I certainly hope you understand that my enthusiasm for tea is largely because it is an expression of the beauty of Chinese medicine. This week I started a Meet-Up which will convene here at CCCA on the 9th of March which is Sunday at 2:00pm. The group is entitled Bamboo and Loquat: Pu’er Tea Enthusiasts of Los Angeles. You can join here.
Saturday the 12th of April will be our Three Tea Journey, featuring some of the best teas purchased from our trip to Yunnan about a year ago. See the attachment for more info.
Obama “Care” Covers Acupunture but Administrative Obstacles Persist.
With the new developments in “healthcare” legislation, many want to know what it means forHealthCare receiving services through CCCA? Good question. Suppose rates on home and auto insurance increase, what impact does it have on cleaning the yard or getting new tires? Acupuncture IS actually covered under the new legislation, but reimbursement is still unacceptably low and administrative oversight is akin to telling you how to clean the yard or the mechanic how to tend to your car.
If you want the ease of mind that the natural solutions of Chinese medicine offers, then there are options we can discuss for yearly, condition-specific, or even 100% money-back plans. Often what expresses at the surface is an indicator of that which more serious underneath. Addressing both is the substance of providing a pointed approach to the whole person. 😉
HealthyLatinaHypertension Case (Cont.)
In the last episode of our discussion, I introduced the concept of deficiency syndromes by referring to the core concepts of yin and yang. Admitting that these two concepts are sufficiently meaningless to a student of Chinese medicine not to mention patients, I began to discuss the matter of yin and yang in the context of a particular patient, female, suffering from hypertension.
I had just finished making the point that the name of a condition, e.g., hypertension, is not indicative of the course of treatment that should be implemented. The only true way of making this determination is by consulting the pulse, a diagnostic approach that does not exist in the Western biopharmaceutical model of market-based medicine delivery.
What does the pulse reveal, you ask? Well, it tells us the underlying nature of the condition itself, whether it is yin or yang in nature.. OK. You’re asking yourself, what on earth does yin and yang really mean? We discussed that already. It is the relationship of structure, yin, to function, yang. Often in terms of something like hypertension the structure may be water. In Western biopharmaceutical medicine a significant number of patients will be administered diuretics to help the kidneys expel water from the body, water that is stuck in the vasculature and causing the blood pressure to rise. You see even in Western biopharmaceutical market medicine there is still a measure of guessing, a progression of how best to approach a condition. The body is complex, comprised of a series of interlocking systems. There is a measure of art or guessing or experience that comes into play when choosing one form of treatment over the other. In Chinese medicine, these x-factors tend to be reduced to body types, symptoms and the pulse.
Many chronic conditions like hypertension have a certain presentation that imply their treatment. Common calls to lose weight, stop smoking, and exercise all make sense, but what about cases where no weight needs to be loss, there’s no smoking and regular exercise? Then, the best guide will be the pulse, at least in terms of pointing the treatment toward herbs that will be more tonifying or sedating.
One obvious question is, what if you just ignore the pulse and rely upon traditional formulas and herbs that are scientifically known to reduce blood pressure? That is a possibility. Interestingly, Chinese herbs that are known to reduce blood pressure range widely in terms of treatment category. For example, hawthorn berry fits in the category of herbs that relieve food stagnation; “dragon bone” is in the category for treating emotional excitability; and bupleurum is in the category that can generally be considered dealing with colds and flu. There are even some herbs that are contraindicated in instances of hypertension that can treat hypertension in the right circumstances, such as Chinese ginseng and ephedra and herbs generally known to reduce hypertension that would be contraindicated in certain circumstances, like bupleurum or American ginseng. Therefore, just randomly prescribing herbs scientifically known to reduce blood pressure might prove counterproductive or ineffective. These are the variables that demonstrate the various etiologies of a condition with a single name, like hypertension, and why proper diagnosis is critical to treatment success.
Time to wrap up this discussion, but I invite you to come by to have a discussion on matters of deficiency if your current course of treatment is not producing the results you desire. In the next installment of this series, I’ll connect some dots to more fully illustrate deficiency syndromes in the context of hypertension.
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 “proving a pointed approach to the whole person,” which he translates into treating the individual not just conditions. Reach him at 323.936.5152323.936.5152 .