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
Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog. Have a
If you, a friend, a family member, or a patient is trying to
become pregnant, you may want to consider acupuncture and
Traditional Chinese Medicine. The enhancement of fertility has been
at the heart of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 5,000 years,
and there has been great success with acupuncture and herbal
medicine treating infertility. Below are real patient's questions
that I have been asked in the clinic regarding fertility
How does acupuncture improve fertility?
Acupuncture causes a reduction of stress hormones and a release
of endorphins that produce a profound state of relaxation. Research
has shown that women with elevated stress levels have significantly
lower pregnancy rates. Regular acupuncture treatments result in the
correction of the body's neuro-endocrinological activity resulting
in hormonal regulation and balance. The insertion of needles in
specific acupoints in the body increases ovarian and uterine blood
flow. This increased flow stimulates ovulation and enhances growth
of the uterine lining. Acupuncture supports implantation and growth
of the embryo during the very crucial initial stages of fetal
Fuke 11.24 (Tung's Point)
How does herbal therapy improve fertility?
Herbs work to nourish and strengthen the body; assimilation of
critical nutrients supports a healthy pregnancy. The quality of
ovarian eggs and the thickness of the uterine lining are dependent
on adequate nutrition. When present in the reproductive area,
inflammation creates yet another obstacle to fertility, so
acupuncturists prescribe specific herbs to reduce inflammation.
Lastly, other select herbs are effectively used to regulate and
balance hormone levels.
Can TCM also help with infertility in men?
Yes, Traditional Chinese Medicine is commonly used to increase
and improve the quality, motility and quantity of sperm. Since male
infertility accounts for over 40% of infertility issues in couples,
male partners are encouraged to partake in regular treatments to
address potential sperm issues. Strengthening the male partner
increases the odds of pregnancy. I often encourage couples to come
in together for fertility support.
Huanchao 11.06 (Tung's acupuncture)
Word to the Wise: Please be careful when treating women patients
who are trying to get pregnant or have history of miscarriage;
avoid acupuncture points ST12, GB21, LI4, SP6, UB60, UB67. These
are very strong points that move the qi and blood. I often use
these points: DU20, Zigong, Fuke 11.24 (Tung's point), Huanchao
11.06 (Tung's acupuncture) and sometimes auricular points in the
ear uterus, endocrine, ovary, LV, KD, depending on the patient. I
also remind fertility patient's that consistency is the key to
successful fertility support along with a healthy balanced diet and
exercises, such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi. In addition, I ask
patient's to create a menses calendar to track their menstruation
cycle and ovulation cycle.
Thanks for continuing to support of AOM blog. Remember spring is
"A disease that may not be treated by acupuncture, may be
treated by moxibustion." -- Miraculous Pivot
The Chinese medical therapy called moxibustion warms areas of
the body and can penetrate to the muscles, tendons and bones. In
Chinese we say "Jui" for moxibustion. Moxibustion helps to relieve
pain, stimulate blood circulation, relax muscles, and induce a
healthier flow of chi, or energy. By warming and opening the
channels and collaterals, it assists the body's natural healing
Moxibustion therapy uses the herb, mugwort or Artemesia Argyi.
The fuzz that grows on the underside of the mugwort leaf is made
into moxa. The properties of moxa are bitter, acrid and warm.
Acupuncturists and/or Chinese medical practitioners may use moxa
directly on the skin and on top of needles. Most commonly, a roll
of moxa, which can be smokeless, is held directly over an
acupuncture point, causing the patient to experience a calming and
warming sensation--never burning.
Moxibustion is thought to predate acupuncture. As early as the
discovery and use of fire, early man noticed that heat from their
fires could be warming and curative. Before mugwort was chosen as
the most effective substance for sustaining heat, hot stones or
sand wrapped in animal skins may have been used for local hot
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), moxibustion is especially
effective in the treatment of chronic pain conditions, weak
immunity, low appetite, poor digestion, cold hands and feet, kidney
failure, frequent urination, cold sensations, obstructed blood
circulation, and various other health conditions. It is especially
noted for its ability to help turn breech babies head down using
acupuncture point UB67. Moxibustion treats and prevents diseases by
applying the heat to acupuncture points. I have read that Chinese
people use moxa on St36 daily to help prevent disease and maintain
health. Remember, daily or weekly moxibustion over specific points
can extend life by strengthening the patient's qi as well as
digestive immune and circulatory systems.
Word to the Wise: Please always ask your patient if they have
high blood pressure, high fever, excessive or deficiency heat,
diabetes, functional heart problems, psychological problems, and
ask women if they are pregnant. We never use moxibustion on these
patients. We also want to avoid the face, large blood vessels area,
mucus membrane locations, ears, nose, mouth, throat, anus and
vaginal area. In addition, according to the classic text, there are
some acupuncture points recorded to which we do not apply moxa
(DU15 and Du16, for example).
Thank you for you continued support of the AOM blog. Remember to
stop by the clinic and ask about Moxibustion Medical Therapy
• Fertility and TCM
• Cupping Therapy
• Boost Your Qi
• AOM and Autism
• New Spring AOM Interns
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