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Skin diseases are one of the most common reasons to see your doctor. Yet, they are often stubborn conditions which do not respond to medications.  Or even worse the medications have side effects. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offers a natural and effective treatment for many skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, perioral dermatitis, and others. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine has been treating skin diseases for at least 3000 years. The treatment of many skin diseases were discussed in the first known book of Chinese medicine, The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing). In the thousands of years since, Chinese medicine doctors and scholars discussed and debated the best approaches to treatment of skin conditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine Understanding

The heat and humidity this year is strong.  Not only is it uncomfortable, many find that their headaches are increased during the hot and humid summer. I previously wrote a post explaining how acupuncture understands the connection between hot weather and headaches. Read more about acupuncture treatment of headaches: The Causes of Migraine Headaches Acupuncture Treatment of Headaches and Migraines

The Meaning of Zhen Jiu ( 针灸) Acupuncture is not just acupuncture.  In fact, the word for acupuncture in Chinese, Zhen Jiu, actually  translates to “acupuncture and moxibustion”  which shows how central moxibustion is within acupuncture. Moxibustion is the warming of acupuncture points or needles.  Most often, this is done through burning an herb called mugwort.  It can also be done with heat lamps as well as herbal lotions. In my office, we use smokeless moxibustion because it is treated and does not create much smoke. How does Moxibustion work? Just like with acupuncture, moxibustion focuses on correcting the underlying imbalance in the body. Because it is warming, generally moxibustion is used when there is cold in the body.  Moxibustion

Winter is here.  It comes as no surprise that the cold and damp weather means achy and painful joints and an exacerbation of arthritis. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have understood this seasonal phenomena for thousands of years.  According to acupuncture, cold and damp can become stuck in the joints disrupting the normal function and circulation which leads to pain. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine work to warm the body and increase circulation leading to a decrease in pain.  Warming the acupuncture points and acupuncture channels helps to dislodge the cold. How can acupuncture warm the joints? In the west, most people think of acupuncture as the use of acupuncture needles with acupuncture points.  But really, acupuncture therapy encompasses much more. In

“And when you do find one, observe with care…they almost always have crystals in their hearts.” From Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez To understand Chinese medicine better, we also have to think about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine conceptualize and describe the body. The Language of Acupuncture and Chinese medicine Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine is a comprehensive medical system with it own diagnosis and treatment.  The terminology and language is also unique. Sometimes, acupuncture language may sound a little magical.  We may say that a headache is caused by liver qi stagnation in one person but in another person it may be from heat.  Similarly, anxiety can come from heart blood vacuity but it

Observing the tongue and taking the pulse are two of the most common diagnostic techniques in Chinese medicine. Why look at the tongue? Chinese medicine uses diagnostic approaches, like the tongue and the pulse, because they reflect the imbalances that are causing your health problem. What are we looking for in the tongue? When I am looking at the tongue, I am looking at the the color of the tongue, the size and shape of the tongue body, and the coating on top of the tongue. If the tongue is very red, or very pale that can show there is heat, or qi deficiency. If the tongue body is purplish, it can show stagnation, a lack of circulation in the

It takes many years for an acupuncturist to develop skills in taking the pulse.  A properly trained and skilled acupuncturist can find out a lot from your pulse. The pulse is a significant aspect the Chinese medicine diagnosis process. The pulse reflects the imbalances in the body and the strength of the body’s energy.  This helps to determine the root cause of your health concern. What does an acupuncturist look for in the pulse? The pulse is a reflection of the what is going on inside the body.  As an acupuncturist, when I take the pulse, I don’t just thin about if it is too fast or slow.  I am looking for is it very strong, or very weak, is

It is officially hot here in New York City. Chinese medicine has many remedies to cool down and reduce the risk of heat conditions in the summer.  One of my favorite secrets is a cooling herbal tea made of chrysanthemum flowers and gou ji berries. The Summertime Eight Treasures tea is also another way to cool the body down.  This tea has a couple more herbs like yi yi ren and bai zhu to drain dampness as well.  Good to humid environments like NYC.

These days I am getting a lot of people inquiring about acupuncture treatment for April Allergies.  Just look around, the trees are in bloom and April allergies are in full swing. Often, new patients are curious about how acupuncturists treat allergies.   Where do you do the acupuncture?   What is the acupuncture doing?  If I have nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes, and a headache, why are you looking at my tongue?  Are there any good herbs for April allergies?… Here are your answers… Where do you do the acupuncture? Because the body is connected by acupuncture channels, also called acupuncture meridians, acupuncturist do not always have to treat where you are feeling the symptoms.  Most often the acupuncture points I use

April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland In New York City, we love April. It is the time to come out of winter hibernation and breathe the fresh air again. But as T.S. Eliot writes, April is also has the potential to be cruel. Chinese medicine physicians over the generations caution about the cruelty of April. The weather changes frequently so it is a time which we can easily get sick. The warmer weather also creates an environment for heat which builds up in the body over the winter to come out in spring. This can lead to allergies and spring