Internal 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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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