Acupuncture miracle No.2

Acupuncture Miracle No.2

This lady came to me with a congenital problem with her hip. The hip socket on one side was not properly formed and too open, so not securely holding the ball of the femur (thigh bone).
This was picked up when she was aged nine and she had a bone graft to correct it. At age twelve she had a fall and was in hospital for a week. She caught a virus two weeks later and had pain in the same hip. The doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she had tests, could not give a reason for the pain and said there was nothing they could do.
When she came to me she was in her mid-twenties. She had been having cranial osteopathy treatment and chiropractic for some time and these treatments helped for a while but the effect soon wore off. So she was trying acupuncture to see what it could do for her.
She walked slowly and heavily and with a limp. The foot of the affected leg deviated laterally (turned to the outside) considerably. She was very fatigued and slept a lot, generally 10 hours a night. I think fatigue is different to tiredness because it doesn’t go away, no matter how much sleep the person gets. She was in a lot of pain and it was the pain which was so tiring. She was taking a painkiller prescribed by her doctor.
I commented the scar from the bone graft operation was on the Stomach meridian. She said she had had a lot of food sensitivities from childhood, beginning at age twelve. She was currently avoiding dairy, sugar and caffeine and was sensitive to several foods.
There are twelve main meridians in acupuncture and these are the ones most often used. Briefly, there are six yin meridians, Heart, Spleen, Lung, Liver, Pericardium or Heart Governor and Kidney. Each of these is associated with its own organ, other than the Pericardium, which refers to the covering around the Heart and in Chinese is seen as the protector of the Heart. The six yang meridians are the Small Intestine, Stomach, Colon, Gall Bladder, Three Heater and Bladder. The Three Heater refers to the three sections of the body – from the diaphragm upwards is the Upper Burner, the Middle Burner is between the diaphragm and the navel and the lower Burner is from the navel down; they each have their own functions and the function of the Three Heater is communication and balance between them and also to distribute heat, or warmth, and energy/qi.
There are also eight Extraordinary Meridians and these form the energetic matrix of the body. As I see it, and there are many views on these channels, they form in the foetus before the twelve main meridians, which then attach themselves to it. This is a rather physical representation of what is an energetic and probably electrical process, but it makes it easy to grasp how they work.
Because they form and act as a matrix they are concerned, among other things, with structure and function. So with something structural, such as this lady, I looked to these meridians and used them.
I also gave her some very simple yoga exercises and some exercises for her foot.
She now walks straight, at a normal pace, without a limp and without pain unless she is unusually tired or stressed. Her digestion is good and she can eat most foods but still avoids cows’ products as she feels better without them. Her hip will always be her weak area, but we all have weaknesses and strengths and that is quite usual. She has abundant energy and is now a mother. Throughout the treatment, which was over a period of two years, she was working full-time, doing physical work which would tire anyone.
Acupuncture is amazing and, I think, unique in its ability to repair and alter structure and function, from an energetic impulse through the needles resulting in a permanent change. I don’t know of any other form of medicine / therapy which could have achieved this result. This can be immensely satisfying work.
I am delighted and so is she.

Acupuncture and arthritis

Arthritis is extremely common and not fun. To break the word down, itis means inflammation, arth comes from the Greek word, arthron, meaning joint. A joint is where two bones articulate. So we have inflammation in the joints. And pain, because inflammation causes pain.
Acupuncture can help. It can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It does need ongoing treatment, because the arthritis itself, as far as I so far know, is ongoing. We seem to be able to improve it but not remove it altogether.
I’m investigating arthritis at the moment because I now have it myself and it’s challenging. I am developing lumps on my finger joints which I do not like and I would like them to go away. But however common arthritis is, it is not simple.
There’s plenty of information and advice on the Web. 8.75 million people in the UK have sought help and advice on osteoarthritis and about 400,000 people, also in the UK, have rheumatoid arthritis.
The first stop is always diet, for arthritis as for everything else, since we are what we eat. This is an interesting website: http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Stone_Age_Diet_-_this_is_a_diet_which_we_all_should_follow#Four_white_devils
I do eat meat although I was vegetarian for seven years several years ago and I understand the arguments for not eating meat. The way the majority of animals are raised for consumption now is horrific and I go out of my way to buy meat from an animal that has been properly and compassionately raised, and has spent most of its time outside, eating grass.
I don’t quite follow the Stone Age diet but I have very little grain and avoid the solanaceae, the deadly nightshade family, which are all slightly poisonous. These are potatoes, aubergines, tomatoes, peppers, including paprika, chilli and cayenne. Goji berries and ashwaganda (an Indian herb used as an adaptogen)are also from the solanaceae family, and even blueberries, although I’m not sure about this and neither are the sources I have checked: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/link-between-nightshades-chronic-pain-and-inflammation They are all best avoided if you have arthritis or other inflammation-related health issues. Have a look at this article too: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/nightshades/ He says that blueberries do not contain solanine. I eat them rather a lot but I think I will give them a miss for a while.
I’ve read several articles on the Web and several books, the latest being The New Arthritis Cure by Bruce Fife, who has also written books about coconut oil, which naturally enough features in the arthritis book.
So now I have a long list of things to do, like oil-pulling (see Bruce Fife’s books) and exercise, which I do anyway, usually walking and yoga, (did you know that bouncing on a rebounder exercises every joint in the body, even in the fingers?) foods to avoid, like nightshades, chocolate, processed foods and sugar (I don’t have these anyway. Well, a bit of chocolate.)
However, none of these books or articles has mentioned oxalates, the salt form of oxalic acid, as in, for instance, spinach. I found out about these when I started avoiding grains. I personally think humans have not evolved to eat grasses and grains are cultivated grasses. I feel better without them but the pain in my fingers got worse because I had to find other things to eat than grains and one thing I started eating was a loaf made with ground almonds and flax seed. It was delicious but each slice probably had at least twenty almonds in it and if I had more than one slice, which I usually did, I had consumed a lot of almonds.
I discovered that almonds, and, in fact, most nuts and many vegetables are very high in oxalates, spinach extraordinarily so, which are microscopic stones with very sharp edges that lodge in damaged tissue. Here is another article, again from the Weston Price Foundation, on oxalates, which is very enlightening. They are more often associated with kidney stones but very relevant to any painful and inflamed tissues, including arthritis: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/the-role-of-oxalates-in-autism-and-chronic-disorders/

What I have realised, in the course of several years now studying the relationship of food and diet to health or ill-health, is that every food has a downside. Nothing is simple and completely benign. Grains, for instance, contain anti-nutrients that prevent some minerals from being absorbed and they are not easily processed at all by humans until they themselves have been processed, for example by fermentation. There is also the example of the deadly nightshade family that I have already mentioned. Meat, until fairly recently, had to be hunted and captured, no mean feat, I imagine. I think this is because every living thing on the planet gets eaten by some other living thing and so each species has evolved a defence system to try to prevent itself from being eaten. Being at the top of the food chain humans have no predators but we kill each other anyway, for power rather than hunger. But that’s another subject.

However, in the meantime, because all of the above takes time to implement and to take effect, I have had good results using acupuncture for arthritis: see my blog, Acupuncture Miracle No.1.

Acupuncture miracle No.1

This lady came to me with rheumatoid arthritis, diagnosed two months previously. One year previous to that diagnosis she had a hysterectomy. She was told by doctors that she needed to have this done, due to long term endometriosis and the possibility of a growth at the back of the womb being cancerous. She said her periods had always been “horrendous”. She was put on the contraceptive pill to regulate them. It is likely that the pill contained oestrogen but she couldn’t remember which one it was. Many women are oestrogen dominant rather than deficient and it is possible that the pill caused more problems than it solved. Endometriosis is usually caused by an excess of oestrogen. It was probably very long term – impossible to say when it started; it’s often not diagnosed for years – and she started having “procedures” i.e. operations to remove endometrial tissue ten years previous to the hysterectomy. But the endometrial tissue kept on coming and so she had several procedures. Her energy levels were “dreadful” and her emotional state low. She had a stressful job with a lot of responsibility, working for her father’s company. So we started treatment. I always ask people what kind of weather they like and about their own body temperature – are they hot, cool, irritated by wind etc. She said she had been cold all her life. Her brother remembers that when she was born, in August, he (then aged 4) was standing by a radiator, which was on. She was wrapped in a blanket and he was holding her, while their father took photographs. He said he remembers being “so hot”! She said she comes to life and has energy when the sun shines and it’s warm. She said also that she told the doctors that she felt her period problems were due to her poor circulation, because she was cold. When liquids are warm they are thin. As they become cooler they thicken, for instance ice-cream. When water freezes it goes solid. We are roughly 70% water, depending on age and levels of hydration. It makes sense that when we are cold we feel heavier and more solid and we don’t have the energy we do when we are warm enough. Enough is the operative word. When things are cold they coagulate, thicken and harden, inside bodies as well as outside in the environment. Cold weather is the time of year for hibernation and a lack of activity. The doctors didn’t listen. They thought she was being silly. But we know our own bodies best and she was probably right. So I warmed her up, slowly, with needles in particular points and with moxa, which is a dried herb compressed into a cigar shape, which you light at one end, like a cigarette, and then direct the smoke and the heat it produces onto areas on the body. It’s often used on the lower back or the abdomen to heat the core of the body and increase energy. It has taken a while and she is lucky in that she can afford to come every week, but she has improved dramatically. When she last saw the consultant he remarked that she looked like a different person. The pain and inflammation from the rheumatoid arthritis is much, much less. She is still on medication but the consultant says that if she continues to improve and can hold her current level of wellbeing he is happy to look at that possibility. It is not up to me to advise on her medication since I did not put her on it. Now she is warm when everybody else is warm, when it is normal to be warm. When it’s cold she feels the cold like everyone else but she no longer wears gloves to type on the computer, in an office everyone else complains is too hot. She can wear shoes rather than sheepskin boots. This is huge. This is what acupuncture has been able to do for her. I know of no other form of medicine that could do this. This is miracle number 1. (I would like to point out that this is obviously anonymous but I do have the person’s permission to write about her.)

Introducing miracles

Sometimes treatment with acupuncture produces what can only be described as miraculous, to me as well as to the patient who benefits. I am writing here and in the next few blogs about some of my experiences of these. Obviously, the patient is anonymous and where possible, I have been given their permission to write about their experience.
Chinese medicine works according to very simple principles. A person can be cold, or hot, for instance. This is internal, so that it could be said that the body thermostat is set too low, or too high. Or he or she could be damp, very common in this country, being an island surrounded by water. Or dry. Some people are just dry everywhere and it doesn’t make any difference how much water they drink.
Too much heat, as well as simply being too warm all the time; wanting to take some clothing off, or find somewhere cooler to be, can make you feel as if you are “full up”, even before you eat. It can make being in a crowd of people feel oppressive and overwhelming, “phew, get me out of here,” and irritating. Irritation is always present because there is a fire burning inside, too much of a fire and sometimes it builds up to an intensity that produces an explosion – an angry outburst. Everyone wonders – what was that about? – but what it was about is too much fire and fire consumes. It overrides everything else, including wanting to behave in a socially acceptable way, because it is the body letting off steam, literally, like a kettle of water that boils and no-one is turning off the heat. Fire is yang.
It can be more difficult for the person to handle than cold because at least with cold you can put more clothes on or carry a hot water bottle around. But cold is difficult too.
Whereas heat tends to be expansive, as in fire consumes and reaches into the surrounding environment, whatever that may be – people, or the person’s own immediate personal space – cold is restrictive. People who are cold, and I’m talking physical cold here, not emotional cold, tend to be lower in energy, the opposite of expansive. When water freezes it becomes solid and does not move. Unless it is moved by an outside force, it is literally frozen to the spot. The water in a river moves and flows. When the river is frozen the water does not move. It slows down and then it stops. Every person suffering from cold knows that if they get up and move around they will warm up, to an extent, anyway. But they often lack the incentive and enthusiasm to do just what is needed. Enthusiasm is a kind of fire and they don’t have enough fire. The right amount of fire produces warmth and comfort and the motivation to move around and do what has to be done. Cold is yin and contractive.
Damp clogs things up, makes lumps. You can see in your garden, or any piece of earth, what happens when the weather is damp. A clay soil becomes solid and difficult to work with, for example. Damp in a person produces mucus of various kinds, such as catarrh, discharges, arthritis, endometriosis and a tendency towards depression. Damp is difficult to treat because it tends to be caused or exacerbated by the external environment and then it becomes internal, although it can be internal from the beginning. Damp is not fun. If you have damp in your home you need to do something about it, because it will affect you.
So these are examples of inner climate and what it tends to do.
I am going to write about three examples of what I would call miraculous changes brought about through treatment by acupuncture. One of these is to do with the inner climate, the other two are about the meridians themselves. Meridians are channels of energy; channels in the body which carry energy.
This is an introduction. I will post the first example in the next blog. Soon. I hope you will follow.