By: Shmuel Halevi Ph.D

Under this page I have collected some very effective clinical suggestions, both for the public and practitioners. These suggestions deal with common afflictions, such as most people tend to suffer from now and then, in the course of their lives.

These suggestions have been gathered during many years of clinical practice in the various fields of natural therapies, and Chinese medicine. They do not substitute, of course, the need for a professional diagnosis and treatment by a qualified physician, rather offer a first-aid quick relief, until the underlying problem is thoroughly addressed.

Also the parts dealing with clinical suggestions for practitioners (mostly of Chinese medicine), should be regarded only as supplement to their basic treatment.

 

For the health disorders mentioned here, as well as for effective self-treatment of many other conditions, you may want to buy the book: Chopsticks Acupuncture. (Read here).

 

Allergies and Sinusitis

As a rule, sinusitis and most nasal afflictions, as much as they are stubborn and difficult to cure in modern medicine, are easy to cure by Chinese medicine. Acupuncture yields more than 90% success rate in this group of diseases.

People who suffer from frequent nasal problems, including sinusitis, hay-fever and the like, should perform regularly "nasal-irrigation". The procedure is as follows:

Nasal-irrigation usually restores normal nasal and sinus functioning, clears frontal headaches, and alleviates allergies.

                        

 

Steam therapy

Another technique, very simple yet very effective, may give immediate results for people suffering from itchy eyes and/or nose.

Hay fever, a complaint affecting a large portion of the world's population, usually causes itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, itchy ears etc. Steam therapy is immediately effective in most cases, giving sometimes even a long time relief, or amelioration, of these symptoms.

Lay a kettle filled with water on the gas fire until the water boils. Try to find for this purpose a wide-spout kettle this time. Once the steam comes out of the spout, hang over the kettle and let the steam irrigate your eyes, or inhale it through your nose or let it penetrate your ear. The sensation is quite agreeable and symptoms are usually relieved immediately. For better results, put inside the kettle 2-3 spoonfuls of Chinese Ma Huang (herba ephedra). Steam of ephedra water is much more effective for the symptoms of hay fever than plain water steam. Ma Huang may be bought at almost any Ch. med. herbal store.

It is important to make sure that your face is not too close to the kettle spout, in order not to get scalded. This procedure may be carried out several times a day, as much as  needed.

Another very helpful technique is to direct warm shower water straight onto your face while having a bath or a shower. Have the shower massage your eye region while your eyes are closed, as well as the sinus and forehead regions. This procedure usually alleviates the itching and opens the nasal passages.

A good Chinese herbal formula for the treatment of allergic rhinitis is: Fang Feng Xin Yiwan. It may be bought in most Chinese herbal stores and should be taken 8-12 pills at each time (depending on the severity of the symptoms), three times a day.

Acupuncture treatment is very effective for hay-fever and allergic rhinitis, especially if those are seasonal. There have been cases when one treatment session has cured the disorder completely.

 

Acupuncture  

The most effective cook-book formula to treat sinusitis is the following:

Li-4 Hegu/ Li-11 Quchi/ Li-20 Yingxiang/ YinTang/ St-36 Zusanli/ St-43 Xiangu/ St-44 Neiting.

Additional points relating to specific conditions:

Wind predominant: B-12 Fengmen/ Du-16 fengfu

Damp predominant: Du-23 Shangxing/ Sp-9 Yinlingchuan

With headache and heat: G-20 Fengchi

Cold predominant: Moxa on Li-4 Hegu and St-36 Zusanli

For more information concerning this combination, please refer to my work on Classical Points Combinations, HERE. (See under points combination No. 2).

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Colds and Flu 

Regardless of the differential diagnosis concerning this disease, which is quite important in terms of adequate medical procedures, there are some very potent measures that are able to combat this line of diseases, which everyone can administer by him/herself.

The most important step however, is to apply this offensive at the very beginning of the first mild symptoms. In such an event, the symptoms will disappear in a matter of hours, or a day. Have the flu or cold developed in spite of that, the following measures will definitely alleviate the symptoms and hasten recovery.

The dose for adults may be 4-5 pills at a time, 4-5 times daily. The dose for children is proportionally reduced. If a sore throat co-exists, or tonsillitis, one should better suck the pills for 5-10 minutes before swallowing them. It is even better to gurgle salt water beforehand.

For very small children it is best to squash some 10-15 pills in a saucer with boiled water, and let the infant have 3-5 table-spoons at a time, several times a day.

Chamomile - 3 spoons/ Radix Angelica - 2 spoons/ Rad. Licorice - 2 spoons/ Herba Mentha (mint) - 2 spoons. This is  very effective basic prescription for colds with cough and rhinitis. Pour the above herbs (not including the Mint) in a pot with 3 cups of water. Boil on a small fire for 25 minutes, and then add the mint for 3 more minutes. filter the preparation and drink several gulps every hour.

                                                                                                                        

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Low Back Pain

Low back pain is another affliction that a vast proportion of the world's population suffer from, and that Chinese acupuncture is probably the best cure for. The main advice here is therefore, to go visit a Chinese doctor as soon as this problem appears, and the sooner the better.

Still, there are few things that one should pay attention to:

Behavioral - A person who tends to suffer from low back pain should make regular exercise, preferably a mild and non-violent type, such as Tai-Chi, Yoga and the like. There is an excellent set of exercise, which can be done as a preventative, first thing in the morning, and always after a hard work or physical exertion. This exercise takes only 5 minutes, and is really worth the while.

Lie prone on a hard surface such as a thin carpet, with your knees bent like in the picture:

Now press your sacrum (tail bone) down to the floor several times, and then lift your pelvis with your knees bent to your chest several times. You have to lift your pelvis just a little bit from the floor, do not roll over your legs above your head. Repeat the procedure several times. Now, lift your feet some 20-30 centimeter above the carpet, and start waving them from side to side, just like a dog waves its tail. In the same time wave your head from side to side exactly in the same fashion, but in the opposite direction. I.e.: when your legs move to the right, your head waves to the left, and vice-versa. Do this several times, and repeat the first exercise. The whole set should take about 5 minutes.

Carrying out this exercise regularly, will enhances the mobility and flexibility of the lower lumbar and sacral vertebrae, thus eliminating stagnation and adhesions - the causes of pain and stiffness. 

Treatment - When one suffers from an attack of lumbago, or low back pain, hot olive oil compresses several times a day, usually relieve the pain for some extent. Administering local heat to tender points on the back with a moxa stick, also may benefit. A moxa stick is a cigar made of Mugwort plant wool, that may be bought at any Chinese medicine store. You need to light this stick, and hold it 2-3 Cm above the tender point, until the skin reddens significantly. (Please see picture below).

Dietary - It is very important to refrain from cold drinks and food while a back pain exists. Refrain from coffee, sour and pungent (spicy) food, alcohol and heavy meals. It is very important to keep your bowels going in that period. Constipation may aggravate the pain due to the inner pressure in the colon.

Acupuncture - For patients who suffer from occasional severe attacks of low back pain, with or without sciatica, direct moxibustion on the most tender acupuncture point on the affected side of the back, will normally terminate the problem. Administration of the direct moxa should be done AFTER needling the point for a few seconds, 7 -10 cones will suffice.

For more information concerning the treatment of low back pain by acupuncture please refer to my work on Classical Points Combinations, HERE. (See points combination No. 10).

                                                                                                 

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Urinary diseases

 

Cystitis (bladder inflammation) - Again, this problem responds extremely excellent to acupuncture, and there is usually no real cause to take for it antibiotics . If you can't find fast enough a Chinese medicine practitioner, here is a home remedy that will usually alleviate the pain, or the burning sensation very quickly.

Put some 20 stalks of parsley in a pot along with 3 cups of water, and boil on a low fire for 15 minutes. Filter and drink 2-4 cups of the brew during the day. Refrain from coffee, cold beverages, spicy food and alcohol. Warming the lower abdomen will also alleviate the pain. You may warm the abdomen with a hot bottle, or a moxa stick (see picture below).

Renal colic (kidney related pain) - Renal colic may cause very severe and intense pain. It is frequently caused by a small calculus (kidney stone), sometimes so tiny that even an X-ray can not detect it. When this is the case, the calculus is seeking its way out of the kidney to the ureter, and down to the bladder, for expulsion. There are other cases that may cause kidney colic, among which are inflammation of the kidney pelvis, or ureter, and even the bladder in some cases, and more.

The first rule, when one encounters such an unhappy problem, is to drink as much as possible. Plain mineral water in quantities, as well as teas, soups etc. A good idea will be to follow the cystitis advice with parsley (see above), but drink as many as 8 glasses a day of parsley brew. This decoction is diuretic, cleansing, and is very helpful as a remedy for constant sufferers of renal calculus.

In order to treat the excruciating pain, which is the main issue here, effectively and rapidly, here is a very simple, yet a very effective treatment. Take a short cylindrical stick of, let's say 30 Cm long, and a 2 Cm diameter. It also must be smoothed and rounded on its both tips. Have your partner press its tip onto acupoint Shenshu (Bl-23), on the same side of the pain. You may also do it yourself, please refer to the photo below. The pressure should be quite strong, but within your tolerance limits. This may be done for 5-10 minutes, while massaging gently, every now and then, the point with the stick's tip counterclockwise. After very few minutes there's usually a substantial reduction of the pain intensity. For renal colic sufferers this comes really as a small miracle. This procedure may be done several times a day, whenever the pain reaccelerates.

The point Shenshu (which is the associated point of the kidney in Chinese acupuncture) may be found as follows: 2-3 Cm lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the second lumbar vertebra (L2), on the same level with the umbilicus. The point is situated on top of the long vertical muscle beside the spine.

 

 

           Acupuncture - The best way to deal with renal colic in acupuncture is electro-acupuncture. Needles may be inserted in points: G-25 (jingmen), B-23 (shenshu), B-25 (dachangshu), B-28 (panguangshu) on the affected side, when the pain location is mainly in the kidney area. Electricity may be applied in low frequency so as to make the underlying muscles move and vibrate quite intensely (within the patient's tolerance, of course). These vibrations may help induce kidney and ureter contractions and help discharge the calculus. When the pain in radiating downward to the scrotum area (anteriorly and distally) points such as: G-25 (jingmen), St-25 (tianshu), St-28 (shuidao) etc. may be punctured with the same electricity principle. Many times, the patient may be in such pains that it will be impossible to have him/her still for acupuncture. You may definitely have him/her take a strong painkiller beforehand, and/or apply the "stick" procedure described above. Needless to say that an adequate differential diagnosis must (as always) be performed, and the underlying pattern must be addressed as soon as the pain subsides.

The Tai Chi ruler (Tai Chi Chih) - The "stick treatment" self treatment procedure described above, has its original roots in a very ancient, yet famous, Tai Chi excercise. This drill is very simple to perform, but known to have very deep influence on health, and general well being. The ruler (same stick as described above) is held in both hands, pressing gently its tips by both palms. Now you have to move forward and backward, rolling on your feet as if striding gently, slightly bending your knees, but remaining rooted to the ground on the same spot. At the same time your hands, holding the stick, move in a gentle circular motion, following the forward and backward movements of your body. Do not move your hands, rather let their circular motion follow the leadership of your body's movement. Roll on your feet soles from heel to toes while moving your body, being aware of the muscle and tendon work of your feet, maintaining the balance and motion. While moving forward your hands come up and forward with the stick, while moving backward, your hands sink down and come closer to your chest. This may also be done in the opposite way, and in a switching pattern, i.e, few minutes with the hands moving upward and forward while the body moves forward, and few minutes while your hands move downward and forward while you move forward, forming an inverted circle. Breathe lightly and rhythmically throughout the excercise and concentrate on the rhythm of your movements and breathing. You may feel the Qi sinking down to the Dantien (below the naval spot) while you exhale and move forward, and feel the Qi rising along the spine to your skull while you move backward and breathe. Do not forget to switch legs. Few minutes when your right leg forward, and vice versa. You may perform this excercise 2-3- times daily, 5 to 10 minutes each time .

Besides relieving renal colic pain as described above, the stick may be used for other painful conditions as well, with very good results. Low back pain (lumbago), stomach and intestines pain and more. A basic knowledge of the major acupuncture points is a prerequisite though. For pain associated with the internal organs, i.e: renal colic, stomach ulcer and the like, using the Shu (associated) points on the back for stick pressure will usually give the best and quickest results. Spasmodic pain of tight muscles, sprained back etc. will be best treated by stick pressure on the closest acupuncture point in the vicinity of the pain focus. The so called "AhShi" points, i.e: the most tender points near the painful area (which are most often real acupuncture points) may also be treated with good results.

 

 

 

Turning a malposition of your fetus

An excerpt from the book: Chopsticks Acupuncture (by Shmuel Halevi)

            

             Clinical Observation on Correcting the Mal-position of a Fetus by Electro Acupuncture

            By:  Li Qinghua et. al. 

T

his study compared the treatment of 48 women with malposition of fetus by electro-acupuncture at Zhiyin BL-67, 32 by moxibustion at Zhiyin BL-67, and 31 who received no treatment. All the women were over 28 weeks pregnant. The electro-acupuncture group received daily treatment for 30 minutes with needles inserted in bilateral Zhiyin BL-67 with maximum tolerable stimulation, and the moxibustion group had 20 minutes of warming by a moxa stick. In both groups the woman was asked to lie supine with knees flexed and belt loosened. The fetal mal-position was corrected in 81% of the electro-acupuncture group, 75% of the moxibustion group and 16% of the control group. Whilst the difference between the two treated groups was not statistically significant, the fact that the electro-acupuncture group required an average of 1.41 treatments and the moxibustion group 2.42 was statistically significant.

                                                                                                                      (JTCM December 1996 53/38)

 This excerpt from the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine from China describes a traditional treatment given in Chinese hospitals to pregnant women with this disorder. Abnormal position of the fetus before delivery poses a danger of either damage or death to the fetus. In most cases the abnormal fetal position is when the occiput is posterior in the pelvis rather than anterior. Another very frequently encountered mal-position is when the fetal buttocks leads rather than the head. This is termed a “breech” position in medical circles.

 Mal-position of the fetus calls for a Caesarian section, in most cases, due to the high fetal mortality rate in such deliveries. There are tens of thousands of Caesarian sections performed in the western world each year for this problem alone.

 As can be seen above and as experienced by most private practitioners of acupuncture worldwide, the clinical success rate of acupuncture techniques for this problem varies between 70-80%. This could mean a significant reduction in unnecessary surgery in hospitals worldwide. It is even more exasperating due to the fact that most pregnant women can and should apply this treatment on themselves with minimal risk.

 The technique is most appropriately performed between the 30th and 34th week of pregnancy, and after a mal-position of the fetus has been diagnosed by an ultra-sound examination. The pregnant woman may do it by herself or preferably by her partner, or another family member. She must sit comfortably in a semi-reclining position with her clothes loosened. The point B-67 Zhiyin (to be discussed later on) is warmed with the moxa roll for 10 minutes each time (please see picture here) , bilaterally, twice a day, for 2-3 days or until a distinct feeling of a strong fetal movement is perceived. It is important to monitor the position of the fetus by ultra-sound tests and discontinue the treatment immediately after the position has been altered.  

 The chopstick therapy may also give good results for this disorder. The point Zhiyin B-67 must be stimulated with the narrow end of the Chopstick by the Pressing manipulation, alternated by the Twisting  manipulation. This must be done for 3-5 minutes each time, twice a day. Here, too, the treatment must be discontinued after the fetus has changed its position to a normal one, lest another mal-position may result.

 

Main Prescription

B-67 Zhiyin

B-67 Zhiyin (Reaching Yin) – This point is the last point on the longest Yang meridian, the bladder meridian. (Link here in order to view the whole meridian route). From here the meridian transforms into the beginning of the Yin, the first point on the kidney meridian, on the sole of the foot. Hence, one reason for the Chinese name. The second reason applies to the ability of this peculiar point to reach within the very Yin of the woman – the womb.

 

         

At the lateral side of the small nail of the foot, 2 millimeters laterally to the upper angle of the nail.      

 

Energetic Actions

 Turns the fetus and facilitates labor, clears the head and eyes.

 

Symptoms and Functions

 As mentioned above, Zhiyin is the last point on the bladder meridian. The bladder meridian is the coupled meridian of the kidney, by the Yin-Yang law. The bladder is Yang, the kidneys are Yin. The kidney meridian enters the uterus and is in control of fetal development and the progress of the pregnancy. Zhiyin, as the last point of the Yang bladder meridian, connects with the first point of the kidney meridian, K-1 Yongquan. Stimulating B-67 produces a change in the electro-magnetical polarity in the uterus, affecting a turning of the fetus.

  

Manipulation

 ·          Place the narrow end of a chopstick on the B-67 point of the left foot and apply a strong pressure. Do this for 5 minutes. Right after that, apply moxa stick warming to the point for as long as 10 minutes. The heat must be as intense as you can tolerate. If you do not have a moxa stick, warming the point with cigar may also help. Apply this treatment daily, on alternating feet, every day for 3-5 days. In most cases, this should give prompt results.

 

Gout

General

gout, condition that manifests itself as recurrent attacks of acute arthritis, which may become chronic and deforming. About 95% of patients with this disorder are men, usually over 30.  The presence of increased uric acid (a breakdown product of purines) in the body distinguishes gout from other forms of arthritis, although hyperuricemia alone, which often occurs in complete absence of gout, is not thought to be the sole causative factor.

Gout usually begins with an acute attack of pain, inflammation, extreme tenderness, and redness in the affected joint : often the big toe and sometimes the ankle, fascia of the toes or knee. After repeated attacks the disease can cause the deposition of sodium urate crystals in the tissues about the joints, causing stiffness and deformity. The aim of treatment is to minimize the formation of uric acid crystals. A high liquid intake that increases daily urine output is usually recommended. Colchicine, a preparation of the meadow saffron, used since the 18th century in Europe for gout, is still the treatment of choice, or anti-inflammatory drugs such as indomethacine, diclofenac or others. In order to inhibit the process of the breaking down of purines to uric acid, allopurinol is usually taken on a regular basis, or other drugs that help the kidneys to eliminate excess uric acid.

Treatment

Most of all, it is important to maintain an adequate dietary regime, as gout is actually the only type of arthritis that is undoubtedly related to diet. Foods rich in purines such as: yeast, meat - and especially organ meat, sea food, sardines, anchovies, meat broth,  lentils and more are strongly contraindicated. Also wine, alcohol including beer, coffee, excessive tea, interfere with the metabolic process involving the creation of uric acid and are prohibited. As mentioned above, it is strongly advised to drink plenty of water (at least 12 glasses daily) and refrain from excessive sexual activity, excessive physical exertion and traumatic injuries. Excessive sexual activity and physical exertion deplete kidney Qi (energy) and hinder the kidney's capacity to eliminate uric acid. Those "researches" that recommend intensive sexual activity for gout sufferers, rely on false researches and false conclusions.

At the onset of a gout attack you should take a s soon as possible a strong NSAID (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug) which you have found that works best for you. If you do not suffer from a gastro-intestinal ulcer, I recommend diclofenac 100 mg which dissolves in 24 hours (Abitren, Betaren and the like). This, if taken at the very beginning of an attack, may eliminate the development of a full-scale, acute and very painful episode. Next, make an appointment with a qualified and experienced acupuncturist, if possible on the same day. Few acupuncture treatments, administered by a skilled practitioner, may eliminate the gout attack very quickly as well as the necessity to take more NSAIDs. Acupuncture, as well as Chinese herbal medicine, has excellent results both in controlling the pain and inflammation involved with gout and, no less important, with the cure of the basic condition which precipitates these attacks.

In relation to Chinese herbal medicine, there is an excellent herbal prescription for the treatment of the acute/chronic episodes. The prescription is called: Qingluo Tongbi (a derivative of the more popular Shuguan Qingluo powder) and is widely used in China for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). It is available as a herbal powder made into pills and, according to researches, its efficacy in terms of eliminating the pain and inflammation associated with RA surpasses by large that of the various NSAIDs which are used for the same purpose. Moreover, there are no recorded side-effects or harmful results even in prolonged use of this herbal formula. In my clinical experience, this is a superb solution for the treatment of gout, whether in the acute or chronic stage.

Another herbal formula is being used today for the prevention of gout and for the reduction of uric acid in the blood serum. In modern experiments, it has been shown to match the efficacy of allopurinol in controlling uricemia, without the risks associated with allopurinol. The traditional name of this formula is: Ermiao san and Sanmiao san. Its constituents must be tailored individually in order to have a maximum effect.

Here are some several simple (folk medicine) procedures for those who would like to check this condition by themselves, none of them however, is a real competitor to the solutions offered by Chinese medicine:

1. Keep a strict diet as mentioned above. The Internet is full of dietary recommendations for gout patients, for those who would like to delve more deeply into this subject.

2. Cherries and celery seed extract. Many gout patients report that daily consumption of raw or dried sour cherries, or tart cherries extract capsules, alleviate the pain and inflammation of gout and prevent it from recurring. The same applies also to celery seed capsules.

3. Sodium-Bicarbonate - Keep your urine as alkaline as possible. For this purpose, you may swallow half a teaspoon of Sodium-Bicarbonate (baking soda powder) once or twice daily for several days. In addition, drink plenty of soda-water (unsweetened) during the day.

4. Garlic. In many instances, simple and raw garlic cloves consumed with each meal, prevent and alleviate the conditions of pain and inflammation associated with gouty arthritis. Regular consumption of raw garlic may stop gout from recurring despite the uric acid presence in the blood.

 


For those who wish to control the purine content in their diet, I have included a table specifying the purine quantities in Mg/100 gr of various foods. Here is the link to that page.

Another chart, including the PH level of foods, can be accessed here: http://acumedico.com/purine_ph.htm


A very large database of foods and drinks and their purine & PH content, is now available to install on your Iphone (if you have one...) details-----> HERE.

 

 

 

Miscellaneous 
 

Warts   - Here is a procedure which will usually eliminate the wart in a matter of 1-3 weeks. If there are many warts, one must apply the technique on the so called "mother wart". This term applies to the wart which appeared first, and is usually the biggest (but not always...). Take a cone of about 1 cm2 of moxa wool (this may be bought at any Chinese herbal store), and soak it in common medical alcohol. Lay it over the treated wart tightly, and stick a plaster over it - firmly. Leave it intact for the whole night, you may remove it in the morning. You may also leave it on for 24 hours if you so wish. Repeat the procedure daily, until the wart has wasted away.

Acupuncture - Stubborn warts may be treated by acupuncture, in order to quicken the recovery, as follows: Insert a thick needle underneath the wart, horizontally, a few millimeters. Rotate the needle in several directions, so as to cause minor bleeding. Repeat the needle insertion from other directions too, plus the manipulation. This technique causes blood stagnation underneath the wart, thus hindering its blood supply. It will usually fall off in a matter of week or two.

 

Diarrhea   - Acute or chronic diarrhea, or loose stool, may be treated effectively by direct heating of the umbilicus. A moxa stick is held 2-4 cm above the umbilicus, for as much as 10 min.each session, and until the skin is quite reddened. Moxa sticks are cigars made of Mugwort plant, and are used for heating purposes. These may be bought at any Chinese herbal store. Results are usually seen very rapidly, even in chronic cases. 

Diarrhea may have various etiologies, and must be diagnosed by an expert Chinese medicine physician. There are cases when the diarrhea is because of food contamination, or an adverse pathogen. In such a case the diarrhea must not be stopped symptomatically, rather be purged in order to evacuate the pathogen. Only thereafter it should be stopped. It is therefore important to make a good differential diagnosis beforehand.

When the diarrhea is a functional one, or a result of cold, or a chronic loose stool due to a weak digestive system, or a sequela of a protracted disease which has cleared off already, this moxa technique is most appropriate, and may be performed at home.

Applying moxa stick

Acupuncture - A good prescription for purging the bowels from pathogens that cause diarrhea, is the following:

                              Li-4 Hegu/ St-25 Tianshu/ St-36 Zusanli/ St-37 Shangjuxu/ St-39 Xiajuxu/ St-44 Neiting

 

Link to Dr. Halevi's homepage.

 

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