Top 3 Chinese Medicine Health Tips

The long and unbroken history of Chinese medicine has allowed it to accumulate a HUGE of collection of health & medical knowledge, across many different categories.

When combined with the principles of Chinese medicine, this knowledge helps keep our body, mind & spirits in harmony with one another and with the outside world.

One of these categories is called “Yang Sheng Fa”, which means “Life Nourishing Principles”.

Life Nourishing Principles are best described as “healthy habits”.

Some of the habits are general, while others are specific to a climate or season.

Although it’s hard to pick which habits are the best, here are the top 3 health tips which we encourage our patients to adopt in the maritime climate of Halifax.

1. Get to bed earlier

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It’s well known that getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night is essential to your body’s ability to heal & regenerate itself.

Since most people start work between 8am & 9am in the morning & assuming a 7am alarm time, getting a full 8 hours of sleep means getting to bed at 11am at the latest.

Getting to bed before 11pm is just as important for your biological clock as it is for the amount of sleep you get.

Our circadian rhythms are affected by light exposure, & any light exposure after 11pm will make your body clock fall out of sync with the 24 hour cycle of the environment, causing symptoms very similar to jet lag!

2. Eat & drink warm foods & liquids

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Eating & drinking cold foods & drinks put intense strain on our digestive systems.

Problems such as acid reflux (heartburn), bloating, indigestion & constipation are all worsened by cold meals & drinks.

Fatigue, foggy-headedness & signs of malnutrition can also occur if cold meals are a chronic habit, since the digestive system ends up not being able to extract nutrients as efficiently.

By eating & drinking meals that are AT LEAST room temperature, many of the above problems can be improved & even eliminated!

In situations where the meal is raw (such as salad) or cold (such as ice cream), having a warm drink (such as tea) to accompany it will balance out the negative effects of the cold.

Apply heat to an injury

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For decades, the sports medicine & physiotherapy community recommended Gabe Merkin’s RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat injuries.

Icing an injury became the most recommended intervention because of its ability to relieve pain; quite simply, icing feels good.

Chinese medicine, however, has NEVER recommended icing, and had very good reasons not to!

When an injury is iced, the cold numbs the nerves & provides relief from pain…

…BUT the vessels & tissues being iced constrict and contract, causing stiffness, restricted lymphatic flow, & diminished blood flow.

Since healing an injury requires proper circulation, icing an injury will actually DELAY healing & recovery!

Applying heat to an injury does not provide as much immediate pain relief…

…BUT the heat relaxes & opens the vessels & tissues, allowing for increased lymphatic flow & blood flow.

This increase in circulation helps remove swelling, flush away inflammation, and SPEEDS UP healing & recovery!

By combining the healing effects of heat therapy with both the healing and PAIN RELIEVING effects of acupuncture, Chinese medicine’s success rate with both acute & chronic injuries is stellar.

To his credit, Gabe Merkin, RICE protocol developer, wrote an article in 2015 in which he admitted that icing an injury delayed healing & recanted the RICE protocol altogether.

So there you have it: the top 3 health tips which we recommend in clinic on an almost daily basis.

There are PLENTY more, so if you have any questions or want a health tip for a specific condition, get in touch! You can email us at info@accessacupuncture.ca, or call us at 902-999-HEAL. You can also book online.

Stay Healthy!

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