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Acupuncture for Excess Phlegm and Other Imbalances

Acupuncture for Excess Phlegm and Other Imbalances

These are some of the acupuncture points for excess phlegm (and other imbalances). The treatment takes four sessions, at weekly intervals. Core points, including the Four Gates, the Kidney Formula and Ying Tang, form the basis of the treatment with specific additional points in each weekly session:


Week One

Governing Vessel 26: inappropriate laughing or crying, irritability, fatigue, epilepsy.

Lung 11: epilepsy, sore throat, heat.

Spleen 1: disorientation, epilepsy.


Week Two

Pericardium 7: inflexible attitude, irritability, material desires, inordinate crying or laughing, lack of direction in life.

Bladder 62: headaches, epilepsy.

Governing Vessel 16: rigid tongue, lock jaw, loss of voice, headache.


Week Three

Stomach 7: lock jaw, neurological conditions.

Conception Vessel 24: weak, thin, body, deteriorating, nosebleeds.

Pericardium 8: paranoia, fever, sweats.


Week Four

Governing Vessel 23: phlegm, nasal congestion, poor vision, dizziness, Alzheimer’s.

Conception Vessel 1:  urinary and bowel leakages or obstructions, menstrual issues, prolapses. Because of it’s invasive nature, normally this point is replaced with Kidney 1.

Large Intestine 11: fever and vomiting.


Psoriasis - Indigo Naturalis - Qinq Dai

Psoriasis - Indigo Naturalis - Qinq Dai

A June 2019 survey by George Washington University found that, “Patients with psoriasis frequently use complementary or alternative therapies to treat their symptoms.”

The survey found, “… indigo naturalis [Qing Dai]-- a plant extract widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and recognized as a therapy for several inflammatory conditions -- has shown efficacy, but was not reported in the survey.”


Acupuncture for Wellness and Prevention

Acupuncture for Wellness and Prevention

An April 2019 study suggests that apart from the well-known therapeutic effects of acupuncture, it’s positive impact on wellness and as a preventative tool is becoming more recognised.

“…The researchers studied the effects of acupuncture on the victims of a 6.0 earthquake that caused nearly 300 deaths and left 30,000 people homeless in Amatrice, Central Italy … After the third treatment, both the pain and psychological symptom scores had significantly improved, with no serious adverse effects attributed to the treatment.”

Songxuan Zhou Niemtzow, MD (China), a Traditional Chinese Medicine physician in Alexandria, VA, states, "If acupuncture had an alternative name, it would be called 'prevention,'"

Nadia Volf, MD, PhD, Paris XI University (Paris, France) writes "although acupuncture can be a wonderful tool for treating a number of diseases, this therapy can be an even more wonderful tool for preventing them."


Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Although the causes of plantar fasciitis are not completely understood, the issue may be a muscle knot, or “myofascial pain” and is likely to be referred pain. This can be treated by acupuncture, gua sha or acupressure of its *trigger point* (often located away from the point of pain). In this case, the trigger point may be located at a precise point on the back of the calf muscle.  In acupuncture, this point will be at or close to a point known as “Bladder 57” on the bladder meridian (in this case, nothing to do with the bladder … or perhaps it is) 

Bladder 57 is also the feature point (the specialist point) for haemorrhoids and constipation. We have at least one case where a lady had all three (seemingly unrelated) conditions.

Perhaps there has been an injury to the back of your calf muscle (you might have knocked it on something, when getting in or out of the car or because of an insect bite).  

It’s worth noting that ice therapy is contra-indicated after the first day of the pain because it blocks the blood flow and the healing processes that normally kick-in.

Is the plantar pain accompanied by calf pain, occipital headaches or upper back pain? The bladder meridian also runs through the lung 1.5 Chinese inches (Bladder 13) and at 3 Chinese inches (Bladder 43) on the back, measuring right and left from spinal point T3. It may be worth palpating those points to see if there is any tenderness, along with Bladder 10 (on the neck). 


Du Zhong - Eucommia

Du Zhong - Eucommia

Du Zhong (Eucommia) is a nourishing Yang herb. It is warm, sweet and is a Kidney and Liver herb.  It replenishes their vital functions, strengthens the sinews and bones and lowers blood pressure.  It is useful for lower back pain and knee ache, impotence, frequent urination and warms the lower body.  It forms part of various formulas we prescribe in the Clinic based on a TCM Holistic Diagnosis consultation.


Chain of transmission

Chain of transmission

Yusef was taught acupuncture and herbal medicine in the Traditional Chinese Medicine system by Paul Brecher BA FAcS TCM, Principal of The College of Chinese Medicine in London.  Paul Brecher was taught by Paul Robin FAcS MPCHM MCAA, Head of the College of Chinese Medicine and TCM faculty Chairman of the Acupuncture Society. Paul Robin was trained by Dr Bernard Kai Lam Lee. Dr Lee was trained by his grandfather, Fook Sang.

Abdominal Acupuncture:  The Replenishing Formula

Abdominal Acupuncture: The Replenishing Formula

The Replenishing Formula in the Abdominal Acupuncture micro-system is used to replenish energy, essence and blood.  The intention is to support the body’s innate immune system to regenerate muscles, tendons and bones.

The heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and spleen are all targeted.  It is especially useful for those with deficiency conditions.

Worrying  -  Using Diagnosis to understand Emotions

Worrying - Using Diagnosis to understand Emotions

Emotions may form a valuable part of diagnosis. So, for example, being overly worried can be an indication of excess in the spleen and stomach. TCM Practitioners use a range of diagnostic skills, including listening to the stomach and spleen pulse at stage 2 on the right hand, and asking a range of structured questions.

Emotions and physical symptoms can feed off each other, of course, and catching things early to break a cycle can be very important. Some things change over time and as they do, your discovering of new ways to approach optimal health means you gain valuable new resources.

Keeping the lungs strong

Keeping the lungs strong

Paul Robin and Paul Brecher in, “Practical TCM”, say, “To keep the lungs strong we eat rice, chicken eggs, duck and chestnuts. Then in autumn when it is dry our lungs can stay balanced.”




Latin: Astragalus propinquus, astralagus membranaceus

TCM: Huang Qi

Also known as milkvetch.

 “Immune enhancer, tonic.” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber")

Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble, in “Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica” say, “Sweet, slightly warm … Tonifies the spleen … [and] lung … [and] blood …”

David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal” notes its role in deep immune activation along with, amongst others, Ligusticum wallichii and Schizandra chinensis.


Keeping the spleen strong

Keeping the spleen strong

Paul Robin and Paul Brecher in, “Practical TCM”, say, “To keep the spleen strong we eat millet, beef and apricots. Then in late summer when it is humid our spleen can stay balanced.”

Keeping the heart strong

Keeping the heart strong

Paul Robin and Paul Brecher in, “Practical TCM”, say, “To keep the heart strong we eat millet, sheep and plums. Then in summer when it is hot our heart can stay balanced.”


Burdock Root

Burdock Root

Latin: Arctium Lapa

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Niu Bang Zi

“Burdock is used the world over as a blood-purifying agent as well as a diaphoretic, a diuretic, and an alterative.” (Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” (1980))

A “vaso-tonic alterative” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber")

A “most valuable remedy for the treatment of skin conditions which result in dry and scaly skin. It may be most effective for psoriasis if used over a long period of time. Similarly, all types of eczema (though primarily the dry kinds) may be treated if Burdock used over a period of time … useful as part of a wider treatment for rheumatic complaints, especially where they are associated with psoriasis … It will aid digestion and appetite … in general Burdock will move the body to a state of integration and health…” (David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal”).

Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble, in “Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica” say it is, “acrid, bitter, cold … disperses wind-heat … clears heat … vents rashes… moistens intestines…”

Raspberry Leaves

Raspberry Leaves

Latin: Rubus Idaeus,

Arabic: Toot al-aleeq

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Fu Pen Zi (translation: “overturned fruit bowl) (Fructus Rubi Chingii)


An “excellent herb … one of the best things for women in labor … it is also much used for relief of urethral irritation and is soothing for the kidneys, urinary tract, and ducts.” (Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” (1980))

A “tonic.” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber")

An “astringent, tonic, refrigerant, parturient … Raspberry leaves have a long tradition of use in pregnancy to strengthen and tone the tissue of the womb, assisting contractions and checking any haemorrhage during labour. As an astringent it may be used in a wide range of cases, including diarrhoea, leucorrhoea and other loose conditions. It is valuable in the easing of mouth problems such as mouth ulcers, bleeding gums and inflammations. As a gargle it will help sore throats.” (David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal”).

Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble, in “Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica” say it is, “sweet, astringent, slightly warm … [it] augments and stabilizes the kidneys … assists the Yang and improves vision: for poor vision, sore lower back, and impotence due to Liver and Kidney deficiency.”



 Latin: Scutellaria Lateriflora

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Huang Qin


A “nervine and anti-spasdmodic, and is slightly astringent … it has been known to render the patient free of disturbance in many cases of hydrophobia. This is also true in cases of insomnia, excitability, and restlessness.” (Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” (1980))

A “central nervous system vaso-dilator and antispasmodic.” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber")

“Skullcap is perhaps the most widely relevant nervine available to us in the materia medica. It relaxes states of nervous tension whilst at the same time renewing and revivifying the central nervous system … it may be used in all exhausted or depressed conditions.” (David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal”).

Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble, in “Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica” say, in the section headed “Herbs that clear Heat and Dry Dampness”, that it is, “bitter, cold … [it] clears heat and drains fire … drains dampness … sedates ascendant Liver yang…”.  

Hawthorn Berries

Hawthorn Berries

Latin: Crataegus oxycanthoides

Arabic: Zaaroor

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Shan Zha


A “cardiac muscle tonic” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber").

“Hawthorn berries provide us with one of the best tonic remedies for the heart and circulatory system. They act in a normalising way upon the heart by either stimulating or depressing its activity depending on the need. In other words, hawthorn berries will move the heart to normal function in a gentle way. As a long-term treatment, they may safely be used in heart failure and weakness.” (David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal”).

Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble, in “Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica” say hawthorn berries are, “sour, sweet, slightly warm” and are used for food stagnation, blood statis,  diarrhoea and, “used recently for hypertension, coronary heart disease, and elevated serum cholesterol.”

Keeping the liver strong

Keeping the liver strong

Paul Robin and Paul Brecher in, “Practical TCM”, say, “To keep the liver strong we eat wheat, chicken and peaches. Then in spring when it is windy our liver can stay balanced.”


Herbs to prevent problems appearing

Herbs to prevent problems appearing

David Hoffman in his introduction to “The New Holistic Herbal” states, “Herbs can be used freely and safely as part of one’s lifestyle without thinking of them as ‘medicines’. For specific health needs, their best use would be preventative … There are specific herbs which strengthen and tone specific organs and systems … the following may be safely used over extended periods of time:

Circulatory system: Hawthorn Berries (Crataegus oxyacanthoides) (Shan Zha)

Respiratory system: Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus) (Jia Yan Ye)

Digestive system: Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) (Xuan Gao Wen Zi Cao)

Nervous system: Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora -Labiatae) (Not Baical Skullcap Root which is Huang Qin - Radix Scutellariae Baicalensis - Labiatae)

Skin: Nettles (Urtica) (Xun Ma)

Muscular and skeletal system: Celery Seed (Apium Graveolens) (Qin Cai)

Reproductive system: Raspberry Leaves (Rubus idaeus) (Fu Pen Zi)

Urinary system: Buchu** (Agathosma betulina) …”

(We’ve added in italics the Latin and, where known, the Chinese Medicine name.)


**Contraindicated in pregnancy




According to Tibb, Chishti in "The Traditional Healers Handbook" said, "When there are toxic matters in the body, … the body tries to expel them as quickly as possible ... the normal systems are sometimes already congested … the body then tries to send the toxins out through … the pores of the skin. Since the skin is not designed to eliminate this type of matter, the pores themselves become clogged, and a boil is formed.”  He then advises on different types of boils appearing on different parts of the body.

In TCM many skin problems are seen as “heat and toxins in the blood” so the aim is to use herb formulae to increase sweating, coolness and defecation.  These herbs may include Jin Yin Hua (honeysuckle), pictured.