What is a TDP lamp and how does it work?

TDP lamp for acupuncture treatmentTDP stands for Teding Diancibo Pu, in Chinese, which translates to “special electromagnetic spectrum” lamp.

If you’ve been to our clinic, you’ve probably seen these used in the treatment area.

The reason these lamps are so incredibly effective is because there is a mineral plate that has many elements from the earth that sits between the heating element and the body.  The lore of this therapeutic heat lamp is that these minerals were discovered in a mine in China where the workers were particularly healthy. The content of that mine’s walls were duplicated in the lamp’s mineral disk.

What we’ve seen clinically is that those minerals seem to infuse into the body, giving a far more intensive therapeutic outcome than just heat. These lamps are used to treat very specific circulation problems in the body. If you have any questions, you can always ask us!

There are over 2,000 acupuncture points in the human body.

acupuncture pointsYes, it is true…2,000 acupuncture points! Now you can see why the training to become an acupuncturist is so involved. And that’s not even counting the study of anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, Chinese herbology, bodywork, nutrition and so on.

Basically, after we establish that we can help somebody using acupuncture, we must establish exactly what points are going to help the person the most.

The combination of points is VERY important. The most effective combination of points gets the body to begin functioning again, similar to the exact combination that opens a safe.

There are specific diagnostic methods that of been in use for literally hundreds and hundreds of years that we use in the clinic that guide us to the best point combination which leads to the most effective healing.

2000 acupuncture points may sound like a lot, but in using the logic of Chinese medicine, anywhere from a very select 4 to 25 points will usually do the trick in a typical treatment.

What’s best: Ice or Heat?

Knee injury

We treat A LOT of injuries. The one question gets brought up every time: “Should I use ice to help treat my injury?” The answer isn’t always simple.

In the West, healthcare providers often times recommend applying ice to areas of swelling and/or inflammation. Sometimes that is the best thing to do, but not always. Other people only apply heat, and, again, it may help in some cases, but not in every case.

To help decide what is best for you and your specific situation, here is some basic data about injuries and pain:

  • First, in our clinical experience, we have seen that inflammation (swelling) after an acute injury to a joint is generally the body’s attempt to immobilize the joint to prevent further damage. Therefore, in simply applying ice to eliminate that inflammation, one is also reducing the body’s healing ability.
  • Next, it is important to realize that different pain conditions are either worsened or improved by hot or cold. Sometimes, cold makes an injury better. Other times, heat can make an injury heal faster.
  • Another useful piece of information is to understand that cold generally reduces circulation whereas heat increases circulation.

It is our stance that each case needs to be taken individually. Talking to an acupuncturist would help to guide you in the decision-making process. As a general rule, you could probably most safely alternate applying hot and cold. In cases of significant inflammation, ending with cold may be best.

Athletes and Acupuncture

athletes who use acupunctureAthletes and acupuncture go together very well. Even famous athletes have seen the benefits of acupuncture. (See this tweet from Kobe Bryant here). Over the years we have helped many people that participate in many sports, including basketball, football, hockey, volleyball, running, baseball, golf, swimming, rowing, and people who go to the gym regularly.

Acupuncture is good for three different areas when we deal with athletes:

  • Sports injuries: the athlete who has injured him or herself “in the line of exercise duty.”
  • Injury Prevention:  athletes who want to prevent injury, which acupuncture is particularly good at helping with.
  • Performance enhancement: athletes who want to improve their performance naturally. Patients often notice improved hand/eye coordination, smoother muscle function, improved muscle control, improved cardiovascular function, increased lung capacity and quicker recovery times after intense activity.

By stimulating circulation throughout the body, acupuncture can help heal injuries, prevent injuries, and enhance performance.

If you have any questions, you can always ask. Email (info@milwaukeeacu.com) or call (414) 332-8888.

How Chinese Herbs Work

Many people take Chinese herbs, but there is much confusion as to how they actually work.

Chinese herbs
Fundamentally, Chinese herbal formulas restore circulation and build organ function. The way that a formula is composed includes combining specific herbs to cause a very specific outcome and having those herbs complement each other.

In fact, the original basis of Chinese herb formulation was patterned after the hierarchical governmental system in China:

  • as an example there may be an “emperor” herb that has the most powerful effect,
  • a “general” herb which directs the activities of the formula,
  • and “envoy” herb that carries the herb to the correct location (for example if the person had knee problems this would drive the formula into the knee directly).

A typical Chinese herbal formula could have anywhere from three to twenty-five herbs in it, depending on the person and the complexity of their condition.

What is the difference between acupuncture and chirporactic

Patients often times ask what is the difference between Chiropractic and acupuncture.

First of all, the two are quite complementary. Chiropractic works directly on nervous system via the spine and sometimes other joints. Acupuncture works on the nervous system to cause changes in circulation and organ/glandular function.

Secondly, as a generalization one could say that Chiropractic deals with structural imbalances whereas Acupuncture deals more directly with circulatory imbalances and organ system imbalances.

Interestingly, it does seem from our experience clinically that function does govern structure, answering the questions of a debate that has been a part of man’s search for health for some time.  An example of a patient who reported having is “back go out”, which turned out to be a disc that had moved out of place and the acupuncture treatment we performed on his arms and legs caused changes in circulation in the muscles of his back that then popped the disk back into place 45 minutes after the treatment.

What To Eat in Winter

‘Tis the season…to eat the correct foods in winter. With the winter solstice having just passed and the temperatures get a bit colder, the following ideas from Chinese medical theory apply.

The most important thing would be to eat foods that are warm, both in their effect on the body and also in their temperature. An example of a food that is “warming” is lamb which happens to be the most warmingcooked lamb food on the planet. Feel free to eat plenty of that in the season. Soups and cooked vegetables are more optimum then cold, raw foods this time of the year. Unfortunately, as the temperature drops in northern climates, the metabolism in the human body also drops so cooking foods makes it easier for your body to break foods down.

 

Anther suggestion is to eat foods that are black, interestingly enough…….the reason being black foods nourish kidney and adrenal function which are susceptible to imbalances in the winter months in cases of deficiency.  Examples of unique and tasty black foods would be black lentils, black sesame seeds, black walnuts or perhaps a variety of seaweed (such as hijiki, arame or dulse, which can be made into tasty salads).

Chinese Herbs and YOU

picture of Chinese herbs

People in America often times wonder how Chinese herbal formulation is done. What are Chinese herbs? Why take them? How do you take them? Why can’t I just go to the Vitamin or Health Food Store and take a mixture of supplements?

The answer to all of these questions is simple: each person, and their individual life stresses, is unique. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to getting your body healthy. Herbs and supplements are not recommended for everybody. A good practitioner will be able to accurately assess each patient’s state of health and recommend things that will benefit them specifically.

Now, on to answering the questions.

What are Chinese Herbs? How do you take them?

In Oriental Medicine, Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years to help with many different health concerns. The earliest known literature containing herbal prescriptions, found in a tomb in China, dates back to almost 200 BC.

Modern day herbs are often a mixture of plant and animal parts, prepared in a certain way, and mixed in an exact formula to benefit the patient’s individual health needs. Not all acupuncturists are licensed to  mix herbs; it requires additional education and licensing, depending on which state the acupuncturist is practicing.

patent herbs
Chinese Patent Herbs come pre-made in pill form.

Patent herbs, the type you find most commonly at an acupuncturist’s clinic, come pre-mixed in pellet/pill form. These formulas and generally more standardized and cannot be modified to fit each patient’s individual needs. Many TCM practitioners use this form of herbs because it does not require the rigorous schooling and licensing, but they are able to prescribe them to the patients because they are not physically mixing the herbs themselves, rather ordering the premixed formula from an herb company. (Read more about TCM HERE)

chinese herb granules
Chinese Herbs in granule form- mixed specifically fro each patient.

Chinese herbal extracts, on the other hand, are individual herbs that can be mixed specifically for each unique patient. These extracts are often made into a granular form, which the Chinese herbal practitioner then keeps in their herbal pharmacy to compose formulas specific of the patient. To take these herbs, the patient mixes them with hot water and drinks it like a tea. These formulas are very individualized and highly effective for the patient to whom it was prescribed. (This is the form of herbs we carry in our clinic.)

Why Take Chinese Herbs?

Not all patients take herbs, and on some occasions, herbs are not recommended. If herbs are prescribed, they help reinforce what the acupuncture is doing, and, in the case of patients who cannot do acupuncture, there are many benefits. Herbs can be helpful in the treatment of pain, arthritis, inflammation, digestive trouble (IBS, colitis, diverticulitis, etc.), migraines and headaches, anxiety, depression, weight loss and metabolism deficiency, PMS and menopausal symptoms (cramping, bloating, irregular periods, hot flashes, mood swings), and many other health concerns.

Because they can be mixed based on each unique patient, we can address many health problems with a single formula. 

Why can’t I just go to the Vitamin or Health Food Store and take a mixture of supplements? 

Well, technically you can, but you possibly will end up spending more money on supplements that may not be right ones or the correct dosages for your individual needs. Chinese herbs require additional licensing for a reason: a qualified professional must assess each individual and prescribe them, much like a doctor prescribing a medication (although, with herbs, there are rarely any side effects like you may experience with medication).

 

As usual, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

Nothing in this document is intended as a substitute for your doctor’s diagnosis and/or treatment. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Acupuncture and Children

Kids often times respond very well to Oriental medicine!

happy-group-of-kids

In our clinic, we perform acupuncture on children five years of age and older. Often times, they can receive additional benefit from Chinese herbs.

For children under the age of five, a Chinese herbal prescription is best (without the acupuncture).

We also train parents on pediatric massage and give specific dietary recommendations that can be life-changing for the child. Kids generally respond very well to treatment. Our theory is that they haven’t had as much stress as your average adult, therefore there’s less to sort out internally, leading to a faster response.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding treating children with Oriental Medicine, do not hesitate to ask us. We can give you our recommendations and then you can make an educated decision for your specific situation.

Nothing in this document is intended as a substitute for your doctor’s diagnosis and/or treatment. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA.

 

Eating Before Bedtime: An Acupuncturist’s Point-of-View

Digitized copy of the Suwen (First Volume) of the Yellow Emperor's Classic.
Digitized copy of the Suwen (First Volume) of the Yellow Emperor’s Classic.

The ancients of Chinese medicine had some pretty brilliant ideas about the body and how it functions. One of the fundamental text books in Oriental Medicine (and in Acupuncture) is called The Yellow Emperor’s Classic.

Written before the birth of Christ, it is a documented conversation between the Chinese Emperor at the time and his Acupuncturist, Qi Bo. The book explains in detail the subtlety of the body and its relation to the natural world around it. It contains the basic concepts of Oriental Medicine and most acupuncturists are required to read it at some point through their training.

One key tip as an example of the medical brilliance of this time period is the following:  always eat your evening meal no less than two hours before going to bed at night.

Why?

The body’s first instinct is to deal with whatever is in the digestive system, all other functions are put on the back burner until that is accomplished. In Oriental Medicine, we believe that the body heals itself while you’re sleeping.

The liver is the most active between 1:00am and 3:00am; during that time, it should be purifying the blood. In this case, if a meal is eaten and not fully digested before this time, the liver may not be able to fully do its job, which can lead to many issues down the road. An immediate feeling would be one of “food stagnation,” that weird feeling in your stomach when it feels full and uncomfortable after you’ve eaten late at night and gone straight to bed.

Modern assistance for busy lives would include the following: if you have to eat close to when you lie down to sleep occasionally, use digestive enzymes with that meal (such as the ones that we carry in the office) to break down the food more rapidly. If you have any questions about your specific situation, feel free to give us a call at (414) 332-8888 or email us at info@milwaukeeacu.com.

To your happy digestive system, using the brilliance of Oriental medicine…

Nothing in this document is intended as a substitute for your doctor’s diagnosis and/or treatment. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA.