Side effects of wearing masks – according to Chinese Medicine

Good morning Reader

In times of pandemic, we will take the opportunity to talk a little about the consequences of wearing the mask on a daily basis and in the practice of physical activity.

We know that in addition to social isolation and constant hand washing, the only effective way to protect ourselves from Covid-19 is to wear masks when we are outside our homes. However, with the gradual resumption of activities, many people are using this protection for longer, developing symptoms and even thinking that they are contaminated.

So, I will explain some symptoms and why they occur:

1. Intense tiredness:

We are used to breathing without a mask, so the flow of oxygen into our lungs is greater than when we breathe with a mask. Thus, receiving less oxygen, the lung will have less raw material for energy production.

In Chinese Medicine, the Lung is the largest energy producer in the body. Responsible for receiving Air Qi and producing Wei Qi (defense energy) Ying Qi (nutritive Qi), when there is less oxygenation, the entire energy production chain is compromised, leading the patient to tiredness and sluggish functioning. of various organs by decreasing nutrition Qi.

In addition, spending many hours wearing masks can lead to decreased immunity.

In short, intense tiredness comes from the lower overall energy production of the body.

2. Headaches:

The headaches caused by wearing a mask are related not only to the tiredness explained previously, but also due to muscle mechanics.

When we use the mask, we inhale less O2 (oxygen) and more CO2 (carbon dioxide), leading the body to understand that we need to oxygenate better, the inspiration muscles go into “forced inspiration mode”.

Normally, we use the muscles: diaphragm, internal intercostal and external intercostals to inspire. When we are forcing the inspiration, the muscles come into play: scalene and sternocleidomastoid (ECOM), which are located in the neck.

With greater activity than expected from these last two muscles, they go into fatigue, generating points of tension, known as myofascial trigger points. The trigger points of these muscles generate pain radiated from the side of the head, neck and interscapular pain.

This justifies the headaches added to the intense tiredness.

3. Shortness of breath and feeling of incomplete breathing:

These symptoms happen due to the two previous symptoms. With less oxygenation, decreased energy capacity of the Lung and muscles that should not be recruited coming into full operation, the consequence is a difficulty in breathing range, giving the sensation of shortness of breath and incomplete breathing.

If the patient does not have a fever, difficulty in smelling or tasting, in principle, there is no reason to believe that he is infected with Covid-19.

It is important to note that all the above symptoms worsen when the individual practices any physical activity using masks, as the energy consumption is naturally higher, as well as the need for more efficient breathing.

How to alleviate these problems?

To alleviate the above symptoms we can do a few things:

  • Stimulate points LU7 and LU9, on the wrist, bilaterally to improve the energy of the Lung and preserve the Defense Energy. The stimuli can be done from 1 to 3 minutes per point, just pressing, from 1 to 2x per day.
  • In the ear, Lung and Ping Chuan points (Upper and Lower) can be stimulated to improve immunity and strengthen the Lung.
  • Feed on neutral foods from the Metal element table to keep your Lung strong. You can find the tables at: https://www.facilitatingacupuncture.com/therapeutic-food-tables/
  • Massage the trigger points of the Scalene and ECOM muscles to decrease the tension in the neck and the pain radiated through them. The movements can be done in circles, from 1 to 3 minutes, bilaterally with or without the aid of sliding oils.
  • Every 2 hours wearing masks, spend at least 15 minutes without them, in an environment that is considered safe. Nowadays, with the return of many people to work, many employees need to stay inside shops and closed offices wearing a mask all day. This 15-minute interval is suggested to relieve your muscles and breathe fresh air.
  • Don’t forget: wet masks lose protection. Change every 2 hours when needed.

Together we will overcome all these problems together!

Let us be careful and wise! And all will be well!

I hope you enjoyed.

A kiss with great affection to all.

Profa. Fernanda Mara

Chinese Medicine and Pediatrics

Readers!

Today we are going to discuss a little bit about Pediatrics and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

I always receive many emails asking me if one point or the other can be used both in adults and children, if children can do acupuncture, if they have the same benefits, and this text is to clarify that YES, Chinese Medicine in general is extremely useful and beneficial for children of all ages.

What we need to consider are the different treatment modalities that are most appropriate for the child and also the difference in assessments.

Children have physiological differences in relation to adults, and therefore, when an acupuncturist starts the assessment on the child, he must be aware that these differences will be present in the assessment of the tongue and pulse (when the latter is possible).

Thus, it is common to observe physiological Liver ande Heart heat (bringing irritable, agitated and anxious behaviors, which are considered normal) and also a physiological Spleen and Lung Deficiency (leading the child to easily have digestion problems such as vomiting and diarrhea and respiratory problems). Based on these differences, the evaluator will be able to make a safer diagnosis and more effective treatment.

These differences can remain until the child’s 11 years, undergoing some changes until the age of 14 and after that age, they can already be assessed as an adult, as their physiology becomes the same.

Regarding the materials used, we can always use needles to treat a child. But it is important for the therapist to consider that children can develop severe psychological trauma, especially if they are under 7 years old, if they are forced to be treated with needles.

In addition, it is unlikely that a child will be able to remain calm long enough for the needles to take effect.

Therefore, it is important that when they are younger, children are asked whether or not they want to receive needle treatment. If the answer is negative, the therapist should choose less invasive techniques, such as the use of massage, stimulation of the points with laser, placement of Stiper or Magnets, cupping, among others.

Regarding the Magnets, it is important that the therapist judge the safety of the treatment. It is important to advise parents that children should not ingest Magnets. It can be dangerous to ingest magnets as they may cause the bowel loops to collapse, with the risk of interrupting the passage of feces.

Auriculotherapy is also an excellent resource for pediatric treatments and its effectiveness is the same with needles or seeds when it comes to children. In general, children usually like to pinch the points in their ears and the secret is that the therapist uses the treatment as something playful. Saying that by pressing the spheres the children will be “stronger”, or will be able to “get higher grades”.

In summary: knowing the physiological differences between children and adults, we can perform treatments with the same reasoning when choosing stitches for an ordinary patient. Choose the technique that the child is most interested in and the goal will surely be reached quickly and successfully 🙂

I hope it was helpful. And let’s take care of the little ones!
A big hug to everyone!

Profa. Fernanda Mara

Covid-19, Diabetes and Acupuncture

Hello Readers!

Today we are going to talk scientifically about Covid-19 related to Diabetes and Acupuncture.

According to Gupta, R. et al (2020), in an article published in the journal Elsevier, it cannot be said that a diabetic patient is more susceptible to contracting Covid-19, however, there is a real risk that the disease will be more serious and lead to death patients with diabetes as a basic comorbidity. The numbers shown in the article are:

  • In a study of 26 fatal cases, 42.3% of the patients were diabetic.
  • Another study showed that of 150 people (68 deaths and 82 recovered) diabetes could be a danger alert for Covid-19 complications.
  • In 72314 cases an analysis showed that diabetic people raise Covid-19’s mortality statistics from 2.3% to 7.3%.

The Brazilian Society of Endocrinology, in March 2020, cited that diabetic patients infected with Covid-19 may have a lack of appetite, spend long periods without food and even, under the use of pain medications, fever, among others, can easily deregulate blood glucose levels. Thus, the recommendation is for the control of measures to be done more frequently.

Scientific studies of Acupuncture point out that the point E36 and VC12 are important allies in the control of blood glucose in patients suffering from diabetes. Kumar, R. et al (2017) mentioned in their article that VC12 stimulation immediately lowers glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Peplow, P. and Baxter, D. (2012) showed that the point VC12 and E36 when stimulated for an average of 30 minutes using electroacupuncture between 2 and 15Hz decreases blood glucose in humans and rats.

Based on this knowledge, would it be possible to help diabetic patients with Covid-19 inside hospitals, using the acupuncture points already studied with confirmation of their effectiveness? Would Acupuncture be a more natural glycemic control resource for patients who are hospitalized and need constant control? Would it be a safe technique, since excess medication can lead to hyperglycemia?

Currently, in Brazil, Acupuncture has no regulation. This means that visits within hospitals with this technique are not allowed or recognized. It is known that in Wuhan, the region where Covid-19 had its starting point for the world, Coronavirus treatments included, for the most part, Traditional Chinese Medicine resources, not only acupuncture points, but also herbal medicine, moxa therapy , among others, associated with western care.

It is necessary, that acupuncturists unite to show the effectiveness of the technique not only in its positive results reported by the patients, but also with scientific bases so that, in cases of great pandemics, we can help the patients also in the front line.

As long as this does not happen, we can continue using VC12 and E36 in diabetic patients, in our office, who are not contaminated with Covid-19, with the intention of helping with treatments to stabilize blood glucose and help with endocrine treatments of traditional Western medicine.

The benefits of acupuncture are certain. The more balanced a patient is in times of serious and opportunistic illnesses, the greater his chances of not being contaminated. And if contamination occurs, it is certain that your recovery will be faster.

There is no doubt that Acupuncture is a solid and safe way to protect the population.

A big hug to everyone.

Profa. Fernanda Mara

Bibliographic references:

Gua-Shá therapy – what it is and what the benefits

Good morning readers

Today we will talk a little about the therapy with Gua Shá, known and practiced by the Orientals for thousands of years.

The words: gua shá mean shaving and pathogenic factor respectively. Thus, the technique consists of scraping through the skin and out of the body what is not good for health. As it is a very old technique, in its beginning even stone chips or animal horns were used to scrape the skin, until the polished jade stone became the main resource for its realization.

It is believed that in addition to the healing power of scraping, jade is a stone that brings health, prosperity, strengthens friendships, elevates the spirituality and thoughts of those who use it.

But what are the objectives and benefits of this technique?

  • Remove dead skin from the surface promoting skin renewal
  • Perform vasodilation to improve blood circulation and tissue nutrition
  • Improve lymphatic circulation, resulting in decreased fluid accumulation (drainage)
  • Moves Qi and Blood improving the functioning of internal organs
  • When performed on the line of the Dorsal Shu and Shen Shu points, energy rebalancing occurs
  • Relieves pain where it is done

How is it carried out?

The procedure can be performed with or without oil for sliding. Originally it was done dry, causing marks on the patient’s skin and considered a painful technique. Currently, it is carried out with a little oil for sliding, which can be chosen according to the patient’s need, associating aromatherapy techniques to gua-shá.

The therapist must then spread a small amount of oil on the surface to be treated, and slide the jade stone over the surface, starting with slow, light movements and increasing the vigor according to the patient’s sensitivity.

There is no exact number of times that the jade stone should be slid, but the therapist needs to know that the more marks he leaves on his patient, the longer his recovery time will be. It is normal for some blood capillaries to rupture during the procedure, causing redness and even bruising. The technique can only be done with this vigor in more resistant regions, such as the back.

When there are marks, it is normal for them to remain for 7 to 10 days. The patient should avoid exposure to the sun on the spot.

Gua Shá is often made on the face, in order to perform lymphatic drainage and nourish the tissues for better skin nutrition and beauty. The movements should always be performed from the center of the face to the sides, never the other way around, to avoid “wrinkling” the skin.

We can say, then, that Gua Shá is nothing more than a technique that uses micro lesions by scraping the skin that forces the body to renew the most superficial layer and nourish the tissues for healing, which will bring all the benefits already mentioned.

Practice and see the results 🙂

A big hug to everyone.

Profa. Fernanda Mara

Stomach Reduction and Chinese Medicine

Good morning readers!

Today the subject is serious and interesting! Let’s talk about stomach reduction surgery, also known as bariatric surgery and how Chinese medicine sees the consequences of this process.

This type of surgery is indicated, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), for patients with BMI above 35 kg / m² who have complications such as sleep apnea, hypertension, diabetes, increased blood fats and joint problems, or for patients with a BMI greater than 40 kg / m² who have not been successful in losing weight after two years of clinical treatment (including the use of medications).

In other words, it is not cosmetic surgery, and it is indicated carefully for those who are already having severe damage to health.

In this surgery, part of the stomach is isolated, decreasing its ability to receive food for digestion, causing, consequently, the patient to eat less and become drastically thin.

It is indisputable that the patient who performs this surgery has health benefits, but with less food intake, there is also less absorption of proteins, vitamins, minerals. And so, other health problems can arise, such as anemia, early osteoporosis among others.

But how does Chinese medicine see this process and how can it help people who have undergone bariatric surgery?

In Chinese Medicine, the Stomach is the organ that produces body fluids, the Jin Ye, which fluidize mucous membranes, generate tears, sweat, etc. It is also the main digestive organ, which sends the matured and decomposed food to the Spleen to transform Gu Qi (food energy) and thus the energy transformation chain goes through other organs. In this text, we will focus on the functioning of these two organs after bariatrics.

As the bariatric patient manages to consume only between 10 and 30% of the foods he was able to consume before the surgery, the Stomach will suffer in its functions, as it will no longer have the energy it had previously to function.

Stomach Qi Deficiency causes: dry mouth, dry eyes, dry skin and vagina, hunger without wanting to eat, weakness muscles, reflux, changes in bowel function.

And as the Stomach receives less food, less raw material will also pass for the Spleen to function, which results in Deficient Qi and later Deficient Blood Spleen, which generates symptoms of: muscle weakness, impaired memory (lack of memory , lapses, difficulty in attention), sagging skin and muscles, chronic tiredness, loose stools, ptosis of organs, among other consequences.

With a weak Spleen, the entire energy transformation chain in the body will be compromised, and in the medium / long term, other organs such as the Lung, Kidney, Liver and Heart may be affected. Thus, problems such as decreased breathing capacity on physical exertion, sudden drops in blood pressure, difficulty in digesting fats, hair loss, brittle nails, may also appear.

As bariatric surgery is always indicated for patients who will really benefit their health, greater than the harm caused by it, the acupuncturist who receives a patient who underwent stomach reduction surgery in his office must ALWAYS strengthen the Stomach and the Spleen, trying not only to avoid / improve the symptoms mentioned above, but also to avoid breaking the energy transformation in the body.

They are suggested as points to strengthen the Stomach and Spleen: ST-36, ST-41, BL-21, BL-6, SP-2, SP-3, BL-20, BL-49.

In auriculotherapy, Stomach, Spleen, Pancreas, Metabolism points can be used.

And in therapeutic food, neutral foods from the Earth element should be used.

Chinese herbs should be used when the conventional treatment of acupuncture + therapeutic feeding is not enough.

A dietary re-education accompanied by a nutritionist and hormonal monitoring by the endocrinologist must always be performed in conjunction with acupuncture.

The treatment with acupuncture in these cases is extensive, and should be performed at least one session per week, for 3 to 6 months after surgery and then the patient is reassessed for discharge.

That’s it, I hope you liked it and that it was a very useful text.

A big hug for everyone!

Profa. Fernanda Mara

Varicose Veins in Tradicional Chinese Medicine

Good Morning Readers!  
Today the text will be about the view of Traditional Chinese Medicine regarding varicose veins.

Varicose veins are dilated and deformed, purple-blue veins that appear along the legs and can cause pain and swelling. Its occurrence is more common in people who need to stand for long periods.

The veins in the legs, which bring blood back to the heart after irrigating the lower limbs, have valves whose purpose is to prevent blood from returning to the feet by the action of gravity. Sometimes, these valves do not work efficiently and blood pools in the veins causing deformation, swelling and changes in skin sensitivity.

For Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are two organs responsible for maintaining blood circulation: the Spleen and the Heart.

The Spleen has the function of keeping the blood vessels strong, preventing blood leaks and bruising. The force of the venous return valves is Spleen responsibility.

When the Spleen is weakened, there is an inability of the valves to propel the blood upwards, thus, it will stagnate in the veins, giving rise to varicose veins.

Factors that weaken the Spleen are:

  • Excess milk, dairy products, white sugar and flour products
  • Excessive physical activity
  • Excessive worry and anxiety.

The Heart, on the other hand, has the function of maintaining the blood flow of the vessels, and when it is weakened, it ends up decreasing the circulation causing the blood to stop inside them. This stagnation of blood is a cause of varicose veins.

Factors that weaken the Heart are:

  • Excess of cold food such as melon and watermelon.
  • Excessive mental agitation / anxiety
  • Emotional shocks
  • Large blood losses (such as accidents or surgeries).

In addition to the aforementioned organs related to varicose veins, there is also a genetic factor, which Chinese Medicine associates with an imbalance in the Kidney’s Yin energy.

Knowing the causes of varicose veins in Chinese Medicine, it is possible to suggest treatments that will improve blood circulation and mitigate varicose veins, however, large ones will not be cured by acupuncture.

To strengthen the Spleen, the following points are recommended: SP-2, SP-3, SP-8 and SP-10.

To strengthen the Heart, points are recommended: HT-9, HT-7 and HT-5.

As already known from other texts, roots and dark green vegetables help to strengthen the Spleen and blood circulation. Bitter foods help in strengthening the Heart.

It is recommended that the patient take walks of at least 30 minutes to stimulate blood circulation. Patients who remain standing for many hours should stretch at least 30 seconds 3x a day to relax their muscles and promote a more harmonious flow of blood. In contrast, patients who remain seated for a long time should get up for 5 minutes every 1 or 2 hours to reactivate blood flow.

Massages performed on feet soles and calves also help to improve blood circulation. It is said that in the calf is our “second heart” and that it helps to propel the blood in its venous return. Thus, keeping the calf elongated and at the same time strong, without points of muscle tension, will help in the prevention and improvement of varicose veins.

So that’s it folks. Keeping the Spleen and Heart strong, varicose veins will be softened and prevented from new formations.

A big hug to everyone!

Profa. Fernanda Mara

Depression and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Good morning readers!

In response to several requests, today I am going to write a little about a disease that scares many people: Depression.

For Western Medicine, Depression is a chronic and recurrent psychiatric illness that produces a change in mood characterized by profound and endless sadness associated with feelings of pain, bitterness, disenchantment, hopelessness, low self-esteem and guilt, as well as disorders sleep and appetite.

For Chinese Medicine, the main organ involved in Depression is the Heart.

According to orientals, the Heart is the residence of the mind, known as “Shen”, and Depression is an imbalance of Shen. Furthermore, all feelings, whether good or bad, become the Heart.

According to the theory of the 5 Elements, each organ is affected by a feeling, namely:

Heart – Joy, Happiness

Spleen- Concern

Lung – Sadness

Kidney – Fear (survival instinct)

Liver – Anger

However, it is not the organs that produce these feelings. The Eastern theory assumes that there are “emotional matrices” that are decoded in the Heart. That is, the Heart identifies sadness and sadness affects the Lung or the Heart identifies concern and concern affects the Spleen and so on.

For this reason, Depression is a mixture of emotional matrices, erroneously decoded by the Heart, generating a mix of feelings of all kinds and most of the times, very bad for the patient.

Based on this information, the first step in treating Depression according to Traditional Chinese Medicine is to harmonize the functioning of the Heart.

For this, the points HT-7, HT-5, PC-7 and PC-6 are essential, as they calm the mind and unblock its orifices. Adding these two functions together, the points will not only keep the individual calm, but will also open up the possibility of new thoughts that will help to see the problem of depression as if they were seeing outside of it.

Depressive patients find it difficult to see the problem as it actually presents, so giving the possibility of self-assessment without being in a state of mental confusion is extremely beneficial.

In addition to Systemic Acupuncture points, maintaining auriculotherapy treatment is also of paramount importance. For this, ear points: “Heart”, “Tension” and “Anxiety” have an excellent indication.

Maintaining a good diet, with foods that make the Heart maintain good energy is also part of the treatment. For that, according to the Chinese Therapeutic Food, neutral and warm foods from the Fire element table, such as chamomile, beets and egg yolk, are indicated.

The complete table of therapeutic foods you can find here on the Blog:

https://www.facilitatingacupuncture.com/therapeutic-food-tables/

There are many types of depression, which affect other organs besides the Heart, for this reason, we will approach this same subject in other opportunities, with different approaches.

A big hug to everyone.

Profa. Fernanda Mara

Phantom Pain and Tradicional Chinese Medicine

Hello Readers!

Today I am going to write about Phantom Pain.

Phantom pain is pain related to amputations, which can be of two types.

– Phantom limb pain – Unpleasant sensation in the limb that no longer exists due to amputation.

– Pain in the amputation stump – Related to the place where the limb was amputated (stump).

In Western medicine, these pains have little explanation and most of them refer to a sensation generated by neurons that are distributed throughout the body.

In Chinese Medicine, the phantom pain happens because despite the amputation, the energy of that member continues to exist, as in the case of removed internal organs, such as Spleen, Vesicle, Uterus, among others.

We will give the example of the organs. In Chinese Medicine, when you remove an organ, the energy meridian that passes through it continues to exist, so, even if its physical part no longer exists, the functions of this organ, in part, continue to exist because who coordinates them is the energy of the meridian that passes through there. In some cases, the patient may experience symptoms of deficiency of the organ removed in the first months after surgery.

With an affected member, the story is no different. Acupuncture meridians continue to exist even after amputation. This is due to the fact that the energies are interconnected, and meridians that start at the head will end at the foot. Others that start at the foot will have their continuity in the chest. Thus, energetic sensations continue to exist until that energy is rebalanced.

How can we rebalance the energy of the phantom limb?

In Chinese Medicine, we know that the “high” controls the “low”, the “anterior” controls the “posterior” and the “right” controls the “left”.

The first step in eliminating phantom pain is to use needles that control pain on the unamputed side. Good examples are the points: ST-36, GB-34, GB-39, SP-6, for the lower limbs and LI-4, SJ-5, SJ-8, LI-11 and LI-14 for the upper limbs.

In addition to this option, we can work on the meridians that would reach the affected member. For example: Spleen, Stomach, Kidney, Bladder, Liver and Gallbladder meridians have points on the upper body, their points can be used in lower limb amputations, as the energy will circulate throughout the meridian.

The Lung, Large Intestine, Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium and San Jiao have points on the head and / or trunk and can work pains in upper limb amputations.

It is also important to use points that calm the mind and that stimulate the Central Nervous System to understand the new bodily form, such as PC-6, GV-24, ST-8, GB-13.

So,  it is necessary that the therapist who takes care of amputated people and with phantom pain, understand the need to treat the limb as if it were still there, always stimulating the energetic rebalancing of the whole body.

When it comes to pain in the surgical stump, it is important to stimulate nerve endings, through the use of moxa, needles, magnetotherapy and a suction cup when possible, reconnecting local energies.

Whenever there is a scar, the possibility exists that it is toxic, that is, to interrupt the flow of energy from the meridians. Thus, when stimulated, the energy returns to circulate in a harmonic way, interrupting the pain.

There is still much to be said and studied about phantom pain, but it is certain that acupuncture can help everyone who suffers from this problem.

Hope this helps!

A big hug to everyone!

Profa. Fernanda Mara