By Dr. Shi Jin-Mo 施今墨 (1881-1969)
Using the Opening Through the Muscles and Vitalizing the Luo Method to Treat Brain Damage due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
Translated with Commentary by Sharon Weizenbaum
In an age in which there is a strong impulse to “detoxify” through various kinds of purges and cleanses, I feel this case offers a breath of fresh insight. So many times our patients ask us how they can get some bad stuff out of their bodies – whether this bad stuff is heavy metals, candida, lyme or other chemicals. What I feel Dr. Shi is reminding us to do is to look not at what the toxin is or how to get rid of it. Rather we should look at the actual signs and symptoms to determine how the toxin damages. We should ask what the response of the body is and not focus on the toxin itself.
In addition, this case inspires me to consider brain damage in a less fixed and fatalistic way.
Dr. Shi’s case:
Ms Zhang was 60 when she came in for her first visit. A couple of months previously she had received carbon monoxide poisoning. After receiving emergency care she unexpected lived. However, she suffered from abnormal spirit essence, inability to eat or dress without help from her family, inability to speak or sleep or control her bowels properly. In general, she seemed to be like a retarded person, frequently covering her head with her arms. At the hospital in Beijing, she was given the diagnosis of post carbon monoxide poisoning neurosis.
Her check-up revealed that her pulses were wiry, deep and rough.
Diagnosis: Post carbon monoxide poisoning central brain damage with loss of control of body functions and Qi and Blood obstruction.
Treatment method: Open through the Luo vessels and regulate the Qi mechanism.
Jiu Chang Pu 10 gm
Jiu Chao Chong Wei Zi 10 gm
Bai Ji Li Fructus Tribuli 12 gm
Sang Zhi 18 gm
Chao Yuan Zhi 10 gm
Su Di Long 10 gm
Sang Ji Sheng 18 gm
Huai Niu Xi 10 gm
Xia Ku Cao 10 gm
Chen Bai Wei 6 gm
Chang Gou Teng 12 gm
Shou Wu Teng 15 gm
Jiu Chuang Xiong 5 gm
Discussion: This patient’s appearance was very much like a retarded person. She was unable to speak or sleep and her movement was slow. Her pulse was wiry, rough and irregular. These symptoms all belong to the category of Liver vacuity and Heart Qi insufficiency. In addition her meridian and luo vessels pathways were not open through. It was important to principally treat the Heart and Liver channels as well as the three aspects Qi, Blood and Phlegm. Every time she came there was gradual improvement. The fourth visit was after half a month of taking the herbs. Follow up showed that her eating, sleeping, urination, bowels and spirit essence were all normal. Her movement was still sluggish. These kinds of clinical illnesses do not appear very often. I carried out treatment according to my rich experience. Using differential diagnosis I determined the formula. With the group of herbs that open through and quicken blood, I had to find just the right balance of drastic and fierce measures. Altogether she took about 50 packages of herbs and gradually improved.
Pu Huang treats Blood stoppage pain. Prepared it can stop bleeding. Fresh it vitalizes Blood. It can be used at the base of the tongue to treat inability to speak. If it is used repeatedly, it will be effective. This is also a formula from my experience.