Mystery condition with insomnia: various excess/deficiencies and herbs not helping. Why?

forum post

Mystery condition with insomnia: various excess/deficiencies and herbs not helping. Why?

Published on 08-11-2017


"anon194503" has authored 6 other posts.

Hello, I’m 40 yrs old male in search of some desperate help with condition that has lasted over five years. I’ve had over four different Skype consultations with TCM practitioners who took me into different directions to no avail and some made things much worse. If any of you could look into this and provide your thoughts I would be forever grateful!

My symptoms are too numerous to list here and they seem to be all over the board: heating turning to cold, cold turning into heat, change with season, change with weather, changer with climate and so on.

Tongue has pale/grey coating all over, acupuncturist also says my tongue is wider with slight teeth marks (photo link here). I was told my pulse is shallow.

It all slowly started with becoming sensitive to dairy and wheat – would feel very lethargic or tired for hours after eating these. I experienced h pylori infection, appendix inflammation and surgery, etc. Then I started feeling constant lower back pain and periods where I felt wired and needed little sleep to keep going. Once I moved back to Eastern Europe from California it all blew up for me.

My sleep was become very light and very shallow. I developed an aversion to cold foods, liquids, raw food but not because I couldn’t digest it but because it caused bad insomnia. A raw salad later in the evening can keep me up all night for some reason, sometimes with some strange cold pulses from my abdomen down into my legs. Even if I eat right I still had insomnia and it manifested in a variety of ways over the years. I usually fell asleep OK but then I was up three hours later every single night. If I eat anything later than 6pm I wake up around midnight hot. If I eat right, I still wake up around 2:00am feeling very warm, restless, sometimes hungry. I drink water and often fall asleep but wake up very early again, usually being warm again. I have to urinate multiple times at night. Most of the time I wake up tired, unrefreshed and experience heart palpitations and shortness of breath during the day.

Strangely, if I eat anything with wheat and dairy, cream, etc (cake for example) I can be burning half of the night (10am-1am) and nothing would help. There’s something about that food that causes extreme response.

I also can not eat anything too warming like ginger, cinnamon, lamb, etc. This would make me very hot at night and make it impossible to sleep. I also have to avoid high histamine and glutamate foods as those are very stimulating during the night and can keep me up. I once took some L-Glutamine supplements and couldn’t sleep for quite a few days afterwards from a buzz in my head.

One of the most persistent and annoying sensations is this heat in my abdomen about 30-45 following meals. I get the same heat even after drinking cool water. An apple for example can make me very hot. It is worse when I’m reclining.

Stress tolerance is extremely poor, fatigue is really bad and I have to project my voice with force in order to speak and I get easily exhausted.

Kidney Yin and Yang tonics don’t do anything for me because the biggest issue is my gut now. Any yin or cold, bitter herbs even bitter food will make me chilled and fatigued.
I feel better from liver heat and heart heat clearing herbs but then develop these chills during the triple burner time 9-11:00pm, and also feel cold during the 9-11:00am. Also, two or three days later my fatigue gets so much worse with heavy legs that I can hardly drag around.

Any qi building herbs like astragalus and codonopsis initially give me a boost but then I get irregular heart beat, shortness of breath, feeling hot during the day and especially at night.

I tried playing around combining herbs for various patterns but can’s seem to find a good balance, mainly because I am not customizing them and play around with traditional herbal formulas like rehmannia six, rehmannia eight, gui pi tang, bu zhong yi qi tang, etc.
One of the better formulas I’ve used was Jia Wei Xiao Yao. It really got things moving inside of me again. No constipation, returned my appetite, etc but I had to stop about 1.5 months into it as I was feeling these really bad chills during the triple burner time 9-11:30pm, couldn’t sleep at all and nothing helped.

The best formula so far for me has been the Poria Five Combo and some gelatin to nourish yin/protect fluids (closest I could get to Zhu Ling Tang (Polyporus Decoction)). The latter combination helps me retain fluids better at night, not to be so thirsty all the time and prevents frequent urination.

I found out I feel pretty good Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Pian but it gives me sleeplessness.
I’ve consulted with a few TCM practitioners but they recommended things that did not work out for me. They either addressed kidney yin deficiency and methylation protocol (Dr. Wilson stuff), some addressed liver only, some claimed it is both yin deficiency and qi deficiency. I’m very sensitive to any supplements and most cause a paradoxical reaction. Tried formulas like ‘bu zhong yi qi tang,’ ‘jin kui shen qi and ‘tian wang bu xin pian’ but these do not work (together or separately) and create more imbalances for me.
In short, these are various deficiencies but I’m having a hard time untangling them and I am not addressing to root deficiency or perhaps there is a gate that I’m not entering through. For example, there’s probably something going on with the spleen that is not allowing me to nourish kidney jing or vice versa.

What is your take on all of this? I would be so grateful for any input.

Comments / Discussions:

comment by "StephenS" (acupuncturist)
on Aug 2017

Have you had any allergy testing? Have you had any blood work or hair analysis done? During a typical day do you live/work in environments where the temperature change is drastic - like working in cold storage or in a really hot manufacturing plant? Do you eat at consistent times during the day and do you eat relatively consistent amounts when you do? Do you have a structured exercise routine or regular physical activity you engage in?

Our health is not just a matter of what we eat and what herbal formulas we take - everything from our environment to our relationships to our posture to our sense of belonging are just some of the many factors involved.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

Hello Stephen, I have not had any allergy testing because my condition did not improve even on the most basic elimination diet for a month. I had plenty of blood work done to test thyroid function, liver, kidneys, ultrasound, bacterial infections, etc. All was normal. The only thing that surprised me was that my blood showed I had Lyme infection at some point in the past but the infection was no longer active. I double checked with infectologist who said I did not have Lyme now. Also worked with a nutritionist who had me done organic acid test and it showed I had high number of oxalates in my urine and some neurotransmitters were out of range. He concluded it was leaky gut and had me on pumpkin and chicken diet for a month to “heal my gut lining” but I can’t say it helped.
No drastic temp change during my day. I do eat consistently, same time, consistent amount and mostly veggies (no nightshades), rice and meats and fish. No regular physical activity as I feel even 10 minutes of light cardio stresses my system but I usually walk out on the street or nature every day at least 10-15 minutes to get my circulation going.
I totally get what you’re saying. I do daily QiGong and feel it slowly slowly helping, especially with more warmth to my body and benefits to my mood and nervous system. My biggets nagging issue right now is sleep and consistent walking at around 1:30-2AM feeling very warm and then continuing being warm and having hard time sleeping. Also fatigue is still bad, I get drained really fast. I’m a family guy, relationship is stable, have other family around, feeling satisfied overall.

top Login/Comment

comment by "leapingfrog"
on Aug 2017

It sounds like you are affected by what you eat dramatically. I would look for someone who specializes in finding allergies or food issues to clear up the gut issues. That may mean you are more sensitive to the attempts to try herbs. My favorite Qi Gong for helping sleep is Robert Peng’s series on increasing energy in the three chakra’s for wisdom, love, and vitality. I attended a session with him and then bought his book and video tapes. He book was so clear I still have not listened to his tapes. After practicing for about a month, I found I could do it laying down to bed. Since then it has helped many of my patients sleep.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

Hello and thank you for taking a moment to respond. There are definitely gut issues but like I mentioned I tried several elimination diets and they weren’t too revealing. I certainly have sensitivities to dairy and wheat but what about about all these other issues things like having burning in my stomach from cool water or insomnia from a simple salad in the evening? This can’t be an allergy.
I’ll check out Robert Peng’s series. Don’t all QiGong practices increase vitality? I have a very difficult time focusing while laying down at all and find my energies align best in erect posture.
Thanks again leapingfrog

top Login/Comment

comment by "StephenS" (acupuncturist)
on Aug 2017

Not all qigong increases vitality - in fact incorrect practice can result in disruption of the healthy flow of the qi. I’d recommend you take classes with an experienced practitioner. You would likely benefit from practicing a yin building activity like meditation or yin yoga. I’d also recommend not eating raw foods, cold (temperature wise) or drinking cold beverages from late afternoon on.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

Hi Stephen, I received instructions from someone very qualified and who has direct transmission from a master of a well known lineage. I mainly practice standing tree and observing the red ball in the navel area practices. I do not any cold or raw food other than some fruit and berries. I certainly do not even touch cold drinks. I’ve been doing this for years now. Thank you for good advice though.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon224699"
on Aug 2017

Hi there, I am no expert but, from looking at your tongue, you appear to have a lot heat (red spots) in your gut/intestines. Is this something you have been treated for at all/someone has mentioned before? I have a whole number allergies and that was the first place my herbilist started. However I could be completely wrong.

Also, if you are interested, I can pass on the email address of the herbilist I have been going to see and he may be able to help you. I am in the U.K. but he could help you via Skype etc? I went to so many different people over many years and he was the first person that could help me with my countless issues. Completely up to you though. I feel for you with all your issues bud.

Take care
David

top Login/Comment

comment by "ChadD" (acupuncturist)
on Aug 2017

I’m curious how long you stayed with any of the herbalists that you have worked with? And, as we talked about privately, but you never answered, have you actually physically seen a licensed practitioner regularly for a period of time? If not, that would be my recommendation - just get in there and see someone regularly for at least 3 months. Your ideal practitioner would be a licensed acupuncturist for one, practices herbal medicine and ideally practices qi gong/tai chi. While it is better than no consultation, online consultations are a poor substitute for what can be accomplished in person and over time as a practitioner can watch more subtle changes and steer the treatment appropriately.

I ask about treatment because, one, conditions can take awhile and jumping from treatment to treatment or practitioner to practitioner is generally not the way to resolve these issues. In fact it can drive it in so deep it can be increasingly hard for anyone to treat - particularly overuse of improperly chosen tonic herbs. But, two, I ask because the range of formulas you have listed make almost no sense for your condition - a few I could see making it greatly worse and those I can’t imagine you were actually offered by a fully trained Chinese Medicine practitioner.

The allergy part is a reasonable idea to pursue, but keep in mind that what makes allergies generally is a poorly functioning, reactionary system. While good diets are always a good idea, a poorly functioning system is still likely to have problems even with the best diets as you have found. Allergies are a response not a cause. You want to resolve the cause and working closely with someone over a period of time is the only way to get to this reliably.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

Hi David, I’ve been told I have liver heat but not in mu gut/intestines but it could be because this is mostly where I feel it is coming from. It is quite possible all this started with mild allergies but they were not obvious enough to notice (other than sensitivity to cow’s milk and feeling lethargic after meals). Thing I’ve stayed away from allergenic foods for quite a while now and I should have felt some sort of improvement. Please do PM me the contact in UK. I live in Lithuania now so I can do Skype or fly there if he’s on to something. Thank you so much for reaching out and your kind words.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

Hi Chad, these are good questions because I know how important it is to stick with someone for a while and let them go by trial and error for a while to see what works. I stayed with a first guy (fully trained accupuncturist and herbal medicine in LA, CA) for half a year but he really took me on a roller coaster ride. I mean he had me on a number of supplements and herbs and things got a bit better but then took a turn for worse. He was going by Dr. Wilson protocol to tweak the methylation plus a couple of Yin formulas. Then I went with another guy for a couple of months and then another. Franklly, I’m sick of the term “healing crisis” because this is exactly what they said when things took a turn for the worse. It was probably due to lack in experience but I wouldn’t know. I live in Lithuania now and I have no luxurty of having a qualified accupuncturist or let alone practices herbal medicine as most TCM herbal formulas do not exist in EU due to regulations - I have to ship all stuff from US. This why you see me go through quite a few formulas as I’m left to my own devices pretty much. It sucks and I’ve made mistakes but this is the only route I have right now. I’m making slow progress (probably mostly thanks to Qi Gong).
Chad what formulas do you think made no sense or especially the few that could have made things worse? Please share, this is very important for me. Thank you!

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon224699"
on Aug 2017

Chad is completely right. I have been my herbilist for the last 13 months and don’t feel any better yet - actually feel worse. However, I can see my tongue is improving and, from the research I have done, I know I am going in the right direction. I still have a long way to go but having hope is so important.

I’m not exactly sure how to pm on here

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon224699"
on Aug 2017

His email isn’t and don’t want to give it out on this forum in case he doesn’t want me to. They might give it to you if you phone though. If you have problems getting in contact with home just let me know.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

Things is… if any treatment makes my fatigue and insomnia worse this is a no go for me. I have to function. I have to find an approach that doesn’t affect my sleep which is probably the biggest challenge. I’ve heard that TCM treatments should not make anyone worse. If the approach is custom tailored and is addressing the root cuases it should be gradually improving your symptoms, not making things worse. You are a patient guy, David. Thirteen months is a long time to go waiting for improvement.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon224699"
on Aug 2017

I agree but my problems are so chronic that it was going to take time. When I say worse I guess they aren’t worse - they just haven’t improved yet. I too
Have allergies to dairy, wheat, gluten, sugar and many more foods. These haven’t improved yet, but my body is riddled with damp and heat, which needs to be cleared first, before I can improve.

I have sent you and pm if you want to carry on the conversation. i was as desperate as you sound a year ago but now have hope and I just want to try and help.

top Login/Comment

comment by "ChadD" (acupuncturist)
on Aug 2017

I agree, while possibly the first treatment or two could go any which way, from that point onwards you expect a general upward progression. It might be very, very slow for certain layered conditions, but things should not slide downwards. The “healing response”, while definitely a thing at times, is an oversold concept in my opinion and certainly not an expected process to go through in my clinical practice at least.

That said, you could very likely have more subtle issues change first before you get to the deeper issues. So in your case possibly some digestive improvement and less variations in temperature, possibly a month or so before you get to see vast differences in sleep. I’m not saying for certain, just as an example of a more likely and accurate path of resolving these issues.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

I think this is exactly what’s going on right now. I feel like I’m going through very subtle and slow changes (not all positive but towards overall progress) and my symptoms are slowly unwinding in the opposite direction but in a more subdued manner. I’m a bit relieved to hear you say that sleep will catch up as well. After all, insomnia is where the worst of it all started for me. I am hoping I can still find someone who has a good clue as to what’s going on so I can address the root causes and be done with this no later than needed I appreciate your insights, Chad.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon218233"
on Aug 2017

Hi there Insomniac_Next_door, I have personally experience insomnia for a very very long time, like say on and off for about 2 years. Through many trial and error herbs, different healing modalities. I have found a solution for myself, now I’m not sure it will help your, nor have I read anyone suggestion from your post because there are too many. So I’m just gonna give it to you my friend.

  1. we have 2 brain, the main brain in our head and the 2nd in our stomach or to be more exact our soul plex.
  2. If you happen to be a thinker and think a lot and cant relax, or if you are a professor or in a field where you require alot of mental energies for work, it will weaken your soul plex brain. Which causes imbalance with in your systems centre of power.
    3)The other possible cause is your liver, do you drink excessively or are putting a lot of toxic food in your body, because your liver filter toxic and it is directly linked to your nervous systems.

Here are the possible solution approach which I used for most clients, but I’m giving it to you briefly and hopefully it will help you.

Step 1) Allow your healing, do not drink alcohol of any form or any think that can affect your nerve or your heart,e.g coffee, alcohol, gava etc… if you are not too clear on this do a google search or just pm me. Listen to music that help relaxes your nervous system, and relax in the moment when you listen to these musics

Step 2) Eat raw food vegetable or fruit that help with your nervous systems nuts etc

Step 3) Look up yoga that help with nervous system, or some simple soul plex chakra excercises each morning and night to rebuild your soul flex chakra and regain balance, go to sauna for 3 days to force out the toxins in your body.

Note, do not take sleeping pill, you will turn into a pill zombie and the pharmac will turns you into a pill bottle, treating from one symptop to another.

I hope that all this make sense to you, also let me know of the result and I will be more than glad too see how you go.

Love & Light to you,

Love2freedom.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon218233"
on Aug 2017

Last thing I forgot to mention, the reason the herbs are not helping because your guts or digestive system is not absorbing, and those normal everyday stuff cause burns means, you need to cleanse your guts, look up a cleansing system or fast a couple of days it will help.

All the best

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

Hi Sagelight, thank you for your insights. I do not drink alcohol or coffee or take any stimulants or spicy food or gluten or dairy, etc. I already do meditate and do QiGong and I most definately can not eat many raw veggies because like you say in your second comment that when your gut is compromised and weak one should be eating easily digestbale, thermally prepared (but not overcook) meals.
The nervous system is definately a big player here. The biggest questions is whether it is the nervous system that caused all the imbalances in the gut or the other way around. I suppose there is no diffrence no. Having gone this far everything is multilayered and intertwined right now. My main challange is how to udress all this imbalances gently and sustainably.
For example, I tought I’d try some shisandra berries and also went to see another accupuncturist. The accupuncture made me totally sleepless for the first night. Second nihgt was a bit better but then third night and ongoing I haven’t been able to fall asleep or stay asleep without pills like Zolpidem. So what happened? Should I not do accupuncture or stop shisandra? These are the various predicaments that I deal with my state is fragile that anything can tip my sleep out of balance. And so it goes for years now.
Best wishes to you too!

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon180295"
on Aug 2017

Hi Insomnia!
I just happened to stumble on your topic and wanted to share with you what I have found in my journey of healing. I’ve suffered digestive issues since I was young child ( so at least about 25 years), they have waxed and waned but I’ve always had issues when I ate certain foods, and over the years my symptoms increased to the point where I have had literally over 300 symptoms, and seen over 100 different western docs and dozens upon dozens alternative practitioners. I have been diagnosed with a myriad of things; fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Complex Sleep apnea, Insomnia, Circadian Rhythm Disorder, multiple mental health diagnosis, and of course Lyme, multiple associated co-infections along with CEBV, cytomegalovirus, mycoplasma, I could go on and on really, but what I’ve come to find out is yes I may have come into contact with all these things but what makes me suffer to the point of debilitating disability and others a brief sickness? And why at such a young age did I have so many health issues and display so many symptoms that warranted so many diagnoses? And most importantly why have I tried multiple routes to get well and I may have experienced a BRIEF reprieve but why have they all overall failed? I found the answer… my genetics. I obtained my raw genetic data through 23andMe, not sure if you’ve heard of it, but that allowed me to work with a practitioner who would decipher my DNA and find the cause of why I’m in such a poor state of health, and why even though I’ve eaten everything that I should, elimination diets, introducing 1 food at a time, practiced good sleep hygiene, done specific exercises, have been treated w multiple herbs and alternative treatments, done cleanses, etc etc. I wasn’t able to get better. Because my body is unable to do what others can because I have a great deal of gene variants and faulty copies of genes so to speak. I am unable to break down certain enzymes and chemicals as well as actually produce them while others I overproduce. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the very very long and complex methylation process but it doesn’t happen properly for me, and it sounds the same for you! A lot of people have gene variants or mutations but some way more than others, and it’s not as simple as taking an herb or eating a specific food or not eating a specific food. If one step of the process isn’t working properly the rest won’t either throwing your whole system out of whack.

I really hope this is helpful for you! I still work with multiple practitioners and practice my own acupressure and associated modalities but I’ve found it’s definitely a multiple pronged approach and without the genetic piece true health will never be achieved.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

Wowza, we certainly do seem to be in the same club. One of my nutritionists did suggest to do a genetic test through 23andMe but I wasn’t sold on it at that time. I only did Organic Acid Test but skipped genetics as I couldn’t quite buy into the the concept. I mean I realize genes affect our health to a certain extent but I was more interested in what could have triggered those genes and addressing the causes. Same with methylation… there is no 'faulty" methylation per se, there are only things that affect our methylation. This could be anything from pathogens, stealthy infections, kidney jing deficiency and so on. I feel that addressing the genes and methylation is a super super complicated and perilous way to go about fixing our health because there are just way too many moving parts, so to speak However, I would be very interested to learn how you progress by having a better understanding of your genetic triggers. I might have to do the test just to learn more about myself.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon180295"
on Aug 2017

Hi there! It actually isn’t as complicated as one may think, if you look at the photo of how methylation takes place it definitely is! When I first saw it I was like oh hell no! I already had the data from 23andMe as that’s why I got it to see if it would help me find out some things about my health struggles, but when I got the info I was even more lost than before! I uploaded my info into various suggested sites to sort it out and boy that was overwhelming. But once I linked up with Bob Miller (as he was suggested by many) and his staff, they told me about the website with all the videos and wow did that make it easy! Along with the report that he does that simply states if you have these variants this is what’s happening in your body and this is the supplement you need along with him or whomever you choose to see breaking it down for you (as well as giving dietary suggestions) it’s actually very simple. Once you get to the know the basic info, just like with TCM; the meridian system, acupoints, what organ controls what, what causes heat, cold etc you pretty much know what’s what. The same applies in regard to each thing building off another, like in TCM if one organ is not working the ones that follow will not either. It throws the whole system out of whack.
As far as what you said about external things triggering the genes yes that absolutely happens but if you start with a defective or inadequate gene then that’s where the problem starts. If you have 2 defective genes then serious issues take place. This is a lot more common than people realize and just because a not so adequate gene is there doesn’t mean it could cause issues but it all depends on the sequence and it’s location, as again one thing builds off another. If the genes are less than adequate you may not be completing steps in the process of methylation or it could be backfiring and literally going backwards with toxins, overloading your organs and putting them out of balance, overworking them and quite literally causing or making you prone to disease, as disease doesn’t happen in a healthy environment. So without specific nutritional support and giving your body the necessary tools to break down certain food enzymes and day to day chemicals, as well as the byproducts of them and support your organs during the process achieved health isn’t possible as the symptoms will keep occurring until you fix the broken links in the chain so to speak. If you can’t break down the food how can you get nutrition, and if you cannot eliminate inflammation and the toxins that cause it because you don’t have the tools in your body (your genes) your immune system will also be active and working in overdrive until it quite literally shuts down. Neurotransmitters are also involved in this process and if they are in overdrive you can’t sleep, you have no appetite, depression sets in, the list goes on. These are just a few examples and I’m no expert by any means just relaying some of what I have learned over the last few months as I hope it will be helpful.
Epigenetics are the way of the future and within 20 years I’m sure that’s how most every health issue will be handled, and with feeling so crappy what do you have to lose? All I can say is that once I started to learn and connect the dots (just like w TCM) I was ecstatic! It all made sense and with all these tools I know that it is only a matter of time that I will be in a better state than I’ve ever been!

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

Becky, these are interesting and useful thoughts. I suppose I didn’t take the genetics much into consideration because this condition developed when I was 35 but perhaps it was a slow build-up phase that lasted for years without me noticing all the subtle clues. I believe our bodily constitution plays a big role in all of this as well. I’ll PM you to continue the conversation as I have more questions for you that don’t really relate to TCM and would be curious to stay in close touch.

top Login/Comment

comment by "Dr.NubbyDAOM" (acupuncturist)
on Aug 2017

From your tongue and description of symptoms–as well as your reactions: positive, mixed and negative to different formulas–from a TOM/TCM perspective you’ve got a mixed deficiency-heat pattern, with some GI damp-heat thrown in.

In other words, you’ve got both heart-kidney and GI excess/deficiency issues–the toughest combo in TOM to treat.

It also seems you’re very sensitive to herbal dosages, as well as being an extremely smart guy who uses his sharpness of wit to survive.

Considering the localized strong heat/cold sensations you sometimes experience in your belly, my first step would be to assess your Hara, and see if there are any energy blockages. If there are any experienced Chi Nei Tsang practitioners in your area, get a treatment/assessment. They can give you self-help exercises.

Next would be some mild herbal tinkering. Either with a custom formula (a Xiang-Sha Liu Jun Zi with Kidney Yin support & plenty of Calm Shen), or rapid alternation every few days with portions thereof. Starting with very mild dosages no more than 4 days of a week. Take it low and slow. You would probably need to eliminate mind-stimulating herbs like ginseng and substitute with Dang Shen.

Upping your exercise quotient–especially in the AM should also help.

Changing you Omega-3 to -6 intake ratio should also help. Aim for getting below a 4:1 ratio (6’s to 3’s) to help with the inflammatory component of your situation.

From a Qigong perspective, if you’re pulling all of your Jing into Qi into Shen, then a Shen-calming, Qi/Jing nourishing system would be best. Either way, get your form of the system you’re currently practicing checked out every now and again for any needed course corrections.

My 2-cents as a California DAOM 18 years in the biz.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

Thank you so much Dr. Nubby! This is a very interesting direction. I certainly feel like I have the most complicated case but I certainly hope it isn’t

Unfortunately I do not have any Chi Nei Tsang practitioners or any qualified TCM people in my area so I’m left experimenting, even after a few online TCM consults.

I’ve tried Xiang-Sha Liu Jun Zi and almost immediately felt perked up but it left me sleepless. It has Pinellia in it which I read is a stimulant a bit like ephedra (is this right?) I’m very sensitive to anything with stimulants, even things with glutamine or histamine. Once I took some L-Glutamine and it knocked out my sleep for a week - glutamate is a big issue for me (never was before).

I tried Xiang-Sha Liu Jun Zi with Rehmannia Six but unfortunately anything that has Codonopsis (as in Xiang-Sha Liu Jun Zi) or Astragalus eventually cause issues for me (mainly irregular heart beat, heat at night around 4am, etc.) so these two herbs are out.

I’m already taking Cod Liver Oil for inflammation and trying CBD oil. The latter seems to be making a nice difference.

I’m on top of my game with QiGong and practice every day, exactly the practices that do what you mention - also very helpful but the going is super slow and full of up and downs.

What role do you think my liver plays in these heart-kidney and GI excess/deficiency issues? Do you think you could help me with this question posted here about liver herbs making me feel better but eventually causing chills? I feel my liver is one of the most (if not the most) crucial components together with all those other layers. If I can answer this question then this would give me a good hint about most precise pattern. Thank you so much again!!!

top Login/Comment

comment by "Dr.NubbyDAOM" (acupuncturist)
on Aug 2017

Your pattern(s) need to be treated like a see-saw.

Tonify Qi too much and empty-heat rises (causing insomnia).
Tonify Yin too much and dampness rises, smothering yang and causing chills.
Clear heat or damp-heat too much, and same thing (chills).
Move Qi too much, and Qi levels drop (cause it takes energy to unstick energy).

You can either: 1) Make a “compromise” formula that balances all of the above in a way that suits you, or 2) use a series of “partial compromise” formulas that focus on 1 or 2 of the objectives; then alternate after a few days to a week with another formula that’s its exact opposite.

Classically, TCM clinical herbal strategy aims to first reduce/eliminate heat, damp and other “evils” BEFORE seriously tonifying deficiencies; EXCEPT in cases like yours, where even a clearing formula needs some tonification support.

This means that the damp-heat in your gut and secondarily in your liver needs to be your first major STRATEGIC goal. But as you already know, this formula or formulas will need at least some Qi and Yin tonics added to prevent or retard excessive see-sawing.

Also, if you also have sensitivity to specific herbs in a patent formula–like Ban Xia (Pinellia)–then you’ll need to eliminate these from your formula(s). Which means either:

  1. Using alternate formulas, or much simpler formulas–without them; or
  2. Compiling your own formulas (modifying classic formulas) with single herbs (go with granule concentrates).

I’d recommend #2, as you can then also adjust dosages of every herb as needed. This is what experienced herbalists prefer.

Destiny, it seems, is calling upon you to become your own TCM herbalist.

top Login/Comment

comment by "Dr.NubbyDAOM" (acupuncturist)
on Aug 2017

To summarize, the Xiang-Xia-Liu-Jun-Zi, Liu Wei Di, and the Liver heat clearing formulas all had temporary and limited benefit to you. I’d use these as your base formulas. Order some single herb granule concentrates of the herbs in those formulas that seemed to help (or at least not hurt). Make a note of the herbs you wish to eliminate, and research replacement candidates for them.

Create a base combination formula of the formulas, and try out a dose or two. You’ll have a 25-ingredient formula–a bit unwieldy–but it’s a start.

Ideally, you can ID the specific herbs of EACH of your base formulas that has the most impact: taste a small amount–like 0.1g of concentrate–and wait an hour or two to see if you can feel its effects. Make a note of your findings.

In this way you can systematically simplify and distill your 25-herb combo formula down to a 6-10 herb formula. If you have any questions about pros/cons of substituting specific herbs, just ask on boards like this. TCM herbalists love to talk shop.

Here’s an idea for a simplified custom base formula for you: (dosages are in “parts” for a ratio; for you, start with 0.5g of concentrate as a dose, and work up)
Mu Xiang 2
Huang Lian 2
Gou Qi Zi 3
Bai Ren Shen 1
Mai Men Dong 1
Gan Cao 0.5

If this formula brings on chills, then lower dosage of cold herbs (HL & MMD) or increase dosage of hot/warm herbs (MX, BRS)–or do a bit of both. If it exacerbates insomnia, then either replace Ren Shen, or add some hefty herbs for anchoring yang, and/or calming spirit. Start tinkering.

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Aug 2017

Wowza… well, this has been one of the most useful and encouraging advice ever, Dr. Nubby. I’ve been pretty much tinkering for a year already and spent a small fortune on various formulas but it is worth it. I wish I had a Chinese herb store in town and didn’t have to ship everything from US to Lithuania but I should be lucky I have access to these herbs anyway.

This is going to take time and it makes most sense to use separate herb granules and adjust the formulas as I seem to get in trouble with a single herbal formula sooner or later (see-saw effect, like you say) so adding on to it and subtracting is probably THE way to go right now.

I’ll follow your advice and base my formula on removing dampness first with something like Poria Five as I seem to do well on it (warms yang, moves fluids, etc.), then add Rehmannia Eight to tonify fire gate and only then try a tiny amount of qi and liver/spleen harmonizing formulas. If I can’t achieve the effect then I’ll order a bunch of single herbs and compile based on your suggestions.

Thank you so very much again!

top Login/Comment

comment by "anon194503"
on Sep 2017

Just a quick update for those in similar shoes as mine that could be tracking my progress for educational reasons: I’ve shared my symptoms and all my reactions to various herbal formulas with a prominent online TCM guy in CA, USA and in short, he said this could be two things: either “Liver invading stomach and cooling the fire gate” pattern and suggested a formula (modified Bupleurum & Cyperus) or this could be GU syndrome, in which case the treatment will be more complicated. So I have several approaches to test now and see how it goes: based on the wonderful advice I received here from all of you and this mentioned “liver invading stomach” pattern. If anyone thinks this makes or does not make sense please let me know, I’d be very curious to learn more.

top Login/Comment

log in or sign up to add your comments.

All Content 1999-2022
Chad J. Dupuis / Yin Yang House
Our Policies and Privacy Guidelines
Our Affiliated Clinics