Applying The Five Elements Theory In Chinese Nutritional Therapy

The Chinese believe that there are five different types of energy or ‘chi’ and that the world is surrounded by five fields of energy which are known as the Five Elements. They also believe that people’s fate could be seriously affected if these five elements are moved or altered.

The five elements can be reflected in and referred to as the five planets, five processes, five forces, five movements, five phases or five agents.

The “five elements” should be considered as the linchpin of Chinese culture if the theory of yin and yang is the center of Chinese culture. What role do these five elements play in Chinese cuisine and what exactly are the five elements of Chinese cooking?

The “Five Elements” are made up of earth, fire, water, wood, and metal. These elements have been used by the Chinese for thousands of years for a lot of reasons, from communication between Chinese medicine, politics, internal organs, and even Chinese food and cooking.

This is just like finding the harmonious balance between yin and yang. Between the five elements, the Chinese are constantly striving to find the right balance. There are mainly a couple of relationships between those five elements. One is termed ‘mutual overcoming’ and the other is ‘mutual generation’.

Examples of “mutual over coming”

o Water stopped by Earth (Imagine people constructing a dam to contain water)

o Fire stopped by Water

o Metal melted by Fire

o Wood cut by Metal

o Earth consumed by Wood

Wood can start fire, and the wood ashes eventually go back to the earth.

Examples of “mutual generating”:

o Fire strengthened by Wood

o Earth (ash) made by Fire

o Metal bared and contained Earth

o Water quality improved by Metal

o Wood grows with Water

How role do the Five Elements Theory play in Chinese nutritional therapy?

According to Chinese physicians and herbalists, in order treat a patient properly, one should know the condition of the five elements of the patient’s body. Any excess or deficiency of an element can result in illness.

Our five major organs are also represented by the five elements. These organs are the spleen (earth), heart (fire), kidney (water), liver (wood), and lung (metal). The five elements can also be symbolized by five different colors: yellow (earth), red (fire), blue/black (water), green (wood), and white (metal).

Water Element

This element is related the Kidney (Yin) and Bladder (Yang) organs, feeling of Fear, the color Black, and Salty taste.

Metal Element

This element is related to the Lungs (Yin) and Large Intestine (Yang) organs, feeling of Sorrow, the color White, and Spicy taste.

Earth Element

This element is related to the Spleen (Yin) and Stomach (Yang) organs, feeling of Thought, the color Yellow, and Sweet taste.

Fire Element

This element is related to the Heart (Yin) and Small Intestine (Yang) organs, feeling of Happiness, the color Red, and Bitter taste.

Wood Element
This element is related to the Liver (Yin) and Gallbladder (Yang) organs, feeling of Rage, the color Green, and Sour taste.

According to Chinese nutritional therapy and medicine, if a person is ill or weak in certain organs or parts of their body, they should eat certain elements/colors of food in order to improve their state of health and help them feel better. If a person has a problem with his kidneys, for instance, they should then eat foods such as black sesame, seaweed, wood ear and foods that are water element and black in color.

List of different element/organ/color foods:

Water/Kidney/ Black Food:

Sweet bean sauce, tea, black vinegar, black sesame, black grapes, blueberry, raisin, black beans, eggplant, shiitake mushroom, seaweed, wood ear, etc.

Black colored food is good for your reproductive organs, ears, bones, and kidneys.

Metal/Lung/White Food:

Rock sugar, white sesame, almond, banana, Asian pear, soy milk, tofu, milk, white wood ear, bamboo shoot, broccoli, winter melon, bitter melon, garlic, onion, daikon, lotus seed, sticky/glutinous rice, rice, etc.

White colored food is good for your skin, respiratory system, nose, large intestine, and lungs.

Wood/Liver/Green Food:

Wasabi, green fruits, green vegetables, Chinese leeks, Mung beans, etc.

Green color food is good for your joint, muscle, eyes, gallbladder, and liver.

Fire/Heart/ Red Food:

Brown sugar, apple, dragon fruit, goji berry, jujube, red pepper, red beans, chili, strawberry, sweet potato, tomato, carrot, etc.

It is believed that eating “red color food” is good for brain, small intestine, and heart.

Earth/Spleen/Yellow Food:

Honey, walnut, peanut, papaya, pineapple, lemon, star fruit, orange, ginger, bean curd, egg yolk, soy beans, yellow pepper, butternut squash, white pumpkin, oat, taro, yellow sweet potato, baby corn, sweet corn, most yellow colored foods, etc.

Eating yellow color food can be good for your spleen and digestive.

It is important to remember that eating a balanced diet is extremely essential in attaining and maintaining health and well being. This article is just an introduction and a recommendation of the ‘Five Elements” and how their concept is mirrored in Chinese food. Before looking into any specific diet, talk to a doctor to see if you have any health issues.

Dr. Marco Dibonaventura – Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist in King of Prussia, PA

Various Qi Gong Exercises For Specific Forms Of Health Problems

Qi gong is a series of gentle exercises which is similar to Tai Chi. It is one of the most effective types of cancer management and cancer-prevention exercises that originated in China.

Aside from helping the practitioner increase the levels of oxygen in his body to detoxify the body, the movements performed in qi gong movements can also positively affect his internal organ systems in a powerful way.

In Chinese medicine, some qi gong exercises, for instance, focus on the immune system by clearing blockages in the large intestine and lung energy channels to boost immunity and the ability of the body to heal faster post surgery or when faced with deadly diseases such as cancer.

Some qi gong movements such as the Taoist Five Kidney movement work on the reproductive organs to prevent reproductive diseases such as ovarian or cervical cancers, fibroids, ovarian cysts, prostate cancers and enlarged prostate and to enhance fertility.

Some movements in qi gong focus on the abdomen and spleen can be integrated with qi gong self massage to alleviate nausea (often felt by individuals receiving radiation or chemotherapy).

An appropriate qi gong workout gently simulates all of the internal organs to generate strength beyond muscular or cardiovascular levels and to reinvigorate health.

If you are on the lookout for an experienced qi gong teacher to relieve the symptoms of reproductive organ pathologies such as prostate cancer, you need to ask the one you are considering if he has experience with the clinical uses of qi gong. These instructors should have been trained to personalize movements to properly heal various types of cancer.

In order to attain health benefits, one should perform 30 minutes of qi gong exercises a day, although even shorter times of exercise can also produce significant benefits. We recommend performing exercises for at least one to three minutes of lightly distributed exercises throughout the day in order to get an accumulated 30 – 45 minutes of qi gong exercises each day. This approach can give people who have no set time to practice of qi gong can still integrate it smoothly into their lives in order to improve their health.

Boosting the Energy of Your Immunity with Qi Gong Self Massage

Some of the qi gong self massage techniques to strengthen your immune system:

Lung Meridian

When this meridian or energy channel is massaged, it helps promote the release of disappointment, grief, or sadness. It helps strengthen immunity by stimulating the metal organ of the large intestine.

Tap the left side of the chest vigorously as well as the left arm’s inner side, the inside of the thumb, and toward the inner side of the wrist, arms, lower arms, and elbows.

Repeat the procedure on the right side of the chest going down right thumb’s and right arm’s inner side.

Large Intestine Meridian

When this meridian is massaged, it helps to promote release of disappointment, grief, or sadness. Massaging the Large Intestine Meridian also stimulates the metal organ of the large intestine that helps strengthen immunity.

In performing this massage, slap and tap vigorously (using your right hand) the top side of your left index finger from the nail bed, the finger and to the wrist and hand.

Keep on slapping and tapping the top of your wrist to your elbow’s top side. Keep on tapping the top of your upper arm to the sides of your neck and shoulder. Use small circular motions when massaging the area near your right nostril.

Repeat the slapping and tapping on your right arm to the top of the right index finger, towards the hand and wrist. Continue the procedure on your elbow and on your neck and the top of your upper arm. Use small circular motions when massaging the area near your left nostril.

We need to point out that before one embarks on new exercise regimens it is important to first consult their healthcare providers or doctors. This article should not be used a replacement for conventional western medical care or as a guide to diagnose or resolve any medical condition.

Blue Mountain Acupuncture
2200 Melrose St Suite 9
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Phone: (509) 876-4597

What Qigong Is All About

Qigong is an excellent means of cultivating Buddhahood to attain enlightenment just as the Tao School cultivates the Tao to attain the Tao. “Buddha” is a term derived from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. It was called “Fo Tuo” when it was introduced to China. Some Chinese people translated it as “Fu Tu.” The word was then passed around in China, and it eventually was named just “Fo.” Fo, in Chinese means “an enlightened person,” someone who through cultivation practice has become enlightened.

Any person can actualize their inherent supernormal capabilities through cultivation practice. Today, there are six known supernormal capabilities although it is believed there actually exists thousands of real genuine supernormal capabilities. A person in a sitting position can be able to do what others cannot do even with their feet and hands, even without him moving his feet or hands. He may be also able to comprehend the real truth of each dimension in the universe. This is an individual who’s able to do things that an everyday person cannot do and is able to see the truth of the universe. Has he not attained the Tao via practicing cultivation? Isn’t this person enlightened? Can he still be seen the same was as an everyday person? Didn’t he become enlightened person from cultivation practice? Isn’t it right to refer to him as an enlightened person? He is considered a Buddha in Sanskrit and in reality, he is. This is what qigong is all about.

Others might think that “If all people are healthy and have no illness, why would they practice qigong?” This suggests that qigong is designed to treat illness. That is an extremely superficial understanding of this healing art although one should not be faulted by thinking this way about qi gong since a lot of qigong masters indeed perform things such as maintaining fitness and treating illnesses. Most people are only interested in fitness and healing and hardly anyone teaches anything about spiritual and esoteric levels. Of course, practicing and promoting qi gong for fitness and healing are very good. This is one way of helping people treat their illnesses and improve or maintain their health without needing to use dangerous medications. Still, there are people who are practicing cultivation to attain the high levels. They have the wishes and desires to persevere, but they have not yet achieved the right modes for cultivation, which causes great disappointments and other problems. One should understand that genuinely teaching a practice at high levels may entail very deep issues. Hence, we need to bear responsibility to society and individuals and the overall result of teaching the practice in order to attain the desired high levels.

Balance Within – Integrative Acupuncture
16200 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 478-9401

Tai Chi & Qi Gong For The Treatment Of Anxiety

At different times of the day, in almost every park in China, you will find people participating in Qi Gong or Tai chi activities. When they’re performed, these exercises appear like a slow motion dance with practitioners fixated on having perfect and forms of their body. However, these practices also provide benefits beyond the body. In Chinese studies, both Qi Gong and Tai chi have been shown to treat the symptoms of anxiety and boost wellbeing and health.

Anxiety and Tai Chi

An ancient form of exercise in East Asia, Tai chi is a widely used type of exercise for both the old and young. It involves focus on the breath and deep concentration as practitioners perform a number of rhythmic postures that help calm their mood and give them absolute control over their bodies. Oftentimes, it is performed for about 30 minutes to an hour. People who perform tai chi are in full control of their negative emotions related to anxiety, are more mentally alert, and feel stronger.

This exercise can be practiced anytime and at any place, as it needs no special equipment and little space. Each body motion seamlessly segues into the next motion so much that it imitates a choreographed dance.

A low impact type of aerobic exercise, tai chi soothes the mind, enhances physical balance, and fortifies the body. Because of its low impact nature, it is an ideal exercise for seniors. It does not need any equipment and anyone can perform it outdoors or indoors in a group setting or in the comfort of their home.

Some of the Benefits of Tai Chi Exercise are as Follows:

? Improved muscle flexibility
? Stronger immune system
? Improved balance and agility
? Better quality sleep
? Greater aerobic potential
? Boost in stamina and higher energy
? Relief of anxiety and stress
? Reduces the risk of falls in older people
? A healthier heart, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
? Greater health and well-being

Anxiety and Qi Gong

Qi Gong is widely practiced in China and also evolved in the Far East. It can be used to balance and harmonize the mind and body and boost the circulation of chi throughout the body. Qi gong works on the notion that instead of the brain, the heart is the wellspring of most of our anxieties. This exercise can help clear out blockages that have developed in the channels of chi to the heart which results in the treatment anxiety-related shortness of breath, palpitations, and chest pain.

When performing qi gong, the patient suffering from anxiety lies or sits down with his practitioner performing some of the qi gong exercises. The practitioner courses the flow of chi steering the flow towards the heart center. To preserve the balance in between sessions, the patient needs to perform repetitive motion exercises and breathing exercises. Similar to meditation, the practitioner tells the patient that it is good to always stay in the present time.

People who prefer to practice Qi Gong at home, are advised to visualize energy being directed at keeping the chi flowing and to focus on their breath. The constant practice of these exercises leads to the cure of anxiety and helps you to feel better about the other aspects of your life. The exercises can bring health benefits and inside the body and course the movement of chi to the heart, which alleviates anxiety.

People can learn Qi Gong from qualified or experienced practitioners in Vancouver, DVDs, or the internet. As one becomes better and better at performing these exercises by themselves, sooner or later they will have no need for a practitioner or instructor to help them balance their chi and alleviate their anxiety.

Auricular Acupuncture Uses The Outer Ear To Treat A Wide Range Of Illnesses

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Orlando has provided people unique and various ways of treating a specific disease. These ways do not involve the use of any drugs, are painless, safe, and natural. For TCM practitioners, a healthy body is achieved by maintaining a fine balance with the environment via the exchange of energy called qi or chi. Positive chi constantly moves within the body and takes out the negative chi. The entire system of the body functions for this exchange just to maintain balance. Auricular acupuncture is one such method.

A part of TCM, auricular acupuncture uses the outer ear to treat a wide range of illnesses affecting the head area and body. The auricle, which is the outer ear, is seen as an entire system that governs major activities of the ear and the other organs of the body. The auricle consists of a number of acupuncture points which are affiliated in some way with the entire body. Ultra fine needles are inserted into the auricular acupuncture points stimulating the points and creating neural signals that reaches the brain to activate the organ targeted by the treatment. This activation raises the function of that organ causing the release of toxins, and increasing microcirculation and muscle movement.

Auricular acupuncture works based on three TCM theories:

1. The meridian concept: This theory is widely accepted in Chinese medicine. According to this concept, energy moves via fixed energy channels named meridians. The underlying cause of any disease can be traced to any obstruction in these channels. The stimulation of auricular acupoints provides therapeutic resolution on the meridians.

2. Delta reflex: According to this theory, auricular point stimulation leads to stimulation of the corresponding body part. This results in a rise in temperature of that body part and similarly, an increase in temperature of that body part also increases the temperature of the auricular part.

3. Anatomical model: This theory states that the position of the auricular points on the outer ear resembles that of an inverted fetus. Whatever signals are exchanged with the body parts are also sent back to the auricle which makes for a bidirectional movement.

The West has adopted the Chinese principles and method and has come up with similar methods of their own with a few changes in the form of improvements. While needling auricular acupuncture is a process that originated in China, the West has developed it in the form of auriculotherapy, which makes use of modern technologies to activate the ear acupoints. Instead of using needles, auriculotherapy uses electricity, pressure pellets, magnets, laser, etc. Neurologist Paul Nogier is the Frenchman who developed this modern form of ear acupuncture.

Auricular acupuncture can be used to treat various ailments affecting the body as it uses ear acupoints that’s connected to the entire body. It balances the emotional and mental aspects of a person helping reduce insomnia, stress, depression, and anxiety. It can also relieve various kinds of physical pain such as muscle tension, migraines, headaches, back aches, and arthritis. Its association with the respiratory and digestive systems aids in resolving constipation, bronchitis, asthma, colitis, indigestion, etc. It is extremely useful for curing drinking and smoking habits, and keeps the balance in menstrual periods in women.

Auricular acupuncture should only be performed by a special class of acupuncturists who have knowledge of the ear muscles. They should have total understanding of the over 200 acupoints situated in the auricle.

One important precaution about this treatment is that the needle should never be stuck into the auditory canal that connects to the inner ear. This may result in permanent loss of hearing to the patient. The treatment is performed on the pinna, which is the fleshy part of the ear.

Studies Reveal That Auricular Acupuncture Is A Proven Treatment For Insomnia

Based on a study published in the JAMA (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine), ear acupuncture or auricular acupuncture is a proven treatment for insomnia. Researchers in the study gathered data from six controlled randomized trials. All the trials were done in Hong Kong or mainland China. One was in English while five were in Chinese. Of the total 673 subjects who participated in the trials, 402 were administered with auricular acupuncture. For the control groups, Western medications were used in four of the trials, one used fake auricular acupuncture while another used routine unit care.

The study revealed that the subjects given auricular acupuncture exhibited better improvement than those in the control groups. In addition, the therapy led to better recovery from insomnia compared to diazepam. Auricular acupuncture was favored over the interventions used in the control groups to increase sleep durations for up to six hours each night, for staying asleep throughout the night, and for feeling refreshed upon waking.

The medication Diazepam is usually prescribed for alcohol withdrawal, seizures, insomnia, and anxiety. The product was first introduced under the label Valium.

Because of a shortage of follow-up data, there were no conclusions made about the long term efficacy of auricular acupuncture in the treatment of insomnia. Also, because of the lack of data on negative effects, no conclusions were also determined as to the safety of the therapy in the treatment of insomnia.

A very common condition marked by problems falling or staying asleep, insomnia is usually connected with functional impairment while awake. Insomnia related functional impairment during the day includes occupational impairment, depression, irritability, and drowsiness.

Based on a study sponsored by the World Health Organization, 25 percent of respondents either woke up too early or had difficulty staying asleep and 16 percent of respondents had had problems falling asleep. Statistics gathered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed that insomnia affected about sixty million Americans 30 percent of which were men and 40 percent of which were women.

Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.

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.