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Chronic Abdominal Hernia
I recently treated a very interesting patient. This particular male patient is interesting in the fact that he also studies Chinese Medicine in his spare leisure. When he visited me for the first time, he shook my hand with a warm smile, and standing in front of me was a man of very good muscular build, despite being middle aged. My first impression was, this patient takes very great care of himself by staying so fit despite at his age. This is dedication to health that I believe everyone should learn from. But what puzzled me was also why he decided to visit me.
This gentleman obviously did his homework, having a good idea of what Chinese Medicine is, providing me some key information. He first showed me a list of problems that he had, by order of priority, in addition to other additional information, all typed out neatly on a piece of paper. As well, he brought with him a report of his hormone panel, ordered by his naturopath a while ago. The hormone panel indicates that he is under a lot of physical stress apparently. His main complaints include muscle soreness throughout many areas of the body, which he has been having massage therapy for a while to deal with. There is also a long standing abdominal "hernia" issue as well as abdominal bloating.
The "hernia" he referred to was actually a tender elevated nodulation beside his navel. After the assessment, it is apparent why these problems exist. The key reason was his over-pushing himself in strength training, and this explains the results of the hormone panel. My advice to him was, he needs to take his age into consideration and lighten up. There was also the issue of when he ate and when he exercised, all of which to me seems a bit out of alignment in terms of what's best for the body. I suggested possible modifications to him. I then prescribed Chinese Medicine for his condition, which was designed to help his body improve the absorption, circulation and recycling of nutrients throughout his body.
2 weeks later, he returned for the 2nd visit. The herbal medicine helped a lot. Much of his muscle pain and soreness had significantly diminished. He seemed to believe this was due to his massage therapy, but I concur otherwise, as the time doesn't add up. He told me the "hernia" has been less as well, being not as elevated. My assessment indicates it is still sensitive however. In regards to lifestyle, he wasn't able to completely modify it according to my suggestion, but regardless has made some efforts to his best ability, such as not pushing himself so hard and spreading meals throughout the day. His abdominal distention has not changed unfortunately. Nevertheless, the treatment is moving on the right track. I modified the prescription and told him hopefully this newly modified herbal formula would lead to continued improvements for the abdominal distention. I also performed Acupuncture and during the session the abdomen was heard gurgling. Patient told me he could feel his guts moving. This is a good sign pointing to "opening up" of the stagnation in the intestines.
2 weeks pass and I didn't hear anything from him. I decided to follow-up with an email. Apparently, he wasn't able to take the herbal medicine according to schedule, sometimes skipping days and doses, as a result of other obligations. Regardless, his abdominal distention is improving as he says. Even at diluted doses, the herbal medicine is still working. He plans to return to continue treatment in the coming weeks.
I forgot to mention what was so "interesting" about this patient, aside from the fact that he studies Chinese Medicine in his spare time. In the first visit, when I finished dispensing his herbs and showed to him with instructions for preparation, he explained that these herbs seem to speak to him. Apparently he was familiar with some of the items and commented how they made him "energized", recalling his past experiences taking these in various forms, such as extracts and supplements, etc. Sure enough, he returned for the 2nd visit telling me of his improvements.