Possibly the most difficult (and most frustrating) thing to treat in our modern age is Gu Syndrome. Gu Syndrome can be briefly characterized by cases that:
- Don’t respond to otherwise appropriate treatments
- Seem to evade clear diagnosis
- Have confusing and seemingly not connected symptom pictures
- Frequently have strong digestive and psychological characteristics
Gu syndrome can cover any number of Western diagnoses across a broad range, from Lyme Disease to schizophrenia to CFIDS/FM but is absolutely not limited to definable conditions. A frequent hallmark of Gu Syndrome is that the patient doesn’t feel in control of themselves and doesn’t understand what is happening to them, frequently reporting that they feel sort of possessed. If you toss out over-the-top visual images of possession (like “The Exorcist”) and instead begin looking around at your neighbors, you will be faced with a disturbing reality; many many people are, in fact, out of control of their own lives and being strongly influenced or outright operated by an outside source of some kind.
In most of these cases the patient has been infested by a systemic parasite. The systemic part is very important to keep in mind, as this is something altogether different from, say, tapeworms. A systemic parasite is one that has been able to replicate itself extensively and spread throughout the body, causing the body to exist in a near-rotten state much like a tree that is full of insects. These parasites can be picked up via food, contact with contaminated water, sexually transmitted, or (in my experience) inherited from parents who have been the victims of sexual abuse (much like the homeopathic concept of Miasms).
For the Gu patient, life is full of the misery and frustration of never being able to keep up with the rest of the world energetically because they simply feel awful all of the time and don’t know why. Also, many patients deal with a great deal of guilt and shame due to socially or morally inappropriate behaviors that come during episodes of being out of control.
Why do I bring this up? Simply this: if you practice in the USA, I would bet that anywhere from 50-70% of your patients suffer from it due to our lifestyles and poor food quality. It’s an absolute necessity in our time to develop a repertoire of skills to deal with this disease, one that falls outside the cut-and-dried canon of TCM.
So, that’s a brief introduction. The real material is here, courtesy of Heiner Fruehauf, PhD. Download these and read them many times over, as this is extremely deep water, but water that needs to be tread. You can also come discuss in our forum as a few of us (Eric and I included) have experience dealing with Gu.
About Eric Grey
Hi - I'm the founder of Deepest Health. When I'm not writing here, you can find me reaching out to the Chinese Medicine community across the web and in my own backyard. I currently teach Chinese herbs at my alma mater, the National College of Natural Medicine. Additionally, I'm the founder of Watershed Community Wellness, a thriving local clinic in Southeast Portland in Oregon. No matter where I'm working, you'll find my focus on the Classical approach to Chinese medicine laced throughout everything I do.