What are Chinese Herbal Formulas?

If I had to answer in one sentence the question, “What are Chinese Herbal Formulas?” – My answer would be, “They are an herbal tea”.

The ‘Chinese herbs’ used the most in Herbal Formulas are:
Ginger
Cinnamon
Licorice
Chinese Rhubarb

Yes, these are the same ingredients found at your local grocery store. You didn’t know you were buying Chinese Herbs, did you?

Most of the formulas are made of those items above and other common dried
Fruits
Leaves
Flowers
or Roots of Plants

Around Portland, OR you can buy the dried ingredients and boil them in water to make “Herbal Tea”, that’s what Chinese Herbal Formulas are – a tea.  The Kan Herb Company (the company I send my patients to exclusively and have used for over 10 years), located in California, has devised an even more convenient way to ingest the formulas.  Kan Herb makes a huge batch of the tea, then they evaporate it, and distill it with a small amount of alcohol to keep it fresh. That way the herbal formulas don’t have to be refrigerated. And someone only needs to take a few drops of the formula instead of drinking a whole cup of tea. They also offer most of the teas in pill form too.

Upside of Chinese Herbal Formulas
They are Subtle (compared to western medicines)
They are more like food than like western medicines, so the body assimilates them much better
They are designed so there are no side effects
There is an Energy component and a Physical component to the formulas
They have been used and perfected for over 3000 years (if we lived in the year 1019, I would prescribe the same formulas to you as I would today!)

Downside of Chinese Herbal Formulas
They are Subtle, you might not be able to notice they are working. You will just find that you are getting better over a period of days or weeks.  Unless you have an acute problem, like a sinus infection, then the formula you would take will be a lot faster acting, and you would definitely notice it is working right away.
They usually have a bitter taste to them. In the USA we are not used to eating/drinking bitter things.
You can’t patent them, since they have been available for 3000 years – so drug companies can’t make any $$ off of them. (this is actually an ‘upside’ for the consumer as it keeps prices low in comparison to patented drugs)


 

Relaxation/Stress Reduction Ear Point

This auricular (ear) ‘acupuncture’ point can be used to produce a relaxed feeling all over the body, reduce anxiety, reduce stress, become more grounded, and produce clearer thinking.  It is excellent for situations where you know you get stressed – presentations, tests, flying on airplanes, etc.

The energy point is easily accessible and can be activated by pressing on it or massaging it (no acupuncture needle needed!).  Massage this place on both ears for at least 30 seconds for best results.  For on-going stress relief place a seed at this point as described below.

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Stop Smoking Point

Know any one that wants to stop smoking but can’t?  Consider telling them about this ear point commonly used to stop or seriously reduce the body’s addiction to cigarettes (chewing tobacco, pipe smoking, cigars, etc.).

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Buy a sweet red pepper at the grocery store, cut out the seeds, dry them on the counter and they are ready to use.  Wear one seed on each ear at the yellow dot location 24/7.  The seed provides pressure on the acupuncture point and activates the point.  This is a more subtle way to activate the point than having an acupuncturist put a needle there, so it could take up to 6 hours before you notice an effect.  If it does not work for your body then I would suggest going to a Chinese Medicine Practitioner or Acupuncturist for more insight on your specific situation.  Every body is different and no treatment works on 100% of people, 100% of the time.  If the seed(s) are aggravating to you or you feel they produce an unwanted effect (for example nausea or dizziness) simply remove them and throw them away.  Your body should recover from having the seed on within 10 minutes.

If you are taking any prescription drugs or have any health issues talk to your doctor/healthcare provider about this idea and before trying to activate this energy point on the body.

Post any comments, questions, or results here.

Energy Medicine & Pregnancy II

The most well known Energy Medicine used today – Chinese Medicine has many specific body points and herb formulas used to support all stages of pregnancy.  Two of the most widely used points for pregnancy are located on the feet.  The first point is found at the base of the toenail on the little toe of the mother.  If the baby is Breech then activating this point will cause the baby to reposition itself. This point has been used for thousands of years in China, just for this purpose.  The point can also work if one twin is not positioned correctly.

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The little toe point is best utilized for breech presentation in week 34 – 37 of the pregnancy.  And using heat (from an herb called moxa) on the point daily is the best way to activate the point to get the fetus to turn.

The second pregnancy foot point is located behind the exterior ankle.  This point on the Mother’s foot can be used to start labor or progress labor if it has stalled out.  No drugs are needed – just pressing the foot point or applying heat to the point will start the labor process!

Interested in finding out more about these gentle birthing techniques?  Click on the Contact tab and request a consultation at Silver Mountain Health or talk to any Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Acupuncturist, or other healthcare professional trained in Chinese Medicine.

Energy Medicine and Pregnancy

Yes its safe!  I have several patients in various stages of pre-pregnancy/pregnancy/post-partum and they all wish they had started Energy Medicine sooner because of how much it is helping them.  Energy techniques are gentle and non-invasive.  Besides inducing a feeling of relaxation (that lasts for days after the treatment), Energy Medicine can help resolve issues at all stages of this unique and challenging time.  Fertility problems, pregnancy back pain, fatigue, breech presentation, inducing labor, postpartum depression, lactation issues, baby jaundice, failure to thrive – no issue is too great or too small for Energy Medicine.  Screenshot 2017-10-19 12.33.30

Pregnancy is a huge time of growth for the Baby and the Mother.  There is no better time to get extra help keeping both Mother and Baby balanced and healthy.   This post is the start of a series of blog posts on Energy Medicine in Reproductive Health.  Follow this blog to be notified of new posts.

 

Namaste

My favorite translation of Namaste:

The Spirit within me honors and respects the Spirit within you –  that Spirit within you that resides in the place that is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace.  When you are in that place in you I can more readily be in that place in me.   When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me – we are one.

Love for a Friend

A friend and I were almost 5000 miles apart, one of us was on vacation.  The prose below is adapted from a text I wrote to that friend:

The friends are separated by a great distance…but really they are not separated at all…

Because they can never again be apart,

Because they have each given a space in their heart for the other to reside.

And while it appears to others to be a small space,

Upon closer inspection, it’s so large as to be incomprehensible…

It gives them all the room to be anything and everything they want to be…

As you move closer to the space to inspect it, it expands again, just like a fractal in motion…

It is, in fact, infinite.

-AMB, July 2016

The Shen 神

    In Chinese Medicine the Shen is energy located in the center of the chest. The Shen is said to be the equivalent of the Emperor or Empress and as such he/she is in charge of all the other organs in the body (which also have ‘jobs’ in the Emperor/Empress’ Court).  When the Shen is present in his/her Palace – located over the physical heart, then the Shen can be seen in a person’s eyes and in their face.  The Shen indicates the overall health of the body.  

    Through energy balancing the Shen (and the body) becomes healthy and happy and the ‘face’ a balanced person shows the world can be strikingly different than the face they had when they were ill/imbalanced.  To illustrate this concept I’ll share here an email I wrote to a friend that I was doing energy balancing with:  

Hi,

I wanted to make sure I mentioned this before we got too far away from yesterday…
But I saw what I would describe as your Shen being fully in your body yesterday – and it is so amazing.

You’ve said in the past you can’t see or feel the difference but to me it is so striking, so amazingly different. So much so I feel I have to tell you about it.

What does it look like?  I’ll try to explain…
Mostly I see it in your face.  And it is definitely like how seeing people’s Shen has been described in class.  Your skin tone has more color, more yellows and pink tone rather than blue and beige.  Your smile is much broader and wider. Which then makes a difference in your cheeks and the overall shape of your face…being rounder/softer shapes.

And your eyes are the nexus of it all.  They are so alive and full of joy.  They seem to be so many colors at once.  And actually when I see this in you and look in your eyes it’s so captivating I loose track of what I am saying; 

And the feeling you emit is open, inclusive, and warm.  Other times you lead with your boundary layer but at these times it feels like your heart and compassion are shining out from beyond your boundaries and that’s what greets people in the world.  Your boundaries are still there, but underneath.

It’s really incredible. And I’m so reminded of the line in that Chinese poem I showed you….  ‘When there is light in the Shen, there is beauty in the person’.

When I see what I feel is your Shen in you, like yesterday…..You are so beautiful.
And I mean that in the most celestial way.
It’s that Universal beauty you may have seen when you look at the night sky, far away from city lights…the beauty of thousands of stars forming the Milky Way….a beauty so great that it fills you with awe and wonder.  And you are immediately captivated and speechless.

That’s what I saw yesterday when I looked at you.

-Amy.

Qi and Vibration

In its broadest sense, qi can be thought of as the vibratory nature of reality: how at the atomic level, all of manifest existence is energy – an intelligent, luminous “emptiness” appearing as this form and then that, like waves rising from and then dissolving back into the ocean. Our perception of solidity – of forms as fixed and lasting “things” – is just that: a perception, based upon habitual ways of conceiving of ourselves and our world.

From: taoism.about.com