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Electro Meridian Imaging
October 31, 2012
5:28 pm
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rick agel
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One of my experiences at the Building Bridges conference was to pick at Heiner Fruehauf's brain a bit on how he used his electrodermal screening device (EDS or EAV). After a discussion on it, he referred me to his scholarly work on the subject. It is two parts which can be bought on his website. Here is the extracted comments on the EDS and how it relates to his larger scope of practice in chinese medicine. Very interesting indeed:

 

"Electro-dermal screening is a modern way of

looking at surface phenomena to determine

underlying imbalances in the invisible meridian

and organ systems. It measures electric impedance

at acupuncture points, a procedure that is most

conveniently performed at one of the patient’s

Jing-Well points near the fingertips, such as TW

1 or SI 1. When the inventor of this method, the

German doctor of Western medicine Dr. Reinholt

Voll, began to experiment with electric impedance

measurements at various acupuncture point during

the 1940s, he discovered that healthy people exhibit

a reading of 50 milliohm in most acupuncture

points. He further discovered that a low reading

could be balanced immediately if the patient was

exposed to a substance that was beneficial for him,

such as a specific food or medication. In this way, a

diagnostic procedure called EAV (electro-acupuncture according to Voll) medication testing was

born.

This method opened the door to something that was never before possible in Western medicine:

to “test” a pharmaceutical drug against a patient’s system and see whether it was beneficial or not

before the patient actually imbibes it. Dentists were particularly interested in this technique, because

the injection of toxic materials directly into the sensitive oral mucosa can result in many allergic

reactions, including anaphylactic shock. By testing these substances before administrating them,

and observing whether the “qi” of the substance causes the reading in the patient’s acupuncture

points either to rise toward the normal of 50 milliohm, or to drop away from it, some dentists were

able to reduce the allergic reaction rate in their clinics to 0%. During the last 60 years, EAV testing

has become a widely-acknowledged method of medication testing. It was developed by Western

medicine doctors, but is now primarily used by practitioners of natural medicine.

In my own clinical experience, I very quickly

discovered that the herbs which increased the

patients acupuncture point measurements to

normal levels most often matched the indications

obtained from the patients’ pulses within the

diagnostic methodology I had learned from Dr. Zeng. This was big news for an inexperienced

herbalist like myself: I had found a method that allowed me to be certain of the general direction

and the details of my prescription before the patient started imbibing it.

It is one of the distinct advantages of acupuncture therapy that the practitioner can take the patient’s

pulse before needle insertion, and then again right afterwards. The choice of an appropriate point

will generally change the quality of the pulse immediately. In contrast, an herbalist needs to wait

days or even weeks before s/he can see whether there are any beneficial changes in the pulse and

symptom patterns. Every Chinese medicine practitioner I know is afraid of the following potential

outcome: an already sick patient is taking strong herbs that are not only useless, but have the

distinct potential to bring him into an even deeper state of imbalance. By testing every single herb

in the formulas I prescribed and thus having the patient’s own system “confirm” my intellectual

choices, I soon saw fewer side-effects and better results.

Twenty years have passed since I started using this method of testing the suitability of specific

Chinese herbs for my patients. Other than improving clinical results for patients-- due to a greater

degree of precision that I had never encountered in standardized TCM school or in my limited

discipleship training—the bodies of my patients now became my teachers. When my colleagues

talked about some particularly fashionable food supplement or new patent herb formula, I could

study it by “asking” 50 different bodies to see what they had to say about this new remedy. Very

quickly, I would see which products were valuable and which were not.

One of the particularly interesting things the process of medication testing showed me during

the last two decades was a confirmation of the ancient wisdom associated with traditional herb

growing and processing techniques. Let me use the herb aconite as an example. When studying

with Dr. Zeng in Chengdu during the early 1990s, I almost never saw him prescribing aconite.

When asked, he said that since the 1980s he has observed a lot of side-effects when using this herb.

After my return from China in 1992, moreover, the aconite I carried in my medicinary almost

never tested “positive” when testing the patient’s meridian system for immediate feedback about

this substance. As a result, I hardly ever prescribed it.

It was not until my respected colleague Dr. Liu Lihong introduced me to the clinical merits of

the Fire Spirit School that my interest in this important medicine became reawakened. I began

collecting Fuzi samples from all regions of China, as well as from various herb companies all

around the world: Fuzi from Sichuan, Yunnan, and Shaanxi; Fuzi processed in China, Japan,

Korea, and Singapore. The surprising result was that virtually none of the samples I tested on

people ever showed any medicinal measurements, with one exception: Fuzi that was cultivated

in the traditional aconite growing area (Jiangyou in Sichuan), and which after the harvest around

 

reflections on the relationship of traditional wisdom, precision, and clinical efficacy

 

the summer solstice was strictly processed in accordance with traditional instructions; handpeeled

with bamboo knives, repeatedly rinsed in water until almost none of the brine preservative

remained, carefully steamed, and dried without sulphuring. When subjected to the procedure of

electro-dermal screening, this particular type of Fuzi tested like an altogether different substance

in comparison to the rest of the other aconite samples. This type of Fuzi tested like the aconite

that is described in classical formula books: a type of “magic pellet” that is desired by the bodies of

most chronic patients—almost every patient seems to test positive when exposed to its energetic

influence.

After incorporating this type of aconite into my practice, I began to notice extraordinary clinical

results that I could not have achieved before with other yang warming remedies. In addition,

and perhaps most surprising to my students, this type of Fuzi consistently performs without ever

producing any negative side effects. During the last 5 years, I have taught much in Europe and

the USA about the various benefits of aconite, but always conclude these lectures with a remark

of caution: if you do choose to prescribe aconite, use this kind of aconite or none at all! Prescribing

the right herb on paper is not enough. In our day and age, we need to be informed what the patient

ends up actually taking at home, otherwise even the best prescription will be useless.

To me, this is perhaps the most beneficial result of combining modern German technology with

the ancient practice of Chinese medicine in an overall energetic model of viewing the body: when

put to the test, modern technology can and does show that traditional instructions, as cumbersome

and hard to understand as they often seem from a modern perspective, do have tremendous clinical

value. Classical Chinese medicine is a sophisticated alchemical science. Both its theories as well as

its many details should be remembered and preserved for the sake of the clinical efficacy of our

profession."

 

I was also surprised to see this technology referred to as a diagnostic tool in working with patients with rheumatoid arthritis by Dr. Michael Greenwood in the journal Medical Acupuncture.

Finally, I have also had personal conversations with Jake Fratkin OMD after he mentioned it in a seminar. He trained extensively in china in herbal therapies but strongly desires to come up with an inexpensive reliable EDS piece of equipment TO improve interventions in chinese medicines. He has a very braod background in chinese medicine, is a very strong advocate for meridian therapy apparently leaning more to the japanese style of acupuncture; so, i was surprised to hear his thoughts on the subject.

October 31, 2012
6:22 pm
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Paula Woodward
Kelowna, BC
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Paul,

My experience with high readings on the SP and KD are SP=dampness or some other pathogenic factor relating to digestion (high reading=excess pathogenesis). I find high KD readings in patients with deficient kd pulses either very tight (yin def) or weak and feeble (more yang def), my interpretation is that the person is excessively using their reserves, hence the high reading. Of course this will only be confirmation as to how they actually show up ie. running on empty, very stressed etc.

October 31, 2012
8:49 pm
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Lonny Jarrett

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"Electrical conductivity readings are objective and don't lie! "

 

Lonny: Nothing lies. The trick is in attributing meaning in a way that yields repeatable positive results.

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November 1, 2012
3:29 am
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Paul
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Thanks Paula. And yes, good point Lonny: "The trick is in attributing meaning in a way that yields repeatable positive results."

I've had the acugraph for a short while so I'm still looking for the relationships to pulse presentation and hara palpation. I really enjoy the graphing and looking for meaning. Makes me feel like a detective.

November 1, 2012
9:42 am
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Lonny Jarrett

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I use to be reflexively against this sort of thing because I saw people getting intrigued with the technology to the exclusion of a depth understanding of the medicine. But is one HAS such an understanding then I see no reason that the data can't be correlated in a meaningful way.

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November 1, 2012
11:17 am
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Daniel Schulman
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, CANADA
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98% of the people using technology like that this that I have known or known of - have little or no understanding of Chinese Medicine, poor ability to integrate their findings with other information, no interest in cultivating depth of diagnosis or therapy - simply get the information and as a technician would, apply a preset protocol based on the finding - often with some mixture of superficial understanding of medicine.  Certainly, in the right hands, with the right motivation, in the right context, anything can be of great use.

Its when the technology becomes an enabler of pretense, an enabler of arrested development, that we have to be adamant and clear about what is going on.

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