Treating Colds, Flu, and Respiratory Illnesses with Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have a lot to offer in preventing and treating colds and flu. Historically, there is a reason for this: China suffered through many plagues that began with cold-like symptoms, and many great physicians spent their lives learning to treat these complaints and prevent them from worsening.

Chinese medicine differentiates between several types of colds and flu, with different treatments for each. For example, a cold that begins with sneezing, runny nose, and stiff neck is treated differently from one that starts with a sore throat and swollen glands. An acupuncturist can choose specific points, based on your symptoms, that “release the exterior” and “expel the evil qi” — meaning that they help the body rid itself of the invading germs before they get in deep enough to require all that sneezing, phlegm, and feverishness!  Continue reading

Healing Seasonal Depression with Chinese Medicine

While it is normal to feel less energetic and active during the winter months, depression is another story entirely.  If you are experiencing a lot of emotional distress, or fatigue that makes it difficult to function, you need some extra support!

Some people notice increased fatigue and depression every year during the darker months.  This may indicate seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, which often responds very well to light therapy.  For more information, go to www.cet.org, the website of the Center for Environmental Therapeutics.

Whether depression is seasonal or not, Chinese Medicine can be very helpful in easing both the symptoms and their underlying causes. Continue reading

Nurturing Yourself Through Winter

Happy New Year to everyone! Now that winter has officially arrived, I’d like to offer some suggestions for living happily and in harmony with this season.

According to Chinese medical philosophy, winter is governed by the element of water, which is associated with the Kidney organ system. The Kidney represents the original source of life energy in the body. It is the energy associated with sprirituality, sexuality and reproduction. It is also the reserve we tap into when we “dig deep” and push ourselves beyond our own energy level. Taking care of this resource can help us heal better, age gracefully, and be more resilient in times of stress and change. Continue reading