This was an intense case in which the patient really did not want to go to the hospital. I had to both support this wish while making sure she was remaining safe. It is important to allow for the possibility that my skills may not be enough! I find it important to make agreements with patients in cases like this such as - after an agreed upon period of time or if symptoms get worse, they will go to the ER. Without this, I am not comfortable working with these kinds of crises. On the other hand, with this kind of clear communication, it is great to see what the herbs can do.
A recent exchange with a student of mine inspired me to share information about one particular formula of hers. Check out the results! This is just one example of her creativity and effectiveness. Her work is something to study and try to keep alive.
In my clinic I have treated women who have contracted various illnesses, like fever, during the postpartum period. It is presupposed that one always differentially diagnoses in order to seek the cause and determines treatment upon examining the cause. At all times I pay attention to and give aid to the righteous Qi. Especially after the evil has retreated it is even more important to do such things as nourishing the blood and boosting the Qi, using banking up and supplementing methods.
This post is a follow up to the last post was on insufficient lactation, including some more thoughts and teachings on the postpartum treatment of women with Chinese medicine.
If you are working with pregnant women, sooner or later someone with polyhydramnios will come into your clinic. What a blessing for that woman! This is because the methods below are very clear and effective for a dangerous condition that has no other treatment.
Think of a child swimming in cold water and how they start to shiver and develop blue-purple lips, fingers and toes. I have a small spring fed pond behind my clinic. The water is very cold all year round. If I dip my feet into it, within 2 minutes they start to ache. Cold causes blood stasis and this blood stasis causes pain. However, as soon as the child is warmed up, the lips, fingers and toes turn pink again!
The passage below is one of my favorites because it shows us that Dr. Xia had to go through his own experience of feeling limited by what he had learned. He thought about his experience deeply and, over time, integrated what were the essential ideas.
Dr. Qíu Xiào-méi I recently gave a talk on Medigogy as a way to introduce the course I am giving in Vancouver in January on bleeding disorders in women. During the class a student/practitioner asked what I meant by “heat in the blood chamber” as a cause of bleeding. So, I thought I would write a bit about this and share a couple of cases. If you are interested in watching the 1 hour medigogy talk it is available here We all know that heat can induce the blood to run reckless. However, because there are many reasons for heat to develop, there are many methods for clearing heat in order to stop bleeding. It is very important to differentiate the cause of the pathological heat so that the method hits the mark. In Dr. Qíu Xiào-méi’s case below, we can see that the patient was treated improperly with several clearing heat methods before the patient came to Dr. Qiu. She recognized the cause of bleeding as heat in the blood chamber. Once she did, a long term condition resolved quickly. I started with a case from my own practice to help illustrate this important concept. Before going to the cases let’s look at the patho-mechanisms of heat in the blood chamber as well as the key signs and symptoms for the [...]
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. [...]
I am currently working as a co-author on a book that will be published through People’s Medical Publishing House in Beijing. The book is a gynecology text made up of case studies and discussions on a variety of topics. I asked the publishers if I could use some of the material I am working on in my blog post here and they were happy to allow that. I am posting a short bit of a chapter on postpartum dizziness and postpartum tetany here. It starts with a case study and my commentary follows. I think this chapter is useful not only for the specific treatment of postpartum dizziness and tetany but also because some basic diagnostic skills for postpartum women are described. In addition, I think that the use of classic formulas here will be of interest to many of you! I hope this is useful for those of you who are working with women after pregnancy. […]