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04 Apr 2024

By: Sheryl Tay

Blog, Acupuncture, Autoimmune Disease, General Health, Latest and Newest about TCM Singapore Blog | Yi TCM, Pain management, Physician Tay 郑医师, TCM Food, TCM Herbs

What is Psoriasis? Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition characterized by patches of red, inflamed skin with silvery scales. It affects millions of people worldwide, causing discomfort, pain, and emotional distress. Psoriasis in Chinese is 白疕 (Bai Bi), also known as 牛皮癣 (Niu Pi Xian) or 银屑病 (Yin Xie Bing). Risk factors of MS Psoriasis occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, speeding up the skin cell production process. Instead of taking weeks to develop and shed, skin cells turnover in days, leading to the buildup of thick, scaly patches. These patches can appear anywhere on the body but commonly affect the elbows, knees, groin and genitals, scalp, and lower back. The exact cause of psoriasis remains unclear, but factors such as genetics, environmental triggers, stress, and a compromised immune system are believed to play a role. Managing psoriasis involves reducing inflammation, controlling the immune response, and promoting healthy skin regeneration. Immune System Dysfunction: Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells triggering an overproduction of skin cells, leading to the characteristic symptoms of psoriasis, such as redness, inflammation, and the formation of skin plaques. Environmental Triggers: Various environmental factors can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms or trigger flare-ups. These triggers can include certain medications, infections, injury to the skin, and exposure to cold, dry weather. Unhealthy lifestyle such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and excessive alcohol consumption, can worsen psoriasis symptoms. Stress is also known to exacerbate psoriasis symptoms in many individuals. High levels of stress can trigger immune system responses that worsen inflammation and lead to more severe psoriasis flare-ups. These factors may not directly cause psoriasis, but they can contribute to the severity of the condition and make it more challenging to manage. Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes, particularly fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels, may impact psoriasis symptoms. Women often report changes in psoriasis severity during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Psoriasis In TCM, psoriasis is often attributed to imbalances in the body’s internal environment, particularly related to blood circulation, heat, and dampness. Treatment with TCM can help to reduce clinical symptoms, delay recurrence, reduce the side effects of western medicine and to enhance one’s quality of life. Types of Psoriasis: Blood Heat (血热证) : skin lesions that are red in colour, often in dot-like pattern, dry lips and throat, constipation Blood dryness (血虚风燥证) : skin lesions that are pale red in colour, often in a patchy pattern, skin lesions are dry and will crack and bleed Blood stasis (血瘀证) : skin lesions that are dark red in colour, often thick Dampness (湿毒蕴积证) : skin lesions that are red in colour, often wet, found usually in areas of the body where there are folds; joints feel sore and swollen, and heaviness in the lower limbs How TCM can help? TCM Treatments aim to slow down progression of the illness, reduce the frequency and severity of flare ups, and manage symptoms such as alleviate itch and decrease skin lesions. TCM takes on a holistic perspective, viewing psoriasis as an imbalance in the body. TCM psoriasis treatments focus on restoring harmony to the body’s internal systems, alleviating symptoms by addressing the root causes from within. Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and restore balance. For psoriasis, acupuncture can help regulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, and improve blood circulation. By targeting acupuncture points associated with the lungs, spleen, and kidneys, acupuncture can address underlying imbalances contributing to psoriasis symptoms. Herbal Medicine: Chinese herbal medicine are tailored to individual needs. Herbal formulations for psoriasis often include ingredients with anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, and blood-circulating properties. Common herbs used in TCM prescriptions for psoriasis include rehmannia, honeysuckle, sophora, and dittany bark. These herbs work synergistically to alleviate symptoms and address underlying imbalances. Psoriasis is a complex and challenging condition that requires a comprehensive approach to management. It’s essential to consult with a qualified TCM practitioner to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to individual needs and preferences.
Insights on Multiple Sclerosis and its Impact to Our Body

06 Mar 2024

By: Sheryl Tay

Blog, Autoimmune Disease, General Health, Latest and Newest about TCM Singapore Blog | Yi TCM, Physician Tay 郑医师, TCM Food, TCM Herbs

What is Multiple Sclerosis? Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is characterized by the immune system mistakenly attacking the protective covering of nerve fibers, known as myelin, in the central nervous system. Myelin acts like insulation around electrical wires, allowing nerve impulses to travel quickly and efficiently. When myelin is damaged or destroyed, the transmission of these impulses is disrupted, disrupting the communication between the brain and the rest of the body, leading to a wide range of sensory, motor and cognitive problems. When the myelin is damaged, it leaves behind scar tissue which is known as plaques or sclera. Immune system will conduct repairs to myelin after an attack, however, repeated immune attacks can prevent the proper repair of the myelin, and in some cases, cause damage to the nerve cells themselves, resulting in permanent injury to the brain and spinal cord. Risk factors of MS Causes of MS are unknown, however are usually linked to genetic and environmental factors Sex. Women are 2-3 times more likely as compared to men to suffer from relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis.Genes. It has been found that individuals with the gene HLA-DR2 has been associated with Multiple Sclerosis susceptibility.Vitamin D deficiency. Having low levels of vitamin D and low exposure to sunlight is associated with a greater risk of Multiple Sclerosis.Certain infections. It has been suggested that certain infections have been linked to MS. Such as Epstein-Barr virus might trigger the immune system, leading to MS in some people.Smoking. Individuals who smoke are more likely to develop Multiple Sclerosis compared to individuals who do not. Symptoms Symptoms are dependent on which part of the Central Nervous System is damaged by the condition:Losing vision in one eye, pain when moving eyes, double visionNumbness or tingling in different parts of the bodyBalance issuesProblems controlling the bladderMuscle stiffness and spasmsFatigue Depending on the type of MS, symptoms may come and go in phases or get steadily worse over time. Types of MS:​ There are several different types of MS, and the course of the disease can vary widely among individuals. The main types include:Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS): This is the most common form of MS, characterized by periods of relapse followed by periods of partial or complete recovery. With every relapse, follows with the exacerbation of disability. Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS): Describes the transition from relapsing-remitting phase to a  steady progression of disability.Primary Progressive MS (PPMS): Describes a gradual and steady progression of symptoms without distinct relapses.Progressive-Relapsing MS (PRMS): This is a less common form where there is a steady progression of the disease with occasional relapses. Traditional Chinese Medicine and MS​ Traditional Chinese Medicine classifies multiple sclerosis as “atrophy” syndrome and “Bi syndrome”.  During periods of relapse also known as acute period(急性期), body constitution of patients mostly express Heat dampness body types. Symptoms such as weakness or heaviness in the limbs, numbness of tingling sensation, chest tightness, sticky bowels, dark scanty urine. During remission, also known as chronic periods(缓解期), body constitution mostly seen are Spleen stomach Qi deficiency and Liver Kidney deficiency. Spleen stomach Qi deficiency – symptoms experienced include weakness in the limbs, poor appetite and watery bowels, fatigueLiver Kidney deficiency – symptoms include weakness in the limbs especially in the lower limbs, soreness in the back, dizziness and tinnitus, hair loss, urinary incontinence, irregular menstruationTCM acupuncture and herbal medication can be prescribed to alleviate symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. Clinical trials have shown that TCM is effective to alleviate symptoms, prevent recurrence, and delay disease progression in MS patients. Regular acupuncture treatment has been found to have a positive therapeutic effect on the recovery of movement and reducing abnormal sensations of the hands, fingers, feet, and toes.
Guidance for Postpartum Mother’s Health and Appearance

26 Feb 2024

By: Aileen Chua

Latest and Newest about TCM Singapore Blog | Yi TCM, Blog, Physician Chua 蔡医师, Pregnancy, TCM Food

by Physician Aileen Chua Goal: The goal for postpartum recovery is to ensure that the body goes back to the pre-pregnancy state, or even better. The womb has provided all of its nutrients to the baby and we need to replenish the loss. The body is “empty” and we need to fill it up. During this time, we have to work on replenishing Qi and blood, prevent wind from entering the body, maintain circulation, remove water retention, strengthen the bones and muscles and take care of the mental wellbeing of the mother. Motherhood can be physically and mentally taxing, and this is the golden period to brace the body for it. This postpartum recovery can last between 28 days to 3 months, you can choose how long you want to adhere to the postpartum recovery routine for. /*! elementor - v3.23.0 - 15-07-2024 */ .elementor-widget-divider{--divider-border-style:none;--divider-border-width:1px;--divider-color:#0c0d0e;--divider-icon-size:20px;--divider-element-spacing:10px;--divider-pattern-height:24px;--divider-pattern-size:20px;--divider-pattern-url:none;--divider-pattern-repeat:repeat-x}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider{display:flex}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider__text{font-size:15px;line-height:1;max-width:95%}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider__element{margin:0 var(--divider-element-spacing);flex-shrink:0}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-icon{font-size:var(--divider-icon-size)}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider-separator{display:flex;margin:0;direction:ltr}.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator{align-items:center}.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator:after,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator:before,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator:after,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator:before{display:block;content:"";border-block-end:0;flex-grow:1;border-block-start:var(--divider-border-width) var(--divider-border-style) var(--divider-color)}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-left .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:first-of-type{flex-grow:0;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-left .elementor-divider-separator:before{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-left .elementor-divider__element{margin-left:0}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-right .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:last-of-type{flex-grow:0;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-right .elementor-divider-separator:after{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-right .elementor-divider__element{margin-right:0}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-start .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:first-of-type{flex-grow:0;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-start .elementor-divider-separator:before{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-start .elementor-divider__element{margin-inline-start:0}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-end .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:last-of-type{flex-grow:0;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-end .elementor-divider-separator:after{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-end .elementor-divider__element{margin-inline-end:0}.elementor-widget-divider:not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text):not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon) .elementor-divider-separator{border-block-start:var(--divider-border-width) var(--divider-border-style) var(--divider-color)}.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern{--divider-border-style:none}.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern.elementor-widget-divider--view-line .elementor-divider-separator,.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern:not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line) .elementor-divider-separator:after,.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern:not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line) .elementor-divider-separator:before,.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern:not([class*=elementor-widget-divider--view]) .elementor-divider-separator{width:100%;min-height:var(--divider-pattern-height);-webkit-mask-size:var(--divider-pattern-size) 100%;mask-size:var(--divider-pattern-size) 100%;-webkit-mask-repeat:var(--divider-pattern-repeat);mask-repeat:var(--divider-pattern-repeat);background-color:var(--divider-color);-webkit-mask-image:var(--divider-pattern-url);mask-image:var(--divider-pattern-url)}.elementor-widget-divider--no-spacing{--divider-pattern-size:auto}.elementor-widget-divider--bg-round{--divider-pattern-repeat:round}.rtl .elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider__text{direction:rtl}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-divider,.e-con>.elementor-widget-divider{width:var(--container-widget-width,100%);--flex-grow:var(--container-widget-flex-grow)} Common Postpartum Problems Emotions Fatigue Pain from delivery Breastmilk supply or Engorgement Heatiness Weight loss Food to take for Postpartum Recovery To take food and herbs that help with the following: 1. Remove clots to clear the womb2. Remove water retention3. Help with wound recovery4. Ensure good blood circulation 5. Replenish the nutrients 6. Warm the womb 7. Remove “wind” from the body8. Increase flow of breastmilk, as well as maintain good flow of the breast milk to prevent painful engorgement. /*! elementor - v3.23.0 - 15-07-2024 */ .elementor-column .elementor-spacer-inner{height:var(--spacer-size)}.e-con{--container-widget-width:100%}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer{width:var(--container-widget-width,var(--spacer-size));--align-self:var(--container-widget-align-self,initial);--flex-shrink:0}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container{height:100%;width:100%}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container>.elementor-spacer,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container>.elementor-spacer{height:100%}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container>.elementor-spacer>.elementor-spacer-inner,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer>.elementor-widget-container>.elementor-spacer>.elementor-spacer-inner{height:var(--container-widget-height,var(--spacer-size))}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer.elementor-widget-empty,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer.elementor-widget-empty{position:relative;min-height:22px;min-width:22px}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-spacer.elementor-widget-empty .elementor-widget-empty-icon,.e-con>.elementor-widget-spacer.elementor-widget-empty .elementor-widget-empty-icon{position:absolute;top:0;bottom:0;left:0;right:0;margin:auto;padding:0;width:22px;height:22px} For womb and general health recovery: 1. Ginger (Bentong Ginger)2. Turmeric (Can add turmeric powder to a warm cup of milk)3. Sesame Oil4. Black Vinegar5. Rice Wine6. D.O.M Benedictine (in moderation, 1-2times a week) To increase breastmilk supply and replenish nutrients for the postpartum body: Green Papaya Fish (Salmon, Cod Fish, Threadfin) Meat (Black chicken, lean pork meat, beef, pork liver and kidney) Oats Almonds & Sesame seeds Dark green vegetables or spinach, broccoli, green peas, black beans, red beans Herbal soups with meat General Herbs for Postpartum Recovery Week 1: Focus on blood circulation to help with clearing the womb and water retention Help with the production of breastmilk Nourish the digestive system to improve appetite to help replenish nutrients lost Herbs: 生化汤、四神汤、麦芽 Week 2: Focus on replenishing Qi and Blood Continue to nourish the digestive system Continue to help production of breast milk, at the same time help with the smooth flow of milk Herbs: 八珍汤、四神汤、麦芽 Week 3 & 4: Same as Week 2 Work on nourishing the kidneys and rejuvenate the reproductive system To strengthen the lower back, bones and muscles Herbs: 八珍汤、四神汤、杜仲、泡参、花胶 Daily Herbal Tea usually includes: Red dates 红枣 Longan 龙眼肉 Wolfberries 枸杞子 Codonopsis Radix 党参 Drink throughout the day, supplement with warm water if you feel heaty or thirsty easily.   If you need a set of herbs specially tailored to your individual body constitution, feel free to drop by our clinics for a consultation with any of our physicians from Week 34 onwards! 🙂 Self Care Services to Engage in: Confinement nanny: Nanny to help to look after your newborn while you recuperate, so that you can rest properly for this period and only have to focus on breastfeeding (pumping/latching), sleeping, getting used to motherhood and regulating the emotions. Postpartum massage: Helps with increasing milk supply, prevents engorgement, reduces water retention, helps the uterus contract back to its original size, reduces muscles tensions. Emotionally: You might feel very emotional due to the changes your body is going through, many focus on how labour is going to be, but there is very little information about how you will feel after the delivery. Breastfeeding can be painful and stressful too. Engorgement and low milk supply each has its own set of problems. You can be constantly tired due to the feeding and interrupted sleep, the body will also naturally feel more tired after going through so much, from pregnancy to delivery. There might be postpartum pain lasting 1-2 weeks. For mummies who went through C-Sec, the pain might last longer. You are constantly feeling hot and sticky, and maybe smelly, all these might make you feel just lousy about yourself. Rest as much as you can when possible, try to outsource for help as much as you can. Focus on your recovery and feeding the baby. If you are feeling down all the time, it would be good to seek professional help. In terms of TCM, acupuncture and cupping can help with postpartum blues by relieving tension, helping with sleep and calming the body. Physically: Shower (herbal bath to help remove wind and warm the body, you can wash your hair once every 1-3 days but wash in the day and blow dry immediately). Wear long pants and slippers at home to keep warm and prevent cold, wind and dampness from entering the weakened body. Avoid being in direct contact of wind, because the pores are open during confinement and the body is deficient in Qi & blood, which makes wind, dampness and cold easy to enter the body, resulting in aches, skin allergies etc. in the long run. Pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor. This helps prevent postpartum incontinence or frequent urination.
TCM Perspective on Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy

13 Jun 2023

By: Aileen Chua

Latest and Newest about TCM Singapore Blog | Yi TCM, Physician Chua 蔡医师, Pregnancy, TCM Food

by Physician Aileen Chua Congratulations on your pregnancy! Now that you have a new life growing in you, naturally you would be more careful on what foods to avoid, especially for first time mums. Most of us know that we have to avoid raw and undercooked meat, unpasteurized soft cheese and seafood high in mercury during pregnancy. But are there other foods we need to avoid?  In TCM, we believe that a warm and nutritious womb helps with the growth of your baby. Different body constitution can lead to different discomfort during pregnancy. And that during pregnancy, foods that increase circulation should be avoided. Hence, I have compiled a list of foods to avoid or take in moderation during pregnancy based on the TCM perspective. I hope this can help you with your pregnancy journey 🙂  1) Avoid foods that are cooling in nature Avoid foods that are cooling in nature, especially during the first trimester (12 weeks of pregnancy) as this is the time when the main organs of your baby are forming. Vegetables that are cold in nature are more cooling when cooked in soup than when you pan fry them. Hence, if you really have a craving for any of these vegetables, you can pan fry them with ginger and sesame oil to reduce their cooling nature. For the fruits listed, if you want to eat them, have them in the daytime, and after meals, to reduce the cold effect on your body. 2) Avoid foods that cause bloating Avoid foods that cause bloating, especially in the first trimester. Ladies who have a weak digestive system tend to experience nausea or bloating when they are pregnant, especially in the first trimester. Hence, it is important to know which foods can cause bloating so that you can avoid them. Not all of the food listed below will affect you, different food might affect different people. So observe how your body reacts to different foods and eliminate them accordingly. 3) Avoid foods that are high in sugar and fats Avoid foods that are high in sugar and fats. During pregnancy, you might feel hungry all the time, or have cravings for all sorts of food. While it is a natural instinct to fill your tummy and to get your cravings satisfied, it is also important to eat healthily and watch the calories intake. Foods high in sugar and fats can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which might lead to gestational diabetes or having an oversized baby which can make labour tougher. Avoid these foods especially in the second and third trimester, as this is when most of the weight is gained. 4) Avoid foods that increase circulation Avoid foods that increase circulation from the beginning of the pregnancy till week 36, as it could increase the risk of uterus contraction and bleeding. 5) Take in moderation foods high in Vitamin K Take in moderation foods high in Vitamin K throughout the pregnancy, as it might affect blood supply to the baby. This applies especially to ladies who used to have sticky blood during their period, or whose babies are growing at a slower rate, or are taking aspirin during the pregnancy.