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Flu

by Patricia Jade Nguyen Flu season is here, and patients are asking for my views on the flu shot. I never get the flu shot for 2 reasons. The flu virus is constantly changing, and there are many different viral strains that can cause illness. The flu shot covers 3-4 specific strains, so the probability of getting sick is only slightly reduced. My primary reason for not getting the shot is I can both prevent and treat the flu with Chinese medicine. I keep a cold and flu herbal kit on hand during the winter months. Silkie Herbs offers an excellent kit with several herbal formulas that address all stages from the onset of a cold (slight sniffle, sore throat, and congestion) to the worst of the...

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Hay Fever - It's Not the Pollen

by Mickey Nguyen Spring is in full bloom and so are your allergies. Although the birds may be singing to the warm sunny skies, those that suffer from Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis) dread the outdoors this time of year. Just a whiff of the pollen filled air can instantly induce common symptoms we all know too well; nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, irritated eyes, ears and throat. The first reaction is to reach for the nasal corticosteroid sprays or decongestants so that you can actually breath. Next up are the antihistamines to relieve the rest of the symptoms taking over your body. Lastly you avoid going outdoors altogether, until you have to, then the cycle repeats all over again. Today we’re not...

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Depression - extreme exhaustion of Body, Mind and Spirit

by Patricia Jade Nguyen Unlike physical illnesses, mental disorders are not openly discussed. Mental illness tends to be a hushed personal battle because of social stigma. Although depression is one of the most common mental disorders and is treatable, only 1/3 of suffering patients seek help. Depression is an illness shrouded in silence and shame. Therefore, friends and family who have only experienced a temporary bout of sadness often misunderstand depression. They try to be supportive and urge with good intentions, “Cheer up,” or “Snap out of it.” Those words, however, actually can be harmful by making dispirited individuals feel inadequate and subsequently more depressed. They desperately want to feel cheerful but are incapable of extricating themselves from the darkness binding them....

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Weight Loss

by Mickey Nguyen Every New Year a typical resolution is to get in shape and lose weight. A common question I get from patients, friends and family around this time of year is “Can Chinese Medicine help me lose weight?”. The short answer is yes. The follow up question is often “How can it help me?” or “How does it work?”. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, fat gain is a product of excess phlegm. In western medicine phlegm is defined as a thick and viscous substances that is secreted by the body’s mucous membranes. Most of you are familiar with the physical aspect of phlegm. However, in TCM phlegm can be described as any condensed fluids that have stagnated...

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Western science approaches TCM

by Sven Etzelsberger  Can Traditional Chinese Medicine really cure diseases that the West considers “incurable”? National Geographic published a great article about western science learning more about Traditional Chinese Medicine. Just like Aspirin was originally a plant based herb, naturally occurring in the bark of a willow tree, there are many powerful natural remedies in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Did you know that the latest Malaria medication is based on an old TCM formula from 400 A.D.? The researcher who recently re-discovered and created a western version of it, received a Nobel prize for it. The National Geographic article also touches on the dark side of TCM, the fringe practices that contribute to the extinction of endangered species and the suffering...

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