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Posts Tagged ‘herndon’

Jun 3, 2014 A Madam e-mail To ArthurFan@ChineseMedicineDoctor.US
Dear Dr. Fan,
I spoke with you recently over the phone about my diagnosis of oromandibular dystonia. You had asked that I send you some background, as well as my address to send an herbal remedy to that you have found works well for dystonia patients.

I was diagnosed around 9 years ago by two neurologists (Lahey Cliinic, Mass General) with task-specific oromandibular dystonia. I was doing radio broadcasting (weather reporting) for a couple of years, which involved repetitive phrases and likely- at least in part- brought on the condition. I first developed symptoms while doing the reports in a recording booth, although my conversational speech was normal (behind the microphone I had symptoms, and stepping away from the microphone I had no symptoms). The symptoms intensified over time and I eventually had to quit the broadcasting. My conversational speech eventually became impaired, and it took at least a year (or more) for the condition to go mostly back into remission. I stayed away from the broadcasting until around 10 months ago, and have only been doing a small amount of broadcasting (two hours or so) a week. I started noticing symptoms returning while working in a research lab (that is my primary job and where I spend most of my time). It was a stressful year for me, as I was trying to get a couple of projects finished so I could publish the work- I had invited a colleague of mine to be a co-first author on this work, and we ended up having many stressful, intense conversations about the work that involved constant voice projection (the lab is loud because of background noises). I’m not sure if it was a combination of stress/anxiety coupled with voice projection, and perhaps also coupled with the little bit of broadcasting I had started doing again that brought the condition back. I was also volunteering for a couple of hours a week at a preschool- which involved more voice projection. I first developed symptoms while in the lab, talking with my colleague.

Years ago when the dystonia first appeared, I received scalp acupuncture treatments based on a protocol published in a Chinese journal that showed success in 19 early Parkinson’s patients. This was successful in relieving my symptoms. I’m on the same protocol again and am receiving treatments three times a week. I had published an article in Natural Solutions Magazine (formerly Alternative Medicine Magazine) in collaboration with my acupuncturist. Below my signature is an excerpt from the article.

I was wondering if you could send me information that I could pass along to my acupuncturist that details the protocol that you use with your dystonia patients? I would also be grateful to receive the herbal remedy that you have found works well for oromandibular dystonia. My address is(omitted in this article):

Thank you kindly for your time.
Best wishes,
E
(Excerpt from the published article):
I had been placed on a Bell’s Palsy acupuncture protocol for several months, since this was- at the time- the only neurological disorder my acupuncturist was familiar with, and unfortunately one that is characteristically very different from dystonia. I was about to quit the acupuncture since it wasn’t bringing me any real benefit, when I asked her if she knew of any protocols used to treat Parkinson’s disease- the closest disorder to dystonia that I knew of. Although researchers have not found a direct link between dystonia and Parkinson’s disease, there is great interest in some of the symptom crossover, and research groups are actively trying to better understand the overlap between the two movement disorders. Since Parkinson’s and Dystonia are both neurological and result in similar signs and symptoms, it was possible that a Parkinson’s acupuncture protocol could be adapted to a dystonia patient.

My acupuncturist found a journal article that outlined a protocol that involves both body and scalp acupuncture, and which is used to treat Parkinson’s patients.1 Acupuncture can help relieve symptoms by altering blood hormone levels. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Parkinson’s and dystonia are believed to be caused by genetics, aging, damage from excessive emotions, faulty diet, and chronic disease. Parkinson’s and Dystonia in TCM are seen as an inability of the blood and yin to nourish sinews and vessels, resulting in contraction, stiffness, and rigidity. The liver in TCM is what governs the sinews, and if the blood and yin become deficient, yang can become hyperactive, resulting in liver wind. These disorders mainly take root in the liver, but can lead to more complex presentations such as phlegm accumulation, qi and blood stagnation, and spleen and kidney deficiency. In TCM, you treat the root cause; in this case, treatment would involve settling the liver and extinguishing wind, and the manifestations, such as phlegm, stagnation, and/ or deficiency. One small study, An Acupuncture Protocol for Parkinson’s Disease,2 showed a total amelioration rate of 84.2 percent when scalp acupuncture was incorporated into an acupuncture treatment.

 

Arthur Yin Fan,CMD,PhD,LAc Jun 3,2014(E-mail) To A Madam (e-mailed me above)

Hi, E,

You may still use scalp and body acupuncture you mentioned. Take time. And also use some local points.

For herbal medicine, we have two:
(1) Pattern based herbology, heal tea.
(2) Dystonia focused herbal pills. It is called Liu Jun San capsule (100 capsule/per bottle, use 3#, 3 times a day).
It was a Chinese FDA (local branch) approved for hospital use (my former hospital).

 

A Madam Jun 3,2014 To Arthur Yin Fan,CMD,PhD,LAc

Dear Dr. Fan,

Thank you very much. I would like to try the dystonia focused herbal pills (if this is what you would recommend for my condition). I had seen a Youtube video of a gentleman with oromandibular dystonia that you had helped, whose symptoms looked (and sounded) identical to my own (lower left lip spasms, pursing of the lips, difficulty speaking). Did he take the dystonia focused herbal pills, or the pattern based herbology, heal tea?
Thank you again,

E

From: A Madam To: ArthurFan@ChineseMedicineDoctor.US
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2014 8:19 AM
Subject: Request for more dystonia-specific herbal capsules

Dear Dr. Fan,
The herbal capsules that I received from you (Liu Jun San, 3 bottles in early June) seem to be working very well for me. My condition within two weeks of taking them went into a near remission. I still have symptoms, however my conversational speech has dramatically improved and I am even still able to do some radio broadcasting each week. I have also been doing scalp acupuncture, which might be synergistic with the capsules. I was also taking herbal teas prepared by my acupuncturist for several weeks prior to taking the capsules- She said there was some overlap in the ingredients in the teas versus what is in the capsules.

I would like to order another shipment of Liu Jun San for next month. I would actually be interested in continuing to take these capsules indefinitely, as I believe they might be effective in suppressing my symptoms. Is it possible for me to receive an automatic shipment every month, with the money taken out of my credit card each month automatically?

Thank you kindly.
Best wishes,
E

  • Jul 11 at 9:46 PM  To  Arthur Yin Fan,CMD,PhD,LAc
Wonderful! Thank you so much!
I was at a party this evening, by the way, and I was discussing my condition with someone. She said she never would have known if I hadn’t told her. I really am doing so much better- Thank you!
E

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Today, a friend told me she had acupuncture in our center for two and half weeks, lost weight 6 pounds.

Acupuncture adjusted her appetite and mood.

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Yesterday, a 44 years old lady came and hugged me very tightly for three minutes. And then told me she got pregnant naturally after my acupuncture treatment.

She said she should be my no.76 clients got pregnant–because she had seen there was a notes on the office board-75 pregnancy since 2007.

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Acupuncture helped the mother overcome the migraine and hypertension during pregnancy

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Mr. D. N.,80 years old,  had a stroke in last November (year 2011), the stroke affected  function of his celebellum and stem.  The main problem is dizziness and hearing loss. He had ten acupuncture treatments and’several months physical therapies, did not feel significant improvement.

On August 21,2012, patient started to see me. When he came, he was very dizzy, even the position change, such as  lying down and/or sitting up, causing severe dizziness. He had to use a cane to help the balance, his daughter or son helps his walk too.  For his hearing loss, he said he could answer the phone only when the speaker is on; he could not hear the door-bell ringing and the touch-tone sound of the phone.

After our 4 acupuncture treatments, his dizziness decreased at least 50% and walking much better, faster and balance better,don’t need other to help him; and hearing better.

After 6 treatments, he could hear the door-bell ringing and touch-tone sound of the phone. Very happy and said at least 50% improving. Currently, he is still under extensive acupuncture treatments in our office.

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Dr. Fan,
I hope you remember me, Simara. I used to go to your office for my bad back pain every weekend. I had an emergency at home with my father who got really ill and eventually passed away. I had to stay at home to take care for some things with my mother and the stay I had envisioned prolonged for a little bit. I just wanted to tell you thank you from the bottom of my heart beacuse you really made me feel better and whenever I couldn’t walk whenever I came into your office, an hour later I felt like it never happened. You really care for your patients and you are a really sweet man. I can honestly say you’re the best doctor I’ve ever had and I think you cured my back pain because thru all this time I haven’t been in Virginia, my back doesn’t bother me anymore. I will be back but I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for basically curing me.
I also want to say that your assistant April, she is the sweetest, most attentive and professional person I’ve ever met. I miss you guys very much and hopefully I will be back very soon. I will go by the office to say hi.
Dr. Fan, thank you so much for being the man that you are and I hope you keep working healing people for a long, long, long time. Xie Xié.
Simara C.
Dr.Arthur Fan notes: acupuncture is one of most effective therapies in low back pain management, according to clinical trials and long term clinical practice.

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September 6, 2012

Doctor Fan,

I want to thank you for using your expert acupuncture techniques to solve my long lasting Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).

Traditional medicine did not work and your remedies have allowed me to sleep well at night.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

P. A.

Dr.Arthur fan notes: after acupuncture, patient feels no longer have restless leg syndrome, and migraine gone, sleep very soundly.

And, very important the mood much calm.

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J Sex Med. 2010 Feb;7(2 Pt 2):981-95. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

The ACTIV study: acupuncture treatment in provoked vestibulodynia.

Source

Elements of Health Centre, Victoria, Canada.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) is a distressing genital pain condition affecting 12% of women. Treatment modalities vary and although vestibulectomy has the highest efficacy rates, it is usually not a first-line option. Acupuncture has a long history in the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) system and operates on the premise that pain results from the blockage or imbalance of important channels. The main principle of treatment is to move Qi and blood to cease genital pain.

AIM:

To explore effect sizes and feasibility in a pilot study of acupuncture for women with PVD.

METHODS:

Eight women with PVD (mean age 30 years) underwent 10 1-hour acupuncture sessions. Specific placement of the needles depended on the woman’s individual TCM diagnosis. TCM practitioners made qualitative notes on participants’ feedback after each session. Main Outcome Measures. Self-reported pain (investigator-developed), pain-associated cognitions (Pain Catastrophizing Scale [PCS], Pain Vigilance and Awareness Questionnaire), and sexual response (Female Sexual Function Index) were measured before and after treatment sessions 5 and 10. Qualitative analyses of TCM practitioner notes were performed along with one in-depth case report on the experience of a participant.

RESULTS:

A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed significant decreases in pain with manual genital stimulation and helplessness on the PCS. An examination of effect sizes also revealed strong (though nonsignificant) effects for improved ability to have intercourse and sexual desire. Qualitative analyses were overall more positive and revealed an improvement in perceived sexual health, reduced pain, and improved mental well-being in the majority of participants.

CONCLUSIONS:

Effect sizes and qualitative analyses of practitioner-initiated interviews showed overall positive effects of acupuncture, but there were statistically significant improvements only in pain with manual genital stimulation and helplessness. These findings require replication in a larger, controlled trial before any definitive conclusions on the efficacy of acupuncture for PVD can be made.

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Acupuncture Today, April, 2012, Vol. 13, Issue 04      http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=32551

Real Acupuncture or Real World Acupuncture? Deciphering Acupuncture Studies in the News .  By Matthew Bauer, LAc

Recent studies have concluded that acupuncture is no more effective than various forms of sham or placebo acupuncture, and these conclusions have been reported in the media and used by skeptics to discredit acupuncture.

The Oriental medical (OM) community’s response to these reports has been ineffective, perhaps counterproductive. These studies, and the resulting media coverage, can serve was a wake-up call to the OM community, alerting us that we need to be more proactive in our public education efforts and rethink some long-held beliefs regarding the efficacy of traditional theories.

In the News 

In the last few years, several studies sought to measure the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating common conditions.1,2,3 The findings of these studies were widely reported within the media.4,5,6 The good news for the Oriental medicine (OM) profession is that these studies found that acupuncture was not only effective, but often more effective than conventional therapies. The bad news is that these studies also found that traditional acupuncture techniques – based on the point/channel theories taught inOMschools – were no more effective than what is termed “sham” or “placebo” acupuncture.

The most recent of these studies, published in the May 11, 2009 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine and sometimes referred to as the “Seattle” study, built on other recent studies and is a good example of current acupuncture research. One of the conclusions this study’s authors reached is particularly striking:

“Collectively, these recent trials provide strong and consistent evidence that real acupuncture needling using the Chinese Meridian system is not more effective for chronic low back pain than various purported forms of sham acupuncture.”

As someone who has treated thousands of people with chronic low back pain using the Chinese meridian system, my first reaction to this statement was to feel the researchers were mistaken. But, I also respect scientific research and feel it would be a great mistake for those of us in the OM profession to criticize these studies just because they tell us something we don’t want to hear, without looking critically at both the studies and our own beliefs.

Real Vs. Real World 

The only evidence these studies actually provide is that so-called “real” acupuncture is not more effective than sham acupuncture in a controlled, clinical trial environment. I believe this detail is of critical importance. But, before I explain why this detail is of such importance, I want to critique the response to these studies from within the OM profession.

Up to this point, the sparse response from theOMfield to these studies has been limited to pointing out that there are many acupuncture points including hundreds of extra points, so “sham” acupuncture is still hitting acupuncture points. Regarding studies that use “placebo” techniques in which acupuncture is simulated with the skin unbroken, some acupuncturists have pointed to tapping techniques, common in Japanese acupuncture, that never pierce the skin. While there is some merit to these arguments, they ignore the greater problem with these studies and make theOMprofession sound to the public like we are grasping at straws and making excuses. If researchers can’t help but hit useful points no matter how hard they try to avoid them, why should anyone bother seeking treatment from people trained in the complex traditional theories that stress diagnosing qi imbalances to identify the best point prescriptions?

The primary problem with these studies is not that researchers inadvertently performed real acupuncture when they attempted to do sham or placebo acupuncture, but that the real acupuncture seriously underperformed. Most of these studies show the real acupuncture groups to be somewhere in the 45-60% effective range. Only 45-60%? If I was only getting 45-60% positive effect for my patients, I would never have been able to build my practice and support my family for the last 23 years. Ask any clinically successful acupuncturist, and they will tell you for common pain problems like low back pain, the average range of effectiveness is somewhere between 75-85%.

Obviously, something about the design of these studies does not capture what happens in the real world when using acupuncture to treat these conditions. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough studies that reflect what happens in the real world because most of the money for research has gone to the “controlled” studies using sham and placebo controls, and the type of patient contact that happens in real world treatment is not allowed. None of these recent studies allowed the acupuncturist who did the needling to consult with the patient and choose points and techniques.

In most of these studies, a set of points were prescribed and used repeatedly regardless of the patient’s progress, or lack thereof. TheSeattlestudy was the only study that attempted to mimic actual practice by having a diagnostic acupuncturist see one group of patients before each treatment. This diagnostician chose the points to be used based on traditional diagnostic rationale, but then these points were passed along to the treating acupuncturist who did the actual needling.

Qi Interaction

Will it affect the outcome if the acupuncturist who inserts the needles is not allowed to interact with the patient and choose what points and techniques to use? It shouldn’t matter, if acupuncture only stimulates specific nerve endings, causing mechanical neuro-chemical responses within the body. But, if acupuncture actually works by manipulating qi, as its founders and supporters have claimed for more than 2,000 years, then there is very good reason to believe that the qi dynamic between the acupuncturist and the patient is an important factor that must be considered.

The first day I interned in the private practice of my school’s clinic director, he asked me to take charge of treating a very difficult case. When I balked and said I thought I was too inexperienced to manage such a difficult case, my teacher told me that my sincere enthusiasm created a positive qi that helped to offset my lack of experience. Over the years, I have come to believe the acupuncturist’s qi can be as important as the points themselves. Points do matter, but the effect these points elicit is influenced by the qi of the one stimulating them. Like yin and yang, there is a combination of both factors at play: different points have different tendencies regarding how they influence a patient’s qi dynamics, but that tendency is influenced by the qi of the person manipulating the points. Because this fact is rarely discussed in acupuncture circles, researchers have not taken this into account in their studies.

Skeptics have long contended that acupuncture only works if the patient believes in it (ignoring the effects of veterinary acupuncture or animal studies), but it may be more important that acupuncturists believe in what they are doing. The best practitioners with the highest success rates put everything they have into every treatment – into every needle or patient contact. We choose points and techniques because we believe they are very best for our patients, and that belief influences the effects of the points. Any acupuncturist who puts needles in a patient not believing it to be the very best they can do is inserting those needles with less than optimal qi.

Unlike administering drugs or performing surgery, which manipulates the body in a more mechanical fashion, influencing qi dynamics is more dependant on subtle factors, including the qi of the one doing the manipulating. This may sound like what skeptics call “woo-woo” – irrational, new age mysticism — but it is a key part of acupuncture’s traditional foundation and deserves consideration. Before jumping to conclusions about traditional concepts, we should encourage studies using acupuncture in a way that reflects what takes place in the real world. Let’s study what happens to patients when treated in actual clinic conditions with no blinding or controls, in which the acupuncturist does whatever their years of training and experience leads them to believe is the best they can do for each patient. Don’t limit them in their techniques and communication with the patient, because such limits are not imposed in real world practice. And don’t refer to acupuncture being done under research constrained controls as “real” acupuncture, because it does not resemble the manner in which acupuncture is done in actual practice.

These studies point to sobering realities theOMprofession needs to face. We cannot ignore the fact that in study after study in which researchers stimulated points in a manner that seemed incompatible with traditional Chinese medicine protocols, a respectable percentage of test subjects experienced significant improvement. So while it may be fact that the best trained and most experienced acupuncturists will obtain 75-85% effectiveness rates for their patients, it may also be a fact that poking some needles virtually anywhere will get 40%-50%, sometimes even 60% effectiveness. (See sidebar.) If that is the case, then the value of comprehensive traditional training and years of experience may be in getting that extra 20-30% of successful outcomes.

I am not surprised that poking needles anywhere can help a decent percentage of pain-related cases because I believe any acupuncture stimulates the body to produce anti-trauma chemistry such as pain modifiers and anti-inflammatory compounds. That is why I was never strongly opposed to other health care professionals being able to legally do some acupuncture. I have long felt that rather than fighting to prevent other health care professionals from having the right to perform acupuncture, theOMprofession should be trying to educate these other professions that the more comprehensive training allows for that additional 20-30% effectiveness. In a spirit of mutual respect, we could encourage other health care professionals to refer their more difficult cases to us. This suggestion may not be welcomed by some, but theOMprofession must be open to evolve with the times.

Regardless of how we approach the issue of other health care professionals using acupuncture in their practices, the recent studies and media reporting of their findings should make one thing very clear: The OM profession needs to be much more proactive both in encouraging research that better reflects real-world acupuncture and in educating the public and media about OM and the OM profession. TheOMprofession has never mounted a comprehensive, multi-year, public education campaign. We have never seen fit to make such a campaign a priority. This must change. We cannot continue to leave the manner in whichOMis perceived by the public and portrayed within the media to outside forces. For too many years, our profession has acted as if all we have to do is raise education standards and do the good work of helping people and the rest would take care of itself. The conclusions of these studies and the media reports that followed should be making it clear that this is not the case.

Conclusion

If it were true that getting successful results does not depend on where one puts the needles, then every first-year acupuncture intern would get the same results as their most experienced teachers, which is not the case. While it seems to be true that having positive qi can make up for lack of experience, almost any acupuncturist will tell you that they get better results with experience. After training and licensure, acupuncturists typically spend the next several years of their careers learning more techniques and theories to add to their arsenal. Why do we do this? Because we learn that sometimes your Plan A or Plan B does not get results, so you better have a Plan C, D, and E as back-up if you want to get the highest degree of success. If it did not matter where you put the needles, no one would bother to keep learning additional techniques and the robust continuing education offerings out there would cease to exist.

We OM professionals, who work our tails off helping our patients, know how valuable our services are and we know that points do matter. We are buoyed by the gratitude of our patients, even as they tell us how they wished they had known aboutOMsooner and wonder why more people don’t take advantage of this safe healing resource. We don’t have to manipulate the facts to educate the public, media, and policymakers about what we have to offer, but we do have to guard against allowing the facts to be manipulated against us. There are acupuncture researchers who have a greater grasp of the subtle dynamics of clinical acupuncture, including the Society for Acupuncture Research, and the OM profession should do more to familiarize ourselves with their work and to encourage that the real-world effects of OM is given its just due.

References

  1. Haake M, Mueller HH, Schade-Brittinger C, et al. German acupuncture trials (GERAC) for chronic low back pain. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(17):1892-1898.
  2. Cherkin D, Sherman K, Avins A, et al. A randomized trial comparing acupuncture, simulated acupuncture, and usual care for chronic low back pain. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(9):858-866.
  3. Moffet HH. Sham acupuncture may be as efficacious as true acupuncture: A systematic review of clinical trials. J Altern Complement Med. 2009;15(3):213-6.
  4. Bankhead C. Acupuncture tops conventional therapy for low-back pain. MedPage Today, 2007. www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/AlternativeMedicine/6770. Accessed October 11, 2009.
  5. Doheny K. Acupuncture may ease chronic back pain. WebMD Health News, 2009.www.webmd.com/back-pain/news/20090511/acupuncture-may-ease-chronic-back-pain. Accessed October 11, 2009.
  6. Park A. Acupuncture for bad backs: Even sham therapy works. Time.Com, 2009.www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1897636,00.html. Accessed October 11, 2009.
  7. Amaro J. Is most of acupuncture research a “sham?” Acupuncture Today. August 2009;10(8).www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=32013. Accessed October 11, 2009.

About the Studies 

The two main trials referenced in this article are the German Acupuncture Trails (GERAC) for chronic low back pain and that carried out in both the Center for Health Studies,Seattle,Wash.and the Division of Research, Northern California Kaiser Permanente,Oakland,Calif.that is sometimes called the “Seattle Study.”

In the German trails, 1,162 patients were randomized into groups receiving “real” acupuncture, “sham” acupuncture, or conventional therapy. Participants underwent 10 30-minute sessions usually at 2 treatments a week for 5 weeks. An additional five treatments were offered to those who had partial response to treatment. The “real” acupuncture groups were needled at points traditionally believed to be beneficial for lower back pain while the sham acupuncture involved superficial needling at non-traditional points. At 6 months, positive response rate was 47.6% in the real acupuncture group, 44.2% in the sham acupuncture group, and 27.4% in the conventional therapy group.

In theSeattlestudy, 638 adults with uncomplicated low back pain of 3-12 months duration were randomized into four groups: individualized acupuncture, standardized acupuncture, simulated acupuncture, and conventional care. In the individualized acupuncture groups, a “diagnostic acupuncturist” considered the patient’s progress and prescribed points according to traditional theory. The prescribed points were then needled by the treating acupuncturist. The standardized group employed a set of points traditionally considered helpful in treating low back pain that were used throughout the treatment series. The simulated group had the same points as used in the standardized group but toothpicks were used to simulate the feeling of acupuncture. The treatments were done using back points so subjects could not see the needles. Treatments in the first three groups were done by experienced acupuncturists and consisted of two treatments a week for three weeks then once a week for four weeks.

At eight weeks, mean dysfunction scores for the first three groups were 4.5, 4.5, and 4.4 points compared to 2.1 points for conventional care. Symptoms improved by 1.6 to 1.9 points in the first three groups and 0.7 in the conventional care group.

While I emphasize the need to distinguish what both of these studies refer to as “real” acupuncture from that which is practiced in the real world of clinical acupuncture settings, the Seattle Study did make note that its design had limitations, including restricting treatment to a single component of TCM (needling), pre-specification of the number and duration of treatment, and limited communication between the patient and acupuncturist. While I applaud this study’s authors for mentioning these limitations, the conclusions they reached regarding the “strong and consistent evidence” that real acupuncture is not more effective than sham acupuncture indicate they did not consider these limitations too significant.


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“Incredible, my daughter could sleep well and did not have hives again after first-time drinking of the herbal tea you prescribed. Just very slight in the second and the third day’s night. In one word, she has significant improvement, and will get cured.” the patient’s mom said in an e-mail to Dr.Arthur Fan.

This kid has hives several months, esp. during the night- time. Patient had a lot of hives all over the body, affecting her sleeping. Every interesting, the hives disappeared in morning automatically. During the day-time, patient had hives very occasionally.

 “难以置信,您开的药吃的第一夜我女儿就安睡,没有起荨麻疹。第二天下午有一些,但白天好办,玩儿一会儿引开注意力就没事了。第二夜有一点儿。第三夜好好的,一夜无话。总之明显好转,痊愈在即。

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Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is very effective in Guillain-Barre Syndrome’s recovery in some cases.

Here we have a case record in video, I hope patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome don’t get frustrated, use acupuncture or/and Chinese herbal medicine as early as possible, in most of cases, very good.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ngu5WrPDcE&feature=youtu.be

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One patient asked Dr.Fan: “Do you think acupuncture could stop my vaginal bleeding during my early stage of pregnancy? ”

My reply is: “Yes. In most of the cases, acupuncture does  help the patients to stop mild vaginal bleeding during their early stage of the pregnancy.”

We had at least 8 successful cases since 2007.

Stopping the vaginal bleeding means stabilizing the condition which may induce the miscarriage.

One patient.Ms.T.M. came today, she had brown color-like bleeding in her vaginal discharge 4 days during her pregnancy week 6.  After one time acupuncture, the brown color disappeared.

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“Opening Through” the menstruation Tong Jing 通经

from http://chinesemedicinetopics.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/%E2%80%9Copening-through%E2%80%9D-the-menstruation-tong-jing-%E9%80%9A%E7%BB%8F/

May 11, 2010 by sharon weizenbaum

I’ve been away in Taiwan for the last month and have unfortunately neglected this blog while I was away!  I hope I didn’t lose your attention!  If you are interested in our travels in Taiwan you can click here for the little blog of our trip.   Well I’m back and have some interesting material to post that I hope you’ll enjoy!  I am going to do a series now, relying heavily on the work of Dr. Xia Guisheng.  I’ll start here with a brief introduction to Dr. Xia and and follow this with a discussion of learning some of the subtleties in treatment and the term that I am translating as “opening through”.  I’ll follow this with some entries that include the writings of Dr. Xia together with some of my own clinical experience utilizing his insights.

Dr. Xia is the director of the Gynecology Department at the Affiliated Hospital in Nanjing and professor of Gynecology at the Nanjing University of Tradition Chinese Medicine.  Bringing  over 50 years of experience and insight to his writings, he is not only a highly effective practitioner, he is also a clear teacher/writer.  His material is written in a way that guides the student/practitioner through the necessary steps to gain understanding.

 

He has pioneered the articulation of the theories that direct us to work with the ebb and flow or Yin and Yang in relation to the menstrual cycle.  He applies this understanding to all areas of gynecology in great detail.  It is no surprise, after reading his books, to discover that he has become know as a manifestation of Guan Yin, the Chinese goddess who come to the aide of women and children.  Though he is perhaps best known in the West for his work with modifying formulas according the the timing of the menstrual cycle, Dr. Xia pays such close attention to the details of patho-physiology in combination with the function of formulas and the individual herbs within them that his books are really a treasure trove of useful gems.  In this particular series, I will be paying attention to his work with blood stasis and the idea of “opening through” in relation to women’s physiology, patho-physiology and menstruation.  These ideas have many implications in the treatment of women including but going beyond the treatment of dysmenorrhea and infertility.

Most entry level Chinese herbalists have a very limited idea of gynecological blood stasis, it’s diagnosis and treatment.  This becomes very apparent as the practitioner works with women in the clinic and finds that so much of what was learned in school simply doesn’t work or works in a way that is far from ideal.  Poor clinical results can be frustrating but they can also push us to learn more and can help our diagnosis and treatments become more nuanced. For me, less than excellent results have pushed me to research many topics, including the topic of “opening through” in relation to gynecology.  This topic also brings up the concept of a more nuanced use of individual herbs.  In relation to blood stasis – many of my own students don’t come in with much more of an understanding of blood stasis herbs other than that they all move the blood and that they should therefore not be used when there is heavy bleeding or during pregnancy.  And yet, through experience we learn that sometimes we must strongly move the blood in order to stop heavy bleeding and that sometimes moving the blood can help prevent a miscarriage.  We also learn that all blood vitalizing herbs are not equal to each other nor the same as each other.  They range from strong to weak and from cold to hot.  Some are especially good at stopping pain, others are especially good improving the quality of the blood itself.  Here is a bit of a preliminary list just some of the various functions of some individual blood vitalizing herbs:

Stopping pain

Softening hardness

Cracking stasis

Warming the blood

Regulating the Qi within the blood

Stopping bleeding

Harmonizing the blood

Nourishing the blood

Supplement the Kidneys

Descend the Heart blood to the uterus

Cool the blood

Relieve constipation

Open up the chest and breast area

And finally blood vitalizing herbs that function to “open through” the menstruation…..

I first noticed that there was something going on with this idea of “opening through” when I was working beside my teacher Dr. Sheng Yufeng, in Hang Zhou, PRC.  I was constantly trying to figure out why she would use particular herbs in particular situations.  I noticed that there were times she would give a formula for blood stasis and include herbs like Huai Niu Xi or Chuan Niu Xi along with herbs such as Su Mu, Chong Wei Zi and Shan Zha.  I wanted to know when and why she used these herbs.  It was not until I found the writings of Dr. Xia Guicheng that these ideas were fulling articulated for me.  Since studying these writings, the diagnosis and appropriate treatment methods for of some patients in my clinic has become clearer and the treatment results improved.

So, what is this “opening through”?  I am translating the character 通, tong1. as “opening through”.  The Eastland Press glossary translates this as “unblocks, promotes, pervades”.  Wiseman and Ye’s Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine, Second Edition translates this term variously as “free, open, restore flow, unstop and connecting.  Thinking of this as “opening through” just what gets opened through?  This term is used when the Luo vessels, the channels, the Qi, the lactation, the bowels, the nasal passages, the blood vessels, the urination, the Ren vessel and finally, the menstruation are blocked. What I want to point out in relation to all of these functions is that what is being “freed” or “opened” or “connected” all relates to structures in the body that are tubular.  This is why the idea of “opening through” is useful.  It gives us the image, not only of blockage, but of a tube that is blocked up and needs to be opened.  Though the term “unblocking” may suffice, it does not convey the image of a tube that should be open end to end the way that “opening through” does.  I have to admit “opening through” is a rather bulky term though, but at least for now, I’d like to use it to effectively illustrate the physiology, patho-physiology, treatment principles and function of herbs.

A bit more about the character tong1 通. It is made up of two parts. The first is this: 甬 yong3 which carries the meaning of path or corridor.  The second is 辶 chou4, which carries the meaning of walking or going.  So altogether we have the meaning of movement through a corridor or path.   When we take the 甬 yong3 corridor or path part of the character and combine it with the disease radical getting 痛 tong4, meaning pain.  In other words, when the corridor is pathologically effected, there is pain.  The characters 通 and 痛 are the one’s that are in the famous saying 通则不痛,不通则痛,  or when there is opening through there is no pain and when there is no opening through there is pain.

So what is this tube that is related to “opening through” the menstruation?  This tube is related both to the Ren Vessel and to the Bao Tai, which connects the upper body, especially the Heart and chest, to the uterus.  This tube can get blocked up and when it does, it needs to get opened through from end to end.  Various symptoms can arise when this tube gets blocked up including amenorrhea, scanty menstruation, lack of free flow of menstruation, painful menstruation, heavy menstruation and infertility.  Upper Jiao symptoms can involve the breasts, the head, the emotions or even cause bleeding in the upper warmer as the menstrual blood fails to descend.  The blockage can effect the middle Jiao as well.  Recently I successfully treated a woman with Achalasia, which involved difficulty swallowing and esophageal spasming that was worse premenstrually, integrating the method of opening through the menstruation.  In general, when the menstruation is not open through, a failure of the downward movement of the Qi mechanism can lead to a whole variety of upward rebelling symptomatology in addition to the lower warmer issues.

Before moving on to the entries that include the Dr. Xia’s writings on this topic, I want to include a bit about how he organizes his discussions in his book, Gynecology Formluas and Herbs from Clinical Experience and Study in Fifteen Chapters. In this text, Dr. Xia has a whole chapter devoted to the idea of “opening through”.  He divides this chapter into 8 parts, each part being represented by one of his “opening through” experiential formulas.  He begins with a basic formula Jia Yu Tong Yu Jian (modified Opening Through Stasis decoction) which is based on Zhang Jingyue’s formula Tong Yu Jian (Opening Through Stasis decoction). He uses this formula as a jumping off place for the deeper, more detailed discussion of the topic.  The formulas that follow morph off of the original idea in the variety of ways that Dr. Xia sees most often in his clinical work.  By carefully going through each chapter, the practitioner learns, not only about these particular formulas but so much more.  We learn how to modify a formula to suit a variety of clinical realities but more importantly, we learn about women’s physiology and patho-physiology in great depth.  Finally, we learn about the individual herbs and their nuanced and careful use.  It is like looking at an issue through a variety of lenses until we feel we have quite a complete understanding.  I’ve not previously seen texts organized in this manner and have found it to be an excellent way to transmit his valuable information.

So, stay tuned!  Dr. Xia’s writings will soon be posted here!

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Original Article from http://chinesemedicinetopics.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/opening-through-two/(May 11, 2010 by sharon weizenbaum)
 
[This re-post was got kind permission from Ms.Weizenbaum.]

加减通瘀煎 Jia Jian Tong Yu Jian Modified Opening Through Stasis Decoction

“it is very important that the lack of free flow is paired with fullness, pain or up-bearing symptoms”


By way of introduction to this first chapter, I’d like to write a bit about women’s physiology and the tubular quality of the Ren vessel and the Bao Tai.  Though I have not heard of these pathways written or spoken of as “tubular” per se, thinking of them in this way has helped me to visualize and understand women’s physiology, patho-physiology and the use of herbs in formulas.  So, please bear with me…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.  We can also see that what travels within this tube is the interaction of fire and water which is the red blood.  The scenario that requires the use of formulas like Jia Jian Tong Yu Tang (Modified Open Through Stasis Decoction), is characterized by blood in this tube becoming congealed and blocking the tube.  If we think about the Qi mechanism and the necessity for there to be a constant free flow of Qi up and down, we can see that a plug in this tube could cause a disruption in this free flow.  The Heart Qi and fire may be unable to move down to the womb.  This can cause a myriad of upward rebellion symptoms along with the primary pathology of the uterine contents, whether blood, lochia or fetus, failing to move out freely.

Dr. Xia’s Jia Jian Tong Yu Tang (Modified Open Through Stasis Decoction) is his foundational formula to, for lack of a better analogy, sort of blow the plug out like a spit ball out of a straw.

What we want to know how to do in the clinic is to recognize when there is this kind of plug in the tube – i.e. how to diagnose this.  Additionally we want to know which herbs discharge this manifestation of blood stasis and how to modify a formula for the various presentations we will see clinically.  The presentation may vary in terms of aspects such as excess/deficiency or heat/cold and it can also vary in terms of presenting symptoms such as headaches, insomnia or, as I mentioned in the last post, difficulty swallowing.  Main complaints can vary from PMS, dysmenorrhea, PCOS, endometriosis and infertility to amenorrhea.  We also want to know how to administer the purgative therapy safely – this has to do with careful diagnosis and timing of the treatment.

The main signs I use clinically to diagnose the presence of this “plug” is the combination of lack of free flow of the uterine contents with lower abdominal discomfort and fullness.  Lack of free flow by itself can be due to pathologies such deficiency of blood or Yin fluids or cold etc. in which case blowing out the plug would be unsuitable if not detrimental.  Lower abdominal fullness and discomfort could also be due to many pathologies such as uterine infection, simple blood stasis that does not block the menstrual flow or other stasis in the lower abdomen.

Lack of free flow of the uterine contents manifests as amenorrhea, scanty menstruation, menstruation the stops and starts, failure of the lochia to discharge or non progression of labor.  All of these pathologies can come form other disease factors besides this one and so it is very important that the lack of free flow is paired with fullness, pain or up-bearing symptoms.

The primary herbs that Dr. Xia uses for opening through menstruation here are:

Shan Zha

Qing Pi

Chuan Niu Xi

Ze Lan

Hong Hua

Tao Ren

We will see others in future posts.  It is important to notice that these herbs do have this kind of special indication.

Below is Dr. Xia’s writing on the 1st formula in the 7th chapter of his text.

Translated by Sharon Weizenbaum

Jia Jian Tong Yu Jian 加减通瘀煎 Modified Opening Through Stasis Decoction

Formula Name:

Tong 通 means to open the flow and Yu 瘀 is stasis and refers to blood stasis.  Jian refers to the method of cooking which is to boil.  Opening stasis refers to a strong method of transforming stasis.  One should use stronger vitalizing blood herbs when the intention is to open the passageways, free the flow of blood stasis, scatter and transform blood stasis.  Based on the pathological condition of the patients, I have modified Zhang Jing-yue’s Tong Yu Jian (Open Through Stasis Decoction) into my own experiential formula.

Formula Constituents:

Chao Dang Gui Wei     12 gm

Shan Zha                      10 gm

Xiang Fu                       9 gm

Hong Hua                    6-9 gm

Wu Yao                        6 gm

Qing Pi                        5 gm

Chuan Mu Xiang          9 gm

Ze Lan Ye                    10 gm

Chi Shao                      10 gm

Chuan Niu Xi               10 gm

Tao Ren                        6-10 gm

Method of Application

One package is for one day, divided into two doses.

Formula Function:

Regulates Qi and vitalizes the blood, opens through stasis and synchronizes the menstruation.

Formula Application

This formula treats blood stasis type late menstruation, scanty menstruation, prolonged menstruation and dysmenorrhea.

Formula explanation:

This formula treats blood stasis type irregular menstrual pathology.  This includes blood stasis type dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea presentations.  It places Dang Gui Wei in an important position for vitalizing blood and transforming stasis.  However, these days pharmacies do not discriminate between Dang Gui Wei, Dang Gui Tou and Dang Gui Shen.  Consequently we assist the function of Dang Gui to open stasis with Tao Ren and Hong Hua making this a stronger blood vitalizing formula. Zhang Jing-yue’s original formula contains Hong Hua but is without Tao Ren.  Tao Ren must be added.  Generally, because of the demands of opening through stasis, I base my formula on Tong Yu Jian (Open Through Stasis Decoction), though, according to the clinical presentation I also add Ze Lan Ye and Chuan Niu Xi to open the pathways of the menstruation.  The goal is to vitalize the blood while guiding its flow and opening through the menses. Therefore, in addition to using herbs to vitalize blood and transform stasis, one should also assist with herbs to synchronize and regulate Qi and move stasis.  The point is to first give herbs to move the menstrual Qi.  It is said that “When menstrual blood does not move, first move the Qi because when the Qi moves, the blood will move.  When there is Qi stasis, there is blood stasis and when there is blood stasis, the blood obstructs the Qi movement”.  Because of this, I add Xiang Fu, Wu Yao and Mu Xiang.  These 3 herb flavors regulate the Qi and synchronize the Qi of the Liver, Kidney and Spleen Zang.  When regulating Qi and moving stasis it helps to vitalize blood and open the menstruation and so you can add Qing Pi.  This herb helps promote easy flow and discharge and strengthens the regulating and synchronizing of the Liver Qi.  Because the Liver stores the blood and governs free flow and discharge, when you want to help the flow and discharge of the menstrual blood and this will regulate Qi and synchronize the menstruation.  Therefore when regulating the Qi and synchronizing the menstruation, one should lay stress on the Liver.  One can add Shan Zha.  Master Zhang uses this not only to vitalize blood and open the menstruation, but also to synchronize and regulate the Qi mechanism.  Because of all this, Jia Jian Tong Yu Tang (Modified Open Through Stasis Decoction) is frequently used in the clinic.

Clinical Application

According to Jing Yue Quan Shu: Fu Ren Gui (The Complete Works of Jing Yue: Women’s patterns), Tong Yu Jian (Open Through Stasis Decoction) treats Qi stasis, congealed blood, inhibited menstruation and vessels and extreme abdominal pain.  In addition to treating late menstruation, lack of smooth flow of menses and painful menstruation, Jia Jian Tong Yu Jian (Modified Open Through Stasis Decoction) can also treat post partum congealed blood excess pain as well as blood reversal or blood rebellion.

1.Late Menstruation, scanty menstruation and painful menstruation:
This formula can be used when there is scanty menstruate that does not flow smoothly.  This presents with abdominal pain that resists pressure, purple blood with dark with clots, pain and distention in the abdomen, chest oppression and vexation.  The pulse is thin and wiry and the tongue is purple and dark.  In this circumstance you can add herbs such as Rou Gui and Ze Lan Ye.

2.Post partum blood stasis abdominal pain:
During the post partum time, if the lochia stops too soon or does not flow out smoothly and this is accompanied by purple dark blood with clots, lower abdominal distention and pain, low back soreness and weakness with chest oppression, abdominal distention, purple dark tongue and a thin rough pulse, one should add Ze Lan Ye, Yi Mu Cao and Yan Hu Suo to this formula.

3.Blood stasis blood fainting: 
This presentation can be due to trauma from an accident, or it can simply manifest when there is scanty menstruation with abdominal pain.  The patient suffers from dizziness, fainting, cold limbs, nausea and vomiting, abdominal distention, a thin pulse and a purple dark tongue.  In this circumstance you can add herbs such as Shi Chang Pu, Guang Yu Jin, Zhi Mo Yao or Zhi Ru Xiang.

Modifications:

This formula is from the Jing Yue Quan Shu: Fu Ren Gui (The Complete Works of Jing Yue: Women’s patterns and it can be modified as below:

1.If there is cold stasis add Rou Gui and Wu Zhu Yu

2.If there is full fire with inner heat with blood that does not move due to dry blood add Chao Shan Zhi, Dan Pi.

3.With slight heat and blood deficiency add Bai Shao and Gui Shen.

4.With blood stasis with very scanty blood add Su Mu and Chong Wei Zi

5.With dry knotted stool add Da Huang and E Zhu or add Mang Xiao and Tao Ren.

Clinical Experience

Tong Yu Jian(Open Through the Menses Decoction) is really 3 formulas. 

1.Tong Yu Jian (Open Through the Menses Decoction) comes from the (Jing Yue Quan Shu: Fu Ren Gui (The Complete Works of Jing Yue: Women’s patterns).  MyJia Jian Tong Yu Tang (Modified Open through the Menses Decoction) was developed based on this formula and my own clinical experience.

2.The second formula is from the Xian Nian Ji (Immortal Collections): Vol. 4. This formula uses Gui Wei, Da Huang, Hong Hua, Su Mu.  These are strong herbs for dispelling stasis but in this formula the dosages are light.  It is for moving evil blood and is used primarily for dispelling when there is post partum congealed blood and stasis leading to poor flow of the menstruation.  This is considered evil blood.

3.The third formula is from Guang Lue Liu Shu: chapter 25It uses Pu Huang, Wu Ling Zhi, Chuan Yu Jin, Xiao Zhi Shi, Bai Zhu Tang, Jian Ze Xie, Xi Chi Shao, Tao Ren Ni, Ming Hu Bo.  This formula is used to treat blood stasis in which the abdomen becomes filled with fluid.  The pulse is rough and not smooth.  In theFang Lun Xuan Lu (Selected Writings on Formula Theory) it is written: “When blood stasis is not dispersed, the Spleen and Stomach loose their ability to be fortified and to transform and transport the minute essences.  The turbid Yin gets stopped up and this leads to abdominal distention and fullness.  This is called Blood Tympanites (Gu 臌).  Pu Huang cracks congealed blood, it opens the channels and collaterals.  Wu Ling Zhi cracks congealed blood and also descends the turbid Yin.  Tao Ren cracks the congealed and also moistens dryness.  Chi Shao cracks the congealed and also discharges fire.  Zhi Shi disperses distention and fullness. [Bai] Zhu Tan fortifies the Spleen Qi.  Yu Jin synchronizes the Qi and opens depressive knotting.  Ze Xie separates the clear Yang.  Hu Bo disperses congealed blood and allows open permeability, allowing the congealed to be transformed and for the Qi to be synchronized.  The result is that the Chong vessel is clear and harmonized, the Spleen and Liver Qi transform and the blockage is immediately opened.  How could abdominal distention not recede”?

What these formulas treat is not the same.  However, the meaning of the formulas is identical.  They can be used together in the clinic and adjusted according to the presentation.  When I use Tong Yu Jian (Open Through Stasis Decoction) in the clinic, I often add Shi Xiao San (Powder for Loss of Smile), Tao Ren, Ze Lan and Chuan Niu Xi.  This strengthens the force of transforming stasis and opening the menstruation.  This is because, when the menstruation is blocked and not flowing smoothly, this is usually related to congealed blood and Qi stasis.  So we can say that if we want to open the menstruation we must transform stasis.  If we want to transform stasis we must assist this by moving the Qi.  Qi and blood movement complement each other.  Therefore, in relation to illnesses of menstruation, the meaning of opening through stasis is to open through the menses and transform stasis.

In my own clinical practice I see patients who have serious endometritis.  This may develop after dilation and curettage surgery and it can give rise to adhesions of the uterine cavity.  The degree of adhesions can vary as can the extent to which it influences the menstruation.  It may give rise to scanty menstruation or even amenorrhea.  In general though, this is due to stasis and obstruction in the uterus with lack of free movement of the blood. Tong Yu Jian (Open Through Stasis Decoction) can treat this but the effect is only good in relatively light cases.  For more serious cases surgery must be used to sever the adhesions and this formula can be used after that.

Detailed analysis of the principle herbs in this formula: Hong Hua and Shan Zha.

There are three principle herbs in this formula: Dang Gui Wei, Hong Hua and Shan Zha.  Dang Gui Wei is represented by Dang Gui and has been discussed in previous chapters so here I will discuss Hong Hua and Shan Zha.

Hong Hua

Hong Hua is also called Hong Lan Hua.  It is pungent and its nature is warm.  It enters the Heart and Liver.  Its function is to vitalize blood and open through menses.  It dispels stasis and stops pain and can be used for congealed blood type amenorrhea and post partum congealed static blood abdominal pain.   TheBen Cao Guang Mu (The Grand Compendium of Materia Medica) considers Hong Hua an herb to “vitalize blood, moisten dryness, stop pain, disperse swelling and open through the menses”.  It also says “Blood is generated in the heart wrapper, stored in the Liver and belongs to the Chong and Ren vessels.  Hong Hua is the likeness of blood and therefore, in men it is able to move the blood vessels and in women it opens through the menstrual water.  In large amounts it moves the blood and in small amounts it nourishes the blood.  The Ben Cao Hui Yan (Treasury of Words on the Materia Medica) says “Hong Hua cracks the blood, moves the blood, vitalizes the blood and synchronizes the blood.  Primarily it is used to treat the 100 diseases of pregnancy and birth in which the blood is damaged.  It is also used to treat blood vexation, blood dizziness, unconsciousness with an inability to speak, the lochia striking the Heart, gripping pain around the umbilicus, difficult birth, uterine lining failing to discharge or expired fetus in the abdomen.  All of these are presentations of birthing which Hong Hua can treat.  If there is post partum blood dizziness, lock jaw with clenched fists or an evil enters the blood chamber with incessant talking to the point of craziness or blood oppression with interior distention and the patient falls over stiffly as if dead.  These are all post partum presentations for which Hong Hua cannot help but calm.  If there is amenorrhea with no opening through with cold and heat mixed together or late menstruation with abdominal pain and dark purple dripping or traumatic injury with Qi and blood congealed and accumulating – these are all due to a lack of harmony of Qi and blood.  How can Hong Hua fail to synchronize”?

Shan Zha

Shan Zha is sweet and sour and its nature is slightly warm.  It enters the Spleen, Stomach and Liver channels.  Its function is to disperse food and fortify the Stomach.  When we analyze the pharmo-dynamics of Shan Zha we see that it increases the secretion of the digestive enzymes and is also able to promote the digestion of fats.  This is accompanied by an ability to strengthen Heart function and lower the blood fat. This can be used for presentations that include indigestion, post partum congealed obstructed abdominal pain, hernia and chest obstruction heart pain. The Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing Shu (Commentary on ‘Shen Nong’s Classic of the Materia Medica) says “Shan Zha enters the foot Yang Ming and Tai Yin channels.  The Ben Jing Classic of Materia Medica says that the flavor is sour and the Qi is cold.  That this is able to disperse the digestion and move congealed blood indicates that it is not cold.  Shan Zha is able to enter the Spleen and Stomach, scatter abiding accumulated stasis and water dysentery with post partum blocked pain in the abdomen. Generally Shan Zha is thought to transform food and fluids, fortify the Spleen and Stomach, move knotted Qi and disperse congealed blood.  Because of this it is a suitable food for children and birthing women.  The Ben Jing Classic of Materia Medicaalso says that this is cold and so it has a function as a wash for scabies.  We can see that fundamentally Shan Zha fortifies the Spleen and disperses food stasis.  It also functions to vitalize the blood, transform stasis and disperse accumulated stasis.

Practical Experience

Tong Yu Jian (Open Through the Menses Decoction) is a formula I use frequently in the clinic for lack of free flow of the menstruation.  I often use it with Yue Ju Wanor Wu Wei Tiao Jing San (Tang).  The results are quite good.  For acute abdominal pain use Hong Hua Jiu and the pain will stop.  The Jin Gui (Essentials From The Golden Cabinet) discussed early on that the single flavor Dang Gui in Dang Gui Wan (San) is used for painful menstruation.  The Xian Dai Zhong Yao Xue Da Ci Dian (The Modern Great Dictionary of Chinese Herbs) says that as a principle herb, Shan Zha treats functional dysmenorrhea.  Use 30 gm without the pit, Sunflower seed with the husk 15 gm.  After roasting, grind these into a powder and add 60 gm of brown sugar.  Take one package a day divided into 2 doses or decoct.  Every time before the menses take two packages and do this for 2 cycles.  I treated 105 patients: 30 had a cure, 50 improved and 25 were without effect.  The effect was good for those with blood stasis and deficiency cold.

I treated one case of long cycle.  Ms. Zhang was 35 and her menstruation was scanty and did not flow smoothly.  The color was purple red with small clots and there was lower abdominal acute pain.  When she bled this pain lasted for 12-15 days.  She had an IUD.  Her gynecology and bi-manual check-up revealed no abnormalities and the position of the IUD was normal.  It had been there for 5 years.  Her menstruation had lengthened for the last 5 months.  Her pulse was thin and wiry and her tongue body was dark red with a yellow sticky moss.  On the first day of her menstruation, I gave her 7 packages of Jia Jian Tong Yu Jian(Modified Open Through the Menses Decoction). She stopped bleeding after 8 days.  At the next menstruation I again gave her 7 packages of Jia Jian Tong Yu Jian (Modified Open Through the Menses Decoction).  She bled for 7 days and on day 2 and 3 the amount of blood increased.  She then resumed a normal menstrual cycle.

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