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Category Archives: The case report

Stress, anger and anxiety

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Overview

 

Elizabeth(pseudonym) has been stressed from relationships between her co-workers lately. She often feels heat flaring up to her face and palpitation during meetings, which makes her hard to converse normally. Even after she comes home, it is hard for her to calm down and it takes her 1-2 hours before she falls asleep. She also experiences frequent heartburn and occasional abdominal pain

 

Elizabeth is currently showing typical symptoms of SNS (sympathetic nervous system) hyperactivity. SNS comes into action when we have the flight-or-flight response (aka acute stress response.) For example, we confront a bear in the woods. To fight or flight, we require a large amount of blood supply to the muscle tissues, and our heart rate goes up to pump more blood. Thus the patient experiences palpitation. Increased blood flow to the muscle tissues naturally reduces blood supply to the gastrointestinal system, because digesting food matters very little when we are in life or death situation. Thus, digestive issues arise such as loss of appetite, heartburn, bloating and acid reflux altogether with sleep problem from being very alert to changes (confronting stress or a bear) to her surroundings.

 

Certainly, not everyone rapidly reacts to stress like Elizabeth. We know that there is always one friend who can sleep through a fire alarm no problem. Thus, those who are hot-tempered, strongly opinionated easily develop symptoms like Elizabeth. Of course, patients who are introverted can also suffer from hyperactivity of SNS, but they will not show skin sensitivity or red face (heat flare up to the face.)

 

 

Acupuncture

 

Nei Guan (Pc6) and Gong Son (Sp 4)

Point located on hands and feet that worked together to relieve stagnant sensation in the chest. (ex. Chest oppression, chest pain and heartburn)

Yin Tang

Point between the inner ends of the two eyebrows that strongly calms the mind and treats insomnia.

Shen Men (Ht7)

Point on the ulnar end of the wrist crease that regulates palpitation.

 

Herbal Treatment

 

Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis)

Extremely bitter herb that is often used calm down the hyperactivity of SNS.

Ban Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae Tematae)

Effective herb for nausea and acid reflux. Regulates secretions of mucosal tissues.

Gua Lou Shi (Fructus Trichosanthis Kirlowil)

Excellent herb for relieving chest tightness and pain

 

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Stomach issues with anxiety

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Overview

A patient has been visiting our clinic who has been suffering from a digestive disorder. She underwent an endoscope, but nothing conclusive was found in the results. Generally if nothing is found through the endoscope, the next step would be to assess the patient’s emotional and psychological state.

 

If someone has a digestive disorder, anxiety and insomnia at the same time, it will be difficult to achieve good results if we only treat the digestive system and not the other issues.

 

While the patient has mainly expressed concern about the digestive disorder, it is important to note that in actuality, it is a low degree of anxiety that is causing the digestive disorder and insomnia in the first place. For the best results we have to focus on calming the emotional status. Recently, medical researchers say that the stomach is ‘the Second Brain’ because the neurotransmitters and hormones that are found in the brain can also be found in the stomach. The brain does control the stomach, so by improving the patients anxiety we can in turn treat the stomach issues and vice versa; the stomach controls the brain so by improving the stomach issues we can treat the issues concerning the brain.

 

Patients often talk about a ‘butterfly sensation’ when nervousness or anxiety makes them feel nausea. Once such a nervousness keeps reoccurring, it can lead to food stagnation which can also cause insomnia and anxiety. When this happens it can feel like a vicious cycle.

 

These symptoms can be treated by ‘Fu Ling(Poria)’. I treated the patient with ‘Fu Ling’, and we saw improvement and good results. After taking herbs for 1 month, not only have the patients stomach issues greatly improved but her psychological issues have improved as well.

 

Acupuncture Treatment

 

For cases like this, the Pericardium 6 and Spleen 4 is commonly used. For optimal results patients usually require treatment for one month. In the first two weeks of treatment the patient should receive acupuncture twice a week, then once a week for the remaining 2-3 weeks of treatment.

 

Herbal Treatment

 

To relieve the patient of the ‘butterfly sensation’, herbal treatment is essential. Fu Ling(Poria) is the best herb for this type of symptom. Fu Ling has a calming effect for the stomach and is also used for palpitations and found to be very effective in treating edema and dysuria as well. We recommend a period of 1 to 3 months for this herbal treatment.

 

 

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Insomnia Case(caused by overactive sympathetic nerve system)

Symptoms

Overview

This type of insomnia is very common lately. Under high stress, our body is too sensitive to the stimulation. Sympathetic nerve system, which serves to accelerate the heart rate, constrict blood vessels, and raise blood pressure, is hyperactive and we cannot fall asleep. If a bear is chasing you, could you fall asleep?

 

Specific symptoms are featured in this type. First of all, constipation is severe. Condition of patients depend on the bowel movement. Secondly, they have indigestion problem. Heartburn, belching, fullness are very common for them. lastly, they usually feel hot in daily life. Hot flash, night sweating, cold water intaking is frequently seen. However, patients complained cold feet sometimes. Blood flow is relatively driven to upper body, so patients could feel cold feet.

Acupuncture treatment

The heart meridian should be treated. Heart 7, Spleen 6, GB 31 is commonly used. Patients usually need 1-3 month treatment. In the beginning, patient should get acupuncture twice a week. 2-3 weeks later, they need to come once a week.

Herbal treatment

To promote bowel movement, herbal treatment is essential. Da Huang(Rhubarb; Rheum Palmatum) is used for constipation. Huang Lian(Rhizoma Coptidis) is the best herb for this type of patients.1-3 month treatment is recommended.

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Anxiety after a car accident

There are many things that can cause anxiety. A car accident is also one of them. Car accidents cause not only physical pain but also mental damage, such as insomnia and anxiety. These mental symptoms are called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

 

When I see a patient with PTSD, I always check the gallbladder meridian, which is responsible for making decisions and judgments. It is also responsible for providing courage and initiative. The gall bladder meridian also has an influence on one’s quality and length of sleep. Being in, or seeing, a serious car accident makes the gallbladder meridian weak. Therefore, a patient is easily distracted and has difficulty concentrating. He/she may also find it hard to make important decisions. Insomnia and anxiety are also the most common symptoms of  having a weak gallbladder meridian. 

 

Tom (false name) has been suffering from anxiety for 20 years after seeing a horrible car accident.  Lately, his anxiety attacks have not been as strong as before. However he feels anxious when he is tired and or has been drinking alcohol. Caffeine and stress can also induce anxiety. 

 

For Tom’s treatment I regulated his gall bladder meridian with acupuncture and I prescribed herbs formulated specifically for him, including Fu Ling, Gui Zhi, Gan Cao, etc. After his third treatment, his anxiety started to subside. He drank alcohol a lot one day and felt anxiety only for one day. Other than that day of anxiety following heavier than normal drinking, his anxiety has almost gone. I have been treating him for 2 months. 

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Anxiety – Heat with the Gallbladder meridian type.

At my clinic, I commonly see patients who complain about axiety problems. Modern society creates complicated situations and accordingly this can cause more stress. Therefore the modern human is prone to have anxiety disorders and or attacks. Here is a typical case of an anxiety attack. I’d like to explain how acupuncture and herbal medicine are working together to minimize anxiety in this patients case. You will also be able to understand the Eastern Medicine approach to mental health issues.

 

This patient was in her mid-40’s. She had family issues, but she was generally a very healthy individual before her anxiety attacks started. One early morning, she suddenly woke up with strong feelings of apprehension and dread. Her heart was pounding and she began to feel pain and cramping in her stomach.  These are typical symptoms of an anxiety attack.  While she was being treated by western medicine, she also wanted to try natural forms of treatment and decided to visit my clinic.

 

Energy is constantly flowing throughout the human body. This energy flows through channels in your body, these channels are called meridians. Each meridian is connected to an organ. For example, the heart has a meridian, the liver has a meridian and the lungs have a meridian. Each meridian controls the function of its organ, it also dominates specific emotions. For example, the liver meridian dominates anger, so the liver meridian becomes hyperactive if the body feels anger. The liver meridian flows from the toe, to the uterus, breast, throat, eyes and finally through the head. Therefore, anger can cause menstrual pain, headache, dizziness, redness of the face and eyes, as well as dry mouth. Eastern Medicine does not seperate the mind from the body.

 

We must then ask, which meridian dominates anxiety? It is the gall bladder meridian. It is responsible for making decisions and judgments, as well as providing courage and initiative. The gall bladder meridian also has an influence on ones quality and length of sleep. If the gall bladder is deficient, the patient will often wake up suddenly and or very early in the morning and will be unable to fall asleep again. Patients who are timid, indecisive and easily discouraged by slight adversity, are said to have a weak gall bladder. It is the weakness of the gall bladder that causes anxiety disorders and attacks.

 

I regulated my patient’s Gall Bladder meridian with acupuncture treatments and prescribed herbs formulated specifically for the patient, including Chai Hu, Huang Qin, Long Gu, Mu Li, etc. After the second treatment, she no longer suffered from anxiety attacks, she stopped waking up with sudden stomach cramps and the feeling of dread. She received four more acupuncture treatments to strengthen her gall bladder and soon her meridian returned to a normal state. She suffered from anxiety for a short period of time and visited my clinic right after the symptoms began.

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Insomnia – Heat with the Gallbladder meridian type.

People suffer from insomnia always have other symptoms like depression, anxiety, anger issue and anemia, and etc. When I see those insomnia patients, I have to differentiate insomnia types. Here is a typical insomnia case which has other symptoms.

 

She was in her early 30’s. She hardly fell in sleep and also waked up frequently during sleep. She felt fatigue all the time. Indigestion problem often happened. She had a feeling of oppression on the chest. Her hands and feet were cold. Her hair fell out a lot. I found palpitation on her abdomen and tenderness on hypochondriac area. I felt the tension in abdominal muscle with my hand. Her tip of tongue was little red.

 

This case is not a typical insomnia type but I often see this kind of insomnia lately. According to Eastern Medicine, the mind resides in the Heart. When the Heart is disturbed by heat, the mind cannot reside peacefully. The Heat floats upwards and it causes insomnia. This heat is often caused by energy stagnation of the Liver meridian or the Gall Bladder meridian. Her insomnia was caused by heat from the Gall Bladder meridian. Heat from the Liver meridian usually starts from anger. However, she did not complain about anger issue. Feeling of oppression on the chest, tenderness on hypochondriac area and falling hairs are typical symptoms of the Gall Bladder meridian.

 

I regulated her Gall Bladder meridian and Heart meridian with acupuncture treatments and prescribed formula herbs including such as Chai Hu, Ren Shen, Huang Qin, Long Gu. etc. In the beginning of treatment, her digestion got better and she felt easier to fall in sleep after 5th acupuncture session. She finally did not wake up during a sleep after 10th acupuncture session. I prescribed formula herbs for 10 days.

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Common mistake for ankle sprain treatment

When I was in school for Eastern Medicine, I also had to study a lot about Western Medicine. At that time, My teacher, who is western doctor, told us for the first 36-48 hours post-injury we put ice pack on the ankle. However she also told us we had to change from ice pack to hot pack after 48 hours. Otherwise, ice pack prevent blood circulation and delay healing. I want to make sure this treatment process is from western medicine not eastern medicine.

 

Unfortunately most patients don’t know this basic treatment process. Some patients even put ice pack for one month or more. I don’t know where they get the information and why their family doctor doesn’t mention to switch packs.

 

Last spring, a beautiful young girl came to my clinic with her parents. When she played soccer, she got injury. At the beginning, her family doctor told them that was not severe, it was going to be cured as time went on. However, pain was kept going. the parents took her to physiotherapy and special doctor but nothing changed. Just diagnosis is different. Finally one specialist told them surgery s might be the solution. The father is a soccer coach, so he knew that’s not a good option. In the end, they were looking for alternative therapy and found my website.

 

When I touch her feet, those are really cold. Her parents also put ice pack for a long time. I put acupuncture the bladder meridian which started from the feet and heel with infrared heat and asked her to get a warm foot bath everyday. she also had to wear socks every time.

 

After one week treatment, 50% of her pain was gone and 0ne and half month later her pain was completely gone. Acupuncture works very well about pain but warming is also important treatment method. If she came to my clinic at the beginnings, she did not have to suffer for a long time. I wish I saw her when she got injury.

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