All posts by Brad Skellern

Can TCM help Digestive Problems

3 Ways Chinese Medicine Can Help Digestive Problems

Many people have tummy troubles like bloating, irritable bowel syndrome or acid re-flux. These conditions can cause an extreme amount of discomfort to sufferers.

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Chinese medicine has long been revered for it’s power to relieve people of many ailments with digestive issues being among them.

We’ve narrowed down 3 key points to make it easier to understand how traditional Chinese medicine has been used in the treatment of digestive conditions.

#1 Understand the role “Qi’ plays in your body.

Qi (pronounced “chee”) is best defined as energy or a body’s life force.

Obviously the human body runs on energy which is why it needs to be fueled with food. A lot of people don’t realise however that our organs, along with the different foods we eat also have their own Qi.

This means we need to provide our bodies with the right balance of food so our organs are provided with the right kind of energy they require. If we overload a specific organ with too much of one particular food (or energy) it may weaken and let energies flow into areas of the body that it normally wouldn’t which can cause digestive problems such as bloating or IBS.

#2 Eat Food That Aids Digestive Qi.

As a rule of thumb, orange and yellow foods are beneficial to digestive Qi thus aiding in many digestive problems.

Different foods have their own energetic qualities. Fruits are generally cooling while meats are mostly considered warming. Foods such as dairy and sugar have dampening energetic properties and can therefore generally be considered hard on the digestive Qi.

An example of how damp food can affect us is if we eat too much of it, the spleen will become drained of energy and may let some of that dampness into the body’s ecosystem.

Translated into western terms that would mean inflammation.

Once again it’s all about finding the right balance with your diet. In Chinese medical philosophy its all about eating a diet as balanced and clean as possible.

Clean means whole foods that are seasonal and organic in origin, that means staying away from processed foods. Minimizing damp foods such as dairy, wheat and sugar will help with digestive problems you may be suffering.

#3 Balancing the body’s Qi to fix digestive problems.

Some people have a clean diet and eat plenty of foods that are balanced for a healthy digestive system but still suffer digestive issues. This can be caused by a blockage stopping the flow of Qi.

Qi flows through our body via channels known as meridians. These meridians are connected to all major organs. When Qi gets stops flowing through certain meridians properly, symptoms such as bloating, acid reflux and dihorrea can occour. Balancing Qi with acupuncture or cupping is a great way to combat tummy troubles as it gets your energies flowing correctly again.

3 Ways Acupuncture Relieves Neck and Shoulder Pain

Struggling with that constant niggling ache in your neck and shoulders?

You’re not the only one!

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Many people are turning to acupuncture to relieve their pain rather than reaching for a regular (and often expensive!) dose of pain medication.

Acupuncture works in 3 ways to give you fast and effective relief.

#1 Endorphins, endorphins, endorphins!

Who doesn’t like getting a hit of endorphins, right?

It may seem a bit daunting to have small needles put into your neck and shoulders, but never fear – it won’t be long till you start feeling that warm and fuzzy feeling overcome you.

Acupuncture is proven to help your body release this natural high, which in turn relieves stress and tension through your neck and shoulders.

#2 Blocking of pain signals to the brain

Using the natural trigger points of your body, particularly in your neck and shoulders, is said to be one of the most effective (and quick!) methods of pain relief.

A recent study conducted at the University Hospital in Essen, Germany reported that the areas of the brain that were active during pain stimulus were dampened during acupuncture, suggesting that the needles really do change the way the brain processes pain.

#3 Applying Acupressure

Acupressure uses the meridians of the body to create a healing energy by applying pressure through acupuncture.

Applying acupressure to the neck and shoulders is proven to relieve spasm and pain, and improve movement and circulation leading to a more relaxed and pain free state.

Can Acupuncture be used for Tendonitis

Tendinitis is a common injury that occurs to tendons, typically due to repetitive action, such as raking or cleaning. The tendon is a thick cord-like structure that attaches bones to muscles. When a repetitive action strains that tendon, it becomes inflamed and irritated, causing pain and discomfort. Other causes for tendonitis include arthritis, gout, and adverse reactions to certain types of medicine.

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Tendinitis is the cause for more than half of Workman’s Compensation complaints, representing 56% of claims. The type of pain associated with tendonitis includes tenderness at the point of injury, numbness, tingling, and stiffness. Sometimes the joint will swell and remain sore long after the injury has healed.

Tendinitis isn’t just work or exercise-related, as tendons tend to lose elasticity with age. Although any tendon in the body can become inflamed and sore, tendinitis mostly affects the shoulders, heels, elbows, and wrists. The inflammation can even cause an infection within the tendon sheath (tissues).

A Miracle Cure?

Since a 1990 study in The Clinical Journal of Pain has come to light, acupuncture has been hailed as an incredibly useful treatment for the symptoms of tendinitis. The study revealed that participates who suffered from shoulder tendinitis had their pain reduced considerably, as well as be able to return to daily activities, move their shoulder, and regain strength after a single acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture needles are inserted near or at the source of injury, forearm, and wrist. This deals with the pain and brings healing by restoring circulation to the area. Usually, a point of chi helps to heal an area that is blocked up by negative energy, which causes the swelling. When needles are placed at the point of the injury, correcting the disharmony in the body, the flow improves.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a means of health care developed in China over 2,500 years ago! The idea is the body contains numerous energy flows necessary for proper health. When this flow is disturbed, it’s known to cause pain and disease. That’s where acupuncture comes in, it helps to correct the flow issues and restore the balance of energy.

Acupuncture was mostly unheard of in western medicine until 1972 when President Nixon took a trip to China. Since then, the interest in the U.S. and Europe in this ancient tradition has exploded. The types of acupuncture vary depending on the Asian country where it originated, usually China, Japan, and Korea, all having their own take on the practice.

Science has begun to catch up with long-held theories of the usefulness of acupuncture to treat pain. Studies conducted in both animals and humans have shown that the use of needles cause a response biologically. These responses are actually affected by the sensory neurons in the brain and central nervous system.

With the levels of chronic pain and tendonitis skyrocketing and the overdose of pain medications becoming a world-wide epidemic, it’s leaving many millions of people searching for alternative ways to deal with these issues. As science begins to catch up and even admit there is a basis for the circulation of energy in our bodies and the ability of needles to help heal from injuries, it’s no wonder why acupuncture has grown in popularity over the decades.