Monday, October 29, 2012

The Concept of Qi in Acupuncture

We acupuncture practitioners speak of "energy" flowing through the meridians. It is worth examining this concept further. The word "energy" is translated from Eastern literature from "qi" or "ki" but does not convey the real concept of the term. A better term is "life force". Bluntly speaking, if qi does not flow in the organism then the organism is in fact not alive. It is dead! Hence the suggested term is more appropriate, as if life force does not flow, life does not exist.

So, as life force flows along the meridians that can be charted on the human body. These charts have literally existed for thousands of years. They have mainly developed as people have used trial an error methods using sharpened implements on themselves and others to try to sort out various ailments. As men have a keen ability to invent and use abstract concepts, empirically based theories have developed around acupuncture. These help them to get a deeper understanding of different points along the meridians that help improve the flow of life force. The resulting improvement in health then feeds back into the theories, refining and improving their usefulness.

The meridians have now been divided into pairs and each pair being assigned to an element. There are five elements - Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. These elements have characteristics that effect our physiological, mental and emotional state. Constitutional weakness in at least one of these elements tend to exist in us and this give rise to various pathological states when the element is in distress. The acupuncture practitioner will diagnose the blockages and imbalance in the life force and treat the relevant points on the meridians. The resulting improvement will boost the natural healing ability of the body.

There are twelve main meridians that are named after the various body organs. These are shown with element associated with each pair.


Large Intestine


Gall Bladder

Small Intestine
Triple Burner

The two other meridians are the Ren and Du and these are not related to the elements, or more accurately, their function will affect all five elements. Hence they are not listed under any particular one.

The elements are also associated with the seasons as the meridian's energy characteristics vary with the changes in the surrounding natural environment. This means that the constitutionally weak element will, if distressed, will cause the person to experience problems with their health and well-being during the seasonal change. Here are the correspondences:

Metal - Autumn

Water - Winter

Wood - Spring

Fire - Summer (Early Summer)

Earth - Late Summer

Is Acupuncture "Only" a Placebo Effect?

What is the placebo effect?

Yes, what really is this placebo? Just consider, this effect says that we humans can get better without any real outside intervention, be it medicine, injections, surgery or whatever. Wow this is an amazing ability, I would say - wouldn't you? Many research studies have been carried out that show that this effect is a genuine human trait. But the effect is not consistent. Otherwise we would not need the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical and health industry. Just get this effect to cure all our health issues and dismantle all industries associated with medicine. No, we cannot call on this ability to cure all our ills, unfortunately. And its effectiveness is so variable and uncertain that we would not want to rely on it much. Is it really this almost totally random phenomena or is there a chance that we can harness its awesome potential?

Lets consider acupuncture

As an acupuncture practitioner for more than fifteen years, I believe that the placebo effect can be utilized in a much more methodical way. The practice of acupuncture is shrouded in mystery because Western medicine have not been able to explain it "scientifically". Yet they cannot deny its powerful ability of relieving symptoms, especially when the patient does not respond to conventional drugs or surgery. So what if acupuncture can call upon and amplify the placebo effect in a more controlled way? I believe that controlling the placebo capability is one of the ways that acupuncture works. It is a system that has been in use for over 2000 years so its methods have undergone refinement for much longer than Western medicine has. And its trials have been carried out in real world situation on a vast scale (consider the population of China alone). As a practitioner, I have been able to help hundreds of people with "intractable" conditions where normal medicine has been ineffective. Of course, conventional medical intervention is still necessary in many cases but there is room for both to cover the complete spectrum of ailments in the modern world.

Beyond the placebo

OK, there are cases where the "placebo effect" cannot explain completely how acupuncture works. Research in acupuncture is almost impossible in a way. This is because the human body is full of channels and points that are outside the accepted official ones used in acupuncture. So in tests where "sham" acupuncture is used to compare with the genuine one, the sham points used might inadvertently be one of these uncharted points that will have an effect on the energy system. Yet these studies have shown that real acupuncture gives better results than "sham" acupuncture. This shows that there is something beyond the placebo effect at work in a real acupuncture treatment. Otherwise both methods will yield similar results. And I suspect that different practitioners will get different results. So there is something happening when having an acupuncture treatment - an additional factor beyond harnessing the placebo ability of the patient. This is clearly seen where treating animals where the "patient" gets better yet is not likely to be affected by any placebo consideration.

How To Get Rid Of Acne Naturally - Three Powerful Tips To Cure Acne Quickly And Naturally

Acne is a condition that not only causes physical pain but is also known to be a cause of emotional problems like lack of confidence, hyper anxiety, and uneasiness in social gathering.

Till now the actual cause of acne is unknown but various studies prove that bad eating habits, poor skin care, and poor lifestyle are the root cause of lifelong acne.

Previously it was believed that acne is a condition that is caused in teenage due to hormonal changes but nowhere days it is not very uncommon to see people suffering from chronic acne in late 30' 40's and sometimes even 50's.

So if you have crossed your teenage and still suffer from acne then this is a signal that something is not right and you must take corrective action:

Here are 3 powerful tips to get rid of acne naturally and quickly:

1. Eat Fiber rich food- Due to current lifestyle and work culture everybody is in a hurry and consumption of fast food like noodles, burgers, pizza etc has increase tremendously, but as much as they taste good the effect they have on our digestive system is frightening.

When these foods are consumed on a regular basis our body can't get rid of the waste fully and it gets stuck in our system causing it to not work properly which results in acne and all other issues. This is where eating fiber rich food comes into focus since our body can't digest the fiber presents in fruits and vegetable it has to get rid of it so will get rid as waster and with that the stuck food also comes out. This helps restore our body's digestive mechanism and helps in getting a healthier skin and body.

2. Exercise regularly- Believe it or not, exercise does play an important role in having a healthy skin and a healthy body. Acne is not caused by single condition it is the cumulative results of body's way to get rid of toxins and as skin is the largest organ, it is often used by toxin removal mechanism to get rid of toxins in the form acne. So before the body opts for this we must allow it to get rid of toxins using exercises like natural walks, meditation and regular stretching.

3. Tea Tree oil face wash- Tea tree oil has natural qualities that help shrinking acne and prevents them for reoccurring, you can easily find a face wash with tea tree oil in your near shopping mart or online.

Types of Acne - What Type Do You Have?

More than half of the population deals with acne at some point in their life. That's a lot of people struggling with the same condition. Except that there are different types of acne. Understanding your type of acne can help you not only treat it but also get rid of it. You can live acne free.

1. Do you have blackheads? Blackheads are what happens when you have a partially clogged pore. If you have blackheads then you likely have mild to moderate acne vulgaris.

2. Do you have whiteheads? Whiteheads occur when you have a completely blocked pore. If you experience whiteheads then you likely have mild to moderate acne vulgaris.

3. Do you have small red bumps? Papules or small red bumps occur when the underlying tissue is irritated. You can experience papules if you have acne vulgaris or Rosacea.

4. Do you have pustules? A pustule is a red inflamed bump or blemish that has a yellow or whitish center. This is standard, albeit irritating and frustrating, acne vulgaris. Do not pick or squeeze!

5. Do you have red areas on your cheeks, chin, nose and/or forehead? Do the red areas become more irritated or flushed when you get hot, are exposed to sunshine or eat certain foods? If so, you have Rosacea. It's important to know that you can have acne vulgaris and Rosacea simultaneously. It happens often.

6. Do you get large cysts or nodules under your skin? If so then you have a more severe type of acne. It's often called nodular or cystic acne. Treatment is generally different for severe acne than mild or moderate acne.

7. Do you have numerous acne lesions that are cyst like in nature and connected? Are you male? Is the acne on your face, back, arms and buttocks? If so you likely have a rare form of acne found in men called Congoblata. It's treated with Accutane and can leave deep scars.

8. Do you have the above symptoms and have the occurred rapidly following a fever? If so then you likely have Acne Fulminans. It's also treated with Accutane and/or oral steroids.

9. Have you been on antibiotics for an extended duration? Do you have both pustules and cysts? If so then you may have Gram-Negative Folliculitis. This type of acne is caused by an extended stint on antibiotics. Treatment can be tricky.

Acne is common and most likely you're experiencing mild to moderate acne vulgaris. It's treated effectively through a number of lifestyle changes and acne medications. Most often over the counter acne cleaners and lotions can both clear up your skin and prevent future breakouts. If you have a more severe type of acne consider visiting a professional for help.

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash For Breakouts

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash is supported by dermatologists for cleaning the face and getting rid of blackheads. The residue-free formula has active ingredients that fight blackheads and other forms of bacteria that causes acne. Furthermore, this product consists of plant extracts which aid in moisturizing and healing skin.

The Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash comes in two types of scent. The formula scent is the original formula that has a refreshing smell with orange pigment. The second scent of this cleanser is pink grapefruit, which is extracted from real grapefruit. Additionally, this grapefruit formula contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that heals skin, fights aging and guards against cancer-causing agents.

The benefits of using this Neutrogena product include no residue build up. Residue left behind on the skin from facial cleaning products can actually cause breakouts and blackheads. Additionally, this product contains no oil, so no greasy film left behind. The non-comedogenic formula guarantees that this facial product will not clog the pores on the face.

The potent ingredient in this cleansing product is salicylic acid, an agent that comprises 2 percent of each product. This quantity of acid is sufficient to destroy facial bacteria and prevent growth of bacteria. Salicylic acid is an efficient treatment for eliminating blackheads, the small hole that have become fill with debris and dirt. Salicylic acid penetrates the pores and softens the debris and pushes the dirt out of the skin.

This facial cleanser also includes aloe extract and chamomile extract to help soothe the skin after washing. Aloe is known to hydrate cracked and dry skin, as well as replenish the suppleness of the facial skin. Aloe is a natural anti-aging lotion for the skin. Chamomile extract naturally reduces inflammation and support cell regeneration. Additionally, it is helpful to reduce rashes, pimples, age spots and discoloration.

Neutrogena instructs consumers to use this product a minimum of two times daily to eliminate bacteria and dirt. For application purposes, the consumer should rinse their face with warm water and place a quarter size quantity of product in the hand. The consumer mixes water with the product and lathers mixture. The mixture should be gently massaged onto the face and then rinsed away.

In summary, Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash is blemish-fighting cleanser that prevent blackheads and other forms of acne. The product assists in soothing the face without dehydrating the skin. Applying this formula two times a day destroys bacteria that would cause pimples, blackheads and other blemishes that can cause distress and a poor complexion.