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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

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

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”

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.

Qi is the body’s energy (Qi is pronounced “chee,” and is sometimes spelled “chi.”) There is a mystical aspect to qi. In Chinese philosophy, qi is the building blocks of the universe. Energy combines and multiplies. It is the universal energy present in all living things as well as nature. But there is a practical aspect to qi as well. 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 needs to be abundant and circulate through channels in the body or else illness occurs. In Chinese medicine, it is said “When the qi flows there is no pain, when

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

Mushrooms are phenomenally versatile organisms.  Some are delicious, some are remarkable medicine, and some are both. When it comes to mushrooms to lower cholesterol, you can have your mushroom and eat it too! How can mushrooms lower cholesterol? Mushrooms are inherently good at lowering cholesterol due to their high fiber and protein content.  Mushrooms make great protein substitutes for high cholesterol foods.  For example in Asian cuisine, mushrooms are often mixed in a meat dish which reduces the amount of meat that is eaten and adds flavor. Shiitake Mushrooms Shiitake mushrooms in particular have cholesterol lowering abilities as medicinal mushrooms.1  This ability to reduce cholesterol is due to eritadenine, a component of shiitake. Eritadenine helps to increase the excretion of

Every year in early October I blog about home remedies for the common cold.  That’s because every year my patients come into the office coughing, sneezing, and with sore throats and ask me what to do. Fortunately I don’t get a cold this time of year because I know a few techniques to prevent it. Why do people get colds during the change of seasons? Acupuncture and Chinese medicine explain that you are more susceptible to a cold because body’s energy, or qi, is stressed. The qi is responsible for your immune functioning.  So when your qi is taxed, your immune system is also slightly run down. How to boost your qi?   The good news is that there are

This morning NPR ran an interesting story discussing weight loss and food choices for women of the Baby Boomer generation. The take home message is simple, focus on what you can eat.  Rather than bemoaning all the desserts and rich foods you cannot indulge in, think about increasing the fruits and vegetables.  This will help you to be satisfied so it is easier to cut down on dessert.  Not that you can’t have dessert, but a smaller portion and less often is better. Simple choices and voila, you have yourself a healthy diet.  These healthy habits will follow you around, even when going out to eat at a restaurant.  

Acupressure is the massage of acupressure points and channels.   I often use acupressure and tui na (Chinese medical massage) combined with with acupuncture in my clinic. Acupressure in context To really understand how acupressure works, we have to see it as part of the whole of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Chinese medicine dates back thousands of years.  The first book of Chinese medicine is called the Huang di nei jing, or the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Cannon.    The book is a conversation between the Yellow Emperor and his doctor, named Qi Bo.  Qi bo explains that health comes from a state of balance within the body, and between the body and the environment.  To prevent illness, people should live a balanced