Clearing Excess with Abundant Splendor

Greetings Dear Readers,

The body wants homeostasis, a relative balance in all areas of mind, body and spirit.   In stomach 40 picFive Element Acupuncture, the Earth element needs a balance between lack of nourishment and over-nutrition, a middle ground between Excess and Deficiency.  Acupuncture point Stomach 40 Fenglong “Abundant Splendor” supports the body in avoiding the extremes of excess Damp (which can show up as excess weight, sinus congestion, runny nose, sneezing, growths, tumors, cysts and cystic acne) and its’ opposite, a weakness or deficiency in the Stomach system whereby the Stomach official is not breaking down food and nutrients are poorly extracted leading to under-development of the muscles and flesh.

We can see this Earth element imbalance physically in Type II diabetes where obesity, a form a Damp, is present in over 80% of patients.1  With Type II diabetes, TCM explains there is also typically Yin Deficiency with excess Heat in one of the three burners (Upper, Middle or Lower).  Heat in the Middle Burner (the jurisdiction of the Spleen and Stomach systems) shows up with the patient having an insatiable appetite.  In spite of eating more and more, there is no real contentment or satisfaction.  Such a person may eat too much without satiation.  Since they are often not receiving nourishment on the more subtle spirit level of the Stomach system either, the use of food to fill this void is to no avail.  Where there is harmony in the Stomach system, a person is better able to feel a sense of contentment with respect to food and nourishment.

binge eat

All acupuncture points work homeostatically, where the body reacts to the stimulation of the point by moving away from the extreme of conditions each point treats.  Stomach 40 brings us into balance between  the opposite poles of neediness, and ingratiation and the feeling of being burdened. 2  A person can be burdened by unprocessed or undigested thoughts, feelings, or trauma from the past.  By using Stomach 40 “Abundant Splendor” in treatment a person can start to gain a release of this emotional baggage and feel greater satisfaction from the food eaten and life in general.  It becomes possible to reap a harvest from within. They can feel a lifting of the burden of weight and the emotions that weigh down on them, transforming the physical and emotional expressions of the Damp into inner nourishment.  As a result, they can start to feel a lightness in their being and satiation or fullness on the emotional plane that resolves excess hunger and promotes the feeling of abundance.

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Holding on to excess that we no longer need is a theme that comes up with weight loss and is mirrored by another Earth element theme: clutter.  Earth constitutional types are susceptible to these kinds of excesses.  Once we start to break down the energetic pattern in the body that is holding them in place we can start to see these patterns of excess weight in the body, as well as clutter in one’s house start to dissolve.  A good friend of mine is a de-clutter expert.   Working with people who struggle with over-accumulation of possessions, she explains that people hold on to things often due to emotional issues that have not yet been processed or “digested”.  She works compassionately to talk clients through the sensitive emotions that come up in the process of letting go.  As the emotions are processed and digested, people feel a sense of relief, a lightness in the mind as they become ready to let go.

As Lonny Jerrat, acupuncturist and acupuncture scholar explains in his ground-breaking book, The Clinical Practice of Chinese Medicine, “dampness represents the accumulation (abundance) of all unintegrated experiences.”  By stimulating Stomach 40 through acupuncture or moxabustion the body can start to process the mental and physical dampness and come into a sense of having enough.

Yours in health,

Cynthia McGilvray, R.Ac.

References:

1. Stephenson, Clare. (2017). The Acupuncturists Guide to Conventional Medicine.  Singing Dragon: London, UK.

2. Jerrat, Lonny. (2003). The Clinical Practice of Chinese Medicine.  Spirit Path Press: Stockbridge, MA.

3. Gumenick, Neil.  The Stomach Official.  Retrieved from: http://www.5elements.com/articles/stomachofficial.html

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Treatment of Type II Diabetes with Acupuncture

Greetings Dear Readers,

We all know people in our family or circle of friends who suffer from Type II diabetes.  It is one of the most common diseases of the modern world and yet in North America, few know about the healing benefits that acupuncture and Oriental medicine has been providing for sufferers in Asian countries for centuries.  Acupuncturists have identified roughly 20 acupuncture points on the body that appear to assist with lowering blood sugar, as well as protocols

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for dealing with diabetic neuropathy.   One very commonly used point, ST 36 (find this point by finding a slight depression in the skin at 4 fingers below the knee can and one thumb lateral to the tibia bone).  Yes, try some acupressure here!.  It is considered to be the most important point on the body for its wide range of uses such as strengthening Yin which is considered the root of this disorder, as well as strengthening Qi (vital energy) and Yang, which assists with the complications of Type II diabetes.  It is also interesting that some of these points have shown to have the side-benefit of lowering blood cholesterol which is also a important for reducing neuropathies.

Type II Diabetes is a metabolic disorder involving resistance to insulin, lack of insulin and high blood sugar.  Left unchecked, Type II diabetes can lead to a number of secondary conditions such as degenerative eye disorderscirculation, cardiovascular disease, limb pain and numbness, skin ulceration and kidney failure.  Maintaining a healthy diet, exercise and medication or herbs to control blood sugar are very important and acupuncture is not a substitute for these.  Regular check-ups with your doctor are also important.

A number of studies on acupuncture treatment for Type II diabetes have shown significant benefit over the control group. Acupuncture can lower blood sugar during the treatment session, reduce stress (elevated stress is known to raise cortisol levels which leads to weight gain around the 3-jiaosabdomen).  When there is excess insulin in the blood, the insulin creates inflammation in the body, otherwise known as Heat in TCM, affecting either the Upper Burner (Jiao) causing excessive thirst (polydipsea), the Middle Burner causing the urge to eat too much (polyphagia) or the Lower Burner causing too much urination (polyuria). This Heat clearing ability of acupuncture has been demonstrated scientifically in the before and after

diabetic-before-acu

Infared before acupuncture

diabetic-after-acu

Infared after acupuncture

photos shown here.

Acupuncture has been recommended by the Mayo Clinic as a good alternative treatment for diabetic neuralgia (numbness, tingling and pain in limbs, poor balance, etc.).  Pain conditions are something I treat daily in my clinic and one of the main reasons why acupuncture works so well for pain is because it increases the flow of energy and blood in the body .  This relates to an ancient axiom in Chinese Medicine: “Where there is pain, there is blockage of Qi (energy); Where there is no pain, there is no Qi blockage”.

Although some doctors have advised diabetic patients to avoid acupuncture because of risk of infection, in fact the standards of acupuncture practice idownloadn North America are  very high and requires practitioners to only used pre-packaged, sterile, single-use disposable

needles.  The acupuncturist is required to follow Clean Needle Technique which, among many things, involves cleaning the area of skin to be needle with rubbing alcohol thus making the risk of infection very low.

There is an abundance of research studies showing many of the positive effects of acupuncture for Type II Diabetes, more than what I have room to talk about here so I believe it is well worth looking into as a natural way to support the body.

A few other helpful things to consider for Type II Diabetes self-care are:images-2

  1. Getting enough sleep.  A Japanese study showed sleep-deprivation was connected to high blood sugar.
  2. Bitter Melon tea.images-1

 

3. Cinnamon also regulates blood glucose.     Caution if you have night sweats or a feeling of heat at night, please don’t take cinnamon, it’s too heating in this case.

 

Yours in health,

Cynthia

References:

  1. Subhuti, Dharmananda, Ph.D. Treatment of Diabetes with Acupuncture and Chinese herbs (2003). Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon Retrieved from: http://www.itmonline.org/arts/diabacu.htm.
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff. Mayo Clinic – Diabetic Neuropathy. (February  2015).  Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetic-neuropathy/basics/alternative-medicine/con-20033336
  3. Lo, Yin. Ph.D.  Diabetes and acupuncture. (November 2003). Acupuncture Today. Retrieved from: http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/archives2003/nov/11lo.html
  4. Authors at Healthcare Medical Institute. Acupuncture Regulates Insulin and Blood Glucose in Diabetics. (June 2015). http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1485-acupuncture-regulates-insulin-and-glucose-in-diabetics