TCM Treatment for Essential Hypertension: Clinical and RCT Investigations into Electroacupuncture
TCM Treatment for Essential Hypertension: Clinical and RCT Investigations into Electroacupuncture Fritz Hudnut
EJOM Vol. 9 No. 1 (2018)
Hypertension is a large problem in American society, as it is worldwide. The author initiated an in vivo exploration of electroacupuncture (EA) protocols to treat high blood pressure and found good clinical response from a range of point protocols using 2 Hz frequency. Along with discussion of the author’s use of EA, Dr Peng Li’s Long-Lasting Reduction of Blood Pressure by Electroacupuncture in Patients with Hypertension: Randomized Controlled Trial, from 2015, will be reviewed. In addition the UC Irvine team of Longhurst/Li/Zhou have done a series of RCT investigations of EA for hypertension using the same choice of EA frequency, which they found to be ‘significantly beneficial’ across a number of studies, recommending that ‘further studies are warranted’. Irrespective of the positive findings, EA remains open to question from both within and without the acupuncture community here in the United States, as many classicists of various persuasions continue to consider it as a ‘new technology’ even in the 21st century, i.e. an untested modality. However, there is now RCT evidence to show solid cardiovascular benefits to the use of EA for the treatment of essential hypertension (EH).
Applying the Principle of Harmonising Heart and Kidney in the Treatment of Menopause Syndrome
Applying the Principle of Harmonising Heart and Kidney in the Treatment of Menopause Syndrome Hong Yan
EJOM Vol. 8 No. 5 (2017)
Objective: to observe and evaluate acupuncture results for menopause syndrome. Method: Harmonising Heart and Kidney. Result: total effect 93.33%. Conclusion: to treat both brain and ovaries is an effective methodology for menopause syndrome.
Sports Injuries – Improved Healing Processes due to Integrative TCM Therapy
Sports Injuries – Improved Healing Processes due to Integrative TCM Therapy Karl Zippelius and Angela Schwarzinger
EJOM Vol. 8 No. 5 (2017)
Sport injuries are, both in hobby and professional sport, something that happens regularly. In a worst case scenario they may end a sports career. A fast and painless comeback with a minimum in performance loss is therefore of the highest priority. Integrative TCM therapy to unblock qi and Blood stagnation stimulates healing and shortens recovery time, producing better results than conventional therapy
Every experienced gardener knows the health of your soil is the first step to a successful garden. Every Chinese medicine practitioner should ideally practise this same lesson. Attending to the soil in your patients means addressing the digestive system. The focus of this article is digestion and the growing body of research exploring our relationship with what we once referred to as germs; now commonly referred to as the human microbiome or healthy gut bacteria. TCM practitioners can help their patients improve and maintain this with acupuncture, herbs, lifestyle advice, and dietary suggestions.
Picking the Low Hanging Fruit. Giving dietary advice that your patients can achieve
Picking the Low Hanging Fruit Giving dietary advice that your patients can achieve Greg Lampert and Danny Blyth
EJOM Vol. 8 No. 3 (2016)
This article considers how practitioners can help their patients to make achievable dietary changes, based on current lifestyle and mental patterns. It contains practical suggestions on stocking cupboards and customising favourite meals according to diagnostic patterns. There is also a section on using kitchen-based herbs and spices to alter meal energetics. The article includes a detailed case history pulling together all elements discussed.
Meridian Frequency Moxibustion with Ontake Warm Bamboo Part 2: Root and Branch
Meridian Frequency Moxibustion with Ontake Warm Bamboo Part 2: Root and Branch Oran Kivity
EJOM Vol. 8 No. 3 (2016)
Part 1 of this article described the origins of Ontake treatment: a dynamic moxibustion tool that applies heat, pressure and percussion while integrating Dr Manaka’s meridian frequencies to balance kyo and jitsu in the channels. Part 2 explores its practical applications.
A New Understanding of the Brain and its Clinical Application
A New Understanding of the Brain and its Clinical Application Tianjun Wang
EJOM Vol. 8 No. 2 (2015)
The Brain in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is traditionally one of the six extraordinary organs, but there exists very little guidance to its relevance in clinical practice. In the development of TCM theories, what constitutes the governor of shen is an important area for exploration. Brain is viewed as another governor of shen, and is most important in the regulation of shen. It houses yuan shen, which has two main meanings, spirit and yuan jing (yuan essence), which is the original material of shen. Yuan jing is the basis of other materials, and of the zang fu organs. The clinical application of a new understanding of Brain is to value the role of Brain particularly in acupuncture, including the affiliated meridian of Brain, the Governor Vessel (GV) or du mai, and to focus on the application of du mai points in the treatment of Brain related diseases, such as emotional conditions and original jing and shen related diseases. Keywords: Brain, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, yuan shen, du mai.
European Auriculotherapy, the Pulse, the Phases and Clinical Advantage
European Auriculotherapy: The Pulse, the Phases and Clinical Advantage Jim Chalmers
EJOM Vol. 8 No. 2 (2015)
Auriculotherapy (AT) and ear acupuncture are terms often used synonymously. However the common assumption by the public and practitioners alike that AT was originally part of the Oriental medicine tradition is completely erroneous. AT, including its charts and many of its protocols, is of modern European origin with its genesis and evolution being found in France during the 1950s. Certainly there is no doubt that much of the early cartography of AT has become entrenched in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Unfortunately, in this process of absorption of the charts and protocols of AT, some of the great advantages of the European discoveries have been lost, much to the disadvantage of both patient and practitioner.
This article looks at the developments that occurred after the discovery of the so-called ‘inverted foetus in the ear’, particularly the Vascular Autonomic Signal and the Phases, and the advantages they offer.
Meridian Frequency Moxibustion with Ontake Warm Bamboo. Part 1.
Meridian Frequency Moxibustion with Ontake Warm Bamboo Part 1: Getting Started Oran Kivity
EJOM Vol. 8 No. 2 (2015)
Ontake Warm Bamboo is a moxibustion technique with two additional components: pressure and rhythm. A short piece of bamboo is filled with moxa wool. When the moxa is ignited, the bamboo gets hot and can be applied to the skin. The bamboo can be held, tapped, pressed or rolled rhythmically along the acupuncture channels and on specific points. Most importantly, with the use of a metronome, these techniques can be applied rhythmically at specific frequencies of beats per minute, namely, Dr Manaka’s meridian frequencies. The treatment can be used as a branch treatment to augment acupuncture root treatment, or as a non-pattern based root treatment in its own right. This two-part paper will introduce you to everything you need to get started with bamboo.
In general, the public don’t perceive that acupuncture is a suitable form of medicine for babies and young children. In truth, acupuncture and other related techniques, such as shonishin and paediatric tui na, are well tolerated by children and immensely effective at treating many of the conditions from which they suffer. The Panda Clinic was set up in the hope that, by raising awareness, more children would receive the benefits of treatment. Children come to the Panda Clinic with a wide range of chronic and acute conditions. As well as providing effective treatment, it aims to be an environment where children feel welcomed, listened to and safe. This article aims to give the reader a flavour of life at the Panda Clinic, including some of the patient management issues that are peculiar to the treatment of children.
A Feasibility Study of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Jonathan Pledger EJOM Vol. 7 No. 5 (2014)
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) impacts on every aspect of a child’s life and the number diagnosed with this lifelong condition is growing. Few studies have researched acupuncture and ASD. This study uses an integrated Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Five Element style of acupuncture and differential diagnosis with individualised treatments.
Acupuncture and Moxibustion in the Management of Non-Cancer-Related Lower Limb Lymphoedema
Beverley de Valois EJOM Vol. 7 No. 4 (2013)
This paper presents case studies of three patients with non-cancer-related lymphoedema of the lower extremities, who participated in a project to assess the potential for using acupuncture and moxibustion as an adjunct to usual lymphoedema care. They illustrate how people with lymphoedema and complex co-morbidities (including morbid obesity) can benefit from treatment, and how reducing the symptom burden increases their ability to self-manage their chronic, incurable condition. They also demonstrate that acupuncture treatment can be effective even when large areas of the body are contraindicated to needling. Also shown are some of the practical challenges of dealing with morbidly obese patients. These case studies may influence existing perceptions of clinicians, patients, and acupuncturists about acupuncture’s potential role in the management of lymphoedema, and they suggest that research into this area is warranted.
Using a Daily Home-Support Moxibustion Protocol on St 36 Zu San Li During Chemotherapy: A Case Study
Cornelia Davies EJOM Vol. 7 No. 4 (2013)
A daily home-use moxibustion (moxa) protocol for nourishing the immune system during chemotherapy, first described by Dr Friedrich Staebler (Staebler, 2006), allows a patient to participate positively in his or her immune support during the entire period. The protocol requires the patient to have a helper to apply moxa daily on back shu points. This paper discusses a variation on the existing protocol, which allows a patient without available help to be self-supporting on this.
Traditional Needling Techniques as Practical Constructions from Reading Historical Descriptions
Stephen Birch EJOM Vol. 7 No. 3 (2013)
The author describes the Toyohari supplementation needle technique from the perspective of the practitioner using the language that describes for him/her what is happening. After describing the needle technique, he then cites relevant passages from the historical literature, especially the Su Wen, Ling Shu and Nan Jing, upon which the details of the needling technique are based. Thus he shows how almost every component of the technique from choosing and starting to look for the acupoint to the removal of the needle from the point can be traced to historical passages in these seminal texts. This is possible because the very nature of knowledge in these historical textual traditions is practice based. The kind of practical interpretations described here are examples of how a ‘traditional’ system of practice can be constructed bit-by-bit through the interplay of historical texts, interpretations, practical applications and observed clinical effects..
Clinical Experience in the Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Shen Pi'an EJOM Vol. 7 No. 2 (2012)
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic multisystem inflammatory autoimmune disease with a complex and highly variable range of symptoms that can affect any part of the body. Based on Professor Shen’s 50 years’ clinical experience in treating SLE patients with Chinese medicine, this article summarises the main aspects of TCM aetiology and pathology as well as offering a practical insight into the main treatment principles he employs on a regular basis. Read the whole article
Treating Multiple Sclerosis by Mediating the Internal Environment of the Body
Wanzhu Hou EJOM Vol. 7 No. 2 (2012)
The author discusses the Chinese medical understanding of the causes and treatment of Multiple Sclerosis and presents a case which illustrates how treatment with Chinese medicine mediates the body's internal environment and benefits the recovery of damaged tissues during the treatment.
The Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases with Canonical Chinese Medicine: Three Case Studies
Nadine Zaech EJOM Vol. 7 No. 2 (2012)
The author presents three cases of autoimmune disease,including two paediatric cases, which she treated successfully with Canonical Chinese Medicine formulas drawn from Zhang Zhong Jing’s Shang Han Za Bing Lun or Treatise on Cold Damage and Complex Disorders. The cases (involving paediatric rheumatoid arthritis, adult-onset Still’s disease and nephritic syndrome) suggest that autoimmune diseases, which may be only poorly managed by Western medicine, can be effectively treated with formulas and strategies first laid down in the classical texts of China’s Han Dynasty. From this Canonical Chinese Medicine perspective, many autoimmune conditions require tonification of the rule of imperial fire through the application of yang-warming decoctions containing fu zi (Aconiti Carmichaeli, Radix Lateralis Preparata.) If the patient’s symptoms flare up, the yang conformations will need to be treated and damage often involves more than one realm, thus often requiring the application of chai hu gui zhi gan jiang tang or triple yang disease formulas containing bupleurum chai hu (Bupleuri, Radix).
This article discusses the origin of Blood and its relationship with qi and jing, it works out the signs and symptoms of Blood deficiency and outlines the three main syndromes, Liver Blood, Heart Blood and Spleen Blood deficiency. The main part of the article focuses on Liver Blood in gynaecology and its relationship with Liver qi (yang aspect), Liver Blood (yin aspect) and Liver qi stagnation. It examines the various patterns originating from or being associated with Liver Blood deficiency. The article finishes with a short summary of suggested acupuncture points in the treatment of the main syndromes, Liver Blood, Heart Blood and Spleen Blood deficiency, as well as deficiency of tian gui in gynaecology. Read the whole article
Abdominal Acupuncture:- The Sacred Turtle and the Ba Gua: Case Studies
Tuvla Scott EJOM Vol. 7 No. 1 (2012)
Abdominal Acupuncture (AA) is a microsystem based on the Abdominal Meridian System (AMS), with Ren 8 shen que at its centre, which forms the fundamental regulating system of the human body. Abdominal Acupuncture is based on the ancient sacred turtle luo shu theory which is the foundation of the ba gua and presents two different maps. One map accurately places the human body and a second map places the ba gua in the abdominal area. This article gives an insight to the source of AA theory and presents 3 cases which were treated with AA using the different ‘turtle maps.’
Using acupuncture in lymphoedema management is controversial, as it is feared that it may introduce infection or exacerbate lymphoedema. This paper presents case studies of four cancer survivors who participated in an exploratory study investigating the use of acupuncture and moxibustion as an adjunct to usual care for lymphoedema to promote wellbeing and improve quality of life. They illustrate how individualised treatment plans meet the diverse and changing needs of patients with a complex, chronic side effect of cancer treatment for which there is currently no cure. They also demonstrate that acupuncture treatment can be effective even when large areas of the body are contraindicated to needling. The stories of these four participants may help influence existing perceptions on the parts of clinicians, patients, and acupuncturists about acupuncture’s potential role in the management of lymphoedema.
Managing Psychosis with Acupuncture: A Clinical Perspective
Neil Quinton EJOM Vol. 6 No. 5 (2010-11)
In this article, the acupuncturist who delivered the service evaluated by Dr Helen Rogers, (see “The Effectiveness of Acupuncture in the Management of Psychosis – An Evaluation” in EJOM Vol 6 No 5) sketches the background to the Walsall project and the approach and diagnostic framework he adopted. Patterns and pathomechanisms which are commonly seen in presentations of schizophrenia and bipolar illness are outlined, with particular emphasis on the significance of liver depression qi stagnation and spleen qi vacuity which, the author suggests, are often at the root of the condition and which can be treated effectively with acupuncture. The issues of treatment duration and frequency are also discussed as are point combinations. The author argues that there should be no reason why traditional acupuncturists cannot function as an integrated part of an already existing mental health team, significantly contributing to the management of psychotic illness by reducing anxiety and improving sleep, as well as proving a successful way of engaging both difficult to engage and younger patients, making it of particular use to Assertive Outreach and Early intervention teams.
How Acupuncture is Actually Practised, and Why This Matters to Clinical Research Design
Claire M Cassidy EJOM Vol. 6 No. 4
When practising acupuncturists are asked to explain what they actually do when delivering acupuncture care, a highly fluid and responsive picture of care emerges. This matches well with the East Asian medical explanatory model of Qi Flow. Their practice model gives approximately equal weight to the patient-practitioner relationship and the delivery of techniques of acupuncture such as needling. Most clinical trials of acupuncture care to date have, however, not utilised these features, but instead imposed a rather static 'sham' control model borrowed from biomedicine, which is guided by a different medical explanatory model and practice habits. Imposing one medical model on another medicine creates a methodological fault of model fit validity – in short, until acupuncture is clinically assessed as it is practised, we cannot know much about its capabilities. The author's hopes are that a) there will be more and larger studies of how acupuncturists think about and deliver care, and that b) future clinical trials will increasingly tend the issue of model fit validity and create trials that accurately assess and reflect the capabilities of acupuncture care.
Filling the Whole in Acupuncture Part 2: What are we Doing in the Supplementation Needle Technique?
Stephen Birch EJOM Vol. 6 No. 3 (2009)
In the first part of this paper (published in EJOM Vol 6 No 2) the author discussed the purposes, traditional explanations and possible mechanisms of the supplementation needle technique and began to model what might be happening when we apply it. He highlighted local and global qi circulatory effects triggered by the act of needling, and also the effects arising out of the interaction between the person needling and the person being needled. In this concluding part of the paper, he proposes various scientific perspectives and models that could explain the same observed effects of the needling and their various interactional effects, including mental interactional effects. Finally he briefly discusses the implications of this for understanding acupuncture practice.
Swine Flu in The UK - Using Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine to Treat it & Prevent Complications
Friedrich Staebler EJOM Vol. 6 No. 3 (2009)
This article begins with a summary of government guidelines on swine flu for the benefit of acupuncturists and Chinese medicine practitioners. It then gives an overview of the TCM diagnosis, treatment and prevention of swine flu, with particular reference to possible acupuncture treatments, the leading herbal formulas given in the Chinese literature and the appropriate use of patent medicines according to the depth and stage of the pathogen. It concludes with thoughts on the prevention of complications of swine flu for patients at risk and a few practical considerations from the practitioner's perspective.
Filling the Whole in Acupuncture Part 1: What are we Doing in the Supplementation Needle Technique?
Stephen Birch EJOM Vol. 6 No. 2 (2009)
The author contends that traditional forms of acupuncture practice have been hardly, if at all, investigated in the West. While many clinical and scientific studies of acupuncture have been conducted, these almost never involve the traditional practice methods of acupuncture with their clinical observations and theories of practice. In this article - the first of two papers on the subject - he attempts to bridge the gap between traditional practices and their historical sources and theories, and more modern perspectives with their methods of investigation. He discusses the purposes and possible mechanisms of the supplementation needle technique and models what might be happening when we apply it. Effects triggered by the needling itself, focusing especially on local and global qi circulatory effects and traditional explanations of these, are highlighted, as are the effects arising out of the interaction of the person needling and the person being needled, looking in particular at global changes in the vitality of the patient and the role of the mind of the practitioner. Various possible scientific perspectives are described, especially involving electromagnetic phenomena that could explain the effects of the needling and various interactional effects. Implications of this for understanding acupuncture practice are briefly discussed.
Turning Points: Clearing Blocks to Treatment in Women with Early Breast Cancer
Beverley de Valois EJOM Vol. 5 No. 6
In a research study to investigate the use of acupuncture to manage hot flushes and night sweats in women taking tamoxifen for early breast cancer, the author explored the use of clearing blocks to treatment. Blocks to treatment are phenomena in the Five Elements theoretical framework of acupuncture practice, and are not often explored in research studies. The author presents five case studies, discussing the application of treatment protocols for blocks to treatment and showing how they precipitated significant ‘turning points’ in the patients’ progress. She also discusses how these cases shaped and developed her own interpretation of the significance of clearing blocks to treatment, contributing to a ‘turning point’ in her understanding of Five Elements Constitutional Acupuncture to encompass these approaches in her research and in clinical practice.
Flooding and Looping: The Treatment of Musculoskeletal Problems with Electroacupuncture
EJOM Vol. 5 No. 6
In this article, the author introduces the reader to the treatment of musculoskeletal problems using electroacupuncture (EA) using techniques which he has developed over the last 20 years and which he finds indispensable to the treatment of intractable, chronic musculoskeletal problems. He discusses the treatment of the following conditions: lower back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis of the hip, hip pain, knee pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritic finger joints, arthritic knuckles, plantar fasciitis and scar tissue.
An Introduction to Facial Revitalisation Acupuncture
Virginia C. Doran EJOM Vol. 5 No. 5
This is an introduction to the subject of Facial Revitalisation Acupuncture (FRA) or Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, as it is commonly referred to in the United States and most other English speaking countries. FRA is a virtually painless method firmly rooted in the principles of oriental medicine. Like regular acupuncture, FRA involves differential diagnosis and the use of multiple needles to move or balance the qi, blood, and fluids within the body as well as restore or maintain harmony between the five elements, yin and yang, and the various zang fu. The visible aesthetic results on the face are generated from treating both the root (ben) and the branch (biao) reflecting the improvement in overall health that is simultaneously achieved. In China and in Chinese literature, it is referred to as mei rong, which translates as Chinese medical cosmetology. Read the whole article
Tonification of Spleen 21: A Viable Treatment Option within the Akabane Protocol
Richard Graham EJOM Vol. 5 No. 5
This randomised controlled study compares the treatment results in two groups of participants who were found to have Akabane imbalances. Participants in one group were treated using the Akabane protocol currently taught to practitioners of Five Element Acupuncture. Participants in the other group were treated with a bilateral needling of Spleen 21. The group treated using the protocol taught at the College of Traditional Acupuncture, which requires the tonification of luo points of the affected meridians, were found to have improved significantly after treatment (26.55%). However, the group treated using bilateral tonification of Spleen 21 had an even greater measure of improvement (52.12%). This suggests that the bilateral tonification of Spleen 21 appears to be more effective than the tonification of luo points in the treatment of meridian imbalances. Improvement and modernisation of the current testing procedure are recommended. A comparison between the bilateral tonification of Spleen 21, back shu, luo, yuan and jing points, in the treatment of meridian imbalances, is recommended for future clinical trials.
Aesthetic Acupuncture in General Practice Acupuncture
Maureen Cromey EJOM Vol. 5 No. 5
This short article is intended to be a practical guide to the use of aesthetic acupuncture: what it is, certain techniques and how to incorporate these into general practice. The information is based on the author's clinical experience as a busy practitioner in general practice in London for over 20 years, and as a consultant at spa resorts in The Maldives.
Filiform Needling Techniques on the Ten Most Difficult Points in the Head and Neck
Wen Jiang and Changjing Gong EJOM Vol. 5 No. 4
Performing appropriate needling techniques on acupuncture points is a critical determinant in acupuncture practice. This is especially true when the needling techniques are operated on dangerous or risky acupuncture points. This paper attempts to explore these technical issues with head and neck acupuncture points. Jing ming Bl 1, cheng qi St 1, feng fu Du 16, feng chi GB 20, ya men Du 15, lian quan Ren 23, ren ying St 9, tian tu Ren 22, jian jing GB 21 and que pen St 12 are the main acupuncture points which are located in somewhat dangerous areas of the head and neck. If acupuncture manipulations are incorrect, they may induce unexpected accidents, hence some acupuncturists abandon these points in order to avoid danger. However, all of these points can be of exceptional therapeutic effect in the clinic if the acupuncture manipulations are correct. In order to get better effects and avoid accidents, practitioners should pay attention to both the conventional needling techniques and the special techniques discussed in this article. Some case histories are presented at the end of the paper.
Much archaic acupuncture theory is considered ‘superstitious’ by modern practitioners. The author wanted to find out if the application of some of the older principles of treatment as outlined in the Nei Jing made any difference to treatment. The article reports on the treatment of a 29-year old woman who sought treatment for infertility associated with polycystic ovaries and anovulation. Using tonfication and sedation techniques according to the phases of the lunar cycle, the patient’s periods were restored and eventually a pregnancy was successfully taken to term.
Serenity, Patience, Wisdom, Courage, Acceptance: Reflections on the NADA Protocol
Beverley de Valois EJOM Vol. 5 No. 3
Following encouraging results from research investigating the use of individualised, traditional acupuncture to manage treatment side effects in women with early breast cancer, the author conducted a follow-up study to explore the use of the NADA protocol in the same clinical context. This article charts her discoveries in applying the NADA protocol as a standardised treatment in a group setting. She discusses its flexibility and potential, and considers its limitations. Case studies present a range of different experiences and perceived benefits for three women who received this treatment, including their reactions to being treated in a group setting.
Individualising Treatments in a Group Setting by Combining Micro-Acupuncture Systems
Oran Kivity EJOM Vol. 5 No. 3
This article outlines a method of delivering individualised diagnosis and treatments in group settings. It has been used to treat addictions and general health problems in the UK and, more recently, on the Acupuncture Sans Frontičres project in Sri Lanka. The method combines the ECIWO protocol (a 12-point micro-acupuncture system based on the second metacarpal which was developed in China by Dr Zhang Ying Qing) with minimal auricular acupuncture. The author discusses auricular therapy as used in detoxification settings, and elaborates on the genesis and principles of the ECIWO system. He outlines the influence of Japanese acupuncture styles in the development of his approach combining these two systems and concludes with an explanation of how to apply the resulting simple and flexible protocol in clinics.
The Role of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in the Treatment of Cancer (Part 2)
Dr Friedrich Staebler EJOM Vol. 5 No. 2
This paper, which complements part 1, published in EJOM Vol. 5 No. 1, 2005, discusses the general principles of treating cancer with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), especially the contribution which acupuncture and moxibustion can make, both in slowing down the spread of tumours and in counteracting the side effects of radio- and chemotherapy. The latter is given particular prominence, since the paper argues that acupuncture and moxibustion should be used primarily as a back-up, and concomitant to conventional cancer treatment. This is followed by the introduction of a simple and effective treatment protocol the author has developed, using moxa to combat bone marrow depression (the drop in red and white blood cells) during chemotherapy. The paper concludes with two case histories chosen to give practical examples, and to show the strengths and limitations of acupuncture and moxibustion in the treatment of cancer.
This article gives the practitioner’s perspective of acupuncture treatment delivered in a group setting within a mental health day service at the Broadway North Resource Centre in Walsall. The clients all had enduring mental health problems, most having been diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression, along with a number of people suffering from bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. The practicalities of running the project are clearly outlined and common disease pathomechanisms are identified – highlighting the centrality of liver/spleen disharmony – along with typical treatment principles and points. Although there is still considerable resistance to acupuncture from some quarters and a frustratingly prevalent perception that the benefits of acupuncture are confined to ‘relaxation’, the author’s experience shows that acupuncture has a huge amount to contribute to mainstream mental health services and to the quality of life of service users.
Strengthening the Case that Acupuncture is Safe in Competent Hands
Hugh MacPherson EJOM Vol. 5 No. 1
This article reports on a prospective study, funded by the British Acupuncture Council, looking into the safety of acupuncture treatment. The study involved 1 in 3 members of the BAcC who between them recruited 9,400 patients as survey respondents. The characteristics of the acupuncture patients and their reason for seeking treatment are outlined. Short-term reactions to treatment are described, along with perceived adverse events reported in a 3-month follow-up questionnaire. The data presented belie alarmist claims that non-physician acupuncturists put patients at risk by delaying conventional diagnosis and treatment and/or advising changes in prescribed medication. The conclusion from this large-scale and rigorously conducted study strongly reinforces existing evidence that acupuncture, when practised by qualified acupuncture practitioners, is a safe intervention. It also provides compelling evidence that the standards promoted by the BAcC have led to qualified acupuncturists being safe in their broader role as healthcare professionals. Read the whole article
Fire – A ‘Lighter’ Perspective
Gerad Kite EJOM Vol. 4 No. 6
This article, written from the perspective of a Five-Element practitioner and teacher, begins with an account of his experience of the Fire element and its significance for him personally. It moves on to give the classical context of the author’s understanding of the Fire element, outlining the roles of the four Fire Officials (heart, small intestine, heart protector and three heater). The Five-Element approach to treatment is then illustrated using two vividly portrayed and sharply contrasting examples of patients with Causative Factors in the Fire element, addressing the diagnosis, treatment and outcome in each case. Read the whole article
Five Element Acupuncture in the Land of the Great Khaan
Richard Graham EJOM Vol. 4 No. 6
This article gives an account of the author’s experience as a volunteer with Health Volunteers Overseas at the Shastin hospital in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. He spent 4 weeks working with the medical team in the hospital’s rehabilitation centre treating musculoskeletal conditions, neurological problems (especially those associated with stroke), physiological diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, congenital deformities and growth problems, and mental and emotional problems such as depression and anxiety. As a practitioner and teacher of Five Element acupuncture, the author’s pulse reading and treatment strategies intrigued his new colleagues, with concepts such as entry and exit blocks, Aggressive Energy and Possession being totally new to them. Most of the patients given Five Element acupuncture appeared to show improvement, with the most noticeable improvements coming from patients who had recently (within 6 months) suffered stroke.
An Introduction to Keiraku Chiryo - Japanese Meridian Therapy
Stephen Birch EJOM Vol. 4 No. 5
The article describes the system of Japanese traditional acupuncture - Keiraku Chiryo or meridian therapy - which is a form of acupuncture that has been practised for over 60 years. When it was introduced into Europe in the 1950s it had been virtually unknown outside of Japan. In the last 15 years it has established a place for itself in the US, Australasia and Europe and is being taught in postgraduate workshops and training programmes in these places. The author has studied with a number of leading meridian therapists since 1988, principally with instructors of the Toyohari or ‘east Asian needle therapy’ school of meridian therapy, in particular Kodo Fukushima, Toshio Yanagishita, Akihiro Takai and Shozo Takahashi.In this article he explains the development, basic theories, diagnostic and treatment methods and patterns of meridian therapy.
The Experience of Receiving Traditional Chinese Acupuncture
G Walker, B de Valois, T Young, R Davies, and J Maher EJOM Vol. 4 No. 5
This article reports on a study by the Supportive Oncology Research Team at Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre, Mount VernonHospital, Northwood, Middlesex, to evaluate the experience of women with breast cancer having treatment for the menopausal symptoms associated with Tamoxifen. A total of 16 women participated in focus groups held at least 9 months after their last acupuncture treatment. The discussions addressed the following topics: problems experienced before treatment; anticipation and expectation; experiences of the treatment session itself; effects of treatment; and overall impressions. It was found that traditional acupuncture is an acceptable treatment for women with menopause-like symptoms resulting from Tamoxifen. Patients found the overall experience enjoyable, and felt that their quality of life improved whether or not their symptoms were relieved.
A case study dealing with the treatment of acute capsulitis of the shoulder, often referred to as frozen shoulder, a common complaint in an acupuncture clinic, occurring most frequently in middle age and more commonly in women. Symptoms include reduced mobility and pain. The author covers the examination and diagnosis of the patient and the relevant treatment principles, treatment protocol and outcome. The main treatment aim was to restore the function of the shoulder and to stop the pain. She chose to needle the local channels and collaterals to stimulate the flow of qi and blood. In addition she used some general points to increase qi and blood production and circulation. She concludes that acupuncture can be a powerful tool when treating dysfunction of the muscular system. In frozen shoulder the acute inflammatory phase can be recovered easily and progression to the adhesive stage can be prevented through successful treatment.
Bearing Witness: Implications of the Law of Negligence for the Acupuncture Profession
Richard James EJOM Vol. 4 No. 5
This article reflects the author’s experience as an expert witness, illustrated with real scenarios.It identifies issues facing the profession and raises a number of questions:When does a professional relationship end? How should we interpret the Bolam test? Is our practice logically defensible in court? What is the boundary between counselling and being a good listener etc. The author emphasizes the importance of keeping immaculate case notes. Any legal defence is built on the foundation of solid case notes. If this foundation is shaky the defence will fall down. A valuable article for any practitioner worried about being sued.
Thorn in the Side or Needle in a Haystack? Acupuncture in the NHS
Arnold Desser EJOM Vol. 4 No. 4
The author describes the work of the Marylebone Health Centre, an NHS primary health care centre. Originally started in 1987 as a GP surgery to NHS patients, the GPs now see the patients first and pass them on to the complementary practitioners as appropriate. The Centre Trust has pursued the idea of post-graduate inter-professional education via the Centre for Community Care and Primary Health (CCCPH) in collaboration with the nearby University of Westminster. Other private schools of complimentary therapy eventually became part of CCCPH and included The School of Acupuncture and TCM, and schools teaching homoeopathy, herbal medicine, nutritional therapy and chiropractic. Patient’s computer notes contain the GP’s referral sessions and space for complimentary therapists to add clinical information. The author argues that at its best, working in the NHS can be a transformative experience for patients and practitioners of whatever therapy.
This article briefly describes Yoshio Manaka's model of acupuncture practice, 'yin-yang channel balancing therapy', with its unique theories of acupuncture and systematic four-step treatment process. The essential diagnostic assessments necessary for choosing the common step one to three treatments are described, as are their typical techniques. Step four is briefly outlined. The author is teaching workshops and programs on these treatment methods in London, York and a number of locations on the continent. Several books describing these treatment approaches are already published. The article is very well illustrated.
The author explains that this article is not anti-drug and not anti-doctor but cautions practitioners to consider that prescribed drugs, although sometimes helpful, are frequently over used and often lead to uncomfortable symptoms and feelings of ill health. He provides comprehensive information on costs, and information, of prescription drugs, their side effects, addiction, the energetic view of prescribed drugs and herb - drug interactions. There is a wonderful table on the energetics of prescribed drugs in terms of Chinese medicine, and a case history which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbal prescriptions.
The Sculpting of Yi Shi: Alchemical Acupuncture and the Imagination of Dragons
Paul Hougham EJOM Vol. 4 No. 1
This article explores the nature of intention/intent (yi) in acupuncture traditions with reference to some of the classical discussions of intention and in relation to contemporary developments of acupuncture in the West. Its central thesis is that the intention of the practitioner is the principal 'active agent' of acupuncture and is cultivated through the development of the practitioner's senses as embodied in their qi field, this awareness being 'sensory intent' (yi shi). The qi field, with its various shapes, patterns and rhythms (unique to the individual practitioner), is also proposed as the primary diagnostic instrument in acupuncture, operating through the mechanics of resonance (gan ying).
In the treatment of children, symptoms which relate to kidney deficiency, such as poor memory, difficulty in concentrating, enuresis or thin or weak bones are often seen. The author has differentiated three main types of kidney deficiency which are kidney jing deficiency, kidney organ weak and kidney qi xu. Signs and symptoms of the three patterns and their different treatment and outcomes are explored.
This is written by a practitioner who feels passionate about treating children, and which is very much from the perspective of personal experience. She encourages the use of acupuncture, acupressure, tui na, herbs, moxa, cupping and other adjunctive therapies. Examples of three case studies show how these techniques can be used in practice, as well as how to involve parents in the use of simple techniques at home to help their children maintain their health. Read the whole article
Angela Llewellyn EJOM Vol. 3 No. 6
This article examines the elements of medical eclecticism revealed in the developing practices of eight acupuncturists working in the south of England. Further, a consideration of their different understandings and insights into the processes involved is undertaken, concentrating in particular on issues of change and continuity, attitudes to biomedicine, interactions with patients and their expectations, and the influence of practitioners' spirituality on their work. The article also hopes to throw some light on the dynamics involved when an ancient oriental medicine is transplanted into a competitive, multi-cultural western social and medical environment.
Safety in Numbers: What Practitioners Reported about Adverse Events and Treatment Reactions
Hugh MacPherson, Kate J Thomas, Stephen Walters and Mike Fitter EJOM Vol. 3 No. 6
This is a report on the survey (commissioned by the British Acupuncture Council) on the relative safety of acupuncture. Its main finding is that acupuncture is safe in the hands of competent practitioners. 574 practitioners took part in the survey over a 4 week period in May 2000. Results showed that there were no serious adverse events in 34,407 reported acupuncture treatments, 43 indicating an underlying serious adverse event rate of between 0 and 1.1 per 10,000 treatments. A total of 43 significant minor adverse events were reported, at a rate of 1.3 per 1000.
Shonishin (children's needle therapy) is a style of acupuncture used on children that developed over 250 years ago in Japan [Yoneyama, Mori (1964)]. Recognising the fact that children do not like being needled, this therapy has developed specialised treatment techniques, many of which are non-invasive and thus not uncomfortable or frightening to the child. Specialised instruments have been developed for treating children, and great care has been taken in adapting the use of acupuncture and related techniques for the treatment of children. In this article the author briefly discusses some of these methods and presents a couple of cases to illustrate their application.
Acupuncture Detoxification (AcuDetox) Treatments in Addiction Settings
Margaret Pinnington EJOM Vol. 3 No. 5
This article explains the development of AcuDetox (Acupuncture Detoxification) to treat the growing drug addiction problem. The Lincoln Hospital model is outlined, as are the roots of NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) NADA US, NADA UK and NADA UK training. Research published in The Lancet and the Archives of Internal Medicine is mentioned, proving the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic addiction.
Most clinicians working in the field of pain concentrate their attention on bones, joints, discs, nerves and bursae, and are unaware of the great significance of pain arising in the largest single organ in the body, accounting for nearly 50% of body weight: skeletal muscle. Muscles in general and, more specifically, myofascial trigger points (TrPs) in skeletal muscles are major sources of pain and dysfunction. Chronic low back pain, shoulder pain and headache are major causes of disability, absence from work and claims for compensation. Much chronic pain is due to unrecognised myofascial pain syndromes that could have been avoided by early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Instead, the analgesics that are often prescribed, at a high cost, are frequently ineffective, may cause serious adverse drug reactions and do not address the underlying cause of the pain. In this article Dr Richardson discusses trigger point disturbances, examination of problems and the dry-needling techniques needed to deactivate these points. The article is well illustrated and documented.
The author reviews the annual seminar of the Toyohari Association held in Tokyo. She reports that for those who completed the Toyohari training and programme went to Japan it was a valuable opportunity to consolidate their concentrated period of study. The seminar took place over two days, with an additional two days of practice generously offered to other foreign participants.
In modern day China it is apparent that there is one unifying and distinctive style of acupuncture, familiar to us all in the West as TCM. Japanese acupuncture is more pluralistic, and embraces many different styles and schools. In this article the authors give an overview of a number of Japanese acupuncture systems. The four systems reviewed are: Dr. Manaka’s Yin Yang Channel Balancing Therapy; Keiraku Chiryo Meridian therapy; Toyohari Meridan Therapy; and Kiiko Matsumoto’s Integrated Approach. The authors convey the characteristics of each system and contrast them within the wide spectrum of Japanese acupuncture styles. Becoming open to these contrasting systems, which have demonstrably powerful effects, can challenge our conceptions and add new meaning to the concept of 'maximum benefit from minimum intervention.'
Acupuncture and Related Practices in Japan: Common Themes and General Diversity
Stephen Birch EJOM Vol. 3 No. 2
This paper describes the situation of acupuncture, moxibustion and massage (Shiatsu) in modern day Japan. In a westernised industrial society a variety of socio-cultural, political, historical and economic factors have led to an astonishing diversity of acupuncture schools.All in all there are at least 15 schools of acupuncture, 20% traditionalists, 20% biomedicine based, the rest a mixture of the two.It is an interesting fact that 40% of acupuncturists are blind in Japan, acupuncture being a preferred profession for the blind since the late 19th century, leading to a greater emphasis on sensory awareness.The paper explains why there is a great emphasis on pragmatic approaches, particular techniques of pulse and point location, abdominal palpation, the use of thinner needles, less depth of insertion, and a highly specialised use of moxibustion techniques.It argues that it would be a mistake to think of Japanese acupuncture as one school of thought.
The Clinical Application of Point Penetration Acupuncture
Pang Jun, Han Zhi-Yong and Faye Richardson EJOM Vol. 3 No. 1
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) physicians through the ages have utilised point penetration acupuncture therapy. It is characterised by the use of fewer selected points with stronger stimulation resulting in better effects. Through clinical practice, the author has identified four types of penetration that produce different effects. Each method is described with common effective prescriptions for specific diseases. Case reports describe in detail manipulation methods and precautionary procedures utilised in applying these methods for maximum effectiveness. Therefore, point penetration acupuncture is an acceptable, viable therapy for many conditions previously treated with medicine or surgery.
Making Use of Acupuncture - A Psychotherapist's View
Pauline Lucas EJOM Vol. 2 No. 5
This short article by an acupuncture client, who is a psychotherapist, describes her experience of using acupuncture. She found that TCM explanations complemented her own body-mind understanding and compared how psychotherapy opened up suppressed feelings while acupuncture similarly opened up blocked energy channels. This was effective both for the patient's physical and emotional well-being.
The Hurts, the Angst, the Blues: The Tangle of Pain, Emotion and Psychopathology
David Mayor EJOM Vol. 2 No. 5
In this second article on chronic pain and its measurement (the first was published in EJOM Vol 2, No 4), Mayor provides a thorough literature analysis about the complex inter-relationships between pain, anxiety and depression. He discusses which comes first - pain or anxiety. He also explores how the emotional state of a patient relates to the task of pain prevention, particularly in regard to chronic pain sufferers.
When treating patients with pain, it is important to at least try to understand what pain is. This first article in a series on chronic pain covers some general aspects of pain and its taxonomy, in particular the differences between acute and chronic pain, and between nociceptive and neurogenic pain. The next article will explore the psychology of pain, and in particular the relationships between pain, anxiety and depression. A follow-up article will be devoted to some of the thorny issues of pain measurement. The references given should be useful as a starting point for anyone embarking on their own exploration of the literature on chronic pain. Read the whole article
Eye Acupuncture in 108 Cases of Acute Pain in the Biliary System
Chang Jin Yang, Ma Qin and Yue Ling EJOM Vol. 2 No. 4
This article was first published in Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion Vol. 16, No. 1. Good therapeutic effects can be achieved when using eye acupuncture to treat brain diseases and a variety of pain syndromes. In recent years acupuncturists have used eye acupuncture to treat 108 cases of acute pain in the biliary system and received satisfactory results. Translated by Xiao Y Zhang.
As a consultant obstetrician and TMC acupuncturist, Boxx conducted a trial into the use of acupuncture analgesia during labour. The results were generally very favourable with patients expected to need pethidine or entonox getting by without either. Babies born to mothers using only acupuncture as an intrapartum analgesia mostly emerged 'howling lustily and in the pink'. The 'pros' and 'cons' of acupuncture during labour are discussed as are practical issues of justifying the acupuncturists presence in the delivery room.
Brewer presents his personal view of changes in patterns of lower back pain presented over the last 25 years. It appears that the causes of lower back pain vary with the type of patient seen, for example Chinese in China may match the 'text book' models, however when working in western society this is clearly not the case. In fact much of the lower back pain presented is caused by retardation in the flow of qi rather than pathogenic factors. This leads to stiffness with the result that the muscle is more prone to spasm. Brewer presents a very clear list of signs and symptoms and discusses them from TCM and western physiology perspective. He describes thorough examination by palpation, the use of distal and local points and methods of needling.
A detailed description of changes that take place on the ear to indicate diseases. Diagnosis can be carried out in three ways: by observation, palpation and electric measurement. Translated by Xy Zhang.
An article on the ancient Chinese art of face reading. This outlines the history of this special skill. The basic facial types according to five elements are discussed. Particular attention is paid to the significance of eyes and four case histories with diagrams are considered.
The author (an acupuncturist, bee keeper and attendee at conferences on apitherapy in China and the US) discusses bee venom in relation to its chemical constituents and its current use in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, multiple sclerosis and auto-immune deficient diseases.
The Immune Development Trust was set up in the late 1980s to promote, preserve and protect the good physical and mental health of the public, particularly in relation to immune related conditions such as ME. HIV and AIDS. The author, one of the founders of the IDT, describes the ethos of the organisation, and the services it offers to both its practitioners and clients with particular reference to Chinese medicine. The article concludes with a brief outline of three cases treated at the IDT clinic, the first an HIV-positive man suffering from an acute herpes simplex infection, the second an HIV-positive woman suffering from chronic insomnia. The final case involves an HIV-positive man suffering from acute dysentery caused by endamoeba histolytica.
Human Immune Activity in Arthritis and Multi-Neuritis Treated by Different Moxibustion Methods
Seung Cheong-Wong EJOM Vol. 1 No. 4
93 patients were selected for treatment by either direct moxibustion (65 cases of arthritis, all presenting with yang deficient symptoms and signs) or indirect moxibustion (28 cases suffering from multi-neuritis, all of whom were also diagnosed as yang deficient). Cellular immune function was assessed before and after. The results suggest that treatment with moxibustion has a modulatory effect on immune function.
Thoughts on Paediatric Eczema as an Allergic Disease and its Relationship to Yin Fire
Bob Flaws EJOM Vol. 1 No. 4
The author takes issue with some of the statements on allergic asthma made by Giovanni Maciocia in EJOM Vol 1, No 3. The author's argument is based on a translation of a recent Chinese journal article on the treatment of paediatric eczema. In particular the author suggests that Giovanni, in the creation of his theory on allergic asthma, has not paid enough attention to Li Dong-Yuan's concept of yin fire and to modern western notions of candidiasis as it relates to allergic conditions. The author ends by describing the most common internal Chinese medicine formulas he uses in the treatment of allergic asthma in both children and adults.
The Gateway Clinic Experience: The Treatment of HIV and AIDS using TCM
John Tindall EJOM Vol. 1 No. 3
The Gateway Clinic has five levels of approach to sufferers of drug abuse, HIV or AIDS. Relaxation and outreach starts a detoxification programme. A general balancing of the patterns of ill health presented follows this. Level 3 looks at specific procedures for acute episodes that invariably characterise the conditions. At the fourth level difficult patterns are dealt with - infections, complications, a variety of medical conditions. Level 5 involves the practice of qi gong. All levels depend on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) analysis. The aim is to create optimum levels of health, physically, mentally and spiritually, regardless of the stage at which the client might present. Read the article as a PDF file (562Kb)
The Triple Burner as 'The Regulator of Body Temperature'
Peter Mole EJOM Vol. 1 No. 3
Three case histories in which treatment was solely with acupuncture using an integration of different styles focussed on the Triple Burner meridian.
A chapter from the author's book The Practice of Chinese Medicine deals with early onset asthma especially in children and young adults. The connections and differences between Xiao-Chuan (wheezing-breathlessness) and allergic asthma follow pathology and aetiology of allergic asthma in western medicine. The chapter concludes with a new theory of allergic asthma in Chinese medicine.
Hugh MacPherson and Richard Blackwell EJOM Vol. 1 No. 3
This review article has three sections. The introduction looks at the western medical understanding of RA and identifies a role for Chinese medicine. There follows a critique of a number of controlled trials and studies. The final section considers Chinese medicine in clinical practice, its approach to treatment and patient management.