I had eczema on the outer thenar section (the fleshy part between the joint and the wrist) of my thumb for over a year, then it moved to the other side as well. Why on earth have eczema just there?
I visited my friend for a SCIO session and her machine informed me that I had a gluten sensitivity. As soon as I stopped eating so much gluten, the eczema cleared up. I have a sensitivity, not an actual allergy but as soon as I do eat, say, a slice of bread and a biscuit, there is a slight tingling in this region.
The meridians are energy pathways which flow in a continual loop up and down the body but are divided into 12 main sections and named after our abdominal organs.
The energy is most vital at the fingertips and toes which is the first or last point of the meridian and is known as a Well point. The energy gradually gathers in flow and depth through four following points called the Spring point, Stream point, River point and finally Sea point which is situated at the elbows or knees. At the Sea point, the energy is vast and deep and moves into the interior of the body.
On the Yin meridians and according to the Five Elements, the Well points pertain to Wood, the Spring points pertain to Fire, the Stream points pertain to Earth, the River points pertain to Metal and the Sea points pertain to Water. On the Yang meridians the Well points pertain to Metal and so forth
The Spring points are used to treat Heat conditions and to clear Heat from the meridians. Liv 2 is great to disperse Liver-Yang so helps with headaches and red itchy eyes.
The Lung meridian runs from just below the clavicle, up over it then down the arm ending in the thumb beside the nail. My eczema occurred around Lu 10 which is the 10th point along the meridian and the second last one before the end, i.e. the Spring point.
But why there?
The way I understand it is as follows: due to emotional issues, huge sensitivity to cigarette smoke and the Fynbos around where I live, my lungs are my weakest organ. The skin and lungs are closely connected both in western and Chinese medicine. In TCM the skin is under the control of the Lungs which keep it moist and which also disperses our Defensive Qi in the area between skin and muscle,
Gluten creates inflammation in my system, known in Chinese medicine as Damp-Heat. Eczema is also a form of Damp-Heat
Because the rest of me is pretty healthy, the Damp-Heat manifested in an area of weakness – the Lung meridian on the Fire/Spring point.
Fortunately, I’ve discovered heaps of easy gluten free muffin recipes, so I really can have my cake and eat it.
I Did Shiatsu Treatments Based on TCM to Help Two Young Women fall Pregnant. (All thanks to Giovanni Maciocia and his wonderful books)
Both ladies hadn’t been able to fall pregnant for about a year and the doctors said that there was no specific reason. I investigated possible treatments according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The menstrual cycle in Western medicine is largely composed of two main phases; the follicular phase and the luteal phase.
In the follicular phase, increasing amounts of oestrogen cause the uterus lining to thicken and follicles in the ovary begin to develop. After several days, a dominant follicle releases an egg which is carried along the Fallopian tubes to the uterus. This is the ovulation period.
The second, or luteal, phase is dominated by progesterone. The follicle which housed the egg becomes the corpus luteum and produces progesterone. If the egg is not fertilized and implanted, the corpus luteum shrivels and dies causing sharp drops in both progesterone and oestrogen. These hormone drops cause the uterus to shed its lining and menstruation begins.
Traditional Chinese Medicine sees the menstrual cycle in four phases.
Starting at menstruation, the flow of menstrual blood is under the control of Liver-Blood and the Penetrating Vessel.
The follicular phase is when various hormones stimulate the development of the ova and the uterus develops a new layer of endometrium. In TCM, this is seen to be influenced by Liver-Blood, the Kidneys and the Conception Vessel.
During the ovulation period, hormones mature the egg and weaken the walls of the follicle allowing the fully developed egg to be released into the Fallopian tubes. Fertilization by sperm usually occurs in the widest part of the Fallopian tubes. This phase is influenced by Kidney-Yin and Kidney-Yang, and the Conception and Penetrating Vessels.
The Luteal phase is the period between ovulation and the onset of menstruation and lasts about 14 days. The corpus luteum is producing progesterone in preparation for pregnancy. This period must be at least 10 days long in order to support pregnancy. From a Chinese point of view, this period should be subdivided into two parts; the first part, where temperature rises after ovulation, is influenced by Minister Fire of the Heart, Kidney-Yang and the Governing Vessel. The second part is under the control of Liver-Qi and Liver-Blood whose movement is essential to move Blood in preparation for the period, and the Penetrating Vessel.
The treatment included a typical shiatsu massage, tracing of the meridians and the specific and concentrated working of the applicable pressure points. Treatments were an hour long once a week. In the first instance, the lady fell pregnant within 4 weeks, in the second instance, within 6 weeks. Both delivered healthy girls.
I've been fascinated in Traditional Chinese Medicine since the late '90s when my reflexology course introduced me to the meridians. Since then I've thoroughly enjoyed learning more about most things holistic.