Hello all. I have a question about a difficult case. That case is me. I’m not a practitioner but have received training in ayurveda and am familiar with basic concepts and diagnostic methods of TCM. I live in an area with no Chinese medicine practitioners and would like to educate myself while I find a way to get to one. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
First, I have chronic pain, difficulty breathing, a stiff neck and shoulders, dry eyes/eye pain, and depression. These symptoms have been going on for about five years and I’ve gotten some limited relief from various methods (staying physically active helps, and certain herbs will also cause a small improvement), but not a full solution.
I had an acupuncturist confirm that I had liver qi stagnation and heat. He told me to take American ginseng and it gave some relief for a while, until it stopped working. I can do a basic self-diagnosis using tongue and pulse and have experimented with many herbal formulas. Anything containing bupleurum (chai hu), such as xiao yao wan or jia wei xiao yao wan, will create heat symptoms within the first couple doses, though it also creates some relief of the other symptoms. I seem to have a stagnant liver that is also too hot and dry (blood deficient) to handle herbs for qi stagnation.
I also have reason to believe that there is qi deficiency. For a couple weeks earlier this year my digestion went out (very strange for me since I can usually stomach anything), and I also generally have a flabby tongue with teeth marks. Overly “yin” foods and herbs make me feel congested. Therefore it seems impossible to deal with the blood deficiency, qi stagnation, and qi deficiency all at the same time. How on earth do you address this?
The herbs that help me have properties of being sweet, bitter, and cooling. I’ve tried many herbs and that’s the specific combo that works. Other examples in addition to the American ginseng are rhodiola and tai zi shen (though it’s not as good as the others). Sweet herbs alone make me feel worse. Bitter ones alone improve symptoms, but make me overheat. I thought a combo of jia wei xiao yao wan plus an yin tonic (liu wei di huang wan) would work, but I still overheated.
Apologies for the long message, but if you are a practitioner, how would you deal with this if I showed up at your clinic? I am in Mexico where there are no TCM practitioners so would much appreciate any feedback.