Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Literary Medicine

“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 … Read More

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is mysterious.  It can come and go.  It can get worse, or get better.  Often without explanation.

Chronic pain is serious.  It interferes with work, school, and relationships.  Chronic pain is the most common issue that comes into my acupuncture clinic. Pain can effect almost any place in the body: headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, knee pain, and any other location.

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

Acupuncture is a complex therapy and works in a combination of ways to reduce pain and inflammation.

Acupuncture works to reduce pain and inflammation through regulating neural pain pathways, stimulating the … Read More

How to Naturally Decaffeinate Green Tea

Green tea is well known for its health properties.  Recently, it has become popular for its antioxidants, which have been purported to reduce heart disease and cancer rates.  Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners sometimes will add green tea to an herbal formula, primarily for headaches.

In Chinese culture, green tea is the staple drink.  Unlike in the West, in China people will refill their tea cup many times with water, using the same tea leaves.

Not only is refilling the cup efficient and cost effective, by doing this one is drinking more of the antioxidants from the tea.

The majority of … Read More

What Acupuncturists observe in a tongue

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 … Read More

Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

I have often written about herbal remedies for treating common colds.  Today, I will expand on the two most common herbal formulas I use for preventing common colds: Ling Zhi and Gan Mao Ling.1.  Ling Zhi (ganoderma or Reishi): This Chinese herb is a mushroom that has powerful immune boosting properties.  We say it can boost the body’s qi, or energy. It can also be effective for fatigue and poor digestion.

This herb is best for preventing colds.  Now, the change of seasons, is the perfect time to begin taking Ling Zhi. When the seasons change it is

Read More

Chinese Medicine Pulse

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 … Read More

How Chinese Herbs are Prepared

Chinese herbal remedies have been used for centuries for many conditions and to boost overall health.   For many conditions the combination of acupuncture and herbs is the most effective approach.  I almost always use herbs when treating acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.

The current Chinese pharmacopeia contains more than 5000 herbs and medicinal products.  A pharmacy will most often contain 500-1000 of the most commonly used herbs.  Some of the herbs are only used in the region they are grown and are not easy to find elsewhere.

Chinese herbs are most often combined into formulas … Read More

Acupuncture for the IVF Transfer

This is the fifth in a series about acupuncture and IVF written by Jessica Yunker, one of my associates.  Jessica is an expert in infertility, womens’ health, and acupuncture for IVF.

Acupuncturists and fertility clinics often recommend acupuncture on the day of IVF transfer. There is quite a bit of research indicating that acupuncture improves the chances of a successful transfer and pregnancy.

On the transfer day, your acupuncturist will meet with you two times – immediately before and immediately after the transfer happens at your doctor’s office. In my practice, the acupuncture / transfer schedule looks something like … Read More

Acupuncture during the IVF cycle

This is the fourth in a series about acupuncture and IVF written by Jessica Yunker, my associates.  Jessica is an expert in infertility, womens’ health, and acupuncture for IVF.

Acupuncture is helpful at each stage of the IVF cycle.

In our last article we introduced the IVF procedure.  In this article, we’ll discuss in depth the key ways acupuncture can enhance fertility and optimize the chances of a successful IVF cycle.

Acupuncture helps IVF by…

1. Regulate the cycle: Your fertility doctor will start you on hormones to regulate your cycle. During this time, acupuncture can be used to … Read More

How is IVF Performed?

This article is the third in a series about acupuncture and IVF was written by Jessica Yunker, my associates.  Jessica is an expert in infertility, women’s health, and acupuncture for IVF.

Most fertility clinics and fertility specialists follow a similar protocol for IVF. First, a doctor will perform blood tests and give medications that regulate the woman’s menstrual cycle and boost the number of eggs she produces each month.

Next, the doctor retrieves the eggs and combines them with sperm in the lab, making sure to select the eggs and sperm that look most healthy. In some cases, sperm … Read More