By Heidi Trautmann
In the Cyprus Observer issue of 15 September my interview with Dr. Shahin Ahmedov was published with a basic introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine. My curiosity was aroused and at the next opportunity I asked him about the importance of defining treatment strategy according to TCM.
Dr. Shahin Ahmedov answered:
“In order to present the therapeutic wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), I would like to first give a brief picture on how our body works in terms of TCM and then present a case example of its application.
In accordance with TCM basic theories, our body is governed by 5 functional systems: heart, spleen, lungs, kidney and liver systems. Although each of them means a definite organ in western medicine, in TCM they are systems, and not just organs. Kindey in TCM, for example, controls the bone structure and responsible for reproduction and is often affected by fear, all of which tells us that it is a system rather than simply an organ. And if we consider these ancient claims through modern knowledge in biochemistry we can easily find biomedical proof for abovementioned interrelation. See: The kidney produces provitamin D, which under sunlight is transformed into active vitamin D, i.e. the main factor for calcium storage within bone structure. Adrenal glands, which cover the poles of both kidneys, produce a range of hormones, some of which have a reproductive activity. And finally, latest research demonstrated that frightened people have a higher urine level of adrenaline, mainly produced by adrenals.
So these five organ-systems function to produce blood, energy and body fluids and spread them through the body. As long as the function of these organs and the circulation of mentioned substances are unobstructed, the body is healthy and strong enough to withstand any stressful event. The malfunction of these systems and substances can be caused by various factors, the main ones of which are separated into two groups: external and internal. External factors are Heat, Cold, Dryness, Dampness and Wind whereas internal factors are excessive joy, anger, fear, grief and overthinking.
Now, I will give you an example on how TCM works. For this purpose we have to choose one medical problem as an example. Let’s consider a common cold in two of my patients, i.e. which is a wide-spread medical problem. One of these patients with high fever, sweating, body aches, sore throat, little nasal discharge, and rapid pulse was diagnosed and treated for Wind-Heat; another patient with profuse nasal discharge, sneezing, slight (below 38ºC) fever, no sweating, cold intolerance and slow pulse, was diagnosed and treated for Wind-Cold condition. The treatment strategy for the 1st patient included cooling acupuncture points and herbal support of herbs with cooling properties like linden and peppermint. The latter patient, to the contrary, was treated with warming acupoints and herbs with warming properties like cinnamon and ginger.
So, the reader can easily see that a common cold can be viewed at least in two forms, which are treated completely different. So, the pre-treatment assessment of patients in terms of TCM is crucial for appropriate treatment strategy.”
From this explanation I can well see the importance of defining the fine differences on a simple example such as a common cold which will soon reach us in the winter season with people traveling and importing viruses. Herbal treatment can be considered as over-the-counter approach for common cold medication and the use of antibiotics shoud be only based on physician’s recommendations.
Thank you very much, Dr. Shahin, for giving us your time.
For further information go to: www.akupunkturterapisi.net
Published in Cyprus Observer Oct 6, 2012