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Pulse Diagnosis and Emotions

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  • James Ramholz
    Although this was posted to another group s discussion, I thought it might be interesting to those who do pulse diagnosis, too. JR I think this group s
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2000
      Although this was posted to another group's discussion, I thought it
      might be interesting to those who do pulse diagnosis, too. JR


      I think this group's discussion of psychiatry has gotten into social
      and religious implications and off the mark a little bit of what it
      is we actually do in clinic. It's not a question of being able to do
      psychoanalysis or talk therapy on a patient because TCM practitioners
      are not trained in any real capacity to do so. But you are
      overlooking an important connection between Western medicine and
      Chinese medicine that would easily solve this controversy. We know
      from recent studies in neurobiology that emotion is not limited to
      some specifically designed circuts of the brain that were once
      thought to be the "center" of emotion. Emotions are nonconscious
      mental processes, and are a fundamental part of the information
      processing and energy flow that are central features of the
      organization of the self. Emotion is an essential way that the brain
      integrates and organizes itself and, in turn, the rest of the body.
      As such, emotions are improtant for us to consider in clinical
      practice. Emotion changes physiology, physiology changes physical
      structure.

      For that very point we have 5-Elements in the Chinese medical model.
      We can see how emotion fulfills that function of integrating and
      selforganizing in 5-Elements. From the perspective of 5-Elements,
      mind and body cannot be separated. Unfortunately, when I teach pulse
      diagnosis, I haven't yet had a student ask "how do we see the brain
      and distinguish a problem in it separately from an organ problem.
      (for example, a tumor in the brain from a tumor in the breast
      tissue)." These and many other problems can't all be just reduced to
      spleen vacuity. The answer is that when we divide the pulse into
      different levels following the Nan Jing, we can distinguish emotion
      from function, and from physical structure. Observing emotional
      states in pulse diagnosis and checking their influence on disease
      processes is of central importance. Emotional states are often
      underlieing to many disorders in Western culture.
      Psychoneuroimmunology is a fascinating field, and accessible to those
      who understand 5-Elements.

      We do this type of analysis in the Dong Han pulse diagnosis system,
      and I believe it is also done in Leon Hammer's system as well. My
      point is not that this information is inaccessible to all but a few
      who have studied these two systems, but that this type of
      information, in general, is available from Chinese models that are
      already familiar to you but underutilized. For example, the study of
      emotions discussed in Larre and Rochat's book, Seven Emotions, and in
      Western medical literature as well fit in the 5-Element model.
      Unfortunately, they are poorly described and not clearly understood
      in the TCM model (here I'm using the national board's standard as a
      common definition of TCM).

      I look forward to the Blue Poppy's book on psychiatry because the
      inclusion of Dr. Lake's own clinical use of Chinese medicine will be
      groundbreaking. For far too long, studies and practices derived from
      Chinese case histories have always been held suspect in America. The
      case history reports of the successful use of Chinese herbal formulas
      by a Western MD in psychiatric practice will go further than anything
      else to validate Chinese medicinals and lend credibility to our
      system of medicine.

      Jim Ramholz
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