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it produces inner peace. The animal with a healthy Shen will exhibit normal behaviors and will be alert and responsive to environmental stimuli. When Shen is lost, the animal will show poor memory, disorientation, confusion, restlessness, palpitation, anxiety and hyperactivity.
The Shen is housed in the Heart. The Heart Qi plays an important role in mental activities and brain functions. The plaques formed by beta amyloid peptides in the brain are considered Phlegm or local Blood Stagnation. Phlegm is often generated by the abnormal amount of accumulated fluids produced by Spleen Qi Deficiency. Phlegm in the brain tends to mist and block the Mind, leading to a loss of Shen. The Shen also requires nourishment and anchoring from Heart Yin and Blood to remain healthy. When Heart Yin and Blood are Deficient, the Shen lacks anchoring and nourishment, leading to
a Shen Disturbance and abnormal behavioral changes. Thus, CDS can be divided into 5 main patterns: the 3 Excess patterns include Phlegm/Phlegm Fire Misting the Mind, Qi-Blood Stagnation, and Liver Qi Stagnation; the 2 Deficiency patterns are Heart and Spleen Qi Deficiency and Heart Yin and Blood Deficiency. Due to that most CDS cases are often already chronic by the first time the owner seeks medical attention, a combination of Excess and Deficiency is not uncommon. The most common combinations are (a) Phlegm Misting the Mind with Heart and Spleen Qi Deficiency, and (b) Heart Yin and Blood Deficiency with Qi-Blood Stagnation.
III. General TCVM Treatment
A. Acupuncture
a) Common points for CDS in animals: PC-5/6, HT-5/7, BL-14/15/43/44, GV-20, CV-15, Da-feng-men, Nao-shu, An- shen, GB-20, LI-4, LIV-3
b) Methods of Stimulation:
· Dry needle for 20-30 minutes
· Electroacupuncture: PC-6 bilateral, BL-15/44 bilateral, BL-23/52 bilateral, GV-20 to Nao-shu, Da-feng-men to Long-hui, 20Hz for 10 min followed by 80-120Hz for 10 min
· Aquapuncture: vitamin B12 injected into 5 acupoints (An-shen, Da-feng-men, GB-20, CV-14, CV-17, ST-40, BL-15/44, BL-23/52), 0.2-0.5cc per acupoint
· Acupressure or laser acupuncture
B. Tui-na Massage
a) Mo-fa (Touching skin & muscle) or Ca-fa (Rubbing) from Long-hui to GV-15 for 3-5 min
b) Clockwise thumb Rou-fa to stimulate An-shen, GV-20, Nao-shu, GB-20, PC-6, PC-8, BL-15/44, BL-23/52, KID-1, KID-3 and KID-7 for 3-5 minutes
c) Ca-fa (Rubbing) on each ear with the thumb rubbing the midpoint of the inner ear
d) Rou-Fa (Rotary-Kneading) along the back-shu Bladder meridian (BL28 to BL11) from caudal to rostral back and forth 12 times
e) Rou-fa along the Conception Vessel meridian (CV8 to CV2) back and forth 12 times
C. Herbal Medicine
a) If you do not know or cannot figure out the TCVM pattern of your patient, you may always start with Shen Calmer (from Jingtang Herbal Inc.), 0.5 g per 1020 lb body weight BID-TID
b) It is functioning to calm the mind, nourish Heart Yin and Blood, and soothe Liver Qi
IV. Scientific Evidence
A. Acupuncture
a) Acupoints that have been found to be effective in improving cognitive function and reducing stress in human and animal models: ST-36, GV-14, GV-20, HT-7, HT-9, PC-9, CV-6, CV-12, CV-17, SP-10, BL-23, GB-34, LIV- 3, KID-1, LU-11, Ex-HN-3, LI-2011,12,14,15
b) These acupoints improves cognitive function
· Improving cerebral blood flow
· Promoting cholinergic neural transmission
· Facilitating dopaminergic synaptic transmission
· Enhancing neurotrophin signaling and nerve growth factor in the hippocampus
· Protecting cerebral neurons from apoptosis and oxidative damages
· Regulating glucose metabolism
· Reducing the expression of microglia in the hippo-
· Suppressing acetylcholinesterase in the hippocam- pus
· Decreasing the levels of extracellular amyloid b (Aβ) proteins in the hippocampus and relevant brain regions
c) In Alzheimer’s human patients, brain fMRI demonstrates that acupuncture stimulation at HT-7, ST-36, ST-40, KID-3, LI-4, and LIV-3 increased in the activity in the temporal lobe (including hippocampus) and prefrontal lobe, which are related to the memory and cognitive function, as well as some regions of parietal lobe, and cerebellum.14
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