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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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?
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?"
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
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.
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.
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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