Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eastern Medicine (part 2)

So yesterday we talked about Ki, Yin Yang, and meridians.  If you missed part 1 you can read it by clicking here.

We know now that Ki travels on little roadways along our body towards the heavens or towards the earth depending on if the meridian is Yin or Yang. Along these meridians you have points where the energy collects, kind of like a pot hole. Those are called tsubos.


There are 365 tsubos situated along the meridians.  These are also referred to acupressure or acupuncture points. For overall health there should be a good amount of Ki in each tsubo. Illness manifests when there is to much Ki or to little Ki within a specific tsubo. There is a tsubo associated headaches, indigestion, allergies, constipation, watery eyes, nausea, etc. All tsubos on the body are numbered, and all meridians abbreviated.                                                 

Someone trained in acupressure or acupuncture will label the problem area, depending on your symptoms as say SP10. Translated out to be spleen meridian point 10. Now just because your spleen meridian is involved it doesn't mean your problem is with your spleen. Point SP10 is actually associated with anemia or menstrual cramps. It is useful to control bleeding and has a cooling  action which will ease hot rashes and itching. 

Tsubos connected along a meridian are all associated. If one is off chances are most are. Let's take the above example of SP10. You feel that point and it has a hollow feel to it.  That would tell me that you do not have enough energy in that tsubo. Taking what we learned about Yin and Yang apply that theory of balance and harmony to this meridian. SP10 is empty which means you need to check the other tsubos along that meridian to find where there is an excess of Ki.  Once you find it you can move it down the meridian until all tsubos are balanced.      

Yin and Yang is not that only way the ancient Chinese interpreted the world.  There was the 5 element theory.  It was believed that everything manifested into one of the 5 elements. Later these 2 theories were merged to what we now know as present day western medicine. Below is a diagram showing the 5 elements.

Notice the arrows and that they are all connected in some way.  Just like the points on the meridians. Now I'm gonna show you a table that shows how the meridians and the 5 elements have been combined. Where you see Yin or Yang organ that is referring to a meridian.


Looking at the element diagram and the above table let's try and run through a diagnosis. Patient comes in and complains of a sour taste in their mouth.  The above table suggests that the wood element is the culprit. We see that the gallbladder and liver meridians are associate with the wood element. The tsubos on those meridians are what we need to balance.  Taking it one step further, looking at the element diagram (refer to pink arrows), you see that the wood element is influenced by the metal element and the wood element also influences the earth element. The wood element could be taking to much Ki from metal or it could not be getting enough Ki hindering the supply to earth. There could be 6 meridians you need to work on just to fix one ailment.  Below is a list of common symptoms and the corresponding element and meridians. (click on the picture to make it larger)


Now we are ready for one last thing. The Chinese clock. It is thought that each channel has a peak of Ki activity and a low phase lasting 2 hours for each channel.  The peak time is followed by the low time 12 hours later taking 24 hours to complete a cycle. For instance the bladder meridian is at it's peak between 3 and 5 p.m. and at its low between 3 and 5 a.m. Paying attention to the time of day that the symptoms appear may indicate disharmony in the corresponding meridian. Below is a diagram of the Chinese clock.


That's it for now.  I hope you found this as fascinating as I do. If you have any questions you can contact me via the link at the top of the page.

photo credits
* The book of Shiatsu author Paul Lundberg
** The book of Shiatsu author Paul Lundberg
***** The book of Shiatsu author Paul Lundberg

The information in this post is based on The book of Shiatsu author Paul Lundberg

Eastern Medicine (part 1)

I studied Eastern Medicine in school and I found it very intriguing and fascinating. Like a drink of cold lemonade on a hot day, I couldn't get enough of this subject. A few days ago I let it be known that I had knowledge in this subject and it peeked the interest of a few. I said I would write a blog post about it so here you go. In order to understand this you need to throw out everything you learned about modern (Western as they call it) medicine. Once you have gained the perspective of eastern thinking you can merge the two for optimum holistic health. Just remember that Western Medicine is based on things we can see. Eastern Medicine is working with energy and things you can't see.

Eastern Medicine stems from thousands of years of observation of people in response to their environment. It is believed that a person is to live in accord with nature instead of nature adapting to them.  As well as environment, emotions & lifestyle contribute to health and disease.

You may have heard of Yin Yang or seen the below picture. Yin Yang is the maintaining of harmony within the body and the outside world. It is also the balancing of universal energy which is called Ki (or Qi you might have heard). Yin Yang establishes the diagnosis and treatment. The opposing qualities of Yin Yang are seen as complimentary. (I'll explain more of that later)


In terms of your body Ki encompasses both material and non material components. Ki arises from the interaction of Yin and Yang. (this will make more sense in a minute I promise, just hang in there). All things are born from Ki. The body depends on blood, Ki, and other essential substances.  In terms of your body Ki has no physical structure and circulates within channels or meridians along the body (like little invisible highways or roads). Ki that materializes is considered blood and we know how blood is circulated with in our bodies. Once materialized it is no longer considered Ki. Though opposites, Ki and blood support and compliment each other. Ki is considered Yang, blood is considered Yin. Blood uses Ki to move, and Ki uses blood to nourish the organs. 

Your body naturally regulates to adjust to the environment. In sickness a mechanism breaks down and you see  the impact on the outside of your body. Moving Ki on the inside of your body by treating the outside is called an energetic relationship. Our inner organs are the centers for transformation of Ki. The distribution along the meridians helps in the organization of Ki. There are 12 meridians named after major organs.  

Yin Meridians
lung, spleen, heart, kidneys, liver, pericardium
The Yin meridians flow in the front of the body towards the heavens. The Yin organs are considered to be the solid organs and are responsible for the transportation, storage and distribution of blood and Ki.

Yang Meridians
stomach, large intestine, small intestine, bladder, gallbladder, triple burner 
The Yang meridians flow in the back of the body towards the earth. The Yang organs are considered to be the hallow organs and are responsible for the processing of food and waste elimination.

Ok I'm getting tired so I will continue on with my next post....Night all!

UPDATE: To read part 2 click here

photos credits

The information in this post is based on The book of Shiatsu author Paul Lundberg

Friday, September 23, 2011


So I worked in a pharmacy for a few years and all the while having this autoimmune disease, I never got sick. (boy that sentence contradicts itself!) Let me clarify. I never came down with the flu or a cold or anything like that. I remember the swine flu outbreak being a few months after my diagnosis and thinking "oh crap time to find another profession". I just kept doing the things I was used to and I survived. I thought I would share those tips with you.

  • Knowing that the way you catch colds are through your mucus glands absorbing the germs I washed my hands frequently. If my eye itched I knew not to touch it until I washed my hands. Same rules applied for nose and mouth. I tried to really be conscious of not touching my face.
  • Then I found out the average person touches their face about 16 times an hour without even realizing it. Try being conscious of something you didn't know you were doing. I tried my best.
  • Another thing I did was make my home a germ free haven. Not in the OCD way of scrubbing everything down every hour. I have a husband that works in an office with recycled air and a daughter that comes into contact with hundreds of runny nosed kids. When they come home, before they even kiss me, they change. They get out of their germ filled clothes and throw them directly in the hamper.
  • The last thing, no one EVER uses my pillow and cases are changed 2-3times a week. If you wanna sit on my bed sit on the comforter. If the comforter is not on the bed...find a chair. Also guests are not allowed in my room either.

Those are my rules to stay healthy. I wasn't like this before I got the autoimmune disease. I am now and it has worked for me. Going on 5 years now of not getting sick so with no immune system so I'm doing something right. And no I do not get the flu shot.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Orencia Treatment

Hello Hello Hello! Today I had my Orencia Treatment. I just got home from the hospital. I'm super tired but I wanted to get this out. I had to do the video in 3 parts. And guess what? They are super short this time!

Video 1 of 3

Video 2 of 3

Video 3 of 3

If you missed my post on the details from start to finish you can read it by clicking here.

This is a picture of where I sit. Nice little set up.

Off to rest. Hope this is educational and informative.

Friday, September 16, 2011

New and exciting things!

A little different type of blog post today.  The lighting is bad I know.  I can't tell my right from my left.  Hey I'm learning!   Here it is. You can click on the right I think and watch it in YouTube or just watch it in blogger. I hope you like it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I'm gonna warn all the men reading this post that I'm gonna talk about "woman" stuff. Don't worry. Nothing gross. You can keep reading.

So we've all seen those commercials for feminine products, women running through fields of flowers, laying by the pools laughing with her friends. We all know that's not reality. Still waiting on the commercial to show a woman doubled over in pain, in sweatpants not tight jeans holding a hot water bottle to her abdomen. There is even a commercial out there that mocks these other ads saying "oh so that's what is supposed to happen".

I found myself saying the same thing while watching commercials for RA. The Celebrex commercial with the guy running on the beach. The Orencia commercial where suddenly you can open jars. The Humira commercial where people are doing Tai Chi. So that's what is supposed to happen. Meanwhile I have been on all of these and I have not tried Tai Chi, or running on the beach without my cane, and I could never go without my handy little grippy thing for my jars.

That is the picture America is painted in regards to RA. If you don't have RA or know someone that does, chances are you've never heard of it. Then you see one of these drug commercials that educates you. Now you know all about RA. No wonder the worlds perception of this disease is skewed. No wonder we get comments like "you don't look sick". Or people suggesting treatments or remedies that they assume you've never heard of. Not understanding the debilitating pain we overcome everyday.

Yesterday I felt like all of us RA peeps were making a difference and getting the awareness out. Today I feel like the drug companies made us take 2 steps back.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Not so scary now

I came to a realization today so humor me if you will.

We are programed from a young age to know that life isn't always laughter and gumdrops. We know early on that bad things will happen in the future. Though childhood woes (for me at least) were my sister getting the bigger brownie and only having one cabbage patch kid. I couldn't fathom anything worse. My parents did a good job of balancing out that yes there will be bad, you will survive, be happy again, and be better for it.

Today I was talking to my neighbor who is 72 years young. She has survived brain aneurisms, a bad heart valve, and many other things. She told me everyday she wakes up and thanks God that she is still here and her body is working perfect and she can get out and live. All these problems and she considers her body to be a well oiled machine. What a lesson huh?

So it got me thinking. We have all gone through horrible things and we made it. Why, because at the time we weren't focused on doing anything but pushing forward and surviving. I don't know about you but when I look back on some of the things I've gotten through I think "holy shit!" I came out the other side! And I'm fine if not better! I have looked RA in the face, said FURA, and have kept charging forward!

That got me thinking. What if we reverse the attitude? Changed what we thought of upcoming challenges knowing we will always do what we have to do, not thinking in the moment about what is happening. Knowing we will always survive. Maybe not come out standing, but have the ability to brush ourselves off and call ourselves stronger. Less scary don't you think?

I don't have RA because it was my dumb luck. I was gifted RA because God knew of all the people in the world, his Brigid is strong enough to survive.