Ear Acupuncture

Did you know that ear acupuncture can be similar to foot reflexology? Both areas of the body represent organ maps which can be beneficial to heath. The main difference between the two micro-systems is that while finger pressure is applicable to the plantar surface of the foot, the ear is smaller, thus it is necessary to use fine needles to elicit a reaction. The needles are almost completely painless and often we will send you away with a small sticky ear tack which can remain in pace for a few days to compliment body acupuncture treatment, and these can usually stay in place for up to 4-5 days. There is a famous protocol which was established in the early 1970’s called the ‘NADA protocol,’ which is still in use today for smoking cessation and heavily relied upon in drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics.

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

How often do I need to book?

In the last five years or so since I have been involved with Chinese Medicine I have met all sorts of people; those who hate needles, those who don’t believe in holistic medicine yet they come as a last resort, those who wouldn’t dream of taking anything other than herbal medicines, those who think what we do is satantic etc etc… And the majority of people I have been involved with are satisfied with the care received, but often unsure of the duration of treatment required and how long cover for their private health insurance will last.
In general the longer the problem has persisted the more treatments are required, and for acute or new conditions, a shorter time frame can be expected; however it is difficult to define the treatment without a detailed analysis of individual circumstances such as age, compliance, constitution etc.
There are three stages of ‘disease’ – Active, Corrective and Recovery.  Often patients will seek treatment and find that their condition is mostly resolved after 2-3 visits and then discontinue care.  However it is pertinent to continue treatment just a little bit longer to see a resolution of symptoms through the corrective period; as a consequence of stopping care too soon will often see the same problem reoccur.  if it took 3-4 treatment to resolve the active phase of the condition, it would be smart to add another 2-3 treatments just to ensue that when rehabilita is complete the condition doesn’t relapse.  A comprehensive treatment plan would also incorporate follow-up treatments every 6 weeks or so, or around the time that seasonal changes are expected to boost immunity and proactively prevent relapse during times when our defences are lower.
Progress can generally be expected faster when acupuncture or shiatsu is combined with herbal therapy, lifestyle and dietary changes.  We are eager to get you healthy again as soon as possible, we will never encourage you to rely on our care for your health, we prescribe suitable treatment plans and empower the patient with information and knowledge to complete treatment as efficiently as possible.
Your practitioner should be able to give you a guide to your treatment plan within your first few treatments so that you know exactly what to expect and the level of commitment required.
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Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre

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Practical tips for dealing with stress & anxiety

Welcome to the year of the Rooster!
As many people will now be heading back to work, here are some:

 

 

Practical tips for dealing with Stress & Anxiety:

 

 

 

 

Chinese Medicine is often used for the management of stress and anxiety, between treatments there are things that we can do practically anywhere, which will provide some instant relief; the hardest part is just remembering to do it!

I will outline a breathing exercise and a few acupressure points which you can practice as your own ‘stress emergency kit’ for those times when you feel like the pressure is going to make you burst!

First: 4-4-8 pranayama (like yoga for breathing), it brings clarity back to your mind, and delivers more oxygen to the lungs to generate qi.  Most of us are on automatic pilot, breathing into only the very upper portion of our lungs.  Breathing is controlled by both the subconscious and the conscious mind, by consciously taking control of it we also control the automated responses our bodies have to stress, and by breathing into the belly we are stimulating the Vagus nerve which controls the parasympathetic nervous system.

 


4-4-8 Pranayama

 

 

 

 

 

Technique:

Sit in a comfortable place, close your eyes and begin to breathe in, right down to your belly.  Your belly should rise on inhalation and retract on exhalation.  Don’t worry if it takes you a little while to master it, that’s normal.  Ignore any thoughts & follow the 3 cycles of breathing below and continue for as long as it takes to calm the mind…

BREATH IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE TO THE BELLY, SLOWLY TO THE COUNT OF 1….2….3….4
HOLD YOUR BREATH NOW TO THE SLOW COUNT OF 1….2….3….4…
EXHALE THROUGH YOUR MOUTH SLOWLY TO THE COUNT OF 1….2….3….4….5….6….7….8…

 

And repeat the cycle again, for as much time as you have to spare, 5~10 minutes should be fine.  You can do this anywhere, even in the car!

 

 


 

 

 

 

Acupressure Points for Stress & Anxiety:

 

 

 

 

 

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Pericardium 6

Located on the inside of the forearm half a finger up from the palm. Press firmly and hold on one arm for 30 seconds, then alternate arms.

 

 

 

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Heart 7

On the inside wrist crease just inside the tendon, you will feel on the little finger side.

 

 

 

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Yintang

Between the eyebrows, being located on a bony area you can tap this point; it may also be useful for headaches.

 

 

 

acupuncture-to-calm-the-heart

Ren 17

On the lower part of the breastbone close to the intersection of the 4th ribs, again as it is a hard surface you may benefit from tapping here.

 

 

Combining these points regularly will leave you feeling less stressed and aid to treat anxiety disorders, for best results consultation with a practitioner is recommended.

 

Table 1 & 2 of the Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald J, and Janz S, 2017) retrieved from www.acupuncture.org.au

© Photos courtesy of: Kirschbaum, B. (2010). Atlas of Chinese tongue diagnosis. Seattle: Eastland Press.


 

 

Good luck with the self-help; feel free to message or mail me if you have any questions!

Kind Regards.

Mark Davis (Doctor of Chinese Medicine.)

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

 

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How To Aid Your Back Pain With Sleep!

Back pain can occur for a variety of reasons, for sudden & acute circumstances such as kidney stones, trauma or even a fractured vertebrae – immediate care may be required; information provided here is only suitable for those who have been cleared of any specific diagnosis and need to care for their condition unsupervised at home.

In Chinese Medicine terms, typically back pain is a result of one or more of the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Traumatic injury
  • Over use of a specific muscle group
  • Posture / scoliosis
  • Sitting / driving for extended periods
  • Fractures, herniations or degenerative changes
  • Obesity
  • Side effects of medications
  • Unknown

Chinese Medicine (CM) involves identifying locations, channels, triggers of pain and conditions, which alleviate it. CM diagnosis will often include:

  • Qi and Blood Stagnation
  • Yin / Yang deficiency
  • Cold Damp Painful Obstruction
  • Bi Syndrome

Regardless of the specifics of diagnosis, CM considers that stagnation (poor circulation) is the cause of pain and by eliminating stagnation, healing is promoted – relieving the pain.

Acupuncture and prescribed herbal medications will assist to increase circulation to aid healing, however the healing process can be hindered through habitual actions such as sleeping on your sides or stomach, which can restrict circulation causing stagnation to reoccur.

Changing your sleep patterns can be very beneficial, however it is acknowledged that this is not an easy task. By making small changes on a regular basis however, you should be able to initiate the healing process.

So What Do I Need To Do?

It’s easy, all I ask you to do is to take your pillow from the top of the bed and relocate it under your knees for 10 minutes when you go to bed! At first you might find a strange feeling in your sinuses, but this is also beneficial!

Take some deep breaths and relax in this position, if you need a small hand towel rolled up under your neck that is fine. Allow yourself to fall asleep if you are comfortable, if not you are free to readjust to the normal sleeping position after 10 minutes!

Should you wake during the night to go to the toilet, use the opportunity to put the pillow under your knees again, just for five minutes. If you wake with an alarm on snooze in the morning, also use this opportunity again to lie on your back and put the pillow under your knees.

Of course it will take some adjustment and pain will dissipate with practice. By assuming this pose on the comfort of a mattress you are allowing the force of gravity to work in your favor and naturally alleviate stagnation. Other sleeping positions although they may feel comfortable, can reduce circulation to the extremities and the spinal cord due to your body weight compressing muscles, nerves, lymph and blood flow.

It is understandable that you probably cannot maintain sleeping on your back all of the time, however if you are able to practice this method it should be enough together with your Chinese Medicine treatment to give you the advantage moving forward to improve back pain.

If you have a spare pillow, some people also find it advantageous to use the pillow between their legs at times when they choose to roll over onto their sides after the initial instructions. The extra pillow will work in a manner to soften the obstruction caused by the weight of limb on limb.

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© Root & Branch Oriental Therapies (2015).