Acupuncturists need to be able to see the body through “quantum glasses” in order to understand this ancient system of treatment. (Credit: Cat Rooney/The Epoch Times)
Cold and flu season is upon us. Traditional Chinese Medicine has effective time-tested techniques which boost immunity and protect us from colds or the flu. Points can be needled and herbal formulas can be given to balance the body’s energy, strengthen the body and even speed recovery if one does come down with symptoms.
In Chinese medicine colds and flu are considered to be an external pathogen invading the body. When our body`s energy, or qi, is strong we are able to fight off these pathogens. If our qi is weak we come down with symptoms of cold and flu: headache, chills, fever, body aches, cough, and sore throat.
To keep our qi strong and prevent colds and flu it is important to:
Eat a healthy diet full of fresh raw fruits and vegetables.
Cut out white and brown sugar, and corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup – all of which lower our immunity.
Wash hands frequently with regular soap and water.
Get outside in fresh air exposing your face to sunshine. It may be wise to supplement with vitamin D3 this time of year.
Receive acupuncture treatments which strengthen the qi and balance energy.
Choose herbal medicine, supplements and nourishing food to keep immunity strong.
It is important to make sure all meridians are balanced to keep the energy flowing smoothly and our immunity strong. Immunity relates especially to the earth and metal elements which show up in the pulse as the spleen and lung meridians.
An acupuncturist will often use points such as Stomach 36 to keep the energy strong and Spleen 6 to make sure food is digested properly and nutrients are absorbed and turned into vital energy.
Large Intestine 11 is a powerful immune point. Large Intestine 4 and Triple Warmer 5 are often used to help the body push pathogens out. Lung 7 combined with Large Intestine 4 strengthens the body`s defense against pathogens.
Often the earth and metal points on the back (Bladder 13 and Bladder 20) are needled to harmonize the body`s energy and strengthen immunity.
In terms of herbal medicine:
Astragalus is an excellent immune tonic.
Medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi and Maitake can boost the immune system especially if compromised.
Four Gentlemen Formula is a classic Chinese herb formula to keep the qi strong.
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang is a combination of ginseng, astragalus, and other herbs used to strengthen qi.
If someone comes down with symptoms of the flu the treatment switches to formulas which expel the pathogen:
Yin Qiao contains cooling detoxifying herbs such as forsythia and honeysuckle. It is used with symptoms of sore throat, headache, and a yellow tongue coat.
Gan Mao Ling is used when in the midst of a bad cold or flu especially with head and body aches.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been around for thousands of years successfully treating many disorders including colds and flu.
Did you know more than 5 million men in the U.S. alone experience depression each year?
Clinical depression can cause sadness and a loss of interest in once pleasurable activities. While the symptoms used to diagnose depression are the same regardless of gender, often the chief complaint can be different between men and women.
People who are depressed undergo a series of physical and emotional changes. They can experience fatigue, as well as psychomotor retardation, or a slowing down of physical movements, speech, and thought processes.
Sleeping too much or too little Sleep problems such as insomnia, waking up very early in the morning, or excessive sleeping are common depression symptoms.
Instead of seeming down, men who are depressed often show signs of irritability. Often talk about an emotional component, as well as negative thoughts are a common aspect of depression.
Difficulty concentrating Psychomotor retardation can slow down a man’s ability to process information, thereby impairing concentration on work or other tasks.
Anger or hostility Some men manifest depression by being hostile, angry, or aggressive. A man who realizes something is wrong may need to compensate by demonstrating that he is still strong and capable. Stress
Men might be more likely to report symptoms of depression as stress. It’s not that they have more stress, it’s that it’s more socially acceptable to report it.
There is a strong link between anxiety disorders and depression. Men may be no more likely than women to experience anxiety, in fact, anxiety disorders are about twice as prevalent in women but it’s often easier for men to talk about feeling anxious rather than sad.
Substance abuse Substance abuse frequently accompanies depression. Research has shown that alcoholics are almost twice as likely to suffer from major depression as people without a drinking problem.
Sexual dysfunction Depression is a common reason for loss of desire and erectile dysfunction, and its one symptom that men are inclined not to report. Performance problems can come from depression and make depression worse.
Indecision Some people naturally have a hard time making decisions, so an inability to make choices is usually worrisome only if it’s a new behavior
Suicidal thoughts Women are more likely to attempt suicide, but men are more than four times as likely to die if they do attempt suicide. One reason is that men tend to choose more lethal methods.