This page is an Alphabetical Index of conditions addressed as ‘Spotlights’ and found under the How to Heal section of our website. To address these issues, learn more, or to develop a full treatment plan, please contact us at 520.795.5999 and reserve an appointment with our learned practitioners.

*The medicinal information contained on this site is not meant, in any way, to diagnose or be concise in its presentation, but rather to allow interested parties the opportunity to seek some gentle approaches to addressing/understanding health concerns. No information on this site should be considered an overall form/plan of treatment, or an alternative to current treatments an individual engages in, or has been prescribed. For more information, or to make an appointment to see a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, please contact our clinic through the number provided above.

 

Chronic Pain

This issue affects people globally. Chinese Medicinal therapies can help - so says thousands of years of history, our patients, and now the WHO (World Health Organization). Pain comes in many forms, and manifests from many different roots. Chronic pain is defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Chronic pain persists—often for months or even longer.

Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, such as a back sprain, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. There may also be no clear cause. Other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes, often accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. This difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities can lead to disability and despair.

In TCM ( Traditional Chinese Medicine) theory, pain is a manifestation of energy (Qi) flow blockage. When the energy flow is obstructed, pain is the result.

Pain, in its chronic form or otherwise, may manifest and be experienced as Low-back Pain, Headache, Joint Pain (Arthritis), Fibromyalgia, and many other dis-ease states.

Low-back pain can be further differentiated into:

  • Invasion of Pathogenic cold and Dampness - In this type, low back pain usually occurs after exposure to cold and damp environments, or symptoms are aggravated on rainy days. One may feel heavy sensation and stiffness of the low back muscle, limitation of extension and flexion of the back, pain radiating downwards to the buttocks and legs, cold feeling of the affected area.

    • Avoid humid locations if you can!

  • Kidney Deficiency - (The word kidney in a much broad sense in TCM terminology). In this type of Chronic Pain the onset is insidious with low-grade and protracted soreness, accompanied by lassitude and weakness of the back and knees aggravated by activities and alleviated by rest. Additional symptoms will depend on what further sub-type is present.

    • For example, in the case of Kidney Yang Deficiency, these symptoms may be present: cramp, cold sensation in the back and abdomen, cold feet and hands. In the case of Kidney Yin Deficiency, irritability, insomnia, dry mouth and throat, flushed face, hot sensation in the chest, palms, and bottom of feet.

    • Consider including walnut and goji berries in your diet to strengthen your kidney system!

  • Trauma Induced - In this type, there is a history of injury. A patient may have experience rigidity and pain in the lower back with a greatly reduced range of motion, aggravated by pressure to the affected area and turning motions of the body.

    • Stretch regularly for promotion of Qi and blood flow!

Licensed Acupuncturists in our school use different TCM diagnostic skills which include checking Pulse and Tongue in addition to utilizing the above information to provide an accurate differentiation and effective treatment options. Acupuncture, electrical acupuncture, auricular acupuncture, scalp acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, Gua Sha, Tuina, exercises, energy exercises (meditation, Qi Gong et cetera), herbal, and food therapies can be selectively used to build a customized treatment plan.

 

Circulation

Circulation may be likened to a sacred river.

A body’s circulation is what keeps fluids moving. Imagine the impact of stagnation and blockages, however they might be manifested, on a system that is 70% liquid! Circulation roots are embedded in words such as Unstable Blood Pressure, Fluid Retention, Cholesterol Concerns, Low Stamina, Heart Dis-ease …

In TCM, there is no such term as Hypertension. Likewise, where as the condition ‘high blood pressure’ is not something new to modern society, the blood pressure cuff was not available, and “high blood pressure” could not be recorded when traditional techniques were cultivated in China. But descriptions of hypertension symptoms can be found in early Chinese medical texts. Hypertension was usually described under the heading of dizziness/vertigo and/or headache … and some of the most common symptoms of hypertension are dizziness and headache.

Modern TCM literature usually differentiates hypertension into:

  • Hyperactivity of Liver Yang - Main manifestations include ‘dizziness aggravated by anger’, irritability, flushed face, red eyes, tinnitus, a bitter taste in the mouth, and dream-disturbed sleep.

  • Interior Retention of Phlegm, Dampness - Main manifestations include dizziness with a heavy feeling of the head and suffocating sensation in the chest, nausea, profuse sputum, anorexia, and somnolence.

  • Deficiency of the Yin and Hyperactivity of Yang - Main manifestations include dizziness, headache, low frequency tinnitus, forgetfulness, blurred vision, hot flushes especially when feeling tired, and finger and toe numbness.

  • Deficiency of Both Yin and Yang - Main manifestations include palpitation, dull headache, persistent tinnitus, shortness of breath on mild exertion, disturbed sleep, cold extremities, and nocturia.

    • For most people with elevated blood pressure, walking, meditation (abdominal breathing) and low-impact exercise will relax the autonomic nervous system and produce a more desirable blood pressure!

    • Chrysanthemum and/or hawthorn tea may help elevated blood pressure!

    • Additionally, celery juice is a traditional home remedy to lower blood pressure in China!

Licensed Acupuncturists in our school use different TCM diagnostic skills which include checking Pulse and Tongue in addition to utilizing the above information to provide an accurate differentiation and effective treatment options. Acupuncture, electrical acupuncture, auricular acupuncture, scalp acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, Gua Sha, Tuina, exercises, energy exercises (meditation, Qi Gong et cetera), herbal, and food therapies can be selectively used to build a customized treatment plan.

 

Hormonal Issues

Many symptoms can stem from hormonal imbalance. As a TCM rule, we should not be as concerned with where the imbalance came from, as we should be with restoring the balance. For it is likely in the restoration of balance, the root of imbalance is excised. In TCM, the main organ responsible for hormone maintenance is the Kidney. Hormonal imbalance may trigger Irregular Menstruation, Diabetes, Abnormal Metabolism (weight issues), Thyroid Imbalance, and more.

Diabetes Mellitus in TCM is called Xiao Ke (消渴 - she’ow k’eh,) which means ‘consuming and thirsty disease’. Tai Ji exercise, generally speaking, is good for diabetic patients. The exercise improves overall health and produces favorable glycemic results.

Diabetes Mellitus may be further differentiated into:

  • Shang Xiao (上消, sh’ahng she’ow, upper xiao) - This is due to ‘dryness-heat’ in the lungs. Symptoms include polydipsia (frequent thirst), restlessness, dryness of mouth and tongue, and frequent urination.

    • Tomato and/or celery juice is recommended!

  • Zhong Xiao (中消 - gee’ong she’ow, middle xiao) - This is due to ‘dryness-heat’ in the stomach. Symptoms include polyphagia (frequent hunger), weight loss, constipation, and frequent urination.

    • Sweet potato soup, and/or bitter melon tea can be helpful!

  • Xia Xiao (下消, she’ah she’ow, lower xiao) - This is due to deficiency of the kidney Yin. Symptoms include polyuria (frequent urination), urine with turbid discharge, dryness of mouth, itching, and dry skin.

    • Incorporate goji berries, and/or Chinese yam (Shan Yao) into your diet!

  • Deficiency of both Yin and Yang - Symptoms included cold limbs, edema, diarrhea, back pain, alternating cold and hot sensation of the chest, palms, and soles. This is usually/generally the late-stage of the dis-ease with many complications stemming from diabetes.

    • Cinnamon, Chinese yam (Shan Yao), goji berries, and shiitake mushroom will be beneficial!

Licensed Acupuncturists in our school use different TCM diagnostic skills which include checking Pulse and Tongue in addition to utilizing the above information to provide an accurate differentiation and effective treatment options. Acupuncture, electrical acupuncture, auricular acupuncture, scalp acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, Gua Sha, Tuina, exercises, energy exercises (meditation, Qi Gong et cetera), herbal, and food therapies can be selectively used to build a customized treatment plan.

 

Mental/Emotional Dis-ease

Few things impacting our lives that are not buried within our mental or emotional states.

Emotional strain will rarely feel controlled mentally, and mental strain will rarely feel as though it does not cast itself into our emotions.

In its acute form, stress may be a necessary adaptive mechanism for survival, and in this sense, it is only associated with slightly transient changes within the brain.

Episodes of severe and/or prolonged stress can cause significant over-activation and dysregulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, resulting in detrimental changes to the brain structure and function.

These types of stresses may manifest in Insomnia, Fatigue, Anxiety, Poor Memory, and so on.

Chinese Medicine considers Shen to be one of the "three treasures" that constitute life: Jing, the essence; Qi, the life force; and Shen, the spirit. TCM views the spirit as an integral part of our emotional/physical health, and our well being. Cultivation of the spirit is considered essential for health maintenance and life balance.

  • Disharmony of Shen often manifests itself as anxiety, insomnia, lackluster eyes, muddled thinking, forgetfulness, chronic restlessness and, in severe cases, mental illness, including depression and mania.

    • It is said that Shen can be strengthened through meditation, physical exercises such as Tai Ji, Qi Gong, and by acupuncture and herbal remedies!

Shen energy is the energy of the heart, which corresponds to the fire element in TCM. Therefore, we need to work on the organ of heart (in TCM terminology).

Some of the simple steps may be helpful:

  • Herbs and foods calming and nourishing Shen: Lotus seeds, Lily bulb, Suan Zao Ren (zizyphus [Jujube])!

  • Xiao mi (millets): 100g, to make congee, add crystallized sugar if desired, one small bowl 30 minutes before going to bed for insomnia.

  • Cut an orange into few portions and place close to the bed, the citrus fragrance helps relaxation . Add fresh cut Lavender if preferred.

  • Chinese ancient exercise Liu Zi Jue (六字诀, lee’oh dz juhweh), or Six Character Rhyme Exercise. The Heart Sound : 呵 (He, H’eh), corresponds to Shen.

Licensed Acupuncturists in our school use different TCM diagnostic skills which include checking Pulse and Tongue in addition to utilizing the above information to provide an accurate differentiation and effective treatment options. Acupuncture, electrical acupuncture, auricular acupuncture, scalp acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, Gua Sha, Tuina, exercises, energy exercises (meditation, Qi Gong et cetera), herbal, and food therapies can be selectively used to build a customized treatment plan.