How Can Acupuncture Benefit Me?

Kelly Ripa acupuncturePerhaps you have heard about acupuncture or maybe you know someone who has benefited from treatment. Most Americans are familiar with the process but few have actually experienced acupuncture for themselves. Chances are that one or more of our most common complaints could benefit greatly from this alternative treatment. Let’s look at some of the areas where acupuncture treatment is usually beneficial with the right practitioner:

Acupuncture Benefits

Improved Digestion:  Digestive complaints such as heartburn or excess gas have both been treated successfully and issues such as chronic diarrhea or serious constipation have also responded well to acupuncture treatments. More serious conditions that involve allergies to food, IBS or severe colitis can also see improvement after treatment.

back painPain ManagementMore familiar to car accident victims, acupuncture has proved to be effective in the treatment of whiplash injuries. It is more common today for a doctor to suggest it as an alternative or in conjunction with more conventional treatments. Headaches also respond well to acupuncture, even migraines or cluster headaches. Increased pain relief for symptoms of arthritis has also been reported among patients. You can also heal from surgery faster with acupuncture.

GynecologyOften turned to as pain relief for cramps and body aches, acupuncture can also help relieve bloating and even irritability and mild depressive symptoms. Infertility problems have also been corrected with treatment and even symptoms associated with menopause such as, night sweats and hot flashes, are lessened after seeing the acupuncturist. Many women will tell you that when it comes to regulating your cycle and balancing your hormones, some other treatments aren’t as effective.It is not common knowledge that acupuncture can be a viable treatment for stress – but time and time again this proved to be the case. Many patients report deep relaxation and relief of anxiety symptoms even after one session. It appears that it can also be helpful during a time of crisis or personal trauma as it is effective in reducing the high levels of stress hormones present during these times.

Holistic Treatments

Today, all forms of treatment should be explored in a comprehensive treatment plan. You can learn more about holistic treatments for your ailment via acupuncture by contacting us.

Check out this human edited alternative medicine directory of websites and blogs.

What is Acupuncture Used For?

acupuncture treatmentAlthough acupuncture is usually used alone to treat certain illnesses and diseases, it is a popular method in Western Europe and North America as a combination treatment. Acupuncture is usually used along with pain medication to help relieve pain after surgeries. Using acupuncture before surgery can greatly reduce the amount of pain one feels after the surgery is completed. Another popular use is to reduce post-traumatic stress disorder is soldiers from war.
The many benefits of acupuncture include managing pain, treating certain conditions, is completely safe, has no bad side effects, useful for those who cannot use standard medication, and useful for those who would rather avoid standard medications.

By Laurie Binder

Los Angeles Acupuncturist

Ear Massage

Traditional Oriental medicine states that the ear is the connecting points of all of the life energy (Qi) pathways of the body. Most of our Qi energy is said to travel to and through our ears. Ancient Chinese physicians used acupressure ear massages as a method for boosting general health and for disease prevention.

An ear massage is an effective acupressure relaxation technique as it reduces stress while also improving health conditions of other parts of the body. It can also increase the production of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the brain to reduce pain, improve mood and promote relaxation. Ear massages are also used for calming anxiety, relieving stress, reducing cravings for foods and drugs and helps the body clear toxins.

A great ear massage technique anyone can do involves the three simple steps below.

Step 1: Start by rubbing the ears in a small circular motions. Your thumbs should be touching the upper part of the ears while holding down the outside with the index fingers.

Step 2: Next, massage the thinner areas of your ear right below the widest part up top.

Step 3: Finish off the massage by gently massaging the earlobes by tugging on them while making small circular motions with the index finger and thumb.

Posted by Laurel Binder, Doctor of Acupuncture

Acupuncture for Facial Enhancement and Beauty

Oriental medicine can be used for enhancing beauty. Certain foods are said to improve the yin, as well as significantly enhance the organs and blood flow. Foods like seaweed, bananas, sweet potatoes, and rice help benefit yin, which results in hydrated and healthy organs. Consuming foods that benefit the yin provides the body with special nourishment which cannot be gained from anything else.

sweet rice congeeSweet rice congee is a special dish that is said to intensify one’s beauty and increase the lifespan of a person. This dish involves mixing Chinese dates, sweet black rice, and longan berries. Enclosed is a recipe by Dr. Xiolan Zhao which is said to be the best for facial Qi. You can find most of the ingredients at an Asian grocery store.


1 Cup of [Washed] Sweet Black Rice
10 Chinese Dates
2 Tablespoons of Raw Sugar
6 Cups of Water
½ Cup of Dried Longan Fruit
½ Inch of Thinly Sliced and Peeled Ginger

Add the sweet black rice, dates, raw sugar, longan fruit, and water to a large saucepan. Bring the water to a boil using medium heat. When the water begins to boil, reduce heat and bring it to a simmer. After two hours, with occasional stirring, garnish the dish with ginger. This will make four servings.

What Your Endocrine Glands Do For You

What is the Endocrine System?

Endocrine glands create different types of hormones that have a specific job to do in the human body. These hormones manage every aspect of your health by regulating a person’s mood, reproduction system, physical growth, hormonal output, immune system, and mental conditions. If a person’s endocrine system isn’t working as it should, this could cause a weakened immune system which means you will be at risk for diseases you wouldn’t normally catch.

Acupuncture and oriental medicines have been used to restore function of the endocrine system if a problem ever occurs. This is done by clearing and blockades or disruptions of the body’s meridians, or energy pathways. If there are any imbalances of these pathways, then a person might suffer symptoms like arthritis, cold feeling, digestive problems, fatigue, depression, infertility, or weight gain.

The Responsibility of the Endocrine Glands

Each endocrine gland produces specific hormones to accomplish a certain job. These glands are the pineal, thyroid, pancreas, reproductive, pituitary, and adrenals glands. Below is a little insight to what each gland does.

Gland: Pineal (also known as Epiphysis or “Third Eye”)
Responsibility: Produces melatonin in the body, which is a hormone that manages the waking and sleeping patterns of a person based on seasons, phase of the moon, ect.

Gland: Thyroid
Responsibility: Hormones produced by the thyroid gland controls the temperature, physical growth, and main function of each cell in a person’s body. The thyroid is also responsible for your metabolic rate.

Gland: Pancreas
Responsibility: Produces glucagons and insulin hormones. These hormones work to supply your cells with glucose, the body’s form of energy.

Gland: Reproductive
Responsibility: The hormones produced by this gland manage the reproduction areas of the body. Each gender produces different types of reproductive hormones. Male glands produce androgen and testosterone while females produce estrogen and progesterone.

Gland: Pituitary (also known as Hypothalamus)
Responsibility: These hormones work together with the endocrine system to provide a link to the central nervous system. When nerve cells need a certain hormone for a specific part of the body, it is the pituitary gland’s job to make sure the right hormone gets there. This gland is also responsible for the physical growth of a person.

Gland: Adrenals
Responsibility: The adrenals gland is responsible for managing how the body handles stress. This gland is divided into two different parts that each product their own unique hormone. The inner adrenals gland produces hormones that increase the heart rate and blood pressure depending on how stress affects a person’s body. The outer adrenals glands hormones make sure the immune system is working right, is responsible for sexual development, manage the metabolic rate of the body, and regulates stress levels. Stress is the major concern here, so if there is a problem with your adrenals gland then it could cause symptoms such as fatigue, low blood sugar, weight gain, and muscle aches.

Acupuncture for Endocrine Health

To be able to treat an endocrine disorder, an acupuncturist must discover the main problem that is causing an imbalance in the system. The entire endocrine system is what links the two types of qi together, Yin-qi and Yang-qi. Yin-qi and Yang-qi refers to two opposite energies that flow in every single creation. Without one type of energy the other cannot exist and when one is disrupted the entire system will be disrupted. Acupuncture techniques are used to help balance these two energies by targeting the kidney meridian which helps strengthen a person’s endocrine system.

Acupuncture is also used for balancing out energy levels, managing sleep, restoring hormonal balance, managing menstrual problems, and helps calm emotions. An acupuncturist must know all of the symptoms wrong with your body so that they can target the right points in order to restore the energy flow of your body which will relieve you of any symptoms, boost the immune functions, and optimize health in general.

Many people like to use a good mix of Western and Eastern healing techniques for managing their endocrines health. Western medicine techniques are best for treating illnesses that are fatal while Eastern methods, like acupuncture and oriental medicine, is best for improving the quality of one’s life. It’s a good idea to mix both Western and Eastern techniques in order to attain a healthy endocrine system. Keeping the system healthy will make sure hormones are being produced at a normal rate which means you will not age as fast as those who are sick and will look young for a long time.

Oriental Medicine and Lifestyle Changes for Endocrine Health

Besides acupuncture, it is important to manage your endocrine system by taking care of your body. Oriental medicine involves making changes to your lifestyle and diet in order to boost endocrine health, improve blood circulation, relieve stress, gain natural energy, relieve muscle aches, as well as help rid the body of any endocrine disorders. Below are a few changes you can make to improve your life overall.

Change: Exercise More
Improves: Exercises such as weight lifting or yoga will improve overall health, boost the functions of the immune system, builds muscle mass, burns any extra fat, strengthen the bones, increase flexibility, and provides you with natural energy that is better than what any caffeinated drink could provide.

Change: Sleep Better
Improves: Rest and proper sleep are extremely important for the body, especially if you exercise as you’re supposed to. Sleep increases our general health, reduces stress, and increases productivity throughout the day.

Change: Eat Slower
Improves: Take your time eating so the body can manage the digestion process easier. Doing so will enable the endocrine system to regulate nutritional information a lot easier.

Change: Relax to Reduce Stress
Improves: Stress is the major cause of malfunctions in the endocrine system. A stressful body will overproduce hormones which can lead to failure of many major organs. Stress relief will also improve your concentration and let you enjoy life at your own pace.

Treating Thyroid Problems with Acupuncture

Treating Thyroid Problems with Acupuncture

What Does the Thyroid Do?

The thyroid regulates the hormones in your body, the body’s metabolic rate, blood calcium levels, energy levels, and body weight. This gland has to produce just the right amount of hormones for you body, no more and no less. If the thyroid develops too much or too little chemicals, then a drastic negative impact could occur. There are names for both extremes, too little hormones results in hypothyroidism while too many develops hyperthyroidism. Over ten million Americans are known to have a form of thyroid disease, so if you see any drastic changes in your body weight, mental health, or energy levels then your thyroid may be responsible.

To pinpoint whether or not you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism take a look at the symptoms of each below.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

– Low Heart Rate
– (For Women) Longer Menstrual Periods
– Dry Scalp
– Dry Skin
– Constipation
– Sensitivity to the Cold
– Numbness in Feet or Hands.
– Lethargy
– Depression
– Loss of Focus
– Enlargement of the neck. Will feel as if it is completely swollen. (Goiter)

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

– Enlargement of the neck. Will feel as if it is completely swollen. (Goiter)
– (For Women) Shorter Menstrual Periods
– Frequent Bowel Movements
– Weight Loss
– Increased Appetite
– Muscle Weakness
– High Heart Rate
– High Blood Pressure
– Increased Anxiety
– Excessive Sweating
– Heart Palpitations

A simple visit to a doctor can help you determine exactly which type of thyroid disease you may have. Tests will be done on the chemicals released by the pituitary glands, thyroid-simulating hormones, hormones created by the thyroid, and by checking the level of thyroid hormones in the blood.

Acupuncture for Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism

Although there are surgeries and strong drugs one could take to possible cure their thyroid disease, the best methods of doing so would be alternative medicines and acupuncture. Not only will acupuncture restore the balance of your thyroid, but will also strengthen the immune function, regulate energy levels, manage stress, prevent insomnia, manage menstrual problems, and restores hormonal balance in the body.

The specific points used by acupuncturists to manage the thyroids are located around the ears. Acupuncture works by manipulating the life energy that flows within every living person. Life energy is altered with the use of tiny needles, which do not hurt in the least. Acupuncture is used to fix certain problems in the body such as disease or just to increase general health and wellness.

To order to best aid the healing process of the thyroid, be sure to consume the right kind of diet as well. The thyroid needs foods with a good source calcium, iodine, magnesium, and protein in order to function at its best. Foods that interfere with thyroid function include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, peanuts, soy, and cauliflower. Mind exercises such as yoga, meditation, or tai chi may also help in the healing process.


Three Foods to Support Thyroid Function


Coconut Oil 

Brazil nuts and walnuts


Acupuncture in Cancer Treatment

June 2009
Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
1322 2nd Street, Suite 36
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Acupuncture in Cancer Treatment

Acupuncture and Cancer

The treatment of cancer has developed quite a bit over the years, though these treatments call for strong medications and methods with a large amount of negative side affects. Cancer treatment procedures have also been known to weaken the immune system as well. A method that more and more people are getting into because it doesn’t have any negative side affects is acupuncture. Not only does it reduce pain, eliminate side affects caused by cancer treatments, and speed up the recovery process, but it also improves the general wellness of a person.

Acupuncture is usually used as a last resort, but people are starting to see that it should have been their first treatment of choice. Fortunately, acupuncture has been used to negate the side affects from treatments from surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy. The scientific reason to how acupuncture helps is that it causes a response in the pituitary gland that promotes the production of proteins, chemicals, and hormones that manage bodily function and immune health. It also causes hormones, like endorphins, to aid in reducing pain. Blood pressure and body temperatures are balanced during this process as well.

A few of the main symptoms that are caused by cancer, but can be treated with acupuncture are hot flashes, pain management, vomiting, nausea, stress, night sweats, fatigue, dry mouth, and anxiety. Many tests have been done proving that acupuncture greatly reduced vomiting and nausea caused by surgery, morning sickness, and chemotherapy. Cancer treatments can also cause a deep cough, chest congestion, depression, high fever, weight loss, speech troubles, night sweats, and fluid in the legs or arms which have all either been cured or reduced by acupuncture. People who have been treated with acupuncture also had a large reduction in pain, enough of a reduction to where pain killers were no longer needs. With the previous reasons, an increased white blood cell count, general wellness, and a better immune system, there is no reason not to pursue acupuncture as a treatment.

What is Acupuncture and How Does it Work?

Acupuncture is a technique that has been dated back to ancient times, originating in areas in China. It is said that life energy, also known as qi, is constantly flowing through your body. Without this energy, you would not be able to live at all. When the flow of this energy is disrupted or blocked, then a problem could occur such as discomfort or illness. Acupuncturists use small, sterile needles to manage this flow. There are certain points on your body that allow them to do so. Disrupted flows can be balanced to help rid or reduce any diseases or illnesses in the body. Flows can also be re-balanced and improved in order to increase the physical and mental health .


In This Issue

  • Acupuncture in Cancer Treatment
  • Cancer Fighting Veggies

Cancer Fighting Veggies

• Arugula
• Beet greens
• Bok choy
• Broccoli
• Brussels sprouts
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Chinese cabbage
• Collard greens
• Daikon
• Horseradish
• Kale
• Kohlrabi
• Mustard greens
• Radishes
• Rutabaga
• Swiss chard
• Turnips
• Watercress

Treating Irritability and Moodiness with Acupuncture

April 2009
Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
1322 2nd Street, Suite 36
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Treating Irritability and Moodiness with Acupuncture

Every single person in the world suffers from a mood swing every now and then, but if you are facing the issue of constant moodiness and irritability then it may be a wise idea to look into receiving an acupuncture treatment. In most cases, a short temper can be the result of a high and constant stress level. If the stress level continues to remain constant, then this can lead to more severe mental conditions such as depression or anxiety and can even cause physical symptoms like insomnia, weakened immune system, and digestive problems.


As far as oriental medicine is concerned, stress and the conditions that result from it are all caused by an imbalance of Qi, defined as life energy, in the liver. The liver plays a huge role in managing one’s life energy by making sure it flows smoothly throughout the body. When this liver becomes stagnant, this Qi can cause a blockage of every in the body, leading to conditions like irritability and stress.


Liver Qi Stagnation refers to when the above occurs. It is the most common type of imbalance in the body today. Prolonged stagnation of the Liver Qi can also lead to pain around the ribs, constant signing, nausea, belching, sour regurgitation, diarrhea, painful menstrual cycles, abdominal distention, and congestion in the chest. This condition can often occur in women experiencing PMS.


Oriental medicine and acupuncture are two of the best methods in countering Liver Qi Stagnation. The techniques used include specific exercise and herbal medicines and focus on removing the blockage in the body and restoring the flow of Qi. When the liver in functioning like normal again, you will notice that your mental and physical health will greatly improve. Besides acupuncture there are lifestyle changes that can be done as well to help boost the flow of Qi in the liver.


Eating green can be a good first step is revitalizing the body. Vegetables and fruits can improve the basic functions of the liver as well as the flow of Qi throughout the body. Sour fruits like lemon are also helpful in the stimulation of Liver Qi. Besides water, milk thistle tea will also benefit the body by protecting the liver from toxins such as alcohol. Stretching exercises like Tai Qi or yoga can improve the flexibility of the tendons. Eye exercises are also advised since the liver is directly responsible for eye health. Make sure to take a break from the computer if you are staring at it for a long period of time, but do look up various eye exercises you could do while taking a break. Lastly, seasonal acupuncture will not only help the flow of Liver Qi, but will improve the body in its entirety.


With the above changes and acupuncture, you will not longer feel constantly stressed or moody. To set up an appointment to start you on acupuncture, call or send me an email today!

In This Issue

  • Treating Irritability and Moodiness with Acupuncture
  • Move Your Qi!
  • The Four Gates Treatment for Moving Qi
  • Signs and Symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation

The Four Gates Treatment for Moving Qi


Oriental Medicine for the Treatment of Seasonal Allergies

Every season people are affected by allergic rhinitis, which a seasonal allergy that is triggered only during certain times of the year, mainly spring or fall. Over twenty-five million Americans are diagnosed with chronic hay fever, and about forty million more people are known to have mild allergic reactions. Pollen, mold, animal dander, and dust mites carried by the wind are usually the main triggers of seasonal allergies. In the springtime, pollen fills the air because of all of the blooming agriculture. In autumn, leaf mold is the main issue and that mold can stay in the air all year long.

The reason the body contracts allergic rhinitis is due to how sensitive it is to certain byproducts of the environment. If one has such allergies, then they will feel congested, constantly sneeze, and have watery or dry eyes. There are many medications to treat allergies, though they do have side effects that can lead to other problems such as weakened immune function. Side effects, along with the weakness of medication over time, are two reasons why people are looking into receiving more natural treatments like oriental medicine and acupuncture. These methods have been used for centuries in treating season allergies, strengthening the immune system, and clearing out nasal passages. It will not only help relieve a person of the symptoms, but will also prevent the allergies from recurring as well.

Those who specialize in Eastern medicines believe that seasonal allergies are a condition related to the wind element and is caused by a lack of Wei Qi. Wei Qi is a type of life energy that protects the body from outside elements, such as colds or allergies. Those who have an imbalance of Wei Qi typically catch colds easier than most. Acupuncture treats the imbalances in the body to relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis as well as the root problem itself. Oriental treatments often call for a change in one’s diet and habits as well as herbal medications.

Study on Allergic Rhinitis and Acupuncture

Many studies have been conducted on how effective acupuncture is for season allergies. There is a specific study reported by the American Journal of Epidemiology that proved acupuncture and oriental medicine can relieve allergic symptoms significantly.

Five thousand people were separated into two groups in the study. One group received acupuncture with standard care while the other only received standard care. This occurred for three months until an evaluation took place, then the test continued for three more months. Results showed that the patients who received acupuncture not only have relieved symptoms, but also had better health in general.

A similar study reported by the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reported that those with hay fever who received acupuncture treatment weekly and three cups of herbal tea per day had a significant decrease in the severity of their symptoms. After a month and a half, over eighty percent of their patients showed improvement while the control group only had a forty percent increase.

Stress Less & Stay Well this Winter

December 2008

Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
1322 2nd Street, Suite #36
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Acupuncture for Stress Reduction

Winter is the time of year for getting our rest to restore our energy and to revitalize our body and soul. Unfortunately, it also a very busy time of year where doing that is near impossible. Winter is the season where families visit one another, visitors come over, and shopping can be quite gruesome. This combined with the every stresses we face leaves us with no time to rest and with more stress than usual.

Stress is a major disruptor of the flow of Qi, or life energy, in our body. When this energy is imbalanced, is can cause all sorts of problems such as moodiness, headaches, menstrual pain, insomnia, depression, and can even lead to more severe conditions. The best method for reducing stress involves oriental medicine and acupuncture.

Many studies on how acupuncture relieves stress have been published, demonstrating how effective it actually is. Results show that this method is indeed a much better option than standard medications used for stress and depression.

A study reported by Anesthesia & Analgesia discovered that needling a specific acupuncture point and reduce preoperative anxiety in children. A similar study by Yale University found that acupuncture around the ears and lower preoperative stress in the mothers of those children. A study in Germany showed how acupuncture lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a huge amount, which reduces stress as well. A study on the effects of acupuncture for those who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder was conducted by the University of New Mexico and showed that acupuncture was extremely helpful in relaxing those affected.

Foods for Stress Reduction

There are certain foods one can consume to reduce the amount of stress they have. There are over one thousand changes that can occur in the body as a result of stress, such as Vitamin C deficiency or Vitamin B deficiency, which can all be reduced with the right kind of diet. The three main foods that can help a person manage their stress are blackberries, cauliflower, and salmon.

Blackberries contain a high level of magnesium, calcium, and Vitamin C. In fact, blackberries have more than double the amount of these substances than blueberries. Magnesium and calcium work as one to aid in the regulation of nerves and muscles. If there is a deficiency of magnesium in the body symptoms will occur such as sore muscles, cramped muscles, and fatigued muscles. Vitamin C is a natural stress reliever that lowers the blood pressure and manages cortisol levels.

Cauliflower, as well as vegetables similar to it such as cabbage and kale, contains a large amount of Vitamin B and pantothenic acid. This acid is responsible for turning carbohydrates into fuel for the body. It also improves how the body manages stress. If you lack Vitamin B, symptoms like numbness, burning, and tingling will occur in the feet as well as general fatigue.

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 and Vitamin B12. Omega-3 can increase one’s metabolic rate as well as keeps stress hormones in check. Vitamin B12 increases the amount of red blood cells in the body, which results in the proper development of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that induces happiness and relieves us of any worries we may have.

If you live a stressful life, then acupuncture and the right diet can help you manage it. Not only will these techniques reduce the amount of stress you have, but will also improve your life overall and in the long run.


Summer, Tongue Diagnosis

June 2008
Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
1322 2nd Street, Suite #36
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Summer and Chinese Medicine

Fire is the element used to describe the intensity of our life energy during the summer season. This time of year is when we should use this energy to moving forwards with our lives as well as make full effort to reach our greatest potential. Oriental medicine specialists believe that summer is the time of year in which the element fire rules over. Fire is often correlated with the emotion joy, the color red, the spirit of yang, a hot temperature, the small intestine, and the body’s overall complexion.

Here are a few characteristics of summer to help you better relate to the season.

Spirit – Yang
Emotion – Happiness
Fruit – Watermelon
Element – Fire
Organs – Tongue, Complex and Small Intestine

If you are living in tune with the fire element then you should notice your mind to be calmer, sleep will come easier, and the heart to function better. When out of tune symptoms such as depression, insomnia, nervousness, heartburn, and agitation may occur.

Tongue Diagnosis

The tongue is an organ often associate with summer and also important in the world of oriental medicine. The current shape, color, and coating of the tongue can reflect the overall conditions of our body. If the color of one’s tongue changes then this can signal a chronic disease in the body which means you should get medical assistance immediately. The healthier you are, the healthier your tongue will be. In its best condition the tongue will be lightly coated with white, have a normal thickness, and has a pink color.

Specific parts of the tongue can tell specialists in oriental medicine exactly where a problem persists. If a certain area has an unusual lump or color, then there will be an organ that corresponds to that area and should be checked out. If the tip of the tongue is ever red, then this could mean that stress is the causes of the imbalance in our bodies. It is extremely common to see people with red tipped tongue due to the fast paced stresses of our era.

A red tipped tongue can also signify a heart imbalance, though if this is the case then there will be other symptoms occurring as well such as a feeling of heat in the chest, high blood pressure, rapid pulse, frequent night terrors, irritability, insomnia, mouth ulcers, anxiety, and dry mouth. Of course the tongue alone cannot be relied on, but it can provide doctors with the overall health of a person.

In This Issue

  • Summer and Chinese Medicine
  • Tongue Diagnosis
  • Watermelon (Xi Gua)

Watermelon (Xi Gua)

Watermelon has always been associated with the summer season since the times of ancient Egypt. During those times watermelon juice was a treat often provided to travelers of the era. Oriental medicine specialists use both the seeds and fruit for the negative effects of summer such as dehydration, nausea, low appetite, lack of motivation, no focus, irritability, agitation, no appetite, poor digestion, stick sweat, and a higher body temperature.

Watermelon is also used to reduce any inflammations from occurring which can prevent the possibility of diseases like atherosclerosis, asthma, cancers, diabetes, asthma, and arthritis in the future. On top of all that, watermelon is a good source of magnesium, potassium, thiamine, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.

Autumn and Chinese Medicine

October 2007
Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
3029 Wilshire Blvd Suite #201
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Phone: (310) 564-4325

Autumn’s Harvest

autumn foliageAutumn is the time of year when the leaves change color, fireplaces are used once more, and the weather turns crisp.  During this season we harvest what we have grown and prepare it for the cold times ahead.

Practitioners of oriental medicine have always believed the cycles of the seasons correlate with the energy of the human body. Each season calls for a different way of living in which oriental physicians have researched and found what tasks we should perform for each season. The best way to attune with Autumn is to know the attributes of the season.

Emotion – Grief
Color – White
Element – Metal
Nature – Yin
Flavor – Spicy
Organs – Large Intestine and Lungs


“The transformation of Yin and Yang in the 4 seasons is the basis of growth and destruction of life. Spring is the beginning of things, when the energy should be kept open and fluid; Summer opens up further into an exchange or communication between internal and external energies; in Fall it is important to conserve; finally the Winter is dominated by the storage of energy. The sages were able to cultivate the Yang energy in spring and summer and conserve the Yin energy in autumn and winter. By following the universal order – growth can occur naturally. If this natural order is disregarded – the Root of one’s life will be damaged and one’s energy will wane.” – Nei Jing The Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine 221 B.C

Turning Inward for Preparation

Since the Fall season is characterized by the element metal, this means that we should be reflective of our families, homes, or work during this time of year. It is also an important time to clear the mind of any negativity or grief the mind may contain.

Eating with the Season

Diet-wise, one should eat less cold foods such as raw vegetables and start consuming warmer foods like soup or cooked vegetables. The best foods to eat this season include winter peas, yams, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and broccoli. It is best to start an Autumn day with a nice, hot bowl of warm oatmeal.

Below is a list of foods that are best eaten in fall. All should be cooked using the method you desire.

– Whole Grains
– Carrots
– Brussels Sprouts
– Garlic
– Horseradish
– Yams
– Winter Peas
– Cranberry
– Plums
– Figs
– Pomegranate
– Pumpkin
– Winter Squash
– Red Cabbage
– Sage
– Spinach
– Persimmons
– Cabbage
– Cauliflower
– Wild Rice
– Bok Choy
– Bananas
– Apples
– Thyme

In This Issue

Autumn’s Harvest
Turning Inward for Preparation
Eating with the Season
Wind, Cold & the Body
Protect Your Lung Qi

Wind, Cold & the Body

Fall also is associated with the large intestine and lungs. These two organs are responsible for the elimination of wastes and for providing oxygen to all parts of the body. When these organs have an imbalance of Qi, or life energy, specific symptoms can occur such as the body being more susceptible to colds, skin problems, constipations, shortness of breath, asthma, and sinus infections.
During this time of year you need to make sure to dress properly in order to keep the body protected from cold weather and wind. The combination of these two can cause the body to dry our fast which can lead to symptoms like dry lips, dry nose, dry skin, dry scalp, cracked lips, dry stools, sore throat, and excessive coughing. Acupuncture and oriental medicine can help soothe these symptoms as well as prevent them from occurring.

Please call us to see how acupuncture can help you!

Protect Your Lung Qi


The Lung acupuncture point, LU 7, is one to watch out for this season as well. Stimulating this point can immediately stop conditions like a sore throat or cough while treating conditions such as headaches, stiff neck, toothaches, migraines, and facial paralysis. This point is said to be a central point that oversees blood circulation which can improve mental functioning. The location of this point is right above the wrist towards the inner part of the arm. It is best to stimulate this point for at least thirty seconds with the tip of your finger.

If you wish to prevent any illness or boost your health in general this Autumn season, be sure to give us a call or schedule an appointment.