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Understanding HPV: The Facts, Risks, and Prevention

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Understanding HPV: The Facts, Risks, and Prevention

Unlocking the Link: Understanding HPV and Cervical Cancer

Welcome to our infographic exploring the intricate relationship between Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer. Join us on a journey to uncover the facts, dispel myths, and empower individuals with knowledge about prevention and early detection. Let's dive into the essential information that could save lives and promote healthier futures.


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Related Articles

Beware These 6 Confinement Myths

In TCM, a woman loses large amounts of Qi and blood during childbirth, putting her body in a “cold” phase. This is why Chinese culture recommends a month-long period of “confinement” for the new mother. These weeks of rest and a modified diet are intended to restore the mother’s balance and return her to full health.

While certain confinement practices are common, it’s a bad idea to follow them blindly. Discover the truth behind the myths from a TCM perspective.

1. Myth: Do not drink plain water
This comes from the belief that drinking plain water causes water retention or will cool down the body too much.

The truth: There is no harm in drinking plain water. In fact, because new mothers tend to sweat heavily because of hormonal changes, they have all the more reason to drink water and keep hydrated. However, new mothers should be encouraged to drink warm water instead of cold water.

2. Myth: Consume alcohol
Drinking alcoholic beverages or eating dishes cooked with alcohol is thought to boost blood circulation and warm up the body.

The truth: It is correct that alcohol is used in TCM to expel cold and promote circulation. That said, new mothers should not regard alcohol as essential to their recovery. In fact, nursing mothers should avoid alcohol, since it can be passed on to their baby through breast milk.

3. Myth: Do not shower or wash one’s hair
Contact with water is thought to cause “wind” to enter the body and lead to headaches and rheumatism later in life. This taboo may have originated from northern China of the past. Since water quickly became freezing because of the cold weather, it was easy to catch a chill from bathing.

The truth: It is perfectly fine to continue one’s bathing habits. Besides maintaining personal comfort, regular bathing helps prevent skin and wound infections. However, the mother should not bathe with cold water. She should also dry her body immediately after bathing to prevent exposure to cold air.

4. Myth: Consume plenty of herbal supplements
Since childbirth drains a woman of Qi, it is recommended that she stock up on specific herbal soups and dishes that boost energy and blood.

The truth: Since every woman’s health profile is different, she may not benefit from the same remedies that help others. It is better to consult a qualified TCM physician for personalised advice and treatment.

That said, one dietary recommendation can be generalised to all new mothers. In TCM, it is best to avoid cooling foods during confinement. Eating such foods carry a risk of harming one’s Spleen and Stomach and hampering recovery. Foods to avoid include bamboo shoots, bananas, crabs and oysters.

5. Myth: Do not read or cry
Childbirth is thought to weaken the Liver, which is linked to the eyes. Therefore, one should avoid putting stress on the eyes by reading or crying. Otherwise, one might experience eye problems later in life.

The truth: There is no basis for the belief that reading or crying would lead to eye problems. However, TCM experts do hold that the large loss of blood during childbirth may weaken the eyes. This is because blood is related to the Liver, which is associated with the eyes. Regular consumption of Liver-protecting foods, such as Chinese Wolfberries, would help maintain eye health.

6. Myth: Wear warm clothing and do not use fans and air-conditioning
As with bathing, any exposure to cool air is said to cause “wind” to enter the body and lead to health problems later in life.

The truth: The key here is moderation. The new mother should do what makes her comfortable. In a hot and humid climate, fans and air conditioners may even be essential for preventing heat rash. However, the new mother should not let the fan or air-conditioner blow directly on her.

How To Boost Energy If You Always Feel Tired

According to Jeffrey Ong, a physician with Eu Yan Sang, a well-known name in Asia when it comes to TCM products and services, fatigue can arise from a weak body constitution, overworking one’s body, and an unbalanced diet. A weak body constitution can arise from inborn factors or illness. Lifestyle and work are also major factors as too much can lead to physical and mental exhaustion. An unbalanced diet can harm our digestive tracts. All these can lead to deficiency of yin, yang, qi, and blood in various organs, causing us to be unwell and experience fatigue.

Causes Of Fatigue
  • weak body constitution

  • overwork

  • unbalanced diet

These three factors can lead to deficiency of yin, yang, qi, and blood in various organs

TCM Principles

Some principles of TCM are in tune with conventional medical practices. “When it comes to dealing with fatigue, one of the most important factors is sufficient rest,” says Physician Ong. “Sleep is known to be the best natural remedy, revitalising one’s energy and boosting the immune system. Engaging in some mild aerobic exercises and leisure activities can help to relax one’s body and mind as well. Also, keep to a balanced diet and avoid cold drinks, fried and oily food.”

In TCM theory, there are five major internal organs. “When one suffers from fatigue,” says Physician Ong, “any one of the five may be affected.” In general, however, “fatigue is associated with a weakness in the spleen and kidney.” He goes on to explain that, in TCM, the spleen is largely responsible for nutrition and metabolism while the kidney is in charge of innate essence and growth. “Fatigue is often correlated to these two organs,” he advises. TCM can strengthen these weakened organs via herbal remedies or acupuncture.

Before the fatigue strikes, Physician Ong lets on that there should be some warning signs. Which signs you get depends on your particular body constitution. And your particular body constitution needs to be carefully assessed before a course of treatment can be prescribed, including herbal remedy, acupuncture, tui na, and cupping,” says Physician Ong. Combinations of treatments are sometimes used to increase effectiveness.

If you have anaemia, diabetes, or other diseases, the course of treatment “will be based on the overall diagnosis of the patient’s entire body condition, not specific to certain diseases.” Still, Physician Ong advises patients to notify all their physicians of everything that they are currently taking to prevent herb-drug interaction.

If you are already on a conventional course of treatment for fatigue, Physician Ong assures, “There are many patients who are taking Western medications and using TCM at the same time to complement the treatments.”

Herb Remedies

Here are some TCM herbs that can help to fight fatigue:

  • American Ginseng: good for people who work long hours and lack rest

  • Lingzhi: enhances immunity by boosting the function of white blood cells

  • Chinese Wolfberry: full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant, this herb is effective against tired eyes

  • Wild Chinese Yam: for people experiencing low energy coupled with digestive problems

Supplements

Besides taking TCM herb, a boost in certain vitamins and minerals could increase energy levels:

  • Vitamin B12: helps increase energy levels and lift concentration and mood[1]

  • Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid, Folate): insufficient amount of this vitamin could lead to confusion, depression, lethargy, and slow reaction time[2]

  • Vitamin D: a lack of this vitamin, which aids metabolism, could lead to low energy, poor-quality sleep, and mood swings[3]

  • Magnesium: vital for adrenal glands, the poor functioning of which can lead to fatigue[4]

Stimulating Acupoints

So you’ve heard of acupuncture. But you don’t always need an expert to insert needles at the appropriate points. There are certain easy-to-reach acupoints that you can massage about 20–30 times a day to keep yourself stimulated and energised:

  • He Gu: located on the dorsum of the hand, between the first and second metacarpal bones, in the middle of the second metacarpal bone on the radial side, it boosts qi and strengthens the immune system

  • Bai Hui: located at the intersection of the line connecting the apexes of the two auricles and the median line of the head, it helps improve mental functions, calms nerves, and promotes flow of qi

Case Studies

Physician Ong relates two cases in which he helped tired-out patients using a mix of treatments from the TCM medicine chest.

One was a student burning the midnight oil for a big exam who snacked to stay awake. She soon lost her appetite, turned pale, and her stools became loose. “I diagnosed her condition as a deficiency in spleen qi, and prescribed herbal medication to tonify her spleen and boost the qi of her body,” he reveals. After a week, her condition improved. “She felt much more energised during the day and could perform better in school.”

Another case involved a young working mum. She often felt stressed and frustrated, and had insomnia, dry throat, heart palpitations, and night sweats, which led to all-day lethargy. The lack of energy affected her work; she also had terrible mood swings at work and at home. “I diagnosed her condition as a deficiency in heart yin, manifested in signs of heatiness and restlessness,” says Physician Ong. “I prescribed herbal medication to nourish the yin and clear excess heat in her body; I also performed acupuncture on her to calm her nerves.” After a few more visits, her condition gradually improved and she was able to concentrate better at work.

Now that you know how TCM approaches the treatment of fatigue, you should find out what diseases could be putting you through the wringer.

References:
[1] http://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/5-natural-supplements-that-can-help-fight-chronic-fatigue.html/?a=viewall
[2] http://www.myprotein.com/thezone/nutrition/always-tired-best-supplements-beat-extreme-fatigue/
[3] http://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/5-natural-supplements-that-can-help-fight-chronic-fatigue.html/?a=viewall
[4] http://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/5-natural-supplements-that-can-help-fight-chronic-fatigue.html/?a=viewall

Covid-19 in TCM’s Point of View

Over the past thousands of years of Chinese history, TCM has battled against hundreds of plagues that led to the accumulation of effective treatments and prevention methods to alleviate the symptoms experienced. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as we experience today, is also classified as a “plague”.

Unlike a common flu that is caused by common pathogenic factors (e.g. wind, cold, heat, humidity, dryness and fire), plague is often associated with dampness and toxin pathogens. Currently, the clinical observations in China have shown that COVID-19 is commonly caused by the interactions of dampness, toxin, heat, and stasis, of which dampness being the most dominate pathogenic factor.

For mild to moderate stages of COVID-19, the common symptoms observed are low fever, tiredness, dry cough, muscle ache, nausea or diarrhea. The common syndrome is “lung with dampness toxin retention” and hence the TCM treatment principle is to eliminate exterior pathogens, heat and dampness, detoxify and invigorate the spleen.

Why do some people have it worst then? This is because COVID-19 is a disease that presents itself in different stages. For the critical stages, the toxin further attacks the lung and heart, at worst blocking the vital organ’s function and resulting in the collapse of yang qi in the body. This results in high fever, shortness of breath, unconsciousness, multiple functional failure and shock. The treatment principle at this critical stage aims to ventilate lung qi, remove heat to restore consciousness and to recuperate the yang qi.

Here are some tips to help with your recovery from Covid-19.
Do:
consume smaller meal portions at the beginning and slowly increase portion as your appetite returns.
Start off with food that are easy to digest, for example diluted porridge.

Incorporate other nutritious food as you regain appetite, such as thicker porridge, fish meat and chicken soup.

Tips: To remove excess dampness and strengthen your spleen, you can boil lotus leaves in water first and use this water to later cook your porridge. You can also add Chinese barley (薏苡仁), Chinese yam (山药), lotus seed (莲子), tangerine peel (陈皮) and Qian Shi (芡实) into your diet too.

Don’t:
over-consume cold and raw food such as fruits and salads, spicy and oily food as it will trap dampness and further burden your spleen and stomach.

Sources: https://cmjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13020-020-00375-1

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