Friday, May 15, 2009

Another Break!

Hey, we're taking another break. Feel free to peruse the archives. Here are some highlights from the past year:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

TCM Kongress in Germany May 20th-24th

I don't know if any of you will be in Germany next week, but if you are, why not drop by Rothenburg for the TCM Kongress? Peter Deadman and many others will be speaking. And as you can see from the picture above, it's sure to be (insert funny German accent) "the best TCM-party in Europe"! Take a look at the conference website to see what they're talking about in Europe.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How to Stop a Cough with Acupressure

Thanks to Emily Konstan of River Valley Acupuncture for the link!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chinese Medicine Saves Hawaii Parasite Victim

Graham McCumber is on the mend after several months in a coma caused by an infestation with rat lungworm. According to this article in the Honolulu Advertiser, McCumber used a combination of Western medicine, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and energy healing to make his highly unexpected recovery.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Excellent Article on Ginseng

Three triumphant ginseng roots stand on the corpses of their defeated enemies.

"Million Dollar Man Root" was published last year in the Washington City Paper, D.C.'s free weekly. The story centers around Harding's Ginseng Farm in Rockville, Maryland, which raises wild-simulated American ginseng (西洋参 Xi Yang Shen, also known as 花期参 Hua Qi Shen). There are many hilarious and informative bits, and even if you're an acupuncturist and/or herbalist you'll probably learn something new.

Chi, in traditional Asian medicine, is the energy that sustains life. Of course, one of the most common motivations for taking ginseng is to increase the type of energy that creates life. Over dinner one night I asked my girlfriend to think back to when we first started dating. I began taking ginseng about a month into our relationship. Does she remember any change in the firmness of my erections around then?

“I refuse to answer that question,” she says.

“So what you’re saying is that my erections were incredibly firm and robust right from Day 1?”

She stares at me blankly for a moment, shakes her head, and then goes back to her meal.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” I say.

The author, Franklin Schneider, doesn't make any distinction between American ginseng (panax quinquefolis) and Asian ginseng (panax ginseng), and as far as I can tell neither does Mr. Harding's website.

TCM's materia medica describes American ginseng as cool in nature and milder than Asian ginseng, which is warm and stronger for tonifying qi. Mr. Harding says "Believe me, it’ll make you into a real big man. A bigger man!" but is ginseng a guaranteed sexual tonic? Chinese medicine professionals know the answer is no, despite ginseng's miraculous properties.

If you're generally in good health, just a little run down with low energy, a low dose of ginseng may be a great way to stimulate your qi. But low sexual desire and low sexual ability has many different etiologies, and qi deficiency is just one. In some cases, especially Damp Heat accumulation or Liver Qi stagnation, ginseng may make your situation worse. For best results, do your own research, and then see a Chinese medicine professional, designated by the L.Ac after their name, which stands for Licensed Acupuncturist. All L.Acs in the state of California and most L.Acs in other states have extensive herbology training and can determine what kind of ginseng, if any, is best for you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Video: Autumn

Autumn Reflection

This is a nice video on the change of the seasons seen through the prism of Chinese philosophy. I'm not sure if this is an old video, an early video, or if the people who made it are in the southern hemisphere...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Susan Reinhardt Tries Facial Acupuncture

Susan Reinhardt, columnist and author, recently tried an acupuncture facelift.

Being an exhausted single, working mother of two, my skin had become lackluster and dry. Old age is a beast one typically can't tame without good genes or sharp scalpels. I was willing to try anything, even if it meant needles sticking in my face and looking like a cross between a catfish and a porcupine.

Acupuncture — for those who aren't sure — is a complex branch of ancient Chinese medicine that works on the body's energy channels, called meridians. These course through the head, arms, hands, legs, feet, stomach and internal organs.

Apparently, when they're out of whack, all sorts of bad things can happen to the body. And the face.

Read the whole column here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Paula Abdul Uses Chinese Medicine For Pain

Prior to November of last year, she also used massive amounts of painkillers too, but she's off those now. According to an interview with Ladies Home Journal, Paula had an "unusual series of accidents," including a cheerleading accident at 17, a broken leg, a car crash in 1992 and a plane crash (!) in 1993.

All the while Abdul's career was in high gear. Her first album, Forever Your Girl, was released in 1988 and went multiplatinum, spawning six number-one singles. Her highly choreographed dance videos for Janet Jackson set the gold standard for pop performance. As a dancer trained to accept pain and soldier on, she turned to a combination of painkillers and Chinese medicine to get her through her grueling routines. "I couldn't cancel my tour," she says. "I didn't want anyone to count me out. I tried to keep everything hush-hush."

Paula had some loopy moments on American Idol and on other TV shows which led some to believe that she was alcoholic. Let's hope she's continuing with acupuncture and Chinese medicine to help her recover from her addiction to painkillers.