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6 Hollywood Celebrities Who Swear by Traditional Chinese Medicine

Some Hollywood celebrities support the use of alternative medicine. Discover how TCM treatments and herbal remedies have helped treat their health concerns.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex meeting the public in Melbourne.

Hollywood celebrities adhere to many unwritten guidelines to keep up with their celebrity status and life in the fast lane. Being in the spotlight also puts pressure on them to constantly look and feel their best. In addition to strict diets and workout routines, some famous faces have turned to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to keep them healthy and address various concerns.

Find out which Hollywood celebrities use TCM and how you can benefit from these natural treatments too. 

Jennifer Lopez

Close-up of Jennifer Lopez in a red dress singing into a bedazzled microphone while pumping her right fist into the air.
Jennifer Lopez combined acupuncture and herbal remedies to achieve significant weight loss.

Actress and singer Jennifer Lopez attributes her 15-pound weight loss to acupuncture and herbal remedies. Winter melon seeds (dong gua zi, 冬瓜子), in particular, are her favourite, although it has been reported that she also uses different herbs daily.

Acupuncture supports weight management by stimulating the endorphins that alleviate stress and frustration – common causes of overeating. It also contributes to healthy weight loss by dispelling Dampness, and Fluid and Qi (vital life force) Stagnation. Some of the acupoints that can induce relaxation are:  

  • Feng chi (GB20, 风池) 
  • Tai chong (LR3, 太沖) 
  • Nei guan (PC6, 内关) 
  • Shan zhong (CV-RN17, 膻中) 
  • Yin tang (EX-HN3, 印堂) 

A number of herbal ingredients may be considered to calm the shen (mind) by nourishing the Heart. These include: 

  • Poria (fu ling, 茯苓) 
  • American ginseng (hua qi shen, 花旗参) 
  • Longan fruit (long yan rou, 龙眼肉) 
  • Biota seeds (bai zi ren, 柏子仁) 
  • Lily bulbs (bai he, 百合) 
  • Oyster shells (mu li, 牡蛎) 
  • Chinese Magnolia-vine fruit (wu wei zi, 五味子) 
  • Thin-leaf Milkwort root (yuan zhi, 远志) 

Celine Dion

Close-up of Celine Dion smiling as she looks upward and waves with her left hand.
Celine Dion underwent acupuncture before her sixth IVF treatment cycle to increase her chances of conceiving.

Famed singer Celine Dion went through five unsuccessful cycles of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment before she was introduced to an acupuncturist named Dr Aina Zhang. Shortly after her sixth IVF cycle, it was reported that she had successfully conceived her twin sons, Eddy and Nelson.

TCM believes the Kidneys and Liver play critical roles during pregnancy.

“The Kidneys are responsible for storing jing (essence) and are directly linked to a woman’s reproductive system. The Chong Mai and Ren Mai vessels support reproduction by distributing jing to all body parts and regulating blood and energy in the uterus. As such, women should take steps to nourish blood and jing, warm Kidney qi, and regulate blood, qi, and the Chong Mai and Ren Mai vessels,” explains TCM Physician Lim Sock Ling. 

Some herbal remedies that encourage ovulation are: 

  • Si Wu soup (四物汤) 
  • Er Zhi pills (二至丸) 
  • Wen Shen An Tai soup (温肾安胎汤) and Shou Tai pills (寿胎丸): These can be taken on the day of the embryo transfer procedure for IVF

Acupuncture can also help women relax and boost blood flow to their reproductive organs. Consequently, it’ll improve ovary follicle development and the quality of the eggs (ovum) produced. The points that an acupuncturist may work on are:  

  • Shen men (HT7, 神门) 
  • Nei guan (PC6, 內关) 
  • Guan yuan (RN4, 关元) 
  • Qi hai (RN6, 气海) 
  • San yin jiao (SP6, 三阴交) 

Gwyneth Paltrow

Close-up of Gwyneth Paltrow smiling as she poses for a photo.
Gwyneth Paltrow drinks a herbal beverage made from goji berries and chrysanthemum flowers to soothe tired eyes.

The Netflix series The Goop Lab and its executive producer, Gwyneth Paltrow, have been heavily criticised for promoting products and treatments unsupported by scientifically validated facts.

Ultimately, Gwyneth is an advocate of TCM and has undergone acupuncture and cupping therapy. She also brews and drinks goji berry (gou qi zi, 枸杞子) and chrysanthemum flower (ju hua, 菊花) tea to soothe red, dry eyes.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex

Close-up of Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, smiling.
The Duchess of Sussex turned to acupuncture to relieve migraines and support her pregnancy.

Crippling migraines that required her to be hospitalised used to be the bane of Meghan Markle’s existence. Thankfully, she found acupuncture and cupping therapy, and has been living a migraine-free life ever since.

The Duchess of Sussex also used acupuncture to relax and improve blood flow during her pregnancy with her son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. 

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber backed by two dancers as he performs a song while gesturing with his left hand.
Justin Bieber has used the Graston technique, which is similar to gua sha, to relieve neck discomfort.

A TCM technique that’s becoming increasingly popular with celebrity facialists, the Graston technique a trademarked version of gua sha has also been used by Justin Bieber to alleviate neck pain

Normally, the pain can stem from minor injury or strain due to prolonged sitting or sleeping in an awkward posture, sports injuries, or a sudden fall. In TCM, neck stiffness is associated with internal imbalances such as Cold, Dampness, Stagnation and Deficiencies. 

Facial gua sha administered to the right side of woman’s face using two jade stones.
Gua sha is not just a facial tool but may also help alleviate neck discomfort.

To relieve the discomfort, a licensed TCM practitioner may recommend using gua sha, acupuncture, cupping, or tuina. The acupoints that can help regulate body constitutions are luo zhen (EXUE 14) and jian jing (GB21, 肩井).

Robert Downey Jr.

Close-up of Robert Downey Jr. posing for a photo with his arms folded as he stands on a roof in Moscow, Russia.
Robert Downey Jr. practices Qigong and uses acupuncture to stay in good health.

Like all the other celebrities on this list, Robert Downey Jr. is also a fan of TCM. However, he’s the only one who’s actually been presented with an award – the Robert Graham Visionary Award – for upholding the system of medicine. 

But that’s not to say he isn’t deserving of the accolade. After all, he has come a long way from being a drug addict since the tender age of eight. Today, he lives a healthier lifestyle, which includes using acupuncture and herbal remedies and the practice of Qigong and kung fu.

As Downey aptly put it, “It’s contributed to making me a more tolerable father, son, husband, co-worker, and according to the title of this award, visionary.” 

TCM is a proven system for maintaining good health through internal equilibrium, as these Hollywood celebrities can attest to. If you are thinking of following in their footsteps, it’s best to speak to a licensed practitioner beforehand. Proper guidance will ensure that you reap the benefits of incorporating TCM into your life without experiencing contraindications.

References

  1. DAO LABS. 2019. 4 WAYS TO USE CHINESE MEDICINE LIKE A CELEBRITY. [online] [Accessed on 5 December 2022] 
  2. Eu Yan Sang. Stress From The TCM Perspective. [online] [Accessed on 5 December 2022] 
  3. All Things Health. 2022. Considering IVF Treatment? These Success Stories Can Help You Decide. [online] [Accessed on 5 December 2022] 
  4. Wikipedia. The Goop Lab. [online] [Accessed on 5 December 2022] 
  5. ACUFINDER.COM. Cupping: How Gwyneth Paltrow Got Her Spots. [online] [Accessed on 5 December 2022] 
  6. MailOnline. Gwyneth Paltrow turns to acupuncture to heal herself – and says those ‘many little needles have helped her through many an ailment’. [online] [Accessed on 5 December 2022] 
  7. HELLO! Meghan Markle’s ‘debilitating’ hidden illness she was hospitalised with. [online] [Accessed on 5 December 2022] 
  8. AcuMedic. MEGHAN MARKLE USED ACUPUNCTURE TO DELIVER THE NEW ROYAL BABY. [online] [Accessed on 5 December 2022] 
  9. HealthCMi. 2013. Acupuncture Revived From Cutting Room Floor In Iron Man 3. [online] [Accessed on 5 December 2022] 

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