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Treatment of Chronic Degenerative Conditions and Autoimmunity with Acupuncture

Treatment of Chronic Degenerative Conditions and Autoimmunity with Acupuncture

Classical Chinese Medicine is particularly well-suited in the treatment of chronic degenerative conditions and autoimmune disorders such as degenerative disc disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and several others. However, the mainstream has yet to become acquainted with the vast potential of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in the treatment of  so-called “serious” conditions.

I’ve often heard people say, yes, they “believe” in acupuncture; yet if they were diagnosed with a “serious” condition, they would use Western Medicine first without a second thought. This shows the acupuncture community has yet to capture the trust of the mainstream, through allowing sufficient understanding of the power of Chinese Medicine.

Jeffrey C. Yuen is considered one of the foremost teachers of Classical Chinese Medicine. His formidable contribution to the field of Chinese Medicine has been through sharing his deep understanding of Classical Chinese Medical theory, when the medicine was at its height of sophistication.

Most acupuncture schools, both in China and the United States have been schooled in the modern tradition called “Traditional Chinese Medicine” or “TCM,” developed during the Cultural Revolution of China. “TCM” is a truncated version of Chinese Medicine, which condenses 2000 years of information into a more simplistic system. Its intention was to allow a quicker, easier medicine, which was taught to rural “barefoot doctors” to benefit inhabitants who lived in the less populated areas of China. The development of “TCM” came out of necessity and social welfare, so as to medically benefit more people in China.

“TCM” is the form of Chinese Medicine imported to the United States from China. Mr. Yuen has worked to bring back the wealth of information from the Classical era which was lost with the creation of “TCM.”

There is a lot of debate amongst practitioners of “TCM” and “Classical Chinese Medicine,” trying to prove the superiority of one system over the other. Both systems exist, and have a purpose. I wish to share my understanding of the purpose of Classical Chinese Medicine, and its effectiveness in the treatment of “serious” chronic degenerative conditions.

When acupuncture was at its height of popularity, from 206 BC-1279 AD, it was considered a complete system of medicine, able to treat all conditions of the body and mind. Included in these conditions were Cancer and other “serious” chronic degenerative conditions. Within the medical classic “The Nei Jing,” such conditions were discussed in great detail. Both the pathological processes, as well as treatment strategies were presented for these “serious” conditions. All of which are highly sophisticated.

The Chinese Classics present a detailed pathological process as to how suppressed emotions  manifest into cancerous tumors. It shows how the energy of the body affects the blood and fluids, creating toxic heat, and tissue overgrowth that manifests as malignant cancer. This is one striking example of the sophistication of the Chinese medical classics. To my knowledge, Western medicine has yet to do this.

Unfortunately, the modern system of “TCM” has edited out many of the highly sophisticated treatments of “serious” conditions within acupuncture.

The Classics of Chinese Medicine describe 74 acupuncture channels within the human body. All of these channels are used in treatment within Classical Chinese Medicine. This number was cut down to 20 channels in the “TCM” tradition, diminishing the power of acupuncture as a whole. This is probably why acupuncture is mostly seen as a therapy that is effective in treating relatively mild “symptoms,” instead of serious chronic conditions.

Cancer, for example, is seen as having 3 major etiologies, or causes: poisoning, or the result of exposure to toxins; hormonal imbalances either from aging, genetic-predisposition or lifestyle abuse; and prolonged stasis of blood and energy within the body, often the result of habitual behavior or unreleased emotions.

Each of these etiologies is detailed in its pathological process relating to the humors of the body. For example, hormonal deficiency creates hormonal stagnation, which causes overgrowth of tissues into tumors. The body will not expel the hormonal stasis if it feels it lacks adequate hormones. Lack of hormones also compromise the body’s ability to maintain a state of remission, as there is nothing to prevent toxins from spreading throughout the body. Increased heat from stagnation in the body further consumes the hormones, and allows the toxins to spread, as heat creates increased movement.

Acupuncture channels are able to move blood, fluids and energy within the body. They are also able to strengthen the body’s ability to produce more blood, fluids and energy. Each of the 74 channels within the body possess unique functions relating to physiology and pathology.

A channel system known as the “Divergent Channels” are particularly effective in dealing with chronic degenerative diseases and autoimmune conditions. These channels have a particularly strong effect on the immune function of the body. Through the “Gallbladder Divergent Channel” for example, a practitioner can promote a state of remission through supporting the hormonal system via the blood system to hold toxins in a “latent” state within the major joints of the body. There are also points along this channel to help “dissipate” tumors. If for example, there were tumors in the prostate gland, the point “Capital Gate” would be strongly stimulated. The blood is then commanded by the Gallbladder Divergent Channel to either hold the toxins in a “latent” state within the pelvic basin, or expel them via the blood system.

The Divergent Channels were among the channels that were eliminated within the modern “TCM” school. The Divergent Channels are especially effective in treating autoimmune conditions, as well as Cancer resulting from poisoning.

If a patient’s condition resulted from longterm habitual lifestyle choices, such as diet; or from longheld unexpressed emotional material, the “Luo Channels” are extremely effective in treatment. It is through the “Luo Channels” that a practitioner can work directly on the blood system. It is through the blood system that a practitioner can work with the mind and emotions. Luo Vessels manifest as spider veins on the skin that hold onto blood stasis.

Longterm habits and emotional holdings are believed to be held in the blood, according to Chinese Medicine. Often they are kept in a “latent” state on the skin in the form of spider veins. When these spider veins empty into the greater blood vessels, they can spread toxic heat through the blood to other areas of the body, manifesting as various “serious” conditions. Through “pricking” the “Luo Channels,” the body will begin to discharge its blood toxicity. Treatment of the “Luo Channels” also has a powerful effect on the mind. I’ve seen people let go of old habits and longterm emotional garbage in sometimes miraculous ways through the use of these channels. Often when the old garbage has been discharged, “serious” symptoms will also disappear.

Currently, Acupuncture is used in Cancer clinics to alleviate the side-effects from Western treatments such as chemo-therapy and radiation. However, this is only scratching the surface of what Chinese Medicine can do. Students of Mr.  Yuen are particularly well-trained in treating “serious” chronic degenerative conditions, as they are schooled in all of the 74 acupuncture channels of Classical Chinese Medicine, as well as the sophisticated theories of the classics.

Mr. Yuen is known for his great success in the treatment of “serious” chronic conditions. He currently specializes in the treatment of Degenerative disease. He trains his students, such as myself, to continue educating the mainstream that acupuncture is a complete system of medicine, with the power to treat all conditions. Chinese Medicine has a lot of wisdom to offer the modern medical system. It is the job of acupuncturists such as myself to continue reaching out, educating and inspiring for the benefit of all.

Nicholas Sieben, MS, L.Ac.

Nicholas is a healer who uses acupuncture and reiki to help awaken and heal. His mission is to promote greater freedom of body, mind and spirit through compassionate self-awareness. Through the use of ancient medical practices and the spiritual philosophies of Taoism and Buddhism, Nicholas helps illuminate the path to healing. He is a student of the renown Taoist priest and Chinese Medical Master Jeffrey Yuen. He completed his acupuncture studies under Mr. Yuen at the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences, and received a B.A. from Brandeis University in Sociology and Philosophy. He has a practice in New York City.

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