He Gu (LI-04)

English translation: Joining Valley

International identity number: LI-04, Large Intestine 4

IMPORTANT: This point is prohibited for use during pregnancy

Point Associations:

  • Yuan-Source point
  • Gao Wu Command point
  • Ma Dan-yang Heavenly Star point

Location:

Midway between the junction of the 1st. and 2nd metacarpal bones (fingers) and the margin of the web.

Needle insertion:

Perpendicular insertion 0.5 – 1.0 cun. Oblique insertion directed proximally 1 to 1.5 cun.

Functions:

  • Dispels, exterior Wind,
  • Releases the Exterior,
  • Stimulates the dispersing function of the Lungs,
  • Stops pain,
  • Removes obstructions from channel by activating the channel and alleviates pain
  • Tonifies Qi and consolidates the Exterior,
  • Harmonises ascending and descending,
  • Regulates the defensive Qi and adjusts sweating
  • Regulates the face, eyes, nose, mouth and ears
  • Induces labour
  • Restores the Yang

He Gu (LI-04) is one of Ma Dan Yang’s ‘Twelve Heavenly Star Points’, long considered the pre-eminent list of the most important acupuncture points.

He Gu (LI-04) is one of the most frequently used of all Acupuncture points and has a wide range of uses. It is particularly useful for all kinds of pain in the face, including eyes, ears, and nose. He Gu (LI-04) is a primary point used in Acupuncture anaesthesia.

He Gu (LI-04) induces Labour. It is used in difficult deliveries, and even to expel retained placenta. He Gu (LI-04) is strongly contraindicated during pregnancy.

The combination known as “the Four Gates” includes He Gu (LI-04) and Taichong (Liv-03) is useful for clearing cold and heat obstructions (pain) of the entire body.  Combined with Quchi (LI 11) it is used to reduce high fever of any cause.

He Gu (LI-04) has the action of expelling pathogens and as such is an excellent immunity booster acu point.

James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.

References:


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Wei Zhong – Bl-40

English translation: Supporting Middle or Middle of the Crook

International identity number: Bl-40, UB-40, Urinary Bladder 40

Point Associations:

  • He Sea Point
  • Earth Point
  • Lower He Sea Point of the Urinary Bladder
  • Lumbar Command Point

Location:

In the middle of the popliteal fossa. Midpoint of the transverse crease of the popliteal fossa, between the tendons of biceps femoris and semitendinosis.

Needle insertion:

Perpendicular insertion 1.0 – 1.5 cun, or prick the popliteal vein with the three-edged needle to cause bleeding.

Functions:

  • Clears Heat
  • Resolves Dampness
  • Relaxes the sinews
  • Removes obstructions from the channel
  • Benefits the lumbar region and knees
  • Cools Blood
  • Eliminates stasis of Blood
  • Clears Summer Heat
  • Activates the channel and alleviates pain
  • Benefits the Bladder

Wei zhong (Bl-40) is one of Ma Dan Yang’s ‘Twelve Heavenly Star Points’, long considered the pre-eminent list of the most important acupuncture points.

Wei Zhong (Bl 40) as the Lumbar Command point, is an excellent point for any low back condition, acute or chronic, muscle spasm. It is one of the main points for heat conditions such as summer heat, heatstroke and heat exhaustion. He-Sea points are where the Qi of the meridian collects and goes deep into the body. He-sea points are known to indicated treat rebellious Qi and diarrhoea. It is also known to help skin conditions, itching, oozing, inflammation, etc.. Good local point for leg a/or knee pain.

James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.

References:


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Chinese Nutritional Therapy

An old Chinese saying states “The best doctor treats the problem before the problem becomes the disease” (see The Three Doctors). Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a number of direct treatment protocols and disciplines to treat health disharmony. We use Tuina and massage, Acupuncture, Herbs and medications, and medical Qi Gong exercises. TCM has been practiced in Asia for over 5,000 years. To emphasize its health preventative importance, the ancient Chinese only visited doctors for preventative care. If they became ill, the doctors were not be paid.

One of the most important elements of these preventative treatments or consultations was nutrition advise. Nutritional knowledge in China has been accumulated since at least 6,000 years. Humans have existed on our planet for about 200,000 years and we are probably the only animals that rationalise everything about our lives. This is no different when it comes to food and what we eat and the most important “Why we eat”. This knowledge is changing in modern times because of the powerful influence of advertising. Modern research does not seem to be helping either because its research which is expensive is usually funded by private sources. It tends to break down each food into its constituent nutrients and explores the benefits of each nutrient without reference to the others or the whole food. For example, a food manufacturer can then state that vitamin C which is researched as healthy, is an ingredient of the product and therefore the product is healthy.

Chinese Nutritional Therapy is based on the accumulated knowledge of the nature, benefits and safety of individual whole foods and the effect they have on the principals of Yin and Yang balance and harmony. The deepest truth of life is the inner meaning of Yin and Yang, and like Yin and Yang, the nature of life also tends to be both harmonious and balanced. Even when we observe events that could be conceptually classified as negative or conflicting, are only stages in the accomplishment of further harmonisation. This is the reality expressed in the Tai Chi diagram.

If you would like to express your interest in our forthcoming course in Chinese Nutritional Therapy, please complete the form here.

Tonifying Your Qi with Food

Qi (pronounced “chee”) is defined as the vital energy of the body, it is responsible for all energetic aspects of life and  living activity perceptible and imperceptible. It functions to protect, warm, hold, transport and transform, metabolism, hold the organs and muscles in place, maintain fluids, maintain the energetic function of all organs, the whole organism. When there is poor nutrition, chronic illness or severe diseases, Qi of the body can become deficient and is also affected by our ancestral constitution or genetic makeup. It also tends to decline with age.

Everything in existence contains or is motivated by Qi, for example the earth beneath your feet, your computer, your flesh and blood, to the most immaterial aspects like light, heat, movement, nerve impulses, thought and emotion.

Life is a meeting of Qi. A healthy and happy human being is a dynamic and harmonious combination of all the aspects of Qi. It is in a continuous state of flux, transforming endlessly from one aspect of Qi into another type of Qi. You cannot destroy it because it was always there. You can only change its manifestation.

In order to talk about the relationships between the various aspects and manifestations of Qi within a given context, Chinese philosophy employs the concept of yin and yang.

The main symptoms that identify a deficiency of Qi in the body are shortness of breath, breathlessness, feeble breathing, weak voice, spontaneous sweating or sweating on slight exertion, loose stools or diarrhoea, tiredness, weakness, fatigue, lethargy, poor appetite, urinary incontinence, pale complexion, desire for hot drinks, cold skin, cold limbs, aversion to cold. Some of these symptoms may be part of other clinical pictures but in the main they are signs of Qi Deficiency and may benefit from foods that tonify Qi.

Logic dictates that we advise complex carbohydrates in vegetables and unrefined grains as a good source for energy (Qi). We also advise eating small meals frequently. Avoid cold foods or foods straight from the fridge. Raw foods will not help you tonify Qi even in hotter countries.

Foods to avoid include processed sugars, large heavy meals and rich foods.

Warm Qi Tonics
dates artichokes brown sugar malt syrup
butter lamb molasses eel
ham pearl rice artichoke beef
grapes reishi mushroom sunflower seeds chicken
chestnuts coconut milk green beans quinoa
sweet potato mustard greens shrimp oats
ginger cinnamon garlic onions
cherries dates barley malt rice syrup

 

Neutral Qi Tonics
yams carrots shiitake mushroom celery
potatoes string beans freshwater fish beets
turnips papaya winter squash okra
apricots raisins pearl rice barley
black beans kidney beans currants carob
vanilla coconut artichokes cheese
nutmeg oysters goose brown rice
peanuts almonds tapioca cashews
pecans honey maple syrup cornmeal
hazelnuts rye parsnip pumpkin
Cool Qi Tonics
watercress lettuce banana buckwheat
tofu summer squash ocean fishes apples
avocado corn millet yogurt
clams cottage cheese wheatberries crab

 

A great start to the day for someone wishing to tonify Qi might be

  • A bowl of rice porridge flavoured with some honey and dates

To demonstrate the comprehensive nature of Chinese Nutritional Therapy let’s take a closer look at the kitchen herbal food Garlic.

  • The nature of garlic is warm
  • Its flavour is pungent
  • The meridians or channels are lung, spleen and stomach
  • Other: protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins and mineral
  • Throughout Chinese medical history garlic has been called the “penicillin in the earth”. In earliest Egypt and India soldiers ate garlic to keep healthy and boost their courage in battle. In World War II the British government shipped tons of garlic to the infantry to cure the soldiers’ wounds. Its effects include: destroying parasites, detoxifying, removing indigestion, and strengthening the stomach. It is used to treat food stagnation, cold-pain of the stomach and abdomen, diarrhoea, dysentery, carbuncles, furuncles, swelling, whooping cough, snake-bites and insect-bites.
  • Because it has a warm nature, garlic is especially good to eat in the winter.
  • More on garlic here.

The Active Health Foundation Chinese Nutritional Therapy Course

This course is developed to include a detailed study of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the accumulated knowledge on the properties of foods and their practical application in nutritional modification for various disharmonies and conditions. The student will gain a thorough understanding of the principles of nutrition, the essentials of nutritional assessment and the functions of specific foods. The student will be able to apply Chinese nutrition and the use of Chinese herbs in food applications for specific Zang Fu (Internal Organ) disharmonies.

Topics covered:

  • History of Chinese Nutrition Therapy
  • The principals of traditional Chinese medicine
  • The Energetic characteristics of Food
  • Constitutional Types of People
  • Compare Chinese Nutrition with Western Nutrition
  • TCM View of Nutrition
  • Food Groups and Their Properties: Animal Products, Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Beans, Nuts and Seeds
  • General Plant Families
  • Eating with the Seasons Guidelines
  • Foods by the Five Elements: Wood (Liver), Fire (Heart), Earth (Stomach), Metal (Lung/Large Intestine), Water (Kidney),
  • Cooking with Chinese Herbs
  • Congee Recipes
  • Practice Cases

If you would like more information on this course when it becomes available, enter your details here.

Tai Bai – Sp-03

English translation: Greater White

International identity number: Sp-03, Spleen 3

Point Associations:

  • Shu-Stream
  • Yuan-Source
  • Earth point of the Spleen meridian

Location:

  • On the medial and proximal to the 1st. meta-tarso-phalangeal joint at the junction of the red and white skin.

Needle insertion:

  • Perpendicularly 0.3-0.5 inch. Moxibustion is applicable.

Functions:

  • Strengthens the Spleen
  • Resolves Damp and damp-heat
  • Strengthens the spine
  • Harmonises the Spleen and Stomach
  • Regulates Qi

Tai Bai (Sp-03) is an important when we want to regulate digestive metabolism especially those with excess pathologies. You can use moxibustion on this point to treat Spleen Yang deficiency.  You should also consider Tai Bai for abdominal distention, epigastric pain, constipation, dysentery, vomiting, diarrhea, borborygmus, sluggishness or heaviness in the body, muscle atrophy in the lower legs

James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.

References:


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Zhao Hai – K-06

English translation: Shining Sea

International identity number: K-06, Kd-06, KI-06, Kid-06, Kidney 6

Point Associations:

  • Master point of the Yin Qiao Mai (Yin Heel vessel), (couple with Lieque Lu-07)

Location:

In the depression of the lower border of the medial malleolus, or 1 cun below the medial malleolus.

Functions:

  • Nourishes Yin
  • Benefits the eyes
  • Calms the Mind (Shen)
  • Invigorates the Yin Qiao Mai (Heel Vessel)
  • Cools Blood,
  • Benefits the throat
  • Promotes the function of the uterus
  • Opens the chest
  • Nourishes the Kidneys and clears Empty Heat (Deficiency Heat)
  • Regulates the lower Jiao

Zhao Hai (K-06) is the primary point to nourish Kidney Yin, which nourishes total Yin of ther body and as such is included in nearly every prescription of points when the practitioner wants to nourish Yin. It is used to benefit the throat from any pathology and especially when there is dryness or Yin deficiency. It is combined with Lei Que (Lu-07) to reconnect Lungs with Kidney to treat the grasping function of the Kidneys when there is inability to “catch the breath”.  It is also used for constipation especially when due to Kidney Deficiency. YOU can also use it to treat night time fears and fright.

James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.

References:


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Shen Mai – Bl-62

English translation: Extending Vessel

International identity number: Bl-62, UB-62, Urinary Bladder 62

Point Associations:

  • Master point of the Yang Qiao Mai (Yang Heel vessel), (couple with Hou Xi SI-03)
  • Ghost (Sun Si-miao) point

Location:

In the depression directly below the external malleolus. In the depression 0.5 cun below the lower border of the external malleolus, directly below the tip.  In the depression inferior to the lateral malleolus.

Functions:

  • Removes obstructions from the channel, (alleviates pain)
  • Benefits the head and eyes,
  • Relaxes sinews,
  • Opens the Yang Qiao Mai,
  • Clears the Mind (Shen),
  • Dispels interior Wind, (treats epilepsy)
  • benefits the eyes and head,
  • Expels exterior Wind

Shen Mai (Bl-62) is an excellent point for neck and back issues when coupled with Hou Xi SI-03. It is a primary point to treat Epilepsy or seizures and Thunder headaches. It can also be used to treat Meniere’s disease, psychosis and mania, insomnia, extroversion of foot, Headache, neck rigidity, pain of the lumbar and leg, hemiplegia, arthritis, tinnitus, deafness,

James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.

References:


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Zhi Gou – SJ-06


English translation: Branching Ditch

International identity number: SJ-06, TH-06, TW-06, San Jiao 06

Point Associations:

  • Jing-river Point
  • Fire Point

Location:

3 cun above Yang Chi SJ-04 between the radius and ulna, on the radial side of muscle extensor digitorum

Functions:

  • Regulates Qi,
  • Removes obstructions from the channel,
  • Removes obstructions from the Large Intestine (Moves the stool),
  • Clears Heat,
  • Expels Wind,
  • Clears heat in the San Jiao,
  • Benefits the chest and lateral costal region,
  • Benefits the voice

Zhi Gou is clinically stimulated to move Qi and clear heat for anywhere in the body or San Jiao. It moves the stool when there is constipation due to stagnation and heat in the body. It can be combined with Yang Ling Quan GB-34 to calm “sudden turmoil disorder” (vomiting & diarrhoea) and disharmony in the chest & hypochondrium with rib pain. Stimulate this acupoint when there is Febrile diseases in the Upper Jiao with no sweating, eye redness & pain, ear pain, inflammation.

James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.

References:


posters-for-web

The Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger

My students would have heard me advocating the benefits of “Ginger Soup” during a cold or flu, especially when it’s at that stage of the itchy throat before it have had time to penetrate deeper into the body. It’s not my recipe but I’m passing on here as so many people have benefited from it.

Ginger is a medical herb used for centuries as a spice and also for its therapeutic qualities. The underground stem, the rhizome, can be used fresh, powdered, dried, or as an oil or juice. Ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family, as are cardamom, turmeric and galangal.
What are the therapeutic benefits of ginger?
Below are examples of some scientific studies on ginger and its current or potential uses in medical treatment.

Inflammation of the colon or large intestine

Ginger Root Supplement administered to volunteer participants reduced inflammation in the colon within a month. This was the findings of a study carried out at the University of Michigan Medical School. Experts say that inflammation of the colon is a precursor to colon cancer.

Muscle pain caused by exercise

Ginger has excellent anti-inflammatory properties and can bring relief to those sore muscles post exercise. Float some ginger essential oil into your bath to help aching muscles and joints. A study by Patrick O’Connor, a professor at University of Georgia published in The Journal of Pain that ginger benefited muscle pain when those muscles were subjected to strenuous exercise.

Nausea caused by chemotherapy

Dr Julie Ryan, lead researcher at the University of Rochester Medical Center presented a study findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Orlando, Florida, in 2009 that ginger supplements administered alongside anti-vomiting medications can reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea symptoms by 40%. Dr. Ryan said “By taking the ginger prior to chemotherapy treatment, the National Cancer Institute-funded study suggests its earlier absorption into the body may have anti-inflammatory properties.”

Ovarian cancer

Researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ovarian cancer cells, when exposed to a solution of ginger powder resulted in their death in every single test as reported at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Washington D.C., 2006.

Asthma

Researchers at Columbia University found that certain components of ginger can alleviate symptoms of asthma as reported at the American Thoracic Society International Conference 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Liver damage

Liver damage is associated with certain popular painkillers such as Acetaminophen or “Tylenol” or “paracetamol”. Researchers from the National Research Centre in Egypt reported “Our results demonstrated that ginger can prevent hepatic injuries, alleviating oxidative stress in a manner comparable to that of vitamin E. Combination therapy of ginger and acetaminophen is recommended especially in cases with hepatic (liver) disorders or when high doses of acetaminophen are required.”

High blood pressure

Researchers from Chiang Mai University in Thailand found that cassumunar ginger extract was more effective than prazosin hydrochloride in reducing blood pressure in hypertensive laboratory rats.

Dysmenorrhoea (painful menstruation)

researchers from the Islamic Azad University in Iran found that Ginger can help reduce the symptoms of pain in primary dysmenorrhoea (period pains). The researchers found that the 82.85% of the women taking the ginger capsules reported improvements in pain symptoms compared to 47.05% of those on placebo.

Migraines

Researchers from VALI-e-ASR Hospital in Iran found that ginger powder is as effective in treating common migraine symptoms as many pain killers that are common for treating migraine.

Appetiser

Poor appetite or Spleen Qi Deficiency (TCM). Eating fresh ginger about one hour before lunch has been shown to improve a poor appetite and help us get those essential nutrients for everyday life. Its also good at helping to reduce flatulence!

Optimum Absorption of Essential Nutrients

Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.

Post Surgery Nausea

Eating a piece of raw ginger dipped in honey helps to overcome nausea after energy saping surgery.

Nose and throat congestion

Drink some ginger tea to release congestion from these areas and the ginger will also keep you warm during times when there’s a nip in the air. Ginger clears the ‘micro-circulatory channels’ of the body, including the sinuses that tend to flare up at certain times.

Aphrodisiac

In Ayurvedic texts ginger is considered the perfect herb when you want to induce a little zest in the bedroom. Add some ginger root to a bowl of soup to spice up your lovelife.

Side Effects are rare but they need to be mentioned here.

  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach upset
  • Mouth irritation

James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.

Poster Eight Extraordinary Vessels


 

Eight Extraordinary Vessels

By Jamu shur in Healthy Posters

2 pages, published 8/24/2013

The Eight Extraordinary Vessels are considered to be more ancient than the conventional meridian system and yet so simple and powerful when energised, stimulated or balanced for their related conditions. A must for every practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine.