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True Health Acupuncture

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San Diego, CA 92109

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Spring and Chinese Medicine

It is the long-awaited change of winter to spring. Seeds sprout, flowers bloom, and the sun warms the earth. There is a sense of renewal and new life all around. While winter was a time to conserve energy and reduce activity, spring is a time of regeneration, new beginnings, and a renewal of spirit. The Principle of the Five Elements  The five elements refer to wood, fire, earth, metal, and water in Eastern philosophy. The Principle of the Five Elements (known as the Wu Hsing in Chinese) describes the flow of Qi and the balance of yin and yang. According to the principle, all change — in the universe and in your body — occurs in five distinct stages. Each of these stages is associated with a particular time of year, a specific element in nature, and a pair of organs in the body. Change links together the seasons of the year, aspects of nature, and your body’s organs and bodily processes. A practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine uses this principle to diagnose and treat health problems, linking specific foods, herbs, and acupuncture points to the restoration of yin-yang and Qi. SPRING: Spring is the ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation for overall health and well-being. As spring is represented by the wood element and includes the liver and its complementary organ, the gallbladder, these two organs are usually the primary targets for springtime cleansing and health regimens.

Element: WoodColor: GreenNature: YangOrgans: Liver, GallbladderEmotion: Anger

Put Some Spring into Your Step Spring corresponds to the "Wood" element, which in turn is conceptually related to the liver and gallbladder organs. According to the philosophy of Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for the smooth flowing of Qi (energy) throughout the body. When the liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly. So, for optimum health this spring, move your Qi! Stretch - The liver controls the tendons. According to Chinese medicine, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, maintaining tendon health and flexibility. Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine. Try yoga or tai qi. Eye Exercises - The liver opens into the eyes. Although all the organs have some connection to the health of the eyes, the liver is connected to proper eye function. Remember to take breaks when looking at a computer monitor for extended periods of time and do eye exercises. Eat Green - Green is the color of the liver and of springtime. Eating young plants - fresh, leafy greens, sprouts, and immature cereal grasses - can improve the liver’s overall functions and aid in the movement of qi. Taste Sour - Foods and drinks with sour tastes are thought to stimulate the liver's qi. Put lemon slices in your drinking water, use vinegar and olive oil for your salad dressing. Garnish your sandwich with a slice of dill pickle. Do more outdoor activities - Outside air helps liver qi flow. If you have been feeling irritable, find an outdoor activity to smooth out that liver qi stagnation. Try hiking or take up golf. Enjoy milk thistle tea Milk thistle helps protect liver cells from incoming toxins and encourages the liver to cleanse itself of damaging substances, such as alcohol, medications, pesticides, environmental toxins, and even heavy metals such as mercury. Get Acupuncture treatments- Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help improve the overall health of your liver as well as treat stress, anger, and frustration, which are often associated with liver qi disharmony. Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year can serve to tonify the inner organ systems and can correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems. Call today to see how acupuncture can help you stay healthy this spring!

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Acupuncture Antiquity

The precise start date of acupuncture's use in China and how it evolved from early times are uncertain. One explanation is that some soldiers wounded in battle by arrows were believed to have been cured of chronic afflictions that were otherwise untreated,[30] and there are variations on this idea.[31] Sharpened stones known as Bian shi have been found in China, suggesting the practice may date to the Neolithic[32] or possibly even earlier in the Stone Age.[33]Hieroglyphs and pictographs have been found dating from the Shang Dynasty (1600–1100 BCE) which suggest that acupuncture was practiced along withmoxibustion.[34] It has also been suggested that acupuncture has its origins in bloodletting[35] or demonology.[36]Despite improvements in metallurgy over centuries, it was not until the 2nd century BCE during the Han Dynasty that stone and bone needles were replaced with metal.[32] The earliest examples of metal needles were found in a tomb dated to c. 113 BCE, though their use might not necessarily have been acupuncture. The earliest example of the unseen meridians used for diagnosis and treatment are dated to the second century BCE but these records do not mention needling, while the earliest reference to therapeutic needling occurs in the historical Shiji text (史記, English: Records of the Grand Historian) but does not mention the meridians and may be a reference to lancing rather than acupuncture.[37]The earliest written record of acupuncture is found in the Huangdi Neijing (黄帝内经; translated as The Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon), dated approximately 200 BCE.[36] It does not distinguish between acupuncture and moxibustion and gives the same indication for both treatments.[36] The Mawangdui texts, which also date from the 2nd century BCE (though antedating both the Shiji and Huangdi Neijing), mention the use of pointed stones to open abscesses, and moxibustion, but not acupuncture. However, by the 2nd century BCE, acupuncture replaced moxibustion as the primary treatment of systemic conditions.[36]The practice of acupuncture expanded out of China into the areas now part of Japan, Korea and Taiwan, diverging from the narrower theory and practice of mainland TCM in the process.[38] A large number of contemporary practitioners outside of China follow these non-TCM practices, particularly in Europe.[39]In Europe, examinations of the 5,000-year-old mummified body of Ötzi the Iceman have identified 15 groups of tattoos on his body, some of which are located on what are now seen as contemporary acupuncture points. This has been cited as evidence that practices similar to acupuncture may have been practiced elsewhere in Eurasia during the early Bronze Age.[40]
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