Tag Archives: Virginia Doran

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Communicating with Confidence

 

 

I think the first thing that I would say is that, my experience is that most people are not skeptics or, you know, this kind of, what I call these official pseudo skeptics. So people who spend a lot of energy trying to debunk things like acupuncture.

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Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hello and welcome to another edition of To The Point. Very generously produced by the American Acupuncture Council today. I’m very excited. My guest is the well-known and beloved Mel Hopper, Koppelman, and Mel, for those that don’t know is the executive director of evidence-based acupuncture, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health through better information about acupuncture’s considerable evidence base. Uh, she completed her masters of science and acupuncture at the Northern college of acupuncture in New York in 2012, and has kind of taken the world of acupuncture by storm since then. Uh, she also has a second master’s of science in nutrition and functional medicine, uh, from the university of Western states in Portland, Oregon, she’s published numerous articles about acupuncture and she practices at her clinic Harbor, integrative health in Bristol, Rhode Island. Uh, so now, you know, so many of us know a little bit about acupuncture research, want to know more and also want to be able to communicate it to both the public and other medical professionals. Um, you know, what do you do when there’s a skeptic that says, oh, well, is the acupuncture just a theatrical, but they, the slave hour or something, you know, how do you retort these, you know, what kind of answer reply, and if you could give us some science to base it on so that we’re, we’re ready when that happens again.

Thank you. Thanks for that question. And thank you so much for having me on, um, I really appreciate it. And to the American Acupuncture Council. Um, yeah, so this is a great question. And one that comes up a lot. Um, I think the first thing that I would say is that, um, my experience is that most people are not skeptics or, you know, this kind of, um, what I call these official pseudo skeptics. Uh, so people who spend a lot of energy trying to debunk things like acupuncture. Um, and so most of the time people, um, that we might come across in different contexts may just be unaware, um, uh, that what of what acupuncture is or how it might help them. Um, and we can talk a little bit about some of the, um, scientific evidence that can help support that. If we’re talking to the public, mostly the public wants to know if we can help them.

Um, and that’s, that’s what I find. So, you know, I have this issue, will you be able to help me? And, and often they’re not going to need a, like a pub med reference bibliography in order to, to convince them, um, although sometimes that can be helpful if a patient or a client needs some support for communicating what they’re doing to other people. Um, that said, if we are speaking to medical professionals, and if we’re speaking in different contexts than having, um, referenced to the, uh, considerable evidence-based can be very useful. Um, and so the first thing that I’ve found, um, is that most, um, you know, depending on the context, most medical practitioners are simply unaware of how much evidence acupuncture has, um, which is a lot. Uh, so I think at last count, um, Cochrane had sequenced something like 14,000 studies, um, of acupuncture, which is more than for chiropractic more than for physiotherapy,

Right? Yeah. And somehow this, this is not out in the public or it hasn’t caught on somehow.

Right? I mean, things are definitely improving since I started, um, since I trained and then started communicating about it. But, you know, one thing that I really would love people to understand, and I was just having a chat about this with, um, Sandra Grassa who’s the, of [inaudible] working really hard at it. Yes. The global acupuncture community, um, really wonderful, um, intelligent guy. Um, and we were talking about how most people don’t realize that once the evidence is there and it’s strong and it’s repeated that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a treatment that’s going to be recommended in guidelines. And once the treatment is recommended in guidelines and acupuncture, um, one study found over 1200 recommendations for acupuncture in different guidelines. And, um, this was outside of China and Southeast Asia. So this was in north America, Australia, uh, you know, uh, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, you know, that, um, to my reading that may make acupuncture one of the most recommended treatments. Full-stop so it’s really, yeah.

Oh, I just wanted to interject that. Um, some people might not understand the context of the word guidelines that you’re how you’re using it. Can you explain what you mean by

That really great question. Um, so guidelines, um, will be produced by, it could be a government funded organization frequently, or let’s say a medically medical specialty group. And so there’s a group of experts who come together to review, um, all of the best quality evidence for a treatment for specific conditions to decide what they’re going to recommend. Um, so in the UK, there’s an organization, um, that’s abbreviated as nice. And so for the UK, this organization, nice will produce guidelines. Um, basically saying what doctors in the NHS should be offering, um, in, in other countries that works, it works differently. The United States, um, usually it’s a medical specialty groups will have different guidelines, also. Um, different government organizations will have guidelines. And so what most people don’t realize is that just because official guidelines recommend a treatment such as acupuncture doesn’t mean that, that it automatically gets implemented.

Um, so as an example, um, in the UK, the nice guidelines recommended acupuncture very strongly, um, for the prevention of chronic migraines. It was the second line recommendation, um, after trying a pharmaceutical and I never came across a doctor who was aware of that or who recommended it and patients weren’t aware of it either, even though it was within their constitution to be able to access it. And so, um, but on the, on the other hand, the guidelines had a weak recommendation for Botox, uh, by company called Alligan, which had much less evidence for its effectiveness applied to a lot fewer people, but how their GaN had actually taken the time to put together a hundred page document on how to implement the treatment in the UK. It trained up doctors. And so patients were very easily able to access Botox for migraines, um, on the NHS.

And so the difference there, wasn’t a matter of evidence because acupuncture had more and better evidence. It wasn’t a matter of the recommendations being there because the recommendations were stronger for acupuncture than for Botox. It was a matter that, um, I think many people, including the acupuncture profession, um, in various countries might assume that there’s an automatic, uh, once that recommendation is there, then people will have access and practice in the practitioners will know about it and they’ll be recommending it. And, you know, our doors will be flooded and that’s simply not the case. And so, um, you know, circling back to what you said before is that, you know, people, uh, you know, there is so much evidence for acupuncture and comparatively more evidence for acupuncture than other modalities that may have a stronger branding or people are more aware of, but we just, um, we need to do more perhaps to communicate it. So that’s in the consciousness of the public and the healthcare decision-makers

So public relations campaign.

Yeah. Well, this is it. Um, you know, yeah. Public relations campaign. And I know, um, you know, Matt Bauer at the acupuncture now foundation, he has thought a lot about that and about how to implement that and what the funding would look like for that. Um, the role that the evidence-based acupuncture, um, plays is by summarizing the evidence so that it’s available to be used by, let’s say, um, a public relations campaign, because what different organizations in different countries have found the hard one expensive way is that, um, reading and interpreting and communicating evidence about acupuncture is a really specialist skill. So you can spend, if you’re an organization, you can spend a lot of money on hiring really good PR people that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the expertise to be able to get across some of the nuances, um, that involve, you know, what we do and how we’re studying.

Hm. So what do you think is the best way to go about this?

Well, yeah, no, I mean, that’s, that’s, that’s a nice question. Um, you know, I think one is first for us to have a better and maybe more accurate understanding of what the challenges are. So when I went to college, uh, for my MSC, um, I guess, you know, over a decade ago now, um, at that time, you know, most of the, the writing and information that was discussing acupuncture in terms of science was written by, by skeptics, by people who basically did not like the look of what we were doing, didn’t understand what we were doing. Um, and just, just thought it was stupid and wanted to tell people not to. And there wasn’t really any other kind of scientific or evidence-based perspective to counter it. So if you were, you know, kind of, uh, an educated, but not medical Joe public, and you wanted to know what the deal was, you really, you, you had either these, um, medical doctor skeptics saying that it’s a theatrical procedure, or you have acupuncture websites that talk about changing and yang, which people might not understand.

And so it might put you off a bit. Um, and so when I went to school, the message that I was getting from my, um, faculty was that there wasn’t much, it wasn’t much evidence for acupuncture because it wasn’t funded and because it was difficult to study, and I believe that they were just believing the skeptics. And when I started to kind of look, you know, look at what the skeptics were saying, and I was really, um, unimpressed with the strength of the arguments. I was like, kind of hoping that it would be like just some really good criticisms of what we did. And I found it was really weak and really not well thought out. Um, and then when I started doing a really basic literature review, I found like loads of studies and systematic reviews and tons of evidence. And so the first problem, um, to, to overcome was to help acupunctures know that what we do actually has a strong evidence base.

So that was, I understand the first problem. And then the second problem I would say is that, you know, research in all fields, especially in medicine is produced far faster than anyone can read it. And so, you know, within the profession, there is often still this kind of idea. Like we need more research that may be partially true. I’m not saying, I’m not saying we should stop doing research on acupuncture, but we, I think even more need people to, uh, to find, read, summarize, and communicate the research has already been done. So that’s the second problem is, is like kind of becoming aware of what’s there and getting out to the practitioners and to people who are working on policy and who were working with legislators at the state and national level. Um, and then the third thing, you know, is doing that. So you can get it into the guidelines and that is happening, right?

So, um, in the UK, the most recent, nice guidelines, um, for chronic pain that would publish in April, 2021, recommend acupuncture for any kind of chronic pain. It’s a very high recommendation. It’s incredible, it’s unprecedented. Um, it’s a really strong recommendation. It’s a really big deal because not only does that affect, uh, the, the population of the UK, if we can help the implementation. Um, but also other countries look to the nice guidelines to inform their policy. So, you know, getting into the guidelines. And then, um, I think the next that next piece is like us realizing that we need to do the implementation is not automatic at all at all. So in fact, you know, having, um, acupuncture rec recommended, uh, in Medicare guidelines here or in, um, the, uh, like joint commission, which is the organization in the United States that regulates all hospitals like over 20,000 hospitals, um, they have guidelines saying that non-pharmaceutical treatments must be offered as a first line of care to kind of prevent unnecessary opioid problems. Um, and they include acupuncture at the top of that list, but that does not then translate into automatically having an acupuncturist in every hospital at all. So we need, um, so, so my first thing is we need to do, uh, I think a good job of testing our assumptions of what the real problems are and making sure that we’re identifying the problems and then kind of solving them in a way that makes, um, the most, the most sense. Um, so that’s, that’s, uh, that’s how I would solve that.

Would it make sense instead of just trying to promote it to the public, these kinds of things, uh, to try to educate the doctors because through them, they w you know, they’ll be referring and then patients will become educated.

Yeah, that’s a, that’s a great question. Um, you know, I, I don’t know how much of the people who watch this are an international audience versus a US-based audience. Um, okay. Cause there’s, um, there are, you know, quite a few geographical considerations in terms of who’s paying for it. Um, so, you know, when, when, uh, the patients or clients themselves are able to make their own decisions, then you, um, you know, then you’re educating them and letting them know that you can help them solve their problems. Um, if we’re working through insurance, you know, and acupuncture is increasingly included on insurance plans, um, in the United States in different places. Um, but certainly I think the big thing, you know, I’ve had conversations with colleagues and one of their, you know, what questions they have about communicating with doctors about acupuncture, what a lot of them said was eating, getting them to care, uh, that it exists, like getting, getting them to show up to a meeting.

And so what that brings up to me is that we want to be really savvy about, like, thinking about what are the problems of the person or organization that we’re talking with that we can help solve. So, like, you know, doctors shouldn’t care that we’re, acupunctures just because we’re acupuncturists. Like what, why should they care? Well, let’s understand what their problems are and what they can. So, and what’s really beautiful about how acupuncture works and evidence-based for acupuncture. And I don’t think this is coincidental is that the evidence for acupuncture’s effectiveness is wrongest the conditions, the wishes, there are the least effective and safe options in conventional medicine.

Hmm. So we know that acupuncture works and there seems to be a resistance to the Western medicine based from adopting it. And it is often marginalized as alternative medicine. Can you speak about that?

Um, sure. I mean, that, that’s, uh, a, well, I mean, a couple of things like that, there’s different ways that we can look at what that means. Um, sometimes skeptics or critics will say something like there’s no like real medicine and alternative medicine, there’s just medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t work. And so, uh, from that perspective, I would say, well, you know, acupuncture is clearly medicine that works by the standards that are set forth for studying an intervention for a variety of conditions. And I do want to step back and say that if we’re talking about a treatment for a condition, it’s not, nothing is really, uh, ever framed in science that it either works or it doesn’t work. It’s really a question of, uh, what is the condition and what is the population and what is the intervention and compared to what oh, okay. So, uh, and there’s like a really, um, uh, big, uh, compared to what, um, thing that we need to bring to this discussion. On the other hand, um, in certain

Those kinds of comparative studies are, are, are important for validating acupuncture, uh, or to, uh, a prescription drug or another modality.

Yeah. So there’s, um, that’s a really good question. So for folks who are watching, you might not come across this before. Um, there’s a number of common ways that interventions are studied. And so most commonly, especially for pharmaceuticals, they’re studied, um, in a double-blind placebo controlled trial, where we’re trying to really control the environment in a very artificial way and remove all these different, um, variables. So we can study the medication and that’s standard for, um, for any treatment that doesn’t involve the practitioner doing anything and just handing over something to be taken. Uh, but it doesn’t, it’s not an appropriate design for any sort of, um, like kind of treatment that involves the practitioners. So for sample like surgery, you know, you can’t do a double blind placebo controlled trial and surgery. You can do sham controlled, which we can talk about, but, um, you can’t blind the surgeon, you can’t do sham controlled therapy, you can’t do sham control.

So anytime the practitioner is guiding the treatment, the practitioner, um, will, will know about it. So it’s just not the appropriate design for that type of Mo of modality. And then, um, on the other hand, you can compare a treatment such as acupuncture to what else is on offer. And really, you know, neither of those designs, I just mentioned, uh, placebo controlled versus kind of a real world, uh, effectiveness study. Neither one of these is right or wrong, good or bad. They just answered different questions. And the questions that patients have, and that clinicians have is I have a patient in front of me who has this problem, what are the options? And what’s the best option for this patient. So they’re comparing it to what else is on the table. So the study design that answers that question is what’s called a pragmatic study that measures acupuncture against, uh, the other things available. So that’s what that does sort of makes it makes sense.

So I first became aware of you on social media with your, um, work with Wikipedia. Can, you know, you had such brilliant responses to the pseudo skeptics, and I know it wasn’t just with Wikipedia. Can you tell people a little bit about that and you know, what you’ve done and where that situation is now?

Sure. Um, that’s a really good question. And it’s, it’s one, I know I’m glad that we’re bringing it up because this is one of the most common things that gets mentioned, uh, by acupuncturists and practitioners in any form is like, okay, well, Wikipedia is the, uh, encyclopedia that anyone can edit. And if you go look at the article on acupuncture, to be honest, I haven’t checked for a little while. Cause it, uh, it doesn’t change too much. Um, they don’t, they don’t have nice things to say about acupuncture at all. Um, and they don’t include, you know, the various Cochrane systematic reviews that show that acupuncture is more effective than sham or effective than usual care. They don’t include the guideline studies. They don’t include all these things. Um, and so, you know, what’s the deal. Why don’t, you know, why don’t we just end it?

Why don’t we do something with it to deal with their bias? You know? Yeah. So, um, you know, editing Wikipedia is something that, you know, I was part of a acupuncture research, um, group back. I was in the UK at London, south bank that meant, um, every so often. And it was a project that we identified, like, we need to do something about this. This is nuts. Um, but, um, you know, and, but various, uh, people, uh, very, um, very noble worthy people have tried and failed to edit that page. And so I decided to go on as an experiment just to see what the deal was. And so, um, this was actually quite a few, this was back in 2016. Um, and so I registered as an editor and I learned enough about the rules of the game to make sure that I didn’t break any rules so that there was been no grounds for, you know, there being any problem. Um, and acupuncture is one of the top 10 most contentious pages on with the piece.

What about COVID,

Um, possible, but it doesn’t have the history. So, um, you can even, you can kind of look back and see the number of edits. I mean, I can only imagine there’s thousands and thousands of pages of conversation. A lot of it not very civil about what’s on that page. Um, so it gets, so you’re not even allowed to come on as an editor and start editing. Um, you have to kind of earn your stripes, but you can participate in the discussion. So I entered, I joined that discussion. I was, uh, respectful. I did not break any rules and I simply provided a very standard references, Cochrane, systematic reviews, you know, talking about different things. Um, and within a week I had been banned as an editor forever. Um, yeah, they, they accused me of something called sock puppeting, which is when an editor is banned and then comes back under a new name.

So they were basically an, I kind of went and looked at the person that they were accusing me of being, and it was interesting. Um, I can assure you that I’m not her because her, uh, her only Wikipedia page that she ever wrote, it was on, uh, Korean pop. Um, that’s, that’s not me. I have like plausible deniability, like, um, that song came out years ago. I was like the last one to hear about it. So yeah, so we’re not the same person. Um, what we had in common is that we were, um, up on the research and was able to reference it in a, in a valid way. So we were basically just you report faithfully and accurately and fairly reporting the science. Um, and that’s why they thought I was hurt, which is a little bit sad. Um, more recently, Larry Sanger who’s one of the co-founders of Wikipedia, um, has spoken out on really, you know, when, when Wikipedia was initially founded, it was really, um, central part of it was, um, a neutrality policy so that that anybody could edit it and that it would reflect a plurality of views.

And, uh, he is pointed out how it very soon veered from that course. And now, you know, there’s like huge companies that really control that content. Um, in the case of the, of the acupuncture page, the individuals that I was, you know, being banned by, or being named cold by, or being criticized by, um, these were really early adopters of Wikipedia editing. So a certain personality and they, none of them have medical backgrounds and none of them have research backgrounds. Um, they’re mainly they have pharmaceutical backgrounds, um, in this case, I don’t think so. Um, I’ve never found evidence to support that. Um, but, um, but certainly they have a specific point of view that does not come from, um, a deep understanding of the subject matter. Um, and that they’ve been effective at kind of keeping us all out. Um, at one point, you know, we did, um, start a, uh, a kind of a petition and a movement to kind of call attention to the towel. Crazy. This is it’s, you know, acupuncture is recommended by governments all around the world and it’s included on health insurance. I mean, at this point, as I said, it’s really not alternative medicine in that way. Um, and we were not able, they just listed by their, their neutrality policy. So

It sounds like you tried to confuse them with the facts

I did. I w it was too easy. Um, so yeah, so, so for those, you know what I understand, I mean, the, um, unfortunately Wikipedia is the single most referenced website in the world for medical information by doctors, not just the public. And so, um, that’s just, you know, kind of, unfortunately, a sign of the times these days is that we do have these kinds of centralized nodes of information that don’t necessarily reflect. Um, you know, that can often reflect a certain point of view. That’s not necessarily, um, in line with public’s best interest or at least, you know, in the case of acupuncture, just being able to here’s some information about it and not just a, you know, kind of a one-sided view.

Yeah. Well, is there anything you want to lead us with, uh, you know, whether it’s the direction of things are going or, you know, a particular place to reference studies or whatever, whatever you’d like to, uh, think would be helpful?

Uh, yeah, no, that’s a great question. Um, a couple, a couple of things. One is, you know, I mentioned that sometimes acupunctures, um, can refer to as an alternative medicine in a way to discount it and to, um, to, um, to basically say that it doesn’t have an evidence, but on the other hand, sometimes it gets lumped in with all wonder if that’s a Larry singer Wikipedia call it. Um, so sometimes it gets lumped in into this like kind of alternative medicine bucket and it gets undifferentiated. So it’s like, oh, you know, alternative medicine, like natural medicine, you know, massage and hung me up at the acupuncture. And, and, and it gets kinda lumped into this undifferentiated bucket and the danger there can be, as you know, that there can be an increasing awareness of the, um, unintended side effects of pharmaceuticals and people trying to find alternatives.

But, um, there, you know, what we can do for people can be really diluted if we get lumped into that bucket, because acupuncture has an incredible amount of evidence. And so, and it, and it is also a system of medicine or, you know, it’s part and parcel of the system of medicine, um, and of itself. So that’s a little bit of a danger that we want to be aware of is that we want an increase. Um, I guess, um, we, we want to be available for people who want an alternative, but also understand that we’re not kind of just like a wishy washy touchy, feely, um, system, um, not, not to disparage any of those things, which, you know, I been training in and I go see, and they’re helpful as well. Um, so that’s, that’s one thing I would say, just to be kind of aware of that, that pitfall, you know, what we find with acupuncture is now that the evidence is so good, um, a lot of different professions want to use it.

And so, you know, we need to again be mindful of, um, you know, where our true challenges are and how we address those skillfully. Um, Ellen had a question about how to educate patients. And so this may be, um, is a kind of good thing to come back. It’s like the, you know, first is be really aware of your audience and who you’re speaking to and what your intention is and what their needs are. Um, so, you know, depending on where you’re located in the, um, like background of your patients, some may want research and evidence. Um, often I find that comes from a fear of seeming foolish, you know, not to kind of psychoanalyze anyone, but people would just want to know that there’s not enough that they enjoy it and that, or that they feel better. They want to know that there’s, that there’s evidence some, just find it interesting.

Um, and many, you know, really just want to, um, to know if you can help them. And I think Al asked the question before, yes. About researcher testimonials. And I think, um, you know, I’m, I’m not a marketing guru, but I think testimonials and, and, um, kind of pro social proof probably is the more influential, well, I mean, a good place to look at it from a political, I mean, that’s a good we’re testing it. And the pharmaceutical ads don’t tend to emphasize uh evidence-based to emphasize couples skipping around and smiling. So, um, that’s, I think they’ve done their research on what works. So that kind of told me that they’ve done their marketing research. Yeah. But wiling is more effective to get people to purchase then, um, then, then lots of systematic reviews

Because not all testimonials are real. I tend to trust the research more than I do testimonials.

Yeah. And that’s, I think, uh, my understanding there is that that’s why you see a move towards testimonials that are more difficult to fake. So if you can get a video testimonial from a patient, it’s kind of, you can tell that that’s not an actress or an actor, um, and we’re, or people using their real names, um, that, so that social proof is going to have more value. And I think that really just on a psychological unconscious level that does have more, um, you know, it’s almost like people need the, some people need the research in order for them to stay for the conversation or to be open to the conversation so that when they see the social proof, um, they’re, they’re, they’re, um, you know, which is different than a patient kind of coming across acupuncture. And then we just, you know, presenting tons of systematic reviews at them.

Um, I think what we know from a marketing research and psychology is that the social proof is probably gonna have more of an impact, but we want to, we want to just at the top, down in the bottom up, so the bottom up is you, um, influencing, uh, you know, people let it, I should say, letting people who we can, who might benefit from our services know that we’re there and that we can help them. But at the same time, we also want to make sure that if we have systems of healthcare that are being paid by different government institutions, that, that, that awareness is happening on that level as well.

Sure. Oh, is that a multi-faceted approach? Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate you coming on. Cause you know, it’s nice sunny summer day. So, um, you know, w we can talk again soon and go into some more specifics and thank you everybody for watching. And next week we have as a host Tsao-Lin Moy. So I hope you’ll tune in to see her. And again, thank you to the American Acupuncture Council and, um, Virginia Doran of luminous beauty.com this season. Thank you.

 

 

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Chinese Medicine and Vision Conditions

 

 

“I believe that knowledge is power and we’re all trying to be have our patients and society become educated consumers. So as much as we can share knowledge, as much as we can share what we know with each other, the better.”

Click here to download the transcript.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi, I’m Virginia Doran of luminousbeauty.com. And I want to welcome you to another edition of the point to the point. A show, very generously produced by the American Acupuncture Council today. I’m extra delighted to have as my guest, Dr. Mark Grossman. Uh, when I met Mark in 1992, we were both going to acupuncture school in, uh, New York and Connecticut. Uh, but Mark is very unusual in that he holds the licenses in both acupuncture and is a doctor of optometry and, uh, to fulfill his dream of practicing holistic and integrative eyecare, he’s fully trained in acupuncture. Uh, even though he, he didn’t need to be to, uh, to be practicing. Um, and he’s also trained in nutrition and visual vision therapy, and he saw this significant void in holistic eye care, um, and not only, you know, filled in to practice that way himself, but he trains practitioners internationally online and in-person, and, uh, he’s published many books.

Um, the four ones that, um, are probably most notable and, and, uh, appropriate for this audience is Nash, natural eye care, a comprehensive manual for practitioners of Oriental medicine, where he goes into both, um, acupuncture and herbal prescriptions. And then he has a book, natural eye care, your guide to healthy vision. They sound similar or different book. It’s an 800 page texts, and it covers about every eye condition from both the Western and Eastern perspective, plus nutrition and supplements, herbs, clinical tips. It’s really a must have for every practitioners library. He’s also written a book, very interesting book, very unusual, greater vision, a comprehensive program for physical, emotional, and spiritual clarity. Uh, another thing that he teaches about and the international bestseller magic eyes beyond 3d your vision. Um, so you can find more information about his books. Trainings has specifically done products, but also about many, many different eye conditions.

His website is full of information. He’s very generous with his knowledge as he shares it to people and that’s natural eye care.com. So after that, um, uh, I, I asked you to, to, um, you know, speak on this because I think it’s so necessary and there’s not much draining or, um, awareness of this in our field. And also, um, I think that, uh, you know, if you could give some examples of like, say glaucoma, for instance, you know, a common condition that, uh, to give an idea how you work, the in-depth, uh, approach, you have to things. So thank you so much for being out. Cause I know you were in the middle of her work day. Uh, so, you know, if you can tell us how you got into this, that’d be very briefly. And then, uh, you know, what you want to impart.

Oh, thank you so much, Virginia. And I’m very, very grateful to you, Dr. Alan Weinstein. Who’s a master of putting this out the American acupuncture council, because I believe that knowledge is power and we’re all trying to be have our patients and society become educated consumers. So as much as we can share knowledge, as much as we can share what we know with each other, the better. And it’s very interesting. I was meditating this morning and I was saying, oh, I think I know what I have to start with saying, and you said it beautifully. How did I get into this acupuncturist? Usually have a drive. It’s like, oh my God, this is my calling. This is my calling of what I want to do in life. And my story was, I was already an eye doctor for, uh, 16 years had just finished paying off my student loans.

And then I went to a friend’s house. And in the middle of her living room was one of the first books in the Western hemisphere, an acupuncture called the web that has no Weaver. And I felt that I could remember it. Like it was yesterday. The book looked at me, I looked at the book. I said, I can’t believe I got to go to acupuncture school. Now I thought I had a way out because acupuncture wasn’t licensed in New York state yet. And as you know, as one of my, uh, classmates, we had to go to school in Connecticut first. So we went to school in Connecticut for a year. And then we spent the next two to three years in new York’s New York city. So I said, well, I guess I got to go. I don’t know why I’m going. Uh, I just know I have the calling and we’re going to talk about the call and we can talk about those moments in our life that we get those signals of what we need to do and how our vision, how not only our outer vision, but our inner vision affects how we are in life and how it affects eye conditions.

And we are in an epidemic. That’s an epidemic in society right now. Do you know that over 90% of young adults from 14 years and younger in China and Japan are near-sighted, if you don’t consider 90% epidemic, then the thing is, you know, and with the advent of computers and being online. So we need to take care of our eyes. And as we know in Chinese medicine, if you can go to the first slide Allen, we know that all the meridians go to the eyes, all the meridians go through the heart. So when we are working with people with high conditions, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, I believe is an integral part of the integrative medicine team that needs to be to help these conditions. I, um, about a month or two ago, I lectured at the east west integrative medicine department that UCLA that’s been going on for over 25 years.

Oh my God. And we did an international conference, which I was part of the panel on Chinese medicine and vision. So the need is there, there were some amazing acupuncturist, like one of my colleagues and co-teachers Dr. Andy Rosenfarb who specializes in vision and Chinese medicine. So what I want to really put out today is how important and how Chinese medicine can be part of that team and myself. And I’ve been practicing for over 40 years as an optometrist. And what are we up to now, Virginia 26, 28 years, 26 years as an acupuncturist. And I didn’t even know when I was in a, I doctor school, optometry school. And I would say, excuse me, why did they get a cataract in the left eye and not the right eye? And they go, you mean, you want to know why I said, yeah, I’d like to know why.

And Ted Kaptchuk said it beautifully. He said in Western medicine, in which I was trained, we look had, how does X cause Y but in Chinese medicine, what do we look at? What is the relationship between X and X and Y? And I believe that all disease dis ease in the body mind has to do with relationships, relationships, to our environment, to the trees, to the oceans, to our, uh, families, to our friends. And what are, what is the goal of every acupuncture or Chinese medicine treatment, balance and harmony. And when we have balance and harmony and Chinese medicine speaks about it beautifully, we have no stuck energy. And I believe in my experience that almost all eye conditions, uh, due to stagnant energy. So let’s go to the next slide. Allen integrative medicine envision, we need an integrative approach. You know, I lectured at the integrative healthcare symposium and there were acupuncturists in the audience, functional medicine doctors, natural paths. Yes. I always tell people who I see, I’m just a little part of your team. We want to do integrative medicine. Next slide.

Can I interrupt a second? I went recently to an eye doctor to, you know, just have a checkup and tests. And I don’t think I’ve actually ever done that as an adult. And, um, you know, they dilated my eyes for something. They put some other drops in. I mean, for three weeks, I could barely see, and, and my eyes didn’t adjust back, you know, the dilation, but they were cloudy from the second. They put the first drops in and, um, you know, all they could suggest was a drug. And they said, oh yeah, it’s not, it’s not, it’s no problems with it. But I looked up the side effects of the drugs. It was every organ, every organ. And it was going to change. It could change the color of your skin, your eyes, but they thought, oh, no, this is totally benign. So there’s such a need for what you do, you know?

And for some and others to know about it, really, we all should be trained in this specialty because it’s, you know, what’s going on is kind of barbaric really anyway, sorry to interrupt, but you’re never interrupted. And yet at the same time, I talked to you about it and you were like, oh, we have, you know, we have technology and ways to do it, that you don’t have to be dilated. Oh, there’s different versions of these different medications without the preservatives. That cause a lot of the effects side of it, you know, why don’t other doctors know this?

So as somebody in both professions with both hats on I, doctors are really, really nice people. They really try hard. But as we know with most Western medicine, we have limited things in our toolkit. We have medication, we have surgery and that’s it. We are looking at the eye as an isolated organ. I had a patient I’m going to see later at my last patient today because he was told she has eyelid cancer, but I started talking to her. And what are the lids related to in Chinese medicine, the stomach and the spleen. Is she having problems with her microbiome? Is she having issues? Is she seeing a functional medicine doctor? Yes. But the eye doctor said, oh, you’ve got bumps on your eyelid. You know, it’s maybe it’s eye cancer, but I’m just saying, we need to look at the relationships. And remember when I just said before, um, well, why did you get a cataract in your left eye before the right Chinese medicine in most people?

Right. I father I male, I yang. I left, I feminine yen receptive. So when I really look in, I mean into why somebody develops macular degeneration, glaucoma cataracts, and why they may get an in one eye versus the others, I’m going to talk to them. What’s going on in their relationships with their father, with their husband. I mean, I’ve got stories, I’ve got stories, you know, after 40 years. So let’s keep going because this is just a preview because I really want acupuncture is to, to, to get the power that they have for this kinds of treatments. My website, natural eye care started about 20 years ago. My business partner in that is, uh, Michael Edson. And Michael is an acupuncturist also. So we refer to acupuncturist all the time because it’s both are bent. Uh, you see a pho a phone number there, (845) 255-8222.

The direct number for Michael, which is the new number on our website is 8 4 5 4 7 5 4 1 5 8. But you can go to the website and Michael loves talking to acupuncturists and we are there as a service to help you work with your patients. Next slide, Allen. These are some of my books beyond 3d magic eyes. Those of you who are old enough know about these 3d pictures that you relax your eyes and then a hidden picture comes out. Uh, it was published. We, uh, they sold over 30 million of those books. I wrote two of them. I’m the medical consultant to them. Uh, I got there, but after they sold the 30 million, so I didn’t really profit from it. Um, but those magic eye pictures, uh, one of the tools I use not only to help people’s eyesight, but to help reduce liver stagnation through the eyes, the greater vision book was written because I do believe in the Mati body, mind and spirit of all eye conditions, natural eye care that I wrote with about twenty-five years ago, which was the book before it’s time with a good friend of mine, Dr. Glenn sweat out is in Hawaii. Um, and then we can go to the next slide where we expanded on it to that 800 page, 2000 peer review references book, uh, on natural eyecare. And that book is also available on Amazon and then on Kendall. And we also divided it into about five or six smaller books because that’s a very heavy book, but it is, it is. I have had the 10 different doctors help me with it. So it is, uh, a really good resource. Um, next down, next slide.

So let’s talk just a little bit. The only thing worse than being blind is to have sight, but no vision. Where does vision happen? It happens in the mind. That was a quote from Helen Keller. Next slide, Dalai Lama, in order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision. One of the real keys in Chinese medicine is the person has to have it in their belief system that the, this kind of thing can help. You know, we’re not there to convince people. We want people to feel positive and if they can conceive, if they believe it, they can conceive it. Next slide. This is, uh, something which my magic eye books are based on vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. You know, we need to see the bigger picture and what does Chinese medicine do? It sees the bigger picture next, and this is how I sign all my emails.

And I’m going to give you all my personal email, um, today, because you’ll see if you have any questions that come up, because the question is not what you look at, but what you really really see next slide. Okay. And here we go. No, no, that’s good. We got to go to Shakespeare. The eyes are the windows to your soul. We know about that. People, the Shen the spirit, the pilot light our eyes tell us how much our spirit is connected with our soul. And I believe that through the eyes we can help people, uh, go through their soul’s journey next and Benjamin Franklin, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So nutritionally Chinese medicine wise, if we can get people on good visual hygiene, the dentists talk about dental hygiene, plus your teeth, brush your teeth, brush your teeth, but we’re on computers. Yeah, because 11 hours a day on digital devices, we need to do visual hygiene. We need to take care of our bodies and our mind next.

And this is the integrative medicine approach, which is, I think the Chinese medicine approach imagine a oriented towards healing rather than disease, where physicians believe in the natural killing capacity of human beings and emphasize prevention above treatment in such a world, doctors and patients would be partners towards the same ends. And that’s why the minimum I’ll see patients or clients is I say, I want you to come in after we’ve worked for awhile, once a season, as the seasons change, as you are going to be relating to your environment different than, uh, we need to do a tune-up. So on all my clients, I say the minimum I’m going to see you is once we get everything balanced and in harmony is once a season. Next slide. So these are some of the allied complementary practitioners I might refer to for different eye conditions. Um, and acupuncturist is right there.

And even though it’s, it’s not on top, let me tell you, uh, my partners in my practice, my PA one partner is a chiropractor and the other partners, and as an acupuncturist. So, uh, acupuncture and chiropractic are some of the biggest referrals that I make in my, um, uh, integrative team approach, along with natural paths and functional medicine practitioners. But at different times, I may use any of these different complimentary practitioners. Next, this is the office I rent space in. This is the outside next slide. The reason I’m showing this is the waiting room before COVID where now we have people six feet apart. Next next one, contact lenses next, because contact lenses from an acupuncture standpoint, what they do is they put people who are very near-sighted. They create a larger retinal image size. So actually just switching people from an eye as an eye doctor from glasses to contact lenses may open up a whole way of Le less liver tree stagnation.

These are some of the, this is some of the high end technology that’s available today because, and I can help you as acupuncturists, uh, read the reports on this and, uh, talk to you about the findings on some of these tests, in terms of Chinese medicine. These are pictures underneath the retina. They take pictures underneath the macula, underneath the optic nerve. They take a 3d picture of the eye. And as, um, Virginia said some many times we don’t have to even dilate the eyes. Do you know, as we said, the eye Embrya logically physiologically and neurologically, what is it? It’s brain tissue. If you continue to mind, you can change your eyes. We all know about the neuroplasticity of the brain. Therefore we have neuroplasticity of the eye and you know, that you can diagnose, uh, Alzheimer’s disease early through retinal photos. Yes. This thing is out there. So the technology today in the eye will give good insight to people’s eyesight. Next slide. Okay, let’s go to slide 23. [inaudible].

So, as I said, the hi is brain tissue. Do you know that there are studies that in multiple personality disorders, they all had different prescriptions. Oh, very interesting. Mind, body spirit, next slide and trigger points. Uh, both me and Virginia. We had the pleasure and the utter gratitude that we were able to learn from. Uh, one of the, the pioneer of trigger points, Janet Trevell who wrote these two giant giant books, even bigger than my book on trigger points. And when I learned that it’s the neck, the shoulder, the upper trapezius, going to the sternocleidomastoid up to the suboccipitals that many vision problems come from, because why not that that happened? Because people have poor posture when they’re on devices and things tension. Exactly. Next slide Allen, the spleen is surveys is the neck muscle. So when we’re doing trigger point therapy, we can help with pain in the eyes.

We can help with glaucoma, which, um, I’ll talk about very briefly after, but I really wanted you to know that trigger points, uh, whether you do it through deep tissue or you do it through acupuncture could be very, very helpful in, uh, treating, uh, eye problems. Next slide again, the SCM, a biggie player, especially with musicians, especially like violin and Viola players. Ah, because those people I’ve got studies on how that affects a stigmatism. So yeah, the eye and the body and posture are very related. Next slide. The psoas muscle. If you have a tight psoas muscle, sometimes it relates to a vertical imbalance between the two eyes. So again, we have to look at the whole body next.

Okay. That’s it for the slides on. Thank you. So I’ve got about six minutes. I’m going to give you an overview of glaucoma because glaucoma is so we can do so many things because glaucoma is a disease, this ease of the optic nerve. But the only thing that I doctors having a toolkit of glaucoma is medication with lots of side effects and surgery, and they even have people. And then what they say is, oh, oh, we just have to lower the pressure. But look at that. Here’s the, here’s the optic nerve. Yes. According to physics, if you lower the pressure in the eye pressure hitting the optic nerve, that’ll be helpful because the higher the pressure, the more it could possibly break down the optic nerve, normal pressure and glucometers between 10 and 22. But wouldn’t it make sense to also build up the ocular blood flow to the optic nerve?

Wouldn’t it make sense to work on neurodegenerative neuro uh, uh, neurodegeneration? I mean, that’s what, uh, the eye research is showing. We want to have, um, things that are helpful for the nerves. So nutrition very helpful for that alpha-lipoic acid N-acetylcysteine, um, sublingual, vitamin B12, the B vitamins. So nutrition, very helpful acupuncture super-duper for, uh, helping with ocular blood flow and circulation because circulation, that’s why studies show that as little as aerobic exercise, four times a week can help with, uh, lowering the pressure. But what is one of the, some of the main things in Chinese medicine? You know, we all say liver, liver, liver, nice, but in Chinese medicine and glaucoma liver is a big player because it’s the stagnant liver cheat that can add to, to, uh, CA um, Livia, hyperactive, liver, young, that can cause a high eye pressure. So I’m always trying to bring the pressure down, bring it down.

I want to deal things with the earth element. I may have them stand in dirt, rub a, a ball on kidney. One, bring the energy down. So liver three, liver aids for blood, uh, gallbladder 20 to release the tension in the occipital. Uh suboccipitals so liver kidney very, very important. Especially sometimes the pattern is a kidney yin and Liberty in deficiency. So there’s basically, this is where it gets a little tricky. There’s like six different kinds of glaucoma. Some glaucoma is due to more due to inflammation, such as pseudoexfoliation glaucoma. Some glaucoma has normal tension, normal eye pressure, but has what we call large cupping in the optic nerve. And therefore, you know, we can lower the pressure, but it’s more about getting more blood flow to the optic nerve and, uh, helping the nerves. And then there’s the eye, the glaucoma that has high eye pressure.

But again, the tool dry doctors is just lower the pressure. So we can see very easily how Chinese medicine can have an effect. And going back to the muddy bind spirit stress, oh my God, they have studies that show that stress can increase the eye pressure. So even in the regular literature on Western medicine, so we want to relax. That’s why my favorite formula that I created with my, uh, acupuncture partner, Jason Elias, and we called revision. And what is it based on B Florim and Pini combination. Why, because what is that called relaxed wander? And I added some bilberry and some Ginko, and I added a little Licey and chrysanthemum to bring energy to the eyes. So we really want to do Western Chinese herbs coleus and air vinegar. That’s very good to lower eye pressure. So I really, what I really want to share with you and hope you get a, and if you want to learn more, I am totally available.

My personal email is D R Grossman 20 twenty@gmail.com. I really want to let you know that the ability for Chinese medicine to help with chronic eye conditions and basically all eye conditions, is there that Nick, that place that you, if you really into it, that you want to add to your practice is there. And you will, you will have patients. My friend and colleague, Andy Rosenfarb is busy, busy, busy, and he trains, uh, acupuncturists in a special kind of acupuncture called micro acupuncture. So again, thank you so much for your attention and your time. And hopefully listening to this, uh, again, knowledge is power, and I hope that you become part of an integrative medicine team to help people in the world keep their precious gift of sight. Thank you so much.

Thank you so much, mark. And thanks again to the American acupuncture council, um, Virginia Doran signing off from luminousbeauty.com and yeah, Yair Maimon is next week. So, so he’s always got something interesting. I hope you’ll check that out too. All right. Goodbye. Bye.

 

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Continuing Education Issues in the World of Covid

 

 

…the Kongress is so well organized and so fun, you know, I think, Oh, they’re just going to be listening to lectures all day, but there are, but there’s great teachers from around the world. And there’s also wonderful social events…

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Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi, I’m Virginia Duran. And this week’s host for another edition of, to the point, very generously, really produced by the American Acupuncture Council. And, uh, today we’re going to be talking about issues around continuing education in this new COVID world and where we might be going in the future and the pros and cons of online learning and issues that are specific to our field when it comes to continuing education. And so I thought who would have more experience with this then? Julia Stier, uh, Julia is the Kongress chair, woman of the international TCM Congress in Rosenberg, Germany, uh, which has been running for 52 years. And I think of it as the, the largest and most prestigious acupuncture conference in the world or in the Western world. I should say. I don’t, I’m not sure what’s done in the East, but, um, she’s very, very capable and has had to pivot last year, uh, in, in, in a couple of weeks time to putting everything online. And so she’s been dealing with these larger issues around the new continuing education sphere. And so I would like to introduce you to Julia and, um, have her tell us about, uh, how we might, um, proceed and solve some of these. So, Julia, thank you so much for taking time to be here. Cause I know you have another Congress coming up in a few weeks and uh, time is already precious.

So thank you. Can you tell us how

You, how you got into the field?

Um, yeah. Yeah. Oh, well, um, my mother is from Taiwan, I’m half Taiwanese. So, um, in my family or no family, the some Chinese doctors already. And so, um, I sort of grew up with Chinese medicine and it was normal and, um, at all plays and, um, when I was, um, um, a young girl at 17 or 18, I, um, had some, um, chronical condition that came up and up again and I had to take a lot of antibiotics and then I went to see a Chinese doctor and she treated me a couple of times and it sort of, it never occurred again. So, um, I was completely convinced and I, um, started learning, um, uh, Chinese medicine. Um, a couple of years later I have, um, studied, um, medicine also. And, um, also I have been working in, um, um, I’ve been, uh, an event manager, um, lots of years. So, um, when this position at the Congress, um, was free, um, I, it sort of everything came together. Everything just fell into place. And so, um, it was, um, sort of, it was supposed to be, I guess, especially well

Having, you know, knowledge of both worlds, uh, you know, some people don’t have the organizational skills to do something like this, but the, the Kongress is so well organized and so fun, you know, I think, Oh, they’re just going to be listening to lectures all day, but there are, but there’s great teachers from around the world. And there’s also wonderful social events where you’re dancing with your, your heroes or your DCM heroes thing. It’s it’s um, it’s and it’s so well balanced with you have things on nutrition, she gung and tie cheese sessions, uh, herbs, a little, you know, there’s some Western, uh, style acupuncture. There’s classical, there’s Japanese, Korean. I don’t know about Taiwanese, but we should have it if we don’t, you don’t, there’s just, it’s so well balanced to really reflect all the aspects of the medicine that I’m, uh, you know, I feel so fortunate to have, uh, presented there a few times and to just even attend. Um, so we do want to know though how you’ve managed to bridge this gap, uh, or, you know, uh, pivot on, you know, how you’ve been doing it and how you have to do it now and love to hear your thoughts about what it might be like in the future. Yeah.

Oh, well, um, last year it was, um, sort of a surprise in Europe. Um, racial, um, became real, um, in, in March I think. And, um, we had the first, um, lockdown light in Germany from middle of March and the Congress was only two months later. So, um, we really didn’t have a lot of time to think, um, or to make plans. So, um, we just decided to take everything online, um, because we thought this was the only possibility something could happen and, you know, tickets were sold already. Everything was booked, everything was planned. And so, um, yeah, we just went straight ahead. We found, um, a partner in net of knowledge. Um, they are a Canadian company, they have this educational platform already and they program, they set us up, um, um, well, um, a site in there on their educational platform. And so, uh, we could start from there and actually most of our speakers, um, were really, really, um, brave too.

They just, and then said, yeah, let’s go. And we try. And, um, some courses, of course, some lectures, um, some workshops, especially the practical clinical workshops. We couldn’t take online. Um, like the palpation based work. It was, we couldn’t really think of any way at that time. And, um, but most of my questions is how do you, how do you accommodate the, these challenges with the, uh, clinical style workshop? Yeah, well, um, what really worked out well is, um, we had, for example, we had, um, this, uh, Japanese speaker, um, he is, um, in his practice in, um, in Japan and he had, we had two lays with them and the translator, um, with him in the translator and, um, he had patients coming in and, um, so, um, all participants, they could watch online. Um, it was all live. Um, they could watch online.

Um, they had a view directly in the practice. Um, the speaker, um, he quit, um, talk to them directly and he could, you know, treat the patient and, um, do the theoretical part before. And then, um, we could just, um, what should him, how he handles things and he could tell, you know, he could demonstrate a lot on the patients and participants always had the possibility to ask questions. And so it was a really interactive, um, way of teaching. Um, although it was only online. Um, but, um, it was not, it was not only, you know, sitting in front of the screen and watching for seven hours a day and not really being able to do something other than just listening. Um, but you could, uh, really actively taking parts, um, and the demonstration of learning. So, um, that was really good. Um, and also, uh, there was this, um, speaker from Italy and she had, um, trainer, baby, um, uh, workshop. So the participants, um, the babies, um, enter the class and, um, they could, um, turn on the cameras. And so, um, the speaker could, uh, you know, uh, the extra, she could watch them the treat their babies and, um, still comment on how they, how they were treating and how they were, you know, doing what they were taught to. So, um, this was, this was really, um, this was really good way of bridging this gap for us.

Yeah. I think it’s very clever your solution. Yeah. One question I had was, uh, how do you manage, um, intellectual property issues? Because it seems to be a kind of epidemic in the field, at least in the U S and, uh, but I shouldn’t say cause every country I teach in within six months, somebody’s teaching my stuff. So it’s not unique to the U S it may be worse here, but, um, it, it, it’s hard with something where a lot of what we’re teaching is in the public domain, but, you know, material or, uh, you know, with an online platform, how do you protect it with this protector on that issue?

Yeah, well, of course, um, we have, uh, um, w we have them, well, we have not, everybody can just come in, you have to, we have only the participants who could, who get the code, um, uh, to get into the workshops. And, uh, we have people actually watching closely and controlling that, not nobody’s in there who doesn’t belong there. And, um, so it’s, it’s, um, similar to, to a live event really. Um, and there’s these controls. And then of course we mock all the, all the slides, all the slides are being marked from the speakers. Um, Mark does theirs and then, um, well in the end, um, it’s really like an, a live course. You also, you will also always have participants there who take photos or, um, make audios or, um, or video recordings. And, um, we have an eye on that and, uh, of course there are certain rules which people have to follow.

And, um, actually of course, um, some of our speakers put their handouts up, uh, upload the handouts before. So participants can, you know, prepare and Donald before, but some of us, because I’m also, uh, you know, fear that the slides or the material, um, will be taken. So, um, they only provide the material to the participants who leave their email address, and maybe they, um, send out the slides after the, um, after the lecture backs. Um, there will always be a small gap. You can’t close at the end. You can’t really well, um, be a hundred percent safe. Um, but we, and what we can all do is, um, have an eye on everything that is going on. And so, um, in Germany that is not, that’s not re re a lot if someone teaches us what, um, uh, material that is known from somewhere else that has been already taught by somewhere else by somebody else, or is really somebody else’s method that they involved. Um, somebody will see it as somebody will always realize.

Yeah, yeah, no, I’m always so impressed how you have such wonderful teachers and, you know, from all over the world, I mean, from Japan and China and Korea and Australia, North America, all over Europe, and probably some places I’m missing, how, how do you there’s, so there’s so much talent, but how do you choose? Um, and, you know, do you have, you have themes, I think yearly themes for the Congress that have a certain topic you want to promote then, then, um, and then you have, you know, people teaching other things too, but it must be a tough decision.

Oh, yes, yes. Oh, there’s so many really good teachers out there. And of course we have, um, we have a lot teachers who, uh, were already, um, um, part of the Congress many, many times, and you know, who we can really rely on and who always, who we, who we know will be sort of a Garand to, you know, um, to, to do a really, really good lecture that is entertaining and still, you know, really well, they have a lot to say. And, um, and then, um, I’m reading a lot of journalists and I’m visiting other congresses. And then of course, I always have an open ear to suggestions such as sun shins. So, um, many people, um, keep, um, send in their proposals and many people have some, you know, some teachers that they propose to us that they say what you might like, and then there’s, um, there’s also a thing of online learning.

Um, there’s this, um, a lot of material on YouTube and other channels, um, nowadays, so I can get a better impression of, um, what the speaker has already been doing. Um, it’s, um, it’s not, um, it’s not taught to find new speakers that are really a lot new challenges. Um, it’s just, yeah, but it’s hard to decide because we only have, you know, we have like, uh, sometimes some years we have 60 speakers, which is a lot, but, um, there are a lot more who we, who couldn’t speak. So yes, it’s a tough to show

Or, and, and with, you know, uh, if you’re, um, also providing the videos afterwards where people who couldn’t attend or people who just, you know, want to, you know, get it all, then you don’t have to worry about like missing, you know, your favorite speaker cause they were at the same time. So there, there are some advantages to the online viewing of the class.

Yes, yes, yes they are. I mean, nothing can, you know, there’s, uh, that the personal it’s it’s missing, of course I’m the person I’m meeting and the dancing, the, you know, social, but, um, what really is a plus a big plus is that you, you buy a day ticket and you don’t only get to see one workshop. Um, you can, and this is something that actually a lot, a lot of people did last year. You can, during the day you can jump between the lectures and you know, what, you don’t have to stay in one lecture all day. And, um, uh, we upload the recordings of the days, um, for a couple of months afterwards. And so, and until the 1st of September, September of this year, you have time. Um, what if you booked? So, um, at 10 days we will get the chance to see 10 courses, 10 lectures, instead of one.

Can you tell us, um, a little bit about the theme and some of the speakers this year and how they can help people can find out more information about it?

Oh yes. Do you find, um, the whole program on a TCM hyphen Congress for the key dot and D E is also an English language, of course. And, um, uh, the thing, well, this year it’s, um, expressions of the metal element. Can you see this? Yeah, very appropriate because of the metal element and it’s about a physical and mental manifestations of skin and respiratory diseases. Um, we have, um, a lot about topic, but also really, um, on, on any other topic you can imagine. And, um, we have learned a lot from last year things that worked really well and we left out things that maybe didn’t work out so well. And, um, all for example, this year we have, um, a live cooking class. So, um, there’s in the handout and there’s a sort of a stopping list and you can go and, um, do your groceries before. And then, um, on the day, um, you can, you can be actually cooking with our teacher. She does this. And then, um, and this is also something we couldn’t do live in an, in an actual kitchen because you can’t put hundred cooks into a kitchen, especially

Okay.

When everybody can do this from their homes and they’re connected.

Well, that’s a great idea. Yeah. Yeah. We’ll miss some of the interacting with your colleagues from all over the world, but you know, that’ll come in the future. And of course it’s really about the, uh, the content of the Kongress. So, um, is there anything else you wanted to say before we close? Yeah.

Um, because you mentioned the, like the interaction we have, um, we have some social gathering, um, um, also online, like, um, um, the fantastic finale, for example, it’s always on, it’s a concert on Saturday nights, um, which is, um, done mostly by us because, and, uh, we did that last year and we have that this year too. Um, it was really nice, you know, it’s, it’s sort of, uh, the same feeling

Yeah. Whoever wants to can turn on the cameras. And we had a long, long chat after the concert and it was hot woman, really, it was nice to see everyone and, you know, at least that for a while. So, um, yes, everyone who was interested can just check out the program and be sure, um, it will, there will be a social interaction to not only, you know, learning on a high level, but also, um, meeting each other in some way.

So everything, but the 2:00 AM drinking with your teachers. We try, maybe that goes lunch. Okay. Well, thank you so much for, uh, being part of the show and we’re so grateful and next week for those that can tune in, we have Matt Callison and Brian Lau as hosts. So, um, really, uh, again,

This is Virginia Duran of luminous beauty.com signing off and thanks to the American Acupuncture Council again, see you soon.

 

Integrating East and Western Medicine in Fertility

 

Hello and welcome to another edition of, to the point a show, very generously produced by the American Acupuncture Council, um, Virginia Doran of luminous beauty. And today my guest is, uh, a longtime colleague and friend is Tsao-lin Moy, and, uh, she’s been practicing for 18 years in New York city. Uh, she founded the Integrative Healing Arts Center and she has many accomplishments and has just been a publicity magnet. Uh, and also she published a book called will I ever get pregnant?

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Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

The smart woman’s guide to getting pregnant naturally over 40. So, because she has many areas of specialty, but because she has this on fertility, she’s our guest today. And she’s going to talk about integrating Eastern and Western medicine in fertility. So, uh, without further ado Tsao, um, please love to hear, you know, your approach because I know you’re very adept at combining the two, which I think is important for this kind of condition, Virginia, and yes, thank you to the American acupuncture council for producing these Facebook live shows.

Um, so I’ll, let’s, uh, we’ll start. Um, so I’m going to talk about integrating Eastern Western medicine and in particular with fertility, but as practitioners of East Asian medicine, um, we all are now really integrating what we do with Western medicine. And, uh, so what I’m going to use is this presentation that is from fertility, uh, summit, and I’ll be kind of adding a little bit and changing up as we go through the different slides. Okay. Um, so it’s really, you know, more and more, uh, we’re starting look at, uh, patients that want are looking for natural, uh, remedies and, and to be able to do both. And so one of these things is, you know, looking at what is Eastern medicine’s approach compared to Western medicine. And, um, so these are, how would, uh, change Chinese medicine relate to improving fertility, but this also relates to how can it improve our health outcomes.

And, uh, and especially right now in the time of COVID, right, there’s a lot of, uh, post, uh, COVID viral fatigue, a lot of, uh, inflammation and Chinese medicine acupuncture is fantastic for that. A lot of questions that come up with fertility are age factors. Uh, and of course we’ve been listening in the news that, uh, there are like 55 year olds that are able to actually, uh, you know, bear children or carry, right. Um, and, and really is looking at what is the best approach. And if I was speaking to a, uh, you know, patient population, what’s the best approach for them. And, uh, you as, uh, practitioners, you know, looking at what is the best approach you can offer to your patients, um, that you feel comfortable with and they feel comfortable with, um, and this would be with acupuncture and herbs. And if you also have other, uh, you know, types of healing methods, uh, that you can also offer, of course you would add those in, uh, accordingly.

And so we remember the Chinese medicine is really, um, something that is personalized medicine, and that is what makes a big difference. Uh, Virginia already kind of went over my, um, a little bit of my bio. Um, I know Virginia, we both graduated from tri-state college of acupuncture. Uh, so, um, we’re kind of, we’re in this family tree of learning and, and, uh, and also helping more people to heal themselves. So I’m gonna, I’m going to just speak, uh, we don’t need to know more about me, let me go move forward here. Um, so really the, um, when you’re working with, uh, infertility and especially women, um, really it’s that, you know, patient and practitioner, uh, relationship, uh, that we have empathy, you know, for what they’re going through, and then we can also help them to solve their problem. And that would be, they want to have a baby, they wanna have a healthy baby.

Right. And, uh, um, so why is Eastern medicine? It’s a better model and can serve better serve women better that are experiencing infertility. This also applies to really overall health. So looking at, you know, how we as East Asian medicine practitioners really kind of fit into this big umbrella of a health model. Um, uh, now with regard to infertility, statistics are one in eight couples are experiencing infertility in the U S and, um, this is not just the us, but also overseas. And we’re looking at as a global health problem, it’s estimated 12 to 15% of all couples are experiencing infertility, meaning they are not able to get pregnant, uh, on their own or within, uh, the time, you know, that would, that would, uh, it should, let’s say, quote should take. Um, and, and really we’re looking at infertility is also more of it is coming from the male aspect.

Uh, one of the side effects of COVID-19 is they’re looking at a can cause sterility in men. And so a lot of the focus has been on, you know, female fertility, egg, quality, um, ABI, elation, uh, uh, hormone imbalances, and a lot of not, uh, not a lot of attention until recently. Um, has there been attention more on the male aspect of it and really it’s, uh, you know, important that this is a collaboration, right. Um, so one in a third couples, uh, the problem can’t really be identified, it’s considered kind of, uh, you know, unexplained or in fertility. Uh, and, and, and in that case, it could, it could be, you know, a little bit of, of both, uh, or there’s some underlying, um, issue that has not been addressed, which we address very well in, in Chinese medicine. Um, so I wanted to just highlight a little bit that, you know, the Western medicine model is one we call like broken and fix.

And so it’s treating the symptoms, right? You, you like, you’re, you’re better if you don’t have a cough, but the underlying aspect of it is like, why did you get the cough? You’re run down, maybe there’s something else. And this is what applies with, uh, couples that are experiencing infertility and also in general, our overall health, why aren’t we recovering? And, um, so a lot of it can be, you know, the, the, the model in Western medicine is going to be vaccinate antibiotics, antivirals, right. And that’ll help to get rid of something, but there is damage in its wake. And then also, you know, the recovery, uh, so things like, uh, infertility treatments, when you go to a fertility clinic, it isn’t without risk, right? Because the, um, the hormones have side effects. And also a lot of the procedures are pretty invasive and, uh, they don’t necessarily work.

And they’re also very expensive. Um, but this is not to say you don’t do that. You, you know, you tell your patients don’t go and see a, um, a fertility specialist. It’s really like how, if, if they’re at that point, how can you help them on their journey? Right. And so coming from the aspect of, you know, Chinese medicine, East Asian medicine, is really, we’re looking at there’s more than the physical that’s there. I mean, as a Chinese medicine practitioner, we really practice, this is energy, right. We work with cheap, we work with energy and, and that is in our language. Right. Um, so the, you know, there is also this aspect of what I wanted to also, uh, kind of highlight in the Western model. They really separate out that spirituality, um, the mind-body connection. And, uh, one of the, the, the strengths of Chinese medicine is really where we’re cultivating that connection.

How do we help our patients? Um, so this is a, another, just a bride that explained, you know, infertility is on the rise and there’s also an infertility industry. It’s actually a growing industry, right. Because there’s a lot of money to be made. And, um, here’s a picture, this is what a couples are looking for. This is the end, what they’re looking for. Right. Um, so where does industry, there’s going to be a lot of, uh, pressure for, uh, your patients to do hormones, et cetera, et cetera. And you’re, you probably are. If they have decided they’re going to do that, it’s not that you’re not gonna be able to change their mind. Um, but what you need to do is look at a collaboration, um, with your patient and also, uh, with the, um, the fertility or the, uh, assisted reproductive therapist. And really, um, what does the Chinese medicine ma is what’s different than let’s say a Western model is really that we are looking at that the healing is taking place in the individual. We’re not curing them or facilitators. Right. And I think it’s really important, um, that we, we remember this point is like,

We are treating the who, not the what.

Right. Um, it’s very easy. And, and I, and I do see it in a lot of our profession to start to talk about treating the symptom and forgetting, or not forgetting, but maybe not so much the focus on who that, you know, who is the person that is experiencing that. And, um, this is something to remember as a practitioner and especially with infertility because, um, a lot of statistics are gonna show over 35, um, hormone imbalances, and then, you know, what are your chances of getting pregnant? And while there are statistics that are useful, what’s important is, is that your patient or the patients that are coming to see you, that is not them in the statistic. It may have relevance, but always to remember that, um, this connection that you’re going to help them with is physical, emotional, energetic, and spiritual. And this is this looking at this whole health perspective.

And so Virginia, if you have any questions or you want to interrupt me, please feel free, um, how you’re kind of differentiating the whole health model from Western medicine, but you’ve, you’ve answered it. Okay. All right. I just want to like, but the, so the, the, the, the topic is really integrating. So even, um, so there, it is possible that if, uh, if you have patients that are using, let’s say Western remedies, that you can still come at, uh, the, uh, you know, helping them from an Eastern model from that whole health model. Right. Um, one of the things I’m going to move on with this, about the, the, the rates, because we know that, you know, with the, the limited or, or very narrow, uh, research that has been done with acupuncture, it’s very, um, successful or at the same time, the way that some of these, uh, studies have been designed are really kind of like, wow, you know, some, you know, uh, can you cure for stage four cancer?

Well, it’s kind of like, almost nothing is able to help. And then you’re asking, you know, like, Oh, let’s, let’s throw something this way and see if it really works. And then we’ll write a study that says, Oh yeah, this doesn’t work for stage four cancer. Okay. So we always have to look at, you know, like the studies and their relevance and, and not let, um, I would say, uh, the scientific model define the kind of medicine that we do, and also influence us in a way that we start to, um, look at, Oh, this treats that, that treats that we really want to remember, you know, the, the person that we’re keeping that we’re treating. And so, as a reminder, you know, Chinese medicine, East Asian medicine has a, the aspect is about balance. And these are the Dallas principles of dynamic balance of yin and yang.

So this is, uh, going back to, you know, foundations of Chinese medicine, one Oh one. Um, and I don’t know about you, Virginia, what I’ve found is, is that they’re simple and they explain everything and, and, and very, uh, you know, the more that you’re practicing, you’re the more you’re understanding that dynamic balance. Right. Um, so in terms of a, let’s say a strategy when we’re looking at what is within our S in the body, let’s say for, let’s say a woman’s body, um, or a man’s, we’re looking at what is the union young that’s out of balance. And so, uh, this could be like hormones, it could be sleep. It could be their relationship with their partner, uh, where they’re living, where they’re working. Um, and then of course, how that manifests for them in terms of maybe they have irregular cycles, nonambulatory cycles, uh, fibroids, uh, other, uh, let’s say, uh, symptoms of another, I would say, are symptoms of something being out of balance, right?

So even if a woman gets surgery for fibroids, whatever was kind of causing it, the mechanism still needs to be addressed, right? And so this is something that we do really well, uh, important, uh, is to that relationship with your patient is also educating them and empowering them to know more about their body, right. And this is again, uh, we’re facilitating, you know, helping them to create a stronger mind, body connection. Uh, it’s also known as interoception where they, where you develop that sense of understanding what is happening inside your body. Uh, this is also important for us as practitioners, that we develop a practice, a mind-body practice, so that we also can share that energy with our patients. Um, and in terms of, let’s say a treatment strategy, uh, when we’re looking at, uh, fertility, but also with whomever is going to come into your practice.

We want to regulate what’s the yin and yang, right. And, um, the, the approach, I would say, no matter what, you’re going to be looking at, regulating the nervous system, right. Helping with sleep digestion, and that in turn is going to help to balance their hormones. So different methods of treatment that we use, um, acupuncture for sure. Um, if there are herbs that are appropriate and you have the training, that’s something, uh, bodywork, uh, we can use essential oils, meditation exercise, and also, um, you know, when we’re speaking with our patients, we actually do a lot of mindset work, right. We’re actually helping them to navigate through their difficult and to reframe for them, or help them to reframe the, uh, you know, the challenge that they are experiencing. And, uh, one thing that we know, and also using food and herbs and, and maybe changing their environment.

One thing that we know with, um, acupuncture in the research is, is that it does shift brain chemistry and affect neuropeptides in the brain that actually, uh, stimulate that self-healing aspect, uh, as well, like as well as, um, immune response. And so this is great for what we do. Recent studies have shown that acupuncture is helpful in reducing the inflammation from the cytokine storms that a lot of people have experienced from COVID-19 and continue in a post viral syndrome. So with women’s health, um, according to Chinese medicine, and this year, this is a review, um, it’s really her menstrual health. Her, the health of her uterus is a really good indication of the overall health of her body. Um, in a Western model, this is something known as the endocrine system, or that regulates the functions of the entire body. So when we’re looking at a woman’s health, and in terms of, you know, is she, it as she, her fertility health, we really want to also look at her overall health, right?

Cause overall health, if you’re overall healthy, then you’re going to have healthy reproduction. And, uh, this is a good clue for, for all of us that we have to kind of like look at overall health, uh, and constitution, no matter what someone is coming with. Right. And, um, I know, uh, you know, acupuncture is fantastic for treating pain conditions, right? Sprained ankles, uh, uh, low back pain sleep problems. Uh, but those are also symptoms of something bigger what’s happening in their nervous system, uh, with an injury. Why aren’t they healing after a certain period of time? Um, so someone who’s really healthy, it doesn’t mean they won’t get injured. Um, what will happen is, is that after a certain period of time, they should reach full recovery. Uh, mostly, uh, what I see in my practice and definitely in the, I believe in the Western world is that, uh, the amount of time for recovery is not a given or, uh, that, uh, people go back to activities, uh, much soon, uh, you know, too soon and have not fully healed. And then what happens is that they end up having long-term, uh, lingering problems that they can’t quite figure out. Right. Um, so, you know, one of the things, again, is that, you know, with Chinese medicine, East Asian medicine, is that it’s very personalized. Um, we’re not a one size fits all. Um, we really need to look at the whole person. And as a reminder, a lot of times there are things that, um, maybe we’re not going to CA we won’t catch if we become too. Micro-focus.

Let’s see. Do you agree?

I’m wondering, um, just curiosity, about what percentage would you estimate, uh, women come for fertility from a deficiency based cause versus like a, you know, obstruction of cheat?

Well, I mean, that’s an interesting, because you can have obstruction of chief from deficiency, right. Um, I would say that there’s much more deficiency, not necessarily blood deficiency, but exhaustion. So a lot of efficiency, a lot of stress. And again, looking at, uh, you know, constitutionally here, we’re con we’re on the go, we, you know, we need to do more, a lot of the women that come to see me, they are like, Oh, maybe I should like start exercising, or let me start this, you know, let me add something in versus, you know, take something away. So having these, uh, very, uh, intense workouts that it’s, it’s not too, that you don’t want to exercise. It’s really like exercising more is not helpful if you’re tired and you’re not getting enough rest. So I think, you know, that’s, um, you know, yin tends towards deficiency.

Young tends towards excess, very famous words from our, uh, the founder, right. Um, that, uh, the it’s, it really becomes there’s this imbalance that starts to happen, right. Uh, uh, women, uh, you know, they have, uh, I would say that they, as they get aged, they’re definitely moving towards a deficiency. You know, there’s the, the, the bleeding, um, if they carry children, lot of their, uh, their DJing, their essence is being used, their blood is being used. Um, and this is, you know, compared to who men women’s bodies are, the ones that undergo a, a trip, like a change every month, a transformation through the menstrual cycle. Does that make sense? Would it,

No. Okay. So

The health and healing using East Asian medicine is really, if we look at a whole health model, right, uh, what’s happening, uh, in their life, you know, women, especially for women, women, very social, they’re usually doing a lot more, they’re searching, uh, to, you know, find out what’s wrong. Uh, they’re the caregivers. Um, what we’re seeing is, um, so then to kind of answer your question even more, uh, women tend towards getting much more depleted, definitely energetically and emotionally. Uh, and, and this is really being exemplified right now with the, um, the COVID-19 situation. Like so many women, suddenly, even if we’re working from home, they, um, have taken on the additional burdens of, uh, taking care of the kids, managing the school, uh, really, you know, organizing. And, uh, I think there was one study that showed, you know, when they asked the, the, the men, like, well, how many hours of how many productive hours do you have? Uh, it was like, Oh, I’ve got like 35, 40 hours a week productive. And for women, there were like 11, you know, because they had, uh, so much more to, um, take care of. Right. And so this is something to also take into account when we’re looking at overall health in particular with, uh, you know, women who are trying to get pregnant. Okay. So this is actually, um, at the end of the slide, so I’m going to stop the share. Right. Okay. Um,

Let’s see what else there is. I mean, obviously there’s an app for this, but what inspired you to write your book? Well, you know, Virginia, so many women that, um, come to me or just suffering, they had a lot of failure from, uh, trying to get pregnant. They had, oftentimes we’re not the first, uh, you know, the first stop they go through, uh, several cycles of IUI or IVF. They’ve tried many different things. Um, I’ve noticed that a lot of my patients, when they come to see me, they’ve already done a few cycles and they’re really at this, uh, point of frustration and struggle. And, you know, I looked at the statistics is actually very interesting where they came from. Um, I had to, to track it down because everywhere it was like the same statistic almost verbatim. And then I found a journalist who had done the research, and apparently those numbers come from, uh, churches in France from like 1682, eight 30, where they looked at baptism records and the, the maternal age.

Right. So we’re looking at, you know, 17th century birth records, and then they, they did an analysis and they were like, Oh, only a certain percentage of the, the women were over a particular age. And so they use that as a guidance and, and it, and it is a statistic, it’s an accurate statistic for that aspect. So this is where we start to get into a lot of the studies and the research. And, but what isn’t taken into consideration is, you know, did they have children before, um, you know, how about, uh, other illnesses, you know, there wasn’t any hygiene, right? A lot of, uh, there were a lot of women that were dying in childbirth, or there were a lot of infections, there was child mortality. Um, there was the living conditions were horrific, right. So kind of using that model or using that, and then applying it to right now where we have, you know, good nutrition, we have education, we have housing, we have a lot of things that, uh, the women and the families didn’t have then.

And so, uh, and also nutrition wise, right. So this is something that, you know, looking at, you know, where is the information coming from? You know, how accurate is it? How can you, how does that really apply to your circumstances? Right. So I say, yes, there’s truth in those numbers, but is it your truth? Right. So that’s a, that’s a whole other discussion. And then, you know, because we do very personalized medicine that, you know, we, you know, the, the, the chances of getting pregnant, the odds it’s much higher. Right. And especially even if, you know, a woman decides that she’s going to do IVF or IUI, as soon as they add in the acupuncture increases like tremendously the success rate.

Hmm. Yeah. So what, what are the general statistics, acupuncture helping for infertility? Well, you know, that’s actually a very tricky question. Um, the one statistic that we ha that was really done is a pretty old, I think it was from 2003 and was the German study that had done just very limited, like a certain protocol of numbers. And they had increased the, um, the success rate by like 42%. It was a very high percentage. Um, and the women were all, like, it was really like women that got acupuncture versus women that did not get acupuncture and really to bring those numbers to, let’s say 42%. That’s huge. Right. So aside from have there been other studies done, um, recently, uh, bad. I don’t know, uh, statistically, we also look at, um, and this is what I tell my patients, you know, when you go to a fertility clinic, the fertility clinic is really seeing people who are struggling.

And so those numbers, there are many women, many, uh, you know, couples that have children later, but since they don’t have a problem, they’re not going to show up as a, in the statistics. Right. So it’s like, Oh, you know, when somebody works in the emergency room, they see the worst things that happen. Um, but there’s like a whole other population that don’t get sick or don’t have heart disease, or don’t have, uh, those things. And so when we start to look at data, we have to really look at, you know, much more individually, what is going on for that person. I mean, we do all have, you know, commonality, the biology, et cetera, et cetera. Um, but you know, our destiny, our health destiny is really something that we can make a difference and make changes, you know, for the better, it’s not set in stone.

Right. Right. And of course, you know, it, the results are only increased when it’s combined with herbs and lifestyle and whatever that patient needs. So, absolutely. I mean, this, this is really a collaboration. And again, like to kind of re to reiterate, um, you know, this integration of East and West, it’s not an either, or it actually works much better when, um, you know, wherever your patient is on their journey. You know, they don’t necessarily all need hormones, but if they do, they’re there, right. And we want to look at, you know, how can we support that person for the best outcome. Right. And no matter what, what I look at it is that with the Chinese medicine model East Asian medicine model, is that we are supporting that whole person and helping them in the end, the result is that they can have a family.

Right. And so we had to look at like, how do we work really together for the best outcome? Right. And yeah, herbs. I mean, if, uh, I have a patient that is going through fertility treatments, of course, I always say, check with your doctor. Are they okay with you taking herbs? Like we really need to have that dialogue open, not like it’s a separate thing. And also I want to know, um, if somebody is taking different medications, um, so that we, we need to really be able to do what’s best. I would not recommend herbs for somebody if they’re already doing something pharmaceutically, uh, that, uh, well, we could have a discussion about is really, um, you know, maybe there’s a way to, uh, you know, lessen them or, you know, talk with your doctor about, you know, alternatives, or can we try something, um, always the patient’s safety, right. And, and, and, and the trust. Right. So, um, that’s what I we’re, you know, that’s how we’re going to work so much better and help a lot more people.

Yeah. So, well, you know, I’m so glad you were able to come today on such short notice and the timing was crazy, but, uh, it worked out and, uh, of course, you know, always, you know, give a hundred percent everything you do. So, you know, um, it’s just great to have you, uh, is there anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up? Well, um, what I would say is, is that right now is really the time for us, as, you know, Chinese medicine, practitioners, acupuncturists, alternative medicine, to really, you know, step up and real and be heard important to, you know, educate the public about, you know, what it is that we do. There is a lot more information that is coming out about acupuncture, herbs, you know, for health. Uh, and, uh, I know a lot of times practitioners tend to not want to post or write articles or, you know, get out there.

Um, but it’s important that, um, that we, as practitioners are visible, right. And that, uh, the public knows that we can help them. And we have a lot of other solutions, including, you know, pain instead of being on opioids. This is a huge issue, you know, that we are expert at helping people with pain. We are expert at helping people recover from surgery, uh, from nausea, uh, you know, helping immune system and more recently definitely for, you know, reducing inflammation, uh, you know, from this, you know, the inflammations from COVID-19 right. And so when, you know, everyone’s looking for the, the, the magic bullet of, uh, of a vaccine of a antibiotic of immunity that w you know, we, as practitioners can actually really help people have healthier lives. Right. All of the comorbidities that are out there, uh, we’re looking at a whole health model, and this is something that, you know, is going to make a big difference in terms of the quality of life for, uh, you know, the, the public.

And especially in America, we need a lot of help here. Uh, and, uh, but the important thing is, is that, uh, that as practitioners that we’re able to be found, and a lot of times practitioners, they just kind of like hide, you know, they’re they hide. Uh, so that’s what, um, that’s what I’d like to, to say to all my colleagues out there get visible. Well, you haven’t been hidden and that’s for sure. Um, well, thank you again, and thank you for the American Acupuncture Council for producing this. And, uh, I’m Virginia Doran, luminousbeauty.com. Uh, you can reach me there, uh, and, uh, on Facebook and Instagram. And, um, we’ll see you next time. Okay. Thanks for tuning in. Thanks.

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Lyme disease, AKA the “Great Imitator” Virginia Doran & Greg Lee

 

Today’s edition of To The Point, very generously produced by the American Acupuncture Council today. My guest is Greg Lee and, uh, Greg has extensive background and experience in treating Lyme disease and the various co-infections the other tick-borne illnesses. Um, he is, um, going to tell you more about himself and, um, we’re going to talk specifically about using essential oils to treat these infections or, uh, various tick-borne illnesses. Um, and he’s going to explain why he used them, what the advantages are.

Click here to download the transcript.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

You know, in talking about things like biofilms, which if you’re not familiar with is really very vital for treating them and the different ways that you can use to deliver essential oils in, in these patients. And, um, he has some very innovative ways in which he does this and, uh, you know, he was going to talk about the kind of oils he uses and, um, a lot of other things. So Greg, I wanted turn it over to you since, um, I’m sure people are really eager to hear what you have to think. Um, maybe you could tell us how you got into this first.

Oh, thank you, Virginia. And also want to thank the American Acupuncture Council for graciously, allowing me to come on and talk with you today. So, uh, today I’m wondering to talk about basically, what are some of the main blocks that I see, uh, in Lyme disease patients that are underneath their relapsing symptoms and how essential oils can help practitioners to overcome them. So, uh, basically this presentation, uh, is for two types of practitioners. Uh, one if you’re just getting started and you’ll learn about some essential oils that may be helpful for these patients that have chronic illnesses, chronic infections, and also for more advanced practitioners that have, you know, seen perhaps a larger number of chronic Lyme patients. And these are some remedies that can really help you get these patients beyond where they’re stuck or plateaued. Okay. All righty. So a little bit, uh, the agenda for me is like, why should you listen to me?

Who am I anyway? And then also what are the five main blocks? And then what are some essential oils that, uh, can help you overcome those blocks? And then also, uh, we’ll be talking about, uh, some delivery methods that are very helpful in treating Lyme patients a little bit about my background. Um, I, I’m an engineer by training and used to work on NASA projects. Um, robotics, Hubble space telescope used to work with our astronauts and doing experiments on them using robotics. I’m also was a partner in a leadership training corporation called Lionheart and also have a master’s of acupuncture from the Tai, which is now Maryland university of integrative health, and also, uh, Chinese herbs and liberal golf. My center we’re located in Frederick, Maryland, and in biotech research facility. I have lots of MDs PhDs, and I have fun conversations in the hallway with, and in our center, we’ve treated over a thousand patients with Lyme tick-borne infections, chronic illnesses over the past 20 years.

And one of the things that’s really helped is making custom engineered essential oils that are tailored to each person’s underlying issues. Uh, one of the tools that helps us as an experimental electrical frequencies frequency scanning system, where we can look at over a thousand different infections, toxins, inflammatory cytokine, uh, frequencies, uh, through that, uh, scanning system. So it really helps us to narrow in on what are the main issues that most are in need of treatment in the beginning. Uh, so why Lyme may be a hidden issue in your relapse relapsing, uh, symptom patients, because obviously we’re in the middle of a pandemic Lyme disease is a hidden epidemic within an estimator, a 2 million case, new new cases in the U S alone this year, according to a Brown university study. And unfortunately it kicks can carry over 80 different infections that are called coinfections besides Lyme disease.

And the testing that most primary care practitioners use is something called the L they still use something called the Eliza and also the Western blot. And according to one study, Western blot blood tests, the ones that are available from the standard labs are about 50% accurate. So basically half of the people flip the coin, flip a coin. Exactly. And according to the CDC, 90% of cases are misdiagnosed. I think they reported, you know, what is it, 300 something thousand, but there are now they’re saying these, this is probably approximately 10% of the actual number of cases out there. So, uh, and the presentation of these patients can vary depending on, you know, what lot of different factors in terms of their genetics, their ability to detox pre-existing conditions and other infections that may be present. So it can, a lot of patients, I started off treating a lot of fibromyalgia patients and behold, a lot of them actually had Lyme disease, uh, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ms.

Dementia, Parkinson’s depression, anxiety. Those are all diagnoses. I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of times in patients that have an underlying tick-borne infection, Lyme disease, or co-infection. Okay. So what I want to talk about is really diving into what are the main blocks that I’m seeing in these patients, and then how can I help you give you some tools and insights into these blocks and then some essential oils that are helping my patients to overcome them. So, first one basically is, uh, biotoxins where the I’ll talk more detail about these, but basically infections produce toxins. And then you have inflammation that they are immune system produces to try to say, Hey, we got an infection or we got toxins. We need to go and deal with it. And it produces different kinds of inflammatory compounds. And also these infections, uh, have evolved. They create something called biofilms, which are basically slime as a protection.

Uh, and then also, as I mentioned earlier, ticks can carry over 80 different infections besides Lyme. So the co-infections, if they can carry, uh, they’re not just, uh, it, it can be, it can range from all different kinds of pathogens. And, and also one of the major things that I’m seeing a lot of is environmental mold, uh, toxic exposure in patients. Alrighty. So, uh, we’ll move on here. It’s good. Dive into biotoxins. So Lyme co-infections other infections, parasites produce biotoxins that disrupt the host immune system often, uh, you may hear of the th one th two immune response. Uh, one of them is more for fighting infections like Lyme and others, more for fighting infections like parasites. Well, the biotoxins and say, Hey, go fight, go produce more inflammatory immune, uh, compounds and go fight parasites and leave, you know, reduce the ones that are gonna affect, you know, bacteria like mine or spiral keeps light lime.

And then also these biotoxins are small. They’re about the size of a water molecule. So since they’re so small, they can travel from cell to cell. They’re not just, they’re also in the blood too, but also their ability to create symptoms deeper into tissues that change and migrate, uh, and relapse because they’re so small and can go through, wander into muscles, joints, the brain, uh, go inside cells. And as, uh, patients are given anti-microbial treatments or remedies, or just do their own immune activation, they often report a toxic die off reaction, uh, of their infections, which has been labeled a Herxheimer reaction where you have a sudden influx of toxins, which drives up inflammation, which then drives up symptoms. And those symptoms can be like, what I described before could be, you know, brain fog, fatigue, pain, inflammation, swelling, gut issues, bloating, diarrhea, you know, uh, a wide range of the symptoms.

And they can change over time depending on, you know, the person and what they’re, what’s being, what kind of toxins are being released. And then this is a phenomena that was described, you know, in Chinese medicine texts over a thousand years ago. And the goose syndrome methodology, uh, was very fortunate to have time to spend time with dr. Heiner through off, uh, at his great, amazing, uh, home out in Oregon and, uh, learn, you know, wow, this, these Chinese medicine docs who just had the goose center totally are describing what I’m seeing in Lyme disease patients, you know, 1500 years later. So, you know, there’s this great history that we can draw upon a strategy for treating not only the biotoxins, but the other issues I’ll be talking about right away,

Always amaze you, how they figure this stuff out thousands of years ago, it’s just, yeah.

All could be Chinese, or we could probably solve half the world’s problems, you know,

A hundred years ago.

Are you still looking, trying to research that? So, yeah, but you know, there’s, uh, there’s something about, you know, inventing something that you think is new and getting credit for that, that, you know, it’s very entrepreneurial in the U S so, um, but, uh, let’s, let’s jump back into inflammation next here. So inflammation can, Purdue is often produced, uh, in response to infections, toxins, heavy metals. Many of my patients, uh, become metal toxic because for whatever reason it could be aluminum mercury or from dental amalgams, it could be a lead. It could be a cadmium that I’m seeing in these patients, in their scans, and this can increase inflammation and other symptoms, which can mimic a lot of Lyme disease symptoms. And as a result, it can affect, you know, all different systems and different combinations that can fluctuate that can change, uh, and over time, and is very hard to say, okay, here’s this one symptom that’s it’s signature of this.

Then the patients often come in with eight or nine different primary issues or symptoms. So it’s, you know, how do you begin to tease apart all this, you know, often one of the main new suspects is inflammation. And then given that this inflammation baby produced and greater quantities that they’re, uh, doing, they may not be able to eliminate or deal with effectively that they can get backed up, which in itself creates this relapsing symptoms. A lot of my patients actually have inflammation in the nervous system, especially the, the midbrain, uh, also, and that creates a lot of neurological issues, brain fog, memory, recall cognitive issues. So, you know, these inflammatory cytokines can go through the blood brain barrier and affect, you know, the mental functioning. And then number three, biofilms. You know, when I learned, I actually gave a talk at this, uh, Southeastern PA Lyme group, uh, biofilms about 10 and years ago. And I got up and I was really depressed because of reading about how, how difficult they are and how they’re going to do everything all in resistant and all that stuff. I got them from the crowd and it was about like 60 people in the audience. And I said, I’ve been researching biofilms. And, uh, basically we’re all screwed. And everyone started laughing.

I was like,

I didn’t expect this flux. I was like really depressed. And Bob having, can we overcome these things? And there’s so many of the front row goes, we already do that. So anyway, why don’t phones are basically slime? We’ve been slime, everything goes busters. You know, these are like the tiny little ghosts that come in and slime you and they hide from your immune system. They hide from antibiotics. They hide from herbal remedies, uh, under the slime. And basically there can be multiple pathogens in a biofilm that could be bacteria. It could be parasites, it could be fun guy. And they communicate with each other. They don’t fight against each other. They collaborate using something called quorum sensing, which is literally communication molecules. They swap back and forth. And through that, they can also swap drug resistant genes. And they’ve shown that under biofilms pathogens can acquire drug resistance from species. And then also when they’ve analyzed biofilms that they find that they may be become more difficult to penetrate because in the biofilm, which is basically getting a polysaccharide slimy stuff, uh, that it also had can with some patients or some samples, I, uh, extracted calcium, magnesium, iron, and other minerals and metals make it more difficult, more, uh, less harder to penetrate.

Do you advise your patients to stop taking minerals while they’re being treated for this? Or

I, there, there are. If there can get it more through natural food sources, that’s what I have them do. Uh, I mean, a lot of patients will do magnesium, whether it be oral or through Epsom salt bath, iron tends to be an issue in a lot of patients because it’s pro-inflammatory, but yeah, a lot of patients are actually, demineralize just because, you know, because there are a lot of patients that I see have something called crypto pile urea, where they’re actually peeing out their minerals. So they need to supplement with zinc and other minerals to help replace what they’re losing. So, yeah, I mean, it’s really a kind of a like, okay, we want them to have proper mineralization and vitamins. And we also know that some of those may be used to make the biofilms a little more impenetrable, but we’ll, we’ll get to some, we’ll get to some powerful remedies, essential oils that can help you with those things.

So it’s, you know, it’s more a concern, minor concern as opposed to a major concern. So, uh, biofilms are also where they can withdraw, hide out, you know, a person’s on a drug regimen and then get off of it. And then they can, re-emerge later to in flare up symptoms. All right, shall we move on to number four co-infections as I said, over 80 different ones can be tremendous transmitted by a tick bite. It doesn’t mean every tick has it, but when they’ve analyzed ticks and seeing what infections and that these are often, I would say, this is the norm. The patients that I see, they have four or more different infections, including line, but also co-infections viruses, fungi, uh, parasites, uh, bacteria. And they may have got from a tech they may have got from other sources. However, this is the norm that I’m seeing in patients. You know, maybe like 15 years ago, I would see a patient with just Lyme as the main issue, but now it’s, it’s multiple infections making it, uh, a much more complex symptom and treatment, uh, picture, uh, to help a person with, and

The area in the Northeast where I live the, when they test the ticks. Um, I would say close to two thirds are carrying multiple co-infections.

Yeah. So you may, if you’ve been around the tick world and Lyme world are the two most common ones that I’m seeing are one called Bartonella, which is a rod-shaped bacteria and a protozoa called Babesia, which is like malaria. So in Chinese medicine, we have a huge history cause malaria was, you know, throughout China and different, especially in the Southern regions, uh, the warmer and more humid regions. We have obviously mosquitoes and there’s a lot of more verbals and treatments for treating malaria, which can’t be helpful for patients that have the BZA. So, uh, these co-infections also produce toxins and that can also create relapsing symptoms. And as I mentioned, you know, they’re actually even finding like nematodes in ticks that supposedly have been able to be transmitted in different lights, you know, studies that they do from the tick into a host. So the theory is, okay, we’re getting not just Lyme.

We’re not just getting co-infections, but we’re getting all these other things that they are, you know, having their guts. So, um, and there was one study that, uh, uh, dr. Ellen McDonald did of, uh, brains from the Harvard brain bank of patients that had like glioblastoma. And I think it was, uh, one kind of dementia with Lewy body dementia that they, he found parasitic worms. And within the parasitic worms in these brain samples, there was Borrelia, there was Lyme disease. So lion can hide in bigger things. And so when you kill off the bigger parasites you’re offering, we’re then releasing maybe viruses and bacteria that are within those parasites into the patient. So it’s kind of a general, you need to be aware of that if you’re treating these larger, uh, infections and then environmental mold is one of the bigger issues that I’m seeing more and more of, because we have, you know, a roof leak in a home or someone’s car leaks or at work, and they have a place where, you know, it’s not, well, you know, there’s what are water damage?

That’s creating mold to be able to grow in those environments. And so one aspect of the toxic environmental molds is that they produce airborne spores to propagate through an environment. And the spores are actually food for bacteria. So what a mold does it a toxin to it. And so that prevents bacteria try to eat it, then toxin kills them. And so that’s why you have, uh, the airborne concerns of what are damaged like behind walls. And you don’t see any mold, but the, the, uh, airborne spores, the airborne toxins can come through and get people more sick. You know, I’ve heard it, you know, dozens and dozens of times when patients, I’m just not getting better, I’ve taken all these variants during those treatments. And, Oh, I found mold in my house, or I found mold at work and, you know, boom, Oh, when I get out of that environment, I feel so much better.

So it’s like this, you know, this continual, uh, inundation of toxins that’s really slowing down their progress and maybe actually making them worse. Because unfortunately, according to dr. Ritchie Shoemaker who did a lot of pirating work around mold and biotoxin illnesses, he found about 25% of his patients lack the genes. These are human leukocyte, energy genes, or HLA genes, uh, to be able to tag the mycotoxins with an antibody and eliminate it. So these people that are like just continual toxic, you know, are unable to dump these effectively and they become more, more toxic and more and more symptomatic.

And do you find that there are some people that are just more prone to reacting to mold? Because I think a lot of us are exposed to it, but maybe if somebody has a damp type constitution, or is there any other correlates that you’ve seen of people who are very sensitive to mold?

There are some people who, you know, Oh, they now have an allergic history, you know, of reacting to, uh, these kind of like allergens or toxins. Uh, they often seeing patients also diagnosed with something called mass cell activation, where your mass also like here first-line or defense against pathogens, allergens, toxins, and they can release histamine and hundreds of other compounds. And in some patients it’s like, there’s, these muscles are so activated that they’re just cranking out all these inflammatory compounds. And the person just had becomes a, you know, an inflamed, uh, soup that needs to be dealt with first, like calming that down, cleaning out you, the whatever’s triggering the muscles to over activate. Uh, so that’s one of the groups of patients that I’m seeing also, you know, I, you know, I kinda like with some patients, we will ask them to do their HLA genetics with our lime doc and some of the morning you’ve done it.

And then we can see with those patients, they have difficulty getting rid of toxins and they may be not only with mold toxins, it could be also with other bacterial biotoxins like Babesia and Lyme. They have difficulty with also. So, you know, it’s a matter of what are the ways we can get to these toxins, either neutralize them or draw them out of the patients. So I’ll be talking about some essential oils to help with that. All right. Yay. Let’s go. So four biotoxins that are produced by Lyme, and co-infections one of the main essential oils we use is tumeric now tumeric and different studies. It lowers endotoxins and also mycotoxins, which are from fungal mold. It’s great as an anti-inflammatory and also has some anti protozoal properties and different labs studies. And another one is federal, uh, federal it’s great, uh, for the gut. It’s also wonderful for neutralizing several different kinds of toxins. So it’s another a go-to for, especially if a patient has like a gut issues, leaky gut, or bloating, or other things that are going on due to some sort of gut toxin, uh, that’s that’s creating the relapsing symptoms.

Are you going to talk about how these are utilized later or topically and in which internally?

Well, we’re going to talk about two main, two, two of the main ones that I have, but, you know, we have, you know, I’ll run through and I’ll get as much to do as much as I can. Okay. So the next one is inflammation. One of our main go tos is eucalyptus globulin and a different, uh, lab, uh, studies. It reduces multiple inflammatory compounds that are often elevated in Lyme patients and coinfection patients. Another great one. This is probably the most research, essential oil is lavender, and it also lowers multiple inflammatory compounds. So

You’re using 11 doula and gusta folia there. Yep.

[inaudible] and the biofilms there’s research out of Hopkins that shows a cinnamon bark will inhibit the line biofilms, uh, uh, totally. You know, there’s no regrowth, I think after 14 or 21 days after the biofilms and other drug resistant, are they called persisters of Lyme disease are treated with cinnamon bark. And so in other studies that also is in fact against candida because a lot of my patients who’ve received months or years of antibiotics may have a candida overgrowth due to the antibiotic only off of their healthy gut flora and then candy to be able to then grow and also staphylococcus. Uh, and, uh, dr. Ritchie shoemaker’s work, he found it in two weeks of his patients getting antibiotics. He found drug Wars and the staff in their sinuses. So one of the great things about cinnamon bark is it can cut through the staff biofilms. And also one of the ones, uh, that is this very powerful, essential oil to be used in very small quantities is garlic, because basically you give this to a patient then around the world, they like,

Wow, you really are

Going to keep the Dracula away. Aren’t

You?

One guy said to me, it’s just like, okay. And his studies inhibits lime and candida biofilms. So it’s really a very powerful, in many ways, you know, so you may have a different, uh, but now with social distancing, it’ll help you to maintain social distancing

Even when the pandemic summer,

And then co-infections, uh, and one of the two oils we use are cinnamon bark. Again, if it’s Bartonella, brucellosis and mycoplasma those a three bacterias that can be found in Kix and that they can transmit, and also oregano, which inhibits Bartonella brucella, and also a different species of malaria, which is very similar to the protozoa, the Vizio and number five is how do we deal with environmental mold? Because a lot of people don’t even know it until they get out of the environment, or they do some sort of testing urine testing for metabolites. Uh, Rosemary is effective against candida aspergillus fusarium, and it also reduces mycotoxins in different experiments. So these oils have multiple properties that can be helpful for these patients, not only to reduce toxicity, but also, you know, some patients are colonized and their sinuses on their skin or in their gut. And so depending on where we find it or we suspect it is, and we can start to deliver these oils more directly into those areas and also clove bud clove buds, a great any microbial and has, um, against these other, uh, fungi mold species, and also do some microtoxins.

So one of the main ways that we work with patients when they come in for treatment, yes, we are seeing patients, uh, have, is that we give it to them sublingual. And what we’ll do is we’ll use a Kerry oral, uh, 90% carrier oil, and then 10% of an essential oil, uh, of the different ones. Uh, usually if a person’s inflamed or toxic that won’t go to those anti-inflammatory or any toxin essential oils, I mentioned earlier, like lavender or tumeric and put that under their tongue. And that can then begin to diffuse, especially if they have neurological symptoms through the glymphatic system, into the nervous system. And also there are a lot of capillaries around the mouth, so it will diffuse into the blood and through that, into the nervous system also, and I’ve had patients come in and they’re like, their mind just can’t shut off and I can’t sleep.

And using things like lavender, uh, under sublingual, I can just see their, their mind calming down their anxiety, reducing their inflammation, just, you know, getting more, uh, less, you know, activated, uh, within as short as like 15 minutes. And, you know, sometimes I’ll do multiple sublingual oils on a patient first, I’ll do testing on them, see which ones are optimal for them, and then give them to them sublingual. And while I’m getting like Chinese medicine treatments and microcurrent and, you know, hydrogen therapy and other things that we do. And then also one of the great things I learned about, uh, from a dr Klinghardt was how due to the value of making things into microparticles or what he called liposomes. And so what we’ll do with patients is we’ll custom formulate their essential oils. And when they’re ready, we’ll formulate them into a microparticle microparticles, go deeper into the cells and different studies into the brain and to organs and under and into biofilms more effectively.

And so these are the hiding places, the reservoirs, where we are wanting to deliver that any toxin and inflammatory, any microbial essential oils. And this has been a game changer for so many patients in terms of getting past their plateau, where they can’t don’t feel like they’re improving, or they’re keep hitting that as relapsing symptoms. It really seems to take the medicine deeper into where it’s needed and create that improvement in their symptoms. So those are the two game-changing ones, the sublingual one that practitioners who are listening to this can, you know, look at right away. And, you know, obviously you want to see it, what’s safe, internal dosing. Cause a lot of people out there have said, Hey, don’t use essential oils internally, but fortunately, uh, there’s research, uh, publication, uh, essential oil safety, second edition by Robert Tisserand that shows, Hey, these are safe, dermal topical, and also internal dosing levels for different essential oils. And that’s been

Meaning just, um, certain ones or in general,

There’s probably, I don’t know, over 900 or I dunno, there, there, there’s a hundreds of oils in this publication and not all of them have internal dosing guidelines because I’ll be somewhere maybe toxic graph, toxic compounds, but he goes over the research that’s existing for different oils. And then what dosages can be a recommended as a maximum dose we take taken internally. So that’s been a godsend for us, uh, in terms of delivering these oils safely and effectively, internally in patients. And then also, uh, we’re offering a free report for listeners and the top five essential oils that reuse for Lyme disease. And you can get that at our website, goodbyelyme.com/aac. And again, thank you AC uh, for generously allowing us to come on and provide this information to help, uh, our colleagues, because I think this has been a game changer for so many patients with Lyme disease. So, all right. So at this point, I’ll turn it back to you, Virginia.

And if you want to reach me, it’s luminous beauty.com. And again, thank you to the American acupuncture council. And I believe that we have, Yair Maimon as a guest next week. So until then, goodbye.

Bye. Thank you.

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The Role of Biofilms in the Induction and Maintenance of Latency (伏)

 

Hi, I’m Virginia Doran hosting another episode for, to the point, generously hosts, hosted and produced by the American Acupuncture Council. Today. My guest is Brandon Horn. He’s going to speak on the role of biofilms in the induction and maintenance of latency and, uh, being that I live in a very chick ridden area.

Click here to download the transcript.  You can download the PPT slides here.

I’ve come to learn a lot about biofilms and, uh, certainly they influence other diseases, but I think it will be valuable for you across a host of different conditions that you might be treating. So, uh, Brandon is a real Renaissance man, and, uh, I can’t even really, uh, get into all his, um, bio, but you could go and see that low to center.com. Um, he’s been a senior student of Jeffrey UN for years. He’s has a doctorate of philosophy in classical Chinese medicine, uh, from American university of complimentary medicine in Los Angeles.

Uh, he’s been a licensed acupuncturist since 2000 and, uh, he has many specialties in fertility, rheumatology, pediatrics, uh, he’s published, um, in books and in articles, um, many times and various subjects. And I think it’d be very interesting for you if he has a healthy seminars, uh, course on, uh, optimizing ovarian reserve. And there’s really just so many, uh, things as he’s done, I’d be talking for quite a long time to tell you all that. So without further ado, I would like to introduce Brandon and if I left something important out brand the pizza, let me know. Um, but otherwise I’ll hand it over to you, Brian. Brandon. Okay. You hear me okay? Yes. Okay, great. Um, so thank you, Virginia. Uh, and, uh, just more thank you and the AAC for inviting me to, um, to speak with you today. Um, so, uh, I originally, as you noted, wanted to present some information on code for you guys, but I’m not allowed to, because I was told that Facebook has decided to pull down people’s accounts. If they’re disseminating information about Coda, that’s not from an official source. Uh, at any rate I’ve been presenting a series on latency, uh, at international,

Uh, integrative Chinese medicine conference in Australia. Um, and this, um, uh, these talks are now available@aucm.online, if you want to pursue today’s lecture further. So, um, I’ll get into as much detail as we have time for. Um, but there is a resource available if you want more. So, um, we’re going to talk about biofilms today, which is apparently not on Facebook sensor list, uh, yet, uh, but biofilms are quite fascinating. And really when you begin to study microbiology, I, you start to understand the details of what the, uh, the ancient doctors were observing and what they’ve been describing for millennia.

So, all right. Um, uh, I’m taking slides straight out of, uh, one of the talks that I gave called managing microbial resistance. And again, this is available in full@acm.online, uh, for those who want to hear the full lecture, because biofilms is only one part of the lecture and I had to cut it down a bit to fit within a half an hour. Um, so in that lecture, we’re talking about latency or lurking pathogens as some people call them. Uh, and this is more from the perspective of bacteria in this particular lecture because different pathogens have very different ways in which they form and maintain latency. And also our weight. She responds very differently as well. So from a big picture, bacterial latency perspective, we have, uh, three major players, uh, here. Um, these are the persisters, the persister organisms, the biofilms and the in time microbial resistant organisms.

So these groups of organisms are all on a spectrum of latency, uh, that we’ll look at in the net. But, um, first I’d like to briefly review the origins of latency in Chinese medicine, for those of you who are not necessarily familiar with the concept. Um, so in Chinese, uh, the term we use for latency or for lurking is cool, uh, and this has been popularized or revived in some ways, uh, in TCM from the, uh, from the one thing school, right? But the origins of this concept of latency are much older than that. Uh, the earliest mentions go all the way back to the majoring and chapters three and five of the N, which States that when one is harmed by cold in the winter, one will suffer a warm disease in the spring.

So what that’s saying is that, yeah,

But you really get cold in the winter and then you’ll end up with a one being in the spring. It’s really giving us this concept that, uh, infection and disease are not the same thing, meaning that you can be infected asymptomatically. Um, but that asymptomatic infection does not mean that you’re off the hook, right? So this is important. Uh, it has very important ramifications with disease etiology, and particularly with how we approach diseases. So for example, in another topic that Facebook loves to sensor, we find that these vaccines are designed to induce latency either immediately, which is in the case of live vaccines or upon contact with a pathogen as is the case with most of the other vaccines that we have. And we know for example, that vaccinating, uh, if you take, for example, for testis, uh, that prevents you, assuming that it works, it prevents you from becoming symptomatic with, for testis, but it does not prevent infection with four to tele pertussis.

However, uh, what the nagging is telling us is that you can contract the pathogen asymptomatically, but later on, you’re going to manifest the disease in a different way, right? So pharmaceutical companies, uh, they don’t like to look up for that kind of problem because it rains in on their profit parade. Uh, but fortunately there are a few researchers that have noticed these kinds of problems and published about them, but bad things tend to happen to their careers, uh, at any rate, as they say, trust science, uh, but not necessarily scientists. Alright, I’m done with politics. Uh, the second, the second thing,

An example of that, you know, uh, could you give an example of the, uh, of this latency?

Uh, yeah. I’m going to give you lots of examples. Yeah. So the, you know, we’re going to talk about a whole spectrum of latency in a minute. I have some slides on, so, okay. So, um, anyway, the second thing, uh, that it’s telling us is that, uh, environment is primarily responsible for this change in packaging, from being asymptomatic to transforming into a disease, right? They say, it said, one thing happens in winter. The next thing happens in the spring. This is environment. Um, there are other things here as well in terms of discussing people’s constitution, uh, and things like that. But that’s a little more involved in the uptime for right now. Sorry about that. Uh, the main point here is that Chinese medicine has understood this idea of a hidden pathogen or asymptomatic infection, uh, or subclinical infection, if you want to call it for millennia.

And so in Chinese medicine school refers to any kind of infection that can hide or take on a dormant state, uh, or that can resist being expelled by the body. Now. So this gets to your question here a little bit, or well now from then aging, how we can differentiate different kinds of latencies. There’s latent, cold, latent heat, latent down and Layton wind. And then the one being school added really latent fire. But for this particular lecture, the most important are latent cold, latent heat and latent dam. Um, really latent fire and wind are all under latent heat for young faculty, right. Um, so at any rate to give you some idea of how this is important, uh, within microbiology have a kind of a spectrum of what Chinese medicine really calls a fool. And these are again from Leighton close to Laden heat. And of course in between cold and heat is damn right. We’re yin and yang meat, uh, is damp now, uh, what the spectrum is describing is both phenotypical alterations of the organisms. So this would be a cold pathogen transforming you to like heat pathogen, for example, or it could be describing the environment that the pathogen is in, and these concepts are related, but when we’re discussing biofilms themselves, we’re talking both about the environment of the biofilm, as well as the pathogen mix. Uh, so biofilms as the earth element, uh, contain the entire spectrum from cold, uh, to eat.

So what exactly are biofilms? Well, um, biofilms are basically these kinds of small fortresses. Uh, if you want to think about them, that pathogens build to protect themselves from our way T and to allow them to persist in our bodies without having to worry about the immune system. So basically they are one of the main methods of latency within our bodies. Uh, and in my opinion, this is why sensimilla thought slam was a major part of disease. And he was right. It turns out that up to 60% of all human infections are believed to be caused by biofilms. That’s all human infections. And 80% of bacterial diseases are believed to be caused by biofilms. And when we look at the chemistry of biofilms, how we see that they’re essentially what they are. Is there a matrix of biopolymers that are, as I say, highly hydrated.

So in other words, they’re full of water, right? So polymers are just like, uh, they’re technical, they’re repeating chain of molecules. So it’s kind of like if you take Legos and you just use the Legos to build, you know, the same size and the same pieces to build the kind of more complicated structure, um, that’s essentially what you have. And they’re also again, highly hydrated. And so you see that from a chemistry perspective, these bio polymers that make up the outer coating of the biofilms R and D data, right. But polymers of course, can be very tough substances. So like plantain. So we think of like, so if you think of some polymers, things like PVC is a poem, right? Or even natural polymers, like rubber or hemp and so forth. So they can be very difficult to break down. And one more point here that I want to make is that biofilms are made of our sessile organisms.

And that means that these are organisms that are attached to the biofilm. So when the organisms are swimming around, we call them planktonic. But, um, these are just different phenotypes that the same organism can become and organisms that are in this particular phenotype that we call a sessile state respond very differently to antibiotics and to the immune system, then planktonic organisms do. Um, however, almost all of the literature that you read about with earth, they matter, or this antibiotic or whatever, killing XYZ bacteria, these are done when they’re in new planktonic state and not when they’re in necessitate state. So these may actually have no effect on the organism when it’s expressing assessable phenotype. So for example, in a biofilm, and this is another reason why it’s really hard to kill a biofilm organisms for a candidate.

Okay. So here you have a couple of images of what a biofilms look like a close up, and you can see it, it really is plenty, uh, in some ways. So I like these images because it’s similar to what you can feel impulses, uh, or when you palpate. Right? So a lot of what Jeffrey UN for example, refers to as bands or some of these phlegm modulations that aren’t obviously lymph nodes or something, uh, or these calcification type things, or what Kiko Matsumoto, if any of you follow her cause gummies or crunchies, these are really a lot of times, these are the effects of biofilms on tissue and both Jeffrey and Kiko. I’ll break these down. And they’d like to use moxibustion as well, which we have a slide on the minute Jeffrey, like salsa using WashDOT go doesn’t really use croissant to my knowledge.

Um, so, uh, so we saw that the photograph of the surface of a biofilm, but inside the biofilm, it’s a little different. So inside of a biofilm, we basically have three layers under the surface. So you can think of it as kind of like a three story house or something, right. In some ways. So at the top layer, you have the, uh, it’s full of and blood kind of like, you know, like young men, right. Uh, and then you have the next layer that is high in substrate and low in oxygen. So that’s the shallow young layer. That’s where Dan pathogens that have to use fermentation for energy, right? Because it’s low in oxygen, that’s where there’s a live right in that layer. And then finally you have the third layer, which is low and substrate and low in oxygen. Uh, and this is where you have the persister cells or the, what we call in Chinese medicine, these cold pathogens.

Right. Um, so what you see here is that, uh, w um, you get sort of multiple phenotypically the States within one biofilm. And what that means once again, is that it’s really tough to kill, right? So even if you remove the surface and you expose the bacteria to the immune system or to antibiotics, then the persister cells are still going to survive, and eventually they’re going to become planktonic again, and then they can reinfect you again. And this is why we need to think longterm, you can’t just treat symptomatically. And once the symptomatic, the symptoms are gone, then you stop treating because the pathogen is going to remain latent, and it’s going to pop up somewhere else as a different kind of disease, or it can pop up in the same place as well. So you get rid of, let’s say, you get rid of the person’s knee pain or whatever, but really you just, you know, release pathogen.

And then six months later, it’s growing on the person’s neck or their spine. And then you end up with another kind of disease that you don’t necessarily correlate with that this is really a micro biological reality of divergent channel theory. If you have any of you follow jeopardy, uh, you might have some of the other teachers teaching at divergent channels. Um, so to treat biofilms, uh, we should perse take a look at how they’re formed. Uh, and then we’re going to discuss a little bit of some of the approaches we can use to treat them. So, um, the, with the formation of biofilms, of course, it’s going to first start with, uh, adhesion right at first has to, uh, adhere to a surface. And, um, so, uh, once that happens, then it’s going to attach, uh, and then grow the biofilm on it. So this first stage is really in the CI level, uh, because the initial adhesion is done through electrostatic or vendor walls, uh, interactions, which if you’re not familiar with the band or walls forces, they’re basically like what, you know, geckos use the stick to the ceiling or, or to the wall or something like that.

Um, but yeah, that’s what they use. So at any rate, because this is the cheat level, we can use cheese to prevent adhesion. And so we can really look at things like cheese gong, or like using East them, if you’re not, you know, if you think she goes to esoteric for you use East them, or you can alter the pH various pH altering strategies work, uh, hydration is also very helpful. Uh, all of this can disrupt biofilms from forming. I also have a list of herbs here as well. So things like green tea, which of course they, you know, they use in Chinese restaurants to clean the grease off the glass tables, uh, you know, cause it’s really good at breaking down, uh, you know, dampness, right. Uh, it’s also, um, uh, there’s cranberry, which is popular for preventing UTIs and it also helps prevent the formation of biofilms as well. Um, and also keep in mind, there are different methods that different bacteria use to form biofilms. So these herbs aren’t going to necessarily work on all biofilms, but certainly they do help with many different times.

Okay. So then after, uh, after we have the initial sort of, uh, adhesion then attachment, so once they’re together, then they have to start, uh, binding. Right. So then we start, uh, physically binding, right. Um, so, uh, at any rate, once that happens, then that’s what we consider to be more at the blood level, right? So we need to use herbs because it’s something more structural, more physical. So we need to use herbs that break up blood stagnation or blood spaces to prevent formation at this state or to break things down at this stage. So I just put up, you know, herbs with studies here, but of course you can use the regular wounds. You know, now not applying is, is particularly effective for this space, by the way. Um, but you should be careful with that. Not all finances is actually quite strong.

Um, okay. So once it’s anchored, uh, then the start to collect on it so they can call, uh, we basically call that swarming, right? Everything just starts swarming towards it. And there are some herds listed here that we can use to inhibit the sort of swarming function. Uh, and then as they’re swarming and gathering into a community, uh, then they need to communicate. So this is done towards, uh, by something called forum sensing, which I discuss in detail in the main lecture, but I, here are a list of herbs that interfere with that process. So quorum sensing is also very important when we’re dealing with antibiotic resistant organisms, which are different than biofilms, and these require different strategies than just, you know, dealing with biofilms. So then we have that the, uh, outer coating the EPS, uh, so inhibition of the formation of EPS. So these are some strategies for, uh, breaking down the biopolymer or the phlegm, uh, as we discussed. So again, I know all of, you know, which herbs treat land in Chinese medicine. So I only listed herbs here that has studies on them directly inhibiting, uh, the EPS formation. Uh, but of course you can use other herbs that, you know, uh, deal with phlegm as well.

And finally, after the biofilm is formed, uh, it eventually gets too crowded. And at some point, uh, at bursts open and we call that the dispersal stage. Uh, so it can be stimulated also by environmental factors like extreme temperatures, uh, pH extremes, dietary changes, and so forth. So of course, you know, saunas can cause dispersal as can dietary supplements, uh, and of course verbal medicines can as well. Uh, and so this is one of the prime causes of the so-called, you know, healing crisis, uh, where all of a sudden these latent pathogens get released, and then you need to deal with them. They’re no longer latent. They’re spreading. Again, this is divergent channel theory, where if you’ve studied with Jeffery yang, he talks about how you have two or maybe three approaches when you’re dealing with chronic pathogens. And one is the maintenance, uh, I mean the general approaches one is to maintain latency or induce latency.

And the other is to stimulate the pathogen to come out of latency and then expel it from the body. Now, of course, it’s very difficult to permanently rid yourself of the pathogen, but it can help to reduce the pathogenic load on the body if it’s using too many resources to maintain latency. So you only have so many, uh, you know, jail cells, so to speak. And if you don’t clear out your jail cells, there’s not going to be any room, a room for new criminals that are coming, right. So, you know, I mean, that’s really kind of how it is. So here’s some herbs and so forth here that I’ve listed that can help inhibit dispersal. And some of these actually are counterintuitive because traditionally we’ve used cold to maintain latency, but hearing you see garlic and onions and cinnamon bark, uh, those can inhibit biofilm dispersal.

Of course, you know, these studies keep in mind, these are usually done in vitro, meaning in a test tube or in a Petri dish or something. And, you know, it can behave very differently when it’s in vivo or when it’s in the body. Right? So for me, when I’m trying to inhibit dispersal, which may be, if I know my patient is going into some extreme conditions, or if they are going through something really stressful, or maybe they’re having a current healing crisis, then I don’t use garlic. I’m, you know, I’m recommending things that are cooling and cold. So from here, you can see things like cactus and apples and leafy greens and so forth, things like that. Of course, you know, cinnamon bark you can use in small doses to actually pull things back into latency, but that’s, you know, that’s another discussion in general as a general concept, cooling and cold is what I use. Like [inaudible] soup for those of you who’ve studied some of the classical medicine. Yeah.

Recommend the patient, do things to kind of open the detoxification pathways, something like glutathione or something so that their detoxification of this, of whatever they have, um, makes it easier, a smoother, less cathartic list, you know, uh, Herxheimer reaction at all.

Yeah. So I actually, uh, I don’t go there right away. So this will be sort of an individual thing for each patient, but as a general proposition, it’s, it’s not actually a lot of people like to detoxify. Um, but that’s really, usually not the, in my opinion, that’s not the correct strategy to start with the correct strategy to start with is to make sure that all of your exits are open, right? So you want to make sure that the person’s vowels are moving well. You want to make sure that their urination is going well. They’re able to sweat, you know, these types of things, because you can do as much, you know, detoxification as you want. And that’s just like taking a bathtub and trying to clean it without much water. You know, you just got one without the drain being open, even if you have water, right.

You’re just going to switch it around and it’s not really going to do much. So you first have to make sure that all the exits are going smoothly. So if the person’s constipated or they have dry stools or, you know, these types of things and you need to correct, I recommend correcting that first, anytime you’re doing any of this stuff, um, and then you can get in, or a person needs glue to buy on, or a person needs, whatever. You know, I, I am actually as much as I talk about all this Western stuff, you know, I am at part a on herbalist and acupuncturist first, and that’s always my go to initially and I do functional medicine types of things and types of testing. I do it frequently, but these are things that I do for people where they’re, it’s more remote oftentimes. So I don’t have to check their pulses necessarily, or I can use it also as a, you know, if what I’m doing in the herbal medicine, isn’t working well enough for the person sensitive. So that’s kind of,

I think we’re actually saying the same thing. Yeah. The Goodwill line just opens up the liver so that it can detoxify more smoothly, um, as you know, but anyway, yeah. It’s just interesting to hear your approach.

Yeah, exactly. So you, you can open up the liver, but, but it still has to get out of the body. Right. So that’s all I’m saying is that I would agree to, you know, that this is, you know, you’re assuming step one is done. So, um, so for treatment then biofilms, since that’s this, this slide, we can talk about that a little bit. Um, the approach then. So this is just kind of a general idea of where you first ensure that the body strong enough to handle the breakdown of biofilms and this release of latency, and then next you attack the matrix, right? So after the person’s strong enough, then you go after the matrix of the biofilms and you can use some of the strategies that we talked about that caused biochem this first. So like saunas or jumping into a frozen Lake, or getting beaten by a tree branch.

These are the kind of Russian methods, but at least there’s a sauna at the end. So that’s good. And then finally you need to sort of clear the pathogen out and then loop back to step one until you no longer get symptomatic after step two. So you’re going to keep going through the cycle that as soon as the symptoms over time, they’re going to be less and less as you’re clearing things out. Um, so let’s take a look at the different stages. We’re actually not going to talk much about the first stage because that’s just standard TCM. Pretty much everyone is trained and you know, how you, uh, strengthen the body and blood and made sure that they’re strong enough for this. Um, so then the second thing is that, uh, we’re going to attack the matrix. So other than the, uh, environmental manipulations that I just mentioned, uh, we work primarily with the aid extra channels on this eye and the low channels for this stage.

And really if you’re looking at biofilms, low channels are the primary way to treat these because biofilms, again, as we mentioned, they’re, um, most oftentimes, uh, present as phlegm and his blood stagnation and the channel system that deals with phlegm and blood stagnation on the low channels, right? So you can use a guash Shaw on the bandit areas, or you can use needles and moxa to break that down. Uh, those are also very effective from the, uh, eight extra channel perspective. Uh, we work with young way Maya as the primary channel, and then secondarily, then we can work with [inaudible] ciao. And I guess you need some of that extra power or whatever, then possibly you’ll tap into Duma as well, but it’s more the diet and Yung chow for this. So now, as, as I mentioned moxibustion before, um, so here’s a slide on that.

It’s very useful for breaking down biofilms and there has been research in this area in terms of temperatures, not in terms of moxibustion directly, but in terms of temperatures that biofilms begin to break down with. So then we can look at what temperature the moxa gets up to, right? And this of course is going to also depend on the blend that you’re burning. So you can check the temperatures if you want with those laser thermometers, if you’re a metal type and you need to have those exact numbers, but basically you want the area of the tissue that you’re trying to break down to hit 50 degrees centigrade, which is about 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Um, but for me, I use centigrade for this not to be fancy, but just because it’s easier to remember. Uh, so I use that. So 50 is your target for biofilm breakdown, uh, and 60 is where your skin burns.

So the sweet spot is between 50 and 60 degrees Celsius. And as you can see here, a moxibustion can get you there. Um, but keep in mind that the temperature at the surface of the skin is not the same as the subacute temperature, subcutaneous temperature. Um, so what I find to be the most effective personally is using Chico style of doing direct moxibustion on the needle itself, you know, meaning, meaning that you, you insert the needle and then you’re putting the moxibustion at the border of the needle, uh, and the skin, uh, right. And you put a little burn cream on there for those of you who aren’t familiar with that. And then you do the small rice grain boxes on top and keep going. Um, if you use needle moxa, what happens is it typically is going to cool off too much, uh, by the time it gets to the biofilm, uh, unless you’re using a particularly hot mocks that formula you’re burning it for a particularly long time, then you might be able to get enough there.

Um, so, uh, I’m not going to discuss during the pathogen so much because that’s, you know, there are many ways to do that. I tend to use low channels a lot in these that really the most for clearing and verbally, once these things are active, you can use your standard things. Your Shanghai online formulas are one big strategies, depending on what your, you know, what you’re trying to do at that point. Um, so, uh, here in this slide, um, I just wanted to bring up this a caution that when you release late, I can see it can spread and it can cause widespread problems that can be serious. And as you see here, it can disseminate into the blood, which means that it could cause sepsis, right? If the patient isn’t strong enough to clear it out. So, uh, again, my recommendation is to go slowly, but sometimes, you know, we don’t have a choice because someone gets sick, someone gets a fever and then bang, it starts to pause, disperse a little biofilms.

And these are where you get a lot of secondary bacterial infections to a primary viral infection, like say a cold or flu, or that other thing that shall not be named that some people are taking as it for my son. Uh, so if you’re aware of this, we can employ some of the acupuncture and herbal strategies as a prophylaxis. Um, now, uh, some of the practitioners, particularly natural paths or some functional medicine, practitioners love to use a lot of anti biofilm substances. And I would really caution against being overly aggressive with those, because unless you know how to monitor pulses again, you’re only going to know something is happening otherwise, if the patient’s symptomatic, but these things can spread asymptomatically as well. And then they can go places that are less than ideal, right? Your body put them in a particular place, perhaps on purpose.

And then we, you know, then they can start spreading the places your body didn’t want. So if you check pulses, then you’re much less likely to run into a problem, but if you don’t check pulses, then I think it’s best, uh, personally to err on the side of just moving slower, uh, to release the, uh, latency. So again, these are all, uh, citations to, uh, articles and, uh, uh, in the NCBI. So you can follow up that, yes, fever, induced, biofilms do release a new Macaca. Uh, and this has been shown to result in bacterial dissemination and sepsis, for example. So this is not just Chinese medicine docking. This is also, you know, what’s been confirmed in medical research. I mean, non Chinese medicine, medical research, I personally relied more on Chinese medicine. Vertical research is much more, um, uh, much more accurate, but that’s a whole nother discussion.

So lastly, um, I just want to mention that biofilms are everywhere in our environment or they’re on your showers. They’re already here, they’re all over the place everywhere. I, and also everywhere in our bodies and some of them are actually beneficial. So just like if we take too many phlegm resolving herbs, we can damage our yen. If we remove biofilms too aggressively, we can end up compromising our health rather than helping. Um, so here’s one example of biofilm syrup, the lower jaw that protect the body from other pathogens. So here you see that lactobacillus form may fit protective layer. Uh, the biofilm basically in the email, you’re a genital system that provides protection against bacterial infections and the vaginal cells are completely covered with, uh, healthy biofilms. And that’s a good thing. So I think that’s pretty much it. Uh what’s that, that’s great. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And so I just want people to know that they can, the full presentation is available talking about the persister organisms, a little more detail on biofilms, but I’m also talking about the antibiotic resistant organisms themselves and how to approach those. Um, that’s available at AUC, um, dot, uh, online, uh, and it’s only three hours, so it’s not like you have to watch it for two years, um, by some of my other ones.

Okay. Well, I want to thank you all for tuning in and next week, the guests will be [inaudible] and, uh, he’s always interesting. And, uh, again, thanks to the American Acupuncture Council, um, Virginia Doran of luminousbeauty.com. And we’ll see again, soon all right. Thank you. Thank you, Brandon.

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