Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014 Acupuncture Holiday Gift Guide

During this holiday season we, at Yin Yang Podcast, have compiled a group of products we feel are important to have knowledge and first hand experience with in your practice. We get absolutely no financial incentives from the list that follows. We are just expressing our opinions, like we do with everything, and hope that if you do not know about these products that you will try them, find out about them, or provide them to your patients. Please have a warm and happy Holiday Season and we wish you all the best in the year to come!

  1. The famous Golden Sunshine Pain Terminator Patches: These pain patches are simply one thing: Amazing! Not only have we used these on ourselves, but have used them for patients over the past 4 years. They are truly unique in that they use Tourmaline, a far-infrared piezoelectric mineral, that when activated by body heat emits a far infrared frequency. A TDP lamp is no longer necessary, or at least the patches act like one as the patient leaves your clinic. These patches are long lasting and have superior adhesion capabilities. We have used them for all sorts of pain and stiffness. Most patients come back to the clinic and want to keep a stack on hand. They are effective. They are incredible. Pick some up at: 
  2. Empirical Health Pills and Formulas: This is an Australian-based company that follows the ancient system of making herbal formulas and pills. They follow strict guidelines of Classical medicine and dosing with incredible results. All of their pills are hand made and they do this each and every week to insure freshness and quality. We have sampled a few of their traditional Wans (pills) and they are made in traditional style with strict adherence to quality. So many of us as practitioners have only used basic pills made by another practitioner, or worse, those in the little bottles shipped in from China and sold as patent medicines. These traditional pills do one thing: they work! As we all know, Wans are meant to be taken for long periods of time and these will help your patient easily. Moreover, many of these traditional formulas are not offered anywhere else in the world. Take the time to check these guys out and sign up on their website to check out their products. You will not be disappointed. They can be found: 
  3. Chinese Medicine and Healing: An Illustrated History compiled by authors TJ Hinrichs and Linda L. Barnes, this book was written as THE historical reference for the profession of Chinese Medicine. This scholarly work was painstakingly brought together to focus on each period inside of China and the powerful ramifications that politics, economics, disease, and power struggles brought to the people of China throughout their long cultural history. These authors string together the development of Chinese medicine and the tremendous impact it had on the society during each time period. It may appear at first to be a difficult read, but is nothing of the sort. It is fascinating, in depth, and full of information for the historian, classicist, medical practitioner, epidemiologist, and armchair anthropologists to name but a few. From pre-Han dynasty to medical practices taking place in China today, this book provides all the history and juicy tid-bits we never learned in school. Their book can be purchased at: The book is currently on sale at for $35
  4. Sola Coconut Deodorant and Skin Care Sola Skin Care is a company out of Canada that focuses on high-quality plant-based oils and essential oils, combined with food-grade ingredients, to make products that are both highly effective and honestly natural. They infuse oils with Chinese herbs to repair damage caused by the sun and pollution, maintain moisture and enhance the skin. Their products have only been tested on “two leggeds” and are free from all preservatives and chemicals. Of special note is this company is run by Christine Kizik and her husband Eran. Eran is a practitioner of Canonical Chinese Medicine and has authored a recent book that is a translation of a classical text, Formulas From the Golden Cabinet with Songs. We have experimented with their skin care products and they are phenomenal. Try them out, your skin will thank you! Sola products can be found at: 
  5. Alivecor ECG: You might be asking yourself, “huh?” “What?” This fascinating little device is held on the back of a cellphone and when held with both hands, will transmit and ECG directly to the phone. Then the cardiac scan can be sent directly to the company and they, in just a few minutes, will send a report back about that person’s cardiac reading. We have tested this several times in the clinic with surprisingly incredible results. It seems impossible that holding a metal disc attached to a cellphone would elicit accurate cardiac readings, but it does with great clarity. We have tested it on patients with atrial fib, and a warning window came up suggesting this and to contact their physician. Yes, it has nothing to do with Chinese medicine at first glance, but it can make a difference to a patient that may not have any other contact with a cardiac specialist and may just alert one to a problem in its early stages. Alivecor can be found at: 
  6. QiNotes: Probably the foremost App that will revolutionize the way note taking is done in the clinic. This is an App designed by acupuncturists FOR acupuncturists. Many of the note taking programs available currently are cumbersome and require the practitioner to use a template driven format to set up their clinic to take notes. Not very practical nor effective. QiNotes not only makes it easy to take extensive notes in a TCM format, but also provides off-site medical record storage that is HIPPA secure. Eventually all medical records may be required to be stored off-site and this company provides the best answers in an ever-changing world of medical information, HIPPA regulations, and clinical record keeping. QiNotes makes it fun to take notes about your patients; a novel concept in most medical practices as most practitioners do not take adequate notes. Check out QiNotes! You will never go back!!! QiNotes can be found at: Official release with all updates is January 1st, 2014
  7. Maya and Friends Visit the Acupuncturist Wow! A children’s book written by Samara White, tells the tale of Maya and her friends Bobby Bear and Ellie Elephant as they go on a journey to explore the methods and magic of Chinese Medicine. When Maya becomes sick, they visit Dr. Meow, a feline acupuncturist who demystifies the experience of going to the acupuncturist. This is an incredibly fun book and one to keep in the clinic for when children come to visit. The book is fun and an easy read for children. Samara’s book can be purchased at Acupuncture Kids Book or eBook at 
  8. Square Let’s face it, we all have grown tired of all the nickel and diming banks and credit care services do to us in our clinics. Square is a company that sets a standard fee for ALL credit and debit cards. It has a small card reader that attaches to an iPhone or iPad and a simple swipe of the card completes the transaction and emails or prints a receipt for the patient. It has significantly changed our clinic with ease of use and the money is deposited almost immediately into your account. If you are still paying those ridiculous bank fees for using a credit care, it is time to leave the Dark Side and come into the light. Check out Square at: 
  9. Yin Care Herbal Wash If you do not know about this product, then you have had your head buried in the sand. This simple wash has an extensive amount of clinical trials and published in peer-reviewed journals about the effectiveness of this simple herbal wash. It is not for internal use. It was designed to care for STD’s and other skin lesions that did not respond to most of other forms of treatment. One of the most interesting facts is that it was used in a burn unit in a hospital with startlingly good results to keep infections down. Almost any case of vaginitis, external skin irritations, and infections it will stop almost within 72 hours. Try it to believe it! Check them out at: for a listing of suppliers. 
  10. Altigen Altigen is an herbal high altitude relief formula created to maximize energy efficiency, minimize fatigue and optimize performance through it natural adaptogenic properties no matter how high one climbs. A loading period of 3 days prior to activity is recommended. Climbers, backpackers, hikers, and rescue workers in difficult environments use this product. Try it, you may just be surprised! You can find more information about Altigen at: 
  11. Lorraine Wilcox Moxa Class If you do not know about Lorraine Wilcox, and you use moxa in your clinic, then you are not using Moxa with moxie in your clinic! Lorraine Wilcox is the “Queen” of moxa. She is a Chinese medicine scholar to begin with and couples that knowledge with her self-appointed exile into the use of moxa in clinical settings. Her class is designed to take you from the poor use of moxa as taught in most schools and elevate you to Master of Moxa! Trust us, Lorraine will rock your world when it comes to moxa. Online classes can be purchased at
  12. Edible Nourishment Tara Akuna, a registered acupuncturist and Food and Nutrition Editor in British Columbia, started this concept/company with health and vitality by food and herbal medicine. She incorporates traditional Chinese medicine concepts into her food preparations. She has designed recipes to help others achieve ultimate health and her drive has provided a unique concept. She provides meal plans depending upon your diagnosis. A truly powerful way to approach healing the body with food as a main ingredient. She provides an online quiz to determine the syndrome of interest. Once completed, a simple and easy meal plan is provided to help in the healing process. Tara is an accomplished chef and artist with food. Give Edible Nourishment a chance! Tara has provided a promo code (yinyangxmas) for a holiday gift of 20% off. Check out Edible Nourishment at: 
  13. The Journal of Chinese Medicine The foremost journal on all aspects of Chinese medicine providing theoretical and clinic articles on acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Qi gong, etc. and published worldwide. This journal is published in English out of the UK and has its sister publication in China. This journal is very similar to what we once had in the United States known as The American Journal of Acupuncture. It is a peer-reviewed journal featuring clinical research and testing methods utilizing the basic scientific model and epidemiological modeling for scientific inquiries. It also features an extensive online research library and access to all its previous publications. A great resource of modern clinical research and practice. Get a subscription at: 
  14. The Lantern “Science is good, but…” Research protocols and statistics are already well covered in the other journals. And, while contemporary research can be seductive, one should never overlook one of Chinese medicine’s great strengths-its recorded clinical history, its notes, memoirs and essays from scholar-practitioners with extensive breadth and depth of experience in using the same tools we use now-herbs, needles, hands and minds. The Lantern is dedicated to preserving a balance in the resources available to Chinese medicine practitioners in the West. Analytical studies and finely tuned investigative research hone the mind with the sharpness of statistics and this is a useful aspect of thinking, but it can be overdone. The Lantern not only provides these modern concepts, but also ties it directly with how true scholarly practitioners have practiced Chinese medicine for centuries. A fascinating journal published just three times a year out of Australia, but so worth the wait. Check them out at: 
  15. A flourishing Yin Charlotte Furth, professor of History at USC, has written a unique book about Chinese medicine. A Flourishing Yin, brings the study of gender to Chinese medicine and in so doing contextualizes Chinese medicine in history. In her work, she examines the role women played over seven hundred years between the Song and Ming dynasties. The book explores topics from medical classics and case histories about fertility, menstruation, gestation and childbirth, sexuality, and gynecological disorders. She also demonstrates through historical context how women participated as healers and patients in the medical culture of the times. Charlotte Furth has also authored Ting Wen-chiang; Science and China’s New Culture (1970). She was also editor of The Limits of Change: Essays on Conservative Alternatives in Republican China (1976) You can find her books on: 
  16. Yoga Acupuncture Channel top by Shenova Fashion Okay, so here’s the deal: this is our colleague, turned fashion designer, turned truly amazing fashion into an art form. Holly Renee has created cutting edge, quirky, and elegant fashion by combining science, art, and graphic design into her clothes. She has been seen in Vogue magazine and runway shows in the Bay Area in San Francisco. One of her most profound designs was her acupuncture channel dress that she has now applied to the world of Yoga clothing. She is NOT to be missed and if you have even the slightest bit of geek in you and not afraid to flaunt it, well by her clothes and wear them to the next get together. You will never be forgotten! Check out Holly and Shenova Fashion at: or 
  17. LipIntervention by Zi Zai Dermatology Here is an interesting find if you are love lip balms! This balm has been formulated according to TCM theory to Nourish Blood and Moisten Dryness. This has been especially designed for very arid climates in mind. Zi Zai Dermatology is a small company that cares about your quality of life and the quality of life on this planet. They are based in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA and they hand craft small “batches” of exceptional skin care products. One of the biggest differences with these ladies is they use all Chinese herbs in their formulations. Their products range from lip balm to facial balms for acne, scrubs for dry skin, ointments for psoriasis and eczema, and various other skin conditioners of course all made with Chinese herbs. They have an interesting philosophy and product. Please check them out at: 

  Well, this is a long, but brief listing of the products, books, etc. that we have come across this past year. It is our hope that we can put practitioners and companies together that truly believe in helping one another out in our quest to help those that are suffering. We also hope you have enjoyed our podcast and we will continue to bring attention to those things that we hear about or are told about by our listeners. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Acupuncture or Prescription Medication

"Patient QI was created with a single objective – to provide patients, with as much information as possible to enable them to make choices and create a coordinated personalised health treatment strategy." 
Christine Perry, founder and editor of Patient Qi

Today's episode and blog post is called a "short".  Which means a fun and lively 20 minute episode.  Something that can be easily listened to on the way to work.  Something to get you excited about your day!

Lets be honest. The health care system has failed in so many countries and places. It's not just the United States. Christine Perry, founder of Patient Qi, is from Europe and is just as disillusioned as the rest of the world.  It was because of inadequacies she found in the health care system that inspired her to create a solution.  A solution that would enable a patient to understand all the possible health care modalities and therapies that could benefit them.  Therapies that are scientifically and clinically proven to work.  Something more than just a google search.

Why is it that a patient only gets 5 to 10 minutes with their doctor to discuss their health? There is just enough time to either prescribe a medication or refer that patient to another specialist.  In.  Out.  Next.

Here's the thing, maybe, just maybe, 5-10 minutes would be ok if that physician listened to the patient. A study from the University of South Carolina found that the primary care patients were only able to speak, for on an average, 12 seconds to the physician before being interrupted.  Patient Qi empowers the patient to ask questions.  Things like "I understand I have high blood pressure but I'd like to try meditation or yoga first."

Below is an example from Patient Qi on gout.  Doctors really only have a small arsenal of tools to their disposal for something like gout.  The doctor can aspirate the joint and put the fluid under a microscope to make a definitive diagnosis (which hurts like hell and would most likely be diagnosed by a quick interaction with the patient discussing age, diet, medical history, and family history.  Then palpitation and visual examination of joint.  VoilĂ  GOUT). Treatment can be administered as a steroidal injection into the joint to alleviate inflammation and pain. Opioid pain medication to dull the senses. Steroidal pack to decrease inflammation, swelling, and pain. And lastly, a prescription of colchicine, a chemical compound found in tulip bulb. Also known as Shan Ci Gu in Chinese medicine.

Treatment strategies for Gout on  Just click on desired therapy for more information.

What Christine in visions and has created is a much more fluid and patient friendly interactive diagram of possible treatment modalities for the patient to choose from.  The user on the webpage could click the desired method of therapy they wanted to try, such as "Traditional Medicine".  User is then presented with a list of treatments and peer reviewed literature to support the use of that treatment method.  Under "Traditional Medicine" is acupuncture, moxa, electrical acupuncture, and homeopathy.

Even Christine will admit that this is a work in progress.  Imagine trying to sift through the millions and millions of possible treatment methods and then to combine those with certain symptoms.  But it is a database worth dreaming for and striving for.

Christine Perry is founder of Patient Qi, a medical writer, and medical translator.  She specializes in microimmunotherapy.
You can follow her and her database of integrative therapies at