Heel pain in the morning? Its probably plantar fasciitis…

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition which affects the heel and the arch of the foot. Typically, people who have the condition may experience pain all day, but especially experience heel pain when first getting out of bed in the mornings.
This condition constantly generates ‘foot traffic’ for Acupuncture at the clinic. The key to treatment is between 4-8 appointments over a 2-3-week period, which may sound a little excessive however we have treatment packages to make that more affordable.
Mark is our Acupuncturist, his approach is to treat the calf, the plantar fascia and distal points to target this stubborn condition, in conjunction with herbal products and exercises to use at home to further drive healing momentum between appointments.
Anecdotally Mark’s clients report excellent clinical outcomes getting them back to walking and running pain free.
Mark is also able to prescribe Herbal Medications which can resolve bone spurs which are often a complicating factor to the plantar fasciitis diagnosis.

You are what you eat!

So, one of the things we do in Chinese Medicine is talk about dietary sources of medicinal foods & herbs.  Today many of us have heard the phase “You are what you eat,” originating from a book written by a French Author in the early 1800’s.  As far back as thousands of years before there was a phrase coined “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” by the classical age Greek physician Hippocrates.  In the Far East too, the Chinese discerned how to relieve illness by managing the food we eat.  The Chinese physicians mapped out the thermodynamics of food and considered that if a person was ill with a cold disease for example (something such as chills to the bone) that foods and herbs warming or hot would help return the person to homeostasis and foods that are cold would cause further harm…

I have recently been reading a superb book by a current US physician named Dr Michael Gregor, M.D.  I use my Chinese Medicine dietary knowledge on a daily basis; I know some practitioners who insist that whatever was said in the Chinese Medicine ‘bible’ is fact, however I look at these things differently and consider that we can build on and compliment ancient knowledge with new understanding; so long as the source isn’t tainted!

Dr Gregor’s book is extremely well sourced and adds another level of insight to nutrition from the aspect of modern research.  Unlike research from some of the large drug companies, there is no Big Carrot or Big Broccoli, so the research seems to be mostly untainted.  Dr Gregor’s passion is derived from his own grandma’s journey, she was given 3 weeks to live with heart failure before she found her own nutritional expert, who within the space of several months turned her life around, and extended her lifespan by 30 years+!

Dr Gregor is a Western Medical physician who writes for other Western Medical DRs who he says are given substandard schooling in nutrition in the current medical school model.  A visit to see him at his clinic often results in a prescription for nutrition rather than something you will get from the chemist; how refreshing is that!

I wanted to share this video with you on a simple hack Dr Gregor has for getting the maximum nutrition from Broccoli.  I hope I’m not spoiling the ending, but if you are cooking broccoli the trick is to add mustard powder for a strong anti-cancer effect!  Don’t take my word for it, watch the video linked below from Dr Gregor’s own NutritionFacts.org.

Sometimes the simple things can make a HUGE difference!

Here is the video blog on Broccoli:

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/second-strategy-to-cooking-broccoli/

Traditional Tibetian Formula for Longevity

Several years ago, I was suffering from some ongoing dental issues; although it was against my better judgement I had already had one molar root canal, and the Dentist was recommending that I might need to have another in the near future, however at this stage that tooth would be on a ‘watch list;’ while also being advised that I needed to do some work on my receding gums.

 

Being a herbalist I was sure that there must be something around that would work for my teeth and gums; and there were a few options available but nothing I was 100% happy with.  As with anything once I get an idea into my head I spent hour upon hour searching the internet for any viable ideas….

 

Eventually I did find a product named Padma Basic; the story of Padma Basic is that is based on an ancient Tibetan Formula which was saved from the Communist Chinese Invasion around 1950.  Several years later and a Swiss pharmaceutical researcher named Karl Lutz had heard of the power of the formula and has been researching it.  His company later patented the formula and began production of the original formula under the name of Padma Basic.  The formula is sold through regular pharmacies throughout Europe and is apparently a household name.

 

In the research by the swiss they found that Padma was effective for treating memory issues, tinnitus, visual problems, arthritic joint pain, dizziness, fatigue, promoting health and longevity.

 

So, getting back to my own experiment after reading anecdotal experiments online of people using it for success with the microcirculation of the teeth and gums; I purchased Padma from overseas and over the course of around 3 months successfully managed to avoid the 2ndroot canal procedure, my dentist was intrigued at just how well the infection had cleared!

 

Another Researcher in the United states by the name of Nan Kathryn Fuchs PH. D published her own research in 2004.

 

Fuchs (2004), says that in her own research she found the formula to be effective for atherosclerosis with cholesterol buildup, controlling bacteria in the lungs which may leads to allergies and asthma; and also, highly effective for ‘heat related’ conditions such as dermatitis, hepatitis, arthritis, thyroiditis, colitis and even Multiple Sclerosis due to the heat -clearing nature of the formula.

 

As a Registered Herbalist, I can see many similarities in the original formula with those of Chinese medicine.  I have created a similar Traditional Tibetan formula for Longevity which embraces the same principals of clearing heat, promoting circulation and supporting the immune function to produce my own formula in Tincture form (alcohol extract) which is both easy to take, and highly effective.

 

Some of the all-natural ingredients include:

Iceland Moss, Costus root, Cardamon, Sandalwood, Allspice, Bael Fruit, Licorice, knotgrass, galangal, valerian root, lettuce leaf etc.

 

Fuchs, N.K. (2004) Padma An Ancient Tibetian Herbal Formula.  NJ, USA: Basic Health Publications.

Give a healthy gift to your loved one!

Gift Vouchers now available for everything we do at Root & Branch – Shiatsu, Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Oriental Therapies etc… Give a healthy gift to your loved one!

We find that people are often time poor, shy, not ready to make the commitment or simply not sure of the effectiveness of alternative medicine.

A gift voucher is a great way to allow those people to take the next step at their own pace, and allow them to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment themselves.  We find that most people respond well and many of them make the decision to continue care.

Contact us to purchase or for further detail.

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre

Kvass & other lacto-fermented foods.

By Mark Davis, BHSc (TCM).

I have been making Kvass this week, it is basically lacto-fermented raw beetroot cubes with added water, the resulting deep red liquid is taken in small doses internally for its health benefits.

Beetroot is  a powerhouse of nutrition packed full of vitamins and minerals, however it is higher in natural sugars than any other root vegetable, when fermented, enzymes and beneficial bacteria consume the sugars to make the nutrients more bioavailable.  Beetroot is particularly good for heart health, blood production and it is even said to lower blood pressure;  anecdotal evidence suggests that is especially beneficial for the Liver.

Taste-wise, the Kvass is a little sour, sweet and salty all at the same time.  In Chinese Medicine, the sour taste directs foods to the Liver, the sweet taste to the Spleen and salty to the Kidneys.  So you can see already that it is quite a well balanced tonic for all three organs.

Although it’s origins are not Chinese, as an integrated health practitioner, I prefer to mix the best from all traditional health concepts regardless of where they originate.

We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat,” and the famous quote by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine.”

Asian countries have a long history of using fermented foods including miso, tempeh, kimchi, natto etc.  In the West also, particularly Eastern European countries have traditions such as Sourdough, Kefir, Sauerkraut and Kvass.

Before refrigeration was available these processes were used to preserve staple foods so that they were available during the colder seasons when there was less produce, however  as they have been shown to be a valuable resource nutritionally, the tradition continues today and the consumption seems to be gaining popularity.

Regular intake of fermented vegetables will improve digestion, resolve bloating and compliment intestinal health.  Important research is currently exploring the associations between gut health and cognitive function.

In Chinese Medicine dietary guidelines, over-indulgence of fermented foods can result in ‘dampness,’  typically noticed as excess mucous, a heavy feeling, diarrhoea and sluggishness.

So these foods should be enjoyed in small doses, as an accompaniment to meals, on a daily basis.

Other similar blog posts:

Nukazuke  (糠漬け)

IT DOESN’T GET MUCH HEALTHIER THAN BEETROOT SOUP WITH BONE BROTH!

My own private Miso

 

 

Plantar Fasciitis

Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis, by Mark Davis, BHSc (TCM).

 

Plantar fasciitis is sometimes referred to as “Runners Heel,” it is an inflammation of the muscles on the underlying surface of the foot – the long, flat ligament that runs along the sole of the toes. It is one of the most common & painful foot problems which some people typically experience when getting out of bed in the mornings, or after being seated for prolonged periods.

Plantar fasciitis is usually caused from repetitive strain to the heel area, it is a common, and very persistent injury afflicting runners, walkers and hikers, and people who stand on hard surfaces like concrete & tiled surfaces for extended periods.

Although pain is typically felt between the arch and heel of the foot, plantar fasciitis pain often originates in the muscles of the lower legs and calf. When these muscles are tight and overstretched, it puts strain on the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot. Being quite a stubborn condition, people can often see many health practitioners and typically invest quite large amounts of money in ongoing treatment for cortisone injections and orthotics.

At Root & Branch Oriental therapies, we have found quite a good success rate using manipulation of the calf muscle with heat therapy, combined with distal acupuncture which avoids upsetting the already inflamed facia of the plantar surface; typically most cases resolve within 3-4 consultations. Several products such as liniment patches and foot soaks are available to compliment the physical intervention between treatment.

Medical Science shows similar results; Xu Xuemeng et al., Guangzhou Dongcheng Hospital randomly divided 66 plantar fasciitis patients into an acupuncture group and a conventional therapy control group. The acupuncture group received standard acupuncture and the control group received triamcinolone acetonide acetate injections and local blocking therapy. The results were assessed 6 months after the completion of all treatments. The acupuncture group achieved a total effective rate of 97% and the drug therapy group had a 76% effective rate.

The aforementioned research is not an isolated finding; Guangzhou Social Welfare House researchers (Tang et al.) performed a meta-analysis of 19 independent plantar fasciitis clinical trials. A total of 16 of the 19 studies made extensive use of Ahshi acupuncture points. Based on the data, the researchers determined that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. The following are some of the studies included in the meta-analysis.

Acupuncture has a proven and lengthy track record for producing significant positive outcomes rates for patients with plantar fasciitis. The data indicates that access to acupuncture, moxibustion, and TCM herbal foot baths is an adequate solution for the vast majority of patients.

Additionally it is worth considering that adverse reactions to acupuncture and trigger point therapy under controlled conditions by a properly accredited practitioner are rare.

References:

Tang, Cuanqi, et al. “Progress of Clinical Research on Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Heel Pain.” World Chinese Medicine 9.1 (2014): 120-123.

Gao F, Zhao B, Fan XH. Thrust acupuncture and injection therapy in treating plantar fasciitis 150 cases [J]. Yunnan TCM Herbs Journal, 2015, 36(6): 80-81.

 

Herbal Foot Soaks, for pain of the feet & ankles.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – try Acupuncture first!

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Herbal Foot Soaks, for pain of the feet & ankles.

Foot/ heel pain relief available in clinic now.

Our feet are the connection between heaven and earth.  It is easy to forget just how important they are to us, in modern day life we wear shoes and forget to re-connect with the earth.  Our feet bear the weight of our entire body,  700 times each for every kilometre we walk.  Each foot contains more than 7000 nerve endings, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles & 26 bones (1/4 of all the bones in the body).  For many people, feet are a low priority when it comes to ongoing care….  And yet, all it takes is the slightest irritation on the smallest toe to give discomfort to our whole being!

Herbal foot soaks are beneficial to most conditions related to pain and overuse of the muscles and tendons of the feet, from diabetic foot neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, bone spurs and achilles tendonitis.  Prolonged use of herbal foot baths (> 2 weeks) may also be beneficial to general wellbeing including reduced stress levels, insomnia, migraines, fatigue, IBS and hormonal imbalances.

Western science is slowly catching up to the knowledge of traditional Chinese Medicine.  In a recent study done by Harvard, a simple warm bath before you go to bed at night can significantly increase your sleep. Click here to read the study.

HOW TO:  Initially 3-4 tea bags should be simmered for around 10 minutes.  Next the temperature needs to be equalised when the hot tea is transferred to the bucket, ensuring that the solution is below 45 DEC C to prevent scolding.  Best results are expected after >40 minutes use, a kettle of hot water kept handy can ensure the water is topped up regularly to keep the solution close to the desired 40 DEC C mark.

EVEN BETTER:  Take this time to relax, read a book, meditate or listen to some guided self hypnosis.

Here is a link to a breathing technique I particularly like:

Practical tips for dealing with stress & anxiety

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre, Yuki Murata

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Pain Relief in a convenient adhesive Chinese Medicine plaster.

 

Manufacturer: Guangzhou Medicines & Health Products.

701 Dieda Zhengtong Yaogao medicated plasters provide temporary pain relief from minor aches and pains of muscles and joints, simple backache, arthritis, traumatic injury, strains, bruises and sprains. Also used to temporarily ease pain from bone spurs in areas not covered by thick muscles such as heels and shoulders.

Now available in a convenient pack of 6 plaster sheets, each measuring 10 x 12cm, affordable and super effective to reinforce acupuncture or shiatsu therapy treatments between appointments.

Ingredients include:

  • Borneol 4.0%
  • Camphor 10.0%
  • Eupolyphaga sinensis 8.0%
  • Mentha haplocalyx 5.0%
  • Menthol 5.0%
  • Methyl Salicylate 10.0%
  • Phellodendron chinense 8.0%
  • Polygonum cuspidatum 2.0%
  • Rheum palmatum 8.0%
  • Scutellaria Baicalensis 8.0%
  • Zanthoxylum nitidum 8.0%

Non-medicinal ingredients include:

  • Petrolatum
  • Gum resin
  • Paraffin
  • Paraffinum Liquidum leve
  • Latex

The plasters are based on a traditional Chinese Medicine herbal remedy which shows anecdotal pain relief of muscular tension by stimulating blood circulation.

How to use:  peel off the plastic backing sheet and place the plaster over the sore area.  A  warming effect may be noticed initially, pain relieving effect will normally last for about 24 hours at which point it should be discarded.  It is best to wait a few hours before applying a new patch, many people report a cooling sensation between applying plasters.  When using on the torso it is often better to use bi-laterally even for one sided pain.

This product should never be applied over broken skin and use during pregnancy is contraindicated.

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre, Yuki Murata

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Topical Liniment for pain relief

liniment-for-pain-relief

There are lots of generic liniments on the market, but nothing beats the Dr’s own formula for musculoskeletal pain! The herbs which have been soaked for more than 12 months are chosen for quality & efficacy to speed up recovery, relax muscles and tendons to reduce inflammation, dispels stagnation & promotes circulation. Dit Da Jow has traditionally been used for trauma associated with martial arts, but suitable for strains, sprains, and muscular tightness and everyday aches and pains. For external use only, not suitable for open wounds.

Mark will often use the ‘Dit Da Jow’ in combination for needling of musculoskeletal conditions, sports injury and in conjunction with electronic muscle stimulation.

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre, Yuki Murata

 

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Have you tried Cupping yet? Detox naturally with Chinese Medicine

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Shiatsu Masa does great SHIATSU Massage Melbourne!!

 

What is acne in Chinese Medicine?

Acne typically occurs for the first time in puberty when hormones are surging, however for many people it can be a life long affliction.  In addition to hormonal imbalances it can stem from diet, skin pathogens, hygiene, excess sebum production and even as a result of stress.

 

In Chinese Medicine the redness associated with pimples and pustular skin conditions is considered to be heat, the pus production is a form of ‘dampness’ and irritation is a type of toxin accumulation.

 

People who suffer from acne have often tried numerous remedies without a great deal of success and some even resort to ‘heavy duty’ pharmaceutical solutions.  For those who would prefer a more natural solution, Dr Mark Davis (TCM) has formulated a patent herbal tincture, which has been well received by acne sufferers.

 

Good results have been reported with whiteheads, cystic acne, as a result of coming off the pill, hormonal and even stubborn acne which has not responded to other treatments.

 

The formula consists of 13 all natural herbs which work from the inside out.  it is super cost effective and easy to take; it reduces the inflammation, calms the redness, and improves circulation to control localised irritation.

 

Each 200ml bottle is a one-month prescription, results are often visible during the first 3-4 weeks, however best results are usually reported by the end of the 2nd month.

Naturally gluten free, 100% animal product free and no testing on animals!

Not recommended to be taken while pregnant or in conjunction with blood thinning herbs.  No side effects should be expected, however this is general advice and you should discuss with your practitioner if you suffer from allergies.

 

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre

 

You might find the following articles also interesting reading:

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture

Cosmetic Acupuncture