How Chinese Medicine Can Help Heal Sports Injuries

By Sally Perkins

Chinese freeski champion Gu Ailing won gold at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 – and she attributed part of her victory to Chinese medicine. At just 18 years old, this major accomplishment for Ailing does not just showcase her talent as a skier, but also the powerful results that Chinese medicine can bring about when used in the right way. Modern-day athletes can benefit greatly from Chinese medicinal practice, whether used alone or in conjunction with more westernized remedies.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Ailing is fortunate enough to have an entire team of Sichuan Zheng-style orthopedics behind her to help strengthen the body and prevent injuries from occurring. Orthopedic team leader Zhu Jiangwei uses traditional Sichuan Zheng practices to guide the body with functional exercises, training, and injury prevention. The Sichuan Zheng approach to Chinese medicine is thousands of years old and entails using ancient methods of acupuncture, moxibustion, and massage.

These methods are designed to stimulate blood flow, strengthen the internal organs, and dissolve energetic stagnation. This enables athletes like Ailing to expend more energy over time and creates internal stability that prevents injuries from taking place. According to media reports, the young skier claims, “my back has never felt so good”, even after the spectacular performance she put on during the Olympics.

Chinese medicine always focuses on the potential for healing, regardless of how obstinate the injury or illness might be. Through these processes, Chinese medicine practitioners like Jiangwei can support even the most active and high-performing bodies from a more holistic perspective.

Calming Nerves With Ancient Herbs

The nervous system plays a significant role in the modalities of traditional Chinese medicine. While Ailing’s championship required her to focus more on the practical components of injury prevention and muscle strengthening, the use of ancient herbs is otherwise very prevalent in Chinese medicine.

Traditional healers will use a wide variety of different herbs, roots, barks, and flowers to support the nervous system as well as the bones, organs, and energy – or chi. Calming down nerves is just one of the benefits that these natural medicines can offer when utilized correctly. Staying calm and focused is crucial for any sportsperson and having access to traditional medicine that assists with this is a major advantage.

Ginseng is one of the most commonly used roots in Chinese medicine, used to aid digestion, enhance brain function, and fight adrenal fatigue. The use of traditional Chinese herbs has been found by several studies to alleviate cortisol levels, boost immunity, and promote the production of feel-good chemicals that support both the body and mind.

A Return To Traditions

As more professional athletes like Ailing speak openly about their reliance on traditional Chinese medicine and practices, people from all over the world become aware of the deep healing potential that it possesses.

Chinese medicine is becoming increasingly popular amongst athletes and sports enthusiasts who are craving a more holistic approach to injury prevention and treatment. Any athlete seeking integrative treatment for musculoskeletal injuries, blood flow, and systemic energy release can benefit from the therapeutic qualities of traditional Chinese medicine.


Featured image by Monicore on Pexels


5 Tips on Living an Ayurvedic Lifestyle

Ayurveda is a holistic, natural, and lifestyle-oriented medicine over 2,000 years old. It's been
one of India's most respected systems of medicine for centuries. Now, it's making its Western
way too. It's not just a new way of thinking about health and wellness but also a way of life.
Indian culture is known for its beautiful, tranquil, self-sustaining villages where people live in
harmony, without the distractions and errands of the city. A lifestyle full of Ayurvedic principles
can be found in these rural settings. Indian culture is based on a whole host of practices and
beliefs, including Ayurveda.

1. Drink More Water

One of the most important Ayurvedic principles is that we are made up of 90% water. But
unfortunately, most people in the West drink way too much soda and other drinks filled with
refined sugar. This can lead to dehydration, one of the main causes of many diseases and
health problems. It's a good idea to drink at least 64 ounces (2 cups) a day to stay healthy and
strong. Water hydrates and keeps us healthy, but it also helps us flush out toxins from our
bodies by flushing them out through our urine. Ayurveda advocates a daily water intake of at
least 64 ounces.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

The Western diet is full of unhealthy foods like white bread, processed foods, fried foods, fast
food burgers, etc. These foods lead to inflammation in the body which can eventually cause
diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and even Alzheimer's disease. It's very important to eat a
healthy diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. These foods are also high in
antioxidants which protect us from the damaging effects of free radicals. In contrast, processed
foods are full of preservatives which can cause inflammation and other health problems.
Therefore, it's best to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables with the highest concentrations of
antioxidants. You can also eat foods rich in antioxidants such as berries, cherries, dark
chocolate, garlic, ginger, grapes, pomegranates, spinach, turmeric, and wild-yeast fermented
foods like sourdough bread.

3. Use Locally Grown Products

The Western diet is full of foods that are not grown locally. This can lead to food poisoning and
many other health problems. It's best to eat foods grown or raised near you or in a particular
country/region. It would help if you also bought from local farmers'; markets and organic produce
stores where you can get fresh, unprocessed food. Also, when purchasing produce, try to
choose products that don't come from far away as they may have been shipped for days and
have traveled through many different countries. The longer a product has traveled, the more
likely it is to be contaminated with bacteria like E-coli which can cause disease.

4. Meditate and Introspect

Meditation helps you to heal the mind, body, and soul. It's a good idea to meditate daily to live a
healthy life. It also helps us cope with stress and anxiety, two of the main causes of many health
problems. When we are stressed or anxious, our bodies produce cortisol, one of the main
causes of many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Meditation also helps us
stay calm and relaxed, so Ayurveda advocates a daily meditation practice for good health.
What is Vedic Meditation? Vedic Meditation is based on the ancient Indian spiritual knowledge of
Ayurveda. It's also known as Pranayama or Kriya Yoga. It's a natural way to improve our health
and well-being by creating a healthy mind, body, and soul balance.

5. Attend Ayurveda Retreats

Ayurveda retreats are great for those who want to improve their health and well-being. They
help us breathe better, detoxify our bodies, feel better, reduce stress and anxiety, and find
balance in our mind, body, and soul. The Ayurvedic approach is holistic, which means that it's
about food and how we live our day-to-day lives. It's a holistic lifestyle that includes our diet and
lifestyle.

Conclusion

Ayurveda is a natural way to improve your health and well-being. It's not about pills, herbs, and
supplements but about changing our lifestyle by eating fresh, unprocessed foods and practicing
Meditation. By eating healthy foods that are locally grown, meditating daily, and taking part in
Ayurveda retreats, we can improve our health, well-being, and life quality.


Featured image photo by Esther Verdú on Unsplash


Ancient Chinese Beauty Tips For Flawless Skin

By Sally Perkins

The cosmetics industry has achieved tremendous growth through the years. According to recent data, the anti-aging cosmetics market will hit the $60 billion mark by 2026. Skincare is one of the oldest practices, dating back to ancient history. While beauty enthusiasts are always looking out for the latest innovations in beauty to enhance their skincare regimen, sometimes, looking to the past provides more solutions than the present. And there's no better place to seek traditional beauty secrets than China. The traditional Chinese approach to skincare combines a mix of techniques including herbal, diet therapy, and acupuncture to revitalize the skin. Whether you're searching for ways to get rid of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or heal acne holistically with traditional Chinese medicine, below are a few ancient Chinese beauty tips for flawless skin.

Drink The Right Herbal Tea

Chinese beauty rituals are mostly based on using the right herbs for treating various skin conditions. Common herbs used in traditional Chinese skincare routines are Goji, Bei Qi, and Huang Qi. While you can apply these herbs topically to achieve skin clarity, slow down signs of aging, and revitalize your skin, you can also steep them to make herbal tea. However, to maintain glowing skin, you must use herbal tea remedies correctly based on skin condition and season. For example, if you're looking to detox, improve your immune system, and achieve a clear and smooth complexion, herbs like Goji and Ju Hua are the perfect choice. For best results, you should use these herbs in summer, when they are more potent.

Use A Jade Roller

For centuries, Chinese women used a jade roller to target acupuncture points in the skin, thus opening up the meridian blockage to enhance blood circulation, boost lymphatic drainage, diminish fine lines, and depuff the skin. Since jade rolling entails applying pressure on the skin, you can combine it with advanced beauty technology, like laser treatments, to treat other skin conditions like varicose or spider veins on legs and arms. Treating spider veins using laser technology and a holistic approach like jade rolling guarantees safety and long-term results, thus boosting one's confidence.

Try Mung Beans

Traditional Chinese women loved DIY face masks and their favorite ingredient was mung beans, which they ground to a paste. Applying mung bean masks helps your skin appear healthy and radiant. Because mung beans contain vitamins and antioxidants, they help reduce blemishes, reduce acne, and heal acne scars. To make your skin flawless, combine powdered mung beans from a Chinese herbal store or pharmacy and mix it with Greek yogurt. Apply the thick mixture onto your face and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it off with plain water.

Maintaining flawless skin is a desire all beauty enthusiasts wish to accomplish. Try these traditional Chinese beauty secrets to revitalize your skin for a healthy, radiant glow.


Featured image photo by cottonbro from Pexels


How to Tackle your Travel Anxiety with CBD

Individuals who have fantasized about biting into a piece of candy while waiting for their flight
at the airport may now do it! Many feel anxious before getting on a flight, so we have a solution
for them.

We're going to expose you to the world of CBD travel in this article. CBD gummies are already
available and are very delightful. As a result, CBD is gaining popularity among travelers and
people for different reasons.

The CBD dosage or product that is most successful for you may be different from the dose or
product that is most helpful for someone suffering from jet lag and seeking to sleep the whole
flight. On the other hand, CBD comes with its complexities and nuances. Additionally, CBD is
accessible as tinctures, body lotions, other topical therapies, and candies and capsules. When it
comes to CBD consumption, it's also essential to consider the legal ramifications. According to
the WHO, CBD remains banned in many nations worldwide. Even its usage is increasing in the
United States; limitations vary significantly by jurisdiction.

Before delving into how CBD helps in travel anxiety, first, let us know about what CBD exactly
is –

What is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol is one of the compounds in the cannabis sativa plant, sometimes known as
hemp or marijuana in certain circles. CBD extracted from hemp has been shown to have anti-
inflammatory properties and it is a cannabidiol derivative. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one
of the plant's most active chemicals, and it is the one that most people identify with cannabis.
Although CBD and THC are chemicals originating from the same plant, they are vastly different.
While CBD may not have the same dramatic effects as THC, it can aid in relaxing and reducing
pain. THC has been observed to promote sensations of pleasure, relaxation, and increased hunger
in some people who have taken modest amounts of it. It's a viable alternative to marijuana.
CBD oils and tinctures are the most frequent methods of ingesting CBD for most individuals.
You may either sprinkle a few drops on your tongue or combine a tincture with your beverage to
attain the desired benefits. You may purchase CBD gummies and CBD tablets as well. Although
smoking or vaping is not permitted while traveling, you may still consume CBD in this manner.

Why does CBD appeal to travelers?

To understand why CBD is becoming more popular among travelers, let's first look at the
legality of using it while flying or driving in a car. First and foremost, it is a well-known anxiety-
relieving therapy. If you're a nervous flier or traveling with loved ones and find yourself
becoming tense, CBD is a great way to relax your shoulders and go back to enjoying your flight
experience again. For people whose internal body clocks have been out of sync due to traveling
across time zones, CBD sleep aids are available on the market. If you're a regular traveler who
has aches and pains due to lengthy amounts of time in a car or on an airplane or sleeping on an
Airbnb mattress, you may want to try using CBD to reduce your pain.

With CBD medications, which are now readily available, it is possible to reduce anxiety during
airplane journeys. Instead of vaping or swallowing pills, CBD gummies are preferred while
traveling by airline or helicopter. Throughout this article, you'll learn how CBD gummies may
help you overcome your fear of flying.

Safe and Efficient Methods of Therapy

As an alternative to typical anti-anxiety drugs, cannabidiol (CBD) has recently gained popularity.
To overcome a fear of flying (which manifests as an acute concern, increased sweating, rapid
pulse and respiration, and nausea), you must take an emergency remedy that is both simple to
swallow and clinically advised.
CBD's safety and effectiveness as an anti-anxiety medication should be taken into consideration
in the following ways:

  • Hemp, which is used to make the overwhelming majority of CBD-based products, is
    grown for its tiny amount of psychoactive cannabidiol.
  • WHO research conducted in 2017 found that CBD is safe regardless of dose and well-
    tolerated in animals and humans in its purest form.
  • Less amount CBD may be taken orally for up to four weeks without causing any
    significant side effects, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Easily Available

Whenever you're feeling anxious, CBD gummies are at your fingertips. They're ready to eat and
swallow. Those who do not want to go through the inconvenience of acquiring a prescription
every time they encounter anxiety may benefit from using this CBD medication to manage the
signs and symptoms. In addition, it prevents people from getting dependent on typical anti-
anxiety medications, which may have dangerous adverse effects.

Enhance your Travel Experience

CBD gummies, for example, often take 30 to 60 minutes to start working their magic. This
means that anybody may now participate in any form of a travel adventure. Taking CBD gummy
30 minutes before a trip may help alleviate flight anxiety, whether you're flying domestically or
internationally.

CBD candies and creams are generally safe to carry into most countries since they are legal in
the great majority of those nations. To decrease anxiety before, during, and after a stressful event
or scenario, you may carry these CBD products with you.

Eliminate or Relieve Anxiety-Inducing Pain

Traveling might be incredibly stressful if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or migraines. The
use of other options, such as CBD gummy, lotion, and tinctures, is simple and easy to
understand. These items may help alleviate or eliminate the discomfort contributing to flight
anxiety.

Applying CBD cream to the affected joint, the temples, or the forehead may provide relaxing
benefits in addition to pain alleviation, depending on the concentration. Anxiety and panic
episodes are minimized as a result of this support.

Conclusion

CBD candies and CBD creams are two of the most efficient CBD treatments for anxiety relief
that are currently available. It is a more discreet method of consuming CBD that does not draw
undue attention to one's person. CBD gummy anxiety supplement uses natural and full-spectrum
CBD (with no THC) to assist you in finding that much-needed moment of calm as the weekend
comes to a close. Also included are enough vitamins D3 and B12, which will help your energy
recovery after having your fun travel experience.

Travel anxiety is no longer a problem when you use CBD candies or lotions, which may help
you relax and enjoy your holiday activities more thoroughly.


Bio

Noah Johnson has been a freelance writer since 2017. He is passionate about writing healthy
living content to help others find alternative ways towards a healthier lifestyle. One of his
expertise is reviewing CBD products like Sunday Scaries gummies and sleep oil to make it a
regular part of our life. In his free time, he's a certified volunteer arborist, an avid theatergoer,
and a literacy volunteer. Mr. Johnson has a passion for natural health care, fitness, and food.

References
[1] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
[2] https://www.discovermagazine.com/sponsored/best-cbd-oil-for-anxiety-and-depression
[3] https://www.healthline.com/health/best-cbd-oil-for-anxiety

 


Featured image photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash 


What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Whether you suffer from daily soreness or got an injury, it's a good idea to hire a physical therapist.
Think about how your body will heal much quicker when you have a professional attend to your
inflamed areas. It'll work wonders for your recovery. Here are some things that physical therapists do.

Help You Prevent Sports Injuries

Physical therapists can help you stay at your athletic peak. When you overtrain or constantly compete
at a high level, it takes a toll on your body. Your body becomes more prone to injury because it doesn't
have enough time to recover between the meets, practices, and individual training sessions.

A physical therapist can see what areas of your body need the most help. If you're playing basketball,
it's easy to tweak your ankles from jumping. Also, you may tear a knee ligament from a quick pivot to
the basket.

A therapist can provide you with reliable strength and stability exercises to keep your muscles from
ripping. Not to mention, the stability exercises will increase your flexibility to help you stay limber
while you get into your athletic mode. It may enhance your explosiveness and balance as you get into a
pocket.

Provides Injury Rehab

When you have a severe injury, it's hard to recover just from surgery. Sometimes physical therapy may
help you avoid going under the knife or make it a better process. If you start doing therapeutic
exercises before surgery, it can get your body in a faster healing state.

You'll appreciate the quicker recovery road from your physical therapy sessions. These specialists help
you start to retain your range of motion. When you've been in a cast for months, your injured body
parts become stiff.

A therapist can show you some beginner exercises that you can do at your pace to help you start to
regain mobility to your damaged areas. Also, they will help you come up with a program that suits your
needs. If you play sports or train for marathons, they can create a routine to help you gradually get back
to peak condition.

Slow Down Aging

While we can't prevent getting older, we can slow down how it affects us mentally and physically.
Getting physiotherapy can help you stay nimble as you age. Elders often get arthritis and other forms of
inflammation because of age and lack of movement.

They also understand that after years of sitting down at a desk job, it may cause permanent neck and
back pain. They'll create stretches and exercises to help you get your posture under control. Not to
mention, they know good flexibility exercises that can match your physical condition.

It might be time for you to get an ergonomic workspace to help make things more comfortable and give
you better neck and back support to help prevent damage to your body.

The ideal physical therapist can help you in different areas to ensure that you have an active lifestyle for the long term.

 


Featured image photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash 


On The Effectivity and Safety of Acupuncture for Reducing Back Pain

“Is acupuncture effective in reducing back pain?”
“Is it safe?”

The following are the two most commonly asked questions when it comes to acupuncture. This article will answer both questions and more. It will discuss everything you need to know about acupuncture. It will help you determine if acupuncture can work for your needs and if it’s actually worth the try.

Is acupuncture effective in reducing back pain?

Yes, acupuncture is effective in reducing back pain. So much so that people who undergo acupuncture can actually be covered by Medicare if their acupuncturist is also a general practitioner. This is the case because more and more people are now relying on acupuncture’s natural and holistic way of reducing body pain.

On Back Pain

People commonly suffer from back pain due to muscular sprains and strains in the lumbar area. Weekend warriors who love DIY-ing their way around home projects often get back pain from too much muscular strain. Pain on the lower back is pretty common because it’s the part of the body that carries the most weight when we move, bend, and twist. Back pain is triggered whenever we overstretch and cause our muscle fibers to be too stretched or torn. Lower back pain is preventable if people do proper stretching and warm-up before undertaking muscle-straining activities.

You will know that you have strained muscles as you would easily see inflammation around the injured area. The inflammation is often accompanied by aches and pains
while moving. People experiencing back pain can also suffer from limited range in movement, limited bodily function, spasms, and cramping.

On Acupuncture and Back Pain

Acupuncturists report having the most number of patients needing help for neck pain and back pain because more and more people now know that acupuncture is effective in reducing body pain. Acupuncture is often seen as a remedy of last resort and patients are always pleasantly surprised whenever they experience its healing wonders. If you’re suffering from back pain and you’re open to experiencing a totally natural and safe alternative mode of healing, you should check out Acupuncture Northcote experts.

Is acupuncture safe?

Yes, acupuncture is absolutely safe. You need not undergo any intrusive medical treatment if you’d undergo acupuncture. You will simply need to lay on your back and relax while your acupuncturist strategically inserts sterilized needles on parts of your body. And no, the needles don’t hurt. People feel very little pain to no pain at all whenever needles are inserted.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works through the strategic insertion of needles on parts of the body that triggers one’s nervous system to release chemicals like encephalin and endorphins. Such insertion works to trigger parts of the body that have blocked energies. The needles work to activate your body’s qi. Qi is the very core of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi (pronounce “chee”) is the vital energy within every individual that enables
us to physically and mentally function. We experience pain and sickness when parts of our body have blocked qi. All that acupuncture does is help the body have a balanced and harmonious flow of qi. The body functions well and heals well when one’s qi is regulated. People suffering from back pain simply need to have their blocked qi released and regulated.

Acupuncture is not the last resort treatment

Acupuncture has been around for over 4,000 years. It was introduced to the West in the 1970s. It is not something that you only consider when you already feel hopeless and desperate. It is an ancient healing technique that has proven its effectiveness time and time again. Acupuncture is slowly becoming popular because people are now more proactive when it comes to their health. More people now want to treat ailments without the use of medicine. This option is easily possible through acupuncture. With acupuncture, you won’t have to use strong chemicals to heal your body. Acupuncture goes directly to the cause of one’s pain and helps the body to naturally heal itself. All without the need to drink any form of medicine from big pharmaceutical companies.

Acupuncture is a holistic way to manage body pain

Researchers in China and the United States have done extensive studies on the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing and treating body pain. Studies have been made to document how acupuncture unblocks energies in the nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and muscular systems. A study made by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) revealed that acupuncture may help in easing knee pain, chronic low back pain, and neck pain. The study also showed that acupuncture may also help in preventing migraines and reducing headaches. What is not highlighted by studies is the fact that acupuncture is more than just a way to reduce body pain. It is so much more than that. As acupuncture goes right to the very energy regulation of one’s body, it can do so much more for people. It helps people to truly become well and safe from diseases by ensuring that all parts of the body are fully energized and functioning. It boosts one’s immune system and secures that body is always at its 100% at all times.


Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash


Bottomline

If you’re ready to experience a brand new way of healing without the need for strong chemicals as medicines, you should give acupuncture a try. It is highly safe and effective in reducing back pain. Consider booking an acupuncture session now. Your body will thank you for it.

 

 


Featured image photo by Antonika Chanel on Unsplash 

 


What Can Chinese Art Teach Us about Healing?

By Sally Perkins

“Where the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity,” said Hippocrates, highlighting the fact that medicine is a creative as well as a scientific pursuit. Medical professionals, after all, have a range of tools, knowledge, and experience at hand but often, in order for all these to align in the correct balance, creative choices need to be made. Ancient Chinese art, like ancient writings, are a rich source of information about medical practises, some of which are still used with patients today. They are also testimony to the celebration of humanity in all its facets and an open window into the suffering and joy involved in illness and healing, respectively.

Suffering for a Higher Good

The work Moxibustion, a hanging scroll by the Song artist Li Tang, depicts an itinerant doctor conducting moxibustion - a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials (moxa) are burned close to or on the surface of the skin, to invigorate the flow of Qi through the body and to eliminate toxins. In the beautifully detailed scroll, the man being treated contorts his face in pain and others hold onto him or try to accompany him during this difficult time. The work is not only illustrative of the importance of balanced Qi but also a symbol of the sacrifices that must be made to achieve it and the pain this can involve. In order to be healthy of mind and body, everything from one’s choice of diet to one’s breathing and exercise habits must work in unison since prevention is always better (and less painful) than cure.


Photo by Jade Lee on Unsplash


The Harmony of the Eight Brocades

The Eight Brocades are a set of qigong exercises that focus on a different meridian, once again focusing on a different meridian to encourage the optimal flowing of qi through the body. The work Illustrated Album of the Eight Pieces of Brocade, created by an anonymous artist during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) portrays the eight exercises as well as breathing exercises. In the illustrations, both the beauty of the human form and the peace and joy that result from prioritizing health, are evident. In some postures, the subjects open their mouths to breathe but also seem to smile, their mouths turned upwards and their eyes both concentrating and enjoying the moment they are in.

Recreating the Beauty of Ancient Chinese Art

Art in itself can be a means of healing. It can inspire one to lead a healthier lifestyle and aspire to a higher ideal of health - a holistic, all-encompassing state of body and mind, one in which Qi is unblocked. If you wish to follow the example laid out in ancient Chinese art, begin by drawing the human face and body, paying special attention to proportion and perspective. If you are a beginner to drawing and you wish to express pain, joy, peace, and other qualities through the eyes, take advantage of online resources to hone the basics of eye sketching. Basic steps include making and joining curved lines, adding the iris, and adding color and details. As your skills improve, you can start to include more people in your drawings and create more sophisticated compositions.



Photo by volc xia on Unsplash


Following the Examples Set in Ancient Chinese Art

You can also visit exhibitions featuring medical and health subjects to enlighten you on how to lead a healthier life. From studying the different positions and breathing techniques of qi gong right through to learning more about healing herbs, diet, and traditional medicines, you can balance the vital force of energy within you and feel more invigorated. In this state, it is easier to embrace creativity in everything from your work to your leisure time.

Art and science have a strong link and nowhere is this more evident than in highly praised objects of ancient Chinese art. The latter displays suffering, treatment, and healing methods. It also shows the importance of breathing and exercise to strengthen the body and enable Qi to flow as it needs to.


Featured image photo by Lisanto 李奕良 on Unsplash - photo from Sanxia District, New Taipei City, Taiwan


Using Traditional Chinese Medicine To Heal Common Gardening Injuries

Using Traditional Chinese Medicine To Heal Common Gardening Injuries

By Sally Perkins

Gardening has become a favorite hobby worldwide as a study indicates that in 2020, over 20 million novice gardeners began planting and digging in the soil for the first time in their lives. Not only has it become a great pastime and stress-reliever, but gardening has also enabled many individuals to grow their own food in their backyard. Though gardening has multiple benefits for physical and mental health, it also comes with its own set of hazards that can lead to injuries and various body aches and pains. Fortunately, there are ancient Chinese remedies that you can use to deal with these various injuries and have a pain-free time in the garden.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

For cuts and scrapes

Getting injured in the garden is a common occurrence for both novice and seasoned gardeners. In fact, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand notes that emergency rooms treat more than 400,000 gardening-related accidents each year. Some of the most common injuries include cuts and scrapes, and while most cases may not warrant a trip to the hospital, they still need to be looked after to prevent infection. The ancient Chinese typically used a combination of four plant-derived ingredients, which are agrimony, sacred lotus, frankincense, and cattail pollen, to heal wounds. You can find a pulverized version of these four ingredients in Chinese herbal stores and apply the mixture to cuts, scrapes and wounds to speed up healing and reduce scar formation.  You may also use powdered Yunnan Baiyao to treat bleeding cuts or wounds to prevent further blood loss. Just make sure to clean the wound or scrapes thoroughly before applying the powder to minimize the risk of infection.

Photo by Brian Patrick Tagalog on Unsplash

For sunburn

Gardeners are at a high risk for sunburn. Not only can it lead to pain and discomfort, but constant and prolonged exposure to the sun may also cause skin aging and skin cancer. To prevent sunburn, it's important to apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 before going outside. Gardeners should also have a shady spot in the garden where they can rest and seek respite from the hot sun. Consider creating a sitting area under a shady tree by installing a comfortable hammock, then add a small table where you can put drinks or a bottle of water so you can hydrate while you rest. If you do get a sunburn though, there are several things you can do to relieve the pain.

Traditional Chinese medicine views sunburn to be a condition wherein damp heat is trapped in the skin, and it's usually treated with a combination of topical herb therapy, rehydration, and acupuncture to release the trapped heat. For a sunburn, TCM practitioners often recommend eating cooling foods such as celery, cucumber, watermelon, pears, and cantaloupes. Drinking a glass of water every hour, as well as some green tea and calendula tea, is also recommended to repair skin cell damage from sunburn. A topical application of aloe vera gel mixed with crushed dandelion greens is also used to soothe redness and pain.

Gardening is a healthy hobby that can benefit your life in so many ways. Though it does come with some hazards, you can stay safe and have an enjoyable time in your backyard by staying hydrated, protecting yourself from the sun, and using tools carefully. Should you get scrapes, cuts, or a sunburn while gardening, consider using traditional Chinese medicine to heal your skin, and always consult a professional before using any herbal remedies.

Photo by Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash


Featured image photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


This Is How Nightmares Are Linked To Brain Creativity

By Tiffany Harper

Etymologically speaking, the word ‘nightmare’ is weird itself. It's obvious why it has a night in it, but there's a history to the mare part of the word. ‘Mare’ was the word used to describe demons thought to people during their sleep in old English. So the word 'nightmare' originally was a term used to describe spirits. It was much later that it was used to refer to dreams these demons caused.

This term has remained, even in our modern world; however, there seems to be a new twist to the whole idea of nightmares. There's more to nightmares, and they may indicate something in people. According to psychologist Michelle Carr, who works on dreams at the Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine, University Of Montreal, there are two dominant theories to explain nightmares. The first is that nightmares are a reaction to some negative experiences people have during their waking hours. The second one is the ‘threat simulation theory.’ This is the idea that humans evolved to have nightmares to prepare them for future adversity, so when something terrible happens in real life, they can handle it much better.

 

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It’s hard to say if nightmares are rehearsals for negative real-life experiences. However, one thing that has been noted is that nightmares have benefits for those that have to live and fight through them in their sleep. According to a study, as stated in college paper reports in 2013 [1], people that suffer from frequent nightmares tend to be more empathetic towards others in real life. They also tend to mirror other people unconsciously in different ways, like contagious yawning, which studies have revealed is a good indicator of empathy. Meanwhile, Carr's studies [2] have found that people that have nightmares constantly tend to think outside of the box when dealing with word-association tasks. There has also been other research to support the idea that there's a link between nightmares and creativity in people. A previous study by Ernest Hartmann, a sleep researcher, and psychiatrist at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, during the 1980s, discovered that people that seek therapy for nightmares didn’t do it because they were more anxious or fearful, but because they were generally sensitive to all emotional experiences. According to him, the driving force for intense dreams is sensitivity. When a person’s sensitivity is heightened towards fear or threat during the day, they're likely to have nightmares and bad dreams. In the same way, if a person has their passion or excitement heightened during the day, they may have intense positive dreams. It's also possible that both forms of dreams find their way into the person’s waking life and may increase their distress after a nightmare or promote their empathy and social bonding after positive dreams.

 


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There are still other effects to this. During Hartmann’s study, he found that people's sensitivity spills into their thoughts and perceptions. So, people that have experienced nightmares constantly also experience some dreamlike qualities in their waking thoughts. This is the kind of thinking that gives them an edge and heightens their creativity. Studies reveal that people like this may have higher artistic expression and creative aptitude. This is something that Carr confirmed in her research with two of her subjects, Chris and Jess, scoring exceptionally high on a boundary thinness scale, which was a test measuring their artistic expression and creative aptitude. It comes as no surprise that both of them are artists. Chris is a musician, while Jess is a photographer and painter. As nature likes to balance things up, Carr also discovered in her research [3] that people that experience frequent nightmares also have a higher tendency to experience positive dreams than other people. There is evidence pointing to the idea that instead of interfering with their normal activity, people that unfortunately suffer from lots of nightmares also have an opposite dream life that’s as vivid, positive and creative, as they have the terrifying and distressing one as well. It’s also interesting to note that their imaginative richness isn't confined to when they’re asleep alone. It permeates through to their daydreams and waking thoughts. So after these people shake off the demon and wake up from their nightmares, there are still traces of it left behind, which they possess throughout the day. As Carr admitted, these new views of nightmares have their roots in the work of Dr. Hartmann and his research associate, Dr. Van Der Kolk. Their research found that nightmares play a role in a person’s mental life, even though they were more speculative with their conclusions at the time. During their research, they studied 50 women and men reported to have at least a nightmare per week since childhood. These subjects were recruited through an ad in the Boston newspapers.

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The commonest nightmares that people had were being chased, hurt, or threatened by someone or something. However, unlike ordinary dreams, nightmares mostly come in colors and also have other sensations that are very vivid, like pain that people rarely experience in ordinary dreams. One thing that struck Dr. Hartmann was that many of the research subjects had trauma-free childhood. From his research, he indicated that when a disturbing incident occurred very early in the subjects’ lives, such as being raped or mugged, that incident found its way into their nightmares for weeks. It combined with old themes before fading out later. Traumatic incidents
like that caused them to have frequent nightmares for a while, just like other stresses like having a hard time at work or school. In his view, one thing that stood out for him significantly is that the nightmare sufferer has a general personality. People like this are primarily defenseless and open and have failed to develop the psychological protection most people have. According to him, they have what he called thin boundaries. As a result, they’re likely to let things through. The majority of his study subjects also described themselves as being unusually sensitive from their childhood. They’re hurt easily and particularly more responsive to other people’s feelings.
They weren’t happy as children even when they weren’t experiencing any family problems. It was also common among them that some of their relatives were hospitalized for schizophrenia, and even some of the subjects themselves claimed to be schizophrenic. These are why Dr. Hartmann proposed that people who continue to suffer from constant nightmares through their adolescence have a greater risk of suffering schizophrenia. When reporting his study in an article for The American Journal of Psychiatry, he wrote that his study subjects were not particularly anxious and weren’t neurotic. However, he also noted that his subjects are biologically vulnerable to schizophrenia, but most of them hadn't developed any chronic mental illness signs. According to him, the same factors that set these people apart and make them more susceptible to suffering mental illnesses have also allowed them to be more creative in pursuing activities in the arts. This will enable them to use their vulnerability, openness, and sensitivity more positively and creatively. Dr. Hartmann’s study subjects included people mainly in creative arts, such as musicians, poets, movement therapists, and art therapists. However, many of the other people saw themselves as artists somehow even though they were doing other things to support themselves. This was the first link between nightmares and brain creativity before Michelle Carr’s more recent work. There has also been other research over the years to support this claim. So, the next time you find yourself trying to escape from zombies in your movie, wake up and remember that you can put that energy into creative use.


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Tiffany Harper is a training guru who’s been working in the corporate sector as a technology expert for several years now. She is a management graduate and loves to share her experience through blogs and expert articles. For her love of writing, she provided online consultations for one of the dissertation help writers, while working with UK Best Essays. Please do not hesitate to contact her on LinkedIn.


How Acupuncture Can Make You Sleep Better

Acupuncture is an ancient practice where needles are strategically inserted into the skin by a professional, stimulating specific parts of the body. Acupuncture is still popular today to treat many conditions, including insomnia. Therefore, acupuncture could potentially help people sleep better.

How Does Acupuncture Affect Sleep?

Many people believe acupuncture is a neuromodulator, meaning that it can tone down the perception of the brain’s sensory signals, even the pain signals. Various parts of the brain will light up on functional MRIs. Therefore, it is fairly easy to see how acupuncture influences the brain.

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How Acupuncture Can Help You Sleep

Experts are not exactly sure about how effective acupuncture is for insomnia, as there is not enough research done on it yet. However, that does not mean that it is not helpful, nor does it mean there is a lack of studies. Some physicians are skeptical of it, but there is a lot of evidence that can suggest acupuncture can be beneficial. Some doctors who specialize in sleep medicine practice acupuncture on their patients and see good results. While more research would be required to prove that it is truly effective, acupuncture could help alleviate or treat symptoms like:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Depression
  • Pain

Many professionals like to offer acupuncture to their patients because the potential benefits far outweigh the small risks. In most professional’s eyes, they notice more benefits than side effects, and the patients at least feel calmer after an acupuncture session, helping them sleep well for a few days.

General Insomnia

Many people find it hard to sleep on occasion, but insomnia is a real condition many people deal with. It can impact how a person functions throughout the day due to poor sleep. Symptoms of insomnia can appear for several days, but they can last for months or even longer. Some common symptoms can include:

  • Waking up in the middle of the night, difficult going back to sleep
  • Finding it difficult to fall asleep
  • Waking up earlier than expected

Some common reasons why insomnia can occur include:

  • Medical conditions like sleep apnea
  • Chronic pain
  • Mental health disorders like anxiety
  • Improper sleep schedules

Many doctors enjoy offering their patients options, so offering their patients a safe alternative or addition to their medication can make them feel better, at least mentally and emotionally. Moreover, it has fewer risks compared to drug therapy. The current research suggests that acupuncture could help obstructive sleep apnea, anxiety, insomnia and restless legs syndrome. However, the evidence should not get exaggerated because they are somewhat mild to moderate, but it is still there.

Primary Insomnia

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Some evidence suggests acupuncture could treat insomnia if it does not have specific causes. While there needs to be more research before there is a conclusive answer, many patients who have insomnia can benefit from getting it done. Traditional acupuncture is when the needles do not get inserted far into a person’s skin. One study had 72 people who had primary insomnia get this treatment 3 times a week for about 4 weeks. The results found that it was effective at enhancing total sleep time, sleep efficiency and insomnia symptoms during the sessions. Another double-blind study involved 180 patients who had primary insomnia. In this study, they noticed that traditional acupuncture had good results when it came to daytime functioning and enhancing sleep quality compared to sedative medication and sham acupuncture.

Sleep Apnea

OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea, is when a person stops breathing when they sleep, which is a dangerous condition. Even if a person sleeps all night, it causes oxygen deprivation that makes them feel tired the following day. Several studies suggest that acupuncture could alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. However, the evidence is not solid enough to make it a viable treatment option for sleep apnea.

Mental Health Disorders and Insomnia

People who have depression and anxiety are more likely to have trouble sleeping. Limited research is available to state that acupuncture can help. However, one study with 90 people who had insomnia and depression found that electroacupuncture (acupuncture with electro currents) 3 times a week for about 8 weeks experienced:

  • Better sleep efficiency and quality
  • Depression
  • Total sleep time

There are no big studies that study acupuncture’s effects on people who have insomnia and anxiety. However, one review of the 20 studies of the effects of acupuncture on anxiety showed that it can improve anxiety symptoms, so it is not a complete loss.

Pain and Insomnia

Certain people can find it hard to sleep because of chronic pain. Chronic pain is pain that would last for 3 months or longer. One review was done for nine studies that had almost 1,000 participants with insomnia that was from chronic pain. The review found that acupuncture offered better results at enhancing sleep quality when compared to medication and sham treatment.

Acupuncture for Sleep: What Should You Expect

You can expect a few things when you visit an actual practitioner, which includes:

  • An hour-long session
  • A very thorough intake from the practitioner, which would include medical history
  • Around 20-30 needles were inserted in different points
  • The practitioner may palace seeds or needles in your ears

Before any session, practitioners in the acupuncture clinic diagnose what the potential root cause of the patient’s problem would be. For instance, they will try to figure out if stress causes your sleep problems so that they can choose acupuncture points to correspond to the diagnosis.

All in All

Acupuncture could help patients who have insomnia. While there is no conclusive evidence yet, it definitely has more benefits that outweigh the small risks of acupuncture.


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