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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Tips from Chinese Medicine

For more than 30 years, October has been recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This effort to raise awareness and funds for research can be considered a recent endeavor in the history of the disease which has been around for at least 5000 years. Medical texts describe cases dating back to 3,000 BC. Today, about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. (A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 883).

In order to promote early detection, educational campaigns share information about warning signs such as breast swelling or discomfort, nipple pain or pitted skin. Western medicine researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer, but causation is considered extremely complex.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) organizes causative factors into the following categories which can also interact in complex ways:

*Stagnation (liver qi): The liver is in charge of moving the qi in the body, dispersing stagnation caused by various influences (such as the other causative factors listed below). Emotional stress can cause a weakness in its capacity for qi distribution and regulation. The liver channel also connects directly with the breasts. Unchecked stagnation can cause dense tissue and masses to form.

*Heat: On a very basic level, heat in TCM can be likened to inflammation. This can be caused by internal or external influences. One of the main external influences that can lead to heat (and therefore inflammation) in the body are environmental toxins.

*Deficiencies: Both qi and blood deficiencies can contribute to the development of breast cancer. The immune system needs enough qi to target and remove abnormal (potentially cancerous) cells and regenerate healthy ones. A deficiency of blood can lead to stagnation if there is not enough blood to maintain vigorous circulation (picture a river during a drought). Also, a deficiency of spleen qi (related to digestion) often leads to dampness in Chinese Medicine.

*Dampness: One of the ways dampness expresses itself in the body is by the accumulation of excess fat. Also, dampness and heat combined usually generates ‘phlegm stagnation’ which can take the form of hardness, nodules and tumors.

Luckily, the approach to prevention is not as complex as breaking down the causes.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Prevention Tips:

  • Enjoy nutritious seasonal food to support the creation of new qi and blood.
  • Avoiding processed food will help to minimize toxic heat and dampness in the body and cut down on our body’s inflammatory responses.
  • Regular exercise helps us to maintain circulation and a healthy weight while allowing us to sweat out toxins.
  • Filtering our air and water can help minimize our exposure to environmental toxins.
  • Liver detox teas and gentle cleansing protocols, especially during Spring (liver time), can be very beneficial in ridding the body of accumulated toxins and supporting the liver’s role in the free flow of qi.
  • Managing stress is critical. Target your biggest stressors in life and make changes to either remove them, limit them or create better coping strategies.  Lifestyle modifications, daily meditation and regular acupuncture can help reduce stress.
  • Massage and castor oil packs can be used preventatively to help avoid local stagnation, often found in fibrocystic (lumpy) breasts (though these direct approaches are usually avoided in the treatment of actual cancerous tumors).
  • Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs are wonderful tools for prevention and can also help to treat side effects of conventional cancer therapies (nausea, neuropathy, pain etc.).

Simply put, TCM’s approach to Breast cancer prevention is overall health promotion. Call us today to get in for some health promoting acupuncture sessions and feel your best!

Make an Appointment at EVOLVE Acupuncture

Dr. Mike Tocco, DACM, Licensed Acupuncturist and Registered Nurse

EVOLVE Acupuncture                    (248) 955-1215

Clinic Guidelines for COVID-19 and Patient Safety

REVISED July 1, 2021:  EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness is now open to see acupuncture patients following all CDC guidelines for healthcare facilities.

EVOLVE Acupuncture wanted to reach out and provide an update on the steps we are taking in our clinic with COVID-19. 

We offer online scheduling for your convenience and have a waitlist feature.

Clinic Guidelines for COVID-19 and Patient Safety, Evolve Acupuncture in Ferndale, MI

EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness continues to take extra precautions to provide you with a sanitized environment to minimize risk and exposure.  These enhanced guidelines are being implemented for our patient’s safety. 

We want you to feel safe and comfortable when visiting our clinic.  We will continue to keep our patients updated as things change based on CDC guidelines and local government recommendations.

Here is a letter that was shared with all of our patients and posted on our website.  Link Please contact us directly with any questions.  

In health, Dr. Mike at EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness (248) 955-1215

How acupuncture can help you look your best!

by EVOLVE Acupuncture in Ferndale, Michigan

How acupuncture can help you look your best!, Evolve Acupuncture in Ferndale, MI

Patients always ask if acupuncture can help make them look younger.  The short answer is yes but it takes a commitment.  Cosmetic or Facial Acupuncture can:  

  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin appearance over time
  • Create lasting effects to the skin that patients can see and feel
  • Increase natural collagen and fibroblast production
  • Lower oxidative stress in the body which is highly associated with the aging process

EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness uses a 3-step process that is exclusive to our clinic in the metro Detroit area.  During your treatment, this 3-step process includes facial acupuncture using motor points, LED red light therapy and a facial cupping.  This combination is the same one used by Travall Croom, who I studied with and is considered the go to acupuncturist in NYC for runway models.  

EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness recommends patients start with a package of 10 visits and come 2 times per week for the first month followed by maintenance appointments every 2-6 weeks.  If you're planning for a big event like a wedding or mile-stone birthday, it's best to start 3 months prior to this event for best results.  Individual results may vary.

More information on facial acupuncture offered by Mike Tocco, Licensed Acupuncturist at EVOLVE Acupuncture can be found here:

Call the office at (248) 955-1215 or schedule online here:

In good health, Dr. Mike Tocco, DACM, LAc

Licensed Acupuncturist at EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness conveniently located in Ferndale, Michigan serving the metro Detroit area.

What Tongue Type Are You?

You might be surprised when your acupuncturist asks you to stick out your tongue at your first visit! 

It's actually very helpful for us to take a look at your tongue to determine what is going on systemically in your body.  Everyone's tongue is unique! Based on what we see, your acupuncturist will create a customized treatment plan to help you with energy, sleep, digestive problems, etc. 

Take a look at this chart to determine your tongue type.  Most patients will be a combination of 2-3 of these tongue types.  When you make your appointment at EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness, we will discuss this in more detail and confirm your findings.  

Call us at (248) 792-8150 or schedule online at

In good health, Dr. Mike Tocco, DACM, LAc

Licensed Acupuncturist at EVOLVE Acupuncture & Wellness conveniently located in Ferndale, Michigan serving the metro Detroit area.

What Tongue Type Are You?, Evolve Acupuncture in Ferndale, MI