By Heidi Trautmann
I believe in the balance of body and mind – Mens sana in corpore sano – we learnt this formula in our Latin classes. This is a very basic belief, should it not be the other way round? However, it is the balance, nothing else, every exaggeration is wrong. My question is: do we – in our modern and enlightened times - live according to this rule, do we ever ask ourselves if we are in balance? We only know that something is wrong in our body system when we feel bad and we then rush to the next pharmacy to get some pills to suppress pain and disorder, very carelessly.
There is a very good way of finding out what is wrong with you and that is the very sensitive method of the Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM includes a …. ‘broad range of medicine practices sharing common theoretical concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage (Tui na), exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy’.
Personally I am a believer in TCM, as on many occasions I have been helped out of a problematic situation, especially with sessions of acupuncture. I have recently visited Dr. Shahin Ahmedov , (please see his CV at the bottom of the text) and asked him to explain for our readers the main subjects of this medicinal science.
Heidi: Dr. Shahin, when I came to see you for a treatment, you first did a recording of my personal health data and you used some diagnostic methods which are rooted in Chinese medicine, that is measuring the pulse and inspection of face and tongue.
There are other signs in the patient you are looking for, for example eating habits, cold/heat, perspiration, thirst, defecation, urination, pain, sleep etc. What do the symptoms show you?
Dr. Shahin Ahmedov: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), as well as western medicine accepts the human organism as a part of nature. However, while western medicine does not go further in its theoretical interpretations, TCM continues its considerations to the point of natural phenomena. TCM claims that since natural disasters are the result of seasonal imbalances, so human “diseases” are also the result of its inner seasonal imbalances. Thus the main purpose of the acupuncture practitioner, before starting treatment, is to define “the season”, which causes the medical problem, e.g. the presence of high perspiration, thirst and heat intolerance in the patient would indicate that his problem (whatever it is) is due to excessive heat (i.e. “summer”) within the body and the treatment plan must include fruits and vegetables because of their cooling effect, comparing to meat.
H: The balance of Yin and Yang; what does it mean in short?
Dr. S.A: The only way to understand this complicated world as a whole is to simplify it. The ancient Chinese people managed it through presenting all phenomena in the universe as an interaction of so called Yin and Yang forces. Everything moving, changing, light, hot and bright were referred to Yang whereas all of stagnant, heavy, cool and shadow characteristics were considered as Yin. In relation to the human body, for example, this Yin-Yang interaction is clearly presented in form of sympathetic-parasympathetic nervous systems’ interaction of the autonomic nervous system. In brief, the Yang-featured sympathetic nervous system is predominant at day time (Yang), increases heat-beatings (Yang), warms up the body (Yang), keeps person alert and active (Yang), etc. The Yin-featured parasympathetic nervous system is active at night (Yin), cools down the body (Yin), makes a person sleepy & passive (Yin). As long as Yin-Yang forces are in balance, the body can manage all stressful events met throughout the day. So, the acupuncture practitioner tries to define which of these forces is in excess of deficiency in order to determine the way of treatment.
H: Acupuncture: There is a net of points across all our body which are connected with each other like a railway net. By applying special needles you open the gates to a line through the body and on the opposite door you apply another needle at the end of this line; and thus you continue by measuring the exact body pattern. Is it a sort of reactivation of flows within the body system?
Dr.S.A.: At the end of the XX. century scientists found that our connective tissue, which is the only among other three tissues present everywhere in the body, can generate so called piezoelectricity upon its pressure or traction. So, needle insertion induces electricity, i.e. the form of energy, which can move through the body in required direction and open blocked areas. Maximum generation of piezoelectric effect occurs at the acupuncture point, so their precise location is of paramount importance for maximal efficiency.
H: Having done the pulse diagnosis you have learnt which organs are not in their proper functioning condition. You suggest a certain diet…and herbal medicine…..
Dr.S.A.: Yes, Traditional Chinese Medicine’s physical examination includes various approaches, but there are two of them, the results of which are critical for final diagnosis. These are tongue appearance and the character of pulse on the wrist. Pulse analysis gives a lot of useful information, but the frame of our interview does not allow to make a detailed presentation. I would like to give just one example on how pulse assessment works. There are roughly two kinds of pulse strong or weak. If on my light finger pressure the patient’s pulse instantly disappears it means that he/she has (Yin) deficiency type of problem, while if in- spite of my pressure I can still feel patient’s pulse, his/her problem is due to (Yang) excess.
H: According to the result, Dr. Shahin, you make suggestions of what to cut out from your diet plan and what to add. As you did for me. Thank you very much for your time.
Conclusion: I would like to add that everything in life requires a proper balancing, the proper counterbalance, the proper addition or tools. We would not recognize the day if there was not the night. The motor of your car would not run if water comes with the petrol. Our body and soul can only function with the proper individual adaptation of movement, spirit, food and environment.
Name: Shahin Ahmedov
1975 – 1981 Azerb.State Med. Inst. Baku (undergrad. student)
1988 – 1991 Soviet Sci.Res.Center (Med.Acad), Moscow (postgr.student. - PhD)
1990 Trad.Chinese Med. course, Moskow (diploma in Acupuncture)
1998 – 2001 USMLE exam series, ECFMG MD Certif. issued by Univ.Pennsylv.
Academic rank: Assoc.Prof.Dr. (at the Near East University)
Date & place of birth: 01.01.1958 Baku, Azerbaijan
Marital status: Married, with one son
Language: Turkish, Russian, English.
Contact Info: tel: (009)0392 2236464
fax: (009)0392 2236461