Just got dx by famous Chinese Traditional Doc (in Taipei)

Well, I am in Taipei for the summer, so I asked my wife’s friends to arrange for me to get evaluated by a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner. They recommended a very well-known doctor who treats a lot of people that have been through the Western medical system but have some nagging or unsolvable problem. He diagnoses people by feeling their pulse and sticking them at certain power points with objects (similar to acupuncture). I figured, “What the hell, my American docs don’t have this figured out, why not see a Chinese doctor?”

We did not tell him anything about my condition, which is that I was quite healthy till a year ago when I came down with vertigo, VN/MAV which became 24/7 dizziness.

I go to meet the guy today, and he is 60 years old and looks like he is 40. His office literally has no diagnostic equipment, just Chinese charts. He feels my pulse and asks me, “Do you have ringing in your ears?” I told him that I didn’t but I have vertigo. He says that the immediate cause is my ear, but the deeper cause is my low heart rate which is not getting sufficient oxygen to the ears and brain. He says the heart is good, strong, but not getting enough oxygen moving upward. He also says that my kidney is implicated in this. So he mixes me a powder that I have to take 3 times a day before meals, it will increase the oxygen flow to the ear. Ominously, he predicts that in twenty or twenty-five years I may need a pacemaker to deal with the low heart rate.

Next thing was really weird. He takes a wooden object, about the size and shape of a corkscrew, and jams it down into the inside of my forearm about three inches from the wrist. An excruciating pain shoots through my body and I get a big round mark where he put the implement. He then does the same thing to my wife, and to her friend, who are both sitting there. No reaction. Hmm, I am thinking. Maybe he is a magician who knows how to make it look like he is giving equal pressure to all three of us, but is actually giving me a lot more pressure to make his case. So I suspected something odd going on. He then takes my wife’s friends foot and pushes a certain part of it, and she jumps up in pain. He does the same to me, and I am a fine with it. This woman has liver problems from Hep C, and is being treated in a Western medical facility in Taiwan, but she supplements it with Chinese medicine from this guy. He says that his theory is that body parts are connected along certain lines, so you can tell where a person is sick by where they feel extreme pain.

I explained all the tests and medicines offered to me in America. He said that I should continue to do the Western medicine, he did not have anything against that, but he thought that I could supplement with the Chinese system, and if that worked, I could wean off the American. For example, he said that an anti-depressant was a bad idea since it would lead to other problems, and so forth. He said to try the powders he created.

He also said I should take Ginseng. The reason is that while it appears on the outside that I am ‘hot,’ the hot part of the yin/yang (which is good), however it was not a real genuine hotness, and I needed some cool nutrition to motivate the real genuine hotness to come out. [note to readers: he means hotness literally, not as in Brad Pitt hotness. I am just literally reporting what he said].

Well, I am not sure what to think. First, regarding my heart. I have a very low pulse since I have been running my whole life, and since I take 75mg of Atenolol as a migraine preventative for the last 17 years (I had a low pulse before that however). I have worn a halter monitor and it said there were no irregular beats, my heart was strong, but my resting pulse is in the 40s and when I sleep it goes into the 30s. I had an EKG recently and it was normal. Everyone in my family has high cholesterol, and my father had a bypass at 73 (he was a smoker and overweight and a non-exerciser, I am none of those) and no one in my family has ever died young because of heart problems. So I was not sure if this was some warning about my heart. None of my ENTs, GP, or dizzy docs mentioned my heart. Interestingly, I had started to take Lipitor the week before I got my first episode of spinning vertigo, and then I tried it again a few months later and also reported increased dizziness, so I stopped. My docs are on my to lower my cholesterol, but no one has every mentioned the low pulse.

And what about my kidney? How the hell could that be related to my ear?

My father is a doctor, and I tend to take a very Western view of these things. So part of my brain is telling me that all of this is nonsense. But I am desperate, and I don’t think that what he is recommending can hurt me, so I have decided to give the Chinese medicine a two week trial since I am not trying anything else at the moment. I will report back.

Hi,
just thought I’d reply re. the heart. I too have always naturally had a very slow heart rate, but mine does tend to skip around occasionally, and did go into ‘atrial fibrilation’ for about 22 hours or so over a year ago (it also did something similar a long time ago - maybe 15 - 20 years ago!). I had an ECG recently, and was lying on a couch, being told to relax, and I watched my heart rate descend from high to mid 40’s, to low 40’s, and eventually to 39! The lady performing the ECG seemed completely un-phased, and simply asked, “are you very active/fit?”, to which I replied that I try to stay active, but probably wasn’t as fit as I’d like to be, because my knees were creaking after too many years of playing football! :wink:
When I asked why she had asked, she simply said that my heart-rate was consistent with someone that was active/fit. Well, here’s hoping…! :wink:

Please keep us updated - best wishes,
Tony.

hmmm post back in a few weeks wih more details. i was told ginseng and ginko by a hollistic dr havent given it a real try as yet did the med thing,no luck with that, theres got to be a way without being a walkng pharamcy…although i put my self on a freinds prednisolone has helped but not a long term solution :frowning:

Wow that is amazing. I would totally take it into consideration and give it a try. I have a hole in my heart (found out through my migraine myriad of tests) and because the blood going to my brain isn’t as oxygenated or “clean”, my
neurologist thought by closing the hole, it would fix my problems.
My cardiologist didn’t think I should. THere is a big study going on about this whole thing…the hole is a PFO (Patent Formale darn forgot what the O stood for Ovale?) anyway, 25% of people supposedly have it and don’t know it. I also
have really low blood pressure. Pulse is fairly normal, but BP goes down to like 80/50…I wonder if it’s related?
I would totally go see that guy if I were there!!
Let us know how the powders work!!
Kelley

I wouldnt be worried about your heart rate…as if you need more to worry about anyways! Low heart rates are normal in active individuals. Unless you are symptomatic there is no concern. If your EKG was normal (sinus bradycardia/ heart rate under 60) than that is no indication for a pacemaker. Will you need one down the road? who the heck knows… I dont think anyone has a crystal ball and can tell you what you will need in the future! I too have a slow heart rate, even when I am up doing my normal things…usually hovers in the 50’s. I am taking a beta blocker as well.
We all worry about enough with all of our symptoms. Its a shame that we end up worrying further about things that aren’t even part of what we are dealing with. I hope the chinese treatment works for you!

Hi Longshort,

It reads to me like a voodoo magic show, but I am a cynical skeptic so…no surprises there!

If the TCM really does work, i.e. with active ingredients, then I would be cautious about taking it alongside your existing meds without knowing contraindications etc.

Good luck though - would be awesome if it works.

Vic

Day 3 of the Chinese medicine.

I was told to take 5 scoops of medicine, 3 times a day, knocked back with water.

The actual powder is disgusting. It tastes like dust with a hint of licorice. It seems to raise my pulse slightly (maybe 5 beats a minute) and makes me a touch dizzier. That is all, so far.

My wife really wants me to give it a fair try. I still don’t understand how the pulse/heart/kidneys have anything to do with the ear and the brain. I am a very Western person. Out of respect for her, I will keep trying the Chinese system for a little while.

Interestingly, I went to the pharmacy today to get some Periactin, and they also have anti-depressants over the counter without a script (prozac, zoloft, etc). I asked about benzos and they were very earnest, saying “You need to go to a hospital to get that.” Funny how some things are easy to get here. The pharmacies compete with each other and sometimes give you free stuff and samples. Last year I bought some aspirin and they threw in a free Levitra candle and recommended that I light it before having sex!

I know how it feels to be desperate and try anything so good luck! That is so interesting about the pharmacies- I remember a previous conversation on a posting about SSRI’s and obesity and why that may be causing so many people to be overweight. Well, that changes everything if the Japanese have the anti-depressants so readily available and they are the smallest and healthiest overall people!

Hey Longshort,

— Begin quote from ____

he means hotness literally, not as in Brad Pitt hotness.

— End quote

:lol:

Maybe he thought you were smokin hot! Jokes aside, I’m with Vic in that it reads like voodoo to me as well. I have tried Chinese meds a few times over the years. The last time I was also told not to take antidepressants and was given a liquid concoction to take that was prebagged. It was a full-on herbal mix. I had to knock back one every morning for 3 weeks. I lasted 4 days. By the 3rd day I was becoming extremely dizzy (meanwhile I was on a holiday lying on a beach). By the fourth day the dizziness was too much to handle and I decided it was indeed voodoo. The massage they gave me, however, around the base of the skull was fab and I went back for a few more of those. In the end I found another massage therapist who gave me the same result for half the price.

There is of course no evidence showing that pain in certain parts of the body (as in the foot) is related to a screwed up kidney for example. Anyway, the whole experience was a fascinating read. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Chinese doctor who didn’t tell me I should eliminate bananas. Maybe unknowingly good migraine advice! :smiley:

Keep us updated.

Cheers … Scott 8)

Hi Longshort,

I don’t think this is more woodoo than any of the meds western doctors are pushing. In most cases when people start taking meds they don’t always work, the dosage might need adjusting or they need to switch to a different med to deal with the problem. So it may only be, that you need to adjust the amount you take. And moreover,the average time for any meds to kick in is about 4-8 weeks, with doctors saying the side effects may be worse at the start but say you need to push through to get the full benefit of what ever you are taking. I wouldn’t take western medicine for face value and discard traditional approaches ad hoc. For me thai reflex therapy worked 6 years ago when I was diagnosed with aura migraine (was asymptomatic for 5 years after weekly sessions that lasted cca 6 months). And I did help with my current 24/7 rocking/false motion plus occasional vertigo spells as well (I need to find a new therapist).

Take care.

Dunja

Hi Dunja –

The only difference is that while western meds may still be hit and miss with trying to make an impact on migraine they are at least evidence based and you are very likely to find relief on one of them sooner or later (for most it’s very soon). Contrast that with a Chinese med approach for which there is no evidence and is almost certainly a complete miss for effective treatment. I am still waiting to at least hear of one case of migraine where an alternative therapy made a lasting impact on elimination. Not one in 8 years.

Thousands of years of Chinese meds never did anything for improving life expectancy either. It was less than 40 in China until science-based medicine arrived in the last century. These days it’s about 75.

Scott 8)

— Begin quote from “medunja”

Hi Longshort,

I don’t think this is more woodoo than any of the meds western doctors are pushing. In most cases when people start taking meds they don’t always work, the dosage might need adjusting or they need to switch to a different med to deal with the problem. So it may only be, that you need to adjust the amount you take. And moreover,the average time for any meds to kick in is about 4-8 weeks, with doctors saying the side effects may be worse at the start but say you need to push through to get the full benefit of what ever you are taking.** I wouldn’t take western medicine for face value and discard traditional approaches ad hoc.** For me thai reflex therapy worked 6 years ago when I was diagnosed with aura migraine (was asymptomatic for 5 years after weekly sessions that lasted cca 6 months). And I did help with my current 24/7 rocking/false motion plus occasional vertigo spells as well (I need to find a new therapist).

Take care.

Dunja

— End quote

“Pushing”?

Of course they don’t always work - they are medicines, not miracles. Nothing is guaranteed (other than death and taxes).

Nothing should be taken a face value, least of all ‘traditional approaches’. Medicine is (as Scott rightly points out) grounded in evidence. We know what it does - both desired effects and side effects.

— Begin quote from “Victoria”

“Pushing”?

Of course they don’t always work - they are medicines, not miracles. Nothing is guaranteed (other than death and taxes).

Nothing should be taken a face value, least of all ‘traditional approaches’. Medicine is (as Scott rightly points out) grounded in evidence. We know what it does - both desired effects and side effects.

— End quote

I say pushing from my own experience (and from some other people’s). The first time I went to see an ENT I was in there for say 5 minutes, and all I got from them was a prescription for serc, without them even establishing what was wrong with me. Same thing happened with neuro. This has happened with different complaints as well. It seems they’ve reduced their job description to writing prescriptions, sorry to say. I am sure there are doctors out there who take genuine interest in their patient’s complaints, and hope most of you had the luck to encounter the “good” ones. For me, unfortunately, that was not the case.

I am not proposing that traditional medicine trumps western, just saying one should give it a try before labeling it ineffective or woodoo (and not talking of herbs only).

I note you’re a newby Medjuna so welcome! I do hope you can find some useful information here. When you get a chance please post your story so forum members can jump in and help. You mentioned you’ve been prescribed Serc. Are you a migraineur or do you have MM or still not sure?

The ‘reduced their job description’ to writing prescriptions is a familiar complaint but not one I’ve experienced personally. Sorry you’ve had that experience.

I’m not sure what you mean by ‘traditional’ medicine. Which particular ‘traditions’ are you speaking of - do you mean historical in western cultures (ie since superceded by practices grounded in evidence) which would include for example blood letting? Or are you speaking of the ‘traditional’ practices of other cultures? Either way I don’t really understand. If any of those practices have been subject to rigorous testing then they are no longer ‘traditional’ anything, they are simply either ‘medicine’, or they aren’t. Words like ‘traditional’ or ‘alternative’ don’t apply - it’s medicine or it’s not. I’ll use an analogy I’ve used many times - would it make sense to you to take your car to a ‘traditional’ or ‘alternative’ mechanic?

With regards to ‘giving it a try’ - at what point do you propose that be done? Before seeing an actual doctor? Or as a last resort when you’ve seen multiple doctors but seen no relief (ie desperate)?

Vic

Ok, not being a native English speaker, I may have not expressed myself in the right way…traditional in a sense of non-western…and used in a complementary way , i.e. in addition to western medicine…or perhaps the word I am searching for is “holistic” - in that you treat the whole organism rather than isolated organs - and take account of the interdependence of various organs - hence the connection to kidneys, which is what Longshort was told by the Chinese doc (not saying this ear-kidney connection really exists, not an expert, just speculating).

As you may have gathered I am not a big fan of pharmaceuticals. I would take them as the last resort and rather try other things first (say VRT, dietary changes, vitamin and minerals supplements - a deficiency in these is often overlooked).

Thanks for the welcome and the reminder to post my story. I have 60% loss of vestibular function in right ear, possible MAV. Still undergoing tests.

Dunja

Hi Dunja,

Welcome to mvertigo and sorry to hear you feel as though you’ve not come across a doctor who has listened to your case properly. I would suggest you keep looking until you find someone who can take your history and through differential diagnosis work out if you are a migraineur or not – and get you onto a migraine medication if necessary (it usually is). It won’t be pushed at you but will be given to you because they want you to feel well again.

If you are or suspect you are a migraineur, the “natural” way to first tackle this is to eliminate triggers and start living a migraine lifestyle which essentially means making sure every day looks like every other day. You go to bed and wake the same time, eat at the same time, etc (see MAV survival guide). There are a few supplements out there with some evidence behind them for migraine prophylaxis such as magnesium, CoQ10, and vit B6 but I wouldn’t hold my breath. They may reduce migraine frequency and intensity but that’s it. If you’re lucky you might fall into about 40% (apparently and according to Dr Nick Silver) where migraine symptoms drop to tolerable levels via lifestyle changes alone. The other 60% will need a migraine medication. There’s no ifs or buts about this. You either decide to have a go and get well or the alternative is to keep living in the trenches of migraine hell. It works and is the best there is right now until someone comes up with something like gene therapy (if that ever happens) or better, more targeted drugs.

I think you’ll find that a good physician will treat you holistically – they will not only help you to ID triggers, but should also put you on the path to a migraine lifestyle and a med that you tolerate and works. This is the holistic approach. I’m afraid drinking herbal teas, waving incense sticks, or having someone prod your feet with wooden probes looking for sore spots – or searching for a coated tongue – won’t bring you real relief from an intractable case of migrainous vertigo.

Best … Scott

Why would we treat the whole organism if only one part is sick? Medicine is actually in its infancy in this regard for example when it comes to cancer treatment. Chemotherapy has a very nasty habit of treating the whole organism when it really only wants to target the cancer cells. I would much prefer to have only the cancer cells, or the affected organ targeted rather than having my whole body affected.

My point here is that I think ‘holistic’ and ‘complementary’ are not really useful terms. They ‘sound’ reassuring but what do they really mean? A Chinese herbal concotion is no more or less holistic than an anti depressant. And taking the herbal concoction with the AD is no more or less ‘complementary’ than taking a herbal concoction and a foot rub or an AD and trigger avoidance.

Let me go back to car analogy. The mechanic tells you what you need to do. If that means a wheel alignment, so be it. For the sake of ‘holisticisim’ or adding in something ‘complementary’, you don’t need to get a chakra balance as well. Just in case. Do you?

Vic, we all know you have a coated tongue fetish and will only fly on A380s being manned (womaned?) by complementary pilots. If there’s no sandalwood wafting out of the cockpit, wild horses couldn’t drag you on board. :lol:

— Begin quote from “scott”

Vic, we all know you have a coated tongue fetish and will only fly on A380s being manned (womaned?) by complementary pilots. If there’s no sandalwood wafting out of the cockpit, wild horses couldn’t drag you on board. :lol:

— End quote

Tongue Master - that was meant to be our secret! :lol:

You forgot the three key elements. No, not earth, wind or fire - Valium! Valium! Valium

And ah, it’s cough, ‘piloted’ in these gender neutral times. :wink:

Vic, I don’t get your negativity…have you ever tried anything outside the western approach? And your argument pertaining to cancer cells pretty much confirms my previous point about a plethora of nasty side effects western meds have. And it’s not about treating the whole organism, it’s about knowing how a treatment of a single organ can affect the rest of the organism, or perhaps even that the problem in the treated organ is a secondary symptom of a functional/ structural defect in another organ and so on.

I have to reiterate that I do not have a problem with western medicine, I am a regular user of health care services. I am just questioning the reliance on pharmaceuticals, which are normally prescribed to treat symptoms and not the underlying cause. Moreover, if a pharmaceutical intervention is required, I would prefer to try first with a substance that has the least harmful side effects, regardless from which geographical/ cultural approach it comes and go on from there.

dunja