By: Ye Tian-Shi (Case #3)
Zhou was a 17-year-old unmarried girl with menstrual irregularities. Her menses were sometimes early and sometimes late. Prior to her menses she had abdominal pain that was worse than normal, and her intake of food and drink was greatly reduced. This problem started at the beginning of summer, and going into autumn her lower burner was often cold. There were abdominal sounds, and alternating diarrhea and constipation. The examination revealed that she easily had depressed anger without any real reason. This was Liver qi tending towards horizontal [attack], in which the Stomach first was harmed. The chong, ren, qiao, and wei channels all belong to the Liver and Kidney. The channels were not circulating properly, and the qi and blood was gradually becoming blocked, leading to obstruction. If there is a lack of flow there must be clumping with mobile abdominal masses, accumulations of strings and aggregations (a kind of abdominal masses).
Crataegi Fructus (shan zha)
unprocessed Cyperi Rhizoma (sheng xiang fu)
Corydalis Rhizoma (yan hu suo)
Angelicae sinensis Radix (dang gui)
Citri reticulatae viride Pericarpium (qing pi)
Sparganii Rhizoma (san leng)
Atractylodis macrocephalae Rhizoma (bai zhu)
Achyranthis bidentatae Radix (niu xi)
Toosendan Fructus (chuan lian zi)
Lycopi Herba (ze lan)
Cinnamomi Cortex (rou gui)
Foeniculi Fructus (xiao hui xiang)
made into pills with the juice of Allii fistulosi Bulbus (cong bai)
Commentary: Ye Tian-Shi said,
the 12 channels travel through the body like ditches with circular flow and without limit, only the eight extraordinary channels are like canals, if they are overflowing they become like deep rivers, which is not the same as how the 12 normal channels flow.”
To briefly elaborate “the eight extraordinary channels are not limited like the normal 12 channels.” Concerning the physiology of the eight extraordinary channels Mr. Ye thought that they gather and contain essence qi, regulate the normal channel’s qi and blood, connect and join, protect, and the function of lifting up the body and bones. The disease is due to a disturbance in the chong and ren disrupting the Liver and Stomach, leading to chaotic qi counterflow of the Liver and Stomach and Liver and Stomach disharmony. If the menses are unable to come on time, and conversely remaining internally and following the movement of the uterine vessels, this will often lead to mobile abdominal masses.
When this is happens one must attack the accumulation, expelling and driving out stasis. This not only causes the eight extraordinary channels to flow smoothly, but also can flush away lodged stasis, preventing mobile abdominal masses. The principal method was to disperse, descend, warm, and unblock, when using an attacking method it is most suitable to use a moderate and roundabout method. Therefore Mr. Ye used the school of thought of using medicinals to promoting the movement of qi, attacking accumulation and driving out stasis. This was used to prevent further complications by reducing accumulation in the early stages.
For further reading on understanding Ye Tian-Shi’s eight extraordinary channel application, check out: Ye Tian-Shi’s Pattern Differentiation and Treatment of the Eight Extraordinary Channels.
Translated by: Jason Blalack