Simple Health Acupuncture's Blog

In our blog we will discuss many wellness topics such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, herbal medicine, natural cosmetic treatments, pain management, mental health, lifestyle and healthy living. We hope you enjoy reading. 

If you are new to the world of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, you may have wondered "what's the difference between Acupuncture and Acupressure?" 

Though they are both effective treatment modalities within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the basic difference between Acupuncture and Acupressure is that Acupuncture involves needling the various pressure points or acupoints on the body. Acupressure on the other hand is the systematic application of massage or pressure over the acupoints.  

The second biggest difference between Acupuncture and Acupressure is that the full scope of what Acupuncture can treat is extremely broad. Acupuncture can treat a wide variety of conditions--from the common cold, to aches and pains, to acute and chronic digestive disorders, respiratory disorders, and even some cardiovascular conditions, Acupuncture has a solution that fits almost any individual. Whereas with Acupressure, the application is mainly for pain related symptoms. 

Massage therapy and acupressure are variations of bodywork that provide the recipient with increased relaxation, feelings of well being and reduced pain. Massage differs from acupressure in the method it is performed, the range of symptoms each treat, and the intention of the treatment.

Massage therapy is an umbrella term for numerous modalities including Swedish, deep tissue, circulatory, lymphatic drainage, cranial sacral, tui na, reflexology, and many more. The type of massage therapy that most of us think of as massage here in the West is often Swedish massage or a hybrid of Swedish and deep tissue massage; which both use the broad surfaces of the hands, forearms, and occasionally elbows, on the major muscle groups of the body.

When most people think of massage, a spa like experience comes to mind. But true massage therapy can be something that is very different. Recently, I have been thinking more about a treatment called trigger point therapy. Not only does trigger point therapy apply to massage, but there are different methods that apply to chiropractors and acupuncturists as well.

A trigger point acupuncture, also known as “dry needle”, which can be used by acupuncturists.

A trigger point is basically a tight area in the muscle tissue. But it is different from other points because when pressed, it may cause pain in another area of the body, also known as referred pain. For example, a trigger point in the back may cause pain to travel up to the neck and even the head. During a trigger point massage, the therapist seeks out knots within the muscle of the client to find trigger points. Next they apply cycles of isolated pressure directly to and around the area of the trigger point to alleviate the tension and pain.

The human placenta, or afterbirth, is not usually something to which people give a lot of thought. Quickly discarded after the birth of a child, the human placenta may actually be one of the most valuable nutritional assets that we are literally throwing away. Known in traditional Chinese herbal medicine as Zi He Che, this herb is one of the most effective tonics in the Chinese herbal compendium. Placenta has the effect of strengthening the Qi, or vital energy of the body, nourishing the blood, and balancing the forces of Yin and Yang in the body. 

So what does that translate to in scientific terms? The consumption of the placenta, when prepared the right way, can help restore blood loss, balance the hormonal and endocrine function of the body, restore and elevate mood, encourage milk production, and speed up the recovery of the postpartum body. 

An extra thirty pounds around your waist and back can cause a lot of stress and upper body tension. This is often a curse that comes with the blessing of pregnancy. Plenty of women around the world have to battle with the aches and pains that pregnancy brings about, whether they are a first time mother or have already had children. Fortunately, you can change someone’s world with a little piece of information you learn today—the life-changing, healing, and relaxing benefits of prenatal massages both for mother and for baby. 

Recently, a very good friend of mine became an expectant mother, and had been experiencing some pain symptoms related to her pregnancy. When I suggested a prenatal massage, she was a little skeptical, and questioned if it would be comfortable, but most importantly would it be safe for her and her baby. I reassured her that with a trained, certified professional, a prenatal massage is as safe as an ultrasound test to empower her, and it also would be a joy and blessing that comes in the relief of her aches and pains, as well as enhancing her mobility that she never would have expected she can have while pregnant. 

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are a wonderful complementary medicine to use to support pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum recovery. Treatment for women during pregnancy and postpartum has been a part of Chinese medicine for a few thousand years, and is now becoming increasingly popular in the West as preventative care and to strengthen the mother and the child, as well as to resolve issues that may arise during this time of physical and emotional change.

Acupuncture can be used throughout the pregnancy to promote the health of both the mother and the baby. It is beneficial to the growing fetus for the mother to receive acupuncture at least once per month, even if she is having a normal and healthy pregnancy, to help with the development of each of the organ systems. If there are any symptoms that are troublesome to the mother or any indication of pregnancy complications, then acupuncture should be given at a frequency that the practitioner determines necessary to provide relief and to stop progression or reverse the problem affecting the mother. 

I have now been pregnant for 38 weeks. In these 38 weeks, I have fallen sick with the common cold on three separate occasions, and nearly twice more. With a weakened immune system from growing a new human in my body, I had the opportunity to experiment with different remedies. My usual go to remedies for colds and flus include vitamin C and D, elderberry syrup, eating raw garlic and washing it down with apple juice, and miso soup made with chicken broth and garnished with green onions. When taking these at the first sign of feeling a cold coming on, for me, a tickle in the throat and feeling run down, I can usually prevent or greatly reduce the severity and shorten the duration of being sick.

During my pregnancy (this is my first) I became

Flu season—it’s a funny term that comes around whenever people start getting sick. But in actuality, “flu season” never ends. From my observations of my clients, myself, and my friends and family, people tend to suffer from various colds, congestion, and sore throats at least one time at some point in the year. 

As a massage therapist, I learn new and different things every day of how massage therapy and other natural medicines can be beneficial for our health. So how can we use natural medicine to take care of our bodies against the invasion of cold and flu pathogens, versus consuming different medications? 

I've been on a raw food kick recently. Not just because I needed to lose weight, not just because, vanity aside, my blood tests had come back a few months ago with some less than stellar numbers, and not just because I felt toxic, swollen, and weak from putting foods inside my body that I knew better than to eat; I started the raw food journey because I needed to start living by my own rules

I always fear flu season, because as a health care professional, I am exposed to many people everyday. And invariably, no matter how many preventative measures I took, (Chinese herbs, megadoses of Vitamin C, Ginger, Garlic, etc.) I would always be affected in one way or another. 

In the last couple of months, since I've started to eat better (a mostly fresh/raw food diet), I noticed that I haven't come down with anything, even a sore throat or a runny nose, and there have been plenty of opportunities (a particularly nasty bout of stomach flu that made its way around, plane travel, weather changes, even very close contact with very sick friends) I can only attribute this to the higher amounts of vitamins,

Moxibustion is a heat therapy under Traditional Chinese Medicine by burning dried moxa which is Chinese mugwort (Artemisia argyi).

Moxibustion evolved thousands of years ago in early northern China. It is part of traditional Chinese medical practices, and came about near the same time as acupuncture. In northern China, where there are cold, mountainous regions, heating the body through moxibustion on the acupuncture points was thought to help prevent illness and promote healing. 

Moxa can be rolled into balls, shaped into cones, or purchased commercially in tiny or long rolled sticks. The balls and cones can be burned directly on the skin, or indirectly on a medium in between the Moxa and the skin. Small balls can also be used on the end of acupuncture needles, which is also known as the Warm Needle Technique. 

The leaves of the moxa plant are considered to have bitter, pungent and warm properties and to be associated with the liver, spleen and kidney meridians.The leaves are used as

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