What is Qi?

blog acupuncture for itch 1The idea of qi has both mystical and practical aspects.  In Chinese philosophy, qi (pronounced “chee,” and is sometimes spelled “chi.”) is an energy that is in all things in the universe and comprises the building blocks of the universe.  Trees, rocks, and mountains all have a specific type of qi. It is the universal energy present in all of nature.

In Chinese medicine qi is the body’s energy is a very practical concept. 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 … Read More

Allergies and Depression

Flowers 1I developed seasonal allergies in my 20’s.  For years I did not notice my allergies so much as I noticed I was moody when the flower bloomed.  I didn’t understand if everything is so beautiful why was I feeling so blue.

Eventually I realized my headaches, stuffy nose, and moodiness was allergies.

Scientists have reported that depression increases with allergy symptoms. Most people thought that mood changes during allergy season were simply related to feeling uncomfortable from the sinus pressure, headache, sneezing, and watery eyes.  Recently researchers have suggested there is a connection between the inflammatory processes that lead … Read More

Acupuncture and Moxibustion

The Meaning of Zhen Jiu ( 针灸)

Moxibustion on HandAcupuncture is not just acupuncture.  In fact, the word for acupuncture in Chinese, Zhen Jiu, actually  translates to “acupuncture and moxibustion.” This  shows how central moxibustion is within acupuncture.

Moxibustion is the warming of acupuncture points or needles. This is done through burning an herb called mugwort.

Moxibustion is a wonderful treatment for chronic pain or chronic fatigue syndrome.

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.

We also use … Read More

Chinese herbs for Altitude Sickness

 

Peru was our first high altitude trip.  In Peru, we went to the Canyon del Colca, the towns on top of Canyon de Colca are at 3700 meters.  At this height, altitude sickness is an concern.

We had come from Arequipa, a colonial city in the Mountains, resting at about 2300 so there was some time for our bodies to adjust. We took a 6 hour bus ride over dirt roads with the locals and their smaller farm animals, chickens and a baby lamb.

There, on top of the Canyon de Colca, we met Remijio, our guide for the three … Read More

Why I Love Being an Acupuncturist

The other day in my office, a new patient lying on the table asked me, “ Do you like being an acupuncturist?”

I was taken back a bit.  “Yes, I love being an acupuncturist.”

“Why?” She asks.

Wow, she is quite an inquisitive patient.

So I thought about it for a second.   I thought about how I love that acupuncture works with the body to heal itself, that it focuses on resetting the body to bring it back to balance, and I love that patients can create their own tool box of techniques to participate in their own healing.

But

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Hum Your Sinus Headache Away

Can humming help your sinus headache? Yes, it looks like it.

I was super happy to find an article in the the New York Times that discusses how humming can help to relieve sinus infections and headaches.

Preventative medicine and self care are very important in acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. A simple exercise such as humming to heal headaches is wonderful and impressive.  If it works.

How does humming help sinus headaches?

Humming is thought to reduce sinus inflammation by stimulating the release of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule in the body which helps smooth muscle relax and causing the … Read More

Resetting the Immune System: Allergies, Asthma, and Acupuncture

Mast Cells

The immune system is a wonderful thing.  Without it we could not live a second–we would be totally consumed by bacteria and viruses.  But, it is fickle.  It can overreact or react in response to something that is not a pathogen.

Allergies are caused by the immune system reacting in a way it should not, and giving us problems.  Asthma is also caused by the immune system overreacting.


Why do asthma and allergies often occur together?

Asthma and allergies are both caused by an over reaction in your immune system. And it is no surprise to those with asthma, that … Read More

What can Acupuncture Treat?

What can acupuncture treat?  This is one of the most common question I get as an acupuncturist.

Acupuncture can treat both physical and mental problems. Acupuncture, as a part of Chinese medicine, has been used as a comprehensive medical system and over one billion people still use Traditional East Asian Medicine as their primary means of health care.  That means that people use it to treat back pain, colds, PMS, infertility, asthma, strokes, migraine headaches, painful urination, acne, stomach aches, depression, anxiety, and all other types of diseases.

Generally speaking, people seek acupuncture for chronic conditions.  Here are some … Read More

Immunity and Qi

As we move into fall, 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.

For some, once they get the cold, it can be hard to fight it off. The sniffling, coughing, or sneezing may not go away and can even last all winter long. But boosting your energy, or qi, can help improve your immunity, which will help you get colds less frequently and improve your ability to fight them off.… Read More