Symptoms Of A Liver Imbalance In Chinese Medicine

In a previous article, I explained the function of the Liver in Chinese Medicine philosophy. The proper functioning of the Liver, from a Chinese medicine point of view, is probably the most important factor in ensuring our physical and emotional health.

So, what can cause a disruption in the free flow of Liver energy? Stress, anger, resentment and repressed frustrations in life will do it every time! These emotions, when experienced for a prolonged period of time, will cause the Liver Qi to stagnate. Diet and lifestyle, in particular the excessive consumption of spicy or greasy foods and the use of alcohol and nicotine, will contribute to or aggravate a Liver imbalance by generating heat in the body.

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The Liver in Chinese Medicine

It is said in Chinese medicine that when energy is flowing smoothly throughout the body, we have no pain or disease. The Liver is the organ that is responsible for ensuring that energy, or Qi (pronounced “chee”), flows smoothly throughout the body – in all organs and in all directions. The function of the Liver of regulating Qi, is extremely important to both our physical and emotional health.

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Morning Diarrhea and Chinese Medicine

There are many patterns of imbalance in the body that can explain why someone would experience chronic diarrhea. “Cock’s Crow” or dawn diarrhea is one very famous pattern.

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The Kidney in Chinese Medicine

When you study the anatomy and physiology of the body’s organs in Chinese medicine, there are many similarities to what we know in western medicine. For example, both systems of medicine understand that the kidneys are the small bean shaped organs that are housed in the lumbar area of the body and are responsible for controlling urination. But in Chinese medicine, each organ has a much broader function. The Kidney is probably the best example.

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Chinese Medicine Body Clock – Chinese Body Clock

There are twelve energy pathways, or meridians, in the human body that connect to specific organs in the body. Chinese medicine believes that each organ has a two hour time period when the Qi is at its peak in that meridian. The Qi flows cyclically in a clockwise rotation like a wave through the meridians.
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Moxibustion For Breech Pregnancy

Up to 25% of babies at some point in a pregnancy are in a breech position, but by 34 weeks most fetuses turn into a head-down, or vertex, position on their own. This is the normal and safest fetal position for birth. Delivering a baby in a breech position involves several risks to the infant. Most obstetricians in todays world therefore will opt to perform a caesarean section if the fetus has not turned on its own.

Moxibustion, the burning of the herb mugwort over an acupuncture point, in this case Bl-67 on the little toe, has been shown to be very effective to turn the fetus. Here is an excellent video where Dr. Lorne Brown, an acupuncturist from Vancouver Canada, demonstrates the procedure. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Brown at a seminar in Toronto last year where Jane Lyttleton lectured on Traditional Chinese Medicine in the treatment of infertility.

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Acupuncture Treatment For Bladder, Uterine or Rectal Prolapse

I was recently asked by one of my patients whether or not I thought acupuncture treatments would benefit their sister who was told she had a bladder prolapse. Since most of my patients seek help for painful conditions, it reminded me that many people are not yet aware that Chinese medicine is also very beneficial for other types of disorders.

Yes! Unless the condition has progressed to the point of requiring immediate surgical repair, acupuncture may help prevent organ prolapse conditions from deteriorating, if not completely rectify the problem.

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Cupping Therapy For Lower Back Pain

Here is a demonstration of Chinese medicine cupping to treat low back pain – performed by the author of “Traditional Chinese Medicine Cupping Therapy”, Ilkay Zihni Chirali. In this video, he is using cups made of glass. Glass cups are probably the most commonly used in this country because they are easy to sterilize and it is easy to see the strength of the suction when applied to the patients skin. In China, bamboo cups are very common because they are inexpensive, but they have some disadvantages. They have sharp edges, break down easily and can be a greater risk for cross-infection.

In both cases, the technique of obtaining suction is the same. A cotton ball is soaked in alcohol and lit. This is used to heat the inside of the cup which removes the oxygen and creates a vacuum. When the cup is placed on the patient, the skin is drawn up into the cup. By placing the cup over an injured area, stagnant blood and toxins are brought to the surface allowing fresh blood to nourish the injured site. Often the skin will be left with circular bruises that may last up to two weeks.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine Cupping Therapy

Cupping Therapy has been an integral part of Chinese medicine for thousands of years and continues to be incorporated into treatments today. This book by Ilkay Zihni Chitali is an excellent resource for the practitioner of Chinese medicine. Mr. Chitali provides details for ten different cupping methods. For each method he explains the technique itself in detail along with valuable illustrations.

Examples are given for conditions that may benefit from that particular technique. Half of the book (almost 100 pages) is devoted to specific treatment protocols for common ailments. Cupping instructions are given along with acupuncture points, moxibustion and herbal remedies. Case studies accompany each section.

Several techniques may be used with children and he specifically notes the difference in cupping duration and technique that should be applied for each age group.

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Master Tung Five Tiger Points For Finger and Toe Pain

There are many Master Tung points that I personally have found to be more effective than traditional meridian acupuncture points and Wu Hu (Five Tigers) is in that category. Wu Hu is a set of five acupuncture points located on the radial aspect of the proximal segment of the thumb on the border of the red and white skin. The points are numbered sequentially, one thru five, with Wu Hu 1 being the most distal point and Wu Hu 5 the most proximal.

Wu Hu 1 is selected for finger pain, palmer pain and tenosynovitis. Wu Hu 3 is selected for toe pain. Wu Hu 2 is added to strengthen the effect of Wu Hu 1 or 3. Wu Hu 4 is needled for instep or dorsal foot pain and Wu Hu 5 is very effective for heel pain (in combination with points on the heel of the palm and PC 7 on the pericardium meridian). As with most Master Tung points used to treat painful conditions, points are needled contralaterally to the pain and the patient is asked to move the affected part of the body while the needles are stimulated.

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