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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

Eye twitching is annoying.   A fluttering eye will buzz on and off throughout the day causing distraction and frustration.  Sometimes, the fluttering can be quite strong leading to total closing of the eye and impairing your vision. Most often eye twitching is caused by stress, fatigue, use of alcohol, or irritation of the eye.  In some, the eye twitch becomes chronic which is called benign essential blepharospasm.   Benign essential blepharospasm not only is annoying but can lead to periodic trouble seeing. In a very small number of individuals, chronic eye twitching is a sign of  a neurological condition.  If the eye twitching goes on for many weeks, it is best to consult a physician or healthcare professional. Acupuncture and acupressure

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used to treat skin conditions for thousands of years. While Perioral Dermatitis is a newly recognized disease, only about 35 years old, the Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments for similar skin conditions remain helpful in addressing the condition. Symptoms of Perioral Dermatitis Perioral Dermatitis is a skin disorder which causes an erythema (redness of the skin), red bumps (called papules and pustules), and scaling. Perioral Dermatitis can look like acne, although it is not the same condition. As the name infers, the most common locations of Perioral Dermatitis include around the mouth, on the chin, cheeks, and next to the nose. It can also occur around the eyes or on the eyelids, which is referred to

Patients in my New York Acupuncture clinic are always curious how acupuncturists choose the correct acupuncture points.  There are a number of ways to choose the acupuncture points. The basic idea with acupuncture is to correct the underlying imbalance in the body.  This can help to stimulate the body to heal itself.  We acupuncturists will determine the imbalance by our examination.  For example, if there is lack of circulation  of the energy, what we call qi stagnation, we’ll choose points to move the qi.  A common combination for moving the qi is Liv 3 and LI 4. I find that acupuncture is most effective by changing the focus of the treatment overtime. At first, we may focus on releasing tension

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

This is the second article in a series focusing on acupuncture for the treatment of back pain. This is a case explaining how acupuncture can treat back pain after a car accident. The patient is a young man in his early thirties who came to me for acupuncture for his back pain after being in a car accident.  The car accident had occurred over 2 years before he began treatment.  Despite therapy, the pain persisted.  The pain and tightness was focused in his lower back that sometimes radiated down his legs. His back pain was very persistent, although he had no disc problems or nerve impairments diagnosed on his MRI. The pain was very intense, it hurt all day during

Sleep.  We are supposed to spend one third of our lives sleeping.  But for many people, that’s a lot easier said than done. In fact, up to 58% of adults in America complain of having trouble sleeping. Insomnia is an issue that most of my patients experience.   Actually, this is not so surprising because many chronic illnesses and pain are also associated with insomnia. Can acupuncture treat insomnia? Yes, acupuncture is helpful to reduce those sleepless nights. Just like other conditions, treatment of chronic insomnia should address root imbalance that is causing the condition. The root treatment addresses the heart, liver-gallbladder, and stomach.  The heart houses the spirit, yin and blood deficiency will irritate the spirit causing insomnia characterized by

Acupuncture is a becoming a popular choice for helping to reduce seasonal allergies. Acupuncture offers an effective drug free treatment.  So you can smell the flowers without worrying about being too drowsy and foggy brained. Acupuncture is different than taking a pill Antihistamines are commonly taken for allergies.  These are medicines which block the chemicals called histamines that cause the symptoms of allergies. Acupuncture is different.  Chinese medicine works by correcting imbalances in your body, stimulating your own body to heal itself.  So instead of simply suppressing the body’s reaction, it works to correct the root cause of the problem. In other words, acupuncture helps to reset the body and remind it how to be healthy.  As balance is achieved,