A Poem for My Patients:
Be strong enough to face to the world each.
Understand your enemies.
Loyal to your friends.
Finish all the work before we sleep.
Wise enough to know we do not know everything.
Understand that we need team work.
Foolish enough to believe in miracles.
Be highly organize as usual.
Tom Fung 1989
Everything in the universe has its own rhythm and is also constantly changing from macro to micro approach, from the big object such as the Sun to the small object such as the atom, each having its own frequency and law of exercise. Once this law loses its balance, this is the beginning of trouble. The” holistic concept” must be applied in healing the human body. In the human body, the internal stability is very important; it does not matter whether it is an object or a life force. In the human body, the internal balance and function is called homeostasis. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is called “the yin and the yang balance.” The human body, as well as an atom, also has its own active frequency. Once it loses its balance, that specific organ or the whole human system will start to have functional disorder. Finally, it will develop an organic problem. So all the human systems need to be balanced and harmonized. There are different systems in the body, such as the respiratory system, digestive system, immune system, endocrine system, nervous system and eliminating system. Through different healing methods, we have to put these systems back in order. After restoring the order, some positive phenomenon will happen.
The natural healing ability, in modern medicine is addressed as “self-healing ability.” When this “natural healing ability” is in trouble, the human body starts to have some “signs and symptoms.” These signs and symptoms can be addressed as patterns, as a true TCM doctor needs to analyze it and apply it to treatment. It is called “pattern identification,” such as night sweats and spontaneous sweats. But these kinds of signs and symptoms are not recognized as diseases or the sign of a disease in “Western medicine.”
When these signs and symptoms persist, the human body starts to have problems. The immune system starts to have trouble. The resistance ability against illness will decrease. Resistance against chemicals, sudden weather changes or living organisms’ viruses and bacteria will be low. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) has a term, “evil Qi stagnation in the human body.” If resistance to sudden changes of weather is affected, energy waves, such as heat, electricity and radiation would also be affected. In TCM, it is classified as the “six excess of Qi: wind, cold, summer heat, dampness, dryness and fire.” This is called an “external factor.” When the excess of emotions affects the mind, then the internal organs and the body will be affected.
There are seven emotion factors: 1. Happiness, 2. Anger, 3. Worry, 4. Thinking, 5. Sadness, 6. Fright, and 7. Grief. They can affect the energy field (Qi field) in the body, causing Qi stagnation. Qi stagnation can lead to blood stagnation, which can lead to organic problems. These are the important laws that need to be remembered as a TCM Doctor.
Before we apply the healing principle to the body, we have to recognize some of the laws in nature as well as the human body.
The 1st law is that “quantitative changes can lead to qualitative changes” and vice versa: Qualitative changes can also lead to quantitative changes. For example, if a person suffers from sadness, it would affect the lung; the lung organ itself would have circulation problems. As time goes by, it would affect the cell’s activity in the lung. In this case, some people would catch a cold easily or some other serious bacteria, such as tuberculosis. In this case, if the “quantity” of energy flow increased in the lung, then the “quality” (the cells in the lung) also would be in harmony. When the entire cell’s activity starts to harmonize, the whole human system also will start to work. Conversely, if the cells are damaged in the lung, then the “quality” would be affected. After that, the “quantity” of energy flow will be affected. A lot of time, spasms are indications that the cells are getting sick, or you can call it the mass is compressed inside the human body. Here we use the word “quality,” which has the same meaning. After the “spasm” exists for a long time, the spasm can lead to pain and or conversion in the human body. So this theory must apply to our mind and human body, but it can also explain the other phenomena in our world. For example, if the “quantity” of income in the government department decreases, then they have to reduce the “quality,” which is the number of staffs. Even if a small molecule loses its homeostasis, such as a breakdown of the atom of its frequency, it can destroy a big city. That’s why in our human society whenever a couple divorces, it can really affect the two parties as well as the whole family. The greater the emotions, the longer that it lasts, and the stronger the damage is to the human systems.
The 2nd law: “There must be quiescence after excessive motion.” For example, after a stressful day a person must rest for a while. If the person keeps living in a stressful condition or continues the same way of living, the body will start to breakdown. This is one of the factors of the occurrence of the disease.
The 3rd law: “The generation of a thing is due to transformation; the degeneration of a thing is due to transmutation.” For example if a person has suffered from indigestion, the intake of food cannot transform to vital energy. After a while, his or her body will start to feel tired and will start to have transmutation. In human relationships, it is the same law.
The 4th law: “Once a certain limit is reached, a change to the opposite direction is inevitable.” If a person with a continued high fever in an acute febrile disease starts having a lower body temperature and cold extremities with a thready and weak pulse at the same time, it indicates that the nature of the disease has changed to the opposite direction, which is from the Yang to the Yin.
The human body is an organic whole just like the universe. We have to understand the law of the universe and follow its principles to heal one and lead to longevity.
The treatment principle is to “balance the whole human system” to able to heal one self.
Healing Principles: The Concept of Chinese Drugs
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) takes a holistic approach when managing drugs. I call this the “macro correlation concept.” As opposed to Western medicine, TCM does not focus on listing every active ingredient a drug is composed of because there is an infinite amount of elements. Rather it looks at the following characteristics:
Various processing methods will also impact the chemistry of the active ingredients to deliver the correct healing effect. These include:
The Application of Chinese Medicine
Some ingredients may be both harmful and beneficial to humans as well as good for treatment, which includes:
Example: One of the benefits of Ephedra includes relieving the symptoms of asthma and diaphoresis. However, patients with lung Qi deficiency may exhibit negative exterior symptoms such as spontaneous sweating. In this case, the use of this drug should be prohibited.
Dosage of Drugs:
Some Chinese drugs are very drastic and/ or extremely poisonous. In general, the following aspects should be considered when determining the dosage of a drug:
Decoction is a very common form of Chinese medicine. It is a liquid preparation of drugs with water, vinegar, wine or other liquids. Some rules needs to be followed:
Chinese medicine decoction is usually taken while it is warm, but decoction of drugs of cold property for heat syndromes can be taken cold. For vomiting patients, the decoction can be concentrated and given frequently in small amounts. Pills, bolus and powder should be taken with warm boiled water if no special direction is given.
A man who took “Red Radix Ginseng” felt very strong and also full of energy after the intake of these Oriental herbs. He then recommended it to John to take. However, after John took the Ginseng he had a headache and a very fast heartbeat. He went to the hospital and was told he suffered from a heart condition named “Tachycardia.” After that John approached me for consultation.
Outcome: According TCM there are different types of human bodies. In this example, John has an imbalance which is not recognized by western medicine. There are 28 basic types of pulses; when I checked John’s pulse, he had a “wire pulse” as well as a “rapid pulse.” These two pulses combined indicated that John had “internal heat” and “energy block” mixed together. The red ginseng is a powerful energy tonic, which can aggravate the internal heat and “internal block.” To explain this using western medical terminology, this is equivalent to saying that the red ginseng triggered a reaction in the vegetative nervous system. The overreaction of the sympathetic nerve system caused John’s blood pressure and the heart rate to increase. Some may wonder why certain people benefit from the intake of these herbs. My answer is when people have “pure Qi deficient syndrome that person cannot take this type of Qi tonic herbs.” The principle and the spirit of TCM diagnosis are based on “pattern identification.” Western medicine and Western herbalists did not have this concept until after the 1980s. Some scholars in North America and Europe in the Western medical world started to pay attention to this concept, especially when a patient is in a very acute condition. A good TCM doctor can save or extend that patient’s life or greatly improve the patient’s illness by using his or her knowledge of “pattern identification.” But this TCM doctor would really need a lot of clinical experience and insight, and every individual “TCM practitioner” is very different!
Story: I have a friend D. who trained as a Western Medical Doctor (M.D.) in China in the 1950s. He is a very good M.D., who also studied in England. He came to Toronto in the 1960s and was a professor who taught TCM at the Naturopath College in Ontario, Canada in the 1970s and 1980s. I know his true background is not a TCM doctor; he always got very angry when we discussed TCM theories. He had suffered from “essential high blood pressure” since he was 21 years old. One day, a female acupuncturist called me and asked me to join some of the alternative doctors in town for meeting. I had seen this type of meeting in California, USA back in the 1980s. The purpose of the meeting was to ask us to buy vitamins and herbal products from these pharmaceutical companies. Their motivation is to make money; I already told D. to be careful with these products.
I refused to participate in this meeting but D. went. They let him sit in the front because he is a famous alternative doctor in town. Before they sell the products they make you laugh, show the salesman’s family, and show the saleswoman’s PhD degree in Chemistry, the company’s research paper, etc. Finally, they start to sell their products.
One night, I received a call from D. who asked me to treat him. D. said to me that after the intake of this herbal product for a few weeks he could not see very well; his vision was very dark, and his heartbeat had increased. Later on, he called the company about the ingredients of this herbal product. The company said to D. that the herbal pills that he took contained a very high quality of 5 years Korean Red Ginseng. I designed an herbal formula of decoction for D. containing the magnetic powder and some other Chinese herbs.
He had to cook the magnetic powder for two hours prior to mixing it with the other herbs. Five days later, after the intake of 5 bags of herbal decoction, D. told me he felt better. His eyes had changed colours and his health had improved. D’s health is not the same anymore!
The Therapeutic Effects of Qigong
Throughout its whole history, qigong has been employed and developed as a method for curing illness and strengthening the body. Qigong's main therapeutic properties lie in its regulation of the activity of the cerebral cortex, the central nervous system and the cardio-vascular system, its effect in correcting abnormal reactions of the organism, massaging effect on the organs of the abdominal cavity, and its effect as a means of self-control over the physical functions of one's body.
As far as electro-encephalogram response is concerned, there is clear difference in such readings between practitioners and non-practitioners. An electro- encephalogram for a normal person in an ordinary waking state shows a great quantity of low amplitude, high frequency waves of about fifty micro-volts, with different regional brain waves showing poor synchronization. The brain waves of a qigong practitioner, however, shows large frequency "A" waves of around eight hertz with amplitudes as high as 180 micro volts, as well as a tendency towards greater synchronization of regional brain waves. These characteristics are even more apparent in the frontal lobe and parietal lobe of the cerebrum. Moreover, the frontal lobe is the highest centre of the C.N.S., controlling mental activity. The longer one practices the better the synchronization of the "A" wave band, while the expansion of the low frequency wave band can greatly increase the functions of the cerebrum.
Respiration: When one is practicing, the rate of respiration decreases while the duration of each breath increases. Such an increase in the period of inhalation and exhalation will enlarge the scope of the diaphragm's activity, causing a greater flow in the volume of air, increasing the practitioner's lung capacity. When one is practicing deep breathing, the breath often seems to stop, but actually becomes a series of micro- movements of the breathing muscles. Animal experiments have shown that the increased excitation of the C.N.S. when exhaling can spread to the parasympathetic nerve centre, while the increased excitation when inhaling can spread to the sympathetic nerve centre. This would suggest that through deliberate regulation of the respiration and deeper breathing one can promote the tendency to stabilize any functional imbalance of the autonomic nerve system.
Metabolism: When practicing sitting or lying qigong it has been shown that the body's consumption of oxygen decreases by about thirty percent, the level of the metabolic rate also dropping by about twenty percent, which is accompanied by a drop in the respiration rate as already mentioned. This condition of lowered metabolism is an aid to reducing the patient's physical consumption of energy, allowing the gradual accumulation of energy, fostering the body's strength, and providing the basis for the body to combat and defeat illness.
Self-Control and Bio-Feedback: When qigong and bio-feedback are combined, the aim of developing health through self-control becomes considerably easy to achieve. Bio-feedback is the monitoring of certain physiological functions (blood pressure, muscle tension, etc.) using electromyographic equipment, demo meters etc., and then allowing the patient to sense, visually or audibly, the fluctuations in signals. This enables patients to appreciate what is happening in the body and use their own will to try to control the fluctuations of his or her physiological functions, helping them to revert to normality and hence aiding in their treatment.
Massage: It has been readily shown that abdominal breathing has the effect of massaging the internal organs of the abdominal cavity. This effect is even more marked when practicing the "stopping" or "reversed" breathing methods. During practice gastric secretion also increases, hence improving digestion. The range of the abdominal and diaphragmatic muscular activity may increase by up to three or four times, and the resulting periodic fluctuation of pressure in the abdomen will massage the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen and other internal organs. This will promote peristalsis in the stomach and intestines, reduce blood stasis in the abdominal cavity, and improve regulation of internal secretions, further helping to improve digestion and assimilation. As a result, appetite is likely to improve, enabling patients to eat more, a great help in the process of treatment of many ailments.
The Circulation System: Blood vessel activity during practice depends on which form one is practicing. During the practice of "internal cultivation" and "relaxation and quiet" qigong, blood vessels in the hands manifest expansion in over half of the subjects, this being more marked in the case of the latter style, whilst blood vessel contraction sometimes appears in practitioners of "standing pole" qigong. In experienced practitioners, however, transition of the blood vessels remains relatively stable. In those who inhale longer than they exhale, an increase in cardiac output is registered, while a decrease is registered in those who exhale longer than they inhale. This is the result of the influence of the respiratory centre on the cardiac-vagal centre and heart rate. However, tests on practitioners of both "internal cultivation" and "relaxation and quiet" qigong register a general drop in heart rate. A clear lowering of blood pressure also appears in those who persist in daily practice.
All in all, we can see that the most important effects of practice are that it lessens the intrusions of emotions, allowing the body to reach a state of high physiological and bio-chemical efficiency through greater relaxation and concentration. Furthermore, the relaxation, contemplation and breathing aspects of qigong can enable the cerebral cortex to prepare to meet any urgent need, provide advantageous conditions for the organism's rest, recuperation and regulating functions, and through gradual adjustment reduce the overall consumption of energy and increase the body's ability to resist illness.