Sunday, August 24, 2014

The ice bucket challenge is not a healthy way to promote ALS awareness

The internet these days is full with ice bucket challenge videos to promote ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) disease awareness and encourage donations for research. However, dumping a bucket with ice water on one's head is never a good idea.

  According to the principles of Chinese medicine, the Yang energy of the whole body gathers in the head. If we dump ice water on the head, this may influence the flow of qi in the body and the normal functions of the inner organs and systems. Especially now, during the hot days of the Summer, when the Yang qi is very active on the surface of the body, the cold ice on the head could have a damaging effect on health.

  In Chinese medicine, ALS is related to extreme weakness of Yang qi in the heart (心阳极虛), spleen deficiency and excess of cold in the body.  Of course, treatment will vary on every individual situation. Acupuncture, moxibustion, proper diet and herbs will be beneficial. Soaking feet in a basin with warm water will be helpful too. So better warm up your feet than dump icy water on your head.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A nice example of chrono-moxibustion

  Chrono-moxibustion is part of chronomedicine -  treatment based on the body clock and natural cycles. If we understand the biological rhythms and apply the best time of points opening in the body, then the treatment will be even more effective.

  A good example of chrono-moxibustion can be found in Golden Mirror of Orthodox Medicine 医宗金鉴 (Yi Zong Jin Jian) - a 90-volume medical book compiled in 1724 by Wu Qian. It includes a special method for treating tuberculosis with moxa:
"For tuberculosis do moxa on gui yan "ghost eye" (yin bai SP1) points. Mark with black ink the yao yan "waist eyes" points. Use moxa [at yao yan points] in hai hour of gui hai day. It will be most effective if you don't let the person know about it."  
   Here the idea is to use moxa on gui hai day (happening once in two months), at hai  hour, which is in the evening, 9:00 - 11:00 pm.  Gui hai is the last day of the hexegenary cycle and hai hour is the last double-hour of the day. According to chrono-acupuncture and chrono-qigong therapy, this is the exact time when the qi in the kidney meridian is naturally activated. Kidney corresponds to Water element, and gui hai hour of gui hai day also represents Water (gui and hai both are Water elements). At this specific time the qi is concentrated at yong quan point, the first point of the Kidney meridian. Yong Quan 涌泉 means 'bubbling spring'. It acts like a gushing pure water that stimulates the healing qi from the feet to go upward to the kidney area, where the yao yan 腰眼 points are located.

  It's fascinating to see that the text in Golden Mirror of Orthodox Medicine points out the subtle connections between the spirits in the body and the treatment process.The patient shoud stay unaware of the treatment method, so not to let the san hu 三户 spirits in the body disturb the healing process.  Gui hai hour of gui hai day is the moment when the 6 spirits of the inner organs (the spirits of heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen and gall bladder) 六神 are all gathered in the body and thus using moxibustion at this time will be beneficial for the whole body.
the yao yan "waist eyes" points

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Points opening and chrono-acupuncture