Skip to content

TCM to Improve Children’s Immune System

child not feeling well

Acupuncture is part of an ancient medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is commonly used to treat a multitude of ailments in adults and is gaining popularity among pediatrics. There are licensed acupuncturists who specialize in treating children and are in high demand. These pediatric acupuncturists are helping children where others can’t and for many, it is lifesaving. 

Most kids, as well as a lot of adults, are afraid of needles. So the pairing of acupuncture and kids might not be an obvious one. However, more and more parents are seeking alternative methods of treatment for their children. This is because our conventional medical system is faltering a bit. Pharmaceuticals are proving to be more harmful than beneficial for many, especially kids. And with the bodies and brains of children still being developed, who can really blame a parent for wanting to find an alternative to drugs with adverse side effects?

Parents are turning to acupuncture because it provides a safe resolution of illness, while also preventing future illnesses. This happens because acupuncture and acupressure stimulate the body’s ability to restore and heal itself. Our bodies are fully capable of fighting off disease and healing injuries when the right tools are provided. Acupuncture not only stimulates the immune system, but also relaxes the nervous system and regulates the digestive and hormonal systems. All of these things need to be in balance for the body to heal. 

Kids are more prone to getting sick because their immune systems are still being built.  Children also tend to be more susceptible to bacteria and viruses because of their immature immune systems. For some kids, school can create added stress that taxes the immune system. There are a lot of factors involved when it comes to staying healthy. This is where TCM can be very beneficial.

TCM approaches illness and ailments from a very different angle. In TCM, wind is one of the six external pathogens that can invade the body and produce symptoms. The external pathogens responsible for the cold are seen as invasions of wind. The body is protected by something known as the Wei Qi (defensive Qi, pronounced “way chee”). The Wei Qi is comparable to the immune system in conventional medicine and acts as the first line of defense when the body is under attack from external pathogens. If the Wei Qi is strong, then the body is capable of fighting off invaders like viruses and bacteria. The Wei Qi keeps the pores of the skin closed and prevents wind from entering. 

There are specific acupressure points on the body that can help improve a child’s immune system. There are also other techniques that are used in TCM that may help, like gua sha or cupping. Both of these techniques stimulate blood flow and help remove toxins through the skin, which can boost immunity. 

Not only is acupuncture cost effective for treating children, but it is a logical approach to healing their illnesses.

Posted in Herbal Medicine, Immune System, Traditional Chinese Medicine | Tagged , | Comments Off on TCM to Improve Children’s Immune System

Feeling Stressed and Anxious? Try Acupuncture

Feeling Stressed and Anxious? Try Acupuncture

We all know that stress is just a part of life. We all have moments of feeling anxious or depressed, but when those feelings become more of a permanent fixture in our lives, it is time to get some help. What many may not know is how effective acupuncture can be in providing relief to the mental and physical symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. continue reading »

Posted in Acupuncture, Anxiety, Stress | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Feeling Stressed and Anxious? Try Acupuncture

Military Veterans Find Relief with Acupuncture

Military Veterans Find Relief with Acupuncture

Military veterans often return from service with a host of physical, mental, and emotional challenges related to their tours of duty. Rarely does a service member present with just one health issue. A 2014 study summarized the challenges associated with treating veterans and their often complex medical issues. continue reading »

Posted in Acupuncture, PTSD | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Military Veterans Find Relief with Acupuncture

Boosting Immunity

woman feeling sick

Immune Enhancing Home Self-Care Techniques

Your immune system is your body’s security system. It is the job of the immune system to deter foreign invaders like bacteria, parasites and other microbe causing infections. Disorders of the immune system range from common conditions such as mild seasonal allergies to more serious illnesses like leukemia. Stress, lack of sleep, and other common lifestyle and environmental conditions can contribute to a weakened immune system, which can make you vulnerable to infections. 

Good news! Acupuncture therapy can treat a wide range of health conditions, including immune deficiency, by stimulating and balancing the immune system. Acupuncture can strengthen a weakened immune system by increasing red and white cell counts, T-cell count and enhancing humoral and cellular immunity. Acupuncture can regulate immune function and treat the underlying cause of the disease by reducing symptoms, speeding up the healing of infection and normalizing the body’s immune response. 

Acupressure To Support Immune Health

Immune Enhancing Acupressure Routine

Get into a comfortable position so that you can easily
access all points.

Begin with Kidney 27 and work your way down the body

Kidney 27
Large Intestine 11
Lung 7
Stomach 36

  • Stimulate each of the points on both sides of the body at
    the same time
  • Spend 30-60 seconds on each point and apply firm
    pressure while breathing steadily into your lower abdomen
  • Strive to complete this routine at least once in the morning
    and once before bed

Apply finger pressure in a slow, rhythmic manner to enable the layers of tissue and the internal organs to respond. Never press any area in an abrupt, forceful, or jarring way. Keep track of the results of your self-acupressure practice to
pay close attention to your progress and well-being.

Stomach 36 acupressure point

Stomach 36

ST 36 can be found on the anterior (front) aspect of the lower leg. To identify the acupressure massage point, measure roughly four fingers below the kneecap on the outside edge of your shinbone. You will know you’re in the right place by flexing your foot back to feel the muscle below (the tibialis anterior muscle) begin to flex.

Performing acupressure on Stomach 36 is like a Vitamin C shot for your body. It is one of the most effective acupuncture points for strengthening the immune system, recovering from fatigue and boosting endurance

LI11

Large Intestine 11

Large Intestine 11 is located on the tip of the elbow. The easiest way to find this point it is to bend your arm, look down the outer side of your forearm to the elbow, LI 11 lies there where the elbow crease meets the joint.

This point runs along the Large Intestine meridian, traveling up the index finger, through the arm, shoulder, and neck, into the face and nose. This point acts as a fever-reducing point, but it is also used to help prevent the flu and other immune-compromising conditions. It is known to be one of the strongest points in the body for clearing heat. Think of LI 11 as a great vent for the body to release a little steam whenever it’s needed.

kd27 acupressure point

Kidney 27

To locate this point, place your hands on either side of the depression on the
lower clavicle bone. From here (with your fingers below the clavicle) separate hands approximately 1-2in horizontally (outward toward shoulders).

An excellent immune-boosting point used for common colds, influenza and for people that have compromised immune systems. Kidney 27 is known to open the chest, descend lung and stomach Qi, and stop coughing.

LU7

Lung 7

Lung 7 (LU 7) is located on the inside arm above the wrist. To find this point interlock your fingers (palms snuggly together) and direct your attention to your lowest thumb. On the outer edge of your thumb, you will find the crease of your wrist. The point lies roughly one inch down toward the elbow, in a depression between the sinew and the bone.

This is a very common point to use for systematic relief of cough, headache and/or stiff neck. As the Luo point of the Lung channel, this point is used to treat anything related to the lungs (asthma, wheezing, bronchitis, cough, congestion etc.) and can help symptoms associated with a weakened immune system.

Astragalus

Astragalus

Immunity Enhancing Soup
Ingredients

1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3-6 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
4-6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
3-4 pieces astragalus root
10 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tamari or low sodium soy sauce
Salt & Black pepper (to taste)
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped scallions

How to prepare:

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onions, garlic, and ginger
  • Saute until soft and translucent
  • Add shiitake mushrooms, carrots, astragalus root and vegetable stock
  • Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes
  • Add tamari and adjust the seasoning with salt as needed
  • Add the broccoli florets and cook until tender, about 2 minutes
  • Remove the astragalus root pieces
  • Serve soup in bowls and garnish with scallions

Garlic

Garlic

Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. It’s also a natural decongestant.

Garlic Lemon Honey Tea
Ingredients

3 cups of water
3-6 cloves of garlic, halved
Honey to taste
Lemon to taste

How to prepare:

  • Put water in a medium saucepan and add garlic
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-5 minutes (the longer you simmer, the stronger the tea will be)
  • Remove from heat, add honey and lemon juice
  • Sip 1/2 cup, three times per day
  • Refrigerate for 3-5 days

Elderberry

elder-4434794_1280

Elderberry is a commonly used medicinal plant that is known all around the world. Elderberry is
most often taken as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms.

Whole-body Support Tea
Ingredients

4 oz. Astragalus
4 oz. Elderberry
4 oz. Eleuthero
4 oz. Rose Hips
4 oz. Cinnamon Chips

How to prepare:

  • Mix all herbs together and store in a clean, dry jar
  • Simmer 1 tablespoon in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes
  • Add honey to taste
  • Drink 1-3 cups per day

Elderberry is excellent for flu prevention, but it is contraindicated if you have an illness that manifests with a cytokine storm. Ask a qualified practitioner for more details.

Personal Protection Steps:

Hands being washed

Everyone can take simple steps to not only prevent the spread of COVID-19, but seasonal Influenza and other respiratory illnesses:

  • Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap
  • Avoid touching your face
    Cough and sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, then throw away the tissue
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you or a family member is sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces
  • Clean your produce thoroughly

 

Homemade disinfectant:

Fill a 16 oz spray bottle most of the way full with 99% isopropyl rubbing alcohol.

Add the following essential oils:

  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil

As always, get plenty of rest, drink water and find ways to reduce stress.

Immune Supportive Vitamins

Healthy Foods

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that could help your body fight off infection. Some foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds and spinach.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system supporters. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health. Foods rich in vitamin C include – oranges, grapefruits,
tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers,
spinach, kale and broccoli.

Further Research

If this information has spiked your interest we encourage you
do to more research, try starting with some of our favorites:

– How to make Fire Cider
– Probiotics for immune health
– Medicinal mushroom tinctures
– Wellness Formula
– Source Naturals
– Qi Gong for immune health
– Wim Hoff and other breathing exercises
– Natural produce wash

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Boosting Immunity

Western & Eastern Medicine Treatment Approaches to Headaches

According to Eastern Medicine thought, there are many paths up a mountain. In this article we will be discussing headaches and how both Eastern and Western medicine view headaches. The Western (aka Biomedical) approach is reductionist and relies on empirical observation and symptom differential. The Eastern approach is dynamic, holistic, personalized and also relies on a symptom differential. However, that process looks quite different from the conventional approach. Here we discuss both approaches and how they differ.

How does a Western Medicine Clinician View, Evaluate and Treat Headaches?

According to conventional western medicine, a headache is quite simply defined as the experience of pain in the upper neck, head or face. According to Western Medicine, the most common types of headaches are vascular (think migraines), or involve muscle tension and stress.

Primary and Secondary Type Headaches

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are two classifications of headaches, primary and secondary. In primary headaches, there is no identifiable underlying disease process that is the cause. Primary headaches are most common and are categorized as migraines, migraines with aura, tension and cluster headaches. Here we will briefly discuss the two most common primary headaches, tension and migraine.

Primary headaches are mainly due to lifestyle factors that trigger the headache. Examples include stressful events, poor sleep, poor posture, specific foods, skipping meals, alcohol, hormonal fluctuations, certain smells or bright lights.

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. These account for 90% of all headaches and are usually felt on both sides of the head and can affect the eyes, scalp, neck as well as the head. Tension headaches are most commonly caused by chronic stress or a stressful event.

Secondary headaches are caused by an underlying disease process or illness. The list of causes is extensive but includes such things as sinus infections, influenza, infections, dental problems, glaucoma, hangovers, etc….

A Western doctor will classify your headache as primary or secondary by assessing your symptoms and by doing a medical exam. If necessary, you may need blood tests or an image of the head or neck. However, primary-type headaches are most common and usually do not require more than an in-office exam.

Western Treatment of Headaches

Treatment is determined based on your diagnosis. However, most people with primary headaches will be given over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or NSAIDs like Ibuprofen.
If the headache is a migraine, treatment may include a prescription medication used specifically for migraines. The most likely scenario is that you will leave your clinician’s office with some advice to rest and a prescription of some kind.
How does an Eastern Medicine Doctor View, Evaluate and Treat Headaches?

According to Eastern Medicine Clinicians, a headache is a manifestation of a symptom, in this case pain, caused by an internal imbalance, known as the root cause. Just like in Western medicine where headaches are categorized as primary or secondary, in Eastern thought, the cause is also categorized but in a very different way. The clinician will assess whether the pain is due to an internal imbalance or due to an external influence like an infection.

Most patients who have headaches due to an internal balance will be assessed for the type of imbalance by checking the patient’s pulse, respiratory rate, color and quality of their complexion, their tongue color and coat. The patient will also be asked about the onset, time, location and character of the pain.

Through this lens, the clinician looks for a pattern unique to the individual to assess what type of imbalance is causing the headache. This differentiation establishes whether the person has imbalance from a state of excess or a state of deficiency somewhere in the body. This means the patient may have an accumulation of too much energy stuck in their body or it could mean they are low in energy and need some kind of tonifying treatment to relieve their headache.

Excess headaches include symptoms like sharp or throbbing pain in the temples or behind the eyes, a feeling of cotton or wool inside the head, sharp pain or feeling of heat in the head or face, feelings of nausea or chest oppression. Deficiency headaches are usually dull rather than sharp, involve the whole head, and are relieved by rest or eating.

In a nutshell, the Eastern clinician is looking for patterns unique to the individual. After a pattern has been established, a diagnosis can be made and that is how treatment is decided.
What are your treatment options in Eastern Medicine?

There are several options for treatment in the Eastern Medicine clinician’s toolbox. This may range from nutrition advice, Qi Gong, stretching, stress-reducing techniques, meditation or simple exercises.

The patient’s stress levels and environment will be assessed along with treatment of the underlying internal imbalance. The patient will have their history and current lifestyle considered in context with their symptoms.

The primary tools used inside the Eastern clinician’s office are high-quality traditional botanical medicines, acupuncture or acupressure. In many instances, a simple trip for an acupuncture treatment can eliminate a tension headache or migraine in one session. Other times, it takes a few treatments as the underlying pattern is addressed. Patients will often come in for preventative treatment so that they can remain headache-free.

Posted in Acupuncture, Headaches/Migraines | Comments Off on Western & Eastern Medicine Treatment Approaches to Headaches
410-984-3700 Directions Contact/Schedule