Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is such a wonderful medicine. Sometimes when I focus on treating one thing, another issue just disappears under my nose.
One male patient comes in for his distending pain on the side of his chest for many years. Besides the chest pain, he also had a repeated history of Kidney stones. As usual, I ask my patient to take off shoes and socks before having them lying on the treatment table. When I was going to put needles in his lower legs and feet, oh boy, the foot odor was HORRIBLE! When I went to bed that night, I could still smell it. It's like the odor particles lodged in my nose. So every time I gave him a treatment, I had to hold my breath before going anywhere near his feet.
This patient had a quite a lot of purplish veins around his ankles, and some on his legs and thighs. This usually indicate blood stagnation of the meridian or even the organ depending on where it is. As part of the treatment, I did bloodletting therapy on some of those veins each time to improve the blood flow and remove the stagnation. Each time I could see the color of the veins getting lighter and lighter. After about 8 or 9 treatments, I noticed the foot odor had disappeared. I kind of recalled the odor was less in the previous treatment. I thought because it was a very cold snowy day, he didn't sweat so much. To my surprise I didn't smell it anymore after. I don't think it's me getting used to the smell because I only saw him once or twice a week for an hour.
What I think happened is this: in those veins the blood flow was sluggish, so there were a lot of toxin built up, didn't get circulated or expelled. So the body was trying to get rid of the toxins by sweating (blood and sweat come from the same source), and hence producing a bad odor. By bleeding the veins, the clogged toxin had a way out and the blood flow can be restored. The feet don't stink anymore!