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The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
November, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 11
Yin and Yang Deficiency, Part III
By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc
In the last two issues of Massage Today, I presented the general characteristics of yang and yin deficiency. As previously discussed, yin deficiency has heat symptoms, but milder than with a full-heat condition.You can fine-tune your assessment by determining which primary meridians are involved. This month's article, I'll try to answer the question you all have been e-mailing me about and patiently waiting for a response to: What can you do about yin deficiency? (Thank you, I appreciate hearing from you all!)
Generally speaking, you shouldn't use moxa with any yin deficiency, because of course, you don't add heat to heat. With deficiencies, use soothing, tonifying pressure that draws the yin to that meridian. A general yin treatment protocol is to hold your mother hand on Sp 6 and palm press up the three yin meridians on the legs until you reach Ren 4. Hold those two points together for a few minutes, breathing deeply and encouraging your client to breathe into the points. Then keep your mother (support) hand on Ren 4 as you palm press up the three yin meridians of the legs. Work slowly and deliberately, with the intention of drawing yin up from the earth and gathering it into the hara/belly/dantian area. Repeat on the other leg. Combine this treatment with the following more specific treatments.
In most cases, you can hold the yuan points with the shu points of the particular meridian that seems to be most affected. For example, to treat Kidney yin deficiency, have the patient lie face down and prop up his or her feet with a bolster. Hold Ki 6 and Ki 3, keeping your mother hand there as you gently thumb press into the Kidney meridian, going up the leg, stopping at Ki 9, Ki 10, ending at the Kidney shu points, Bl 23s, holding them bilaterally with your thumb and index finger. Hold this combination for a few minutes. Then keep your support hand on the lower back as you bring the other hand up, slowly thumb pressing the Kidney meridian to meet the hand holding the shus. "Kenbiki" (gently rock) the lower back, then hold your palms over the Kidney area with a vibrating motion. Repeat with the other leg.
For Heart yin deficiency, have the patient lie face down with his or her hands to the sides. Rub the center of the palms vigorously, then hold Ht 7 and Ht 6 together with one of your thumbs while you thumb press up the Heart meridian to the Pericardium and Heart shu points with your other hand. Hold both sets of shus bilaterally with your thumb and index fingers, then follow the hand holding the wrist points up to meet at the shu points. Hold the Heart and Pericardium shus together with both of your hands. Repeat with the other arm.
For Liver yang rising caused to Liver yin/Kidney yin deficiency, you want to subdue Liver yang and tonify Liver and/or Kidney yin. With the patient face-up, hold GB 2 bilaterally and press out to the temples to Taiyang. Still working bilaterally, press around the ears, especially GB 6, GB 8 and GB 9. Work on the neck and occiput, holding both GB 20s, pulling slightly toward you. Move to the patient's side, keeping one support hand on GB 20 and thumb pressing down the top of the shoulders, down the Triple Heater meridian on the arm until you reach TH 5. Hold GB 20 with TH 5. Repeat with the other arm. Do the general yin deficiency protocol on the legs. Have the person lie face down. Thumb down his or her shu points, then do the Kidney yin deficiency protocol. Press GB 38s bilaterally, then GB 41s and 43s, with the intention of grounding the yang to the feet. End by holding Ki 1s and Lv 3s together with your thumb and index fingers bilaterally.
With Lung yin deficiency, position the patient face-up. Hold Ren 12 with Ren 17 for a few minutes, then Ren 17 with Lu 1. Keep one hand at Lu 1 for support as you gently thumb press the Lung meridian, ending and holding Lu 9 with Lu 1 for a few minutes as you encourage slow, deep breathing. Rub Lu 10 vigorously with both of your thumbs to disperse the empty heat. Hold Lu 9 at the wrist as you thumb, press down the Lung meridian from Lung 1. Use Ren 17 and Ren 12 to slowly transition to the other side and repeat with the other arm. Make sure to hold the Lung shu points when you work on the back.
Treat Stomach yin deficiency after finishing the general yin deficiency treatment. Hold Ren 12 with one hand as you press from St 21 down the Stomach meridian to St 36. Hold these two points together. Continuing holding ST 36 with your mother hand as you thumb press with your hand from Ren 12, meeting at ST 36 and rubbing the point gently with your knuckles. Continue holding St 36 with one thumb as you press down the Stomach meridian with your forearm. Repeat with the other leg. End by holding Sp6s, St 41s then Sp3s bilaterally.
Of course, you will have to try to track down the behavior that caused the problem in the first place, like improving eating habits for Stomach yin deficiency. For any yin deficiency, suggest to the client that he or she may want to spend more time at home or make the home environment more relaxing and yin.
According to Hope Karan Gerecht, author of my favorite Feng Shui book, Healing Design:
Alex Tiberi suggests buying a pet to help tonify yin. A dog needs you to nourish and take care of it, more so than fish or other types of pets. There is nothing like the feeling of the unconditional love from a pet when you arrive home. Plus, you get the added benefit of gentle yin-tonifying exercise, by having to take it out for a walk regularly! This is particularly true of older people who don't exercise regularly or have the opportunity to care for anyone anymore.
Since people who are yin deficient are already depleted, they need to avoid stimulants that will cause them to use more energy than they have, such as alcohol, coffee and sugar. Pungent spices also should be avoided, as they will create more heat.
Daverick Leggitt writes in Helping Ourselves: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Food Energetics:
Foods that especially tonify yin are: apples, asparagus, cheese and milk (in moderation), chicken and duck eggs, clams and oysters, crab, cuttlefish, duck, honey (in moderation), kidney beans, lemon, malt, mango, peas, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, pork, rabbit, string beans, tofu, tomato, watermelon and yams. Another excellent reference is Leggitt's book, Recipes for Self-Healing.
Chinese herbs are also beneficial, used in conjunction with Asian bodywork therapy for supporting yin.
With such a focus in our culture on the value of yang -- doing rather than being, and going rather than relaxing -- you may find several of your clients suffer from some sort of yin deficiency, to put it mildly. Even if you forget all of the differentiation and treatments mentioned in this article, and just give your clients the space to receive, feel nurtured and renewed, you will be starting to address and treat their yin deficiency! One of the most enduring and valuable yin-supporting "techniques" is to be present and peaceful.
Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.
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