Friday, July 30, 2010

Six Gentlemen

The last two weeks have been quite a paradigm shattering eye opener for me, regarding alternative medicine. I've learned that
- heat on an injured knee actually works better than cold, to assist healing. Yes, cold helps when it is in Massive Pain, but once the initial swelling starts to go down, and it becomes chronic pain, then heat works better.

- acupuncture is more effective than NSAIDs (Naproxin Sodium). 2 sessions of acupuncture 4 days apart, and my pain was gone! And before I tried acupuncture, I used to think it was hokum, baloney, non-sense. Now, I am a believer, as I can walk normally again.

- Fish Oil is even more awesome than I originally thought. Combined with Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM, it helps to lubricate all the internal joints and reduce inflammation. I'm up to 5 grams of Fish Oil a day now, and two doses of nasty tasting Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM syrup.

- Chinese Herbal Medicine has some benefits, particularly the "Six Gentlemen" formula (in Pinyin: Liu Jun Zi Tang). I had previously figured that most herbal remedies are only mildly effective, or probably psychosomatic. But on my first acupuncture treatment, my health practitioner gives me a bottle of "Six Gentlemen" formula and tells me to take 2 pills, three times a day, to help with high blood sugar. He explains to me, that in China, Diabetes is treated with diet and herbs, and considered a temporary ailment. Only those who adopt a Western diet and 3 large meals a day high in carbs in China can't kick their myelitis. So I try to keep an open mind, and take the herbs home. I then begin to check my blood sugar, about 10 times a day, to see if there's ANY effect of these herbs. To My Amazement... my blood sugar drops by 10 points, consistently, over the next 2 days.
For the last year, I've been bouncing around 100 to 130 mg/dL, eating right, or sometimes eating carbs I know I should avoid. In two days of OCD blood sugar checking, I'm registering low 90s to 110 throughout the day. And this was by changing only one variable - adding the Six Gentlemen. My diet did not change. My activity and physical exertion actually DECREASED since my knee was not at 100% and I was trying to be gentle and careful with it to not re-injure - many yoga poses were impossible without pain, so I was rather sedentary. So on the 2nd visit to the acupuncturist I told him of the successful statistical drop in blood sugar, and he told me he'd order a Much Larger bottle for the next visit to keep me well stocked.

The Six Gentlemen are: Condonopditis Pilosulae Root, Poriae Cocos Sclerotium, Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizome, Pinellaie Ternatae Rhizome, Citri Retculatae peel, Glycyrrhizae Uralensis Root. AKA, in Pinyin: Dang Shen, Fu Ling, Bai Zhu, Ban Xia, Chen Pi, Gan Cao. (link here)

They work. At least they worked for me, and I am going to keep taking them, keep my fruit intake low, protein & fiber & veggie intake high. 5 grams of Fish Oil a day, minimum, and the slimy glucosamine cocktail for additional joint lubrication. Good stuff, all around.

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