osteopathy

How to detect pain… Part 2!

A lot of my patients ask me, “How do you know where the pain is?” Picture this: You are standing in front of a large table topped with a cloth. Blindfolded. You’re asked to hold the two corners of the table cloth and create a wave – just like when you were a kid with the parachute. Even though you can’t see the cloth move, you can feel that it’s making a big wave with ease. Then imagine a cup of water is placed on top of the cloth. And you’re asked to do the same thing. But when you try to create the wave, you no longer feel the ease. Instead, there is an obstruction. And the air beneath the wave has to flow around the obstruction to get to the other side. This is exactly how injury works in the human body. Think of the table cloth as […]

How a bag of soup helps me detect pain – Toronto Acupuncture Clinic – Samuel Lo

  • "How do you find the pain is?"  "How do you know where the pain is?"  Toronto Acupuncture Clinic

When a patient who is experiencing pain enters my office, one of their most common questions is: “How do you know where the pain is?”   Here’s what I tell them:   Imagine your body as a bag of soup with multiple layers.   Now picture pressing your finger into that bag of soup…   …What happened to your finger?   Well, your finger would be absorbed by the bag of soup. But if you remove your finger, the bag would return to its original shape, wouldn’t it?   Typically, in a healthy individual, it’s always the same process: your finger gets absorbed when you press it into a bag of soup. And when you remove it, the soup returns to its original shape.   So what does a bag of soup have to do with pain?   Here’s the secret sauce: I can find pain when your soup pushes […]

The Truth About Medication – Toronto Acupuncture Clinic – Samuel Lo

  • Acupuncture Needles - Toronto Acupuncture Clinic

In my practice, I see a lot of patients with long histories of medication for multiple diagnosed conditions. In fact, by the time I have seen these people, they have consumed 50>=100% of their body weight in medication.   These medications are often prescribed by a variety of specialists for things like pain, hypertension, cholesterol, digestive issues, and more. And for the most part, they are prescribed to stabilize the condition – and not to “cure” the condition.   Of course, it is critical to take your meds when prescribed by a doctor. The medication has been prescribed to you for a reason. So if you are not compliant, your health could be at risk! But it is also important to be aware of the side effects… …Most of these medications actually have very similar side effects, like:   Broad short-term effects, including: gastrointestinal issues, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. This […]

How an IT technician would explain my job – Toronto Acupuncture Clinic

  • Insertion of Acupuncture Needle - Toronto Acupuncture Clinic

When I get asked, “What do you do?”   I know that nobody wants to sit through my technical scientific explanation, so I explain it in terms everyone can understand: in basic IT terms.   Imagine buying a brand-new computer.   As soon as you take it out of the box, you can bet it’s running quickly and smoothly. But as the years go by, a significant amount of software gets installed, files get cluttered, and videos get downloaded. And eventually, all of this wears on your once new computer and it slows down over time.   Of course, we try to preserve our computer with antivirus software, system updates, and even a defragmentation of the hard drive.   We use countless tools to enhance and optimize system performance, but will it ever be in the same condition as the day you took it out of the box?   Unfortunately […]

Yin and Yang and how it is used it to help you achieve optimal health – Toronto Acupuncture Clinic – Samuel Lo

  • Needle for acupuncture on spa stones on table close up

Yin and Yang are famously associated with Chinese medicine, you may already know that it is the foundation of diagnosis and treatment.  Did you know that the concept is just as important to my work with osteopathy and western medicine? Let me explain.   In Chinese medicine, Yin and Yang are used to represent the balance between health and disease. It represents a constantly changing homeostasis. We can only be healthy when they are in balance.   In osteopathy I also seek to maintain a homeostasis.  In the practice of osteopathy we aim to strike a balance of structure (yin) vs balance (yang).   In traditional medicine there are numerous systems that we try to keep in balance.  Which include, muscles and bones, hormones in the endocrine system, and the nervous system.   During my assessment of  a patients health identifying the balance between the Yin and Yang is the foundation […]

Here’s what happens to your body as you age… Toronto Acupuncture Clinic

  • Chinese herbal medicine with acupuncture needles - Toronto Acupuncture Clinic

Did you ever get injured as a kid?   Maybe you fell off your bike. Or got hurt on the playground.   You might remember that the recovery period was relatively quick and painless.  Or perhaps there was no recovery period at all. Maybe you simply picked yourself up, dusted yourself off and kept on playing.   So why can’t we pick ourselves up and keep on playing when we get injured as adults?   When we’re born, we have a natural ability to recover well and heal quickly.   In fact, a study (Sheffield 1970) reveals that children under the age of six have the ability to heal naturally. Just like salamanders that regenerate lost limbs and sliced spinal cords. Unfortunately, this natural healing ability changes as we get older.   As we advance in age, our inherent ability to regenerate diminishes. In the medical world, we call this […]

“How long will the pain last?”

  • Acupuncture Technique

When patients are in pain from an injury, the first thing they want to know is: “how long will the pain last?” and “will it ever get better?”   I always tell them that recovery time depends on how severe the injury is and how long they’ve had it for.   As a general rule of thumb, injuries can take the same amount of time to heal (undevelop) as they did to develop. So if you succumbed to an injury 3-4 days ago, then it could take 3-4 days to fully recover if you get the right treatment. But if you’ve had an injury that has been lingering around for years, or even decades, then we have to shift gears to control and maintain the issue. In fact, those are our two goals: first, we need to control it, then, we need to maintain it.   To achieve our first […]

Fact or Fiction? The Great “Triple Burner” Debate!

  • Acupuncture needles, moxa sticks, TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine

Have you ever seen the show, “Fact or Fiction?” If not, it goes like this: each week, an unbelievable story is told and the viewers get to judge if they believe the story is fact or fiction.   In Chinese medicine, we have our very own “fact or fiction” debate. Except this debate is centuries-old and we still don’t have the answer.   This ongoing debate has stayed in the back of my mind for years.   Here’s what it’s all about: TCM practitioners have long questioned the existence of the organ, The Triple Burner. Unlike all of the other organs in the human body, it is the only one with no physical component.   It’s said to be the organ with a name but no form.   How could that be?   Well, the triple burner “holds the office of the sluices (water channel controlled by gates); it manifests […]

This is How You Fix Multiple Conditions – Toronto Acupuncture Clinic

Picture this: one day you wake up to discover your home has been flooded.   In a panic, you call your local plumber, Joe.   By the time Joe strolls in, you throw your arms up in the air and barely take a breath as you rant about your damaged walls, your ruined carpet, the irreparable dresser, spoiled clothing, etc.   So why am I asking you to imagine this nightmare?   Well, a flooded home is the perfect example of how problems can spread from one system to another.   So how do we fix it?   In this situation, what’s important is that we find the drain to the basement. We must know why it is plugged, and what happened to it.   Why is the drain important?   If the plumber can fix the drain, then even if there is a flood tomorrow, the water will eventually […]

4 Things I Learned From Dissecting A Human Body

This summer, I dissected a 77-year old man.  I’m contributing to a neuro anatomical textbook by using real human specimens.   It was in a summer course called the The Complementary and Alternative Medicine Human Dissection Experience (CAM – HD Experience). It’s at Queens University and it is run by Craig Harness MSc, DO(Q).   This is an incredible self-guided program where you get 10 days of dissection!   Dissection is an amazing experience for any health care practitioner because it allows you to see the body for what it’s really like – and not just what you see in textbooks. Textbooks show bodies as if we were “perfect” on the inside.   Without actually seeing a body “in the flesh” you can never really grasp how complex the body truly is.   Think about it… flying a plane is not like using a flight simulator, is it?   So […]