Suppress a Cough

This week, I’ve released a video that shows how to suppress a cough–I think it stands for itself how important this is. Maybe you just have a tickle in your throat, or you get a little dry in the morning. Well, now you can prevent such an unseemly bodily function from occurring all without medication.

Is it Really that Easy? Yes, there’s an acupressure point for that!

In the meantime knowledge seekers, I have an announcement below but I will get back to explaining how to suppress a cough shortly.

In light of recent events, I have decided to retire from private practice and I will be closing my acupuncture clinic. I assure you that this decision was not made lightly and I will miss, as I currently miss serving you in person.

While I won’t be pursuing a busy acupuncture clinic, I now have the time to pursue writing and blogging, continuing my legacy as a teacher of the Asian healing arts. My website, (yes, the one you are reading), and Michael Turk Asian Healing Arts will now continue to be a wealth of knowledge for those of you interested in what Chinese Medicine has to offer.

My years here in Chico have been filled with many rewarding experiences, memorable patients, and lasting friendships. It has been a sincere honor to serve each and every one of you, and I will be forever grateful that you entrusted me with your care.

I wish the best for all of you always, and in the meantime, stay tuned for fun projects to come along with my Lotus Guide so I can continue serving you remotely in various ways while passing along the knowledge I have to offer.

Kindly keep in mind that this advice about suppressing a cough is intended only for otherwise healthy individuals whom have determined based on CDC guidelines/their own medical history that it is safe for them to be around other people–Of course, you can also use this in the comfort of your home, however. If you have specific questions about whether or not you should stay home, reach out to your healthcare provider for more details.

In order to suppress a cough, many try suppressants, rubs, honeys, and all kinds of things, however, I have a solution that is completely rooted in my teachings. Vessel of Conception 22 or Vc.22, is an acupressure point that allows you to suppress a cough, which as you can imagine is incredibly useful during these times.

To reach and utilize Vc.22 feel for the gentle dip between your collarbones. If you put your finger there, and feel a cough coming, you will know you are in the right place because you will feel pressure against your finger. To utilize this acupoint, you, luckily do not need to press very hard. Just press a little bit, and soon you will feel a calming feeling move through the area.

You can also view the video below for a more visual approach to the method.

Happy knowledge seeking, and don’t forget to check out all of my social media accounts!


Rapid Healing Q & A

Can you help your students be able to successfully pass along the knowledge learned from you to others? How can you be certain that your students are really grasping the ideas and principles being presented to them?

In my experience as a teacher, I have found that one of the best ways to ensure the understanding of a concept, is whether or not your students are able to successfully pass along their knowledge to others. It’s one thing to explain the idea (the logic behind it) and then demonstrate it!

However, sometimes, depending on the learning style of your students, an example of how to apply the idea to daily life is just as important for solidifying that knowledge, that way we can continue passing along this journey of self discovery.

This is why I’m sharing my story with you here in the Q & A above, to provide additional insight on how I applied the usefulness of Co. 4 (which is today known as Large Intensine 4) to my broken arm. It is my hope that this will give insight on the kind of excruciating pain Colon 4 can help alleviate, and how you can apply this in your day to day life.
The best thing about Qi, aside from the benefits of stimulating it to better your life is that it’s free! Until the release of my book Pain’s Healing Secret information on how to use these ancient Chinese healing secrets simply weren’t displayed anywhere in a way that could be understood by the average reader, or as I like to call them as it pertains to my writings, knowledge seekers.
I’m confident that with the release of my latest project that is soon to come (follow me on all the social media sites below for updates) that together, more of the incredible people around us can begin living pain free lives!

If you like content like this, and you want to continue to learn more about the human body you can find me on FacebookInstagramTwitter, this blog of course, and Youtube! Click the names of the social media sites if you’d like to check these out, I’ve linked them for your convenience.

Safely Eliminating Pain in the Upper Body.

The Joining Valley acupoint otherwise known as Large Intestine 4 or Colon 4 is one of the most often misunderstood acupoints. In my video above I explain the most common misconception is locating the Joining Valley acupoint, (which I call the Great Eliminator) an example of this acupoint’s practical use in my life, and then I demonstrate how to utilize it.

In my experience as a teacher of acupressure techniques, when I start leading a class asking about how to eliminate headaches, my students will often advise that there is an acupoint where you need to put pressure on the webbing by pinching between the index finger and the thumb to help alleviate any pain you might be experiencing. Some even know its name, but they do not know how produce the sensation of Qi.

One of the core conventions of acupressure is utilizing the acupoints naturally in the body to restore the flow of Qi in a particular area, therefore eliminating the pain or other undesirable issues you experience due to your Qi being injured.

Now that you understand why this isn’t correct (as putting pressure there does not stimulate Qi), I will guide you how to find and properly utilize the Joining Valley acupressure point.

The Joining Valley acupressure point is actually well named since the name itself reveals the secret of how to press this acupoint for the strongest energy response. In particular the name Joining Valley advises how to position the hand to get the most powerful energy response by joining the thumb to the hand, making a mound with a valley.

The best way to locate LI.4 (the Joining Valley) on yourself is to place the palm of the hand you want to press on your stomach. As you close the space between your receiving hand and thumb, notice the mound of flesh on the back of the hand and the crease in the mound. Locate Co.4 at the end of the crease, near the middle of the mound. Keep the thumb against the hand as you press (MO). Place your pressing thumb on the end of the crease, massaging the mound of muscle against the bone of the hand.

Feel the muscle roll around under your thumb. Massage the muscle against the hand bone to feel for sore spots. What does the muscle feel like? Does it feel hard? Does it feel soft? Does it feel like stringy strands? Can you feel lumps in the muscle?

Important: Press this spot into the bone of the hand, slowly sliding the tip of your pressing thumb along the bone. Slide along the hand bone toward the index finger for a short distance and then toward the wrist. Slide back and forth until the most sensitive spot can be felt. Press firmly on this spot. This point may be very sensitive. Sensitivity can make it easy to find, but you will have to work slowly to achieve an energy sensation. When the point is not sensitive you will have to press harder to find it, but it is easier to get the energy sensation.

Moving Qi can be easy at this acupoint if you take your time. Stop and hold pressure on the acupoint. Does energy move outward from the point? It may travel to another spot in the hand or arm of the hand being pressed may feel a sensation move upward. The Qi sensation may be felt around the elbow or even the shoulder or head. When you increase the time the point is pressed, more varied sensations may be felt.

The Large Intestine meridian starts at the tip of the index finger. It passes along the side of the hand bone, (second metacarpal), the path dips into a depression in the large muscle. (dorsal interosseus) that forms the web of the thumb; this deep location near the middle of the hand bone is where LI. 4 (the Joining Valley) can be found. The meridian then passes between the tendons and muscles on the thumb side of the wrist and forearm on it’s way to the elbow.

The Large Intestine meridian crosses the elbow at LI.11, the shoulder at LI.15, the neck at LI.18 and ends on the face, next to the nose, at LI.20. The Large Intestine meridian includes points numbered LI.1 through LI.20, as well as Gv.14 and St.37. The meridian also passes into the trunk connecting with the lungs, colon and stomach. Areas along the path can benefit from stimulating LI.4.

LI.4 is an important healing acupoint associated with many body functions. Stimulate it to restore yang energy, to improve digestion, bowl elimination, and immunity. This point is also one of the easiest to use to create a Qi sensation that moves up the arm. Most people will be able to generate this sensation on themselves and others by remembering the secret given in the name Joining Valley.

A simple way to locate this acupoint is to grasp your partner’s left hand with your left hand, using your right thumb to press LI.4. Hold your partner’s thumb against the hand, look for the crease in the mound and press gently into the crease. Stroke (TUI) back and forth along the hand bone to zero in on the acupoint. Remember some people are quite tender here.

Key concepts to remember about LI.4:
Location: on the hand in the middle of the triangular web between the thumb and index finger
To find: first massage the web with your fingers, checking for tenderness. Then, hold the thumb against the side of the hand. Notice the crease in the mound. Press at the end of the crease into the mound against the hand bone of the index finger.
Deqi: up the arm to the elbow, shoulder and head and/or toward the fingers.
Use: Promote longevity. Detect difficulties with and improve Yang functions, including sensory organs, immunity and skin
Pain: all types (especially in the upper body i.e., headache and toothache)
Condition: constipation, diarrhea, rash, fever, common cold, sinus problems

If you like content like this, and you want to continue to learn more about the human body you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, this blog of course, and Youtube! Click the names of the social media sites if you’d like to check these out, I’ve linked them for your convenience.

Massage Helps Chronic Pain

Published in the Lotus Guide, Chico, CA. October 2010

Don, a triathlete, stopped competing and started physical therapy while attending medical school. It started with a running injury in which he tore a hamstring muscle. The pain gradually worsened, leaving him with right hip and lower back pain that stopped his participation in sports. He saw two orthopedists and went to physical therapy for two years; he even tried some cortisone injections, which helped slightly, but did not cure the condition. Don gained weight, lost energy, and grew despondent.

Don’s case is one of a multitude of cases that fall under the medical name Chronic Pain Syndrome, persistent pain from unknown causes. In this case, the injury healed, but pain remained. It is estimated between 15 and 20% of Americans suffer from chronic pain.

The September 2009 issue of the Scientific American Mind magazine published a special report focusing on Chronic Pain Syndrome. The magazine, citing the latest studies, reported, “No one knows for sure why some injuries, even minor ones, result in persistent pain or why it occurs in some people but not in others. Nevertheless, researchers are pinpointing telltale changes in the neurons that underlie persistent pain. In particular, they have documented abnormal excitability among neurons at every level of the body’s pain network.”

Pain is a sensation that defies explanation and keeps authorities arguing. However, all agree that pain stimulates a sense of alarm that requests a response. Most definitions note the suffering; some note the protective benefits of pain. However, recent studies report the way people define pain, changes the way they experience it. So choose your definition well.

The Oxford English Dictionary, a venerable reference book, defines the sense of pain as, “A primary condition of sensation or consciousness, the opposite of pleasure; the sensation which one feels when hurt (in body or mind); suffering, distress.”

Today scholars say, “…pain is a complex perceptual experience influenced by a wide range of psychosocial factors, including emotions, social and environmental context, sociocultural background, the meaning of pain to the person, and beliefs, attitudes, and expectations, as well as biological factors.”

Western medicine distinguishes between two types of pain:  acute and chronic pain. There are important distinctions, which affect diagnosis and treatment.

The word ‘acute’ means sharp or pointed. “Acu” is used in words such as acuity, acumen, acupuncture, and acupressure. Acute pain occurs during healing from physical injuries, vigorous exercise, and rehabilitation therapy. A period of acute pain comes to a natural end after the healing crisis.

‘Chronic’ is a medical term that applies to long-standing diseases. Chronic pain is lingering and incurable, the opposite of acute pain that heals and stops hurting.  Chronic Pain Syndrome disables and demoralizes people, because the constant pain holds victims hostage for months or years at a time, keeping them from what they love.

Western culture defines pain in terms of its discomfort and its role in suffering. Eastern culture defines pain in terms of its association with the life force (qi) and its role in healing. Traditional Chinese medicine states qi, the life force, is meant to move throughout the body. Pain results when the flow of qi is impeded.

Qi and blood are partners: qi moves blood and blood nourishes qi. They are like yin and yang, always found together but in different quantities. This is especially true in the muscles and connective tissue where qi and blood disorders can be felt. The feeling of stuck qi is tender tissue, and the feeling of congealed blood is stiff tissue.

While fear is a natural response to pain, and avoiding activities that provoke pain is reasonable for acute pain, it serves no purpose when treating chronic pain. Anxiety and fear intensify the pain experience, increasing the sensitivity to pain-related activities. Prolonged states of anxiety reduce tolerance for pain. Fear of re-injury is a better predictor of disability than the signs, symptoms, and severity of the pain.

Pain makes exercise more difficult, resulting in loss of flexibility, strength, and coordination, which further complicates recovery, and when the victim believes painful activity may aggravate the initial injury, it results in avoidance of therapeutic activity, which could reduce pain and promote healing.

A therapeutic massage can stimulate mild acute pain to desensitize the fearful patients. It can reduce the anxiety by releasing endorphins and relieve chronic pain with a little acute pain that improves circulation throughout the painful injured tissue.

A massage therapist can coach a suffering patient and talk about the problems caused by their painful condition. Mary Ewing, owner of Back To Basics, an integrative health center, is a massage therapist and chiropractor. I asked Dr. Mary how she coaches a patient. She said, “When people come into my office, I listen to what they tell me and the language and terminology they use to describe their problem. I talk to them about rewiring what they say about their pain.”

Besides being good listeners, some therapists have a healing touch¾their hands dissolve pain. Some massage therapists go deeper into more painful places, and patients find the relief outweighs any discomfort during therapy. It is as if acute pain defeats chronic pain.

Don, now a doctor, decided to see a massage therapist recommended by a friend. When he came to see me, he still suffered from back pain that kept him from running, bicycling, and swimming. He was initially skeptical.

I used massage to remove the blood stagnation¾improving circulation and reducing tension in stiff muscles. Then after locating the points needed for therapy, I pressed the acupoints used since ancient times to relieve pain. I also located and pressed acupoints that I discovered during my exam. After a course of treatments, the bad pain was gone and he resumed swimming. After working with me for six months, his problem was completely resolved. Three years later Don wrote about his recovery from chronic back pain with acupressure massage, “(It) completely controlled not only that problem, but chronic shoulder stiffness and pain.”

Though pain may be a mystery to many, it is no mystery why people seek massage therapy. Massage has many benefits, no risks, and is complementary to medical therapy. Massage clients report long-term benefits of more energy, greater strength, and flexibility.

The way you think about pain can hurt you. When in pain, imagine your body is talking or your life force is sending you a message, seeking a helping hand. Massage therapists erase pain by rubbing it out. Acupressure therapists relieve pain by applying pressure to acupoints. Remember, you do not have to suffer from pain.