Monday, October 25, 2010

Beijing: Second week. In the hospital gynecological department, part one

Beijing: Second week. In the hospital gynecological department, part one
Here you will meet some Chinese gynecological patients, hear about some exotic commonly used herbs, discover some mainly used formulas administered by some legends of TCM in China and go on the ward for gynecology TCM and discover some far out electro abdomen techniques for treatment.
In this TCM part of the hospital I observed in the outpatient and inpatient (ward patients) areas. On a daily basis with outpatients (patients coming to see the doctor but returning home) it was very busy. I have discovered all patients come to the hospitals as there are no General Practitioner doctors in China. Although there are acupuncture and herbal clinics that you pay as you go. But you also pay as you go in the hospital, so it must be much cheaper for people to come to the hospital.
On Monday I was in a small room of the hospital that had two large dirty windows that faced out on to some trees. Two tables were either side of the room each with a doctor and a intern doctor helper. A nurse called out the next patient’s name and from the queue of seats outside a patient would come in to either doctor On one of the tables myself a student intern translator and Kyla, another student from my year, were sitting. That’s 5 people. Then a patient would come in making it 6. Before the patient would leave another would come in while the first patient’s details were finalised, making it 7. Usually another family member or partner might attend. 8 people knee to knee discussing some very detailed personal information and sharing charts and x rays. That’s 14 people in this room at most times! Further to this the next patient might be hovering around waiting for their turn. From 8.30am to 11.30am the doctor I was with saw over 20 patients. One every ten minutes in this manner.
What was the vibe in this environment? I am surprised to report very friendly and relaxed. The doctors had a lot of smiles for their patients. Patients were well behaved and respected the advice they were getting. All round their were positive vibes. How this works I have no idea? It just seems with all barriers removed human camaraderie and goodwill increase in my opinion.
Most patients who came in were suffering from PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease), blocked/damaged ovarian tubes , PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Disease), ectopic pregnancy issues, irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea. A lot of the ovary issues I saw, from x-rays, were of the ovaries themselves orientated upwards instead of downwards, which I thought was strange that so many would present like that. Some patients were seeking pregnancy tests from blood results and one I saw wanted to help her baby grow well.
This is the formula prescribed for the 7 weeks pregnant woman who wanted here baby to grow well.
Tu Si Zi 30
Xu Duan 10
Sang Ji Sheng 10
Bai Shao 15
Shang Zhu Yu 6
Huang Qin 6
Sha Ren 3
Bai Zhu 10
Shan Yao 15
E Jiao 10
Gan Cao 10
And one more I didn’t catch
Si Ni San was a formula base for most infertility cases. With Dang Gui added  for example. One case a female had tried for pregnancy for a year. After a fallopian tube test using iodine in the uterus and x-ray the fallopian tubes were diagnosed as blocked or not fully open. Si Ni San was used with a variety of other herbs including Tu Bie Chong, which is wingless cockroach and is seen as a blood activating herb. A 21 year old who was suffering from infertility was treated on the ward. She had an issue with her fallopian tubes. Si Ni San was used again but in this case Wu Gong was added. This is “centipede” and is regarded as a toxic herb usually prescribed as 5g. In her case she received 50g! All the young intern doctors thought it was crazy and said they wouldn’t never prescribe that much, but the experienced Doctor Xu Run San thought for this patient that it was fine. More about this well know doctor later!
There was a particular endometriosis formula that was used made up by the department called Nei Yi Wan:
San Qi 3
He Shou Wu 12
Ze Lan 10
Huang Bai 10
Jin Ying Zi ( I think) 10
Shui Zhi 10 ( which is leech)
This basic formula was researched on rabbits that had their fallopian tubes degraded. When Si Ni San was administered there was a positive result in the fallopian tubes functioning.
I spoke to Doctor Wang Qing who researched the formula. It’s available here: Journal of TCM, Vol 29, Dec 2009, No.4. It was interesting for me to see a research paper in action in a hospital. Previous to this I have looked and read dozens of these types of articles and wondered if they were actually utilised and useful in daily reality. She told me it took 2 years to do and here it was used in the hospital.
Another herbal tip I picked up was for the use of food medicine. I actually got it from a doctor in the oncology department who was prescribing for a patient who had wanted treatment for her irregular period.
A 43 year old woman was having the bleeding part of her period for 20 plus days with dark blood, dark clots, pain in the lower abdomen with sharp spasm and lumbar pain. Tongue was dark, yellow coat, dry. Pulse choppy, deep and lower jiao. The following formula was prescribed to Tonify blood, Qi, move and activate Blood
Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang modified:
Tao Ren 10
Hong Hua 10 In Australia this is proscribed. Use Dang Gui (more) or Chuan Xiong (more).
Dang Gui 10
Chuan Xiong 10
Shen Di Huang 10
Shu Di Huang 10
Bai Shao 15
Gan Cao 6
Chai Hu 10
Wu Yao 10
Ye Mu Cao 10
Ai Ye 10
Bu Gu Zhi 10
Yin Yang Huo 10
Then she added this food medicine and herbs:
Dang Gui 20 g
He Shou Wu 15g
Cooked for as long as you can with 2,3 eggs after they have had their period, for 2 weeks duration. Not sure over how long for overall time frame. I guess until results seen. Here the hard boiled eggs are cooked with the herbs and absorb all their qualities. It never occurred to me before that this may be possible! Might be a useful treatment for anemia for example too.

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