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Archive for the ‘hyperthyroidism’ tag

Infertility and TCM: Part 9: Tong Bing Yi Zhi.

By David Kreiner MD

June 29th, 2014 at 8:34 am


image courtesy of stuart miles/

According to Western Medicine, a particular disease is caused by a specific pathogen and the Western Medicine treatment is directed at that pathogenic factor. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recognizes that two people may react differently to that same pathogen.  They refer to this as Tong Bing Yi Zhi.  For example, in one individual the symptoms may appear as Damp heat syndrome and in another as Yin deficiency with false heat syndrome. In TCM, despite the common pathogen, patients would be treated differently depending on the syndrome identified. Syndrome identification is based on 4 diagnostic methods: inquiring, palpation, inspection and listening/smelling. This information is gathered and analyzed to identify the syndrome that a patient is experiencing.


On the other hand, two people with two different Western diagnoses such as menopause and hyperthyroidism may experience the same TCM syndrome from their respective pathologic conditions, Yin deficiency with false heat. This is also referred to as Tong Bing Yi Zhi.  In this case it refers to treating different diseases the same because they result in the same TCM syndrome.  In the first case TCM treats the same disease differently because as a result of the varying natures and constitutions of patients the symptoms resulting from the same pathologic condition often varies. To clarify, we do not need to know in TCM what diseases the patients have. We treat them according to TCM by their syndrome diagnosis.

Syndromes are differentiated based on several different factors. There are eight principles of paired opposing conditions including; Exterior and Interior, Cold and Heat, Deficiency and Excess, and Yin and Yang. These general principles are the basis for categorizing all the syndromes. The other syndromes are differentiated according one of the following  theories such as; Qi, blood and body fluids, the theory of the Zang-Fu organs, the theory of the six channels or meridians of Qi, the four levels of heat invasion, and the three burners or sections of the body.

It is through the four diagnostic methods above that the practitioner identifies the syndrome affecting the patient. He/she will choose the particular treatment specific for the syndrome modified by the age and health of the patient. This can include Tui-Na massage, acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, and herbal medicine all directed at specific points in the body depending on the syndrome.

To me, as a Western physician trained to direct treatment for a particular pathogen or disease, I am very attracted to differentiating treatment based on its specific effect on the individual patient. We know that the same disease can have different resulting effects on people and that different diseases can affect some individuals in the same way. Therefore, the concept of directing therapy based on the effect the pathogenic factor has on the individual appears to me to be an effective way to treat a patient. If a physician were to combine the Western pathogen-directed therapy with TCM treatment based on the syndrome affecting the individual then the East-West combination therapy I believe should be most ideal.

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Does the Western pathogen-based treatment plan seem sufficient or does the idea of blending it with Eastern principles of syndrome-based treatment seem like it’d be a complementary bonus?

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Dude Looks Like a Baby

By Tracey Minella

July 18th, 2013 at 4:49 pm


image courtesy of fotographic 1980/free digital

Music and In Vitro Fertilization (“IVF”) rates are in the news.

Whether you’re into Aerosmith or Beyonce, Rascal Flatts or Metallica, a new study found that playing music in the presence of eggs increased fertilization rates in patients undergoing IVF.

In the study*, conducted at Barcelona’s Marques Institute fertility clinic, 1,000 eggs were “injected with sperm”. Half were then placed in incubators where various genres of music…including Nirvana, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Mozart and Bach… were playing on iPods. The other half of the eggs was not exposed to music.

 The fertilization rates were five percent (5%) higher in the eggs exposed to music.

Study leaders speculated that the vibrations from the iPods… not the music itself… was likely responsible for the difference in the fertilization rates.

Oxford Fertility expert, Dr. Dagan Wells, offers this theory: In natural fertilization, egg and sperm meet in the Fallopian tube and, if fertilization occurs, the resulting embryo gently “rocks and rolls” its way down the tube and into the uterus where it hopefully implants and results in a pregnancy. But with in vitro fertilization, the egg and sperm just sit largely stagnant in the culture media of the petri dish and “stew in its own juice.” Specifically, the addition of music may provide good vibrations for increased fertilization by helping nutrients pass into the egg and by speeding up the removal of toxic waste.**

Study leaders also found that the style or type of music was not a clear factor… so anything from Sinatra to show tunes may suffice. However, there was some speculation that pounding, rhythmic “techno music” with bass may provide the most vibration.

Music is almost always playing in the Long Island IVF O.R. and embryology lab.

What kind?  I’m told it usually ranges from soft pop to classical. Does that make our doctors and embryologists “rock stars” in their field?

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Was there music playing during your retrieval or transfer? Do you remember the song?



Photo credit: fotographic 1980 and

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