Asthma

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Asthma is a common ailment. Those who develop it appear to accept the condition and learn to live with it. The problem however is treatable with Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Asthma is an episodic allergic pulmonary disease. An attack is mostly induced by the inhalation of, or contact with allergens, such as pollens, dusts, germs, etc. During the attack, patients have severe dyspnea which is due to spasm of bronchial smooth muscles, swelling of the bronchial mucosa, and hrpersccrction of mucus, leading to bronchial obstruction. When the attack cannot be relieved for a long time, it is called "status asthmaticus". The disease is often seen in children and teenagers. In TCM, it is attributable to the categories of "Xiao" (bronchial wheezing) and "Chuan" (dyspnea).

In Britain, there are 3 million people suffering from asthma, among these arc 1 million children most of them living in cities.

In terms of TCM, asthma mainly has a cold type, heat type and deficiency type.

The main symptoms and signs of cold type asthma are: a feeling of fullness and distress in the chest, dyspnea with a wheezing sound in the throat, coughing with thin sputum, frequent attacks in cold seasons or caused by cold, whitish, moist and glossy fur on the tongue, taut and tight pulse. The treatment principle is to ventilate the lungs and expel pathogenic cold, eliminating phlegm to relieve the asthma. The prescription is She Gan Ma Huan Tang (She Gan, Ma Huang, Xi Xin, Ban Xia, Wu Wei Zi, Zi Wan, Kuan Dong Hua, Shengjiang, Dazhao, Xin Ren, Suzi).

The main symptoms and signs of

Qi Magazine 30

f heat type asthma arc: dyspnea with wheezing, irritable, oppressed sensation in the chest, even gasping for breath, yellowish, mucoid sputum, thirst, frequent occurrence in hot seasons or onset closely associated with heat, reddened tongue with yellow, greasy fur, slippery and rapid pulse. The treatment principle is based on removing heat phlegm and facilitating the flow of lung-qi to relieve asthma. For this modified prescriptions of Ma Xin Shi Gan Tang and San Zi Yang Qin Tang (Ma Hwang, Xin Ren, Shen Shi Gao, Gan Cao, Sw Zi, Ting Li Zi, Di Long, Sang Bai Pi, Gua Lou Ren, Chuan Bei Mu) can be used.

The main symptoms and signs of deficiency type asthma are: chronic and recurrent attacks for a long time, constant minor and persistent asthma at ordinary times, the sound of the cough being low and weak, palpitations and shortness of breath, spontaneous perspiration and aversion to wind, general debility, pale tongue with a little fur, deep, thready and weak pulse. The treatment principle is based on tonifying the lungs and spleen and improving inspiration to relieve the asthma. The prescription is the powder of Ginseng and Cc Jic with additional ingredients (Ginseng, Gc Jie, Hu Tas Rou, Mai Men Dong, Wu Wei Zi, Huang Qi, Dong Chong Xia Cao, Bei He, Fu Ling, Chen Pi, Zhi Gan Cao).

Although there are different types of asthma, as indicated previously, my clinical experience shows that the main types of asthma occur differently in China compared to Britain. There arc more cold and deficiency types of asthma in China and more heat type asthma in Britain, due to the different geographical conditions and differing lifestyles. Therefore, when

"In Britai people suffer^ million child living in citu w i I

tse wc treat asthma in this country it is incorrcct to copy the asthma prescriptions straight from Chinese books. This is what the chaptcr "Discussion on Therapies in Accordance with Local Conditions" in "Plain Questions" (chapter 12) has explained: "Why can a disease be cured with different remedies?" Dr Qi Bo replied: "Geographical conditions arc different."

In the old days in China, there were always people suffering from cold and hunger which causes Qi and blood deficiency. Therefore, Ma Huang Tang and

Ginseng are very commonly used for asthma which is described in many classical TCM books. Nowadays in Britain, most asthmatics suffer because of high pollen, lack of fresh air, eating and drinking too much high energy, high heat, rich food. This causes excessive heat in the lungs. The lungs fail to be moist, the patient feels short of breath leading to tightness in the chest, generally feeling hot and having a dry mouth with red tongue and lips. It is usually accompanied by eczema and hayfever and is worse in the summer.

In this case, if wc treat it by using Ma Huang, which has the property of warmth and Ginseng which is tonic in property, it may cause the lungs to overheat and lung energy is unable to keep pure and descendant. Therefore, wc have to change to prescriptions such as Yin Qiao San and San Ju Yin to clear away lung heat and moisturise the dryness to relieve the asthma.

There is an asthma tcabag (Jin Yin Hua, Bai Sha Shcn, Gua Lou Pi, Yin Xin Ye Chuan Bci Mu etc) available from ShiZhcn TCM UK Ltd which has been developed by me to treat the modern

i, there are 3 million ng from asthma, 1 ren most of them

Western type asthma with a high rate of success.

Points to remember about diet: traditionally, in China, asthmatics should avoid eating fish, prawns and seafood because they cause lung-cold phlegm. In Britain most types of asthma are due to heat so patients have to avoid hot food such as chocolate, hot spices alcohol and smoking.

Case History of Heat Type Asthma

Katherine, aged 9 years old, who had suffered from asthma for 7 years, first visited me on 8/6/95. She had suffered attacks every week, especially at school when running about or doing sports. When she had attacks, she was out of breath, had a pink complexion, very red lips, was thirsty all the time, feverish, short-tempered, easily upset, tired, had difficulty in getting to sleep, normal appetite, slightly constipated and had a red tongue with no coating on it. She liked eating chocolate, did not like fruit and vegetables and had to use her inhaler up to 4 times a day.

This asthma was due to lung heat caused by incorrect diet. I prescribed 6 asthma tcabags for one week and asked her to stop eating chocolate, cheese, milk, chips and crisps and to cat more pears, radish and other fruit and vegetables.

During her second visit one week later, on 16/6/95, she told me she had no attacks that week, generally felt cooler and happier had slept better and had more energy. After another 2 weeks treatment using asthma tcabags she was getting better all the time and could do sports just like normal children without using her inhaler.

For a further 2 months she used 1 tcabag over 2-3 days to generally clean and moisten the lungs. After this period, she has not been taking the tcabags for over a year. Recently, her father camc to my clinic for other treatment and told me that Katherine has not had any asthma attacks during this year and is a much happier child nowa by Dr Sbulan Tang

For further information please contact:

DrShulan Tangat Sbulan Clinic/ShiZben TCM UK Ltd. SO Sandy Lane, Charlton.

Manchester M218TN Tel: 01618818576

66 Mowbray Road, Cambridge CB1 4SY Tel:

01223 566888.

Qi Magazine 31

Chi Sau: Knowledge & Skill

Watching a highly skilled Wing Chun pracitioner play Chi Sau (sticking hands) can bean inspiring experience. The way they move smoothly and effortlessly defheding themselves is often amazing. So where does this almost magical ability come from f

From a Wing Chun student's point of view, there arc three types of training partners. Those who are a lot better than you, those who are not better than you and the ones who arc about the same level as you.

Playing sticking hands with someone who is a lot better than you can be a inspiring, but frustrating affair. No matter what you try to do, how fast you try to do it or how subtle you try to be, they always beat you. And of course, when they dccide to test you, you can not escape their attack and they 'hit' you effortlessly. How many times have you thought "how do they do that?". To the outside observer, the game is played at a fairly slow pace. The senior moves slowly much of the time, even when you attack quickly. When the senior attacks he can do so slowly or quickly, either way you do not even noticc until you have been defeated and only move after the telling strike has landed.

When you play sticking hands with those much junior, you find everything is quite slow and you can stop their attacks quite easily, but now and again they may catch you out. When you attack them you can quite easily break through, whether you decide to use a little more energy or move a bit faster.

From the outside everything is again slow. You are now the senior and so you can take your time and allow the junior to take the initiative.

With those who are about the same level, you find that your techniques arc not as smooth as you would like, your timing is just a little off. You have to be very alert and often you have to rush and can quite easily resort to using too much strength.

This time the game looks very fast. Both of you try to penetrate each other's defences. As one attacks the other quickly counterattacks. Although the pace of everything can look impressive, to those who have a more discerning eye things do not look as clean and clear as they should.

If you practise with seniors all the time you will get beaten a lot (though not hard), but they can tell you all your mistakes and correct them. If you practise with juniors you don't always feel challenged and in fact they rely on you to correct their mistakes, but do you have enough knowledge to help them? When you practise with people of the same level, chances are you started at about the same time so you know each other well. Also you do not feel pressured to be exact in your movements, as

The author trying to evade Grandmaster Ip Chun. Did he make it? What do you thlnK.

"The biggest hurdles to overcome when learning Wing Chun is to discover actually how to learn Wing Chun."

you don't get hit so easily. You can exchange more ideas and experiment and you can let go more and try harder. Who then are the best people for you to practise with?

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when learning Wing Chun (the same is probably true of any skill) is to discover actually how to learn Wing Chun. In Chi Sau, it is not enough to just copy what you have been taught, as it is not enough to only understand what you have been taught. Grandmaster Ip Chun once said, "You need both knowledge and practise (or action), like yin and yang." Thus if you have only knowledge and no action then your knowledge is useless, this is especially true for a martial art. Likewise, if you only possess action, or you practise without knowledge, then your actions are wasted. Both of these paths lead to a dead-end.

So, where do you get your knowledge and how do you learn how to practise correctly?'

Knowledge obviously comes from your teacher and your seniors. This knowledge can take the form of principles, techniques, advice and inspiration.

Surprisingly, the majority of 'practice' comes from the juniors. Seniors will beat you no matter what you try, people of equal ability make you rush, but when you practise with juniors you have plenty of time to practise what you have been taught (though that docs not mean you should just beat them up). When they move you can see how certain techniques work, find the correct timing and discover how to use the same technique in different circumstances. With time you find the most efficient ways of achieving what you want and because it is so efficient it appears effortless.

To reach this level you have to understand the knowledge and put it into practise, then before you realise it people will regard you as senior. Learning is a two way process, to receive you have to be willing to give. So never be afraid to help someone with less ability. What you teach them may not be one hundred percent accurate, but since you have applied yourself correctly, it will not be so far out. All that matters is you teach them what you believe to be is true and as you are both learning you will both discover the truth. Don't be afraid to make the mistakes.

So where do your contemporaries fit in? With them you can discuss and experiment. When you have a new idea you can play with it. When you think you have mastered a certain technique you can try it on someone who is not so compliant. Then you can ask the seniors if what you are doing is correct.

At every stage you may discover new knowledge or actions which lead you to a new angle on things, either way your experience increases as does your level of skill. This path is never ending _

by Darryl May

Qi Magazine 33

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Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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