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 on: April 05, 2010, 11:05:51 AM 
Started by HB KIM - Last post by HB KIM
NAN-JING (The Classic of Difficulties, 難經)
Nan-Jing, The Classic of Difficulties, is composed of 81 chapters, which is the same as Su Wen (simple questions) and Ling shu (spritual axis) from the Nei-Jing.  The book talks about 81 difficult subjects from the Su Wen and Ling Shu, including diagnosis, meridians, points, organ physiology and pathology, and needling techniques etc.

HWA-CHIM (Five Element Harmonzing Theory)
Hwa-Chim is a Korean style of acupuncture derived from the Nan Jing.  In order to apply Hwa-Chim, one must identify patterns by using a special comparison of the left and right pulse positions.  The five patterns used in this system are Wood excess Metal deficiency, Fire excess Water deficiency, Earth excess Wood deficiency, Metal excess Fire deficiency, and Water excess Earth deficiency.  This technique is very useful for complex cases when the patient has multiple western diseases or TCM patterns.  The Hwa-Chim system harmonizes the current pattern or constitution and moves onto the specific treatment for the particular problem.

Chapter 75 and 69 are the classical sources for Hwa-Chim.  Zang treatment is understood by Chapter 75, while Fu treatment is understood by Chapter 69 of the Nan-Jing.  In this article, Chapter 75 was chosen to be explained below in detail because Zang treatment is more fundamental.

Historically there are 28 qualities in the pulse that are used for herbal practice.  However, in acupuncture different methods of "Pulse Comparison" have been developed.  Hwa-Chim pulse comparison was developed in Korea to find a pattern according to the information in Chapter 75 of the Nan-Jing. There are three steps of comparison to find a pattern, and only amplitude and volume are compared at different depths, rather than identification of the 28 qualities.  To be able to understand the steps, one must look at the Hwa-Chim chart.  Please refer to the Hwa-Chim chart and Comparison pulse technique steps on p.363 <Minibook of Oriental Medicine>

Chapter 75 says, "If East is excess and West is deficient, sedate the South and tonify the North".  It's hard to apply this sentence to acupuncture treatment without solving the encryption.  First of all, directions must be changed to the elements according to the Five element correspondences.  If we rewrite this phrase with the five element correspondences it becomes:  "If Wood is excess and Metal is deficient, sedate Fire and tonify Water."

It sounds better, but it is not yet completely clear. To understand further, the sentence must be divided into two parts, where the first part is the diagnosis and the second part is the treatment.
Diagnosis:  If Wood (organ) is excess and Metal (organ) is deficient.
Treatment:  sedate the Fire (point) and tonify the Water (point).

For example, if a pattern found by pulse diagnosis was "Wood (LV) excess, Metal (LU) deficiency", one should tonify KD10 (water horary) and sedate HT8 (fire horary) as a primary treatment.  A secondary treatment would be tonify LU8 (metal horary) and sedate LV1 (wood horary). 
Primary Tx: +KD10, -HT8
Secondary Tx: +LU8, -LV1

According to the point prescription, the secondary treatment sounds better for "Wood excess, Metal deficiency".  However, Nan-Jing Chapter 75 said to tonify the Water point and sedate the fire point like the primary treatment.  Why is that?  "Wood excess, Metal deficiency" is actually a manifestation. The root of this pattern started from "Water deficiency."  Water deficiency leads to Fire excess, Fire excess leads to Metal deficiency, and Metal deficiency leads to Wood excess in the Controlling cycle.  That's why tonifing the Water point and sedating the Fire point is the primary treatment for this pattern even though it says "Wood excess, Metal deficiency."

The Nan-Jing was the original source for Hwa-Chim.  However, the Nan-Jing is written as an encrypted sentence with a vague explanation.  Hwa-Chim pulse comparison and treatments are considered a branch of SaAm-Chim (Four needle technique), which was developed by different scholars over many years.  This summary is only a fraction of what Hwa-Chim can offer.  If one can understand each aspect of Hwa-Chim and the sequences of both "Pattern Tx" and "Disease Tx", one can achieve amazing clinical results for various complex modern disorders.  It is  marvelous when we can see the astonishing information that can be derived in just one classical line.

 on: March 29, 2010, 08:49:11 AM 
Started by HB KIM - Last post by HB KIM

Definition:  Bell's palsy is named after the Scottish anatomist Charles Bell, who first described it.  It is defined as a sudden, idiopathic, unilateral peripheral 7th cranial nerve (the facial nerve) palsy.  Dysfunction of the facial nerve results in the inability to control facial muscles on the affected side.

Symptoms:  Sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the face, droopy eyelid or corner of the mouth, drooling, excessive tearing or dry eye, loss of the ability to taste, pain in or behind the ear, numbness in the affected side of the face, and increased sensitivity to sound.

Cause:  Cause is unknown, but the mechanism is presumably swelling of the facial nerve due to an immune or viral disorder.  Bell's palsy affects about 2 in 10,000 people.  Many disorders cause facial paralysis, e.g. brain tumor, stroke, geniculate herpes, middle ear or mastoid infections, chronic meningitis, and Lyme disease. However, if no specific cause can be identified, the condition is known as Bell's palsy, and is commonly referred to as idiopathic.

Prognosis & Treatment:  In many cases, no treatment is needed.  About 60-80% of cases go away completely within a few weeks to months.  However, sometimes the condition results in permanent changes.  Doctors may prescribe corticosteroids (such as prednisone) if the cause is inflammation, or antiviral drugs (such as acyclovir) if it's caused by a virus.  Acupuncture, cupping, and herbal medicine can significantly improve results and help to resolve the condition.


TCM Points:
1. Primary points: ST4 & ST6, SJ17 & GB20, LI4 & LV3
2. Secondary points: LI20, LI19, DU26, RN24, GB14, ST2, ST3, KD6, Qian Zheng

Tung Points:
1. Treatment A:  Si Hua Wai (77.14), Ce San Li (77.22), Ce Xia San Li (77.23)
2. Treatment B:  San Zhong (77.07), Si Ma (88.17), Tong Shen (88.09)

Yin-Yang Balancing (Pyung-Chim):
1. Problem side: Tonify ST41, Sedate ST44
2. Healthy side: Tonify LI2, Sedate LI5

Bleed the cheek, inside the mouth on the affected side


1. Wind-Phlegm in the Channel: bell's palsy, acute onset, a thin-white tongue coating, and a floating-slippery pulse

6.0g  Bai Fu Zi (typhonium rhizome)
6.0g  Jiang Can (silkworm)
4.5g  Quan Xie (scorpion)
: 2-4.5g (decoction); 0.6-1g (powder)
6.0g  Bai Zhi (angelica root)
6.0g  Chuan Xiong (szechuan lovage root)

This formula is modified Qian Zheng San (Lead to symmetry powder).  This formula can treat bell's palsy, migraine, and hemiplegia due to Wind-Phlegm in the channel.  Bai Fu Zi can expel Wind and dissolve phlegm, especially in the facial area.  Jiang Can and Quan Xie both treat Wind and convulsions.  Jiang Can treats Phlegm better and Quan Xie opens the Channels better.  Bai Zhi and Chuan Xiong are good guiding herbs to the face and head area, and they both relieve Wind and Pain.  Taking these with warm liquor will improve the opening actions.

Note: Qian Zheng San (Bai Fu Zi, Jiang Can, Quan Xie) can be used as a basic formula if the pattern differentiation is unclear.  Try Qian Zheng San + Gui Zhi Jia Ge Gen Tang for early cases of bell's palsy.  If bell's palsy is over 3 weeks, try Qian Zheng San + Bu Yang Huan Wu Tang.

2.  Blood deficiency with Wind: bell's palsy, chronic, dizziness, insomnia, palpitations, a thin-white tongue coating, and a wiry-thready pulse

9.0g  Bai Shao (white peony root)
9.0g  Dang Gui (chinese angelica root)
9.0g  Shu Di Huang (prepared chinese foxglove root)
9.0g  Chuan Xiong (szechuan lovage root)
3.0g  Quan Xie (scorpion)
6.0g  Jiang Chan (silkworm)
6.0g  Di Long (earthworm)

This formula is modified Si Wu Tang (Four-substance decoction).  Si Wu Tang itself is more popular for gynecological diseases with Blood deficiency and Blood stasis.  General indications include irregular menstruation due to Chong/Ren deficiency, restless fetus syndrome, and postpartum lochia.  However, with Quan Xie, Jiang Can, and Di Long, it can address bell's palsy due to a blood deficient Wind pattern.

3.  Qi and Blood deficiency:  bell's palsy, slow recovery, fatigue, shortness of breath, a dark tongue color, and a thready-hesitant pulse.

120g  Huang Qi (milk-vetch root)
6.0g  Dang Gui Wei (tail of chinese angelica root)
4.5g  Chi Shao (red peony root)
3.0g  Di Long (earthworm)
3.0g  Chuan Xiong (szechuan lovage root)
3.0g  Tao Ren (peach kernel)
3.0g  Hong Hua (safflower)
3.0g  Quan Xie (scorpion)
4.5g  Jiang Can (silkworm)

This formula is modified Bu Yang Huan Wu Tang (Tonify the yang to restore five decoction).  Bu Yang Huan Wu Tang popularly used for sequela of stroke due to a deficiency pattern.  It addresses hemiplegia of a deficiency pattern with a large dosage of Huang Qi.  With Quan Xie and Jiang Can, it treats bell's palsy of the Qi and blood deficiency type.


Empirical Formula 1: Expel Wind and Move Blood
12g  Bai Fu Zi (typhonium rhizome)
9.0g  Jiang Can (silkworm)
4.5g  Quan Xie (scorpion)
15g  Sheng Di Huang (chinese foxglove root)
15g  Chi Shao (red peony root)
9.0g  Chuan Xiong (szechuan lovage root)
15g  Dang Gui (chinese angelica root)
50g  Sang Zhi (mulberry twig)
9g  Si Gua Luo (dried luffa sponge)
30g  Ji Xue Teng (spatholobus vine)

Empirical Formula 2:  Expel Wind and Calm Liver, Activate Blood and Open the Channels
9.0g  Dang Gui (chinese angelica root)
9.0g  Chuan Xiong (szechuan lovage root)
3p.  Wu Gong (centipede): 1-3g (decoction); 0.6-1g (powder)
6.0g  Chan Tui (cicada molting)
6.0g  Gan Cao (licorice root)
9p. Di Long (earthworm): fried
12g  Bai Fu Zi (typhonium rhizome)
12g  Fang Feng (siler root)
12g  Gou Teng (gambir vine)
12g  Jiang Can (silkworm)

Empirical Formula 3:  Expel Wind, Disperse Cold, Open the Channels
4.5g  Quan Xie (scorpion)
9.0g  Bai Fu Zi (typhonium rhizome)
9.0g  Jiang Can (silkworm)
9.0g  Chuan Xiong (szechuan lovage root)
9.0g  Jing Jie (schizonepeta)
9.0g  Fang Feng (siler root)
9.0g  Bai Zhi (angelica root)
9.0g  Qiang Huo (notopterygium root)
3.0g  Bo He (field mint)

 on: March 19, 2010, 11:59:37 AM 
Started by HB KIM - Last post by HB KIM
Wu Zhang Bie Tong (五臟別通) theory is translated into English as "Same Energy Attraction". The source of the theory is the Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic). In that source text they describe the open, pivot, close theory/law, though the theory has roots in another source, the Yi Jing (The Book of Changes).   

Relationships of the Six Channels
There are three Yang and three Yin channels with three sets of similar energetic profiles.  These are the six types of matching channels of the hand and foot: Yangming, Taiyang, Shaoyang, Taiyin, Shaoyin, Jueyin.  Each of the channels relates to another channel of opposite Yin/Yang polarity, opposite limb, and matching energy. The word "relate" is used here to describe a correspondence that connects the two channels and allows points on one to treat issues usually associated with the other, or local areas on the other channel.

For example, Yangming and Jueyin relate to each other in this theory because they are the "Extreme Yang" and "Extreme Yin" of the channels. Taiyin and Taiyang also relate to each other as "Greater Yin" and "Greater Yang", while Shaoyin and Shaoyang relate to each other as "Lesser Yin" and "Lesser Yang". In the Huang Di Nei Jing the Taiyin/Taiyang and Shaoyang/Shaoyin relationships are clearly stated, while the Yangming/Jueyin pairing is deduced from the theory but not mentioned specifically.

As the Taiyin and Taiyang channels are paired in this way, the Foot UB channel relates to the Hand LU channel, while the Hand SI channel relates to the Foot SP channel. The Shaoyang and Shaoyin channels are also paired, and so the Foot GB channel relates to the Hand HT channel, while the Hand SJ channel relates to the Foot KD channel. Lastly, the Yangming and Jueyin are paired, and the Foot ST channel relates to the Hand PC channel, while the Hand LI channel relates to the Foot LV channel.

Examples: Regular Points
In TCM there are many examples of point indications that reflect this theory. LI11 can treat dizziness because it is on the Hand Yangming LI channel, and so can treat the Foot Jueyin LV channel, which can have a symptom of dizziness.  SI4, on the Hand Taiyang channel, can treat jaundice because of the relationship to the SP Foot Taiyin channel, which has symptoms of SP dampness. ST36 is on the Foot Yangming channel, and so relates to Hand Jueyin PC channel, and can therefore treat heart disorders. Lastly, PC6 is on the Hand Jueyin channel, and so relates to the Foot Yangming channel and can treat ST channel knee pain.

Examples: Master Tung points
Many of the Master Tung points also share these same relationships. Zhong Zi and Zhong Son are located close to and react with the Lung channel, and are used to treat the UB neck area and back pain. An Huang is located close to the HT Hand Shaoyin channel and can treat yellow eyes from jaundice due to the relationship with the Foot Shaoyang GB channel.

Huan Chao is located on the San Jiao Hand Shaoyang channel, and relates to the Foot Shaoyin KD channel to treat Kidney deficiency gynecological disorders and infertility. Tong Guan and Tong Shan treat Heart disorders because they are on the ST channel and therefore relate to the PC channel. 

Mu Xue is located on the LI channel and can treat hernia due to the relationship with the LV channel. Da Jian, Zhong Jian, Xiao Jian and Fu Jian are located on the LI channel and can treat hernia as well. Lastly, Shen Guan (1.5 cun below SP9) is famous for frozen shoulder due to the SP channel's relationship with the SI channel.

 on: March 07, 2010, 09:53:10 AM 
Started by HB KIM - Last post by HB KIM
Dan Shen (Salviae miltiorrhizae Radix;  Salvia root)
Nature: bitter / sly cold
Channel: HT, PC, LV
Dosage: 6-15g

Dan Shen was less popular in classical herbal practice than it is in modern herbal medicine usage. This seems to follow the increase in coronary artery disease, which Dan Shen is very good at treating, that the modern world has seen with the rise of fast-food restaurants and food additives.

Dan Shen can both activate and nourish blood, and these functions change depending on the combination of herbs used.  Dan Shen mainly treats the upper (HT) and middle Jiao (ST), and it also treats the blood vessels from a pharmaceutical standpoint.

Dan(丹) is like an Indian Chakara.  The Indian system has seven Chakras, and there are three Dans in Oriental Medicine.  The Lower Dan Tian is RN4, the middle Dan Tian is RN17, and the Upper Dan Tian is Yin Tang.  Each of these areas are respectively related with Essence (lower), Qi (middle), and Spirit (upper).  The "Dan" in Dan Shen indicates the middle Dan, which is RN17 and the Heart area.

1. Blood stasis in the Heart
Indications: Heart disease, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and valvular disease of the Heart
Dan Shen treats blood stasis in the Heart.  In animal testing, Dan Shen expanded the coronary arteries and slowed down the heartbeat.  Thus, it can be a primary choice for some patients with angina pectoris or myocardial infarction.  One of the top selling herbal products in China for Heart health is Cardiotonic Pill from the Tasly company.  The major ingredients of that formula are Dan Shen (Salviae Mitiorrhizae), San Qi (Panax Notoginseng), Huang Qi (Astragalus membranaceus) and Jiang Xiang (Dalbergiae Odoriferae).

2. Blood stasis in the Stomach
Indications: gastric ulcer, atrophic gastritis
Chronic emotional stress can lead to Stomach disorders due to blood stasis.  A chronic and overwhelmed state of stress blocks the blood flow from the Heart to the Spleen/Stomach, causing HT and SP disharmony.  If the Stomach can't get a proper blood supply, it will atrophy and can cause gastritis or gastric ulcers.  Dan Shen can remove blood stasis from the middle jiao and treat these conditions.  Stomache due to blood stasis manifests as blue-purplish lips and sharp epigastric pain.  Dan Shen 8g +  Chi Shao 8g is a good herb combination for this condition.

3. Blood stasis in Gynecological disorders
Indications: dysmenorrhea, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and oligomenorrhea
Dan Shen not only moves blood stasis but also gently nourishes blood.  When both the sedation and tonification method must be applied, Dan Shen is a good choice.  Therefore, it's good for dysmenorrhea for someone of a weak constitution rather than strong constitution.  Dan Shen + Dang Gui Wei + Yi Mu Cao + Hong Hua is a combination that is used for that.  For Cold in the uterus, wine-treated Dan Shen is used and combined with Gan Jiang + Rou Gui.  For a deficient pattern of amenorrhea or anovulation, Dan Shen + Xiang Fu + Yi Mu Cao + Dang Gui are a combination that can be used rather than the stronger Tao Ren + Yan Hu Suo combinations.

4. Blood stasis in the blood vessels
Indications: Vasculitis, Buerger's disease, diabetes with peripheral circulatory complications, and hyperlipidemia
Dan Shen with Chen Pi + Xi Xin + Hong Hua is used for large or small blood vessel circulatory disorders.  Blood vessel circulatory disorders often manifest as numbness of the hands or feet.  Chen Pi's Qi regulating, Dan Shen + Hong Hua's blood circulating, and Xi Xin's peripheral vessel opening works well together.  For hyperlipidema, Dan Shen + Su Mu + Hong Hua can be used together.

5. Blood stasis in psychiatric disorders
Indications: anxiety, palpitations, irritability, insomnia, excessive dreams, personality disorder, schizophrenia, and panic disorder
When psychiatric disorders get severe or chronic, it almost always creates Phlegm or Blood stasis.  Especially in schizophrenic cases, one must distinguish if it's Phlegm misting the HT or Blood stasis in the HT.  If a patient's symptoms manifest as palpitations, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, or panic, the tongue/lip must be looked at to determine which syndrome is prevalent.  Dan Shen is a very good and safe sedative because it can repress the central nervous system.  For these cases, Shi Chang Pu + Yuan Zhi + Fu Ling can be used together with Dan Shen.  When Phlegm exists, Ban Xia + Dan Nan Xing are often used together.

 on: February 09, 2010, 01:57:36 PM 
Started by HB KIM - Last post by HB KIM
UB18 (Liver Shu)

1. Liver patterns
Usually the back-shu points of the Yin organs are more effective for deficiency patterns, rather than excess.  For example, UB23 is chosen for KD deficiency and UB15 for HT deficiency.  As the Liver has both form as Yin, related to its ability to store blood, and function as Yang, related to its ability to smooth Qi, UB18 can be used for both deficiency and excess patterns of the Liver.  Therefore, UB18 is used for not only LV Blood deficiency and LV Wind (which can be an excess or deficiency pattern), but also for LV Qi stagnation, LV Blood stasis, LV fire, and LV/GB Damp-Heat.

2. Muscle diseases
The Liver governs the muscles and tendons.  UB18 works better for muscle disorders than points on the Liver channel itself.  Related muscle disorders include hemiplegia.

3. Lumbago
UB18 can be used for general muscle disorders and lumbago due to muscle tightness, especially when the muscle tightness occurs on one side. In these cases, cupping on the protruded or tight spot should be used, followed by needling of UB18.

4. Sooth Qi
UB18 is good for Liver, Gall bladder, and digestive diseases because the Liver smoothes the Qi.  Gastrospasm is a good candidate for needling of UB18.

5. Eye disorders
UB18 can also be used for all kinds of eye disorders, including night blindness, amblyopia (failing of eyesight), excessive lachrymation (tearing), red eyes, and itching of the eyes.

6. UB18 diagnosis
If right UB18 is tender or painful, it's usually indicative of Liver or Gall bladder disease.  If left UB18 is tender or painful, it is a sign of Spleen or Stomach disease.  Usually right UB18 is often more tender than the left.

7. Insomnia
For cases of insomnia, one can needle both right and left UB18, following the channel.  This would be especially good for Suan Zao Ren Tang type of Insomnia, where it is due to LV Blood deficiency leading to HT Yin deficiency.

 on: December 16, 2009, 07:27:12 PM 
Started by HB KIM - Last post by HB KIM

ST30 (Qi Chong) = Qi Surging
ST42 (Chong Yang) = Surging Yang
SP12 (Chong Men) = Surging Gate
HT9 (Shao Chong) = Lesser Surge
UB3 (Mei Chong) = Eyebrow Ascension
PC9 (Zhong Chong) = Central Hub
SJ1 (Guan Chong) = Passage Hub
GB9 (Tian Chong) = Celestial Hub
LV3 (Tai Chong) = Great Surge

Among the 361 regular acupuncture points, 9 points include "Chong" in the name.  Chong is written as 衝 in the traditional and classic form of Chinese characters, or 冲 in the modern form.  It is usually translated as "surging", but is sometimes translated "hub" or "ascension" depending on the point.  Clinical characteristics of the points are described below.

1. ST30 (Qi Chong) = Qi Surging
The Chong Meridian originates in the Lower Dan-Tian, emerges at RN1 and flows to ST30.  "Chong" refers to the Chong Mai (Penetrating vessel), which can treat gynecological disorders.  "Chong" also means rushing or surging, and the double meaning is indicative of the ability to treat the feeling of Qi rushing upwards, for example "Running Piglet Syndrome."*

*Running Piglet Syndrome (奔豚, Ben Tun): This terminology is described in the "Ling Shu (Spiritual Axis)", "Nan Jing (Difficulty Classic), and "Jin Gui Yao Lao (Golden Cabinet)".  It is difficult to understand the symptoms just by reading the original text, though it is considered to be closely related to a panic attack in western medicine.  LV Qi stagnation rises up and interferes with the HT, causing anxiety, palpitations, and dizziness.  There are many formulas to address this condition, i.e. Bun Tun Wan, Bun Tun Tang, Gui Zhi Jia Gui Tang, Fu Ling Gui Zhi Gan Cao Da Zao Tang, etc.

2. ST42 (Chong Yang) = Surging Yang
Sometimes pulsation of the dorsalis pedis artery is visible at ST42, especially during pregnancy.  If a male exhibits a pulse at ST42 it is indicative of weakness in the Stomach & Intestines.

3. SP12 (Chong Men) = Surging Gate
SP12 (Chong Men) & ST30 (Qi Chong) can both be used for "Running Piglet Syndrome," as the word "Chong" implies surging energy from the lower region of the body to the upper region.  These points also relax tense abdominal muscles since they are located at the lower aspect of the Rectus Abdominus and External Oblique abdominal muscles.

4. HT9 (Shao Chong) = Lesser Surge
Clinically, HT9 is like the Romeo and Juliet point.  It can treat disorders that result from unrequited love, a broken heart and love sickness; for example insomnia, indigestion & other emotional imbalances.

5. UB3 (Mei Chong) = Eyebrow Ascension
In the classic texts, the UB channel was comprised of only 63 points.  The four points that were added later are: UB3, UB16, UB24 & UB26.

6. PC9 (Zhong Chong) = Central Hub
According to Korean Hand Acupuncture, PC9 corresponds to DU20, since the distal phalanx of the middle finger represents the head.  According to this micro system, PC9 can stimulate the brain.  PC9 is the wood point of the fire channel, so it has a tonifying action.  The HT & PC encompass brain functions, so PC9 can be used to increase intellectual acuity.

7. SJ1 (Guan Chong) = Passage Hub
In the Korean-style "Great Gate Opening" treatment, PC9 (Central Hub) and SJ1 (Passage Hub) are added to the "24 Gate Opening treatment."*  The PC and SJ are organs that only exist by function in Oriental Medicine.  They correspond to the CNS and intellectual rhythm and are related to knowledge, ego and pride.

*24 Gate opening: This treatment exhibits the unique function of synchronizing the body in time and space, and aligning the body with the environment/universe.  refer to pg. 360 of  the Minibook of Oriental Medicine by HB Kim

8. GB9 (Tian Chong) = Celestial Hub
"Chong" implies that GB9 can be used for headaches that feel like energy is throbbing from bottom of the head to the top.

9. LV3 (Tai Chong) = Great Surge
Considered a stimulant of all the Yin channels, LV3 is often paired with LI4, which is considered an engine for all the Yang channels.  LV3 is the Yuan-source point of the Liver channel & its actions are similar to "Bai Shao (Paeoniae Radix Alba)."  The difference is that LV3 sedates LV Yang more than it tonifies LV Blood, while Bai Shao tonifies LV Blood more than it softens the LV & calms LV Yang.

 on: November 11, 2009, 10:39:45 AM 
Started by HB KIM - Last post by HB KIM

The department of public health of Shenzhen (深圳), China recently announced the herbal formulas which can prevent swine flu (H1N1).  Shenzhen is a city located in southern China's Guangdong province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong.

Two simple formulas were introduced.  The first one is for individuals with a strong constitution, while the second one is for those with a weak constitution.  In general we can say that children and the elderly person belong to the latter category, though if a young adult has a weak constitution, you can use the second formula for them as well. 

They recommend that the patient should drink the decoction as a tea, at a cool temperature, twice a day for at least three consecutive days.  If a person gets the flu during the course of taking the formula, it should be changed or modified. 

According to the CDC, like seasonal flu, symptoms of swine flu infection can include: fever, which is usually high, but unlike seasonal flu is sometimes absent, cough, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue or tiredness, which can be extreme, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting, though they are more commonly seen in swine flu than with the seasonal flu.  For a few people, it can be serious and urgent medical attention should be indicated.

1. Strong constitution
15g Ge Gen  (Rx. Puerariae)
10g Huang Qin  (Rx. Scutellariae)
10g Huo Xiang  (Hb. Agastache)
10g Yi Yi Ren  (Sm. Coicis)
5g   Gan Cao  (Rx. Glycyrrhizae)

Each herb has a mild or strong antipyretic function, although Huang Qin is the best for that.  Ge Gen and Gan Cao can increase phagocytosis in macrophages.  Ge Gen and Yi Yi Ren can reduce pain in the muscle layer.  Ge Gen and Huo Xiang each have an anti-diarrheal function. Gan Cao also increases the number of immune memory cells to help the immune system activate much faster when an intruder tries to invade the body next time.

2. Weak constitution
20g Huang Qi  (Rx. Astragali)
10g Fang Feng  (Rx. Saposhnikoviae)
10g Bai Zhu (Rz. Atractylodis Macrocephalae)
10g Jin Yin Hua  (Fl. Lonicerae)
5g   Gan Cao  (Rx. Glycyrrhizae)

As you see, this formula contains the famous formula Yu Ping Feng San (Jade Windscreen Powder) + Jing Yin Hua and Gan Cao are added.  Yu Ping Feng San is well known for tonifying defensive Qi at the exterior, so it can defend the body from pathogenic factors.  From a biomedical perspective, Yu Ping Feng San is an immunostimulant and has antiviral actions.  Both Jin Yin Hua and Gan Cao have an antipyretic action and Jin Yin Hua also works as a antiviral by inhibiting replication of the influenza virus.  Gan Cao can relieve pain, stop cough, and benefit the throat in addition to its harmonizing action.

As you can see, the rationale of the formulas is as a preventative not only for swine flu but also for seasonal flu. Both formulas should be useful during the flu season. Since the formulas are used more for preventative effects rather than treatment, more water can be added to make the decoction mild like a tea.

ST36 has numerous fuctions.  One of the interesting actions of ST36 is to prevent disease.  For this particular action, moxa technique is used.  ST36 & GB39 moxa are used for prevent stroke for people who are in an at risk group.  To prevent seasonal or swine flu, or even common cold, moxa on ST36 & UB12 are used.  UB12 is "Wind Gate" and can strengthen the defensive Qi of the body.

 on: October 20, 2009, 01:16:19 PM 
Started by HB KIM - Last post by HB KIM

LI4 (He Gu) = union valley
ST43 (Xian Gu) = sunken valley
SP7 (Lou Gu) = leaking valley
SI2 (Qian Gu) = front valley
SI5 (Yang Gu) = yang valley
UB66 (Zu Tong Gu) = foot passage valley
KD2 (Ran Gu) = blazing valley
KD10 (Yin Gu) = yin valley
KD20 (Fu Tong Gu) = abdominal passage valley
GB8 (Shuai Gu) = leading valley

There are many points with the word "Gu," (valley) in the name.  Among the 361 regular acupuncture points, 10 points have "Gu" in the name.  Let's go over the major actions or indications of each of these valley points.

1. LI4 (He Gu) = union valley
LI4 is a command point for the face.  "Valley" in relation to the face, can suggest disorders with the eyes, nose, mouth and tonsils.  LI4 is also a very famous point for Wind conditions, both exterior and interior.  You can image a Windy day in the valley.  LI4 can treat exterior Wind when combined with UB12, GB20, and DU16; LI4 treats interior Wind with GB20, DU16, and LV3.  UB12, "Wind Gate," is only for exterior Wind; but GB20, "Wind Pond," and DU16, "Wind Mansion," are good for both exterior and interior Wind, like LI4. 

2. ST43 (Xian Gu) = sunken valley
ST43 is called "Sunken Valley" for two reasons:  one is location, (ST43 is in the depression between the metatarsals); the second is effect, (needling this point will help reduce or "sink" foot swelling due to edema or trauma).

3. SP7 (Lou Gu) = leaking valley
SP7 is a very good point for gynecological leukorrhea since it's on the SP channel and the name implies the symptom.  SP7 not limited to treating leukorrhea; it can also treat other "leaking" problems in the eyes, nose and ears.  SP7 can be applied for ENT disorders with tearing, runny nose or fluid in the ear.

4. SI2 (Qian Gu) = front valley
Intradermal needling SI2 can reduce heat downward to treat a red face.  Although it's not a very common point according to point indication, it's very important in Korean Yin-Yang balancing acupuncture because it's the "water" point of the SI (Taiyang) channel.  If there is UB or SI channel pain including the neck, back, or scapula; sedate SI2 on the diseased side and tonify SI2 on the opposite side.

5. SI5 (Yang Gu) = yang valley
The Chinese character for "Gu" means valley.  There is a another Chinese character with the same pinyin, "Gu" which means food, as in "Gu Qi."  In regards to the body, valley refers to the genital area; food refers to the digestive system.  SI5 is used for both disorders of the genital area and the digestive system.

6. UB66 (Zu Tong Gu) = foot passage valley
UB66 is one of the most sensitive points on the body.  It treats severe pain in the head, eyeball, or on the UB channel.  For headache due to a stressful event, first needle HT5 (Tong Li), then UB66 (Zu Tong Gu).  Both have "Tong" in the name, meaning "open" or "passage".

7. KD2 (Ran Gu) = blazing valley
The name "Blazing Valley'' implies that KD2 is a fire point. It is close to KD6, "Shining Sea," which no doubt shines because of the blazing fire beside it.  This point can clear KD Yin deficient Heat, which makes it a good companion to "Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan"

8. KD10 (Yin Gu) = yin valley
Since "valley" was the delicate term used to refer to the genital area, Yin Valley undoubtedly refers to female genitalia. This point treats gynecological disorders such as vaginitis, inflammation of the uterus, leukorrhea or genital itching.  It also can be applied for impotence in men.

9. KD20 (Fu Tong Gu) = abdominal passage valley
UB66 (Zu Tong Gu), and KD20 have the same name "Tong Gu" with different prefixes.  If there is pain at KD20, UB66 can be needled; if UB66 is painful KD20 can be needled.  KD20 can also treat asthmatic patients in cases when asthma symptoms get worse after overeating.

10. GB8 (Shuai Gu) = leading valley
GB8 can be used for low appetite after alcohol intake. GB8 can also be applied to treat symptoms of vomiting or Cold Stomach in alcoholics.

 on: October 12, 2009, 02:02:26 PM 
Started by HB KIM - Last post by HB KIM

ZHU RU WEN DAN TANG (Bamboo Decoction to Warm the Gallbladder)
6g  Chai Hu  (Bupleuri Rx.)
6g  Fu Ling  (Poria)
6g  Ban Xia (Pinelliae Rz. Preparatum)
4g  Chen Pi  (Citri Reticulatae Peri)
4g  Jie Geng  (Platycodi Rx.)
4g  Xiang Fu  (Cyperi Rz.)
4g  Zhu Ru  (Bambusae Caulis in Taeniam)
2g  Ren Shen  (Ginseng Rx.)
2g  Huang Lian  (Coptidis Rz.)
4g  Zhi Shi  (Aurantii Fr. Immaturus)
2g  Gan Cao  (Glycyrrhizae Rx.)
4g  Da Zao  (Jujubae Fr.)
4g  Sheng Jiang  (Zingiberis Rz.)

Zhu Ru Wen Dan Tang (Restrain the Liver Powder) is from Wen Bing Hui Chun (Restoration of Health from the Myriad Diseases) by Gong Ting-Xian in 1587, (Ming dynasty).  Wen Bing Hui Chun is composed of 8 books total.  Book 1 includes herbal songs, body types, Zang Fu and the Meridians.  Books 2-8 include patterns and treatments for various diseases.  Gong Ting-Xian added his interpretation for many previous herbalists and acupuncturists throughout history including Huang Di, Zhu Dan Xi and Li Dong Yuen, etc.


Zhu Ru Wen Dan Tang is one of my favorite Wen Dan Tang variations.  It has the idea of Wen Dan Tang (Zhu Ru, Zhi Shi, Ban Xia, Chen Pi); Er Chen Tang (Ban Xia, Chen Pi, Fu Ling); Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Chai Hu, Huang Qin, Ren Shen); and Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang (Ban Xia, Huang Lian, Ren Shen), Xiang Su San (Xiang Fu, Chen Pi). 

GB/LV herbs: Chai Hu & Xiang Fu regulate LV and GB
HT herb:  Huang Lian clears HT heat
Phlegm herbs: Zhu Ru clears GB heat, Ban Xia regulates ST Qi, Ji Geng relieves chest congestion
Qi herbs: Zhi Shi, Chen Pi remove the Qi stagnation
Tonic herbs:  Ren Shen and Fu Ling strengthen SP Qi
Harmonizing herbs:  Gan Cao, Sheng Jiang, Da Zao harmonize the ST and the Ying & Wei

1. Chest discomfort
2. Chubby or overweight
3. Hypochondriac fullness and pain
4. Dry tongue, slippery pulse
5. Neurasthenia, anger, anxiety, depressed mood, cough, dry throat
6. Insomnia, possibly slight cough. 

Abdominal palpation for Zhu Ru Wen Dan Tang is very similar to Da Chai Hu Tang.  Abdomen can be chubby; can be tender below both ribs,  xiphoid process and chest.

1. Neurasthenia:  this is a psycho-pathological term first used by George Miller Beard during 1869 and it is currently a diagnosis in the WHO's International Classification of Disease.  The symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, headache, impotence, neuralgia and depressed mood.
2. Hwabyung (Anger illness):  a wide range of physical symptoms in response to emotional disturbance, such as stress from troublesome interpersonal relationships or life crises. 
3. Alcoholism:  alcohol is a potent CNS depressant with a range of side effects.  Alcoholism as a kind of umbrella term can cover addiction, alcohol related diseases, dependence, intoxication and symptoms of withdrawal. 
4. Insomnia: with neurasthenia, hwabyung, alcoholism; with dry throat and  chest discomfort; with chronic cough or hypertension; with lung or breast cancer

Mai Men Dong can be added to this formula in general.  It clears heat, relieves irritability and generates fluids.  For severe thirst, 15-20g of Shi Gao can be added.  Ban Xia, Mai Men Dong and Shi Gao together can effectively descend heat.  Gou Teng San uses this combination.

For major skeletal treatments, the best Gate Opening prescription is HT7 + GB40.  By TCM point indication, compatible points for this this formula are HT8, ST40, GB40 (accumulation of heat & phlegm in the HT & GB); HT7, SP6, Anmian (insomnia, fear, fright, fluid damage); PC6, RN17 (palpitations, chest discomfort) .

 on: September 30, 2009, 09:57:41 AM 
Started by HB KIM - Last post by HB KIM
Clinical Indication of UB60 (Kun Lun, 崑崙)
1. Location: in the depression between the external malleolus and tendon calcaneous
2. Actions: expel Wind, remove obstructions from the channel, relax the sinews and muscles, strengthen the back, clear Heat, invigorate the Blood
3. Eastern Indications: headache, blurred vision, neck rigidity, epistaxis, shoulder/back/arm pain, swelling/pain of the heel, difficult labor, epilepsy
4. Western Indications: headache, stiff neck, goiter, low back pain, sciatica, paralysis of the lower limb, diseases of the ankle joint and surrounding soft tissues


Kunlun is the name of one of the longest mountain chains in Asia.  It runs westwards more than 3,000 km from the northern part of the Tibetan plateau to form the border range of Northern Tibet.  The highest mountain in the whole Kunlun mountain chain is Kunlun Goddess, reaching heights of up to 7,167m.  The shape of Kunlun Goddess so closely mirrors the shape of the external malleolus that I believe UB60 is named after Kunlun Goddess rather than the whole Kunlun mountain chain.

UB60 is very good for headaches (esp. occipital) or dizziness due to rebellious Cold Qi from the  lower burner rising up to attack the head.  The name Kunlun (mountain) implies the rebellious Qi rising up.

UB60 is an important point for occipital headache and dizziness.  Visualize the entire human body superimposed onto the image of a leg, so that the head corresponds to the foot.  Using this imagery, the location of UB60 is at the back of the head/neck.

With extreme KD/SP Yang deficiency, one can suffer from daybreak diarrhea.  In Chinese, Daybreak diarrhea is called "Cock's Crow Diarrhea (鷄鳴下利)" or "Five AM diarrhea (五更泄瀉)," because one suffering from this symptom has diarrhea when a Cock/Rooster cries in the early morning around 5am.  This diarrhea usually comes with abdominal pain and coldness of the lower limbs.  KD3 is the Yuan-Source point of the Kidney which can tonify KD, however it's not a Fire point.  UB60 is a "Fire element" point located on the opposite side of KD3, therefore UB60 can bring Fire energy to KD3 from the other side.  Moxa at RN4 should be combined for effective treatment.

Depending on the disease, the direction of needling can be changed.  When choosing UB60 for headache or dizziness, needle toward the head.  If needling UB60 for heel pain or plantar fasciitis, needle toward the heal.  Needle UB60 toward the root of the external malleolus with oblique angle in cases of ankle sprain.

During pregnancy, points on lower burner (front and back) are forbidden.  Since UB60 can strongly influence the lower back, this point is also forbidden.  Other contraindicated points for pregnancy are LI4, SP6, UB67, and GB21.

UB60 (Kunlun) is one of the most popular points I use in my practice since we see a lot of neck, back and leg pain patients.  If the pain is only on one side of the UB channel or if symptoms on one side are more severe than on the other side, tonify UB60 on the side that has more severe pain; sedate UB60 on the other side.  This application is used because UB60 is a Fire point.  In "Channel Dynamics" we tonify the Fire point on the affected channel.  In addition, modern TCM texts also show, according to "Point Indication," UB60 removes obstructions from the whole UB channel including head, neck, back, and leg.  This point may be especially effective for treating pain because from both a "Channel Dynamics" perspective and "Point Indication" perspective it is a powerful point for UB channel pain.

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