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