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The Benefits of Moxibustion

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When people say Eastern medicine, the first thing that usually comes to mind is acupuncture or herbal medicine. However, moxibustion is a very big component of Eastern medicine with so many great healing benefits. Though not quite as popular as acupuncture or herbal medicine, moxibustion is highly effective and is especially great for treatments that require warming up the body. Moxa comes from the mugwort plant and moxibustion is a therapeutic method of burning and warming by placing the moxa-wool or other medicated materials to points on the human body. With the help of the mild heat of the ignited moxa and the action of the medicine and through the meridian transmission, moxibustion has the therapeutic effect of warming and promoting the flow of qi and blood, as well as strengthening the body’s resistance to eliminate pathogenic factors.


Methods Using Moxibustion


There are various forms of moxibustion treatment. Practitioners will sometimes roll the pure moxa into a ball and place it on the end of an acupuncture needle, which will then transfer the heat from the moxa to the surface of the skin through the needle and deeper into the acupuncture point. It can also be rolled into a stick to burn over certain areas of the body or have a more direct approach with moxa being placed on specific acupuncture points in the shape of a cone.


Benefits of Moxibustion


With moxa’s warming effect, this form of treatment is most often used for symptoms that worsen with the cold and get better with heat. Examples include muscle or joint pain, fatigue, anemia and immunity issues. In Eastern medicine, the cold is oftentimes perceived as being an interference to acupuncture channels. Moxibustion can target these cold and ‘blocked’ areas by warming up the channels with direct application of heat. As a result, this helps promote the movement of blood and qi which is extremely important for pain relief. Moxibustion is especially helpful for those experiencing menstrual cramps. Moxibustion is also helpful in stimulating specific acupuncture points with its heat substance. By applying moxa on an acupuncture point on the little toe, it can even help to flip a breech baby.


If you find acupuncture to be an effective form of treatment and want to kick it up a notch with moxa, moxibustion can be a great alternative to try. Moxibustion not only provides you with the results, but the process is very comforting and relaxing, and leaves your body feeling warm and energized.

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4 Health Benefits of Herbal Medicine

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Herbal medicine is a vital component of Eastern medicine and has been used for thousands of years as a form of treatment. Herbs are considered a fundamental source of therapy for many acute and chronic conditions, and is highly popular in many East Asian communities. Herbal medicine is effective in treating various kinds of ailments and conditions that range from something simple as the common cold to more serious conditions such as digestive disorders, pain and skin conditions. Similar to acupuncture, herbal medicine can target symptoms to help the body regain its balance and strengthen itself.


1. Herbal medicine is tailored to your specific needs.


Herbal medicine is made specifically for each individual. Each herbal medicine is designed with specific herbs and ingredients to treat specific conditions. Where Western medicine’s drugs and supplements may be prescribed as generic use for many individuals, Eastern medicine’s use of herbal medicine is to treat each individual’s unique condition and target specific symptoms. As a result, the benefits of herbal medicine are more tailored to the individual and can be more effective in seeing results.


2. Herbal medicine can boost energy levels.


Herbal medicine is not a type of medicine that targets only one area of the body. Rather, herbal medicine targets the root of the problem while ensuring the body as a whole is addressed as in Eastern medicine, the flow of qi or energy is largely considered. Herbal medicine focuses on three main aspects: digestion, sleep and mood. When digestion is properly functioning, nutrients from food are better absorbed creating regular bowel movements. When the hours and quality of sleep are at moderate levels, the mood is consequently improved. With all three aspects working together at appropriate levels, the body’s healing state is intensified and energy is increased in the body.


3. Herbal medicine helps manage stress and puts the body at ease.


Stress is inevitable in life and it is a matter of whether we can find ways to manage or reduce the amount of stress. When the body is stressed, it is put into ‘fight or flight’ mode which escalates the sympathetic nervous system. Remaining in this state for long periods of time can be harmful to the body and cause negative health effects such as indigestion and insomnia. Both acupuncture and herbal medicine in Eastern medicine have the ability to put our bodies into a healing state where the parasympathetic nervous system can take over.


4. Herbal medicine can reduce inflammation.


Inflammation can be a key factor when it comes to analyzing the overall health of the body. Reducing inflammation is highly important because inflammation can be a signal for other significant health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Herbal medicine can reduce inflammation through the herbs’ anti-inflammatory effects. Chinese herbs such as Paeonia lactiflora Pall, which is a barkless dried root, has been used to treat arthritis, muscle cramps, spasms and fever.


Herbal medicine is an excellent addition to have in your life. Herbal medicine provides numerous health benefits that support and strengthen the body’s ability to defend for itself. The greatest benefit out of them all is that they are completely harmless with little to no side effects. With its natural ingredients of herbs, herbal medicine is a safe and healthy way for enhancing one’s life.

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Acupuncture and Low Back Pain

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Low back pain is by far the most common reason people seek a health care practitioner, with 80% of the world’s population reporting back pain at least once in their lives. In the United States, chronic low back pain is the single highest category of scheduled doctor visits.


The main causes of back pain come from strains (tears in muscles caused by sudden force), sprains (overstretching one or more ligaments in the back), herniated disks (a disc that bulges out of its normal place between two vertebrae, putting pressure on nerves) and sciatica (term that describes pain extending from the low back down into the buttocks and leg due to irritation of a larger nerve in the spine). These can happen from injuries, improper lifting, poor posture, weakening of supporting muscles and ligaments, and degenerative changes.


There is the famous Chinese saying: “If there is free flow, there is no pain; if there is no free flow, there is pain” which describes the role of acupuncture on low back pain very well. What this saying means is that when there is an obstruction in the normal flow of qi, any kind of pain or illness may arise. Acupuncture’s role in combating this pain is by restoring the free flow of qi.


Three Disharmonies for Lower Back Pain


The three types of qi disruptions in the body that result in lower back pain are Kidney qi, qi and blood stagnation, and invasion of cold and dampness.


The low back is most closely related to the health of the Kidney system with the majority of low back pain conditions being associated with the Kidney. In Eastern medicine, to treat lower back pain, the Kidney system is almost always considered in case there is any Kidney deficiency. A weak Kidney qi is detrimental to the free flow of qi throughout the entire body and must be targeted. A strong Kidney system leads to strong Kidney qi which ultimately treats lower back pain naturally in the body.


A stagnation of qi and blood refers to congestion in the lumbar region due to the flow of qi unsuccessfully flowing along the meridians. The result is a feeling of stabbing pain in the lower back that may worsen with movement and create a feeling of stiffness and tightness. Qi and blood can stagnate from a number of reasons. Trauma due to severe movement may be one cause such as lifting, repetitive strain, or experiencing an accident. Another factor is an insufficiency of qi or blood in the body. This can result from several internal factors that include poor diet, too much activity, insufficient rest, excess of the emotions fear and anxiety, and more.


The third disharmony refers to an invasion of cold and dampness which may affect the lower back region and cause pain. The pain can worsen in the morning and especially when the weather is cold and damp. This type of pain may improve with movement and heat application, however, a weak qi or immune system is more susceptible to external invasions.


Acupuncture is best known for its ability to stop pain in general and is highly effective in treating lower back pain. Acupuncture is effective in treating both acute and chronic back pain because it lessens the pain response locally as it relaxes nearby muscles.

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Overcome Anxiety with Acupuncture

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Anxiety occurs from a number of factors but the most common reason is high levels of stress. Stress can happen from conflict, being in crowded areas, overworking, and more depending on the individual. However, these days, many people are becoming more and more stressed due to the pandemic and the need to constantly stay indoors. With the rise in the number of people becoming anxious, worried and nervous, Eastern medicine and acupuncture can serve as a beneficial tool for overcoming anxiety.


Causes of Anxiety


Eastern medicine takes into consideration how both the mental and physical aspects of our body affect our overall health. When speaking about anxiety and stress, a few factors take part. First, an anxious body leaves a lack of energy flow or qi which can cause our bodies to become tense and on-edge. Moreover, sleep and food, two vital components of a healthy body, play a large role in whether we feel rested and calm or restless and drained. A lack of sleep and food can overwhelm our body’s resources and create a qi imbalance. This qi imbalance gets stuck in the upper body leaving many to feel symptoms of anxiety such as excessive thoughts, chest tightness, indigestion, nausea, and shortness of breath.


Acupuncture Treatment for Anxiety


Acupuncture can relieve these symptoms of anxiety by unblocking or opening up the areas of qi imbalance. The body is made up of meridians that flow from head to toe. Acupuncture targets these meridians as a balancing method to treat any qi imbalances found in the body. Acupuncture uses local or distal points to initiate the power of qi or energy flow to the unbalanced part of the body and helps it regain its original condition. By freeing up the energy flow throughout the entire body, the trapped energy in the upper body can properly descend to the lower body, in the case of anxiety, and restore the body’s balance.


Acupuncture's Effect on the Nervous System


Acupuncture also has the power of rebalancing the central nervous system. For people with anxiety, the sympathetic nervous system overbalances the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system which is in charge of our fight or flight response to danger, tends to be in overdrive for anxious people as they are constantly stressed, tense and on-edge. Acupuncture can encourage the parasympathetic nervous system to take more control and help us feel more relaxed.


Everyone experiences anxiety at least at one point in their lives. During stressful times, it is important to try to determine the root cause of the problem in order to find a solution. Acupuncture works by identifying the reason behind symptoms of anxiety to let the body heal naturally after going through sessions that open up the blocked areas of qi. If you are experiencing anxiety, consider acupuncture as a safe and natural form of treatment.

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Acne Treatment with Eastern Medicine

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Teenage years are usually when you are most susceptible to severe and visible acne, while adult acne may also be a common problem for some. Regardless of the age, acne is undesirable and can leave many feeling vulnerable and self-conscious. These feelings of sensitivity can lead to other more damaging issues to the body, such as depression and anxiety, which can have an adverse effect on one's overall health. Fortunately, Eastern medicine has a positive effect on acne treatments that work from the body’s inside out.


The Reason Behind Acne


In Eastern medicine, acne and other inflammatory skin conditions are seen as a result of a combination of two factors: excess heat and dampness. When either of these factors are in excess in the body, a variety of skin problems may arise including acne.


Heat is also referred to as yang and is needed in the body for movement, however too much of it can cause problems. Heat can be shown in the body either internally or externally.


Internal heat refers to the emotional pressure that is constantly restrained. The period of adolescence is particularly a time of experiencing various emotions with most being bottled inside and not released, which can lead to serious internal issues when not expressed for long periods of time. Teenage years are also a time of intense hormonal fluctuations which can cause an excess of hormones for some. An excess in some hormones can also be a reason for internal heat. Blood deficiency can also be the cause of too much internal heat. Not consuming enough or the right amount of nutrient-dense foods can lead to blood deficiency in the body. It is quite common for many teenagers to not be eating proper amounts of healthy food which can make them more susceptible to being blood deficient. Blood is a way for the body to remove waste and without a sufficient amount of blood to be transported, inflammation can appear on the skin.


External heat refers to a variation of chemical irritations on the skin, excess physical exertion and consumption of overstimulating foods.


Dampness is very similar to heat in that the cause can be both internal and external. Yin or moisture, is necessary for everyone to function properly. In Eastern medicine, dampness refers to the inability for the body to metabolize fluids well which can lead to excess fluids remaining in the body. Bacteria flourishes in damp conditions making a great environment for acne.


An internal cause for dampness can be a weak digestive system struggling due to irregular eating habits, whereas an external cause can result from the consumption of fatty or greasy foods.


Acne Treatment with Eastern Medicine


Western medicine treats acne solely as an inflammation disorder, however the benefit of Eastern medicine is that the root cause is determined and treatment is directed towards targeting that root cause. Whether it is inflammation associated with gastrointestinal problems such as gastritis or constipation, or inflammation correlated with stress such as physiological impoverishment or anxiety disorder, Eastern medicine is a reliable source of treatment.


A combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine is seen as the most effective form of treatment for acne. Depending on the patient’s conditions, there are different herbs to target different needs. Some herbs also have antibacterial properties that are highly effective when targeting acne-related problems.


To learn more about acne treatment and to determine the reason behind your acne, visit here:

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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As summer turns to fall and fall turns to winter, we experience various changes in our lives. From shorter daylight hours to colder temperatures and less motivation to get outdoors, some people are affected by these changes more than others. Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is a condition that is considered as a form of depression. SAD is a relatively common condition for many people around the world. However, SAD appears to have a stronger effect on people living in higher altitudes where the shift from day to night is more intense. Some of the symptoms of SAD include mood swings, changes in eating habits, hypersomnia, lethargy, decreased social interaction and decreased libido.


Why it happens from an Eastern medicine perspective


According to Eastern medicine, there is the yin and yang, which are opposing forces that complement each other to form a greater whole. Yin is positive in sign and refers to masculinity, warmth, activity and brightness, whereas yang is negative in sign and refers to femininity, cold, passiveness and nourishment. In relation to the seasons, the yin cycle starts in autumn when the number of daylight hours begin to decrease and ends in time for the spring equinox when the days and nights are relatively the same. During the period of time in between when the yin cycle is in effect, people tend to lean towards more sadness, darkness and isolation as the days get shorter. In addition, everything seems to slow down in the winter months due to the nature of yin. With the same busy lives that people are living, additional exhaustion and stress can be added as a result. Yang energy in contrast, can work to counteract the effects of these symptoms to restore a healthy balance.


Another reason for SAD is the body’s inability to properly adjust to a new circadian rhythm. With the transition of the seasons, our body’s undergo a new circadian rhythm to adapt to the darker days and new schedule. When we have difficulty adjusting is when SAD can occur and create a jet lag effect in our bodies.


Eastern medicine solutions to SAD


Eastern medicine can be an effective form of treatment for people suffering from SAD. Eastern medicine’s way of treating patients is to look at the body as a whole which is very important in ensuring a healthy balance mentally and physically when it comes to treating SAD. Eastern medicine, such as acupuncture and herbal medicine, has the ability to tap into the body’s qi or energy flow to restore balance. Acupuncture works to target specific points and meridians so that blocked areas of the body can flow naturally to achieve properly functioning flow in the body. Food is also an important part of Eastern medicine which is why herbal medicine is seen as a powerful tool. With the right food, vitamins and herbs to warm up the body during the cold winter months, you are one step closer to restoring balance in the body.


SAD can be a great interference to one’s daily life. If you are struggling with any symptoms of SAD or depression-like symptoms, it may be hard to search for recovery solutions by yourself. Speak to a health practitioner to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to get back to good health.

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The Role of Liver & Tips to Improve Liver Health

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The Liver plays an important role in overall health and wellbeing. The role of the Liver is different in Eastern and Western medicine. In Western medicine, the Liver is in charge of regulating the body’s digestion, metabolism, detoxification and immune modulation. In Eastern medicine, the Liver has a much more complex role in the human body.


Eastern medicine views the Liver as being a connection to other internal organs to ensure that the flow of Qi or energy flow is regulated and that blood is properly stored. Without a properly functioning Liver, Qi cannot be efficiently pushed to all relevant organs. An ineffective Liver and Qi flow can cause problems in the future where stagnant diseases and symptoms can arise.


Tips to Improve Liver Health


1. Diet


Eastern medicine views food as a form of medicine. What we eat and put in our body directly has an effect on our health. Foods that are good for the Liver are green foods, sour foods and ‘cooling’ foods. Green foods include vegetables that are green such as asparagus and broccoli. An example of a sour food is a lemon which can provide a good form of detox for the body and eliminate toxins. ‘Cooling’ foods are those that have cooling properties and not necessarily cold foods, and can be both fruits and vegetables.


2. Healthy Mind


A healthy mind supports a healthy body. How we react and feel is directly associated with the flow of Qi. Suppressed emotions such as anger and frustration can affect Qi flow which can then harm the function of the Liver. Therefore, it is best to express emotions rather than to suppress them for long periods of time.


3. Natural Remedies


An imbalance Liver can be treated naturally in a variety of ways. Acupuncture treatment is viewed as an effective method in Eastern medicine. Acupuncture can unblock vital energy channels to promote a better flow of Qi. Cupping therapy can also be beneficial as it detoxes the body and encourages a restoration of normal energy channels. Acupressure massage or Tui Na is another natural treatment that uses rhythmic compression along energy channels of the body to manipulate and lubricate the joints. Tui Na directly affects the flow of energy by holding and pressing the body at acupressure points.


4. Herbal Medicine


Similar to how the food we eat affects our health, herbal medicine is an alternative method of treatment for Liver protection. The benefits of herbal medicine are the use of all natural herbs for the direct benefit of Qi movement, and the formulation specifically designed to suit each individual’s health concerns. Consuming herbal medicine can repair liver damage or assist proper liver function. Herbal medicine is non-invasive and can easily be added to daily routines.



Liver health is a vital element in the human body and is especially important in ensuring other parts of the body are able to function properly. A weak Liver may not be evident at first which is why it is highly important to always ensure the Liver is being taken care of at all times. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort associated with a weak Liver, contact us to book a consultation.

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Causes of Insomnia from an Eastern Medicine Perspective

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Insomnia is a form of sleep disorder that refers to an interference in normal sleep patterns. A person with insomnia will experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Symptoms of insomnia include frequently waking up during the middle of the night and having trouble falling back asleep. In Eastern medicine, insomnia is recognized as an imbalance of energy, also known as the yin and yang qi.


Sleep is considered to be a part of the natural rhythm of yin and yang qi in the body. The role of yin and yang qi in the body is one of opposite roles. The yang qi functions during the day to fuel the body’s activities and keep us warm and alert. Meanwhile, the yin qi takes over during the night to provide a cooling, quiet and nourishing energy for the body. The yin qi helps our bodies slow down in preparation for the night’s sleep. However, a disruption in the yin qi can cause an imbalance and therefore result in insomnia.


Some factors behind yin and yang qi imbalance:


  • Dietary habits including heavy consumption of food, caffeine and alcohol
  • Emotional burdens such as anger and extreme happiness
  • Mental and physical exhaustion
  • Prolonged illness


Some factors behind the cause of insomnia in Eastern medicine:


  • Liver fire
  • Heart qi deficiency
  • Heart fire
  • Spleen qi deficiency


Insomnia, though may seem harmless at first, can develop into a much more serious health issue if left untreated. Luckily, Eastern medicine has been observed to show significant improvements in sleep through acupuncture and herbal medicine. With the ability to cure irregular sleep patterns, Eastern medicine is an effective, safe and reliable alternative of treatment. To learn more about how Eastern medicine helps treat insomnia, read our case study:

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How to Strengthen the Spleen

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We discussed the importance of the spleen qi in our previous blog post, now let us talk about some helpful tips to strengthen your spleen. In Eastern medicine, different organ systems in the body have different responsibilities, and each works in conjunction with one another to keep the body healthy as a whole. One of those organs is the spleen. The spleen is one of the most commonly weakened organs in the body as daily lifestyle patterns can naturally cause our spleen to weaken. Common health problems include digestive issues, insomnia and depression. Keeping the spleen healthy is the same as keeping our body’s very core foundation strong and healthy, which is why it is crucial we take care of our spleen.


Avoid Cold Foods and Drinks


As the spleen in Eastern medicine is responsible for a healthy digestive system, reducing cold foods and drinks can help the spleen function properly. It is best to keep the spleen warm and dry. Cold foods can cause the spleen to experience a heavy toll as it works harder to digest the cold foods. Cold foods can refer to any food that has a cold thermal nature such as raw foods and seafood, as well as foods that are physically cold like iced drinks, ice cream and frozen food. An easy tip to follow is to stick to lukewarm water rather than iced beverages.


Get Rest


Getting enough sleep is one of the simplest yet easily overlooked steps to maintaining good spleen health. Lack of sleep is not just tiring on your body, but it also causes the spleen’s energy to be exhausted. An exhaustion in the spleen can lead to a variety of other health issues such as digestive problems and depression. Aside from getting enough sleep, it is important for our bodies to regularly recharge itself by taking breaks. Especially during stressful times, taking short breaks can go a long way for our spleen.


Chew Your Food


The spleen in Eastern medicine is commonly known as the stomach, and the stomach is in charge of breaking down all the food in our body. As the spleen needs to break down foods to be used for the rest of the body as energy, the spleen needs to be strong enough to do so. Chewing your food carefully and thoroughly is a great way to take some burden off from the spleen. By chewing your food for a longer time, the less overworked the spleen is, and the better it can use its energy for other functions in the body.


Other Alternatives


Eastern medicine is an effective alternative to strengthening your spleen. Acupuncture and herbal medicine both focus on spleen qi deficiency and aim to create a better qi flow in the entire body. Some herbs that help with spleen qi deficiency are red ginseng, jujube dates and pseudostellaria root.



If you feel as though you feel generally weak, tired, experience poor appetite, shallow breathing, as well as other symptoms, it is advised you seek a medical practitioner. Eastern medicine can greatly improve your spleen’s health as well as your overall well-being, and is an effective alternative to consider.

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Spleen Qi Deficiency in Eastern Medicine

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Eastern medicine looks at the body as a whole with various inter-connected systems working together in harmony. Problems in one part of the body may be a result of a lack of energy flow or qi through the entire body. While the spleen in human anatomy refers to the immune system and is responsible for the production of white blood cells, spleen qi means something entirely different in Eastern medicine. The spleen in Eastern medicine is one aspect of the body that has tremendous responsibility in the overall health of the body.


What is spleen qi?


In Eastern medicine, the spleen is paired with the stomach and is responsible for ensuring food substances are properly broken down into nutrients in the digestive system. Once digested, it is then transported to the lungs, where the heart and lungs function to generate qi and convert the nutrients into blood. Thus, the spleen is tremendously important as it is at the core of producing qi, blood and fluids for the body.


With proper flow of qi from the spleen, the digestive system functions smoothly. However when the qi is blocked, issues of flow may arise. Blood and all fluids may become backed up or cause sagging of the organs. Other symptoms may arise as well, such as a loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, pale skin, shallow breathing and dizziness.


Why is the spleen qi important?


As the spleen is responsible for transporting the nutrients, blood and fluids to the lungs, the pushing action of the qi is greatly important. When the spleen qi cannot properly ascend to the heart and lungs, issues concerning flow blockage may arise. The spleen qi is also responsible for the descending action of the digestive system. The descending process allows for the spleen qi to excrete the undigested food out of the body. Similar to how the ascending action is important, the descending action is just as important and complements the ascending process to achieve a well-functioning digestive system.


Another reason behind the importance of the spleen qi is its ability to regulate the blood within the blood vessels. A weak spleen qi causes the person to be more susceptible to bruises, blood in the stools and urine, and other bleeding problems.



The spleen qi holds great significance in the body’s overall health and should not be easily ignored. A healthy spleen qi means a healthy flow in the body as a whole and a proper balance of the spleen. Strengthening your spleen function is one of the most important considerations of Eastern medicine, and will help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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