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Is it FMS, menopause, IBS, CFS, Chronic yeast


I have a large number of patients with the following scenario: Age late 40's to early fifties. employed, usually professional (teachers, nurses, secretaries, etc.), recent weight gain - 10 to 20 lbs. Painful inflammed joints, puffy eye lids, bloated abdomen, pretibial edema, mild SOB - not really short of breath as much as exercise intolerance, not sleeping well, mild warm - not hot flashes, markedly diminshed energy, digestive complaints - flatulence, loose stools with bloating. No steatorrhea, no melena, hematochezia.

There are all kinds of ways of looking at this - from a Western perspective it looks like FMS or chronic fatigue. 20 years ago they would have been labelled depressed. I know there are TCM syndromes associated with these symptoms. I am wondering about some protocals that people may have to some direction for a comprehensive plan of treatment....




Acupuncture is effective at the whole range of fibro/cfs/etc. syndromes along with other serious auto-immune related disorders. It's effectiveness is solely because it doesn't treat a condition, but each practitioner can adapt a treatment that is uniquely suited to each patients signs and symptoms. The western designation is rarely valuable in Chinese Medicine because of the need for proper pattern differentiation and adaptive treatment protocols for effective treatments. And with many of these cases, the condition name is even less significant as many of the diagnoses are simply categorizations - or at best semi-specific diagnoses with limited treatment options.

While there are protocols for a number of these conditions, generally you have to start by working off what the patient is presenting with - not what their condition is named. You can see some of the related TCM patterns and treatment points in the Chronic Fatigue treatment section and looking into the patterns within the Depression treatment section should give you some broad ideas.


I understand and appreciate the treatment of symptoms with Acupuncture. I am curious, however, about mitochondrial dysfunction in the symptoms cluster. These people are very tired and I treat that, also have multiple spleen symtoms as well as stomach and Large Instestine - actually the meridian dysfunction is amazing! So, I am having some trouble prioritizing the treatment based on multiple meridian dysfunction....

In Heaven you don't make music, you ARE the music.

Lyn Behnke, MSN, FNP, CAFCI


This is exactly what makes these cases difficult to treat at times. There are often very mixed symptoms both from a western and an eastern point of view and careful pattern differentiation is crucial for treatment. It is, as you say, difficult to prioritize the syndromes. To do this you have to first list everything out and begin to put it into groupings - so upper/lower, hot/cold, etc. and meridian dysfunctions - spleen, kidney, etc. After you have that your next step is to look for the "root" of the issues. So taking the entire list into perspective and trying to go backwards through it to find out what issues/patterns are secondary and which are primary. For example, weak kidneys, can cause weak overall qi and then a weak spleen, etc. Treating the kidneys, in this very basic example, would lead to better results than treating the spleen symptoms. While not entirely comprehensive, my article on treatment point selections, may help. Also looking at some of the general pattern signs and symptoms, instead of the points in the conditions treated section may be helpful.

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