Root Treatments for GERD : Identifying Underlying Cause Vs. Symptom Checking

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), "branch treatment" and "root treatment" are two approaches to treating health conditions like GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

1. Branch Treatment:

This approach focuses on alleviating the symptoms of GERD. It involves using therapies to directly address the symptoms, such as taking antacids to reduce stomach acid or using medications to reduce acid production.

2. Root Treatment:

Root treatment, on the other hand, aims to address the underlying causes of GERD. This approach focuses on restoring balance to the body's systems to prevent the recurrence of symptoms. It may involve dietary and lifestyle changes, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and other TCM modalities to strengthen the digestive system and address any imbalances that may be contributing to GERD.

In TCM, the root treatment approach is often preferred because it not only helps alleviate symptoms but also aims to address the root cause of the condition, leading to longer-lasting relief. However, in some cases, a combination of branch and root treatments may be used to provide more immediate relief while also addressing the underlying imbalances.

Over all, framing treatments around the ‘root’ cause of disease is at the core of Traditional Chinese Medicine principles.

In TCM, GERD is often viewed as a disharmony in the body, possibly involving the spleen, stomach, or liver. Here are some aspects of a TCM root treatment approach for GERD:

  1. Dietary adjustments: TCM often emphasizes the importance of a balanced diet. For GERD, this might involve avoiding spicy, greasy, and acidic foods, and focusing on easily digestible, bland foods. It may also involve eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding eating late at night.

  2. Herbal remedies: TCM commonly uses herbal formulas to help rebalance the body. For GERD, herbs like licorice root, ginger, and peppermint might be used to soothe the digestive tract and reduce acid reflux.

  3. Acupuncture: Acupuncture can be used to help regulate the flow of qi (energy) in the body, which TCM believes can help improve digestion and reduce symptoms of GERD.

  4. Lifestyle modifications: TCM often emphasizes the importance of lifestyle factors in health. This might include stress reduction techniques like qigong or tai chi, as stress can exacerbate GERD symptoms.

  5. Tongue and pulse diagnosis: In TCM, the tongue and pulse are often used as diagnostic tools to assess the overall health of the body and identify underlying imbalances that may be contributing to GERD.

Although a branch treatment may have rapid therapeutic effects and quickly resolve the issue, it does not provide the body with any opportunity to truly heal. It is like making a judgement about the health of branches of a tree, without considering what is happening under the soil. Merely trimming back the branches will not help a diseased tree if it is the roots that are infected or being attacked; they will continue to grow back diseased. The only way to thoroughly heal the tree would be to address its' diseased roots. Often branch treatment relies on an external substances (medications) to address a symptom, and upon cessation of the medication the symptom instantly returns. This is not a true correction of the issue.

By contrast, a root treatment approach may take a bit longer, but by nature of targeting the underlying problem it will resolve it more permanently. Root treatment approaches actually teach the body how to correct the underlying imbalances that led to to these problems. This creates a more resilient system that becomes equipped to heal itself in the future. Your body learns how to be its’ own medicine, instead of relying on something external to it.

In summary, the branch treatment is to give medication to get immediate symptom relief. Conversely, the root solution is to make your body stronger so that you are resistant to those things recurring.

As TCM acupuncturists and TCM practitioners, We don’t just consider the immediate symptoms that patients are presenting. Instead, We consider the underlying factors that are contributing to the manifestation of such symptoms. Treatment is then directed towards those underlying factors, which effectively leads to resolution of the presenting symptoms.

Interested in learning more about this approach to your health? Book an initial treatment with our therapists to see if TCM is the right treatment for you.

Special Facial Massage or Cosmetic Acupuncture for Mother's Day


FREE 15-minutes Facial Massage for Mother's Day Special gift 
with 45 minutes massage($90 HST included)

Special 1 hour Cosmetic Acupuncture for only $90(HST included)
SPECIAL OFFER ends May 31st 

2 Actions Simply Relieve Stiff Neck or Neck Muscle Sprain

Stiff neck which is also called acute cervical periarthritis (Acute Fibrositis) or neck muscle sprain. The symptoms include difficulty in turning the head. The neck will become sore when turning even slightly. In severe cases, the pain may even be so severe that it can cause paralysis. Turn your head. When you wake up in the morning and notice a stiff neck, do the posture immediately as shown below.

  • One Posture Simply Relieve Stiff Neck or Neck Muscle Sprain 
Lie flat on the edge of the bed, with your body on the bed, shoulders aligned with the edge of the bed, your head naturally lowered, and then slightly shake your head for about 30 seconds. 

Usually when people have a stiff neck, the cervical spine may be pulled a little crooked by the nearby muscle tissue. If you can pull the cervical spine at this time, it may be pulled back to its normal state. But it is a bit dangerous to pull the cervical spine directly because the strength is difficult to control. When doing the posture in the picture above, the head is affected by the gravity of the earth and is pulled downwards. This force is not too strong and can pull the cervical vertebrae apart. so the stiff neck will be relieved. 

  • One Acupressure or Massage Point for Stiff Neck Relief 
In addition, the hand acupressure or massage method is also very effective, which is to press and push the three lines of cervical spine - thoracic spine - lumbar spine on the hand. We can also use a muscle-pulling stick to push and push, and also push the seam of the thoracic spine.

Still need some help from our Licensed acupuncturists or massage therapists,please feel free to book online at call us at 416-800-3978

IVF Acupuncture FAQs

More recent research now suggests most benefit is achieved with a higher “dose” of acupuncture prior to and during the IVF cycle.

So, what does this research suggest in terms of best practice IVF Acupuncture to optimise psychological and physiological benefits and when should I start?

1. Commencement

The evidence denotes that:

  • if you are going to use acupuncture it may be advisable for to have it before and during the stimulation phase of the IVF cycle.
  • it is useful for women to consider acupuncture treatment in the menstrual cycles before their IVF cycle, or before a frozen embryo transfer to improve the uterine lining.

2. How many sessions and When should I book in?

Treatment with acupuncture before and after embryo transfer has been demonstrated by the meta-analysis published recently in the British Journal of Medicine to improve IVF success rates by 65%, continued pregnancy rates by 82% and improve live birth rates by 91%.

Ideally, 1 month before your start your IVF cycle.

  • 1 to 2 sessions treatment weekly for 4 weeks prior to IVF cycle and 2 weeks during stimulation cycle.

3. Day of transfer acupuncture

Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer has significant benefit for women who have increased stress levels or who have had multiple previous IVF cycles, or where there was a low baseline pregnancy rate expectation.

Continuing this approach in the two-week wait for test results is also helpful for these women to manage IVF related stress and anxiety.

  • Embryo Transfer acupuncture (ETA) is best done on the same day (or within 24 hours if on same day is not possible).

Acupuncture for Rejuvenation: How It Works

Acupuncture is like a magical dance for your face! 

Let’s explore how it works:

  1. Tiny Needles: Imagine little fairy wands (we call them needles) that gently touch your face. These needles are so tiny that they’re like whispers in the wind.

  2. Energy Pathways: Your face has secret pathways (like secret tunnels) where energy flows. Acupuncture helps unblock these pathways. Think of it as opening doors to let the energy dance freely.

  3. Collagen and Elastin: Now, inside your skin, there’s something called collagen (like a superhero rope) and elastin (like a bouncy trampoline). Acupuncture tells them, “Hey, wake up!” Collagen tightens and plumps your skin, while elastin makes it springy.

  4. Healing Magic: When the needles touch your skin, they create tiny magic wounds (don’t worry, it’s painless!). Your body’s healing wizards rush in. They bring more blood, like a river flowing faster, and deliver nutrients to your skin.

  5. Youthful Glow: Collagen and elastin start dancing again! Wrinkles shrink, fine lines tiptoe away, and sagging skin gets a lift. It’s like turning back time on your face.

  6. Other Perks: Acupuncture isn’t just about wrinkles. It can also soothe itchy skin, make your complexion glow, and even lift droopy eyelids. Imagine your face doing a happy dance!

Acupuncture is like a gentle hug for your skin. If you'd  like to try it, please feel free to call us at 416-800-3978 or book it online.

Spring REJUVENATION by Acupuncture


Spring is the season of growth, regeneration, increased activity and new beginnings.Traditional Chinese medicine believes that "the liver is connected to the spring qi" , and spring is a great time to nourish the liver for Spring rejuvenation. 

During the season of spring, people experience many changes. Allergies, high blood pressure, headaches, sinus pain and congestion, anger, irritation and tendon problems are just some of the issues common to the spring months. 

To keep the liver and gallbladder working smoothly, things like acupuncture, herbal formulas, tai chi and qi gong are all recommended. Acupuncture utilizes over 300 different pressure points on the body to help keep it in alignmentand shine on your face. There are specific points that can be used to help balance the body during the season of spring. 

1. Liver 3 (Tai Chong) – This point is located bilaterally on the top of the foot, in the depression about one thumb-breadth from the edge of the webbing between the first and second toes. This point can be used to decrease headaches, nasal congestion and depression.

2. Large Intestine 20 (Ying Xiang)– Found bilaterally on either side of the nose, in the nasolabial groove, level with the lower border of the nostril. This point is very effective for decreasing nasal pain and obstruction, as well as helping decrease rhinorrhea, also known as a runny nose. These symptoms are quite common with allergies that occur during spring.

【CASE REPORT】Jarry's recent successful cases for infertility

For infertility, lots of couples choose IVF or IUI to get pregnant, who also come for acupuncture to improve the IVF/IUI success rate. Some couples consider acupuncture as their first option. And Jarry(R.Ac) has many successful cases. 

A 35-year-old female, suffering from migraines, dysmenorrhea, blood clots during menstruation, having been married for many years and couldn't get pregnant. So she keep coming for Jarry's acupuncture for about 2 years. Just couple weeks ago, she told Jarry that she is pregnant. Spring always breeds new hope, which really makes us happy. 

Not long ago, a South American lady, went to see her dentist next door and she dropped by to say thanks to Jarry. With her slightly bulging belly, she talked to the patients in the waiting room: "It's doctor Jarry made me get pregnant!" and Jarry explained "It’s me cured her infertility by acupuncture."  which made everyone in the waiting room laughed.

最近又看到刘医师针灸治愈了一个顽固性不孕患者(35岁女性,患有偏头痛,痛经,月经有血块,结婚多年未孕), 这位患者坚持来让刘医师扎针近两年,就在今年春天来临之季说怀上了。春天总是孕育着新的希望,这真是让我们无比开心。

刘医师跟我们说: “类似这样 顽固性不孕症,已治愈好几例了。前几年一个南美人,一次去看走廊里面那家牙医,路过咱们诊所门口时,进来向我道谢,挺着微微隆起的肚子,向旁边候诊的病人说了一句话,让我吓了一大跳 “it’s doctor Jarry made me get pregnant!” 我赶紧给旁边的人解释”It’s me cured her infertility by acupuncture.” 在场的人哄堂大笑”

Acupuncture for Bell's Palsy Prevention and Treatment

Affecting about 10,000 people in Canada every year, Bell’s Palsy is a neurological disorder that manifests as a paralysis of the face. This condition is often a shock, as it comes on overnight.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the diagnosis for Bell’s Palsy is termed “External Wind-Cold attacking the channels of the face”. According to TCM principles, one of the main implications of this condition is an underlying qi (a person’s inherent energy) deficiency.

Consistent acupuncture treatments (usually recommended once or twice per week), can help soothe a patient, expedite the paralysis from dissipating, and enhance nerve function.  Bell's Palsy Case by Jarry Liu 
Usually the best treatment time for Bell's Palsy or facial Paralysis is within 1 to 3 weeks when this condition happens, don't delay the best treatment time.

Patients with Bell’s Palsy can have several weeks of recovery time in which they may choose to stay at home and take some time off from their normally rigorous daily routines.

Here's are some of the Bell's Palsy Prevention Tips: 
  • Wear a Scarf or Muffler in cold and windy weather;
  • Maintain a strong immune system;
  • Don't sleep with a fan blowing on you;
  • Avoid sitting near an air conditioning vent. 
  • Consume adequate protein and vegetables. 
  • Avoid sitting or sleeping in cold drafty areas.
  • Daily exercise -a combination of muscle & aerobic is best.
  • Cover up Immediately when you get out of a hot tub, swimming pool or shower. 
  • Release stagnant emotion through journal writing, talking to a friend or a counselor.
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5 TCM strategies to enhance immunity

 Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers holistic approaches to support and boost the immune system naturally. Here are five TCM strategies to enhance immunity:

  1. 1.Acupuncture:

    • Acupuncture helps regulate the immune system by promoting the flow of Qi and restoring balance. Points such as Zusanli (ST36) and Guanyuan (CV4) are commonly targeted to strengthen the immune system. Consult with a licensed acupuncturist to determine the best approach for your individual needs.

  2. 2.Chinese Herbal Medicine:

    • Chinese herbs have been used for centuries to enhance the immune system. Adaptogenic herbs, such as astragalus (Huang Qi), ginseng (Ren Shen), and reishi mushroom (Lingzhi), are commonly prescribed to improve overall vitality and immunity.
    • Herbal formulas may be tailored to an individual's specific constitution and health condition. Consult with a qualified TCM practitioner to receive personalized recommendations.

  3. 3.Diet and Nutrition:

    • TCM places great emphasis on maintaining balance in the body through proper nutrition. Foods are classified based on their energetic properties (cooling, warming, or neutral) and their effects on the body.
    • Foods such as ginger, garlic, mushrooms, green tea, and Chinese medicinal soups are often recommended to strengthen the immune system. A TCM practitioner can provide guidance on a diet that suits your individual needs.

  4. 4.Qigong and Tai Chi:

    • Qigong and Tai Chi are mind-body practices that combine movement, breath control, and meditation. These exercises are believed to enhance the flow of Qi, strengthen the body, and promote overall well-being.
    • Regular practice of Qigong and Tai Chi has been associated with improved immune function and reduced stress. Choose a style that suits your preferences and consult with an experienced instructor to ensure proper technique.

    • 5.Cupping Therapy:
    • Cupping promotes blood circulation and remove toxins. While commonly used for pain relief, cupping can also be employed to support the immune system by enhancing the body's natural healing mechanisms.

It's crucial to note that TCM approaches are individualized, and consulting with a qualified TCM practitioner is recommended to receive personalized advice based on your specific health condition and constitution.