2 Types of Common Cold

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In Chinese Medicine, there are two common cases of COMMON COLD. Each show different signs and symptoms and need different treatments. Which one do you have?

Case 1:
• Chills and aversion to cold
• Fever (mild or may be absent)
• No sweat
• Body ache, stiff neck, headache
• Stuffy nose with watery discharge
• Itchy throat
• Cough with thin sputum
• White coat on tongue

Try:
1. Warming food such as ginger, cinnamon, garlic, cayenne pepper, onions, pumpkin, squash
2. Cook your food, don’t eat it cold/raw
3. Drink lukewarm, warm or even hot fluids

Case 2:
• Fever and aversion to heat
• Sweating
• Dry nose with thick yellow discharge
• Thirst
• Sore/painful throat
• Cough with thick yellow/green sputum
• Urine darker than normal
• Yellow coat on tongue

Try:
1. Cooling food such peppermint or chrysanthemum tea, apples, pears, watermelon, strawberries
2. Avoid spicy and greasy food

Sometimes your case might be a bit more completed then this, so proper diagnosis still needs to be done.

3 Types of Dizziness

In Chinese Medicine, ‘DIZZINESS’ is differentiated in many ways. Here are 3 common cases I see in my practice. Which one do you usually experience?    Case 1 (MOST common)  Pale face and lips  Body weakness  Low energy  Palpitation (feel like heart is beating fast)  Severe cases: lose conscious   1. Have regular meals and eat away from stress/distractions  2. Try good quality protein such as beans, eggs, meat, whole grains, steamed veggies  3. Avoid cold beverages, raw food (such as salad, sushi),    Case 2  Flushed face  Red eyes  Ringing in ear  Bitter taste in mouth  Insomnia, dream disturbed sleep   1. More rest less stress!  2. Try peppermint/green tea, lemon water, dark leafy greens, apple cider vinegar  3. Avoid spicy, fatty greasy deep fried food, alcohol, caffeine   Case 3  Heavy feeling of head and body  Nausea  Drowsy  Might have [some] sputum  Loose stool   1. Avoid going out in the rain and dry hair immediately after showering  2. Try spices such as black pepper, turmeric, radish, onions, ginger, garlic  3. Avoid milk product/dairy, sugar, sweets      Although these cases are COMMON, your case might be a bit more completed than this, consult your acupuncturist for a full consult!

In Chinese Medicine, ‘DIZZINESS’ is differentiated in many ways. Here are 3 common cases I see in my practice. Which one do you usually experience?

Case 1 (MOST common)

Pale face and lips

Body weakness

Low energy

Palpitation (feel like heart is beating fast)

Severe cases: lose conscious


1. Have regular meals and eat away from stress/distractions

2. Try good quality protein such as beans, eggs, meat, whole grains, steamed veggies

3. Avoid cold beverages, raw food (such as salad, sushi),

Case 2

Flushed face

Red eyes

Ringing in ear

Bitter taste in mouth

Insomnia, dream disturbed sleep


1. More rest less stress!

2. Try peppermint/green tea, lemon water, dark leafy greens, apple cider vinegar

3. Avoid spicy, fatty greasy deep fried food, alcohol, caffeine


Case 3

Heavy feeling of head and body

Nausea

Drowsy

Might have [some] sputum

Loose stool


1. Avoid going out in the rain and dry hair immediately after showering

2. Try spices such as black pepper, turmeric, radish, onions, ginger, garlic

3. Avoid milk product/dairy, sugar, sweets

Although these cases are COMMON, your case might be a bit more completed than this, consult your acupuncturist for a full consult!

Stress vs. Your Skin

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Stress vs Your Skin | Do you notice more breakouts, dryness, irritation, redness on your skin when you’re STRESSED? 

Blame your “stress hormones” (its a thing), Cortisol.

Cortisol is a hormone that helps you deal with stress. The right amount of Cortisol can act as a great coping mechanism. But if you have high levels of Cortisol, it can negatively affect your skin!

High levels of Cortisol can: 

  1. Break down collagen (protein in our skin)

  2. Promote skin’s oil production which can clog your pores leading to development of inflammation/bacteria 

Acupuncture not only help boost your collagen production it can also calm you and reduce your stress. That is also why points are not only inserted on your face, it is also inserted on other parts of your body.

How To Treat Hair Loss

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Hair Loss (partial or total), can occur on you whole body but the most noticeable and troublesome is our scalp. Acupuncturists can treat hair loss and its root cause (ones that happen on its own, and not secondary to another illness such as chemotherapy, lupus, or infections etc).

A very common case I see in my practice for HAIR LOSS have some of these accompanying symptoms

  • Dry, dull skin/scalp

  • Frequent fatigue

  • Weak nails

  • Poor vision

  • Poor memory

  • Lower back pain and sore knees

  • Women: light colour period with small amount 

Can you relate? Don’t be stressed or discourage because there are reasons behind these symptoms and there is a cure for it. 

Try

  • Adding these to your diet: red meat, beans, chicken, cherries, eggs, beets, carrots, grapes, leafy green, sweet potato

  • Avoid hot, spicy, greasy food, coffee, alcohol, salt/table salt

  • Gently massage scalp in AM/PM for 5 minutes

  • Regular acupuncture can stimulate hair regrowth by encouraging blood to nourish your scalp! Needles are not only inserted on your scalp but different parts of your body as well so the cause of hair loss and its accompanying symptoms can be treated too



Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin

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Yes, there is a difference between the two. 

Dry Skin:

  • Genetics 

  • Permanent skin type

  • Lack of skin’s natural oil production

  • Skin is dry, rough, flaky, scaly etc. 

Dehydrated Skin:

  • Not genetics

  • Temporary skin condition

  • Lack of water/hydration not oil (ex. Oily or Combo skin types can be dehydrated too)

  • Cause by external factors

Signs of Dehydrated Skin:

  • Increased sensitivity causing redness, irritation etc

  • Itchy skin 

  • Skin is dull and tight

  • Fine line/wrinkles

Cause of Dehydrated Skin: 

  • Outdoor environment

  • Hot shower and baths

  • Air conditioning

  • Harsh chemical skin care

  • Poor diet

  • Humidifier 

  • Drink water (obviously)

Try: 

  • Add hyaluronic acid into your skin care

  • Avoid caffeine/alcohol

  • Add water rich food in your diet: cucumber, tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries

  • Not only stay away from the sun but dry wintry air too

  • Lukewarm showers 

  • Acupuncture hydrates from inside out

How Cosmetic Acupuncture Work

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When needles are inserted to your skin, they create wound aka “positive micro traumas.” These “positive micro traumas,” triggers your body to repair your skin by producing more COLLAGEN, QI, and BLOOD to the area.

Collagen makes up to over 70% of protein found in our skin. It is the “building block” of our skin’s foundation. It keeps our skin:

  • Plumped

  • Youthful

  • Wrinkle free

  • Firm

  • Moisturized

  • Smooth

Unfortunately by the time we reach ur 30’s, we will start to lose collagen and our cell turn over will slow down which is why you will notice more fine lines, wrinkles, bigger pores, uneven skin tones, and have skin texture concerns. 

Acupuncture aims to help your body stimulate more collagen to help you look forever young.



What's Hyperpigmentation?

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Hyperpigmentation: 

Discolouration of skin caused by excess Melanin (Melanin is produced to help protect you from the sun but it makes your skin darker). Resulting in small to large, dark and patchy spots on your skin. It is usually caused by SUN EXPOSURE. However, there many be other factors such as post breakouts (ex. acne scars), hormonal imbalance, genetics (ex. freckles), and more. 

As mentioned above the biggest cause for hyperpigementation is sun exposure.  As everyone know, there are benefits from spending time under the sun (ex. Vitamin D which is great for your bones and Serotonin which is great for your mood). And obviously, you can get a great tan. Unfortunately, the sun’s UV rays can really damage your skin! 

Here are the top 2 (wrong) myths, I’ve heard in my practice:

  1. Its winter so I don’t need to wear sunscreen

  2. I’ve already got a tan, I won’t burn

Try:

  1. SPF30+ and Vitamin A should be your BFF

  2. Increase water intake

  3. Eat lots of greens

  4. Cosmetic acupuncture (of course)

Acupuncture Myths Answered

Acupuncture only works for pain relief:

  • It is true that Acupuncture works great for pain relief because it can helps your body secrete more endorphins (natural painkillers) to target problematic areas. However, Acupuncture is also known to regulate hormones for fertility concerns. Help secrete melatonin in your body to help with insomnia. It can also help your body produce collagen for more flawless skin. Above are just are few examples. In other words, Acupuncture is effective in treating a wide variety of medical concerns. Always ask your Acupuncturist if they can help you, most of the time they can!

I don’t need Acupuncture, Im healthy:

  • Acupuncture is effective in preventative medical treatments. Often, I would hear my patients say “My doctors says everything is fine but I don’t feel optimal.” We evaluate and diagnose the entire person and often see the beginnings of an imbalance and correct it before symptoms appear and become a more serious concern. Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel (quote that I read somewhere before). 

If you didn’t feel better after first session, it isn’t for you:

  • Every patient response to treatments differently. Some patient can see a result in 1-3 treatment, well others might see a result in 8-10. It also depends on how complicated your case is (ex. acute or chronic, or severity level). My suggestion is to pick an Acupuncturist and stick with them for a while. Acupuncture is not just about sticking needles in patient’s body, there are different diagnosis, as well as different techniques and styles to how we insert the needles. Keep in mind, Acupuncture is a NATURAL and HOLISTIC medicine. We are treating your body as a ‘whole’, naturally. If you don’t see a result in 1-2 treatments, don’t be discouraged, just let your Acupuncturist know.  If EVERYONE can see results in 1 treatment, I would be a millionaire by now.

Acupuncture can conflict with medication, and other mainstream conventional medical treatments:

  • There is no conflict between Acupuncture and other medication or treatments, if anything we can complement each other. Many times your Acupuncturist will work alongside chiropractors, massage therapists, naturopathic doctors, family doctors, or midwives. Acupuncturist are well trained and know their scope of practice. If Acupuncture is not the right treatment for you, you will be informed. 

Acupuncture is painful:

  • I understand, putting needles into your body sounds scary. Just remember, Acupuncture needles can’t be compared to injection needles. They are EXTREMELY thin. Most of the time patient don’t feel the needles going in. Acupuncturist are here to help with pain, not cause it. Read my old blog post “Does Acupuncture Hurt” for more information! 

Ginger Tea: Health Benefits

Many people do not like ginger because of its spicy taste but ginger tea is a good home remedy for: 

  • Nausea

  • Cold and flu

  • Indigestion 

  • Sore throat

  • Boosting metabolism

  • Reducing muscle/joint pain

  • Menstrual cramps

  • Lowering stress 

Just boil slices of ginger in water for 10-15 minutes (longer if you want it stronger). You can add honey, lemon, or peppermint into the tea  to mask the taste of the ginger!



White Peonies: Health Benefits

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Bai Shao | White Peony Root

The root of this beautiful flower is actually a type of Herbal Medicine. It is a commonly used in Chinese Medicine for women’s health. 

  • Irregular menstruation

  • Menstrual cramps/pain

  • Uterine bleeding

  • Vaginal discharge

  • Fertility issues 

White Peony Root is generally combined with other herbs. The taste can range from slight bitterness to sweetness. Proper diagnosis still needs to be done by a practitioner before consumption.


Story Behind "Acu Releaf"

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Story Time | I often get asked how and why I named my clinic ACU RELEAF.

One of my best friend Selina and I came up with the name ACU RELEAF a couple years before I even opened my own clinic. We initially came up with the name so I can start a blogging website about Acupuncture, Herbs and TCM. Unfortunately, I never got around to starting those blogs but the name ACU RELEAF stuck with me since then.

Although, I didn’t think TOO much about what I would want my clinic to look like one day. I just knew I want it to be place where people feel relaxed and calm when they walk in. For me, when I think about being relaxed and calm I think about the words “nature”, “green”, and “leaves”.

“ACU” is straight forward, it is just short for Acupuncture. Then we came up with the word “RELIEF,” and decided to change it to “RELEAF” as a play on word and also to represent the clinic [it is not because we don’t know how to spell].

If I have the chance to change the clinic’s name, I wouldn’t. I can’t think of a better name to represent me and my clinic.

Fun Fact: Project Wellness and Balance Living, never made the cut 😂

Postpartum Care: TCM Perspective

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The Month After Giving Birth | Traditional Chinese Medicine calls it “Zuo Yue Zi” aka “Sitting Month”

Many mothers focus on getting their body back into shape quickly after giving birth. However, the health and healing that our bodies need at this point is beyond just weight loss.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, the month after giving birth is the most crucial time to replenish the Blood and Qi (vital energy). During childbirth (Natural or C-Section), women loose a lot of Blood and Qi, which depletes them.

TCM practitioners suggest:
1. Rest (ALOT)
2. Eat nourishing/warming food (ex. chicken/bone broth, or soup)
3. Avoid cold/uncooked food (ex. salad, cold beverages)
4. Add warm spices to your diet (ex. ginger, cinnamon, pepper)
5. Have “Qi/Blood building” food: (ex. egg yolk, beets, clean animal protein, cherries, raspberries, lefty greens)
6. Keep warm especially your feet and head

Herbs and Acupuncture, not only help your body bounce back to normal, it can also help with other postpartum concerns:
1. Postpartum depression
2. Sleep concerns
3. Lactation production 
4. Digestion concerns
5. Fatigue

How Heels Can Affect Your Body

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Guess what, your heels can be the cause of your soreness and pain!

Long term wear of heels not only affect your feet, it can affect your whole body. Such as: 
1. Back
2. Knees
3. Calves
4. Hips
5. Achilles Tendon

When you wear heels, your heels shifts your weight toward the feet, so your knee/hips go forward and your back hyperextend backward in order to maintain balance. When you’re in an unnatural position for a long time, it can lead to blood circulation problems, pain, soreness, and muscle spasms!

Try: 
1. Wear lower heels or wedges (lower the incline the better)
2. Restrict heel time to couple hours at a time
3. Change height of heel you wear daily 
4. Go for a wider toe
5. Stretch muscles before and after putting them on

Secret to Anti-Wrinkles

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Anti Wrinkle Food | Chinese dates (Jujube Fruit) is rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals. It can help:

1. Generate blood to moisten and nourish skin/lips
2. Promote healthy glowy skin
3. Smoothes wrinkles

Bonus:
With proper consultation/diagnosis with an Acupuncturist or Herbalist, Jujube Fruit can also be good for you if you have one or more the following:

1. Poor appetite
2. Low energy (even after sleep)
3. Weak muscles
4. Overweight 
5. Diarrhea 
6. Bloating after eating
7. Insomnia
8. Infertility
9. Hair loss

Want to know MORE food with natural healing properties that can prevent wrinkles and improve facial smoothness? Let me know, I have MANY suggestions!

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Did you know humans can survive longer without food than they can without sleep? Sleep is more important than you think. 

Try: 

  • Maintain regular sleep schedule

  • Turn off screen 1 hr before bed (ex. Computer, tv, phones)

  • Avoid caffeine, sugar, and spicy food at night

  • Avoid heavy meals before bed

  • Try adding food such as cherries, banana and milk into diet

  • Supplements such as magnesium

  • Lavender oil in bath

  • Herbs such as valerian root, chamomile, and passion flower

  • Consider “white noise” generator

Acupuncture combine with Herbs can help by: 

  • Secreting body’s natural melatonin (melatonin is a natural hormone that can help you sleep)

  • Reduce anxiety and stress

  • Treat the ROOT cause

 

 

Cupping: Whats All The Hype?

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Body Cupping Benefits:

  • Targets deep tissue levels

  • Relief pain and inflammation

  • Improve blood circulation

  • Nourish and relax muscles

  • Break up “knots”

  • Drain lymph nodes

  • Remove toxins

  • Fight flu and cold

  • Relax and de-stress

  • Fight off cold and flu

Facial Cupping Benefits: 

  • Increase blood circulation, collagen and elastin

  • Plump and firm your skin

  • Reduce appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne and scars

  • Reduce puffiness

  • Relax facial muscles

How it works:

I use either plastic or glass cups. I prefer usually plastic (non fire suction) for face and glass (fire suction) for body. I also combine both moving and stationary techniques with every treatment.

For Body Cupping: you might experience mild bruising, discolouration, and discomfort after treatments but it will disappear after a couple day. Note: This will NOT happen for Facial Cupping. 

Live A Migraine Free Life with Acupuncture and Cupping

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Migraine Headaches | Meghan Markle is right, you can start living a migraine free life with acupuncture and cupping treatments.

Although it seems like painkiller is the only answer for migraines (and for some, it is true), there are less aggressive treatment options you can try. Not only can these treatments help take the edge off by making your life more bearable, it can help eliminate migraine altogether.s

Causes: 

  • Not fully understood. However studies believe genetics, stress, and environment are major factors. As well as diet, hormonal changes, serotonin drop (help regulate pain in nervous system).

Common migraine symptoms: 

  • Severe headache (throbbing and pulsating pain)

  • Blurred vision

  • Nausea, vomiting

  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound

  • Vertigo, imbalance

  • Stiff neck

  • Severe: confusion and numbness

  • Often one side of the head/face

  • Last couple hours to a few days

Try:

  • Magnesium: MORE dark green veggies!

  • Diet Elimination

    • Diary

    • Cheese w/tyramine (Ex. cheddar, paramesan, swiss)

    • Chocolate

    • Alcohol and caffeinated beverages

  • Peppermint and lavender oil

    • Massage onto head or put in tea/water

  • Exercise:

    • Help reduce tensions and stress in body, release serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine

    • Remember to hydrate before, during and after work out

    • Eat protein filled snack 90 minutes prior to warm up

  • Yoga

    • Often times migraines are linked to postural pain

    • Ex. patient with desk based jobs will have an increase in neck tension leading to migraines

  • Sleep in a dark quiet rooms

  • Stay hydrates or eat your fluids

    • (Ex. watermelon, grapefruit, cantaloupe, zucchini)

  • Acupuncture and cupping

  • Herbs

Acupuncture can help with migraine frequency, severity, and associated symptoms. Treatments are catered to different type of migraines (ex. location, characteristics of pain, and accompanying signs and symptoms). Treatment will help promote blood flow, also stimulate the release of serotonin and endorphin; which altogether will help regulate your pain and mood. 

If you see neck, shoulder, and back stiffness with your migraines, acupuncture and cupping combo treatments can help with muscle tightness and spams. Cupping address pain rooted at the deep tissue level.

 

 

 

 

How To Get Rid Of Smelly Feet

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Two main reasons for smelly feet | Your SHOES and of course, SWEAT. The trick is to address BOTH to get rid of the odor completely. 

Try: 

  • Drink more water, water, and WATER

  • Essential oil: cypress or peppermint

  • Wear cotton or wool socks with closed shoes

  • Leather shoes has more breathing room then plastic

  • Bathe with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap (Remember spots between toes)

  • Keep an eye out on fungal infection (Your feet should not be dry, patchy or red)

  • Give shoes 24 hours to air out between wear (Note: if odour doesn’t go away, discard the shoes)

  • Disinfectant spray in shoes, or use odor fighting power/lotion and absorbent insoles

  • ACUPUNCTURE AND HERBS WILL SOLVE THIS PROBLEM FROM WITHIN

For Acupuncturists and Herbalists, there are there are AT LEAST FOUR common diagnoses to treat sweaty smelly feet. 

Do you have frequent hot or cold sweat? Does it have a sticky nature? Do you notice warmness on both hands and feet at night?  All this can help determine what acupuncture points and herbs to use and what type of food to include and eliminate in your diet. 

PMS is NOT Normal

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Ladies, PMS is NOT NORMAL

Some PMS symptoms: 

  • Headaches

  • Insomnia

  • Fatigue

  • Bloating, weight gain

  • Anxiety, depressive feelings, mood swings, irritability

  • Breast tenderness

  • Heavy, painful menstruation

  • Cramps

PMS symptoms is a cry for help, telling your body that something isn’t right with your hormones (estrogen an progesterone). You might have too much estrogen and too little progesterone. 

Causes:

  • Poor Diet

  • Nutrient Deficiencies (ex. Magnesium, Vitamin)

  • Stress

  • Obesity

  • Aging

Ways to stop:

  • Lower sugar intake

  • Ditch red meat, dairy and alcohol

  • Avoid cold or raw food before your period

  • Cut out white bread, pasta, white rice

  • Mange your stress level (ex. Massage, Hot Bath, Naps, Yoga)

  • Exercise

  • Herbs (ex. Dong Quai aka “female ginseng” or Bai Shao aka “white peony”..just to name a few)

  • Acupuncture with infrared heat lamp

Going on the pill, taking pain killer, or even anti-depressant does not solve the underlying problem. Acupuncture and herbs not only focus on regulating your hormones, emotions, energy, and cravings they help regulate the blood flow for heavy, painful periods! 

 

 

 

What You Should Eat During A Heatwave

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Its going with be HOT the next two days. Other then staying cool and hydrated during the time, there are COOLING FOOD you can eat to cool yourself down from within.

To Try: 

  1. Coconut Water

  2. Green and Peppermint Tea

  3. Veggie (such as Celery, Eggplant, Spinach, Tomato, Cucumber)

  4. Fruits (such as Apple, Banana, Kiwi, Lemon, Pear, Strawberry, Watermelon)

  5. Seeds (such as Mung beans, Tofu)

  6. Cheese and Yogurt/Ice Cream

  7. Clams and Crabs

To Avoid:

  1. Spicy and Hot Seasoning

  2. Red Meat (such as Lamb, Beef)

  3. Veggies (such as Onion, Garlic, Ginger)

  4. Fruits (such as Cherry, Peach, Mango)

  5. Seeds (such as Chestnut, Walnut)

  6. Coffee

  7. Chai and Jasmine Tea

Also, people who have heat constitution of the body can eat more of these food.

You may have symptoms such as: 

  1. Feeling hot

  2. Always sweating without exertion

  3. Thirst

  4. Constipation

  5. Foul flatuence and stools

  6. Burning anus after bowel movement

  7. Anxiety

  8. Red eyes and face

  9. Headache esp. back of head

  10. Prone to ulcers in mouth or tongue

  11. Red tongue with thick yellow coating

If you find yourself experiencing the above symptoms, contact Acu Releaf. There are many reasons why you are experiencing these.  Most likely there are extra heat and toxins in your body that needs to be released.  We can figure out the cause and cure it using acupuncture, herbs, and lifestyle changes!