Facial Acupuncture: A Revolution for Your Beauty.

facial acupuncture=


More and more wrinkles appear everyday at the corner of our eyes. We are constantly looking for the next magic beauty treatment that can take us back to our youthful glow. Botox, fillers and beauty poisonous substances are so passé.

Facial acupuncture is the new weapon in the anti-aging war.

Praised for hundreds of years in Asia for its anti-age benefits, facial acupuncture brings about a revolution in our quest for beauty. Facial acupuncture can reduce wrinkles, lift sagging skin, eliminate fine lines and improve skin colour and texture. Many have found it to be effective even after one treatment.

It is no doubt that more and more celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston are switching from botox to facial acupuncture. It is a safer option: no foreign substances, no risk of disfigurement and no swelling. Acupuncture does not hurt. The needles are as fine as a strand of hair. A sensation of numbness or tingling is usually experienced.

Erica Chan, our new practitioner at Oriental Health, explains that needles are inserted at pressure points, energy and endorphins are released. This minor trauma improves blood flow and stimulates cell re-growth. Erica puts needles in at focal points where energy is coming from the organs. When energy flows more efficiently, circulation is improved, helping the body regain the youthful glow.

Dr. Erica Chan

Dr. Erica Chan is a registered TCM Practitioner under the Chinese Medicine Ordinance of Hong Kong Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner, has a Bachelor of Chinese Medicine of HKU and is a professional in Acupuncture, Pediatric Tui-Na and Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Languages: English, Cantonese, Mandarin, French


The 5 Power Foods to Strengthen your Immune System

power food


During winter cold and flu season your immune system needs extra support.

Feeding your body certain foods may help to keep your immune system running strong. Plan your meals to include the following powerful immune system boosters. You may increase everyone’s chances of fending off those winter bugs before they get sick.

Try these 5 immune-boosting power foods:



Burdock

Burdock (牛蒡)
Burdock enhances the vitality of the body cells. It increases the production of the white blood cells, which is important for the immune defense.
Furthermore Burdock has hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects: it lowers the blood pressure, strengthen the kidney and has a laxative effect. Burdock also inhibits cancer cell proliferation and removes heavy metals in the water.


Raddish
White Radish (白蘿蔔)
Chinese medicine theory believes that white radish goes into the lung and stomach meridian. White radish is rich in vitamins and minerals and its interferon inducer activity is very strong. Interferons are important for the body’s immune response against pathogens as viruses and bacteria. Therefore white radish helps to enhance the body’s immune function.


White Raddish Leaves
White Radish Leaves (白蘿蔔葉)
White radish leaves are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. Especially the vitamin C content is 4 times higher in the leaves than in the rhizome. White radish leaves prevent the aging of the skin and keep the skin white and tender. Furthermore it helps against digestion problems.
And most important during the cold season: it is good against cough!


Carrots
Carrots (胡蘿蔔)
Carrots are regarded as top grade dishes. It is the “national dish” in the Netherlands. Carrots contain a high amount of Vitamins A, K and Biotin and help to enhance the body’s immune system. Furthermore carrots are good for the liver function and the eyes.


Cinnamon
Cinnamon (肉桂)
Cinnamon is a popular spice in winter, providing a warm and spicy flavor for your meals and drinks. You can use cinnamon in your biscuits, pies, pastries, puddings, smoothies, soups (add a small amount in lentils and black bean soup). Cinnamon helps strengthen the immune system, improves brain function and is good for your heart health. It contains essential oils and therefore has strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.


6 Chinese Medicine Secrets for Your Winter Health


power food


Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches to live in harmony with the seasons. Each season has its own characteristics which lead us to change our habits as the seasons change so that we may create more balance between our bodies and the environment. This means slowing down in the colder months and keeping warm and well rested in order to plant the seeds for renewed vitality in the new year.


6 Chinese Medicine Secrets for Your Winter Health
1. Dress up yourself warmly
Chinese Medicine doctrine dictates that cold that can lead to illness enters the body from the neck and shoulders. So, it is very important the keep your neck and shoulders warm. Most body heat escapes through the head. Consider wearing something to cover your head.


6 Chinese Medicine Secrets for Your Winter Health
2. Drink warm liquids. Eat warm foods.
Your body uses energy that takes away from your body’s natural defences to warm cold food and drinks to body temperature. It is important to avoid too many raw foods during winter because they tend to cool the body and can deplete our digestive “fire” which is the ability to assimilate food efficiently.


6 Chinese Medicine Secrets for Your Winter Health
3. Eat winter superfoods that warm you up.
First thing you should drink in the morning is a cup of warm lemon water with honey and a small piece of ginger. This will warm you up and strengthen your immune system. Other healthy winter foods recommended on a daily base are: cinnamon (0.5g), goji berries (10pieces), black sesame (10g). And to eat regularly white radish will help your Qi to move better through the digestive system.


6 Chinese Medicine Secrets for Your Winter Health
4. Go to bed earlier
Since days are getting shorter, try to adapt your sleeping hours accordingly. Go to bed earlier (attempt to fall asleep around10.30pm) and get up when the sun rises. Winter is a perfect season to slow down and to grant your body more sleep. Getting plenty of sleep enables your body to conserve energy used for healing and warming the body when exposed to colder climates. To improve your quality of sleep is to take a warm footbath for 15 minutes just before you go to bed.


6 Chinese Medicine Secrets for Your Winter Health
5. Do daily (light) exercises
While it is wintertime, do not neglect your daily exercises (30 to 50 minutes). Even though it is cooler and darker outside, try to motivate yourself to go out for a walk. This helps to enhance your body’s Qi and to improve your blood circulation.


6 Chinese Medicine Secrets for Your Winter Health
6. Reduce stress.
As difficult as it may seem, find a simple way to relax and release stress on a regular basis. Meditation or taking a long hot bath are good suggestions. Choose your own method. Remember, it’s snuggling weather! Stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can easily deplete the immune system allowing winter illnesses to invade the body more easily.

How to increase Fertility with Chinese medicine? Acupuncture fertility, acupuncture for pregnancy, Chinese medicine for pre- and post-partum and natural fertility treatments.

acupuncture fertilityChinese medicine to enhance fertility is a popular and one of the top options for natural and non-invasive therapies leading to pregnancy. Grace Yu, Chinese medicine practitioner, answered some of the more commonly asked questions about fertility treatment and TCM.

Tell us more about how your journey began to become a licensed Chinese medicine doctor and acupuncturist.
I am obtaining a PhD at the Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a focus on gynecology and acupuncture fertility. My advisor and mentor Professor Luo Songping is an internationally renowned Chinese medicine women’s health gynecologist from whom I could learn a lot on various health issues for women including infertility. I also learned Craniosacral Resonance therapy in Taiwan that I sometimes apply in my therapies.

For me a thorough understanding of the patients is very important. My goal is to help patients to boost their own healing power and body balance.

What questions should someone ask when first contacting an acupuncturist?
Make sure your practitioner is licensed and a registered Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor if practicing Chinese medicine. Experience counts a lot, so I would ask for how long the acupuncturist has been practicing. It is good to know if the practitioner treated someone successfully with a similar specific condition and to find out his or her feedback. You might also want to ask in what type of acupuncture (TCM, auricular, facial or scalp) the practitioner has experience since some acupuncture styles are known to be more effective to treat certain conditions.

acupuncture fertility pulse
What does a typical TCM consultation involve?
Chinese medicine offers a wide range of therapies for infertility treatment. Acupuncture, herbal therapy, cupping and moxibustion are the most common ones. Before any treatment a through diagnosis is essential. A diagnosis is based on:

  • Looking. This includes an assessment of a person’s emotional state and wellbeing, and appearance and shape. One important factor here is a detailed look at the condition of your tongue, a reflector of your current health which is highly influencing your fertility chances.
  • Listening. In particular, we listen for breathing sounds, coughing and the sound of the voice.
  • Asking. We assess your past medical history and that of your partner. Your environment in terms of places, people, nutrition and diet is also part of our diagnosis.
  • Pulse taking. We read the state of individual organs and the balance of qi, blood and yin and yang energy. Important here is also the function of kidneys as this is a major organ to determine fertility chances.


How many sessions would someone expect to have before noticing an improvement?

The treatment duration varies depending on your health issues. Patients with weaker body suffering from chronic conditions would need to restore their health for a longer period of time in contrast to patients that are healthy and just looking to improve well-being. Generally, for infertility treatment patients would usually see me over several months, with weekly appointments, as in that particular case we are aiming to restore overall body health and treat the root cause of an imbalanced body.

How is Chinese medicine for infertility different to Western medicine?
The ailments and disharmonies that are assessed in Chinese medicine are different to those in Western medicine. In Chinese medicine one would not treat a vitamin D deficiency but instead look at enhancing the yang qi (essential enery) and organs that are out of balance. The result might be a balanced vitamin supply but achieved through different methods. At the end of the day, each system uses different methods and different strategies all with the same goal: achieving a healthy and balanced body preparing you for a successful conception and pregnancy.

Should I choose IVF, ICSI or Chinese medicine?
Many of my patients see me while undergoing standard procedures with Western medicine such as IVF, IUI and ICSI. Chinese medicine can help at different stages and is a complimentary medicine that can support and enhance medical procedures. Chinese medicine promotes ovulation, egg development, sperm motility and count and prevents miscarriages. We suggest a treatment period of several months with acupuncture fertility prior to your conventional therapy such as IVF. Chinese medicine strengthens the kidneys, which are important for the reproductive system. It also strengthens the whole body enabling you to successfully conceive and carry the fetus. I also find it very useful to continue your Chinese therapy during pregnancy to increase chances of giving birth to a healthy baby naturally.

fertility acupuncture tcm
Why would someone continue using Chinese medicine acupuncture during and after pregnancy?
Acupuncture helps to ease common nausea, morning sickness and heartburn that can occur often during pregnancy. Thus it can help you to feel better and it can help to decrease stress by releasing the feel-good hormones into your body. Overall, it is a great natural painkiller that helps to ease discomforts without any side effects. It also lessens pre- and post-partum depression effectively. Another reason I find Chinese medicine useful during pregnancy is that it helps you to resolve a breech position (where the baby’s head is facing upwards) and makes the C-section delivery redundant. And finally, before giving birth it is one of the best natural tools to prepare the body for labor and make it easier for you to give birth.

Is there anything you can recommend to live more healthy?
You may assess our online body-type test to assess your current body condition without seeing a doctor. It will indicate any imbalances you might have. Prevention is key, and our tool helps you to understand your body condition and indicates those areas that you might need to pay more attention to. Other than that I am happy to see you at our clinic and give you a tailor-made and detailed plan on how to improve your health and well-being. Since everybody is different a different strategy will apply.

[staffbio staffname=”Dr Grace Yu”]Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner
Master in Acupuncture, Hong Kong Baptist University
Master in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University
Bachelor in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University[/staffbio]

Chinese Medicine Remedies to Strengthen your Kid’s Health This Winter

chinese medicine tea

The dip in temperatures outside means winter has finally hit Hong Kong, and with that comes the cough season and plenty of sniffing red noses conquering subways, schools and kindergartens. You’re probably going to spot one of them among your loved ones and you might even remember last year’s hit on your family – that week when your annual tissue consumption reached an impressive peak.

So, how do you avoid it this year? Some ancient Chinese wisdom might do the trick, offering simple and effective ways to boost your kids’ immune systems and cure the little red noses with natural and mild alternatives to western medicine. Let’s enhance your parental toolbox and have a look at what Traditional Chinese Medicine can do for you and your kids.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has a long history which includes the development of pediatrics within TCM, dating back to the first book on treatment of children called “Xiaoer Yaozheng Zhijue” in 1114 AD. The traditional Chinese childcare strongly focuses on what kids should eat, how much clothes they should wear and how much sleep is needed. What at first glance might look like a very protective way of child upbringing is actually based on a complex and sophisticated system within TCM. To understand this system, we need to take a closer look at how TCM views kids.

Kids are growing humans, as much on the outside as on the inside.

In our young age, organs are still immature and therefore more sensitive. Children’s lungs are yet to be fully developed, but since our lungs are responsible for the circulation of our protectiveqi, weak lungs usually mean an inferior immune system. There’s also a strong connection between weak lungs and upper respiratory diseases such as colds, coughs, allergies and asthma. In autumn and winter especially, your lungs will need some extra help to keep up the necessary protective qi.

To boost your kids’ lung power in winter, try brewing them a cup of the famous “Jade Windscreen Tea”:

Ingredients:
5g Chinese Parsnip Root
10g Astragalus Root
10g Atractylodes Rhizome

Method:
Boil together in 400-600ml of water. Then lower the hear, cover the pot and let it simmer for 30-45min. Turn off the heat, leave it covered and let it rest of 15 minutes. Then filter the tea and serve.Tip: This tea can only use for prevention but not for treatment of colds and flu. 

chinese medicine herbs

Another important organ that is often overlooked by western medicine is our spleen. Together with the stomach, the spleen is responsible for our digestion. Kids under 7 years have an immature and sensitive digestive system, which is worsened by our modern diets filled with unhealthy foods and sweets.

This becomes especially problematic when we look at the close connection between the spleen and the lung: according to the Chinese 5-element theory, the spleen is the mother of the lung. And like in real life, when mama gets sick, the kids won’t be happy either: An improper diet causes a weak spleen, which will weaken the lung and trigger colds and coughs.

A chronically troubled spleen may even lead to respiratory diseases such as asthma and allergies. By addressing the root cause and managing a healthy diet for your family, you can control these diseases easily. Avoid overeating and foods that are high in unnatural elements like processed foods. Opt for the organic choices as much as you can.

To specifically invigorate spleen function, try out this Chinese porridge:

Ingredients:
20g poria cocos (also known as fu ling)
10g Chinese jujube
20g yams
50g sticky rice
A little brown sugar

I recommend to eat small portions of this congee as part of your three meals a day.

The Yin and the Yang

Children are constantly growing and developing. According to TCM, this is accompanied by “Pure Yang” in the body, which easily turns into an overload of heat – your kid is on fire! There is good news and bad news. Bad news is, the lack of cooling Yin and an abundance of Pure Yang usually leads to liver heat. Your kid will have trouble sleeping or not being able to focus in school. In extreme cases, it might lead to ADHD.

The good news is, your kids can use their Yang-power to recover very fast, too. To support your kid you need to take some of the heat out of their system. Simply drinking the right tea or other mild herbs will help to get the right balance back. Avoid foods that contain high amounts of growth hormones, like none organic milk and chicken. Stay away from deep-fried foods, barbecues or chips, as those foods contain a lot of heat. And again, choose organic foods wherever you can.

TCM Treatments

If your kids are already starting to get the sniffles, Kid’s Health Chinese Medicine remedies can be a good alternative to western medicine, with some milder and safer treatments. Pediatric treatments can include acupressure or acupuncture, using small and pain-free needles specifically designed for children. Since younger patients usually don’t like to sit still, they will only be shortly pricked into the qi points and then removed again.

More commonly, traditional treatment for kids involves light herbals, which are consumed as teas. Another common practice is pediatric massages, which you can also learn yourself and use as a comforting way to bond with your child.

By simply observing the subtle imbalances in your body and integrating preventive TCM advices into your everyday life, you will find it easy to keep your family healthy throughout winter!

Judy

Judy

Judy Xu
Certified Holistic Health Coach and Chinese Medicine nutritionist at Balance Health and Oriental Health
Chinese Medicine Nutritionist, Chinese University Hong Kong
Holistic Health Coach, IIN New York (Institution of Integrative Nutrition)

Judy Xu is a Holistic Health Coach, combining integrative medicine from the West with the ancient wisdom of Chinese Medicine for a modern lifestyle that helps patients to naturally achieve balance and health. Judy believes that creating balance is the prerequisite for health and self-healing. In her coaching she takes a holistic approach to address imbalances and create a long-term basis for health. She enables clients to achieve weight loss, a peaceful mind, improve energy levels and manage stress. Judy is originally from Shanghai and a long-term resident of Hong Kong. She speaks and writes English and Chinese.

 

Originally published 12 December 2014 on Sassy Mama HK

Chinese Medicine Acupuncture: Under the Skin of Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston

Looks like alternative Chinese medicine treatments are getting under the skin of some big-name celebrities: or rather, on the skin.
Chinese Medicine Acupuncture and Cupping therapy have long been used as a means of mobilizing blood flow in the body via the suction that’s created by the cups. It is also a great way to relax after a particularly stressful 9-5’er. But celebrities too have been caught attending fancy do’s with obvious signs of cupping (temporary marks are left by the cups).

Celebrity fans of cupping include actors like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston and singers like Jessica Simpson and Lady Gaga, as well as Victoria Beckham. Event sports starts like Andy Murray have used it to relieve stiffness and free up stagnating energy. Facial acupuncture is trending as well among stars such as Kim Kardashian. Contact us for your own acupuncture and cupping session.

[staffbio staffname=”Dr Grace Yu”]Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner
Master in Acupuncture, Hong Kong Baptist University
Master in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University
Bachelor in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University[/staffbio]

Treating People, not Diseases. Know Your Chinese Medicine Body Type.

Prof. Wang Qi from Beijing University explains the story behind the Body Type System.

One of the most fascinating treatment methods in TCM is to determine the Body Constitution Type. Oriental Health is working with this system, because it enables the doctor to identify the optimal treatment for every patient. Even more importantly, it gives the patient the chance to understand the own body and live healthy. On the International Conference of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine & Health Products in August 2014 we were honored to talk to one of the most important figures for the development of the Body Constitution Type System, Prof. Wang Qi from Beijing University.

 

Oriental Health:
Prof. Wang, thank you very much for this interview and sharing your thoughts with us. For many years you have been doing intensive research on TCM, and you already published a great volume of scientific literature in national and international journals. Regarding your research on the Body Constitution Types, we would like to know: When you started your work thirty years ago, what was your original motivation?

 

Prof. Wang Qi:
My motivation… Well, I was wondering: How come we can cure one person with a certain drug easily, but for the next person the exact same medicine doesn’ t seem to work at all? Is the medicine gone bad within a blink of an eye? Or is it something else, that we might overlook?

 

If two people have the same illness, but the same treatment can’t cure both of them, we shouldn´t wonder about the drug, but switch our focus to the patient. Every patient is different, so the treatment must reflect that. In fact, we must change the order of treatment altogether: Patient comes first, only then followed by the illness. In a second step it is then important to make sure we don’t look at „Sick People“, but at „People’s Sickness“.

 

Oriental Health:
Could you explain to us how the system of the Body Constitution Types / Chinese Medicine Body Type came to life?

 

Dr. Wang Qi:
We were looking for a modular framework, that could easily be applied to all kinds of different patients. So we started our project and categorized health statuses, illnesses and their similarities of 12000 probands. It took a while, but step by step we managed to reduce the categories and in the end we established nine different Body Constitution Types. Similariy we developed a questionnaire to identify each patients constitution easily.

 

Oriental Health:
From your experience, how long does it usually take for a patient to reach a balanced level?

 

Prof. Wang Qi:
Once identified, the doctor will consider the Body Constitution Type and chose the treatment accordingly. Due to this customized but easy to apply treatment, the recovery of the whole body system to a balanced level will usually need only half a year, followed by another six month of stabilization.

 

Oriental Health:
Now let’s have a look at the bigger picture. Where do you see the Traditional Chinese Medicine on an international level? In your opinion, does TCM apply to everybody and can non-Asians profit from it, too?  

 

Prof. Wang Qi:
As I said, every patient is unique. Moreover, the environment and circumstances we live in vary a lot. But as we look closer at China, we see a vast country with many kinds of geology and living circumstances. People from Guangzhou and Tibet traditionally differ in diet and lifestyle as well as their looks, but still the Body Constitutions apply to both of them. It works, because the system assesses the individual body traits, not race or skin color. Interestingly though, living circumstances and DNA play a vital role as they can influence the proportional distribution of the Body Constitution Types in a society.

 

Oriental Health:
Could you give us an idea about the future of TCM? For example, may we ask what are you currently working on?

 

Prof. Wang Qi:
We currently analyze which Body Constitution Type is prone to which illness. We know for example that among Blue Discomfort Types a common illness is Depression. If patients and doctors are aware of these susceptibilities, spotting symptoms and curing developing illnesses will be much more effective.

And even though the Body Constitution Types already play a successful part in the Chinese Medical System, much work still needs to be done to ensure greater access for every patient. Especially in rural areas with only a limited number of hospitals preventive measures will be of tremendous help. A broader knowledge of the personal constitution and helpful nutrition will empower everybody to take care of their own health.

[staffbio staffname=”Judy Xu” staffimage=”http://orientalhealth.com.hk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/JAN_6493-e1387943852637.jpg” stafftitle=”Practice Manager
Chinese Medicine Nutritionist, CUHK, INI
MBA HKUST” staffemail=”judy.xu@orientalhealth.com.hk”]Judy is the founder of Oriental Health and a practicing TCM nutritionist. [/staffbio]