Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Acupuncture Treatment for Fatty Tumors

Chief Complaint: Fatty tumors and dry, corrugated fingernails, occasional leg pain

Medical History: Elderly woman about 70 years old. In generally good health except for her main complaints.

Questioning exam: Visible fatty tumours on upper arms about one to two centimeters in diameter, deformed fingernails, occasional leg pain.

Pulse exam: Generally slippery, especially at the lung and spleen positions. Otherwise thin although not overly weak.

Tongue exam: Slightly thick white tongue coating, slightly pale and thin tongue body.

OM Diagnosis: Lung and spleen qi xu, with dampness and phlegm leading to the formation of fatty tumours. Liver blood deficiency failing to nourish the nails and lower limbs.

Treatment Principle: Tonify lung and spleen qi, clear dampness and phlegm. Tonify liver blood.

Point Prescription: Lung 7, Ren 12,6,4 Spleen 9, Liver 8, Spleen 6, Stomach 40

Herbal Formula: As I was practicing in rural Chiapas, Mexico at the time, I had no access to my usual apothecary, and had to turn to the only medicinal commonly available. Because of her gnarled fingernails indicating liver blood xu I prescribed two tablespoons of lightly toasted ground sesame seeds/day.

Lifestyle Prescription: I educated her on the Chinese medical care of the spleen, regarding sugar, cold drinks and oily fried foods, as well as moderate amounts of meat and eggs to tonify blood.

She followed all the recommendations diligently.

Results: Over the course of one year the patient received weekly treatments. The pain in her legs resolved completely and the forty odd tumours she had had on the lung, heart and san jiao channel areas of her upper arms reduced to about two or three per arm. Her fingernails and toenails, of which had 17 had been incredibly dry and striated and corrugated, with bits of the nails almost missing and looking very tender and damaged became fully formed lustrous and shiny, and at the end of the treatment the majority of her fingernails were transformed, with only three of the finger and toenails which had been the most malformed showing slight striations.

Synopsis: Fatty tumours, deformed fingernails, leg pain. Lung and spleen qi xu dampness and phlegm, liver blood deficiency.

The Treatment of Fatigue with Acupuncture and Herbs

Chief Complaint: Extreme fatigue and pain in joints

Western Diagnosis:
Adenocarcinoma of the Stomach

Medical History: Patient is a 67 year old male that outside of the diagnosis appears to be in good health. Blood panels are unremarkable. MRI reveals tumor of approximately 18 inches in diameter. Tumor is causing local as well as referred pain into the inguinal region.

Questioning exam: Most questions and answers were based upon the MRI findings. Surprisingly, his pain is not that severe. Has indigestion and diarrhea frequently, but better with medication (prilosec).

Pulse exam: Pulse is most definitive for neoplasm. Overall pulse is rapid, tense-tight, muffled (suggesting the neoplasm), with a tremendous amount of changing amplitude and qualities in both middle positions.

Palpation exam yields a tumor somewhat larger than a football in the lower abdominal area. Area is very hard to the touch and immovable. Pressure increases pain.

Tongue exam: Tongue is dry and geographic. Some swelling on sides with midline crack extending to tip. Deep-yellow coat over the stomach area. Red tip.

Patient’s overall coloring is pale and withdrawn. However, patient is fairly animated and active.

OM Diagnosis: Damp-phlegm accumulation with definite signs of heat–maybe even toxic heat. Based upon tongue and pulse. We do know that cancer is generally considered to be a fire-toxin with dampness/phlegm tangling.

Treatment Principle: Move the dampness, cool the fire, treat the pain.

Point Prescription: Ren 12
St36
LI4
LI11
St25
St30
Sp6
Sp9
GB34
GB40
PC6
GB25left–referred pain site
shenmen
Yintang

Herbal Formula:
Zi Gen Mu Li Tang as a base 100 grams
Ku shen–25 grams
Yu Jin–25 grams
Bai hua she she cao–30 grams
Mu li–25 grams
Ban Zhi Lian–15 grams
Ling Zi–15 grams
Ci Wu Jia–12 grams
Qing Dai–12 grams
Huang Bai–10 grams
Sheng Jiang–8 grams
Ban Xia–12 grams
Fu Ling–10 grams
Gan Cao–10 grams

*all from Qualiherb

Results:
Since Western medicine had given up on this patient, he came for relief of pain and discomfort. After 6 months of treatment, his tumor had reduced by 40%. The following year, his tumor reduced again by 30%. Doctors gave patient another MRI to verify palpable results.

Synopsis:
When patient came to me, he was given only two months to live. He would not survive the surgery and chemo/radiation were not an option. It has been nearly 5 years since I began treating this patient and he is alive and well with no signs of tumor. Publication in upcoming medical journal.

Phlegm type insomnia treated with acupuncture and herbs

Chief-complaint: Insomnia

Western-diagnosis: Insomnia

Medical-history: Patient, 35, female reports trouble falling asleep for 3 years. Often lays in bed and takes 2-3 hours to fall asleep.

Pulse: Pulse excess and large.

Tongue: Thick, white sticky coating

CM-diagnosis: Phlegm

Treatment-principle: Clear Phlegm

Point-prescription:
ST 40, ST 36, Ren 12, Yin Tang, Upper 1

Herb-prescription: Er Chen Tang

Lifestyle-prescription:
Yoga , walking, Avoid dairy, sugars, breads.

Results: After 2 weeks of acupuncture and herbs, patient sleeps well at night, falling asleep within 30 minutes.

Synopsis: Phlegm causes major problems including fatigue, anxiety, digestion issues, lower mood and insomnia to name a few.

The Treatment of Insomnia with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs

Chief-complaint: Insomnia with early waking for one year.

Western-diagnosis: Insomnia

Medical-history: A 32 year old female has insomnia for one year with insidious onset. Consulted with western doctor and took Melatonin supplement for 10 months, but she still had insomnia if she didn’t take the pills.

Symptoms: The above client can fall to sleep easily but wakes up regularly at around 4am. She found herself easily agitated and always suffer constipation (hard and dry stool).

Pulse: Her pulse is wiry and rapid. Palpation found sensitivity over the right upper abdomen.

Tongue: The tongue body is thin and red, the coating was thin but yellow in color.

CM-diagnosis: Liver Qi stasis turning to heat

Treatment-principle: clear Liver heat and smooth the Liver Qi

Point-prescription: SJ 17 (excellent point for Liver heat in patients who always complaint with insomnia or headache)
PC 6
KI 6

Herb-prescription: Chai hu jia long gu mu li tang (Bupleurum and Dragon Bone Decoction)(柴胡加龙骨牡蛎汤)

Lifestyle-prescription: Emotional control, also learn deep-breathing exercise. Eat less spicy and deep-fried foods.

Results: 3 treatments of acupuncture and 15 days of the herbal medicine. The client slept well afterward.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What you should know about acupuncture and pregnancy.

If you suffer from infertility or issues related to pregnancy there is an alternative to IVF and other medical procedures.

Were you aware that:

  •     7.3 million women ages 15-44 suffer from impaired fertility each year.
  •     7.4% of married women between the ages of 15 and 44 are infertile.
  •     Infertility does not have one single cause. It can be a mixture of factors including biological, genetic, environmental, lifestyle, and physical elements.
  •     Over 1 million women undergo fertility treatments each year.
  •     Most women experience some form of discomfort during pregnancy that could be remedied with holistic methods.
  •     1 in 4 women experience acid reflux during pregnancy.
  •     About 75% of women experience morning sickness during pregnancy.
  •     More than 50% of women have back pain during pregnancy.
  •     Acupuncture has nearly 2,000 years of clinical history.
  •     Acupuncture is one of the most holistic systems of medicine available today.
  •     Acupuncture has no inherently dangerous or troublesome side effects.
  •     Americans make nearly 15 million visits to acupuncture practitioners per year.

How to choose an acupuncturist
Not all acupuncturists are created equal!

Acupuncture is one of the fastest growing modalities in the United States and more and more health and medical practitioners are jumping on the bandwagon.

A qualified acupuncturist has accrued over 3,000 hours of acupuncture and Chinese medicine education, which is between three and four years of schooling.

Unfortunately, more than 50% of acupuncturists in the US have a mere 300 hours of acupuncture training or less.

Only licensed and fully qualified acupuncturists are included on our site. To find a practitioner and get started on the path to optimal health and wellness, search our directory of acupuncturists.

Can acupuncture assist being pregnant

The art of acupuncture is really a part of Chinese conventional medicine and it has been round for the past thousand years or more. You will discover that it was just recently accepted within the western world, especially the Usa. Nevertheless, the needles won’t impregnate you, however it will let you let go of all of your negativity and your physique will begin to open it up. You will find that acupuncture will help both male and females with infertility difficulties. In fact, many people are turning to acupuncture as a method to assist them conceive.

The majority of the time, you will discover that it is older ladies who wish to have a child that tries this. This may be really productive, specifically when employed in conjunction with much more typical child-bearing-friendly activities like consuming a healthy diet plan. When you have fallopian tubes blockage or just a hormone imbalance, you are going to locate that acupuncture could possibly be prescribed to you. In addition to acupuncture, women can use other TCM techniques to be able to battle infertility. Men may also benefit from acupuncture. Acupuncture with male infertility will likely be treated for low sperm count and it is really well-known. Acupuncture, in this case, is used along with herbs to treat the power in the kidneys.

With regards to acupuncture you’ll locate that your entire body is affected by just a little bit of negativity, and that’s why infertility will have an effect on the way your entire physique reacts. Instead of treating the symptoms of a disease in the physique, acupuncture seeks to locate the root of the issue and treat that. Acupuncture may also be employed to make a healthier physique in general-it may not remedy you of the infertility difficulties, but by becoming healthier in common (less stressed, for example), standard remedies for infertility have a far better likelihood of working. Acupuncture will aid even if you might be contemplating obtaining artificially inseminated or making use of other methods of conceiving because your whole body is in a good location.

Following conception, specific kinds of acupuncture can still be done, and can aid relieve back discomfort, curb cravings, and produce a far better atmosphere for the fetus. Right after you’ve got the infant your power is thrown off, and you will want to visit an acupuncturist in order that you can get swiftly over postpartum depression along with other negative feelings.

Acupuncture occurs to become a tool that couples use via out the complete pregnancy (prior to and right after). This really is not for everyone, nevertheless it is actually a method which has been studied very cautiously and it does possess a high achievement rate. You are going to want to make certain which you research acupuncture and ask your doctor for any suggestions regarding the treatment. You might find that acupuncture could let you conceive swiftly and you’ll be capable of take pleasure in getting a kid.

Exactly how protected is actually acupuncture


Just how secure is actually acupuncture ?
Acupuncture occurs to become a really well-liked and profitable kind of medicine, given that millions of individuals will use acupuncture to treat all of their wellness concerns. You’ll locate that you can go from back pain to headaches to sleeping disorders. There is a lot of uncertainly about acupuncture, nevertheless, you’ll locate that this articles has a lot of advantages and disadvantages for you to think about.

Many people who are not familiar with acupuncture are typically worried about needles being inserted in to the body. This is a typical concern that really should be serious, however, you ought to know that if it really is completed effectively, you’ll have the ability to have acupuncture performed correctly and safely. You’ll find licensed acupuncturists, who must pass state-established training standards to grow to be certified, and numerous medical doctors and specialists, like neurologists or those working in physical medicine, are becoming certified as a way to execute acupuncture as a treatment alternative for patients.

You ought to know that the United states FDA or Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of needles only by licensed practitioners. This approval should ease some issues about acupuncture as a secure practice. In fact, there happen to be extremely few complaints logged in the FDA about acupuncture. There have been issues and complaints of non-sterile needles that may end up spreading infection and illness. Thus, in case you are seeking acupuncture treatment, make sure that the acupuncture needles have been sterilized. Expert acupuncturists will definitely work with sterile needles to make sure client security.

Certainly, with acupuncture, there’s the danger of a needle becoming inserted also deeply, which could result in organs to be punctured. This danger if a very little danger and you ought to start to think about all of the millions of individuals who have seen good results in acupuncture remedies, and you’ll find very handful of circumstances of needles puncturing organs. In addition, this sort of situation can most likely be avoided by undergoing treatment using a licensed acupuncture practitioner. Furthermore, should you really feel serious pain when obtaining the needles injected, you may want to speak towards the practitioner because they might be placing them in also deep. Actually, many people don’t even feel the needles getting inserted into your pressure points. In the event you do really feel pain following or during an acupuncture therapy, you should see a medical physician right away.

You’ll find two risks which you will wish to contemplate harmful or unsafe. You are going to want to believe about each of those risks, but in addition know that they can be avoided should you use a qualified acupuncture practitioner which has been certified and has some expertise. Using the millions of people that have tried it and had achievement, you’ll discover that your well being problems might become a lot much better for everybody with the use of acupuncture. You can also rest assured that the process may be totally safe should you take all the proper precautions.

Have Celebrities Gone Wacko for Acupuncture?


Everywhere you turn; there are stories about celebrities getting acupuncture. 

Supermodel, Elle Macpherson, recently said in an interview with UK tabloid, News of the World, “I have acupuncture regularly and I see a Chinese doctor who treats most common ailments with herbs.”

When asked how she maintained her health and well being, Elle answered, “I do choose to look after my body from a Chinese medicine perspective, which promotes and maintains wellness rather than treats illness.”

Elle is not the only celebrity that seems to have become “star-struck” with this traditional form of health care that is touted as being able to treat everything from anxiety to a torn rotator cuff.  Gwyneth Paltrow, a longtime advocate of the benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, once said that having acupuncture had guided her to a “new level” in life, helping her to find love with her husband and giving her the strength to cope with the death of her father. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow said, “I have been a big fan of Chinese medicine for a long time because it works.”

So what other celebrities are up for being a voluntary pin-cushion?  Dr. Maoshing Ni, an acupuncturist in Santa Monica lists Jim Carrey and Helen Hunt as two of his many famous clients.  In a testimonial, Jim Carrey said “Undergoing [acupuncture] treatments with Dr. Mao at [his acupuncture clinic] and following his nutritional advice has led to a marked change in my physical vitality and my general state of well-being.”

Celebrities have embraced acupuncture so whole-heartedly that they even schedule regular acupuncture treatments for their pets.  Sarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, has been spotted in Los Angeles taking her pampered pooch, Tyson, in for his acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture is becoming more and more respected by conventional medicine, so much so that there were acupuncturists on-site for the athletes at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

How it works

Is there any evidence to back up this rapid growth in the popularity of acupuncture?  Besides the 2000 years of clinical evidence, there are a multitude of studies to substantiate that acupuncture has a measurable affect on the body.  One study on how acupuncture works to relieve pain, published in the Journal of NeuroImage, used brain imaging technology to prove that acupuncture affects the brain’s long-term ability to regulate pain.  In the study, researchers were able to show that acupuncture increased the binding availability to opioid receptors in the brain in much the same way that opioid painkillers, such as morphine, codeine and other medications, are thought to work

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have declared acupuncture effective for more than 200 other conditions including, respiratory, eye and mouth, gastro-intestinal, neurological and muscular disorders. Because of acupuncture’s ability to speed the healing process, bring down swelling and inflammation, relieve pain, and help to restore normal range of motion, it is especially effective at treating musculo-skeletal disorders.

“The purpose of acupuncture is to trigger your body's innate ability to self heal. “ Says licensed acupuncturist, Diane Joswick, L.Ac.

“When someone comes in for treatment, we take all of their symptoms into account and aim at balancing the energy within the body to optimize health.  Treatments are tailored for the individual.  That is why it is important to talk with an acupuncturist to see how acupuncture will be able to help your specific and unique case.”

The Acupuncture Facelift: Fact or Fiction?

Have you read the service menu at your favorite spa lately? If so, you may have noticed a new and intriguing addition: cosmetic acupuncture. Cosmetic acupuncture – also known as acupuncture facial rejuvenation or acupuncture facelift - is finding its way into an increasing number of full-service spas, and for good reason. This new modality can enhance not only your physical appearance but also your overall health, giving you a glow that radiates from deep within. While cosmetic acupuncture as a spa feature is a somewhat new phenomenon, there are nevertheless centuries-old records of it being used in the service of beauty. What’s more, acupuncture’s ability to improve a variety of skin conditions has now been documented in legitimate clinical studies. Its effectiveness is no longer a question of hearsay or testimonials. Before signing up for a course of facial acupuncture treatments, however, there are a few things you should consider.

Is it really a facelift? The answer is an unequivocal no. Nor is it intended to replace a facelift. Cosmetic acupuncture entails no incisions, sutures or acid peels and it will not produce sudden, drastic changes in underlying structures. In fact, the American Cosmetic Acupuncture Association discourages the use of the term, “facelift” in connection with acupuncture, as this creates unrealistic expectations and, ultimately, disappointment. Remember, it took decades of stress, sun damage and exposure to environmental toxins for your skin to reach a state of crisis, and the damage will not be instantly undone. The remedy cosmetic acupuncture may offer is the reduction or erasure of fine lines and the softening of deeper ones. Additionally, patients may experience the firming of jowls and a reduction in the size of under-eye bags. It is not unusual for clients to report enhanced skin tone, increased energy and eyes that sparkle.

But it doesn’t stop there. Since facial acupuncture is based on time-tested principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a person’s overall health may also benefit. Insomnia may be corrected and weight gain may be controlled. Cosmetic acupuncture is, after all, a whole-body treatment. In the Traditional Chinese Medicine view, a person’s face is affected selectively by his or her internal organs. Facial features reflect organic strengths, and as internal organs are fortified, one’s face reflects the improvement. Besides addressing a patient’s condition holistically, the practitioner will probably work locally, inserting painless, ultra-fine needles into--and around--specific wrinkles, acu-points or muscle points, depending on the technique employed. Techniques can be Spartan or luxuriant, and practitioners will often incorporate herbal poultices, moisturizers, pulsed light or essential oils into a treatment. An imperceptible electrical current may also be passed among the needles.

Finding a Practitioner

Finding certified practitioners may be easier than you think. They are listed by region at the website of The American Cosmetic Acupuncture Association (www.AmericanCosmeticAcupuncture.com). Membership in the ACAA assures you the acupuncturist is licensed and has studied facial cosmetic technique with a qualified teacher (not all of them have). You might want to avoid cosmetic acupuncture practitioners and teachers who claim their technique is better than all others (they may offer testimonials). There are simply too many talented practitioners in the field for anyone to make such a claim ethically.

The practitioner you choose should be willing to provide you with a free fifteen-minute consultation as well as an estimate of the cost and the number of treatments required. A course of ten treatments is standard, with periodic follow-up visits as needed. These sessions are labor intensive and will be priced differently than customary acupuncture treatments. Not surprisingly, if you are a smoker or sun-worshipper, you will need to make a longer commitment in order to achieve results. Depending on the technique used, there is a slight chance of minor temporary bruising, although your practitioner may lessen the possibility by starting your session with a homeopathic remedy.

If your features are tired, your eyes are baggy and your skin is without luster, yet you do not feel the need for cosmetic surgery, then facial acupuncture may be for you. The freedom from post-treatment downtime and the experience of enhanced Vitality contribute to the ever-increasing popularity of this Asian art. If you are willing to try something different and new, you may find that facial acupuncture is the perfect partner in your quest for rejuvenation and renewal.

Healing the Spirit with Acupuncture

In ancient times there were three levels of healing: physical, mental, and spiritual. The treatment and prevention of physical disease was considered to be the lowest level.

Throughout over 9 years of study, training and clinical practice in Asian healing systems including Shiatsu, acupressure, acupuncture, herbology, Chinese diet, Tai-chi Ch'uan, Ch'i-kung and martial arts, I have sought an explanation as to how healing occurs on the higher levels within our bodies. While acupuncture has such a well developed theoretical basis for the treatment and prevention of physical complaints, why isn't this true on the mental and spiritual levels as well? For well over five years, during which time I learned to read Classical Chinese, I immersed myself in researching everything from Taoist philosophy to the first acupuncture texts written 150 years before Christ to hundreds of books and articles by Western Asian scholars about the old culture that produced these healing systems and how the highest levels of body, mind, spirit integration could be accessed.

Body, Mind, and Spirit in Acupuncture

A thousand titles later, I stumbled upon a clue that tied all of this research together. It was only a paragraph in the earliest Chinese pharmacopoeia written in 132 AD, paraphrasing another paragraph in China's first written text on acupuncture, the Simple Questions of the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine of 150 BC. Here was what I was looking for. It said that in ancient times there were three levels of healing: physical, mental, and spiritual. These two texts considered the treatment and prevention of physical disease to be the lowest level. All of the acupuncture styles that I had studied seemed to have this level down pat. In contrast, the current practice of Western medicine, although it excels in treating the most extreme cases of physical disorders, is only in its extreme infancy in preventing them, in most cases hardly going beyond well informed common sense.

The middle level, according to these old texts, treated and prevented mental problems. Here it was. The answer to my question was getting clearer: physical problems on the lowest level, mental problems on the middle level. The highest, and most spiritual level in these texts was more of a problem, however. This level is supposed to treat ming, which can be translated as either Mandate, Destiny, or Fate. The idea is that if a person has a correct relationship with Destiny, good health on the mental and physical levels is a side effect. In contrast, if a person does not have such a relationship, they get sick no matter what else they do or don't do.

Of course no mention was made as to how one was to go about this level of healing. The term ming was not used on the spiritual level in any acupuncture texts that I was aware of. Apparently the discussion was dropped for another two thousand years, taken for granted, or forgotten. The only direct reference to ming is that it is the most important energy center in the body and is accessible through an acupuncture point called the "Gate of Destiny."

Destiny

It seemed as though my big discovery was also a big problem. As a morally responsible acupuncturist and teacher, how was I supposed to provide acupuncture service at this highest level if I didn't even know what it was? Or, determined as I was, how could I find out how to do it? In my attempt to answer this second question, I turned to my thousands of pages of meticulously organized research notes for the answer.

To my surprise, I found that in the historical period during and prior to the printing of the first acupuncture texts, the most important philosophical and political doctrine of the day was what was called the Mandate of Heaven, t'ien-ming, and was concerned with the divine rights of kings. This doctrine stated that the emperor, as Son of Heaven, could only keep the throne through correct action, moral and otherwise. On all levels, the emperor was supposed to be the intermediary between Heaven and Earth, which in turn stood for the invisible and visible worlds of spirit and matter.

In ancient China, the correct function of the emperor was to spontaneously channel the spiritual forces of Heaven down into the Earth for the good of all, t'ien-hsia chih li. By doing so, the emperor received the "Mandate" of Heaven which resonated with a universal cosmic order that brought blessings onto the Earth. In contrast, when and if the emperor went out of this alignment. Heaven would begin the process of realignment by sending down progressively more challenging circumstances until the emperor realized the error of his ways, or until someone else with the moral force necessary to maintain this alignment took over in his stead.

At this point in my research I realized that the symbolism of this political doctrine carried over into acupuncture by implying some sort of correct relation between the sacred inner world of every person, symbolized by Heaven, and the mundane events of everyday life, symbolized by Earth. Furthermore, the correctness of this relationship depended upon the moral integrity and power of the conscious spirit, shen in Chinese, residing deep within the Heart, as symbolized by the emperor, the ruler of the personality, body and mind.

The idea of embracing Destiny in the highest level of acupuncture gives a needed perspective on health care issues as we go into the twenty first century. This is especially applicable to the issues of insurance coverage and the integration of Western medicine with what is being euphemistically called complementary medicine, which includes acupuncture. The duality, at worst, or polarity, at best, between these two systems vie with one another in an integration that could just as easily be forced by political and economic factors as it could be for medical ones. A real integration calls for an adjustment, not only in health care techniques, but also in world view. Individual freedom, as well as freedom in the medical community at large is at stake here. Only a system which allows for the complete freedom of choice in either direction will be the system that will truly benefit the common good. As the saying goes, only the common good is truly the good of all!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Can Acupuncture Cure Renal Failure?


Nowadays, acupuncture becomes a hot topic among people with kidney failure because they want to know whether acupuncture can cure kidney failure. As for this topic, each of them holds to their own statements; however, the fact does not depend on their ideas.acupuncture, renal failure, can acupuncture cure renal failure

It is no doubt that acupuncture is a magic treatment among medical area because different from many other treatments, acupuncture does not need patients take any medicines. Well then, can acupuncture cure renal failure at all?

We all know kidney failure is the worst condition of various kidney diseases. It means kidneys have been damaged seriously and the rest healthy kidney functions are no longer able to help people maintain a normal life. In this case, no treatment can cure damaged kidneys at all.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy and its leading position in medical area is beyond doubt. Although it can not cure kidney failure, it is helpful in helping people live a full life. Acupuncture is a therapy which treats disease through inserting long needles into patients’ acu points. These acu points are closely related with human internal organs and through acupuncture, human blood circulation is improved, which can thus increase the blood flow in kidneys.

Decreased kidney function is manifested as decreased Glomerular Filtration Rate and as blood flow increases in kidneys, Glomerular filtration rate increases slightly. That is to say, acupuncture is beneficial for kidney failure patients, but it can not cure kidney failure. Besides, acupuncture works slowly; however, for kidney failure patients, their disease has been very serious and they have no enough time to wait for the treatment effects. so acupuncture is not suitable for kidney failure patients.

Immunotherapy, which is a natural remedy, is combines Chinese medicine and advanced medical technology. It treats kidney failure from the root and through it, not only kidney failure is controlled, but also kidney functions are recovered slightly. Also, many kidney failure patients have gotten rid of dialysis effectively. Compared with acupuncture, Immunotherapy is more effective and suitable for kidney failure patients.

Acupuncture Use in Equine Reproduction


Breeding season can mean a growth in acupuncture needle inventory for many horse reproduction specialists. Such veterinarians combine strategic insertion of tiny needles with Western veterinary techniques to address subfertility issues in mares--and even stallions. During a presentation at the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas, Rhonda Rathgeber, DVM, PhD, a partner at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, in Lexington, Ky., discussed using acupuncture to improve mare and stallion fertility.

"Integrating principles of Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine can provide the best treatment for equine reproductive disorders," Rathgeber said. "Acupuncture is used widely in human infertility clinics, and acupuncture for infertility cases has been cited in literature since 11 A.D."

Mare Infertility
"Acupuncture stimulates increased blood supply, relieves local pain, and relaxes muscles," Rathgeber explained. "Acupuncture also increases the immunity of local tissue by stimulating the large number of mast cells at each acupoint.

"All of these factors should facilitate the uterus to be healthier, reduce inflammation, and be more suitable for implantation (of an embryo as occurs in pregnancy)," she continued. "They should also help the uterus clear any post-breeding inflammation more readily."

Rathgeber explained that she has used acupuncture to treat a variety of reproductive issues in the mare including:

  •     Anestrus (mares that aren’t cycling);
  •     Cystic ovaries;
  •     Retained or cystic corpus luteum (which forms from the tissues remaining after a follicle ruptures at    ovulation; structure is also responsible for production and secretion of progesterone in the early stages of pregnancy.);
  •     Silent heat;
  •     Pseudopregnancy (false pregnancy; when a mare is not pregnant, but her body tells her that she is     and all of her reproductive systems react accordingly);
  •     Inflammation of the reproductive tract;
  •     Retained placenta (after foaling);
  •     Uterine prolapse (when the uterus falls out of place, often times emerging out of the body through the vagina);
  •     Uterine fluid accumulation; and
  •     Uterine infections.

She has also used acupuncture to prevent abortion and, on the other hand, to induce birth.

Rathgeber described a German study of women treated with acupuncture before and after embryo transfer: The investigators showed an increase in pregnancy rate as opposed to those not treated with acupuncture before and after embryo transfer—from 26% to 42%.

Researchers on another study, she noted, found that treating women with acupuncture or hormone therapy yielded similar pregnancy rates, but the 131 women in the acupuncture group "had fewer side effects and less subsequent infertility."

Rathgeber also noted that in the aforementioned study, researchers found that those women receiving acupuncture treatment 30 minutes before in vitro fertilization had a 51% pregnancy rate and an 8% miscarriage rate. Those that did not receive acupuncture treatment had a 36% pregnancy rate and a 20% miscarriage rate.

"Although the exact mechanism of acupuncture in (mare) fertility remains to be elucidated, there is certainly plenty of evidence supporting its integration into a reproductive practice," Rathgeber summarized.

Stallion Infertility

"There is very little information on acupuncture in stallions compared with mares," Rathgeber said.

She noted, however, that because acupuncture has been well-documented to relieve equine back pain, stallions experiencing back pain "would be good candidates given the nature of their job."

Rathgeber noted there are reports of success in treating both sub- or infertile bulls and men with acupuncture, and that there are "increasing numbers of studies in men identifying the effects of acupuncture on fertility."

Researchers on one study she discussed found that 24 of 30 men (80%) receiving acupuncture treatment had an increased libido and an easier time sleeping.

In another study she mentioned, investigators revealed that men receiving acupuncture had a significant increase in total sperm function as compared to a control group with no increase.

Finally, she noted, a recent study demonstrated increased sperm motility and quantity, along with better morphology (structure) in men that were treated with acupuncture for five weeks.

Take-Home Message

While there are few studies on the effects of acupuncture on horse fertility, studies in human medicine are yielding promising results to support its application in equine reproductive practice. Additionally, Rathgeber reported success in using the complementary therapy in her own management of subfertile mares and stallions.

Are You A Computer Geek Who Needs Acupuncture?


Carpal tunnel syndrome is common, especially among people who spend a lot of time working on their computers. Daily long hours at your computer can cause new health problems and exacerbate existing ones. Some common problems that computer geeks (I use that term lovingly since I am also on my computer a lot) experience include: eye strain, neck, back and wrist pain, anxiety, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Acupuncture is often a great solution for many types of pain.

Today, I am going to focus on how acupuncture can relieve the increasingly common complaint of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but be sure to check back because I plan to address other computer related problems in future posts.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common job-related injuries and occurs three times more often in women. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist made up of ligaments and bones. This small pathway/tunnel contains the median nerve and the tendons that connect the fingers to the muscles of the forearm. Thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling can narrow the tunnel that the median nerve runs through causing it to be compressed.

Symptoms usually start gradually with tingling or numbness in the palm and fingers and can get progressively worse to include pain, burning and weakness of the affected hand and forearm. . I've had several patients come in over the years complaining of persistent wrist pain, a frequent symptom of carpel tunnel problems. This syndrome can cause irreversible nerve damage and permanent deterioration of muscle tissue.

The most common therapies prescribed by doctors are anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids, exercises and in some cases surgery. These options make acupuncture a very effective and attractive treatment, wouldn’t you say?

Acupuncture can reduce the swelling, inflammation and pain in the wrist, fingers and arm. According to a study published in the May of 2009 issue of the Clinical Journal of Pain acupuncture was shown to be just as effective the corticosteroid, prednisone for treating such common carpal tunnel symptoms as numbness, tingling and weakness. Plus for the symptoms of waking at night and motor function, the acupuncture group had better results than the group taking steroids.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Master Stephen Co Continues his U.S. Pranic Healing Tour on the West Coast

Master Stephen Co, the founder of U.S. Pranic Healing Center and The American Institute for Asian Studies, will be traveling across the United States to conduct experiential Pranic Healing® Workshops.


Master Stephen Co will be hosting experiential Pranic Healing® events in Los Angeles, Portland, Oak Brook, IL and Belleview, WA in the next four weeks. His mission: To help the sick and afflicted harness this powerful force to boost their vitality and accelerate healing from common health issues.

On Tuesday, March 27th at 7pm, Master Stephen Co will kick off the Portland leg of his national Pranic Healing® tour, at the Unity Center in West Linn. The purpose of Master Co’s tour is to bring Pranic Healing® to new places and help people relieve pain through this non-touch healing method. These events are open to the public and will take place from Tuesday through Thursday in the Portland area. Master Co will guide the audience in a simple set of energy generating exercises to feel rejuvenated as well as a short meditation for stress relieft, mental clarity & increased productivity. The tour will then continue on to Oak Brook, IL starting on March 31st before traveling on to Bellevue, WA on April 21st.

Pranic Healing® is a system of energy medicine. First developed by Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui, Pranic Healing® uses prana, or life-force, to balance, harmonize and transform the body’s energy processes. Master Stephen Co studied Pranic Healing® directly from Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui and brought it to America over 20 years ago when he founded the U.S. Pranic Healing Center and The American Institute for Asian Studies. Master Co is considered the foremost authority in Pranic Healing® in the United States. His book ‘You Hands Can Heal You’ is the penultimate guide to Pranic Healing®.

Over the last 20 years Master Co has traveled the world teaching Pranic Healing®. His students and clientele includes professional athletes, Hollywood actors, famous musicians, and respected members of the medical community. He has also taught Pranic Healing® at Kaiser Permanent Hospital and Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Southern California and Barnes Jewish Hospital in Saint Louis, MO.

Visit http://www.masterstephenco.com for further details on Master Stephen Co and his Pranic Healing® tour.

Visit http://www.pranichealing.com for further details on Pranic Healing® and the U.S. Pranic Healing Center.

Visit http://masterstephenco.com/praises to see Master Co's endorsements from some of his more notable clients.

On Pranic Healing


Healing in old days was often described as an art which is given to gifted people as a talent from birth and it could not be learned by ordinary people. However as early as 1900s, alternative healing started to evolve as a science through the work of various healing Masters and the aim was to  popularize healing and spirituality among public. Master Choa Kok Sui was one of such healing masters whose spiritual thesis had a great impact on the learning and practice of alternative healing techniques as well as highly advanced spiritual practices globally.

“To understand the nature of MCKS’ (Master Choa Kok Sui) Spiritual Thesis, it is necessary to have a small glimpse of the Divine Plan of the Planetary Logos or Planetary Parabrahman. This small glimpse of the Divine Plan was hinted by the Holy Master D. K. through his disciple, Alice Bailey, in his book, Initiation, Human and Solar. It was prophesized that in the later part of the 20th century, healing using pranic energy would be popularized globally.” (Master Choa Kok Sui, 2006, p. 66)

To fulfill this part of the Divine Plan, many disciples were sent to incarnate on Earth and many healing technologies were introduced widely to public such as Bioenergy Healing, Chi Kung, Mahikari, Reiki and Pranic Healing. (Master Choa Kok Sui, 2006)

Pranic healing is basically an ancient science and art of healing which utilizes prana, chi or life force to improve the health of the body. It involves the manipulation of life force and etheric matter in the patient’s energy body. (Master Choa Kok Sui, 2006) It is a no-touch, no-drug energy based healing developed through extensive research and validation which encourages the patients to heal themselves.

Pranic Healing is actually designed based on the overall structure of the human body which is composed of two parts: the visible physical body and the invisible energy body often called the bioplasmic body. The existence of this energy field that surrounds and interpenetrates the human body and nourishes it with life force or Prana has been validated by scientists as early as 1939. In fact frontier scientists describe us as quantum packets of energy, continuously transmitting and receiving energy. There exist energy centers or chakras in this energy body as well which control physical, emotional and mental functions of the whole human system. This energy field gets contaminated and damaged, thus physical, emotional and mental imbalances are the outcome.

Researches done by Master Choa Kok Sui validated that each disease in the body, creates an energetic pattern which needs to be corrected in order to improve the overall health of the individuals. Therefore he designed a step-by-step reference book where the protocols for every ailment are discussed; it is believed that whoever follows these simple instructions will achieve the expected results. Combining this scientific discovery with the two basic Laws of Nature, The Law of Self-Recovery and The Law of Life Energy, Pranic Healing was born into a well-developed healing technology which is now practiced widely in over 120 countries.

Pranic Healing techniques cleanse, energize and rebalance the energy field to restore harmony and balance physically, emotionally and mentally. These techniques can also be used to correct imbalances in vortices of energy that control all human activities such as relationships, finance, work and home environments to allow them to function at their optimum level. This in turn improves the way life force circulates and nourishes the physical body, bringing about an accelerated rate of healing.

Although Pranic Healing is now recognized as a popular healing modality, Pranic Healing Masters emphasize that its applications are far beyond a mere healing tool, rather an energetic technology to understand and improve human life in all aspects of its existence.

Imagine if you knew and understood the subtle laws of the universe, the subtle laws of energy, and the subtle laws of life itself. These mysterious laws have been the yearning of many great minds and Souls searching for the Truth about who we really are, what we are truly made of and how we are part of the greater Universe. Pranic Healing is a system that enables you to understand and tap into the very fabric of our existence – Universal Life Force Energy. You will learn about how we as Humans can harness this energy for healing, manifestation, and spiritual growth.

According to Master Choa Kok Sui “Pranic Healers have a deeper understanding of life energy and the energy system of the physical body.”  (Master Choa Kok Sui, 2004, p. 3)

Master Choa Kok Sui’s Spiritual Thesis is not only confined to development of Pranic Healing and includes the Spiritual Technology of Inner Sciences such as Arhatic Yoga – Advanced Spiritual Practices, Pranic Feng Shui, Kriyashakti – the Science and Art of Becoming Prosperous and Successful using Inner Sciences, Higher Clairvoyance, and other spiritual technologies.

Benefits of the practice of Pranic Healing can be summarized as:

    Clarity of Mind; Clear and Speedy Decision Making
    Better Memory and Concentration
    Improved Efficiency, Lower Attrition, Better Harmonious Relationship with Family, Friends and at Work
    Sense of Well Being, Inner Peace and Tolerance
    Improved IQ, EQ and SQ
    Proper Self-Esteem, Better Health and Greater Success
    More Energy, Stamina and Immunity
    Improved Communication Skills, Interpersonal Skills and Conflict Resolutions

References
1. Master Choa Kok Sui. (2006). Miracles Through Pranic Healing: Practical Manual on Energy Healing. Philippines: Institute for Inner Studies Publishing Foundation.
2. Master Choa Kok Sui. (2004). Possible Miracles: The Golden Lotus Sutras on Pranic Healing. The Institute for Inner Studies Publishing Foundation.
3. Master Choa Kok Sui. (2006). The Origin of Modern Pranic Healing and Arhatic Yoga. Institite for Inner Studies Publishing Foundation.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Nature of Ginseng

The most famous herb in the Chinese pharmacopoeia is Panax ginseng, or Ren Shen as it is called in China. Ren Shen translates to Man Root. Man in this case isn’t gender specific. The root resembles a human, or person.
Chinese herbs are defined by their properties and their functions. The properties of ginseng as follows: it is slightly warm in nature, sweet and slightly bitter. Many modern texts describe the temperature of ginseng as “warm”, however traditional writings suggest that the unprocessed nature of ginseng is actually slightly cool, and its warm properties arises only after it is processed.

Growth Environment

Wild ginseng grows in very thick forest. It doesn’t grow at the periphery of the forest, but deep in the mountains. This has less to do with its growth nature and more with the harvesting nature of mankind. To find wild ginseng, one must travel deep into the forest as all of the easily accessible ginseng found at the periphery of the forests have already been picked. The best places to find ginseng nowadays is in the North of China in Jiling, Liaonin, and north of Habei as well some parts of Korea. A good rule of thumb is to look to Northern China where it is cold enough for the ground to freeze in the winter.
Ginseng likes cold, dark and wet weather. Heat, too much light, or not enough moisture will kill it. It is very picky as to the quality of soil in which it will grow. It prefers deep loose soil that extends downward very deeply. It requires humus, or topsoil rich in nutrients of decomposing leaves from neighboring trees. It also prefers water that passes through the soil, rather than stagnating around the root.
Cultivated ginseng is grown on farms in the Northern parts of China and Korea. The environmental needs of this ginseng is the same as wild ginseng, however man-made shade is substituted for the shade of the dense forest.
Ginseng blooms in early summer. It has very tiny flowers that are light yellow and green. After the flower passes, the plant bares a deep red berry. The berry is ovoid, not exactly round.
Wild ginseng is harvested in May and June. It is difficult to find at the end of the growth cycle at the end of the summer, perhaps this is because the blooms and berries are still visible in May and June whereas at the end of summer, they are not. Because of its preciousness, the root is cleaned with a tool made from bone because tradition teaches that ginseng is “afraid of metal” and bone does not frighten it.
Cultivated ginseng is harvested in September and October, at the end of the growth cycle. It requires at least three years of growth before being harvested.
The best quality ginseng has a longer and thicker root. Also, a longer head of the root denotes better quality ginseng. The heavier the better. After the ginseng has been processed, weight is no longer indicative of its quality.
Wild ginseng is very large and big. It is juicy and full of liquid. The wrinkles in the head of the root that are small and compact indicates a better quality herb than ginseng with wide and thick wrinkles on the head. A longer head is better than a short one. The more pearls on the beard roots the better.
Siberian ginseng is a commercial crop from Siberia, just north of the north of China. It has similar attributes to cultivated Chinese ginseng.

The Nature of Ginseng

Ginseng takes its virtue (energy) from heaven growing in the highest mountains. It also pulls in the virtue of the earth, because it requires very deep and rich soil. With these two energies, it gives rise to the “tian de ren” or the virtue of man. Ginseng’s energetic personality contains the same three virtues as man which are heaven, earth and man.
Yin Yang Theory and the Law of regulation
Yin energy likes the Yang environment. Yang environments would include high altitude locations, scanty rainfall, warm, dry, and bright surroundings. Yang energy likes Yin environments. Yin environments would include low elevation locations, moist, cool or cold temperatures, darkness or shade. Ginseng’s growth environment is both Yin and Yang in nature.
Ginseng only grows in the deep forest. It doesn’t grow exposed on the planes. This growth tendency belongs to Yin, but ginseng also prefers high elevations and this is a growth tendency that belongs to Yang. That’s why we say that Ginseng is Yang within Yin. Because ginseng has both a Yin nature as well as a Yang nature in its growth environment it can tonify both body fluids (which is Yin in nature) as well as Qi (which is Yang in nature).
Ginseng grows in a cold and slightly moist environment. It develops attributes opposite to these qualities while at the same time, absorbs these qualities as well. This is why we can call ginseng’s raw form Yang within Yin. The moist, slightly cool energetic resonates with the nature of the Spleen which is an organ that tends to be on the cool and moist side. That is one reason the Spleen can easily suffer form cold and/or dampness as a pathology.
The color of Ginseng is a yellowish white. This indicates that the first Zang organ affected is the Spleen and the second is the Lung. The taste is sweet and it has a moist, slightly cold quality in it’s unprocessed form having absorbed those energies from its growth environment.
The herbal classic “Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing” says that Ginseng tonifies all five Zang organs. We cannot dispute this thought, but believe that there is an order in which the ginseng tonifies. Ginseng works first on the Spleen because the environment in which it grows is metaphorically similar to the spleen; cool and moist.
Ginseng begins by warming and tonifiying the Spleen which ends up pushing liquids up to the lungs, this according to Zang Fu theory as well as the flow of energy in five element theory. The Lungs, which are the mother of the Kidneys, can send the Qi downward there to be stored. Again, this holds true in both Zang Fu theory as well as the mother-child relationship in five element theory. When the Kidney is tonified, it can produce Yin to nourish the Liver, and Heart. So ginseng can tonify all five Zang organs, but it is an indirect tonification. It directly enters the Spleen and Lungs and secondarily the other three Zang organs.
Another reason that ginseng has the ability to tonify all five Zang organs is that it takes years for ginseng to be ready for harvesting, it receives energy from each season and develops a very complex energetic nature. It includes energy from all four seasons which resonate with the five Zang.

Ginseng preparation techniques

  1. Ren Shen (Cultivated variety)
    1. Red ginseng, its color is brown and red. It is slightly transparent. After cleaning the raw root, it is steamed two to three hours, then oven or sun dried. This is the most common variety of ginseng. The body’s length runs form 5 to 20 cm. It’s diameter is 0.7 to 2.0 cm. Its smell is very pleasant, with a slightly bitter taste.
    2. Bian Tao Shen, (Long Edge Ginseng) Similar to Red Ginseng in color and quality. It is longer than red ginseng with a greater diameter. Its branches, too are longer and wider. This suggests a better quality medicine than red ginseng.
    3. Tang Shen (Sugar Ginseng) First the ginseng is placed into boiling water for 3 to 7 minutes, then placed into cold water right away to soak for about 10 minutes, then sun dried. Liu Huang (sulfur) is burned beneath the ginseng to smoke the ginseng. The essence of the Liu Huang (sulfur) passes into the ginseng via the smoke. This is likely a preservative for the ginseng to keep it free of worms. A special needle to puncture tiny holes in the root is used. The ginseng is placed into a highly concentrated sugar water for more than twenty-four hours. Then the ginseng is placed under direct sunlight to dry it out. After the ginseng is dried, it is beaten with a wet towel to soften it. The process is repeated though more holes are not punched into the herb. Once the ginseng has been in the sugar water again for twenty-four hours it is rinsed off and sun, or oven dried. The color becomes a lighter yellow/white. The length is from 3.5 to 12 cm. The diameter is from 0.6 to 2.0 cm. The smell is pleasant. The taste is sweet and slightly bitter.
    4. Bai Ren Shen (White Man Root) This is a kind of sugar cured ginseng. Its quality and shape is very similar to sugar shen. Most of the time it has a good shape (straight) that is very white. It is longer than Red Ginseng. This Ginseng’s beard (the long hairy roots at the end of the branches) is short, but very brittle.
    5. Sheng Shai Shen (Raw Sundried Shen) Of course, this kind of ginseng, is washed until clean and then partially dried by placing beneath the sun for one day. (One full day of sunshine. Very clear, brilliant sunshine is best to really absorb that Yang energy.) The next day, it is smoked with Liu Huang, probably for its preservative properties. Finally, the sun drying process is repeated until the herb is completely dried. The color of the end product will be yellow-brown, mostly yellow, a little brown, crisp and light, the smell is pleasant, the taste is bitter.
    6. Bai Gan Shen (White Dry Shen) The superficial skin of the ginseng is scratched off. When this happens, the color becomes a lighter yellow or white. The quality and shape of this herb is similar to Shang Shai Shen.
    7. Qia Pi Shen (Strangled Skin Shen). The method of preparation is similar to Tang Shen. Ginseng is placed into boiling water for three minutes. The herb is removed until its cold, then replaced into the boiling water. This process is repeated three times. At this point, the ginseng will be thirty percent done. Next the ginseng is put into boiling water for twenty minutes. After it cools, tiny holes are punched into the root like Tang Shen. Next the ginseng is placed into slightly sweetened sugar water. This water isn’t as thick and sweet as what is used for Tang Shen. After the herb has soaked, it is removed and oven dried. This will cause the skin to separate from the body of the root. A bamboo knife is then used to make small indentations into the root, very superficial. The smell is pleasant, the taste is slightly sweet and slightly bitter as is typical of ginseng.
    8. Da Li Shen (Great Force Shen) Fresh, raw ginesent is rinsed for several seconds and then dried very well beneath the sun. (As many days as necessary to fully dry the root.) This is the most natural form of ginseng. This kind of ginseng is not often exported because it has a short shelf life. It has the strongest medicinal effect and is the least prepared. The body length is from 5 to 15 cm. It has a slightly yellow color and is slightly transparent. The beard and branches are cut off to leave only the best part of the ginseng, however the head is left on for consumers to better assess the quality of the herb. The physical properties of this root is hard and crisp. The smell is pleasant, the taste is bitter.
  2. Ye Shan Shen (“Wild Mountain Grown Ginseng”)
    1. The shape looks like cultivated ginseng. The body of the root is wider and shorter. Usually there are two major branches in the body which allows the root to look like a body with two legs. In the head one will find numerous concentric wrinkles. The legs tend to be curved, not straight like cultivated ginseng. The root’s beard (small roots) are much longer than cultivated ginseng. The beard extends one or two times the length of the “legs” of the root. The beardy roots also have pearly spots on them. These pearly spots is the biggest difference between wild and cultivated ginseng. Wild ginseng’s color is a light yellow. The skin of the root is very soft. It’s natural smell (before cooking) is stronger that cultivated ginseng. It is sweet, with a slight bitter quality.
    The preparation procedures for wild ginseng follow the three following methods. See above for details.
    1. Sheng Shai Shen
    2. Tang Shen
    3. Qia Pi Shen
  3. Korean Ginseng:Korean Ginseng of course grows in Korea. It too, comes in both Wild and cultivated varieties. The more Northern, the better the quality, though it is grown in the South as well. Bei Zhi Shen (“fork in the straight road root” probably named such because the shape of the herb is a little bigger and the legs resemble a “Y” in the road.) These herbs are bigger and have a stronger tonification function.
    Production: There is Korean Red Ginseng and Korean White Ginseng. Red is stronger than white. Preparation is the same as Chinese Ginseng.
  4. Siberian ginseng (this refers to the ginseng that grows naturally in Siberia which is known in Latin as eleutherococcus senticosus.)Siberian ginseng’s function is very similar to Chinese and Korean ginseng. It usually has a warmer energetic temperature than Chinese or Korean ginseng. Information on ginseng distinct to Siberia is somewhat lacking because up until very recently, ginseng wasn’t really divided up by the location of its production. This is a more modern differentiation.

Clinical Applications

Ginseng used in formulas that tonify
Spleen or Lung Qi Deficiency: Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (Tonify the Middle and Augment the Qi Decoction), Si Jun Zi Tang (Four-Gentleman Decoction).
Spleen or Lung Qi Deficiency with cold: Wen Wei San (Warm the Stomach Powder) (Ingredients are Ren Shen (Radix Ginseng), Fu Zi (Radix Aconiti Carmichaeli Praeparata Lateralis), and Gan Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Officinalis)). It should be noted that in ancient times, powder was not the dusty or sandy quality substance we now think of as powder. A better translation might be “very finely diced herbs” which are simply added to boiling water and steeped while in the drinking cup.
Lung Qi Deficiency with Chronic Cough: Ren Shen (Radix Ginseng) with Lu Jiao Jiao (Gelatinum Cornu Cervi).
Lung and Kidney Qi Deficiency Chronic Cough: Ren Shen Gou Qi Tang (presumably Ginseng Lycii Decoction)
Heart Spirit Not Calm: Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan (Heavenly King Tonify Heart Refined Pill) In this formula, ginseng calms shen.
Injury to both the Qi and body fluids: Sheng Mai San (Generate Pulse Powder) Ginseng Tonifies Qi and fluids.
Injury to both the Qi and body fluids: Bai Hu Jia Shen Tang: (White Tiger Plus (Ren) Shen Decoction) (Bai Hu Tang + Ginseng.) Especially good for post febrile disease in which the Qi and fluids have been injured.
Yuan/Source Qi Deficiency and Failure: Du Shen Tang. It is just one ingredient, Ren Shen but a big dosage giving rise to a very thick soup. Good for the condition following a severe loss of blood, vomiting, or diarrhea. Tonifies Yuan Qi. Shen Fu Tang (Ginseng, Fu Zi, decoction) Can be added to tonifies both the Yang and Qi.
Qi and Blood deficiency: Ba Zhen Tang (Eight Treasures decoction) Tonifies Qi to produce more blood.
Qi and Blood deficiency: Zhi Gan Cao Tang (Baked Licorice Decoction), used for deficiency of Qi and Blood with palpitations.
Qi and Blood deficiency: Tai Shan Pan Shi San (“Mount Tai” Solid Rock Powder) Tonifies Spleen Qi and nurtures Blood to avoid miscarriage by calming the fetus and solidifying the pregnancy.
Ginseng used in formulas that tonify righteous Qi to expel evil Qi
Wind-Cold Damp with Qi deficiency: Ren Shen Bai Du San (Ginseng Powder to Overcome Pathogenic Influences)
Summerheat with Qi deficiency: Qing Shu Yi Qi Tang (Clear Summerheat and Augment the Qi decoction)
Constipation due to deficiency of Qi and Blood: Huang Long Tang (Yellow Dragon Decoction)
Constipation due to Spleen Yang deficiency leading to cold and stagnation in the Large Intestine: Wen Pi Tang (Warm the Spleen Decoction)
Ginseng used in formulas that harmonize
Ginseng is used for “he”, one of the eight traditional treatment principles. It is used to regulate and harmonize. It regulates the Shao Yang syndromes, Zang and Fu organs, Liver and Spleen, Stomach and Large Intestine, and fever and chills in malaria.
Shao Yang Disease: Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Minor Bupleurum Decoction)
Stomach and Large Intestine Cold and Heat: Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang (Pinellia Decoction to Drain the Epigastrium) For fullness and bloating in the epigastrium. Especially good for vomiting. Not strong enough for pain.
Heat above, cold below: Huang Lian Tang (Coptis Decoction) Used to regulate the Stomach and Large Intestine, better for upward symptoms or exterior symptoms combined with stomach/colon disharmony. Another indication is abdominal pain and vomiting.
Qi deficiency with Yang Ming excess: Huo Jiang Ban Gan Shen Tang (Magnolia, Raw Ginger, Pinellia, Licorice, Ginseng Decoction) Used for gas and bloating of the abdomen due to Spleen Qi Deficiency with stagnation in the Stomach and Large Intestine.
Shao Yang disease leading to Qi and Blood deficiency: He Ren Yin (Polygoni Ginseng Beverage)
Ginseng used in formulas that clear away evil Qi while tonifying Righteous Qi
Stagnation of food, Qi, and Blood: Zhi Shi Xiao Pi Wan (Immature Bitter Orange to Reduce Focal Distention Pill) In this formula, ginseng helps the digestive function by tonifying the Stomach and Spleen. It is used for food stagnation, and “Ji” (Long-term accumulation of stagnated food, blood and Qi.)
Qi stagnation in the hypochondrium: Bie Jia Jian Wan (Carapax Trionycis Boiled Pill) Used for stagnation of Qi and blood in the Spleen and Liver. Used for hypochondriac enlargements such as splenohepatomegaly.
Ginseng used in formulas that regulate of rebellious Qi
Rebellion of Stomach Qi due to deficiency of Stomach Qi: Xuan Fu Dai Zhe Tang (Inula and Haematite Decoction) Used for Vomiting, belching, bloating or gas due to Stomach Qi deficiency with turbid mucus. In this formula, ginseng tonifies the stomach.
Rebellion of Stomach Qi with heat: Ju Pi Zhu Yu Tang (Tangerine Peel and Bamboo Shaving Decoction) Used for chronic sickness that makes the stomach Qi weak, plus heat in the stomach with belching, vomiting and other rebellious Stomach Qi indications.
Rebellion of Stomach Qi with cold: Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang (Clove and Persimmon Calyx Decoction) Used for hiccups, vomiting, and bloating due to Stomach Qi deficiency with cold.
Rebellion of Stomach Qi due to Liver attacking: Si Mo Yin (Four Milled-herb Decoction) Used for deficiency of Qi which provides the opportunity for the Liver to attack the Stomach leading to nausea and vomiting.
Ginseng used in formulas that regulate Blood
Cold in Ren and Chong meridians: Wen Jing Tang (Warm the Channels Soup) Used for Chong and Ren deficiency allowing cold to stagnate Blood and cause irregular menstruation. In this formula, ginseng tonifies Qi to produce more Blood.

Dosage and cooking instructions

Regular dosage is five to ten grams.
It is better to cook ginseng separately from the rest of the decoction over a lower flame, simmered for thirty to sixty minutes. When the other medicine is prepared, add the ginseng decoction into the rest of herb decoction. Ginseng needs to cook longer to take full advantage of its tonification properties, the longer time is required to steep out all of the active ingredients, and the price of ginseng is such that cooking it separately is more economical.
Another way to use ginseng is to grind it into a powder, or put the powder into a capsule to take everyday. If you just want to take Ginseng alone, the powdered form is okay. Add powder to hot water and drink. If you make ginseng powder, 1-2 grams each dose, 2 or 3 times per day.
If you’re treating a severe or acute problem in an unconscious patient, a larger dosage of 15 to 30 grams is indicated. Make a decoction to put into a feeding tube, or slowly feed the sick person’s mouth to elicit a swallowing reflex to send the tea down the throat.
For some people who only need slight tonification, they can take the regular powdered dosage of 1-2 grams every third, fifth or seventh day. Odd numbered days, or odd number intervals are considered an expression of Yang as odd numbers are Yang and even numbers are Yin. Yang would be tonifying in nature.

Contraindications

Ginseng works against Li Lu (Radix et Rhizome Veratri), they are incompatible.
Ginseng is afraid of Wu Ling Zi (Excrementum Trogopteri seu Pteromi). Ginseng’s “fear” is to say that Wu Ling Zi will lessen the effect of ginseng, but not completely neutralize it.
Ginseng hates Zao Jia, and Jian Lu. Hatred in herbal terms suggests that ginseng will neutralize the effects of Zao Jia and Jian Lu.
When taking ginseng it is better not to eat turnips. The turnip may interfere with the effectiveness of the ginseng.
To avoid the appearance of heat signs or symptoms when one takes ginseng, you can add Tian Men Dong (Tuber Asparagi Chochinchinensis), or Sheng Di Huang (Radix Rehmanniae Glutinosae) to the ginseng decoction.
In some individuals, those with interior excess conditions or severe deficiency conditions, ginseng may create some abdominal bloating. To avoid bloating, add a small dose of Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae) or Sha Ren (Fructus Amomi) to your ginseng tea.
Make a decoction out of Lai Fu Zi (Semen Raphani Sativi) in the case of severe bloating due to ginseng overdose. Lai Fu Zi (Semen Raphani Sativi) is antagonistic to ginseng and will act to diminish the bloating for this reason.
Some classical herb books say that Fu Ling (Poriae Cocos) is a good guiding herb for ginseng, as it works as an envoy to lead to the Spleen, Heart and Lungs.
It is wise not to use ginseng for heat, excess syndromes or with symptoms of toxic heat (infection).


Sciatica Treated by Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs

I get many letters from people reading this article who want to know what points to press or how to press them. It is difficult to answer this question briefly, but I can say that if you want to simply mash your thumb into any location on the lower back or leg that is sensitive along the trajectory of the sciatica pain, you’ll be helping the problem. Don’t push so hard that it causes a bruise and don’t do it so hard that it makes you cry. Just a little pain is really what you want to shoot for. Use the thumb for points on the legs. For tender points on the buttocks, you’ll want to use your elbow to get in there deeply. More likely you’ll end up using someone else’s elbow, but I’ll leave that up to you. Hold down each point for two minutes.
Now, let’s go a little bit deeper into how acupuncture and herbs benefit sciatica pain.
The causes of sciatica
From the biomedical perspective, the cause of sciatic nerve pain is generally considered structural in nature. Whether it is the bones in the spine, the discs between the spines, or even the muscles in the buttocks, each scenario includes some sort of mechanical irritation to the sciatic nerve which exits the spinal cord in the lower back and travels down the leg into the foot.
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, we look at the pain as one of a number of problems.
Sciatica pain that is aggravated by cold or damp weather.
Sometimes cold or damp qi-energy can get into the acupuncture meridians and cause a dull, heavy pain that radiates along the trajectory of one of the meridians from the lower back to the heel, or anywhere in between. This kind of sciatica is aggravated by cold or damp weather. In fact, many aches or pains that are aggravated by cold or damp weather are considered to be the same problem. Many arthritic conditions fall into this category.
Along with acupuncture, moxibustion is often used for this sort of problem. Moxibustion is the application of heat to the meridians or acupoints. Traditionally, the herb Ai Ye (mugwort) is used in the shape of a cigar with the hot part focused on the part of the body that hurts. Moxa comes in many shapes and sizes. The “cigar” style is popular in American clinics, but again it varies widely. Some clinics favor the use of heat lamps or TDK lamps which are a metal plate that radiates heat.
Another weapon against sciatica that is aggravated by cold or damp weather is an herbal formula that is said to be warm and dry in nature. That will help with any pain in the muscles, nerves or joints that is aggravated by cold and/or damp weather. Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang is its name. It tastes something like a cross between hot coffee and Vicks’ Mentholatum.
Sciatica is worse in the evening, better in the morning and aggravated by fatigue.
Another cause of sciatica is called a deficiency of the Liver or Kidney. That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with your liver or kidney from a biomedical perspective. I capitalize the words Liver and Kidney to remind the reader that I’m really talking about different concepts than the usual organs we think of. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter what we call it. The important thing is that we can make you feel better and in the case of a Liver and/or Kidney deficiency we most certainly can help. The only problem with treating deficiency syndromes is that they can take longer than some of the other causes of sciatica. One way to determine if your sciatica is due to deficiency is if the pain is aggravated by fatigue. Deficiency syndromes tend to have a slow onset and a long duration which is to say that this sciatica is a chronic or long-term condition, not something that just popped up one day.
I have some patients who have responded very well to herbal medicines for sciatica that is aggravated by fatigue. Its good to know exactly what is deficient before treating this. Generally the deficiency is going to be one of the four key substances in Chinese medical theory. Qi, Blood, Yin or Yang. Knowing which is the best way to treat this. However lacking the ability to get a diagnosis, it is the next best thing to get the herb formula that most often applies to this sort of sciatica pain. It is called Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan. You’ll notice that it includes the word “Qi” in its name. Guess what its for? Qi primarily but it can also help with the Yang as they’re related. This formula is about 1,800 years old.
Sciatica pain that is worse in the morning and aggravated by sitting still.
The final factor that can give rise to sciatica really is structural in nature. We call it a stagnation of blood due to local trauma which is to say that you pulled a muscle, or you hurt yourself in a car accident, or maybe you have poor posture and you’re sitting in a chair without enough padding on it. Certain structural issues such as bulging disc can fall into this category too.
Something structural is pinching or irritating the sciatic nerve. This could also be muscle spasms are pinching your sciatic nerve as it passes through the butt region. This is a common cause of sciatica, but as you can see, it is one of three possible causes for your sciatic pain. If this is the cause of your sciatic pain, it will probably help to move around. The pain will be worse in the morning because you haven’t moved much in the night and since the problem is all about a lack of movement of qi energy or blood, the fact that the leg hasn’t moved all night will aggravate that condition of stagnation. Movement or activity will help with this kind of pain. This cause of sciatica is the most responsive to acupuncture and responds the quickest to treatment.
An herbal formula often applied to this issue is called Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang. It is used specifically for when you have tight muscles in the lower back or hip/buttocks. Its action doesn’t affect the nerve directly, only the muscles around the nerve. This particular formula has a lot of gan cao in it. That’s licorice root and with long-term use it can cause a rise in blood pressure because it lowers the urinary output just a bit. If you have hypertension, only take this formula if you have the means by which you can monitor your blood pressure. For the rest of us, it should be fine as is.
When the sciatic pain is worse in the absence of movement, we can assume that there is something stuck causing the pain. The difference between qi stagnation and blood stagnation can be thought of as the difference between a pinched nerve due to tight muscles and a pinched nerve due to a bulging disc. There’s a lot of overlap there and even in Chinese medicine the line between qi and blood stagnation isn’t always that clear. Fortunately, when it comes to treating the pain, it doesn’t really matter.
Treatments
Acupuncture
Fine needles, some so thin as to appear more like wires than needles, would be inserted along the pathway of the pain to move the qi energy locally and dissipate the external pathogen as well as activate the movement of the qi energy to remove the pain. Sometimes other points in the body would be used to treat the damp or cold or wind that may have spread out into the rest of the body in addition to the Urinary Bladder meridian.
Electric stimulation (“electro-stim”) can be used on the needles that pass through the leg to provide an even greater amount of stimulation. Electro-stim is a more recent invention applied to acupuncture. While the treatment principle is not at all “traditional Chinese medicine”, it is a commonly used tool within the acupuncture clinic. The reasoning is that with minute pulses of electricity, the local nerves are over stimulated, not with pain, but with a painless electrical shock. This over-stimulation makes the nerves turn down their own sensitivity, and hence, all the other pain that travels through those nerves is also diminished. This is the basis behind acupuncture anesthesia, and this principle applies to sciatica as well.
Ear Acupuncture
Ear Acupuncture can be used for additional assistance in treating the pain associated with sciatica. Once the needles are removed, seeds can be taped into the ears so as to supply on-going stimulation to these points. These seeds or even magnets can be worn for a few days at a time. Of course, care should be given to the condition of the ear’s skin so as to avoid any infection caused by dirt or moisture collecting beneath the tape used to affix the ear seeds. There are a number of products that your acupuncturist will have access to that make use of flesh color tape, not unlike the flesh color Band-Aid bandages. These pieces of tape needn’t look funny in your ears.
In the past, subcutaneous needles have been used instead of ear seeds. Subcutaneous needles are like tiny thumbtacks. They are also effective, but because the skin is broken, and often times, the needles are not changed everyday, the risk of infection increases. For this reason, I don’t personally suggest this treatment. However if you’re in a position to change the little subcutaneous needle everyday and clean the ear, then they can be an effective adjunct to acupuncture for your sciatica pain.
Qi Gong (Chi Kung)
These exercises direct the qi in the body toward the area of the body where the qi energy is either deficient or stagnant. Personally, I think that qi gong exercises and acupuncture have something in common. In qi gong training, it is said that the shen leads the qi. That means that if you’re doing an exercise in which you are focusing your mind (shen) on your lower back, then the qi goes there, and healing takes place. Acupuncture performs the same function. The funny thing about having a needle stuck into your back is that you think about it. You’re acutely aware of it. It forces the mind to become conscious of that area, and so the qi is led to that area. Qi gong exercises are used in between acupuncture treatments.
Qi gong is about as close to yoga as the Chinese get. Like yoga, there are hundreds of kinds. Some qi gongs move, some stand still, some sit, some stand. Some require superhuman patience and strength; others only require a little mental focus.
External Qi Gong
Sometimes, your practitioner will apply qi to your body from his or hers by placing his or her hands onto your body. Often times, their hands will be very warm, signifying that they’ve successfully directed their own qi energy into their hands for “expression” into you.
As with any therapy that requires touching, it is absolutely essential that you feel comfortable with the treatment. If you don’t, your muscles will tighten up and the therapy will produce negative effects. You don’t want that. If you don’t know how you feel about being touched with either external qi gong or even massage, your body will tell you. A muscle tightening up beneath the pressure of a therapist is called a guarding response. Your body is guarding itself from further injury. If your body senses the opportunity for further injury due to the activities of your practitioner you need to honor that body knowledge. Your body’s really smart, and regardless of how much you like the practitioner, or believe in his or her medicine, your body has the last word, and if it doesn’t like what’s happening, then it is best to listen to your body’s wishes.
If you’re uncomfortable with this type of therapy, please tell your practitioner. On the other hand, if you are comfortable with it, you’ll find that with the right practitioner, this can be among the most significant and moving of all therapies. This technique of external qi gong can certainly begin to look much like the more Christian “laying on of hands” and can have some truly divine manifestations in your life.
Chinese Massage or “Tui Na”
Massage therapy for sciatica can’t be underestimated. At the Chinese hospital (from which I’m actually writing this article) there is a department that does nothing but massage chronic, bed-ridden sciatica patients. The massage therapy is given for twenty minutes, once per day. Along with the other therapies listed in this article, I’ve seen patients undergo life-saving changes. Where one patient was literally carried in by family members, a couple of weeks later, he’s walking on his own, with much less pain, obviously.
Massage therapy usually requires daily sessions. Shiatsu, Anma and the other Oriental message techniques are also valuable. There are a variety of western massage techniques that can also assist, but I’m unable to really assess them in this article. Again, have a treatment and your body will tell you if you liked it or not.
Conclusion
Traditional Oriental medicine has been treating sciatica pain as far back as anybody can remember. While TOM identifies a variety of causes and treatments for the variety of issues that can cause sciatica pain, it should be noted that evolutionarily speaking, we haven’t been standing upright so long as to work out all of the kinks. In another thousand generations this entire issue may be a long distant concern as we’ll have likely developed the necessary structural changes to support our upright body. Until then, we’ll have to look to the distant past for non-surgical, holistic, and safe therapies for sciatica pain.

Acupuncture Anesthesia ii

These are the acupuncture anesthesia protocols of Dr. Wen, hospital anesthesiologist at the Yunnan Province Hospital of TCM, Kunming China.We never really know when Dr. Wen will be beeped next. He’s our translator at the Yunnan Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This hospital does more than TCM, it does a great deal of Western medicine as well, and that includes surgeries.
anes1 Acupuncture Anesthesia
Al Stone inserting a needle into LI 4 to calm anxiety.
That’s when Dr. Wen is called in, he’s an anesthesiologist trained in both the Western methods as well as the traditional ways of acupuncture. This article will more than likely continue to grow through the beginning of February, 1988 when my time with Dr. Wen and the Yunnan Hospital will come to an end. Until then, whenever acupuncture anesthesia is used, I’ll add the protocol to this article and by the time February rolls around (if it hasn’t already) there should be some great information here. Hope it doesn’t put you to sleep.

Orthopedic Surgery On Elbow


A woman in her 60′s presented with a fractured ulnar olecranon. The surgery would include the placing of some nails and other hardware into her olecranon to fasten it more securely to the shaft of the ulna.
Due to her advanced years, it was decided that acupuncture anesthesia would be used instead of Western drugs to avoid any possible adverse reactions.
One half hour before the surgery, while the prep was taking place, we inserted two needles into the patient. One, at Heart 1, and the other at Large Intestine 17. The reasoning for this was to over stimulate the brachial nerve. These two locations are on either side of this nerve and with the additional of electro-stim, we could stimulate the nerve into submission.
Neither needle was inserted too deeply. Just enough to tape down to the patient and get the electro-stim leads securely fastened. Heart one, was taped down along the anterior cubital crease since there would be a certain amount of movement in the arm during the prep for the surgery. Large Intestine 17 was also taped down, though its placement was really designed for the patient’s comfort rather than any other consideration.
The electro-stim began at 100 Hz at a somewhat low setting of amplitude (or “strength”). The patient could feel the tapping of her muscles, but we didn’t really go much further than that. Immediately, there was an anesthesia reaction in her arm. This being tested with a neurological testing needle. This setting didn’t change for the half hour prior to the surgery. The idea being at this point to simply stimulate the body into secreting endorphins. We’re really not yet trying to over accommodate the nerve, even though that is exactly what happened.
Once the surgery began, the patient complained of some discomfort and we turned the strength of the electro-stim up from “1″ to “2″. The idea isn’t to double the amplitude, but to simply turn it up to induce the anesthetic response of the nerve being effected.
We also turned down the frequency form 100 Hz to 50 Hz. The reasoning being that altering the frequency would prevent the nerve from getting used to the stimulation and thus ignoring it.
The controls didn’t once change after the surgery began. The surgery lasted about 45 minutes and went off without a hitch. After the cut was sutured and the nurses were cleaning up the patient, we removed the needles. The patient was in good spirits.

Orthopedic Surgery On The Patellar Ligament


A man in his thirties was to have his knee cap repositioned. One of the tendons holding the knee cap in place had been damaged and so the knee cap had descended to below where it should normally be due to the other muscles pulling it out of position. Acupuncture anesthesia was chosen for this surgery. No drugs were employed.
One half hour prior to the surgery, Spleen 11 and Liver 10 were needled on the leg in question. These two points were attached to an electro-stim machine and we slowly turned up the voltage until there was muscle contraction. Then we rolled back the voltage to just below that point. The stimulation was constant at 100hz.
The needles’ handles were bent to be taped down with surgical tape.
Other points used, also on the same side as the surgery, were Pericardium 6 and Large intestine 4. Again, they were taped down and attached to an electro-stim machine.
The two points on the leg were used mostly to stimulate the tibial nerve, which is the one that would be most effected by the surgery. The two points on the arm had a dual purpose of adding additional endorphin release, as well as calming the Shen (spirit, anxiety), which means calming the patient’s emotional experience of the surgery.
After one half hour, while the rest of the surgical prep took place, we changed the stimulation of the leg points to a mixed stimulation. For one second it was 100hz. And the next second the frequency of the stimulation was 18hz. The two arm points remained unchanged as to their electro-stimulation.
The reasoning behind this was to prevent the tibial nerve from accommodating to the stimulation thus rendering the anesthesia ineffective.
One half hour later, again, the electro-stim was altered on the leg points to an intermittent wave, meaning one second of stimulation at 100k, and one second of no stimulation. The same nerve accommodation reasoning applied here as well.
The surgery went off without a hitch. Afterwords, the patient, who had been fully conscious throughout the entire surgery, was in good spirits and very calm.
This surgery took place surrounding the patella. For surgery that involves the lateral aspect of the leg, the leg points used are Gall Bladder 30 and Urinary Bladder 30. The arm points are the same as in this surgery.

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