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Monika Lubick
Posted on Monday, November 24, 2003 - 12:31:   

Guten Tag liebe Doktoren,
I am from Koeln, Germany, and I wish to ask: my acupuncturist told me not to drink cold drinks and ice-creams. He say this no good for health. My G.P. convenzional says this is bullshit. I think the acupuncturist is right, but why? Can you explain?

Vielen Dank, Monika Lubick

Ein sehr nettes Forum
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Shmuel Halevi
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 10:43:   

This is very right Monika, Chinese medicine advocates against cold stuff, drinks, ice-creams etc. Too much cold beverages damages Yang Qi and disturbs stomach Qi circulation. I remember a lesson from the late Dr. John Shen, when he examined a girl patient at the age of 16 who suffered from scanty periods and was very close to amenorrhea. He palpated her lower abdomen showing us that she had a very tight Ren-Mai line from the umbilicus down to her pubis. He said that this was a clinical sign to a habit of consuming too much cold beverages, ice-cream, etc. The girl confessed of having this habit and Dr. Shen said that undoubtedly this was the reason for her problematic menses. He said that cold is especially prohibited for young girls until their puberty. In my experience, I have validated this presumption many times in the clinic, as well as female infertility in those women who had had this habit of consuming excessive cold.
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Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 03:48:   

This should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but I had a teacher at University, Dr. Zhang, who posited that in his mind Chinese are more susceptible to disorders of the spleen and stomach due to their constitution, which is why their skin is yellow (earth=spleen) and caucasians more susceptible to respiratory ailments due to their constitution (white=metal=lung). And I noticed in China that there is a mania for covering up, especially the lower dan tien, around the navel, and many people told me that "if they get a cold breeze on their belly they instantly get diarrhea". Westerner dont tend to get this so much, so maybe there is something to it after all. Oh, and I once had a long discussion with other women in China about the traditional "lying in" period following the birth of a baby, and the avoidance of cold practices there are actually detrimental if followed rigorously. (Eg, the mother avoids all liquids except hot drinks with vinegar and shouldnt wash for the first month to avoid cold.) OK, this might make sense if you were a peasant woman in times past who has to wash in an icy bucket of dirty water and is popping out kids every year, but with improving living standards its not strictly necessary, and as anyone who has had a baby and been breast feeding knows, its nice to get clean and you also get very thirsty and need adequate fluids to ensure adequate milk.
I think that sometimes in China they take it too far, one of my lecturers told me about a sports carnival in Taiwan where the athletes were only being given hot tea on a really hot day and there were people keeling over from heat stroke all day.
All that being said, Ive seen cases of infertility successfully treated by the removal of too much cold and raw food from the diet. And an excess of cold things is definitely detrimental. Your acupuncturist is probably taking into account your consitution and health state, so they are most probably exactly right in advocating no cold drinks and ice cream for you.

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