Alternative Chinese Medicine – Herbal and Natural Remedies

Chinese medicine is an alternative when doctor visits and procedures have not helped. Chinese medicine dates back to the third century, so there must be something about it that people like. This form of medicine is based on a theory that illness is a result of improper flow of life force, also known as “Qi,” through the body.

This life force provides a sense of balance between the yin and yang, widely known as being opposite to one another. This balance means that inside the body there is heat and cold, external and internal and deficiency and excess. The two extremes are brought together to create equilibrium.

Acupuncture is popular mostly in the Western world, and a license or degree is not required to practice this method of alternative Chinese medicine. There are, however, some specialists or therapists with licenses who do practice it. This procedure stimulates points on the body, usually with the use of needles that are very fine, hitting underlying tissues beneath the skin. At times, more stimulation occurs when the needle is warmed, or with the use of a low-voltage electrical current. Acupuncture is said to release chemical messengers that are in the brain.

Herbs also are a popular use of alternative Chinese medicine. The herbal mixtures can contain portions of minerals and animals. Herbal medicine usually uses the herb in its whole form, but is also available as extracts, tinctures, infusions, decoctions, pills and powders. It is smart to consult with a doctor before starting any alternative program.

By: JP Richardson

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Chinese Medicine as a Hair Loss Treatment

Balancing the Yin and Yang to Treat Hair Loss

Ancient Chinese medicine has an ancient protocol for hair loss issues that begins with optimizing the balance of yin and yang in your body.

When you first start to experience hair loss that takes you by surprise, you may be dismayed to hear about some of the choices of hair loss treatmentsavailable: F D A approved medications to take as long as you want to keep hair loss at bay, surgical methods of replacing hair lost, and non-surgical hair systems. But for those of you who are accustomed to trying and using different alternative therapies to treat your health issues, traditional Chinese medicine is worth a try.

Is Chinese medicine for me?

* I want to try non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical, natural remedies

* I believe in the ancient wisdom of eastern Chinese medicine

* I believe in a whole-body approach to my health

* I am familiar with taking herbs or being treated with acupuncture

* I rely on alternative therapies for my health issues

How does Chinese medicine work?

Dr. Bong Kim, founder of Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica, C.A., explains, “The yin and yang energies in your body must be balanced otherwise negative health effects can occur. If yang energy is too much, one loses hair — a deficiency in the kidneys can also cause hair loss and both cause ‘heat’ in the body to rise until hair falls out and does not grow back. Acupuncture helps to get rid of the heat and amplify yin energy in certain kidney meridians. And there is an ancient Chinese herbal formula called Seven Treasures for Beautiful Hair which does the same thing inside the body, but we can add herbs to it specifically for each person’s situation.” Chinese medicine practitioners believe that the condition of your hair follicles is directly related to your blood toxicity, so organs responsible for cleansing the blood, like kidneys, will be checked for deficiencies.

What can I expect from Chinese medicine?

A consultation with a Traditional Chinese medicine doctor will likely be interesting to uncover what is causing ‘excess heat,’ or yang energy, to build up in your body. Dr. Kim says that actually, excesses of anything cause too much heat, especially overeating. “I have found that hair loss usually corresponds with overeating, so we will work on reducing stomach function to help with hair loss, and we will work to restore balance to your body.” You can take your herbal formula prescription by pill or by tea as prescribed by your practitioner and each formula will be specifically customized for your own personal yin and yang imbalance as well as any deficiencies uncovered in the consultation because, as Dr. Kim says, “heat only causes more heat.” Anyone with overeating problems will also be counseled on a new, slower, calmer way to eat to further reduce heat to increase the yin energy. Excess amounts of animal fats and proteins along with excess sweets especially can create the heat that rises to the top of the head causing hair to fall out so they will be exchanged for fresh fruit and vegetables which keep the energy inside allowing follicles to hold on to hair roots.

Acupuncturist Robert Luna of Blue Deer Healing in Los Angeles and “Acupuncturist to the Stars” warns that Westerners typically lack the patience required to see results of natural healing. “Chinese medicine differs from Western medicine in that we treat the cause of ailments, not just the symptoms.” Luna, himself a graduate of Emperor’s College, explains that Chinese medicine “asks a lot of the patients” but ultimately delivers better, longer-lasting results. “Even if you promise someone that their hair will grow back if they meticulously take their herbs, change their diet and come in for acupuncture treatments, most would rather take hardcore chemicals like Propecia. But that’s the thing about Chinese medicine,” he says. “The ‘doing’ and the commitment to your regimen is all part of the medicine.”

Complications Chinese medicine as a hair loss treatment

Inform your practitioner if you are allergic to any specific herbs. If you respond to alternative therapies and follow your practitioner’s full prescription for improving your yin/yang energy balance, you should see some noticeable results within 4-6 months along with a noticeable improvement in overall health!

The bottom line on Chinese medicine as a hair loss treatment

This type of treatment works best in those who have the time and patience to follow the practitioner’s plan exactly, to provide a whole body approach to their hair loss.

Find a Chinese medicine practitioner

Take your time to interview and consult with several practitioners and ask about their beliefs and experiences solving hair loss issues. Ask about their training and education. Ask for testimonials from other hair loss patients.

By: Naomi Mannino

About the Author:

Naomi Mannino is a freelance writer who writes about health, beauty, and fashion. She is a contributing writer for HairLossDotCom and writes about hair loss treatments and hair loss conditions such as traction alopecia

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What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a system of diagnosis and health care that has evolved over the last 3000 years. The Chinese approach to understanding the human body is unique. It is based on the holistic concept of the universe outlined in the spiritual insights of Daoism, and it has produced a highly sophisticated set of practices designed to cure illness and to maintain health and well being.

These practices include acupuncture, herbal remedies, diet, Tui na massage, meditation and both static and moving exercises call Qi Gong and Tai Chi. Although all these practices appear different in approach, they all share the same underlying sets of assumptions about the nature of the human body and its place in the universe.

The world view that underpins the principles and practices of Chinese medicine is based on the Daoist understanding of a universe where everything is interdependent and mutually interactive. Nothing is excluded; nothing is analyzed or interpreted without reference to the whole. To understand what Chinese medicine is all about, it is important first to explore this idea of holism which is best explained by the concept of Yin and Yang.

The concept of Yin-Yang is fundamental to Traditional Chinese Medicine. The idea of yin and yang developed from observing the physical world. It was observed that nature appears to group into pairs of mutually dependant opposites, each giving meaning to the other. For example, night has no meaning without the concept of Day, the concept of up doesn’t mean much without the idea of down. The idea of yin and yang is essentially a descriptor of the dynamic interactions that underpin all aspects of the universe. Yin and yang shouldn’t be thought of as things but as a key to a way of thinking about the world.

Along with the concept of yin and yang, there are other fundamental ideas or energies that define TCM. The theory of the Five Elements also comes from observation of the various groups of dynamic processes, functions and characteristics observed in the natural world.

The energies of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water relate to both the natural world and the human body. Further to Yin/Yang and the Five Elements there are the basic substances that make up the universe and the human body. In Traditional Chinese Medicine terms these are called the Qi (chee), Jing essence, the Shen or mind/spirit, the blood and body fluids.

Meridians, or energy pathways of the body, have been mapped out and acupoints determined along them. These points and meridians are stimulated by acupuncture, the insertion of fine needles into the skin, or acupressure (massaging and pressing on these acupoints). Traditional Chinese Medicine also uses herbal medicine, cupping and Gua Sha or scraping, auricular therapy, Tui na massage and physical exercises like Tai Chi and Qi gong.

By: Jennifer Gawne

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To learn more, visit the Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences online. ACOS is a Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture School offering 3, 4 and 5 year fully-accredited diploma programs.

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Treating colds and the flu with Classical Chinese Medicine

Is there any cure for colds or the flu, the answer is “ Yes” if you are asking this question from an authentic Chinese Medicine practitioner. Thousands of years ago, Chinese medicine already knew how to effectively treat colds and the flu. I would tend to believe that most western medicine doctor would tell you “ No” and say there is no cure for colds and the flu. The only thing that you can do is to rest and drink more fluids, enduring all uncomfortable symptoms, which should be getting better when your immune system wins the battle. Some people may take some over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen to reduce the uncomfortable symptoms such as headache, body aching and sore throat. Usually it may take about a week to recover from a cold, and a little longer for the flu if you do not receive any treatment, but with an accurate diagnosis and treatment from a well trained authentic Chinese medicine practitioner, most uncomfortable symptoms including headache, fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, fatigue, etc. , should be already better just with one or two cups of herbal tea , You should be recovered  within 1-2 days.

What happens if I do not get treatments for colds and the flu?

Due to uncomfortable symptoms, you may not able to do anything other than getting some rest. Children, the elderly, and people with chronic disease or weak immune systems may quite easily get some other complications such as sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infection, asthma attack or even pneumonia. A residual pathogenic substance such as wind cold energy, viruses, etc, could become the source of any future health problems.

Prevention for colds and the flu with Acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Gui Zhi Tang is the most important formula in the classical medical text “ Shang Han Lun”, which translated in English means ‘On Cold Damage’ or ‘Treatise on Cold Injury’. This formula can be taken regularly to harmonize your Yin and Yang, and to strengthen your immune system. During cold and flu season, getting acupuncture once a week to strengthen the body immune system, it is also a very good way to prevent  colds and the flu.

How does Chinese medicine treat colds and flu?

If you are just getting a cold with minor symptoms, sometimes with just acupuncture , you can recover very quickly. But if you are getting the flu with severe symptoms, the herbal medicine is needed to help you to relieve all uncomfortable symptoms within 1-2 days.

An authentic Chinese medicine does not prescribe the formulas for colds and the flu according to what kind of viruses you get. The formulas are chosen by what kind of symptoms you have. The treatment principle is to expel pathogens such as viruses or wind cold energy through sweating, urination, and strengthening your immune system.

Here are six most common used classical formulas to treat colds and flu

Gui Zhi Tang

Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi Cassiae)…10 g

Shao Yao (Radix Paeoniae)…10 g

Sheng Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Officinalis Recens)…2 slices

Da Zao (Fructus Zizyphi Jujubae)…10 dates

Zhi Gan Cao (Honey fried Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis)…10g

Cook these raw herbs using 6 cups of water over a good sized flame. Cook down to 2 cups of water. An adult drinks one cup of herbal tea every 3 hour with an empty stomach. For kids, just give them a half a cup each time. You will sweat a little bit after taking herbal tea. Eating some hot steamed rice soup will be helpful to increase the effectiveness of this herbal tea.

When to use this formula:

Main symptoms are sweating, aversion to wind, muscle aches, with a little bit fever and loss of appetite. Usually, after taking the herbal tea, all uncomfortable symptoms should be gone and your appetite will return the following day. This means that you already have recovered from a cold or the flu.

Ma Huang Tang

Ma Huang (Herba Ephedrae)…5g

Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi Cassiae)…10g

Xing Ren (Semen Pruni Armeniacae)…5g

Zhi Gan Cao (Honey fried Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis)…10g

Cook these raw herbs using 3 cups of water under a good sized flame. Cook down to 1 cups of water. Drink this cup of herbal tea with empty stomach. If you have any record of heart disease, you cannot take this formula.

When to use this formula:

Main symptoms are feeling the chills, fever, muscle and joint aches, without any sweating.

Ge Gen Tang

Ge Gen (Radix Puerariae or Kudzu)…..15g

Ma Huang (Hb.Ephedrae)……5g

Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi Cassiae)…10 g

Shao Yao (Radix Paeoniae)…10 g

Sheng Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Officinalis Recens)…2 slices

Da Zao (Fructus Zizyphi Jujubae)…10 dates

Zhi Gan Cao (Honey fried Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis)…10g

Cook these raw herbs using 6 cups of water under a good sized flame. Cook down to 2 cups of water. An adult drinks one cup of herbal tea every 3 hour with an empty stomach. For kids, just give them a half a cup each time. You will sweat a little bit after taking the herbal tea.

When to use this formula:

Main symptoms are stiff neck and upperback, headache, aversion to wind, muscle aches, sore throat, thirsty, etc. Usually kids can easily get this kind of cold or the flu.

Da Qing Long Tang

Ma Huang (Herba Ephedrae)…10g

Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi Cassiae)…15g

Sheng Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Officinalis Recens)…2 slices

Shi Gao ( Gypsum) …..20g

Xing Ren (Semen Pruni Armeniacae)…10g

Zhi Gan Cao (Honey fried Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis)…10g

Da Zao (Fructus Zizyphi Jujubae)…10 dates

Cook these raw herbs using 6 cups of water with a good sized flame. Cook down to 2 cups of water. An adult drinks one cup of herbal tea every 3 hour with an empty stomach. For kids, just give them a half a cup each time. You will sweat a little bit after taking the herbal tea.

When to use this formula:

Main symptoms are fever, coughing with thicker yellow phlegm, body aches, thirsty, loss of appetite, no sweating, feeling a chill, but feels very hot inside of body. In ancient time, this formula is the most popular one to treat epidemic diseases

Xiao Qing Long Tang

Ma Huang (Herba Ephedrae)…10g

Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi Cassiae)…15g

Gan Jiang (dried Rhizoma Zingiberis Officinalis)…5g

Xi Xin (Herba cum Radice Asari)…5g

Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis)…10g Bai Shao (Radix Paeoniae Laciflorae)…10g

Ban Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae Ternatae)…10g

Zhi Gan Cao (honey fried Radix Glycyrrhizae Uralensis)…10 g

Cook these raw herbs using 6 cups of water under a good sized flame. Cook down to 2 cups of water. An adult drinks one cup of herbal tea every 3 hour with empty stomach. For kids, just give them a half a cup each time. You will sweat a little bit after taking the herbal tea.

When to use this formula:

Main symptoms are fever, coughing with watery white phlegm, body aches, itchy throat, no thirsty, no sweating, feeling very chills inside of body.

Xiao Chai Hu Tang

Chai Hu (Radix bupleuri)…15g

Huang Qin (Radix scutellariae)…15g

Ban Xia (Rhizome pinelliae ternatae)…15g

Sheng Jiang (Rhizome zingiberis officinalis recens)…2 slices

Dang shen (Radix Codonopsis )…15g

Zhi Gan Cao (Honey fried radix glycyrrhizae uralens
is)…10g

Da Zao (Fructus Zizyphi Jujubae)…10 dates

Cook these raw herbs using 6 cups of water under a good sized flame. Cook down to 2 cups of water. An adult drinks one cup of herbal tea before breakfast and dinner with empty stomach. For kids, just give them a half a cup each time.

When to use this formula:

Main symptoms are the alternate attacks of chills and fever, feeling of fullness and discomfort in chest and the upper lateral region of the abdomen, and nausea. Any women who get a cold or the flu during the menstrual cycle, do not use other formulas. This is the only formula to be used to recover the sickness.

What does Tang’s acupuncture office offer to treat a cold and the flu

We offer the diagnosis and treatment for colds and the flu at half price of regular acupuncture and herbal consultation.

Acupuncture is only $30, and the herbal prescription fee is $15 and one herbal pack is $10. Usually two herbal packs are needed.

Reference: The treatment for colds and flu from Dr. Hai Shi Ni

Note: This article is for educational purpose. Please get the diagnosis from your Chinese medicine doctor to get the customized formula to treat your cold or the flu.

Written by Sophia Tang

By: Sophia Tang

About the Author:

Sophia Tang is a licensed Acupuncturist and Classical Chinese medicine practitioner. She has a masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the United States. Her background includes:

Involvement in the healing arts for over a decade.
Devotion to a master in practicing energy healing and spiritual cultivation for 8 years.
Many years of education, training and practicing in different modalities of healing including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, energy healing, massage therapy and holistic health consultation.
A follower of a great master Hai-Sha Ni in practicing Classical Chinese Medicine (Jing Fang )

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