Treating cancer often requires using strong medicine. Chemotherapies work as toxins to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, they often cause harmful side effects and although it is important to eradicate cancer the patient is often left with health issues. Acupuncture during chemotherapy and radiation can lessen nerve damage and may even prevent it.
Summer is an especially wonderful time to be in Maine. There is so much to do outside and we want to take advantage of our time outside gardening, working, and playing. The sun is very strong on those warm summer days and it is easy to get overheated or sunburned. Our electrolytes can be imbalanced by over exertion and sweating profusely.
The sun is here and gardening season is underway! This five part blog series focuses on how Jade Integrated Health's collaborative approach to health can make your gardening experience better! From protecting your back to sunscreen updates to reconnecting with the Earth, we give our take on the wonderful world of gardening.
When it comes to brown tail moth exposure prevention is the best route to take. Wear long sleeves and pants, a hood or wide brimmed hat, and watch for/stay away from infested locations. Staying well hydrated can also be a key step in prevention because it helps the skin and mucous membranes protect the interior of the body. Shower with warm water, not hot, when coming in after being outside and wash your clothing in hot water. Brush the dogs off before letting them in the door to keep any hairs outside the home.
In the last article in this series, I said we have an arsenal of treatments for reactions to brown tail moth but I emphasized that everyone is different and reacts differently. For some inhaled hairs can cause cough and chest discomfort. If this occurs and you have difficulty breathing please seek urgent care or see your primary care provider. You should be evaluated in person with a complete history as this could be very serious. Acupuncture and herbal formulas can certainly help with the cough and chest pain and we’ll be glad to treat you but use your best judgement. Acupuncture won’t interact with any prescriptions except to likely help them work better.
Some acupuncturists are also licensed in Chinese herbal medicine. Some of our treasured ancient herbal formulas come immediately to mind for treating the itching that brown tail moth hairs may cause.
Xiao Feng San translates as Eliminate Wind Powder. In East Asian Medicine we call itching “wind”, or we say that wind causes itching. We are not talking about the movement of air but using a metaphor to describe what is happening. Wind refers to any symptom that comes and goes, that moves about, or that comes on suddenly. Wind can originate externally or internally in the body. It often carries with it dampness, heat or cold, or a combination of these. Heat is seen in the red raised rash that brown tail moth hairs create.
I prefer to use powdered herbs for their excellent preparation and because they can be modified to make them more digestible, however, they can be somewhat bitter and unpalatable. Many of our formulas come in “teapills” : tiny round balls. The tea pills contain herbs, activated carbon, botanical wax and talcum. They are gluten and soy free. They can be easier to take but cannot be modified to treat particular symptom manifestations. The cold nature of the herbs in this formula may be hard on your stomach so we can add an herb or two to make it more easily digestible. I wouldn’t recommend this formula if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Wind is worse when there is a deficiency of blood or yin. Blood moistens the tissues, plumping them up and softening them, Yin refers to the material substances and fluids of the body as well as the ability to cool and regulate heat. If you have chronic dry skin or anemia the itching response to the brown tail moth hairs may be worse for you and we would use a formula to nourish yin like Dang Gui Yin Zi. The skin is more susceptible to pathogens and irritants when it‘s dry. As stated above, staying well hydrated can help the skin and mucous membranes protect the interior of the body. When the air is very dry or sun exposure is excessive then a topical moisturizer is beneficial, your favorite hand lotion is an example of this.
Let’s hope we don’t run into any moth hairs, that the goldfinches eat them all up and you don’t get itchy but if you do, we are here for you.
Stay tuned for the next installment, where I’ll talk about acupuncture and moxibustion for itching.
This blog series is written by Cleo Wolf L.Ac. Cleo is an acupuncturist, herbalist, and a NCCAOM Diplomate of Oriental Medicine at Jade Integrated Health in Brunswick and Portland
Behind our new location at 12 Windorf Circle in Brunswick is a magical northern forest with trails galore. You will find pleasant easy walks that are well signed and blazed. Maps are posted at the trail junctions and can also be found online at Maine Trail Finder.
Women throughout their pregnancy can assemble their pantry for postpartum healing, and ask their own community to offer gifts of support, in the form of healing food! Join Muriel Webster, owner of Held: Postpartum Care Guided by Deeply Nourishing Whole Food, for an amazing conversation on postpartum healing through Nourishing Food.
It is classically thought that around age 28 women are in the prime of their life in terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a time of great health and fertility because women have a peak supply of the body’s resources including qi, blood, yin and yang at this age. After age 28 there is a natural slow decline in these resources as the aging process occurs.
Thinking about starting a running program? Here are a few tips from our in-house running guru, Melissa Belcher MSPT. Join Melissa and Lauren for their upcoming workshop, Injury Prevention for Runners.
The human movement system is a collection of organ systems that interact to move the body or its parts. Those organ systems are cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine, integumentary, nervous, and musculoskeletal. Physical therapists are experts in the human movement system just as physicians are experts in their respective specialties (neurologists, orthopaedists, cardiologists, etc).