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.

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.