Can We Trust 5000 Years of Experience?

Diane McLaren - Natural Health Practitioner Newsletter

The Chinese approach to health is a form of healing that has been applied successfully for almost 5000 years vs. the new drug based approach that has been around less than 150 years.

Chinese Herbal Medicine is becoming widely accepted in Canada and the USA for good reason; you body will actually recognize and assimilate it easily, safely and effectively while it addresses the root cause of an illness, without dangerous side-effects.

Certainly no one can argue that science has made remarkable progress and been effective at treating very complex conditions.  Yet despite some miracles with drugs, such as when antibiotics were first introduced many years ago, the human body has been so over-exposed that it has become largely indifferent.

Now it is widely recognized in the more advanced countries, that overuse and abuse of prescription and over the counter drugs are creating a plethora of iatrogenic, or drug induced illnesses.  Suppressing symptoms does not address the cause of an illness and in fact many be contributing to more severe, longer-term conditions.

If The Patient Became Sick, The Doctor Went Bankrupt

"... our healthcare system is set up entirely backwards. In ancient China, doctors were only paid when their patients were healthy. If the patients became sick, the Chinese doctor went bankrupt. American doctors are not trained to make us healthy but to stitch us back up or load us with strong pharmaceutical drugs to keep us alive in times of crisis." ~ David Wolf, professor of nutrition for Dr. Gabriel Cousens masters degree program on live-food nutrition

Although life expectancy may be longer for our generation, the quality of life for those caught in the drug mill leaves much to be desired. Many of the new age health challenges, such as Widespread Allergies, Excessive Weight, Diabetes Type II, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Herpes are not being significantly helped by the new drug approach.

Because drug manufacturers are in business to generate increasing returns for their shareholders, they now mass-market their drugs directly to you on TV and in print, including notices of extensive side effects and persuasive suggestions to see your doctors for another prescription.  

You Have The Built-In Technology To Heal Yourself

In a vast majority of situations, your body has the built-in technology to health itself, if it receives the right attention.  For everyday health, prevention and natural healing,  fresh food diets and herbs represent the healthiest and most enduring choice. The Chinese system of health can teach us valuable insights about everyday health and how to improve it.  

In fact, Chinese doctors have records dating back 5,000 years that document the use of herbs as both a preventative and curative medicine. This proven track record of human observation carries a lot of wisdom, which applies as well today , as it did then.

Chinese Herbs Simplified

In order to use the Chinese herbs effectively, it is essential to understand a little bit about the Chinese philosophy.

S. Dharmanada PH.D. has helped to simplify what can seem to be a complex oriental medical philosophy into concepts that relate to our North American way of thinking.  These herbal formulas can benefit anyone.

The beauty of the Chinese formulas is that they are designed to help us stay in balance or in harmony, as we relate to our everyday world.  We become imbalanced (sick) when there is too much (stressed) or too little (weakened) energy flowing through our organs/body.

Chinese Symbol of Balance

The Chinese system is based on Yin and Yang, plus a five-element model that ties in nature, personality, physical, mental and emotional balance.   The Chinese philosophy is based on a principle that everything has energy (Qi or chee) also called energy field. 

The concept of Chi is tied closely to the concept of Yin/Yang. Yin and Yang are opposites, like night and day; but you cant have one without the other and they are always changing. Think how the night gradually becomes day, then day turns into night. We cant have one without the other. This is the natural cycle. When we get out of balance, it can be as if we are stuck in one state, rather than flowing with the natural rhythm of change.

The small white circle in the black area is the yang which is present in the yin and the small black circle in the white area is the yin which is present in the yang. This is to remind us that nothing is purely yin or yang everything is a mixture." 

"The symbol is a reminder that yin is constantly flowing into and creating yang, while yang is flowing into and creating yin.  The 2 forces are forever moving into each other.  

To make a parallel with our Western philosophy, acute symptoms such runny nose, coughing are considered yang.  Also, when more chronic in nature, they would be considered yin symptoms, i.e.. lung weakness, poor circulation, poor digestion, glandular imbalances. 

The 5 Elements Are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood

The Fire Element includes the functions associated with the heart and small intestine. In Chinese, the fire element also involves the functioning of the glandular system and is said to be the seat of the spirit, or shen. This means the mind is controlled by the fire element.

  • Fire Yang.  The easiest way to think of these formulas is: When fire is out of control, symptoms may include heart palpitations, scattered thinking, inability to relax and fall asleep; what is generally referred to as being stressed out. Think of other analogies, such as burning the candle at both ends. This is a yang condition addressed by formula STR-C. The Chinese translation of An Shen is Pacifies Spirit.
  • Fire Yin, or opposite will generally occur if a person has been stressed for awhile, resulting in the fire eventually burning itself out. This will be evidenced by a lack of energy, exhausted adrenals, forgetfulness, and possibly waking in the middle of the night. It would be what we call burned out. Formula HS-C, stands for Heart Stimulant which helps balance this condition. The Chinese translation  of Yang Yin for this formula is Nurtures the Heart.

Chinese Earth Element

The Earth Element represents the digestive and assimilative functions and includes the organs of the stomach, spleen and pancreas. Associated body parts are muscles.

Earth Yang or excess can include excess gas, bloating, weight and a feeling of fullness. The formula AG-C, which stands for Anti Gas, helps to digest stagnant food and moisture from the digestive system. The Chinese translation of Xioa Dao means Clears Congestions.  It is most effective if taken after a meal.

Earth Yin occures when a person does not seem to be getting the nutrition from the food they eat. The formula UC-C helps to digest and assimilate better and can often help a person who is thin, lacking in muscle tone, and suffering from food allergies. It actually stands for Undernourished Colon, which is a bit of a misnomer, but it is also very effective if someone is suffering from weakened colon conditions, irritable bowel, colitis, or diarrhea. The Chinese translation for Wen Zhong is Warms Center, which is appropriate if you think of needing an active digestive fire to burn or break down food.

Chinese Metal Element

The Metal Element includes the lungs and colon. Associated with these is also the skin and other parts of the respiratory system, such as the sinuses.

Metal Yang formula AL-C, which you can remember by thinking of Allergies. It is useful when there is excess mucous, such as runny eyes, nose and phlegmy cough. The Chinese translation of Yuan Fei means Ventilate the Lungs, which is what this does. AL-C has helped many people with their spring allergies.

Metal Yin formula LH-C stands for Lung Healer. It is used when these organs are in a weakened condition. The Chinese Fu Lei means Supports Weak. This works wonders when someone has a dry cough or tight chest and they need something to moisten it up, loosen it and help them increase the energy to get it out. It can also help with a dry colon in the same way.

Chinese Water Element

The Water Element, representing the kidneys, bladder and adrenals. The water element in Chinese herbology is responsible for the structural system, and functioning of the ears.

Water Yang formula K-C is easy to remember as Kidney. It is useful for backache, kidney inflammation, and conditions where the body is holding onto excess water. The Chinese translation of Qu Shi menas Clears Dampness.

Water Yin formula KB-C can be remembered as Kidney Bone. It is effective for arthritis, which is a condition where the bones are dried out, sore knees, and weakness in the kidney, bladder or prostate. Chiropractors love this formula, and Steven Horne has called it chiropractor in a bottle, as it helps strengthen the structural system. This formula has also helped some people with tinnitus, or ringing of the ears, along with Gingko. To think in the Chinese terms, this can be a condition of the eardrum being dried out. The Chinese name for this formula is Jian Gu, which means Strengthen Bones.

Chinese Wood Element

The Wood Element includes the liver and gallbladder and associated body parts of eyes and hair. The liver is responsible for over 500 functions in the body, so many health challenges can relate to this organ.

Wood Yang formula LIV-C  is used when the liver is stressed out, and may need to release toxins or pent up emotions. The Chinese name is Tiao He, which means Mediate Harmony. This is one of the six formulas in the Tiao He Pak, our 10 day cleanse. LIV-C has proved useful in helping to release upper body, neck tension, headaches, temper tantrums, and PMS. Think of it as a releaser to restore harmony.

Wood Yin formula BP-C stands for Blood Purifier. It helps to nurture and build the blood and support a weakened liver or gall bladder. People with varied and changing complaints, may be called hypochondriac by the medical profession. This is actually a correct term, because it means under functioning (hypo) liver . BP-C can be very helpful in supporting these organs to carry out its many functions better. The Chinese translation of Bu Xue means Nourishes Blood.

Today we enjoy a standard of living that all the ancient Emperors, Kings, Queens and Pharos combined could never have imagined, yet our ability to enjoy life is still controlled by our state of health.

Make this, your year to optimize your health and lasting wellness.  I invite you to contact me for more information or to book a personal consultation.  Click to learn more about my Chinese herbal formulas

P.S.  Your mind has astounding powers.  If you want to see how your mind interprets the world, or perhaps tricks you into seeing the world its way, just click here. (Note that all the images are static and rated G!

Special thanks to my west coast associate Lorene Benoit for her part in this article. - Diane