Have the pink jacaranda not been showing off since late February or is it just me? I still haven’t found out whether there’s any direct therapeutic effect from those gorgeous flowers, but I am tempted to steep a few to see what happens. Until then, there’s tea…
Most of our stash of pu-er (pu’erh if you must) is fermented and decidedly on the earthy side. Our most popular tea are minis that possess sweet sticky rice notes. They’re very easy to brew-up and as with other ripe pu’ers are smooth and wet, never attacking with bitterness or astringency even if brewed for hours. Recently, a patient brought by some remarkable ripe pu’er that she purchased in London of all places. Bearing the mark of only the most famous herb company that served the emperor, it’s simply the best ripe pu’er I’ve ever had: many infusions, rich, and minty fresh–the vaunted camphor notes.
In terms of floral, we still have some personally selected Yunnan Gold, which is a black tea that can be steeped Chinese style or in the fashion of most other places. The floral notes are more evident with the short steeps, a la Chinese style.
There’s also Moonlight White, which defies categorization but tastes like a softer, sweeter descendant of Yunnan Gold. We’ll actually be having Moonlight White with two other teas, one fermented and one raw, on the afternoon of the 12th of April. I’ve attached the details, but if you can’t make it for any reason be assured that there will be other occasions in the future or just call to schedule a session, 323*936*5152.
Heard about Auricular Acupuncture?
The body is comprised of numerous correspondences that make treatment of disturbed areasearseeds possible with reduced risk. One such area is the ear. Auricular therapy can be used to treat pain and functional problems. Treatment can be administered through needles, microcurrent or seeds. Not only is auricular theraphy nifty in terms of treating the body and cost-effectiveness, but it is also a great way around the fear of needles.
Earseeds work according to the principles of reflexology. Just as physiological treatments can be affected through the feet and hands by massage, so can the ears. The seeds are simply small enough to stimulate the relevant areas with precision. It also allows for treatment to be self-administered, extending the effects of treatment and speeding the healing process. I can personally vouche for its benefit for gall-bladder pain!
Deficiency Syndromes Cont.
Part III in a discussion on Deficiency and Hypertension.
This series of discussions aims to shed light upon the matter of deficiency syndromes. I began by introducing the guiding principles yin and yang and endeavored to give these abstractions greater meaning through the case of a middle-aged female with hypertension. In the second installment, I sought to illustrate the meaning of the name of a condition not indicating treatment approach by discussing three Chinese herbs with different treatment function. I also noted that some herbs contraindicated for hypertension can actually treat hypertension given the right circum stances. The following discussion will now elaborate a bit on those conditions, while relating them to the organizing principle of yin and yang.
Our middle-aged patient has bp of 200/105 and a heart-rate of 51. Tongue is thin and white and the pulse on the left side is undetectable and on the right is weak, slightly wiry. The tongue has thick whitish coat and is otherwise thin with a red tip. The Acugraph readout shows an average below 20 with the heart qi being the lowest and overall physical symptoms manifesting in the upper left of the body. Patient feels occasional dull headaches and complains of red eyes.
Among 10 doctors of Chinese medicine, this picture will be diagnosed as “liver-yang rising,” meaning there is a deficiency of yin causing the liver energy to flair upwards, manifest in the eyes. This is a “yang” expression of a condition that arises from a deficiency of “yin,” blood or water to properly nourish the liver. An apt analogy is the engine of a car which runs hot because the motor oil is either lacking or of too thin a quality for as hard as the engine is running.
If the engine is running hard, excess yang, there should be corroborating signs beyond the red eyes, like thirst, heat symptoms, and rapid heartbeat. In this case, however, the patient’s heartbeat is about 20 bpm too slow, there are no signs of thirst, and the headaches are of a dull (deficient/yin) nature. The pulses, furthermore, at totally deficient, so much so that on the left, where the Acugraph marks trouble, it is utterly undetectable. These doctors would be incorrect, having diagnosed the condition based on the preponderance of cases that express with hypertension, as opposed to deriving a diagnosis based on the actual symptoms.
Lassitude, weakness, flabbiness, sleepiness, slowness… these are all deficiency signs, specifically deficiency of yang, of fire and function. When yang is deficient yin rises. In this case, the pulse literally gets drowned out by yin, the water in the body. The excess yin, also cold as evidenced by slow pulse rate, is resting at the locus of the heart, also confirmed by the reading from the Acugraph. Whatever name given to this condition, the treatment strategy is the exact opposite of the “liver yang rinsing” diagnosis, where more yin nourishing herbs are added. In fact, what is needed are herbs that will boost yang and expel the yin, in this case the excess water accumulated in the vasculature.
This completes our discussion on deficiency syndromes as far as the case of hypertension is involved. Yin and yang have practical application based on the symptoms of the individual patient. The case further demonstrates how and why a condition with the general name of hypertension cannot be treated till diagnosis of the yin and yang factors is determined.
Chinese medicine is a natural and time-tested means of treating serious chronic conditions. Through its sophisticated diagnostic approach, it can often produce results where Western biopharmaceutical market medicine fails. If you or someone you know is getting poor results from standard medicine or is concerned about the long-term implications of prescriptions they’re currently on, then invite them to take a look at these articles and by all means to give me a call, 323*936*5152.
Yang-chu Higgins has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2008. Before medical school at Yo-san University in Los Angeles, he pursued advanced training as a master’s student at the University of Michigan’s Center for Chinese Studies, having lived in Beijing and studied at Peking University. His credo is “providng a pointed approach to the whole person,” which he translates into treating the individual not just conditions.