It is Called Cupping and it is Often Used in Chinese Medicine

Phelps Cupping Therapy Chinese MedicineThose red circles you’re seeing on Michael Phelps and other Olympic athletes is from a therapy called cupping.

Cupping is done to help the body move blood strongly to various areas to help healing.   When small round cups are used with suction or fire to remove oxygen in the cup, the suction is strong enough to rupture small capillaries just under the skin. The red circles are the result. This in different than a bruise.  Small capillaries are stimulated by the suction and bring additional blood supply to the affected area, all to promote healing.

Depending on the strength of the cupping the circle marks may last anywhere from 1 day to a week or more.

Cupping has been part of Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years.  Chinese medicine incorporates many modalities including Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, moxabustion, diet, exercise, sleep and life style stress.   Chinese medicine has many other therapies including tui na, qi gong and tai chi which are often practiced to promote optimum health.

 

A little history: Cupping originated in the Middle East roughly 4000 years ago, but wasn’t mentioned in Classical Chinese texts until about 300 AD, by physician Ge Hong.  The technique had spread all along the silk trade route, including Europe, Russia and Asia.  Lastly,  some say there is reference to cupping engraved on the great pyramids in Egypt.  Either way you view it,  this healing technique has been around an awfully long time.

 

Healthy Smoothies

Quirky Habits Only Acupuncturists Do

Healthy Smoothies

What is this smoothie fruit doing on the stove, you ask?

Great question.  Let me explain.

As a Licensed Acupuncturists, I have to admit, I have developed some pretty quirky habits. Even after all these years, my family members still give odd stares when I do these things.

For example, I avoid ice water like the plague!

Once while attending a Chinese medicine conference in Austin, on a hot day, a group of us Acupuncturists sat down together to share lunch.  As the waiter arrived to pour freezing cold ice water into our glasses, each of us stopped the gentlemen and said, “Please, no ice!”.

Not the norm, right?

See, Acupuncturists spend a lot of time learning about the digestive system and cold foods and drinks are constricting to the body. Simply put, cold drinks hamper the digestive process. Our internal body temperature is hot by nature, and cooling it off suddenly with cold foods and cold drinks hampers digestion. By the third day of the conference we had trained the staff to bring room temperature water to our lunch table. However, they did give us odd stares as this practice seemed entirely nuts since the outside temperature was 90 degrees.

Besides reducing the cold foods we eat, Acupuncturists have a funny habit of looking at our tongues in a mirror whenever we have the opportunity. We do this because it is the only organ we can actually see (without surgical intervention).  The tongue can tell us a tremendous amount about what is going on inside our bodies. It can tell you if you body is deficient in some area, or excess in another. It can tell us whether we are digesting food well and tell us about various organ systems and even if we are overly stressed.

Another quirky habit I have, (which my family gets a total kick about teasing me about) is my morning smoothie. This reason is, I actually warm up the frozen fruit in a sauce pan rather than use it frozen. As I mentioned cold drinks and foods can damage the digestive system. In the morning, the first thing going into your body should be warm food or a warm drink. This helps jump start your digestive system.  Try it.  You will notice warm foods improve your metabolism and overall digestion. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is one of the most important things you can do to start your day.

Although I like experimenting with a variety of smoothie recipes this is one of my favorites.

Warm fruit in coconut milk (frozen blueberries, raspberries, mango, pineapple or any fruit of your choice)

3 Tbsp. Organic Kelp protein powder

1/3 banana

large handful of organic salad greens

Mix up in a strong blender and you good to go!

Drink at room temperature or even slightly warm.

Predictions for the Monkey Year 2016

by Thailan When

“Let go or be dragged.” – Zen Proverb

The Chinese New Year is pon us, we can now take a moment to look at the year ahead. If you haven’t had a chance to do some visioning for 2016, it’s not too late. Here are some things to expect.

The Chinese New Year on February 8th begins the Year of the Fire Monkey. The Sheep of 2015 has been sheared and it’s time to grab a banana and go, go, go! You’ll need the extra potassium for stamina. The best way to navigate this year is to stay flexible, agile, and expect the unexpected. Best not to look down. Leap from moment to moment using your intuition while maintaining a playful sense of humor.

The bigger story for 2016 is it being a numerological 9-year. In numerology, the number nine holds the vibration of completion. Like volunteering at a homeless shelter (9 represents humanitarianism too), completion is no easy task and yet incredibly rewarding.

Completion inherently involves releasing.

Anything and everything that is no longer serving your highest and best interest (aka, your soul) has to go. It is time to end any thoughts, habits, beliefs, people, places, or things that are no longer worthy of moving forward with you into the new.

Happy New Year!

Be Healthy and Happy!

Happy Lunar New Year 2016

best Chinese herbs

Happy Lunar New Year.

The year of the Monkey is here and we love to celebrate with a sale.

Enjoy 15% OFF everything in our Chinese herb store for one week.

(ends 2/14/16)

At checkout use code: monkey16  (no caps)

Chinese herbs for sleep

Can Cinnamon Help Protect You From Cancer?

University of Arizona College of Pharmacy Researchers and the UA Cancer Center say a compound found in cinnamon is a potent colorectal cancer preventor.

New research suggests eating cinnamon may help prevent colorectal cancer, at least in mice.

Previous research has linked this spice to blood pressure reduction and blood sugar control.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has used both the cinnamon tree bark and cinnamon tree branches for over a thousand years.

The bark of the tree is known as Gui Zhi and used in Chinese herbal formulations as a warming and dispersing herb. It helps protect against catching a cold and it can facilitate at warming the Qi, or energy of the body.

Researchers at Arizona College of Pharmacy found the compound that gives cinnamon its distinctive smell and flavor, cinnamaldehyde, also seems to protect rodents against colorectal cancer.

“This is a significant finding,” UA Cancer Center researcher Dr. Donna Zhang, said in a press release. “The next steps are to see if the spice alone can protect against cancer, and see if results can be replicated in people.”

“Can cinnamon do it, now that we know pure cinnamaldehyde can?” he said. “And can we use cinnamaldehyde or cinnamon as a weapon to go after other major diseases, such as inflammatory dysregulation and diabetes? “

Chinese herbs like cinnamon have always been used in TCM with other herbs in synergistic combinations. Using this Chinese herb or any others as a single herb should only be done under the care of a professional trained in Chinese medicine or herbal medicine.  In TCM, Chinese herbs are most often combined to enhance or create an entourage effect for the desired action and to minimize any potential side effects.  Should you have any questions about cinnamon or other Chinese herbs,   get in touch with Cathy at Pacific Herbs for a free consultation at 877-818-9990.

Nobel Prize for Artemisia The Chinese Herb For Malaria

Chinese herbs win Nobel prize

Congratulations go out to Professor Tu for her 1972 discovery in processing the Chinese herb Artemisia (Qing Hao) now recognized with a Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Her work at the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing, China has saved thousands from malaria deaths in the last forty plus years.

Before Professor Tu studied an ancient Chinese text regarding the cooking of the root artemisia, the herb was not successful at curing malaria patients.  Maybe she read about the prominent physician and alchemist named Ge Hong (284-364 CE) who wrote a formulary called Zhou Hou Bei Zhi Fang (Prescriptions within Arm”s Reach for Use in Emergencies). Many of the formulas in that book are still in use today. He was the first to mention qing hao, (Artemisia Annua) as a treatment for malaria. Professor Tu’s cooking discovery led to chemical constituents in artemisia to be viable and produce a therapeutic effect against deadly malaria. Quercetin has since been identified as the most therapeutic constituent but there are over 30 chemical constituents in the roots of artemisia. (See below)

Continue reading “Nobel Prize for Artemisia The Chinese Herb For Malaria”

Garcina Cambogia is Not Chinese Medicine

fat in pinkThere is no SKINNY PILL!      Sorry if this shocks you.
If you are shocked by the above sentence, you may also be surprised to learn

Garcina Cambogia is NOT Chinese Medicine!

Shocking?

I hope you don’t think Chinese Herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a magic
formula for weight loss. It can certainly help, but there is no magic pill.

Don’t waste your money on Garcinia cambogia.

Continue reading “Garcina Cambogia is Not Chinese Medicine”

Can Chinese Medicine Heal Your Gut?

Heal Your Gut with Chinese MedicineOur rapidly changing world is challenging our health, in particular our digestive health. In this era of a degrading food supply, systemic inflammation and overuse of drugs (i.e. antibiotics), the landscape of our guts has been altered. As a result of antibiotic overuse, superbugs (a.k.a. deadly antibiotic resistant bacteria) are on the rise. The question is, can we heal our gut and reverse the damage already done? A solution you may not have considered is Acupuncture and Eastern /Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A Licensed Acupuncturist/Chinese Medicine doctor is well trained to help you repair and improve your digestive health and gut bacteria.

 

The real definition of Alternative Medicine:
Never before in history have we had to overcome the effects of man-made drugs in the quantities we are seeing today. Would you believe, this is not the first time in history that doctors needed to find a cure for the gut? A cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine is a healthy digestive tract. Solutions for digestive health were pondered over 800 years ago when many TCM books and theories were first written on the importance of the stomach, pancreas and the entire digestive system. Chinese /Eastern medicine approach is very different than the Western medicine approach. Eastern medicine relies upon several holistic healing methods including healing cuisine, herbs and acupuncture and lifestyle modifications. Licensed Acupuncturists in the U.S. are trained in these theories and can help you get your gut back on track.

 

With the advent of the worldwide Microbiome Project science is confirming microscopic bacterial colonies living in our digestive tract have important jobs for both our physical and mental well being. Chinese/Eastern medicine has always known if we nourish our gut, we in turn nourish ourselves. Today we are at a crossroad, we can no longer ignore our guts. Because, “for hundreds of thousands of years bacterial and human cells have existed in a peaceful symbiosis that is responsible for the health and equilibrium of our body. Now, this invisible Eden is being irrevocably damaged by some of our most revered medical advances—antibiotics—threatening the extinction of our irreplaceable microbes with terrible health consequences. “ 1

 

Chinese/Eastern medicine teaches the connection between a healthy gut and a healthy body.
Here are 10 reasons why a Licensed Acupuncturist/Doctor of Oriental Medicine is the best health practitioner to help you heal your gut.

 

1. A Licensed Acupuncturist trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine will counsel and treat your particular health challenge with several modalities, foods, acupuncture treatments, herbs and counseling. (Check that your Acupuncturist is comprehensively trained and received a Masters or Doctorate degree in Oriental Medicine or Chinese Medicine, not just a few weekend courses.)

 

2. Acupuncture treatments received quarterly can improve your general health and digestive health by strengthening your spleen and stomach channels. (In Western medicine terms this is your digestive system.) The World Health Organization has approved acupuncture treatments for worldwide use and throughout Asia acupuncture is covered by national health insurance policies. The U.S. is lagging behind but quickly catching up, as California Insurance providers are now mandated to cover acupuncture treatments.

 

3. Acupuncture treatments including ear protocols can help reduce food cravings. This is especially important since processed foods are the most commonly craved foods. Processed foods and supplements contain emulsifiers which are harmful to your gut. Limiting ingredients commonly called “lecithin” derived from soy (likely GMO), Datem, (found in commercial breads) Calcium propionate, Cmc and polysorbate 80, is a first step at repairing gut absorption problems. 2

 

4. An Acupuncturist will tell you to avoid antibacterial hand sanitizing products. Eastern medicine recognizes bacterial diversity is good. There are safe, natural cleaning products for your body and surroundings. (Ok, you can do this on your own but it took an Acupuncturist to tell you this and get your attention on this subject.)

 

5. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbal remedies can boost your immune system and reduce or eliminate the need for prescription antibiotics.

 

6. An Acupuncturist will tell you to avoid meat fed antibiotics. (Again, possible without an Acupuncturist, but more importantly, a Licensed Acupuncturist is trained in nutrition and can help you look at your food journal and together you can create a healthy eating plan.)

 

7. Acupuncturists can teach you which Pre-biotics foods to eat every day and counsel you on what foods are right for your body. Prebiotics foods are commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and food is medicine. Prebiotics enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria and can be found in fermented foods such as kimichi, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, miso and other fermented foods. A daily sampling of new live bacteria from fermented foods makes your gut community more adaptable. (Hint, Eastern medicine doctors are trained to know this stuff.)

 

8. Ask an Acupuncturist if Chinese herbs can help you. There are many traditional herbs used throughout Asia and Chinese/Eastern medicine to support healthy gut bacteria. For example;
Astragalus (also known as Huang Qi) is an extremely powerful herb used alone or in formulas. Huang Qi’s high polysaccharides content is fantastic at improving overall immune health and the growth of healthy bacteria.3
Other beneficial herbs for the spleen and stomach channels are codonopsis (dangshen), atractylodes (bai zhu), Chinese angelica (dang gui) dioscorea (shan yao), lotus seed (lianzi), roasted ginger (paojiang), longan (long yan rou) and baked licorice (zhi gan cao). 4

 

9. A Licensed Acupuncturist, trained in herbs will know which Chinese herb formula can best help you. Treating a compromised or weak digestion with herbs should be done by only individuals who are Licensed professionals. Look for a Licensed Acupuncturist and/ or Oriental Medicine Doctor’s (DOM) trained in herbs to prescribe a custom or patent herbal blend such as the following. Oneherbal combinations for a compromised gut is Si Jun Zi Tang also known as Four Gentleman Decoction.

 

As we learn more about our gut bacteria and the origins of our immune systems we must explore all the healing options. In today’s world we can no longer ignore the effects of superbugs, toxic foods and toxic lifestyles. Licensed Acupuncturists / DOM can help you fortify your overall health and vitality. Many insurance plans cover acupuncture visits and in California insurance companies are required to cover Licensed Acupuncturists. Don’t wait another day to improve your overall health and vitality. TCM is one of the world’s oldest systems of medicine, is proven effective and has treatment protocols for today’s biggest health challenges.

 

References:

1. Blaser, M. 2014 Missing Microbes, How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, Henry Holt and Co. April 2014

2. Food Quality & Safety magazine, Re-Evaluating Additives on the GRAS List by Maybelle Cowan-Lincoln April/May 2013

3. Terry Bone, Principals and Practice of Phototherapy, Modern Herbal Medicine 2nd Edition Elsevier 2013 pg. 381-389

4. Institute For Traditional Medicine, http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/spleen.htm

“Some of My Best Friends are Germs”. The New York Times Magazine May 15, 2013. Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Stanford Microbiologist.

Can Chinese Medicine Heal Your Gut?

The real definition of Alternative MedicineOur rapidly changing world is challenging our health, in particular our digestive health. In this era of a degrading food supply, systemic inflammation and overuse of drugs (i.e. antibiotics), the landscape of our guts has been altered. As a result of antibiotic overuse, superbugs (a.k.a. deadly antibiotic resistant bacteria) are on the rise. The question is, can we heal our gut and reverse the damage already done? A solution you may not have considered is Acupuncture and Eastern /Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A Licensed Acupuncturist/Chinese Medicine doctor is well trained to help you repair and improve your digestive health and gut bacteria.

 

Never before in history have we had to overcome the effects of man-made drugs in the quantities we are seeing today. Would you believe, this is not the first time in history that doctors needed to find a cure for the gut? A cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine is a healthy digestive tract. Solutions for digestive health were pondered over 800 years ago when many TCM books and theories were first written on the importance of the stomach, pancreas and the entire digestive system. Chinese /Eastern medicine approach is very different than the Western medicine approach. Eastern medicine relies upon several holistic healing methods including healing cuisine, herbs and acupuncture and lifestyle modifications. Licensed Acupuncturists in the U.S. are trained in these theories and can help you get your gut back on track.

 

With the advent of the worldwide Microbiome Project science is confirming microscopic bacterial colonies living in our digestive tract have important jobs for both our physical and mental well being. Chinese/Eastern medicine has always known if we nourish our gut, we in turn nourish ourselves. Today we are at a crossroad, we can no longer ignore our guts. Because, “for hundreds of thousands of years bacterial and human cells have existed in a peaceful symbiosis that is responsible for the health and equilibrium of our body. Now, this invisible Eden is being irrevocably damaged by some of our most revered medical advances—antibiotics—threatening the extinction of our irreplaceable microbes with terrible health consequences. “ 1

 

Chinese/Eastern medicine teaches the connection between a healthy gut and a healthy body.
Here are 10 reasons why a Licensed Acupuncturist/Doctor of Oriental Medicine is the best health practitioner to help you heal your gut.

 

1. A Licensed Acupuncturist trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine will counsel and treat your particular health challenge with several modalities, foods, acupuncture treatments, herbs and counseling. (Check that your Acupuncturist is comprehensively trained and received a Masters or Doctorate degree in Oriental Medicine or Chinese Medicine, not just a few weekend courses.)

2. Acupuncture treatments received quarterly can improve your general health and digestive health by strengthening your spleen and stomach channels. (In Western medicine terms this is your digestive system.) The World Health Organization has approved acupuncture treatments for worldwide use and throughout Asia acupuncture is covered by national health insurance policies. The U.S. is lagging behind but quickly catching up, as California Insurance providers are now mandated to cover acupuncture treatments.

 

3. Acupuncture treatments including ear protocols can help reduce food cravings. This is especially important since processed foods are the most commonly craved foods. Processed foods and supplements contain emulsifiers which are harmful to your gut. Limiting ingredients commonly called “lecithin” derived from soy (likely GMO), Datem, (found in commercial breads) Calcium propionate, Cmc and polysorbate 80, is a first step at repairing gut absorption problems. 2

 

4. An Acupuncturist will tell you to avoid antibacterial hand sanitizing products. Eastern medicine recognizes bacterial diversity is good. There are safe, natural cleaning products for your body and surroundings. (Ok, you can do this on your own but it took an Acupuncturist to tell you this and get your attention on this subject.)

 

5. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbal remedies can boost your immune system and reduce or eliminate the need for prescription antibiotics.

 

6. An Acupuncturist will tell you to avoid meat fed antibiotics. (Again, possible without an Acupuncturist, but more importantly, a Licensed Acupuncturist is trained in nutrition and can help you look at your food journal and together you can create a healthy eating plan.)

 

7. Acupuncturists can teach you which Pre-biotics foods to eat every day and counsel you on what foods are right for your body. Prebiotics foods are commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and food is medicine. Prebiotics enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria and can be found in fermented foods such as kimichi, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, miso and other fermented foods. A daily sampling of new live bacteria from fermented foods makes your gut community more adaptable. (Hint, Eastern medicine doctors are trained to know this stuff.)

 

8. Ask an Acupuncturist if Chinese herbs can help you. There are many traditional herbs used throughout Asia and Chinese/Eastern medicine to support healthy gut bacteria. For example;
Astragalus (also known as Huang Qi) is an extremely powerful herb used alone or in formulas. Huang Qi’s high polysaccharides content is fantastic at improving overall immune health and the growth of healthy bacteria.3
Other beneficial herbs for the spleen and stomach channels are codonopsis (dangshen), atractylodes (bai zhu), Chinese angelica (dang gui) dioscorea (shan yao), lotus seed (lianzi), roasted ginger (paojiang), longan (long yan rou) and baked licorice (zhi gan cao). 4

 

9. A Licensed Acupuncturist, trained in herbs will know which Chinese herb formula can best help you. Treating a compromised or weak digestion with herbs should be done by only individuals who are Licensed professionals. Look for a Licensed Acupuncturist and/ or Oriental Medicine Doctor’s (DOM) trained in herbs to prescribe a custom or patent herbal blend such as the following. Oneherbal combinations for a compromised gut is  Si Jun Zi Tang also known as Four Gentleman Decoction.

 

As we learn more about our gut bacteria and the origins of our immune systems we must explore all the healing options. In today’s world we can no longer ignore the effects of superbugs, toxic foods and toxic lifestyles. Licensed Acupuncturists / DOM can help you fortify your overall health and vitality. Many insurance plans cover acupuncture visits and in California insurance companies are required to cover Licensed Acupuncturists. Don’t wait another day to improve your overall health and vitality. TCM is one of the world’s oldest systems of medicine, is proven effective and has treatment protocols for today’s biggest health challenges.

 

References:

1. Blaser, M. 2014 Missing Microbes, How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, Henry Holt and Co. April 2014

2. Food Quality & Safety magazine, Re-Evaluating Additives on the GRAS List by Maybelle Cowan-Lincoln April/May 2013

3. Terry Bone, Principals and Practice of Phototherapy, Modern Herbal Medicine 2nd Edition Elsevier 2013 pg. 381-389

4. Institute For Traditional Medicine, http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/spleen.htm

“Some of My Best Friends are Germs”. The New York Times Magazine May 15, 2013. Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Stanford Microbiologist.

 

Ancient Chinese Medicine Finds Buried Treasure in Bamboo

Chinese herbs

What can bamboo tell us about Chinese herbal medicine?

 

Once upon a time, bamboo was used as paper and notes about the medicine of the day were written on it.

Then one day, after many years, someone decide to build a subway. What they dug up is legendary, 920 bamboo strips, dating back to the year 260 BC. This writing on bamboo strips  is proving to be some of the earliest known writings from Traditional Chinese medicine. The remarkably well preserved bamboo is telling us much about Chinese Medicine and Chinese herbs used over 2000 years ago and still used today.

A total of 9 medical books were found, records from the Chinese doctor Bian Que, who is called the “Grand Historian”. The archaeological discovery is one of the worlds richest for Traditional Chinese Medicine. A truly incredible and rare. Bian Que was said to have invented pulse taking. It’s amazing to learn the same Chinese herbs and Chinese medicine techniques which have now been practiced and perfected for over 2000 years ago.

Want to learn more about how bamboo is used to heal our body in TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Check this out.

 

Can Chinese Herbs Be The Next Cancer Treatment?

Traditional forms of  medicine may offer  hope for cancer.  

Experts from Cardiff University's School of Medicine have joined forces with Peking University in China to test the health benefits of a traditional Chinese medicine. The new treatments come from Chinese herbs used for liver, lung, colorectal cancers and osteosarcoma of the bones.

"Traditional Chinese medicine where compounds are extracted from natural products or herbs has been practised for centuries in China, Korea, Japan and other countries in Asia," according to Professor Wen Jiang from Cardiff University's School of Medicine, who is the director of the Cardiff University-Peking University Joint Cancer Institute at Cardiff and led the research as part of a collaboration between Cardiff University and Peking University.

The traditional Chinese herb formula consist of 14 herbs. The formula has been shown to be beneficial to cancer patients.  The researchers have discovered how the formula work.  Apparently it works by blocking a pathway which stops the spread of cancer cells in the body.

"It suggests that combining the formula with conventional as well as new therapies could hold the key to developing new treatments for cancer patients.

"We are already looking to clinical trials in treatment of lung and other cancer types."

Funded by Cancer Research Wales and the Albert Hung Foundation – the results will be presented at the European Cancer Congress 2013 which takes place in Amsterdam between the 27th September and 1st October.

http://www.sciencecodex.com/combining_chinese_and_western_medicine_could_lead_to_new_cancer_treatments-120173 

Chinese Herbs Safety Information

chinese herbs safetyMany people today turn to alternative medicine to deal with an array of health issues, including trouble with sleep, menopause, pms, lack of energy, weight loss…the list goes on.

It is extremely important then that we know what we are putting in our bodies. All foods, including herbs have the potential to be dangerous if grown with heavy pesticide use. Pacific Herbs has been aware of this from the birth of our company…. and that's why we use the gold standard of testing to ensure the quality and safety of our herbs.

Watch this short video explaining how you can learn if your herbs are safe.