Treatment of Inflammation with Chinese Medicine
With Guest: Will Maclean
Inflammation is a popular topic in the worlds of both alternative and conventional medicine. It’s a pathologic process that is the result of certain disease processes and the generator of others. It is also something that can be treated very well with East Asian medicine.
In this episode we explore how the fundamentals of the Liver/Spleen relationship, the Heart/Kidney axis and digestion in general all can contribute to treating lingering heat in the body.
We also take a look at lingering pathogens, and discuss how herbs with opposite effects are useful in treating these kinds of conditions as they help to reestablish dynamic equilibrium to the body.
Listen in for a conversation on the power of harmonization in the treatment inflammatory conditions.
In this conversation we discuss:
- Clearing heat is not enough in treating inflammation
- Using opposing function of herbs to create dynamic movement in the body
- Sometimes the key is to harmonize
- Importance of the heart/kidney axis
- Solving the puzzle of patho-mechanism
- Learning medicine is an iterative process
- The liver spleen axis is easily disturbed
- Treating hyper and hypo-thyroid problems
- Will’s experience and thoughts on lingering pathogens
- Changes and updates to The Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine
"Learning how to methodically palpate the cervical lymph nodes (and not be mislead by the many things that feel like nodes), and observe the tonsils has been a revelation in practice. Adding this examination as routine to all consultations has shown just how common lingering pathogens are, and has transformed my understanding of many common (and often complicated or unresponsive) problems."
I have practiced Chinese medicine, with a focus on the herb and dietary side of things, for nearly 30 years. In the early days of practice I worked in a mixed clinic that specialised in chronic fatigue syndrome, and was confronted by the variety of this (at the time very) common presentation, and it was there that my interest (or obsession) with lingering pathogens was born.
With more experience my understanding of the complexity of CF pathology developed, and my appreciation of the Chinese medicine model as one of the best ways to untangle it was reinforced. Developing the model for other complicated problems (in particular chronic inflammation) has become my passion, because I believe it is flexible enough to contribute real insights and strategies to often intractable problems.
Links and Resources
Order your pre-release copy of the Handbook of Internal Medicine from Eastland Press.
Some of Will's other books include:
Clinical Manual or Chinese Herbal Patent Medicine and Clinical Handbook of Chinese Herbs
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I’ve heard it said that for something to be heard — it takes someone to speak and another to listen.
Acupuncturist, Podcast Host
I've always been more drawn to questions than answers. And the practice of medicine seems to more lively when infused with a sense of curiosity and inquiry. It's been delight and honor to be able to discuss our medicine with so many thoughtful and skilled practitioners.