Cinnabar Talk – Spring Detox

ImageLiving by the Seasons is key to health and longevity. When move with cycles, we increase our energy, when work against them we lose energy.
Summer – Full Expansion – Heart, Increase Connections and Creativity
Fall – Introspection – Protect Lungs, Build Immunity
Winter – Hibernation – Building Reserves Tonify Kidneys
Spring – Detoxification – Cleanse Liver & Gallbladder, change unwanted patterns

Spring is Best time to:
⦁    Drop excess weight (Dampness), lean down after hibernation
⦁    Cleanse Liver and Gallbladder, even if have no symptoms
⦁    Start a new project or goal
⦁    Let go of what no longer serves you
⦁    Increase movement

Spring Diet
⦁    Higher percentage of raw foods (especially in warmer climates), sprouts, young greens, and a more vegetable-based diet.
⦁    Dandelion, watercress, arugula, mung beans, seaweeds
⦁    Lightest meals and simplest cooking of the year.
⦁    Quickly sauté or steam vegetables so that they are partially raw. Focus on sweet and pungent flavors while limiting salty and heavy foods.

Herbs for Spring
Wu Wei Zi (schizandra berry)
⦁    Safe long-term liver detoxifier and protector.
⦁    Beauty benefits. Plumps up and hydrates the skin.
⦁    Increases sexual fluids and sensitivity.
Milk Thistle
⦁    Safe long-tern liver detoxifier

Liver Cleansing Broth
1 head of cabbage
2 celery sticks
2 carrots
1 onion
2 russet potatoes
Chop and put in a big pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 min.
Add 1 bunch parsley and 1 clove garlic and simmer an additional 5 min. Strain and serve.

Recommended Treatments and Packages
(discounted prices with Heather’s Program)
⦁    Endermologie ($75), Slimming Package ($99)
⦁    Schizandra (Wu Wei Zi), Shu Gan Wan (Liver detox), Qing Dan Hua Shi Pian (stones), Jiang Dan Gu Chun Pian (cholesterol)
⦁    Slimming Package ($99), Ear Magnets ($15)
⦁     Weightloss Pills
Allay soreness, protect against injuries
⦁    Acupuncture ($70), 60 min massage ($70)
⦁    Yunnan Paiyao
Increase Stamina, build muscle and strength
⦁    Acupuncture ($70)
⦁    Deer Antler Drops, Ant Drops

2012 Black Water Dragon Year

After the gentleness and introspection of the Metal Rabbit, we enter into the slightly dampened drama of the Water Dragon year. Dragon energy is fiery, excitement, spontaneity, charisma, bordering on tyrannical, arrogant, and reckless. Luckily the Water element softens the Dragon’s edges and gives it’s actions depth. This year promises great movement.

TCM by the Seasons- Late Summer

Ancient Chinese Medicine evolved on the premise of achieving balance to prolong a healthy, fulfilling life. The idea was that in a healthy body, the individual could develop his/her mind for wisdom and community benefit. This balance was achieved with lifestyle, exercise, food, and therapies that would balance the individual to the seasons and life changes. Every month Cinnabar offers specials to attune the body appropriately for the time of year. These therapies will help keep you well if you are already healthy and bring you back into balance if you are not.

Late Summer relates to the Earth element (the Spleen and Stomach).  The theme for the Earth is “center” and “balance.”

Dietarily food should be prepared simply with a minimum of seasonings. Eat mildly sweet foods, yellow foods, and round foods such as corn, yams, millet, rice, cantalope, and string beans at every meal.

We have chosen specials that alternate hot and cold to stimulate the lymphatic system (related to the Earth element) and balance excessive heat. Our PMS treatment is primarily geared to calm excessive Liver energy which overacts upon the Spleen and Stomach.

Treatment of Depression with Acupuncture & TCM

What is Depression?

The term depression is commonly used to express a variety of states from a short-lived response to a traumatic or sad event to a long-standing, incapacitating state where there doesn’t appear to be a direct cause. Dysthymia refers to less severe, chronic  depression. Clinical depression or major depressive disorder (MDD) requires that a patient has at least 2 weeks of a depressed mood and more severe symptoms. Depression is also a component of various psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Depression can also be a symptom of other health conditions such as hypothyroidism.

Common Symptoms:
  • Feeling sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless
  • loss of appetite or overeating
  • lack of interest in once pleasurable activities
  • trouble concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
  • suicidal thoughts
  • insomnia
  • low energy
  • aches and pains
  • excessive sleeping
  • digestive problems
Western Medical Treatment

Antidepressant medication in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy is the general treatment. Commonly prescribed antidepressants include SSSRI’s such as Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, and Luvox. The newer antidepressants Effexor and Serzone affect seratonin and norepinephrine. While Wellbutrin has more effect on norepinephrine and dopamine than serotonin.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Treatment

Depression is due to Qi stagnation, generally of the Liver, with other complicating factors. Depression is often defined as anger turned inward and how we handle anger is a function of our liver. As a general rule, the more chronic a condition, the longer it often takes to resolve. The following are common patterns:

Liver Qi Stagnation: Waking up between 2-4am. Irritability, stress, shoulder and neck tension, teeth grinding at night, frequent sighing, pms, and alternating constipation and diarrhea are common in this pattern.

Blood Stagnation: History of physical trauma or longstanding depression. Pain symptoms such as fixed headache. Insomnia, mood swings, dark circles under the eyes, and broken capillaries. Generally requires longer course of treatment.

Heart and Gall Bladder Deficiency: Easily frightened and startled. Easily unsettled by seemingly trivial events. Insomnia, low energy,timidity, and anxiety. May have crack on tongue that extends to the tip.

Heart Blood and Spleen Qi Deficiency: Common with excessive studying or mental work combined with erratic eating and sleeping habits. Accompanying symptoms of anxiety, forgetfulness, insomnia, dizziness, abdominal bloating after eating. Anemia is part of this pattern.

We recommend that with emotional disorders that TCM be used in conjunction with either traditional or nontraditional counseling. Feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression are often signs that something is legitimately out of balance in our lives and can be a call for positive changes.


Passion and anger are two sides of the same coin. A healthy expression of both in our lives is necessary for optimum health. Stifling your passions and holding on to resentments is a sure road to depression.

Also, not caring for ourselves with regular meals, adequate rest, and adequate play are all causes of emotional disharmony. Depression is a disease of lack of ability to experience pleasure and joy in life.

Treatment of Menstrual Pain with Acupuncture & TCM

What is Dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea means painful periods. In western medicine the term is reserved for more severe menstrual cramps that disrupt normal functioning. In TCM any uterine pain experienced before, during, or after the period signifies an imbalance warranting treatment. The ideal in TCM is that we are able to navigate the cycles and changes in life gracefully. Menstrual pain can also be part of a larger PMS condition.

Common Symptoms:

  • pain in the lower abdomen or umbilical region associated with menstruation
  • pain radiating to the thighs and/or low back
  • nausea/vomiting
  • constipation/diarrhea
  • fatigue

Western Medical Treatment

Some pain and discomfort around periods is considered normal. Cases are commonly treated with NSAIDs (like aspirin and ibuprofin/Motrin) and with Oral Contraceptives.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Treatment

One course of treatment for any menstrual disorder is 3 months, simpler cases will clear up with one course while more severe cases may require a few courses of treatment. Endometriosis, for example, can take a long time to treat. Treatment consists of weekly acupuncture and daily herbs. Menstrual pain can be a symptom of a few different imbalances in the body. Here are the most common causes:

Liver Qi Stagnation: pain a few days before/first few days of period, bloating, breast distention, dark menstrual blood with no clots, and irritability. Often stress-related, this pattern is quicker to resolve but managing stress is key for longterm relief.

Blood Stagnation: intense, stabbing pain before and during the period, dark menstrual blood with clots, and mental restlessness. This pattern generally takes 1-3 courses to resolve.

Cold in the Uterus: lower abdominal pain before or after period, lighter bright red menstruation with some clotting, feeling cold, sore back, pain relieved with heat. This pattern generally takes 1-3 courses to resolve.

Qi and Blood Deficiency: dull pain towards the end or after period, dragging sensation in abdomen, pain relieved with pressure and massage, scanty bleeding, fatigue, pale complexion, and slight dizziness. Deficient cases tend to be slower to resolve, often requiring 2-3 courses to resolve.


TCM advises women to rest during their periods because the body is more vulnerable. Women should avoid exposure to cold and damp environments as well as sweets and excessive junk food during their periods. Excess physical work and exercise should be avoided. Stress is often a great contributing factor to menstrual pain.

Treatment of Anxiety with Acupuncture & TCM

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that most people will experience in their lives in response to stress. It becomes pathological when anxiety interferes with daily life and is irrational, or excessively prolonged, or disproportionate to the cause. Panic attacks are episodes of intense panic or fear. Anxiety attacks usually peak within ten minutes, and they rarely last more than a half hour.

Common Symptoms:
  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling tense and jumpy
  • Anticipating the worst
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Watching for signs of danger
  • Feeling like your mind’s gone blank

Additional physical symptoms can include the following and more:

  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Stomach upset or dizziness
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath

Anxiety Attack Symptoms:

  • Surge of overwhelming panic
  • Feeling of losing control or going crazy
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain
  • Feeling like you’re going to pass out
  • Trouble breathing or choking sensation
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea or stomach cramps
  • Feeling detached or unreal
Western Medical Treatment

Medication in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy is the general treatment. Anxiety is often treated with benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Xanax, and Valium. Antidepressants can also be used such as Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft, and Lexipro.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Treatment

Anxiety almost always involves some dysfunction of the Heart. Excessive sadness, depression, or grief can actually damage the Heart qi and/or blood. Inadequate nutrition and excessive intake of stimulants can also deplete the Heart and cause anxiety disorders. Anxiety can also be associated with hormonal imbalances such as can occur during menopause, the menstrual cycle, or postpartum, withdrawal from cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol, and as a side effect of medication or complication of other disease. In these cases the anxiety would be treated in conjunction with the other concerns. The following are the predominant patterns for anxiety:

Heart Qi Deficiency: Patients feel easily vulnerable. disoriented, and unstable. There is often fatigue, palpitations, poor concentration, and fitful sleep. The treatment principle to tonify Heart qi and calm the spirit. Acupuncture can provide almost instant relief that will last longer after each consecutive treatment until the patient no longer needs to come in often. Herbs are very important in the treatment of anxiety.

Heart Blood and Spleen Deficiency: Phobias, panic attacks, difficulty falling asleep, blurred vision, abdominal bloating after eating, and poor appetite. Treatment principle is to tonify Heart blood and Spleen qi and calm the spirit. Acupuncture can provide almost instant relief that will last longer after each consecutive treatment until the patient no longer needs to come in often. Herbs are very important in the treatment of anxiety.

Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency:  Palpitations, panic attacks, insomnia, nightmares, heat in palms and soles of the feet at night, and night sweats. Treatment plan in to nourish Heart and Kidney Yin and clear heat. This case is a little more involved so treatments will take longer than in the case of Heart Qi deficiency.

Heart and Gall Bladder Deficiency: People with this pattern often describe their anxiety as a personality trait or it arises after a significant shock or trauma. Acute anxiety and frequent panic attacks, nightmares and waking up terrified, restlessness, timidity, and phobias. Treatment principle is to calm the spirit and tranquilize the Heart. This case is a little more involved so treatments will take longer than in the case of Heart Qi deficiency. Regular treatment with acupuncture and herbs is crucial.

Phlegm Heat: This is a result of longterm inappropriate diet or febrile disease. waking up around 4 am and not able to fall back asleep, irritability, nausea, abdominal bloating, bitter taste in the mouth, nervousness, and poor appetite are common symptoms. This case is a little more involved so treatments will take longer than in the case of Heart Qi deficiency.

We recommend that with emotional disorders that TCM be used in conjunction with either traditional or nontraditional counseling. Feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression are often signs that something is legitimately out of balance in our lives and can be a call for positive changes.


Stabilizing blood sugar, treating anemia, getting rest and regular meals are often key to treating anxiety.

Some things you can do at home:

1. Are you breathing? This may seem like a silly question but if you are chest breathing most of the time it will make you feel panicked and uneasy. Consciously start to expand your lower ribs when you breath. Though meditation is wonderful, it is particularly difficult for the anxiety-prone. Gentle activities such as tai chi, relaxing yoga, walking, and relaxed swimming can be very helpful.

2. Are you blood deficient? Blood deficiency (anemia) can make you feel tired, weak, and emotionally fragile. Eating dark leafy greens, beets, beef, and liver are very helpful as are iron-rich vitamins. In less severe cases this can be enough to correct it.

3. Are you running on sugar and caffeine? Your body needs real food and actual rest on a daily basis to function optimally. You can’t cheat this on a longterm basis by using sugar, caffeine or other uppers.

Treatment of Rhinitis with Acupuncture & TCM

What is Rhinitis?

Rhinitis is a runny nose caused by an increase in histamine, and is most often the result of airborne allergens. This results in an increase in fluid production in the eyes nose and throat. There are 3 subtypes of rhinitis: 1)allergic rhinitis due to exposure to pollen, dust, etc., (2)nonallergic rhinitis associated with hormonal issues or medications, and (3) infectious rhinitis caused by acute or chronic bacterial infection.

Common Symptoms:

  • Runny Nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy Watery Eyes
  • Itchy Nose

Western Medical Treatment

Depending on the cause treatment can include over the counter nasal decongestants, nasal sprays, and antibiotics (in cases of bacterial infection).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Treatment

Rhinitis always involves a weakness in the wei qi, Wei (or protective) qi runs on the surface of the body, including skin and mucous membranes and controls the opening and closing of the pores. Wei qi responsible for defending the body against external pathogenic invasion. Wei qi is supported by the Kidney Yang and distributed by the Lungs so that a dysfunction  is associated with one of the following 3 patterns:

External Wind: Acute and copious runny nose due to an allergic response or infection. Treatment principle is to expel exterior wind, transform phlegm,  and redirect Lung qi downwards. When an acute condition is caught early with treatment it tends to resolve as quickly as it came.

Lung and Spleen Qi Deficiency: Chronic rhinitis, frequent colds, fatigue, wooly headedness, picky eater. Treatment principle is to tonify Lung and Spleen qi, and expel wind.  Treatment includes acupuncture, herbs, and cupping along with dietary changes. Weekly acupuncture is indicated for several weeks.

Kidney Deficiency: Chronic rhinitis for several years, reduced sense of smell, symptoms worse with fatigue and exertion. Treatment principle is to tonify the kidneys. Treatment includes acupuncture, moxibustion, and herbs along with dietary changes. This pattern takes the longest to treat.


Nasal irrigation as with a Neti pot is very helpful for symptomatic relief and can be performed 1-2 times a day away from meals. Dietary guidelines vary from individual to individual, but as a  general rule, phlegm-producing foods should be reduced or avoided such as cold temperature food and drinks, highly sugary foods, greasy foods, and excessive dairy. Adequate rest and avoidance of exposure to cold (including walking around with wet hair) are key.