Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has thousands years history. It has unique basic theories and diagnostic methods. It is a very effective therapy in treating many chronic diseases and some acute diseases. If you are interested in TCM, welcome to pop in to this TCM forum, let's discuss on any topic about Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. If you have any health problem, you are welcome to visit my clinic Knowhow Acupuncture at 1 Harley street, London. If you are far away from London, you can pop in my online clinic to get some help. If you like this blog please share it to your friends.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Keep acupuncture in Spanish health centres

Tiejun Tang
World Acupuncture Day was celebrated 3 days ago in Paris. Unfortunately all of the acupuncturists in the World received bad news after the good news on the same day –The Spanish government has announced plans to remove alternative medicine such as acupuncture or homeopathy from health centres. The reason for this decision is to avoid the “potential harmful effects” the science and health ministers said, further stating that: “Many people still believe that some treatments work despite there being no scientific proof available,” I disagree with this opinion, in fact there is considerable scientific evidence showing that acupuncture is a scientific therapy.

Three points below show that this is an ill-considered and incorrect decision made by the Spanish government.

Firstly, many scientific research reports support acupuncture.
PubMed is a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE database on life sciences and biomedical topics. It was maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health . When you put “acupuncture” as a key word in PubMed search, you can get 29,039 papers. In these papers 15,057 were published in the last 10 years; 8,474 were published in the last 5 years; 4,113 papers were randomized controlled trial (RCT)reports; 1,474 papers were published in core clinical journals; 18,876 papers were published in English; 81 papers were published in Spanish. Of course not all of these reports have got a positive conclusion, but this statistical data demonstrates that acupuncture is becoming a hot point of medical research. Many positive scientific reports of the efficacy of acupuncture can be found in the research update of ATCM  at this link.

Secondly, acupuncturist training must keep a high qualification.
Like many Western medicine therapies, acupuncture has indications and contraindications. It also has some potential risks. An acupuncturist must have proper training. In China acupuncturist must have 5 years full time training to get a BSc degree in a Chinese medicine university. They not only learn acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine but are also trained in modern medicine knowledge. They must be aware of the red flags of clinical practice. Nobody can become an acupuncturist after a very short training period, even if qualified in Western medicine. Acupuncture training varies in different counties. Statutory regulation of acupuncture is needed to protect the patients, and the integrity of the profession. The Spanish  government should regulate acupuncture rather than ban it.  

Thirdly, evaluating a therapy should have a fair standard.
Medical errors often happen in Western medicine, it has become the third leading cause of death in the US [1]. An EU-WHO statistical data report shows that medical errors and health-care related adverse events occur in 8% to 12% of hospitalizations. For example, the United Kingdom Department of Health, in its 2000 report 'An Organisation with a Memory', estimated that there are about 850 000 adverse events a year (10% of hospital admissions). Spain (in its 2005 national study of adverse events) and France and Denmark have published incidence studies with similar results [2]. The medical error incidence of acupuncture is much lower compared to Western medicine. Statistic research in China showed that  from 1950-2002 there are 1192 cases reported of acupuncture accident, and 52 death cases[3]. It is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of acupuncture treatments in China every single day. The death rate is only one case per year in average. I have no comment on other alternative medicine treatments. Acupuncture is a very safe therapy if it is carried out by a high qualified practitioner. The Spanish government should use the same rule to evaluate every therapy, and listen to the feedback of the public before they make the final decision.

Eliminating acupuncture is an absolutely wrong decision.  It could not protect public health and will leave more patients exposed to the side effects of chemical drugs and the risk of surgical operations.Acupuncture is a valuable asset for all mankind, do not throw it away.

  1. Makary MA, Daniel M.  Medical error-the third leading cause of death in the US. [J]. BMJ. 2016 May 3;353:i2139. doi: 10.1136/bmj.i2139.
  2. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/Health-systems/patient-safety/data-and-statistics.
  3. Zhang Ren. History and current condition of acupuncture accident. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine. 2004; 2(4): 306-313.

Friday, 2 November 2018

World Acupuncture Day review acupuncture history

Tiejun Tang

World Acupuncture Day will be celebrated in Paris at the building of United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) , on the 15th of November 2018. It was organized to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the inscription of acupuncture and moxibustion, in November 2010, into the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Acupuncture is getting popular worldwide over the last few decades.  Although most people know acupuncture originates from China, many are still curious about how and when acupuncture actually first started.  As an acupuncturist we often been asked by patients as to how old acupuncture was and who invented it, etc.  There is no simple answer to these questions.  Let’s review the acupuncture history before the World Acupuncture Day. 

Unlike most other complementary therapies, it’s not the invention by just one or few persons; it’s the work of many people over a long period of time.  The origin of acupuncture could date back to as far as over four thousand years to Neolithic Age.  During that period, the Chinese ancestors started using sharp stone to stimulate certain points on the body for pain relief.  This was called Pianshi therapy. Since then, improvements were made from using sharp stone for point stimulation to stone needles, and then to needles made from jade and bone.  According to written literature, the first bronze acupuncture needles were invented by Fuxi Emperor when he was in power during 2400 – 2370 BC. There were also other classical texts that recorded that the nine types of bronze needles were invented by the Yellow Emperor during 2337 – 2307 BC. Many acupuncture theories and treatment methods were recorded in the Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing), one of the most representative classical texts in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Acupuncture knowledge and experience were handed down from generation to generation with more and more literature and classical books were published.

Since 6th century AD, acupuncture knowledge had spread to Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and other neighbouring Southeast Asia countries.  With the development of maritime trade, diplomatic and missionary liaisons, acupuncture began to spread to the Western countries such as The Netherlands, France, England, Italy and Germany from the 16th century. In the first half of the nineteenth century, there was a flurry of interest in both America and Britain, and a number of publications appeared in the scientific literature including a Lancet editorial article entitled ‘Acupuncturation’ [1]. However, acupuncture had only been practised at a small scale then, and not until 1970’s that such practice had been becoming more and more popular.

In 1971, an American journalist was given acupuncture treatment to help aid his recovery from an emergency appendectomy in China. After returning back to the US, he had written an article in the New York Times about his whole experience[2].  This had aroused an ‘acupuncture heat’ in both the US and other western countries.  Many people from different nationality came to China to learn acupuncture.  Since then, the popularity of acupuncture had grown worldwide.  At present, there are practitioners in 182 countries and districts practising acupuncture.  In 2003 World HealthOrganization (WHO) published a report about clinical trials research, 91 diseases and conditions were listed as indications of acupuncture. In 15th of November 2010 acupuncture was listed to Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO

The demand for acupuncture training had also been fast growing in Europe, North America and Australia. Since written records of acupuncture began in China, many great acupuncture masters had written and passed down their precious clinical experience to their successors.  Some Chinese acupuncture books had been translated into English and other foreign languages, but unfortunately only a small part acupuncture classical text has been translated into other languages. We hope more accurate translation acupuncture monographs will be published in the future. Review the acupuncture history, we always learned more about acupuncture from our ancestors.

To understanding acupuncture history and remember World Acupuncture Day.

Reference :
          1.     AnonAcupuncturationLancet1823.; November 9. : 200. –1
          2.     Reston J. Now about my operation in Peking. New York Times 1971;1:

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Questions and Answers about Acupuncture support IVF


Ellie was my client. I did acupuncture to support her first IVF. She succeed at the first try. When her daughter was about 2 years old, she contact me for her second IVF support at few weeks ago. After about one month treatment, she got pregnant again. She recorded all her IVF procedure in video and shared her experience in her Facebook diary  She also asked me to write a Q&A about this topic. Next is our dialogue.

Questioner : Ellie Thompson
Answerer: Tiejun Tang

Acupuncture – What is it?
Tell us a bit about how it works in term of the body and why putting needles into these areas can help?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy. It is one of the key components of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is among the oldest medical therapies in the world. Acupuncture is penetrating the skin with filiform needles to stimulate certain points of the body. According to the traditional Chinese medicine approach, there are fourteen channels known as meridians in the human body, these meridians link to corresponding organs and travels up and down. Every acupuncture point is like a tube station on individual channels. Stimulating specific acupuncture points can correct imbalances in the flow of Qi or Chi. It also can regulate blood circulation of the whole body, correct imbalances of Yin & Yang and regulate the function of internal organs. That is why acupuncture can release many symptoms physically and mentally, and benefit health.

Why is acupuncture especially recommended for fertility/IVF?
IVF success rate is very low usually. Clinical research has showed that acupuncture can increase the success rate of IVF. This fact was discovered by chance. In 1999 Dr Stener-Victorin tried to evaluate the anaesthetic effect during oocyte aspiration in IVF. She found the acupuncture group had a significantly higher implantation rate, pregnancy rate, and take home baby rate. She published her research report in Human Reproduction, the top journal in reproductive medicine. Some other doctors repeated this clinical research and add two acupuncture sessions on embryo transfer day. The result showed the acupuncture group’s success rate was significantly higher than that of the control group. Many clinical trials were carried out with modified treatment protocol. More and more doctors recommended acupuncture during the IVF treatment. More reference paper and research detail can be obtained here.

Can acupuncture help a couple struggling to conceive, to conceive naturally and how?
Acupuncture not only can increase the success rate of IVF, but it can also help couples conceive naturally. According to the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, the fertility function is dominated mainly by the kidney. Normal Qi and blood circulation in both partners ensures a normal fertility function. Acupuncture can boost the fertility function by tonifying the kidneys and regulating qi and blood circulation. Remember that IVF has only 40 years of history, while in comparison, traditional Chinese medicine has used acupuncture to treat infertility for thousands years.

Can acupuncture improve sperm quality, morphology, motility and speed?
Yes, research reports showed acupuncture can significant improve sperm quality, morphology, motility and ultrastructural.
Here are some useful research studies to read in more depth:

Why do you take a pulse and look at the tongue – How much do those things tell you?
Pulse taking and tongue observation are two diagnosis methods of Chinese medicine.
The diagnosis is very important because the acupuncture point selection is based on diagnosis. Pulse and tongue can provide a lot of information to practitioner, includes the level and status of qi and blood, the functional condition of each internal organs, the imbalance of yin and yang etc. Patient should not eat or drink colourful food and drinks before an acupuncture visit in case the tongue shows a fake colour.

When should one have acupuncture during an IVF cycle?
The acupuncture treatment protocols are various for individual cases. The treatment plan depends on the age, constitution, history and many other factors. In some conditions acupuncture should start 2-3 month before IVF for fertility to prepare.
During the ovarian stimulation acupuncture should be used to reduce the side effects caused by IVF drugs; one acupuncture session at an hour before egg collection, to alleviate the tension and pain during egg collection; two sessions of acupuncture about an hour before and after embryo transfer.
The first week after embryo transfer one or two sessions of acupuncture are needed. If the pregnancy tests positive, the patient still need to carry on with acupuncture once a week until the 12th week in order to prevent miscarriage.

When you’re treating someone undergoing IVF, do you look at treating other problems in the body may be contributing to infertility?
Yes, of course. We must treat other problems during the IVF process. Some chronic diseases can effects success rate of IVF. It may be one of the reasons for infertility. Chinese medicine emphasises a holistic view of the human body. Acupuncture can regulate qi and blood circulation, balance the yin/yang of whole body. Nourishing qi and blood can benefit anemia. Tonified yin/yang can regulate hormone imbalance and thyroid disorder. Activating blood flow and removing blood stasis can reduce symptoms of endometriosis, PCOS and uterine fibroids.

Are there immediate signs that acupuncture has worked, or is working? i.e. Pulse, tongue etc?
After acupuncture treatments many people will feel energetic, experiencing improved sleep, less stress and anxiety. Their face colour and tongue colour looks better then before and their pulse will get stronger.

Why is acupuncture so important before and after embryo transfer, what does each sessions do?
Embryo transfer day is an important day in IVF. Patient should have the best condition on that day. An acupuncture session about one hour before ET is necessary. It can reduce the stress mood, benefit qi and blood movement and strengthen kidney function which will increase the chance of success; a session after ET also necessary. It can nourish heart and calm the nerves, this will help patient have good sleep and good rest after ET. Many researchers believe that acupuncture treatment on the ET day is even more important than egg collection day treatment.

What happens if a session is missed – is it important to have regular sessions?
It is very important to have regular acupuncture session around the IVF process/cycle. If a session is missed, it is better to arrange a replacement session in next one or two days. Never miss the session on egg collection day and embryo transfer day. Regular sessions mean a higher chance of success.

What top tips would you give to couples trying to conceive in term of things they can do besides acupuncture? – i.e. Diet, general health etc.
The top tips to increase success rate of IVF are:
  • Keep a happy mood and confidence
  • Healthy diet, avoid spicy food and cold food
  • No smoking and no alcohol
  • Regular and gentle exercise
  • Enough sleeping and rest
  • Take Chinese herbal remedy which prescript by a qualified practitioner in some stage of IVF

Monday, 16 July 2018

Kikuchi disease and its TCM treatment

Tiejun Tang
Kikuchi disease is a very rare disease, also known as histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis. It was discovered in Japan by M. Kikuchi and Fujimoto in 1972. It is relatively common in Japan, occasionally reported in other parts of Asia, very few reports in Europe and North America. The reason of this disease is unclear, and there are two hypotheses of infection and autoimmune. The main symptoms of this disease are fever, swollen lymph nodes, Skin rash and headache. It is easy to be misdiagnosed as lymph node tuberculosis [1], lymphoma, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), etc. Only pathological biopsy can confirm the diagnosis. Western medicine currently does not have specific treatments for this disease, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to relieve lymph node tenderness and fever. In severe cases, corticosteroids can be applied [2]. 

I have treated one case Kikuchi disease with Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture few months ago. The case report as follows:

 Mr. L,  Male, 43 years old, married, Asian, Engineer .
Initial consultation: 7th November 2017. Chief Complaint: Right neck lymph node swollen and pain, accompanied night sweats for 3 weeks. The patient found the right submandibular lymph node pain 3 weeks ago; it enlarged gradually, accompanied by headache and fever. His temperature used rise up to 38-39 . He sweating a lot at day and night time. His appetite was reduced, feels slightly nausea. His bowel movement is basically normal and the urine is yellowish. Poor sleep due to night sweat.
Physical examination: an enlarged submandibular lymph node can be reached, the size was about 2.5cm; felt hard and fixed.  His tongue was greasy and the pulse was slightly slippery and rapid.

Diagnosis of traditional Chinese medicine:  LuoLi (瘰疬). Syndrome differentiation: Hyperactivity of fire due to yin deficiencyheat & phlegm accumulating.
Treatment principle: nourishing yin and clearing heat, dissipating phlegm and resolve mass.

Prescription: Modified Qinghao Biejia Tang
Qinghao 10g, Digupi 10g, Zhimu 10g. Shudihuang 10g, Mudanpi 10g, Qinjiao 10g, Huangqin 10g, Huangbai10g, Xuanshen 10g, Huzhang 10g, Gancao 6g. 7 bags; boiled one bag per day, oral taken twice a day.

Acupuncture points: Reduce manipulation on Hegu(LI4), Quchi(LI11), Dazhui (DU14), Fuliu (KI7), Fenglong (ST40); Tonified manipulation on Zhaohai (KI6), Sanyinjiao (SP6), Taixi (KI3).
 Second visit: 1st December, 2017
His heat was reduced; the body temperature dropped below 37 °C. Patient still have over sweating, accompanied by hot flashes in the afternoon, dry mouth. His appetite was better than before. He lost 3 kg body weight.  His neck lymph node was as swollen as before. His tongue was red with less coating. Pulse was wiry and rapid. Repeat prescription was given of 7 bags. Acupuncture points were the same as before.

Third visit: 13th January 2018
Sweating and hot flashes significantly improvedtemperature back to normal. On 18th December, he underwent lymph node surgery in the hospital. Pathological biopsy didn’t find cancer cells. The pathological diagnosis was: Kikuchi disease. After the operation, the patient felt weakness and exhausted. His tongue was pale and pulse was thready. Modified Danggui Buxue Tang was given to supplement Qi and blood, and to clear the remaining evil. Prescription: Danggui 10g, Huangqi 10g, Baizhu10g, Xuanshen10g, Zhimu 10g, Huangbai 10g, Banzhilian 10g, Fuling 10g, Gouqizi 10g, Gancao 6g. Boiled 1 bag, drink the decoction twice a day for 7 days.  Acupuncture points are changed to: Zusanli (ST36), Qihai (RN6), Xuehai (SP10), Zhongwan (RN12), Pishu (BL20), and Shenshu (BL23). Follow-up three months through telephone, the patient didn’t have any symptoms.      

Because the reason of Kikuchi disease is unclear, there isn’t any specific treatment in western medicine. A report from Taiwan showed the author use Gegen Tang, Chaihu Guizhi Tang and Shengyu Tang to treat early, middle and later stages of Kikuchi disease [4]. The other report from mainland China showed classic herb formula Yinqiao San also achieved a good effect on Kikuchi disease [5].

In my case the hot flashes and night sweats indicated yin deficiency and internal heat. The enlarged submandibular lymph node belongs to the "Phlegm core" or "Luoli". According to the diagnosis principle of combine syndrome differentiation and disease, we selected nourishing yin and clearing heat; dissipating phlegm and mass in the early stage of this disease. Modified Qinhao Biejia Tang was applied. In this formula, Qinghao, Digupi,, Qinjiao, Zhimu for clean asthenia heat; Shudihuang, Xuanshen for nourishing kidney yin; Huangqin, Huangbai, Huzhang for clean heat and detoxification; Mudanpi for cooling blood and detoxification.

His fever and night sweats were significantly relieved after treatment. In order to clarify the western medicine diagnosis and exclude the possibility of malignant tumor, the patient underwent lymph node surgery. Pathological biopsy proved the diagnosis. The patient showed the manifestation of qi and blood deficiency after the operation. A modified Danggui Buxue Tang was prescript to benefit Qi and blood, combined with Huangbai, Banzhilian to clean the remained heat.  Add Gouqizi for raises the liver and kidney yin; Add Xuanshen for clean heat and dispel mass. After several months of follow-up, the feedback showed a positive result.

Although this disease is a rare disease in western medicine, but its clinical manifestations are very common in Chinese medicine’s opinion. It may shows different syndromes at different stages. If the TCM diagnosis and treatment principle is correct, herb selection acupuncture point selection is accurate, it will achieve very satisfactory treatment results. Discussing Chinese herb treatment on Kikuchi disease, it might widen the clinical vision of both Chinese and western medicine practitioner and explore a new idea for the treatment of this rare disease.


  1. C McKenna. TB or not to be? Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease: a rare but important differential for TB. BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2016-217500.
  2.  Mahmood A. Kikuchi's disease: an unusual presentation and a therapeutic challenge. Yale J Biol Med. 2006; 79(1):27-33.
  3. Hyun M. Recurrent Kikuchi’s disease treatment by hydroxychlorquine. Infect Chemother. 2016; 48(2): 127-31.
  4.  陈俐蓉 . 菊池病中医治疗思辨. 中西结合神经医学杂志 2017; 10(1): 94-101.
  5.   管炜.银翘散治疗菊池病报告1例.中国中西医结合杂志 2014; 34 (5): 631-632.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Acupuncture can help you to quit smoking

Tiejun Tang

Today is national no smoking day. There are now 7.2 million adults in England who smoke. Are you one of them? Everyone knows smoking is harmful to one’s health. Many smokers hope to quit smoking, but they find it very difficult to stop. Acupuncture is an effective way to help you quit smoking.
When giving up smoking you may experience several symptoms including irritability, headaches, dizziness, cough, sore dry throat, constipation, increased appetite, runny nose, depression, inability to concentrate or sit still, insomnia and craving for cigarettes.  These symptoms called nicotene withdrawal. Acupuncture can reduce these symptoms by stimulating certain points on body surface or ears.  An important acupoint for quit smoking is Tian Mei point which is on your wrists. This point is specific to help smokers control their cravings.

Many RCT reports have been published in the past 30 years to support the efficacy of acupuncture in terms of smoking. Fuller[1] (1982) used acupuncture to help 194 people (118 men and 76 women) quit smoking. 95% of patients quit smoking after three acupuncture treatments. Fifty-five (32%) of the 174 patients who replied to a mailed questionnaire said they had not smoked since treatment; the success rate was: one week, 86%; six months 41%; 12 months, 34% and 24 months, 30%. He[2] (1997) reported acupuncture may help motivated smokers to reduce their smoking or even quit smoking completely. Different acupoints appear to have different effects for smoking cessation and reduction. Waite[3] (1998) applied ear electric acupuncture to treat 78 smokers in a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The result showed ear electric acupuncture treatment was significantly more effective in helping volunteers to quit smoking than placebo treatment. He[4](2001) reported that adequate acupuncture treatment may help motivated smokers to reduce their smoking, or even quit smoking, and the effect may last for at least 5 years. Acupuncture may affect the subjects' smoking by reducing their taste of tobacco and their desire to smoke. An observational study was conducted by Ma[5](2015) to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture for smoking cessation. A total of 1002 smokers were recruited; 26-week and 52-week quit rates were 16.8% and 15.8%. A large sample multicenter observational study was reported[6] (2016). The result showed abstinence rate in 2940 subjects was 34.00% in week 8 and 18.40% in week 52. The exhaled carbon monoxide level and the number of cigarettes smoked per day were reduced significantly after treatment. The time to relapse was calculated to be 38.71 days.

It’s time to quit smoking! Have you make up your mind? Maybe you have tried a few times to quit smoking. Acupuncture can reduce your nicotine withdrawal symptoms, and it is a natural, safe and efficient way to quit smoking. 
1.     Fuller JA. Smoking withdrawal and acupuncture.Med J Aust. 1982; 1(1):28-9.
2.     He D. Effects of acupuncture on smoking cessation or reduction for motivated smokers.Prev Med. 1997; 26(2):208-14.
3.     Waite.A single-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a simple acupuncture treatment in the cessation of smoking.Br J Gen Pract. 1998;  48(433):1487-90.
4.     He D. Effect of acupuncture on smoking cessation or reduction: an 8-month and 5-year follow-up study.Prev Med. 2001; 33(5):364-72.
5.     Ma E. Effectiveness of acupuncture for smoking cessation in a Chinese population.Asia Pac J Public Health. 2015; 27(2).
6.     Wang YY. Acupuncture for Smoking Cessation in Hong Kong: A Prospective Multicenter Observational Study.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:2865831.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

My contribution to Your Wellness

Tiejun Tang

Your Wellness is the most complete magazine about living well. This is a high quality and practical magazine which distribute worldwide. I was invited to write short paper in the Q&A column since February 2017. I am very happy to share my knowledge with Your Wellness readers and also my dear blog readers. My contributions in the past year are below:

Q: I'm a 54 years old man and lately I have been feeling really tired and lacking energy. I eat consciously, don’t smoke, and drink only occasionally. 
Despite my long hours at work I also ensure that I walk at least for half an hour every day as exercise but I have noticed that my sex drive has decreased significantly, my body fat is growing and muscle mass is reduced; I’m low on motivation, finding it difficult to focus and have trouble sleeping. Can you help?

A:  Dear Sir, Traditional Chinese medicine believes kidney dominate the fertility function and libido. Generally speaking low libido usually is due to kidney deficiency. If your body feels hotter and often sweat at night, you might have kidney yin deficiency; if your body feels colder, you might have kidney yang deficiency; if you only feel fatigue and low motivation you might have kidney qi deficiency. Kidney function will decline when people getting old, but this aging process might come earlier or later, slower or faster in individual person. In western medicine this change is due to decline of endocrine system. Your adrenal gland and your testicle produce less hormones then it was. Your age is not very high. You can have better kidney function. How to improve your sex drive and promoting your energy level?  I suggest you try some Chinese herbal medicine to tonify your kidney. The formula selection depends on the deficiency is happened in yin/yang or qi.  Viagra can boost your libido temporarily. Long term use Viagra will lead some side effects. Chinese herbal medicine is pure nature remedy. It can treat the disease from the root. If you select the right formula it always works very well.     

Q:  I am a 50-year-old man with a history of clinical depression. When I was depressed, my memory, especially short-term memory, was affected. Today, even though I no longer suffer from depression and have regained my psychological health, my memory is not too good. What are the ways in which I could boost it? I am willing to look at lifestyle changes, traditional as also modern medicine and everything that contributes to wellness. 
A: For Traditional Chinese medicine theory, memory deterioration is associated with the heart. During your depression your liver and heart were probably disharmonious. This can be caused by stress, ageing, or genetic weaknesses in the kidney. The good news is that all of the above can be addressed by Qi-Gong exercising, Chinese herbs and acupuncture. There is an herb called ‘Yizhiren’ (bitter caramon) has a very good function of benefit memory. Walnut is a good for food therapy of memory loss. Acupuncture on ‘Si Shen Chong’ the Four Alert Spirit, Four Mind hearing’ acupuncture points also can benefit the memory. A good Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner can tailor an integrated plan of herbs, exercise and acupuncture to best fit your individual needs.

Q: I’m a man that has just turned 50. Though my friends say that 50 is the new 40, in this youth-obsessed world, I am now suddenly very aware that I’m not so young anymore. The feeling bogs me down. Should I age gracefully or fight ageing every inch of the way? Are there any specific traditional remedies or a certain lifestyle that would make me feel and remain youthful for long?

A:  Senescence is a nature process of human. Everybody will gradually getting old after middle age, but the speed of aging process can be influenced by many factors. Inherited factor, unhealthy lifestyle, diet, emotional stress, pollution, lack of exercise etc. every factor can effect to the aging process. People hope to delay and slow down the process of aging. What we can do? Actually we can change a lot of these factors except our gene.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) believes kidney qi and kidney essence are very important in aging process. Tonify kidney is the best method of anti aging. In TCM’s theory kidney doesn’t only indicate the two organs. It includes the function of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and the function of gonad in male and female.
Take some Chinese herbs, acupuncture some certain points can benefit kidney.   Regular Taiji and Qigong exercise also can help to keep younger. There are many classic formulas were used for anti aging. Find a local practitioner you can get one it might suit you.
My teacher Professor Deng Tietao is the world famous TCM master. He is 101 years old. His health condition is due to his TCM knowledge of anti aging. 

Q:  I have had recurring migraine headaches over many years. My solution has been to rely on OTC medicines, which eliminate the pain within half an hour. My wife is concerned about me taking so many painkillers, and suggests I explore alternate ways of dealing with these frequent headaches. Can you help?

A:  You can’t rely on painkillers. Although painkillers can release your pain temporarily, but long term use painkiller will cause some side effects. It may damage your stomach or liver function. It released your headache but causing stomachache. Some strong pain killer can make your get addiction if long term use. A recent published paper said Ibuprofen (Advil) Kills Thousands Each Year. I suggest you gradually reduce the doses of your painkillers. Try to use some alternative medicine therapies instead.
Acupuncture shows a very good effect on pain release. I used worked in the pain clinic of Whittington Hospital in London many years ago. We use acupuncture treated a lot of patients suffer from different kinds of pain. Most of them have got positive effect. The mechanisms of pain release were analyzed in my previous publication. Except traditional acupuncture a new modern acupuncture technique called Fu's Subcutaneous Needle also showed magic effect on pain release. Many Chinese herbal medicines also can release pain without cause any side effect. You can contact your local Chinese medicine practitioner to get a right prescription.
Be aware of the side effect of your pain killers; select a nature and safer way to manage your pain.    

 Q:  I am a 50-year-old man who works long hours online and has to do a lot of reading both on screen and off it, too. I wear reading glasses. What can I do to maintain good eye health? 

A:  Your condition is very common in this screen times. You need to pay more attention to maintain your eye health. Long time overuse your eye might cause vitreous opacity. You might feel floaters and declined vision. My suggestions are: 1) Avoid long time use computer, take a 5 to 10 minutes break after 1 hour continuous computer work; 2) During the break, close your eyes and massage some acupuncture points around eyes. For example JingMing (BL1), ChengQi (ST1) and TaiYang et al.; 3) Looking far distance for 1-2 minutes; 4) Adjust the distance and position of the screen from the eyes, adjust the brightness of your screen to the half of maximum; 5) Eating more soy products, fish, milk, walnuts, vegetables, cabbage, spinach, tomatoes and fresh fruit; 6) Drinking some herbal tea which can benefit eyes.
Traditional Chinese medicine believes eye is out opening of liver. Overuse eye will damage the liver blood and liver yin. Some Chinese medicine herbs have the function of benefit vision. Gouqizi (Wolfberry) and Juhua (chrysanthemum) are two commonly used herbs. Drinking Gouqi Juhua Tea everyday is a good method to maintain eye health. You can get detailed suggestion from your local TCM practitioner.     

Q:  I’m a 42-year-old woman who suffers from severe leg cramps at night. They’re mostly calf cramps but sometimes my feet and thighs cramp too. What could be the reason for this and what can I do for relief?

A:  Many people have experienced leg cramps during sleep. These cramps actually are due to muscles spasms caused by abnormal activity of nerves and muscles. 
The reasons of this symptom are: 1) Leg muscles overstrain in the daytime. 2) Cold stimulation. 3) Hypocalcemia which is more common in calcium-deficient pregnant women, post menopause and elderly person. 4) Improper sleeping posture leads to vein compression, blood circulation stasis. No matter what kind of reason causing leg cramps, it will produce severe pain and discomfort. We must pay enough attention to this condition.
To prevent the leg cramps you should avoid the above reason. My suggestion is 1) Do few minutes self-massage on leg before sleep. 2) Keep your legs warm enough during sleep do not expose it outside quilt. 3) Test blood calcium. Take calcium supplement if your blood calcium is lower. 4) Keep a proper sleep posture and a comfortable sleep environment.

Traditional Chinese medicine believes all the ligaments and tendons are dominated by liver. Liver blood deficiency will causing leg cramps. Cold evil also can causing muscles spasms. Tuina massage on some certain points can prevent and release the cramp.  Any herbs for nourish liver blood can prevent leg cramps.