Category Archives: Chinese Medicine

Next Beginners’ Qi Gong Class on Saturday, March 24

Dear Community Acupuncture Community,

We are pleased to offer this monthly beginners’ qi gong class to help support your health and wellness. The class will be taught by Charles Adamec, L.Ac. Charles is a skilled practitioner who has been teaching Tai Chi and Qi Gong for over ten years.

Qi Gong for Health

Qi Gong for Health

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese healing art. The term Qi Gong means “to exercise with emphasis on the breathing.” This class offers a series of easy to learn exercises that integrate a variety of movements with deep, full breaths. Practicing Qi gong provides an immediate boost of circulation, which can reduce stress and fatigue and bring about greater mental acuity. Regular practice of Qi Gong can have long-term benefits such as regulating metabolism and strengthening the immune system.

Saturday, March 24, 9 am — 10 am
$15 per class

Yellow Emperor Community Acupuncture Clinic
3111 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA 94703
(510) 227—4028

Next Beginners’ Qi Gong Class on Saturday, Feb. 18

Dear Community Acupuncture Community,

We are pleased to offer this monthly beginners’ qi gong class to help support your health and wellness. The class will be taught by Charles Adamec, L.Ac. Charles is a skilled practitioner who has been teaching Tai Chi and Qi Gong for over ten years.

Qi Gong for Health

Qi Gong for Health

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese healing art. The term Qi Gong means “to exercise with emphasis on the breathing.” This class offers a series of easy to learn exercises that integrate a variety of movements with deep, full breaths. Practicing Qi gong provides an immediate boost of circulation, which can reduce stress and fatigue and bring about greater mental acuity. Regular practice of Qi Gong can have long-term benefits such as regulating metabolism and strengthening the immune system.

Saturday, February 18 9 am — 10 am
$15 per class

Yellow Emperor Community Acupuncture Clinic
3111 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA 94703
(510) 227—4028

Article in the East Bay Express

A lot of patients who are new to acupuncture ask us, “What can acupuncture treat?” The answer is, yes, acupuncture can treat a lot of things.

A more interesting question is “How does acupuncture treat this?” If we had an easy answer for this question, we’d have solved an ancient riddle that has eluded sages for millenia….

Click the title below to read the article published last week in the East Bay Express about how auricular acupuncture is being used to benefit people trying to kick substance abuse habits.

Acupuncture for Detox

Three Berkeley clinics have been successfully treating substance abusers with acupcunture – though city funding cuts have hurt two of the programs.
By Judith Scherr

Woman sits with eyes closed, acupuncture needles around her ears.
Two dozen people sit around long tables, slim needles protruding from their ears and foreheads; some close their eyes, others stare into the distance. They don’t talk. The only sounds are the soft music vibrating through the large room and the hushed voice of acupuncturist Jane Weinapple, explaining how the acupuncture treatment will help alleviate stress and blunt the craving for drugs.

Click here to read the article.

Free Acupuncture this Sunday

Come by the clinic this Sunday between 11 and 3 for a free acupuncture treatment, in honor of May Day. Welcome the spring, and welcome our new acupuncturist, Megan Gould, who will be on hand to provide you expert treatments to balance your qi and introduce you to a bit of what we’re all about.

To learn more about the Community Acupuncture movement and the May Day tradition, click here.
come celebrate may day with us

Medicine in Your Kitchen

By Joe Davis, L.Ac.
A fascinating part of herbal Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is that it did not develop separate from the arts of food preparation.  The plants parts (and animal parts) that were found to be easily digestible are included in every day cooking.  A few examples of this kind of herb are red dates (hong zao), jujube (suan zao ren), mountain yam (shan yao), garlic and scallions (xie bai and cong bai), licorice (gan cao) and ginger (sheng jiang).  These “medicines” are commonly found in Chinese cuisine, aid digestion and absorption of nutrients, and gently strengthen the whole body.
Plant parts that are a little tougher on the palate are generally found to have stronger medicinal properties, and are relegated to the medicine shelf.   These herbs generally taste more bitter, and are found to be effective in treating a whole host of ills, including reducing fevers, quelling vomiting, inducing a sweat in case of a cold, relieving muscle and tendon inflammation and ache.  There are whole families of herbs that act on deeper levels as well, clearing toxins from the organs, alleviating damage done over years of use and abuse, and deeply effecting the metabolic dynamics of the organism as a whole.
Keeping this spectrum in mind is really key when it comes to approaching our own health.  Sometimes, we just need some nice flavors to get our digestion going.  Sometimes we need something for an acute health problem we may have.  And sometimes we’re looking for some manner of deeper remediation for a long-standing issue.  This goes against the grain of many people in the West’s thoughts about medicine. We don’t grind up a little bit of aspirin to make the soup taste better, or go hunting in the woods for our hypertension medicine!
Keeping our ideas of medicine in the very human realm of the kitchen and the garden is a great way to make our well-being part of our daily lives, instead of something we do surrounded by people in white coats and complicated equipment.  It involves us in our health to know that food and medicine are on a continuum, and ties diet directly to how we feel.
And, speaking of medicines from the kitchen, can you guess an effective remedy for the syndrome of “summer-heat,” (characterized by thirst, flushed face, scanty urine, and sensations of warmth in the body)?  Pick up a big watermelon (xi gua) next time you are at the farmers’ market, and self-medicate to your heart’s content.

Set a Goal to Change Your Life — Acupuncture Can Help

By Anga Gonzalez, L.Ac.

If your intention is to improve your health, acupuncture may be the very thing you need to “stick” to. Here is how:

Stay Sharp

To learn a new language, or take a class, maybe what you need to stay sharp. How ever you choose to exercise your brain, acupuncture can help. Numerous studies suggest that acupuncture can help improve memory, mental clarity, concentration and cognitive function.

One recently published study showed how acupuncture can be used to help patients with vascular dementia. Cerebral functional imaging before and after acupuncture treatments showed a significant increase in the cerebral glucose metabolism of the brain, which is associated with improved cognitive function. Other studies have looked at how acupuncture affects the performance of student taking an exam, Alzheimer’s disease and memory impairment induced by diabetes and cerebral ischemia. The results, thus far, have been positive.

Relieve Pain Naturally

More and more, people are looking for natural approaches to help relive painful conditions instead of relying on medications. Acupuncture has no side effects and can be helpful for all types of pain, regardless of what is causing the pain or where the pain is located. Some studies have shown the pain relief it provides can last for months.

Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain before and after acupuncture treatment for pain shows dramatic decreases in brain activity- up to 70%. This decrease in brain activity in certain areas of the brain is thought to be the reason for the reduction of pain caused by the acupuncture treatments.

In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture also hastens the healing process by increasing circulation and attracting white blood cells to an injured area.

Eliminate Stress

Stress reduction is always on the top of the list and for a good reason. Stress is often the cause of illness and the deterioration of health. Numerous studies have demonstrated the substantial benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and lowering blood pressure.

In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine offers many techniques that can be integrated into your life to keep stress in check. These tools include Tui Na, Qi Gong exercises, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, meditations, and acupressure that you can administer at home.

Needless to say, if the stress in your life is throwing you off balance, consider having a treatment.

Reach Target Weight and Stay There

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you reach your goal weight and maintain it by promoting better digestion, smoothing emotions, reducing appetite, improving metabolism, and eliminating food cravings.
From a Western perspective, acupuncture and oriental medicine have been shown to have an effect on the function of the nervous system, endocrine system, digestive system, food cravings, and metabolism. All of which can help energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety.

Quit smoking

Acupuncture has turned a growing number of cigarette cravers into permanent ex-smokers. In fact, researchers say that acupuncture is a promising treatment for all types of addiction, from cigarettes to heroin.

In one study, a team from Yale University successfully used auricular (ear) acupuncture to treat cocaine addiction. Results showed that 54.8% of participants tested free of cocaine during the last week of treatment, compared to 23.5% and 9.1% in the two control groups. Those who completed acupuncture treatment also had longer periods of sustained abstinence compared to participants in the control groups.

The acupuncture treatments for smoking cessation focus on jitters, cravings, irritability, and restlessness; symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.

Weight Loss and Chinese Medicine

By Ted Marshall, Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Acupuncture and herbs can improve digestion and metabolism, calm the mind and reduce stress, and reduce cravings. Addressing one or more of these factors are key to a successful weight loss program and directly support any changes in diet and lifestyle. Of course, diet and exercise are the everyday habits we need to change in order to lose weight.  The following are general guidelines for diet and how Chinese Medicine can support a weight loss program These recommendations are not meant to diagnose any medical problems.

Chinese medicine can be divided into three main aspects. Acupuncture is what most people think of when they think of Chinese Medicine and is one key aspect. Herbal medicine is another very powerful aspect, which improves the body’s metabolism, may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and has many other benefits. The third and in many ways, the most important aspect of Chinese medicine is diet and lifestyle. This includes what we eat, how much exercise we get, and our ability to deeply relax. Diet and lifestyle is the most important area for weight loss, and is what most of this paper focuses on. Acupuncture and herbal treatment can effectively support the underlying factors that contribute to weight gain, but without changing our lifestyle and behavior, it’s virtually impossible to lose weight.

We will first look at aspects of our diet that contribute to weight loss, and then we will address the role of acupuncture and herbal treatment.

Whole Foods. Whole foods refer to unprocessed foods. Processed foods often have trans-fatty acids and high fructose corn syrup, both of which greatly contribute to weight gain as well as other diseases such as diabetes. Processed foods are also higher in natural sugars, which generates spikes (cause a sudden increase) in blood sugar. These “spikes” tax our digestion making it unable to properly metabolize these sugars. The sugars are then converted into fats!

Some common examples of whole foods would be unprocessed grains—brown rice, beans, vegetables, and grass-fed meat. One good guideline to determine whether foods are processed is that if it comes in a box- these are  almost certainly processed. It may seem hard to get over your craving for junk food in the beginning, but after a couple of weeks, your body will feel healthier and more energetic, and you will actually stop craving them soon.

Fiber. In the days of the hunter-gatherers, people ate an average of 100g of fiber/day.  In modern times, however, we only eat an average of 8g/day! (This is mostly due to the popularity of processed foods, which usually contain very little fiber.) Fiber helps with weight loss by slowing the rate of sugar entering the blood. Large spikes in blood sugar increase and promote the conversion of sugar into fat and are very damaging to the body in other ways, such as giving rise to inflammatory diseases. Foods with fiber include vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, and nuts.

Omega 3 Fatty-Acids. These increase metabolism, increasing the rate that fat is burned. They also “turn on messages” to the body that lower LDL cholesterol and improve blood circulation. Foods high in omega-3s are WILD salmon (farmed salmon contains 3-4 times less omega 3s than wild), small fish such as sardines and herring, and omega-3 eggs (it will say so on the box.), and flaxseed oil (use two teaspoons of flax seed oil per day over your food, or swallow it straight followed by water.)

Lean QUALITY Protein. When I say quality, I mean range-fed beef and chicken (beef should be grass-fed as well), and wild fish. Farmed animal products contain many antibiotics and steroids that affect our metabolisms negatively. Grass- and range-fed animal ingest lignins and other important substances that directly benefit energy production. Other good sources of protein include beans, nuts, and eggs, as well as buffalo.

Quality Carbohydrates. Eating carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (the rate which they enter the blood stream and cause blood sugar to rise) are also important in weight loss.  These include all whole foods. If we just eat twinkies all day, we will have high spikes in blood sugar, and one similar refined substance as our source of energy. The requirements of our bodies are varied and complex, and having one or two processed sources of energy production cause our myriad of physiological processes to fall into a state of neglect.  Eating whole foods allow our bodies to be maintained in optimum condition and sustain good health.

Anti-inflammatory Foods. Inflammatory diseases, which include obesity, arteriolosclerosis, gout, some forms of arthritis and heart disease are common in our society. The solution? Fruits and vegetables.  Leafy greens are the best, e.g., collard greens, kale, mustard greens, and broccoli. IMPORTANT: Many people don’t like vegetables, often because they have been overcooked. When you overcook vegetables, you not only remove the flavors, but also the nutrients. Also, you don’t want to eat lots of salads because according to Chinese Medicine, cold, raw foods are much harder to digest, and will tax the digestive system. The ideal way to prepare vegetables is to lightly steam them for 5-10 minutes (depending on the vegetable) so they’re slightly crunchy or barely wilted. Green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties, and has also been shown to promote health in many ways, such as well as increasing the metabolism.

Detox Foods. Foods that have been proven to detoxify the liver, such as watercress, artichokes, and pomegranates are highly beneficial to digestion and overall health.

Water. Filtered water is best.  Bottled water may have been sitting on the shelf too long, and a quality water filter is much less expensive in the long run (and uses fewer plastic containers). Slight dehydration initiates the stomach’s craving for food. This process can become a vicious cycle when eating more food—especially spicy and fried foods—increases the dryness in the stomach, which increases the craving for food. This imbalance is common yet simple to cure. Stopping this eating pattern for a few weeks, and slowly experimenting with different food preparation habits—along with drinking plenty of water—can make an incredible difference in how we feel.

Noting Eating Before Going to Bed. Eats at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. After you eat, the body initiates growth to strengthen muscles and bones. But if we go to sleep after we eat, these hormones convert sugars from our food into fat for storage. This is a classic pattern of weight gain from stress. This is why it’s a good idea to take a short walk after dinner (and don’t eat ice cream afterward!).

Fermented Foods. Sorry, I don’t mean beer. Many cultures around the world have integrated these foods into their daily diet. Fermented foods replace the natural bacteria in our intestines allowing us to get more energy from our food. Examples of these foods would be: sauerkraut, yogurt, miso, and kimchee.

Multi-vitamin.  In general, our vitamins should come just from our food, but that’s very hard to do in today’s society. 92% of Americans are deficient in one or more vitamins, which weakens the body’s functioning, making one susceptible to disease.

Exercise. Exercise increases your metabolism and helps burn calories. You should do something to increase your heart rate such as running, swimming, bicycling, or walking. One of the best exercises is walking. When walking, though, you must do it briskly to increase your heart rate. The important thing with exercise is consistency, whether you walk for 20 minutes 3 times per week, or swim for an hour 5 times per week. Taking it easy and not straining yourself will make it more fun and easier to continue.

Relaxation. It’s important to deeply relax for at least 15 minutes per day. When I say relax I don’t mean watching TV or surfing the internet. I mean doing nothing except maybe listening to some soft music. This is important because in our stressful society, deep relaxation will reduce cortisol levels (cortisol is a stress hormone, which essentially converts sugars to fat).

Acupuncture and Herbs. As we grow older our digestive system slows down, making it easier to gain weight. Acupuncture and herbs can strengthen our digestion so that we have more energy, and can metabolize foods better. Stress, as mentioned above, increases cortisol levels. Acupuncture directly treats stress, and can be counted as part of your deep relaxation time. Ear acupuncture works well in calming cravings for sweets (which usually indicates stress), and has been used successfully for the treatment of drug addiction.

In summary, diet and lifestyle are the most important factors in a weight loss program, and Chinese Medicine can support your transition to a healthier life and body.  As a holistic practitioner, I address all of these factors.

If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at The Yellow Emperor (510) 227-4028. We look forward to helping you become a healthier, more vibrant you!