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5Oct/09Off

Hand Acupressure/Reflexology for high blood pressure, part 1

After a whole week of flu, I finally can come back to the monitor and write again. When I was coughing, I tried the hand acupressure I wrote about a while ago as well. And it did relieve my cough a bit, but the treatment took quite long to make it work.

Anyway, as I've been doing lately, I'm going to talk about hand acupoints for high blood pressure in first part, and reflexive area in the second part. High blood pressure means the blood flow in our body doesn't go well because of certain resistance, and cause the heart to pump harder and give higher pressure to keep the blood flowing. The causes of high blood pressure vary. Most of the time is caused by other health problems, but overweight and inappropriate diet can also be catalysts of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure can cause some self aware symptoms like headache, shoulder stiffness, tinnitus, palpitation etc. But the most scary one would be arteriosclerosis caused by high blood pressure. It's because when blood pressure is high, the arteries of the whole body will have to share the extra pressure evenly, some blood vessels get weaker and may cause stroke or myocardial infarction (MI)

Treatment of high blood pressure is usually taking medicine to control the pressure. But we can't ignore the side effects of these medicines. So acupuncture and acupressure on acupoints would probably be a more natural treatment. There are 3 acupoints on the back and the side of the hands. The first one is called "Yang Xi", which locates on the inner side of the wrist under the root of thumb, where the concave area is.  The second one is called "He Gu" on the back of the hand in between the thumb and the index finger,  locates at about the length of the first segment of the thumb counting inward. The third one is called "Luo Ling Wu" on the back of the hand in between the knuckles of index finger and middle finger. Most high blood pressure patient can feel the little pulse at those acupoints, so it's not too difficult to find them. (See diagrams)

Here is the guide to stimulate those acupoints using finger massaging or rubbing, if problem is serious, use a bunch of 10 toothpicks or pointy device to stimulate:

1. Maximum blood pressure > 160mm reading on the meter: stimulate the first one "Yang Xi"

2. Maximum blood pressure > 180mm reading on the meter: stimulate the second one "He Gu"

3. Maximum blood pressure > 200mm reading on the meter: stimulate the third one "Luo Ling Wu"

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13Sep/09Off

Single-herb formula to treat Arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries, is a condition in which the arteries lose elasticity because of calcium deposits within their lining or because of muscle and elastic fibers being replaced by fibrous tissue. Both types can be characterized by a thickening of the arteries walls and a narrowing of their channels, hence causes hypertension. The inefficient blood circulation through arteries can cause bigger concern when it affects the coronary artery that delivers blood to the heart.

Arteriosclerosis happens to mostly older people, but it can affect any age who doesn't care much about their health, with regard to diet and exercise. To improve circulation and keep the arteries elastic, traditional Chinese medicine suggests herbal therapy, walking, massage and certain gentle exercises like Tai Chi (a gentle martial art). And low cholesterol diet can help reducing its deposits narrowing the channels of the arteries. Red meat, dairy products, salt, refined sugar and alcohol should be avoided. Obesity and smoking also make arteriosclerosis worse.

There's a single-herb formula recommended by TCM to treat arteriosclerosis, and the herb is called "Shan Zha" in Mandarin (山楂), which is known as Hawthorne Berry or Hawthorn fruit.  It tastes sweet and sour and you can even find some very nice snacks made of Shan Zha in Chinese grocery stores. One of the famous snack is called Haw Flakes. There are also Shan Zha patent medicine as well.

Shan Zha tea (Hawthorn Berry Tea)

Ingredient: 15 grams of Shan Zha (Hawthorn fruit)

Description: Take Shan Zha tea several times a day is an effective way to reduce fatty lipids in the blood, lower cholesterol and softens the arteries. This formula should be used for a long period of time like 2 to 3 years. Shan Zha also improves digestion and circulation of blood, help hypertension and coronary heart disease.

Preparation: Use a tea cup, add 8 oz of boiling water to about 2 teaspoons of Shan Zha; cover the coup and wait for 10-15 minutes. Strain off the Shan Zha herb and drink the tea.

(sources: Chinese Herbal Medicine made easy by Thomas Richard Joiner, Streetwise Guide: Chinese Herbal Medicine by Wong Kang Ying and Martha Dahle)