Guest Post: Raven Lang on Threatened Miscarriage

Raven Lang was a midwife before she was a practitioner of Chinese medicine.  My first introduction to Raven was through an article she wrote for Mothering Magazine on “Mother Roasting”.  I had considered and even pursued midwifery as a path for a while and Raven was one of my role models. When reading this case, consider the difference between 1985 and our current times in terms of available literature and training.  What really impresses me about this case is Raven’s strong intuitive knowledge of women’s physiology, the physiology of pregnancy and birth as well as the basic concepts of Chinese medicine. AN EXAMPLE OF A THREATENED MISCARRIAGE […]

By | 2011-05-16T12:30:59+00:00 May 16th, 2011|Obstetrics|2 Comments

Using The Finger Pulse During Birth

To continue on the theme of birthing, I was recently editing video from the last Graduate Mentorship Program.  The video I am currently working on is from the part of the program on pregnancy and labor. I was reminded about Dr. Qiu Xiao-mei’s use of the “finger pulse” as a diagnostic tool during labor.  It can give the doctor a reading on the woman’s readiness to give birth, the dilation of the cervix and the strength behind the contractions.  I have translated and read case studies in which the finger pulse is used but I had never read anything in particular about it’s meaning or how to do it.  I decided to do a bit of a query to some knowledgable friends of mine.  I got a lengthy reply from Steven Clavey.  He sent me a descriptive passage in Chinese that I translated this morning as well as a diagram and a few words of his own.  I’ve included all this here and have also added a couple of cases of Dr. Qiu Xiao-mei to illustrate her use of the finger pulse.  In the first case the finger pulse was weak and this indicated to Dr. Qiu that a strong tonification method was necessary.  In the second case, the finger pulse was strong but did not extend to the finger tip. [...]

By | 2011-05-14T11:12:50+00:00 May 14th, 2011|Famous Doctors, Obstetrics, Qiu Xiaomei|6 Comments

A Case of Difficult Birth

Here is another interesting case from Dr. Yuan Ming-Zhong 原明忠 of Shan Xi. As Dr. Yuan says below, most cases of difficult birth end up as cesarean sections.  In this case, the woman had an allergy to any type of drugs which made both Pitocin and surgery unavailable as viable options.  This case and the one in the last post make me think of how much wisdom Chinese medicine carries that should not be lost.  With the advent of high technology in the world of birthing, there is a risk much of this could be lost. Kai Gu San (Open the Bones Powder) modified to treat difficult birthing by Dr. Yuan Ming-Zhong Ms. Guan, age 29 Main Complaint: Ms. Guan’s water had broken on March 4, 1982 and so she entered the obstetric ward of the hospital.  On March 5, she passed some blood which spontaneously stopping on the afternoon of March 6.  She was not aware of any fetal movements.  On March 8th, the obstetrician did a check up and saw that her pelvis was relatively small.  The fetal heart tones were low.  They wanted to do a caesarian section but Ms. Guan had an allergy to both the anesthesia and to antibiotics so she was unable to have surgery.  She also had an allergy to Pitocin so a [...]

Dr. Zhu Xiao-nan's case on Fetus Failing to Develop

Dr. Zhu Xiao-nan was born in 1901 and spent much of his life working as a Doctor of Chinese medicine, focusing on gynecology and obstetrics. I decided to translate and post this particular case because it is informative from a practical treatment perspective but also from a medical anthropological perspective.  It seems that, in 1961, when this patient came to Dr. Zhu, there was no ultrasound, amniocentesis or blood tests to determine the well-being of the fetus.  In fact, in the introduction to the text from which this case is published, it states that Dr. Zhu considers women’s pathology to be “invisible”, making it very important to “interrogate thoroughly, make precise diagnoses so that the herbs are used with bull’s eye accuracy”.  For me, it is interesting to consider what would have happened in this patient’s case today.  My guess is that the outcome may not have been so positive. Dr. Zhu uses his own methods for determining whether the fetus is alive or not. It is clear from his discussion here that this method involves the following: […]

By | 2011-05-11T11:21:13+00:00 May 11th, 2011|Gynecology, Obstetrics, Zhu Xiao-Nan|2 Comments

Shang Han Lun Conference Review

At the end of April, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the 3rd Annual Zeng Rongxiu Shang Han Lun conference in Portland Oregon.  It was very exciting to be there to study with Dr. Zeng who is now 87 years old as well as with some amazing other teachers. We got to see how Dr. Zeng “exercised his brain tendon” (Arnaud’s interpretation of Dr. Zeng’s words) in carefully considering each case The real heart of the conference and the heart of Dr. Zeng’s teachings in general was, in a nutshell, Yang dynamics.  The life force itself is Yang in that it is warm, activating and bright (being that we are cold when we are dead) so when Yang dynamics are spoken of, we are really talking about the dynamics of the life force itself.  The Shang Han Lun (Treatise on Damage from Cold) text is considered by many to be a manual of how the life force gets blocked and damaged as well as a manual on how to correct this.  The reason this text is called The Treatise on Damage from Cold, even though many of the pathologies described within it are characterized by heat symptoms, is because cold is simply the opposite of the life force.  All of the heat pathologies described in the text [...]

By | 2011-05-09T10:39:29+00:00 May 9th, 2011|Classic Formulas|6 Comments