I woke up yesterday with a scratchy and slightly sore throat. While my previous self would have panicked and thought “I can’t get sick! I have so much to do this week!” I didn’t. I just got up, drank some water, and took one of my favorite Chinese Herbal Medicine pill formulas, Gan Mao Ling. I am still taking these pills today, and will for a couple days, but I can already tell that whatever sickness was threatening to take hold has passed and my body’s own defenses have won again.
rankincense essential oil is obtained from the resin that exudes from this sacred tree that grows in limestone-rich soil found growing on rocky hillsides and cliffs, or in the dried riverbeds below in India, North Africa and the Middle East. The tree has gnarled branches with a plethora of narrow leaves and small racemes of white flowers which give rise to 3-celled capsules, with each cell containing three seeds. At least 17 distinct species of Boswelliaexist, and up to the three different trees (which are possibly distinct species) are classified as Boswellia carterii. Other commonly used varieties are Boswellia serrata andBoswellia sacra.
There is a concept in Chinese Herbal Medicine theory called “Food Stagnation” – you can probably guess what this is. Food Stagnation often occurs after eating too much or too quickly, or eating food that doesn’t agree with your body. Symptoms of food stagnation include an uncomfortable feeling of fullness, bloating, pain in the stomach, nausea, vomiting (if severe), loss of appetite, and constipation. The stuck food can cause our normal digestive Qi (energy) to become stuck, too, leading to additional symptoms. If there is regular food stagnation, over time this can weaken the digestive energy, leading to more chronic symptoms of indigestion and pain.
Before acupuncture was discovered, other methods of healing were known and commonly used in ancient China. Prior to the first known Chinese medical texts, which brought together various theories and modalities forming a complete system of medicine, two main predecessors of Chinese medicine existed. The first and maybe oldest form of medicine in China is known as shamanic medicine. This included more ritualistic healing such as chanting, dancing, incantations, and was based on “spirits” and “demons” that a shamaness would try to dispel from the “possessed” person. The second precursor to modern Chinese medicine is folk medicine. This type of medicine had some elements of ritual and superstition to it originally, as it probably derived from or parallel to shamanic medicine at its origin, but the main difference is that the herbal properties became central to the treatment rather than merely just being used as a prop or medium for the Shamaness’ incantation. It is this type of herbal folk medicine that became the roots and really the first modality of the Chinese medical system that has flourished for the last 2500 years.
Anxiety is a very common issue that we treat in our clinic using acupuncture and herbs. While anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at one time or another. However, for individuals with anxiety disorders, the anxiety can affect their ability to function in their day to day life. Anxiety disorders are conditions that cause people to feel excessively frightened, stressed, worried, or upset, in situations where others would likely not experience the same feelings. There are numerous types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. Anxiety disorders are very common – they affect about 20% of the US population at any given time. Individuals without a diagnosed anxiety disorder may also experience intense anxiety in certain situations – before a big test, for example.
Adaptogens are a category of herbs that exert a normalizing effect on body processes and help the body to better tolerate stress. They have been shown to increase the body’s resistance to myriad types of stress, including physical, emotional, chemical, and biological. Furthermore, they are able to counteract, reduce, or negate the negative body processes that can normally result from these stressors. This means while we can’t always change the source of your stress, these herbs have been shown to change how your body reacts to it.
Exercise routines are not just for nice weather and looking good...
There are many herbs used in Chinese Herbal Medicine that can help to stoke our internal fire, and help to warm us up from the inside out!
Zhang Zi-He, also known as Zhang Cong Zheng, was a military physician who lived from 1156-1228. He believed that medicine needs to be tailored to the individual, and that theory and medicine from the Han Dynasty classics were ill-equipped to combat the diseases of the current time.
This post is copied from our older, original blog. Original post date 06/17/2013. By Marcie Bower, Lic.Ac. Xiao Yao San – or, “Free and Easy Wanderer” is probably the most commonly prescribed Chinese Herbal Remedy in the United States. Depending on the patient’s presentation, it can be a useful therapy for a wide variety of … Continue reading Xiao Yao San–“Free and Easy Wanderer”