Sinus Problems and Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medicine sinusitis corresponds to an old Chinese term by the name of Bi Yuan. This literally means “nose pool”. Bi Yuan is said to be brain discharge since it deals with profuse and purulent discharge from the nose which the Chinese felt comes from the brain. In my practice, I have seen numerous patients with severe amounts of discharge as well as postnasal drip in the back of their throats and pain in the sinus areas. I have also seen patients with headaches from their sinuses. As for brain discharge, I don’t feel as though this is quite accurate although its possible that the Gall Bladder channel is involved due to that it flows through the brain. The main symptoms of sinusitis are profuse discharge from the front and the back of the nose, and into the throat, facial pain, and a feeling of heaviness in the head. There is also local tenderness over the maxillary and the frontal sinus.


In this article I will explain different pathologies and how to go about transforming these. The first etiology is an invasion of Wind-Heat or Wind-Cold. Both of these are associated with the Lung Qi energy in the body. It is the Lung energy that when it blocked impairs the function of the Lungs to move the Qi downwards thus creating the fluids to stagnate in the nose and sinus passages. In Chinese Medicine, Wind-Heat enters through the front of the neck and Wind-Cold enters through the back of the neck. A cold or virus in Western medicine would enter through the front of the body and in an airplane or an open window with cold air would enter through the back of the neck. In fact a cold might not be cured all the way thus creating the next viral attack in an already infected area. Both of these symptoms are treated with the use of acupuncture and herbs and can also be treated once someone feels the first signs of these to lessen the extent of the illness.


The classic symptoms of Wind-Heat are stuffed nose, yellow phlegm, nasal discharge, headache, diminished sense of smell and aversion to cold and fever. The treatments involves clearing the heat, removing the wind and opening up the nasal passages. I have seen remarkable results in just one treatment and the herbal formulas are very effective. Under the heat category there is also Lung-Heat, which occurs as well. These symptoms include yellow purulent discharge, tenderness over sinuses, feeling of heat, headache and thirst. The patient has a chronic sinus condition with Wind-Heat and has an impaired system when it comes to creating a descending function of the Lungs. Many patients have come to me with this problem and they also have Phlegm-Heat as well with this condition. I have one female patient who had sinus infections all of her life and I treated her with acupuncture and herbs for all most one year and she now has very few occurrences after o lifetime of discomfort. The acupuncture and herbs helped to get rid of her phlegm and constant stuffy nose. The Chinese formulas and also the use of an amino acid that I find helps tremendously.


There is another antilogy in the heat category called, Liver-Gallbladder Fire. These symptoms include, red face, yellow discharge, and pain in sinus area, irritability and dry stools. For this patient I would clear the Liver fire raising to the nose clear the gall bladder channel and restore the Lung_Qi to its descending function. I currently have a male patient age 6 who has had chronic problems with his sinuses and we put him on a formula and gave him several treatments and after three times his phlegm began to dissipate as well as his irritability. It’s always interesting to heal what is underneath a symptom so that the patient can have a true healing. This man is in a very intense business and has a great amount of responsibility on his shoulders. The formulas for this patient made such a change in him that he also looks younger and has lost over 15 pounds during the treatment.


The last clinical manifestation is Stomach and Spleen Damp-Heat. This involves nasal discharge, dry lips, a feeling of heaviness and a feeling of oppression in the chest and upper abdomen. In this situation I would clear the heat, resolve the dampness and harmonize the Stomach and spleen. The formulas are very good for this and I feel that many people have this particular problem do to overuse of antibiotics and western medicines as children. It is my belief that these drugs have somewhat damaged the spleen and stomach and these organs need to be built back up again. Along with this the diet in Chinese medicine always need s to be addressed due to the heavy consumption of fried foods, sugar and also milk and cheese in the western diet. An excessive amount of phlegm leads to the formation of dam-heat in the Stomach and Spleen and can be carried upwards towards the sinus area. In fact one patient, who always had cereal and milk late at night as a treat was taken off this and in one week he noticed a tremdous difference from this alone.


Sinusitis is a stubborn, chronic disease, which may need long-term treatments, but with acupuncture and herbs it is possible to get rid of the problems and tonify the patient to wellness.


Chinese Medicine has always placed great emphasis on sexual activity in both an excess and a deficient way. It is the cause of many problems since it involves the Kidney energy and has to do with the Minister Fire which is a band of energy that not only is inherited but seems to also get depleted when a women gets older and goes through menopause. It is during these years between 50 and 60 that the Kidney energy begins to get depleted. This is called Kidney Yin deficiency and the aspects are usually dryness, lack of sexual desire, lack of energy and overall change in vitality.


The Minister Fire can be exhausted because it begins to consume Fire and Water as well as the Essence. It is believed that a tranquil mind preserves the Yang energy as well as the Minister Fire. Over the last month I have seen about ten female patients who are not only experiencing a total lack of sexual energy but they are also very dry and experiencing discomfort as well. I have now created a protocol, which includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, an organic lubricant and an organic suppository that is able to help all of these conditions. Although I am not an advocate of excessive sexual activity, I do feel that maintaining this type of closeness is very important to love.


One of my patients came in complaining that she has not had any sexual activity and has only been married for seven years. I put her on this protocol and she was very afraid to even try anything but I talked her into a five-minute session. Not only did it work but both she and her husband had a good laugh about the five-minute idea. This has not only broken their pattern but they are now more connected.


Both men and women have essence to share with each other and through the right combination this can be achieved again organically and gracefully.


Sciatica and Chinese Medicine

The lower back in Chinese Medicine is the residence of the Kidneys. If the back pain radiates down the leg from the back it indicates a more Full condition, usually from Damp-Cold in the leg channels. Occasionally it may also be due to Damp-Heat. The pain may also only occur in the leg without affecting the back. This syndrome of back pain is called Sciatica. It is important to try and find out what channels are involved so that certain acupuncture points can be used. As mentioned in many of my other articles, pain can be caused by both a deficiency or an excess condition as well as be an acute problem, which occurs suddenly or a chronic problem which continually occurs over time. Chronic conditions are always due to Kidney deficiency which can be combined with retention of Damp-Cold or stagnation of Qi and Blood.


Throughout my eighteen years in acupuncture, I have seen many types of Sciatica and the use of both Acupuncture and Herbs have gotten some very quick results. Many times there is a radiating leg pain in the very back of the leg or on the side of the leg. It usually occurs down one leg only and can be resolved in just a few treatments. The use of the herbs helps to release the cold, nourish the Kidneys and remove the dampness. Along with these treatments, I have given herbs to many patients to take for several months afterwards to minimize further back problems. It is also interesting to look at the function of the back, which helps us to stand erect in the world and move forward. In times of stress, many people experience back problems.


When a backache is accompanied by sciatica it usually takes a little longer to treat. As mentioned above, Sciatica is usually caused by Wind-Cold in both acute and chronic cases. The pain is usually worse in the morning and better with light exercise and movement. The pain can be relieved by an application of heat and is worse when the weather is cold and damp. During an acupuncture treatment I use both a special heat lamp and a warming herb called moxa. When Cold predominates there may be stiffness and contraction of the back muscles and the pain is more aggravated by rest and stagnation. When Dampness predominates there may be swelling, numbness and a feeling of heaviness.


My 55 year old patient complained of an acute backache, which had started after working at one of her jobs as a gardener. The pain was intense and was centered around the lower left kidney area. It radiated downwards to the left buttocks and the back of the leg. She was so uncomfortable that she came directly from work to see if she could get some relief so that she could go back to her job the following day. We even did her verbal intake with her standing up rather than sitting. The muscles on her left side were in spasm and the entire area felt very stiff. She was treated with both distal points and local points for a period of 45 minutes with both needles and moxa. I also sent her home with a fabulous Chinese formula for Sciatica. Upon getting off the table 80% of all her pain was gone and in the next couple days we gave her one more treatment and she took the herbs for four days. After the last treatment she was totally pain free.


Lower backache and Sciatica can be treated perfectly, adequately and successfully according to Chinese Medicine. The results are profound with no Western pain medications or treatments.


Painful obstruction means that the qi is blocked and obstructed and cannot flow smoothly. This means that in the body the energy is not moving and this can in turn cause pain, itching, numbness and paresthesia, or weakness of the hands and feet similar to atrophy. However, atrophy (which is the total loss of feeling), is related to internal causes which can be from blood deficiency or blazing fire in the body. In Chinese Medicine this is caused by an external pathogen such as wind, cold, damp or heat, which then enters the system because the individual has an underlying weakness that allows it to enter into the system.


In the Classic Chinese Tradition, in the spring it is the sinews which are affected, in the summer, the vessels, in the late summer, the muscles, in the autumn it is the skin, and in the winter it is the bones. This is where the pathogen enters since at these times the parts of the body are more vulnerable. In general, wind and dampness affects the upper body with stiffness and numbness of the shoulders, neck, hands and wrists. Damp and cold affect the lower part of the body with the legs and feet feeling heavy. With wind, the pain moves around in the body, with heat, there is inflammation, and with cold there is severe pain and stiffness of the whole body. With dampness there is usually swelling and edema with a heaviness involved.


Painful obstruction with cold is indicated when the body cannot get warm along with coldness in the limbs. The treatment principle in this case would be to get rid of the cold and begin to warm the body up with acupuncture, herbs and also a treatment with moxabustion and a heat lamp. The patient will begin in time to have better circulation and their Qi will begin to circulate in a more fluid way. For the past couple months I have been treating a woman who had back surgery about ten years ago who now has no feeling in her feet and her feet when she first cam in to see me were actually purple. I have not only done acupuncture on her weekly, but also have given her two formulas to take and also some revisions in her diet. As of yesterday we both noticed that her feet are no longer purple and she is beginning to feel better. This is a fairly short time considering that she has had this for so long.


When the obstruction is in the bones, there is a heavy sensation with difficulty in lifting the limbs. It resonates with the kidneys and creates a weakness in the legs, knees and feet. I have a patient who is a man in his forties that when he was three years old he had nephritis, which is a disease of the kidneys. Since this happened to him at such a young age he had developed a kidney weakness that has gone on to create a deep deficiency over a period of forty years. This was treated with western medication at the time although it was never treated with alternative medicine, which at the time would have begun to build his kidney energy back up. I find this to be the greatest difference between eastern and western medicine. The western approach will give medications to resolve a situation but the eastern approach tries to figure out why this has happened so that they can treat the actual cause and begin to create balance in the system.


Several years ago this man who was now in his early forties was lifting a rather heavy mirror in his bedroom when his disks around his kidney area totally ruptured. At this time he had surgery where they fused the disks and he has now many years later has almost no feeling in his legs and his feet. I believe that this goes back to his original illness at the age of three years old that created a kidney deficiency thereby causing his disks to rupture. This patient is now coming in again and beginning the feel some energy moving in his legs and feet. Through treatments and herbs I can begin to build this patient back up again.


Over time the painful obstructions become chronic causing even more pain and numbness and becomes harder to treat. It is always best to come in at the onset of a problem and even better to get treatments so that these types of problems do not occur. Please don’t wait to create health and well being in your body until it becomes too late.


In my practice I have recently seen a number of women who are postmenopausal and are experiencing a lower than normal bone density problem. Postmenopausal osteoporosis is the result of two concurring phenomena: loss of bone mass linked with age, and the acceleration of the process as a result of menopausal estrogen deficiency. Preventive treatment should consist of a combination of modalities including: chinese herbs that are called blood tonics (which provide an estrogen stimulant), herbs that correspond to the kidneys which begin to get deficient with age and need to be built up with tonics and acupuncture which can tonify the kidneys and bones. These three things can provide what western hormone therapy tries to achieve. It is believed that bone tissue depletion is the result of an imbalance between the osteoplasts and the bone reabsorption in order to activate bone formation. Reduction in the bone mass leads to bone fractures, hip problems, as well as vertebrae problems.


The contemporary term for menopause in Chinese is qing mian qi. The word means to change, to modify, and to take the place of and refers to age and Qi as a means of time, period, or phase. Deficiency of Kidney Qi and Yin is manifested when the Essence begins to diminish around 49 years old and is therefore the root of menopause and osteoporosis. This creates an imbalance of the Blood and Essence which become insufficient. Women develop symptoms and because of this deficiency develop imbalance in the other organs as well. The kidney has to do with water in Chinese Medicine and since it gets depleted over time it is called Kidney Yin deficiency, which means there is a deficient type of heat burning in the body, and this internal deficient heat is responsible for burning up the internal fluids. The internal fluids is what keeps someone with good bones and fluid to hydrate their skin, nails etc. and as this begins to dry up it affects the hormones as well as the ability to maintain bone formation. In Chinese Medicine this Yin can be built up using herbs and acupuncture and in time help with osteoporosis.


As women get older even past the menopause phase the Kidney Yin becomes exhausted and the Essence and fluids continue to diminish. This means the bone marrow is no longer nourished, resulting in the pathological phenomena of osteoporosis. However, each individual is different and may require different herbs and treatments to facilitate changes during this time of life. The idea is to restore balance of the yin and tonify the Qi and Blood. A daily calcium supply is also necessary although there are many different products and it becomes important to make sure that whatever is being given is absorbed into the system. I have one patient who is sixty-three years old that was having trouble with her bone density test and I put her on several different products including specific calcium magnesium, two Chinese formulas, and acupuncture once a week. After a full year she went back in for a bone density test and she actually scored higher than a year ago. By building up the kidney, which is bone in Chinese Medicine, nourishing her blood and giving her the right supplements, she experienced great success. There is a lot of research on changing one’s diet once there is bone loss. The recommended calcium inhibitors are: coffee, refined sugar, alcohol, red meat, excess salt and too little or too much exercise. It is important to create good bone health and if you are experiencing some problems it is best to address them as soon as possible with the proper treatments and herbs.




It has been a year filled with great loss for me. In April my best friend of 30 years passed away from lung cancer at the age of 58 years old, in September, my brother-in-law passed away from pancreatic cancer at 56 years old and now my mother is being taken from the hospital to go home to round the clock hospice nurses and she is 84 years old. She has cancer and also a tumor on her brain. Throughout all these illnesses, I have not only used acupuncture and herbs myself but have also treated many people faced with similar situations. I not only write this article form a place of sickness which leads to dying but also from a place of shock when others have lost loved ones in an immediate situation of accidents and immediate deaths.


There are so many levels of grief and loss and I will go on to talk about Chinese Medicine and how it treats the individual on many different levels. The Lung channel opens up to the Corporeal Soul. Loss and sadness leads to a deficiency of Lung-Qi and may manifest in a variety of symptoms such as tiredness, depression and crying. It also affects the heart qi and controls the entire upper body.   There is a wonderful point on the wrist, which helps to release the effects of sadness, worry and grief. To experience loss affects many channels. The Lung rules the throat and the strength of the voice and the Heart governs the tongue and the speech. The Heart channel is very affected by shock of any kind and during treatments acupuncture can treat the “shen” which is the spirit of the Heart.


The best combination of acupuncture points would be to move the Qi (energy), calm the Mind, and lift the mood and also to calm the mental restlessness which many people experience during this time. All of these points can be used for shock, prolonged worry, grief and pensiveness which all cause stagnation of the Qi. I believe most individuals experience loss on the physical, mental and emotional levels. Physically, most people have very low energy, are not sleeping much and feel deeply depleted. Mentally many times people are very scattered and confused. Emotionally it becomes such a deep feeling and the loss of someone creates an ending and a deep feeling of sorrow.


There are many beneficial herbal combinations that address the stagnation of sitting and waiting in a day to day illness whereby it helps to break up stagnation den also gets the kidney energy moving form sitting a lot during these times. A lot of people experience stiffness and pain in their kidney area, which also has to do with the emotion of fear. With the acupuncture and the herbs the energy can be moved around and begin to circulate again. The Mind also is obstructed on an emotional level and someone can begin to feel blunted and somewhat numb. It is amazing to give treatments during this time since it is a time of great need and it helps a patient feel more grounded and more open spiritually. There is a point on the bottom of the foot that is a kidney point and there are ear points which together help the patient just be calm and present.


Losing track of time and days, not sleeping, having to deal with many family dynamics, feeling overwhelmed and being on the edge emotionally is all happening at the same time. There are many acupuncture points, which clear the mind, end the restlessness, open the heart and move the Qi. There are also herbal formulas, which can help as well in conjunction with the acupuncture. Recently I had a female patient who came in during the time her mother was ill and she felt very out of her body and almost “twisted” as she described. She has now been coming for two months since she has taken care of her mother and claims that both the herbs and the acupuncture has kept her grounded and very calm. I gave her a heart formula to calm her shen and a liver formula to move her Qi. Being the total caregiver has put great stress on her and she realizes that it is very important to also take care of herself at this time. I also recommended to her to go outside and take a walk in nature and just breathe deeply even if it’s for a short period of time.


Please remember to take care of yourselves during this emotional time and if I can be of any assistance throughout your journey I would be truly honored. To those of you who have lost people close to them, I send my heart out to you. It is a journey filled with many mixed feelings and thoughts and throughout it we can be very challenged on many levels. My sincere sympathies to you all.


Over the past seventeen years I have seen many patients who are going through all levels of menopause. Menopause can be both a lack of estrogen and also a decrease in progesterone. There are many other deficiencies, which can occur during this time such as pregnenolone, testosterone, androstenedione, cortisol and dhea levels. The signs and symptoms vary according to the excesses and the deficiencies which present themselves. In Chinese Medicine menopause is a natural transition in a women’s life from a reproductive age to a non-reproductive age. It is very important to get treatment during this time especially when symptoms become severe. The main problems a woman is likely to experience are: headaches, tiredness, irritability, anxiety, nervousness, depression, insomnia hot flashes and dryness. There is also the component of compound stress posed on women through work and family. In Chinese Medicine, it does not matter whether these are estrogen or progesterone deficiencies since the underlying pattern in most of them is a Kidney deficiency pattern.


In the last six months I have been using a 24-hour urine sample and have been using a lab in Portland that makes Homeopathic and Chinese Herbs in order to balance out my patients symptoms. Along with these herbs and acupuncture I have also prescribed numerous other supplements in the Western area. During this time I have had a 100% response to all of my patients symptoms and they have all gone away. It has taken me over seventeen years to formulate this combination of treatment and I feel totally confident in the results. The 24 hour urine test is not inexpensive but it has taken out years of treatment protocols which makes it a miracle test and very specific. There are two patients, which stand out for me with very different protocols.


The first patient is 61years old and came to me with severe migraine headless, very low sex drive, dryness, and very stressed out from work. After taking the test, I put her on two Homeopathic and Chinese Herbs; one was for estrogen deficiency and the other a suppository to help her sexually. I also put her on dhea and a pregnenolone supplement and after a period of three weeks, she no longer has had any symptoms, including not one headache. The results have far surpassed our wildest dreams and the supplements have been very easy to take and not that costly. The other patient is 53 years old and is going through changes in her cycle over the past year. Her test indicated very high amounts of estrogen and no progesterone at all. Along with these findings, I discovered that her cortisol levels were off the charts, I have put this patient on an alternative progesterone supplement which combines Homeopathics and Chinese Herbs as well as Vitamin Bcomplex, Vitamin B6 to help with her stress levels, and a cortisol supplement which helps to lower her cortisol levels. She is also looking at her diet, which is very high in estrogen rich foods. I have recently added a liver support formula to help bring her estrogen levels down even more. This patient has had to make some lifestyle changes as well since her stress levels were off the charts. Within three days of taking this protocol this patient felt much relief.


The solution is very straightforward and works. Given these two different patients, one can see that these symptoms, no matter how severe can be monitored and women can get full relief. There is relief out there and alternative natural solutions to help with all of your symptoms no matter how severe.