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Category: Chinese Medicine Articles

December 5, 2023

Chinese Patent Medicine and Over-the-Counter Herbalism

Building Your Herbal Confidence Over Layers of Generational Practice

The phrase “Chinese patent medicine” extends to describe herbal recipes generally composed into pill or tablet form for wider accessibility and streamlined dosing when compared to more traditional raw herb decoctions. Their preparation into prepackaged prescriptions descends from formulations in ancient texts, such as the Shang Han Lun and the Jin Gui Yao Lue, time tested by generations for over 2,000 years. This historical context establishes not only the ingredient herbs, but the preparation required for single herbs before they are mended together, and the harmonizing proportions necessary to bring out the intended effects of the entire composition.

Tea pills are made starting with ground herbs mixed into a paste with a binder – water, honey, or a liquid herbal extract – then rolled or …

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October 30, 2023

Ghost Points Origins

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Point Prescriptions to Illuminate our Spooky Season

In the Northern Hemisphere, October marks the settling in of our Autumn season, and as our environment shifts – the days getting darker and nights longer – we’re also issued a shift to our daily rhythms. Across lineages and cultures people have ways of recognizing the movement into Fall times, and whether that’s through celebration of the harvest yields, a gratitude towards light’s presence despite darkness, or leaning into the “thinned veils” between the world of the living and the world of the ancestors, there is an importance around holding this turning point.

In this space, I’ll hold the responsibility by honoring and uplifting the “Ghost Points” of Chinese Medicine. Spooky in name, but largely exorcized in practice, the Ghost Points are a group …

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July 25, 2023

Best Ways to Incorporate Microneedling Into Your Acupuncture Practice

Acupuncturists are in the unique position of providing a modern aesthetic procedure that actually improves their patient’s internal health.

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 …

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July 8, 2023

Staying cool with TCM-inspired foods and movement this summer

According to EAM, there are many ways you can care for your body during summer by balancing and supporting the fire element.

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 …

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May 17, 2023

San Fu: Treating the Winter illness during the Summer

三伏(sān fú) usually appears between Xiao Shu and Chu Shu when there is a combination of high temperature and humid in nature.

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 …

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April 21, 2023

An Earth Day Conversation with AIMC’s Dr. Nishanga Bliss, DAIM, DSc, LAc

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 …

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March 13, 2023

Can acupuncture treat pain due to arthritis?

A brief look at what EAM can offer those who experience pain due to arthritis

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 …

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October 12, 2022

A Look at the History of Ējiāo (Donkey Hide Glue) and Its Vegan Substitutes

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In recent years, Ējiāo treats have become more popular. Dive deeper into its history, medicinal properties, and vegan options.

Before the Tang Dynasty, Ējiāo was Cattle Hide Gelatin; and Vegan Options Are Readily Available Today as Ējiāo Substitutions.

Ējiāo is a medicinal that plays a role in many important formulas that are commonly prescribed for our patients.  In Herbology I we are familiarized with the Latin translation of Ējiāo, Asini Corii Colla, to mean “donkey hide glue.” However, Asini Corii Colla, is not a literal translation of the word ējiāo and reveals assumptions based on the recent history and current production of the medicinal. Try pasting the characters for ējiāo 阿膠 one at a time into Google translate to see what you get. 阿= A 膠= gelatin.  The word ējiāo simply means “gelatin” and is by no means specific to one type of animal.  Historical …

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July 14, 2022

What is Seifukujitsu?

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Learn about this characteristically Japanese therapeutic bodywork style that was used by Samurai & martial artists to recover from training injuries

What is Seifukujitsu?

Seifukujitsu is a deep-tissue bodywork style developed in Japan & Hawaii based in the healing principles of East Asian medicine. It’s also called “Restoration Therapy” for its long-lasting effects on balancing Qi, relief of chronic symptoms, & support for the healing of soft tissue injuries. With its reliance on the development of personal skill and refined technique, it’s easy for the therapist to perform, and it enhances the health of both the patient and longevity of the practitioner. It incorporates many of the same principles of Medical Qi Gong, “Ki” emission, and channel theory of East Asian medicine, alongside deep physical work on the tissues of the body.

Seifukujitsu is a characteristically Japanese technique in that it relies on …

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Student Spotlight: Summer Self-Care with Sarah Siegel

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Summer is in full swing, with warm and sunny weather, outdoor events, and lots of opportunities to be outside connecting with friends, family, and community. In the Bay Area, we are so lucky to have such beautiful weather, especially during summer, that you can’t help but smile! When we think about summer, our AIMC community and students think about Five Element Theory, and how summer is represented by fire.

We were lucky enough to connect with one of our current students, Sarah Siegel, whose work with her “With the Seasons” Instagram explores the art of seasonal living, narrative medicine, and inspiring people to connect with the Five Elements. Seasonal living for our health is rooted in indigenous values and East Asian medicine wisdom. Seasonal …

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