Chinese Medicine Theory

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Absolutely! Here’s what one Nest mother had to say:

Our daughter has Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome. The syndrome causes her to grow faster than other children and she has experienced a great deal of discomfort in her few short months of life as well as a lack of sleep. We knew that there was a happy baby underneath it all and turned to Jennifer when western approaches to upset tummies and general discomfort failed. Within a few short weeks, our happy baby emerged!!! Not only have her gastrointestinal issues settled down but she now sleeps as a baby should – peacefully. We cannot thank Jennifer enough for using her wonderful gift to help our little girl.
— MW

Many of our new clients have questions about how acupuncture functions in restoring and maintaining health. Here is a brief explanation: The life energy flowing through the body, which is termed Qi (pronounced “chee”), can be influenced and balanced by the stimulation of specific points on the body (via needles or other means). These points are located along channels of energy known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi along the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked. This is true for children as well as adults, and children often derive great benefit from Chinese medicine (Pediatric Acupuncture).

Correcting these imbalances at a young age serves to promote well-being and prevent further health and wellness issues in adulthood. Many common childhood conditions which are resistant to conventional medicine respond well to TCM therapy. Chinese medicine is a safe, drug-free, holistic and curative approach to promoting your child’s wellness, using massage, herbal medicine, acupuncture, needle-free acupuncture, nutrition and/or lifestyle therapies to treat both acute and chronic conditions as well as helping to prevent your child from developing future ailments.

When children come for treatment at The Nest we spend time looking at the child’s history—everything from conception to birth and after. All of these elements are vital clues in understanding the child’s constitution and current state of health, and aid in the development of  a treatment plan.

The actual treatment time depends on the age of the child and the severity and duration of the current symptom or complaint. For the very young (infants and toddlers) the treatment can last a minute or less—acupressure is often used instead of needles. If needles are used, they are not left in but merely touch the selected points. For older children we may use acupressure or acupuncture, again, it really depends on the condition that we are treating. If needles are used, they are hair-fine and most children do not even feel them going in. The reaction we get the most is “are the needles in? Wow. Cool.” Older children report feeling very relaxed and calm. One 10-year old patient said, “If there is anywhere in the entire world to relax, The Nest is the place.”

Here are a few of the pediatric health concerns that we treat at The Nest:
• Chronic, recurrent colds, flu, ear infections
• Pre and post immunization treatment (immune system support)
• Allergies, asthma
• Eczema, hives
• Colic, reflux
• Failure to thrive
• Insomnia
• Constipation or diarrhea
• Bedwetting
• Anxiety and depression
• Headaches
For teens:
• Sports injuries
• Test anxiety
• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Headache/migraines
• Eating disorders

Give us a call for more information about how Traditional Chinese Medicine can help these or other ailments, or to set up an appointment: 773.267.0248.

Pediatric pricing is $85 for the initial visit, $50 for follow ups.

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Though the cold (and occasionally snowy) weather here in Chicago may make us doubt, Spring is truly right around the corner. As the seasons shift, our bodies need to shift and adjust along with them—practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine can observe these shifts by examining the pulse. A change of season causes the rate, rhythm, volume, and tension of the pulse to vary. The pulse tends to be taut in spring, full in summer, floating in autumn, and sunken in winter. TCM physicians will take this into account when distinguishing the abnormal pulse from the normal.

In the parlance of TCM, Spring is the season of new birth and new growth, belongs to the wood element, and dominates liver functioning. If we don’t adapt to the changing climate in spring, we may be susceptible to seasonal health problems, such as flu, pneumonia, or a relapse of chronic diseases.  The midwest region has been hit hard this winter with lingering upper respiratory illness, so those of us here need to be extra mindful in taking care of our bodies during this shift in season.

To help our clients (both existing and new!) stay healthy this season, The Nest is offering a Spring special: 3 Seasonal Balance Acupuncture treatments for $250 ($30 savings).* The treatments will specifically focus on balancing, strengthening, and harmonizing the 12 energetic meridians of the body.

Call 773.267.0248 today to schedule your Seasonal Acupuncture tune up!

*Note this special is for SEASONAL BALANCE TREATMENTS ONLY. A seasonal session with an acupuncturist can help improve overall health by enhancing the body’s immune system to keep illness at bay.  It can also provide a boost in energy levels, lifting mood and improving a person’s sense of well being, allowing the body to function more effectively.

According to TCM philosophies, if we consume seasonal foods that are similar in nature to the external environment, we remain in harmony with the environment, adapt better to the weather changes, and remain healthy. Examples of recommended foods for the spring include onions, leeks, leaf mustard, Chinese yam, wheat, dates, cilantro, mushrooms, spinach, and bamboo shoots. Fresh green and leafy vegetables should also be included in meals; sprouts from seeds are also valuable.

In addition, uncooked, frozen and fried foods should only be taken in moderation since these are harmful to the spleen and stomach if consumed in large amounts.

And to help you inject some delicious greens into your diet, here is a beneficial recipe featuring an underappreciated wild green: Dandelion!

Salad of Dandelion and Fresh Goat Cheese
adapted from Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables by E. Schneider

1 bunch dandelion greens, cleaned and dried
about 1/4 pound fresh white goat cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup or so of chopped red onion, or chopped scallions
2 T sherry or other light vinegar
2 T walnut or other nut oil, can use a good olive oil if that’s what’s on hand
½ t sugar
3-4 T toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
Cut off and discard stem bases. Cut each stalk into 2-inch pieces. Pile on a serving dish; intersperse with cheese. Sprinkle with onion to taste. In small, non-aluminum pan combine vinegar, oil, and sugar; bring to a boil, stirring. Pour over salad and toss lightly. Sprinkle with nuts and serve at once.

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There was a lot of uproar when celebrity Matthew McConaughey announced that he and his partner were going to save his son’s placenta and plant it under a fruit tree, a tradition in indigenous tribes to enrich the soil and create a sacred space.  When the media got word of the couple’s choice, the blogosphere was abuzz with the question: why would anyone want to save a placenta?

There are several reasons, the most practical and beneficial from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) standpoint being placentophagia.  Placentophagia is the ancient practice of eating the placenta after the baby is born.  The Chinese call this Zi He Che (purple river vehicle).

In an article by Amy Weekly entitled “Placentophagia: Benefits of Eating the Placenta,” she outlines various benefits to the practice in detail: increasing breast milk production, staving off postpartum depression, helping the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy state, and replenishing nutrients in the new mother such as iron and B12.  In TCM terms, the essence from the placenta enters the lung, liver and kidney channels to nourish the blood.

Consuming the placenta isn’t as rudimentary (or potentially distasteful) as eating it plain or just putting it in a soup.  Capsules can be made from it, to be taken orally like any other pill. After the placenta is delivered, it is gently washed off and placed in a sealed container so it may be delivered to us.  We specially prepare it, dry it, grind it into powder, add herbs and then put it into capsules. The new mom then takes these for the first few weeks after giving birth, or until she feels her strength has returned. If this is something you’d like more information about or would like to have planned for after your child is born, please call us for information and pricing at 773.267.0248.

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