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In this episode, you will learn about Gu Syndrome and how treatment is approach in these chronic conditions.
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About My Guest
My guest for this episode is Dr. Heiner Fruehauf. Heiner Fruehauf, PhD, LAc has researched Chinese culture and medicine for 40 years and holds a PhD from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. He is the Founding Professor of the College of Classical Chinese Medicine at National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon where he has taught and practiced since 1992. He lectures in North America, Europe, and China and has authored a wide variety of articles and textbooks on Chinese medicine. His interest in preserving some of the traditional features of Oriental medicine led him to develop a database dedicated to the archiving of classical knowledge where a selection of his publications can be accessed at ClassicalChineseMedicine.org. His strong belief in the clinical efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine lead him to found the Hai Shan Center, a clinic in the Columbia River Gorge specializing in the treatment of difficult and recalcitrant diseases. Out of concern over the rapidly declining quality of medicinals from mainland China, he has founded the company Classical Pearls that specializes in the import of wild-crafted and sustainably grown Chinese herbs.
- What is Gu Syndrome?
- How is Gu Syndrome like "oil seeping into flour"?
- Is CIRS such as in mold illness and chronic Lyme disease a Gu Syndrome?
- How is Gu Syndrome treated?
- What are the subtypes of Gu Syndrome?
- Is SIBO a digestive Gu Syndrome?
- Is the hyperactive, auto-immune leaning immune response seen in Gu Syndrome similar to Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?
- What are the phases of Gu Syndrome treatment?
- What is the role of detoxification in treating Gu Syndrome patients?
- How is EMR/EMF sensitivity approached?
- Why are conditions such as Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and Craniocervical Instability becoming more common?
- What role does Chinese Medicine play in supporting those with COVID-19?
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April 10, 2020
Transcript Disclaimer: Transcripts are intended to provide optimized access to information contained in the podcast. They are not a full replacement for the discussion. Timestamps are provided to facilitate finding portions of the conversation. Errors and omissions may be present as the transcript is not created by someone familiar with the topics being discussed. Please Contact Me with any corrections.
[00:00:01.06] Welcome to BetterHealthGuy Blogcasts, empowering your better health. And now, here's Scott, your Better Health Guy.
[00:00:12.23] The content of this show is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose treat or cure any illness or medical condition. Nothing in today's discussion is meant to serve as medical advice, or as information to facilitate self-treatment. As always, please discuss any potential health-related decisions with your own personal medical authority.
[00:00:35.02] Scott: Hello everyone, and welcome to episode number 116 of the BetterHealthGuy Blogcasts series. Today's guest is Dr. Heiner Fruehauf, and the topic of the show is Gu Syndrome. Dr. Heiner Fruehauf has researched Chinese culture and medicine for 40 years and holds a PhD from the Department of East Asian languages and civilizations at the University of Chicago. He is the founding professor of the College of Classical Chinese Medicine at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, where he's taught and practiced since 1992.
He lectures in North America, Europe, and China, and has authored a wide variety of articles and textbooks on Chinese medicine. His interest in preserving some of the traditional features of Oriental medicine led him to develop a database dedicated to the archiving of classical knowledge where a selection of his publications can be accessed at ClassicalChineseMedicine.org.
His strong belief in the clinical efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine led him to found the Hai Shan Center, a clinic in the Columbia River Gorge specializing in the treatment of difficult and recalcitrant diseases. Out of concern over the rapidly declining quality of medicinals from mainland China, he's founded the company Classical Pearls that specializes in the import of wild crafted and sustainably grown Chinese herbs. And now, my interview with Dr. Heiner Fruehauf.
[00:02:04.15] Scott: I've been aware of the work of Dr. Heiner Fruehauf for several years, and have used some of his products from Classical Pearls in my own recovery and health journey. It's an honor to have him on the show today. Thanks so much for being here, Dr. Fruehauf.
[00:02:17.01] Dr. Fruehauf: Thank you so much.
[00:02:18.10] Scott: First, let's talk a little about how you became interested in what you're doing today. Did you have some personal health challenges that drew you to the field?
[00:02:27.13] Dr. Fruehauf: I grew up in Germany at a time when everybody wanted to study medicine; that was the hot subject at that time. My ancestors are all medical doctors, and I was determined to do something completely different. And went to China in 1982 right when it started to open up to study Chinese culture, Chinese language, Chinese literature. And then met my wife there who was from the United States, moved there, got my PhD from the University of Chicago.
And just when I was ready to become a professor of Chinese literature, I was diagnosed as a young man at the age of 27 or 28 with cancer and that then prompted me to instead of ask a whole lot of questions of why did this happen? What do I need to do? So I went in the healing journey while I did get the operation. I did not get the suggested radiation and chemotherapy and then pursue Chinese medicine instead, and that methodology worked.
And by admission of the doctors who very aggressively said, “if you don't do what we tell you, you will maybe not survive the two-year mark. But when I passed that mark and went back to the doctors, they said now you're admittedly in better shape because we were actually doing a study, and you were a good candidate for it. And now that you actually didn't have all of this radiation in your body, you actually have much better chances to not get cancer down the road.
So that's how it all started. And so when I went to China, then it was originally just from my own personal healing journey, but I got so fascinated by the modality of Chinese medicine, and it's very strong academic background that I never looked back. And when I came back to the United States, I then founded the College of Classical Chinese Medicine here at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, at the West Coast.
[00:04:48.11] Scott: Beautiful. So your pain has become your purpose and your passion, and you're helping so many other people now, which is beautiful. Many of our listeners are dealing with complex chronic illnesses such as Lyme disease, mold illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and other neurological conditions.
Talk to us about Gu Syndrome, which most people probably have not heard of. What is Gu Syndrome? And that's spelled for those listening G-U Syndrome. What is it? And how might it be similar to some of our modern-day diseases?
[00:05:21.11] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes. I find Gu Syndrome very interesting, of course, as originally being trained as a sinologist. I have grown up spent the better part of my graduate school education perusing classical texts from hundreds, if not thousands of years ago. So I've always been interested in the ancient wisdom that not just from an anthropological perspective, but from an actual practical perspective. And when I was in China, I was taught by a series of excellent physicians, both in the University as well as outside.
At that time, there weren't, in the early 1990s, when I spent another two years in China, still not many foreigners, particularly studying Chinese medicine there. So there was great attention given to me, and I had an entire education one on one. And it was very much if you feel this pulse, then you prescribe this remedy. If the patient has these symptoms, then you prescribe this remedy. And the typical syndrome differentiation in Chinese medicine would be something like Spleen Qi deficiency or Liver Qi stagnation. Or in another system, Taiyang Syndrome, etc.
And when I came back and started practicing in my private practice in Portland, Oregon, I discovered there were a good number of patients, while most people responded well that did not have the typical pulse pattern, have the typical symptoms. But the treatment wasn't very successful. So at some point, actually, I remember this one client of mine who had been in the Peace Corps and had this unrelenting digestive symptom. I actually closed my practice for two weeks and just hit the books again, and to go like what is going on here. How come my treatment is not working; my teachers were not by my side at this time. And so I came across like time and again in something that I don't see saw repeated at the time in modern texts on Chinese medicine.
And neither were in Western countries, nor in China itself. And that was this concept of Gu Syndrome, which is quite literally the ancient character for that is three worms in a pot. So it is this kind of multiple parasitic affliction syndrome. And the ancient description is it looks like diarrhea; you treat it like that it doesn't work. It looks like constipation; you treat it like you normally would it doesn't work. It looks like fatigue; you treat it like this; it doesn't work.
It looks like mental confusion; you treat it like this; it doesn't work. And so then the explanation is that there is some external factor like parasites that meet together with particular deficiency conditions in the human body, to then produce this complexity syndrome that they call Gu Syndrome. And the diagnosis then would have been Gu Syndrome, rather than Liver Qi stagnation, Spleen Qi deficiency, etc.
And so it is a very chronic type of situation where multiple parasitic agents overwhelm what we would call from a Western perspective, an immune-deficient body. And then make themself at home, and kind of keep the host just healthy enough that they don't die and they lose their home. But that there's extremely low-quality life. And then one translation other than possession syndrome is also Black Magic Syndrome. In the very ancient texts from 500 BC in China, because you don't know what hit you, all of a sudden, your life is changing.
And this is true for the modern patients with this, is that they suffer greatly. They say I have always been athletic, and all of a sudden, I have this disease. But I look good; my relatives have a hard time believing me. I go to my regular physician; the blood work looks normal; my x-rays look normal. They think I have a psychological problem anxiety, or depression, or something and tell me to get medicated accordingly.
So also this kind of invisibility of what in Chinese is called Yin syndrome, this kind of in the dark, operating in the dark even undetectable by the diagnostic modalities of Western medicine applies in the modern setting. Which then increases the person's suffering because nobody will acknowledge what you have.
[00:10:19.07] Scott: Yes. I've experienced all of that very personally, and that certainly resonates with my own journey as well. What are some of the criteria or common symptoms that would lead you as a clinician to think about Gu Syndrome in a patient?
[00:10:35.03] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes. The typical scenario, because of this absence of testing markers and a wide variety of different symptoms. I've come to summarize it in this way from myself, start watching for, get suspicious of Gu Syndrome involvement. And that is the disease that the patients say I have always been healthy, all of a sudden in some people, suddenly in some people gradually my health started to deteriorate. Not just in terms of energy and drive on all levels and motivation and positivity, but also mental emotionally.
All of a sudden I'm anxious, I'm depressed, I can't sleep right. I'm mentally, cognitively confused. I have all kinds of neurological symptoms, and nobody can tell me what is going on here. So that is usually this combination of perhaps some kind of event like I was in the Peace Corps in South America and Africa. I got some severe diarrhea, I got Flagyl, I got what seemed like better, but my health has never been the same ever since. Or some kind of perhaps tick event in childhood that now has become forgotten, and because of some event like a car accident or a divorce or so, where all of a sudden the immune system goes down.
These dormant pathogens all of a sudden see an opening to charge to the surface. So it's a combination with history, where did you live in the past? Where have you been? And of course, that also needs to be looked upon moderately, because as we know from Anthony Bourdain's books like Kitchen Confidential or so, we don't need to go to foreign countries to experience and get exposed to parasites. There is the foreign countries in this country more than anywhere else come to us.
And some of these country’s kitchen workers have endemic parasitism there, and all it takes is just a temporary negligence, not washing hands or so in the preparation of a salad and you can get the disease. But another thing other than this chronic problems on all fronts, particularly in the digestive and the neurological systems. And perhaps a history of travel to exotic locations is also the presence of autoimmune diseases that are sometimes jumping. First, it's Hashimoto's, then it is Sjogren’s, then it is Scleroderma, then it is Lichen sclerosis.
Then it is perhaps something like MS or Lupus or Parkinson's, those are all potential problems that can show up, and that then get their own label, and you see multiple specialists for that when really it all goes back to this challenge, this original inflammatory challenge of an already problematic immune system.
And then the immune system is overreacting, and that's what we call autoimmune disease. But then the cause for all of these different autoimmune reactions may very well be the same, namely this chronic parasitic inflammation in the background, together with them and threatened and now over-reactive immune system.
[00:14:33.13] Scott: Talk to us a little bit about the analogy of oil seeping into flour. I think this is such a good analogy for people to try to understand how these conditions just affect the entire body.
[00:14:44.23] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes. When I perused the ancient texts very often, we find like an entire chapter on Gu Syndrome in somebody's life work. But there even during the Qing Dynasty, which is the last dynasty in China approximately from the sixteen hundreds all the way into the early 1900s. When there were a number of infectious diseases ravaging the country, and where Western medicine recognition of infectious disease was already there.
So there were several specialty works on Gu Syndrome. Like monographs on nothing else but that. And from one of them from like a Taoist hermit mentioned this sentence, “this disease is like oil seeping into flour”. Which means we have this Western concept that there, even now, with the coronavirus epidemic going on. That there is this one culprit and one culprit alone, and if you could only exterminate that, then everything would be well.
And that would be like a pearl falling into a pot of flour, and we take tweezers and we take this pearl out and remove it. And as long as it's not there, there's not a problem. But here is a much more systemic situation in the case of so-called Gu Syndrome, and that the comparison is to a bucket of oil poured into a bucket of flour and mixed. And once you have this essentially oily dough now, how are you ever going to remove that oil again from the flour; they've basically become one. And when I started to study the Western ramifications of parasitic disease, I found a great discrepancy in the way how we treat this in the clinic.
There's a lot of ignorance with what to do with that, and then how to research that in the lab from an immunological perspective. Because in the non-clinical environment, there is great recognition that parasites, particularly multiple strains of parasites, have the power to merge with your hormonal system and literally like in the case of Toxoplasmosis, for instance, become one with you and manipulate you in doing certain things like eating certain foods, etc. that are bad for it.
So that, therefore, Gu Syndrome very appropriately can be translated as Possession Syndrome. Because all of a sudden, you start craving different things, thinking different thoughts, having different emotions that is really produced by the chemicals that are being exerted by the parasite, rather than coming from your former self.
[00:17:37.04] Scott: So let's talk a little more about that concept of feeling hollowed out or having demons or even being possessed, as you mentioned. Is it really a physical parasite that we're referring to, or are there demons or possessions that are actual evil spirit type situations that are impacting those of us with Gu Syndrome?
[00:17:58.17] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes, I'm not a specialist on these more energetic spiritual kinds of afflictions. I by no means want to rule that out that there is such a thing. My specialization and trying to promote paying attention to the ancient wisdom that is contained in the clinical information about Gu Syndrome is the physical aspect; which is that if people have a chronic parasitism that their mental, emotional state can be severely afflicted.
There was even a study that I remember when I first started researching this several decades ago. That in a certain New York hospital, the mental hospital, when the inmates were, the clients there were being examined over-dimensionally large part of that population had parasites. So even mental disease, that type of possession, can be caused by chemical changes in the brain chemistry that are ultimately caused by parasitic organisms.
And I used that term in the biggest sense of the word; I'm not necessarily referring to only tapeworms and roundworms and things like this. Or things like give you diarrhea like amoebic dysentery, Entamoeba Histolytica. But I’m talking particularly about this category of viruses and especially spirochetes, and there are lots of them. Not just the Borrelia organism that causes Lyme disease, but all of these co-infections like Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichiosis, Rickettsia, Anaplasmosis, etc. And then other kinds of viruses, very often in combination with, that's very often. Gu Syndrome is not oh; I have strep throat, okay, I have a confirmed pathogen there, that's not it. Or I have the Epstein-Barr Virus by itself. It is this slow pollution of the lymphatic stream where things are making themselves. I grew up; I had acne, I took the years of antibiotics.
Therefore, I got yeast, Chronic Candida, or what we might call nowadays SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. And it's become sort of a term, and then I contract herpes or have now chronic viruses in the body. Maybe he had mono also getting an Epstein-Barr Virus that way, and now I get stung by a mosquito. And that has some; I don't know Chikungunya or West Nile virus.
Or a sand flea, not just ticks can transmit these organisms, lots of bugs do, and now all of a sudden there is something that breaks is that hair that breaks the camel's back, then all of a sudden the immune system goes into this collapse, and all of the we have systemic inflammation, and the immune system and this is the most important thing in this, the unique part of the Chinese approach.
So different also from the Western natural approaches that I'm at least familiar with, is that approach, the Chinese approach is truly holistic in the way that it's not only trying to kill off some intruders but is trying to calm down the overreaction of the immune system. And most importantly, curing that deficiency that leads to the immune system feeling inadequate in the first place and therefore overreacting.
[00:21:59.18] Scott: Yes. I always get a little nervous when I hear practitioners say that we need to boost our immune system to deal with these conditions because I think more appropriately, it's really modulate, right? You're talking about aspects of the immune system that actually are not under-functioning, but are over-functioning and probably a mix of both.
Where there are some areas that are under function and some that are over function, but people with autoimmune conditions even that are trying to take things to boost the immune system, may actually be making their autoimmune condition worse. Correct?
[00:22:31.11] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes, I would think so. And the reason why I like Chinese medicine so much because it gives us an alternative intellectual framework with which to diagnose disease. And so this system essentially of Yin and Yang means not so much just hot and cold, and dark and light. But it means a young deficiency in the body would be; for instance, there is not enough activity. Yang, as being active, and then Yin deficiency, would mean that there is not enough ability of activity to shut down.
So it's sort of like Yang deficiency would be the Sun is not coming up in the morning, and Yin deficiency would be like the moon the Sun is not retreating, and the moon is not coming up in the evening. And so you are, therefore, what we think of in western herbalism, after importing certain Chinese herbs as immune-stimulating ones like Astragalus, is probably the best example or maybe Ginseng also.
They are traditional Yang tonics in the Chinese Materia Medica that kind of when you can't get the ball out of the gate, so to speak, and you wake up in the morning, you have eight hours of sleep, but you can't get going. And even cup of coffee doesn't help; then you use this kind of your lifting activity that is not there. But then there are other people they have palpitations, anxiety, insomnia that is like particularly in the afternoon or evening, that is when activity is unable to shut down.
And as you pointed out, very often, those things occur together. And so that's another benefit of the Chinese approach, that you are able to tonify that which is deficient in moving, and at the same time calming down overreaction or inability to draw the genie back into the bottle so to speak with a Yin tonic approach.
[00:24:46.03] Scott: Yes. I don't know that it's the best analogy, but in my mind, I kind of think of Yin and Yang as a little bit of a parasympathetic and sympathetic, right? That we need that parasympathetic to kind of calm things down.
Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome or CIRS is the name of a condition or many conditions but mold illness, for example, Chronic Lyme disease. I think it's clear from our conversation already that Chronic Lyme disease could be a Gu Syndrome. What are your thoughts about mold illness?
[00:25:17.17] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes, I would think for sure that chronic Lyme disease is probably the most typical form in the modern Western setting of a Gu Syndrome. And most of the Gu patients or the patients I would classify as having Gu Syndrome in my clinic actually have Lyme disease. Those patients also are very often sensitive to electricity, sensitive to molds, and, of course, sensitive to heavy metals. But from my perspective, those sensitivities are all symptoms rather than causes. So I'm usually not advising that people take out all of their amalgams or silver because my experience is that very often people get worse because everybody has metals in their system
The question is, how come those people are more reactive to them than others? Because the biggest toxin to the nervous system is, of course, things like mercury and lead, etc. So if your nerves are already, again, the problem is, do we think there is a culprit like a pearl in the flower that we want to remove? Whether this is a virus, or a spirochete, or a metal or some other kind of pesticide or mold or toxin. Or do we go the other route, which would be the holistic ancient Chinese approach? Which is like what can I do to make this better? You know it's the modern knee-jerk reaction; everything is always somebody else's fault.
It's either the, I know the virus or the mold or the metal or the government or my parents or my children, etc. or my spouse that the ancient holistic approach, not just in China is what can I do to strengthen my system to be a better container, and be able to transform no matter what's coming at me? And so very often, then the Chinese approach would be addressing both of those. Like if there's a virus, let's try and get rid of it. But two-thirds of the effort would be on increasing my ability to live in harmony with that pathogen. So that even if I still have it, it's not bothering me.
[00:27:45.18] Scott: So if we think about mold illness from water damaged building exposure. Then would we say that there is likely an underlying chronic parasitism? Or could we potentially consider that the fungal exposure from the water damage building colonizing the system could become the parasitism itself?
[00:28:08.00] Dr. Fruehauf: I think that's the wisdom of this Gu, even the very title Gu Syndrome once again is these three worms in a bucket. So it means there are always multiple causes. We as modern Western people, we tend to look at things linear, black and white, and we always, particularly with the internet, these kind of patients tend to keep looking, and they go like oh, it's the metal, so I'm going to chelate. And then if that doesn't help oh, it's got to be the mold, so I'm going to change my location. I'm going to move to Arizona, or I'm going to sell my house, or I'm going to hire this company.
And for sure, getting rid of a virus, not exposing yourself to mold, not doing things that uptake any more metal is absolutely recommendable for sure. I mean, I'm living here in the middle of the forest in Oregon, 45 minutes away from downtown Portland and I have bear and cougar on my property. And yes, I have cell phone reception, but there is no wireless, the microwatts per square meter is 3. Those are paradisiacal, meaning there are external stress factors here using the example of microwave radiation.
I'm trying to avoid that and any of the other things we've just talked about as much as possible. But the most important thing once again, we live in a modern world, and we're always going to be exposed to some of these stressors. And so the best thing we can do is to increase our own ability to fend that off. There is a famous sentence in the Huangdi Neijing, the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine written about 2,000 years ago, which is still sort of the main classic of Chinese medicine.
And that is Zhengqi neicun Xie buke gan, which means “When the righteous Qi is filling us from within, external evils cannot invade”. But then the next sentence is Bi qi du Xie, which means “but also take care to avoid toxic Qi”. So that means build up your immunity or build up your righteous Qi as they call it in various organs, the kidney, and the spleen, and the liver, and so on.
But at the same time, do your best as you can to not inhale smoke. To not go into a malaria-infested area. To not expose yourself to mold etc. So it's a combination of things, one doesn't exclude the other. But I'm personally, after working with this kind of syndrome for, and not just years but decades now, I find that this mono-dimensional approach of focusing on one causative factor is usually not producing good results.
[00:31:10.21] Scott: I agree with that a hundred percent. I think of symptoms as a bucket that's overflowing, and the path to healing is finding as many drains in the bucket as possible. So not just one drain the virus, the metal, whatever, but what are all the different ways that we can help to unburden the body.
And then from your perspective also, not only unburden the body but fortify or tonify or strengthen or raise the vibration, those types of things as well.
Let's talk a little bit about how you would approach treating Gu Syndrome. What are some of the types of herbs or categories of herbs that you find most helpful in Gu Syndrome? And do most people tend to respond to these Gu Syndrome protocols?
[00:31:53.14] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes. There is a great flexibility in Chinese herbalism, and that is sort of a intellectual nerd as being a sinologist and formerly philosophy and comparative literature major. I like this great level of complexity that you have in the ancient herbalism that I think is more sophisticated, more complex than any other herbal system on the planet, simply because also the Chinese, they were incessantly writing everything down.
And so it's not just an oral transmission that then disappears when things are out of fashion, but you see behind me just a small fraction of these encyclopedic writings that have been commissioned by the Imperial Academy throughout thousands of years. And so there is this incessant collecting of experience that makes Chinese medicine a real science. Part of what makes the science so appealing to me, and we've sort of skirted that topic already, is that we're not just using one herb to do one thing.
Because the very definition of herb means it is like what we call a food from a Chinese perspective would be centralized. Not Yin, it's not Yang. It's not, in other words, too stimulating and too calming down, too hot energetically or too cold. But it is a center; it is neutral. So something like rice or weed or if it's high-quality, what we consider food items is basically safe to consume every day without bringing us out of balance. The definition of an herb, which was actually in ancient times that Confucius himself called Duyao, which means toxic.
So toxic means something is energetically cold, and normally if I would eat that as a normal person, it'll probably be toxic to my liver. But if I'm too hot over here, and I eat this cold substance, I end up, it regulates me, and I come back to center. And so we have this kind of a system. And so when we therefore in the Western Materia Medica use high amounts of tinctures off a single substance, like let's say in Lyme disease of Japanese Knotweed or Artemisia.
Or even an extract thereof like Artemisinin, which is just one component they are often then hammer the body with it. Even if for a short period of time we might benefit or the Hulda Clark approach, where we have a very caustic abrasive substances like a black walnut or clove. People feeling potentially better for a couple of days, but then we start literally get bleeding in their stomach lining or stomachaches and then doesn't become sustainable. And since we've already said this is like oil seeping into flour, by the very definition, we need to gradually have a gradual systemic approach that is complex, but also sustainable.
Meaning people need to be able to take herbs for a long period of time. And that is the benefit of having alchemical approach, and the Chinese are the masters of alchemy. In that, they not only research single herbs, but even more so, there is something that's called Wang Qi Xue, which is the science of herb combining into herbal formulas. Where they not only do I have the concept that I'm trying to let's say clear heat and toxicity, instead of using 60 grams of one herb, I'm using 10 grams of six different herbs.
I get the same medicinal effect, but I only get one-sixth of the potentially liver toxic effect by having small doses of six different things. At the same time, I can have other herbs; if this is too cold, I can have other warming herbs that are basically detoxing those other herbs. So it's not like I'm throwing a cocktail of six antiviral cold herbs at the patient, but I am making the whole I might be using 15 herbs, but they all work together.
So that some of them doing the main job, they called it in the emperor herbs of going after the main goal of exterminating the pathogen. But then others, they are making sure that these herbs are not hurting my stomach and that I can take them for longer periods of time, as well as taking care of certain symptom relief like pain, as well as other issues like biofilm.
As well as other issues like calming down the overactive immune system in the case of autoimmunity, in the underactive immune system and that makes us become autoimmune in the first place, because it means the immune deficiency will create an insecurity in the system, and therefore the immune system starts lashing out. That is sort of my experience there.
[00:37:32.15] Scott: So what I'm hearing is that this synergy or these synergistic herbal formulas are greater than the sum of the parts?
[00:37:39.18] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes, exactly. And so that is a benefit of Chinese herbalism, and then you were particularly talking about different categories, I want to make sure I sometimes have this way of going a bit astray there. Is the in the Gu formulas I've been using primarily from these Ching dynasty books I've been talking about before, of course, there are categories in there that are considered from the Western herbal perspective directly anti-parasitic. Like Artemisia, like Japanese Knotweed, and others like it. Those are the same category of herbs that also belong to Qingre jiedu which means clear heat and dissolve toxicity that is also used in AIDS treatment. Also used in cancer treatment, there's a whole antiviral and anti-cancer Materia Medica out there in China.
There are 5000 Chinese herbs, about 500 used a lot, and some of these have been imported into the West, and they then primarily used in a very Western medicine way. We're not using drugs, but we're using herbs and then combining five or six of these herbs to give to a patient whereas this is only a small part of the anti-Gu approach in Chinese herbal alchemy, in these Gu formulas that I find particularly appropriate for the modern Western person.
Because you can't exactly use super toxic things like mercury and lead and raw aconite, and other things that you find in some of these ancient texts are very toxic. The other part that I find very useful is like what's very fashionable now also in Western herbalism is using Curcuma and turmeric for anti-cancer, but also anti-pain, but also anti-inflammation. And those kinds of substances are present in Chinese herbal formulas like turmeric or zedoaria or scirpus; those are all kinds of herbs belonging to the same category.
Also, things like tangerine peel, for instance, from a Chinese perspective, they move the Qi, but from a modern perspective, they take care of what we call the biofilm. And make sure that the substances I'm using actually reach the parasite because a lot of them are hiding under this sticky type of substance. And then most importantly, I find the three more categories, and one of them is called Sha shi fabiao, which means release the surface with herbs that kill the snake.
So a lot of these patients, let's take particularly Fibromyalgia and Lyme patients. They feel like I've had a flu for twenty years, only that I never got over it. And so that fluish type of feeling surface sensitivity, aversion to wind and cold and electric feeling and kind of sensitivity to touch, that requires so-called diaphoretic methodology in Chinese herbalism. So basically, using herbs that release the surface like honeysuckle, like forsythia, etc. herbs that we hear a lot about now in the information coming out of China.
Where they very successfully have employed this category of herbs for the treatment of the Coronavirus to get the fever down and to ease these surface types of symptoms. And so that in the Western imitation of the Chinese antiviral, anti-spirochetal approach, the anti-protozoan approach has been completely missing, and I find this as an extremely important piece. And then, of course, we have Qi and Yin tonification for the reasons I mentioned before. Because Gu Syndrome again it's not about the parasite, lots of people have parasite, lots of people test positive for Lyme, they have no symptoms.
So they do essentially not have Gu Syndrome from a Chinese perspective, it is this combination of the presence of multiple parasitic organisms, maybe viruses, maybe plus spirochetes plus yeast that then combines two wreak havoc in a body that is completely already either emotionally is deficient and over-reactive as a result of that.
And then really causes severe symptoms, and that's also why from a Chinese perspective one can explain why with the Coronavirus epidemic, some people have no symptoms at all, and then other people become life-threateningly ill. It's also for the same reason that this amount of righteous Qi present in one patient versus another is higher in the person who doesn't have symptoms or just get mildly ill.
[00:43:19.11] Scott: Would you say that most people with Gu Syndrome respond positively to these anti-Gu Syndrome protocols? And are there any common threads or common denominators in those people who don't necessarily seem to regain their health with these approaches?
[00:43:36.15] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes, this is, of course, the key question. So let's put it this way, I've been using after I already hit the books at that time 25 years ago or so and came across the concept of Gu Syndrome, and it started working right away for this particular client. I have not come across something else despite keeping looking that works better for that. And I always want to push that magic button when patients come to me, and they say, I've been to 20 different doctors, and I've been at this for 15 years now, and I need this to go away right away, and I can't do it anymore.
And so very important here to recognize that we have this oil seeping into flower situation and that you need to consistently with this approach of not just killing something with caustic substances that are sort of herbal imitations of antibiotics, for instance, that eventually will weaken your immune system more and more. So it's not a sustainable way of working; the enemy is contained, but your own friendly troops are also getting more and more diminished in the process.
And you see that very often with drugs like Diflucan, right? And then antifungal department, maybe it works, but then the minute you stop, it's worse than before because now the little bit of remaining pathogen that has always stone to hide under in this very complex system of yours. There are always pockets in the body where these drugs don't reach, where we are not robots where we are made out of stainless steel.
We have very kind of damp tissues where with uncirculated corners, where these living substances they’re not dumb metals that just sit there waiting for us to chelate them out. But they have evasive strategies, and so some of them just will always survive, and then it depends. So, in essence, the real cure can only come when we train our own defense system to essentially overcome the virus there. And so that is the important lesson there, and I have no control over what the patient does at home.
Like what food do you eat, what thoughts do you think, how much do you sleep? Just taking herbs by itself is only one of the many things that can happen. But I always tell people I want to push that magic button that it goes away as much as you do. There are patients that feel immediately better during the first round of treatment of six weeks, but then there are other people they don't feel anything for nine months.
And then there are others where even there are these so-called Herxheimer reactions where it gets worse. And so it's not so simple here is one product, and then everybody takes that, and then everybody gets better within a short period of time, that would be not correct to state that. However, I feel that this ancient Chinese system, conceptually speaking, is the right way to go, and it needs to be, of course, applied in an individualized way with also lots of changes to stay ahead of the adaptability of the viruses of spirochetes and then keep staying on it.
Perhaps just like you, I had not just one but two serious diseases in my life; the second one was myocarditis, which was 20 years ago. Where I had, in the aftermath of a severe cold that I didn't take seriously and kept working through it, and thought as long as I just took herbs, I'll be fine. And then teaching three weekends in a row, eight hours of Qigong a day, vigorous exercise, going in hot springs. My body finally said well; if you're not listening to me, I can't help you; it collapsed. It went from the lung through this barrier, exactly what we see now with a Coronavirus patient.
Only that pathogen goes even faster directly to the heart, and not hitting that barrier that is normally there. And then I had basically scar tissue on the heart, and it took four years of taking herbs to undo that. For me to one day, wake up and had a regular heartbeat again. But during that time, constantly I was struggling is this working. So you have this belief crisis there, but then what you're going to do, you're just going to throw everything down.
No, I just kept working on it and talking to myself, talking myself through it. And then there was an accumulated benefit. So truly holistic practices they are not like Western medicine suppressive practices, which means I'm not taking something half an hour later the pain is gone. Otherwise, it's not working. With holistic practice, very often, things are working in the background. Changing something in your tissues, restoring cells, and you might not feel that until quite some time down the road.
[00:49:48.13] Scott: Is there only one Gu Syndrome, or are there some subtypes of Gu Syndrome? And if so, what are the subtypes?
[00:49:57.04] Dr. Fruehauf: In ancient China, there was just one type of Gu Syndrome, but with many different kinds of symptoms. And those if translated into modern diseases, it's probably schistosomiasis, malaria that has them become chronic, but it is completely hollowing the patient out. They will now look like a ghost, and they are wasting away, and nothing regular treatment doesn't help. Whereas in the modern patient, it would be more things like a Lyme disease, but also chronic protozoan.
So in the Lyme disease department, those then would be people that get diagnosed with neurological disease labels such as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Maybe MS, maybe Parkinson's down the down the road, and neuropathy, etc. Was what I've and I've given those people this is a modern term that I've coined myself, the title Brain Gu Syndrome. Meaning neurological, very often mostly viruses and spirochetes affecting the nervous system.
Then there is this other thing I've termed Digestive Gu Syndrome, which is more the kind of getting protozoan parasites, maybe flukes, maybe worms. While being an exotic location or maybe in a restaurant, on top of an already weak microbiome so that these things can then make themselves at home and cause chronic digestive issues, and through the digestive access, then also brain chemistry issues.
Also followed by cognitive function problems, but the main issue there is in the digestive system. And so that would be things like yeast, would be things like flukes, would be things like protozoan and parasites like Giardia and Entamoeba. And even things that Western medicine considers benign such as Blastocystis hominis, but in this kind of a patient, can be quite harmful.
[00:52:15.14] Scott: So would we also think, you mentioned SIBO earlier, would we think of SIBO potentially as a Digestive Gu Syndrome?
[00:52:24.03] Dr. Fruehauf: It totally depends on the severity of the symptoms. Gu Syndrome means the patient is wasting away; they are a shadow of their former self. I always use the Harry Potter terminology of the Dementors, they feel like physically, as well as mentally and emotionally all kinds of hope and light and strength has been zapped from the system. So if the patient only has gas and weirdly shaped bowel movements, then that would not be considered a Gu Syndrome.
[00:53:12.07] Scott: In your experience, are worms more difficult to treat than protozoa? Or are protozoa the bigger challenge? And then I'm assuming from a treatment perspective again, that even if it is more of a Digestive Gu Syndrome that you're looking very broadly at not only killing pathogens but how to tonify the gastrointestinal system and how to deal with biofilms. And so always looking very holistically is the message that I'm hearing?
[00:53:39.06] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes. I find that the smaller the pathogen, the harder it is to detect, especially by the diagnostic modalities of Western medicine and the more entrenched they can be. It's a very great feeling of success if you give somebody, for instance, Serpent Pearls, or based on the ancient remedy Wu Mei Wan, which is for roundworms originally, but you can use it for other worms and flukes as well.
And immediately, you start seeing visible; the worms very often come out. And at a certain point, there will be into that. And so that is more like pearls falling into flour. So the smaller a pathogen is, the more it can go systemic and have this oil seeping into flower type of result. And I find yes, the smaller the pathogen, they're more difficult to diagnose, and the more difficult it is to treat because of its ability to multiply into the millions or more even and cause systemic stomach issues.
[00:54:54.29] Scott: So I would say chronic viruses then fit into that smaller type of pathogen. My observation has been that viruses really are more persistent contributors to people's conditions. You've mentioned viruses as a contributor, along with spirochetes potentially to Brain Gu. So what are some of the unique characteristics of Brain Gu? And is it connected with Fibromyalgia in some way?
[00:55:20.03] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes, I think a lot of these things like Fibromyalgia or even Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, those are just simply basically because regular medicine is acknowledging that there are people like this out there, but it basically says people with these different symptoms, but I don't know where it comes from. So while it is useful for some of these people having a name for their disease, so that they don't think I have nothing.
But then that means I'm just imagining these issues. They feel like okay, there is something, but it is not really helpful from the perspective that I have a diagnosis now, and now we go into the corresponding treatment. Since there very often is not a treatment for that there. So if I diagnose somebody with Brain Gu Syndrome, it's very often that there is some major break where the patient feels ever since the birth of my second child, ever since I came back from Peru, and I came down with some kind of undiagnosed fever there. Or something like that, where all of a sudden, things are different. I've always been that the highly functional both physically, as well as mentally, emotionally all of a sudden, I'm depressed, I'm anxious.
I can't think straight, I'm forgetting everything, and I have these surges of emotions that I don't even know where it comes from. This sudden anger flaring up, and then this sudden despondency will fall into this deep hole as if as I said, these dementors have sucked out all the light from there. In homeopathy, there is something that is called the Syphilitic miasm; syphilis is, of course, also a spirochete and, therefore, in Lyme disease, for instance, I believe there is local or Native American originally a habit of calling that deer Syphilis. And so the Syphilitic miasm, of course, doesn't mean you have Syphilis, but it's part of your symptom pictures that you're hopeless. That you think I'm never going to get better. That I'm looking going to you as a physician, but I'm going to prove to you that this is again not going to work. So this is part of the symptom picture that goes with that.
So the Brain Gu Syndrome very often has this combination of lots of different neurological symptoms including neuropathy, and weird sensations and tinnitus and headaches that come and go. Including sometimes seizures or what seems like a seizure, or a sudden lapse of consciousness, etc. But yes, that, in essence, these different things in combination make me immediately think of Brain Gu Syndrome.
[00:58:50.24] Scott: And then is there a connection between Brain Gu and fibromyalgia?
[00:58:54.22] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes. I think Fibromyalgia is just, in most instances, so-called Fibromyalgia will be in my book I would diagnose as Brain Gu Syndrome, absolutely because chronic body pain is, of course, not just a hallmark of Lyme disease but also chronic viral disease as an Epstein Barr.
And as long as the nerves are chronically inflamed and therefore there's this hurt in the connective tissue and the over-reactivity in the nerves there. We need to, from our perspective, reduce inflammation, reduce overreaction to the inflammation in the form of autoimmunity, and building up that person's defense system at the same time. Like fight the inflammation directly and take care of biofilm.
[00:59:51.08] Scott: You've talked about Gu Syndrome patients as being allergic, autoimmune reacting to the smallest things in their environment. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and histamine intolerance are certainly growing in terms of popularity, awareness in the chronic illness discussion over the past few years. Are these essentially the same concept? How do you kind of treat this hyperactive immune response, calming the system, thus reducing inflammation, thus reducing a lot of people's symptoms?
[01:00:23.23] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes. Parasites because they are alive, they will essentially fight back if you attack them directly. So the important thing is to always assess what is the priority, and if the patient is so hyperreactive that there may be a need instead of to go head on with the pathogen, even though you are using lots of other things to moderate your approach, it may be the most important thing that you need to calm down the immune system because my difficulty as an herbalist is that they may have gotten sick through the vector of the digestive system by eating a certain type of food that then made them sick. But now the cure also goes to the digestive system, and I'm not just giving them; they already very reactive to most foods, whether it's Brain Gu or Digestive Gu. Because most nerves they are not just in the brain itself, obviously, but around the heart, but also around the digestive tract.
So there is even Digestive Gu can have lots of nervous systems and hyperreactive symptoms there. So when I give people herbs, particularly that means strong food substances, more likely than not, even I use every measure that I can to try and differentially give them what they need through the right person at the right time. It's quite possible that they will react either right away or maybe in the months or after a week or so. And that is the difficulty, is this high maintenance; my front desk already knows that Gu patients are always high maintenance; because very often sooner or later, something will happen that will trigger the over activity, and then you need to modulate the approach. You use less herbs, sort of using the frog, boiling the frog to death rather than like this analogy of you are having a pot of hot water and you throwing a frog into that boiling water, it still has the wits to react immediately and jump out.
Better to put the frog into the cold water and slowly heat up the water, and the frog falls asleep, and then gets boiled to death. So sneaking up on the pathogen that it doesn't really know what's happening with very small amounts was already part of the original Gu approach talked about in the Chinese classics.
Eventually, use very high amounts of herbs over a long period of time. Even when you think you're already better, keep hammering the system with that, but at the very beginning, you need to because the pathogenic load is still high, you need to sneak up with very low doses and gradually incrementally increase those dosages.
[01:03:41.09] Scott: And would you say that the overreaction or hyperreactive immune system, would you say there is an overlap between your concept of that and what people are now terming Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and histamine intolerance?
[01:03:54.24] Dr. Fruehauf: Absolutely, that is exactly that. Those are the labels for people who are hypersensitive. And other modalities that are more energetic and don't go through the digestive tract, and need to be employed there. At the same time, breathing exercises, craniosacral, maybe homeopathy, or so helpful. And in the Chinese herbal approach, some category of herbs use their herbs that are so-called kidney tonics.
The kidney goes energetically with the function of winter, which means all of the life energy is below the ground where in our body the winter position, the north position is in our so-called lower dantian, which is our lower abdomen whereas the Chinese believe our life battery is. And that's why in Japanese dramatic suicide activity, there is this Harakiri right where you basically stab yourself in the center of your abdomen where this dantian is, where your life-forces reside.
And the three main herbs there are Aconite, Rehmannia glutinosa and/or Philodendron. And they all; one more warming, one more cooling, one more moistening. They have the ability to draw the energy into the kidneys when in winter, nothing is happening. So the ability why we get tired and go to sleep, and we rest, that is basically something that the kidney and all of the hormonal and nervous system ramifications thereof is in charge of in Chinese medicine.
So if all of everything is hyperreactive, meaning our life energy is floating at the surface and not able to go deep inside and stay calm, then that would be a kidney deficiency. If we look at the kidney as sort of a life battery, then it makes total sense why people who have battled the disease like this, or chronic inflammatory disease for 20-30 years already, you're constantly using life electricity to fight that; of course, your battery is empty.
And so from a Chinese perspective, it means first and foremost I need to work with the kidneys to kind of stimulate this Yin function in the body. Meaning my ability to draw activity below the surface, specifically in the body to the lower part of my dantian. Which tends to be a very cold and empty feeling in Chinese medicine palpation diagnostics in this type of patient.
[01:06:47.27] Scott: Are there different phases of a Gu Syndrome treatment protocol? Meaning once you've gotten to the point that you're addressing the parasites and various organisms, and they've largely been addressed. Is there then a restoration or repair or regeneration of the body to fix the battle damage, so to speak, or is that something that's being done throughout the entire protocol?
[01:07:11.08] Dr. Fruehauf: That is an excellent question. After treating this kind of syndrome and sticking with it, because while it's not the magic button, it is still better than anything else I have encountered. I've observed the following three stages, which means no matter what, in all three stages have that in common, the focus is not so much exclusively on the pathogen, but it's two-thirds always on your own immune system and tonification and containment thereof.
So even these very the anti-pathogenic Gu remedies like Jiajian Su He Tang, Perilla leaf, and mint decoction from the Ching dynasty that have been translated into the Lightning and the Thunder Pearls, for instance; they are about 50% anti-pathogenic with these kinds of ''anti-snake resolve the surface” herbs' like honeysuckle and on the other hand, anti-parasitic herbs like Artemisia, and then they have tonic herbs, Qi tonics so-called Qi tonics. And have Yin tonic herbs, so both the Yin and Yang, both are energy coming out. Giving you more energy, as well as energy being withdrawn, making you less reactive herbs, are in there. But overall speaking, they are still to good part focused on the anti-pathogenic attack approach.
And so that is the first phase where you're addressing the pathogen and the immune deficiency or the immune dysregulation or the person's own Qi weakness. Let's call it that way simultaneously. But the focus is still very much on the pathogen. And that is until the pathogenic load has come down so that the body has greater confidence that it needs to be so reactive all the time; very much like people who have been traumatized because their home has been burglarized.
For a while, you hear sounds, and you’re constantly reactive, but after a certain time, then you start not being so reactive anymore. Same thing in a cancer patient, in the beginning, everything reminds you of cancer, you don't feel good, you think it's come back. But after a while, it's like in my case that was true for like five years. But now, when I don't feel good, I never think about the cancer anymore. So this is sort of how this also happens in the Gu Syndrome patient.
So after a while, then you switch more to the recharging of the battery. And giving herbs where now the focus is shifting while you maybe still have Thunder Pearls, Lightning Pearls, and anti-pathogenic approaches. Like that's still present, you also have other kinds of herbs in there that primarily focus on the spleen Qi and the kidney Qi and the ability to recharge our internal batteries. And that at a certain point, we can say the inflammatory process has burned itself out.
But the patient is still having symptoms and that they feel like my tissues have not fully recovered. I am still tired; I'm not how I was at the onset of this disease. And then you just have no more anti-inflammatory herbs, but you have more exclusively tonic herbs. What all of these herbs have in common, however, and I should state that is that they tend to be aromatic which means they have like it's like you saging your body; you are fumigating the body because this is something that parasites in general, be it a virus or a spirochete or protozoan organism doesn't like, is this being exposed to aromatic substances.
And so just like now with the Coronavirus something that is good for anybody to do is to take a fragrant herbs like essential oils like eucalyptus or tea tree or rosemary or things like this and fumigate or diffuse those in your home. This is definitely kryptonite for viruses like that and would be my opinion. So here is this approach to even when you use tonics, you're using tonics like Angelica sinensis or Ligusticum that are blood tonic from a traditional point of view.
But you can also burn the dried material as was the case in Sichuan province. That was sort of that still is, sort of a tropical hell in the middle of summer with lots of mosquitoes or so. So the hermits in the caves on the sacred mountains would burn those herbs to keep the mosquitoes away. So Ginseng is probably the best example here of an herb not to use throughout this process. Because if you do, you're not just tonifying yourself; you're also tonifying at the parasite.
And other things like that are sort of sticky and sweet like Jujube dates and other kinds of goji berries. Those are all kinds of low-lying fruit; those are all kinds of blood and Qi tonics in the Chinese Materia Medica that are normally considered be beneficial for as tonics for particularly the elderly. But in this particular Gu Syndrome instance, it's better to stay away from that class of materials because they will also make the parasitic infection flair.
[01:13:30.06] Scott: The word Gu leads my brain to think of G-O-O and thinking about the GOO or environmental toxic soup that we all live in our modern world.
Where does the concept of the terrain and detoxification fit into this Gu Syndrome? Do we need to think about detoxifying the body from materials other than microbes like metals and pesticides and so on? And what are some of the approaches that you might consider in that scenario?
[01:13:59.11] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes, excellent question. I mean in the process and we've sort of already touched on that. In the process of treating Gu Syndrome, something that will happen is we become much more vulnerable and reactive to things that the average person and even us while we were healthy, didn't react to. But now we do, and whether it is the mold or the heavy metals or other kinds of toxic substances like RoundUp, for instance, or electromagnetic fields, we become excruciatingly sensitive to that.
And in the process, along the lines of this Bi qi du Xie quote from the Yellow Emperor's classic. Yes, we want to kill the parasite, yes we want to fill that immune void that cavity that allowed these parasitic evils to take root in the first place. But at the same time, for these kinds of patients, we also need to take care of, even though this is not, strictly speaking, has anything to do with the parasite, but to avoid those substances as much as possible and do everything we can herbally or otherwise to reduce reactivity to mold, to metals, etc.
As far as the detoxing goes, however, that is sort of a Western heroic approach of natural healing, which is you got to purge yourself, you got to do colonics three of them a day, you got a fast radically for months. And while I've done all of the things myself and they've been helpful for me, for this kind of a patient, it's very important that because it's oil seeping into flour, there's no way that in two weeks you're going to be done.
And these kinds of radical types of detox cures are not sustainable for this kind of patient. And so we, of course, live in the world where advertising is everything, and you have detox this and detox that, and liver cleanse this on various labels. Even though that is technically illegal because you're sort of insinuating a certain medical claim there for what is essentially a food supplement.
I always tell my very often naturally and totally understandable; I would be the same way; inpatient Gu patients that want to get better faster that they're already taking 15 herbs on a relatively high dose that might be as high as hundred grams of crude herbs per day, translated into some patent medicine form. But then on top of it, they also feel like they need to take this detox this or detox liver cleanse this. And the Chinese herbs themselves, they are greatly detoxing the liver.
They are greatly decreasing your toxic load. And while they're doing all of this other stuff at the same time, so it would be like playing Mozart and Beethoven and Bach; each one who is composing beautiful music, if you listen to their pieces by themselves, you play them at the same time it becomes a cacophony, and it's just noise. And since we're not using holistic medicine no matter what direction comes from to suppress something, we teaching the body to heal itself and so we need to have clear messages to the body. If you tell it go left, go over here, and go right over here, go up here, go down here the body says what do you want me to do? This is just too much confusing information. So that is very important to heed.
[01:18:03.02] Scott: We know that our external environment is becoming more and more saturated with different frequencies of EMR or EMF. There's talk about 5G being rolled out. You mentioned earlier that many of your patients are electromagnetically hypersensitive and react to these things. Is there anything unique that we can do to help those people that have electromagnetic hypersensitivity? Or is it the broader program that you've been talking with us about?
[01:18:33.16] Dr. Fruehauf: The words nerve in Chinese is called Shenjing, which means literally pathways through which spirit energy travels. And the word for spirit is the same as lightning, and then what later became electricity. So if our nervous system works with electricity, with bio-electricity, which is incredibly subtle, and so, of course, it is influenced with industrial-strength electricity, just like you put two machines next to each other they can interfere, their electric fields can interfere with each other.
So in a certain way, the human body is the most sophisticated electrical machine on the planet. And we don't understand that our entire medicine is based on structural analysis, or structural sciences like Anatomy, like biochemistry. When for this kind of patients, particularly the Brain Gu patients. The bio-electromagnetism that field in how we are affected and how our system runs on magnetic energy, bioelectric energy, and how it is detrimentally affected by external sources that get stronger and stronger and stronger without us really knowing that.
Because we cannot see these places like my own myocarditis happened at a time, just short time after the first cell phone towers went up in the city of Portland, which is probably arguably more green and health-conscious than other cities in the United States, and maybe it certainly doesn't have the same kind of RF density as in New York City or so. But what happens from a Chinese perspective is like the outer layer of our immune system in Chinese diagnostics is called the Taeyang system.
Which means it's like a protective electric energy, a type of Qi that circulates at the skin level in our body and prevents things from the inside leaking out. And we are 70 percent water after all, right? And things from the outside invading in, and whether that is a virus or whether that's electromagnetic radiation or whether it's other kinds of noxious factors, it doesn't matter. And what electricity of the industrial-strength variety does, in my opinion, is it weakens these kinds of barriers and makes things go straight to the core more quickly. And I think that is why we have such high Coronavirus caseloads and more in big urban centers like New York City and Wuhan that have more of these kinds of wireless and cell phones.
Basically, microwave radiation in the air. I mean in Wuhan basically, we had this quote-unquote touted as miracles the building a hospital in two days for Coronavirus patients. We know later there wasn't really any heat, there was very few toilets. There wasn't really any treatment; there were sort of quarantine facilities. But they had 5G so that the people in there can watch movies or so while they are lying on their back in bed.
So I do feel how much we don't know but that it is making an impact, there's just lots of studies about that already. And so anything you can do to minimize that is, of course, a good idea, so moving to a place that has less of this type of radiation. Secondly, you can't do anything about what's going on outside in the air, but you can turn off your own pollutants inside of your home. Like wireless, only turn it on when you actually need it.
Most homes, you just get a cable like I'm talking to you right now. I could do this via wireless, but I just plugged my computer into a cable, so that is not so difficult. Particularly when people are sleeping from a Chinese perspective, during the day, our Taeyang energy is stronger at the surface. And at night, energy goes inside to repair our organs, and therefore the surface is more undefended and weak.
That's why we're also not as alert when an intruder comes into the house, but the same is true for electromagnetic invasion and potential damage in our body. And so that should be a no-brainer while you're sleeping, turn off all of the wireless devices in your home.
Don't sleep with your cell phone live underneath your pillow. These are all very measurable, it's not a woo-woo thing that you can get a sensitive meter, and you can measure how many microwatt or microvolts per square meter you are producing there, and they have a definite effect on the human body which is an electrical system.
[01:24:15.10] Scott: You're talking to someone who sleeps in a Faraday cage every night, so I totally resonate with what you're saying. Is there a way to use specific herbs to tonify or strengthen that shield that you mentioned that protects us from these external influences?
[01:24:31.29] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes, definitely. So this is what the Chinese consider Tae-Yin and Shao-Yin tonification, so that would be working primarily with the spleen and the lung Qi, which are a so-called postnatal driver of our immune Qi. Or our, what the Chinese call the defensive Qi. So this kind of energy that circulates at the surface is driven by two different sources. One of them is called postnatal meaning the conversion of the air we breathe and the food we eat and the water we drink into a fuel that then gets put into this defensive barrier.
And then prenatal, and that would be more the kidney and the bladder, and even the small intestine meridian system, not necessarily just these organs, it's a much more complex system in Chinese medicine with these organs and meridian systems. And together, so you have this program that you have from birth on in your nervous system, in your hormonal system that's called prenatally regardless of what you're eating that comes more with these fueled by the kidney battery in Chinese medicine.
And then you've got this postnatal system fueled by the spleen and the lung, and they work together to create that. So spleen and lung Qi tonification on one side, and kidney Qi tonification on the other will decrease people's sensitivity. But again, it's sort of like these people have like let's say you have a cellphone battery that is bad and it's still charging, but instead of charging in 20 minutes it now charges overnight, and it still is only at 55 percent.
So it is a little bit like that, that it'll take a long time. And that's why this is very often the case in chronic Gu patients. And that is one of the reasons why not necessarily cure or that I have no symptom, but that your body can come to an equilibrium where you're not so much bothered by all of these external factors, and by the internal perhaps still remaining parasites. But you can live in unison with that. Very much like you have a tree in the forest, and there are all kinds of woodpeckers and insects living in its bark, but it's not killing the tree.
[01:27:15.20] Scott: More and more people seem to struggle with joint hypermobility syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Lots of people talking now about Craniocervical Instability. I'm curious what your thoughts are on why these conditions are becoming more common. Why are we struggling to maintain our collagen, our structural integrity? And are there certain strategies that you find helpful in this patient population?
[01:27:39.19] Dr. Fruehauf: There is, coming back to this all-important concept of the so-called spleen in Chinese medicine and anatomical organ that in Western medicine, you can operate out without dying which is not true for most other organs. But in Chinese medicine, the spleen is the center of all of these other organs. And so you can't do, its most important, and one of its functions other than regulating digestion; other than being probably responsible for probiotic, for the microbiome health.
You've asked a question before about that, and so spleen Qi tonification would create a terrain for healthy bacteria to grow in the gut rather than just taking probiotics or killing off certain yeast in there. So you're working basically spleen therapy in Chinese medicine would be a terrain therapy, where without containing any probiotics or you benefiting the terrain in your gut.
So the spleen as a non-anatomical organ, but as a Chinese organ that has certain aspects of the hormonal network and the nervous system that sort of governs also the connective tissue in the body. And so as our spleen gets weak, which a modern, particularly American lifestyle promotes greatly. Because the spleen likes to be warm and dry, energetically speaking from a Chinese perspective. And so cold substances that are taken over long periods of time, especially antibiotics, tend to do that. So there is this thing in American society that food is not being chewed right.
There's a lot of fast food; food is not predigested in the mouth, therefore putting greater burden on the ''spleen'' in your entire digestive network and the metabolism. We drink ice water with the foods and diluting our digestive juices. And perhaps worst of all, when we are young when our microbiome is strong, we pepper our system routinely with lots of antibiotics, even though we don't have life-threatening diseases.
And therefore destroy the microbiome which from a Chinese perspective would mean you become spleen Qi deficient. You become cold, and you become damp. Like all yeast conditions, for instance, and with it and mold sensitivities cannot happen from a Chinese perspective unless there is dampness first. And so we have 99% of our staple foods like wheat, like soy, like corn, are sprayed in this country with RoundUp for various reasons. And RoundUp is not only wheat killer but is also originally invented as a demineralizing agent.
So there you have one of the reasons if a whole population routinely is micro-dosing themselves with a substance that was originally invented as something that you used to clean your water heater. Then, of course, at a certain, particularly now that we're getting older and older, then your joints will be demineralized, and you need to have what is now ubiquitous everywhere knee replacement surgery, hip replacement surgery; almost everybody has that now once you cross 50, 60, 70.
And last but not least, RoundUp is also a broad-spectrum antibiotic. And so we are micro-dosing our self in our staple foods every single day with these substances, and even myself, who is at least according to my kids, perhaps some of my students ultra-radical when it comes to avoiding EMFs, and only eating organic foods; or even insisting I want eggs only for my own chickens, milk only from my own goats. Salad ideally from my own garden well, RoundUp is on the glacier of Mount Hood here, one of the most pristine mountains in the United States. It is in the groundwater; it's in the rainwater. So you can reduce the amount of it, but you can't escape it.
And therefore, all of this SIBO, all of this leaky gut, all of these microbiome discussions which are all from a Chinese perspective, they have something to do with spleen Qi deficiency and dampness. And therefore, it makes total sense that you have not only chronic digestive disorders, gas, bloating, food allergies, but also connective tissue problems and joint demineralization.
[01:33:01.19] Scott: In light of the current situation with COVID-19 or Coronavirus, what role does Chinese medicine play in this epidemic? And what rises to the top of the list in terms of the things that you would consider for supporting yourself against this current pandemic?
[01:33:16.29] Dr. Fruehauf: Chinese medicine was very much exclusively an emergency remedy medicine at the very beginning. Meaning, you wouldn't go to the doctor if you were a peasant in China 2,000 years ago. It was always for life-threatening diseases. So a lot of these books that you see behind me classics of Chinese medicine, specifically herbal medicine, they were written in the aftermath of an epidemic when people were recording for the students.
And people after them what worked there. So Chinese medicine has a long track record that goes back as far as at least 2,000 years ago, when the so-called Shanghan za bing lun was written, the discourse on epidemic disorders caused by cold. Which is incredibly sophisticated and detailed diagnostic, but also treatment book on how to deal with especially respiratory epidemics such as COVID-19 right now. And so we have now that China is slowly returning back to normal, we have lots of materials, and I've translated myself quite a few of them at a ClassicalChineseMedicine.org I have a COVID-19 information page there, which is primarily academic.
Letting people know what people in China did, particularly after the government there mandated the application of Chinese medicine after the second draft of their government-mandated treatment approaches for COVID-19 in hospitals. So you have seven versions of these treatise that was issued by the government, one and two was exclusively Western medicine. Starting with edition number three, we have the mandatory application of Chinese medicine, and that then got more and more fleshed out during subsequent editions of that.
And now we have a plethora of studies coming out of China that show the effectiveness of people only being treated with modern medicine versus simultaneous treatment of Western medicine with Chinese herbs and acupuncture perhaps at the same time. And even certain hospitals that had the opportunity or where the conditions were such that most of the doctors were Chinese medicine doctors, to begin with. In some of these, very quickly established container hospitals in the Wuhan area, especially and where they had fantastic results with only treating with Chinese herbs and acupuncture.
And maybe doing breathing exercises, and other energetic exercises as Qigong. So we have evidence that this as not just historically from the past many, many books that specialize just like I said, there are books on Gu Syndrome monographs. There are among many monographs on epidemic diseases and how to treat that. And we see this played out in this current epidemic that the application particularly of Chinese herbal medicine really works.
And in our own clinic, and of course, what I've been hearing around the country because of course people call in and say I have this cousin over here that have been diagnosed with COVID. What can I do for that so to the best of my knowledge with my own patients, who I'm in Oregon where we have still no real access to testing people are my own medical team, as well as at my clinic, as well as patients who I tell please go get tested, that they can’t get tested so we can only go by their symptoms and assuming that they potentially have the disease. But the nice thing in Chinese medicine is COVID or not you have a certain symptom you can treat, because you have your own diagnostic parameters in Chinese medicine.
And there is no question that right now there is some kind of pestilent Qi we would say is out there that causes severe pneumonia, whether these people test positive for COVID or not. And so as my colleague and friend Dr. Liu Lihong, professor emeritus of Kyung Hee University of Traditional Chinese Medicine who went there for five weeks into a COVID ward in Wuhan, and I've had this sort of report, a two-hour lecture transcribed in English and translated on the website.
So he is showing how even he, as a seasoned doctor, goes like I believe in the medicine. I lecture all over the place, but when I first went in there, I thought maybe this is some kind of extraterrestrial disease, where everything I knew before it doesn't happen. The minute I put the first needle into the patient, the patient said, how come I can breathe all of a sudden, this is like a miracle. He knew this is business as usual; this is a serious disease, no doubt.
But the parameters of diagnosing and treating with acupuncture, with herbs, are the same as always, and it works the same as always. You just need to stay on more vigilantly than with the regular cold. So I'm encouraging my colleagues to help their patients through telemedicine or so with the modalities at their disposal as much as possible. At this critical time in history when it's all hands on deck. And in the regular Western medical profession, we hear retired nurses in their 80s, and the first-year veterinary medical students are being called into the hospitals.
Anybody can use a knife or needle. One of the doctors at a hospital in New York said, well, we are a doctoral-level profession in Chinese medicine with more than 60 accredited colleges around the country. It is my strong belief with the 2,000 years of history of not just treating severe, but epidemic diseases, and now documentation meaning modern Western evidence-based documentation coming out of China very strongly believes that Chinese medicine can help.
And it behooves us to take a good look at that. And they are particularly, and of course, speaking about this resolving the surface, you know it starts like in most people like flu and people have body pains and fever. So from a Chinese perspective, one needs to resolve the surface. But it is a little bit different; it's not just clearly just a Tai Yang surface disease, or Shao Yang half inside, half outside disease. Or Yang Ming inside heat disease, but it's very often all three of those are present, and I find particularly the Shao Yang layer, this half inside half outside of basically going from a Western perspective along with the nervous system and the lymphatic system is particularly afflicted.
And therefore, you're asking me in the context of the Gu Syndrome presentation here. I find that regular remedies for the flu such as Perilla Pearls for sore throat, we've been using more of these Gu remedies. Thunder Pearls, Lightning Pearls, Yin Qiao San that is also the basis of this Airborne I think it is called. This kind of traditional originally epidemic kind of remedy.
Those are remedies that we've been using paired with Shao Yang remedies like Yeast pearls. Like Xiao Chai Hu Tang (minor bupleurum decoction). Or Chai Hu Gui Jiang Tang (bupleurum, cinnamon, and dry ginger decoction), Release Pearls; they all have bupleurum, Chai Hu, as the lead herb which is like a missile going to this Shao Yang layer in Chinese medicine. Which will relieve infection and prevent it from going deeper in the nervous system, and potentially going and then affecting the heart?
[01:42:25.19] Scott: As we start wrapping up if people are interested in working with you as a practitioner. Can you tell us a little bit about whether you have availability in your practice, how they might reach out to you? And then also just we've mentioned some of the Pearls products from Classical Pearls throughout the conversation, but maybe for practitioners listening as well just a few words on Classical Pearls in the event they want to explore that product line for their own practices.
[01:42:51.11] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes, Classical. I have been in private practice and enjoy that very much in the Columbia River Gorge area for a long time now. And specializing on these more, on the alternative support of more serious types of diseases because I've been suffering from those myself. And as one advertising client was saying, other people are trying to be found; you're intentionally trying not to be found.
And that is simply because I'm in a rural and natural scenic area. I had a sort of a agreement with the local county that while it takes a long time to do the home business application correctly. And so while we were going through this process, the agreement was to not have any kind of web presence, and so it was all just word-of-mouth. And now that the home business permit has long been approved, we have lots of patients.
So we didn't find it necessary to have a... But yes, my clinic, the Hai Shan clinic in Corbett, Oregon, is taking new patients. I have trained a number of associates who work together with me. We work as a team, and we do take in new patients. The Classical Pearls venture was more to fulfill my obligation as an educator, and maybe also just ethically trying to; you know there's such a limited amount of patients you can see in holistic medicine, where everything is very much individually geared toward the patient.
Your appointment can't just be five minutes; it's our first-time appointment is at least one and a half to two hours. And then follow-up appointments of 45 to 60 minutes. And so there are only like seven patients, or so we see per day on average at our clinic. So the Classical Pearls was an attempt not only to make people feel more comfortable about using herbs that come from China, that is indeed a very polluted and less regulated type of country. So to have a scholar, but also a doctor like myself involved who has lived there for many, many years.
And basically has family there that can help me. My teachers and friends, they're like family to me that can help me responsibly oversee those businesses over there where the herbs are being sourced and extracted. And then finally manufactured in the United States with all of the right kind of testing. So that was to alley the concern of consumers and practitioners in this profession that is quite large. Now we have close to 50,000 licensed acupuncturists in this country and more than 60 accredited schools; already mentioned that.
But also yes to have more people use the herbal approaches that we find work, that are basically based in the classics but works for modern Western patients that don't have Schistosomiasis, they don’t have malaria. But then trying to explain to people how those ancient approaches can be used for modern Western. With all the issues you mentioned for Fibromyalgia, for Epstein-Barr, for Lyme disease, for mold sensitivities to the mast cell, etc. syndromes.
And so that was sort of trying to multiply our own approach by teaching practitioners of Chinese medicine to use those. And if your listeners are interested in being treated with those kinds of herbs, and herbal approaches, they can go to the ClassicalPearls.org website and find a list of practitioners around the country. There are several thousands of them that use Classical Pearls products.
And then professionally, they license medical practitioners that have a license to prescribe those things after a professional intake. These are not being sold on supermarket shelves. We self-regulate ourself, only sell to licensed practitioners who had 3,500 plus hours of education, and are trained in how to use these kinds of products.
[01:47:49.25] Scott: My last question for you is the same of all of my guests. And that is what are some of the key things that you do on a daily basis in support of your own health?
[01:47:57.26] Dr. Fruehauf: Yes. In addition to have sort of a shifting herbal regimen, taking herbs that are mostly tonic in nature but at low doses that are constantly being changed, and that are hard to reproduce, therefore not so meaningful to your listeners. I've been extremely influenced by, even though I didn't want to look at that at the time. I was trying to move away from Germany, move away from the field of medicine, move away from my ancestral job of where everybody was a doctor in the family.
But the physicians in my family, particularly my grandfather and my father, they were basically homeopaths and nature cure MDs. That was a specialization that, during the 1960s and 70s was a legal pathway; you could become an internist as an MD. But also you could become a cardiologist or a gynecologist. But you could also become specialist of natural modalities.
I also believe that this cultural background is contributing to now what seems like a mystery, why is Germany doing so well in the COVID epidemic? I think it's not just testing and socialized medicine, and the well-trained hospital staff, etc. but it is that there is a culture in the overall German population to not immediately run to the emergency room. But use your homeopathy or herbal kit and vitamins that you have at home to treat yourself, and everybody has sort of a medium kind of training in that.
So I like to do, of course, moderate amounts of exercise, particularly things like yoga and Qigong. I'm a part at our University and still a full-time professor at NUMN. I teach Qigong classes, which is sort of Chinese yoga equivalent exercises working with meridian opening, breath, and lymphatic stimulation. So I do those regularly, at least a half an hour per day. But then also these more common European nature cure approaches that I learned from my father and my grandfather, which is exposing yourself to the fresh air.
And you know feeling the wind or air circulation like, for instance, I have a sauna that is outside or even go in the wintertime and do that in the Finnish regimen once a week. Fifteen minutes in, sweat, jump into cold water, towel off. Stand there even in the winter for three minutes or so, exposing your, getting the lymphatic stimulus that were directly on your naked skin. And then doing the same thing, resting outside for 15 minutes while you are in your bathrobe and then go back in and do it again, and then do it one more time.
And then you feel like you're completely detoxed and revitalized. I take hot and cold showers every morning; I do skin brushing along the meridians every morning. I sometimes, especially now during the Coronavirus epidemic, I have a custom essential oil massage oil that I've been applied to my whole body. And of course, as my ancestors were nature enthusiasts, so I believe nature heals. And by you exposing yourself to bio information by just walking in the forest.
And I live in one of the most beautiful at Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area places in the world. And so it's not just the fresh air, and the absence of electromagnetic fields or minimal. But it is also the Qi as the Chinese would say of the plants.
By walking through the forest, you're exposing yourself to this biodiversity and bio-density and are absorbing homeopathically, so to speak, beneficial stimulation to your body. You know, in the summer, even sometimes walking down to the river from my house and doing that barefoot. And so you are grounded to your earth, and like you possibly also while I'm talking to you right now, I'm barefoot on an earthing mat.
[01:52:49.17] Scott: So am I. So am I.
[01:52:52.25] Dr. Fruehauf: So those things, when you are energetically sensitive it's not just okay, I'm believing in this, you feel the difference right away it's subtle. But it is much easier to be in front of a computer that would bother me a lot for if I do this for three hours in a row, bothers me much less now because you can neutralize these kinds of feelings. And then of course food, trying to get the best kind of food that is sort of platinum.
Not just organic, but platinum. It doesn't have these pesticides in it, but it has this vibrancy of nature in it because it was harvested wild or was grown. The chickens weren't fed with some kind of corn pellets from the store, but you let them run around in the yard and pick their own food in the wild. The same with the goats etc. and the milk and the cheese that comes from that.
[01:53:48.11] Scott: Wow, beautiful. So many good things there. I have thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. My sense is that you have a very calming, gentle soul and that you have a lot of compassion for other people.
And that your passion really is helping to minimize the suffering of others, and so for that, I just want to honor you. I want to thank you for the time that you spent with us today. It was a tremendously enjoyable conversation for me, and I'm sure that many others will enjoy it as well, so thank you so much.
[01:54:20.00] Dr. Fruehauf: Very kind of you to say that, Scott. And thank you very much for honoring me by inviting you on your show.
[01:54:28.27] Scott: Thank you so much, Dr. Fruehauf. To learn more about today's guests, visit ClassicalChinesemedicine.org. That's ClassicalChinesemedicine.org.
[01:54:39.17] Thanks for your interest in today's show. If you'd like to follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you can find me there as better health guy. To support the show, please visit Betterhealthguy.com/donate. If you'd like to be added to my newsletter, visit Betterhealthguy.com/newsletters, and this and other shows can be found on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and Spotify.
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