resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 02
Yin and Yang Deficiency, Part V
By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc
If you've been following this series of articles, you're now familiar with the differences between yin and yang deficiency. At this point, you know yin deficiency in depth and have been introduced to yang deficiency.This article explains how to differentiate the different types of yang deficiency, so you can fine-tune your assessment and treatment. (Editor's note: Barbra's entire series of articles can be accessed online by clicking here.)
When evaluating yin and yang, always consider the big picture. Yin aspects are related to nourishment and substance; yang aspects are more energetic and functional. We need yin and yang; women and men contain both, or they cease to exist. In the first article in this series, I discussed the aging process as it relates to yin and yang. People naturally start to decline in yin, yang or both as they age. If yin wanes, people may have less of a desire to nurture or care for others, or they may become more outgoing or outspoken. Substance also declines - for example, bone density decreases. If yang declines, they may become more relaxed and accommodating to others, but they also may have sexual dysfunction and trouble holding urine throughout the night. (This is discussed a little more extensively in part I of the yin/yang series: www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/09/07.html.)
Yang deficiency always has some cold symptoms in the pattern, but overall, it does not appear as an excess condition. Most people with yang deficiency present with at least a few of these symptoms:
When you determine there is a yang deficiency, the next step is to decide what organ is primarily involved. It could be Spleen, Kidney or Heart, (capitalized to distinguish the Chinese view of these organs as an orb of influence, rather than what we commonly think of in the West). Actually, yang deficiency could be a progression from qi deficiency, such that organ patterns look the same, but with the addition of cold symptoms. (Editor's note: See the General Full Cold Symptoms chart below).
Spleen Yang Deficiency includes any of the broad symptoms listed in the first chart (above), keeping in mind that there must also be cold symptoms because of the relative lack of yang. Various digestive problems also manifest, such as lack of appetite; a puffy, tired feeling after eating; or loose stools. This is an indication that the Spleen's transportation and transformation function is impaired. For the same reason, if the Spleen can't convert the qi in food to a usable form, a person feels tired, listless or has trouble waking up in the morning. Fluids also will build up, because they aren't being transported and distributed properly (another function of the Spleen).
Poor diet is the primary cause of Spleen yang deficiency. Eating excessive cold, frozen, raw or sweet foods will damage the Spleen. Irregular eating habits; under- or overeating; eating too quickly; or eating while working or driving all can damage the Spleen. Is it no wonder that this is such a common syndrome is our society! Taking too many Chinese herbs with a cold nature also can cause Spleen yang deficiency, so if the patient is taking herbs, make he or she is seeing a qualified herbalist.
To evaluate Kidney Yang Deficiency, check for at least a few of the symptoms in the chart above. There may also be problems with the lower back and/or knee pain, both of which can be relieved by warmth. The Kidneys are closely related to Ming Men Fire, which emanates from the area of the lower back. When it fails to warm the body, the lower back feels cold. Whenever there is cold, there is pain, as the cold contracts and obstructs the free flow of qi. In addition, Kidney yang gives strength and support to the bones of the back and knees, so a deficiency will cause weakness in those areas.
The warmth of Kidney yang is needed for sexual function and fertility so a deficiency causes problems such as impotence, infertility, premature ejaculation or decreased sexual desire. Kidney yang also enervates the zhi, which is the spirit housed in the Kidneys. A deficiency will cause lassitude and a lack of motivation or willpower. Patients with Kidney yang deficiency feel they don't have the energy to do anything, or that they have used up all of their reserves -- which indeed they have!
Kidney yang deficiency often develops from Spleen yang deficiency, so you see symptoms such as edema in the legs, caused by lack of fluid transformation. For the same reason, fluids build up in the tongue, causing it to become swollen.
Kidney qi actually holds the urine in place, but since a deficiency of Kidney qi is often a precursor of Kidney Yang deficiency, you will see symptoms of nocturia (getting up at night to go to the bathroom), dribbling after urination or incontinence (in severe cases).
The causes of Kidney yang deficiency include chronic, longstanding illness; excessive sexual activity; a constitutional deficiency; or a decline of the Kidneys with advancing age. Some medications, such as those used for high blood pressure, will also deplete Kidney yang.
When someone seems to have symptoms of a yang deficiency (especially if his or her hands get cold), suspect a Heart Yang Deficiency. The Heart meridian goes down the arms; if there is insufficient Heart yang, qi can't be transported to the extremities. The person may also have a stuffiness or uncomfortable feeling in the region of the Heart. A cardinal sign for any Heart pattern is Heart palpitations, often described as an awareness of the heartbeat, or a fluttering feeling. These symptoms are caused by insufficiency of the Heart yang in moving the qi in the chest.
Heart yang deficiency can develop from a Heart qi deficiency, so you will see symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweating with no exertion and listlessness. The causes are the same as for Kidney yang deficiency. Heart Yang deficiency can also be caused by a sudden or prolonged loss of blood, which causes a deficiency of Blood, qi and (eventually) Heart yang.
I am including a chart on the symptoms of some excess/full cold patterns (below), but I am not going to explain them in detail, because it's not within the scope of this series. Included are four fairly common syndromes you will see in your practice.
By this point, you should be an expert at differentiating a cold from a hot condition, or an excess from a deficiency. You should also be able to pinpoint the exact organ involved. To complete the picture, next month's article will detail treatment protocols for yang deficiency, addressing each of the zang-fu disharmonies. I'll also include dietary, lifestyle and environmental counseling. Until then, keep your yang-deficient clients warm!
Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.
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