Influenza, colloquially referred to as the “flu”, is an acute, infectious disease of the respiratory tract, caused by a viral infection. Traditional Chinese Medicine holds that flu is caused by either wind-cold or wind-heat mixed with pathogenic dampness because of the changes of the weather. Such an attack to the body will affect the function of the lungs and immune system, which will eventually cause flu.
In the perspective of TCM, flu can be divided into two major categories — wind-cold or wind-heat. The clinical symptoms of the wind-cold type flu (commonly seen in winter and spring) include feeling cold and hot, clear nasal discharge, sneezing, cough, thin sputum, no sweat, aching of muscles and joints, or headache. The symptoms for wind-hot flu (commonly seen in summer and autumn) are fever, sweat, headache, cough, abundant yellow expectoration, nasal obstruction with thick discharge, thirst and sore throat.
As the flu comes on mainly from the lungs, Traditional Chinese Medicine will focus on dispelling the pathogenic factors of the lungs to restore their normal function. As for the wind-cold type flu, TCM will mainly use pungent and warm natured herbal medicine to disperse the cold, together with medicine that can relieve cough and dissolve phlegm. As for the wind-heat type flu, TCM focuses on removing heat and toxic substances from the lungs with pungent and cold-natured herbal medicine, together with medicine that can relieve cough and dissolve phlegm.
Normally, TCM emphasises prevention first, so special herbal recipes are in an attempt to prevent flu from occurring. Patients who regularly take such herbal medicine may build up a resistance against the virus.
Sinusitis is an inflammation in the mucous membrane of the sinuses, caused by a viral or bacterial infection and allergy. There are three pairs and one individual sinus: the frontal sinuses are above the eyes, the ethmoid sinuses are behind the eyes, the maxillary sinuses are situated below the eyes on either side of the nose and the sphenoidal sinus is in the centre of the head. Each sinus has a narrow opening or tube connecting it to the back of the nose. The mucus naturally produced by the sinuses drains into the nose through the tubes. These tubes can become blocked when the sinuses are infected and inflamed. It could be the disease of a single sinus or all the sinuses. If the disease involves all the sinuses it is called pansinusitis. The most common one is maxillary sinus.
The main symptoms of the disease are a blocked or runny nose, pain and tenderness in the face. The seriousness of obstruction in the nose is related to the degree of pathological changes (swelling, hypertrophy and polyps associated) of the nasal mucosa. Accompanied with it, the sufferers may have a headache and feel that the head is heavy. Other symptoms show that the sense of smell decreases or even disappears.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are generally used in conjunction when treating patients with sinusitis. They have minimal side effects and no surgical procedures required. In our clinic, Dr. Xing is very passionate about helping sinusitis sufferers relieve their pain.
Stomach pain is a common clinical symptom. Its causes may include acute or chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, gastric neurosis, gastroptosis, stomach cancer, etc.
Different types of stomach pain have different characteristic presentations. Epigastric ache and distention with no clear regularity which increases after food, loss of appetite, burping and vomiting, and localized pain fluctuating over a wide area, are symptoms suggestive of chronic gastritis. If there is a long history of regularly occurring stomach pain, burping, rumbling and heartburn, peptic ulcer should be suspected. Gastric neurosis is characterized by stomach distention and ache, induced by mood changes. The pain is irregular and no organic abnormality can be found. Weight loss, and stomach distention after food aggravated by standing but relieved by lying down are indicative of gastroptosis. With onset alter middle age, persistent stomach pain, loss of weight, anemia and presence of blood in stool, sinister pathology is probable. Other conditions involving the stomach giving rise to pain are pyloric stenosis, perforation of ulcer, etc, each with its own characteristic symptoms.
Recurrent stomach pain should be investigated. Barium meal examination, gastroscopy, gastric juice analysis, and biopsy are used to help reach an accurate diagnosis.
Stomach pain from many causes may be successfully treated in some cases by Traditional Chinese Medicine using herbal medicine and acupuncture. Dr. Xing of our clinic has gained extensive experience in treating this condition.
Chronic gastritis is a chronic inflammation of the mucosal lining of the stomach. According to the histological changes of the gastric mucosa, the disease can be divided into superficial, atrophic or hypertrophic gastritis.
The actual cause of chronic gastritis is not known. It may have connection with bad dietary habits, certain foods (excessive consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, strong tea and coffee), taking certain drugs for a long period of time, bile regurgitation, stress or immune dysfunction.
Different types of chronic gastritis have different clinical manifestations. The symptoms of superficial gastritis include stomach upset after meals, then feeling comfortable after hiccups. Sometimes the patient also feels sick, vomits and experiences acid reflux as well as stomach ache, but shows no prominent signs. The main symptoms of atrophic gastritis include loss of appetite, feeling pain in the upper abdomen, suffering from anaemia and diarrhoea, becoming thinner and feeling tired. As for hypertrophic gastritis, the main symptom is stubborn pain in the upper abdomen. Food and alkaline medication can relieve the pain, which has no special rhythm.
As this disease has no specific symptoms and signs, gastroscope and biopsy of the gastritis mucosa are the major methods in diagnosing the disease.
Dr. Xing has been using herbal medicine and acupuncture to assist patients with chronic gastritis for many years. He has garnered a great deal of experience in the area.
Peptic ulcer is a common disease of the alimentary tract. Ulceration occurs mostly in the stomach and duodenum. Therefore, the term peptic ulcer covers both stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers.
Peptic ulcer presents mainly as cyclic pain. The pain from a gastric ulcer comes on half an hour to two hours after a meal, localised at the epigastrium, in the midline or to the left. Duodenal ulcer presents pain 3 to 4 hours after eating, or during the night, relieved by food or use of antacid. The location of pain is in the upper abdomen in the midline or to the right. Other symptoms peptic ulcer can include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, burping, indigestion, distension of the upper abdomen and anaemia. In some cases, peptic ulcers may be asymptomatic and then present as an acute episode of bleeding or perforation. Diagnosis of a peptic ulcer can be ascertained by barium meal swallow or gastroscopy.
Research has now shown that most of the peptic ulcers occur as a result of infection by a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Other risk factors include taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, e.g. aspirin and ibuprofen). Lifestyle factors such as stress, irregular diet, alcohol, caffeine and smoking also play a part in the development of ulcers.
Chinese medicine uses natural medicine and acupuncture in an attempt to treat peptic ulcers by reducing symptoms and promoting healing of the ulcers. Chinese medicine also works to eliminate the bacteria which causes peptic ulcer, effectively treating the condition. Such treatment methods can minimise the occurrence of complications such as internal bleeding or perforation, with minimal side effects.
Constipation refers to slow and difficult bowel movements, or the inability to completely empty the bowels. It can affect people of all ages.
Common causes of constipation include not eating enough fibre, changes in routine or lifestyle, ignoring the urge to pass stools, side effects of certain medication, not drinking enough fluids, stress and anxiety. Many illnesses can result in constipation. It can be caused by problems such as intestinal obstruction, haemorrhoids and abscesses in the surrounding areas of the anus.
No excretion for 48 hours could be diagnosed as constipation. However, some people habitually relieve themselves once every 2 to 3 days without symptoms of constipation.
Sometimes one can experience difficulty in relieving oneself; having bowel movements several times a day, moving only a little each time. This will enable the faeces to stay in the intestines, so should be considered as constipation.
Those who suffer from constipation are advised to go through necessary medical examinations to find the exact cause of constipation and work out the treatment based on the cause.
Traditional Chinese medicine has a unique effect in treating constipation. Not only does it aim to produce an instant relieve of the symptoms, but it may also give lasting results with minimal side effects, restoring normal function of the digestive system and bringing about general good health.
Haemorrhoids (also known as piles) are a common ailment, caused by the enlargement and congestion of the superficial veins in or around the rectum and anus. Those occurring around the anus are called external haemorrhoids, those that occur in the rectum are called internal haemorrhoids, and if the external and internal haemorrhoids occur at the same time, they are called mixed haemorrhoids.
Habitual constipation is thought to be the most important risk factor causing haemorrhoids. Excessive force for excretion of faeces can put pressure on the veins in and around the anus, making them inflamed and swollen. Other risk factors include: being overweight, pregnancy and childbirth, prolonged diarrhoea, enlarged prostate causing difficulty in urination, lifting heavy objects, prolonged sitting or standing, as well as long distance walking. These cause the increase of pressure in the abdominal cavity, thus the blood flow in the veins returning to the heart will be blocked and cause varix, which will finally lead to the formation of haemorrhoids.
Some people with haemorrhoids may experience no symptoms. Common symptoms for haemorrhoids include bleeding or/and a mucus discharge after passing a stool, pain and itchiness around the anus, rectal prolapse of various degrees, and feeling that the bowels are not fully emptied. Patients with these symptoms must get a clear diagnosis by going through an anoscopy or sigmoidoscopy to rule out the possibilities of bowels cancer, colitis and polyp of the rectum.
Treating haemorrhoids with Traditional Chinese Medicine may achieve very good results. It can improve the blood circulation, diminish inflammation, relieve pain, and stop bleeding.
Insomnia is a common problem that refers to difficulty falling or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning, even though one has had enough opportunity to sleep.
Most people may experience sleep problems at some point in their life. It’s thought that more than one third of adults will have had a bout of insomnia.
People who suffer from insomnia can have many different manifestations such as difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, waking up early in the morning and not feeling refreshed, feeling tired and having a hard time concentrating during the day. It can also cause irritability, depression, anxiety, muscle stiffness, tension headaches or other health problems. It affects a person’s quality of life and general well-being. It can also increase the chance of work errors or car accidents.
Insomnia can be caused by many different factors, including stressful events, environmental problems, drug or substance misuse, and side effects of certain medications. Symptoms associated with insomnia may suggest an underlying physical or psychological condition. Treating the underlying problems can help to alleviate the symptom of insomnia.
According to the theories of TCM, the root cause of insomnia is a dysfunction or imbalance of the body’s Yin and Yang, or of the major organ (heart, liver, spleen, lung and kidney) systems. Each of these organs houses a specific aspect of the spirit (or “Shen”). If these organs are out of balance, they will not be able to house the spirit properly, and the spirit will wander. A wandering spirit disturbance can manifest in a number of ways, including mood disorders and heart palpitations, but insomnia is one of the most common symptoms.
To determine the underlying causes of insomnia, we will need to consider many factors, including your medical history, sleep difficulty and associated symptoms, lifestyle, emotional and general well-being, as well as the unique TCM diagnosis technique of tongue check and pulse palpation. There are five common TCM patterns for insomnia, including stagnation of liver Qi transforming into liver fire, disturbance of phlegm-heat, hyperactivity of fire due to Yin deficiency (heart and kidney disharmony), Qi deficiency of heart and gallbladder, and blood deficiency of both heart and spleen.
Once the differentiation of patterns is identified, treatments can be made accordingly. These treatments include addressing the underlying condition and the problem in your sleeping pattern, so a normal sleep cycle may quickly be restored.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have proven to be very effective for helping people with sleeping problems. Acupuncture may have a beneficial effect on the body’s central nervous system and promoting natural sleep patterns. Chinese herbs may help to calm the mind, relax the body and also address the underlying condition that is contributing to the pattern of insomnia.
Hypertension (or high blood pressure) can be classified into two types: essential and secondary. Essential (or primary) hypertension makes up over 90% of patients with hypertension in which there is no established cause. It is a disease on its own. Secondary hypertension is related to some known diseases. The raised blood pressure is one of the symptoms, and is therefore also referred to as symptomatic hypertension.
Longstanding hypertension or overly high blood pressure can put a strain on the arteries and heart, which increase the risk of strokes, heart attack and kidney disease.
For adults, the ideal blood pressure reading should be below 120/80mmHg. However, anything under 130/80mmHg is considered normal. Usually, an elderly person is expected to have a higher blood pressure reading than a young person.
One may be diagnosed with hypertension if readings on separate occasions consistently show the blood pressure to be 140/90mmHg or higher.
For people who suffer from kidney disease, diabetes or high cholesterol, the target blood pressure should be below 130/80mmHg.
The cause of essential hypertension is not clearly understood. It is thought to be related to the dysfunction of the central nervous system and the endocrine system. Factors such as age, heredity, being overweight, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol intake, a high amount of salt in one’s diet, smoking, living hectic life-styles and stress all contribute to its onset.
Studies have shown the value of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in both effectively lowering and stabilising blood pressure, as well as improving the accompanying symptoms of hypertension, such as headache, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue, weight gain and decreased sexual function. This form of treatment has proven popular among hypertension sufferers.
Hyperlipidaemia (or high cholesterol) is the condition in which one or more kinds of plasma lipids exist in higher than normal levels. Of these, high cholesterol and triglyceride are most common. Plasma lipids when combined with protein in the blood are water-soluble and circulate around the body. Hyperlipidemia is therefore also referred to as hyperlipoproteinemia.
Lipoproteins in the plasma are divided into different types according to their densities. It is important to know the total cholesterol level as well as to measure the levels of the different kinds of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as the ‘good’ cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol. The higher the density the more plasma lipids can be utilized by the body and not stored as excess, and the better the protection of the body from adverse cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke.
Causes leading to Hyperlipidemia include: (1) diet containing high animal fat and sugar; (2) lack of exercise; (3) heredity; (4) secondary to certain diseases such as diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, kidney disease, hypothyroidism; (5) medications such as thiazide diuretics, beta-blockers and some contraceptive pills.
Hyperlipidemia is closely associated with diseases such as atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and gall stones. It is important that the condition is treated. Education for a proper diet, exercise and use of cholesterol lowering drugs are commonly undertaken treatments.
The treatment of hyperlipidemia with Chinese medicine may have great advantages. It not only aims to resist the absorption of cholesterol, but also attempts to affect its distribution and facilitate its removal, consequently preventing the onset of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases.
Obesity occurs when the body cannot utilise all the calories provided by foods, the excess being stored as fat, and the body weight exceeding what is normal by 20% or more. There are two types of obesity: primary and secondary.
Primary obesity has multiple causative factors, including hereditary tendency, abnormal metabolic rate, psychological and emotional disturbances, improper diet, and lack of exercise.
Secondary obesity is often associated with the dysfunction of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland (from tumor, infection or trauma), endocrinal disorders (Cushing’s syndrome, thyroid hypofunction, hypogonadism, diabetes, etc.).
Obesity may hamper mobility and therefore reduce physical fitness. People with obesity tend to sweat easily, and may suffer from shortness of breath and tiredness. Obesity also generally increases your risk of atherosclerosis, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart attack, gout, osteoarthritis, gallstones, kidney disease, etc.
In some cases, the use of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture has been shown to normalise the autonomic nervous and endocrine function and regulate the digestive system, and therefore promote normal metabolism, reduce appetite, improve circulation and health. Many patients are able to reduce their body weight, and the associating illnesses such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatigue, palpitation, arthritis, headache and constipation, without any accompanying side effects.
Gout is a disease caused by the faulty metabolism of purine in the body. It is a common type of arthritis, in which tiny crystals are formed in and around joints. Its clinical features include arthritis which usually attacks repeatedly, deformed joints, and the formation of uric acid stones or gouty stones.
The disease is rare in people under the age of 30. Men are more likely to develop gout than women because their uric acid levels rise during puberty. about 95 percent of sufferers are men. It is believed that genetic predisposition is the most common reason for gout to occur. Gout is relative to the high level of uric acid in the blood which is the result of excessive formation or the decrease of excretion by chronic kidney, blood or cardiovascular diseases. Eating too much food with high levels of purine and drinking too much beer or spirits may precipitate individual attacks. Certain medications, such as some types of diuretics, aspirin and niacin can also cause gout.
In treating gout one must control their diet to prevent becoming overweight. Do not take too much food with high levels of purine, such as animal’s internal organs, fish roe and sardines. Alcohol consumption must also be avoided; catching colds, fatigue, nervousness and damaging the joints should also be avoided. Drink plenty of water to make sure that the daily urine exceeds 2000mL. This will help with the excretion of uric acid. During the acute attack of arthritis, you should have more rest.
The practitioners at our clinic generally implement a combination of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture when assisting patients with gout. Dr. Xing has formulated a unique herbal recipe which is designed to help patients get relief from the pain, by tailoring the recipe based on individual requirements.
Some middle-aged or elderly people often feel pain in their shoulders and cannot raise their arms, even though they have never had any major injury. The symptom may become worse and the pain can radiate to the neck, forearms and hands. In more serious cases, great pain will be felt even when touched gently, and the pain may cause the sufferer to become awoken. Their shoulder movements are clearly limited, being unable to put on their shirt, fasten their belt or comb their hair. This is known as frozen shoulder and is also known as adhesive capsulitis or shoulder contracture.
Frozen shoulder is a chronic inflammation of the soft tissues of the muscle, tendon, bursa and articular capsule, causing adhesion of the joints and limitation of the shoulder movements. X-ray examinations may show a sign of calcification in the shoulders. The frozen shoulders may be related to degeneration of tissues of the elderly. They can also be caused by catching a cold, repetitive strain injuries, or lack of movement.
Using acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat frozen shoulder may improve the blood circulation of the shoulders, loosen the adhesions and relieve spasms, resulting in diminishing inflammation and pain, restoring the normal function of the shoulders. The practitioners at our clinic are very passionate about helping frozen shoulder sufferers to regain normal health.
Colloquially referred to as tennis elbow because tennis players often suffer from the complaint, external humeral epicondylitis (or radio-humeral epicondylitis) is an ailment often affecting housewives, bricklayers, carpenters, and others who have repeated elbow movements. Owing to the strain over a long period of time, tendons and soft tissues surrounding the elbow joints can become inflamed or torn. Because of the friction, the periosteum can also be damaged, resulting in periostitis.
One of the main symptoms of the complaint includes pain in the outer elbow joint, which will radiate toward the outer forearm, resulting in a powerless grip. When using a screwdriver or drying with a towel, local pain will be intensified. There will be some swelling in the affected area. Pain will increase when it is pressed. To see whether you are suffering from tennis elbow, you can carry out a test by rotating your arm and bending your wrist. The whole process is to straighten you elbow joint, bend your wrist and then rotate the arm clockwise, if the pain in your elbow increases, that means you may have tennis elbow.
Our clinic has adopted a combination treatment of acupuncture and herbal medicine to assist patients who are suffering from tennis elbow. It aims to achieve fast pain relief and restore the functions of the elbow joints by eliminating inflammation and promoting healing of the tears.
Cervical spondylosis (also known as cervical osteoarthritis) is a degenerative condition (age-related ‘wear and tear’) that can affect bones and tissues in the neck (e.g. intervertebral disc, rear vertical ligament, yellow ligament, and spinal cord tunica vaginalis). The development of bone spurs often accompanies this degeneration of the spine. The bone spur in different places can cause different symptoms by pinch or press upon the nerve roots, cervical spinal cord, vertebra artery or sympathetic nerves.
People over 40 years of age are vulnerable to the problems, especially those who always lower their head either in their daily life or work and stay in the same position for a long time (for example reading books, writing or working on a computer). Common symptoms of this condition include neck pain, which may radiate to the shoulders or between the shoulder blades, pins and needles in the hands, weakness in the arms, dizziness and wobbling when walking.
Traditional Chinese Medicine adopts the methods of acupuncture, herbal medicine, therapeutic massage and exercise, in an attempt to improve the blood circulation in the neck and relieve edema and inflammation caused by compression or stimulation. These methods also aim to play an active role in reducing or relieving the pressure to the nerve ending, spinal cord and vertebral artery, so that a satisfactory result will be achieved.
Lumbago, on one or both sides, is a common subjective symptom with pain in the area between the 12th rib and iliac crest on the back of the body. It may appear in a great number of diseases such as kidney disease, rheumatism, rheumatoid disease, strain injuries of lumbar muscles and soft tissues, disease of the vertebra and spinal cord, etc.
Depending on the different etiologies of different cases, Traditional Chinese medicine will generally utilise acupuncture, therapeutic massage, cupping, and external and internal application of herbal medicine when aiming treating lumbago.
Heel pain is a condition often seen in clinical practice. It is most commonly caused by plantar fasciitis (also known as the thickening of the plantar fascia), an inflammatory condition of the thick band of tissue on the sole of the foot. Other conditions associated with heel pain include heel spur, inflammation of the fat pad, subcalcaneal bursitis, achilles bursitis and achilles peritendinitis.
The plantar fascia is a tough and flexible band of tissue that runs under the sole of the foot. It acts as a kind of shock absorber to the foot. Chronic strain to the plantar fascia can lead to inflammation, leading to local pain, swelling and tenderness. Deeper pain is felt when the inflammation involves the bursa or the periosteum of the heel bone.
Heel pain sufferers have characteristic localised heel pain, felt mostly when changing positions (standing up after prolonged sitting or getting out of bed etc.) and prolonged standing or walking. The pain eases after cessation of offending activities. The surrounding tissue is usually painful, evident of swelling of tissue underneath the foot, and an X-ray of the foot may show a bone spur.
The practitioners at our clinic generally utilise a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine in an effort to improve the blood circulation in the foot, control inflammation and eliminate swelling. Based on their clinical experience, they will devise a tailored treatment plan, which usually combines oral medicine, a foot bathing solution and acupuncture.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), also known as premenstrual tension (PMT), is a term used to describe the changes in women prior to menstruation. Symptoms include physical, psychological and behavioral changes. A more intense type of PMS, in which the symptoms are severe enough to stop sufferers living their normal lives, is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
PMS occurs in a cyclic pattern, as early as 10 to 14 days or as late as 2 to 3 days prior to the bleeding period. The symptoms tend to ease after the onset of bleeding. The symptoms among sufferers vary, and are of different severity. They may include fatigue, depression, swelling of breasts, lower abdominal pain, constipation, anxiety, mood swings and cravings for sweet foods. Fluid retention manifested as weight gain and bloating may occur 2 to 3 days prior to bleeding. Some sufferers develop acne or headache.
The actual cause of PMS is not yet fully understood. Various possible factors that may contribute to the symptoms of PMS include hormone changes such as the deficiency of progesterone, resulting in the relative high level of oestrogen; the abnormal interaction involving the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, ovary and uterus; low levels of serotonin; the deficiency of vitamin B6; and lifestyle factors such as stress, improper diet and lack of exercise.
Treatment of PMS using Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to effectively normalise the nervous and endocrine system of the body, leading to self balancing of sex hormones and hence, elimination of the symptoms of PMS. As such treatment works on helping the body regulate itself and not on supplement of sex hormones, the beneficial effect is intended to be long lasting, with minimal harmful side effects.
Period pain felt in the abdomen and pelvic region can occur before, during and after the menstrual period. It may be intermittent or continuous, increase in intensity at times, or radiate to the vagina, anus or the lower back. Period pain may accompany symptoms such as frequency of micturition, or an urge to defecate. When serious, pallor, coldness of the hands and feet, sweat, nausea and vomiting can occur. These symptoms ease when the period is underway.
Period pain can be divided into primary and secondary types:
Primary period pain is usually seen in young women or women who have never been pregnant, in the presence of organic abnormality within the reproductive system. The pain generally improves after childbirth. This type of pain may be associated with the constitution and psychological status of the patient.
Secondary period pain is related to problems in the reproductive organs. Examples are endometriosis, pelvic inflammation and submucosal myoma of the uterus.
Sufferers of period pain should be examined by a gynaecologist to determine the diagnosis so appropriate treatment can be implemented.
Treatment of various gynaecological conditions through acupuncture and Chinese medicine is well established. Acupuncture is renowned for its ability to relieve pain. By stimulating the body to produce endorphin, a natural pain killer, acupuncture effectively relieves painful symptoms. In addition, acupuncture and herbal medicine may help to regulate the hormone levels within the body, so that the amounts of oestrogen and progesterone stay within normal and complementary ranges.
Impotence, or erectile dysfunction (ED), is the inability of a male to attain and/or maintain an erection sufficient to permit satisfactory sexual intercourse.
The erectile response of the penis is initiated by the central nervous system. Causes contributing to impotence can be broadly classified into two categories: psychological and organic, the former being more common. Disharmony between the couple and unfavourable conditions for sexual activity can create difficulty. Timing difference of sexual arousals between partners and the fear of inadequate sexual performance or rejection by the partner are also contributing factors. Despite the erectile dysfunction during sexual activities, spontaneous erection may occur under nonsexual circumstances, for example during sleep.
Common symptoms associated with impotence are dizziness, insomnia, tiredness, anxiety and depression. Certain organic disorders can also cause impotence. Congenital abnormality of the penis, diseases of the testis, chronic prostatitis, spinal cord injury, diabetes and high blood pressure can all lead to impotence. In this group of patients, the blood flow to the erectile tissues is impaired, and erection does not occur during the ‘rapid eye movement’ phase of sleep.
The use of Chinese medicine to treat impotence has a long history and has often demonstrated good success. It has shown to be both effective and free of undesirable side effects.
Prostate enlargement (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or benign prostatic hypertrophy) is a common condition that usually affects men at about 50 years of age and above.
The enlarged gland squeezes the urethra, causing problems in urinating. The initial symptom is a frequent and urgent need for urination, especially at night. Other symptoms include difficulty starting urination, difficulty emptying the bladder fully and blood in the urine (haematuria). In the presence of cold, tiredness or after consumption of alcohol, both the prostate and the neck of the urinary bladder may become engorged and edematous leading to further blockage. In late stages, prostate enlargement can result in urine retention and cause complications like bladder stones, bladder infections and damage to the kidneys.
The cause of this condition is not clearly understood. One theory suggests that it is caused by the abnormal increase in dihydrotestosterone (DHT); another theory suggests that it is related to a decrease in testosterone levels, causing a relatively higher proportion of oestrogen in the body. The change in hormone levels due to ageing may stimulate the growth of the prostate.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are used in an effort to regulate the secretion of sex hormones to achieve a proper balance. In addition to improving local circulation, the treatment also aims to suppress the proliferation of fibrous tissue, decrease inflammation and control exudation, resulting in a decrease in the rate of enlargement of the prostate. It reverses engorgement and edema of the ureter and improves micturition.
Leg ulcer is a condition in which a long-lasting (chronic) wound exists on your leg or foot. The wound takes more than six weeks to heal, and is usually found in the lower third of the leg. The poor blood supply of this lower part of the leg is the main reason why this area is prone to such a condition. Those who suffer from immobility, obesity varicose veins, and poor function of deep veins or blood clots (embolisms) in veins will easily develop ulcers in the lower leg.
The most common type of leg ulcer is venous leg ulcer, accounting for 80-85% of all cases. This type of leg ulcer develops when persistently high blood pressure in the veins of the legs causes damage to the skin, which eventually breaks down and forms an ulcer. A venous leg ulcer may lead to several complications such as losing mobility and infection. Sometimes, an infection can lead to more serious conditions such as osteomyelitis or blood poisoning (sepsis), though such cases are rare.
In our clinic, Dr. Xing has devised his own herbal recipe which is tailored to individual requirements. It aims to not only heal the ulcers, but also improve blood circulation around the ulcerated area and clearing infection, further promoting healing. As a result, the treatment may also help prevent recurrence and promote good health.
Acne is a chronic inflammation of the follicles and the sebaceous glands. It occurs most often during puberty and is generally worse in males. The cause of acne is linked to increased production of androgen hormones and increased sensitivity of androgen receptors, which cause the skin begin to produce excessive amounts of sebum and block the follicles. The damage done to the skin appears basically as hair follicle papules, most of which are blackhead or whitehead acne with reddish in the surroundings. Some of them are inflamed pus-filled pustules and cysts, which can be severe and long lasting, and can lead to pigmentation or scarring after they burst.
In clinical manifestation, usually one or two damages might be most obvious, which will most likely be accompanied by seborrhea.
Patients can feel slight itching and pain. This is a chronic disease with one being healed and another recurring. Some might last for years. It can seriously affect people’s appearance.
Dr. Jim Xing has a wealth of clinical experience in assisting sufferers of acne. Many patients have achieved satisfactory results by going through the treatment of the traditional Chinese medicine at our clinic.
Urticaria (also known as hives, welts or nettle rash) is an itchy rash or a skin eruption that appears on the body. It can be limited to one part or spread across large areas of the body.
Urticaria can be caused by a number of factors affecting the blood vessels in the skin and mucosal. It happens when a trigger causes histamine and other chemical messengers to be released in the skin, causing the tissues to swell. Common factors that trigger acute urticaria (the rash arising within six weeks) are drugs, food and its additives, animal fur, plants, infections, heat, stress, exercise or physical pressure. Chronic urticaria (symptom persisting or recurrence longer than six weeks) may be caused by an autoimmune reaction, which means the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues.
Urticaria manifests as welts of raised skin anywhere on the body, with a severe itching sensation. Scratching increases the number and size of the welts. The welts appear and disappear quickly and leave no mark on the skin. Dermatographia is a physical urticaria where scratching of the skin produces an itch and red linear welts.
Urticaria can be one of the first symptoms of a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, of which widespread systemic symptoms may accompany, e.g. fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, chest tightness, breathing difficulties, palpitation, pallor, and coldness in extremities.
Angioedema is an urticaria related condition, with severe swelling in the deeper layers of the skin. The symptoms of angioedema can affect any part of the body, but usually seen in the eyelids, lips and sometimes the mouth.
In our clinic, we use acupuncture and herbal medicine to assist sufferers of this condition and strengthen the whole body’s immunity. Such treatment may also be able to promote rapid recovery and less chance of recurrence.
Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema which results from direct contact with a particular substance, and is restricted to the area of contact. Common irritants include chemicals such as those in hair dye, nickel in jewellery, sticking plasters, perfumes or plants. It can affect any part of the body but most commonly affects the hands.
Areas which have contacted allergic objects suffer from the symptoms of an acute inflammation with the clinical manifestation of red, itchy and scaly skin, sometimes burning and stinging. It can lead to the skin becoming blistered, thickened, rough, dry and cracked.
Traditional Chinese medicine not only aims to produce an instant effect without any side effects, but also to regulate the immune system fundamentally so that one can avoid the recurrence of the disease. Dr. Xing in our clinic has accumulated rich experience in treating this disease and is passionate about helping those who are suffering from it.
In the world that we live in, there are thousands of different types of fungi. Of these, only a few are known to cause fungal diseases in human beings.
From clinical observation, we can broadly categorize the disease-causing fungi into 2 major families: the external fungi and the internal fungi. The external fungi attack the body’s surface skin (epidermis) and nails.
The internal fungi will mainly attack the inner organs, but can also infect the skin and the mucosa. Some internal fungal diseases include Sporotrichosis, Chromomycosis and Actinomycosis. However, a strain of fungi known as the Candida can infect both internally and externally causing what is known as Candidiasis (e.g. thrush).
Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to utilise the knowledge of the nature of these fungal diseases in order to treat them. In their many years of practice, our practitioners have found a large number of herbs that may effectively treat this ailment, and have subsequently aimed to assist many patients suffering from long term chronic diseases.