Q&A-

We will attempt to give both the Western and the Chinese answers to your questions where possible. Amy always stressed "half-half," balance, so we will attempt to balance the Eastern and Western answers to your questions.

1) You say to steam the vegetables, why shouldn't I eat them raw?

In Chinese terms the raw fruits and vegetables have the cold energy. In other words, it takes energy from your body in order to digest them and this reduces the amount of nutrition you can absorb from them. Eating raw fruits and vegetables introduces this cold energy into your body where it first effects your stomach and then can go in to become stuck at the site of an old injury or in a joint, leading to pain and stiffness in that area of the body. Cold energy tends to go down and effect the lower portions of the body while preventing the chi from going down which produces symptoms of stomach and intestinal upset, especially diarrhea, and low back and knee pain.

In Western terms many of the vegetable's most essential antioxidant nutrients are locked inside their tough walled cells. For instance, eat a raw carrot and your body will absorb about 4% of the cancer fighting carotenoids, however if you cook the carrot for a little while you can quadruple the amount of carotenoids your body can absorb. You get five times more absorbable iron from cooked broccoli than from raw. The first thing they teach you in mountaineering is to melt snow with a stove before drinking it, because if you eat snow it takes energy from your body to heat the snow up and you will dehydrate faster. The same thing is going on in your body when you eat raw vegetables.

 

2) My husband has terrible back spasms and pain but he refuses to take any more pain medication or muscle relaxers. What can he do to at least help ease these symptoms without taking drugs?

The easiest and most effective home remedy is to get a heating pad and some cold pressed castor oil and make a compress. Do not use the heating pad without the oil as it can dry out your blood and cause even worse pain. Lay on the warm compress for 45 minutes once each day for 3 to 5 days. This is an Edgar Casey remedy that really works well. It drives cold and stuck energy out and relieves inflammation.

Now, to improve the problem in the long run, or at least to effectively manage the pain, stop eating fire or cold energy foods because this extreme energy gets stuck at the site of the injury and this is the cause of the pain and spasm. Drink ginger tea and cassia tea, exercise until you break a mild sweat each day, and treat any constipation problems because this really makes back problems worse. It is also important to keep the abdomen trim and the muscles there in good shape. Acupuncture can definitely help, channels indicated are Du Mai, Stomach, Kidney, and Gallbladder.

 

3) My daughter has asthma but I don't want to give her steroids, what can we do for her without using these drugs?

The basic problem in Western terms is inflammation in the airways of the lungs, much of it mediated by leukotrienes, a group of chemical compounds released by white blood cells (leukocytes). These compounds can also cause the muscles in the airways to constrict, lung tissue to swell, and mucus to accumulate, making breathing difficult. This new understanding is the rationale for treating asthma with anti-inflammatory medications instead of steroids.

 

Chinese medicine understanding of the problem:

 There may be several different energetic imbalances which lead to symptoms that are all diagnosed as asthma in Western medicine. If the patient feels like she can't breathe, shortness of breath, asthma, hacking cough, the lung channel is indicated. If the patient experiences pressure in the chest, a feeling of impending doom, anxiety, green mucous, this is an indication of fire in the lungs. If she has unhealthy skin and /or constipation this is an indication of lung problems also. Dampness in the Spleen, Lungs, or Large Intestine channels may be involved in some cases of asthma where the wheezing is accompanied by heavy mucous. Damp heat can turn into fire if it stays stuck in the body long enough. Cold dampness in the Large Intestine can be a factor in Asthma. Dampness can be caused by cold or raw foods that can weaken digestion, fatty foods, insufficient sweating, damp environment, or insufficient positive fire.

 

 Accupressure should be combined with the following: Give her American ginseng tea to strengthen the lung yin during the day, and peppermint tea with licorice two hours before bedtime. Ginger tea should also be used after breakfast. No fried foods, no chocolate, no nuts, potato chips, or cookies, as these have the fire energy. No ice cream, no shrimp, crab, or raw fruits or vegetables, these have the cold energy. Psychologically, asthma represents fear of the mother, or of her own femaleness. This stress should be dealt with through talking about the problems she is facing being a young woman and she needs to offered compassion and support.

For the caregiver-

If the patient has an asthma attack you push Chongfu (Lu. 1) and Yunmen (Lu. 2) in the shoulder for ten minutes, or until the attack subsides. Hold Hegu (L.I. 4) while you push these points in the Lung channel. The energy is coming up out of the trunk of the body through these points in the shoulder and down the arm to the thumb. I have never seen an asthma attack that did not respond to this acupressure treatment. Other points on the Lung channel used for asthma and dry hacking cough, are Lieque (Lu. 7) located 1.5 cun from the transverse crease of the wrist. Often the Large Intestine Channel is also involved because of the fire food or cold energy foods the patient eats.

 

My husband has started having minor depression, what can we do to deal with this holistically, before he needs medication?

Depression is an indication of stagnant Liver Chi which becomes stuck in the chest. If you ask the questions they will frequently tell you that it feels like a weight is pressing down on their chest. The reasons for this can really vary and if it is not caught at the very beginning it can be very hard to treat successfully. Anger damages the liver and can contribute to chi stagnation, this type may need counseling and acupuncture. Often the Liver stagnates because the Kidney is deficient and the doctor must strengthen the Kidney Chi before the Liver can be cleared.

If the condition is truly at the beginning then it can be treated by using vitamins, specific exercises, and relaxation. Take vitamin B2 50mg. every six hours this helps get rid of Liver fire, do exercises that open the chest such as the plow in Yoga, bench press or do push ups to make the energy move in the chest. Hike outside in the fresh air several times a week, or go bike riding, and be sure to get out in the sunshine everyday that it is possible. Listen to classical music, this promotes smooth chi, learn Tai -Chi this also promotes smooth chi, and learn to "sink your chi" in other words make it move down the front of the body and not be stuck in the chest and head.

 

Amy- Depression can be caused by a number of factors that can have complicated interactions. Many times people suffering from depression will refuse treatment. It needs to be their idea, they have to want to get better. First ask the questions, the person may have a good reason to be depressed. Ask about diet and make appropriate changes. Ask what drugs they take now, and what powerful drugs they have taken in the past. Ask about how much, the quality of, and when they sleep.

Exercise is very important when treating depression. They need to exercise until they sweat everyday. They should take up a hobby which relaxes them and which doesn't include people needing or wanting something from them. (This is yin, taking energy from you, adding stress.)

Listen to classical music, relax and find a way to enjoy yourself. Progress will be slow, you do not get over this all at once. You have to talk to them and find out if there is a family history of depression. Find out what is important to them. Often they feel like their usefulness is over because the kids are grown or the job is over etc. No one can make someone happy. They have to find a way or a reason to make themselves happy. Service to others is important in helping people to feel useful.

Please note- Men over fifty have hormone changes that can cause depression but which often goes undiagnosed.

 

 

What do you recommend for type2 [adult onset] diabetes?

In Western medicine, diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin. Insulin helps to escort sugar (nourishment) into each cell. The up and down blood sugar levels stress the body. Insufficient insulin results in starving cells and sugar backing up into the blood. Too much insulin damages arterial walls.

 

In Chinese medicine, diabetes is called Wasting and Thirsting Disease. It is said to be caused by a collapse of the Yin. It may involve the Kidney, the Stomach, or the Lungs. Chinese herbal medicine can be extremely effective for type 2 (adult onset) diabetes. There are several key points that must be addressed to successfully treat adult onset diabetes holistically.

Eating consistently, by the clock, is the first key to dealing with diabetes. This prevents bouts of hypoglycemia, which burn the pancreas out. A warm energy, low fat, high nutrition diet is really important. Take GTE Chromium picolinate everyday as supplement.

Lose body fat, this is really important, fat blocks or slows the flow of chi through the body, thus leading to the collapse of the yin. This "collapse of the yin " means the body's ability to take in nutrition and replace the "fuel " that is burned up in the fire of metabolism. This ties directly to the other important step to be taken and that is getting enough exercise. The diabetes patient must exercise until they sweat everyday.

 

I just found out that I have hepatitis C. I don't want to take interferon if I can help it, is there anything in Chinese medicine that can help?

There are two primary types of viral hepatitis, food-borne and blood-borne hepatitis. The former, which is spread through contaminated food and water, does not cause chronic liver disease. By contrast, bloodborne viral hepatitis may lead to long-term, persistent infections and chronic liver disease that has lethal consequences many years after infection. Hepatitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver, usually producing swelling and, in many cases, permanent damage to liver tissues. A number of different agents can cause hepatitis, including infectious diseases, chemical poisons, drugs and alcohol.

 As usual, each case diagnosed as Hepatitis by Western doctors would get an individual diagnosis in Chinese medicine. The most common diagnosis would be" fire in the Liver" but there are many other complicating factors, especially emotional damage. The herbal supplement that is preferred by the Chinese is called Dengfeili or, Ganbonin in English, and it is composed of sylimarin [milk thistle seed extract] combined with swertia chinesis. This has proven to be very effective in lowering enzyme levels in the liver and reversing liver damage. It doesn't have unwanted side effects or contraindications so you can take it for months at a time to fight chronic liver disease. Please note, you cannot clear the liver channel unless the kidney channel energy is strong enough to support. Eat black beans, miso, leafy greens and take vitamin B2, C, and L lysine every six hours to help clear the stuck liver energy.

Toxemia is the second leading cause of maternal death during pregnancy and childbirth in the U.S. and effects 5 per cent of the births in this country. It is usually indicated by sudden increase in blood pressure in the 20th week of pregnancy. They often experience swollen ankles and faces and it can progress to intracranial bleeding, seizures, and kidney failure. The blood vessels don't enlarge to adapt to the growing fetus and blood supply in the woman's kidneys and liver drop to dangerous levels. The blood starts to clot which further reduces blood supply.

 It is more prevalent in women with a history of high blood pressure or diabetes. Another factor researchers have found is if their mother or their husband's mother had the condition. As more women have delayed having children into their late thirties and early forties, and more women have taken fertility drugs and had invitro fertilization leading to multiple births, the number of cases of serious toxemia, or preeclampsia as it is more properly known, have increased by as much as forty per cent.

Use soy bean juice, soy milk, and tempeh but avoid miso because of the salt content. Take L lysine and vitamin C every six hours. Deficiency before pregnancy leads to pregnancy diabetes. Give them bone soup to improve their nutrition.

Avoid salt, eat more vegetables, rest, raise feet, drink water, don't have a baby when you are over 40 years old!

 

Prostate enlargement  is often associated with Spleen stagnation which effects the Liver channel, the fire goes the wrong way and goes in deep, right to the very center. Prostate enlargement can be caused by long term or repeated VD exposure/infection. It eventually goes so deep that antibiotics don't reach it. It is associated with cigarette smoking, coffee drinking, stress and excessive, in either direction, sex practices. Celibate priests have much higher rates of prostate cancer than the general public for example. No sex and too much sex are equally bad. Very early, before it really gets bad, when the test just shows a problem it can be handled by taking vitamin B2 100mg 4 times per day and drinking cranberry juice for two weeks. Patient must eliminate all fried food and other fire foods from diet and have any current VD treated.

 

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