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Chinese Medicine

Eliminate Dry Eyes With Acupuncture

Eliminate Dry Eyes With Acupuncture

Do your eyes feel like a DESERT at times? You may have noticed them especially at the end of a workday - after staring at a computer screen for hours. Hopefully your boss doesn’t need you to do overtime because your dry eyes will likely be screaming “NO MORE!”. The worst are evening events. You always know you’ll be feeling the urge to switch into glasses mid-way through the night. Party pooper.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if your eyes could just self regulate? Wouldn’t it be great if they felt adequately moist, and not dry or stingy at all? Well, did you know that acupuncture is great for treating dry eyes? Not only does acupuncture help with alleviating dry eyes, but acupuncture also treats the underlying causes leading to dryness of the eyes. Don’t worry, the needles don’t go anywhere near your actual eyes.

 

You may have been told that this is just a sign of aging, that you have a higher level of inflammation in your eyes, or that your eyes just don’t produce enough tears. You may have also been told that you would likely have to live with this condition for the rest of your life. Although valid points, at AcuSoul we believe your body has the ability to change. By looking at your health from a different perspective, we can find alternative solutions to dry eyes that western science may have missed.

 

The liver in Chinese Medicine is related to hypochondriac pain, tendons, healthy nails, and last but not least your eyes. According to western medicine the liver is an organ that filters toxins from your blood. Many things can lead to an accumulation of toxins in the liver, such as: alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, fried foods, and junk food.

At AcuSoul we also take into consideration your mental-emotional health. Emotions like frustration, anger, or constantly feeling under pressure can cause the liver’s performance to decline. An overworked or toxic liver can lead to inflammation - manifesting as DRYNESS OF THE EYES.

 

So how does acupuncture for dry eyes work?

 

With the above condition, we would use acupoints on the liver meridian to help detox the organ and eliminate dry eyes. The Liver meridian is an energetic channel that connects to the organ, with accessible points along your legs and feet.

 

You might also be wondering how many acupuncture treatments it would take to eliminate the dry eyes? Everybody heals at a different rate, but typically we recommend starting with 8-10 treatments. Over the course of these treatments you can see for yourself the progress we are making after each acupuncture session.

If you’ve never tried acupuncture before, we use an extremely gentle technique with thinner needles, leading to a pain-free experience. We usually target leg, abdomen, or back points, so nothing actually near the eyes. We also provide dietary recommendations so your body can continue detoxifying the liver in between treatments. We have 2 acupuncture clinic locations in Toronto, 1. Downtown (Adelaide & Peter St), and 2. Forest Hill (St. Clair & Warren Road). So, if you’re in Toronto, and looking to get rid of irritating dry eyes with acupuncture, book a session today - You won’t regret it!

Skin Rashes: A Home Remedy & How Acupuncture Can Help

Skin Rashes: A Home Remedy & How Acupuncture Can Help

Some of you that struggle with this condition, whether it's a rash or some form of eczema, have had it for years. You’ve tried the steroid creams, the anti-inflammatory meds and are wondering how acupuncture & food therapy can help.

Spring - Living in Season!

Spring - Living in Season!

Spring Living In Season Acupuncture Clinic TCM Toronto

SPRING is a time of GROWTH as new plants sprout up from the earth. This season relates to the Liver in Chinese medicine - whose job is to filter toxins from blood (western perspective). Here are some foods to help support your liver's detoxing functions:

Food Therapy:

Kale

Spinach

Bok choi

Lettuce

Cilantro

Celery

Watercress

Peppermint tea

Chrysanthemum tea

Peppermint and chrysanthemum are great for relieving stress and frustration. Avoid alcohol, or greasy and fried foods, as these can weigh you down making you feel sluggish, and irritated. 

LIFESTYLE CHOICES

Explore Life

Emotionally and physically spring sparks within us the need for change, exploration, and movement - expressions of a healthy Liver in Chinese medicine. Failing to do so can leave us feeling frustrated, stressed, and depressed. Now is the time to travel - satisfying our need to explore. That doesn't have to be somewhere far, and expensive, but just someplace different than what you're used to. A change of environment helps to inspire us, and spark creativity when we're stuck.

Spring also marks a time of growth. Putting your energy towards personal goals, or projects is optimal this season. Spring gives the Liver more energy to perform its role of having a clear vision, setting goals, and planning ahead. Remember to plan with the resources you currently have. Overcommitting yourself to many goals can lead to many incomplete tasks, and possibly depression.

EXERCISES

Stretching

Now that the weather is getting warmer, enjoy a walk in the park. This combines movement with reconnecting to nature. The Liver also enjoys stretching, which can help ease frustration and stress. The Liver Channel runs through the inner thighs, and calves. Make sure to spend more time stretching these muscles and ligaments before and after workouts. 

If you're looking for a quick tune-up this Spring, feel free to book an acupuncture appointment to nourish & awaken your body.

 

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5 Ways to Warm Up!

5 Ways to Warm Up!

As the cold winter approaches, it's important we understand how to stay balanced during this season. Winter is the time our energy hides in the deeper layers of our body, making us more susceptible to catching colds. For those who have poor circulation, cold temperatures can slows things down even more, reducing blood flow to your extremities. You may experience cold hands and feet, or become more prone to pain in your body as blood stagnation occurs. Here's what you can do to offset these imbalances.

1. Add Some Spice

Star anise, fennel, and cloves not only spice up your meals, but have very strong warming properties that can tonify your Yang (warming) energy according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Add them to soup, or marinate meat with these warming spices. 

2. Eat Venison/Lamb

This brings me to my next point. Meat can have a negative connotation in our modern society especially with factory farming practices. Sometimes we forget the beneficial properties of meat. I always recommend eating organic when possible, and consuming meat in moderation. Lamb and venison can warm the body up, relieving your from cold extremities, feeling cold all the time, or even low libido as these meats strengthen the Kidneys as well. They are often marinated with rosemary - another warming herb that can help you stay balanced during the cold, frigid winter months.

3. Drink Alcohol

You're probably are starting to question this article - but believe it or not, moderate alcohol consumption was recommended during the Ming Dynasty to help regulate blood flow, improve circulation, and warm the body. All good things in moderation.

4. Acupuncture

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

TCM is all about balancing Yin and Yang. For those with a deficiency in Yang, they tend to feel cold more often, lack energy, and may even experience low libido, or loose stools. Yang represents warmth, and along the back of your spine lies the Du Channel "Sea of Yang". By choosing points along this channel, acupuncture can boost the body's warming energy to relieve the sensation of cold. If you haven't tried it yet, book your session today at www.acusoul.com.

5. Sit By The Fire

This time of year it is quite difficult to get more sun, but there are other options. Layer up at the office, plug in a portable heater, or sit by a fire if you get the chance. External heat is just as important as warming the body up from the inside out. As you plan your holiday season, try to spend some time near a fire, whether that's at home as you cozy up next to the fireplace, at a cabin resort, or the inside of a chalet.

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3 Mindful Tips For Fall

3 Mindful Tips For Fall

1. Slow down & Enjoy the moment

A fall tree begins to lose its leaves and change colour, reflecting a time to slow down as energy becomes scarce during this season. Likewise, we should do the same. Focus more on slow exercises that calm the mind like yoga, tai chi, and meditation. These exercises are great as they build up our internal energies. Intense sport activities, excess work, stress, and anxiety should be reduced during this time of year as they over consume us. Remember, life is all about balance, without building up our internal energy, how can we meet the demands of life? 

2. Refine Yourself

Knowing that you have less energy during this time of year, it is important to become more efficient in the things you do. Fall is a season that resonates in nature with "Metal" - refined rocks, diamonds, gems, etc. Like a gem, through the process of refinement, one can bring out the best qualities in themselves. Learn to refine your processes at work, or at home so that they become less draining on you. Let go of things that aren't working or have a low return on investment. Metal also reflects structure, prioritize your list of things to do based on importance, not urgency. By becoming organized and efficient with your time spent, you conserve energy, life becomes clearer, and you become your best self.

3. Tidy Up

One of the organs associated with Fall is the large intestine - whose job is to eliminate waste, or let go of the unnecessary. When there's clutter in your home, this represents clutter in your mind, that you live with day in and day out. By tidying up your desk, closet, or home, you go through the process of eliminating waste. This will make you feel like you have more space, and can finally breathe again! Breathing is the main function of the Lungs - the other organ associated with fall, responsible for bringing in clean pure air into our bodies. Once you let go of the old, and eliminate waste, this gives your body the opportunity to bring in something new, and positive into your life.

If you find it difficult to accomplish these tasks, acupuncture can re-balance the body physically to make way for an improved mindset. Feel free to book an acupuncture session today!

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Four Key Recipes For Fall

Four Key Recipes For Fall

Looking for ways to stay balanced this fall? Listed below are four recipes that taste great AND boost your body's immune system during this cool & dry season

5 Reasons To Try Acupuncture

5 Reasons To Try Acupuncture

1. Reconnect With Yourself

Acupuncture is a way for you to take time out of your busy life, and tend to your body's needs, which may or may not have been neglected for weeks, months, or years. By taking an hour out of your day to re-balance the body through acupuncture, this allows you to leave your anxiety, stress, and tension behind and really focus on you. Bringing you back into the present moment and reconnecting your mind and body.

2. Get To The Root Cause

Acupuncture gets right down to the root of your health imbalances. By inspecting the tongue, and palpating the wrist pulse, your practitioner can see and feel any imbalances in your life, whether chronic or acute. The tongue's qualities such as colour, moisture, and size reveal the overall health of each organ. Using a system of points which are mapped out throughout your body, acupuncturists are able to promote healing from the root.

3. Experience Positive Side Effects

The side effects of acupuncture are many, yet all positive. After an acupuncture treatment you may notice an overall improvement in your sleep, digestion, and stress levels.

4. Find Out Your Imbalances

Many of us visit the doctor only to find that there's "nothing wrong". We may not be dieing of a chronic disease, however, many of us still feel something is "off". These are the types of problems you want to bring to your acupuncturist. They specialize in taking into consideration all aspects of your health history, including current signs and symptoms you may be experiencing, and are able to explain to you what they all mean from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.

5. Tried, Tested & True

Acupuncture has been around for over 2000 years. It is one of the oldest forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine and in fact predates the use of herbal medicine. If it were not an effective form of treatment, why has it continued to survive throughout the ages? The clinical experience of patients and practitioners over thousands of years offers clear evidence that acupuncture works.

For a list of illnesses acupuncture has been proven to treat according to the World Health Organization(WHO) click here.

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Food As Medicine - Weight Loss

Food As Medicine - Weight Loss

Author: Justin Lee

Each food has the potential to influence your health in the right or wrong direction. Whether you suffer from being overweight, low in energy, or have a general sluggish feeling all the time, there are foods that are right for you. By understanding our imbalances from a Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) perspective, we can then use a TCM food therapy approach to eating healthy and rebalancing the body. 

Food therapy is all about eating according to your body's needs. If you are trying to lose weight or boost your overall energy, it's important that the digestive system - the Spleen/Stomach - is supported for optimal digestion. People who tend to crave sweets tend to have a weakness in their Spleen/Stomach. The Stomach is responsible for taking in food, and rotting and ripening it. It's important that we chew our foods so that this process can flow smoothly. The Spleen's job is to then take the digested food, and transform it into vital nutrients. However, foods that damage these organs are refined sugars, greasy/oily foods, and foods that are cold in temperature. Refined sugars have been stripped of all nutrients and fiber, and actually overload the Spleen, making it unable to transform and transport. Cold foods tend to slow down digestion to a hault, making you feel heavy, sluggish, tired, and bloated as these foods sit in your body unable to be processed. You want to think of your digestive system like a furnace that needs to be kept warm all the time. Cold foods put out your digestive flames making it harder for you to process the foods you eat. Cold drinks do the same thing, except in the form of liquids - leading to water retention or what we call "dampness".

Another big issue with trying to lose weight is eating at the right times. 7-9AM is the optimal time for the Stomach to receive food, and so breakfast should be your biggest meal, while dinner should be a smaller meal as 7-9PM is when your Stomach is weakest according to TCM. Being mindful of your eating habits can help improve how much your body is going to absorb from the foods you eat. We always recommend in TCM to eat in a calm environment, where you can focus on your food alone without distraction. Eating in a hurry, or while working on the computer or checking your phone actually divides your energy and makes it more difficult for your Spleen/Stomach to do its job efficiently.

In TCM, people with weak spleens should eat everything cooked. By doing so, this optimizes nutrient absorption and the elimination of dampness. Earth vegetables are great for boosting the Spleen - carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, turnips, beets & more. These foods give us energy, eliminate waste, and ultimately help your body to drop the excess weight.

It's interesting to note that the element of the stomach/spleen in TCM is Earth - hence why "earthy" vegetables help boost our spleen. Organic makes it even better as these vegetables are grown in a healthy, nutrient rich "earth" environment. Feel free to follow Justin on Instagram @acu_soul for more health tips on food from a TCM perspective.

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Acupuncture: A Lifestyle

Acupuncture: A Lifestyle

Many of us tend to wait until we are completely burnt out before focusing on our health and what we need. Acupuncture is a great way to rejuvenate your body from the inside out.