This year we are seeing a lot of cough. In Chinese medicine there are few different imbalances that lead to cough and the correct one needs to be determined to treat it successfully. One of the most common is a cough due to an upper respiratory infection. This is the typical productive cough, with the sputum being yellow or brown or even green. This is perhaps the easiest to treat using lung channel acupuncture points and a good herbal formula for clearing heat in the lungs. These formulas are very effective in getting rid of this type of cough. Most of the time an upper respiratory infection is viral and will not respond to antibiotics. But several of the herbs used in this type of formula treat bacterial as well as viral infections. Plus there is no damage to the microbiome of the gut if antibiotics are not taken. The other type of cough we see a lot is one I call a weak cough. This is a cough that might be lingering from a cold and usually it is not productive. Coughs that have been around for a while start to damage the lung Qi or energy of the lung. So the formula and points used will boost the Qi of the lungs to eliminate the cough. This boosting of lung Qi will also help your immune system become stronger to avoid another cold.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be very helpful to set you on the right path towards weight loss. Helping people lose weight is something we have been doing in our practice for over a decade. As far as what we eat is concerned I don't think that it is a one size fits all thing. And that is part of our program - helping patients find the right mix of things to eat for them. One suggestion I have pertaining to our diet that we can all use is that it is important to know that our bodies are very trainable. I like to think of training our selves to eat a certain way is sort of like training a dog to their feeding schedule. If you feed your dog twice a day it won't take very long for the dog to anticipate their next meal. They will most likely remind you if the feeding time has passed by giving you a certain look or maybe even barking at you. And if you have been giving your dog a treat each night around 10 pm, I'll bet, even though the dog can't tell time, she will know about when it is time for her snack. We are the same way. If we wish to train ourselves to eat a certain way for our health then our body will get used to it pretty fast. Your body wants rules that tell it what it can expect. So in our weight loss program we might ask you to tweak your diet in some way that might fit your body type better. And after only about a week of doing this consistently your body will accept and even expect the new schedule. This is one way we can make gradual, easy changes to our metabolism. For more info on our approach to weight loss click here.
Our country is experiencing an opioid addiction crises. More people died from opioid overdose in 2016 an died in the entire Vietnam war. This is to me an amazingly dire statistic. Many if not most addiction clinics worldwide use acupuncture to help their patients. There is a specific set of points called the NADA protocol. NADA is the acronym for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association and it consists of 5 points in the ear. We use this protocol for our addiction patients along with other points in the hands and feet. Of course any type of addiction can be treated in this way including smoking addiction.
We are now selling CBD oil for pain. Here is a good description of what this oil is: CBD hemp oil is made from high-CBD, low-THC hemp, unlike medical marijuana products, which are usually made from plants with high concentrations of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Because hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, these hemp oil products are non-psychoactive. Our patients really like these products and we have them in smaller quantity bottles so you can try it out. It is rather expensive, but so far everyone has said it is well worth it. This is a topical ointment. Give us a call or stop by the office if you want to try it out.
On his deathbed Louis Pasteur (who discovered that germs cause disease) said "Bernard was correct. I was wrong. The microbe (germ) is nothing. The terrain (milieu) is everything." One way to interpret this is that he believed that the health of the host or human was much more important than the bug he or she has been exposed to. This year the flu has been especially bad, and we are most likely going to be exposed to the virus somewhere. So it is important that your immune system be as strong as possible. To do this It is important to get enough rest and sleep, to eat well, to not work too hard or exercise to the level that we are exhausted. Its important not to get too cold or even too hot and to reduce stress. All these things protect our energy or Qi, and in Chinese medicine the Qi must be strong in order to resist germs that might be in our environment. Washing our hands frequently is also important, but taking extra care of ourselves during flu season will greatly reduce our chances of getting sick. On my way out the door this morning my wife had me take 2 capsules of Immune Plus from Evergreen herbs. There are several formulas that we have that boost the Qi and thus boost the immune system. The herb that I make sure to take during this time is Huang Qi or astragalus, which is a Qi tonic. Getting an acupuncture treatment will also boost your immune system.
Shoulder pain is fairly common but we see it especially in women who are over 40. As women's estrogen levels decrease, the connective tissues become less supple. This seems to happen especially in the shoulder and in the feet (we often see this age of women coming in with plantar fasciitis). Frozen shoulder is a more sever form of this problem. Shoulder pain and stiffness usually responds very well to a few acupuncture and cupping treatments. We like to take a gentle approach to therapy on the shoulder, so we go slow at first and see how the joint responds. Exercise can also help, but I believe that some exercises that are often given for this condition are too strenuous for the joint and actually make things worse. We will give you a number of gentle exercise that will help the shoulder start to heal itself between treatments.
This time of year we usually see an uptick in the number of Bell's palsy cases that we see. This year is not an exception. We tend to see this issue when the weather is windy and cold (and to a lesser extent windy and warm). I don't think I have ever seen a case of Bells's that was not related to exposure to the wind. Western medicine treats this as a viral infection in the nerves of the face and we treat it as too much wind in the face! This is how different the two medicines are. We look at the human body as if it is part of nature (which it is), and as weather effects the planet, it also effects us (think about someone you know whose knee aches when the weather is changing). The treatments we do for Bell's are usually quite effective and are really in this case better than those offered by the west (in my opinion). And the word has gotten out over the years that this works. So we often see people with this condition coming in who have never considered acupuncture before. It is best to treat this condition as soon as possible after onset and perhaps take an herbal formula alongside the treatment, such as xiao feng san, a great formula as a whole and also very effective for this condition.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond