Nourish the Liver in Spring and Prevent Allergies

Spring is the season when all things grow. Health regimen is very important in spring(the first season of the year). Find out why here.

Although Spring is full of vitality,  it could be a miserable season for people who have allergies. As all plants grow, their pollens fly with the wind. Families often with children who suffer from allergies which is more painful in Spring season. 
In traditional Chinese Medicine,  we often use Ganaderma, Yam, Astragalus and other herbal medicines that can enhance the immune system to make herbal soup to help the changes in our body consititution except acupuncture, cupping massage treatments.
Spring is liver's season, in TCM the Liver is the organ responsible for the smooth flow of emotions as well as Qi and blood. It is the organ that is most affected by excess stress or emotions. The Liver’s partner organ is the Gallbladder.

  • The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi and blood in your body. It controls the volume and smooth flow of blood in your vessels and also stores the blood.
  • The eyes are the sensory organ related to the Liver. If you have any eye issues, including blurry vision, red or dry eyes, itchy eyes, it may be a sign deep down that your Liver is not functioning smoothly.
  • The tendons are the tissue associated with the Liver. TCM says that strength comes from the tendons, not muscles. Be like the cat that is strong, agile, and flexible, not the cow, which has huge muscles but little real strength.
  • The taste that corresponds to and supports the Liver is sour. If you crave sour foods, that may be your Liver communicating that it needs an extra boost, so be sure to include high-quality vinegar and sweet and sour recipes in your diet.
  • Anger is the emotion associated with the Liver. If you are often irritable, get angry easily, have trouble unwinding from the day’s activities, have trouble reasoning or going with the flow and letting things go, you are experiencing a Liver function problem. Experiencing these emotions chronically or excessively can seriously unbalance the function of your Liver..

When Liver Qi is imbalanced, hot and spicy foods may cause too much heat. Sour and bitter flavors are said to benefit the Liver meridian.  Excessive frustration and irritation can be especially difficult when the Liver meridian is out of balance. Physical exercise and reading can help restore balance. The fall is a vulnerable time, as well as the winds of March, and extremely hot weather.
Common signs of Liver meridian stress include dry, brittle, thickened nails and pain just below the ribs. Common illnesses include migraines, eye problems, and sinus problems. The Liver meridian circles the genitals, and rashes and discharges are associated with its imbalance, as well as hernias. For women, menstrual problems are common including PMS, painful periods, and heavy bleeding. Uterine fibroids may be related to imbalance of the Liver meridian as well. The Liver and Gallbladder meridian pathways traverse the top and sides of the head, the most common sites for migraine headaches.
The Qi of liver flourishes in the spring when plants are sprouting new growth. That's why Spring is the best time to treat the health conditions caused by liver Qi imbalanced.

Acupressure for Liver Health

Deep press the acupressure point  “Taichong” (Liver 3) which stimulates a key point on the Liver channel. It may be sore, but this means you’re hitting all the right spots! You are unblocking your Liver Qi.Rub this area every day. It’s located on top of your foot where the big toe bone meets the second toe bone (about an inch back from the skin between these toes). Using your thumb, press and massage this spot on both feet (the meridians are on both sides of your body). It will calm you down especially when you get anger.
Looking for the experienced TCM acupuncturist in Toronto, please feel free to call Oriental Acupuncture Clinic at 416-800-3978 or book an appointment online. 
Direct Billing is available to 15 major insurance companies or WSIB.

Infertility? Acupuncture is a great option along with IVF or IUI

Acupuncture has been used successfully for infertility treatment for thousands of years, which offers an effective, time-tested approach to enhancing fertility and treating infertility.

Acupuncture can be used in combination with conventional reproductive medical care or as a primary treatment approach, for women who taking fertility drugs or reproductive technology techniques (such as IVF or IUI). Celine Dion's pregnancy with twins was the result of her sixth In-Vitro Fertilization attempt and she turned to acupuncture therapy to improve her chances of getting pregnant.

Acupuncture can also be effective as a stand-alone approach to treat infertility for those not undergoing conventional medical treatment. Acupuncture helps to regulate hormonal activity, thus regulating menstruation, ovulation, and pregnancy.
A recent study from the British Medical Journal found that among women who received acupuncture and IVF, the pregnancy rates were 65% higher and the rates of live births were nearly twice as high than among women who received IVF with sham acupuncture or no acupuncture.

Acupuncture helps to reduce stress and decrease the hyper sympathetic nervous system response. Studies have shown that high stress levels decrease the likelihood of conceiving. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate chemical changes within the uterine lining, thickening the endometrium, and preparing the uterus for implantation.

For men, acupuncture can improve sperm motility, volume and concentration as well as increase libido. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, optimum fertility enhancement would involve a course of treatments with the aim of nourishing the Kidney Essence and regulating the menstrual cycle as well as clearing any pathogens that may be interfering with the natural process of conception.

How Acupuncture Works

The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy, called Qi, present in all things ranging from infinitely tiny molecules to living breathing human beings.

This Qi is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways or meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the homeostatic system is disrupted resulting in pain or illness.

Visualize if you will, rivers that flood and cause disasters or an electrical grid short-circuiting that causes blackouts etc. This is what happens to our somatic and spiritual landscapes when our Qi is not flowing harmoniously. The insertion of needles into specific points on these “channels” allows for the manipulation and harmonization of ones Qi, which results in improved health, and thus, increased fertility.
Acupuncture a Brief History

Acupuncture and moxibustion have been used in the Far East to restore, promote, and maintain good health for over 5000 years. The first acupuncture needles were made from stone, and then later from bronze, gold and silver. The first known medical account of acupuncture was The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen), which dates from around 300 BC.

Acupuncture is rooted in the Daoist philosophy of change, growth, balance, and harmony. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic outlines the principles of natural law and the phases of life – yin and yang, the five elements, the organ system and the meridian network along which the vital acupuncture points are located. These records also contain details of pathology and physiology, which some 2,000 years later provide the theoretical foundation for acupuncture today.
Although acupuncture is used far more extensively in China than in the West, the last few decades have seen huge growth in people seeking the benefits of this safe and highly effective treatment.

10 Ways that Acupuncture can help Fertility

One of Jarry's successful case of acupuncture for infertility 

Call Oriental Acupuncture Clinic  at 416-800-3978 
or Text:416-655-1311
to set up your first appointment!
Healing from the root, beyond treating symptoms.
So you can experience greater health and well-being!

With Jarry's 28 years clinical experienceyou will feel the difference.

Acupuncture for Stroke Recovery / Rehabilitation

The Impact of Stroke in Canada

  • Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in Canada and the third leading cause of death. Every year, nearly 14,000 Canadians die from stroke.
  • Every year in Canada, there are over 50,000 new strokes—that’s one stroke every 10 minutes.
  • About 426,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke.
  • Stroke costs the Canadian economy more than $3.6 billion a year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages, and decrease productivity.

What's Stroke?

Stroke is a syndrome caused by a disruption in blood flow to a part of the brain. It occurs when the blood vessel either ruptures or becomes blocked. A stroke deprives the neurons and other brain cells of glucose and oxygen, which leads to cell death. The longer the brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, the higher the likelihood of permanent damage to the brain.

The medical term “cerebrovascular accident” (CVA) tells you what has happened – there is an accident inside the brain that relates to its blood vessels. It may be a clot blocking a vessel (an ischemic stroke) or bleeding from a rupture (a hemorrhagic stroke).

The layman’s term is “stroke”, or “wind stroke” in Chinese. These common terms describe more vividly the acute onset of the disease and its severe consequences. The patient is hit hard suddenly and becomes paralyzed.

What cause a stroke?

A plaque, which is a lump of cellular waste products, cholesterol, fatty substances, calcium and fibrin, can build up on the inner lining of blood vessels, making the vessels harder and narrower. When the plaque becomes too big, it completely blocks the flow of blood. So a person with high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides or very thick blood has an increased risk of ischemic stroke. Sometimes, a blood vessel in the brain is blocked by a clot that comes from the heart. This occurs more likely with people who have heart valve problems or atrial fibrillation. Clots do not form overnight. It takes years to build up. Therefore ischemic stroke patients are mostly among older population. You see no symptoms at all until suddenly one day a blood vessel is completely blocked.
Another possibility is the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain. It may be due to high blood pressure, or a traumatic injury like the head hitting an object or floor. Some people are borne with abnormalities in their cerebral vessels such as aneurysms or arterio-venous malformation (AVM). The walls of these vessels are weakened at certain spots and can burst without any warning. This type of stroke can happen on young patients, regardless of age.

What happens after a stroke?

Our brain is the body’s control center. The trillions of brain cells need blood supply for oxygen and nutrients. When a stroke occurs, blood supply is interrupted at the lesions. After 4 minutes or more without oxygen, brain cells become damaged and may die. Consequently the body parts controlled by those cells cannot function. For example, a patient may feel numb (loss of sensory function) and cannot move his arm (loss of motor function).

For a hemorrhagic stroke, things are often worse. The blood that leaks out of the vessel take up space in the brain, compressing on surrounding tissues. Damages are therefore more extensive. Many hemorrhagic stroke patients suffer from an excruciating headache or lose consciousness (in coma). If bleeding is massive, the brain may even be shifted to one side or pushed downward through the foramen of the skull. The latter case is fatal.

As the cells die, edema is formed, thus causing more damages. So, symptoms continue to deteriorate for a few days before they stabilize. The peak is around Day 4 or 5.

The loss of function from a stroke may be mild or severe, and temporary or permanent. This depends on where and how much the brain is damaged and how fast the blood supply can be returned to the affected cells.

Conventional Treatments for Stroke:

Stroke is an emergency that requires immediate medical care. Patients are usually hospitalized for monitoring of vital signs and life support. Once symptoms are stabilized, patients will be discharged. As the brain starts to heal, some functions will return slowly but only to a limited extent. In order to recover more, rehabilitation therapy is needed.

Hemorrhagic stroke patients may require a surgery to drain the blood that has accumulated, to relieve the compression in the brain. Ischemic stroke patients are often given Warfarin (also known by brand name Coumadin). Warfarin is an anti-coagulant, a blood thinner. It prevents formation of new clots but it does nothing about clots that have already formed. In other words, it does not help stroke patients recover. Over-dosage of Warfarin or Coumadin can cause internal bleeding. This side-effect is not surprising for it was originally developed as a potent rodent poison.

In 1996, FDA approved the use of a new drug called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, to treat ischemic stroke because it can dissolve clots. However the use of tPA has been very limited. First, it must be administered within 3 hours from the first signs of a stroke; second, only well trained medical personnel at approved stroke centers provide this service; third, tPA is contraindicated for certain conditions. For instance, patient with a recent history of bleeding, or with seizures or very high blood pressures cannot receive tPA. Finally, tPA increases the risk of bleeding. There are reports of death or secondary hemorrhagic stroke caused by tPA.

Does Acupuncture benefits a stroke patient?

YES! Acupuncture is definitely beneficial to stroke patients. The earlier the intervention, the better are the results. Our therapy helps in several ways:

  • It prevents or reduces edema in the brain, thereby stops further damage to brain tissues.
  • It promotes perfusion in the brain, restoring blood and oxygen to brain cells and save them from dying.
  • It helps to break down blood clots.
  • Our approach accelerates functional recovery.

Rehabilitation from a stroke can start in the hospital soon after the stroke is over. In a stable patient, the rehab usually can start within 48 hours of the stroke. It should be continued after the patient leaves the hospital for as long as is required. The treatment of stroke and its rehabilitation is a specialty that demands certain skills and knowledge. Acupuncture can significantly benefit stroke patients if it is done right; otherwise it is of little value. If you are looking for an experienced acupuncturist for the stroke recovery, feel confident to book an appointment online at Oriental Acupuncture Clinic  or call 416-800-3978 for your appointment. With our acupuncturist Jarry 28 years clinical experience, you will feel the difference. 

TCM Acupuncture moxibustion cupping for TOUGH PAIN, HOW IT WORKS!

In this cold winter, many people complain that the cold weather has made their arthritis pain , joint pain, frozen shoulder pain etc. getting worse .These pain can occur anytime throughout the year, but in the cold and wet months of the winter you may find it getting worse. 
The Medical Classic of the Yellow Emperor or HUANGDI NEIJING: The bible of Chinese Medicine, which has been treated as the fundamental doctrinal source for Chinese medicine for more than two thousand years, the yellow emperor has told us thousand years ago that when the wind, cold and dampness these three evil attack our body , it will cause the pain which is called "Bi" syndrome in TCM. For example, frozen shoulder is caused by cold and high humidity.One of the headaches which is called "wind-cold" headache in TCM is  also caused by wind and cold. Arthritis is also caused by wind-cold-wetness attack.
wind-cold-dampness syndrome or "Bi" syndrome
So in TCM theory, origin of the disease and pathogenesis of wind-cold-wetness type of arthralgia is the attack of wind-cold-wetness evil due to our body "qi deficiency" and the liver, or spleen, or kidney failing to transport,and becoming protracted stasis in the meridian. 

And TCM Acupuncture ,cupping , chinese massage(Tuina), moxibustion or herbal therapies are all for balancing our body's "Qi" ,improve liver,spleen or kidney etc. organs' function, and clear the stasis or blockage in the meridian. 
So Healing from the root beyond treating the syndromes. If this is what you looking for, please feel confident to book an appointment online, or call us at 416-800-3978. 

【Case Report】Jarry's another successful case acupuncture for Depression Insomnia

A  46 year-old Phillipino lady with Insomnia and depression for about half year, her friend found us online and took her to our clinic for reflexology therapy for her Insomnia. After the inquiry and inspection diagnosis (The four TCM diagnostic methods refer to inspection , auscultation and olfaction , inquiry and palpation). I suggested her to take Jarry's acupuncture treatments. She was sort of afraid of the needle and didn't think acupuncture will help her Insomnia condition, she didn't want to try acupuncture at all. But her friend who's a very nice gentlemen trying to help her as much as he could, he finally convinced her to see Jarry for the acupuncture treatment. So every week both of them came to see Jarry twice for the acupuncture treatments, after 3 weeks(6 sessions) her sleeping improved a lot, and after 4 weeks total 8 sessions(45minutes/session), her friend told us that she is completely different from the person we saw at the first time. 

Depression Insomnia seem very complicated condition and so many people suffer from it. How the Traditional Chinese Medication like acupuncture or herbs can offer tremendously helpful support in healing the root causes of this epidemic? Check our other blog: Acupuncture and Natural Therapy for Depression or Anxiety

You can also check Jarry's other cases for depression anxiety here.