Hypertension Treatment Facts and Myths
Atherosclerosis : Definition / West and East Medicines
Atherosclerosis, a form of arteriosclerosis is a condition where fatty deposits made up of cholesterol, other blood fats and calcium build up on the inner walls of the oxygen carrying blood vessels called arteries. This commonly happens in medium sized to large arteries and begins as early as the teen years or even during childhood in some people.
Atherosclerosis of the heart, better known as coronary heart disease, is classified in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as chest pain syndrome. It is characterized by pain in the chest, which may progress towards the back. Patients can also have shortness of breath, especially when lying flat. Symptoms of heart atherosclerosis have been mentioned in ancient medical texts as far back as the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD). The famous medical work, Huang Di Nei Jing included a detailed description of this disease, saying, "Patients with chest pain syndrome may have pain inside the chest, fullness and distention in the lower chest, pain in the back of the shoulder as well as pain in the upper arm." Another example of early writing on this subject is the description in the Synopsis of the Golden Chamber written by the famous Chinese medical doctor Zhang Zhong Jing who was also from the Han Dynasty. He wrote, "Chest pain syndrome usually presents as wheezing and cough, pain in the back of the shoulder and shortness of breath. The pulse at the first position will be slow and sinking while the pulse at the second position will appear rapid with slight tightness. In this case, Gualou Shebai Decoction ( Melon pedicel and Longstamen onion bulb ) should be used." Since then, other works dealing with the symptoms, diagnosis and different treatments for atherosclerosis have been written at different times.
|Different positions for feeling the pulse in TCM|