Wind–heat in the Lung

| January 4, 2012 | 0 Comments | 141 views

Wind–heat in the Lung , Neurodermatitis And Eczema , The following types of illness can be compared with the wind–heat symptoms in traditional Chinese medicine (Figure 6.1).

Western medical concept

Atopic dermatitis is one of the most widespread and worrying forms of eczema. Atopy means an inherited state of hypersensitivity, which may
manifest itself as asthma, hay fever or eczema. It is more common in earlier life, occurring at some stage during childhood in up to 10–20% of all children.

It is a genetically complex, familial disease with a strong maternal infl uence. The disease is also signifi cantly infl uenced by environmental factors. Infection either in the skin or system can lead to an exacerbation, possibly by a superantigen effect. Strong detergents, chemicals and even woollen clothes can be irritants and exacerbate eczema. Teething is another factor in young children. Severe anxiety or stress is a very strong factor in irritating the skin. Cat and dog fur can certainly make eczema worse, possibly by both allergic and irritant mechanisms. Food allergens could play a role in triggering atopic eczema and dairy products may exacerbate eczema in some infants.

Senile or winter eczema is dry, cracked skin with red erythema. It occurs more in the elderly, and predominantly in the lower legs and hands, especially in winter.

Lichen simplex/neurodermatitis. Lichen is a term applied to a group of chronic skin diseases characterized by thickening and hardening of the skin, with the formation of papules. Lichen simplex develops as a result of persistent scratching. The disease is more common in women than men. In women, it occurs most commonly in the nape of the neck, back of the forearm, the inner part of the thigh, the back of the knee and around the ankles. The skin becomes thickened and has been likened to the appearance of Moroccan leather.

Fig 6.1 Neurodermatitis

Fig 6.1 Neurodermatitis

Table 6.1 Neurodermatitis – traditional Chinese medicine view
Wind–heat in Lung Treatment
Thin, dry skin, less body hair, wandering
flat, dry lesions without clear edges
Tranquillizing: Du 20, Liv 3
Skin appearance and itching worse
with alcohol, sour food, stress and hot
Cooling Blood-heat: Sp 10, UB 17. Thin and
dry skin: K 10, Sp 3. Wind-eliminating points
with sedation
Nervous person, emotionally up and
Energy balance: Lu 1, Lu 8, Ren 17 in
direction of flow; sedate SI 8, TW 10 and
GB 38; bleeding finger/toe-tip or venous
bleeding on Lu 5; no alcohol or citrus fruits;
avoid pickled or sour foods
Can suffer from hay fever and allergic
Two sessions per week for 3–4 weeks; one
session per week for 4–6 weeks; one session
every 2 weeks for 2 months; one session per
month for 6 months
Better during pregnancy and humid, cool
Hard stools, may be abdominal colic

This wind–heat type is very common in the West. It manifests as itchy erythematous scaly patches without clear edges, especially in the flexures such as the front of the elbows, behind the knees and around the neck. In infants, it often starts in the face before spreading to the rest of the body. Scratching may produce excoriations, and repeated scratching produces skin thickening with exaggerated skin markings.

In dark-skinned patients, there could be hyper- or hypopigmentation of the inflamed areas, which may change very slowly.

When treated aggressively with steroid creams or oral steroids, the skin actually becomes dryer and flakier. If this neurodermatitis is suppressed, it could move to the interior and cause asthma. The best way to approach balancing is to improve the yin and Blood, and this would calm the windheat. This would be the worse of the two types, covering large areas of skin and causing more itching and irritation to the patient – but this is the type which responds dramatically to acupuncture!


Explaining the treatment

For tonifying the yin of the skin and Lung, points Lu 1 (Mu-front point) and Lu 8 (metal point or own-element point) are used. Point Ren 17 is the
master point of respiratory organs, and that covers also the skin (as the skin is our third lung) is given in the direction of the meridian flow, so it could tonify the yin.
Another point that is very effective in increasing the yin of the skin is point K 10, the water point or the own-element point. This tonifies the yin in the Kidneys so that they can irrigate the entire body, and point K 10 draws yang away from the large intestine, from the opposite side of the organ clock. This would, in turn, reduce the Lung yang indirectly, as it is the coupled yang organ to the Lung.
A combination of points Lu 1, K 10 and Sp 3 have been mentioned before as a good prescription against thin and dry skin, and all these points are found in this treatment plan. Lung (and skin) gets its yin from the Kidney and its nutrition (Blood) from the Spleen. It is for this reason that point Sp 3, the earth point and the house-element point, is used.
The house-element points are used here to tonify the house energy of the organs – point Sp 3 tonifies Spleen yin/Blood; Lu 8 tonifies Lung yin; and K 10 tonifies Kidney yin, as these are all yin organs.
Advice for patients
Patients should improve their nutrition by including some proteins (taking care to avoid meats and fish to which they might be allergic), milk or buttermilk, some oil in marinating foods and in salads and rice (as white rice improves Lung Blood), this treatment would work very well.

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