Homecoming (Buffy, Season Three, Ep 5)


Gotta love Faith.  When she’s loyal, she’s loyal.

In this episode we see her notice Buffy’s recent and sudden ex, Scott, dancing with a new girl.  So Faith approaches Scott, puts her arms around him and tells him that she went to see the doctor about that itchy, burning, swelling (motioning to the pelvic area) will go away if only they keep using that ointment he gave them.

Talk about nipping a romance in the bud.

I’ve encountered this sort of presentation in the acupuncture clinic, and usually I refer the patient to an allopathically trained doctor for tests to clarify the condition.  In cases of STDs, antibiotics are administered.  I would love to test the efficacy of herbal preparations in these cases, but I’m a pragmatist, and the line of work these patients are sometimes involved in would not permit such a study without posing a risk to public health.  In cases of Urinary Tract Infections, however, herbal medicine can be of some use.

Itchiness, burning, and swelling in the lower warmer — sounds like symptoms of damp heat or wind heat.  The pathogens may be trapped in the lower warmer, and can cause yellowish or whitish discharge in men and women, painful urination, swollen genitals and itchiness in the groin.

If these symptoms are accompanies by headache, hypochondriac pain, irritability and a bitter taste in the mouth, then we would diagnose excess heat in the Liver and Gallbladder meridians.  Long Dan Xie Gan Tang is the typical herbal remedy that would be chosen.

On the other hand, if the pathogen seems mostly external, with scanty urine and weakness of the legs and back, red and swollen knees, and a thick yellow tongue coat, we could be lead to a diagnosis of damp-heat in the lower warmer, and opt to choose Er Miao San as the herbal remedy of choice.  This is also reputed to be an effective option for treating jock itch.

In either case, I would want to work with the Dai Mai in order to drain damp heat from the Gallbladder, Liver, or Lower Warmer regions.  The opening point for the Dai Mai is GB-41.  I would follow this up with either GB-27 when heat is greater than damp or GB-28 when damp is greater than heat.  Both these points lie on the Dai Mai channel itself.  I would likely choose to close the treatment with points on the Ren Mai, in order to nourish yin.  CV-3 (mu point of the Bladder), CV-4 (mu point of the Small Intestine, which can drain heat from the Heart and out through the urine), and CV-5 (mu point of the Triple Heater, which regulates the amount of heat and moisture in all three portions of the body — chest, abdomen, pelvis) all are appropriate in this case.  I would then close with LU-7, which happens to not only be the opening point for the Ren Mai, it also activates the Lungs ability to disperse fluids.

A note on why I would want to nourish yin in this case.  Heat (and wei qi) has a tendency to consume yin.  If the pathology were to continue unchecked, yin would eventually become depleted.  If, on the other hand, the heat is a result of the body trying to burn off dampness, then we coudl surmise that the body was holding onto dampness in an effort to compensate for a lack of yin physiological fluids.  Either way, in cases of damp heat, one should carefully evaluate the state of yin prior to the onset of current symptoms.

As always, this post is for theoretical and entertainment purposes only.  If you feel you could benefit from the tradition of Chinese medicine, please see a qualified practitioner.

Happy Slayage!

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