Friday, November 5, 2010

Wet Wind through Dense Forest

I just had my last session with Dr. Diamond, the podiatrist.   Dr. Diamond is also a doctor of Oriental Medicine and believes in acupuncture.     So I have been having some acupuncture along with my toe racking and strapping.   I asked him what he was doing and he replied "Wet Wind through Dense Forest".
In Oriental medicine, autism, developmental delay, or repetitive/stereotypical movements are viewed as part of a series of illnesses that relate to the "closure of the orifices" (orifices relating to Western Medicine's sensory channels:  eyes, ears, etc).  In Oriental medicine, there is a force called qi, a circulating life force moving through the body.   In the above illnesses, there is a complete or partial blockage of the channels carrying qi (i.e. sensory organs) such that the body can not receive exteroceptive or proprioceptive sensory information from the senses.  Oriental Medicine unblocks the impairments impeding the flow of qi from the senses through the body.  Qi exists in the universe so maybe now, my gentle readers can understand why I am very interested in cosmology as well.  (There is a whole study of Chinese cosmology and medicine that I will post upon at some point).
Wet Wind through Dense Forest
In so far as I can understand, and I am not sure I do:

Oriental Medicine, recognizes that checks and balances exist in the body. One of the checks and balances recognized in Oriental Medicine is the Victor-Vanquished relationship:  each Element controls another. These are:

Wood (Liver, Gall Bladder) controls Earth (Spleen, Stomach) Fire (Heart, Small Intestine) controls Metal (Lung, Large Intestine) Earth (Spleen, Stomach) controls Water (Kidney, Bladder) Metal (Lung, Large Intestine) controls Wood (Liver, Gall Bladder) Water (Kidney, Bladder) controls Fire (Heart, Small Intestine)

If Wood is too "strong", Earth will be over controlled.
 Neijing, the classic Oriental medical text,  says: "All kinds of wind and dizziness are associated with the liver; all kinds of sudden stiffness are associated with wind." In order for the blood and yin of the liver to be full (thus preventing internal wind from arising), the kidney essence must be adequate, since it serves as the primary source of the liver yin.  

So, the good doctor is apparently trying to unblock my qi, by warming my kidney with a lamp and getting my liver meridian in order.
My Thoughts
When looking at these types of alternative treatments, you can certainly run into a lot of woo.  So, I tend to approach it in a moderately skeptical manner.   However, there is a study published in English from one of China's leading universities, Fudan University in 2003, which is a small scale study showing the efficacy of acupuncture (using Jin's 3 needle technique) and autism especially when combined with speech therapy.   I studied Chinese at Fudan University and got sick a lot and was in the infirmary being successfully treated with  Chinese medicine so I give a little more credence to this study.  Or course, it is quite a jump in logic to go from success with flu and viruses to autism.  But, such a study on autism is the equivalent of a small scale study on autism treatment being done by Harvard.   I would like to see more investigation in this area.
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