When I was a first year student in my TCM training, in my enthusiasm and eagerness to apply what I was learning to my future patients, I would approach my professors and say, for example, “can Chinese medicine treat fibromyalgia?” Or, “can Chinese medicine treat multiple sclerosis?” Every time, I would get the same response – “what are the signs and symptoms?”
We are talking about a system of medicine that has been around for thousands of years. There really is no frame of reference in Chinese medicine to the Western disease labels that have evolved in modern times. Chinese medicine will always look at everything going on in the body and determine an imbalance of yin and yang, Qi and Blood. In fact, there is a very famous saying in Chinese medicine – “one disease, many treatments…many diseases, one treatment.”
What I love about “The Treatment of Modern Western Medical Diseases with Chinese Medicine”, co-authored by Bob Flaws and Philippe Sionneau, is the detailed analysis of 72 different Western medicine labels and all the patterns of imbalance that are usually associated with them in Chinese medicine. For each of the diseases there is information on the Western etiology, treatment and prognosis. And then a detailed analysis of the disease mechanisms from a Chinese medicine aspect. Acupuncture and herbal treatments are suggested based on pattern discrimination. Summary remarks address the prognosis from a Chinese medicine point of view.
Some of the conditions, like acne, migraines, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia and arthritis are conditions that are seen in the clinic all the time. So, they were discussed in the academic environment and were seen in the student clinic. It is still nice to have one reference to go to to review treatment options. Some of the more serious diseases, like ALS, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythmatosus (SLE) I probably would never have thought of treating without the information in this book. Chinese medical treatment for these conditions focuses on slowing the progression of the disease and minimizing suffering and disability. We really can improve the quality of life for these patients. And isn’t that what it is all about?
Here is a complete list of the Table of Contents of conditions that could benefit from Chinese medicine:
acne, allergic rhinitis, alzheimer’s, ALS, aplastic anemia, behcet’s syndrome, benign prostatic hypertrophy, bronchial asthma, carpal tunnel, celiac disease, CVA, cervical spondylosis, cholecyctitis, chronic active hepatitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic glomerulonephritis, chronic pancreatitis, chronic prostatitis, chronic renal failure, chronic sinisitus, coronary artery disease, crohn’s disease, cushing’s syndrome, diabetes, diverticulitis, fibromyalgia, gout, hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hemorrhoids, herpes genitalia, herpes zoster, hyperlipoproteinemia, hypertension, hypoglycemia, hypotension, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, interstitial cystitis, IBS, lateral epicondylitis, lumbar disk herniation, lyme disease, macular degeneration, meniere’s disease, migraines, MS, myasthenia gravis, oral leukoplakia, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, parkinson’s disease, peptic ulcers, periarthritis of the shoulder, peridontal disease, peripheral neuropathy, piriformis syndrome, pneumonia, polymyositis, postconcussion syndrome, pulmonary tuberculosis, raynaud’s disease, reflux, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, sjogren’s syndrome, stress incontinence, subarachnoid hemorrhage, systemic lupus erythmatosus, TMJ, trigeminal neuralgia, ulcerative colitis, urolithiasis.
This is a great reference book for the Chinese medicine practitioner.
About the Author:
Joyce Marley is a licensed acupuncturist that provides acupuncture therapy in New Hartford, NY. She writes Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) health articles about acupuncture and Oriental medicine.