Lyme disease presents with many symptoms and can affect many bodily systems. Using the energetics of acupuncture, herbs/food, and the body’s Qi, we can successfully treat tick-borne diseases (TBDs), or Gu syndrome (gu zheng).
Acupuncture: History and Efficacy
Acupuncture originated in China over 3000 years ago, making it the world’s oldest and most commonly used medical procedure. It is based on the theory of Qi, or the movement of energy in the body. Fine, sterile needles are inserted into the body to achieve the desired physiological response. Qi travels along the meridians or channels in the body. Disharmony within the body affects the movement of Qi and leads to disease.
There are twelve main meridians with tributaries and eight extraordinary meridians that course throughout. These meridians and their tributaries are accessible at different depths and, therefore, can affect the body at the cutaneous (surface) level and deep into the organs they are named after. Each meridian has points along it that function in particular ways. These points activate the peripheral nerves, transferring input signals to the brain and spinal cord through neural pathways.
Although the immediate effects are related to the nervous system, chemical signals like cytokines, hormones, and the like are also initiated to correct imbalances. Acupuncture increases blood flow to targeted areas to improve tissue oxygenation and aid in the circulation of the anti-inflammatory secretions it promotes. Acupuncture also increases the body’s internal production of endorphins (natural painkillers). These processes activate many more signals through the network to positively impact mood, immune response, and so on.
Gu syndrome dates back to the 7th century and refers to parasitic, fungal, and stealth pathogenic infections. According to the ancient Confucius Chinese text, Yijing, or Book of Changes, “movement means life and health and stagnation means death and disease.” Gu syndrome is a yin pathogen characterized as a chronic state of stagnation that has affected the entire body.
According to Heiner Fruehauf, the modern interpretation of Gu syndrome is an “aggressive helminthic, protozoan, fungal, spirochete or viral affliction(s) that has become systemic in an immune-compromised patient.” The classic texts list symptoms such as digestive upset, neuromuscular, and mental symptoms. Constitutional signs of Qi damage, such as dark under-eye circles, floating and big pulse or choppy pulse, distended sublingual veins, rooted damp tongue coat, and red tip or red dots that cluster on the front third of the tongue are also seen.
To treat, we must first consider the state of the patients’ Yuan Qi (original Qi) and the stage of infection. Those who recently contracted Gu syndrome may still have strong Yuan Qi. Expelling wind and releasing the exterior will be paramount here. Therapeutic lifestyle changes such as stress reduction, rest, detoxification support, a nutrient-dense diet, and correcting underlying deficiencies will also be necessary.
Qugu Ranxi Lu’s 1983 “Master Ranxi’s Treatise on Expelling Gu Toxins” and Fruehauf suggest stimulation of all or some of the 13 ghost points with the burning of moxa on garlic slivers and frequent acupressure with menthol preparations.
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Foods and Herbs to Restore Health and Balance
Just as acupuncture is used to restore balance or address specific health conditions like tick-borne diseases, diet can, too. Energetics of foods refers to the qualities and characteristics of foods/herbs that affect the human body when consumed or applied.
In TCM, all foods and herbs are classified according to their energy into two major classifications: temperature (hot, warm, neutral, cool, cold) and flavor (spicy, sweet, sour, bitter, salty). The energetic properties of the foods influence specific organs and meridians throughout the body. These properties determine how the herb interacts with the body’s energy and can be used to restore balance or address respective health conditions.
When treating Gu syndrome, you should avoid hot, warm, sour, and sweet foods. Increase intake of neutral, cooling, bitter, and some spicy foods, as these foods will clear heat and toxins while nourishing yin.
Using your Qi as a practitioner, along with balancing the Qi of the patient through acupuncture, food, and a combination of herbs, you can relieve your patient’s symptoms and begin the healing process.
Dr. Marisa Houser, ND, LAc, practices at Tao Vitality in Hebron, CT. At Tao, Dr. Houser specializes in treating Tick-Borne Diseases (TBDs) and teaches her patients the importance of prevention, first aid and all the treatment options available to patients suffering from TBDs. Although she specializes in TBDs, she treats many other conditions ranging from gastrointestinal issues to hormonal imbalances. Dr. Houser utilizes a holistic approach and a wide range of therapies to help her patients achieve whole-body health. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two children, two dogs, exploring nature and camping.
Tao Vitality, 27 Main St, Hebron CT, 860.228.1287. www.taovitality.com