What’s bad about eating/drinking cold stuff?

Why does my acupuncturist tell me not to eat or drink cold stuff?

Acupuncture works with Qi(energy), and Qi comes from the foods we intake. Our digestion system digest them, turn them into “stomach Qi”, and then it will be distributed to each and every body parts through different route. When we eat or drink cold things, our body will try to warm it up, cause Qi to over concentrate in stomach, and lack in other route. Stomach will use up a lot of Qi just to maintain it’s normal temperature.

At this point:

1) If your Qi level is pretty good, every route that Qi goes through are smooth and stable, then you might be fine. After stomach work extra hard to warm itself up, you might even start to feel hot, because it takes a while for it to calm down from hard working mode. If this happen too much, there’s a possibility that stomach will stay hard working and never calm down, consume a lot of Qi, or over distribute Qi to some body part. That’s when you’ll start to feel like you need to make an appointment with your acupuncturist.

2) If the Qi level is a bit low, or some of the route that Qi goes through isn’t that smooth, it might start to have problem. In the normal situation, the Qi flow is strong enough to support these parts, but now stomach is using up a lot of Qi supply, and not sending enough Qi out, so these parts start to have stagnation. After the stomach has successfully warm itself up, and still stay in hard working mode, it might start to over distribute Qi to all routes. But some of those routes are stuck now, so Qi can only go to other body parts: If it goes to head too much, it cause headache; if it goes down to intestine too much, that’s diarrhea… etc.

3) Of course, if the stomach itself become weak by overworking, that cause over all weakness of whole body.

Ps. This is how food coma happens too. Slight over concentration of Qi in the stomach that cause a bit lack of Qi in the head can happen when you eat too much as well.

How cold is considered cold?

Base on the mechanism above, lower then body temperature is considered cold. The colder it is, the more it will effect the body.

Why are some foods considered cold too?

There are some food that cause effects similar to the real cold food or drinks; and there are some other foods that can help on “heat syndrome”. These foods are classified as “cold food” in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). They are not as bad as the real cold things, in some cases they can even be used to adjust body condition.

Orange Acupuncture, Winston Wang

Happy Chinese New Year! – Orange Acupuncture in Orange County

Today (2/9/2013) is Chinese new year eve. The Chinese lunar calendar is not a moon calendar, it is based on both sun and moon. In China, we call it “the farmer’s calendar” because the growth of the plants is very depended on the weather, so the farmers needs to have an idea of how the weather might change, in order to do their work. According to the lunar calendar, Spring starts on 2/4 this year, so now is the time when everything starts to grow, and the weather start to become warmer. (although it is a year of “not enough fire energy”, which means this year might be colder then others)

To follow the change of the weather to adjust our body is an important theory in TCM. Spring is the season when everything starts to grow, so it’s better to get up earlier in the morning and do some exercise or take a walk, so the body function can be more active, just like the how the plants start to grow. It’s also good to have some new ideas, new activities….etc. Just don’t keep staying in the house or laying on the bed, go out and be active! :)

Anyways, happy Chinese new year!

Orange Acupuncture, Winston Wang

How does thyroid work and what does it do – Orange Acupuncture in Orange County

How does thyroid work?

Hypothalamus – Pituitary – Thyroid axis works like Boss – Manager – Worker:

  1. Hypothalamus releases “thyrotropin-releasing hormone(TRH)”, stimulates the Pituitary.
    the boss asks the manager to work.
  2. Pituitary then release “thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)”, stimulates the Thyroid.
    the manager asks the worker to work.
  3. Thyroid then release “triiodothyronine (T3)” and “thyroxine (T4)”.
    the workers start to work.
  4. When the T3 and T4 level raise, it suppresses the Pituitary and Hypothalamus to release TSH and TRH.
    when the Boss and manager saw the workers working, they’ll stop pushing them.

(When T3 and T4 level drop, 1 and 2 runs again, then Thyroid is stimulate again to release T3 and T4. It is constantly balancing.)

What does thyroid hormones mainly do?

  1. It accelerates metabolism.
  2. It promotes growth and development, especially brain, nerve system and bones.
  3. Excites the nerve system.
  4. Increases heart rate.
  5. Increase appetite and bowel movement.

Thyroid is basically like the gas pedal(of the car) in our body. When you step on the gas pedal, the gas burn faster and consume more air, the engine runs faster, and produce more heat.




Pain syndrome in TCM(2) – How can acupuncture and herb help – Orange acupuncture in orange county

last post:  Pain syndrome in TCM(1) – what cause pain

How Acupuncture and Herb deal with blockage that cause pain?

  1. Physical damage can include a wound, an impact that cause damage to soft tissue, dislocation and/or damage to bones, a burn etc. Of course acupuncture and herb can’t relocate the bone, neither can it suture a wound. But there’s still a lot it can do.

    By stimulating acu-points, acupuncture is able to reduce the pain, accelerate the recovery, and relax muscles so the bone can easier be relocated. In clinical practice, a lot of pain syndrome are actually caused by muscle tension or slight spine dislocation that oppresses the nerve. Acupuncture with some exercise can help a lot on it.

    Herb is able to reduce the pain, accelerate the recovery, and relax the muscle as well. Compare to acupuncture, it’s ability of reducing pain and relaxing muscle are not that efficient. But it works well on accelerating recovery, and it can also help on diminish inflammation and releasing the discharge and pus.

  2. Coldness including the actual coldness which comes form the environment or food, and the coldness in TCM terms which usually has an expression of cold, tighten or stuck. Part of headache that caused by exterior factor is an example of actual coldness, and menstrual cramp that caused by “cold” foods is an example of coldness in TCM.

    Acupuncture and herb are both able to dispel the coldness, which can relax the muscle and vessels, and improve the circulation. But it’s also important that the patient needs to stay away from “coldness” at least during the treatment section.

  3. Heat in TCM is an idea that includes a lot of situations, but the heat that cause pain usually refers to inflammation. Acupuncture and herb are both able to diminish inflammation.
  4. Infection often cause reaction of whole body, it could cause headache, joint pain, stomachache…etc. Acupuncture and herb can improve the immune ability, while reducing its side effect including these pain. Flu as an example, often cause sore throat, headache and sometimes joint pain. Acupuncture and herb are able to reduce these symptoms, and accelerate the recovery as well.
  5. Weakness of Qi and blood is an idea in TCM terms, it doesn’t always means pathological changes of blood. Weakness of Qi usually refers to over all weakness, fatigue, reduce of body or organ function etc. weakness of blood often refers to poor circulation or poor nutrition supply. Acupuncture and herb are able to adjust these conditions by stimulate different body functions.
  6. High blood pressure is an example of irregular movement of Qi. The movement of Qi often express as the change of body function. The irregular movement of Qi can express as irregular tension of blood vessel and blood distribution, and become high blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause headache and neck tension.

    Acupuncture and herb are able to adjust Qi movement, which means the same as saying “acupuncture and herb are able to adjust the change of body function”. So it is able to help on the pain caused by some of the irregular change of body function.




Pain syndrome in TCM(1) – what cause pain – Orange acupuncture in orange county

Pain in TCM is directly caused by blockage.

In order to maintain the normal function of a body part, Qi (the energy) and blood (including a part of Qi and the actual blood) must be able to flow through smoothly. Qi brings apart of nutrition and fluid flow through the body, and it also supports the immune system and keep the body temperature. Blood flows with a part of Qi, and it also carries a part of nutrition and fluid around the body.

Qi and blood flows in different layers, but Qi brings the blood to where ever it circulates. The tension of blood vessel and the muscle pump that brings the blood back to the hart are two example of the expression of Qi. However, blood doesn’t always accompany with Qi’s circulation, because Qi can flow in it’s own route, which is different to blood vessels.


Common reasons that cause blockage

  1. Physical damage or dislocation can obviously block everything flows through the part that has been damaged.
  2. Coldness slows the Qi and blood circulation, and the poor circulation cause the body part to become even more cold.
  3. Heat. The “heat” here means inflammation.
  4. Infection can cause the function of curtain area to be low or irregular, this could be a blockage too.
  5. Weakness of Qi or Blood can cause stagnation on curtain part of the body.
  6. Irregular movement of Qi or unbalance of internal organs can cause blockage on some body parts, and over flow on other parts.

Continue with: Pain syndrome in TCM(2) – How can acupuncture and herb help



Sleep and Insomnia by Orange Acupuncture in Orange County (3)

How TCM describe sleep?

Like I said in How Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) look at Menstruation : Traditional Chinese Medicine uses the natural world as a metaphor for the human body.
Qi (the energy) is like the water, when the sun (active energy) rise, it gets heated and evaporate to become cloud that flows in the sky. When the sun sets, it become cold, and fall down to the earth like the rain or the fog. It seeps into the earth, and hydrate everything that’s growing in it.


So the distribution of Qi controls the biological clock in our body:

When we wake up from the sleep, the Qi must be activated and start to spread out under our skin, and supply our eyes, ears and nose. If it isn’t activated enough, it’ll be like a raining day: we’ll feel tired and cold.

When we want to fall asleep, the Qi needs to be deactivated, start to seep into our body and hydrate everything within. If it isn’t deactivated enough, it’ll be like perpetual day: we won’t be able to sleep.

If there’s any reason cause the Qi hard to seep into our body, it well become a light sleep, and make us wake up tired.

How can acupuncture and herb help insomnia

Acupuncture and herb is able to adjust the biological clock by stimulating acu-points and adjust the activating and deactivating of the energy. In the clinical practice of acupuncture, we found that stomach meridian and spleen meridian are in charge of activating and deactivating the energy. Those people who’s having sleeping disorder related to this set of meridian are having hard time to fall asleep. They tend to be more hyper or emotional. They might be easy to feel hot, or having cold feet because the energy doesn’t goes down. It might cause high blood pressure too. They might be thin, because the metabolism is working faster, unless they’re lack of sleep for too long and become weak.

Gallbladder meridian and liver meridian controls the switch of day and night. Those people who’s having sleeping disorder related to this set of meridian often wake up for no reason at the same time period at night, it’s usually around 3 o’clock or 5 o’clock. They might have more emotional pressure, or just been through some bad event in life. Some of them feels hard to fall asleep because their brain is still running a lot of things from the day.

Bladder meridian and kidney meridian keeps the energy in side of the body. Those people who’s having sleeping disorder related to this set of meridian might keep struggling between very light sleep and wake up feeling that they didn’t sleep at all. They might feel thirst during the day, or having oral ulcer for no reason. They might feel weak, and easy to be cold. Some of them might have chronic diarrhea, and sore back.




Sleep and Insomnia by Orange Acupuncture in Orange County (2)

What can I do to improve my sleeping quality

1. Make sure to do some sports during the day. But not before bedtime.

2. Go take a walk in the breeze, under the sun everyday. It helps the body to adjust it’s bio-clock.

3. No caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine before bedtime.

4. Don’t eat too much before bedtime. A cup of warm milk, some cookies might help, but don’t eat too much.

5. Take foot bath with hot water before sleep.

6. Stick with a regular sleep schedule.

7. It’s best to start to sleep between 9-11PM.

8. Avoid naps during the day.

9. Sleep in a 65-72℉ environment, a bit lower temperature helps the body to fall asleep.

10. Turn off the light, make sure there’s minimum light possible.

11. Make sure there’s no noise. Close the window, turn off the computer and the speaker, even when it’s not making sounds that you can hear.

12. Comb the hair and massage the whole head before sleep can help release some mental pressure.

13. Close the windows, the weather might get too cold during the sleep.

14. Keep the bed clean, and do not decorate the bedroom with plants, these may cause allergy.

15. Remove all the makeups.

16. Don’t try too hard to fall asleep. Get up and do some passive, but enjoyable or tiring activity to do, such as reading, listen to music, or take a bath.

17. Move the clock out of view, but make sure the alarm is on, so you don’t need to worry about when to wake up tomorrow.

18. Here’s a video with some helpful tips that I found on YouTube. He’s B method is also used in traditional Chinese meditation, it is a pretty good way to relax and turn the brain down.




Sleep and Insomnia by Orange Acupuncture in Orange County (1)

Insomnia is a symptom that there’s an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as needed. The sleeping duration needed can be different to each person: some may need only 5 hours to wake up energetic, some may sleep 9 hours but still tired; however, the average is about 6-8 hours.

Why is sleep important?
Sleep in extremely important to human health, it enables the body to recover it self, enables the brain to process the information it received during the day, increases immunity, enables the endocrine system to adjust itself, and ensures the biological clock to be in the right cycle. It is also an important part of anti-aging and anti-cancer.

Lack of sleep can cause slow reaction, headache, low immune ability, lack of concentration, memory problems, depression, irritability and an increased risk of heart disease. It is also bad for skin condition, cause wrinkles and melanin precipitation and accelerated aging.

Why do we need to sleep early, and why do we need to turn off the light?
Human body is more sensitive to the environment then we thought it is. Although we can’t tell the exact direction by the sunlight like a migrating bird, and we can’t detect the earthquake like the ants, but the sun light, the magnetic field, the temperature, the humidity and other factors of the environment does influence our body. As an example, Melatonin is one of the most important hormone that controls the quality of our sleep, our body release more Melatonin when it receive less light stimulation. It is the synchronizer of the biological clock, it is a antioxidant, and it can even prevent the damage to DNA. This shows how important it is to sleep in dark, and sleep early so the body can have enough time to sleep before the sun rise.



Headache and Migraine, and how Acupuncture can help in Orange County

Headache and migraine are classified into a lot of types, the precipitating factors are often pretty obvious that people would have a rough idea of when or what can make them start to have headache. But the cause of it is often unknown or hard to fix. So a lot of people would see the doctor and come back with some kind of pain killer, or muscle/vessel relaxant. These medication can only help for a while, and come with some “possible side effect”.

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What cause Infertility and how acupuncture can help in orange county

common causes of infertility

Infertility can happen to either male or female, it is not a “female’s disease”. The most common problems that could happen to male are low sperm count, low sperm motility, malformation of sperm, and blocked sperm ducts. The most common problems that could happen to female are anovulation or lack of ovulation (release of eggs from the ovary), and inability of the fallopian tubes to carry eggs from the ovary to the uterus.

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