<![CDATA[Great Road Acupuncture and Herbs - For the acupuncture care near you - Blog]]>Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:40:58 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Role of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in COVID-19 Fight]]>Tue, 31 Mar 2020 22:54:22 GMThttp://greatroadacupuncture.com/blog/role-of-traditional-chinese-medicine-tcm-in-covid-19-fight
​When Wuhan, the city in China that was first struck with COVID-19  pandemic, had to be put under a lockdown,  the Chinese Government announced a major change in strategy - all infected patients were  also to be treated with Chinse traditional medicine.

The TCM doctors  worked on creating protocols and herbal formulas to fight the disease in various phases of development, and this is how they did it:
  • Prevention phase - strengthening of immune system
          - No symptoms
          - Base herbal formula: Yu Ping Feng San
          - Acupuncture: moxa on ST-36, CV-6, CV-12
  • Early  phase
          -  Symptoms: early onset of low grade fever, aversion to cold, chills, headache, ticklish throat, soreness of muscles and limbs,
              soreness of muscles and limbs
            - Base formula: Ge Gen Tang or Chai Ge Jie Ji Tang
            - If there is also sore and dry throat, dry cough - Base formula: Yin Qiao San
            - Acupuncture: Moxa on LI-4, LV-3, ST-36 and CV-8
  • Pneumonia phase
            - Symptoms vary and  herbal formulas prescribed  for pneumonia are specific to  symptoms and differential diagnosis
              according  to TCM principles
  • Recovery phase - healing and strengthening of the lungs
            -Symptoms: Absence of fever, dry cough, chest stuffiness, shortness of breath, shortness of breath upon exertion, dry mouth,
           - Base formula: Sha Shen Ma Dong Tang
          - Acupuncture: Moxa on GV-14, BL-17, BL-13, ST-13, LU-6

Inclusion of TCM in China  in the treatment against COVID-19 has produced very good results and was documented in the hospital records.
 American herbalists and acupuncturists can make a great difference in Prevention, Early and Recovery phase. 
The herbal formulas and individual herbs indicated for each phase are available in the US, although, perhaps as a testament of their efficacy, it's become harder and harder to find them since COVID-19 pandemic started. 
Great Road Acupuncture and Herbs has limited amount in stock. Find out more here.

Source: How Covid-19 is Treated in China with TCM - John Chen elouts.org

<![CDATA[Wellness with Acupressure - Immunity, Energy, GI Health]]>Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:33:46 GMThttp://greatroadacupuncture.com/blog/wellness-with-acupressure-immunity-energy-gi-healthAcupuncture Point ST-36 (Zusanli)

If you ever had acupuncture, chances are that your acupuncturist needled this point, which is also called "longevity point". 
Often, when needle is inserted at ST-36, the feeling you may experience is one  of  dull ache and heaviness.
It is a very powerful point that can have effect on your immune system, digestion and even mood.  

This point is located on the lateral side on the front of the lower leg, about hand-width below the knee crease.
How to Apply Acupressure
  • The middle finger is the strongest and best suited to apply acupressure
  • Hold the point steadily with direct pressure and at 90 degrees angle from the surface of the skin for 15-30 seconds
  • Apply and release finger gradually because it allows the tissue to respond and promote healing
  • After repeated acupressure applications, you may feel pulse at the point, which is a good sign - it means that the circulation has increased
ST-36 is the 36th point on the Stomach meridian.  Traditionally it is used for:
  • GI conditions: nausea, epigastric pain, vomiting, belching, hiccup, distention and pain in the abdomen, poor appetite, difficult ingestion, diarrhea, flatulency 
  • Low energy, fatigue, diminished immunity
  • Dizziness, hypertension, palpitations
  • Depression, manic behavior
  • Febrile diseases, fever,  frontal headaches, chest pain
  • Breast pain, breast abscess
  • Knee pain, thigh pain, lumbar pain
Research Findings 

Acupuncture stimulation of ST-36  has effect on vagus nerve. Vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that innervates viscera, especially digestive organs, which may explain why this point is used  for digestive issues. 

ST-36 is an Anti-Inflammatory point!
Another important function of vagus nerve is regulation of pathologic inflammatory reactions, thus acting as a bridge between neural and immune system.  Chronic inflammation is at the root of many health conditions: diabetes, digestive issues, fatigue, depression.. No wonder it is called  "longevity point"!

<![CDATA[Simple Exercises to Relieve Pain, Relax and Restore]]>Fri, 20 Mar 2020 20:49:16 GMThttp://greatroadacupuncture.com/blog/simple-exercises-to-relieve-pain-relax-and-restore
Acupuncture works great for chronic pain, anxiety and sleep problems.   Adding these exercises will build on your previous  acupuncture treatments, and further enhance the healing.

The exercises I chose are gentle, short and can be easily  done in your home. However,  don't do anything that you feel is causing you pain, discomfort or is against your doctors orders.

For  chronic pain, limited flexibility,  difficulty walking              - Suitable for older adults or  for those who have limited flexibility 
             - Improve ankle, thigh, hip strength and promote good circulation              - Suitable for older adults 
             - Improve  balance and strength in lower extremities, reduce low back pain
Low back pain             - Suitable for those who have moderate to good flexibility             - Suitable for those who have moderate to good flexibility

Anxiety, insomnia, neck, shoulder , posture, lung circulation


<![CDATA[Fight Respiratory Disease with Food]]>Wed, 18 Mar 2020 03:22:40 GMThttp://greatroadacupuncture.com/blog/fight-respiratory-diseases-with-foodCertain foods can be used to fight respiratory diseases and can have "mucokinetic" (mucus-moving) effect, similar to the commonly used decongestants and expectorants. 

Like it Hot!
The best mucokinetic foods are hot and spicy.  The effectiveness of these ancient remedies have been confirmed by research.
  • Mustard, horseradish
  • Garlic
  • Hot chili peppers
The hot stuff in these foods stimulates nerve receptors in in the mouth, throat and stomach, which in turn activates the vagus nerve controlling secretion-producing glands. These glands release waves of  fluids that make the eyes water and the nose run, but they also release watery fluids inside the bronchial passages of the lungs, thus breaking up congestion and flushing away irritants.

If you can tolerate it and if  you do not have a health condition for which eating hot spicy food is contraindicated, here are few tips to clear up stuffy nose and lung congestion from Dr. Irwin Ziment, lung specialist from UCLA:
  • Sprinkle ten to twenty drops of Tabasco sauce in a glass of water and drink it or gargle with it
  • Chew on a chili pepper
  • Add a whole peeled garlic cloves to your soup; zap garlic in a microwave first to preserve alliin, the primary therapeutic substance

Antiviral Effect
Some foods have proven antiviral effect.
  • Ginger 
            - Destroys influenza virus
  • Shiitake mushrooms
             - Substance called lentinan in shiitake mushrooms fights influenza viruses
  • Onions
            - Substance quercetin, concentrated in onions, has antiviral and antibacterial activity.
  • Yogurt
            - Has antiviral and antibacterial properties
            - Enhances immune system
  • Garlic
           - Garlic extract is found to kill nearly 100 percent of both a human rhinovirus that causes colds  parainfluenza 3, a flu      
             respiratory virus
          - Commonly called "Russian penicillin" for its widespread use in Russia and throughout  Eastern Europe
          - Add whole peeled garlic cloves to soup. 

See also: Keeping Your Immune System Strong - What to Eat

Source:  Food Your Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper


<![CDATA[Chinese Herbal Medicine Consultations]]>Sun, 15 Mar 2020 22:46:45 GMThttp://greatroadacupuncture.com/blog/chinese-herbal-medicine-consultationsChinese Herbal Medicine has a two thousand  long history.  People of ancient times suffered from numerous infectious and febrile diseases with the same symptoms that we see today in colds, flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, malaria and many other.  Over centuries the Chinese doctors discovered and developed extensive herbal pharmacopeia  that they used to create herbal remedies to treat these diseases.

So it is no surprise that today with the COVID-19 pandemic,  Western and Traditional Chinese  Medicine (TCM) doctors in China  work together to  cure patients from this disease.

These herbal supplements they use in China are also available to us here. 

​Great Road Acupuncture and Herbs LLC  provides herbal and dietary consultations  online (email, skype, facebook,  whatsup video chats or phone conversations). Herbal prescriptions are not included in the consultation fee.

The prescription orders can be picked up in the office or mailed to your address.


<![CDATA[Keeping  Your Immune System Strong]]>Sat, 14 Mar 2020 22:23:53 GMThttp://greatroadacupuncture.com/blog/keeping-your-immune-system-strong"Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food."
                                                                                                                      - Hippocrates

 What we eat can have a great influence on our immune system.
 Based on research studies,  these foods have a  strong immune-boosting  effect:
  •  Yogurt 
                - Can kill and disable bacteria 
                - Simulates production of gamma interferon, boosts activity of natural killer (NK) cells
                - Revs up production of antibodies
  • Shiitake mushrooms
                - Contain antiviral substance called lentinan that exhibits strong  immunostimulating activity
                - Stimulate macrophages (important in fighting cancer cells and microbes)
  • Fruits and vegetables 
                 - Boost immune defenses against bacterial and viral infections and cancer:
                    spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, broccoli sprouts, carrots, blueberries,  strawberries, raspberries, onions..
  • Garlic
                  - Has a strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-cancer  effect
                  - You can eat raw garlic or  a cold-pressed garlic extract
                  - When you feel sore throat coming on, eat some garlic or onion to scare off the cold or flu.
  • Food rich in zinc
                    - Stimulate production of T-cells that fight off infections
                  -  Oysters (raw and smoked), crabmeat, pot roast, calf's liver, turkey (dark meat), pumpkin and squash seeds
                  -  You can take also zinc supplements
Foods that can weaken immune system:
  •  Sugar
  • Fat (wrong type of fat)
             - Fish oil which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids has a beneficial effect on immune system
              - Vegetable polyunsaturated fats (omega-6 fatty acids)  such as in corn, sunflwer and safflower seed oils
                can inhibit formation of lymphocytes 


<![CDATA[Covid-19 Symptoms and Precautions]]>Sat, 14 Mar 2020 22:19:38 GMThttp://greatroadacupuncture.com/blog/covid-19-symptoms-and-precautionsCorona virus symptoms:

​1) Fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue – see CDC website for more details. https://www.cdc.gov
Simple precautions that you can take to keep yourself and others safe include:

​1) Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 70% isopropyl alcohol if soap and water aren't available. 
2) Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, or just in general when you are outside your home.
3) Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
4) Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can and wash your hands.
4) If you are sick, stay home.
5) Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

<![CDATA[Great Road Acupuncture  and Herbs  COVID-19 Update]]>Sat, 14 Mar 2020 21:32:50 GMThttp://greatroadacupuncture.com/blog/great-road-acupuncture-and-herbs-covid-19-updateAt this time Great Road Acupuncture and Herbs will be operating with normal business hours.

   In order to continue spread wellness and health  we ask you that:
1) If you feel sick, have fever, a cough, please contact us to reschedule your appointment.
2) If you had a direct contact with someone who has been in a high infected zone, please contact us to reschedule your appointment.
3) During your regular appointments, you are welcome to ask any questions regarding self-care and how to keep your immune system strong. 

4) You can schedule Herbal Consultation appointment. Chinese herbal formulas have been used for centuries to fight off malaria and other  febrile infectious diseases and are currently used with success as a supportive measure in China to fight  COVID-19.

<![CDATA[Five Reasons to Have Acupuncture This Spring]]>Mon, 15 Apr 2019 22:56:38 GMThttp://greatroadacupuncture.com/blog/five-reasons-to-have-acupuncture-this-spring
  1.  Reduce allergies and prevent colds this Spring
Stress, environment, unstable weather and our lifestyle have a great impact on our immune system. Acupuncture regulates  immune system by  strengthening  it when it is weakened  and by calming it when it is overactive.
     2.      Reduce pain
Whether you suffer from joint pain, headaches, menstrual cramps or a generalized body pain such as in fibromyalgia, acupuncture has a  great track record in reducing pain by improving blood flow, reducing inflammation and by regulating nervous and hormonal system.
    3.      Reduce anxiety, depression and improve sleep
Life is stressful and stress can impact our physical and mental health.
It's been well supported by research that acupuncture can modulate our nervous and hormonal system and reduce anxiety and depression and improve sleep.
   4.      It works!
Both World Health Organization (WHO) and National Institute of Health (NIS) recognize acupuncture to be effective treatment  of over 50 western medical diseases.

   5.     It is relaxing and enjoyable!
What other medical treatment will make you leave smiling and relaxed?
<![CDATA[Fibromyalgia - Acupuncture Treatment]]>Fri, 22 Mar 2019 12:21:51 GMThttp://greatroadacupuncture.com/blog/fibromyalgia-acupuncture-treatmentFibromyalgia is a common chronic syndrome affecting women more than men. It is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance. Other symptoms may include cognitive difficulties known as 'fibro fog' (difficulty in paying attention or concentrating on mental tasks), headaches, paresthesia (tingling, numbness, chilling or burning skin sensations).

Fibromyalgia is believed to be a neurobiological disorder that is referred to as central sensitivity syndrome.  It means that pain sensations felt in fibromyalgia are likely due to hypersensitivity of the central nervous system and the way it processes pain.

Can acupuncture help?
A consensus statement from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that acupuncture  may be useful as an adjunct treatment or may be an acceptable  alternative treatment  in comprehensive management program for fibromyalgia.

Recently, even BlueCross BlueShield, a major  health insurance company, dropped opioids for the management of chronic pain, and is adding acupuncture as an alternative.

This shows that acupuncture is well recognized within Western medical institutions as a valuable option in treating chronic pain.

From the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, the diagnosis will be made based on the symptoms that the patient presents.  If, for instance, one patient may suffer from chronic pain with the tingling and burning sensations in the skin, they will get different diagnosis and treatment, than the patient who suffers from chronic pain and cognitive difficulties. The TCM practitioner will also treat the root of the problem as well as the symptoms.  In addition to acupuncture, the treatment may include herbs, moxibuction, cupping, and lifestyle modifications such as changes in diet and exercise.

The treatment usually lasts 6-12 weeks, depending on the severity of the condition and on the individual's response to the treatment.

A randomized controlled trial with fibromyalgia patients published in Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine showed that acupuncture was beneficial for pain and quality of life 3 months after the end of the treatment  with some improvements lasting one year after the treatments.

This study  evaluated acupuncture treatments alone. It did not include other forms of TCM treatments that may be included in your acupuncturist's clinic (mentioned above: herbs, exercise, dietary changes..), that may contribute to even more lasting improvements.


Targino, R., Imamura, M., Kaziyama, H., Souza, L., Hsing, W., Furlan, A., . . . Neto, R. A. (2008). A randomized controlled trial of acupuncture added to usual treatment for fibromyalgia. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 40(7), 582-588. doi:10.2340/16501977-0216