Chinese Herbs Cured My HemorrhoidsCarmine Bello October 1, 2010
I found a statistic online that may give you pause: by age 50, one out of every two individuals will suffer from clinical hemorrhoids. Some will be asymptomatic – which is to say, not burdened by the condition through the suffering of symptoms. The rest, however, will be downright miserable.
There’s more. If you already endure rear-end woes, the odds are that your situation will, over time, develop into multiple conditions – each meriting its own medical diagnosis – even though you may only perceive a single source of pain. That’s exactly what happened to me.
I am a reasonably healthy and fit male in my forties and (I say without modesty) better read than most on the topic of health and wellness. But this didn’t do me any good when I started to experience serious derriere discomfort in the mid-1990s. A routine trip to the washroom caused me agonizing pain – both during and after bowel movements – and the regular presence of blood only added to my misery.
The diagnosis from my doctor was clinical hemorrhoids (essentially, varicose veins in the rectal area) as well as a possible fissure (crack or tear directly in the anal ring, often accompanied by infection). This diagnosis was later confirmed by a top-ranked clinic in my home town of Toronto. (Pain, especially extreme pain, after having a bowel movement is a classic fissure symptom. Since that area involves muscle tissue, the late-onset pain is actually a delayed spasm deep within the muscle. Untreated, infection usually develops to the point where the pain becomes so intense that even walking is difficult.)
However, diagnosis is one thing – treatment is another. I soon learned that these problems are not easy to fix. I tried every ointment, poultice, and cream I could get my hands on, but nothing offered long-term relief. I also made lifestyle changes – an ongoing series of dietary adjustments – which often gave temporary respite, but that was all.
The “top” doctors at the “top” clinics told me that the only long-term solution was surgery. They also told me that the surgery itself was painful, tended to interfere with one’s ability to control the sphincter thereafter, and often required repeat surgery in the years to come. I was not a happy camper.
Chinese Medicine to the Rescue
Then last year, after more than a decade of suffering, I chanced upon an ad from a recently-opened clinic in the Toronto area called the “NATCM Hemorrhoid Institute.” I learned that its sister clinic had already been operating in Vancouver for several years. The two clinics are jointly run by Guoyi Chen and his son, Alan. Both are recognized in British Columbia as Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or “TCM,” but not in Ontario because TCM remains unregulated here. In his native China, TCM Dr. Guoyi Chen has multiple titles, and has been both recognized and publicly honoured by the Government of China for his role as the “eradicator” of hemorrhoids. The Chens, father and son, run over 50 hospitals and clinics in China that uniquely specialize in their proprietary formulas and treatments.
The treatment I ultimately received was like nothing I had come across before. The Chen family has been treating hemorrhoids (and associated medical conditions) in China for five generations. They claim to have developed a specific regimen rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine which, over time, compels the body to heal the condition naturally, while simultaneously sloughing off the diseased tissue.
I also discovered that Traditional Chinese Medicine – a style of treatment that relies on natural, holistic remedies and considers surgery only as a last resort – is thousands of years old. In comparison, our best medical knowledge here in the West is the work of mere upstarts – young whippersnappers who, arguably, make up in arrogance what they lack in hard data and experience.
In their native land, the Chen family has treated three million patients with a success rate in the 90+ percentile, and some of the most prominent government officials in China are former patients, and active proponents of, the Chen protocols.
In the West, it is usually the large drug or pharmaceutical firms that take control of key formulations. In China, following a tradition going back generations, it is invariably the family itself that adopts and tirelessly perfects a certain formulation over time. So it is with the Chen family approach to this type of bowel disorders. While the main ingredients in their herbal preparations are simple (calamine, boswellia, carteri, myrrh, and powdered pearl), it is the precise preparation method and proportions of the formulation that make the end result a family treasure.
Let’s be frank – I was in agony. I did not have a lot of choices, so I gave it a shot. Boy was I glad I did!
The Treatment Protocol
The Chen clinic’s approach to treating hemorrhoids will shock and amaze any patient accustomed to the usual “diagnose – prescribe – refill” style of Western medicine. The Chens treat the specific area where problems manifest like an open wound (which, clinically, it actually is), and they require you to attend every day, once a day (after your usual washroom activity) for cleaning, dressing, and the application of special salves. This course of hands-on treatment typically takes as little as 7-10 days and up to 3-4 weeks for more serious cases. Sound like a lot? We are talking about an investment of a handful of days in return for, potentially, a lifetime’s worth of relief.
In my case, the total treatment took five weeks, but there was a very good reason for the extra time. My first diagnosis at the Chen’s NATCM clinic revealed that I had hit the equivalent of the “rear-end trifecta” – the 3-way combo of hemorrhoids, fissure, and fistula. Fistula is usually a hidden, hard-to-find break or opening in the associated tissue caused by the first two conditions. It almost always becomes infected, and then fosters an ongoing cycle of re-irritation which, in tandem with the other maladies, can make full recovery next to impossible. Western texts say the only cure for fistula is surgery.
My Personal Success Story
Frankly, I do not know which fact was more amazing to me – that all my earlier doctors had completely missed the diagnosis of fistula, or that, five weeks after I walked through the doors of the NATCM clinic, some 15 years of pain and misery had disappeared. The tissue was healed. I could feel the difference. I could eat normally, and I no longer had to plan my day around a momentous trip to the washroom.
Equally amazing was my experience with the practitioners at the Toronto clinic. Western doctors today generally seem to have less and less time for the actual patient. In both the U.S. and Canada, most of the time during your medical visit is usually spent with nurses or associates who prep you for the “coming” of the doctor and, invariably, end up explaining to you your course of treatment after the doctor has quickly moved on to the next patient in line.
Things are different in China, it seems. First of all, there are many more applicants for each available position, and only the best of the best are accepted. Because governments in China do not change every few years, the hospital administrations don’t change often, either. In China, reputation and people skills are paramount. Malpractice suits are virtually unknown.
To say that I was blown away by the sincerity, kindness, and empathy of the practitioners at the Chen clinic would be an understatement. Rather, let me say that, long since my treatment ended, I have chosen to stay in touch with these people, see them socially, and consider them good friends. Draw your own conclusions.
Let’s get to the bottom line. If you don’t personally suffer from hemorrhoids, then my tale, however interesting, does not directly relate to your health or quality of life. You may even consider that getting on a plane and spending weeks in a foreign location is overkill, regardless of how painful the condition. On the other hand, if you are already a member of the “Rear Admirals Club,” then my experience may resonate a little differently.
In my own case, I took a gamble, and it paid off big time. There is no Las Vegas jackpot that is as satisfying or rewarding as suddenly becoming pain- and symptom-free from a condition that was slowly turning you into an invalid.
The new NATCM Hemorrhoids Centre in Ontario is located at 1-351 Ferrier St. in Markham, ON. To book an appointment, call (905) 415-1777, and for more information, visit http://www.natcm.ca