From the category archives:

Chinese remedies

Preventing Childhood Ear Infections

by Ed

Every once in a while, as I’m browsing the web, I run into a post I wish I had written. Dr. Daisy has this great post about preventing childhood ear infections. Being an acupuncturist, the only thing I would add is to try Chinese Medicine to treat your child’s ear infection. Since antibiotics can perpetuate the problem of repeated ear infections, you need to find another way to treat them. Chinese Medicine has some very effective antibacterial herbal formulas. Like antibiotics, they can be overused and they can lead to a deficiency of beneficial bacteria in your gut, but they have certain advantages.

  • Bacteria are less resistant to them because they have not been overused, also because each formula has more than one antibacterial component.
  • Chinese Medicine has always been holistic, looking at the forest, instead of the needles on the trees. Therefore, formulas are designed to lessen side effects. Your child’s digestive tract is far more likely to come out unharmed and their immune system won’t take a beating.
  • They taste terrible, so your child will get better quickly to avoid taking them again. (Just joking, there are many child friendly formulas these days.)

Do check out Dr. Daisy’s great post on preventing childhood ear infections, and consider a practitioner of Chinese Medicine the next time your child gets one.

Wave goodbye to frozen shoulder

by Ed

Time To Run
Creative Commons License photo credit: blentley

Frozen shoulder is limiting and it can be painful. In Chinese medicine it is called 50 year shoulder because people tend to get it at middle age. Now you can learn how to avoid it, and how to to recover from it.

The most important thing in avoiding frozen shoulder is keeping it moving. Do gentle range of motion exercises every day, to keep the shoulder joint fully mobile. If you injure your shoulder, get treatment to heal it quickly. Avoid putting ice on it. Ice, though popular in the West, is considered harmful by the Chinese medical practitioners. It causes blood to coagulate and tendons to stiffen.

Treating Frozen shoulder

If you already have frozen shoulder, the therapy obviously changes. Exercise to increase range of motion, although painful, is vitally necessary. See an acupuncturist who specializes in injury management, or a physical therapist, for a good set of exercises targeted to your limitations. Regular deep massage, to break up the adhesions is very helpful. Use moist heat on the shoulder joint, daily. Wrap a hot moist towel around the shoulder and leave it in place for about 15 minutes.

Using Chinese herbal plasters and liniments: There are many liniments and herbal plasters designed for

701 Plaster

701 Plaster

various stages in injury management. 701plasters are the best plaster for frozen shoulder. It comes in a long roll, and you can cut off a piece with scissors. You may want two or three pieces at a time, as it won’t stick as well going around the joint. Peel off the plastic and place the plaster on the joint. You can leave it on for 24 hours. After a break for a day put another one on. Some people don’t like to walk around smelling like Chinese medicine, so they only leave it on over night.

The most easily available liniment that is useful for Frozen shoulder is Zheng Gu Shui. Like 701 plaster, Zheng Gu Shui is very warming, it panetrates the muscles and improves blood circulation. Massage the liniment in to the shoulder and the tight muscle around the shoulder, twice a day.

Click image to buy

Click image to buy

As both 701 Plasters and Zheng Gu Shui are very warming, they should not be used on acute injuries, or

when inflammation is present. However they are useful other chronic injuries and arthritis, and other aches and pains that are worse when it is cold.

Acupressure Points for Frozen Shoulder

There are a number of points on the body that you can press or massage, that speed the healing of frozen shoulder. Generally it is best to use the point on the opposite side of the body from the frozen shoulder.

TH3 is on the back of the hand, between the last two bones of the hand, just above the fingers. The point should be tender.

TH3

ST38 is on the shin, just outside of the crest of the shin bone, half way between the knee cap and the ankle.

ST38

GB39 is one hands width above the outer ankle bone, just in front of the leg bone that runs down to the ankle.

GB39

Press or massage each of these points for about one minute, two or three times a day. Do it immediately before massaging liniment into the shoulder.

Check out Tom Bisio’s book, A Tooth From The Tiger’s Mouth, for more on treating yourself for frozen shoulder and other chronic and acute injuries.

Ancient Hiccup Remedy

by Ed

I’ve been studying the acupuncture classics lately, and yesterday I found an interesting hiccup remedy. It is in the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic, the oldest known book on Chinese Medicine. It was compiled from older texts about 3,000 years ago.

So if you have hiccups and drinking water from a glass upside down doesn’t work, try this:

Tickle inside your nose with a blade of grass until you sneeze, then hold your breath out as long as you can, followed by a rapid inhalation, using your belly to breathe in.

Tapping Into Health

by Ed

For thousands of years, people in the orient have been tapping acupuncture points to relieve headaches, improve their immune systems,and treat a variety of health complaints. In the past thirty years or so, several Western energy therapies have been developed, based on the acupuncture system. Many of these therapies also use tapping on the points for healing.

One of those methods, EFT, is great for dealing with post traumatic stress, allergies, phobias, and many stress related symptoms. You can learn the self-help basics of EFT here. If you are interested in EFT and find that you need more than self-help, contact me. I am happy to provide consultations, by phone or email. See my About page for my email address.

Beating Heaven’s Drum is a traditional technique for relieving headaches, dizziness, and waking up the brain. Cover your ears with your palms and tap the muscles at the base of the skull. Tap gently for about one minute.

Knocking at the Gate of Life is another traditional Chinese technique. The gate of life is the area where, according to Chinese Medicine, our basic vital energy is stored. Tapping the points associated with it helps to increase the flow of energy and gives a feeling of vitality. There are two points. The first one is about two inches below the navel and the other is on the spine, directly opposite the navel.
Stand with your feet a little wider than the width of your shoulders and place one fist just below the other and the other on your back opposite your navel. Then begin to turn your body, at the waist from side to side. As you turn, let your arms swing around. As you turn left your left hand should tap your back and your right hand should tap your belly. As you turn right your right hand should tap your back and your left hand should tap your belly. The arms should be very relaxed. Let the turning of the waist swing them around, without using any arm strength to tap your body. Do this exercise for a couple of minutes, every day.

Taping to boost the immune system. This is a modern technique, as far as I know. There are three points to tap. The first point is the last point on the Kidney channel. The Kidney channel is also associated with the Gate of Life. The point is just under the collar bone, in the depression just outside of where the collar bone meets the breast bone. The second point is on the breast bone, about two inches below the top. The thymus gland, an important immune system organ, is directly below this point. The last point is near the bottom of the rib cage. It is about level with the bottom of the little bone that sticks down from the bottom of the breast bone and about three inches from the midline. You will notice a little dip in the rib cage in that area. Tap between the ribs. These points stimulate the Spleen and the Liver, both of which influence the Immune system.

Tap each point, in order, about twelve times. The first and last points can be tapped on both sides at the same time. Breathe slowly and deeply while tapping the points. You can do this once or twice a day.

Po Chai Pills

by Ed

Buy Po Chai Pills here

I want to return to Po Chai Pills usage. One reason is that I know that Huo Xiang Cheng Chi Pien is hard to get, and they have very similar uses. Po Chai pills are very effective in relieving acute gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and heartburn. They are great for hangover, motion sickness, traveller’s diarrhea , and stomach flu. Actually, stomach flu is not caused by the flu virus, but one of a number of other viruses. They are generally short lived infections, no more than a few days. You can get similar symptoms from bacteria and parasite infections, but those will last longer and be harder to treat, requiring medical attention. If your symptoms last more than a week, it is important to see a doctor. Also see your doctor if you have any blood in your stool.

One of the things I like about Po Chai is that they come in vials of very small pills like pellets, making them much easier to get down. Great for kids, those of us who have a hard time swallowing pills, and just about anyone who is nauseous. When you have symptoms take one whole vial. After half an hour, if you don’t notice any improvement, you can take another. In general though, it’s best not to take them more than once every couple of hours, or so. Younger kids can take half a vial at a time.