Grand Central Terminal. Also, I’ve found the walk to 6th Ave/Bryant park trains (B,D,F,M) is pretty quick (5-6 minutes). Please call us at 212.319.5757 to make an appointment.

Yesterday, an acupressure student of mine asked “What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?”. This is a good question that deserves a proper explanation. Chinese herbal therapies have been used for centuries for improving health and treating disease. Chinese herbs work to bring the body’s systems back into balance so the body can heal itself, naturally. The Chinese herbal pharmacy consists of over 500 herbs. Herbs are taken as combinations of 5-15 medicinal substances, which is called an herbal formula. Each formula is tailored to correct the specific imbalance that is the cause of the illness. The herbal formula can be taken in a number of forms: raw herbs, pills, tinctures, or granules. “Raw herbs” are dried herbs which are then cooked

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