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Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
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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