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6Nov/09Off

Dr. Ni’s funny comments on certain patients he refuses to treat

If you guys remember, I posted something about Chinese doctor Dr. Ni, like his view on alternative healing in America and his rules of thumb for patients. He's very good at Healthy Check, but the way he presents in his articles are always controversial and emotional. I read a list about what kinds of patients he refuses to treat and made me giggle. Somehow I understand why he set the list, but it's still quite funny and a little vigorous.

1. People who request that they can recover the next day taking Chinese medicine or acupuncture. These actually don't believe in traditional Healthy Check at all.

2. Patients who have doubt and suspect the doctor.

3. Taking western medicine while taking Chinese medicine at the same time.

4. Patients who know about simple Chinese medicine and keep questioning about the prescriptions.

5. Patients who don't take medicine in a timely manner.

6. Patients who listen to the Chinese pharmacists more than the Chinese doctor and let the comments from pharmacists intercept the prescriptions.

7. Patients who don't listen to the suggestions from the doctor and think taking medicine can heal everything. For example, liver cirrhosis is caused by alcohol, but if the patient still drink even after taking medicine, how could he be healed?

8. Patients who repeat asking the same questions - which means they don't trust the doctor.

9. When the patient got serious health problem, he/she just listens to whoever's suggestions and take a lot of different medicine without any caution.

10. Patients who take a lot of unnecessary diet supplements and vitamins - they come to the doctor when they're sick, but still ask the doctor what supplements and vitamins they can still take - these people are causing more unnecessary troubles to their health.

11. Patients who got so nervous coming to the Chinese doctor after seeing western doctor and found out their health problem, and consider that as an emergency. That actually means they still trust western doctor better.

12. Patients who tried chemotherapy or certain western treatments first before coming to Chinese doctor. Because if they don't get cured, they just blame Chinese doctor and never blamed the western treatment.

Dr. Ni said he refuses to treat these 12 kinds of patients and he suggests that all traditional Chinese doctors should avoid these patients as well because these patients won't thank the doctors at all even if they're healed. If they don't get cured, it's the Chinese doctors fault. They never consider how they get the disease. However when they go to the western doctors, they'll listen to whatever they say like a pet.

It sounds a bit harsh to a lot of people, but the conclusion here is all about trust and confidence with Healthy Check. I'd say if you really want to try Healthy Check methods, you just have to believe it and give full respect, or it's better don't bother trying at all.

22Oct/09Off

Make alternative healing become mainstream, discussion part 4

I continued reading the Chinese article written about American's health by an acupuncturist. His words are pretty strong, and there may be some bias too. But honestly I have found some of those interesting and convincing.

He said overweight is basically a tough health issues among Americans. One of the major cause of this is drinking too much milk! (Well, when we see "Got Milk?" all the time, we can't imagine someone actually point out milk is one of the cause of overweight, which leads to a lot of health problems. Next to milk is fast food, which we probably already knew. Milk is making most people grow big like cows, which may be what it was intended to do. It seems to be better now since low fat milk and no fat milk are available. But many people still like whole fat milk, and use half and half for other foods and beverage.

Another problem is drug abuse. He's not talking about the illegal drugs, he's talking about over-the-counter drugs. Like taking sleeping pills to help sleeping, like taking painkillers whenever we feel any unbearable (or even bearable) pain. These are what causing depression and kidney problems.

Some people also rely on vitamins when they found their stamina is declining. They don't blame on overweight or lack of exercise. Instead, they think they're lacking of vitamins and take multiple vitamins for that. However, taking too much vitamins is going to feed the bad cells, like cancer. Some cancers like prostate cancer and breast cancer can come from that. If we don't change our diet and habits, all of the above would definitely do us more harm than good.

He made a strong statement on chemotherapy. Although I think it's bias, I can't really argue with him. He said if chemotherapy can really treat cancer, let's try to find a healthy young man to take chemotherapy for six months and see how he's going to be. He said this young man is definitely going to be weak as if he's going to die. If we use chemotherapy on cancer patients, we can see how effective it's going to be. If that's the case, why do we spend that much money on these services? He also said he's happy to see President Obama and some authorities starting to find out there's a new direction. If alternative healing really becomes mainstream, it's going to change the whole world, not just America.

Chinese have a saying to describe Western medicine: "Cure the head when there's a headache; Heal the feet when they feel pain." That may be a little bias, but somehow this is the impression among Chinese. However, Western medicine has a much organized system to follow while Chinese medicine is not organized very well. That's what making traditional Chinese medicine hard to promote. Hopefully this will change someday. When we think about it, if a few needles can heal some diseases, why do we need pills?

9Aug/09Off

Traditional Chinese Medical Diagnosis

When seeing a traditional Chinese doctor, they have a diagnostic process like the procedure of Western Physician. The diagnosis process includes 4 procedures that work together:

1. INSPECTION: First, the Chinese doctor will finish a visual examination of the patient, which includes observation of the patient's facial expression, emotions, muscle tone, color and condition of the skin, body odors, posture, energy levels, and overall appearance. After LISTENING and ASKING questions, the doctor will ask the patient to stick out the tongue and analyze the color, the dampness, size, form, and tongue coating. The doctor can tell some information from the tongue, combining the result of the interview to see if there's a presence of a febrile, or feverish, disease.

2. LISTENING: Diagnosis usually begins with the patient's description of his/her complaint. As the patient talks about how he/she feels, the doctor listens while doing the visual inspection, and jots down any notes when necessary.

3. ASKING: After LISTENING, normally the doctor will ask questions regarding the body function, like bowel movements, digestion, perspiration, respiration, dietary habits.  Through the inspection and the interview the doctor will develop an imbalance picture of the patient: which organ may be functioning in excess or may be deficient;, the state of the blood and of vital energy, and figure out what to correct to restore health.

4. PALPATION: There are two approaches for palpation. One is a typical touch examination like Western medicine, palpation any areas on the body that may feel painful or appear swollen to check the sensitivity. This tells information about whether the problem is superficial or deeper involving internal organs. The other form of palpation takes a lot of skill and sensitivity, which is known as "taking pulse" "checking pulse" or  "reading pulse". The doctor take the pulse to confirm or adjust diagnosis. The pulse is taken at six positions on each wrists. Of these 12 positions, each corresponds to one of the internal organs and shown by its nature the state of that particular organ. The doctor characterize the pulse in general, as well as individual organs. The qualities of the pulse determine the treatments. There are 120 forms and 28 commonly distinguished forms. With three predominant pairs of characteristics: floating or deep; slow or rapid; weak or surging.

After the doctor refined the diagnosis and determined the nature of the disease, the doctor will develop a treatment plan, and write a prescription. Most prescriptions consist of 5-20 herbal ingredients, combination customized for the patient's particular needs. Acupuncturists normally do the above same things, except a period of time arranged especially for acupuncture.

(sources: Streetwise Guide: Chinese Herbal Medicine by Wong Kang Ying and Martha Dahle, Chinese Herbal Medicine made easy by Thomas Richard Joiner.)

7Aug/09Off

“Walking Qi Gong” introduced by film producer Raymond Wong

This is the continuation of the last article. Yesterday I posted the story of how the film producer Raymond Wong help fight against his wife's cancer with many different approaches including a Qi Gong called "Self-controlled Qi Gong, or "Walking Qi Gong". Raymond's wife started to practice "Self-controlled Qi Gong" after she found out the ovarian cancer in 1997. The doctor used a medicine called "TAXOL" for her chemotherapy. During that period, Raymond found some Ganoderma lucidum (LingZhi or Reishi) for her as supplements to reduce the side effects from the chemotherapy. He also accompanied her wife to study Qi Gong just in order to improve the internal strength to recover.

After 10 years, his wife is still healthy. She just finished a physical check and looked like the cancer didn't come back. She's been studying Qi Gong exercise for over 10 years and they consider this very helpful. When Raymond talked to his wife about readers showing strong interest in the Qi Gong she's practicing, she's decided to share an easy "Kidney protection" Qi Gong (one from the "Walking Qi Gong")  that helps to defend cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, lung diseases, infertility, hydronephrosis, cardiovascular disease: (Click the diagram below to zoom)

raymondwongdiagram_tn

"Kidney protection" Qi Gong Reminders:

Head, Waist: Take center line of the body and twist about 45 degrees to left and to right.

Hands, Arms: Draw an internal  virtual line like writing the number "8"

Legs: Start walking naturally, step down with heel hitting the floor first, toes point upward

Mindset: Focus on one thought, or listen to own breaths

Speed: 50-60 steps per minute, keep it slow

Total time: 30 minutes for one session

Starting direction: facing south or east

6Aug/09Off

An inspiring little Qi Gong story from film producer Raymond Wong

Recently I've read an article written by a famous Hong Kong film producer named Raymond Wing Bak-Ming. Usually he writes about movie industry or any interesting celebrities worked with him in his column. This time he talks about a little Qi Gong Story that helped healing the cancer of his wife, because he's also famous of fighting along with his wife's against her cancer around 12 years ago. He was a very famous Hong Kong movie director and producer. His career was always the first priority, family came second. There was a time he had affairs and almost left his wife and children...however, in 1997 he found his wife suffering from the last stage of ovarian cancer. This sudden change awakened him and figured out his wife is the most important person to him. He stopped all his work and began look around any possible healing method for his wife. He tried multiple approaches together, including chemotherapy, Qi Gong, shark cartilage powder, Ganoderma lucidum (also known as Reishi in Japanese or Ling zhi in Chinese), traditional Chinese medicine with all love, care and support from himself and their children. It turned out his wife was cured after 4 months, and he even wrote the full story into a book to share their experience.

The article I read wasn't from the his book. It's from his column on a magazine. He said there's a kind of Qi Gong (there're many kinds of Qi Gong) called "self-controlled" Qi Gong.  He called it "Walking Qi Gong" because the postures are mostly walking. He also warned that only use Qi Gong exercise as supplementary help for treating cancer, not for major cure.

"Self-controlled" Qi Gong is based on the Traditional Chinese medicine theory, "Losing control is the base of all causes of diseases ." (This also refers to my last few articles about the imbalance of Qi and Blood, Yin and Yang causing diseases as well.) Through the study of Qi Gong, people learn how to control, lead the Qi (or Chi), and encircle it back as a cycle. Hence strengthen the self-adjustment system in the body. This "Self-controlled" Qi Gong were proved effective to around 32% cancer patients. Some patients even think it cured their cancer. But Raymond Wong think this Qi Gong is more like playing a role of reviving the weak body instead of curing cancer directly. That's why even some patients of chronic disease study this kind of Qi Gong and "mend" their body, and recover along with the traditional medical treatments .

Tomorrow, we'll continue to talk about the particular "Walking Qi Gong" that his wife has been studying.

5Aug/09Off

Internal Causes of illness: Perverse Emotions

Other than the cause-and-effect relationship between perverse climatic conditions and disease we talked about in the last article, another important Chinese medicine concept is that emotions (namely, anger, fear, grief, joy and anxiety) also influence health. Chinese medicine holds that when certain emotions are experienced in excess, they'll affect particular organs. Specifically, anger is associated with the liver, fear with the kidneys, grief with the lungs, joy with the heart, and anxiety with the spleen. While the explicit connection between emotions and the vital organs is not always obvious, examples such as the effect of grief  and weeping on the lungs or how anxiety can affect the spleen or stomach (by causing digestive problems in general or a nervous or upset stomach in particular) are more apparent.

Not just emotions an important sources of diagnosis, Chinese medicine assigns even greater importance to them by stating that the combined effects of external climatic elements and internal emotional factors are major precipitating factors in all forms of disease. So excessive emotion for a long period of time can cause cancer - that's why we got the line, "Don't worry. Be happy." Worries, fears, sadness can really kill somebody.

In fact, the close investigation afforded by traditional Chinese medicine to psychological and climatological factors is rivaled only by the attention given to what are considered the two primary substances in human physiology: the blood and the Chi (Qi)

(sources:  Chinese Herbal Medicine made easy by Thomas Richard Joiner.)

4Aug/09Off

External Causes of illness: Perverse Energies

Last article we talked about the fundamental root of all disease, according to traditional Chinese medicine, is an imbalance of Yin and Yang. I read a Chinese article about where cancer came from, the author said when there is too much Yin elements in the body while there's an obvious deficit of Yang elements, that's when cancer starts. That article also said sometimes western medication tends to use vitamins as supplements in imbalance of nutrition. Vitamins belong to Yin. On the other hand, a lot of controlling medicines like painkillers or antibiotics cause the deficit of Yang. If a person take excess vitamins and painkillers/antibiotics together for too long, cancer may just start because of the excess of Yin plus the deficit of Yang. That means even taking  harmless medicine incorrectly may actually have negative effects on your body. Of course, this is just one example of imbalance of Yin Yang, other than medications, nutrition, emotions and what they call "perverse energies" can also cause imbalance of Yin Yang - hence cause cancer or other diseases.

External Causes of Illness: Perverse Energies

Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that perverse atmospheric conditions -- perverse energies -- are often the primary cause of, or at least contributing factors in, a long list of common illnesses. Perverse energies include the followings, which somehow I mentioned in the last article:

Wind, the primary transport system for hundreds of air borne viruses associated with a great number of respiratory diseases;

Cold, which causes the body's fluids to congeal, impeding the circulation of fluid to the joins and blood through the body, causing poor digestion, diarrhea;

Heat, which causes pronounced sweating and dehydration, skin infections;

Dampness (Wet), associated with inflammatory muscle and joint disease such as rheumatism and arthritis;

Dryness, which attacks the body fluids and is associated with, among other things, increased thirst, dry skin, coughing and constipation.

Chinese believe that perverse energies occur most often when normal environmental conditions are excessive. Examples are extreme cold spells in winter and unseasonable conditions such as a warm spell in winter or a period of transition from one season to another - that's why during a dramatic weather change, people are more easily to get sick.

There's no way to avoid exposure to environmental changes. So Chinese medicine prefers a preventive rather than a curative approach by offering strategies for protecting the body from perverse energies. Usually, there are two ways to carry out preventive strategies:  via the diet, and through the use of Chinese herbs (which consists of botanical, mineral, and zoological substances). Combination of these two became a powerful tool for body natural defense. Used on regular basis, herbs become and extension of nutrition that helps the protection against pernicious external influences. This practice has proven to be effective for general health maintenance as well as for promoting life extension.

(sources: Chinese Traditional Medical Association (hantang.com), Streetwise Guide: Chinese Herbal Medicine by Wong Kang Ying and Martha Dahle, Chinese Herbal Medicine made easy by Thomas Richard Joiner.)

2Aug/09Off

Qi (Chi) and blood flow

Traditional Chinese medical theory is completely different from western. You'll need to be quite imaginative to understand. It sees the body as composed of 12 major channels (or called meridian) through which the vital energy Qi or Chi (氣, pronounced as "chi" in mandarin, and "hey" in Cantonese)  flows and by vessels through which blood flows.

Qi and blood function differently but are related. There's a saying that "Qi leads, blood flows". This vital energy is believed to be the leader that drives the blood flow, while the blood flow helps "feed" the Qi by being its material basis. Nourishing blood and Qi is very important. Every organ in the body depends upon blood for nourishment. Using herbs to enrich the blood improves overall bodily performance by improving the functioning of all of the organs, which achieves maximum organ efficiency, better health and longevity. Likewise, by nourishing the Chi, energy levels are increased, providing greater vitality, strength, and endurance.

The channels - the meridians of acupuncture (經,pronounced as "jing" in Mandarin, and "ging" in Cantonese), and the collaterals (絡, pronounced as "law" or "luo", and "lok" in Cantonese)through which the Qi flows connect the internal organs with superficial organs and tissues, and with each other. Thus the body is an organic whole. 10 out of 12 major channels correspond to major internal organs and are considered to function in pairs. The solid, yin viscera are: heart, liver, spleen, lung and kidney. The hollow, yang bowels are: small intestine, gall bladder, stomach, large intestine, and urinary bladder. The remaining pair refer to the Pericardium (tissue surrounding the heart) and the Triple Burners, i.e. the three portions of the body cavity: above the waist; at the diaphragm and umbilicus; and below the umbilicus.

Complicated, right? These are just basics. Just imagine Chinese medicines have been developed for over 5000 years, even before modern medicine, political system, industry or technology even exist. So superstitious factors would be quite reasonable. Ancient Chinese experimenter's tried to develop medicine for immortality. Of course they failed, but instead they discover herbal formulas to strengthen their body while reducing many of the healthy problems associated with aging. In average, Chinese lives longer than many cultures, probably because of the use of herbal formulas discovered all these years. Also because of this long history of test and trial and better organized materials in modern days, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) already became a science that you can learn with theories.

(sources: Streetwise Guide: Chinese Herbal Medicine by Wong Kang Ying and Martha Dahle, Chinese Herbal Medicine made easy by Thomas Richard Joiner.)

1Aug/09Off

Chinese Qi Gong – Healing with the flow of vital energy

Qi, (pronounced as "chi" in Mandarin, "hey" in Cantonese) is a vital energy in Chinese medical theory. and "Qi Gong" is the way of how to use this energy to heal your body, or even other people's body. I've had my neck pain (Cervical spondylosis) as well as hurting my lower back about the same time around the end of last year. While my shoulder and my neck had been painful and my right arm was numb since Christmas, I was trying to avoid seeing any doctor cuz I thought that was just some ergonomic problem  causing by my pose I sitting in front of my computer. The real cause of go see a doctor was after twisted and hurt my lower back about a month later - I couldn't even walk. (I still have my walking stick next to my bed  just to remind me to treasure my health) After I got my MRI report of both my neck and my back, my chiropractor urged me to see my family doctor to discuss my neck problem - because it turned out my neck's mess is much worse than my hurting lower back. Fortunately, the cervical sergeant  referred by my doctor said it's still ok not to go for surgery yet. He suggested that I can use painkillers until I really can't bear the pain, but the pain won't go away unless I decided to go for a surgery.

Cervical surgery wasn't something that I'd prefer although the pain was still very annoying. So I did a lot of research and asked around if there's any other ways to heal my neck. Since I'm a Chinese myself, of course I would like to see if there's a better approach than surgery. I found two approaches, one is through Tao Yin (導引in Chinese) method, it's like physical therapy, with certain exercises through pull or push. The other one is Qi Gong (氣功 in Chinese), you get cure through this "Qi" energy healing by a healer. Physically you don't even have to do anything. It sounds ridiculous, but that was suggested by my in-laws. My in-law had serious lower back pain long time ago. He had tried 10 different doctors and still couldn't get any better. The last hope fell on Qi Gong. It turned out he got healed and the pain was 90% gone after about 10 treatments.

I wasn't really believing Qi Gong that much because lying there doing nothing and then got healed didn't sound really realistic to me. But since my in-law was cured there and highly recommended, I visited a master of Qi Gong - Master Zhao, and gave it a try, suspiciously. The look of Master Zhao is a little different from other old man. I know he's about 70 years old, but he's really got some nice skin. I brought my MRI films and report on my first visit. However, before I even start talking about my problem, Master Zhao just told me to lay on a bed, with a patient on another bed in the same room. I didn't tell him where I was hurting because he just told me to keep silent.

First amazing thing happened: he looked at me for a few seconds and then told me my neck and my lower back got hurt without even looking at my MRI report! He pointed at his own neck and lower back and located the pain. I was so surprised. He pointed at his nose and told me that I have allergies - I didn't even have any symptoms showing because that wasn't the right season yet. He told me my stomach is cold and there was something wrong. This time I thought he's wrong - I didn't have anything wrong with my stomach. However, I suddenly remembered that I just had an icy cold soda right before I came in! Alright....may be he's right then. My in-law and some research I read about him said he got "X-ray" eyes and I didn't understand what that meant. Now I know....I think he even got "Infra-red  eyes" indeed.  Then he told me to wait and he started to talk to another patient. I was kind of sneaky that I tried to listen to what he said to another patient - I know it's not an appropriate thing to do, but I really want to know if he's going to say something generic to hit whatever symptoms - because I was still a little  suspicious that he may be a fraud. It turned out that patient who were there got nothing that were similar to me. And she nodded about 80% to what he said.

Master Zhao came back to me and started to place his hands above me sweeping around without any touching. He asked me how I feel. I told him I didn't feel anything. He was a little upset and just threw two words to me, "Think feet." Then he just ignored me and walked to another patient instead. I was like...what? Am I supposed to lie to YOU? Am I supposed to feel anything? Come on, I'm a patient here! I was a little upset of his attitude...but since I was so painful with my neck and back, I just got to bear with it. Master Zhao did the same thing to another patient and he then even walked out to another room for other patients.  I was like...huh? That's it? You just ignored us if we don't believe you?  Suddenly I remember he said, "Think feet." I was like...what the heck does that mean...alright whatever, I'll just "think" about my "feet".  I don't know what that really meant but I just started focusing on my feet. Trust me. Thinking about your feet wasn't anything interesting, even for just a few minutes.

Suddenly I started to feel something weird with my lower back...some kind of "bubble popping" feeling inside where the pain was. I don't know how to describe exactly, but something flowing around that area stimulating my muscle or something. Nothing happened to my neck yet. Master Zhao came back and swept again and didn't say anything. After about 10 minutes, I started to feel cold. I was like, what happened to the air conditioning? Then I started to find out the coldness wasn't from the outside. That was from inside my body! I feel the bed, the wall with my hand and arm, and those were even warmer than my body. I was getting colder and colder and I was freezing even my teeth were shaking. I told Master Zhao about it and he smiled (I felt like he was actually laughing at me). He said I got too much "garbage" Qi in my body. These bad Qi were releasing from my body. "Continue to think feet, "he said. He lightly pressed his hand on neck -man his hand was cold too. Trust me, freezing cold from inside your body is some experience that you can never forget.

At about the end of session, he told me to sit up and he put his cold hand on the top of my head. I started to feel warmness from the air surrounding me -although my description here is terrible, but yeah that's really how I felt. I was a little tired because of the shaking. Master Zhao did the same thing to another patient. I asked her before if she felt cold when Master Zhao was out of the room. Surprisingly, she said didn't feel any coldness. I don't know how he treated her differently. But it seems it really wasn't the air condition that made me cold. I checked my bed when Master Zhao was with that patient - it's just a very normal bed - no tricks or anything....ok, I really experienced Qi Gong. But I know what you guys really concern would be if my pain has gone. Yes and no...the neck was still the same, but the lower back felt relieved.

Master Zhao's wife is a friendly and beautiful lady. She told me to come often for a few more times. I made another appointment and left. I did more research about Master Zhao and dug deeper on his website, after I had this weird Qi Gong experience. (Sorry, I really can't say it feels wonderful.) After I read more about this famous Qi Gong Master from China. I know he cured a lot of people including some Chinese government leaders . He served in a special government Qi Gong healing department. He can even cure cancer or more troublesome disease. And if he thinks it's too late, he wouldn't do it because he wouldn't give people fake hope.

Anyway, my neck and lower back were still hurting after my first visit. But at least I can barely walk without that walking stick. In my second visit, I didn't feel as cold as before, only my feet and my legs felt cold. Master Zhao said my bad Qi were released last time. He did about the same thing to me and yeah, "think feet." After about 3 visits, as you may know, my lower back pain is gone after a few weeks. My neck pain got improved a lot. My numbness was gone. That little neck pain left was still annoying and I visited a few more times for that. At my last visit, he told me I should be ok - although the pain was still there. But after I stopped going for about two months, the neck and shoulder pain are almost totally  gone. I'm so glad that I can type in front of a computer again without too much trouble. Of course, he told me to do more exercises and stretching, like what a normal doctor told me.  I'm so thankful that I got healed by Qi Gong - the stress of going to surgery really had me worried. I still haven't got my another MRI yet, so I don't know if "physically" my neck is already healed. But at least the pain is gone.

If you want to know how to contact him, this is his website: masterzhao.com .

I wish I can learn Qi Gong to heal myself and even others. But too bad it seems like my talent didn't work for that. Even my mom had learned Qi Gong - when they started, they move their body "involuntarily" like doing exercises automatically. But that never happened to me. Well...maybe I can't focus at all.

Anyway, we'll talk about something else next time.