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Vote for Greenleaf Clinic for the Best of Vancouver!

Greenleaf Cinic, Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Eastern Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Vancouver



Best of Vancouver 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards has returned!


The Georgia Straight is hosting its annual Best of Vancouver Reader’s Choice Awards this year where locals can vote for their favourite people, places and businesses that they believe deserve the recognition and support. The winners of the Best of Vancouver Reader’s Choice Awards will be included in the Georgia Straight’s issue of the Best of Vancouver 2020.


Greenleaf Clinic has been nominated for the Best of Vancouver for the past five years in a row thanks to our wonderful clients, friends and family. Please continue to show support for our clinic and vote for Greenleaf!


Vote here:


Voting will close in mid-October and the results will appear in the Georgia Straight’s Best of Vancouver issue on November 19.

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Boost Your Immune System


immune system, eastern medicine, greenleaf acupuncture clinic


It’s not a lie when we say the key to good health is having a strong immune system. Your body is constantly fighting with bacterias, viruses, and other toxins that we inhale or eat every day. The goal of traditional Eastern Medicine is to create a balance in the body, helping the body’s qi or energy force. When the qi is an imbalance, the body is more prone to catch the flu easily and leads to muscle pain, high-stress levels, and more. At this time of the year, a strong immune system is crucial to protect oneself against seasonal infections. Especially with COVID-19, we must have a strong immune system to block the virus entering into our body. If you catch a cold or flu, it means that your immune system is weakened which also means that your body can pick up viruses easily.


Regulate Your Immune System


Most of us don’t think about boosting the immune system until we’re sick and we reach out to over-the-counter medications to relieve our symptoms. However, in Eastern Medicine, we think about ways to support our immune system safely and naturally using acupuncture and herbal medicine. Acupuncture naturally calms the central nervous system and moves the qi, helping the body to heal itself naturally. The key is that Chinese medicine does not treat the symptoms but it brings your immune system back to normal. If your defences are too weak, Eastern medicine can strengthen and stimulate the body signalling chemicals to bring your body into good health. Natural herbs used in herbal medicine to regulate and boost your immune system are honeysuckle, ginseng, elderberry, ginger, echinacea, and more.


Balanced Diet


A great way to keep a balanced immune system is to have a balanced diet. Eating a healthy diet with fresh fruit and vegetables are an important and easy measures everyone can take! Focus on incorporating more plants and plant-based food into your diet and you will notice a big difference. Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and more are great to intake, mushrooms, raw honey, citrus fruits, yogurt are all very good to protect your body from the flu, cold, or other illnesses. Keep in mind that sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed fats can weaken immunity. We recommend drinking tea to help with digestion and calming your body!


Lifestyle/Mental Health


Consider observing your whole lifestyle when you think about boosting your immune system. Keeping stress at bay is a key factor as stress causes our body to be fight mode, making our nervous system on high alert and suppresses the immune system. Finding ways to reduces stress such as acupuncture, meditation, exercise can improve your immune system and is great for your mental health. If your mental health is in a good state, your body will definitely be in better condition. Mental health affects every part of your body and lifestyle and seeking help when needed is important as well. Also, good quality sleep is an important factor in a strong immune system. Lack of good sleep disturbs the regulation of key chemicals in your immune system, so don’t neglect sleep and focus on getting quality sleep regularly! Remember that your whole lifestyle determines if your immune system goes down the drain or becomes healthy and strong!


Everyone's body and the immune system are different so it’s important for you to speak with a professional practitioner to tailor your treatment and routines to boost your immune system. Incorporate these easy to follow steps to strengthen your immune system and visit our clinic for more professional advice and treatments! At a difficult time like this, it’s crucially important for you to balance your immune system and the body to fight the bad bacteria and viruses that may enter your body. Don’t wait until your immune system is weakened, start caring for your body now so you don’t regret later! 

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Inclusive Environment for the LGBTQ+ Community


lgbtq, inclusive, greenleaf clinic, acupuncture, herbal medicine,


June is Pride Month. LGBTQ+ communities and LGBTQ+ supporters from all over the world celebrate together for the LGBTQ+ social and self-acceptance, legal rights, achievements, and pride. Every year, Vancouver sunbathes in the warm afterglow of Pride Month as well. Here at GreenLeaf Clinic, we also take this time to reflect on the importance and interpretation of LGBTQ+ friendly practice.


While we observe the society progresses towards more inclusive ideals via listening, being educated, and supporting, the medical industry is still looking for ways to provide a more welcoming, inclusive atmosphere for the LGBTQ+ community.


Here at GreenLeaf Clinic, we aspire to create an environment that is inclusive, warm, and mindful in big or small ways. Some examples of how we strive to be mindful of our LGBTQ+ patients and staff are down below.




The usage of gender-neutral language helps keep conversations more pleasant. First, it gives the impression that it is a mindful environment where patients can feel comfortable to speak openly about their lives without fear of judgment. It allows for more open communications and leaves both parties comfortable as it leaves fewer incidents where patients need to make corrections. One example is, using the term “partner” instead of other terms such as “husband,” “wife,” or “boyfriend”. Using gender-neutral language and pronouns helps the conversations smoother as patients do not have to discuss their lives without correcting wrong assumptions made about their family or relationship structure.


Listening To Patients


We understand that societal social development requires a willingness to listen,  receive, and educate oneself of information or ideas from a variety of communities. We would like to inform you that we are constantly looking for better ways to make a difference in patient experience. We always welcome new ideas or feedback in regard to inclusivity and mindfulness or regarding your experiences at GreenLeaf Clinic.


If you would like to know more about how acupuncture and herbal medicine can benefit you or a beloved member of the LGBTQ+ community, please reach out to our staff via phone, email, or our chatbot on our website.

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Rhinitis Diagnosis & Treatment

Rhinitis, Diagnosis and Symptoms, Greenleaf Clinic, Acupuncture, Herbal Treatment



Rhinitis, Diagnosis and Symptoms, Greenleaf Clinic, Acupuncture, Herbal Treatment




A 23-year-old male named Mason, visited our clinic with symptoms of hay fever. Whenever the weather got cold, he experienced the following symptoms: a runny nose with clear mucus, sneezing, nasal congestion, and coughing. Symptoms got worse in the mornings after he woke up from sleep or when the weather was windy and chilly. However, the symptoms improved after taking warm showers or after exercising and sweating. He had phlegm that was not yellow and murky, but clear and watery. Sometimes the mucus ran down the back of his throat which made him very uncomfortable. He digested well and slept well. There was also no issue with his feces and bowel movement. He was relatively more sensitive to the cold than others.




Herbal medicine


Ma Huang

Treats symptoms of coughing and runny nose by extending bronchial smooth muscle and stabling excessive secretion of respiratory mucus.

Xi Xin

Treats symptoms of runny nose with clear mucus and forming of clear phlegm by stimulating blood flow in the lining of the bronchial tubes.

Ban Xia

Treats symptoms of coughing, forming of phlegm caused by excessive secretion of respiratory mucus.




Ying Xiang (LI 20)

Treats nasal congestion by reacting directly on the nose.

Lie Que (LU 7) and Zhao Hai (KI 6)

Stabilizes breathing by reacting on the throat and the chest.

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Cure Depression & Insomnia By Treating Shortness of Breath

Shortness of Breath Depression Insomnia Greenleaf Clinic Acupuncture



Shortness of Breath Symptoms Greenleaf Clinic Acupuncture




A 26-year-old woman, Mia, visited our clinic with symptoms of depression and insomnia. Ever since she was young, she always experienced symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. She had issues falling asleep and when she did fall asleep, she slept usually around 5 AM. Therefore, she was often not able to go to school because she could not wake up in the morning. Some other symptoms she had are as follows: She experienced issues with digestion, and severe levels of bloating and nausea. Her chest and neck always felt heavy so she sighed often and avoided wearing clothes that were tight on the chest and neck. She often experienced shortness of breath and when breathing, she felt that the air was not reaching her lungs. Her lips were often dry and her eyes were dizzy. Her shoulders and neck were always stiff. Her legs often got swollen and felt very tired. Although her menstrual cycle was regular, her menstrual cramps were severe and often felt nauseous during menstruation.





Herbal medicine


Ju pi

Facilitates the function of the vagus nerve to increase the motility of the digestive tract, including the esophagus. It helps the food pass through the esophagus.

Sheng Jiang & Gin Seng

Treats symptoms of bloating and nausea by stimulating digestion.

Da zao

Treats shortness of breath by relieving hyper-tension in the muscles responsible for breathing.


In clinical trials, there are many cases where patients with neurological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia experience shortness of breath. These neurological symptoms often improve rapidly when the breathing stabilizes, and this patient is also the case. Her symptoms of depression and insomnia were cured, although there was no drug prescribed for this patient that directly affected neurological symptoms. As her breathing and digestion began to stabilize, her symptoms of depression and insomnia were cured.




Yin Tang and Shen Men (HT 7)

Treats insomnia with the effect of mental stabilization.

Lie Que (LU 7) and Zhao Hai (KI 6)

Stabilizes breathing by affecting the throat and the chest.

Nei Guan (PC6) and Gong Son (SP 4)

A combination of acupuncture points that treat various stomach diseases.

He Gu (LI 4) and Tai Chong (LR 3)

A renowned combination of acupuncture points that relaxes tensions.


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Acupuncture & Herbal Treatment for Insomnia

Greenleaf Clinic Acupuncture Herbal Treatment Insomnia Symptoms



Greenleaf Clinic Acupuncture Herbal Treatment Insomnia Symptoms




Logan, a 74-year-old man, visited our clinic mainly for the symptoms of insomnia. He had issues falling asleep and even when he did fall asleep, he would wake up often during his sleep. According to Logan, his recent day to day life looked like this: He would feel angry very easily and had difficulty controlling the anger. Also, whenever he got angry, his hands would shake violently. He never had much of an issue with digestion, but when he felt angry, it was difficult for Logan to digest his food. Also, the migraines he occasionally had, became worse and worse. Yet, there was not much of a difference in his urine or feces.





Herbal medicine


Yi Gan San


Yi Gan San is a formula consisting of Kang Zhu, Fu Ling, Chuan Xiong, Gou Teng, Dang Gui, Chai Hu, and Gan Cao. It is widely used to treat symptoms of excitement, anger, anxiety and restlessness. Gou Teng, the main drug, has a function that drops blood pressure and a function to stabilize mentally. It is therefore used to treat symptoms of headaches often. Chai Hu is used to treat all symptoms caused by decreased immune function due to long-term excitement of sympathetic nerves.


In Japan, Yi Gan San is widely used for symptoms such as depression, anxiety, nervousness, and sleep disorders. It is also known to be particularly effective in controlling emotions especially impulse, aggression, excitement, and restlessness. There is also a research report of Yi Gan San showing a clear improvement for the drug induced Parkinson's disease, which shows symptoms such as twitching of hands, twitching of the surroundings of lip and tongue.




Yin Tang and Shen Men (HT 7)

Treats insomnia with the effect of mental stabilization

Yang Fu (GB38) and Zhi Gou (SJ 6)

Treats symptoms of chest congestion by promoting lymphatic circulation of thoracic cavity

He Gu (LI 4) and Tai Chong (LR 3)

Most established combination of acupuncture points to ease tension in body

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Hypermetabolism & Excessive Sweating

Greenleaf Clinic Hypermetabolism Excessive Sweating Symptoms Treatment


Greenleaf Clinic Hypermetabolism Excessive Sweating Symptoms




Liam (pseudonym), a 32-year-old man, visited our clinic, saying that every summer he feels exhausted and tired to an extent where it is difficult for him to live his daily life. Thanks to his healthy and strong physique and stamina, he believes he does not feel particularly tired in any other seasons. Yet, whenever the weather gets hot, he feels his body becomes heavy and languished. According to Liam, his day to day life looks like this: He tends to sweat a lot, favours cold food such as ice cream and drinks a lot of water, but only cold water. Moreover, he has a very strong appetite, cannot endure hunger very well and eats in big portions. He sleeps well, but tends to talk a lot in his sleep.


Liam's metabolism is currently hyperventilated. When he eats, the process of digestion, absorption of nutrients, and conversion into energy occurs too quickly. The overproduced energy increases body temperature and to maintain homeostasis of the increased body temperature, Liam’s body sweats a lot. However, to counter the increased body temperature and to cool it off, he drinks a lot of cold water.


When the body temperature is already high in place, and the weather is also hot, it becomes very difficult to maintain homeostasis of internal body temperature. It is quite similar to the pathology of a heat stroke. When the body temperature does not drop, it becomes difficult for a person to sleep deeply, and sleep talking is often shown under these conditions. In fact, Liam cannot sleep deeply, but he feels as though he does since he is in a very healthy and strong physique.





Herbal Medicine


Shi Gao

Treats fatigue, thirst caused by hyper metabolism and treats acute inflammation on small spots and heat sensation caused by inflammation.

Zhi Mu

Replenishes fluids to treat symptoms such as night sweating, hot flash, dry mud, etc.

Gan Cao

Supplies body fluid to human tissues to prevent fluid loss.




Qu Chi (LI11) and Zhu San Li (ST36)

Regulates and stabilizes the hyperventilation of body metabolism.

Shao Cong (HT1) and Shoa Hai (HT3)

Treats heat strokes.

Yin Tang

Stabilizes and soothes the mind.

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Inflammation & Heartburn

Inflammation & Heartburn Symptoms Greenleaf Clinic




Adrian (pseudonym), a 36-year-old man, visited the hospital for symptoms of heartburn. He often suffered from indigestion, but even though he never overate or was under a lot of stress, the symptoms of heartburn and feeling stuffed would get worse. There were times he felt nauseous and would vomit. He would also often experience diarrhea and watery stools, and these symptoms would get worse when he drank beer or cold food. Additionally, it would take him more than an hour to fall asleep. Morevoer, he would feel angry, particularly more when under stress. If he ever felt anxious, his heart would flutter and his face would blush easily.


Adrian's symptoms indicated typical inflammatory reactions such as a burning sensation and stomach pain. He also showed symptoms such as diarrhea after eating cold food, which indicated symptoms related to coldness in the large intestine. This happens as blood flow is concentrated onto the stomach to treat the particular inflammation and the blood flow would then be relatively low in the large intestine. Less blood flow causes the large intestine to drop in temperature and causes vibration in the large intestine, which results in diarrhea. The reason why the body shivers in cold temperature is to maintain the current, warm temperature by shaking the muscles. Thus, the same scientific logic is applied to the large intestine.


The reason why a person experiences a feeling of anger, heart fluttering, and redness in the face under stress is because the sympathetic nerves intensify when under stress. Imagine being chased by a bear. To run away as fast as possible, a rapid increase in energy in the heart  is necessary to supply more blood to the muscles.





Herbal medicine


Combination of Huang Lian and Huang Qin

Treat the inflammation in the stomach to ease symptoms of heartburn.

Huang Lian

Treat symptoms of palpitation by easing the sympathetic nerves.

Ban Xia

Treat nausea by normalizing the discharge from the stomach’s mucous membrane.

Gan Jiang

Treat diarrhea by increasing the large intestine’s temperature.




Nei Guan (PC6) and Gong Son (SP 4)

A combination of acupuncture points to treat various diseases and inflammations in the stomach.

Zhu San Li (ST36)

Accelerate the peristalsis in the stomach to treat acid reflux.

Qu Chi(LI11) and Hu Gu(LI4)

Normalize the movements in the large intestine to treat diarrhea.

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Eastern & Western Medicine’s View to Liver Function

Eastern & Western Medicine Liver Function Greenleaf Clinic Acupuncture



The biggest challenge faced when teaching Eastern medicine to students in school is that the physiological functions of liver, bowels, heart, and spleen described in Eastern medicine are told differently from what modern medicine has discovered. For example, in modern medicine, the function of a liver is to detoxify and discharge various toxic substances, process and store the food intake as nutrients, make and release bile to aid digestion. However in Eastern medicine, the key function of the liver is controlling the flow of Qi (energy). Qi must flow smoothly to successfully control emotions, digest, and regulate menstrual cycles, or else, one may show symptoms including anger, indigestion, and irregular menstruation. There are parts that are alike and parts that are different to the comprehension of the physiological function of the liver. Students understand this discrepancy in two main ways.


First, the students believe the ancients saw and knew something that modern medicine had not yet uncovered. Therefore, without truly understanding why, they memorize and utilize the knowledge. The second tactic is to understand the ancients’ shallow understanding of the human body at the time when science had not yet developed much. Students think, ‘Let's move on to the extent that the ancients understood.’


Everyone perceives and understands the discrepancy in his or her own way, memorizes and moves on, because there is still so much more to learn. The fundamental reason for this extreme misunderstanding originates from the difference between Eastern medicine and Western medicine's approach to treatment itself. Of course, in ancient times, the accumulation of human body knowledge was shallow, so there was no knowing how or why a disease was created. They could only observe the symptoms of diseases. Treatment began with detailed documentation and observation of the patient's symptoms.


A series of symptoms such as anger, chest frustration, frequent sighs, sore shoulder muscles, being surprised easily, indigestion, stomachache, and so on have been documented, and acupuncture points and herbal medicine were discovered to treat these symptoms. Then, there was contemplation on how to explain these series of symptoms – the syndrome, and what physiologic terminology to name it. To summarize, the ancients assigned these symptoms as 'abnormalities of liver function' and named the syndrome 'Liver Qi stagnation'.


The greatest advantage of this approach is that regardless of the name of the disease, it can be treated even without fully understanding the cause. If you continue to test, verify and record the syndrome and its treatment methods, then medical practitioners in later decades will continue to develop them in clinical practices. This is how clinical verification systems over 2,000 years are built.


The problem is that what ancients temporarily gave the term, ‘River Qi stagnation’ or ‘the abnormalities of physiological function of a liver’ do not match the modern human body knowledge. A series of anger, chest frustration and frequent sighs were abnormalities in the autonomic nervous system responding to stress, and in fact, they were not related to any functions of a liver. Since the term was temporary anyway, the discoveries can be easily transferred within the modern medical knowledge. Also, there is no change to the treatment method as it has already been validated, but it is constantly confusing Westerners and students who are unfamiliar with the terms of Eastern medicine.


On the contrary, Western medicine first learns the causes and mechanisms of the disease based on anatomy and physiology, and then learns the appropriate treatment accordingly. A treatment approach that is impossible without the knowledge of the cause and mechanism of the disease, which is the reason why there must be a lot of tests to be run before a treatment begins. The advantage to this approach is that it is easy to create a treatment protocol that everyone can easily understand and implement, but the disadvantage would be that a treatment cannot begin for diseases with an unknown cause. There are still many secrets behind the human body that modern medicine has not revealed.


The terms of Eastern medicine are often difficult to comprehend and understand. It is even more difficult as it is translated into another language, English. But the essence of Eastern medicine is not in its elusive concept, but in the combination and treatment of the symptoms that people of the past have carefully documented in clinical trials for over 2,000 years. This is why Eastern medicine is still in the spotlight today.

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Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang Deficiency Health Greenleaf Acupuncture Clinic



What is Yin and Yang in the body?


Yin and Yang are the philosophical and scientific terms of ancient Asia. A book would not even be sufficient to contain all the concepts of the yin and yang so in this article, we will be only mentioning how the concept of yin and yang was created from certain phenomena or symptoms inside a human body.


Yin essentially talks about body fluids and nutrition. In ancient times, people suffered from acute epidemics and often lost body fluids after prolonged periods of sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. Lack of body fluid causes blood pressure to decrease, yet increases pulse rate to compensate. To cope with the decrease in body fluids, there are many cases where the blood circulation changes and a heat sensation is felt on a local or pinpoint area on the human body. Thus, symptoms such as burning palms or soles of your feet, blushing face, and a slight fever. Principally, symptoms such as dryness caused by lack of fluids, dry mouth, and dry skin appear. Although in the beginning, the symptoms due to acute loss of body fluid were focused upon yet over time, it was found that some symptoms of menopause are an extension of these acute symptoms. These symptoms later extend to chronic conditions. This summarizes now what is called Yin deficiency.


Acupuncturists often diagnose menopause symptoms as Yin deficiency, which is essentially a state of chronic exhaustion of body fluids due to hormonal changes or stress. This condition of chronic exhaustion of body fluids is also experienced by patients in recovery, who suffered a high fever such as typhoid. Ancient acupuncturists discovered many great medical materials such as Radix Rehmanniae Preparata, Radix Rehmanniae, Rhizoma Anemarrhenae, and Cortex Celliodendri throughout long-term research and increased treatment rate by applying and integrating these materials. The reason why herbal medicine has an excellent effect for the treatment of menopause symptoms comes from historical experiences.


Yang is about body temperature and sexual energy. Often in disaster movies, you can see people stranded in a very cold area trying very hard not to fall asleep, even by slapping themselves on the cheek, saying they would die if they fell asleep in the cold. Some of these acute external temperatures are extremely low making it difficult to maintain body temperature, yet chronic instability of body temperature is also caused by suffering from an illness for a long time, or by the weakened heart due to aging. Whether acute or chronic, the symptoms of sleepiness will appear for both. This summarizes what is now called Yang deficiency.


In the early days of the development of Eastern medicine, the discussion of body temperature was centered, but eventually the concept of Yang expands to discuss sexual energy; as medicines that raise body temperature, such as Radix Agiti Lateralis Preparata, Rhizoma Zingiberis, and Cortex Cinnamomi, and drugs that improve Libido such as Cornu Cervi Pantrichum, Radix Morindae Officialis, Herba Epimedii, all of which boost awareness of Yang. Even before Viagra, in ancient Asia, research and experimentation on drugs that improve Libido had been very active, which theoretically took place under the concept of Yang.


If an acupuncturist who diagnosed you as your Yang is deficient, you can understand it as for any reason, your body temperature is not well-maintained and therefore, you may be more sensitive to the cold or your Libido has decreased.

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