In Chinese Medicine theory, a few different energetic pathways pass through the breasts. The main meridians are the Liver (JueYin) and the Stomach (Yangming) meridians; also coursing the breasts are the Kidney, Pericardium, Heart & GallBladder meridians, as well as the Chong vessel. If there is a blockage of the circulation of Qi and Blood in any of these meridians, a “stagnation” is said to occur. This stagnation will manifest somehow on the continuum of breast disease – from the least severe (PMS related breast pain) to the most severe (malignant tumor).
Ancient Chinese doctors were aware of the seriousness and poor prognosis of certain types of breast lumps. Chinese doctors were writing about masses in the breasts as far back as 220 A.D. That’s when it was written in the Classic of the Central Treasure of Ru Pi, which is ” a lump in the breast which is like a plum seed or an egg, or nodules which feel hard and are painless and mobile. The breast does not feel hot or cold to the touch, the skin colour is unchanged and the size of the lump varies according to the mood of the woman”.
Dr. Yuan Fang Chao wrote in Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun of “…a tiny lump that stays in the breast. This mass is not too hard and also not too big. Its shape is like a small irregularly formed stone.” Then in the 14th century Dr. Dan Qi Zhu wrote in Dan Qi Xin Fa of “…a small lump within the breast that causes no pain and no itchiness. Many years later, this lump will turn into a different shape (much like a craggy rock with many holes), which is causes “yan”, or cancer. If the lump takes on this shape, it is very difficult to fix.”
A Woman’s Gruide to Healing from Breast Cancer, by Nan Lu, O.M.D., L.Ac. Avon Books, 1999.
Reflections of the Moon on Water, by XiaoLan Zhao, CMD. Random House Books, 2006.
more to come!
Obstetrics & Gynecology in Chinese Medicine, by Giovanni Machiocha.
(…and for now, I’m just going to leave this right here…):