A discussion of many diverse topics within the realm of Alternative Medicine and Healthy Living, some of which include: Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Eastern Nutrition, Pulse Diagnosis, Psychology and Bodymind Medicine, Aromatherapy, Philosophy, Spirituality, Buddhism, Meditation and Family.
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Friday 07th of June 2013 03:41:17 PM | Comments
I wrote this as a comment on a friends blog, but thought I'd re-post it here as well:
1. There is no magic point prescription to prevent getting sick. One has to look to the individual constitution and support the deficiencies and resolve accumulated stagnations to promote health and wellness, harmonize ying and wei and boost yang/wei qi, etc. We are treating individuals who get sick, not sickness/illness.
2. Why do you want to prevent getting sick? I think most people will be shocked by this question. But the reality is that getting sick (and we are talking about external invasions) provide a very valuable opportunity to the bodymind to release accumulated stagnations. An example of this is chickenpox. I won’t get into the vaccine debate here, but according to classical Chinese medicine and pediatrics, children are born with inherited toxins from there parents. It is the exposure to a virus that allows for the release of this toxicity. And if handled appropriately, the child becomes stronger and healthier after the illness. I believe this to not be limited to pediatric infectious diseases. Of course, we are not talking about the reckless behavior that gets people sick, but why are we all so paranoid about getting the flu? You just might be healthier on the other side of it……
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Tuesday 13th of October 2009 11:00:28 PM | Comments
Currently reading and appreciating "Ten Key Formula Families in Chinese Medicine" by Huang Huang. The organization of the book is simple and direct, dedicating a chapter each to the formula families of ten key herbs. Huang begins each chapter, not by jumping in to an analysis of the formulas themselves, but first by outlining the formula family presentation or symptom-sign complex as well as the formula family constitution. When looked at in this way, it helps streamline one's diagnostic categorization by helping to understand the 'personality' of each formula family by first understanding the key functions of the chief herb itself and how each formula within the family highlights one of those key functions. Interspersed with nice case statistics and appendices it is a book I definitely recommend.
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Monday 12th of October 2009 07:25:34 PM | Comments
One of the great strengths of Chinese medicine is the ability to utilize multiple systems of diagnostics and treatments seamlessly in any given patient. Today is a small example:
90 year old female patient:
pulse examination utilized 3 different pulse methods:
1. Dong Han Korean: reveals Knotted pulse in Right distal position. (Here Knotted is akin to the Spinning Bean)
2. CCPD: Right Special Lung position shows a mildly Restricted pulse in the distal aspect of the position
3. Directional Pulse: reveals a Floating pulse in the San Jiao position suggesting a significant loss of latency.
I questioned patient about chest and breast symptoms which she then reported as tightness around chest and breasts. The concern, of course, here is with an obstruction in the chest, most likely due to a tumor with loss of latency (possible metastasis). These findings need to be confirmed on subsequent treatments.
What is interesting is how each pulse method confirmed and added information to the other to provide a clearer picture of the pathology.
The patient was treated with a San Jiao Divergent meridian treatment, SJ 16, Ren 12 with a Deep-Superficial-Deep needling technique, as well as ST 12 and LI 4. The Knotted pulse decreased by 50% as a result of this one treatment.
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Tuesday 29th of September 2009 06:24:41 PM | Comments
One of my goals as a practitioner of Chinese medicine and, in particular, Contemporary Oriental Medicine and Classical Chinese Medicine is to see the links between these two lineages. One that I have pondered lately is the notion of waking with a feeling of not being rested, or early morning fatigue.
My training in COM with Dr. Leon Hammer looks at this symptom very differently from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), as does most of my training differ from TCM (a simplified westernized practice of the medicine). But Dr. Hammer was unique in attributing this symptom to the Heart. A deficiency of the qi of the Heart would create a weakness in the circulatory system which would be most sluggish in the early morning due to the extended hours of sleep and yin influences of the night time.
My training in CCM looks at this symptom as a shao yang pathology. In this sense, as we see the transformation of yin and yang within a 24 hour cycle, it is the early morning that is associated with the shao yang or little yang as it emerges from the yin (jue yin). It is this lesser yang energies that propel the yang in its upward movement. Shao yang is wood and associated with the east and the rising sun.
The link of course is that each of these explanations, while slightly different in terminology and description, are both linking this phenomenon of waking tired with a deficiency in fire or yang. Wood is necessary to fan the wind to stir fire, and shao yang shares both a wood and fire association. A typical herb for treating this can be guizhi cinnamon twig, the wood herb of the wood class, and also a wonderful herb for treating the Heart.
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Tuesday 29th of September 2009 06:25:01 PM | Comments
The YSL is off to an ambitious start; which makes sense as everything in my life is ambitious to some degree: busy acupuncture practice, thriving family with three children; PhD program; etc.
So, what did I actually accomplish:
1. I have committed to watching a minimum of one hour of my PhD dvd lectures while taking detailed notes at least 2 nights per week after the kids go to sleep. I have been able to achieve this thus far and have been doing so 4 nights per week.
2. I have committed to a more diligent practice of Chen taijiquan. I have continued to take weekly classes, driving into NYC every Sunday morning. And each night (more like 5 nights per week) I spend approximately 1/2 hour practicing my forms after studying. It's been a great way to unwind from the less than perfect posture of watching dvds on a laptop computer.
3. More time with family: I have made a concerted effort to spend more uninterrupted time with my kids (without checking the phone, emails, etc.). I have spent Tues and Fri afternoons with the family as I finish with patients early on those days. I have taken the kids bowling, away for the weekend and have taken my son out of his kindergarten wrap around program to spend more time with him. (We are also in the process of organizing a plan to homeschool. Yes, more ambitious. I'm sure this will spur some more blogposts soon.) My lunch break has been more playtime than worktime.
4. While I have not been able to take any additional classes in Tibetan medicine as my translator is not available and Rinpoche is travelling, I have been continuing my Medicine Buddha practice.
5. As January deals with learning, I also read The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin. An excellent book (which also ties in my tai ji practice). See it here.
6. Publishing articles and video lectures: No additional publishing this month, however, I am starting to work on the next article which has a mid Feb deadline. The video lecture will gain some momentum in mid March after my vacation to Costa Rica and trip to Gainesville.
7. In the midst of all this, January has been a month of tremendous reflection on how I want to live my life, how I want to raise my children, where I want to live, and how to propel myself in that direction. The discussions go on daily in my household as I try to practice more of what I preach. One of my biggest lessons this month is that change must come.
So, all in all, it's been a good month. A good start with a long road ahead.
Wednesday 30th of January 2008 11:12:57 PM | Comments
A very interesting discussion by my teacher Jeffrey Yuen related decreased metabolism (and metabolic issues) and lack of sleep. The idea is that we are highly affected by seasonal/climactic factors and the amount of light that our eyes pick up (i.e., BL 1 and activation of wei qi). The more light our eyes pick up, the more our body thinks it's summer all the time (ie, lots of yang energy). Due to technology, we live with light most of the time, albeit artificial light in our homes, workplace, etc. The body' natural mechanism is that it wants to consume more carbs/sugar/fruits because the more the body can take in, it can store it as energy for the winter. However, winter never truly comes for us anymore because of artificial heating and lighting. So, we keep consuming sugar/carbs. The excess sugar stimulates fat and cholesterol accumulation, and leads to imbalances like diabetes and arteriosclerosis because our bodies are not following the cyclical nature of sunlight and seasonal influences. One major treatment is to increase sleeping. Without sleep, we lose/consume jing-essence faster. Taxation occurs. So, there is a cyclical relationship between our eyes (BL 1 and wei qi) and metabolism. The remedy is to synchronize our days with lighting, relaxing/resting once the sun goes down. Wei qi needs to go inwards to support the Kidneys at night. Sleep!
Sunday 13th of January 2008 10:13:05 PM | Comments