Chinese Medicine excels at the treatment of bladder and other Urinary tract infections. I am yet, thank God, to meet a Urinary infection that did not respond to Chinese Herbal Medicine formulas such as Ba Zheng San/Dianthus Formula, or Si Miao Wan/Four Marvels Formula. Perhaps because of their non-wide spread use the bacteria have just not caught on yet. But what I really think is that thanks to the fact that Chinese Herbal Formulas combine from 5-15 medicinal substances in one prescription, that the bacteria have no defense; its like attacking an enemy with an artillery barrage, a bombing campaign, tanks, and infantry all at once. But that is really the wrong metaphor, because the beauty of Chinese Medicine herbal formulas is that they have natural checks and balances, and contain herbs that both attack the pathogen, and support the host. In the case of people with compromised immune systems Chinese medicine excels at returning them to health with combinations of Fu Zheng/Support the Righteous herbal formulas containing medicine mushrooms like Maitake, Reishii and Cordyceps alongside herbals like Huang Qi/Astragalus and Ashwagandha.

People that get recurrent bladder infections also often have a basic disturbance in their body ecology that is remedied by both herbal medicine and Chinese diet therapy. Either their body is producing too much heat, or the aspect of the defense system that protects against these kind of bacteria is in a weakened state. In each case we must deal with that problem alongside the issue of killing off the bacteria that produces the infection.

Chinese Medicine assigns diseases to three possible sources: External, Internal, or Miscellaneous. Miscellaneous is random events like snake bite or car accidents. Internal is the effect of uncontrolled and overwhelming emotions on our body, what is generally lumped under the terms stress nowadays, but what should more specifically be described as the effects stressors, mediated by our neuroemotional hormonal systems, have on our bodies via the fight or flight response of the nervous system.

Even the simple not very complicated psychological stressor of having too much on your plate eventually makes you feel hot and irritable, just like emotional anger does. That is because they operate through the same nervous system pathways. Repressed anger, when you don’t even know you are angry, or you refuse to admit it, or other people like parents or spouses force you to deny your feelings and/or needs, are a major source for chronic functional disorders of the gut and even the urinary tract and can play a definite role in chronic low grade bladder infection (as opposed to the once in 5 years massive, rapid, feverish ones) and, especially, IC interstitial cystitis, and also frequent urination disorders.

This is not a way of saying “its all in your head” or dismissing patient’s suffering. Absolutely not. No. Its a way of saying that, through personality type, bad experiences, or a particular body-mind type, called dosha in Ayurveda, one has learned or tends to express emotions through the nervous system this way. We all do it. We all get sick. We all have emotions that we must grapple with. Jesus knew it. Buddha knew it. Every religion creates rules and methods for us to deal with the problem of being human.

And being human involves a finite number of things—bones, blood, muscles, guts, organs, and the hormonal and nervous systems that tell everything else what to do.

All humanity is part of that—wars, paintings, television shows, pots and pans, old stone bridges. They are the product of the imagination expressed though our nervous systems. It is said by some materialists that the mind is not reality, it is just biochemicals. In fact, on one level, the mind is the only reality. Given 10 stimulii, 10 people might react in 10 different ways. The difference is their minds, or bodymind types. . But I wax poetic. The point is—you cannot escape your nervous system, not you, not me and its pernicious effects when unregulated through conscious effort, especially, perhaps, with the kinds of relentless pressures the 24/7 plugged in modern world has produced.

Treatment in Chinese Medicine involves first identifying where the problem is. In the case of IC, especially with men, I have observed, only clinically, a high percentage of correlation with anxiety disorders or anxious personality type. In the case of women repressed anger has been more operative. Once the diagnosis is made, then the appropriate herbal therapy and acupuncture treatment are made.

Now we face an additional problem.  The widespread and unethical, IMHO, overuse of antibiotics and hormones to make factory farmed animals fat and enable them to survive cruel, unsanitary conditions, is leaving its imprint on people’s health. This is in the category of External diseases in Chinese Medicine–diseases caused by exogenous infectious agents like Polio, Influenza and Antibiotic resistant super bacteria created by Dr. Frankenfood.

Interesting New York Times article today,  Tracing Germs Through the Aisles about a Professor whose research is on the direct link between bladder infections and these bacteria. I think in the end his research will account for SOME of the infections, but he will not be looking at the effects of the mind on the body. Nevertheless, its very important work in what should be and is, an international campaign against one of the destructive effects of factory farming.

In fact, Professor Price and his team are trying to answer worrisome questions about the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs to people from animals raised on industrial farms. Specifically, they are trying to figure out how many people in one American city are getting urinary infections from meat from the grocery store….Researchers have been warning for years that antibiotics — miracle drugs that changed the course of human health in the 20th century — are losing their power. Some warn that if the trend isn’t halted, there could be a return to the time before antibiotics when people died from ordinary infections and children did not survive strep throat. Currently, drug resistant bacteria cause about 100,000 deaths a year, but mostly among patients with weakened immune systems, children and the elderly.

copyright eyton shalom san diego ca july 2013 all rights reserved use with permission

 

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