By Ryokyu Endo
First of all, giving a treatment in Oriental medicine is not about diagnosing a disease. However, analyzing “disease” within the physical dimension is attractive to patients, because the explanation of disease in Western medicine is very clear. So, for most people, it is seen as easy to understand.
Here are some examples: “the cause of diabetes is insufficient secretion of insulin from the pancreatic islets of Langerhans. So, let’s inject insulin.” If it’s Parkinson’s disease: “Lack of dopamine from the brain. So, let’s take dopamine.” It is clear and simple.
The focus of this paper is ear, nose, and throat disease (ENT otorhinolaryngologic disease). Empyema (chronic sinusitis) is mucous in the sinus or accumulated puss due to bacterial infection.
Patients who are given this explanation from a doctor will think, “Oh, it’s good to know the cause of disease,” and they will expect that the latest medicine will cure them.
However, with awareness of ki and meridians, we will say, “We cannot look for the cause of the disease in the material level” because the focus in the material level is more on the result rather than the cause.
What leads to a lack of insulin secretion? What causes the shortage of dopamine? That is the cause, and that is the distortion of ki flow in the meridian. Additionally, in Parkinson’s disease, are the lack of dopamine and the walking difficulty really related to each other? I’m asking this because a patient who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease had improved his symptoms with just one meridian treatment.
This cannot be verified in science because ki is not a substance. The proof cannot be shown except in the results of the treatment. It is the weakness of Oriental medicine, but also it is the strength of Oriental medicine. (Like hospitals, we cannot be blamed for medical progress. Therapists must be serious because the patient’s recovery depends on the therapist’s responsibility. And this is the strength.)
As I described above, the original cause of the disease cannot be found in the physical dimension. If it is found there, you are just scratching the surface. For this reason, Western medicine does not effectively treat chronic disease.
The two patients below had ENT disease. They gave up on Western medicine treatments and were healed through Tao Shiatsu. They went to an otolaryngologist for a couple of years, but they didn’t obtain any effective results. No wonder they gave up on Western medicine.
• Disease: Chronic Atrophic Rhinitis
• Symptoms: Dry nasal congestion, nasal mucosa, and heaviness in the head
• Sho Diagnosis: Triple Heater Kyo
• Sex: Female
• Age: 36
• Occupation: Homemaker
She was diagnosed with chronic atrophic rhinitis in otolaryngology. She went to an otolaryngologist a couple of times a week for two years, but she did not get better, so she came for a shiatsu treatment. First, I did a sho diagnosis, and it was Triple Heater Kyo.
Let me explain about Triple Heater. In the book Shiatsu from Shizuto Masunaga, it says, “Triple Heater supports Small Intestine, distributes vitality from “mei-Mon” Pericardium, and supports circulation throughout the body. And it also supports the serous membrane and the lymphatic system.”
Triple Heater has an Upper Heater,(the pleura), Middle Heater,(Greater Omentum), and Lower Heater (mainly the peritoneum and the mesentery). Triple Heater also includes the skin, mucous membrane, and serous membrane. This may not be enough explanation about Triple Heater. So, I’ll provide some more examples.
Triple Heater is the meridian for “adapting to the environment.” For example, in summer, a headache called “air conditioning syndrome” is common. The syndrome is from Triple Heater becoming jitsu in the head area. Working at a business office, you may be going in and out of the building many times from hot outdoor air to cool air conditioning indoors and vise-verse.
The Triple Heater becomes overwhelmed by trying to adapt the body temperature to the outdoor temperature, and as a result, it becomes Triple Heater Jitsu.
Chill from “air conditioning syndrome” is because the Triple Heater meridian controls peripheral circulation. If the Triple Heater is kyo it means that it cannot function properly, so then peripheral circulation becomes poor.
In cold weather, we vigorously rub our upper arms. This is because unconsciously we are stimulating the Triple Heater meridian to help peripheral circulation.
However, as I mentioned above, the female patient had Triple Heater Kyo. I saw that the cause was the Triple Heater’s mucous membrane which had become hyper-sensitive.
She may have an allergy (and I found out that she did, when I asked), sensitive skin, and a lack of ability to adapt to the outside world.
Also, Triple Heater Kyo causes asthma (allergy), but in her case, she had chronic inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane.
Triple Heater runs through the upper limbs. A good guideline of where the Triple Heater runs is in the center part of the outer, upper arms.
In meridian treatment based on sho diagnosis, after the basic form comes the sho diagnosis to find the kyo meridian. Treating the whole kyo meridian could be one way of treating, but it can be awfully inefficient. Instead of treating the whole kyo meridian, see where “the kyo lump” is present in the meridian. The “kyo lump” that exists deep in the meridian is the source of distortion and way to access the jaki.
As I mentioned earlier, the cause of disease is a distortion in the way ki is flowing through a meridian. In fact, jaki that exists in the depths of the meridian is referred to as the root of the disease. Jaki that is seeking release makes the meridian kyo-jitsu (“kyo lump”).
Generally, the kyo lump has many tsubo. (A tsubo is not the acupuncture point, it’s the point where ki distortion appears, and it feels like the tip of a grain of rice.)
The kyo lump melts by treating the tsubo with shiatsu. The jaki releases, and as a result, the distortion of kyo-jitsu is removed. This is when symptoms disappear.
The female patient came for treatment once a week for two months, and her treatment was completed when her symptoms were gone. The patient seemed surprised by the disappearance of her symptoms in only two months after she spent two years with an otolaryngologist. She said, “I was impressed at the end.” Not only had her nose healed, but her body felt solid.
In her case, she had kyo lumps in her Triple Heater in her head and upper limbs and also in her shoulder, back and lower limbs. As kyo lumps stay in the meridian longer, they may appear at other locations in the body. This is because although the kyo lump may be released, deeper jaki may appear. Even sho diagnosis is not the same all the time. Her sho diagnosis was Triple Heater Kyo for the first couple of treatments.
• Disease: Empyema (chronic sinusitis)
• Sho Diagnosis: Large Intestine Kyo
• Sex: Male
• Age: 29
• Occupation: Former company employee
He left the company because he had severe symptoms. He said he couldn’t stay in the company because he couldn’t think.
He was married and had two children. I thought, “It must be a difficult time for him, and besides, he lives far away. Will he be able to come for treatment?” I was a bit worried, but he came for treatment every week.
The sho diagnosis was “Large Intestine Kyo.” This sho is common for nasal congestion and sore throat. In other words, the sho was typical for EMT disease. He had deep kyo, so I asked if he often has constipation or diarrhea, and also if his skin gets easily festered by cuts. When I asked him, he thought it strange and asked me how I knew such things.
I explained to him that the organs, large intestine, skin, and bronchi, which belong to the Large Intestine meridian were weakened. The Large Intestine meridian (as well as the Gall Bladder meridian) have the characteristic that they easily show symptoms in the organs they contain.
As I mentioned in Case 1, the nose problem shows in “Triple Heater Kyo” or “Bladder Kyo.” However, like this male patient, if it’s “Large Intestine Kyo,” it’s relatively easy to see, but if it’s “Bladder Kyo,” it’s more difficult.
The characteristic of Bladder Kyo is from “having stressful relationships with others.” You can ask your patients if they are easily stressed in their relationships with others or if they are having problems with others. However, asking these questions may not give them full satisfaction because even though what you said is true, in general patients don’t expect that meridian sho diagnosis can be that clear.
If Bladder meridian is kyo, the next steps to adapt to everyday life are not so easy, so pointing what a patient needs to do in daily life may not be the best approach. Bladder meridian supports the autonomic nervous system, so usually the most I tell patients is that they may have autonomic nervous system disorder.
Anyway, treatment can begin smoothly with pointing out symptoms because it makes it more possible to gain the patient’s trust. This patient came for treatment once a week. After a month, his nasal mucus has become solid. Within two months, he didn’t have nasal mucus, and his symptoms were gone in less than three months. He was worried, so he continued coming for treatment until three months. Treatment was completed two weeks after his symptoms were gone. A month later, I received a postcard from him saying he got a new job.
From the way the Large Intestine meridian runs in the body, it is easy to see its correlation with ENT disease in the muscles (the main meridian) at the upper limbs to the front neck area and through the nasal pathways. Particularly, you can see the kyo lump”n the front of the neck area on the Large Intestine meridian. (It was this way with the male patient. too)
However, if kyo is too deep, the Large Intestine meridian on the front-neck area may not respond to your ki in the shiatsu treatment. In this case, check the sub meridian in the Large Intestine meridian which symmetrically exists on the opposite side. In addition to the whole body’s twenty-four meridians, an additional sub meridian exists on each meridian. Therefore the kyo lump will certainly exist in the sub meridian. (See Tao Shiatsu: Life Medicine for the Twenty-First Century).
When you see the kyo lump in the Large Intestine meridian on the sub meridian, treat those tsubos. The main meridian opens by treating the sub meridian. By doing this, the kyo lump that did not respond to your ki in the treatment will now respond to you, or the deep kyo lump”will come up closer to the surface. Then you can treat the front-neck area in the Large Intestine meridian on the main meridian.
With the male patient who I treated, the kyo lump spanned between the head and the upper limbs on Large Intestine meridian, and it was not only in this area but also in the Large Intestine ring meridian on the lower limbs and in the abdomen.
Normally when a patient has nose problems with Large Intestine Kyo, the kyo lump is in the neck and upper back. In rare cases the kyo lump may appear also in the buttocks.
This is something you must not forget about. After you treat the kyo lump”in the neck area, jaki flows to the upper limbs. In the process of jaki moving to the outside world, it moves distal and out from the body by treating the kyo lump in the neck area. As a result, it leaves heaviness in the upper limb. In some cases, it shows as “menken reaction” which causes various symptoms. So, it is important to treat kyo in the upper limbs–particularly on the outer forearm where the kyo lump in the Large Intestine meridian is close to the elbow–after treating the neck and back. Treating the point on the forearm near the elbow will prevent or make the menken reaction as light as possible.
In addition, I have a photo that shows treatment of a kyo lump in the Large Intestine meridian. Please refer to it.
These are cases about ENT disease based on actual treatments. As I mentioned in the beginning, Oriental medicine is not about diagnosing disease. Western medicine views any one disease being the same disease for everyone, but sho diagnosis is different. The disease is case by case and depends on the each person.
As far as treatment goes, sho diagnosis changes. In some cases, sho diagnosis changes even during the treatment. For Tao Shiatsu therapists, the important principle to follow is that the treatment is according to sho diagnosis. We give shiatsu treatment to “kyo” where the patient’s life needs “ki” the most.