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Heart Condition, Liver Toxicity, Anxiety
Many people think Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture is focused only on pain. The reality is that organ pathologies are also a strong focus in this medicine.
The first case is a young man with a congenital heart valve defect who had undergone surgery many years ago to fix it. For many years he did not have any cardiac issues. Until a few years ago however, his cardiac function started to falter. Regular activities and exercise that were perfectly fine in the past would now induce palpitations and shortness of breath. I took his pulse and told him he has fluid buildup around the chest likely exerting pressure on his heart. His pulse beat was also irregular. As a result of his heart condition he has to take blood thinners. This poses an issue for me because certain Chinese herbs could potentially influence the blood viscosity and possibly induce over-thinning of the blood. Despite this without Chinese Medicine I won't be able to help alone with just acupuncture. I made it clear that he is aware of this fact. The first half of treatment was focused on clearing the fluid and that diminished his palpitations right away. However later on his blood became too thin and herbs had to be adjusted, and so were his medications as per the MD. The latter half of the treatment was focused on increasing blood flow into the muscles of the heart so the heart can be strong and function more normally. This worked well with his medications and there was no adverse reactions. Currently the patient's palpitation is better than before and he has start being able to do some exercises that would have caused issues in the past.
The second case is a liver toxicity case. By liver toxicity I do not mean some kind of loose term used by so many health practitioners to attach to almost everything these days. I actually mean some kind of liver organ function compromise and possibly even damage. The patient got this when he was uncareful with work and inhaled a bit too much chemicals. Shortly after that bout his body started to come down with what he called 'a cold that never really went away'. He complains of fatigue, weak feeling of the limbs, and decreased tolerance for alcohol. His pulse reveals toxic waste materials in the liver. His blood test show some kind of elevated levels that he was not clear of. If he did some kind of liver enzyme panel it would likely be more clear. The treatment involved the use herbs that course blood through the liver and herbs that help detoxify the liver. It is almost like a herbal wash for the liver organ. After about 4 visits he has started to feel some difference in his fatigue. His pulse shows better blood flow into the liver, less congestion in there, but more work to do.
Two cases of anxiety. One case is a patient who has an autoimmune condition. From the pulse it is actually due to stress, although stress is often a trigger for autoimmune flare-ups. The patient has been on herbs for a while and her improvement is smooth and gradual. The other patient is more complicated. His stress comes from poor fluid circulation and a weak heart that not only causes anxiety but also many other body symptoms. In maybe about 5%-10% of my patients, over-sensitivity is their characteristic which makes herbal medicine, while absolutely necessary, more difficult because any slight differences in the herbs would cause problems. As such, with constant modification of herbs, this patient's improvement has been rocky, although the general trend is on an improving trajectory.