Dr. Shin will visit Northern California to provide consulting service for patients in San Francisco bay area on 10/21 SAT and 10/22 SUN.
We opened a small office in MODI Office Building at 930 Roosevelt, Irvine.
This location is a minute distance from Jeffrey exit on I-5 FWY.
Many years ago, a young couple found their way to my office with their five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter in tow. The father took a glance at the worry-worn face of his silent wife and began to speak with some difficulty. In a flustered manner, he recounted the daily battles that had been fought in his household for the past three years. To this day, parents and children who come to the clinic for similar cases bring the weeping father’s face to the forefront of my mind.
He told me that every single day, at three o’clock in the morning, their three-year-old daughter would startle awake and begin to scream and wail. She would continue to sob and thrash about until eventually, she tired herself back to sleep. This could sometimes take two or three hours. The parents had hoped that the condition would subside as their daughter became older, but on the contrary, it had only gotten worse. They had tried large hospitals, various pediatricians, and had even dabbled in Korean exorcising rituals. But when their pediatrician prescribed psychiatric medication for the three-year-old, the parents finally drew the line. That’s when they decided to look into TKM (Traditional Korean Medicine) and made their way to me.
When I took the child’s pulse diagnosis, I found the child to be in a state of shock. Despite her young age, she was showing signs of intermittent explosive disorder (characterized by sudden episodes of impulsive and aggressive anger). Her parents were aware of external symptoms, such as waking up to cry at night, but had no idea as to the depth of their child’s mental instability and fear.
I decided to investigate the reasons behind the pent-up emotions in the xin (heart-mind) of the young girl. Because both parents worked full time, both the girl and her older brother were often left at a daycare center. The older brother did not exhibit the same symptoms, therefore the situation was not to blame. When compared with her older brother, the young girl seemed to have more difficulty with expressing herself. She often could not indicate her preferences and was unable to play with her favorite toys at the daycare. The parents told me that repeated stressors of this nature often lead to frustrated tears in the daytime as well.
The case was that the child was unable to release the emotions from her symptoms and the heat from her heart, which inevitably led to the only biological release that she knew of that would simultaneously attract attention: crying. I decided that the way to bring down the heat and prevent anger from the child was to increase the time she spent with her mother during the day and to prescribe a tonic that would circulate the heated chi in her body so that it would be released through urines. I recommended that her parents sincerely hug the girl frequently and to look into her eyes when they talk to her so that she could feel relieved and trusted.
This memorable case was a case in which a forgotten trauma had triggered certain disorders and symptoms that was solved through a mixture of psychological therapy along with the application of herbal tonics.
Elizabeth was a three-year old girl with a flowing blonde hair. She reminded me of those beautiful russian dolls with eyes I used to marvel at when I was a child. Her mother brought Elizabeth because of a constant problem with her runny nose. Elizabeth would spend most of the year from congestion and runny nose. By the time she got up in the morning, her beautiful locks would be covered in mucus. The western doctors had prescribed antibiotics every time and the mother wanted to find an alternative. The mother was curious whether Elizabeth was suffering from a cold or from an allergy and if herbal medicine could help the situation. I briefly explained the fundamentals of korean traditional medical science; from yin and yang, functions of each organs, and the theory behind pulse diagnosis. Elizabeth had a weak lung chi energy and this meant her respiratory immune system was not at a tip-top shape. It often exposed her to cold or flu virus and atmospheric changes which would often result in a build-up of mucus by the immune system to combat those ‘invasions’. I suggested that we work on strengthening Elizabeth’s lung energy and focus on the origin of the problem.
- Diagnosis: Chronic Allergy-induced rhinitis.
- Common Causes:
- External Causes are manifolds for rhinitis. It ranges from dander, dust, mites, pollen, pollution, food, to even atmospheric or temperature changes.
- Internally, our body gets weakened from constant allergic reactions. It builds stress in both our mental and physical health. This affects the nervous system and the immune system which disrupts the overall homeostasis of the body. Which leads to a somewhat of an ill cycle. In Korean traditional medical science, we often see that chi-deficiencies in the lungs, kidneys, and the spleen attribute the most to such cases. The excess heat built from the body’s lack of homeostasis puts pressure on the organs, especially the respiratory ones that act as a cooling system for our body, induces such reactions.
- Recommended food and beverage:
- Dates Tea
- Dried Persimmon Porridge with brown rice
- Ginger Tea
I was very worried on whether Elizabeth would be able to consume the herbal tonics that even East-Asian children, who were often already exposed to the medicine, didn’t enjoy. So I recommended that she first tries 30 cc of dosage and see where it goes from there. Much to my surprise, she was enjoying the tonic. “I like black tea. Please, give me some more black tea.” Thankfully, after just two months, her rhinitis problem was solved and Elizabeth could enjoy her golden locks without worries. She was one of the first non-asian patients at our clinic, and thanks to her and her parents, we were able to meet and help many others. Whenever east-asian parents worry about whether their child would drink the herbal tonic, I tell them the story of Elizabeth. “If a three-year old foreign girl yells out “I like black tea”, I am sure our kids can handle it.”
“Doctor Shin, My Heart Feels Like It’s Been Twisted”
Tuesday, 6:00 a.m. The clinic cell phone rang. I thought maybe someone from east coast or South Korea called…Half-awake, I answered the phone to be greeted by a panting, half-crying woman.
“Dr. Shin, Dr. Shin, my husband felt a twist in his heart and is having a hard time breathing. The emergency room said there is nothing wrong with and I am so sorry for calling you so early. We didn’t know where to call.”
She bursts in tears.
She didn’t even say who she was.
Thankfully I remembered the madame. “When is the clinic open today?” she asks.
I couldn’t tell her to wait until nine. I told her to meet me at the clinic and left home with a certain uncomfortableness.
These couple were my patients two years before this incident. Their son Jihyung was a bright young man. The husband was pale from the pain and shock, clutching on to his chest. The wife was sobbing. I began with a pulse diagnosis, and as I expected, it was from what is commonly known as ‘heartburn’. Severe acid reflux results in a burn like pain in the chest cavity and the heart. At times, the heart goes on alarm mode and result in some palpitations. I gave him an herbal emergency pill that is often used to calm the heart and help with shocks.
“Out of nowhere at 4 am, I felt this intense pain in the heart and I go to the emergency room, and they tell me nothing is wrong…the scans show nothing and this one doctor says we should check the stomach. It reminded me of what you told us two years ago so we called you right after…”
I remember telling him that he had a over-produced amount of stomach acid and that he should take care of his diet and be less sensitive about work. I was grateful for their remembering me at what must have been a dire situation for them.
Apparently the symptoms started a few months ago, with the man often having copper taste in his mouth and hints of acid. He just didn’t think much of it because his stomach didn’t hurt and it was usually minor.
I first gave him some emergency pills that calm acid reflux and some herbal tea that calms the stomach. I also prescribed some herbal granules for him to take during the time it would take for the tonic to be brewed.
- Diagnosis: Cardiac muscle pain induced by acid reflux.
- Cause: Stomach Acid Reflux
- Patient: A sensitive, hard-working man who often worries too much which would lead to sleep imbalances. Due to family events, when he was put in pressure from both work and family, the stress level induced what we call 간비불화증 in Korean Traditional Medicine.
- Healthy Diet Tip: Cabbages, Lotus Root porridge, avoid flour, reduce stress (exercise, meditate)
- Herbal Tea Therapy with Mu.A