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The good and bad of traditional Chinese medicine

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3. The good and bad of traditional Chinese medicine

I have written about gardenia peel, Center-Supplementing Qi-Boosting Decoction (bu zhong yi qi tang), Perfect Major Supplementation Decoction (shi quan da bu tang). There are doctors who have used others such as White Tiger Plus Ginseng Decoction (bai hu jia ren shen tang), which treats itchiness, and Wind Dispersing Powder (xiao feng san), which treats secreted liquids. However, unless you are well informed about traditional Chinese medicine, you will not get these results. It is common to see unscrupulous doctors who suddenly refer to traditional Chinese medicine using phrases like “no sideeffects”, “withdraw from steroids”, and “good for your body and soul”. Traditional Chinese medicine, starting from even how you administer an examination, is completely different from Western medicine. It is unreasonable to use traditional Chinese medicine as a part of Western medicine.

 At China, doctors go to different schools; they either go to schools that mainly teach traditional Chinese medicinal practices or schools that teach Western medicinal practices.  Korea also has schools that teach primarily Korean medicine and schools that teach primarily Western medicine. At America, the schools that teach modern Western medicine (if you graduate from these, you get the title M.D, or Medical Doctor) are different from the schools that teach natural alternate treatment (if you graduate from these, you get the title N.D, or Naturopathic Doctor). At China, the doctors who practice Chinese medicine have the same social status as those who practice Western medicine, which could be said for Korea as well, but not the US, where Medical Doctors have a higher social status. However, there are restrictions on what kinds of treatment each type of medicinal practice can administer. In other words, you must have learnt medicine for a long time to study traditional Chinese medicine, and those who only studied modern Western medicine do not have the qualifications to practice traditional Chinese medicine. However, in Japan, there are practitioners who profit off their meager study-session knowledge and insufficient experience of traditional Chinese medicine. There is no way going to these doctors is going to help, and since I know how bad their lack of knowledge is, I do not treat people using traditional Chinese medicine. Incompetent doctors are the ones who make patients suffer for their lack of knowledge. It is a sad and dangerous situation.

It seems, by observing my own patients, that the worse the AD symptoms are the more likely it is that the patient has tried traditional Chinese medicine before. These patients can be classified in the 3 groups as follows:

  • Patients who feel no effect

  • Patients who improve to a certain extent, but cannot get any better

  • Patients who confronted their doctor why the treatment caused the seepage of liquids and made their condition even worse, only to hear the excuse that the toxins in their body are coming out, and that they don’t need to worry. These patients eventually stop using Chinese medicine out of fear.

If you fall in situations a) or b), try using it for 3 months, and if your AD symptoms do not get better, there will be no point in continueing using it. However, many doctors who prescribe traditional Chinese medicine will say that your body is adjusting to the medicine. This is, however, a rather vague expression; a body’s condition is already set when the egg and the sperm unite, and thus a person’s body condition will not change unless their DNA mutates. How can they even say that your body is adapting to the medicine? They must clearly define what they mean when they say that (and if they don’t, you must ask). If your doctor can only give you a sloppy answer, your doctor has based your treatment on nonsense. It is dangerous to take traditional Chinese medicine without thinking it through. Traditional Chinese medicine also has side effects.
I have seen two extremely terrible cases.
When I asked patients about their treatment, many of them said that they were also prescribed celestamine, which is a combination of antihistamine and steroids
One person was told to use celestamine when AD symptoms were getting worse while taking traditional Chinese medicine, and another was told to use it everyday. The latter took celestamine everyday for 7 to 8 years before he went to sleep! This patient was not being treated by traditional Chinese medicine and was, in fact, was being treated by the steroids inside the celestamine
The patient, of course, did not get that explanation from his doctor. This is a type of fraud; saying that the unneeded traditional Chinese medicine would help when it was the steroids that was treating AD. In addition, steroids should be taken before noon to minimize the side effects. There are cases where patients should take steroids at night in the case they have intense asthma attacks or painful rheumatism attacks in the morning, but these are exceptions. The doctor who handled the second patient lied about the traditional Chinese medicinal treatment and used steroids and, on top of that, did not even know how people should take steroids. There is an increase in the number of unsuccessful doctors who are prescribing traditional Chinese medicine for profit. Be on full alert for these doctors.

Celestamine is a tablet sometimes prescribed to AD patients. If you look closely, a number, “311”, is on it, which means that it contains steroids. If you have this, ask your doctor why this is included in your prescription. Restamine, although sounding similar to celestamine, is only a antihistamine, so don’t worry about this.

I’ve also seen a patient, aside from those mentioned above, who used celestamine for 8 years. I’m tempted to point out by name the terrible Fukuoka-based female doctor out of anger. The patient used celestamine for 8 years, without ever being told that celestamine contains steroids, on the belief that the doctor was well known as an AD treatment specialist. Everybody should be careful of their prescription drugs (for internal use) and make sure what it is they are getting.

There are also some patients, who fall under the C category, who have gone through electric treatment using tens of thousands of bolts. All I can say to that is that it is safe to just stop.

There was also a person who was taking a health food product containing the calcium from corals. This was somebody who had light symptoms of AD and was just taking it to get the extra calcium to maintain his health. After two months, he had terrible rashes all over his body. Although he should’ve stopped then, he was told that his rashes appeared because the toxins in the body were getting out and continued taking it. He obediently took double the amount he was taking before under the belief that, indeed, the toxins would all come out soon. A month after that, his condition was so bad that even a hospital of a national university couldn’t treat him. When he finally came to my clinic, his skin was peeled all over, his whole body was covered with bandages like a mummy, and his secreted fluids could be smelt from two meters away. At that point, the rashes had tuned into a rare type of skin disease, pemphigus foliaceus.

When you look at these examples, it is clear how dangerous the claim that patients should endure the pain because the toxins in the body are coming out sounds. If your doctor or the person treating you is so sure, make him or her write “this is a temporary reaction that will eventually bring about better results, and after this reaction subdues, your AD symptoms will improve”. If your doctor refuses to write this, it is safe to stay away from whatever he or she is suggesting you should do.

 I have written on reasons and examples on why you should not use traditional Chinese medicine. However, only people who have not gotten good results from traditional Chinese medicinal treatment come and, obviously, people who have gone through successful traditional Chinese medicinal treatment do not come. So, in other words, there are people who improve their AD comdition through traditional Chinese medicine. I have seen this type of patient before. This patient went all the way to Beijing to get treatment, which worsened his symptoms. The reason why he went, however, was because one of his acquaintances went successfully improved his AD symptoms from the same traditional Chinese medicinal treatment in Beijing. Although this patient’s AD symptoms worsened due to the treatment, his friend’s symptoms got better.


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