The History And Applications Of Qi Gong

Perhaps, one of the most misunderstood of all New Age practices is Qi Gong. First of all, not a lot of people know how to pronounce the name correctly (it’s Chee Kung). Second, some people claim it is a martial art technique while others consider it a form relaxation technique (it is both). And finally, a lot of people believe it is outlawed in China (that’s Falun Gong, not Qi Gong).

Qi Gong is a set of exercises that involves concentration, relaxation, and breathing that’s meant to restore balance and bring the qi or energy of the body, in harmony with itself. To the uninitiated, qi gong a bit like Tai Chi and yoga rolled into one, and its fundamental dogma is to instruct people on how to make best use of their qi and harness it to maintain its smooth flow all over the body.

Those who promote this healing exercise believe that any person can improve their health and benefit from it, whatever their expertise or background in the area.

People become ill when the flow of qi becomes unbalanced or stagnates in the body; conversely, when this flow is in balance or without hindrance, the person can live a happy healthy life. This can best be demonstrated with water. Which water source would you rather drink from: a stream of rapid flowing water or a pond with stagnant water?

The History and Uses of Qi Gong

Historians have allegedly found the practice of Qi Gong to be at least 5,000 years old although most followers believe it was 2,500 years ago when it was first introduced. While no one knows exactly how it began, most people believe it dates to Shamanist practices in ancient China, and then gradually progressed incorporating both Taoist and Buddhist methods for use in the martial arts or to prevent or treat illness.

In the US, Qi Gong is now offered in many fitness centers and health clubs, where followers focus on their concentration and breathing, and as well as their points of concentration as they perform a set series of controlled, careful, and slow movements. These people mostly concentrate on the flow of qi within their bodies, and in certain instances they focus on specific body parts that require healing.

Today, there are thousands of forms of Qi Gong that are in practice all over the world, with each school having its own unique style. Qi Gong has four main areas of application or concentration that include:

1. Spiritual:

Qi Gong has ideas that have gradually developed through the practice of Buddhism and Taoism, spiritual Qi Gong brings practitioners in harmony with nature and allows them to gain better self-awareness and calmness to reduce their stress. Besides allowing them to get in touch with themselves, Qi Gong has also been shown to help people get in touch with a divine presence.

2. Sports:

This is quite commonsensical since Qi Gong also entails the use of techniques developed and perfected through its use in martial arts and sports. In general, martial arts can help boost flexibility, balance, coordination, stamina, etc., factors that can all be applied to different sports from ping pong, to tennis, to golf.

3. Healing:

This is basically connected to stress. Those who promote Chinese medicine state that keeping our stress levels low is crucial in the control and prevention of certain medical conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and high blood pressure. They also believe that Qi Gong helps strengthen the immune system of the body which gives the body a better ability to heal itself.

4. External Healing:

A little more like the above, but with extra therapies such as acupuncture and osteopathy included. The point is that Qi Gong practitioners can harness the energy that is overflowing in nature and channel it through into their bodies, thus allowing the healing qualities to wash over them and cleanse the body. The external healing is a bit similar to Reiki which is not a hands-on technique and is done away from the body, leaving it open to skepticism.

It’s important to remember that Qi Gong can also be used on other areas of human endeavor as well, like in business and art. In theory, Qi Gong can be extremely useful, for a condition known as “hurry sickness” – as practitioners believe it can help reverse heart disease related to this, as well as the aging process.

Qi Gong Health Benefits

Those who promote Qi Gong believe that any person can improve their health by exercising Qi gong regardless of their expertise or background in the area. Its aim is to free up the flow of energy when the qi has been blocked by stress, injury, disease, etc.

While only a few studies about Qi Gong have been conducted, in the West, it is widely used in a lot of clinics and hospitals in Asia, where it is considered as an exercise to that can actually help reverse signs of aging and one that can alleviate stress. But this practice is very seldom used in as a replacement for conventional medicine although it is sometimes used as an adjunct to it. Some people believe it can help strengthen the immune system and help also reverse the effects of heart disease, and stroke and certain other medical conditions.

Qi Gong can provide people with the following health benefits:

? Bigger bowel movements
? Relief of stress
? Lowering of blood pressure
? Increase in sex hormone levels
? Extended longevity
? Treatment of diabetes
? Elimination of allergies
? Curing ulcers
? Relief of asthma symptoms
? Helping in the battle against cancer

Qi Gong can bring back a sense of calmness throughout the body and can help keep the mind focus. However, there is no proof that it can help cure cancer even while it definitely is a very good way to boost flexibility and coordination and lower the levels of stress in the body. Qi Gong should be used mainly as a meditation and relaxation exercise and as a form of gentle workout for people who are not looking for anything more strenuous.

Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.

With Qi Gong, Your Body And Mind Becomes A Sea Of Peace And Tranquility

Pronounced chee kung or chee gung, the term Qi gong means:

• Qi: life energy, breath, air

• Gong: work

Hence the meaning of Qi-gong is “working the life energy”.

Qi-gong is a series of exercises involving breathing and visualization methods and gentle movements of the body in order to harness the life energy (qi) inside the body. It has its roots in ancient China and is used by tens of millions of people all over the world to boost mental and physical health.

Qi-gong is part of the curriculum of the more important universities in China and in Chinese hospitals it is officially recognized as a valid medical procedure. The exercises contained in Qi-gong are designed to benefit the whole body and are focused on certain organ systems in the body. It can help restore and balance the digestive, lymphatic, cardiovascular, and nervous systems to make them function at their utmost peak and efficiency. Aside from their own personal self-healing and benefit practitioners of Qi-gong can also tap into its power to cure other people.

Based on the theory of Chinese medicine, physical and emotional conditions are tied to blockages of energy in the body. According to this viewpoint, Qi gong’s ability to heal mental and emotional conditions is due to the fact that it helps clear out the blockages and balances the energy within the body. Qi gong can help treat your problem whether you believe in this theory or not.

One can practice Qi-gong in a lying, sitting, or standing position. Anyone can practice it including male and female children, teens, adults, and seniors. Practitioners of this healing technique believe it can bring about a calm and quiet state of mind. This is achieved by focusing on one point of the body or on the breathing. The least you notice external stimuli (light, temperature, noise, etc.) the deeper your quiet state of mind goes. The body and mind becomes a sea of peace and tranquility. With perseverance and patience, people who find it difficult to achieve this state will definitely be able to go deeper and deeper into it.

For better outcomes, qi-gong should be practiced on a daily basis. People tend to perform the exercises in the morning, prior to commencing their daily activities. This is appropriate since you body and mind are well-rested and more relaxed at this time making it more convenient to focus on the exercise; also, the Qi is at its highest quality in this time of day as the air is fresher. One can also perform the exercises at other times of the day. This will ultimately depend on what time you feel is best to exercise.

Qi gong exercises can last for an hour or just five minutes, at least. It may be a bit too much if you perform it for more than an hour. It is not meant to replace conventional medical treatment, although it can be used as an adjunct to it. When you perform Qi-gong, your mind and body relaxes, your breathing slows down, and your concentration gets focused. These benefits themselves can help alleviate anxiety and stress. With regular practice, you will attain maximum vitality and a more peaceful and tranquil state of mind.

When combined with techniques such as visualization, physical exercises, and meditation Qi-gong can provide you with a way to overcome severe anxiety attacks.


Thrive Wellness Center is an acupuncture clinic in Fort Lauderdale, FL with licensed acupuncturists, physicians and therapists.

Research Shows Acupressure Can Help Relieve Acute And Chronic Low Back Pain

Acupressure is widely believed to have originated in ancient China, and has been an important practice that was integrated as a branch of Chinese medicine, now referred to as TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine in Boca Raton.

Acupressure is based on the classification of the human body into meridians, which are believed to be vessels in which vital energy or chi flows from the body in order to restore or maintain wellness. This therapy has experienced a revival in the 20the century, in spite of the skepticism due to scientific experiments attempted to disprove its efficacy.

Acupressure has been shown to elicit physiological and neurological responses from the body, as proven from the ability of acupuncture to attenuate certain areas of the body. The belief that ostensibly seemingly parts of the body may actually be connected can be shown in instances in which some areas of the body feel weakness when a part of the nervous system is weakened.

Studies that have been conducted seem to prove acupressure superior compared to physical therapy when it comes to the relief of lower back problems. At some point in their lives, 80 percent of the population will suffer from some sort of back pain. National Taiwan University researchers have released a report on the success of acupressure with statistics and a clinical study that have been carried out. The study showed that compared to physically therapy, patients experienced a significant 89 percent decrease in the back problems with acupressure. This effect lasted up to six months.

In the clinical study, a total of 129 patients, all suffering from chronic lower back problems were given seven sessions of acupressure treatment. After the completion of all the sessions, the researched document a clear lower disability score compared to physical therapy.

The researchers concluded that results in alleviating low back pain proved acupressure to be a more effective treatment than physical therapy in terms of disability, functionality and pain scores.

The British Medical Journal in the UK also published this study on lower back pain.

The World Health Organization has also endorsed acupressure as a valid form of treatment for various ailments and illnesses. Acupressure is also a valid method for alleviating pain at other parts of the body. This treatment has been steadily gaining followers as it goes mainstream. Hospitals are actually starting to take notice and some of them are starting to offer it to patients as an alternative treatment.

In using the principles of acupressure, you can perform a series of acupressure exercises for the relief of pain. Exercises that target common problem areas such as the back can be self-administered by the patient.

Acupressure To Induce Labor, Five Important Questions To Ask

Pregnant women who may be wondering if acupressure can help alleviate their labor discomfort may be glad to know that the therapy can indeed help them overcome the adverse effects of labor. Acupressure can help provide natural relief with labor induction and pain.

The following are five important questions that pregnant women may want to find answers to:

1. Can anyone practice acupressure? There is no training or no special massage technique required to provide yourself or others with good acupressure therapy. However, you do need to have some knowledge on how to perform acupressure correctly. The important trick is to palpate the acupoints and to press using your elbows, hands, thumbs, or fingers. It is important to apply pressure to the acupressure point until the woman feels fine. Do not overdo the therapy or else it may injure her.

2. Have studies been done about acupressure related to labor? Yes, there have been. Reputable Western medical publications have featured successful experiments and researches. One such study conducted in Korea by the department of Dankook University aimed to see the effect acupressure (specifically on the SP6 point) on labor pain and delivery time in women. SP6 acupressure was assigned to half of the 75 women while the other half was treated with SP6 touch control. Both groups underwent a 30-minute intervention with their respective therapies. Prior to acupressure, immediately after acupressure, and 30 to 60 min. right after acupressure, researchers monitored labor pain. Researchers discovered that in the SP6 acupressure group, the overall duration of labor was much shorter compared to the SP6 touch control group.

3. When is the right time to induce labor through acupressure? Several researches have shown that acupressure can indeed really induce labor prior the due time. According to doctors, acupressure is one of the best and safest natural ways to induce labor although it can be also deemed to be an intervention. So, you need to select the time to induce labor very carefully. Experts believe that in using acupressure to induce labor, the safest time to do it is three to four days before due time.

4. Are there special tools needed to practice acupressure? No tools need to be used while performing acupressure. Several experts say that your hands and your own massage skills are the only tools you need to perform acupressure. You need to only remember a couple of things: 1) the effect each point makes on the body; and 2) the ability to pressing with your elbows, hands, thumbs, or fingers.

5. In using acupressure to alleviate labor pains, when is the right time to start? The onset of labor is the right to perform acupressure to alleviate labor pains. According to researchers when acupressure is utilized at the onset of the labor, it has led to the significant relief of their labor pain. It works particularly well when the right acupressure points have been located that would most effectively help in the relief of labor pain.

Nelya de Brun is a licensed acupuncturist in Boynton Beach, FL., practicing acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and Western medical pathology. She is also the founder of Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC.

Cranial Sacral Therapy Can Stop The Painful Aching And Throbbing In Your Head For Good

We recommend that you go to a physical therapist and request for a therapy or massage if you are suffering from your headache most of the time. One such therapy that is ideal for painful head ailments is Cranial Sacral therapy. It is a healing technique that assesses and improves the function of the craniosacral system and involves the use of gentle manipulation with the use of the hands.

Based on several clinical studies dealing with cranial sacral therapy (CST), it has been that this approach can treat or even cure a variety of illnesses, conditions, and ailments like respiratory disorders, irritability, sight and sound issues, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, headaches and many more. CST has three separate methods that include reflex, meningeal, and sutural. The reflex approach can alleviate stress within the craniosacral system which also leads to the treatement of the in the other structures and organs of the body. The meningeal approach, which was developed by John Upledger follows the principle that restriction or tension in the meninges causes disturbances in the craniosacral system. The last one is the sutural approach manipulates the sutures of the skull to boost mobility and lessen the pressure of the cranial bones. This method was popularized by Dr. William G. Sutherland.

Craniosacral therapy is a holistic type of treatment since it strives to prevent dysfunction and illness by simply evaluating the body as a whole. It provides a patient the emotional, mental, and physical, balance it needs. In addition, if you want headaches and other ailments relieved, mobility cranio-sacral holistic therapy can be an excellent option for you. Headaches are not that easy to manage since it can affect your way of thought and your work. Most people would rely on over the counter or prescription painkillers that can allay the pain for awhile. But this mode of treatment is not designed to cure or even relieve your ailment in the long term. Getting cranio-sacral treatment therapy from an experienced and qualified practitioner can help stop the aching and throbbing in your head for good.

Moreover craniosacral therapy (CST) is aimed at determining the underlying reason of a specific condition and to cure it. CST practitioners will listen to the subtle pulsations and rhythms of your craniosacral system. By listening deeply, they are able to hear the expression of the body’s patterns of resistance and stress. Aside from healing, this therapy can promote, foster and generate the body’s own internal healing mechanisms to act correspondingly. A CST practitioner also observes the cerebrospinal fluid’s wavelike motion in order to monitor the changes in pressure to ascertain any dysfunction or restriction.

Due to the great leap in technological innovation, you can a clinic that offers cranio-sacral therapy. Some of the clinics provide nutrition plus stress management, rehab, and massage therapies. Two popular approaches are cranial sacral treatment and chronic pain cranial sacral treatment. Both are highly recommended by CST practitioners and physical therapists. Try these treatments if you want a headache-free or stress-free life.

Complementary Healthcare
1000 Valley Forge Cir #105
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(484) 392-7023

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Can Heighten The Efficacy Of Radiation Therapy Or Chemotherapy

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Overland Park can heighten the efficacy of radiation therapy or chemotherapy. It can boost the immune system’s ability to combat cancer and neutralize side effects enabling the patient to recover more quickly.

TCM is a complementary cancer therapy that can help:

  • Boost other cancer therapies
  • Strengthen body condition and resistance
  • Support chemotherapy
  • Limit inflammation
  • Extend longevity
  • Minimizes chemotherapy side effects
  • Improve the quality of life of the patient

Treatment Methods

A person needs to have a smooth flow of qi and blood in order to remain healthy. By regulating their flow, TCM can help alleviate pain and combat cancer cells by removing the internal toxins that allow the cancer cells to thrive. Experienced TCM practitioners can provide the following:

1. Herbal treatment – This approach can eliminate toxicity and remove heat from the body. Heat toxins in TCM, can dry up body fluid, condense the blood, and contribute to the formation of phlegm that obstructs the blood and energy channels that can result in cancer.

2. Yang tonification: The main mode of treatment is to nourish yin and blood and tonify the yang. This approach can help strengthen the innate ability of the patient to combat cancer, both mentally and physically, and to accelerate recovery after traumatic medical interventions. Tonification can be done in all cancer stages, even in the middle to late stages.

Traditional Chinese Medicine sees cancer as a systemic condition related to a weakened state of health and is not a localized problem involving organs or organs, which is the viewpoint of Western medicine. This is an important aspect in the treatment of cancer, since the aim of treatment is to improve the condition of the whole body instead of merely eliminating the cancer cells and the tumor. Individual treatment is therefore necessary to evaluate the symptoms and condition of the patient. A concoction of herbs are prescribed and modified during the treatment to ensure an integrated and comprehensive treatment.

Decreasing Side Effects

The side effects associated with Chemotherapy include a significantly weakened immune, weak appetite, and nausea.

What’s more chemotherapy actually kills all cells even the healthy fast-growing cells that fight the cancer. Chemotherapy also destroys the digestive tract’s mucosal lining. All these result in potential infections, fatigue, malnourishment, and weight loss.

Through herbal therapy, Chinese Medicine can counter-attack and neutralize those side-effects. The benefits of herbal therapy for cancer patients include a reduction of toxicity in the body, better digestive absorption, and an increase in the production of blood cells that can help lead to a fast recovery.

If you have a strong body, you’ll be able to fight cancer much better and withstand the effects chemotherapy. This makes herbal therapy and ideal complementary treatment for the very toxic, highly expensive, and dangerous chemotherapy.

Western medicine and TCM should work hand-in-hand in destroying cancer by creating synergies and integrating its therapies together. Medical studies have shown that when combined, these two health care systems is a much more effective approach than if either treatment was separately utilized.

Chinese Nutritional Therapy And Foods That Can Help Resolve Specific Underlying Imbalances

Chinese nutritional therapy in Austin categorizes food based on its energetic qualities instead of its components. Certain foods may be considered warm and nourishing while others are deemed eliminating and cooling; some foods can help build energy or qi in the body while some possess yin or yang or blood tonifying qualities. So, according to Western medicine, while a yogurt and apple breakfast will always possess the same nutritional value regardless of who eats it, traditional Chinese medicine sees it as helpful for people overcoming deficient yin conditions but damaging to people suffering from dampness or deficient yang.

In this regard, based on your condition, food can either impair or aid your everyday effort to recuperate from disease or help maintain health. Chinese nutritional therapy is more than the consumption of highly nourishing food; it is also eating healthy food that is appropriate for one’s unique body types.

The Five Flavors in Chinese Nutritional Therapy

In traditional Chinese medicine, all foods have their own distinct qualities based on the five flavors or tastes: salty, pungent, sweet, bitter, and sour and the four natures: hot, warm, cool, and cool.

The flavor of food (salty, pungent, sweet, bitter, and sour) may be utilized to foretell its effects on the body. Also, the nature of food (hot, warm, cool, and cool) can have a direct impact on the body. The manner in which food is prepared may make it more proper to the constitution of a person:

Salty foods

This flavor group includes among others soy sauce and kelp. Both tend to hold fluids in the body and are cooling in nature. They have a purgative effect, can soften hardness, and have a downward movement. Energetically, salty foods affect the will (zhi) and the Kidney and too much of it injures the blood.

Pungent or Spicy Foods

These types of foods include cayenne pepper and onion. They have a warming effect, promote the circulation of blood and the flow of qi, and in terms of direction, move upwards and outwards to the body surface. They can also help eliminate mucus from the lungs. Energetically, spicy taste affects the po (animal soul) and goes to the Lungs; too much of it injures the qi.

Sweet Foods

Sweet foods can be warm and nourishing or neutral and nourishing. Sweet foods include starchy vegetables, dairy products, nits, legumes, and meat; apples, rice, potatoes, honey, sugar, and fruits are foods that are sweet plus cooling. Energetically, the foods that are sweet have a tonifying effect and affect the mind (yi) and Spleen; too much of it injures the muscles.

Bitter foods

They include dandelion leaf and rhubarb. Bitter foods dry dampness, drain heat, and moves qi downward. Certain bitter foods have a purgative quality and can induce bowel movements. Energetically, the bitter taste affects the spirit or Shen and Heart; too much of it injures the bones.

Sour Foods

They include olives and grapefruit which are cooling, generate yin fluids, and have an astringent effect. They can promote digestion in small amounts. Energetically, the sour taste affects the hun or spirit soul and the Liver; too much of it injures the nerves.

Deficient Yin

Yin symbolizes the energy that tends to have cooling and moistening effects on the body. When your yin becomes weak or becomes depleted, your body will start to manifest indications of “heating up”. This is not real heat but instead a suggest lack of cooling and moistening abilities that are needed to preserve healthy balance.

Foods that can help tonify Yin include:

1. Dairy: Duck egg, cow’s milk, chicken, and cheese, chicken egg, cow’s milk, duck egg
2. Meat: Rabbit, kidney pork, pork, goose, duck, and beef
3. Fish: Most kinds of fish as well as octopus, oyster, cuttlefish, crab, freshwater clam, and sardine
4. Seeds and Nuts: Walnut, black sesame seed, sesame seed, and coconut milk
5. Bean Products: tofu (soy)
6. Beans: black beans, adzuki, kidney, black soya, , mung, and lima
7. Fruit: Apricot, apple, banana, avocado, lime, lemon, mulberry, mango, persimmon, pear, watermelon, pomegranate, and pineapple
8. Vegetables: Artichoke, alfalfa sprout, kelp, asparagus, pea, mung bean sprout, seaweed, potato, sweet potato, tomato, string bean, zucchini, yam, and water chestnut
9. Grains: Millet and barley
10. Condiments and oils and: Malt and honey
11. Spice/Herb: Nettle and marjoram
12. Supplements: American ginseng

Samples of regular western foods that can help fortify yin, include:

1. Miso soup with seaweed and tofu
2. Apple and pork dishes
3. Baked Potato with sesame seeds and soy sauce and stuffed with tofu.
4. Tacos topped with a small amount of cheese and made with Kidney beans
5. Egg salad and sesame seeds with asparagus
6. Cheese omelet
7. Fish foods with coconut milk
8. Fruit salad or Fruit smoothies with banana and honey

Foods That Should Not Be Eaten

Stimulating foods should be avoided as they only tend further exhaust yin: Sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and pungent hot spices.

It’s important to note that if large amounts of yin tonifying foods are consumed, they can promote stagnation and block the spleen. Hence, you may want to frequently eat only small amounts of these foods rather than eating large helpings of them irregularly.

Deficient Yang

Yang symbolizes the energy that tends to activate and warm bodily functions. A depletion of yang may cause your body to stagnate and manifest signs of cold and under activity. Foods that can build yang include:

1. Meat: Lamb and beef kidneys, venison, lamb, and chicken
2. Fish: Lobster, anchovy, trout, mussel, shrimp, and prawn
3. Nuts: chestnuts, , walnuts, and pistachio nuts
4. Fruit: Raspberry, peach, cherry, , strawberry, logan, and lychee
5. Vegetables: leek, watercress, mustard greens, turnip, onion, sweet potato, radish, squash, and scallion
6. Grains: wheat germ, sweet (glutinous) rice, and quinoa
7. Spice/Herb: basil, white pepper, black pepper, thyme, turmeric, caper, star anise, cayenne, spearmint, chive seed, savory, cinnamon bark, sage, clove, rosemary, dill seed, peppermint, fennel seed, nutmeg, fennugreek seed, horseradish, ginger, and garlic
8. Supplements: malt sugar, brown sugar, and Korean ginseng
9. Beverages: Jasmin tea, chai tea

Samples of regular western foods that can help tonify yang

1. Potato and seek with black pepper
2. A teaspoon of Brown sugar and nutmeg with rice porridge and cinnamon
3. Rosemary with roasted vegetables
4. Roast chicken with thyme and sage
5. When cooking you can also add any of the many spices mentioned to these foods.

Foods That Should Not Be Eaten if You Have Deficient Yang:

Cold foods and liquids can increase the draining of yang in your body. By cold liquids and cold foods, we mean foods not only taken straight from the fridge but also of raw foods, since they need extra energy to be digested compared to foods that are pre-cooked. This can mean eating steamed veggies rather green salads or for breakfast choosing oatmeal over granola.

When cooking, use a warming method that will preserve yang and boost the energy of the body. Hence, foods that are roasted slow, stews, or soups, can be preferred dishes for individuals with a severe yang deficiency. Too much use of hot seasonings can result in sweating and may even have a drying and cooling effect on the body.

Buildup of Damp Phlegm

Dampness in the body may indicate a condition that reflects the humid environment the person is living in currently. Dampness can occur due to the digestive system’s inability to transport food and fluids. It may also indicate that the body has been overwhelmed by external damp (eating foods that produce damp, damp living conditions, or damp weather). It can also be caused by an illness, or from abuse of certain antibiotics and other drug that creates dampness.

Phlegm is a condensed manifestation of dampness. When a person has been diagnosed having a buildup of Damp Phlegm in his body, it is important that he avoids eating fried, fatty, sugary, processed, cold, or raw foods in order to nourish his Spleen.

Foods that can clear internal dampness include:

1. Fish: Anchovy, mackerel, tuna, eel
2. Fruit: Umeboshi plum, lemon, papaya, lemon
3. Beans: Kidney, lentils, aduki
4. Veggies: scallion, pumpkin, mustard leaf, onion, kohlrabi, white fungus, daikon, parsley, turnip, radish, corn, caper, button mushroom, alfalfa sprout
5. Grains: Rye, basmati rice, barley, corn
6. Spice/Herb: aniseed, white pepper, garlic, parsley, horseradish, nettle, marjoram

Foods That Can Clear Damp With Heat Include:

1. Beans: Kidney
2. Fruit: Umeboshi plum, cranberry, blueberry
3. Vegetables: Chinese cabbage, celery, asparagus
4. Spices & Herbs: Tamarind

Foods That Can Help Remove Phlegm:

1. Seeds and Nuts: walnuts, almonds
2. Vegetables: Radish, plantain, onion, mustard leaf, daikon, watercress, button mushroom, shiitake mushroom, olive
3. Beverages: Soy milk, black tea
4. Spice/Herb: White or black pepper, thyme, mustard seed, marjoram, horseradish, garlic, cardamom caraway

Foods Which Can Help Clear Phlegm plus Heat:

1. Fruit: tangerine peel, persimmon, pear, lemon peel, grapefruit, apple peel
2. Veggies: Water chestnut, seaweed, radish
3. Beverages: Pear or grapefruit juice, peppermint tea, elderflower tea
4. Spice/Herb: licorice

Foods that That Can Help Clear Phlegm plus Cold:

1. Vegetables: Scallion, onion, mustard leaf
2. Spice/Herb: rosemary, onion, savory
3. Beverages: jasmin tea

Deficient Blood

In TCM, the notion of blood has a close similarity to the western notion in which blood has both a nourishing and moistening quality. But with regards to the theory of deficient blood or blood deficiency, importance is laid on the qi of the body. In TCM, Blood is considered as a visible manifestation of qi, and this qi pays a vital role in helping circulate the blood wherever it is needed. Treatment of Blood Deficiency is also aimed at strengthening the ability of your digestive system to absorb the nutrients required for the production of blood from your food successfully.

Food That Can Help Build Blood includes:

1. Dairy: Egg, chicken
2. Meat: Liver of sheep, pork and beef, all red meat particularly the bone marrow
3. Fish: Tuna, sardine, oyster, octopus, mussel
4. Grains: Bran, wheat, sweet rice, oats, corn, barley
5. Beans: Aduki, kidney, black soy
6. Beverages: Soy milk
7. Spice/Herb: Parsley, nettle
8. Supplements: Pollen, dang gue, algae

Samples of regular western foods that can help build Blood:

1. Spinach salad, mushroom lasagna, and kidney bean and with a spinach salad
2. Snacks of dried almonds and apricots
3. Calamari with mussel chowder
4. Scrambled eggs with parsley
5. Salads with dark leafy greens

Moxibustion Is More Than A Natural Way To Relieve Acute And Chronic Pain

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 75 percent of overdoses from prescription drugs are due to prescription pain killers.

Since 1999, deaths from overdoses of prescription pain medication have risen 265 percent for men and 400 percent for women.

In 2010, two million people used prescription pain medications for getting high and bought them without a prescription. These statistics are quite alarming for many doctors who have treated lots of patients who were addicted to pain medications due to chronic injuries.

Fortunately, there is a safer way to treat injuries and alleviate pain. It is called moxibustion. This ancient form of Chinese medicine is very safe to use and is slowly gaining popularity in the US.

For people suffering from chronic pain, moxibustion can be a natural way to alleviate pain. It can help ease ailments without the side effects of surgery or drugs. Both patients and doctors find it very useful in the treatment of knee arthritis and low back pain.

Moxibustion involves the burning of a mugwort plant near or on an acupuncture point to stimulate the flow of energy or Qi and increase circulation to relieve pain and accelerate recovery.

Dried leaves of the mugwort herb are grounded into paste form which is called Moxa. This substance is then heated on acupuncture needles or on the skin of the patient.

Uses and Health Benefits of Moxibustion Therapy

Initially used by ancient Chinese medicine practitioners to foster healing and prevent illness, moxibustion is now mostly used by practitioners to relieve pain by boosting the flow of blood to parts of the damaged by injury. It stimulates acupuncture points and balances the flow of Qi (energy) which increases health and heals certain conditions.

By burning the moxa, the practitioner allows the heat to ease stiffness related to arthritis. The heat from the burning moxa has the same effect as that of heating pads or a heat lamp providing a soothing effect whilst improving circulation and relaxing the muscles.

Moxibustion can be used to treat additional conditions including diarrhea, menstrual cramping, and stomach pain. It is used in combination with ginger and other substances. We need to remind you that it is important to look for an experienced practitioner since moxibustion involves the use of fire directly or indirectly to the body which can lead to injuries on the skin.

Direct and Indirect Moxibustion Therapy

Direct moxibustion is rarely used in the US because the moxa is directly burned on the skin, which can potentially lead to a burn injury. However, traditional Chinese practitioners believe that the burn and ensuing scars are indispensible parts of the healing effect.

In indirect moxibustion, the moxa is wrapped into a cigar-like stick called a moxa pole. The stick is burned with a match and is hovered an inch or two away from the skin. The edge of the stick is moved in a small circular motion over the acupuncture point until site of treatment gets warm and a bit red. This process is administered for five to ten minutes which leads to a slow buildup of heat, which enables the healing qualities of the oils and heat to penetrate the skin without burning it. The oils possess blood activating and penetrating qualities independent of the heat from the moxa.

There is also another type of moxibustion procedure that involves the use of acupuncture. In this process, a moxa herb is placed on top of an acupuncture needle and lit while the needle is stuck into an acupoint. This technique helps to bring in heat into a specific point through the needle. Many acupuncturists use this type of treatment in order to relieve pain immediately.

In order to get optimal results, the heat should be focused on a specific acupoint for a certain period of time. While some people experience instantaneous relief, others may only experience relief after undergoing several rounds of treatment.

Moxibustion Therapy – Its Physiological Effects

The heat from the smoldering moxa stimulates the flow of blood and Chi, relieves pain and increases warmth in the body resulting in good overall health.

According to Chinese practitioners the heat from the burning moxa adds a specific frequency of infrared energy that augments Chi that the body needs to heal. They also believe the immune system and metabolism of the body can be enhanced by the application of indirect heat to some of the important acupoints.

Relief of Pain through Moxibustion

Moxibustion therapy works well for all sorts of injuries. It can be administered once the swelling and inflammation subsides which is usually after the acute phase of an injury. Some practitioners have had good success in curing tendon and muscular injuries, knee arthritis, joint pain, and back pain by combining acupuncture with moxibustion.

It can also with menstrual cramps and muscle stiffness. Moxibustion also works well with cupping therapy and acupressure massage.

Moxibustion can be used to:

  • Warm injured areas that are cold to touch which is often the case for chronic injuries in which pain gets worse during damp or cold weather
  • Eliminate congestion and blockages caused by the buildup of fluids and blood after an injury
  • Lessen stiffness, pain, and swelling

Important Things to Consider

In indirect moxibustion as long as the hot elements are safely handled in a controlled setting, this method is considered safe to use. To shield the skin from the fire and prevent burns and injuries, place a small slice of ginger on the skin.

Moxibustion should not be given if:

  • You have hypersensitive skin or if you suffer from diabetic neuropathy
  • You have skin ulcerations or open lesions
  •  If you are pregnant, avoid having moxibustion on your lower back or stomach area
  • If have active heat, redness, and inflammation
  •  If you have a fever

If you are sensitive to smoke or suffer from a certain respiratory condition, you can request your doctor to use smokeless moxa sticks on your treatment.

Tracey R. Walker, L. Ac, MSOM – Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist in Pueblo, CO

Moxibustion Therapy For Diarrhea And Chronic Fatigue

A therapy involving heat stimulation of the acupuncture points of the body, moxibustion can be an optional treatment for healing back pain. It is one of the branches of traditional Chinese medicine that boosts the flow of blood on or near the acupuncture points.

Moxibustion entails the burning of an herb known as Mugwort. The effect of the heat from the burning herb helps to eliminate the buildup of dampness and cold in the body making the flow of blood stronger and smoother thereby restoring the health and well being of the body. Moxibustion is an ancient treatment with origins dating as far back as the Stone Age. It has been used to treat a variety of problems that typically occurs during cold weather: pain, arthritis, and diarrhea. The practice slowly came into being after ancient man’s discovery and use of fire. Primitive people are believed to have utilized burnt stones to treat pain and illnesses via localized “hot compressions”.

Eventually healers improved the procedure by burning plants or branches using it to warm the ailing areas of the body, thus giving rise to the kind of moxibustion we know and use today.

Practitioners in China during the Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 11th century-711 BC), relied on the mugwort plant which became the standard plant used in moxibustion therapy.

Today, mugwort come in the form of cones, and smokeless and compressed sticks. Chinese medicine uses mugwort because it has bitter, positive, and warm qualities that work well in the body especially when combined with other herbal prescriptions.

Chinese doctors and practitioners use moxibustion to treat common conditions like the flu and cold. The heat expels dampness and algidity and warms the energy channels of the body. It is sometimes used in combination with or in lieu of acupuncture depending on the patient’s constitution, needs, and preferences.

There are two types of moxibustion therapy: one type is known as the direct treatment in which a burning small cone-shaped moxa is placed on the affected acupuncture point of the patient. Direct moxibustion is further divided into two methods: non-scarring and scarring.

In the non-scarring treatment, the burning moxa is placed on the acupuncture point but is removed or extinguished before the flame dies out. Unless the moxa is left on the body for too long, the patient should feel a soothing heat sensation that goes deep into the skin, without any scarring, blistering, or pain. This technique is used to treat certain cold-related conditions.

Because it has a lower risk of pain, the indirect treatment is a more commonly used method. It is administered on muscle groups and other larger areas of the body. Practitioners use it to treat child patients. Substances such as garlic slices, salt, or ginger are used to shield the skin from the smoldering moxa.

In the scarring technique moxibustion, the lighted moxa is placed directly on an acupuncture point, and remains there until the herb is completely consumed by the fire. This process causes localized blisters and scarring, which eventually heals five to six weeks after the treatment. Chinese medicine doctors and practitioners in Pembroke Pines believe the scarring type can be an ideal treatment for chronic diseases such as tuberculosis and asthma.

One other unique type of moxibustion entails the burning of a cigar-like moxa stick which the practitioner holds very near the affected body area until it reddens.

Many practitioners combine indirect moxibustion treatment with acupuncture. This technique uses a needle that is stuck into an acupuncture point and retained. Then the top of the needle is wrapped in moxa and lit up, creating heat to the point and the surrounding area. After the required effects are attained, the fire is then extinguished and the needles taken out.

While moxibustion therapy is commonly used to treat diarrhea and chronic fatigue, some people also rely on the therapy for the treatment of their arthritic conditions, especially joint pain when the condition get worse in damp or cold weather.

Moxibustion therapy follows the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, which states that pathways or collaterals and meridians form the blood circulation and the flow of qi, integral components of a specific network that communicates with the limbs and internal organs and connects the upper regions to the lower part of the body.

Moxibustion is mainly used to treat stagnant and cold underlying conditions. It helps strengthen the immune system and treats cold hands and feet as well as chronic fatigue and chronic low energy. Painful ailments where moxibustion work quite well include muscle pain and menstrual cramps.

You can perform moxibustion from the comfort of your home and the moxa sticks used in this ancient healing modality are widely available and very easy to use.

Eating Foods The 5 Element Food Way Can Be Great For Your Health!

According ancient Chinese thought, everything in the world can be classified into five vibrational groups and the Five Elements (Metal, Earth, Fire, Wood, and Water). In the body, these Five Elements are seen in the five major organs of the body that are all necessary for survival – the Lungs, Pancreas/Stomach/Spleen, the Heart, the Liver, and the Kidneys. Typically, within our bodies, one organ will be stronger than the others. This organ can provide additional energy to some of the organs and may cause people to behave in certain ways. One dominant organ may influence an individual’s lifestyle preferences (i.e., playing, sleeping, decorating, fashion, fun, food choices, etc.) and personality. One organ can be usually slightly deficient and may need to be built up. However, in Chinese medicine, when one organ is very strong, another organ must be weak and it is necessary to restore the strength of the weak organ in order to balance the body.

According to the Five Element system, the elements need to be in balance in order to attain optimum health. When one understands how to balance the Five Elements of Food, this will give him the knowledge to eat the right and adequate amounts of nutrients from food in order to support his entire body. Consuming foods that correspond to all the Five Flavors: umami, pungent, savory & sweet, bitter, sour, and salty is one of the best ways to generate balance in the body in a manner that perfectly suits your specific needs.

The following is a short list of foods related to a specific element and how they influence the body:

Metal Foods

Foods associated with the metal element include prepared condiments, several spices and herbs, white foods, pungent foods, and savory foods. It’s not necessary to consume lots of metal foods as they are spicy (not hot) and strong or have very simple flavors. The flavor umami is a relatively recently discovered flavor that is mainly related to glutamate. This flavor can be also tasted in fish sauce, parmesan cheese, porcini mushrooms, and shitake mushrooms giving them that special savory flavor. Other metal-related foods include nutmeg, basil, mustard, horseradish, wasabi, mustard greens, dill, anise, parsley, coriander, cilantro, fennel bulb and seed, scallions, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon, mint, cinnamon, kohlrabi, pears, lotus root, tofu, turnip, cauliflower, daikon, radish, chives, garlic, raw onion, white cheeses, cream, milk, and white. All these foods promote the flow of energy and have a dispersing effect. People who can benefit from metal foods include cold, lethargic, damp, and sluggish people.

Earth Foods

These comprise all starchy and sweet foods, especially brown, orange, and yellow foods as well as very sweet soft fruits and root vegetables. Other Earth foods include tropical fruits like mangoes, cherimoyas, papayas, as well as coconut, almond, cucumbers, summer and winter squash, fungi such as chantarelle and button mushrooms, beets, taro, okra, yam, plantains and bananas, sweet potato, potato, cabbage, carrots, peaches, grapes, dates, sweet cherries, sweet apples, cantaloupe, watermelon, slow cooked onion, oats, corn, milk chocolate, sugar, rye, barley, millet, and beef. You can also include barley syrup, rice syrup, molasses, agave syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, peanuts, dried peas and lentils. They all can neutralize toxins, inhibit acute symptoms, and soothe aggression. They are ideal for weak, nervous, and dry people.

Fire Foods

These include most red foods, all bitter foods, hot foods, dried foods, and foods that are shaped like a heart. Fire foods that can reduce dry fluids and heat include carbonated beverages, dark chocolate, tea, coffee, beer, wine, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, hit chilis, peppers, rhubarb, strawberries, sweet plums, apricots, kumquats, citrus peel, tomatoes, watercress, dandelion, arugula, lettuce, venison, and lamb. They are most appropriate for aggressive, overheated, overweight, and slow people.

Wood Foods

They encompass a lot of fast growing green foods especially sprouts as well foods with green stalks and all sour foods. Other Wood foods include olives, sauerkraut, all sorts of pickles, kimchi, yogurt, vinegar, sourdough crackers and bread, starfruit, pineapple, sour plum, grapefruit, all citrus foods (grapefruit, oranges, lemons, etc.), celery, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, chard, leafy greens (like bok choy), wheat, most wild game, liver, and chicken. These foods are considered astringents and can block movement. They most benefit changeable, erratic, and scattered people.

Water Foods

They include black, blue, and purple colored foods, all dark foods and all salty foods as well as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, wild rice, kale, eggplant, blackberries, blueberries, figs, miso, tamari, soy sauce, sea vegetables including seaweed, all types of beans, eggs, pork, all types of shellfish, fish eggs including caviar, salted meat, salted fish, and fresh fish. All these foods can help relax the body, stimulate moisture, and have a softening effect on the body. Nervous, dry, and thin people are the ones who will most benefit from Water foods.

Lots of foods can be associated with more than one element and some can be designated to different elements depending on the way they are cooked. Raw onion, for instance, because of its pungency, is considered a metal element while cooked onion becomes sweet which turns it into an earth element, or they may change elements at different stages of growth (i.e., from unripe to ripe). For instance, when they are green, tomatoes are quite sour and thus, are considered more as Wood Element. But when they ripen, they are considered Fire Element and when they become very sweet, they change into Earth element. The mode of cooking also affects the five elements:

1. Metal – Dicing, mincing, Julienne, finishing sauces, condiments, garnishes, and composed
2. Earth – Candy, desserts, caramelizing, jellies, jams, pureeing, mashing, stewing, roasting, and baking
3. Fire – Snacks & appetizers, dehydrating, sautéing, flambéing, stir frying, and deep frying
4. Wood – Campfire cooking, fermenting, pickling, searing, smoking, and grilling
5. Water – Sous-vide cooking, freezing, curing, poaching, steaming, boiling, and soups

Healthy eating may imply eating foods that are in accordance with the seasons: In Fall, it is the Metal element, in Winter, it is the Water Element, Spring is the Wood Element, Early Summer is Fire, and Late Summer is Earth. We recommend eating foods that have been well preserved for future use or foods that are as fresh as possible. Foods that are recommended for consumption include ones that you have grown yourself or locally raised or locally grown foods as they help you connect to the place you live. The more varied, the more beneficial they are to your Stomach as Earth Element is consumed by Fire Element, which is variety. The five elements are more involved when you eat meals that have a wide blend of color. Eating foods the 5 Element Food way is tasty, nutritious, enjoyable, and definitely healthy!


Thrive Wellness Center is an acupuncture clinic in Fort Lauderdale, FL with licensed acupuncturists, physicians and therapists.