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By Xiaogoushi

Greetings everyone!.. At the request of my dear friend Krispybee, I am writing to discuss my experience with appendicitis and how I cured myself without having to resort to surgery. I am also willing to answer any legitimate questions regarding acupuncture and Oriental medicine in general as I believe educating as many people about the benefits of this ancient art will be helpful to all. I also wish to avoid any ridiculous political discussions regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture versus western medicine.

About me. I am a recent graduate of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, receiving a Masters degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine... soon I will be opening a practice in Southern New Mexico. I am an experienced acupuncturist, herbologist, massage therapist, and I teach chi gong, "Chinese yoga", at a cancer rehabilitation resource group as well as a drug addiction rehabilitation program. I am a Taoist and I have a BA in Asian history.

In discussing the nature of how an illness is cured in TOM (Traditional Oriental Medicine), it is always difficult explaining it to the western mind as in our culture we like to have everything broken down for us in absolutes. For example, in western style herbology many people are familiar with using herbs because it has a certain action. IE... use ginseng for more energy...However, TOM approaches medicine in a more subjective way. IE.. These two people have low energy, but this person needs ginseng, and this other person should NOT take ginseng as the state of harmonious balance in these two people is different. So in a similar manner no two people would be given the same acupuncture points for a western diagnoses of "appendicitis". The point I am trying to make with all this is that in TOM "appendicitis" many present in various forms for various people. Therefore it would inaccurate to explain to you all that this particular herb is used for appendicitis , and this point would be used. I do not intend to recommend any specific herbs for this condition, for without a very extensive knowledge of the theory behind TOM the results would be disastrous!

What I do intend to explain is simply my experience with appendicitis , basically how it would be approached through TOM, and finally my experiences with our culture and observations and insights gained from going through this process. I would like to explain, that many of even my own peers thought I was completely nuts not to have my appendix taken out. This I am afraid shows the low level of understanding of TOM in our country even among those learning it, and also the tremendous amount of dogmatic power that the medical establishment has managed to create in our culture.

I also do not think I personally would have been able to endure this experience myself without a good understanding of my medicine and a personal knowledgeable experience of my body from moment to moment. In other words.. unless you have a good practitioner of TOM who can watch over you, "DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!" enough of my babbling.

Appendicitis is generally seen in TOM as an accumulation of the physical energies of dampness, heat, and toxicity.. You may visualize a stagnant swamp to get the idea...This all accumulates in the large intestine to produce the inflammatory state we recognize in the west as appendicitis. Actually in TOM they call this "traveling abdominal pain". Acupuncture and herbs were used to eliminate the presence of this damp heat pathogen in my intestines, and to help restore the balance of healing life energy or "chi" to my large intestine. I also had to be very careful how much, and exactly which types of foods to eat..(those which also supported the healing process) and it was vitally important for me to consider the cycles of the weather and climatic patterns throughout the day. For instance, the late summer is a time of "damp heat" climatically, I would not be surprised if many of you were seeing "damp heat" pathologies in the clinics and hospitals where you work! The whole process took about a week and a half for me to start feeling better. I was diagnosed by a western MD and surgeon as having appendicitis incidentally, and I refused surgery signing paperwork that the hospital would not be responsible for my decision. The pain was. .incredible. .but the herbs and acupuncture alleviated it largely.

It would have been nice if I could have remained in the hospital and received surveillance and IV's throughout this process, and I, and many others would eventually like to have in house settings, wards, where Oriental medicine could be combined with western medicine, which is currently done in China. However, we have a long way to go in this country, largely due( in my opinion) to the capitalistic nature of our current medical establishment. I also would like to point out that from a strict Taoist, TOM perspective.. surgery should be avoided, whenever possible, as it further weakens the body's chi, and often redirects energy pathways due to scarification. I was lucky enough to be able to take the time I needed to heal in a natural manner. But, when a person with a mortgage, kids, a wife who only understands western medicine is told that he can just have his appendix removed and be out of the hospital in a few days, and by the way with painkillers, the natural approach to healing is a hard sell. So, that perhaps is a small reflection of the state of priorities in our civilization.

Finally, I would also point out that though western medicine feels that an appendix is largely a useless organ, my personal opinion is that it is there for a reason. To not know what purpose a thing has, does not mean it has no purpose.. My theory, and I would appreciate feedback from other TOM wise persons, is that the appendix serves as a type of heat pressure release valve in the intestines to redirect hot energy into this pocket when there is too much of it. Therefore when there is an overabundance of heat and toxicity it usually presents in this location as it is in a position to receive this extra energy.

Appendicitis occurs when there is more dampness heat and toxicity than the body is ready to compensate for.. Any thoughts on this?..

Well I hope this was helpful and I would welcome any comments, and questions regarding this matter or anything else related to TOM.. my e-mail address is

Peace and practice good healing!.. Xiao



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