More than Needles: 6 TCM Therapies You May Never Have Heard of

cuppingMost people know that one way to feel better is with acupuncture needles.  You go to your acupuncturist feeling bad.  I put in a few needles.  You leave feeling lighter, energized, more pain-free.

Using acupuncture needles to heal is part of a broader medical system called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  By observing body systems and the links between symptoms, TCM developed a medical philosophy about the flow of Qi, or life force.   When Qi is balanced, you feel healthy.   When it is disrupted, blocked or unbalanced, poor health is the result.

In acupuncture, needles are placed at specific points along the meridians to balance the Qi.

But did you know that needles are just one way to balance Qi?

TCM is a flexible system.  The principles can be applied in many ways and to many different therapies to achieve the same results.

In the following 2 part series, we will look at the many ways you can balance Qi.  This first part of the series describes the TCM therapies that require the help of a practitioner.

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The One Simple Summer Eating Tip to Make You Feel Fantastic

strawberriesHealthy eating tips for the summer are a little tricky.

Since the weather is warm, you need light, cooling foods.  Juicy peaches, sweet watermelons, tomatoes hot off the vine…  The right foods are easy to find.  One trip through your garden or a walk through a farmer’s market and you’ll have the perfect summer meal.

But since you’re outside exercising and working in the garden, you build up an appetite.  You work hard and play hard.  You crave calories to keep the fire burning.  Are cucumbers the first food you reach for after rototilling the garden?  Probably not.

Unfortunately, many times craving calories trumps craving fresh food.  You satisfy your appetite with a meal of tortilla chips and soda.  Or brats and beer.  Or hamburgers and ice cream.

And afterward you feel full, bloated and hot.

Fortunately there is a solution.  It is possible to eat well, have energy and avoid feeling bloated.

The trick is in the timing.

With an easy tweak to your natural summer diet, you’ll feel fantastic. continue reading »

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6 Ways to Relieve Allergies Without Drugs, Shots or Needles

summer-fieldSummer finally arrives.

The sun comes out.  The flowers bloom.

Most people grab their sunscreen and head outside.  But what do you do?

You close the windows, grab your antihistamines and hide in the house.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy being outdoors?

Allergies are widespread.  According to WebMD, 20% of the population suffers from allergies or asthma, and 55% of the population tests positive for one or more allergens.   Allergies are the 5th leading chronic disease in the US and cost the US health care system $7.9 billion annually.

If you can’t live with your runny nose, congestion or watery eyes, but you don’t want to take antihistamines or get allergy shots, what can you do to relieve your symptoms?

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8 Sex Drive Killers that Ruin Your Romantic Date

flamingos-heartDate night can be fun, a celebration of love and romance. But for some people, romance is the last thing on their minds.  If you have a low sex drive or no sex drive, the pressure to be romantic can make date night uncomfortable.  You may want to show your sweetheart how much you care, but you just don’t feel it.

There are many reasons for low libido and some of them are not obvious.  Find out if any of the sex drive killers below are ruining your date night plans. continue reading »

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7 Healthy Tips for Coping with Financial Stress

beach-stress-freeIf you feel stressed just living your life, you’re not alone.

Americans lead stressful lives.  Jobs, relationships, health, family obligations, community responsibilities—they all take their toll.

In “Stress in America 2012,” an annual survey by the American Psychology Association, 1 in 5 respondents reported an extreme stress level of 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale.  In that same group 69% of respondents reported physical or non-physical symptoms of stress, including irritability or anger, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed or changes in their sleep.

The top source of stress according to 69% of the respondents is–money. continue reading »

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How Traditional Chinese Diabetic Treatments Bring New Hope for an Old Disease

Diabetes is a worldwide concern.  Millions of people suffer or die from it and its complications.  The rate at which it is increasing in the population is staggering.

According to the World Health Organization about 347 million people worldwide have diabetes.  Deaths from diabetes will rise 50% in the next 10 years and by 2030 diabetes is expected to be the seventh leading cause of death worldwide. continue reading »

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50 Ways to Leave Your Acupuncturist

stonesI’m a lucky acupuncturist.

I work with wonderful people every day and I get to hear your stories, celebrate when you get well and watch your families grow up.

I always try to think of ways to improve your health but suddenly it occurred to me—there is one way I haven’t yet helped you.

I haven’t given you a definitive guide to staying healthy.

This pains me.  Not only have I neglected giving you the secret to good health but also if I give it to you, you’ll leave me.  You won’t need me anymore.

The more I thought about this, the more nervous I became.  You see, there’s not one way to stay well, not two or three.

In fact, there must be 50 ways to leave your acupuncturist. (Read more…)

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Spring Acupuncture Tips to Keep You Healthy, Happy and Flexible

spring-has-sprungSpring is a happy time.  Bunnies hop about.  Flowers emerge in long forgotten corners of your garden.  The birds return and sing so loudly they wake you in the morning.

This is not a time to be angry.

But according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, being angry is exactly what you can expect if you don’t balance your wood element.

In TCM, spring is represented by the element wood.  Wood represents birth and newness, the time for fresh ideas and new starts.  Unsurprisingly, its color is green like the fresh growth of spring.

Wood governs your spine, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.  A wood imbalance can lead to spinal problems, poor flexibility or arthritis.  Wood also governs your eyes.

But most important for your mood, wood governs your liver.  Read More…

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How to End the Terrible Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatments

meridian-womanHaving breast cancer is hard.  Your body wages a war against cancer cells and your emotions may slide into fear, grief, anxiety and depression.

And unfortunately, the side effects from breast cancer treatments can make it even worse.

Until now, many people thought they had to suffer through all the discomfort.  But new research shows that acupuncture is very effective at relieving the side effects of breast cancer treatments.
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How to End Seasonal Affective Disorder and Start Loving Winter

winter-forestMany people feel down as winter approaches.  It’s dark.  It’s cold. The holidays can be stressful.

But for some people every winter is unbearable.  They’re tired and depressed.  They don’t want to get out of bed.  They snap at their families and binge on junk food.

These people have seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Our moods and energy levels fluctuate with the seasons.  Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) understands these cycles but modern life does not.  These days, you are expected to be active, productive and creative at all times of the year.  There is no accommodation for a slow, quiet winter.  According to TCM, this conflict causes stress, which can result in SAD.

Read the rest…

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