Articles and Perspectives on East Asian Medicine

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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Postnatal Depression

By Acupuncture, Case Histories, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Women's Health

The commentaries included within the Ji Yin Gang Mu note that there are three major approaches to post-partum emotional disorders. One focuses on “bad blood” (bãi xué) left over after the birth, which rushes to and disrupts the Heart shen. Another emphasizes blood deficiency resulting from the birth process and its attendant traumas.  The last points to pathogenic wind taking advantage of the blood deficiency to attack. Naturally these approaches offer radically different suggestions as to how a problem is to be handled…

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Opening Through Stasis

By Classics, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis, Women's Health

If we think of the Ren vessel/Bao Tai as a tubular pathway extending from the upper body (Heart and chest) to the womb, physiologically, this tube provides the route for the Heart fire to descend to warm the womb and for the Kidney water to ascend to control, moisten and cool the Heart.  This pathway allows the communication and interaction of fire and water between the upper Jiao and womb…

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Gu Syndrome: Treating Chronic Inflammatory Disease with Chinese Herbs

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

Gu syndrome has not just been mentioned in a single classic, but every notable book by every master in the past generally featured a chapter on Gu syndrome, because it was such a major part of what a Chinese doctor practicing anywhere between 500 BC and the 1940’s was facing.  We should add here that Gu is not an anthropological phenomenon, a bizarre disease in the swamps of ancient China that does not exist anymore,.  Quite the contrary…

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The Awakening of Choice

By Clinical Perspectives , Emotion/Spirit, Theory and Diagnosis

The only true medicine is consciousness awakening to its self. What a surprise when we discover that what is seeking is what’s being sought for…My fundamental interest in medicine is in the degree to which it can support the liberation, and evolution, of consciousness in the individual and the collective. The increasing sense of urgency and passion I feel in this regard is motivated by the recognition that…

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Leaky Gut Syndrome A Modern Epidemic

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives , Dietary Therapy, East/West Integration, Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis

Antibiotics introduce a very cold environment into the digestive system. It depletes spleen yang and disrupts spleen-stomach harmony. This impairs digestion and absorption of food and fluids, and more important, depletes the qi necessary to maintain the integrity of the small intestine. The small intestine is controlled by the spleen. The spleen’s function of absorption and distribution of qi and fluid…

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Checking for Possible Herb-Drug Interactions

By AOM Research, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine

The issue of herb-drug interactions looms large over the practice of herbal medicine. Up to now there have been few incidents recorded of clinical herb-drug interactions. After the first such reports emerged in the 1990s, a concern has been raised: that we know so little about herbs and their potential for interaction with drugs that these incidents could be just the “tip of the iceberg.”. In actuality…

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On the Sublime Sincerity of the Eminent Physician

By Asian Culture, Classics, Clinical Perspectives 

In all cases, when you treat disease as an eminent physician, you must quiet your shén and fix your intention, you must be free of wants and desires, and you must first develop a heart full of great compassion and empathy. You must pledge your desire to rescue all sentient beings indiscriminately from their suffering… When seeing the suffering and grief of others, you must act as if it were your own and open your heart…

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Acupuncture in the Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives , Internal Medicine, Theory and Diagnosis, Women's Health

The intimate relationship between the Kidney and Liver in respect of gynaecology is reflected in the saying “The Kidney and Liver have the same source”, the statement by Ye Tian Shi “the Liver is the preheaven qi of woman” and the important concept that ministerial (i.e. mingmen) fire is entrusted by the Kidneys to the Liver…

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Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

By Acupuncture, Clinical Perspectives , Herbal Medicine, Internal Medicine

The general treatment principle is “nourishing yin and extinguishing wind”.  Nourishing liver and kidney yin treats the root and extinguishing wind focuses on eliminating its manifestation…..the specific treatment plan will be different in different stages of the disease and with different patients.  Generally speaking, Parkinson’s…

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