Herbal Medicine during the Pandemic

January 30, 2023

Bill Schoenbart

Graphic of chinese herbs in piles

With great appreciation, Bill Schoenbart, associate chair of the Department of Herbology at Five Branches University, shares his clinical expertise of treating hundreds of Covid-19 patients over the last 3 years. Bill shares common patterns he has seen along with five case studies including how the TCM treatment plans evolved as the diagnosis changed partnered with recommended formulas to support those cases.

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Wind and Cold Damp Bi

January 26, 2023

Skye Sturgeon, DAOM, Quality Assurance Manager, Mayway

Wind and Cold Damp Bi

One of the most common reasons that patients seek treatment from licensed acupuncturists is for musculoskeletal aches and mild pain (Tòng 痛), both acute and chronic. There may also be decreased range of motion, inflammation, swelling, and numbness. Primarily, these issues are due to minor injury or dysfunction of joints and related soft tissues, including tendons and ligaments. In traditional Chinese medicine, this often is interpreted as Obstruction Syndrome (Bì zhèng 痺症).

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Cold Weather Kidney Tonics

January 4, 2023

Mark Frost, MSTCM, L.Ac.

Cold Weather Kidney Tonics Winter is upon us and the cold winds have begun to blow once again. This is an ideal time to strengthen and tonify the Kidneys in order to ensure the Yang Qi is warming the interior, channels and collaterals. The TCM functions of the Kidneys include storing the Essence, governing fluid metabolism in the lower burner and lower extremities, receiving the Qi from the Lungs, ruling the two lower orifices, regulating reproductive and sexual function, and housing the Life Gate (Ming Men – 命門) Fire. We review our top 3 cold weather kidney tonics and their use in Chinese medicine. Read More

Moxa Strengthens the Kidneys and Mingmen Fire

December 25, 2022

Susan Johnson, L.Ac.

Moxa is an excellent way to deeply warm the body, more important now, as we head into fall and winter. In fact, between the change of seasons, there is a two to four week period referred to as “Moxa Season.” During this interval, it is said that the “Life Gate is open.” 

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Perfect Partners: Acupuncturists Without Borders & Mayway

November 23, 2022

Acupuncturists Without Borders

Acupuncturists without borders chinese herbal medicine photo

Carla Cassler of Acupuncturists Without Borders provides a recap of 2022: New modalities added to the AWB trauma-informed toolkit, disaster response work, and ongoing support for refugees, veterans, and underserved farmworkers providing 250,000 treatments worldwide with 600 integrative practitioners. Read more about AWB and how you can get involved.

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Charlotte Maxwell Clinic: Health, Hope and Healing

November 22, 2022

Charlotte Maxwell Clinic

Photo of the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic with plum flower chinese medicine bottles

For 31 years, the Oakland-based nonprofit has provided free access to compassionate, integrative care for thousands of San Francisco Bay Area low-income women with cancer. Inspired by the vision of Ms. Charlotte Maxwell, a progressive public health advocate who recognized the importance of combining complementary therapies with conventional cancer treatment. Read more about CMC and how you can help.

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Abdominal Distension: (fu zhang 腹脹, pi man 痞滿)

October 24, 2022

William Maclean, M.Sc. Chin. Med.

Fu zhang refers to a sense of fullness, discomfort, blockage or obstruction across the either the upper or lower abdomen, or across the abdomen as a whole. Pi man is distension specifically in the epigastric area. As a general rule, abdominal distension is due to an obstruction to the correct movement of Spleen and Stomach qi. The obstruction itself may be due to the presence of some pathogen, internal or external or due to weakness or stagnation of qi.

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The Chinese Medicine Treatment of Cough

October 4, 2022

William Maclean, M.Sc. Chin. Med.

Woman coughingCoughing, in the language of TCM, is simply a failure of the natural descent of Lung qi, or a rebellion of Lung qi upwards. There are two general mechanisms: Lung qi which is too weak to descend, and simply ‘floats’ upward or blockage of Lung qi’s downward movement by a pathogen.

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Fires and Metal: Fall Lung Formulas

October 2, 2022

Laura Stropes, L.Ac.

Smoky HillsAutumn is the season of metal, and pertains to the Lung and Large Intestine organs. It is the season of dryness in Chinese medicine, and as we have experienced here in California, it is also the season of wildfires. With colder weather coming, burning leaves and smoking chimneys can cause patients across the country to react to the change in air quality.

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Exploring Blood and Immunity in TCM

August 30, 2022

Skye Sturgeon, DAOM, Quality Assurance Manager, Mayway

Image showing an animation of blood

There is often a tendency in TCM education to equate the TCM concept of Wèi Qì (衞氣) with the immune system and this leads to oversimplification and misunderstanding. In traditional Chinese medicine, while there are obvious areas of conceptual overlap, the biomedical “immune system” must also include other facets of Qi plus aspects of the TCM concepts of Blood, Yang, Yin, Jing, and Marrow to be properly understood. In this article, Dr. Skye Sturgeon explores a more complete understanding of how to assess the condition of a patient’s blood by providing insight into the use of a common laboratory test, i.e., the Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential.

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Protect them with Jade Windscreen

August 24, 2022

Mark Frost, MSTCM, L.Ac.

Yu Ping Feng San Jade WindscreenFor countless generations, Jade Windscreen (Yu Ping Feng San) has been utilized to address surface deficiency patterns that lead to aversion to wind and frequent invasions of common pathogenic influences. These complaints are the result of surface deficiency due to deficient or unregulated Wei Qi. The etiology of Wei Qi deficiency are manifold and determined by a comprehensive differential diagnosis. The most common causes of deficient Wei Qi include Lung, Spleen and Kidney deficiency patterns.

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Five Spirits, Five Paths

July 8, 2022

Dr. Kim Peirano, DACM, L.Ac.

Photo of woman with CPTSD

cPTSD is different from PTSD in that it is not so much associated with the trauma or reaction to outward events, but instead manifests inwardly - how we see and think about ourselves - and as a result, how we see the world. It may be caused by a single traumatic event, but more likely is the accumulation of smaller, more covert trauma that usually revolve around the core issue of not being seen or valued in a way that we needed to be or not being able to escape a situation or event that was a threat. As we look around at our communities of people hurting deeply, acting out in ways we would have never imagined, it seems easy to cast it aside as being an issue belonging only to that person, but truly this is a systemic community issue that begins in childhood and continues into adulthood.

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Helping Children with Autism, a Chinese Medical Perspective

July 6, 2022

Lola Burmeister, L.Ac.

Puzzle piece autism image

Formulas for children with Autism will vary according to the defining symptoms. A typical pattern in Autism is Shen disturbance and a deficient middle jiao, accompanied by impeded movement of qi and Blood resulting in blocks in the meridians and collaterals, and Liver and Kidney deficiency. 

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Acupuncture Treatment Strategies to Support the Shen

July 3, 2022

Mark Frost, MSTCM, L.Ac.

Acupuncture for Trauma

As practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, we understand the importance of balancing emotional and psychological health. Shen disharmony not only affects our emotional experience, but can also have a significant impact on our physical health. What follows is a discussion of four acupuncture treatments to harmonize the emotions and balance the Shen.

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Inclusion in Your TCM Practice

June 28, 2022

Katrina Hanson, L.Ac.

Inclusion Image

LGBTQI patients are more likely to have had a negative experience with a previous healthcare practitioner–anything from the practitioner using the wrong name to refusing to treat them unless they stop taking gender-affirming hormones. We can help repair our patients’ trust in their healthcare providers by building a more inclusive practice. Even those of us who are part of the LGBTQI community have a lot to learn about being inclusive practitioners.

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