Nutrients in Chinese Medicine – Vitamin C

Ah, vitamin C. The most popular nutrient! Somehow everybody knows that you take vitamin C when you get a cold, or feel that flu coming on. For centuries people understood that something in fresh fruits and vegetables – especially citrus fruits –prevented scurvy, a debilitating disease that often affected sailors (since they would go months without any fresh food). Vitamin C has a broad range of functions in the body, acting as a cofactor for numerous enzymes as well as functioning as an antioxidant. Vitamin C correlates with several different systems in Chinese Medicine physiology as well.

Nutrients in Chinese Medicine – Fat Soluble Vitamins

The fat soluble vitamins play a critical role in maintaining immune and nervous system function. Though they also relate to Spleen qi, as the B vitamins do, they play very different roles in the body. They aren't considered quite as important as the B vitamins in conventional nutrition but as a component of jing-essence they are absolutely crucial to good health.
Assorted fruits and vegetables

Nutrients in Chinese Medicine – Part 2, B vitamins

B vitamins are a group of nutrients that are essential to numerous processes in the body. The list consists of thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12). Most of us know about them, as they are an essential part of every multivitamin supplement. As a group they are involved primarily in the chemical reactions of energy metabolism, as well as synthesis of a variety of compounds necessary to life. In an attempt to understand these vitamins as a system, let’s examine them as a group, looking for commonalities of function, and common symptoms of deficiency. Individual aspects can be explored if necessary.

Anatomy of Acupuncture Channels

In western thought the most important question is typically “what is it?” This question has been asked of acupuncture channels since the West first became aware of them. Various ideas and theories have come out to explain the physical basis for channels, to try and tie them into western anatomical structures. However, all of these theories miss something. The fact is that there are multiple different types of channels that are considered to exist at different levels of the body, and most of these theories are looking at only one level, the level of the primary channels. In fact, not including cutaneous regions, there are five different types of channels.

Headaches in Chinese Medicine

Who doesn’t love a good headache? If you’ve ever been to the doctor about a headache, you might have heard of the different types of headaches according to biomedicine. However, headaches can also be understood through Chinese Medicine, which can often be a more helpful way to approach these dreaded occurrences. Chinese Medicine allows for more individualization with both diagnosis and treatment, and has good models for completely resolving many types of headaches.

The Four Earth Organs

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there are generally only two Earth organs, the Spleen and the Stomach. However, there are several ways to assign phase-elements to the organ systems, and one of the models uses the organ clock, or calendar, rather than the five-phase model. This calendrical model is older than the five-phase model and offers some wonderful insights into the function of the organs beyond their traditional physiology as explained in TCM. According to Dr. Hammer Earth functions in the formation of bonds and boundaries. All four of these organs function in this capacity to one degree or another.

The Six Conformations – Part 2

Taiyin is the first of the yin conformations and is associated with the environmental influence of damp. Characteristic signs and symptoms are bloating, lack of appetite, water retention, and chronic loose stools, and sometimes undigested food in the stools. Chronic congestion, excessive mucus, and heavy sensations in the head or body are also typical Taiyin symptoms. Taiyin means greater yin and is associated with the inward movement of yin. It represents the physical matter that is necessary for life, and the ability to create this matter in order to replenish the body. Taiyin takes what Yangming has brought inside and transforms it into the self. Taiyin also holds this matter in place, creating stability...

The Six Conformations – Part 1

Chinese Medicine has a number of models of human functioning and physiology. One major system is known as the six conformations, also known as the six stages, or the six divisions. I find this system to be both fascinating and extraordinarily useful in understanding the human being. This model originates in the six environmental factors: cold, heat, dry, damp, wind, and fire. Also known as climactic influences, these six were seen as encompassing all influences that came from the environment. For instance, in the winter the weather is cold. During the rainy season, the weather is damp. And so on. Each climactic factor influences the body in a particular way, giving rise to each of the six conformations.

Premenstrual Syndrome – Not Necessary

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is common but not a necessary part of having a period. PMS in Western terms is due primarily to a hormone imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. In Chinese Medicine the Liver plays a significant role, though the other organ systems are part of the picture too. It can be treated with diet, herbal formulas, acupuncture, homeopathy, stress reduction, and exercise.

Homeopathy and Classical Chinese Medicine

Homeopathic Medicine (HM) and Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) come from different times and places and though they appear superficially to be very different they share a basic philosophical underpinning and have much in common. The principles of HM fit well into the framework of CCM. Both forms of medicine are based on a conception of unity as a fundamental aspect of human nature. The Law of Similars, crucial to understanding the actions of homeopathic remedies, is also present in CCM, even though at first glance this law appears incompatible with the principles of herbal medicine. Homeopathic remedies may also be the equivalent of modern day alchemical medicines...

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