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Eat and Cook Your Vegetables

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Nobody debates that a healthy diet includes a lot of vegetables. But how to eat them is another story. Chinese medicine has long been an advocate of eating cooked vegetables over raw. This is because cooked vegetables are easier to digest, allowing the body to more easily absorb the nutrients. And cooked vegetables are easier on the digestive system preventing unwanted symptoms like bloating (more on this below). In this week’s Times, an article examines how cooking vegetables can improve their vitamin absorbability. As one can expect, not all vegetables or vitamins in the vegetables act alike. For example, boiling and steaming vegetables can help with the release of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, and K as

Acupuncture Helps Prevent Colds

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During the change of seasons a lot of people are worried about getting sick. I am cautious too, because during the change of seasons we are especially vulnerable; a sneeze, cough, or a cold wind can easily give you a cold. Acupuncture can help prevent a cold by improving your immunity through boosting your energy, or qi. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are powerful therapies to build up immunity and qi. How Are Qi and Immunity Related? As you all know, the immune system is responsible for protecting you from all types of invaders like viruses and bacteria. In Chinese medicine, immunity comes from qi, the body’s energy. Qi is similar to our general idea of energy in the West. It

Breathing Exercises for Stress Relief and Relaxation

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Back in eighth grade, Mr. Hankinson, our shell-shocked gym teacher, used to yell in my ear, “Stand up straight, stick your chest out. Why are you breathing with your belly? Only BABIES breathe with their bellies. Breath into your chest like a MAN.” He was right. Babies do breath into their abdomen. But good old Mr. Hankinson did not know that belly breathing is more natural and relaxing. Breathing with your belly maximizes the use of your diaphragm muscle, which is located between the chest and abdomen, and is the primary muscle of respiration. Natural diaphragm breathing does not draw air into your stomach, but rather contracts the diaphragm, causing the abdomen to rise and fall. This reduces the use

What is an Acupuncture Point?

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The science of acupuncture is fascinating and there is a lifetime of exploring to be done.  Yet, it does not tell us completely about the power of Acupuncture and Chinese medicine.  The power of acupuncture lies in the theory behind acupuncture and the skill of the acupuncturist in applying it. The skill and success of the practitioner is based upon how they apply this theory. Acupuncture Channels and Qi Flow The core of acupuncture theory is the channel system and network. Some people like to describe the channels like the meridians on a globe revealing the geographic relationship between parts of the body. They are somewhat different than meridians, because while they travel on the surface of the skin, they

The Best Acupuncturist in New York City

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Who is the best Acupuncturist in New York City? This is a great question, but impossible question to answer. Just like there is no one best physician for every condition, there is no best acupuncturist for every health concern. It is really about finding the best acupuncturist for your needs. There are a few questions to consider. 1. What is their Education and Experience? Education and experience are obviously important factor for being a good clinician and acupuncturist. After finishing Touro’s Graduate Program in Oriental Medicine, which is a 4 years master’s degree, I continued on to a postgraduate training in China at the Hunan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. When I came back to become an NYC Acupuncturist, I

Acupuncture Treats Depression

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Acupuncture is a holistic medicine which works to treat both the mind and the body.  Acupuncture is very effective at treating depression without medications or side effects.  Recently, a new study shows that acupuncture treatment for depression not only works quickly but also has long lasting results. In this study, 755 patients were given acupuncture, psychological counseling, or standard care which is depression medications. After only 3 months with an average of 10 visits, the depression levels in the acupuncture group were significantly less than in the group that took medications. This reduction in depression was not only fast but it remained constant at a 1 year follow up from the acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture for Depression Acupuncture treatment for depression

Got a cold? Herbs can help

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Most people think that Chinese medicine is used only for chronic health problems, but it can be very effective for acute problems, like relieving and preventing colds. In fact, Chinese medicine has been relieving and preventing colds for thousands of years. Herbs can help relieve your sore throat, coughing, headaches, fatigue, chills and fever. The key is using the right formula at the right stage of your cold. Before taking Chinese herbs, ask your acupuncturist or Chinese medicine doctor which one is right for you. Gan Mao Ling- Gan Mao Ling translates to the common cold pills. This herbal formula helps to fight minor colds as well as prevent you from getting a cold if something is going around. It

Samuel Lewis Alban Gurman Birth Story

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

Acupuncture Takes Care of a Back Spasm

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I used to have back pain and back spasms on a regular basis. Thanks to acupuncture and tai ji practice I have not had a back spasm in years. Until last week. A lot has been going on recently with me, moving into our new acupuncture office, we remodeled our apartment, and we have a little one on the way. I’ve had a lot on my mind. Also the New York weather has been humid which tightens my back muscles. When my back seized up, the pain was mostly on the right side of my lumbar. My lower back was so tight I could not stand straight and the pain was intense in my lumbar and sacrum. I could barely

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is experiencing a revitalization as a healthy tonic beverage. While only recently gaining the popular spotlight, kombucha is believed to have first developed in China over 2000 years ago.  From there it spread throughout Asia, and within the last century, to the West. Some have said that kombucha can help with many types of illnesses, from insomnia, to poor digestion, and even reduce of gray hairs.  So does it do all that?  Let’s start with a little background. What is kombucha? Kombucha is a delicious fermented tea beverage. Its taste is both sweet and sour. Known as hóngchájùn (red tea fungus) in Chinese, the English word has been traced to Japanese etymology. The term “red tea fungus” can be