EAST MEETS WEST AS CHINESE MEDICINE REACHES ASKEW ROAD.

Interviewed by Jo Reynolds

When did you move to the area?

I moved to Askew Road in August of 2015.

What made you decide to come to the UK?

I came to the UK to find a new life. Before I left China I worked for 18 years in Taihe Hospital, a county hospital in the east between Beijing and Shanghai. I went there straight from university, worked hard and reached the title of Deputy Chief Physician and was a medical director. But Chinese society changed rapidly. Bribery was very common and no one respects the rules. I could not stand the way it worked and I had to give up the hospital in search of a new life.

Another factor that encouraged me to come to the UK was my son’s education. Education for Chinese children is not good.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture uses very fine needles inserted into acupoints that sit on 14 meridians, energy pathways that run through the body from head to toe. Each meridian is associated with specific body parts. The meridians have been known in Chinese medicine for 3000 years. The needles stimulate the body to restore yin and yang balance, to rebalance the Qi (positive energy) of all the organs. Sometimes they are over-functioning and sometimes under-functioning.

Before treatment, I diagnose. This involves talking to the patient about the complaint, symptoms, sleep pattern, diet and medical history. Then I do a physical assessment: pulse, tongue, et cetera.

     This helps me know where to focus the treatment. There are 360 acupoints(361 acupoints) and some new patients worry that I will cover them with needles but I commonly use 5 to 6, maybe a dozen and sometimes just one. This morning a man came in with a pain in his knee and I used just one pin in his ankle. The results can be instant.

 Does it work?

         It does work. Ask my patients. I cannot show you how it works because the same treatment cannot be repeated on two different people. Modern research requires double-blind controlled tests, which cannot be done with this form of treatment so some scientists dismiss it. Modern science still does not fully understand the mechanism of acupuncture, but much research suggests that the acupuncture needles provoke a reflex reaction in the immediate area and in surrounding tissue, even extending to the whole body, mainly through the blood vessels. This stimulus provokes the body’s ability to repair and regulate itself, and boost its immunity.

Do you practice any other medical remedies?

Yes, I also do traditional Chinese medicine: Moxibustion, burning the dried leaves of the moxa plant, a herb like mugwort; Hot Cupping therapy, where warm cups on the skin encourage local circulation; Tui Na massage, similar to sports physio; and Qigong therapy, which is healing hands following the meridian lines, plus I teach gentle exercise movements like Tai Chi.

What are the main differences between Chinese and Western medicine? And which is better?

Both are effective, but Western medicine and Chinese medicine are based on different foundations. Western medicine is based on the study of anatomy and laboratory research, with biochemistry and in support. Chinese medicine combines ancient philosophy, astronomy, climate change, geography, psychology and sociology.

Although the surgery and antibiotics of Western medicine are irreplaceable for the restoration of bodily functions, Chinese medicine works better at restoring and improving the body’s natural resistance to disease. Also, Chinese medicine has an outstanding performance in psychological treatment.

Because Chinese medicine uses natural ingredients that are not expensive, there is no need to replicate them with synthetic drugs so there is little profit for the pharmaceutical companies. This explains why traditional Chinese medicine develops slowly.

Are the Chinese healthier than the British?

There are many factors that affect the health of a country, such as its economy. Britain is a developed country and Western science and technology are very advanced. Small changes in social class lead to a stable society. Everyone in Britain enjoys the benefit of the NHS, which should be a model for the world. Considering the above factors, the overall health status of British citizens should be better.

Meanwhile, China is developing quickly. The deterioration of the natural environment is causing drastic changes in people’s lifestyle, their mentality, eating habits… Health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart attack, and cancer are on the rise in China, which all causes tremendous pressure on families.

Living in constant change of economic growth, Chinese people do not pay enough attention to their personal health but prioritise making money first. Other factors, such as migrant workers moving into big cities to do seasonal jobs, lead to family separation and mental anxieties, which all threaten health.

In China, antibiotics and steroids are not tightly controlled. The misuse of antibiotics allows diseases to grow rapidly. However, the (Chinese) government has taken note of this and things are getting better.

Do you have acupuncture and, if yes, who do you go to?

Yes, ever since my toothache. I would let another experienced and qualified Chinese doctor do acupuncture for me.

What do you miss about China?

I miss my mother. And my relatives and friends. They did not wish me to leave. Separation from loved ones is painful, but I visit regularly.

What’s the best life lesson you’ve been given?

Safety first. And do not over-treat.

Back in 2005, it was summer and a consultant from the surgical ward invited my advice on a patient with a high fever. Checking the medical records, the patient already had the fever for 21 days with a body temperature of around 40 degrees Celsius. The patient had been drip-fed triple dose antibiotics every day, as well as suppositories, but their white blood cell level was still very low.

After my consultation, I asked the doctors to stop all antibiotics and suppositories. I then administered three different kinds of herbs, boiled down into a syrup like a cough medicine to be taken orally. That day, the patient’s body temperature dropped to 37.6 degrees Celsius. We continued with the herbs with adjusted doses for a week and the patient’s temperature dropped to normal after a week and was discharged. The last time I went to visit China on holiday, the president of the hospital invited me to a dinner and told me the consultant was still telling everyone about that case from over a decade ago.

What life lesson would you share?

When I was studying at university before working in the hospital, our teacher told us to treat patients with great care. He was very serious.  He said: No smiling! But when I got to the hospital, I was told to treat patients amiably so they will like you and then trust you.

Thank you, Dr Zhou. It’s been a real pleasure to meet you.

 

 

 

 

 

Male Infertility

Male infertility can be defined as the inability of a man to successfully inseminate an egg but it generally has 4 aspects which are: Low Sperm Count Poor quality sperm Poor mobility of sperm No sperm production at all

It is a good idea to define what is meant by low sperm count. The NHS’s website define it as a sperm count of fewer than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen. Up to a fifth of young men nowadays find themselves with this issue and some can also suffer from not producing any sperm whatsoever.

The causes of male infertility are numerous and it is important to understand the history, medical background and lifestyle of each patient before undergoing any treatment. Smoking and drug use is associated with low sperm count , so too sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. However, sometimes there is no easily identifiable cause. In Western medicine there are a several treatments to aid with conception such as Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection ( ICSI), Gonadotrophin drugs ( for those with low levels of hormones) and donor insemination (where a 3rd party’s sperm is used to fertilise the egg). There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these and some people will feel more comfortable looking at alternative treatments such as those offered in Traditional Chinese Medicine. We will now discuss how TCM can help in cases of male infertility. In Traditional Chinese Medicine we treat the root cause of the problem and this differs depending on the constitution of each individual patient. The goal is to increase sperm production and to make sure that the sperm that is produced is of a high quality so it’s fundamental to understand where and how sperm is produced in the body. A core concept in TCM is the idea of yin and yang and much of the treatment is designed to ensure there is harmony in the body by balancing these two forces. We will discuss three common types of male infertility in terms of Chinese Medicine and the treatments we would consider. Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Heat The cause of this could be related to excess alcohol consumption , hot spicy food and a stressful lifestyle. Physical symptoms would be feeling hot, thirsty and tired and the tongue would be red with little or no coating. We would advise the patient to make some changes to his lifestyle especially in terms of diet and in addition we would prescribe a herbal formula designed to nourish the kidney yin and essence. Damp Heat in Lower Jiao If this was the diagnosis the patient would also be feeling stressed and hot and the tongue coating would be red with a greasy yellow coating. They would also feel clamminess on the skin. The treatment would be to clear the damp heat and eliminate the dampness with a herbal formula. Healthy kidneys are essential to the production of healthy sperm. Kidney Yang Deficiency This diagnosis often affects people who have been working too hard (particularly at night) or are oversexed. This makes the body weak and thus effects the healthy functioning of the kidneys. The tongue is pale with a white coating . The herbal remedies would be designed to warm the kidney yang and thereby improving the quality and mobility of the sperm. The above advice is very general and although we have tried to give some specific examples we strongly recommend that you consult a qualified Chinese Medicine Practitioner to get a full picture of your own condition.

Prostatitis

Prostatitis refers to prostate-specific and non-specific infection caused by acute and chronic inflammation, causing systemic or local symptoms. Prostatitis can be divided into non-specific bacterial prostatitis, idiopathic bacterial prostatitis (also known as prostate disease), specific prostatitis (from Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, fungi, parasites, etc.), non-specific granuloma Prostatitis, and other pathogens (such as viruses, mycoplasma, chlamydia, etc.) caused by prostatitis, prostate congestion and prostate pain.expander_maker more=”Read more”

Etiology

 One of the reasons: prostate congestion。

Sexual factors. Sexual life too frequent, forced interruption of sexual intercourse, can make the prostate is not normal congestion.

Direct compression perineum. Riding a bike, riding, sedentary, etc. can lead to repeated perineal damage and prostate congestion, especially in a long time riding the most common bike.

Unhealthy lifestyles.

Excessive or too frequent external stimuli, such as inappropriate prostate massage and other medical behavior.

Cold. Cold can cause the body’s sympathetic nervous excitement, resulting in increased pressure within the urethra, prostate tube contraction and impede the excretion of prostatic fluid, resulting in siltation or congestion.

The second incentive: urine stimulation

Medically known as chemical irritation from urine. According to reports, the urine contains a variety of acid-base chemical substances, when the patient local neuroendocrine disorders, causing posterior urethral pressure is too high, the prostate tube opening injury, it will cause irritation of uric acid and other chemical reflux into the prostate , Induced chronic prostatitis.

The third incentive: pathogenic microbial infection

A variety of micro-organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, fungi, viruses, etc. can be caused by the source of infection of prostatitis, which bacteria is the most common, such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, non-Neisseria gonorrhoeae. There are three major pathways of bacterial invasion. First, blood infection, clinical found that more than 90% of bacterial prostatitis is due to microbial infection. Second, lymphatic infections, such as lower urinary tract infection and colon, rectal inflammation can be infected through the lymphatic duct and prostate, resulting in inflammation. Third, the direct spread of male urination, the urine to go through the prostate, urine bacteria can be directly into the prostate, leading to prostate infection.

The fourth incentive: anxiety, depression, fear

Experts found that 50% of chronic non-bacterial prostatitis patients with anxiety, depression, fear, pessimism and other symptoms of excessive tension. Accompanied by pain and neurasthenic prostate patients often exaggerated physical discomfort and pain, often more than the actual symptoms of symptoms, this situation is known as “tension type prostatitis.” And psychological factors and the size of the age, young patients with mental burden was significantly heavier than the older patients, this situation often directly affect the effect of drug treatment.

The fifth incentive: immune factors, allergies

Studies have shown that chronic prostatitis and autoimmune factors have a certain relationship. Some experts have found in some arthritis patients, “anti-prostate antibodies,” the existence. These patients are often due to congenital or acquired immunodeficiency and anti-prostate antibodies, resulting in prostate tissue damage. If the patient after examination did not find evidence of bacterial, viral, mycoplasma infection, can consider the presence of immune factors.

Clinically, an allergic reaction to a virus can also lead to inflammation. In particular, some patients with low resistance to the body, the higher the sensitivity of the virus, easy to induce chronic prostatitis.

Clinical manifestations

Symptoms varied, the severity is also different, some can be asymptomatic, and some are whole body discomfort. Common symptoms generally have the following aspects.

1, urinary discomfort: there bladder irritation, such as urinary frequency, urination, urinary tract burning, pain and radiation to the penis head. Early morning urethra may have mucus and other secretions, but also the feeling of dysuria.

2, the local symptoms: posterior urethra, perineal and anal bulge discomfort, squatting, stool and prolonged sitting on the chair stool pain increased.

3, radioactive pain: chronic prostatitis pain is not limited to the urethra and perineum, but also to its nearby radiation, the following low back pain is the most common. In addition, the penis, spermatic cord, testis scrotum, lower abdomen, groin area (thighs), thighs, rectum, etc. can be affected. It should be noted that chronic prostatitis caused by low back pain in the lower back, and orthopedic reasons such as back pain such as myofascitis, lumbar muscle strain, although easily confused, but the latter in the vicinity of the belt, prostatitis caused by low back pain High, can be identified.

4, sexual dysfunction: chronic prostatitis can cause loss of libido and ejaculation pain, ejaculation premature disease, and affect the quality of semen in the urination or stool can also occur when the urethral orifice white, combined with seminal vesicle can occur when the blood sperm.

5, other symptoms: chronic prostatitis can be combined with neurasthenia, showing fatigue, dizziness, insomnia; long-lasting prostate inflammation can even cause the body’s allergic reaction, conjunctivitis, arthritis and other diseases.

Complication

Acute prostatitis

1, acute urinary retention: acute prostatitis caused by local congestion, swelling, oppression of the urethra, resulting in difficulty urinating, or cause acute urinary retention.

2, acute vesiculitis or epididymitis and vas deferens inflammation: acute inflammation of the prostate is very easy to spread to the seminal vesicle, causing acute vesiculitis. At the same time bacteria can be reversed through the lymphatic vessels into the vas deferens wall layer and sheath to cause epididymitis.

3, spermatic lymph node enlargement or tenderness: prostate and spermatic lymphatic vessels in the pelvic traffic, acute inflammation of the prostate when the spermatic cord, causing spermatic cord lymph nodes and accompanied by tenderness.

4, sexual dysfunction: acute inflammation, prostate congestion, edema or a small abscess formation may have ejaculatory pain, painful erection, loss of libido, sexual intercourse pain, impotence, blood sperm and so on.

5, other: severe acute prostatitis may be associated with pain in the groin, severe cases may have renal colic.

Chronic Prostatitis

1, chronic vesiculitis: chronic prostatitis is the most common complications. In the course of chronic disease, the two often exist at the same time, affect each other. For a long time, can significantly lead to male sexual dysfunction.

Second, impotence: chronic prostatitis is a common complication.

Third, infertility: In infertility, chronic prostatitis is a very important reason.

4, posterior urethritis: chronic prostatitis and more complicated posterior urethritis, especially caused by urinary tract infection caused by prostatitis. In the clinical evidence, often with urinary tract irritation symptoms of chronic prostatitis, the first symptom.

5, epididymitis: prostatitis and seminal vesicle at the same time, inflammation can be invaded and epididymis caused by chronic epididymitis inflammation.

6, various types of bladder blister inflammation: When the prostate chronic inflammation spread to the bladder, there obvious symptoms of urinary tract irritation, is due to various types of cystitis.

7, bladder neck sclerosis: such complications are relatively rare

8, allergic diseases: chronic lesions lurking in the body for a long time, as allergens, causing all types of allergic diseases such as arthritis, myositis, iritis, neuritis.

The main factors of difficult to cure prostatitis

  1. Patients with foreskin is too long or phimosis;
  2. Before and during treatment there are still unclean sexual contact history;
  3. Sexual partners did not give simultaneous treatment;
  4. Combined with prostate stones;
  5. Abuse of antibiotics;
  6. A variety of pathogens mixed infection;
  7. Resistant strains increased;
  8. Secretion of prostatic secretion;
  9. Local anatomical characteristics of the prostate.