What are Chinese Herbs?

herb

Chinese herbs have served as the foundation for “Traditional Chinese Medicine”, for over 5,000 years. The fundamental idea of living in harmony with nature and the environment forms the basis for the use of Chinese herbs as well as the traditional Chinese approach to health. Knowledge of the healing power of Chinese herbs and herbal remedies has been passed down from generation to generation, and today represents one of China’s greatest gifts to mankind.

The isolation of China throughout history plays a role in the general lack of understanding about Chinese herbs by other world civilizations. However, since the opening of China in 1972, knowledge of the ancient healing powers of Chinese herbs has been gradually spreading to western countries. Chinese herbs are now experiencing a rapid increase in usage and popularity. Health-conscious consumers are concerned about the concentration of synthetic chemicals in western diets, medicines, and the general environment. Chinese herbs are being welcomed by progressive western consumers who are seeking natural, healthy and balanced alternative remedies.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is very different from the western scientific approach we are accustomed to. Chinese medical experts promote a healthful balance of yin and yang – two forces present in all of nature. When yin or yang forces or qi/energy levels are off-balance in the body and spirit, health problems arise. Chinese herbs and herbal remedies are used to help realign an individual’s yin or yang balance in order to improve overall well-being. Chinese herbal formulas include hundreds of popular organic ingredients that work in harmony to produce the desired effects in a person’s body. These ingredients are primarily of plant origin, and may include roots, bark, seeds, flowers and leaves. Each organic ingredient typically has unique characteristics (i.e. yin/yang balancing, qi/energy boosting, etc.) that are reinforced and harmonized in comprehensive ancient Chinese herbal formulas that have been passed down through the years. For each formula sold at Chinese Herbs Direct, we provide a brief description of the formula itself and its typical actions, as well as a listing of the formula’s herbal ingredients and their unique characteristics. If you’d like to understand more about a particular Chinese herb, websites such as the Chinese Herbs Dictionary and the Chinese Medicine Sampler may be useful resources.

The study of Chinese herbs centers on the proposition that many organic substances have curative powers. Indeed, this is a fundamental tenet of not just Chinese medicine, but Western medicine as well. Popular Western remedies ranging from common aspirin to modern chemotherapy treatments have their roots in organic substances. Western medicine is finally beginning to acknowledge its debt to Chinese herbal medicine, noting that the effectiveness of many modern pharmaceuticals was originally demonstrated in Chinese herbal practice centuries ago. Nonetheless, Chinese herbs should be viewed only as a supplement to western medicine, and not as a replacement. Chinese medicine emphasizes harmony and duality, and this is well-represented by the increasing cooperation between practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine and their counterparts in the western medical establishment.

Please note that all products on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA, are sold in the US as nutritional supplements and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

We look forward to sharing the wonders of Chinese herbs with you when you call West Acupuncture and Herb at (562) 436 8881.

Herbal Treatment

Herbs are a vital part of West Acupuncture Treatments. Chinese herbs have served as the foundation for “Traditional Chinese Medicine”, for over 5,000 years. The fundamental idea of living in harmony with nature and the environment forms the basis for the use of Chinese herbs as well as the traditional Chinese approach to health.

Knowledge of the healing power of Chinese herbs and herbal remedies has been passed down from generation to generation, and today represents one of China’s greatest gifts to mankind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We recommend herbs to most of our patients because they significantly increase the overall effectiveness of the treatments. Chinese herbs can alleviate a wide variety of symptoms when used with Acupuncture or by themselves. This is why we use herbs exclusively for some patients. Herbal treatments are a very cost effective treatment option for most people, especially those who want to avoid or get off of prescription medication. The herbs themselves range from familiar things such as ginger and turmeric to relatively exotic roots,  berries,  flowers,  seeds, and twigs.

Most of the herbs are available in pill form, but sometimes powdered concentrate extracts are used to make custom instant teas. There are also other forms of herbs such as liquid decoctions.

Unlike Western herbology which promotes single herbs with singular benefits, Chinese herbology uses herbs in combination to treat multiple disorders. The Chinese herbal pharmacopoeia also contains numerous herbal formulas for tonifying the energy and vitality of the human physiology, something that is not readily available in Western herbology.  Herbs are very powerful, but to be effective they must be prescribed on an individual basis. For instance, Goldenseal is effective for some types of colds, but could actually cause a cold in certain types of people. The important thing with herbs is a proper diagnosis and an individualized prescription.

An important feature of Chinese Herbal medicine is the use of combinations of 6-12 herbs together as a formula. Chinese herbal formulas have synergistic combinations of active ingredients that produce a powerful treatment effect, while other herbs in the formula balance the treatment effects so that there are little to no side effects. A good herbal formula may treat several symptoms at once because it is for each unique person and their specific condition.

For more information about Chinese Herbal treatments please contact Dr. Cho at  (562) 436 8881.

 

Map

1. WEST ACUPUNCTURE & HERB
57 LONG BEACH BLVD.
LONG BEACH, CA 90802
(562) 436 8881

Cupping Therapy Explained

According to Wikipedia,

Cupping Therapy…

… is an “ancient medical treatment that relies upon creating a local suction to mobilize blood flow in order to promote healing.”  Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps). The use of Cupping Therapy has been a part of most cultures of the world. It is known in local languages as baguan/baguar, badkesh, banki, bahnkes, bekam, buhang, bentusa, kyukaku, gak hoi, Hijamah, kavaa (ކަވާ), singhi among others.

The inside of the cup is first heated, then the rim is applied to the skin forming an air-tight seal.  As the air inside the cup cools it contracts forming a partial vacuum, enabling the cup to suck the skin, pulling in soft tissue, and drawing blood to that area. Alternately the suction is created by a hand-pump and blood is allowed to collect.  Persons who claim this therapy to be beneficial report that it produces feeling of relaxation and invigoration.

Cupping is used to treat a broad range of medical conditions such as  blood disorders (anaemia, haemophilia), rheumatic diseases (arthritic joint and muscular conditions), fertility and gynaecological disorders, skin problems (eczema, acne) as well as improving general physical and psychological well-being provided personnel are properly trained. The BCS has an internationally Recognised Procedure standard in training.

For more information about Cupping Therapy and to see if Cupping Therapy might be beneficial for you, please call West Acupuncture and Herb Center in Long Beach at (562) 436 8881.

 

Moxibustion Treatment

According to Acupuncture-Treatment.com

“Moxibustion is a form of fire heat treatment that stimulates specific acupuncture points of the body. The term is derived from the Japanese “mogusa” meaning herb (mugwort) and the Latin “bustion” meaning burning. “

There are several  techniques in moxibustion.

 

Direct moxibustion: A small, cone-shaped amount of moxa is placed on top of an acupuncture point,  lit on fire, and allowed to smolder.  Direct moxibustion is a traditional technique considered to be very therapeutic. Much of the scientific study has been done on scarring direct moxibustion.

Indirect moxibustion: A more popular form of moxibustion in many countries including China is the indirect form, because there is a much lower risk of pain or burning. In indirect moxibustion, a practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick (roughly the shape and size of a cigar) and holds it an inch or two away from the skin, usually around the inserted needles to bring mild warmth to the area without burning, until the skin becomes slightly red. The intensity of the heat is adjusted according to the patient’s condition and comfort.

Indirect moxa is considered to induce a gradual localized vasodilatation response. In addition to increasing the local blood flow, skillful indirect moxibustion is extremely comforting and can create a deep relaxation response.

Needle Moxa Technique: This technique used to be quite popular in Japan. With the needle moxa technique, the heat intensity is much harder to control than the moxa stick method.

To learn more about Moxibustion please contact the expert staff at West Acupuncture and Herb at (562)  436 8881.

 

Weight Control – Colon Cleanse

As obesity rates climb, more and more routes for fighting this serious health condition are being explored, including acupuncture.  As of 2010 in the United States, 34 percent of the adult population are overweight, and 27 percent are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Obese people are at risk for a host of conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and depression. For some obese people, dieting and exercise alone don’t do the trick. That’s why investigation of complementary and alternative approaches like acupuncture is gaining momentum. Acupuncture may help people suppress food cravings and elevate mood.

Most patients who are treated with acupuncture say that they feel great.  Many claim their appetite is significantly reduced.  “I can do without dinner” said one weight control patient.

Once considered a problem only in high income countries, excess weight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in low and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings

Symptoms of Obesity

  • Always feeling hot
  • Rashes or infection in folds of your skin
  • Feeling out of breath with minor exertion
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Pain in your back or joints
  • Excessive sweating

Obesity and Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatment can help obese patients lose weight naturally. Acupuncture is widely used throughout the world and is one of the main pillars of Chinese medicine. Inserting acupuncture needles outwardly into several parts of the body are proven to be beneficial weight  weight efforts.  Acupuncture treatment can stimulate the metabolism and thereby enable the body to utilize food efficiently, instead of storing it as fat

West Acupuncture’s weight loss  program is devised to reduce the all side effect during the weight loss program. We can say that it is a healthy weight loss alternative. A common side effect of  many other weight loss programs  is that they can cause  “beneficial” body fluids to be  drained,  which can lead to  unwanted side effects like osteoporosis.  the side effects of acupuncture for weigh loss are often positive such as a general increase in energy level and a reduction of the feeling of  fatigue.  In some cases weight loss patients have reported that other symptoms such as headache’s and pain have been relieved as well.

West Acupuncture’s Colon Cleanse Program

(click thumbnail to view larger image.)

West Acupuncture avoids all  artificial methods and  uses only the body’s own natural processes so patients feel  healthier than before.

Auricular acupuncture

In the past few years, studies in China and Europe have shown that a combination of body and ear (or auricular) acupuncture is very effective for weight loss.   West Acupuncture has a lot of clinical experience of weight control by Auricular acupuncture.

Auricular (ear) acupuncture is the method most often used for the treatment of obesity. Common auricular points used in the treatment of obesity include ‘Hunger’ and ‘Stomach’ points (for satiety and fullness) and ‘Shenmen’ (for sedation and analgesia)

 

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West Acupuncture & Herb
57 Long Beach Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 436 8881

Urinary Incontinence

 Urinary incontinence

 is the unintentional loss of urine, or the loss of bladder control. This means the you can’t always control when you urinate. This of course is embarrassing, but it can be treated.

Millions of people in the United States have urinary incontinence.  It is most common at ages over 50 especially among women. One in three women over the age of 60 years are estimated to have bladder control problems.

Acupuncture treatment, at West Acupuncture has been very successful in controlling urinary incontinence  without surgery. This traditional method is also a very safe natural way of treating urinary incontinence using the body’s own powers, completely free of  negative side effects.

 

What are the types of incontinence?

There are two main kinds of chronic incontinence. Some women have both.

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence is when urine leaks because of sudden pressure on your lower stomach muscles, such as when you cough, laugh, lift something or exercise. Stress incontinence usually occurs when the pelvic muscles are weakened, for example by childbirth or surgery. Stress incontinence is common in women and in many cases, can be treated successfully.

Stress incontinence can be caused by childbirth, weight gain, or other conditions that stretch the pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles cannot support your bladder properly, the bladder drops down and pushes against the vagina. You cannot tighten the muscles that close off the urethra, so urine may leak because of the extra pressure on the bladder when you cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise, or do other activities.

Urge incontinence

Urge incontinence happens when you have a strong need to urinate but can’t reach the toilet in time. This can happen even when your bladder is holding only a small amount of urine. Some women may have no warning before they accidentally leak urine. Other women may leak urine when they drink water or when they hear or touch running water. Overactive bladder is a kind of urge incontinence. But not everyone with overactive bladder leaks urine.

 

Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder occurs when abnormal nerves send signals to the bladder at the wrong time, causing its muscles to squeeze without warning. Voiding up to seven times a day is normal for many women, but women with overactive bladder may find that they must urinate even more frequently.

Overactive bladder is a common bladder condition (1 in 6 adults), but can be treated. Overactive bladder is a real medical condition. It is not a normal sign of aging. It can occur at any age.

 

Specifically, the symptoms of overactive bladder include

  • Urinary frequency—bothersome urination eight or more times a day or two or more times at night
  • Urinary urgency—the sudden, strong need to urinate immediately
  • Urge incontinence—leakage or gushing of urine that follows a sudden, strong urge
  • Nocturia—awaking at night to urinate

 

Mixed incontinence

Mixed incontinence is a combination of different types of bladder control problems, usually stress and urge incontinence. These problems often occur together in older women.

 

Overflow incontinence

This type of incontinence is the uncontrollable leakage of small amounts of urine. It’s caused by an overfilled bladder. You may feel like you can’t empty your bladder all the way and you may strain when urinating. This often occurs in men and can be caused by something blocking the urinary flow, such as an enlarged prostate gland or tumor. Diabetes or certain medicines may also cause the problem.

Functional incontinence

This type occurs when you have normal urine control but have trouble getting to the bathroom in time. You may not be able to get to the bathroom because of arthritis or other diseases that make it hard to move around.

 

Acupuncture treatment of Incontinence

 

Oriental Medicine has been treating Incontinence and sexual dysfunction for over than 2000 years. Acupuncture treatment can significantly improve bladder capacity, urgency, frequency and improve your quality of life. It also strengthens the pelvic muscle for normal functioning of the Bladder and Urethra.

The treatment is usually twice or three times a week with acupuncture and a treatment series is usually 7 – 15 sessions. The treatment should increase one’s ability hold urination, decrease number of time one urinates at night, decrease urinary urgency, and create a smoother urine flow. In addition, patients can see an improvement in sexual function over the same period of time.

In oriental Medicine, Incontinence is caused by dysfunction of the kidney, spleen, and liver.

Especially, the kidneys are responsible for both sexual function and water metabolism. It is said that the kidney “governs water.” In other words, the kidneys regulate urination. Just like in western medicine, the kidneys filter out the urine. But unlike western medicine, kidney qi (or energy) also contributes to the ability to hold urine in the bladder as well as the ability to urinate completely. The kidney is also the main contributing organ for libido and sexual function.

The functions of the kidney can be described in terms of yin and yang. The ability for the bladder to sufficiently hold urine is a yin function. When there is too little kidney yin, the bladder cannot hold urine and may result in stress and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when one’s bladder leaks while laughing, coughing, or sneezing while urge incontinence is the sudden and urgent need to pass urine. Other symptoms of kidney yin deficiency are night sweats, red face, thirst, frequent nighttime urination, a rapid pulse, and a red tongue.

The ability to smoothly urinate is a yang function. When there is too little kidney yang, the bladder cannot properly control the opening and closing of the urethra, which can lead to inhibited urination. A problem with kidney yang may lead to overflow incontinence, which is described as difficulty in starting urinating and then there is dribbling after it begins. Other signs of yang deficiency are a feeling of cold in the body, possible loose stool, fatigue, a slow pulse, and a pale tongue. Impotence and poor libido is also a sign of kidney yang vacuity. Just as it is common to have many types of incontinence at the same time, it is also common for both kidney yin and yang to simultaneously be damaged.

The spleen is also an important in water metabolism and urination. Spleen Qi raises Qi in general and a sinking of Spleen Qi may be unable to control urine which leaks out.

If frequent urination is accompanied by extreme fatigue especially in the morning, loose stools, poor digestion, and a pale swollen tongue, the imbalance may be in the spleen. If it is worsened by stress or anger, the liver may also be involved.

According to Chinese Medical Pattern Discrimination we may see any one or a combination of the following patterns in incontinence.

Herbal Medicine and Herb tea for Incontinence

Herbs can be especially effective in treating urinary incontinence. The group of plants called toning herbs can strengthen and restore the mucous membranes in the urinary tract and may prevent incontinence.

Herbs can also be effective for ailments related to or precipitating incontinence, such as recurrent urinary tract infection, constipation, and diarrhea.

  • Ginseng Tea : patients who feels little energy, lethargy, fatigue, pale complexion, spontaneoussweating, dizziness,  prolapse of organs, low voice, little desire to speak, weakness in the arms and legs edema, poor appetite, loose stools, headache after exertion, bloating, indigestion, tired eyes, dry skin
  • Cinnamon Tea : patients who feel a cold sensation in low abdomen, cold extremities, cinnamon may lower blood glucose, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in type 2 diabetes, reducing the rise in blood sugar after eating. In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had  significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.
  • Citron Tea : people who are under a lot of stress and easily become red in face
  • Wu Wei Zi Tea : It is widely used for all incontinence, reduces sweating, stops cough and diarrhea.
  • Yu Li Ren Tea : This tea used rid the body of unnecessary moisture, swelling, strengthens the digestive system and stops diarrhea.

What are Kegel exercises?

Stress incontinence can be treated with special exercises, called Kegel exercises (see the box below). These exercises help strengthen the muscles that control the bladder. They can be done anywhere, any time. Although designed for women, the Kegel exercises can also help men. It may take 3 to 6 months to see an improvement.

Kegel exercises

  • To locate the right muscles, try stopping or slowing your urine flow without using your stomach, leg or buttock muscles. When you’re able to slow or stop the stream of urine, you’ve located the right muscles.
  • Squeeze your muscles. Hold for a count of 10. Relax for a count of 10.
  • Repeat this 10 to 20 times, 3 times a day.
  • You may need to start slower, perhaps squeezing and relaxing your muscles for 4 seconds each and doing this 10 times, 2 times a day. Work your way up from there.

How do you do Kegel exercises?

The first step is to find the right muscles. One way to find them is to imagine that you are sitting on a marble and want to pick up the marble with your vagina. Imagine sucking or drawing the marble into your vagina.

Try not to squeeze other muscles at the same time. Be careful not to tighten your stomach, legs, or buttocks. Squeezing the wrong muscles can put more pressure on your bladder control muscles. Just squeeze the pelvic muscles. Don’t hold your breath. Do not practice while urinating.

Repeat, but don’t overdo it. At first, find a quiet spot to practice—your bathroom or bedroom—so you can concentrate. Pull in the pelvic muscles and hold for a count of three. Then relax for a count of three. Work up to three sets of 10 repeats. Start doing your pelvic muscle exercises lying down. This is the easiest position to do them in because the muscles do not need to work against gravity. When your muscles get stronger, do your exercises sitting or standing. Working against gravity is like adding more weight.

Be patient. Don’t give up. It takes just 5 minutes a day. You may not feel your bladder control improve for 3 to 6 weeks. Still, most people do notice an improvement after a few weeks.

Some people with nerve damage cannot tell whether they are doing Kegel exercises correctly. If you are not sure, ask your doctor or nurse to examine you while you try to do them. If it turns out that you are not squeezing the right muscles, you may still be able to learn proper Kegel exercises by doing special training with biofeedback, electrical stimulation, or both

What is bladder training?

Some people who have urge incontinence can learn to lengthen the time between urges to go to the bathroom. You start by urinating at set intervals, such as every 30 minutes to 2 hours (whether you feel the need to go or not). Then gradually lengthen the time between when you urinate (for example, by 30 minutes) until you’re urinating every 3 to 4 hours. You can practice relaxation techniques when you feel the urge to urinate before it is time to go to the bathroom. Breathe slowly and deeply. Think about your breathing until the urge goes away. You can also do Kegel exercises if they help control your urge. After the urge passes, wait 5 minutes and then go to the bathroom even if you don’t feel you need to go. If you don’t go, you might not be able to control your next urge. When it’s easy to wait 5 minutes after an urge, begin waiting 10 minutes. Bladder training may take 3 to 12 weeks.

For more information about the treatment of  Urinary Incontinence please call Dr. Cho at (562) 436 8881.