In the thrilling world of human genetics there are 23 pairs of chromosomes. If the dice roll poorly and someone gets a third copy of chromosome 21, they will exhibit symptoms of Down Syndrome. It turns out we are complicated and fragile, so there are several ways that extra amounts of chromosome 21 can be a problem. Some recent research has discovered that several genes on chromosome 21 are linked to several types of leukemia – that is, alas, not a surprise because there’s a very high incidence of leukemia for people with Down Syndrome. Since there are a lot of leukemias there really isn’t a single treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Thankfully, I don’t have any students with leukemia so that’s a problem for another day. I am, however, giving some thought to the general notion of if one knows that there’s trouble ahead (in this case, maybe one or more leukemia genes have been detected) can Tai Chi Chuan or perhaps some Qigong routines be used to strengthen an aspect and, in essence, try to forestall a future problem.
One other application of this notion is thyroid metabolism. There’s a spectrum from hypothyroidism (not enough activity by the thyroid gland) to hyperthyroidism (too much activity). The 67 genes found so far are scattered over the place. Here’s a tally by chromosome: 1 [6]; 2 [6]; 3 [3]; 4 [1]; 5 [3]; 6 [4]; 7 [1]; 8 [7]; 9[7]; 10 [5]; 11 [5]; 12 [2]; 14 [4]; 15 [3]; 16 [2]; 17 [4]; 19 [1]; 22 [1] and x [1].

I was hoping for a much smaller number and a simple set of personal exercises so a student could correct deficient liver qi and stagnant triple warmer blood (one diagnosis of apparently one type of thyroid problem). In the unlikely event that there is a major effort to improve American medical insurance coverages – as a part of personal medical examinations insurance plans ought to cover everyone getting a thyroid test. There are at least four tests: T3 (triiodothyronine), T4 (thyroxine), TPO (thyroid peroxidase antibodies) and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) that can be done by mail outfits like Affordable Lab and Access Labs for under $40 per test. We would like to think the United States can take better care of its citizens than Cambodia can.


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