What does the skin color after cupping represent?

1. The skin is white, indicating heavy Damp in the body

If there are small white water droplets in the skin color after cupping, it means that the Damp in the body is heavy, and some people have more Damp in the body, and the pores cannot be completely discharged from the body. Small blisters will appear on the skin during cupping. The Damp in the body cannot be completely discharged by cupping alone. The best way is to accept the sun, because the sunlight in the human body is the Yang Qi, and only a large amount of supplementary Yang can eliminate the cold. At the same time, the method of moxibustion can also be used, moxibustion at Guanyuan point and uterine point.

2. A yellow substance indicates that there are pathogens in the body

If yellow stains appear during cupping, it means that there are other pathogens in the body, yellow substances and a foul smell, indicating that it is a skin disease such as acne. You can use the lotus needle cupping method to treat the skin. Use lotus needles to break the surface before cupping, so that the congestion in the body can be discharged from the body together.

3. The skin is black and red, indicating that the cold is caused

If the skin appears dark red after cupping and there is no secretion reddish, it is usually a cold. After cupping, toxins can be discharged. In addition, you can relieve the cold by massaging acupuncture points.

4. Skin showing bias Black is tiredness caused

The darker skin after cupping is the blockage of blood congestion. Usually, the body is overworked or strained. Except for cupping, the better way is to use manual massage and hyperthermia to promote blood circulation and clear the collaterals.

Frank  warm reminder: You cannot take a bath within three hours after cupping, because your body’s pores are in an open state after cupping. At this time, taking a bath may cause cold air to invade your body and cause the onset of other diseases. Be sure to use gentle techniques when cupping. Pay attention to warmth and fresh air in the cupping space. Fans and air conditioners should not be blown during cupping.


Treatment of depression with TCM

TCM starts with smoothing the Liver energy and relieving depression. Chinese medicine says that ''all diseases are born from Qi." TCM has a lot of knowledge about mental illness, such as being shocked, Qi is slow. The early stage of depression is related to stagnation of Liver Qi. It is caused by poor Qi and Blood flow. Most patients with depression suffer from long term life and work pressure, or experience negative life events. Unsmooth emotions lead to the imbalance of the body's Qi and dysfunction. The Liver Qi stagnates over time, and even becomes a statement, and emotional symptoms are further aggravated. Excessive Liver Qi scavenges, invades the Spleen and Stomach, and affects the digestive function of the Spleen and Stomach, leading to loss of Qi and Blood, dysfunction, clustering of symptom, fatigue, insomnia, palpitation, pain, etc.. Treatment should start with smoothing the Liver and relieving depression, regulating the five internalk organs and regulate the brain.

Chinese Medicine pays more attention to syndrome differentiation and treatment.

Traditional Chinese medicine treatment includes Traditional Chinese herb powder and non-drug treatment, such as acupuncture, electroacupuncture, cupping, ear acupuncture, etc. Among them, acupuncture and moxibustion play a therapeutic role mainly by regulating the body's own nerve function, and it is a "green therapy" for the treatment of depression. From the clinical perspective of acupuncture and moxibustion, patients with depression can be divided into two types: "According to the different states of the human body, acupuncture is used to treat the deficiency and excess, regulate the qi and calm the nerves, balance the yin and yang, regulate emotions, and relieve emotional symptoms at the same time. It can improve the common physical symptoms of depression, such as insomnia, pain, abdominal distension, and loss of appetite." Acupuncture treatment can be used for mild depression patients, and acupuncture and western medicine can be used for moderately severe or severe patients. Efficacy, help reduce adverse drug reactions. 


Look after the Liver in spring

Traditional Chinese medicine often says: " Nourishing the Liver is nourishing life ." In spring, everything recovers and Yang energy rises. It is also the season when Liver Qi is the most abundant and irritability is the most prosperous. Naturally, nourishing the Liver in spring is the top priority. 
Traditional Chinese medicine believes that the Liver is responsible for storing blood, regulating venting, nourishing muscles and veins, and corresponds to spring Qi. If the Liver Qi is not comfortable, the circulation of Qi and Blood in the whole body will be disordered, and it may even induce cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, digestive disordereds and mental issues. 
(Frank) Haifeng He in Walton Acuhealth reminds you that you should raise your Liver like this in spring:
1. Keep Warm 
Spring is hot and cold, which is the season for liver disease. Keeping warm is the key to maintaining the Liver. Because the Liver itself lacks Yang Qi, if it is not keep warm, cold evil invades the Liver will cause symptoms such as vomiting, cold in the abdomen, abdominal pain, etc., especially in middle-aged and elderly people, the Yang itself is insufficient, so you should pay attention to keeping warm in spring.
2. Smooth Emotions 
Spring Liver feel comfortable is the key, if angry, anger is caused by Liver Qi stagnation, falling into the blood stasis, Qi of fire, there will be a series of pathological changes, such as Liver tribulations restraint Pitu, will appear stomach. The stomach is full and discomfort; when the Liver Qi is on the stomach, there will be stagnation of stomach Qi, hiccups, etc.; when the Liver Qi rushes into the heart, there will be pain and discomfort under the xiphoid process; when Liver Qi invades the lungs, cough and wheezing will occur . Therefore, spring is the season of rising Yang, so we must follow nature and smooth emotions.
3. Nourishing Liver and Blood
The Liver is Yin and Yang is used. It is soft and strong. Only when the Blood is sufficient and the Liver is nourished can the Liver Qi be regulated. Therefore, nourishing the Liver and Blood is very important. Sufficient Liver Blood and good sleep quality can effectively regulate the brain and the entire nervous system, benefit a series of changes in our physiology, and play a role in curing diseases and prolonging life. If Liver Blood is insufficient, Liver Qi cannot get sufficient blood nourishment and is weak, and every time it encounters bad emotions, it will be manifested as fear and restlessness, fear of the head and tail, pessimism, sadness, depression and world-weariness.
4. Diet
Spring is the best time to nourish Yang. You should eat more foods that warm and nourish Yang, such as onions, ginger, garlic, and leeks.In spring, the Liver has a strong function of dredging and draining. If too much sour food is taken, it will inhibit the rise of Liver Qi. Therefore, eat less sour food. It is advisable to eat desserts in spring to invigorate the spleen and stomach, such as jujube.
Returning face to face practice
In addition to already stringent hygiene and infection control procedures, some of the measures in place include:
Rest assured that the health and wellbeing of all patients is the primary concern.

For patients (important)

A. Please do not attend your appointment if you:

B. Patients to wear a mask to their appointment if possible.


Acupuncture for Hot Flushes

Hot flushes are a common peri-menopausal and menopausal symptom in women. However other causes of hot flushes include side effects of chemotherapy and medication used to treat certain cancers (breast and prostate), andropause or “male menopause” and anxiety or panic disorders.

Hot flushes are classified as a vasomotor symptom and are typically experienced as an uncomfortable feeling of intense heat accompanied by reddening of the face, sweating and rapid heartbeat.  The exact causes and vasomotor mechanisms of hot flushes are poorly understood. In menopausal women hot flushes are triggered by a reduction of oestrogen, a normal natural hormonal change, and in around 10% of women they last longer than 12years (A). In western medicine menopausal hot flushes are commonly treated with oestrogen or progesterone in the form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), however the use of which may be associated with potential health risks (B).

Regardless of the origins of hot flushes the experience can vary from mild sensations to a physically draining and debilitating experience for some with a negative impact on quality of life (C).  Acupuncture and TCM have long been used to treat hot flushes and research indicates an improvement in frequency and severity of vasomotor hot flashes with Acupuncture treatment among women in natural menopause (D).  Because traditional Chinese medicine treats the root of the imbalance beneath the symptoms, its approach provides a safe and effective treatment for hot flushes.

(A) Politi MC et al. Revisiting the duration of vasomotor symptoms of menopause: a meta-analysis. J Gen Intern Med 2008; 23: 1507-13

(B) http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hormone-replacement-therapy

(C) Stein KD et al. Impact of hot flashes on quality of life among postmenopausal women being treated for breast cancer. J Pain Symptom Manage 2000;Jun19(6):436-45

(D) Hsiao-Yean Chiu et al. Effects of Acupuncture on menopause-related symptoms and quality of life in women on natural menopause: a meta analysis of randomised controlled trials. Menopause 2014.



Acupuncture for Menopause

Common signs and symptoms: hot flushes, night sweats, reduced libido, mood swings, depression, painful intercourse due to vaginal atrophy, fibrocystic lumps, osteoporosis, muscle spasm, forgetfulness, heart palpitations, loss of bladder control, frequent urination, joint pains, allergies, high cholesterol, dizziness.

How Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs) can help

Chinese Medicine is a gentle and yet a very effective and safe method of treating menopausal symptoms. The emphasis of the treatment is not to increase the level of a certain hormone, but rather to restore balance whilst the body is going through these natural changes, to help smooth the way in times of adjustment. Whether it is during your menstrual cycle, conception, pregnancy or menopause, Chinese medicine helps optimise a woman’s endocrine system, regulates the nervous system and stimulates the release of endorphins which are the “feel good” hormones, and calming the mind.

We are each born with a certain level of estrogen inherited from our parents genes, nevertheless a woman’s lifestyle and dietary habits from childhood to the cessation of menses can play an important foundation for how she goes through menopause. The sooner we look to balance the body and the mind, the easier or free of symptoms your journey during menopause will be.

Things to Avoid

  1. Caffeine: If you are suffering from night sweats, then avoiding caffeine can help alleviate the night sweats. Caffeine disrupts hormonal balance.  Caffeine can also exacerbate insomnia and keep you awake at night. If you really love and enjoy your coffee, then only have it in the morning and make a ceremony out of it, get the best coffee you can afford and relish that cup! If you only have it in the morning, then it is out of your system by the time you go to sleep. However, it may still have an impact on your system.  Tea also has caffeine, so you may want to switch to herbal teas.
  2. Excessive Exercise: Exercise should be rejuvenating not depleting. Exercise to the point of exhaustion or overheating may exacerbate your symptoms of menopause such as night sweats or hot flushes, hot flashes.  Try to do low impact exercise and give your joints a break.
  3.  Alcohol: Alcohol may exacerbate your symptoms of menopause such as night sweats or hot flushes, hot flashes.
  4. Smoking: Smoking increases the number of free radicals in the body, which are known to damage many cells.  Smoking is just bad for you all around.
  5. Toxins and Pollutants



How does Acupuncture treat infertility

The benefits of acupuncture and TCM for conception problems can be found in early Chinese medicine literature dating back to 11 AD. Not only does TCM improve the probability of becoming pregnant and having a healthier baby, it also serves to enhance the function of the whole body. This holistic approach provides the key to unlocking unlimited potential in healing. This is especially important for people who are over age 40, as it stimulates overall health, which in turn, affects their reproductive system.

A group of acupoints can directly regulate the Hypothalamic--Pituitary--Ovarian hormonal axis, adjusting any imbalances. Acupucture can also promote blood circulation to pelvic region, refeshing the ovaries, uterus and testicles which is intrinsically improtant for cenception.

The condition of poor blood flow and energetic congestion manifests as amenorrhea, painful menstrual cycle, pain during intercourse, premenstrual symptoms, mid-cycle bleeding and pain, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, tuble blockage, uterine fibroids, menstrual clotting, migraine headaches coinciding with the menstrual cycle, elevated follicle stimulating hormone and poor quality of sperm analysis.

While the above signs and symptoms in and of themselves may or may not be the primary cause of infertility, they do reveal internal blockage of energy and blood which may be contributing factors.

How long will it take to get pregnant with acupuncture infertility treatments

In most cases, men and women need a minimum of 3 months of consistent regular treatment. Most couples conceive anywhere between 3 to 12 months. The consistency of receiving acupuncture treatments and taking herbal formulas is crucial because specific hormonal adjustments are made during each week of the cycle. Missing a week of treatment may be detrimental, in that an important opportunity to balance a particular segment of the four-phase menstrual cycle (follicular phase, ovulation, luteal phase, and menstruation) is lost. 

A minimum of 3 menstrual cycles (12 consecutive treatments) usually begins to regulate a woman’s hormonal system regardless of biological age. However, if you use acupuncture with assisted reproductive technology (ART), the treatment period varies, depending on the success of the procedure. Because of the cumulative healing affect of acupuncture and herbal formulas, and their ability to increase one’s fertility quotient, most patients continue receiving acupuncture for the duration of conception. Acupuncture treatments can also detoxify the body from chemical medications or other toxic substances, hence enhancing the body’s likelihood of conception. 

Trying to get pregnant is a numbers game. The longer you try, naturally or with ART, the better your chances are. This applies to acupuncture and herbs as well. The longer you allow your body to reach homeostasis through the use of Chinese medicine, the better your chances are. If you have gone through multiple ART procedures without success, receiving long-term regular acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments will significantly improve your chances of conception. Therefore, the couple must expect to devote 6 to 9 months of consistent treatment before evaluating results. There is no quick-fix-path when it comes to conception, full-term pregnancy, and the health of a baby, but it’s well worth the long wait!

What else can help to improve acupuncture treatment results

Besides regular acupuncture treatments and herbal medicine, eating healthily (a variety of food that includes more fresh green vegetables, high quality lean protein, whole grains, plenty of water and fruits, limited consumption of coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, sugar, juice, and greasy food, eating in smaller portions, and thoroughly chewing your food), daily exercise, good sleep, and less stress can help improve treatment results.




How We Breathe 

The nature of our breathing is dependant on a number of factors including our stress levels, emotional state, posture, degree of muscular tension and diet. The diaphragm is the core breathing muscle and is strongly affected by all of these conditions.
Observing a baby or animal we notice that their whole abdomen inflates like a balloon as they breathe. This is because they naturally engage their diaphragm to draw air into their lungs.
As we grow older, our breathing tends to become shallower and more constricted as our diaphragm tightens and our breathing moves into our chest. We begin to use our intercostal muscles and other accessory muscles to help us breathe, rather than our diaphragm.
The diaphragm has strong connections with many of the internal organs, including the heart, lungs, liver, stomach, spleen and kidneys. When it moves during diaphragmatic breathing, the internal organs are exercised and more blood and oxygen is circulated within them.

Diaphragmatic breathing habits can have a wide range of beneficial effects such as:

Learning to Breathe Diaphragmatically

During qigong we’ll be exploring different techniques to help us return to natural diaphragmatic breathing.
We will begin with exercises to become more aware of the breath:

Quote from College of Integrated Chinese Medicine