Moxibustion and Dysmenorrhea

A study conducted by Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has determined that the use of moxibustion at specific days during a woman’s menstrual cycle can decrease pain associated with menstruation. Dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation is a big problem for many women. This study used moxibustion, an accessory modality of TCM, to treat the pain associated with menstruation. The study and its systematic review showed moxibustion treatments were more effective at relieving pain only when the moxibustion began prior to the onset of actual menstruation. This is also the theory behind Traditional Chinese Medicine, that it should be used as preventive care. The efficacy of using moxibustion during the premenstrual time period holds great promise for those who are debilitated by dysmenorrhea. continue reading »

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Fear hurts the vital energy (kidney qi)

Written by Shouchun Ma
Translated by MG Li


One day during the Cultural Revolution, the Rebels faction held a one hundred thousand person mobilization rally in the Datian Bay Square.


Several leaders of the Royalists were forced onto stage to be criticized.


Rolling red flags and thundering chants, along with several dozen Rebel workers armed with broadswords, surrounded the stage, making it a spectacular assembly.

A team leader of the Royalists was so shaken.  When the Rebels turned to him, someone asked, “should he be killed?”  There was the overwhelming chant “Kill him! Kill him!” At that moment, a hand slapped on the back of his neck, and he fell to the ground, incontinent,  thinking that his head was chopped off.  He became unable to stand or walk.

Afterwards, he sought treatment from Western and Chinese medicine.  Whereas Western medicine could not offer a definite diagnosis, Chinese medicine determined the symptoms to be some form of flaccid paralysis.


He told the details of the story to us, and we could not stop laughing.  He was thus given the nickname “one with a chopped off head”.


After Teacher Shi heard the symptoms, he immediately told us students that it was a result of emotional injury, the vital essence (kidney qi) damaged by fear.


Teacher Shi prescribed a treatment, with varying doses of Shen Qi Wan.  His students would perform acupuncture, followed by moxibustion, with the most common applications at the baihui, shenyu, mingmen, guanyuan, and weizhong points.


He could walk after  a month, but continued to be afraid of going to crowded places.  It took another six months of intermittent treatment for him to return to normal.


The seriousness of illnesses caused by emotions is well illustrated here.  Thus there is the saying in Chinese medicine: “The six evil elements hurt from without, whereas the seven emotions hurt from within.”


In my opinion, Chinese medicine is rooted among the populace, who support it’s growth.  Thus Chinese medicine is a medical discipline, as well as a cultural study.
Those familiar with the cultural backgrounds of Chinese medicine will be easier to understand this field.  A folk proverb says “a cultured person studying medicine is like catching a rooster from the cage”.
© Ma’s Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.
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Acupuncture for Boosting Your Circulation

Healthy blood circulation is a vital component of life for human beings. Without proper blood flow, life would cease to exist. Blood isn’t the only thing that’s important, it’s what the blood is carrying that makes circulation so important. Blood carries fresh oxygen, hormones and nutrients that we absorb from our food. Without these components, the organs and tissues of the body become depleted, weakened and eventually stop functioning. Any blockages in the veins and arteries can deprive the brain and the rest of the body from the needed oxygen, which can then lead to a plethora of other medical issues. continue reading »

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5 Acupoints to Help You Navigate Your Stress This Winter

There are several acupressure points that are known to treat stress and stress related symptoms. It’s important to understand that acupressure is not the only form of treatment and having a balanced diet, exercise regime and lifestyle will also decrease the chances of stress being a factor in your life. continue reading »

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Dr. Ma talks about balance and Q&A

Written by Dr. Shouchun Ma

Translated by Maggie Zeng

July 22, 2019





哪些因素会打破平衡?手术,突然改变饮食生活习惯,重大情绪刺激等等。 一个病人腰痛两周看医生,医生量了她的腿,一边长一边短,建议右倒增高鞋垫,她觉得找对病因了。结果腰痛没有好,髋关节又痛。 闲云以为,找错原因了,一腿长一腿短已经几十年了,已经建立了平衡。一侧增高鞋垫,反而打破了平衡。故腰痛未愈,髋痛又起。 又,腰痛仅两周,显然不是腿短引起的。 患者初不信,人家是很准确的丈量了的,而闲云仅凭脉证和推理,两周痊愈,才信了。

Dr. Ma talks about balance

The current health condition of each person has been formed over many years. It’s a balance. And it shouldn’t be easily broken, rather the balance should be adjusted when necessary. If the balance is broken, it will cause a chain reaction and cause many new imbalances. Especially for those who are frail and old, and very sensitive people, once the balance is broken, they may not be able to restore balance for life.

What are the factors that will break the balance? Surgeries, sudden changes in eating habits, major emotional stimuli, etc. A patient who had lower back pain for two weeks went to see a doctor. This doctor measured her legs, and found out one was shorter than the other. A shoe lift was recommended to address the issue, and the doctor felt confident that she identified the cause. It turned out though, the lower back pain didn’t go away, and the hip joint started to hurt.

Dr. Ma, however, thought the leg length discrepancy was not the cause, as it’s been that way for decades. Since the balance had been established for the patient for years, a sudden shoe lift broke the balance. Therefore, the back pain remained and the hip pain occurred. Also, the patient had the lower back pain for only two weeks, suggesting that it wasn’t caused by leg length discrepancy. The patient wouldn’t believe it at first since the leg length was carefully measured. Based solely on pulse, signs and reasoning, Dr. Ma cured her back pain in two weeks. And she is a believer now.


问: 到底是什么原因引起的腰痛呢?又是怎么治愈的?

Q: So what was the cause of her lower back pain? How was it cured?

马医生: 一般急性腰扭伤和受寒引起的腰痛,针灸有良效,常常在三次内临床治愈。

Dr. Ma: Lower back pain caused by minor acute lumbar sprain or a cold can be cured by acupuncture, typically effective in three clinical treatments.


Q: What if the lower back pain was caused by lumbar strain? I’ve been bending over a sick puppy a lot lately.


Dr. Ma: As far as the clinical situation is concerned, lower back pain is often caused by sprains, fatigue, cold, intervertebral disc prolapse, local paralysis, lumbar muscle strain, and cancer metastasis to the epiphysis. Regardless the cause, acupuncture has a good effect!


Q:  If the leg is in a position for a long time, it will not move (for example, when lying down with a slightly bent leg and sleeping, I found that the leg cannot be straightened immediately). Is this also caused by cold or kidney deficiency? Is acupuncture still recommended?


Dr. Ma: For lower back pain, acupuncture is preferred.

问: 请问这个对湿疹有没有好处?

Q: Is acupuncture also helpful for eczema?


Dr. Ma: Eczema can take many forms. Please see your doctor.

Dr. Wu: 马教授谈的平衡问题很重要!病人来看病,通常是身体出现异常了,医生检查好像找到导致异常的直接原因,但只是简单快速地排除这病因了事,还是因人制宜把控好治疗的力度,范围和速度,逐步调节平衡与代赏,以免出现平衡失控结果,是对医生医术医德的考验。

Dr. Wu: Professor Ma’s topic on balance is very important! When a patient comes to see a doctor, it is usually because there is something wrong with their body. Sometimes the doctor seems to find an immediate cause of the abnormality. So should the doctor go with the quick and easy fix, or should he/she adjust the strength, scope and speed of the individual treatment in order to avoid the imbalance.  This is a true test of the doctors’ medical skills as well as ethics.


Q: Are you saying that eczema has multiple manifestations, or is it that multiple diseases can be manifested by eczema?


Dr. Ma: Excessive body dampness, excessive body heat, blood deficiency, blood dryness, and excess wind can all result from eczema.


Q: So with eczema patients, medication will be different. It cannot be generalized.


Dr. Ma: Some eczema can be difficult to treat, and even experienced doctors often need to think out of the box. Discussion without seeing the patient cannot lead to a good treatment plan.


© Ma’s Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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