In my Senior Seminar class, which is a series of four, we talk
about a range of common illnesses that affect many of our patients.
In this particular class, we have focused on amenorrhea and
infertility. These topics are near and dear to my heart and I
always enjoy learning more. Jia Xu teaches our class. I have
blogged about Jia before. She has wonderful palpation techniques
that she shares with us in class and clinic. She also incorporates
Dr. Tung's acupuncture and 6 level acupuncture into our classes.
Senior Seminar classes are set up to mimic Grand Rounds. Jia
will lecture on the topic for two thirds of the class, and then she
will review case studies on each topic. Students then divide into
groups to analyze, diagnose and treat each case. Usually one
of those groups will also research the topic and discover studies
that have been published on the topic. The case along with the
research is then presented to the class the following week as a
Our last presentation on the topic of amenorrhea focused on
endometriosis. Endometriosis commonly plagues American women and in
15% of the cases causes infertility. In TCM, we don't classify each
disease process like Western medicine. On the other hand, we do
classify endometriosis as dysmenorrhea or infertility.
After asking more in-depth questions surrounding the main
concern, as well as asking other questions to help identify the
main differential diagnoses, we might diagnose the patient with
Blood Stasis. Usually the patient has underlying patterns of
deficiency or excess that has caused the Blood Stasis and we treat
both. We never just treat the symptoms; we always treat the whole
energetic person. We call it the Chuan and the Bian. The Chuan is
the passage of development of the disease along a course, and the
Bian is the change in the nature of the disease contrary to normal
laws. We might focus on the manifestation at first, but then we
always treat the underlying passage of development.
Endometriosis can be treated with acupuncture to ease the pain
of the menstruation, but herbs are most commonly used to clear the
"obstructions" of Blood or Phlegm and to normalize the hormones.
Electric stimulation is often added to the acupuncture needles and
is a common research topic on Pub Med. My classmates also found an
article utilizing foot reflexology to ease the painful menses. We
are not trained in reflexology, but it is a similar concept of the
microcosmic of the body but on the foot, hand or ear. There are
many books for one to read on reflexology and I definitely believe
in the power of touch to help relieve pain.
Tao of Nutrition
On another note, the picture is of a recipe I made from my Tao
of Nutrition boo - stuffed acorn squash. The foods utilized will
move stagnant Qi and remove food stagnation and phlegm. For more
info, send me