Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Six patterns not treatable

In my practice of traditional medicine, I've come to realize quite many factors are involved in the recovery of sickness and illnesses. We all know there are many illnesses and sicknesses about body of human beings. How diseases develop and change is getting more and more complicated. Methods to treat or cure, however, are not that many and far reaching. Therefore if factors such as attitude, mindset, living lifestyle, diets and others can be of positive and appropriate ones, recovery of course will turn out to be better, and faster.

If certain factors are not cooperative, it will be difficult to help/treat/cure...

According to 扁鵲(Bian Que), there are six scenarios/situations/patterns in which it's not easy to treat and must be approached with great care:

Title: 六不治, Liu Bu Zhi, Six-(patterns/traits)-not-(easily)-treatable

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驕恣不論於理,一不治也;

輕身重財,二不治也;

衣食不能適,三不治也;

陰陽并,藏氣不定,四不治也;

形羸不能服藥,五不治也;

信巫不信醫,六不治也。

有此一者,則重難治也。

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In PinYin pronunciation:

1. Jiao Zi Bu Lun Yu Li, Yi Bu Zhi Ye;

2. Qing Shen Zhong Cai, Er Bu Zhi Ye;

3. Yi Shi Bu Neng Shi, San Bu Zhi Ye;

4. Yin Yang Bing, Zang Qi Bu Ding, Si Bu Zhi Ye;

5. Xing Lei Bu Neng Fu Yao, Wu Bu Zhi Ye;

6. Xin Wu Bu Xin Yi, Liu Bu Zhi Ye.

You Ci Yi Zhe, Ze Zhong Nan Zhi Ye.

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1. Arrogant attitude not rationalized on truth, one not (easily) treatable thus;

2. Ignore body emphasize money, two not (easily) treatable thus;

3. Clothes diets not able suitable, three not (easily) treatable thus;

4. Yin Yang conflict, organs energy not stable, four not (easily) treatable thus;

5. Shape weak can not take herbs, five not (easily) treatable thus;

6. Trust witchcraft not trust medicine, six not (easily) treatable thus;

Got any one these, then hard difficult treatable thus.

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Explanations/Interpretations:

1. People who are arrogant, stubborn and spoilt and who refuse to be rational; it's not easy to treat them. These people may not cooperate in changes of lifestyle and diets. And their mindset so strongly fixed it's hard to share with them some other useful perspectives. Some could have been taking modern chemicals for many years and walk in to ask if the traditional medicine can 'fix' their chronic illnesses in two weeks, for example. Some always believe branded names and luxurious presentations; many ended up over doing surgery or operations, and some having their organs removed at some 5-star public-listed hospitals. And after which they turn to traditional medicine for help after all the invasive and removal surgeries... And many times they expect the side effects or the original illnesses can be 'fixed'in two weeks..., for example. For such people, with lack of rationale, it's not easy to treat them.

2. People who ignore their bodies but emphasize on making money; it's not easy to treat them. There are quite a number of people who craze with materialistic possessions to the extend they may not know the value behind physical possessions and therefore they don't know how to use money as tools for something more useful than physical world. Being too busy with making money and thus having too little time to listen to their bodies need (or family's or friends' need) is always a problem itself. There are also some people who are too stingy to spend money on medical need; an extra figure in their banks make more sense than a healthy body. For such people, a discount of 50 percents of the medical cost may be more helpful than the actual treatment itself. For such people, who don't know the true value of monetary sense, their illnesses are difficult to treat.

3. People who don't wear appropriate clothing or eat proper diets and herbs (and live a proper lifestyle); it's not easy to treat their diseases and illnesses. Revealing too much body parts can be more prone to windness and coldness, especially during autumn and winter, for example. People are also conditioned to take cold and icy drinks; and some women don't bother to reduce them before and during menstruation and thus menstrual pain and some pre-menstrual syndrome persist, for another example. Some work in the evening and at night shifts; the body clock has some hard time adjusting to activity at night. People who work at night will bound to have heaty liver and low immune system. Some inappropriateness is due to ignorance, some due to free will to indulgence, some due to the hardship of making ends meet...

4. People whose body have conflicts in Yin and Yang, plus whose energy of internal organs isn't stable; it's not easy to treat them. There are people with lots of conflicts among internal organs in terms of physical substances and functionality. And some organs can be weak too from chronic battles with illnesses and with each other. It's analogous to a person whose family members are fighting each other and lots of enemies outside too. It's chaotic and it's obviously a difficult situation. When the equilibrium between physical substances and their functionality is broken, plus the invasion of external pathogens, it's difficult to treat the problem.

5. People whose body are too weak to take herbs; it's not easy to treat them. This happens to people whose stomach and spleen functions are so weak they can't help to take it and digest and absorb the efficacy of foods or herbs. It'll take a very long time to treat such cases. It can be equally long to use acupuncture/tuina to treat because the body, too, reacts very slowly to external stimulants into the body. For such people, they have to start taking very original, simple and organic foods to have a good start to recover their spleen and stomach functions, before other organs can benefit from it.

6. People who believe in witchcraft but not in medicine; it's not easy to treat them. There are people who believe much more in deities or spirits, be they up there in heaven or down there in hell. Even though I talk about the relationship of body, mind and soul with my patients, I tend not to get into the soul part. I believe we are who we are by the way we think, talk, interact, and act with choice. And therefore we should just do our parts well on earth. There are situations, however, I do share my thoughts on souls with someone I suspect involves beyond physical or mental problems.

For anyone who's found to have one of the scenario, it's quite difficult to treat and must be approached with great care.

In short, those that aren't rational and don't take care of their bodies well are not easy to treat.

If I may add some of my own ideas of 'difficult cases' or 'not-easily-treatable cases', I'd say:

7. People that indulge themselves in desires (Seeing beauty, tasting great foods, smelling sweet scents, hearing sexy voices, touching softness and sophistication) especially the sexual pleasure; it's not easy to treat their illnesses. All indulgence in senses exhaust energy, depending which organs is more responsible over which senses. Over activity in sex reduces original kidney qi, the kidney energy, which is the ultimate reservoir of all energies. When it's not sufficient, all functions of other organs go down dramatically.

8. People who want only fast relief or simple ways out; it's not easy to treat their medical problems. Fast reliefs are usually symptomatic relief, they hardly target on the real internal problems that give rise to the illnesses. Similarly, people who are impatient or just look for 'miraculous' cure; it's difficult to help either.

9. People who have yet to find a balance of things and issues; it's not easy to treat their diseases. These people tend to blame most things on others and create unnecessary conflicts and dismays in life. They may also over worry or be lustful over materialistic items. There are also people who think they can plan most things like 20 years ahead but then ignore how to live to the fullest these very days. When a balance isn't there, the mind will be occupied by tedious things in life and lose her main direction. Mind is more powerful than the body... in a way. Please strive to strike a balance of things and issues.

10. The list goes on; but the not-so crucial ones let's not worry about them. And some of them overlap too. Remember, live at this very moment.


Now, do we still wonder why there are so many difficult-to-treat illnesses in the world?

Or care to shed your own ideas of how things can be better dealt with?

PS:

- The writing's from 六不治(Liu Bu Zhi; Six-Not-Treatable) of 扁鵲(Bian Que), recorded by 司馬遷(SiMa Qian) in his historical records of 《史記》(Shi Ji; History Record; Historical and literature records from roughly 3000 B.C. to 122 B.C., in China). According to what Mr. SiMa wrote, Bian Que lived during the era of 春秋(Chun Qiu; Spring Autumn; 770 B.C. - 476 B.C.), practiced medicine in countries of (Qi) and (Zhao). Bian Que's stories span a time frame of a few hundred years (A debate questioned by many scholars to be comprising of many reasons). A small section of the the book 《史記》 recorded Bian Que's exceptional (and miraculous and unbelievable) therapeutic skills.

- The Chinese characters are in old/complicated versions to reflect the original feel.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Treating Illnesses and diseases with herbs and acupuncture

Illnesses and diseases that I treat with herbs and acupuncture

Some patients have been asking why I don't have a page of medical services available for reference. They'd like to refer to some 'list of illnesses' treatable well with herbal or acupuncture medical treatments. I remember I once wrote a page of diseases recognized by WHO to be treatable with acupuncture a long while ago.

And so I decided to write a page of diseases I treat in my clinical practice.

Below are some illness and diseases which I use herbs and acupuncture for treatments. The names of illnesses and symptoms are simply put and some simple explanations, if necessary, follow. And as a result they're more like phrases; I beg your pardon.

In short, the table of contents is as:

(Gynecology):
- [Menstruation related]:
- [Vaginal discharge related]:
- [Pregnancy/ Pre-natal related]:
- [Post-natal related]:
- [Other gynecological illnesses]:

(Pediatrics):
- [Common illnesses]:
- [Seasonal illnesses]:
- [Miscellaneous]:
- [Newborn illnesses]:

(Internal Medicine):
- [Lungs]:
- [Heart]:
- [Stomach-gastrointestinal]:
- [Liver and gallbladder]:
- [Kidneys and bladder systems]:
- [Diseases related to Men]:
- [Treatments related to Women]:
- [Illnesses related to endocrine system]:
- [Diseases and illnesses related to energy, blood, and fluids]:
- [Illnesses related to limbs and meridians]:

(Others):
- [Illnesses related to bones and joints]:
- [Diseases related to skins]:

FOOTNOTE: (Some clarifications...)
- [Consultation process]:
- [Other illnesses and diseases?]
- [Cure or treatments or both?]
- [Treatment methods]:
- [Are the needles or the herbs safe?]
- [Treatment course/time]:
- [Cancer patients or not?]
- [Drop me questions?]:

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(Gynecology):

- [Menstruation related]: Menstrual period can be early, late or alternating in between. And the amount of bleeding can be little, or more. There are times period is prolonged and dragging. There can be bleeding in between two proper menstrual periods (dysfunctional uterine bleeding). Prolonged and severe cases lead to over-bleeding of menstruation or absence of menstrual period (Amenorrhea).

And of course one of the quite common complaint is period pain (Dysmenorrhea). Endometriosis is one of the causes. And there are a few different body types that contribute to it.

There are many different patterns of pre-menstrual tension syndromes (PMS). Some continue during the menstruation. Among them are: fever, headache, dizziness, body aches, nausea, diarrhea, energy bloating (a form of body swelling), breast distention/tenderness, painful nipples, emotional upsurge, mouth ulcers, hives and body dryness.

Pelvic inflammatory disease too.

And there are climacteric syndromes (menopause) for ladies getting to year of 49 years old, plus and minus.

- [Vaginal discharge related]: Vaginitis; infection or not, yeast related, bacteria etc. The color and time of occurring is important clues. Some are related to cervical inflammation and even pelvic infection.

- [Pregnancy/ Pre-natal related]: Illnesses of pregnancy related problems differ greatly depending on body types. This is why even the more experienced ladies in giving birth can't understand why things can be so different with different pregnancies. Anyway, I mostly treat nausea, lower abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, lower lumbar pain, lower abdominal unease. The vaginal bleeding, lower lumbar pain and lower abandonment pain can lead to threatened abortion. They can be early symptoms of miscarriage. Great care must be taken to ensure the continuation of pregnancy. There are ladies who have had abortions (forced or voluntary) for a few times and who have difficulty continuing any pregnancy or who have difficulty getting pregnant again.

There is also case of slow growth of fetus. Other symptoms seen are nausea and vomiting (upsurge of stomach gas), water retention; those that are related to high blood pressure are energy or water retention coupled with dizziness and seizure. Cases with too much or too little amniotic fluid.

Most TCM clinics are not equipped for acute cases (unless you're in TCM hospitals in China, where they practice modern and traditional medicine hand in hand), so please only visit TCM practitioners or acupuncturists for chronic treatments or after A&E treatments.

There are cases of urinary tract infections and coughing during pregnancy. They're not strictly pregnancy related illness but they occur quite common among pregnant ladies. So I see them quite a lot too in my practice.

Toward the trimester some ladies may have improper baby position. In common words we say the head isn't going downward or doesn't go into the pelvis cavity; we may either do acupuncture or herbs or both to help. Sometimes there are overdue cases too.

Those that I don't mention are not commonly seen in my practice; they're usually taken care by modern medicine. It's important to know when to use what.

Uterus fibroid (6cm or smaller), poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Infertility.

- [Post-natal related]: Loitering vaginal bleeding can be observed. Feverish muscle ache is also common. Some ladies with weak body may have dizziness. There are cases of lower abdomen pain and body aching. Losing too much blood can also cause muscle cramping. Urinary blockage/retention or incontinence can take place. Constipation may also occur after pregnancy.

There are those who're breast-feeding may ask to have more milk supply. Vice versa, there are also ladies who ask to have their milk supply stopped. Some ladies develop breast inflammation, partly due to improper breastfeeding.

- [Other gynecological illnesses]: Infertility is commonly seen in my clinical practice. Fallopian tubes may be blocked and other reasons as well. Lower abdomen pain of either or both sides is common too. There are cases of uterine fibroid and ovaries cysts. Sexual dysfunctional problems and low sexual libido.

Breast inflammation; acute or chronic with multiple nodules of hyperplasia of breasts (mammary glands).

There is also depression due to menstrual periods, pregnancies, post-natal, and menopause.

Among those involve vagina are vaginal itchiness, vaginal infection, 'vaginal farting', swollen and pain in vagina or labia areas.

(Pediatrics):

- [Common illnesses]: Cough is among the most common symptom. It can be an isolated illness or just one of the symptoms of other illnesses. Flu or common cold is next. Feverish symptom is another symptom common to many illnesses. There are plenty of cases of asthma, acute or chronic. And that asthmatic cough due to lung infections sometimes seen. Mouth ulcers are common too.

Those related closely to stomach and spleen systems are: nausea/vomiting, infantile diarrhea, abdominal pain, poor appetite, food stagnation, malnutrition, seizure, epilepsy, and so on.

- [Seasonal illnesses]: There are cases of flu/common cold, measles, German measles (Rubella), chicken pox, heat stroke and etc.









- [Miscellaneous]: There are cases of bet-wetting (Enuresis) and frequent urination, night crying. Occasionally there are babies or children who sweat a lot or have palm sweating. Others are growth problem involving hair, speech, teeth. There are also cases of weak limps, legs and muscles.


- [Newborn illnesses]: Jaundice is among the number 1 problem I see in newborn. Then there are indigestion, phlegmy breath, constipation, chronic mild fever and so on. Babies with G6PD-Deficiency must avoid six (6) distinct herbs in the prescription.

(Internal Medicine):

- [Lungs]: Among the common illnesses I treat are coughs, bronchial asthma, common cold (wind heat or wind cold or others) and influenza. Other lungs related symptoms are: persistent cough (whooping cough-like), coughing with blood, nose allergy/rhinitis/ sinusitis, sore throat with infections and etc. Many symptoms caused by bronchitis and pneumonia can be treated. Chronic cough with tuberculosis-like patterns are actually on the rise too. Heat stroke can be seen too.

Herbal and acupuncture treatments for quitting smoking are provided too.

Related to nose are: rhinitis (chronic, allergic), nasal polyp, nosebleed.

- [Heart]: Insomnia is definitely more seen. Palpitation, chest pain, or numbness around the upper chest are common. These symptoms may be caused by cardiac arrhythmia, some coronary heart diseases. Some dizziness/giddiness are related to heart problem too. Stroke or its side effect with half body paralysis is treated. Epilepsy, mostly the primary one, is treated. More and more emotional illnesses are showing; among them the depression, mood or stress-related disorders. Schizophrenia is treated. High blood pressure (hypertension) and low blood pressure (hypotension) are common too. Bad memory.

- [Stomach-gastrointestinal]: Stomach ache (acute or chronic gastritis), upper bloated sensation (some by reflux problem, or functional indigestion), lower abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting (or food poisoning related), hiccup, burping, diarrhea (or enteritis or dysentery), and constipation. Symptoms shown by IBS, hemorrhage of gastrointestinal nature, mal-absorption can be treated. Bad breath.

Some forms of internal bleeding are closely related to spleen system. Body slimming is a common request these days. Breast enhancement too.

- [Liver and gallbladder]: Jaundice related to viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, gall stone formation, gallbladder infections. Fatty liver, metabolic illnesses related to diet. Side chest pain, the hypochondrium, one-sided or both sides, again it's related to many illnesses involving liver, gallbladder; some is about the nerve system around the area. Symptoms related to herpes zoster. Malaria-like fever is categorized here too.

- [Kidneys and bladder systems]: Edema, or simply water retention, urinary tract infection (UTI), or stones in the urinary tract, blood in urine (hematuria), bubbles in urine, frequent urination (may or may not be related to Diabetes), incontinence, difficulty in urination, and so on.

Related to ears (Kidneys' opening is at the ears; TCM theory is special huh?) are: Meniere's disease, ear ringing (tinnitus), middle ear infection (Otitis Media).

- [Diseases related to Men]: Infertility issues such as lack of sperms, non-liquefaction of semen, teratozoospermia (structural deformation), dead sperms. Sexual impotence (prostate related or not, and/or erectile dysfunction ED), premature ejaculation, nocturnal emissions, prospermia (premature ejaculation) and also symptoms related to prostate enlargement and prostatitis.

- [Treatments related to Women]: Breast enlargement/enhancement, body slimming.







- [Illnesses related to endocrine system]: Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, simple goiter are quite common in clinical practice. Occasionally some cases with hyper-cortisol-ism for people who have been on corticosteroid drug for some time... More often than not I'm treating the side-effects more than the disease itself...


- [Diseases and illnesses related to energy, blood, and fluids]: Depression (also a heart related problem), blood issues (nose bleeding, gum bleeding, coughing blood, vomiting blood, blood in stool, blood in urine (pinky or blood threads, or red blood cells microscopically), skin purpura), perspiration issues (involuntary sweating, hyperhidrosis, night sweating), Diabetes Mellitus (frequent urination, lots of water drinking, lots of foods intake), internal fever (chronic fever of various causes), chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity.

- [Illnesses related to limbs and meridians]: Headache (including migraine, and internal or external related), paralysis, rheumatism, muscle atrophy, spasm, tremor, lumbar pain and etc. Some symptoms shown by rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis can be treated accordingly. Occasional some cases of facial spasm, sciatica.

(Others):

- [Illnesses related to bones and joints]: Cervical spondylosis, osteoporosis, shoulder periarthritis, neck soft tissue injury, waist sprain (acute and chronic).





- [Diseases related to skins]: Eczema, urticaria/hives, psoriasis, herpes zoster, acne, hair loss.

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FOOTNOTE: (Some clarifications...)

- [Consultation process]: Regardless of the main and secondary complaints, many symptoms will be consulted for determining the body type. Usually the below will be inquired upon: Temperature adjustment, cough, breathing, thirst, the upper or lower abdomens, appetite and favorite foods or drinks, perspiration, the head or alertness, energy level, stamina or fatigue, bowel motion, urination, retention of energy or water, and etc. Some people find this weird as TCM doctors seem to be asking irrelevant questions about the main complaint. Actually they're very relevant to knowing the body type/syndrome, which is usually the cause of the type that causes the main or secondary complaints.

- [Other illnesses and diseases?] Those diseases or illnesses not listed above may still be consulted; if I have no confidence in helping even for the first time I'd guide the patients to somewhere or someone more professional. TCM treats diseases and illnesses especially those involve complex and complicated causes. It's no surprise to see patients with unknown or rare situations looking for help.

- [Cure or treatments or both?] Often time patients and friends and family members of patients ask me if there is a cure to his or her illness. Depending on the illnesses, sometimes there's no cure and lousy treatment results; sometimes there are treatments with good control of symptoms; and sometimes there can be complete cures. The list above are the illnesses or symptoms I use herbs and/or acupuncture for treatments; the efficacy or the result depends on many other factors yet to be determined individually.

- [Treatment methods]: Herbs are to be prescribed and taken orally. Acupuncture with needles on points and meridians where they interact with our internal organs to achieve a desired state of body. Sometimes I prescribe washable liquids (herbal based) for washing or flushing on skin diseases, vagina related cleansing. On top of these, advices on diet, living lifestyle and even mental adjustments are shared based on individual body and mind, usually after I get to know the particular patient better.

- [Are the needles or the herbs safe?] Yes, they are and No, they are not; depending on how you define “safe”. If you're asking about hygiene, yes, they are safe. Needles used are pre-sterilized, one-time and disposable, never reused on the same patient or different patients. Herbs are GMP grade condensed extract of the real herbs. So they're safe in this regard. If a physician prescribes them (the combinations of herbs, or the needle prescription or the manipulation methods) not so appropriately, the patient may experience some side effects. So are they safe? Yes, they are, if the doctor does it right.

- [Treatment course/time]: How long it takes to solve the problem? It depends. For acute cases such as common cold, it may take 3 days, or slight longer. For some not so stubborn constipation, 3 weeks may be good enough. For regulation of menstrual cycles, it usually takes 3 months and above. So, whether it's 3 days, or 3 weeks or 3 months or even 3 years, it depends on the nature of the illnesses and the body type of ours. Oh, by the way, for most cases some forms of diet change, lifestyle change or even mental adjustment maybe necessary.

- [Cancer patients or not?] Hardly take cancer patients because of a few reasons: (-) If it's been operated upon and main tumor removed; herbs are only/mainly used to treat the heaty body (usually dry and heaty) left behind by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy procedures. (-) I don't have much experience in it. (-) I don't look old enough to convince people I'm experienced in cancer treatments; even if I desperately want to. (-) I'd usually recommend them to other more qualified TCM doctors who specialize in cancer treatments/post-cancer operation treatments.

- [Drop me questions?]: Please do.