Acupuncture Charts – A Closer Look at the 14 Meridians

Standard acupuncture charts can be purchased that aid in identifying the name and locations of the meridian and acupoints on the front and back of the human body. An acupuncture chart will accurately show the location of the14 primary meridians as well as some of the extra points. Most acupuncture charts also show the names and locations of meridian and acupoints on lateral sides of the human body. Normally, they also have the international standard nomenclature and alphanumeric codes.

Some acupuncture charts come in sets that may be further divided into smaller sets that show the acupoints on the whole body surface (i.e. the back, neck, front, back and lateral sides of the human body, as well as the trunk of the body and other parts of the anatomy contained in different layers). There are also charts that show the upper limbs. Other acupuncture charts will show the entire human anatomy while others simply show regions of the human anatomy.

The acupuncture chart first became prevalent during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) when the Chinese first printed vernacular literature in great numbers. However, over the ensuing hundreds of years they have become increasingly well known. Acupuncture charts appeared in manuals dealing with Chinese medicine and the purpose was both to instruct and identify the proper location of the acupoints. In addition to the reasons just given acupuncture charts were maintained for Chinese medicine which included reflexology, moxibution, massage and a number of other specialties.

Illustrations Aid in Understanding

Acupuncture charts don’t explain how to needle the body but rather are diagrams that show the path of channels or meridian conduits as well as the location of acupuncture points. Because there are a great deal of acupuncture points, the acupuncture charts can only display a fraction of the channels and acupuncture points which are being discussed in the text of the chart. As a result, many acupuncture charts correspond with the specific body part, body function or disorder that needs to be treated.

A few common acupuncture charts are for the ear, foot, head and stomach. Other charts also describe healing methods of hot and cold diseases as well as other ailments.

The bottom line with acupuncture charts is that their primary function is to serve as a visual enhancement to the text and they are not intended to stand alone.

Tip – For more information on Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, check out the links below.

Source by Brian Winkels

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Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – The Mood Booster Vitamin

Vitamin B1 is known as the “mood-booster” vitamin because of its dramatic effect on our nervous system and our mood. Besides supporting the nervous system, vitamin B1 helps with carbohydrate metabolism, boosts our immune system, wards off mosquitoes, helps develop red blood cells, maintains muscle tissue, promotes growth in children and helps control motion sickness. A synthetic version of vitamin B1 is added to white flour in in order to ward off beriberi, but it is better to consume the natural form, found in abundance in whole grains. Because thiamine helps with carbohydrate metabolism, it also makes energy available for the body, including the brain. So if you are not getting enough thiamine, you may not be feeding your brain enough glucose for it to think well.

Extra Thiamine Requirements

If you are pregnant or nursing, use oral contraceptives, cigarettes or diuretics, you will need more vitamin B1. Those with diets high in refined foods, too much sugar and junk foods and/or alcohol will also have higher requirements for thiamine. Last, but not least, heavy metal pollutants like mercury and stress also use up thiamine in the body and will increase your need for it. B vitamins are used in detoxifying the body, and if you are exposed to more toxins, you will need more of the B vitamins overall.

Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B1

Fatigue and insomnia, bad memory, poor brain function and muscle coordination, headaches, weakness and confusion are all symptoms of Vitamin B1 deficiency. Insufficient thiamine has also been linked to mood changes, disorderly thinking, fear and feelings of uneasiness — all signs of mental depression that can often affect memory as well. Beriberi is a disease that can develop from a severe deficiency of B1, and is characterized by weakness, limb swelling and heart enlargement. It affects the nervous, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems, but is rare in the US today because of the synthetic B1 additive in white flour.

Food Sources of Vitamin B1

Although you may get enough vitamin B1 to ward off beriberi, many of us do not get the optimum amount, especially because of all the stress we are under, both physically and emotionally. Some of the best sources of Vitamin B1 are nutritional yeast, liver and whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal and rice bran. However, other foods like watermelon, asparagus, fresh peas, pork, ham and beef, legumes, nuts and seeds like sesame seeds are also good sources of Vitamin B1.

Also, if your gut is healthy, and has a preponderance of good bacteria (probiotics), it will be making B vitamins. However, many of us have taken antibiotics over the years that have lowered the amount of good bacteria, so unless you have taken steps to overcome that, like with large amounts of probiotics, either in supplement form or with cultured vegetables or lacto-fermented beverages, you probably aren’t making all the B vitamins your body needs.

Should You Supplement with Vitamin B1?

If you have a healthy gut and no Vitamin B deficiency symptoms, and you eat a lot of the foods containing B vitamins, you might not need to supplement. However, most of us are under enough stress and also have eaten a lot of refined foods that have stripped B vitamins from our bodies, and so vitamin B supplementation can be beneficial. However, unless know you have a big Vitamin B1 deficiency and are taking only B1 for a specific purpose and certain length of time under the care of a health care practitioner, we do not recommend supplementing only with Vitamin B1. All the B vitamins work in conjunction with each other, and often supplementing with just 1 or 2 of them can cause other B Vitamin imbalances. We recommend adding a whole food supplement containing the B Complex vitamins, such as nutritional yeast and/or whole food based B vitamins. These are very hard to find, but it is worth it to your body to use food-based vitamin B, in our opinion. It can take 6 months to 1 year to replenish your body’s supply of B vitamins, so supplementing can really help you to catch up.

Copyright 2008, Karen Pijuan. This article may be copied only in its entirety and only if all links, including those in the resource box or about the author section, remain intact.

Source by Karen Pijuan

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25 Health Benefits of Cinnamon – A Miraculous Spice

Cinnamon is one of the world’s oldest known spices. The tree is native to Sri Lanka where it was found thousands of years ago. It is the best spice available in terms of its nutrition and health. It contains unique healthy and healing property comes from the active components in the essential oils found in its bark. Cinnamon has extremely high anti-oxidant activity due to which it has numerous health benefits. Aside from being used as a medicine by other cultures since ancient times, the health benefits may also come from eating it which can be listed as follows:

1. Lowers Cholesterol:

Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon included in a daily diet can lower cholesterol.

Also Cinnamon may significantly lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides (fatty acids in the blood) and total cholesterol.

2. Reduces blood sugar levels and treating Type 2 Diabetes:

Several studies have shown improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control by taking as little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day. Improving insulin resistance can help in weight control as well as decreasing the risk for heart disease.

3. Heart Disease:

Cinnamon strengthens the cardiovascular system thereby shielding the body from heart related disorders. It is believed that the calcium and fiber present in cinnamon provides protection against heart diseases.

Including a little cinnamon in the food helps those suffering from coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.

4. Fights Cancer :

A study released by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland showed that cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

Besides, the combination of calcium and fiber found in Cinnamon can help to remove bile, which prevents damage to colon cells, thus prevents colon cancer.

5. Tooth decay and mouth freshener:

Cinnamon has traditionally been used to treat toothache and fight bad breath. Small pieces of cinnamon can be chewed, or gargled with cinnamon water which serves as a good mouth freshener.

6. Cures Respiratory Problems:

Cinnamon is very useful home remedy for common or severe colds. A person suffering should take one tablespoon of honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.

Cinnamon also found to cure flu, influenza, sore throat and congestion.

7. Brain Tonic:

Cinnamon boosts the activity of the brain and hence acts as a good brain tonic. It helps in removing nervous tension and memory loss.

Also, studies have shown that smelling cinnamon may boost cognitive function, memory, performance of certain tasks and increases one’s alertness and concentration.

8. Infections:

Due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic and antiseptic properties, it is effective on external as well as internal infections. Cinnamon has been found to be effective in fighting vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections, stomach ulcers and head lice.

9. Eases menstruation cycles:

Cinnamon has also been found useful for women’s health as it helps in providing relief from menstrual cramping and other feminine discomforts.

10. Birth Control:

Cinnamon also helps in natural birth control. Regular consumption of cinnamon after child birth delays menstruation and thus helps in avoiding conception.

11. Breastfeeding:

It is also believed that cinnamon aids in the secretion of breast milk.

12. Reduces Arthritis Pain:

Cinnamon spice contains anti-inflammatory compounds which can be useful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

A study conducted at Copenhagen University, where patients were given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month

13. Digestive Tonic:

Cinnamon should be added to most recipes. Apart from adding flavor to the food, it also aids in digestion. Cinnamon is very effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea and flatulence. It is very helpful in removing gas from the stomach and intestines. It also removes acidity, diarrhea and morning sickness. It is often referred to as a digestive tonic.

14. Reduces Urinary tract infections:

People who eat cinnamon on a regular basis report a lower incidence of urinary tract infections. Cinnamon is diuretic in nature and helps in secretion and discharge of urine.

15. Anti clotting Actions:

A compound found in Cinnamon called as cinnamaldehyde has been well-researched for its effects on blood platelets. [Platelets are constituents of blood that are meant to clump together under emergency circumstances (like physical injury) as a way to stop bleeding, but under normal circumstances, they can make the blood flow inadequate if they clump together too much]. The cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets.

16. Natural Food Preserver:

When added to food, it prevents bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.

17. Headaches and migraine:

Headache due to the exposure to cold wind is readily cured by applying a thin paste of powdered cinnamon mixed in water on the temples & forehead.

18. Pimples and Blackheads:

Cinnamon helps in removing blood impurities. Therefore it is often recommended for pimples.

Also external application of paste of cinnamon powder with a few drops of fresh lemon juice over pimples & black heads would give beneficial result.

19. Thinning of the blood and improves blood circulation:

Cinnamon is a blood thinning agent which also acts to increase circulation. This blood circulation helps significantly in removing pain. Good blood circulation also ensures oxygen supply to the body cells leading to higher metabolic activity. You significantly reduce the chance of getting a heart attack by regularly consuming cinnamon.

20. Toning of tissues:

Considerable anecdotal evidence exists to suggest that cinnamon may have the ability to tone and constrict tissues in the body.

21. Muscle and joint pain relief:

Those who eat cinnamon on a regular basis often report that their muscle and joint pain, as well as stiffness, is reduced or even eliminated.

22. Immune System:

Honey and cinnamon paste is good for boosting the immune system, removing regular fatigue and increasing the longevity of an individual. It is also known to have anti-aging properties.

23. Itching:

Paste of honey and cinnamon is often used to treat insect bites.

24. It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

25. Healing: Cinnamon helps in stopping bleeding. Therefore it facilitates the healing process.

Indeed, cinnamon has several health benefits as highlighted above that can be used to improve one’s health and boost one’s immune system. This is a great reason to keep some cinnamon around. Sprinkle it in your tea or coffee, over oatmeal or a sweet potato and, this will do wonders to your health.

[However, there’s a word of warning to be taken that over dosage of cinnamon may be unwise. Also it is not recommended for pregnant women.

Also, people who have been prescribed medication to manage their blood sugar should not reduce or discontinue their dose and take cinnamon instead, especially without consulting your doctor.]

Source by Yasmin M Elias

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