Articles

Allergies – The World as Enemy

Allergies are one of the most prevalent conditions I treat in my practice. People come for treatment of allergy symptoms related to pollen, dust, molds, foods, chemicals, pollution, even to other people. You name it, and someone is allergic to it. Interestingly, traditionally in Chinese medicine there is almost no discussion of the concept of […]
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The Concept of Wind in Chinese Medicine

Wind is the concept in Chinese medicine that I find people have the most trouble with. There is no easy Western correlate for the term or the concept. I am including a discussion of Wind in this issue because of its correlation with spring and the Liver. There are two types of Wind – external […]
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ZangFu – Organs and Bowels in Chinese Medicine

There are three classifications for the internal organs in Chinese medicine. The Zang, or organs, are the solid Yin organs which are characterized by their capacity to store but not drain. They are the Heart, Lungs, Liver, Spleen, Kidneys, and Pericardium. The Fu, or hollow Yang bowels, drain but do not store. They are the […]
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The Function of the Gall Bladder in Chinese Medicine

The Gallbladder is classified both as a Fu and as an extraordinary bowel, as it both stores and secretes bile. As the reservoir for Heat and Dampness in the body, the Gall Bladder is responsible for absorbing excesses from the Liver. One of the functions of the Liver in Chinese medicine is to create smooth […]
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How To Choose An Acupuncture Point

People often ask me what the points are for while I am needling them. There is no easy answer to this question, as understanding the function of acupuncture points requires understanding all of Chinese medicine. The best answer is that the points being needled are for the person – they are in resonance with that […]
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Why Are Some Chinese Terms Capitalized

It is common practice in Chinese medicine (in languages other than Chinese) to capitalize terms that either have no real translation (such as Qi), or that mean something different in Chinese medicine than they might mean in another system (such as the term Heart in western biomedicine). Similarity in term does no imply the same […]
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Heart Facts

Heart meridian imbalances may manifest as • Multiple symptoms on the left side of the body • Frequent accidents (even if you do not think they are your fault) • Excessive or deficient perspiration • Difficulty listening or paying attention
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Bad News About Antiperspirants

If you have read the article The Heart Governs Sweat, it should be apparent that normal sweating is an important bodily function that should not be artificially altered. The Heart channel begins at the center of the armpit with Heart 1, Jiquan, or Supreme Source. Blocking the mechanism of sweating here directly blocks the Heart […]
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The Heart Governs Sweat

“The Heart Governs Sweat” is one of the 6 stated functions of the Heart in Chinese medicine. Although this may sound surprising to most people who are not familiar with Chinese medicine, even more surprising may be the amount of discussion Chinese medicine has pertaining to sweating. On a physical level, sweating has to do […]
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Exterior Resolvers

Exterior resolvers are acrid substances (foods or herbs) which relieve congestion at the surface of the body, expelling externally contracted pathogens such as wind heat and wind cold. The acrid, or pungent taste, moves and disperses. Exterior resolvers move the Qi by activating the Yang Qi of the Kidneys. In doing so, prolonged and inappropriate […]
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The Physiology of Flavor

This brief article is really an addendum to the article About Salt. Just as the salty flavor affects the Kidneys and salt metabolism, so does the sweet flavor affect the Spleen (pancreas in biomedicine) and sugar metabolism. The two tastes – salty and sweet – reflect the two basic substances of physiology. Our body contains […]
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About Salt

Chinese medicine recognizes six flavors, or tastes (“wei”) – sour, bitter, sweet, acrid, salty, and level (neutral). These flavors correspond, respectively, with the Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lungs, and Kidneys (the level flavor does not correspond with one specific organ). These flavors contribute to the actions of foods and medicinal herbs. In fact, it is fair […]
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Fruit and Winter

It is generally believed in Chinese medicine that it is not appropriate to eat much fruit during the winter. Seen from a strictly biochemical perspective, this does not make much sense. But considered from an energetic perspective, it is a simple and logical idea. Most fruits are cooling in nature. They grow during the warm […]
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Beans and the Doctrine of Signatures

The doctrine of signatures is an old principle which basically states that a substance can be used to treat that which it resembles. The example which will be used in this article is that beans are beneficial to the Kidneys because they look like kidneys. This might seem like a primitive and silly notion at […]
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Hydration

How many glasses of water do we need to drink per day? This is one of the most frequently asked questions in my practice. The primary reason for the focus on this issue arises from the fact that the typical American diet is severely lacking in water. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, grains, and […]
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Vacuity

Vacuity is a term which is germane to the Kidneys. The terms Kidney Qi vacuity, Kidney Yin vacuity, and Kidney Yang vacuity, all describe a state of emptiness or depletion. Qi is vacuous when there is a lack of accumulation of it. Words such as “deficiency” and “weakness”, commonly used as translations in the West, […]
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What About Protein

Since I have written above about calcium, I have decided to also write briefly about the other most commonly asked about / misunderstood food topic – protein. Calcium and protein are the two things people are most concerned about not getting enough of. The reason for this is simple. The meat and dairy industries promote, […]
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The Kidneys and Bones

It is a stated function of the Kidneys, and a statement of fact in Chinese medicine (fundamental physiological correlations that just “are”), that “The Kidneys control the bones.” If one understand that the Chinese concept of the Kidneys includes the biomedical functions of the adrenal glands (as well as of the thyroid and parathyroid glands), […]
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Fish Oils and Omega 3’s

Since Water is the theme of this newsletter, it seems appropriate to discuss things that come from the water, such as fish. The fish oil craze has struck. When I ask people about their diet, they almost always say something about fish. Either they say that they eat it, or they make an apology for […]
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Take An Apple – The Problem With Nutraceuticals

It is everywhere you look today. The scientific community, the media, and the public refer to isolated components of food as if they were drugs. We talk about lycopene, not tomatoes. Vitamin C, not oranges. Calcium, not broccoli. The official term for this horrific conceptualization is “nutraceuticals.” Just like pharmaceutical, only with a nutrient. It […]
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The Mind-Body Connection

In the general field of alternative medicine today, the notion of a mind-body connection is a prevalent topic of discussion. Magazines run ads for mind-body institutes, doctors write books on mind-body medicine, news reports discuss research on the biochemistry of mind-body interaction, etc. Although this appears to be a holistic approach, the very notion that […]
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A Brief Introduction to Yin and Yang

Since this newsletter is primarily concerned with the Kidneys, and as the Kidneys are primarily concerned with Yin-Yang physiology, it is necessary to at least briefly discuss what Yin and Yang mean. I plan to discuss these more extensively in a future article. Yin and Yang are simply the named recognition of dualistic reality. We […]
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Self-Care for the Lungs

The number one most important thing you can do to benefit your Lungs is to breathe. Most people breathe very shallowly, with little attention given to the process. Practicing proper breathing can have more health benefits than any other exercise you can perform. The following instructions are for abdominal breathing. This exercise takes 5 minutes […]
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What Does Health Imply

Without a starting concept of health it is impossible to have a perspective on disease. I find that the lack of a notion of what the term health implies is one of the biggest stopping points in achieving it. The purpose of this article is to discuss some common obstacles which obstruct the path to […]
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Causality in Chinese Medicine – The Issues of How and Why

The topic of causality is, in my opinion, the number one most important issue in medicine. People ask more questions about it, spend more time stuck on it, and know the least about it, than any other issue I can think of. There are three concepts that need to be discussed – causality, mechanism, and […]
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