Monday, March 5, 2018

Split Personality Disorder

Split Personality Disorder, also referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), is a disorder of the psyche. DID is a condition in which the personality is fragmented into two or more distinct personalities, each of which has its own gender, age, personal history, vocabulary, accent, interests, and characteristics. The following is the criteria needed in order to be diagnosed with DID:

1.“Two or more distinct identities or personality states are present, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to and thinking about the environment and self.”

2. “Amnesia must occur, defined as gaps in the recall of everyday events, important personal information and/or traumatic events.”

3. “The person must be distressed by the disorder or have trouble functioning in one or more major life areas because of the disorder.” This is a common criteria when it comes to mental health disorders. If the disorder doesn’t cause major difficulties when it comes to coping with life and daily living then it likely wouldn’t be appropriate to diagnose this patient with a mental health disorder.

4. “The disturbance is not part of normal cultural or religious practices.”

5. “The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (such as blackouts or chaotic behavior during alcohol intoxication) or a general medical condition.”

While these are the criteria that must be met in order to be diagnosed with DID there are many other factors and signs that point toward this disorder. To name a few: sleepwalking and automatic writing, auditory hallucinations, difficulties in trusting others, and an inclination toward anger and hostility.  The list goes on.

History of DID

The first documented case of DID was in 1584 in which a women, named Jeanne Fery, was thought to be possessed. Her situation was recorded as an exorcism. Her files were later studied and it is now thought that she actually suffered from Split Personality Disorder. Jeanne had multiple alters, each having their own name, personality, and characteristics. Her various personalities would be classified under archetypes such as: Internal Self Helper (ISH), persecutor, protector, and child alter. These archetypes are seen regularly within those who have this disorder.  These are not the sum of the archetypes, but are the few that will be covered. The Internal Self Helper (ISH) is an alter that usually comes first. The ISH is a helper that comes in the form of a voice in ones head that brings logic and reason into the conversation. Internal Self Helpers are usually seen as observers. They are behind the scenes carrying vast amounts of knowledge about the other alters within the body, trauma within the mind/body, and internal workings of the individual.

The persecutor personality is vastly different in relation to the ISH alter. The persecutor is an outlet. This alter provides the system with a filter for self hatred and demeaning thoughts. Self harm is usually inflicted. This personality seems to be created in order to control the rest of the alters and the system so they will learn how to behave and no longer be abused by the external world.

The third of the personalities of Jeanne Fery was the protector. There are several subcategories within the protector archetype. There are emotional protectors which work to soften emotional pain. This archetype takes the brunt  of emotional abuse. Physical protectors might take physical abuse and/or try to protect the alters from physical abuse. Verbal protectors will dish out and take the brunt of verbal abuse when necessary. Sexual protectors might take sexual abuse or may even instigate sexual abuse to gain control of a situation or to protect the alters. Interestingly persecutors are also seen as protectors. The persecutor personality inflicts harm to the body and alters, which teaches them how to behave and how to avoid harm from the outside world.

Lastly Jeanne had a child alter. Child alters manifest in various ways. Sometimes these alters maintain the age at which they were first born into this body. This could be caused by an inability to accept changes that comes with life, time, and experience. They refuse to accept anything beyond the particular traumatic experience that bore them into existence.  These alters vary dramatically; A child alter may be wise beyond their years, they may do the taxes, balance the checkbook, run the business. Although they are wise and responsible, they are still children and have the attributes of a child. They may very well desire sweets, have inquisitive minds, and be na├»ve on many levels. There are child alters that are merely children and lack the wisdom or responsibility to do such tasks as run a business or balance the checkbook.   

 Although Jeanne’s case was the first to be documented it certainly wasn’t the first official diagnosis of DID. That title goes to a man named Louis Auguste Vivet, who was first diagnosed in 1882. Louis, as a child, was physically abused and neglected which resulted in a split of his psyche. By 1888 he had a total of 10 personalities, although recent re-evaluation by psychologists suggests that he had only two personalities, and that all others were brought on by states of hypnosis through work with therapists. Interestingly enough, Louis was subject to a variety of treatments for what doctors thought to be hysteria. Morphine and injections of pilocarpine and other methods were used to cure him. However, the only treatment that helped to stop Louis’s “attacks” was pressure on the Achilles tendon or the tendon just below the kneecap.

Although DID has been prevalent for decades doctors and psychiatrists have notoriously misdiagnosed this disorder for hysteria, schizophrenia, or other mental oriented diseases.


As I stated earlier, many individuals with DID have been misdiagnosed thusly their treatments were misapplied. There is no specific diagnostic test for DID. Mental health professionals go through a series of mental diagnostic tests to rule out various possibilities. Talk therapy is the general treatment plan.

This disorder was once thought to be extremely rare but has recently been shown to be more common than was previously thought. This is likely due to the continual misdiagnosis from years past, when those with DID would instead be diagnosed with schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder. The estimated number of cases is 1 in 10,000, most of which are female. It was actually believed that only females suffered from this disorder. We know today that approximately 20 percent of all cases are male, the remaining 80 being female.

Psychotherapy is generally the primary source of healing and repairing from this disorder. The therapist will usually try to improve the clients relationships and gradually confront the client with uncomfortable yet necessary feelings. The therapist will often guide the client in an attempt to find a way to allow the alters to coexist. This helps to build a state of peace and equilibrium within the client. Psychotherapists used to try to achieve reintegration which is the merging of all the personalities back into one. The issue with this is that this often left the client feeling that the therapist was trying to “kill” pieces of them.

Hypnosis is used to help clients sleep and to mitigate symptoms of anxiety and stress. Through the use of hypnosis the client is more easily able to move through traumatic memories by maintaining a relative distance from the experience. This emotional distance helps the client to not be too heavily encumbered by traumatic memories.

Medication is sometimes used in conjunction with psychotherapy. When these two fail to make any real impact, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be used. Lastly, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), a treatment that helps integrate traumatic memories, is being used more often, now that it has been shown to aid in increased information processing and healing.

How Massage can help

The personality that came in for the massage will likely be the one to leave as well. However, if a personality shift does occur then all you must do is stop for a moment, inform the newly surfaced personality of their whereabouts, and ask them if they wish to continue. A shift would likely be caused by an emotional upsurge brought on by the massage, bringing about a personality that is more equipped to handle these particular emotions.

Massage would help in daily living and performance amongst the personalities by reducing stress levels, increasing dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin levels (also known as the bonding or love hormone). With reduction of stress and an increase of various beneficial hormones a change in the perception of the reality around you and your internal experience of self can occur. Massage would help the development of altruism, increase sociability, self-esteem, and empathy.  This therapy would benefit the client physically, physiologically, as well as emotionally.


Natasha Tracy. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) Signs and Symptoms. Healthy Place For Your Mental Health. Health on the Net Foundation. May 23, 2017.

Natasha Tracy. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) DSM-5 Criteria. Healthy Place For Your Mental Health. Health on the Net Foundation. May 23, 2017.

DID Research. DID in History. Creative Commons Attributions-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. January 30, 2016.

Natasha Tracy. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) Statistics and Facts. Healthy Place For Your Mental Health. Health on the Net Foundation. May 23, 2017.

Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD. Dissociative Identity Disorder. MedicineNet. February 12, 2016.

Dr. Christopher L. Heffner. Dissociative Identity Disorder. Alejandra Swartz. Dissociative Identity Disorder. AllPsych Psych Central’s Virtual Psychology Classroom. December 10, 2001.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder). Psychology Today. February 24, 2017.

Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. Dispelling Myths about Dissociative Identity Disorder. PsychCentral. July 17, 2016.

Karina Lamontagne. Alter Functions. DID Research. Alter Functions/Jobs. Creative Commons Attribute-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. August 10, 2016.

Sami Taipale. Alter Ages. DID Research. Creative Commons Attribute-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. February 28, 2017.

Phoenix J. Hocking. Multiple Personalities and Massage. Natural Health Is Our DNA.

The Healing Touch: The Benefits of Massage Therapy For Mental Health. Bridges To Recovery Leaders in Residential Mental Health Care. November 5, 2015.

Written by: Dakota Vikdal

Date: January 12, 2018

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Energetics of EFT Tapping Points

Tapping creates a vibration which dissipates energy, like waves going out in ripples from a drip. This is a very different technique as compared to the pressing down in Acupressure, or the forceful command of an inserted Acupuncture needle.  The tapping is gentle, encouraging, yet nurturing at the same time. It feels safe and non-threatening, so it doesn’t challenge strong emotions as much as it allows them – directly along with the language that acknowledges them.

This article assumes you have some knowledge of EFT Tapping.  To learn more, I’ve provided some links at the end.
Image courtesy of:

SI-3 Hou Xi (Karate Chop Point)

Significantly, this is the Master Point of Du Mai. As one of the 8-Extraordinary Meridians, Du Mai energetically relates to carrying all the Events/Facts of our life story.  In addition, as a Fire Element point SI-3 calms the Spirit and can help subdue anxiety. By tapping this point while holding our attention on a precise event tied to strong emotions, we send an energetic message that sets a tone (resonance) to find THIS event and corresponding energy in our system, while at the same time quieting our Spirit.

BL-2 Zan Zhu (Inner Eyebrow)
GB-1 Tong Zi Liao (Outside of Eye)
ST-2  Si Bai (Bottom of Eye)

These 3 points surround the eyes – a strong organ of perception (for those who have eyesight). Think “How do I see this situation?” Our eyes correspond to both seeing our external world, and we also relate them to our “Inner Vision”, which can become clouded by strong emotions.  The meridians involved with these points completely surround our body, from head to feet.  The Bladder Meridian covers our back, the Gall Bladder Meridian covers our sides, and the Stomach Meridian covers our front.  Like 3 Grandfather Trees, this invokes strong protective energy to surround us on all sides.

DU-GV-26 Shui Gu, Ghost Palace (Under Nose)
REN-CV-24 Cheng Jiang, Ghost Market (Chin)

The 2 points that surround the mouth have a dual significance in that they are both Ghost Points that deal with things that ‘haunt’ us, or emotions – thoughts - situations that seem to have control over us, and they also activate the Ren and Du Channels. Remember the Du Channel, which is also activated in the beginning via the Karate Chop Point, is related to all of the events/facts in our life story.  The Ren Channel relates to the meaning and emotions we associate with all of the corresponding events in our story. Because these points surround the mouth, think “How do I speak about this situation – what words do I use?” Our words apply to what we verbally say, the internal words we think but don’t speak, and our on-going back-of-the-mind chatter.

KI-27 Shu Fu (Collar Bone/Sternum)

As part of the Water Element, the Kidney Meridian has associations with Fear. It’s said that everything can be simplified to being based in either Love or Fear.  When we use this point with strong emotions, it calls the Water energy to carry the Fear aspect of the energy involved through the channel. KI-27 is found at the end of the pathway that cleanses energy by carrying it directly over the Heart Center. It must be cleansed before it enters the next channel in the natural flow of Qi, the Protector of the Heart, the energy in charge of Gratitude and Appreciation.

SP-21 Da Bao (Under Armpit)
This is the Master Point that opens the connecting grid of Qi flow throughout the entire body.  If energy is stuck anywhere – including emotional energy blocks – this point will create a surge to get the energy to dislodge and merge back into the overall flow.  Once moving it can be transformed and harmonized into something either more beneficial to our system, or at least neutralized so it’s not causing more lingering pain or suffering.  It is also of significance that this point is on the sides of the Heart Center.

GV-20 Bai Hui (Top of Head)

100 Yang Energies converge at this point, which is also the opening of our Crown Chakra.  This point clears the mind and allows for our Higher Self to influence our way of thinking into more positive and inspiring meanings. When used as the last point in tapping, this point can help us finalize our NEW story that started as emotional upset, and has now morphed into a calm, confident, empowering sense of reality.

To learn more about Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT Tapping, I recommend one of the following websites:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Massage for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
by Natalie Efird
            Thoracic Outlet Syndrome comprises a collection of disorders that all involve compression of either a nerve, vein and/or artery in the thoracic area between the base of the neck and the axilla (armpit) (Rubin, M., 2016). Symptoms include pain and paresthesias (pins and needles sensation) in neck, shoulders, arms, and/or hands, often accompanied with sensory impairment, weakness, muscle atrophy, cyanosis, and swelling in the affected areas (Rubin, M., 2016).
                                         IMAGE 1
Compression in three different areas of the thoracic outlet is caused by bone or muscle abnormalities (Rubin, M., 2013). Numerous reasons for abnormalities in bones, muscles, and other connective tissues of the thoracic region range from postural distortions due to underdeveloped or overdeveloped muscles, broken bones that healed abnormally, bone spurs, extra clavicular rib, trauma to neck and shoulders, damage to spinal discs, and secondary conditions (e.g. diabetes, congestive heart condition, edema, obesity, pregnancy, etc.) can bring about bone or muscle abnormalities leading to TOS (McMullen, C., 2017).
Although diagnosis and classification of thoracic outlet syndrome lacks standardization, frequently the conditions are identified as three different syndromes:
  1. Anterior Scalene Syndrome or Scalene Anticus Syndrome – TOS in the Anterior and middle scalene 
  2. Pectoralis Minor Syndrome or Hyperabduction Syndrome – TOS beneath the pectoralis minor muscle 
  3. Costoclavicular Syndrome or Edens Syndrome – TOS between the clavicle and the first rib 
Massage Therapy Reference (2013, July 16).
        IMAGE 2     
 Benefits of Massage for Thoracic Outlet Syndromes
Relaxation and increased circulation in the thoracic region are the major benefits of treating TOS with massage (Massage Education, 2010-2017). Relaxing the muscles relieves pressure on the nerves and/or blood vessels and with increased circulation tissues are nourished facilitating nerve and muscle regeneration and pain reduction (Massage Education, 2010-2017). A variety massage techniques are used to free impingements caused by abnormalities in muscles and other connective tissues.
Modification of Massage for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
            Upper Body Pain Path Treatment (McMullen, C., 2017):
·         Warm the back
·         Neck massage
·         Shoulder massage – pull from spine out
·         Warm the arm
·         Knead arm
·         Hand massage and squeeze fingers at the tips and at the sides at base of nails
·         Small Intestine (SI) meridian pain path (shoulder blade area)
o   SI points 9 – 15, thumb circle each point 8 times, repeat pattern 3 times
                        IMAGE 3
·         Large Intestine (LI) meridian pain path (forearm and hand)
o   LI points 11 - 9 thumb press each point 8 times while holding LI 4 and rotating arm, repeat pattern 3 times

·         Traction arm – 3 directions
·         Massage back and neck
·         Close
Chinese Medicine and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Chinese medicine considers pain to be stagnation of Qi or blood, or both. Individual diagnosis is necessary as each person’s underlying causal factors are likely different. Sometimes stagnation responsible for pain is due to Cold or Damp, which can obstruct the flow of Qi and blood (Joswick, D., 2017). Paresthesias (pins and needles sensation) or tingling is considered Wind in Chinese medicine and the Chinese Liver system is in charge of nerves (McMullen, C., 2017). Another factor to consider when diagnosing an individual is whether the condition is caused by an Excess (Yang) or a Deficiency (Yin); with Excess (Yang), muscle tension, over use, and inflammation are often present and with Deficiency (Yin), lack of tension, inactivity, not enough blood/undernourishment is found (McMullen, C., 2017). In addition to massage, cupping can be used for Excesses, and for Deficiencies moxa has a good effect (McMullen, C., 2017). The ultimate treatment goal of Chinese medicine concerning TOS is to invigorate Qi and Blood circulation, unblock the channels and ease the pain (Gu. S., 2007).

Image 1. Retrieved on 6/10/2017 from:

Image 2. Retrieve on 6/10/2017 from:

Image 3. Retrieved on 6/10/2017 from:

Image 4. Retrieve on 6//12/2017 from:

Gu, Sherman (2007). Thoracic outlet syndrome treated with acupuncture, manual techniques
and  self-stretching exercises:  A case report. Australian Journal of Acupuncture and
Chinese Medicine, Vol. 2(1). Retrieved from:

Joswick, D. (2017). Treating peripheral neuropathy with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Acufinder: Acupuncture referral service: Learning & resource center articles. Retrieved from: +Neuropathy+with+Acupuncture+and+Chinese+Medicine

Massage Education. (2010-2017). Thoracic outlet syndrome and how massage can help!
Retrieved from:

Massage Therapy Reference. (2013, July 16). Thoracic outlet syndrome massage (TOS
Massage). Retrieved from:

McMullen, C. (2017, May 17). Thoracic outlet syndrome and upper body pain path treatment.
Address at the Alaska Institute of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, and Massage Therapy, Anchorage, AK.

Rubin, M. (2016, September). Thoracic outlet compression syndromes (TOS). Merck Manual.
Retrieved from:

Monday, September 11, 2017

What To Do With Rosehips

Q: I harvested some rosehips off my rosebushes but I’m not sure what to do with them. Can you give me an idea?

A: Yes! Rosehips are little Vitamin C powerhouses that have nice benefit to our immune system, are great for our skin, and have an energetic affinity to deep internal wisdom nourishing our Heartmind (via Jing in Water connecting to the Fire Element).

FIRST: Rinse them in clean water, then dry them in a flat layer either in a food dehydrator,  on paper towels in the sun, or in the oven set to 200 degrees until they look leathery.
Once dried, you can either store them whole in a glass jar or Ziploc bag, or you can chop them in a food processor first then store in a glass jar.

In 2 cups of water, add 1 Tbsp Rosehip Seeds, 1 Tbsp Goji Berries, and 1 Cinnamon Stick.  Simmer 10-20 minutes covered, strain.  Garnish with a thin slice of Orange for a beautiful hot cup of tea. Sweeten with a little honey if desired.

To compliment the delicious tea, make yourself an essential oil blend to diffuse or dilute and apply topically.  Try Juniper Berry, Australian Balm Mint, and a touch of either Clove or Ginger. (If someone applies this to your feet while you’re sipping your tea you get extra bonus points!)

Chop completely dried Rosehip Seeds in the food processor.  Add to a mason jar.  Cover completely with Olive Oil, plus extra oil at the top.  Place jar in the sun.  Turn it every day for 3-6 weeks.  The oil should pick up a gorgeous pink hue but won’t have much of a smell. Strain the oil and keep in a clean jar.  With quality Olive Oil as a base, shelf life will be about 18-24 months.

-          Use the herbal infused oil to drizzle on veggies or make salad dressing.

-          Use it as 20-25% of the carrier oil base in homemade creams, balms, salves, or essential oil blends.  It’s excellent for face, body, massage, and after-shower body moisturizer.

Love this type of information? Learn more in my Online Courses:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Essential Tremors

Essential Tremors

Essential Tremors are the most common movement disorder.  While the cause of Essential Tremor (ET) is still unknown, Western Medicine calls it a nerve disorder.  It is thought to be abnormal electrical brain activity that is being processed through the thalamus.  The thalamus is deep in the brain and controls and coordinates muscle activity.  While ET is not a natural part of the aging process, it does tend to show up between the ages of 40 and 50, though it also can be present in childhood.  About 10 million people in the US are affected.  Genetics are responsible for about half the cases. 

Symptoms include:  shaking in upper limbs and/or head, a shaking voice, tremors that get worse during emotional stress, tremors that get worse with purposeful movement, problems with balance and fine motor skills.  Other diseases and factors that manifest these symptoms include Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, fatigue after exercise, extreme emotional distress, brain tumors, some prescription drugs, metabolic abnormalities, and alcohol or drug withdrawal.  It can also be attributed to thyroid disease, excessive caffeine intake or side effects from medication.

Western Treatments include medications, focused ultra sound and, when severe enough, surgery.  Medications of oral drugs include Inderal, Neurontin, Mysoline, and Topamax.  Other options include tranquilizers and also Botox injections (helpful for head and vocal tremors).  The surgery involves implanting electrical leads into the thalamus.

When researching how massage therapy can help ET, I came across a case of a 63-year old female who was affected in her hands and head.  During a 5 week study, the aim was to reduce the firing of the sympathetic nervous system and so the techniques they used were relaxation-based, including Swedish massage, hydrotherapy, myofascial release, and diaphragmatic breathing. 

The woman showed improvement in the fine motor skills affected by tremors after each session.   She also had an increase in her cervical range that was observed between her first to last visit.  The article went on to say that more studies need to be done, but it is believed massage therapy eases tremor intensity through encouragement of the parasympathetic response.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tremors, whether ET or as a symptom of a larger disease like Parkinson’s, are thought to be a Yin deficiency of the Kidney and Liver.  This deficiency generates “Internal Wind” which arises from the Liver.  The Liver is looked at as a whole body system the controls movement by ensuring nourishment for the tendons and regulating the smooth flow of Qi through out the body.  To preform this function, the Liver needs adequate of Yin and blood that help supply the nourishment needed for the body.  This is generated in the Kidneys and is considered Kidney-essence.  When Kidney-essence is deficient it leads to malnourishment of the tendons, which puts the tendons into a spasmodic state and creates the movement of shaking that is similar to wind.  Other symptoms related to Internal Wind are that of dizziness and stiffness.

Another image of deficient Kidney Yin is lack of body fluids and dehydration.  Kidneys relate to the water element.  Imagine the land that has been through a long drought and the dryness that occurs. This causes agitation, which stirs up a dry wind that blows through the barren landscape. This is Internal Wind.

Internal Wind can also result from diseases that damage the Liver such as excessive use of alcohol and drugs, or a history of emotional irritability and anger.  Finally, External Wind can enter the body and create Internal Wind.  Symptoms of External Wind often include aches and pains.  Internal Wind then moves that into shaking and trembling.

It is believed that after 40 years of age, Yin starts to decline and can be decreased by half.  This gives rise to Liver Yang agitation that then creates Internal Wind.  This is why it is not uncommon to see tremors appearing in middle to older ages.

Treatments for Internal Wind and ET is a mixture of acupuncture, herbal formulas, and diet.  The approach to any treatment would include a survey to determine the patient’s constitution, including diagram of characteristics that show a persons constitution, past history, family history and associated symptoms.  From there, the focus would be on nourishing Kidney and Liver Yin while sedating and calming the Internal Wind.  Each individual would have a complex formula specific to his or her constitution, which makes it very difficult to have just one formula that would work for everyone. 

One case I found online, is of a 38 year old white female with tremors in both her head and upper extremities.  Since the age of 2 or 3 she had shaking of the upper limbs but now her head was shaking so badly she couldn’t take it anymore.  Several medical centers told her she had to live with the tremors and hopefully find some relief from the medication prescribed: propranolol and diazepam.  She turned to Chinese medicine.

Her constitution was determined and she did a series of 3 acupuncture sessions.  Two months after the last session she returned showing no symptoms.  She had stopped taking propranolol and was only taking diazepam at 5 mg twice a day.  They advised her to slowly come off diazepam and come in for more treatments if symptoms reappeared.  She returned after 3 months off medication and completely symptom free.

Traditional Chinese Medicine can be extremely successful with chronic ailments, like Essential Tremors.  I believe that is because every case is treated uniquely, as each individual is unique.  Never believe that something can not be healed.  Our bodies are more powerful than we know, we just have to learn to listen. 


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Understanding and Treating Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that can range from mildly irritating to completely debilitating. In it's most common presentation, it appears as dry, itchy patches, typically on the folds of the skin, that can bleed, ooze, and weep, causing quite an uncomfortable state of being for the patient.
There are two very distinct views on the causes of this skin irritation. From a Western Medical perspective, this is seen as an irritation cause by external factors (climate, detergents, heat, etc.) and is so treated with various creams and lotions, mostly containing a type of corticosteroid or antihistamine. These topical medications are used in segments of 3-5 days and they supress the outward symptoms of the condition. Yet typically these symptoms return even more severely and another application of topical medication is needed to supress the symptoms again. This is the cycle most people experiencing eczema in our Western culture endure until a younger patient sometimes grows out of it or the level of medication is increase exponentially and the patient lives in a constant state of symptom management.
The second of the two distinct views of this condition is that of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which looks at the symptoms as an indicator of a deeper imbalance in the body. TCM focuses on creating an environment that supports the body's ability to heal itself through herbs, accupunture, and other modalities, all working with the body's symptoms and rhythms rather than supressing them. There have been various studies conducted showing the effectiveness of TCM practices. In one study, half of the eczema patients recieved treatment using herbs in a salve and also took herbs internally while the other half recieved a placebo. Within 3 weeks of treatment, the patients receiving the TCM treatments were nearly completely symptom-free while the patients receiving the placebo were unchanged.
Other causes of eczema are starting to become more accepted in the west. Diet (particularly dairy and gluten) and stress levels are now being linked to this condition.
Massage is also becoming a more accepted treatment for eczema. Not only does massage and theraputic touch reduce stress levels, but it also promotes circulation to the affected areas when done in the appropriate manner by a licensed therapist. The massage technique should include massaging around the affected area with minimal heat or oils applied directly.
Though eczema can seem to have numerous causes and viewpoints on treatment, it is an disharmony that can absolutely be managed when the body is given the environment to return to balance.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Understanding COPD

What is COPD exactly? COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is a progressive respitory disease that makes breathing difficult overtime. It can include 1 or 2 respitory conditions: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Bronchitis causes a phlegmy couch and wheezing and causes the airway to swell. Emphysema is damaged air sacs in your lungs and it causes shortness of breath and a right feeling in your chest.

COPD has affected more than 11 million people worldwide and some may not even know they have it. It causes long term disability and early death. At this time according to western medicine there is no known cure and the number of people dying from COPD is rising. As COPD disrupts your air flow in and out of your lungs it starts to reduce your lung function. Your air sacs and airway lose elasticity, the walls that separate your air sacs become damaged permantely and the walls of your airway can become thick and inflamed, which produces more mucus than normal and causes them to become clogged.

Even though COPD is a progressive and serious disease, with options like: medication, pulmonary rehabilitation, oxygen therapy, people are able to live with the disease for several years. If someone is in the earlier stages of COPD, myofascial release or Swedish massage may be used. Massaging the rib cage can help strengthen respitory muscles and can decrease shortness of breath. Massage will lessen the flow of stress hormones so the rib cage is able to open up more freely and more air is allowed to be brought to the lungs. Lying flat on the massage table can make breathing more difficult, clients may feel more comfortable in a seated position or semi-reclined by propping up with pillows. In more advance stages massage of the back and chest to move excess lymph from the area will help allow the lungs to open up more and making it easier for the client to breathe. When a client is in the final stages of COPD chair massage is the best position so there is not extra body weight on the chest cavity. The massage therapist will focus on their back to live lymph and loosen up the muscles around the clients rib cage. This will help assist labored breathing.

Chinese medicine considers COPD a lung yin deficiency. As lung yin deficiency worsens heat builds up in the lungs and the lungs begin to compensate by producing phlegm. Phlegm obstructs the free flow of any Qi in the lungs. Medicines and herbs that are extremely drying should be avoided and can cause further complications. If dryness is presenting Chinese medicine food therapy suggests foods that moisten the lungs: spy products, barley, peanuts, rice milk, spinach, and pears. Foods that should be avoided that produce phlegm: fried food, dairy, juices, raw foods, iced drinks and cold foods.

Chinese medicine works very affective it to address COPD issues and has shown signs of reversing the disease if caught early on. In more advanced cases of COPD, the herbs will likely be depended on long term use to maintain an improved quality of life over time.


American lung association

Healthy cells magazine

Heal naturally