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Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which cups are placed on the skin to create suction. The cups can be made of a variety of materials, including:
Supporters of cupping therapy believe the suction of the cups mobilizes blood flow to promote the healing of a broad range of medical ailments.
Cupping therapy dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians were using cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.
In general, Western medical societies are skeptical of the health claims made by cupping therapy supporters. "Available scientific evidence does not support cupping as a cure for cancer or any other disease," states the American Cancer Society. "Reports of successful treatment with cupping are mainly anecdotal rather than from research studies."
But a 2012 study published in the journal PLoS ONE suggests that cupping therapy may have more than a placebo effect. Australian and Chinese researchers reviewed 135 studies on cupping therapy published between 1992 and 2010. They concluded that cupping therapy may be effective when combined with other treatments like acupuncture or medications in treating various diseases and conditions, such as:
But the researchers acknowledge that many of the studies in their review may have contained some bias. They say better studies are needed to draw a definite conclusion.
Leaving hostility and depression unchecked
Are you feeling stressed, hostile, or depressed? It can take a toll on your heart.
While everyone feels this way some of the time, how you handle these emotions can affect your heart health. “Those likely to internalize stress are in greater danger; research has shown a benefit to laughter and social support,” Dr. Reynolds says.
“And it’s helpful to be able to go to someone and talk about your problems.”
Sitting for hours on end increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, even if you exercise regularly.
"Intermittent exercise doesn't compensate for the time you sit," says Harmony R. Reynolds, MD, associate director of the Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at NYU Langone Medical Center, in New York City.
Why? The lack of movement may affect blood levels of fats and sugars.
Dr. Reynolds advises walking around periodically and, if you're at work, standing up to talk on the phone.
How to Treat Headaches with Traditional Chinese Medicine
Treating Headaches Caused by External Influences with Traditional Chinese Medicine
When a headache is caused by an external pernicious influence, it can occur suddenly, often along with other symptoms of wind. When it is due to wind cold, the pain is typically in the back or the top of the head. Other symptoms could be an aversion to cold, tight and sore shoulders and neck, and nasal congestion. The classic formula for this pattern is Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao Wan taken along with green tea.
When wind heat is the culprit, the headache can be quite severe. Other symptoms may be fever, sore throat, thirst, and a floating, rapid pulse. In this case, the appropriate formula is Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian or Gan Mao Ling.
When the external pathogen is dampness, the pain is dull and the head feels heavy -- as if it is wrapped in a wet blanket. There can also be fever or chills, nasal congestion, foggy thinking, and fatigue. An effective patent remedy for this type of headache is Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Wan, which is also appropriate for headaches due to internal dampness.
In all the above types of acute, externally contracted headaches, the pain may be due, in part, to pressure in the sinuses. If any nasal or sinus congestion accompanies the headache, it is a good idea to take Bi Yan Pian also.
Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup
Drinking Chinese herbal soups in rainy December gives a feeling of warmth and well-being. This soup is nourishing and especially great when you are feeling fatigue; it boosts your general well being. This is the conventional way of stewing/simmering the soup over slow fire on the stove top, for the steaming method of making chicken herbal soup
I started out with buying prepacked Chinese herbal mixes and I measured the quantities in the package so that I know the right amount to use and won’t overdose. After some time, I learnt to buy my own herbs individually as it is more economical than buying the premixes. If you are not cooking this too often and for convenience, you can use any brand of prepacked Chinese herbs for stewing chicken soup, they will do the job nicely too.
– 1/2 chicken, skin removed and cut to small pieces
- Běi Qí (北芪) 6g*
– Dǎng shēn (当参) 15g*
– Huái Shān (淮山) 11g*
- Wolfberries (枸杞子) 23g
- Yù Zhú (玉竹) 23g
– 1.5 litres water
– salt, to taste
* approx. 3 pieces based on the sizes seen in above picture
1. Blanch chicken in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water & set aside.
2. Place blanched chicken and the rest of the ingredients in water. After coming to a boil, simmer on low heat for at 45 minutes, and longer if you can.
3. Season to taste with salt. Serve with steamed white rice.
The Many Benefits of Chinese Cupping
Traditional Chinese medicine brings to mind acupuncture and the use of natural herbs as healing remedies. Cupping is a lesser-known treatment that is also part of Oriental medicine, one that can provide an especially pleasant experience. One of the earliest documentations of cupping can be found in the work titled A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies, which was written by a Taoist herbalist by the name of Ge Hong and which dates all the way back to 300 AD.
Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass cups or bamboo jars as suction devices that are placed on the skin. There are several ways that a practitioner can create the suction in the cups. One method involves swabbing rubbing alcohol onto the bottom of the cup, then lighting it and putting the cup immediately against the skin. Suction can also be created by placing an inverted cup over a small flame, or by using an alcohol-soaked cotton pad over an insulating material (like leather) to protect the skin, then lighting the pad and placing an empty cup over the flame to extinguish it. Flames are never used near the skin and are not lit throughout the process of cupping, but rather are a means to create the heat that causes the suction within the small cups.
Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin (often referred to as "gliding cupping). The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage - rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes. This is similar to the practice of Tui Na, a traditional Chinese medicine massage technique that targets acupuncture points as well as painful body parts, and is well known to provide relief through pressure.
Generally, cupping is combined with acupuncture in one treatment, but it can also be used alone. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite. For weight loss and cellulite treatments, oil is first applied to the skin, and then the cups are moved up and down the surrounding area.
Like acupuncture, cupping follows the lines of the meridians. There are five meridian lines on the back, and these are where the cups are usually placed. Using these points, cupping can help to align and relax qi, as well as target more specific maladies. By targeting the meridian channels, cupping strives to ‘open' these channels - the paths through which life energy flows freely throughout the body, through all tissues and organs, thus providing a smoother and more free-flowing qi (life force). Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin. Toxins can be released, blockages can be cleared, and veins and arteries can be refreshed within these four inches of affected materials. Even hands, wrists, legs, and ankles can be ‘cupped,' thus applying the healing to specific organs that correlate with these points.
This treatment is also valuable for the lungs, and can clear congestion from a common cold or help to control a person's asthma. In fact, respiratory conditions are one of the most common maladies that cupping is used to relieve. Three thousand years ago, in the earliest Chinese documentation of cupping, it was recommended for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.
How to Treat a Cough with Traditional Chinese Medicine
Treating a Hot Phlegm Cough with Traditional Chinese Medicine
In this syndrome, the accumulated phlegm becomes thick and sticky due to heat. The cough can have a loud, barking sound. The phlegm is quite difficult to expectorate and the heat gives it a darker color, ranging from yellow to brown or dark green. This type of cough requires aggressive treatment as the green indicates that the trapped mucus has become infected. Mucus in the lungs is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, so it is important to clear the mucus as quickly as possible with herbs that moisten the lungs to dislodge the mucus and stimulate expectoration.
A highly effective formula for this condition is Pinellia Expectorant Pills. This patent medicine is available under several names, including Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan or Pinellia Root Teapills, but they are all the same formula. To maximize the effect, it is best to take it along with Gan Mao Ling or Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian. As in all syndromes involving phlegm, diet is extremely important. It is best to avoid cold foods, dairy products, and sweets, as these all create mucus. Therapeutic foods include hot soups, cooked vegetables and whole grains, and small amounts of raw juices at room temperature to assist in moistening the lungs in order to promote expectoration.
Treating a Damp or Cold Phlegm Cough with Traditional Chinese Medicine
This pattern is characterized by frequent coughing with expectoration of copious amounts of clear or sticky white phlegm that is typically more plentiful in the morning or after meals. There can also be nausea, a sensation of fullness in the chest or abdomen, poor appetite, fatigue, and a sensation of heaviness. The principle treatment in this syndrome is to clear the phlegm from the lungs and strengthen the digestion, since an underlying deficiency in spleen qi creates an inclination toward excessive mucus production.
The classic formula for this condition is Er Chen Tang, or "Two Old Things Decoction," with the addition of herbs to repel the pathogen and warm the lungs. The patent version of Er Chen Tang is Er Chen Wan. If there are accompanying wind-cold symptoms of headache, stiff neck, and nasal congestion, the patent medicine Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao Wan can also be taken.
Dietary therapy is similar to that for hot phlegm cough, except the avoidance of cold foods is especially important. A person with this condition should consume lots of hot liquids, especially ginger tea, get plenty of rest, and stay warm. Hot soup made mostly from vegetables is a tasty treatment as well.
Treating a Wind Dryness Cough with Traditional Chinese Medicine
This type of cough is typically contracted after exposure to a dry environment. Different from a chronic dry cough caused by a deficiency of lung yin (often from smoking), in this case the dryness of the air allows the dryness external pernicious influence to attack the lungs. The symptoms are a dry cough and a sore throat with a ticklish sensation, dry lips and mouth, and, possibly, a headache.
The treatment principle is to repel the dryness pernicious influence, moisten the lungs, and stop the cough. A classic formula for this condition is Sang Xing Tang (pronounced sahng shing tahng), translated as "Mulberry Leaf and Apricot Seed Decoction." This formula doesn't come in a patent medicine, but an effective replacement is Chuan Bei Pi Pa Gao.
The diet should consist of soups and plenty of liquids. When the condition is gone, it would be wise to begin taking American ginseng (xi yang shen) on a daily basis for a few weeks. This will strengthen the qi and yin of the lungs and make a future attack less likely.
Treatment Planning for a Cough
Most acute coughs respond to the above treatments within a week, unless the person fails to improve their diet and get some rest. In that case, the cough can linger for weeks, often leading to a series of colds due to weakened immunity. Acupuncture therapy is very helpful in treating coughs due to any cause. Needling a point on the Conception Vessel meridian (an extra meridian) just above the sternum can quickly calm a cough and assist breathing. Moxa therapy is used typically in the cold, damp type of cough, since there is a need for warmth in that pattern.
Cough Relief: How to Lose a Bad Cough
Ah, the joys of winter. Eggnog, ice skating ... (cough cough cough).
Constant cough can stop you in your tracks.
“Even a little cough can be debilitating,” says Mark Yoder, MD, assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Cold and flu season brings on hacking coughs that can leave your chest aching. But colds and flu aren’t the only problems that cause coughing. Allergies, asthma, acid reflux, dry air, and smoking are common causes of coughs. Even medications such as certain drugs for high blood pressure and allergies can cause chronic cough.
Most of the time, people can manage their coughs at home by taking over-the-counter medicine and cough lozenges, removing potential allergens, or even just standing in a steamy shower, says Giselle Mosnaim, an allergist and immunologist also at Rush.
. Stay Hydrated
An upper respiratory tract infection like a cold or flu causes postnasal drip. Extra secretions trickle down the back of your throat, irritating it and sometimes causing a cough, Mosnaim says.
Drinking fluids helps to thin out the mucus in postnasal drip, says Kenneth DeVault, MD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.
Drinking liquids also helps to keep mucous membranes moist. This is particularly helpful in winter, when houses tend to be dry, another cause of cough, he says.
2. Try Lozenges and Hot Drinks
Try a menthol cough drop, Yoder suggests. “It numbs the back of the throat, and that will tend to decrease the cough reflex.”
Drinking warm tea with honey also can soothe the throat. There is some clinical evidence to support this strategy, Yoder says.
3. Take Steamy Showers, and Use a Humidifier
A hot shower can help a cough by loosening secretions in the nose. Mosnaim says this steamy strategy can help ease coughs not only from colds, but also from allergies and asthma.
Humidifiers may also help. In a dry home, nasal secretions (snot) can become dried out and uncomfortable, Mosnaim explains. Putting moisture back in the air can help your cough. But be careful not to overdo it.
“The downside is, if you don’t clean it, (humidifiers) become reservoirs for pumping out fungus and mold into the air, and bacteria,” says Robert Naclerio, MD, chief of otolaryngology at the University of Chicago.
4. Remove Irritants From the Air
Perfumes and scented bathroom sprays may seem benign. But for some people they can cause chronic sinus irritation, producing extra mucus that leads to chronic cough, says Alan Weiss, MD, a general internist at the Cleveland Clinic. Take control by avoiding such scented products.
The worst irritant in the air is, of course, smoke. Almost all smokers eventually develop “smoker’s cough." Everyone around the smoker may suffer from some airway irritation. The best solution? Smokers need to stop smoking. (Yoder warns that severe chronic cough can be a sign of emphysema or lung cancer in smokers, so see a doctor if you’re a smoker with chronic cough.)
5. Take Medications to Treat Coughs
When steamy showers, hot teas, and cough drops don’t help, you can turn to over-the-counter medicines to ease your cough.
Decongestants: Decongestants relieve nasal congestion by shrinking swollen nasal tissue and reducing mucus production. They dry up mucus in the lungs and open up the airway passages, Weiss says.
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Providing natural healing and reduce symptoms for various cause of muscular pain and internal disease, also regain body balance using Chinese Medicine such as acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, and Tuina. NZ registered acupuncturist. ACC provider.