Parkinson’s disease according to TCM
According to Western medicine, Parkinson’s disease is a clinical syndrome characterized by poor mobility, stiffness and tremors, resulting from damage to the basal ganglia of the brain. It is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system that is directly related to the loss of nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra (black substance). These cells normally produce dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that ensures the transmission of signals between nerve cells (neurons). The lack of dopamine causes the patient to gradually become unable to control their movement. Parkinson’s disease is caused by an excessive loss of nerve cells that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, a substance that regulates the activity of a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, in the brain. These are primarily involved in the control of mobility and a lack of dopamine will therefore cause a mobility disorders. Approximately 10,000 – 15,000 people suffer from this disease in our country today, and it is most common between the ages of 50 and 60. Dopamine can be replaced in various ways, yet serious mobility disorders occur in the advanced stages of the disease; the condition actually changes during the day. Patients can make the impression of almost healthy people several times a day and on the other hand only sit stiffly or suffer involuntary movements with a lot of effort. Tremor is a common manifestation. The states of sluggishness and stiffness or spontaneous movements make common life situations very difficult for some patients, e.g. clumsiness at the checkout in a supermarket, OFF states in which it is impossible to get going, situations in a restaurant, cinema, theatre, etc. Patients often have problems with communication, difficult articulation, poor writing. The often expressionless face and strange movements give a strange impression, but behind the “mask” there is an intelligent person. Depression can be the patient’s frequent companion, while other psychological problems are added in old age. So much for Western medicine.
What about TCM?
Parkinson’s disease is primarily seen as symptoms of liver wind GAN NEI FENG – tremors, severe dizziness and vertigo, tics, muscle twitching, numbness and tingling in the limbs. Liver wind GAN NEI FENG is always primarily caused by liver yin deficiency GAN YIN XU and liver blood deficiency GAN XUE XU, which therefore do not sufficiently nourish the tendons, ligaments and acupuncture pathways YING and LUO. But liver wind GAN NEI FENG can also result from other possibilities – heat RE, liver fire GAN HUO and the rise of liver yang GAN YANG SHI. For easier understanding, we can imagine yin as the oil in the engine, which is not enough (lack of yin and kidney and liver blood) and the engine overheats more easily (rise of the liver yang and liver wind) or in the case of an overheated engine (heat RE or liver fire HUO) a kind of hot wind is generated over the hot engine – like a forest on fire and a hot whirlpool swirling above it… Therefore, even in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, according to TCM, we must always nourish and stir up liver blood and dampen the wind.
Causes according to TCM
- Overwork and excessive sexual activity. Work that is excessive, prolonged and without sufficient rest will weaken the essence of the kidney SHEN JING XU and especially kidney yin SHEN YIN XU over time. In addition, if overwork is accompanied by excessive sex in men, it leads to an even greater weakening of kidney essence SHEN JING XU. Kidney yin deficiency SHEN then generates inner wind NEI FENG.
- Meals. Excessive consumption of fatty and greasy foods or sweets leads to the formation of mucus TAN, which over time combines with fire HUO, especially when alcohol is added. Fire HUO then results in the formation of inner wind NEI FENG.
- Emotional stress.Anger, frustration, rage will cause the rise of liver yang GAN YANG SHI, which in time will allow inner wind NEI FENG to rise.
|1. Liver blood deficiency GAN XUE XU, which generates inner wind NEI FENG|
|Symptoms: prolonged and pronounced trembling of the limbs, pale appearance, long fixed gaze, reluctance to speak, stiff neck, spasms in the limbs, difficulty moving, uncoordinated gait, dizziness, blurred vision, sweating, aggravated by movement
|Tongue: pale, thin and trembling
|2. The rising liver yang GAN YANG SHI generates inner wind NEI FENG (based on liver yin deficiency GAN YIN XU)|
|Symptoms: tremors, facial tics, severe dizziness and vertigo, tinnitus, headache, high blood pressure, dry throat, dry eyes, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the extremities, impaired memory||Tongue: normal colour and uncoated||Herbal therapy:|
|3. The rising liver yang GAN YANG SHI generates inner wind NEI FENG (based on liver and kidney yin deficiency GAN/SHEN YIN XU)|
|Symptoms: tremors, facial tics, severe dizziness and vertigo, tinnitus, headache, high blood pressure, dry throat, dry eyes, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the extremities, impaired memory, back pain, weak urination, night sweats||Language: normal colour, uncoated||Herbal therapy:|
|4. The rising liver yang GAN YANG SHI generates inner wind NEI FENG (based on liver blood deficiency GAN XUE XU)|
|Symptoms: tremors, dizziness, headache, high blood pressure, dry throat, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in extremities, impaired memory, insomnia||Tongue: pale and thin||Herbal therapy:|
|5. Liver fire GAN HUO generates inner wind NEI FENG|
|Symptoms: tremors, irritability, tendency to outbursts of anger, tinnitus and/or deafness (with sudden onset), headaches in the temples, dizziness, red face and red eyes, thirst, bitter sensation in the mouth, sleep disturbed by dreams, constipation with dry hard stools, dark yellow urine, nosebleeds and possibly vomiting of blood||Tongue: red with even redder sides and dry yellow coating||Herbal therapy:|
|6. Hot mucus generates inner wind NEI FENG|
|Symptoms: tremors, obesity, long fixed gaze, reluctance to move, feeling of pressure in the chest, dry mouth, sweating, dizziness, spitting out yellow mucus, stiffness in the hips and neck, trembling of the limbs that can be stopped||Tongue: red with yellow sticky coating||Herbal therapy:|
|7. Blood blockade YU XUE and stagnation of Qi energy QI ZHI in pathways LUO|
|Symptoms: chronic tremors, restlessness, insomnia, dark facial appearance, long fixed gaze, tingling in the extremities, slurred speech, headache, dark nails||Tongue: purplish||Herbal therapy:|
|8. Kidney and liver yin deficiency SHEN/GAN YIN XU|
|Symptoms: emaciation, dizziness, tinnitus, insomnia, sleep disturbed by dreams, headache, night sweats, mental restlessness, pain in the hips and knees, numbness in the limbs, stiffness in the hips and neck, head tremors, wobbling teeth and jaw tremors, prolonged tremors in the extremities, cramps in the extremities, difficult and clumsy walking, long fixed gaze, impaired memory||Tongue: thin, uncoated and moving (in case of heat from deficiency RE XU it is also red)||Herbal therapy:|