Saturday, August 27, 2022

Can a pig heart replace a human heart? — A matter of resonance

By Dr. Sun-TCM

The first pig heart transplant in human history:

On January 7 of 2022, the University of Maryland Medical Center performed the world's first pig heart transplant for David Bennett. There are two technical innovations in this operation: One, this is the first transplant operation with the heart of a xenogeneic animal; Two, this pig heart is not an ordinary pig heart, but a genetically engineered one. The researchers deleted three genes in the pig heart that would cause rejection by the human immune system and one gene that would cause heart overgrowth. In addition, they inserted six human genes responsible for immune receptivity into the pig heart. These genetic modifications were all made to reduce immune rejection.

(please refer to full article for details:

Generally, the biggest obstacle to organ transplantation is the patient's immune rejection of the transplanted organ. The human immune system will instinctively reject things that do not belong to the human body. This is why organ transplantation requires a suitable donor organ.  Even if a so-called "matched" donor organ is transplanted, the patient still needs to take immunosuppressants to reduce the immune system's rejection of the transplanted organ. However, suitable human donor organs are difficult to find, and many patients suffer or even die in the long wait. This has forced the medical community to start exploring the feasibility of using animal organs for transplantation. Thus, this pig heart transplant is regarded as a groundbreaking operation.

The transplant operation was successful, but the patient died after 2 months. 

The operation on Jan 7 was successful.  After the operation, Bennett woke up and felt recovered. The transplanted heart performed well for several weeks without any signs of rejection.  However, the patient tragically died 2 months later.

(Please refer to full article for details:

What were the reasons for the patient's death? A TCM theory may explain. 

For this result, the first thing people think of is immune rejection. However, the pig heart has been genetically engineered to greatly reduce the likelihood of immune rejection.  Moreover, the hospital reported no rejections in the weeks following surgery. So, what other unknown factors are there?

While the scientists and doctors were investigating the reasons for Bennett 's death and even before they reached a conclusion, I put forward a prediction that Bennett died of organ failure, instead of immunity rejection. 

My prediction was based on a TCM-derived theory of Qi-Blood Resonance, which is not known by mainstream medicine. The theory was first proposed by Dr. Weigong Wang, a late professor of National Taiwan University. 

Dr. Weigong Wang’s theory of Qi-Blood resonance:

Dr. Wang obtained his PhD degree in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University in the 1960s. For the past several decades, he had been investigating the science underlying TCM. Simply put, he proposes that the heart is not just a simple mechanical pump, and the blood circulation is not simply driven by the mechanical force of heart beat, because the energy consumed by each heart beat is too small to drive the whole blood volume in the body. Instead, blood circulation is accomplished by all the organs through harmonic resonance (1-3). 

To understand it better, we can make the analogy: the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys are just like the musical instruments in a symphony orchestra, such as pianos, violins, cellos, etc. Although they have different shapes and make different sounds, these sounds resonate in frequency to play a harmonious piece of music. The heart is the leading instrument and sets the tone for the entire orchestra. So one can imagine that other organs "suck in" the blood through harmonic resonance with the heart, rather than being forced in by the force of the heart beat.

This theory is supported by modern physics and physiology. Here are a few examples:

  1. Arterial blood is ejected from the left atrium, first hitting the 180-degree curved aortic arch.  According to the principle of fluid mechanics, this design is not conducive to the transport of blood. However, it is well explained by the resonance theory: in the aortic arch, the kinetic energy (气,Qi) of blood is converted into vibration potential energy, which is conducted in the circulation system in the form of vibration waves.

2.    The branches of the arteries entering each organ are almost perpendicular to the aorta, which is also meant to generate vibrational energy rather than simple blood perfusion.

3.    Small animals, such as mice, rabbits, etc., usually have a fast heart rate. More interestingly, mammalian body size is inversely proportional to heart rate. The larger the animal, the slower the heart rate. This phenomenon can’t be explained by the current theory for blood circulation. On the contrary, the harmonic resonance theory can explain it very well. That is, the larger the animal, the larger its body cavity (resonance cavity), and the more efficient the resonance, so the heart can pump more blood in each beat.

(Please refer to the original article for details:

After establishing the role of qi-blood resonance in blood circulation, Professor Wang further proposed that meridians, acupoints and organs form a Qi-Blood resonance network, which can be regulated by acupuncture, meditation, Qi Gong and herbs. Thus, the Theory of Qi-Blood Resonance is one of the fundamental theories for uncovering the secrets of TCM. 

Now let us come back to this question: Can a pig heart replace a human heart?

First of all, each person's heart is highly compatible with other organs and the entire body to achieve harmonic resonance. The resonance will be affected if certain organs are damaged, deformed, or sickened because of meridian stasis. Restlessness and emotional fluctuations will also affect the harmonic resonance of the organs and ultimately affect the blood supply of the organs. Therefore, the transplanted organ must not only overcome the patient's immune rejection, but also match the patient's other organs for harmonic resonance. The pig heart is very different from the human heart in size, anatomical shape (such as resonance cavity) and beating frequency, so harmonic resonance is more difficult to achieve. In this case, the heart will be very laborious and consume more energy to deliver the blood, which overtime results in heart failure.  

The autopsy results confirmed my prediction.

After months of pathological examination and analysis, a scientific team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine concluded that the patient didn’t die of immune rejection, but died of heart failure. This result exactly confirmed my prediction, strongly indicating that the theory of Qi-Blood Resonance is correct. 

(Please refer to the original article for details:

The best treatment is prevention. 

In summary, this operation has made important progress in reduction of the immune rejection through genetic engineering. However, genes are not the only factors that determine the fate of organ transplant. The harmonic resonance between the heart and different organs is another determinant factor for organ function and holistic body health. 

The theory of harmonic resonance in the human body is important for us to understand why acupuncture, massage, Qigong and meditation can benefit our health, because they are the techniques that improve harmonic resonance. 

In my opinion, organ transplantation is a medical procedure of saving lives when there are no other options. Although it needs to be developed and optimized, it can’t become the main direction of medical advances. It would be tragic to let it overshadow the existing, genuine strategies we have for helping those suffering from heart failure. Xenotransplantation or animal-to-human transplantation has serious medical and ethical concerns, making it indefensible as a strategy for addressing heart diseases. 

The best treatment is prevention. TCM focuses more efforts on disease prevention than treatment. It has developed many effective ways to prevent heart diseases from getting to the point that a transplant is needed. To learn more about TCM in modern terms, please stay with us for many articles to come in future. 


  1. Wang, Y.-Y. L., Wang, G.-C., Chen, Y.-H., Guo, D.-J. & Wang, W.-K. The eccentric position of the heart in the mammalian body and optimal energy transfer in single tube models. Physiological measurement 26, 99–108 (2005). 

  2. Wang, Y.-Y. L., Jan, M.-Y., Shyu, C.-S., Chiang, C.-A. & Wang, W.-K. The natural frequencies of the arterial system and their relation to the heart rate. IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering 51, 193–195 (2004). 

  3. Wang, Y.-Y. L. & Wang, W.-K. Anatomy of arterial systems reveals that the major function of the heart is not to emit waves associated with the axial blood motion. The Journal of physiology 592, 409–409 (2014). 

  4. Wang, Y.-Y. L. et al. Examining the response pressure along a fluid-filled elastic tube to comprehend Frank’s arterial resonance model. Journal of biomechanics 48, 907–910 (2015).


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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Friday, August 12, 2022

How to avoid and treat AC-related health problems: a TCM point of view


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In 2022 most Americans are experiencing a very hot, maybe even the hottest summer in history, especially in the Southern and Western regions of the country. In addition, the heatwaves have been hitting most parts of the northern hemisphere, including Europe and China. In the hot summer, air conditioning has become nearly an essential part of our life. While we enjoy the comfort of the cool air blowing from AC units, we should be cautious about the potential health problems caused by AC and know how to avoid and treat them. Yes, you heard me right. AC does cause many health problems, and many of them aren't even noticeable. 

 Let's talk about the various AC-related health problems 

If you google the question, you will find a list of AC-related health problems, including fatigue, headache, dry and itching skin, body and muscle pain, arthritis, cardiovascular and respiratory issues, etc. AC also makes people more vulnerable to contracting infectious diseases like colds, flu, and pneumonia.   

 How does AC cause health problems? 

Although AC-related health problems are diverse, the common causes of these problems are always the cold and wind. Simply put, AC provides people in hot summer with an artificially controlled winter-like environment, where low temperature and cold wind are the two major evil Qis () defined in TCM. Unfortunately, people take more precautions to avoid winter's cold than summer. Thus, summer has become a season in which people are harmed by cold without even knowing it.  

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The cold temperature and wind produced by AC could have the following effects on our bodies:  

1.    Reduce blood circulation in the skin 

The skin is the human body's largest organ that maintains body temperature by altering the amount of blood circulating through the skin. This is achieved by constricting or dilating the skin's blood vessels, which has a vast regulatory effect on the total blood volume.  

 At a comfortable temperature, such as room temperature, the blood flow to the skin is about 250-500 ml/min, which is only about 5% of the cardiac output. At a high temperature, the blood vessels dilate, and the blood flow can reach an astonishing 6-8 liters/min, which is close to 1.5-2 times the total blood volume. In a cold temperature, the blood vessels are maximally constricted, and the blood flow can be reduced to 20-50 ml/min or even lower.  

 When the skin's blood vessels are greatly constricted, the body's total blood volume is reduced, and the blood pressure will increase. This is why cardiovascular incidents, like stroke, are more likely to occur in winter or cold temperatures. Well, the body may respond to high blood pressure by lowering the blood volume through increasing urination, which increases the kidneys' workload and can even cause kidney failure over time, especially when the kidneys have pre-existing defects. Moreover, excess urination could cause dehydration of the organs and tissues, which can't be relieved by simply drinking more water. It is because, at this moment, the kidneys are still working hard to reduce the blood volume by urination. The only solution for this situation is to warm up the skin and increase blood flow.  

 I hope you realize what happens to the people shivering in the AC-controlled offices in mid-July.  

 2.    Penetrate the skin, our first line of defense 

Many of us have had such an experience. We sweat a lot in the summer and walk into the AC building. The AC cold air blows on us, and our body quickly stops sweating and even shivers. What happens here is that the pores on the skin are fully open when we sweat, and the cold air can fast go into the pores and penetrate the first line of our immune defense. It could cause a list of health problems, and here name a few. Sweat is a way of body detoxification. When sweat is forced to stop, the wastes and toxins in the sweat are stuck under the skin, which could later cause rashes, acne, and other skin diseases. When the cold air penetrates the skin and stays in muscles and joints, it could cause blood stagnation, muscle pain, joint pain, and even arthritis.     

3.    Compromise the immunity in the respiratory track and make us vulnerable to infectious diseases

The AC cold air reduces the temperature not only on the skin but also the temperature in the respiratory tract. Current biomedical studies have shown that the temperature in the respiratory tract has a significant impact on immunity. The immune cells are fully functional at 36-37 °C, while at 33-34 °C, their activity is significantly compromised, which allows viruses to replicate. This is why people in winter or cold temperatures are vulnerable to contracting infectious diseases like common colds and flu. Moreover, the skin and lungs are functionally connected in releasing body heat and wastes. When the skin function is inhibited, as discussed in 1 and 2, the lung will have to work harder to expel the heat and waste through breathing, which may compromise the immunity and cause breathing problems over time, such as asthma, tracheitis, and even pneumonia.   

4.    Consume our heat energy and cause metabolic disorders  

We human beings need to maintain the stability of our body temperature. The heat energy for keeping the body temperature is mainly produced by food metabolism. Long-time stay in the AC room will overly consume the heat energy and cause metabolic disorders. People may overeat to produce more heat, and the body may produce more fat tissue to prevent heat loss, resulting in obesity and other metabolic diseases.   

5.    Acclimatize to the cold air 

Now AC is nearly installed in every house, office, building, and car. People have adapted to the AC-controlled world, drastically decreasing their tolerance for hot weather. We have often heard on the news that people got sick or even died of hot weather when the AC is broken. We almost forget humans have been living through hot weather without AC for thousands of years. Unfortunately, technological advances keep us away from nature and lead to a recession in some parts of the human body.  

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How do you avoid AC-related health problems? 

Now we are aware of AC-related health problems. Here I provide a few simple tips to avoid them.    

1.    Do not set the AC temperature too low! 

The DOE has declared the best AC temperature for summer is 78 °F (25.6 °C).  However, the comfortable temperature is different from person to person and affected by humidity. It is hard to define a unified temperature for everybody. Here is your guideline: when you wear typical summer clothing and feel cold, you need to increase the AC temperature. A low AC temperature will consume more energy and cause more health problems.  

2.    Do not stay in the AC environment for too long! 

TCM recommends that people submit themselves to nature by following the changes of the four seasons. In summer, people should get to feel the heat and sweat to detoxify and refresh their bodies. So every couple of hours, please walk outside the AC room and expose yourself to the sunshine and fresh air. Feel the heat and get some sweat.  

3.    Do not allow the AC air to directly blow on your body, especially during sleep at night

The AC air is much colder than the set temperature, so never expose your body to the direct blow of the AC air. Some people get facial paralysis after the AC air blows on their faces during sleep.  

4.    Put on a cover or coat in the AC room if necessary

When you stay or sleep in an AC room, you may need to put on a cover or coat for protection. When you awake, the shoulders and legs are the places more likely to be affected by the AC air. While in sleep, the belly region needs to be covered because the warm temperature in the belly is essential for food digestion/absorption and blood/Qi circulation. 

5.    If you sweat outside, let the sweat dry before going into the AC room

As we discussed above, the pores on the skin are open when we sweat, which is vulnerable to cold air invasion. It is best to wait until the sweat stops and dries before going to the AC room.  

How to treat AC-related health problems? 

In modern medicine, AC-related health problems are presented as diverse symptoms in multiple systems. Thus, modern medicine only treats the symptoms or problems without considering the "Cold and Wind" as the causal factors. On the contrary, in TCM theory, "Cold and Wind" are the two of the Six Evil Qis (六淫 see definition that cause diseases (The other four factors are Heat, Dampness, Dryness, and Fire). The diagnosis and treatment of the diseases caused by Six Evil Qis have been well documented in the great TCM classic Shang Han Lun (Discussion of Cold Damage), summarized in writing 2000 years ago by Zhang Zhongjing, the most famous TCM doctor in history. 

In Shang Han Lun, the principles and approaches of diagnosis and treatment for "cold and wind damage" have been extensively discussed, and a list of classical herbal formulas has been created. These herbal formulas and their derivatives are still highly effective in treating the diseases caused by "cold and wind damage." Note that TCM is personalized medicine, meaning herbal formulas must be fine-tuned to fit different symptoms. People who are interested in herbal formulas need to consult TCM professionals. In the future, we will introduce some of the classical procedures in detail.  

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Fortunately, even without herbal formulas, the foods in the kitchen could be used to relieve cold and wind damage. Food therapy is an integral part of TCM. Many herbal formulas are made of foods, or at least contain foods. The most popular food remedy is ginger soup. To make it, cut several pieces of ginger roots and boil them with brown sugar in water. The soup is spicy hot, and sweet, and thus according to TCM theory, it provides heat energy to warm up the body and make it sweat, which expels the cold and wind out of the skin. 

 Another simple yet powerful home remedy for cold and wind damage is moxibustion. Moxibustion is an ancient TCM therapy that entails burning mugwort leaves (moxa wool). The fire of moxa wool sticks radiates heat to the body, especially the acupoints or the areas damaged by cold and wind. Studies have shown that the burning moxa wool emits infrared waves and affects both shallow and deep skin tissues. More interestingly, the radiation spectrum of the burning moxa wool is amazingly consistent with the range of acupoints. The ingredients identified from moxa wool and smoke have a variety of biological activities contributing to the comprehensive effects of moxibustion. 

Bottom Line

In summary, AC could cause cold, and wind damage our body if it is not used correctly. However, AC-related health problems are preventable and treatable. TCM has the theory and approaches to prevent and treat AC-related health problems effectively. More details related to this topic will be discussed in the future.    


  1. Summer 2022 outpacing 2011 as the hottest on record.

  2. Foxman, E. F. et al. Temperature-dependent innate defense against the standard cold virus limits viral replication in mouse airway cells at warm temperatures. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112, 827–832 (2015). 

  3. Foxman, E. F., Storer, J. A., Vanaja, K., Levchenko, A. & Iwasaki, A. Two interferon-independent double-stranded RNA-induced host defense strategies suppress the common cold virus at warm temperatures. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113, 8496–8501 (2016). 

  4. Deng, H. and Shen X. The mechanism of moxibustion: ancient theory and modern research. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013: 379291.  


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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Why does TCM recommend not to drink cold water in summer?

When you feel hot, you drink cold water. It seems to be a straightforward common sense or human instinct. Yup, after you walk under the scorching sun with sweat all over your body, you gulp down a bottle of cold drink and feel the cold water flush down the throat, the stomach and the intestine, which may be the most blissing moment. 

However, some people, mostly elderly, would warn you that cold drinks are harmful to your health. They even share their own experiences with cold drinks, like stomach and abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, sore throat, cough and even more serious or long-term problems in respiratory and digestive tracts as well as cardiovascular system, etc.

Modern physiology attributes the harmful effects of cold drinks to the so-called “cold stress” of the body. Cold stress is induced by two generalized mechanisms. First, cold drinks cause the blood vessels to constrict, which reduces the blood supplies to the affected organs or tissues. Overtime, the affected organs and tissues will be damaged and make people sick.  Second, cold drinks could reduce the body core temperature. To maintain the body core temperature, the body will spend more valuable energy to neutralize cold drinks, and hence other parts of the body will lack energy, running the risks of malfunctions and attenuated immunity, etc. 

While this explanation sounds reasonable and is supported by some research studies, many people still don’t accept it, because drinking cold water in hot summer sounds to be a more reasonable common sense than the explanation of modern physiology, not to mention that scientists have not reached a solid conclusion yet.

Here, I would like to elaborate this topic from a TCM point of view and show you how the change of four seasons affects the energy flow in our body and why drinking cold water in summer is not good for your health.   

We all know that solar energy is the major energy source on the earth. The movement of the direct sunlight between the Tropic of Cancer (the northernmost latitude where the sunlight directly overheads the earth) and the Tropic of Capricorn (the southernmost latitude where the sunlight directly overheads the earth) creates the year-round temperature change on the earth. People in ancient times observed the temperature change and defined the four seasons. Spring is warm, summer is hot, fall is cool and winter is cold. Interestingly, ancient Chinese people not only observed the temperature change in the four seasons, but also discovered the directions of the energy (Qi, 气) flow in the four seasons. The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing, 黄帝内经), a TCM classic written more than 2000 years ago, has clearly documented that Qi is rising (sheng, 升) in spring, floating(fu, 浮)in summer, falling (jiang, 降)in fall and sinking (chen, 沉)in winter. 

According to this TCM classic, here I will describe the flow of Qi in four seasons in modern language. Spring is the season for growth. It is observed that plants have two growth phases in spring. The first is the sprouting phase, in which plants or seeds sprout by mainly using the chemical energy (e.g., ATP or glucose) that was converted from solar energy last year. The second is the photosynthesis phase that occurs after plants grow new leaves and absorb solar energy through photosynthesis. When spring progresses to summer, plants grow more leaves to harvest more energy through photosynthesis. The growth and energy harvest reach their maximum at the Summer Solstice (Xia Zhi,夏至), when the direct sunlight hits the Tropic of Cancer. After that, the direct sunlight starts to move to the Tropic of Capricorn, and summer progresses to fall. When the direct sunlight decreases, plants absorb less energy through photosynthesis and leaves start to fall. Plants start to conserve the energy in the fruits, seeds and roots. In winter, the energy in plants completely sinks under the ground, specifically in roots and seeds that are covered by soil, snow or ice. The energy stored in winter will be used for sprouting and growth in next spring. If we draw a diagram, we can clearly see the rise and fall of Qi flow in four seasons (see figure below).    

Chinese medicine believes that like plants, the human body has the same rise-fall pattern of Qi (blood) flow because the universe is holographic and run by the same rule. In spring, the energy of the human body starts to move outward to the surface/perimeter of the body (skin, head and limbs) and eventually reaches outermost in summer. This means in summer the energy in the inner part of the body, such as the internal organs and digestive tracts, is relatively deficient. In fall, the energy starts to move inward and eventually reaches the innermost in winter. Thus, there is relatively more energy in the inner part of the body than the surface and perimeter (see figure below). 

This TCM theory can now be explained by modern physiology: the skin is the largest organ of the human body.  The rich vascular network under the skin has a huge regulatory effect on the blood volume of the human body.  At room temperature, the blood flow to the skin is about 250-500 ml/min, which is only about 5% of the cardiac output. At high temperature, the blood vessels of the skin expand, and the blood flow can reach an astonishing 6-8 liters/min, which is close to 1.5-2 times of the total blood volume (4-6 liters).  At cold temperature, the blood vessels of the skin are maximally constricted, and the blood flow can be reduced to 20-50 ml/min, or even lower. 

Based on both TCM and modern physiology, in the hot summer the flow of blood and energy is greatly increased in the skin but reduced in the inner part of the body. When people drink cold water, it goes down to the digestive system, where the blood and energy are already deficient. The temperature in the digestive system will quickly drop, and it will consume much more energy and take a much longer time for the body to restore the normal temperature. Overtime, the cold stress or cold shock can cause both acute and chronic health problems, ranging from headache, cough, diarrhea to immunity disorders and cardiovascular incidents. Thus, TCM highly recommends drinking lukewarm water or at least room temperature water in summer. TCM also recommends occasionally eating warm foods, like hot chicken soup and ginger roots, to keep the inner body warm and healthy in summer.   


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Sunday, March 20, 2022

24 Solar Terms: Spring Equinox


If the QR code scan in the above video doesn't work for you, please check out and its sub-pages.


“Magic” (used in this video) is when someone does not understand how something’s works. People who do not understand TCM will think it is magic when they see it work. People who do not understand western medicine will also think it’s magic when they see the results it has. 

Most people who take pharmaceutical drugs do not understand the mechanisms on how their prescribed medication works. Thus it is not whether they understand TCM or Western Medicine is actually better, but who they trust (their doctors who prescribed the medication, and the pharmaceutical companies / drug manufacturers) to give them medicines. Explanation, of course, helps those who want to empower themselves without *blindly* trusting healthcare providers, and that’s why Herbal-Pal® Academy and other FREE resources are for.