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24Feb/10Off

10 ways to fight against high blood pressure (Part 2)

(cont'd from Part 1)

6.  Drink more tea. Drink 3 cups of tea a day then blood pressure can go down 7%. This may be caused by the chemical reaction produced by the tea leaves extracts.

7.  Walk fast. Fast walking can help high blood pressure patients lower their pressure. The key is it has to be several times a week and last for more than 30 minutes. Once the patients adapt this cardio exercise they can increase the pace and distance a little bit.

8. Deep breaths. Qi Gong, Yoga, Tai Chi relieve pressures through deep breaths and meditation, which lower the level of renin and hence lower the blood pressure. Take deep breaths for 5 minutes every morning and evening. The key is to take a deep breath and breathe out slowly along with the stresses.

9. Decrease the workload. Working over 41 hours a week can cause the probability of high blood pressure increase 15%. Relieve the workload for the health. Make a healthy dinner or go to gym after work. These are helpful options.

10. Listen to music for relaxation. There is a research indicating that listening to relaxing music for 30 minutes along with deep breathes, blood pressure can go down for 3.2% after a week, and 4.4% after a month.

22Feb/10Off

10 ways to fight against high blood pressure (Part 1)

1.  Take more foods that contain potassium. Foods such as sweet potato, orange juice, potato, banana, kidney beans, peas, cantaloupe, dried plums and raisins can help lower high blood pressure. Specialists suggest adults should take 2-4 grams potassium.

2. Understand the salt amount in food. Senior people are more allergic to sodium and taking even a little excess amount can cause high blood pressure. Even if it's normal people, the amount of salt shouldn't exceed 6 grams a day.

3. Eat dark chocolate. (a good news) Dark chocolate contains flavanols. Taking a few pieces a day can improve the health of heart and blood pressure.

4. Vitamin supplement. I personally don't prefer taking any dietary supplement that's not natural. However, coenzyme Q10 can lower blood pressure. Consult your doctor before taking these vitamins.

5. Drink a little wine. A lot of researches already prove that drinking appropriate amount of wine can help lower blood pressure. Of course, drinking excessively is definitely not suggested. In average, a normal healthy person can drink a can of beer or 100ml of red wine per day.

(to be cont'd)

20Jan/10Off

Perilla Leaf for Nosebleed

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Nosebleed is a pretty normal loss of blood from the mucus membrane that lines the nose. I believe nobody would never experienced nosebleed. Unless the bloody nose is recurring with high blood pressure (which is a sign of hypertension), or a bleeding disorder like leukemia or hemophilia, or a tumor of the nose or sinuses, usually most nosebleeds are caused by a blow to the nose, fragile blood vessels, colds, or other sinus infections.

Most nosebleeds can be controlled by the use of Chinese herbs that are used for first aid to stop bleeding. Here is one:

Zi Su Ye (Perilla Leaf)

The patient should lean forward with mouth open. Stuff the bleeding nostril with Chinese herb "Zi Su Ye, which is an herb with large leaves whose raw form will instantly check bleeding. Insert as much leaf as much the nostril will hold. Pinch and hold the nose for 10 to 15 mins after the leaf has been inserted. Try to breathe through the mouth until the bleeding stops. Use gauze if Zi Su Ye is not available. It's not as effective but it will still work.

(source: Chinese Herbal Medicine Made Easy, by Thomas Richard Joiner)

(photo:http://cat108.pixnet.net/blog/category/1000755)

9Jan/10Off

Hand acupressure for headache and migraine

headache_acupressure

Happy New Year everyone, I wish everyone would be very healthy and as strong as a tiger. It's been two weeks I haven't updated this blog and that makes me feel so sorry...anyway, let's jump on healing one of the most popular health problems - headache.

When headache occurs, we can stimulate the relevant acupoint on the second joint of our fingers according to where the headache locates.

To really categorize the reasons of the headache would not be very easy because there are different kinds of symptoms and feelings like the head feels "heavy", "tight", "tearing" etc. The actual causes of headache can include the following ones: vascular diseases such as high blood pressure, accumulation of poisonous elements such as carbon monoxide, headache caused by fever, brain diseases such as tumors or cancer, or causes by diseases of organs like eyes, noises, teeth which are close to the head.

To heal headache with acupressure, the most important thing is to confirm the area where the headache occurs, like if the pain is from forehead is different from the pain from the top of the head, because the acupoint to heal different headaches are different, but they're all at the end of the wrinkle when you bend the second joint of your fingers (see diagram):

  • When the pain is at forehead, stimulate the forehead acupoint at the second joint of index fingers on the side that's more close to the thumb;
  • When the pain is at top of the head, stimulate the acupoint at the second joint of middle fingers on the side that's more close to the index finger;
  • When the pain is on the side of your head, which could be migraine, stimulate the migraine acupoint at the second joint of ring fingers on the side that's more close to the little finger;
  • When the pain is at back of the head, stimulate the acupoint at the second joint of little fingers that's facing outside.

On the palm side, there are a heart acupoint and an acupoint called "Tai Ling" at the center of the inside wrist. (See diagram) They're effective acupoints when the headache is caused by vascular problems.

Like many of the acupressure method I mentioned. Stimulate these acupoints with 5-10 toothpicks tied up together, or use a cigarette to heat up those acupoints without burning your skin for about 7-10 times. Stimulate harder if the headache is stronger. Take turns on both hands until the headache relieves. If there is no relief at all, you may have to go check up with a doctor because there may be some serious problem going wrong in your head.

headache_acupoint

11Oct/09Off

Hand Acupressure to prevent cerebral hemorrhage (stroke)

In the last three posts I talked about hand therapy for high blood pressure and low blood pressure. One top disease related to high blood pressure that kills a lot of people is cerebral hemorrhage. It was the top cause of death before, but now it's behind cancer and heart attack because of the change of healthier, less salt diet now. However, it's still one of the top killers. Cerebral hemorrhage is mostly caused by arteriosclerosis, or artery hardening, which can happen when getting old, psychological issues, or too much fat in the blood, or diabetes etc.. Certain shock is going to break the blood vessels in the brain and ruin brain cells. Even if it's a stroke that didn't kill the patient's life, the result of numbness, weakness and activities inconvenience are still terrible to anyone.

To people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or under a lot of stress for long term, Any preventive method of cerebral hemorrhage is always a good thing to practice. Stimulating certain acupoints on your hand can also help prevention.  A lot of potential cerebral hemorrhage patients have reddish or even blackish spots on their fingernails. These spots indicate the inefficient blood circulation in your body, which is a big warning sign for a stroke or cerebral hemorrhage. When these spots appear, don't panic. we can stimulate three acupressure points: on the roots of index fingernail at the corner towards the thumb (Shang Yang); on the roots of ring fingernails at the corner towards the little finger (Guan Chong); on the roots of little fingernails at the corner towards the ring finger (Shao Chung). See diagram.

Rub and massage these acupoints often until the spots disappear, and then keep stimulating these acupoints to help the blood circulation to help prevent the cerebral hemorrhage.

cerebral_hemorrhagecerebral_hemorrhage1

7Oct/09Off

Hand Acupressure/Reflexology for high blood pressure, part 2

Last post I talked about acupoints for treating high blood pressure. This second part, like usual, is about the reflexive area that you can massage to help control high blood pressure.

When you wake up in the morning and totally feel energetic about the busy work; in the next event you totally feel like a brand new person with a loud, confident voice and never feel tired; and then you think, "I feel really healthy and strong now." If you're really confident about it, you may really be the type that is young and healthy. However, another cause of this sudden "energetic" manner can be high blood pressure. Because a lot of high blood pressure patients or "potential" patients are quite energetic and even a little "hyper" with activities.

Many think that high blood pressure is a disease that mostly occurs in middle age group. Although it's partly true, but many young people may have that as well, especially the genetic  ones. Usually when we were young, the blood vessels are more soft and flexible that can take more impacts with change of blood pressure. But if we're over confident with our health, that may become a problem. Because working over time, alcohol, smoking, stay up too late, too much salt intake....for a period of time - will easily cause high blood pressure.

May be we can start massaging our hands everyday to start adjusting our body condition. High blood pressure is not a quick thing to cure no matter in eastern or western medicine. So, patience and continuation of hand reflexology is a helpful thing to do.

The reflexive areas treating high blood pressure are mostly on the thumbs. The palm side and  the back side of the thumbs belong to "head reflexive area", "neck reflexive area" and "bronchus reflexive area". (See diagram)

high_blood_pressure_reflexology

Clip on the thumbs from the side of them to stimulate the area, keep twisting and waving the wrists at the same time. That may help lower the blood pressure. Massage the thumb tips every day whenever possible such as on the way to work. If blood pressure is already quite high, taking breaths in mind with the same tempo of the massage will make it more effective.

If we meet a person who got sudden rise of blood pressure, ask him or her to sit down and rub the wrist tendon on the little finger side with the direction from arm to hand. This should help lower the blood pressure immediately. And since that may cause a little temporary low blood pressure, that's why the patient need to sit down first.

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"

high_blood_pressure_acupoints

high_blood_pressure_acupoints2

22Sep/09Off

Introduction to Ginseng, part 2, therapeutic properties and uses

Since long time ago, both Chinese and American ginsengs have been widely used as medicine. They have often served in the treatment of many of the same bodily disorders.  In China, the history of using ginseng has been recorded for more than 4000 years. The look of ginseng looks quite like human body, that's why all sorts of myths about ginsengs that are over thousand years old can become fairies. On the other hand, there are also many legends and stories saying that ginseng was a gift given to men by the fairies. That's why portrayals of fairies have been used traditionally as decorations on packages and advertisements of ginsengs, especially for Korean products.

The uses of ginseng are wide. Chinese doctors treat different health issues ranging from dysentery, malaria, cancer and diabetes, as well as to improve circulation of blood; to reduce high blood pressure, and to remedy almost all blood and skin diseases, from pimples and boils to anemia.  Ginseng is known as "Herb of Eternal Life" and the "Elixir of Life" among people, and it's taken as a general tonic to enhance health and longevity.

The fundamental value of ginseng is its great ability to detoxify and normalize the entire system, or we can say to increase vital energy. It re-establishes the organ's functions, corrects disordered nutrition and metabolism, and purifies the blood and lymphatic systems. The effect of ginseng works slowly and gently, without much side effects.

After some research by Japanese, Chinese and Russian scientists since mid-1900s, some spectacular chemical properties were found in Ginseng. Many of ginseng's essentials are chemically unique and were given names derived from the genus name. "Panacene" is tranquilizer and pain reliever; "Panaxin" stimulates the brain, improves muscle tone and tunes up the cardiovascular system; "Panquilon" stimulates the endocrine secretions, such as pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands) which in turn regulate different body processes from digestion to aging. Also, ginseng contains a range of B vitamins, significant amounts of minerals and enzymes. "Germanium" is also an essential element which has been shown clinically effective in treating anemia by stimulating the formation of red blood cells in bone marrow, and is being investigated as a cure for cancer.

In Hong Kong, Korean and American ginseng are used quite differently. American Ginseng is more for general purposes, for both acute and chronic diseases, because it nourishes in general as a whole and has fewer side effects. Korean ginseng is usually used in cases of "yang deficiency". So old man with "yang" diminishing along with age during winter (a "yin" season") specifically find it beneficial. If "yang" is too much, like if it's taken by young people or in summer, "hot" symptoms such as headache, mouth ulcers and insomnia can happen.

(sources: Streetwise Guide: Chinese Herbal Medicine by Wong Kang Ying and Martha Dahle)

11Sep/09Off

Hand Acupressure for Overweight / Obesity

Overweight....this is probably the most popular "illness" that people are interested to treat. Many people, especially ladies, care more about how they look than their health. At the same time, there's a trend (or a myth) in the society that if you can't manage your health, that means you can't manage other things or people neither.  That's why more people are going to gym now, which is not necessary a bad thing.

But what is called overweight? Usually if your weight exceeds [(body height in cm -100)x0.9]x20%, that is overweight. Overweight also means you have too much fat in your blood - the real fear of overweight should be the diseases caused directly or indirectly by it, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, stroke, myocardial infarction etc.

To  reduce weight, the best way is to control the function of the stomach and reduce the appetite. The acupoint or acupressure point or reflexive area that help control the appetite would be the area along  the edge of the "raised" part below the root of thumb on the palm side (see diagram), and the other supplementary reflexive area would be around the center of the back of the hands, between the middle finger bone and ringer finger bone (see diagram). That area affects the internal secretion, so it helps reducing the appetite as well.

To reduce the function of the stomach and hence reduce the appetite, STRONG stimulation is needed. Either pinch or massage hard on these areas 7-10 times or use a toothpick to stimulate 7-10 times until you feel painful. Do this every day and make sure the stimulation is so STRONG that you feel painful, or otherwise it's going to stimulate the function of your stomach and raise your appetite instead - because it's the same reflexive area to heal the lack of appetite with moderate stimulation. That's important to remember.

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29Aug/09Off

Introduction of Foot Acupressure – Reflexology

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About a month ago I posted about 12+2 meridians or channels carrying Qi and Blood Flow, and the 365 major acupoints (or acupuncture points, or "xue dao" in Mandarin). About two weeks ago I talked about hand acupressure and some techniques for healing some common illness like toothache, diarrhea or motion sickness through massaging the reflexive area or the stimulating certain acupoints. Before I list more different illnesses that can be healed through the hands, I decided to introduce foot acupressure as well, so I have both to talk about later.

The therapy on feet are actually the same on the hands. The healing based on the stimulation of the reflexive areas (or reflecting areas, reflective areas....whatever they're called in English) is called reflexology. Usually stimulations include massage, acupuncture, acupressure, moxabustion etc. The purpose is to adjust the function of internal organs and enhance the flow of Qi and blood through the meridians. Basically I kinda talked about all these in the introduction of hand acupressure.

There are about 20% of major acupoints on our feet and legs. Massaging these areas and stimulating those points not only can cure common illness like headache or toothache, even high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes these serious diseases can be controlled and relieved. Foot or hand acupressure therapy doesn't have any side effects and always safe. Not just the hands, feet work as a forecast for our health as well.

When we're done with exercises, massaging our legs and feet not only help us to avoid the sore, we're actually helping the internal organs and Yin Yang balance as well. Foot acupressure can be done by ourselves without others help, anywhere and anytime we like.

I bought a "carpet with rocks" which is actually made for foot acupressure therapy. Walking on this carpet is painful, but it's also a nice therapy for our health. If you walk on some little stones and you find your feet really painful, that means your health is just so-so. If you feel ok, that means you're quite healthy. I'll try to post the photo of this thing I bought and talk about this later. Also I'll talk about the techniques of massage on foot as well.

(Sources: Diagram from tcmadvisory.com/Reflexology)