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Hello! looking for some help

    • Hello! I’ve been to several TCM doctors and have had many appointments of acupuncture but to no avail.
    • I have been studying TCM for over a year now and have a few questions.
    • My goal is to treat my lifelong afflictions that have been plaguing me, then moving on to work towards schooling in Oriental Medicine.
  1. Currently I am going to school towards a Computer Science degree, but my real treasure I am finding is in Oriental Medicine.
  2. I have been practicing Tai Chi / Qi Gong / Martial Arts for the past 6 months as well.

To begin I would need to tell you my story, growing up I was fine until I was about 14, then I started experiencing digestive aliments, normally just extremely painful IBS, a few times when I was 16-17 I experienced massive abdominal pain and went to hospital (most painful part of my life). Doctors did their tests, looked at my guts / stomach. everything was okay.

It’s important to note that growing up I was going through a large amount of emotional trauma with family problems (broken home), problems would continue until I was 18.

I live in the Las Vegas valley, so I experience a large amount of dry heat with little moisture, its always 100 Fahrenheit days throughout the summer. I’ve worked a few part-time jobs ranging from cashier to food services, at the amount I’m just a student. I enjoy in my past-time: cycling, Tai chi, Qi gong, and martial arts.

I managed to stop the IBS pains by eating healthier. Growing up I ate nothing healthy, letting my stomach / spleen fall in energy. I had a lot of back pain growing up as well (though minor compared to the IBS problem), the pain would be located in the middle spine area, it stopped when I was about 18. Later on a year later at 19 I would discover I had some minor degree scoliosis.

I am a Caucasian male, 22 years old, 130 lbs, 5"10, no smoking, no drinking, and active.
Pale complexion of whole body with bluish / dark rings around eyes (bottom of eyes mainly), I am still palish even with a moderate amount of sun from cycling frequently.
Lips will be minorly chapped 30% of time.
Tongue has a light white coating, tongue itself is somewhat pale (especially on top with the coating), I have never had severe yellow coating on my tongue or jaundice.

As of today, I have little back pain and no IBS pains.

My problems today include:
-Intense splashy watery sound in abdomen from time to time, especially after drinking water (not even a lot of water), sound originates from under rib-cage near middle of body

  • Stiff neck
  • Recently I’ve been going through bouts of bad palpitations and chest pain, they come fairly randomly, but a lot more frequently moving through to the middle part of summer.
    -Minor back-pain, can be in low back to middle back
  • Spitting up copious amounts of white phlegm (sputum) 100% of the time.
  • Trouble breathing (especially deeply and fully) 85% of time, breathing normally gets better from Qi gong / Tai chi / martial arts during last spring, but as of the end of summer, I feel breathing is neutral, still pretty bad.
  • Varying pressure in my throat (maybe some form of lung heat? - (I say varying because the pressure might be bad one day, but much more loose another).
  • Sometimes have uncomfortable pressure in sides of head, few centimeters to the top left / top right of the eyebrows (not a headache, something else).
  • Pressure in the back roof of my mouth as well (again it will vary, being bad one day, much less another), I have had tests done that have revealed polyps in my sinus (or where back roof of the mouth is).
  • Fatigue (varying), sometimes when I’m doing school work I will feel brain-fogged,
  • Insomnia, very hard to get to sleep, I can lay down in the dark and quiet for 3 hours and not fall asleep, once I do get to sleep, I will likely stay asleep for about 6 hours until I need to use bathroom.
  • Sleep apena, believe root cause to be phlegm / lung heat obstructing my air-ways (My trouble breathing will sometimes impact my sleep, causing me to wake up with very little oxygen in my system, lots of pressure in the roof of mouth, red burning eyes, headache, feeling very heated (that goes away after a bit), and lightheaded / groggy).
  • Minor/moderate achy red eyes (they will burn up normally when I go cycling or when I have have trouble breathing in my sleep).
  • No hunger or thirst (100% of time - although I have no hunger, I still seek out overly sweet things, and have a hard time of stopping myself)
  • Pain in bottom of feet after standing relatively still for a while (this is interesting because this will not happen if I go for long walks or long cycling), but it will happen during Qi Gong or Tai Chi, not Martial Arts though).
  • Pain in knees, the pain is more achy than anything else, I will feel this same achiness all over my body from time to time (again will not happen when doing long walks or cycling, but will happen during Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and a little in Martial Arts).
  • Minor gum bleeding, gums will be swollen with it as well (happens 20% of the time, so relatively less).
  • Bitter taste in mouth (generally happens around same time that gum bleeding happens, relatively less).
  • Distension of gut (happens 100% of the time, I will feel bloated and heavy all the time).
  • Very hard to gain weight, very easy to lose it (I’ve been at about 130 - 135 lbs since I was 18, I am 22 now).
  • Will experience chest oppression (50% of time).
  • Lower blood pressure (doctor results)
  • Minor acne on face and upper back.
    -Lots of sighing / heavy breathing trying to catch my breath when I have lots of pressure, even while idle.
  • Type of apathy / depression / food doesn’t taste good / lethargy, I’m not emotionally depressed, I know there’s a way to get stronger (through TCM), but I feel chemically deprived (absolutely feel no endorphins for past 2 years, I’m not exaggerating), I took a SSRI once and felt very dizzy/uncomfortable/sick afterwards.
  • Sometimes will overthink, I know when I’m doing it but can’t stop it.
  • Occasional belching no matter what I eat or drink (can happen even if I haven’t been eating at all).
  • Will have foul smelling flatulence as well, generally when I eat junk food.
  • Phenomenon where my skin feels like it’s cold and burning at the same time (cold-burn), believe it has something to do with needing to release the exterior, happens quite randomly, can happen in hot or cold, while it’s occurring I will have an intolerance to everything (too cold and too hot), does not happen during exercise or being active (Qi gong / cycling / walking / martial arts / tai chi), when the AC comes on I will randomly feel it hit me hard and the sensation begins (doesn’t have to happen with AC coming on though), I will not have any sweating during cold-burn.

(All of these particular symptoms have been going on for a year and a half now, but have slowly manifested to the state they are now from a course of time since I was 18 when the phlegm especially started.)

My diet is generally okay, I eat a lot of steamed vegetables including: cucumber, squash, lettuce, radish, celery, and the occasional chicken (I try not to eat any meat when I have gum bleed or bitter taste in mouth (stomach heat).
I will sometimes derive from that diet and eat junk food even though I know that I shouldn’t (very hard to stop the urge to do so).

I have tried three different acupuncturists, over 14 different times.
One of the doctors also sold a month supply of tea that I tried twice (for a total of two months), I didn’t find any help with his formula though.
When I was trying to tell him my problems, he was hard to communicate with and he seemed fixed on focused problems (phlegm).

First formula he gave me for phlegm

Second formula he gave me for digestion

  • Important to note that neither of the formulas did anything for me after the full month dosage.
    (Whenever I took the second formula, I would almost always end up with some cold-burn afterwards)

Main question: What new formula would you prescribe to me? (I am semi-fluent in making the formulas), what acupuncture points and what diagnosis?

Thank you,

I know it is a hand full, but I believe its necessary if I’m trying to get the right kind of help.


So to start, when you say ----

How long did you see each practitioner, and what frequency - both acupuncture and herbs or just one? Also, you can honestly say that —nothing— changed after a course of treatment? Remember you are not looking for miracles and complete instant resolution of your issues - but if nothing truly changed then your diagnosis is completely wrong in most cases.

Can you describe your diet and your levels and type of physical activity (including how much time you practice qi gong/tai chi and what types)?

As for your prescribing points and herbs for you, I’ll try to give you a general idea once you give me a little more info. That said, I strongly, strongly recommend against trying to treat yourself - it just won’t work and it’s not a good idea for a potential practitioner - you need to find someone who can actually help you so you’ll have someone to ideally intern with later. If you want to spend time and energy on your health, do it through diet, emotional control, and qigong/tai chi/meditation - not in thinking you have the skills to treat yourself with acupuncture and herbs.

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