4 Tips for an Energizing, Joyful Summer

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season is associated with one of the elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Perhaps unsurprisingly, summertime is associated with the element fire. Fire represents maximum activity. In nature, everything is at its peak growth during the summer, so TCM sees our energy as its most active and exuberant. Summer is the time of year with the most yang energy, which is all about excitement and assertiveness. continue reading »

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Healthy Eating from Early to Late Summer

Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM is all about balance. In this ancient system, the key to health is to move through the world in such a way that our bodies can remain in homeostasis, in balance. This idea connects to sleep patterns, what we eat and ultimately the flow of Qi, or energy, throughout the body. For that reason, healthy eating in summertime, according to TCM, is all about using cooling foods to balance out how hot it is outside. In other words, we can find homeostasis from the inside out. continue reading »

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Extraordinary Vessels – Chong Mai

Most acupuncture points are located on the 12 primary channels that flow along the surface of the body. However, there are eight Extraordinary Vessels that flow more deeply in the body, and are perhaps even more powerful that the 12 primary channels. The Extraordinary Vessels regulate the 12 channels, and are deep lakes of energy, which can feed the 12 primary channels when they are depleted. continue reading »

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Extraordinary Vessels – Dai Mai

In addition to the 12 main acupuncture meridians that flow along the surface of the body, there are also deeper channels of energy in the body called the Extraordinary Vessels. You can understand the relationship between the primary acupuncture channels and the Extraordinary Vessels by thinking about what happens when it rains: first, small ditches become full – these are the collateral vessels that break off of the 12 main channels. Next, the reservoirs become full, which are the 12 primary channels. When they are full, they overflow into the Extraordinary Vessels, which are deep and vast lakes of energy within the body. continue reading »

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Is it Chinese Medicine Cupping or an Octopus Attack?

Is it Chinese Medicine Cupping or an Octopus Attack? 
If you’ve ever seen the circular marks left from cupping you might have wondered if your friend or family member had suffered from an unfortunate encounter with an octopus. But do not blame the cephalopods this time…..your friend probably just went to the acupuncturist recently!

So what is cupping and why do we use it? Cupping is a form of traditional Chinese medicine, which involves applying glass or plastic cups using suction to the skin to encourage smooth energy flow; it stimulates your Qi as the cups are placed along the meridian lines of your body. This dissipates stagnation of blood and lymph fluid, promotes blood flow, eases stiffness, encourages better circulation to muscles and tissues, and feels great. It leaves a purple bruise and “cup” mark, only temporarily.

As a real life example-In 2012, during the London Olympics, acupuncture was widely acknowledged in the Olympic community as an extremely beneficial solution to guaranteeing a higher level of athletic performance. Since London, more and more Olympic athletes have been turning to the needle to and have been receiving excellent results.

Wang Qun, an Olympic swimmer for the Chinese team has been known to perform in events with cupping marks still present on her skin. In addition to Qun, other members of the Chinese Olympic Team use acupuncture, most notably being windsurfer Yin Jian, a gold medalist in the 2008 Olympics. Jian attributed nightly acupuncture with helping her achieve success and curing the muscle strains she experienced on a daily basis.

Carleton uses cupping when the condition is very difficult to treat and when acupuncture alone isn’t working as well as he would expect. He uses it primarily for musculoskeletal conditions where the muscles are tight and “adhered” or stuck together, to help loosen them and create flow throughout the body.  If you are curious about cupping, just ask Carleton and he can show you how it works!

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