September 25, 2023
Moving deeper into Autumn we can support the health of our physical and emotional bodies with the elemental logic of Chinese Traditional Medicine. Through this season we depart from the Heart-centered fire of Summer to honor the element of Metal, and the organs of the Lungs and Large Intestines which filter and purge. We have lived through annual peaks in Yang energy and start to distill the lessons we’ve lived through, deciding what is most necessary to carry forward. Energetically, Lungs process through the emotion of grief so the seasonal contraction truly is a gentle nudge towards inwardness, retrospection and release.
The Lungs are a delicate organ often needing our support, and especially call in our attention in the Fall during California’s fire season and across …
July 25, 2023
If you’ve ever considered adding microneedling to your acupuncture practice, know that there is much to learn about this effective, lucrative and popular modality. There are a growing number of acupuncturists utilizing microneedling to help their patients look and feel their best. It’s understandable to want to dive right in and offer this specialty to your patients, but taking the time to understand the right tools and approaches to make it the most effective will mean your patients will experience better and more lasting results. And that in turn will lead to more referrals, and an increased income and reputation.
What is Microneedling?
There are three distinct ways of answering that question – from a Western, Eastern, and Integrative perspective.
From a Western perspective: microneedling uses …
July 10, 2023
Head to our beaches this summer and you face a stark reminder of today’s plastics crisis as you squish through the sand, increasingly composed of microplastic. As the fossil fuel industry faces growing public pressure, it is turning toward using petroleum to produce ever-more plastic instead of fuel.
Plastic and Your Health
From a Chinese medicine perspective, the jing (deep energy reserve) of the planet is being tapped and either burned, creating either excess heat/yang and warming the atmosphere, or made into plastic and chemical compounds, which can be seen as pathological yin or phlegm. Chinese medical wisdom teaches that “phlegm is the mother of a hundred diseases.”
A growing body of research links chemicals produced in …
July 8, 2023
Summer sunshine, warmth, and longer days are finally here! In East Asian Medicine (EAM), summer is associated with the fire element, which makes sense given the warmer temperatures, longer time that the sun is out, and our overall warmer feelings in our body. Summer is also the most Yang time of the year, meaning it is the time that is most bright, active, warm (compared to winter, which is the most Yin time of year, meaning it is dark, slower, cooler). With all of this in mind, it is especially important to be taking care of our bodies in a way that keeps the fire in balance, not too much, or not too little. According to EAM, there are many ways you can care for …
June 9, 2023
Dr. Tolbert Small is a hero of service and healing, as lead physician for the Black Panther Party and one of the first doctors outside of the Asian American community to practice acupuncture in the United States, and is still a practicing physician in the Bay Area. It might be possible you don’t know all of his incredible contributions to his community and the nation when you meet him at his doctor’s office. But in honor of Juneteenth, we want to take a moment to celebrate the activist, the healer, and “the People’s Doctor”, Dr. Tolbert Small.
Dr. Tolbert Small was an activist before he was a healer, and began fighting for civil rights in …
May 17, 2023
Treating Winter illness, or 冬病夏治 (dōng bìng xià zhì), during the Summer, or by using 三伏贴(sān fú tiē)
What is 冬病夏治 (dōng bìng xià zhì)?
冬 病 (dōng bìng) means illnesses that happen more often or get severe in the winter. For example, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, and Spleen & Stomach deficiency and coldness in Chinese Medicine perspective, etc. 夏治 (xià zhì) means the condition of the illness improves while the yang is rising in the summer. With the differential diagnosis, taking Chinese Medicine internally and externally can prevent the severity of the illness in the winter.
What is 三伏贴(sān fú tiē)?
三伏(sān fú) usually appears between Xiao Shu and Chu Shu when there is a combination of high temperature and humid in nature. There are 30 …
April 21, 2023
In honor of Earth Day, we had the pleasure of speaking with one of AIMC’s long-time community members and professors, Dr. Nishanga Bliss, DAIM, DSc, LAc, about her work to educate practicing and aspiring acupuncture and East Asian Medicine practitioners, her call to action to support a healthy environment, and her hopes for the future.
Nishanga has been with AIMC since 2008, and has been practicing Chinese medicine since 1999. She has always been interested in the public health aspect of Chinese medicine and health, but felt more drawn to it, especially living in the times that we’re living in today.
Becoming an Environmental Activist
Nishanga watched her father, an environmentalist, work with the East Bay chapter of the Sierra Club in a time of …
March 13, 2023
What is pain?
Pain is an indicator that something is hurt or injured in the body. It is a way of telling you that something might be wrong and needs attention. When your body is injured (say you trip and fall on your knee), inflammation of tissues and nerves occurs in the area that has been hurt. Some key signs of inflammation include swelling, pain, redness, feeling warm to the touch, some loss of normal or typical function. These are all a part of a normal healing response in the body. Sometimes we experience pain for other reasons – we don’t have to trip and fall to feel pain! Sometimes we wake up with a sore back, or the cold makes your hands feel tight and …
February 2, 2023
With the recent shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, we honor those whose lives have been lost, and are holding in our hearts all those who are grieving among the AAPI community. This time of year is supposed to be a time of celebration. While this year’s celebrations are clouded with trauma and grief, we can look to the Water Rabbit for hope.
Rabbits in the Chinese Zodiac
Each year, according to the Chinese zodiac calendar cycle, a heavenly stem, one of the five elements, is paired with an earthly branch, one of the 12 zodiac animals. This year is the Gui Mao, or Water Rabbit year. Gui represents water, while Mao represents rabbit. Both of these hold significance, and can offer insights into the …
November 14, 2022
This term I am doing my Herb Room internship under the capable direction of the Herb Pharmacy Manager, Le Jiang. Spending time with the raw herbs and granules, mixing formulas has proven enriching to say the least. Le is a wealth of knowledge, and a terrific resource and an even better study mentor- especially where formulas are concerned.
Imagine my surprise and enthusiasm when she asked me if I’d like to go on a field trip to Oakland’s Chinatown! With no hesitation, we were off.
Our mission was to secure more Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang for the school pharmacy. It’s proven an effective treatment for the symptoms of Covid-19, and having it in stock to support our community has been an important measure.
After parking and walking a …