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A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
April, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 04
The Korean Four Constitutional Types, Part II
By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc
Editor's note: Part I of this article appeared in the March issue of Massage Today, available on line at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/03/07.html.
There are many different paradigms for assessing fundamental characteristics in Chinese medicine.No one pattern can fit the bill for all people. Whichever system you use, it is important to carefully consider your clients' nature to select the most effective meridians on which to focus.
Last month, I talked about two of the four Korean constitutional types: taiyang and taiyin (greater yang and yin). These are both excess types, as seen by the word "greater" in their names. So for taiyang, we are looking at large amounts of yang, such as a lot of energy, action, aggression and forward motion. For taiyin, we are looking at great amounts of yin such as a soft, fleshiness, tumors, growths and stagnation. (See MT, February, 2002)
This month, I will continue by describing the characteristics for shaoyang and shaoyin, (lesser yang and lesser yin) which are characterized by a relative deficiency.
Shaoyang -- Lesser Yang -- Gall Bladder and Triple Heater
The Gall Bladder and Triple Heater meridians are on the lateral aspect of the body: on both sides of the head and the middle yang meridians on the arms and legs. They move us in a side-to-side direction. Shaoyang helps us differentiate, "Should I go here or there?" Or as the Clash would say, "Should I stay or should I go?" Decision making, usually in the realm of the GB, can be supported with the TH because of their shaoyang relationship.
You are going to find that often shaoyang people have a small, wiry body type. They are very sinewy and always active. Their complexion has an olive tinge to it. They often have a bit of dark under their eyes from an underlying deficiency created by burning the candle at both ends.
The shaoyang person is always being pulled to the sides and all directions at once; they are interested in everything! This is the person that has something scheduled for every moment of their time. They work as well as take all kinds of classes, every night of the week: karate, Japanese, belly dancing, pottery, car racing, boating and on and on. Then they get real excited because they find out that there is a taiqi class Sunday mornings which they can fit into their schedule, oh boy! They are people that don't like to be bored, are looking for stuff new and exciting and take on way too much.
For that reason, their pattern is "burnout." They go and go and go, then get sick or injured and then collapse. But they rest only enough time to recover and then start back again into the same schedule. Most of the time they are on stimulants such as coffee to maintain their activity level.
Oftentimes, many of my students are shaoyang. They work full-time jobs, come to class weeknights and weekends, and still maintain their other varied interests. I don't see taiyang students often because they don't want to go to a shiatsu school, they want to start one. The taiyin person can't figure out how to get off work to take classes, and as I'll you'll see, the shaoyin person is too sick and tired to do anything.
Because of the shaoyang person's exhausting activity level, an important thing to tell them is that it is ok to take a break; that doing nothing is doing something! Suggest that they drink less coffee and eat less greasy and salty foods, eating more leafy green vegetables instead.
Definitely address the shaoyang meridians with this person, but you can probably guess that their Kidney meridian is shot as well. When they are tired and over extended, they will often get headaches on the side of their head along the shaoyang meridians, due to Liver Yang rising. This is a combination excess/ deficiency syndrome. If this is the case, be sure to incorporate local points such as GB 20, GB 8 and GB 13 and distal points such as Lv 2, GB 41, Ki 3 and Ki 6.
Shaoyin -- Lesser Yin -- Heart and Kidneys
The Heart and Kidney meridians form the fundamental core of our body: an axis created by fire and water. They are located at the most tender, medial, yin aspect of our arms and legs.
The body type of a typical shaoyin person is thin, weak and frail. Their energy level is very low and their skin and lips are pale. They are definitely a deficiency type.
The strength (and of course weakness) of this person is their sensitivity. They are great at doing any kind of energy work because they perceive more than most people. The problem is, though, that they feel too much and it is hard for them to differentiate and quantify. For example, they come into your office and you ask them if they have anything wrong and they pull out 50 typed pages. They have problems and pain everywhere and they perceive it all as equally horrible. They will go into details such as a twinge that they had last week in their right fourth toe and ask you, "What does that mean?"
A shaoyin person is the type to put themselves on a very strict limited diet. Not only will they only eat, for example, brown rice and sprouts, it has to be a certain kind of brown rice like short grain and not all sprouts, just a few types are ok. They feel the impact of everything so acutely. Whereas the taiyang person can eat fast food and junk all day long and feel great.
To contrast those two types again, a student's taiyang father was working on his car, broke his hand and continued to fix his car until he was done. He came into the house with his hand kind of dangling and twisted off to the side and his wife flipped out while he denied that it was a big deal. He only agreed to go to the hospital if he could drive. (And we are talking about a stick shift here!) I think everyone will agree that is a bit much but a true shaoyin person is just as extreme in the other direction. If they get a hangnail, it is so disruptive and upsetting, they will call in sick to work that day.
It can be fun working with shaoyin people because they can feel everything happening in their body and can give you great feedback. You will touch a point on their shoulder and they will feel it and trace the exact meridian down to their feet. The challenge, though, is they tend to exaggerate symptoms. You have to put a filter on what they say and quantify information. For example, if they come in with pain in their arm as their main concern (and it is always hard for them to find a "main" concern because it is all so horrible) and you ask them the next time they come in how it is, they tend to say, "Oh the pain is just awful!" whereas if you ask them to quantify the pain on a 1-10 scale each time, maybe it is actually 50% better, even though they still find it unbearable.
Start by trying to build the shaoyin person up. Tonify the Heart and Kidney meridians with gentle deep and penetrating pressure. Use moxa, particularly on Ren 4 and Ming Men. I have found that shaoyin people really appreciate subtle work such as Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure ™ as well. Encourage them to broaden their diet with more high calorie foods/ protein shakes. Encourage them to exercise more, maybe even try weight lifting.
The Korean constitutional types are one paradigm among many! Whenever I use it, though, I always utilize it in combination with a more detailed assessment, using the tongue and pulse. I love the imagery used in this system; it's so easy to see parts of others and ourselves in these classic types. Enjoy!
Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.
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