Woo Hoo! Do you like this time of year when the sun shines its rays of bliss all over us? Spring brings not only new life, and reasons to take action. Oh yes, it brings allergies too, however we have help for you in that department!
In this issue:
- Rates changes and GST
- Learn about Essential Oils in Chinese Medicine
- Tips for seasonal hayfever
First a little administration with the return to GST. As of April 1, 2013, BC returns back to GST/PST system. Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is GST applicable until 5 provinces are fully regulated (currently there are 4, with 1 more on the way). Our rates have remained the same for almost 3 years, and due to increasing cost, we will be changing that as well April 1, 2013. We thank you for choosing us to guide you on your pathway to health! For more details please visit our Announcements & Rates page.
Continuing on with our series of newsletters focusing on educating you about other modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine that we use to enhance your treatment, our topic this Spring and Wood element time is Clinical Aromatherapy and using Essential Oils in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The time of Wood is a time of new life, a time of growth, and renewal. Plants, flower and trees bloom. People have a spring in their step as the sun shines more daylight (Qi) hours upon us. Essential Oils is one way that we extract the essence (vital Qi) of a plant and use it in a TCM functional way.
So who’s ever heard about using Essential Oils in a TCM way? Well not many, but it exists! It is a modern applied therapy, that requires extra course work to learn and apply. The knowledge is based on research by those that have both Western herbal and aromatherapy education, as well as TCM herbal education. With this fusion, the functions and indications of the essential oils in a TCM way were uncovered, recorded, and passed on. The purpose and benefits of Essential Oils used in a clinical way, are to enhance and compliment the functions of the acupuncture points and meridians.
How do you we use them? Oils are applied directly or diluted on the skin such, meridian or acupoint, depending on the oil. This is commonly used when we want to treat injuries, tight muscles or skin conditions. Oils are also inhaled, which is its most common use, and is most effective when we are wanting to have an effect on the psycho-emotional aspect of our selves. By inhaling the essential oil, it directly goes to our olfactory bulb, which is connected to our limbic system. The limbic system is the system of our brain, that mediates an emotional response into a physiological one. So for example, if we feel the emotion of anxiety, we can subsequently feel a physiological result of chest discomfort, palpitations, and sweating. If we want to feel calm and relaxed instead, we can do so by inhaling an essential oil that helps calm the spirit, and soothe the free flow of Qi, which then in turn will have a physiological response of relaxing the mind and muscles. An example of this is the use of Lavender. Lavender from a TCM perspective, promotes the circulation of Qi and Blood and breaks up stasis, which is why it is good for healing injuries and scar tissue. In addition, psycho-emotionally Lavender helps calm the spirit and mind, so is very useful for reducing anxiety and treatment insomnia.
A case example: A middle age female patient came to the clinic worried about traveling abroad, due to her history of catching colds while traveling. A custom inhaler was created using a special ratio of Clove Bud and Lemongrass to boost the immunity in the Lungs and fight off pathogens. A month later, the patient returned to report that she never got sick during her trip! If she felt she was fighting something, she would regularly and continually inhale the custom inhaler that day as instructed, and she never ended up becoming sick. She used it on the airplane, in cities with poor air quality, and loved the smell of it as well! The patient also requested more for her next trip!
At this time, allergy sufferers wish to get through the season without scratching their eyes out and running out of facial tissue. You can ask for the above combination at our clinic, or you can try using Tea Tree or Niaouli (these plants are cousins). One of the main functions of Tea Tree/Niaouli in TCM is that it strengthens what we call “Wei Qi”. Wei Qi is translated as “Defensive Qi”, and as it sounds, its role is to be the first line of defense for our immunity. It is the “front line”. So by boosting the front line, we can fight off pathogens easier and quicker like colds and flues, as well as those uncomfortable allergens! If that is not strong enough, then you will need an Acupuncture tune-up and possibly some Herbal medicine (no side effects like drowsiness), to carry you through the rest of the season free from itchy/watery eyes and sneezing! Let us know if we can help – we’re here to help you!
Take good care and enjoy the rest of Spring!
Good health to you,
Sonia F. Tan and The Red Tree Wellness team
Guiding you on your pathway to health…