Articles and Perspectives on East Asian Medicine

The Development of Wind Aetiology in Chinese Medicine: Part I and II

By Acupuncture, Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Internal Medicine, Neuromusculoskelatal

Historically, the demon wind resided in caves, tunnels, or valleys created by Pan Gu as he emerged from the egg (ancient China’s version of the big bang theory) (Zhang and Rose 1995). These caves, tunnels and valleys are also used in acupuncture literature to designate points in the skin through which qi is able to penetrate the body (as well as flow out) and at which it is appropriate to apply needles in order to influence the inner qi (Unschuld 1985)…

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The Sinew (Tendino-Muscular) Meridians

By Acupuncture, Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Neuromusculoskelatal

The Sinew meridians are called Jing Jin. The character Jin represents something forceful, bamboo, inside the body. That is it is the power of the muscles, which like bamboo are striated and have regular intervals, knots. The Sinew meridians can be seen as muscles regions which can be tapped into at the knots, just like bamboo can be cut at the knots, and which provide the animation/rhythm of muscular movement….

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The Importance of Aconite (fuzi) and Teachings From the Sichuan Fire Spirit School

By Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine

Insomnia and anxiety are typically defined as being yin-deficient conditions in TCM. Due to the depleting effect of our modern lifestyle however, there is usually an underlying yang deficiency present in these patients. Stress can be defined as a situation when we spend our (yang) life-force rather than safeguarding and storing it. The primary problem we have here is therefore one of yang storage.

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Fu Zi: Revered and Feared

By Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine

In the case of Fu Zi, or aconite, processing dramatically changes the fresh root from being a deadly poison, to an herb that is hailed as “King of the 100 Herbs”. Because it is highly toxic in its raw form, it has been demonized by Western medicine researchers who usually study the root without understanding or taking into account the precise processing and decoction methods required….

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High Fever and Antibiotics

By Case Histories, Clinical Perspectives , East/West Integration, Herbal Medicine

This case started with a fairly typical flu, most likely caused by a wind-cold pathogen. The prescribed antibiotics constrained the pathogen in the muscle layer. Antibiotics, usually considered cold and bitter, are not appropriate in such situations, which require an acrid warm approach to disperse and release the exterior cold. The patient had a fairly robust constitution, which helped prevent the pathogen from sinking…

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Treating Dry Macular Degeneration with Acupuncture

By Acupuncture, Case Histories, Clinical Perspectives , Internal Medicine

When it comes to the retina, in ancient times, it was not even recognised as a separate part of the anatomy. Now we know it is anatomically part of the brain and nervous system. Consequently spontaneous degeneration of the retina has a similar aetiology and pathology to spontaneous degeneration of the brain and peripheral nerves…

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Channel Palpation

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis

While traditional pulse palpation is observation of the internal environment through the medium of blood vessels, channel palpation may be thought of as diagnosis through observation of interstitial fluid pathways.  Classical physicians believed that the openings and spaces one feels when palpating the channels not only make up a crucial part of physiology, but can also reflect the state of internal organs…

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Clinical Experience in the Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis

When the Triple Burner functions smoothly, all qi in the body flows smoothly and all Fire in the body circulates endlessly.  In SLE patients, the Triple Burner is obstructed, qi and Blood do not flow smoothy and there is disharmony between ying qi and wei qi.  Insufficiency of ying qi and Blood and loss of control of the defensive exterior…

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Plantar Fasciitis Acupuncture Treatment of Heel Pain

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives , Neuromusculoskelatal

Acupuncture treatment uses the extraordinary point Shimian M-LE-5 as the “target” zone for local treatment. This point is located on the centre of the heel in the region of the attachment of the plantar fascia to the calcaneus. Palpation will reliably help determine the precise site for needle insertion. Variations of paired needles at…

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Expressions of the Heart

By Clinical Perspectives , Emotion/Spirit, Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis

The Heart Yin is creative inspiration; the Heart yang is the organized and useful expression of creativity. Small Intestine allows for further clarification and the separation of ideas and feelings (Hammer 2005, p206). The Pericardium governs the protection and communication of these functions into the world. The Triple Burner serves balance, and integration (Hammer 2005, p209). As an example of all these functions conjoined, imagine an author having their inspiration, articulating it in writing, editing and fact-checking it, publishing and defending their work, and striking a balance…

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Wu Wei Zi: A Great Herb, A Little Caution

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine

Wu wei zi and ganjiang are similar in temperature but have opposing properties. Wu wei zi acts to retain and collect fluids. It retains lung qi and enhances the kidneys’ ability to receive lung qi (納氣 naqi). While wu wei zi is warm, ganjiang is hot and spicy. Wu wei zi’s nature is stillness; ganjiang’s is movement. Thus ganjiang acts to disperse cold and flush out phlegm and fluids from the lungs while invigorating the spleen and…

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Purpose 志, Elation 喜, and the Pancreas 脾

By Clinical Perspectives , Emotion/Spirit, History, Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis

We have all heard the statement that the yin Organs store but do not drain. What exactly is it that they store? One answer is in chapter 11 of the Basic Questions where it states they store the essential qi (jing qi). Chapter 42 of the Nan jing gives a slightly different answer. There, after a brief description of the structure of each Organ it states what that Organ stores. In each case it is one of these psychic aspects…

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