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Mucus, Chinese Medicine, Your Health

Picture of the word "Mucus"

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Mucus/Phlegm is classified a pathogen called “Dampness” in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is shown in the pulse as what is called a “slippery” pulse, similar feeling to a rolling pearl. Mucus is a “normal, slippery and stringy fluid substance produced by many lining tissues in the body.”[1] In is created as a response for instance to allergens, outside and inside pathogenic influences, the common cold. It is called phlegm when in the lungs. [2]

From a TCM perspective lungs are the receptacle of phlegm but not the root cause. We expel it from the body in various methods.

Symptoms of Dampness in TCM include masses, lethargy, indigestion, cough, dizziness, headache, as well as other health issues.

What helps: From a TCM perspective, you can drain, sweat, and excrete Dampness in many ways. Typically it is recommended to avoid dairy, sugar and sweets, greasy foods, or extremely cold foods. Weather can affect Dampness in the body such as Winter or during the hot muggy late summer.

Foods such as warm soups can help to eliminate “Dampness” and herbs such as ginger.

Walking and sweating can help with the “dampness”.

So next time you your acupuncturist may mention “Damnpness ” pertaining to mucus and phlegm you’ll have at least some background knowledge to help you learn more.

This article is not intended to diagnose. Please consult a Licensed healthcare provider for any medical related conditions.






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Work On Your Posture For the New Year

Skeleton with bad posture

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We’ve become lazy. Our lifestyles have changed and now we are paying the price with our posture. Drooping neck, shoulders rolled forward, too much standing, too much sitting. I mean this applies to everyone of you reading this and the person next to you… or the first person that pops into your head. It’s not hard to find bad posture and I’m constantly working on it myself. What to do, oh, what, to, do. I enjoy a little drama.

So along with your weight loss regimen and your workout regimen, add in a posture regimen. It’s the cherry on top and it’ll make you feel great. In addition I’ve always been a fan of practicing good posture when working out and not overworking any specific body part. Stretching helps to relax muscles and realign the bones. It helps the qi to flow. It helps to balance the pull between the muscles. It makes you feel good, perhaps even joyful. The benefits of elongating the muscles, amazing.

Picture from the book "The posture of school children, with its home hygiene and new efficiency methods for school training"
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Focus on your Center

Yoga… ’nuff said. If you practice it then keep going. If you don’t then start.

Tai chi helps to improve posture. It is one of the first lessons we cover when I teach. My teachers were very strict on the subject because bad posture ruins your form and disrupts your energy. It prevents you from generating the full power that you’re capable of.

Breath from your center, activate what is known as the lower dan tian, which is located about an inch and a half below your belly button. To be more accurate it’s actually located 1.5 cun below, and a cun is a unit of measurement used in Traditional Chinese medicine to measure the distance of acupuncture points. Geez so we can get deep into the subject, but back on the topic of the lower abdomen, this area can be focused upon with your attention and breath. Practice deep breathing to this area and try to bring your thoughts and focus to this area as well. You will notices within 30 seconds you will begin to feel more relaxed and focused. Don’t forget to relax your shoulders.

Get Off The Computer, Go Walk!

’nuff said. Also walking is a great time to practice great posture. Muscles may feel sore at first but it’s because the right postural muscles need time to build up. Eventually they learn muahahahah…

Ask A Professional On Posture:

Expert advice? I asked two of my colleagues who work with me, Dr. Rommil Fernandez, D.C. and Dr. Bruce Householder, D.C. for some insight into the importance of good posture.

Dr. Fernandez stresses the importance of good posture and says that spinal alignment helps to keep the nerves free from being irritated. He also dislikes a certain position of sitting which he calls the “wilted and defeated” position, with shoulders slumped forward and neck flexed down.

Man sitting with bad posture.

Dr. Bruce says that compression of the spinal nerve, especially when seated, can lead to DJD, or Degenerative Joint Disease.

Chiropractic care can help to deal with subluxations which are misaligned vertebrae. Massage therapy can help to muscles to relax and decrease tension. Acupuncturist can tailor treatments and advise of ways to improve posture. The key is to seek treatment and understand it takes time.

Hope this helps keeps your energy flowing throughout the year.


Dr. Rommil Fernandez D.C.
Dr. Bruce Householder, D.C.
730 N. Mariposa St. Suite 101
Burbank, Ca 91702

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