Summer is slowly approaching. What does this mean? Summertime is
a season full of energy, heat, longer daylight, and sunny days.
Summer is the season of yang, a time when the body undergoes
vigorous metabolic (body energy) processes.
According to TCM, summer is yang as mentioned earlier, but
summer is also based on the five elements. Summer is fire, color is
red, emotion is joy, and the organ associated with fire is heart
and small intestine. Fire is symbolic because in TCM it is the
maximum activity or greatest yang, which means that it is a time of
heat, outgoingness, and moving outward in nature and in our lives.
In human anatomy, the heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire
element. We should give greatest focus on our heart, mind, and
spirit for staying healthy in summer.
It is important to make sure our body is balance during the
summertime. When we are balanced in the summertime, our heart is
strong and healthy, the mind is calm and sleep is sound. But if we
are not balanced in summertime we create an imbalance in the fire
element, which may cause either lack of joy (depression) or an
excess of joy (mania). Indicators of an imbalance in the fire
element include agitation, nervousness, heartburn, and
Cherry tree in bloom
Dia's Helpful Tips for the
Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog. Have a
I wanted to open this blog by welcoming everyone back from
spring break to summer trimester.
This week I want to focus on integrative medicine. Over break, a
family friend asked me, "What is integrative medicine?" I also
thought this was great topic of discussion for anyone reading this
blog who may be considering applying to National University of
Here at National University we take an integrative approach to
health and medicine. Integrative medicine is the intelligent
combining of both western and eastern medicine healing practices,
therapies and health protocols. When we discuss integration of
medicine, we simply represent the best of both worlds.
Drugs still heavily influence western medicine while eastern
medicine is focused more on prevention of diseases. At National, we
take an integrative approach when we look at treatment planning for
our patients. I witness this every day in the clinical setting as a
senior intern and in the academic setting as a student.
Many of my patients are referred to us from western physicians,
such as psychiatrists, DOs, etc., who I work closely with in the
treatment of my patients. This integration of medicine is why I
believe so many of my patients do so well with acupuncture. It
restores the body's natural ability to heal itself, and addresses
root causes rather than mere symptoms. This in turn, enhances,
restores and empowers patients to reclaim their health.
That is why it is important that more schools like National
University incorporate an integrative model of medicine. The
benefits to the patient's health are profound in this future
medicine model. Integration medicine is emerging not just in the
clinical setting, but also in hospital settings.
Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog! Welcome
back to Summer 2013 Trimester.
Autism Awareness Month. I have mentioned my son Mykael who was
diagnosed with autism 3 years ago and shared his journey with my
readers. I have four sons and a daughter. It is more common than
people realize that autism will likely impact a second child in the
family, especially among boys. My 4-year-old Landen has been
diagnosed on the autism spectrum. He is not like my son Mykael; he
has very mild case of autism. He has verbal skills. He is able read
and write for his age, but he lacks the social skills. In addition,
he has an intense interest about all cars and trucks. He was
diagnosed with Asperger's a year and half ago.
Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger's syndrome or
Asperger disorder (AD), is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that
is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction,
alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and
interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its
relative language and cognitive development.
I wanted to share more about autism spectrum disorder. As I
shared with you in my earlier blog, autism statistics from the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1
in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum--a 10-fold
increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that
this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and
awareness. Studies also show that autism is four-five times more
common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1
in 252 girls are diagnosed. ASD affects over 2 million individuals
in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Moreover, government
autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10
to 17% annually in recent years. There is no established
explanation for this continuing increase, although improved
diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often
family lives with autism every day like so many families. I want
make sure everyone is aware and has information about how you can
get involved in the Autism Speaks Walk of 2013. Autism Speaks Walk
will be held in Chicago at Soldier Field on May 18. We need
everyone's support and if you still need community service hours to
graduate, this is a wonderful community event that is near and dear
to my heart. If you need more information please contact me
directly or contact us at http://www.autismspeaks.org or
Remember: Every 11 minutes, another family receives the
devastating news that their child has an autism spectrum disorder.
Don't wait another minute and support the Awareness for
Thank you for continued support of AOM blog. Good luck on finals
and congratulations to our graduates of Spring 2013.
According to the Acupuncture Today April 2013
edition, the New Year has proven to be a promising one for
acupuncturists nationwide. There are several petitions that are
being currently looked at in White House concerning the future of
acupuncture. There is one petition in particular that has gained
momentum and attention in the White House.
The petition was created on Jan 11, 2013. The petition makes the
case that studies have shown that when acupuncturist are directly
involved in patient care, patient recover faster. The White House
petition is to recognize acupuncture as profession that is included
in Medicare system. We know have a total of 27,347 signatures.
If you are wondering what were the case studies? Mostly the case
studies came from pain management issues involving the direct
patient involvement with an acupuncturist. I would like to note
that many professions are already recognized in the Social Security
Act and therefore included in the Medicare system, for example
midwives, dieticians, physician's assistants, and social
The states that are currently being looked at by the White House
are California, Maryland, New Mexico, Washington, Nevada, and
Alaska. It is now a waiting game for the rest of us acupuncturists
nationwide to see where our profession finds it place in the
mainstream Medicare system.
If you want to view the petition, go to Recognize Acupuncturists as Healthcare
Providers. If you have additional question please contact NCCAOM and AAAOM.
Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog! Have
a great week!
(Trimester Countdown: 3 weeks left!)
It is officially spring! Spring is the time of birth, where yang
energy is full and abundant. For many people, however, spring and
summer are seasons for allergies.
Allergies, or allergic rhinitis, are due to an over-reactivity
of the immune system to certain allergens. During spring and
summer, allergies are generally induced by wind-born tree, grass or
weed pollen, and can cause such symptoms as: sneezing; nasal
congestion; runny nose; watery, itchy, or red eyes; headaches;
fatigue; and sometimes coughing and wheezing. When allergens and
antibodies react in individuals with allergic rhinitis, their nasal
mucosa becomes swollen and may obstruct drainage from the sinuses
causing sinusitis in many people. Thus, sinus infections are a
frequent complication and consequence of allergic rhinitis.
While spring and summer are the seasons of the year that bring
us outdoors, many people are unable to enjoy these warmer months
due to uncomfortable symptoms. Chinese medicine can help bring
relief of symptoms, correct imbalances of the immune system,
prevent the occurrence of infection, and allow healing of tissues
of the sinuses.
From a Chinese point of view, allergic rhinitis is due to a
deficiency of the Lung and Kidney's Defensive-Qi systems, combined
with retention of chronic "Wind" in the nose.
Allergic rhinitis often starts in early childhood, with a
constitutional weakness, but it may also start later in life, with
a progressive decline of Kidney-Qi. Lung and Kidney Qi Deficiency
is the root of the problem, therefore, with herbal medicine and
acupuncture, we strengthen and nourish these organs. The
manifestation of the disease is Wind invading the Lung channel in
the nose. This accounts for the acute attacks. With herbs and
acupuncture, we clear the Wind, reduce congestion, and open the
nasal passages. It is necessary to treat both the root and the
manifestation in order to produce lasting results.
The western treatment of allergic rhinitis relies mostly on the
use of antihistamine agents. Unfortunately, antihistamines only
treat the manifestations of the disease and not the root. In
addition, they cause side effects such as dizziness, fatigue,
insomnia, nervousness, dryness, and gastrointestinal
Chinese medicine offers allergy sufferers a way to strengthen
their bodies and significantly reduce their symptoms, without
unpleasant side effects. You do not have to spend another season
living with allergies.
Here are acupuncture points from my class notes and CAM book. I
have clinically used these points in the clinic and I feel they are
very effective in treating allergies, postnasal drips and
Wind-Cold Affecting the Lung
Wind-Heat Affecting the LU
Signs & Symptoms
Word to the wise: The treatment protocols mentioned above are to
be used after a complete tongue and pulse examination. The
effectiveness of these treatments may vary based on the
differential diagnosis, while other points should be added or not
used based on your patient history and complete
• Fertility and TCM
• Cupping Therapy
• Boost Your Qi
• AOM and Autism
• New Spring AOM Interns
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