Reducing Hemorrhoids with TCM, and Yoga

Hemorrhoids, or Piles, are vascular structures in the anal canal. In their normal state, they are cushions that help with stool control. They become a disorder when swollen or inflamed. Internal hemorrhoids often result in painless, bright red rectal bleeding when defecating. External hemorrhoids often result in pain and swelling in the area of the anus. [1]

In this article I'll discuss the cause of piles according with TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Iridology, and how we could treat them more effectively with Natural Medicine.

Usually the common advice people get when diagnosed with piles, is to eat more fibers and exercise more. Though these indications are generally good to improve our homeostasis, quite often unfortunately they fail to address the root cause of the problem. For this reason, those affected with piles have to live with it.
Surgery is a drastic remedy that attempts to remove the symptoms, but the root cause stay as before, and there are good chances that piles recur if we do not remove their root cause.

In TCM the blood vessels are considered the "tissue" of the Heart, which is an organ paired with the Small Intestine. Heart and Small Intestine manifest the Yin-Yang respectively. The Five Element theory also shows that the Liver is the "mother" of the Heart (linked to it). When a person is under continual stress, Liver energy becomes compromised, because one of its energetic functions is to smooth and regulate emotions. So when chronic stress or excessive emotion is experienced, the Liver cannot offer proper support to the Heart.
Therefore according to the Five Element theory, if we want to take care of our cardiovascular health, it's crucial to take care of our digestive organs: the Liver and the Stomach. [3]

From this analysis we see that our response to Stress is a possible cause for developing piles. Stress is part of life of course, and not necessarily a bad thing. What we probably need to do, is to improve the way we cope with stress when it becomes 'too much' and it starts impacting our health. (eg. our sleep pattern)

If we now look at the meridians and acu-points that are usually involved when treating piles, we find that GV (Governing Vessel) meridian, and in particular GV-1 is one of the classic points used to treat piles.
GV-1 is midway between the tip of the coccyx bone and the anus, and GV runs laterally to the spine from GV-1, up to the cervical vertebrae, and the head.
BL (Bladder Meridian) is another meridian that runs parallel to GV, but overlapping the spine. So both GV and BL are important for the health of blood vessels. [2]

In the iris chart, the Rectum, is in proximity of Stomach, and Small Intestine, which we've seen to be related with the Heart and blood vessels. But the Rectum is also in proximity with the Pancreas, which is another important organ of the digestive system, and with the Kidney, which is paired with the Bladder in TCM. From this analysis we see how the digestive system, is deeply related with the health of our blood-vessels. This is not surprising of course, just think how much the junk-food is related to cardio-vascular diseases, and heart attacks.

GV and BL are symmetric one another in the spine region, and the spine is one of the main regions affected by Yoga postures (asana). In Ayurveda we know that important energy channels runs in proximity of the spine.

In particular, I found the following asana quite powerful on stimulating the blood-flow in the spine region, the Heart, blood vessels, and related organs. These asana helped to reduce external piles in my patients: Matsyamudra, Paschimottanasana, and Sirvasana.

We know that Yoga can be very effective on blood circulation, and on improving the way we cope with stress.
In particular I want to highlight that respiration is key in Yoga, and the ancient masters (Yogi) discovered that the vital energy (Prana, or Qi in TCM), relates directly with our breath (Pranayama).
Lungs in TCM, are not just responsible to exchange CO2 and Oxigen, but they represent the old that goes out, and the new that comes in. I think this is particularly important when related with our Stress response.
In a stressfull situation, we need to let go negative thougts, and let in, the positive ones.
Negative thoughts are our enemies, because they deplete our positive energy, transforming the mind into a bundle of self-destructive desires. So instead of sabotaging our life with negative thoughts, we should try to stay positive in our life, as much as we can. To do that, I'd suggest the practice of the Human Values which are simple and effective on cleaning the mind from its imaginations.
By practicing HVs in our families, and communities, we could probably improve our society, supporting those who struggle, and create a better place for everyone.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemorrhoid
[2] https://theory.yinyanghouse.com/acupuncturepoints/gv1
[3] https://www.tcmworld.org/what-is-tcm/the-five-major-organ-systems/whats-your-heart-telling-you/

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Wednesday, 01 February 2023