Traditional Chinese Medicine

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Slayadragon, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    About a decade ago, my husband and I met a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor, trained in Taiwan. We were both suffering from serious health problems at the time.

    My husband had elevated liver enzymes, which had remained constant for over two years. The doctor gave him a formula with a variety of herbs, including bupleurum. Within two months, his liver enzymes were back to normal and have stayed that way ever since.

    A few years later, I heard in the mass media that a Western study had been done suggesting that bupleurum was indeed effective for liver problems. Further exploration on my part caused me to learn that TCM is reputed to be especially good with regard to helping liver problems (in part because Hepatitis B is extremely common in Asia). This is significant since Western medicine can do little or nothing for them.

    This was a few months after I came down with CFS, and the doctor gave me a couple of formulae too. I did a whole bunch of things to improve my health at the time, and so I'm not sure how well they worked.

    Today I was looking through the leftover supplies of herbs that the TCM doctor had given me. I noted that one was called "Special Forumula 9302,"
    and so I made an effort to see if I could find it on the Internet.

    It turns out that this is a formula developed to help AIDS patients. I don't know that the evidence that it works is conclusive, but here is an article about it.

    http://www.hkam.org.hk/publications/hkmj/article_pdfs/hkm9906p135.pdf

    I found this interesting for a couple of reasons:

    1) This was in 1995, long before most people had any idea that CFS was related to viral activity (and, like AIDS, is typified by low NKC activity). I did not tell the doctor that I had CFS, and indeed did not know that I did at the time. He prescribed the medication solely based on doing pulse measurements.

    2) Although the article above focuses on AIDS patients, it makes one comment about its efficacy with regard to herpes simplex. Obviously this is anecdotal, but nonetheless seems to me interesting.

    Obviously I'm not saying that people should go out and buy this stuff on their own. Much more than is the case with Western herbs, getting the advice of an experienced practitioner is essential with regard to getting good results. This especially is the case with problems that are more complex, like this one. More common formulae such as ones to improve qi require less knowledge.

    I will say that I'm intrigued with the concept of TCM though. It's hard to find good practitioners (mine disappeared), especially if you don't speak Chinese. Nonetheless, it conceivably could be worth exploring.

    It is noteworthy, by the way, that TCM is recognized as a non-alternative and legitimate form of medicine--- practiced alongside Western medicine---in Taiwan. Considering how modern and Westernized Taiwan is in other ways (very close to Japan by now in these respects), that seems to me significant.

  2. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    It really did help me relax and my tinnitis did go down. My wife even stated that I looked better when I came back from a session.

    The needles are extremely thin and barely hurt when they go in. The funny part was that the doctor was German!

    I also got some herbs for a sluggish liver.
    Xie Xie
  3. suzannekart

    suzannekart New Member

    This is very interesting information. My last bloodwork showed slightly elevated liver enzymes. My Dr. is from China. He is by far the best Dr. I have ever had in my life and I am 61. I have not seen him since the bloodwork but have appt. next week. His wife does accupuncture and I have been wanting to try it. One of the things I love about this Dr. is he does not have that narrow Western Medicine only way of treating me.
    We live in the Northwest and have lots of access to many great Asian medicine sources. I know there was a great Chinese herbilist at Pike Place Market in Seattle.
    Thank you for this post.
    Suzanne
  4. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    That's a really interesting article. Too bad CNN won't be making an issue of it like they probably should. It's nice to know that some people are doing worthwhile tests of substances that work rather than only sticking to those that are patentable and profitable and probably don't.

    I've used bupleurum root together with gentian root, aka chinese bitters, for liver problems. It really does a liver good!

    karen
  5. pocahontas606

    pocahontas606 New Member

    Lisa,

    Hi there... have you seen the dr. below? I have and he is a great practioner... I met with him but I gave up on the herbs b/c my face kept swelling - and I mean swelling bad... I do not have FM or CF (as far as I know) I posted here b/c about 2yrs ago a dr. literally ruined my life by prescribing me predsnisone (which i thought was an allergy pill).. any way long post if you have the time to read... it's in my posting history. I am going to see a new doctor next week @ tobiashealinginstitute dot com, will keep you posted on my thoughts. it would be great if i could post my saliva test results for you guys to review if you have the time...?

    Thanks!

    TCM practioner chicago
    Zhengang Guo Phone: 312.842.2775
    Ton Shen Health Inc.
    2131 South Archer Ave.
    Chicago IL 60616
  6. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Coincidentally, earlier today I set up an appointment to see Dr. Guo! It is scheduled for Thursday.

    My goal is to try to increase my stamina (qi) so that I won't get as worn out with regards to the antivirals I'm taking. This kind of use of TCM (e.g. to support Western treatments) is done in a mainstream way in Taiwan (where my husband's from), and so I'm thinking that Dr. Guo will be familiar with this sort of approach.

    It seems like you think he's okay, which is great to know. Driving all the way from Evanston to Chinatown when I'm this tired is a big investment.

    Thanks much for writing!

    Best, Lisa


    [This Message was Edited on 02/03/2007]
  7. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Please do post the results of your upcoming doctor visits. We need all the knowledge we can get here.

    Best, Lisa

  8. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Where is Tobias Healing Institute? What do they do there?

    I haven't looked for alternative practitioners in Chicago for a long time, but had a very difficult time finding any a decade ago. Knowing who's available would be a good thing.

    I tend to think that CherylSue might be especially interested in this information.

    Best, Lisa

  9. pocahontas606

    pocahontas606 New Member

    hi there!

    Guo is EXCELLENT and I liked him and his presence... I cried in his office and he grabbed my hand and said "let me help you"... he wants to help and is VERY smart. My sensitivities are so extreme that my face swelled like a neanderthal - no kidding. I went back to him and he told me that the herbs were too strong for me and to try them one at a time... I got scared and gave up. I have been searching for my own cure for years now (not as long as you guys I know)... and sometimes I get very down and discouraged especially when it has to effect my face (vain I know - but sick or not I am a girl!)

    Anyway - Dr. Tobias is in Oak Park and I cannot wait to meet her! She makes you go through a lecture series and all! I found her b/c I was trying to find a practioner that uses the electro acupuncture/biofeedback machine. anyway - if you read her bio - she is an MD by training and practices natural medicine and takes insurance - AND cured herself of cancer, adrenal exhaustian, and diabetes.


    I go to her office on Tuesday and I will let you guys know all that happens. Let me know what you think of Guo - can't imagine that you won't like him, I hear fantastic things from everybody about him!



  10. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I've only had my face swell up like that twice.

    One was when I ate too many oranges (actually only one per day) on a trip to Florida. I later found out that I am allergic to oranges.

    The other was when I took evening primrose oil. I'm not sure, but I tend to think I'm allergic to it too.

    After I noted this, I stopped eating oranges and did not experiment further with the epa. I'm vain, but that's not the main reason. People's faces are not supposed to swell up like that. It's like if suddenly broke out in purple polka dots. I'd be embarrassed, but mostly I'd want to know what was wrong with me.

    Anyway, i don't know how sensitive you are, and so it could be that the herbs were just too strong for you.

    I wonder if you might have been allergic to just one of them, though?

    Anyway, I'm now really looking forward to seeing Dr. Guo. I also will look forward to hearing your report about Dr. Tobias.

    Best, Lisa