Posts Tagged ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine’
Jan 24, 2011
What Causes Acne?
Acne is a disorder of the hair follicle sebaceous gland. This gland can get clogged up with proteins and oils from the skin. The clogged pore develops into a pimple, a white head or a blackhead.
The pimple allows for a situation which bacteria can take advantage. When the pimple becomes infected, it leads to inflammation, and the acne cycle begins. Clogged pores and bacteria lead to more inflammation and more acne. The pimples become what is called a papule, a pus filled lesion. In some people this develops into large painful pimples, commonly referred to as cysts.
Acupuncture, topical herbs, and internal herbal formulas can help reduce this cycle of acne development by regulating hormones that effect skin secretions, decreasing inflammation and reducing infection.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach to Acne
In Chinese medicine, acne is most often associated with imbalances called heat, dampness, and blood stagnation. The correct analysis and treatment of these imbalances leads to the long lasting improvement. The imbalances can develop from stress, interaction with the environment, hormonal changes, or other causes.
Dampness- Dampness is the main cause of white heads and black heads. People with dampness generally have oily skin and may sweat a lot. Dampness may occur from hormonal imbalances which is why teenagers often get acne. It is also the reason that stress may lead to acne, because stress can have a profound effect on hormones. Acupuncture and herbs that treat dampness help to decrease oiliness on the skin and regulate the hormone imbalances.
Heat - Heat imbalances are reflected in red skin, red inflamed papules and possibly pustules scabs and crusts. This is very common with those suffering from acne. If there is very bad inflammation, it is called “heat toxicity.” This is the Chinese medicine way of describing infection and inflammation in the skin. The acupuncture and herbs that clear away the heat have been shown to have many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Blood Stagnation- Blood stagnation occurs from long term clogging of the pores. Purplish skin and purple raised lesions is the main sign of blood stagnation. Herbs that help with blood stagnation help to increase circulation in the area to release the clogged pore.
I would be happy to speak with you more about how acupuncture can help reduce your acne and break the cycle of breakouts. Call 917-887-4946 or e-mail us to make an appointment.
Jan 18, 2011
If you are a reader of my blog and articles, you know that I am interested not only in the clinical effects of acupuncture, but also acupuncture research, and physiology of acupuncture. This is why it is unfortunate that there is a lack of studies for acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment of Interstital Cystitis, a condition which I have very positive clinical result with acupuncture.
There is one published case study which describes the acupuncture treatment course of a 31 year old women with IC for 5 years. The treatment was very effective, over a course of 10 treatments there was a substantial reduction in pain and Interstitial Cystitis symptoms. More work like this should be published along with larger trials, and different approaches. There is also a very good article published at ITM Online about acupuncture for IC describing the theory of acupuncture and Chinese medicine for interstital cystitis.
There is a review of Complementary and Alernative medicine (CAM) therapies for IC which was published in 2002. It covers many different approaches to treatment and management, including acupuncture, Chinese herbal remedies, physical therapy, biofeedback, amongst others. They conclude, and I agree, that a combination approach is often the most effective method for at managing this condition. Which is why I combine acupuncture, acupressure, and sometimes, herbal remedies for my patients with interstital cystitis.
On the other hand, grouping so many different therapies into one analysis makes it difficult to explore any one of the modalities on its own. Each of the different CAM approaches, like acupuncture, homeopathy, and physical therapy have their own theories of diagnosis and treatment. Each must be examined on their own. Which bring me back to my original point, the unfortunate state that there has not been much research on acupuncture or Traditional Chinese Medicine for IC.
Sep 1, 2010
Joseph completed a hospital residency at the First Traditional Chinese Medicine Teaching Hospital of the Hunan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in 2006. He trained with leading physicians in the acupuncture, Chinese Medicine Dermatology, and tui na (medical massage) departments. In 2012, he received the Avicenna Diploma in Chinese Medicine Dermatology from world renowned expert Mazin Al-Khafaji.
In 2009-2010, Joseph received a prestigious training grant from the National Institute of Health Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine research. He completed this training in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Pediatric Allergy and Immunology department. His research focused on the holistic aspects of Chinese medicine to heal the whole person, by treating the main illness as well as addressing the depression and anxiety that often accompany it.
Joseph has authored many journal articles and has been featured in magazines such as Time Out New York, Acufinder Magazine, and Acupuncture Today. He lectures regularly on using Chinese medicine for self healing.
He graduated from Touro College’s Graduate Program in Oriental Medicine obtaining an Masters of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. In addition to clinical training in China, he has worked at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.
In addition to maintaining a busy clinical practice and academic interests, Joseph practices Wu Style Tai Ji and Qi gong.
Sep 1, 2010
Alban Acupuncture PC is the New York City acupuncture clinic of Joseph Alban, M.S, L.Ac. We are conveniently located in Midtown New York near Grand Central Station on 40th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Joseph has been in practice for seven years and has significant experience treating chronic pain, sports injuries, and skin conditions. Joseph combines acupuncture, tui na, and Chinese herbal remedies to help individuals find relief from illness and imbalance. Click here for more on Joseph’s experience and philosophy.
Our new office, located at 40th and Lexington in Manhattan, was designed to create a beautiful and calming environment. Our office features specially designed sound panels mounted on the walls which soften sounds in the office and prevent outside sounds from coming in. Its the perfect place for rest, healing, and wellbeing. Feel free to come early and enjoy a cup of tea before your appointment.
Please call us at 917.887.4946 or click below to
request an appointment.
We will respond within 3 hours during our normal business hours. We make our best attempts to schedule you as quickly as possible within your preferred time frame.
We have early morning and late evening hours to accommodate your busy schedule. We are very prompt with our appointment scheduled. We do not accept walk in appointments.
We do not have appointments on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Last minute cancellations are difficult make it difficult to manage our busy patient schedule. In order to reduce last minute cancellations, we have a 24 hour cancellation policy.
Mar 17, 2009
The choice to be a vegetarian varies from person to person. Some are religious, spiritual, philosophical, or for health. I think it is healthy for many people to be a vegetarian, as long as they make healthy food choices. At the same time, it takes work in order to build up the nutrients which we find in meat.
Just to answer your question before you ask it, I am personally not a vegetarian, but I do not eat very much meat because it is better for my health and the environment.
What does meat do in Chinese medicine?
From a Chinese medicine perspective, eating meat, particularly red meat, builds blood. And blood deficiency, or too little blood, is a primary concern for those who are vegetarians. Although the Western diagnosis of anemia is often a “blood deficiency” in Chinese medicine, blood deficiency does not always signal anemia. But, of course, for some, it is important to eat red meat to avoid getting anemia.
Blood in Chinese medicine is very similar to Western medicine, but it also has some different functions. Blood is required for healthy growth, reproduction, emotional well-being, and pain free muscles and joints. When there is a blood deficiency, you may have a pale complexion, insomnia, thinning hair, as well as tightness is muscle and tendons. Blood and qi, the body’s vital energy, are intertwined, which is why after a long period of blood deficiency, the person may feel fatigued.
Vegetarians should eat a wide variety of foods to get all the required nutrients. If there is a problem of blood deficiency, they should pay particular attention to eating foods which nourish qi and blood. Look at the cultures that are vegetarian, like some Indian traditions. They eat many different vegetables, beans, sometimes dairy products, and spices which make their diet very healthy.
For some people who are having issues related to their vegetarianism, food therapy can be effective. This type of approach is gradual and improvements happen slowly over time. Sometimes, Chinese herbs and acupuncture may be required for specific conditions.
Building Blood and Qi for Vegetarians- Add these foods to your regular food choices to help build blood and qi. Many of the following foods can be found in an East Asian and/or Indian grocery.
White mushroom- promotes digestion and builds qi
Shitake Mushrooms- builds qi and blood and can also enhance the immune system
Hei Er Mu or Black ear mushrooms- these mushrooms are great for building qi
Bai Er Mu or White Ear Mushroom- this mushroom is good for building qi
Grains and Beans
Tofu- this is good tonifying qi, but it can be cold and should be cooked with warming vegetables. I love a brand called Local Tofu, which is close to New York City in the lower Hudson Valley.
Darker beans such as Adzuki, lotus seed and mung bean- all good for tonifying blood.
Back Sesame Seeds- this is one of the best vegetarian foods for nourishing blood. These can often be found in Indian grocery stores. Toast and add to a soup or on bread.
Red Skinned Peanuts and Walnuts- this is also a great food for building blood and tonifying qi.
Cooked vegetables- eating cooked vegetables are easier to digest and aids the absorption of nutrients.
Dark leafy green vegetables boost blood- such as water chestnut, celery, spinach, broccoli, green beans, snow peas, sugar peas, bitter greens, and others
Wolfberries or gou qi zi- these small fruits help tonify blood. Drink as an herbal tea or add to your stir fry.
For some people, it is possible that these recommendations are not enough, and you may need to get acupuncture and Chinese herbs to prevent health issues.