Continuing the story of the sessions with Professor Wei Yu Qi – representative of the first generation of teachers and practitioners of Tianjin University of TCM, I would like to mention one of his main specializations, namely, the treatment of liver diseases by methods of Chinese Medicine. Masterfully owning recipes of TCM while using diagnostic methods of Western medicine, he successfully helped patients with viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, FH, diseases of the spleen. I was fortunate enough to discuss with him issues of treatment of liver diseases and to get answers to questions that I could not find by reading the classics of Chinese medicine and reading modern literature. Without a fine transfer of knowledge and invaluable experience from teacher to apprentice, without explaining how to understand exactly a particular issue in the diagnosis, treatment, preparation of recipes, it’s really hard to master the practical art of TCM. “Theory without practice is dead.” Indeed, a precious experience of generations adorns the crown of Chinese medicine alive sparkling light.
Each of the liver and spleen diseases is a separate big topic in Chinese medicine. Here I will address only the general recommendations of Professor Wei in terms of approach to the classification of these diseases. The fact they are played at the middle jiao, which can be called “the factory of life” for the body. Two main object, “two planets” of middle jiao – liver and spleen – are known to have a multi-faceted, very sophisticated relationship with each other, which maintain the so-called “second heaven” of the body (hou tian) and not only it. Therefore one of the key moments in the treatment strategy – is to correctly identify the root cause of the disease, as well as which of the two organs affected first – the liver or spleen in the understanding of TCM.
Analyzing his own clinical experience, the experience of his teachers, as well as the canons of the ancient treatises, Professor Wei combined causes of disease in several groups.
The first group of factors leads the destruction of liver cells and hepatitis with obvious syndrome of heat and poison, blood heat, stagnant of qi and blood, with a significant increase the level of liver enzymes, and then often to cirrhosis and cancer.
This group includes the viruses that cause viral hepatitis, alcohol abuse, toxic drugs of Western medicine, as well as hepatotropic poisons, some harmful additives in food production. In this case it is necessary to consider these pathogens as a “heat and poison” and approach to treatment is from the standpoint of Wen Bing Xue. This concept applies especially to the viral hepatitis, where Wen Bing theory fits very well. The primary element is liver, which suffers directly. Staying in a morbid state, the liver spreads its pathological effect on the spleen, stomach, brain. “Tree suppresses the Earth.” The main syndromes are stagnation of qi and blood (qi zhi xue yu), heat and poison (re du), the blood heat (xue re), dampness and heat in the middle jiao (zhong jiao shi re), deficiency of spleen qi (pi qi xu), and the insufficiency of yin of liver and kidney in the later stages.
The second group of factors gradually causes changes in liver tissue, steatosis and obesity, partially metabolic syndrome.