March 11, 2020
Interesting case today. A patient I’ve known for years came in a sat down on the sofa. The first thing I noticed today was a large dark red mark on his face. He’d presented years ago with severe internal Wind causing daily projectile vomiting and at that time was utterly debilitated, unable to work and sometimes unable to stand. On the day of his very first visit, his pulses were racing, reaching 17 beats per breath in the Liver position. That day I inquired about his diet, and indeed, not only was he in the habit of putting hot sauce on every meal, he also took two garlic capsules at every meal. He was slowly setting his blood to boil. Within a few months of treatment the seizures were gone, but I still see him often for maintenance. Today he told me he’d been feeling great for quite some time, but was deeply worried about a stress test he’d undergone yesterday. He described the test. They strapped sensors on his chest and had him walk on a treadmill. Every two minutes, they alternated between speeding up the treadmill and increasing the incline. They kept him there, now running, for 25 minutes. A very determined person, he simply willed himself to keep up, effectively running full-pelt up a 20 degree incline. I asked him how he felt afterward. He said that he sat down and felt terrible and then his heart went into AFib for 20 minutes. They waited for it to stop and then sent him home, recommending he get “checked out”. I asked him did he think his heart was happy to do that test. “No, it was very distressed actually.” “Is there a reason you chose to keep going?” “Yes, I felt I could do it. I’m very fit and they confirmed it – the numbers were good.” “And if your heart felt distressed, how do you imagine it might send you a message that it might not be a good idea for your heart to be treated that way?”
The pulses were in disarray. Up to 8 beats per breath in the Kidney position, 10 per breath in the Liver. The Heart and the Kidneys were not talking to each other. A sensation akin to shock was in the pulses: no matter how much I suggested to them (with fingers at the pulse) that they should re-establish communication, they resisted. The heart pulse was rough, meaning it struck my finger in unpredictable ways, coming to a point under my finger over wide area. Wind, the very thing we had worked so hard to extinguish, was emerging. Blood had been consumed by the extreme heat. “How overheated were you on the treadmill?” “Oh, I was super hot, yes.” The rapidity in the Kidneys was a concern. I asked him when the deep red mark emerged on his face. He said he woke up with it this morning. A deep red mark at SI-18, the “master bone” point and meeting of most of the leg sinew channels (the Yang sinews) indicates that either there is heat expressing from the Yuan level or/and that the sinews are overheated. I suspected both and so I released the point with a lancet to honor the venting that was already taking place. The Kidney pulse then returned to normal (four beats per breath). The patient took a deep breath and said something released. Then systemic heat was released with a lancet at ST-40. Wind was treated with BL-62 and the shock and deficiencies with KI-9 and CV22 and 23. He fell into a deep sleep for quite a while and upon waking, said, “You know, I think running is bad for you. Can you explain that? I thought it was good for you.”
It feels good to talk about things in a positive light, so I’d normally suggest cycling (safely), rowing, or pilates and above all, qigong, but his question was pointed and he really wanted to know. When you’re propelling yourself at speed the reptilian brain assumes you’re in danger, or perhaps chasing food with a spear. Why else would you be running? The reptilian brain surmises that you’re running away from a bear, snake, tiger, or enemy tribe, signaling the central nervous system to release adrenalin. This puts us in a heightened state of mental and physical capacity. It generates ingenuity so that you can work out very quickly how to get out of danger. It helps see a way through that might not have been immediately apparent. And it enables us to move quickly. The act of beginning to run stimulates the release of adrenalin. So runners feel that they are so alive, so full of energy. Some have the runner’s high. But it’s all fake. It’s all stimulated by a hormone that was tricked into thinking it was needed. Repeated adrenalin stimulation is expensive. It creates tremendous inflammation in the bloodstream due to its hot nature. It speeds up Liver function, raising heat, it increases breathing rate and heart rate, contracts blood vessels, makes you sweat, suppresses insulin, generates anxiety, and so on.
Adrenaline has a half life of between two and three minutes. That’s a clue to how it should be used. Enough to get away from the vicious dog, enough to dodge a car while you’re crossing the road. Going on a run stimulates adrenaline hits every few minutes. My patient was so overheated and so inflamed, he could have had the “runner’s heart attack” had he kept going. I told my patient about the author who created the running fad and unfortunately died while running (aged 52).
Qigong on the other hand is quite brilliant. It can be a complete medicine. You can break a sweat for immune support, release Wind, cultivate qi, and feel your heart rate elevated even without moving your feet. I’ve uploaded a clip of Andrew teaching a few short qigong exercises in case you’re interested.
To your health.
Practice as though nothing else matters, because everything does.