Saturday, April 09, 2011

dreams reveal our body's cares

ChinaDaily | A pioneering traditional Chinese medicine doctor suggests that dreams can be early warning signs of physical problems. Ye Jun delves deeper.

For 10 years, retiree Li Rong had a recurrent nightmare, in which she fell into a countryside squat toilet and was unable to get out. "It certainly wasn't a dream of blooming flowers or a flowing stream and it didn't feel good," says the 49-year-old former laborer from Beijing.

Determined to find the reason behind this disturbing nightmare, she consulted with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Dr Liu Jie, at the Yu Yuan Tang Clinic in Beijing.

Liu's explanation was nothing like the traditional interpretation of dreams offered by psychoanalysts such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, whose explanations were usually rooted in the subconscious.

"The toilet hole in her dream refers to the colon," Liu says. "The fact she couldn't move in the hole corresponds to the dachangshu, an acupuncture point in the back, or the second lumbar, which is close to the colon."

Liu checked Li's back to confirm his suspicion and found the third lumbar of the vertebra was out of alignment. After he corrected it, Li's nightmare was over.

The 43-year-old Liu is licensed to prescribe herbal medicine, but his specialty is structural adjustment of the body. Over the past two years, he has discovered a fascinating link between his patients' dreams and structural problems related to his patients' bodies. He is now able to use dream analysis to help with diagnosis and treatment.

"The simplest link between dreams and the body is a similarity in shape," Liu says. "For example, if you dream of an overpass, it could correspond to the colon because they have a similar structure."

Dreams reveal our body's cares

Likewise, dreaming of a ditch may refer to the ureter; while a pond or small lake indicates the bladder. Dreaming of the sky or clouds could refer to the lungs (air); while mountain climbing could suggest a problem with the back. If there are stairs on the mountain it is more likely to indicate a spinal dysfunction.

Liu's first dream interpretation was in January 2009. Roy Chen, a 37-year-old who works for an educational NGO helping orphans in Guangzhou, told the doctor about his dream when he was having acupuncture treatment.

Chen dreamed he was sitting in an empty subway carriage, when he discovered two lost bags on the ground, one of them red. He opened one of the bags and saw an ID card bearing his name.

Liu's interpretation suggested the subway carriage related to Chen's intestines, as they both move around in an empty space. He said the big bag referred to the stomach while the small bag was the spleen. Because the bigger bag was red, Liu reasoned there could be excessive heat in Chen's stomach.

After confirming this by taking Chen's pulse, Liu prescribed medicines to dispel the excessive heat and the acne on Chen's chin disappeared.

Liu then started recording his patients' dreams and currently has a record of more than 80, with interpretations, which he has uploaded on to his blog.

"Dreams are generally defined as conscious or unconscious brainwave activity," Liu says. "As a TCM doctor, I see some dreams as a reflection of the movement of qi, or energy, in the body, on the conscious level.

"The body has a self-checking and self-correcting system that works all the time. During the day people are too occupied to notice. But in the evening these energy changes in the body can manifest themselves as dreams."


Gee Chee Vision said...

You probably already know or perhaps this was aired before but Nova is covering dreams this evening.

CNu said...

I missed it magne, but thanks for looking out. (been out on those tennis courts with the little boy dreaming that Tsonga dream and sleeping the dreamless sleep of the truly exhausted)

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